Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today is our 11-year wedding anniversary! Since we missed Christmas last week in TN (we know you've heard that story now a million times), we're headed today to see family for the weekend. Yep, nothing says romance like 8 hours in a car with a baby, Bo's dad, and the dog! Hahaha! Oh, well....after this many years together, we don't really get too worked up about this kind of stuff. Maybe we'll get to celebrate later, maybe not. Either way, we've had a blast all these years and are looking forward to many, many more to celebrate matter what we're doing!


Christmas Morning

Even though we hated that we were missing the family in TN, we were so excited to get to wake up on Christmas morning at home this year. We were like little kids....we didn't sleep well because we were looking forward to getting up and letting Hampton see his presents. It was totally worth the wait! He was soooo excited! He kept standing in front of the chair where his gifts were, pointing & talking to the chair and looking back at us, then talking to the chair some more. It was too cute! It was a great start to a great day!

Santa ate almost all the cookies, and he even left a thank-you note for Hampton!

The gifts Santa left Hampton....apparently, he had been a very good boy this year!

Hamp's first reaction to seeing them.....priceless!

checking out his Mickey Mouse puzzle


Christmas Eve

We had such a great time on Christmas Eve! Paul & Jan came over to hang out with Hamp while we ran a few errands, which took longer than expected since we found a few amazing deals that we had to scoop up to save for later. We had lunch and hung out for awhile, then went to the early family service at church. Hampton did surprisingly well at church, although he did chime in and "sing" during several songs! We came home, had yummy soup, and got to enjoy our Christmas Eve traditions that we're passing along. We opened our new pajamas, checked out our annual ornaments, and Hampton got a goodie after finding the Christmas pickle (with a little help from us!). We also tracked Santa on NORAD and set out his cookies before heading to bed. It was such a great day filled with excitement and fun, and made us that much more excited about waking up on Christmas morning!

our 2010 ornaments

getting ready to head to church with Grannie

opening a goodie after finding the Christmas pickle


Christmas with Grandi & Grandaddy

We also celebrated Christmas with Tanner's parents early, since at the time everyone was headed to TN. It's so much easier this way than hauling everything up just to haul it back! So, we celebrated with Grandi & Granddaddy the weekend before Christmas. We had a great time hanging out, opening gifts, and eating what Tanner likes to call the Christmas trifecta......monkey bread, hashbrown casserole, and Bob's homemade biscuits and gravy. Mmmmm....carbs! We also had fun going out and looking at Christmas lights, even though Bo got teased about driving way too fast to see them!

checking out one of Hamp's fun gifts

getting ready to go look at the holiday lights

all decked out for Christmas

great holiday display


On The First Day of Christmas......

We have had several Christmas celebrations around here, so the next few days will be filled with a recap of the festivities. We started with celebrating as just the 3 of us. At the time, we thought we were going to TN for Christmas, and we wanted to have some special time with just us. Plus, we only give Hampton 3 gifts from us to symbolize the 3 gifts that the Wise Men brought Jesus. Since these gifts are bigger than Santa's trinkets, we decided to do these gifts early. We woke up early, read the Christmas story, and then went and explored the 3 gifts. Hampton has had a blast playing in his ball pit, with his slide, and with his wagon filled with blocks. It was a great morning, and a great way to kick off our holiday celebrations!

the ball pit and his castle slide

checking out his Little People blocks

oh, the joys of a ball pit!

ready, set....slide!


Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Yea, Lord we greet Thee

born this happy morning

Jesus, to Thee be all glory given

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing

Oh come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We hope you take time over the next few days to enjoy family, friends, and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas....Jesus's birth. And as we promised a long time ago, here's a peek at our Thanksgiving card. It's a little late, we know, but the sentiment is still as true. Merry Christmas, everyone!


The Best Laid Plans.....

Well, we can do all the planning we want, but sometimes life has other plans! It has been a comedy of errors around here lately, and so we are totally changing our Christmas plans.

First, we celebrated our Christmas early with Bob & Randi since we were all going to head to TN. Tanner's dad didn't feel well, so we cut the festivities a little short so he could rest before going to the Doctor the next morning. Well, turns out he has shingles on his face! No wonder he felt so bad! The only thing is, shingles causes chicken pox in children. Since Hamp isn't scheduled to have his vaccine until Feb, our pediatrician feels like there is a very good chance Hampton will have chicken pox in about 2 weeks, which is the length of the incubation period. Great.....something to look forward to.

Anyway, we were still heading to TN, although Bob & Randi weren't. We had to change and cancel some plans, but we were determined. That is, until we heard about the snow storm they are predicting! We've watched the weather like a hawk since we found out about it (thanks to Tanner's cousin Ben's facebook post!), and we've been waffling back and forth. We finally decided to cancel our plans when we heard that the snow may come as far south as Birmingham. The last thing we want to do is have to drive through bad weather for hours on the interstate!

So this year, we'll be celebrating at home. Even though we're sad to miss seeing family, we're starting to get a little excited about it. We've emailed Santa and he's coming here instead, so Hampton should have fun. We've got a few celebration ideas in the works, too, so it should still be a festive holiday. In the end, Christmas is really about celebrating Jesus's birth anyway, and we can do that anywhere!

instead of dealing with all of this.....

.....we'll go look at this!


Santa And His Elves

We've been quite the busy little elves recently, trying to get ready to head to TN for the holidays and also to have our own family time together. We've braved the crowds to do some last-minute Christmas shopping, we've packed up boxes to take to the post office (sadly, these gifts are going to be late!), and we've taken full advantage of Amazon's free 2-day shipping. We're not quite ready to work at the North Pole, but we're trying!

One of the funnier things that happened during all our running around was our trip to Bass Pro Shops. We were headed in to look for a gift, not thinking at all about Santa being there. Well, as we entered the store, one of the employees said that since Hampton was dressed up for Christmas, he needed to visit Santa. Little did the man know that Hampton has been dressed for Christmas all month! Anyway, we decided that since the zoo visit was a bust, and the Wharf Santa fell through, that maybe the third time would be the charm. Oh, not so much! Hampton was already trying to get away as we walked up to him, but Santa tried to bribe him with a candy cane. Hampton promptly offered his candy cane to the reindeer, but still wouldn't have a thing to do with Mr. Claus. We snapped a picture anyway. Doesn't everyone just look so happy? At least we got a good laugh out of it!


Cause & Effect

Hampton did this....... get to this!


Friday Photo


A Coastal Christmas

The city of Gulf Shores recently put on a big event to help get everyone in the holiday spirit. They hired the Budweiser Clydesdales to be on hand and had snow machines going to get everyone in the mood. They also had lots of free activities, including bounce houses, a petting zoo, cupcake and cookie decorating, and more. Plus, Santa was available for photos right before the tree lighting ceremony. There were people everywhere enjoying the couldn't have been more perfect being right on the beach!


Conner's Birthday Bash

On Sunday, our little friend Conner turned 1. We were excited to be able to celebrate with him and meet several more of his little friends. The party was a blast, and Hampton LOVED playing in their ball much so that we're now on the hunt for one of our own!

watching Conner open gifts

"quit taking pictures and let me just play, please!"

Conner enjoying the yummy cake

Where's Hampton?


Tied Up In Knots

Hampton has really enjoyed playing with all the ribbon that we've been using to decorate and wrap presents with. He drags it throughout the house, and as you can see, tends to get a bit tangled up in it!


Christmas Boat Parade

This weekend was the annual Christmas boat parade, and luckily, the weather was nice enough to get out and enjoy it. We headed down with Grandi & Granddaddy to watch all the festive boats, making sure to get there early to get a good spot on the intracoastal. We wondered if Hampton would have the patience to watch 26 boats float by, but once they started coming by, he was hooked. It's not everyday you see a boat all decked out in holiday lights!


There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays.....

We thought you might enjoy a peek at our holiday decorations. This isn't everything (you know how Tanner is about Christmas!), but you can definitely tell we have the holiday spirit around here!


Friday Photo & Week in Review

This week has been a wild one! We've had 2 Christmas parties, been to lunch with friends, made & hung cornice boards in our living room, been to dinner on the Eastern Shore, finished decorating (finally!), wrapped gifts, and finally finished our last order for The Monogrammed Monkey. Now we're hoping to be able to make a few things for ourselves!

This weekend is going to be just as packed, since tonight we're hosting Supper Club, tomorrow it's a few different holiday events, and on Sunday, we have our little friend Conner's first birthday party. Check back next week for lots of photos, since you know we'll snap plenty!

This is why we only used shatterproof ornaments this year!


Gulf Shores Christmas Parade

Gulf Shores had their Christmas Parade over the weekend, so we had to go check it out! It's not many Christmas parades that involve boats driving down the road, Mardi Gras beads being thrown in addition to candy, and huge big shrimp and fish floats. We had lots of fun, and Hampton got lots of throws (the beads) to play with at home!

the Shrimp float

Hampton sporting just a few of his many, many throws!