Grace's First Christmas!

Who doesn't love driving around looking at houses outlined in lights, sharing cookies with friends, going to parties, wrapping presents, and snuggling up next to the fire? These are a few reasons why I love Christmas! This year it was just all amplified because of our new addition, Grace.

We began our holiday travel in Eastwood, NC with the McKenzie side of the family. This was such a special time because Michael and I both have grandparents living. We were able to spend Christmas Eve with them! They are both over 90! 

We also got to spend time with Grace's only cousin, Luke. He is a very active, all boy, and three and a half year old! She loves watching him play around Grandma's house. 

I know Christmas is not about the gifts, but this year we were really excited to give Michael's brothers their gift this year. We went to Scotland earlier in the year and bought two real wool McKenzie plaid blankets to bring back for them. I can not believe we actually made it to Christmas without spilling the beans.

We have a tradition every year of going a getting Christmas trees after Thanksgiving. We give our parents trees every year for Christmas presents. We also have a tradition of the Cross girls going shopping the day after Christmas, so for presents for all the Aunts we give them money to go shopping. We started these traditions after we got married because we really wanted gifts that would be relational. 

Late Christmas Eve we drove the two and a half hour long trip to Charlotte, NC to spend the rest of the Holiday with the Cross family. This is such a treat for me because I have four wonderful sisters who literally fight over who gets to hold Grace, change her diaper, play with her, dress her and help with bath time. And of course Grandmommy spoils her rotten!

It was the best Christmas I have ever had! I have two wonderful families that I get to spend the holidays with, and this year I had a new little family to enjoy.

I hope this Christmas you were able to spend time with your family, and most of all able to spend time with our Savior who made all of this possible. 

Merry Christmas

Philippians 2:8-10 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth 

Need A Little Advice...

There are still a few items that we have not purchased yet for Grace. Some big things and some little ones. There are just so many choices out there that I want to make sure I get the right ones, and on the other hand not spend too much money on something that isn't necessary. Ok onto the items...

1. Infant spoons- Gerber spoonsBoon SpoonBumbo and Munchkin Spoons
These are a few that I have looked at, but don't even know if it makes a difference or just go with the cheapest?

2. Highchair- Eddie BauerCarters Highchair, and Fisher Price Space Saver Chair
I really love wooden highchairs and wanted to get an antique older chair, however I have been looking for months and not able find one. Now that Grace is eating cereal we really need one!

3. Umbrella stroller- There are so many of these around are there different kinds or are they all pretty much the same?

4. Sippy Cups- Dr BrownNuby No Spill, and Playtex Straw Cup
There are so many different cups to look at! There are ones with handles, no handles, straws, no spill, and grips. I don't want to keep buying cups that she won't use. 

What kind did you use? Did you try different kinds? Currently we have been using the Beech Nut brand and she doesn't like it. Will she like a different kind or not worth it?

Grace is not to the point that she needs teethers yet, but I know that time will sneak up on us before we know it. This might vary from baby to baby, but did your little one have a favorite?

I would appreciate any advice and help on these and any other items you can remember using just leave a comment. Thank you!

Month 4 Must Haves

Time just flies by too quickly! I can not believe that Grace is already 4 months old. She is growing too quickly! I want my little baby back. This month there are just so many things to list, but here are a few that I could not do without.

1. Baby Einstein Play Mat - We tried this mat out when she was younger, but she was not impressed. Now she loves it! She can reach for the toys, attempt to roll over, and stare at all the colors. We actually have two different mats, just in case she spits up on one we always have a back up. We have added our own toys and mirrors too!

2. Diaper Sacks- My sister in law gave me some of these, and I have to admit at first I did not think I would use them. I use them all the time! For instance, we had a poop explosion in target the other day... where are you going to put that diaper and those dirty clothes? They smell good and are cute. I do not feel bad changing her diaper at a friend's house and putting it in the trash can because it will not smell!

3. Sleep Sack - A friend of mine gave me this and I know it is not the cutest one out there, but it is very warm. Now that it is winter I wanted something thick and warm for Grace no matter what it looks like.

4. Monitor - I am actually borrowing these from family and they are wonderful! We went back and forth on what kind of monitors to get. There are so many fancy ones out there now, that even have video on them. We decided that we already put her in God's hands and that we did not need to see her every second. This is much better for my sanity.

5. Toys- We have been fortunate to have been given a lot of cute toys for her to grab and chew. These are two of her favorites. These are a must once she starts discovering her hands and able to grab things.

I hope this helps you a little bit as your grow and learn with your little one.

Real Food!!! Well kind of...

Grace had cereal for the first time last night. She did not seem to like it at all. She tolerated it well though. I mixed together 1 tablespoon and some breast milk. It was still pretty runny, which I thought would be better. She only ate about half of it, but the end result was that she slept for 7 hrs straight last night! That is a record! I feel like a new person this morning. It is amazing what rest will do! We are going to continue this before bed time. 

This is the kind I bought yesterday. I would love to know if you have any suggestions on a better kind or a better way of giving it to her? 

Month 4

We are 4 months old!
2 ft 1.25 in 95%
16 lbs 6 oz 95%
16.75 in head cir. 95%

- Grabbing toys
- Noticing everything
-Yelling very loudly
- Chewing on hands
- Grabbing feet

Mommy Update:
I have been going to the chiropractor for my tailbone and it has made a lot of difference! I am now able to sit, walk, run and move without pain. I am still adjusting to having someone need my attention 24 hours a day and loving it! I am asking Santa that I will have a little girl sleep through the night so I will begin to feel more like myself and be more rested. I am not running consistently yet, mainly because it has been a little cold to take Grace out everyday. I hope to soon, even if I just run when Michael gets home from work. I have been exercising with videos at least 5 days a week and have currently lost 46 lbs! I only have 3 more to go to be back to my original weight. However, I have a lot of much needed toning. 

Last few Christmases in Pictures

This morning I was cuddling on the couch with my little new bundle of joy and thinking of how different this Christmas is and will be! (for the good of course) So many things have already changed since we have gotten married! 

This is a picture of us our first Christmas together. We had only been married two months at this time and so excited for our first Christmas together! This Christmas I found out how much my husband, Michael, LOVED Christmas. He makes you want to be a kid again at Christmas!

Sadly, I could not find a picture of just the two of us on our second Christmas, but here is the whole Cross side of the family.

 Our third Christmas together. Still just as in love as our first Christmas together!

We just finished getting our tree for our Christmas 2010. 

This was last year. We had just found out that Grace was on her way! (we did not tell anyone for a few more months) 
I can not wait to look back and see how things change over the years!

It Is Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

If you know me, you know I love to decorate! I am so excited to have my own house to make it look beautiful! Unfortunately, I now know how expensive it can be to decorate. We are slowly making our house become our own, but at Christmas wrapping paper can make anything beautiful! 

I have always loved wrapping. Growing up in a large family I volunteered to wrap everyones gifts for them! Putting these around the house make it very festive! Of course, my husband thought they were all fake. They are not. There are real presents for family inside!

Christmas Party

Last night we went to our first Christmas party as a family. I was a little nervous just because this was the first time we took Grace out after her bedtime other than at a family members house where we could put her to sleep. I am glad to announce she did great! I was so proud of her. She never even cried! We were able to enjoy an evening out with good food, fun, and wonderful company. I love this time of year!

And no, Addis (the dog) did not go to the party, but she wanted to try and run into the picture at the last minute. 

The McKenzie Family Christmas Tree

We realized that this year might be the last one for a long time that we can use white lights on our tree. We know from here on out our tree will be decked out in homemade ornaments, colored lights, popcorn and all the other things for the kiddos. 

Michael is a master at decorating the tree, my job is laying out ornaments, making hot chocolate and holding the tree.

I even put on the overalls for the festive event. I love having my own house to find the perfect place for the tree. We settled on the corner next to the fireplace so it can been seen from both front windows!

And if you were wondering what Grace was doing during all the festivities... well she was a party pooper. I did not put her in her room though because I wanted her to be apart of it all!

We make quite a mess while decorating. It kind of takes over our whole house! (I love it)

Santa's little helper got to put the star on top of the tree! I don't think she knew what she was doing, but we got the picture anyway.

Ok here is the long awaited completed McKenzie Family Christmas Tree!!!

Merry Christmas and I hope you are enjoying this festive season!

Family Christmas Tree Hunt

The McKenzie's have a favorite time of the year... and that is CHRISTMAS! I did not know how much I loved Christmas until I married my husband, Michael. We started a family tradition our first Christmas together and that was driving up to the mountains and getting a Christmas tree. We always leave the day after Thanksgiving with whoever wants to come and pick out our tree for the season. We not only get our tree, but for a present to the Cross Family and to Grandma Stewart we also get a tree for them. (I love how those presents are already done too!)  
The tree farm we go to is really special, they have a fire started with marsh mellows, hot chocolate, and the best apple cider! (the best part... all for free! Of course we do pay for the tree.)

Our tree is the one behind us in the picture! Isn't it beautiful! 
Grace was such a trooper. It was really cold that day and she was so bundled up she could barely move. 

The best part of this is spending time with family and every years has been different. Never has it been the same gang. We look forward to it every year!

Our favorite Christmas movie is Christmas Vacation. Does this picture remind you of anyone?

The mom car has many uses!
Hi! I'm Katie. Wife to Michael. Mom to Grace, David Michael & Emma. Christ Follower. Runner. Stay at home mommy.
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