Friday, December 14, 2012

11 Months!

Greyson turned 1 year old on December 9, 2012!! I can't believe how fast this year went...another month down...they just keep flying by! Greyson accomplished quite a bit in his 11th month. I held off for some bigger milestones until he hit 12 but he sure has been an active little guy!

so far you...

*are still not will NOT stay standing if we let go of your hands...spaghetti legs...
*must have been teething again this month...or a huge growth spurt! You wake up at least once in the night around 1am or 4am but quickly go back to sleep once I rock you for a few minutes
*are weaned off of your bottles! I didn't really take them away from you on purpose, but you haven't needed one & use your sippy cups all the time now so I put the bottles away =)
*keep yourself entertained with your new toys OR your new favorite activity is taking all the tupperware & lids or tin foil & other paper products, out of the cupboard. Daddy only baby proofed the cabinets under the we have lots of clean up time when you are through!
*are crawling & climbing the stairs (when we let you) which has slimmed you down quite a bit making you look more like a toddler
*you still wear 12-24 month clothes & size 4-5 shoes 
*are still loving Mr. Beary! He keep you company everywhere we go =)
*play in your crib in the morning & call my name until I come to get you. It is so sweet when I come into your room-you give me a huge smile & say "Heeeyy, Heyyy Mama" =)
*practiced blowing out your candle & saying "One" but anytime we ask you how old you are you say "2"...I think you just "think" you are already 2 haha
*started playing your own games on my like the animal sounds app & can change the screens by yourself. I think kids are too techie these days but you picked it up anyhow!
*have added lots of new words to your vocabulary but you are pretty set on "Uh-Oh" & say it for most everything...especially when you use it in the right context =)
*say "Bye Bye" anytime someone leaves the room, or if you are ready to go! 
*eat pretty much all table food but are starting spit things out you don't like...that's fun
*talk all the time...all day long...jabber jabber jabber...I don't know who you have a running conversation with but I'm sure your imagination will be wonderful! 

What we are looking forward to:
*your real birthday party isn't until after Christmas! We are so excited to see Nana & Papa, Uncle Brandon & Aunt Richelle
*Christmas & New Years

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ballard Designs take 2!

Anyone know what Ballard Designs is? If not you have to check out this link...
To me they are a cross between Pottery Barn & Restoration Hardware. I LOVE all the decorating ideas & tips they have in their catalogs.
I got the idea for this project when my mom referred me to one of their catalogs, about a year & a half ago. I have been looking for curtains for our den ever since we bought our house which will be 7 yrs ago in January. There were already some ugly custom design drapes over the top of 2 huge bay windows in our den. Nothing covers the actual windows...anyone coming to the door can look right in & at night...when the lights are on? that's even worse...PLUS in the winter time, trying to keep that room warm is rediculous.
I needed new curtains.
Which brings me to another problem. This den was added by the previous owners I'm guessing in the...70's. The walls are real pine paneling & as "lovely" as that is actually hard to decorate....for me anyway! Fortunately I married into a family of horse men...
cowboys if you will. Matt has several trophies, belt buckes & horse related photos displayed in this room.
Better in there than my formal living room!
So I've pretty much rolled with mother in law & I have gotten rustic decor to help make it homey & I really do like the rustic, shabby style so I've made it work. Someday we plan to do an addition on our house & redo the den...when that happens, hopefully I can still use my rustic touches, but without the paneling wall. If anyone is gasping at the thought of me detroying this epic, real wood paneling...don't worry. It's going to a new home in the "man cave" better known as the barn. Kinda perfect dontcha think?
SO finally getting to the point & conclustion of my project...NEW curtains that will match a rustic style room, but be elegant enough to look good when we redo the room but something my husband can live with too.
Light bulb! Burlap!!
 I love burlap & had talked to my mom about finding curtains with that look. She found a plain burlap style panel in the ballard designs catalog & directed me there...they were simple, no fuss, no design, just regular burlap looking curtains...which was what I wanted. 
That's when I saw these...
Burlap Crewel Damask Panel
And also this...

Burlap Crewel Damask Panel

Item: FD073
$179.00 - $229.00
That's would cost me over $700 for 4 panels !!!
Believe me, it's true...I "checked out" without actually putting in my credit card info & the tally was like...whoa.
So, new plan... I liked them, had to have them so I tried to find knock offs of these particular curtains. What I found was about 3 bloggers who made them themselves. Each one was a little different, but they made them...sounds simple enough! So I dove right in....
Fast forward to November 2011 (about 6 months after the first initial sighting). I had found a fabric store online with reasonable prices. They sent me swatches so I could compare different burlap that was recommended for window treatments & after all that I finally ordered around 12 yards of my choice. When it came in, it was one huge roll (as I expected) so I knew I would have to mearsure & cut each panel. In those 6 months I had also shopped for a HUGE damask stencil...I found one I loved on didn't look anything like the original design, but I like being different & I'm pretty sure no one will have these same who wants to be original?
Moving on...I bought fabric paint, 3 different kinds of sponges to use while stenciling, & liquid stitch...because I don't own a sewing machine & tend to take the easy way out =) So all in all everything I bought including the fabric, stencil...everything...was under $100!!! Score for being savvy & saving $600 =)
Yeah if anyone remembers...I also happened to be
 8 1/2 months pregnant in November 2011!
I had this nesting thing going on where I thought it would be easy to measure a huge roll of fabric, cut it & spend hours on my hands & knees...painting. I was going to get this done by the time the baby was born...about 2 weeks away. YEAH RIGHT...that didn't happen. Huge & swollen meant once I got down on my hands & knees to work...I don't think even Matt could get me back up.
Hence, the LONGEST lasting project of all time!!
The roll of burlap sat in a corner for a total of 6 months...that's right. Greyson was about 4 months old when I actually took it out of the plastic. We had some friends visit & that's the only reason things got rolling again in the first bff Jodi & I went shopping for curtain rods & her husband ended up taking the old custom drapes down & hauled them off while Matt was at work. Then my mom came to visit a couple weeks later & helped me with the main task...& that also included keeping Greyson occupied because at that time, the child never napped & it was impossible to get anything done at one time...
 We used the open hallway as our "workspace"
Then we "hemmed" the bottom & top for the curtain rods to fit through by ironing the rough edges under & using liquid stitch to secure everything. Worked like a charm...we hung them over the banister upstairs to dry...& since it takes about 24 hours for it to be good & dry...I left them there for another 3 months just to make sure...-_-
FINALLY when I got around to it again...I measured a panel for the placement of my stencil. Once that was done I was able to start the painting process. I worked in my basement & laid plastic down so that the bleed through wouldn't mess up the floor...& if any missed the's the basement so no harm done. It only took me about an hour or so to finish one panel start to finish.
I loved the way it was turning out!! Just 3 more panels to go!
Well...being the procrastonator I am, it took me another 3 months to get a 2nd panel done & by this time it was the end of November 2012. JUST this week I finished the last 2 panels (within 2 days)& Matt hung the curtain rods. I can finally CHECK this project off my list!!! 
Believe does not take this was SUPER easy & could probably be done in a few days if you have the work space & no distractions. I had a lot of distracions...not much motivation during the summer & a fast growing baby that finds the most interesting things to get into! I finally worked on it during his naps & got the last 2 knocked out pretty quick. Also, since it's winter again & the evenings turn cold, I wanted something to help keep the chill out near the windows.

Matt wasn't a huge fan of the way they just "hung" I created some tiebacks with some twine I had on hand. I plan to make a small stitch in the back to keep the twine attached so they can easily be untied to close at night if we want to...& retied to "open" them to let the sun in. So far, we have left them tied & I like the look.

 Just a little different for drapes with THESE windows, but I made them with the new room in mind. I would love to put them in front of some french doors leading out to a deck or some floor length windows. I like the contrast using rustic fabric, but dressing them up with the stencil. They will be easy to match whatever wall color we choose to someday do the new room overall, I am happy with them!
If you ever plan to make curtains of this sort...make sure it doesn't take you over a year to execute. That's my advice!

Ritchey Christmas

{Ritchey Christmas}
While we were up north, we had Christmas with my family. They are going to be here in Alabama for Christmas & Greyson's birthday instead of hauling everything down here, my mom decided why not have it while we are home!
It could not have been MORE perfect! Living in the south, we rarely have the opportunity to enjoy snow. Growing up with 8+ inches on snow every year, I did not miss it when I got married & moved away. However, it still is beautiful & there is always the "hope" of having a white Christmas even if I like only seeing it on special occasions =)
Since living here, we have had snow (enough to make a huge snowman) about 3 times. It comes & goes very quickly...just the way I like it!
However, this year has been crazy! The temperatures in PA & AL have both been unusual. It was about 75 degrees when we arrived in PA on Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Saturday morning, we woke up to this...
We had probably 2 inches of snow...the first that Greyson had ever seen! It was so cute to see him pointing at the "white stuff" falling from the sky =)

The snow made it seem even more like Christmas...
Mom's tree was beautiful & we were ready to dive into all those gifts =)

Since Greyson was only 2 weeks old for Christmas last year, we knew this one would be fun to see him open his gifts. He had to have a little help ripping the paper but it was so fun to see him look at his new toys & gifts. (of course he seemed to play more with the boxes they came out of than the toys themselves...funny kid)

We received so many wonderful was a lot of fun. We had such a great time exchanging our items & seeing each other's reactions.
This was one of my mom's main gifts from all the kids. A Vera Bradley mini laptop case. She is also wearing Vera Bradley reading glasses that I included as one of our gifts & on the floor are more from Brandon & Richelle. Dad got hunting for him to buy more hunting stuff & a Duck Dynasty tshirt! hahaha
Even Fio got a couple Christmas presents to enjoy =)
One reaction I was particulary anxious to see what that of my brother & his "new" wife, Richelle. They were married in July & this was the first official family Christmas with them. During their wedding, I had a friend video the events of the day...I was surprised to discover that in his "videoing" he had taped the entire wedding ceremony! I realized later that Richelle had not had the ceremony recorded either...thus my idea to make them a wedding video! I had so much fun...It started out with a main menu just like a DVD when you insert it. I had the ceremony, reception & even special features. Funny parts, sad parts & just a lot of memories wrapped up in one gift.
It was fun to see them open it =)
Later, when all the wrapping paper, boxes & gifts had been put away, we all sat down to watch the video. It was fun spending this time as a family reliving the memory of that day.

After breakfast, I just had to capture the beauty outside! A blanket of white covered the ground & snow was still coming down.

We had fun showing Greyson snow...

And as luck would have made some pretty great Christmas card pictures =)

 We ended up visiting Mama in the nursing home to say goodbye & then got take out from Chiptole =)
We got up early on Sunday & headed home. A couple hours later my dad called to say that they were getting several more inches of snow! Since we were in the mountains, I was glad we left when we did. We made it home was a GREAT Christmas & such a fun family trip celebrating the Holidays.
When we got HOME, I was glad we had decorated before we left...all we had to finish was decorating the Christmas trees. I have one in our living room & one in the den. Greyson helped me pull out the ornaments...thankfully he has not been that interested in the tree other than pointing at the lights. Every now & then he will try to pull off an ornament but nothing far!

He has been very content playing with his new toys from Nana...

What a difference 1 year makes...I think he slept pretty much the entire Christmas season last year & now he is a very active little guy!
He will be 1 in just 2 days...I can't believe how the time has flown...I am excited about his upcoming birthday party & more time spent with family & friends...
Happy Holidays!


Exciting News!

On Thanksgiving day, my brother & his wife announced they were going to be parents!!
I am SO excited since I will finally be an aunt for the first time, & Greyson will have a little cousin to play with. He is the first grandchild on both sides, so this new little blessing will give him a new little playmate to look forward to seeing at the holidays or family vacation. =)
I always wanted our kids to be close in age... both of us were married 5 years before starting a family & sometimes you never know how long it will take, but we are blessed & excited to share in their journey to becoming a family =)
We expect the new baby Ritchey June 6, 2013...give or take a few days!!


We got to spend Thanksgiving up north with my family. It was bitter sweet because traditionally my Mama would have Thanksgiving at her house & the night before we would celebrate Christmas with her. Since she was in the hospital 8 weeks, we were just hoping she would still be with us for this Holiday! Thankfully she was & has recently moved into a nursing home. Things were a little out of the ordinary but we still had a wonderful time.
To make the best of the situation, my cousin & his wife hosted our "Christmas Eve" dinner at their house (minus the presents) with the traditional favorites like ham & cheese stromboli's, polish mistakes & chicken wings!
 My aunt hosted the main Thanksgiving meal at her house the next day & the traditional food would not have been the same without home made Noo Noo's!
(Noo Noo's are noodles in case anyone was wondering)
 Mama always made them & we wanted Greyson to try his first noo noo's at cousin Ryan stayed up most of the night perfecting her recipe & it was worth it! They were. so. good. Triple plus since Greyson loved them too =)
Nana & Greyson with his shirt that says... Who are you calling a turkey! =)
My uncle was able to pick Mama up from the nursing home so she could spend the day with us. When she tasted the noo noo's, she said...Well you didn't even need me! Ha WE needed her alright! She is the most precious grandma ever & gives SO much it's unbelievable. We were able to have our Christmas with her (even though my mom & aunt & uncle had to finish her Christmas shopping for her).
 When we gave her our gifts, she kept saying over & over how much we were giving her & that she didn't deserve so much. YES she does...she is always thinking of others, never feeling worthy. It was a fun Thanksgiving/ Christmas day. I'm praising God that we were able to spend another Holiday with her...she was so weak for so long we didn't know if she would make it. God has plans for her life...& at 86 she is still here for a reason. =)
The rest of the day was spent doing the usual...playing with gifts, watching football & most importantly EATING! We are so very Thankful for the many blessings this year has given us. God has been so good & continues to be faithful for any need we may have.

I'll leave you with this photo of all the great grand kids that Mama has (so far...there are 2 more on the way due next year!=) Greyson was #9 & seems to be hamming it up here..=) as you can see, we need a few more girls to round out this group!

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with loved ones...near & far. Don't be Thankful for the things you have once a year, be Thankful for your blessings...all year long.

Monday, December 3, 2012

10 Months!

My little guy sure is getting big! We have had so much fun & I love this age with Greyson so much. He is into everything right now...has scared us to death a couple times, but we love seeing him change & grow everyday. =) He is so sweet...although that little attitude has sure started picking up a little more lately...=)
so far you...
*are crawling everywhere SO fast...holding on to walk but still won't let go. Have tried to get you to take your first steps, but you keep squatting down
*still have just 4 teeth...I think you are figuring out how to use them
*throw your head back when you are mad or don't get your way. You are starting to learn what the word "no" means & you do NOT like it
*have added a few new "tastes" to your food, chocolate cake & julep...thanks to uncle Ben...we have to watch him or he will give you all kinds of stuff! You do great at eating though & aren't very picky...yet
*love your new sippy cups from Jacinda F. still take a bottle of formula every now & then when we are out but you nurse morning, night & sometimes throughout the day if we are home
*weigh 23 pounds...last time we checked. I'm anxious for your 12 mo appt to see your new stats
*have started waking up in the night again...usually going to bed between 8-9 pm but waking up between 4-5. Still getting in 8 hr's but you wake up early to nurse & sometimes go back to sleep until 7am...not sure why you keep doing that but we hope to get back to our normal sleep pattern again
*have added "1,2,3" to your vocaulary & like to count with mommy =)
*you got to go to Pigeon Forge, TN & Gatlinburg for the first time this month! You LOVED the Dixie Stampede & got to go to Dollywood. You loved the muffins at the Old Mill for breakfast & got to go to the Apple Barn too! We loved sharing one of our favorite vacation spots with you
*got lots of loving from the Jacinda's, Uncle B & Uncle Jac. They got to spend lots of time with you on vacation
*laugh at pretty much everything U. B does...especially when he gets under a table
*figured out how to play with your plane toy & get the blocks through the correct slots
*sing Patty Cake while clapping & like to say Bye Bye about 10 seconds after we actually leave...delayed reaction I guess =)
*started climbing stairs the other day so we finally had to start baby proofing this month. Put up a gate & latches on some cabinets
*got to go to several more festivals for fall & got your first pumpkin!
What we are looking forward to:
Christmas & your first birthday!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Play Dates

Just wanted to share a few pictures of Greyson having fun with his little friends.
He has had lots of play dates recently & it has been fun to watch him interact with these little guys.

We also joined a play group a few weeks ago that gives us a chance to get together with other babies, meet new moms & get out of the house every week. We don't go every time, but it's nice to have something to look forward to when we can. We have been a couple times & hopefully Greyson will learn that pulling hair hurts...=)

Cousins Kinsley & Cooper playing at Mimi's house!

Greyson's FIRST official trip to the park. We went on one of our playdates & he LOVED this swing. Sometimes he would laugh & laugh & other times he would just sit back, relax & take it all in. He even yawned a couple times like it might put him to sleep.

Greyson showing Grant the horn on his buddy's car. =)

All you need is a gorgeous day, a car, complete with his drink of choice (milk) & he's ready to go!
 One neat thing about having a play group is meeting the mom's. We usually find something in common when it comes to the kids...& one thing I have found is that SO many mom's here are cloth diapering. It has come a long way since our parents were using cloth & there is even another group  I recently joined dedicated to cloth diapering in Alabama. I found several more friends & co-workers on the website that have jumped on the band wagon.
It is fun to share, receive & see all the tips, advice & stories from other mom's in my area. There are so many different cloth diapers out there; I had no idea how big this was until I joined this group =) It is definitely something I plan to do for any other children God see's fit to bless us with.

 I'm thankful for this great group of girls that I am just getting to know, & that Greyson will have lots of little friends to run around & play with...WHEN he starts to run around that is... =)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crawford Vacation!

{Pigeon Forge, TN}
Christmas Village~ Crawford family photo
The first weekend in November was our annual trip to the smoky mountains! 
We go once or twice a year...sometimes with my parents in the summer but we always go in November with my inlaws. This year was extra special because it was Greyson's first trip & we also got to spend time with "the Jacinda's". 
Explanation needed? Both of my brother in laws are dating...both of them just HAPPEN to be dating girls with the same name. It's gets kind of interesting but its definitely something we are used to. My husbands name is Matt, my brothers name is Matt, 3 of my cousins married Matt's (one of those -distant- cousins also happens to be named Megan so technically we have 2 Matt & Megan's in the family as well)...& to top that off, the friends that we hang out with the most, also have a Matt. 

We definitely had a great time with the girls & Matt's family. Our first stop was the Apple Barn. We love eating there as a family. It was already after 5pm when we arrived, so everyone just met for dinner.
 We also LOVE eating at the Old Mill for breakfast so we started our next day with our tradition to get a picture on the ramp walkway overlooking the river. The last picture we took there, I was 7 months pregnant...this year we finally had our first family photo & it was surreal to see all the time that passed between those 2 photos.
The next day we went shopping & to the Dixie Stampede. We weren't sure how Greyson would do with the loud noises or lights but he was fascinated & we all had a great time. It was the Christmas show so during the nativity scene things were slowed down & very beautiful. Greyson loved the camels but when they started singing, the music just lulled him to sleep & he missed the rest of the show. I'm glad it went that way though & wasn't terrifying for him! =)

Dixie Stampede Pre-show

Getting ready to start! He looked so cute in that little seat.

Fast asleep at the end...he did really good & I think he is getting used to more loud noises & is more fascinated with all the lights rather than being scared of them. I'm glad he is growing out of that stage...he just kept saying "Ooo OOooo!" while pointing at everything =)
After the show we went to downtown Gatlinburg to see the Christmas lights & do a little shopping.

Can't leave without getting some chocolate covered oreo's, taffee, & fudge!
Watching taffee being made with the family =)

The next day, we spent the entire day at Dollywood. It was the first day open with all the Christmas lights. It. was. gorgeous!
Jacinda F. & I hanging out in Dolly's bus =)
Greyson got to see the parade of lights!
 It was a fun filled day!
At the close of the weekend, we decided to have church in our cabin before everyone went separate ways. We had a beautiful cabin not too far from where we normally stayed & it was a perfect setting to have our own time of prayer, worship & Bible reading.

Before we left the mountains, we took a few family photos~


Had to get one pic with the Jacinda's in honor of the fact that we were the only ones that rode a rollercoaster at Dollywood... =)

Greyson's first trip to the Smoky Mountains...success!!


I'm a CEO!