A look at 2013


2013 was a great year for us! It is filled with memories that make me smile...

good food
trying new restaurants
beach vacations
a trip to New York (first time flying for the boys)
trips to Virginia
a visit from our cousins
C starting Kindergarten
the boys learning to ride bikes
the boys learning to tie shoes
goals achieved
goals not achieved (Chicago, but hopefully in 2014!)
18 books read
around 600 miles run
2(ish) miles in the pool
lots of working
lots of playing
and lessons learned.

I feel so blessed and thankful and 2013 will be a year I refer back to for a long time. The best thing about the year of course is anything to do with these guys.

Thank you for reading. This is a place that I love, an outlet for me to create, to clear my head of the words that fill it, to share my teeny little humble experiences, photos, and ideas, and to be inspired by others.

I've learned many lessons this year, and among them what stands out is simply to show friends and family you love them. Say it often and don't be embarrassed. Give hugs and squeeze people tightly. Never look to the internet for medical advice. Have a good attitude.  Forgive easily (that includes yourself).  Lay down the camera sometimes and pick it up sometimes. Soak it all in. It goes by too fast.

2013 Memorable Moments from Courtney on Vimeo.
music by Mindy Gledhill


Merry Christmas


Sweet Birdie's Nest designed our card and it's my favorite to date. Can't say enough good things about those gals! The picture of the boys at the beach was my favorite of the year and I knew when Beverly made a comment about it being the Christmas card, it was the one.
 Hoping you all have a peaceful, happy Christmas surrounded by those you love.

Christmas up in here


The hubs and I are addicted to Breaking Bad and I constantly have gangster talk running through my head. Hence the post title. I also have the strong urge to post an emoji every time I finish a sentence. Intervention!

I love seeing how other folks decorate and here's what we have going on. It is by no means up to other bloggers' standards but it is our little slice of Christmas posted here to look back on.

We get a live tree every year and I love the fresh smell. The boys did such a sweet little job decorating this year and were so excited about it.  It seems we are past the toddler years of them yanking ornaments off the branches (though that makes me sad!).  I love seeing all of our favorite little decorations that each have a sweet memory attached ("It's a boy!") Sigh... And I love making salt dough ornaments with the boys, a tradition carried over from my sweet Nana C. They are broken and beat up, but they are special:) The pine cones on the chairs in the dining room were inspired by Katie's inspiration post (on a smaller scale of course;).

There are lots of handmade goodies that my boys have made in school and I just cherish those. Love seeing my Christmas cards too--beautiful friends and families.

On another Christmas note, this little man performed in his little school Christmas musical. He informed me that he was not "stage frightened" and that he loved it.  Ha! And we're so blessed with amazing teachers.

Excited to share the Christmas card soon too!

For my memory book


Santa visit '13


Hey Santa!

We caught Santa at the library today and got to avoid the mall (happy dance!). Topping the list this year for both C's are Legos.  My 6 year old later casually mentioned that he wouldn't mind an iPad, a phone, small video game thing, and a wallet with money in it (ha!!). Don't think so!

They look so big. Can't believe it.

We had so much fun decorating the tree, they just think it's the greatest thing ever. It's funny that they both love to cluster ornaments. This tree is not small but they'll hang 6 ornaments on one branch until it droops to the floor.  They do the funniest things:)

Thanksgiving 2013


I've been a bad documenter again! Over Thanksgiving I realized I don't even pull out my camera anymore if the lighting isn't perfect or if I don't already have my favorite lens on the camera (boo on me). That nonsense is changing. A new year is on the way and I don't want to miss documenting these memories.

Our Thanksgiving was low key and fun. My parents drove in from Virginia, I cooked, and we played games and laughed a lot. On Friday, C took Papa and the boys to a car museum and Mom and I shopped until we dropped. I cherish these times, truly do.

When I was a kid I loved the card game Old Maid. So I bought it for the boys and it turns out they love it too--they were surprisingly competitive. You wouldn't believe how many times they stuck mom and I will the Old Maid. How'd they do that?  Games are becoming so fun--I think Santa has noticed and will be stocking us up.

Thanksgivings have changed a lot since I was little, when mom would cook everything and my uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents would come over for dinner (and Uncle Chris would have football blaring on TV). These days are a tad quieter, though as I write that I'm thinking, how can that be (with these little boys of mine!)? But it's just a different kind of noise... fewer people. I miss my extended family so much (the hardest part of living far from home) but I'm thankful for the giggles and laughs that fill these Thanksgivings and for my turn as the chef! And I'm so thankful my mom and dad came to spend it with us, thankful for every trip they make. We missed my brother and sister-in-law (and cousins!) and Mr. C's family too, but we'll see them soon:)

Now on to Christmas! I present to you the C Family tree, 2013. She's a beaut, right? That line always makes me laugh out loud.