Tag Archives: Holidays

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

Oh, What a Year.

2013 was quite the year for us. Just after the first of the year, we welcomed our sweet baby boy and it has been an adventure keeping up with him and living R.Simple Life for the last 12 months. Somehow (don’t ask me how) I picked 100 of my favorite pictures from the year, and I’m more than a little teary eyed looking back at them. Isn’t amazing how looking back can remind you just how lucky you are? Let’s dive in… and I’ll include a few highlights from the year as we go.

2013 In Review | R.Simple Life

January 9, 2013. Owen Harold III, or Harry, was born. Probably the best day ever. Those first few hours with this little boy are some I will treasure forever, and it’s just getting better day in and day out. Entering the world of parenting is where I have found myself. It’s like I was made to be this little boy’s Mama.

2013 In Review | R.Simple Life

In July we celebrated our fourth year of marriage (has it really been that long?!) in good, old Michigan. It was so wonderful to be around fireflies and bonfires, wearing sweatshirts after the sun sank below the horizon and spending so much time with family. The trip was our big family vacation for the year and also marked Harry’s first (and second, third, and fourth) plane ride.

2013 In Review | R.Simple Life

In September, my hard drive crashed, taking all of my pictures with it. Luckily I had been documenting Harry’s first year of life on this here blog as well as good, ol’ Instagram, but we definitely lost a few gems. This crappy moment started what I like to think of as the “Woe is Me” phase of the year – after Jon left and everything seemed to be falling apart (it was – my wall was leaking, my car broke, my other car broke, air conditioner took a break, etc. etc.). It took some positive thinking but I passed the phase and back to reality… even if it was a bit different without J.

2013 In Review | R.Simple Life

As many of you know, we’ve been dealing with a deployment these last five or so months. Harry and I have been holding down the fort here, going for lots of walks, and traveling a whole lot. Thanksgiving brought Michigan and Christmas brought Montana. Every day is filled with things I never want to forget, and I’m loving this adventure that is called life.

2014 is gearing up to be a very exciting year for us, but more on that later. Right now I’m working on making a teepee, planning a first birthday party, and getting ready for a homecoming like one I’ve never experienced before (side note, who wants to come babysit Harry so I can get my hair cut???). Thank you all for your love and support, and here is to a happy and healthy 2014!

Cheers, Mallory

A Boy and A Pile of Doggies

Harry Does Ikea | R.Simple Life

Hey everyone. Man it’s been a while. Thanks for sticking around. Harry and I just had a nice long (two weeks!) trip to Michigan, and boy was it busy. But nice. Great to be around family this time of year. It gets a little lonely down south just the two of us sometimes.

As much as I loved being up North, and was really sad to leave, it feels ridiculously good to be home. A bit quieter, a bit lonelier, a bit warmer… but nice. Sometimes you just need your own bed and your own park. Harry’s slept 11 hours straight every night since we’ve been home. So that gives you a sense of how much he missed his room.

I was driving to the grocery store the other night and remembered this time last year. Something about the warm/cool damp, dark air, driving by the hospital… it brought me back to last year, driving with Jon to our birthing class at the hospital. Full of excitement and questions. Listening to Christmas music on the way, dreaming about our little boy. It seemed so far away but at the same time, it felt like yesterday.

This time it was a bit different. I had a different boy in the car with me. The anticipation for January was just as strong, but for a different reason. There was no more wondering what Harry was going to look like, sound like, feel like, act like. I had the squirmy (dare I say it) toddler in the backseat with me. The Christmas music was still playing. I was all at once ridiculously happy and very sad.

This year has held some of the most amazing, happy, warm moments of my life, as well as some that don’t rank as high on the list. At the end of the day, though, I can’t help but feel like the luckiest lady in the world. To have a husband who loves me and thinks of me every day. To miss him as much as I do. To rather share a bed than have the whole queen sized mattress to myself. To have a sweet little baby who is feisty and stubborn, but sweet and happy. To get baby hugs and kisses and to feel the weight of a little sleeping babe in my arms.

To have made it to another Christmas season. This year might be a little weird for me, but I’m determined to make it wonderful. It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

Well, hows that for the first post back? I meant to say “Hi! I’m home, and here’s a cute picture of Harry from our trip to Ikea, he loved the pile of doggies.” and that came out. Whoops.

xoxo Mallory

R.Simple Michigan Vacation

This is essentially a photo dump from our Michigan trip. With a few words thrown in to explain the pictures. I hope your eyes are ready for a feast, because you’re going to love Michigan through R.SimpleEyes. Well… really it’s a lot of pictures of Harry. So I hope you like to look at him.

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Here we are on Harry’s first ever plane ride. A whole lot of Brown Bear was read on that trip, but he handled it like a charm.

R.SimpleLife | R.Simple Michigan Vacation R.SimpleLife | R.Simple Michigan Vacation R.SimpleLife | R.Simple Michigan Vacation

That gorgeous old farm house is where we stayed. It’s also where I spent a lot of my weekends growing up. I love that place.

R.Simple Life | R.Simple Michigan Vacation IMG_5112

These two were from our anniversary. We have taken a picture on our anniversary every year since we’ve been married and this year it got official. We’re starting a tradition to take a picture of our family every year to see how much we change and grow. I’m kind of really excited.

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And now we start the series on, why don’t you pull out your camera more often, Mallory? Seriously. I love having pictures of our family (top is us, obviously; middle is Jon, his dad (and Harry’s namesake), his brother, and Harry; bottom is Jon’s family). It makes me happy to have these updated family pictures. But do I have one of my family? Nope. Pull our your dang camera more often Mallory.

R.Simple Life | R.Simple Michigan Vacation R.Simple Life | R.Simple Michigan Vacation R.Simple Life | R.Simple Michigan Vacation

Have you guys seen these chinese lanterns? They blow sparklers out of the water. So much fun. Also, Harry eats a peach.

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Just a few pictures of my cute kid, who did phenomenally on this trip. He cut a tooth, slept somewhere different for just about every nap, and was passed around to what must have been 90 different people. And he only pooped on one of them.

You guys. First of all, sorry if you don’t care about our quick trip to Michigan. But, considering how cute that little lettuce eater is in that last picture, I’m pretty sure I just gave you all a treat. Man, this makes me miss that Mitten State!

xoxo, Mallory

It Was a Day for Papa’s

R.Simple Life | Our Father's Day

Yesterday was Jon’s first Father’s Day. It was awesome. We did nothing, and everything. We lounged in bed after our 5:30am wake up call (thanks Harry), opened presents, went out to breakfast, charmed all the waitresses, and worked around the house. All followed by an enormous nap and even bigger steaks. Perfection, if I do say so myself.

I’m lucky to have a few pretty great dad’s in my life. Jon is such an amazing father to our son. I know Harry’s going to grow up with a built in hero that he just adores. He’s already my hero, and I already adore him. My dad is pretty stinking special. He taught me to be independent, driven, happy, and he gave me a strong love of running. I’ve got grandfathers and uncles who make pretty great dads themselves. And then we have friends who have shared their dads with us. And they’re all pretty great too.

I hope you all had a perfect day yesterday, and so much love to all the Papas.

xoxo, Mallory

Somebody Get This Kid a Piano

R.Simple Life | Harry on the Piano

I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day. We had a great weekend filled with friends, food, and fireworks. Yep. Fireworks with a four month old. And he did great.

Saturday night, we packed up a picnic and went to the beach for the Symphony on the Shore concert and fireworks. We were hoping Harry would sleep through the whole thing, considering it started at his bed time (did I mention I’m a first time mum?). Unfortunately, he stayed up for the whole show, including fireworks. Fortunately, however, he loved it.

This kid absolutely loved every second of the symphony, kicking his feet, smiling, and dancing the whole time. It was like he was laughing at us… “This is what happens after I go to sleep every night? You’re hilarious if you think I’m ever going to bed again.” It was ridiculously cute and only confirmed what we already knew – that Harry is musically inclined. He can’t help but wiggle when Justin Timberlake comes on the radio, he dances with Ellen, and he is still and concentrating when there is something classical to focus on. Plus, he plays the piano.

Before I was pregnant with Harry, I saw something which resonated with me. It was a news segment concerning a four year old piano prodigy. He was amazing, and was also the first generation pianist in his home. Neither of his parents played, but when they found out they were having a baby, his mother decided she could not bring a child into their home if there were no piano.

I loved that sentiment and always said apiano and a baby come hand in hand (key?) in our home. We’ve been on the lookout for a piano for a year now but it seems as though I’d better waste no time. Our little Beethoven is ready to compose. Or bang on the keys. I’m not saying my kid is the next prodigy (heck, that left hand doesn’t want to do much), but just in case he wants to be, it won’t be lack of instrument that stops him.

xoxo, Mallory

A Gift for Mum

Mothers Day Gift Guide

This Sunday happens to be my very first Mother’s Day. Last year Harry was smaller than a poppy seed, and very few people knew I was pregnant, so we didn’t celebrate. Plus, there was the suspersticious side of me that didn’t want to jinx anything.

But this year. This year is my year. It’s my very first Mother’s Day as a Mother. And to say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m more excited for Sunday and the chocolate chip cookies it will bring than I was for my last 5 birthdays combined AND the giant jar of peanut butter in my pantry. It feels like such a rite of passage.

The best present of all is the little boy who sleeps best on my shoulder, and a close second is the mega batch of  cookies I’ve planning on whipping up for months, but I figured I’d put together a little gift guide in case you’ve got a mom in your life who deserves a little something extra…

1. Zhena’s Coconut Black Chai Tea | I can personally vouch for the fact that this tea is worth having to order it online. It’s amazing. And mom’s love a good cup of tea, especially with a little side of girl talk.

2. Paper Roses from West Elm | What mom doesn’t love a gorgeous bouquet? And the best thing about this one is that it won’t die in a week or two. It’ll last as long as your love for mom. (Aw…)

3. Lindt Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt | Chocolate is the way to a mom’s heart. And the touch of sea salt is irresistible. Just ask me. I’ll tell you.

4. Accordion Brag Book | Because I don’t know a mom who doesn’t love to brag about her kids. Fill ’em up with your favorite kiddo pictures and send it to Mom.

5. Papercut Card | With the perfect sentiment. How stinking cute is this? I think I would frame this one.

6. Everlane V | Haven’t heard of Everlane yet? I’ve been dying for one of these amazing t’s since before I was pregnant. Get one for mom. She’ll thank you. (Plus! Nursing friendly!)

7. Slim Staking Ring | This delicate golden beauty is perfect for Mom’s hand. I’m obsessed. And here’s the less expensive version.

xoxo, Mallory