19 December 2012

O Dangling Tree...

Let me explain.

So as you know, Chris and I tend to sway from tradition in many areas of life. Christmas is no exception. With Miss Camdin being fully mobile during this holiday season, I thought it best to do away with the "traditional" fake tree that we have. I wasn't so much worried about the ornaments as I was the fake plastic needles that she would undoubtedly try to eat. I also, envisioned her walking by the tree, wobbling and reaching out for it to steady herself, and then both tumbling down together (tree and baby). No bueno.

As I began researching, I found no solution to my problem. I wanted something to replace a tree, and something to put presents under. But what? I saw this cool felt tree that my good friend made with her adorable little girl, but we didn't have a great wall to use. 

Then I found this:

Funky. Right up my alley. But still at risk for falling over.

Then, I remembered my tomato cage trees I made for outdoor decor last season. 

My ideas were beginning to mesh together, and then my brain nearly exploded. I created the most brilliant idea of all.


I bought a green tomato cage, wrapped it with lights (just like I had done for outside)... but then I HUNG IT FROM THE CEILING. 

Not many of my ideas are very original (I'm great at copying things), but this- I will take credit for. 

I used a simple heavy duty screw hook that we had in the garage.

(Don't mind the extra hole that I made too big and have yet to patch.)
I used white crochet thread to have the tomato cage.

If you noticed the Santa hat on the bottom and wondering how it's staying on... Magic. i.e. fishing line. I sewed a small bit through the hat and looped it up over the first "crossbar" on the tree.

I hung ornaments on the "crossbars" and the light strings themselves. 

To light 'er up, I just used a small extension cord (that doesn't show if you stand at other angles).

Isn't she glorious? 

The perfect solution for any toddler/pet/real tree issues that may arise in your home!
Well done, me. I think I'll pat myself on the back for this one. 

10 December 2012

The Fastest Year of Our Lives

Here is our annual year in review... Enjoy!

END OF 2011/ JANUARY 2012

I apologize for not getting a review out last year, but as you know, my world turned upside down in the best way possible on November 30, 2012.
Everything has been about this beautiful baby girl for the past 12 months!

We celebrated Christmas with both sets of grandparents in our home. 
It was a relief to have family come to us while Camdin was so small!

We had just 6 shorts weeks together as a family before Chris shipped off to the Middle East for a 4 month deployment. Time flew by (pun intended!) as Camdin ate every two hours, slept like a champ at night, but awoke every.two.hours during the day. My mom was amazing enough to be here as Chris left, lending her extra hands to help care for the little lady and I during these exhausting beginning months of her life.



After Camdin's 2 month check-up at the doctor, Mom and I headed north to see family in Iowa.
Camdin was a great traveler in the car, but stopping every two hours to nurse, quickly changed a 10 hr drive into a 16 hr drive. Oy! I was fortunate enough to visit with several Aunts, Uncles, Great Grandparents, and friends.

After 3 weeks in the cold, Mom and I headed back home to Cabot to settle into a routine with the little lady. My best friend Casey came to visit for a long weekend,
and absolutely adored her time with our little life here in Arkansas. 
After Casey's return, Camdin switched from her bassinet in our room, to her big girl crib in her own room. She continued to sleep 7 hours consecutively at night, as she had since Chris left in mid January.


Chris and I continued to speak at least once everyday. Sometimes we could have several chats in a day.
 I can NOT complain in the least bit about how open our
communication was with one another during that time apart (thank you Skype). 
He was able to receive texts from me with lots of pictures
and video of Camdin as she grew and changed daily. 
Speaking of changing- She rolled over from her back to tummy at 3.5 months. 

Uh oh. She needs to slow down with the accomplishments! At the end of the month, Mom headed home, and Tami (Chris' mom) came for her 2 month shift.

Oma singing to me with my duck

Nana helping with monthly pictures


Tom (Chris' dad) came for a visit, and loved getting snuggles with Camdin.
Then my dad visited shortly thereafter.

My time was spent at many girls nights over wine (just a few sips, since I was still nursing), while we supported each other through the deployment. Camdin also became quite proficient at talking- see for yourself!


Chris came home this month!!! I spent the beginning of the month getting everything ready for his return. He landed on base 5 days after my 28th birthday. BEST PRESENT EVER!

Camdin started solid foods and began sitting up.



These months flew by as we celebrated summer with friends, and tried to stay cool inside. We went on several drives with the BMW club, and Camdin loved it! Mid July, we trekked up to Cincinnati to visit Chris' brother Will and his family. We also had the chance to meet with my brother at a Reds/Tigers game, and he got to meet his niece! Camdin began crawling at 6.5 mo.

Labor Day weekend was spent with more friends at their boat house on Lake Ouachita. It was beautiful up there, and so nice to be near water! Camdin enjoyed sporting her swimsuits.

Mid month we set off for Europe. Yes, we traveled to England to visit friends and family with a 9 month old. Had it not been for the 4 hour delay on the plane, we would've made it all the way there without so much as a peep of a cry from Camdin. Regardless, she did well, and we graciously accepted compliments of her being an easy traveler. We saw a cute little coastal town and spent lots of time hanging with our friends in adorable eating spots. At the end of the visit, we were privileged to meet up with Chris' brother Will and family again, as they had JUST moved back to England for his job.

Walking in an alley in Cambridge 
In front of the Lincoln Cathedral (featured in The DaVinci Code)

Last dinner with friends Sam and Kim DeMass
Sleeping on the plane


Chris and I celebrated 4 years of marriage, and then shortly after Chris pinned on a new rank. He's now USAF Captain Chris Freed. I feel like I'm married to a superhero. Camdin was excited to wear her peacock costume for her first Halloween... right as she began walking at 11 months.
Ah! She's FULLY mobile now and totally loving it!


We traveled to Austin, TX mid-month for the inaugural Formula 1 race at Circuit of the Americas. Since Camdin couldn't go to the races because of the noise, I snuck in a visit to IKEA and grabbed some cabinet locks (to prevent things like this from continuing).

Camdin and Daddy having fun at California Pizza Kitchen
 Thanksgiving was spent with friends, and then I had a week to prepare for a big 1 year old birthday celebration for Miss Camdin. Minus a nap in the middle of her party (due to teething/12 mo shots), everything went off without a hitch. We are so lucky to have so many friends here locally that seem to love Camdin as much as we do.

Look how much she's grown in a year!


We are preparing for our first Christmas with a little one, and wishing for colder weather. It doesn't seem like Christmas when it's 70*...even with the neighborhood lit up in lights. 

We want to wish you and your families a joyful holiday season. Thank you to everyone who helped us survive our first year as parents. We couldn't have done it without your support and advice! May there be lots of laughter and love in your homes to carry over to the new year. 

Chris, Aimee, Camdin, Kingston, and Remmie