Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas at The Puckett House (And an early present!)

OK, evidently I'm blog-happy today! :-)
Well, I've gotten all (I think) of our Christmas decorations up!! I don't decorate every room in the house, mostly because people don't see all of the rooms, and because I don't have decorations for all the rooms. I will, however, be adding another Christmas tree in the house next year...in Hudson's room! :) I'm pretty pleased with how everything looks and I thought I'd show you some of my favorites! Please excuse the poor quality photos...that leads me to the other part of this post in a minute. ;-)

We'll start with what you see first....the outside!

I posted a picture of the tree a few weeks ago, but I added a bow to the top that my mom made. I love the way the tree looks. You will see that the other decorations are more whimsical and bright. That just wouldn't look too good in our dining room, plus I LOVE the browns, golds, and bronzes on this tree! Exactly the look I was going for!
I had these red ornaments left from the tree last year, so I threw them with some green ones and several pine cones that were TWISTED on with wire to the garland I got for the mantle, and took off one by one. I was determined to use those somewhere after all that work! HA! I didn't want the pine cones on the garland though. Then why buy it, you ask? Because I'm weird and irrational sometimes, that's why! ;-)

I have always loved this "Let It Snow" sign. I think I got it from Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago. It sits perfectly on the ledge between the kitchen and the living room.

I love all of my whimsical towels, my utensil holder(that is actually a cookie jar!!), and my rug that I just got from Target last week! The kitchen is a fun place for me, and I like to keep my decorations fun and cheerful! The towel in the middle says "I Did It For The Cookie". HA! What else is there to say about that? ;)

I think this reindeer plate is so cute that I have to display it. It goes with the utensil holder (AKA: cookie jar!). I also have a few more pieces from this collection. It's so cute and fun! I got these reindeer last year and put them on the mantle, but since I changed the mantle up this year, I decided to put them by the plate. My favorite part is Hudson's newest ultrasound picture sitting beside it. (I'm still not used to calling this little person in my belly by a name....it's a little weird!) HAHA! We get to see him every time we're in the kitchen! :-)

One of my favorite parts of our house this holiday season is our mantle/fireplace! It took me a while to get all the components for it, but I finally did and I am very pleased with it! I LOVE our stockings, I LOVE the green and red balls, AND the new apothecary jar they're in, and I LOVE the cone trees that I got from my mother! I could not find cone trees for the LIFE of me....believe me, I looked everywhere and on every website I could think of! My mom remembered she had tons of them that she got at JCPenney a few years ago on clearance and gave me a few of them.
There are a few other decorations I didn't add, but I just wanted to highlight the favorites.

NOW, for the second part of this post...the early present!
I have been wanting a digital SLR for a while now.....I mean, since like May or sooner!! I believe I posted about a Canon 50D in July or sometime around then. Well, I've realized that a 50D is way too advanced for me at this point, seeing as how I have never done more than hold an SLR in Best Buy or Target for all of 30 seconds! :) It's also a little more than we'd like to spend right now. SO, I've been talking about a Canon T2i for a while now. It's at the top of the Rebel line, but right below the 50D, so it's a good camera that will grow with you until you're ready to upgrade. We've been talking about the possibility of getting one for Christmas (like I said, we're not in a position to run out and spend hundreds, or close to a thousand dollars, on something right now). Well, this weekend on QVC, yes I watch QVC from time to time, they had a great special on a Canon T2i kit. It comes with 2 lenses, a bag, and all the other little standard necessities. And get this: 6 easy payments!!! WHAT?!?! YES! 6 Easy payments!! Can you get that at Best Buy or Target?!?! Uh, noma'amyoucannot! I've never used the easy pay, but I think it's a great idea on big purchases such as this. So we talked about it and thought about it, and last night my husband ordered it without me knowing and forwarded the order confirmation email to me after he got it. HA! What a surprise that was! Such a sweet man he is! I am SO stinkin' excited I can't contain myself. It should be here next Tuesday, if not sooner and I can't wait! I'll be like a kid on Christmas morning!! ;o

Isn't she a beaute?

And say hello to a few of her little friends:

Thank you, Joseph, for the early Christmas, Anniversary, Birthday, Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, Easter gift! HAHA! ;-) I love it already(but know I'll really love it once I actually get it and start using it), and I LOVE YOU!!!! (and not just because you buy me nice cameras!)

Margarita Cheesecake Bars

Saturday, our friends, Catherine & Forrest Bailey, had us and several other friends over for dinner. Our friend Katie brought some 7 layer dip that was delicious. I'm usually not a big fan of it, but hers was really good! I couldn't keep my face out of it. HA! Forrest made his tasty chicken enchiladas, and we also had rice, and I brought dessert. I made one dessert, and also bought brownies and ice cream, and a chocolate cream pie. I wanted to make something that kept with the Mexican theme, and was glad when I found these bars.

This is totally NOT what mine looked like. I cut mine bigger and they didn't look so perfect. I was pleased with how they turned out, although, they may not be everyone's cup of tea. They are very lemon-limey, but they are refreshing. Forrest ate at least 3 so I think he liked them. He does know how to appreciate the sweets though, as do I. ;)
I completely copied & pasted the recipe from the website, so if it's all technical, that's why.

Margarita Cheesecake Bars

  • 1 box (18.25 oz) lemon cake mix, prepared as box directs
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice (grate lime peel first)
  • 1 pkt (21⁄2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
  • 3 bricks (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar (I added a little bit more)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated lime peel
  • Garnish: 1 lime

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9-in. baking pan with foil, letting foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends. Coat foil with nonstick spray...or use nonstick foil!

2. Spread cake batter in prepared pan. Bake as box directs. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Holding foil ends, lift from pan. Trim rounded top (hump) off cake with a long serrated knife until flat. Holding foil ends, return cake to pan.

3.Pour lime juice into a small saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 1 minute, then stir over low heat 3 minutes until gelatin completely dissolves. Remove from heat.

4. Beat cream cheese, sugar and lime peel in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed 2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly beat in gelatin mixture. Beat 1 minute to blend. Scrape onto cake, then spread evenly to edges. Refrigerate 1 hour to set, then cover loosely and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

5. To serve: Lift from pan. Cut in 42 bars (dip knife in hot water; wipe clean between cuts). I cut all the sides of the cake off so I had perfectly cut bars.

To garnish: With citrus zester, cut peel off lime. Cut lime in quarters lengthwise then crosswise in 11 thin slices. Top bars with lime and peel.

Planning Tip: Can be made through Step 4 up to 1 day ahead. Garnish just before serving. This is what I did, and they were still very moist!

It's a very light dessert and would be great in the Summer!

Monday, November 29, 2010

19 Weeks!

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 19 Weeks!! I cannot believe I am almost halfway through this pregnancy!
Size of baby: Still about the size of a mango, but around 6.5 inches long. Baby weighed 9 ounces at the ultrasound on Tuesday.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 8-10 pounds, not exactly sure....
Maternity Clothes: Pants! Shirts and dresses are still fine.
Gender: Baby BOY! Hudson Thomas Puckett :)
Movement: I haven't felt any since the last time (a week or so ago?).....that I'm aware of. I should start feeling more in the next couple of weeks or so.
Food Cravings/Aversions: I haven't had any new cravings. I'm eating more things now that used to bother me, which is good. I still like pickles, salty things, an occasional sweet, milk, and carbs! I still have an aversion to meat sometimes...especially if I cook it. Weird!
What I miss: Sleeping on my back.....
Sleep: It goes up and down. Last week wasn't so good, but the past few nights have been pretty good. I take what I can get. :-)
Symptoms: Slight fatigue and nausea (especially if I get too hungry), a few cravings, and some nasal congestion.
Best Moment this week: Finding out that we are having a sweet little boy! We are thrilled and cannot wait to meet our little Hudson in April!! We also had a fantastic Thanksgiving and gender reveal and got to hang out with lots of great friends on Saturday night at Forrest and Catherine's house! It was an absolutely wonderful week!!!!

I hope all of you had a terrific Thanksgiving and you got to spend special time with loved ones. It's hard to believe that Christmas is about 3 1/2 weeks away! I better get to shoppin'!! :-)

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Details....And Lots of Pictures

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our family this year. We really enjoyed doing a big family get-together and having (almost) everyone there. The food was incredible....I won't tell you how many helpings of leftovers I've had. ;-)The gender reveal went great!! Everyone was overjoyed to find out that we are expecting a BOY, Hudson Thomas Puckett. You're probably wondering where the name came from. Hudson is not a very common name. Frankly, we had a tough time with names...especially for a boy! I wanted something a little different, but not so different that my child would be beat up in the school yard...ya know what I mean? During all of my name searching, I came across Hudson and immediately fell in love with it. I had heard it before, but it had been a long time. I also fell in love with an "H" name for a girl, and some of you already know it. I'd like to still possibly use it if we have a girl one day. We wanted to use a family name for the middle name, if possible, so that is where Thomas came from. My grandfather (my dad's dad) is Ralph Thomas Machen, and Joseph's father is Thomas Puckett. We are happy to pass down the name Thomas to our son.

I thought I'd share several pictures from the reveal, and describe how it happened.

My mom decorated the cutest table with pink and blue cupcakes, treats, and a sweet picture of Joseph and I.

The cupcakes were adorable....and tasty!

I loved this frame she put together. I plan on putting an ultrasound picture in it until Hudson's arrival....then I'll put a picture of him in it. It will look great on the hutch/dresser combo we plan on getting with his furniture. (Hopefully that will get ordered in a few weeks. I'll post pictures of what we're getting when I know 100% what we're getting.)

Everything was so cute! She had a voting board and everyone cast their vote when they arrived. She even decorated the front door.

After we ate lunch, it was finally time for the reveal. Everyone was so antsy. Everyone took a cupcake that matched their vote. We got the signs that my wonderful mother made, and each held one. We took turns holding them up, asking everyone to raise their cupcakes according to how they voted.

I said, "OK, if you voted girl......you were WRONG!!!"
*Cue the crowd going WILD!!!*

My sister-in-law (Joseph's sister), and Hudson's Aunt Lissa, celebrated Thanksgiving in PA with her hubby's family this year and couldn't be there. But she sent Hudson his first onesie...and it was an AWESOME one!! It says "Peanut Butter Jelly Time". Priceless!! Melissa, our friend Julie, and I, lived together in Tuscaloosa for a while and discovered this song. It's been an ongoing thing with us and I absolutely LOVE this onesie!! (And so will Hudson) Thank you Aunt Lissa!!!

It was a wonderful day and makes me reminds me just how truly thankful I am to our families. They are absolutely wonderful, supportive, and loving people. I feel so blessed to know that Hudson will have them in his life. I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving this year.
Now get ready for Christmas!!!! :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Without Any Further Ado.....

We are pleased to announce that......

We can't wait to meet our sweet little man, Hudson Thomas Puckett!!!!!

THANK YOU to my wonderful parents for hosting Thanksgiving and getting all of this together. Another reason why I'm so blessed with such great parents! They are amazing! We are also thankful for Joseph's parents, brother and sister, and all of our grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins for all they do!! We love you all and were so glad to share this special moment with you....even if you weren't there in person....you were there in spirit and we love you!

It was a great day, but I am pooped so I will just leave you with this for now. I will update more tomorrow with some pictures and details.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! If you're going out in the madness that is Black Friday, good luck! I will think of you while I'm snoozing in my bed. ;-)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quick Update!

OK, I gotta keep this short & sweet (well, as much as a rambling woman can), otherwise, I'm afraid I'll let something slip!! ;-) We went to the doctor yesterday and had the ultrasound and baby looked so wonderful!! Baby is healthy and we were overjoyed to learn that!! I will give more specifics after we tell the family tomorrow.

We are having a joint Thanksgiving at my parents' house tomorrow with both of our families. Our parents, Joseph's grandparents, brother, (sister & bro-in-law are spending Thanksgiving with his family this year), aunt, uncle, and two cousins, and his other uncle will all be there. Unfortunately, my Nana & Papa will not be there. They left for Gatlinburg this morning for a little getaway. We're really going to miss them, but hope they have a great, restful time. My other grandparents aren't really able to get out and come, so they'll be missed also, but we'll go see them later that day. I'm really excited about having everyone together this year. I'm also excited about all the delicious food, AND the big gender reveal!! We're going to eat around noon or so, and will make the announcement sometime afterward. My mother has been busily preparing for everything, especially the baby table! She has decorated it in tons of pink and blue, with different treats and lots of other fun stuff! I can't wait to see it. I will take tons of pictures, and we'll also record it with Joseph's Flip cam. That is all I'm going to say right now! We should be making the announcement in about 24 hours!!

I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Enjoy the special time with your loved ones. Eat way too much, laugh a lot, take a nap, and eat some more! I will catch up with y'all again very soon. ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

18 Weeks

My hand looks completely awkward in these pictures! I got the new iPhone 4 and the new style of it, along with the weird case I have, makes it awkward to hold for bump shots. It looks like I'm missing a couple of digits, but I'm not. ;-)

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 18 Weeks!!
Size of baby: According to What to Expect, baby is about the size of a mango, at around 6 inches, and weighs about 1/2 lb.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 7 or 8 pounds, unless that changed in the last week. ;-)
Maternity Clothes: Pants, definitely. Shirts and dresses are still fine.
Gender: We find out TOMORROW!!!! I am so anxious, nervous, and excited all at the same time. Just want to know baby is growing on track and is healthy! Finding out the gender is an added bonus. :)
Movement: I think I felt some flutters a few days ago. It's so hard to know what they are because they're so light and come and go so quickly. They're pretty much over as soon as they start. Give me some distinct kicks, baby!! HA!
Food Cravings/Aversions: Well, I'm dying for some Chinese food from the Gadsden Mall food court. I have a plan that will hopefully get some in my belly on Saturday when we're up visiting some friends. I'm pretty much desperate for it. I have a feeling I'm going to KILL some Thanksgiving food on Thursday. ;) My aversions are getting better. Some things I have to be in the mood for to eat, but it's getting better.
What I miss: Good sleep! See below.....
Sleep: It's seen better days, that's for sure. Getting about 4 1/2 hours of sleep last night didn't help anything either.
Symptoms: Slight fatigue and nausea (especially if I get too hungry), a few cravings, nasal congestion.
Best Moment this week: Umm....we find out what we're having TOMORROW!! I am beyond excited, but also nervous and anxious to know our sweet baby is healthy and everything looks great. We're taking the day off tomorrow to do that and do a little shopping around afterward. It's very rare we get to take a whole day off together so I'm really excited. I hope to look at furniture to see things in person and narrow it down to a few choices. I'm just going to enjoy spending the day with my sweet husband...lunch, shopping, ULTRASOUND...a perfect day! :-) I'm also really excited about Thanksgiving, for obvious reasons. But I'm super excited to reveal the gender to the family. I will let you in on that more a little later.

I hope everyone has a fantastic (short) week. Stuff your faces with good food, enjoy time with family and friends, and remember the things you're thankful for.
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who Decided Thursday Games Were A Good Idea?

Seriously...a Thursday night game? Lame. Granted, it's not a big SEC showdown game or anything, but still...who thought that would be a good idea?!?! Not that I mind watching football on Thursday....but....don't they know it's Grey's Anatomy night?? Helloooo?? It's times like this when I'm extremely thankful for my DVR. I record all of the Grey's Anatomy episodes anyway...I literally have the ENTIRE series on my DVR. Lifetime plays the reruns during the week so I recorded the older episodes also. If SOMEONE (Joseph) would buy me some seasons on DVD, I could free up DVR space. ;-) Luckily we have the HD DVR so we have lots of recording space, but it is getting a little low. We have very few other things on it, its mostly Grey's! HA! ANYWAY! Bama plays GA State tonight at 6:30. I don't know anything about GA St. so hopefully that's a good thing. ;)

Yeah, this is exactly how I serve my steak dinner! NOT! I stole it from the internet.....there's a point to it...read below....

We were in Publix last night and my husband just out of the blue, voluntarily picked up a couple of filets to grill tonight. I usually have to beg him to get some filets....'cause they're pricey, obviously. OK, I'm a huge filet fan and pretty much don't eat any other steak. Yes, you could say I'm spoiled, but I don't like having to deal with the fat that is on other cuts of steak. I guess I could blame my parents for my expensive taste in steak. HA! My dad has always grilled filets...no other steak...just filets, hence why it's the only kind I like I guess. They're not the most naturally flavorful steak, so I always marinate mine in Dale's seasoning...or Moore's..same thing. I love the flavor of Dale's on steaks, chicken, veggies, etc. Another thing my dad always did/does. I learned a great trick to cook really good steaks. This is something you can do inside and not have to mess with the grill. I get a stainless steel pan REALLY hot! Put it at almost high heat and sear the steaks for about 3-4 minutes per side. This creates a nice crust on the outside. Then, I transfer the steaks to a preheated 425 degree oven to finish cooking for about 10 minutes...depending on how thick they are. This cooks the steaks to about medium..maybe a little under. That's how I like my steak, but now that I'm pregnant, I'll be cooking mine to probably medium-well...knocking on the door of well done. I would normally hate that and never do it, but I don't want to chance anything so I want the meat to be fully done. However, the steaks turn out tender no matter how you cook them, because they weren't sitting on a grill with the juices dripping down (and I marinate them well)...they sit in their juices in the pan and they always come out so good!! I let them rest for a few minutes before serving so the juices don't all run out when you cut into them. I'll probably do them that way tonight so the poor husband doesn't have to grill in the cold. I can't wait for a good steak and mashed potato dinner tonight! YUM!! I said before I have to be in the mood for meat, but I am definitely almost always in the mood for a filet! :-)

I also need to show off the adorable earrings I got at Christmas Village a couple weeks ago.I love them!! They are little houndstooth elephants. There are 3 separate parts so they move a little bit. I got a new houndstooth scarf too, because my other one was looking a little drab. I was so excited when I found these things. It's not easy to come by cute houndstooth accessories. I'm wearing them with my crimson sweater today. It IS game day after all..even if it is on a Thursday.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday. Friday is almost upon us!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Today is my beautiful mother's birthday!! I have the best mother in the world....but I am biased. My mom is one of my best friends; someone I talk to about everything. I am so thankful for the relationship I have with her. She is such an amazing person and if I can be even half the woman and mother she is, then I will consider myself successful. She is a retired RN, and an amazing one at that. She was wonderful at her job!! It's also nice to have a nurse as a mother...for various reasons. I still go to her medical advice to this day, especially right now. :-)

Here we are on Mother's Day this year.

And I can't forget my dad! His birthday was last month and I completely forgot to blog about it. I could say so much about my dad. He's the hardest-working, most loving father a girl could have. He has worked hard for years to provide for my mom and me and to put me through school and make sure I never went without. I am forever thankful for all he has done and all he still does. I feel so blessed to have them as my parents and to know that my child will have them as grandparents. I am very appreciative of all they have done over the years, and for all they continue to do. I truly thank God for them everyday.

My parents and me.
The two most influential people in my life. I love them dearly!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas at The Puckett Agency

So, you know I've already decorated the house...well I'm still in the process really. We love to decorate at our insurance agency too, but we do keep it minimal! Last year we had only been open for a couple of months by the time Christmas came and we didn't have a lot of people coming in, but I still put up a tree. I got a very inexpensive tree from Target (which, unfortunately, looks inexpensive too, if you know what I mean), some blue and silver ornaments, which goes with the Allstate blue paint on one wall pretty well, and just ran with it. I didn't pay attention when I bought the tree and realized when I got it back to the office that it wasn't prelit! In my opinion, prelit trees are the only way to go...if you're going artificial anyway. After having to string these stupid lights onto the tree (although it isn't huge or anything), I will never get a tree without making sure it's prelit. I took it out of the box yesterday to put it up and the lights were a mess so I had to, yet again, string the lights onto the tree! Thorn in my side!! I finally finished the tree, then realized the extension cord I used last year had magically sprouted legs and walked away, so I got a cheap one from...you guessed it....Target, last night and we are IN business today!

Like I said...it looks pretty cheap. Very sparse and puny looking, but hey, it's just for the office so it'll do. We don't have a whole lot of people come in, especially during the holidays. It does look a LOT better when it's dark and you can see the lights. I'll take another picture this evening before I leave and put it up.

We also have to change out the treats in the candy dishes for the holidays. I mean, it's a must. We usually have those LifeSavers Pep-O-Mints in the dishes, but for the holidays we put out THESE:
Ah yes, those are Hershey's Kisses. But not just ANY Hershey's Kisses. There are some plain chocolate ones, but the special silver and red ones are the CANDY CANE Kisses!! I discovered those bad boys last year. They are slap yo' mama good! But don't go slap yo' mama...that would be quite rude. They taste like white chocolate with tiny bits of peppermint in there! Ohmigoodness! There's really nothing else to say. You've GOT to try them. Until you do, you can ogle over the picture of these! :-)

***OK, I took a picture of the tree in the dark...it looks a little better but makes me think we'll need to get a nicer one next year..this one just looks sad! What do you expect from a $30 tree?!?! HA!***

Monday, November 15, 2010

17 Weeks

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 17 Weeks!!
Size of baby: The Bump says an onion, What To Expect says a sweet potato! I'll go with the latter...it's more tasty and I made sweet potato casserole this weekend! HA! Baby's about 5-5.5 inches long and weighs almost 6 ounces.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I weighed myself this weekend and I think I'm holding steady at about 7...possibly 8 pounds or so. :-)
Maternity Clothes: Maternity pants are pretty much a must now! The couple pairs of regular pants I could wear with a button undone are now too tight and uncomfortable...and I hate the Be Band I have. I'll have to go shopping for more maternity pants soon...like this weekend! Everything else is fine for now.
Gender: We find out next Tuesday, but we're keeping it to ourselves until we tell our family on Thanksgiving! I'll get more into that later. :-) 8 MORE DAYS!!
Movement: I haven't felt any other movement since the other week...unless I did and didn't know it was baby. :)
Food Cravings/Aversions: I'm still real picky about meat. I have to be in the mood for it, otherwise, it kinda grosses me out. I get full fast and feel sick if I eat too much. I finally got my ramen noodles and they were so good. I have also craved Thanksgiving food like once a week for months now. Even though Thanksgiving is next Thursday, I decided I wanted it and I made my Nana's chicken & dressing the other night. It wasn't as good as hers, but it was pretty good. I also made sweet potato casserole, as I stated above, green beans, and had tons of cranberry sauce with it all. (That's my favorite part..aside from the dressing!) Seriously, if there's not cranberry sauce, I won't even eat the dressing. It's of vital importance. ;)
What I miss: Not gagging all the time....being able to sneeze without it causing pain. It stretches the ligaments and is quite painful for a second or two. This also happens when I move too quickly.
Sleep: I've got myself almost trained to sleep only on my side. Sometimes this gets uncomfortable and I'll lay on my back for a short time, then roll back over to my side.
Symptoms: Slight fatigue, slight nausea and sickness from time to time (still), a few cravings and aversions, and nasal congestion.
Best Moment this week: I was laying in bed last week and rubbed my hand over my belly. It was the first time I realized I had a bump that didn't go down when I laid down. I know it had been there for a couple weeks or so, but it was the first time I had really noticed it wasn't flat anymore. That doesn't sound like much, but it was exciting to me. Can't wait to see it get bigger and bigger. :-)

I hope y'all had a great weekend. Have a wonderful week!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This Post Has No Point

I just really wanted to test out my new blog app. :-) Happy Hump Day!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas (At The Puckett House)

Yep. That's right. Christmas decorating is under way at the Puckett's. I'm sure some of you think I'm crazy, and you're right. I am definitely crazy. I just could not wait any more! I love Christmas and I love my house during Christmas. It makes me happy. I'm not trying to skip Thanksgiving...or Veterans Day for that matter. My husband posted on Facebook Sunday that we were putting up decorations, and he asked if it was too early? (not that it matters b/c it's happening!) One comment said that it was definitely too early and we should show some respect for Veterans Day and soldiers and not turn the lights on until Friday. (because that makes it better? Not turning the lights on?) I am a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they have the freedom to express it....thanks to our soldiers by the way! But I can't wrap my head around how it could possibly be disrespectful to veterans to decorate for Christmas?! As someone stated about that comment...if it weren't for them we wouldn't have holidays to celebrate and decorate for! Just because you decide to put up your decor early does not mean you are completely forgetting or disrespecting Veterans Day. I am very thankful and appreciative to veterans. Both of my grandfathers served their country with honor and I know many people who have served, and several who are serving right now. I'll look at my house all warm and inviting and think of a soldier every time, thanking them that I have the freedom TO decorate and TO celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, etc. OK, that's enough of that. I really don't like getting into things like that, but that comment really rubbed me the wrong way and I felt the need to speak my piece. Now back to the point of the post!

I wanted to share a couple of pictures of the tree. The mantle is almost done, but I still need a couple more things, so I won't post a picture of that until it's complete. I still don't have a bow topper for the tree, but am toying with the idea of doing something different at the top, instead of a bow. I'll do that tonight and hopefully it will be complete tomorrow! I put a lot of thought into my decorations, obviously. It's the perfectionist in me. (That doesn't mean things are perfect by any means!!!) :)

I LOVE my tree this year! When we first got married, which was 12/09/06 (1 month til the 4th anniversary!), we weren't home for long before Christmas so we threw a tree up with some cheap ornaments, mostly reds, silvers, and golds, and we pretty much just kept that for the last few years. We got a better tree a couple of years ago.....a 9 foot slim one because our other one was big and didn't fit anywhere except the office (or the soon to be baby's room now) and I didn't want my tree hidden in the office where no one would see it. I just didn't want to go out and get all new decorations so we just kept them even though I hated them. I knew what kind of look I wanted though. Well, like I mentioned last week, my mom knew what I wanted after listening to my ideas and everything you see on this tree (and under it) was my Christmas present from my parents last year! I just have to get the top finished! :-)

Here's a close-up.

Once we got the slim tree, we started putting it in our dining room. It's a great fit and you see it when you enter the house. The theme of the tree matches wonderfully with the decor in our dining room also! I'll post more pictures as I finish other areas of the house. I can't wait to see all of your Christmas decorations too!!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 08, 2010

16 Weeks

This outfit(which is the maternity dress from ON I bought a couple weeks ago and explains why it's huge on me...don't judge me, it's comfy and cute and I wanted to test it out! :) ) doesn't really lend itself to a bump shot. I had to move the scarf and hold it with my arm as I'm taking the picture...yeah, not a good choice for a photo. My little bump is slightly bigger today, but not quite as big as the loose fitting dress makes it out to be.

Pregnancy Highlights:

How Far Along: 16 Weeks! What?!?
Size of baby: Avocado (About 4.6 in. long and weighs almost 4 oz.)
Total Weight Gain/Loss: I think I've gained about 6-7 pounds....I'm bad about weighing myself! :-)
Maternity Clothes: I'm wearing the few pairs of maternity pants I have as much as possible. They are so comfortable. Dresses and shirts are fine, but I'm about to have to make the full transition to maternity pants...most of my regular pants just don't cut it anymore. Or actually they do cut....INTO my belly! HA! It's all about comfort at this point!
Gender: We find out in 15 days! SO excited!!
Movement: I swore I felt the smallest flutter last week while I was sitting at my desk eating lunch. I haven't felt anything since then....not that I've noticed anyway. I can't wait to feel some more movement!!
Food Cravings/Aversions: I still get full really quickly and am not into meat most of the time. I have been wanting some Ramen noodles for weeks now! HA! I keep forgetting them each week at the store, but I will definitely be getting some this week. Love me some Ramen noodles, but I haven't actually wanted some in a LONG time! :)
What I miss: Well, I gave in and got myself a white chocolate peppermint mocha this morning....DECAF of course!! :) It. Was...Awesome! It is becoming a little uncomfortable to sleep on my back, which bums me out! The last few nights I haven't woken up on my back much at all, which is a good thing. I need to get in the habit of sticking to my side from now on anyway.
Sleep: Sleeping pretty good, but I've still been tossing and turning a little, especially since I'm no longer liking sleeping on my back much.
Symptoms: Fatigue, slight nausea and sickness from time to time, and nasal congestion. And can I just say how tired I am of gagging all the time?!?! I had no idea a pregnant woman gagged so much! For instance, brushing my teeth is one of my least favorite things to do right now, because I can't do it without gagging(which occasionally induces sickness)...especially when I brush my tongue! It also happens at the most inopportune times! In the car, at my desk, shopping, watching TV (I can't watch most food commercials...especially the McRib. (disgusting by the way...why would they bring that nastiness back!?!?) OK, that's enough talk of gagging...just be warned for the future, ladies! :)
Best Moment this week: Possibly feeling a small flutter a few days ago..can't wait for more! Saturday we went to Christmas Village with our moms. It was so much fun! There were so many people there, but it honestly wasn't as bad as I had expected. We went when they opened (10) and stayed until about 2. We got a few baby things (a couple for each gender since we don't know what we're having yet). We just couldn't pass up some of the cute things. We can use them as gifts for other babies if we don't need them. We also met with a lady who makes customized bedding. I am really excited about possibly meeting with her in several weeks to get the bedding designed! I also got a pretty monogrammed stone trivet and a mini easel stand for it to go in our kitchen. I just love home decor! :) We all had a great time...even Joseph enjoyed it (mostly 'cause he got some fudge, HA!). I was absolutely wiped out afterward though. I mean, beyond exhausted! We went to bed around 9:30 Saturday night and I honestly could've gone to bed at about 6:30. I can't wait to go to CottonTails in March (if I can get around by then) and get baby lots of cute things!!
We also got our Christmas tree up (whoop whoop) and all it lacks is the big bow topper that I will hopefully get made at Hobby Lobby today with some leftover ribbon I have....I'm not good at all at making bows! :) I did hang our stockings up too, but still need a couple of things to finish the mantle up. I'll post pictures soon, of the tree at least. We also put a lot of stuff in the attic and got the baby's room completely cleaned out and ready for baby stuff!!! YAY!! Can't wait to turn it into a sweet nursery.

Have a great week!!!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Can I Decorate Yet?!?!?!

So, it's no big secret that I love Christmas! I mean, I L.O.V.E. CHRISTMAS!!!! It's been my favorite holiday since I can remember. I love everything about Christmas...the weather, the music, the movies on TV, the food, the decorations that make your home feel so warm and inviting, and the wonderful time with friends and family and the memories made. Every year, I start itching to decorate a little earlier than the year before. This year, it is taking literally every ounce of will power I have to not have my decorations up now! I don't know why the "itch" is so bad this year. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have a few new things this year and I'm anxious to get them up and enjoy them. For instance, last Christmas my mom got us all new ornaments and accessories for our tree. Thank you mom!!!! I mean, she got it ALL! I mentioned to her that I wanted to redo the tree with browns, golds, and bronzes. Well, she got just about everything Belk had in their "Aspen" collection, which is just what I was picturing. I have more ornaments than I can count, ribbons, branches to stick out of the tree, etc. I am SO excited to give our tree an overhaul with the new things! The past few years I've been putting a lot of reds and silvers on it, which I like but I really love the look of the browns together. Our tree also goes in our dining room, which has those same tones in it so this will look much more cohesive. I AM all about cohesiveness, after all. I wish I had a picture of the collection, but I will definitely be putting up pictures after the house is decorated this weekend, I MEAN....in a few weeks!! ;) Our house isn't the most Christmas decoration-friendly house. It doesn't have those awesome little nooks and spaces you can put cute little things. It doesn't have a beautiful banister that is perfect for pretty lit garland. It doesn't have a space for a huge real tree that makes your house smell like Christmas (although it might if we mounted our TV over the fireplace, but we thought about it and I didn't like the way it looked). I usually do the tree, a centerpiece on the dining table and kitchen table, put out some cute things in the kitchen, decorate the mantle and maybe a couple of other tables with some greenery or something. We also usually put lights on the bushes outside, a small wreath on each window, our nice one on the door, and a small potted lit tree outside the front door. I'd like to decorate the roof-line and possibly the border of the front door in lights this year....if I can talk the hubby into doing it. ;-) We'll see about that one.

Another thing I am really excited about is our new stockings! I liked our old stockings but they are very traditional and I wanted something a little more modern and fun for the mantle. Here are the new stockings:
I got them from Ballard Designs. This of course is the picture from their website. I've gotten two so far, and will go back and get a third once we find out what we're having and decide 100% on a name. I got ours monogrammed, which is free, and I want the baby's to match the color and font exactly. I also got one for the dogs to share:
I love the red and green along with the little leopard print at the top. It's more of an apple red and a not quite lime green. I really like that combo and I think it can be fun and elegant if done appropriately. It will all be pretty simple. I plan to get some simple green garland (the kind I have now wouldn't go with this decor at all), prelit, of course, and preferably battery operated to avoid the unsightly cord (WHICH we have now!) and tuck red and green ball ornaments all along it. Then on either side of the mirror above the mantle, I want to put a couple of simple red cone trees. You wouldn't believe how hard these are to find, but I'm determined that I will somewhere!! I've thought about possibly making some myself with some materials from Hobby Lobby. I'm usually a firm believer in the philosophy that less is more...except for things like money of course! HA! ;-) So, I plan on keeping it pretty simple and letting each little accessory speak for itself and they'll all come together to make a really nice Christmas mantle. Our mantle is the focal point of our living room(aside from the big TV in the corner beside it) so I'm really excited about how it will look.

I can't wait to get started...and yes, I will possibly get started this weekend. I'm just not sure how many more ounces of will power I have left!! I will post pictures when it's all said and done, and I hope you do too!! I love to see everyone's home at Christmas!

I hope you're all having a great week...Hump Day is almost over and Friday will be here before we know it! We're going to Christmas Village on Saturday with the parents and I can't wait. They have lots of vendors there and it's a great place to get gifts, decor, and pretty much everything else. I haven't been before, so I'll tell you all about it afterward. I mentioned that I love Christmas, right? ;)