We decided to stay in Ks for Thanksgiving this year - usually we go see Robert's family in Texas, but both of our work schedules have been so hectic and we just couldn't work it out. We were sad to not spend it with Robert's family this year, but at least we did get to see them when we went down to visit in August. We headed over to my parent's house this year and spent a nice relaxing day with them. Elena was her usual happy self ~
Hanging out while getting the food ready.
Robert carved the turkey and Elena was fascinated by it.
Time to eat!

After way too much food it was nap time for Elena (and us!) ;). Then we relaxed, watched football, enjoyed the fire, looked at all the black Friday ads, and just enjoyed being with each other. We had a really great day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


ABC Song.

Tonight I got Elena to sing the ABC song on video! Nevermind the birthday girl shirt, I thought it was too cute to only wear once! ;)

Gingerbread Village.

My Mom and I took Elena to Gingerbread Village last weekend. It was pretty neat! There were lots of decorated houses that you could look at and then you got your on kit and could construct it there. There was quite a line so while Grandma waited, Elena and I went to find the clown that was making balloon animals that we saw other kids with. We found him down the hall and he asked Elena if she wanted a pink puppy and she got very excited. She was fascinated by him!

After he handed it to her she yells - "It's a mouse!" ha ha! In all honesty it really did look more like a mouse than a puppy! :)
We got back just in time to look at all the pretty houses that were already made~

The place was a bit chaotic -- tables and chairs everywhere with people making their houses. We opted to just get the supplies and take them with us. Later that night we got the kits out and set out to make our houses. First we put the walls together~
Then start icing - Elena did such a good job!!
The look of concentration on our faces is so funny!

Time to decorate!
This happened a lot -
Then we made our 2nd house~

The finished houses~
I was a little surprised at just how much Elena enjoyed this project!! She stayed focused the entire time - through out making both houses~!(that kind of attention span doesn't always happen for a 2 year old!) She was so excited and happy - it was so much fun!! She was also very smiley and giggly so we got a couple cute pictures of her with my Mom and I after! :)

Looks like this will be a new tradition that we continue for a long time!


Busy, busy, busy.

In case you haven't noticed -- I haven't been able to find much time to blog lately! :( I have been really busy at work lately. But, lucky for you, I am on vacation for the next week!! Woo-hoo!!! So I will have plenty of time to catch up! Let me start with some of the busy things we have been up to! My former college roommate Josie was in town so we got some old Newman peeps together for dinner. Here are a couple pics from a fun night of reminiscing. :) Mel, Josie, and I~

Mandy, Mary and Me~

Mary and I~
We got the same group together for a BBQ later on. I didn't take my camera with me but did get a picture of Drake and Elena on my phone -- pretty cute!

We also met up with friends to celebrate our friend Heidi's birthday at Kobe Steakhouse -- yummy!! We got the chance to get all the kiddos together for a group picture (minus little Estella - she was taking a nap!)
Xavier, Elena and CJ -

I think these 3 will be getting into trouble together before we know it!

This one is kinda blurry but I couldn't resist how cute it was of Elena "gently" hugging CJ!

The birthday girl getting her gift from Elena.

Elena picking out her dinner - she wanted chicken and shrimp!
She was pretty scared of the fire this time around - she kept saying "mama hold you" when the fire was lit!

At the end of the meal they always try to get you to catch a shrimp in your mouth and Elena got to try it this time! Pretty cute! She missed, but I have a feeling it won't be long before she gets the hang of it!

Our attempt at a group shot of all the kiddos and mommies! This is about as good as it gets - lol! I can't believe how much of a big girl Elena is compared to them! Makes it hard to believe she was the first and only one around just a year and a half ago!



I have had an obsession with Shutterfly for a long time now. Not only do I print off hundreds of pictures to put in photo albums - which is one of Elena's favorite things to look through by the way! But I also do lots of holiday gifts through their site too. When I heard that they were offering 50 free cards for fellow bloggers who write about their love of Shutterfly I jumped on the opportunity! (It was probably something I would eventually blog about anyways!) Some gifts that I have done from their site in past are: calendars - my parents love these and (spoiler for them) they will definitely be getting another one this year; photo mugs - I gave my dad one of these last year and he uses it all the time - and now they have even cuter layouts for them; and my ultimate favorite the photo book! I have made several of these books for Elena, one for birth-6mos, 6mos-1 year, and 1year-2year and I don't have any intentions of stopping there. My favorite thing about the books is that there is usually a deal where I can get free shipping plus additional copies at a discount too (one for Robert and my parents to enjoy too!) Elena always asks to look at her "Elena Books" and I love that she insists on looking through them over and over again! In addition to these great gifts, Shutterfly has some adorable holiday cards this year and I can't wait to send some out! I haven't done Christmas cards the past two years so this is a great reason to get me back in the spirit! Here are a few of my favorite designs from their site~
Send Holiday Cheer~
and if you know my daughter at all, this one is just about perfect!! :)

Hmmm...which one will I choose? There are just way too many adorable options...I guess you will have to wait until you get one in your mailbox!!

For fun I thought I would also let you take a peek at Elena's latest photo book! Just click here!


Kid Fest.

Yesterday my mom and I took Elena to Kid Fest. We had never been so we decided to check it out. Elena had no idea what Kid Fest was but she kept saying Kid Fest and fun so I guess she had an idea that it had to be something fun or we wouldn't be taking her! :)

When we got there the line to buy tickets to get in was soooooo long!! Apparently you could've bought them in advance from Sonic but we hadn't so we got to wait in line. It went pretty fast, and when we finally got in it was very chaotic! There were tons of people and lots of tables and booths advertising kiddie products and services and even some activities too. One of the first things we did was head over to the fire truck where Elena got to get in and pretend to drive! She loved it!

This was an RV on display and she promptly jumped in to test out the bed. This is just like the bed in her toy RV so she was thrilled about this!
There were a couple little kiddie games and she won some stickers and candy.
Her favorite part was definitely the inflatable slide and play area! (big surprise!!)

One main reason we went was to see Dora the Explorer -- when we finally caught a glimpse of her she was heading out to take a break and wouldn't be back for an hour! :( What a bummer. Though Elena got to do some fun things my mom and I agree that we will proabably not be going back next year. It was worth going once, especially because the Sheriff's dept was doing an ident-a-kid booth, so we got Elena's picture, fingerprint, and description on file in case we would ever need it, but that one time was enough!


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