Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry, merry

Christmas might be less than 15 days away (wait...what...I've only completed 1/4 of my shopping?? True story.), but when it came to decorating I didn't drag my feet. Want to hear another true story? I did it before Thanksgiving (cue the collective gasps!). I know, I know, but come on...Christmas was shoved down our throats by Halloween, it just felt right people.

I consider it an accomplishment that I got to things so quickly this year. Last year at this time I was still in a new mama, 'I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night' mode. The fact that I actually bought gifts or put ANY decorations up last year was nothing short of a miracle. And then I got the stomach flu on Christmas day. Yep, that happened.

I decided to go traditional & classic this year....golds, reds, rustic, vintage, etc. I really only decorate two rooms in the house--dining & living rooms. Aside from our bedrooms, they're the two rooms that we spend the most time in (and that our guests see too...obvs). I used to decorate one room more modern & in blue tones, the other more traditional. And frankly, that felt a little too chaotic for me this year. So gold, red, rustic & vintage it was!


(my mom made our stockings to go with the theme--bonus!)
(I have no clue how I've kept little hands away from this set's as if she doesn't see it...a true Christmas miracle!)
We even decorated the outside this year! Which is a total first. Unless of course you're counting the year we decorated the lawn with pre-lit reindeer...that stayed out until March. For the record, we've never once put them out again. That year was just too embarrassing. Again, another true story, folks. This girl don't lie.
(pay no mind to the old doormat...that I should have tossed)
And then there's the tree. Ah, the Christmas tree! I was fully expecting we'd have to put an electric fence around the thing. But by some miracle of all miracles, Emme seems to be completely clueless that we have a large, living tree in the middle of our living room. I kept ornaments minimal and up high, as to not entice little hands to touch. My mom gave Emme a little dog ornament that she placed on a low lying branch (obviously, grandparents think this sort of stuff is funny). Aside from the few times she's pointed to it, she generally stays away. I can't say this is going to happen again next year, but we've seemed to dodge a bullet so far this year. So far being the key phrase.



(the angelic cherub reading under the tree)


There's a bit of a method to my madness this year now that a little person is in the mix. You gotta decorate high, keep non-breakables down low, and there's got to be plenty of distractions for said little know, to keep from reminding her that there are a lot of things that she shouldn't be touching (this also prevents parents from saying "no" 8,000 times a day). Like, stuffed santas (!!!) that are way more fun that that breakable santa mama put up on the mantle. No, no...that santa is noooo fun.
And oh my god, that playing piano Snoopy! This was my mom's and she didn't want it anymore. But we knew who would! It didn't take long for little fingers to figure out how to press the on/off button. I think she was a little confused by the music and movement at first. But this thing has become an endless source of entertainment (and distraction from the tree). To the point where she carries it around the house now. Oh well, you pick your battles. It could be worse, she could be carrying knives.
I've also kept a bunch of kid friendly Christmas toys in her playroom. Which, I know, I know...that post is coming soon. I've been finished with that room for ages! But anyway, a stuffed Santa Snoopy and other assorted Christmas toys keep her occupied too. The Little People Nativity set is a big hit as well (she plays with that daily). I've also left a stack of Christmas books on her little table. Which we've tried reading to her on several occasions and she pushes them away (for the record, there are like, 3 books out of the 800 we have that actually hold her no offense Christmas).
And just because I love sharing....behold! This year's visit to Santa...

Meh. Unimpressed.
And because everyone has already received their cards...Merry Christmas 2013 from the Keefe's!

I was planning to send out a card with a couple of pictures, and then found this there you go, it's a Keefe family photo explosion! More of us to love this holiday season. We ordered our cards through Shutterfly as they were having a pretty amazefest sale around Thanksgiving (yep, ordered the cards then too!). I'm a huge fan of the Shutterfly/Tiny Prints/Wedding Paper Divas family and was *this* close to ordering a different card with Tiny Prints. But man, they knocked it out of the park with their cards this year (as always). For those of you who are still dragging your feet, get your holiday card on HERE!
And now it's time to get cracking on that shopping! Merry Christmas to me??

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Emme's first birthday

If I don't do this now, she'll be 16....

(yep, loved her hat just as much as she loves bows on her head...not)
All the photos were taken by my fabulously talented friend, Liz of Elizabeth Lee Millen Images. If you are local, check her out! I said it before, and I'll say it again...hands down best money I spent that day. This is just a fraction of the pictures she took too. I was completely overwhelmed & in awe of what she captured that day. 
A good friend's mom made the cake & cookies...again, worth the money. There will be plenty of years for me to make a good old-fashioned cake myself, but the big ONE called for the pros to take care of business. We were *this close* to having the food catered too (hello, effortless party!), but if you know the husband, well....yeah, that didn't happen. Sorry to our party guests who I promised Fat Bob's (I tried, guys. I tried).
The rest of the party elements were DIY. I made the burlap banner. There was obviously an easier way of doing it, but I chose the hard and long way. That thing took for-ever to finish. I'm lucky I finished before her 5th birthday. The good news is that I can use it for future birthdays, as well as interchanging names. Winning. The "Emme at One" sign is from Lacey Fields purchased through Etsy. The bonus was that she printed and shipped it to me. Because ain't nobody got time for printing things (especially when I have a banner to make)!
I picked up the flowers & baby's breath from Wegmans & the mason jars were ones we had laying around the house. I just added a little burlap & lace. And voila!
And the important thing is that I survived the first year. I don't think people give moms very much credit for all the work they do, but now that I am one, well...I get it. I think this party was just as much a parental survival celebration as it was a birthday party for Emme.
So there you have it! Emme's first birthday party (in a nutshell).
Girlfriend is getting cake & ice cream with mom & dad next year...

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