Saturday, December 20, 2014

Emery Kate: 18 Months

18 MONTHS...where does the time go? I feel like I have blinked (which I need to stop doing) and you are now a toddler and every day a little less of my bitty baby. I love to see you grow, change and learn something new daily. Before you, I would hear parents say that they learn something new everyday and I thought to myself, yeah right.  But, it is true - whether it is a new word, comprehension of what I am saying to you, learning to follow a new direction or trying a new skill. It really is incredible to watch you grow.

You are a petite little thing weighing in at all of 20-21 pounds. The doctor told me at your 18 months check-up that you could now face forward in the carseat (which we won't be doing until 2 since you are still content riding rear-facing.

You are a happy, sweet and loving little girl. You still love to rub your hands through my hair when we actually get to relax - mostly right before bed while we are reading our nightly 3-4 books of your choosing - or when I am carrying you. Your hugs are the best. You really squeeze with everything that you have in you. You also say, "I love you." When you first started using those three little words, I'm pretty sure that I melted. BEST WORDS EVER!

You haven't met a stranger and talk to everyone when we run errands which always makes them take longer than planned. You are a total "cheeser" and will oblige me and let me take your picture on most days if I can get you to be still. You will only give me about a 3 second opportunity so I have one chance.

You are constantly on the go...motion, motion, motion is all that I can say. You love to run (and I love to see you run) with hands out behind you and face pushed forward to help you get that extra speed. Your newest skill taught to you by papa (or as you have recently changed his name out of nowhere...Pop) is jumping. You will say jump and then jump for your little audience. I have to say that you are getting quite good at it and feet are starting to come fully off the ground. Maybe we have a little athlete on our hands?

You have recently been using furniture to hid behind and our coffee, console, dining and serving tables to crawl through like a jungle gym. This was taught to you by our friends 3 year old boy. He also taught you chase which was so cute. He would chase you from one end of the house to the other and then you would chase him. I mean, seriously, it was adorable!

You are also a huge talker with a large vocabulary which I attribute to your extreme love of books (and our constant conversations). You are excellent at communicating your needs and telling us exactly what you what. You can now speak in 4-5 words sentences and love to ask questions - Where did ______ (Nana and Pop, Gammie, baby and cup are just some examples of words you fill in here) go? For this specific question, you usually answer it yourself with a response like "She went home."

You are also in the process of learning your numbers (mainly focusing on 1-5) and holding up the corresponding number of fingers. You try to count everything. Right now, you love to either say 1, 2...4 or 1, 2...5. The number 3 doesn't even exist to you. You won't even repeat it. I have even tried by having you repeat tree (which you can say), then I will immediately say three and wait for it.....NOTHING.

I believe that you are ready to be potty-trained because you have begun to come tell us when you have gone to the bathroom in your diaper. or tell us as soon as we walk into your room in the morning. You are also noticing the toilet and I have even sat you on it a few times and have acted like you were actually trying to go. So after the holidays, I think we will give it a go even though I was originally going to wait until 22 months.

You also love to sing. If we ask you to sing for us, you will hum your own song or you will sing a nursery rhyme (though it is pieces of it). You also love to do "This Little Piggy" to mommy and daddy's toes with your favorite part to say being "wee, wee, wee all the way home." This was easy for you pick up since this is how I have been washing your toes since before you could speak. The other day, you started shouting "Let it go, let it go" from Frozen over and over. You have only seen parts of the movie once but we do listen to Disney music channel on Pandora. However, I'm pretty sure your cousin, Margaret (5 years old), taught you this one.

You are strong-willed (and I have no idea where you got that from - okay, I do). It was inevitably that you would be strong-willed with your nana (my mom), daddy and myself adding to your genes pool. Your will rivals and could win against most adults and honestly, I love this about you even though it can be challenging at times. It is a trait that will serve you well over your life.

The favorites list:
Favorite Foods - Italian food, Chicken, Pancakes, All Fruit, Cheese, Pickles and Cookies (which you have been getting every once in awhile because of the holidays)

Favorite Toys - All babies, books and your drum

Favorite Books - Where the Wild Things Are, Olivia, Goodnight Moon (I think because she can actually help tell the story for this one because she has heard it so many times), all books in the Madeline series, animal books (the ones where it has animals grouped by page and they point and say their names/sounds for the animal)

Favorite Things: Chapstick, Balloons, Coloring/Crayons, Wubbanub, Shoes and Socks.

Favorite Person - Daddy. You are a total daddy's girl. You are attached to him constantly and cry when he leaves - whether it is the room and he didn't take you with him or the house. You have him wrapped around your little finger.


The thing that I have missed most while taking a break from blogging is having the monthly updates on my sweet baby girl so that I can look back on her milestones. Updates on her and baby #2 will be a top blog priority going forward. I write them for me!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five On Friday: A (P)inspired Thanksgiving Tablescape

This year, we are hosting Thanksgiving at our house for John's side of the family. So naturally, I did what you would expect....I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. After lots of browsing and pinning to my Thanksgiving board, here are the images that are inspiring our Thanksgiving tablescape.

1. Neutral Linen Tablecloth


2. Wooden Box Centerpiece


3. Mixed Blue and White China


4. Monogrammed Cloth Napkins


5. String of Blessings


I can't wait to see how this all comes together (and of course spend time with family)!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pregnancy Journal: Week 20

How Far Along? 20 weeks, halfway to being a mommy of TWO!

Gender: Don't know! We will find out the gender on his/her Birth Day. 

Weight Gain: Up seven pounds according to the doctor's scale. I'm pretty sure I was about half of that at this point with Emery. The pounds with this baby look different and come on quicker being the second time around. My doctor in Tulsa would have freaked out about my weight being up 7 pounds (she is known for being very strict on weight) and probably would have asked if I ate ice cream and drank whole milk all day. My doctor in Atlanta thinks it's normal....

Maternity Clothes: Mostly still non-maternity clothes, but my skinny jeans are starting to get a LITTLE uncomfortable by the end of the day and I'm REALLY enjoying my Belly Bandit maternity leggings.

Nursery: Currently, it is still a second guest bedroom and will remain that way for awhile. We have some decisions to make as to whether a new crib needs to be purchased/borrowed or move Emery to a toddler bed with rails. We are leaning towards the toddler bed, but she just seems so little for a big girl bed. Tear... 

Movement: Yes and lots of it. I have had a few times that I didn't notice the baby was kicking (because I have a toddler to chase and keep me occupied) until I felt a little twinge of pain. This baby kicks hard already. 

Symptoms: Besides this growing belly, I don't have many other symptoms. Second trimester is where it is at when pregnant - exhaustion (for the most part) has passed, energy returns and morning sickness is a thing of the past except for the occasional return every couple of weeks. 

Sleep: Ugh, the truth is that as soon as I become pregnant, sleep goes out the window. I become an extra early riser - think 4am vs 7am, my back aches throughout the night and I just can't seem to get comfortable. I have a pregnancy maternity pillow that does help. 

Cravings: None really to speak of. I eat of lot of fruit, but that isn't different from my non-pregnant food habits.

What I Miss: Sushi and a cold deli sandwich, specifically turkey (same as last time) Ha, so predictable. 

Best Moment This Week: Seeing our healthy baby on the monitor during the ultrasound. There is nothing better than seeing the baby and imagining all the joy that they will bring to your life. The ultrasounds send reality into high gear. 

During our previous ultrasounds, we had commented that this baby's facial features were different from Emery's and this still seems to be true.   

Looking Forward To: Deciding on a name. However, I know that we probably won't fully commit to a name until the hospital and his/her Birth Day. I have a running list of both boy (4) and girl (20) names  but John hates 99.9% of them. 

As of now (and it will probably stay that way), our boy name will be the same as it would have been if Emery had been a boy. We just love the name. It is part family name. 

As for girl names, this is the hard one as you can tell by my running list of 20 names. Right now, we are leaning towards our other top girl name when we had Emery. We debated her name until it was time to sign the certificate so we could leave the hospital. It also includes a family name for the middle and the nickname of the first is also a family name. 

Whew, why are names so hard?????

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Reason to be Thankful: Family of FOUR

BIG NEWS: We are becoming a family of four in March!

We feel so incredibly excited and blessed to be adding another baby to our family. Emery Kate and Baby K #2 will be 20 months apart and we look forward to this next chapter for our little family. 

I will share more details in the coming days and weeks about our journey with Baby K #2. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Happenings + Two Giveaway Announcements

Let me start by saying that yes, I know it has been FOREVER since I posted. I didn't plan on taking a break, it just sorta happened. But, I'm back and I am ready to start writing about all things related to my little family and life! I have some super important events that deserve their own special posts - Kristin's wedding and Emery's birthday!

So, let's start with five things that we have been up to this summer.

{ ONE }

One, One, One. My baby girl turned ONE! How did this happen? I feel like I blinked and now I have a one year old who talks nonstop and runs lap around me. A year ago, I wouldn't have been able to fully comprehend the amount of love that she would bring to not only John and I, but to our entire family. This little girl makes my heart sing!

There will be more posts to come on my sweet girl turning one!

{ TWO } 

The beach has been our official vacation spot of the summer. Anytime we can get out of Atlanta for a long weekend or a week full of fun, we hit the road for some sand, sun and saltwater. Bonus: Emery loves the beach and isn't afraid to get a little (or a lot) sandy.


Water Time. It's safe to say that we have spent as much time as possible, either near the water, in the water or playing with water.

Pool. We have also spent many a days at the Atlanta Athletic Club. They have an amazing kid's Ah-mazing! And, the water slides are pretty fun too....

This picture doesn't even come close to doing it justice. 

Water Table. Emery got a water table for her first birthday from my sister, Kristin, and her husband, Josh. Most days, it is just best to let her out there in just a diaper to play because she ends up soaked (and I usually do too). Recently, she has been hiking her leg up there to get her foot in the water (that's a major no no). Maybe a baby pool is our next purchase?

Centennial Olympic Park - Fountain of Rings. My sister and her friend, Gwen, made an impromptu visit down to Atlanta and we took Emery to the Fountain of Rings for some water fun. To say she loved it, would be a total understatement. Every couple of hours, they have a water show where the water and the music are timed to each other (much like the Bellagio Fountain in Vegas). Emery couldn't wait for the water show to be over so that she could head back to the water. She was constantly arching her back to try to get down and make a run for it.

If you are visiting Atlanta with children in the summer, I highly recommend a visit to the Fountain of Rings. Plus, it is across the street from the Georgia Aquarium.(also a recommendation).

{ FOUR }

Swim lessons. Because our little fish loves the water so much, I signed her up for swim lessons.  We just completed the 4th class so we are now halfway through. We sing songs while practiicing various swim skills - kicking, reaching and pulling arms, blowing bubbles in the water and floating on her back. She has also been dunked a few times so she could practice holding her breathe under water. Another huge skill that we practice at each lesson is climbing out of pool. It's elbow, elbow, knee, knee for anyone who wants to practice with their child.

Post-lesson snack 
Asleep by the time we got home

{ FIVE }

Aquarium. We purchased annual passes for the Georgia Aquarium. We have only made one visit so far, but plan to go again real soon.

I just love her face!!!!! 

All of these pictures were taken by our friends, Paul and Jenn, who joined us at the aquarium. Next summer, they will have there own little miss that will need a trip to the aquarium. Jenn is due at the beginning of August!  Side note: She also writes a fun blog called!

So, there they are...a few of our summers happenings! 

And lastly, I will be hosting a BEAUTYCOUNTER 
giveaway next week! I know that I  mentioned this before  but it's really happening next week. Please be sure to stop by to enter. In the meantime, check out their website, their products and my friend and BEAUTYCOUNTER consultant, Vironica Dawson.
I will also be hosting a giveaway from Belly Dance Maternity in the coming weeks. I expect all of my newly pregnant mommies to be and readers to stop by to enter!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five On Friday + eShakti Gift Card Winner Announced

{ ONE }

Happy anniversary to my sweet husband! I can't believe that its been three years since I walked down the aisle to marry my perfect match. So much has changed since then - new state, new house and a little girl - and I look forward to all of our adventures to come.

In honor of our three married years, I thought it would be fun to tell you the traits that I hope Emery gets from you (besides those good looks which clearly she has).

Outgoing - Wow. Did I marry that most outgoing person in the whole world? I'm pretty sure that I did and I absolutely love that about you. It was one of the first things that drew me to you. I use to tell everyone just how much fun you were and it all stems from your outgoingness. You are always up for meeting new people and expanding your (and our) friend group. I often think of you as a friend collector, constantly adding to your group of lifelong friends.

Hard-Working/Ambitious - You are one of the hardest working people I know, always with a goal of improving yourself and your position. The internal drive that you have to be successful isn't often found and I appreciate how hard you work for our little family. Without you, I wouldn't be so blessed to spend my days with our little girl.

Loyal - This is my most favorite thing about you. I see how loyal you are to not only your family, but your friends. If are person is your friend, they will be so for life.

{ TWO } 

This past Saturday, John, Kristin (my sis) and I ran the SuperCon 5k Run here in Atlanta. I love a good themed 5k and a reason to look ridiculous and dress up. We were team Spiderman.

Literally, everyone dressed up which was awesome and I am sure the costume competition was stiff.  I would have voted for the Super Mario Carts (not sure if they even entered or finished in time to be part of it as they were walking it), but they had about 8 "carts". I am not totally sure it 100% fit the theme but for creativity and time spent of the costumes, they deserved to win!

Oh, and Emery enjoyed the lap of luxury as she was pushed for the 5k (that little girl's daddy is a stud).


My little girl will be the BIG 01 on June 3! I can't even believe how quickly this time has passed. It feels like just yesterday that we were headed to the hospital after nearly 8 hours of contractions. And now, she will be a year old. Somedays I look at her and she looks more like 2 year toddler than my bitty baby. Anyways, enough about how she has grown up way too fast so onto the birthday party front. 

We are full steam ahead in birthday party planning. The invites went out today and it made it seem so much more real. I want to share the invite, but it would give away the theme! I got the invites from PrettyPaperInk. Jamie, the shop owner, did an awesome job coming up with a custom invite for the party! She actually gave me two versions and I spent about 3 hours going back and forth between the two! I loved them both so much that I almost used both of them - half of the invitees would get one and the other half would get the other! 

Anyways, please check out her shop. This is the second time I have used her for an invite to a party (previously for an gender real party) and I absolutely love her work (not to mention that she is so easy to work with). Here is the invite that we used for my friend Emily's (and Brian's) reveal:

Jamie started her Etsy shop as a way to raise money for the adoption of a child. Well, guess what? She is headed to meet her baby boy towards the end of May/early June (so her shop will be closed so she can soak up all the precious first moments with him)! What a blessing and an exciting time for her! She will continue using her proceeds to help others with their adoption costs.

{ FOUR }

Thank you to everyone who entered the eShakti $25 gift card giveaway. You all continue to make these such a huge success. The two winners of $25 gift cards are....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{ FIVE }

And lastly, I will be hosting a BEAUTYCOUNTER giveaway next week! Please be sure to stop by to enter. In the meantime, check out their website, their products and my friend and BEAUTYCOUNTER consultant, Vironica Dawson.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

eShakti: {Review + Giveaway}

The nice people at eShakti recently contacted me about reviewing one of their custom pieces. Custom, you said? Ummmm, yes please! 

eShakti is an online clothing retailer that specializes in custom clothing for all body shapes and sizes. For each item, you can decide if you want to choose a size based on the measurements listed or input your own measurements. You can also change up the sleeves, the dress length, remove pockets, switch up the neckline......the possibilities are endless.

After browsing their entire site, I knew that I wanted to pick out a dress that I could wear to one of my sister's wedding events. I chose a blue lace dress with black trim. I don't know what it is, but I am drawn to lace....HELLO, my beautiful wedding dress!

Now, it was time to choose a size or add in my measurements. I went with a size because all the measurements seemed to match mine pretty perfectly. Plus, the last time I had my measurements taken professionally was a few months after Emery Kate was born (and I knew those weren't going to be close anymore). Next, I opted to change the length of the dress and make it "above the knee (short girl problems);" although, I almost went with ankle length because I love a good maxi. For the rest of the options, I left them as is because I liked that it was sleeveless and boatneck.

I have now worn this twice - my sister's monograms and mimosas bridal shower and out to dinner with new friends - and received compliments on both occasions. I just love everything about this dress - blue, lace, cocktail length, custom and great quality! eShakti's inventory is constantly changing and my blue lace dress is no longer available. However, here are some of my fave new arrivals:


eShakti has graciously offered to giveaway $25 gift cards to two of my lovely readers. Just enter the rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends on May 16 at 8am. Good Luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This product was given for review for my honest opinion. No other compensation was given.