Friday, February 24, 2017

Winter Break

Since the kids' school was closed the first week in January, we enjoyed a wonderfully lazy week hanging out in Dallas.

Josh was off work on Monday, and with absolutely beautiful weather, we decided our adventure for the day should be visiting the Dallas Farmer's Market.


It was our first time to visit the indoor marketplace, and there were so many fun food options. We opted for pizza and salads.

This little guy eats his pizza with gusto.


The kids also loved the sweet little play area next to the patio. [In case you are wondering, that is a zombie Ava drew on the chalkboard :).]
And we clearly had to take a picture in the BIG sign. #Dallas BIG


The remainder of the week it was just me and the kiddos, and I happily played the part of a stay-at-home mom for four days (whilst squeezing in many a work e-mail along the way). 

The weather quickly turned cold on us, so we spent lots of time indoors playing with new Christmas presents, catching up on holiday baking, and watching movies snuggled up on the couch.



We also ran a bunch of errands, including a stop at Barnes and Noble to use a long-lost gift card. Someone reallllly wanted another guitar.


At least Ava picked out some books to practice her reading skills. I just ignored the fact that they were all Barbie related.


We rounded out the week with a classic SAHM activity...an outing to meet up with some friends at The Playdate Co. It was a really cool spot, with lots of fun activities for the kids plus free coffee for the adults!






When we got home, the snow flurries were starting to fall.




While Rylan napped, Ava and I enjoyed some hot apple cider while watching the snow fall.



By the time Ry woke up, we had ourselves a nice little snow cover (by Texas standards).


We rounded out the week by transitioning Rylan's crib to a toddler bed (after a couple escape attempts). 


Most nights he doesn't have an issue going to sleep, but he now wakes up waaaay earlier in the morning. And it's hard to ignore a sweet, and very loud voice right across the hall that says "Hi, Mama, Hi!!"...at 5:30 AM.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Christmas 2016 | Austin

After starting off the Christmas holiday in Dallas, we headed down to Austin to celebrate with my family. We drove on Christmas morning, so the traffic was basically nonexistent on I-35 (hallelujah!), and we made it to Grampsie and Nana's house with plenty of time to spend most of the day with the Bratton clan.






Then it was time to head to Bunny and Nello's house. Since it was late, we waited until the next morning to open gifts, but Rylan had to check out his new tractor before bed. 



Josh and my Dad left the following day to go hunting for a few days, which was Josh's first time at the lease.


They had a great time, and we are now the proud owners of an extremely full freezer of venison.



Meanwhile in Austin, we spent lots of time outside enjoying the unseasonably warm weather and hanging with the fam. 


We also made our first trip to the light show at Mozart's. 


Nothing like watching a Christmas light spectacular in 80-degree weather. 


And continuing the crazy-warm-Christmas-break theme, I also joined friends for a wonderful lunch on the Hula Hut patio...complete with margaritas. Yesssss. 


Before heading home, and just as the cold front came in, we met up for lunch with friends in town from the Pacific Northwest.


These sweet girls made fast friends.


It was such a wonderful week in Austin, filled with lots of fun with family and friends.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Christmas 2016 | Dallas

We celebrated the first part of the Christmas holidays at home in Dallas. The kids' school schedule follows that of DISD, which meant their Christmas break didn't start until December 23 (and thus didn't end until January 9...so weird!). So, on their first day off, we headed over to the Lockwood house to celebrate with Josh's side of the family. 

Ava and Rylan loved spending time with their cousins.
In order to maximize the weekend as part of our time off from work and still be able to travel down to Austin, we decided to have Santa visit a day early. At this age, the kids don't know what day it is, so we just moved all the advent calendar spots up a day and had Christmas Eve on the 23rd. It worked perfectly! 

So, after heading home from the Lockwoods, it was time for our Christmas Eve traditions, including putting out cookies and carrots as well as reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. Grammie stayed with us for the night and was able to join in all the fun.


Once the kids were nestled snug in their beds, Santa got to work. We really tried to keep to a budget this year and not go overboard. So, each kid got a costume with an accessory (Elena dress + scepter for Av and cowboy costume + stick horse for Ry), a coloring/sticker book, three gifts to unwrap (two things from their letter to Santa plus one book), and stockings filled with fun little stuff. 



The main thing Rylan asked for was a guitar, and Santa definitely delivered. The pure joy on his face after opening that box is something I will never forget.




He was also a huge fan of the stick horse and cowboy costume (particularly the hat). It just goes to show that classic toys never go out of style.



He also got a plane per his letter to Santa as well as Steam Train, Dream Train.



Ava had asked Santa for a "doll with hair," a cupcake necklace, and a ballerina book.

We decided to hold off on getting an American Girl doll until Ava is a little bit older, so we opted for a Target "Our Generation" doll. The dolls are much more reasonably priced and fit all the same outfits/accessories. 

As you can tell by this video, Ava was so excited! "I think it's a doll...and it is!"


Meet Alisha (aka Lilia), or as Rylan calls her "I-isha": 


I was a bit worried about finding a "cupcake necklace," but found the perfect one on Etsy.


And for the "ballerina book," the classic Angelina Ballerina was the obvious choice.


The surprise Elena of Avalor dress and scepter were also a big hit.



Stocking stuffers were always my favorite as a kid, and finding cute little stuff for the kids' stockings is so much fun! 




The kids also each got three gifts from us (Santa can't get all the glory!), which fit into the something they want, something they will wear/need, and something they will read categories.

Ava got an adorable new pair of rain boots, a Fashion Plates set, and Grace for President.




Rylan got Caps for Sale, which has become one of his favorite books ("silly monkeys!"), a wooden toy golf set, and a pair of cowboy boots.

With his new guitar, cowboy hat, and boots, he was ready to perform for everyone.


Since we weren't driving down to Austin until Sunday morning, we got to enjoy a lazy day at home playing with all our new toys.





Ava picked out this train set for Ry (and he got her a fairy house kit).



Grammie and Papa got Ry a "big boy" basketball hoop, which he loves but is a little sad that he can't yet dunk on it. 


One of the surprise hits was the window markers in Ava's stocking. These things are super cool and crystalize on the window.



Our lazy afternoon also included snuggling up on the couch to watch Christmas movies while enjoying hot chocolate for the kids and beautifully boozy coffee for the adults. 



After tucking the kids in bed and packing for Austin, Josh and I enjoyed Chuy's take-out and a classic Christmas Eve movie...Die Hard. That is what I call a pretty perfect day.


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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