Merry & Bright.

Baby's First Christmas. So much fun.

This little lady made quite the haul. Everyone went crazy and got each other too many presents but it was so much fun to watch Gracyn open and peek into her gifts. We have spent the days since playing and playing and playing some more with all of her new toys.

As my mom would say, we are now experiencing the post-Christmas letdown. Our family has all gone back home and we are enjoying our last day of Christmas Vacation snuggled inside. Of course it went all too fast but it was a wonderful few days having my parents and little brother in town.

As tradition would have it, we had a spaghetti dinner Christmas Eve followed by a few rounds of opening gifts. Santa came after Gracyn went to bed - she was definitely on the nice list this year. Lots of goodies. I did not get a family picture - I have a serious issue of forgetting to take a family photo and/or photos of anyone besides Gracyn apparently. 2014 resolution, I guess.

We are back to reality tomorrow - work and daycare - but this Christmas was definitely one for the books (or blog...).

Gracyn :: 11 Months Old

Another month down. Eleven months old. One month closer to this sweet girl's FIRST birthday! I ordered the invitations and party planning is in full swing via Pinterest. Even though I'm excited for G's birthday, I kind of want to pause time and keep her just how she is now. I'm loving this babbling, walking running, giggling eleven month old...

New this month:

Dancing. G likes to get down with her bad self. She will dance with her toys or when a commercial plays a tune. She'll stop what she's doing and start twisting back and forth to the beat. If you ask her to dance, she will gladly show of her skills as well.

She's obsessed with carrying her shoes around the house. Really, she'll carry anything and usually has something in her hands as she tears through each room. She'll also bring you things or "show" you what she has. I can ask her to go get something (stuffed puppy, toy cell phone) and she'll take off to find it, babbling to herself along the way.

She's started giving hugs and the sweetest, best open-mouth kisses you've ever seen. Slobber and all. They're truly the best.
i mean, seriously.
We are so pumped for Christmas this week. Gracyn has already tried to open presents under the tree and she's infatuated by the ornaments. She'll walk over to the tree and stare, shaking her head since we've told her 19292384 times "no-no" when she grabs for one.

Gracyn, you never cease to amaze us. Your daddy and I love you so much. Month eleven, you might be my favorite yet. 

{Virtual} Pajama Party

We're joining in on some festive virtual pajama party fun over here tonight. We totally missed out on the Halloween pajama party (we had a costume crisis on our hands…) so I was super pumped when I heard Darci and the girls were hosting another party. And yeah, I talk about these people like I know them. I don't. Never met them. But that's the beauty of the blogosphere - we I read about each other's their lives and I feel like I know them and they know me and we're best of friends. Or something creepy like that…

Anyways, back to the par-tay... 
Getting a decent picture of Gracyn is a daily challenge I like to bestow upon myself. One of these days she'll be "trained" to stand still for longer than .547 seconds so mama can get just one or one hundred 'cuz lets be honest, mama can't just take one…

This last pic just screams "Merry Christmas" right? Poor thing. She was not having it. Time for bed. Even when she's crying she's the cutest little elf. 

Christmas Eve is in TWO weeks! Woo hoo! I best get to finishing up my shopping and wrapping those presents. Justin and I both took the whole week of Christmas off to spend the days at home with our little family and I cannot wait. It is going to be glorious. Cannot wait.

Happy Holidays!!


Gracyn's first Turkey Day was spent in Tulsa visiting Justin's side of the family. It's always fun to head down south to visit  his mom, siblings and all of our nieces and nephews that we don't get to see all too often. Gracyn's cousin Ruger is 6 weeks older than she is - it was so fun to see them babble back and forth and interact. Ruger's not quite walking yet and a couple of times G got a little too excited and would fall on top of him. She even sat on him one time. You know I got that on video. I 'grammed it, don't worry.

Between the 11 grandkids on that side, things can get a little CrAzY and of course we didn't get any good pictures. I totally failed and didn't even use my nice camera. Nor did I get a family picture on Thanksgiving day. Bummer. And I think I need a serious iPhone upgrade…the camera on my phone is so lame.

Without getting too sentimental and mushy on you, I really do need to take a moment and reflect on just how thankful I am this year. I mean, I'm thankful every year (every day, really) but this year takes the cake. I have a rock-star husband and one awesome baby girl. We are all healthy and happy. Life is pretty darn good and I couldn't really ask for anything else.

Gracyn :: 10 Months Old

Greetings from South Dakota. We are visiting my parents for a long weekend and it's cold here. Like "the high is 17 degrees today so let's just stay inside and drink cocktails in order to stay warm" cold.

G is 10 months old today. How this happened, I'm not sure. Poor sweet girl has been fighting a nasty cold and cough for the last week or so. I had to photo-shop snot out of every picture. True story.

I'm pretty sure I say this every month, but she is so awesome. And getting more awesome by the minute. She's perfecting her walking skills, loves to clap (sometimes she'll clap while walking almost like she's cheering herself on) and is very vocal. She'll imitate words and sounds and every time Justin says "I love you" she responds with 3 syllables that pretty much sound like she's saying "I love you" back. Heart = melted.

I cannot wait for the holidays coming up.  I keep thinking of things I want to get her and have several lists started. I have a feeling she's going to be one spoiled baby come Christmas.

Despite a cold, Gracyn is still her happy self. She's goofy and sweet and makes our lives so, so, so much better.
And I had to post this one because it pretty much sums up our world: always moving, always smiling, always talking (she was yelling in this one...) and it looks like she's playing air guitar.

We love you, baby girl!

Adventures in Raising a Rufus...Vol. 3

My dog does so many asshole things that I could write a book. Instead I'll just make it a series of recurring blog posts with the same title where I can complain about all of the asshole things he does...

Welp, it's that time again. I've rounded up enough examples of just how terrible our dog is that it's time for me to blab about them on the internets. I'm turning into a crotchety old lady when it comes to dogs - and maybe pets in general. If you're thinking about getting a dog, just don't do it. I'm almost positive that Rufus is the exception to every single rule in the book but because of him, I'm convinced that I'll never own a dog again. And when the kids ask for a new puppy in 10 years (who am I kidding, Rufus will still be with us...) I'll direct them back to this old bloggity-blog and have them read about the horrible, terrible, no good things he did.

So without further ado:

Rufus at a glorious MarCon apple pie of the counter. It was towards the back of the counter but because he's 17 feet tall when standing on his hind legs, he had no problem gobbling that sucker right up. The serving utensil that was in the pie tin was untouched. And I didn't even get a piece. Sorry, Aunt Priscilla...

He ate on cookies off counter. Again, he's 17 feet tall. See above.

I made a nice breakfast one Saturday morning- blueberry pancakes. Yum. Rufus thought they were delicious too and ate them off the table. Rufus is a shark. He seemingly wanders by the table, acting aloof and then all of a sudden, he strikes. Snatches up the pancakes while still moving in one, quick, fluid motion. It takes all but a second and then they're gone.

One night, Rufus tricked me into getting up from the table so he could swoop in and eat spaghetti off my plate. He was barking at the front door; I got up to look and see what he was barking at; he darted behind me back into the kitchen and ate my 'sketti. I was pissed.

Basically, he eats things.
i ated it...
And the kicker:

Last night, Rufus would not come in from outside. It was 10:30 PM and all we wanted to do was go to bed. Justin had to go out into the yard and coax him to come inside. Then, Rufus would not come upstairs. Normally he'll sleep on the floor in our bedroom but he was being a schitzo and would not come up. Instead he was panting at the bottom of the stairs and pacing throughout the main level. I thought I was going to have a stroke from listening to the repeated click-click-click of his nails on the hard floor.
After a few hours (Eff my life...) of trying to get him to settle down, I started getting paranoid thinking that maybe, JUST MAYBE, Rufus was trying to be Lassie or something and warn us of danger (at this point, I think I was so tired I was delusional...). Gas leak? Carbon monoxide? I've heard of dogs "warning" their owners when things just don't seem right. He was being so weird, I thought maybe this could be it. I woke up Justin (who of course could sleep through it all) and told him I was going to Walmart to get a carbon monoxide detector. He assured me that we already had one of those in the house but I couldn't sleep so I figured it couldn't hurt.

There are some interesting people at Walmart at 1:00 AM... Just sayin'...

I picked up 2 carbon monoxide detectors and 2 cans of Redbull (this mama was going to need an extra kick to make it through the next day...) and headed home. I got the bad boy plugged in and to my relief, we were not being poisoned. Peace of mind. Better safe than sorry. But. This means my dog was NOT being Lassie. He was just being a bitch.

At 2:00 AM, I woke Justin up again and had him CARRY our 100lb+ dog upstairs so we (I) could all go to sleep.

This morning, Justin had to CARRY our 100lb+ dog down the stairs and outside so he could tinkle. I was running late for work this morning (big surprise) and again, he would not come inside. I had the baby in one arm and had Rufus by the collar in the other and dragged his ass inside. Not cool.
carry me, bitches.

He probably pulled a muscle chasing squirrels or something last night and maybe he was in a little pit of pain but come. on. This was just a teensy bit ridiculous...

Tonight? Went up and down the stairs (outside and inside) like nothing was wrong. Asshole.
sorry not sorry
I should really stop compiling these posts documenting Rufus and his very bad behavior because all it's doing is highlighting the fact that we really need a dog trainer and should have called in reinforcements oh, I don't know, four years ago?! But now we're all "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" and so well probably just live with it for the rest of our lives.

Thank goodness the internet lets anyone have a blog and I have a place where I can bitch about it.

*I totally snagged these photos from my mom's facebook page. Thanks, ma!

Upwardly Mobile

Five on Friday. At 8:30 pm. In my pajamas. That's what's up...


Ladies and Gents, we have a walker on our hands! Miss Gracyn decided last night that she knew how to walk and took off. Well not really - she still looks like a drunken sailor waddling around the room, pausing here and there to catch her balance. But walking non the less!


And because Instagram only lets me post videos of the little lady 15 seconds at a time, I'm going to totally cheat on entries 3-5 and overload you with full videos of G's new milestone. Justin and I were the crazy, excited, goofy parents and both had our cell phones out trying to get videos of her pitter-pattering around the house. We then emailed each other the videos and now I have 13 different clips of her taking a few steps and then falling down. Don't worry, I won't post all of them...


Walking AND eating shoes. Kid's got talent.


She takes a couple of steps, falls and speed-crawls over to her toys and ignores me.


Slobbering all over one of her headbands. And I know her diaper is maxed out - we were headed to take a bath after I got just one more video...

Linkin' up. Everyone's doing it...

DIY :: Replacing Appliances

Ok, so maybe we weren't drunk when we decided to go buy a new microwave and dishwasher this weekend but this was just too funny not to post. I haven't done this in awhile but one of my guilty pleasures is to grab a glass of wine or three and have a pinning-fest. Afterwards I'm all pin-spired to get my hands on a little project and the vino is giving me the confidence that I could conquer all. I have a list of projects that I want to do around this old house but since the list is long and the budget is tight, I haven't been able to DIY in awhile. *sad face*

And when the dishwasher started rusting from the inside out, replacing it became more of a priority than repainting the dining room for the third time. So, off to Nebraska Furniture Mart we went. Everything in our home (TVs, couches, tables, appliances...) has come from that damn store. It's amazing and I love that place.

We've been needing to get a new dishwasher for awhile now- the bottom rack was rusting away and pieces were breaking off. We could only wash 8 plates at a time and it didn't to a great job of getting the silverware clean. We were always having to rewash forks after a cycle. Not cool. And a couple of weeks ago we noticed the microwave wasn't working like it should. It took me 2 minutes to warm up a leftover piece of pizza. That's not right. So while we were dishwasher shopping, we scooped up a microwave too. They were being delivered Sunday morning so Saturday night consisted of Justin and me removing the old pieces.
Spices, anyone?
Are you jealous of all of my counter space? No? Didn't think so.

We had to google how to disconnect a dishwasher and of course it couldn't have been easy for us. There was a copper water line that had to be replaced and when we turned off the water supply to the dishwasher, water was still coming out so we ended up having to turn off water to then entire house. Justin replaced the shut-off valve the next morning so we could at least feed our child, get cleaned up and flush our toilets.

Instead of paying the $150 to have NFM install the new appliances, Justin and I thought we could handle that too. All you need is Youtube, right? Right! It only took 2 tries to get the new microwave up. Measuring under a cabinet and over a stove is awkward and ended up being a real pain in the ass. Justin eventually got it figured out and it is now resting comfortably in it's new home...
hello gorgeous.
Installing the dishwasher wasn't too bad although I'm sure Justin would disagree since he was the one laying on the kitchen floor trying to reconnect that bad boy. It was slow-going but he managed to figure it out. He's so handy...
no rust. only stainless steel.
You'd think that would be the end of our appliance adventure but after we got this beast installed, we started a cycle to wash our dishes. During the rinse cycle, water started spraying out from the door. We quickly cancelled the wash and removed the panel at the bottom to see what we had done wrong. It wasn't leaking underneath the unit; the connections were all dry and it seemed to be draining properly. We think it either got damaged during delivery or we have a defective machine (boo!). Either way, the Whirlpool peeps are coming out this Saturday to look at it. If they can't fix it, Nebraska Furniture Mart will do an even exchange. So that sucks, but at least we were able to get it installed and it looks pretty.
We are not loving the mix-and-match appliances and we'll eventually replace the stove and fridge but for now this will have to do. We can properly reheat food and by the end of the week (hopefully!) we'll be able to wash our dishes and have them actually come out clean. The Oakley's are moving on up in the world, people. Watch out!

Family Photos, Holiday Planning and more!

What is this? A link-up? Haven't done this in awhile - feels good to get back to my linking ways...


We took family pictures a few weeks ago and they turned out pretty decent. I'm always way too critical of myself and don't always love the way I look in pictures but these aren't too shabby. We only paid for a handful of proofs and that's all I wanted/needed. One good one of the three of us and one of Gracyn who, let's face it, has never taken one bad picture in her whole entire life.
And bonus - we even got good ones of the little peanut with mama and another one with daddy...


I've already used said family photos to make our Christmas cards for this year. Go me- I'm on top of things. Not really but let's pretend shall we? I spent entirely too much time "designing" the card on Shutterfly that showcases the Oakley Three. Justin is typically against sending out a card with multiple pictures of our smiling faces so I limited it to a card with only one picture on the front this year {and two pictures on the back...but shhhh, don't tell}.


I officially started Christmas shopping the other day. On one of my 438 weekly trips to Target, I picked up a couple of outfits for G and a few board books as stocking-stuffers. The books were only $1 each so obviously I had to get them. I'm getting weirdly excited about her first Christmas. I can't wait to start some family traditions that we can carry on from year to year. I'm also excited to partake in holiday cocktails since last year I was with child and all. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve just aren't the same without a glass of wine.

Is it too soon to start planning Gracyn's FIRST (holy. moly.) birthday party? I feel like it's too soon but the holidays are comin' quick and before we know it, it'll be 2014 which means she'll be ONE in the blink of an eye. I better hop on over to Pinterest to gather ideas.


Several ladies behind some of the blogs I read are pregnant and they're filling up my daily blog reading with weekly bump updates, newborn clothes, nursery decor and maternity leggings. It really pulls at a girl's heart (and uterus...) strings, I tell you what. And since my baby is going to technically be considered a toddler here in a few short months, {newborn} baby fever is in the hizz-ouse. I must be crazy.

Linking up with the best...

a. liz adventures
carolina charm
hello! happiness and
the good life blog

Happy weekend!

Costume Change.

I mean, seriously, I should probably just quit my day job and be a photographer. Several thousand pictures of tonight's shenanigans and only one where she's looking directly at the camera. I call my style "Quick get the camera, make the baby stand still while I try to get a picture. Oh shit it's blurry lets try that again and again...and again. Hold on, I'm sweating - she won't sit still! I guess that'll do..." I'm booking sessions for 2014 starting now so you betta sign up...

Anyway, Halloween Witch turned out to be a much better costume than "Mummy that doesn't quite look like a mummy" so I'd say G's first Halloween was a success. We had a good handful of Trick-or-Treaters although not as many as last year. I guess it's a thing around here that parents dress up in costume too as they take their children door-to-door so I better get started planning our stellar costumes for next year. Hopefully it won't be as big of a cluster as it was this year. First-time mom problems, I tell ya.