Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our First Christmas

This was our first Christmas with just the three of us. It was such a fun Christmas. Having a baby definitely changes things...but MAKES THEM SO MUCH BETTER! Justin and I actually exchanged gifts Christmas Eve when Briggs went to bed so we could enjoy each other. But Christmas was all about this little guy.

Wanted to share a few of the highlights...

He liked playing with all his new toys...

It was really hard to get him to sit still so his hand is a little blurry...but he is happy. And don't fear...we only got him 4 things and then some small stuff in his just looks like a lot more b/c some of the other toys he plays with are behind him.

Briggs with mommy...can't believe I put this pic on here..but this blog is a way for us to document things :)

And here is his picture with daddy on Christmas morning.

As I said was a great Christmas. We enjoyed having time with just the three of us to start our own family traditions and enjoy each other. Hope all of you had a great Christmas too.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Traveling with a baby

Does he really need ALL this stuff??!?!?!?!...we were gone for THREE days and that's what we had to bring with us :)

Briggs and I went on a little trip together. My parents (who live in Florida) with my little brother, made a trip to see their parents (my grandparents and Briggs' great grandparents)...

Justin had to stay back and work so Briggs and I took off on an adventure. I was a little nervous making a 3 hour trip by myself...but we timed it around nap time and I was armed with a toy basket in the passenger seat. I just kept throwing toys back there when he would fuss.. this is what Briggs looked like at the end of the trip.

And of course we had to show daddy some we left him these notes in some places we knew he would find them (I traced Briggs hand on a piece of paper and wrote J a note).

On the bathroom mirror

on the computer screen...

and on the tv screen..

We had a really good trip visiting and post to come :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Chocolate dipped crackers

A fun, easy and inexpensive dessert are these crackers. I already had all the ingredients and it didn't take me long to put it together.

Put peanut butter between two Ritz Crackers, melt some white chocolate and cover the crackers. I put them on wax paper to makes it less messy.

It only takes about 15 minutes for the chocolate to harden, then put them on a serving dish like this and you are ready for your party.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to everybody! Here is our Christmas card to share with all of you. We got some cards after we had already sent ours out and couldn't order we would like to share our card here.

And even though we don't do "Santa" at our house (and just for the's still up for debate...because I never did it as a child but Justin will see how things go for next year)...Justin wanted Briggs to have a picture with the big fat guy. I refused to pay money for this picture so we went to Bass Pro Shop where they are free and got his picture with the "fake Santa". I will least they had one with a real beard and belly. Briggs of course was all smiles....sweet baby :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Another Christmas Tradition

I wanted to share another Christmas tradition that started from my grandma. Since I was young, she has put together a family calendar and sent to everybody for Christmas. As all the grandkids have gotten older and we are all spread out geographically, we don't have as many family pictures (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc...). So now the tradition has been passed on to each individual family to carry on (if they choose). I have kept the calendars from previous's a great way to remember what happened that year and kind of like a little scrapbook of memories.

This has always been one of our family's favorite gifts each year so (my mom, sister and myself) have all continued to make one for our families. Abby and I have also shared this tradition with our in-laws. So now this is one of the most anticipated gifts for everyone...they are all so excited to get their calendars and it's a neat way to personalize a gift for the ones you love. Now that we are in the digital age, it makes things even that much easier to create. I use the shutterfly website to create our calendars and there is usually a pretty good deal around the holidays (like mine this year was buy one get the rest half price with free shipping). Since I order so many (usually 5 or 6...because everyone gets their own calendar to take to work or keep at home...) I'm always excited to get a deal.

It gives you the option to add special events, birthdays and of course the major holidays. It saves those every year in your account so you just choose which ones you want to include in your calendar. I do customize the one we keep at our house (combine pics of my family and Justin's family), but the ones I give his parents and more of their family. Since it's all on the's pretty easy to switch it up. It takes a little bit of time to load the pics on the program...but then it's easy..just drag and drop the pics into the format you choose. Oh and depending on whose birthday or anniversary it is...they get a feature picture for that month.

Enjoy the pics...and I'm sure you might catch on to the recurring theme in the calendar this year :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Emergency bag

Anybody ever left the house without something crucial you say...A BOTTLE FOR YOUR BABY TO EAT!

That's what happened to us this week. Normally I have two bags when we go somewhere...a diaper bag and a "food" bag. That would be because Briggs is a tad bit high maintenance (Justin says he gets it from me...why would he ever say that?...haha). He has to have a warm bottle.

I did try to do the room temp water and formula for 3 weeks...he won't have it. So instead, I get to heat water before I leave the house and load my bottle bag with a thermos, formula, bottle water (to mix with the water to make the perfect temp) and bottles.

I was in a hurry to get out of the house and when I was halfway to our destination, realized I brought everything EXCEPT the bottle! So what does any good mom do...swing into Babies R a bottle, wash it in the bathroom sink and whip together a bottle for their baby...yep...that's what we did. He was having a classic meltdown needing a distraction, so I let him chew on the box for a second while I was washing up his goods.

Once he was fed...little buddy got happy. So we moved on to the next store and this is his new way to sit in the shopping cart. He is the perfect length to just kick back. We aren't sitting up too great yet so I have a blanket I stuff behind him for support. Well when he lays back on it, it's like his own little recliner :)

When I got home...I decided we aren't going to get in this pickle I made an "emergency bag" for our car. It includes: diapers, wipes, bibs (cloth and disposable), disposable changing pad, burp cloth, bottle, spoon, and extra pacifier.

Now we are ready for anything...I think :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Traditions

I'm sure everyone has their own Christmas traditions. Here is one I wanted to share from our family. Since I was born, my parents started an ornament tradition. Every year we get an ornament to represent something that happened that year. Justin and I have continued that tradition since we have been married. Here are a few ornaments I wanted to share.

This was a really neat ornament we got as a wedding gift. The back license plate says "Just Married 2004".

Anybody who knows Justin well...knows he is a Starbucks junky. He normally takes coffee with him to work but he has now declared Friday as "Starbucks Friday". So...I got him an ornament one year since he loves it so much.

This ornament represents my first trip to Disney World...IN MY TWENTIES! Now...there is nothing wrong with that fact. I'm just saying...I never went as a kid, so when we did go...we got an ornament for the tree.

This is a rocking horse ornament from when I was little and I though it was cute.

These two ornaments are from our honeymoon in Gatlinburg, TN

This is our ornament f0r 2011. Justin and I went to San Francisco, CA for our Babymoon (some of you may be scratching your heads and saying your what?...that is the term for a trip people take before they have a baby). We had a fabulous time. We even got to ride the trolley cars is a mini version of them.

My mom gave me all my ornaments when Justin and I got married. This is the ornament from my first Christmas.

And here is the cutest ornament EVER!....This was one of the things Briggs and I did when we went pottery painting. They had these cute ornaments that were the perfect size for his fat little hand. So we put his hand print on one side and "My 1st Christmas" on the other.

Have you ever been to someone's house who has a beautiful decorated tree with all matching ornaments, ribbon, tree skirt and presents? I actually used to want that kind of tree...or at least a second tree that could be our "formal tree".

I'm not knocking anybody who has that kind of tree or is in the process of creating one. However, we have decided to just have a family tree at our house and I'm loving it, especially now that we have Briggs. I don't even want a formal tree anymore. I love our tree that has a meaning and a purpose with all the ornaments on it. When I look at it, it has so many memories represented.

And finally I wanted to include a picture of our Christmas card display. When I shared the picture of my idea it was looking a little bare. We are just a few days away from Christmas and we have so many great cards hanging up. We love getting cards from friends and family and thank all of you who have contributed to our Christmas card display :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Peanut Butter Balls

Need a fun recipe for your holiday party...or just any party...goes great for football games too. Ingredients are:

1 C peanut butter
1 C graham cracker crumbs
1 box conf. sugar
1 Tbs vanilla
2 sticks of butter (softened)
chocolate bark

Step 1: Combine all the ingredients, except the chocolate (is so much easier if you have a mixer but it can be done by hand). The consistency will be really thick and look a little something like this...

Take out small amounts and roll into little balls. I put them on wax paper just because it's less messy and they don't stick to anything. Put in the frig and chill for 10-15 minutes.
Tip: I spray my hands with PAM and they roll much better.

Melt the chocolate according to directions on the package and drop the peanut butter balls in. Place them back in frig until ready to serve.

These are really yummy when they are chilled and even better when they come to room temperature and are soft. Make sure you have somebody to help you eat these b/c as you can see from the ingredients...NOT healthy...and VERY addicting. But a couple never hurt anybody :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Graduation Party

We threw a party this week that was SO FUN! Our friends mentioned before, David and Celeste Scott, had an accomplishment to celebrate...Celeste just graduated from the surgical physician's assistant program at UAB. We wanted to host a small party to say congrats with some of her/our friends. Here is what it all looked like...I thought it turned out really nice and wanted to share some simple and fun ways to decorate that won't break the bank.

The table was already decorated for I just kept it that way and added a few extras. The stuff wrapped around all the food is that mesh ribbon stuff (not quite sure what the official name is). I actually found it at a yard sale for a whopping 25 cents. Just kind of dressed up the food displays a little.

Decorations I already had...the centerpiece is ornaments in a glass container set inside a wreath. And I put little Christmas trees on sparkly placemats. Even though Christmas is a busy's a great time to have a party b/c your house is already decorated. And just by making a few yummy things to eat and getting creative with the display...makes for a party success.

A close up of some of the food...peanut butter balls (recipe to come on Tasty Tuesday)

chocolate peppermint cookies

ginger snap cookies

pumpkin spice cake

hot chocolate station

coffee station

I actually made extra goodies on purpose. We have always delivered baked goods to our neighbors at Christmas. So I packaged everything up and Briggs and I delivered this weekend. It's a great way to meet your neighbors and let them know you care about them.