Thursday, January 12, 2017

FH Travels: Chapel Hill, NC (December 2016)

Don't mind me, just STILL recapping the holidays.

Right after Christmas, we planned a road trip to North Carolina. We left on Boxing Day and were gone for 6 days. We have made the trip down a bunch of times but have always taken the same route. This time, we went a different way and I was so excited about it! We passed through Washington DC and Richmond on the way to Chapel Hill. Despite not having an opportunity to stop and walk around, I was pumped to see the Capital and all its fanciness.

We made this trip in honour of Mike's 30th birthday which was just a few weeks prior. It was his wish to celebrate it by going to his favourite place and seeing a basketball game. UNC played Monmouth and we managed to score really good seats right behind the player bench. It was fun to watch a replay of the game when we got home and see ourselves on TV!

Because of our timing, everything was still decorated for Christmas and it was lovely. We stayed at my favourite hotel ever, the Carolina Inn on campus. I've gushed about it before but it's just the prettiest quintessential Southern hotel and it's even more gorgeous during the holidays.

This time around, Mike and I tried a bunch of new food places around Chapel Hill. Among them was Sup Dogs, The Pig, Rise, and my favourite - Elmo's, where we spotted one of the Carolina players on a date!

Of course, we strolled around campus and enjoyed the awesome warm weather. One day was even warm enough for short sleeves! It was heaven. And we even saw flowers blooming in December! Not a reality in Canada.

The Sun Bowl was on the 30th so we watched at a bar near campus with a ton of other Tar Heel fans. Unfortunately, Mike and I were both sad to see UNC end their football season in a loss but they played a great game.

And finally, we couldn't leave without picking up a couple Tar Heel things for Baby. Mike was excited to pick out the perfect stuffed animal of Ramses which he insists will be the baby's favourite. It was hard to not buy a lot more but we did a good job restraining ourselves. It's crazy to think that likely the next time we visit, we will go as a family of three!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Christmas Card 2016

In my last post, I mentioned that we did something different for our Christmas cards this year. I really wanted this to be the occasion where people hear our big news. We obviously told our close friends and family that we are expecting in person, but it was so fun to get the calls and texts when everyone else found out from our card!

In the past, I would just buy boxed cards and write a personal message in each one. But I have always loved the tradition of taking a family photo and seeing how things change every year. It felt silly to send a photo of just me and Mike before and that has now officially changed! I can't wait until next year where we are holding our son or daughter, instead of a grainy ultrasound photo!
I wanted the image to focus on the ultrasound with us blurry in the background. We got my mom to take our photo behind a plaza where the wall was pretty neutral and there wasn't a lot of people. Poor Mike was so cold in just his dress shirt but he handled it like a champ. We may have to incorporate some coats next year because... Canada. I think next year things will be much more difficult with a 6 month old to wrangle in the photo!

We ordered them from Vista Print because they had the best prices and quickest delivery. I was originally dead-set on Minted (especially the gold-foil!) but once I compared them to Vista Print, I was convinced that these would be perfect. (This isn't sponsored! Just my own experience!) They had a ton of great options and various effects you could add to the card itself. I chose to get the thicker card stock and ended up paying just over $30 for 40 cards.

My favourite part was being able to completely personalize the back of the card. Because I knew some of these would get sent out to Poland, I wanted them to be bilingual. Ordering 30 English and 10 Polish would make things so much more expensive so everyone got both languages.

I got the vibe from my Polish people that photo Christmas cards aren't a very popular thing there. Or maybe photo pregnancy announcements? I got a lot of comments about what a great and original idea our card was! I couldn't lie and told them that it's pretty common here and this definitely wasn't my genius idea. Either way, everyone loved it! And I'm so happy with how our cards turned out!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Christmas 2016 Recap

Thank you all SO much for your kind words on our announcement! Mike and I are over the moon excited and it feels so good to be able to shout it from the rooftops. I will definitely be sharing more over the next few months but in the meantime, I have some other recaps to cover! Over the next few posts, I'll be chatting about how we spent our holidays, our trip to North Carolina, and my birthday.

It's hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone so quickly, but at the same time it already feels like it was so long ago. Anyone else? When we got back from our post-holiday vacation, I was wishing so hard that someone surprised us and took all the decorations down for us. Unfortunately, it's a fun job for no one but we tackled it last night and I'm so glad to have my house back!

I'm pleased to say that we got our Christmas cards out on time again this year. I set a deadline for myself for the cards to be out by December 1st. I love how our cards turned out this year and I'll write more about them later to let them have their own shining moment on the ol' blog.

Because all of our holiday decorations in the house are gold, I wanted the presents to match. I got adorable striped wrapping paper (which got gold glitter eeeeeverywhere) and tied a simple white bow on top. I printed off my own tags using my current favourite (and free!) font, watermelon script.

As for how we actually celebrate Christmas, the scheduling works out beautifully every year. Christmas Eve is the more important day in Polish tradition so we always spend it with my mom and family. We have a lovely meat-free dinner and open presents right after.

On Christmas Day, we traditionally have dinner with Mike's side of the family. The spread is always gorgeous and the food is even better!

We spent Christmas morning on our own, opening our stockings and talking about how fun Christmas will be next year as a family of three. It was the first time we did stockings (and my first stocking experience ever!) I got these cute faux fur ones from the Target dollar spot for $3 each and the letters are ornaments from Target as well. I wanted to make sure to get smallish stockings so it wasn't too overwhelming for a first-time-filler like me. We even put one together for our baby!

(all from Target!)

I love all the quality family time we get around Christmas. That's what it's really all about. I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with your favourite people!