Friday, October 24, 2014

Five on Friday: 2!

Tomorrow at 6:33 PM, we will officially have a TWO year old!

That squishy little face has been with us for two years now! How that happened, I don't really know, but I sure do know they have been the two best years of our lives. 

To celebrate her birthday and in the Five on Friday spirit, here are five of my favorite pictures of my girl from the past year....

1. 15 Months...

2. 16 Months

3. 18 Months

4. 20 Months

5. 22 Months

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day Trip to the Mountains

Pretty much since we've moved to NC, we have been talking about doing a fall day trip to Western NC to see the leaves and the mountains. We did Asheville in November back in 2011, but the leaves were long gone at that point. This past Saturday, we made it happen and we took our first true day trip with M to Blowing Rock for the day! I found a dear friend to help us with our dogs for the day, and then we packed up the car and were out the door before 9am (that's no small feat for us!). 

I got a ton of recommendations on places to visit from my friend Katie who went to college near here, and we had a great fall day! I think the high in Blowing Rock was 50 on Saturday...perfect hiking weather.

When we got to Blowing Rock, we went straight to Julian Price Memorial Park for an easy hike. I would highly suggest this hike for those with little ones. Not too tough, but great scenery!

We took the trail for 1.5 miles and then cut down a steep hill to Hebron Rock Colony (Thanks for the suggestion Katie!). It was a beautiful spot to stop and just take in nature! The trail we took followed a river and when you get here, the river hits a large field of boulders. 

We stopped and took some pictures and had some snacks and let M down from her backpack to stretch her legs. She ran around like a wild child!

When we told M it was time to pack up and hike back so we could go to lunch, she plopped herself down and rolled around on the rocks for a good ten minutes. reasonable.

We eventually made it back and we played a little more at the picnic area by our cars before heading to lunch.

We went to lunch at Woodlands BBQ (yum!) and then headed into town for a bit. We played at the park in the middle of town for a long time. It was well past nap time for M at this point, but we all just went with it and let her burn off nervous energy. She really was a trooper considering this was all so out of the norm from her normal day!

We were going to stop at the Blowing Rock Ale House before calling it a day, but with a long wait and a no nap toddler, we decided it was time to head back to Charlotte. Maybe next time!

All in all, a very fun day! Doing a day trip that included a hike in the woods (ie, no potties) with a potty trained toddler made things a little interesting, but we made do! Already looking forward to another trip back!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five on Friday

I haven't linked up to the 5 on Friday link up since the girls started it again this fall. Today seems like a great day to get back in the swing of things!

1. Fancy Nancy! Back when I was teaching, these books were quite popular among the younger kids at my school. My fourth graders weren't reading them, but at my school at the beach we actually had a kindergarten teacher who had a "Fancy Nancy Day" where all the kids had to get super dressed up and they had a fancy tea party and used their nicest manners and british accents for the day. I thought the books might be a bit too "old" for M, but she saw them on an end cap at the library recently and we had to bring a few home. She is now Fancy Nancy's biggest fan! They're longer books for a two year old, but she'll sit and listen contently to the whole story. Also, I think they're kinda cute and funny!

2. Front door makeover! I posted this on IG this past weekend....

I've decided on a color (I'll share soon), and I am hoping to getting around to painting this weekend. Yesterday I started a makeover on the hardware. I was originally going to buy new door handles and locks and a new door knocker (still replacing this since the current one has the former residents last name on it...still...oops!), but after seeing the $134 pricetag at Lowe's for a new handle and lock, I went to Young House Love to see if there was a cheaper way to tackle this, and sure enough I found a great post full of details on how paint your door's hardware. 

Yesterday during nap time I deglossed and spray painted the pieces. Can't wait for this whole project to come together!

3. M is still rocking her flower girl dress almost daily. I actually had to hide it in the back of her closet since she wants to wear it EVERYWHERE. At this point she may be wearing it for Halloween since she absolutely hates the costume I bought for her. Here she is playing with her babies in it. Girl is crazy.

4. Pumpkin Spice Trail Mix from Target. I know, I know. Like every other girl out there, I too love the pumpkin spice craziness. This is my favorite nap time snack right now!

5. Ponytails and green smoothies. These two items would top M's list of favorites for the week. How she drinks it through a straw and still gets the smoothie all over her face, I'll never know!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thoughts on having an almost two year old...

In 10 days, I will have a two year old. On the one hand, I'm a little sad because she's growing up and no longer my little baby, and blah blah blah, but on the other hand, I think it's so much fun to see her at this new stage where we can interact and have conversations and laugh and play with one another. Last year at this time, I was a weepy mess just thinking about her upcoming birthday because it really felt like the end of her babyhood, but now it just feels like we're on the verge of something great. 

If only I could tell you how many times a day I hear, "Mommy play with you!" when she wants my undivided attention down on the floor with her as she plays with her toys. Sometimes I wish she was more of an independent player, but other times I love that she wants her mom or dad right there with her, because I know it won't always be that way.

When I was extremely pregnant two years ago at this time, I don't think I ever really envisioned our days with a toddler. With a kid. All we really focused on was the baby. Baby clothes, baby gear, baby sleep, breastfeeding, burp cloths, etc. But now, that all seems so far in the past. Now my days are full of learning, talking, jumping, running, melt downs and tantrums, singing and belly laughs. Things that didn't even occur to me two years ago. I don't think I had any idea just how great it was going to get - and that is coming from someone who absolutely loved the newborn days (I know, I'm a rare breed). I have loved every step of this parenting thing, despite the bad days, and to see her thriving and loving life as an almost two year old, makes me love life just a little bit more.  

10 more days, little one! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Two Weddings and One Flower Girl

We spent the last week of September and the first week of October up in Virginia visiting with family, and celebrating at two weddings! Our first weekend there my cousin Kelly got married, and the following weekend J's older sister got married. I think it's safe to say that M loves weddings now that she knows they involve dancing and lots of cake!

My cousin Kelly got married in a field in King George, VA. Very simple, so much fun! She had gorgeous weather for her outdoor wedding and reception!

Before the fun started, we let M walk around with her baby doll stroller to stay busy. 

My sister, Me, Kelly, and my brother

Like I said above....homegirl thinks weddings (or parties as she calls them now) are the greatest way to spend a sunny afternoon!

Fast forward to the next weekend...

At my SIL's wedding, she was a flower girl with her big cousin. I was so worried with how she'd do at the ceremony (especially since the ceremony was at 2 and she usually goes down for her nap between 1-1:30), but she walked right down the aisle with her cousin and did great! My parents were kind enough to take her out of the sanctuary during the service since quiet is not really in her vocabulary at this age! I can't wait to see the photographers pictures of her at the church!

I think she probably ate 6 dozen grapes dipped in whipped cream at the reception...

Family photo...

By 6pm, this girl was D-O-N-E!

Before we called it a night, we all went inside J's parents home (the reception was in their backyard) and we chatted and had fun with his family and cousins who were all in town for the big day. His cousin Sam sat down the piano and started playing "Let It Go" and "Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" and we had a little sing along.

But as you can see....someone was flat out exhausted by this point. You can tell she is ready for bed when she takes her lovey and rubs the tag in her ear. you like all of the sticker "art"? 

It was so fun seeing so much family in such a short period of time. We loved catching up and getting to hang out with so many loved ones while in Virginia!