Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Family Photos

I intended to post these pics right after the Christmas card reveal, but I'm just now getting around to it...10 days later!

Our family photo session was originally scheduled for late October, but Baby Boy got sick and we had to reschedule. Our rescheduled session ended up being the Sunday before Thanksgiving in downtown McKinney. Let me just tell you...that area is a popular place for professional photo sessions! We counted at least eight other photographers, which was really surprising given how late it was in the season. Despite the chaos of trying to find settings not in use by other photographers, Jaime {Storyline Photography} was able to capture fabulous images to document our little family at this point in time.








All photo credit: Storyline Photography


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ho Ho Ho!

Here comes Santa Claus
Here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane...


Our first 2016 visit to Santa resulted in this photo...
To put it simply, Huston wasn't a huge fan of Santa. In an effort to try to make him more comfortable, I held him and tried to get as close as possible to the guy in the big red suit. H absolutely, positively was NOT going to sit on Santa's lap without getting terribly upset, so we ended up with a photo of him sitting on Momma's lap with Santa looking like a statue beside us! It's cute...but not exactly the Santa photo I had in mind.

The very next day, Daddy took H back to visit Santa...
Once again, not exactly the ideal Santa photo I had it mind...but at least we have a pic of just H with Santa.

Later that same week, we visited Santa's Village and made a a quick stop {literally less than 30 seconds!} to try out Santa's lap one more time...
I promise our little guy was instantly happy again the minute we picked him up off Santa's lap. And he is perfectly fine looking a pictures of Santa...he just wants nothing to do with Jolly 'ole St. Nick in person.  Since the day after Thanksgiving we've been asking, "Huston, what does Santa say?" Although sometimes he gets a little confused and responds with "Gobble Gobble Gobble!" {which makes me laugh every.single.time!}, his little voice saying "Ho Ho Ho!" is pretty much the cutest thing ever.  

We'll always have the memories {and the photo documentation} of the year H would have preferred for Santa to have just stayed at the North Pole.

Click here to see last year's {happier} visit with Santa Claus.

Ho Ho Ho!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Accountability Check: Fall Bucket List

I set a December 1 deadline for myself back in September when I wrote my Fall Bucket List post. Way back then it seemed like I had PLENTY of time to check things off the list, but I should have known better. {Duh!} These past 70 days {yes, I calculated} have flown by, especially the month of November!



Anyway...here we are on December 1, so here's a little look-back at the bucket list and the progress we made...

FALL 2016 "TO DO" LIST:

  • Decorate the house for fall.  
    • SEMI-SUCCESS! I decorated the front patio and had a few fall pieces here and there throughout the house, but we definitely didn't go all out this year because...toddler!
  • Visit a pumpkin patch. 
    • SUCCESS...times three!  If you want to read about our pumpkin patch adventures {and see a few more pics}, you can check out that blog post here. We had a ball visiting three different pumpkin patches...
  • Find the perfect pair of fall booties.
    • SUCCESS! Although I don't have a pic wearing them {bad blogger!}, Ryan got me a great pair of black Cole Haan booties for our anniversary. I must have been living under a rock because I had no idea that Cole Haan had some special technology to make the soles of shoes softer/more flexible...but whatever they do, it works! These are the most comfortable shoes {with a heel} I've ever owned.
  • Go to the Texas State Fair. 
    • SUCCESS! We went to the Texas State Fair on Columbus Day because I had the holiday off work and we thought a Monday would be less crowded than the weekend. Terrible idea! Turns out, all of the schools were out for the holiday, too. Needless to say, the fair was CROWDED...and it was HOT! We still had a good time though. We saw the Budweiser Clydesdales, got a few pics with Big Tex, and ate lots of fried food! 

Checking out Big Tex at the Texas State Fair
  • Find/create a fabulous Halloween costume for Huston.
    • SUCCESS! H was a tiny golfer for Halloween...and he was VIP because he had two personal caddies! More Halloween pics here.
  • Attend a Halloween party.
    • FAIL! H was sick on the day of the Ehmans' annual Halloween party, so we had to miss it.  
  • Play and take photos in the fall leaves. 
    • FAIL! The leaves are just now really starting to fall here, so we haven't had a chance to get out and play in the foliage.   
  • Design and order holiday cards EARLY. 
    • FAIL! As I mentioned above, we missed the Halloween party because H was sick...well, we also had to cancel our family photo session because the little guy was under the weather. Our rescheduled photo session wasn't until November 20, so there was no possible way for me to have our Christmas cards done early. Our fabulous photographer got the pics back to us super fast though, so our cards are created and currently being printed! I absolutely love sending and receiving holiday cards! 
  • Win {at least} one week of my office college football pick 'em contest. 
    • ULTIMATE FAIL! Not only did I NOT win...but I think my performance worsened week after week. With only one week left to play, I am currently in 21st place out of 37 {as compared to 6th place when I created this list}.
  • Go to Canton for  First Monday Trade Days
    • FAIL.  We were in Minneapolis for a wedding the weekend of October Trade Days...but I don't really have an excuse for November.  My mom was in town visiting the weekend of November Trade Days, and we even talked about going...but we never made the trek to Canton. 
  • Bake something {anything!} pumpkin.
    • ATTEMPTED {Half-success/Half-fail}.  I tried this recipe for pumpkin cookies...and they were just ok. They were definitely edible, but they weren't A-MAZing. They were really soft and fluffy, almost bread-like. I've decided that pumpkin flavor really just doesn't have much taste, so I think my expectations for pumpkin recipes might be too high.  Next year I'll search for a pumpkin-cinnamon recipe...or something along those lines to add a little more flavor.
  • Make a fall craft. 
    • SUCCESS! After much convincing, I attended Crafty Night Out with my friend, Erin. The non-artistic person that I am had a few challenges with the free-form painting/drawing aspect of this project, but the sweet Crafty Night Out owner was super helpful and guided me through the creation of this lil pumpkin...
  • Keep a gratitude journal throughout the month of November. 
    • FAIL! I'm so sad that I failed at doing this...but I will say that I made a conscious effort to think of something random {that I don't normally take the time to appreciate} I'm grateful for each day of November...I just failed to actually write it down. 
  • Find a unique {leather} gift for our 3rd wedding anniversary. 
    • SEMI-SUCCESS! I say it was a "semi" success because I'm not sure the gift actually qualifies as "unique."  Whatever though...it's something he wanted and loves, so that's all the matters. He got a fancy new pair of boots...   
  • Buy at least three Christmas gifts before December 1.
    • SUCCESS! I've actually purchased FIVE gifts...such an overachiever!


If I had to grade myself for completing the tasks on the Fall Bucket List, I'd probably get a "C." While I can only successfully check off about half the items on the list, the successes were great experiences and fun accomplishments! I kind of like this idea of keeping myself accountable for getting things done/experiencing seasonal adventures...so the bucket list may just become a recurring thing. I guess I better get to work on the next "to do" list!

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for our 

Winter Bucket List?


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

All the Pumpkin Pictures

Just to give you fair warning...this post is pretty much the definition of a photo dump. It's the last day of November, and I am just now getting around to posting all the pics from our pumpkin patch excursions. I totally planned it this way...wanted to give you a break from all the pumpkin pics that dominated your social media feeds in October.

Huston at the Dallas Arboretum Pumpkin Village, 2016

Visiting a pumpkin patch was one of the top "to do" items on my
Fall Bucket List this year. While there are still several items on the bucket list that have yet to be checked off, I will go ahead and pat myself on the back and say we excelled at the pumpkin patch task! 

First stop: Storybook Ranch



We visited Storybook Ranch in McKinney on the first day that it opened {September 24}, so they were still working out a few kinks...which actually worked out in our favor! It wasn't even the slightest bit busy, so we enjoyed all of the activities {petting zoo, hay maze, pony ride, wagon ride through the 1800s western town} without having to wait in line.  My life-long friend, Brandy, and her kids {Preslee & Jake} were in town and joined us for this adventure.







Next up: Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch



The Pumpkin Patch at Flower Mound was a little overwhelming {i.e. crazy crowded}, so we didn't take the time to wait in line for any of the activities {hayride, pumpkin patch train, bounce houses}...but we still had a great time with our friends Chelsie and Cameron! 








Final stop: The Dallas Arboretum



This was our second year to visit the pumpkin village at The Dallas Arboretum...and it didn't disappoint! There's a reason it's referred to as the best pumpkin patch in the state. We went on Columbus Day {since I had the holiday off and Ryan doesn't work on Mondays} thinking it wouldn't be as busy since it was a weekday...WRONG! It was packed! However, I have to say that the Arboretum employees do a fabulous job making it as efficient as possible to park and get through the admission line.









Sooo...after visiting these three fabulous pumpkin patches {all on weekend days}, I feel like I learned two valuable lessons for next year:

1.  Go early in the season,
and
2.  Go early in the morning!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Voted...Did You?


Although every other aspect of my life seems to be flying by faster than the speed of light, this election season seems to have been dragging on FOR...EV...ER!

Election day is finally here.

Huston and I went and voted last week...during the last hour of the last day of early voting.  I failed to take a pic at the polls, but I did snap a quick pic of him wearing the "I voted" sticker {along with Momma's necklace} after we got home...

We voted!

I'm not one to post political opinions, and that's not what you'll see here today...but I do want to encourage you to exercise your right to vote. It's your civic duty!
  

Do your part...get out and vote!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Third Anniversary

...and I thought I loved you then.


Today we celebrate our third wedding anniversary. A few things have changed in the 1,096 days since we said "I do," but I wouldn't trade a single one of those days for anything in the world. Of course there have been bad days and rough patches, but every single day of the past three years has been a part of our journey to get us to where we are today.  We are in a very good place...and I truly don't think it's possible to be happier than I am at this point in time.


Together we have built a great life...with an incredibly supportive family and amazing friends. Each night as we pray together with Huston, we thank God for the overabundance of good He's blessed us with. We try hard to express our gratitude {to the Lord, to each other, and to those around us} and to not take anything for granted.

The commitment that I made to this man three years ago was the best decision of my life. Not only does my love for him grow with each passing day, but my genuine appreciation for the man that he is and all that he does for our family strengthens as well. The phenomenal father he is to our son is one characteristic for which I'm most thankful. I realize how lucky I am to have a life partner who truly shares an equal {or bigger!} part of the load in every aspect of life. We make a great team...a team strong enough to take on anything that comes our way! Here's to many, many more years of anniversaries!

Happy Anniversary to my handsome husband! Thank you for loving me. I love you with all that I am and all that I will ever be.  Always and forever...and ever!


Three years down, FOREVER to go!




Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

Oh...Halloween!  

The {tiny} golfer and his caddies

We had So.Much.Fun "trick-or-treating" with our tiny golfer!  



Although H had zero interest in stock-piling candy in his Halloween bucket, he managed to at least look like he knew what he was doing...



 He must be a pretty special golfer to get TWO personal caddies...



Even Lily got in on the trick-or-treating action...



And I can't leave out the pics of a boy {and his dog...in a box} in his jack-o-lantern jammies...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2016!