Marking things off my to-do list

Oh how I love the holidays! No lie: I have stayed up late practically every night since November 1st watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Most of those nights I’m one or two in the morning before going to sleep. Am I tired the next morning? Absolutely. But there is something about sitting in my living room with the only light coming from my Christmas tree and the glow of the tv that just makes me happy.

Oh, did I mention?

My Christmas tree went up the very first week of November. See? I’m a holiday fanatic.

I like to enjoy the full two months of the season. I like the house to be decorated and ready to go on Thanksgiving day when my girls wake up to watch the Macy’s Day Parade and the yummy smell of Thanksgiving dinner is wafting into the living room.

It makes us happy. So, why not?

On the Friday after Thanksgiving we decorate the outside of the house. I’m totally respecting the feelings of those that like to enjoy one holiday at the time 😉  So, I do wait on letting my Christmas joy spill outside until the day after, haha 🙂

Things I have marked off my holiday to-do list?

– Christmas tree up and decorated

– Major Christmas gifts purchased

– Christmas gift buying list made and ready

– Outdoor decorations purchased

– Christmas Cards ordered!

Here is a sneak peak of the cards I ordered. You have no idea how difficult it was to get this picture with all three girls looking into the camera! I have so much respect for photographers!! This was the best of about fifty duds.

christmas card picture 2013

I was happy with the final product though! 🙂

And for the close family and friends that receive one of these there is a surprise pic on the back and a note from us!

To my blog friends reading this: I wish I could send each and every one of you this card! Thank you for taking the time to follow our story. We hope you have a magnificent holiday season filled with lots of love, laughter, and joy!!

 

P.S. Stop by Bloglovin and visit me :).

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XOXO,

Erika

 

 

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~Part II of photo catch up~

Well, It’s midnight and I have just gotten home from a very busy night at work with some very sick people. And it’s a good thing that I am way too wound up to sleep, because I am baking 3 dozen cupcakes for Mary Kathryn to take to school for her birthday tomorrow. And what do I notice on the kitchen counter when I get home?? Krispie kreme donuts, that’s what! How in the world am I supposed to ignore those when the smell of cupcakes is making me want something sweet??!:) I”ll let you guess whether I ate one or not….:)

So before I ramble on anymore in my sleep deprived state, I am going to go on and post the pictures we took Easter Sunday:) Unfortunately, Michael had to work that weekend, but the girls and I went to church and then to my sister and brother-in-law’s house for dinner and an Easter egg hunt. It was a gorgeous day and Crystal and Chris are excellent cooks, so we all had a blast and brought lots of food home for Michael to eat when he got off work.
I could not, for the life of me, get all three girls to look at the camera, but this one is the best of all three that I could get.


The girls and I

So now I am off to bed to get a few hours of sleep before the girls wake up. Luckily no work tomorrow yay!:)

And we are entering the….Double Digits!

I can not even believe my precious baby girl is 10, yes you read that right, 10 years old! This little girl has taught me more than I ever imagined possible over the last 10 years of our lives. Having her opened the flood gates of new feelings, knowledge,a new sense of purpose and has led me on a continual journey of self evaluation. Through both incredible luck and lots of hard work on our part, Hailey has grown into an empathetic, patient, well mannered, loving little girl who is leading a great example for her little sisters.

So here is how we celebrated her entry into the double digits… 

Every year since she turned 7 years old we have had a large sleepover birthday party for her with her friends and cousins. It’s so fun to look at how much they grow up over 4 years! Below I have included a picture of the party girls from each year.

Hailey’s 7th Birthday Sleepover

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Hailey’s 8th Birthday Sleepover

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Hailey’s 9th Birthday Sleepover

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Hailey’s 10th Birthday Sleepover

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What a trip down memory lane! It really brings home how fast these little ones grow and the importance of using these years wisely to prepare them for adulthood. I have to admit that entering the teenage years in just 3 short years has me slightly terrified, but my hope and prayer is that He will guide me through and that everything that we have worked so hard to instill in her will help to make it as smooth as possible.

First competition of the season!!:)

This past Saturday Hailey had her first competition of the cheer season in Greensboro, NC. This was a state competition with a rather large crowd and I was very proud of how well they did. They placed 3rd at this event. Last year her team placed 5th at this competition and then went on to win Nationals in Myrtle Beach two competitions later. It’s amazing how they improve with each performance. The coaches usually increase the level of difficulty with each competition as well, so I’m excited to see the progression as the season goes on. Here are some pictures from the competition as well as a very short video of one of Hailey’s stunts. I’m not sure if I can post the whole routine right now but I will after their last competition in March.

Hailey is the flyer on the front far right.

This next picture is missing the other 3 flyers but pictures a lot of the team as well as the coaches.

Waiting for warm up..

Bella provides a little entertainment during the wait:)

Hailey and her best friend on the team.

With her coaches Paige and Matt, who have an abundance of patience to keep these girls focused and safe while learning all of these difficult stunts and tumbling…

Sisterly love…

And my sweet girl doing what she loves to do…

Is it really November???

So true to my promise to myself, I am doing my Halloween post right on time. Whoohoo!! I really can not believe it’s November already! That means in just a few short weeks we’ll be dragging out the Christmas tree and decorations for a marathon day of decorating. Usually we do it a week or two before Thanksgiving, but I am thinking of doing a bit of a tree overhaul this year. And I’m planning on using all of those wonderful black Friday sales to stock up on the new decorations:) Can’t wait!!

But getting back to the reason for this post, we ended up having a great Halloween despite the horribly cold, rainy weather. The girls were SO disappointed when they realized it was pouring rain right at trick or treat time. But we ended up going to Aunt Crystal and Uncle Chris’ neighborhood and trick or treating with Aunt Crystal in the rain. Hailey and Mary Kathryn were completely unconcerned about getting soaking wet and ran from house to house. And believe it or not, there were plenty of other trick or treaters out and about, so it ended up being lots of fun. Bella was not really into some of the scary costumes but she laughed and laughed at Hailey and Mary Kathryn running from house to house in excitement. Here are some pictures from last night…..

And these are pictures from the day before Halloween. The girls dressed all up in their costumes and headed out to a carnival. Unfortunately Bella had a vomiting episode on the way that completely covered her and Hailey and cut our plans short. But we all headed home to cuddle by the fire with hot chocolate and some family time instead. Can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing!

Hope that everyone had a fun-filled and safe Halloween….Now on to Christmas!!!

Things I am loving right now…

Right now I am enjoying a big cup of pumpkin spice coffee (my fave) and attempting to catch up on this blog that has totally taken a back seat to life lately. I am making a promise to myself to be more diligent about keeping this up to date from now on!!

So moving on to what I am loving right now….

Besides the obvious….The Loves of my Life…

(courtesy of my iphone:)

I am really loving this yummy coffee creamer

This equally yummy nail color from Essie

These ADORABLE leg warmers for Bella

Cuddling up with the loves of my life by this

And last, but not least, the only way we have a nice hot meal on the days my husband and I are both working. I LOVE my crockpot!

Oh, and I am practically salivating over this mixer!

A girl can dream can’t she??

We also have an exciting new addition to our house in the works and I will have a post about that coming up soon:)  And of course Halloween is tomorrow and I hope to get that post up Tuesday. ( Heres hoping that since I put that in writing, I will stick to it!;)

Happy October!!

Around our house we are super excited to see October usher in cooler weather and all kinds of fun carnivals, fairs, and fall outings. This is one of our favorite times of year!

The girls and I were really excited to decorate our pumpkins. It’s just not October at our house without pumpkins sitting out;) I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin carving since it really doesn’t last, so we used gold vinyl to monogram the large pumpkin and sprayed the small pumpkins with adhesive and sprinkled with gold/orange glitter. We were quite pleased with the end result pictured above:) The only downside…glittery hands to contend with whenever Bella picks them up:)

Another perk to fall… Caramel apples! Here’s a picture of the girls helping Bella eat her first caramel apple.

Someone’s loving this perfect fall weather…

And this October, a common occurance around here has been lots of dancing in the living room. Hailey is wearing an aircast in this picture. She is supposed to be staying off of her feet due to a torn ligament in her ankle from cheerleading, but it is like trying to hold back time to get the child to rest!

Speaking of which, even with an injured ankle, Hailey has finally learned this…!!

Hailey is beyond excited!!

And lastly, a video of Bella doing something she shares in common with her sisters…playing Barbie:)

Happy October until next time~~:)