Friday, December 27, 2013

The Whole Keenan Clan

Hi everyone! I'm briefly checking in while enjoying my vacation in the Northwest with family! Christmas was magical this year, and I'll give a little recap once we are back in Utah and in our normal routine.  But for those of you in need of a little Liam fix, check out these beautiful photos taken by the talented Lindsey of Lindsey Jane Photography!  Everyone in Conor's family was in Montana for Christmas, so we took the opportunity to document the moment. I love the dynamics that surround being a part of a large family. Lindsey was so patient with us all, and captured many special moments. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Monday, December 23, 2013

17 Months Old

Stats: Height: 33 1/2 inches.  Weight: 23.13 pounds.

Favorite Foods:   No huge developments in the food department.  He has eaten mac & cheese a couple times and seems to like it, so I need to find a healthy & quick version to make for him.  Cheese really seems to be his thing these days... cottage cheese, string cheese, goat cheese, etc.  He gets particularly excited about Boursin on rice crackers (one of mama's favorite snacks too)!  And for a little treat every once awhile we buy Teensy Fruits; he goes crazy for these things and will be on his best behavior as he slowly picks them out of the package one by one!

Breastfeeding:  Nursing a toddler has been quite the experience!  I love how it calms him down and gives us a few quiet moments throughout the day.  Some days he only nurses twice (nap time and once before dinner) and other days, that seem to be rough for the little guy, he nurses frequently.  Liam hasn't been sick at all this winter, which I attribute to him still being breastfed as well; there are just so many benefits!  He's still nursing throughout the night, but hopefully this will start to slow down as well!  

New Words:  We have a little chatter box on our hands!  There are far too many new words to list!  It has been so fun watching him figure out how to communicate with us and to see just how quickly he can learn a new word.  Hearing his sweet voice just melts my heart.  I cannot wait 'til the day that he says "I love you!"; that will be a big moment for me!

Sleep:  He is only sneaking in a 2nd nap if we're in the car late in the day, otherwise he's down to 1 nap and that usually happens about 2 hours after he wakes up for the day.  Still sleeping from 8:30am-8:30pm and waking up about every 3 hours (this is an improvement from every 2)!  I think he may have slept for 7 hours straight one night, or I just slept through him waking up and nursing.  Either way, I was excited!  Liam's is still in our bed, and we are perfectly fine with that. :-)

Favorite Interests:  His interests are really starting to show.  This month brought an obsession with cars & trucks!  He loves to walk around our neighborhood and point out every single vehicle we pass, and pretty much does the same thing in parking lots.  He also just discovered puzzles, which quickly became a favorite activity.  He will sit quietly at his table taking the pieces all out and then putting them back in; it's one of the few times he is still.  He looks like such a big boy that I just can't handle it!  As usual, books are his number one, absolute favorite, I could do this all day activity.  We now keep a book or two in the car for him to look at while we're driving.  We've been reading The Goodnight Train on repeat lately.  He loves all the fun things in the pictures, and Mama has fun reading all the rhymes, winner winner!

Our love for sweet baby Liam grows with every day!  He is constantly changing & surprising us, and boy are they the best surprises!  His smile & laugh are contagious, and his hugs & kisses are so tender they just warm your heart.  He has his moments where his frustration shows, but he is quickly back to a happy boy.  Liam is such a smart & handsome boy, but as his Mama I may be a bit biased.  

And I wasn't going to say anything, but... I'm going to have a one AND a half year old next month!  What?! That's not possible!  I love watching him grow, but mourn the days of his babyhood slowly disappearing.  I'll try to live in the moments, but it is hard!  Can't wait for all of the fun that is surely ahead of us, and the coming new year!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

After seeing all of the adorable felt Christmas trees that were taking over Pinterest, I knew that Liam needed one!  I looked at numerous sites trying to get different ideas & tips on how to go about this little project.  It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.  I might add some ornaments next year, or even a little bit of garland, but it looks great as is!  Liam absolutely loves it and is constantly reorganizing the ornaments; tearing them down is his favorite part!
  1. Felt.
  2. Fabric scissors.
  3. Hot glue gun.
  4. Chalk.
  5. Painters tape.
Tips & Tricks:
  1. Grab a glass of wine; you should never craft without a beverage! :-)
  2. Grab a bottle of wine if you are making having  your husband participate.
  3. Use chalk to outline the tree shape you want on a large piece of felt folded in half.  This way it will be symmetrical. (The chalk will rub off when you are finished).
  4. Felt sticks to felt, so that is how the ornaments stay on the tree.  However, you may want to permanently affix some things (like the star on top or decorations on the ornaments), so use a hot glue gun for that.
  5. Be conservative with the hot glue; it can easily seep through the felt and look messy.
  6. Use painters tape to hang up your tree without having to worry about it ruining your walls. 

I'm fairly certain Liam is going to be devastated when his little tree disappears after the holidays.  I'm going to have to come up with something else to keep his little hands busy...maybe a felt snowman!  P.S.  Today I'm flying up north for the holidays, so I will be somewhat missing from the little blog here for the next few weeks.  While I want to share every single minute of our holiday fun, I'm going to be enjoying the moments instead of recording them!  :-) You should all try and do the same while spending time with your family & friends this year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Halls Have Been Decked

We may have decorated our house the day after Thanksgiving, but I am just now getting around to sharing all our festive decor.  Some people think we are crazy for decorating as we spend Christmas with our families in Montana and Washington. But I can't imagine not having our halls decked for those few weeks leading up until the big day!  Plus, with a timer hooked up to our outside lights, our neighbors get to enjoy the exterior illumination during the whole holiday season!

I won't bore you all with a photo of every single one of my favorite festive items located throughout our house; but instead, I will just give you a glimpse of our holly jolly home!  Liam was such a great helper when it came to Christmas lights!  He loved handing Conor the bulbs and managed to not break a single one!  We can't say the same thing for his mama...!  She had a little mishap with one string during a handoff to our resident Clark Griswold...  We decided to use the big, classic C9 white lights for our exterior.  I just love the traditional look of it.  As much as I am all about saving energy, I have not really liked any of the LED lights I have seen and therefore will not be making the switch at least for the near future.  We planned on finishing the one remaining unlit peak, but with all the snow & ice on the roof currently, Conor has appropriately decided that it will have to wait.

I love using fresh wreaths & garland whenever possible, so the two outdoor wreaths (on our upstairs window & front door) are real, as well as the garlands on the porch.  Home depot had 15 foot garland for $5 on Black Friday, note to self for next year! It's hard to see in this picture, but this Pottery Barn wreath hanger is engraved with our last name, so simple yet it adds that extra bit of extra special.  I'm pretty sure I registered for this when Conor & I got married.  A wonderful gift for newlyweds in my opinion!

I didn't have the opportunity to have an elaborate mantle due to the ginormous TV above it!  It's really cramping my style for the holidays...  This was the first year we put real garland inside the house...  It took a little convincing from Conor, but now I actually love it!  It just has a different look to it.  A bit more rustic than catalog (for lack of a better word), but having the real deal is so worth it!  The stocking were made by me and from the exact same pattern that my mom used to make all of our stockings growing up.  I love how big they are (perfect for fitting the many stocking stuffers that Santa is surely planning too bring us)!

Details on our crazy tree can be found here if you missed it!  I really need to find a tree skirt & tree topper, but I am being much too picky at the moment and just can't find one that a really love.  While I don't like staring at the tree stand, the presents that have started to appear since taking this picture are hiding it pretty well.

I love the neutral decor that I have recently added to my collection.  I used to be all about red & white, but it's nice to tone it down in some areas.  May Your Days Be Merry & Bright is one of my favorite sayings for the season, and I just love that song!  The color of this sign matches my nativity scene perfectly!  And speaking of nativity scenes, this one (Pottery Barn, no longer available) is just beautiful.  I spent a good couple years looking for nativities, but they always looked so cheesy and cheap to me.  This one is simple and understated which exactly what I wanted.  Now I need to find a fun wooden one for Liam to play with.  I'm keeping my eye out; hopefully, next year I will find one.

I had to add a little pop of Christmas to the coffee bar as well.  The Baby, It's Cold Outside printable can be found here.  And the Winterberry wine glasses can be found here.  I get so excited to bust out my festive glassware the second that Thanksgiving dinner is over!  

For the banister garlands, I decided to use fake pre-lit ones so that I don't have to buy new every year.  I found some really natural looking ones at Costco.  Plus, they will hold up better with little hands always grabbing at them.  I love how this turned out; I instantly get a huge smile on my face every time I walk upstairs.  I had a real hard time deciding whether or not to have the wreath face outside or inside; eventually, I decided that I would enjoy seeing it more than the neighbors, so inward facing it is!  This is the entry way to our house; it's the first glimpse of Christmas you get on your way in!  Anyone notice our little elf hiding...?

I, of course,  had to add a little flair to Liam's playroom, since we spend so much of our day up there.  This Pottery Barn Kids banner can be found here.  I really wanted to purchase some Christmas bedding for Liam, but let's be honest.... he doesn't sleep in his crib!  Conor convinced me that would just be ridiculous.  So maybe, just maybe, he'll be soundly sleeping in his own room next Christmas and I can go to town decorating his little space!

I hope you enjoyed this little look into our festive home.  Having fresh things in the home during the Winter months can make the cold, cloudy days seem a lot less dreary.  I always purchase poinsettia's to put around the house as well as some fresh tree trimmings (this year we had plenty from our Christmas tree)!  I only get to enjoy our cozy home for 1 more day before I fly up north for the next 3 weeks.  The holidays are about to get very busy; bring on the hustle & bustle!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Five on Friday

It's officially 12 days 'til Christmas, and I am loving every bit of this holiday season!  Tonight I am hosting my book club (which will of course include festive drinks & dessert).  Then Saturday & Sunday will be spent making "neighbor treats."  Yeah, my neighborhood is that cool!  We've already had a mini bundt cake left at our doorstep; I can't wait to see what our little delights are headed our way!  Come Monday, it's the hubby's work Christmas dinner which MAY be the 1st time we leave Liam with someone other than my mom.  A night out.... in heels...without nursing friendly attire...or a baby trying to crawl into my lap!  Hopefully it will all work out.  Here's my weekly Five (thanks to all the lovely hosts: Christina, Darci, April, & Natasha)!


While at Whole Foods this week, I discovered the most amazing Peppermint Cream cupcakes from Rubicon Bakery.  I love buying festive treats this time of year, especially to surprise Conor with.  To say he loves all things peppermint is an understatement, so these made for one happy husband.  Cupcakes for the win!  If you live close to a Whole Foods, go snatch these up before everyone else does!

Another festive treat I've devoured this week are the holiday bars from Theo's Chocolate (a local Seattle company).  We had a friend visiting from out of town, and she brought Washington wine & chocolate as a hostess gift.  Any guest who brings wine & chocolate can stay as long as they like (take note future guests)!  Back to the chocolate...  how do you say no to coconut mint or peppermint stick?  You don't!  If you're a Seattle local I recommend taking their factory tour and sampling all their chocolates.  But even if you live far away, some specialty stores (like Whole Foods) carry their chocolate.

With mason jars being all the rage right now (I know I'm obsessed), I was excited to find this cocktail shaker!  This is adorable and a necessity for all summer cocktail shaking.  I fear that my kitchen is being taken over by specialty glassware, but this needs to get on my bar right away!

We had a big moment in the Keenan house last night....  Liam was showing signs that he was definitely tired, but it was a bit early to put him in the tub.  He kept trying to get me to go upstairs with him, so I figured we could spend some time in his playroom before we got him ready for bed.   When we got upstairs he went right to his bedroom, started trying to take his clothes off, and told me "bath".  Whoa!  Did he just tell me that's it's time to get ready for bed?!  It was pretty amazing.  My little boy is growing up, and much too fast for my liking!

Another Liam moment that put a smile on face this week happened while we were reading Pooh Loves, a Classic Pooh book.  I'm all about classic pooh (my teddy bear growing up was classic pooh); he is so much better than that Winnie-the-Pooh bear.  I love how beautiful the illustrations for Classic Pooh are, but they are a bit different and really throw Liam off.  He insists that Piglet is a mouse, even though I always tell him otherwise.  So for now, Piglet is a mouse and he says "squeak squeak squeak"!

Enjoy the weekend everyone!  Only two more shopping weekends left!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tree

We have been having so much holiday fun lately that I haven't had a chance to share our Christmas tree experience!  And it was just that... an experience!  We've been cutting down our own tree since we were first married, so this wasn't our first go-around.  One could say that we are now borderline veterans at this whole tree thing. We scour the land to find the tree that is just perfect for our space!

The day after Thanksgiving, we were on our merry way to Beck's Tree Farm about 30 minutes South. With Christmas music blaring & a concealed hard cider in hand (I was not driving mind you), I was ready to find  The One!  We had never been to this particular tree farm before since this is our first Christmas in Utah.  And i have to say that the farm was a bit disappointing compared to some of those that we have been to before.  No tractor ride or reindeer, and the trees were mostly blue spruce (I'm more of a Douglas Fir girl).  And these trees were not trimmed like we have found at most real good tree farms.  They were a bit more rugged (and somewhat sparse) trees just looking for a good home.  We were looking for a 10+ footer that was pretty full.  We walked all over that place examining just about every tree 'til we settled on one.  I didn't have this magical "this is it" moment, but we felt pretty good about it being the best option.

After we threw it on top of the car, we had a slight inclination that it may be just a tad bigger than we had initially thought!  Christmas tree selection is tricky, because they look much smaller in a big field than they do in your house or on your car... ("It's not going in our yard Russ").  Then, getting it in the house (after conor had to chop down the trunk to fit in our stand...) was a big issue; our tree was twice as wide as the doorway.  Conor somehow managed to maneuver it through, and then POOF! we literally had a Christmas Vacation moment just like when Clark cuts the twine off their tree!  This thing was massive.  Take up our entire family room massive.  Move the coffee table downstairs, lose the ottoman, and reposition the couch massive... 
We laughed so hard I was almost crying!  "Honey, do you think there is enough room for the angel?" It was slightly frustrating, but it is all about the experience. I am sure that this is one of those years that we will always look back and remember the adventure fondly.  Conor cut about a foot off the top, after taking some height off the trunk earlier, and then did some serious pruning with a pair of garden sheers.  Their were trimmings everywhere!  

Luckily, my husband is somehow incredibly/randomly talented at Christmas tree shaping, and I love how it turned out!  I still need something for the top (I've been searching for a few years now) & a new tree skirt.  Liam closely examined each ornament as I placed it on the tree.  He loves it & has, for the most part, kept his hands off it.  We occasionally plays with the ornaments at his level, but they are all safe for him to touch anyways.  Each morning when he wakes up, he tells me "tree...lights...on"!  We have to have the tree lit up at all times while we are home and he usually wants the fireplace on as well.  I can already see his little Christmas spirit blossoming!

One tradition my grandma started was to give each of her grandchildren an ornament every year.  I always looked forward to the surprise of what it would be and loved growing my own little collection.  My mom has carried that tradition on!  This year she gave Liam an owl ornament since he was an owl for Halloween!  We also may have a slight obsession with owls at the moment.  Liam loves to point out his ornament and say "hoo hoo" in just the softest, sweetest voice!

I'll be sharing the rest of our house all decorated for Christmas soon!  It was fun mapping out how to decorate our new house (1st Christmas season here) and I think we just nailed it!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holly Jolly PJ Party

Christmas pajamas are a must have for the holiday season!  I had so much fun oogling all the options this year; it was so hard to only choose a couple!  I try to wash the two pairs we have as frequently as possible so that he can be back in them ASAP!
First up: my favorite, the fairisle jams from Hanna Anderson.  Liam particularly likes the trees and points them out to me all day (not to say that we stay in pajamas all day...well maybe sometimes)!  You can buy these in adult sizes too!  I was this close to decking out the whole family in these.  There is always next year...

From the moment I saw the Gap mistletoe jammies, I knew they had to be ours!  Not only does Liam just love to give kisses, but I am a huge fan of the mistletoe tradition.  Every house should have mistletoe hanging somewhere for the Christmas season!  I snatch up hundreds of his sweet kisses each day!

As you can see, we spend a lot of time on the stairs these days.  He loves talking about the lights on the banister and looking out the window at all the snow!  Growing up, my parents had me & my brothers wait at the top of the stairs on Christmas morning while they made a fire and checked to make sure Santa came.  My dad always took a picture of the three of us anxiously waiting to run down the stairs and check out our stockings.  I love looking back at those photos and can't wait to start the same traditions with Liam!
Thanks to Julie, Darci, & others for hosting!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jolly Ol' Saint Nick

Last night we took Liam to see the middle of a snowstorm!  There were accidents all over the place, which had the freeway backed up, so we were taking back roads trying to make our appointment with Santa.  Liam has been hating the car lately, so we were all singing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" on repeat.  This actually kept him happy as he clapped along and threw out a few "snows" himself!
We went to Thanksgiving Point where they have Fotofly Santa.  This is where you dress up as Santa (they keep your face hidden), so your child won't be terrified!  I love this concept and all the different poses the photographer used instead of just the traditional sitting on Santa's lap.  I am so happy with how they turned out!  I'm thinking next year I may dress him in his Christmas jammie's will be like meeting Santa on Christmas Eve... oh the possibilities!

They also have a "real" Santa there for the older kids who want to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.  Liam has loved the Santas we have around the house and even says "ho, ho, ho", but he was not interested in this guy at all!  I really wanted to get that standard photo to remember what Liam thought of Santa each year, so we put him on his lap... For about 5 seconds... and he hated every single second of it!

While we waited for our pictures to be edited, we took a stroll through Thanksgiving Point to look at all the lights, even though we were inside a blizzard!  They even had two reindeer that Liam had the chance to see, although he was afraid...maybe of them...or maybe of Santa still!  It was one of those magical Christmas nights with the music, snow, lights, trees, reindeer, & we even let Liam suck on a candy cane which he was a huge fan of!  Santa can't be all that bad if he gives out candy canes!
Coat: Northface / Boots: Frye

I love making memories like these!  We're barely into December and it has already been an amazing holiday season.  I can't wait for all the fun that is still to come!

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