Traveling Internationally with Kids (must haves!)

We just got back from spending 2 weeks in Iceland! We had our kids (ages 3 and 5 months) in tow.

Here are a few items that made our trip a success:

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  1. Portable sound machine. I kid you not, this is the best invention ever! It is $10, it can clip onto a stroller, carseat, baby carrier, etc! It runs off batteries (perfect for going international) and you can choose to have it run for 15, 30, and 45 minutes OR you can let it run forever. 🙂 This really helped with getting our kids to nap on the go, plus we used it in our sons crib at night. You can get it at Target or Amazon. (myBaby sound spa on-the-go sound machine) IMG_4767You can spy it hanging on the stroller and laying in the crib.   IMG_4336IMG_1818
  2. A baby Carrier. We brought along our Ergo for our 3 year old and our Infantino for our 5 month old. The Ergo was perfect for our 3 year old because it’s like getting a piggy back ride without having to use your arms! haha. The Infantino was perfect for our 5 month old because he loves to face forward and look out at the world. Both works so well for napping on the go and hiking! Both of these can be purchased on Amazon or target as well!IMG_2568(okay so this photo makes me laugh! My 3 year old wouldn’t put his arms under the straps and then fell asleep and was just flopping. 🙂 It was pretty funny!IMG_4066IMG_4170

  3. Headphones for the toddler. I got these completely adorable headphones on Amazon! Its a little headband with speaker by the ears. It stays on and if your kiddo  falls asleep it’s still comfortable! (CozyPhones kids headphones)IMG_4768
  4. Hust Hat. This bad boy can block out the loud noises when you’re trying to get the little ones to nap! It was a life saver for the plane, restaurants, and just being out and about! The plus side, it keeps the babe warm!! You can get it at Target or Amazon as well. IMG_4769

(so funny, the hat did slip down and cover my son’s eyes. He is under there somewhere!! ha 🙂 )IMG_4204

5. Pacifier Clips and a Wubanub. If you have a little baby like we do, that pacifier clip will come in so handy! You can clip it onto the baby carrier, clothes, carseat, etc! That way you don’t have to worry about losing it.

6. Stroller with a rain cover. This last one really all depends on the age of your kids and whether or not you’re expecting to be around rain. We went to Iceland and the weather there is so crazy. Luckily it was nice most of the time, but it would randomly rain throughout our whole trip. The stroller and rain cover were a life saver when it was raining. It helped keep our kids warm and dry, we also were happy to stick everything else under there (shopping bags, diaper bag, camera, etc!

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Well there you have it! That is my list of MUST HAVES. Stay tuned for my next post on what to pack in your child’s carry on bag.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

…until next time! xoxo ❤

34 weeks!

Hard to believe I’m already 34 weeks!!! This pregnancy has been flying by! There is no baby bump picture this week because selfies in the bathroom mirror are not near as fun! oh, and the fact I can’t seem to put a bra on. Like ever.

This pregnancy has been a little rough on me!! Not only was I sick until like 27 weeks (and I still get sick on occasion at 34 weeks) but we are in the middle of a move and relocating. All I want is a huge glass of wine! Seriously, the days are long, the nights are short, nap times are shorter, and my wine glass is empty. {only 6 more weeks until I can kick back with a glass of my favorite ALDI wine!!}

My hubby has already started his job so Preston and I have been staying at our house while he lives a Bach lifestyle without us. Let’s just say the day to day is exhausting!! Chasing after a 2.5 year old, organizing for our move that’s happening in #2weeks 😳, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog… you get the picture! Daylight savings time sure didn’t help… my only saving grace is that Preston is in bed by 7pm now! #Hallelujah

I do know hubby feels bad he can’t help out more. He’s working so hard for our family and we appreciate it so much!! He is such a huge help when we do get to see him. He cooks me meals, does nap time and bed time routine with Preston, and cleans… it’s glorious!

However, something always seems to go wrong when hubby is away: faulty smoke detector that likes to go off at 5am, a spider infestation in my car, bentley’s 🐶 Collar breaking as I’m trying to tie him up at my parents house before making the 5 hr drive to see hubs with Preston.

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I am thankful I have a house with smoke detectors, a car to drive, and parents who will watch our pup. ❤

As much as I’m going to miss our gorgeous beloved home, I am excited to get settled into our new house. I can’t wait to get it all decorated and cozy feeling just in time for the holidays! {It brings me back to when I was pregnant with Preston and we moved when I was about 27 weeks pregnant! When we closed on our house Nov 15, 2013, the first thing I did was put up my Christmas decorations!! This time will be fairly similar, except I will be 36 weeks pregnant and we close on Nov 30, 2016! I can promise that the first thing I do will be to put up my Christmas decorations again!! I am sensing a theme here….lets just say next time I get knocked up we aren’t relocating to a new state like the last 2 times. lol!!}

I’m trying to enjoy the time with just Preston and I before Pip2 to arrives. I’ve also been working on some ‘busy bins’ for after the new baby arrives and Preston needs some new and fun things to keep occupied!

I’ve been doing a bit of nesting lately, too! I’ve gone through and sorted and organized all the baby clothes, gotten baby items together, and got the infant carseat out and ready to use–just in case Pip decides to arrive a bit early!! I don’t want this stuff lost in the move and have no clue where it’s at!! I even got my hospital bag started, just with a few things for now, but that’s another thing I want to have ready and organized before the movers come and pack us up and ship us out! haha.

Next time I’ll try to have a baby bump picture to include! Even though I’m feeling huge and uncomfortable…I really don’t remember feeling like this with Preston… second pregnancy probs maybe! Hopefully I can do one more post before we move and the crazy begins!!

Okay, edited to add a selfie bump pic! 34w5d

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…until next time! xoxo ❤

 

 

 

The single parent life.

To say the last few months have been busy would be an understatement. It has been so crazy around here!! Chad has been traveling to Nebraska for work every week–so during the week it’s just been Preston and me. Every weekend seems packed full as well!

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I’ve been watching our cute little neighbor boy 3 days a week. It’s definitely been great for Preston. He loves Joey so much and they have so much fun playing together. I love watching them interact. They do such a great job sharing and taking turns. I’m hoping this will prepare Preston for being a big brother, too!

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(^^ready for a bike ride, mom!!)

Little Preston is such a ham! He reminds me of when I was young. Looks and silly-ness!

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I think Chads traveling has been wearing on me. Not because Preston is a handful, he’s absolutely not! He’s actually SO very good for me 95% of the time. My sweet boy. But it’s all the other things that come up while your husband is away.

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For example: a few nights (mornings?) ago at 5am the smoke detector in our bedroom went off and continued to go off every 30 minutes. At first I thought it was from the humidifier in our room (i was also battling a horrible head cold), I drug a barstool in from the kitchen and I had to balance this 25 week prego  body on a high barstool to get the button pushed for temporary silence. (The bad thing about high 14′ ceilings). The alarms were going off and it eventually woke Preston up, (of course, chad was gone), I was so frustrated, tired, and sick (and pregnant) so I started crying and Preston crawled on my lap and gave me a huge hug and said ‘it’s okay, mama’. He’s just too sweet!! I finally got the ladder hauled inside from the garage (a huge heavy metal/steel? one) to change the batteries (Chad had to talk me through putting the latter up while i sobbed uncontrollably over the phone) but as soon as I unhooked the smoke detector and the alarm went off Preston goes ‘yay!! You did it Mommy!!’. He’s my little cheerleader for sure. Later, Chad was talking to Preston about it on the phone, Chad asked Preston about it and he said ‘it woke me up in my crib and scared me. I cried in my crib. Mommy was sad and crying. Had to change batteries’. Gosh he is just so cute. I seriously can’t get over how sweet and cute my little boy is!! The funny thing is that they went off again this morning! OMG (chad’s gone) it really was my humidifier (just getting over my week long sickness). At least this time I knew exactly what needed to be done. (the darn ladder below)

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We’re trying to get our house ready to put on the market as well. So I’ve been over working myself trying to scrub our walls, trim, and floors. I’ve organized the inside of all of our closets and under the sinks. Lets just say by about 3pm I can no longer move! It’s been killing my back for sure! I’ve been making many trips to the Salvation Army and lifting things I probably shouldn’t be lifting. My mind won’t stop running about everything that needs to happen before December when Pip2 will be here. I’m just praying we can sell our house and won’t be living out of a hotel with a toddler and a newborn. 😮

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Come buy our house!!

Preston has been his cute little self lately. He is so into learning it’s crazy! I’ve read a few things about teaching children (for example, teaching them to identify letters rather than just memorizing the alphabet and teaching kids to actually count during that time, rather than memorizing to count to 10.) Well, Preston has known to identify the letters in the alphabet since he was a little over 18 months. Lately, I’ve really noticed that he’s knows how to count, too! Which is great, because I’ve felt like a slacker Mom lately. The other day we were driving by wal-mart and they are doing construction outside to build a new bigger one. Preston said, “Mommy, I saw 3 diggers, 2 bulldozers, and 1 semi at the construction site’. After that he told me 1 digger was red, 1 was orange, and 1 was yellow. Once we got home he told me we got to go over 3 railroad tracks, too! (which was true, we went over 3 sets of tracks on our drive to and from our CSA–took a different route on the ride home).

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Last night I let Preston stay up until 8:30 (past his bedtime) because he was so focused on reviewing his letters of the alphabet! He kept going through all of them telling me what they were. This morning Preston woke up and wanted to learn about money. So I got out some quarters, pennies, dimes, and nickels. He knows what a penny is and a dime. Still working on quarters (or quarts, as preston would say) and nickels.

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I had my Glucose test at my prenatal appointment last week. I passed, YAY! Pip2’s heart rate was 140’s. Can’t wait to meet this little guy, but glad to keep him in and cooking for the next 3 months!

24 weeks

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25 weeks

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Tomorrow the hubby and I will celebrate our 4th anniversary. We are hoping to hit up an apple orchard/pumpkin patch and then have a babysitter arranged for a date night! Time has flown by, but I can honestly say, this has been the best time of my life! Four years in and I still feel like this marriage thing is…don’t hate me…but it’s easy. Chad and I get along, we agree on things 98% of the time, we share parenting styles and views on spending vs. saving, we have our own likes and interests, yet enjoy hanging out together and as a family. It’s been a crazy fun adventure and I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!

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Today Preston and I did some painting (handprint/footprint art) to make a card and picture for Chad and the little stinker spilled the beans to him on the phone today. “i made a lion with my feetprint. Card for daddy” “mommy painted my hand. Made a fish”

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Every night before bed, I sing to Preston. His favorite is the Itsy Bitsy Spider. But I LOVE hearing him sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (or Tinkle Tinkle Yee-ole Star). Preston is so cute that he can’t say his L’s very well.

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Yesterday my uncle John passed away. It was very unexpected. He was always such a joy to be around! My favorite memories of him are from the houseboat we used to rent every summer growing up! His funeral will be next week in my hometown. Hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight!! ❤

Enough of my rambling. Time to fold laundry! Hubby will be home tonight, thankfully! I hope everyone has a great weekend.

…until next time!! xoxo ❤

We’re excited to announce…

that Preston is going to be a big Brother!!

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He’s so excited and so are we! Baby is due December 2016!

I know I’ve been MIA for awhile, but with feeling sick, taking a photography class, Preston’s gymnastics, babysitting my cute little neighbor, and wedding festivities for my SIL…we’ve been pretty busy!

…until next time! xoxo

Dear Punky,

dear Punky,

I’m sorry we left you for almost 3 weeks. Your daddy and I went to Australia for my best friend’s wedding! I was the maid (matron 😁) of honor; it was something I’ll remember forever.  We missed you so much but we know you had so much fun hanging out with your auntie, uncle, and cousin! You even got to spend time with your grandma and grandpa, too!!! I know you had so much fun bonding with them. While your daddy and I were gone–we were able to spend time together!! We even made a side trip to New Zealand!! We rented a campervan and drove around the entire South Island! It is time together we will never forget!! We missed you so much!!! But luckily, you were able to bond with your cousin, Noble. You went to gymnastics, the children’s museum, and did build-a-bear together!! You actually missed your dog, Bentley, (or as you call him, Bobo) so much that you named your new puppy (that you picked out at build-a-bear) ‘bobo’ that just happens to be almost identical to your own dog. You did really well the whole time we were gone. We were so happy to see you happy!!! It made our trip go by so flawlessly! It wasn’t until 2 nights prior to our departure from New Zealand that your auntie and Grandma told us you were crying out for ‘mama and daddy’ at bedtime. That broke my heart and made me want to come home!! We know you had so much fun and you were able to enjoy your first ever 3 days at daycare!!!! You did so well–and napped well!! I think it’s because you had your cousin, Noble, there with you. But when we came home you came up and grabbed me and squeezed me sooo tight in, what seemed like, a never ending hug. You kissed me and kissed me!!! You went to daddy and hugged and kissed him, too!! That night it was hard to put you down for bed because you were scared that we wouldn’t be there in the morning. It broke my heart. The next morning you yelled out for mama and daddy, and we came and grabbed you so quickly!!! Daddy went back to work that day and you hugged and kissed me all day long!!! It took forever to get you down for a nap because you were still sad I wouldn’t be there when you woke up! I rocked you to sleep and laid you in your crib. After a couple days you realized we weren’t going to leave you again. It breaks my heart to think about how much you missed us!!! Even though our trip was amazing and so worth it, it’ll take a lot for me to leave you again. You still get sad when one of us is out of sight from you… we have to remind you we are just going to the bathroom or running out to the car. I know it’ll pass, but in the meantime, it breaks my heart. You learned so much with your auntie and cousin. When we came home you were speaking in sentences. You were able to sing ‘twinkle twinkle little star’. You could count to ten flawlessly… and with confidence!! You are such a strong and smart young boy!!!! We love you so much and are so proud of you!!!! I just want you to know, we will never leave you and not come back. You are our entire life and we are better because of you!!!!

I love you so much, Punky!!!!!!!!

-Mama

a little cuteness.

Today when we were saying goodbye to Chad:

I said, ‘i love you!!’

Preston said, ‘I’ and I said, ‘Love’, and he said, ‘YOU!!!’.

I wanted Preston to say it by himself. So next time he said, ‘I’ and paused, and I said, ‘what comes after I?’ and he said, ‘J’…. I had to do a quick run through of the alphabet, lol, but yes, you’re right, ‘J’ does come after ‘I’! haha!!

Chad and I looked at each other like, ‘who is this kid?!’. Oh the way the mind thinks. And to think, he’s not even 2 yet!

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Preston uses his little stool for everything. He pushes that sucker all over the house! It’s pretty cute and resourceful. He uses it to turn on and off lights, to get food and drinks, etc.! I had to snap this photo because as I was laying in and he was just doing his thing, and I was just thinking, ‘he will never be this young again. he will never be this tiny again!’ it was a crazy thought!

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I’m trying to remember all the cute things Preston does before I forget them all. It seems like just yesterday he would say ‘ek’ intead of ‘x’ and ‘eee’ for ‘train’ (because that’s the noise the train made when it went by our house).

Now the cute favorites are:

‘bork’ \\ fork

‘poon’ \\ spoon

‘bopcorn’ \\ popcorn

‘bup’ \\ cup

‘poppee’ \\ coffee

‘bi-base’ \\ fireplace

His f’s sound like b’s and his c’s sound like b’s. It’s the most adorable thing! What’s funny is that he can say is r’s so clearly, and that was the letter both Chad and I couldn’t say when we were young.

Preston knows his whole alphabet and has for awhile now. When we read his book ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’, he always says, ‘R’ and other ‘r’, for capital and lowercase. I’m impressed he knows the uppercase and lowercase versions of the alphabet. What i was even more impressed with though, we were at Red Lobster eating with my Mom a few weeks ago and Preston was able to tell us every letter in ‘Red Lobster’ when it was backwards! The letters were on the window so people outside could read them, he knew what they were even when they were transposed.

I swear, if I did baby birthday parties, i would have his second birthday party theme be letters. haha!! No joke, he would be ecstatic.

Most recently we’ve been working on numbers. He can count, he just doesn’t like to do it. Which is fine, but I always like to squeeze counting in every time we climb stairs and walk past cars, etc! Just to expose him to it! No drilling here, just fun learning.

He knows his colors. Today we were downstairs by his little Christmas tree (yes, it’s still up, but it’s the only Christmas decoration that’s still out) and he was able to name off all the colors on his tree with no prompting. Yellow, blue, green, red, and pink. I think pink is his favorite color! He definitely seems to favor it!!

Today when we were coloring, I showed Preston how to write a ‘P’ step by step and he did one too. It was pretty cool! (below, you can see my green ‘P’ and his huge blueish gray ‘P’)

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Preston still refers to himself at ‘Punky’. Even when i say ‘Preston’ he says ‘Punky!!’ I guess that’s what we get for only referring to him as Punky for he majority of his life. haha!!! I can just see it now, Punky H. on the roster for sport in high school.  hahaha!! 🙂

Tonight after I took Preston’s diaper off for ‘nakey time’ he looked at me and said, ‘pee pee’. I asked him if he needed to go sit on the potty and he said, ‘yes’. so we ran to the potty, he sat down, and he went! YAY!!!!! no prompting, no pressuring. all on his own. 🙂 I was so proud!!!! Chad was still at work so I made sure to FaceTime my parents so we could all celebrate together! Now i really need to make that sticker reward chart!!

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One last thing, Preston had his first night in his big boy room!! He did so well! He slept his usual 12 hours. We were so proud of him!!

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Now we are off to make brownies! 😛

…until next time! xoxo ❤

Top 15 of 2015!

With 2015 coming to and end, I thought I would do a little review of our year, sharing some of the highlights!

  1. To start off: In January we took a trip down to Dodge City, Kansas, to visit our dear friends! This was the first time I was able to meet their sweet daughter, Penelope. This was also the first time they were able to meet Preston! That’s the hard part about living so far away. 😦 While we were there, we also found out that they we expecting baby #2! It was quite the surprise for everyone!!

IMG_43982.  In February Preston had his first swimming class. He was a natural fishy!! His teacher said he was so comfortable in the water and he was always kicking his feet and splashing around! I was lucky enough to be able to get in the water with him EVERY TIME (lol – slight sarcasm – hubby failed guppy class as a babe)

IMG_55463.  Our one and only, Preston, turned ONE in February. The first year of his life went by so fast. We are enjoying this time with Preston as we do not have another child yet. He is so much fun and always being super cute!! We are so very lucky and always say that we ‘won the kid lottery’. (although, just yesterday, I was telling my hubby I think he’s turning into a real toddler, with the fits he will throw when he needs to take off his jammies.) Otherwise, Preston is impressing us daily with how smart he is! He knew his whole alphabet by the time hew as 18 months. He can now identify primary colors. He is talking up a storm and can say 3 syllable words. When we were counting the stairs the other day, he surprised me because I said one, two, he said three, i said four, he said five, i said six, seven, he said eight, i said nine, and he said ten! I was so shocked because he’s never counted for us before. Anyway, Preston is pretty much our highlight everyday!

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4.  In May we took our first trip without Preston. We went down to Galveston, Texas, because my sister and her boyfriend were graduating from Medical School. It was such a nice trip. It was my first time away from Preston (that was more than 24 hours). We had a blast riding our bikes along the gulf, drinking hurricanes by the pool at Float, bar hopping on our bikes, and just relaxing the way parents dream when they don’t have a tiny human to care for. Thanks to our amazing mother in law for caring for him and our dog, Bentley!

IMG_9025 IMG_9042 IMG_9063 IMG_9135 IMG_91555.  In June, we headed to Seattle to visit my husbands family. This was the first time most of them had met Preston. We were able to do fun touristy things, while working around Preston’s nap. We went to the zoo, the space needle, we were able to take a little boat ride while grammy watched the boys (Preston and his cousin, Noble). We had so much fun and Preston did really well on the flights!

IMG_9319 IMG_94076.  Right after Seattle, we headed to Milwaukee to help my sister move into her house! We painted, and cleaned, and helped decorate and hang things on the walls. She is doing her residency there and bought the most adorable little house!! It was a hidden gem for sure. We love having her so close!!

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7.  In September, my dear friend Rindi came to visit!! We were able to hang out and tailgate and enjoy the short weekend together!!

IMG_1970 IMG_19968.  Hubby and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary on September 15th. To celebrate, we took Preston to the zoo and went to Zombie Burger for lunch. It was the perfect day!

IMG_20879.  In October I died parts of my hair blue!! This was the firs time i’ve ever done anything crazy to my hair. I love it!! It’s hard to see in pictures, but you can see the blue so well in the sunlight!! I love that it’s subtle, yet drastic. 🙂 *it was my ‘i’m turning 30 in a few months rebellion* #ifyoudontdoitbefore30you’llneverdoit sort of thing. haha!

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IMG_2723   10.  Preston dressed up as Superman for Halloween this year!! I had a minor Mom fail at first, we never ended up making it to my SIL’s house, where his costume was, so I ran out the night before to pick him up a last minute costume, only to find out it was trick or treating at the mall that night and every parent had their adorable dressed up child there, except me. I bought a costume and threw it on Preston so we could partake! I’ll never forget the feelings I felt that night.

image11.  In November we had our first professional family photos. It was scheduled during Preston’s nap time and it went as I thought it would. Preston was cranky and fussy. The photographer had to work really hard to get him to smile-but she did a great job! The only thing that sucks about having the photographer work so hard at making your child smile, is that she doesn’t catch crooked shirts, off centered necklaces, Thomas the Train socks showing, Peanut M&M clenched in the hand of a toddler, etc.

View More: http://aftonmariephotography.pass.us/hageman-family-2015

View More: http://aftonmariephotography.pass.us/hageman-family-2015

View More: http://aftonmariephotography.pass.us/hageman-family-2015

   12.  In December, I celebrated my 30th birthday! My friends went above and beyond, they made dinner reservations, rented a limo, and we cruised around a partied all night! It was so perfect!!! I was gifted a cute Kate Spade Crossbody, some copper shot glasses, warm fingerless mittens, and a helicopter ride over the Glaciers when hubby and I go to New Zealand in a few months. My parents got me a BlueRay Player and some bath towels which was amazing, sisters both got me an amazing purses, and my hubby spoiled me with flowers, cooking me breakfast, getting me a new iPhone, and other little surprises every time i turned the corner!! I felt like a queen for sure.

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 13.   My best friend who lives in Australia, came back to the States over Christmas! She’s getting married in March so we were able to go wedding dress shopping with her!! She found the dress and it is perfect!!  I cannot wait to be her Maid of Honor. It has been such an honor being her friend these past 10 years. She is such an amazing person with a heart of gold. I love her to BITS!! lol (Bits is her nickname for me – she actually came up with it when we were drunk and bickering in college, I told her I was going to call her Keeks (she hated it – but it stuck) and she said ‘well then ill call you BITS for BIG F*ING TITS) So here we are, 10 years later, Keeks & Bits.

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 14.  Christmas was so perfect this year!! Both of my sisters were able to make it back for the holiday. This hasn’t happened in years! We always have so much fun together. Family time is the best time. Cherish every moment with your loved ones, the memories will last forever. ❤

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    15.  The greatest part of 2015 is that I have been blessed with an amazing family, a loyal and faithful husband, a sweet baby boy, our health, & happiness.

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So here’s to 2016!

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I pray everyone has a wonderful new year filled with lots of Love & Laughter!

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…until next time! xoxo ❤

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