Monday, December 17, 2012


On Friday, Ray, Emmett and I taking our first family trip to Georgia to celebrate Christmas with my family there (woohooooo!), so we had an early Christmas with Ray's side of the family this weekend. I had so much fun opening presents with Emmett for the first time, even though he just wanted to eat all of them. His grandparents spoiled him of course, but his favorite gift was the wrapping paper. :)

Hangin out in his new BabyBjorn! 

After we opened presents, Santa made an appearance!

Isn't this the cutest hat you've ever seen?

So far so good...

Have I mentioned I'm so excited for Emmett's first Christmas??

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Emmett's First Christmas Tree!

This past weekend, we picked up our Christmas tree! This is an outing I look forward to all year, although buying a Christmas tree in Arizona is a VERY different experience than what I'm used to in Georgia. Back home my family goes to this beautiful tree farm in the middle of nowhere, where they drink hot apple cider, take hay rides, and choose the perfect tree to be plucked out of the ground and tied to the top of their car. Doesn't that sound dreamy? In Arizona, we go to Costco... Where we pick up a hotdog or a slice of pizza, drink a Coca Cola, and choose the perfect tree from the back of a semi parked on the side of the building. Then we struggle for an hour to tie the chosen one to the top of our car (in 80 degree heat!). It's different for sure, but it's still fun and I've learned to love it just the same.

Of course this year is even more special, since this is Emmett's first tree! Everything about the holidays is better this year. It's so much fun to carry out our family traditions now that we have a little family of our own.

There are so many things I love about Christmas trees- the smell of pine filling my home, the soft twinkle lights sparkling in the other room as we prepare dinner or bathe the baby, but the thing I love most is decorating the tree. I'm just a tiiiiiiiny bit obsessed with Christmas ornaments, so unpacking all of my favorites is like.. well, it's like Christmas!!

I'm making an effort to take tons of pictures of all of our "firsts" with Emmett, for posterity's sake, as well as for your viewing pleasure. :)

Yes, that's a Jiffy Lube in the background...

Baby Emmett was mesmerized watching Daddy put up lights.

Emmett "helping".

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments!

My sweet friend Bridget made this for Ray and I- she cut up our wedding invitation and twirled the
pieces inside an ornament. Such a sweet gift!

Aren't these guys so cute? My grandmother gave them to us when we were engaged. :)

A souvenir from our honeymoon.

And a souvenir from when I lived in London. 
Merry Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

5 Months!

My baby is 5 months old. 5 MONTHS! He's getting so big, and he seriously get's cuter every day. Every new thing he does is so funny and exciting, and Ray and I are having so much fun with him.

I used to tell Ray that I wished Emmett was a "forever baby". When he was little tiny it was hard for me to imagine him getting bigger, and I wanted him to stay tiny and snuggly forever. But now, I have to admit, he gets better every day!

He has become super interested in everything that Ray and I do- he loves to watch us talk, eat, cook, whatever. He laughs and laughs at us and our hearts break at how cute he is. It's pretty great.

My new favorite thing he does- every morning when we are waking up I bring him into bed with me and he lays there and "touches" my face. I say "touches" in quotes because he's mostly scratching and grabbing and pulling my hair, but it's the absolute sweetest part of my day. He is all boy- wild and a little violent (in that baby boy way) and stinky and so silly.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I can't wait until he is sitting up, and then crawling all over the house, and then walking and talking one day. Gah!

Here are a few pics, so you can watch him grow. :)

(Go Dawgs!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Christmas gifts for everyone on your list

I LOVE giving Christmas gifts. I love everything about it- I spend weeks searching for the perfect gift for everyone on my list, and once I find them, I spend hours wrapping them. My dad is a gift-wrapping expert- he spends practically every extra minute over the weeks leading up to Christmas posted at our dining room table, with scissors in one hand and Scotch tape in the other. I learned from the best, and wrapping presents is definitely one of my favorite parts of Christmas!

I've been scouring the internet for great gift ideas (who has time to actually GO shopping??), and I've come across some pretty awesome gifts, so I wanted to share a few of my favorites here. Happy shopping!

Christmas 2012 Gift Guide
1. This would make a really great stocking stuffer for that friend (or spouse) who always seems to lose track of their car keys!

2. Another stocking stuffer, for pretty much everyone on your list. I can think of about 3,000 ways this might come in handy, and at only $9.99 for a 10-pack, you can afford to buy one for everyone!
3. For the world traveler on your list, these packing cubes are a must-give! Super useful, and come in a ton of colors.
Luggage Packing Cubes $17.49 for a 3-pack

4. One more stocking stuffer, perfect for every man on your list. This tiny tool includes a small flat screwdriver, medium flat screwdriver, cross screwdriver, pry bar, wire stripper, lanyard hole, and bottle opener. Not bad for only $6.99!
Keychain Multi Tool $6.99

5. For the coffee drinker in your life, this beautiful glass coffee maker will look good on your counter while it makes the perfect cup of joe. Comes in 3, 6, 8 and 10-cup sizes.
Glass Coffee Maker $34.95 - $42.95

6. For the lover of fine whiskey, who also loves tradition (with a twist!).
Whiskey Advent Calendar $241.34

7. These next two are perfect for the newly married couple on your list.
Mr. & Mrs. Cocktail Glasses $18 

8. Doesn't this look cozy? It makes me want to sleep under the stars (maybe with that Whiskey Advent Calendar in tow?)
Double Sleeping Bag $119.93 (on sale!)

9. For the amateur chef. Given only on the condition that there will be many delicious meals made for you in the future. ;)
Windowsill Herb Garden $37.95

10. For baby's first Christmas! Isn't this the sweetest?? I want one for Emmett so bad. Find coupons here!
Mini Book of Names & Faces $29.99

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My 10 Must-Haves For A Newborn

Newborn Necessities!

Before Emmett was born, I scoured the internet for lists of products that people actually used with their brand new babies. There are a million things out there that people tell you to buy, but I wanted to know what we would actually need.

I got a lot of good input from friends, and found a few good lists on the mom blogs (here , here and here). Because I found these lists so helpful, I wanted to (FINALLY) post a list of my own. So, here are all of the baby products that I have used and loved (in no particular order):

1. Madela Breast Pump: I had to go back to work pretty quickly after Emmett was born, so this double-pump has been our most important and necessary baby buy. I hated pumping at first. Like, really hated. But I was determined to continue nursing after going back to work so I stuck with it, and it definitely got easier. Of course I still don't love it (does anyone LOVE pumping??), but this pump is super easy to use and comes with all kinds of helpful accessories.

2. Boppy Infant Lounger: This thing is a lifesaver when your baby is brand new. It's basically a take-anywhere bed, and Emmett LOVED his. It's contoured and sized to fit newborns, so baby feels snuggled and comfortable. We used it in every room in our house. We even took it with us on a vacation when Emmett was three weeks old to use as his bed instead of bringing a huge pack & play or bassinet. Did I say lifesaver?

3. White Noise Machine: We took this cute little guy with us everywhere we went when Emmett was little tiny. He was able to sleep in loud restaurants as well as quiet rooms, as long as we turned on some white noise. Now that he's a bit older (and sleeps lighter!) we have retired the sheep for an app on our Kindle Fire (there are lots to choose from) since it has so many options and a much louder volume. Every night (and at nap times) we turn on his white noise as part of our bedtime routine, and it really helps him to settle down and get ready for bed. It's also great for diffusing noise when we have friends over in the evenings!

4. Baby ESP app: This app was such a huge help to me in the first couple weeks after having Emmett. It's available for Android phones, but we used it on our Kindle Fire. This app is a tool for keeping track of baby's feedings, diapers, naps, and everything else you could think of that you might need to remember. This was so important for me since as a new mom, your brain is hardly functioning in the first place, and then there's that pesky sleep deprivation...

5. Swaddle Blankets: We heard about these swaddlers from aden + anais from all of our friends with little ones. They are the perfect swaddle blanket- light, soft, big, and so so cute. They come in all kinds of patterns and colors, each one cuter than the last. I really can't say enough good things about these blankets. They are a must have. Tons of our friends swear by the Miracle Blanket, but we never got around to trying it. Next time!

6. Nipple cream: People tried to warn me that breastfeeding hurts when you're first starting out. I remember this clearly, but I didn't really understand until I started nursing. It hurts. It hurts a lot at first. Imagine the worst chaffing you've ever experienced times a hundred, and then add 1,000 tiny needles sticking into your nipples. It's that bad. So this nipple cream was a huge huge help for me. It helped relieve just a little bit of the pain between feedings, and is totally safe for baby.

7. Bathtub: We started out with the Puj Tub, which came highly recommended, but it just didn't work for us because it didn't fit in any of our sinks. Bummer. So we struggled and struggled with bathing Emmett in our sinks, or I would get in the bath with him each night. Finally my mother-in-law bought us this tub, which is simple and inexpensive and we absolutely love it.

8. Soothies Pacifiers: I was a little nervous to give Emmett a pacifier, because I didn't want to create an attachment that I would eventually have to wean him off of, but I'm so glad I did. A friend bought him a Wubbanub, which is so adorable and Emmett still loves his monkey so much. The last couple weeks it has become his favorite "toy" to play with.

9. Wipes Warmer: We LOVE our wipes warmer. Emmett has always been super sensitive to cold temps (definitely an Arizona baby!), so cold baby wipes would immediately start him shivering and sneezing when he was little tiny. So sad! We've used this wipes warmer since he was a couple of days old, and I can't imagine life without it. Besides warming Emmett's baby wipes, it also has a night-light that I find super helpful for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. It's bright enough that I don't have to turn on the overhead light in his room and wake him up any more than I have to. 

10. Bottle Cleaning Brush: This is probably an obvious one, but we went without it for months, so now that we have one I can't believe I ever lived without it. Since I work outside of the home 40 hours a week, Emmett takes most of his meals during the week from a bottle. So, I spend a LOT of time cleaning bottles. This is a must-have!

I hope this is helpful! If you have any must-have's that I didn't mention, please let me know in the comment box below. I'm always on the look-out for products to make our chaotic life a little easier!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Quick Post- Georgia!

It has been.. way too long.  I need to write more, so I thought I would write a quick post to gain momentum..

My boy is growing up so fast- he's rolling over all day long, talking non stop and we are having so much fun watching him learn! He's really pretty awesome.

I took Emmett home to Georgia last month to meet the family finally, so I wanted to share some photos from the trip! Enjoy!

The family was enthralled!

One of my favorite pictures ever. Sorry mom!

Emmett sayin hi to Uncle Luke!

And Uncle Ryan!

And checkin out Uncle D.

Reppin the Bulldawgs!

I came outside to find this happening. So cute.

Uncle Sean.

This is probably, okay definitely, my favorite picture ever. All my favorite things- Emmett, siblings, and bean dip...

Uncle Micah is the best. He let Emmett chew on his finger from across the table for like, 10 minutes.

And then again later. Uncles are THE BEST.

Emmett and his cute cousins! Atlas, Abel, and Aidan.

And here's one from Thanksgiving yesterday. :)

That's it for now, but I'm gonna try (!) to post again soon.

P.S. Check out my fall styleboards over at Pepper Design Blog!


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