Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Christmas Eve and Christmas morning were magical and wonderful. I could not of asked for it all to be more perfect.  Christmas Eve we hung at home, watched movies and decorated cookies for Santa.   By night time, Elle was worn out from the excitement. I was sad we couldn't make Christmas Eve service but I am too terrified of all the flu and illness going around. So we spent the evening at home. Kenny grilled steaks and I made potatoes and green bean bundles and we had a family dinner at home.  It really was so nice.

Before Elle and Walker went to bed we had to get some pictures of them in front of the Christmas tree. I will cherish these pictures.  Our first Christmas as a family of four!

We started out with Elle holding Walker in her arms like this and these pictures crack me up.  She doesn't quite understand what support his hand means.
Sweet kisses from sister.
Uh oh.  We are losing him here.  One of my favorite pictures though.  
The one where we told her to rest her chin on his head to try to keep everything in place.
The framer. Sweet babies in their Christmas gowns.

I have not mentioned our Elf Charlie too much on this blog but we do have a Elf that came to our home on December 1.  He is a simple minded elf that moves from place to place each night after he comes back from the North Pole. Elle loves him.  Sqeals with glee morning when she discovers where he has landed. So on Christmas Eve before Charlie was schedule to catch a ride back to the North Pole with Santa he left Elle a note telling her that since he was leaving for another year that she could give him a big hug.  She was so thrilled and gave him the biggest squeeze.  Her innocence and pure joy made me want to cry.
Reading the note and then big hug!
After Elle was in bed I took a few of Walker in front of the Christmas tree. 
He was almost 7 weeks old here.

I have to include this bit in the post.  So, Elle has been getting up a lot and wandering around the house. It is borderline creepy and is of course adding to our sleep deprivation.  So we have tried a lot of things to try and contain her to her room.  She has proved to be super smart, inventive and stealth.  So on Christmas Eve we were so worried that she would be able to get downstairs and she would see what Santa brought her before we were there and we would miss her reaction.  So we had two different gates up.  One we had to bungee cord up so she couldn't unlock herself.  The other we had to borrow from a neighbor at 9:30 at night!  We were so worried and stressed about this.  But our efforts worked in the end and we were able to control when she was let into the room. 

Anyway, Santa came! She asked Santa multiple times for a pink car and she was so confident that he was going to deliver! Lucky for him he got the memo.  He also brought her an adorable set of big girl golf clubs with pink tees and practice balls.  She also received several dress up princess dresses among other things.  Santa couldn't forget about Walker and brought him a new red radio flyer wagon that Elle was just as thrilled with.  He also received some books and burp clothes, a Melissa and Doug car toy and pacis.
The Santa set up! So much pink!
Elle's new golf gear that Kenny is so excited about.
Walker's Santa set up.
Sleepy little girl in her new car.
Trying on one of her new princess dresses.
Ready to go for a ride in her new car.  We were outside soon after this picture was taken along with a lot of the neighborhood.
She was so adorable with all her golf stuff!
Walker hanging out with CeCe watching Elle play with some of her toys.

Learning how to hit a t-ball from Nannee!

After a wonderful Christmas morning with our little family my sister and Mom arrived and we opened more gifts, went for a family walk and cooked a delicious Christmas dinner of honey ham, squash casserole, mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts.  My sister made delicious pies too! The day after Christmas we met Kenny up at the Country Club to eat lunch and then just the grown up girls went to see Into The Woods.  We all really enjoyed it!

It was a fantastic Christmas Eve and Christmas holiday.  We are headed down to Fairhope to celebrate with Kenny's parents soon.  Post to come soon! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


It is an annual tradition to decorate cookies for Santa.  We usually do this on Christmas Eve.  I am still trying to learn the most fun materials to decorate the cookies with and also the best method.  Each year I learn something new.  This year  I did okay.  I have a friend that makes and sells the most beautiful and delicious cookies and I am thinking about asking her to have a class for some of our friends to teach us cookie decorating 101.  We still had a good time decorating this year!

Kenny is actually the best decorator in our house.  I am always impressed with his cookies and Santa always seems to prefer his too!
The cookie decorating set up.
A family selfie, minus Walker who napped through cookie decorating.
I let Kenny hold the camera this time. This one was a little better.

Sneaking a cookie mid decorating.
The cookies that made the Santa cut.  The snowman is the most professional and that one was Kenny's.  It was another fun year of cookie decorating.  Elle thought it was so neat that Santa ate her Christmas cookies!

Monday, December 29, 2014


Getting through the Christmas season on no sleep and a newborn is no joke. Getting through the Christmas season when we ALL have a serious cold except for Kenny is even worse.  I am hoping for things to calm down a little once the new year starts.  I did manage to do some festive things with Elle.  So here are some pictures from the week or so leading up to Christmas.

For Elle's preschool class party I made some very simple snowman treats out of powdered donuts.  Of course I got the idea off of Pinterest.  While they were not anything I would care to eat, the kids seemed to enjoy them.
My mom came in town one weekend to let Kenny and I sleep and maybe go on a date.  Unfortunately that is when I came down with my terrible cold and had to spend the entire Saturday in bed.  I was so sad to not be able to take proper advantage of the sleep or the date night.  Elle enjoyed spending time with CeCe though.  They played and put together and decorated a gingerbread train.
Assembling the train.  Elle was already eating the candy.
With the finished product.  

I planned to take Elle to paint ornaments at our pottery place in time to be able to give them as gifts but that just did not happen.  But I still thought it would be fun to do since Elle was out of school.  Elle painted two ornaments and I painted one for Elle's tree from me.  They have already called me to come pick them up so they will manage to get packed away for Christmas next year.
A rare picture that someone else took of Elle and I.  I love my girl.

Later that day I came home and made the sugar cookie dough for us to decorate Santa's cookies.  It had to chill overnight.  Elle was more than happy to clean up my mixer for me.  She managed to lick it clean.  A separate post coming on our cookie decorating!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


The Bulldog Football team has been holding open practice for the Orange Bowl the last few days and Kenny and Elle have been taking full advantage.  It has been such a blessing that she is at a perfect age to take places and do fun things with.  It allows me to stay home with Walker and get some things done. Not to mention the fabulous bonding time it gives the two of them!

They went to two different practices.  Both were outside and allowed for Elle to run around while Kenny watched some of the plays and listened to the gossip.
 Decked out in their maroon and ready to go watch some Orange Bowl Practice.
 Having fun on the practice field.

Snow Angels in the paint.  Why not?
Just had to include this picture.  After practice Elle helped me make some brownies.  Of course she wanted all the batter licks.
They stopped at Chick Fil A another morning before going to practice.

On Sunday we went to see Santa for lunch.  Elle was so happy to get another chance to tell Santa what she would like from him along with telling him about her elf, Charlie.  Walker got some one on one time with St. Nick too!

Walker sleeping through another visit with Santa.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I thought I would give you a  little glimpse into our holiday decorations and our Christmas cards for this year.  It was a little tough to get motivated to decorate with a brand new baby at home, but I was excited to do it at the same time in our new house.  This is our first Christmas in the new house and it was fun to try and figure out where everything should go.  My mom recently came up to Starkville and brought a lot of her decorations and my sister and I took turns choosing the items that she no longer had room for.  So I had lots of new things.

Here is our Christmas card created and designed by the one and only J Press Designs.  We had our photo session in the fall and my plan was to get our Christmas cards out super super early BEFORE Walker came to avoid the hairy situation of him not being present in the picture.  So I had Susan print them very early and addressed, stuffed and stamped my envelopes way before Thanksgiving.  I was on the ball.  And then, Walker came.  So I quickly got on another website and used a precious picture the hospital photographer actually took and ordered Walker's birth announcements. I then opened up every single card and stuffed them with the announcement too and resealed them all.  It all worked out in the end!
The front of our card!

The back of our card!
Walker's birth announcement! I love it!

Now for the decorations! 
Top Picture: My mom paired down her very large Santa collection and allowed my sister and I to choose them alternating turns.  I love having a large group of them to display!  Left Picture: Our dining table centerpiece. Right Picture: I have wanted this white ceramic tree for a very long time and was so excited to have it this year.  My grandmother did the painting and glazing and it was always up at my mom's house so it reminds me of childhood. You also see a picture of Elle with Santa.  I display our past pictures with Santa all over the house.
Top Left Picture: A collection of pictures with Santa. Bottom Left Picture: This is the precious nativity set my mom got Elle this year.  She gets one for her every year.  I have seen these for many years but they are always sold out.  This year my mom ordered it in June so we could have it for December! I love how bright and cheery it is along with being kid friendly.  Right Picture: This is our family tree with all of our gifted and sentimental ornaments.  It is in our den so it is the one we look at the most!
This is our Mississippi State tree and I love it.  We have it one of the front windows of our house and in our dining room by the front door. I enjoy collecting ornaments for this tree.  A few years ago we started with just a tiny little table top tree and each year the tree grows!
Left Picture: Elle's Christmas Tree. Right Picture: Walker's Christmas Tree.  I just graduated to 6ft trees for each of the kids so I kept it simple this year with just a color scheme of balls.  I plan to start collecting ornaments for them each year.  
This is how I chose to display our holiday card stacks from the past years.  Not totally ideal but they are nearby (behind the sofa on a sofa table) and I have thumbed through them a lot.  I love looking at how much people change from year to year!

Thursday, December 11, 2014


This past weekend Kenny took Elle on a Daddy Daughter Christmas date to Memphis. She loves staying in a hotel and so he thought it would be fun to take her for a day and night and do lots of fun Christmas activities that we are used to doing every year from living there and let me and Walker relax, bond and check some things off my to do list. It was so incredibly sweet how excited they both were to set off on their adventure.  Kenny did not tell her everything he had planned.
Leaving bright and early for their trip.

Once they arrived they went straight to Enchanted Forest at the Pink Palace Musuem. This is one of our favorite things to do in Memphis during the holidays.  They have all these decorated trees that the businesses do, old timey mechanical displays and trains and then a fantastic Santa!

We stop and take a picture with this snowman every year.  He is right in the front of one portion of the display.  I had to go back and put the pictures together of course and send the picture to Kenny.  It made us both want to cry.  Stop time!
Stinky skunk!

Seeing Santa! She remembered to tell him what she wanted this time.  A pink car.

Once they were done with Enchanted Forest they decided to hit up another one of their favorite haunts.  Memphis Pizza Company.  For a while when Elle was little she was obsessed with pizza and Kenny would take her there all the time.
Look at how happy she is.

After lunch they did a little light shopping. They stopped in my favorite local bookstore (has a great restaurant/brunch spot too.) I used to take Elle to story time here once a week with friends or we would come and let the kids play at the train table.  Elle claimed she remembered coming to story time here.  I am not so sure.  We do stop in this bookstore a fair amount when we are in town so I am sure that is what she remembers the most.
These are the risers for story time. A picture for old times sake.
Had the train table all to herself. A rare occurrence.

After checking into the hotel and taking a little rest it was time for the main event.  Starry Nights at Shelby Farms! It is this fantastic light show that you drive through.  We've taken Elle in the past years in our car and last year she fell asleep before we even got into the park.  Traffic can be really terrible sometimes and it makes the wait really long.  Kenny wanted to take her on a carriage ride.  We called to make a reservation and told the guy on the phone that she was a 3 year old little girl and he said he had just the thing! PS: The best part about the carriage is she get to bypass all traffic and the very long wait.

Kenny knew he wanted the Cinderella carriage but this one was even Frozen themed.  Elle was absolutely thrilled.  She even got her serious face on at the beginning.  Any time she gets serious we know she is loving something! She eventually snapped out of it and Kenny and Elle just had the best time looking at all the beautiful lights.  Elle was also loving it because people were rolling down their windows and taking pictures of them in the carriage and telling them Merry Christmas.  I think Elle thought she was a celebrity for a little bit!
Getting ready to head out in the carriage.
A white horse like Cinderella's pulling the carriage.

It was a pretty chilly night.  I sent them with a blanket and hand warmers and the carriage had some blankets too.  They didn't seem to mind too much. 
Sweet pictures with Daddy.

After Starry Nights they stopped by a bakery to buy some Christmas cookies and went back to the hotel to snuggle in and watch Christmas movies on TV.  They FaceTimed me at that point to tell me all about the night and Elle had a gingerbread cookie as big as her head eating it in bed.  It was way past her bedtime at this point too!

They had the best weekend and I am so lucky to have a husband who truly wants to create these memories with our children. I can only hope Elle looks back and realizes what an amazing man her Daddy is!