Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Draft

Because of that pesky Christmas card curse the adorable 2010 Christmas cards my sister-in-law designed for us didn't make it out in time for Christmas, but here are the Holiday/New Year themed cards we opted for as a last minute solution. They came out really well I think! 
Here's to having a fun, safe night and a fantastic start on 1-1-11!!!
(Photos by the amazing Mackenzie Wheatley)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Carter got a much needed hair cut this week.



Is it just me, or does he not look so much older now?  It's breaking my heart how fast he is growing up.

Oh What Fun!

Christmas Morning 2010
(a photo essay)

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry!

Better late than never :)

Merry Christmas circa 2009!

Welcome to the world baby Jack! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card Curse

Our house is where Christmas Cards come to die.  We are 0 and 3 for successful Christmas Card mailings at our house.  Last year I was on a mission to get our Christmas Cards out before Jack arrived, and was so single-minded in my determination, I actually pulled an all-nighter which caused some serious sleep-deprived consequences which you can read all about here.

So, ironically my obsession with getting our Christmas cards out rendered our Christmas cards (that featured our smiling family of three) quite useless considering we were suddenly a smiling family of four.  Oops.  No biggie, I just scheduled a newborn session with the photographer, hopped on the computer and put a rush on holiday-themed baby announcements that were the exact size and in a complimentary design to our previous christmas cards.  A christmas card addendum so-to-speak since I just stuffed them into the envelopes right along with the original cards.

Sadly, even then, the cards never made it into circulation.  I could throw out excuses all day about the difficulties of juggling daily activities with a newborn, let alone a stuff-and-stamp session, but they would just be excuses.  Sure, a few choice family members (who happen to stop by) were handed their cards, but other than the few cards that were handed off or stuffed into a shoe box (you know, for the baby album that is still in cellophane), the majority of the christmas cards and christmas card addendum/baby announcements wound up in the recycle bin along with my pride.

It's hard to say what was more upsetting, the fact that I wasted all that money (not to mention paper and ink) on cards that didn't go out, or the fact that I basically never sent out a baby announcement for Jack.  I had vowed to never be one of THOSE moms that gypped baby #2 out of any of the pomp and circumstance baby #1 received, and here I was, barely a few months into Jack's life, and was already falling down on the job.

Fast forward a year to our Christmas Card endeavors this year.  I had grand visions of tying in a belated baby announcement in the form of "our 7lb 1oz, 19 and 3/4 inch baby boy is now a year old!" (with a cute excuse of why a proper baby announcement never went out), along with a "we've moved and here's our new address!" announcement.  I was well on my way to achieving half of my goal too - I gave up on the baby announcement and tied our Christmas card into an address update, but alas, the Christmas Card curse struck again.

The cards were designed by an amazing sister-in-law which left only the printing end of things up to me.  Just FYI, copymax and vistaprint SUUUUUCK!  Do not, I repeat DO NOT use them for anything you need to look like it was professionally printed.  Seriously I could do a better job on a dot matrix, blindfolded and standing on my head than these idiots.  So, strike one, strike two.  And since I can now no longer get anything printed in time for Christmas, the beautiful Christmas cards we had designed for us are now a bit pointless.  Steeee-rike three, you're out!  ***heavy sigh of defeat***

I ordered new cards directly from since I have heard nothing but wonderful things about their quality and was in need of a 'happy new year' themed card along with a reliable printing service that could put a rush on things.  All of this is coming at a price of course (sorry Mr. C), but I did get 15% off thanks to their current promotion (15% off holiday cards using HOLIDAY15 at checkout) so here's to hoping we'll get SOMETHING out this year even though it may be the death of me, and here's to hoping next year we can end the curse of the Christmas Card once and for all.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Jack!

We had the absolute pleasure and privilege of celebrating Jack's first birthday this weekend with the help of friends and family.  We had a cookie-themed first birthday party on Saturday, and were reminded once again just how blessed we are by the people in our lives.  Mr. C's parents and my mom and sister were on hand to represent all the amazing grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that have been by our side this past year, and we had some of my favorite mommy friends on hand with their absolutely precious children to represent our amazing network of friend support that has kept us sane (especially me!) this past year.

Jack's first year flew by even faster than Carter's first year, even though I didn't think that was possible!  It really snuck up on me, though, and I turned to Etsy to help me with some of the party planning, ordering a birthday banner for Jack and some cute little favor tags.  Unfortunately, they were all sent to our old address, and I was stuck at the eleventh hour with nothing.  My amazing family came to the rescue, though.  Mr. C took over with the kids Friday evening, and then, after they were in bed, cleaned, straightened up the house and did dishes, and basically secured his title as husband-of-the year for the 6th year in a row.  Mom was amazing, as always, baking cookies (which I had planned to do), so I could focus on printing and cutting and glueing away with my sister who was an absolute life saver, staying up with me until 4am creating a new birthday banner and favor tags, and even a door sign and birthday garland.  We had so much fun catching up and talking and visiting that I can honestly say, despite the stress and lack of sleep, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

One of the best parts about Friday night was recounting everyone's version of the story from the year before.  Since we all had different perspectives on the car accident and the events that transpired, it was interesting to look at the clock periodically and say "well, one year ago at this time, I had just been checked into my room and the phone rang.  It was Jenny (my best friend from HS) who was calling to see if I was ok because she had heard about the accident on facebook!"  Stephen would chime in with "one year ago at this time, I was rifling through your underwear drawer trying to find the random things on the list you had told me to get from the house for you" and mom would add "Gary and Alice were just getting to the house to watch Carter so I could come meet you at the hospital." Funny little memory points would pop up like the amazing chopped beef sandwiches the Childresses brought from Hinzes Barbecue for Stephen, that they sent with Mom to the hospital, and that Stephen shared with me as my first meal in 32 hours after Jack was born (may have been the best thing I've ever eaten in my entire life).  Or the fact that Memorial Herman has a floor that's not on any of the elevator buttons (it's used for storage), but of course Stephen was initially told I was on that floor.  Surrounded by the warm smell of cookies, and the sound of laughter, and the wonderful feeling of knowing Jack was safe and sound and healthy and thriving and sound asleep in his crib upstairs, it was just the perfect way to remember how incredibly lucky and blessed we were by the miracle of Jack's birth.

So thank you (!!!) to our friends and family that helped us a year ago when we were coping with the unexpected arrival of our little guy and helped again this year to celebrate, and Happy Birthday to my sweet precious baby boy.  You are such a light in our lives and our family wasn't complete until you came along.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Year in Status

2010 Facebook Status updates (well, most of them).  What a fun little trip down memory lane :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Because it never gets old.


A Nice New House.

So, I never officially posted that we have moved!  

At the end of October, we bid farewell to our wonderful first home,

and hello to our beautiful new-to-us house!

We told Carter about the move about two weeks before it actually happened, which in hind-sight might have been a little soon because every night after we'd put him to bed, he'd say "tomorrow we move to a nice new house!"  It was adorable, but then we'd have to try to explain to him that it wasn't actually happening the next day.  I think it did help him to know it was coming, though.  We'd have the cutest conversations about what all we were going to take with us to the new house.  He'd ask, "take the chair?" ("yes Carter, we'll take the chair").  "Take the shows?" ("yes Carter, we'll take all your shows").  "Take Daddy?"  (yes Carter, we'll definitely take Daddy).  We also really tried to talk up the new house so that he viewed the move as a fun and exciting thing.  

The move went really well thanks to LOTS of help from our family.  I took the boys to Mr. C's parents the day before closing, and they watched the boys on closing and moving day.  After dropping off the kiddos, I headed home just in time to do our final walk-through on the new place.  The next day was closing day (we set up back-to-back closings), and then last minute packing (we worked out a 24 hour lease with the new owner to buy us some time to move sans kids).  While we finished up, I had a few of my mommy friends over for one last wine night in the old house for old time's sake. :)

The next day we hit the ground running.  Mr. C went over to U-haul at the crack of dawn to pick up a moving van, and I headed to starbucks to pick up some caffeine to fuel the day.  Then the fun really started!  My uncle was a life-saver.  He volunteered at the last minute to help us, and we couldn't have done it without him.  He came with his flat-bed trailer, and all his moving knowledge (he's a bit of an expert after moving once or twice in the last few years).   My mom and my dad also came with their two vehicles and loads of moving boxes and packing materials.  With five sets of hands, five vehicles and the trailer, we were able to get almost everything except for the big furniture pieces over the new house by mid-afternoon.  At noon we arranged for a team of three movers to come do the heavy lifting, moving all the furniture into the U-haul.  Then, they followed us to the new house to unload all the furniture.  Best money spent for-sure...all we had to do was point to where we wanted everything, and they did the rest!

We tied up a few loose ends at the old house (cleaning and paint touch ups mainly) before saying one last teary good bye, and locking up.  It was hard to walk away from the house we created so many wonderful memories in, but so exciting to come home to our 'nice new house' as Carter would say :).  We ordered pizza and cracked open some champagne and toasted to new beginnings and making new memories.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Evening Sky

Benjamine Moore Evening Sky 833 that is.  According to House Beautiful:

"This is a deep, dark inky blue that can look almost black in the shade, but it turns into a rich, deep blue in the sun. It would look just as great on a stone house in the mountains as it would on a faded, silvery-shingled Cape Cod at the beach." -ANDREW FLESHER

Let's hope the same holds true for a traditional red brick wanna-be colonial in south Texas because I have high hopes that this is the color that will take our front door from ho-hum to ooo-la-la!  

Stay tuned for pics.