Friday, December 19, 2014

5 Things: Christmas Cards and Christmas Wishes!

I can't believe how fast this week has gone! It's been busy with our respective company holiday parties, running errands to get ready for Roanoke, and finally, sending out the last of our Christmas cards. I'm ready for a relaxing next few days and the chance to sit back to enjoy this season.

1.  Thank you.
I'm pretty sure my Mom is the only one reading this blog nowadays, but thank you for taking the time to stop by and check out my little blog. It's been so fun to connect with some of you and I've even made a few good friends along the way (Hi, Kate!). I don't know how much I will be posting in the next few weeks as I savor our last Christmas as a family of 3, but I did want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. 

2. 2014 Christmas Card 
The card is from Minted. They did our first Christmas card in 2011 too. 

3. Z's Holiday Party 
Last weekend was Z's holiday party and it was incredibly nice. They had a orchestra playing in the art gallery and champagne throughout the cocktail hour. It was a great night and a fun opportunity to get all dressed up and eat some good food with my guy. 

4. Holiday cards. 
I had Sawyer help me set up our Christmas cards this year. Here's Sawyer and I's artwork. We got burlap string, mini clothes pins, and removable wall stickers from Michaels and tried to make string up the cards in our dining room. I think this might be up longer than December because I love seeing my friends faces whenever we enter the room.

5.  "At Christmas all roads lead home." -Marjorie Holmes
I'm off to Roanoke this weekend to be with family and celebrate the holidays. Again, I hope everyone has a wonderful season full of family, love, and laughter. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

{Days 11 & 12} Cinnamon Bread & Gingerbread Houses

I'm really loving this holiday season and it's because Sawyer is making it so magical for us. He's always singing Christmas tunes, telling me that Santa is going to come, or pointing out lights. It's the best and I think that is why I'm really trying to maximize this holiday season with a lot of fun crafts and activities. Z and I have come to realize that this Christmas isn't about us and that's more than okay. It's now all about Sawyer experiencing the magic of the season.

To start, Sawyer and I made cinnamon bread for my bosses. Sawyer had a blast mixing, pouring, and stirring. He even broke an egg without any shell falling in, which was impressive because he broke the it by squeezing it in his fist until it splattered down into the batter.
I used this recipe and I loved how easy it was.

Then later in the week, we took some time to make a gingerbread house. Z and I have been doing this every year since we started dating, but this was the first time that Sawyer could actually participate and he absolutely loved it. He was such a champ with the icing and was such a good listener as Z showed him how to squeeze it out of the tube. Putting on the candy was a different story though. He would eat a gummy, stick a gummy, eat a gummy, stick a gummy. So our poor houses didn't have a lot of decoration on them. Oh well!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

{Day 8 & 9} Supporting Local Charities

{Day 8} To me, the holidays mean a time of giving back. I remember picking out a Angel Tree child when I was growing up and on Monday, we picked out a toy for our little child. We've been so blessed this year with our health, jobs, friends, and family that I really want this season to be a one in which we remember to give back and bless others. 

{Day 9} Our local Lions Club was having a citrus fruit sale fundraiser, so we stopped and picked up a bag. I think its so important to donate to local charities because they are the ones that are giving so many important resources to our community. I need to be better about doing this throughout the year. 

Aside from donating and giving back, I want Sawyer to learn how important it is to help and serve others. I want him to be someone who thinks of ways throughout the year to give to others and is always willing to be a helping hand. I'm still trying to figure out how to model this, but hopefully through these small acts, he'll grow up learning its importance.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ways to Celebrate the Christmas Season

The first year Z and I were married, I wanted to make special traditions that were tailored just for us. Some of those traditions have stayed-like getting a new ornament each year-and some of gone to the wayside-like eating Thai food every Christmas Eve.

Now, that we have Sawyer and he is old enough to finally "get" what Christmas is all about, we really wanted to make this holiday season fun for him. Everyday we try to celebrate in some way, shape or form. Each day isn't a big thing. One day it meant making hot chocolate and listening to a Christmas station as we put away laundry or it could be bigger things like seeing Santa or going to an exhibit. But each day, I want to make it a point that this season is special, magical, and one that involves family and Christ.

I love whenever I see other blogs and websites that give Christmas ideas and activities, so I decided to include my little list as well. Some of the things are silly, but they are little memories that are quickly becoming my favorite. Also, let me know if you do anything fun over the holidays. I always love hearing new ideas, especially if it involves little ones, and maybe I can add them into our list this year or next.

{Day 1} Bought a chocolate advent calendar.

{Day 2} Bought and decorated our Christmas tree. Can't believe this is the first year we are actually doing this! Every Christmas before we just had a little fake tree that we set up, but this is the first year we actually went for the real deal and I'm so glad we did. There isn't anything better than the smell of a real tree.

{Day 3} Took the long way home-meaning I went up and down two streets in our neighborhood before turning into ours- and we pointed out all the Christmas lights and trees. Sawyer gets so excited whenever he spots a Christmas tree before me. It's too funny.

{Day 4} Had hot cocoa and listened to Christmas tunes on pandora.

{Day 5} Read a Christmas book before bed. It was actually a really great book and I recommend it if you are looking for a good and different holiday book. It's called the Littlest Angel  and apparently its a play too.

{Day 6} Bull Run Festival of Lights. We were going to do this next weekend, but it was so rainy and cold that we decided to switch up plans and do the drive-through festival instead. It was a really fun.  You pay $15 and drive through a festival of lights for about 30 minutes. At the end you are greeted by the Holiday Village where there are smores, a bonfire, hot cocoa, and yes, Santa! Sawyer got his picture taken and hated every minute of it. Poor guy. Santa even gave him a reindeer animal and peppermint stick and he still wasn't having it. Next year!

{Day 7} Botanic Gardens Christmas display. One of my favorite things about living in DC is all the free museums and exhibits. Today, we went to check out out the train and Christmas exhibit here and it was great. I loved looking at the DC monuments that were made out of bark or plant materials and Sawyer loved the trains, especially the Thomas. A bonus is that its so warm in there, so its great on a cold and windy day.

Monday, December 1, 2014

He? She? Open to see!

I'm a huge fan of gender reveal parties and this one made me so incredibly excited for our upcoming addition. When Z and I were thinking about doing it, we knew that Thanksgiving would be the perfect time. Both sides of our families would be in town and celebrating with them made it all that more special. Plus, it was a great way to kick off all the fun holiday festivities. 

The disclaimer is Z and I already knew. That will be a whole other post, but we actually found out a month beforehand. The ultrasound tech put it in an envelope and then we had our own little celebration. I did this because I wanted the moment when we found out to be special and something shared just between us for a little while. But, we knew that we still wanted to celebrate and surprise our families, so we still planned for our party as well. 

To start, we ordered a cake from Susan Kelly Cakes in Roanoke. She was great to work with and I sent her an idea I had and she really went with it. It was perfect and really tasty too. 

Then I created an Old Wives tales chart and put it in a frame near the front of the table. We asked guests to come in either pink or blue and then to write down their guesses. The winners would get a prize at the end. 

Finally, we have been stuck on a name and wanted to hear what others recommended or thought, so we made a name recommendations board from poster board and put it on the table as well. It was fun to see what everyone came up with at the end of the night. 

For food, we just served the cake and then had blue and pink m&m sugar cookies and strawberry and blueberry fruit skewers. 

These were at Party City. 
After we cut the cake, we served champagne and used food coloring to turn it blue. I had special wine non-alcoholic wine that I could cheers with. I know that some people think that non-alcoholic wine isn't that great, but this was really good. If anyone is interested, I got mine at World Market. 

Now, here are a few photos from our party. Thanks to my brother-in-law for capturing these:
Team pink 
Team blue 
And now for the big moment! I'm so glad that we kept Sawyer up for this. He had no idea what was going on, but these pictures mean so much to me and I can't wait to share them with him and his brother when they are older. 

Yes, we are so so excited! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five Things Holiday Edition.

This week has been incredibly hectic. Z's been at a work conference in Texas and I've been slammed with school work and activities for Sawyer. To say that I'm excited for a weekend of nothingness is an understatement. But before I go, here are 5 things I'm loving this holiday season:

1. Baby It's Cold Out There. 

I love Michael Buble and Idina Menzel and this video could not be cuter. It definitely puts me in the holiday spirit.

2. Christmas Eve Dress 
I ordered this dress for a Christmas tea and for Christmas Eve service. I just got it last week and love it. Such a win in my book.

3. Thanksgiving Turkey Cinnamon Roll. 
I mean, come on! How cute and easy is this?! 


This week I'm trying to work out and watch what I eat because I know next week will be just a disaster with all the pies, cakes, and gravy. I've loved this fruit salad and its really easy-just bananas, blueberries, grapes, raspberries and shredded coconut. Yum! 

5. Gender Reveal!!

Next Wednesday we have our gender reveal and I bought these plates, napkins and cups from Party City. We also ordered a cake and asked everyone to come dressed in either pink or blue. It should be a lot of fun and I can't wait to finally share our big news. It's definitely something that we are so thankful for this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sawyer-25 months.

Sawyer is 25 months and it's such an incredible age. I'm truly loving every moment of it. His personality is becoming more and more evident. He's now vocal about his likes, dislikes, and his little sayings make my day. Hearing a two-year old talk might just be my favorite thing. I realized this morning that I haven't gotten a journal yet to record some of his milestones and what he's into, so I'm using this blog as a way to document some of my favorite things before I forget. 

Sawyer's really into singing recently. His favorite songs include: Wheels on the Bus, Ring about the Rosy, Taylor Swift's Shake it Off, Matthew West's Do Something, and Luke Bryan's Play It Again. I think my heart skips a beat whenever he starts to sing to the radio. I love when he screams/sings, "Play, play, play" or "Hate, hate, hate" whenever Taylor comes on and Z is now convinced it's now his new favorite song too because it's just so cute.  

He also loves to dance. He has a bear that turns on music whenever you push his paw and he's constantly pushing it and dancing around. Or he'll just dance without music too. When I work on Wednesday's, Sawyer goes to a school and even the teacher said that he needs to get into a music class because of how much he enjoys it. I really hope this continues because I love seeing how enthusiastic he gets whenever a song comes on or whenever we cheer him on when he dances. 

Sawyer is also figuring out the world around him. At meal-time, he'll say, "Mommy's dinner. My dinner" or "Mommy's yogurt. My yogurt." He'll also ask, "Whoa! What's that?" about almost everything we pass by or if he hears a sound that he doesn't recognize. It's so funny. He'll be playing, hear something, stop right in his tracks, and say, "Whoa! What's that?" 

Finally, Sawyer's favorite toys are his stuffed monkey, bunny, and train set. Whenever he's playing, he'll say, "Mama! Come sit!" He hates to play by himself and loves when we can all share in an activity. Sometimes I just want 5-10 minutes to myself to fix dinner or answer an email, but then I'm quickly reminded that one day Sawyer won't be insisting that I come sit and play, so I've gotten used to giving up a clean house in order to sit down and play with him. In the end, this will be worth more than a clean sink or a vacuumed carpet. 

Sawyer, monkey, we love you so much and thank God for you everyday. You are truly our little blessing and angel. 

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