12.30.2014

Lyons' Holiday Fun 2014

We have had a wonderful holiday break this year with extra amounts of excitement for the arrival of Baby Lyons and catching up with family and friends we haven't see in awhile.  Just thought it would be fun to do a quick re-cap of our holiday celebrations.

We started our trip south with a stop at the Grove Park Inn to see the holiday decor and gingerbread house competition. The decorations were just beautiful and the atmosphere was a perfect kick-start to the holidays.
The gingerbread houses were incredible, they had competitions for each age group that were so impressive. The first place prize went to a chess board with an incredible amount of details! I even took a video to soak it all in.
video

We arrived in NC to visit with J's parents for Christmas week and enjoyed a lot of down time. We cooked a ton, ate a ton more, visited with their friends, opened lots of presents and got out for a few runs on the greenway in town. We didn't take a ton of pictures {mostly because we stayed in PJ's and workout cloths for the majority of the trip}, but we did get a cute picture by the Christmas tree after Christmas Eve mass. 

Also had to share this adorable throw-back of Baby J and 35 year old J! 
Christmas 1980 and 2014

The day after Christmas we packed up and headed south to see more family and friends. After a pit-stop in Auburn for Momma G's, we met Lyns and Neal on the road for a fun visit and some ice-cream. Miss Allie is getting so big and is such a wonderful baby!
We forgot to take a pic, so I stole one of Allie and her Auntie! 

Christmas with my family was so much fun and has lasted over a span of 4 days... and still going. Get ready for picture overload. First we celebrated with my parents.
We celebrated with one brother and his fam.
The Virginia alphabet my sister-in-law penciled for the baby's room. So excited to have this framed!

We celebrated with my other brother and his fam.

Then with the cousins via a throwback Polaroid.

....and we have been soaking up 70 degree temps since we arrived, eating lots of seafood and are looking forward to a trip over to the beach today to dip our toes in the sand. It's been a wonderful break filled with lots of excitement and cheer! Couldn't ask for a better way to enjoy the holidays. Looking forward to NYE on the coast and the arrival of Baby Charles any day now... we can't wait to meet you lil bit!

12.24.2014

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve y'all! We are nestled in for a few days of cooking and eating, stories and laughter, movies and hot cocoa ...and even hoping for a visit from ole' St. Nick tonight.


I wanted to share some of our favorite Christmas Eve traditions...

Making homemade cinnamon rolls and sausage pinwheels for Christmas morning. These are close.

Children's Christmas Eve Mass with lots of singing and holiday cheer!

New jammies (usually matching) that Santa's elves drop off after mass on Christmas Eve.

For dinner... On the coast it's GranDe's homemade gumbo and fried shrimp for dinner. Here in the mountains it's my mother-in-law's homemade lasagna and salad.

After dinner it's egg nog and a good ole reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas! Sometimes we even break out the cajun version or Florida version when on the coast.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!


12.23.2014

Baby Lyons | Weeks 5-12

Since we found out about our lil cub, I have been keeping weekly notes to share on the blog! It's been fun reading back each week to see what's happening and how things are progressing. Fun to see the pictures as well.  So, today I am sharing our first trimester, weeks 5-12. Enjoy!


How Far Along? 5 weeks
Size of Baby: Orange seed (0.13 inches)
Gender: I can't even begin to wonder ... everything is so fresh and new!
Weight Gain: Haven't stepped on scale, but I can't really tell.  I have felt a bit bloated in my lower belly and of course in the bosoms. :)
Maternity Clothes: Let's hope not for a while. 
Nursery: Well, I guess it is what we currently call my new craft room. Guess that long-awaited venture will have to be postponed. Of course, with much-anticipated happiness. 
Movement: Nada.  Can't wait for this, though!
Symptoms: The "girls" are mighty large and sore.  A couple waves of nausea, but nothing that didn't pass. 
Sleep: Sleeping great. Exhausted when I hit the bed at night.
Workouts: Normal workouts this week, a walk or run each day and weights at the gym once. 
Cravings: I was starving all weekend. Maybe it was the long days and late nights... but man, I was polishing off some meals. After seeing that positive test, I've started paying more attention to my hunger pains and trying to decide if I'm really hungry or just need some good ole h2o.
What I Miss: I think it hasn't really hit me yet... but from a gal that loves her wine and coffee, I actually haven't missed it at all. Still weaning myself from my daily dose of Joe. They say 12 oz a day is allowed, right? 
Best Moment This Week: Taking a pregnancy test and seeing that positive sign. I was feeling pretty lucky this time around, but had a trip out of town for the weekend and wanted to wait to take a test, so J and I could find out together. It immediately turned positive... We just looked at each other is surprise and J said, "Well, I guess that's it, huh?" Such a surreal feeling and blessing all in one.
Looking Forward To: Doctor's appointment on Thursday to confirm the pregnancy!
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How Far Along? 6 weeks
Size of Baby: A pea (.25 inches)
Gender: No idea! 
Weight Gain: Last week at the doc I was the exact same as my annual check-up in August, so we'll say none just yet. 
Maternity Clothes: Many of my tops are getting a little snug in the chest. Wearing tight skirts or pants after eating is getting a little uncomfortable too. Started being more strategic with purchases and giving away clothes that were a little snug up top to begin with. 
Nursery: J and I did a quick assessment of the "craft room" this weekend and It's going to be the perfect space. We were also making a mental list of what needs to be done before baby arrives... aka, new carpet and window treatments. A new outside screen on the window too. Luckily, we just painted and I think the navy striped wall is going to be so fun for a nursery. 
Movement: Noting yet! I think this will be pretty cool when it does arrive. 
Symptoms: The past few mornings I have had a few waves of nausea. Also late in the evenings after dinner. My sniffer is out of control... I can smell everything. I girls are holding strong and very sensitive. Need to double-up on sports bras for a run these days. 
Sleep: Falling asleep around 10-10:30 each night and sleeping until around 4 or 5am - for a potty visit, then back to sleep until 7/7:30. I am defiantly logging some hours in the bed. That's what the baby needs, right? The rainy weather doesn't help!
Workouts: Was able to squeeze in a couple trips to the gym and a few runs outside as well. Trying to do some sort of activity each day. 
Cravings: Sunday, I had my mind set on lasagna for dinner, so that's what we had. Nothing else sounded good. Maybe that's a start... or just because I wanted lasagna? ha.  No aversions to anything yet. Trying to eat as many veggies as possible now before any sickness sets in. 
What I Miss: I do miss my turkey sandwiches and club sammies. They were an easy, fresh staple for lunch. 
Best Moment This Week: Visiting the doc and confirming the pregnancy! So fun to actually make it official and get some good guidance and reading materials. Also got to visit with my nurse practitioner before she left for maternity leave, so that was a nice bonus. 
Looking Forward To: A trip home this weekend! We are going to try keep things a secret since it's so early, we'll see how I do!  I think we will end up telling my parents - otherwise its going to be 5 very long days at home. 
_____________
Traveling this week, so a pic with my Auburn gals will have to do for a "bump pic."

How Far Along? 7 weeks
Size of Baby: A blueberry (.51 inches)
Gender: Praying for a healthy baby. 
Weight Gain: Will be trying to stick to the doc's weight checks on this one, so that means 3 weeks  until an update. Trying to just stay healthy and not worry too much with stepping on the scale every day. 
Maternity Clothes: My dresses and tops are defiantly very snug. Jeans and pants are fitting fine at the moment, but get slightly uncomfy after eating. 
Nursery: At the moment - full of craft supplies, our office stuff, books and extra wedding gifts that have yet to be unpacked.  
Movement: Noting yet! 
Symptoms: I am starting to feel very nauseous when I don't eat... trying to snack on small things every couple hours and take down water while I can. Ginger-ale and saltines have helped keep the nausea at bay. Feeling very lethargic and not my usual chipper self during the day, especially late afternoons. My lower tummy is feeling very full and heavy. Constipation is the use' these days... lucky when I can go to the bathroom :)
Sleep: So happy to be traveling this week. We spent 4 days at home with my parents and slept a solid 10 hours each night, with a couple potty breaks of course. Taking full advantage of all the rest I can get while away. 
Workouts: Was so happy to be home and get in a long run or run/walk each day. Running at the beach is my favorite and I always enjoying logging some good hours on the road when at home. Felt a title nauseous a couple mornings, but after about a mile walk I was able to break into a jog. 
Cravings: My food choices are starting to get very strong. When I get a craving for something, that's all I want. Peanut butter, apples, fruit, veggies, crackers and cheese, and pizza have all been on the list this week. 
What I Miss: Having a beer on the beach, or in the boat, or while tailgating sounded nice... but I didn't really miss it. I do miss my soft cheeses and sandwiches. 
Best Moment This Week: Telling my parents! We decided a couple days before heading to the coast that we would tell them on Friday - it would be too hard to keep it a secret. So we ordered a baby lion and tied a cute note around his neck, "Baby Lyons coming June 2015" and had them open it. They were so happy and very surprised! It was perfect.  Hardest moment... keeping it from my brother and his wife and two of my very best friends. Ugh... I hate lying! 
Looking Forward To: A nice week traveling for work with my hubs. Also looking forward to seeing my AOII's in Auburn this weekend and your very first trip to my alma mater... even though you're still just a little blueberry. :) 
_______________

How Far Along? 8 weeks
Size of Baby: A raspberry (0.63 inches long)
Gender: Still amazed that we have a sweet lil raspberry growing so fast and quick!
Weight Gain: Two weeks until an official update from the doc. After traveling for 10 days, I'm trying to get back to healthy eating and living.
Maternity Clothes: Jeans are getting tight, especially sitting for a long period of time or after meals. Purshased some new leggings and a few flowy tops during our stop at the outlets. I did try on a pair of maternity jeans and they just made me laugh. Not quite ready for that step just yet.
Nursery: The craft room is starting to get cleaned out a lil more. Baby steps.
Movement: Nada.  But they say the baby will start moving around some this week...hoping this doesn't lead to more queasiness...but if so, I'm ready. 
Symptoms: If I don't eat every 2-3 hours, I'm instantly nauseous. Feeling tired most of the day and slight headaches here and there. Have I mentioned that my sniffer is on fire? hah, I can smell everything. 
Sleep: Up every morning around 5am for a pee break. Sleeping a solid 8-9 hours every night. Even snuck in a nap or two this week during lunch. 
Workouts: Was able to get in a walk or run every day. Trying to take more steps by walking to work and parking in the furthest spot in the parking lot, taking the stairs, etc. It seems to be helping. I am feeling pretty good and not bloated.
Cravings: Loving peanut butter.. on toast, crackers, TCBY, ...by the spoonful, you know. Fruit is still the top of the list and feeling very thirsty. Lots of water and LaCroix! Ginger ale has helped when I'm feeling less than peppy and crackers, cheese, hummus. Had pizza three times for dinner this past week - I guess you could day that was a craving? 
What I Miss: This is the first week that I have really missed my sandwiches. Just craving a big cold fresh sub with turkey, ham and lots of veggies. Cooked meat just isn't the same... 
Best Moment This Week: Getting to spend time with some old friends while traveling and spending a weekend on the plains with my hubby. We took in the full Auburn experience... visiting the Hall of Honor, the new Arena, the new Wellness Center, grabbing some Toomer's lemonade, laying on Samford lawn and taking in the sights. Walking around downtown and doing some shopping, then posting up in Moe's for the evening before heading to the hotel to crash and get ready for game day. Game day was a blast with my AOII's and their families. We decided to go to the game this year, and J found us awesome tickets on the 9th row in the end zone. It was such an exciting game! I can't wait to bring baby back for their first visit to my alma mater!
Looking Forward To: Seeing Jesse's parents on Thursday and getting to tell them the big news! It's their first grand baby... I know they are going to be thrilled! 
__________________
I think we forgot a pic this week, so pumpkin pic will have to do! 

How Far Along? 9 weeks
Size of Baby: A green olive (1 inch long)
Gender: Just praying for a healthy development. Lots going on in there this week, so saying extra prayers for a healthy baby boy or girl! 
Weight Gain: Well, I finally caved and stepped on the scale this weekend. I was shocked to see that I was down one pound, because I certainly don't feel like it. Waiting for next week to officially have my first weigh-in since our initial pregnancy test.
Maternity Clothes: Not quite yet, however, days when I can wear tights and a tunic - I am in heaven. I feel like this is going to be my live-in line of clothes for the winter. 
Nursery: Started pinning away at my newest addition to the secret boards, The Cub House. Lots of fun ideas. Best of all, my mom has my dresser from when I was a baby... and from when she was a baby...and from when her mom was a baby. We will be picking up that bad boy at Christmas! Such a fun addition to the nursery. That and the small white rocking chair that has also been passed down from my grandmother... and was made by my great-grandfather.  Mom is also planning to retire from teaching next year and is already starting to pack up all her puzzles and books that were ours. Can't way to have them in the nursery. 
Movement: Unless my growing belly counts. Nada. 
Symptoms: I have had a few rough nights this week. Just feeling really uneasy and nauseous. trying to slow-down and take it easy. 
Sleep: I do miss getting off when it's still daylight, but I love the sun being up early in the mornings. Mornings are the hardest to get outta bed... especially now days, so seeing the sun makes me feel just a tad better about jumping out of bed. I had two very early mornings this week for election day and an event for the hubs... but I still got my 7-8 hours of sleep by going to bed early. 
Workouts: Started a 5 week beginner yoga class this week. I guess you wouldn't call me a beginner, but since I really haven't been going steadily, I don't want to jump right back in and hurt anything. Also got in a couple gym workouts and two long runs outside. 
Cravings: Loving fruit! Always thirsty. Multi-grain Cheerios have been my staple for that 6 a.m. stomach pain and also for dinner and snacks a few times this week. 
What I Miss: Soft cheeses. Really nothing though... it's too exciting and so worth it!
Best Moment This Week: Telling Jesse's parents was really fun. I was so relieved that we could tell them bc I had a pretty rough week. Just little sleep and not feeling all that great. They were over the moon when we told them, and totally shocked! It was great. 
Looking Forward To: Telling M&M next week!! They are going to be so excited. I can't wait!
________________



How Far Along? 10 weeks
Size of Baby: A prune (1.2 inches long)
Gender: I think we've decided we won't be finding out... not many surprises left in the world, so we thought this would be a good one to keep.
Weight Gain: Had my second official weigh-in at the doc this week and I was very happy to see that my weight at stayed exactly the same. No worries, defiantly eating my fair share, just trying to keep it in check while I can. 
Maternity Clothes: Tights and tunics/dresses and tights are becoming my wardrobe. 
Nursery: Did some serious cleaning out and putting away in the nursery/craft room this week. The nieces and nephews are visiting next week for Thanksgiving, so it gave us a boost to start cleaning out. It's amazing how those lil hands always seem to find anything and everything. Also started some research on cribs and started picking out what we like/dislike. Mom is doing some research on my Jenny Lind crib from childhood and safety standards. 
Movement: We got to have a quick ultrasound this week... and it was SO. COOL. Seeing those little arms and legs moving around in there was just so neat. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. 
Symptoms: The sniffling. Man. My head is constantly stuffy and J has affectionately dubbed my consistent stream of tissues "Pete blossoms" that I leave all over the house.  
Sleep: Getting lots of rest, but making a nightly, sometimes two, visits to the ladies room. Also waking up starving - sometimes at 4:30, sometimes at 6. But a bowl of cherrios usually does the trick and gets me back to sleep for a couple hours. 
Workouts: Yoga on Monday, Gym on Tuesday. Thursday I got in a quick 2 miles on the treadmill, but otherwise, workouts were walking through the airport and carrying boxes up three flights of stairs on Saturday. Still feeling good, just didn't have too much spare time on my trip to Indy for workouts. 
Cravings: Loving wheat thins, crackers, my nightly bowl of chocolate fro-yo when at home, sweet-tarts, big salads, and fries. Also starting to enjoy my coffee once again - usually just a half cup, but it actually smells good once again. 
What I Miss: Not too much. My energy is still really drained and I'm a lil slower in the mornings, so that's probably the hardest part. We still have lots going on, so trying to keep up and not show that I'm pregnant is really hard. 
Best Moment This Week: Our doctors appointment was by far the best moment! We got to meet one of the four docs that could possibly deliver our lil peanut, and he was super cool. Very young and laid back - let us ask lots of questions and just chatted. He tried to get the heartbeat with a hand-held, but couldn't hear it. So he snuck us into the ultrasound room for a quick peak at the babe. It was just so neat to see. I never really thought about how cool the first glimpse at our babe would be - but it was far greater than I ever imagined. Those tiny little arms and legs were just amazing to watch. He measured from head to tail and moved back my due date a couple days... now we are looking at June 10th. We also got to tell a couple special friends this week in person and that was so super cool! 
Looking Forward To: Prepping for the family to visit for turkey day! Also super excited for Deck the Halls next Saturday and telling our local friends. I can't wait to see their reactions. 
_______________

How Far Along? 11 weeks
Size of Baby: A lime (1.5 inches long)
Gender: No inclination. 
Weight Gain: Last week was my second official weigh-in at the doc and I was very happy that I hadn't gained any weight. Still holding strong at my pre-baby weight and trying to make it one more week without any weight gain. Come on week 12. 
Maternity Clothes: Loving tights and big sweaters, scarves and vests. I can still fit into my work pants, so trying to squeeze a couple more weeks outta those. 
Nursery: All ready for the nieces and nephews to visit! Guess we will be testing it out. 
Movement: Just my belly growing. It's really starting to show - no hiding it in tight shirts or workout clothes. 
Symptoms: Still have a stuffy head this week. Starting to see some veins in my legs - hoping for the best there. Sometimes my right foot goes numb and for a day or so, I guess that's normal? Also felt a sharp twinge in my lower back all the way up to my neck for a day or so. 
Sleep: Getting up a couple times a night for water and to potty. Had a couple hard nights this week where I wasn't feeling so hot. Not sure if it was just being tired or what, I just didn't feel well at all. 
Workouts: Yoga on Monday, Gym on Tuesday.  A couple jogs outside. Workouts seem to be dwindling with the colder weather and my loss of energy.
Cravings: Peanut butter, cheese, fruit, candy... love me some sweet tarts and Laffy Taffy. 
What I Miss: Nothing much really, maybe just the idea of happy hour. 
Best Moment This Week: Telling our local friends. They were totally shocked! I wish I could have filmed their reactions. It was priceless... It was so much talking with them about the baby and getting to share fun stories and memories. Now four of the five of our local girls group is expecting, which is going to be so much fun! 
Looking Forward To: My family arriving for Thanksgiving - telling my brothers and their family. 
____________________

How Far Along? 12 weeks
Size of Baby: A plum ( 2.1 inches long)
Gender: A tiger bebe (great story below)
Weight Gain: Great check-up at the doc this week and only a 1.5 lb weight gain!
Maternity Clothes: I gifted lots of clothes to my sister-in-law this week that I know I will never wear again. Yes, even after the babe arrives... maybe its' one of those "motherly things" now, but the looser the better. haha
Nursery: Was filled with lots of love and laughter this week as two of my nieces and one nephew piled in. We read books and played puzzles... colored and just laid in bed and chatted. It was so fun seeing the room full of kids stuff. Brought me lots of smiles and joy. :)
Movement: None that I can feel yet. But that lil babe was moving all around during my ultrasound this week. It was amazing to see all those lil fingers and toes, we even got a lil fist pump in the ultrasound pic. So precious. 
Symptoms: Picked up a nice lil cold from the kiddos that has knocked me on off my feet. 
Sleep: Getting up a couple times a night for water and to potty. Otherwise, sleeping great. Took a day off work and slept almost all day - it was lovely. 
Workouts: Yoga on Monday, Run on Tuesday, lots of running around the playground with the kiddos all week, sledding, snow ball fights, and a couple short walks and jogs around town. We stayed pretty active and on the go this week, which felt great! 
Cravings: Well, with it being thanksgiving and all I ate my fair share of turkey and all the trimmings. Stuffing, sweet tators, casseroles, cranberry sauce, veggies, pie - lots of pie! 
What I Miss: Nothing really. This week kept me plenty entertained. 
Best Moment This Week: Seeing our lil babe, and also.... telling my brothers. We decided it would be fun to tell the kids first and have them tell mom and dad. So we told them and explained to them that baby Lyons was coming in June. So they practiced and knew exactly what they were going to say.... until they got to the living room. They froze... for a few minutes, before Lucas blurted out, "they have a Tiger Bebe". Then Emilia chimed in, "no, an elephant baby." ...and finally, "No, a Lion baby!" Rob and Karen were so confused... they thought we were trying to play some sort of Auburn/Alabama trick on them. It was great!  The rest of the week Lucas called my baby a "Tiger bebe" and would ask how he was doing and give him kisses. It was so precious! We also sent the ultrasound to my other brother and his fam... they were so exited. This will be grand baby number 9 for my parents, so both brothers were ready for some Lyons babies to join their crew. 
Looking Forward To: Sharing our exciting news with the rest of our family and friends very soon! 


Bump-dates for weeks 13-16 coming next week. 


12.22.2014

Christmas Break | PJ Party Link Up

Happy Christmas break!! We started our long journey south yesterday to make it to J's parents house in NC for the week. We decided to make a brief pit-stop at in Asheville to a favorite spot - still on the vacation wish list - the Grove Park Inn. It was decked to the nines for the holidays and had a fabulous Gingerbread competition to boot. It was a nice little pit stop to kick off the Christmas week! 

Today, I am linking up with Darci for the Christmas PJ party link-up.


 I don't have any mini's to share, but thought I would share some of our favorite Christmas PJ's. 

My favorite Christmas PJ's for guys are from Vineyard Vines.

L.L.Bean also has this great robe for guys. Add a monogram for only $8.

 I have quite a stock of Christmas PJ's, thanks to momma and our new matching PJ's each year.  These are some of my favorite ladies jammies from L.L.Bean.

....and of course, I couldn't resist posting some PJ's for the lil cub. Babble has a great blog on 15 of the cutest Christmas PJ's for babies. I can't wait to start stocking up for next year!

A few favorites...




I'm a sucker for plaid

Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas week!!