Things I Never Blogged About: Christmas 2013

Playing catch up to share memories I never blogged about.. here’s Christmas 2013.

We celebrated Christmas a few days early at home with my family, and then packed up our kids and headed north for Christmas. It takes about 16 hours with two kids between eating, potty breaks, and etc. Our kids were great travelers on the trip up. Everyone was feeling sick on the way home, so that trip was pretty miserable.

We had a great time spending Christmas  up north. Chris’s family always goes all out for Christmas and we leave feeling so blessed. I’m so glad I married into such a wonderful family. My babies are lucky and get to grow up with a pretty great family–on both sides. We loved spending time with family, playing in the snow, and teaching Toby to roll over, among many other things.

Here are some scenes from our trip up north.

Watson Cousins

Watson Cousins

Christmas 2013

Milk + Cookies for Santa

Milk + Cookies for Santa + reindeer carrots

Cuties on Christmas Morning

Cuties on Christmas Morning

Furiously ripping into presents. Everything she opened, she responded with "it's just what I wanted." So sweet.

Furiously ripping into presents. Everything she opened, she responded with “it’s just what I wanted.” So sweet.

"It's just what I wanted"

“It’s just what I wanted”

Big boy chillin'

Big boy chillin’

Tobes learned to roll over on this trip, at 3 months old

Tobes learned to roll over on this trip, at 3 months old

Grandma Painting Elodie's toenails

Grandma Painting Elodie’s toenails

Big boy

Big boy

Grandma & her babies

Grandma & her babies

Toby & Grandpa

Toby & Grandpa

Snow Angel

Snow Angel

Elodie and Daddy playing in the 4 inches of show

Elodie and Daddy playing in the 4 inches of show

Family Snow Angels

Family Snow Angels

Snowman

Snowman

Anyone else missing Christmas already? Although.. I’m glad the weather is starting to warm up! Never mind, let’s hit the beach!

xoxo

Ash

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a small Thanksgiving this year with just my mom, Chris and our kiddos. I didn’t feel like cooking for just us, so we ordered dinner from a local grocery store and had a very laid-back day. Chris ran a race, like last year, and picked up dinner while he was out. Elodie, Toby and my mom and I spent the morning at our house & baked cookies.

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We finished decorating for Christmas. We’ve been doing it slowly but surely since I’ve been on maternity leave & Chris has been off work all week. We wanted a big tree, since we have 20-ft vaulted ceilings in our living room, so we got a beautiful 10ft tree. I’m in love.

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We took some family pictures, ate dinner, and relaxed.

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Hope everyone had a lovely day. Happy Thanksgiving! We have lots to be thankful for this year, so we’re feeling pretty blessed.

xoxo

Ash

Halloween 2013

I’m about 2 weeks late in posting this, but better late than never, right?

Here are some scenes from our Halloween this year! My nephew, Josiah, came over to join the Watson kiddos for some Halloween fun! This was our first Halloween in our new neighborhood & it was a blast! We live in the perfect neighborhood for kiddos, minus all the hills.

Rapunzel from Tangled

Rapunzel from Tangled

Little Pea Pod

Little Pea Pod

Cute kiddos

Cute kiddos in the wagon: Rapunzel & Little Lion Man

Chillin' in the stroller

Chillin’ in the stroller

Flynn Rider & Rapunzel from Tangled

Flynn Rider & Rapunzel from Tangled

My hat that I use every year :)

My hat that I use every year 🙂

And, since we were all out with the kids trick-or-treating, we still wanted to give other kids candy too, so we left some bowls of candy & a sign a-la Parks and Rec.

If you've been to our house & seen our driveway, you know kids don't want to walk up to ring our doorbell. This was the easiest solution at the bottom of our driveway.

If you’ve been to our house & seen our driveway, you know kids don’t want to walk up to ring our doorbell. This was the easiest solution at the bottom of our driveway.

Elodie did so great with her “TRICK OR TREAT”‘s & saying “Thanks!” at every house. It was such a fun evening. Just for fun, here’s a look at last year’s Halloween.

Hope your Halloween was great!

I owe y’all some updates of our house, family & etc. Sorry!

Is anyone still reading this thing… do you want updates? 🙂

xoxo

Ash

Easter 2013

Easter this year was pretty low-key. On Saturday we went to a local Easter Egg hunt and had a blast. They had the kids divided up into several age groups for hunting eggs. Elodie was in the 0-2 age group, so she was one of the older ones. She did so great!

Funny story: The hunt was supposed to begin at 11. At around 10:59:30, Elodie decided she really had to go potty. We asked her a few times if she really had to go, and she insisted. Chris picked her up and ran her to the potty. As soon as they left, the announcer came on and said “we’re ready to start.. I’m going to count backwards from 100..” We thought we they had plenty of time until he came back on.. “no.. I’m going to count backwards from 3, 3-2-1, GO!.” I sent my mom out to make sure she grabbed a few eggs for Elodie. Elodie and Chris came running back over shortly after and she still had plenty of time to collect those eggs. Bad timing, kiddo.

Gearing up for the hunt!

Gearing up for the hunt!

Getting started

Getting started

Easter-egg-hunt-Adams-Park-2013

Love this one! She's taking this pretty serious!

Love this one! She’s taking this pretty serious!

The whole hunt lasted all of 5-10 minutes before all the eggs were gone, but Elodie still got a basket full of eggs.

It was a beautiful day, the first one in several weeks. We enjoyed getting out & celebrating the holiday for a few minutes!

Family photo. Notice the 14.5 week bump <3

Family photo. Notice the 14.5 week bump ❤

Elodie + Gigi

Elodie + Gigi

Sunday, Easter, we spent most of the day at home. I had every intention of dying eggs with Elodie, but was missing something I needed, so we never got around to that.

The Easter Bunny brought Elodie a basket full of paint & bubbles. She’s been telling me she wants the Easter Bunny to bring her paint for several weeks, so of course I had to relay her message to Mr. Bunny & luckily, he delivered.

Easter Basket

Easter Basket

Excited about her goodies

Excited about her goodies

After some paint fun/a slight green-paint-on-our-carpet incident, we met my mom & our friends Jessie & Ben for brunch. Brunch was followed by a nice, relaxing day.

Just for fun.. here are our Easter family pictures from the past 2 years. It’s so crazy to see how Elodie has grown. And next year, there’ll be another little family member to spend the holiday with!

Our family last year-2012

Our family last year-2012

Elodie's first Easter-2011

Elodie’s first Easter-2011

Hope you all had a lovely Easter!

xoxo

Ash

Happy 2013!

Happy Twenty-Thirteen, y’all!

We had fun last night ringing in the new year with some good friends.

Me + Chris

Me + Chris

Jessie + Ben

Jessie + Ben

Me + Katie

Me + Katie

Chris + Katie

Chris + Katie

Me + Jess

Me + Jess

New Year’s Resolutions:

As I check things off my Pre-pregnancy bucket list, these are some things I want to highlight as “resolutions” for the new year

1) Buy a House: We’re in a better place to actually accomplish this one this year. So, once we get our tax refund & put that money into our down payment savings fund, we’ll probably start looking.

2) Have a baby: Nope, still not pregnant yet, but hopefully this will be the year for Baby Watson #2.

3) Run 400 miles: I was reading some blog, (I can’t remember which one) where she had a goal of running 400 miles in a year. If you calculate this, it’s about 7 miles per week. This doesn’t seem like a huge commitment per week, so I’m hoping it’s doable.

What are some resolutions you have?

Have a great new year!

xoxo

Ash

Christmas 2012

We had a small Christmas this year. It was just us, my mom, and the Williams (my sister, bro-in-law and nephew, Josiah.) We loved spending time together and watching the kiddos interact. Elodie was filled with pure joy for days as she opened up and played with all of her new goodies. Experiencing Christmas through a child’s eyes is so much more magical and exciting than I ever remember experiencing myself. I can only imagine that it will get better and better as she grows up!

Christmas started a few days before when presents arrived from Grandma & Grandpa. We couldn’t help but let her open (most) of them early.

Leap Pad from Grandma & Grandpa. Apparently these are a hot commodity among the kiddos. Lucky girl.

Leap Pad from Grandma & Grandpa. Apparently these are a hot commodity among the kiddos. Lucky girl.

Elodie showing off a present. We opened up presents from Grandma & Grandpa a few days early :)

Elodie showing off a present.

Then, the Williams’ came into town & we enjoyed their company for a few days leading up to Christmas. I know my mom was so happy to have both her daughters, sons-in-law and grandbabies under one roof for several days!

These kids are hard to get still enough to take a picture of them together

These kids are hard to get still enough to take a picture of them together

Sweet baby Josiah, 8 months

Sweet baby Josiah, 8 months

He was loving our kitties

He was loving our kitties

Aunt Ashley & Josiah

Aunt Ashley & Josiah

Uncle Chris, Josiah & Elodie. Chris is cutting fingernails.

Uncle Chris, Josiah & Elodie. Chris is cutting fingernails.

In the middle of preparing for Christmas, we took the front off of Elodie’s crib to turn it into her “big girl bed”

Elodie in her big girl bed

Elodie in her big girl bed

Sleeping in her big girl bed. She looks so grown up

Sleeping in her big girl bed. She looks so grown up

Santa came & went and we enjoyed Christmas morning together too.

Thanks Santa

Thanks Santa

Dora DVD, her fave :)

Dora DVD, her fave 🙂

Aunt Allison & Josiah opening his first present

Aunt Allison & Josiah opening his first present

Trampoline! The "big" Santa present this year

Trampoline! The “big” Santa present this year

A doll, stroller, crib & car seat from Gigi.

A doll, stroller, crib & car seat from Gigi.

She was in heaven opening e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g, including all of my & Chris's presents

She was in heaven opening e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g, including all of my & Chris’s presents

New Minnie Mouse slippers

New Minnie Mouse slippers

Helping Uncle Raef open Josiah's present: a drum full of musical instruments

Helping Uncle Raef open Josiah’s present: a drum full of musical instruments

Pushing her baby around

Pushing her baby around

She loves this thing

Just checking it out..

There she goes again!

She just can’t get enough of this thing

The aftermath.

The aftermath.

Merry Christmas to mommy

Merry Christmas to mommy

Elodie in her dress up dress with her matching doll.

Elodie in her dress up dress with her matching doll.

And just for fun.. here are some videos we got. Notice Elodie is hanging out with her trampoline in both of them. I think Santa picked out a great gift for her this year.

This was one was hilarious. For some reason she used her “wand” to make the magic tissues jump around. This kept us entertained for far longer than it should have. Thanks for being a good sport, Uncle Raef, who invented this game.

We had a great holiday!

Thanks for everyone who sent love to us here in GA, both in cards & gifts! We love you and hope you all had a great Christmas as well!

I can’t believe it’s all over until next year. Here’s to a great 2013!

xoxo

Ashley 🙂

Last Weekend

Last weekend, because of everything going on in Connecticut, was an important weekend to spend lots of time with our loved ones. While our hearts were hurting, eyes crying, and our heads praying, we tried to enjoy ourselves.

Jessie, Katie O. and I went and saw the Atlanta Ballet perform The Nutcracker and the Fabulous Fox.

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I had not seen The Nutcracker, probably since I was in elementary school and we would go on field trips. It was a beautiful performance. The dancers make everything look so effortless and graceful, and of course, the music was amazing. Watching the ballet definitely made me want to put Elodie in dance, at least for a couple of years.

This was quite the treat, as we even splurged a little bit on our tickets and had really good seats. I’m definitely not going to let that much time pass before I see it again. I will also be taking Elodie to experience the beautiful Christmas Magic that is The Nutcracker.

Saturday morning is always fun, family time.

Elodie painting sans shirt. She knows if she wants to paint, that shirt comes off... She's going to have to learn not to do that before she starts school

Elodie painting sans shirt. She knows if she wants to paint, that shirt comes off… She’s going to have to learn not to do that before she starts school

Saturday night, we wanted to do a White Elephant/Dirty Santa gift exchange, so we had some friends come over with a present & food to share. I didn’t get a ton of pictures of the food or gifts, but it was a fun evening.

We made some cranberry holiday sangria, recipe here.

Cranberry Holiday Sangria

Cranberry Holiday Sangria

I made some tomato caprese skewers: grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil & drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette.

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And we ate, listened to Christmas music and exchanged gifts. Some people brought silly things like an Obama Chia pet, an ant farm, a toilet bowl coffee mug, Nerf gun & etc.

Ben modeling the ugly sweater coozie he got as a gift.

Ben modeling the ugly sweater coozie he got as a gift.

Fun times with great friends 🙂

On Sunday, we had a birthday party to attend. With 6 babies at Elodie’s babysitters + lots of other friends with kids, it seems like we are going birthday parties all the time lately.

This particular party was at a place called, Catch Air. It is an awesome place for kids, and I’d say it is geared towards those 5 and under. Parents are allowed to get on all the equipment with the kids, so I think Chris and I had just as much fun as Elodie.

A panorama shot of all the place

A panorama shot of the place

Dance party + light-up floor

Dance party + light-up floor

Mommy + Elodie posing while making our way through the GIANT play tower

Mommy + Elodie posing while making our way through the GIANT play tower

Some of the cute babies at the party

Some of the cute (blurry) babies spinning around at the party

Dora even stopped by!

Dora even stopped by!

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The birthday girl!

Action Shot

Action Shot

Catch Air

Little cutie on a big chair

Little cutie on a big chair

Two cuties on a big chair "hey.. whatcha lookin' at there?!"

Two cuties on a big chair “hey.. whatcha lookin’ at there?!”

So as you can see, that place was pretty awesome! It will probably become our favorite hangout over the summer to escape those dreadfully hot temperatures.

Fun weekend in spite of everything going on around us. Please spend some extra time with your loved ones this Holiday Season!

xoxo

Ash

PS: if you’ve not seen this video from The Voice the other night, please watch. It’s a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Newtown tragedy. All the coaches & contestants sing “Halleluiah,” and hold up signs with the names of the victims & their ages. Mascara alert is high for this one!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-SeKsVm7YE 

Christmas Card Extras

Hopefully most of the Christmas cards we mailed out have reached their destinations, so since I wanted the pictures on the cards to be new & fresh, I didn’t want to share them until [most of] the cards were received.

A few weeks ago, while our house was bustling with visitors, we got Chris’s mom & my mom to help us out by taking some family pictures of us at the local Marietta Square.

Let’s be honest.. I’ve been dying to share some of the pictures we [did and] didn’t end up using.

So here’s what our Christmas Card looked like:

Christmas Card Outtakes

These are the pictures we used for the card:

The family picture we chose

The family picture we chose

Our sweet girl is looking mighty grown-up here...

Our sweet girl is looking mighty grown-up here…

A perfectly festive picture of Chris and me

A perfectly festive picture of Chris and me

Some other close contenders:

This was our 2nd choice for the card

This was our 2nd choice for the card

Another family photo option

Another family photo option

And then just some other fun pictures we got that day:

You know.. just hanging out at the fountain in the middle of November

You know.. just hanging out at the fountain in the middle of November

Christmas Card Outtakes

Thoughtful little girl

Thoughtful little girl

Christmas Card Outtakes

Elodie + Grandma

Elodie + Grandma

Chris and his mom

Chris and his mom

Chris and his mom

Chris and his mom

Wrangling up the babe

Wrangling up the babe

Elodie + Gigi

Elodie + Gigi

"Let's get one on the train" says Chris. "Let's go 'choo-choo'" says Ash

“Let’s get one on the train” says Chris. “Let’s go ‘choo-choo'” says Ash

Elodie was so great while we were taking pictures, so we had to treat her to some ice cream

Elodie was so great while we were taking pictures, so we had to treat her to some ice cream

Christmas Card Outtakes

It was a beautiful day & I’m so glad everyone was cooperating to get some great pictures!

Hope you all are having a Happy Holiday Season so far!

xoxo

Ash

Ho-Ho-Ho!

Elodie saw Santa (or “Grandpa” as she affectionately calls him) this week. Of course, Mommy & Daddy had to sit with her, but it makes for a cute family Christmas-y photo. Hope you all are starting to get into the Holiday Spirit!