Christmas Cookie Baking

I can’t believe next week is Christmas! I feel like it was just Thanksgiving and we were just putting up our Christmas tree.

I have enjoyed this holiday season so much. The kids are at the best ages and they’re so excited about all things Christmas. One of our favorite traditions is baking Christmas cookies at my mom’s house with my grandma. We’ve been doing it forever, and each year is a new experience.

Watching the transformation of the kids when I look back on pictures is just incredible! I’ve gone from baking while holding Turner in a wrap at just a few weeks old, to Turner actually being a part of the process with Gracie snatching cookie dough when no one’s looking!

Turner loves to cook and bake with me. He’s no stranger to being in the kitchen. It’s one of our favorite things to do together! So doing it with my mom and grandma is even more exciting and special!

While Turner helped with cookies, Gracie did some work of her own.

Christmas really is so magical! While it’s fun to talk Santa and twinkling lights, the best part is spending quality time with this incredible family God has blessed us with and celebrating the reason for the season, Jesus’s birth! Merry (almost) Christmas!

 

 

It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

Thanksgiving is, hands down, my favorite holiday! I love getting together with our family, eating good food, and being reminded of how blessed we all are! It also means that Christmas is around the corner, and it’s officially ok to decorate and listen to Christmas music (though I usually start that in October)!

One of the things that I was most excited about when moving into our new home was decorating for the holidays. So here is a sneak peak of some of our Christmas decor.

The kids seem just as excited as I am about the holidays. Turner has been steady watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for a week now (hence the red nose in the pic below). Today we will go get our Christmas tree and decorate while we rock out to some Christmas tunes. I can hardly wait!

But for now, I’ll leave you with some sugar from these cuties xoxo.

 

So Very Thankful

Rarely do I have a day that goes smoothly, with no melt-downs, and where I can actually relax during nap time. But I recently had one of those days where all the stars aligned.

Gracie had her morning nap a little later than usual. So, I snuck in to get her so we could go to the grocery store and got a close up shot of this…

Then, on the way to Whole Foods, I noticed that Turner was awfully quiet. I turned around to find him sound asleep in the backseat, peanut butter and jelly in hand…

As we were walking into the store, a fellow mom and her kids walked out with the mac-daddy of shopping carts! She said they were finished and we could have it! Whole Foods for the win!

We got home, unloaded, ate lunch, and got ready for the kids’ afternoon naps. They were in their rooms when I thought I heard Turner. I cracked his door to tell him to go to sleep, and I saw him lying in his bed, singing, and reading his Bible. My heart absolutely melted. He didn’t know I was there, so I snapped a quick photo!

That was right around the time I made myself an eggnog latte (equal parts eggnog & milk mixed with my coffee) and soaked up some quiet time!

I’m glad I took pictures so I can forever remember these sweet moments! I am beyond thankful for my sweet hubby and babies that God has blessed me with!

Wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Carving Party

This is our fifth  (or sixth?) annual pumpkin carving party! It’s become quite the tradition in our house. We have it down to a science at this point. The necessities are a spooky menu, a tarp to carve pumpkins on, and friends!

The years leading up to this have been pretty chill. Turner was young so he would just sort of hang out with a friend or two. This year, now that he’s a little older, it was a full on kid fest! We had at least 30 people here and adults were just about out-numbered by kids! It was insane and oh-so-fun! 

I have our menu with pictures below:

Haunted Punch:
(OJ, cranberry juice, scull and cross bone ice cubes, and syringes filled with a raspberry puree). HERE is my inspiration for this drink. You could easily add alcohol. I had a mixer on hand in case anyone was feeling frisky!

Desserts:

Witches Fingers (recipe HERE) and Muddy Buddy (recipe HERE)

Spooky Snacks:
Snake Stromboli, Spiderweb Dip (refried beans on bottom layer, salsa next, cheese, guacamole, and Greek yogurt as the spiderweb), Mummy Dogs

And now for the fun part! We roll out a non-slip plastic tarp (from Lowes) so we could all cut pumpkins and not worry about making a mess. At the end of the night we roll up the tarp and chuck it!

We had a great time! The main difference between this year and the previous years is that we were all cleaned up by 8, yet it felt like midnight! Next up is trick-or-treating with these cuties! Happy (almost) Halloween!

The Pumpkin Patch

This has been the busiest week of my life! Preparing for a hurricane and then recovering from it has been crazy. Not only did we have to prepare our own home but we boarded up the rental homes we manage on Dewees Island! Then 48 hours after the storm hit we had every home back up and running to host guests for a wedding on the island! IN.SANE. I’ve had approximately 5 minutes in the past week where my phone hasn’t rung or a text hasn’t come through with some problem that needed to be solved. It was stressful to say the least! But I’ve recovered and I never want to let work and stress get in the way of my much needed family time! It’s the only thing that keeps me sane!

Saturday morning we went to the pumpkin patch to get ready for Halloween with our good friends (and Turner’s future wife)! It was glorious!

I LOVE Halloween. I love the weather, the decorations, the food, and the festivities! This year, the pumpkin patch was easier than last. Last year Turner was so excited that he ran every which way and it was really hard to keep tabs on him. Gracie was a newborn, so I wore her in the wrap, which was fine, but not nearly as fun as her smiling face this year!

The kids ran around, jumped on the jump castle, fed the animals, got extremely dirty (my OCD self died inside a little bit) and, of course, picked pumpkins.

Fall is my favorite time of year. We have so many fun things planned in the coming weeks! But for now it’s time for a mental break while Gracie naps and Turner is at school. Windows are open, AC is turned off, and coffee is poured! Happy Monday to you!

Happy Birthday America!

As I sit here typing this post, I’m listening to the fireworks outside our door and all I can think with each BOOM is, please don’t wake up my kids! When did I become such a grandma? But seriously, STOP with the fireworks people!

We had a festive few days celebrating our nation’s independence! I really love the 4th of July. But according to my husband, I say that about every holiday!

I had Turner and Gracie dressed in their most festive outfits since Friday! It’s never too early to start celebrating, right? We pretty much spent the weekend lounging, grilling, and playing outside, while Gracie perfected her RBF (I had to google that too. Don’t feel bad).

 

Saturday afternoon, the kids woke up early from their naps, so we went out for an early ice cream treat before supper. There’s a cute little hole in the wall called Jack’s Cosmic Dogs where they have retro soft-serve that hit the spot!

This morning, we did some last minute grocery shopping to get ready for our BBQ this afternoon. Gracie took an early nap so we had some quality time with her while Turner napped, which rarely happens! So she played with Turner’s giant garbage truck and we passed her around like a hot potato to get some photos because she’s SO stinkin’ cute and poses for pictures!

We had some friends over, all of whom have kids. So it was a fun and crazy day! We set up the sprinkler so they could run around outside and get as messy as they wanted!

Everyone had a great time. It was the perfect celebration! Every holiday gets better and better with these two. But this was one for the books! This weekend was what childhood dreams are made of. Happy 4th, Friends!

We’re In The New House!

Happy Memorial Day, Friends! It’s been a crazy few weeks kicking off the busy season at work, training interns, and moving! We’re pretty settled now, so I’m finally able to sit down and plug away at my “To-Do” list! On the top of my list is writing a post about our new house!

We’ve been here for just about 2 weeks. Packing and moving was madness, and I was even organized! There’s just no way to avoid stress when you move with two kids! My mom watched the kids a bunch during the packing and moving process, which saved us. After we moved into the new house, she came over and watched them for 2 days straight and Stew and I worked for 10 hours straight each day to get unpacked! It was exhausting, but felt so good to be able to sit down and relax after getting unpacked!

My favorite things about this house are the porches and the master bathroom. When I took my first bath here, it seriously felt like I was in a spa. I didn’t want to get out! Here are a few house shots….

Yesterday we had our first barbecue! The whole family came over to celebrate Memorial Day. It felt good to host again. That’s one of my favorite things to do, and we were living out of boxes for a while so it feels like it’s been forever! We attempted to get a picture of the kids in their festive garb….we managed to get one shot out of about 20

I look forward to sharing lots of memories in our new house! But for now, I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!

 

 

Easter….A Little Late

So, as many of you know, WE’RE SELLING OUR HOUSE! We’ve been casually looking on and off for about a year. We’ve kept it under the radar because it would really take something special for us to leave this house! But, about 2 weeks ago, we found the house of our DREAMS! The only problem was, our house wasn’t even on the market yet! That meant we had to work non-stop to get our house ready to list and sell! We pretty much worked from sun up to sun down painting, cleaning, and finishing projects to get ready (before and after photos coming soon)….hence my lack of blogging! But we managed to sneak away to Mom’s to celebrate Easter! I mean, it was Gracie’s first Easter so we had to get dolled up right?!

It was a nice day of rest! We needed it physically and spiritually! We started the morning at church and then came home for some lunch and naps. Once the kids woke up we headed to Gigi and Paw Paw’s house to share a special meal with our family! Turner was especially excited to open his Easter basket!

And Gracie was just excited to be there with people holding her and kissing her constantly!

So, here I am blogging about a holiday that happened two weeks ago. But better late than never, right? Can’t wait to update you on the house. Stay tuned!

A New Kind of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is actually one of my favorites! For the past nine years, Stewart and I have celebrated by making an extravagant fondue dinner. It’s a night of sipping wine, cooking dinner, and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. Well, at least it was. Now it’s more like… crap I still need to go to the store to get the ingredients to make fondue or… Quick pour me a glass of wine so it’s out of my system by the time I feed Gracie or… Turner stop stealing the cheese off the counter, I need that for the fondue! Oh and how about, Turner stop playing with the fondue fork because it’s really sharp! TURNER…ONE, TWO, THREE! But that never stops us from making it a special night!

I love our new traditions though. This week was full of Valentine’s festivities! I even found the cutest outfits at the Gap. Dressing a girl is seriously fun!

Turner and I made whoopie pies for his class, which actually turned out to be a major parent fail resulting in me baking brownies to replace the soggy whoopie pies at 9:30 at night. But it was fun baking together!

So, all in all, it was an eventful, yet different Valentine’s Day. It gets more special as we create new memories together as a family. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

 

A Look Back on 2015

Another year is in the books! This has been the best yet! Stew and I spent our New Year’s Eve going out on a date (thanks, Mom) and reflecting on this journey called life. We got married, bought a house, had a son, beat cancer, bought a business, and had a daughter. Wow!

In 2015…

 we got pregnant…

Turner transitioned to a toddler room and was potty trained…

Turner started school two days a week…

Our sweet little Gracie was born and was absolutely perfect…

Turner turned 3!!!

owned our business for a full year!

And we’ve only just begun! We are excited for what our future holds. Thanks for being a part of our family and sharing our joy, tears, and parenthood! Happy New Year!