Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Beginings

Happy almost New Year! I spent a lot of time today thinking of everything that has happened over the past year and what has helped shape me into the person, mom, wife, and professor that I am today. And the most important thing that I learned is family comes first. I never knew a bad day could be erased in a second by a toddler's little smile. That a little hand inside yours can make tears disappear. That a surprise date night from your husband can make your entire week, and month. I realized that watching the smile that spreads across a grandmother's face while bathing your little girl can melt your heart and remind you all about growing up. I learned that sometimes a hug can make it all better, and kisses are truly magical. That watching your daughter snuggle with her daddy while you spy from around the corner is more amazing that any diamond or gift. And sometimes just laying in bed is all the caffeine you need in a morning. I learned that sometimes bad things happen, but they happen for a reason, even if I don't quite understand it yet. That now is the time to make goals for the year treasure the moment and hold on to the past. I can only hope to make some resolutions that will make my family stronger, my sole more genuine, and the people around me happier.

Daily Mom

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Our time in Canada is always a bit of a whirlwind...with over 35 family members to see and lots of places to visit we always seem to just be going non-stop. I can't wait to get home to share some of the pictures we have from our visit so far but just think lots of cousins, plenty of fun, and even a trip to the indoor play place!

Well, today the winds died down a little and we had a chance to catch our breath. We woke up to the first day of no rains A LOT in Vancouver, so we took advantage of the weather and headed downtown for some shopping. We scored a GREAT gift for each of my sisters and I even coned hubby into a Starbucks run :) But as the rain started falling around noon we headed back to the car, grabbed the most delicious grilled cheese from a truck for A for lunch, and headed back to Nana and Papa's for nap time.

I know it will pick up again this afternoon as we are aiming to have a visit with Great Nan and a trip to the library before trying to sneak off for date night, but right now I am snuggled in bed with my water and some Tylenol cold and sinus ( I am pretty under the weather) relishing the calm that was this morning.

Daily Mom

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

As we woke up this morning 3,000 miles away from home I was anxious to see what the morning would bring. But as we all settled around the Christmas tree on the floor and couch and watched A run around and tear open every present in sight; I realized Christmas has nothing to do with different tradition or new places. It is all about family and being around those that love your little girl as much as you do. So as I thought about it longer, as A fought her afternoon nap, I saw just how lucky we really are...we have two sets of family thousands of miles apart who would make any day Christmas to show one lucky little girl just how special and important she truly is.

Merry Christmas

Daily Mom

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Baltimore Christmas

Tonight is Baltimore Christmas at our house, which means around 4pm eight adults and five little girls will be skipping through the door, searching for presents. And in preparation to curb the afternoon hunger stike I have a huge cheese and pate platter ready, some old bay steamed shrimp (I mean we are in Baltimore), a spinach dip and rosemary bread for dunking, and the table set for 13. I just finished vacuuming, dusting, and straightening, and then to make sure everyone has a great time, I called our cute little wine shop around the corner and ordered a case of wine to be delivered during nap time. It doesn't get much better than this...I promise!

Merry Everything!
Daily Mom

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things...

The smell of snow in the air

The way my baby girl plunks her head on my shoulder before nap time and snuggles in tight

The sound of my husband's key in the door each evening

The warm smells of fresh baked something wafting from the kitchen

The way A's little hand squeezes mine when we are walking around and something catches her eye

The sound the holiday cards make when they slip through the mail slot each afternoon

The way people try to be nice this time of year even when they are losing patients

The way saying, "Merry Christmas" makes everyone smile

The way peoples' faces light up when you've managed to find the perfect gift for them

The way the lights twinkle from each house at dusk

The memories that come flooding back from the smell of the Christmas tree

The excitement I am looking forward to when A will open her presents


The memories we make each day as a family

Daily Mom

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cookie Exchange

Every year my girlfriends and I get together for a cookie exchange...which started 6 years ago in the basement of a home/office with inedible cookies, and has grown into a yearly meeting of good friends, lots of cocktails, and some pretty delicious cookies.

And this year, following tradition, outdid all the rest. The cookies we amazing and the cocktails were flowing. I know I mentioned Breakfast with Santa being one of those events that just shouts Christmas is Here but so is this party. I could hardly wait to break out the Christmas dishes and platters and pop the bubbly...

Until next year!

Daily Mom

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Breakfast With Santa

As the Holidays are getting closer and closer, there are a few last minute events that cannot be missed; and yesterday morning was one of those...Breakfast (really lunch) with Santa.

But with A's wavering interest in Santa we weren't quite sure how the whole day would go.

After finally making it to the club, we had a blast running through the different rooms filled with face painting, tree decorating, and of course...Santa. Even though A was being pretty shy, there were no tears and lots of laughs all morning.
Daddy, A, and Mommy

Her first candy cane

Hi, Santa!

All of her American cousins!

Daily Mom

Friday, December 16, 2011

Present Exchange

Today was our Holiday lunch and present exchange with my girlfriends and all the kids.

It started off like any other Friday...we all trekked to the mall for our workout, which involved a little more talking than actual sweating today. Then it was time to head down and see the music story time they have on the first floor, conveniently located right next to Santa. After a little dancing, from the kids not us, we steered the kids away from "scary Santa" and headed to tiny town to let them run around. As you can imagine, getting four toddlers to do anything together is always a challenge, not to mention getting them all to stay relatively still in the same area for a picture. But today was our lucky day!

About 20 minutes later when a new wave of kids came in to play, we headed upstairs to exchange gifts and have lunch. The presents were perfect, the food was good, and the kids...well they were kids!

Happy Holidays!

Daily Mom

Christmas Is...

There is one thing that makes Christmas for me.

 Going to my old, all-girls, high school for the traditional Christmas concert. Now, I am sure you are thinking this is some cheesy cafeteria production with a lot of off-key singing, but it couldn't be further from that. First of all, since it is a small school, there are only about 75 girls who sing in the concert, and they all look beautiful in long black skirts and crisp white oxfords with red sashes around their waist. It is in the theater, on stage, and throughout the concert they pull back the far curtain to display living reproductions of biblical paintings. It is breathtaking.

So, when I started planning for the concert this year, I knew I wanted to take A with me. I got a few snacks packed up, picked out and ironed her dress, and was all set to go when she woke up from her nap. On our way up there I started to explain to her what she would see, including big girls singing, and candles. Then it dawned on me...she is not a fan of the dark, and at the beginning the girls process into the dark theater with lit candles leading their way to the stage. So as we nestle into our seats near the back of the theater and the lights dimmed I peak over at A, who was sitting on my lap with her mouth open, completely captivated by the entire experience.

And while there are a lot of Christmas memories I cherish, I know this one is now at the very top of my list. Looking over and seeing my little girl as blow away by the grace and beauty of the same Christmas performance I grew up captivated by as well.

Here's to Christmas taking your breath away this year...
Daily Mom

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Car Seat Troubles

Well, I think it is finally flip A's car seat around. In between all the errands, wrapping, crafting, and decorating that makes this holiday season so perfect, I have been overlooking one small detail. Each time I had to run to the mall or grocery store, it is always a battle to get A in her car seat. She would plant her feet firmly against the seatback and lock her knees down, preventing me from getting her strapped in and snug. Each time we have had to get back in the car I sigh knowing a battle is just beginning, that can range anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes and involve anything from fruit snacks to books, to a promise to stop at the library.

So this afternoon as I was stalling in the mall to avoid the car seat battle it dawned on me...I think she needs to flip forward. I mean she is almost 23lbs and will be two very, very why not! Of course, the minute I thought about it, I started second guessing myself. Is she safer backwards? Maybe it is just teeth? Will she throw stuff at me if I flip her around?

An hour later, and six attempts of calling A's pediatrician and hanging up, I decide it is not an emergency and I put down my cell. Only to run to my computer and type Dr. G a frantic email. So, here I sit, fingers crossed, waiting for an email back giving me the go-a-head...

Daily Mom

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Memory Jars

Well, I have been crafting up a storm recently. I found these awesome jars on Amazon and the idea off Pinterest and put them together for an amazing gift for one of A's godparents. I simply etched their last name on the glass, and am going to fill it with something adorable. Then I have included 52 slips on cardstock, so they can write a family memory each week during the year. Then next New Year's Eve (or New Year's Day...depending on how their hangover are doing) they can read all the special memories they collected from the year. Thank you Pinterest for turning a cute jar into the perfect memory keeper!

Daily Mom

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Monday!

Today was A's Christmas party at school! We ate, sang, danced, open presents, pretended we were in the Polar Express, and crafted. There was even a little time to play with "little Santa" as A likes to call the Santa doll at school. Hope your holidays are filled with lots of joy too!
"Merry Christmas to all my friends!"

"What? It is Christmas?"

"Santa, sit on my lap and let me tell you what I would like."

"Thank you, Santa. I love you!"

"...and the pom-pom goes right here."

"Time to go to the grocery store."

Circle Time!

E and A sitting with Nicole!

"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!"

All aboard the Polar Express!

"The Polar Express!!!"

"I am ready. Can we go now?" to craft :)

Daily Mom

Since I have spent an inordinate amount of money this month on crafting, presents, fun, and who knows what else...I need to do some serious cutting back. So this week, we are going to pinch some pennies and eat what I can dig out of the freezer.

Monday: Homemade Chicken tenders with corn and a rice side
Tuesday: Pasta with ground turkey meat sauce and peas
Wednesday: Roast Chicken with garlic bread
Thursday: Left-over chicken (maybe into chicken sandwiches?)
Friday: A's babysitter is coming over for dinner before she heads home for the holidays, so I will go to the store and make Pesto Salmon with a salad

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ribbon Wreaths

We DID IT! Check out these...yes, adorable...ribbon wreaths my mom and I just constructed!

Wahoo...another crafting success :)

Daily Mom  

And, I Got It!

Okay, so I realized why I never follow directions. You saw my pretty sad attempt of glass etching. Well, after the flop that was yesterday I got annoyed that I was such a creative moron and could not etch glass (since all the websites say how easy it is...ha!) and decided to give it another try. I realized my main problem was the adhesive and how gross it was. Also, the etching cream had a hard time working through the adhesive so it left it looking "rustic"...that is my term for crappy :)

Well, I through caution to the wind, grabbed my contact paper, and tried again...and I nailed it! How great did the other cake plates turn out! I mean, I think I can actually use this for a gift this year!

ps...have an awesome idea to use with glass etching stayed tuned!

Well, my mom just arrived to make ribbon wreaths with me, so I have to jet...

Daily Mom

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Edward Sticky Hands

Well, like I told you I was going to try glass etching today. Now, let me give you a little background. I am not a patient person, nor do I tend to follow directions often. But today, I was determined to read all directions before I started, and work calmly and patiently. I am not quite sure what went wrong...I read the directions? Maybe I should have reread them.

 Everything started off great. I used my Cricut to cut out the vinyl sheet. Then I sprayed it with the adhesive while I was holding it and tried to stick it right on the cake plate. Apparently you are not supposed to be A. spraying the adhesive onto your hands or B. trying to stick it on right away. Realizing this was not working, I headed to the sink to see if I could wash my slightly sticky fingers off.

A quick soap and water wash, and I was ready to dry them and check out the cake plate that now needed cleaning. As I grabbed the paper towels and started to wipe, I realized the towel was sticking to my fingers and ripping in all directions. Okay, maybe one more soap and water wash. When the stickiness just seemed to be getting worse I aborted the sink and ran for our closet to find the Goo Gone.

As I am crawling on the floor sticking to anything and everything I lay my hands on, while simultaneously ripping through the millions of random products we have acquired, I stick to my prize. After a generous dose, I am mostly sticky-free and ready to tackle the plate.

Now, I am ready to try this again. I re-cut the stencil, apply the adhesive JUST to the plate, wait a minute or two, and stick on the stencil. Then, I reread the etching cream, wait the allotted 5 minutes and rinse my plate under the tap. Now, if I squint while holding the plate to the light I can kind of see the etching.

Time for round three...I re-cut the stencil again, apply the spray to the plate again, and try to line up the stencil in the same spot. Tricky! This time I decide to wait about 20 minutes...I mean what is it going to do, eat through the plate?

And, you know what. The third time IS the charm today!

I think I am going to keep this one as a demo, but I have the hang of this etching this now...well sort of, and I can grab anything without sticking, so really today was a win-win!

Daily Mom

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last Class!

Today is my last class this semester, so I thought I would be a nice teacher and bring the students a little treat for their final presentations. I made some Oreo truffles (again, I know but they are so good) and some adorable Santa hat cookies. Then to celebrate my last night out of the house for a while, I have a roast chicken and veggies ready to pop in the oven for our dinner tonight...and of course a few extra sweets tucked away for hubby and me to enjoy.
Enough for all my students!

I think this just shouts HAPPY HOLIDAY!

Quick adorable dessert...Ho Ho Ho

I always use Barefoot Contessa Perfect Roast Chicken, and it always comes out, well...perfect!

Ready to pop in the oven!

Daily Mom some glass etching materials and a few cake plates today at Michael's...can't wait to try them out!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hey Christmas...

I am kicking your A#$. I forgot just how much could be done during naptime, since I haven't been very tired recently. Here are a few things I have been working on...

A present for my brother-in-law who is OBSESSED with wine (it is for his new wine room). spill the beans and you are dead :)
If you want to figure out size, just think each one of those circles is a cork.

A close up...

Some yummy treats
Pinned Image
Oreo Truffles...I didn't take a picture of mine, but they all look the same!
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies to ship out for a blogger cookie exchange!

Decorating our tree
I LOVE the lights...not a huge fan of the ornaments, but I will put some on soon.

and of course...planning out my week!

Here is our short, but sweet Menu

Monday: Roast chicken over carrots, potatoes, and onions
Tuesday: chicken sausage and vegetable light and delicious!
Wednesday: Sushi dinner for Gigi and Uncle Seth's b-days!
Thursday: Out for pizza with A's godparents
Friday: Neighbors over for dinner! Making pesto chicken, roasted root veggies, and a spinach salad..not sure about dessert yet
Saturday: Christmas Party

 Also, we had a GREAT time over Aunt Courtney and uncle Jesse's house last night for the Raven's game and a yummy are a few snaps of that!
Aunt Courtney and A

Only great friends have toys for your kid at their house!

and never mind the mess!

Taking a power nap on the mat!

Anyone else made/bought anything fun this holiday season?

Daily Mom