Our Christmas Letter: An Update on Us

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A few years ago, we started this blog in lieu of a traditional Christmas letter. Still, I think that if someone we don't keep up with often were to ask what we were up to,  this blog would not completely answer that question. So, here's the run down!!


We've been in St. Charles now for 16 months, but it seems like we're still brand new here. We haven't branched out much, but I haven't been in much of a hurry to either. Before we moved we were super involved in everything and stayed crazy busy, so I think we've both been enjoying a bit of a hermit lifestyle. However, it's one of my New Year's resolutions to be more social!

Brian is currently working for Coca-Cola as an account manager. He enjoys it well enough but doesn't see it as a life-long thing. We're super grateful for the job in the meantime though! He's also doing some free-lance graphic design & some consulting on the side, which is more related to the field he really loves. We're grateful God knows what He's doing. He's made some changes in Brian's career path in the last year and a half that we would have never expected, but know are for the better. The whole experience has reminded us how comforting it is that He is in control. We'll keep you updated as things evolve!

Happy Birthday, Nanna!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Have I mentioned how much I love being closer to family? This weekend we got to swipe our niece and nephew and road trip up to my parents' house for Nanna's birthday!


It's about a 6.5 drive with stops and traffic, but went surprisingly well with these awesome littles. Of course, road tripping with three kids is an adjustment for anyone, but we were prepared with entertainment and movies for the drive. 


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas in the Hill Home!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas is my FAVORITE time of year! I love the decorations and the trees and the SNOW! I look forward to winter and Christmas all year. Yes - I'm one of this crazy people who prefers the cold over the hot.



I've been collecting ornaments for years because my dream is to have a tree in every room of the house. :)


My favorite tree in the house is the white tree in my living room. I designed and shopped for this one with my mom a couple years back. The inspiration (and some of the ornaments) came from the Biltmore Mansion. Mom, Curt, Brian, & I took a trip there a couple years ago, so we have sweet memories attached to this tree.




Last year when it came time to decorate for Christmas, I was laid up post c-section and with a newborn.  I got the white tree up but everything else was blah. Actually, the mantle still had the fall leaves on it throughout the entire Christmas season. Not this year! Mantle: CHECK!

Beckett's Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 7, 2014

For Beckett's First Birthday, Grandma & PaPaw had the SWEETEST idea. They gave Beckett a Christmas tree!


The Christmas tree is only one year old. It's soooo itty bitty and adorable!



It's so sweet that he has a tree that his age! The plan is to take a picture of the two of them every year and watch them grow together. I love that the tradition is so unique and sweet. Thanks Grandma & PaPaw!


Beckett's First Birthday

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Beckett's ONE! Can you even believe it?! One of the biggest perks of surviving this year was being able to throw Beckett's first birthday party. It was so much fun to plan!! Brittany (my sister in law) and I have recently started a small event planning business (check out our page here!) so it was good practice for us!



We went with a rustic moose theme, based on Beckett's toy moose that we all love. Almost all of the decorations were made, borrowed, or something we already had! I was pretty impressed with myself for working on a budget. :)



Brian definitely had his work cut out for him for this event. With all of the wood work to be done, he stayed busy. His dad helped too, which made for sweet father-son time, and made us that much more happy to have moved closer. Brian even got a new saw out of the deal.



The moose head is made from old deck wood we found for free on Craigslist! The flags are made from pants I bought at the thrift store! Is that gross?

Beckett at ONE YEAR!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

One year! We've got a one year old! It's been the best year ever. {You can check out pictures from the last year here!}


Little man has grown SO much just in the last couple of months. He weighs 27 pounds (the same as his 2.5 year old cousin!), and is off the charts in all areas for his age. We're ok with that. :) He's gonna be a football player!


He LOVES singing. He's the only person in the world who thinks I'm a good singer, but I'll take it! He likes to sing himself too. His favorite is the alphabet… He's only got "f" (which sounds more like "eh") and "g" down, but it's cute to watch him try! 

 


He's still a happy go lucky, easy going baby, with a few exceptions. He's learning how to throw a tantrum! They aren't very often (yet) but they sure are heart-breaking. I'm determined not to give in to whatever he's tantruming about, but it makes me a little sad and a little entertained at the same time. 



He's also just started walking this week! He's just too cute toddling all over the house. He wears this big proud grin on his face like suddenly he can conquer the world. He's definitely keeping us on our toes.


 He likes shooting hoops in his little tykes hoop, playing with hot wheels, any kind of ball, and blocks, hanging out at the front window & watching the cars, almost any food you put in front of him (in large amounts, please!). 

Beckett at 10 Months

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's been a while since I've done an update on Little Man. So much has changed since he was five months old! I thought it was about time I jot down a few of those little things we know we'll want to remember! So, here are a few of the likes, dislikes, and milestones of Beckett at 10 (and a half) months!

Likes!

Food
The kid loves food. But can you blame him? He gets it honest.
He started out on purees and soft foods (mostly avocado) at about 5 months. Now he eats whatever we eat. And he rocks it.

Guacamole & Tomatoes - 7 months
Chicken & Avocado - 9 months 
Greek Yogurt - 9 months 
Grilled fish & Squash - 9 months 
Ribs! 10 months

Music
Hopefully he doesn't get his musical talent (or dance skills) from his parents, because this kid looooves music and dancing.

A Midnight Adventure through Air Vents

Friday, September 26, 2014

Once upon a time, we decided to buy a house that needs to be renovated, top to bottom. Jump forward just over a year, and we are still living on sub floor in the master bedroom. For some reason, we don’t even have the vent covers on the vents. Why, you ask, would you not cover a good size HOLE in your floor, sitting right next to the bed? No clue, but I bet after this night, we'll make a valiant effort.

One fateful night (aka last night, but that's not nearly as dramatic), at midnight, Brian managed to drop his cell phone down the vent. WAY down the vent. It sucks to lose your phone down the vent. What sucks more is that in five and a half short hours, that phone is going to echo an obnoxious alarm throughout our maze of a ventilation system. Lucky for us, the phone is 100% charged and won't just die anytime soon. Echoes for hours, friends. Even luckier for us is tonight we happen to have THREE sleeping children in the house, as opposed to the usual one. What a night to choose to have a sleepover with the niece and nephew. So the trial and error begins. Of course, we start with reaching our arms in. Not even close. So Brian grabs out his camera and manages not to drop it as he reaches it in to take a photo of our new obstacle. When he reaces in, the vent runs parallel under the floor for about a foot - just long enough to aim the lens straight down a forever long drop.


Look closely. That baaaarely visible litte white speck is Brian's iPhone. The one we still have a year of contract on before we can upgrade. Waaay out of arms reach. So, naturally, we Google some options and decide to start with the shop vac. Oy.

Fall Family Party!

Friday, September 26, 2014

So last night we got to have our first sleepover with Eli & Avaya! And it's about time! In celebration of my VERY FAVORITE season, we decided to have a fall themed party. It was so much fun to hang out with these two cuties and get in some quality time. Here are the highlights!

The first stop of the night was Aldi so the kids could each pick out their own pumpkins. It was a hoot hauling these three (and two carts) through the grocery store. It's definitely good practice for these wanna be parents of 4-5. Of course we got lots of compliments on the cuteness of this trio, and they the older two had fun picking out their own pumpkin. Beckett was more interested in people watching, but can you really blame him?





Third Anniversary in Algoma!

Monday, June 2, 2014

I think most people, when talking about time passing, seem to think time is flying and how they can't believe it's "been 3 years already." Well, while I feel that sometimes, mostly I feel like Brian and I have known each other forever. I know I say this often, but he's my best friend and my favorite person, and we have SO MANY memories together!

This week, I got to celebrate our third anniversary with this sweet man. When we first got married, 3 years ago, we determined to try and take a trip every year around our anniversary. For our honeymoon we swept off to Antigua. For our first anniversary, we cruised to Alaska. Then last year we had an amazing adventure driving down the Pacific Coast Highway (which apparently I didn't record in a blog).

This year, with life being slightly more chaotic (including the addition of Beckett in our lives) we decided to take a shorter trip, closer to home. Even though it was only 2 nights, 3 hours from my mom's, it was an INCREDIBLE few days! It was just what we needed.

We found At the Water's Edge B&B in Algoma, Wisconsin on living social. We chose the Nautical suite. I was nervous about staying in a B&B because I had never had this experience before and was worried about privacy. Looking at the website & pictures (which I thought were fairly cheesy), we were expecting a quaint old couple to host us, but actually we had a hilarious biker-like lady in her 50s. We had great conversation and yummy breakfasts, but definitely didn't lack privacy at all.

We spent most of our time relaxing around the B&B, playing cards and drinking coffee or wine. It was amazing!! So, without further ado, some highlights and pictures:

Enjoying some coffee and the beach behind the B&B. It was chilly (just how I like it!), & beautiful. Of course, Brian prefers warmer weather, so we've agreed to go someplace warm next year!

In the yard behind the B&B.

Spent Friday morning playing chess & drinking coffee. We were the only couple there, so it was particularly peaceful!

We also spent some time enjoying the town. It was nearly deserted and totally adorable. We checked out a few cute antique shops and ate at some yummy restaurants. 




Our favorite food experience, hands down, was Skaliwags. Several people told us that despite its "hole in the wall" exterior, they serve the best seafood we'd ever have. They weren't wrong. We had some DELISH seafood nachos and a chef's sampler with shark, tuna, and bacon wrapped scallops. YUM. Brian also got to try chocolate milk beer. Brian enjoyed it. I don't recommend it. 





Predicting our Babies

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roadtrip Selfie
Obviously we have no clue what the future holds for us, but Brian and I have delusions of grandeur when it comes to our offspring. In our little dream world, we’re going to have 5 children and they already have names and personalities. Since Beckett is already here (albeit, only 6 months old) we have a little bit of a cheat when it comes to him, but the rest are pure fantasy. Today we’re road tripping to a little B&B in Wisconsin to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. On the road, we got to talking about the kiddos and where we see them going to college. We decided we needed to document our delusions, if only to entertain them in 15-20 years.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to our children, from oldest to youngest:

Joseph Beckett
Beckett is our oldest boy. Born 11/16/13. He has a super laid-back personality and is very smart. He’s big and snuggly and loveable. Beckett will definitely be our easy going, charming, driven, hard-working boy. He’ll end up at Bible College, preferably Johnson and go on to be an amazing, loving husband & family man like his daddy. He’ll probably end up in a not-too-flashy job, but be hard working, involved in his church, and coach football. We also think he’ll surprise us all with singing skills that will make us doubt he’s related to any of us… Maybe a burly acoustic sounds. Don’t tell the other kids, but he’ll be mommy’s favorite. Looking just like his daddy, he’ll probably be Grandma’s favorite too.

Charlie Grace & Kinsley Rae
Charlie and Kinsley are twins, but complete opposites. They will probably arrive late spring (2015).

Charlie will be our little bit edgy, little out of control, little bit of a rebel, little bit country, needs to be reigned in party girl. We envision her with crazy curly hair and a strong personality. She’ll have no clue what she wants to do with her life, and won’t be concerned about figuring it out, but will end up rocking the college life and impressing us all. She may even end up at Bible College with her big bro. Charlie will be our tough one, and will end up with a hilarious, no-filter relationship with Granddad Dennis Wayne.

Kinsley will come out looking like a business woman. We envision her with straight hair and dark features. We’re sure she will roll her eyes when we mention a silly little university or bible college. She’ll have her mommy’s smarts and her daddy’s smart ass and definitely end up at Harvard or Yale. We predict her witty, quick come back attitude will make her PaPaw’s favorite. Even though she’s a middle child and twin, she’ll play the big sister role and have all of her siblings in check.

Adopted Baby:
Today I’m in love with the name Spencer for my little Asian girl. Brian is on the fence, so the jury is still out on that one. If we go with Spencer, her middle name will either be Kay, after Brian’s sister Misty, or Ruth after Grandma Montgomery
Spence will be completely opposite of your cliché Asian chick. We envision her as a little bit flighty, little bit hippie, little bit “stick it to the man” type girl. She’ll probably think she’s going to be an artist or dancer and spend lots of years as a barista before she ends up teaching and loving it. Her silly sarcasm and shining smile will maker her Papa’s favorite.

Brody Keith
Brody is our baby and a pure athlete. He’s a born Wildcat and a daddy’s boy. He’s super laid back with his Uncle Devin’s “not a care in the world” demeanor. He’ll end up with an athletic scholarship to Kentucky but study something completely nerdy and random. He’ll be the silent, strong type. He’ll come off as a jock, cool and popular, but be nerdy at heart. You’d never know he was an honor student. Knowing this little charmer will be just like his uncle, Brody will be Nana’s favorite.


And that’s them! Of course, no matter how our kids turn out or what they get into, we love and adore them already. We intend to love hard, laugh lots, and spank often. They’ll use ma’am and sir, have tough skin, play fair, work hard, know God, & cherish family.

Beckett at 5 Months

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy five months to my little man! And to Brian and me. That means we've survived this long too, ya know. I can't believe I've been a mommy for 5 months! And today I caught my self realizing that I love this little baby SO MUCH MORE than the day he was born! How is that even possible?



Well, as I think about this amazing little man, I wanted to jot down & share a few of the fun facts we love about him at five months, and some of my favorite recent pictures.

He's Sitting Up!
He's not stable yet, and some days are better than others, but this little man is on his way to playing independently in the upright position!

Sitting up definitely makes bath time easier, and more fun!

He's so proud!
Rolls Over
Again, not consistently or confidently, but he's working on it! He still doesn't love tummy time, but is getting better. His official favorite time to roll over is diaper change time. Awesome.


Holds his bottle
He only gets one bottle a day - at bed time so I can fill it with "sleep longer" goodness. :) But it's sweet to see him holding it on his own! Is this usually an earlier skill? No clue. All I can think is "yaaay, gross motor skills!" That's the teacher in me.


Loves to smile & laugh
He can definitely brighten anyone's day.


Is working on a sleep schedule
To this day, this has been our biggest struggle, hands down. MOM IS LOSING HER MIND! We've been working really hard the last couple of weeks and are FINALLY making some progress! Unfortunately, we're having to go with a little "cry it out." This little man has gotten in the horrible habit of nursing to sleep, and all through the night. YEESH! Won't make that mistake again!



Bounces like a mad man!
He's a pro in this little fun gadget.

video

Wears 9 & 12 month clothes
BEAST! I don't even know how much he weighs right now. About 20 pounds. YIKES.



He's an Independent Baby!
This child will sit and play by himself ALL DAY if I let him. It's quite nice for getting things done around the house! It's sweet to hear him sit and talk to himself. LOVE IT.


Reaching for everything
It's officially hard to eat or do paperwork with this baby in your hands. He's a reacher! He also loves reaching for hair, necklaces, and FACES!



Rubs his eyes (like his momma) and messes with his ears when he's tired.
The first time I saw him tugging on his ears and fussing I was scared it was an ear infection. Turns out it's just a thing he does when he's tired! Darn cute.


Thumb Sucking?
He's toying with the idea of sucking on his thumb. Jury is still out on this one.


SUPER CHILL
He is really the chillest baby ever. Every time I pick him up from child care at the gym or church, the ladies tell me how surprised they are with his chill demeanor. I'm kind of terrified for baby #2 (and following) because I've been SPOILED with Beckett!


Laughs the most with Daddy
Daddy is the king of tickling. He's discovered that Beckett laughs the hardest when you tickle his collarbone! LOVE his laugh!

video

Love being tossed
He gets a huge kick out of being tossed around. I'm gonna be the nervous mommy that can't look.


Hand Holder
He's still not a snuggler, which is hard for mommy. But he loves to hold hands when he's tired. He often even holds his own hands as he falls asleep.



Loves being outside!
There have been several times when taking him outside has helped calm a tantrum.



And he had several firsts this month!

First time actually paying attention to an animal at the zoo
This silly sea lion came up and gave us a little show, making silly faces through the window. SO FUN!



First time on a slide.
Weee! Good job daddy. And I love that Eli & Avaya copied Brian & Beckett. SWEET!
And… This weather was AMAZING… for about a day.

video

First time playing in the grass
The sitting up thing is coming in handy!

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