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This time of year always flies by, but I really feel it went too fast this year.  We had a good Thanksgiving with our families.  Aubrey made a turkey again this year, and every day we added what she said she was thankful for.

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After Thanksgiving, we got in the Christmas spirit and did all kinds of festive things.  This was definitely my favorite Christmas with Aubrey because she really got into it and got so excited for Santa.  She became especially obsessed with Rudolph and singing all the Christmas songs she could learn!

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We also started the Elf on the Shelf shenanigans this year and had so much fun hiding her throughout the house every day!  Aubrey would immediately begin looking for her as soon as she woke up and would get so excited when she found her.  She named her elf Chapstick!

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Aubrey definitely had a good Christmas. She asked for lots of Paw Patrol stuff and was happy with everything she got.  I would say her favorite gifts were her water-color paints and all of her paw patrol pups and the lookout tower.

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I think my favorite part of Christmas this year was watching Aubrey light up with all of the Christmas magic.  Kids really do make Christmas so much fun!

On New Year’s Eve, we just stayed home, baked cookies, and watched the ball drop. Nice, easy night in.

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How cute is Aubrey’s dress?! I love handmade clothing, especially little dresses on little girls! This one is from Swallows Return on Etsy.  Aubrey told me she felt so pretty in it so obviously my heart melted.

I wasn’t too sad to see 2016 go, it wasn’t our best year.  Thankful for new beginnings and change in 2017.  Hope you all had a wonderful and festive Thanksgiving and Christmas! Happy New Year!!

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My favorite month of the year has come and gone:(  But it was a good one with lots of good memories.  Apple picking, baking, Halloween makeup, picnics by the river, lots and lots of hayrides at all the pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, playing in the leaves…

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I always look forward to Halloween, but this one was the best one ever.  Originally, Aubrey wanted to be Alice in Wonderland.  We got her costume, and I was excited about my queen of hearts costume that my aunt let me borrow.  Jake was going to be the mad hatter and everything was all set.  Then, about a week before Halloween Aubrey decided she definitely needed to be a pink unicorn.  Even though the other costume would have been cute, I just love her little ideas.  It was so fun to see her get excited about her costume as she watched it come together.  She already had a pink tutu and tights, so we just bought her a pink leotard.  For the horn, I followed along with THIS tutorial I found on Pinterest.  It was pretty easy, and I just glued on little flowers when the horn was all done.  Every morning, Aubrey watches me put on my makeup, so she was literally soooo excited when I sat her down and did her makeup for her costume.  Then, we just put on little diamond stickers and she was all set!

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In the morning, Aubrey woke up to find a little Halloween breakfast waiting for her.  She loved it and kept saying, “Thank you for making me this Halloween party, mommy!” Heart melted. I love doing things like that because it just helps make her childhood more magical, plus it’s just fun!  While we had breakfast, we listened to a Halloween playlist and danced around the kitchen;)  We had pumpkin pancakes, this recipe was so good!  Aubs ate all her pancakes right up!

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Of course, Halloween would not be complete without a few cute pictures and a pumpkin craft.

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I know Halloween can sometimes be crazy and the next day can be hard because everyone is exhausted, but the thought of not having an excited little trick or treater one day makes me so sad and really just want to enjoy every single Halloween we can get.  Unfortunately, kids grow up and then we miss these days.  I hope everyone had a fun and festive Halloween!

 

On Saturday, we decided to go out to lunch and go to the art museum, which is something I have been wanting to do for a while.  We had no idea how long we were actually going to be there because we just had no idea how huge this place was.  That being said, we left the stroller in the car:/ Aubrey was still so well-behaved and walked almost the entire time.  We only held her when we were in busy rooms so that we wouldn’t lose her while looking at the displays.  Next time, I will definitely bring the stroller just to make it a tad bit easier because it is a lot of walking.  I also would love to go on a week day or maybe in the evening when it isn’t as crowded.

I was so proud of Aubrey because she literally looked at everything and took it all in.  I have always loved art and museums, so being able to share this with her was so special to me.  I feel like if all else fails, if my children know how to appreciate art, nature, history, etc. then I did a good job. 😉

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^^Even if you’re not super into art, there really is something for everyone at the museum.  Jake wasn’t that blown away with the paintings and sculptures because that’s just not his thing.  But on the top floor, it’s all ancient weaponry and armor and architecture and he was really into that.  // Also, holy shit. People really put a ton of time into making weapons and armor.  There are literally the smallest, most intricate etchings and designs on these things!

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It was such a fun day for my little family, and we definitely want to go back again!

 

I am so glad that I had a girl because she loves doing girly things with me, and nothing is better than hanging out with my little girlfriend.  She is always down to go outside and play and take pictures, and that is honestly one of our favorite things to do.  We got into making flower crowns the other day, just to pass the time.  And then, the next thing we knew, we had the camera on self-timer and the rest is just history;)

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I just love her.

Also, it’s been feeling more and more like Fall and we aren’t mad about that one bit.  I really want to try and have a good year with her as far as learning goes.  She will be starting pre-k next year and already knows SO much, and I can see all the time that she is ready for school.  So this year, we will spend it together and love every second of it while we work on reading.  So far, she has been learning pretty quickly and she never ceases to amaze me.  Time is such a bitchhhhh, I can’t believe my little bestie will be in school before we know it.  But I am so proud of her, and for now we will wear all the flower crowns we want.

I really can’t believe our sweet girl is three now!  As much as I miss her as a chunky little baby, she just gets more and more fun as she gets older.  Her little personality is just hilarious and she keeps us laughing all day long.  Except when she throws her fits and yells because three-year-olds are apparently just plain sassy.  She picked out her party theme this year, which was pretty fun because it was the first year that she got super excited for her party.  She had so much fun picking out decorations and party supplies and loved going shopping for it.  And the theme she picked?  Finding Dory!

She is obsessed with all things Nemo and Dory.

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It was such a fun day celebrating our little girl!  She had a blast, except for the part when she bawled her eyes out as we sang Happy Birthday and then proceeded to have a meltdown for a few minutes afterward.  In her defense, she did ask us not to sing to her, but I was not expecting her to cry :/  So glad that the weather turned out great, despite the fact that it was the hottest day I have ever experienced.  Happy 3rd Birthday, Aubrey Haven.  We love you as deep as the sea!

This time of year gets SO busy.  Midterms and tests/assignments nonstop for school.  Holiday shopping (my fav! I love giving gifts to people.), getting outside to enjoy the weather before it’s too cold to go to the park everyday.  And, of course, keeping my two year old entertained and learning.  A few weeks ago, Jake and I took Aubrey to a lake that is about an hour away from us to take pictures for our Christmas cards.  There was a lot of walking, and some unexpected hiking after the main entrance, which takes you right to the lake, was closed off.  (I was in a dress and flats) While we hacked through the prickly vines and branches of the woods, taking turns holding Aubrey the whole time.  It was actually a lot of fun and we felt like little adventurers, even though my legs ended up completely scratched up.  Aubrey got through scratch free and that is really all that matters! 😉

When we finally got through the woods and to the lake, it all seemed so worth it.  Aubrey loves boats, especially sailboats because there is a new show on Sprout called “Sydney Sailboat” which is actually pretty cute (It beats Caillou).  I had been feeling so out of it for the few days prior after losing our dog that we had since I was 8.  Being at the lake was so peaceful and beautiful and therapeutic. Seeing Aubrey get excited about the boats didn’t hurt either.  After the adventure just to get to the lake, I look kind of like a hot mess in the photos but it doesn’t even matter.  The entire day was just what we needed.

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The vastness of the lake makes life and all of it’s problems/stress seem so small.  It somehow reminds me to fully appreciate the people in my life.  I could not have asked for a better day with my little family that I am so thankful for everyday.  It didn’t even occur to us that we would have a long hike back to the car though! 😉