Friday, December 23, 2011

Making Sweet Christmas Memories

We have had a fun month filled with many Christmas traditions. Some were old, most were new. One tradition we started this year was baking Christmas goodies with our friends. My best friend Jenn and I were chatting one night on the phone and decided we wanted to get our kids together to bake some goodies for our neighbors, the mail carriers, and for Santa! So today we did just that.
Jenn, Boston, and Ella Reese joined us for a morning of cookie decorating, candy baking, and ornament making! We decorated cookies to leave out for Santa, made special reindeer food for his four legged flight attendants, and even managed to find time to make salt dough ornaments with handprints of the kids and a wee little footprint of Judd. We had such a fun morning and it actually all went so smooth! The kids seemed to enjoy themselves it was just a nice time to get together with our very best buddies making special memories with our babes.

We finished with the following treats:
-Iced sugar cookies
-Walnut fudge
-Oreo Bark
-Saltine Cracker Toffee Bars
-Salt Dough Ornaments (or plaques in our case) of handprints/footprint

Oh! And we can't forget about the reindeer food! If Santa gets cookies, we have to feed his reindeer as well!

Each of these goodies were SUPER easy to make, which made this a piece of cake! {no pun intended} Great treats for little ones to help with!!

Dad and Ava enjoyed delivering the yumminess to our neighbors. Ava was grinning from ear to ear as she ran back to the house.

This, my friends, is what Christmas is all about. I know it's only food and not much, but I want to enstill the joy of giving at an early age with my children. One in which they can be a part of the giving from the beginning to end. And I do believe that this year, the mission was accomplished.

And just because Judd looks oh so cute with his reindeer booty...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Decorations

I am ignoring the "sleep when the baby sleeps" rule tonight so that I can finally add some pictures of our Christmas setup in the McWilliams home. I've been wanting to do this post since Friday when two of my sweet friends, Kelly and Erin, hosted a link up on Christmas decorations.
We didn't go overboard with decor this year, but we did get the basics up. It did cross our minds to do nothing but a small tree since we have a newborn, (and we have a newborn that recently had surgery at that), but on second thought we wanted to make it special since it's our first year in our new home.
Aaron and Ava did most of the decorating, as we got all of this up the DAY after Judd got home from the hospital and I was EXHAUSTED. Sidenote: I will share Judd's story soon! I was VERY impressed with their mad decorating skills. The only thing I really did was the front entry way.
Here is our main tree and "mantle" in our living room.

Ava was really into trimming the tree this year. She loved putting the ornaments on and in fact, she is still loving it...17 days later! I have to tell her no less than 50 times a day to quit moving around the ornaments!! I also wanted to add ribbon or mesh to the tree, but this year it just wasn't in the cards. I am just happy it is up and decorated!

This is our "mantle". I never even realized until about 3 months AFTER we moved into our house that we had no fireplace. Isn't that so odd? I was a little panicked (yes I am dramatic) about where to put our stockings that would not be hung by the chimney with care. But have no fear, Ashley! The TV hutch worked out just as well. I just love our Pottery Barn stockings so much. Next year I plan to add mesh to the sad looking garland.

Here is our stairs leading up to the playroom and "SheShe Office". I love the lit garland as it just adds another warm touch. Do you see Beth the elf perched on the rail? Ava loves that elf more than the big Jolly ol elf himself!  

This is Ava's little area in one of our hallways. It is a bit on the Griswold side, but these are for Ava to play with and enjoy. She can break them and it will be okay. The light up Christmas village is her absolute favorite! It plays a variety of Christmas carols and she will stand next to it, with microphone in hand, and sing at the top of her lungs. I will be adding that fake snow stuff to put underneath the "junk" for next year.

Here is our breakfast nook area (aka home to our dining room table). I would love to have my nice Spode Christmas china out on display but with little ones it won't be happening for many years. So this is it for now. I put evergreen greenery inside the hurricane vase and used a red holly berry wreath as the centerpiece. I got those "disco ball trees" as I call them at Big Lots on sale for $5 each.

Here is our entry way. I bought all of these decorations on the table this year at Hobby Lobby before Judd was born. The Sleigh holds all of our Christmas cards. The picture frames on top of our windowsill are pictures of Ava every year at Christmas. Some are Santa pictures while others are of her on Christmas morning. I have already added a picture of Judd and Ava in two frames:)

This little tree is also in our entry way, but more in our kitchen. I am not sure if I like it with or without ornaments on it. The cord drives me insane so I put the "Falala" sign there for my own peace of mind. Like it really did any good, right? Haha! It made me feel better. A little, anyway. We have two more trees I didn't photograph. One of Ava's room and one in our formal  dining room. It was naptime when I took the pictures, what can I say?  

And here is our home looking in from the front door. It's so nice and majestic at night. I just love Christmas time in the home. Thanks for checking out our decorations and I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Card {2011}

Today I am linking up with Faith's blog for the Christmas Card Carousel and I'm excited to share our Christmas card with you all!
This year's card was extra special since we had one new little addition to our family. I'm very please with how it turned out as well!! My sweet friend Sarah designed this card and I think she did a great job. I wanted to incorporate brown houndstooth with the aqua and red picture. I love those three colors together!



I hope to get a few minutes (who am I kidding I get lots of minutes with these late night feedings) to look at all the other Christmas cards in the link up! And from our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Judd's Announcement

I'm way behind with posts, but let's start with this.
Thank you so much to the lovely Sarah for capturing and creating this beautiful piece of work!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Introducing baby Judd

Judd Richard
October 28
born at 12:46 pm
8 lbs and 6 oz
21 inches long
Judd's Birth Story:
Judd was born via repeat c section on Friday afternoon. We dropped Ava off at museum school, checked in the hospital, and everything went smoothly the entire day.

 I walked into the OR and sat on the operating table and was getting fairly anxious, which is unusual for me. I am a high strung person, yes, but I was mostly excited to have Judd be born, up until the epidural/spinal. When they told me to arch my back and suck in my stomach (which, by the way, is a funny thought considering I was huge pregnant) I was getting soooo nervous. The whole procedure of an epidural is freaky. I was thinking to myself "I just want out of this. Maybe I should try to labor." Then I thought "I guess either way it's not gonna be fun. There is no easy way out." Well, that thought alone made me quite anxious. The thoughts of "what if I'm not numb, what if I have lots of scar tissue, etc. etc." ran through my head.
But within minutes I was completely numb and ready to go! Judd came out with a precious little cry and I heard the doctor and nurses discussing what a cute baby he was. Melt my momma heart!
They put him on the warmer and assessed/cleaned him while Aaron talked to him. He knew Aaron's voice instantly. Then I started talking to him and I kid you not, he turned his head all around looking for my voice. I cried like a baby.

my doctor with Judd

What a precious, amazing miracle. He was so alert, a beautiful shade of pink, and just as sweet as could be. I was ready to be out of that operating room and able to hold my baby. As soon as they stitched me up they put Judd in my arms and wheeled us to the recovery room. We had an hour to ourselves, just as a family of four, and for me to nurse him before he had a bath.

Ava came in and was so quiet. She said "Mommy, he isn't in your belly anymore. He is here! We have to be very gentle to him." She was smitten at first glance.

The hospital stay was actually SO NICE! I didn't want to go home and would be lying if I told you I haven't had one meltdown involving wanting to go back to the hospital. The nurses were amazing and the food was so good this time. I am so serious!

But, coming home day was wonderful. We were excited to show Judd his new home and the adjustment has been rather smooth. My mom stayed with us the first week and saved our lives. She was wonderful!!! She cooked, cleaned, and got up with me during the feedings. Aaron has been so great, too! He has been sleeping with Ava since he works and I don't want to wake him all night with feedings. Ava thinks it's pretty cool to have dad in her room at night! Talk about slumber party time!!
Ava has been awesome with the adjustment. She loves holding her brudder and petting his head! I have a feeling I am going to love the age difference between them. She is so helpful!
Thanks for all of the prayers and love/support during the days leading up and day of his birth.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

39 weeks, and a letter to Judd

Today marks 39 weeks that I've been pregnant with my sweet unborn baby, Judd.

{Swollen much?}
But in reality, it feels like so much longer. Not only because let's face it, the last few weeks of a pregnancy are just rough, but because of the time spent trying, failing, and longing for a baby prior to conception.
We tried to get pregnant when Ava was about 18 months with no success. We took a break and started trying again shortly after that small break:) And finally after a few trying months and infertility meds, we were delighted to become pregnant with what would become our first son. Up until about 20 weeks I was still in disbelief that I was actually pregnant. Not sure why I was so skeptical and uneasy about it, but maybe it was because I had a feeling in the back of my mind that Ava would be our only child.
Funny how God has the plan all figured out.
Funny what happens when we let go and just trust Him.

On the eve before Judd's arrival, this sweet song from Rich Mullins comes to mind. We really are on the verge of a miracle. And I am so beyond excited to watch this miracle unfold!

Dear little Judd Richard,
As I anxiously await your arrival in less than 24 hours, so much is going through my head. What will you look like, what your first cry will sound like, will you be an alert little fellow or a sleepy one? Will you have your daddy's dimples and your mom's dark hair or will you look just like your big sister...
But it's also a bittersweet feeling to know that I will not feel your kicks and rolls and your sweet little booty poking out of my belly any more. I won't ever get this time back where we share this unique once upon a time bond, just you and mommy. I will surely miss this! And as silly as it is, I do worry/hope you are just as happy, warm, and comfortable here in what will be your new world, outside of my womb.
I am so excited to begin this new life as a family of four. So is your daddy and your sister! We have prayed for you for a very long time and I am just tickled to call you, Judd, my son. While I am so scared to raise a boy, mostly because it is such uncharted territory, I know that God has so much in store and will bless me beyond my wildest dreams.
I love you, sweet baby boy!

Thank you all for the prayers for me and this baby! We should see his sweet face sometime tomorrow around lunch time. We will keep you updated!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Judd {37 weeks} Full Term!

Sorry this is such a bad picture. It's from my phone and is extra blurry. Guess that kinda works in my favor, though. Haha!

37 weeks
Size of baby: Size of a

Maternity Clothes: Yes, if they still fit! I've gotten to the point where most of my shirts are too short. It's lovely. And jeans? No way! I opt for only yoga or stretchy pants these days. As seen in above picture.

Gender: it's a BOY! Judd Richard

Movement: All the time. And he feels SO BIG. The OB told me he would start to slow down in movement towards the end. Well, that hasn't happened yet. It is weird though because now when he moves his leg, he usually moves his arm at the same time so I'm seeing big movements from the top and bottom of my belly simultaneously. CRAZY!
Sleep: Sleeping is getting not so fun. I am up to use the restroom at least 5 times a night and it is so hard to get out of my bed. I also have quite a few aches at night in my belly/lower abdomen.
What I Miss: I miss being able to stand up and walk around without the pressure on my hips and bladder. Gravity really hates me right now. But I know this is short term and the pain is SO SO worth it!!  

Cravings: No real cravings at this point. But I am trying to get in all the fatty foods now before it is all over. SO BAD!
Symptoms: Weight gain? hahaaha! I'm at the point where I gain my most weight. I have gained about 8 lbs in the past 6 weeks. But, that's just how I do it in my pregnancies. At least I didn't gain 30 like I did with Ava. I'll take the 8 any day over 30!
Lower back ache after standing more than...oh...30 seconds?
Just overall pressure from the baby being so low.
Best Moment this week: Dr. Howell said I am 1.5 cm dilated so I know the time is coming soon that I will be holding a precious baby boy in my arms.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The easiest Chicken Pot Pie recipe {ever}

Last night I wanted Chicken Pot Pie. Not the frozen kind. The homemade kind with a thick flaky biscuit crust!
But I also knew it had to be easy and require few steps & little prep as I am 2 weeks out of delivery day.
I found a recipe on and it was so good I had to share!

1 can cream of chick soup
1 can mixed veggies
1 can cubed chicken (I use Costco brand. It's the best in my opinion)
1 can pillsbury flat crescent roll
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 cup bisquick baking mix
1 tsp of butter

-Preheat oven to 400
-Press crescent roll into a pie dish and add soup mix, can of veggies, and can of chicken.
-Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Mix milk, egg, and baking mix. Pour over chicken mixture.
-Bake for 25 minutes. Add a buttery spread on top and bake for 5 more minutes.

I served salad and buttered bread with ours. That's how Aaron likes his pot pie. It was so good and super easy!!!

Let me know if you try this and how you liked it. I'm sure this little number will stay with our dinner rotation during the winter months. Mmmmm.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Christmas Sneak Peek {SheShe Made}

Snowmen, candycanes, ornaments, and sock monkeys. These are just a FEW PEEKS at our Christmas items we are rolling out for SheShe Made Christmas Collection 2011. While we wanted to add so much more, we had to say enough was enough and trust that our customers would be very satisfied with the selection chosen.


(can you even HANDLE these tights?!?!)

Monograms, appliques, smocked dresses and ruffle tights. It's all pretty much enough yumminess to make your season merry and bright!!

There will be EVEN MORE to come next week! Think elf shoes and little red wagons, lollipops and gumdrops. Keep up to date when the Christmas items go up for sale on by following us on facebook!

Special thanks to Sarah Carlson Photography out of DFW Texas and Tracy Marshall Photography out of Severna Park Maryland for most of the images.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Judd's "Little Man" Shower

This weekend four of my best girls threw me a shower at my house. I had been so excited about this day for obvious reasons, but also because Sarah (who lives in Oklahoma) would be coming in town to spend the weekend with me, and the other girls, Jenn and Angie, would be sleeping over as well. Oh! And getting to show off our new home to friends and family was an added bonus.  It was a crazy weekend indeed, but oh so fun!!  

I didn't get many pictures, and the ones I did take weren't that great, so I am borrowing these all from Sarah's blog post. She said it was okay;)

My family of 3.5. Aaron was such a big help on this day. He took Ava and Manny, Sarah's little boy, to his school gym for the beginning of the shower. He said it was a great preview of what's to come with a girl and a boy in tow. Ava came back while I was opening gifts and wanted to open all of them herself. She was a little disappointed in bottle nipples and washcloths, but many shower guests were so sweet to bring her a wrapped gift. I have THE BEST friends and family. Always so thoughtful!

Me and the shower hostesses, Angie, Jenn, and Sarah...minus good 'ol Sheila. I'm sure she was working hard behind the scenes as she always is. I love these girls so much and thank God for bringing me such genuine, selfless, class act buddies to do life with. It's funny because I met half of this crew on the internets. Haha! Yes, there are crazies in the internets, but there are also PURE JEWELS and I have found two of them. I feel like I've known all of these girls my whole life. We chat in some way every single day, and I seriously don't take any one of these friendships for granted. LOVE THEM TO PIECES!!

The amazing food set up! I want this food right now, at 9am. IT WAS SOOOO GOOD! And aren't the food cards too adorable?

Jenn's friend Molly made the most precious cookies. If you are local, you need to check her out. Email me for details. And the mustache frame? Isn't that the greatest? Ava is obsessed with mustaches right now so she is still digging these mustache cookies!
Thanks again, girls, for throwing such a FABULOUS shower. I feel so loved by each of you!

SheShe Made
My photo
Ft. Worth, Texas
After having my girly girl in April of 08, and spending oodles of money on one of a kind boutique, monogrammed clothing (with hairbows to match), I decided it was time to learn this trade myself before I went broke! I learned how to sew, embroider, and make hairbows in a matter of 3 months. What started as a hobby has turned into a dream come true. I quit my job as a teacher and now work from home when the little one sleeps. My life as a mommy and a boutique clothing designer/manufacturer/monogrammer is truly the best of both worlds!! I have big dreams for the future of my family and the future of SheShe Made. Thanks for joining me as I blog about the journey. Let me know if there is a bow or outfit you'd like custom made for you! Email me at and thanks for stopping by!

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