Happy New Year!

If you've noticed things have been a bit quiet here on the ole blog lately, here's why:

Lots & lots of precious time with our favorite people celebrating the most wonderful time of the year! My parents flew into San Antonio on the 23rd to spend Christmas here in SA with us, and then my sister & her hubby Chris totally surprised us and flew in to SA on the 27th...so, so fun!!

We said goodbye to the last of our visitors this morning and then spent the rest of the day at home recuperating from all the Christmas fun. The girls went to bed early tonight, and Derek & I have spent the last few hours of 2015 curled up on the couch watching college football and listening to fireworks. {Fireworks in SA are insane!!} It's so hard to believe that we'll be hanging up our new 2016 calendars tomorrow, where has the time gone?! Now that Christmas and our visitors have come & gone {waaaaah!}, hopefully I'll get back into the swing of blogging soon so I can get the rest of our Christmas memories posted! Hope you & yours had a magical holiday season!

Happy New Year, Everyone!  And a very Happy Birthday to my mom!! :)


Merry Christmas!

The front of our 2015 Chistmas card  :)

And the back :)

Our 2015 Santa pic :) 
On our drive to the mall, Shelby asked Hadley out of the blue if she was going to cry with Santa again like she did last year. {Kids have the best memories b/c we had literally not spoken about this AT ALL.} Hadley promptly declared that she would in fact cry when we met Santa, so we knew we were in for it. ;)  Derek & I tried everything, but Hadley wouldn't even go near Santa once we got there much less stop crying or pose for a picture. Thankfully, Santa won her over with the stuffed reindeer he had next to his chair & Hadley agreed to sit for the picture if she could hold the reindeer...done! :)

All of our Santa pics from 2010 through 2014 :)

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!


My People

There are many days where I'm so exhausted from mothering by the end of the day that I'm literally counting down the minutes till the girls' bedtime so I can collapse on the couch and just have a few minutes of peace & quiet. But there have many many precious moments lately where I'm realizing these little ones who I read to all day long, constantly remind them to finish their meals, help them in the bathroom, yell at them to stop doing this or that...they are slowly but surely becoming "my people." My friend Angela and I will use that phrase from time to time to describe new people we meet..they're either "our kind of people" or they're just not. ;)  The Goins are clearly our people, ha! Anyways, all of that to say, somehow, these little people who I mother day in and day out...are suddenly becoming my people, who I actually enjoy spending time with.

I literally had to drag these two out of the card aisle at Target...clearly, they are my people! Shelby kept reading the "humor" cards and was just laughing hysterically at each one. When I told her it was time to go, she kept saying "But wait, you need to hear this one!" ;)  What can I say, we are cut from the same cloth!

Speaking of Target, I ran up there with Shelby one night this week to let her spend some of her money that she's earned on something of her choosing from the One Spot. On her own accord, she found a Sofia coloring book and exclaimed: "Oh, Sissy would LOVE this! Can I buy it for her?" I mean, seriously! A five year old used her OWN money to buy a gift for her sister. I just can't even..we hit the jackpot with these girls!

This girl is pretty special, too. Yesterday, we had a couple packages to drop off at the post office while Shelby was at school. Of course, the line was practically out the door at the post office b/c everyone is trying to mail Christmas gifts at the same time. Throughout the long 20 minute wait, this girl was just as sweet as could be & charming. I'm pretty sure every single person there wanted to take her home. Since we didn't have anywhere to be after the post office, I treated this girl to Chicken Minis at Chick-fil-a...she was in heaven! Because Hadley sleeps in so late, she always eats breakfast (dry cereal & fruit) in the car on the way to school...so this was quite the special treat for Hadley! We had the best time on our little breakfast date!

Since I've been in the trenches of parenting young children for the past 5 years, I've often wondered how these little people who I take care of will somehow turn into my friends one day. I know it will happen b/c my mom is truly my best friend who I talk to every single day, but it's just such a weird thought to think of my babies as big people one day. But I can feel it happening right before my eyes now, they're growing up and becoming people I truly enjoy spending time with. I don't want to wish away a single minute, but I can't wait to see who they turn out to be! We're so blessed to be their parents!

And on a lighter note, Shelby told me yesterday that a clap is kind of like giving yourself a high five. So in case you were ever wondering how you might give yourself a high five, there you go! You learn something new every day! ;)


Top Five Friday!

Look at me go, two posts in one week! ;)

5. Sweet & Spicy Chipotle Wheat Thins
I randomly spotted these at HEB this week & I LOVE them!!! So yummy!

4. Countdown to Christmas with Books!
We started {THIS} tradition last year with the girls, and it's been a big hit again this year! Although I definitely learned my lesson the hard way last year when I was up way too late wrapping all 25 books the night before, ha! This year I had them all wrapped by October. :)  One of the girls' favorite things to do when I'm prepping a meal or when they have some down time is to grab a book from under the Christmas tree & read. :)

3. Warm Weather
I'm pretty sure my last Top Five Friday post included me raving about the cooler fall temps, and now here I am gushing about the warm weather! :)  We've had cool mornings/evenings, but the afternoon highs have been getting up into the 70s all week..and today & tomorrow is supposed to hit 80! We've been loving this gorgeous weather & spending as much time as we can outside!

2. Winter Street 
I'm a big fan of Elin Hilderbrand's books--they're fun, easy reads! I especially loved this one b/c it's set at Christmas time & I was reading it just as we were getting all our decorations up in the house...perfect way to get in the Christmas spirit!!

1. Deacon & Rayna are getting MARRIED!!
I'm a huge Nashville fan, and I just couldn't be more excited about this! Last night was the Winter Finale of the show, and I was totally expecting them to leave us with a terrible cliff hanger like they always do...but instead we got a Deacon & Rayna ENGAGEMENT!!! This totally made my week! :)

And one more favorite just for good measure...NAP TIME!! I really & truly cannot imagine what our days will look like when nap time comes to an end. Our world has literally revolved around naptime for the past 5 years, but for now I'm enjoying it for as long as it lasts! This is my time to get chores done, dinners prepped, and enjoy the peace & quiet!! :) 

Happy Friday to you!!


Weekend Recap!

Weekend Recap...on a Wednesday. ;)  Apparently, I can't get my act together enough lately to muster up more than one post per week! Oh, well..better late than never!

We had the most delightful weather this past weekend (it's actually been even nicer this week!), so we spent as much time as possible outside! We started off our weekend at the zoo!

A trip to the zoo isn't complete with a ride on the carousel or climbing on the lion statues ;)

After the zoo, we made a pit stop at Chick-fil-a before naps! While Derek, Shelby, & Hadley napped, I got a much-needed haircut. This is how I found Derek & the girls when I walked back in the door after my hair appt..perfection!

After my hair appt, we ate a quick dinner at home before heading back out for the evening to Sea World. We'd been waiting for a warmer evening to go check out all the Christmas lights at Sea World, and we figured this was our best shot!

At the Sea World entrance, they have these trees set up to do a little ten minute light show. The girls were GLUED to it! We seriously could have just stayed there the whole night, and they would have been perfectly happy! ;)

Train ride :)

For some reason, I thought getting a picture of the girls & me in front of the lights would be a good idea ;)  If nothing else, these pictures should give you a little laugh! I keep wondering at what age will our children be before pictures aren't such a huge ordeal ;)

I cropped Shelby & me out of this picture b/c I thought it was a decent one of Hadley! :)

Sunday was jam-packed with fun, too! We managed to squeeze in a family run/playground time, a birthday party at Pump It Up for one of Shelby's friends, and a date night! Derek and I have had a gift card to Yard House from the Gallimores burning a hole in our pocket for a while, so we got to enjoy a yummy dinner & went to see Mockingjay Part 2! It was such a good movie! We had so much fun all weekend with the girls, but it was so nice to wrap up the weekend with some “us” time.
Here’s a few other random pictures from the past week that I wanted to include for memory’s sake, enjoy! 

This girl loves to cut! We had a random catalog that came in the mail that we were going to recycle, so we just gave it to Hadley and let her go to town. This kept her busy for quite some time!

She sticks her tongue out when she's concentrating ;)

The girls loved to get in Shelby's bed after bath to read together :)

We had to run up to Lackland for something last week, so of course that meant time with Daddy!
Love this picture of them!!

The girls playing with their favorite ornament on the Christmas tree...is there anything better than this view?!


Gobble, Gobble + It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

We have had the best Thanksgiving Break!! We had to celebrate the holiday here in San Antonio this year b/c Derek was on call during the month of November, so we spent our Turkey Day with the Gallimores & Goins. Although we certainly missed being in Georgia, we are so thankful for these precious friends in our life!

It was cold & rainy all weekend here, so it was perfect weather to stay inside, turn up the Christmas music, and deck the halls! I'm currently curled up on the coach next to the glow of our Christmas tree lights...perfection! Here are a few pictures from our weekend!

The girls put the vast majority of the ornaments on our tree themselves, they were very into it!!

Hadley sat for the longest time opening all of the ornament boxes and carefully unwrapping each one. :)

Setting up the "card tree" and the beloved train :)

All decked out in our winter coats for the first time this season to help Daddy with the outside decorations!

The past couple of years, we have just done the icicle lights along our roof. After our first Christmas in San Antonio last year, we learned most people here wrap the bottom half of their tree trunks in lights. So we did that this year, too! We said we're officially San Antonians now. ;)

Enjoying hot chocolate & Georgia football as our reward for finishing the lights in the cold weather :)

Isn't this how everyone watches the Dawgs play?!

Lots of time spent like this weekend :)
Shelby wanted Daddy to paint her nails, and he happily obliged :)

After baths tonight, we drove around to look at Christmas lights in our neighborhood and went to a local light show.
The girls loved it!

Other highlights of our weekend not pictured: potty training success!!!!!!, trip to the movies to see The Good Dinosaur (our girls officially love going to the movie theatre!), and four uninterrupted days with Derek at home--hooray for a quiet pager this weekend!!! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, too!!!


Wins for the Week!

I have no idea how it's possible, but here we are at the week of Thanksgiving! Crazy! We dubbed Thanksgiving Week as Potty Training Week in our house. Since Hadley was staying dry ALL DAY and only peeing/pooping in her crib at nap/bedtime, we figured we needed to at least give it a go this week since we'd be home and had the time to focus on it for a couple days. I could see it going either way--a smashing success or epic failure. But thankfully, it's been a smashing success! It's been at least 1.5 billion times either than the the first time we attempted potty training with Shelby. ;)  I don't want to jinx us, but it's seriously been a cake walk so far with Hadley. She wants nothing to do with the "big potty" and will only sit on her little "potty chair," but we've had HUGE success! We're sticking with diapers for nap/bedtime now since she's still in her crib and can't get out to go potty, but she's wearing underwear the rest of the day like a champ! There is a lot of excitement at our house right now!! :)

So potty training was Win #1 for the week, and our second win was this:

Our local Wal-Mart just recently started offering FREE grocery pick-up, and we tried it out for the first time today. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I am totally not a Wal-Mart person, I think I've only been to Wal-Mart once since we moved to San Antonio and that was with my mom b/c we were hunting all over town for Fels-Naptha soap...and Wal-Mart was the only place we could find it. Anyhow, my point is I'm not loyal at all to Wal-Mart..but this service is going to change that big time!! The website to order was very user-friendly and the employees were super nice at pickup--they went over my receipt with me & loaded everything up in my car efficiently. The only things I was hesitant to order were produce & ice cream, but both came out great! I really can't say enough how impressed I was with this service from Wal-Mart! And the fact that I don't have to grocery shop with kids in tow or go up and down aisles hunting for those hard-to-find items anymore if I don't want to?! WIN!!!!

Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving Week, too! :)


Tuesday Tidbits!

Lots of randomness for you on this Tuesday morning! :)

--Our washing machine has been dying a slow & painful death over the past couple of months. We finally bit the bullet during the Veterans Day sales & got a new one! This is our first time with a front loader, and the girls have enjoyed watching in action. But Shelby's absolute favorite part of the new washer is it plays a little musical tune at the end of the cycle...it's like Christmas morning every time she hears it! ;)

--We found out last week that it's a very real possibility that we may not found out our next assignment until May as opposed to late December/January as we initially thought. May!!! As in, we would be moving in June/July and finding out in May. I can't even think about it right now. ;)

--Flu shots all around for the Smith girls a couple weeks ago followed by lunch with Daddy at Chick-fil-a! Both girls were champs for their shots & didn't even flinch! The girls enjoyed our matching bandaids! :)

--We randomly ended up seeing the new Peanuts movie on opening night. We had no plans to go see it then, but it was a rainy & chilly that night...so we thought, why not?! Neither of the girls had ever seen anything Charlie Brown related, but they both loved it! I think they particularly enjoyed the absence of any intense climactic scenes that most Disney movies have...the Peanuts movie was just light-hearted fun!

--We went & visited Santa this weekend at the mall to get our annual photo. :)  Shelby didn't nap that afternoon & worked hard on a wish list for Santa during her quiet time.

Can you tell she was excited to show Santa her list?!

I love everything about this picture!! Shelby was going over her list in detail with Santa while Derek & I desperately tried to
convince Hadley that Santa really wasn't all that bad. ;)

--We also made a trip to the zoo this weekend, which was hands-down the best zoo experience of my life! We figured out shortly after moving here that the zoo is just not something you should EVER under any circumstances do in the summer in San Antonio. Crowds + 100 degree temps + animals that are hiding in the shade = no one having any fun. But the zoo during the fall/winter is perfect here!! We went on a cool/dreary day, so we practically had the whole zoo to ourselves & the animals were super active! Our favorite part of the day was getting to see the lions & their 4 month old baby cubs. The lions are usually very sedentary and are always napping when we see them..but not on this day!! When we first got there, the parents were watching the cubs play. But then all of a sudden, the daddy lion got up and nudged one of the cubs initiating a family wrestling match!! It was the coolest thing ever! It felt like we were in the middle of a National Geographic show or something! These pictures don't do it justice!

This is the daddy literally rolling on top of his cubs, it was hilarious & so cool to watch!
Shelby kept saying "They're just like us wrestling!"

--Shelby's school has a plethora of pets. Here they are holding one of the bunnies one morning, I promise no bunnies were harmed! ;)

--All of a sudden, I am so ready for Hadley to be potty trained! She could essentially already be wearing underwear--she keeps her diaper bone dry all day long and will only pee or poop in her diaper when she's in her crib for nap or bedtime. It's fantasic that I never have to worry about bringing diapers anywhere or changing her in public. The annoying thing is I have to put her down for her nap, then go back in her room five minutes later to change her wet diaper b/c she won't nap if it's wet. Then I have to go in another five minutes later to see if she's pooped...b/c heaven forbid she pee & poop in the same diaper. Going in her room three separate times to get her settled down for nap is driving me crazy recenly even though it's been our norm for a few months now. Hadley is clearly more than ready to be potty trained...we just have to get her to realize the potty isn't so bad...similar to the whole Santa thing! ;)  I totally thought she would be more interested in potty training than Shelby was at this age b/c she has a big sister that she wants to be just like...but she wants nothing to do with the potty AT ALL. Even though she's successfully gone a couple times, she acts like a sad little puppy if you ask her to even go near the potty. We're hoping to give potty training a try during Thanksgiving break next week since Shelby won't have school and we can stay home & focus on it for a couple of days uninterrupted..we'll see how it goes! ;) 

I think that's it for today..Happy Tuesday, Everyone!! :)