Monday, December 30, 2013


Happy Holidays! What a whirlwind this month has been. Can you believe tomorrow is the last day of 2013? What an awesome, crazy, busy year this has been. Of course the best thing that happened to me was having our little Otto man. Babies are so delightful. I want to keep on having them forever (but not really). Life has proved to be the busiest yet with three kids, and the month of December probably takes the cake. I know I say it all the time, but I'm really going to focus on this blog more in 2014. Get my booty in gear and keep on top of things. It's my New Year's resolution. Hold me accountable, mkay? ;)

I have so much to share that I don't even know where to start. So I'm just gonna do highlights from all my favorites this month. You ready?

Android finally got A Beautiful Mess app. Check it, yo.
We returned to a local cut your own tree farm this year. The variety of tree is pretty much this one, whatever it is. But we're supporting local and you just can't beat a fresh cut tree. You can't.

Nugget got in on the sawing action. She did good!

A family pic! What the what? Blurry, but whatever. It still counts.

Otto loved it. Really. As long as I was holding him ;)

We didn't have time to decorate before we had to head out to drop Nick off at the airport (to visit an old Army buddy who was visiting Florida from Germany). But Daddy made sure to get it sitting sturdy and top it with the star before leaving. The kids and I decorated it the next day.

I totally let the kids at it, and didn't even go back to "fix" it. I'm learning to love imperfectly perfect.
I always love seeing my kids' joy in something that I adored as a kid. Here they are unwrapping the kisses for peanut butter blossom cookies.

Crafting this season was like an itch I could not scratch. One idea spiraled into the next and it was awesome. I love having mojo like that! The kids loved it too!
(She paints shirtless to protect her precious dresses. Smart girl.)
I scored these matching jammies last year on clearance, then added the appliques. I love them so much. I wish they would wear matching pjs all the time. And never mind Otto's purple mouth. We were battling thrush for the third time in two months. Gentian Violet works like a charm (despite its appearance) if you ever need to know.

I love to bake, but for whatever reason I always drag my feet with Christmas cookies. The task is just so daunting to me. So here we are, on the eve of Christmas Eve, scurrying to make Santa a treat! We never did get to frosting them...
Yo Yo Yo. Cutest baby ever.
 Christmas Eve brunch at Grandma's house, with a side of cousin love.

His first present. And that paper sure is fun for babes.

My poor mom. Every year she so badly wants a picture with her grandkids, and it never quite pans out...

This site just makes me plain ol' happy.

He came! I stare at our tree in admiration and appreciation like a gazillion times before I go to bed on Christmas Eve. Always.
Who would have thought that the baby would be the first one up at 6:30 on Christmas morning? Followed by this one at 7, who then had to wait so painstakingly until 8am for her brother to roll out of bed! We tided her over with the most delicious hot cocoa and playing with Otto.

My very own Rudolph!

Mr. Sleepyhead

He liked the tops the other two got in their stockings the best. Go figure.

His own "smooth face" set, just like Daddy!

Crafts and more crafts! Kept her busy all morning and then some ;)


This mallet is his other fav.

Taking after Mama.

Protecting his loot.

Santa brought the doll outfit. She ran to her room and coordinated herself, and even asked me to braid her hair to match her doll's. So sweet. I don't have a good photo of it (which I should!) but Nick made her a set of bunk beds and an armoire for her "Emily" doll. It was by far her most favorite gift, and she kept hugging her Daddy and thanking him. Love.

While visions of sugarplums danced in his head....(morning nap)

Nugget was so proud to have made us her own gift at preschool. And let me just tell you that she is an excellent secret keeper. This right here is my most favorite gift of all. Handmade has my heart, especially when it's handmade by her.

I've had my eye on these Stull Knit slippers for at least a year. I finally caved on Black Friday when the deal was too good to pass up. I'm in love.

 As if I wasn't already spoiled enough, Nick gave me this for Christmas:
 A weekend getaway with my Swanky Shank girl!!!!!! Eek! I was beyond surprised and excited. Those two Sneaky Pete's coordinated it behind my back and I had no idea. Now I just have to wait two months to see her again! Do you think it's too early to start packing?!

Whew. That sure was a big fat post if I ever did see one. Hope you and yours had a fabulous holiday season! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 29, 2013


Hi Friends! It has been no secret that I am very fond of my gal pal, Jen, who also is the owner and creative mind behind Swanky Shank (my most favorite Etsy shop. Ever.) I am super proud of her for reaching 5,000 fans on Facebook! She has worked so very hard and is most deserving of a pat on the back.

To help celebrate this achievement, she has come up with the sweetest, most creative giveaway I have ever seen. And she asked me to be a part of it! She is giving away oodles of darling prizes, but the one that takes the cake is a cyber lunch for you and your far away bestie! Isn't that the sweetest? I told ya so ;)

Follow this link to read all about it and find out how to enter: Swanky Shank Blog.

While you're there, you will be introduced to a handful of Jen's pals (including me!) who all radiate creativity in their own way.

Here's a peek at the other prizes YOU can win!

A set of custom wood photo blocks, one to keep and one for your bestie.

Custom note cards, a set for you and one for your fav gal pal.

Two gift certificates to shop at Swanky Shank. (Be sure to check out her new Valentine's Day designs. Heart melting!)

And my fav, custom Close at Heart totes, made by ME! Your bestie will always be near to your heart when you carry this sweet tote around!

This giveaway only lasts for THREE days, so get on it! And call your bestie so she can get on it too!

Included sponsors:
Photography by Shelby
Little For a Little While (That's me!)