Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our "Stay-cation"

Last night Brandon and I had us a little "stay-cation" right here in Memphis.  My parents came to stay the night at our house to watch Anniston and Ruby so Brandon and I headed downtown to Mud Island and stayed at the River Inn in Harbor Town.

Driving down along the Mississippi River and seeing all the people out running and walking their dogs brought back so many memories of when I used to live there during pharmacy school.  I have such great memories of those times- I had met some great friends, I had a great career ahead of me, and Brandon and I had just begun to date.  Brandon and I reminisced and shared funny stories that we remembered from those days.   I was nice to go back in time and remember that time in my life.  I couldn't help but think how much has changed in just a couple of years.

Back when I lived on Mud Island, they had not even built the hotel or the restaurants below it yet so it was a new experience for us both.  We were greeted in the lobby with a glass of Chardonnay for me and Merlot for Brandon (how fancy!).  We were personally shown to our room and were told that chocolate truffles along with more wine would be delivered to our room at 8 pm.  We had a great room with a beautiful view of the mighty Mississippi in front of us.

Our view out over the Mississippi- a little blurry because it's taken with my iphone!

We ate dinner that night at Tugs- the restaurant below the hotel.  It was very casual but also nice.  They had the most amazing fried onion shoestrings!  Yummy (but also very bad for me!).

 Again- kind of grainy but oh, well!

After dinner we headed over to TJ Mulligans on Main St. to watch football and play trivia.  We started getting sleepy at about 8:30 so we headed on back to the hotel to lounge around and watch a little TV before getting a full night of sleep!!!  Funny how a baby changes your sleep habits even when you're away for the night! The next morning we enjoyed a complimentary breakfast at a Memphis classic- Paulette's.  Blueberry pancakes, fresh croissants, eggs, bacon- we were in heaven!  After breakfast we hurried back home because even though we had a lot of fun, I was SO ready to see my little Anniston Ruth!  I had missed her so much!  I'm so lucky to have such great parents to take such good care of her and give us a date night here and there.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goodbye 2011- It's Been Fun!

The first few weeks of 2011 started out pretty slow and unexciting.  On February 6th (Superbowl Sunday) things really kicked into high gear when I found out we were going to have a baby in October!  After that, it seems the next 9 months were filled with preparations for our little one.

I remember that Sunday pretty well.  Brandon and I had gone to eat brunch at Republic Coffee.  I remember mentioning (very casually) to Brandon that I was a day or so late this month.  Since that doesn't really scream "I'm pregnant" neither of us really too much about it.  I thought I would go ahead and take a pregnancy test anyways so I could get it off my mind and I wouldn't obsess about it.

I took the test when we got home and it turned out to be a (very) faint positive.  I immediately called Allie to come over to take a look at it before we got too excited.  Meanwhile, Brandon was doing research on what a faint positive could mean.  In the back of my head I knew that there was no such thing as a false positive, and most likely it was faint because I really wasn't that late yet.  Still, I withheld my excitement (and telling people) until I could see my obgyn to confirm that things were ok.  I went on into work and later that night Allie had a Super Bowl party at her house.  I remember it being so hard not to tell anyone!

I got an appointment with my doctor the next week- and YES- I was pregnant!  I was still really early in my pregnancy (about 4 weeks) so that gave us plenty of time to discuss what tests we were going to conduct as I got farther along,  After the last pregnancy, I wasn't taking any chances.

The next few months were filled with various genetic tests.  I held off telling most people until all of them came back ok.  I remember holding my breath in between each test and praying that they would all have good results.  Luckily, they did!

In May I hosted Allie's graduation party.  Yay!  My sister graduated from pharmacy school!  It was a lot of fun having all my family get together at my house (which rarely happens) to celebrate with Allie.  I was around 17 weeks at the time.  Here are some pics:

Allie and I at one of her graduation ceremonies

Belly pic at 17 weeks

In June, Brandon and I went on one last vacation before Anniston arrived.  We spent a weekend in New Orleans touring the French Quarter, dining at fancy restaurants, and going to museums.  We then drove down to Pensacola, FL for some rest and relaxation at the beach!  It was so nice to lie around all day after trucking it on foot all around New Orleans in the blistering heat.  Unfortunately, I don't have ANY pictures of our last vacation- boo!  

When we returned from Florida I spent most of July getting ready for Anniston to arrive. I think I was finally to a point where I could relax about the pregnancy without fear that something was going to go wrong.  We picked out the paint color for the nursery, put together the crib, shopped obsessively on Etsy for anything and everything, and just had FUN planning for our new addition.  Check out our nursery pics here!

August and September were super busy- I had 3 showers hosted by my wonderful friends and family and Brandon and I started attending our childbirth classes.  We signed up for almost every one that was offered.  We had a lot of fun and learned so much.

Here is me at 30 weeks!

Allie and I at the couple's shower she and my friend, Jodi, hosted for me in August.  Yes, I know- I am a whale:)

Finally, OCTOBER 10th was HERE!  My sweet baby girl's birthday.  My labor couldn't have gone any smoother and at 6:18 pm she made her debut into this world.

In November, I was still on maternity leave and getting adjusted to being a mommy.  I had my first girl's night out and went to the Breaking Dawn midnight premiere with my sister and my friend, Jodi.  

We also had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year spent with our awesome family!

We ended out the year in December with a great first Christmas with Anniston.  Check out all the pics from Christmas here.   I am feeling very blessed with all God has given me this year.  I am so excited to see what 2012 brings us.  I already know it is going to be great.  I can't wait to spend it with my wonderful husband, watching our little girl grow up!  Happy New Year!

What I'm Loving Wednesday

(1)  Baby Einstein DVDs.  Anniston got several of these for Christmas and we tried one out yesterday.  Success!  She LOVES them.  She especially loves it when you sing along with it.

(2) Brandon and I are going to have a "stay-cation" here in Memphis Friday night.  We are going on a real date and then we are going to stay at the River Inn down in Harbor Town.  Mom & Dad are staying at our house to watch Anniston and Ruby.  I can't wait- it's going to be so much fun to stay away from the house for a night!

(3) I'm going to use my gift card to Pavo Salon tomorrow for a deep tissue massage.  Yay!

(4) Smocked Auctions on Facebook!  I have recently started getting into these smocked stores on Facebook and actually bidding on a few things.  I won the cutest tulip bubble last night (score!) at a great price.  You just have to plan ahead of time what you want to bid on and be quick once the auction starts.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  The weekend started off with a Christmas Eve brunch at my sister's house.  She had the place decorated so cute and the food was so delicious.  I made these cute "Santa Hat Brownies" to take to the brunch.  I think they turned out pretty good!

Me and Allie at brunch

 Anniston all dressed up for Christmas:)

 Me, Brandon, and Anniston

The entire family!

Christmas Eve night we headed over to Brandon's mom's house to have dinner with his mom, Nana, his sister and her husband, and their twin girls.  Unfortunately, I suddenly developed a major cold and it got progressively worse as the night went on.  I had all the bad symptoms: runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion, etc.  It was crazy how it just appeared!  I had fun anyways but I didn't feel like taking pictures:(
Here are a couple of the gifts we got there:

 Yay!  My Kate Spade rose gold bangle!  I was SO excited to get this:)

Anniston got this adorable smocked cupcake dress to wear for next fall.

We drove to Jackson, TN on Christmas morning to spend the day at my aunt's house.  Sadly, I didn't feel much better than I did the previous night.  Thankfully, everyone helped out with Anniston while I hugged the box of Kleenex!  We ate lunch, talked, and then opened presents.  Allie and I were really excited to give Mom & Dad their present from us- we bought them an iPad!  They were so suprised!  I think they are really going to love it.  Now we can all Skype each other! 

Here are some of the gifts we received from Christmas Day:

 Aunt Allie got Anniston this Nike track suit complete with a hat and mittens for when we all go running with her jogging stroller.  She will be dressed so appropriately:)  Love this!

 My Aunt Nancy got me this adorable iPad cover from Etsy.  I LOVE this!  It even has two pockets in the front to hold notes, pens, stylus, etc.

 The watch in this picture was a gift from Allie.  It's a Michael Kors rose gold with a chocolate brown face.  Notice how GREAT it goes with my new Kate Spade bangle?

 This was another gift from my Aunt Nancy- a necklace with Anniston's name on it.  Again, it's from Etsy!

Anniston got so many learning DVDs.  I think we are going to try one of them out tomorrow!

We left Anniston with Mom & Dad overnight so that I could go home and pass out.  I was so exhausted and sick!  I took a long, hot bath, curled up on the couch, and got a full night's sleep.  I hate I was so sick for Christmas but it was a lot of fun anyways!  Here are some pics Allie took of us all Christmas Day:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fashion Friday- Anniston Style

My little girl has already been rocking some of the cutest outfits.  Although it is tough to find stylin' outfits when they are this young, I think we've done pretty well.  I really can't wait until she gets a little older because some of the cutest smocked rompers and dresses will then come in her size! I've already been busy buying ahead for this summer and next fall:)  In the meantime, check out this little fashionista!

Long Lost Sorority Sisters

This week has been pretty awesome because I got to see two of my favorite Zeta sisters that I haven't seen in awhile.  It's so hard to stay in touch once everyone starts getting married, having children, and moving to different cities.  On Tuesday night my "lil sis" Jamie, her husband, and her adorable little boy, Jagger, came to visit.  It's been almost two and a half years since I've last seen her!  They were in town visiting family and I'm so glad they gave us a call. We had such a great time catching up.  Here's a pic of me, Anniston, Jamie, and Jagger:

As if that wasn't fun enough, on Wednesday night Mary (my best friend, sorority sister, old roommate) drove into town to visit.  I last saw her at my baby shower before Anniston was born, so it hasn't been quite as long since I've seen her.  Even so, we still don't get to see each other as often as we would like.  We had so much fun hanging out and playing with Anniston.  We ordered dinner, had a glass of wine, and caught up with each other.  It was just like old times. Here is a picture of us:

I'm SO glad I got to see both of them and they got to meet Anniston. It is sometimes so hard to keep up with each other but we all vowed to do a better job!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Projects in the Making!

I thought I would share a couple of projects I'm currently working on.  I'm trying to stay on top of documenting and preserving all of Anniston's memories for when she gets older but sometimes it's a little hard to find the time when you're taking care of a 10 week old!  Mom and Dad are going to keep her New Year's weekend so I hope to dedicate a huge part of that time to getting these finished before I go back to work!

1.  This one is a small project so it shouldn't take up too much time.  I saw this on Pinterest and knew I wanted to start this right away! This idea uses plastic bags to store keepsakes from different stages of your child's life.  Put a fun label on it and you've got a cute way to organize all your child's memories! I'm going to use rubbermaids, I think.   I've already got one filled with things like onesies that have her monogram on it, her first Thanksgiving onesie that has her name on it, a sweater that her great-granny knitted for her, one of her newborn pacifiers, etc. I now just need to label it and buy more rubbermaids to get ready for the next couple of months.  It's going to be so much to go back through years from now and remember all these things!

2.  Next is a photo tray I'm to make with all her birth memories.  I LOVE making photo trays and I have saved all her hospital stuff in hopes of doing something like this.  I'm going to use her footprints, hospital bracelet, the measuring tape with her markings on it along with all her birth stats and hang this in the nursery.  I ordered a white photo tray and recently got some cute scrapbook paper to use with it so now I just need to get started on it!

3.  This next one is an ongoing project I've already been working hard on for the past month.  I decided when Anniston was born that it was going to be a lot of trouble to continue my scrapbooking.  I've got everything stored in a closet and it was going to be so much trouble to haul it all out and spend the time making pages like I used to.  Digital scrapbooking is becoming more popular these days so I thought I would give it a go.  I LOVE it!  First of all, it takes WAY less time to construct a page, it's much less expensive, and I can sit here and play with it while I hold Anniston.  No clean up required!  Here are some of my favorite pages I've already completed:

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