Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014: G-Fam Style...

...Christmas Eve we drove back to our house. I was getting AR ready for bed when we heard someone "Ho, ho, ho!" outside her window. AR yelled, "Santa, I have to go to bed!" She went to bed with no problems and on Christmas morning, Santa had left her a baby doll crib!

Here she is taking care of her baby and rockin' her new Elsa socks that Santa left in her stocking.

Santa also bought her a Tinkerbell Doll (that I got for a DEAL!).

We hosted Matt's family at our house for breakfast. Here is AR and her Great Grandmother.

My only Pinterest project-these donuts. We also had sausage, fruit, and I made egg cups that were DELICIOUS!

After breakfast, AR showed off her reindeer glasses.

AR is blessed to have so many awesome aunts! Here she is with Aunt EB.

Four generations of the G-Fam!

AR with her Grandma Star

After breakfast at our house, we took a long nap then headed over to Matt's parents for dinner. Minus AR waking up with a cough, it was a great day! On Friday, I was off work and the weather was GORGEOUS! AR was such a good girl as we ran errands (phone store, license bureau, bank), visited the Old Monkey at the car wash, shared lunch at B-Dubs, and enjoyed the weather outside.

She and Shadow played outside for a LONG time while I brushed and brushed and brushed Emma (and you still couldn't tell!). Then we went inside and these two climbed in the wagon together!

Then we stopped by DQ to use a free cone coupon we had. This is an interesting way to eat an ice cream cone...

#lovemyAR #HappybirthdayJesus!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014: Hfield Style...

...OMG! Christmas was sooo awesome this year! We just had such a great time visiting with our families and AR was so into EVERYTHING!!! On 12/23, we arrived at my dad's house. AR was bummed that her step-uncles weren't there but the neighbor boy from across the street came over with his parents. The two of them played Xbox with AR running from the bedroom to the living room saying, "I'm watching the boy play!" Then he actually let her play some NBA basketball game, what a sweetie!

After a horrible night of sleep for AR, Daddy, and me, AR and I joined my sister on the couch at 5AM and finally at 6, my sis told me to go back to bed so I at least got an hour of sleep! Once I was up, it was busy, busy, busy! We had presents to finish wrapping, dinner to cook, and errands to run.

Our grandma makes the best dirt cake! We didn't eat until 4 and then got on the road shortly there after so I was totally bummed that I only got one helping of dirt cake. :-(

We opened presents, Papa was pretty stoked about his swim trunks! Perfect for their honeymoon to "Canada."

Daddy got a pair of binoculars that AR had to try out.

AR loved opening presents and did a pretty good job waiting her turn to open. She "opened" most of her presents because she would fall on them and the paper would rip-lol!

Grandma TT got her this adorable shirt and Aunt Sha the boots. The shirt was a 4 but fit just perfect so we wore it both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

AR also liked helping other people opening their presents.

I also got my dad this Carthart and he loved it! Butchie got TT this apron. What do you think those things are on the apron? Everyone swore they were hamburgers and I was like, no they're macaroons! Luckily, I have my new smartphone so I asked Siri and proved my point!

Our step-brothers couldn't be there but they left my sis and I a present...

These awesome UnderArmor hoodies!!! Luckily, they follow us on IG so we posted a pic to show them how awesome we look in them.

So a few weeks ago, we found out that my grandma has a spot on her lung that is probably cancerous. It was really hard for our whole family to swallow that fact. So far, she's had 2/3 tests come back benign and one inconclusive so now we just wait. In the meantime, we all have faith and she's going to fight it!

After our indoor pic, we decided to head outside to get a pic on the Polaris. Unfortunately it had started raining so that's what the spots are on the pic, but I absolutely LOVE this. Everyone is looking at the camera, smiling, and I just love, love, LOVE it!!!

Another Christmas in the books and another great family celebration!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Festivities...

...As always, another December has come and almost gone. We are truly blessed to have so much family around us as we got to see all kinds of family this month. I tried to do fun activities and see lots of Santa, which we accomplished. But most of all, we had fun, loved each other, and got to spend time together. Here's a little recap of our month...

Had Christmas with Nanny, her husband and Aunt Jo

Nanny spent 13 days with us and spoiled AR rotten. Photo courtesy of AR.

Another photo courtesy of AR

AR got to visit with her Aunt Kim who was in town all the way from Salt Lake City!

Train ride at the mall!

Santa at the mall

Snow at the mall (I think it probably forbidden so my disclaimer-I was not there, this was during Nanny's watch)

Went to the library and visited with Santa...and played and colored and played!

AR used the library catalog to search for Mommy's book...or just to search for random letters and tell us what they were

I love the great, fun holiday events but a nice slow change of pace will be nice. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas to Me!!!

...Last Friday was a pretty sweet day for me! First off, I was off work so that's always fun. Then I headed down to Cape, but first stop was at my sister's. She gave me my early Christmas present from my entire family-an iPhone!!! Wow, twelve days before 2015 and I finally entered the twenty-first century! Crazy to think 2.5 years ago I didn't even have texting! Well, watch out, world! Now I'm going to be a social media queen (hopefully not! I plan to try to limit myself and not use my G a ton!).

I was supposed to meet my dad at eleven but I was early so I decided to swing by "The Bar" from the movie Gone Girl. Talking to a friend on my way down there, I found out that the place had been vandalized and the windows broken so I guess that's what these guys were doing, not realizing they were being a total buzzkill for my photo. Trying not to look too touristy in my hometown, I snapped a quick pic, the very first on my new phone, not realizing that #crackkills. :-/

My dad and I went to lunch at Dexter BBQ-mmm, delish! Then we headed over to the Toyota dealership where I traded in my Tahoe for this little go-cart, a 2014 Toyota RAV4. The deal was pretty sweet and I couldn't pass it up. Honestly, I hated the Tahoe. It was so wide and I really didn't get any more storage than I did in the Tribute so that's why I decided to downgrade. It drives great, but yeah, the storage is pretty small in it. The hardest thing I'm struggling with is that I've finally decided to turn AR around so she's forward facing. I know, I know, it's time, but it's still hard for this Momma because it means my baby is growing up.

Saturday morning, I headed to the fire station to have AR's carseat installed. Saturday morning hanging out with firefighters, well, don't mind if I do! When I got home, we went for a ride and she kept saying, "I get to ride in the front seat!" and "Thank you, Mommy, for my car. It's so cool!"

Of course, now that I'm in my new ride, I have to protect my seat backs. A huge thank you to Dot Dot Travel for the car seat back protectors. As you can see from this picture, they've already come in handy.

All in all, it was a pretty sweet day!!! Thanks family for the phone and thanks to me for the new RAV!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AR's Santa Surprise!!!

...SANTA CAME TO OUR HOUSE!!! And AR was sooo excited! I loved it!!! She was sitting in my lap when there was a knock on the door...

She was yelling, "It's Santa, it's Santa!" But it took her a little while to go greet him.

He sat on the couch and she was jabbering away to him about anything and everything.

I asked her to get in his lap for a picture and she said no. So I said Daddy would and then she climbed right up in Daddy's lap.

Then her and Santa went to work on her Frozen puzzle.

This picture pretty much sums up her excitement. FYI-The whole fam jumped in to help out with the puzzle to get it moving along.

We gave him some cookies early and the two were besties.

The whole G-Fam with Santa...including Ms. Monkey!

And of course, the two of them sang Jingle Bells together!

AH! I love Christmas with AR. Her excitement is truly amazing and it made me feel like a good mom to surprise her and see the joy she had. A huge thank you to Santa for making our day!!! See ya on Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Putting Up the Christmas Tree...

...Matt brought the Christmas tree home on Monday. Ever since, AR keeps asking about "the big tree." Matt also brought home a little tree for her room that her and Nanny will decorate next week when she gets here. Tonight was the night though. We finally got to decorate the "big one" and someone was all into it!

While Daddy cooked dinner, AR and I sorted through the boxes. She wanted to try on the stockings...for real.

As I was stringing the garland, she'd hand it to me and tell me, "I'm helping you, Mommy!" Until she found this small strand and started wearing it as a belt, which she thought was hilarious!

Once we got started, the girl was sooo excited! It was adorable. As an adult, you forget about the "magic" of the Christmas spirit.

She thought all of Matt and I's ornaments were cool. She knew exactly who I was in my younger pic, but she thought Matt was Liz's little boy, Dez! She's got my stocking with my name on it in her hand. A candy cane she made at preschool beside her and do you see a Ms. Monkey???

She was just sooo excited! Matt kept telling her to stop getting in the box without him. He's one of those who likes to spend like five minutes reminiscing on each ornament. Oh and always telling me there's a box missing. :-/


Look at the concentration...and the three ornaments all hanging together on the garland!

This is the angel from my tree when I was a small child. I'm pretty sure it's bad, but Matt always insists on putting it at the top of the tree. :-/

The two of them admiring their work...#lovemyAR

It's going to be a fun season!!! And I have the ultimate surprise for her next week, stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Colors of Christmas...

...AR's preschool is at a church. They did a Christmas program called "The Colors of Christmas." We've been listening to the CD in my car for the past month! On Saturday, we had rehearsal! This is at the end of practice and she was pretty stoked because she got fruit snacks.

I was really concerned because when we arrived, the director told us to take off our shoes. AR refused and started hanging on me so I thought she wasn't going to go. Luckily, the little boy in front of us helped to coax AR to take off her shoes and she went on stage no problem.

I have no idea who the girl is beside her, but love her! She was helping AR to stand/sit when it was time. They were holding hands part of the time and then the little girl started playing with AR's hair. Adorable!

AND...AR gets to hold a snowflake!!! She even licked it to mark her territory!

She found me!

Aside from being distracted and her back to the audience majority of the show, she did pretty good. Here she is holding her snowflake! I was so happy she was paying attention and held it up at the right time.

And this is what she did majority of the time...shake her booty! Oh, and once she spotted me in the audience, she would point and say, "Hi Mommy!" then turn to the teacher and point me out to her.

After the program, the kids got to have a birthday party for Jesus. Well done, everyone!

Found more pics, had to crop to her and they're adorable!

Dancing almost the whole time!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Santa at the Fire Station!!!

...Today we had a BUSY day! First, we had breakfast with the Brink family. I feel like I haven't seen them in AGES! Emma and AR were so excited to see each other. Then we went to her preschool for practice for her Christmas program tomorrow (another post on that!). After practice, we drove by the fire station and O-M-G! The parking lot was FULL, people were parking on side streets and walking so I told AR we'd come back later. So we went grocery shopping and ran some other errands and we STILL waited almost 40 minutes to see Santa. Last year there was like NO ONE there, this year-MADHOUSE! No worries, AR was entertained with Frosty on the big screen and playing/marching with the other kids. I, on the other hand, graded papers :-/

We also toured the fire truck. This should be no surprise that my daughter LOVED it! #likemotherlikedaughter #weheartfirefighters

She got in the driver's seat and insisted that she hook her seatbelt!

Then we got to see Santa. He was FANTASTIC!!!

The two of them chatted about carrots and baby dolls like they were besties.

And of course, she was super excited to get her candy cane!

Thank you Station #2 for putting this together! It was great and I love how intimate it is, they have a great system set up.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My Third Book Release!!!

..Today is the release of my third book, Everybody's After Love! It is based here in STL and loosely based around Matt and me. Let me know if you read it and what you think!

TITLE: Everybody's After Love
AUTHOR: Lyssa Layne
GENRE: Contemporary Romance 
PUBLICATION DATE: December 3, 2014
COVER DESIGN: Kelly Walker
LENGTH: 60,000+ words
CONTENT WARNING: Some adult content

Jules Rossi’s world is about to be turned upside down when her big brother, Paulie, announces his engagement. Having been raised by her brother after their parents died, she’s used to him being her knight in shining armor and isn’t ready to share him with anyone else.

Throughout all the wedding festivities, Jules’ path continues to cross with Paulie’s future brother-in-law, Bentley Ladner. Bentley soon begins to take on Paulie’s role in Jules’ life, which neither of the Rossi siblings is too sure about. Can Jules cope with the secrets Bentley is keeping? Or will she lose his support when she finally decides to give love a chance?

As much as I wanted to dislike Bentley as much as I did his sister, I just couldn’t. He was easy to talk to, he pushed me to go outside my comfort zone, and he challenged me to let go of my past, something Paulie’s been begging me to do for years. Not to mention, he was easy on the eyes and I still can’t forget the way I felt with his hands on my waist.

Taking my turn in the portable bathroom, I hurry as the stench of the warm, small area is overwhelming. Swinging the door open, I step out quickly. Combined with my natural clumsiness and the couple beers I’d already had, I trip and fall into a broad body that grips my arms.

“Julianna Rossi,” he says. I cringe from his touch, his words, and the alcohol on his breath. “I’ve missed you, babe.”

Kevin tries to pull me in for a kiss, but I firmly plant my hands on his chest and push away. My eyes drift up and down his body and I have to admit, his muscular physique looks good in the too tight red Cardinals shirt he’s wearing.

“Let me go,” I say quietly, trying not to cause a scene.

His grip on my arms gets tighter, making me feel uncomfortable. Suddenly, that fear I had when I was with him last, riding in that tiny elevator, starts to creep back. His fingers curl stronger around my upper arms, pain throbs through my biceps and my body starts to tremble.

Leaning in close to my ear, he whispers, “I don’t think so.”

Frantically, darting my eyes around the party, I am hoping that my brother or one of our friends is close by. As if I willed them to be there, behind me I hear someone calling my name. Kevin and I both twist around to the voice drawing our attention. Just as quickly as I was relieved, I’m shocked when I see who it is.

Walking toward us in jeans, a red t-shirt that isn’t too tight but definitely shows off his bulging biceps, and a camo baseball cap with a STL logo on it is Bentley. His dimple and sideways smile greet me until he sees Kevin’s grip on my arms and probably the fear in my eyes. His stride gets a bit quicker and I feel Kevin’s fingers let go of me as he gets closer.

The moment I’m free of his grasp, I step toward Bentley who pulls me under his arm. It’s only the second time I’ve ever met him, but I feel more comfortable with him by my side than my ex. Glancing up at Bentley, I can see in his eyes that he’s wondering if I’m okay. I give a slight nod to let him know I’m alright. My arm slides around his torso as I try to steady my body from shaking. Adrenaline races through my body because of both the men standing before me, for two totally different reasons.

Lyssa Layne is first, and foremost, the proud momma to her precious daughter, AR. In addition to working full-time and being a mommy to AR, she is also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan, a runner, blogger, and an infertility survivor.

Having watched one too many medical dramas and being inspired by author Rachelle Ayala, who introduced her to the world of indie writing, Lyssa decided to try her hand at writing a romance story. Her attempt turned into the Burning Lovesick series. You can find Lyssa's own interests throughout her stories although all stories are fictional.

The jewelry being offered in this giveaway is from Rosey Johnny.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Butchie Gets Married!!!

...This past weekend, my dad got married! We headed down to Cape on Friday and had a whole wedding weekend. Here I am giving my Daddy a kiss the night before the wedding.

The wedding was real low-key. They had the ceremony in their house and then the reception at the winery outside their subdivision. Here's AR chillin' before the ceremony.

I took all the pics before and during the ceremony BUT I put them all on my Dad's comp instead of saving any for myself. :-/ Here's a pic of them before the reception.

While I played photographer, my sister was in charge of table decorations.

If you haven't picked up on it here or on Facebook, AR is quite a bit of a Mommy's girl. So while I had to take pictures, she wasn't too happy about hanging out with Daddy. :-(

Here's my sister with one of our new step-brother's.

Halfway through the reception, we ditched the tights and fancy shoes for penguin socks and tennis shoes. AR was in love with her penguin socks!

The Mr. G and me... The winery food was great, but the place was small and with lots of people, we were all sweating, hence the ponytail.

First thing Sunday morning, AR woke up and looked at me. "Mommy, I had so much fun at Papa's wedding!" Does that not melt your heart???
So that's all the pics I have right now, hopefully, I'll get some more later and will post then because I think I did a pretty rockin' job despite my lack of photog skills. Anyways, congrats Papa and Granny TT! Best of luck to your marriage!