Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-changes.....

I am so amazed at how many people read this little blog! When I started, I never imagined I would have readers from Russia or Iraq. I never imagined I would be given opportunities to host giveaways with some awesome companies along the way. I feel like we lead a busy, but very average life and I enjoy sharing that with everyone. We're just your typical Southern family!

I have been in a blogging rut for a couple of months, but as the new year approaches I am renewed with ideas and blogging opportunities. I have recently been approached by a large company and have agreed to participate in their program. I am really excited about it and am looking forward to sharing things with all of you. This will give me an opportunity to be very real with my readers and hopefully bring some inspiration and hope to many. I am terribly nervous about some aspects of it, but I promise it will be a great thing! As soon as I receive all of the necessary materials to begin, I will share it with all of you.

I am beginning a new project around the house and I am really excited about sharing it here. If you follow me on Pinterest, you may know about my plans for Caleb's big boy room. My mom and I have been gathering things and will begin putting it all together in the next few weeks. My inspiration for the project has come from Pinterest and Pottery Barn Kids (below).
I just adore the feel of this room. 

I'm going for toned down colors that have a more mature look. I have enjoyed the brighter colors for his nursery, but I think it's time to go for a more traditional, grown up look for his new room. His new room will be more versatile as he grows and will hopefully last him until we move!



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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey and Shopping

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with good food and great times with friends and family! Our family spent time with those we love most and made some new memories. On Thanksgiving morning, Ryan and I watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade for the first time with Caleb. I have waited for this moment for so long! I finally got to see the excitement in his eyes when he saw all of the balloons and dancing. It was such a special time for me.

For lunch, we joined my family for a huge meal. My mom cooked enough for two large armies and we had plenty of leftovers to enjoy later! All of my family got to come for the first time in two years and it was such a blessing to have my family gather together. This is the first Thanksgiving Caleb and Zoey have had with everyone there.

We then headed over to my in-laws' home for more delicious food! Caleb is so fortunate to have his great-grandparents in his life. He enjoys showing off for them any chance he gets!

I am so very thankful for the large family we have! I'm so happy we all got the chance to get together and enjoy the holiday.

Friday morning, I was out at 2:30 am to join in the Black Friday shopping! I found a great deal on a Christmas sweater for Caleb at Belk.
It's perfect for him and I cannot wait to get his picture in it!
Plus it was 60% off!!!!

We also went to Toys R Us, Target and Kohls to find other great deals. I won't post them yet just in case some of my family is reading this. Don't want to spoil the surprise! 
Ryan and I got Caleb a bicycle trailer for Christmas. We found a great deal on a double trailer. It has plenty of storage room for all of Caleb's toys while he rides, it has a cover to keep the wind off of Caleb on colder days, and folds down neatly to fit in the car. We got one like this, but in red:


On Christmas morning, we're putting a big bow on it and watching the excitement! I also found a few small things as well. You may remember I mentioned having a difficult time finding interesting and fun age appropriate things for Caleb this year. It's hard finding toys for a two year old when most everything is rated from 0-18 months or 3+. If you're having the same problem, I'll share what we've found along the way.

I got Caleb a Fisher-Price Doodle thing....

I think this will be perfect entertainment in the car and completely mess free! Hallelujah for that!

I know you're all going to laugh at me for the next one....I have dreams of my child growing up and attending medical school. To slightly encourage that goal and dream, I kinda got him this:

You can never start too early! Ha!
I started out pre-med in college and found I had a weak stomach when it came to certain injuries (involving my little brother to be exact) and changed my major! Maybe Caleb will pursue it instead! Hey, a mama can dream!
I know I'm asking for all kinds of trouble when I purchased this for Caleb:



I guess every kid needs a chance to play with it.....I was one of those kids that lost the privilege when I  happened to get it in the carpet at home. I don't know of anything that gets dried Play-Doh out of carpet, just in case you were wondering. I can still remember the yellow dried mess in my mom's carpet. She really never let me forget it anyways....We moved from that house, so it's not a constant reminder! Caleb can only use it where there's hardwood in the house! Lesson learned!
(Still really sorry about that, Mom....)

We found some Crayola bath crayons and I know he'll love those! Caleb loves to play in the tub.



Caleb has asked Santa over and over (and then some more) for a Jeep this year. I mean we have literally stood above Santa at the mall and yelled down, "I wanna Jeeeeeeeep................." over and over. The kid is totally sold on the Jeep thing right now. On Christmas morning, Santa just may be possibly bringing this beautiful thing to Granny and Granddaddy's house for a special little boy I know. It's so dang big that Ryan will have to bring his trailer to take it home...This massive thing actually is all-terrain and has a real FM radio. I find this beyond hilarious for a Power Wheel toy! It even has a bumper to bumper warranty! Seriously cracks me up.....


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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Trains and Art

Caleb got an awesome train set from Nana and Pappy for his birthday. This is the remote controlled Geo Trax Timbertown Railway. Caleb absolutely loves it! Ryan set it up for him and they played for an hour. I love that you can buy more sets that connect with it. They are also going to be very durable for my tough boy! We think the Grand Central Station track set would also be a great addition for Christmas. 
Caleb was so excited to help Daddy set it up!
There are several configurations for each set so it holds a kid's interest much longer. 
The remote control is easy for a toddler to use and seems like so much fun!
I don't know who loves this toy more: Caleb or Daddy!

Caleb was really interested in playing with the crane on top! 
He kept calling it a forklift....any heavy duty machinery is called a forklift right now....

Ryan and I got Caleb the Crayola Magnetic Double Easel for his birthday and he seems to really enjoy it too!  Caleb loves to color and draw, so we were hoping to inspire his artistic creations a little more. It has a chalk board and a dry erase board on the other side. I love that it's all plastic and cleans very easily. We also found him a huge tub of chalk and dry erase crayons to go with this. It comes with magnetic letters and he is nuts about those!


If you have a rambunctious little toddler in your life and would like to find these fun toys, I have included the links below:




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Monday, November 21, 2011

New Look

I'm so lovin' the new blog layout this week! What do you think???

Maybe it's time to start decorating around the house...I feel so behind this year! Ryan has made me patiently wait until after Thanksgiving this year. I guess we can alternate who wins each year!

We've been thinking about what to get Caleb this year and it's really tough. Everything seems to be either 0-18 months or 3+ and poor Caleb is stuck in between!

We'll just have to get creative!
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So Thankful

Blog friends, I am beyond ready for the extra days off from work we have this week! Ryan and I were blessed with an especially awesome surprise this weekend and have so much to be thankful for this year. Many of my friends are listing the things they are thankful during the month of November. While I haven't posted each day, I'd like to include my list here....


  • I am thankful I am a child of God. I have freedom to love and follow Him for the rest of my life. I am overjoyed that I can spend eternity worshiping Him for eternity. I have so many flaws and faults, but I belong to Him! No matter how often I come up short, I am perfect to Him. 
  • I am thankful for my husband and son. They light up my life each and every day! I enjoy spending my time with them and look forward to all of the memories we will make and am so grateful for those we have already made. I am so happy to be part of their lives. 
  • I am thankful for our home. We have watched as many around us have lost their homes due to this poor economy. We don't live in a mansion, but it is very dear to us. We have made tons of great memories there and it has grown into what we need.
  • I am thankful for our families. I honestly don't know what I would do without them in our lives. They have encouraged and supported us beyond measure. We spend so much time with all of them because we truly love them. I'm so grateful that I don't have to dread visits from in-laws....mine are great!
  • I am truly thankful for our church home and small group. We feel like we fit in well with everyone and we always have a great time. We are so fortunate that Caleb can grow up there.
  • I am so thankful for our jobs! We are given the opportunity to do well and enjoy the place we spend most of our time. I am thankful that the marina has done great this year and that we were ranked number seven in the world in Tracker boat sales! I am so fortunate to work with my family there and be a part of something great.
  • I am grateful for our health. I know the past couple of years has been tough, but we are doing better now. 
  • I am thankful that we now have two reliable vehicles in our household! Ryan's Jeep was touch and go this year, but we've finally got her trail and road ready. Ha!
I have so many more things to be thankful for, but those hit the biggest ones on my list! I am ready to spend time with our families on Thursday and remember the blessings we have all been given this year. 


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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bubbles and Turkey

Caleb and I cooked our first Thanksgiving turkey together on Saturday! I have to admit it was really good too. We tried a new recipe and it turned out very juicy and flavorful. I used a fresh turkey and stuffed it with diced apples. I stuck a LOT of butter under the skin and seasoned with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I stuck the whole thing in a turkey sized oven bag and added a whole bottle of sparkling apple cider. I tied it, placed it in a roasting pan, and cooked it at 350 degrees for around four and a half hours. It was really simple and came out great.

While our turkey was cooking, Caleb took a big bubble bath and loved every second of it except for turning the jets on!

Happy splashing in bubbles!







This one is my favorite!

He's crazy about bath time!

After his bath we got ready for our guests....
He's such a sweetie these days!

It's hard getting him to sit still long enough for a picture!

We just love him!

Our Thanksgiving dinner was awesome with all of our great friends! We had a house full of happy children who all got along. 

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Photo Card

Traditional Damask Christmas
Create beautiful photo Christmas cards at Shutterfly.com.
View the entire collection of cards.

2 Year Check Up

I'm a little behind on posting this one....

Caleb had his two year check up this week and everything went really well! He got another Hepatitis B shot and his flu shot.

Caleb now weighs 33.5 pounds and is 36.5 inches tall! His head circumference is 50 centimeters. This puts him around the 95th percentile for all of his measurements for his age. He is such a big boy! Dr. B says we will have a big guy on our hands when he's older. Perfect football playing material!

Caleb wears 3T clothing now in both shirts and pants. He wears size 5 diapers and size 7 shoes. Unbelievable!

We have learned that the jump to 3T clothing means it costs so much more! Some of his pants cost more than ones I have....So do the toys....

I'm almost afraid to admit that his behavior in public seems so much better lately. Ryan and I have learned how to prevent a lot of the meltdowns. We bring a few toys along to restaurants now and it is so much easier. We no longer use a high chair when eating out. If Caleb sits in a chair, we use a booster seat. If we sit in a booth, he just sits beside me. So far it works well for us. His poor little legs don't fit in the high chairs very well anymore! We also are doing better if Caleb holds my hand and walks in the store instead of riding in the cart. This only works if Daddy goes with us!

Caleb is beginning to show a lot of emotions other than just happy or upset. He shows a lot of sympathy for road kill along the side of the roads. We can pass a dead deer and he'll say just as remorseful as possible, "Poor deer...." It's all long, drawn out and Southern, but oh so cute!

I love this age so much more than the baby stage. Caleb's hilarious and I love to talk with him!
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pinterest Tutorial

I've had quite a few friends wondering about Pinterest lately. It seems like everyone is talking about it....many are not quite sure how to pronounce it....and plenty of people would like to know what all the fuss is about! I'm going to tell you right here and now that I am a complete Pinterest addict. I want to include some screenshots of my boards and pins so maybe you can understand what everyone is so nuts about lately!

When you log in to Pinterest, you will automatically see all of the boards you follow. 
Notice on the left hand side that it shows my most recent activity. 
It will show who I follow, who followed me, and who pins the things I pin. 
If I were to scroll down, I would see everything my friends have pinned in order of most recent first. 
If I see something I like, I have the choice of clicking on it to "repin" it to one of my boards...
By now you may be wondering what a "board" is...
Simple: It's a category....
If you were to look at my page, it would look like this:


Each little square is a board that you can click on.
It expands into all of my pins. 
Each board is a grouping to organize all of my saved ideas.
I have one for recipes, one for Caleb, and so on.....Um, I actually have 17 to be exact.
You can create as many boards as you would like and name them anything you want!

The idea behind Pinterest is simple: 
Remember how you "bookmark" favorite websites that you find and save all these great ideas?
If you're anything like me, you save something to your Favorites and then forget about it or can't remember why you saved it in the first place! 
Pinterest solves that problem....
You can attach a picture with your "pin", organize it on your "board", and simply refer to it when you need to. 
Plus, you can share all the wonderful things you have found with others and grab plenty of ideas from those all over the world. How smart is that???

So how do you "pin" an idea that you like? 
 Say I like something that another person has shared....
See the big red arrow? I'm going to "pin" that outfit to my Style Pinboard because I love the color combination.
If I hover my mouse arrow over the picture, I see 3 bubble boxes pop up at the top of the picture. 
See the "Repin", "Like" and "Comment" buttons???
If I choose "Repin" this comes up:
I need to select the correct category to file this pin under....
So I select "My Style Pinboard" and then click "Pin It"!
If I go over to My Style Pinboard, it's automatically there....

What an awesome way to organize all of your great ideas and thoughts!
Just get out there and start looking around. It's crazy what you can find....
You can search for certain things or just browse what everyone finds inspiring....











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Choo Choo....

Yesterday was Caleb's second birthday! It's so hard for me to believe I have had him in my life for two whole years now. The time has just flown past me and I am so very thankful for each day I have spent with him. He is such a joy to me and our whole family. We all decided to get together to celebrate his birthday with him this weekend.

Ryan and I took Caleb out for breakfast at Cracker Barrel where he got a pancake and all of my grits! We managed to make it through the meal and our sweet boy happened to spill his milk all over the floor....After that crisis, we took him over to the mall to play for a bit.

For lunch, we met up with Granny, Granddaddy, Aunt Debbie, Uncle Wade, Uncle Brian, Aunt Tara and Zoey for our favorite Mexican restaurant.

Caleb loves his Granddaddy like crazy!

Whatever Granddaddy does, Caleb follows...

Caleb has learned to say "Cheese" before pictures!

After lunch, we met up with Nana and Pappy for a special surprise!
We took Caleb for his first train ride!

He kept saying, "Mommy! Choo choo!"

I had never been to the local railroad museum before, but we really enjoyed it.

We were so excited!
Some little boy just couldn't sit still...


Caleb really enjoyed looking out the windows...


He had to show Aunt Tara his new bear...


And then showed Aunt Debbie...

We posed for a few pictures...

I love this one of Caleb and Daddy...so sweet!

Caleb and Daddy climbed into a train....

And Caleb had to show Pappy too!





Zoey was so quiet we almost didn't know she was there!

I think this picture is just the sweetest!


We had a great time on our first train ride! 

We have so many new toys to unpackage! I think we'll be spending a lot of time over the next week or so sorting through everything. 


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