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12.7.14 – Santa Visit

8 Dec

We made our annual trip to visit Santa at the mall yesterday. Laney doesn’t really have any concept of who Santa is. She has asked, “Who’s that!?” when we are reading some of her Christmas books. And now she thinks any older gentleman with a white beard is Santa. When I asked her if she wanted to see Santa at the mall yesterday after her nap, she promptly replied, “No!” But with a little bribery we got her in the car and headed off. She was pretty excited when we got there – mostly by the Allstate dog mascot in the window of the Allstate store.

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She seemed willing at first when we walked up to the Santa area…

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But as soon as we set her on Santa’s lap, she freaked!


i really didn’t expect anything less. When she saw the picture, she said, “Laney crying.” She did want to go back and say “bye” to Santa before we left – from a safe distance of course.

And a trip down memory lane (they just keep getting better):

santa comparison 2014

In other news, we also had our first Christmas party with our friends this past weekend. We all had a great time, and Kyle won the annual find the pickle competition! Six baby girls under the age of 4 – so many fun memories ahead!

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Hope you all had a great weekend! Happy Monday!

12.1.14 – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

1 Dec

YAY! December! I LOVE this time of year – I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. We spent the rest of Thanksgiving weekend getting the house decorated and things prepared for the hustle and bustle that is December!

First up was decorations. I couldn’t wait to decorate the tree with Laney, and she loved it as much as I thought she would. Although she started hoarding all of the ornaments for herself (“MINE!”), but we talked her into putting them on the tree instead. I am really making an effort to enjoy moments more and worry less about capturing them perfectly on camera, so I didn’t take a ton of photos.

I wanted to see what my camera can do in what is a very dimly lit room at night. I didn’t have a tripod set-up, so some of the photos are SUPER noisy. I ended up breaking out my flash, which I probably should have done to start with, but I like experimenting. The third-to-last picture above is Laney’s reaction to us turning on the lights on the tree.

Today I’ve been busy getting Elf-on-the-Shelf ideas and our advent calendar ready. Laney named her elf Snowflake, and we spent some time playing hide-and-seek with her to get her used to the idea of looking for her each day. She kept saying, “Snowflake, where are you!?” We aren’t going to do the “she’s watching you” idea this year (she wouldn’t get it anyway) – just a little Christmas wonder for her to look forward to each morning.

I have also been dying to do an Advent calendar since she was born. I want to make sure I take some time each day to stop and enjoy the holiday season with her, and I think this little calendar will be a good way to do it.

Here are our plans:

1. Christmas felt shapes to play with on the window.

2. Paint our nails red!

3. Color pictures to send to grandparents.

4. Washi tape decorations on the wall.

5. Go to the bookstore to play & pick out a new Christmas book.

6. Socks! Have a dance party to Christmas music in our socks.

7. Go see Santa!

8. Drive around to see Christmas lights in the dark.

9. Watch Christmas Muppets movie.

10. Decorate an ornament.

11. Off to Grandpa and Mimi’s house we go! Wear your Santa hat.

12. Take treats to Jacob’s basketball team.

13. Build a gingerbread house with Annie.

14. Make snack necklaces & watch Elf.

15. Stickers! Create a birthday card for baby Jesus.

16. Decorate our own wrapping paper & wrap presents.

17. Make Christmas popcorn.

18. Christmas program. Wear your pretty new bow!

19. Eat a candy cane.

20. Festive breakfast today! Make Christmas pancakes.

21. Write a letter to Santa.

22. Reese treat! Bring treats to our neighbors.

23. Make and decorate Christmas cookies.

24. Candlelight Christmas Eve church service & open special present under the tree.

I planned around our travel/busy-ness schedule. Next year, I want to include more charitable ideas when she can understand a little bit better. I also can’t wait to break out our holiday-themed books. So much to look forward to!

Happy holidays, everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

11.30.14 – Thanksgiving Recap

30 Nov

Before we say goodbye to November, I wanted to share a few pictures from our Thanksgiving weekend. We headed north to see Kyle’s family. Our nephew is about six months younger than Laney, and it was really fun to see them playing together and interacting this time (when they weren’t fighting over toys).

And here is our little munchkin on Thanksgiving day. We went with a dress, because we all know pants wouldn’t have stayed on. ;)


We had a lot to be thankful for this year – our bellies and hearts are quite full. We hope you all had a blessed weekend as well!

11.6.14 – Laney Update

6 Nov

We have almost hit the 2 years + 2 months mark, so I thought I would write a little update about what Laney has been up to lately. She doesn’t change as quickly as she used to, but I wanted to document some of the funny things she says and does before we forget. And to give a long overdue update of what we have been up to lately.

Our weeks are pretty busy these days. Mondays are our only “free” days. Tuesday/Thursday morning Laney goes to a Mom’s Morning Out program aka she goes to “school” to “play whif fwiends.” Wednesday morning is Kindermusik and Friday mornings we go to a mom’s group at a local church. We squeeze in plenty of playtime and exploring new places. The days fly by so fast!

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Funny sayings and phrases:

“kiss your face” whenever she wants to give/receive a kiss

“There’s the ____” i.e. “THERE’S the MOMMA!” when she sees you.

“OOOOKKKKAAAYYY” when the answer is “yes” to a question.


“Pooowweee” when something is stinky while waving her hand.

“You tired?” whenever someone yawns.

“Missed you” when I pick her up from school. She still doesn’t say love you very often, but missed you is just as nice.

“Aahh–Aahh–choo!” for her fake sneeze.

“________, WHERE ARE YOU??” in a sing-song voice. Then “THERE YOU ARE!”

“What’s my name?”

“Sorry, teacher!” I guess she learned this one at “school.”

“MINE!” “It’s LANEY’S _____” (not so funny)

“SHARPS!” or “WEALLLY SHARP! Be careful!” when she sees scissors or knives.

“Hold on tight! Fly away!” when it is really windy.

She is always super excited when Daddy gets home. We spend our evenings doing handstand push-ups:

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Or having dance parties:

Or taking trips while “singing”:

She recently loved the agent’s office “Eddie Bear” and reading material:

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She is also working hard to master stairs

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And if you follow me on Instagram/Facebook, you’ve already seen this, but it makes me laugh every.time.

We’ve been working on her knowing her name. Here was her first take:

And the second (LOL):

She cracks me up! Never a dull moment in life with Laney!

10.31.14 – Happy Halloween!

31 Oct

Has it really been over a month since I blogged? Yikes! I guess that tells you how busy things have been around here.

Anywho… Happy Halloween! Wanted to share some photos of our pumpkin carving, costume, and trick-or-treating. It was a SUPER windy and very cold night in central Illinois, so we didn’t get to do as much trick-or-treating as we would have liked but she still had a great time. She handed out candy to her “friends” that came to the door, and she was happy to take whatever our neighbors would give her and put it in her pumpkin all by herself. I think the most exciting part was being outside when she could see the moon. She was very concerned when it was hiding behind a cloud. She is going on an hour now of jabbering in her crib from her sugar high as I type this. I’m sure she will be asking to “knock-knock” or have some more “soccer game” tomorrow. She kept confusing the words “soccer game” with “chocolate,” and it was cracking us up!

First some pumpkin carving:

She loved every minute! She went right for that goop and said “uh oh! all gone” once we had scooped it out and wanted more. It was lots of fun until she wanted to hold the “sharps” and couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t let her hold one. We quickly avoided ameltdown by lighting the candle, which then caused another near meltdown. We let her blow out the candle a few times and decided that we were done, but she wanted to “try it again!” So we quickly moved on to the next distraction…story of my days!

We had Laney practice trick-or-treating a few times this week, so she was SO excited when I told her today was the day. She asked all day to “knock! knock!” She was a little unsure when the doorbell started ringing like crazy, but she quickly got the idea and wanted to hand candy to the neighbors. She had fun doing some trick-or-treating of her own, but quickly decided she wanted to head home and break into her sucker stash when she got cold. So dang windy!

She also loved getting some Halloween cards in the mail this week. (Thank you Great Gramma, Grampa, and Aunt Carol):

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And here are a few snapshots of her in her costume:

I wanted her to be a butterfly because I love how she says “buttasy!!” but now that Halloween is here she almost says it correctly now. But she’s still cute, and she loved her outfit – especially her skirt. She wore it several evenings this week for our nightly dance parties.

FInally here is one of Delaney with her girls (minus Savannah):


I’d say it was a pretty great Halloween for our little girl. I’ve decided holidays are twice the fun and twice the work! So ready for my two favorite holidays coming up!! :) Not so ready for the cold weather…

Good night!

9.20.14 – Delaney’s 2nd Birthday Party

21 Sep

I am pretty late in posting Laney’s birthday party recap. This fall has been busier than I ever imagined it would be when I started my little photography business almost a year ago, which is great! (Except when it comes to finding time to blog about our family happenings….)

We decided to have a book-themed birthday when we noticed how much Laney LOVES books. Most little ones her age do, of course, but she will spend hours a day pulling them off her shelf, looking through them, asking us to read them, “reading” them herself, etc. I merged a few ideas I saw on various party-planning blogs and got some help from QT Prints (who is fabulous to work with!) for her invite. And the stars aligned when Laney was super cooperative on a beautiful evening to capture some of my favorite photos of her. And here is the result:

Delaney Front with Bleed

The inside of the card had all of the party details on a “library card.” I got little library card holders to put them in and stuck them on the inside of the folded invite.

The rest of the party kinda came together when I saw the Oh Joy! Target party supply line for fall had teal, pink, black, white, and gold. I quickly snatched up what our local target had and used that as my color scheme.

Here are some photos from the rest of the decor.

I did my best to go a little more low-key than last year, and I reused several items from previous events. I got some fun engraved pencils from Earmark. The book page garlands are from Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard. Everything else I made myself or purchased from Target.

And here are some photos of the birthday girl and family. Laney’s adorable shirt is from Swallow’s Return. And her book page flower bow is from Maisey’s Daisey’s.

She did pretty well despite a few melt-down moments. She was hesitant to blow out her candle but did it all by herself. But she didn’t even want her cupcake after talking about cake all day! We were pretty disappointed in them. Our usual bakery closed, and these were a let-down. She loved opening presents. If it was clothes, they got tossed straight over her head. The toys had to be immediately opened. Our family and friends were too generous as usual – she is one spoiled little girl.

Thank you, friends and family, for making her day so special! Another year in the books!

9.12.14 – Delaney’s Birthday Recap

12 Sep

I think our little girl had a pretty fabulous birthday! She loved getting all of your birthday wishes, so thank you!

We started the day off right with a balloon and a smmoovie (smoothie). Daddy knows how to make his girl happy. She also checked her birthday messages. ;)

Then we proceeded downstairs to her birthday doughnut and presents. She was a little hesitant at first, but she even blew out her candles! She loved her colors, table and easel. Like most kids, she immediately tossed her clothes to the side and headed for the book.

Then we got cleaned up and headed to gymnastics open gym and lunch. She had her favorite Noodles & Co. macaroni and cheese and a cupcake.


Despite both her nose and the weather outside being yucky, I think she would say it’s been the best day. Can’t wait for next weekend’s birthday bash!


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