Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year, New Baby, and It's...

baby boy number two for the Stang household!
My heart is already bursting as I imagine my two little boys growing and playing together. I know Jackson is going to be the best big brother, and to have two sweet boys so close in age will be so special to watch. I am also already plotting baby's nursery for the new house, and am resisting with all of my might going through Jackson's old clothes to start separating and organizing items for baby to use! I can now officially justify my Baby Gap addiction, because those quality items are the ones that are in the best condition and just waiting to be worn by another cuddly, squishy, perfect little boy!

I may have already purchased these swaddles (scored on mega deal with a 40% off sale and reward points!), and this precious onesie for next winter, and a few of these all-time favorite t-shirt onesies for little man to show off his little arms in this summer. I mean, I just couldn't resist. *all the heart eyes* We are so very lucky, and our family is blessed!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 in Review

Just like that, we are saying goodbye to another year and preparing to begin another. Resolutions, hopes, and big dreams are just around the corner, but what better way to wrap up the year than to reflect on all that has happened since last January!

January started off with Jackson's 5 month update. I remember him looking so big at the time, yet he looks so small compared to now! I did a post in honor of my favorite Jackson jammies, an obsession that has not wavered in the past year. This mama loves her a squishy baby in delicious pajamas.

In February, I talked about being tall, and how I have learned to deal with it throughout the years. I talked about the winter blahs, and how hard they tend to hit during that time of the year (which we are coming up on, womp womp). I wrapped up the month with a post on Jackson finding his voice and learning to make noises. I am so glad I have these posts to look back on, because it is safe to say that he no longer makes a single one of those sweet sounds.

My blogging was slacking for the month of March, but I did do a seven month update on Jackson, which to date is one of my favorites to look back on. His cloud sweatshirt is one of my absolute favorite clothing items, as are those precious off-white jeans and baby Pumas. I mean, I die. I also shared some post baby thoughts, and some realities and feelings I had experienced since welcoming my little guy into our world.

In April we celebrated our first Easter with our little guy. I talked about the realities of alcohol after baby while nursing, and how you can't exactly start slamming back the drinks once baby is born. We also started diving into table foods with Jax, and learning as we go with how to best introduce him to real food.

In May I announced that I would be starting a new job! I posted some momfessionals, and shared the things that I do that I swore I would never do or surprised myself by doing. I am ashamed to admit that I still will eat food that Jackson has dropped (often from his mouth) because I don't feel like walking it to the garbage. I shared some photos taken of Jackson and myself, which I still treasure and look at all of the time. We went on our first trip to the lake and spent the night away from home, and Jackson did great!

I finally got around to sharing Jackson's nursery (ten months late), in a home where we of course no longer live. I talked about how motherhood ruins you and how it teaches you to love beyond any capacity you ever thought possible.

I shared some confessions to start off July, something that is always good for the soul and I really should do more of. I got a bit emotional at the realization that my baby was weeks away from becoming a toddler. I started sharing workwear outfits, a fun little series that has sadly lacked since moving to a home with no full length mirrors and watching my belly expand over the past few months!

In August my sweet baby turned one! We took a weekend trip up to Duluth to visit Mike's aunt, and took in some of the beautiful sites of the north shore. I shared the details of Jackson's rockin 1st birthday party, and had so much fun planning and putting it together. I started back up school for my final semester, and we also got an offer on our house and put in an offer to buy a lot. It was a big month!

I participated in the Blogtember challenge this year, and made it through the majority of the month before life, moving, and school got the best of me and I couldn't keep up! Hats off to you ladies that blog 5 days a week, without fail! I shared a letter to my 16 year old self on the day that I turned 26, and couldn't believe how quickly ten years could fly by. I also found on my birthday that we were expecting baby #2, but of course couldn't share the big news just yet!

In October we took some family pictures, which so perfectly captured Jackson's amazing head of curls, if I do say so myself. I shared the big news that we sold our house, and we spent the month settling into my in-laws and beginning planning for our home construction this coming spring. We celebrated Jackson's second Halloween, and he managed to sleep through most of it and woke up in a terrible mood. He was the cutest little Elvis you ever did see, though, and I was so happy with how his costume turned out!

He also had his second haircut in November, but his first haircut since developing his crazy curls that we were all a little bit sad to see go. We made the big announcement that we are expecting and were so excited to finally be able to share. I did my first update on Jackson since he turned one, and couldn't believe how much he changed in three months. I started doing my weekly bumpdate posts, and have had so much fun seeing the changes week to week.

In December I shared some of my tips and tricks for budgeting during the holidays. I also shared the reality of how different your second pregnancy will be from your first, and how your expectations change. We celebrated our second and last Christmas as a family of three, and enjoyed Jackson meeting santa for the first time and spending time with family.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I really cannot believe how quickly the year flew by. Just looking back through old pictures and realizing how little my sweet baby was twelve short months ago makes me smile and breaks my heart all at once. I cannot wait to soak up all of the goodness that is to come in 2016, and continue to watch my little family grow!

Today, I am linking up with Holly, Jenn, and Jessi!

Our Christmas 2015

Just like that, Christmas has come and gone. Every year it seems to go faster and faster, and this year was no exception! We packed a lot into a few days, but great memories were made and our little guy lived it up!
Last Wednesday, we were prepared to go down to see the Macy's display in Minneapolis, but unfortunately last minute Jackson and I had to stay home. So what does a mama do with a little man dressed to kill with nowhere to go? Well, first you let him bang on the piano.

The kid loves the piano. 
Then, you head to the mall, and enjoy a bit of browsing and last minute shopping with little to no crowds. Crowd free shopping two days before Christmas? Yes, please! Wednesday night was low-key, and in keeping with new traditions, we ordered pizza and lounged and enjoyed the sight of the tree.
On Christmas Eve, Mike and I realized we needed a few more gifts (does the shopping ever end!?) So we were up bright and early at the mall, again, free of almost any crowds. I grabbed a coffee, we browsed a bit, and then headed home. I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen with Mike's mom, preparing everything for that evening. As Mike's siblings began trickling in, everyone started playing games, we opened gifts, and ate WAY too much good food.
Stop, drop, and pose.

Jackson really doesn't understand gift opening yet, and honestly he could care less. You would think the idea of tearing paper to shreds would appeal to him, but alas my toddler boy really isn't big on making messes. He did love the things inside of the wrapping paper though, and had tons of fun playing with his homemade trainset from Grandpa Dave and his build-it-yourself- tent from his aunt and cousin! Of course, his favorite thing to do is still run around rearranging a bunch of old toy balls that we found in the garage a few weeks ago. Simplicity is what that kid is all about.
After gifts, we sat down to dinner, ate even more food, and just relaxed. Jackson stayed up a little later than usual, and my buddy was pretty pooped by the end of the night.
 An angel if I ever did see one!
 Me and my sweet boy.
After putting him to bed, this mama could barely keep her eyes open, but we got gifts set out for the following morning, and were in bed minutes after laying the little guy down!
Christmas morning, we went upstairs to open gifts from Santa, and once again, Jackson really could care less.

 Vacuuming while testing out his new potty chair. He is our efficient child.

 He caught on quickly to shooting the basketball in the basket!
After gifts, I whipped up a breakfast casserole, we lounged around, and after Jackson took a nap we headed over to my parents for their Christmas. We grabbed a family photo quickly when we got there before Jackson started stripping off his clothing and getting into everything ;-)
I cannot get over his cheesy smile in this picture! He has figured out the camera and literally will pose for pictures now!
Grandma and grandpa wanted a picture too. This picture makes me laugh out loud. Are those not three of the cheesiest smiles you have ever seen!? My mom has some genuine smiling going on, but Jackson and my dad? Priceless.
We opened gifts, and Jackson made out like a bandit with his new rocking horse and slide.

He quickly discovered the fun in the slide is crawling up, not sliding down ;-)
We sat down later to our annual seafood dinner, complete with shrimp, crab, and lobster tails, topped off with peppermint ice cream cake. It is the meal I look forward to all year, it is soo good. We packed up and headed out shortly after, as it really had been a long few days. We got home, and little man was crashed and asleep in a matter of minutes. It really was a wonderful Christmas, and while I am sad to see it go and to prepare packing away all of our decorations, I am already looking forward to next year, with a new house and new baby, I have a feeling it will be our best, yet! :-)

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