Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Recap

How are we already done with 2014?! It has been a year that I'll never forget that gave us so many new memories and firsts for us as a little family.

Starting in the top left corner, follow along as I recap the highlights from each month. Warning: baby overload! (Sorry that I'm not sorry!)

January - On the 9th we welcomed our first baby into the world, Charlotte Noel. She was born at 11:52am via C-section and weighed a whopping 9lbs 12oz and 21.5 inches long. Best. Day. Ever!

February - While I was still on maternity leave, Charlotte took here first trip to Disney World at just 6 weeks old! Yes, I'm aware we are completely crazy.

March - Charlotte loved her first St. Patrick's Day with her mom and dad. We managed to still celebrate the holiday by having green beer and watching TV in the comfort of our own home.

April - Easter was spent with family in Richmond but not complete without a trip to visit the Easter Bunny!

May - Daycare was an easy and natural adjustment thanks to an awesome in-home provider. Charlotte enjoyed spending the warm days outside on the giant water slide at daycare and of course my heart melted when I got this little picture.

June - We have a local farm (Burnside Farms) that plants flowers to pick during the spring and summer months. It is such a cute place to stop and take pictures too. Charlotte of course picked her flowers in her Lilly!

July - We spent the 4th of July down at the river with my parents and my in-laws. It was such a fun weekend complete with boat rides, a cornhole tournament and of course fireworks.

August - The whole family showed their Notre Dame spirit during one of the big rivalry games.

September - We went back to Disney World where Charlotte was completely enamored by the characters (unfortunately that was short lived). It was also an exciting month where my husband got a callback to the American Idol Auditions. He didn't make it any further in the process, but it was such a cool experience that not everyone gets to say they did.

October - Charlotte's first Halloween was a success. At the last minute I decided to craft a DIY Olaf costume for her and then stumbled upon this perfect Ana costume for me.

November - We went back to Burnside Farms to take some pumpkin patch pictures. Charlotte was scared of the pumpkins at first but eventually warmed up to them.

December - Our 4th and final trip to Disney for the year (we had annual passes, don't judge) was so much fun! We got see the Christmas lights and watch the lights dance at Hollywood Studios.

In just a few days, we will be celebrating Charlotte's first birthday and I can't believe all the memories we've already made in just one year. I'm sure this next year will be even better!

We have no plans for New Years Eve, but I'm actually looking forward to a nice quiet evening in. Sometimes it's more fun to drink a bottle of champagne on the couch while watching the ball drop with the ones you love. Here's to 2015!!! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Charlotte's First Christmas

I know it's been a while since I last posted, but like everyone else, I've been busy with the season! Since this is Charlotte's first Christmas, I find myself experiencing a lot of firsts as well! Standing in the toy aisle agonizing over the perfect gift for Charlotte, making sure she has Christmas jammies, a Christmas outfit (a dressy church one AND something she can spend the rest of the day in), and of course hunting down the ever so popular (and sold out nearly everywhere) "Twas The Night Before Christmas" book to read tonight. Let's also not forget the cookies and milk for Santa!

I know I sound like a crazy person, but I don't get a do-over on Charlotte's first Christmas so I want to make sure we do it right. Sure, she won't remember this but I'm a believer in starting traditions day one. I want to be able to look back one day and show her pictures of all her Christmases and to see that even her first Christmas was magical.

So from my family to yours, we wish you a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mickey's Not So Merry Christmas Party

Yep, you read that right, Mickey's Not So Merry Christmas Party. A few years ago I posted about Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in Walt Disney World and how great it was. Unfortunately, just two years later, it seems as if everything has changed....for the worse. It pains me to have to write this about my beloved Disney, but I only hope to help those of you who are planning a trip and can't decide if this is worth the extra money or not.

As I've written before, this is a special hard ticket event that requires extra theme park admission. Over the years I've gone to so many of these parties and I love them so much that I welcome the extra cost. One of the biggest advantages of these events like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the fall and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the winter is that they advertise the crowds to be much lighter. This could not have been more wrong in our instance last week. I had never seen the parks so crowded which made for a not so magical experience.

Normally when the party starts at 7pm, it is more crowded than usual because they are trying to get the day guests out of the parks while the party goers are all arriving. Normally this influx of crowd lasts about an hour and then things start to calm down. This year, that never happened. Unfortunately, when it is that crowded it makes all the other special activities incredibly hard to experience. For instance, they serve cookies and hot chocolate at various places throughout the park for free. But because of the crowds, we found ourselves waiting in line for 20 minutes just to get these treats.

When it came time for the castle lighting, parade and fireworks it was hard to find a spot, but if you did, those three events were well worth the wait. After all, Disney certainly knows how to set off some fireworks and put together an unforgettable parade.

We spent the rest of the night fighting crowds (and the cold) until we couldn't deal with it anymore. The wait times for rides never seemed to go down which made us just want to come back another day when it would be less crowded to ride those rides.

The only picture I got of the parade. Look at all those people! 

Does this party offer unique experiences you can't get on any other night in the parks? Sure, but it comes at much too high of a price. Go to Magic Kingdom any other night and you will see the holiday decorations and be able to ride rides without too long of a wait. Things you get at the party you can't get any other time: Snow on Main Street, unlimited hot chocolate and cookies and a special fireworks display and parade. My recommendation is this, save your money and hop on over to Hollywood Studios to enjoy the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. At least there you get a light show of choreographed Christmas lights without having to buy a special ticket. Not to mention it snows there too! And unless you plan on eating $70 worth of cookies, stay back and enjoy the lighter crowds while everyone is at Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very (Not So) Merry Christmas Party.

Pure joy as we strolled down the streets of the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Charlotte's 11 Month Update

I know I'm almost a week late on this update but since we were in Disney World during her actual eleven month milestone, I decided to wait until we got back so as to keep all the updates uniform (ridiculous, I know).

Eating: Over the last few weeks, we've been giving Charlotte less formula. We didn't purposefully cut her back, it just sorta happened due to her eating at least three meals of solid food a day. We give her water all day so I think that keeps her from wanting the formula. I can't believe next month we will be able to ditch the formula all together!

We also started giving her a tiny bit of juice now and again. We love how much she loves water, so We've been hesitant on giving her juice, but after she stole her cousins sippy cup a few times, we decided the deed was done and it wouldn't kill her to have juice every now and again. So far she hasn't shown preference over one or the other, so that's good!

Sleeping: Absolutely nothing has changed on this home front (thank goodness). She is such a great sleeper at night, going to bed at 7pm and waking up between 6-7:30am. We still struggle with getting her down on the weekends for a nap, but that doesn't bother me since she sleeps so well at night.

This month her little personality has really begun to show. She is still such a good baby but lately a little temper has emerged. She finally learned the tone in my voice when I scold her as well as the word "no" and absolutely hates it! I told her "no" when she tried to grab my sunglasses and she screamed as if I had just snatched a bottle from her mouth. Then she starts to flail her arms and repeatedly screams "ne ne ne ne". I have no idea where she could have got this little temper from! ;) Again, if that's the worst of our problems right now, then we can't complain.

She did so good while we were in Disney last week. She loves being in her stroller and will even take naps in it. She handled the car trip to and from Florida like a champ and we are so grateful for such a fun and easy going baby.

Even if she doesn't always cooperate for my photos, she still manages to crack me up Like this most perfect diva photo! It's as if she's saying, "No more pictures please, Mommy!"

I can't believe that in less than a month Charlotte will be turning one! I seriously wish I knew where the time went. I'm so happy I did these monthly updates even if they were a pain in the butt to get her to sit still and keep her bow on. Being able to look back and see how much she's changed month after month is pretty awesome.

Check out her other month updates here:

Friday, December 5, 2014


I'm not going to lie, my posts are going to continue to be sparse until after the New Year. We have soooo much going on right now that certain things have had to take a back seat, this little blog being one of them. I promise I'm not going completely rogue, just only posting when I have time or something blog worthy to write about. 

In other news, WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD TONIGHT! I'm so excited for a full week away from the real world to visit my happy place! Not to mention, there will be Christmas decorations and lights everywhere! It seems like it's been forever (Ok, forever to me is three years) since we've been able to visit during the season!

Enough of that....let's get to the best part of my Friday! High five time!

  1. Charlotte went to visit Santa for the first time with her cousin and I think it's safe to say neither of them cared for the jolly old man in the red suit. This picture needs no words....
  2. Just in time for our trip to Disney, these little magnets came in the mail. I love that they even sent two so we don't have to fight over who's car it goes on. Yes, I'm going to be that girl with a DVC magnet on my care...feel free to judge.
  3. Charlotte's favorite thing is the phone. Not the phone locked, it has to have pictures on it. She likes to swipe and scroll through pictures of herself and on occasion she takes a selfie. I have a feeling we are going to be in big trouble in 15 years or so.
  4. This week has been crazy for a number of reasons so when my friends surprise me with gifts that I haven't had time to make for myself, I get so touched. This picture is an iPad case that attaches to the headrest for Charlotte. Since we are driving, I had mentioned needing a way to attach the iPad to the backseat so we can keep Charlotte entertained. Then my brilliant friend came up with this design and surprised me with it one day at work. It's absolutely perfect and I can't wait to use it!
  5. As I was packing a few nights ago, I told my husband that I was so mad at myself for not having the time to make cute family shirts for our trip. He of course told me it wasn't a big deal, but to me it really was. So you can only imagine when another great friend of mine took it upon herself to make shirts for our family for our trip! The crazy thing about this is she doesn't even have an embroidery machine. She did all this by hand! 
I think it's safe to say that I have some of the best friends and family a girl could ask for. When life gets crazy, it's so good to know that there are people who want to help (without even being asked!). I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I'll be thinking of you in sunny, warm Florida!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!