Tuesday, January 7, 2014

O Christmas Tree

My dearest husband has a few things he feels very passionately about. The second amendment, Carolina barbecue, and having a real Christmas tree. So the Friday after Thanksgiving we headed about half a mile down the road to Sugar Mountain Christmas Tree lot and picked out the most perfectly beautiful tree for our front room. It's our first tree in our first house. We didn't have one last year because we had just moved in and we were spending Christmas in Connecticut. Mason was ecstatic and was thrilled about the tree all season long. When we took it out after New Year's he was a little upset, and saying "I don't want to say goodbye to our beautiful tree!" Sorry little man, we can do it all again next year!

Friday, January 3, 2014


Whew! I don't know about you, but we are still recovering from the holidays in our house. As usual, my blog got put on the back burner in the midst of other events going on. So here's a few catch up posts to let you know what we've been up to!

We had Thanksgiving with one side of Austin's family (the Gilreath's) the weekend before Thanksgiving day. Then we spent the actual holiday out in Elizabeth City with the Keaton side. Loads of delicious food and lots of fun with loved ones. Mason was absolutely obsessed with mac and cheese this year. He ate about a dozen helpings of it. Poor kid, I think that may have been his first taste of it...sorry Mason!

We had to wake up this poor babe to get on the road to Elizabeth City. We don't co-sleep, in case anyone is wondering. But sometimes I sneak her into bed with me if she tries to wake up pre-6 am.

A granola bar and a book makes for a happy Mason.

Chowing down his eighteenth serving of mac and cheese.

Fall in North Carolina is almost surreal. It's so beautiful here.

The dock down the street from Grandparent's Keaton.

Baby Miriam was a little chilly on our evening walk.

Mason and great Aunt Brenda checking out the crazy Christmas lights display.

These pictures of Mason crack me up. He's sitting between Grandma and Great Grandma as they chat over breakfast. He fancied himself part of the conversation. I have about 18 shots of him that make like a flip book as he eats his biscuit, drinks his hot chocolate, and expresses his interest in what's being discussed. 
I think they deserve their own post. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nails on a chalkboard

The previous owners of our home decided that the living room needed some permanent and strange wall art in the form of this bright yellow square with a super glued frame around it. I thought the tree and flowers were glued up with some sort of wallpaper adhesive, so I've been avoiding trying to deal with changing it. We decided to put some bats on it for Halloween, and as I was pulling them off, the flowers came off with the tape. They're STICKERS. 
The whole thing peeled off in about three minutes. 
I've been living with this weird thing for almost a year. It's not HORRIBLE, but it's really not my favorite.

As soon as I realized the time had come to stop living with this thing, we went to the hardware store and bought chalkboard paint and supplies. I was super gung-ho as I always am when it comes to a project, so I was all ready to throw that paint up and get it done. 

Turns out you have to wait 24 hours between every. single. coat. And you're supposed to do 3-5 coats.
The spot I was covering only took about ten minutes to paint, and then I'd have to wait until the next day. Finally it's all done! We primed it with chalk per many blog instructions, and today I finally had time to try some chalkboard art. I've been obsessing over it on pinterest forever and was so excited to finally have a wall to try it on.
I need some more practice for sure, but I found this so strangely relaxing and enjoyable. I can't wait to change it for every season! 

That yellow thing is in the background of about a thousand of our pictures. 
{That's Mason and Nana enjoying "this is the way the farmer rides" back in March.}
I love this quote from President Monson, and it seemed perfect for Thanksgiving week!

Don't mind the off centeredness and slantedness. I might use a ruler next time, buuuut I'm kind of lazy for that.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Giver of gifts

Mason has grown into quite the generous little soul, and his imagination hasn't missed a beat either. They often combine in the giving of imaginary gifts to those he loves. The other day he came into the room with his little fist clenched and a sly look on his face. He thrust his hand toward me and said:

"It's a surprise for youuuu." (When he's excited he drags out the last syllable in his sentence. I love it.)

"Ohh, what is it?"

He opened his sweet fingers and looked at his empty hand, trying to see something. After a second he said:

"It's a new purse for you. And a credit card!"

Just what I always wanted, darling.

Friday, November 15, 2013

C is for Connecticut

As I mentioned in the previous post, the babes and I spent a week in the most beautiful state of Connecticut in the most darling town of Newtown. It really is one of the most idyllic places I've ever visited. The people are kind, the scenery is gorgeous, the houses are amazing. We go for walks around my parent's neighborhood and see homes built in the 1600's. Growing up in the northwest, things just aren't that old! I love having a reason to visit the northeast and experience American history preserved in everyday life.

And Connecticut in the Fall is just a picture book. We spent three weeks there last October, and September this year was just as gorgeous. We went to an apple orchard, a lovely park where Peter Rabbit lives, and even to the zoo. Mason and Miriam got to spend time with their cousins, and we all got to meet sweet baby June for the first time.

The plane rides to and from were less than heavenly. But that's all for another post.

Here's about a million pictures of our trip. They got out of order when I was uploading, so don't expect them to make any sense. =)

Sweet baby M sleeping on the plane

Happy travelers, at least for this moment!

Helllllo, New York!

Giving cousin Norah love

She wasn't so appreciative of it.

We celebrated sweet Norah's 3rd Birthday while we were there!

Ice. Cream. Cake.

Loving her punky brewster style. This girl is a sass in the greatest way!

Apple picking at Blue Jay Orchards in Newtown.

Follow the apples to....


Uncovering the answer to the apple trivia.

Hard little worker.

Seeing how tall Mason is so we can compare year to year.

Enjoying the fruits of his labor. Literally.

All the cousins ready for church.

Norah and Miriam looking at each other in this one makes my heart melt.

Darling Norah sharing her kitties.

The night before Shayla left, he wouldn't leave her alone for a second. And then he was crying and saying "Stay home, Aunt Shaywa!" She is very loved.

The sweetest park where we found Peter Rabbit's house.

The rooster is the Newtown mascot.

This is the only kind of dog I'm willing to get. 

Going for a walk with Nana.

This beautiful park is amazing. I love their little town.

Having a chat.

Ninja and Mason

Helping Pop Pop haul the wood.

At the Bridgeport Zoo

Sweet gifts from around the world are still everywhere in Newtown.

Forks are for the birds!

Just before her very first flight.

Thanks for another wonderful visit, beautiful Connecticut! See you soon.