Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Our Holidays in Photos

Our holiday season was sweet and simple, filled with family, friends, and good eats! 😉 We enjoyed spending Christmas with our families and had special visits from old friends for New Years. Ada loved every minute of it and I am so sad to see Christmas end. Ada is already missing her Christmas lights in her room and the choo, choo train around the tree. I am going to have to think of something fun and festive for Valentine’s Day just so Ada (& I) can enjoy another celebration. 🙂

One of my favorite activities that we did this Christmas, was taking Ada to see Christmas Lights in Asheville. It is a spectacular light show that you drive through and all the lights are schronized to Christmas music on a dedicated radio channel. Ada loved it! She just talked and pointed at everything as we drove by. It was simply the best!

Ada and I spend two days making Christmas cookies for our family and neighbors. She had a blast getting covered in flour and eating cookie dough behind my back.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed some milk and cookies by the Christmas tree.

Freshly made Christmas cookies, ready to be delivered.

For New Year’s, we stayed at home and enjoyed playing with Ada and her new toys. Her favorite – the elephant ball popper! But we also enjoyed some cake, sparklers, and champagne (for mom and dad)!

I made us some mini party hats and was delightfully surprised when Ada loved having it on.

I adore this picture! Just look at that adorable, cheesy smile! 🙂

Clapping in the new year! Ada’s favorite word right now is, “Happy”; because of us saying, “Happy New Year!” So now she is running around the house saying, “Happy, happy, happy!” Yeah – it is pretty darn cute.

I hope your holiday season was filled with love, family, friends, and happiness! And may God’s peace and joy continue to bless you all through out the new year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ya’ll!


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Christmas at Home

I have really, really struggled on decorating our home for Christmas this year. I would put together something, then tear it down. Then I would hang up something, leave it there for a day or two and then tear it down again. I did this for about two weeks! But I can gladly say, that I have finally completed our decorations for Christmas! Whew! Just in time, uh?

Although I struggled this year, I love decorating my home for Christmas. Especially, since Ada loves it all! Every time she sees the tree she says, “Tree… Lights… Pretty.” It makes me so happy to see how much she enjoys it all. This season is just so joyous and I am grateful that I get to make beautiful memories with Ada and Randy! I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into our home!

One of my favorite Christmas decorations that I look forward to pulling out every year, is this nativity set. I love it and I am so glad that we have something like this to have as a family tradition and heirloom.

A special shout out to my dear friend who inspired my mantle this year. She had this gorgeous scroll hanging above her fireplace and I just had to have one, too! I have been looking for a Christmas sign to put above the fireplace for years now and this is perfect! You can purchase it here. She is working on some new designs that you can peek at on Instagram – there is one that I need for my bedroom…. now to convince Randy that I need this one too… 😉

We got to add another stocking this year! I couldn’t get her stocking last year because they sold out! So I bought it early this year. You can get these stockings here.

The tree skirt is from here.

I think these Santa hat glasses are so cute! I have had them for years and love drinking my eggnog in them! You can buy them here. And of course, one of my favorite candles that smells like Christmas! The white tray is from Pier1.

For our dining table, I used a wooden box that my dad made me. He used barn wood from his old barn. I love it and keep it out all year long.

We do not have a bar cart – which is sad! 😉 But I use this little corner in the kitchen to make our favorite drinks. This year’s favorite, Moscow Mules.

Happy Friday ya’ll!


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Holiday Gift Guide for Little Ladies

Deciding on what to get Ada for Christmas this year has been so much fun and at the same time, difficult. She is at an awkward stage right now. She is too grown up for the toys that were made for babies who are mostly sitting, but she isn’t full on walking yet. So she isn’t quite ready for the toys that require walking. But after weeks of searching, I think I have found a list of toys that she will enjoy; along with some items she needs.

I think Ada is going to love this Tubby Table, especially with the tea set. Ada loves to pretend eat. Her favorite toys right now are a bowl and a spoon, so I think she is ready to play tea. She is in desperate need of new bath toys, so I can not wait for her to try out this table! I also got her a few more bath toys since she hasn’t had any new ones for months now. I know that she is going to love them all!

Pjs are always a need for Ada (she is growing by the minute), and these lamb pjs are so sweet. Plus, Ada loves lambs.

It is time to start Ada’s Christmas book collection – this, Night Before Christmas, has great illustrations and the Mouse one is a favorite of Ada’s. And of course, adding an Owl book to her library is a must, considering how much she loves owls.

I have decided to try out this ball popper, since Ada loves to play with balls (when I take her to a toy store, she goes for the balls). Her mimi got her a ball pit a while back and she loves playing with the colorful balls. I think this will be a nice addition and might encourage her to start walking even faster.

These wooden cupcakes are so adorable! And I think Ada will enjoy having some play food and I look forward to the day that she can play with them in her play kitchen.

Ada seems to feel more confident in taking steps in shoes. I have tried stride rite shoes and they are way too big for her little feet. So I am going to try out these Livie & Luca shoes. Plus, they are the cutest shoes ever! I love the rose gold and vintage look. I hope they work out for her, because I love them! 😉

And a stocking full of things that she needs – new socks, a hairbrush that doesn’t hurt her, shampoo, and some new bows.

I can not wait to see the look on Ada’s face Christmas morning, when she opens up her presents! Although, I am pretty sure she is going to enjoy the paper and boxes more than the actual gifts. That is how it goes, right? Regardless, it is still going to be so much fun! What are your gift suggestions for toddlers? Hope you are having a great week!


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Holiday Gift Guide

Happy Friday ya’ll! The weekend is almost here and so is Christmas! Thankfully, most of my Christmas shopping is complete! But there are still a few little things that I would like to get. I sometimes struggle picking out Christmas presents, especially for Randy. That is why I love reading blogs to get ideas and inspiration to help me pick out the perfect gift. So here is my gift guide for Christmas this year. This list is basically mine and Randy’s wish list this year, with a few extra items that we need.

For Her: Necklace / Mixing Bowls / Pom Pom Beanie / Candle / FitBit

For Him: GoPro / Camper Mug / Fleece Pants / Moscow Mule Mugs / Socks

 

For all the ladies, this necklace is so sweet! It is custom made and you can get anything stamped on it – a name, a date, etc. Such a sweet gift for a mom or grandma. I know it is on my wish list this year! 😉

A few days ago, I couldn’t sleep and decided to get up and make muffins for everyone. It was then that I realized that I do not like my stainless steel mixing bowls. They make the most awful clanging noise with just the slightest touch (which isn’t good when everyone in the house is still sleeping) and they can not be microwaved (which you need to do to melt butter). So I decided I was ready for different, prettier mixing bowls. I love the ones from West Elm that are labeled whisk, mix, and stir. But since those are no longer available, these will do just fine.

This candle is my most favorite candle of all time! No joke! It has such a nice clean smell and I love using it in my bedroom. But it is nice for anywhere! Also, I am in love with their fir & firewood candle for Christmas. Most fir candles smell disgusting, but not this one! Just try it – you will love it, I promise! 😉

The FitBit has been on my wish list for a little while, but I am glad I waited. Isn’t this rose gold one, great?!

Randy has been wanting a GoPro for a couple of years now; so I know that he is excited for Christmas morning (yes, he picked out his Christmas this year.)! Plus, we plan to use it as a family camera – I can’t wait to take some fun videos of Ada.

Randy can always use a new pair of fleece pants to lounge around in and his favorite ones are from REI. He also can always use dress socks for work. His favorites come from Banana Republic and they have fun Christmas print ones, too!

Happy Shopping! 🙂


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Ada’s First Christmas

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year! There is nothing better than celebrating the holidays with a little one! Even though Ada is just a baby, it was still fun to watch her play with ribbons and watch her eyes light up when she saw a new toy.

Despite Ada’s age, I still wanted to start Christmas traditions with her this year – we made sugar cookies together, we watched the Home Alone movies and Elf, and stayed in our Christmas pjs on Christmas day, eating junk food all day! It was glorious!

We started off the morning with Christmas breakfast casserole and then dived right into presents.

Ada really loves the toys from Lamaze! I love watching her play with them! She was passed around all day to be loved on by all of the family. She got fussy a few times, but I’m pretty sure she throughly enjoyed all the attention!

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

Then I made everyone take some family photos, it was after all, Ada’s first Christmas!

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015

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First Christmas-18

I hope you all a wonderful Christmas filled with joy and love!

“Joy that will be for all people today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, He is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10

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Four Months

On Christmas Eve, Ada turned 4 months old! I have loved every second of these past four months with Ada. We just couldn’t be more in love with her! I have really, really enjoyed this stage – more than I thought I would, to be honest. She is still this sweet, snuggly baby but at the same time she is growing and developing her own little personality. It has been an absolute joy!

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I love how Ada lights up every morning when she wakes up. She squeals in delight, waves her arms and kicks her little legs like crazy! She is just so excited to see us and is so happy in the morning. It has been and still is, my favorite time of day with her. But when Randy comes home from work, Ada laughs and laughs! She just loves her daddy! She is a daddy’s girl through and through.

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Sleeping has been difficult here lately. She has always fought taking naps during the day, so this past month I have been really working with her. I read the 90 Minute Sleep Program and it helped me better understand babies’ natural sleep patterns and wakeful times. Basically, it is just learning your baby’s sleepy signals and taking them at that moment to bed (or at least starting in that direction). It was very hard at first, but it seems to be getting better. She will now not fight me as hard to take her naps during the day.

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Ada has been teething this month. There have been good and bad days. It is so hard to see her be in pain and uncomfortable. She has had tiny fevers, pulling at her ear, and has been irritable. I have been giving her infant tylenol to help and just started the teething tablets. But I have to say the only good thing about teething is that she wants to snuggle all day. It can be annoying sometimes, but then I remember she will not be little forever, so I just soak it all in! She seems to be feeling better the last day or two, so hopefully she is finished teething for a little while! The hardest side effect from this teething is her waking up at 3am every night and not going back to sleep for two hours! I forgot how hard it is not to get sleep! 😉

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She has lost most of her thick, dark hair. I’ll admit, I was a little sad to see it go, but it is slowly growing back. Some of it is growing back in blonde and some is coming back in brown. So she has dark brown, light brown and blonde hair along with some bald spots! 🙂 She still has her blue eyes. They seem to favor my eyes – gray blue. Everything else about her is her daddy! We joke about how she is like Harry Potter – she looks like her father but has her mother’s eyes!

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She still hates tummy time and has no interest in turning over at all. But she does very well sitting up either in her bumbo seat or my lap. She loves looking at her hands, fingers and toes. She has also shown a great interest in our cats as well. She has tried to pet them several times. It won’t be long till she is running around the house chasing them. And Ada as always, loves to talk. Every waking moment, she is talking. It really is the sweetest thing listening to her try to talk.

First Christmas-15

First Christmas-13

These have certainly been the best times of my life! I am so blessed and thankful for Ada. Ada, you are truly loved!


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Adding Some Christmas Cheer

I have been a little behind on getting Christmas decorations out this year, probably because time just flies by anymore. I feel like my days go by in a blink of an eye. I guess that this is normal when you are a first time parent.

My days have been looking like this here lately – get up to feed Ada, drink some coffee, play time, fight with her to get her down for a nap, drink some more coffee, clean what I can in the house, do one part of a load of laundry, deal with a cranky baby because her nap wasn’t long enough, try reading books and rocking to help her go back to sleep… oh, it’s 5:00 pm already?! What in the world are we going to have for dinner? Scramble around in the freezer and pantry, and find wine, ice-cream and cereal.

By the time Randy comes home, I’m exhausted with a very overtired baby. Luckily, Randy is extremely understanding and has made some fantastic dinners for us. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably starve! 😉 As you can see, decorating has not been a high priority this year. But I did manage to get some decorating complete. It was important to me to have a little bit of festiveness around the house; it is after all, Ada’s first Christmas!

It helps to be dressed in cute Christmas pjs to feel like Christmas! And I love that we match! Yeah, I’m that mom! 😉

I absolutely adore these bottle brush trees from Target! I think they are perfect for Ada’s nursery! I bought them on Black Friday and did not receive them till about a week ago. My order, somehow got lost; but Target was super helpful and fixed the problem immediately – so kudos to Target.

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I think the colors are perfect for a little girl’s room! I happened to have card stock in these colors, so I made the “Merry & Bright” banner. I just love how it all came together!

And here are some more pictures of Ada in holiday pjs! Isn’t she the sweetest? I sure do love this little baby!

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Only a few more days till Christmas! I hope your holiday is merry & bright!


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Ada’s Christmas List

I’m so excited for Ada’s first Christmas! Even though she will only be four months old, I still think it is going to be fun and of course, special. Given her age, it is a little difficult to get her presents. But I put together a little wish list of things I know that she needs or will love.

As I have said before, Ada has really started to interact with the world around her lately. She loves playing and looking at books. So I think it is going to be fun to give her some toys for Christmas.

I would like to get her a Christmas book or two. This book looks so sweet and it really concentrates on the reason for the season.

She can, of course, always use sleepers. They are the one thing she wears the most and these holiday print sleepers from Old Navy are great. They are really soft and warm, perfect for this winter. Not to mention, the holiday prints are adorable! I like that they are not too Christmas-y. She can wear them all winter long.

Ada is just about ready for a bigger sleep sack. She only has about two inches left in her current fleece sleep sack. These sleep sacks from Baby Deedee have great reviews and have a comforter type feel.

I think Chew Beads makes the cutest rattlers and Ada enjoys chewing on them. They fit her little hands very well and all the color combos they have are adorable. I really like the colors of this one! I have been on a turquoise kick here lately!

As I have said before, Ada seems to really enjoy the toys and books from Lamaze. This moose and lion will probably find there way under the tree this year. Aren’t they so cute? And I think Ada is going to be very excited to have these!

Can’t wait till Christmas! I have been looking forward to celebrating the holidays with a little one forever. They help make the holidays so special and fun! I am excited to start our own Christmas traditions. What are your traditions with little ones?


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Whirlwind

Life lately has been a whirlwind. We have spent weeks at hospitals, hotels, driving from city to city and ultimately a funeral. Randy’s dear grandmother passed away last week. It was terribly sad, but we take comfort in the fact that she is now in her true home, in the arms of the Father. Now we are picking up the pieces and trying to get back to the normalcy of life.

Because we have been away from home, we are just now decorating for Christmas. I am thrilled to have Randy’s family for Christmas this year! It will have a touch of sadness due to the circumstances, but the important thing is, is that we are spending Christmas together as a family. I think that is what grandma would want, her family enjoying each other’s company.

This year we went to a chose-n-cut tree farm for our Christmas tree. I knew that the precut ones were going to be rather dry, since it was so late in the season. So we got ourselves a nice fresh tree! It was a lot of fun picking out a tree! I hope to continue to do this every year for Christmas!
farm

 

We are running around the house now, trying to get everything ready in time for Christmas! Hopefully, it will all be ready in time! Either way, it is still going to be fun to have family over for the holidays! What are your plans for Christmas?

wreath