Monday, December 20, 2010

The many faces of Neely

I am running a little short on blogging material since we dropped Neely off with my parents on Saturday.

I thought I would really enjoy the time by myself, but I have actually been a little sad since she left.  It is just too quiet at our house!

Here are a few shots of Neely that I took right before she left.  She was demonstrating her different faces:

Happy Face:
Mean Face:
 Silly Face:
 Sweet Face:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

3 Years Old

Neely turned 3 this month and I can hardly believe it.  It seems like yesterday that we brought home that tiny, screaming baby.  The one that wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep, wouldn't play.  Only cry.

I am so thankful that she has become a sweet, funny, talkative toddler.  It seems like I always say that this is my favorite age, but it really is.  She talks from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to bed.  She doesn't take naps.  She is too sassy for words and wears her mother out.  She loves her friends more than anything and each night in her prayers she says each one individually.  She loves school and her teacher.  She loves her church.  She loves her family.  She loves sweets. 

I wish I could just bottle her up and keep her just like this.  I wouldn't change a thing and I know we couldn't imagine our life without her.

I thought I'd share a few of the pictures from her 3-year photo shoot.  I was so happy with them and I think they totally reflect her personality.

 This is my favorite.  I think I am going to get a big one made to go in her room.
This is her fake smile. 
 I love this one, too.
And her Christmas picture...
And her everyday picture.  I always like to get at least one picture of her in her everyday clothes to remind me what she was really like at each age.

I can't wait to see how she changes this year!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

After Kelly posted this picture of my Christmas tree on her blog yesterday, I have had several people ask how I did it.  And let me tell you, if I can do it, you can do it.  After seeing this picture, I really wish I would have taken the time to straighten the topper, but oh well.  I am too tired to get on a ladder...maybe next year.

In my opinion, the key to a pretty tree is pretty ribbon.  To be honest, that is all I did this year.  Tree decorating came at the height of my pregnancy tiredness, so I finished doing the ribbon and told Brad that we were not going to have any ornaments because I was just too tired.  Brad and Neely did all the ornaments & I have to say that they did a wonderful job.
I am a big fan of the floral mesh, BUT I think it is very important that you can still see the Christmas Tree.  Remember it is a tree.  Not a ball of mesh. 

I know there are some rules about which way your ribbon goes, but I don't know them and I like my ribbon to wrap around, so that is what you get.

I always start in the middle of the tree and work down and then start back in the middle and then work to the top.  I do the floral mesh for the whole tree and then go back with the ribbon in between the mesh.  I am a perfectionist, but it looks better when everything is not perfect.  And remember you can cover up blank spots with ornaments.

The key to this whole thing is FLORAL WIRE.  I wire it in the beginning and poof it out (NOT TOO MUCH...remember...not a ball of mesh) and wire it each time it goes in.  Sometimes if there is a limb poking out, I just wrap that around the mesh & it looks fine.

I think that my tree has 3 or 4 rolls of mesh and 2 rolls of the thick red ribbon.  I got it all 1/2 price, so it wasn't that expensive.  Another thing to remember is don't be afraid to cut the ribbon if you need to.  I think my mesh is in about 15 pieces.
And here is my topper from the front, where you can't see it is leaning.  I just stick a bunch of sparkly sticks in the top so it looks like a volcano.  Usually, I would wire these in, but I was trying to limit my time on the ladder this year, so that didn't happen.  Thus the leaning topper.

One final tip, instead of using the hangers that are in the Christmas section for your ornaments, use floral wire.  That way all the ornaments stay close to the tree and exactly where you placed them.  And wire 3 or 4 small ornaments together and place on tree for more of an impact.
And I'll leave you with this picture of the bottom of my tree.  Neely really wanted to help with the ribbon.  I am so OCD that this is really hard for me to look at every day, but she is so proud and that makes me love it.  Next year, I am going to set up a tree in her playroom upstairs that she can completely decorate.
And lastly this is my cousin, Jonathan, who helped me decorate my first tree.  He has taught me everything I know about tree decorating.  He is by far the most talented designer I know (I don't know very many designers, but let's just ignore that fact).  And here is the good news...he is in the process of moving back to NWA & will be doing Christmas decor next year!  He is planning his first wedding right now & I can't wait to show you the results in January!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Cards

This is my favorite time of year.  I love getting mail & December is the only time of year when we get anything but bills and junk mail.  I love that most of my friends send out picture cards & every day Neely and I (impatiently) wait to get our cards.

This year, I had someone new design our cards and I love them.  Tricia also designed Neely's birthday cards.  She was so patient & was super affordable and I highly recommend her.

Our pictures were taken by Jason at Soul Reflections Photography.  This was our first time to use him & he did a wonderful job!  I went to high school with Jason and because of Brad's travel schedule this year, the only way to get family pictures done was to do them on a weekend we were at my parents' house.

 Merry Christmas!