Christmas Snapshots | 2017

Merry Christmas to all our family & friends!

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

The past two weeks have been both amazing & exhausting.  We've been enjoying our time with family, celebrating Christmas & the reason for the season, but I'm not going to lie...  doing it with a 10 month old isn't always easy.  Missed naps, sickies, teething, a sudden boycotting of the bottle -- it's been stressful.

I wanted Ellis's first Christmas to be nothing short of magical...
I hoped to make an advent calendar for the beginning of the month, but I never got around to it.
I had every intention of creating this board book for him to open on Christmas, but I ran out of time.
We forgot to set cookies & milk out for Santa.
We didn't wear our family matching pjs on Christmas Eve night.
And, we didn't even get a family picture on Christmas Day.

While all those things seem very trivial (I'm aware), they were important to me. As I reflect back on the past two weeks, I realize that our Christmas may not have been the Instagram-worthy one that I had dreamed about, but it was still so so good.

We have full bellies, a warm home, healthy bodies, and lots and lots of love from family.

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I didn't take my camera out nearly enough over the past two weeks, but here are a few highlights during this season:

Meeting Santa for the first time.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


Cousins in matching jammies.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


Naps on Daddy.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


Decorating & eating a sugar cookie for the first time.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


Finding presents under the tree.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Handmade gifts.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


The cutest personalized piggy bank.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


THE most special present under our tree.

Christmas 2017 | My Darling Days


Looking forward to slowing down these next few weeks... these cold temps will make it easy to not leave the house!


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Ellis: Ten Months Old

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

I truly feel like you are missing out, if you never get to hang out with Ellis.  He is such a joy to be around.  His little personality is developing rapidly & he is becoming his own little person.  It is such an honor and privilege to be his mom & I just adore watching him grow (but wish I could keep him little forever)!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

He is developing by leaps & bounds... I swear he learns or does something new every day.  Ellis is pointing, waving "hi" and "bye", clapping his hands (albeit selectively), and plays peek-a-boo.  He also is good for about 3-4 rounds of patty cake in a row.  He knows (and loves) his puppy Grace.  He loves looking at the Christmas lights and is very interested in the ornaments on the tree, so we can't take our eyes off of him.  Gone are the days of him playing unaided in the living room while I prepare dinner... it's all hands on deck when he's around.  He is FAST, not walking independently yet, but cruises all around with his learn with me walker.  He pulls himself up on everything, climbs, and has no fear.  He is very into sitting up & trying to escape his crib right now... often times at 1:00 AM.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

He has graduated from purees and eats all table food.  He still takes 5 oz of milk every 3 hours, but this momma's supply is dwindling fast, and we've started supplementing with formula.  Plus, he is starting to self-wean & is no longer interested in nursing (I've already cried about it, multiple times, so I just gotta let it go and come to terms with the fact that he's growing up).

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis is "on" 100% of the time & is go go go all day long.  He's becoming quite the copy cat -- he wants to do whatever we're doing.  He's curious, determined, and very spirited.  At his 9 month well check, he clocked in at 17 lbs 5 oz and 28 1/2 inches long.  A little peanut, with a big personality :)  Usually Ellis is FULL of facial expressions, but lately he's been giving people the stone face -- zero expression -- until he warms up a bit.

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis had a couple of firsts this month, including his first hair cut!  Daddy finally talked me into a teeny-tiny trim around his ears (that's all I would agree to), and now we have his first "curl" tucked away in a memory box.  He also hunted for his first Christmas Tree!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days

Things I love about Ellis this month:
- The way his tongue comes out when he's really concentrating
- The boy has eye lashes for daysss (I'm jealous!)
- His hearty, infectious giggle
- How ticklish he is
- That time we wore matching outfits (here)
- His sweet, soft "singing" voice

Ellis James, you are the apple of my eye!

Ellis James, Baby Update - Ten Months | My Darling Days



Previous recaps: One Month | Two Months Three Months | Four Months | Five Months | Six Months Seven Months | Eight Months | Nine Months


The Hunt for the Perfect Christmas Tree

I feel like the holidays are just more special when you have kids.  I have this desire to make everything as magical and as special as can be for Ellis, because I want him to have fond memories of the holidays that he will have for a lifetime.   Our parents always made the holidays special for us, so we want to do the same for Ellis.

Also with the holidays comes traditions.  We're a heavy "traditions" family (see previous posts about traditions here, here and here ), and I'm so glad that Ellis gets to be apart of them going forward.

Like searching for the perfect Christmas Tree.

Zac wanted sooo badly to cut down a perfectly, un-perfect tree on his family's land where he hunts, but our little house can't quite accommodate a Clark Griswold tree, so we did the next best thing.  We found a homemade sign reading "cut your own tree" just a few miles up the road from our house & turned in.  About a quarter mile down a winding trail, we came upon a little old man, and a little old woman, staying warm in a little shack.  They handed us a saw, and told us to drive up the hill to park.  From there, we could take a left & walk down the trail or go down to the right, and cut down any tree we wanted.  We were to come back once we found one for some candy.  (They were so sweet!)

Once we got to the top of the hill, we actually spotted their house.  They were selling trees from their own yard!  There wasn't a lot to choose from, and they were definitely "rustic", but I guarantee you that we made their day.  After searching for about a half hour, we found a winner!

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days


Least you think the day was perfect....  Ellis is OVER IT right about now.

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

2017 Christmas Tree Hunting | My Darling Days

I know Ellis is too young to remember all of his "firsts" but that's why we take photos, right?  To remember, to savor, to cherish... even the times we don't recall.  We can relive them through photographs.  And Lord knows, I will take a million. :)

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Remember The Year of the Baby Tree?
And the year it took us 4 minutes to find our tree?
Ahhhh, good memories indeed :)