Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - aka - The Best Year Ever

2012 has been the best year yet.  Hands down.

It might have something to do with this little girl....

This year seemed to fly by.  Something about having definitive points of reference - pregnancy weeks and baby weeks and months - marks time off in a way that makes it pass so quickily.  Especially while having fun.


We let the world know we were having a baby.  So many of you offered your well wishes and I was overjoyed.  I also worried about how huge my bump got (oh if I only knew how big it would get!)


Thanks to a 3d session, we found out we were expecting a little girl.  I knew it all along.  And that's about all I blogged about because I was busy standing outside, taking deep breaths of cold air, and trying to hold down my saltines...


I reached the halfway point and Tony bought a ton of clothes.  Baby was on the brain.

Ava Grace turned 2...

And two of my favorite twinsies also had a first birthday.


I finished my hardest semester yet for my grad program, and also finished up my student teaching.  I took this (neverbeforeseen) picture out of peer pressure from the school photographer.

My awesome team threw me a surprise baby shower with all of the students.  They offered invaluable advice...

I missed Lyla-bug's birthday, but I got to see her a different weekend.


I shared our clubfoot news (and was so inundated with love from (almost) everyone) 

My awesome friends helped me get the nursery going.
Tony and I took a babymoon-esque trip to Hilton Head


I got showered - twice! - and our nursery got stocked!

Tony and I cheesed it up for some homemade maternity pictures, but actually got some good shots.


I took a little trip to L&D for blood pressure issues - but it all turned out ok.

We waited... and I got huge.

I shared pictures of Harper's finished(ish) nursery

 July 25th, at 6 in the morning, after 14 hours of labor, Harper Kate made her debut!

We fell in love.


I shared Harper's birth story and we adjusted to life as parents

Harper got her first cast put on at 9 days old.  I cried.

I posted about Harper's newborn photos too


We took our first trip as a new family - we went to the lake and all had a blast.

Harper did so well in the cast that we got to the brace stage sooner than I expected.  She also blew us away with how well she handled all of it. (we rejoiced in our "best baby ever" luckiness)

My friend Justina got married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony

And I got to sneak in some friend time


My good friend Josie got married and I got to spend some much-loved time with old friends

We went to the beach for a week!

Harper dressed as a surfer for Halloween, brace and all

And we picked (up) a pumpkin


I got my holiday craft on for the Dare to DIY series

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our families


I forced Harper into another photo shoot for her Christmas card (I loved it!)

We got the all-clear for Harper to reduce the time in her brace - meaning 8 hours of freedom!

We also had a lovely Christmas with both families - soon to be blogged about!

You were awesome.  
Sincerely, Claire

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Home

It wouldn't be December without me sharing pictures of my house jazzed up for Christmas.  Tony already thinks I have entirely too much stuff (considering our lack of places to put it in a small house that has few surfaces...), so I just have to work with what I've got (or DIY) each year.  

This year beats last year, that's for sure.  I was 2 months pregnant last year, feeling like I was going to die perpetually, so not a whole lot of Christmas cheer was had.  This year, a little better.  I went monochromaticish.

Our mantle is silver - thanks to some ornaments and sparkly things.  I tied the ornaments with fishing line to be sure they wouldn't all roll off - trying out a necklace along the way...

 (sidenote: I'm lazy so Instagram has become my new blogging, it seems.  I may or may not check it a million times per day - so want to let me know what your username is so I have someone new to follow??  Mine is claireity66 if you are interested!)

Isn't that deer head amazing???  It was a birthday gift from my mom - she knows me all too well.  I'm thinking he might stick around though the rest of winter.

The rest I've had for a few years and I think it looks wintry and festive.  

The kitchen table, as you have seen, is woodlands gold.  I still love it.

And for a little color

Our tree is always filled with meaningful ornaments - ones that were special to both Tony and I growing up, as well as new ones we have acquired over the years.  It's not color coordinated or themed, but I love it just the same.  Next year we will probably only be able to decorate the top half of it, so I'm enjoying it while I can.

Um, we put lights up outside - and enjoyed them for a week - and then some mysterious part along the line malfunctioned so they have been dark since... Maybe next year?

We are off to have a holly jolly Christmas - same to you! 
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