:: It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas ::

Decorations are up and Eddie the Elf is back! He has a new friend, a reindeer named Rexford (aka “Rex”). Even Bennett loves him this year. He walks around and finds him and points enthusiastically,  it’s pretty adorable. But the other day he touched him! McKenzie was devastated…but we gave him a candy cane to restore his magic and sent him back to the North Pole to get a check-up. *wink*

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And the other day we went to a farm and saw some horses. McKenzie was ecstatic. She’s been doing really well, she read her first Berenstain Bears book “The Spooky Old Tree.” It has a fun plot and the words are at her level. She even asked to read it twice, which was awesome!

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Bennett is loving baths in our new kitchen sink. The house is sloooowly coming together—everything is in its respective room,  so I consider that a win. My lovely sister (& family) are coming to visit after Christmas, so I’m sure we’ll have an organizing spree before they come.

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Here’s a pic of the formal dining room turned “library,” I’m in love with this room! It’s so relaxing to sit in there and the chairs are super comfy. The pictures on the wall are Nobel Prize winning scientists, love that.

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On another note, Jon is getting Lasek Eye surgery tomorrow for those of you who didn’t know. Wish him the best!

Brother & Sister

These two are just the best. I have to say one of the coolest things about having a second child is seeing a completely new side of our firstborn. McKenzie is such a great big sister. She gets frustrated when he makes messes, but she is the greatest little helper and loves him to pieces. I can’t wait until they can play together a bit more—especially since it will be easier on me!—but I think we’re getting close. She’s just the most wonderful little person. They both are. =)IMAG7121

Anna - December 14, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Is that an ikea track I’m seeing LOL:))

Thanksgiving!

Of all the things I’m thankful for, I am thankful for my wonderful little family. They make my heart so full on a daily basis. Even when we’re dealing with crappy situations…like a stressful move, financial stress, or dogs who’ve been poisoned and are sh*tting and vomiting everywhere…we just put our heads down and push through. The kids giggle, my husband gives awesome hugs, and all is right in the world.

Today we’re getting together with wonderful friends we’ve made here in Fayetteville for the Holiday, and tomorrow I plan on making a Beef Wellington for our family. It’s so good, and I haven’t made one since last Christmas! Far too long. Maybe some other people will join?

The kiddos are getting so big so fast. Bennett has started to master the stairs, both up and down. I practice with him daily, spotting him the whole way. But he’s getting pretty good! I still feel anxious about it, but I figure the more I let him practice the better he’ll get. I really hate gates. Plus, it’s good gross motor skill development.Stair climbing

He also got a pretty rad early Christmas gift from one of our good family friends. He giggles the whole time he rides it! Pretty adorable.IMAG6866_1

And the box was fun too:

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McKenzie is also doing very well. She’s at school most of the day and has been doing great! She had an all “on grade level” report card, so that’s good since we were a little concerned at the beginning of the year. Her writing skills and reading have developed very well so far. I really like her teacher, and the school is wonderful. And she’s had 100% on all her spelling tests for the past 5 weeks. That’s my girl! For her good behavior, we like to reward her with a special breakfast at IHOP every Friday morning before school:IMAG6739In other news, Bennett got his first haircut a couple weeks ago! He was suffering from chronic bed-head, so we needed a change.

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And the move into the new house has been really stressful. Even though it’s only 2 doors down, it’s still a matter of being in-between places, and taking apart and putting back together two 2,000 square foot spaces. Not to mention the kitchen in the new house STILL isn’t done. I don’t like how the cabinets are turning out, so we are looking into cabinet “refacing”—which means using existing cabinets, but adding new veneer and doors. It basically looks brand new for half the price.

But it’s been a rainy, crummy week. And as I mentioned, the dogs were poisoned by eating some wild grapes in the yard. Wow, that was stressful, scary, and expensive. Just horrible all around. Plenty of drool, vomit, and diarrhea. They’re fine now, though, $1700 later (ouch). But we believe pets are family, so it is what it is.

Here is a photo of our new backyard on this rainy day from our kitchen window. You can tell we’ve cleared much of the brush and over-hanging trees. We opted for a black chin-link fence, so the view of the woods/trees and creek remain unobstructed. Based on the dead patches of grass (where the brush used to be) you can tell we got about 15 more feet of yard by clearing it out before it was fenced! Visitors welcome anytime. ♥ Love to all, Happy Thanksgiving!backyard

And Buzz at Dad-Camp.com featured on of my posts in his blog: 9 Parent Sanity Saving Rules for Elf on the Shelf! Because making Mr. Elf bendy is the best thing ever. Check it out. =)

‘Tis the Season!

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Foil Stamped Holiday Card from TinyPrints.com | Photography by MD-Photography

I’m so excited to share some of the amazing photos we had done last weekend by Melissa, the very talented owner/photographer of MDPhotography! I’m extremely happy to have some gorgeous photos of the 4 of us together. So, so happy. Like most mommas, I’m always the picture-taker!

Annnnnd I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but with stunning new photos in my possession, of course I’ve already designed  & ordered our beautiful Holiday Cards from TinyPrints.com! They have some amazing new products this year, including Laser-Cut Holiday Cards, Foil Stamped Holiday Cards, and even personalized metal & glass ornaments! I can’t wait to share some of the products I ordered! And I got 4 different varieties of Holidays cards, so for my family/friends out there: you’ll have to wait and see what you get. =)

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Laser-cut Holiday Card! How cool is that?!^^

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As always, I love the customizable edges & colors, quality paper, and gorgeous designs. I’m beyond excited to get these in the mail—Christmas is coming a little early for me!

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New Letterpress Card Design^^^ And you can’t see it on here obviously, but it has polka-dots on the back…love it!

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This design is so great, it features all my favorite photos!^^^

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Annnnd check out these beautiful ornaments (below), I ordered a few metal ones (I loved the designs) and one glass one. I think these are a great idea for close family, friends, or even your own family! I’m definitely keeping one for our tree, it will be such a treasure to look back on when the kiddos are older ♥

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Dana P. - November 10, 2014 - 11:05 am

They all look wonderful, Nicole!! You all look great and so happy!!

Liz @ The Lambent Life - November 13, 2014 - 9:57 am

Amazing photos! Images like these are priceless. I love the smile on Jon’s face in the image that you’re holding his lapels. So sweet!

The last month…

Wow, I haven’t posted in a month! Too long. We’ve been ridiculously busy since closing on the new place, trying to get everything set up & organized before we need to move in. Our current lease is up in December, so over the next month or so we need to start officially moving in! Since we closed we’ve had quite a bit done:

  • Cleared the woods
  • Powerwashed the deck
  • ALL new floors throughout the house
  • Granite countertops
  • New curbing for the garden/landscaping
  • Fenced the yard
  • Paint throughout
  • New mailbox
  • Red door!
  • New stainless steel appliances

Geez. It’s a lot. And expensive, but we got a deal on the short sale—so we should still come out on top for resale! We’re still in the process of painting the cabinets an espresso color and I ordered the new hardware today. We’re going with the “euro-style” drawer pulls (the modern look). It’s been overwhelming, but it’s comforting to know we’ll get the money back out in the end. And we love all the colors and finishes we’ve chosen. =) Here are pics of some of the updates (door got 2+ more coats of red, but you get the idea!):

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We’ve also gotten quite a few visitors the past month! Papa & grandma were able to come for a visit. It was a fun time! They took McKenzie for a fun beach day solo, and she had a blast. =) They also got to see her first soccer game, so that was special! Daddy is the assistant coach, but fills in when the head coach is away for work. 10690205_10204144223661431_4363371312224463823_nIMAG5854IMAG5849

Aunt Jennie also came for an amazing visit! It was cut a little shorter than planned due to flight troubles (BOO US Airways!). But it was great to see her! We got to go to a pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins & watch spooky movies (Hocus Pocus & Coraline!), and we also went out to a yummy dinner at The Mash House. Jennie also gave McKenzie a new pair of Cowgirl Boots! They’re pretty much amazing.

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In our spare downtime, Jon and I have caught up on The Walking Dead. It’s such a great show, I really enjoyed Season 4! I was also trained for another position at work, which has since changed again…but I’m very grateful that they’re keeping me around! I feel so fortunate to have a work-from-home position. =)

Bennett and I went to do some “paint-your-own-pottery” while Kenzie was at school the other day with some friends. It was so much fun, and he did a really good job (aside from eating the brush…haha)! And here are some more pics of the kiddos, just because I love them oodles. ♥

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Liz @ The Lambent Life - October 20, 2014 - 1:16 pm

I LOVE the red door! I’m having house envy. There’s something special about making something into you own, isn’t there?

Dana P. - October 21, 2014 - 8:27 am

I love your red door! All the house pictures look great. Happy to hear you guys are doing well. :)

Angie - October 21, 2014 - 8:58 pm

The house looks great! Is this house the same size as your current rental?

Nicole | Life So Lovely - October 21, 2014 - 9:48 pm

Thank you! It’s a little bigger (about 400 square feet), completely different set-up though since it’s a 2-story, and our rental is a ranch. =)