Happy New Year 2015!

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My sister and her family came for a last-minute visit over New Years. It was just a few days, but it was so nice to get to spend some time with them. Baby Mark and Abbey are getting so big! Kenzie and Abbey had a blast—fewer fights than usual! Maybe it’s because they’re getting older, but we weren’t complaining. We also painted pottery, got cupcakes, and ate some yummy Hibachi and local North Carolina fare.NECollage2

We gave Dan & Jessica a “date night” for Christmas, so we had the kiddos one evening. And Abbey also lost her 3rd tooth while she was here! It is currently MIA, unfortunately.

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And Abbey and McKenzie put on a karaoke show—it was pretty wonderful. Lots of Frozen and Taylor Swift songs! They even prepared handmade tickets, and made a guest list. =)

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And I took some family photos for their lovely family. I think these are my favorite ones that I’ve done for them, the light was wonderful.

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Overall, it was a great visit filled with tasty food, good company, and lots of Cards Against Humanity! The girls have resolved to become pen pals. ♥

Jesse - January 3, 2015 - 5:39 pm

<3 We had a blast! I LOVE the pictures.

Angie - January 3, 2015 - 8:13 pm

What a fun visit! How fun that the girls are fighting less and being so creative :)

Angie - January 3, 2015 - 8:14 pm

just realized I used “fun” twice in that comment…whoops

Merry everything.

We are staying home for the holidays, no travel for us. McKenzie is beyond excited for Christmas this year! She’s at the age where Santa is ridiculously magical and amazing. And Eddie (our elf on the shelf,) and Monty (his reindeer pet) are so much fun for her. It’s also hilarious, because Bennett equally enjoys Eddie. He walks around and points excitedly at him every morning. =) I hope we have another year or two of the magic. I asked her if she’d rather see Santa or go get some cupcakes, she just said, “Santa is the best treat in the world!” Love it!

So yesterday we went and visited my friend at work—we just hung out with her and painted some pottery. McKenzie loves her, and we’ve only seen her a couple times since her husband returned from Afganistan (understandably!), so it was a treat to catch up. We’ll also be having Christmas Eve at their place, baking cookies  for Santa, and enjoying some homemade Alfredo while watching Elf. Perfection! Jon actually didn’t take Christmas leave and got stuck with “duty” (24 ‘watch’) on Christmas Eve. Boo. But on a good note, he’s saving a ton of leave days and has half-days all break. As for Jon’s surgery last week, he’s recovering from Lasik well! He can see great! No glasses or contacts  for him anymore. Very exciting, thanks Army. =)

And Bennett is still a bitty monster. He’s incredibly happy, and incredibly busy. He now walks around saying “What’s that?” and babbling and labeling everything. He says Momma, Dada, Baba (bottle), book, dogs, ouch, uh-oh, aye-yo (hello), and a bunch of other words I can’t think of right now. He still using sign language mainly: “more,” “please,” “book,” “food,” “bird,” and “diaper” are the ones he uses most now. And he points at EVERYTHING. I can ask him if he needs a new diaper and he’ll nod “yes.” He also loves music and dancing, and has mastered the stairs (both ways). It’s a fun and exhausting age. We’re off to see Santa!

Blog Collage

Angie - December 23, 2014 - 8:47 pm

Have a fantastic Christmas!!!!

:: 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. =)