Monday, December 24, 2012

Music Mondays: Christmas Edition, Part 4

A new this season and one of my faves already...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snapshots on a Saturday

This week had no shortage of family fun or Christmas cheer.

Saturday we celebrated the holidays with my Mama Comley's side of the family. I know she was smiling down from Heaven seeing all of her nieces and nephews meeting Ms. Adelaide Jane (her namesake) and watching her ham it up for them.

Sunday was daddy/papa's 58th birthday. We enjoyed brunch with Santa at Hurstbourne Country Club followed by a family dinner at home. We desserted (yep I made that word up) on German chocolate cake then gathered in the basement for a few friendly games of pool and bumper pool.

A little girl time with Aunt Kendahl included lots of giggles...

Tuesday I had flashbacks going to my old preschool, Harvey Browne, for Bishop's Christmas concert. There isn't much cuter than little 3 year olds singing carols...don't believe me? Check out the video below.


Wednesday brought lots of lights as we drove through Light Up Louisville at the MegaCavern. It was just fabulous and Adelaide loved the lights. How could she not?!

Two nights in a row Ryan & I enjoyed some adult time. Thursday evening we dined at Doc Crow's with friends. It is becoming an annual tradition. We always love seeing our couples friends and catching up when we come to town.

And Friday night we had ourselves a date night to see A Christmas Carol at Actor's Theatre. All about the culture this holiday season between The Rockettes and the play.

I think we'll have a little rest today as we gear up for 3 days of non-stop Christmas madness!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Copy Cat Closet: Holiday Party Attire (Part One)

There have been no shortage of *holiday* parties in this girl's life lately. Last weekend, we had one each night along with my dad's birthday celebration. Heeding advice from Ma Nouvelle Mode, I rocked out several different fashion styles along the party trail.

Sweater Dress: Arden B (old)
Skinny Jeans: Gap (old)
Boots: Jessica Simpson (old)
Necklace: custom (explained here)

Sweater: Express (old)
Red Jeggings: Bed Bath & Beyond (seen here)
Booties: Target (new and on sale!)
Sequin Dress: Forever 21 (old, similar here)
Boots: Jessica Simpson (old)
Necklace: custom
Bracelet: Express (old)

If you are interested in linking up, be sure to visit Ma Nouvelle Mode and get style inspiration directly to your inbox! I can't wait to see what each new challenge brings for my inner fashionista because this new mommy needs all the style tips she can get!

the Grant life;

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Reflection

I feel like this post might be all over the place but I've got a lot of emotions inside me right now. Where to start...

In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, I have been reflecting a lot this weekend. Despite being a new parent I do not view the shootings differently. Perhaps because I have always been deeply touched and moved by such situations. While I cuddled a little closer and hugged Adelaide a little tighter, the horror ran just as deep as 9/11 and Columbine for me.

Which only strengthened my attitude of this: do not let the evil of the world inhibit you or make you fearful. I have flown more since 9/11. Our child(ren) will go to school. My faith will be more powerful. I will not be broken.

"So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand."
Isiah 41:10
Today I went to church with my mom. She attends the Christian church in our neighborhood and I always love going there when I am home. *Even though I'm Catholic, I firmly believe that God is happy with whatever church I attend so long as I am praising Him.*  One of my favorite parts of the service is when the pastor calls up the children to the alter. He spends about 10 minutes explaining the message to them in a kid-friendly way. This Sunday it was extra special to be witnessing the testimony of love, hope, and joy on this 3rd week of Advent.
For the *adult* portion of worhip, Reverend Mike began discussing joy. How we were made for joy. How scripture (Philippians 4:4-7) tells us to rejoice! again I say rejoice! How the first angel told us about the greatest joy. We have inner & outer joy. Within it is the light of the Lord. Outside it is external circumstances. So often we are stripped of our joy due to hurry, slurry, and worry. Hurry is our need to always be rushing. We zip in and zip out. We get aggrevated if we have to wait for anything. Slurry is the nature to compare ourselves/our lives to others. Who has more financially; who is smarter; who's child is developing faster. Worry is the fear of the future. The unknown. When all the while the future is already out of our control. It always has been.
The Lord made each and every one of us to be filled with joy. We, as humans, can allow the external factors of our life to take that away. We can let our hurry, slurry, and worry crowd our minds and hearts with fear. We can allow what happened on Friday to strip the joy that we have especially during this special time.
We can choose to surrender the power and the control. Surrender the fear and anxiety. To return to the Light. To put God back in all aspects of our lives. Not just the parts that we find convenient. We can choose not to point fingers. Not to place blame. Not to debate the how and the why because let's face it, we will never really know or understand. 
So I have decided to choose the latter. To the best of my ability. I am human. And I will make mistakes. There will be times when I falter or fail. There will be times when I lose my way or lose sight of life's joy.
But I know the light of the Lord will remain inside my heart.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Snapshots on a Saturday

We have been busy bees this week, but a different kind of *busy* than usual. After traveling to Kentucky to kick-off the holidays, we have enjoyed lots of family time with aunts, uncles, and cousins...

We joined Auntie K, Nana, & cousin Kendahl for a wintery lunch...

We had *Girls Night Out* at the ESPN 680 college basketball mag launch...

And we partied down at Brock's graduation with great family friends...

But mostly we snuggled, cuddled, and played...

Hope you all had a fabulous week!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Date: Ice Skating at Bryant Park & Strolling Around Times Square

Recall my anniversary gift to Ryan...

Behold date #2 also known as December date aka Ice Skating at Bryant Park
Saturday, after our mini-Christmas celebration, we headed into New York City. The rink was packed due to the *warm* weather (55 degrees) which made for excellent people watching as well as padding for any falls on the ice. Don't worry, I didn't fall. We enjoyed hot apple cider as we walked through the vendor booths. And even purchased our traditional holiday ornament: choosing a Radio City Music Hall Rockettes one to commemorate our anniversary evening.

We also strolled around Times Square taking in all of the festive lights, window displays, and scenery. We dined at 5 Napkin Burger and enjoyed an adult beverage.
Making for one tired munchkin...


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Santa Visits Adelaide

Because we were heading to Louisville on December 9th, I called up to the North Pole to work out a little deal with Mr. Claus. I explained to him that I wasn't in the business of shipping gifts from KY to NY and if he could be so kind as to visit the Ms. Adelaide a few weeks before Christmas then I would be one happy momma.


He agreed. See the proof above. 

Just as I suspected, she L.O.V.E.D. seeing gifts from Santa all set out. She was amazed with her little cupcake rattle, You Are My Cupcake book, and Little Tikes Cupcake Kitchen set. She also enjoyed opening her presents from mommy & daddy which included a few outfits for Valentine's Day, an equestrian-esque outfit, snowboots, and a Minnie Mouse coat/mittens/hat set.
She even helped daddy open his gifts.
Beau received some new toys and delicious doggy treats. Santa said he had been pretty good this year given all that he has been know with the skunking & new sibling.
I have a *slight* feeling that Old Saint Nick is going to be making an appearance at Mimi & Papa's house on Christmas Eve too...
Hope you all have been nice!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music Mondays: Christmas Edition, Part 2

An amazing voice paired with holiday lyrics...


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Snapshot on a Saturday

This past week sure was fun as we loaded up on our Christmas 2012 list. I loved starting traditions that we will be able to continue each year as Adelaide grows. And putting a little gingerbread man or holly sticker next to each activity gave me great joy ;)

We baked cookies and brownies and made neighbor treats. We decorated a gingerbread house. We wrapped presents and sipped hot cocoa. We watched Elf and slept under our Christmas tree.

We took the little one to meet Santa for the first time. She had her serious face on trying to get to the bottom of this Mr. Claus character. No tears though which was a good sign.

Our newly baptized princess was wide awake at her first advent service. She was singing away to the choir and sat intently through the homily. 

As for me, I enjoyed listening to a parishioner discuss her struggles of being a mom to five children, caring for her elderly parents, working, & volunteering but how she finds joy in St. Vincent DePaul's ministry. It felt like she was speaking directly to me as she often throws her hands in the air asking, 'God, how am I supposed to be everything to everyone?'. You took the words right out of my mouth...

We played with our toys...

And delivered lots of Christmas cheer to our neighbors...

Helped daddy in the kitchen...

Had dinner with our friends Abbi & Paulie...

Experienced teething for the first time (which mommy's hates with a capital H!)...

Entertained friends at our first holiday party...

Snuggled up with Christmas movies...

Enjoyed mommy/daughter time...

And anxiously awaited Santa's *early* arrival to our home...

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Holiday Affair: Ladies Luncheon

One last hosting hoorah before the holiday season commences...

Yesterday afternoon, I hosted a little ladies luncheon for my tennis friends. A casual yet intimate setting around our dining room table with lots of festive fare.

I went back to my trusted spot, Walmart, to get a few Christmas-y dishes. I grabbed the Better Homes & Gardens Mistletoe salad plates (and place mats) to compliment the white dinner plates we have & the red chargers I bought at Michael's awhile back. Our Lenox Chirp china glasses matched perfectly with their etched design as did our formal flatware. I dressed up the place setting with homemade holiday napkins from Ryan's aunt. A final touch, the place cards were *homemade* coasters made by yours truly.

We enjoyed an appetizer elf delights to start followed by reindeer fuel, snowflake salad, & Santa's soup as our main course. *Recipes can be found here, here, and here respectively.*

No holiday party is complete without dessert so I whipped up a few festive treats: gingerbread man cookies & Christmas tree brownies. And to keep us toasty, we all indulged in a hot cocoa bar with all the fixin's.

Paired with the set of four coasters, I also made our famous poppyseed bread for each guest to take home. These mini loaves are always a hit, and I love sharing a bit of *Collins* family history with friends.

Such a wonderful afternoon celebrating the spirit of the season with friends!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Music Mondays: Christmas Edition, Part 1

In honor of Christmas, I am dedicating this month's Music Mondays to some of my favorite holiday sure to check back each week to get in the holiday spirit!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Snapshots on a Saturday

This past week was a busy one despite the families heading back to Kentucky. Before everyone left, we opted for a little culture at Washington Irving's house in Tarrytown. A rendition of Thanksgiving in the 1600's couples with storytelling and arts & crafts made for a fun family day.

Sunday, as mentioned previously, Adelaide was baptized. Truly a wonderful way to end the holiday weekend.

Monday we got to work on our Christmas decorations. My little elf helper enjoyed putting up all sorts of mini Christmas trees. Then when her daddy got home from work, she sang along to the Christmas songs as we sipped egg nog and hung stockings.

Tuesday brought snow which was a beautiful sight to see especially putting us in the holiday spirit.

Wednesday took us to Chicago for an impromptu two day-one night getaway. We got to walk along Magnificent Mile with all of the glistening lights. We also enjoyed dinner with Ms. Marquette & Mr. Duggan :)

Hope you all had a fabulous week...stay tuned for all the Christmas fun we plan to have this weekend!

Tis' the season ;)