2013: Best Year EVER!

I'm pretty sure from now on, whenever I look back on the year 2013 I'm going to think of it as one of the best of my life. Every day has been a blessing, whether it was exhausting, frustrating, joyful or fun. I've grown so much as a person, and I've learned a lot about who I am and who I hope to be. Here's a little glimpse back at my favorite year so far!
January 2013
A, Addie and I celebrated the New Year in the lamest way possible. 

Pregnancy hormones took over and I officially lost it

I got super mushy about my love for A...must have been those preggo hormones again. 

Grayson started having dance parties in my belly and we were featured in the Wall Street Journal...totally unrelated, but both equally cool in my book. 

February 2013
I started seriously freaking out about Addie being forced to share my love and affection with the baby. 

We took a weekend trip to Austin with friends and the reality of how much my life was changing started to sink in.

Baby brain started to take over my life. 

I decided to get out of my habit of being "realistic" (aka negative) and focus on all of the good things in my life. 

March 2013
We had our maternity photos done and I grew to be larger than life. 

I had the world's best baby shower thrown by amazingly sweet friends.

I hit 34 weeks of pregnancy, and man was I feeling it. 

We started having some issues with poor little Addie Jane, who was acting out because the baby was coming (I swear she knew!)

April 2013
I got a little gushy again thinking about A and how our relationship had grown and changed.

I let you guys in on a big secret

I made it to 38 weeks and was hoping and praying and crossing fingers I would pop that baby out any day. 

And I did! We welcomed sweet baby Grayson into the world on April 24th. 

May 2013
Life was completely and totally consumed with new baby bliss

We celebrated my first Mother's Day

June 2013
We had Grayson's newborn photos done and they were amaaaazing. 

We celebrated A's first Father's Day and I gushed about him some more. 

We discovered that we had a "passionate" (aka dramatic and LOUD) baby

Grayson turned two whole months old and started showing a bit of his sweet little personality. 

July 2013 
We took Grayson on his first road trip to Oklahoma. 

I officially became a Stay At Home Mom, which has been the biggest blessing and best decision I ever made. 

I shared a little TMI in a post about the not so glamorous side of motherhood

We celebrated G's three month birthday and mama got super mushy. 

August 2013
I shared all of the many, many things I wanted to do to spruce up our home

I shared all of my Must Haves for New Babies

Which led to me sharing my Must Haves for New Mommies

I told you guys all about the toughest job I've ever had. (Hint: it's being a mom)

September 2013
Like pretty much every other blogger out there, I got all giddy about fall

I talked about bouncing back after baby.

In one of my "deeper" posts, I shared what I believe

A and I celebrated two years of marriage! How has it only been two years?

October 2013
I shared my first furniture makeover, which turned out better than I was expecting! 

I gave some tips on how A and I make our marriage work....since we have two whole years of experience ;)

We also took Grayson on his first trip to the fair AND his first trip to the pumpkin patch.

November 2013
I shared all about our interesting experience starting solid foods for G.

We had Grayson's six month photos done and I decided that we officially have the world's cutest baby.

Grayson started going through a clingy phase....that is still currently happening.  

I shared all of the many, many things that I am thankful for these days. 

December 2013
If you ever wanted to feel like you know me a little better, then this is the post for you. 

We had a huge ice storm that left us trapped in the house for days. 

I discovered that when it comes to Christmas, I'm really bad at planning.

We celebrated Grayson turning 8 months old on Christmas Eve....my baby is getting SO big! 


I hope 2013 was a great year for you....but even if it wasn't, here's to a new, even better 2014!!! Have a safe and happy new year with loved ones tonight! And now I'm gonna be one of those really cheesy people.....see you next year!!!!

I'm Back! I think.

Well, that turned into a bit of a break, didn't it? Like I said in my last post, the Christmas season with a baby in tow turned out to be a little more overwhelming/crazy/insanely time consuming than I had predicted. I enjoyed it more than any Christmas of my life, but I have to say I'm kind of ready to get back into the everyday routine. 

I'm pretty sure I'll have a couple of posts all about Grayson's first Christmas coming in the next few days, but right now the idea of editing all those photos makes me want to cry a little bit. So I'll put that off for now. Today is for laundry and cleaning and trying to get things organized. Grayson got approximately one billion new toys, so I've got to deal with that....I told Arsen I'm pretty sure we need a new house just to fit everything comfortably. Sounds like a fun filled day, yeah?

Yesterday was Arsen's birthday, and we had a loooong day of celebrating. He's one of those unfortunate few with a birthday between Christmas and New Years, so it always seems to get a bit overlooked. But this year we made a point of doing a few fun things that I knew he would enjoy. In the early afternoon we had his family and my parents over for our final Christmas/his birthday, and it was so much fun. Tons of food, lots of presents, and some good quality family time. After that we went to spend the evening with some friends watching the Cowboys game and hanging out. It's a group we don't see that often, and a few of them had never met Grayson, so it was a lot of fun. I think overall he really enjoyed his 28th (yes, I'm a cougar)

So after a week of traveling, several Christmas gatherings, getting home and hosting a dinner just a couple of days later, and two "late" nights in a row, it's safe to say that I am completely and totally exhausted. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things on this here blog, but I'm not making any promises. It may take a couple days of recouping before I'm back at it like normal. 

Until then, please enjoy my most recent Instagram favorites. Or basically, please enjoy these pictures of my child. 

8 Months

So I guess I took an unintentional blogging break over the last week. I had no idea how jam-packed a baby's first Christmas would be! We've been from Dallas to Tulsa to Norman in the past few days, and now we're getting ready to celebrate four Christmases over the next few.

I've been so good at posting every month on the 24th for G's "birthdays", so I wanted to make sure and get it done today even though we are super busy celebrating his first Christmas Eve! It's kind of unbelievable to me that we're already here at 8 months. I remember when I was pregnant last Christmas saying "Next year we'll have an 8 month old baby with us!"... and now here we are. So crazy!

Oh, and by the way, I keep thinking the older he gets the easier the photos will be because now he can sit up and pay attention and whatnot...but no. Not even. He is so distracted by everything around him that I literally can't get him to take a single good photo. But oh well...I guess this captures the stage he's at right now better than anything else would ;)

All of the sudden it seems like you are a BIG boy, in more ways than one. You started crawling just about two weeks after your 7 month "birthday", and you are allllll over the place these days! I'm pretty sure you just had a big growth spurt. Your six month clothes that were still fitting really good a couple weeks ago are super tight these days, and you grew out of every single pair of shoes we have for you. You are also getting really heavy for mama to carry around, but you don't seem to care. I'm pretty sure if I'd let it happen I'd be carrying you all day every day.

I'm still counting with you and saying the alphabet several times a day. You really love counting...maybe you'll like math? That would come from daddy for sure. We are also working on learning the word "no", since you are into anything and everything you can get your hands on. You are especially obsessed with the Christmas decorations I have on the TV console and the Christmas tree. I have to pull you away from those things probably about 37 times a day.

We've started reading more with you, and you seem to really love it. Sometimes it makes you laugh, and other times you just want to eat the books. I've also started telling you stories to entertain you sometimes and you really like that, too. Most of them are about Grayson, the most beautiful little boy in the world. I really hope I'm not giving you an inflated ego at such a young age...

You are eating SO much better these days, and I'm pretty sure it's because I stopped with the purees and have been letting you feed yourself. You get steamed broccoli and carrots and squash and sweet potatoes, and I usually give you little chunks of whatever I'm eating, too. You love to eat pretty much anything as long as you can do it yourself. If I try to put something in your mouth you push my hand away and grab it with your little fingers. I'm sure it's because I'm your mama, but I'm super impressed with how good you are handling small things like cheerios with your thumb and forefinger...the books say that skill doesn't usually come along for another month or two, so of course I think you're a genius.

You are a super healthy little baby, which I'm so thankful for, and you are getting so very big. Last time we weighed you you were just about 20 1/2 pounds, but I'm pretty sure you've gained another pound or so since then. You also look really tall! I'm excited to go to the doc next month to see how big you actually are.

Your personality is developing more and more everyday, and I'm afraid we've got a bit of a flirt on our hands. You love ladies, and they are guaranteed to get a little sideways smile and batted eyes from you every time. You are a silly little guy, and you laugh at the goofiest things. You make the funniest noises...all grunts and growls and squeals and squeaks. On the not so happy side of things, you've started throwing little fits when you want something or don't get your way. I know it's just you learning and asserting your independence, but man, I hope it doesn't mean you're going to be a tantrum thrower!

One of the best things EVER has finally happened, and it only took about 7 1/2 months: Addie has started playing with you. You've started chasing after her since you can crawl, and she just lunges and barks and growls at you...and you think it is the most hilarious thing in the world. It makes you laugh and laugh and it's seriously the cutest thing I've ever seen. Finally my babies get along!

Right now your favorite things are crawling around and getting into EVERYTHING, pulling up on any surface that will stay still enough (including peoples legs), chewing on basically everything that will fit into your mouth, trying to grab Addie's tail, trying new foods, baths and learning new things. You hate diaper changes (and they stress me out because you constantly flip over), being told no, and getting dressed.

You are truly one of the happiest, funniest, sweetest little babies I've ever been around. You give such good hugs and kisses these days, and everyone that knows you adores you. We always talk about the fact that maybe we're just biased because you're ours, but I seriously think you're something special ;) I'm afraid I'm just going to be one of those mamas....always thinking her little guy is the best thing around. I love you more than I ever thought was possible and more than you'll ever know. You're my favorite thing ever, and I adore you.



I'm Bad at Planning

So, apparently I'm not so good at planning ahead. I thought this was an area I was getting pretty good at, but after the past few days I would say not so much. Since Friday, my mom and I have spent basically all day every day Christmas shopping. I'm not exaggerating. I have no idea why I waited until like 10 days before Christmas to start my shopping....I'm just gonna go with bad planning.

It's safe to say I won't be doing this next year. I am so tired. So very tired. My brain is fried and I can't think about anything but gifts. I'm pretty sure I'm going to dream about shopping tonight. Normally that would be heavenly, but I have to say....I'm kind of tired of shopping. I literally never thought I would say, type, or think those words. But I'm pretty much over it.
(I googled "tired after shopping" to see what kind of hilarious images I might find, and it gave me this little gem. I really love it because this is exactly how I look when I'm exhausted: fully clothed in jeans and heels, laying uncomfortably on a sofa with my head on my forehead, surrounded by color coordinated shopping bags. Pretty accurate depiction.)

On top of just the physical act of walking around store after store for three days straight and the exhaustion that it causes, we also get to throw a little baby into the mix. A seven month old, wiggly, temperamental, BORED baby. On a normal day he doesn't like being stuck in his stroller while I shop. Imagine how he feels after three days of it. Not so pleased. That kid has figured out the whole "throwing a fit" thing...and he's been practicing it. At the moment it typically just lasts a few seconds and then he can be distracted by one of his little snacky things or a toy, but I've got a pretty good indication where we're headed in the near future.

Anyway, now that I've bought a bajillion gifts, I am faced with the task that I really dislike and I'm really not so great at: wrapping everything. I don't think it would be so bad if I didn't care what my gifts look like, but I want them to be beautiful. My mom is like the world's best gift wrapper, so she's set the bar pretty high. Like, she uses ribbon to make beautiful bows and everything looks better than when the people at the store wrap it for you. So I want my gifts to look like that, but I want to spend minimal time and effort on them. I'm torn, really.

Am I the only person who did this to myself? Are you guys all those brilliant people who planned ahead and finished your shopping in October and now everything is wrapped and sitting under your pretty little Christmas tree? If so, please tell me your secrets...I can't handle another year of this. It makes me want to cry.

Style Inspiration - Miranda Kerr

I know very little about Miranda Kerr. Like, basically nothing. Victoria's Secret, Orlando Bloom's baby mama, insanely gorgeous. That about sums up my knowledge of the girl. But I have noticed she has amazing style...I mean, basically every photo I see of her makes me want to raid her closet or go shopping immediately. 

Of course, even if I wore the exact same thing, I would look nothing like her since I am not a tall, skinny lingerie model. And some of the things she wears just aren't really practical for roaming around the Dallas suburbs with a baby on my hip. But, I do love her style, and she might just be my new girl crush.
What do you think of Miranda? Big fan? Not so much? Let me know in the comments :)


Thank sweet baby Jesus, Friday is here. My husband is back home, I am no longer sick, and my baby and my fur baby actually played together for like the first time EVER last night. Y'all, all is right in my world.

I have no news, I have nothing important to say, and I have about a bajillion things I should probably be doing. But instead of coming up with an interesting post for you all or doing something productive, I've been wasting lots of time online, tearing up at sweet stories about animals or laughing my head off at all of the hilarious things that are out there on that crazy place we call the internet. So I just thought I'd share some of my favorite things from this week with you all. Yup, I'm taking the lazy way out. You're welcome.

  • So I've talked about how much I love autocorrect fails before. Love 'em. This list of the 25 best from 2013 had me crying laughing. I'm not exaggerating. It's like once I read a couple and I get started, they just become so ridiculous that I lose it completely. And yes, Arsen was sitting beside me while I was reading them, and yes, he asked me to stop. He hates it as much as I love it.

  • I've always liked taking personality tests for some reason, but this one was really difficult for me. I felt like I was always almost half and half with which box I wanted to pick. Maybe that should tell me something...split personality? Sometimes I feel like it ;)

  • I loved this post 13 Things I Love About Momma Life. It's funny how the tiniest things can be the best thing in the world when it comes to your baby, and how every mama in the world seems to be completely mesmerized by their own baby. When I first found out I was pregnant, I remember walking into a store and passing a woman with a baby in a stroller and a toddler walking beside her, and immediately feeling a connection to her. It's like you join a special club or something when you become a mom...I think it's because no one else in the world could ever understand a mother's love for her baby. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced.

That's all, folks. Now go out there and have a fabulous little weekend. I plan to do the same. Happy Friday!


So this week has been...a bit of a challenge. Arsen left early Monday morning for a business trip, the first he's been on since Grayson entered the picture. He traveled quite a bit while I was pregnant, so I know the drill, but add a baby to the mix and things get interesting.

A little background for ya. We decided to sell Arsen's car awhile back in order to get an SUV. Since he works from home and I stay home, there's really no need for two cars at the moment. His car is in Oklahoma where my dad is trying to sell it for us. When we found out he would be traveling, we thought no big deal, I'll just drive him to the airport Monday and pick him up Thursday.

Well...then the ice storm happened. There was no way I was getting my baby out in that mess. When he left Monday, the roads were still really, really bad...so we decided that he would take the car and I would just be without one for the week. Still, since we were iced in I thought it wouldn't be that big of a deal, plus my mom was coming to visit on Wednesday night, so it would really just be three days.
That face...it kills me. 

And then....I got sick. Monday I felt pretty yucky, but nothing too bad. I thought it was maybe allergies or sinus problems. Tuesday I felt a quite a bit worse. I thought probably an actual sinus infection going on, which always sucks. Then, after a horrible night of sleep for G and myself, I woke up Wednesday morning with a headache, a fever, and what I'm thinking is another case of mastitis. Are you kidding me?

Thankfully, Arsen's mom came over for a couple of hours Tuesday and Wednesday, so I was able to shower and nap for a bit. And then last night my mom got here. But the rest of the time...oh my, that was rough. It is insane how much energy it takes to entertain a seven month old baby for somewhere around 12-14 hours a day. I've already covered how clingy he is right now, so I've had him hanging off of me all day every day while I'm feeling pretty gross. It was exhausting. It made me want to cry multiple times. It made me so thankful and appreciative for my mom, my mother in law, and most importantly, my husband, who helps me more than I think I ever realized. And it made me think, how on earth do the single mamas do it????

When I'm hit with these tiny, insignificant challenges that really throw me for a loop, it makes me realize how incredibly blessed I am at this point in my life. Being sick and taking care of a baby is seriously one of the most exhausting things I've done, but oh my gosh there are so many things in this world that I could be dealing with. If this is my "hard time"...I mean, come on. I'm a lucky, lucky lady.

So I've got my fingers crossed that I miraculously feel amazing soon and things can get back on track. Arsen gets home tonight and I can't wait to see him, and my mom is here to help me today. Tomorrow night we're planning on going to the Reliant Lights Your Holidays celebration that we planned on going to last Friday (it was rescheduled because of the ice), and I'm hoping my mom and I can get our Christmas shopping done. If only I can kick this pesky little sickness it sounds like a pretty good time to me!

Icepocalypse 2013

Like I said on Monday, we've been basically housebound since last Thursday. There is so much ice outside it is unbelievable. Yesterday if finally started warming up a bit and things started melting a tiny bit, but up until that point everything has been basically a solid sheet of ice.

I'm all for a good winter storm, but I'd much prefer snow to this. Snow you can go outside and play in...ice you go outside and you're basically risking your life. Arsen and I wanted to take Grayson out to see what snow there was and to see how he reacted to the cold, and we barely made it out the front door. It was seriously like ice skating. So we stood out there for a few minutes and let him look around and then came back in to warm up.

He didn't seem too impressed by any of it, to be honest. He kind of looked around and stared at everything and we got a few smiles out of him, but that was about it. That kid. Sometimes his reactions to things are ridiculously over the top, sometimes you get nothing at all.
Now I'm just waiting on things to thaw out enough that I can get my stir crazy baby, dog, and myself out of the house....even if it's just for a walk around the block, we need out of here! I also really need to be able to get out of here and do a little Christmas shopping...umm, how did I miss the fact that Christmas is like two weeks away? I am SO unprepared it's crazy.

Are you dealing with crazy winter weather where you are? I feel like I've seen snow and ice all over Instagram the past week or so....

Random Facts About Yours Truly

I'm only 5'2", but I never dated a guy under 6' and swore I never would. Wouldn't ya know, I married a guy who's 5'8". That'll teach me!

I'm kind of a caffeine addict. I've had a really difficult time cutting back during pregnancy/breastfeeding. I cannot stop drinking coke no matter what I do. I could drink like 15 a day I think. But I try to limit myself to one....or two.....

I love to eat. Love it. I'll eat just about anything out there, but I'm incredibly picky about what I want to eat when. Choosing a place to eat is maybe the most difficult decision I have to make on a regular basis.

When I was little I used to try to convince my friends of the strangest things. Like I would tell them that when I was a baby and we lived near a cemetery, that ghosts would come visit me in my crib. Or, when they would spend the night and we'd be trying to go to sleep, I would act like I was possessed. I'm pretty sure I was just a little bit evil.

I started dance at the age of 5, and that is pretty much all I did for the next 9 years. I did just about everything: tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip-hop, pointe, and clogging. It is the one thing in this life that I have a natural talent for, and I should have taken advantage of that.

I quit dance at the age of 14 because I wanted to spend more time with my friends and be able to cheer at every single game. Up until that point I would have to miss games regularly for dance class or performances or competitions. Quitting is the biggest regret of my life.

I hate playing any kind of game. When people want to play games at parties I'm usually pretty annoyed. I don't have a competitive bone in my body, so it's just not fun for me....makes me sound like tons of fun, right? The only games I actually enjoy are Scattergories and Catchphrase.

When I was about to go into third grade we discovered that I had absolutely horrible vision. We were driving down the road and one of my parents said something about a McDonalds sign that was just ahead of us...and I couldn't see it at all. It was like a huge blob. As was everything else in my world. None of us have any idea how we never figured it out until then, because if I don't have contacts or glasses, I basically have to feel my way around. How did I not realize that people could SEE things?

In junior high a lot of the boys used to tease me and say I looked like Gadget from Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers. I'm not gonna lie, I can kind of see it.
People always seem to misunderstand my name on the phone, and the name they most often seem to think I am saying is Phyllis. In what world does Celeste sound like Phyllis?

I was completely convinced that I had no trace of a southern accent until I was 18. I went to Washington D.C. for a drama competition, and while chatting with some guys on the metro they asked if I was from Texas. I couldn't figure out why they might think that...then they told me it was because of my southern accent. I was horrified, both because I had an accent and because people might actually think I was from Texas (ironic I live here now, yeah?).

When I lived in L.A. I went on a date with a really good looking guy I met in an acting class. When he picked me up, he was in a super beat up car....that he had to start by touching two wires together. I don't think I realized quite how sketchy that was until years later.

Now, I would LOVE it if you would tell me something random about yourself. I'm pretty sure this is the kind of thing that could make us all best friends.

Grayson's First Thanksgiving - Part 2

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a positively fabulous weekend. We spent the weekend trapped in our house...literally trapped, by a massive ice storm. The Dallas area doesn't get a lot of snow and ice, so when it happens it tends to shut our entire world down. And that it did. I'm sure I'll have a nice little ice storm post for ya in a day or two :) 

But today, I'm back with the second half of Grayson's first Thanksgiving saga. You can read part one here if you're interested. 

So after the first half of Thanksgiving day spent at Arsen's sister's house, we headed home to pick up Addie Jane, loaded up the car, and we were off to spend the evening at my dad's house in Oklahoma. 

That night we had a small dinner with my mom, my dad, and his girlfriend Monie. My mom fixed us a nice little meal of turkey and dressing, potatoes and gravy, and a few pies. It was all super yummy, and it was fun to sit around chatting for a bit. By the time we got there G was pretty sleepy, so we got him ready for bed, but he got a second wind when he saw the toy Papaw bought for him! My dad got him a bouncy seat like the one we have at our house that G loves so much, and he had a blast bouncing in that thing until it wore him completely out. I'm pretty sure he actually likes the one at Papaw's house better...it's much cooler, if we're being honest. 
We spent Thanksgiving night at my dad's, and then we were off to Norman the next morning to spend the weekend at my uncles place. Friday I really, really, REALLY wanted to go shopping...I've never done any of the Black Friday craziness, and I was super curious about what kind of deals I could get, but I never got the chance. We spent a big part of the day at Lowe's with my dad picking out tile for the house he just bought and is fixing up, and then had dinner at Chuy's. Forever Chuy's was a Texas only thing, but now they've expanded to Oklahoma....so I can get my fix wherever I'm at now. It's sad, really.

Friday night we also got to see some of our very best friends, Katie and Quentin! We haven't seen them in foooorever, so it was a much needed reunion. I spent a large portion of my time trying to get Grayson to sleep, but I finally gave up and let him hang out with everyone until after eleven. Sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. 

Saturday was the day my mom's side of the family had their Thanksgiving get together. It was another day of soooo much food and lots of fun family time. My cousin Amanda was there with her two little girls, one who is just a month older than Grayson. It was so cute to see the two of them together. 
That night I stayed up until almost two talking with my mom, aunt, Grandmother, uncles and Arsen. I never stay up that late anymore because G always wakes up so early and I am not a pleasant person when I don't get much sleep, but I rarely get the chance to see any of them so I went with it. Of course he woke up about 7:30 the next day, but it was worth it for a little quality time.  

Sunday morning we got up and, after a quick stop by my dad's, we made it back home. I absolutely love the holidays, but man, those out of state trips are exhausting! 

All in all, I must say Grayson's first Thanksgiving was a pretty great one. I can't WAIT for his first Christmas...it's only a couple weeks away now!