December 19, 2012

Smiles are hard to come by...

We've officially reached the "I will make every face possible but will not smile at the camera" phase with Kate.

Photo sessions go something like this these days:

Me: Kate - smile for momma! Show me your pretty dimple!

Kate: Yike dis?

Me: No Tay! Show me your pretty smile!

Kate: Sure momma! Hur go! Hur mile!

Me: No Kate - not a silly face! A smile!

Kate: {laughs hysterically} TayTay so silly! Yook!

Kate: {laughs some more} I pincens (princess) now!

Me: Oh Tay! You make the most beautiful Princess ever!

Kate: I know! {Smiles a big, huge, real smile}
(side note: we are working on being humble)

My goodness smiles are hard to caputure these days!

But all of those faces before the smile? They are so Kate and I am so glad I have documented her true spirit!


December 18, 2012

P&G eStore Stocking Stuffers!

Stockings are a big deal in my family. At some point during my early teen years, my mom decided she was tired of buying stocking stuffers for everyone and implemented a new stocking stuffer system!

Every Thanksgiving day we would draw names and were responsible for stuffing a family members stocking. We set a $25 limit but hardly anyone every actually stuck to that. After the first year, we quickly learned that my Dad was the best stocking stuffer EVER. His stockings were easily worth $75! We all waited rather impatiently to see whose name Dad pulled after Thanksgiving dinner.

If it was your name? You were the lucky one. You were guaranteed an AMAZING stocking come December 25th!

As my kids get older, and truly understand Christmas traditions, I hope I can implement this tradition in my house as well! I'm certain Alex, like my Dad, would give the best stocking. I think it is just that mans mentality - buy whatever and completely disregard the set budget!

I am a major planner. In all areas of my life but Christmas shopping. I guess I thrive off of last minute gift purchases? Either way, more often than not, the recipient of the stocking I threw together stuffed received a random mish mash of whatever Target still had on December 23.

I am an on-line shopper. If I can order it, have it wrapped, and shipped to your house? I will have an awesome gift to you on time! However, if I have to go to the store and buy random stocking stuffers? I will procrastinate. I will think up every last thing that would be PERFECT. But I will end up missing out because I waited to long to start buying!

Thankfully, P&G has a great solution for people like me - and really, anyone who wants to make stuffing a stocking so much easier!

Have you heard about the P&G eStore? Well, I'm here to tell you all about it!

The P&G eStore has been created by shoppers, for shoppers to be a premiere online retail site. The eStore strives to provide confidence in purchasing household and beauty products on-line and includes brands such as Olay, CoverGirl, Tide, and many more!  There are so many amazing deals right now for products that would make amazing stocking stuffers!

The best part?

Free Shipping for all purchases over $25!
15% off your first purchase!
(use promo code: A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA)
Free Samples with every purchase!

One of my favorite products available in the P&G eStore?

CoverGirl LashBlast 24HR Mascara

This mascara is AMAZING! I am so picky about my mascara but this stuff? Plumps, thickens, and lengthens my lashes beautifully! There are also a few CoverGirl special offers (while supplies last) right now:
FREE CoverGirl Cat Eye Look w/$69 purchase. Includes:
Promo Code: CATEYE22
2 FREE 24HR LashBlast Mascara w/$25 purchase.
Promo Code: LASHBLAST8

Also? There are several wonderful options for the men in your life! Be sure to check out the Braun and Gillette products and promotions and start stuffing those stockings for the men in your life!

Does your family have any gift traditions? Who stuffs your stockings? I'm always so interested to hear how everyone else does it!


December 17, 2012

Christmas Card Carousel - 2012

I'm linking up with Faith for her fifth annual Christmas Card Carousel! I'm sure most of y'all know how much I love paper products. I adore stationery, announcements, hand written notes, etc.

My love for paper product means I adore Christmas cards! I love designing our card, addressing them for all of our friends and family, and most importantly, I LOVE receiving cards and admiring beautiful designs, growing families, and my friends' beautiful children!

We had family pictures taken with Allison of Lentille Photography in November and I just adore all of the images she captured! I had so many wonderful options for our card this year!

I went pretty basic and love it! I love that the pictures of Kate and Will are the main focus! I saved this from the preview image Pear Tree Greetings had and I have to say that the cards printed out much better than this image appears! Everything is much more crisp, and not blurry at all, in the actual card!

I can't wait to look at all of the cards linked over on Faith's blog!

December 12, 2012

2012 BlogHer Gift Guides

I am a HUGE fan of gift guides - whether it be toys for a specific age group, wonderful charities, fun new gadgets, or gifts for your social media loving best friend! I just love learning about new products and charities and this time of year lends itself to sharing wonderful ideas!

BlogHer is currently running and editorial series of holiday gift guides and I had so much fun reading through all of them!

I'm sure it's no secret that I love social media. I love the relationships I have made through blogging and twitter! Most SAHMs can agree that twitter is a sanity saver on those days when you don't leave the house and need just a few minutes of adult interaction during nap time! Having a community of moms at my finger tips, day or night, is such a wonderful blessing! I had so much fun looking at the Social Media Lover gift guide! While the twitter handle necklace might be a bit "out there" for me and my style, I LOVE the hash tag earrings! Such a fun, subtle touch to pay tribute to social media!

I also loved the Charitable Gifts Guide! I'm not sure how I didn't know about Women to Women International but I cannot stop reading about this charity and all of the amazing things they are doing to help rebuild the lives of women in eight countries where war and conflict has devastated lives. Women are sponsored for enrollment in a one year training program that helps teach job skills and business training so these women can go out and making a living! What a wonderful thing! This would be a wonderful tradition for a family to start during holidays - sponsor a woman who has literally lived through hell so she can become successful and provide for herself (and family if she has one)!

Y'all go check out the gift guides - I'm confident you will find several things you will want to give or add to your own list this year!

This post is part of BlogHer's Holiday Gift Guides editorial series, sponsored by Open Roads Media.

December 7, 2012


Our house has gone from this:

To this:

In less than 14 hours.

Both kids had fever this morning. Kate's was much higher than Will's (102 verses his 100.9) but unfortunately both were diagnosed with strep throat this morning. They are pitiful. I literally have not seen Kate this puny since she was receiving chemo. Breaks my momma heart so very much.

I'm also having a really hard time dealing with our new normal/ fever guidelines for Kate. Kate is considered a normal 2 year old right now. We are so thankful, and so blessed, to be at this point. But I have lived my entire motherhood journey with fever being a big enemy. I've been told that any temperature over 100.4 means an automatic visit to the Texas Children's ER since Kate was 6 weeks old. That's over two years of intense fever watch.

And now? All of her doctors have informed me that as long as her temperature doesn't get over 104, we are good to stay home. That we should expect her to have a high temp for 48-72 hours due to the strep.

That it is normal.

She is normal.

What a miracle.

While I'm adjusting my mindset for Kate, I am still living under fever guidelines for Will. Such a strange place to be - letting go and yet still holding on.

While Will's fever should warrant a trip to the ER, Houston is currently experiencing a major flu outbreak and his doctors have decided that he is safest at home until his fever gets over 101.5. We just can't chance him getting the flu from other kids at the hospital.

Please keep these sweet babies in your prayers - I am terrified that Kate's new immune system won't be able to fight off her first big illness post transplant. I'm also terrified that Will's platelets (which are already dropping fast) will drop even faster due to illness.

To sum it up - I'm worried for my babies! I worry for them daily - but it takes a lot for me to vocalize my fear. And y'all I'm terrified right now! We need Will to get better without his counts dropping. We need Kate's immune system to fight off this infection and come out stronger!

I need to know that the Lord is taking care of these sweet babies!
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