a look back: 2016

Dec 30, 2016

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I don't really know if I would say that this year just flew by....I kind of feel like we packed a lot in. But also I think in our stage of life I am always looking forward to one thing ending, and another one beginning. Like, we just have to make it through this next school, or move, or separation, and then things will calm down. But that is never really the case as long as we still call ourselves a military family. 2016 started in Alaska and ended in Georgia and I don't think I would have asked for a better outcome. 
We miss Alaska so much! Particularly all the things we were able to do and see in just a weekend. I feel like we have become a little less active since moving. But maybe we needed a slower pace, who knows. 
By far my favorite part of the year was our road trip! It was crazy with six people and a dog in a minivan, but we still laugh about all the crazy situations we ended up in, the places we saw, the brink of insanity we came dangerously close to.
My favorite destination was Lake Louise in Banff, BC. I could have spent weeks there exploring the national parks, hiking, and taking pictures. Definitely a place we want to go back too. 
I learned some new things about Chris on our road trip. His obsession with trees. Touching trees, hugging trees, just the need to stand near trees. He also has a deep knowledge of animal migration patterns that I never knew about!? 
Looking back on the year through pictures on this blog makes me forever grateful that I have this little space. Watching the kids grow and change. A digital catalog of personal style, and growth. And MOTHERHOOD! 
Goodbye 2016...Hello bright and shiny 2017!

Most read posts from this year:

Kids Shoes: A topic all moms could talk about + a giveaway!

Dec 29, 2016

I know I am not alone when I say that I could talk about kids shoes in a very boring, lengthy conversation with other moms. I just have so many opinions on the subject. Also I feel like maybe my children are related to the Flinstones because their feet are so wide! If I had a dollar for every shoe that was flung across the house following the phrase "noooo, it's too tight" I could probably have the shoes closet of my dreams. So it should come as no surprise that I love when other moms tell me their favorite brands, and shoes that their kids will actually wear. 
Kids Shoes
My big criteria when it comes to shoes is, can my kids put them on themselves? (Obviously I help Odette, but she can get boots on, not always on the right feet but who cares). Everything just runs a little smoother if the boys can get their own shoes on, not to mention they feel a sense of accomplishment. And now that Ace can tie his own shoes (thank the parenting gods and this video). It didn't matter how many times I tried to teach him how to tie his shoes, he always got frustrated with me. He watched that video once last year and it clicked. Now he does the two bunny ear wrap around thing, but it gets the job done. BONUS he can tie Pierce's shoes if need be. 

Pierce on the other hand likes any shoes that he can get on as fast as possible. And he has the widest foot. Puma's and Native shoes are his current favs. They are wide as is, so no need to search for a different size. 

Avalon is a boot girl. Fall, winter, spring, summer....she is in boots. Any and all boots! But like the running theme of this post, the wider the better. Uggs, Hunters, and See Kai Run, are a few of our favorites. 

Odette really could careless what I put on her foot since she is more than likely going to take it off in the car. And then again once I put them back on and we get out of the car. But my favorites for her are the See Kai Run cruz shoes. 

I feel like I am constantly buying new shoes, and passing the old ones on down the line. So I would love to know some of your favorite brands, or even places that you find great deals. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a $50 gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal

out from behind the camera

Dec 28, 2016

Couples Outfits
Look what we have here today! Christopher has come out from behind the camera. Christmas miracles are continuing to happen. Actually I just caught him off guard and said "why don't you jump in a couple?" I don't think he even thought it all through before he replied, "Uhh, you're serious?"
His and Hers fall outfits
His and Hers outfits
my outfit: shirt // pants // bag
chris's outfit: sweater // jeans // shoes

Dead serious. But I have to jump at opportunities like this where three out of four kids are sleeping, and getting us both in a picture together is oh so very rare. Date nights are even more rare, so lets pretend that is where we were off to, instead of the truth. Which was....we were headed home from a holiday shindig, where we lasted an hour and then our kiddos pulled the plug due to sleep that was needed. A precursor to the nasty cold that was brewing. 
Fall Outfits- J Crew Sweater- Cult Gaia Bag
Favorite Bags- Cult Gaia
It seems like that has been a theme for many people on this winter break, sickness. Somehow Chris and I haven't been taken out by it yet, but I am sure it is just wait for next Tuesday when the kids go back to school and Chris goes back to work and we need to be running on all cylinders. 
Couples Photography- Fall
Cute Outfits for Couples
But until that strikes us down I am just going to keep enjoying these lazy days. I am not wishing away 2016, but I think I am ready for the new year. I am ready for all the new things coming up, a move that has been changed three times in the last month, turning 30 (which I am oddly excited about), and just a fresh start all together. 

What are you looking forward to in the new year? Do you make resolutions? 

Shop the post:

Christmas Rewind

Dec 26, 2016

Christmas 2016 you came in like a wrecking ball....and then you were gone. I will tell you, this year I really learned my lesson on procrastinating. Even when I thought I was on top of things, some things are out of my control. Like a very large toy order that I placed that was scheduled to be delivered on the 23rd, I paid two day shipping with the guarantee of it being delivered on that date. But that date came and went, and then I spent many hours on the phone telling people that they are not helping me play Santa very well (then add in a bunch of bad words). I went through a hell of a lot of customer service reps, managers, and minutes on hold with no guarantee that my order would be delivered, but I did get a full refund and got to keep the toys when they were delivered. BOOM. So I panicked and ran out to buy more toys!!! God forbid there aren't more toys in this house. 
But then, by a late night Christmas miracle there was a knock on the door and boxes magically appeared. And then I cursed the fact that I spent more money on toys. I decided to save a most of those for random occasions, and Ace's birthday in a couple weeks. 

Then Chris and I got down to business putting together some large items. I will say that the building of the basketball hoop inside the house was my idea. Chris thought I was crazy/amazing/insane and he went along with it. 
The kids actually slept in till almost eight which was such a blessing! And they were immediately beside themselves when they saw the basketball hoop. I think it might have been an overkill for Ace, he was trying to go through the logistics of it all and it wasn't adding up for him. "So Santa had this in his sleigh?" "But wait, he went into our garage and got those blocks to hold it down?" (oops). 
After the kids ripped through all my hours of wrapping in record timing, we moved on to our favorite Christmas tradition, vanilla french toast! Oh my very favorite!! 
The dogs might have indulged a little too....
Then of course after some playtime, showers, and finally getting our of our pajamas, it was back to the kitchen for some more food. Then we facedtimed with family, and took a few photos before the kids begged to get back into their Christmas pajamas. 
It all happened so quickly! It's amazing how as a kid you just don't see all the behind the scenes, even though it is going on right in front of you. And I only have my little family to plan for. Growing up we had so many different Christmas' all perfectly timed throughout two days, choreographed to perfection. Huge family gatherings, and a stocking for each person, a secret Santa round or two, and then the food! It was always a little crazy since we split the holidays between my moms house and my dads, my parents shuffling kids and presents every which way. It just makes me ever so grateful, and I hope I can always make it magical (even with my semi-domestic and non-pinteresty nature) for my kids too. 

So long Christmas 2016....your decor days are numbered. 

After Christmas Sales!!

I know I know....the last thing you even want to see is another online confirmation order in your inbox. Or even one more box delivered to your front door. I feel the same way! Or I did until about 2:30 in the morning when I was up with my littlest babe who just cannot seem to kick this cold. So I began to click on all those sale emails, and man (!!!!) there is some good stuff on sale right now. I am blaming the Zara, Nordstrom, and H&M orders on the sleep deprivation.....and Santa. 

More Sales:
Asos up to 50% off sale
Banana Republic up to 60% off sale 
Forever 21 30% off sale
Gap up to 60% off
Old Navy 60% off site wide 

I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday, I am sure I will be back sooner rather than later to bombard you a photo reenactment of our Christmas! Get excited. 

5 thoughts on a friday

Dec 23, 2016

Fall/Winter Outfits
Well happy Friday! Where oh where did this week go? I'll tell you where it went, to Target about three times. I feel nowhere near ready for the actual Christmas extravaganza, but that is what Christmas Eve is for right? Chris and I will for sure be pulling an all nighter, simply because there is just nowhere to hide the big things that we have to put together, had we put them together this week. Ya feel me? I am sure I will snapchat it all...how could I not?
Casual chic ways to layer a leather jacket
Cute and simple fall outfits
I am loving simple layers lately, and this leather jacket that I got last year is so soft! It is available again here, and here

I have kind of gifted myself a few things this week...I know...I know...so bad. But sometimes you just have to treat yourself as well. This bag showed up yesterday and I am so obsessed, I got the bigger version but it is now sold out. There isn't too much of a size difference though. I also got this cream, and the smell is amazing! I am such a freak about moisture and soft skin, so the reviews on this one sound pretty good. And I wanted a new winter scent, and after using up a sample I had from this perfume, I had to pull the plug and get the full size. It's fresh and light and Ace told me I "smell so good". 
Leather jacket and plaid shirts
Leather jackets and denim outfits
All of my children woke up yesterday with some gnarly coughing/hacking, stuffy nose, fevering thing. It was very sad. It didn't slow any of them down, but I am hoping it goes by fast. Caspian was rushed to the vet yesterday as well, which is always a not so fun experience with him because he is very big and very protective which people do not expect from a lab so they get startled and confused. For me I just feel very reassured that he is a great guard dog, and also a big teddy bear at home. 

I have been really taking advantage of Chris being home, as in, pretending to sleep in just so I can read a few chapters in a book. Or laying on the couch in the middle of the day while he takes on all the children in a light saber battle in the backyard. Or waiting until about four thirty to say "so what do we feel like for dinner?" knowing he will probably say "I'll run out and pick up steaks to grill". Next week he is off as well, so I am thinking I may step up my parenting game a notch or two. But don't hold me to that ;)

And now I must go sit on the couch.... winter break 4 life! 

8 million Christmas lights

Dec 22, 2016

The Christmas spirit was strong in this house on Monday night! Actually this was something I had been waiting for since we moved back to Georgia, the Fantasy in Lights! We came here four years ago with an almost two year old Ace, and a little three month old Pierce. It was the first time Ace had gone to see Santa, and it was truly magical. So I couldn't wait to be back and have the opportunity to bring all four kids! 
The thought of meeting Santa had us all pretty excited! On the drive up, the kids rehearsed what they were going to ask Santa for, and Chris and I made weird faces at each other as we took mental notes on all the things we didn't buy that they were rambling off. Hopefully the sight of wrapped boxes will give them amnesia. 
We started at Santa's workshop for a little shopping, and to get tickets for the lights, and to see Santa. There were tons of toys and cute Christmas decor. To my surprise the kids were actually not phased by all the toys being dangled in their faces. Chris and I were fully prepared to pay for some over the priced trinkets just to make the night run smoothly, but our kids like to keep us on our toes. 
Well, I take that back.....Odette walked away with this stuffed animal. But I mean, it could have been worse. 
We jumped in line for the big guy as soon as we saw it die down a bit, and it was a get in and get out kind of thing. Pierce told Santa that "he was good and bad this year, but that's okay for toys still right?" Santa said yes. Thanks a lot Santa. Kidding, Pierce for sure made it on the crazy nice list. Ace very much questioned who this Santa was and had his doubts about his legitimacy. 
Truly it was hard to concentrate in the workshop because we had to walk past all the food trucks to get there! The kids kept asking for "one of those huge donuts", and I mean who wouldn't? So we made our way to the food and loaded up on donuts, kettle corn, funnel cake, and hot chocolate. After we all felt like we were going to throw up we headed to the car to get in line for the light show. 
If you live in the Columbus area, or even in Atlanta, this is worth the drive! You can jump on the trolley, or drive your own car through the miles and miles of Christmas lights. We choose to drive again this year, which was a great thing because Odette fell asleep. But it is really spectacular!
I think there were twelve different themes, all set to music. The kids had so much fun!! And it was so amazing to look back and see their little heads hanging out the windows with the biggest smiles on their faces. 

We didn't anticipate being there so long, but you can't put a time limit on these kinds of things can you? Well maybe smart parents would. We got home around 10:30 and tried to make four successful car to bed transfers. Two out of two isn't bad I guess. 
But we did score that pic with Santa!! 

And Chris and I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that this year with four kids was a thousand times easier than four years ago with a toddler Ace and a baby Pierce who slept the whole time! 

Or maybe we are numb to the crazy. That's probably it. 


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