Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas is Upon Us!!! And a special offer from my favorite photo sites!!!

As much as I complained on Facebook about the extreme disgust I had for Christmas decorations being hung before Halloween, I'm secretly excited about all of the Christmas stuff available right now. I'm not excited for Christmas music yet but its only a matter of time before I get excited about that. But really, I've never been so prepared for the holidays than I am this year. Our gift lists are completed and Santa's even been shopping for Noah and Emmy. He's almost done! I'm so excited!

So that brings me to my next huge feat.....Family Photos! This might be the aspect of the holiday season that stresses me out the most. Finding the kids outfits is never difficult thanks to the amazing color coordination that The Children's Place has. The stress comes from figuring out what John and I are going to wear. I think I have it figured out but we'll see. I just can't wait for the pictures! Photos are just one of the many things that make me smile. Everything about them.....the actual act of taking a picture, capturing a moment forever is the best thing ever. Then actually having the picture, in your hands, to cherish forever....nothing's better than that. If you've met me, you know that I always have my camera at all times and I am constantly snapping away. What do I do with all of those pictures? Nothing. I'm so bummed by digital photography because I can take a ton of pictures but have no physical pictures to speak of.
My saving grace....Shutterfly! I absolutely adore Shutterfly. Not only do I have a photo site to share pictures of my little ones, I use them for almost everything! Our honeymoon is captured in a beautiful Photobook. I'm in the middle of creating a Photobook for 2009 (I guess I need to work on a 2010 book too). I made a book for Sharon after my wedding and did a thank you book for my parents of our wedding pictures. Shutterfly is my go-to site for Christmas cards. I'm big on sharing my family photos (well photos of my kids) with everyone! This year's layouts are too good to be true. I've mentioned some of my favorites in postings before but I just can't say enough. I can't decide which ones will be coming to mailboxes near you this holiday season.

Holiday cards are always a great way to spread your holiday cheer and who doesn't love the opportunity to write a handwritten note?!?

My favorite!!! I just love the modern feel of this one!!!!

I've ordered multiple photocards and I'm not disappointed by this year's selection. The only decision I have to make is which layout to choose.

My new favorite! I find a new favorite every time I'm on the site. This combines my love of snowmen and monograms! Plus it gives me the opportunity to showcase more than just 1 picture of my adorable family!!!

And I am pleased to announce the new reason why I love Shutterfly....Birthday Invitations! I never in a million years thought to order invitations from here but after browsing the site, I have fallen in love with the perfect invite for Noah's 4th birthday party (and it's sparked my creative side and now I'm in full party planning mode for a construction site birthday party!)

I just love it!!! I can see it now.....dump trucks everywhere, a really cool cake, and these invitations!!!!

Now why am I talking about Shutterfly so much? They are doing a "blogger" promotion right now for 50 free holiday cards. Yes....I said 50. I know that covers almost all of my holiday card list. Who wouldn't love that?!?!? I absolutely adore Shutterfly and their products. If you haven't checked them out, you're missing out on so much.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

OMG its been a LONG while

Its funny how I originally planned on using this blog to keep everyone in the loop about our family's happenings and then I don't update it in over a year. Definitely goes to show what adding a second child plus finishing up school can do to your spare time. So quick recap of the past year:

~August 10, 2009: My amazing Dr Fosnot stripped my membranes. The waiting begins for Emmy's arrival
~August 12, 2009: Labor started, I brushed off going to the hospital but finally at midnight, we start getting ready for the hospital.
~August 13, 2009 @ 9:43am: Emily Paige Crimella makes her long awaited debut and is absolutely healthy. A little jaundiced but thats ok. A healthy baby made 9 weeks of strict bedrest completely worth it. Noah is loving being a big brother!
~December 25, 2009: We celebrated our first Christmas together as a complete family. The best Christmas ever
~January 12, 2010: Noah turns 3. I can't believe he's so old. He loved his Thomas the Train party and we all had a blast. He truly is the best big brother in the entire world. He's also completed his speech therapy course. We're going to miss Jeanie desperately but we're so thankful that we've worked so hard to develop his speech.

As the months move on, we're getting more and more accustomed to life as 4 rather than 3. Emmy has a few bouts of pneumonia and bronchiolitis but no hospitalizations (yay!!!). Just enjoying life as it comes.

~May 2010: Our first family trip to Disney World. We did all 4 parks in 3 days. Call us crazy because we were. But we had a great time (minus day 2) and have great memories.
~August 13, 2010: Our little Princess turns 1. I can't believe this day has come. Her first year went by so much faster than Noah's. We had a celebration fit for a Princess (because that's what she is!!!)

About the same time, we decide to put Noah in Pre-K. He's attending St Patrick Catholic School (of course) and can't wait.

~September 11, 2010: USF travels up to UF for the first ever meeting between the schools. I thought my Bulls were going to pull off the upset but the Gators rallied back in the second half and won. I wish there was a different outcome but I'm glad I was a part of that game!

That pretty much catches everything up until now. Noah is loving school. He only goes for a few hours a day but he's learning so much. He can write his name like a pro. Its amazing how well he's doing after a few short months. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings. I'm finishing up my BSN at USF (finally). I'm in my last semester and cannot wait for it to be over. I'm sick of clinicals and papers and exams. I'm so ready for it to be over (ok I'm done whining). December 11th will be a very emotional day because I will finally be getting that USF degree that I started way back in 2000. I hate leaving things unfinished, especially when it comes to school. This is the closure I need in making my decision to leave USF in 2003, without graduating, an okay one. I know career wise it was the best (and I don't know if I would have ever met John if I stayed at USF) but it wasn't the educational outcome I ever envisioned.

So that brings us to the holidays. As we finished Halloween (and if it were up to the retail industry, we'd skip right over Thanksgiving), we're getting closer to the holiday season. I've already been planning out holiday outifts for our family pictures. I have a thing about color coordination when it comes to the kids and holidays. Our family pictures are no different. It is a huge, unneccessary stress that I put on myself but these pictures are the representation of us. Its what will hang on my walls. It is my way to remember where we came from. And of course, there is the all important Christmas card. I've been doing photo cards since our family began and there is no way that I'm abandoning that tradition. With Shutterfly being my "go-to" site for all things photo, I was so excited to hear about their new line of cards! It drives John crazy but I can look at Shutterfly for hours. So with only a month and a half to go, its time to start picking out our layouts. Here are a couple of my favorites!

I love the focus of the image with a very subtle, yet modern message

I love the untraditional aspect of this one. The colors don't scream holiday but its festive in its own way.

My absolute favorite layout. I love the simplicity of it. The photos set the tone and are the main focus. I love anything that allows me to add more pictures of my amazing children. Why wouldn't I love this layout? Plus its a Happy Holidays greeting, not Merry Christmas. I have a handful of non-Christian friends on my card list so this is a perfect way to have a beautiful card that does not offend any religion. Its perfect!

Check out Shutterfly for their promotion for bloggers. 50 free Holiday Cards. How can you go wrong with that?!?!

And now for my promise.....I promise to try my best to be a better blogger. I don't know why I've let it go so long. My kids are growing up so quickly and without this site, I'm going to forget about the little things (like how much my mailman aggrevates me....which he still does!!!).

Here's to a better blogging experience!!!