Fall Photo Shoot

Now that the Christmas cards have been mailed, I can finally reveal the pictures from our fall photo session!  I love, love, love the pictures.  McKenzie was incredibly uncooperative that day, but Beth our photographer happened to snap some adorable pictures!   If you are in the Maryland/Delaware/Pennsylvania area, I highly recommend Beth from Beth Sabia Photography!  She is great with kids and incredibly talented!

Here are some of our favs!

Coat

Hug

Kneeling

I love capturing a new family portrait at the same time each year!  Look at the difference a year makes!  This will be a tradition in our household each year so that we always have an updated family photo to look back on!  Love it!

2012 Fall Family Photo

2013 Fall Family Photo

5 on Friday | December Edition – Week 2 – Gift Edition

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Happy Friday!  Only one more Friday until Christmas!  I can’t even believe how quickly this holiday season has gone! This week I wanted to highlight a few gifts that I love this year!  Here’s hoping they inspire you for some last-minute shopping!

One.
Color Me Monthly!  

CMM 2

If you or someone in your life loves nail polish, than this one is for you! Color Me Monthly is a box subscription for nail polish.  For $7 a month, a new color is delivered directly to your door step!  The colors are incredible and the nail polish is non-toxic and carcinogen free!  Plus, the polish itself holds up just as long…if not longer…then brand name polishes!  I absolutely love this and the surprise that each month brings when the box arrives!

Each month, a simple box will arrive.  Color Me Monthly believes in no-fuss packaging to keep their cost low.  Once you open your box, you’ll receive you nail polish and a Haiku to accompany your new perfect color!  What’s not to love!  You can sign up for monthly subscriptions or give 6 or 12 month gifts.  It’s a perfect gift for those teenagers and women alike!

CMM 3

Two.
Alex and Ani

alex and ani
Love, love love Alex and Ani.  I know that these have been around for some time now, but I absolutely love their bangle bracelets.  Each bangle comes with a charm.  You choose what represents you!  Currently, my bracelets consist of May’s birthstone, the letter ‘M’ for Mom and/or Megan, the path of life charm, and the key to my heart charm.  Each has a special meaning to me and each reminds me throughout the day of who I am and why I do what I do.

alex

Most of my charms are the Russian Silver finish, but I plan on adding some color in the near future!  I love these because they are a great reminder and piece of jewelry for me to wear each day without being over the top.  It goes great with my work clothes, as well as casual weekend wear – plus McKenzie loves playing with them!  Great distraction technique!  Plus, I get so many compliments on them!


Three.
Sloane Ranger

sloan ranger

Looking for the perfect crossbody bag, tote or weekender, then look no further.  Sloane Ranger has it all.  With a variety of patterns to choose from, these preppy bags are perfect for those with the need for style, yet functionality.  Printed on durable canvas, these adorable totes are as functional as they are stylish and fun!

Four.
May Books

may books
For those of you who love carrying a notebook with you (because inevitably you’ll always need to write something down!), then May books by May Designs are for you!  Completely customizable, these 5 x 8 canvas coated paper covered planner are amazing!  

You can choose to design your book online in real-time. You pick out your color, then choose your monogram, font and color!  Amazing!  You easily could spend hours on this site designing multiple books.

After you are done designing, you choose the kind of pages that are right for you.   There are 15 options that include planners, lined pages, blank pages, exercise journal, wedding and bump diaries and more!

Check them out today and have fun creating!  I’ve created one for McKenzie.  I was going to keep a written journal of each month’s milestone’s, but then have been doing so on the blog.  It’s new use will be to jot down all of the hilarious things that she says as she starts to talk more and more!  I can’t wait to fill the book as a journal to look back on as she grows!


Five.
Personalized Otterbox Cases
iphone cases

As Mom’s, we know that our phones no longer are our own.  Despite our best efforts, little hands grab our phones.  The same little hands also drop and throw our phones.  I’ve learned how important it is to have a tough case that can withstand all of the drops.  I love Otterbox’s but hate that they were so generic.  Well…problem solved!  Lipstick Shades offers customizable Otterbox cases!  You choose the color, the background, the monogram and more!  Amazing!  If you’re looking for a tough case with a feminine look, than this is the case for you!

Happy shopping and happy weekend!

5 on Friday | December Edition – Week 1

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

So excited to be back in the swing of things and doing 5 on Friday’s!    This week, my 5 are a few of my favorite things – holiday edition! In the coming weeks, 5 on Friday will continue with the holiday theme, including gift ideas for adults and children!

One – Cookies
Each year, my family gathers together to bake.  We make more cookies than we can possible eat.   We spend hours in the kitchen – talking, sampling, and baking even more.

The cookies are the bi-product.  It’s about spending the time together. It’s about enjoying the time we spend together. 

Our little cookie baker last year!


Two – Lights
Each year, we spend time riding around and looking at lights.  It’s one of those things that I know we will love more and more ask Kenzie gets older.  Last year, she was a tiny little baby, who slept most of the time.  This year, I can’t wait to hear her point and talk about the lights.

One of our favorite places to go and drive through is the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory.  They set up the beautiful light display below and you can drive through and walk through their grounds.  Each year, I am so amazed at the amount of timing and lights it must take the person that wraps the trees.  Incredible!


Three – Trees
Choosing, Cutting Down and Decorating our Tree!  Brian and I started the tradition a few years after we were married.  It’s gotten a little harder to do now with McKenzie, but I think it’s still worth it.  I want her to have special memories of the holidays.  I want her to have traditions…even if it means more work for us and less ornaments on the trees than normal!

Christmas Tree Farm 030


Four – Christmas Countdown
I was so excited when I unpacked the Christmas decorations this year.  This Christmas Countdown was one that I used as I was growing up.  I would look forward to moving the little Christmas mouse to each day.  I knew that the closer we got to the end of the calendar, the closer we were to Christmas!  Growing up, we also had an Advent wreath and a little prayer-book that my sister and I would fight over to read.  It’s on my list of things to buy for next year!  We also always had an Advent countdown that had Hershey kisses attached to it.

081


Five – Christmas Music


I may have started listening to Christmas music right before Thanksgiving.  Don’t judge!  I love the classic versions of the Christmas songs that I grew up with, but I also love newer and updated versions as well.  See above.  Pentatonix is amazing.  I’ve loved them since they were on the show, The Sing Off, and I love them even more now.  If you’re looking for updated Christmas music, check out this acapella group! They have an entire Christmas album!  Amazing!

Happy Holidays!  Have a great weekend!

 

The Thankful Project: Day 28 – Topic of My Choice

thanksHappy Thanksgiving Everyone!

For those of you that stuck with me throughout these past 28 days, thank you!  I know some of the posts were more serious than others, but I hope that you enjoyed taking the journey with me.   I’m thankful that I stuck with it.  Some of the prompts encouraged me to write outside of my comfort zone and for that I’m thankful.  This series has allowed me to express myself and make new friends along the way.   For that I’m grateful!

You’ve heard what I’m thankful for during the past 28 days, yet there’s even more I’m thankful for.  Today, among all of the other blessings in my life, I’m thankful for this space. Something that I started a few months ago as a place for me to jot down my, has grown in to so much more.  I’ve developed friendships with incredible other women – women that come from all walks of life, from place throughout the world.  The sense of community has been incredible.  We’re all on our own journeys, but it’s nice to know that we’re all in it together.  Some days, the little comments of encouragement, support and gratitude are what get me through the day!  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

In light of Thanksgiving and spending time with my family for the next few days, I’ll be missing from this spot.  I’ll be back in December with more holiday themed goodness, but for now, enjoy this day with loved ones and know that I’m thankful for you!

 

thankful project titleI’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

The Thankful Project: Day 23 – Something You’ve Seen

luke 2I’ve seen our family grow.  We’ve grown through marriages.  We’ve grown through the birth of little babies.  We’ve also grown through adoption.

Today, on National Adoption Day, I’m thankful for my brother.

My Dad and Step-Mom chose to adopt back in 2005.  After waiting almost a year to meet him and bring him home, he finally joined our family.

I’ll never forget the day.  We all gathered at their house to anxiously await their arrival from the airport.  We had decorated the front of the house and had food waiting.  In they walked with the most adorable little 11 month old you could have ever seen.

He was overwhelmed, yet happy.  His whole world was completely different.  His life had been turned upside down.  For 11 months, he had spent time with a foster-mother who loved him dearly. For 11 months, he had only heard the Spanish language.  For 11 months, Guatemala, or Guate-LAMA (as he used to call it) was his home.

Now he was in his new home.  With a Mom and Dad, more toys than he knew what to do with, a two sister’s.  He instantly captured our hearts and became part of our family.

luke

Although there is a 20 year age difference between us and we’re at very different points in our lives, I’m thankful beyond words for this charming little guy!

Kenz

 

thankful project titleI’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

McKenzie | 18 Months |

Again, a little late, but better late than never!

So little McKenzie…You’re a 1 and a half!  How in the world did that happen?!  Weren’t we just planning your first birthday party?!  This past month has been so much fun with you!

What’s Happening:

The Start of Potty Training
You’ve shown interest and I’m cautiously optimistic! I know it is probably still a little way off, but you’ve told Jen at daycare and us when you need to go!

potty

Preschool
I can’t even believe that I just typed that.  How did we get here!?  I’ve been researching local preschools for the past month or two.  First, most are way more expensive than I realized that they would be.  Second, most are charging a lot of money for only 2 hours, 2 days a week.  I was shocked!  After researching a little more, we found a local preschool that we love!  I can’t even wait for you to start there in September!  You are going to learn so much and have so much fun!

Vocabulary
I’m not even sure how many words you know now.  You talk all day long!  What I love about your learning words is that you are finally able to communicate with us!  A few nights ago, you were so exhausted.  We gave you your bath and I sat down with you, just as I do each night, to hold you for a few minutes before you climb in to bed.  You lost your mind.   I wasn’t even sure why!  I assumed it was because you were overly tired.  As I listened closer,  I finally caught on to what you were saying as you were crying! Book! You were upset that we didn’t read!  My little creature of habit! I let you pick out a book, we read it, you curled right up in my arms and went to sleep without a fight.  I love that you can tell us things now!

Your newest phrase that you say each night as we end a story, is “The End!”  You are listening and learning and I love it!

Leading up to Halloween, we taught you Boo, since you were going to be a ghost.  Anytime we asked you what a ghost said, you would yell, “Boo!”

We’ve moved on and skipped over Thanksgiving, since “Gobble Gobble” is a little harder to say.  We’ve started working on Christmas.  If we ask you what Santa says, you reply, “Ho ho!” and if we ask whose birthday it is on Christmas you say, “Baby Cheezus”.  It makes me giggle every time.  There is some slight confusion though because any time you want a Cheez It cracker, you will say Cheezus.  We’ve got some clarification to do!

Favorite Thing
Singing the ABC’s.  It’s your favorite song.  As we sing it, you join in with a random E, G, I, or Z.  You bob your head as we say each letter.  After we’re done singing, you will sing it on your own.  You have the rhythm of the song down, but mumble through most of the letters until you hit your favorites – E, G, I and Z.

Eating
You eat a lot, but are still kind of picky.  You hate any form of meat.  Veggies and fruits…you’ve got it.  Put a chicken, ham, turkey, or meat loaf in front of you and you remove them from your plate.  It’s so bizarre.  We’ve been working on finding new forms of protein that you will actually eat, but haven’t been too successful.

table

You have also become finicky with how your food is presented.  Some days you want things cut, so we cut them up.  Then the next meal, you refuse to eat because you wanted it whole.  Then the next meal you want things cut up.  We can’t keep up!

Sleep Habits
Your sleep habits have been less than stellar ever since daylight savings time.  I think we also had a touch of sleep regression going on at the same time, which means we haven’t been getting the greatest sleep!  For about 2 weeks, you would wake up at 2 in the morning, open your door and stand at the gate.  You would call for me and I would come get you.  As soon as you saw me, you would run back to your bed, grab your blanket, and motion to be picked up.  We’d sit in your chair and rock and you’d fall back to sleep quickly.  You would sleep until about 5:15.  Then you were up again for good!    We’ve been a little tired, but it has gotten better.  The past few nights, you’ve slept through the night again and have only been getting up a little earlier than normal!

Outings
We’ve been busy this past month!

You had you’re second Halloween.  Such a cute little ghost!

ghost

You went to your first show – Disney on Ice. We went with your friend Ella and you loved it!

Disney

You thought you were home, because you insisted on taking your shoes off!

Date Day with Dad – Daycare was closed, so Dad stayed home with you.  You went to a bounce house with inflatable moon bounces with your friend, Adelyn, and then out to lunch!  You had so much fun!

bounce

This month has been one of the best!  You are for sure your own little person, with an ever emerging personality.  It’s so fun watching you grow and I’m so thankful that I’m your Mom!

I love you through and through.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow too.

Love,
Mom