Tuesday, January 14, 2014


After ringing in the New Year, we got our first good snow storm of the year.
And, when I say "good" I mean semi-substantial... not enjoyable. ;)

Everyone knows I don't like the snow.
I become a hermit when they call for it.
But, shockingly, I was really looking forward to this storm.  I knew Norah would love it!
I wanted to bundle her up in 20 layers and let her go play in it!
But, along with the 2 inches of snow, we also got single digit temperatures, so we enjoyed the snow from the inside.
Norah doesn't have enough layers in her closet to block that cold!

She was very excited about it.
She kept looking out the window & was very curious about the fluffy stuff covering the ground.  I felt bad not letting her enjoy it, but we kept hearing that it would only take 5 minutes outside to suffer from frostbite.

Maybe next time.

2013 in Review

2013 was a great year!
Norah had a lot of firsts, we had a bunch of visitors, we traveled.
We had a lot of great times full of smiles and a few tough moments.
Brad traveled A LOT!!
But, all in all 2013 was good to us.
I'm nervous about 2014, but I welcome it with open arms!

Here are a few of our favorite moments from 2013:

Friday, January 3, 2014


In the days before New Years, Norah came down with hives.  We have no idea what caused them.  Perhaps it was something in the Christmas tree as it slowly died {although it hadn't been a problem from the beginning} or perhaps she ate something that just didn't sit well with her body.  Either way, we will never know, but just to be safe I spent New Years morning undecorating the tree & wiping down EVERYTHING she got for Christmas.
Because Norah wasn't feeling 100% we decided to stay in so she could get to bed on time & sleep it off.  We have been trying to stick to a better sleep schedule for her lately.  It makes for a happier Norah & an unbroken night of sleep, which in turn makes for a happier Mommy & Daddy! :)

We said goodbye to 2013 by keeping up with one of Brad's family traditions.
We follow SOOOO many of my family traditions that it seems only fair to fit one or two of Brad's in there, too. ;)
So, we ordered Chinese food & I sent Brad out to pick it up while Norah & I set up a blanket on the living room floor for our New Years Eve picnic.  Norah loved rolling around & playing on the blanket until Brad came home.
We made Norah a plate of a good mix of Brad's & my dinner, but it wasn't good enough.  She had to eat right off of Brad's plate.  Somehow she must know that Brad HATES to share his food.  She goes right to him all of the time.

I love this tradition.
When I was growing up my mom would make our favorite dish to bring in the New Year.  For me, it was always shrimp & scallops.  I figured, since I don't eat seafood anymore, Chinese is the next best thing! :)

Later in the evening, a few friends came over to play cards & watch the ball drop!  It was nice ringing in the New Year with some of our favorite people!

I'm very anxious about what 2014 has to offer!
We have a move coming up this year, but we still don't know where we're going or when.
We are praying there will be a new addition to our family by the end of this year/early next year & Norah's personality is changing by leaps & bounds.  She is becoming such a toddler.  Our happy little girl is having a hard time communicating with us & gets frustrated often.  This has been a learning curve for us!!  We're not used to temper tantrums.  She has been so happy-go-lucky her whole life!  I pray every day that it gets easier for all of us!  Today was a good day! I'm praying for lots of good days throughout the year!

I hope you all enjoyed your New Years Eve as much as we did!  Here's to a wonderful 2014 for us all!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Christmas flew by this year!
It was so much fun with Norah being able to communicate more!
She knew who Santa was, loved the lights, cried when we would drive past them.  She just wanted to sit and stare forever.
She LOVED to take the ornaments off of the tree!  I was ok with it since we put the plastic ones on the bottom.
We considered it a big win that the tree was never knocked down.
The season was wonderful!
It's times like these where I wish we had a rewind button.

We are lucky to still be at the stage where Norah sleeps until 8am.
Christmas was just another morning for her.
I heard her call out to let her out of her room & put Brad on Norah duty while I grabbed the camera, ran downstairs, made two cups of coffee from our new Keurig {thanks Mom & Dad for the early Christmas present} & waited as Brad helped Norah down the stairs.
She was confused at first... waiving "hi" to me... staring at the stockings hanging on the wall.
And then she saw the MASSIVE pile of gifts around the tree & that little girl hit a full fledge sprint.
She was thrilled!!
Santa was good to us this year!

Norah gave Brad their favorite bedtime story in a hardcover book.  When I was pregnant, Cheerios had these little paperback books inside the boxes.  And, since I was addicted to Cheerios, we collected them all.
This book has become Brad's favorite book to read to Norah at bedtime.  A week before Christmas, Norah ripped & colored in the little one, so we replaced it.
It was my favorite gift to give of the year!

We spent the entire morning opening gifts.
Norah surprised us by opening them all {except the last 4}.  They sat under the tree for so long.  We kept trying to coax her into opening them because her gift from Unle Craig was still under there & the anticipation of finding out what was inside was killing us!  Uncle Craig is an amazing gift giver!!
This gift was no exception with Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head!
She always says "Uh oh" when she finds the pieces on the floor.  She will figure out eventually that he is, in fact, supposed to fall apart. :)

We spent the remainder of the day cleaning up, playing with all of our new toys, and making dinner!  We had some of our favorite people over for a yummy meal.  Brad made his first ham EVER!  We were both relieved to hear it was delicious.  All in all, it was a great Christmas with wonderful company!
Norah hasn't been bored for a second since. :)


Christmas Eve was very low key in our house.
I baked pumpkin bread for our friends and neighbors & Norah helped me with cookies for Santa.  We listened to Christmas carols while we tracked Santa's travels around the world.
  We spent the day enjoying being together as a family!  It has been WONDERFUL having Brad home for the past couple of weeks!

We decided to keep Norah up a little past her bedtime by going to the 8pm mass at church!
Bing must have returned to the North Pole while we were out because when we got home we were surprised by our Christmas PJs!
He even left a book for Norah with Opah as the narrator!!!  It was wonderful!
We all love that book!
Opah is the BEST storyteller EVER!!
I'm not kidding... I think he could make some mucho bucks reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas!
Norah still takes that book to bed {a week after Christmas}.  I think somebody misses her Opah!
Norah got to have 'Twas the Night Before Christmas read to her twice this year!  Once by Opah & the other time by Daddy!
We have a copy of Brad's favorite version of the book {the Hallmark pop-up} thanks to my brother & sister-in-law.  When my mom passed away we divvied up my mom's large collection of Night Before Christmas books.  Since Jason & Pam were the only ones with kids in the family, at the time, it seemed only fitting that they would take that one.  When they found out it was Brad's favorite & the one his family read when he was a kid, they gifted it to him one year for Christmas.  It is now the version that is read to Norah each year.  We are beyond grateful to have that in our collection.

We put milk & cookies out for Santa!
This mama totally spaced on the carrots for the reindeer!  I hope they weren't too upset with us!  We'll just have to double the carrots next year!

12.15.13 - Annmarie Garden

This year we returned to Annmarie Gardens to walk through the Garden of Lights.
Norah had so much fun pointing at all of the lights saying "SEEEEE... SEEEEEE?!"
We had a blast with our good friends & an added bonus, Santa made an appearance on this night!  
Norah was a little more animated with him over the other times we saw Santa.
Perhaps it was because he gave her a candy cane as soon as she sat down.
We had fun playing with the photo props!
There is even a family photo in there {even though I'm a big blur, it's still a family photo... those RARELY happen}! :)