November 30, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas....

Christmas Tour of Homes at Kellys Korner

Christmas has taken over our home!
And I couldn't be happier.

December is my favorite month of year, so I was excited to have my holiday decor up and ready before the 1st of the month.

I have so much more I would like to buy/add/make to our decorations (Thank you Pinterest and blogging world) I will have to wait until next few years.  My budget only allows for a few new pieces each Christmas.

Here is a little sneak peak at our Christmas decor. Enjoy!

Here is our tree. I attempted the mesh for the first time this year. I love the way it looks on the tree, especially at night with the lights.  I think after another year's practice I will get better at hanging it! But it's alright for year one! You can read more about our tree here.

Under the tree is Reagan's Polar Express train. He loves this thing. And yes. That is Percy attached to the rear. This kid might be an engineer one day. 

Here is one of my bookshelves. I love and keep all things Santa here. 
I have some stiching pieces my MIL Sylvia made me,a favorite quote from the movie Elf, and my mini-collection of Jim Shore. I also keep Reagan's "Cookies for Santa" plate here.  I plan on ordering a new one with all of the kids on it... if you've seen a cute on anywhere- please let me know! 

On the lower shelf I have some Mud Pie Christmas frames.

I have a couple of Christmas throw pillows on the couch.
Don't mind Lily just chilling on the couch in her typical spot.

Another bookshelf

On the bar in the kitchen I keep our advent house and tree.
I will do a separate blog post about this later!

Our stockings are hung on the fireplace. The babies will share the "My First Christmas" stocking this year and then I will order them matching Pottery Barn ones like ours for next year.  The one to the far left is for the dogs to share. They will probably get the boot next year, or else their stockings will have to find a new home because our 5 hooks will be full!

A little tree by our front door.

I love my "believe" blocks above our TV.

Here is our entry table.

Reagan just adores his Little People Nativity set.
I love watching him play and act out baby Jesus' birth! So adorable.

I have these reindeer accents from Crate and Barrel in my kitchen.

I love this little vinyl my sister Jocelyn gave us last year.
 I haven't found the perfect spot for it yet, but for now it's hanging on our hutch.

I made these two wreathes for the kids' rooms this year.
Reagan is so excited to have a bit of Christmas in his room!

I'm excited to see all of your Christmas decor.
I get so much inspiration from all of you!

November 29, 2012

Our Tree Traditions

Growing up my family had many traditions when it came to our Christmas tree. On a Friday night in December we always drove to the tree lot and picked out the perfect tree.  We would come home and Daddy would saw off the bottom and get it ready to put it. My mom would get all the decorations ready while Meg and I would sing carols and be silly.  Dad would do the lights, Mom would do the garland and bows, and Meg and I would drink hot cocoa. Then it was time to put on the ornaments.  Looking at the ornaments was like taking a trip down memory lane. We had our baby ornaments, ornaments from trips, gifts, and school ornaments. 

My parents' tree

I knew that when I got married I wanted to have traditions that involved the tree as well. Unfortunately I'm too impatient to get a real Christmas tree.  So we bought a fake one years ago and we put it up right after Thanksgiving.  Nick puts the tree together and strings the lights and I do the rest. I look forward to the kids getting bigger and helping with the ornaments. Reagan and Nick put the star on the top at the end.

Our ornaments are mainly memory ornaments. 
Just like my childhood trees.

We have important occasion ornaments.

We have ornaments from each of our trips together.

(Ornaments from our trip to Boston and Kauai)

We also have ornaments from my niece and nephew. (Each year they would give the immediate family members a photo ornament of them to watch them grow on their trees.  We have continued the tradition with Reagan too. My mom is going to have a tree in her bedroom with all of these grand-kid ornaments. I think it's such a sweet idea!)

(Here is the ornament I made for the family members last year.)

We also have our yearly ornaments.  Before kids, Nick and I would each pick out a Hallmark ornament of our choice.  When Reagan came, we stopped and have allowed him to pick out a new one each year.  It is fun to look back and see what was important to each of us at the time.

 Hudson and Harper's 2012 ornament (Baby's First Christmas)

Reagan's 2012 ornament (Monster's Inc.)

I have also hung our Christmas card blessing rings on the tree as well.  It is so neat to look back and see who has sent us Christmas cards.  I have the last 3 years hung up on the tree. 

(2011 Blessings Ring)

We only have the one big Christmas tree in our home right now. In the future I'd love to have a tree in every room! I'm dreaming of a gingerbread tree in the kitchen, a glamorous tree in our bedroom, and a tree in each of the kids' rooms. - stay tuned on that one! We have many years ahead of us, so hopefully one day these will all appear! 

I'd love to hear the story of your Christmas tree!

November 28, 2012

Counting down to Christmas with Books!

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember that last year we started the tradition of counting down to Christmas with books.

Here are some of the pictures from last year:

I've had a few people ask me about it on InstaGram, so I thought I'd write a little bit more about it and share what books we have included.

1. Buy 25 Christmas books (one for each day/night in December that leads up to Christmas).

2. Wrap them each and number them. (You probably don't have to number if you don't want to, but I like to have certain ones that tie in with certain activities or other traditions. Does that make sense? So on the night we are making gingerbread houses, I have a gingerbread man book planned.  I also keep the "night before Christmas" books for the end.)

3. Have a basket or bucket for the books to be held.  I usually keep the wrapped books next to the Christmas tree with the basket beside it.  After we have unwrapped the books and read them, we keep them in the basket for Reagan to read whenever he chooses.

4. Each night before bed have your child unwrap a book to read! 

Here is a list of the books we are using this year:

Here are some of the Christmas books on my wishlist to add for future Christmases:
(Can you tell I love children's books?)

I hope you consider adding the Christmas countdown with books to your Christmas traditions!

November 27, 2012

Women Connect '12 - Twin Mom/ Toddler Mom/ SAHM/ Teacher at Heart

Today I'm linking up with Becky for her Women Connect Link-Up.

Becky says, 
What do you do? You write. You write and you open up to us. Tell us who you are. Share a story with us. Tell us why you blog. Something that has been challenging for you in life? Something that has been a major blessing. Anything applies. The goal is that you take the time to actually write and the result would be that other women would find you and your blog and connect. 

So here goes:

 Ever since I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mom. If you asked me what job I wanted as a kid, I always said "mom". I had my whole life planned out. I would get married to my Prince Charming, raise 2 children, and live happily ever after. 

Nick and I waited 3 years after we got married to try having a baby. I went off the pill and immediately got pregnant.  We were so excited! Unfortunately that pregnancy ended with a miscarriage at 8 weeks.We had no idea until our first ultrasound (at the 8 week doctor appointment) when she told us that the baby had stopped growing. We scheduled a DNC for the next day. ( I was teaching first grade and this was the last week of school- imagine the stress). It was a very emotional ordeal for me as I was one of the first of my friends to get pregnant, so obviously first one to have a miscarriage. I had no one who really understood what it was like or to give me advice or support. Now I look back at that experience in a more positive light. Since my experience I have had many friends go through miscarriages and I am glad I can be there for them with this support. 

Shortly after the miscarriage we got pregnant again. We were blessed with our little boy Reagan. We were over the moon and so in love with our new addition. 

Fast forward 3 years later and we decided to get pregnant again.At our first appointment we were shocked to find out we were expecting twins. I sobbed. I was scared to death. This was not in my life plan. I only wanted 2 kids total. How were we going to afford 3 kids? How were we going to fit 3 kids and carseats in my Honda CRV? How were we going to have 3 kids in our house? I panicked. 

When we went to my mom's house to pick up Reagan after the appointment, she assumed I had a miscarriage because of the way I was crying. People were shocked when I told them we were expecting twins. (While it seems I know quite a few people expecting twins right now, we were the first at the time.) It took me about 5 months to have it really sink in. I probably cried every day until that point. I didn't do any shopping, didn't pick out any names, etc. I was in denial. I feel guilty admitting that, especially knowing how many people are struggling with infertility, but it's the truth.

Now I know that it was silly of me to have "my plan". 
God had his plan for me from day 1. 

On September 27th we welcomed our twins Harper and Hudson into the world. 
They are 2 months old today and I am so thankful that they are my children. 

Life is definitely crazy at the moment but I am happy to have the blogging world as my outlet to write and meet other people who are going through similar things. I rarely leave the house and spend most days in my sweats. My day consists of feeding and changing babies, pumping breast milk, and doing it all again. Raising 3 little ones under 3 years of age is hard and I'm glad that I can read other mommy blogs who can give me advice, support, and some good laughs.  I love nap time when I can sneak away to the computer and catch up on my Facebook and blogs! 

I had to take a leave of absence from my teaching job (that I love) because the cost of 3 kids in daycare was more each month than my paycheck. (How sad is that? Teacher's salaries are a whole other blog post my friends.) Nick is the only one bringing home a paycheck and it is rough.  My parents have really been amazing and are helping us financially during this time in our lives. Thank goodness. A mortgage in North Scottsdale, paying off credit cards, student loans from my Master's degree, paying for my hospital stay and delivery, and providing a memorable Christmas for 3 kids and a large extended family - geesh. I haven't started looking into a part time/stay at home job to help contribute to the family income yet. I need to think of something because I'm really hating having to ask Nick for money for things. It is the weirdest feeling! But I'm not sure how or when I would fit in a job as well as taking care of our babies. I know I will definitely be back in the classroom teaching again at some point. I have such a passion for it. 
Again, I know God has a plan.

I look forward to meeting other bloggers through this link up! Thanks Becky! 

November 26, 2012

Mommy and Me Link-Up

One of my sweet blog friends Leah has started a new link-up called "Mommy and Me". 
Last month she shared this article from the Huffington Post about how moms are hardly in any pictures with their kids, since they are always the ones taking the pictures. 

The purpose of her link-up is to have moms get in the picture with their kiddos and post it every Monday.

Here is this week's picture of me with my amazing children.
My mom snagged this one of us when we were taking Christmas card pictures.

November 2012
Reagan- 3 1/2 years old, Harper and Hudson- 7 weeks old

Head on over to Leah's blog and link up! 

Hey Santa, Hey Santa....

Now that you're all singing that classic Wilson Phillips song, I thought I'd share my Christmas wish list for this year. Hope it helps those of you shopping for me this season.Wink Wink.
While I'd love anything, here are some things I'm craving:

I'd like some new charms for my Pandora bracelet including:

Pink Pave Lights charm- $65
Pink Fascinating charm- $45
Lights with clear cz spacer- $45
Beleved with white pearl dangle- $30
Cross with clear cz dangle -$45

I'd love some gift cards to do some shopping:

I would love some boot socks:

I would love to add to my Jim Shore Christmas collection:


I would also love a cricut to be more crafty!
There are a lot of groupons and deals for canvases right now. I'd really like some more for our home.

What is on your Christmas list this year?

November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
We had a fun filled day full of family and good food.

Here is what Reagan shared he was thankful for:

I am so thankful that I got to spend the day with my amazing family who fills my heart with such joy!

We had 3 new babies celebrating their First Thanksgivings which was very exciting!
So much to be thankful for!



And my adorable niece Charlotte

Here are some photos I snapped throughout the day:

 Reagan and my BIL Shaun

 My Aunt Marty and Mom rocking the babies.

 My parents with their kids and grand-kids.

 The adult table

 The kid table

 Playing games


 Watching football on the patio

 Aunt Marty and Hudson

 Me feeding Harper

 Nick holding Harper

Sadie holding Hudson

 Playing games

 Catching up


My sister Joc and BIL Ryan with Harper

Nick during our Pictionary game 

I think it was one of the best Thanksgivings to date. I simply love being surrounded by family and laughing until our bellies ache! But now that Thanksgiving is over, I am beyond thrilled for December! I love Christmas season!