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HOLIDAY | Christmas

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Raise 'em up - I love that my best girl loves Christmas just as much as I do! I pray she will always know the true meaning of Christmas and that we will make memories each year that she will pass on to her family someday.


Carter loves being in his sissy's room! and hanging out with his Daddy!




She loves her tree so much! We turn it on as soon as we get home each night!


I love Christmas!





I love family ornaments! 
This one is from McKinlee's first Christmas, can't wait to add all Carter's ornaments this year!


Last year's ornament - obsessed with Frozen!


Growing up my mom and aunts always got my Grandmother one of these ornaments with all 11 grandchildren! they keep the tradition going by getting her one each year with all the great-grandchildren, I think she's up to 14 faces now! Our first family ornament! 

Can't wait to get this year's with our new addition!


Last year I made these applesauce cinnamon ornaments for the tree - I made them with our initials and hearts with the extra dough. I love how simple and cute they are, and they smell delicious too! Find the recipe HERE.


I whipped up this DIY tree skirt McKinlee's first Christmas, and I add her hand print each year and now we will start doing Carter's foot each year next to her hand. Love watching them grow!



THE MAMA | the day I became a Bolinger

Monday, November 9, 2015

I had dreamed of  this day since our fourth month of dating, that sounds kind of crazy, but I just always knew. I remember I started this book of ways we would decorate our house, recipes I would make him and even the names for our children. I just knew he was the one. You can read our story here, basically we got pregnant with McKinlee, but I didn't want us to marry one another because we were having a baby together. So here we are almost five years later, and we did it. We got married! We didn't really tell anyone, so you can imagine the surprise/shock of our friends and loved ones, but it has been the most perfect 72 hours of my life, being a wife.

                       

Most of you that know us, know we've lived together for 4 years, so I didn't really think getting married would change my feelings that much. I already feel so much happier and more confident in my relationship with him! I feel more secure in myself, knowing that I am his forever. Being his wife is such a blessing and I will live everyday to show him and our children how blessed and thankful we are to have him.

                       

Our wedding day was a little unconventional, but if you look at our track record, that's the way we like to do things. I just got back to work from maternity leave, so I haven't accrued too much PTO, so I told him since the kids had flu shot appointments Friday, that we can just swing by the courthouse after that, and get married. So, I worked a little overtime, and got to work Friday, where my work girls threw me a surprise bridal brunch and then my boss let me leave at noon.


Justin got off around the same time, we met at home and then headed to the courthouse. On the way there, I had so many butterflies in my stomach, not because I was nervous, but because the thought of being his wife within the hour, had me so excited, I couldn't stand it. We arrived at the courthouse, got our license and made our way to the lawyer right down the street. I just googled "Fayetteville Justice of Peace" and called the first one that popped up.


                          

So we arrive, and we walked into the most dated building with wood paneling on the walls and this unique smell, like an old library or something, but I was just thinking, "this is gonna be good." We entered his office and he was rambling to his assistant about a file they couldn't find that he had searched high and low for, while we patiently waited for him to notice us standing right in front of him. Once he did, we let him know we were there to get married, he said with a disgruntled voice, "wait in that far room and I'll be right with ya!" So we did. We sat down and just look at each other and smiled, like maybe it won't be too bad. Minutes later, he walked over and asked for our license and confirmed our names, then said to wait just a few more minutes while he filled it out. So we did.

While he was gone, we just smiled, nervously excited for what was about to happen, and how it was going to happen. I just remember we whispered "I love you" probably a dozen times while we waited. All of a sudden we hear a voice say, "can you help me with a custody case?", and he went on to explain the situation, which included the baby mama being in jail, and this grumpy, old, southern lawyer, just replied, "let me marry these folks right quick and I'll be right with ya!" Justin and I died, silently laughing as he walked in and said "are you ready?"


We stand up thinking we're gonna go to some altar or something, but he just shouts, "well stand over there, and we'll get this done!" So, here we are, standing in this musky waiting room, with old church pews and highlight magazines from 2002, about to be husband and wife. He read off the vows, Justin said "I do", he started to read them again, I teared up as I said "I do." He then said "I now pronounce you man and wife, you may kiss your bride" and then walked out. He handed us our license and wished us well, as we walked out, I looked at Justin laughing and said "I don't know why I am crying!" He replied, "Probably because that was not how you pictured this going at all!" As awful and grumpy as that lawyer was, he married us, we were married and I was so happy.


It's a day we'll always remember and we'll always have a funny story to tell, and I am glad we got to share it just the two of us. Each time we hear a wedding story, we'll think of that day and laugh, and each time we hear that lawyer's name we're gonna have a story to tell, it's just the most perfect feeling, being his wife.


After we returned our license to the courthouse, we ran the kids to get their flu shots, took some family pictures, and then had olive garden for dinner to celebrate, I signed the receipt Baylee Bolinger, and it was the perfect ending to a perfect day!

                        

THE MAMA | Fall Photos

Saturday, November 7, 2015

I love family pictures and even more so putting our outfits together. I knew I wanted to incorporate mustard somehow into this years photos, but wasn't sure where that would lead. Thankfully, we had all the pieces at home and I just puzzled them together into this inspirational photo, and I really think they turned out great. I love that they are fall oriented and that the dark blues feel very warm, yet the yellow brings out the color in the leaves. We didn't have a lot of money to splurge on a photographer this year, so we just used his mom's camera, and self-timer did not disappoint.



I love how they turned out! 
Now to pick one for our first Christmas card featuring little brother!



these were our practice shots to make sure we had the camera pointing in the right spot - but I still love them!



















CARTER PAUL | Two Months

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Life is so fun with our sweet baby boy! I can't believe he is already TWO months old. It doesn't feel like it. I went back to work this month and it was so hard to leave him but I look forward to his sweet smirk and cuddles when I pick him up!


We have a 2 month check-up including vaccines on Friday, so these are estimates!
Weight: about 12 lbs
Height: about 24 inches



Food | Well since we started daycare two weeks ago, he typically nurses 6 times a day and then takes 3-4 bottles during the day while I am at work. Our day starts with him nursing at 4:30-5am, I will let him sleep while I get ready, then nurse him at 6:50-7:05am to top him off right before we leave the house. He takes 3-4oz bottles, 3-4 times a day, with his last feeding at 4pm so he's ready to nurse when I pick him up at 5:30pm. I then feed him at 7:30p, 9:30, top him off at 10:30 and then he wakes to eat around 2am and then we start our day all over again.


Sleep | He is still from 10:30pm-3am, then wakes up around 5am and will sleep until I start getting him ready for daycare. This week he didn't sleep very good at school, he had 4 one-hour naps, but then he'll sleep from 6-7:30 at home while we cook and eat dinner. Then he'll stay awake pretty much until he goes to sleep at 10:30p.


Size | We're finishing out our last box of size 1 diapers and then we'll move up to 2's. He's also in 0-3 month and 3 month onesies and pants, but most rompers or one pieces are 3-6 months, he's gonna be tall like his Daddy!

Firsts | Moby Wrap {09/26/2015}
Smile {10/21/2015}
Vaccines {11/06/2015}


the FUN stuff | He's still such a cuddler and a major mama's boy, which I love. I can't wait to pick them up and just get all the snuggles. We typically get home, we'll snuggle up on the couch, I'll nurse him and McKinlee will sit next to us and eat fruit snacks while we watch the evening news. He finally smiles when you talk to him and it's literally the sweetest thing ever. We get a coo, every now and then but mainly just smiles! He is starting to like his baths a little better now. I still can't drink sweet tea, even though I do here and there because I can't not. That's really the only thing I've noticed. He's not a fan of getting into the carseat - but once we're driving he'll usually calm down.

McKinlee has gotten a lot better with Carter since his newness has worn off a little, she still gets really close to his face when she talks to him and if he's on the floor she'll jump over him, so we're getting there. He's just the most chill baby, and I love his company. He loves to be outside, so we take his bouncy seat out there and he'll just chill while we all hang out. He's gotten over his cranky 8-10:30pm stage since he started daycare, so that's nice for us, makes our evening routine a little easier. He seems to be doing well with Ms. Gala at daycare and I am so thankful, it makes me rest easy during the day knowing he's being well taken care of. These next few months are when they start getting more interactive and playful so I am excited to see his little personality start developing!




little brother!






my heart!


Sunday cuddles after church!



I can't believe he changed this much in 5 weeks!




Big sister is such a little mama!


This face!



I stayed home with McKinlee for the first 22 months of her life, so I pumped maaaybe three times with her. However, with Carter I was home six weeks and now I am back at work. With McKinlee, when I would pump, I would only get 2-3 oz total after 20 minutes, my breasts just didn't care for the pump. I had so much anxiety that it was going to be the same this time around and I wouldn't be able to continue nursing him. I am so excited that I was wrong and pumping has gone great.


My typical day looks like this:
Nurse - 6:50am Drop-off
Pump - 10am
Pump - 1:30pm
Pump - 3:30pm
Nurse - 5:30pm Pick-up

I have been able to pump 8oz each time, for a total of 5 bags to freeze once I get home. I have been sending him to daycare with 4 bags and sometimes he'll drink all of them and sometimes there is a leftover bag for the following day. I have my supply about 8 days ahead. I am not going to lie, I yearn for the weekends when I can be with him for each feeding. 

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