Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Cards

Can you believe it is the last day of November already? Christmas will be here before we know it, which means it is also time to plan our annual Christmas card. I am a big fan of the picture card, which I easily order every year from Shutterfly. I display the cards from over the years and love to watch as they change to reflect what our life was like that year. Our first Christmas card was pictures from our wedding, with a caption wishing our friends and family 'hope and peace.' Kev was deployed to Iraq that year and we were unable to spend our first Christmas as a married couple together, so I really was searching for hope and peace through the holidays. The following year was a picture of us in the sunset, with the caption 'may every day be a holiday' and that is certainly what life felt like to us. Kev returned safely that July, we moved to our happy little house in NC and found out I was pregnant. It was a happy time indeed! Last year's card was the simple greeting of Christmas. We were blessed with a beautiful, healthy family and I didn't have too much room for words since I wanted to put pictures of Cullen everywhere. I haven't started searching for this year's card, but I am thinking it will be about adventure, as we made the big decision to make a career out of the Army and will be moving and starting a new life plan this spring.

As I mentioned above, I always use Shutterfly for these special cards, it is easy, affordable and efficient. Along with photo cards, they have a variety of other gifts that are perfect for the holidays. And if you are a blogger on a budget, they are running this great promotion right now.

Happy Holidays! I hope you are ready for Daffodil's Christmas-Style because it is about to get festive around here!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Re-Cap

Good Monday Everyone! Hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving break. Admittedly, I get a little stressed out around the holidays, my husband and my families live very close together and I always feel like we aren't spending enough time with either family (since there is never a 'we'll go here this time' clear division). However, this Thanksgiving was incredibly wonderful, everything just seemed to work out. Don't you love that?

We spent Wednesday night-Friday morning with Kev's family at his sister's house in Harrisonburg, VA. Cullen had a ball playing with his two cousins, grandparents and 4 aunts and uncles. It was a relaxing day in the country, complete with a view, horses, Indians and 'the twins' aka, Cullen and his cousin Owen who are 3 days apart. My sister and brother in law have a beautiful, inviting house and they had the entire visit so easy going. We are very Thankful for their hospitality and how lucky C is to have cousins close in age.

The view from Kyle and Pete's front porch

Pete, Cullen, Kev, Brooks, Owen, Mike and 'Pop'

A little sand with your mountain view?

Running through the yard with Aunt Kate, cousin Brooks and Frankie

The neighbor's horse

The girls: Kate, me, 'Nana' and Kyle

Morning cousin parade around Nana

Friday morning, we took off to my parents new condo in the city. It was the exact opposite of our time in Harrisonburg. It was the first time I have seen their condo in person and although it is a far cry from the large house they just moved from, we all fit just fine. From every window, you can see the skyline of DC, even the White House! It is pretty incredible. The other big opposite at my parents is that I am the only married kid with kids of my own, so even though there are no cousins to play with, C gets some serious attention from his grandparents and uncles. Friday afternoon we all settled down to watch Auburn to come back from a 24 point deficit to win the Iron Bowl against Alabama. My sweet mom even squeezed Thanksgiving dinner into halftime- she is a good sport. Friday night, husband and I headed into Old Towne to meet some friends for drinks and I got to see two of my favorite people ever. I am very thankful for the fact that I am so close to many of my friends from high school. Saturday morning, we headed to the National Zoo and you can imagine how happy that made my little man. And if you aren't tired of hearing it yet, I love that my parents are so close to the city now!!

C and Uncle JoJo watching the game

My dearests Cate and Laura

C and I checking out the elephants at the zoo

C and Uncle Bum

Marme and Grandpa with C

And if you just made it through this very long post- two points for you!

How was your Thanksgiving? Anyone else getting out Christmas decorations this week??

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful

Of course this week is all about things we to be Thankful for, and today, I am thankful for leaves.
In a world that pushes toys that light up and make noise, dvds that teach babies to read and learning tools that only seem acceptable if deemed educational by Parents magazine, I am incredibly, wonderfully, thankful for leaves.

When I was a kid, my entire back yard was surround by trees. My brothers, neighborhood friends and I would rake all the leaves down to the bottom of the hill, right under the deck until the leaf pile was as tall as us. Then, we would climb 10 feet up on the latice I'm pretty sure my mom put up for asthetics, not for a ladder, and jump off the deck, into the leaves. Was it safe? Absolutely not. Was it educational? If you consider learning teamwork, cooperation and a certain level of physics in just how many leaves it would take to break the jump from the deck, then yes, we learned a lot. Is a better memory then whatever latest, greatest toy I got for Christmas those years? You bet ya.

So yesterday afternoon, Baby Boy and I were playing outside like we do everyday, and I noticed I had just enough dogwood leaves to make into a pile. And it didn't come with instructions, and there were no buttons to push and there is no TV show that supplements playing in the leaves, but Cullen knew exactly what to do. And loved it. And so I am thankful leaves and the sheer joy that they bring.




What simple pleasure are you thankful for?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Piles- Part II

I was not kidding about spending my weekend under piles. Husband and I spent a large part of Saturday and Sunday morning going through the big messes that have found their way into our house. If you didn't read my post on Friday, jump down there first to see the 'before' pictures. The end result of a lot of hard work makes me really happy though!




The pile heading to Goodwill today:


We did find some time to have fun this weekend too and I'll post some C-Tuesday pictures tomorrow. Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Piles

Do you ever feel like everything is piling up around you? Lately, I add items to my list of things to do rather than cross them off. I am tired, a little bit grumpy and totally unmotivated. Part of it, I have realized, is that I am not very organized right now. I have been picking up extra days at work, running around after a little boy who seems to get faster everyday and thinking ahead to holiday planning rather than dealing with the everyday chores. And things are literally piling up:





And now that I am mortified that I showed these pictures to you, guess what I'll be doing this weekend? I have decided to clean out every bookshelf, every closet and every corner of the house. I am going to donate things we do not need and attempt to simplfy life around me. Hopefully a fresh, clean start will be a great way to get organized before we are in and out of town for the next six weeks!

*Disclaimer, if you know me well, or have ever been to my house, you can vouch that on normal days, I really do not live this way!

Have a great weekend, think of me under my piles while you are doing something fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Royal Wedding

Of course this week, everyone is a buzz about Prince William proposing to his long-time girlfriend, Kate Middleton. I am jumping on this excitement bandwagon and have to admit, I can't wait to see what this wedding is going to be like. I do however, have one issue: I don't like that he used Princess Di's engagement ring. I get that he wanted to honor his mother, but I feel like divorce engagement rings are bad luck! Thoughts??

Incidentally, this is the ring husband got me for my birthday:


I have been wearing it everyday for a month and today at work, two people asked if it I just got it since it looks just (minus about 30 carats) like Kate's. Really?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

C-Wednesday

Sorry I've been MIA this week, I know your Monday wasn't complete without pictures of my little man.


This picture breaks my heart. I think Baby Boy is officially Toddler Boy now. He got a big boy hair cut. I can't handle it!

Happy Hump Day!

Friday, November 12, 2010

City Livin' II (and a Few Other Things)

Last week, I posted about ideas for my parents' guest room for their fancy-dancy new city life. Earlier this week, I found the perfect inspiration for the rest of the house, but HGTV.com won't let me save the pictures to post on here. But please, click here for a slide show of the perfect combination of urban class, sophistication and eclectic design. I especially love the coordinating wall paper in the living and dining rooms and the dining room table and chairs. Swoon!

And a few other things for Friday....

1. How annoying is the kid in the Toyota Highlander commercials? I get violently annoyed every time that commercial comes on. If any parent buys a car because of that kid, they have serious issues.

2. Despite all the rumors and allegations surrounding Auburn's Cam Newton right now, I have full faith that we did nothing wrong and will still win the National Championship. War Eagle! Beat Georgia!

3. How handsome are my boys?

4. Before sitting down to write this post, I was dancing in my PJs with C to singing monsters on Sesame Street. It is a happy little life I have :)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

Just wanted to take a time out to wish a Happy Veteran's Day to all of our brave men and women who selflessly serve and protect our country. Please remember and keep in your prayers those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. Today should not be about big sales or a day off, but rather a chance to feel humbled by the greatness of our country and those who have chosen to stand up for it. Especially of course, my darling husband.

Thank to to all our members of the Armed Forces, past and present, for your service!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Since You Asked

Cullen was not dressed as a bear on Monday. But his winter coat does have ears. It makes me giggle every time.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Things, Of No Particular Importance

1. Last week on our way to DC, I stopped at a gas station to fill up and I decided to run in with Cullen to grab a pack of gum. Somehow, I ended up in line behind a guy arguing with the cashier that he should still get the discounted carton price, even though she didn't have cartons of the ciggs he was trying to buy. Boyfriend's total was $139.78. How much you want to bet he isn't going to live to see the $16 he was trying to save?

2. Frank the dog gets terribly car sick. I found that out about an hour before the cigarette man incident.

3. Why does Cullen always end up with the bossy stinky kid in the play place at Chick-fil-A? After the dog throw up and the cigg situation, we stopped to stretch our legs and take a little break. Of course the one kid in the playground was parent-less, had poopy pants and kept tugging my ponytail and saying "watch me! watch me!" and then would push Cullen aside to play with the animals. Yes, stinky kid, how about you watch me go find your mother?

4. Also on the subject of stinky kids... I sent a boy in my Pre-K class to Time Out last Thursday, except I have to call it "The Thinking Chair" because 'Time Out' might hurt their self-esteem.

5. Speaking of discipline techniques, I hit C on the hand for the first time last week. This was after I tried saying 'no', removing him from the situation, stomping my feet and yelling a bit. Finally, I grabbed his sweet little hand out of the dog food, which he was throwing everywhere, and smacked it. I immediately felt overwhelmingly horrible as I waited for the tears to come, until finally I heard the unmistakable sound of a giggle, followed by a little hand clanging against a metal dogfood bowl and food hitting the floor. Again. Giggle, giggle, giggle.

One day, some new mom is going to be in Chick-Fil-A wondering where the stinky-blonde kid's mom went wrong and why he isn't in the thinking chair...

Monday, November 8, 2010

C-Monday

C$ and I went up to DC this weekend to help my parents move and to clean out boxes and boxes of childhood mementos I had been storing in their attic. We took a break on Friday morning and headed to the Natural History Museum. Sadly, Cullen ran too fast from exhibit to exhibit for me to take any pictures, but he l-o-v-e-d it. He has perfected many of his animal sounds and I must say, even I was impressed when he saw the skeleton of a woolly mammoth and trumpeted like an elephant. Baby Genius.

We headed out of the museum and across the mall to take the metro home and I managed to snap this picture before he ran to jump in those puddles:

The rest of the weekend was spent re-discovering awkward things about my past, such as:
-my religious statue collection
-a truly dorky hat phase
-my overwhelming desire to decorate picture frames with nail polish and phrases like "Homecoming '00- BFFs!"
-a really random collection of keychains
-2 Coronas hidden in a box that I clearly stashed in High School but was too scared to actually drink
-a crimper, 3 sets of curlers, lace slips and several pairs of white gloves
-More things with Alpha Chi Omega written on them than anyone in their right mind would ever need
-And of course, pages and pages of half written books, including one 'fiction' work about a young girl who fell in love the older brother of the kids she babysat... I didn't finish the story when I was 19, but I think we all know how it ends :)

On another note, today is my Dad's Birthday and he is kinda awesome. I mean his name is Fritz. Seriously, can you be anymore badass than that? He is a man of few emotions, but he loves my baby boy more I would have ever imagined. All Cullen has to do is say "Ammm-PA" (Grandpa) and point, and BOOM, Fritz will do whatever he asks- including a little ride on the Harley.

It is also my parents' 30th wedding anniversary. Good marriaging parents, keep on keepin on!

How was your weekend? Do you have any embarrassing childhood collections??

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Proof of Motherhood


Using a Jumbo Crayon to cross off my list because it is the only writing utensil I could find.

Monday, November 1, 2010

City Livin'

After 30 years of marriage and suburban living, my parents have packed up all the kids, booted us out of the house and are now moving to the city. Well, technically, they are moving to the country too, but only on weekends.... we can save that for another post, another day. My brothers and I are all very supportive of this decision, even if it means we will be having one crowded sleepover at Christmas. My 29 year old brother looks forward to Mom and Dad being right down the road from work, that means hot, free dinner for him. My 22 year old brother thinks it will be really convenient to show off his 'view' from 'his' apartment to his friends. My 19 year old brother will be able to come home for Christmas and be near his high school friends (we lived about 45 minutes from where we attended high school) and I am excited about DECORATING it!

There is something very different about a condo than a house. Particularly one that will belong to two professional empty nesters who will have a lot more time on their hands sans kids and hour and a half commutes. So I have decided there are some very specific elements they will need to personalize their new pad. Over the next week or so I'll share some ideas for their place room-by-room, starting with the guest room.

My mom is thinking they will start with twin beds in there since I do still have two brothers who don't technically have a place of their own. While twin beds usually connote little kids, there is a very grown up way to make them an inviting guest room.

1. Upholstered headboards and tailored curtains. Plus, check out the ceiling in this picture. What a great way to add serious interest to a small space!

2. Black and White graphic prints. Perfect for a city-chic guest room.

3. Shelving units. My parents are downsize by about 3000 sqare feet. That is a lot of stuff to leave behind. Shelves in a guest room create a way to keep some family momentos without making the room look too childish.

Other keys to a great guest room: plush linens, warm carpet and space to push two twin beds together for when husband and I come visit!

C-Monday

In a nutshell:

We were off to a running start to Trick-or Treat!

There was an afternoon Daddy-Dance-Party

C$ learned how to say "Cheese!"

And then we tried to wash all the chocolate off (but kept that sweet ol smile!)

How was your weekend?