Vivian Kate | 11 months

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

You turned 11 months (last week) and I think second to newborn snuggles, this is my favorite stage so far. You are so full of personality and you have us cracking up all the time! You love your mommy and daddy and are going through some serious stranger anxiety (I apologize to our babysitter and the church nursery workers). I am in denial that we are planning your first birthday party. Time, please slow down!

Consistently sleeping 7pm-6am (praise!). Last week you went through a few nights of waking up and crying but I think it was because you were getting a cold and didn't feel great. Still taking 2 naps a day, usually from 9-10:30am and 1:30-3pm.

Girl loooves to eat. The only thing you do not like at all is scrambled eggs which is just crazy to me since we eat them every day. Your favorites are blueberries, raspberries, turkey, ham, bananas, oat muffin cups, yogurt, string cheese, sweet potatoes, carrots. Just in the past 2 weeks you have starting acting picky and will spit everything out until you realize you actually DOES like it (eye roll emoji). Still drinking 5oz of milk four times a day but would much rather eat real food.

Blowing kisses to anyone and everyone, waving, clapping, dancing whenever you hear any sort of song or music. You are officially into every cabinet and drawer and you could spend hours opening the kitchen cabinets. You love reading which makes me SO happy! You definitely didn't get that trait from your daddy ;) You love walking around and exploring all the things you aren't supposed to have. You are obsessed with the tv remote and can find it no matter where we hide it.

Being in the car for long periods of time, getting dressed, getting your diaper changed.

Milestones and Memories
There were a lot of milestones this month! You are officially walking!! Life is very different now because we can't take our eyes off you for one second. You are so much more content now that you can move and get where you want to go.

You celebrated your first Christmas and loved the Christmas trees and ornaments. You were more into the wrapping paper and ribbons than the actual presents this year. Christmas was so special and I know it will get better and better every year.

You got your first stamp in your passport on our trip to the Cayman Islands. This was your second trip via airplane but your first time out of the country.

Another big milestone is that your top 2 teeth are in. I die laughing at you daily when you give a huge grin and those two teeth are sticking out. It also makes me so sad because teeth make you look like a toddler and not a baby anymore. It's a good thing your granddad is an orthodontist because you have an underbite and a huge gap between your top two teeth. Hilarious!

You have the craziest, fluffiest hair. It cannot be tamed! We will put water in it and brush it down and 2 seconds later it's sticking right back up. We die laughing every time we go in your room in the mornings and after naps because your hair is impressively crazy.

Weekend review: back to our alma mater!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Happy Monday friends! I am so glad to be off today. We had such a busy weekend and I am tired! We plan to run a few errands today but mostly just lay low!

Friday my mom, Vivi and I headed to Raleigh (about 1.5 hours away) for a girls day! I was on the hunt for her birthday outfit and I already knew what I wanted but was just having a hard time finding it. Thankfully, after about 5 stores I found exactly what I was looking for! Isn't that the best feeling?! We had the yummiest lunch then headed home.

Then it was to my in-laws for the weekend. Right when we got there Vivi passed out on me which NEVER happens! It was 1.5 hours of pure bliss. Girl was tired after a long day of shopping!

 Saturday Garrett and I hit the read for Chapel Hill bright and early. Vivi got to stay with her Grammie and Pop for a full day of fun and her parents got an entire day to spend together! Our first stop was UNC baseball stadium... Garrett's old stomping grounds. Being in the stadium and on the field brings back a flood of emotions every time. I can't tell you how many hours I spent in those stands watching games. So many nerves and butterflies and joy and heartbreak in those stands. After ACL surgery, Tommy John elbow surgery and neck surgery his baseball career ended after UNC which is not what we ever imagined would happen years before, but today we look back and are unbelievably thankful that he didn't go on to play professionally. We could not have happily lived that lifestyle and in Garrett's words as we drove home Saturday night, "I wouldn't trade our life now for anything in the world".

Our next stop was to the Dean Dome for the UNC vs. NC State basketball game. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that UNC won the national championship last year. Going to a game the season after winning the national championship is so special. The Dean Dome was electric! Even though we didn't win, it was such a fun time and I felt like we were in college again!

 Our third stop of the day was to the First Pitch Banquet. Every year the UNC baseball program hosts a banquet to raise money and it's basically like a huge reunion of former players. We look forward to it every year because we get to see all Garrett's old teammates. It was extra special this year because we got to meet our best friends' new baby!

 This year the 2008 team was honored and this group of guys (Garrett included!) went to the College World Series 4 consecutive years! We had the best time seeing everyone and got home way too late but it was worth it!

Sunday was spent wiping runny noses (poor Viv has a cold), going to the gym, cleaning, meal prepping, grocery shopping, and all the usual Sunday things. I hope everyone has a great week!

Five (times two!) on Friday: our favorite books!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Today I am switching up my usual Five on Friday post and sharing five (times two!) of our favorite children's books. These are all of our favorite books right now. Vivian loves to read and that makes me so happy! She gets it honestly and I hope she continues to enjoy it as she grows. We are always looking for cute, interactive books so leave your favorites in the comments below!

1) Pat the Zoo. Probably her very favorite book. All sorts of different textures to feel and look at. Cutest book ever!

2) Jesus Calling for Little Ones. I have the Jesus Calling daily devotional and this one for kids is just as great. It has short "lessons" and prayers and is perfect for introducing your children to Jesus.

3) Tickle Monster. This book is still a little over her head but I think she will enjoy it so much when she gets a little older. Super cute!

4) That's Not My Fairy. She was gifted this book and a fairy wand to go with it for Christmas. Different textures to feel. Short and sweet. We also love That's Not My Puppy which is basically the same but dog themed, obviously.

5) I Prayed For You. Goodness gracious this book makes me teary every time we read it. Especially for mamas that have gone through infertility, this book will tug at your heart strings.

6) Guess How Much I Love You. This book is so special to me because I remember my mom reading it to me when I was small. A timeless, classic book.

7) Where's The Giraffe. Perfect for babies and toddlers. There are little flaps that you look behind to "find" the animals. She gets so proud of herself all 50 times a day that we read it.

8) Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. There's a big button on the front that you press to play the song while you read (or sing). I literally sing that song in my sleep these days.

9) Big Look Bible Book. An adorable book that introduces your child to some of the most "famous" people in the Bible such as Noah, Moses, David and Goliath.

10) Colors Pop-Up Peekaboo. Behind the flaps are animals waiting to say peekaboo! Sadly, we don't know what "gentle" means yet so half our flaps are torn. She's obsessed with this book and also with Pop-Up Peekaboo Meow which is the same concept for different animals.

Linking up with AprilChristina and Amanda

Grand Cayman: where to stay, eat, and things to do

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Hey friends! I had so many questions about where we stayed on our trip to Grand Cayman so I've compiled a post all about where to stay, where to eat, and things to do while vacationing in the Cayman Islands. [pictures are from multiple different trips to GC]

Where to stay:

I have been to Grand Cayman probably 6 or 7 times and we always stay at the same place. We rent a condo at Coral Stone Club every time we go. It is prime location, right in the middle of 7 mile beach and within walking distance of numerous restaurants. My family always goes together so renting a condo works better than multiple hotel rooms. The condos at Coral Stone Club are 3 bedrooms with a large living room and kitchen area. It is right across the street from the grocery store and liquor store which is super convenient so that we can cook meals at the condo.

Coral Stone only has 37 units total so it is pretty small which is great. It is never crowded and you don't have to fight for a beach chair. It has a pool and 2 hot tubs which is perfect, especially if you are taking kids. The only downside is that since it isn't a resort, there are obviously no restaurants in the building.

The only other place I could recommend is the Ritz-Carlton. While we have never stayed there, it is right beside Coral Stone so we walk over daily for drinks at their pool bar, eat in the restaurants, etc. This is a totally different experience than staying at Coral Stone because obviously it is a resort so much more crowded. There are typically rows and rows of beach chairs and have to wake up early to reserve a spot. A very nice resort though with top notch service.

Where to eat:

+ Our favorite dinner spot is Deckers. Within walking distance from where we stay, it is our go-to dinner restaurant. They have live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and most of the seating is outside. The food and cocktails are great and the atmosphere is even better. Bonus: they have all you can eat lobster on Tuesdays and Saturdays!

Calypso Grill is another delicious dinner spot with fresh, local seafood.

+ Reef Grill is our favorite lunch spot. Throw on your coverup and walk about 1 mile down the beach to have the best bbq chicken pizza of your life. Super casual with tables right on the beach. Also, you must get the coronita with your meal!

+ Calico Jacks is a "hole in the wall" place that is always filled with locals. About a mile walk on the beach from Coral Stone, it is the perfect place to grab a burger and a Cay Brew in your bathing suit and coverup.

Catch is a delicious dinner spot that is a more upscale. I wouldn't recommend taking the kids to this restaurant, as it is a little fancier.

The Wharf is another great dinner spot right on the water. And you can feed the tarpon after your meal!

+ The Ritz is a great spot for lunch or dinner. Even if you aren't staying there, walk over in your bathing suit and sit by the pool for a delicious fish sandwich or wrap. And you cannot beat their Pina coladas! Expensive but SO worth it!!!

What to do:

Stingray City is an absolute MUST if you have never done it before. The craziest experience ever! Slightly terrifying but so cool. These stingrays are so used to people swimming with them and feeding them that they are basically tame. They are huge and feel like portobello mushrooms.

Rum Point. I have always gone by boat but you can also drive. The best rum punch ever! You can walk along the beach and dig for starfish, have a delicious fish sandwich and enjoy the views.

+ Snorkel. It doesn't matter where, but don't pass up the opportunity to look at all the colorful fish in the crystal blue waters. Added bonus if you can get to the coral reef for snorkeling! 

Planning a trip to Grand Cayman? Email me at and I'd love to help you plan!


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Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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Weekend review!

Monday, January 22, 2018

What was originally a weekend with no plans turned into a pretty busy and fun weekend! Friday we laid low with takeout and a Dateline. I was fast asleep by 9:30pm... bliss!

Friday night our cousin proposed to his longtime girlfriend, finally! Garrett and Grant grew up right across the street from each other so they are more like brothers than cousins. Lauren has been a part of our family for a long time but we are SO excited to make it official! Saturday we drove an hour for a surprise party for them and it was such a sweet time of celebration.

A few of my best friends were in town so we drove straight from the engagement party to dinner with my friends and our husbands/boyfriends. We had yummy cocktails, appetizers and laughed so hard my stomach hurt. I have been friends with these girls since preschool and even though we don't see each other as much as we'd like, it's like nothing has changed when we get together.

 Sunday I was on call so I had to head into work at 6:30am for a trauma surgery. I spent a few hours at the hospital while Vivi and her daddy played. It was such a gorgeous day that we went on two long walks then had family night at my mom's house for dinner.

Future PA in training... already trying to answer my pager for me ;) Happy Monday friends!

Four on Friday!

Friday, January 19, 2018

[O N E]
My sister celebrated her 30th birthday a few weeks ago and I totally forgot to post pictures. My brother-in-law planned the sweetest surprise party for her. There were drinks and appetizers and she was SO surprised... it was the best time!

[T W O]
Major brownie points for my husband for surprising me with a new hair dryer for Christmas... it's the little things! I think he was sick of hearing me complain about my ancient hair dryer that I've had since high school and how long it takes me to dry my lion's mane hair. This Solano hair dryer is amazing and takes me half the time to dry my hair as my old one did.
[T H R E E]
Since the New Year I have been purging all the things. I am just itching to clean and organize every aspect of our house from the closets to the pantry to the attic. I felt like my bedside table was so cluttered and I was ready for it to look clean and simplified. I spent nap time sorting through the million books, ultrasound pictures, cards, notes, chargers and cords that were stuffed in it. Isn't it crazy how such a small project can make the biggest difference?! A clean and organized bedside table makes me feel so much more relaxed when I hop in bed every night.

[F O U R]
I am officially registered for the 10 week Give Grace bible study. The owner of Scarlet & Gold, Megan Smalley, created this business in her 3.5 year battle with infertility to help those going through the IVF process. Now that she has twin boys through IVF she has closed her retail store to focus on being a mom but she is hosting a 10 week bible study about waiting on God, grief, shame, identity, grace, hope, relationships and everything in between. Would you join me in participating?! I'd love for a group of us to participate together and discuss what we learn weekly! It's $35 and you can register here.

Linking up with ChristinaApril and Amanda

Our trip to Grand Cayman

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Happy Thursday! I have some exciting news today... I am joining Annie and Natalie as a new co-host for Thoughts for Thursday! I am so flattered to be cohosting this weekly link-up every Thursday with two of my very favorite bloggers and mommas. I have been following these ladies for years and even though we have never met IRL, I feel like we are friends which is my very favorite part about blogging!


We are back from our week spent at Grand Cayman and it was perfect. My entire family went so it was chaos in the best way. It was low key and relaxing... well, as relaxing as a vacation with 3 kids can possibly be ;) Vivi is a total beach bum like her mama! She was caught multiple times shoveling handfuls of sand in her mouth at lightening speed. I swear she would live in the ocean or pool if you let her. She is fearless and loves dunking her face underwater, crazy girl.

Grand Cayman is a very small island, approximately 20 miles from one end to the other. If you are looking for a wild and crazy night life, this is not the place for you. It is a quiet island with the most beautiful, crystal clear water you've ever seen and soft, white sand. There are usually no waves which makes it perfect for kids to swim. Of all the beaches I have been to, Grand Cayman is the prettiest!

We have been to Grand Cayman multiple times and we always stay at the same place. This time since we had so many people we rented 2 condos right beside each other. They were on the ground floor, about 15 steps from the beach. SO convenient for the kids and easy to check on them during nap time.

We took full advantage of Vivi's nap times. We would put her to bed in the condo then lock the doors and check on her every 20ish minutes. You could find my butt parked in a beach chair with drink in one hand and book in the other.

I had so many questions about my bathing suit. You can find it here for only $24!

Vivi's straw hat | bathing suit Old Navy but sold out

We got a babysitter one night and went out to dinner which was so much fun. There was live music and lots of pineapple martinis. I had lobster bisque and a penne pasta with fresh seafood and both were sooo delicious. The other 5 nights we cooked dinner at the condos and stayed in. Like I said, it was a super laid back trip!

Picture overload! A week with all my favorite people spent eating, drinking, swimming, and relaxing with the most beautiful backdrop ever. Check back next week for recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and things to do when visiting Grand Cayman!

Grab the button below and link up to Annie , Natalie and Owen on your Thoughts for Thursday post.
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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