11 Christmas Tradition Ideas

It’s not too early to start talking about Christmas, right? That’s right, it’s never too early.

I love everything Christmas and especially traditions. So today I’m sharing a few of my favorites – some we currently keep and others I would like to start implementing, especially as Emberly gets older and we add siblings to the bunch (no, this is not an announcement). This year we will be in Germany for Christmas, so we may not get to all of our traditions, but I am so excited to introduce Emberly to all things Christmas!

• New Christmas pj’s for the whole family, matching of course – open them either December 1st to wear the whole month or Christmas Eve to wear Christmas morning

• Sip hot chocolate while driving around looking for the best lit up houses

• Make Christmas cookies and pass them out to the neighbors

• Fondue dinner after the Christmas Eve service

• Host a gingerbread house decorating party

• Open stockings Christmas morning before breakfast

• Stocking shopping night – pick a store, a price limit and a time limit, and then shop for each other’s stockings

• Start an Advent calendar at the beginning of the month

• Put up the tree while watching a Christmas movie – typically the weekend after Thanksgiving

• Drink hot chocolate & play games by the light of the Christmas tree

• Read the Christmas story Christmas morning after opening stockings

What are some of your Christmas traditions?

Cousins, Murder Mystery & Bogo

This weekend was another full and good one!

This actually happened during the week, but Emberly finally met some cousins on my side of the family! Her cousin Pepper is a little over 2 months old and they have already decided to be best friends. 😉

Friday evening we left E with our babysitter, then headed out for a Murder Mystery Dinner (last year). It was so much fun to dress up, eat a good dinner, laugh with friends and solve the murder.

Loren was the Butler and I was the young rich widow
The Gypsy (and guilty one!!) and Dr.
The Chauffeur and Cook

Saturday morning we slept in, then Miss E got a little morning bath while I finished my coffee.

Later that afternoon, we took advantage of the Starbucks holiday drink bogo (carmel brulee latte, anyone!?) before heading out to a photoshoot we did for some friends.

Carmel brulee lattee – the only speciality drink I really care about

After the photoshoot we hurried home to get ready for dinner w/Smiths. It had been way too long and it was so good to catch up over dinner and dessert.

Sunday evening we had a teen activity at church and Emberly was being hilarious entertaining the teens and being entertained by them. She loves people!

November Weekend at Home

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a weekend recap, but Loren was finally home all weekend so this past one was documented. Here are the highlights!

Friday late afternoon, Emberly and I kicked off the weekend with a sunny fall walk. I mean, who can resist those baby blues!?

Later that evening, Loren’s sister Carrie came to spend the night and graciously stayed with the sleeping Emeberly so Loren and I could sneak out for a late night movie date. It was so fun and we got home super late, but it was totally worth it.

Saturday morning we had a leisurely breakfast before we headed downtown to cheer on Carrie’s boyfriend as he finished the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. After the race, we had a late lunch/early dinner back at our house before they headed back home to Cincinnati.

The rest of the evening and Sunday pretty much looked like this:

I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed that extra hour on Sunday! We did, but then it’s caught up to us since then (babies and DST are no joke).

Emberly Brynn | Four Months

Weight: 13 pounds 5 ounces (28th percentile)
Birth: 7 lbs 5 oz
Height: 25.5 in (86th percentile)
Birth: 20 in
Head: 15.75 in (29th percentile)
Birth: 12.5 in
Tall & skinny – a true Crisp. 😉

Little miss still eats every 2ish hours and nurses for 5-7 minutes. She decided to start refusing a bottle for a couple weeks, but seems to be OK with it again as long as the milk is warm.


Emberly caught two colds this month, and woke up to nurse every two hours during the night for the duration of the cold. When she doesn’t have a cold, she sleeps through the night (aka 6-7 hours straight after we put her down). She takes 4 1-2 hours naps a day. We also weaned her out of the swaddle and she now sleeps in a cozy sleep sack.

We’ve mastered tummy time! I started setting her up with the Boppy as support, and she really liked that, but we exclusively use the floor now. She likes to read Brown Bear and play with her rattle toys. She rolled over from tummy to back a couple times, which may have been accidental, but she still did it! Emberly also has been doing PT about once a week to treat her acquired torticollis (stiffness of neck/preference to one side) and has been doing great!


You have become SO much more interactive this month! You’ve started to giggle and it’s seriously so cute. You love to be around people, and smile and jump in my arms if anyone starts talking to you. While nursing you like to suddenly stop and stare at me, then give me this huge grin and then go back to eating and it melts my heart every time. Your cheeks are the most kissable thing ever and I kiss them at least 100 times a day. You are the best little girl!


You went pumpkin picking. This was actually also a first for mommy!
You went to your first petting zoo (at the pumpkin patch) but weren’t too amused. Next year!
You had your first PT session to help your torticollis. You weren’t a fan at first, but now you like it pretty fine.
You rolled over! A few times, and the rolls were pretty accidental, but it still happened.
You (we) had our first overnight without daddy and you kept me company pretty well.
You had your first puppy play date and it was seriously the cutest thing. Now if you can just convince your daddy we need a puppy…

Photo Dump

Five on Friday // 11-3-17

ONE // Our first mommy & me item. I’m honestly not a huge fan of matching, but Emberly and I both needed winter hats and I found these cute ones, so why not?

TWO // Owl City’s new song. I’ve always been a huge Owl City fan, and he just announced a new album next year! Fireflies will always be my favorite, though.

THREE // Puppies and babies. I mean, how cute is this!!??? My friend brought her puppy over the other day and I really think Emberly needs one now. 😉 #puppyfever

FOUR // Dirty John. Pretty much everyone is obsessed with this true-crime podcast right now, and for good reason.

FIVE // This ridiculously easy and delicious 2 ingredient pumpkin bread. When I made it this week I was a little worried it would be dry, but it was just moist enough. Do yourself a favor and make it to enjoy with a good cup of coffee!

Have a fun weekend!

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November Goals

We had about two days of fall weather before it got cold. Guys, there was snow on the ground this morning! I’m so not ready for winter. But I am ready for the holidays with family.

October Goals
~  attend some bonfire and costume parties (got one coming up in Nov.)
~ take family pictures
~ plan & book the rest of our Europe trip
~ decorate the apartment for fall
~ plan & have a girl’s day
~ go on a fall hike to see all the beautiful leaves

November Goals
~ plan a Friendsgiving (like maybe before January this year)
~ get baby fall/winter clothes
~ make 3 new dinner recipes
~ celebrate Thanksgiving with family
~ stay warm
~ bake something with pumpkin

Five on Friday // 10-27-17

ONE // One year ago today we found out we were pregnant. Best news ever!!! Also one of the hardest and easiest secrets to keep. haha

TWO // Zuppa Toscana. I finally found a recipe that actually tastes very similar to Olive Garden’s classic soup. I made it last week and when Loren asks for thirds, you know it’s good. It will definitely be made on repeat this fall/winter.  Now just to figure out the breadsticks!

THREE // Sam’s Club Scan & Go. This app saves me so much time at Sam’s. You just scan the items as you shop, then when done, checkout on the app and a barcode pops up that you show as you walk out the door (instead of a paper receipt). No more waiting in lines and unloading/reloading the groceries in the checkout line!

FOUR // Visiting daddy at work. This is from last week, but once in a while we like to brighten daddy’s day at work and stop by to say hi.

FIVE // Colds are not cool. For adults or babies. And Emberly has her third one in the past 9 weeks. But this NoseFrida, as gross as it looks to use, is a lifesaver for babies with colds.

Well, the baby is up from her nap, so that’s all for now. Happy Friday!

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Currently: Fall Edition

It’s been a good long while since I’ve done a currently post, so here we go:

Feeling… thankful for a mild transition into fall. I don’t especially like winter, and these beautiful sunny days with all the leaves changing have been perfect.

Readingnothing. I picked up a couple of library books after Emberly was born in hopes of reading them, but I never got around to it. Hoping to read more this fall & winter!

Watching… Parenthood (late to the game, I know). It’s so much more emotional now that I have a child!

Buying… fall/winter baby clothes and this sleep sack (swaddle weaning hasn’t been super fun). Dressing a baby in summer was so much easier!

Listening to… the washing machine going and the baby’s sound machine (seriously the best thing ever) through the baby monitor.

Thinking about… how to make a little office corner in our bedroom since Emberly’s room is my former office.

Working on… planning the rest of our Europe trip. Any suggestions on where to go in northern France and Switzerland?

Tasting… coffee with this amazing creamer.

Excited… for our family photoshoot tomorrow. Our first official shoot as a family and I can’t wait! Btw, coordinating outfits just got harder.

Hoping… we can take a hike at Turkey Run before the weather gets cold and all the leaves fall.

What have you been up to lately.
Share in the comments below!

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4 Favorite Podcasts & Favorite Headphones

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the wonderful world of podcasts. I liked them for several reasons: roadtrips and work commutes felt so much shorter, my husband and I enjoyed connecting over them and I learned so much random information.
Now that I’m a stay-at-home-mom, I’ve traded the work commute listening sessions for nursing, walks and play times, and they are just as beneficial now.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts:

The Moth – Stories shared from people all over the world told live at Moth Events. Everything from Christmas traditions to most embarrassing moments to crazy life incidents. Who doesn’t love a good story?

Coffee + Crumbs – I’m new to this whole mom life and this podcast, and have only listened to a handful of their episodes, but boy are they relatable! So, if you’re a mom (especially with small kids), and need encouragement or just affirmation, I would highly recommend! You are not alone.

This American Life – A super popular public radio show, every episode has its own theme made up mainly of journalistic stories, with lots of humor thrown in throughout. As they say on their webpage: “There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe.”

Crimetown – (warning: lots of language) a product of Gimlet media, Crimetown investigates the culture of crime in different American cities. The first season is set in Providence, Rhode Island and focuses on the story of corrupt mayor Buddy Cianci and organized crime and corruption in his city.

Skullcandy earbuds – I have a hard time getting earbuds to stay in my ears, and these Skullcandy ones are my favorite. They come with two pairs of silicone tips (one larger and one smaller) so you can find your perfect secure fit. Another bonus is with their in-ear design, they are partially noise-canceling.

What podcasts are your favorite? Comment below! I always love hearing about your favorites.

A Morning at Apple Works

We have so many apple orchards/pumpkin patches in our area, but this past Saturday, we decided to check out Apple Works with some friends. Apple Works is perfect for kids – they have a petting zoo, trails, horse rides, a playground with a zip line, tractor rides and a huge pumpkin patch. In addition to the fun things for kids, they have a pretty decent country store with everything from preserves & jellies to all kinds of baked goods to fudge.
Our first stop was to get a huge apple fritter from the Ice Cream Shoppe, and it was amazing. We then headed to over to the petting zoo to check out all the animals.

After the petting zoo and horse ride for the 2-year-old, we hopped on the tractor for a ride to the pumpkin patch! The pumpkin patch was pretty big, and we took our time selecting the best pumpkins.

The cutest pumpkin. 😉

A little change & lunch break.

It was such a beautiful and fun morning, and I can’t wait to take Emberly back next year when she will appreciate the animals a little more.
Thanks for all the fun, Apple Works and H family! 🙂