Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby Gizmo's 12 Days of Christmas!

If you know me, I LOVE giveaways.  I try to enter as many things as I can and have actually won quite a few items.  Baby Gizmo is doing yet another amazing giveaway in their 12 Days of Christmas!  Thousands of dollars worth of prizes will be given away to 36 lucky winners.  The amazing prizes include a Britax Marathon car seat and a Bugaboo Chameleon!  This is one contest you won't want to miss!   

To find out more about the contest head over to Baby Gizmo's 12 Days of Christmas! The contest starts tomorrow.

Attention bloggers!  There is also a special giveaway for you.  Write a post about this giveaway and you could be entered to win a $250 Visa Gift Card.  Contest rules are here.

Good luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Thanksgiving Adventure

Our family Thanksgiving trip in Alabama was booked months in advance.  I was looking forward to getting away from the city for a while and spending some much needed quality time with my family.  No matter how far advanced this trip was planned out, it still left me with a near panic attack the night before we left.  I was so worried that I would forget something for Harlan and we wouldn't be able to buy it in Nicholsville.  I checked her bag of stuff two or three times and probably ended up packing way too much food and clothes for her, but if something were to happen or go wrong, Harlan would be all set (that's how my crazy mind thinks.) 

My sister, Danielle, was travelling with us too so I made sure to call her several times on Monday to see what she was bringing so we didn't double pack and to make sure she had everything set.  I told MacKay numerous times on Monday night and Tuesday morning before we left to make sure he had everything. 

I knew our travel days were going to be LONG.  We had a layover in Atlanta and once we landed in Ft. Walton we still had a 3 hour drive.  I was trying to be as calm as possible and think positive thoughts because secretly in the back of my head I was freaking out with having to travel with Harlan for that long.  You put a 13 hour travel day with a very squirmy and active toddler and it could turn out to be a disaster. 

It turned out that Harlan was the least of my trouble that day.  When we got to the airport to check in the attendant asked us for our IDs.  Danielle and I quickly whipped ours out, but when I looked over at MacKay he is searching every pocket he has for his.  After 5 minutes of searching, he comes to the realization that he forgot it at the apartment (after I asked 5 trillion times if he had it.)  Making the day more stressful, he has no other government ID on him and nothing with a picture on it.  The attendant tells us there is nothing he can do so MacKay's only option is to hurry back into the city (we were at Newark) and get his ID (he said he had no clue where it was at the apartment.)  He left all of his things with us and hurried as fast as we could. 

Frantic and stressed, I began to think of all the options for him in case he missed his flight.  I asked another attendant when the next flight was after explaining our situation and she informed me that it's OK that he left his ID he just needs to go through a screening process with TSA.  At that point I wanted to rip someones head off.  I called MacKay to tell him to get back here, but he wouldn't answer his phone (go figure!)  After finally getting in touch with him he was almost to the city.  So my sister and I had to lug his suitcase, four bags, Harlan and her suitcase through security.  You would have laughed if you saw us.  We were.  It was insane.  Thankfully TSA was very helpful.  We got to our gate and played the waiting game.  Still no MacKay.  We got on the plane and played the waiting game.  Still no MacKay.  Last call for the flight and I finally see MacKay get on the plane with a big smile on his face.  He came on acting like he had plenty of time and it was no big deal. Little did he know I was having a major panic attack inside.

That was just the start of our trip.  Thankfully the rest of it was not as stressful as the beginning.  It was actually stress free which is exactly what I needed.

Thank goodness for my sister.  She helped out SO MUCH the entire trip, including the long plane rides!

Harlan spent most of the ride there sitting in my lap and watching "Yo Gabba Gabba" on the portable DVD player (a lifesaver!)
She LOVED looking out the window and seeing everything so far down.  Especially at night when she could see the lights.
MacKay took over for a little bit and showed Harlan all of the cool things in Sky Mall magazine.
Mesmorized by Yo Gabba Gabba
This may not be a big deal to some of you but this meal was one of the highlights of my trip.  I've waited so long for some Chick-Fila. It was SO good, even if it was from the airport.
We finally made it!  This is a view from the house looking at the barn.
Our first morning and we were both decked out in camo and ready to go explore the woods.
Aunt Danni was ready to go out with us.

Within 15 minutes of being on the ATV she was asleep. I don't know how because it was loud and bumpy.  It probably reminded her of her time in her stroller on the city streets. 

We made an outing to WalMart and Dirt Cheap to see what goodies we could find.
This was our find at WalMart.  Harlan's fist pair of Christmas pajamas. 
Thanksgiving Day.  Harlan was all dressed up.
The night of Thanksgiving we made it back out to the fields to let her roam around and get some energy out.  We saw several deers that evening.
Harlan and my brother really bonded on this trip.  It's great to see them love on her so much.
This place had fried southern food galore!  This will satisfy my craving for at least another year!
Spending time with Har

Enjoying some roasted marshmallows the night before we left.  Such a treat.
This is the entire Ft. Walton Beach airport.  It took us forever to get through security there because they had to test everything and MacKay even got the pat down.
Harlan was so tired from such a great week with family.
I know it sounds cheesy and cliche but its times like this that I truly understand what I am thankful for.  I have the most amazing and supportive family I could have ever asked for. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and got to spend it with the people you cherish the most. 

(P.S.  These were just pictures that I took with my phone.  For more pictures, be sure to visit my Facebook page)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We've Come Full Circle

Prior to moving to Tampa, my family lived in Lawrenceville, Georiga, a suburb of Atlanta.  We lived in a great neighborhood with great people.  The family friends we made over the years living there are still our friends today.  And with the incredible technology of Facebook it is even easier to keep in touch with them and stay current on their lives. 

My sister and I were lucky enough to have two girls as our next door neighbors.  Elizabeth and Lily were both close to our age and we would do everything together.  From making crazy and embarrassing music videos at Six Flags to our summers together at Callaway Gardens, they were great girls and we knew we were blessed with wonderful next door neighbors.

Our world shattered when my dad told my sister and I that we were moving to Tampa because of a job transfer.  At ten years old the only think you think of are the friends you are going to leave behind.  We were leaving behind some of the best friends a girl could have.

Throughout the years we made sure to keep in touch with Elizabeth and Lily.  We visited each other over the summer and Lily even went to FSU with us and was our roommate my sophomore year.

Now 16 years after moving from Atlanta and living in this huge city with millions of people, I once again have the greatest next door neighbor.  Elizabeth moved up here three months ago and lives in the building next door.

It was during my trip to Target last night and showing Liz and my sister, Danielle, "Go Go My Walkin Pup," a toy that only they would appreciate, that I realized how great it is to have such amazing friendships with people that you know will last a lifetime.  And it's even better to have those friends live next door to you.

Now if we could only get Lily to move up here. :)

Maybe one day...........

Elizabeth, Me, Danielle, Lily

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Day in the Life: First Edition

Yesterday Harlan and I got up and out of the house early to spend the day in this perfect city with perfect weather.  I decided to chronicle our day with pictures and want to make this a weekly edition on my blog.  Here we go!

My mom got her this fur vest and she was too tiny to wear it.  It is still a little big, but I wanted her to wear it anyway. I was calling her Rachel Zoe all day long.  It took her a while to get used to having it on.  I loved it though. 
One of my favorite pics of the day. She was running up and down the hallway chasing the dogs with her baby stroller.
Off to eat lunch with my sister.  She fell asleep within minutes of being outside.  Notice she fell asleep with her snacks in hand.
Still sleeping.  She looks super cozy!
Finally at lunch and eat chicken fingers {shocker!} She just tried honey mustard for the first time in this picture.  That is why she has the weird face.
She loved the honey mustard so much that she kept dipping her french fries in there just to suck off the sauce. 
On our way back home drinking milk.  Looking stylish with her vest.
On our way to gym open play with baby doll in hand.  The thing is almost as big as she is!
Hanging from the trapeze bars.  My little monkey.
She loves to bounce and jump so you can only imagine how much time she spend on this thing!
She took claim over this bridge and would not let anyone else get on!  Only child syndrome already!
Jumping into the ball pit.  She could spend all day in this thing
One of her favorite things to do at open play is jump in this ball pit.
Tired little girl.
So tired from our long day. Resting on the couch watching "Yo Gabba Gabba."  Her favorite show.
I love this little girl with all of my heart.
Playing with my camera on my phone! 
Posing for the camera.  She liked to see herself in the screen while taking these.

I got The Elf on the Shelf book to start a new tradition for our family.  Harlan loved him.
Mid-way through the book we realized that the one and only rule for the elf is no touching.  She broke that rule right away!
Finishing The Elf on the Shelf.  We named him Ralf.  Harlan calls him "Ra Ra."  One last special moment before bedtime.