Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful- Fri/Sat/Sun

So I didn't follow through with my promise of blogging every day to say what I am thankful for because we were so busy spending time with family and friends over the long weekend. I'll blog about our weekend later :)

I wanted to finish up with what I was Thankful for...

I'm so very thankful for my mom. She has become my very best friend over the years and I would be lost with out her. I can call her any time night or day and we can chat about anything and every thing. She is definitely my 'go-to' person when I'm upset (after my husband of course). She always listens to everything I have to say, and never judges to offers her opinion unless I ask. My children are SO lucky to have her as their Grandma, or 'Ba Ba' as Addaline likes to say. I have definitely been blessed with a beautiful mother with an even more beautiful heart! I love you mom!

I'm not leaving you out dad (or my in laws), don't worry! You're my next topic... I'm so very thankful for my dad as well. He too is always there when I need him. We have a very close relationship and I can definitely count on him for anything. He is always there cheering on my kids no matter what the occasion is (mostly Macie since she is the only one old enough to participate). They know they can count on their 'Pa Pa' for anything. He spoils them rotten and definitely loves them to pieces. Thank you dad, for everything you do and have done for us, I love you!

I'm also so very thankful for my mother and father in law! They are wonderful grandparents to our children, and definitely spoil them as well. There is nothing my kids can't get away with at their house (total opposite of our house, ha ha). They are always there willing to lend a helping hand, and have helped us through so much. With out my in laws and my dad, our old home renovations would have gone completely awry. They model what marriage should be like and I think Gerrad and I truly look up to them. Thanks Steve and Natalie for everything, I love you!

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving and remembered all the things they are thankful for.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful- Thursday and Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am thankful for this sweet 2 year old girl. As I mentioned previously, Gerrad and I miscarried a baby before Addaline and he said we could try just one more time... Thankfully God had a plan for our family and I got pregnant with another sweet baby girl.

Today I am thankful for this 8 lb 13 oz blessing. Now a sassy 2 year old who, all to often takes after her big sister. She always has such joy and amazement on her face every day. I know its her age, but she always points out the small things and has truly made me slow down and just appreciate being. She is her daddy's girl but has to have her 'mommy time' as well. She loves Elmo and Dora and constantly says 'Mommy wook (look)' each and every day at simple things she builds, does and sees.

I'm thankful each and every day to have two healthy, beautiful children who have blessed me more than I have ever deserved!

From the Hall family to you, we hope all of you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving with your families, or even friends. Remember all the things you're thankful for, not just today, but each and every day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful- Wednesday

Continuing on with the Thankful theme...

Today I am thankful for my husband Gerrad. He has been there for me in my darkest hours and stood by me through thick and thin. We are not perfect by any means, we've struggled just like any normal couple. We're always able to forgive quickly and talk through things so we don't spend time being angry. I love that he is my best friend and I can tell him anything and he understands. He keeps me grounded when my temper gets the best of me. He supports me in all my decisions no matter what.

Thank you Gerrad for loving me for me. For standing by me through everything. For getting up everyday to make a living to support our family. I am truly thankful for you and am so glad to have met you 8 years ago! You've blessed me with 2 wonderful children and more than I could ever ask for, I love you!

I am blogging this courtesy of my blackberry, otherwise I would post a picture of my sweet hubby!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful- Tuesday

So for the rest of the week, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm going to blog about things I'm thankful for. I've moved on from my 'Debbie Downer' post yesterday and feel much better!

Today I am thankful for many things but I'll just focus on one for now, tomorrow and the rest of the week will be different things as well. Today I am thankful for my sweet 7 year old.

I'm thankful that this 7 year old girl changed my life at the age of 19. I know God gave her to me for a reason, and I'm thankful for that each and every day. Sometimes I feel like we try so hard to raise her right, teach her to have the best manners and treat people with respect and she feels like we're being hard on her. Hopefully she thanks us for it when she is older! We are always complimented how she is so well behaved, how she always says please and thank you, etc... That makes me feel wonderful knowing she is practicing what we preach ;)

Macie is so fun loving and care free. That girl can make up a song at the drop of a hat, and its always a funny song which cracks us all up. The other day we went to Walmart for groceries and she was playing with Addaline in the cart, moving her arms up and down talking about 'baby exercises'. Then Macie just busts out into song about baby exercises and moving your arms, etc... I was laughing so hard, I couldn't stop! When I'm sad or feeling down, Macie always knows and immediately comes to my side to make me feel better. She has such a giving heart and feels so deep for everyone whether she knows you or not.

I'm thankful that this toothless grin pictured above is mine. That I am lucky enough to call her my daughter. God definitely blessed my broken road with her! Thank You Macie for being who you are each and every day. For being such a wonderful big sister to Addaline, a wonderful daughter to me and your dad and an even better granddaughter to the grandparents who think you can do no wrong! We all love you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tired and Blessed, All at Once

For some reason these past few days I'm really feeling like Satan is trying to get me down. I'm feeling weary and tired and just want to be my normal, happy-go-lucky self again. Sometimes I feel like I can't fully be myself on my blog and write about the things that are truly bothering me or getting me down, in fear of hurting peoples feelings, sounding negative/ungrateful, etc...

I'm tired of....

Feeling like I constantly need to fix people, to make everyone else happy.

Feeling like I always have to be in total and complete control over every situation, sometimes I wish I could just let it go and know things will still turn out OK.

Feeling emotional, but not wanting to let it out in front of anyone so I don't have to say "I don't even know why I'm crying" when someone asks me.

Feeling this constant elephant in the room about the future of our careers. Praying that my husband makes it through the winter without getting laid off for a few weeks/months, and praying that I can once again be at full capacity to help out in case a lay off is in the cards for us.

Feeling like I owe certain people a chance at forgiveness but knowing my hurt was or has been so great from them, that I'm not sure I can ever let it go.

Feelings responsible when things don't turn out as planned, something goes awry, or my children make bad choices that I can't control (they're only 7 and 2 here people so its nothing catastrophic).

At the same time that I'm thinking I'm tired, I have to remind myself that God has blessed me with so much and that I should be lucky that I'm allowed to feel tired about some of these things. Some people would give anything to have to worry about making sure the bills are set up online to be paid on time because that would mean they have the money to pay the bills. To worry about getting kids to certain places on time because that would mean they have a vehicle and gas in that vehicle to actually go places, or even have kids to take places for that matter.

I went to see the movie 'The Blind Side' with my mom last night and I am not sure I can even fully put into words what that movie meant to me. I cried at points in that movie that weren't even sad, because I couldn't help but think about the real Michael Oher and all the struggles that he faced in his young life. Seeing that movie definitely made an impact on me, and my heart.

I cried as I kept thinking back to the sermon at church today and how at the end of it, the Pastor started talking about ways he would like to see our congregation give over these next few weeks and approaching Holidays. I kept thinking about how abundantly blessed I am and how sometimes I act ungrateful or careless about the things I should be rejoicing for. I sobbed the entire way home from the movie in my car, alone, thinking about the need in this world and what myself and my family can do to help in whatever way we can. I thought about skipping Christmas for my kids this year to make it a more enjoyable Christmas for someone who has NOTHING; my children have so much, they want for nothing and have everything. My mind kept going back to the movie thinking of kids that have no home what so ever, about children who will be spending their Thanksgiving and Christmas with their parent or parents in the mission, hoping its not full so they have a warm place to sleep. They probably don't even make Christmas lists because they know that no one will be able to provide those things for them.

Yesterday after church on our way out, we were handed a list of items that the Rescue Mission needs for the approaching holidays. Things on this list were as simple as socks, underwear, clothes for adults and children, toys, simple household items like towels, toasters, coffee pots, etc... I am making it a personal goal for my Black Friday shopping that I will purchase these things for people in need instead of toys that my children don't need and won't play with. I will buy toasters, coffee pots, towels, socks, underwear and canned goods and deliver them to the people who truly need kindness and compassion because I feel called to do so.

Each year my in laws prepare 40 shoe box size tupperware containers, to be sent overseas to chosen countries to help children in need. They pack into those boxes everyday items such as tooth brushes, toothpaste, small toys, books, cards and games and much more, for the simple reason that they feel lead to do that. I've seen my own father donate a big screen TV to my church for the youth to use, without batting an eye. I've read blogs of people who have gone on mission trips and helped people come to know Jesus as their personal savior. Who have taken a backpack full of necessities to their sponsored child who has nothing and lives in a one bedroom home with dirt floors, no running water, with 12 siblings and a single mother. I am in no way wealthy beyond words, but I do live in a 2 income home and feel like I can give more than I do! I will still probably cave and buy my daughters a few things for Christmas, but I will be OK with it knowing that I am going to help out people less fortunate as well.

I'm sorry this post is all over the place. I feel like my mind was going 100 mph while I was writing, it happens! What are YOU going to do over the holiday season to make an impact? Do you have a tradition you try to keep up with on a yearly basis? Please share with me if so!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Card (Again)

Here is the other Christmas card that I blogged about yesterday. I designed this for one of my besties and I thought it turned out SO good. I was kind of jealous I didn't think of it for myself, ha ha!

Glad you're happy with it Kela and can't wait to get my copy in the mail!

Fashion Funk

Lately I've been feeling like I'm in a total fashion funk. I know this isn't a life or death emergency by any means. I got some super cute boots a few months back and am sad I never get to wear them. Since staying home and starting up the daycare, you will find me wearing sweat pants and t-shirts on a daily basis. What is the point of getting dressed up for a bunch of 2 year olds to sit on the floor and play, cook meals, do art projects, etc... ? I'm not complaining about my new endeavor for one minute, I just miss being able to get ready and actually dress up whenever I felt like it. Instead of dressing down on the weekends I'm all about dressing up.

The problem with me is that I HATE to spend money on myself. I know I know, a woman who doesn't like to shop for herself, I think I've lost my mind. It seems MUCH more important that my 2 adorable daughters look their best, rather than their mother, and so the story goes. I typically shop at Old Navy, since lets face it, its a one stop shop for the whole family. I can run in, grab stuff for each of us, and get out. Most of my dresses have come from Target though, so I can't forget about them. They only way I will typically spend larger (I'm talking like $75 to $100 here people) amounts of money on myself is when my in laws and parents give me money for my birthday and Christmas. If it comes down to using my husbands money these days my own money, I'd rather go with out or buy for the girls.

Where am I going with all of this? I honestly have no idea, guess I just wanted to ramble about my fashion frustrations =) My goal this year on Black Friday is to get some cute dresses and tops for myself. Who shops for themselves on Black Friday you ask? I DO! I will be buying Christmas gifts at bargain prices no doubt, but I'll also be snagging a few deals for myself.

These are some of the things I'm going after... I'm loving the plaid dress look with my suede boots or the pair of wanna-be cowboy boots I'm trying to track down for a reasonable price, any suggestions?

I LOVE this sweater dress from Old Navy, hopefully they're half price Black Friday! Anyone have a leaked Old Navy black friday ad?

I love this dress as well, and its already on sale, SCORE!

I really like this dress as well, but I'm thinking it looks too short for this momma!

This is just a simple dress that could be cute with Uggs or the suede boots, and then with flip flops in the spring. I'm all about being able to wear the dress year round (minus the sweater dress I love)
These are the boots I already have, got them from Payless, regularly 39.99 but got them for 30% off, YAY for me! They're American Eagle brand I believe

Sorry this picture is super tiny, the website I found them apparently won't let you copy pics when they're blown up. They're from Charlotte Russe and as cute as can be, I might have to invest in some of these as well!
So can you guess what I'm asking Santa for this Christmas? Cold hard cash, ha ha! I'd gladly accept Old Navy gift cards as well, ha ha!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Card

So I know I'm a LOT little premature on this whole Christmas card thing but I was SO excited and loved out it turned out so I already had it printed up and I already have them all addressed and ready to go. I of course will not be sending them out until next weekend.

So, what do you think of it? I LOVE designing cards/invites/announcements. Its quickly becoming a passion of mine!

I designed another card for one of my besties but I need to ask her first before I post it on my blog, its SUPER cute as well, not your typical Christmas card!

Hope everyone is having a great week, its half over already! I'm looking SOOO forward to next week only being a 2 day work week and a 5 day weekend. Full of time with family and friends, can't hardly wait!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Are you feeling guilty about silly things you've done recently? Or things you haven't done because you're slacking around the house or just being plain lazy? You're NOT? Good, me neither!

This past weekend I did NOT spend both weekend nights away from home, nope NOT me! I would NOT leave my kiddos two nights in a row to get some much needed girl time Friday night and then another much needed date night with my husband Saturday night.

I am NOT overwhelmed with anxiety as I get ready for the holiday open house that I've been constantly thinking about it, nope NOT me! I am NOT having a hard time trying to decide how much inventory I should make/bring to the open house, yikes!

My children have NOT been coughing like crazy and are probably NOT getting the typical first of the winter, cold and cough.

I have NOT already been plotting my Black Friday shopping adventure even though the ads aren't even out. I'm NOT super excited about going already either!

The laundry in our house is NOT piled a mile high and needs to be washed, dried and put away. Nope NOT my house! I am home each and every day and would NOT get behind on laundry because I despise it like no other!

So what have you NOT been up to recently? Don't be shy, give it a try!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Baby Shower

Today I hosted a wonderful baby shower for a good friend of mine, Katie. My friend Stacey helped me and I think we did a great job and Katie had a fabulous time! The cake turned out awesome and I couldn't have been more thrilled. One of my best friends, father in law makes cakes for fun and he is SO good at it, he totally needs to do it as a side job! Here are a few pictures from the day. Katie got lots of stuff that I'm sure she'll put to good use! Hope you had a great day Katie, love ya!

The invite that I made, turned out pretty cute!

Some of the table decor (pardon the red checkered table in the back, we didn't want to move it)

More of the table decor

The WONDERFUL cake that my friends FIL made, so good! Katie's nursery theme is an animal print in black, white and some tan. She is accenting the room with a soft baby pink and its SO cute!
The 2 Grandma's to be and the mommy to be, Katie

'Bye Bye Tummy, Hello Mommy'

Opening gifts

The girls! Me, Katie and Stacey. Thanks again for all the help Stacey!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Room Mini-Makeover and a Sneak Peek

So a few months ago I gave our family room in the basement a small makeover. With out purchasing anything new and just using random decor I already had and changing out pictures, making them into black and whites, etc... This is how it looked for the past 2 years and I was over the 'sports theme'. Hubby gave me the go ahead to change it up a bit so I did, but I wasn't 100% happy with it but haven't wanted to spend a lot of money to re-do the room again so I've just made it work.

Last week I saw an AWESOME piece of art work I just HAD to have from Bed, Bath and Beyond so I'd been stewing over it for a week. I knew I wanted to purchase it for the basement, but wasn't sure it was a necessity. Well Gerrad gave me the OK so last night we went and bought it, and I even had a coupon for 15% off, WHOO HOO!! Here is the piece on Bed, Bath and Beyonds website if you want to check it out!

So here is the room before with just pictures as wall decoration.

The trash can in the upper right corner still needs to go, its a Tampa Bay Buccaneers trash can, left over from the sports motif

And here are the after pictures. Not a HUGE difference or anything obviously, but I wanted to change around the existing pictures so I put our wedding pics and my bouquet on this wall instead.

I moved most of the pictures to this wall instead, I'm not sure if I like them there but maybe they'll grow on me.

Here is the new piece of art work that we bought, I LOVE it!

I took the pillows off our bed and brought them downstairs to put on the couch to spruce it up a bit. There's only so much you can do without painting the room to make it look completely different. I did NOT feel like painting!

So not a HUGE difference like I said, but I needed a small change on the wall above the couch, whew!

Here is a sneak peek of the Christmas tree that I put in the kitchen today. I forgot to buy a topper for it so I'm borrowing one of Addaline's hair bows for the time being (tacky I know), I also still need to get a tree skirt for it as well.

During nap time today I'm going to be working on our main tree, wish me luck!! I'll post pictures when I'm all finished with it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'Tis the Season

You may or may not already know this about me, but Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year! I love decorating the house and getting out all my Snowmen themed items, of course you HAVE to know that I would have a theme right?! I got a small tree this year from my mom that I am going to put in the kitchen and decorate with red ornaments and green ribbon to match my kitchen. I'm thinking of putting everything up within the next few days/week. I know its not even Thanksgiving yet but the longer my decorations are out, the more we get to enjoy them =)

I have been using the same ornaments on our tree for the past 7 years so I think its time for some new ones, I just can't decide what color I want for our main tree? I did however get some funky ribbon to put on the tree that I'm super excited about! I also want to get the girls a small pink tree to share and decorate themselves so that's on the agenda for the next few days as well. I have the spot all cleared in our family room for the Christmas tree, we just need to put it up. Our goal is to hang the outside lights this weekend if my husband would stop picking up leaves for one stinkin' day it doesn't rain.

How early do you decorate for Christmas? I've had lots of people tell me I'm decorating too early and its 'customary' to wait until the day after Thanksgiving, but its MY house and MY decorations so there ;) Our family loves Christmas so this just gives us a few extra weeks to enjoy them. Plus Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away!

I also have to brag on my hubby real quick because I just adore that he is so darn handy! He whipped me up a ribbon holder this weekend after hearing me complain about my ribbon living in a Hobby Lobby bag, and that I was tired of digging through the bag to find one roll of ribbon. Here is the finished product. He asked if I wanted him to stain it and make it look nice, but I think it looks great just how it is! Thanks again babe!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Carousel and Boo at the Zoo

The weekend before last we had our nieces 2nd birthday at the carousel at our local park. It was a great time and the kids had a BLAST. I think Addaline rode the carousel probably 10 times, all I heard out of that girls mouth the whole party was 'Again, AGAIN'. Too cute! That same morning was an event called Boo at the Zoo, the kids get to trick'or'treat around the zoo while wearing their costumes, SO fun!

The girls riding the carousel

Macie striking a pose

Gerrad and Addaline on the carousel

'Mommy this is SO much fun :)'

Addaline striking a post like her big sister

The Besties! Addaline and Emma at Boo at the Zoo, Super Girl and the Ballerina

Super Girl taking a break from trick-or-treating to take a picture

The future pre-arranged marriages Super Girl and Yoda will one day wed and Bat Girl and Anakin Skywalker will also one day get hitched!

Chester Cheetah and Bat Girl aka Macie