Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Now that 2013 is coming to a close, I would like to take a moment to review the awesome moments of this year! There is so many great things that happened.
I began the year, already pregnant. I was 13 weeks along on Jan. 1st, 2013. That was really a interesting way to begin the year.
We spent a lot of time searching for a new home and getting ready for baby to arrive. We found out at the end of January that we were having a baby BOY.
Then finally on June 27th, 2013 we got to meet our little man! Aries Michael Moran was born at 8:11am, weighing in at 8 pounds and 4 ounces. It was love at first sight for sure.
Now not too long after that we had another addition to the family, only in a different way. Justin's mother Kim decided to join us and move to Ohio. Aries gets to see his grandmother everyday, and he is very attached to her.
Now time flies when you are having fun, and time did fly. Bottle after bottle, and day after day, our little man grew and our family got closer. Aries turned 3 months, went to the fair as a family, and went to see Ronald McDonald.

Then we all had a super fun Halloween!

Thanks Giving was fun, we all went to Kims and ate a huge meal. Then went Black Friday shopping for Christmas gifts. 
Then we had a super fun Christmas! First we took Aries to see Santa!
We had our Christmas Eve at Kims house, and we all got wonderful gifts from each other. It was so much fun, especially Aries opening all his gifts.

Then Christmas day we were home opening gifts from Santa! I have to say we were all very spoiled.

I have to say over all this has been a pretty amazing year. So many changes and so many happy things. I am so excited to see what 2014 has in store for us!

Happy New Years to all my friends and family! I wish everyone tons of love, happiness, and health in the new year! Take this year and make your dreams come true!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday Organization

Merry Christmas! Well, a few days ago anyways. Now that the holidays are over it is time to pack up all the pretty decor for next year. The first few days after Christmas I spend hitting up several stores to find great deals on wrapping paper, boxes, general decor, and some gifts for holidays in the next few months. This year I got 50 cent rolls of wrapping paper, I paid $5.25 for 30 pretty gift boxes, and unsure of how many or how much I spent on plain ones. We do gift boxes for adults when possible, because we tie closed with curling ribbon, and reuse the boxes each year, saving money and the environment. I got a few cute ornaments to add to our collection and a new star for the tree for only $5.

The tote pictured above is a new addition to our storage. A key factor in my opinion. No matter how we stored our wrapping paper it always got squished. Always. So we got three of these nice containers with clip on lids. The one pictured has roughly 30 rolls of wrapping paper in it, and I think I could squeeze a couple more in. I have another about half full of misc holiday wrap, like for birthdays. 

This year we expanded from one tote of lights to two totes! I got some cute lighted garland for sale. This year I also printed off labels from my computer to show the holiday and the contents.

We actually have 3 of these smaller totes full of ornaments. Most of them are plastic, but some are still glass. Keeping them in smaller containers like this we don't use any wrap or padding, and they don't get broken. Plus since the totes say ornaments on them, people know to handle them carefully.

Another new addition this year was this card tote I got at Meijers. It was only $6. I labeled the top and front, and it worth the money already. I found random partial packs the cards all over in the Christmas decor. I was able to throw away all those packs, saving space, and easily find them all in one space.

We own a lot of just random decor too. Things such as stockings, stocking hooks, wall hangings, tree skirts, glass figurines, lawn decor, rugs, and place mats. So total we have two of these larger totes full.

Sadly, although everything you see is all organized, and ready to be put away for another year, I am positive there is more Christmas decor hidden in my storage unit, just waiting to be discovered. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Mom I used to have

The Mother I Used to Have

When I was growing up it was just me, my brother and my mom. She was the strongest person I knew. My mother worked so hard, even working 2 or 3 jobs to support us. She had a beautiful home built out in the country for us, were we lived half my childhood. She was the kind of woman who could do everything! I mean it too. She could grow anything, from seed! Bring her a dead plant and she could bring it back to life. Given any challenge her green thumb could master it. She could raise animals. We had chickens that acted like puppies, because they loved her so much. The most hyper dog would sit at her feet and patiently to be petted. She could raise wild animals, as though they were regular house cats. Everyday, my mom never stopped amazing me. Not only could she do those things, she could sew, knit, cross-stitch, paint, and draft. My Mother could make anything. She designed and built her own furniture from wood, using every saw needed with precision and skill. Even building her own front deck to her home. She made her own crafts and sold them at craft shows. She could paint anything and did face painting too. She knew how to mix the colors just right to get the perfect blend and each stroke in just the right place. She mended my clothes and even made the most beautiful dress for me from scratch. Things didn't stop there. She could cook and bake as good as Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. She would have shown those ladies up any day! She would use produce straight from the garden, baking and cooking from scratching, making meals that blew you away. As a kid did I always appreciate this, nope, because I thought all Mothers cooked and cleaned like a pro. 

There is so much more, there is always more. All the times she pushed me to do better and all the times she made sure I had everything I ever needed, plus more. I could go on and on about the Mother I used to have.
She was wonderful, she was great. I miss her. She isn't dead, but she is gone. Changed, for the worse. Everything she used to be I take with me, and work hard to be a amazing mom. There is a place in my heart that hopes someday, maybe she will come back again. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Traditions

This is year was a my little mans first visit with Santa. He did so well, and was pretty interested in him too. Now that he is here it has made me think of all the holiday traditions we had as kids that I want to share with him. Whether it be tons of gifts or decorating we want to make the most magical memories possible.

So here is my holiday tradition list!
1. We believe in Santa. Every year we counted down to his visit and could barely sleep on Christmas eve from the excitement of what would take place the next day.
2. Stockings. Our stockings were always packed with a mixture of toys and goodies. We also opened them first. Pulling out a few things on top and then eventually pouring them out on the floor.
3. Taking Pictures. My parents used to film us on Christmas morning, but it was very frustrating for us kids. We had to behave and sit still and the camera took forever to set up. Then later we got in trouble if we acted bad when we opened a gift, like if we didn't like it. So my family tradition is pictures only. Catch some special minutes on film, and then lots of pictures to remember the day.
4. Going to get our picture taken with Santa. It is super fun and special to get to visit Santa, sit on his lap, and tell him what you want for Christmas. 
5. Writing letters to Santa. I loved to write him a letter and usually draw him a picture too to send to him with my Christmas list.
6. Leaving Milk and cookies for Santa. We also would leave some carrots for his reindeer, since they work so hard. It was always a warm feeling to find in the morning that he ate the cookies, and some times would leave a little thank you note too.
7.Getting a new ornament every year. Every family member gets their own special ornament each year to decorate the tree with.
8.Sledding! I can't remember a year where we didn't go sledding. Outside for hours, only to come in and have hot chocolate. Pealing off out snow pants and jackets, tossing our boots by the door. The joy of not being able to feel our fingers and toes.
9. Baking Christmas cookies and hardtack candy. My mom always made home made hard tack handy in many flavors, and we loved it. Then we always made cookies and decorated them with sprinkles and colored sugar. It was so much fun.
10. Opening presents from friends and family on Christmas Eve. This was so much fun, because it basically split up gifts into two days. Making it twice the fun.
11. Hanging Lights. Now we didn't hang them as kids, but our parents did, and it made the night time magical. I loved it when they were done and we could turn on the lights for the first time. Then we would drive around and look at all the neighbors who did it too!
12. Singing! We would wake up to our mom blaring Christmas music on the stereo. It was so much fun to dance around the house singing songs about the holiday.
13. Our NEW tradition is going to be Elf in the shelf. I think we will have so much fun with this little guy in the years to come.
14. Cards. We love to send out cards each year to all our friends.

I am sure there are more, and we will make many more. But here are mine now!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

December is Here!

December hasn't always been a great time of year for me. Growing up it was pretty magical, since my mom went all out for Christmas and decorated like it was going out of style. We woke up to cranked up holiday tunes and mom decorating the house like it was the last Christmas ever.  Then once I hit my late teens things kinda fell apart and then most of my adulthood it was kinda a hit or miss each year. The last four years with Justin have been pretty great, rich or poor. This year though has a magical touch that no other year has had.
Having a child to celebrate the holiday for makes it ten times more important and magical. We are decorating so much more, shopping more, and just all around getting into the season more. Will he remember this year? Nope. But we will. We will remember every smile and giggle. We will remember how much he loved the lights and the wrapping paper. I am more excited to see him open his gifts then I am to even open mine this year. I want to buy him a million things, but have kept the number a little lower.
This will be a December I will never forget. That one is for sure.
The picture above is of our very first live tree this year.