Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Words cannot express just how joyous and wonderful Christmas 2014 was for our family.
Headed to Mass with my little munchkin
I'm not sure where he learned this, but this is Jax's new fake "smile" (he squints and says "mmm" while he does it--hilariously adorable!)..
It isn't Christmas Eve until Aunt Nancy and I take our annual crown picture!
We took our first ever family picture on Christmas Eve last year so I felt we had to remake it.. it didn't turn out quite the same.
On Christmas Eve (pictured above), I ran around like mad in search of our sold out party crackers/crowns, met my parents at my Aunt Nancy & Uncle Rolf's house, attended mass, awaited Brandon & my brothers post-work arrivals, ate delicious pizza, and opened stockings. It was perfection and reminded me again of why Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the entire year!

Merry Christmas! We're going to the Avs game for our wedding anniversary next weekend!
My husband (the comedian) wrapped my gift in duct tape which took me a good 10 minutes to open.. but it was worth it in the end!
Typical baby--given several beautiful gifts and only wanted to play with the wrapping paper and boxes.
Again with the face (and is it just me or does Jax look a little Bob Hope-ish here?).

On Christmas morning, we all slowly woke up and got ready (we all stayed the night at my aunts), began opening gifts a little after 10, sat around and visited, and indulged in a wonderful dinner prepared by my Aunt & Uncle--we were blessed beyond measure by thoughtful and generous family members and received way more than we deserved. It was such an amazing and peaceful day (despite almost dying multiple times during the drive home--dang blizzard!) that we won't soon forget!

I hope you all had a great day with your family and friends! I pray this Christmas season continues to give you peace in your hearts and joy in your lives--it truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Giving Back With #WalmartGrocery

As a participant in the Walmart Grocery to Go program, I’ve received a personal invite and payment for my time and efforts in creating this post. As always, all opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by Social Chorus or Walmart.

The holiday season is always such a special time--the festive lights, family gatherings, and holiday cheer make for wonderful memories and make us think about all of the blessings in our lives. Becoming a mom has really put things into perspective for me and has taught me to enjoy the little things and to never take anything for granted; we have an incredible God who loves us, a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, clothes on our backs, amazing family & friends, and good health. 

As far as I'm concerned, we have it all (and then some). 

This really got me thinking about people who may be going through hard times right now and what we could do as a family to help. 

That's where my friends at Walmart come in.

I talked last month about how Walmart Grocery To Go delivered several of my Thanksgiving groceries right to my front door.. but did you know that they deliver more than just groceries? That's right folks; no need to ever leave the house again for toiletries, electronics, or laundry detergent--a friendly Walmart Grocery To Go will bring your order to you!
Pretty cool, right? (P.S. Noah has delivered my last two orders and is always so friendly and helpful!)

Our church has an awesome program where it will actually deliver food and necessities to families in need so I decided to check out their website and go from there; the website recommended donating nonperishable food items and also listed other needs like toiletries and baby essentials. After talking with Brandon, we decided to go ahead and purchase some of the latter.
No need to adjust your screens--Walmart Grocery To Go even delivers diapers!
Take advantage of Walmart's Every Day Low Prices and save time; just shop and pay online to purchase products in stock at a Walmart store near you, choose a delivery date, and your order will be delivered right to you! To see if you're in Walmart Grocery To Go delivery area, be sure to check out their website. You can also use this link to get $15 off your first purchase!

Now that's what I call saving money and living better.

Thank you to Walmart & Social Chorus for asking me to participate in this program and give back to the community! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Jackson's 12 Month Update

Today's post is a little bittersweet for me because it'll be the last in depth month by month update I'll do for Jackson--I'll still plan to share monthly recaps but they won't be quite as detailed as the ones you're used to (this will also be Jax's last monthly laying down picture since he's becoming more mobile and less cooperative).

I think it's safe to say that my baby toddler had a wonderful time celebrating his 1st birthday! As I mentioned yesterday, we threw a big party for him on Saturday and were completely overwhelmed by the amount of love our little boy was shown. After a day full of playing with new toys, chasing friends around, and eating 1/4 of his smash cake, our boy crashed hard and slept for over 12 hours (#winning). For his actual birthday yesterday, we did lots of playing around the house and at Barnes & Noble, took a few items to the church, napped hard, and had the rest of his smash cake after supper--it was a pretty laid back day (and I must admit that I look forward to when he's a little older and gets excited about his birthday)!

Here's what our (now) 366 day old was up to last month:

Weight: 18 lbs. 10 oz.

Length: 29 1/4 inches

Nicknames: Jax, Cheeks, Baby, Jacksie

Wearing: 9 & 12 month (still size 3 diapers).

Sleep: Still co sleeping though I think he's trying to break free and sleep alone--he loves to sleep on his side or stomach (which I don't let him do in our bed for fear of suffocating) and pushes me away during the night. We attempted crib training one night when I was sicker than a dog with bronchitis and was given codeine cough syrup to help me sleep (I'm a really light sleeper but was worried that I'd be completely knocked out by the meds and wouldn't be nearly as aware of him during the night).. Long story short, I caved about 30 minutes in (while Brandon was taking a shower), brought him back into bed with us, skipped the codeine, and just took some Robitussin instead; I didn't sleep a wink that night because of my excessive coughing but was better soon after.. we'll try again this weekend!

Jax likes: Shaking his head no, Elmo, having "Happy Birthday" sang to him, all of his awesome new toys, other little kids, showing off, "cleaning," helping mommy & daddy around the house, bath time, climbing on top on things and scaring mommy to death, cats, pulling things out of drawers, the vacuum, giving kisses, watching the neighborhood squirrels, "no peeking" (basically our version of hide and seek), playing at the park, and MOPS.

Jax dislikes: Teething, having to lay on his back for diaper changes, when mommy or daddy go out to the garage without him, having his nose wiped, having to sit still during church, and falling.

Food: Jax is still a pretty good eater but is beginning to get a bit more picky.. His favorites right now are beans of any kind (black, green, lima, pinto, etc.), American cheese, breads, pasta (especially Mac and Cheese), chicken, cookies, carrots, Goldfish, Belvita Breakfast Biscuits, and crackers.

Mom & Dad's Favorite Things: How fun and happy he always is, his adorable toothy smile, when he shakes his head no, and the way he mimics us (he tries so hard to talk and makes the sounds of words like uh-oh, yay, and hi).

Teeth: Still the same 4 on the bottom with the two on top ready to make their appearance any day (you can see them starting to poke through his gums--ouch)! He's seemed like he's been feeling okay the last couple of days but was a mess last week with rosy cheeks, a runny nose, and low grade fever :(

Happenings: First Thanksgiving; meeting Santa for the first time; trip to Grammy & Grandpas for their office Christmas party; KS trip to meet & exchange gifts with Nana and Great Aunt Judy; "Auntie" Ash's college graduation party; visiting daddy's work for a pizza dinner and seeing Santa; celebrating Great Great Aunt Millie's 95th birthday; 1st birthday party; and turning one.

~Baby's 1st selfie--pretty self explanatory (and important).  

~After 10 days of Amoxicillin (complete with a terrible diaper rash & diarrhea) and eye drops, we FINALLY kicked the nasty sinus infection/pink eye that had been plaguing our little guy. After his doctors appointment, we went to King Soopers to pick up his prescription and eat cookies (pictured here).

 ~On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Brandon and my dad took Jackson to Home Depot with them and ran into Santa!! I'm so bummed I missed his first meeting with Jolly Old St. Nicholas but Brandon took plenty of photos and filled me in on every last detail. 

~Jax held on to Brandon for dear life the second time he met Santa..

~I can't wait to share more pictures from Jackson's birthday party--he had an absolute blast and had a great time chasing around/watching his buddy Gibson, sharing his toys with everyone, and being the center of attention! It was a wonderful day I'll never forget!

~This little boy just melts my heart!! I love watching him learn and grow--new this month is him playing "peek-a-boo" with us (by putting something over his face and them pulling it off), pointing to his nose on command, shaking his head "no", and cleaning (taking a towel, wipe, etc., and wiping things down with it). 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy First Birthday, Jackson Lee!

**I've decided to make a book out of all my blog posts to one day give to Jax--that being said, please stand by for a sappy post that Jackson will one day read and roll his eyes at.**

Today is my (not so) baby boy's first birthday..

..where has the year gone?

We had a wonderful time celebrating our Jackson Lee on Saturday with lots of great family & friends (details + pictures coming soon!)--Brandon, Jackson, and I are all so blessed to have such good people in our lives!

To My Baby Jackson: You don't know this, but every time I hold you in my arms, I pray for you.

I pray to and thank God for giving you to your dad and me--our hearts have never been so full and we never knew we could love somebody so much that we've only known for a short time.

I pray for the time to slow down.. I know that's silly and that it won't happen (no matter how hard I pray) but I never want these precious moments with you to end.

I pray that you never lose that twinkle in your big, bright eyes; that look of curiosity, wonder, and mischief that we've come to know and love.

I pray that you make the world a better place; that you continue to be outgoing and friendly (you LOVE being the center of attention and squeal with delight every time you see another little kid) and that you always help those who can't help themselves.

One day, you will grow up to become a man and I pray that you take after your daddy and that you're a hard worker who is respectful of others and takes pride in everything you do.

I pray that you'll always be faithful to God and true to yourself; it's a scary world out there and I pray for you to be strong, kind, and steadfast in what you believe.

I pray for you to always have a sense of humor and that you learn to see the light side of even the darkest of situations.

But most of all, my sweet Baby Jax: I pray that you'll always know you're special and loved so much. God made you you for a reason and that's all you need to remember and keep close in your heart.

Happy Birthday, Jackson!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thrifty Thursday (Christmas Sweater Edition)

I finally did it! I bought new Christmas sweaters for Brandon and me!


Brandon and I have been wearing the same Christmas sweaters the last three Christmases and came to the unanimous decision that it was time for a change.. so off to the thrift store Jackson & I went!

I decided that a special occasion like Christmas called for a trip to my all-time favorite thrift store--so Jax and I made the trek to west Denver to check out my beloved Habitat for Humanity ReStore..

..and it didn't disappoint!
A Christmas nod to Edward Snowden? I don't get it but I'm definitely wearing it to Jackson's Winter One-derland party on Saturday! P.S. Whoever owned this gem before me must have smoked 7 packs a day.. I've washed it twice already and it still reeks! Does anyone have a trick for getting smoke out of clothes?
Brandon's new beauty (it's a Women's XL which makes it even more hilarious).
I plan to rock this Christmas morning with some obnoxious leggings.
Everything Christmas was 1/2 off ReStore so I walked out of there with three sweaters and a couple of Christmas mugs (for Jax's hot chocolate bar) for $3.88.


I love thrifting!

Have you found the perfect Christmas sweater at your favorite thrift store?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Jackson's First Christmas

I've never covered up the fact that I absolutely love and adore Christmas--it's such a magical and peaceful time of the year and I enjoy everything about it. Now that I'm a mom, I love it even more and want to make it as special as I can for our family--that's why I've pulled out all the stops for Jax's second Christmas!

The other day, I realized that I never shared the story of Jax's first Christmas and thought I'd take a minute to jot it down for your reading pleasure ;and for my own walk down memory lane). I now invite you to sit back, relax, and get ready to roll your eyes over and over again at my raging emotions:

As many of you may remember, Jackson was born two weeks early and was unable to cry when he was first born--because of this, the doctors were worried and whisked him off to the NICU an hour after he was born. Brandon and I were heartbroken but grateful to the amazing hospital staff for taking such great care of our precious boy. Not even 4 hours after Jax was born, the doctor informed us that he would have to stay in the NICU for a few days to be closely monitored.

Jackson was born on the 22nd and we were holding out hope that we'd be able to take him home on Christmas Eve (my favorite day of the year). Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards for us and on the night of the 23rd, I had a mini meltdown to Brandon about how worried I was about Jax and how unfair the situation seemed (I was an exhausted, hormonal mess and didn't realize just how blessed we were to have such a beautiful and otherwise healthy baby). Being the great guy that he is, Brandon brought over all of the Christmas stockings and decor the next morning and brought Christmas to Jax and me. Jackson was released to my room the morning of the 24th--just in time for the rest of my family to arrive for Christmas Eve (my parents came down the morning of the 23rd and my Aunt & Uncle came from Denver Christmas Eve morning)! 
Our first family picture :)

The rest of Christmas Eve was wonderful; my family went to Christmas mass and dinner (while Jax and I stayed back at the hospital), brought back yummy Whiskey Creek for me, and then we opened our Christmas stockings. Once everyone left for the night, Jax and I snuggled in my hospital bed and watched the end of "It's a Wonderful Life."

It was truly the perfect Christmas Eve!

..until my new little bundle of joy wouldn't go to sleep and I panicked every time I heard a peep. #newmomprobs

At 4:30am, the nurse finally came in and offered to take Jackson back to the nursery for a few hours so I could try to get some sleep. I. Slept. Hard for two glorious hours before the nurse rolled Jackson back in to nurse. 

Brandon came back to the hospital at around 8 that morning and we began to wait for Jackson's discharge..

..and we waited..  

..and waited.

After Jax was all checked out, circumsized (poor guy..), and taken care of, it was finally time to take our baby home! It truly was the best Christmas gift ever!!

We arrived at our house a little after noon and were greeted by my parents, aunt & uncle, Brandon's mom & boyfriend, and Brandon's dad & stepmom (who we're visiting from Knoxville)--it was a really neat experience to be greeted by so many family members and we felt so blessed by their love of us and our little boy. After opening gifts and eating (Brandon was awesome and cleaned the entire house/made Christmas dinner while I was in the hospital), my parents, aunt, and uncle all headed back to CO.
Headed home!

That's when things begin to get a little blurry for me.. I was so utterly exhausted and couldn't stop crying over every little thing..

I cried to my mom because I didn't want Jackson to grow up. 

I cried when my parents left. 

I cried because all the cookies I made were gone. 

I cried because I missed being pregnant already. 

I cried because I was utterly exhausted. 

I laid with and nursed Jax (all while still crying, of course) while Brandon and his family continued having Christmas out in the living room--I felt so ridiculous for being so emotional but I just couldn't help it!

..which made me cry even more.

Once Brandon's family left and it was just our little family of four (including Bitsy), I began to cry because Christmas was over.. I'd been so tired and emotional the entire day that I felt like I'd missed out on my favorite holiday. Brandon and I walked into the nursery to change Jax while I continued to sob and that's when I for my first ever lesson in being a boy mom.. Jackson began to pee everywhere; on Brandon, me, the wall, the floor, and himself. 

My blubbering turned into mass hysteria right then as I began to laugh uncontrollably--I'm not sure what it was about my son peeing all over the room that calmed me down, but it did and I suddenly felt so much better. Brandon took Jackson downstairs to give me a little alone time to shower and read and it was just what I needed; I began feeling human again and had a chance to collect my thoughts and sort through the day. 

We all turned in early Christmas night; Brandon swaddled Jackson, we laid him in his Rock & Play, and we all got a few good hours of sleep!
Jackson & Daddy relaxed downstairs while Mommy did a little after Christmas shopping on the 26th.
Looking back at Christmas 2013 still leaves me feeling tired and silly but it really was the perfect Christmas--we got to bring our sweet boy home the same day our Lord was brought into the world! It doesn't get any better than that.
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