Monday, November 29, 2010

Giggle, Giggle

I captured what he likes to do best! :)

Trip to See Santa

Mom took Ella and Grayson to see Santa today. She also bought them matching outfits!! How cute! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Holidays are Here!

Ella enjoyed putting up her tree. She didn't remember having a pink tree of her own so this was a huge surprise for her!

I had to buy new stockings this year as our previous three matched and Grayson has now joined the family. I was very excited to find these initial stockings at Kohl's for $4! I thought they were super cute.

I wish it wasn't "redneck" to keep your tree up year round because I sure would love to keep mine up!

November/December is definitely one of my favorite times of the year and yes, I already have Christmas music playing in my car. I've always been a sucker for any and all things Christmas and having kids just makes it so much more magical. Ella still isn't one to tell you what she wants, so buying for her is quite easy. We kept everything simple this year and bought very little. I dream of Ella and Grayson wanting to give more to others than receive and understanding that Jesus has given to us more than we should expect Him to. On a giving note, Ella chose to buy for a little girl her age this year through a church program, so she was able to fill a box and send it to hopefully brighten that little girl's day. It was hard for Ella to realize that she shouldn't have one of everything we put in the box and she was terribly concerned that we didn't know the name of the little girl. She ended up naming her Belle and really wanted to personally deliver her gifts. Here at the Donovan Household, we have all of our decorations up both inside and out and are very ready for Christmas to be here!

Kohl's was a mad house and the line was wrapped half way around the store. :)

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel before going home to crash!

Our first stop was Wal-Mart and to our surprise it was not crowded!

Now, while I didn't do much shopping this year I did make sure I had something to buy on Black Friday as it is one of my most favorite days of the year. Mom and I have a 10 + year tradition of Black Friday shopping and this is one tradition that I am not willing to give up! We don't necessarily go for the deals, but more for the experience. This year we headed out around 2 am and were finished by 8 am. I hope when we're old and gray we still like to shop!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family Photos by Emily Faith Photography

Since we hadn't had a family photograph taken since May 2009, we thought what better time than now with the beautiful change of seasons and new addition to the family. I found Emily Faith through Facebook and immediately loved her work. She had mentioned taking pictures at Shaker Village so that is where we headed. It was probably the coldest day in October and we were all a tad tired and frozen, but despite it all the pictures turned out great. Emily does a great job capturing the personality of her subjects and is reasonably priced. I am all about buying the cd of photos so that having to choose a picture isn't a problem. Emily includes the sitting fee and cd price all together which allows you to make as many prints as you'd like! I can't wait to get ours printed! Here are a few from our session :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My great-grandmother Johnny used to sing this song to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren when she rocked them to sleep. A generation later: My Nanny (mom's mom) also sang this song to her kids, grandchildren (including me), and great-grandchildren (including Ella) when she rocked them to sleep. A generation later: My mother sang this song to me and to Ella when she rocked us to sleep. A generation later: I sing this song to Ella and it is one of her favorite lullabyes. I never knew the origins to this song, but Kermie did a little research and found that it was a song from the WWI era. I thought this was so interesting and wanted to share it with you :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Airplanes, Subways, Cars... Oh My!

So, my spontaneous, car-flipping husband decided to sell his new car and buy an old one in Chicago last week. He and my pastor are into the whole car-flipping/money-saving thing and have both sold their own vehices in order to pay less and have the potential to flip them at some point. I was very excited about this for many reasons: 1. One less car payment. 2. Cheaper car insurance. 3. Teaching our children a valuable lesson about not having to have "nice" things. 4. A trip to one of my favorite cities... CHICAGO! 5. Ella getting the chance to fly in an airplane.

On the otherhand, I was not too excited about leaving behind my sweet Grayson! I tried and tried to talk Kermie into letting me take him, but being the rational one of the two of us, he finally convinced me that it would not be a pleasant trip. We were leaving late Friday night, would not get to our hotel until late, it would be cold, and we would be driving home.

Mom and dad dropped us off at the airport in Louisville around 5:30 or so and of course I boo-hooed as they pulled off. It's so hard to leave your kids, even if it is what is best for them! The three of us (Ella, Kermie, and myself) proceeded to check our bags and grab some dinner before our plane arrived. Ella loved every minute of the whole experience!

Here she is getting in her last minute call before boarding! :)

Ella could not wait to take off! She kept asking, "Are we flying yet?"

We finally landed in Chicago at 8:15 pm their time and hopped on the Blue Line. Did I mention it was 33 degrees when we landed and that it takes a good hour or so to ride the subway into town? Ella is a tad exhausted at this point, but was such a trooper!

The next morning we woke up and while Kermie went to square away his car deal, Ella and I headed to the American Girl store. We went ahead and made Miley an appointment to get her hair done and Kermie met us to watch her get pretty. Ella made her a shirt and bought her a new skirt. And, I can honestly say that I will never go back to that store this time of year again! It was insane!!

For lunch, we headed to Giordano's. They have super yummy pizza and this was Kermie's only request for the weekend!

I think the late travel made Ella a little grouchy on Saturday because there were quite a few moments like the one pictured here! It didn't help that I had promised her that we would swim (and the hotel did not have a pool---really??) and that when we got to the aquarium the wait to get in was an hour and 40 minutes!

She cheered up though and we headed to do a little shopping around. Being the photographer she is, she sat the camera up on a ledge and made us squat for this timed photo :)

After shopping, we headed to a playground where she enjoyed playing with a few other little girls who were waiting on their bus.

The next morning, we woke up early and headed to the Shedd Aquarium in order to bypass the horrible line. We had no wait and went right in!

This aquarium is one of my favorites for sure! Ella loved mimicing the penguins she saw and thought touching the sea stars was cool!

Here is our last family picture before heading back to Kentucky! I was super happy that the "new old" car made it safely back!

I captured a few videos of Ella's first flight! She was so excited in this one!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Ella and Grayson were extremely fortunate to get a triple dose of Halloween this year!

Mom took the kids to the annual Downtown Trick-or-Treating on Friday while I was at school. I was a little sad to have to miss out this year due to the fact that I had exhausted all of my days, but was so happy to see that they enjoyed it! Snow White and Skeleton are enjoying time with Nana!

Later Friday night, we headed over to the Beckett's house for a fun Halloween Party. Ella had a blast and partied hard while Grayson slept most of the time.

Saturday was Trick-or-Treat for Scott County, so mom and dad came over to celebrate with us. Dad and Kermie stayed home to pass out candy like usual and mom and I took the kids around. There weren't as many "passer outters" this year, but Ella still managed to make it home with a full pumpkin bucket. She even stopped at home to pass out some candy to kids and helped her daddy campaign as she visited different houses.

This Halloween was also very special for our family for a reason not related to Halloween at all. Grayson was dedicated at church on Sunday, October 31. This is a picture after his dedication service :)

The results are in ...

My husband has officially won his first election! Yay for Kermie being elected to Sadieville's City Commission! It's time to get Sadieville on the right track and showcase its' best qualities. He's going to be a great asset to the team!