The Past Week

Today is the first day, The VERY First Day, that we have our house all to ourselves in about two months. It’s glorious. I have spent much of the day doing fantastic things like washing sheets, paying bills, cleaning counters and writing thank you cards, but it still feels like a small vacation. We LOVE having guests, we really do, but ooooooh is it nice when the house is quiet. And, let’s face it…it won’t be quiet for long.

We will probably have more friends visit soon and even more once Luna arrives, but until then here are some snippets from our friends and family the last week…

We had a late family Christmas with our family who came to visit from Pittsburgh and we ate and ate and ate and ate and ate and ate…

family dinner

After driving all day then stuffing my belly/baby I need to lie down… I love this photo someone caught of my big belly with Husband in the background.

34 weeks bump

We celebrated Zoey’s birthday at Sky High – Trampoline Park!

zoey and heidi

I couldn’t jump so I made my own fun by snapping photos of everyone else.

peterandparker

All the girl cousins in a group hug before we say goodbye.

grouphug

And, we just had to stop for ice cream when it was only 8 degrees outside.

ice cream

Until next time…

Cheers!

Back to Life…Back to Reality

ecard

OMG, why is it so hard to get back into the swing of things? We have traveled around for 2 weeks, have had a myriad of friends and family staying with us for 2 months, celebrated so many holidays, had lots of parties and get-togethers and basically just been on a super busy long vacation the last few weeks…It was awesome, but I am done. I am so ready to get back to a normal routine and productive schedule, yet can’t quite seem to figure it out.

I feel sluggish after not getting any exercise over the last week. I am EXTRA heavy after eating 857 Christmas dinners. My sleep pattern is so out of whack…I am going to bed at 2am, waking up every hour to pee, getting up early, but then falling back asleep until I’m ashamed of myself. And being productive seems so far out of reach it’s just ridiculous… how do we fall out of habits so easily? Or how do we start new habits so quickly? I need help!

Besides all of the busy-ness of the holidays and traveling we have had a little snow/ice storm in Nashville, which basically shut the city down for 3 days. Flights were canceled, schools were out and all errands were put on hold. There are just too many things keeping life from getting back to normal.

With Luna’s due date just 38 days away (38 days!) I have many “to-do’s” looming over my head…like finishing the nursery. SO, this is it. Tomorrow, I will turn life around. I will get back to a schedule and my long lists will at least get partially finished.

My plan?

I will wake up early.

I will have coffee…oh yes I will.

I will make a list.

will pressure wash the house, or whatever it takes to get it clean.

will eat only vegetables and water for the next month…or you know at least cut out all the holiday crap I’ve been consuming.

And shit will get done.

Then perhaps a second cup of coffee, just because I’m feeling a little daring.

Wish me luck! On second thought, just hold me accountable!

Cheers!

Annual Friend and Family Photos

Last year, some of my closest friends and I decided to take “Friend Photos”. We rarely have the opportunity for all 4 of us to get together, and often forget to snap a photo during those rare times. Life seems to be flying by for all of us and changing as each week passes, so we want to capture our times together at least once a year. The photos from last year turned out so great that we decided to make this our new annual tradition.

Our sample photo
Our sample photo

I haven’t actually got the nice edited photos yet, but I did get a couple of teaser pics to share from Facebook! ST Photography did our photos, and I CANNOT wait to see how they all turned out! Simone, the photographer, was so patient and so good with the kids! All of our families are growing, which means our photos are going to start getting more complicated and a little more wild each year. It took a couple of hours to get all of our group and family photos done, but I know it will be worth it.

Husband and I took turns snapping a few candid and behind the scenes shots while Simone did the real work.

Telling us how to pose and making sure we look good.
Telling us how to pose and making sure we look good.

with the kids girlfriends closeup

The two baby bumps!
The two baby bumps!

Halfway through our photo session we found a corral and decided it was the perfect place to round-up the kids. “Run around! Pretend to be a horse! Giddy up!” It worked for about two minutes.

corral

One happy mommy
One happy mommy

baby bump

Because friend photos weren’t enough activity for one day, I also took family photos with ST Photography on the same day! It was actually fun to do two photo shoots, and I of course had to do a “costume change” between the two. Here’s a Facebook teaser from the family session.

thefam

 

During this particular photo we had a little, well a big, guest sneak in for a photobomb…

Photobomb shot from the back of the camera!
Photobomb shot from the back of the camera!

The horse was actually trying to pull the sunglasses from my Dad’s back pocket and then decided to get a little taste of each of us. I think he just wanted his 15 minutes of fame.

Of course, we have some more behind the scenes photos from this session too.

profile

We were doing our best to get Micah to smile.
We were doing our best to get Micah to smile.
Daddy/Daughters shot
Daddy/Daughters shot

hilarie

It won’t be long until I get the fancy professional photos from Simone, can’t wait! Thanks so much for ST Photography for putting up with us for so long and capturing our families during the holidays.

Does your family take annual photos? Have you ever done friend photos? It’s a tradition I’m glad we started. It isn’t easy for all of us to get together, set up a time for photos, dress-up and make it work, but it really is worth it.

Cheers!

 

Shangri La’s Holiday Stroll

While in Texas we wanted to use our family time to create some new memories and Christmas traditions, so we decorated cookies, watched a light show at a local church, made a bonfire with smores and checked out the local botanical gardens for the very first time. The Shangri La Botanical Gardens has been around for a while, but none of us have ever checked it out. With a little bit of research we learned that not only are they open during the holidays, but they have a special “evening holiday stroll” event right after Christmas.

shangrila holiday strolls

Even at night, the gardens were stunning! We were so impressed with the layout, the landscape, the dozens of Christmas trees, the thousands of lights and the staff was incredible. Everyone was so friendly and helpful, it may for a very cheerful evening.

nativity me

 

We didn’t get a ton of pictures of all the lights and scenes. I guess we were too busy just looking at them with my friends and my family. We spent a full two hours walking around, drinking hot cocoa and taking group photos. I even ran into a very good childhood friend of mine who happens to work at the gardens! It was an awesome night.

hot cocoa and cookies
hot cocoa and cookies
My sister's family
My sister’s family
Friends!
Friends!
So precious!
So precious!
My family
My family

Two more years and we will return with an even bigger crowd!

Cheers!

My 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve! We made it back to Nashville last night, unpacked, re-packed and are now getting ready to drive up to the Smoky Mountains to ring in the New Year with a small group of friends in a cozy cabin. At this moment, I am actually sitting under a big warm blanket on the couch.. I am trying to enjoy every peaceful quiet second because it will be about a week before I get this moment again. As I sit here, I am reflecting over the last year…

Every year brings its great and its terrible moments. The bad times aren’t always forgettable, sometimes I don’t want to forget them, but for today I want to focus on why 2013 was a great year, and why every year just seems to keep getting better. You know I like to focus on the positive!

My 2013 in Review

The year started off with a little New Year’s Eve Party in Nashville.

1 new year 2013

My nephew, Micah, was born and I got to meet him for the first time when he was a month old. Being an Aunt is the best.

2 meet micah

Not only was my sister’s baby boy born, but a few of my closest friend’s had their baby boys this year. Being an honorary Aunt is also the best. 

3 danica

I learned to swing and flip on a trapeze!

4 trapeze

We made the decision to buy a house, and ended up buying a house in the country in Middle Tennessee… a huge move and decision after years of moving and traveling from city to city.

house

I left my job, which I loved, in NYC and have changed my entire idea of what I want to be when I grow up.

5 yoga

After spending the last month in NYC alone (Husband was already in Tennessee), I said “good-bye” and prepared for a new adventure. 

5.1 bye nyc
me in the cab on the way to the airport

*Our BIGGEST news this year! We announced at 10 weeks that we are expecting our first baby!

6 zimbickijr.

We found our Duckie abandoned and abused on the riverbank while canoeing and made her the newest addition to our family. 

meet duckie

We found out our first baby will be a little girl!

7 it's a girl

I met Taylor Swift at a fun and fancy awards dinner for Aunt Amy. 

8 taylorswift

I started a new website/blog with my friend Chris and am having a lot of fun learning to make it better and better each week. 

Get Kidz Fit

This was the first year we did not take an International trip in a very long time, but we still made time to travel in good ol’ America. Husband, surprised me on our 8 year dating anniversary by taking me to Disney California…completing our goal of visiting every single Disney park in the world!

9 disneyland

We had our annual trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina with the family. 

10 hhi

Spent some time in Pittsburgh visiting more family. 

11 pittsburgh

Went to a beautiful wedding Chicago.

12 chicago

And, OF COURSE, we made our annual trip to Disney World. 

13 halloween

There are dozens more good times I could write about from 2013, but this sums up the year pretty well. I’m getting anxious about what 2014 has in store (more good and more bad), but it’s exciting to think that some of our best memories and adventures have yet to happen. 2014, you have a lot to live up to, see you soon!

Cheers!

Little Holiday Snippets

Christmas may be over, technically, but I have too many cute photos and stories to not share them. Our Texas vacation is coming to an end soon, but it has been so nice to have over a week of non-rushed holiday family and friend time. It is so rare that we come to visit and aren’t running from activity to activity and then hopping on a plane back home. For once, we got to do simple stuff together and just enjoy everyone’s company.

We took my nephew  to the mall with all of us and watched him take his first photo with Santa. OMG, watching kids take Santa photos is HILARIOUS. The kids who cry and are terrified of Santa make the best photos.

first santa

What a lil' trooper
What a lil’ trooper

Of course, Micah was then forced to accompany us to Starbucks and Target for some last minute gift getting…gotta teach em’ when they’re young!

mom and micah happy baby

Sorry, I tend to go a little overboard when taking photos of Micah…

target

our drinks

All tuckered out after a long morning of Santa, Starbucks and shopping. Maybe I should have shared some of my latte.
All tuckered out after a long morning of Santa, Starbucks and shopping. Maybe I should have shared some of my latte.

At my parent’s house we even decorated sugar cookies together… I’m pretty sure this is the first time we have done since I was in Elementary school. If you read my post about our “cookie decorating party”, than you know my skills are extremely limited. And, now you can learn that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Husband and my Dad have better decorating skills then us girls do.

sugar cookies sprinkles making cookies

Micah even had his first taste of icing!

icing

Can’t wait to share our photo’s from Shangri La, family/friend picture day and my baby shower (which is tomorrow)! There’s just too much to look forward to this week!

Cheers!

Holiday Hangover

Anyone else still recovering from Christmas? I can’t even drink, but the amount of food I’ve consumed and excitement we’ve had has put me in a Christmas coma. It’s the 27th and I just now have a little bit of time and energy to edit some photos and write about how awesome my Christmas in Texas has been over the last week. We spend every other Christmas in Texas with my family, and this year is my nephew’s very first Christmas! Needless to say, it was full of adorableness.

annual parade
me and my nephew watching the parade together

It is also the first holiday season without my MawMaw, which means we have lost some of our family traditions, but at the same time we are creating some new ones that will soon become the traditions for our own kids. To really put a spin on things this year, my Bro-in-law had to work in Dallas on Christmas Eve and fly in Christmas morning to be with us. So our Christmas morning was slow to start, which turned out to be really nice and relaxing.

pawpaw

We ate breakfast, stay in our PJ’s, sipped our coffee and I taught Micah, the nephew, all about the very important tradition of watching Disney’s Annual Christmas Parade.

relaxing

Look at that adorable little Santa butt!
Look at that adorable little Santa butt!

My Mom makes seafood gumbo, potato salad, green salad, fruit salad and rolls every single year for Christmas dinner, and this year we all helped cooked and had everything ready before we even opened the gifts from Santa.

Gift opening was perfect. Even though Micah is too young to actually open his gifts or care about anything except the wads of ripped paper on the floor, it was really fun for us to give him gifts and take a billion photos.

first christmas

Besides, Micah’s gifts the rest of us seemed to have read each other’s minds when it comes to gift giving. My Mom and Dad each gave each other a new tablet, my Mom, sister and I all got new purses. My Mom searched literally all over the country to get me a BCBG coat that I have been dying to have, but couldn’t find anywhere.  AND, my sister, myself and my Mom all ended up making each other a very special gift from my Grandma.

ipad
dad opening his ipad

BCBG mom

My sister and I were super excited about making a framed picture of one of my Mom’s favorite quotes from my Grandma’s journal. Husband had the great idea to print it over a page copied from her journal, and with a little Photoshop it turned out beautiful.

to mom

After receiving the gift, my Mom disappeared for a minute and came back with two extra gifts for me and my sister. She said she had planned on saving them for my baby shower, but couldn’t wait any longer. Turns out that she found 2 poems in one of my Grandma’s spiral that no one has even seen yet. One was written for a daughter (probably for my Mother), and the other was written for a child (obviously a boy, and mostly likely written for my MawMaw’s 8 sons). My Mom had the poems printed and framed to go into our kids’ nurseries. It was the perfect gift, and it felt like a gift directly from my MawMaw.

All three framed quotes and poems.
All three framed quotes and poems.
The poem that will hang in Luna's room.
The poem that will hang in Luna’s room.

Perfect Christmas. Even the dogs has special treats.

belle leia

The rest of the day was spent stuffing our faces, having family stop by to visit and we even made time for some family exercising. (Luckily, it was relief day on Shaun T’s the Asylum).

relief

I hope each of you had an awesome Christmas, holiday, festivus, or whatever you celebrate. I hope to keep posting through the New Year, but with 2 baby showers, a drive back to TN, a New Year’s trip to the Mountains and a second family Christmas over the next week…who knows what will happen! Have a safe, wonderful and fun New Year, just in case I don’t see ya!

The last Christmas with just the two of us!
The last Christmas with just the two of us!

Cheers!