As 2016 comes to a close, I find myself feeling extremely grateful and nostalgic. It was this date exactly one year ago that we announnced that we were expecting Emery, and our lives have had quite the adventure since then! The year has had its fair share of laughs and tears, challenges and triumphs, learning experiences and lots of love and growth. Instagram showed me my top nine posts from the year earlier this week, and I wasn't the least bit surprised to see that all of my top posts came after Emery was born. She has brought our lives so much joy, and we can't even imagine a life without our little ball of sunshine! Instagram's top nine nostalgiagia got me thinking and reminded me of one of my own old New Year's traditions that I thought worth reviving. Starting in high school and going up until around 2013ish, I would start off each New Year's Day reflecting on the previous year and narrow down a "top ten" list of memories that I wanted to have for that year. This was before my blogging days so the list would always get written down in the good ol' journal, and would include anything from high school drama that had made a big enough impact to funny adventures with friends and loved ones and everything in between. Since this blog has become somewhat of a journal for me since then, I felt it very applicable to bring the old tradition back and reminice, especially on a year like this one when I have so much to be grateful for. So, without any further ado, here is the Pett Family Top-Ten of 2016:
That about sums up our 2016 in a nutshell! This time last year we announced our pregnancy and in a way our theme for the year of "The Best is Yet to Come". To welcome in this New Year, I've decided to go with the motto and goal to "Celebrate the Little Things", because I genuinely believe that once all is said and done that it's those seemingly small and insignificant events in life that make the days, months, and eventually the year such a wonderful experience. ❤️
Happy New Year! Cheers to 2017!
weight & height: 17 pounds 11 ounces and 25.75 inches long. According to the doctor I'm in the 42% for heighth and the 77% for weight. I also apparently shrunk a tiny bit from last months measurments, but that could have been because I didn't want to straighten out my legs for the nurse. Either way since those are the numbers we got I guess we'll write them down and see what next month brings! eating & sleeping: In addition to the regular formula I also tried rice cereal this month as my very first solid food. I wasn't too crazy about eating from a spoon and wasn't sure how I liked the taste or texture of the cereal either, but I've heard these things take practice so we're going to keep working at it! I've also gotten to the point where I can sleep for almost a 12 hour stretch at night, which mommy and daddy love because it means we all get to go to bed a little earlier! exciting firsts/milestones: I now can roll from tummy to back and this last month rolled from my back to my tummy for the first time! I'm also sitting up now for longer stretches of time on my own. This month I also celebrated my very first Christmas and it was so much fun!! I got to spend the holiday with my parents,grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, and everyone in between and LOVED getting to open all of the presents (and especially play with all of the wrapping paper and ribbons)! things I love: My favorite thing in the world is still people, and I will talk to them every chance that I get. When we were going to Utah for Christmas I was causing quite the scene in the Chigaco airport because I kept squaking and talking to people that would walk by until they would stop and say hi to me, at which point I'd stop squaking and give them a big cheesy grin. :D I've also really started to enjoy playing with toys; my favorite to play with are usually either really colorful, or are small enough that I can pick up and/or put in my mouth and inevitably throw accross the room. things I don't enjoy so much: Along with experiencing my first winter came experiencing my first cold while we were visiting Utah, and I did not like that at all!! I couldn't breath very well because I was so stuffed up, so Mom and Dad were constantly having to wipe and suck out my nose for a couple of days. Each time they did I screamed at the top of my lungs to let them know how little I enjoyed the experience. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: When I did catch my cold things got really stressful for a little bit in our family. I wasn't sleeping for longer than 30 minutes at a time because of the congestion, and needless to say EVERYONE was really tired. Daddy was stressed because he was trying to study for his dental school boards on very little sleep, and Mommy mentioned how she hadn't felt this stressed since bringing me home from the hospital because she was so worried that something bad would happen to me if she fell asleep. From the whole experience, Mom and Dad both learned that it is OK to ask for help when things get tough (both of my grandmas were a HUGE help in watching me during the day while Mom & Dad tried to sleep and get things done), and that there is much to be appreciated in a solid nap and a good night's sleep.
Thanks for checking in on Emery's monthly update!! We can't believe that our baby is already 6 months old and can honestly say that time is flying by! Emery's half birthday also happens to fall on Christmas Day (June 25 - December 25), so the lucky girl can basically guarantee that she'll always get presents to celebrate the occasion. ;D
If there's one thing that I love about the holidays but am CONSTANTLY procrastinating until the week before Christmas, it's sending out actual, printed out Christmas cards to family and friends. This year I thought that I might do a little better at it because I actually took our pictures at the beginning of the month, but once again time has slipped through my fingers and we're a few quick days away from Christmas! Since this is unfortunately the closest we'll get to sending out any form of a card to anyone, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from our little family to yours! I hope that everyone is able to spend their holidays with those you love most! Also, since this is mine and Kyle's fifth Christmas together (fourth married), I thought that I'd take a little walk down memory lane and treat you all to our cards of Christmases past. I love being able to see how we've grown together and hope that you'll all join in on the nostalgia. ☺
I know that it's technically a New Year's card, but we announced to family that we were expecting on Christmas and felt like they deserved to know before anyone else. ☺ This will forever be one of my favorites, and still needs to be shared! ♥︎
2014's Christmas Greetings were probably one of the most fun that we've made thus far. I'd had my share of personal struggles that year, and after all was said and done, Kyle & I agreed that sometimes the best way to bring holiday cheer was to find joy in the simple things in life (like ugly Christmas sweaters) and to never take ourselves too seriously. ☺
Ah, 2013, otherwise known as the year of the mushy, newlywed Christmas for the Pett family. This is also the one year that I was actually prepared enough to mail out Christmas Cards which is why I don't have a digital copy to share. ☺
This isn't an actual Christmas card (obviously seeing as this year we weren't married) but it was our first Christmas together and by this point in time we'd decided that we were getting married and I had made the decision to follow Kyle up to Utah State while he finished up his undergrad. We've been through so much together since this point, and from then till now, I feel so much love for this sweet guy and everything that we've made together through the years. ♥
Merry Christmas & Lots of Love this Holiday Season!
(A Note to my Pre-Baby Self on What I Actually Needed for Emery)
(This post has been sponsored by the Baby Cubby. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.)
So my baby is almost a whole six months old, and it's making me incredibly nostalgic. I remember this time last year Kyle and I were just starting to announce to our family and loved ones that we were expecting, and now we've got a spunky little girl about to celebrate her first Christmas. It was also around this same time last year that I started deep into what Kyle referred to as a "perpetual nesting" period that involved extensive research and countless hours on the internet scrounging for the best baby products and trying to figure out exactly what I would need to make my baby as happy as possible, and to make my transition into life as a new mom as seamless as I could. I was flooded with a million different options on everything from carseats to pacifiers, and found myself a little overwhelmed at picking what would actually be the best option for our little family. It was also around that same time that I found and fell in love with the Baby Cubby. The Baby Cubby is a baby store based out of Utah that seriously saved me from intense amounts of stress as an expecting mama out in Kentucky! Fitting them in the "store" category is only really applicable to them because they offer products for purchase, but the way that they run their business goes so much further than that of your typical baby supply store. Their team is made up of parents who have all been in that stressed "new parent" stage of life, and they've made it their mission to make the transition into parenthood as easy as possible. They are very careful with which products they will choose to offer in their store and will only sell products that they truly feel are the best and safest products for their babies and yours, and even have a section on their website called "Cubby Picks" so that you can get a feel for what the tried and true favorite baby products are that are out there! They also offer free shipping on any order over $49 (anyone that's shopped for a baby before will know this is a REALLY easy price mark to hit) AND they price match with any company out there including Amazon! In addition to making their store and website as shopping friendly as possible, they also have an amazing community available to anyone on their Cubby Community Blog to help offer answers to parenting/baby questions and support to any parents in need! The Baby Cubby helped me with making so many of my decisions when picking out baby gear, and I'm SO excited to be able to work with them to hopefully be able to help some of my mama friends along on their baby-gear buying journey! So without any further ado, here are a few of my absolute FAVORITE baby gear items that I have personally found to be must-haves for me and my baby!
(Links to products are included on each picture)
I hope that this list is able to help anyone out there trying to decide what to buy for your soon to be baby! For me, a lot of these items weren't things that I really thought I would need until I was actually in the middle of momming and realizing that a lot of these items were things that I couldn't live without! I will admit that I overbought in my pursuit of being prepared, but now have had some time of actually using (or not using) all of the baby gear that I bought to find out what I personally need to take care of Emery. With her half-birthday quickly approaching, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on my experience of trying to prepare for a baby, and of course try and share what insights I have so that if there's any sweet expecting mamas out there that are as stressed as I was about preparing for a baby, that this post will hopefully let you know that you're definitely not alone and that there is an easier way. ;D Is there anything that I missed that you'd add onto this list? I'm learning lots every day but as Emery gets older still feel like I'm learning new things and I'd love to hear all of your thoughts and opinions on what works well for you and your baby! Thanks so much for reading!
Even though I haven't actually mailed out Christmas cards to friends and family since our first year married, every year I've worked really hard to keep a tradition of doing family Christmas pictures of me, Kyle, and of course Emery from here on out. (Except for last year, which I guess were technically New Year's pictures, but since we were making a big announcement I figured it was ok to change it up a bit :D) Christmas pictures are one of my FAVORITE traditions for our family!! Sometimes their cute, sometimes they're funny, but every year the pictures are sure to bring a huge smile to my face and all of the warm fuzzies to my heart! I was especially excited for our pictures this year because Emery would get to join in on the fun with us, and Kyle FINALLY let me do a mistletoe picture! He's been denying me the privilage ever since we've been dating, but I guess this year he just couldn't turn down the chance to kiss a face as cute as Emery's ;D.
A BIG thanks to my sweet friend Megan for making the yummy chocolate cookies for Emery's pictures AND for being on the other side of the camera for the family pictures! Getting pictures of all three of us together is SO much easier when I'm not having to be on both sides of the camera at the same time, and I LOVE that it allows for more of these cute candid type of shots to be captured! More often than not they end up being my favorite pictures from the entire session!
Also, a lot of people have asked me how I kept the milk from spilling in the jug. Spoiler alert..... it's not actual milk! I just bought a Starbuck's frappachino from the grocery store, used some goo-be-gone to get the label off, and then swirled around some white paint and water on the inside until I got the look that I wanted! There's also some paper towels stuffed in the bottom to help the straw stay in place, and to keep Emery from accidentaly sucking up any paint residue. :)
(kyle) sweater + shirt: gap (me) shirt: j.crew factory |watch: c/o jord sweater: ebay (crazy I know but it's where I get all of my christmas sweaters!)
(emery) jumper + pillows: target | bow: salt city littles (use CHELSEA35 for 35% off $10 or more)
Thank you so much for sharing in these fun family pictures with me! In my last blog post I'd made a goal to work hard to enjoy the true spirit of Christmas and avoid any "holidrama". I'm proud to say that in the last week I've done quite well at keeping to my goal, but have also noticed how the closer it gets to Christmas the more drama and chaos seems to surround every where I go. People are driving more aggresivly to get to their destinations, rushing in and out of stores in a state of impatience, and the tension of the crowds in the shopping malls is almost tangible. When I see those around me being weighed down by unneccessary holiday stress, it makes me even more want to spread holiday cheer and to try to bring joy to those around me. I hope that anyone reading can find a way to spread your own holiday cheer in your life and in the lives of those you come into contact with! I really do feel like the service we provide to others, the love that we have for our friends and family, and the time that we dedicate in our busy days to those we love in this holiday season is what helps make Christmas feel so magical, and I believe that magic is definitely something worth sharing. :)
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.