HOLIDAY | Goodbye, 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What is it they always say? Out with the old and in with the new. Personally, I'm excited to see what 2015 will hold, but I always want to remember 2014. We celebrated three years together, new jobs and promotions, McKinlee turned TWO, we bought a house and so many little things in between that were equally as important!

New Year's Eve is always a favorite in our house because it's our daddy-man's birthday! He turned a big 23 today! However, we aren't there to celebrate! He's having fun though! 

His parents took him to the new Twin Peaks in our town. "He saw some nice racks on his birthday."

We have big plans for New Year's Day so we lounged around the house today! We slept in, facetimed daddy and sang "happy birthday" and topped off the morning with sausage biscuits!

Around lunchtime, Tyler and I ran to look for party poppers for midnight, after four stores, I finally found some at a random Dollar General. Leave it to Morganton, NC to literally have nothing to ring in the new year.. Anyways, we got them, and got some happy hour sonic drinks! 

I headed home and made a cheeseball to snack on tonight while watching Rockin' New Year. Then made them some famous Poppy Seed Chicken for dinner, it was a hit! Although my New Year's Eve won't look like this: 

Ellen posted this for those of you who will be going out:

So clever.

My girl and I are hanging with Taylor Swift + Ryan Secrest Rockin' into the New Year while eating Doc McStuffins fruit snacks and getting hyped on sweet tea!

Happy New Year!

2015, we're comin' for ya.

HOLIDAY | Christmas

Thursday, December 25, 2014

What a busy few days it's been! We started off the week like any other, work. I actually got sent home early Monday because we weren't busy so I hung out with my family that is in town from North Carolina! We went to Chick-fil-a, saw Santa and then my parents sprung some exciting news on me. I'm getting to go to NC for the new year! 

Now, normally this wouldn't be so exciting, but my best friend just had her baby and she'll be six days old when I get to hold her for the first time! For now, pictures through text message will have to do. So proud of her and Richie! Congrats on your sweet girl!

Welcome to the world, Maci Zoe Bright! 
I can't wait to meet you!

We had Christmas with Justin's family and after we stopped by the famous Wyman road lights in Fayetteville. Something like 128 inflatables. WOAH. McKinlee loved it and so did we!

Christmas Eve we spent the morning at my grandparent's house with my parents and brothers! Then we spent the night with his parents, watching Christmas movies and wearing flannel jams. We played Santa at 10:30 and were asleep by 11. Up and at 'em at 8. I made some Keurig hot chocolate while we waited for the baby to wake up. She had a blast opening up her gifts and she's so polite that my heart just melts. Love her so much!

We ate our body weight in cucumber sandwiches and popcorn chicken, oh, and chocolate. Everyone is napping, the polar express is playing and I'm just enjoying my little family before I have to go full throttle on laundry and packing for our big trip. Did I mention it's 14 hours in a car with a 2 and 8 year old? Yeah.

Enjoy some pictures from our day, we're gonna go build a gingerbread house. 

Merry Christmas!

DIY | Classroom Christmas Decor

Monday, December 8, 2014

I absolutely LOVE decorating my classroom! It's probably one of my favorite things! I love looking through the curriculum and then deciding what will set the mood as they enter the room to learn about our theme! This year's theme is Winter Wonderland and Christmas! So I decorated the room with lots of white and snowflakes! White Christmas lights and paper chain garland!

For our hallway doors we went with a Frozen theme because every single one of those kids knows every word of the entire soundtrack and we thought they would love it!

My door was Olaf // the Coyotes are worth melting for

Brian's door was Oaken // Wandering Oaken's Trading Post + Sauna

Kim + Donna's door was Sven // Tangled up in Christmas lights

Fire Place + Santa Claus with some Mitten Garland

Our Elf Buddy {he's been a huge helper}

My most favorite Christmas movie quote, EVER.

"...Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas didn't come from a store, what if Christmas, perhaps, means a l i t t l e bit more."

HOLIDAY | Ghosts of Christmas Card Past

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I absolutely love Christmas cards, it's one of my favorite things about the holiday season! I love seeing how much everyone has changed in just one year. I always enjoy getting our pictures done and choosing one for the Christmas card! Our first Christmas card I made myself on Shutterfly and everyone loved it! However, I have been using Unfading Beauty for the last two years and they are just so much more than a Christmas card for us! It's a little Etsy print shop ran by a christian mama of two girls that I adore and look up to so much! I strive to live for God the way she does! Check out her shop HERE.

and without further ado //
Christmas 2012

 Christmas 2013

and drumroll...
Christmas 2014

THE MAMA | Smoking while Pregnant

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I am always one to set the tone of a blog post by titling something clever and then going from there. However, with this post I have no words. This is basically going to be a rant // mix of emotions that will hopefully give me some kind of answer as to why God allows things to happen that are beyond my understanding.

Topic // My step-sister is seven months pregnant and smoked multiple cigarettes during Thanksgiving.

I wish you didn't read that right, but you did.

Here is a little back story on the relationship I have with her. We don't get along. at. all. I've tried. I've tried to be the bigger person for my dad and step-mom because I know it hurts them that we can't have a decent family gathering because we just ignore each other or say something that ends up in an argument. Now I am not going to go through all her flaws, because we all have them but I will tell you that she had a baby at 19, as did I. But yet, if you were to compare the paths we've taken, they are two, very different journeys.

I remember I was 16 when she had her first baby and she would leave him for days at a time. She wasn't ready to grow up and take on the responsibility of a parent. What is so strange to me, is she grew up with the most loving mother, who cared for her, who was very open and you could talk to her about anything without any judgement. I know that, because she is my step-mom and I love those qualities about her. That I can come to her with anything and she'll give me the best advice she can, sometimes it's not what I want to hear, but it's advice that I respect. Also, she grew up with my dad. I think that is something I always envied about her. How someone becomes the least motherly person with two parents that literally helped her every step of the way, I will never know. She takes them for granted.

When she was pregnant with her first, I remember taking a walk around the block with her and one of her friends and she smoked a cigarette and she looked at me and said "don't tell mom or your dad". I didn't. I was sixteen and I figured one wouldn't hurt the baby. My mistake, she never quit. So here we are, baby number three and she's doing it all over again. So that's us, we never appreciated being sisters, my step-mom  always says "you guys could have been the best of friends." It's true, but we aren't and we're okay with that.

the incident //

So I was just in the living room playing with McKinlee and my nephew and I walked over to the table to grab a drink of my tea. I glanced over and saw a pack of blue Pall Malls sitting in front of her, but I thought to myself surely those are someone else's. Ten minutes later, she walks past with one in her hand, headed outside. I thought to myself, this is not happening. What broke my heart is that not one single person even flinched, didn't say a word, acted like nothing was wrong. SHE IS SMOKING WHILE PREGNANT. Hello? There are people that try for years, spends thousands upon thousands of dollars, pray until they have zero faith, to have a baby, and here she are abusing the blessing she's been given.

"Why God?" is what I was thinking to myself. "Why wouldn't you bless someone who actually cared with this child. Why her?" I know some people have babies and they change their life around, this is her third opportunity and not a single thing has changed.

So, I bit my tongue and like Elsa, let it go, because if I opened my mouth I probably would've been asked to leave. Time passed, we ate Thanksgiving lunch and we were saying our goodbyes to head to our next rendezvous and she was nowhere to be found, oh, except outside SMOKING. Again. I walked out of that house so fuming mad and asked my dad. "why is she smoking?" He replied, "She always does, she did with him." And that makes it okay? NO. I honestly was driving back and thinking about who I could report this too? Was it illegal? Child neglect? Anything?

How selfish to put her own desires {killing herself + poisoning her lungs} before her unborn, helpless baby. I could go crazy. Just some of the things that could go wrong from smoking while pregnant is premature birth, birth defects, 50% of babies born to smokers have heart defects. That's the risk she's willing to take to enjoy some good 'ol nicotine in her body. So, basically, she doesn't care that if her baby is born with a heart defect or asthma, that he'll never be able to play sports or jump on a trampoline with his big brother.

If you're reading this and you're pregnant + smoking. Grow up and be a parent. Be the nurturer you're supposed to be.

also, I'll tell you what I did, I googled every petition that said "Make smoking while pregnant Illegal" and signed it.

You can sign here //

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