Our Christmas Day

Happy New Years Eve! We are feeling very blessed, 2013 has been very good to us and maybe one of the best yet! 

Grace's second Christmas was one of the best holidays we have had yet! 

Watching Grace wake up and run to see what was left under the tree could not have been better. Grace knew exactly what to do! She took off the bows and immediately began smiling and playing. 

The day was spend playing with toys and more toys, going for a run and cooking an amazing Christmas dinner!

It was a different Christmas for us not being with extended family, but so special to begin traditions with Grace and our small family. 

I hope you all had the most amazing Christmas with the ones you love!!!

What I Have Been Reading...

I have been blogging now for over a year and really love looking back at our little life. Before I started blogging I was an avid blogger follower. I wanted to share with you all the blogs that I keep up with and enjoy reading. (They are in no particular order)

  • Hamme Sweet Hamme- Stephanie is a new momma to Emmah, wife to Michael and Jesus follower.
  • A Day In The Life Of The Moores- Ashley is one of my good friends and has two very beautiful little girls! She is an excellent baker and crafter! She recently taught me how to make homemade laundry detergent!
  • Burlap and Baby- Jen has a precious little boy, Christian, which is just about the same age and Grace and I love watching them grow up.
  • C Style- I am a new follower to Carly's blog, but love all of her fashion advice (which I desperately need). I just wish I could afford it all! Ha!
  • Cross Sisters- This is a blog my sisters, mom and I began a few months ago. Just a little way to share recipes and pictures.
  • Little Baby Pierce- Lidnsey and Nik are friends of mine and people I aspire to be like. Their faith in our Savior is amazing. Baby Pierce was born 23 weeks gestation and he is truly a miracle baby. 
  • Hello Newly Wed Life- I can be found stealing one of Megan's recipes almost on a weekly basis!
  • Little Baby Garvin- I began following Jessica's pregnancy updates before I even knew I was pregnant. 
  • Mommy's First Year- Chandelle is an encouragment to me because she really is a Chrisian momma in more than one way.
  • My Blossoming Bud- Katie has a little boy who was born within days of Grace and I love comparing notes and ideas with her.
  • Parties For Pennies- I know you have heard me talking about my very talented cousin, Heidi, before, but really she might just be the most talented person I know! If you love to throw parties, decorate, cook and so much more and don't have a lot of cash laying around? Then check out her blog she will have the answer!
  • Pretty Little Elm- Brittany has the sweetest little etsy shop. You know how I LOVE hairbows and she has the best!
  • Sharing Our Journey- This lady is amazing! She is a momma of two, speech pathologist, wife, and business owner. She can do it all!
  • The Chronicles of Ruthie Hart- I love following along with fellow believers.
  • The Doucet Diaries- Chrissy has such a cute little girl and great recipes. 
  • The Thankful Mom- This is my long time friend, Mary Frances. We have known eachother literally as long as I can remember. It is so much fun to keep up and now watch each other's children grow!
  • The Baby Doctor's Wife- Carin is a fellow running friend and momma to a three month old little girl. She is full of knowledge and I love being encouraged by her.
  • This Runner's Trials- I have been following Jen's blog the longest. She is a running momma of a little boy and a girl on the way... and still running! She runs a lot of races and I have gleaned a lot of running advice from her being a momma too.
    Words About Waverly

  • Word's About Waverly- Last but certainly NOT least! I love hearing from Ashley and Waverly. She keeps me inspired to always look nice and festive. Also little Miss Waverly is just weeks ahead of Grace and it is so nice to hear from other mommas going through the exact same stages.
If you are new to the blogger world, wether follower or writer, these blogs are a great place to start! Enjoy Reading!

Weekend Update

This past weekend was all about the McKenzies! We headed up to Hendersonville, where Grace's Uncle Justin, Aunt Jessica and Cousin Luke live. (Grace's favorite and only cousin) Michael's other brother Elliott was able to make the drive down from Boone with his girlfriend, Brittany, to spend the day as a family!

We ventured out in the pouring rain to view the gingerbread houses at The Grove Park Inn. It was very festive, but I have to say, not exactly the place to take a toddler who has been riding in the car all morning! Ha!

We attempted to put Grace on Santa's lap, but she kicked, screamed and was not really having it. The pictures in front of the Christmas tree turned out much better!

Photographed by Uncle Elliott

After grabbing some pizza for lunch (which I have to add Grace has TWO pieces) we headed back for the kiddos to take some much needed naps! After relaxing a bit, we went on a walk in downtown Hendersonville. Which is beautiful this time of year with all the lights and displays. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with festiveness!

What Will Be In Grace's Stocking...

I'm finishing up Grace's stocking (I am attempting to sew it) and I thought I would share the items that will be stuffed. I love to hunt for items that are fun and will fit in a little space.

The total amount spent on Grace for Christmas between what will be under the tree and her in stocking is $50.00! 

Book: I found these simple board books at Dollar tree and I know that she will love flipping through the pages.

Stuffed Animal: I thought this little elephant was so cute, especially hanging out of her stocking on Christmas morning! (If you can't tell by Grace's room, I love elephants!)

Sippy Cups: I bought these a while ago, and I am still a little hesitant about them, but I think we will give them a try. (I'll let you know how it goes...)

When I was growing up my dad will always fill up our stockings with fruit from the kitchen, and I am planning on keeping the tradition going and making her stocking fill extra heavy!

What will be hanging from your mantle this year?

What Grace is getting for Christmas!

I have literally been shopping all year for Grace's Christmas presents. I want to make it special for her, but I also do not want to spend a lot of money. Here is what will be under the tree for her on Christmas morning!

Corn-Popper: A few months ago I found this on sale for $5 and she loves dragging things around, so I am counting on this being a big hit!

B. Meowsic Keyboard: Grace loves music! She breaks out dancing at any sound of music. This little keyboard plays tunes and also different instrument, so when it went on sale for $20 dollars at Target I snatched it up!

Chunky Wooden Puzzle: I constantly look at all the adds on Sunday for all the stores. When Toys R US had their puzzles buy one get one free I immediately thought Christmas. Grace loves putting things together and doesn't currently have any puzzles. 

Melissa & Doug Wooden Puzzle: This is the other puzzle I bought.

NC State Pillow Case Dress: Of course all girls love clothes! I had to add one of my pillowcase dresses to wrap under the tree.

What will be under your tree?
PS- Don't tell Grace :)

Reindeer Run 5K

Saturday was a big day for me... I ran our local reindeer run... And I finished FIRST in my age group!!! This is a first for me! (Pun intended) 

No matter how many races I run I still wake up with butterflies the morning of the run. I had not been running too much the week before, due to Michael getting home and the weather. So needless to say I really did not know how the run was going to turn out. When I woke up on Saturday there was a constant slow rain coming down, thankfully it wasn't too cold. 

When I arrived at the race my favorite running moms were there!

This group of mommas has and is amazing! They are my true motivators, confidonts, encouragers and friends! 

When the race began I was actually feeling pretty good. So I kept running till my watch beeped for the first mile and I looked down to see 7:33. This is not normal for me! But I kept running and gave it all I had. After all there were only 2 miles left.  My official time was 24:17, which was only 19 seconds faster than my last 5K, but still faster!

By mile 3 I was so glad to be done, but also proud of myself for running and setting a PR for myself. 

Now I am ready for the next race!

Need Help Christmas Shopping?

Do you have a special little girl who needs a one of a kind dress for a special occasion? Look no further than my Etsy Shop! I have some dresses that are already made and ready to ship or I will be glad to make your custom dress for that special little girl. These are perfect Christmas presents for your nieces, daughters and cousins!

One of my very best friend has two very special, beautiful little girls who are modeling their dresses beautifully!

(Thank you Suzanne and family for being such wonderful models! Your family is beautiful and I love you very much!)

These dresses work well with white long sleeve shirts and leggings or without for any season!

Let me know how I can help!

Our Christmas Tree

Ever since we got married we made a tradition of the Saturday after Thanksgiving driving to the mountains and picking out our Christmas tree! (You can check out our hunt last year here and our tree here

We look forward to this time every year. We always go to the same wonderful Christmas tree farm. They have the best looking trees, best prices, wonderful FREE apple cider, marshmallows for the kids to roast by the fire and great service. 

We were unable to see Grace's Uncle Oliver and Aunt Callie on Thanksgiving so we made a little detour on our way to the mountains to see two people we love greatly!

( I think she loves her Aunt Callie)

I think I was looking forward to taking Grace to pick out a tree more than I was looking forward to eating our Thanksgiving meal. And you know I love to eat! When we arrived at the farm Grace immediately started running through the trees. She was having the time of her life.

It was so cold that day, but she showed no sign of discomfort only pure joy and excitement!

She really was looking at all the trees and touching them just like her daddy.

Sunday was all about decorating! Michael is our expert Christmas decorator. Anything he touches can be made beautiful and festive. 

In keeping with the tradition we began last year, Grace put the star on top of the tree.

Grace was a little worn out however after decorating all morning.

Now for wrapping presents!

Our Thanksgiving

We were looking forward to Thanksgiving so much! We were literally counting down the days and hours. Mostly because Michael was coming home the night before! 

Our Thanksgiving began Wednesday afternoon heading to the airport! I have to be honest, I was a little nervous how Grace would react to Michael coming home. We had not seen him for 3 weeks and I knew he would have a beard from not shaving. She reacted perfectly and ran to him with a big smile and hug as soon as she locked eyes on him. Seeing her run to her daddy made my heart melt! She loves him so much!

After all the hugs and kisses, we hopped in the car and treaded through all the traffic to NC. Thankfully we made if safely to the McKenzie Household, just in time for some warm soup. We love spending time with family! 

 My mother-in-law knows how to make a house really feel like a home.

Grace is completely in love with her cousin Luke and wanted to be just like him.

Thursday evening we jumped back into the car to head to the Cross House (my side of the family). We were greeted by Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and dogs! The house was full, which makes the holiday really fun and festive. Grace loves having so many people to play with and mommy loves having so many people to change her diaper! Grace loved having two Thanksgiving meals too! (And mom didn't mind either)

I know you have heard me talk about my sister Margaret before and any holiday would not be complete without a good long run with my sister.

Hope you have a wonderful Holiday with friends and family! We are so Thankful and blessed!

My Love

Today's post is all about Michael, my best friend, my husband, Grace's dad-dad, and the best person I know. 

Michael has been gone for the last 3 weeks. You see his heart is bigger than anyone that I know. He loves all people "red, yellow, black and white". He was across the world sharing the good news of our Savior to people who have never even heard His name. 

Some people might turn their head and wonder why he would leave his family, pay money, eat "interesting" food, sleep on the floor and fly on a plane for 24 hrs? He has a call on a his life for the unreached people of the world. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”(Romans10:13-15)

I know it is hard for most to believe that there ARE people in our world today that have not heard the word "Jesus", but there are millions! Now thankfully there are many more people who know the name of our Lord! 

Even though it was hard for Grace and I to be here alone, we will gratefully be prayer warriors. Thank you for all who gave your time, energy and prayers. 

Hi! I'm Katie. Wife to Michael. Mom to Grace, David Michael & Emma. Christ Follower. Runner. Stay at home mommy.
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