Tuesday, December 07, 2010

merry christmas!

Holly And Jolly Christmas Card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

christmas photo cards - because everybody's doing it!

So, now that we have a little one in our family, we feel the pressure to send out photo cards for Christmas. {Ok really we just want to show off how cute she is. Isn't that why everyone does photo cards anyway? :) } This is the first year we have done Christmas cards at all, much less photo cards. So of course we're going with the old tried and true Shutterfly! We have used Shutterfly before for photo books, and of course we love them. They have a KAZILLION designs to choose from, and of course I'm having a hard time choosing the one I want! I probably should get on that pretty soon since it is now DECEMBER. :) Anyway, not only do I love Shutterfly's holiday card designs, they are upping the ante and doing a Holiday Card Promotion: 50 free cards for blogging about it! Free? Yes please!

What's great about Shutterfly is that they have so many products to choose from. Here are a few of my favorite products that they offer:

So what are you waiting for? Go shop there now!

{And if you want to participate in the Holiday Card Promotion, click here!}


Monday, November 15, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

easy peazy tabletop semi-makeover

So I was reading Ashley's post over at pure + lovely on putting colorful/textured backdrops on furniture. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking about how we did that with Natalie's bookshelf in her room; painted the back in a different color from the rest of the case. And then, I got to the end of Ashley's post, where she references Dallas, a lovely side table with super cool grasscloth underneath the glass top. And it hit me...hey, I have a table with a glass top! We inherited this table from Baron's grandmother when she passed away last year. It's a gorgeous table & it's just the right height for an end table for our sofa. It does, however, lack a certain...pop. So when I was reading about lovely Dallas, I decided to do this little number on our table. I've been trying to add this robin's egg blue color to our living room in small doses. I already have a lot of color in this room, so I'm trying to be subtle. Anyway, I cut this fabric from some old curtains I was hanging onto for just such an occasion. I literally did this in 15 minutes! No, it's not spectacular. Yes, I will probably add to it or change it. {I do hope to paint the table in the near future.} But that's the beauty of it. It's a quick, simple upgrade that I can do NOW, and that can easily be changed or improved upon. Voila!



Before:


After, with some accessory changes, cause that's how I roll:

{keepin' it real with the baby junk on the lower level of the table...please excuse! ;) }

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

an adoption fundraiser!

As you all know, I have a heart for adoption...and yes, it's mostly just because we have recently adopted. :) Through our own experience, Baron & I have had our eyes opened to how wonderful is the ministry of adoption. Seriously, we can't brag on it enough. If you're remotely considering adoption...please research, pray, and ask questions! If you're not remotely considering adoption, you can still pray for all of those involved in adoption - adoptive families, birthmothers, adoptive children, orphans, social workers, etc. Prayer is the #1 fuel for ministries!


A sweet friend of mine, Abbie Greer, recently announced her & her husband's plans to adopt. Of course, I was THRILLED to hear this exciting news! In my opinion, announcing adoption plans is the same as announcing a pregnancy. The only difference is you don't know how long it will be before you have the baby. :) Anyway...as most of you know (or maybe you don't?), adoptions can be very expensive. Each adoption agency has its own fees, which can vary due to expenses within the agency, state or local government fees, legal fees, etc. But even the LEAST expensive adoption agencies still cost a wad of money. Which is why many adoptive families choose to use fundraisers for their adoptions. Baron & I were SO BLESSED to be able to pay cash for Natalie's adoption, all due to EXTREMELY generous donations, participation in our own fundraisers, and lots of cutting back on expenses. Anyway, back to the Greers. Abbie & Ben are getting creative with their fundraising, and they've gotten Chick-fil-A involved! On Monday, November 8th, the Chick-fil-A in Prattville will donate 10% of all sales to the Greers' adoption fund! How awesome is that? I love that they thought of this idea, and I am so thankful that Chick-fil-A is graciously agreeing to help this family bring a precious child into their home.


So, if you're in Prattville on Monday, PLEASE buy something from Chick-fil-A to support this sweet family's adoption! On second thought...even if you're not in Prattville on Monday - do it anyway! It's just a short drive from Montgomery, Millbrook, Wetumpka, etc. You don't even have to commit to a whole meal if you can't; just drive through & get some sweet tea or a yummy milkshake! You know you want it anyway; so go on Monday & help this family out!! DO IT.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

unintentional leave of absence.

So, you may have noticed my absence in the blogosphere lately. Ok, fine...in reality, it's most likely that no one has noticed. :) Anyway...I have been super busy lately, and the blog has just been put on the back burner. Trust me, I haven't forgotten about it - I've just been busy being a full-time mommy, a football coach's wife, and a part-time employee...all while still attempting to maintain some semblance of a social life. Anyway I just wanted to post a quick update on our fam jam, just to keep everyone from waiting on the edge of your seats to find out what's going on with the Goins clan. Cause I know you're all waiting with baited breath. ;)

Natalie is now 7 months old. I can't believe she is getting so big!
At 4 months, we started feeding her solids: cereal, then veggies, then fruit. She's a pro now, of course. :)
She started sitting up really well on her own when she was about 5 1/2 months old.
At her 6-month appointment, she weighed 17lbs, 10oz and was 26" long. She's a little chunker. :)
She hasn't officially said her first word yet, although of course I like to count "ma ma ma ma" as "Mama". She loves to babble in "b" and "p" sounds. She has discovered how loudly she can holler & squeal. It's cute most of the time; not so much during the prayer at church.

Here are a few pics of her...in case you've forgotten what she looks like. If you're friends with me on facebook, then I KNOW you haven't forgotten what she looks like, because I obsessively post pics of her. Almost annoyingly often. :) But I can't help it...she's just so darn cute!



{almost sitting up! (she fell over shortly after I took this)}

{somebody loves to eat}

{first time sitting up!}



{go UGA!}



{Natalie's birthmother came to visit & we had lots of fun!}


{yummm...leaves}



{she loves her daddy}



{eating some of Mimi's baked potato at McAlister's}



{I may not be crawling yet, but I am definitely mobile}



{this is her favorite face to make}


And in other news...we've started on the conversion of the dining room into a study. And by "started", I mean we got rid of the dining table & chairs, and that's it. Today I worked from home, so I decided to set up the laptop in the new study to see how it feels. How do you like the TV trays as a desk? And the chair stolen from the breakfast room? ;) Hopefully soon we'll get started on this project for real!



Wednesday, September 29, 2010

incredible testimony

This young lady has an incredible story. Her birthmother tried to abort her & {obviously} failed. This is no only a pro-life story, but a pro-adoption story, and most of all a pro-God story. Please take the time to watch these two videos {part 1 & 2}. I wish I was as passionate about sharing Christ as she is! We all should be so bold in declaring God's glory. Love this.



purge & merge

I've been reading/hearing/seeing a lot about purging lately. The Nester has been writing about purging her home of stuff, along with her sister Emily, and also Kimba and Thrifty Decor Chick. And the other day, I was watching The Nate Berkus show and this chick was talking about only buying things for your home that you LOVE. So I started looking around my house thinking, "do I really LOVE that piece?" There are a lot of things in my home to which I just respond with a "meh". Those things need to go.

So, all of this talk about decluttering & simplifying & purging has been inspiring me, so I contacted my fam jam to see if they were ready to combine forces to host our annual multi-family yard sale. Hopefully, we'll be having this yard sale extravaganza in November...which means I better get crackin' on this purgin'! I haven't even started yet. Unless you count sorting things in my mind. :)

On a slightly related note, the hubs & I have decided to transform our dining room into a study. For several reasons: 1) We hardly ever use our dining room. We have a breakfast room where we eat as a family, and we rarely have guests over for dinner. When we do, our dining room really isn't big enough anyway. 2) Our dining room is more a part of our "living space" than our current study, which is in a bedroom. It would be nice to be a part of the "living space" when I'm on the computer, or when the hubs is painting his customized sports figures {shameless plug}. 3) Disclaimer: I am not pregnant, nor do I expect to be any time soon. However, should we find ourselves with child #2 before we can afford to sell our current house & build the house of our dreams {ha!}, we will need the current study to be a bedroom for said child. And of course since my mind has already started thinking about this, I'm ready to start the transformation, like, yesterday.

Anyway here are some before pics of the two spaces. Yes, the current study is an absolute MESS. I can't believe I'm actually revealing its current condition to the www. Yet another reason to move it out into the open - so that we don't have the excuse of just closing the door to hide the mess; we will be forced to keep it clean! {Yeah we'll see about that.} Our study serves multiple functions: 1) Computer desk area, 2) The hubs' painting workstation, 3) storage, storage, and more storage, 4) display area for the hubs' sports figures. Now, I know what you're thinking. "Laura, are you really gonna let your husband display his sports junk - I mean, memorabilia - in the open area of what is now your dining room?" Well, the answer is a resounding...kinda. I'm looking for a way to do it in a sophisticated manner. Of course not ALL of these figures will be able to be displayed; some will have to be put away. But really, who needs like 173 Atlanta Braves dudes or 347 Alabama football dudes on display? No one. {Baron, are you reading this? If so, sorry to rain on your parade.}

So...soon, Baron...you will have to say goodbye to your man cave. Go give it a kiss & hug. You had your one room to decorate for a good 4 years, and now I'm taking over. Maybe someday, when we have our dream house, you will once again have a man cave where you can proudly display your letter from Bear Bryant, and your 3D Jaws movie poster, and your 1,568 sports figures.

Here are the before pics. Stay tuned for pics of the progress we've made, and to help me make some decisions regarding the new space!
{ the study }
{ I'm having an anxiety attack over here because I can't believe I'm actually showing these pics...I mean I could have at least straightened up before taking them. sheesh. }


{ does anyone have a good suggestion for how to store an exercise ball? I mean really...it doesn't go ANYWHERE. }


{ the dining room }

{ p.s. anyone wanna buy a dining table + six chairs?? }





Wednesday, September 22, 2010

falootin' palooza giveaway!!

Ok, I absolutely love the stylin' children's clothing over at Falootin'!! It is adorable. If you haven't checked it out before, GO NOW. And then, head over to pure + lovely for the Falootin' giveaway!! For reals y'all!!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

and the winner is...

The winner of the $35 gift certificate for CSN Stores is...



drumroll please...



Stephanie Hall!!!
And all because of her last entry telling me she blogged about it. :)


Thanks to all of you for entering! Keep reading...I plan to have more giveaways in the future!

Special thanks to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway!

Friday, September 10, 2010

the great escape

I've been longing for this weekend for awhile now.

Baron & I, along with another couple-friend of ours, are going to the beach. This has been a long-awaited vacation for me, for sure! I cannot WAIT. {Side note: we are leaving Natalie with my parents. For the whole weekend. Three hours away from ME. Of course I am SO looking forward to the break...but I know I will miss my baby girl while I'm gone! I digress.}

Pre-kiddo, it took me all of about 20 minutes to get ready for a weekend trip. Now, it takes me a full week of mental preparation, along with several days of laundry/packing/1,000-trips-to-WalMart-because-I-keep-forgetting-stuff. Natalie is not going with us, so I don't have to pack beach stuff for her...but she is going to my parents' house {Mimi & Paparoxy}, so her packing is for an entirely different trip. In all this preparation, I've noticed the difference between Baron getting ready to leave, and me getting ready to leave. It goes something like this:

Daddy's prep:
Thursday night, he is playing PS3. I kindly point out to him that he should probably pack. {Friday night is game night & we are leaving directly after the game, and this leaves him no time to pack on Friday, as he is at the school all day on Fridays.}
Spend all of about 15 minutes packing.
Pay bills. {He likes to do this whenever we go out of town...in case we die while we're gone? I'm not sure why.}

Mommy's prep:
Type up Baby's schedule, because I'm OCD mom & feel the need to tell my parents how to take care of a baby even though they've raised 3 of their own. {Ok, fine...it's not just a schedule. It's a schedule, with directions on how to mix formula & cereal, and tips for how Baby likes to spend her play time, etc. Gimme a break, it's my first kid. :)} Revise Baby's schedule because it changes about once a week & I typed it too early.
Laundry.
Bathe Dog so he's not disgustingly skanky when visiting Mimi & Paparoxy's. {Hmmm...guess same goes for Baby, too... ;) }
Trip to WalMart #1 - items forgotten from weekly grocery trip.
Get oil changed in car. {Or, as the oil dude said, "Gettin' that erl changed?"}
Laundry.
Mental prep: how much of this baby junk will Baby "need" at Mimi & Paparoxy's house?
Trip to WalMart #2 - need more baby food so we won't be depleted when we come back.
Print coupons for outlet mall trip on the way back. {Baby desperately needs some clothes that fit!}
Laundry.
Pack Baby's bag. Don't forget sound machine & monitor, to be packed later, since they are in use during the day. OCD moment #2: measure out cereal into bowls for 2 breakfasts & 2 lunches. Label each bowl "breakfast" or "lunch", of course.
Call Mimi: Do you need the Bumbo? Do you want her playmat? Should I bring her bath seat? {Note: reserve U-Haul next time to lug baby crap to g-parents' house.}
Clean out trunk to make room for 4 adults' luggage.
Stop to blog about all this. {Seriously...why am I blogging? Procrastination much?}
Pack my OWN bag.
Pack the DOG'S stuff.
Put address for beach condo into GPS.
Wash & pack baby bottles.
Make bed, finish putting away laundry, etc. {I can't stand coming home to a messy house!}
Trip to WalMart #3 - how did I not know we were out of baby food veggies? And also, we will need some sort of breakfast food for tomorrow morning at the beach. Thank you, Pop-tarts, for existing. And also...being the kind wife that I am, purchase major caffeine/sugar supplies for late-night drive to the beach tonight.
Kick myself over & over for not getting baby food veggies at WalMart YESTERDAY. UGH. It's not like I can just run to the store & back anymore! Geez Louise.
Take Baby & Dog to Mimi & Paparoxy's house.
Cry. {I know, I know. Baby will be fine. But it's not HER I'm worried about! :)}
{Insert whatever I've forgotten to do HERE. Because there is always inevitably something that's been forgotten.}

Shew. I only thought I needed a vacation before, but after all this preparation, the beach is looking more & more desirable! Catch y'all on the flip side!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

it's a giveaway, y'all!!

If you've been reading my blog, you may remember the two product reviews I've done for CSN Stores. Well, now I have the chance to offer one lucky reader a $35 gift certificate to CSN Stores! CSN Stores has so many products, from Corelle dinnerware (which I just got some for Christmas last year and I LOVE, BTW) to bean bag chairs & other furniture to luggage. Check them out today!! Seriously, they have so many different stores - there's something for everyone!

Here's how you can enter for the giveaway:

1. Leave a comment on this post. (1 entry)

2. Visit CSN Stores, browse their 200+ online stores, & leave another comment telling me what you would get with your $35. (1 entry)

3. Post a link to this giveaway post on your Facebook page, and leave another comment telling me you did. (1 entry)

4. Tweet about this giveaway, and leave another comment telling me you did. (1 entry)

5. Blog about this giveaway, and leave another comment with a link to your post. (1 entry)

**Limit 5 entries per person**

Entries will be accepted until noon on Wednesday, September 15th. That gives you a whole week to get all of your entries in! The winner will be chosen from random.org & I will post the winner on this blog. Please remember to leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

sike!

Recently I revamped my entry table, using suggestions that y'all gave me. Well, when I posted the "after pic", I was just kidding. Really I was waiting for Natalie's 3-month portraits to come in, so that I could do this:

I'm not sure if the pics/frames on the table will stay as-is, but I just had to share that canvas with you because I just love how it turned out!

Baron's mom wanted to get 3, 6, 9, & 12 month portraits of Natalie from Stan Foster Photography, so obviously we let her. ;) They turned out great!


And Ashley, I do still plan to paint that table, just for you! ;) Say goodbye to the honey-colored stain!

a pure + lovely giveaway!!

Hey, check out this awesome giveaway over at pure + lovely!! These would look so good in my house... :)

Go enter! Now!

Monday, August 30, 2010

5 months old?!

When you have a baby, everyone tells you that time flies. And you believe it, but you don't REALLY get it until it starts happening. I can't believe that next month, Natalie will be half a year old. It seems like just yesterday we were up in South Carolina waiting to bring her home!
{ 4 months }
{ 4 months ~ ready for the PCA game! }
{ at the PCA game with Paparoxy & Izzie }
{ first time to sit in a high chair in a restaurant @ 5 months }
{ my hair is getting so long! }
Anyway, I tend to neglect updating my blog on Natalie's milestones because it's so much easier to do it on Facebook. So, I decided to do a quick little update, just to summarize what she's learned in her short 5 months of life. Someday I will get a baby book & write these down. :) I'm sure I'm forgetting some important milestone, but I hopefully will remember it later!

First smile - 1 month

Slept through the night - 12 weeks

First laugh - 3 months { ~ish? See, this is why you should write things down.}

Started eating cereal - 4 months

First vegetable - green beans

Rolled from front to back - 4 months

Rolled from back to front - 5 months

And our newest trick...growling. Yes, growling. She just started this trick this week, and here's some footage of the little monster. I guess she is getting ready for Halloween a little early! :)


video

Friday, August 27, 2010

8:28

{ 8:28 / a marriage montage }
{8/28/04}

{August -September 2004 / honeymoon at Disney World, with Hurricane Frances}

{September 2004 / Hurricane Ivan busts right through our neighborhood}

{ August 2005 / 1-year anniversary in Destin...with Hurricane Katrina }



{ August 2006 / we dared vacation at the beach & luck was on our side this time! }



{ August 2007 / 3-year anniversary / decided not to chance the beach & went to Callaway Gardens }



{ February 2008 / tornado ransacks our house / Happy Valentine's Day! ;) }



{ August 2008 / 4-year anniversary / played it safe in Atlanta }



{ February 2009 / 1 month after finding out we're pregnant after trying for 2.5 years / 1 month before losing "Zippy" to miscarriage }



{ March 2010 / trip to South Carolina for the birth & adoption of our daughter / the most beautiful rainbow after all the storms!!!}

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28
Happy 6th anniversary to the most wonderful husband I could have prayed for, the best friend I have ever had, and the most awesome daddy in the world. There is no one on earth I'd rather weather the storms with! {har har.}
I love you, Baron!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Mom Juice.

I've never been a morning person.


I remember when I was in junior high, and the school I attended started at the ungodly hour of 7:15 a.m. How did I even survive those 3 years? To this day I have no idea. I would wake up & stumble to the shower, mumbling something incoherent in response to my dad's "Good morning! How are you today? [insert I've-been-awake-for-3-hours smile here]" At that point in my life, I simply needed a shower to wake me up, and I was good to go.

I don't even remember mornings in high school. They are simply a blur to me. I didn't drink coffee then - it wasn't cool back then for teenagers. It was just something grown-ups did. Starbucks hadn't become the temple that it is today, and my caffeine addiction was just showing on the horizon.

Then came college. Ah, college. Theoretically, the college student plans his/her own classes, so that no early mornings exist. However, I had to work while I was in college, and my schedule planning wasn't as flexible as one would hope. This is when I started my Dr. Pepper addiction. I remember quitting caffeine a couple of times while I was in college, only to come back to it. At that time, my metabolism was all gung-ho, so I didn't have to worry about the calories consumed from all those Dr. Peppers. Those were the glory days, when a Dr. Pepper & a couple of doughnut sticks was the breakfast of champions.

From the time I graduated from college, through my "dating Baron" years, and into married life, I've had off-and-on relationships with Diet Coke, coffee, tea...anything with caffeine to get me going. I haven't really needed the strong stuff; just something to kick-start my day.

Before I became a mom, people kept telling me, "Oh, you'll be a morning person when you have to, once you're a mommy!" Incorrect. I really never got used to those middle-of-the-night feedings. {SO thankful those are in the past!} And during the summer, Baron got up with Natalie to feed her while I slept in. {Could I ask for a better husband?!}

Well, then school started, and it was my job to get up every morning with the cutie pie. Initially, I would just sleep until she woke up, which is what makes the most sense. When she was about 4.5 months, we started giving her cereal in the mornings. Well...that's a horse of a different color. Mommy doesn't have the patience to feed cereal to an easily distracted 4.5-month-old...and it took me a few mornings to grasp the fact that this just was. not. happening. I was too impatient, and it was just not fun.

So, I hesitantly made the decision that probably sounds crazy to you moms. I decided I desperately needed to get up earlier than my baby, to have some time to enjoy The Mom Juice. That's right, I now wake up to the sound of my alarm going off about 20 minutes before my baby wakes {if I'm lucky}. It was a decision that was essential to the sanity of our whole family. Some mornings I sit & sip my coffee as I listen to her babble in her crib, awaiting the moment when the babbles turn to whines, which would eventually turn to screams if no action is taken, at which point I set The Juice aside, only to finish an hour later once The Babe has finished her breakfast. Today was a particularly pleasant morning - I actually FINISHED my cup o' joe BEFORE she woke up!

That, my friends, is how you know it will be a good day.


{maybe someday I will look like this when I wake up}


{the cause for my growing addiction. totally worth it. ;) }