Friday, December 30, 2016


2016 was so good to us as a family! We had such a great year watching Grace grow and are continually so thankful for that. In 2015, we were blessed with the arrival of our sweet girl and while nothing can top that (obviously), I just feel so thankful with the opportunity that I have to spend my days with her. When I think back on the year, those are the moments that I think of first: hanging out with her all day, every day, our normal daily routine, and all of the incredible new skills that she's developed over the past twelve months that I was fortunate enough to be able to witness. That seemed to be the focus of 2016 and I'm sure will remain that way for the foreseeable future. Before even assembling this post, I could almost guarantee that a year in review would be a whole lot of Gracie, with a sprinkle of Andrew and I mixed in. For that, we count our lucky blessings every day. I hope that 2016 brought you joy and that you're looking into 2017 with hope and excitement. Happy New Years!


The happiest girl on New Years Day

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


This sassy little girl turned 22 months old yesterday! The past month has brought more independence and a whole lot of sass. Except for when she was performing in her Christmas program at MDO. There was zero sass there, just a lot of staring! From her whole class. It was so funny to look around, because there was eight sets of parents videoing their children basically just sitting on a stage. They were so adorable, though! We're approaching the big 2 at lightning speed and Grace seems more like a toddler everyday. She loves to talk, dance, and gets excited to play with friends. She really has the sweetest little spirit.
NEW WORDS... apple, muffin, cracker, pizza, mac-cheese, flower, Christmas, shirt, pants, dress tights, stuck, carrots, bird, yogurt, applesauce, keys, jump, dance, bells, bear, drive, hat, lovey, try, airplane, reindeer, train, choo-choo, highchair, here, hug, kiss, snow, jacket, potty, dinner, cookie, help. Most of her new words this month clearly have a food theme! I feel like there's more that I'm forgetting and that this is the area of progress I'm going to have the hardest time keeping up with because she seems to be saying everything.
GRACE-ISMS... Grace's favorite word is currently no. Hands down. "Can Mama have a kiss?" "No." "Can Grace please sit down?" "No!" And so it goes on, all day, every day. She knows when she's being disobedient and makes the funniest little scrunched up face when she knows she's about to get in trouble to make us laugh. She seems to be out of the throwing food phase and I am so happy to see that one go! Every. Single. Number. that she encounters is two. She knows that they're not all two, but if she's going to count something, like four dots on a page in her number book, she says, "Two, two, two, two." And then looks at me (because she knows it drives me crazy!) and starts giggling. Her Gigi was here the first weekend of December and Grace put a bow in her hair. She now points to that bow daily and calls it her Gigi bow. She will ask to watch football and the news because that's what Andrew watches. That one really makes us laugh! We've been working on saying the names Paisley and Dietz (her two younger cousins) since she will see them so soon and she has decided that every baby is "baby Dietz". When we get Christmas cards with a baby on them, she says, "baby Dietz!" I have no idea why she's decided he's baby Dietz and not just Dietz, and why he's a baby and Paisley is not, but it's pretty funny.
GRACE CURRENTLY... is focused on naming who various items are under the ownership of, like going around to each cup on the table and saying, "Dada's! Mama's! Grace's!" She does it with phones, clothing you're wearing, plates, really anything she sees. She also is very into naming every article of clothing that we're wearing, down to earrings and socks. She still loves puzzles but has also shown a renewed interest in books the last few weeks. She's back to wanting to read the stories instead of just name all of the things on the pages. She goes down the list of everyone's names that she knows (Dada, Emmy, Pa, Gigi, Hols) every day and asks where they're at. The answer to all is normally work. Then she points to another room and says, "Mama work!" Grace also loves to love on Hendrix and yell for him if he's in a different room or level of the house.

Happy first day of Winter!

Monday, December 19, 2016


1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6.7. | 8. | 9. | 10.
Around the time she turned a year old is when Grace started showing her real preference in toys. Various things have had their day in the sun over the past year, but her devotion has not wavered when it comes to books, her Baby Stella doll, and, most recently, puzzles. She currently has ten of the Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles (and just might be adding to that with her Christmas requests) and does each of them multiple times a day. She's also built up quite the board book collection (she can still be destructive with normal pages) and loves both having them read to her and also reading/looking at them by herself. My mom got her a PBK anywhere chair before she was born and I used it to take her monthly pictures her first year of life. It has been well worth it's cost! She loves to watch Mickey Mouse in it, read books in, climb all over it, etc. Grace's girly side continues to come out with each passing day, but one of the first ways we noticed it was in how much she loved playing with her musical make-up vanity. She puts it on herself and us, and it's so adorable! She's starting to play with it less as she realizes that it's not quite as rewarding as digging her fingers into mine, but she does still like it. The play purse is so popular that Grace received no less than three for her first birthday! The vanity, purse, kitchen, and Baby Stella doll all directly correlate with this age as it is when children typically start enjoying pretend play and mimicking the natural events of everyday life. Over the last six months, Grace has really started playing with her kitchen. Which is super adorable. She likes to prepare food, feed it to her variety of babies, push them around in the grocery cart and doll stroller, and even make plates for us. I included the Little People sets in the honorable mentions because her interest in them seems to come in waves, but I know the bulk of kids her age really enjoy playing with them. She is starting to take more interest in her blocks daily. She loves her water table when it's warm outside! It's currently freezing outside (literally!) so it's only downfall is that it's a seasonal toy. Like with anything related to children, preferences can vary, but I think you can could find a winner for any child (in this age range) on this list.
{Playing with her Little People Farm at 13 months}
{Water table fun at 15 months}
{Enjoying some light reading at 17 months}
{Preparing a five course meal at 18 months}
{Books, Baby Stella, and her chair at 19 months}
{Playing pretend with Baby Stella at 20 months}

Friday, December 16, 2016


{Happiest kid ever! Tee | Jeggings | Sweater no longer available | Sperrys}

Happy, happy Friday! Can you believe there's only one week until Christmas (weekend)?! I told Andrew yesterday that I was already getting sad about taking all of the Christmas decorations down because they make everything feel so cozy. We kicked off this past week with Grace's Christmas program at MDO. She didn't really sing or dance but she did give her jingle bells a few good rings. It was so adorable to see all of the children up on the stage! She also had her Christmas party at MDO this week and tomorrow we have Andrew's work Christmas party. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! I just can't get enough. Tonight, we're going to our favorite steakhouse for date night and going to look at treadmills because...

{The race is not until October. However, so many people apply that they do the cut-off and drawing almost a year in advance!}
I got into the Chicago Marathon! I am so excited! And, it has been so, so cold here. Last winter was really mild for the Midwest and I feel like this year mother nature is trying to make up for that. Fall seemed to hit late, but the wind chills so far this Winter are bone chilling. Do you know what's hard in the cold? Dressing a child! It's incredibly unsafe to leave heavy coats on them in their car seats and also such a pain to take the coat on and off to run 30 feet from a car to a store. Vests have become my best friend! They are so much easier to get on and off and keep her core warm and toasty. Plus, she looks adorable.
{Vest | Shirt not online but similar here | Leggings | Boots}
Gracie got a big girl stool or her bathroom! She stood on it to brush her teeth last night and loved seeing herself in the mirror.
This week's Sunday best. Enjoy your weekend!
{Grace: Tights | Similar dress here | Shoes | Erin: Sweater | Similar scarf here | Skirt is old but love this one | Tights | Shoes are old but nearly identical here}

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


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A walk down an aisle at any toy store will suggest to you that there's roughly 500 toys catered to your child's age at any given time.

Monday, December 12, 2016


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Stocking stuffers are my favorite things to buy for others! I love brainstorming for things to fill Andrew and Grace's stocking with and had the most fun putting together the some picks for my own stocking as well.

Friday, December 9, 2016


{Waiting in line to see Santa}
Happy Friday! I forgot how giddy the month of December makes me. The Christmas season really is a magical time and it brings a little sparkle to everything "normal" throughout the month.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016


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The bath products for babies is where I ran into some of my biggest failures when Grace was a newborn.