Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Christmas 2017

We went into Christmas Break so excited for no school and to spend quality time with family and friends...but when the flu hit our house all plans changed.  It hit me the worst and I went 6 straight days with a fever, seeing spots, chills, sweating down to the mattress, and coughing like a crazy person ...all while somehow managing to watch kids, finish Christmas shopping, and attend parties with a smile on my face.  It was all such a blur.

Reese's great grandmother gifted her with this giant unicorn 2 days before Christmas which led to Ryder being super jealous and insisting that Santa would bring him a giant animal too.  

After a mad scramble we purchased this bear for $20 off someone's porch in Mountain Brook and hid it in Ryan's Tahoe until Santa could bring it Christmas morning.  

Reese's one item on her Santa list was a Barbie Jeep and she was so excited.  There may be some negatives about our new house but we truly have the best street for Power Wheels because we are on a dead end with no traffic.  Now she just needs to learn to steer!

Ryder received several new games & accessories for his WiiU and loves going to his room to snuggle with Big Bear and play games.  

In their bath robes Christmas morning.  

Once the Christmas holidays were over and we had some days to recover we honestly had a pretty great New Years weekend.  Ryan turned 38 and we spent most of the weekend relaxing under blankets on the couch, reading, cooking, and having cake with family.  

This upcoming weekend Ryder turns 6 and we have a BIG surprise in store for him in the form of a 6 week old Golden Retriever puppy that he has wanted for over a year now.  Keep us in your prayers this weekend as we balance work, small kids, and old dementia Maltipoo, and a brand new puppy.    

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Like most of central Alabama, we had the most fun Snow Day last week.  Ryder was dressed in snow gear and playing in it as it began falling before 7am.  We spent the majority of the day outside and took breaks to come in for warm food and to place our gloves and coats for a spin in the dryer.  

I can't believe it is almost Christmas!  Lots of shopping to still do.  I caved and applied for a Target Red card since I am either there or placing online orders at least once a week.  We also had a Barbie Jeep crisis and I ended up ordering two because one says it "may" arrive after Christmas.  That was a quick $600.  

Plus the kids are out for Christmas Break which is both fun and stressful because for the first time in 3 years I am having to coordinate child care so I can keep working.  Luckily, we know a few babysitters this time around and the kids are a lot more fun and easy than they were as babies. 

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Despite the stress, there is nothing that can bring a smile to my face quicker than hearing the kids sing Christmas carols in the car with their little sweet voices.   


Thursday, November 2, 2017

October 2017

October for the Mussatos was super busy.  We started the first weekend with birthday invites to three separate parties but only made it to two.  This is Reese with a hired Rapunzel who painted the girls fingernails.  There were also chicken salad & pimiento cheeses sandwiches, a mimosa bar, and bounce house.  Three year old parties are serious stuff around here!

We've had some very pleasant nights and have enjoyed spending as much time outdoors before the super cold weather hits in a few weeks.  This is a pic of the kids peeking at Ryan as he mows the grass.  

And a pic I captured of the whole house with the two peeking out.  

My nephew Hayes spent the night with us for the first time Columbus Day weekend and then my parents drove the other cousins up the next day to play at our house.  I also took the three big kids to see Ninjago at the movie theater and they had so much fun.  

Ryder had his very first school bus ride and field trip last Friday!  He has made lots of new school friends and they had a great time at Old Baker Farm.  

He insisted that we carve his pumpkin when he got home that afternoon which was basically me doing all the work while the kids threw the pumpkin seeds into the backyard.  

We hosted friends one weekend and Ryan smoked several chickens that were so yummy.  We had leftover for days and we may do that again soon.  At one point of the day we had 9 kids at our house & I am still finding Nerf bullets in the bushes!  

Finally, we celebrated Halloween this week with trick or treating with friends.  Reese was the most beautiful Anna from Frozen and Ryder was a Lego Ninjago.  The last pic is our friend Nora who was Pinkalicious from her favorite book.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

September 2017

The end of August and September have been super busy.  We have new schedules and our days are filled with new school for Ryder, new preschool for Reese, new karate class, new ballet class, new part time work for me, Bible Study, etc.  We look like a traveling Gypsy band with all the school bags, spare clothes, lunches, gear, laptops, etc.

After a few weeks I no longer have a fear of leaving one of them waiting for me on the carpool line curb.  Our schedule is different all 5 weekdays so it's been a logistics challenge.  

Reese's first day of 3 year old preschool at AEK

Reese's first day of ballet at Vestavia Dance

We've blown up Aubie in the front yard and also made our first trip as a whole family to Auburn.  I had not been since 2012, Ryder went 1/2 of a game last year, and this was Reese's first time.  Other than it being super hot it was a great day.

Ryan and I also celebrated our 10 year anniversary earlier this month.  We had a dinner at Gian Marcos that Friday night, then spent the weekend at kids birthday parties, consignment sales, grilling wings, and church.  That pretty much sums us up in a nutshell.  

This week we began talking about Halloween, so of course at least one child already had a fit to get their costume.  Ryder is a Ninjago character (a Lego ninja) and Reese has named approximately 15 different ideas so hers may have to wait a few weeks for my sanity.  Unless anyone reading this has a size 2 Peppa Pig costume in which case give me a call.  We are ready for October and nicer weather!    

Friday, August 18, 2017

Our Story

Our story begins in Charlotte in May 2011 as I surprised your Daddy with new nursery furniture one day after work.  He was so confused about why I purchased a new wooden rocking chair and when I explained it was for the nursery the news slowly sank in.  Fast forward 9 months later and he would be washing my hair in the shower as my labor pains were too intense to barely even stand.  He also fetched my labor and delivery nurse and I was biting the hospital bed rails in pain.  Thanks, sweet nurse, for cranking up the Pitocin drip then disappearing for an hour.  

You were placed into my arms that night and I suppose our closeness has only exploded like dynamite.  I remember explaining to a friend once that I had the complete opposite of post partum depression during those first few months...could barely let you out of my sight....I dare you to pry this angel baby out of my arms.

It took 4 weeks to leave you with Daddy for 20 minutes to go to the grocery store that was literally a bicycle ride across a red light at the entrance to our neighborhood.  And only then because my family was coming to visit and I needed to cook.  At 5 weeks my aunt asked if I had gotten out of the house yet and in all seriousness I responded that I had been to the mailbox.

You attended full-time day care for 2 1/2 years after I started back to work and I have been so lucky to see your sweet face the past 2 years after MDO hours.  We have so enjoyed our popsicle summers at home with little Sister.  

I've left you for 4 nights total in all of your 5 1/2 years of life.  The first two "when sister came out of the tummy" which coincidentally you claim is the first day that you remember.  The other two when I went on a girls trip to the beach and your father texted me pictures of your nose against the front door glass waiting on me to come home. 
Sidenote: There's also the snow incident when you spent the night at day care and I slept in my mother in law's spare clothes but that was so traumatic it has all but been erased from memory.  

Daddy and I just last week built and painted a new loft bed in hopes of getting you to sleep in your room all night, every night...but you still somehow end up snuggled between us in our King bed.  As payback I kiss you on the cheeks when I wake up in the night for water and to check on Sister. 

All that to say last week was a BIG DEAL for us all, as you left the nest and started Kindergarten. We hope and pray for a great year as you begin this big adventure and love watching God's plans unfold for you, little man.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Beach Trip 2017

Towards the end of July we finally found some time for a beach trip.  We started by staying one night on the Okaloosa Island side of Destin.  After what seemed like 45 pee pee breaks we made it to the Florida state line and we drove through terrible rain until we neared the coast.  About 10 minutes from the hotel we stopped for pee pee break #46 at Eglin Air Force museum and walked around for a few minutes outside looking at all the retired jets on display.  It was also still very cloudy so instead of checking in we drove to eat a late lunch at The Back Porch and dip our toes in the sand.  We then spent the afternoon walking up and down the beach and playing in the pool.  Ordered a late pizza then called it a night in a comfy Marriott bed.  

The next day we swam all morning then began the drive towards 30A.  We were a little early to check into our condo at Inlet Beach but since we had everything we needed in the car anyway we parked at the condo and played on the beach until our 4pm check in. 

We loved the condo (bunk beds for the kids!) and the kids had a great time at both the beach and pool.  The water was yucky some days but the kids didn't mind.  We ate at Bayou Bill's, Pompano Joes's, the Bud N Alley's taco stand, Alys Beach donut truck, and finally The Hub on the last night.  Ryder even had his first bumper car experience! 

On Sunday we shopped for a few hours in Destin then had a final lunch at Fudpucker's before the drive back to Birmingham.  We had a movie due back at the Hoover library by 6pm and we even made it in time despite the slow I-65 traffic. 

See you next summer, Florida!  

Monday, July 10, 2017

House Updates

I've mentioned here and there about our house renovations and they have finally come to a close.  We moved in the last week of February and were literally having our kitchen completely demo'd 3 weeks later.  In a nutshell we had the old kitchen and living room opened up into one big open floorplan.  There was also a formal living room at the front of the house that was closed off and instead of having a wasted space we opened up a large casing to make it accessible from our living room.  We've made that space the dining room and are so glad for the "openness" that the floorplan didn't have before.  We had the back deck replaced completely and had the exterior painted Sherwin Williams Alabaster white with Pavestone shutters.  

here are a few pics before the demo...Doesn't everyone want a baby white ceiling fan in their kitchen?

And some of the finished product!

We definitely did a very basic, low budget kitchen reno in case we decide to sell in a few years...white shaker stock cabinets (not custom), white subway tile with grey grout, quartz countertops, nickel hardware, glass pendants, stainless steel appliances, with the gas range by far being our favorite.  We actually plan to trade out the island pendants for something more dramatic looking but I've been shopping for months and the only ones I like are forever out of stock on Wayfair.  These were just a cheap Home Depot option for now.  I've also since sewed up the curtains into roman shades.  

Lots of little updates to do here and there.  We've been trying to swap out all the brass door hardware for bronze, shop for curtains & rugs, etc. but all of that will just take time.  Not to mention Ryder wants bunk beds! I think Ryan and I need clones of ourselves to get everything done.