Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016--A Year In Review

For my family, 2016 will go down as a wonderful year! Here's a little recap of what all happened for us in 2016.
In January we announced that we were adding another sweet baby boy to our family! We decided to name him Bennett and little did we know what a delightfully easy baby he would be. Campbell suffered from RSV and was the sickest he's ever been but he handled it like a champ thanks to lots and lots of cuddles from mom and dad. Scott and I celebrated our 7th year of marriage.
February brought us heart shaped donuts for Valentines day, occasional and unseasonably warm weather, and a growing baby bump!
March was a fun month! Campbell got his first haircut and participated in his first school music production. Ivy and Madison turned 4 years old and spring came into bloom. We ended the month by celebrating our sweet boy turning two years old with a puppy themed birthday party and perfect weather for holding the party outdoors. We also celebrated Easter and had fun going on our first egg hunt.
April was full of preparations for our baby Bennett to arrive. We soaked in our last month as a family of three with Saturday farmers markets, long strolls along the streets of our pretty town, and doing our best to get a lot of rest.
May is all about our sweet Bennett Graham who arrived on the 9th. He didn't make a peep the second he was born and has pretty much remained that way this entire year. We fell in love and bonded with him instantly--all of us! Campbell loved becoming a big brother and I experienced a happiness that I have never felt in my heart before. Becoming a mommy to two boys gave me an overwhelming sense of pride and joy and I found myself loving my life, and my stage of life, more than ever.
June brought us a lot of summer fun. We spent a lot of time at our neighborhood pool. Campbell loves to swim!!
In July we had a big time celebrating America on the 4th with hotdogs, fireworks, and pool time. Campbell did a lot of big boy things like getting potty trained and transitioning to a big boy bed. He did excellent with both changes. We were so proud of him! Bennett started giving us lots of smiles and hasn't stopped since!
August means back to school (aka Mothers Day Out) for Campbell! Campbell loves going and we decided to let Bennett join him. Bennett loves it just as much as Campbell does! Neither of my boys have ever cried at drop off and we're thankful that they enjoy being there as much as they do!
September brought back Razorback football, a trip to my hometown for a family reunion, and Bennett's first big milestone--rolling over!
October was all about fall! We visited many pumpkin patches and enjoyed the changing weather. Campbell was a doggie for Halloween and Bennett was a goldfish. My momma heart could hardly contain their cuteness!
November brought cooler temps and we celebrated 1/2 a year with our sweet baby Bennett! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Little Rock, took a lot of photos for family friends, and enjoyed the gorgeous fall foliage we had this year. I received an email from Freshly Picked asking if I would like to collaborate with them, which was probably the highlight of my blogging career. I'm looking forward to continue working with them on future projects!
December was full of the Christmas spirit! We created many fun Christmas memories and enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Savior with all of our families. It ended our awesome year perfectly and we couldn't be more thankful and grateful for all that 2016 gave us.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Wrap Up

Sorry that I keep talking about Christmas! I'm almost done.....I just wanted to share a few more special Christmas moments here.
Just a couple of Christmas snapshots with my boys! Me + Campbell before we went to visit Santa and Me + Bennett the night we made Christmas cookies. Sweet boys. I'm a lucky Mama to be surrounded by such sweet and handsome guys all the time!
On December 23, we created a wonderful Christmas memory and hopefully a new tradition for our family. We rode on a real train! A dream come true for our train loving toddler. Our town does this every year and it's called The Holiday Express. The train is decorated in holiday d├ęcor and during the hour long ride, we got served hot chocolate, cookies, and listened to Christmas carols. Even Santa made a quick appearance!! It was simply magical for Campbell. Scott and I loved it as well. We're going to do our best to make that a December 23rd tradition for our little family every year. It was so fun!
My Mom sent me this photo of myself from my first Christmas and my jaw dropped. Bennett and I both have May birthdays so we're the same ages here essentially. I could not stop starring at this photo. It's pretty wild to see someone look so much like you! I not so secretly love it. My little mini!! So fun.
Speaking of, here is Bennett wearing an outfit of Campbell's. It says "Meet Me Under The Mistletoe" and I love it so much. I think this will be one of those outfits that I will keep forever.
Santa came to our house on December 24th and this is what he left us! We had our own little family Christmas on Christmas Eve morning and it was so fun. Campbell was beyond excited about his train track and Bennett thought his piano was pretty neat. Santa visited us again in Little Rock on Christmas morning so the boys got pretty lucky this year!!
So that's a wrap. Christmas 2016. So many fun memories were made. We enjoyed the holiday season for sure.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Memories

Hey all! I took a mini blogging hiatus in order to recover from the holiday madness. I feel a little recovered now so I'm ready to talk Christmas!
We had another wonderful Christmas this year. It's always so busy, honestly, and Scott and I feel like we go 90-nothing starting on the 23rd. We are both so drained and exhausted by the end of it!! It's great though and we're so thankful to be able to spend time with our families.
We got home on Tuesday after spending some time in Little Rock with my family. Campbell and Bennett got so many new fun toys! They are both having so much fun playing with them all. I'm currently trying to figure out where to put everything!! While we were in Little Rock, Scott and I escaped one evening for a little date night. We always do that when we're visiting my parents and it's such a treat. We had a nice meal then came home and watched The Secret Life of Pets which was super cute.
Yesterday I spent my day taking down my Christmas decorations. I love putting them up but I always look forward to getting my house back to normal. I wasn't even home from Christmas for 24 hours before I started tearing it down. Haha! I do leave my Christmas cards up into the new year though because they're my favorite.
I can't believe another Christmas has come and gone. They just get more fun every year thanks to my two little guys. Bennett's first Christmas was so sweet and special! What a joy he brings to all of us! Campbell has enjoyed playing with a lot of his new toys so it's hard to say which is a favorite. He didn't care to tear into present after present though. He enjoyed opening one and playing with it for a while, just like last year. His favorite toy on Christmas day was the Mickey Mouse railroad and train that Santa brought him. It's basically the only thing he was interested in that entire day.
Here's a few photos of our Christmas day. We took over 100 so it was hard to narrow down my favorites but I did it!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!! I just wanted to pop in super fast to say that I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas day. We certainly did!! Our day got a late start because Campbell slept until almost 9:00!! Campbell slept in super late last Christmas too (he typically wakes up at 7:00). I guess it's because the days leading up to Christmas are always busy and fun so he just gets worn out. For a while this morning it was just us and Bennett which I enjoyed. Bennett got a sneak peek of Santa's presents before his big brother did and we got a little one on one time for Bennett's first Christmas.
We checked out what Santa brought then we got dressed and went to church. It was a lovely service and I'm so glad that we were able to celebrate and worship the birth of Jesus this morning.
We came home, played with a few toys, and then both boys took a long nap at the same time. While they did that, I chilled by myself for almost 2 hours while everyone was doing other things.  I must say, it was nice! I loved that little bit of time to myself (with my girls by my side!) where I enjoyed my festive surroundings, channel surfed for Christmas movies, and just soaked in the day. It seems like the day is always bustling and busy so it was nice to just have a moment to relax and enjoy it.
I'll share some photos and other bits about our Christmas day later. I'm off to bed. It's been a fun, (but long!) day.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve! Our Christmas festivities were kicked off last night and we will be in full force for the next few days. Lots of families!! Which makes it even more fun, special and it always feels like Christmas lasts a lot longer than just one day. I'd like to think I will blog tomorrow because I enjoy blogging big events on the day of the event for myself. But I'm sure it will be crazy and busy and full of family time so I'll probably have to wait until next week. Maybe I'll have a little free time though. If not, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and I will see you all back here soon!
---xo, Kara

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Card 2016

Right after Thanksgiving we had a Christmas photo session with the photographer who has taken both of our boys newborn photos. We send out Christmas cards every year and we always take the photos ourselves. But this year we decided to go easy on ourselves and have someone else do it for us. We always want to include the girls and it just seemed like a headache to try to get 2 dogs, a toddler and a baby to look good in a photo. So we decided to give the challenge to someone else. Ha!!
We were there for about an hour one Sunday and we walked away with these sweet photos. I like them because they were done in a studio which is different than anything we could ever do ourselves. I've already shared several on my Instagram (@kara2lou) but I wanted to share them here as well! Our sweet little Christmas mini session.
I love Campbell and Madison in this photo. He's got the biggest grin on his face, squeezing her neck so hard and she's just like "agh I hate when he does this to me. Someone please help!" LOL!!!

Sweet little winter wonderland scene. Campbell wouldn't stay still on that sled for longer than .2 seconds and Bennett kept trying to eat the snow. The girls cooperated the best. I always say they're my easiest subjects to photograph!! 
I love these last three photos. I am always drawn to a simple backdrop. It really makes the subject in the photo stand out. She did this just for us because the winter wonderland look wasn't quite working (aka my kids weren't cooperating) so we tried something else. She pulled these vintage Christmas blocks out for Campbell because she knows how much he loves stacking. He started stacking immediately and she got this precious shot of him. I gasped when I saw it. I love it so very much. Bennett wasn't able to sit up on his own yet so she got the vintage high chair out for him. I've noticed that high chair in her photos before and I've always thought it was so cute and unique. She pulled that simple little Christmas tree out and we told Campbell to go up to Bennett and two clicks later we got that shot of the two of them together. I love it!

This is our 2016 Christmas card, front and back. I love how it turned out! It's really different and unique and I'm so glad we have these photos for a fun and different Christmas card look!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Cookies

We have a little tradition in our house every year where we bake Christmas cookies. Campbell loves it mostly because he loves sprinkles. Loves. Last Friday night we did some baking and had a great time doing it! We listened to Christmas music and sprinkles were everywhere!! Bennett chewed on a cookie cutter pretty much the whole time and Campbell did his best not to eat too much cookie dough. The cookies didn't exactly turn out super pretty but that's not what matters at all! Campbell had fun and Bennett did too. Memories were made and Campbell thought his treats were quite tasty.