Friday, November 30, 2012


Who is up for a little Christmas Fun? 
Thanks so much to Jen at That's What She Read for including me in this fun "Tag" themed post.

The fun started over at Raising Reagan, where Lanaya answered 5 Christmas themed questions and "tagged" five other bloggers to do the same, and then on and on until we're all in the Christmas Spirit! 


1. What makes Christmas such a special holiday for you and your family?
Besides the most important aspect of celebrating the birth of our Savior,  Christmas has always (for me) been a holiday based on family. Now that I have one of my own it has become 1000x more fun! From November - December we celebrate each other and how thankful we are for each other. We also try to give much more of ourselves in this season than we do the rest of the year. 
2. Were you told the truth about Santa Claus by your parents or did you find out another way? you plan on lying to your kids (if you have them or plan on having them)? Oh yes…I went there. :)
I actually figured out the Easter Bunny first and because of that I was suspicious of Santa that year. Eventually my parents sat me and my brother down and told us the truth even though we already knew, just denied it. I plan on "lying" to my kids but I don't like the idea of telling Norah that she has to be good in order to get gifts. It seems like the exact opposite of what I would teach her about Jesus. So instead, we'll go along with the Santa game but as she gets older and is easier to understand, I want to explain to her that there will always be presents under the tree because like Jesus, Santa operates on grace. 
3. Real tree or Fake tree?
UGH so torn! Growing up we always had real and I love the way they look and smell. Mmm... However fake trees are SO much easier! It's a toss up. 
4. Do you open presents on Christmas morning, Christmas Eve or both?
We do one with the Grandparents on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
5. What is your favorite Christmas movie to watch? Favorite Christmas song to sing or listen to? ( I know…technically two questions)
That's a tough one! I really love It's a Wonderful Life and also all the old classics like Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. However Home Alone (1 and 2) will always hold a special place in my heart ;)
Also, I will freely admit that I still listen to Hanson and N*SYNC's Christmas albums. Don't judge me.
For the next round of  You're It, I am tagging these bloggers:

Lindsay @ You Are the Roots

Wendy @ This Amazing Day

Lindsey @ Ot & Et

Randalin @ Harvesting Kale

Melanie @ Now a Queen

Hopefully these ladies pass on the fun! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

togethers, a family!

ever since the other night, norah has been saying, "togethers, a family!" constantly. it's not the worst thing ever. in fact, she's created a new family motto around here.

i LOVE family together-ness stuff. think movie/game nights, traditions, rituals, rules, mottos, etc. i have been calling us "team-wilson." i have a small book of family traditions that i would like to start plus some that we already have established. i insist on multiple family photos every year even though mark tends to roll his eyes ("another one...?"). my family is the most important thing in my life second to God.

to hear my daughter say "togethers, a family!!" over and over just melts my heart every time. that little phrase, our little family motto, means more to me than she'll ever know. i can only hope that she values family as much as i do some day.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

norah says

me: "do you want mommy AND daddy to read stories with you tonight?"
norah: "togethers?!....a family."
me: *heart explodes and I die*

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

the season of giving

The holiday season always puts me in the mood to help others. I like buying a few gifts for my daughter, but that's about it and even then we don't go overboard. (I will be writing a separate post on our family "policies" on gift-giving.) There are way too many people in this world who need a hot meal or a warm coat more than I need ANOTHER scarf or ANOTHER book or ANOTHER anything!

So when I came across Mandy's post about helping each other out I was elated. I urge you to click that link and read through the comments. I was able to connect with another young mother (our little ones are only 8 days apart!) and we each feel equally blessed to have met each other. My family is fortunate enough this year that we have some extra money to spare but we have totally been there before. Scraping by and unsure of how our bills are even going to get paid. It is not a fun place to be especially around Christmas. 

Please, even if you only have $1 to spare, click on that link and see who is in need. Or, if you need help this year here is a great place to ask! Please do not hesitate to ask for help. We've all been there and we can all understand. Plus the joy of the season is not in who gets to open the most expensive or most amount of gifts on Christmas morning. It is about the Lord our God, it is about loving others, and it is about connecting with each other through the spirit of the season. I would much rather give than receive, remembering that the greatest gift we will ever know was given to us in Jesus. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the happiest christmas song

{{ wordless wednesday }}

tomorrow is thanksgiving and then friday we'll be in christmas mode! it's been really hard to put it off this year (pinterest, why don't you let me enjoy november first?) but i'm thankful that it's only two more days away! so today i thought i'd share the happiest christmas song. plus, the video is adorable :)

happy thanksgiving to you and your family. remember to give thanks to the One who deserves all our praise. we all have so much to be thankful for in Him! 

linked with:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

norah says

Me: "Norah, what do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?
Norah: "Chrissmasss? A shoebox? YEA!"

Sure thing, kiddo :)

26 before 27

inspired by elsie of a beautiful mess (here and here), i decided that i too would make a list of goals for myself for the next year (my 26th birthday was on the 9th). some are pretty ambitious and some are just for fun. either way i'm excited to grow and see where i'm at a year from now!

what would be on your birthday goals list?

Monday, November 19, 2012

makin' it monday // thankful leaf garland

this week's project comes just in time for thanksgiving! i had many plans for thanksgiving projects and activities this month that just didn't work out because of the hurricane and being without power for almost 2 weeks. i picked one of my favorites to share with you this time around and by thursday i should have one more mini-project for you. well...for the kids ;)

here's how to make your own thankful leaf garland:

you will need: leaves (real or fake will do fine, we used real), paint, brushes, glitter, sharpie markers, embroidery floss, and a needle

with a sharpie, i wrote down some things we are thankful for on the medium sized leaves. i tried asking norah what she was thankful for but it was much easier to just ask "what do you love?"

norah painted the large sized leaves and then i helped her shake on some glitter

once the large leaves were dry, i paired each one with a medium sized leaf and tied them together with embroidery floss.

i alternated a leaf pair with a small leaf and strung them up with a needle and the embroidery thread

hang where you please and there you have it!
what are you thankful for?

Friday, November 16, 2012

happy weekend!

"dis is beautifullllllll!"

- - - - -

WOW this week went really fast. it was a little weird getting back into the swing of things around here. we've had our power back for a full week now so i think it's safe to say we're in the clear! i've been writing the posts i've been meaning to catch up on, it's just taking a little longer than i thought. thanks for being patient! besides getting back to our normal schedule i've been busy writing, christmas shopping (i know, i know), and taking care of a sick daughter and husband on top of being sick myself. TGIF right? anyway we're looking forward to a relaxing weekend before the holiday madness begins. i'll be back monday with a fun DIY just in time for thanksgiving :)

- friendsgiving!

- also loving the "at home with..." series over at a beautiful mess

- fabulous house tour.

- broccoli soup nom nom nom.

- cute DIY idea: branch coat rack!

- date your daughter.

- i love this photo.

- giant alphabet letters. i'll take an "N" please.

- shop love.

- loving this shared girls' room. don't tell mark - when(if) we have another, i want another girl! :)

- do you like princesses? i'm still on the fence...

- too many ideas!

22 months old


stats :
height: 32 in
weight: 24 lbs
shirt size: 18m to 2T
pants size: 18-24m to 2T
shoe size: 4-5
teeth: 16! 8 on top and 8 on bottom

fun things right now :
- norah has a new hobby...hiding. the best part? she doesn't even actually HIDE anywhere! her version of "hiding" is standing/sitting in the same spot she was already in and simply closing her eyes. sometimes, she'll use her hands to cover them. usually the "hiding" is a result of mark or I telling her it's time to do something she doesn't want to do (i.e. get a diaper change, blow her nose). she's wack.
- still singing like crazy! she knows the alphabet and she has her own versions of wheels on the bus, twinkle twinkle little star, baa-baa black sheep, and itsy bitsy spider.
- she learned that a stop sign is in the shape of an octagon, so whenever we're driving she likes to point out all the "ocka-gons"
- she has started talking to her babies or animals in the same way mark and i talk to her. tone, specific phrases, everything. it's actually kind of creepy haha but it makes me more conscious of how i'm speaking to her and the words i'm using!
- she is becoming extremely picky with what she's wearing. i've created a monster!

favorites :
color: purple
food: noodles, hands down. luckily she'll eat them in a variety of ways so at least i can get veggies in her too
song: ABC's and "piano songs" which is anything by regina spektor :) :) :)
toy: still her babies. santa is going to be bringing her a crib and high chair for them, plus some other little accessories :) 
book: "quiet, loud" by leslie patricelli and all the pip and posy books
movie/TV show: BRAVE! it's a new favorite ever since we got to do a review/giveaway a couple of weeks ago :)
thing to do: "toysa-maaahmee?" (toys with mommy) she is in a stage where i have to play everything WITH her. it is extremely sweet, but it leaves me a very small window in the afternoon during her nap to get anything else done. if i try to leave the room she freaks and if i bring her with me she stands literally ON my feet. ugh.

babycenter's milestone chart for 22 months: 
mastered skills (most kids can do)
kicks ball forward: yes, and sideways hehe
follows two-step requests (e.g., "get your doll and bring it here"): yes, pretty good with this

emerging skills (half of kids can do)
does simple puzzles: yes. she likes the ones with little pegs to pick up the pieces
draws a straight line: uhh, sort of i think. she draws A LOT but it's more like she's drawing lines over and over. it's not necessarily straight on purpose. make sense?

names several body parts: yep! everything on the face and main parts of the body (arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, belly/belly button, back, hiney, cooley)

advanced skills (a few kids can do)
puts on loose fitting clothes: i've only ever seen her put her poncho on by herself. not sure if she can do sleeves or pant legs!
might be ready for a big bed: we've actually talked about converting her crib sometime soon! maybe after christmas
understands opposites: i know she knows the difference between big/small and hot/cold. maybe some others too!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

thrifting thursday // v. 9

a couple of weeks ago i dropped off a ton of donations to my favorite local thrift store. when i got there, i noticed that all pink tags and all craft supplies (!!) were half off so i took a look around:

a bag of spools, thread, and jingle bells for christmas ornaments. not sure what i'll use them for but probably not that; vintage seed tin, blue lace nylon elastic, wooden hearts, animal shaped cookie cutouts, scrap fabric

this is the most darling miniature porcelain tea set. i have plans to gift it to norah one day but i think she's too young right now. i don't want this to end up getting broken!

the cutest airplane i ever saw

norah got to trick or treating twice this year! the first time was actually on halloween at the local mall:

"ermahgerd, lollipops!!!"

flying airplane / our little family

the 2nd time was the following monday, nov. 5th. trick-or-treating in towns all over NJ was postponed due to the hurricane so we got to go out again:

"yessss more lollipops"


it was a bit of an unconventional halloween. heck, we were one of THREE families we saw out trick-or-treating that night. at this point our block still hadn't gotten it's power back on so i guess people were too busy dealing with that than worrying about handing out candy. still, norah got her coveted lollipops and we went home and watched "it's the great pumpkin, charlie brown." an unconventional halloween, but a fun one!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

BRAVE review and birthday giveaway!

***I was sent a copy of BRAVE to review. All opinions stated are mine and mine alone.***

I'm going to be honest, when I was approached to do a review and giveaway of this movie I wasn't completely on board at first. After all, it IS a princess movie which is normally not my thing. However I had heard wonderful things about this new kind of princess in Merida, the movie's main character, so I gave it a try. I'm so glad we did!

The movie follows Merida on her journey to create her own fate instead of following in the path that her parents laid out for her. Her father, King Fergus, and mother, Queen Elinor, want her to follow tradition and marry a prince. However Merida repeatedly expresses to her mother that she is not ready and she would rather have her freedom. Merida takes drastic steps to change her fate, seeing a local witch who casts a spell that will forever change the kingdom, her parents, and herself. 

Part of the reason I don't like princess movies is because they always tell a love story; the princess needing to be rescued/saved/wooed by a handsome prince. Brave is a mother-daughter story which is completely refreshing. Though Merida is at first defiant and somewhat bratty towards her mother, the story follows as they rekindle their relationship and build a stronger bond and better understanding of each other than they had before. 

Not only was this movie entertaining and fun, it made me think about they way I parent. Do I want to be like Queen Elinor, forcing my own wishes and lifestyle upon my own daughter? Though I respect tradition I also respect individuality. Brave made me think about the type of mother I would like to be: supportive and loving at all times. 

Thank you Disney-Pixar, for a wonderfully refreshing twist on the typical princess movie!

- - - - -

With all that said, let's have a giveaway! In honor of my birthday on Friday, I would like to offer my lovely readers the chance to WIN a copy of  Brave (Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy).

It's easy, just enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will close at 12:00am on November 10th. Winner will be announced the same day! You may submit multiple entries by commenting, following me on twitter, tweeting the giveaway, and liking Little Mouse's House on facebook! Good luck!

we're back!

this week has been all sorts of crazy.

last monday hurricane sandy hit and with it killed our power. we JUST got it back last night! thankfully mark's parents never lost their power so we spent 5 nights down with them. we were able to stay warm and have lights! charge our phones! watch a movie! we were spoiled.

while we were down there i was able to sub two days at the preschool i used to work. they were understaffed due to the effects of the hurricane. many teachers were either stuck where they evacuated to (gas shortages everywhere!) or were dealing with flooded houses, flooded cars, no power, etc. i was happy to help and it was great seeing everyone. though i'm a little ticked that norah and i are both sick now, likely from the germs i was exposed to at the school. but such is life, right?

saturday mark, norah, and i plus a team of other volunteers went to a house in ocean city that was completely destroyed. with norah in a borrowed ergobaby sling on my back, we sorted through her belongings to see what was salvageable, helped move everything out, ripped up what was left of her dock, and just tried to help in whatever way we could. it was bittersweet, seeing the devastation of her home and all her things was so sad. however, the light on her face and hope in her eyes was unmistakable. this woman lost so much, yet trusts that God is in control of it all. she thanked us profusely and said as soon as things in her own house are taken care of she is going to be out helping others. it was without a doubt a life changing event for her and all of us on the crew.

such a trooper she was

we worked for 6 hours on saturday before calling it a day. norah had had enough by that point, it was freezing cold, and we all needed a break. sunday i went back to the house with supplies, coffee, food and a smile. i was unable to do physical labor a second day in a row (6 hours doing physical work with a baby on your back = extremely sore the next day) but i felt i still needed to do something!

we came back to monmouth county sunday night to a freezing cold house with still no power. we didn't have a choice though, mark was back to work yesterday so we needed to be here. the three of us all slept in our bed under several blankets and a down comforter so it wasn't too bad. monday morning i packed norah and i up and we headed to starbucks for a hot drink and to mooch their wi-fi. i needed to get on facebook - i joined a group called operation #restoreourshore who continually updates their page with volunteer opportunities, ways to help, things to donate, where to donate, etc. i brought markers and paper to starbucks too and norah and i sat making flyers and sipping our hot chocolates (side note: salted carmel hot chocolate anyone?? SO good!). last night while we went trick-or-treating (yep, NJ halloween was nov. 5 from 3-6. boooooo) i passed out the flyers, which listed items i'll be collecting for monmouth county shelters over the next week. then just as we got home the lights came back on! we were and still are so happy. if nothing else, i'm just glad we're warm! it's supposed to snow tomorrow and i can't imagine how cold it would have gotten. and to think that there are still people with no power...

hurricane sandy spared my family but thousands and thousands of others were directly affected. this is my home and seeing all the people around me losing everything is heartbreaking. now that we're back at my parents' house and we have power (!!! still doing a happy dance !!!)  i plan on continuing to help out in whatever ways i can. that being said, my blogging is going to be a little slow in catching up. i know i posted previously on taking a break anyway but now this is a different kind of break. an "i literally have no time to blog" break. 

i have several posts that i wanted to write for last week that i'm still going to write, plus this week's posts and of course the obligatory halloween pictures but i'm not going to stress over getting them done "on time." i promise they will be here and i'm not gone forever ;) i just wanted to check in today and let those who were wondering know that we're OK and we're just going to be very busy getting things back in order. also, thank you all so much for your kind words and concerns on my last post. 

with all that said i will be back later today with my very first review/giveaway!

if you're still reading (hehe) and want to know how you too can help, here are a few good sites to check out:
- one
- two
- three

plus the facebook page i was telling you about:
operation #restoreourshore