Last year at this time we were still living in Florida. We had just gotten back from a trip up North to see our family and friends, and I blogged about our trip to NY and NJ here with lots of fun photos including yummy Greek food and a recipe for an incredible Greek dessert.
At the time, Joey was only 2 and a half years old -- he was just starting to form full sentences, and Lily was almost 6 mos old -- she was still so fresh and new. Her hair was so fine and so straight at the time. It was the first time Lily was meeting most of the fam, and especially her Great-Grandmother Lilly, after whom she's named.
Our lives sure have changed since then. Lita (my Grandma) is no longer here...and we miss her dearly.
One of my oldest and dearest friends has since given birth to twin boys! Other friends and given birth, and another "el nino" is due around Christmas.
Earlier this year, we finally moved out of hot-n-swampy Orlando, and we now live in Durham, NC (yaay!) -- which is where we had wanted to live for a couple of years. Can you see the happy (goofy!) thankfulness in my face here?
Look at those trees! I am surrounded by beauty. My husband is my best friend. My children are amazing gifts. My dog is so protective and sweet. I cannot help but look and sound so excited about it all!! And I also happen to be wearing a fab handmade hair scarf and that crazy awesome vintage shawl that I found on Etsy and snatched up super quickly. That helped with the cheesy smile too. :D
That photo of me is actually for an "Exposed Treasury" on Etsy which features artists and crafters with their handmade products. The treasury is being curated by VickiDianeDesigns and will feature a dozen teammates from my rockin EtsyBloggers team! When the treasury is ready, you'll be able to see it on the EtsyBloggers team blog here. (Or see it here from 11/22 thru 11/24).
Wow did I get sidetracked...ok so getting back to this year in NC...
It really is absolutely beautiful here, especially since we've missed the colors and changes of Autumn for the past five or so years. Here the scenery is spectacular, our home is lovely and comfortable, our children have blossomed, I am so thankful for the good friends that we've made -- and for the friends my children have made whom make them smile while they play together.
Our lives are just all around better, we are so very blessed to be here, I am inspired to create art on a daily basis, and I am just so very thankful for all of it.
At 3 and a half years old, Joey is communicating fully these days (almost TOO fully sometimes -- hehe), and Lily at almost 1 and a half is saying all sorts of things like "pimme up" (pick me up), "pumme down" (put me down), and "baba" (sippy cup)...and so much more. She's super spunky too.
And Lily's hair is no longer straight! She has these amazing little spirally curls that just showed up one day, as if out of nowhere. The only two people in either mine or the hubbs Joe's entire family that has hair like that is my sister Melissa, and my Aunt -- Nana...and so I'm thinking we can thank my late Grandma Lita for those curly locks. My Lily's hair is really very sweet and adorable!
Take a look -- here's Lily with my mom's sister...my Aunt, Nana:
What do you think? The same hair or what?? :)
I'll miss Nana's cooking this Thanksgiving. I hope my mom (who just had surgery and is recovering and healing nicely thank goodness!) goes over to her sister's for dinner next week.
I totally look forward to making our little family a small delicious feast next week on Thanksgiving Day. Here's a photo of last year's dinner. I'm thinking of doing something different this year...ya know, for a yummy change. I'll let you know how that goes.
Oh! And I bought this awesome handmade cornucopia horn filled with veggies for my babies' kitchen:
Isn't that the sweetest? So happy I found that little work of wonderful at thelittleLOVEbug.etsy.com, our kiddos are so in love with it, they play with it and cook with it, and throw it all around the house. hehe. It's really an adorable cornucopia horn, and so well made -- and hand stitched! Awesome to find such wonderful gifts for the holidays on Etsy -- especially from an EtsyKids teammate!
And finally...after a year of being closed on Etsy, now this year...my handmade children's boutique is open again!!!! I've listed some new handmade Monster Shirts, Monster Jeans, Monster Cupcake Dresses, and Ankle Biters Lounge Pants, and some new and pretty awesome dresses for baby or toddler girls. So stop by if you want to give a super cutesie and super cool handmade gift this year to a baby or child or expecting Mama. They'll be thankful you did! And so will I. We're having a SALE from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday -- so swing by our shop for 20% OFF!!:D