A Look Back at 2011

For the last two years I posted the highlights from our year. You can check out the highlights from 2010 here and 2009 here.

In January, we had to find a new home for Aedan’s baby monitor, I did my tenth installment of things we loved, Aedan had his first experience being sick, poor baby, and we came up with a homemade baby gate.

IMG_4127

In February, I talked about some work changes here, here and here. Jon celebrated his 30th birthday, we had a snow day and Aedan showed off his laundry skills.

IMG_1693

In March, Jon and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary, Aedan turned 1 and had a few celebrations, I got a Nook Color (which I loved until I replaced it with my iPad), I talked about the baby things we loved/used the most during Aedan’s first year and Aedan showed off his love for books.

IMG_4491

In April, we Jon built a garden, Aedan said goodbye to bottles and hello to using spoons on his own.

IMG_4574

In May, my great aunt, Tia passed away and is still greatly missed by all. Aedan showed off his table manners and learned how to go out the doggie-door. Jon and I both did some traveling for work (although he went a lot farther away!), I celebrated my second Mother’s Day and shared some of our go-to dinner recipes.

In June, I shared a day-in-my-life for the days I go to see clients and for the days I work from home. Jon and I both did some more traveling and we showed off our growing garden (along with our little gardener).

_MG_5809

In July, we celebrated the 4th of July in Plano, Aedan showed off his dance moves and remembered how much he loved his bouncy seat.

_MG_5906

In August, I shared my favorite crockpot recipe and I refinished my grandparents’ old dresser for Aedan’s room. I thought about getting lasik and we had a little stay-cation and got to spend some time with Jon’s parents.

In September, we installed new floors, I bought myself an iPad (and LOVE it!), we went to Austin City Limits, Aedan officially became a toddler and came down with his first stomach bug.

_MG_6003

In October, we went up to Plano and took Aedan to the zoo and a pumpkin patch, I talked about a few things I love and did my first Pinterest project.

_MG_6105

In November, we bought our dream home and put our current home up for lease, recapped our Halloween celebrations, and I took Aedan to the Children's museum.

In December, we found a renter for our house and had to move out a little earlier than expected. We made it work and moved into our new house just before Christmas. I shared our Christmas card and recapped both our our Christmas celebrations here and here.

1

We have definitely had a full year and have been so blessed. I cannot wait to see what 2012 brings!

Happy New Year!

-Lauren-

Christmas Recap: Part Two

Sunday morning, after a quick breakfast, we headed up to John’s grandparents’ house. We spent the morning with them, Jon’s parents and two of Jon’s nephews. Jon’s parents (aka Mama & Papa) got Aedan a Cozy Cope and a tool set, both of which were (and still are) huge hits! Aedan has been using his tools to “help” Jon all around the house this week. They have hung up blinds, put the table together and fixed a fence post. So cute!

Aedan was kind enough to help Jon put the car together…(sorry, these pictures are super grainy. It was dark inside and again I only brought my phone…I will do better next year!)

photo 3photo 5photo 2

The picture above is right about the time Aedan dropped his screw driver in the gas tank of the car. It took awhile to get back out…

photo 4photo 3

Jon’s aunt, uncle and cousin joined us for lunch. And then we all exchanged gifts. We had a great time hanging out but eventually we had to head back home.

After a quick stop home to take care of Hiro, we headed to Jon’s sister’s house. We got to see Jon’s parents and nephews again along with my sister-in-law’s family. We all enjoyed a great dinner and good company. Before we knew it, it was time to head home to get a tired little guy to bed.

All in all we had a great Christmas and were able to spend lots of time with all of our family (along with getting everything on our wish list). I am only sorry I didn’t remember my good camera at either get together.

-Lauren-

Christmas Recap, Part One

I think it is about time I did a Christmas recap post…

First check out this cute picture. My parent’s yellow lab, Ruby spent a night with us at the new house since my parents went out to dinner with my Grandmother after helping us unpack. Both dogs are a little spoiled and since we only have one dog bed, my sister told Ruby she could get on the couch. Hiro jumped up at the same time because obviously he wasn’t going to miss out on a night on the couch.

photo 1

So we spent Saturday with my side of the family. Check out what Santa left for Aedan…

photo 2

I was most excited about the great wagon my parents (I mean Santa) left Aedan. But I’ll let the video show which toy Aedan was most excited about…

After Aedan played with his Santa toys for awhile and my Dad went out to get Round Rock donuts (a must have by the way!), we opened the rest of our gifts. It was so fun to see Aedan open everything. He would stop and play with each item as he opened it.

photo 4

After everyone had opened all their gifts, we had a big breakfast and spend the day hanging out. My grandmothers, aunts, uncle and one of my cousins came over for dinner. We did a gift exchange, but I of course took zero pictures. We had lots of fun and Aedan of course was spoiled with even more gifts from everyone.

We headed home after dinner and we were all pretty exhausted. We got a good nights sleep and headed back up north to spend the day with Jon’s side of the family on Sunday….more on that tomorrow. :)

-Lauren-

Merry Christmas!


It's been a whirlwind week here, but I wanted to jump on and wish everyone a merry Christmas!

We closed on the new house on Monday and started moving in on Wednesday. Thanks to my mom and my sister watching Aedan, we were able to get about 80% unpacked by Thursday night. Neither Jon nor I can relax until everything is put away so we worked really hard to get settled before Christmas weekend. I will post pictures soon, but I have to say we are all loving the new house!

We celebrated Christmas with my immediate family on Saturday morning and with my extended family Saturday evening. Today we were able to spend time with Jon's family at two get toegthers. I will have to do separate posts with pictures and such, but "Santa" (aka Nonnie & Pop and Mama & Papa) were very good to Aedan (and Jon and I too!) and we had a great time with everyone!

Jon and I have the week off so we are going to get some things done around the house and try to do a lot of relaxing. It has been an exciting and crazy month and we are exhausted!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day with friends and family! 

-Lauren-

Trip to the Park

We are still staying up in Round Rock at my grandparent’s old house. There is a park down the street and we took a little walk down there this afternoon.

There was a slide to play on…

_MG_6210

It’s always more fun to climb up the slide than slide down.

_MG_6211

_MG_6212

_MG_6213

_MG_6235

Big kid swings…

_MG_6189

And since I am usually behind the camera, here are a few of me and my little guy…

_MG_6221

_MG_6256

Such a fun afternoon. I am so excited that our new neighborhood has two parks for us to walk to. :)

-Lauren-

That's a Wrap

Our first house together is officially all ready for our new tenant to move it tomorrow!

It has been a long week and both Jon and I have decided we are never moving again. Good thing we feel like this new house is going to be our forever home.

100% of our stuff is either loaded up and being stored in a POD or hanging out with us in Round Rock.

The house has been cleaned from top to bottom, the carpets have been shampooed and all the paint has been touched up. We (read: Jon) actually ended up having to re-paint our entire living room and hallways and our bedroom. Since Jon is a bit of an over achiever he also painted the utility room, which have never been painted before. The house looks great and I'm a little jealous, but then I remember we will be in my dream home soon and I feel better. :)

We were supposed to close on the new house today, but it got pushed to Monday. Actually, is it going to be kind of nice to just relax this weekend instead of moving in. We are hoping to start unpacking next Tuesday and hopefully be getting settled in just in time for Christmas.

For now we are going to relax and finish up Christmas shopping/gift wrapping while we enjoy the weekend!

-Lauren-

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Christmas Card Carousel


This is my third year to participate in Faith’s Christmas Card Carousel. I love receiving Christmas cards, as well as picking out cards to send to our family and friends. You can check out our past cards here and here.

We are right in the middle of moving, and things have been crazy busy. Usually our friend Aaron takes family pictures for us sometime in November and I order cards around Thanksgiving. I like to have them go out in early December. But this year that just didn’t happen.

We never had a free weekend to take pictures and I haven’t even had a chance to get some good pictures of Aedan on my own (other than with my iPhone). But, I still wanted to get Christmas cards and get them out, even if it was a little late.

I used a picture of Aedan that I took a few months ago and I think I found the perfect card to go with it.

1

So if you are on our Christmas card list, I promise our card is on its way! Better late than never, right?

Thanks for stopping by and go check out Faith’s blog for some other great Christmas cards!

-Lauren-

Another House Update

Things seem to be on the right track as far as the house stuff goes. We met our new tenant Wednesday night to get the lease signed. Jon and I were both a little worried about what our tenant was going to be like. Even though our realtor/sister-in-law had done all the background and credit checks, you just never know, right?

Well, we were both pleasantly surprised. She is really nice and normal. :) She signed an 18 month lease, which means we won't have to worry about finding another renter during the holidays next year. We both feel really good about it and I think she is going to take good care of our home.

We also got the appraisal and site survey back on the new home. Yay for a decent chunk of equity in the home already! Our closing date has been moved up to 12/16 and everything is good to go.

Everything is happening so fast, but seems to be lining up well. Our house is almost all packed up, we have a Pod coming on Friday and friends helping us load it up on Saturday. We will be staying up in Round Rock for the week while we do some touch up work on the house. The cleaning crew and carpet cleaners have been scheduled and the lock guy is coming next week.

This time next week, our current house will be already for our tenant to move in and we will be 24 hours away from closing on our new house!

Now who wants to help me finish packing, address Christmas cards, finish up my Christmas shopping, and entertain my busy toddler? Anyone? Anyone? :)

-Lauren-

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Our Weekend and House Update

This past weekend, we headed up to Tyler to visit Jon’s parents. We had a great weekend but I didn’t take any pictures (fail).

We headed up Friday morning and made pretty good time. Aedan has become a really good traveler. He loves to read books or watch Bob the Builder or All About Airplanes on my iPhone. But what he loves to do most of all is say “mommy, mommy, Mommy, MOMMY”, then when I turn around and say “yes”, he points to something random, like his shoes, his book, a truck or tree outside, and labels it. It cracks me up. It is like it is the most important thing in the world and I have to look at it. :)

Jon’s parents live on some land with lots of animals. I think Aedan and Hiro were both in heaven. We got to see huge turkeys. Jon’s dad taught us how to do a turkey call that was hilarious. I took a video but apparently I did something wrong because  there is zero sound (second fail).

They also have a horse, a donkey, chickens, rabbits and goats. The donkey was hilarious and Aedan has been imitating his “he-ha” whenever I say donkey.

We had lots of fun hanging out playing games, even though Jon and his dad beat his mom and I at Sequence. Aedan had a blast with his cousin Jesse and all his fun toys.

Jon’s mom made me a birthday cake and we celebrated my birthday Saturday night. Jon’s parents gave me a recipe binder that will let me organize all the recipes that I print out online (so perfect) and a holiday baking cookbook that I can’t wait to try out.

We had a lot of fun, but we had to head back early Sunday because Jon had to work that afternoon. The weekend went by too fast!

Oh and an update on the house situation…

We found out last Tuesday, that we had someone put in an application. On Wednesday our realtor (which happens to be Jon’s sister – so great!) got all the info and did all the background work and everything looked great. We have gotten the deposit and will be signing the lease tomorrow. Yay!

The only downside is that she wants to move in by 12/17. Which is super soon!

We are planning to move up to my grandmother’s old house (my parents own it now and use it when they come to down) this coming weekend. We are so blessed that we have a place to stay while we finalize our close. Next week we will be doing any touch up work on our house so it is all ready for our new tenant!

All that to say, I may be a little MIA for a while!

-Lauren-

The Inside

Aedan and I went up to the new house today to do a walk through with the inspector. I took a few pictures of the inside, so I thought I would share. I just had my phone with me so the quality is not the best, but you get the idea.

The house is mostly one story, with 4 bedrooms and an office on the first floor and then a bonus room and a third full bath upstairs. It is an awesome floor plan and at just under 2400 sq. ft., it is double what we have right now!

We will be able to use the bonus room for so many things, including a guest space or a game room. It was definitely the part that we fell instantly in love with.

The kitchen…right now, I have 3 drawers and 3 upper cabinets compared to the 9 drawers and 9 upper cabinets I will have.

photo 1

The living room…not the best picture, but basically the kitchen, eating area and living room are one big rectangular room so it is super open. This one thing we have right now and love, so it was a must have for us.

photo 2

The backyard…this is just one side of it. It is pretty big and comes complete with a full sprinkler system and big covered patio.

photo 3

The master bath…probably another of my favorites. Compared to what we have now, this is a huge huge upgrade. I cannot wait!!

photo 4

photo 5

The master closet…along with good size closets in the 3 other bedrooms, we also have a downstairs hallway closet and two closets in the bonus room. Love love love the storage!

photo 1

The study…it is at the front of the house, away from the bedrooms and living room which will be great for Jon. Hopefully his conference calls won’t be filled with the sound of Bob the Builder and Popper!

photo 4

Then the bonus room…you can’t really tell for this picture, but it’s a pretty big room. The bathroom and closets are off to the side.

photo 5

We are super excited! Now we just need someone to rent out our house and we will be good to go! Fingers crossed; we had someone turn in an application today so hopefully they will work out. If not we have a couple of more showings this week/weekend already scheduled.

-Lauren-

Christmas Cards

I love picking out Christmas cards to send out to our family and friends each year. I equally love receiving cards. It’s so fun to see pictures and get letters from people we don’t get to see very often.

This year I am getting my cards from Tiny Prints. Their selection is huge! I am trying to decide if we are going to do a family picture or if I am just going to do a few pictures of Aedan…or maybe both…

Here are a few cards that I love…

Christmas Cards Colorful Letters - Front : Tomato

Christmas Cards Christmas Collage - Front : Khaki

Christmas Cards Merry Fine - Front : Black

What are your favorites?

Another thing I love is displaying all the picture cards we get. Two years ago I hung them all on my homemade bulletin board.

IMG_1839

Last year I hung them on a wreath made of clothes pins, that I apparently didn’t take a picture of. Opps.

This year I am thinking about trying out this idea…

Pinned Image

(source)

How do you display your Christmas cards?

-Lauren-

I was selected to receive 50 free Christmas cards from Tiny Prints in return for this blog post, however my opinions are my own. I have used Tiny Prints for invitations and Christmas cards in the past and always been very happy with them. :)

Black Friday Shopping

We did a little black Friday shopping and here is what we got...




It is totally my dream home! It's the house we walked away from last weekend...the builder came down a little more and our lender found a great option for us. We are all set to close on December 28th as long as our current house rents out. We are so excited!!



I'll post some interior pictures soon!

-Lauren-

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We had a lazy morning around the house, building block towers, playing outside and watching the Macy's Parade.

Now Aedan is down for a nap, my caramelized green beans are cooked and Jon and I are just hanging out until we head to my cousin's house this afternoon (my camera battery is currently charging so hopefully I will come back with lots of pictures).

I have so much to be thankful for and I am so looking forward to all the time we are going to be spending with family.

-Lauren-


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Happy Thanksgiving!!

Apparently one post a week is becoming my normal! Things have been pretty busy around here and I have a feeling they aren't going to slow down with the holidays right around the corner! How can it already be Thanksgiving week?!?!

I'm not too sure where to begin with an update...

Aedan is been doing much better and totally back to himself. I'm glad we are all feeling well and I hope it lasts though the holidays.

Work has been going well, and I only have one meeting tomorrow, then I am off for the week! My goal is to get some Christmas shopping done on Tuesday and Wednesday, then we will be hanging out with my side of the family Thursday and Friday and Jon's side Saturday and Sunday. I can't wait!

The other big news is that we put our house up for rent. We have been saving up for a new house for awhile now. We love our house, but it's a little small for our two parents working from home, one loud toddler and one big dog family.

We started causally looking about a month ago and we found an area we really like. It's a new neighborhood and we feel in love with one of their floor plans. It is totally my perfect house. As an added bonus the schools are excellent.

They actually had a spec home with everything we wanted and tons of upgrades, up for a quick move. We came really close to putting in an offer, but ultimately decided it wasn't the right time. The builder came way down on the price, but it was still at the top of our budget. We could have done it, but it wouldn't have been the best financial decision.

So for now, we are going to see if we can get our house rented out. We are pretty excited that we will be able to keep it as a rental since that was our long term plan when we bought it five years ago.

We are going to keep looking at options, but right now we are leaning towards building (although we keep flip flopping so who knows, we may end up staying here for a couple more years and then moving).

My goal is to write some posts with pictures this week, but if I don't, I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

-Lauren-

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:An Overdue Update

Yikes, another week without a blog post...

We have a tough week around here, but it's Friday again and things are looking much better!!

Jon headed up to Colorado, for work, last Sunday and just got back about 30minutes ago. I wasn't too excited about spending the week as a single mom and as luck would have it, my sister was able to skip some school and come down to hang out! And I am so glad she did!!

Monday, when I picked Aedan up at the sitter's house, she told me that his cough (which he has had for awhile now) had gotten much worse. So on our way home, I went ahead and made an appointment for Tuesday morning with the doctor.

Monday night was rough. Aedan was up from about 9pm-3am just coughing. I tried everything I could think of to help him, including us sitting in the bathroom while I ran a hot shower at about 1am. I'm pretty sure Aedan thought I was going crazy.

We headed the doctor Tuesday morning and they sent us home with a few prescriptions after doing a chest x ray and a WBC. I figured we could stop by Target and pick up some groceries and his medicine and then head home for the day to rest. I was wrong...

First, the pharmacist told me it would be at least 30 minutes before it was ready. So I tried to grocery shop slowly, which is hard with a sick baby in the cart. Finally 30 minutes was up and I waited in line to pick up the medicine, only to find out they needed me to activate a coupon card my doctor had given us. I got to sit on the phone for another 10 minutes to get that activated. Then we got our medicine, only to find out they didn't carry one of the things we needed...would have been helpful for them to tell me that at the beginning!!!

From Target, we headed to Walgreens to get the missing item. Get to Walgreens, in the rain I might add, and find out we need the prescription for the item, which is still at Target. I think I almost started crying. The pharmacist there was very nice, called the doctor and got us what we needed pretty quickly.

Aedan and I finally get home, I lay him on the cough and get the first dose of medicine out to give him, hoping to give him some relief from the coughing. Apparently it tasted pretty bad and he promptly threw up all of me, himself and the couch. Awesome. A quick bath for Aedan and I put him to bed so I could get everything cleaned up.

My sister arrived Tuesday night and was such a huge help for the rest of the week. We ended up having to go back to the doctor Wednesday morning since Aedan was still not breathing well and cough a lot. He got a steroid shot and just a few hours later, I could see a huge difference. He still has a bad cough but is able to breath and sleep so much better.

We had a lazy end of the week, just hanging out around the house. My sister was awesome and ran a bunch of errands for me along with helping with Aedan. I am so glad we were able have some sister time and I am so thankful she was here to help while Aedan was sick.

Now I am off to enjoy the weekend!!!

-Lauren-


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Being Sick is No Fun

Happy Friday!

Considering I felt like Tuesday was Friday, I am really happy it is finally here! We have fun family night out planned as soon as Aedan wakes up from his nap.

I was looking through my edited pictures and realized I never posted these…better late than never right?

_MG_6097

_MG_6099

_MG_6100

My little laundry helper can be pretty expressive. :)

-Lauren-

Children’s Museum

I have been wanting to talk Aedan to the Austin Children’s Museum for awhile now. I did a little research and found out that on the first Tuesday of every month is No Tour Tuesday, so no big groups. I marked it on the calendar and this past Tuesday, we visited for the first time.

Aedan had a blast.

There was the train exhibit…

photo 2photo 1

The construction area…

photo (7)photo 5

And the big train table…

photo 3

And of course music playing…

We had lots of fun and I am sure we will be going back soon!

-Lauren-