Monday, December 21, 2015

Bills Family Christmas 2015

We had so much fun celebrating with Josh's family the weekend before Christmas. We cherish setting time apart to enjoy our family and reflect on the birth of our Savior. Here are some pictures of our time together!

{Fletcher hanging out} 

 {The beauty of celebrating early is that Starbucks is open!}

{Lincoln loves his big cousins} 

{Christmas carols with Aunt Kissy}

{There are so many of us and so many gifts!!! We are indeed blessed.}

{My two itty bitty guys}

{Lincoln's cute Rudolph hat from Aunt Anna}

{Sweet Audrey Girl}

{This kid.}

{Sweet boys. May they be the best of friends throughout this life.}

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Lincoln: 3 Months

I feel like a completely broken record, but these months just keep going by so fast! At the end of month 3 we were in a serious transition phase as a family. I had just gone back to work, Josh started his new job as an auditor with The Bonadio Group and was a week shy of finishing grad school! All wonderful changes, but so much change to manage. That being said, it was a really fun month and 45 days later I'm trying to catch up!

We don't go back to the doctor until 4 months, but I estimate that you weigh 14-14.5 pounds.

How cute can you be???

Here are some things you have been up to this month:
-Mama went back to work half days on November 16 when you were 9 weeks old. You're spending the day with Nana, Dayton and a myriad of other little friends! Daddy drops you and brother off and mama picks you both up. We miss you so much during the day, but you're in the BEST hands.
-You nurse before you leave in the mornings and then you eat 16 - 18 oz while I'm working and then usually eat 2-3 times before bed.
-You go to sleep around 9:00 and get up around 5:45-6:00.
-You've started playing with a couple of toys. We're just waiting for you to start reaching for them!
-You experienced your first Thanksgiving, and it was a first for all of us. We celebrated at your Unca, Aunt Minda, Graham, Claire and Conner's house.
-We're pretty terrible at doing tummy time, but mama spends so much time wearing you (and occasionally daddy) in either the Tula, wrap or ring sling that we know you're working those core muscles.
-You're mama is over the moon for the cute honest company diapers we're using on you. My favorites right now are the plaid and sled dog. They have sled dog pattern diapers. Seriously!
-On December 8, you sat in your Bumbo chair for a few minutes. We're not sure how you felt about it, but you didn't cry!

Here are pictures of what you've been up to this month!


We love you so much little stinker!


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Second Annual Mug 'n Muffins Party

Last year I threw together a last minute copycat party called "Mug 'n Muffins." I cannot take credit for the concept's cuteness. My sweet friend, Anna, back in Oklahoma threw a Mug 'n Muffins party every Christmas before I moved to New York. I decided last year that I wanted an annual little party like that with my closest friends. These ladies support me, love me, tell me the truth and make me laugh! As I am coming up on 5 year in New York (impossible, but true), I'm thankful for friends like these in a place I thought would be so barren.

Now for the fun....

{mugs wrapped and ready for stealing} 

Here's how it works for us:

1. You must show up in some form of lounge wear or pajamas.
2. You bring a wrapped mug. It can be Christmassy, but it is not required. This year's mugs were so darn cute!
3. I provide an egg casserole, muffins and coffee -iced and hot. Everyone else brings a yummy breakfast treat.
4. We eat and let a movie like Elf play in the background. Something we can stop and laugh at and still allow lots of conversation.
5. Then we play Dirty Santa -lots of stealing encouraged, until we all have a mug to take home.
6. Everyone goes home with a little something from the host. Last year it was a Christmas cookie cutter and this year an ornament.

{so much yummy food -yogurt parfaits, baked oatmeal, apple cinnamon and cranberry orange walnut muffins, fresh fruit, egg casserole -mmmm!} 

{congregating in the kitchen is totally universal} 

One of my original posts on this blog was about being gracious home owners. We always want to open our home to our community and to do life with the ones we love -make them feel special. This is my way of doing that for friends who are my little village throughout the year. My kids, my family and my home wouldn't be standing tall today without them.

{super cute mugs and precious friends}


Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner

We were so thankful to share Thanksgiving dinner with my brother and family! It was relaxing and stress free even with so much food to prepare. Here are a few pictures of the food and fun -with recipes!

Holiday Cocktails. Recipe here.

We love Heron Hill Winery, and their Unoaked Chardonnay is great with pretty much everything!

Amanda set such a pretty table for us! She loves a DIY project and took some pinecones from a neighbors yard and then spray painted them. The table is so festive without being overly fall.

The pinot noir was recommended as a red that goes well with turkey. I didn't try it because of my love of the chardonnay we picked, but I'm sure it was great.

The kids had their own fun table with plates from World Market and another DIY project from Amanda. Their little turkeys with veggie sticks are so cute!

Josh captured all the yummy food pictures. I successfully made delicious gravy!!!

Classic Thanksgiving day fail: We didn't get a picture of the beautiful bird!!! However, our turkey was local from Autumn Harvest Farm via The Good Food Collective. This is the second time we've used Good Food Collective to get a turkey, and it's always so delicious!!!

These sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts are fantastic!!! I want to eat them again already! You can find the recipe here.

Amanda made these wonderful Oatmeal Molasses Rolls!

I have been making this apple pie for many years now thanks to a good friend sharing it with me! You must go make it now. Recipe below...

Crumb Topping Apple Pie

Pie Filling:
6 c. sliced and peeled apples, such as Golden Delicious (about 5 lg. apples)
1 (9-inch) unbaked deep-dish pie shell
1 1/4/ c. granulated sugar
2/ tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
3 lg. eggs yolks, beaten
1/4 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. milk
Juice of 1/2 lg. lemon

Crumb Topping:
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 stick melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make pie: place the apples in the pie shell. In a large bowl or in a food processor, combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, butter, and egg yolks. Mix until the sugar has dissolved.

Add the cream, milk and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Pour the filling over the apples and set aside.

Make the crumb topping: in a food processor in a bowl, cream together the butter (about 1/2 a stick) and brown sugar. Add the flour and cinnamon and process or stir until the mixture forms medium-size crumbs. Evenly sprinkle the top of the pie with the crumbs.

Place the pie on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the crumbs are lightly browned.

Coll to room temperature and to allow the custard to set. Cut into wedges and serve, accompanied by vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6-8.

NOTE: Be sure to use a DEEP 9-inch pie place or an ordinary 10-inch pie plate.

We love these boys so much! Their "Happy Fall Y'all" shirts are from the Twinkle Hearts Etsy shop with an awesome owner, Kristen, that was able to customize these for me!

These three babes make everything more fun and are teaching my boys to be wild and crazy. We love it!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Pickney and Bills Families!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lincoln: 2 Months

Month number 2 had it's ups and downs in our little Lincoln's life!

Here are your stats for the month:

Here's what you've been up to this month:

-You've been eating like a champ every 2-3 hours and going 8-9 hours overnight. Mommy and Daddy are so excited for the long night stretches!
-You are still passing out as soon as I take off in the car! This makes life easier for everyone!
-You are so smiley and grinning when Mommy and Daddy see you.
-Mommy started wearing you in the Tula and you love it. There's so much sleepy dust in that thing.
-We had a lot of outings for the fall: We went to the Garden Factory for the fall festival with cousins, went to the market for breakfast and picked apples and pumpkins!
-On October 28th, you had a very high fever. We rushed you to the ER at the request of Dr. Davis. All of the doctors and nurses at RGH took wonderful care of you and we were so thankful it was just a virus and about 48 hours we were headed home! We are so thankful the Lord protected your little body!
-You're still sleeping in mommy and daddy's room, but we're all sleeping so well we just haven't moved you over yet.
-We love that we can lay you down to go to sleep awake and you just fall asleep! Your big brother NEVER did this! It's so wonderful.
-Mommy has watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls while on maternity leave. I really hope this doesn't affect you as you grow up! Ha!
-You attended your first birthday party for your cousin Avery's 1st birthday and slept right through it!

Here are pictures from this month:

 You were really happy to be wearing a hat!

All snuggly in mommy's favorite ring sling from Sakura Bloom!

This heartbreaking view, but worth chronicling! We are so happy to be on the other side!

Happy Halloween from these two skeletons!

Those cheeks.

All of the grand kids together!

We just can't help matching them!!!

We are loving our busy little life with you and your big brother!