Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a really wonderful Christmas and I finally made the time to write a (long) recap...

Monday while Terrell worked the boys and I packed up and planned for our "holiday away". We made it to Terrell's parents' house Monday evening just in time for his mom's traditional Christmas dinner of lasagna. Such a treat! Afterwards the kids had some play time, got in their pj's, and got ready for bed.
Matching cousins!

Bedtime Monday night was sort of crazy. Or a lot crazy. The boys had a VERY hard time settling down and just when we thought they might finally be asleep we discovered they'd just been quietly destroying their room. Gracious. It was very obvious that Austin was the culprit and had been doing all or most of the "destroying", although we aren't sure whether Garrison was totally innocent or not. Guess we'll never know. Anyway, we started the bedtime process all over again at the late hour of 9:30 and this time with daddy in the room. They were asleep by 10:00 I think. Thankfully we suffered no major meltdowns due to their super late bedtime. Thank you Jesus.

Christmas Eve morning Terrell's parents hosted their annual family and friend breakfast and everything was delish. The cousins posed for another picture and had a really fun morning at Nana and Pops' house.

All 5 of us. =)
Kara's fam
And the whole fam!
After our morning with the Selph's we headed over to my parents' house. Both of my boys took afternoon naps and mama and daddy got to rest too. Yay!
Christmas Eve afternoon we woke up from naps, gave the boys a bath, and got ready to go to my sister's house for dinner. It was so exciting to experience something new with her and her husband at their new home. They hosted for our family and Frankie's family and served a delicious dinner of chili, hot dogs, baked potatoes, and appetizers. (A Christmas Eve menu my parents made a tradition years ago.) They also had at least 5 different desserts. Everything was SO good and we loved sharing such a special evening with them.
And my boys got Christmas pj's from AnAn again this year. They loved them and will be rocking them all winter long. 
After leaving AnAn and Frankie's house we went back to Granna and Papa's to sprinkle reindeer food and go to bed. Bedtime went surprisingly well and they made it almost all night without waking up.
Santa made his delivery late on the 24th... and A Christmas Story was playing. Such a good movie and such a fun tradition. (Although mama was exhausted. I'm thinking being pregnant just wore me out fast and hard this year. Maybe I'll have more energy next year.)
Garrison's big gift was a wheelbarrow and outside tools (a rake, shovel, hoe, etc). Austin's big gift was a new riding toy/car for outside. Their big gifts together was an easel and a lego table.
I woke the boys up at 7:00 and Christmas morning fun began! This year they were excited but mellow. They took everything in and took their time checking out each and every toy. (I have to say that days later they are enjoying all of their gifts. Success!!)
This is a pic of Santa's Village... the toy Garrison told Santa about and cut out a picture of at school that I had no idea even existed. We worked hard to make sure he'd get it but knew he might not be super impressed... and he wasn't. Bummer. He is however super excited to pull it out every year at Christmas time and thought that in itself made it a pretty special gift. We also avoided any potential Christmas morning disappointment by making sure it was there. I'd say the $15 was worth it. =)
Christmas morning was super fun and laid back and as always my parents made everything special and wonderful. Even Layton got lots of new things! I am seriously taking notes for when my boys are grown. =)
Christmas morning joy!
After a big, delicious breakfast we all rushed to clean up the mess and get ready for lunch at my Nanny's house. My Nanny (my dad's mom) has been hosting Christmas lunch at her house for as long as I can remember. The kiddos loved having another gathering/party to go to and were thrilled with a few more presents to open.
We left Nanny's in time to get back to my parents' house for a late afternoon nap. Both boys fell asleep for the 2nd day in a row... and so did mama. I'm telling you I was sleep walking come Christmas afternoon. Beyond exhausted. And we still had one more party to go!
God provided me with my second wind though and I was able to enjoy celebrating with my mom's side of the family Christmas night. This year was a first for my mom to host Christmas night but everything went great and we enjoyed another yummy spread. I only felt stressed near the end of the night but kept it in check and never had a mama meltdown.
My babies enjoyed riding outside at Granna and Papa's before it got dark. They had such a fun day and loved celebrating Jesus's birthday.  

Christmas night after everyone had gone home and the boys were in bed me, Terrell, Anna, and Frankie all opened our stockings. The couples do them for each other and then my mom throws in some surprises. So fun! We also watched Christmas Vacation and laughed all night.

We had a GREAT Christmas with both of our families and are so thankful for God's tremendous blessings on us. Celebrating the greatest Gift ever given with those closest to us is the best present ever.

(Next year I must get family pictures on Christmas Day... and with Granna and Papa who do so much to make our Christmas so special!)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

32 Weeks!

We are home from our Christmas traveling and resting and recovering from all the Christmas fun and excitement we experienced this week! I've got a Christmas recap coming soon, but wanted to get in my 32 week update since I reached that milestone on Christmas Eve. Terrell made this picture for me on Christmas Eve Eve before we made the trip to Barnesville for church and the Christmas holiday. Other than it being very rainy and really hot and muggy, it was a great day!
Pregnancy Highlights

How Far Along: 32 Weeks... I can't believe how close we are. We still have LOTS to do... but I can't get overwhelmed...that only causes a dip in productivity. Sigh.

Size of Baby: 18 inches long and about 4 pounds... the size of honeydew. 

Total Weight Gained/Lost: 20 something pounds. Considering I just ate lots and lots of good food I'm thinking I'm definitely back up to 23. I go back to the doctor on Monday so I'll find out for sure then.

Maternity Clothes: Almost all the time. My poor non-maternity stretchy pants and t-shirts are really getting a work-out.

Gender: Boy! Layton Thomas Selph.

Movement: He is still really active but I can also tell he's running out of room. He moves the most during the evening and I've felt him having the hiccups a few times now. =)

Food Cravings: Sweets are still very appealing but my appetite is starting to change. Even though I'm hungry lots, I just can't eat as much as I sometimes want because I'm filling up so fast. The food I ate over Christmas was definitely a little less than normal... even though I made sure to sample every dessert I could.

What I Miss: Getting around easier. It's starting to take me longer and longer to do "normal" things and it definitely wears me out faster than ever before. Mama is on the home stretch.

Sleep: I'm still sleeping pretty good and only wake up to change positions. I definitely can't complain.

Symptons: Still having to make frequent trips to the bathroom and still experiencing some occassional morning sickness. This has definitely been my "sickest" pregnancy... but still not that bad. Three easy pregnancies in a row is a pretty awesome blessing.

Best Moment This Week: Sharing Christmas traditions with family and experiencing everything through the eyes of my babies.

What I'm Looking Forward To: Making progress on the nursery and planning my biggest boy's 5th birthday party!
Austin's update at 32 weeks

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Kick-Off

Christmas has arrived for the Selph household! We kicked things off over the weekend and are looking forward to even more fun coming up. =)

On Saturday (our last day at home together before Christmas as a family of 4... or 5 =)) we planned a Christmas fun day. We started with a special breakfast and then the kids and I made oreo balls, and then they picked a movie to watch with a bowl of a special snack. Other than daddy being passed out in bed and not feeling well we had a fun morning. After lunch and naps we had an early bath time and pizza at home before heading out for our annual tradition of looking at Christmas lights!

(Unfortunately, every single year it's been a bust and just hasn't lived up to expectations. There's been a crying infant, whining 3 year old, complaining toddlers, etc. Just not the fun we'd hoped for. BUT, this year was different. For the better!!! We were thrilled.)

We made a few pics in front of the tree in Christmas pj's (the only pair that fits from last year), made a snack to enjoy in the car, and set out to find some lights!
The kids were immediately "into" it and loved pointing out lights and seeing Santas and snowmen and reindeer. I've honestly been waiting years to hear the joy and excitement and wonder I heard coming from the backseat on Saturday night. They loved it SO much. We found the best house with the most lights in a nearby neighborhood and it seemed to be everybody's favorite. They even had music playing to go along with the lights. Talk about fancy and going all out.
After cruising around and seeing all the lights we could we stopped by the Square on the way home to snap a few pics in Santa's chair. We had a very fun, very successful outing. The tradition continues!
Sunday morning we drove to Barnesville for church and to spend the day with Terrell's family. With Christmas coming on Wednesday this year, Terrell had to work today so we decided to celebrate with his family yesterday afternoon.
We dropped off presents at my parents' house before going to church and got some pictures in front of their tree.
My boys were all so handsome. =)
After church we went to lunch and then put Austin down for a nap before getting ready for Christmas fun. Nana read a story about the candy cane to all the grands and then they sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Precious.
Next up- presents!!
The boys were thrilled with their goodies and had the BEST time celebrating and playing with their cousins. The grown-ups were spoiled too! It was a really fun afternoon and great way to kick-off our Christmas celebration. I'm thankful Jesus and His birth remained the focus and that my boys are blessed with such special grandparents and extended family.
We got home last night in time to get the boys in bed on time and today we're planning to pack-up and prepare for our 3 nights in the hometown celebrating Christmas with both sides of the family. I'm a little nervous about how much sleep we'll get and how the boys will handle all the busyness and fun coming our way, but I'm trying to remain positive and to remember that even though lack of sleep may very well be part of our Christmas... and meltdowns will most likely occur, Christmas isn't perfect, it's messy, fun, loud, exciting, crazy, and full of memories. And instead of stressing or worrying or getting flustered when things don't turn out perfect, mama needs to soak it up and enjoy it. They'll only be 4.5 and 2 this Christmas. They will only experience this year's celebrations, this way. No need to stress, only enjoy. =)
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Friday, December 20, 2013


Despite this week being CRAZY and including my big boy coming down with the same symptons as his little brother the very next day, me making an almost trip to the hospital in an ambulance via a local minute clinic, 3 out of 4 members of our family starting antibiotics, and me missing my class Christmas party... we made it out to see Santa last night! Yay! Success! We did it! Hip, hip, hooray!!

Going to visit Santa every year isn't a big tradition for us mainly because we've never done it the same way or same place every year. It always ends up being a spur of the moment or last minute thing and honestly neither one of my kids have been huge fans of the man in red up close and personal. From a distance- depends on the year, in his lap- not so much.

However, a week or two ago, Garrison asked about when we were going to see Santa so he could tell him what he wanted for Christmas. We were shocked! But that's when we knew we had to make it happen. Our baby was actually requesting to go see Santa. We must find a way. And quick... once Christmas is over you've missed your opportunity and may be left to suffer the consequences of your child's devastation and disappointment.

Even though I'm not back to 100% after the crazy cold/sinus/miserable bug hit me I knew I was up for the challenge last night. Every Thursday night a local store on the Square offers pictures with Santa and you can even bring your own camera. And it's with the same Santa we saw last year at "Breakfast with Santa". And last night was the last night.

Mission accomplished!

I was only able to snap a few photos... mainly because the professional photographer was done really fast and everyone was waiting on me to wrap it up, including the line behind me, but this visit was our most successful Santa visit ever!

Garrison was thrilled. So excited and happy and overjoyed. Austin was apprehensive but went along with it because his big brother wasn't hesitant, and there were no tears from my littlest man this year. Woohoo! (Big, BIG thanks to my mom for getting the boys these adorable outfits!!)

Garrison told Santa he wanted Jake and the Neverland Pirate stuff while Austin simply said Henry Hugglemonster. Haha. Garrison also mentioned some "Santa stuff"... his sleigh, elves, workshop, etc. I honestly have NO idea what he's talking about but apparently he cut a picture of these "toys" out of a magazine at school and he plans to show me exactly what it is today. Can we say last minute? Gracious. Not sure if we'll be able to make it happen or not. 
Here's a couple of our Santa pictures from last year. We've come a long way. A reeally long way. =)
Can't wait to see what next year holds with Santa's lap full of Selph boys. It should be fun! Happy Friday!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Our Weekend

Well, we had ourselves a wild weekend. Good, rainy, scary, thankful, sickie weekend. We kicked things off with a trip to the hometown Friday evening to see our church's Christmas program. This year both boys stayed in the sanctuary to see Papa and Nana sing. And they both did great. At one point the whole church sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing and my babies sang too. I could've cried it was so precious. We enjoy this tradition every single year and are so glad everyone was healthy enough to attend this year.

A picture I attempted in front of my parents tree before we left for the program... and this was the best one. Haha.
Friday night was sort of tough (getting the boys to settle down and go to sleep) and Saturday morning came way early with the boys getting up right after 6:00 (makes me reeally nervous about the 3 nights we have to spend away from home for Christmas). Anyway, after breakfast and packing up we got ready to head to the Georgia Dome for our high school alma mater's State Championship game. The boys were so excited to attend their first ever football game! 
(It's kind of a big deal that we made it to the dome for the first time ever in school history. And it's kind of a big deal that we have 3 seniors committed to play Division 1 football next year in college. And it's kind of a big deal that our small town high school football team dominated the entire season. The WHOLE town was at the dome. We love our Trojans!)
My sister and Frankie had plans to come to the dome too but left a little later than us... and were in a pretty bad accident on I-75 on their way there. Scared us to death. The accident was caused by 2 cars trying to merge into the same lane and then swerving to miss each other. Frankie's truck actually flipped. Praise God they were able to walk away from the accident!! They spent the rest of the day at the hospital getting checked out.. and everything looked good. We are beyond thankful for God's protection and that they are completely okay, just sore and stiff.
Once we got to the dome we ate lunch at the CNN Center and made the boys' picture in front of the area where they were preparing for the Falcons game. =)
Then it was game time! Our boys played hard and tough but unfortunately lost a close one... 14-7. We are still so, so proud and loved seeing generations of Trojans come together to support the home team. We had a really fun day and were totally exhausted by the time we got home... and realized our littlest man had most definitely come down with a cold or some other sickness. Boo!

We stayed home from church yesterday and kept an eye on Austin and tried to rest but realized pretty fast he was getting/feeling worse and couldn't go to school the next day. Terrell couldn't take off and I felt like I shouldn't take off (One, because I only had 3 days to work this week before Christmas break and two because we are so busy finishing up Christmas crafts and preparing for our party and a pajama day I knew I'd be letting my students and co-teacher down.) Sunday evening was not a good one. I felt working-mom guilt something awful. I cried off and on all night. Ugh.
Finally we decided he would be fine with Terrell's dad while I worked a few hours and then we could take him to the doctor. HUGE thanks to Pops for spending the morning with the little man. It is SO hard not having family close and family available when we're faced with a situation like the one we faced Sunday night. It was an awful, helpless, guilty feeling. No matter what I felt like I was making the wrong decision. Austin had a terrible night and was just pitiful. Poor baby was miserable and had a really hard time staying asleep. Thankfully we got him an appointment this afternoon and had the fastest doctor visit ever. God's grace for sure. He has a pretty nasty sinus infection but should be good as new once the antibiotic kicks in.
What a weekend. I'm tired.
We're praying the rest of the family stays well so we can participate in some Christmas fun this week... school parties, finishing up Christmas shopping, making Christmas goodies to share, and a possible visit with Santa. It should be lots of fun if we're all well!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Tour

This year I decided to participate in all the home tours with a Christmas "Open House". Welcome. =)

Our lovely home. Because it's Christmas and seemed fitting I found this picture from January 2011. Our last big snowfall. Maybe it'll happen again this Winter.
Now for our Open House tour... first up is our foyer table right inside the front door. I've had these decorations forever it seems like but I still really love them and this year I added two special photos on the table as well.  

A favorite of my boys for Austin's first Christmas.
And last year's hilarious Santa picture. This one's gonna be on display every year for a while.
Here's our living room

Our mantle (where we included a stocking for Layton). I reeeally wanted new garland this year that had some red and silver in it to match my tree and fancy things up a bit but there was none to be found. Anywhere. Apparently we have a crazy long mantle because we need 9 ft garland and just about all that's sold anywhere is 6 ft. Sigh.

Our tree
Two of my most favorite ornaments. The boys' "first Christmas" ornaments. My other most favorite is Terrell and mine's first Christmas ornament from 2005 when we got married. This year Terrell hung it way at the top... annnd I decided against climbing in a chair trying to photograph it.

Our "small couch" as we like to call it with our end tables full of Christmas decor. And can't forget the stash of Christmas books on the floor to the left.
Our nativity scene. Austin has rearranged everybody more times than I can count. He even put a wise man and sheep into his car a couple of weeks ago and was ready to drive off with them and play with them. It's a risk every year but I still put it out.
Our kid friendly table with the carousel they love so much and the countdown to Christmas chalkboard. Garrison changes the number for me every other day or so.
Our big couch and looking into our kitchen. I decided to do a few extra things on our bar this year that I've really enjoyed.
Our advent calendar that sits in a corner on our kitchen counter. The boys LOVE doing this every single morning. Garrison gets to pull out the magnet while Austin gets to pull out the Bible verse.
Our dining room table (and the table where we eat every meal.) It very rarely looks like this but when I don't have my wrapping station set up or the boys' crayons and coloring sheets everywhere it looks really nice, neat, and festive.
On to the boys' room... Their sports and transportation tree
Their dresser with a few decorative items...
I decided to display 2 of their little Christmas gifts they made at school in years past.
And a handmade nativity scene that was given to me the year I was born. (That would be 1983) So it's pretty special and always has a place in our home each Christmas.
I think that's about it. I didn't photograph every single room or Christmas decoration I have but I did do the biggies. So thanks for dropping by. =) 
PS... I don't have a Christmas card display this year because my second born is obsessed with photos and loved confiscating our photo cards out of the tray I had them in on our coffee table in the living room. Soooo. Next year I'm hoping to come up with something different.