Monday, November 16, 2015

Holidays & baby bump

I am so excited for the holidays this year, because let's face it, the holidays are ten times more exciting when you have a little one! And now that Bendelle is technically a toddler--taking steps and learning new words left and right--we are even more stoked to start holiday festivities.

We will be spending Thanksgiving with my grandparents and aunt and uncle in Claremont, and I must admit, I am relieved to not be hosting! Don't get me wrong, we looove hosting parties and get-togethers, but since Christmas will be at our house, I am grateful for a little break. My aunt and uncle are great hosts and I love learning things from my mom and her generation about hosting. We are old fashioned when it comes to parties and hanging out-we love creating a fun and cozy atmosphere, and love being in the moment and enjoying great conversation with the special people in our lives.

I hosted a baby shower with a couple of friends for my dear friend who is due next month with a sweet baby boy, and I couldn't help but notice how involved Bendelle was when the gift opening took place. It made me fast forward to Christmas mode and imagine how excited (I hope) she'll be on Christmas morning. I've been collecting things throughout the year for her--books, shoes, little things here and to give her on Christmas, but I am MOST excited to put this in front of the tree for her on Christmas morning :) I snagged such a good deal on it a few months back and have been saving it ever since.

We are giving mostly handmade goods to loved ones this year, which I am actually really excited about! I have so many great ideas and goodies I  have already started to make. I feel like handmade gifts are the best because you really pour your heart and creativity into them. I have even gotten ambitious and wrapped a few! 

On top of it all, we are so excited for our little blip to join the family in May! People have been asking if we are hoping for a boy or a girl. To be honest, I really don't have a preference! I loooove having a girl and think it would be great to have another one and for Bendelle to have a sister. On the other hand, a boy would be a whole new adventure! The more I think about it, the more I realize I don't have a preference. I always wanted a girl, so the first time around I was secretly hoping for one. But more than anything we just want a healthy baby :)


Friday, November 13, 2015

Baby #2!!!

We are so very excited about the arrival of baby #2 coming May 2016! We kept it (kind of) a secret until Halloween when we made this announcement:

This Halloween was a lot of fun because we all got dressed up together as a family of skeletons and Bendelle was able to participate in tirck-or-treating! Well, she held the bucket and we ate the candy ;)

Baby number two came as a little bit of a surprise to us! It was honestly the best little surprise-after feeling a little bit off for a while I decided to get a pregnancy test and took it as soon as I got home. Aaron was playing with Bendelle when I found out. Within second there was a strong little plus sign on the stick-it was official, we would have two babies under two! We had decided to start trying for baby number two once Bendelle turned one. But unlike the first time around, we got pregnant very quickly! We made a doctor's appointment and found out we were already 8 weeks pregnant! (I found out at 4 weeks with Bendelle.) And what made it even more amazing was that we were even able to hear AND see baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound! It was such a good feeling to see our little blip and his/her little heart pumping away! We ended up telling some family members and a few close friends right away, but I wanted to wait until about the second trimester before we made it public knowledge . . . which just so happened to be around Halloween! So we did a fun little announcement with our skeleton shirts I bought when I was pregnant with Bendelle, and let her wear her pink skeleton pjs for a family photo :) I also took this picture, because we had the perfect amount of pumpkins, so how could I resist??

Even though life is busier than ever, I still want to do little weekly pregnancy updates like I did with Bendelle. I bought plain wooden blocks off of Etsy and painted them black and white to use as a prop for my pregnancy updates. I did chalkboard updates with Bendelle, but I wanted to change it up so I wouldn't have the same type of photos for both pregnancies.

It is so sweet because Bendelle has made it very clear that she loves other babies and kids, so we are so excited for her to have a sibling of her own. I think it will be great that they'll be close in age, although I'm already preparing myself for years of arguments down the road!

So the countdown is on! We have about 24.5 weeks until baby number two makes his/her debut! And YES, we will definitely be finding out the sex! We will be waiting a little longer this time around to find out, but will know by December :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

First Birthday Party

Bendelle's birthday party has come and gone but we had a wonderful and relaxing time celebrating our sweet pumpkin with a few friends and family members :)

Little Miss Social loved having people over, interacting with all of our guests and playing with all her new toys after she helped open them. It took a while for her to get excited over her multi-layered pink ombre cakes after waking her up from her beauty sleep so we could sing to her and cut the cake, but she finally did break into her smash cake. And loved it.

Although I didn't take a lot of beautiful pictures or have a professional photographer capture the essence of the day, we had a lot of pumpkins, Halloween, girlie and sparkly pinks and creams, and mostly handmade (by mama!) decor. It was fun to put a lot of love into her cakes, banner, crown, and all the different little aspects of her party.

Thank you to everyone who wished her a happy birthday. I am already thinking of themes for all the birthdays she has to come . . .not to rush ANYTHING because I am enjoying every single crazy, hilarious, and beautiful second with this girl and our little family :)


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Our little pumpkin is ONE!

Blogging has been slow lately only because life has been so busy! But I couldn't go without blogging about Bendelle turning one! I honestly can't believe she is a year old already - time is such a thief. Her first birthday was five days ago, and we played it pretty low key since Aaron had to work. Birthday girl woke up to a tall stack of pink mini pancakes, which she had more fun playing with than eating. Then the two of us joined my mom and stepdad on the annual wine walk in town and Bendelle totally loved it. She is such a social butterfly and milked every ounce of attention she got. She is an expert at making eye contact with people and flashing them her cheesy, pearly white smile. And it gets them every time. Plus she was grubbing on all the cheese and crackers she could ever want. We couldn't ask for more than spending a beautiful day strolling outside.

When we were in New Jersey a couple of weeks ago, Aaron's mom had a little early birthday party for her, which was so fun. We had a pizza party with some family in the formal dinning room and ate off china. How many birthdays do you attend where you get to eat pizza off of beautiful china? ;) And she even got a cute little cupcake to herself :)

We are planning a birthday party for her on Sunday with a few family members and some friends and were reminded again how awesome it is to have an October baby when we went to Michael's the other day to pick out some necessities and decor. We could have easily spend a couple of grand on some awesome Halloween and birthday decorations! I am so obsessed with pumpkins-especially the Cinderella and white pumpkins - they are so pretty and magical looking. You know we are totally going to have a Cinderella themed birthday for her one year. But this year it's sweet and simple-"our little pumpkin turns one". We are sticking to a girly and festive themed party for her this year.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Life lately

Things have been a little different and exciting around here lately because I have FINALLY (after months of researching, planning, designing, trials and endless amounts of errors) opened up my little etsy shop! I opened it up last night and though there hasn't been a ton of purchases like I ideally envisioned and hoped for, I am proud it is up and running and have high hopes for my shirts :)

Bendelle has been growing up so fast. Where is the time going, and where has it gone? I get emotional thinking about how just a year ago I was so plump with this baby kicking and squirming inside of me, and anxiously waiting to meet her. I use to dream about what she looked like and meeting her for the first time. Time changes oh so much. I am so thankful for her everyday and know that she has made me a better person.

She is rounding up on 11 months now and I'm starting to envision a little birthday celebration for her. I'm thinking something low-key and casual (of course!) that involves pumpkin and a little fairy-tale (Cinderella?) theme. Oh, I just LOVE that she was born in October ;)


Sunday, August 16, 2015

10 months

She is so big, my little one.

I can't believe she is standing, so eager to walk (but that's nothing new) ;) She loves to be surrounded by people and craves her freedom. She is happiest when she can roam freely and explore the things she knows she probably shouldn't be playing with. She is wild and brave. She's fearless, like I think a baby should be.

She is our little mountain climber--there isn't a flight of stairs that she would hesitate taking on. And she scales them fast, and is eager to do it again and again.
Looking back at the first couple of months of her life, it doesn't even seem like that delicate little baby in the pictures is really her. But then I'll look at a photo and catch a glimpse of that curiosity that sparkles in her eyes, and I'm reminded that this is the same girl--big personality compacted in a tiny little body that is rapidly growing.

She loves to open cupboards (and empty them), stand up in her bath, dig through the fridge and will play in any water she can get her hands in (which means the poor pups are constantly missing their water dish). She is such a rascal, and oh-so feisty! 

My heart is so full of love for her and it is such an overwhelmingly wonderful feeling. More than ever I have just wanted to hit pause and enjoy every moment of this age together as much as I can. Having a child really is a roller coaster of emotions (and I know I'm just at the beginning), and it is something that as best as I try, I can't describe the beauty of it.  I will never take being a mother for granted. Ever. It is the greatest gift I have ever been given. And I feel so blessed that I have an incredible man by my side to raise her with. 

This is happiness in its truest form. This is what life is all about. 


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Colorado trip!

A little late, but better than never, right?

At the end of July my grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary and invited everyone in the family to go to Colorado and join them. It was a wild ride, the trip kicking off with my grandpa having a small heart attack which kept him away from the fun and family for a couple of days and to his dismay, unable to check off river rafting from his bucket list. But when he was finally able to celebrate his marriage at the big anniversary dinner my aunt and uncle hosted for everyone, gratitude was written all over his face. He was humbled by his health, but soaking in the love from his family and it was such a beautiful moment to be a part of. Watching my grandparents that evening (and over the years) has taught me a lot about patience, love and selflessness. No love story is perfect by any means, but through the highs and lows they have sixty years of marriage to set as an example for their children and their children's children. Joining hands in a circle of prayer that evening before dinner, our large family taking over the whole banquet room, my grandfather's aged fingers delicately holding Bendelle's small, chubby hand, was such a proud and emotional moment. My family, generations, filling this space with laughter and love.

Bendelle and I spent five days in Colorado, staying with my sister, cousins, father and grandparents at my aunt and uncle's beautiful new (and huge) home. It was eventful yet somehow relaxing all at once. It was so nice to have my dad around and spend time with Bendelle and watch her bond with him so quickly.

We spent our days taking long walks, shopping downtown, playing corn hole, going horseback riding, exploring beautiful Estes Park (home of the Stanley Hotel--The Shining, anyone?), getting ice cream, swimming in the reservoir, touring Celestial tea factory, exploring downtown Boulder, eating some amazing food, and spending quality time with family.

I also loved our impromptu family game night, drinking wine and watching The Bachelorette finale (eekkk!), going on a sunset run with my dad, and shopping with my sister and Bendelle.

Overall I had a blast and wish that Aaron could have been there to enjoy it too. Can't wait to visit again :)