Being Brickner

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Avalon Elle: Eighteen Months

I'm taking a break from regularly scheduled holiday programming today to wish my baby a happy one year & a half birthday!!!!  Ah, I can't even believe it.  I was rocking her to sleep tonight thinking how from here on out, she is closer to two than one and it just doesn't even seem possible.  She still seems like such a baby (maybe wishful thinking?), but we all consider her that, especially Waverly who will say "can someone get this baby to listen to me?", if Avalon isn't falling in line with exactly what her bossy big sister has to say. ;)  She is still so tiny, is sprouting some strawberry-blonde hair (exactly the same color as Waverly's), and her blue eyes are as bright as ever.  I will randomly get a comment that she looks just like me, but it is always when my husband isn't around, they are pretty much twins, especially when you look at his baby pictures!  She loves to pucker her lips whenever we ask and also has this crooked smile that I hope she never, ever loses.

I have said from the time that she was born that Avalon was my easy baby, and that's still pretty much the case.  She is way more sensitive than Waverly ever was and can definitely get just as sassy as the rest of us (she has recently learned the word "no" and has no problem practicing it often), but overall, she just goes with the flow.  She is a good sleeper, a good eater, loves the car seat, is not shy at all, and it takes a whole lot to make her cry.  She is generally happy as ever and so much fun to be around, her little faces & mannerisms are the cutest and I love to just sit and watch her do her thing.

She has recently had the biggest word explosion, going from only a few words to probably over 20.  Some of her favorites are yes, no, Elmo, ball, book, mama, dada, and sis.  She loves to point out her eyes, nose, and mouth, to touch everyone's ears, and has the best dance moves.  She is usually on the go, but when she finally stops she will snuggle and give kisses, or request Sesame Street, which is by far her very favorite show.  She loves to dress-up, and will steal Waverly's purses, princess crowns, or necklaces when she isn't looking.  The cutest!  And even though she is all girl, she is a climber just like her daddy was at that age, I can literally blink my eyes and she is on top of something.  She has three favorite stuffed bunnies, she was obsessed with this one bunny forever and so I found two others just like it and now they are her squad, she literally goes nowhere without them.  It's precious! :)

She adores Waverly so much, they are closer than ever and usually wherever one is, the other is not far behind.  They are always walking around the house holding hands, finding things to get into that they really shouldn't be, but laughing and just being so cute that it really makes it hard to be mad for long.  If you would have asked me when I was pregnant with Avalon if we hoped for a boy or girl we really would have been thrilled with either, but I am forever so thankful that they get to experience sisterhood and that have each other.  Their relationship is so special and getting to be a part of it will always be one of my greatest joys in life.

Sweet Avalon Elle, we adore you!!!!  It's bittersweet to watch you grow so fast, but we couldn't love the little person you are turning into one little bit more.  Happiest half-birthday!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Gift Ideas & A Giveaway

Tis' the season for gift giving!!!  These days I do most of my holiday shopping online, it is just so much easier than trying to shop with two kids, and there are just so many more options to choose from while sitting at home in my coziest thermal pants! :) Today I am super excited to be teaming up with the cutest online company, Uncommon Goods, to share my picks for both the special men & women in your life.  I adore this site so much, there are so many fun and creative ideas!  Shopping for my husband, dad and brothers can be challenging, so I loved that (for once) I was able to find something for each of them, all in one place!

Spa Tower - Bootie Warming Slippers - Initial Necklaces - Heirloom Recipe Book - Tea Mugs - Mittens - Beer Mug - Mens Grooming Kit - Bow Tie - Pocket Utensil Set - What I Love About You Book
I would love for Santa to bring me those slippers, they actually warm your feet!!!!  And that pink book is the sweetest, there is a version for women as well, so cute for your mom or a grandparent, you could ask your little ones to share if they are old enough!

And lastly, Uncommon Goods is so gracious to give back to you this season, they are offering one lucky reader a $25 gift card to spend on you, or for gifts!  The gift card will be emailed to you.  You can enter below, the giveaway starts now and will last until this Friday the 9th.  Good luck!!!  Hope you all had a lovely, warm weekend! XO

Friday, December 2, 2016

Holiday Bucket List

Happy December, friends!!!!!  It's here! :)  We are so excited, December has been my favorite month of the year since I was a little girl and it's only gotten better each year since becoming a mama.  I keep reminding myself to soak these next few weeks in, life is so busy and flying by, but these special moments are the ones I want to remember forever.

We got into the spirit earlier than ever this year, a couple weeks back we took the girls to the mall the night Santa came in.  Waverly remains legitimately petrified by him, something that's been on repeat since she was one, and I've definitely decided that's one battle I am not going to fight this year.  She was perfectly content staying back and watching from a distance, without taking her eyes off of him, and I've promised her that's all she has to do when we take our annual trip to visit Santa at Bass Pro Shops this weekend.  She's written two letters to Santa (one from her requesting a Shopkins bike & the other in her words from Avalon, asking for Elmo since that's her favorite), and she's planning to have Avalon deliver them for her when she sits on his lap.  Which pretty much just melts my heart.

Our elf on the shelf also made her debut!!!  I usually wait until December 1st, but I knew I had to work that day and it would be just way too crazy, so we did a themed breakfast over the weekend.  We have had so much fun with this already, Waverly gets so excited to see where she is each morning and Avalon always runs over to where we find her laughing & pointing, saying "hi elf!".  Also, at the risk of screwing myself on this one, so far the fear that the elf is going to report bad things to Santa has worked like a charm.  We are riding that one for as loooong as we can.

The night after Thanksgiving we made a list of the things we want to do this holiday season.  It was so much fun having Waverly join in this time, remembering things that we have done in the past and wanting to do them again.  Can't wait to check off this list, it's truly the most wonderful time of the year!!!

1 -  Make Christmas cookies.
2.  Go to Christmastown.
3.  Bass Pro Shops to see Santa.
4 - Go pick out a tree.
5 - Drive around and look at lights and drink hot chocolate.
6 - Go pick out a toy to give the less fortunate.
7 - Watch holiday movies and eat popcorn (so far Waverly's favorite is the grinch!).
8 - Caroling at mommy's school.
9 - Ice skating.
10 - Go see The Nutcracker.

Wishing you the happiest weekend! XO

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mama & Mini: Winter Style

Stopping in mid-week with some fun winter styles for both mama and babe!!!  Dressing two little girls is so much fun, I love finding creative ways to coordinate them.  I am always on the lookout for pieces that are versatile and budget-friendly, and also mix in a couple special pieces from small shops each season.  As for me, my wardrobe has changed so much in the past few years since becoming a mom, and even more so since switching over from high school to preschool.  I am all about comfort, while also still feeling somewhat put together and fashionable.  During the cold months, layering is my jam for all three of us, with solid, classic pieces mixed with prints and some fun accessories!

Cardigan - Necklace - Boots - Navy Dress - Floral Dress - Grey Sweater - Grey Tulle Skirt - Fringe Boots - White Tulle Skirt
I am so in love with everything from Old Navy for the girls right now, their basic dresses are perfect for Waverly to wear to school and are cheap enough that I am not too worried about what happens to them!  The tulle skirts are our go-to, paired with tights and leotards during the winter, both girls love them to play dress-up around the house and they also look super cute to go out.  I've even found some versions for me, I recently pinned this article with some ideas on how to wear them.  A fun mama & mini matching moment for sure! ;)

For me, I love the idea of boots with a low heel, but also have been rocking converse more than I care to admit.  I was recently introduced to these sneakers, which are also so comfy & cute!!!  And a good cardigan which can be worn on repeat is everything.  If you are looking for a good read, I love this article with some more key pieces for women this winter.  Hope you are having a great week so far! XO

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

I love Thanksgiving weekend so much.  Pretty much for all the same reasons that I love the week before it, there is just so much excitement in the air and a thousand plus things to look forward to.  I love having an extra long weekend with all of us home and I love the start of all the fun holiday activities, which with kids, are just so much more magical than ever before.

Thanksgiving day, we all slept in until 7:30 (which is big for us!) and then snuggled in holiday jams eating some snacks before my family came over for brunch.  My brother was in town from Colorado, and my dad had just gotten back from a long trip in Florida, so we were so excited to have everyone reunited again.  The girls loved having them over, they took turns being held and snuggled by everyone and then performing some of their current favorite dances.  It's safe to say that they never, ever lack for attention. ;)

After some afternoon naps, we all got ready and headed to my grandparents and sister-in-laws for dinner and dessert, and then ended the night with the fullest bellies and fullest hearts!!!!  And of course, so very excited to officially kick off the most wonderful time of the year! :)

My Dress
Hope your weekend was magical and relaxing and just all the happy things!  I'm excited to share some more pictures of our weekend and some fun holiday activities we have been getting into (and have planned!) later this week.  Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thankful & Grateful

I recently started a new thing where every night I think of two things from that day that made me really grateful, or made me smile, or that were just two really wonderful things parts of our day.  I think I read it somewhere, I loved the idea of it because as any other mama knows, our days are not all rainbows and sunshine.  Far from it.  But even on the most chaotic, meltdown filled day we have, it would be impossible to not find at least a few things that brought me so much happiness.  In the new year, I'm going to try to write them down each night, I think it would make it that much more meaningful and I know I would love looking back and reading them one day.

This year we had our challenges as I tried to figure out the best scenario for me as a working mom, and though I love my new situation so much, there isn't a work day goes by that my heart doesn't hurt just a bit from being away from the girls.  We've struggled with some behavior challenges with Waverly, our oldest babe is still just as spirited as ever and who can sometimes push me right over my emotional limits.  But I think it's overcoming those hard moments that make you stronger than ever before, and more thankful for all the good that you have.  Forever grateful for our two little girls, for Waverly's love of life and for her sister that really knows no bounds.  For Avalon Elle, who is just as sassy as the rest of us, but who melts us with her sweet & sensitive demeanor, and makes us laugh with her little faces and new words.  For my husband, the calm to our crazy, the glue who holds us together, and the best example of unconditional support and love that I ever could have asked for.  And of course, our family and friends, the older I get the more I realize how precious and special the people around you really are.

Sharing some pictures from our weekend, it was such a good one!!

Wishing you and your families the happiest Thanksgiving weekend ever!!!!!  I am always thankful for the support of our family and for this wonderful community! XO

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Favorites

Tis' the season for wanting everything, is it just me?  Thought I would share a few things I am loving this Friday, cannot believe that one week from today we will be officially kicking off the holidays with some Black Friday shopping.  Cannot wait!

1 - I got this holiday blanket recently to update my decor this year and I love it so much!  It's so fun and cozy, the girls have been loving snuggling up in it, too.  It's also currently on sale, wishing that was the case when I bought it! ;)

2 - One of Avalon's favorite things to do is to lounge on any type of chair she can find, so her big gift this year is definitely going to be a little chair she can call her own.  I'm loving this bunny one, how sweet would a little one be all cuddled up in this?

3 - I use Lightoom to edit all of my photos, I've been using the 5th version forever now but would love to upgrade to the Lightroom 6.  I probably don't use it even close to how I should, but love it for making my images lighter, darker, or fixing the exposure.

4 - Now that I am teaching preschool along with my mama gig, I am all about comfort more than ever!!!  I recently got these overalls and LOVE THEM!  Like wish I could live in them forever.

5 - We got this comforter a while ago, but haven't share it yet!  I had been been eyeing it forever and finally took the plunge, it's way more than we have ever spent for something like that but we really can tell the biggest difference in the quality.  It's even more beautiful in person and just so comfy to sleep in!

6 - My most favorite of them all, some pictures of the girls & I recently on the most beautiful fall outing!!  I coordinated a wedding at this museum and just couldn't wait to take the girls there, every corner of the grounds is just gorgeous and one of their favorite things to do is explore, so of course they loved it.  My mom came with me and we took them through an old fashioned drive-in for grilled cheeses and milkshakes on the way home, it was just the best kind of fall day.

My jacket is from Bernado fashions, it's been on repeat lately and is especially perfect for rainy days.  Thanks to our friends there for sending it over!  And happiest weekend, friends!