Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Pictures

I was thinking about all of the fun things we've done this year and thought since today was the last day of 2009 that I'd share some of our favorite moments. I've added pictures in case you don't want to click on one hundred and seventeen links, but brace yourselves 'cause this post is long...

In January, we took an impromptu trip to the beach and I interviewed Ella and got some pretty interesting responses (I should totally do that again soon!).

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In February, we dressed in red all week to celebrate Valentine's Day!

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In March, it SNOWED in Alabama and we started talking about daddies!

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In April, our sweet K & Cory got married and we surprised Ella with a trip to Disney World.

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In May, we had lunch with a long lost friend and showed you around our princess room.

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In June, we celebrated K's birthday and took these fancy pictures.

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In July, we saw Angels fly with Nana & Cookie and took even more pretty pictures of Ella Dean!

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In August, we had some new beginnings and sad endings.

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In September, we celebrated somebody's fancy birthday and made a BIG announcement.

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In October, we spent a wonderful day at the pumpkin patch with friends and started sharing these.

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In November, we went camping with Garan & Poppy and found out we were having a girl!

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In December, we had a major breakthrough and celebrated the birth of our Savior!

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We hope your 2009 was just as fun as ours was and that you'll join The Little Princess Diaries for another wonderful year in 2010. Happy New Years, friends!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yesterday

I'm still waiting on a few family photos from K before sharing round 4 of our Christmas celebrations. I didn't take many pictures at my parents house at all because we were too busy stuffing our faces, stealing presents in an always-brutal round of Dirty Santa and watching the boys throw washers in the yard. In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few pics from our little adventure yesterday.

Who LOVES to get up at 5:45 on the Monday after Christmas? Yeah... me neither. Unfortunately, I managed to schedule my OB appointment at 8 o'clock and it's a good 40 minute drive. Ella had a major meltdown when I attempted to wrangle her curls and brush her teeth, despite the fact that I tried to put her to bed early the night before and warn her of our early departure.

We had to wait awhile, but the appointment went great. I started rotating this month, so Ella met another of my doctors (who won her over by complimented her fashion sense and talking to her first when he came in the room). I had only gained 4 pounds this month despite Christmas gorging and Sophie was measuring right on schedule, too. We got to hear her heartbeat again and Ella has been imitating the whoosh-whoosh sound for everybody since then.

I had promised Ella we would attempt the movie theater while we were out of work and school, so this was the day. She'd been seeing previews for The Princess and the Frog for several weeks and had been begging to see it. Luckily, it was showing in the morning at a local theater so I decided to give it a go. What I didn't tell her was that our best friends, Ryan & Grey, would be joining us. She was so excited and they were so good considering it was a first for them both. Ella got a little sleepy at the end and Grey needed a bathroom break, but all in all it went pretty well.

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We grabbed lunch at Panera Bread and they ran around the restaurant like two crazy people. We were too tired and too hungry to care. Nobody complained... in fact, we got lots of compliments on their cuteness and hopefully the middle-aged man trying to enjoy some alone time on his laptop didn't mind.

The other thing on our list to do yesterday was some after-Christmas shopping. I didn't have much money to spend and certainly didn't want to drive all over Birmingham. The malls weren't open when we left the doctor, so we hit up Target. Ella got a few ornaments for her tree and hangers for the ridiculous amount of clothes she got for Christmas, I got a cute pair of flat shoes for Winter and finally, Sophie Kae got a few cute things to wear. Their DwellBaby line was 40% off, so I bought one of everything in a 0-3 months size. Yay!

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Next we hit up some kids boutiques before meeting the Hendricks' for the movies. I got Ella a few cute outfits for next Christmas and Valentine's Day at 50%, but I was still disappointed not to have found holiday pajamas for the girls for next year.

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After the movie and lunch, Ella was fading fast, but I decided to try one more store on the way home. Luckily, they had plenty of pajamas, including a good selection in 9 months sizes. The girls (I love saying that, by the way!) are officially outfitted for Santa next year and I cannot wait to see how adorable they look. Monograms to come, of course!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Baby Belly, Week 24

We interrupt the Christmas updates for a belly update instead...

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Click here to see today's outtakes - they are hilarious!

Christmas, Round Three

Round three had me up at 6:30, baking sausage balls and pigs in a blanket, starting the coffee pot and getting our video camera set up. We told Ella the night before that when she woke up, she should call us to come and get her. I was so worried she would be distracted by the presents and we would sleep through her excitement.

While I was cooking breakfast in the kitchen, I had the dishwasher running and must not have heard her yell for us. All of a sudden I heard a few guttural screams and made my way to her room. When I opened her door, she was visibly irritated and wanted to know if Santa came or not. When I told her yes she said, "Then lets open presents!"

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We woke SD up and all ran into the living room to see what the big guy brought. Beemer was beside herself because she got a new bed, collar and a stocking full of treats. Ella couldn't stop yelling "Bitty, Bitty, Bitty!" at the top of her lungs when she saw her new bitty baby. Josh and I were just laughing because they were both running around in circles.

Ella got more toys and paraphernalia than any child should and she could not have been happier. Ask her what the best part of Christmas was and she'll say "Bitty". She couldn't believe that Santa got it right. She also got a t-ball stand, dresses, pajamas, a Fisher Price digital camera, Candy Land and a pink stroller for her baby.

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We were so excited by our Christmas goodies that we failed to notice the dog was missing. Josh was perplexed when he went to fix his breakfast and there were about 12 items left in the bowl that once housed 60. That's right... Beemer ate our entire breakfast and I got to cook it all over again. It was Christmas, so instead of spanking her we just through her outside with a bone!

Once our second breakfast was done, we piled on the couch with a bowl full of yummies and watched The Christmas Story until our grandparents all came by to check out the loot. We had a wonderful morning celebrating together, but there was more to come. We showered, donned our new duds and headed off to Garan & Poppy's for mass hysteria, or what you might call Christmas lunch! Join us tomorrow for round four.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas, Round Two

After Christmas gifts were opened at Nana's, we all laid around and played with our toys all afternoon. The girls skipped their naps, but played so well together and it was nice to have a few hours to visit.

After Christmas Communion at our church with my family, we were home to get ready for Santa. All of our Christmas lights were turned on, we got our Christmas pajamas on and decided to write Santa a letter. Ella wanted to stress to him that she did NOT want him to come in her room! He was welcome to come down the chimney, leave presents and enjoy his snack, but she wasn't interested in catching him in action. I wrote the letter that she dictated and we snuggled up on the couch with a movie.

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Gran and Poppy came by to read "The Night Before Christmas" and then she fell asleep on the couch with me. Did I mention it wasn't quite seven o'clock? I let her sleep a little while, but we woke her up to help fix cookies and milk. She could barely hold her eyes open.

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Lucky for Santa, she was fast asleep and he was able to come by early so that SD and I were in bed by 9:30!! We were so excited for her and I barely slept all night long. I woke up once an hour to look at the clock and finally got about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep about 3 in the morning. I drug myself out of bed about 6:30 to cook breakfast and set up the video camera and Ella graced us with her presence about an hour later. I can't wait to tell you all about it!

Christmas, Round One

We have had such a wonderful Christmas weekend, but just like last year, we have been so many places and taken so many pictures, that it will take me a week to share it all! I don't know what is different about being 3 years old, but I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do and there are many things I missed. I think we were just so excited by Ella's reaction to everything that we were enjoying ourselves too much to remember the camera. First up... Christmas Eve!

Despite the fact that she knew Santa was on his way and that this was the the first day she got to open presents and eat a lot of junk, Ella woke up in a funk on Christmas Eve. She was really whiny and complained about everything. It didn't matter what we suggested, she wasn't happy about anything. I even threatened staying at home, but nothing helped.

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Sorry this is so out of focus, she wasn't really cooperative at this point and would not be still!

Want to know why? She was sick! After getting her all dressed up in her Christmas digs, we set out for Nana's only to throw up EVERYWHERE in our car. The picture above is what she looked like for the rest of the day... riding around in a borrowed car seat with a bowl under her chin. I ended up dropping her and SD off at his parents and turned the car around to clean up the mess. Gran & Poppy helped me take her car seat apart, borrow theirs, clean my car and get everything washed. I ran by our house and grabbed clean clothes, a toothbrush and bunny number two. Merry Christmas!

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Luckily, it seemed that this was a one time affair and possibly not a virus. She ended up eating a big yummy lunch, lots of Reese's Cups and never felt bad again. Thank you, Lord. I was starting to dread spending the holiday with a sick one. Does that make me a terrible parent?

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After lunch the girls were geared up for presents, but the adults were on round two of our Christmas feast. Nana is a great cook! While we finished eating, they started scratching and rubbing Josh's back. This turned into walking, climbing, jumping and falling. They were so funny to watch and they laughed until they cried.

Finally, it was present time and the we all dug in. Ella got golf clubs, Bella got dishes and pretend food, they both got Holiday Barbies and everybody got circus tickets and Alabama gear for the big game. My t-shirt is a maternity one and says "Future Bama Baby" with an arrow pointing down... precious! Below are photos of our fun afternoon.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas!

Merry CHRISTmas, friends!

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"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cookies with Garan

On Monday, Ella spent the day with Garan in their pajamas watching Christmas movies and baking cookies for Santa. You may wonder why I don't make cookies with her myself, especially since I am all about tradition and making memories, but unless you've had my mom's tea cakes you will never understand!

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You can click here to see the whole story.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sensibly Styled

This is another of my favorites from our Christmas card shoot in Linn Park.


It was featured on SensiblyStyled.com today. A few weeks ago, Natalie posted on how to have a successful family portrait shoot and readers have been sending lots of fun photos in for submission. If you aren't a regular visitor, you will be after today. They corral lots of beautiful, inexpensive and MODEST clothes all in one blog. It is one of my new daily reads.

Jingle Bells and Other Songs

During our Sunday evening service, the children's choir sang a few carols for us during praise and worship time. It is so funny to see Ella up there because she is so much younger and so tiny compared to everyone else. She had a momentary moment of shyness before entering the stage, but I think you can see from the photos below that once she saw her sweet family in the audience she got really brave! They sang Joy to the World, Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

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She was apparently in the singing mood because after I put her to bed that night, she sang Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs for almost 15 minutes. I think she was trying to ward off sleep, but eventually she gave up!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Letter from Santa

Guess who got a letter in the mail from the Big Guy today?

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Thank you, Mrs. Sue, for the sweet compliments!

Family Christmas... A Little Early

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On Saturday... we ate candy canes, marveled over new little ones and opened our first present!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Baby Belly, Week 23

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p.s. i think this is my favorite!

Outtakes are up!

Tiny Dancer

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Kennedi, Ella & Grace

Thursday night was Ella's last ballet class of the year. Parents and Grandparents got to come in and watch and we all brought Christmas goodies for a holiday party before the Christmas break. You can see in the photo above that Ella lost one of her ballet shoes and we were forced to wear our Sunday shoes instead! Luckily, her Easter shoes still fit, we just swapped out the ribbons for pretty pink ones and nobody seemed to notice.

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Kennedi & Ella dancing to 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town'

The girls were excited to have us there and it was so funny to watch them dance. They did two Christmas routines and a dance to the Mickey Mouse Club song. Some kids were really free spirited and danced all around. Ella was very focused and checked her feet a hundred times to make sure she was standing in her spot! I think she's really worried about minding since Santa's visit is just around the corner...

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I'm hoping to have a video upload in the next few days, so you can see how adorable they all looked. They sang along and had a great time dancing for us all.

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After their routines and a few dance move demonstrations across the room, we had a little party. Each parent brought something for them to eat and a few moms brought goody bags filled with Silly Bands, rice crispy treats, bracelets and candy. Ella had a great time and we can't wait for classes to start again in a few more weeks!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

PJ Day

On Thursday, Ella and her friends had pajama day at "school" and they all wore their Christmas pjs. It was Kaitlyn's birthday and they celebrated with yummy cupcakes. I loved flipping through the pictures of them playing in their pjs... so cute. This isn't everybody, but I loved how funny everybody's faces looked in this one.

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Kaitlyn, Ella, Parker, Noah & Madeline

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas in the Park

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A few weeks before Thanksgiving, Kamin took us to Linn Park for a family photo shoot. They all turned out so beautiful, but I haven't had a chance to share them with you yet! One of them is on our Christmas card, so I'll save that one for later {even though our cards are less than stellar this year, due to a certain little someone}.

In the meantime, these are a few of my favorites...

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Hope you enjoy! Click here to see just how talented our sweet K is.

Elfing Ourselves

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Josh had a little too much time on his hands this afternoon and made this video. I know you've seen these a million times, but I promise that Beemer the breakdancing dog makes this worth your 3 minutes!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baby Belly, Week 22

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Click here for outtakes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December's Silent Sunday

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Rock House Christmas

I'm finally here, all decorated for Christmas and breathing a sigh of relief. I had planned to post on one room each day leading up to the home tour, but didn't get it all done in time. I know I've said this numerous times in the last month, but I wasn't prepared for how this pregnancy would affect my energy levels and change the way I planned for Christmas. What I normally would accomplish in one weekend has taken two weeks and it greatly scaled back. If you are here from The Nester, thanks for coming and I hope you enjoy the tour!

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For the outside, I don't usually use lights. My house is old and there are barely any original interior outlets, much less outdoor ones. Rigging up electricity for the porch is sometimes a dangerous feat! Instead, I usually hang wreaths on each of the seven windows, but always decorate them differently each year. One year it was bright red ribbon, another year were sparkly floral picks. Last year, I used burlap ribbon and acorns. This year I added various fresh greens and metal stockings.
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Here is close up of a few vignettes on the porch. I wired the metal stockings on the two window wreaths that flank our front door and filled them with greenery. Since I'm notorious for killing plants of every kind, I don't waste my money on things that have to be cared for when it's too cold to go outside! Instead, I add oasis inside these big urns and use clippings from the yard to fill them up. This year I used loropetalum, boxwood, magnolia leaves, holly berries and fir trimmings. I also added large faux acorns and a few pine cones. I'm really happy with how they turned out and I CAN'T kill them... they're already dead!
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Above are photos from the living and dining room. This is the last year we'll have a "spare room" at our house, so we took the opportunity to move our dining furniture into what will be Sophie's room and got the tallest, fattest tree that would fit in our dining room. It is beautiful and this is the first time since we've been married that we had enough room to hang every ornament that we own on the tree.

I added a few stacks of red books to our niche, along with Ella's gingerbread house and we used small green trees on the buffet, breakfast table and side tables. I love our family tree being just beyond the arch - we can see it when we walk in the front door, can enjoy it from the couch when we're watching tv and there will be plenty of room on Christmas morning to open presents and play with our toys. Instead of a tree skirt this year, I used a quilt that my grandmother made and we wrapped it around the base. I didn't have any lower branches trimmed from the tree, so we've put all of our wrapped gifts on the bookshelves behind the tree. I'm using all red and white paper for the gifts this year and I love how pretty they look!

Ella just recently started attending Sunday School a month or so ago and we love all of the crafts she brings home. Last week she made this sweet nativity scene that we have sitting on our breakfast table.
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The kitchen is probably our least decorated room, but I did add a few fun touches for Ella. We've got metal presents on top of the fridge with Ella's red wagon and some greenery. I wanted to put lights up there, too, but I can tell you that watching a pregnant woman attempt to move a refrigerator in order to plug in lights is a comedic event not to be rivaled. I didn't bother asking SD to help when he got home! We have a small tree on a cake plate on the counter, Santa salt & pepper shakers and cream & sugar and even Scout {our elf} managed to brighten the kitchen today by hanging out in the candy jar.
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Here is our one and only bathroom. It is mostly white with black & white toile wallpaper and a bright green dresser for storage. I used all of my silver Christmas trees and a small green tinsel tree with red and green ornaments. I love the lime and red together!
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In our room the only decorations are a length of garland along the mantel and the bookcases. I added fat white lights, gold ribbon, silver beads and sparkly ornaments. I love laying in bed at night and reading with these lights on. SD & I have always had some kind of lighted garland in our bedroom during the holidays and we lovingly refer to it as the "Christmas Spirit."
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I've already shared these photos, but thought I'd add them to the Christmas tour anyway. This is the white tree in Ella's room and we decorate it with pink, white and silver ornaments each year. We used two pink tutus instead of a tree skirt and topped it with a tiny silver star tree topper. Also in her room are pink snowman sheets and fluffy, white feather wreaths on each of her three windows. She loves having Christmas lights in her room, but was disappointed when she realized her tree was "tiny."
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And last, but not least are our Christmas stockings. I bought these just after Ella was born and we added Sophie's stocking last week when we found out she was a Sophie. Sometimes I wonder if I'd prefer more grown-up stockings, but these remind me so much of the ones we had as children and my little ballerina loves hers so much!

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you enjoy these decorations as much as we are and come back to visit again soon. Make sure to click the link at the beginning of this post to visit The Nester's site and enjoy many more beautiful Christmas decorations.