Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Only 4 days late – I thought I’d share our Christmas card with all of y’all, because who doesn’t love prolonging Christmas card season a little bit longer?!

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Hadley’s First Christmas!

I have never felt more joy at Christmastime than I did this year.  Despite her being too young to understand, seeing the innocence and wonder in Hadley’s eyes as she experienced everything this year made my heart so full it could burst.  My parent’s and sister came up on the 21st, and my sister’s fiance joined us on the 23rd and they all stayed through the 26th.  We definitely had a full house, but it was so much fun to have relaxing family time and extra hands to help with Hadley!  She was over-the-moon happy with all of the extra love and attention she was getting.  She literally woke up from every nap grinning from ear to ear and squealing as we would walk into the family room where all of her adoring fans were waiting for her (or at least that’s how she saw it). 

My absolute favorite moment this Christmas was not Christmas morning as I expected, but rather Christmas Eve at church.  We decided to keep Hadley with us since it was a shorter service and we assumed would be mostly music.  Although it got a little long for her and we had to trade off taking her out, the first half was a time I will not soon forget.  Standing in church, holding our little girl and singing praises celebrating our savior filled my heart with so much joy!  Hadley was clapping her hands and kicking her legs and dancing in my arms.  She kept turning to my mom on one side of me and Matt on the other side with the biggest grin on her face as if she was saying “Can you believe how FUN this is?  This music is great!”  I had tears in my eyes through every song.  It brought an entirely new light to the verses: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it”  and “Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."  What an awesome picture to see her innocent, joyful praise.  I pray that she never loses that light, but only learns more about who the true source of that light is! 

We took a TON of pictures, so here is a giant picture recap for your enjoyment!

Playing around with Poppy in mommy’s Uggs!

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Hadley LOVES to play with her Nana’s iPad…

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Before Christmas Eve service…

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Santa came!

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Checking everything out Christmas morning…

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“This is all for me, right y’all?”

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Poppy had to make sure she didn’t get too much girly stuff… so he got her tonka trucks!

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Hadley actually surprised us all.  We figured she’d be more interested in the wrapping paper and bows than her presents, but she was actually kind of scared of the sound the wrapping paper made, but was all eyes & ears once the gift was open and she saw it was for her! 

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Family PJs picture.  Hadley didn’t quite get the memo on the “silly face” picture below…

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I hope all of y’all had a blessed Christmas!  It’s hard to believe we’ll be in a new year in just a couple days, and even harder to believe that this time last year I was less than a week away from meeting our sweet, sassy, stubborn baby girl! 


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Early Celebrations

I am so behind in posting this, but at least it’s still December!  We hosted Christmas twice this year and are just finally getting the house back in order and sorting through the toys that have taken over our home!  We started celebrating the Christmas season (and getting lots of wear out of Hadley’s Christmas outfits) early with a neighborhood Christmas party the weekend of the 3rd.  Santa came for a visit and gave out books and candy canes to the kiddos brave enough to sit on his lap. ;)  Hadley did surprisingly well and managed to hold it together (for the most part), although she was clearly not very comfortable with him.

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Okay momma… I’ve had enough!

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Our next-door neighbors came, too.  Camry is just 2 months older than Hadley and the girls have so much fun playing together! 

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Hadley really likes Camry’s accessories. ;)

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This next one cracks me up.  I’m not sure what Hadley was looking at, but whatever it was, it was far more exciting than daddy holding the camera!

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Even though it had started to sprinkle when we were leaving, we decided to ride the train before we left the party.  I’m not sure Hadley had any idea we were even on a train, but we had fun! :)

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We continued the celebrations with Matt’s family the weekend of the 17th (almost 2 weeks ago – sorry for the delay!).  We had a great time just hanging out and eating out, and, as always, Hadley ate up every bit of attention she could get!  Here’s a quick re-cap in pictures of our time together.

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“Wow!  I love this puzzle!”

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“Thank you Aunt Kelly!”

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The next picture is one of my all time favorites.  My little cheese-er, giving me a goofy grin while she watched her daddy and grandpa put together her new wagon!

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Of course, we had to take the new wagon out for a stroll!  Hadley LOVED it!

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We had so much fun with our “early celebrations” and feel so blessed to have the family and friends God has placed in our lives!


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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Cheer: Christmas Mantel

There is a ton of great inspiration from these linky parties – I love it!  I just wish I had the time to look through all of them and find ways to incorporate all of the great ideas into my own home!  There’s one more week left in the linky parties and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you are missing out!  This time, I’m sharing my mantel with Michelle at Ten June

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In case you couldn’t tell, the stocking hangers spell “Peace” (not “feast” as some might be inclined to think *cough*Kaylan*cough*).  ;)

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Hadley had to add her touch to the Christmas d├ęcor with her basket of toys on the mantel.

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One of my favorite items is this hand-carved manger scene.  We received it as a wedding gift (we were married in November) and it was scented with rose water and came straight from Israel!  What a special gift – I love putting it out every year.

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You’ll have to pretend that frame has a more “wintery” picture in it – I’m waiting to get the prints back from our holiday photos!

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It’s still a little weird to me that the stockings that say “mom” and “dad” are referring to me and Matt, but it is so fun seeing them all up there for our little family of three!

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Now if I could just remember how to light the pilot light so I could get a fire going in the fireplace…


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Christmas Cheer Link Party–Christmas Vignettes

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I really haven’t had as much time to take the perfect photo and move stuff around until it’s “just right” this year, but I’m going to share our holiday decorations with y’all anyway.  Such is life with an 11 month old!  I’m stretching the use of “vignettes” here, but here you go!

I filled my apothecary jars with ornaments, fake snow & pinecones, and fake snow with cranberries.

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For our foyer table, I used more fake snow and cranberries to fill some candle holders, and put out one of my new favorite plates, thanks to my mother-in-law!  It’s got our countdown to Christmas on it now, but I may change it up and leave it out year round!

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Clearly I took these pictures awhile ago (can you believe there are a mere 17 days until Christmas?) and am just now finding the time to post them!

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Our Christmas card holder that I bought at Ballard Designs a few years back – just begging for Christmas cards to display!

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And I’ll leave you with a quick shot of our tree – just because I think it looks pretty!

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If you want more Christmas inspiration – go check out Courtney’s link-up at A Thoughtful Place!


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