Monday, January 23, 2017

Christmas 2016 | Advent Activities

The weeks leading up to Christmas were busy but wonderful as always. That time of year makes my heart so happy, and experiencing it through the eyes of your kids makes it even more magical.

We continued the Advent calendar tradition, and Ava was so excited to read the card every morning. We had to make some last-minute activity swaps due to weather and/or crazy schedules but managed to complete most of them. 

We kicked off the season by picking out the perfect tree.


Then we split the decorating into two phases. First: the lights.


Channeling Joyce Byers ;).


The next night we opened Christmas jammies (from Hanna Andersson) and trimmed the tree.

When I saw this sweet, cross-eyed angel at the store, it was clear she must adorn the top of the Shepherd family tree. Wouldn't want her to end up on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Other activities included....

Writing letters to Santa.



Decorating little trees in the kids' rooms.




Visiting the Trains at Northpark.


And watching The Grinch



Speaking of The Grinch, this is how you say his name in Spanish...at least according to Ava.


We also read a bunch of Christmas books, including a sweet new one.


Ava made a beautiful gingerbread house for a good cause at Cookies & Castles.



We had a couple other movie nights, including a viewing of the old-school Rudolph that was made even better by this Target dollar-spot find!



The kids also enjoyed hot chocolate and hot apple cider for two of the activities. (I love the Louie and Stella photobomb.)


And they also made sweet cards for their teachers.


For the second year in a row, we took a carriage ride to see the lights in Highland Park. Of course, the night we booked happened to coincide with the first extreme cold front of the season, but we bundled up as much as possible and braved the freezing temperatures.

It was cooooold. But still a lot of fun.



Of course we had to include taking pictures with Santa as one of the activities. After reading a neighborhood Facebook post, we opted to visit the Santa at Half Price Books on Northwest Highway, and I'm so glad we did. The line wasn't bad, Josh and I enjoyed delicious coffee while we waited, the kids each got to pick out a free book, you were allowed to take pictures with your own camera, and the Santa was amazing! They are also pet-friendly if you want to include fur-babies in the photos. We will definitely be back next year.


We made snowmen pizza again this year, which was kind of a disaster. The snowmen definitely weren't the only thing that melted down during our pizza-making adventure.
And, finally, we baked and decorated cookies for Santa. I'm pretty sure we are still cleaning up the sprinkles.



Friday, January 20, 2017

Thanksgiving 2016

The Seton Fund Gala fell on the weekend before Thanksgiving, so the kids and I stayed in Austin for the whole next week while Josh flew back to Dallas for a few days to work. 

I worked from my Austin office Monday and Tuesday while the grandparents held down the fort. The kids enjoyed many adventures, including exploring the woods near Grampsie & Nana's house as well as a trip to Zilker Park with Bunny. I loved receiving these photos while working.





We also managed to squeeze in some visits with friends during the week. 

I was so excited to finally meet baby Gigi! And I promise Rylan was too despite his face in this picture.


We also enjoyed a fun evening at the Arnolds' house.

Two little boys bonding over one giant firetruck.


In age order, but not height order :). Love these kids.


The kids also got in some sword fighting and snuggling with Nello...




Then it was time for Thanksgiving! In addition to making the sweet potato casserole, my main contribution was putting together this epic cheese board. 

Come to Mama...


My Mom cooked a wonderful meal, and it was such a great day spent with family.

I am especially thankful for these two...


And this silly little turkey as well...


Who quite enjoyed his Thanksgiving meal.
Josh and I finished up the holiday by attending the TCU-UT game on Friday. #HouseSlightlyDivided



Go Frogs!!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Seton Fund Gala

The weekend before Thanksgiving, we headed down to Austin to attend The Seton Fund's annual gala, which benefits the hospital's NICU (a cause very close to our heart). My sister planned the event, and my Dad's law firm sponsored a table, so we clearly had to attend.

Bunny watched the kids (and helped alter my dress that was purchased two days before in a mad dash during my lunch break...thank goodness for a mom with impressive seamstress skills!), so that we could enjoy a fun night out in honor of a very good cause.  

And we all cleaned up quite nicely if I do say so myself. 


Sarabeth did such a wonderful job organizing the "Havana Nights" event. The dinner was delicious; all the details, including the hand-rolled cigars, delicious Cuba Libre cocktails, and Havana-inspired decor were fabulous; and the organization reached their fundraising goals for the evening!



And the best part was getting to dress up like a movie star for the night with my very dapper date.




It was such a fun night!











About Me

My name is Catherine, but most of my friends call me Cat. I was born and raised in Austin, went to TCU, and ended up in Dallas for law school (where Josh and I met). I decided that being an attorney was not my cup of tea and pursued a career in legal marketing instead. I am now a mother of two attempting to balance family with a full-time job, which is always an adventure. I love: my sweet babies, handsome husband, very large family, and fabulous friends; trying new restaurants; wine; TCU football; holidays; cooking; pajamas; La Croix; reading; coffee; podcasts; Central Market; carbs; the beach; mani/pedis; Anthropologie; binge-worthy TV shows; trivia; French 75s; Pinterest; cheese boards; The Ticket; dancing; Sprinkles cupcakes; The Texas Rangers; fresh flowers; thunderstorms; naps; Tex-Mex; the Texas Hill Country; porch-sitting; ranch dressing; throwing parties; and my job. I hate: working-mom guilt; snakes; heights; waking up early; ignorant people; stomach bugs; paper cuts; green fruit; bad hair days; snoring; the sound of people eating (Misophonia); Miracle Whip; scary movies; bad drivers; pulpy OJ; trimming baby fingernails; and working out. I think that sums it up.

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