Monday, November 17, 2014

Caroline Grace {6 Months Old}

Caroline Grace,
In the blink of an eye you are 6 months old. It feels like it was just yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital. This month has absolutely been our favorite yet. Your personality continues to light up the room and your giggles melt me into a puddle. You truly are the smiliest baby! 
Every morning daddy scoops you up out of your crib and brings you to bed with us for about an hour before we get up for the day. Those snuggles are the most treasured moments of the day. You are a snuggler and I hope you never grow out of it.
We thank God every day that you are happy, healthy and that you are ours! We couldn't be more in love with you, sweet Caroline.


6 Month Highlights:
  • Still in size 1 diapers. I think our "stay little forever" wish is coming true! I'd guess you're around 13.5 pounds, maybe. 
  • We retired your wubanub and soothies but still use MAMs at bedtime.
  • You can sit up unassisted and have no interest in crawling yet.
  • You love to say "mmmmm" and "ba ba" but haven't quite put the two together for "mama". Most of the time though you just blow bubbles, babble and smack your lips.
  • You are now obsessed with cups! You love to drink out of the side of our cup so much that we decided it was time to get you your own sippy cup. 
  • You're starting to become uninterested in your milk (7 ounces/5 bottles a day) and are so distracted during feedings. However, you love oatmeal and purees you scarf them down with no problems.
  • You are the smiliest baby ever and were such a ham for school pictures that the photographer featured your photo at daycare for her advertisements.
  • You're starting to reach for us to pick you up. (serious heart melter)
  • This month we celebrated your first Halloween, took you to Blowing Rock and had our first {of many} family photo shoots. 
Let's take a look back at the last 6 months...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday!

It's been a super busy week! Work has been absolutely crazy and I haven't had much time to blog or catch up on blogs. And things don't appear to be slowing down next week either as I'll be traveling to Chicago for work. I've actually never been to Chicago and I have a legit fear of public transportation in big cities and don't do well with cold weather either so it should be an interesting trip. Anyway, on to my five!

- ONE - Can we talk about how Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away? Every year I use The Pioneer Woman's Turkey Brine and swear it's the best brine out there for your turkey. If you've never tried it before you definitely should give it a shot this year. I promise you'll love it. You can find the recipe {here}!

- TWO - And you know what else is exactly two weeks away? Black Friday. And I can't wait! Black Friday is probably the only day of the entire year that I'm a morning person. I wake up with unbelievable energy and am definitely one of the crazies standing outside the mall while it's still dark outside. Would love to know what's on your Black Friday shopping list this year...
- THREE - Some of you asked about Caroline's suction cup toys that we use to keep her distracted at restaurants. They are called Squigz and you can find these amazing toys on Amazon {here}. These toys stick to any flat surface {tables, windows, etc,} and also rattle. Honestly, anything that keeps a 6 month old happy through a quick meal and doesn't require being picked up off the floor a hundred times is worth recommending. Thank you, Aunt Ann!!

- FOUR - The Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull Aparts we made for breakfast in the mountains last weekend were so yummy that I wanted to post the recipe for all you bacon lovers...

Easy Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts
From Picky Palate
2 tablespoons melted butter
One roll refrigerated biscuit dough, 8 count
6 thin slices fresh mozzarella, 1/4-inch thick
1 cup Smithfield cooked, crumbled bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and brush a 9-inch cast iron skillet with melted butter. Unroll biscuits from can and place into bottom of skillet. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese, bacon crumbles then shredded cheddar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and biscuits are cooked through. Serve warm.
- FIVE - I recently received the Easy Southwest Kimono Cardi from In Bloom Boutique and love it. This is my first kimono ever and I was a bit nervous about how it would look on someone as short as me but I think it's super cute! And it's comfy. Anyway, In Bloom has graciously offered a $40 shop credit to one lucky reader. Just enter using the rafflecopter below! Also, you can shop all of In Bloom Boutique's cute stuff {here}!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wanna join Darci, April, Natasha and I on the Friday fun? You can link-up on any of our four blogs every Friday! All you have to do is...
1.) Write your post about five things you're lovin' this week (or any five things you want to share!).
2.) Share the logo on your blog and link back. 
3.) Link-up at the bottom of the post so some new readers can check out your five things and say hello!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Three Years {Anniversary Mountain Getaway}

Last year we celebrated our anniversary with a weekend trip to Blowing Rock and had such a great time that we decided to make a tradition out of it. As we began to plan our trip this year we tossed around the idea of whether or not to take the baby with us. The grandparents graciously offered to keep her but we ultimately decided just to bring her so we wouldn't spend the whole trip missing her. Hmm, we'll reconsider that decision for next year. Although we had a really fun time, the cabin and the views were phenomenal and we ate the most amazing meals, I wouldn't really use the words "relaxing" or "peaceful" to describe our getaway. Caroline has been battling her first cold and decided to pass it on to me {via snotsucker, perhaps?} during the second day of our trip. Womp, womp. We still had fun and made the most of our vacation though...
The cabin we stayed in was absolutely stunning. I really appreciated that it wasn't decorated with cheesy mountain things and had lots of nice amenities like a gorgeous, stocked kitchen, a beautiful master suite, a log fireplace, breathtaking long-range views and is conveniently located less than two miles from downtown Blowing Rock. It was perfect and we'll definitely be back.
We took off work on Friday to extend our vacation and arrived to the mountains just in time to grab a delicious lunch at Bistro Roca in downtown Blowing Rock.We were feeling brave so we ordered an appetizer, Prosciutto wrapped figs, before our meal. Thankfully, Caroline was distracted long enough {by the most amazing toys ever that suction to the table - thank you, Aunt Ann!} that we enjoyed our meal too.
After lunch we arrived to the cabin, played in leaves, took pictures, started a fire and jumped right into jammies for the rest of the day.
Since it was our anniversary I ordered Matt and I a small cake from Harris Teeter to celebrate three years. It wasn't until we were unloading the truck that I realized Matt had thrown Charlie's bag of dog food on top of the cake, creating an avalanche of icing down the right side of the cake. Luckily I was able to crop out the disaster.
However, Matt redeemed himself from the cake incident when he surprised me with a special limited edition bottle of my favorite wine. I love Apothic Red wine and had no idea a special "dark" edition even existed! I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious this bottle was and am planning to stock up before it disappears from shelves.
I wish I could say we got lots of great sleep but by 11 pm Caroline decided she wanted to sleep with us instead of her pack n' play. And since we felt bad that she was feeling so crummy we let her. But then that opened a can of worms because Charlie wanted to join the Queen-sized bed party too. The next morning we got up bright and early and enjoyed the yummiest breakfast - Cheesy Bacon Biscuit Pull-Aparts and mimosas!
After a long morning nap we decided to venture out for a firewood run and accidentally ended up shopping at the outlets. To celebrate our successful shopping trip we grabbed lunch at my favorite BBQ restaurant of all time, Woodlands BBQ.

Once we arrived back at the cabin we threw a batch of spaghetti sauce on the stove and let it simmer until the Ohio State game. 
The weather was super cold {39 degrees} so we stayed inside cuddled up next to the fire for the remainder of the day.
Sunday morning we got up, made breakfast, soaked in the last of the mountain views before we headed home. This year our trip definitely looked a lot different but it was still nice to spend some time away as a family.
Excited to see what this next year of life together will look like!


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