If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter at all, you might have seen photos of our little elf popping up here and there, so I thought it was time to give him the “official” introduction.
Last year on Thanksgiving, Barnaby became a part of our family. Although he’s talked about all year long by my excited little man, he only shows up during the holiday’s. I’m sure you all know of the “Elf on a Shelf” tradition and it started for us last year.
Since we normally get our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night, it was only appropriate for Barnaby to make his first appearance on the same night too. How he got his name is kind of a funny story….
Who has seen The Santa Claus movies? Everyone, right? Well… you know Bernard? For some weird reason, I always called him Barnaby. We decided to name our elf Barnaby so there really is an elf named Barnaby around our house!
Last year, I was a new “elf mom” so for the most part he just got moved every night and left a few surprises here and there. This year, we’re getting creative. On his first night, Barnaby brought the kids Christmas pj’s to wear for the holiday season!
So far, he’s toilet papered our tree, left a little hot chocolate and cookies surprise after the kids went on a walk around the neighborhood to see the lights, and stole mom’s magazine to catch up on celeb gossip with a midnight snack. We’ll have to wait and see what fun Barnaby continues to get into as we approach Christmas! He even made it onto WCNC Charlotte’s Pinterest page! They have a whole board dedicated to “Elf on a Shelf!”
Stay tuned for more elf fun – hopefully I’m a better “elf mom” this year!
Do you have an “Elf on a Shelf?” What’s his (or her) name?
I don’t think I ever posted an official “End to Breastfeeding” post. We made it 13 months and at that point, Lavery was using sippy cups more and even though she still wanted to nurse, my milk supply was dwindling and I didn’t want her to get too attached to the idea of NEEDING to nurse. I was sad, but it was the right thing to do. As she was getting older, she wanted to be more of a big girl and like her big brother anyway.
This morning… at almost 15 months, Lavery sat in my lap drinking her milk in her sippy cup and I felt so nostalgic wishing I was still breastfeeding. I miss those quiet moments with her. Now that she’s walking, she’s constantly on the go and I loved those few times a day where we got some quiet mama and baby time while she nursed.
I would say it gave me baby fever, but two nights ago both kids tag teamed us and were up every 15 minutes each… so baby fever? Not so much? Nostalgic.. maybe a little.
Luckily, I can look back on these sweet moments and remember those sweet moments when it was actually quiet… HA!
I sit here writing this blog post just as I do every year on the anniversary of my mom’s death. I sit here and I still feel the same. I still remember the exact events of this day six years ago. The phone call to rush to the hospital, the drive there that felt like it would never end. Then sitting by her side talking to her. Loving her. Holding her hand with no response at all.
I had nightmares for the longest time after that day. I had nightmares and I grew more and more sad over the fact that I remembered those horrible last few moments better than I remembered anything else.
As time went on… the memories came back and the nightmares faded and now I sit here and I remember things like the time when my brother and I were kids and my mom took us to see the Christmas lights in Broad Street Park then we went and got Happy Meals at McDonald’s. I remember going home and sitting on the living room floor eating my happy meal, looking at my mom and our big Christmas tree all lit up with such joy. I even remember getting a Barbie Happy Meal toy. Crazy huh? The things we remember…
Then I remember the time I met my Aunt Sally, Aunt Peg, and cousin Melanie for lunch in Keene with my mom and took this picture.
I love that picture. I remember my moms pink fluffy coat, her pink glasses, and if I remember correctly.. she even had pink shoes. I guess I know where I get my love for pink, right!?
Then I remember the time my mom took me shopping for my first prom dress. I think this is one of my most favorite and precious memories I have with my mom. I remember how excited she was and I remember seeing the first dress on the mannequin walking by a boutique and we both knew that was the one. Guess what color it was? Yep, pink.
I wish I had that same memory shopping for my wedding dress….
Then I look at Landyn and Lavery. Seeing Lavery sometimes takes my breath away, because she looks so much like my mom. I look at her and see my mom everyday and I honestly believe sometimes it’s her coming back in Lavery. She has her smile and when she smiles and I think of my mom, I would do anything for her to be here to see it too.
Landyn prays for his nana and it makes my heart melt, because I know she would be loving this. She would be soaking this up. I try not to feel angry that she’s not here, but sometimes it’s so hard not to. Six years of these feelings that only seem to be enhanced with time. The memories are still there, but over time they really do feel farther and farther away.
I know it might seem kind of strange to write about this every year when her birthday or anniversary of her death comes around, but my mom and my grandmother did a lot of writing. They are some of my most cherished things and writing helps me get through these really hard days, because even though the nightmares; those bad memories of this day have started to drift away, they’re still always there in the back of my mind and I need to remind myself of the happy memories and the happy times we had, because I know I need to hang onto those to share with Landyn and Lavery as they get older. I want them to know how special their nana was and how blessed I was to call her my mom.
I remember the first Christmas after my mom passed away, my cousins gave me a book called Motherless Daughters. To this day, I still haven’t had enough strength to make it through the whole thing.
Six years as a motherless daughter and I’m still missing you like crazy. I know my mom is singing this above.
“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27
Last night was hands down one of the top moments I hope to remember forever. Seeing the glimmer in Landyn’s eyes and hearing the excitement in his voice when I told him we were going to see Mickey, Lightning McQueen, and Buzz and Woody was enough for me to countdown until we left, but seeing him experience the magic The World of Fantasy brought to the ice was a whole different story.
There is nothing in this world like seeing how excited a child gets as he gets to experience his favorite stories come to life. Watching shows like Disney on Ice as a parent is 100 times more fun than when I was a kid!
Mommy and Landyn got a date night last night and we were so excited to share our Disney on Ice experience with some other bloggers and very special friends. Everyone was so excited to embark on an adventure in the wonderful world of Disney right here in Charlotte!
We got to the arena just in time and soon after we took our seats, the World of Fantasy began! The show started with Mickey and Minnie Mouse cruising in their red convertible. In a Disney world, of course Mater would soon come to the rescue after they broke down to save the day!
The cast revved up their engines as they warmed up the audience with a fun performance from Mater, Lightning McQueen and many more familiar wheels from the Cars crew. It was so much fun to hear our kids yelling out the names in excitement as each one made their debut on ice!
Soon after, Sebastian and Ariel swam front and center for a sweet performance as Prince Eric swept Ariel off her new feet! I’ll admit, The Little Mermaid brought me back to my performing arts days as I remembered playing Sebastian and singing Under the Sea myself in high school!… Yes, I dressed up as a crab and performed for everyone to see!
Tinkerbell brought us into her home, Pixie Hollow where we were enchanted by fairies and song and dance and soon after the toys were really brought to life as Andy got ready to head off to college and Woody saved the day! Toy Story did not disappoint and by the end of the show all of the kids were roaring with laughter as they watched all of their favorite characters right before their eyes.
The show was completely amazing… and I am not just saying that for the sake of this review. I saw so much joy in my little man’s eyes and that brought tears to my own eyes! It made me so much more excited for next time when Lavery is a little older to enjoy too.
There is nothing else like seeing these characters live performing before you and Disney on Ice World of Fantasy is filled with every child’s favorite character from classics like Mickey and Minnie to princesses like Tinkerbell and Ariel and the toys Andy learned to love like family. There’s something for every family member to enjoy… (even us parent’s who grew up with Toy Story 1!)
I promise if you live in Charlotte and have little ones, you simply HAVE to make the time to enjoy this show. Trust me… experiencing the joy in your child’s eyes is so worth the visit to Time Warner Cable Arena and seeing the magic in your child’s eyes is something every parent should experience.
And don’t forget… you can still receive a discount on select shows, follow the link here and purchase tickets so you can surprise your little ones with a special night to remember!
I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine.
Last week, I had the opportunity to check out Discovery Place and their new rainforest exhibit with the Charlotte Media Collaboration. I’ve taken LC to Discovery Place before, but he was younger, so didn’t full appreciate everything it had to offer. I was excited to take him back and experience this really awesome exhibit.
Let me start by saying, Discovery Place is such an awesome facility. Taking a three year old as opposed to a one year old like last time was a whole new experience. Seeing his face light up when we walked into the building was cool and seeing how excited he was to check everything out was so awesome to see.
As we were escorted into the “rainforest,” just seeing the set up was awesome. You really felt like you were in a whole new place; not in a museum right here in Charlotte where we live. The temperature was warmer, the sounds were serene, and the backdrop was all too real.
The kids got to ask questions, check out animals (real life animals!) who lived in the rainforest, and even had the chance to pet a few at the end too. It is such a fun educational experience, because kids are learning, but getting this really great and different experience at the same time.
Overall, I think all of the kids (in a very big range of age groups) really loved the show. The younger kids loved getting to touch the animals and see what the rainforest had to offer while the older kids were really involved in asking questions and learning about the animals. The show is definitely great for all age groups and the kids really loved it.
If you have little ones and are looking for something to do (especially something educational to encourage your children now that school has started back up again,) Discovery Place is a great spot for all ages to learn AND have fun!
You can live in Charlotte, but get a real taste for the rainforest too!
Thanks to our little family vacation in Wrightsville Beach this week, I had the chance to witness a little bit of filming for the new movie adaptation of Nicholas Sparks novel, “Safe Haven.”
Anyone who knows me, knows I love Nicholas Sparks. LC (Landyn Carter) is even named after a character from his book and we’ve been able to meet him several times at book signing here in Charlotte, NC.
When I heard “Safe Haven” was filming in Southport, NC (about a 40 minute drive from Wilmington) I HAD to go! I love Josh Duhamel (who’s starring in the movie with Julianne Hough) and I’ve watched him ever since his All My Children days as Leo Du’pre.
I never thought in a million years I would meet Josh (although I dreamt it) and I really didn’t think I would see much of the movie (especially when the first day we went to visit, the whole town was completely flooded!) But, thanks to a super awesome cop guarding the set (and a totally cute baby I could use as bait on my hip)… look who we met!?
He really was so awesome. You could tell he was exhausted and based on what people were saying, they had a pretty busy filming day, but he still took the time to come out and say hi and take a photo. It was seriously the highlight of our beach trip and I am even more excited for the movie to come out now!
I think I’ll read Safe Haven again and picture Josh and Julianne as Alex and Katie next!
I also got a glimpse of the filming at Ivan’s (the restaurant from the book Katie works at.) Here’s a little shot of Julianne from the distance!
Yesterday, Lavery turned 1! We celebrated with friends and we had a great day (despite the party being held outdoors in 100+ degree heat!) We decided to share the party with some friends, because two of Lavery’s buddies share the same birthday and another a week later. To accommodate both a girl and a boy party, we went with a picnic theme and then chose a different book to represent each baby (although the two boys shared the same book.)
Overall, it turned out great even with the insane heat wave hitting our area right now! Who would have expected the weather to be over 100 degrees right now in NC!?
In the end, all of the babies had a great time and all of our guests did too, and that’s really all that counts!
I am so in love with her invitations! I came across The Opened Envelope and found they had a “Guess How Much I Love You” baby shower themed invitation, so I e-mailed to see if they come up with a birthday invite. Right away they responded with an option, and I told them what I wanted to switch up and they came up with this. It’s perfect!
We all took toPinterest for inspiration on our themes and to pull them together with a picnic!
My original inspiration for “Guess How Much I Love You” came from this blog, Pizzazzerie. The theme of her son’s party was “Guess How Much I love Two” for a second birthday. We went with “Guess How Much We Love Lavery.”
Landyn’s favorite book was “Guess How Much I Love You” and we read it all the time with both kids. I was so excited to give this a theme a girly twist!
The way the party worked with four babies was actually kind of cute and creative if I do say so myself! We had an overall picnic theme with the overall decor and we had food for all of the guests, then each baby’s book had a theme table with theme snacks and decor.
“Guess How Much We Love Lavery”
For her table, I put the hubby to work to build the backdrop to look like a fence. To go with the “girly twist” I laid down a pink tablecloth and set some fake green grass on top. I was able to borrow some photo prop tree stumps and I used the bigger one to set a pitcher with sweet tea on and a smaller one at the cake table.
I put together a sweet nine month shot of Lavery and added “Guess How Much We Love Lavery” onto the theme and put together a birthday banner to hang on the backdrop with a photo from every month of her first year.
For food, I stuck with the “nature” theme and put together a spinach dip and veggie spread and then I filled a flower pot with organic cheddar bunnies for the kids.
For favors, I planted some carrots in mini flower pots and stuck a flower label in the dirt that read “Thank you for watching me grow. Love, Lavery” with a bible verse.
Her smash cake was made by our favorite bakery who has always done our special occasion cakes ever since our wedding, Nona’s Sweets in Charlotte, NC. They put the image from her invitation right on and I love how it turned out! Simple and sweet.
Each baby had their own theme smash cake and the overall cake made by local mama was picnic themed with an element from each book. I love how it all turned out, it couldn’t have been more perfect!
In the background, you can get a little peek at the adorable smash cake photo of lal the babies taken a few weeks before by FireWife Photography!
I have absolutely loved having a girl to play dress up with! I searched Etsy for weeks to find the perfect outfit. Because, our theme isn’t an easy theme for birthday’s, I came across this awesome shop Rebekah Crisco on Etsy. I e-mailed her to see what she could come up with and she hand-painted the most perfect onesie personalized with her name.
Her hairclip was made by Perfectly Perrywinkle. I love everything she does and I showed her a picture of Lavery’s shirt and she made the perfect headband to match!
I finished it off with a hot pink tutu and some barefoot sandals to match! Here is my big 1st birthday girl all decked out in her adorable 1st birthday ensemble!
So it’s no secret that I have been slacking at updating on the babes lately. Actually, let’s face it; my blog updates have been slacking in general, but that’s something that is about to change.. I promise! I still have an exciting video review I need to post among many other things, but today is all about the sweetness I cherish every single day!
Lavery is 10 months old today and Landyn turned 3 in March. Sadly, I haven’t updated much, so I wanted to share a few sweet photos of my special little angels. Thanks to the lovely and talented Jennifer Parker of Firewife Photography, my sweet little man’s three year photo shoot turned out fabulous and Lavery (although a little late) has some sweet nine month shots to share. Even though these are nine month shots, they’re more like 10 months since they were just taken yesterday (oops!)
We head back to the pediatrician tomorrow for a weight check. Fingers crossed she’s plumping up for us! She’s been eating table foods for a month and still enjoying mama’s milk! Woohoo! I’ve made it to ten months and here’s hoping to at least a few more! She’s army crawling everywhere, yet to stand up, but she can make her way across the room in seconds! She’s a mama’s girl and sings “mamamamamama” all.day.long. Literally. Even though it’s exhausting, I try not to complain, because her sweet smile and arms reaching up to me do make me smile.
Landyn is my little rambunctious monster! It’s like, he turned three and flipped a switch! He is ON.THE.GO. ALL.THE.TIME! He keeps me on my toes! His three check up went well, he hasn’t really gained any weight in the last year, but I wouldn’t either if I ran laps in my sleep! He loves his baby sister and he is the proudest big brother I have ever seen. Let’s just hope it stays that way as they grow. Wishful thinking, right? He’s talking constantly, learning new songs, loves to dance, and has all of a sudden developed the appetite of a teenager! He makes me laugh every single day and he is growing into such a little man, I love it!
Life has been full of surprises, laughs, and memories everyday. I hope to keep you up to date on the Crowe’s Nest more often from this point forward!
Yes, you heard it right. Peanut Butter Mac & Cheeseburger is what my 3 year old requested for dinner last week. Unfortunately, I had nothing to get creative, so he got his wish tonight!
My original idea was to make mac & cheese mixed with hamburger and then give him vanilla wafer’s with peanut butter in the middle on the side. Instead, he got mac & cheese with hamburger and then half of a hamburger bun with peanut butter in between on the side. It worked. He asked what he was having and I happily replied, “Just what you wanted, peanut butter mac & cheeseburger!”
The imagination of a three year old was outsmarted by his mama!