Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: For Her


Just as I struggle with gift ideas for Matt, my dad & brother during the holidays & other occasions, I struggle equally trying to come up with gift ideas to tell them for myself.

A few years ago I would start a draft e-mail with ideas & if I needed a reference for what I was talking about or it needed to be ordered online, I included links to the item. That worked great until last year when I requested pajamas & the link I sent defaulted to a size small. Well, last year I was 9 months pregnant at Christmas & a size small wouldn't fit one leg - & it still won't.  I won't rat out the suspect but, it made me realize just how specific I needed to be when putting together list of gift ideas for myself to give to the men in my life.  Shake. My. Head.

 

1. - Stud Earrings - If you know me then you know I wear stud earrings daily. They are 1 of 3 pieces of jewelry that are my go-to's. {Stud earrings, Wedding rings & Monogram necklace}. When I worked in an office they were great because they didn't get in the way of the phone & now they are great because they aren't something enticing Jack to pull at them while holding him. Until the other day - but, mostly he ignores them. Most stud earrings are inexpensive making it an easy item to have on repeat & in multiple colors. Just like these from Nordstrom that are $12 each or 2 for $20!  Perfect for friends or teachers as well!

2. - Monogram Necklace - As mentioned above my monogram necklace is part of my daily wearables. I have had a silver monogram for several years now. One with my maiden name initials & now with my married name initials - both gifts from Matt. I feel like a monogram necklace gives a classic everyday look that can be paired with almost anything.  I've added the gold monogram necklace to my list this year!  Bargain alert!  This necklace is currently 30% off!

3. - Voluspa Candle - I love 3 wick candles from Bath & Body Works & will burn them all day long! However, if you're looking for a little splurge on candles that smell amazing, last a long time & come in some pretty containers, Voluspa is where it's at!

4. - Classic Pea Coat - This is certainly on my list (with specific notes for size & color!) this year & it's the one thing I'm really hoping for. I just love the look of this particular coat & the versatility of it. I'm a girl who doesn't buy things that can only go 1 or 2 ways, it must be able to be worn with most everything.  Bargain alert!  This coat is currently in sale for $40!

5. - Body Lotion - Like most girls I'm a sucker for a nice smelling lotion!  I discovered Cashmere Glow from Bath & Body Works a couple of years ago & just can't quit it!  Plus, B&BW has such great deals on their lotions it's hard to pass them up!

I hope this gift guide helps some guys out there for the women in your life... & maybe gives some of you ladies ideas for yourself to pass along to others wondering what to get you!

What is on your Christmas wish list this year?



Monday, December 14, 2015

A Weekend of Firsts


First, I want to say "thank you" to those who prayed for my family over the weekend!  Unfortunately, we lost my uncle Saturday night. He was a big, burly man... He loved to hunt & fish - stories of which Matt loved to hear about. He was loved by many but, will be especially missed by his wife, 2 sons, a daughter-in-law & 3 grandsons.

This weekend was all about firsts for Jack!  We were able to get in some quality family time & squeezing & loving each other a little tighter after being reminded yet again that life can be so fragile.

On Saturday we bummed around the house getting some projects done & watching my brother rope in Las Vegas through a live stream. He & his partner didn't end up winning but, I was so glad we were still able to cheer them on from home!  So, first team roping - check!  

After the guys were done roping we were off to get Jack's first haircut!  I've been fighting doing this for a little while now but, it was to the point where it was just too long & had to be cut.  Other than being overly curious about what was going on around the shop, Jack did great & didn't cry or fuss at all!  Afterwards, we were given a cute packet to commemorate his first haircut!  First haircut- check!
Before - just how long his baby hair was!






Our next stop was the western store!  We were in search of Jack's first pair of cowboy boots & we found the perfect little pair!  They are great because they have a zipper on the inside to help get them on his little feet. They're a little big right now but, once he starts walking they'll fit great & give him a little room to grow!  After all they were a little investment for the little guy!  First pair of cowboy boots - check!



And finally, our last stop was to see Santa!  Since the weather was descent we decided to go to Sundance Square in Downtown Ft. Worth.  The line wasn't too long when we arrived but, waited in line for about 15 minutes and then an elf came by to tell us that Santa was taking a 30 minute break... Umm, do what!?  Matt & I decided to push through, we weren't that far from the big guy and it was was certainly some effort getting us there... getting downtown, parking, walking, etc. and I wasn't really sure if we would have another opportunity before Christmas so, we stayed.  Likely, overtired & overwhelmed by it all, Jack wasn't really a fan of Santa... at all!  I couldn't help but, just snap a million pictures because I thought it was too funny how He just lost it and I'm partial to that adorable crying face!  Maybe next year will go better but, I still love how this year turned out!




On Sunday we attended Emma's 4th birthday party where all the little kids got to decorate gingerbread & sugar cookies!  I was hesitant to let Jack at it because I really just didn't want to clean up the mess #honestmommoment but, we gave him a cookie, squeezed some icing on top along with some sprinkles & he just went to town with it!  At one point Matt tried taking the cookie away from Jack & he let him know real fast that it was not happening!  Jack had fun though & we got some good laughs & great pictures out of it!  So, needless to say Jack loved "cookie decorating"!  ... and then we went to evening Mass with a sugar high baby ... #bestparentmoveever




Despite being so far away from my family - they're in Corpus Christi, we still managed to make the best of this weekend & our quality family time together.  I'm so glad we were able to see Santa this year and despite how old Jack looks, I love his haircut!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Gift Guide: For Him


It seems like every year I struggle with what to get Matt, my dad & my brother for Christmas.  And since Matt's birthday is 17 days after Christmas it makes things a little harder but, somehow I always manage. ;)  There's many gift guides out there with monogrammed cuff links, cigars, etc. and while those are nice, the truth is none of those things fit the guys I'm shopping for.  Plus, Matt has Asthma so, cigars will never be a gift item for him.  Ha!  So, I've put together my version of a gift guide for guys.  I hope this may help you in your Christmas shopping for the guys in your life!


1.  Grilling Tools Set - Matt uses his grilling tools fairly often & since he got a smoker just before Memorial Day, they've been put to use even more.  No complaints here!  So, a nice set of grilling tools to get your guy started or update their worn out dearly loved and well used set might be just right!

2. - Magazine Subscriptions - My Dad actually requested this this year & I think it's a great idea!  It's the gift that keeps on giving all year round!  One of Matt's old bosses actually got him a subscription to a deep sea fishing magazine one year & He loved it!

3. - Fitbit - Aren't we all talking about New Year's resolutions & getting fit in the new year?  We are already trying to make changes in the Yancey house and I feel like this would be one awesome boost to get you going after the new year!

4. - Tools - There is always some sort of tool that Matt is after or "needing" and if it's a larger, pricier item He ask for gift cards to a particular store for Christmas & his birthday so He can save up for the bigger item.  It typically works and he has to put little to no money towards whatever item he's after!

5. - Bose Bluetooth Speaker - Matt is constantly listening to music from his phone while in the garage working or when we're out grilling or doing yard work.... or a lot of things.  The point is, a portable bluetooth speaker would be the perfect thing to enjoy our his time a little bit more!

6. - Yeti Rambler - Disclaimer: We are not "Yeti" people.  However, with that said, my family has turned us into believers in the Yeti Ramblers over the Summer & over the Thanksgiving holiday.  My cousin who is a nurse can keep ice in her cup all 12+ hours she is on shift, it's pretty amazing.  So, this has been on Matt's wish list for Christmas but, lucky him He won one in our Chinese Christmas Gift Exchange at Thanksgiving and couldn't of been more excited!  Ha!

What is on the wish list of the guys you are buying for this year?


Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DIY Advent Tree


I've been lightly searching for an Advent tree that was similar to the one we had growing up but, have not had much luck.  (I've been being very particular about it!)  So, I decided since I couldn't find one that I loved enough I would just make my own.  Off to Hobby Lobby I went to pick up the supplies!



  I knew from years past that Hobby Lobby has all sorts of miniature tree decorations and they did not disappoint!  It was actually kind of difficult to decide on what all I wanted.  Finally I picked up these items... 1 miniature tree, 24 ornaments, garland & a gold star.

I absolutely fell in love when I found the Biblical character ornaments & knew they had to come home with me!

After fluffing out the tree I strung the garland around the tree.  I placed all of the ornaments & star in a small Christmas tin and placed it beside the tree for easy access & to keep them all contained.  Each day we will add an ornament to the tree & on Christmas morning we'll adorn it with the star!

I really love how the tree turned out & can't wait to see it all decorated!  (I will post a picture and a link back after Christmas).  I know Jack is entirely too young to have any idea what is going on with the tree now but, I hope in years to come this is something He looks forward to & enjoys doing each day.





What Christmas DIY's have you done this year?


Our Thanksgiving 2015


I have to admit, I started dreading Thanksgiving coming around this year. I'm always excited to see family & catch up as much as possible but, I wasn't excited about the amount of traveling we had to do, especially when traveling with a little one. This was at least our 6th road trip since Jack has been born so, we knew what to expect & we're getting better.  We planned ahead though and were packed & ready for each departure we made from the house which made a huge difference!  Thanksgiving day rolled around & I was just excited about having this special time with my 2 guys, seeing each of our families & soaking up Jack's 1st Thanksgiving... regardless of how our time on the road was going to go!

Our first stop was Graham with Matt's family!  It was a rainy day which kept us mostly inside but, we all still had fun chatting & planning a family vacation for next Summer!  Jack met his Uncle Pete & Aunt Sara for the first time but, you would of never known he didn't know them!  Jack went straight to his Uncle Pete & they had the best laughs together!

Uncle Pete & cousin Chase

We also exchange Christmas gifts for the little guys & the adults play Chinese Christmas. Jack was really unsure about opening the gifts but, He liked what was inside - toys!


We left Graham to head back to Ft Worth & unload/reload the car then, we headed South for San Antonio. We stayed the night with Matt's brother & sister-in-law who couldn't make it to Thanksgiving in Graham, before traveling the rest of the way to Corpus Christi Friday morning to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom's family on Friday!  As mentioned the other day, we bought a selfie stick & had to put it to the test this weekend!  My mom was one of 5 kids... + spouses + kids + kids... Yeah we're a big family!  And we're still missing at least 7 people who couldn't make it this year!  Surprisingly, we were able to get everyone in the picture and we call that a "Selfie Stick Win"!  It was complete chaos getting everyone together but, I'm glad we did because it sure made for some fun memories!

The 3 newest members of the family!  Logan 8 months, Colt 1 month & Jack 10 months... They are all 2nd cousins!

Jack with my mom's 2 sisters... His Nini & Grandma Vicki!

Just love these 2 so much!

Ending our trip the right way... Snoozing pulling into Ft Worth!

I just can't say enough how wonderful this weekend turned out to be!  Jack was truly a great baby all weekend, especially considering the amount of time he spent in the car!  He was happy (most of the time) to go to anyone & just laughed & giggled so much.  I'm more thankful than ever to have the family we do, the means to get around & see everyone & just the overall life we have been blessed with.  As much as I was ready to be home Sunday, I was kind of missing the weekend already too. #bittersweet 

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving however you were able to spend it!





Monday, November 23, 2015

Our First Christmas Parade of Lights!


We had the best time last night at the Ft. Worth Parade of Lights!  The parade is typically held Thanksgiving weekend but, since in recent years we're typically traveling & as a kid I can only imagine that my parents & aunts & uncles didn't feel like wrangling 25+ people/kids to fight the downtown crowds together & just stayed home to play games and sleep off our food coma.  So, just our luck it was changed this year and we. were. going!  My Dad & Mary joined us and we really had a great time!  Jack was good for most of the parade but, by the end he was tired & tired of being held.  I dreaded sitting in traffic to get home but, thankfully it wasn't too bad & Jack was tolerable.  Ha!

So, here's some pictures from our first ever Christmas light parade!  Oh & we bought a selfie stick over the weekend.... we tested it out over the weekend but, we still need to practice a bit!












And we had to shuffle by the big beautiful Christmas tree in Sundance Square!

Such a fun night, it certainly didn't feel like a Sunday!  But, we are definitely in the holiday spirit now!  Bring on Thanksgiving & all the fried turkey & ham!!









Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thoughts on Pregnancy


*This post was written in January, just before I was due with Jack.  It's been sitting in my drafts since because I simply forgot about it!  9 1/2 months in to motherhood it's fun to look back & see what I thought about pregnancy then.  I still feel the same about most things but, am so far past it now that it's sometimes hard to remember.  I guess that will be a good thing when baby #2 comes around... and not any time soon, Lord willing!  Enjoy!

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It's officially the end of the road for this pregnancy.  My first pregnancy & I am so anxious & excited to meet our baby boy!  As much as I am ready to move onto the next chapter in our lives, and believe me I am ready, it's sort of bitter-sweet at the thought of no longer being pregnant.  Sure I've had my share of "lows" but, for the most part I've had a pretty good pregnancy.  So, here's some of my further thoughts on pregnancy in general...



Please note I'm talking about my experience & my experience only.

+ As stated above, for the most part this pregnancy hasn't been that bad.  Sure there's down days but, as I'm learning with life in general, it's all about what you make of it.

+ To have been in a normal workout routine before I got pregnant would have made things much easier/better, I think.  I've gained 40+ pounds with this pregnancy + was already a good 10-15 lbs over my normal weight when I got pregnant.  Having the extra weight + pregnancy weight packed on over the last 9 months has really taken a toll on my body.

+ Pregnancy brain is a real thing!  I remember feeling like an idiot in my first trimester, forgetting things & saying random stuff - it's funny now but, gosh I thought I was going crazy!... & it's come back in the third trimester also!

+ When people offer to help you or to do things for you, take them up on the offer!  Even if you do feel like you can tackle whatever it is they're offering to help with on your own, let them help!  2 things are likely - 1, yes you can handle said task but, you might be worn out by the time you're done & 2, friends & family enjoy helping & doing - that's why they've offered!  Don't push them away because the offer might not come again if you've turned them down.

+ Pregnancy brings on a lot new & different things.... your hormones are changing, your body is changing, heck, your LIFE is changing!  There will be a lot of things that happen (to your body in particular) that your girlfriends fail to mention to you.  Now, not everyone deals with the same types of symptoms but, there will definitely come a time where something happens to you that no one has mentioned yet, Baby Center, What To Expect & The Bump are all like "Oh yes... this is a very common ___ for expecting moms".  Say whaaat!?  Just be prepared for the unknown & unexpected.

+ There's something about seeing a pregnant woman that people, men & women, forget the simple manners they learned as a child and lose their filter!  Things like "You're still pregnant!?" (at 6 months), "Don't take this the wrong way but, you look like you're going to pop!", "Are you ever going to have that baby!?" will be said.  Just know that it's the lack of people having a filter or a brain so, don't take it personally!

+ Document this special time in your life!  I've slacked the last few weeks of documenting things here on the blog but, I can't tell you how thankful I am to have all of these memories here - the good & the not-so-good & I plan on turning it into a book.  Even if you don't blog, keep a diary on your computer & take pictures every other week or so.  I have friends that do a round-up of pictures on Instagram every 4 weeks - it's adorable & a great memory saver!  Whether it's your first pregnancy or your 4th, this time is special & you'll never have another time like it so, record it!!

+ Pamper yourself a bit!  I haven't been the best at this (& I'm typically not when not pregnant) but, I vote that it's important to do so!  Go get a pedi, a pre-natal massage... something/whatever you enjoy - go do it!

+ Having a helpful & supportive partner has been the only thing that has gotten me through some days.  I haven't mentioned Matt much here on the blog but, I honestly cannot sing his praises enough!  He has truly stepped up to the plate in more than just one or two ways - taking care of me, helping me tackle household chores (that I typically do + ones that He does), cooking meals, grocery shopping - that's just a few ways!  I couldn't of made it through this last 9+ months without him & I know he's going to make one awesome Dad to Jack!  I'm excited to see him in his new role & am so thankful that Jack has a man like him to look up to!

I'm curious... What are some of your thoughts on pregnancy?

Linking up with Annie & Natalie for Thoughts For Thursday!
Thoughts for Thursday


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I'm 29!


Yesterday was my 29th birthday!  Jack had school so, I took advantage of the quiet, dark (because it's overcast & rainy here) house and took care of some work on the computer.  Not even Bingham made a peep... It was literally so quiet in the house!  I enjoyed those 4 hours!  Yesterday evening Matt, my brother Dakota, Dad & Mary went to dinner at Joe T. Garcia's.  Hands down the best margaritas in town & momma had her one!  I was being rather difficult this year & really didn't want for anything except for new clothes so, I was gifted with a nice bit of shopping money!  Woo Hoo!!  Matt picked up a Red Velvet Nothing Bundt Cake for dessert & goodness it was so good!  Tricky little guy... He lovingly put trick candles on the cake... that was fun & may or may not of gotten me winded!  {Insert monkey covering his eyes emoji!!}  All in all it was a great day & a perfect ending to the day!  Thank you to everyone who left me FaceBook messages, phone calls & text messages - all so very sweet & certainly made me feel loved!!

My most favorite picture!



Life with a 9 1/2 month old!

I don't really know what I'm supposed to feel like at 29 but, as I told a friend yesterday I don't feel how I thought I would at 29 when I was younger.  Life is great - I have a wonderful husband, the most precious son, blessed by many family & friends.  I truly couldn't ask for more!  My hope for 29 is that it is continued to be filled with love, happiness, accomplishments & health!



Monday, November 16, 2015

Jack Montgomery - 9 Months


Another half month has gone by and I'm just getting around to posting Jack's monthly update.  Confession: I'm terrible at these!  Goal: Be on time with these through his 1st birthday!

However, I can say that time is flying by faster & faster!  The days feel like nanoseconds (after the fact), weeks feel like a day & well, a month feels like a week.  The fact that we are getting closer & closer to Jack's birthday has me feeling alll sorts of emotions.  From "Whoo we've survived almost 1 year!" to "Oooh where did my baby go!?" they are all so real!  But, we're still a couple months away from then so, moving right along...






Weight: 21 lbs 4 oz

Height: 29"

Clothes: Depending on brand shirts, onesies & pants are 9 & 12 months.  Pajamas are all 12 months... and needless to say I'm prepared & have 18 month Christmas pajamas waiting in the closet because I just know Jack is going to outgrow his 12 months come December!

Diapers: Size 3, Huggies Snug & Dry.  We recently started using Target Up & Up nighttime diapers & they work great!

Eating:  At about 8 1/2 months we began incorporating lunch so we are up to 3 meals a day and (were at 5 5oz bottles) but, currently at 4 6oz bottles a day.  Pretty much a champ at eating purees but, not a fan of trying new things at first.  However, some of the best yuck faces are made so, at least it's funny for us!  We recently started trying more solid type foods... AH!  He is such a picky eater and pretty much spits stuff out as soon as it hits his mouth.  We're keeping at it though & gonna push through this picky eating!  He did like chocolate ice cream the other night though... #parentwin

Sleeping: So glad to say that we are back on a regular sleeping schedule & Jack is sleeping through the night!!  At first it was hard to get used to & Matt & I both were still waking up in the middle of the night but, now we're all sleeping through the night & Jack has been waking up between 5 & 7:30am.  If He wakes up at 5 he takes a bottle & goes back to sleep so, woo hoo!!

Jack is an ever-so-curious little boy.  Running around in his walk a lot of the time & always discovering something new... and that He shouldn't be in!  We still don't have a crawler on our hands but, I feel like He's getting closer as he likes to lean over & rock back and forth.  He's been up on his hands and knees  but, looks around like "what now!?".  Once he's on his stomach he does scooch himself backwards all around the house.  He's a very vocal little guy who loves to chat & flirt with everyone.  It seems to take us a bit longer to get through the produce section these days because people are constantly stopping to talk to him.  Jack loves to be outside whether it is just in the garage with Dad or out in the yard... He loves being outside & throws a fit when it's time to go in.  He truly is an "easy" baby though and a joy to be around!  He has the biggest smile & the best little belly laugh.  He thinks sneezing is funny and looks up with the biggest smile after sneezing... it's pretty cute & funny.  Speaking of smiling, He has his 2 front bottom teeth & the 2 front top teeth are coming in & have broken the gums... & biting hurts!!  Ahh... as any mommy I just think He's the best little thing ever!  Everyday is fun and certainly an adventure!  We love you so much little guy!  Bring on month 10... 11... and 12!  We're excited to celebrate your first of major holidays!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Five on Friday - Target $ Spot Finds!



Earlier this week (while Jack was at school!) I made a trip to Target & I couldn't help but be drawn directly to the Targest $ Spot immediately!  I typically peruse through & make sure there's nothing for $1 or $3 that I can't live without but, this week... there was a new display & it seemed the lights were brighter... it was just calling my name!  So, here's what I just couldn't live without... and it's all Christmas items!

One - $3 Christmas waffle tea towels!  They had a few different patterns but, I love anything that looks like "classic Christmas" so, these were the ones for me!

Two - $1 Christmas notepad!  AND it says "Merry Christmas"!  I love notepads & use them constantly so, this will be used in no time!

Three - $1 Christmas books!  I chose The Night Before Christmas because I think it's one I actually don't have in my Christmas book collection.  I wanted to grab them all - there were 4 different books but, I refrained.  Side note: The $ section always has books for $1 and they are great for littles and you don't have to worry about them getting torn up!  I've also bought some and put them in baby shower gifts - several books for a fraction of the cost, win!


Four - $3 seasonal plates!  I started collecting these little guys back at Easter for Jack and think they're just the cutest little things!  They're actually quite thick & durable and are even dishwasher safe!  So far I've collected the Easter, Halloween & Christmas ones for Jack.  It seems I may have missed the Thanksgiving one so, I'll have to double check next time I'm there.  I can't wait to see what other holidays they come out with!  I must also mention that I love how "Christmas" and "Easter" are on the plates, especially these days!




Five - $3 train whistle will make the perfect stocking stuffer for Jack!  I know He may not be able to use it to its full function but, who didn't love these as a kid!?  I can see him having fun with this regardless if He can use it completely or not... And for $3!?  Sold!


Have you hit up the Christmas section of the Target $ Spot yet!?


I'm linking up with AprilChristinaNatasha & Darci for

and NarciAndrea & Erika for



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