taz + belly: November 2011


30 November 2011

I'm guessing you know there was this little game on Saturday. One that people in Alabama talk about for 365 days, only to start talking about again. Well, the fact of the matter is... we won. I didn't get to go this year, but SD did and not only did he sneak on the field after the game, but he met David Pollack and Trent Richardson and snapped a picture of his beloved Erin Andrews. All's fair in love and football, right?

A few weekends ago we celebrated the birthday of our little friend Madeline. She had a pretty awesome tailgate rivalry party where all of her friends wore their Alabama/Auburn gear and partied it up at the playground. It was so fabulous, in fact, that I am totally bookmarking this idea for an Ella party in the future!

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Kraft & Twine Advent Calendar

29 November 2011

I've been saying for years we were going to have an advent calendar for the girls in the days leading up to Christmas, but this is the first year I've actually made it happen. Not only do I think it's fun for them to have some little gift to look forward to each day, but it's a wonderful way to remember the real reason for the season and have a daily reminder of God's perfect grace.

I'm been brainstorming for several weeks about what to do, when I saw this pin on Pinterest. Although it wasn't an advent calendar at all, it certainly pushed me in the right direction, design-wise.

Ella & I went shopping a few weekends ago and picked up clothespins, bakers twine and kraft paper lunch sacks. We spent some time on the dollar aisle and grabbed twenty-five days worth of tiny treats, to be alternated between she and her sister.
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I used a set of stencils that belonged to my dad as a young man and a red Crayola marker to draw numbers on each of our lunch sacks. I could have used stickers or painted them on, but this was easy to do, made them uniform and I love the shape of these numbers.

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Next up were a spool of bakers twine to hang the sacks, some scissors for trimming and thumbtacks to hang the twine from. I used a large black frame that's been standing in my laundry room for at least six months. It measures about 30 inches across and about 50 inches tall. I bought it for another project (involving the hundreds of Instagram photos we've accumulated) that has yet to come to fruition.

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The toys we bought were really inexpensive items that the girls are always begging for in the clearance section. For Ella (5), we got tiny notepads, princess pens, stickers and playing cards. Sophie (20 months) got Christmas socks, wooden ornaments for the tree and a little baby doll that she couldn't live without. There are 12 items for each girl and something for them to share on Christmas Day.

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I alternated the items in the paper sacks (Ella's on odd days and Sophie's on even ones) and clipped them to the twine that I stretched across the frame and secured with thumb tacks. The rows aren't all the same distance from one another because some items were small and others were much larger. We propped the frame up on a piece of furniture that was relocated thanks to the arrival of our Christmas tree. As much as I wanted to lean it on the floor, Soph is much too active these days for that much temptation.

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I could not be happier with how it turned out and the girls can't wait until Thursday to open their first treasure. The plan is to read a few verses from the Bible each day of December so that we can recite the Christmas story by the end of the month (remember last year?). Once we've practiced our verses, they have the pleasure of opening that day's gift. They are already so excited about getting started and it seems our elf, Scout, was pretty excited about it too!

I'm linking up with Cassie at {Hi Sugarplum!} today, so be sure to check out all the other fun Christmas crafts. Ironically enough, she posted about Advent Calendars yesterday and did a round up with lots of other neat ideas. Be sure to check them out!



28 November 2011

Our Thanksgiving was so wonderful and I was so busy enjoying the day with my little helpers that the camera was never by my side. Instead, I decided to give you a little recap with Instagram photos instead. I hope your holiday was as wonderful as ours!

{kitchen helpers * big girl bed * early morning cartoons * sausage balls}
{Macy's Thanksgiving Parade * silly girl * chocolate chewy bars * my full plate}
Thanksgiving Campfire!
{feeding herself * post-lunch football * plenty of leftovers * afternoon campfire}
{girl time * playing outside * snuggling by the fire with mommy * impromptu family photoshoot}

Believe it or not, Ella was in attendance, but she's so independent these days and spent the majority of her day outside with the big kids!

Happy Thanksgiving

24 November 2011

from my CRAZY big family to yours!


we peaked early.

22 November 2011

Let me go ahead and assure you that I'll be highly embarrassed by some of these pictures. At the same time, I can't bring myself to hide the fun we had because of a few poor judgment calls! The title of this post has nothing to do with our performance on the field that day. Instead, we found ourselves quite funny at six o'clock in the morning, our humor was spot on and we had way too much fun by the time we reached T-town. By contrast, at around 10:45 we were ready for a nap. We peaked early...


The boys started out with a rousing game of football outside Justin's apartment. He lives on Wallace Wade, a stone's throw from Bryant-Denny Stadium and the perfect spot to tailgate. Thank goodness he doesn't mind when we crash his place for game day. I have NO idea what we'll do when he graduates.

The boys befriended this kid, a sophomore in high-school, and dubbed him the Honey Badger. K & I couldn't even look at him without laughing out loud.


Our lovely hosts, Justin & Laura.


SD & I took over the kitchen almost immediately and began whipping up yummy hamburgers for breakfast or lunch or snack.


There may have been some cheering involved.


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Did I mention that we moved some furniture?


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K & I hardly ever get pics of the two of us and the boys faught over who was a better photographer. I'll let you be the judge...



These photos are a tribute to the couple who full-on made out on Justin's porch at the AU/UT game the week before. We could not get over how "handsy" they were and could barely walk outside without covering our eyes. Josh & I couldn't resist cracking Cory up by walking out and giving him a show! I promise, we don't usually maul each other in public ;).

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This was Cory's best shot of the day...


closely followed by this one.


Just so you know... the guy in the birthday hat in the background did NOT have a shirt on under that jersey. It was all skin and scary body hair. Just sayin'.


This may or may not be me standing on a cement barricade cheering for the Tide.


There was a surplus of fountain Dr. Pepper, RV toilet paper,

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and sliced cheese.


There was also a spectacular live performance of our favorite commercial... video evidence can be found here!


There are no words.


Then we found these fellas on the quad.


And they managed to find the Big Guy himself!


I've never seen so many people outside of BDS!





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Wanna see some of our neighbors? First up... guy with scary pink hair-piece.


Next up, dirty word jersey guy. We love him. He gets so excited and tries to fire everyone up.


He's even easier to spot from behind, although this might present a problem once my girls can read!


These two guys disinfected every square inch of their seats with anti-bacterial wipes before they sat down. I desperately wanted to germify them again when they got up during half time. Seriously?


And see this guy here? He didn't even have a ticket and managed to squeeze himself in the game. Hi, Chris!


Can you say ROLL...




So we didn't win the game... from the looks of the polls this week it might not even matter. And win or lose, this was quite possibly the most fun I've ever had at a football game. So, Roll Tide anyway!


And lest you think we left anything out, here is a link to the entire album.

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