Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve to you and yours!

I'm going to be finishing up my workday in a few hours, and then I'm off for 3 days!

My plans today include making sugar cookies with the boys (we have the slice-and-bake kind this year), but I'll be making my own cream cheese frosting to go on top of them!  Michael reminded me yesterday that "we have to have cookies for Santa!"

I also plan to watch Prancer today, because she plans to get Prancer back to Santa on Christmas Eve Eve, so it's the most perfect day to watch that movie.

I'll attempt to watch Christmas Vacation and Elf again.  Perhaps Home Alone and Home Alone 2 again. No promises-- a couch and a cozy blanket in the living room lit by the light of the Christmas Tree makes for early bedtimes for me!

Tomorrow, we'll spend the afternoon and evening with my mom & dad.  My older brother is coming to town and all of us will enjoy dinner together.  I'm making Loaded Cauliflower Casserole and Garlic Herb Cheese Bombs (first time trying it, I'll let you know how it goes!).

On Sunday, we'll have church service an hour later than normal, and then we'll go over to my mother-in-law's home and we'll snack during the day, and eat Christmas dinner there with my step-father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my father-in-law, and my step-mother-in-law.  Hopefully, we'll watch The Ref or something along those lines.

Monday is my Dad's birthday so I'm sure we'll be spending part of our evening over there for birthday dinner!

I hope your holiday is festive and warm!

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Christmas Decor 2016

Today I'm linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday, and today's topic is my absolute favorite of all!  Christmas Decorations!

This is our first year in this home, so decorating it for the holidays is extra new and exciting!

We use this fabric Nativity Advent to countdown the days til Christmas!  It hangs on our coat closet door in the foyer.

I made this candy cane wreath a couple of weeks ago at a Ladies Craft Night at Church.

This pillow was my Aunt's, but I get to use it for Christmas decor this year and it's very, very special to me.

I made this tiny canvas when Michael was only 4 months old!  (#momfail-- I didn't make one when Noah was 11 months old two years later.  #secondchildproblems).

This cute modeling clay Hedgehog Nativity Set was crafted by another blogger friend, and it sits next to Noah's handprint wreath from 2014!

The "Walking In a Winter Wonderland" Snowman keeps the Jesse Tree ornament box company.

I made this cup and saucer set in ceramics class during my junior year of high-school.  We had to make a three piece set using the rolled clay technique.  Everyone else may think it's ugly, but it brings back memories for me, so I display it anyway. :)

Here's our tree this year.  We're using my aunt's tree since it has colored lights-- which my boys are really into this year!  They helped me decorate, which made my mommy-heart so proud!  I left the lower half of the tree exactly as they decorated it. :)

Here are two ornaments from Aaron & my first Christmas as a married couple in 2009.

A close-up of our Auburn ornament.  On the back, there's a painting of the Toomer's oak trees-- which we used to roll after every football win.

Michael's "First Christmas" ornament.

Noah's "First Christmas" ornament.

I stuck a spare strand of white lights in a lantern by our fireplace.  I had an orange strand in there during the fall season, so switching it out for a string of white lights was easy and festive!

Here's a complete picture of our mantle.

On the left edge, I've grouped three miniature trees.

The wooden tree was a gift from my Nana to me from Germany.  I used this tree as my "apartment tree" in my college days. :)

The other two trees are ones I've had since I was a girl.  On one tree, my mom and I used to hot-glue earrings when we couldn't find their match.  It's a little sparse, but I have some earrings I can add to it this year.

The next little tree is decorated with tiny ornaments that used to come attached to the Christmas gifts my brothers and I would get from our grandparents.

On the right side of the mantle, Santa and a reindeer snowglobe keep our wedding photo company.

Right now, we're using the J-O-Y stocking holders to hold our boys' stockings, and some faux mistletoe.  Hopefully, in the next couple of years, we'll have a third stocking hanging there!

I ordered the boys these stockings from Pottery Barn Kids during their Black Friday sale.  I am so in love with them!

In the dining room, I have a window pane with picture wire holding up family photos.  I've swapped some out for the Christmas pictures I took of the boys in the studio this fall.

On my kitchen cart in the dining room, I have my aunt's Christmas sleigh on display.

I rolled some craft paper out on the table as a semi-tablecloth, and I've set out the handmade Christmas place mats my Nana made for Aaron & me on our first Christmas after we were married.

On the door from the kitchen to the garage, I have a Merry felt banner hanging.  This cute banner came along with the Hedgehog Nativity Set, and it's so cute!

In my kitchen window above my sink, I have a hand print wreath that my mother-in-law created using scrapbook paper hand print cutouts of my boys last year.

And, of course, our Nativity set is directly on top of our entertainment center.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing where our Christmas decor is this year in our new home!  I can't wait to read through the other posts and catch a peek into the decor of others!

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Monday, November 28, 2016

Let's Talk: Christmas Traditions

Today I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Let’s Talk series.  Christmas Traditions take center stage today, and here’s ours!

As I’m sitting in my dining room this morning, getting started with my work day, I have a prime time view of the street I live on.  One by one, the cars pass by my house taking their drivers to work once again.  The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is over, and it’s back to reality for most of us.  I, for one, got way too used to not using my alarm clock and had a rude awakening at 5:40 this morning. But, alas, here I am sitting at a table and writing on a laptop. 

Yesterday afternoon, we decorated our home for Christmas.  We don’t go wild and crazy, but I can say that the outside of our house is more decorated this year than any year prior in our 7 years of marriage thus far. 

Our Christmas traditions are still evolving since our little ones are just now reaching the age when they get super excited about Christmas. 

Last night, both boys helped me decorate our tree, and I plan to leave all ornaments exactly where they placed them! :)  I hung our fancier ornaments on the top part of the tree, and I made sure to hang the “playable” and unbreakable ornaments on the bottom part.  The boys really got into it and decorated most of the bottom half of the tree themselves.

We have a fabric Christmas Advent calendar with Velcro shepherds, a dog, cows, donkeys, wise men, gifts, camels, angels, a dove, a star, and the Baby Jesus.  The boys know that we get to put up the first character-- a shepherd-- on Thursday

We plan to read the Christmas story while the boys act it out with their plastic nativity-- of which the spare Baby Jesus is safely tucked away in the box just in case the current one gets lost during play.

I’m also hoping that we get to attend the town tree lighting tonight.  We attended the tree lighting ceremony last year in our tiny little town, and we’ve moved since then to a bigger town and I’d like to attend the Christmas tree lighting here.  The parade is not until Friday night, and it starts pretty late, so I’d like to take the boys to the festivities tonight just in case we miss the parade on Friday night.

I’d really like to find a Christmas Eve service to attend.  Those are my absolute favorites—with the candles and the Christmas music, and the overall sense of joy.  We’ll have church service on Christmas morning at our church, but we’re not having a Christmas Eve service, so I’d like to find a local one to attend.

Making roll-out-dough Christmas cookies is also something we all look forward to.  And, driving around to check out Christmas lights is on our list for this month, too.

This is such a magical time of year and I’m really enjoying watching my boys find the joy of the season.  My 4-year-old is really grasping it.  My 2-year-old doesn’t quite understand yet, but he likes all of the lights and decorations. 

I’ll be sharing our Christmas d├ęcor next Tuesday, so be sure to tune in for that!

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you have the happiest Thanksgiving today filled with family, friends, and warmth.

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Want, Need, Wear, Read

I missed Show & Tell Tuesday at Momfessionals yesterday, but I figured I'd write the post anyway.

So..... it's a lot of work to think about fitting "wants" into the actual categories of "want, need, wear, read" because, in all honesty, I don't need anymore things or clothes or books.   But, just for fun:


Since moving into our new house in April, I've wanted some small topiaries, or bushes, or trees to flank our front door and this pair is on sale!


Now that fall temperatures have arrived in the South, we're stuck in this weird space-time-contiuum where it's too warm to turn on the heater, and too chilly to wear shorts to bed.  So, I'm thinking a new pair of long sleeve pajamas might be in order!  I saw these three sets as I was browsing online:


I do love a cozy sweatshirt, and considering that I have none, I think this sparkly one could be fun!


It's really important to me as a mom, to make a cozy home for my family.  That's why this book is really appealing to me and would make a fun thing to read! 

These days when it gets darker earlier and there's a chill in the air are my absolute favorite nights of the year!  Tomorrow, we are hosting Thanksgiving here in our home and I'm super excited about it!  I love having family over, and Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday!  The parade, the food, the family, the undeniable chaos that will happen at some point-- everything.  It's all the little pieces that make it such a great day. 

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Meals for the Week!

This week, as we undergo the first rounds of holiday eating, we decided to keep things simple at home for our "non-holiday" suppers.  Also, we're nearing the end of the gas tank supply, and we want to make sure that we have enough gas for Thanksgiving cooking!  So, the crock pot is getting a workout this week.  

Last night, we had Beef and Broccoli.

Tonight is our church's Thanksgiving fellowship-- fortunately it's at a house just up the street from us, so the commute is easy!  We're bringing deviled eggs and coconut cream pie

Tomorrow, we're having one of our favorite crock pot meals-- Chicken Italiano!  We discovered this recipe when I was prepping freezer meals in the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Noah.  This one has remained a favorite since!  We usually pair ours with penne. 

On Thursday, we'll be hosting Thanksgiving at our home, and we'll be making deep fried turkey, green bean casserole, and pumpkin cups.  Our other family members will bring other items and we'll make a feast of it!

On Friday, we'll be trying out this recipe for Cashew Chicken.  This recipe choice is partly due to my hubby's purchase of a Costco size container of cashews. :)  Gotta use them somehow. 

What are your easy recipes for holiday weeks?

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Heal Our Land

Short post today because it's Election Day!  And if we're not at work, then we should be in line voting!  And if we're not in line waiting to vote, then we should be giving ourselves a pat on the back for voting!

This song is one I remember from days long ago, and it's so relevant for today!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ab-solution??? Absolutely!

Ok, I have a new favorite brand of jeans. Wit & Wisdom from Nordstrom.  Now, I don't have a Nordstrom nearby, so I order online.  Free shipping, free returns-- can't be beat!

Upon a random browse of the Nordstrom site, I noticed that the Wit & Wisdom "Ab-solution" jeans were on sale.  They are typically $68 and they were marked down 40%.  I read reviews, and I do particularly like the reviews on this site.  First of all, Nordstrom tells you under the "Fit & Details" drop down menu, whether the article of clothing is True to Size (TTS) or they'll suggest that you size up or size down, etc.  Very helpful.  Next, I read the reviews from actual customers.  They usually line up with what Nordstrom has said-- as far as fit goes.  I then choose the size I think will fit best.

Once these jeans arrived, I tried them on really fast before I washed them.  Oh my goodness. They were so comfortable!  The "ab-solution" jeans are equipped with an elastic band on the inside of the jean waistline.  They are also made with some stretchy material, which aids in all the bending down and sitting and walking that any woman has to do-- especially moms and those who work at desks.  On the inside of the jeans, right where the front pockets are, two panels of elastic banding are sewn in, which help keep the "mommy pudge" in it's place.

I washed these and wore them the next day and TOOK A NAP IN THEM because they were that comfortable!

I keep stalking the Nordstrom site looking to see these restocked, and I'm even debating paying full price for them.  They are so worth it.

The Ab-solution style comes in straight leg, like the one I got in their indigo color, and they also have straight leg black jeans and "itty bitty bootcut" options as well.

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Case for Peplum

Recently, I've been super focused on intensive workouts to target my mid-section.  To aid in fashion choices during this transition time, I've chosen to try some peplum tops. They add a little flair (no pun intended) to an outfit, and also disguise the mid-section.  During a recent 50% off site-wide sale at LOFT, I chose 3 tops to try out.

The first one is a dark gray.  It's my favorite out of all three.  It's very long, which is great for my longer torso.

The sleeve has a little flair to it.

The next is like a cross between a sweater and a shirt.  It's pretty boxy, so it's not my first choice when it comes to choosing tops to wear.

I do like how the ribbing on the shirt goes in a different direction on the sleeves.

I also like how the bottom half of the shirt is not ribbed.  However, since it's so boxy, I kind of feel like it looks more like a maternity shirt, so I'm a little hesitant to wear it in public.

The third shirt has a double layer of ruffles, which I think is cute.  It's the shortest of all three shirts, so I have to be more mindful of my pants choices when I wear this shirt. (Note: I did not wear the shirt with these pants since they are both a wider shape.  I wore a fitted t-shirt with these pants-- which are also from LOFT).

This shirt is so so soft.  It's the softest of the three, and I definitely like how it feels, but because my torso is so long, my cami nearly sticks out from the bottom of this shirt.

So, there you have it!  Why peplum is good for hiding tricky midsections. :)

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba