Happy Thanksgiving!

Via
I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We're spending the holiday with my side of the family, and SC had patiently been counting down how many "night nights" she had left for the last week.  While it is easy for me to get caught up in the hustle of Christmas planning, I'm looking forward to using this holiday to really give thanks for all that we've been so blessed with.  Of course, come Black Friday I'll be obsessing over Christmas pjs and holiday themed sheets for SC, but I'm trying to make sure that the little things don't distract from what really matters.  Here's to a grateful Thanksgiving!

Dickens' Christmas Towne

This past weekend, we headed to the grand opening of  Dickens' Christmas Towne, as it was a lot of fun last year, and we couldn't wait to see how SC would react to everything.
SC was really into it this year, but she was so busy trying to chase the trains around the track, that it was kind of hard to capture her excitement.
We tried to talk to Santa, but she was still a bit afraid.  Apparently, my husband said that as they were going up to him she kept saying "toys" to muster up her courage, but then she was just overcome. I think this picture is hilarious because it is pretty much the same as last year, except my husband is holding her instead of me.
 She loved throwing snowballs at Scrooge's house.
 Peering in the "shop" windows was a lot of fun too.
 This little dollhouse in the window is what captured her attention.  We will just send a picture to grandpa, and see what he can come up with, SC.
They had a craft station where you could make a turkey pine cone, a gesture towards the actual upcoming holiday!
They also had a talking tree, which SC loved, and we kept going back to visit him.  She was a little afraid when we walked up close (hence why she is clutching onto me for dear life), but overall she was a fan and kept talking about him all evening after we left.  We're hoping to go back again this season, and I'm curious to see if she will be a bit less timid.
Afterwards, we stopped by a local hotel to check out the giant gingerbread house.  I can't believe this thing is real!
It was a fun little excursion downtown, and really put us in the holiday spirit!

Five for Friday!

Happy Friday!  Here are a few things that have been going on this week!

ONE
Lately, the house has felt a little bare, and I had a coupon for Pier 1, so I picked up a few artificial flowers.  For four dollars I finally have something in the entrance way that is toddler friendly!
TWO
I've been so impressed with one of the librarians that teaches SC's class.  She really caters the lessons around the letter of the day, and comes up with age appropriate activities for the tots to do.  How cute are these letters?
THREE
Last weekend, my husband and I agreed that it would be fun to get SC a little bunny ornament for this year.  I did a quick search and found this cute one from Kohl's and became obsessed with how adorable it is.  I actually ended up going back to buy another one for my MIL because she also loves bunnies, and I think this is the sweetest little stocking stuffer!
FOUR
 It's no secret that I'm super excited about Christmas, so I made up a little advent calendar of activities for SC and I to do together.  I'm not entirely convinced that we will actually do everything I dreamed up, but it's fun for me to add a little more structure now that she's getting older.
FIVE
And because I'm so overexcited about Christmas, we set up SC's pink tree.  It was something novel for her, and it just makes her room feel cozy in the evenings.  SC has gotten a huge kick out of learning about Santa and thinks its hilarious that he goes down a chimney and that his belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly.  We've been reading The Night Before Christmas, and after all the short board books we usually read, I'm pleasantly surprised that it holds her interest.  But, I'm guessing it's because it's all about her favorite new guy, Santa, who says "ho ho ho"!
Even though I'm obsessed with Christmas, we are looking forward to Thanksgiving.  SC can't wait to go to her cousin's house and play with all of the toys!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Yankee Candle's Santa Village

I know it's still entirely too early for Christmas, but yesterday SC and I met up with my mom and one of her friends, and we headed over to Yankee Candle's Santa Village.  We took SC last year, but she was still too young to really get excited by it.  This year was a completely different story!  She loved the train, the "snow" that came every four minutes, saying hi to Santa, and examining all of the toys. 
This stage is full of so much wonder and delight, and it was such a joy to be able to do this little outing with my mom.  I'm pretty sure SC thinks that she probably went to the North Pole (except we haven't taught her about it yet)!

Life Lately!

Hello friends!  I took a little blogging break last week, as I've just been feeling a bit uninspired lately, and I've also been devoting SC's nap time to working on our annual Shutterfly photo album.  We make one every year for ourselves and the grandparents, but it ends up being such a time intensive gift.  Anyways, life around here has been a nice little routine.  Our friends stopped by two weekends ago, and we celebrated their little baby girl to be and SC's birthday.
Last Tuesday was Election Day, and my husband and I also celebrated our dating anniversary.
We've been doing two story times a week, and so far I'm really enjoying how much more you can do with the "Terrific Twos"!
The weather has turned colder, but we've still been hitting up the park as often as we can.
And we even saw a freight train go by twice last week!  Ahh, the joys of toddler life!
In less happy news, it looks like we're going to have to replace our hvac upstairs.  We knew that expensive little project would come up relatively soon, but it's still stressful.  I'm just hoping that we can get it done correctly and then not have to worry about it.  But anyways, how have you been lately? 

Five for Friday!

Happy Friday!  Here are a few things that I've been up to lately!
ONE
I met up with my mom on Monday, and we did a little shopping for SC at the outlets.  At the end of our little excursion, she spotted this firetruck complete with Bert and Ernie.  Since it was a quiet morning, we let her enjoy a few minutes in all of her firetruck glory.  And yes, she's wearing firetruck pajamas (I had kept her in them for the car ride and then hadn't changed her).
TWO
SC has been loving to play tea party!  So far esteemed guests have included Dusty and Fluffy, two beloved bunnies.  My mom and dad gave her a set from the Dollar Store, and it has been a huge hit.  Even when we don't have the little plastic props, she still loves having her pretend tea! It's so interesting to me what ends up capturing her fancy.
THREE
Did you guys know that IKEA has free shipping today if you spend $250?  I'm super excited about this because we have had our eye on a dresser from there, but we just haven't been up for the drive.  I'm still crossing my fingers that nothing goes wrong, but I think we are finally getting a dresser for our master bedroom! 
Via
FOUR
We've started up with another rotation at the library, and SC is warming up to her "Terrific Twos" classes.  While we were there, we saw some of the pumpkins from the pumpkin decorating contest.  I think this one that won second place is just darling!
FIVE
And the most exciting news of all, one of my friends who is expecting found out this week that she's having a girl! It's her second child and she really had her heart set on a girl, so I'm especially happy for her.  My husband was super awesome and watched SC the evening we found out so that I could go pick up a little something for her baby to be.  They are stopping by on Saturday, so it will be really fun to celebrate their happy news in person!
 I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

SC's Birthday Recap!

I can't believe I'm just now getting around to this, but I wanted to do a recap of SC's actual second birthday! 

Now that she's getting a little older, it's really fun for us to try to do things to make holidays special, so I'm trying to step up my game a bit.  You know, since we are the parents who didn't actually buy her any gifts last year for birthday or Christmas. 

We started off the morning with her special plate for breakfast.

And then she opened up some stickers and sidewalk chalk as early gifts.  We spent the morning outside decorating the driveway and then taking a walk to the park.
I wanted to wait until my husband came home for us to do the real celebrations, so during nap time, I set up her new table and chairs.  Now she has her own little corner for art projects and Play Doh!
 Getting ready for the reveal...
 She is a huge fan of this new little space!
 I also wrapped up some clothes and two books for her to unwrap.
 To continue the festivities we headed to my parents' house to celebrate with my side of the family. SC was a huge fan of the bunny cupcakes.
 My dad and brother grilled chicken and "bunny" burgers.
And SC enjoyed opening up gifts. She wanted to stop and play with each new toy, so the process got cut a bit short. 
With all the birthday celebrations, I feel that she is definitely two! She is one blessed little girl, and we are two very blessed parents!

Halloween 2017!

I hope everyone had a nice halloween!  We were able to coax SC into her bunny coat, and she absolutely loved trick or treating!  So much so that we did a few houses, came back and then went back out two more times!
She also loved all the little kids who came by, especially the toddlers!  It was definitely a fun
night...now onto teaching her all about Santa!