Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

I cannot believe it is time for this already. This year has gone so fast and I'm a little sad about it. This year has had its highs and lows, but all in all was a pretty good year.


We had our 2nd snow in less than a month and this one kept us shut in the house for several days.

Aubrey turned 2! Her birthday also brought the bad news that she had her first ear infection.

Aubrey's birthday party at Discovery Place Kids

I bought my 17-50mm lens which is a great lens for using in the house.


We had quite a warm spell this month and spent a great deal of time outside which gave me a lot of opportunities to use my new 100 mm lens.

A little bit of family time with Aubrey, Todd, and Aunt Traci

Todd's dad has his 2nd heart attack this month.


Todd got his iPad and Aubrey was instantly hooked

Aubrey got her first tricycle


We transitioned Aubrey to the toddler bed

Aubrey was pretty uncooperative for her Easter pictures, but I did get this cute picture.

Easter egg hunt at Gma and Grandpa's house

I ran my first 5k pushing Aubrey for the whole race

We got our positive pregnancy test on April 26th.


Mother's Day

We had our first ultrasound which gave us a due date of January 7, 2012

We shared our news with family by Aubrey wearing this shirt

We celebrated the return of super warm weather by busting out the water table

We were able to drop Aubrey to part-time at daycare and my mom started watching her 2 days a week.

Todd found out he was accepted to graduate school and took 2 extra classes at CPCC


More outside time

Father's Day breakfast at Bojangles.


Independence Day celebration in Mooresville

Drugged up baby before her tube surgery


Cornhole time

Her first time gathering eggs at Todd's aunt and uncle's farm

Had the big ultrasound and discovered we are having a boy!

Todd officially started graduate school this month

We officially pulled Aubrey out of daycare at the end of the month


Aubrey and I attended our first Matthews Alive festival

I got my new Canon 7D camera and fell in love at first click (this was the first picture I took with it)

Family beach trip where Todd and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary

We made the decision for me to stay home with Aubrey so we had more time to things like picnic outside

Aubrey made the transition to a big girl twin bed and loved it


Aubrey at the Carolina Renaissance Festival

The aftermath of Todd's car accident that totaled his poor truck

Visiting the Hodge's Pumpkin Patch

Our little Minnie Mouse dressed up for Halloween


Playing in the leaves at Todd's aunt and uncle's farm

Posing on Thanksgiving Day

Picking out the Christmas tree

And putting the star on top


Santa fail

Making Christmas cookies

Our family Christmas card

Checking out her Santa loot

Christmas Day family picture

2011 New Year's Resolutions

Personal Resolutions
**Finish a 4-mile race: Sadly, this did not happen. I didn't start training hard enough in time and wasn't ready.

**52-week blog: Check. It was a struggle at times to make sure I did at least 1 entry every week, but I made it happen. I'm not sure if I can make it happen next year with a newborn in tow, but I like having some accountability in making sure our lives are documented.

**20 new recipes: Check. I really branched out in cooking this year and added a ton of new recipes to our family cookbook. We've found several of our new favorites because of this resolution.

**Read 12 new books: So close, but failed. I read 11 books. I lost a lot of motivation to read after I got pregnant, but I did read more than last year so I am proud of that.

Family/House Resolutions
**Redo loft and guest room: Check. The loft was cleaned and rearranged and the guest room is now ready for Mason. We also finished the master bath so our house is mostly finished. We have a few projects for next year but those are not a necessity to be completed, so we are happy with what we've got for now.

**Clean closets by March: I know this one did not happen by March because we just finished the closet in Mason's room in mid-December. But, all the closets upstairs were cleaned and that is a good feeling.

**Clean/organize garage by June: I think this one was finished in July. Sadly, it already needs to be cleaned and organized again following all the cleaning we did upstairs.

**Frame/hang pictures: Big, fat fail. I've got a ton of pictures I want to print, including a canvas of Aubrey, but I am going to wait until after Mason is born and order a bunch of pictures together.

Photography Resolutions
**Learn Lightroom 3: Sort-of check. I did learn more about the program this year, but I think I learned I like Photoshop more. I will continue to use it because the noise reduction is much better in LR, but for the most part I'll use Photoshop. Especially since I forked out the money to upgrade to full-blown Photoshop from Photoshop Elements.

**Composition: Again, a soft-of check. I did keep composition rules in my mind while I was taking pictures, but I wasn't a stickler for them.

**Buy 85mm lens: I ditched this resolution in favor of buying a 100mm macro lens. It had a learning curve attached to it, but it is such a great lens. Not my most used lens, but it is great when I do use it.

**Purchase wide-angle lens: Check. My first lens purchase of the year was a 17-50mm lens. This let me experiment on the wider angle side of things and is perfect for using in my house. I'm not sure I need anything much wider than this, but that could change as I explore new types of photography.

I really hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year's Eve and a great 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

38-week check-up

This week started the weekly check to include internal exams and I dreaded it for the past week but accepted it had to happen. The CMA and I got a great laugh when I lied down for her to check Mason's heart rate because she could tell exactly where he was by how lopsided my belly was. His heart sounded great at 142 and he only moved once while she was checking it so I was proud. However, my happiness drained afterwards because they left me sitting in the room, naked from the waist down, for 45 minutes while I could hear my doctor talking his head off in the rooms next to me. Don't get me wrong, I am glad the doctor is social and does a great job with patient care, but sitting there for 45 minutes dreading an internal exam was not much fun. Finally, Dr. Fishburne came in and did all the usual tasks before having me lie back for the exam. I told him I wasn't holding my breath for progress because I was still locked down at 0 4 days before Aubrey was born and he just laughed. No matter how much you think you are prepared, it still can't beat the initial shock of having an internal exam done. I was able to relax a little, especially once he shocked me by saying he thinks I'm dilated about 1 cm and about 70% effaced. I know its not a huge deal and doesn't mean labor will happen any time soon, but that was the first time I've ever heard I was dilated prior to being admitted to the hospital and I was excited. I remember feeling so defeated after all of my internal exams with Aubrey that any amount of progress made me happy this time. Maybe my body remembers what is supposed to do this time and will cooperate more with getting this labor show on the road soon. I scheduled my next appointment before running out of the building to call Todd and share the news. I think he was just as surprised as I was and it made us both realize this is happening soon. Even if it's 3 more weeks (which I really hope its not, but it could be), this little man is going to be joining us in the world soon and we are getting more excited every day.

December 19-25

This week was all about Christmas. Due to Todd and myself liking January babies, this was the 2nd time I had to miss the family Christmas in Raleigh. Being 180 miles from the hospital is not such a good idea when you are 38-weeks pregnant, so I sent Todd and Aubrey on their way while I stayed home. I decided to take the quiet time in my house and work. Yeah, probably not the best idea I've ever had, but we could use the extra money with me going on maternity leave in a few weeks so it seemed like a good idea when I first told my boss about it. I did enjoy the the peace in my house and it was nice to have a break from the constant go, go, go of an almost 3-year old. I did get a little teary eyed when the left and it made me sad knowing that Aubrey was opening presents with her cousins and I couldn't see them, but she was well taken care of and had a blast and that's what was important. Todd kept me up-to-date by texting me play-by-play and took a lot of pictures while he was there so I still got to feel like I was a part of things.

Evidently, she decided she still wasn't too fond of Santa and wanted nothing to do with him when he came to visit. This was as close as she would get to him and the only way he could give her a gift.

She loved the roasted marshmallows.

On Christmas Eve, my mom's sister held Christmas dinner for the family at her house in Kernersville. Todd and Aubrey met me there and I was so happy to see my little family again. Aubrey enjoyed playing with my cousin's girlfriend's son and the abundance of toys that were opened as presents.

Of course Aubrey had to help everyone open their presents. Here she is helping my mom open her gift while my sister watched.

Feeding her Baby Alive, a gift from my Aunt Katherine.

We drove home Christmas Eve night just in time to get Aubrey in the bed before Santa came. When we woke her up Christmas morning, she didn't seem to excited to come down and see her gifts. Todd basically had to drag her in the playroom to open presents, which amazed us both. The girl really just doesn't like Santa, a trait I hope goes away next year. Once we got her started looking at her loot and opening our gift, she warmed up and got into the spirit.

Her Santa loot.

Opening her gift from us. She calls it her iPad. 

After checking out Santa's gifts, we drove to Mooresville to eat breakfast and do gifts with Todd's family. She started to love the gift idea by this point and unwrapped her presents with reckless abandon this time around. I got so caught up in her excitement, I forgot to grab my camera but it was so cute to watch.

After presents, Todd, his sister, her boyfriend TJ, and Aubrey were all sitting on the couch playing with their iPads. Its sad how much our family loves gadgets.

After breakfast, we watched most of A Christmas Story before driving home to start getting ready for dinner at our house. My parents, sister, and her boyfriend came over before dinner for round 3 of presents for the day before Todd's parents came to join us for dinner. After dinner, we hung out and watched the football game while Aubrey provided live entertainment. She loved having so many people at the house to show off for and play with.

I handed the camera over to grab a quick Christmas family picture. 

Being silly with Lacey and Jeffrey.

Posing with my mom and dad.

So all in all it was a great Christmas. We ate way too much food, were thoroughly spoiled by family and friends, and spent a lot of quality time with people we don't see too often. I am so excited that next year we will get to introduce Mason to the craziness that is the holidays.