Christmas Vacation

It’s almost here… it’s so close I can smell it…I can hear it… I can taste it…

View More:


My two weeks off for unlimited family and friend time begins in just a few hours. This week has been insane – between final semester grading, the school’s winter celebration, buying gifts for teachers/friends/students, and having to sit through THREE showings of Frozen, I’m ready for some relaxation with my sweet little ONE year old and amazing husband.

View More:

I’ve been holding out on watching all my favorite Christmas movies, haven’t baked a single cookie, and need to do some shopping. I want to do ALL of these things with my little family… last year Annabelle was a teeny tiny two week old, so I didn’t leave the house. This year we are going to take her to meet SANTA and put our new traditions in place.

Tonight we are heading to Tennessee for our first round of “Christmas” with B’s family. Annabelle made her grandparents the sweetest ornament – it’s supposed to be a hand print but turned out more like a blob. It’s the thought that counts. Did you make any holiday gifts with your little one?

Hopefully I will have time to get back to blogging too. However – I think everyone can agree that during the holidays, blogging slows down. I hope all my readers are having a great holiday season! Happy Friday!

First Birthday Fun




Until I get the professional pictures back, I thought I would share some of the photos from Annabelle’s first birthday this past weekend. I can’t believe our little Boochie Pants is ONE YEAR OLD!!! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was home with her every day, trying to get her to roll over. I do miss those days… but her being ONE is going to be so much fun. She is talking more and more every day…




Guess who got THREE babies and a baby stroller for her birthday? She also says, “Baby” now, which is too cute.


Princess Ball pit from the Aunties. She was pretty excited about this toy once she figured she could 1. get inside of it and 2. stick all of her toys inside it. She has been having so much fun climbing in and out!


Some of the adorable decor AND the cutest kitchen set from her Coco and Pop.


We had an especially amazing weekend since my Mom, sisters, and their fiances flew down to Georgia for the festivities. A great time is always had when we all get together. Fun times at Top Golf. Annabelle was clearly unamused as she had just woken up from a long nap. Being 1 is hard.


Now she is WALKING. Yes…walking. The girl decided to take her first real steps on her first birthday. I had the video camera out and she just took off. We all watched in silence as she took at least 10 steps from the living room into the kitchen. When she finally reached the cabinets and held up, we all erupted into applause and tears. It was a pretty amazing moment I will never forget. Until I upload the video on YouTube, you can see her walking that night at our house! 

Due Date

One year ago today, I was induced after not feeling Annabelle move in my belly for almost 12 hours. I was excited of the possibility that we would actually meet our precious bundle of joy on her due date! We listened to Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” on the way to the hospital. I was not scared – just extremely anxious as I did not know what to expect. image

We were able to run home from the doctors to grab my overnight bag… thankfully we only live 5 minutes from the hospital!


Our last photo as a family of two.

It’s funny how you can plan for something for 10 months, and when the day comes your expectations and the imagined scenario you’ve played out in your head over and over again goes completely out the window. I didn’t think I would be induced into labor. I always thought I would go into labor on my own. I didn’t think I would need any drugs – I had mentally prepared myself to labor naturally. I thought Annabelle would be delivered quickly after I accepted that I was going to be induced. I thought she would arrive before midnight – on Frank Sinatra’s birthday and her expected due date. The doctor said she would be small and easy to deliver. I thought a lot of things about this day. One thing I did not think about was how I would feel after it was all over…

Its been a year since I entered the hospital just a pregnant girl, with her husband and Mom by her side. My belly was huge and some people said I didn’t even look pregnant from behind. I had grown to love my belly, but hated how uncomfortable I felt. I remember thinking my life was about to change in a HUGE way…but I was so so ready for this change.

brandon caitlin delivery
I left the hospital the proudest Mommy, with a Christmas angel in my arms, and my husband and Mom by my side.

1525011_10202578696529395_548816820_nNow I will sit and reflect on what I believe has been the best year of my life. Tomorrow we will celebrate what I believe has been the best year (and first year) of Annabelle’s life. My heart feels extra heavy today – in a good way of course. My eyes keep brimming with tears of joy, gratitude, love, happiness, and everything else wonderful that’s in between.

Being a Parent

If if you would like to read Annabelle’s birth story, here are Part I and Part II.