Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ezzy-Pooh In The Mirror

This is my favorite picture from today.  
Ezra was cracking himself up in the mirror. 
Absolutely precious.

Monday, May 30, 2011

One Year

Last spring, Kyle and I began talking about gettin' hitched. From the beginning of my pregnancy with Cambria we knew we didn't want to get married just because I was pregnant.  We wanted to get married for us, not our baby.  And frankly, we didn't care much about what others thought.  And then last spring, with our graduations approaching and a move to Savannah in our near future, we began to feel we were ready and excited to take that next step. Neither of us like a lot of attention and we didn't like the idea of spending thousands on one day.  So after some serious discussing and researching, we decided we wanted to have an elopement of sorts. We searched for the perfect place to have our wedding and finally decided on Asheville, North Carolina, a place we had visited together for our dating anniversary during my pregnancy with Cambria.

So, we secretly took a trip to Asheville and found the perfect place and officiant for our ceremony. Then for the next two weeks we spent our days running around trying to get all the details taken care of.  We had to find a dress, find a suit, and tell our closest friends and family of our plans--all in addition to many other small details. The day finally came and it ended up being a beautiful, romantic, and perfect celebration of our love and the life we'd created together. And coincidentally, our Ezra likely began his journey through life on our wedding day.  He was created from our love on that very special day. 

So now it's been one year. 
One year with lots of excitement and happenings. 
A move, a new job, a 9 month stay with my parents, a pregnancy, a new baby boy, a house, and much more.  I wonder if every year will be this eventful...
I can only hope!

Happy 1st Anniversary Kyle Patrick Finnegan!
I love you and appreciate all that you do for me and our children. 
I will always strive to decorate my soul <3 

Taken at the Grove Park Inn, where we ate our celebratory meal after our wedding and where we stayed while in Asheville.
Check out our wedding slideshow to relive the day here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Strawberry Fields Forever

A few weeks ago we went to Ottowa Farms to pick us some strawberries.  We were the only ones in the field and the clouds came out as soon as we got there.  It was perfect!  No people that thought we were crazy bringing two babies out to pick strawberries and no hot, unbearable sun.  It was so lovely!  Cambria had an absolute blast and still talks about it daily.  We picked over 7 pounds and ate every single last berry.  And they were only $1.80 a pound, cheaper than any price in a grocery store. 
Just us.

The beginning of the picking.

And Cambria was a good little picker. Once she figured out what needed to be done, she was off! We actually had to coax her off the field because she just wouldn't stop picking! 

You can tell how hard Cam was concentrating :D

Ezra was snoozing, but decided to wake up about half way through.  He didn't help much, but it was nice holding his cute little self while we were out there. 

I wanted a picture, but Cambria wanted to draw in the sand.

Afterwards we said "hi" to the goats and pigs, which Cambria also still talks about.

She was very disturbed by all the "poooooooop!!" and when one of the pigs "pee-peed"

The lucky cows who get to graze in a pasture, instead of living on a factory farm.

We HAD to eat some RIGHT when we got home.

Strawberry ice cream

 The strawberry cake was as delicious as it looks.  Found the recipe here and would definitely recommend it! It didn't have any food coloring, gelatin or jello.  I topped it with some cream cheese frosting, yummy!!

And strawberry smoothies.
 We're going to be heading back soon to pick some blackberries and blueberries. Can't wait!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Morning

Most mornings I walk into Cambria's room after I've heard her talking and singing on her monitor for a few minutes. The first thing she does EVERY morning, without fail, is make her "eat" sign. The girl is hungry when she wakes up!  I like to give her a little time to wake up and get her mind going. Sometimes I have Ezra in tow with me and sometimes he keeps snoozing a little longer than us.  This morning Cambria slept in until almost 10:30!!! We're a bit off schedule with everything we've been doing lately and she was up until almost 11:00 the night before watching the American Idol finale.  Anyway, this morning Ezra was up before Cam and I was able to have some one-on-one time with him.  Once we heard her we headed into her room and the three of us hung out for a little while before getting breakfast.  I took a few pictures and a video to capture the moment.  These precious mornings will pass all too quickly. 
Cambria's idea of playing is reading books.  She usually plays with very few of her toys.

Notice who Ezra is watching in both the photos. :) He <3's his big sis.

My pretty girl.

And my handsome man.

Baby feet.

Books, books, books.
Cambria is currently learning her letters.  She's in the early stages, but is really catching on fast.  This video is just precious.  The development of the human brain at this stage is absolutely amazing. Cambria will hear something once and remember it, it amazes me every single day. 

I was letting her "read" the book on her own and I was impressed by how many letters she said, even though she didn't identify many of them correctly.. :)

A lesson from Cambria and Oprah

Taken almost a year ago on our way to Asheville, NC for wedding preparations.

That girl, I love her so. 
Tonight while she was playing and running around my parent's house something magical happened. 
She ran up to me and I scooped her up in my arms and we fell back into the couch.  
I snuggled her close, kissed her a few times, and then said something I tell my children many times throughout the day. 
"I love you, Cambria"
And clear as anything, without hesitiation, she replied "I know"
It touched my heart and I instantly began to cry. 
Whether that's what she meant I'm not sure, but that's what I heard.
And those two words brought more joy and happiness than I can explain. 
Today on Oprah's last show she talked about all the greatest lessons she's learned from the show over the last 25 years.
Everything she said was inspiring.
I took many things to heart. 

"Live life from the heart of yourself"

"You have to know what sparks the light in you, so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world"

"Your 'calling' lights you up and it lets you know that you are exactly where you're supposed to be, doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing." 

I still haven't figured out exactly what I want to do with my life once my children no longer need me, but today I realized that right now, I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. 
Right now, motherhood is my calling.
Cambria and Oprah helped me realize that today and I love them both for it. 

Check out a clip of the show here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

a graduation, a birthday, and the continuation of life as we know it

Today was a big day. 
My youngest sister Casey graduated from high school! 
Her graduation was nice, but it was hot. 
A warm auditorium filled with a few thousand people makes for a sticky experience. 
I'm glad I won't have one of those to go to again for a few years.
Casey looked beautiful and we were all proud of her.  
Congrats girl, I love you.
Casey in her cap and gown.
Having fun after the ceremony. 
Today my Dad celebrated his 54th birthday too! 
54 years of life..By golly that's something wonderful!
I love my Dad lots, so celebrating the day of his birth was nice. 
My mom surprised him with a trip to St. Augustine for next weekend.
They'll have a great time and I'm jealous! 
My parents are kid-free now....let the traveling begin!! :) 
We celebrated these two momentous occasions with a lunch/dinner at Mellow Mushroom. It was yums!
These are my parents, being goofy.
Beautiful couple right there!
Oh and I cannot forget that today (at precisely 6 p.m.) was supposed to be the "day of rapture"...
It most certainly wasn't. That man was wrong, again.
Once again, congratulations CASEY and happy birthday DADDY! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A cousin!

There's exciting news in the air....

Cambria and Ezra are getting a cousin! 

Due December 9th. 
But we won't find out if it's a boy or a girl until the little one arrives. 
I'm just hoping for a beautiful, healthy baby.
AND I can share in the excitement by following my sister's blog. Yay!
These are exciting times!
Great parents they will be, for sure.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ezra Amos is 3 months!

Being silly with Ezzy-Pooh while picking strawberries.
Ezra is 3 months old today.
In honor of this very special day, I made a list of 15 20 facts about the little guy.  
  1. He loves his big sister and loves to watch her play, especially when she's playing with her puzzles and books. 
  2. He had very dry, sensitive skin in the beginning of his life, but it's gotten much better in the last few weeks.  
  3. Ezra has the biggest smile.  If you see it in person, you cannot help but smile too.  
  4. He has lots of junk in the trunk from his diaper and I love it! 
  5. Recently, he's been spitting up A LOT.  This weekend he projectile vomited all over me and him and the floor in Target while I was in the toy section with Cambria.  I didn't have anything to wipe it up with so I just walked away.... 
  6. Ezra loves his mama so much that his love has caused a little flat spot on the right side of his head.  I sleep on the right side so he turns his face toward me at night when he sleeps and consequently his head is slightly flat on that side.  Kyle and I switched sides a few nights ago to try and correct the problem.  As soon as I made the switch so did he, which proves he loves me :)
  7. He loves to take a bath but will without fail, every single time, cry when his little wet butt touches the air.
  8. He's been an awesome sleeper since he was born and his most recent bedtime is 10 o'clock.
  9. Although he sleeps well at night, when home all day he sometimes only naps well while in his swing, so he takes many of his naps in it during the days. 
  10. He hasn't started reaching for toys just yet, but we can tell it's going to happen soon.
  11. Ezra eats whenever he wants and I don't care one bit.  Sometimes I feed his twice in an hour and sometimes he'll go 3 or 4 hours between feedings.  I love that we've worked out a little system of our own.    --------Side note: Breastfeeding this time around has been amazing, much different than with Cambria Sky.  
  12. Ezra has no crib, dresser, or furniture of his own.  
  13. Sometimes Ezra gets in a mood where he only wants to be held, and because he's not an only child, he sometimes has to cry for a minute or two when I put him down. 
  14. He has cradle cap and leaves little pieces or dry skin on our sheets and our clothes sometimes.  Most would think it's gross, but I think it's kinda cute. 
  15. Ezra has a sweet and gentle disposition.  He seems to take in the world without needing to express himself outwardly.  This fact makes him more like his daddy and less like me.  
  16. He has the most beautiful blue eyes that I just love to stare into.  
  17. His little naked self is the cutest of all. 
  18. He cries right when we put him in his car seat, but doesn't seem to mind it after a minute or so. 
  19. SO MANY people comment about how his hair has a "reddish tint" and some people think he actually looks like me.  
  20. Ezra is special to each member of our family and has most definitely changed our lives for the better.  We <3 him!  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yard sale finds

I've recently started getting reeeeally into yard/garage sales.  Since moving into our house, we've begun to realize there are many, many things we lack.  Most of these things are not necessities, but they're the kinds of things you accumulate over time while living in a house.  So "house stuff" is one of the main things I'm on the hunt for when I go.  Baby stuff and baby clothes is the other.  High chairs, play mats, bath tubs, books, DVDs, toys, bedding, etc.  I could go on forever about how much of that stuff I see everywhere

And let me tell you, I will NEVER buy my children lots of new clothes.  Never ever.  I just don't see the value in paying 10 or 15 bucks, sometimes more, for something I could find for literally a quarter at a garage sale.  Now that Cambria has gotten older and is eating anything and everything, she gets stains on her clothes daily.  And Ezra grows out of things so quickly.  I see no point in spending lots of money on their clothes, especially when our current budget doesn't really allow it.  There are a few exceptions when I will buy special outfits or specific clothing items, but never for the everyday stuff.  And I would never be embarrassed to admit something I have in my house or something I or my children are wearing is secondhand, I'm proud of it!!! Reduce, reuse, and recycle right?? :) And since I'm so excited about it, I wanted to share some of my recent finds.

All of the following things for Ezra I found at one house and paid a grand total of 7 dollars, for EVERYTHING!!!! The mother only had 1 boy, but had bins filled with clothes.  I couldn't believe how many articles of clothing that little boy had.

These were probably about $30 bucks new. I got them for less than a dollar.

These shirts all look like things Kyle would wear!
Swimming trunks and a hat.
The people had TONS of GT stuff, and that stuff is soooo expensive!!
Sweaters for the fall and winter.
Jean skirt and khakis for Cambria.

Loved this tree.  I've gotten tons of art from yard sales and thrift stores over the years.

$1...and practically new.
This shirt is precious, and someone may need a haircut soon. 
Cambria's Easter dress and shoes my mom found for 1 or 2 dollars.

Got this steam mop for $15.  It's such a nice alternative to chemical-filled cleaners because it uses only steam. After my friend Summer told me about them I knew I wanted one and it didn't take long until I stumbled upon this one. 

Cute shirt.

Bathing suit
Found this hardly used cloth diaper that a mother was selling because she didn't like the snaps.  It was only 5 bucks, normally around 20.  And I will put this on Ezra.
Salad spinner.  I was searching for one of these and found it brand new for $2.

Also $2. And brand new.

Paid 25 cents for these.

Blue shorts and pink Converse shoes for $1.  Cambria LOVES them.
***I had a few more pictures it's not letting me upload at the moment and it's making me angry...grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Hopefully I can figure it out later.***

As you can see, my kiddies look cute, but I don't pay much for it.  Going to yard sales for a few hours on Saturday mornings has become a routine for me and my mom.  We love the thrill of finding awesome deals for cheap and have some good bonding time in the process :)