The kids were FREAKING out. Of course, we had no snow gear, so we had to resort to layering clothes and using socks for gloves. But, hey, we built a snowman nonetheless!
This was THE BEST Christmas ever! I know I say that every year, but this really was! Turner is 5 and Gracie is 2 and boy were they excited! We did the whole “elf on the shelf” thing, which we swore we’d never do, but it was really fun! I’m not quite sure if Turner thought he was real or if he was just entertained by the fact that he showed up in a different spot each day.
I spent Christmas Eve at church, singing, from 7am to about 7pm. We had 5 services! It was a long day, but it was also a great reminder about what Christmas actually represents! The kids stayed up a little later so we could have plenty of snuggle time before bed. I had all intentions of prepping cinnamon buns for the morning, but I was so exhausted. Luckily I woke up at 5 am, before anyone else, so I was still able to make them! Turner woke up at 6, but we had to wait for Gracie, so we spent time reading the Christmas story!
The SECOND he heard Gracie rustle, he shot into her room and told her Santa came and we had to go downstairs and open presents. She didn’t quite get it, but she was excited because HE was so excited!
I feel like we collected so many toys over the years. Half of them were broken, unused, or missing pieces. So we had the kids make garbage and donate piles a few days before Christmas so we could make room for their new toys! Turner is really into drawing and painting. So we got him an easel from Target that was PERFECT! We got Gracie some girly toys, because all she plays with is trucks! And we found some board-games that they can actually play without much guidance! So after opening, we spent the entire morning playing and eating cinnamon buns in our pjs!
Then it was a quick nap and off to Gigi’s for supper! They looked so cute all dolled up!
Gracie’s faces are too much. Every time we tell her to smile, she does something like this:
It’s been quiet here the past few days. It’s so cold so we’ve been spending a lot of time inside relaxing! Last night we stayed in and passed out well before midnight! I even dozed off in Turner’s bed when I tucked him in!
This morning, Gracie and I baked and prepped some food for back to school!
It’s crazy that we’ll be right back in the swing of things in two days! School, work, rinse, repeat. My word for 2018 is “quiet“. I want to be intentional about carving out time to sit still rather than constantly being caught up in the busyness of life. I thrive in a fast-paced, to-do-list-filled atmosphere, but I have the potential to miss so much! 2017 was a great year, but I’m excited to see what this new year has in store! Happy 2018!
We have had some major changes in the Watson house over the past month. The holiday season always adds a (welcomed) level of chaos. But, on top of that, I took a new job that has me working outside of the house for the first time since Turner was born! To make a long story short, I owned an amazing local vacation rental company called Dewees Rentals that had grown to the point that I needed help! I had been doing this alone and working from home. It got to be more than I could handle all by my lonesome, which is a good thing!
I had cultivated a relationship with a larger company in the area over the years called Charleston Coast Vacations. I got together for lunch with the owner of that company about 2 months ago to come up with a plan that would be mutually beneficial. What we decided was for my company to join with his and to work for him as his Director of Vacation Rentals in his Isle of Palms office. It ended up being an answer to prayer in a not so obvious way! That being said, the whole first-time-out-of-the-house thing has been an adjustment.
Yesterday, as I sat in church, the sermon was exactly what I needed to hear! How does that always happen? One major point the pastor made was, “Make Everyone Your Favorite”. That hit me like a ton of bricks! I had been so consumed in my own world that I hadn’t even opened my eyes wide enough to see the people around me, let alone make them my favorite! My mind is like hamster wheel. It really never shuts off: there’s work to be done, the house to be cleaned, laundry to be folded, the groceries to be bought, the presents to be wrapped, and on and on. The whole point is, if we make others our favorite, we shine like a light in a world where there is so much chaos happening! But our small act of kindness can make a huge impact on another person’s day. What an incredible thought to ponder, ESPECIALLY at Christmas! I never want to be too busy or consumed in my own “stuff” to make an impact on others. It was the perfect reminder as I prepare for this week and for Christmas!!!
It really is the most wonderful time of the year! It’s cozy meets crazy in the best way possible. But what’s really important for me to remind myself is that we are so fortunate. Even if the day to day brings ups and downs, we have the hope of Jesus, a roof over our heads, food on our plates, and these two angels! Merry almost Christmas!
I can’t believe my baby is FIVE!? Where did the time go? I remember when he was born thinking 5 was so far away. I feel like it’s such a milestone! FIVE!?
I must say, he is like a fine wine. He gets better with age. He is a true first child. He’s a pleaser, a snuggler, and has the sweetest heart I’ve ever seen. I’d like to take credit for that, but he was born exactly that way. I love him more than words can describe! I see so much of myself AND my husband in him. What a joy it was to celebrate him!
This year he planned his birthday party for the first time. Usually I have a theme and matching food and am all Pinterest crazy. This year he just wanted his buddies (and Gracie, of course) and a jump castle. I must say, it was the easiest party I’ve ever planned! No frills. No fuss. Just straight up fun with his friends!
We grilled up some hot dogs, made some PB&Js, and had cupcakes. Simple and perfect! Happiest of birthdays to our sweet Bubba!
What a weekend of celebrating we had! I swear each year gets better and better! Turner and Gracie dressed up as Beauty and the Beast which was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! It was Turner’s idea, which is hilarious! They looked adorable, although it was like herding cats trying to get their picture! They used to pose so nicely! Now either one is crying, one’s hungry, one’s distracted, or one’s touching the other causing a screaming fit! I managed to get a few. Their faces say it all :o)
We had, what felt like, party after party! Over the weekend we had two parties AND our neighborhood parade! Our neighborhood is amazing. There are tons of kids and tons of moms that are so good at doing creative things! We had our neighborhood chili cook-off, pizza and an ice cream truck, and jump castles! The fire truck even came to lead our parade. And of course, we have a ton of kids in our house on the regular. This time was extra cute (and insane) because they were dressed up!
Gracie guarded the food like she was Queen of the Castle. And Turner just tried to sneak cookies every time I turned my head!
Tuesday was the first Halloween that we didn’t have friends over to trick-or-treat with us. We usually have the same routine year after year! A big pot of chili and cornbread for dinner and wine on the porch while we hand out candy. This year, Turner wasn’t feeling well enough to have friends over. But, by golly, we did trick or treat and we did eat chili and drink wine! It was one to remember! Happy Halloween!
I was in Trader Joe’s the other day and noticed one of those boxed gingerbread kits in the “impulse buy” section. I’ve never seen one for Halloween before! But the thought of it excited me. I contemplated, as I stood in line, whether or not to buy one. Every time we attempt building one, it falls over, or the kids eat all the candy, or our giant dog knocks it off the counter and eats it. But I sure do love building them! So I grabbed one and put it in my basket.
I told Turner that we would build it after school on Monday. He was counting down the seconds! Yesterday, after Gracie’s nap and his quiet time, we started the festivities. We put on our Fall Music (a.k.a Nat King Cole), lit our pumpkin spice candle, and got to work! They were each in charge of kneading the bags of icing which they thought was extremely thrilling. Once they were finished, I assembled the house. We had to let it sit for a few minutes to dry before decorating. That’s the mistake we’ve always made in the past! We would start decorating, and the whole thing would collapse. I finally learned my lesson. So we sorted our candy and waited!
I put the icing on, and the kids added the candy. I think Gracie ate more than she put on the house. At one point she had shoved so much candy in her mouth that she looked like a chipmunk! I kept trying to push everything farther away from her so she would stop eating it. But she literally climbed on the counter so she could reach!
I fought the urge to try to control their decorating, but every part of me wanted to tell them what to do. You know, the way my older brother did to me as a kid? So, instead, I decorated my side and let them decorate theirs :o)
And Stew walked in just in time to get a photo of me giving them the Mom Eye threatening their very existence if they ate another piece of candy!
I’m not sure what I expected. Giving kids three bowls of candy and expecting them not to eat it is just setting them up for failure. But we finished our house! And we had a lot of fun doing it which is all that matters, right? Here is the finished product!
Now that the weather is cooler and it’s October, we’re officially ready for the holidays!
I have to say, I am pretty lucky to have my mom so close to me! Not only do I get to see her all the time, but our kids get to see her! They love their Gigi. But even more, they love going to Gigi’s house for a sleepover! My mom and stepdad have decided to sell their gorgeous house in Summerville, SC that they built back in 2006. They are going to stay in the same town but build a smaller version. I know their new home will be just as beautiful!
We have SO MANY memories in their house in the short time they’ve lived there. I remember being in college and going there to see all the different phases of building. Stew and I started dating when they built it in ’06. We then got married and had our reception there!
We had our baby shower for Turner there and our maternity shoot when I was pregnant with Gracie!
And, of course, countless Sunday night suppers and holidays! I’m excited for whoever gets this house! It is so beautifully designed. It has the perfect balance of farmhouse meets shabby chic. Every inch of it was thoroughly thought out! Here’s to closing one door and opening another!
And just like that, my baby is two! I always hear people say “time flies” but this was warp speed because I truly don’t remember the past two years! I feel like she was born yesterday! What a wild ride it’s been! She is such a real person now. She’s hilarious, sassy, super confident, sweet and so smart!
She loves her “Bubba” and he loves her. It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. They’re such besties and I hope they always stay that way!
Today we had her party, and what else do all two years love, but unicorns? Ok, maybe I selfishly picked the theme because she really isn’t “into” anything in particular, and the pictures on Pinterest were so dang cute!
Because life is super busy, and we recently had Hurricane Irma pass through, I decided on this party about 4 days ago. I wanted to see what the weather would be and drum up the energy to host a bunch of toddlers! I’m usually on top of these things with paper invitations and all. But in true “second child” fashion, I sent out a group text to a few of my closest friends to set up a little celebration! I kept the menu super simple: PB&J sandwiches, hot dogs, fruit salad, popcorn, and of course the unicorn cupcakes! It was perfect and so much fun (despite the 95 degree weather).
I found the cutest unicorn party products at a local store, got a girl in the neighborhood to do some face-painting, and ordered a pony…yes you heard me…. A PONY! I got the idea from my friend’s daughter’s birthday party (thanks Kirsten). But apparently they come in pairs, so not only did we have ONE pony, but we had TWO PONIES! It was so awesome! Every little girl’s dream!
What a fun day! It was so fun that Stew and I cleaned up, put the kids down for a nap, and passed out for two hours! We laughed at how old we’re getting that we can’t even host a party without feeling totally wiped out. But it was worth it. Celebrating this girl was the best! I can’t wait to see what she does in life. She is one of my favorites :o) Gracie Girl, you are loved by so many people! Thank you for being the (second) best thing that ever happened to us! We are the luckiest parents ever!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have some hippy tendencies! I hate taking my kids to the doctor. I mean, I’ll go if I need to. But I try to avoid it at all costs. A) it’s expensive and B) I feel like they’ll contract some other illness while they’re there. So instead, I focus on building their immune systems rather than always being on the defensive and curing the sickness after it’s hit!
The gym we go to has an amazing childcare facility. That being said, there are lots of children and LOTS of colds and viruses going around all the time. The most recent was hand foot and mouth. I heard about kids dropping like flies over a period of two weeks. And after going through it with Turner two years ago, I started having post traumatic stress tics just reliving the terror in my mind. He had the worst case I’d ever seen. Like, the kind you google and cringe when you see the photos. It was more like “Hand Foot Mouth Butt and Entire Body”. This is what he looked like ….
I’m sorry you had to see that. But now you understand my fear! With HFM running rampant, and school starting this week, we have kicked our immune boosting remedies into high gear! These are some of the things we do!
1. Probiotics in the kids’ milk or yogurt every morning.
2. Turmeric and cinnamon in their yogurt. Turmeric has a lot of antibacterial and antiviral properties. It’s actually quite amazing. You should google it! When I start to feel sick I take a tsp of turmeric mixed with a tsp or two of local honey. I’ve started giving that to Turner too (1/2 the dose) now that he’s older and can handle it. I call it his “honey medicine”.
3. Immune Boosting Oils–You can read more about oils HERE. I’ve been using them for a few years now and I just love them! I could talk about them forever and describe every kind I love and why! But for now, I’ll stick to the topic. In this glass roller bottle I combine 10 drops thieves, 10 drops frankincense, 5 drops lemon, 5 drops purification and fill the rest with a carrier oil. I roll it on the bottoms of their feet morning and night, put socks on, and apply pressure for a few seconds. They love it! I also diffuse Thieves during naps and bedtime for an hour or so. Keep in mind, this is when we’re fighting or trying to prevent something! I don’t go this overboard on the daily.
4. And last, but not least, I make these gummies packed with everything but the kitchen sink! They’re delicious and they really work! The kids haven’t been sick in ages. And if they do get a cold, it seems milder compared to how they used to be! I put turmeric, Spinach Powder, Beet Powder, Elderberry Syrup, Gelatin (similar HERE), and local honey in them.
Let me know how you like these! Feel free to comment with your favorite booger busting tricks!
- 1/3 cup tart cherry juice
- 3 Tbsp gelatin
- 1 tsp spinach powder
- 1 tsp beet powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 T honey
- 1 tsp arrowroot powder
- 4 oz elderberry syrup
- Microwave cherry juice in a large bowl for 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the gelatin until completely combined.
- Whisk in the rest of the ingredients, in order, one at a time until completely combined.
- Pour into molds and refrigerate for at least two hours. Store in the fridge.
- *Molds-I used 100 small gummy bear molds and 15 larger silicone molds that I had on hand. If I give them gummy bears, I'll give them about 5 or 6 as one serving. If I give them the larger gummies, I give them one or two.
- *The gelatin is grassfed collagen. It has great health benefits. Most ingredients can be found on Amazon (linked above) or Thrive Market App.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” stuck in my head for weeks! Today was the big day! People have been buzzing about it for weeks! Warnings about traffic jams, millions of visitors, and running out of water and milk …. ok maybe not that last part. But, for real, people have been going nuts! Charleston is smack in the path of “totality” and we were the last spot the eclipse would be seen! So on top of being a hot tourist spot to begin with, we had a lot of visitors to witness this once-in-a-lifetime-event! You could imagine that being an owner of a vacation rental company would keep me quite busy for this event, and it has! But today, for about 2 minutes and 40 seconds, I was able to soak this in with the fam!
Photo credit for the last one of “totality” goes to my amazing friend and photographer Judy Fairchild!
It was breathtaking to say the least. Experiencing it live was amazing! A hush came over us as the day quickly went from dusk to dawn to daylight in a matter of minutes! Hard to explain. It was AWEsome! We hung out with our neighbors and awaited the big moment! Turner was especially into it (yellow shirt).
Turner couldn’t keep his eyes off it! He was entranced. He screamed with updates every three minutes to make sure we all knew the moon was still moving. He just told me before bed that it was his favorite part of the day. Sweet boy! It was mine too! There was something so humbling and special about it! I’m so glad we got to witness it!