Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree...

I'll get back to my Thanksgiving recap posts tomorrow but I wanted to put up these pictures of Kate under our Christmas tree.  I the tree up on Sunday. It's nice that it's not even December yet and the Christmas decor is DONE. :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Easy Sweet & Salty Treats

My mom wanted me to bring something for the day-after-Thanksgiving Oyster roast, which of course meant some type of finger food.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and thought I'd give it a try.  It looked yummy and there didn't seem to be any way to really mess it up since there are just three ingredients:

1. Mini Pretzels
2. Hershey Kisses
3. M&M's

They turned out great, so if you want to try them yourself, here is all you need to do...

Step 1: 
Preheat oven to 275 and lay out pretzels on an un-greased cookie sheet. Place 1 Hershey Kiss in the middle of each pretzel.  I used my oldest cookie tin because I wasn't sure if the chocolate would melt through and make a mess.  I didn't want to mess up one of my good cookie sheets, but it didn't melt through so that wasn't a problem.

Step 2:
Place in the oven for 3-4 minutes, until Hershey Kiss is soft but not completely melting. Remove from oven.

Step 3: 
Press one M&M into the center of each Hershey Kiss.  Refrigerate until eating.  I actually placed the entire pan in the refrigerator.  Since it was only in the oven for 4 minutes, it didn't even get that hot.  By the time I'd pressed M&M's into every one, the pan wasn't even that warm to the touch, so it was fine to put into the refrigerator.

That's it!  They were so easy.  The hardest part was unwrapping all of the Hershey Kisses!


Day After Thanksgiving

On Friday, we headed to my home town to visit with my family for Thanksgiving.  Like I said in my last post, Kevin met up with the guys to go play golf.  The girls, plus my cousin's little boy Christopher, decided that we would go pick out a Christmas tree.  So me, Kate, my sister Kristi, my mom, my aunt Cathy, my cousin, her son, and their dog Kobe all piled into 2 cars and headed to the Christmas tree farm.

We started off walking around and taking pictures, while Kristi sought out the perfect tree.  She narrowed it down to a few for us.  

She showed us our options and we picked out the best.  We found our tree! Of course we had to take a few pictures with our tree.

And then we watched the tree farm people cut our tree down for us, drill a hole in the bottom for our stand, shake it up so any dead needles fell off, bag it up, and load it in the truck.  Afterward, we went to check out their small animal farm.

After that we went into the Christmas shop to look at their decorations and get some hot chocolate and candy canes.  It wasn't too cold outside so it's not like we NEEDED hot chocolate, but it was still yummy!

On our way back home we stopped by Emerald Farms.  They had a HUGE model train set/display.  It took up the entire top floor of the building.  According to the guy who took us up there, it's been a work in progress for 15-20 years. WOW!

And then we had to take a train ride ourselves!

 By the end of the train ride, it was past our lunch times so we headed back to the house to make some sandwiches with the leftover turkey and ham.  YUMM!

What a fun day already, and it was barely 1 o'clock! We did a lot more things on Friday, but this post is already getting long and I've got some stuff to do around the house so I'll save it for tomorrow! :)

Until then....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kate's First Thanksgiving

Like I said in my last post, I've been a little MIA lately.  I have been so busy at work lately, and honestly just haven't felt like getting on the computer once I've gotten home.  This 4 day weekend was much needed.  I did promise an update though, and here is Part 1.  The Clemson/Carolina game just started so I'm going to keep it short and finish the update tomorrow! :)

We had a GREAT Thanksgiving!  I was a slacker and only took 2 pictures on Thanksgiving day, which were both of the same thing, BUT we had a great day. We didn't have to travel on Thanksgiving day, so I got to spend some time at home that morning and finish up some cooking, while Kevin went over to our church to check out the Turkey Shoot fundraiser.  Then we went over to Kevin's Dad's house for a big family lunch.

Kate with her Great-Grandma Betty
We came home to finish up some laundry, relax, and pack for the next day, when we would head to my parent's house.  We left bright and early (7:45ish) Friday morning so we could make it to Ninety Six in time for Kevin to meet up with the guys to play golf at the Patriot.  I dropped him off and then made my way to my parents house.  They couldn't wait to see Kate, and my cousin's little boy couldn't wait to meet her for the first time!  He's 5 and was GREAT with her.  He wanted to help do EVERYTHING. 

I'll post some pictures tomorrow of what we got into in Ninety Six, but for now I'm off to watch the Clemson game.  Go Tigers!  Don't disappoint me!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been on a bit of a blogging break.  Not on purpose but because, let's face it, life gets BUSY sometimes.  I'll be back later this week to post about Kate's first Thanksgiving.  We've got all kinds of things planned with both sides of our family, so this long weekend should promise to bring lots of fun.  But for now, here's a picture of Kate- who woke up super pumped about her first Thanksgiving!

Sorry it's a bit grainy. It was taken with my phone. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all!  Hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, fun, and of course lots of food!  Don't forget that while Thanksgiving can be filled with all of that good stuff, it is most importantly a day to reflect and be thankful for all that God has given us.

"...May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light."
-Colossians 1:11-12

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kate Loves Her Daddy

Oh, I have a feeling Kate is going to be a Daddy's girl.  She sure loves her Daddy.

And here are a few other cute pictures.  Kevin wanted to get a couple of Kate in her Georgia gear, before she outgrows it.  Well, too late.  She's outgrown it!  I took these without snapping the bottom of the onesie. :) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Three Month Birthday!

I am a little late in posting this one but on November 10th, Kate turned 3 months old.  I can't believe that 3 months ago we were getting a phone call to travel to NC to meet our sweet baby girl.  She has changed so much, and I love looking back on all of her monthly pictures. Here are a few to celebrate the big 3 month milestone! (And a look back at her first 2 months.)

Kate is reaching such a fun age.  She's getting to be playful and her personality is really starting to come out.  She's becoming her own little person.  One thing she's discovered are her hands.  She loves to put them in her mouth. 

Happy 3 Month Birthday, sweet girl!  You're so much fun and we love watching you grow and learn! We love you!

Monday, November 14, 2011

10 Ways Life Has Changed With A Baby

Here is my list of 10 practical ways our everyday life has changed since Kate joined our family.  Our life has changed a good bit, and although a lot of things are very different, they're different in a GOOD way!  This is all just part of the new normal!  : )

1. We run our dishwasher just about EVERY day, instead of just once a week!  
Pre-Kate, Kevin and I would run our dishwasher about once a week.  Maybe.  And it probably wouldn't even be completely full when we ran it.  Now, our dishwasher is always running.  I can't complain though.  It's definitely better than those first few weeks when we were in a hotel room in NC.  During that time, Kate was eating every 2 hours and we had to wash all of her bottles by hand.  Thank goodness for our dishwasher!

Luckily we're on a well, or our water bill would be MUCH higher because in addition to running the dishwasher every day...

2. We do laundry ALL the time.
I knew we'd be doing more laundry, but who knew such a little person could generate so much laundry.  Between burp cloths, blankets, multiple clothing changes per day, crib sheets, and swaddle blankets, Kate's laundry is keeping me busy! Oh and MY clothes get washed more often too for obvious reasons.

3. I don't sleep past 7:30, even on the weekend.
Kate gets up at 7:30 am every day: Monday-Sunday.  We've kept Kate on a BabyWise schedule which has been awesome at helping her to sleep through the night, but part of BabyWise is starting her day at the same time every day.  Because of my work schedule, I get up at 6:30 and get myself ready.  Then Kate gets up at 7:30 so I have time to feed her a bottle, get her dressed for the day, and spend a little quality time in the morning before I head to the office.  On the weekends, I get to "sleep in" til 7:30.  At this point, I'm so used to getting up by 7:30 (at the latest) that I don't think I could sleep later than that even if I wanted to!  I think somehow you just get used to functioning on less sleep.  It's the new "normal"!  Besides, mornings are the most fun time of the day with Kate anyway.  I definitely wouldn't want to miss it!

4. My wardrobe and accessories have changed.
I try to dress modestly anyway, but now I've learned that even decent v-neck shirts should no longer be a part of my wardrobe.  Kate is at the point where she loves to be held upright- either on my hip or over my shoulder.  She loves to be able to look around.  However, if I wear a v-neck shirt then she assumes that the lowest part of the "V" is her handle and that's where her hand just automatically goes.  So of course she pulls on my shirt, which is no good.  V-necks are now OUT at least for the time being.

I have also retired most of my necklaces, because they're another thing that Kate loves to pull on.  I'm still wearing earrings but I'm thinking that those are going to be out pretty soon too!

5. We eat at home a LOT more instead of eating out.
Kevin and I used to eat out a good bit.  We still run by to pick up Moe's or something quick and easy for supper occasionally, but we've been eating a LOT more of our meals at home.  My crock-pot is quickly becoming my best friend.

It's so easy to use and it is GREAT to be able to come home to a dinner that is already warm and ready to eat.  I've been trying out lots of new recipes.  Some are keepers, and some we won't be trying again.  I tried a Salmon Bake recipe in the crock pot and it was not good at all, but Max and Cooper sure enjoyed it.  Last week I made Italian Chicken in the crock pot and it was so good.  This one will definitely be added to our dinner rotation.  If anyone cares to try it out, here's the recipe.  We had it over rice, but I think it would be just as good over pasta.
6. We don't watch TV shows when they actually come on. We DVR everything!
Our TV watching in total has dramatically decreased, but the few things that we do watch usually get DVR'd and then are watched at a later date.  Kevin even DVR'd the Georgia/Auburn game today.  The real reason that we DVR stuff is because we're doing #7 below.

7. Our entertainment consists of trying to get Kate to smile, and we feel like we have won the lottery when it happens. 
I don't really have to explain this one.  Who wouldn't want to play with this cute little girl and try to get a few smiles instead of doing other things?  Now we're working on trying to get a few REAL laughs!  She's still trying to figure that one out.  She does laugh, but sometimes she'll startle herself when she does it.  It's the cutest thing.

8. We PLAN. There is no "spur of the moment".
Gone are the days when we decide to go see a movie in the theater on a weeknight.  We plan just about everything, and it all revolves around Kate's schedule.  We don't micro-plan her schedule because then we would have no life, but she is definitely on a schedule.  We know when she eats, and when she's going to be hungry so it makes planning what we want to do MUCH easier.  Still, we definitely have to plan.  With a little bit of thought and planning, we can go/do just about anything with a baby.

9. We brag about Kate instead of about Max and Cooper... sorry boys!
All of our funny stories used to be about Max and Cooper.  They were our "kids", but not in a annoying/weird sort of way (I hope).  They still do funny things, but now our stories usually center around Kate...  as if that's not obvious by all of the pictures of her on this blog.  It seems like she does something new every single day. So, sorry boys.  We still love you.

10. I talk to strangers every where I go.
Let's face it.  People LOVE babies.  Not just women either.  Lots of people love babies.  I used to be able to go to the grocery store, pick up the items I need, and then head home.  I'd smile at people that I passed in the process, but generally I didn't talk to "strangers".  Not anymore.  Babies are apparently the ultimate conversation-starter.  If Kate is with me, people will comment on her hair, or her smile, or they'll ask how old she is, or any number of baby related questions/comments.  And really, what new mommy doesn't like to talk about their baby?  I'm no exception to that rule, so I really don't mind any of the comments.
The one comment that starts the longest random stranger conversation is when someone looks at me and says "You just had a baby!?"  I feel compelled to explain "No, she's adopted", which then opens up a whole new conversation and before I know it, it's been 5, 10, then 15 minutes.  I really don't mind this either though.  Kate's story is so special to us, and I LOVE being able to share it and share how God has worked in our lives and brought Kate into our family.

So there you have it.  MY top 10 ways life has changed with Kate. Our life is way different than it was pre-Kate, but it is different in a totally good way!  It's a whole lot busier and crazy, but it's perfect.  It's the new normal and we wouldn't change a thing.

THIS makes everything worth it:

I'm linking up this post with Satisfaction Through Christ's baby link-up.  Feel free to check out some of the other great baby posts!



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