Harper's First Easter

Growing up both Kevin and I celebrated Easter in a variety of ways. We grew up with dyed Easter eggs, Easter egg hunts, and Easter bunnies that bared  Easter gifts and baskets. On the flip side we also grew up with Sunrise services, Palm Sunday, and celebrating our Risen Savior. In our home, it isn't any different. We want Harper and our future children to experience the joy of Easter with all things colorful, candy, and gift related. But we also want to raise her up with the knowledge of why we celebrate this holiday. Harper will grow up knowing that Easter is a time in which we celebrate God's love and grace and the fact that he sacrificed his only son so that we could be his children and have everlasting life as well. That my friends is the true meaning of Easter. With that said, I want to share a few snapshots of our Easter with you ladies even if it is just a week or so late!

Kevin had to work on Easter Sunday so it was just Harper and I together for the day. Since Harper doesn't wake till late morning, I skipped out on our Sunrise Service and opted to go to the regular church service at 11 with my family. When church was over we headed to Mom and Dad's for lunch with the rest of the family. While there we headed out back to snap some photos of Harper in her Sunday best in front of the azalea bushes... just like we did every Easter Sunday with me and my siblings. It was bittersweet. 

When Kevin arrived home from work Sunday evening we let Harper open her Easter basket. I was dying for Harper to dive into her basket all day but I knew Kevin wanted to experience her first Easter as well so we held off until Kev got home (next year I have a feeling that's not going to work). Harper loved every minute of opening her goodies and so did we. We loved watching her take it all in. Instead of just dumping out everything, she pulled out every item one by one and really checked it out. It made for quite the laugh! 

Overall, Harper's first Easter was amazing. Kevin and I had a blast shopping for goodies to fill her Easter basket. We may have went a little over the top but we still spent less than $100 and for her first Easter I'd say that's pretty good. And based on Harper's reaction, I'd say it was money well spent!


Weekend Recap

Well ladies, I have to admit that I'm sort of glad that it's Monday. Our weekend was filled with work, work, and more work. I felt like I didn't sit down at all during my two days off. However, I have to admit I couldn't be happier and more proud of all that we accomplished this weekend.

Friday afternoon I worked much later than usual. I knew this week I'd lose most of my planning time due to after school tutoring and meetings galore so I opted to stay later than usual to get ahead. On top of that I knew they were still laying floors in our house which meant there wasn't much point in heading home. So I worked until about 5 and got all my papers graded, copies made for the week, and a ton of papers filed before heading out the door.

By the time I picked up Harper from daycare, Kevin was fixing to get off so I headed on home to meet him. We checked out the progress that had been made on our floors by that point. I was relieved to see our master bedroom complete and our bed set back up. It was nice knowing we didn't have to sleep on the floor again Friday night. However my relief was short lived when I found out we were a whole room short on hardwood flooring. My heart immediately sunk! The thought of having my house torn up for weeks while we waited on hardwood flooring to come in made me sick to my stomach. Thank the Lord, the company we purchased our flooring from just happened to have 20 packs left of the color we needed in the warehouse so we wouldn't have to wait for it to be shipped to us. Plus it had been kept in a climate controlled space so it didn't need to sit in our home for 48 hours before it needed to be laid down. Even better the owner felt bad that several packs had been opened and missing wood so he gave us half of what we needed free of charge and sold us the other half for wholesale price. That was truly divine intervention right there and I was reminded that God is soooo good!

We met up with my parents for dinner at Mayflower, a local seafood restaurant shortly after Kevin got home. When we finished eating my parents volunteered to come over and help us move the remaining pieces of our master bedroom furniture back into our room; as well as help move all the stuff piled up in Harper's room across the hall to the spare bedroom so that Harp's room could be completed. It took all of two hours and by the time my parents walked out the door, I crashed from exhaustion.

Our Saturday morning started bright and early. Mom and Dad met me and Harp at the house and we headed to Greensboro to pick up the rest of the flooring that the contractor would need for the day. On our way back we stopped by a local farm supply store where I had to load 8 bails of hay on the back of the truck. I may have grown up in the country but that was definitely a first. But our landscaper was at our house laying fertilizer and grass seed and he needed it so a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

By 1, our floors were finished and we could put our house back together. Since Kevin was working that left the job to my parents, me, and my friend Brittni but we managed. By 5:30 the house was completely back together. Everything from the furniture, to the walls, to the baseboards had been wiped down and cleaned. We washed all the sheets and made up the beds. It felt good to have my house back in order.

Saturday night we headed to Greensboro for some Japanese food with our Friday night crew. With all the construction place taking place in our home this week we opted to do dinner with everyone on Saturday instead. The food was delicious and it was great catching up with everyone.

Sunday I woke up early and caught up on some laundry while Harper slept until about 9. Since we didn't have to be at church until 11, we made a quick grocery store run before the crowds rushed in. Harper loved every minute of our shopping experience. She loves being in the buggy and looking all around. I'm just waiting for her to start grabbing stuff off of the shelves...

We headed to church with my family then swung by Kevin's work to see him during his lunch break. Unfortunately Harper slept through our visit. When his lunch was over we headed to my parents' house for our usual Sunday lunch with the family. Since we'd already done our grocery shopping we spent most of the afternoon there and didn't return to our house until almost 4. Harper was asleep when we got to the house so while she napped I took the time to do a little crafting until Kevin's aunt came by to visit.

After Kevin arrived home, we headed to his parents' house to drop off Harper so we could head out for dinner just the two of us at a local Italian place. With all the craziness this week we needed some time to just catch up as a couple and regroup. It was nice but we missed our baby and made it a quick dinner before heading back to get Harp.

Overall it was a great weekend despite the busyness but I'm so happy to have completed two of our 2014 Home Project items. The floors look great and I can't wait to see all the freshly grown grass and flower blooms come up over the next few weeks now that they've been sewn/planted!


Home Projects & Birthday Celebrations

Hi Ladies! It's been a week or two since I've dropped by this little blog of mine. Things have been super busy in the Holt household over the past two weeks but I couldn't be more excited with things that have been, are happening, and will be happening in the Holt household in the near future! So let me fill you in with five things for this Friday.

1. Harper's First Easter
We had a blast celebrating Harper's first Easter last Sunday. She loved every minute of it and so did we by watching her take it all in for the very first time. I'll share more details and pictures of our Easter next week but for now I'll leave you with a picture from the night. Can I just say though that she went to the shoes first... proud mama right here!

2.  Home Projects
You may remember back in February I blogged about some home projects that Kevin and I had decided on for this year (If you don't remember or you missed it, you can read about them here). The biggest project we decided to tackle this year was to pull up all of our carpet upstairs and replace it with hardwood flooring. I'm happy to report that as of yesterday that project is officially underway. I couldn't be more excited to get the 63 packs of hardwood flooring out of our garage. Currently our house is in complete disarray and my OCD self may have nearly had a panic attack when I arrived home to all the mess yesterday but after seeing the completed work in our master bedroom, spare bedroom, and hallway I'm realizing it's all worth it. I can't wait to share the before and afters when all of the upstairs is finished.

And while we're still on the topic of this project can I just say that when I got home yesterday I came home to find all of the furniture from our spare bedroom and master bedroom shoved in either Harper's nursery or our master bathroom. Needless to say men were clearly in charge. I could not get to Harper's bed much less in her closet or drawers. Thankfully I'd washed some of her clothes and hadn't put them away yet. Same goes for me. I may or may not be wearing a pair of jeans today at work that I wore just a few days ago. And I may or may not have literally crawled on my dresser to get into our bathroom, stepped on the tub, then tried to lay on top of our chest of drawers just to get to my toothbrush this morning. How I survived without breaking my neck is beyond me. Just let the pictures below speak for themselves.

3. Harper's First Birthday
In two weeks our precious baby girl will be one year old. Her 11 month update is sitting in my draft folder waiting to be published and I'm having a hard time posting it because it's the last update in which she's an "infant". How this happened so fast I'll never know. Harper's birthday planning is in full swing. Her party date has officially been set for Saturday, May 10th. We've sent out the invites, planned the menu, ordered the cake, had her outfit made, and I'm in the process of putting together most of the decorations. I haven't felt this much excitement for party planning since planning our wedding. It's super exciting. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't lost too much sleep over running the whole event through my mind over and over at night!

4. Family, First Birthday, and Cake Smashing Photos
We had a photo session at a local park with our new favorite photographer yesterday afternoon. Of all days, Harper started running a low grade fever just a few hours before our appointment. Hating to cancel last minute we decided to try doing pictures anyways. We started with family photos since they were the most important to me as we don't have pictures of all three of us together since our pictures that were taken last fall. Harper did great for those and offered lots of cheesy smiles. But that's as far as it went. Sarah did her best at getting some shots of Harper smiling by herself in her cute pillowcase dress but she didn't volunteer many while alone. We saved her cake smashing for last thinking she'd be excited over all the sugar but it was an epic fail. She was done. She cried the whole time and didn't bother smashing her cake. After seeing the crocodile tears roll down her face, Mommy had to call it quits. On the bright side we'll have some great family shots and we have a smash cake that's only missing a tad bit of icing. I'm thinking I'll just freeze her smash cake and have the side that's a little messed up face her during her actual party. No point of dishing out $25 again when this one wasn't even hardly touched. Here's to hoping Harper will feel better the day of her party and we'll get some good pictures then!

How cute is her smash cake?!

5. Birthday Presents
Harper is getting a fairly large birthday present this year. Unfortunately it requires quite a bit of planning, preparation, and shopping and is more than likely not going to be ready for her birthday. We'll be converting Kevin's "Man Cave" to a playroom for her. This was one of our big projects we had planned for the year and we couldn't imagine a better time to do it than for her birthday. We purchased a new couch for the space yesterday and have picked out a few things from various places to add to the space. I'll be sharing some of my ideas and inspiration for the space in the next few weeks. So be sure to check back soon!

Hope you ladies have a fabulous Friday!  


Weekend Recap

Happy Tuesday ladies! Today is my Friday as tomorrow marks the beginning of spring break. Can I get an amen or a hallelujah?! If I said I hadn't been counting down the days till spring break I'd be lying. I have so many things on my to-do list that its not even funny but I can't wait to get started on some projects, party planning, and some home decor shopping! (: But before I get ahead of myself, let me recap our weekend in the Holt household.

Friday afternoon I left work by the usual 3:30. My mother-in-law volunteered to pick up Harper from daycare so I could have some time to myself and some time to run some errands. I ended up spending most of the afternoon running around town looking for a few odds and ends for my best friend's bridal shower gift. Not having much luck, I gave up around 5 and decided to treat myself to a much needed manicure. It was most definitely heavenly (please ignore the blue sharpie remnants on my fingers!).

After my manicure, I met up with the hubs at the house and then we headed to Kevin's parents' house to pick up Harper doodle. Kevin's dad was working Friday night and most of the Friday crew had other plans so we headed to Pizza Hut with Kevin's mom for a quick dinner.

Saturday morning Harper woke up bright and early as is her usual routine. Since Kevin was working and it was so nice outside, I loaded Harper up and we headed to Danville to continue the hunt for Auntie Aly's perfect bridal shower gift. After hitting up Marshalls and Target, we finally scored big at Ross and found the perfect chalkboard mason jars to accompany her chalkboard mason jug from Target. I just wish I'd taken pictures of the two together! They were precious.

We got back home around 11, got ready as quickly as possible, then headed out the door to have lunch with the hubs at his work. They were having their annual Easter Egg hunt for the employees' kids. Since Harper is too little to enjoy the festivities we just watched. Harper didn't mind either way!

After lunch with Kevin I dropped Harper off at my parents' house so I could head to Aly's kitchen-themed shower at her future in-laws house. The party was a big hit and Alyson and Clint racked up on a ton of their kitchen needs! How cute are the mixer shaped cookies?!

After the shower was over, I headed back to the parents' house to spend the rest of the afternoon there. When Kevin got off work we headed to Mayflower with my family for dinner. When we finally made it home around 9, it was time to call it a night!

Sunday was spent the way it always is. Kevin was working so Harper and I headed to church with my parents. After the church service, we headed back to Mom and Dad's for lunch with the whole family. When lunch was over I made a quick run to the grocery store while Harper was occupied by her Papa. When I got back to the house, I loaded Harper back up and we headed on home... but not before we made a quick ice cream stop!(:

Kevin arrived home shortly after 6 and his parents came over not long after. They stuck around for a while and played with Harper while Kevin and I enjoyed a dinner in. By the time they left Harper was in bed and Kevin and I crashed in front of the tv with a Hallmark movie on.

All in all, it was a great weekend! Hope yours was too!


{Monthly Recap}: Ten Months

So Harper turned 11 months old today and I realized I had yet to post her 10 month update from last month as it was still in my draft folder. Total Mom fail! haha I'll share her 11 month post next week (:

Your weight continues to shift between the 17 and 18 pound mark.  At one doctor visit you may be 17 pounds 7 ounces, whereas the next you're 17 pounds and 4 ounces. It's sort of crazy. Despite your weight staying relatively the same, you still continue to grow taller. Guess Dr. Luking was right when he said you'd be tall and slender!

You have been very healthy this month. We haven't had any issues whatsoever. No cold, no fevers, nothing. It's been great. A mom could get use to this (;

You still tend to go to bed somewhere between 8 and 9pm. During the week, you get up around 6:15. Occasionally you are already up but for the most part, I wake you up to get you ready for a new day. During the weekends, you'll sleep until 7:30 or so. You take one good nap each day and a few cat naps here and there.

Your routine is still pretty much the same during the week. You get up around 6:15 and get ready for daycare. By 6:45, you've arrived at daycare and are ready for a day at school. While at daycare you take one good nap and a few cat naps here and there. Your best nap is usually during the morning around 10 or so. You're usually picked up at daycare around 5:30. When we arrive home, Mommy unpacks your things while you hang out in your high chair. When I finish, you're ready to eat some baby food and have a bottle. The rest of the afternoon is spent playing, reading books, or getting you ready for bed with a bath and fresh pajamas. Around 8 you start winding down for bed and by 9, Daddy usually has already tucked you in for the night.

You are still in size 6-9 month and 9 month clothes. These fit you the best. However, I have started putting a few 12 month items on you because we have so many that I'm afraid you'll never wear. They're a bit big but a few rolls of the sleeves and pants and you're good to go.

We moved you up to size 3 diapers this month. Size 2's seemed to fit you perfectly but they just weren't cutting it anymore. With them being the "perfect" fit, it was causing you to get rashes if they were wet because they were directly against your skin or they just didn't hold much in the dirty department... if you get my drift. After moving you up, we haven't had any more rashes or messes. Thank the good Lord.

You are finally getting a good taste for solid foods. You are now eating whole containers of baby food multiple times of day. You love eating big people food such as mash potatoes, Grandma's chicken pot pie, and even cake every now and then :P You absolutely love sweet tea. Nana started giving you tea in your sippy cup every Sunday and you'll gulp it down in a heartbeat. You're also content to drink water out of a sippy cup with your food. Because you're now taking in more solid foods, you've began cutting back on your bottles. Right now you're drinking about 5 six-ounce bottles each day.

Your separation anxiety finally went away this month! You're content to be with anyone whether Mommy is around or not. However, you have discovered how to throw temper tantrums this month and it hasn't been fun. If something isn't going your way, you'll arch your back and start screaming. This has resulted in you wacking your head on furniture, the wall, and other potentially dangerous items more than once.

- You know officially have six teeth! You have four top teeth and two bottom teeth.
- You have become quite the mobile child this month. You pull up on everything to stand. And if you aren't standing, you're crawling all over the place.

- You love being on the move! If you're being held you want someone to run you all over the house. If you're on the floor, your pulling up on anything and everything or you're crawling from one end of the house to the other.
- Being tickled! You think it's so funny when someone tickles you!
- Peekaboo. You love playing peekaboo. You'll grin from ear to ear if you see someone popping up back and forth.
- Curious George. You recently discovered your giant Curious George and he has to go everywhere with you. You drag him around when you crawl; you sleep with him in your bed; and you hold him while we drive down the road... never mind the fact that he's as big as you are!

-  Not having your way! Your temper has come out quite a bit this month. Let's hope it gets better next month!


Weekend Recap

Well it's Monday again and so begins my countdown to Friday. Is it just me or are the weekends flying by too fast? As I sit behind my desk, I can't help but have a sense of deja vu that I was just here only yesterday. Yet that isn't the case considering I've had two days off and they've come and gone. We in the Holt household had a pretty low-key weekend. Nothing too exciting went down but sometimes that's what our little family needs...just a little time for some R & R.

I left work as soon as I could Friday and headed to a doctor's appointment. Earlier last week I was experiencing some dizziness and high blood pressure so I had to get that checked out. Thankfully it was nothing too serious and the two were completely unrelated.

Following my doctor's appointment I decided to swing by Belk and check out their sales while my prescription was being filled. Unlike most visits, I walked out with a bag of items for just myself and no items for Harp or the hubs. I snagged an adorable spring sweater, a quarter-length sleeve tee, and a couple of camisoles for less than $50 and only had a little bit of guilt for buying something for myself. Again it amazes me how much life changes with a baby. Before Harper was born I didn't think twice about buying myself things. Now I spend most of my shopping days perusing baby items and barely give a second glance towards items for myself.

After leaving Belk, I picked up my prescription then headed to my parents' house. They picked up Harper Friday afternoon since I wasn't sure when my doctor's appointment would end. We spent the evening with them since Kevin came over after work. Instead of doing the usual Friday night dinner with the crew, we opted for a breakfast dinner cooked by my Mom. It was a nice change despite that we missed catching up with everyone.

On Saturday, we woke up bright and early. Instead of cooking breakfast Kevin volunteered to go grab us some breakfast from a local breakfast joint in our town called PG's. Considering it's one of my faves, I just couldn't say no to a gravy biscuit and potato wedges. While the hubs was gone Harper and I spent some time reading books. Over the last few weeks she's shown lots of interests in books and this teacher mama couldn't be more proud.

After breakfast Kevin took Harper to his parents to hang out for the morning. While he and Harp spent time at their house I spent the morning at our house cleaning. In an effort to get my spring cleaning underway, I decided to tackle cleaning out my closet and drawers. Two hours later, I had four trash bags of clothes and a trash bag of shoes sitting at the door to take to Goodwill. It felt good to get rid of so much excess. As I stared at all that I'd gotten rid of and all that I still had, I couldn't help but feel blessed that I'm as fortunate as I am.

After tackling the closet, I headed over to Kevin's parents and joined them all for lunch. Kevin's mom made my absolute favorite meal of hers...her famous chicken pot pie, pintos, corn, and mashed potatoes. While I stuffed myself silly Harper helped her papa mow the yard. How cute are they?!

Around 4:30, Kevin left to head to the movies with his dad for a father/son day. Usually I'd have headed back home to spend the rest of the evening playing with Harper but since the evening was still young, I called up my friend Brittni and made plans with her. By 6, Harper, Brittni, and I were heading to Danville. We grabbed some dinner at Olive Garden then did some browsing at Marshalls, Old Navy, and Target. We didn't get back home till close till 10 and by that point I was exhausted and called it a night.

Our Sunday started wayyy too early. Harper has recently hit a growth spurt and with it she has become a human garbage disposal eating anything and everything she can get her hands on. She decided 5am was the perfect time to wake up and let us know she was hungry. Thankfully after she ate, she fell back asleep and crashed until 9am. The extra hours of sleep were perfect but since they weren't expected as Harper usually gets up at 7, we had to rush to eat and get ready for church since we hadn't set our alarm clock. But thankfully we made it and weren't too late.

Following church we headed to my parents' house for our usual Sunday lunch with my parents, siblings, and their families. Typically we hang around reading the paper and chatting when lunch is over but this Sunday we didn't. When lunch was over, Kevin and Harp headed out to do some movie shopping with my dad and I headed to Greensboro with Kevin's mom to do some bag shopping. Since dating Kevin, his mom and I hit up the Buckhead Betty Warehouse sale every April and October. Despite the fact that we rarely buy anything, it's fun going with her and browsing. After getting back home, the rest of our Sunday was spent  chowing down on dinner, watching some movies on tv, working on Harper's first birthday party, and hanging out with my little family. I really wouldn't have wanted to spend it any other way.


Weekend Recap

Happy Tuesday ladies! I hope your weeks are starting off fantastically and you had an equally amazing weekend. I know our weekend was busy, busy, busy but it was so by far one of the best weekends that we've had in a long while.

On Friday afternoon, I kick started my weekend at 3:30 on the dot. The hubs was off for the second day in nearly 20 days so I was anxious to get home and spend some time with him before we had to go pick up Harper from daycare. As much as I love being a family of three, sometimes I just want to soak up time with just the hubs. Those days are few and far between so I savor them whenever possible. I arrived home around 4 and spent the next hour and a half just catching up with the Hubs. With his crazy schedule we've barely seen each other over the last few weeks so it was nice to just reconnect, relax, and chat in each other's company without having to chase an infant around the house.

Around 5:30 we headed off to Harper's daycare to pick her up. As we were walking in the building Kevin stopped and said we had to go back home. Confused I asked why... Little did I know Kevin had left Harper's car seat at home in his car... epic parent fail. haha I ended up heading into the daycare to gather Harper's things and get her ready to go while Kevin made a quick trip back home to get Harper's seat. Thankfully Kevin's cousin was there picking up her little girl and my brother was also there visiting our church daycare so I had people to chat with as I waited.

Following our car seat debacle, we headed to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner with the Friday night crew. Kevin's cousins couldn't join us this week as they were working on their Razr so it was just us, Kev's parents, brother & his girlfriend, as well as my brother and friend Brittni. Despite that the rest of the group wasn't in attendance, we had a blast laughing and carrying on as usual. 

Saturday morning we slept in. By sleeping in I mean we didn't get up until 7. It still ceases to amaze me how life changes so much with a baby. Before sleeping in meant 9am. Now I'm just grateful for the extra hour and a half that the weekend brings. While Kevin got Harper ready for a new day, I fixed us some yummy cinnamon rolls to start off our day. They got a little burnt thanks to a television program we got to watching with Harp but the hubs didn't mind and Harper sure didn't. She's a fan of all things sweet.

Since Kevin's been working so much, I haven't had a lot of time to myself. Knowing this Kevin was so gracious as to watch Harper Saturday morning so I could go out and do a little retail therapy and have some time to myself. Best husband ever! Wanting to be back shortly after lunch, I headed to Greensboro around 9. I hit up Target, Steinmart, Marshalls, Homegoods, Ross, & TJ Maxx. I ended up scoring some great items for our home as well as a few pair of work out pants, a dress, and some linen pants for myself. After feeling like I'd done too much damage to our bank account, I swung by the Chick-fil-a drive through and grabbed us some lunch and went back to meet the family. 

When I got home Harper was gone. Kevin's mom had volunteered to take her to see Kevin's Mema so that we could have some more time together and we could get some things done around the house. As much as I wanted to hang out with my daughter I was grateful because our house was in major need of some cleaning and there were five loads of laundry calling my name. So after chowing down our lunch, Kevin and I got to work and I must say, our downstairs hasn't looked this good in far too long.

Saturday night we hosted dinner and a game night at our house with our Friday night crew. I fixed a feast! We had barbeque, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, cheddar bacon potato bites with homemade ranch dressing, fresh bread, and homemade brownies and cookies. It was delicious and was all gone in no time. Once all the dishes were cleaned and put away, we all gathered in the living room and spent the next two hours playing a girls vs. guys game of Guesstures. Best game ever! We laughed until we cried. I just wish I'd have taken photos. It's a night I don't think I'll be forgetting anytime soon!

Sunday morning Harper slept until 8 o'clock. It was amazing and well appreciated considering our game night didn't end until close to 11. This girl just can't hang till all hours of the night like I once could. Since we slept in later than usual, we decided to go to my family's church instead of Kevin's like we usually do when he's off. His church is about an hour away from our home and starts nearly an hour earlier than mine does so to church with my family it was. 

Following church, we headed to my parents for our weekly Sunday lunch. After of which was followed by our usual Sunday grocery store run. Check out how Harper does grocery shopping...

By the time we arrived home it was nearly 4 o'clock. The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with Harper doodle, catching up on our shows, and spending time as a family. Which is exactly how Sundays should be....