Valentine’s Day 2011 Recap

My husband ended up working later than anticipated (isn’t that always the case) yesterday so our dinner plans didn’t end up working out.  We were originally planning on going to one of our favorite restaurants, Pluckers, for some wings during their anti-Valentine’s Day special ($0.50 wings).  It appealed to my love of the hot wings AND thrifty nature at the same time.  We decided we’d meet at Pluckers since we were off to a later than anticipated start.  My husband beat me there and said there were at least a hundred people waiting outside to get in on the special.  Time for plan B.

We should have had the forethought to plan for a special night at home just in case things didn’t work out, but of course that isn’t the way things worked out.  I read on a fellow blogger’s site about a kiss the person with you at Qdoba and get buy one get one free entrees.  Once we got there we saw a Texadelphia nearby which we had yet to try and opted to dine there.  I guess cheesesteaks aren’t typical Valentine’s Day fare because there was only one other family in the restaurant with us.  The food was quite good for the price and not having to wait is priceless with Cakes in tow.  Once dinner was over, we headed home and had a piece of cake, watched a few more episodes of Psych and called it a night.

This was my kind of Valentine’s Day.  No cards, no gifts, no flowers, just a reprieve from cooking and cleaning up afterwards.  And a little cake never hurts either!

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My Valentine 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I think to view the day through a child’s eyes, helps put things into perspective and curb the commercialism that society uses to define this day.  In the world of Cakes, today is a day just like any other.  All of her days are filled with love and adoration not just this one day.  I hope the example her dad and I set for her will reinforce the message that love should be freely expressed all year and not saved up until a certain day in February.
All that aside, I think the decorations are fun and any excuse to eat out or make cupcakes is fine by me.  Here are some pictures of my funny Valentine…
Valentine’s Day 2009 – 2 weeks out of the NICU
approx. 6 pounds, 5 ounces
 Valentine’s Day 2010 – 14 months
approx. 22 pounds
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Laid Back Sunday in February 2011

How many times do you have grand intentions for your Saturday and then life just kind of gets in the way?  Do you plan on doing so much in that one day that you don’t relax and enjoy the weekEND and down time away from your daily obligations?  I usually do exactly that.  I try to do my usual mom, wife, household, blogger duties and never really take a day off.  Today I didn’t take the day entirely off from all of that, but I definitely scaled things back a bit.  I did a little socializing online, blog hopping, forum cruising, and some budgeting/bill paying.

As far as cleaning is concerned, it was a pretty light day for me.  I’m pretty terrible at laundry.  I’m awesome at actually cleaning the laundry – the washing the clothes, the drying of the clothes, the taking the clothes out of the dryer.  Where I fail is the folding and hanging of the laundry.  I lack follow through with laundry.  And the septic system throwing off my schedule by not allowing me a laundry day and insisting on spreading out the laundry does nothing to improve my “system”.  But I took it easy and just focused on laundry today.  Finishing up folding and washing one load.

After telling you yesterday how I can be in regards to cleaning, you’ll know it says a lot that I didn’t focus on any other chores and just enjoyed my day.  Cakes and I read books, played with play food, and did puzzles.  We all planned on going out tonight for dinner when my husband got roped into a crisis at work and we didn’t leave at our usual “safe” time and instead were delayed until 6pm – prime eating time and at time at which the chances of Cakes distributing others are increased.  Amazingly enough, Cakes did pretty well…with the aid of a little Toy Story 3 on the iPhone.  My husband and I managed to try out a new restaurant which was actually good and spend time in public without there being extreme chaos.  We decided to reward Cakes with a little Mexican vanilla ice cream as a reward for her good behavior and headed home for some Gabba and a bath before bed.  Now me and the hubs  are hopefully finishing up season 4 of Psych with a beer before heading to bed.

What have you done to entertain your child in public so no one else would be disturbed?  (I have to add our waitress was awesome and brought over some pizza dough in case Cakes tired of Toy Story 3 and needed an alternate form of entertainment – how’s that for service?!)

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Super Bowl 2011

Neither of my teams (Broncos and Chiefs) are in the Super Bowl so I’m not too invested in the outcome.  But for me, football is football and must be watched.  I am going to be rooting for the Steelers to win.  Why?  They were my defense in Fantasy Football this year and I have more of a connection with them through that than the Packers.    I’m sad to see the end of the football season and will be eagerly awaiting September when a new season starts!

We are a football family – even Cakes gets into the game.  She can see/hear a NFL commercial and if you ask her what it is she yells, “ball!”  I don’t have a pic of her doing her touchdown pose, but rest assured, she has it down.  Here’s a pic I just took of her in the zone – watching the Super Bowl!  I love it!
I am kind of bummed no one we knew was throwing a Super Bowl party.  Not because I don’t enjoy watching it in the comfort of my own home though.  More because I’m craving all of the typical Super Bowl type foods.  I’m just about ready to send my husband to the store so we can have some queso and chips!  My waistline is going to thank me tomorrow for biting my tongue and not saying anything.
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Snow Day 2011

If you hadn’t heard, Texas got hit with some snow last night/this morning.  While I’m no stranger to snow, it’s not a pleasant sight.  Especially in Texas.  I moved to Texas for the warmth and sunshine (and my husband’s job) and to get away from the cold and snow.  Thank goodness for coffee to keep me warm!  This is not what I bargained for.  We’ve been here a little over a year and this is our third snow. What gives?!  Global cooling maybe?

At any rate, this is what I woke up to this morning.  While we were watching TV last night schools were already closing down and it wasn’t snowing yet.  It wasn’t flurrying, there was no precipitation but the 60% chance of snow caused almost all of the surrounding school districts to shut down.  Then, after our whopping 3/4 of an inch this morning, most of the city shut down.  I’ve lived all over but consider myself from Colorado and this is such a joke!  I’ve been taking every chance I can to let all of my family and friends know of Blizzard Watch 2011!

My MRI was scheduled for this afternoon at 5:30.  I grabbed a travel mug with coffee to keep warm and headed to my appointment not thinking anything of it but noticed the incredibly light traffic.  Too light.  Surely the office would have called to let me know if they were closed and my appointment needed to be rescheduled.  I was about half way to the appointment and decided to call the office just to make sure before getting all the way there.  The phone rang way too many times and voicemail never picked up so I figured my suspicions were right.  I was running late anyway since I decided I had time to go grocery shopping before my appointment only to find out that everyone was grocery shopping (snow day or Super Bowl?) so I decided to keep heading towards the radiology office.  I called my husband and asked him to look at the website of the facility just on the off chance they had updated that.  They had.  Ugh, I was almost to the office and had to turn around and head home.  A 45 minute waste of time.  Boo for me not checking ahead of time, but again common courtesy would have dictated a call to notify me.  It looks like I’ll be going for an MRI next week instead.  Time to put the belly button ring back in again before it closes up.

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2011 Resolutions – Month 2

It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s.  Where did January go?  To keep myself accountable for my resolutions, I’m going to do a monthly progress report.  I read something during the holidays that the best way to write up resolutions (or goals, if you don’t like the word resolution) is to split it up into four parts – personal, family, home, and finances.  Here’s how I’m doing on my resolutions one month later.


  1. Run a 5k.  I’m registered to run with a friend on 2/26!
  2. Stop biting my nails.  Fail – I haven’t even tried.
  3. Make my blog successful and start hosting giveaways.  I think the making my blog successful part will always be a work in progress.  I did receive the Stylish Blogger award from The Type A Housewife which was really cool!  As far as the hosting giveaways, I’m pretty happy with four I have hosted (or am hosting) and have a lot of new stuff in the works!
  4. Win more giveaways.  This one isn’t working out so well.  I won way more giveaways in December than January.  But I did start the Giveaway Challenge so hopefully my luck will change.  I did win a giveaway today but I entered it before I started the Giveaway Challenge so it will not be included in my totals.
  1. Potty train Cakes.  I haven’t even started.  She’s still really only interested in standing in her potty or wearing it on her head.  I’m not entirely sure she’s ready but it’s still a goal.
  2. Get pregnant again and have a full-term fatty.  This is still a work in progress too.  I’ve had one of the two cycles I’m supposed to have before trying to get pregnant again.  I still haven’t gotten my blood work results back.  Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll have some good news to share with y’all since I’m probably going to wait until 12 weeks this time before sharing it with friends and extended family.
  3. Plan at least one vacation.  Well, we’ve started talking about where we want to go.  And since my Grandma is going to be 83 this year, it’s going to be to go visit her.  The good news is she lives near the beach in Florida so it’ll still be a vacation.  It’ll also be the first time that Cakes has been to the beach!  Dates are still TBD.
  4. Socialize more.  This was a big fat failure as well.  We tried to go out with friends on two different occasions but it just didn’t work out.  The first time my husband had an early meeting the following day and the second time our friends were afflicted by “cedar fever” and had to bail.  I’m running with a friend at the end of this month and we’ll be spending the entire day with her family and friends.
  1. Stick to a cleaning schedule.  I haven’t done this one entirely.  For the most part the house has been in pretty good shape.  Still not to my perfectionist standards but with a 2 year old there’s only so much effort you can devote to it without driving yourself crazy.  Not to mention the septic issues we had and needing to do laundry throughout the week instead of having a laundry day.
  2. Stain the fence.  We’re waiting on our tax refund (which if you didn’t know the government is not even accepting until 2/14) for this.
  3. Get gutters installed.  Also, waiting on the tax refund before installing.
  4. Fence the entire property.  More of our tax refund at work.
  1. Purchase a new to us car.  Done!
  2. Pay off car as quickly as possible.  We’ve decided not to pay it off as quickly as possible since we’ll be using our tax refund to do some things around the house.  However, it should still be paid off by the end of May!  If we do pay it off as planned, I’ll consider it a success.  Paid off in four months instead of three years.
  3. Get all legal wills and documents in place.  They’re all printed and ready to be notarized but are still in the envelope.
  4. Open Cakes a 529.  Done!

Did you make resolutions?  How are you doing on keeping yours?!

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January 2011

1/1/11: Happy New Year everybody!  After a whirlwind holiday road trip spanning 15 days, travel through five states with two dogs and a toddler, we are *finally* back home! We’ve only been home a couple of hours but it’s such a relief to be back in our own space.  2010 was a rough year for us, so we’re hoping things will turn around in 2011.

Wishing you all health, wealth, love, and happiness in the new year!

1/12/11: At 3.5 years old, Dude has zero immune system and has been plagued with every ailment known to man.  In the last three months he’s had a reaction to the bordetella vaccine, ringworm, and surgery to remove a tumor (his body created a tumor around the ringworm blocking off the fungus).  Now we’re going back again this afternoon to find out why he’s so lethargic, is walking funny, crying when he gets up, and has another lump on his head.  I just know this is going to end poorly.  I love you Dudey!

1/15ish/11: Brady had her 2 year WCC (well child check) this morning.  It’s two weeks late but we were out of town and I like to have the doctor do all of her visits for consistency.  And because I like her so much better than everyone else in the office.  Brady is doing great!  She’s in the 92nd percentile for height at 36 inches and the 80th percentile for weight at 29.4 pounds!  They stop checking head circumference at the 18 month visit so I don’t know what that is.  Her soft spot still hasn’t quite closed all the way but the ultrasound in June made the doctor feel better about it being a normal variance and that there wasn’t some medical reason for it not closing.  But it has gotten smaller so she’s just going at her own pace.

The only issue we had at the appointment was her ears.  The doctor took a peek at them and they were both red, infected, and fluid-filled.  She could not believeBrady hadn’t shown any symptoms of something being wrong (fever, runny nose, diarrhea, fussiness).  The doctor mentioned that she has been a relatively healthy girl with not very many visits and that this was only her third ear infection ever.  The office called in a prescription (which I already started her on) and she’ll go back in 2 weeks to have her ears checked.  The office was out of flu shots so the doctor wrote me a prescription to take to HEB to get it but they only had pre-filled syringes and not the dosing thatBrady needed.  Luckily, when we got home their office called me back saying they were ordering more and would get me a dose if she stilled needed it.  So there were no shots at this appointment, but when we go back,Brady will have the flu shot and her last Prevnar shot.  Then, she won’t need any more shots until she’s 4 and won’t need another WCC until she’s 3.  That’s good news for me!  These first two years have been filled with more needles than I would have liked but at least she’s protected!

We’ve been truly blessed that Brady has overcome her prematurity and is thriving (and growing) so much!

1/19ish/11: I ran my first 5k today (or 3.1 miles straight).  I don’t necessarily know it’s my first ever but I’m pretty sure it is.  And in all honesty, it was probably 50% run 50% walk.  This wasn’t a race, just me running those 3.1 miles at home but I felt so accomplished.  My time ended up being 44 minutes which I don’t think is that great.  Apparently those that are running in timed (chipped) 5k’s want 12 minute miles.  Boo, still too slow for that.  But this is only the third time I’ve run in 2011 and the third since September and I wasn’t too great then either.  And definitely wasn’t going this far.  At least all at one time.  I did better today and didn’t have any hives.  I guess the Claritin so I don’t have any excuses not to run.  

1/20ish/11: I took Cakes back to the pediatrician for a follow up and to get her Prevnar and flu shots.  Her appointment was at 10:15 and we didn’t get put into the room until 11.  Not only do I hate waiting but the waiting room is probably only a 12×12 room and sick/well kids are all mingling together.  I saw dried snot on some of these kids faces and they were coughing and everyone was acting like it was ok we were all together.  It’s not.  I hate that waiting room and that there’s only one doctor.  I adore the pediatrician though so it’s such a tough call on whether to stay with her practice or switch.

The nurse weighed Cakes again today and this time she stood on the scale long enough (by herself even this time) for the nurse to get a weight.  It said she was 31.2 pounds which is up from 29.4 two weeks ago.  Some of that probably is her clothes but I’m glad to see the number going up again.  Unfortunately her ears are still infected and she’s being put on a higher strength antibiotic.  One she’s never been on before, Omnicef, so I’m hoping she doesn’t have a reaction to it.

I heard the nurse practitioner call in the prescription while we were waiting so I stopped at Walgreens on my way home to pick it up.  The tech said she didn’t see it and that she would check on it.  After 25 minutes of waiting and no updates from her on whether it was there or not, I asked if they had located it yet and how long it would be and she said they had not and she didn’t know where the prescription was but she was still taking all the messages off the phone (how long had they been there?  Cakes’s prescription was called in an hour ago by that time).  I went ahead and brought her home to get her some lunch and a nap.

I just called Walgreens and her prescription is *finally* ready.  When she wakes up (she’s been down for three hours now and she slept ’til almost nine today) we’ll head back over there and pick it up.  I was hoping to get both doses of the prescription in her today but that’s not going to happen now.  It was also suggested that I buy her some probiotics since the antibiotics will be stripping the good bacteria from her system.  The kids variety at Walgreens was $27.99 (no, thanks) so I’ll be scouring Amazon to see if I can get some delivered tomorrow.

Poor baby!  This is only her third ear infection but I worry about hearing damage/loss each time she gets one.  Her first ear infection at a year old didn’t clear up with the first round of antibiotics either so here’s hoping that it’s just a stubborn one and no damage has been done.

1/27/11: I feel the day has completely gotten away from me and I’m so behind on everything.  Yesterday, I went to the doctor under the impression I’d be getting blood work done.  Apparently, last time I was there the correct information was not entered into their system, and my appointment got listed as a preconception appointment.

Last week was when my original appointment was scheduled but the doctor was out and so I had to reschedule to this week with the midwife (even though their office canceled I would have had to wait another six weeks to get back into see the doctor). And really if you’re just getting lab orders, what does it matter who writes them?  Cakes did really well while we were in the waiting room and had a fascination with seating in each of the chairs and pointing out different pieces of art.  When we got called back for the appointment, she completely flipped out when I put her down to get weighed.  She kept this up until we got in the room, then freaked out again when the midwife walked in.  The midwife didn’t want to scare her so she kept her distance and ending up laying on the exam table while we talked.  This helped but I don’t know why she did that.  My only thought is maybe she’s associating doctor’s offices with getting her ears probed (which she hates)?

The appointment started out with the midwife asking how long ago I miscarried and if we were interested in trying again.  I told her it had been six weeks and that yes (obviously), we wanted another baby.  She said since I had already completed one cycle and my “clock had reset” that we could go ahead and start trying again now.  When she asked if I had any questions, I told her I was a little confused by this because it contradicted what the doctor had told me at my last appointment which was to wait two cycles.  I told her I was supposed to be getting blood work at this appointment and wanted to talk about what they were looking for and what that might mean.

The midwife had no idea what I was talking about and left to go get my chart (why it was still in the hall, I don’t know).  When she returned she said she took back what she said and that I should wait until after my next cycle before trying to get pregnant again.  She gave me the paperwork for the tests and briefly explained they’d be looking for reasons my body might be throwing mini clots.  They don’t know that I have a clotting disorder at all (or if I do, what would be causing it) but they want to rule that out because a clotting disorder could explain my abruption with Cakes and miscarriage last month.  The midwife told me they don’t expect to find anything and that if the results are normal I’ll be able to see the results on their patient portal in a few days but if they were abnormal I’d need to schedule with one of the doctors because “if you schedule with one of the midwives we’re going to be like, what?  And not know what to do.”  I’m already not feeling super confident about this practice and to hear things like that doesn’t help matters.  Basically, she said it’d be a wait and see type thing but most clotting disorders can be controlled with baby aspirin or blood thinners.  We finished up and she sent me over to the M.A. to get my blood drawn.  The M.A. said they were unable to do this type of testing in their office and directed me to another lab (upstairs) because they didn’t have the right type of tubes or a freezer (testing for coagulation?).

The doctor’s office/lab is about 20 miles from my house so I figured I’d try getting everything done at one time and Cakes and I headed upstairs.  I’m shocked that there’s no line and start feeling confident they can get me in before finding out that I have to fast for 10-12 hours before they can draw blood.  So this morning after getting dressed and giving Cakes breakfast (she gets car sick on an empty tummy), we headed back to the lab.  I waited a little while before heading over there (they open at 7) thinking that people would stop in on their way to work or want to get the blood work over and done with as early as possible so they could eat and get on with their day and that if I waited there wouldn’t be that many people there.  I was so wrong – the waiting room was packed (I counted 14 other people) and I expected to be there a long, long time.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait very long at all.  Cakes wasn’t quite restless yet and was eating Goldfish and reading a book when they called us back.  I put her down so I could sit in the chair for the blood draw and she flipped out again.  Big ole tears were rolling down her faces and she kept saying bye.  I got out my phone and started playing a Sesame Street movie (Abby in Wonderland, I think) and tried talking to her while I was sitting there.  I was sitting there a little while because they took seven vials (although they were smaller) of blood.  Cakes had calmed down by the time we were done (the other patient said something about separation anxiety while we were there) and was saying goodbye to everyone she saw along the way!

I usually hate getting my blood drawn (I still do) but part of it is the environment it’s being drawn in.  The entire building is newer and this office didn’t have the same type of feel as the strip mall type labs but was warmer and more welcoming.  And the staff seemed much more professional from the receptionist to the phlebotomist.  Hopefully the glucose challenge test will be a little less painful if I get it done in that office.

So there ya have it – the reason my day is off.  Cakes is down for a nap now and I’m hoping she takes a longish one so I can feel somewhat good about my accomplishments for the day.

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2011 New Year’s Resolutions

Whoa I haven’t posted over here in 4 years and now I’m only posting since I have this as sort of an online record of our life. So all of those things that I posted on my Austin mom blog that don’t really make sense now and it’s time I clean them up. (Read: cause I had no idea what I was doing when I got started.) But I don’t want to just delete it all. There’s some good posts in there about our life that no one but Casey and I care about so here they’ll live.

12/20/10: I read on someone else’s post (I hate that I forget who because I would definitely give them credit) that a good way to organize your resolutions is to split them into categories.  The four categories are personal, family, home, and financial.  Since I’m just starting out with this blog I’m going to categorize any blog type goals under personal just for simplicity.  While I’m hoping this will turn into a full-time business/job/what have you, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.  I was hoping to have five goals per category but it seems I’d be stretching to get those (although I’m sure there are more areas for improvement, they’re just not coming to me), so four it is!  I’m gonna split these up and make it a four part series so it’s not so overwhelming to read everything.


  1. Run a 5k.  This is the minimum race I’d like to finish.  I’m hoping I’m fit enough and able to run the Cap 10k in Austin in March so this definitely gives me a goal to work towards.  I just bought my BOB Revolution Dualie (review to come) last month, so this will give me a chance to put it to the test!
  2. Stop biting my nails.  I’ve done this before but always seem to fall off the wagon.  The most recent time I quit was for 13 months.  I ended up taking up biting again because my nails were really thin after giving birth and were constantly snagging or breaking *and* I was under a bit of stress with a baby in the NICU.  No excuses anymore, I need to break this nasty habit once and for all!
  3. Make my blog successful and begin hosting giveaways!  I got this thing up and running in December, at first just to gain extra entries into other blogger’s giveaways.  But I’ve really developed a passion for it and would love to be able to host my own giveaways!
  4. This sort of feeds off #3, but I’d like win more giveaways!  Who wouldn’t?!


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Weekend Full Of Waiting

Thursday when Colby woke up from her nap she was feeling pretty hot and once I checked her I found out she had a 101 degree temperature.  It went down with Tylenol for the rest of the afternoon but returned just before bed at 103.  She woke up again on Friday with another temp but it went away once giving her medicine as well.

I’m not quite sure how it happened but my guess is it happened at preschool.  Brady’s little classmates just love Colby.  They fawn over her whenever they see her.  Although I let the teachers hold her, I try to discourage the other kids from touching her face or hands.  Unfortunately while I was holding Colby and packing up the stuff in Brady’s cubby on Tuesday, one of Brady’s friends managed to give Colby a kiss on the mouth.  The same little girl was out sick on Thursday – ugh.  We can’t exactly live in a bubble so it is what it is.

10 days of amoxocillin and ear infection number two all before Colby turns a year old.  Oh and the teething doesn’t seem to end.  She already has seven teeth and is drooling and chewing on everything.  Poor baby!


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Happy Thanksgiving From Us to You

I’m so grateful to have made it another year to celebrate Thanksgiving. Although our numbers are down by one (Kitty), we still managed to have a pleasant day. I feel so blessed for the relatively good health of my family, friends, Dude, and myself. As well as for Casey’s job, our home, Brady’s preschool, my Austin mom blog, and our freedom.

I didn’t get any good pics today unfortunately and only one video of me chasing Colby while she crawled from one side of the house to the other laughing all the day (still on my phone). So however boring it may be, this is a non picture post.

This ended up being my first Thanksgiving doing all of the cooking on my own. Granted, I didn’t have to do much to the turkey other than put it in the oven to heat up (since dad picked one up at Rudy’s) and then he carved it. But still, cooking up a delicious dinner with all the trimmings on Thanksgiving all by yourself is not an easy feat. I’m glad I started with 4 hours on Tuesday night before even leaving the house.

Here was what our Thanksgiving feast consisted of:

Late Breakfast
Robin’s Breakfast Casserole

Deviled Eggs

Thanksgiving Dinner
Rice Dressing
Mac and Cheese
Orange Cranberries (I ran out of sugar and used 7-Up which I highly recommend doing.)

Surprisingly we didn’t have any french fried onions, so green bean casserole was not on the menu this year. We probably could have still had it but no one wanted it bad enough to leave the house or venture out and risk trying to find a store that was open and brave the crowds.

For dessert, I tried all new recipes. Yes, I ditched my favorite Apple Crumb Pie and went in search of something new. All of these were Pinterest finds (each word links to one of my two accounts) and all were a success which I think I could modify and make even more delicious when I make them again next year. Or at Christmas. Or next week.

Pumpkin Dump Cake
Pecan Pie Squares
Apple Cobbler with Snickerdoodle Cookie Crust

Everything was so delicious and I’m only disappointed there won’t be as many leftover as I would like.

This year is moving by way too quickly and while it’s still Thanksgiving night, many people’s thoughts have already turned to Christmas. Mine as well. I can’t wait to start getting the house decorated and doing some fun Pinteresty crafts with Brady and baking some yummy Christmas treats.

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