Friday, November 30, 2012

Blog Swap: Christmas Edition

My friend Jenny over at Wedded Bliss and Blooming Baby texted me yesterday to let me know about a Christmas themed blog swap!  I immediately signed up...and I think you should too :)
Hop on over to Cait's blog, The {Blessed} Life, to sign up!  There are just a couple more days to sign up...and her blog has all the details.  Basically, you have a $10 limit and you are given a person to send a fun Christmas-y thing to.  It is to be mailed before December 10th and then there will be a link up to talk about the new, fun item you received in the mail starting December 11th!

So, before you forget, go sign up HERE!  Happy Friday, folks!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making the List

In trying to find something different and fun for Katie to do, I decided to give her a few of the toy inserts from the paper.  I thought it would be fun for her to circle things for her Christmas list!  Now, yes, I do understand this could be an interesting situation creating a child that wants every.single.thing shown on the pages.  But I gave her two or three inserts and figured that whatever was circled in all of them must be something she wants (since it would show consistency). 

She had a blast!  And she was pretty consistent with the things she circled in each booklet!  Here she is working hard...
 ...and she actually smiled!
And then from those things, we made a Christmas list!  I thought it was just going to be her Santa list, but it got so lengthy that we turned it into just a Christmas list :)  And she keeps wanting to add to it!  She has reached the age when she pays attention to commercials and wants what she sees!  Oh my.  And no.  She is not getting everything on the list (please see items #5 and #7 especially)!
Such a fun activity!  And now, we can write a letter to Santa (her first)!  I think, if Alvin comes back this year (he's our Elf on the Shelf), he may bring supplies for writing a letter to Santa!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Welcome back to another WILW!  And I have blogged three days in a row!  I did so great until September (I think) and then missed a day and it was all downhill from there.  My rather unrealistic goal was to blog this year...ha!  What on earth was I thinking?!  I have a 3.5 year old wild woman and a 5 month old.  I'm doing good to remember to brush my teeth (which by the way, I forgot to on Monday)!  Anyway, I decided to go with a theme again today.  This week's theme?  Some of my favorite blogs to stalk read!  So, this week, I am LOVING....

Something else neat?  Lesley over at Mommy In The Making nominated me for a Liebster Award!
This award is given to new or up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers...the award is then passed along to other bloggers in the same category to help spread the word and support one another.  

If you receive the award, there are a few rules to follow...
1) Each blogger nominated must post 11 things about themselves
2) Then answer the 11 questions the tagger has asked
3)Blogger must then create 11 questions of their own to ask the bloggers they decide to nominate
4) They must choose 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers to nominate and link them on their blog post
5)Bloggers must be notified of their award!
6) No tag backs!

11 Random Facts About Me:
1) I like to get 10 hours of sleep every night (which hasn't happened in quite some time)
2) I leave all the lights in the house on when Brad travels for work
3) I don't like the taste of real Coke
4) IHOP has my favorite breakfast
5) I still love Daddy-Daughter dates
6) I love perfume - there are always new types I want
7) I am obsessed with Target and don't remember a time I went in there and spent under $100
8) The Rudolph claymation is my favorite Christmas program
9) I start planning my children's birthday parties over 6 months in advance
10) I spend way too much time pinning on Pinterest and not actually trying the pins out
11) I hate unloading the dishwasher

Questions from Lesley:
1) Are you right or left handed? Right.
2) What's your favorite restaurant? Red Pony...or Newk's!
3) What is your favorite vegetable? Green beans
4) What size shoe do you wear? 8.5
5) What brand laundry detergent do you use? I really like the Tide Pods - I also bought Kirkland brand clear and free today at Costco!
6) Mustard or mayo? calories!
7) Favorite band/singer? Hm...Maroon 5 I think!  That is what comes to mind first.
8) Best Christmas gift you ever received? I think every gift is special it its own means the gift giver took time to think of me and I think that is very sweet!
9) Cooking appliance you could not live without? Probably the microwave.  Although the Keurig I got for my birthday is pretty awesome.
10) Favorite pizza topping? I'm not a huge pizza fan, but you never go wrong with cheese!
11) Who do you most admire and why? Hm...probably the hubs.  He does such a good job at balancing work and home life and is sure to make the kiddos feel special.

Questions for nominees...
1) Favorite flavor ice cream?
2) Hand written note, email, or text?
3) Morning person or night owl?
4) Favorite vacation destination?
5) One beauty product you couldn't live without?
6) First thing you do in the morning?
7) Book you are currently reading?
8) Favorite animal?
9) Favorite date night idea?
10) Most looking forward to in 2013?
11) Recommended organizational tool?

And here are my nominees...

So there ya have it!!  Wanna link up to WILW? Jump over {here}!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Women Connect: Blessed Momma of Two

Hello! My name is Ashley and welcome to my little spot on the world wide web.  It isn't anything fancy.  And it really is not anything terribly important to anyone...but me, of course.  I think the grandmothers enjoy it too.  The hubs?  He doesn't even read!  But me?  I love it.  It helps me document the big moments and the everyday moments of our lives.  And at the end of every year, I turn it into a book (well, two books lately thanks to all the pictures).  I don't have time to scrapbook, so this is the way I keep up!
{ha! maybe just to myself...}
A little about me - I am 29.  I live in Tennessee.  I love God.  I love anything monogrammed or personalized.  I love to take pictures.  I love anything with dots.  I am an Auburn Tigers fan (even though we were horrible this year).  I love getting the mail this time of year.  Why?  Christmas cards, of course!! And I think, if we knew the morning meterologist in person, he and Brad would be BFFs (weird, I know - but so true!).  I have an amazing husband and two precious kiddos - Katie is 3 and Jack is 5 months.  Sometimes I feel like I am playing house and this is just a dream.  Then I snap back to reality and realize that this is no dream.  Sometimes I think about all I have and all I have accomplished and it is just overwhelming.  I am right where I want to be doing the job I want to do.  I am a mom.  I am a wife.  I am a daughter.  I am a sister.  I am a granddaughter.  I am a daughter-in-law.  Whew!
{me with my favorites...and about as close to seeing our Christmas card picture as you'll get until they're mailed out}
Now, that isn't to say it is always easy.  Or that it is always fun.  This mom gig isn't for sissies, that's for sure. I feel like I say the same things about 2341097893 times a day.  And Katie is so curious and asks so many questions and does not stop!  And Jack is just an infant (the cutest every, by the way) - he has to eat a lot.  And he wakes up needing the pacifier or with gas almost every night.  And then there's Brad.  Poor guy.  I do the best I can with this stay-at-home mom gig...but right now I don't feel like there is enough hours in the day or enough sleep I could get to accomplish everything around here.  So he goes to work during the day and comes home and is Super Daddy and House Cleaner Extraordinaire!  He helps with the dishes and laundry.  And he knows better than to expect a hot, homemade meal every night.  We have been eating out a lot lately.  And he puts up with fact that I am the "most organized messy person in the world" (his words, not mine).  And most days I am in the typical "mom wardrobe" - workout clothes, no makeup, hair in a ponytail. My kids look adorable! Me?  Not so much!  And my back - oh, how it hurts.  And he may gripe a little, but he always makes sure to rub my back at night so that it doesn't hurt as badly.  He is the best daddy and husband ever!
{my world - and again...all you'll see if the Christmas card shoot}
But the mom gig?  I'm trying to do a better job with everything.  With taking care of myself.  With taking care of my house. But right now, my kiddos are top priority.  They will never be this little again.  They will never want their momma like they do now.  So for now?  I am remembering that it is just a phase.  If the dishes sit a little longer, I am okay with that.  And I am trying to remember to be thankful for the sleepless nights.  They are what I wanted (indirectly, mind you).
I had to do fertility treatments to have both of those crazy kids.  Worth it?  Absolutely.  The hardest experience of my life?  Hands down.  I got pregnant with Katie after the first IUI.  Jack was a different story.  We tried for a year and a half - I think I had about 9 or 10 failed IUIs before the one that worked.  Whew.  If that doesn't test one's faith, there isn't much that does.  But, it was 110% worth it.  I love my kids.  I love my husband.  I love my life.  It may not be perfect, but it is an adventure and I am so lucky.  

{Want to see what all we do?  Please "Join This Site" up there on the upper right!  I can't wait to read some of your stories, too!}


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012: Show and Tell Monday

Thankful.  Blessed.  Loved.  Abundance.  Family.  Food.  These are the first few words that come to mind when I think about Thanksgiving.  There is so much to be thankful for this year and all the time!  We had a great time visiting with family last week.  Thankfully, Brad was able to take the whole week off work - such fun! We had some good, quality family time (including a trip to the zoo) and lots of relaxing.  We accomplished a few items off our to do list, but not as many as we would have liked to.  Oh well - family time took it should :)

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to my aunt and uncle's house for some visiting and lunch.  I absolutely love this picture of the kiddos that I got!
 And here they are...I love that Katie loves Jack so much.  And he absolutely adores her!
 Katie asked for a picture of just her...yes ma'am!  That can be arranged! :)
 Baby Jack laying in the leaves on his first Turkey Day!
 After a very quick photo shoot, we headed out!  I did some cooking - Paula Dean's Corn Casserole, Strawberry Brownies, and Chocolate Chip Reese's Brownies...delicious!

It was a beautiful day, so we spent some time outside (I'm glad Katie could run off some of her energy!).  Here she is coloring with Cee Cee and Meme.  Well, it is more likely that she was showing them where to color.  She could very well be a CEO one day...she knows how to delegate!
 How sweet is this!
 And a family shot!  No...Brad and I did not plan on matching.  But it is funny that he and I match with our blue and the kids match with their turkeys!
 We forgot Katie's Indian set she made at school, so she had fun modeling it when we got home.  Hate that the picture turned out blurry.  I do believe that is because a certain someone would not be still.  Hm...wonder who that could be?!
 On Friday, we did Thanksgiving with Brad's family!  The kids were not quite as cooperative for pictures, so this is the best we got.
 Here is Miss Priss striking a pose and not wanting to look at me and smile.  Oh dear.
The food was delicious and the company was even better.  I think we can all say that we had a great holiday, ate way too much, and wished we had more pairs of stretchy pants :)  I momentarily thought about wearing maternity pants to be more comfortable (no, I didn't actually do it).  Thank goodness I ran both days (before eating, of course)!

I hope each and every one of you had a great holiday!  Ours was definitely a success!

{this is my first time linking up with Show and Tell Monday on From Mrs. to Mama...I think I like it!}


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Like Father, Like Son

Good gracious.  I'd say Jack definitely takes after his daddy.  The left is a picture of Brad when he was a little older than Jack is now, and the right is Jack at about 4 months.  Wow.  I can't wait to compare the two when Jack gets a little bit older.  He is definitely his father's son.  What I really should do is do a side by side comparison of me, Brad, and both kids all at the same age and compare!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Let The Countdown Begin...

The countdown is on.  To what, you ask?  Well, the big three - oh!  AH! My birthday was last weekend, and it was a blast!  We had some fun family time, fun friend time, and a date night!  I'll take that for sure!

Friday night we went to a party to celebrate the upcoming wedding of two of our was a blast!  There was a band, delicious drinks, and it was catered by the Biscuit Love Truck (a food truck - and it was amazing)!  Hooray for a good picture of me and Brad!
 And here's me with Cat!  After we left the party, we stopped at a bar near our house and had a birthday drink at midnight to ring in my birthday with Cat and Tyler - so fun!
 Saturday morning we woke up and headed to brunch at favorite!  Here is me with my sweet babies before we headed out!
 Afterwards, we came home and walked in the neighborhood to the big playground they just built at the was such a pretty day and I'm so glad we got outside to enjoy it!  Jack loved swinging...I think he was checking out his shadow here...
 And Katie was so excited to see such a fun playground so close to our house!
 After relaxing for a bit, Brad and I headed out to dinner to celebrate together (thanks Grandma! ... she watched the kids TWO nights in a row!!)...we went to a restaurant called SOUTH.  It was really good!  I'm glad we went fairly early so that we could enjoy it and not be surrounded by a bunch of post-game college folks!  The UT-Vandy game was going on, so the crowd was much smaller than normal (because all the folks were at the game)...I can imagine it got much livelier later on that night since Vandy won!
 Love this picture of us!
 I wanted to show off that I got some cheapy cowboy boots at Target!  I wanted to see if I would really wear them and enjoy them before spending more money on a pair.  I have to say...I loved them!
 Sunday night we headed to my mom's house for a family shindig.  We picked up BBQ for everybody and just had a relaxing evening of visiting and eating!  Here is my very delicious cake!
 And a fantastic family picture :)
 Cute picture of Katie!
 And Katie wanted to help me open my presents...she loves it as much as I do!
So...the countdown is on until next year.  I told Brad I wanted a big surprise party - he reminded me it cannot be a surprise if I ask for it :) HA! So, here's to the last year in my twenties!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

And boy do I have a happy heart.  There is so very much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I am beyond blessed.  My family is beyond blessed.  Sure, there are hiccups along the way.  But we have health and safety and food and a roof over our heads and eachother.  Life is good.  While typing this post, I just sat and stared at this picture.  This is it.  This is what I have dreamed of my entire life.  Being a mom and a wife.  And I've got it.  Sometimes it seems so surreal...almost like I am playing house or living a dream.  But then I realize that it is reality.  And I am thankful for all of the ups - and all of the downs.  All of the celebrations - and all of the struggles.  I wouldn't trade my life for anything.  Today I don't know that I can write everything that I am thankful for.  Everything doesn't seem good enough...but it is true.  Most of all...I am thankful for this....
Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I decided to stick with a common theme for today's WILW - stockings!  I've been looking for coordinating stockings and like a bunch of different ones!  This year, I may just get one at Target or Hobby Lobby for Jack and then once we decide 100% that we are finished having kids, we will get coordinating ones!  So, here are the stockings I'm loving today!
I can't wait to decorate for Christmas this year - I know Jack will love looking at the tree (and luckily isn't mobile so he won't be able to get to it)...and Katie is really going to get into decorating and all of that. 

Is there anywhere else I should look at stockings?? Feel free to let me know! 

What are you loving today?? Link up {here}!