Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Recap 2014

It's New Year's Eve, all of the holiday decorations are packed away, and I haven't even written a little snippet about our Christmas this year! The days are streaking by faster than I can even blink, which means in a minute, this gestating baby will be a month old already. Yikes!

We had a wonderfully quiet Christmas at home again this year. I think I've mentioned in past Christmas posts about my commitment to spend Christmas at my own home with my little family, which isn't always an easy (or popular) feat when you live separated from extended family. I'm not ashamed to admit it IS a little selfish of me to want to create our own traditions and memories in our own house. This year was no exception... plus, I'm a little too pregnant to travel very far!

We got up at a normal time on Christmas morning. Even though we had told Isaac in the days leading up to Christmas that he would get to open presents on Christmas morning, he still didn't really understand the whole concept. Therefore, he was not awake at 4am to open gifts. One of these days, that will be our reality, and it will be both heartwarming and exhausting! Ha! Isaac definitely showed more Christmas spirit this year than in years past (when he was 2 months and 14 months....). More than anything, he liked looking at the "Chris-sas wights." We were out nearly every night walking the neighborhood looking at the lights on the houses. He loved looking at the Christmas tree and would ask every morning to turn the lights on. Isaac could tell that this time of year had some significance and so we attempted to capitalize on that wonder by reading through some advent studies (Note to self: John Piper advent materials aren't exactly written for 2 year olds.), reading through the Christmas story several times, and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning. Jordan and I both agreed that Isaac would probably understand the whole Santa thing by next Christmas, so maybe we'd add that into the mix.
Isaac's Loot. Jordan and I kept to the "Want - Need - Wear - Read" mentality, so really only 3 of the presents above are from us (his "need" gift wasn't wrapped). The remaining gifts were from Grammy, Big Daddy, and Uncle Tim/Aunt Jennifer. We're not at all spoiled around here! Hahaha!

 My special boy's special moments checking out his presents. He especially loved his "bike."
He was pretty thrilled with everything and in true Isaac-whirling-dervish self, ran in excited circles, resulting in many blurry pictures. He loved tearing into his gifts. It made my momma heart smile to see my sweet baby so happy.
After eating our "traditional" Christmas morning breakfast of French Toast Casserole (Find the recipe on my Pinterest!) and sausage, we spent some time enjoying all of our new things. (Jordan got me a new vacuum cleaner and a purse!) We also watched Frozen. Strangely enough, I woke up Christmas morning with a hankering for Frozen, which in our boy-heavy house, gets very little play in comparison to Cars, Monsters Inc/University, Nemo, and Toy Story. It makes me wonder if my subconscious is trying to tell me I'm having a girl and need to know about this Frozen stuff. Haha!

Although I'd planned on cooking a large Christmas dinner for the three of us, we were invited to join another family for lunch. So after we had our own family time, we packed up some games and donned our stretchy pants and had a yummy steak lunch with some sweet friends. Isaac and I left after lunch to both get in some nap time, but when we were up and moving again, we joined back up with Jordan, who was still playing games with our friends. They fed us dinner as well and we watched a movie together while Isaac destroyed their house. It was relaxing and fun and full of laughter.

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my friends out in blogland a very very Merry Christmas! May your holidays be filled with the peace and joy of Christ.

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." -John 1:14

Sunday, December 21, 2014


The day has arrived folks. I am a mere 35 days away from my January 25 due date. That's 28 days from my 39th week (which was when I had Isaac). The days are few.

And somehow, the details/to-dos are few as well.

I think it's just the second child nonchalance.

Just as my entire 2nd pregnancy has been less anxiety-filled than my first, I'm just not that worked up over getting a ton of things done in the next 4-5 weeks. I looked back over my 35/35 list from September 2012 which reminded me of some important things I haven't even thought of yet (oh yeah, what am I going to do with the dog? Ive thought about Isaac, but maybe not Mauve.). And then there were many things that I just don't have to repeat (Like I'm using the same pediatrician. Don't need to interview her! Ha!). But the furniture is put together, washing bottles can wait, I'm already registered at the hospital, and we're re-using 98% of Isaac's old gear, which since I've put it together/taken it apart 1,000 times since his arrival, I'm not sweating the fact that the carseat is still in it's box and the pack-n-play is tucked in the corner.

So, in no particular order, here's a list of things I'd like to have accomplished prior to baby #2's arrival:

  1. Get the carpets cleaned.
  2. Pack a minimal hospital bag.
  3. Have the house sprayed for bugs.
  4. Deep clean the house. #nestingprobs
  5. Buy some goodies for my doctor, CRNA, and delivery nurse.
  6. Pre-Baby Mani/Pedi.
  7. Fresh hair color & cut. 
  8. Prenatal Massage and bikini wax.
  9. Wash baby's newborn clothes and linens.
  10. Check on the status of my breast pump (thank you insurance company!)
  11. Arrange care for Isaac and Mauve if I go into labor early.
  12. Buy a "brother gift" for Isaac.
  13. GBS swab... fingers crossed I'll be negative again.
Compared to last time, this list is pretty do-able. And lets face it, even though having a fresh mani/pedi seems to be really important, lots of these things are frivolous and completely unnecessary. All in all, I'm pretty ready to have a baby. 

In 5 more weeks.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Family Christmas/Maternity/2 year old Pictures 2014!

Now that our Christmas cards have arrived to most of their respective locations, I thought I'd share a few great pics from the mini session we did about a month ago. It turned into a combination of Christmas card pics, Maternity pics, and Isaac's 2 year pics, but at the same time, it was just a quick, mini session with a friend. Since our family will be growing by one next month, my hope is to get another picture session in then also!

Until then, Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

34 Week Update (a few days late)

I celebrated making it to 34 weeks a few days ago, which means this Sunday, I'll be 35 weeks pregnant (yay math.).  The scarier alternative to saying that I'm 35 weeks along is that I have 35 days left until my due date. Yikes! I posted a 35/35 blog when I was pregnant with Isaac and I'd like to sit down and make another similar list of things to accomplish. I've been nesting like crazy over the last week, so now's a great time to get a to-do list together.

Here's the real bummer: I don't have a current pic of the bump. Boo.

I DO however have a pic from our family picture session. It's a couple of weeks old by now, but who cares? I can't wait to share the rest... once our Christmas cards get to wherever they're going!

Total Weight Gain: 27lbs or so? My weight has really fluctuated up and down over the last month... one appointment I've gained, then the next I've lost. Then I'm up a little and then I'm down a bit. It's been harder to keep up with.

Fetal Size: Some places say a pineapple, although that seems really REALLY uncomfortable to imagine being inside my tummy. Realistically, this baby is probably in the 5 pound range and somewhere between 18-20 inches long.

Movements: Still plenty of movements, but baby is slowing down a little bit. Even though this kiddo isn't quite as active, some of these pokes and jabs are getting pretty strong! I can tell already that this baby has very long legs! Haha!

Symptoms: Contractions. Heartburn. Contractions. Round ligament stretching. Contractions. Multiple trips to the bathroom each night. Don't get me wrong... I feel pretty great! All in all, it's exactly what I would expect to feel like at 34+ weeks. The contractions are there but easily manageable and nothing too exciting. The heartburn is manageable as long as I remember to take my prilosec at the same time every day.

Gender: Surprise!!!! What do YOU think Baby #2 is?

Cravings: I wouldnt turn down chips & queso, but that's no different from my non-pregnant self.

Aversions: Nothing much.

Next Up: Weekly appointments start up, GBS swab, and maybe one last ultrasound for size and position? I may pass on that ultrasound however; we all know I have a proven pelvis and I'm certain this baby is head down.

Mostly, I'm just SO excited to meet this baby. I can't wait to see what kind of a personality he or she has. I want some sweet newborn snuggles. I look forward to watching Isaac become a big brother. Despite the impending chaos of having 2 babies instead of 1, life just feels rosy right now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Small business shopping

The blog has been quiet here for a few weeks. Between traveling again over Thanksgiving weekend and working a good bit more than I'm used to, my free time has been spent loving on my Isaac and unsuccessfully attempting to keep up with the housework. This is the first morning that I'm both at home AND Isaac is at Mother's Day Out, so once this blog is up and going, it's time to attack this filthy house. Call it nesting, but I plan on washing down the cabinet doors, cleaning the baseboards, dusting, vacuuming, and mopping.

Basically I'll be sore, contracting, and even snottier than I already am by the end of the day.

Is it too late to add a maid service to my baby registry?

To keep this post from being a total bore, I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite small businesses that I've either bought from or plan to buy from for Christmas gifts. I'm all about Amazon and their free-shipping, Prime membership, but there's also something really nice about giving a stay-at-home-mom the ability to stay home and make ends meet.

Check out these small business options, which can compliment or complete your Christmas list this year:

1. Christmas Cards via Etsy. There are hundreds of designers on Etsy that provide both printed holiday cards and digital cards that you can print yourself. For the last 3 years, I've ordered personalized, digital files that I print using Mpix. The result is generally cheaper than TinyPrints or Minted, is more unique than the options they offer, and supports these small businesses.

2. Father of Joy! Designs. I know I've mentioned Abby and her designs previously. This sweet gal is a fellow pastor's wife here in Texas and her store is full of great prints. This year, we ordered Isaac the set of 52 Verses Every Family Should Know as his "Read" option ("Want, Need, Wear, Read" is the concept I've adopted for all of his gift-able holidays) since he has a TON of books already... and only ever wants to read Curious George.

3. ICraveJewels. I ordered a set of her super cute, super sparkly earrings for my soon-to-be-12 year old niece. I think she will LOVE the bling... do people even say the word bling anymore? Either way, I kind of want a set for myself as well, as long as everything else in this great shop. Even better, she frequently posts specials and discount codes for her Facebook fans!

4. Food gifts. Personally, I think food gifts are perfect for that person on your Christmas list who already has everything. This year, I ordered several delicious things from Zingerman's to send friends and family. Chances are good you can find something delicious that will fulfill any vice your family members might have.

5. Direct Sales. I have dozens of friends who sell various products from different direct sales companies. Jamberry, Thirty-one Gifts, Stella & Dot, Pampered Chef, doTerra, Pink Papaya, Rodan & Fields, and so on. Maybe this one is a little more of a stretch, but these lovely ladies do earn a commission from their product sales, which is often either an income supplement or the means by which they stay home full time. Either way, these products make fantastic gifts!

I could go on and on, but that blasted housework is calling my name! What are some of your favorite small businesses?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl

While there are thousands of other blogs with thanksgiving recipes, I thought I'd throw one out there that is great for any day of the week. It's also great for any meal of the week.

In the last 6 months, I've made a lot of banana bread. I typically buy a small bunch of bananas every week at the grocery store, but they don't always get eaten. I like my bananas nearly green and Isaac seems to be as picky about bananas as his mama. So we end up with lots of brown bananas, which means lots of banana bread. I've had some successes and some total failures... and then I happened upon the Holy Grail of banana bread recipes: Banana bread with nutella swirl.

Be still my jiggly thighs.

I couldn't help but share the recipe here. Even Jordan was pretty impressed with this deliciousness. Even better, it was a super easy recipe that included ingredients that I generally always have in my pantry. Drop what you're doing and make this. You won't regret it.

Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl
(original recipe @ Chef in Training)
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 & 1/4 cups mashed banana (I used 3 large ripe bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup nutella

Preheat oven to 350º (side note: I used a dark, nonstick pan to cook my bread, so I lowered the temperature to 330º and baked it for an additional 10 minutes) Spray 9x5 pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add mashed banana, vanilla, and milk. Mix until well incorporated. Add in dry ingredients slowly, but don't over mix. In a microwave safe bowl, heat nutella for 15-20 seconds, or until slightly warmed. Stir in 1 cup of bread batter to warmed nutella until well mixed. Alternate banana batter and nutella batter in loaf pan and swirl once with a knife to combine. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean (side note: I covered my pan with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes of baking time to prevent the excessive browning that I frequently notice with banana breads.) Cool pan for 15 minutes before turning bread out onto wire rack to cool completely.... or cut into it while still slightly warm and enjoy!!!

I hope you enjoy this as much as we have!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Road Trip 2014

So a little over 2 weeks ago, we took a road trip to visit our family in Augusta. For all inquiring parties, 1,150 miles separate Rockport from Columbia County, Georgia (which is really moreso home to family) and all three of us survived the trip. If you're scratching your head, here's the rationale: Mr. Isaac had a birthday recently, which now means he's old enough to need his own airline seat (not only that, he's also much too big to carry in my shrinking lap for a few hours at a time.). We aren't made of money and flying with a 2 year old is kind of a nightmare. There's an inflexibility that comes with air travel and despite spending about 18 hours in a car, I LOVED the ability to stop and go as we pleased as we crossed 5 states.

My biggest tip for road tripping with a 2 year old: a million distractions. We had snacks, toys, movies, and coloring pages. We sang songs, counted cows, checked out all the other cars and trucks on the road, and made plenty of stops, even just to get the wiggles out.

Enough about the travel, the trip itself was wonderful! It might have been one of the most fun trips we've taken back to Augusta. We had lots of time to spend with our family and friends. I felt the least rushed and the least spread-thin (therefore, less frazzled and exhausted). That being said, we still missed seeing some important people, my ankles looked like sausages each night, and I needed a few days to recover when we finally got home.

It was so much fun to see Isaac really bonding with our family members and dearest friends there in Georgia. They are all people that we unfortunately don't get to see very often and I think this was the first time he was old enough to really appreciate his Grammy, Big Daddy, Aunt Jenn, Mary, Christopher, Papa Ed, Grandmama, and all the other people we were blessed to visit. Not only was that a really sweet thing to witness, but I got lots of sweet friend time in... and a baby sprinkle too!

And now, the obligatory photo dump! (don't worry, 88% of the pictures are of Isaac.)

We went to the park several times
Cheeks for days.

The infamous Cheese("KEEEEEES"!!!!) Face
Boll Weevil Carnage. 

Isaac had a BLAST on all of Big Daddy's "toys." Here, he's driving a dump truck!
And now he's on one of my dad's two tractors. Little boy heaven.
We had a ton of fun during our trip to Augusta. The travel went smoothly and I can easily see us making the drive again in the future... the post baby #2 future!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Baby Sprinkle

Here's a quick little recap post of the sweet little sprinkle that my sisters and best friend threw for baby Mims #2. Almost immediately after announcing our impending bundle of joy, Casey insisted on throwing us a shower to celebrate. I was both flattered and a little concerned... I don't really know how I feel about big showers for second+ babies. Also, we have so few needs, that I didn't really see the necessity in having another shower for this baby. I made all these feelings known to my sister, who quickly brushed them away and insisted on having some sort of celebration for the newest member of our family (isn't she great?). I agreed on the condition that the shower would be more of a sprinkle and easy for her to organize.... basically small, simple, and sweet.
Cutest little invite ever.
My Aunt Dottie (L) and my mom (R)
My dad's wife, Diane
The two Holly(ie)s
My sister Jennifer (L) and niece Mary Elizabeth (R)
Mom and Nana
In all the pictures my sister took, we got zero bump shots and zero shots of me with Casey! I'm so bummed about this (lack of sister shots, not lack of bump shots). She even looked particularly cute that day! Despite my unfortunate lack of picture, the sprinkle was absolutely perfect! We all dined on awesome Boll Weevil desserts and had some quality time to catch up with each other. Much to my surprise, baby M got a ton of great stuff as well!!! We left with a car full of baby goodies and hearts full of love.

Many many many thank yous to the three lovely ladies who made this sprinkle happen.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Isaac's Big Boy Room

As promised, here are all the details for Isaac's new toddler room!  Here is his nursery post for comparison.

It was a HUGE goal for me to have Isaac moved over and transitioned to his new room before baby #2 arrived. Jordan and I decided months ago that Isaac would move out of the nursery and occupy our then-guest room. We already had furniture in there, so not only would we save by using our existing full size bed and dresser, but then we didn't need to purchase a new crib. Luckily, we didn't even need to change the paint color!

As a side note, I had to search high & low for the paint color names for this room, because apparently, when we painted it 5.5 years ago, I was a terrible blogger and didnt include that in ANY of my home reno blogs. Shame on me. 

So my entire inspiration for Isaac's big boy room was to re-use as much of his nursery gear as possible. His crib sheets weren't particularly babyish and I adore all the little bits and pieces that decorated his nursery. I wasn't ready to turn all of those things over to the attic, so I worked with as much as I could. Not only was there the convenience factor, but Isaac has really grown to identify with the things in his room as being "his." If I could ease his transition from baby to boy by using familiar items in his new room, why in the world wouldn't I try to incorporate it??

My favorite item of his room BY FAR is his quilt. Rewind about 2 months and I'm holding 2 crib sheets, the crib skirt, and bumper wondering how I could recycle these items. (Unfortunately, I still haven't figured out what to do with that bumper.) I mentioned this to a sweet woman at my church, who scooped up the crib sheets and skirt and completely took on the task of transforming them into a quilt for my baby's bed. She oversaw every stitch, helped me pick out every coordinating fabric, and blessed my pants off by paying for every inch. Then (as if that weren't enough), she surprised me with coordinating pillow cases and a monogrammed throw pillow! I just can't even describe how much this all meant to me.
There is no significance to the numbers 5, 6, and 7 on the wall there. I liked the colors and I only had 3 frames. I have prints for the remaining numbers 1-10, so maybe I can find a way to incorporate the rest without breaking the bank buying 7 more frames. I'd also like to change the drawer pulls on the dresser... hello 1991.

All in all, I feel like Isaac's new room is a perfect little sanctuary for my growing boy. He LOVES it, and I couldn't be happier with the way things have come together. I love the colors, and I think it's still a sweet-yet-boyish room. Excluding the few new accent items I purchased, his entire room was done for pennies. It has been a major success and I hope he loves it for years to come!
Details:  Furniture: Old hodgepodge of mismatched hand-me-downs. Wall Color: Bungalow Beige and Plantation Brown by Sherwin Williams. Bed Rails: Amazon. Quilt, pillows: Handmade (find the crib bedding and blanket/pillow pictured in the chair at Pottery Barn Kids). Crib Skirt: Pottery Barn Factory Outlet. Wall Art: Handmade by Laura. Curtains: Land of nod. Wall Frames: HomeGoods, At Home (aka: Garden Ridge), Hobby Lobby. Metal Wall Accents: Kirklands from about 8 years ago. Prints: Zulily, Etsy. Book holder: Gift from a friend (modeled after this). Basket: World Market. Blankets: Homemade gifts. Dresser frame: Mud-pie. Side table Lamp: Marshall's. "I": At Home. Round Mirrors: Hobby Lobby

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hollie Mims: Wedding Photographer?

If you're scratching your head at the title, don't worry, I'm still scratching my head a little also. It was truly an adventure worth documenting! Haha!

Rewind a few months with me to when dear friend of mine asked me to do makeup for her upcoming wedding. I was totally flattered at the request and of course said yes. A chance to play with makeup on someone other than myself = the most fun ever. We met up several times to shop for and apply her bridal makeup. I loved every second of it! 

A short while later, she asked me if I'd be willing to take pictures of the girls getting ready since I'd already be there. I warned her of my sub-par photography skills, but she assured me that was ok and so I agreed to this request as well. I didn't figure there was a whole lot of pressure in getting these types of pictures, right?

Yay! Wedding makeup!
Fast forward a little further and suddenly I'm the "second shooter" to her primary photographer (another mutual friend) and photographing the entire wedding! Needless to say, I was a bundle of nerves. I would never claim to be a photographer, don't have any fancy equipment, and know little to nothing about editing photos. Furthermore, I know nothing about composition or white balance and shot all of these photos in auto. And yet, here I am, post-wedding, trying my hardest to make these pictures look somewhat presentable (hey, at least the bride's makeup looked great). I definitely had some total fails, but there were also a few that surprised me.

I still absolutely would not claim to be a photographer by any stretch of the imagination. I did not get paid for this "gig," and I don't see myself photographing any more weddings in the future! Haha!

Regardless I'd like to send best wishes to the happy couple! Love you both to pieces!
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