Sunday, November 22, 2015

Giving Thanks

The next week is gonna be busy, so I'm posting this now.

I love Christmas as much as the next person, but I prefer to celebrate my holidays one at a time. So right now, I'm focused on Thanksgiving.  Now on November 27th, I may or may not be taking the kids to visit Santa or check out some lights, but that's a different story. So today, and most of this week, is about Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks.  Being thankful.  Thankful to God for His many blessings and provisions for our family.  Thankful that I live in a place where I can freely worship my savior, Jesus Christ, without fear.  Thankful that I have a warm house to go home to each night, and a bed to sleep in. Thankful for the family He has given me.  Thankful for my church family, and small group, that I get to share life with.  Thankful for friends that I can text back and forth with.  Thankful for a husband who loves me and leads our family well.  Thankful for these two girls...

There is SO MUCH to be thankful for and so many more things that I could name.  As Kate ends most of her blessings, the thing I am MOST grateful for is Jesus. Amen.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Normal Days

So this is what our normal nights look like these days.  A happy baby (usually)....

Squiggly sitters...

My big girl...

And little sister...

These are the moments I want to always remember. The normal, everyday, nothing extraordinary kind of moments.

THESE are the days that fly by. The days when I get home from work, rush to make dinner, make sure kids get baths and then tucked into bed. I'm not sure how those 3 hours pass so quickly, but I blink and the day is over.  So these few hours each night are something special. 

And on a side note, this girl told me "Take my picture, Mama. I look cute."  And when I pulled out my camera, she struck this pose.  This kid. :) She is something else!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Back to Blogging - Halloween Catch Up

I've been checked out for a while.  No apologies.  That's just life.  BUT, I'd like to make more of an effort to keep this thing up.  If for nothing else, I print my blog each year and put it into a "book".  So this is kind of my scrapbook of sorts, and I definitely need to do better!

What's been up with us?

Well first of all, HALLOWEEN!  It was Karsten's 2nd Halloween but really felt like her first.  Last year she was just 25 days old, and we were still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we actually had a newborn in our home.  Newborn Halloween costumes were definitely NOT on my mind.  It was more like "How many hours of sleep will we get tonight?"

This year, I was so looking forward to finding a costume and it did not disappoint. Kate, of course, was so excited for the occasion to dress up.  I asked her what she wanted to dress up as, and despite the fact that she already has 3 Cinderella dresses, she said she wanted to be Cinderella and picked out a NEW dress.  Props to Disney for creating a "new" dress for their latest Cinderella movie, that is just different enough from the original one that all girls will be requesting this.  Marketing at its finest. I had no preconceived ideas of what to dress Karsten as, so when we came across this cute little piggy costume at TJ Maxx, I knew it would be perfect.

Here are the girls on Halloween.

We don't really live in a neighborhood so we get ZERO trick-or-treaters, which I guess is a good thing since we're actually out trick-or-treating ourselves.  We met up with some friends and went through their neighborhood.  Kate had a blast.  Honestly, Kate had so much fun dressing up and playing with the other kids, she wasn't all that concerned about the candy. We got home late and put it away, and she almost completely forgot about it. Score for mom, right?  (Don't get too worked up. I have let her have some of it! But definitely in moderation.)

Halloween 2015 was a success for sure!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clemson vs Boston College

A few weeks ago, we got to go to our first Clemson game in 2 years. We've been to at least one game nearly every year since Kevin and I got married, but last year we got an unexpected (and completely wonderful) surprise when Karsten joined our family. So no Clemson game last year!

Our plan was to take the entire family (including Karsten) to the Clemson/BC game, which was homecoming.  However, because of the season Clemson has been having so far, and the significance of the game, when the game time was announced, it turned out being a night game starting at 7pm.  That was a no-go with a 1 year old, but we knew Kate would be able to make it. 

So on Saturday, October 17th, the 3 of us headed to Clemson.  Karsten had fun at home with lots of one-on-one time with her Nana!

Kate was SUPER excited about getting a tiger paw on her face, and she ended up with not one, but TWO tiger paws. 

Because of all the rain the past few weeks, Bowman field was extremely muddy. Clemson tried to alleviate some of the problem by putting down hay but it honestly just smelled awful. So we didn't stay around the floats for too long. 

It's hard to believe that this is where I lived 8 years ago. It honestly doesn't feel like it has been THAT long. Some things (like Tillman Hall) never change. 

Kate was enthralled with the field, and Howards Rock.  She kept telling me "This is where the REAL tiger is going to run out, Mama."


This is my mom, with two of her brothers. I definitely come from a Clemson family. :)

This was the best we could do of the 3 of us. 

We brought a stroller for Kate because let's face it, Clemson is BIG and it is most definitely not flat.  We weren't sure how long she would be able to hang with the walking.  She found a better ride - my uncle Rick's shoulders.  Let me tell you, Kate is not a lightweight.  He carried her like this for a very long time.  I'm sure he was sore the next day! 

Kate watched very little of the actual game.  She did, however, LOVE the cheers.  She is still singing "C-L-E-M-S-OOOooooo-N!"

She also loved playing with my mom's visor, and wearing it on her head like so...

Because if you wear it like that, it's actually a princess crown.  Didn't you know that? :)

Maybe next year all FOUR of us will make it to a game. I'm at least doing my part to help my kids be little tiger fans!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

First Birthday Party

Last weekend we celebrated Karsten's first birthday with a party, of course! We kept it small, and had a "family only" party, which was perfect. There will be plenty of time later for bigger parties, so the low key party was great.  And fortunately, some of Karsten's birth family was able to come, which made it even more special.

The party theme was Cookies & Milk. Big thanks to my mom who made dozens of cookies for the party. :) We had chocolate chip (of course), snickerdoodles (my favorite) and chocolate oatmeal (my grandma's recipe).  I made Karsten's cake, and originally wasn't planning on making anything else cake-wise. However, Kate realized that the cake was only for Karsten, so I promised to make some cupcakes for the party too.

Our best attempt at a family photo before the party started. The struggle is real.

I was excited to see how Karsten reacted to the cake. You just never know how a baby will respond. Will they dig in? Will they even touch it? Will they smash their faces into it? Who knows!

But before we got to the cake itself, we sang "happy birthday" to her.  Honestly, I think this was her favorite part of the party. She loves music and she loves to hear her name (well, usually).

Then it was cake time!

And I should have known. Karsten is such a little lady. There was no digging into the cake for her.  No face smashing.  I had to actually feed it to her at first!

Then she figured it out and very carefully took a taste.

She definitely played with it more than she ate.

And then she flung the cake against the wall and that was the end of the cake experiment.

Opening gifts went pretty much the same way.  I mean she is one so she didn't really have any idea what was going on.  She wasn't really into opening gifts, and like the tissue paper that was thrown on the floor the best.

She LOVED this little bunny that a friend at church gave her.  She has been carrying it around our house for the past week.

And she loved this stuffed bear.  She is such a little momma. She loves baby dolls and stuffed animals so much. 

This one had fun but definitely struggled at a birthday party that was not HERS.  For 3 years, she was our only child. She was almost always the center of attention. This past year has been a huge adjustment for her, and while she's definitely still getting used to it, she has done so well. She loves her baby sister.  She just doesn't love sharing the attention so much. :)  

We definitely had fun celebrating our ONE year old. I still can't believe she's one. She has brought so much joy into our lives.  We love her so!  Happy first birthday, Karsten!

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