Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Year In Review

Since I started this blog in 2012 I have always ended the year with a year recap post (Here is 2012 and 2013). It's my favorite post of the year. I love looking back on the year and remembering all the fun things we did and seeing how much Georgia (and myself!) has grown.

We took a trip to Jackson Hole, WY right after Christmas (one of my favorite places to vacation!) for my Dad's 50th birthday and came home on New Year's Eve, Georgia had tubes put in her ears and a nursery makeover to make room for her Christmas gifts, we saw lots of snow and baby girl turned 15 months. 

February was a fun month with a trip to Rupp to watch our Cats and Perfect North for some more skiing, we had more snow, celebrated Valentine's Day and the highlight was sponsoring our Compassion Child, Fitsum! Instead of Valentine gifts to each other we decided to give a different sort of gift. He has been a blessing and we look forward to hearing from him so much! His picture is on our fridge and GGH knows all about him :)

The snow continued into March and we ended up with one of the snowiest winters I can remember. We remodeled our bathroom in our starter home and made the decision that we had officially outgrown our home and made plans to put it on the market in the spring. We also honored Georgia Grace at church on baby dedication day.

April was big! I turned 27 and celebrated with a trip to Keeneland and then the National Championship game fell on my actual birthday and we lost-bummer! Our friends James and Ashley threw me a little birthday/game watching party at their house so I felt special despite the game outcome :) I was awarded the Young Dietitian of the Year award for the state of Kentucky, we celebrated Easter (little did I know that next Easter I would be due with our son!) and our best friends had their first baby, Roman Henry Ross!

May equaled the Derby (our cousin Marley had her birthday party on Derby day and this picture turned out perfect for the event!), Sesame Street Live, my second Mother's Day, our fourth wedding anniversary (we took Georgia Grace to the zoo for the first time), she turned 18 months and we sold our house! Another busy month in true Harrison fashion.

We kicked off June with a trip to the gulf coast, Marcus celebrated his second father's day, we went to the lake and I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's wedding. We started summer on the right foot! We also moved in with my Dad this month as we prepared for building a house. Little did we know that God had a different plan in store for us.

July was a hot one. We celebrated the Fourth at our county fair, I co-hosted a MyPlate grocery tour, we went to a outdoor movie night at a local dairy barn to see Frozen and we were asked to be in our cousin Payton's wedding next June. Marcus turned 26 and we celebrated it in August.
And our biggest accomplishment of the month was potty training! She was potty trained (#1 business) at 20 months old. She still wears a diaper at night but wears panties the rest of the time and has mastered #2 business now. We are SO proud of how quick she learned the skill and promise not to use her as our measuring stick for our other children :) We understand she's really early!

August-the biggest thing to happen this month was I took a new job as the Nutrition Director for our local school system. This was a hard decision for me because I LOVED my job but I knew this was a one time opportunity and it was the right job for myself and my family. Marcus started his fifth year of teaching (tenured-yay!), we celebrated his birthday and my new job with a trip to Memphis, we saw Carrie Underwood at the Grand Old Opry and visited the State Capitol for some new job training. Lots of travel and change!

I'm sure other things happened this month but this surpasses them all immensely. We announced that baby number two was on the way!

Octobers seems to always be the biggest month for us and this year we stayed with tradition. We bought a house in the middle of September and closed the first of October. When we found out our family was growing we decided buying was the best option for us. This house was a God send and His hand was evident in every step. We took a trip to Lexington for some SEC football. We threw Georgia Grace's 2nd birthday party on one of the prettiest fall days I can remember. We found out it will be BLUE this time :) And our baby girl turned two years old on the 30th. Jam packed full of blessings! Oh, and we boarded a plan on Halloween day for a quick trip to the beach :)

This girl still got to dress up for her Halloween party at AKK. She was Anna of course and her costume is homemade by Grandmomma. It's one of a kind and beautiful!

November we were back to the coast for our friends James and Ashley's wedding. I was a bridesmaid and Georgia Grace was a flower girl. It was a beautiful beach wedding and a nice little vacay for the family. GGH officially became a preschooler at AKK and we celebrated my mom's 50th with a birthday bash!

We also had our first snow at our new house in November. As I mentioned we bought our house in October but wanted to do a little updating so we didn't move in until the middle of November, a week before Thanksgiving (and we hosted Marcus's family for the first time for the holiday!). It also marked the 20 week-halfway mark of my pregnancy.

Oh December how much joy you bring! We met Elsa at our friend Eliza's birthday party, we hosted our first annual aunts/uncles holiday slumber party, I bit the bullet and sold a few of GGH's outfits, we gave our son a strong, southern name and Christmas!! She LOVED Santa this year, all three times we saw him ha! She received lots of wonderful gifts from family and friends to fill up her new playroom and learned about baby Jesus through our nightly reading of the real Christmas story. 

If you would have told me back in January that we would have a new house, I would have a new job and we would have a son on the way I doubt I would have believed you. What a blessed 2014 it has been for us and the blessings continue into 2015 as we anxiously await adding Jack to our family.

Happy New Years everyone! Thanks for reading and thanks for all the prayers and encouragement this past year with all of our big life events. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Christmas day just has a scarce amount of pictures (more on my big camera I will upload once my new cord arrives) because this girl was too busy for pictures anyway. We did do a lot of recording with our camcorder which will be our most treasured keepsake from the day I'm sure.

Christmas day started for us at 10:30am! She has never ever slept that late, how ironic that she does it on Christmas morning ha! We didn't want a grumpy girl so we just let her sleep and waited patiently. 

She loved her gifts and seeing the empty plate of cookies and going outside to see the reindeer ate all of the carrots. Santa even left her a letter this year about how proud he was that she hadn't had any potty accidents in a long time.

We spent all of Christmas day in our pajamas playing, eating and just being lazy. That's how I want our Christmases to be spent. The hustle and bustle of the season is great but I want the day to be a slow one so we can enjoy it.

Christmas night we went to Embry Christmas at our cousin Michael and Jan's. We are a big crew so it was so nice of them to host all of us. I barely saw GGH while we were there because she took off playing with the big girls. I've heard that she favors her cousin Delaney and I can see it! We had a great time seeing and visiting with everyone.

After that we went to my Dad's to celebrate Christmas with him. He gave her a basketball goal (and money) and she got a princess pop-up castle from Uncle Eric and Aunt Paige. I see a lot of playing in the future in here!

The day after Christmas we went to my Embry grandparents to open gifts from them. Georgia Grace is blessed with six living great-grandparents and I'm so thankful she gets to grow up with them. 

I went shopping on the 26th and the 27th for Christmas decor. Since we are on the Christmas Home Tour next year we needed some things for the new house and I thought hitting the stores when everything was 75% off would be a great way to get what I really want without spending a fortune. Sister girl went with me on the 27th and helped pick out things for her room tree (I found a 4' pre-lit tree for her for $10!!). We found a lot of odds and ends for the house and should have a good jump start for next year.

Something I am starting to do is frame every Santa picture and our family Christmas card each year to display during the season . I found this frame for $2.99 at Kohls, it's missing a bell but that's an easy fix. I thought it matched her outfit perfectly :)

She has so many ornaments she has been given over her three Christmases that her tree will be easy to fill and decorate. I love this one for this year. Christmas is coming down at our house and I'm usually sad about it but we have so much to look forward to in 2015 I'm excited for a fresh, new start. However, if she could stay this little forever I would be fine with that too :)

That's a wrap for Christmas 2014! It was our first Christmas in our new house and we enjoyed all of our space and watching Christmas movies by the fireplace. I will always remember this first Christmas for us in our new home! 

Pictures From The Holidays

I've very late posting these but I will eventually back date them so they will go in my 2014 blog book. I've found a new method for uploading my DSLR pictures using Eyefi that is much more convenient, I'll post more on that later.
First up-Thanksgiving. I pulled out my good camera sporadically so these are a little bit of everything
We had Thanksgiving at my Mom's. We are a small group since my Mom is an only child so we all get to eat together at the same table.
Thanksgiving night we hosted Marcus's family. This was our first time hosting a holiday, we both love hospitality so it was exciting for us! We had been in the house about a week so there was still a lot of boxes and projects going on.
We took a picture of everybody that came so we can remember our first Thanksgiving in our new house-
Shannon (Marcus's mom), Jake (brother-in-law), Shanna (sister-in-law)

Grandmomma & Granddad (Marcus's grandparents)

Meme (Marcus's Grandma)

Rachel, Ro-Ro and Nathan ("framily")

This picture makes me smile :)

The spread minus cold foods and desserts. Everybody brought certain things so we had all the staples and it was delicious!
This buffet table was given to us for free when we bought our table second hand so we put it to good use

A Harrison Thanksgiving
On to Christmas!
Georgia Grace putting on the one of two ornaments on the tree ha! She wasn't interested this year, we didn't push it.

I try to get an annual picture with her in front of the tree and this is the very best we could get. Still sweet!

Our 2014 Christmas tree. Most of our pre-lit lights went out this year so we will see if we keep pulling it out every season or breaking down and getting a new one.

Christmas Eve morning we celebrated Christmas at Grandmomma and Granddad's house. Her one and only request this year was an "orange babydoll" so Santa had Grandmomma to help him with the task. She received a red-headed cabbage patch doll with an orange dress and GGH received a matching dress (both homemade!). She really did the absolute best she could with such a request!

We opened stockings and she had to have a bite of her chocolate Santa right then and there

Porter Christmas
I like this picture of just a Christmas Eve scene.

Christmas Eve night we made cookies for Santa. She loves to bake and asked if everything we baked/cooked over Christmas break was for Santa ;)

Christmas Day! I just love this natural picture of my girl.

Playing with her new dollhouse from Santa

Writing on her new easel

Christmas at my Dad's
He gave her a basketball goal. Everyone is hopeful she will be a sports athlete but I think they are going to be disappointed ha! I see dance, music, cheer in her future. But who knows, we will support whatever she decides to do!

Playing in the princess castle Uncle Eric and Aunt Paige gave her.

Love that smile!
That's all! It feels good to have those uploaded and posted. Here's to staying caught up in 2015.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Eves

Our Christmas vacation has been the absolute best. We haven't gone and done much of anything but our days are still full and I always wonder how it is already 9 o'clock each night. Christmas with our two year old was pretty magical just as I had imagined. Everything was a big deal and she woke up excited each day to see what was in store.

December 23rd we did a little Christmas crafting for our playroom tree next year. It didn't happen this year so we thought we would get a jump start and make sure it did for 2015. We made pom pom pinecones that were super easy. She had fun but let's be honest-she made about two and then she was throwing the pom poms across the room ha! 

Our finished product. Our playroom will have to transition from lots of pinks to boy colors too so I thought this would be great for both.

Christmas Eve morning we had Christmas at Grandmomma and Granddad's. She helped Santa this year and made matching orange dresses for her orange baby doll (her one and only present request). She also found the doll-a 1982 cabbage patch doll on ebay! It was such a thoughtful, awesome gift.

She wouldn't be still long enough for a picture so this is the best we got. Just look at the cuteness!

Owen gets to attend Christmas at Grandmomma's and it's probably his favorite day ever. A house full of people, dog cousins and a loving sister!

Christmas Eve night was the Porter Christmas. All of my life we have spent Christmas Eve night with my mom's family and the tradition continues.

Gammy and Gran Stan gave her a washer and dryer! This girl loves to be a little helper and actually prefers pretending to do chores around the house than playing with toys so this was right up her alley.

She has "washed" everything we own. When things go missing we know where to look :)

She also received a baby BOY doll. Do you know how hard it is to find a boy doll? I understand it's usually girls playing with dolls but some little girls have brothers! Playing with babies is her absolute favorite thing so I'm sure he will get lots of love and help with transitioning to the real thing.

Four generations of Porters with a growing "Jack Porter" on the way :) My brother was in from Florida so it was wonderful just having everyone together. Also, this picture was taken with my timercam on my iPhone propped up on the washer and dryer ha! 

When we got home on Christmas Eve we baked cookies for Santa. And let me add that through the holiday season I have completely fell in love with my kitchen. I knew it was great but didn't know how great until I started using it frequently. I don't think I would change a thing about it if I could have designed it myself. And my freestanding one level island is the cherry on top. I'll do a kitchen tour in the new year :)

We did a little baking and a lot of tasting :)

She picked chocolate chip so the cookies didn't stay in their shapes well but we didn't care. She added sprinkles to a few and cut a lot of them out herself. She loves to be in the kitchen!

We finished our cookies and set them out with carrots and milk for Santa and then got ready for bed. Every night we read two bedtime books. Right now the basket is full of just Christmas books. She normally picks out one fun Christmas book (her favorite is The Sweet Smell Of Christmas ) and The Nativity. It is a long book with big words for a two year old but she always wants "baby Jesus". Now that is CHRISTmas.

This was a different night but I want to remember this-reading The Nativity with my two babies. He was kicking so she rested her hand on my belly. Love this moment so much.

Once sister was asleep Santa got busy on her dollhouse! I was a little nervous we would have to pull an all-nighter when I took this picture but after about an hour and a half it was finished! I'm thankful for my handy husband.

Santa came!
As I've mentioned in previous years we try not to overdo it on the gifts. We don't want the gifts and material things to be the main focus plus we are blessed with very generous families so we let Santa bring 3-4 things and then she gets a few gifts from us and we put the rest in her savings account. This year she got a wooden kidkraft dollhouse, a chalkboard easel, a birthday cake, an orange baby doll (hallelujah my cousin Lynn found one at our local Mission ha!) and books. She received a baby alive (Baby All Gone) and Peppa Pig figurines from us. It was still a big Christmas! 

Tomorrow I will recap Christmas day (not many pictures but lots of wonderful memories) and put a big red bow on the season as we look to the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. The end of the year recap is probably my favorite post each year so I'm making the blog a priority this week.

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright!