Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013


The days leading up to Christmas are often filled with lots of shopping, wrapping, performances, and gatherings, but no matter how frazzled I feel at times, I always try to enjoy every minute of it.  Christmas is a time for love, and we are blessed to get to spend it with those we love most!

On Sunday, we got together with the Stallards to kick-off Christmas!  It is always nice to be able to gather together and enjoy Aunt Martha’s lasagna, good stories, and lots of laughs.  And, of course, the celebration wouldn’t be complete without the giving and receiving of gifts! So fun!







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Before everyone left to go home, we wanted to get a shot of all of the 2nd cousins.  The first was a “normal” shot and then we had to take a  silly shot.  You will easily be able to tell which two have the most experience with “Silly Shots!”



All throughout the Christmas season we give and receive lots of gifts.  However, I want my girls to remember that one of the the most important gifts is the gift of family and the love we have for each other!



Our Piano Princess


Last week Mackaylan performed in her 2nd winter piano recital.  And let me just say, she played as beautiful as she looked!  (However, I guess I am partial!!!)   She had her eye on just the right outfit for weeks and she pulled it off beautifully.  She is growing into such a lovely young lady.



It’s hard to believe that she has only been taking for 1 1/2 yrs.  She really loves it and practices often, especially since Grams and Pop O have a piano right in the family room!  She performed Carol of the Bells with such ease and really made everyone proud! 

Piano Performers Winter Recital 2013

And of course, here are a few shots of Mackaylan with some of her biggest fans (not pictured:  Granny and Granddaddy- They had to scoot out right after KK performed to take Lydia to their house.  Let’s just say that a piano recital with 49 participants is NOT the place for a busy little 2 yr. old! ha): 

DSC_0388Lydia and Jenna

DSC_0390Grams, Pop O, and KK

DSC_0391Mackaylan and Mom (that’s me!)

DSC_0392Mackaylan with our sweet neighbor, Della

Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh, Happy Day!!

Do you ever have one of those days when you think things just couldn't get any better? Well, yesterday was one of those days....

First, Layla appeared for the first time this holiday season! She came with a note that she had been "sent" by our old elf, Urtle, because he was very "busy" in the North Pole helping Santa with gifts! ;) Mackaykan was so thrilled! She had been anxiously awaiting his arrival and was fretting that maybe he hadn't realized we were living with Grams and Pop O temporarily and was out in search of the beloved O'Shields family! Oh, the magic of Christmas!! 

After all of the Layla excitement, we then stepped outside to a 63 degree December morning! This mama was sporting her sandals and a ((BIG SMILE)). Now don't get me wrong, I love cold weather if it brings snow; otherwise, spring/fall temps are for me! In my opinion, any day I can wear sandals or flip flops is a happy day! :) 

Then, to top the morning off, the cafeteria was serving my favorite breakfast: biscuits and gravy!! 

After a busy day at work, I was very excited to join family and friends for the Landrum Christmas Parade. The sense of community is always overwhelming to me and usually leads to happy tears and this year's parade was no exception! I love watching the parade and waving to all of my kiddos from school. There is just nothing like a small town parade!! And, of course, the first sighting of Santa always brings (BIG SMILES)) and shrieks of joy! 

After packing for our weekend trip to Raleigh and tucking the girls in bed, I ended the day with a cup of "Sweet Treat" and a full heart. I am so blessed with what the Lord had already given to me and anxiously awaiting for what He still has in store! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mickey Turns 34!

I guess I shouldn't have posted about being more consistent with blogging, huh?!? Every time I think I am going to get in the groove things get crazy! Oh well, I will try harder. That's all I can give you right now. You understand, right? Just don't give up on me. 

The girls and I traveled to Raleigh to celebrate with Mickey on his birthday. We took a new route which was a little longer mileage wise, but we didn't get caught in traffic at all so it was worth it! 

When we arrived on Friday night we met him at Cracker Barrell for a late dinner. Nana always packs us snacks for the ride so that kept everyone satisfied until we could all sit as a family and eat. After eating we headed to Mickey's hotel to settle in for the night. 

On Saturday morning Mickey left for work before we woke up. He always tries to go in early so he can get back to us before lunchtime! Anyway, once we woke up and started to get ready, I realized I had left my "beauty bag" in Landrum. No face wash. No makeup. No brush. I had nothing. 

The good thing about being in a new, big city is that you don't have to worry about seeing anyone you know! So, we hopped in the car and headed to Target. And just in case you are wondering, I didn't do that on purpose just so I could get in a Target trip!! Ha! While we were there we picked up supplies to decorate Mickey's room forbhis birthday too! The girls were thrilled!!

When we got back, Mickey came on home so we could go out and explore the city before the rain moved in. We had a great time walking around downtown. We walked around near the capitol building and took the girls to see Bagwell Plaza which was named after my Uncle Edward who designed the building! 

After lunch Mickey had to go back in to work for a bit so the girls and I took that opportunity to decorate! We had lots of fun making posters and playing with balloons! 

When Mickey returned from work he was very surprised! We gave him his presents and just chilled for the remainder of the afternoon!

On Saturday night, we went to eat with my cousin Brandie and her family. We went to an Italian restaurant at the birthday boy's request and it was delish! 

I think Mickey enjoyed his special day, especially the posters. They served as a reminder each time he looked at them of how much we love him. He is our #1 man for sure!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Fun!


Last weekend we went to spend some time with Mickey in Raleigh.  The past two times we have gone to visit we have spent the majority of the time in the car riding around looking at neighborhoods and trying to get a feel for the area.  So this time we decided we were going to do something fun, and that is just what we did: 


We spent the afternoon on Saturday in Morrisville on the farm.  It was fun for everyone!  They had some attractions geared for the whole family, and some for just the kiddos.  We were all able to enjoy a hayride,



and Mackaylan loved jumping on the hay!


There was also a small petting zoo with goats and a calf.  The girls loved petting the baby goats.


With 3 different jump houses it was hard for the girls to pick a favorite, but I liked the farm one because I had never seen one like it before. 



Mackaylan also enjoyed climbing around in the “spider web” and playing a variety of other games.



And of course, the day would not be complete without face painting!





This picture sums up the Raleigh area… farmland on one side of the road and apartments, townhouses, condos, on the other.  It is so unique!  I really like it because it has all of the conveniences (Is that a word?!) of the big city, but it still feels like home with many rural areas that are close by.


We always have a fun time when we go to visit Mickey, but I would have to say this was our best visit yet! 

We actually went back to Green Acres on Sunday to try out the corn maze and to go on a pony ride.  It started raining when we attempted the maze on Saturday and the guy was nice enough to return our tickets so that we could come back and try again at a later date.  I’m not sure what was more challenging- finding the hidden check-in stations in the maze or keeping up with a very active who insisted on carrying the flag that was 3x as big as she is! Nonetheless, we all enjoyed experiencing this “first” together!

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All week Lydia keeps talking about riding the pony and letting me know that she is ready to go back to the “hay torn!”  (All I can think is she is shortening “hayride” and “corn maze!”)

What a great start to my favorite season of the year- fall!