Christmas Cheer

I’m still clinging to every last minute of the holidays this year and thought it would be fun to share a small snapshot of the gifts we unwrapped and how we spent Ainsley’s first Christmas. 

We started celebrating Christmas morning by opening presents at our house. Ainsley’s gifts were wrapped and ready for her when she woke up. She had a blast ripping the wrapping paper and shoving the tissue paper in her mouth. Her favorite gift was the ballpit we made from the inflatable swimming pool we bought this summer. It was love at first sight.   

She also liked her activity cube, walker, and new bath toys.    

 Next we headed to my parents house for our second round of Christmas cheer. My parents surprised everyone with a big trip to Disney this winter.  Ainsley can’t wait to spend a whole week with her cousins!  

Santa also gave everyone a selfie stick to capture special moments like this…

Our final stop of the day brought us back home to celebrate with Ken’s family. We enjoyed dinner, more presents, and a lot quality of family time.  


So, what did you unwrap this holiday season? And how did you spend your time? I’d love to hear all about it! 


I’d like some more Serial, please.

I love listening to podcasts on my way to work. One of my favorite podcasts to listen to every week is This American Life.   But right now, my download-as-soon-as-it’s-up-on-Thursday podcast is Serial; produced and narrated by Sarah Koenig.


Right now, they’re on their second season, and it’s about Bowe Bergdahl; a soldier who left his outpost OP Mest, and ultimately ran into the arms of the Talaban.  People searched frantically for the missing soldier and when he turns up there are mixed feelings about his homecoming.  She actually speaks with the Talaban.


Just writing about it makes me excited to hear episode 4, but that won’t come out until January 7th!  Even Sarah Koenig gets a Holiday Break.

I’m still more in love with Season 1.  I think it’s because Sarah interviewed the main subject, Adnan Syed, herself, and she doesn’t interview Bowe.

Season 1 is about the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a high school senior.  Six weeks after Hae goes missing, detectives arrest her classmate and ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, for her murder.  But much of the evidence against Adnan is not checking out.   Much of the podcast is through phone calls to Adnan while in prison. She’s digging up old feelings, and emotions that he’s tried so hard not to revisit.  After 15 plus years in prison, Adnan has accepted his fate.   Sarah bounces back and forth between fact checking and research, talking to old classmates, and Adnan’s family, all while trying to answer the question, “Who killed Hae?”


I strongly suggest you listen to both seasons if you have any time.  They are incredibly interesting and entertaining!

Thank you Janae Rose Photography !

So very lucky and thankful to have met such an amazing, kind, and comfortable husband and wife photography team.  I just wanted to send this shout out!

If you are in need of any photos- I send my highest recommendation !  (Pst- they travel too!)

Feel free to view a few featured shots from our dreamy out door/holiday themed engagement photo session  here: 

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Wishing you are yours and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Okay, maybe not the World’s Best, but pretty damn good!  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Waltman house, and The Holidays wouldn’t be the same without chocolate chip cookies!  My father-in-law, husband, and friends and family all LOOOOVVE them.

Last year I gave you the recipe for my EHS Cookies.  These are cookie sandwiches – 2 cookies with cream in the middle.  YUM!

The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and the smell of EHS cookies is in the air!

Get the adored recipe, here!

$10 DIY Tomato Cage Holiday Tree !

You have to love the internet!  How would life be with out pinterest and a facebook full of minifeeds with crafty friends and mothers!? I have to thank a DIY champion and sorority sister for this idea.  She really hit hers out of the park.  My quick rendition was simply that- QUICK!

I had been on the hunt for a reasonably priced 3′ – 5′ tree for the front porch.  I made mention before that this is only our second holiday season decorating together.  That means that we slowly making a holiday decoration collection.

Last year I promised post season I would pick up mark downs.   And of course I forget.  Desperate to add a tiny bit of cheer to the front of our home- I scoured the internet (aka-  I did not have the urge to spend $65.00 on the tree I thought would be the best fit.  So I promised myself once again- I would buy one post season.

Then I saw this great suggestion- and there are several ways to make it your own.   Although mine is a bit simple- you can surely dress it up here’s what you need :

  1.  a tomato cage (We had ours from the summer stacked in the back yard)
  2. tree trimmings OR faux garland (I got 6 15′ strands at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 each)
  3. your favorite decorations (this year, I got that at the dollar tree as well!)

Thats it!  My garland was on a wired string- so I didn’t even need glue or ties to adhere it to the tomato cage frame.  Now I can choose to reuse the tomato cage or garland for other projects if I choose.

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The virus is upon us….

milesLance and I have been discussing different sleep training methods. After much consideration, we adopted something that was a lot like the ferber method. The basic gist is you let them cry a little so they learn how to pacify and comfort themselves at bedtime so you’re not always on call (like when a pacifier falls out).

I had a really hard time with this idea. Like most moms, I already feel like I don’t spend enough time with my son, and now bedtime has to be a strict regime of crying and timed-condolences.

We intended to start the sleep training but first we needed to move him to his own nursery; as opposed to our room. We decided to come when he cried for the first few nights and then start the sleep training.

He did super the first 3 nights but then he got a virus with a high temp and needed us every second.

Last night, for the third night in a row, I got 3 hours of sleep. Work has been super busy, and while Miles seems to be on the mend, I have a touch of the virus, and Lance is sick as a dog.

As I am typing this post,  I’m sitting on the edge of my bed pumping since little guy isn’t eating enough while Lance is in bed downstairs with 103 temp, and I’m hoping this virus doesn’t affect me the same way.
Miles is whimpering, chattering, and yelling in his nursery, and all I can think is how convenient it would be if we had already done the sleep training and I had mastered the “Cry It Out” phase.

Such is life!

Gifts for Your Gals under $50!

gifts under 50