Snow Days & Firsts.

As you well know by now the south was hit with a snowstorm earlier this week. Thankfully here in North Carolina snow is pretty common and doesn't equate to such a natural disaster like it has been in Georgia. My prayers go out to all of the students, teachers, parents, and commuters who were and are still stranded due to the snow. 

It started snowing here around 8 Tuesday morning and by 9:30 schools were already closing and kids were being sent home. To a teacher that's the ideal way to have it done. As long as the kids arrive, you're counted as a full school day which means no make up day for us! However we will be making Wednesday through Friday up as the snow has kept us from returning to school this week. Bye bye spring break... though I'm still not complaining as I've had the luxury of being at home with Harper doodle. 

Over the last few days I've felt like I've been in heaven. It's been amazing to spend my time at home with Harper. Since having her tubes put in Monday she has become like a new kid! She's full of energy and all over the place. It's been amazing to watch the change in her and to see how she is responding so well to sounds that she can now hear.

Since being at home we've spent a fairly decent amount of time just playing in bed in the mornings. By fairly decent, I mean till almost lunch :P But with this little cutie, how could you not?! 

We've also experienced a couple of firsts. While feeding Harper Wednesday morning I decided to introduce her to water and a sippy cup. After every few bites I tried showing her how to wash her food down by drinking from her cup. To say she was facinated would be an understatement. I'm not sure if it was the bright pink cup, the fact that she could hold it by its handles, or that it had a different liquid in it than she was used to but she was obsessed! Unfortunately I never could get a picture of her holding it herself but here's a picture of her letting me do it... Silly girl! 

Along with introducing Harper to a sippy cup we also introduced her to sitting in a high chair at a restaurant. By last night I was developing cabin fever so Kevin & I headed to a Mexican restaurant with his dad and brother that's about a mile from our house. Unfortunately Harper's seat didn't fit in their high chairs so we had no choice but to take her out of her seat & have her try sitting in the high chair itself.  Needless to say we hadn't planned on that so we didn't have our high chair cover with us so we stuffed her blanket in the seat instead. It worked perfectly and she loved it. I'm pretty sure she loved it so much because she could reach everything on the table that she wanted. Knives, forks, and salsa for example! 

And since we're on the topic of firsts let me share two firsts for me before I go. Since having the last few days off I've had some time for myself while Harper has napped and it's been amazing! Time for me is few and far between these days. You moms know what I'm talking about. 

As Harper has napped in the mornings it's allowed me to take some time to sip some hot chocolate and do my devotions in the morning. It's been so nice to start my morning off with God instead of ending my day with Him. I've been reading the devotional Wife After God for the past few weeks and it's all I can do to not skip ahead and read the whole thing in one sitting. If you're married or will soon be married I highly encourage you to read it. It's truly changed my outlook on marriage and how I treat my husband. 

And last but not least, I've been able to truly get ready this week. Typically we're always on the go which doesn't allow me much time to get ready these days. Factor in a baby and I'm lucky if my clothes look half decent. But since being stuck at home, it's given me time to actually get ready from head to toe... Even with no where to go. & you know what ladies? It felt good! I was so excited that I had to document it with a photo haha 

How are you spending your snow days? Any firsts?! 


{Monthly Recap}: Eight Months

Your weight has been shifting this month. At the beginning of the month you were 17 pounds even. When you went back to the doctor two weeks later for a check up, you weighed in at 16 pounds 9 ounces. Sounds kind of crazy, huh?

You've been feeling much better this month! There have been no ear infections in sight, woot woot! However, you do still have fluid in your ears despite it not being infected or inflamed. We're taking you to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor next month to see what we should do next. Also this month you broke out with your first rash. Of course, it developed on Christmas Eve when no doctor's office was open. Thankfully it only lasted a couple of days and disappeared and didn't seem to bother you at all. We still have no idea what caused it.

This month you've began waking up sometime between 2 and 3 each morning. Mommy gets you up and changes your diaper while Daddy heads downstairs and gets you a bottle ready. We feed you in our bed. When you finish your bottle you want to play for about thirty minutes and then you fall back asleep. We usually just leave you in our bed for the rest of the night so that when you wake up in the morning we can have our family cuddle sessions before we have to get ready for another day at work (:

This month we've gotten into a great routine! It only took us eight months :P Mommy and Daddy get up super early and get ready. Once we're finished getting ready for our day, we wake you up around 5:45, get you dressed for your day, feed you, and have some fun playing on Mommy and Daddy's bed. Mommy drops you off at daycare somewhere between 6:35-6:40. You take two good naps while at daycare. Usually a good one in the morning and another after lunch. Mommy picks you up around 5:30. You usually fall asleep on the way home and wake up around 6:30 which gives Mommy just enough time to get your things unpacked and repacked for the next day, dinner started, and a few chores around the house completed. When you wake up around 6:30, you eat, play, and get a bath. Around 8:30 you start winding down, get a bottle, and hit the sack!

This month you're wearing 6-9 months and 9 months outfits. Apparently you're going to be right on target for size. Your 6-9 months outfits fit you to the t but you don't have but a handful of those so you're wearing 9 months quite often too. We just have to roll the pants up! Poor thing... your butt just isn't getting any bigger :P

Still in size two's. I thought you'd be outgrowing them soon but from the looks of it, you've probably got another month or so to wear them. Which means Mommy and Daddy are going to have to take a trip to Sam's Club again and get you another box!

You are eating a lot more baby food this month. Now that you're getting the hang of eating from a spoon you seem to like your baby food much better. You're still loving all things fruit related.. especially if bananas are included. This month we moved you up to stage 2 foods. Your favorite by far has been the macaroni and cheese. You're going to be just like Mommy! This month we had all intentions of moving you up to 8 ounce bottles instead of 6 but since you've been eating a full thing of baby food each day, you've seemed to have cut back on how much you drink and how often.

This month you've developed some separation anxiety. I think it's due to the fact that Mommy was home with you for two straight weeks while she was out for Christmas break. Since then whenever I leave the room or go out of sight, you'll start crying. However, if someone or something distracts you, you dry it up pretty quickly. Other than that you just get fussy when you're hungry or getting sleepy... both of which can be fixed very easily.

- You got your front two bottom teeth this month!
- You celebrated your first Christmas and loved it!
- You tried out your high chair and are a huge fan!
- You've also started taking a bath without using the sling in your tub. It was a challenge at first because you'd want to lay down every time we put you in your tub. Thankfully you finally got the hang of how to sit up in it! Giving you bath toys sure did help (:
- You've started scooting around on your bottom this month. I think you're going to skip crawling because you've tried and tried and just don't seem to be a fan. You'd rather just scoot around on your bottom to get the things you need and want.

- Anything that lights up and makes noise! Your favorite toys this month seem to be the ones that either light up or make lots of noise. Needless to say, there isn't much tv watching going on these days in the Holt household.
- You love things with buttons... i.e. the remote control and Mommy & Daddy's cell phones!

-  Not being with Mommy: If Mommy is around you prefer her to be sitting right with you or holding you. You aren't crazy about going to other people anymore if I'm around.. Daddy included! I'll just soak up these moments for now because I know in a few more months you'll be a Daddy's girl, just like Mommy was!


Not Your Typical Monday.

Today has been very different from most of my Mondays. Most Mondays I roll out of bed around 5:45, get Harper & myself ready, drop Harper off at daycare around 6:45, & arrive at work around 7:10. But today was different. This morning we woke up around 5:20, got ourselves and Harper ready, & then headed out to Greensboro at 5:50am... With no intention of Harper going to daycare or me going to work. 

If you've been following my blog for a while you probably know that Harper, our 8 month old, has been battling ear infections since she was around 4 months old. After taking her to see an ear specialist a few weeks ago, it was decided that Harper needed tubes in both of her ears. At her appointment they discovered that she had lots of fluid on her ears & it was greatly impacting her hearing. As a teacher I know this can create developmental delays so I was all for going forward with the tube process despite her young age. 

The procedure was scheduled for this morning at 7:30am. Though it was requested that we arrive around 6:15. We took the earliest available appointment since Harper couldn't eat after midnight. All in all the procedure went well. She did great up until about 30 minutes before the procedure when her hunger set in. Let's just say by that point I was ready to get the show on the road & I'm sure every one else in pre-op rooms did as well (; 

The surgery lasted about ten minutes. She was put to sleep using laughing gas,  they inserted the tubes, then she was brought back out. Needless to say the anesthesia didn't make her forget she was hungry! Haha by the time we got back to her in recovery she was screaming! But thanks to some pedialite & a forty minute drive home, she's good as gold!!! (: 

Here's a few pictures from our morning! 

Here's to hoping your Monday was a bit more normal than ours (;


Weekend Recap

Last weekend was absolutely wonderful. It was filled with lots of fun, family, and laughter... and what else makes for a better weekend?

Friday afternoon I stayed at school and worked late. When the kids left our principal announced that they were "paving the parking lot"; her way of saying we could go home early. Most of the time I'd jump at the chance to go when the kids did but I just had way too much on my plate to leave early. Despite the fact I was initially upset that I hadn't known sooner that we were going to get to leave early so that I could have planned ahead, I ended up being quite grateful that our principal released everyone to go home early. It was so nice having the school practically to myself since most of our teachers hit the door running at 2:30. I didn't have anyone in my room to talk and distract me, nor did I have to fight other teachers for one of our copiers. I was able to get a whole week's worth of stuff accomplished in a matter of a few hours as opposed to a few days.

My mother-in-law works at a school in my county as well and since she left work at 3:15, she so graciously offered to pick up Harper doodle so I could work late as well as run some errands after I left. My plan was to go grocery shopping after work but after talking to Kev before I left, he informed me we'd go grocery shopping together over the weekend and told me to go treat myself to a manicure and he'd grab Harper from his parents when he got off. Can you say best husband award?!

My manicure didn't take long as expected so when I got home, I decided to take some time for me and continue reading a book series that I bought on my new kindle. I got through several chapters before Kevin and Harper arrived home. It was nice to just sit and read in silence without any distractions... something few and far between these days.

After a little playtime session, we headed out to Sanitary Cafe to meet my parents for dinner. I was craving some breakfast for dinner and their pancakes, fried potatoes, and bacon hit the spot! Nevermind the fact that I gained back all the calories I'd worked so hard to get off at the gym during the week! haha

Kevin was off Saturday so we spent the day together as a family. Since it was pouring down rain, we decided to forego breakfast out with my parents and eat at home. I fixed biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, and bacon. It turned out pretty good considering I'd never fixed white gravy before. haha

Saturday afternoon we had to attend a birthday party for one of Kevin's cousins. It was at a local church not far from where we live. The church had just built a new gymnasium so Kevin and I hit it up like we were a bunch of high schoolers. I challenged Kevin and my father-in-law to a game of HORSE. Unfortunately I lost; but in my defense, it's been years since I've played basketball which is quite sad considering I played all through school.

Shortly after the birthday party was over, Kevin and I headed to Jamestown for dinner at Southern Roots with my sister and brother-in-law. Again my in-laws watched Harper for the evening so Kevin and I could have a double date night that was baby-free. It was a good thing they watched her though as Southern Roots was booming Saturday night and we had a long wait. Harper wouldn't have made it. Then again, the live band may have kept her entertained.

We woke up early Sunday morning and made the hour drive to Thomasville to hear Kevin's uncle preach at his church. The service was absolutely amazing as always. We're in love with the church, the people, and the overall feeling of our Savour surrounding us while we're there. I only wish we could attend more often but due to Kevin's schedule we only make it about every other month. I'm just not keen on making the hour long journey by myself with Harper each Sunday. So as long as Kev has to work on Sundays, we'll stick to my church until he's off.

After church we headed to Target to do some grocery shopping before heading to my parents' house for lunch. FYI, I've come to love grocery shopping at Target. They offer more variety than Walmart and most things are actually cheaper at Target. Factor in the Cartwheel app and Redcard and you can walk away saving close to 20 bucks a trip!

I spent the rest of our afternoon cleaning the house and doing laundry while Kevin and Harper watched some football. Around 7, the in-laws came over to join us for dinner and to spend some more time with Harper. They hung around till close to 9. Not long after they left, we called it a night too. Amazing how not long ago I'd have laughed about going to bed before 11 and now I'm utterly exhausted by 9. Crazy how life changes!

Hope you ladies are having a great week and here's to another weekend that's just around the corner!


Christmas Recap.

Wow! This was the busiest Christmas we've had yet. We were on the go from Christmas Eve until the Saturday after. But it was most definitely my favorite Christmas by far! It was filled with family and friends and lots of fun, love, and laughter. Isn't that what the holidays are all about?! Instead of going on and on about our visits, I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking. But bare with us... there's a lot of photos to be seen ladies!

{Christmas Eve Lunch}: This was our sixth annual Christmas Eve lunch at McDonald's. Every Christmas Eve we head to the Y for a pre-Christmas workout followed by a very unhealthy meal at McDonald's. Even Harper got to indulge in some of her Dad's ice cream sundae since chicken nuggets and fries are currently not part of her diet :P

{Harper's First Present}: After our Christmas Eve lunch Aly & Clint (best friend & my cousin/her fiance) came by to bring Harper her first present. She had no idea what to do with it so Auntie Aly had to pitch in and show her how presents were done :P

{Christmas Eve Dinner}: Christmas Eve was spent with Kevin's Papa's side of the family. Most of them live all over the country, including Alaska so it's always fun to see them and catch up!

After dinner we headed over to see my parents. While there Harper watched her first movie... Monster's University. She loved it... as you can see she was nearly breaking her neck to see it while her Papa fed her.  

{Christmas Morning}: Harper's first Christmas was nothing short of amazing! She was so excited and had no idea which way to go since she wanted to play with everything at the same time!

{Christmas Breakfast}: We had Christmas breakfast at my parent's house with my siblings. We stuffed ourselves on sausage and ham biscuits, fresh fruit, apple turnovers, and cinnamon rolls. Following breakfast, we exchanged presents. Once the gifts had all been opened and the trash had been cleared, we all sat down and watched "The Ultimate Gift" together. It's such a great holiday movie that everyone really should watch!

{Christmas Dinner}: Last year Kevin's parents began a new tradition. From now on we'll be having Christmas dinner with them... complete with steaks, baked potatoes, and salads!

{Day After Christmas Dinner}: Kevin's Mom's side celebrates Christmas on the day after. We all get together at Kevin's Mema's house and his Papa Jimmy fixes his famous spaghetti. It's always served with delicious bread, salads, and a ton of desserts. 

We also celebrated Christmas with my Dad's side of the family as well as with some close friends of the family. But I ended up leaving my camera at home during those events :( Oh well. But overall, we had an amazing Christmas and we loved watching Harper soak up all of the spirit of Christmas! Before I wrap this recap up though, I have to share this picture of Harper in my very first Christmas dress. It made my day to see that she could wear it! Is it not the cutest?!


A Trip to Casville

Not far from where we live is a town called Casville. It's a small town that you really might miss if you blink as you're driving by it. The town is known for one thing and one thing only, it's yearly Christmas display. Every year a local family creates a Christmas village on their property. Considering the size of the property, the display is pretty amazing. Along with the amazing lights, they have a shop complete with pastries and hot chocolate and they always have a Santa. As soon as they announced their winter opening, I had hopes of taking Harper. Unfortunately with Harper battling ear infections I knew there was no way we'd be able to go since it's pretty much outside and cold air and earaches don't mix. But as luck would have it, at the beginning of December, NC got hit with some strange weather. With it pushing 70+ degrees at night, it allowed the perfect opportunity for Harper to experience all of the Christmas lights and none other than Santa Claus himself. 

We went with these guys... The Loye's or Harper's future in-laws as we like to call them. As for which little guy she's marrying...well, that's still to be decided. But we like 'em both :P

Harper seemed cool with Santa. She wasn't all smiles as I thought she'd be but after standing 30 minutes in line and it being bedtime, I'd say she likes him pretty well (:

"Hey Mom, check this guy out!"

This kid loves inflatables!

Loving the lights!

Me & Stacey
Griffin & Harper

Kevin's parents joined us

Loved adding Harper to our yearly Casville Farm Picture!


New Year's Resolutions.

I'm a list maker. I always have been and more than likely, I always will be. I love the feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment that a simple strike through or check mark on a list can bring. It's no surprise to me that every year when New Year's rolls around, I just whip out a notepad and jot down a list of things I want to accomplish throughout the year. When it's finished, it's nothing but another to-do list that I can quickly mark off to help me feel accomplished. But the problem is that none of the resolutions are really life changing. They're all simple and require little to no effort. In fact, most of my list is usually checked off by mid-January. Not much of a year long resolution if I say so myself. So this year I want something different. I want to push past my norm and create a list that isn't as easily completed. I want a list that requires effort. A list that is a challenge. I want my list of resolutions to mean something. I want the items to benefit my family. As 2013 came to a close, I took time to really think about my resolutions for the upcoming year and what I could do to better my little family and myself. Here's what I came up with...

1. Eat Out Less, Cook More at Home
When I look back over our bank statements each month, almost every other transaction is for a restaurant or fast food joint. It's amazing how we spend hundreds of dollars eating out when I spend at least a hundred dollars a week at the grocery store. My goal this year is to limit our eating out to ten times per month. This allows for us to have dinner every Thursday night with my in-laws and every Friday night with my parents or our friends, plus two date nights for mine and Kevin's choosing. In hopes of sticking to this goal, Kevin and I are going to try to plan out our meals bi-weekly or monthly. In order to help cut back on our grocery bill as well, we're going to try to start using our Sam's Membership and grocery shop just a couple of times a month, as opposed to the several times a week that we do now. 

2. Spend Less on Frivolous Things, More on What's Important
I have a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear. Sound familiar?! I'm pretty sure every girl says it. I know I do at least three times a week. But in reality, it just isn't true. I have more clothes and shoes than the average person and whenever I'm shopping I still feel the need to look at what's new in stores. My goal this year is to spend less money on things that don't matter and spend it on more things that do. Instead of buying more clothes and shoes that I don't need, I want to invest that money into purchasing items to help make our house more of a home or spend it on family outings that will create memories with my little family. 

3. Keeping Our House Clean
My biggest argument with Kevin is that our house is always a wreck. Again, in reality it isn't; I have a tendency to blow things out of proportion. But the sight of laundry piling up, cups on the table, mail strewn out on the counter tops, and couch pillows thrown around haphazardly can get my blood boiling until I eventually snap and begin blaming him for not ever helping which is again, not true. But sometimes when I'm mad, perspective shifts and it seems that way. This year I want to stay on top of our housecleaning routine in order to prevent me from falsely accusing my husband of not pulling his weight; as well as to help me keep my own sanity. In hopes of staying on top of laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc, I'm going to create a daily chore chart that'll help me tackle the house to-do list throughout the week. Then hopefully I can come home and relax with my little family in an environment that looks less like a pig sty and more like a home.

4. Entertain More
When Kevin and I were looking at homes, one of our top priorities was to have a home that would be good for entertaining. Thankfully we found it when we found our home. However, we haven't entertained nearly as much as we'd have originally liked. So this year, instead of going out every Friday night for dinner with our friends, we want to invite our friends to come to our house some. After all, what's more inviting? Sitting around a crowded table in a restaurant where you can barely hear or sitting around the living room of your home with the people you love? Easy answer to me. Not only do we want to have our friends and family over for dinners, we want to host a variety of parties this year along with some game nights and bonfire nights in our backyard! Just the thought gets me super excited! I'm envisioning lots of memories being created at the Holt house this year!! (:

5. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Thanks to social media, I haven't printed pictures off in years and I mean YEARS! My goal this year is take the thousands of photos I have stored on the internet, my memory cards, and on my computer and put them into photo books from Shutterfly. I've always had plans to do it I just have never taken the time to do it. So this year I plan to print out our wedding album, an album for each year Kevin and I have been married, my pregnancy journal, and Harper's first year album. I figure if I do a photo album every 1-2 months, I should have it done by the end of the year (: We'll see how it goes! I can't wait to get them finished and laying on our coffee table for friends and family to flip through as they visit!

Here's my resolutions, what are yours?


Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014.

Tuesday night Kevin and I celebrated our first New Year's Eve together as a married couple. And yes, you read that right. It was our first New Year's Eve together. Our first two New Year's Eve's as a married couple were spent with me at home and Kevin working. I'd watch the ball drop on the tv in our bedroom and Kevin would watch it drop on the tv in the breakroom at his work. When midnight rolled around, we'd text photos of us blowing kisses to each other and share our "I love yous" over the phone. We didn't get our proper "New Year's" kisses until 6:15 in the morning when Kevin arrived home from work. But thankfully Kevin is no longer working the night shift which meant that this year, he'd be spending it at home which couldn't have made me happier.

Our New Year's Eve was pretty low key. It was my amazing mother-in-law's birthday so we headed out to dinner with my in-laws on Tuesday night. When dinner was over, we headed home to throw on our pj's, snuggle with our favorite part of 2013, and watch some tv. At 11, everyone was going strong. I even have the picture to prove it.

Then fifteen minutes later, this is what happened.

Needless to say, we didn't make it to see the ball drop. I'd like to say I was disappointed but in honesty, I wasn't. In the end, I was just thankful that this year there was a beautiful little girl sleeping soundly down the hall and next to me, in our bed on New Year's Eve, was a handsome fella who I couldn't imagine life without. That's the perfect New Year's Eve to me... whether we saw the ball drop or not.