Category Archives: Holidays

Christmas Morning 2014

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This Christmas was a good one. All through the month of December, Harry was excited. We talked about Santa, sat on his lap twice, discussed how elves were going to make the perfect red double decker bus, opened our advent calendar every day, made cookies and Christmas cards, sang carols, visited Christmas Markets, and loved on our Christmas tree. Seeing my favorite time of the year through the eyes of my alllllmost two year old somehow upped the magic factor by about a million, give or take.

Christmas morning was full of sugar (I’ll let you imagine the resulting midday crash) and love and so many presents Harry actually left a few under the tree. We’re still opening presents. But that red double decker bus. Man, Santa pulled through on that one.

I hope your Christmas was full of your own red double decker bus happiness.

xoxo Mallory

It’s Nice to Meet You, Santa

It's Nice to Meet You, Santa | R.Simple LifeIt's Nice to Meet You, Santa | R.Simple LifeIt's Nice to Meet You, Santa | R.Simple Life We weren’t sure what to expect with our Santa visit, because we really only started prepping Harry a few days before. But the kid loved Santa. He couldn’t contain his excitement in line, and as soon as the boy in front of him hopped off Santa’s lap, Harry was running.

He hopped into Santa’s lap, shook his hand and said “It’s nice to meet you!” then proceeded to tell Santa he would like a “BIG red double bus” all the while enamored with his beard. We’re pretty sure Santa didn’t have a beard in Harry’s mind’s eye, but it didn’t throw him off. He was pretty interested in it and hasn’t stopped talking about it yet.

And now he’s really, really hoping that Santa’s elves are working hard making his “BIG red double bus” and not-so-secretly wishing for a yellow bow tie in his stocking. If there was any doubt this kid was mine…

xoxo Mallory

Harry Does Halloween

Harry Does Halloween | R.Simple Life

Fact: Halloween is 1,000x better with a kid. Harry and I started scheming about 6 weeks before the day, planning our costumes, deciding what to do, talking about candy and “trick or treater” and ghosts and pumpkins. It was so much fun. Next year, I’m throwing a Halloween party so that we can all have two costumes. Plus, we’ll be avoiding trick or treating as long as possible.

So six weeks ago, Harry decided he wanted to be a “truck driver.” I blame his favorite book, Murmel Murmel Murmel for that one. I tried to convince him that being a raccoon or a penguin or a bear would be SO MUCH BETTER but he was stuck on a truck driver, so I ordered him a trucker hat, found a red plaid shirt for him to wear, and resigned myself to the fact that I have lost control over my child’s Halloween costume choice much earlier than I had expected.

Fortunately, the trucker hat showed up and Harry wanted nothing to do with it, so I dug through our drawer of Halloween costumes four days before Halloween and pulled together the perfect costume: Harry Potter. Harry Potter was a hit, Harry loved shouting “EXPECTO PATRONUM!” at the top of his tiny lungs, and he even got “candy” (chocolate covered plum bites). All in all, the best Halloween ever and I can’t wait to top it times a million next year. I’m already thinking about our costumes.

To see more of Harry’s costumes (there were “three” in total plus a super cute picture of Mickey Mouse hiding out behind my couch) and Jon and I as Mary Poppins and Bert, check out my Instagram.

xoxo Mallory

Happy Easter (A Few Days Late)

Harry Does Easter | R.Simple LifeHarry Does Easter | R.Simple LifeHarry Does Easter | R.Simple Life

You guys, we’re getting ready to move across an ocean. AN OCEAN! Next week, strangers are coming to my house to pack up every last wordily possession I have to put into crates which will ride across the Atlantic Ocean on a boat. Who knows if they’ll fall off and sink down to rest next to the Titanic. Let’s hope not.

Needless to say, I’ve been a little busy. I haven’t forgotten about this blog. Or you. Or Harry and his ridiculous excitement when any balloon is involved. The Easter Bunny stopped by this weekend to drop off a beach pail full of balloons and the pure glee on his face is enough to get me through his teenage years three times over. I’m serious.

I’m going to be popping in here with lots of photo heavy posts for the next month or two (of crazy moving) just because the time it takes to write down words is lost on things like packing underwear and calling hotels and sleeping. Bear with me, because when I finally have the time to write, I’m going to have time to write. And I’ll be in Germany/the rest of Europe.

xoxo Mallory

PS “Bear with me” is the correct way to spell that. “Bare with me” would be an invitation to become naked with one another. Thanks, Google, for clearing that up for me.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day you guys! We’re going to shut down computers and make some delicious food tonight (including sticky toffee pudding, YES) and I’m sure we’re going to watch Valentine’s Day, because Jessica Biel is in it. So it’s a no brainer. What are you guys up to tonight? Any romantic evening plans? Do they involve Jess?

From our little lumberjack to you… wood you be?

xoxo Mallory

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Pink and red may have the monopoly on tomorrow, but in my heart white is always boss. Valentine’s Day can be just as romantic in 50 shades of white and any day is super, duper pretty bathed in neutrals. In that mindset, I put together a few things I’ve been coveting, all in the ivory palette, for any of you who are looking to do a little last minute shopping. Any of these would be a perfect gift for the neutral-lover in your life! (Don’t forget how sweet white tulips are. Simple, understated, and perfect. The perfect opposite to the overpriced red rose.)

Valentine's Day Gift Guide | R.Simple Life

one  | two | three | four | five | six | seven

xoxo, Mallory

A Teepee Party

A Teepee Birthday Party | R.Simple Life

It’s February and instead of focusing on how the heck that happened, I’m going to go back to Harry’s first birthday. Papa was still deployed when Harry turned the big OH-ONE, so we held off until he was home to have Harry’s party. Which was all based around his birthday present. Which was a teepee.

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I think I had this present planned out before Harry was even a twinkle in my eye, but I’m so glad I got to go forward with it. I knew the kid would love his own little fort, and who are we kidding, I wanted one too. Which is why it lives in the corner of my living room. Also why it’s eight feet tall. I’ll work on a DIY if there is interest in hearing how I did it (with help from my husband… via FaceTime, because as I mentioned, he was deployed).

His birthday was great. I fed him two blueberry muffins for lunch, complete with a birthday candle, and he proceeded to jump off the walls and skip his afternoon nap. Harry and sugar do not play well. Even though we missed Papa like crazy, it was a really, really special day. And I was super emotional, of course.

But the party. We waited for Papa to be there and we built ourselves a little party around that big teepee in the corner. We had mini teepees on the table, giant leather-clad balloons, and all sorts of food I would expect a little boy would like to eat in a teepee – including hot dogs, baked beans, and s’mores cupcakes.

Harry had a few little friends over, we had some of nearest and dearest – including Nona, Uncle Justin, Aunt Veronica, and Aunt Jillian – and we celebrated one Harry year. It was fantastic. And now for the photographic evidence (Thanks Aunt Veronica for most of these!).

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Happy Birthday Harry. We love you buddy.

xoxo Mallory

Let’s Talk About Christmas

Shall we?

R.Simple Life | Harry's First Christmas

I know it’s 2014 and we’re three days away from Harry’s birthday, so really, I should be focusing on that, but I can’t let Harry’s first Christmas slip away without acknowledging it on the blog. It just doesn’t feel right. So pull out your jingle bells and sip on that leftover eggnog because we’re jumping into this sleigh ride right now.

As you know, we spent Christmas in Montana at the cabin. It was unbelievably beautiful and man, I missed that mountain air. And the snow. And those Smiths/Shearers. We cut down our own tree on the property, made (and consumed) too many cookies, and played a lot of Scrabble.

Christmas morning came with a frenzy of presents and one stocking (most of which were for Harry) as we all cozied up by the wood stove in our pajamas. Harry sat on Uncle Dylan’s lap, which was his seat of choice for most of the week, and slowly opened each present. His face lit up when he pulled the bag of dates out of his stocking. Santa knew just what would do the trick. Santa also dropped off a dump truck for the little man, which he has played with constantly since the Big Day. It warms my heart to know how well I know my boy, since I was the one to drop the truck hint to Old Saint Nick.

R.Simple Life | Harry's First Christmas

This Christmas was magical. As magical as Christmas always is, multiplied by a little boys smile. At one point during the present opening, Harry walked over to me and planted a big on right on my lips. Christmas cheer times one million.

It was also so special to be with my family. I really miss those guys as I get older. I’ve come to realize they are my best friends and I love that. Being around my family for Christmas for the first time in years was so amazing. It topped the snow covered mountains outside (but just barely… I love those snow covered mountains).

But as magical as this Christmas was, there was a big part of it that was weird. Wrong. Sad. We were missing Papa the whole season. It didn’t feel right without him. This was our first Christmas in 7 years to spend apart and he was missed enormously.

When people thank him for his sacrifice, this is what they are thanking him for. He spent his Christmas, his son’s very first Christmas, in Southwest Asia. FaceTiming in a few times but lacking the cookies and kisses.

Jon will be home soon. We’ll be celebrating Harry’s birthday when he gets home. He’ll be here for my 27th birthday. And we’re going to have a pretty amazing Valentine’s Day to make up for everything he missed. But until then, Harry will be playing with his dump truck and I will be cuddling with my pillow.

I hope you all had a very, merry Christmas!

xoxo Mallory