Thanksgiving 2009

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday this year!

As usual, we went to Golden Gate Fields to watch the horse races with Kevin's side of the family.

This is a tradition that Kevin's grandparents started over 40 years ago.
It is fun to get dressed up, eat good food & watch the horses race!
Kevin's immediate family
(this was only half our group!)

Kate was especially excited about this year & as soon as she woke up on Thanksgiving morning she exclaimed, "I get to go see the horses!"
I can't believe the difference from last year's Thanksgiving, Claire was so tiny!

And, this year, she was a toddler running all over the place. This is one of the only moments she was sitting. And, it was for only 30 seconds. She has SO much energy!

Because Kevin's family has been going to the races for so many years, one of the races is dedicated to them & we get to go down to the paddock & get a family picture taken with the jockey who won that race.

I was able to get some close up pictures of one of the horses:
This year (like last year) the famous Russell Baze was the winning jockey, so we got our picture with him again! Kate (and I) like his pink racing outfit!
Our family of 4, Thanksgiving 2009:
(Kate trying to hide from the camera, it was WAY past her naptime)
After the races we headed to my parent's house for Turkey Dinner!

Since I couldn't get the girls to cooperate for a sisters picture, they wouldn't look at me at the same time (story of my life!)
and Claire...
Kate at least tried her turkey dinner this year. She stuck her nose up at it at first, but Auntie Bots helped convince her to eat some of it! Oh the joys of having a picky eater.
Claire LOVED her first "real" Thanksgiving meal & basically licked her plate clean! That girl will eat ANYTHING!
We are so fortunate to live in the same town as both of our families & be able to spend Thanksgiving (and most holidays) with both sets of Grandparents.

I hope you & your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Give Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!
"Give thanks to the Lord, for HE is good. His love endures forever" Psalm 107:1

I have so much to be thankful for...
A loving & supportive husband, 2 beautiful & healthy girls who have given me more joy than I thought possible, Jesus, a teaching job I love, a new photography/graphic design side business, a wonderful church, a cozy home,
amazing friends & a close knit family who means the world to me.

And, the little things....like coffee, monkey bread, down comforters, fall leaves, my camera, a week off school, the Macys Thanksgiving Day parade, wine, getting tickets to see U2 in June, Trader Joes pumpkin pancake mix and of course our crazy yellow lab, Boulder.

I am truly blessed.

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with family & friends reflecting all you are thankful for!


Monkey Bread

This Monkey Bread recipe is one that my Grammy used to make for us when we were visiting her. Growing up, we spent Thanksgiving with her & she would always make us this monkey bread for breakfast.

It is SO good and SO easy!

I started making it for Kevin & I a few years ago & now Kate likes to help me make it. I make a yummy breakfast every Saturday & this monkey bread makes the rotation at least once a month! It is also great for Thanksgiving Day breakfast, Christmas morning or a shower/brunch!
Here is what you need:
The ingredients:4 packages of Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits
1/3 cup sugar2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, divided1 cup brown sugar1 stick butter1 T of Karo Syrup(*if you don't have Karo Syrup you can leave it out*)

In a saucepan, melt 1 cup brown sugar, 1 stick of butter, 1 t of cinnamon & 1 T of Karo syrup on low, stirring every minute or so.While your sauce heating, cut your biscuits in half with kitchen scissors
(I love kitchen scissors!)
Place the cut up biscuits into the ziplock, add 1/3 cup white sugar & 1 t of cinnamon into a large ziplock bag.
Shake the bag & make sure your biscuit pieces are nice & coated!

Keep stirring your brown sugar mixture until it is all melted:
Put the coated biscuits into a Bundt pan (I spray mine with Pam) & drizzle butter/brown sugar mixture over the top of biscuits.Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until nice & golden.
Let cool in bundt pan for 10 minutes. Then, flip it onto a plate!
Mmmmm....look at the yummy-ness!To eat, just pull apart pieces of the monkey bread & enjoy the gooey-goodness!
Now, go to the store so you can make some of your own monkey bread!
Your family will thank me!


Big Girl Bed!

I got her bedding a year ago on clearance at Pottery Barn Kids & I still love it!
On Saturday, my parents watched the girls while Kevin and I took down Kate's crib & set up her big girl bed. When we picked them up, we told Kate we had a surprise for her at home.
We took her to her room & she was SO excited!
Here she is seeing her bed for the first time:
A BIG girl Bed, just for me!
"Thank you Mommy & Daddy!"
"I LOVE my Big Girl Bed!"
"This bed is just for me!"
So much room!
Kate is a happy, happy girl!
She was SO excited about her bed, it brought tears to my eyes.
(I also got teary eyed taking down her crib)
She probably thanked us 100 times for her new bed. It was precious!
Kate's first night sleeping in her big girl bed:
It has been 48 hours since the transition & Kate has done GREAT!
She has done WAY better than we anticipated!
She hasn't gotten out of her bed at night & she took a great a nice long nap in it yesterday.
In fact, I think she is sleeping BETTER in her big girl bed than she did in her crib!
Why didn't we do this sooner?!?


Welcome to our Crib{s}

Would you like a little tour of the girl's bedrooms?
Because this weekend, Kate's room is going through a big change.

Kate is getting finally getting a big girl bed!

Yes, that's right. She is STILL in a crib.
And, yes, she will be 3 years old in 2 months.

Kevin and I had every intention on moving her to a big girl bed LAST fall after Claire was born. Right before Claire was born we even bought Kate a new bedroom set complete with a twin bed. Our thought was to switch her into a big girl bed last Christmas & give Claire her old crib. We knew that Claire would be sleeping in a bassinet in our room, so we thought Christmas would be a good time to put Kate in a big girl bed & move Claire to the crib.

Well, my wonderful mom knocked some sense into me a few weeks after Claire was born & I was stressing about moving Kate into a bed & giving her "freedom". At that time, Kate was napping 2 hours a day & slept 12 hours a night. She didn't climb out of the crib & loved her crib. My mom told me that I should keep Kate in her crib AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. She offered to buy us another crib for Claire so that Kate could stay in hers. Of course I said yes!

So, we kept Kate's big girl bed in the box & have been storing it in my parent's garage. Our current plan was to either give Kate the big girl bed THIS Christmas OR for her 3rd birthday in January.

Those plans ALL changed this week because:
1. Kate climbed (and then) fell out of her crib during nap time because she doesn't want to nap anymore.
2. Kate cried for 1 hour on Monday night at bedtime because she didn't want to sleep in her crib & kept saying she wants "A big girl bed"
She wakes up in the morning screaming at the top of her lungs,
"Get me out of this crib, I want a big girl bed!!!!"
4. Kate won't stop talking about wanting a big girl bed.

Kevin and I agreed that we can't wait another month for to give it to her for Christmas & that this weekend we will set up her new bed. I will be off all next week for Thanksgiving Break, so it is a good time to transition her since I am ASSUMING we will have some sleepless nights as Kate gains freedom!

So, here is what Kate's room looks like now:

These ceilings were SUCH a pain to paint! When we first bought the house, we knew this room would eventually be a nursery, so we painted the walls a buttery yellow color so that they would work for a boy or a girl. We didn't find out what we were having with either pregnancy, but I didn't want a neutral nursery. So, we bought white furniture & then I bought a boy crib set & a girl crib set. I knew if I had a girl I wanted the room to have pink accessories. (Pink is my favorite color).
So, after Kate was born, the room became girly & pink!

The tricky part is going to figure out where to put her bed.
Do we put it where the crib is?
Or, do we move around some furniture & put it against the other wall?
The room has a weird wall cut-out, so I am not sure what will look best.
Here is Claire's room. The layout & room dimensions are identical to Kate's, just flip-flopped.
It was the guest room before it became her room.
Before, as the guest room:
And, after as Claire's room!
Again, we didn't find out what we were having, so I waited until she was born to convert the guest room to her room.
I bought the bedding (brand new) on ebay from a woman who was told she was having a girl at 20 weeks, but then at 30 weeks they found out it was a boy! doh! Needless to say, she didn't have a need for pink & brown polka dot bedding.
I got the name letters at Babies R Us & they matched the bedding perfectly even though they are a totally different brand!
I love this canvas. It was originally for Kate's bedroom, but I never hung it up & it matched Claire's room perfectly!
We kept the wall color the same as it was when it was the guest room, it is a tan color & goes great with the pink, brown & tan bedding.
So, there is a sneak peak at the girls rooms.
I will post pictures of Kate's big girl room next week.
And, if anyone has any advice on transitioning a kid from the crib to a bed would be MUCH appreciated!


Christmas Card Contenders

Here are some pictures I took of the girls on Sunday afternoon.
They are some of my new favorite pictures of them.
Of course, I couldn't get that many of them together, but I love some of the individual ones I got.
Here are my attempts at the ones of them together:

I scratch your back, you scratch mine.
Claire trying to make a run for it.
After all these attempts, I finally got a cute one where they are BOTH smiling!
I *might* use that one for our Christmas Card this year.
Or, I could use a compilation of individual pictures!
Speaking of Christmas Cards, visit my etsy shop if you interested in Holiday Cards!
I have another idea swirling in my head for Christmas Card photos, but if I don't execute that idea, then I will pick a couple of these pictures to use.
My Aunt Patty gave the girls these cute matching outfits from Janie & Jack (last Spring!)
They finally fit into them by the end of the summer & I have been wanting to get some pictures of them wearing the outfits to show her.
Yes, I know it is after Labor Day & they are wearing white pants.
Total fashion faux paus, but you know what? I don't care, the outfits are cute!
So what if they are wearing white pants in November?
I am always scouting out new fresh & fun places to take pictures...
(especially since I have had 3 paid photoshoots in the last month & have 3 more booked this month! HOLLA!)
I scouted out this hilly area a few weeks ago & finally took the girls up there to take some pictures.
Both girls were hamming it up for me & loved posing for the pictures.
Of course, I had my mom & sister there to help me get the girls to smile!
Here are a few more pictures of the Kate overload....

This is one of my favorites of Kate:
And, now it is time for the Claire overload!
My pathetic attempt at a sun flare picture:

This last one is my favorites of Claire.
Now, I need to figure out a Christmas Card design for our family. I have been busy making other people's cards that I haven't even had time to think about ours! I need to get on that!


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