hayden's first thanksgiving

We had a whirlwind 4 days of Thanksgiving-ness going on at this house and we enjoyed another first holiday with our little Bub. We started the holidays with baking and several trips to the grocery store during the day Wednesday. Luckily, I have a good little helper in the kitchen, who likes to watch and hold things for me. 
Thursday morning started bright and early with a Turkey Trot 5K with both sets of grandparents. Hayden completed his first 5K, crossing the finish line a mere second (aka stroller length) ahead of my Dad.

Thursday afternoon was my family's Thanksgiving at my parents house. Hayden got to sit in his high chair for the first time. (Although this only lasted approximately 5 minutes, as dinner unfortunately coincided with bed time.) 
On Friday, we spent the day with my family- eating leftovers, watching Christmas movies, and braving the black Friday sales (albeit at 5 pm).
 Saturday brought our second round of Thanksgiving dinner at Nick's parents'. Unfortunately by then, Little Mister was all Turkey-ed out and we had to cut the evening a little short.
And now we're back to normal for one more week, trying to get back on our previous nap/bedtime schedule before we disrupt it once again. The three of us are taking a mini vacation to Hawaii next week! Nick has business and Hayden and I are tagging along for fun. It's our last big hurrah before I go back to work...


thankful for...

our sweet sweet baby boy
his little laugh and smiles that light up my days
my husband who works so hard to support us
our new house
Hayden's loving grandparents, who are always ready to help out aka Coco, Chief, Granny, and Pops
our siblings and their families 
Lucy and Henry, even though they drive us batty!
the fact I got to stay home with Hayden as long as I did
health for all 3 of us
our own washer & dryer
Saturday morning pancakes  with my guys
good friends
nap time
realsimple.com- saving our dinners, one night at a time
Starbucks Soy Lattes (sooo good)
dry shampoo 
adorably tiny baby boy hats
family vacations (next up, Hawaii!)
Pandora One (yeah for no commercials!)
beautiful California 
quiet walks around our neighborhood
our kitchen cabinets that are finally painted
Facetime chats with my sis
my faith
the library
New Girl (pretty much the only show we find time to watch each week!)
fall trees 
my husband who begrudgingly goes along with my plans to transform our house
visits with Nick's grandparents
a working fireplace!
handy dads 
friendly neighbors 
our safe city
the Anthropologie that just opened in our town
my iPhone camera that's helped me capture over 600 pictures of H in the last 4 months
colorful scarves and flats
pumpkin ice cream... or pumpkin anything for that matter...
a backyard
cozy sweaters that hide post-pregnancy chubs 
the park by our house
other moms (it's like a club!)
baby kisses (aka an open mouth on the cheek)
my marriage
the rain
my BFF and her biweekly visits with H and me
and this little gem of a picture:

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to you! 

watercolor place cards

This year, my mom asked me to be in charge of the Thanksgiving place cards. This is not a task I take lightly! I immediately headed to Pinterest to find some inspiration and came up with a game plan. I decided to cut out leave from thick watercolor paper and then paint each leaf with a smattering of fall colors. I wanted the result to be unique and painterly. When all was dry, I used a thin marker to write the name of each guest on a leaf. This was a quick and easy project and it was fun to be a little creative this year! 


amazing grace

When my siblings and I were young, we spent lots of time with our grandparents. I can remember many afternoons swinging in the backyard with Nana, singing songs. We would sing I've Been Working on the Railroad and You Are My Sunshine among others. However, Nana's favorite to sing to us was Amazing Grace. I think I knew all the verses by the time I was six years old.
When Nana passed away 10 years ago, Amazing Grace was played at the funeral. Every time I hear the song, I can't help but think of Nana and what a truly beautiful, graceful person she was.
There have been a few instances now when Hayden gets fussy and really fights the sleep he so desperately needs. At those times, I go to his room, dim the lights, sit in the rocker and quietly sing Amazing Grace to him. It settles him every time and as I rock my sweet baby to sleep, I think about Nana and how much I wish she could be here to see him; to watch him grow.
Yet, I know that she is there, watching over us everyday. In this Thanksgiving week, I'm so grateful for the years that I did get to spend with Nana and the many wonderful memories that I have. I'm thankful that my grandmother was such a strong, peaceful, loving woman and that she's given me the gift of this song that I can pass on to my son.



to-do list revisited

We've already been in our house for 6 months (crazyness!) and I thought it was high time to revisit the to-do list that we compiled right after moving in. In the last six months we've been busy with projects, however it sometimes feels like progress is sloooow. Looking at the list now, we've actually made a good dent in it in the last 6 months! Let's see how we've done so far: 
Small Projects 
1.    Paint Kitchen Cabinets  In progress...
2.    Add hardware to kitchen cabinets
3.    Paint Baby’s room
4.    Paint Living room, dining room, kitchen, hallway, stairs, bedroom, bathrooms
5.    Replace/add light fixtures We've changed some of the fixtures but have plenty to go!
6.    Repair windows
7.    Change locks
8.    Closet organization
9.    Take down shutters in kitchen
10.  Add window treatments to all windows We've added window treatments to all downstairs windows but still have to figure out something for our bedroom
11. Change faucet in kitchen
12. Add shelves to garage
13. Medicine cabinet redo
14.  Hang pictures 
15. Paint front door 

Medium Projects 
1.    Trim in Baby’s room
2.    Add baseboards to entire house
3.    New countertops in kitchen
4.    New backsplash in kitchen
5.    Fix patio crack
6.    Bathroom vanity makeovers Only finished 1 of 3 bathrooms so far
7.    Bathroom mirror makeover (ditto!)
8.    Build in the fireplace/ add a mantel 
9.    Re caulk both bathtubs
10. Pantry door install
11.  Redo Baby’s room closet doors
12. Baby’s room bathroom floor
13. Build in washer and dryer in garage
14.  New banisters for stairs
15. Wood paneled wall in living room
16. Add doors to the fireplace

Big Projects 
1.    Replace stove and microwave in kitchen Planning on ordering the stove asap! 
2.    Hardwood floor on 1st floor
3.    Redo stairs
4.    Landscape backyard
5.    Redo patio
6.    Repair siding
7.    Built-in bookcases/ entry for dining room
8.    Knock out kitchen half-wall/ cabinets to make a bar area
9.    Replace garage door
10. Plant garden

The fact that we have finished 12 projects and made progress on 5 others on our list (including 3 of the "Big" project list) is no small feat! I can't wait to see what we'll accomplish in the next 6 months!


a mantle

One of the things on my house wish list since we moved in was a mantle over our fireplace. With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to make sure we had somewhere to hang our stockings with care. Luckily, my father-in-law Bob knew just the place to find the perfect one-of-a-kind mantle. Last Friday, Bob, Hayden, and I took a little trip to California Urban Lumber and sifted through their extensive collection of cut hardwoods. We found the perfect piece of walnut that had both a great width and just the right amount of character. 
The people at Urban Lumber we so friendly and helpful and they quickly sanded down the piece and squared off the back so that we could hang it right away.
On Saturday, Nick and Bob took a couple hours to hang the mantle, using two oak corbels on either side of the fireplace. We have plans to seal both the mantle and the corbels, but we wanted to live with the mantle as is for a little while. 
The mantle fits perfectly into our space and adds so much visual interest to our characterless fireplace wall. I wasted no time in decorating it with objects from around our house. The picture that previously hung there remains for now, but we have plans to DIY a giant mirror to take its place. 
Also, when we someday paint the walls a more neutral color, the light wood tones of the mantle with pop a little more, instead of blending in with the khaki wall.  


On being sick

Hayden recently came down with a nasty cold that knocked his little socks off. During his week of illness, he was in my arms for 20 of the 24 hours a day. Little H didn't feel good and noting really made him feel better other than being in his mama's arms. This level of need by another person is something I've never experienced before. It's huge and crazy and amazing. I never felt my mothering instinct more than when I was holding my stuffy sweet boy in my arms. Many times it was a battle between needing to sleep and feeling miserable and all I could do was hold my baby close, rock him and whisper to him while he ran his little fingers through my hair and cried to sleep.
Every night, Little Mister would start out in his crib as usual, but when he awoke for the first time ( after an hour or 2) he would inevitability end up in our bed cuddled up next to mama. Now that he's well again and back in his crib at night, I actually miss the feeling of my arm falling asleep under the weight if his head, the noisy congested little snores on my pillow, and most of all that little hand that would reach out at random intervals throughout the night and brush my face- just to check that I was still right there.
My heart filled a million times in a million different moments throughout our sick week. Sure, we were sleep-deprived, housebound, and I had no time to take a shower. But this week was one to remember. My baby needed me and I took care of him in the best possible way. No one tells you that motherhood will be like this. Or maybe they do and before you have a baby you can't really comprehend the level of attachment and need that is present in this relationship. Either way... It truly is the hardest, most time intensive, most beautiful job out there.


a fally front door

My front door has been decorated for fall since the day after I painted it.  Since this is our first fall in the new house, I was pretty excited to have a real front door that led outside to dress up for the holidays.  But darn it if I accidentally waited until after my mums had died to take pictures of it. Just pretend the planter is full of big bushy white mums, okay? 
I got my inspiration for the front door from a Pottery Barn catalogue. (I unfortunately can't find a picture online but imagine hanging lanterns and lots of pumpkins etc.) Nick  hung up two of our Ikea lanterns filled with walnuts and candles, of course!  We used flameless candles that we can set on a timer so they pop on at 5 pm (well, now 4 pm thanks to the time change) and go off at 6 am. 
The mommy, daddy, and baby pumpkins are from our trip to the pumpkin patch a few weeks ago. We decided not to carve them since our unseasonably warm Halloween weather would have meant a quick death for these guys for sure. Now we get to enjoy them all the way through Thanksgiving season too!
 I love the orange wreath against the grey door. A lovely color combination for this time of year, in my opinion.
I love fall so much, even when it feels like summer out here in California. As much as I enjoyed decorating our door for fall, I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to decorate it for Christmas this year, my most favorite time of the year! 


3 months

It's hard to believe that Hayden is already 3 months old! We feel like our little guy has changed so much in the last month, particularly in the last week or two. Hayden is a pretty happy baby and loves to laugh and smile, especially at Mommy and Daddy. He likes to hear his own voice and has been using it to babble, shriek, gurgle, and giggle nonstop. Hayden has been getting so strong and loves to be pulled up to a sitting position. He's pretty good at holding his head up for extended periods of time. Hayden is a big fan of lights and we're pretty excited to introduce him to Christmas lights next month. This month has had a couple of firsts, including his first cold, first Halloween, and the first (and second!) time he rolled over. Mr. H has gone through a growth spurt in the last week so he's finally out of his newborn clothes completely (expect for a couple of sleepers) and firmly fitting into 0 -3 month sizes. Hayden is such a loveable little boy and he seems to grow sweeter by the day! 


lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!

This year for Halloween, we decided to host a little get together for close family and friends. My Pinterest account got a workout as I made brie and apple tarts, homemade pretzel bites,  gingerbread pumpkin ice cream sandwiches, as well as this amazing popcorn
At the last minute, I decided that the Little Lion Man needed company in his costume-wearing so I quickly pulled together costumes for Nick and me.
Yes, Nick faithfully donned a bear mask to complete our little family of themed costumes. (What a guy!)  Here are a few more pictures from Hayden's first Halloween:

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