Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas with the Duggans.

I absolutely love looking back at Christmas pictures that we've taken with Tony's family throughout the years... so without further ado...

Sean (my BIL), Selena (my MIL), me, Tony (hubby, then boyfriend), Granny (Tony's grandmother) & Mike (my FIL) - Christmas 2006

Cousin picture - Sean, me, Tony, Lexi & Bobby (Tony's cousins) - Christmas 2006

Mike, Sean &  Tony - Selena, Granny & Daisy - Christmas 2007

Sean, me & Tony - Christmas 2007

Sean, Tony, Mike & Selena, & me - Christmas 2008

Cousin picture - Sean, me & Bobby, Tony - & Lexi - Christmas 2008
Cousin picture - Me, Tony, Lexi & Bobby - Christmas 2009

Me, Selena, Tony, & Mike - Christmas 2010
Me & Bobby - Christmas 2010
Sean, Selena, Mike, Tony, & Me (pregnant with Presley) - Christmas 2011

Sean, me (Presley in my belly!), & Tony - Christmas 2011

And I am SO excited to see everyone this year and to add pictures from Christmas 2012 to these wonderful memories above!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Here is our Christmas Card from this year - ordered from and they were fabulous to work with as usual.  I super duper highly recommend them because their prices are fantastic, the website is very user-friendly and easy to navigate, and they really do offer some great stuff.  This will probably be my last entry for a while since we'll be out of town, so have a Merry Christmas, everybody, and enjoy all the people who mean most to you.  See you later 2012 - very excited for 2013 and looking forward to all the great memories to be made next year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy 10 month birthday, Presley girl!

Showing off her bottom teeth!

 Alright, so, there have been a TON of changes this past month!

  • We've got a big, bad CRAWLER on our hands!  And I'm talking, belly OFF the floor kinda crawling.  One day last week she just decided that she was gonna get a move on and the rest was history.

  • In addition to your 4 beautiful bottom teeth, you will be getting both top teeth in no time, it seems.  One of your top teeth has cut through all the way and the other is not far behind.  Hopefully this won't be too painful of an experience for you - so far you are totally handling it like the champ that you are!

  • Child of mine, you have some SMELLY feet!!!!!  Looks like we're going to have to up the amount of baths you have a week!

  • Your favorite words are "baby" and "dada" and you sure do wear them out!  Sometimes you get too excited and put both words together by saying "bay-da" - very cute!  "Mama" isn't on your radar these days... when and if you do say it, you are often shouting it.

  • You just love your puffs!

  • Just this week you started clapping.  So darn sweet!

    • I believe we will be moving to your bigger car seat pretty soon!  You still fit in your baby one, but you sure are pushing its limits.  I think you will be more comfortable but it will be tough for me... just another indication that you are growing up!

    So, I would be lying if I didn't mention that I am a bit bummed we won't be starting any Christmas traditions for our little family of 3 this year.  Because when I think about how nice a relaxing Christmas at home would be, it sounds pretty darn wonderful.  Plus, babies are just not made for traveling, if you ask me!  Though, I know if we stayed home for Christmas we would end up being pretty damn sad and just wishing we were with my in-laws and sisters the entire time.

    Plus, like my sister and I talked about, our kids are so small now that it won't matter a ton in the big scheme of things... it's not like they will have any true memories about this first Christmas!  So, I am just telling myself that we will have another year to prepare for any and all family Christmas traditions we look forward to sharing together.

    With that said, any sacrifice is worth the reward we'll be gaining because we will be spending time with our family whom we only get to see a few times a year.  That includes traveling to Memphis, Nashville, and possibly Chattanooga (gotta iron out those plans).  We'll be having another big "first" along with Presley's FIRST Christmas and that will be first plane ride!  I'm just a wee bit anxious about how it will go, especially since Presley hates to sit still now that she has started crawling... but she really is such an easy-going kid.  Now, any tips/tricks/advice for flying with a baby in tow - send them my way and don't be shy!  I really would like to take our Boppy with because I can't imagine being without it, but I'm just not sure we'll have room since the plan is (for now) to not check any bags.  We are flying with Delta, which I am super pumped about because they still serve in-flight snacks (SWEET!) and have no problem with us bringing our car seat and stroller (not sure if we'll bring that or not) and neither of those things count towards our carry ons! Woo!

    In other news, we just had our first big snow of the year.  This resulted in Presley and I being home bound all day.  Which resulted in these silly pictures.

    Happy ten months, Presley Rose.  Ten down and only two to go until we're all celebrating your super special first birthday!  Very hard to believe but even more exciting. 

    Friday, December 14, 2012


    I just can't even handle what happened today.

    That is a lie.  I can handle what happened today because you know what?  The people directly effected by the shootings today in Connecticut had to handle it... and if they could do it, then I certainly can as well.  But what I cannot do is wrap my mind around all the details.  I can not accept that there is this much evil dwelling very directly in our midst; someone so tortured that they would take lives of the youngest school-aged children as well as adults who are doing wonderful things for our community and for the next generation.  Someone who would kill their own mother; shoot her in the face at point-blank range.  Someone so filled with hopelessness that they would then take their own life, just at twenty years of age.

    After learning this was such a horrific shooting at an elementary school, I immediately reflected back on my experience in elementary school and those were easily some of the best days of my young life.  I had such amazing, kind, and patient teachers who encouraged us.  I had my two sisters - one who was always a few steps ahead of me and another who was just a few steps behind me - both who loved me and kept every day at home and at school interesting.  I had both of my parents in my life who made frequent trips to see me at school for various reasons - sometimes just for the sole purpose to make my day special and have lunch on the stage with me in the cafeteria.

    Elementary school was a time to test the waters and find things that interested you.  For me, it was environmental club, APEX, and taking part in student council.  Sometimes you realized you had both strengths (won many-a-foot-race in my day on Field Day) AND weaknesses (losing two years in a row when running for student council).  Despite some setbacks and typical childhood drama, I loved my elementary school and was so proud to be a Seahawk at Southwind Elementary School in Memphis, TN - and I'm still proud. 

    That's what filled my mind this morning.

    How DARE some deranged fool take that away from ALL those students at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  He blemished their experience from here on out - and that is to say that they survived the day.

    Before my husband went to bed tonight, he shared that how different it is to hear about today's events as a parent now.  Mid-way through the day, after not having shed a single tear yet, I was on my way to change my daughter's smelly, poopy diaper and I burst into tears thinking, "Thank God for this poopy diaper!"  because it meant that she was very much here with me right now.  I just hugged her and sobbed into her tiny, little shoulder and begged her to never take someone else's joy or to take their life... I also asked her to please never leave me in such a traumatic way.  (As if she could control that.)  As I changed her diaper, I thought about how much I've assumed that Presley will make it through her childhood and well into adulthood and I came to the crippling realization that that may not happen; all of the children gunned down today were babies at one point who likely have parents who changed many diapers a day just as I do for my daughter - parents who had the same hopes, dreams, and assumptions that their family would never be struck by such violence and grief.

    It.  Sucks.

    It sucks that you can't control what happens to your family in bad situations and that you can't always save them.  My dad was shot and killed when I was twelve and there wasn't a day that went by that I wasn't trying to come up with ways to go back in time and some how save him from the horrible choices that someone else was making.  And that was my mindset as a child.  Can you imagine what the parents of the children who were taken from the world are thinking?  You just don't expect to send your child off to school in the morning and instead of picking them up from school, you're picking them up from the morgue.  That sucks.  It sucks that not everyone is good out there.  It sucks that not everyone cares enough to realize how many people they will be hurting through their actions.  It absolutely sucks! 

    I talk with my Gramma frequently through e-mail and just a month ago she wrote me saying, "the way the country is going is not the America I was born into and raised to love."  And how true is that.  It has changed so much since I was a young kid - and that was less than twenty years ago.  I thought for the first time today that maybe it would be a disservice to any future children of mine to bring them into the world - what a sad thought that was!  And so many parents are thinking that in order to keep their children safe they must home school them now.  I can't blame anyone for feeling that way!  For me personally, as I said before, I had a wonderful childhood in public schools and I would hate to take away so many beautiful opportunities from my child.  But I would do it - IN A HEARTBEAT - if that meant keeping my child alive.  I just can't believe that's what it may come down to five years from now.

    It's going to take a lot of love and investment in one another to combat things such as what happened today in Newtown, Connecticut.

    I know this isn't the most uplifting entry, so I will leave you with what has cheered me up throughout the day in hopes that it will lift your mood as well.  A video of Miss Presley from today:

    We have every day to make better decisions than we made the day before and I just hope that we can continue to live our lives without fear of the worst happening.  I pray that we can all try our best to make our communities as safe, happy, and healthy as possible.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    Pregnancy with Presley!

    So after reading Megan's (fabulous blogging mama to one heavenly angel and her twin earthly angels) post about how she documented both of her pregnancies, I decided to put together a collage of a bunch of my belly pictures and ultrasounds and various pre-Presley pictures... all leading up to one of our most recent pictures of me and her at 9 months post partum.

    After having a painful, drawn-out birthing experience, becoming a new mom, and going through the newborn phase - I swore to Tony we were not having any more kids.  I never would have imagined the joy I could have and how complete our family feels now that Presley is here in our family.  I think I could go through it all again in the future, but we are truly happy with life right now.  Who knows how we will feel down the road from now.  If another pregnancy and baby is in the cards for our future that's wonderful but if it it is just the three of us from here on out then I would be just as ecstatic.

    And Presley, if you do read my blogs someday (way, way, WAY down the road) our dreams are so complete with you here.  If God would have asked us to describe the baby that we thought we wanted, we would have gotten it all wrong because you, my dear, are ten times sweeter, smarter, funnier, & cuter than we could have EVER imagined.  We love you so much and no amount of time or anything else in this world could or will ever change that.  I can't even imagine how much our love will grow as you do throughout the years but I can tell you that I am so ready & so excited - just as your daddy is. xo