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Archive for November, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Your Eye Health During the Holidays

  Written By: Guest Blogger

eye health during holidaysThe following is a guest post that I thought would be great to share for this time of year. I, personally, have been meaning to get an eye exam for a while now, but keep putting it off due to money constraints. I appreciate the helpful information and great discount codes provided by Glasses USA and hope it may be helpful for you as well.

Your Eye Health During the Holidays

The holiday season is finally here! This means parents are spending more money finding cool gifts for their kids and less time worrying about their own health. Did you know most people hold off on getting themselves a simple pair of eyeglasses in order to buy their children something? While the average adult gets their eyes checked once every 18 months, their appointment rarely results in a new pair of frames. Why? The cost.

Thankfully, as most of us have discovered, the Internet is full of deals, steals, and cool stuff to buy! Prescription eyeglasses are no exception! This is the time of year to give and to receive, so why not reward yourself with the gift of sight? If you’ve been holding off on getting a new pair of eyeglasses because of the cost, it’s time to shop online.

eye health during holidaysWhen you order glasses online from a place like GlassesUSA.com, you’re not just getting a pair of glasses, you’re getting a satisfaction guarnatee along with your high quality glasses. Now is the perfect time to invest in your health – especially your eye health, because what are the holidays worth if you can’t watch your child open gifts?

From now until December 4th, you can take 30% off any pair of glasses and get FREE U.S. shipping with the code CYBER2011. You’ll get a great pair of prescription glasses at a discount and with free basic single vision lenses. Need an upgrade? You can do that too for an additional cost. Not in a rush? Take 10% off any pair of glasses any time when you use the code blog10.

Think about your future and your eye health this holiday season – the two go hand-in-hand.

This post was paid for and sponsored by GlassesUSA.com

PostHeaderIcon My Baby’s Thanksgiving Vacation

  Written By: Melainie
baby thanksgiving vacation

Uncle Bryant

As I mentioned in the previous post, my baby’s first Thanksgiving was our usual traditional family get-together, although she was too young to appreciate it. Her second Thanksgiving was spent in Pensacola, Florida, because we were visiting her uncle (my brother) in college. I was surprised at how well-behaved my baby was  during the trip and I think she really enjoyed this unusual Thanksgiving celebration.

It began by spending the night at my parents’ house, so we could all leave in the morning for the 6 hour drive to Pensacola, Florida. Going to Grandma’s house is tons of fun for every child and my baby was no different. I was so thankful that she slept well and was in a good mood for traveling the next morning. When traveling with a baby, many stops are required along the way, so it was nearly dinner time when we finally arrived at the motel. Unfortunately, after napping intermittently during our long drive, my baby was not very tired at bedtime. I put her to bed at the normal time anyway, and she did not sleep well that entire night.

thanksgiving vacation with baby

Anneliese is playing with the Grandparents.

The next day I decided to exhaust her with fun so she would sleep much better, but I did not have to do much. The grandparents had so much fun playing with the baby that I got to enjoy an unexpectedly nice break from being the entertainer. Grandparents are awesome, except for the fact that my baby is now spoiled with attention!

We spent most of Thanksgiving day with my brother at Pensacola Christian College, which was a little different from our family’s traditional Thanksgiving routine. Surprisingly, my baby was pretty good during the Thanksgiving Praise service and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The weather was perfect, so we all enjoyed walking around the beautifully landscaped campus as my brother showed us around. My baby loves nature and always enjoys going for a walk, so she was very happy about it.

For dinner, Anneliese got to try a traditional Thanksgiving meal for the first time, and she gobbled it down. That night, she slept much better!

baby at beach

The next morning we all headed to the beach  for a little while. I wanted my baby to see the ocean and love the beach as much as I do, so I was very excited about taking her to the beach. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend at the beach, but my baby loved the hour we did spend there. She kept running out into the water, despite how cold it was. We will definitely have to taker her to the beach next summer so she can truly enjoy it.

baby at ocean neach

The ride home was not as pleasant as the ride to Pensacola and we ended up stopped more often than planned. Anneliese was tired of sitting in her car seat and made sure we all knew. By the time we finally made it home, everybody was exhausted.I was worried that my baby would have trouble sleeping that night, but she passed out until 07:30 the next morning. Overall, it was a great Thanksgiving! My baby’s second Thanksgiving was a little unusual but it was a success.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with their families! I would love to hear how you spent Thanksgiving with your babies.

PostHeaderIcon Happy Thanksgiving!

  Written By: Melainie

Thanksgiving with baby

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to realize how blessed we are in so many ways and be especially thankful for those new additions to the family. I am so thankful for the wonderful baby I have been blessed with and I am really looking forward to celebrating her second Thanksgiving. My baby’s first Thanksgiving was very low key and I did not even take any pictures. Being only 3 months old, she did not take part in the Thanksgiving festivities much, and spent half the day sleeping.

baby's first thanksgivingI wish I had taken a little more time to make her first Thanksgiving special, but I was just so tired I could hardly think straight. So, she slept intermittently in her car seat as family members ooh-ed and aah-ed over her, and we all stuffed our faces with delicious food. This Thanksgiving will be much different though. She will actually get to eat the Thanksgiving food and take part in some festivities. Also, we are doing something a little different for Thanksgiving this year,but I will tell you more about it afterwards.

For now, I think you might enjoy hearing about my last Thanksgiving before baby story. There is not much to tell, it was pretty much the same as every year, except I was pregnant without knowing it. All my family members kept asking when Jonathan and I were planning to have children during the year leading up to that Thanksgiving. My mom had been dropping hints that she was ready to be a Grandma, although I kept telling her she was too young.

So, during that Thanksgiving meal when I was unknowingly pregnant with my baby girl, I stated to my extended family that I did not want children any time soon because I was still establishing my career. I even went into some detail about how having children right now would bring some difficult decisions for me and Jonathan. Ha! Little did I know, I was already about 2 weeks pregnant wit the most wonderful blessing I have ever received, my sweet baby girl Anneliese. For Christmas that year, I got to announce the news to the entire family, and my baby was considered the most wonderful surprise “gift” for Christmas.

 Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing – a grateful heart! ~ George Herbert

I am so thankful for the many blessings the Lord has bestowed upon me over the years. Here are a few that I can mention off the top of my head:

  1. Born and raised in the greatest country in the world- U.S.A.
  2. Raised in a wonderful, Godly household.
  3. Never gone hungry.
  4. Always had a roof over my head.
  5. A closet full of good clothes.
  6. An excellent education
  7. A sound mind and healthy body.
  8. Married to a wise and faithful man.
  9. A perfect baby girl.
  10. A million more blessings that I don’t have time to name.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. ~ Psalm 100

When was the last time you counted your blessings and gave thanks for all you have? What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

PostHeaderIcon Thanksgiving Fun Facts

  Written By: Melainie

fun thanksgiving facts

Just about everyone knows the history of Thanksgiving but you may not know some of the more unique and interesting facts concerning this holiday. For this Thanksgiving, I want to share with everyone some fun facts I have dug up, so you can sound smart at the Thanksgiving dinner table as you impress family members with interesting, yet useless knowledge. I hope you enjoy!

Thanksgiving

Most Americans know that the official first Thanksgiving was began by the Mayflower pilgrims and local Native Americans at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The following is the actual source of what we know about that time. It was called “A relation or journall of the beginning & proceedings of the English plantation settled at Plimoth in New England” or Mourt’s Relation. This piece is specifically about that first Thanksgiving:

…our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others.  And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want,  that we often wish you partakers of our plentie. ~ excerpt from Mourt’s Relation by Edward Winslow

Another account of the first Thanksgiving was told several years later by William Bradford in his colonial biography, Of Plymouth Plantation.

President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November in part, due to the efforts of Sarah Josepha Hale.

Fun Thanksgiving Facts

thanksgiving facts42.2 Million – number of Americans who traveled more than 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving in 2010.

248 Million turkeys will be raised in the U.S. this year with Minnesota being the top producer.

20% of the turkey consumed in the U.S. every year, occurs during Thanksgiving.

88% of Americans will eat turkey for Thanksgiving this year.

I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country…The Turkey is a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America. ~ Benjamin Franklin

2,020 pounds – weight of the largest pumpkin pie ever made, with a diameter 12 feet long.

1924 – first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was began to signify the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

3 Million – estimated number of people that will attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

750 Million pounds of cranberries were produced in the U.S. this past year and most came from Wisconsin.

37 – number of cities in the U.S. with Plymouth in their name.

4 – number of cities in the U.S. named after the Turkey.

1876 – first Thanksgiving Championship Football game was played, beginning the tradition of football on Thanksgiving. It was Yale versus Princeton with Yale being the victor.

{sources: U.S. Census Bureau, History.com, and Pilgrim Hall Museum.}

PostHeaderIcon Vacation Fun with Baby (Part 5)

  Written By: Melainie

I whittled down my photos to tell the final part of my “Vacation Fun with Baby” story about our wonderful two week trip to the Smoky Mountains. If you want a refresher on how this vacation began, you can read Part 1 of the story. We were on a restricted budget and prices were a bit inflated in Sevier county Tennessee, so we tried to keep our adventures low cost and did not eat out too often.

Gatlinburg vacation with baby

SIpping coffee by the fountain outside of The Donut Friar.

We did splurge a little when we walked through downtown Gatlinburg for breakfast and lunch. We just could not resist the delicious aroma coming from The Donut Friar and had to stop in for coffee and donuts.

gatlinburg shop with baby

The Donut Friar was delicious!

gatlinburg vacation with babyThere were so many neat exhibits and quirky things to see. Joanna and I even got to pose as a hillbilly moonshiner. “Wee-doggy that’s some good ‘Shine!”

gatlinburg vacation with baby

What a quaint phone booth! I didn't know they still existed.

Then, around lunchtime we were still walking around town, so we decided to try out the famous hot dogs and corndogs at Fannie Farkles, which were very tasty. I just wish they had better seating because it was hard to feed a baby from a park bench without making a mess.

Other than the yummy food we had tons of fun goofing off around Gatlinburg and walking through  all of the unique shops. After 5 hours of walking, we were all pretty exhausted, so everyone was ready for a nap when we got back to the motel that afternoon. I learned my lesson about my baby’s nap time and made sure she was back in her portable crib for her nap. Although she wasn’t quite as tired as the rest of us, since she relaxed in her stroller most of the time.

gatlinburg vacation with baby

The rest of the trip mostly involved us relaxing, playing at the waterpark, catching up on some computer work, and goofing off. Plus we had an awesome spa tub to enjoy.

vacation fun with baby

The huge whirlpool spa tub was so much fun!

Our Smoky Mountain vacation was great and I am so thankful for the wonderful opportunity to go. What is your favorite vacation destination with a baby? Do you have any holiday travel plans?

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