Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Thanksgiving...

was a lot of fun this year. The past few years we have been with mine and Robby's parents, but since my family was just in town a few weeks ago we had a smaller Thanksgiving celebration with Robby's parents. We spent the day in Alpharetta at their house and Handley was so excited when we got out of the car and she realized where we were.

During the day Robby and his dad went for a bike ride while Helen and I took Handley to the playground. She had a lot of fun exploring the sandbox, slides, and swings.

Our delicious meal was prepared by Helen and it was really yummy! Thank you, Helen!

After we ate and helped clean up, Robby, Handley and I headed off to Lenox Mall to see the 61st annual lighting of the Macy's Great Tree. I was not quite sure how Handley would do since she didn't nap or eat well all day. I thought we might have a cranky toddler on our hands, but she had SO much fun. We met my brother, Trey, and his fiance, Stefanie there. Also, our friends Jen and Justen came with us. We had a perfect spot to see the show, hear Jewel sing (I love Jewel!!!) and see the big tree. As they lit the giant tree, a ton of balloons were released, and they also had a fireworks finale. This was the first time Handley had ever seen fireworks and she thought they were great. She kept pointing to them, saying "Mama!!! Dada!!!" making sure we saw them too, and clapping her little heart out. My pictures do not even show her excitement. On our way home we decided that the tree lighting will definitely become an annual tradition of ours!

Jewel singing

The giant tree and fireworks

Uncle Trey, Handley, and Aunt Stefanie

Justen and Jen

Watching the show on Uncle Trey's shoulders

So excited about the fireworks!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Apples and Twirling

Handley has two new skills and I actually got them both on video tonight!

She's been twirling for a week or so now, but every time I whip out the video camera to record her she stops what she is doing and runs to watch the video or "pic-pic" as she calls it.

Over the weekend she had some cinnamon apples when we were out to dinner and she loved them. I decided I would buy some apples and make some for her at home. After dinner tonight she was helping me prepare the apples and the next thing I knew she had picked up an apple and taken a bite out of it. I had never even thought to give her a whole apple, but now that she has a mouth full of teeth she is certainly able to eat it. She carried the apple around with her for over half an hour and ended up eating almost the entire thing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A getaway from the everyday...

That was the slogan of our lake house's neighborhood. Serenity Bay...A getaway from the everyday! It sounds kind of cheesy, but it really is true. There isn't much to do in the winter time, but we decided to head up for the weekend and really enjoyed our time there.

As soon as we arrived on Saturday morning Handley went running from the driveway towards the lake saying "boat, boat!" She was so happy to be there and thought we were going to be heading out on the water. We tired explaining to her that it was too cold to take a boat ride, but she just said, "jacket" like we were crazy or something. Of course...even though it was almost 30 degrees outside, as long as we wore our jackets we should be fine, right?!?! All weekend she kept pointing to the water and saying "boat!" I know she'll have a blast on the lake this summer.

We took nice a nice long walk around the neighborhood, buried Sydney in the leaves, took naps, and went to dinner. The nice thing about being there is that you are forced to relax. There is no laundry to do, no email to catch up on, no chores to be done around the house. Nothing! Just a lot of relaxing, laying around, playing outside, and being together as a family.

On Sunday before heading back to Atlanta we went to Issaqueena Falls, which are only short drive away. We'd been there once before with Handley, but it has been almost a year ago, so of course she didn't remember. She was in awe of the waterfall and had fun seeing the beautiful sights.

What's in a name???

Handley's first and middle name have family ties. Why Handley Isabelle?

Handley was my great-grandmother's maiden name and has been used a lot in my family for middle names, including my grandfather's middle name. I always knew that if I had a little girl I wanted to name her Handley.

Isabelle was Robby's great-grandmother's middle name. She was Helen Isabel (Robby's mom is named after her...Helen). We decided to change the spelling from Isabel to Isabelle to make it a little more "Southern."

Our new baby girl will be Harper Elizabeth. Why Harper Elizabeth?

Harper is a name that Robby and I have both liked for a long time. I think even before we were married we talked about the name and how we'd like to use it for one of our kids. It was actually our "boy" name if Handley had been a boy. We decided we loved it for a girl or boy.

Elizabeth was my middle name, prior to getting married. I was named after my great-aunt on my mother's side, my grandmother's sister.

"I have called you by name, you are mine." ~ Isaiah 43:1

Halfway there..

I can't believe that I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy. It is hard to believe because the days and weeks seem to be flying by. I'm 19 weeks 2 days and had my 20 week ultrasound today. Everything went great! We got to see our sweet baby girl again and confirm that she was indeed a girl! Also, the doctor did a scan of her entire body to check all organs, body parts, etc. She appears to be very healthy and growing just the way she should be. We are so thankful!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Miss Manners

I think growing up in the south I was always surrounded by good manners. My parents taught us to say "please" and "thank you." We were also expected to say "yes ma'am" and "no sir," to our elders. Writing thank you notes feels so innate to me now because I can clearly remember after our birthdays or Christmas, my mom sitting us all down at the kitchen table and having us write our thank yous to grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. I'm so happy that my parents thought these things were important and I'm definitely passing along these manners to Handley.

We've started off with "please" and "thank you" and she is actually doing pretty well. It used to take more prompting and me saying "you need to say please first," but now all I have to say is, "what do you say?" when she is asking for something. Without hesitation she she tilts her head to the side, smiles and says, "PEES?" How can you say no to that?!?! She always gets that second cookie. :-)

We're still working on "thank you" but her version sounds like "tu-tu" which is equally as cute! I've been trying to get her to say it on video, but every time I whip out the recorder she comes running asking to watch the video and won't perform for me.

Look what happened in Target!

You may not know this, but Handley is NOT one to just fall asleep when she is tired. Conditions have to be her crib, lights off, sound machine on, etc. She will sometimes fall asleep in the car if it is nearing her nap time, but even that is a rare occurrence. This summer I had the bright idea to leave for the beach right around her bedtime thinking she'd sleep the entire 7 hour drive. Do you think she slept? Nope. She finally fell asleep around 1 AM, but we were almost there by that time. Anyway, you can imagine my surprise when I looked down in Target and saw that she was totally passed out in the cart. If you look close enough, you can see she still has an Animal Cracker in her hand. :-)

I thought for sure when I started moving she'd wake up, but she just switched into a more comfortable position.
Then I thought as soon as I went to pay and started talking to the cashier she'd wake up, but she stayed asleep. She finally woke up outside when I tried to pull the hood up on her jacket. That made her sit up straight (still asleep) but then she fell over and hit her head on the side of the cart. That finally woke her up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hard at work

I've been hard at work the past few weeks getting some new Hip Chick Designs ready for my website. I added the cute fleece ribbon hats AND the pillow case dresses. Check them out, along with my other items at

Word of mouth is the BEST marketing I could ever ask for so if you know someone that might be interested in my products, I'd love it if you would pass my website along.

We love At First Sight Photography!!!

Actually, we love the photographer, Jen, who happens to be one of my best friends!

Jen is an amazing photographer. She has always had a passion for capturing the moment and a love for photography. When she decided to start her own photography business I was encouraging and cheering for her all the way. She did a shoot with our family for Handley's 1st birthday and the results were amazing! I shared them with everyone I knew and ever since then, Jen will tell you that business has been booming. She stays super busy with a full-time job AND her photography business, but thankfully she was able to squeeze us in her schedule for some Christmas card photos.

Here are a few from a sneak peak on her blog. She told me she saved the best as a surprise for our Christmas cards and some that I plan to use as gifts.

To see Jen's blog click here:
To see Jen's website click here:

Thank you Jen!!! We love you!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thank you Mimi and Dadaw

A while back you may remember that I posted about Handley and how she loves to "help" me out in the kitchen. I had a hard time finding a way to get her up to the counter level in a save way though. I wanted to get her the kitchen helper/learning tower, so my parents offered to buy it for her as a Christmas gift. They decided to go ahead and send it to us early so she could start using it and I'm so happy they did! I put it together after she went to bed and the next morning she went straight to it. I showed her how to climb up and her face lit up right away. That morning she helped me "cook" her waffle for breakfast. The rest of the day she kept climbing up on the stool and when I asked her what she was doing she said, "cook-cook" and when I asked her what she was going to cook she said, "waffle." So cute!

She loves being able to climb up and see what I'm doing up on the counter. Tonight we had appetizers before dinner and she kept climbing up, getting a bite or two, then getting down and running off to play with her toys before climbing back up for more.

This morning I took a little video of her helping me puree sweet potatoes for her sweet potato pancakes. She loved getting to push the buttons on the food processor.

If you are wondering how I was able to record the video, I did it on my brand new Flip video recorder. It was my birthday gift from Robby's parents and seriously the neatest thing I've ever seen. It is no bigger than my cell phone or my point-and-shoot camera and only has 3 buttons on it so it is super easy to use. The best part about it is that it plugs right into your computer and automatically uploads to your computer or video sharing websites such as You Tube. Get ready for lots of fun videos from me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I love making...

new things for Handley to wear. A girl has to know how to accessorize and it is fun for me to create sweet girly things for her...bows, flower hats, dresses, etc. You know I'm excited about having another little girl to dress up and make things for!
My latest "creation" are these cute little fleece ribbon hats. I'm so excited about them because the are fun (with the ribbons sprouting from the top of her head) and functional (really warm) and same time. I was a little worried that she wouldn't want to keep a hat on this winter, but she loves these so much that she is excited to wear them. I'm going to be adding them to my website ( soon, along with the pillowcase dresses, but for now, enjoy these photos!

Veggie Success!!!

For the past few months, Handley has been on a vegetable strike. I was so shocked when this happened, because she had always been such great eater. She would try everything and seemed to like most anything I gave her. I would always hear friends complaining about their toddlers and how they would refuse to eat vegetables, and I would just smile knowing that my child was a "good eater." Well, then my child turned into a toddler and everything changed!

She went from eating everything, to being really picky about what she would eat. For a while it was just waffles, deli meat, fruit and cheese. Thankfully her tastes have widened and she does pretty well eating a good variety of food, but what still baffles me is that she can love something one day, and then refuse to eat it the next! All of my books say that it is a toddlers way of showing their independence and it totally makes since.

I keep offering her a variety of veggies. She does get some from veggies I puree and "sneak" into other foods (Sweet Potato pancakes, Turkey nuggets with carrots, etc.) and I occasionally give her a Juicy Juice Vegetable Harvest with one serving of veggies in it and veggie chips (hey, it is better than nothing)!

The past few weeks I have found a few ways to get her to eat some vegetables.
  • Hummus - she loves the stuff and saw me eating some with crackers while she had an early dinner one night. She wanted to dip everything in the hummus, so I let her. After dipping and eating all of her grilled cheese she kept asking for more. I went to the fridge and found cold, left-over green beans and decided to dip those for her. Much to my surprise she LOVED them. I couldn't believe it. I thought I'd found a trick, but it was short-lived. She didn't like it the next day. Darn!
  • Rice with Veggies - I saw an ad in one of my magazines for a rice that and an entire serving of veggies mixed in. The rice is actually really good and Handley seems to love it. The one down fall is that it is SO messy and we end up with rice EVERYWHERE. Those of you who know me, know that I can't stand a mess, but if it means she'll eat some vegetables, then I'll deal with the mess.
  • Pumpkin Pie Popsicles - If you've been reading my blog from the beginning then you might remember the homemade popsicle incident we had this summer. If you want to read it, click here. Handley loves popsicles and I decided to give the homemade variety one more try since the recipe I found said they tasted like pumpkin pie, but the main ingredient was butternut squash. I made them this weekend and let her try one last night after dinner. She wasn't too crazy about it last night, but we tried it again tonight and she really liked it.

For anyone that is interested, here is the recipe:

Cut one butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place face down in a baking dish and fill it with about 1 inch of water. Bake on 350 for 45 mins-1 hour or until the squash is soft. After it cools, scoop out the squash into your blender or food processor. Add 1/2 cup of maple syrup, 2/3 cup of light cream or whole milk, and 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Blend all ingredients and spoon into popsicle molds. Freeze and enjoy.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Gigi!

This weekend Robby's grandmother and aunt were in town and tonight we had dinner with them. We took the opportunity to get a picture of all the girls together.

We also helped Gigi celebrate her birthday. We are planning to celebrate with her next weekend, but since Grandma and Aunt Sharon were in town we had a celebration tonight too! Handley was excited about eating cake and had a lot of fun helping Gigi open her presents.

A new favorite spot!

We found a new favorite spot this weekend. Our neighborhood backs up to the Silver Commit Trail and we often take long walks on that trail. As we were walking Saturday morning we passed a separate little path and decided to check it out. The path lead down to what appeared to be an old train station and a river. It was so much fun walking back there because the leaves were beautiful. I think Sydney had the most fun because she got to go swimming!

A giant leaf we found...seriously the biggest leaf I have ever seen!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It was a sad day...

for UGA football fans. We were all excited to watch the game and cheer on the DAWGS yesterday, but unfortunately, our team just didn't play the way they should have to win against UF.

All that aside, I had to share this cute picture of Handley and her uncle "Tey" (Trey) decked out in their UGA gear.

Turtle Toppin'

I'm sure most of you (OK, all of you) are probably wondering what "Turtle Toppin' "is. Well, it is a new game invented by my husband for the thrill and enjoyment of Handley.

For her birthday, we gave her a turtle shaped sandbox. The lid of the sandbox is the turtle's shell. This afternoon we were all outside enjoying the nice weather and while Handley was playing with the sand Robby said, "I know a fun game!" He got the top of the sandbox, turned it over, and told Handley to hop in. She ran right over knowing this must be a great idea because anything with Daddy is fun. He started pulling her around the yard and each time he stopped she would say and sign, "MORE, MORE!!"

Robby's back started to hurt so he told me to hold on, he'd be right back. He came back with a drill and some rope. You can all probably guess what he did next...drilled holes in the lid, ran some rope through it, and now had a handle in which to pull the turtle top by.

Handley thought this game was so fun that it went on and on. I just couldn't stop laughing because it seemed like such a red-neck thing to do. She loved it though and I can just see it now; every time we go outside to play in the sandbox, she's going to beg me to take her "Turtle Toppin'."
Can't you just see how much fun she is having!

I have a cute video too, but can't figure out how to get it on here! Anyone who knows, help me out!


I thought Handley would have a great time trick-or-treating, but couldn't have imagined how much she would love it! After the first house, she caught on very quickly and realized this was going to be a lot of fun. Most of our neighbors held their bowls of candy down where she could reach in and choose what she wanted. That was a big mistake on their parts! She kept grabbing for more and more. She did a good just saying her version of "trick-or-treat" and "thank-you."
Getting ready to go...

Annabelle and Handley

She kept pulling candy out of her bag and asking us to open it, but was very patient and waited until we got home to eat any. Then she loved checking out her stash and tasting some different kinds of candy for the first time. Smarties are her first choice, but she also loved a lollipop and Kit-Kat bar!
Handley, Annabelle, Addyson, and Grant
This is how Addyson and Handley got around most of the night. They had fun riding from door to door together. Handley was so sweet and kept trying to share her treats with Addyson.