Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year [2015]

We have finally finished lighting up Atlanta. Ernesto worked until Dec 14th. Wow! That was a crazy couple months. Did I just have a baby and survive a lighting season?? Whaaaaa??
I don't know how it is possible to be fully engrossed in the Christmas season yet not be ready for Christmas. At all. My tubs were down from the attic, yet not unpacked. Ernesto hung a fresh wreath on our door (that was left over from one of our jobs) and that felt festive, but I was missing all of my beautiful glass ornaments, our stockings, my lucite reindeer, a decorated mantle and HELLO?? A tree!!
We waited for Ernesto to be finished before driving to the Forrest Park Farmers Market to pick out a tree.
They had a huge selection. It seems I always want a tree that is too big for our house. Last year I got one that was too wide, so our mission was tall (8-9 ft) and skinny.
It seems weird to be picking out a tree with t-shirts on right? We have hit freezing one night so far, but it's been pretty warm here. Marcelo and baby girl were asleep in the car, so Mateo weighed in on the decision.
We got a beauty for around $50, which is a bit cheaper than the box stores, plus it felt more personal because actual farmers are coming to sell their trees here.
The guy helping us gave our tree a fresh cut with a chainsaw, then it got pulled though this thingy to get wrapped.
And strapped on the top of our car.
Later that day, "the pro" had us all set up...
...and we got to decorating.
My favorite ornaments on the tree this year....

That is Marcelo's "don't mess with me" face and Mateo's "hurry up and take that picture" smile. Classic!

Ok tree up. Check! Lights and ornaments. Check! Outside lights. Check check!
Next up, a visit to Lenox Mall to see Santa ...and get some Bucky Bucks. It felt so good to not be in a rush. I'm not exactly sure why but getting coffee out is so special. Besides just loving a strong, dark coffee, it signifies relaxing and enjoying yourself. Being out with my whole family for the first time in a couple weeks was special.
Baby eating, kids quiet on my phone, chatting with mi esposo, and coffee. Ahhhhhhhh!
One good thing about our late visits to Santa is that there is never a line. We go on a weekday morning the week before Christmas and we get him all to ourselves.
Our official pic did not get all three babies looking at the camera, but that is just how it's going to be now right?
I caught this one on my phone and Paloma is the only one looking at me. God she is so cute!
Visited Santa. Check! On to more lights!
On to the lights!! It had been a couple years that we have gone to see the lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It is so expensive magical .
At the entrance the kids saw someone selling these light bulb necklaces and wanted them badly.
My kids get anything they ask for...NOT! BUT!! Knowing what a runner Marcelo is, we paid the $20 (for two) with no regrets. These boys were all over the place, running like they had not been outside for weeks.
With so many people walking around, and so many little paths to take, those necklaces really helped keep them on our radar.
The lights were amazing, as usual, and the smores station was a huge hit.
It was a little chilly out, but as you can see we were just wearing sweaters. Atlanta weather is nutty. Still hoping for a white Christmas in Ohio...but it's not looking good.
What plans do you guys have for Christmas?
We will be flying up to Ohio early next week to spend Christmas with my family. I'm so excited to see everyone, and everyone is excited to see.....wait for it.....Paloma!!
I'll leave you with a few photos of some new lighting jobs this year. It was a great year folks but boy did we work for it! I think we deserve a few 9 months off! LOL

Thursday, December 10, 2015

'Round Here the Past Couple Months

Baby baby baby....This is the only thing you have seen here for months. Understandably so, I mean look at this beauty!!
We blinked and this little Mexicana was 6 weeks old!
Before we knew it, she started smiling...and then she was 8 weeks.
(I did finally post her one month and two months pictures)
My Palomita is obviously newsworthy, (and a proper post all about her is in the works!) but there have been a few other things going on the last couple months too.
Mainly this....
WOOPS! I mean this...
We are close to wrapping up the lighting season this year. We have been CRAZY busy. More calls and estimates than ever before! (thanks Nextdoor!). Of course as a business owner this is a mom of sucked...BAD!
Yep, there was a lot of this....
...and this...
Trying to answer calls and work on the computer with the two most energetic kids on the planet (yes, I can claim that!) was not easy. In fact it would have been impossible without my free babysitter...the iPad. Little Paloma was/is a dream baby sleeping a lot and not demanding too much of mami.
Even though we tried to order plenty of supplies ahead of time, we were having to pick up more every week. [Paul's Shuttle was not available most of the season, so] I had to make many trips to our supplier (40 minutes north of Atlanta) with kids in tow. Luckily they are still great car sleepers and don't mind having artificial wreaths in their faces.
The ONLY reason you are even reading this post is because of this man:
Yes, my dad! He wins dad/grandpa of the year for this one. He flew to Atlanta, met me outside the airport and flew back to Ohio with these two toddlers in tow. So brave! Of course you know that behind every great man there is a great woman. My mom did a lot of entertaining and mediating, all with laryngitis.
Later that night my kids were doing this.....
And mami, papi and Paloma were doing this....
Ha! ...but only after I did this....
Horrible picture in the dark of Jaio Reflexology, but my first foot massage in 4 years was unbelievable! Paloma was a quiet little angel, no one even knew she was in there.
I want to be clear. Although the week without my boys was SOOOOO much easier, it was no vacation. I sat at my computer for nearly four hours straight after I met my dad at the airport. I was not surfing and I was not blogging. I was working! I have been doing this nearly everyday. The foot massage was a reward to myself. Meeting my husband out for dinner and drinks was a reward for our marriage!
We have been falling asleep on the couch around 9pm every night. (For 2 months!!) Ernesto physically wiped out and me mentally exhausted. We needed a few nights out while the kids were gone. When one of our customers invited us to eat at his restaurant Le Fat, we graciously accepted. (Notice the brilliant trees!) Atlantans, if you like Vietnamese food (with a French twist) you must try it!
Being a mom to just an infant for a week was a BREEZE (parent wise). BUT! I was only able to cross a couple things off my to-do list that week. I had such high hopes for getting a lot done, but alas, I was just too busy with lights.
One thing I did accomplish was to sort through the mounds of piled up toys in our baskets and make a trip to the Salvation Army. Christmas is coming and we needed to clear out. I enlisted the help of my organized friend Sue Ellen and we got a big chunk out of the way one Saturday morning. This a is progress shot. It is called "organized chaos."
I missed my babies so much, but it was nice knowing they were having fun with family and spending quality time with their cousins.
Six days later, my dad and I met outside the airport again. I hugged and kissed my babies. (And my dad went to have a drink at the bar!)
Since I had a little (and I mean very little) time to blog, I started throwing in some pictures here that tell a story of the last couple months. Let me start with a picture that let's you know how long I have been wanting to post something.
Yes Halloween! We are on a major super heroes kick at Casa Espinoza. Santa will be getting a long list for Imaginext Batman toys.
Legos and Batman. They are occupied for hours. Not consecutive, but for hours nonetheless. All they need are little figures and I see their imaginations go wild. Hearing them making up different voices for the villains and super heroes is entertaining for me too.
You may have seen on Instagram or Facebook that we painted our new front door. When we first hung up the door (after rehabbing it) we painted it a mint green. This is a color I love, but it really fell flat against the house color and the dingy cream colored trim.
Ok it didn't just fall was horrible. We needed a pop of color! Enter "Tropical Orange" by Bejamin Moore. It changed everything!!!
Look how great it looks with the brass hardware! Orange and brass.Yes!! We still need a new (bigger) light fixture, new numbers and a kickplate for the door. I actually don't mind the the army green house anymore.
We thought we were going to paint the house in the spring, but maybe we will hold off now...especially since we will *most likely* be moving next year.
Before starting the lights, Ernesto finished up our 5 month long backyard project by adding a fence and gate at the driveway.
Our grass is brown and dormant now, but there is no denying that it's a great space. A 360 degree turn from where we started 4 years ago. Still need to get the post together to show you all the before & after photos.
I went on a bit of a shopping spree back when Paloma was born. Maybe because I was sitting in the hospital for 10 days and really missed out on the last minute nesting that can happen with a baby. Or maybe it was because I missed TjMaxx and just wanted to spend money. Hmm.
Well, whatever the case I ended up with a slew of things.
I haven't really bought too many clothes for little Paloma. I recieved enough gifts to get through the first few months which was great. The few times I was able to pop into TjMaxx I couldn't stop myself from picking up a few things. How about some workout clothes? She going to be active, I just know it!
I have had fun dressing my little boys the past 4 years, but dressing a girl is REALLYgoing to be fun!
There are some cute clothes out there!
And the shoes! Oh my! I about died when these arrived in the mail.
Leather moccasins from Freshly Picked!! The gray ones were little cousin Zacks and the pink and GOLD polka dots ones were specially picked for Paloma. (Thanks Erin and Espinozas out in San Diego!) She wears them all the time and constantly gets compliments.
This little beauty is going to be a fashionista! Our old neighbors (and good friends) the Canias mailed Paloma 3 boxes. Mateo was excited to open them, but was quite disappointed with the contents...
All of little Gabrielle's clothes! I was so excited to go through them because she was ALWAYS dressed so cute. Paloma is all set for the next year! A few of my favorites: the tutu, a yellow pea coat, bathing suit and she is definitely wearing that Ted Baker dress for Christmas next year.
A more recent purchase was this pair of Lucky Brand booties.
These are magic. I'm not kidding. I could not shower for days (not that this EVER happens ha!) but I put these on with one of my new pairs of skinny ankle jeans and I feel good! Im convinced they make other people think so too because I was at CVS and 9am and I KNOW I was disheveled. I had not even glanced in the mirror until I got home. My hair was in a 'slept in' ponytail, but I got a "Good morning beautiful." Another morning, I was in Kroger and got an "excuse me, I just have to tell you that you look very becoming. (huh?) So beautiful." I admit, I do feel more put together in them. Funny how a key piece can have this effect. My NARS red lipstick does the same for me.
In other news, my bedroom is a wreck. I made a cute little corner after Paloma was born, and it makes me happy.
The bassinet was a Craigslist purchase back when I was pregnant with Mateo. I made it a family project to freshen it up so the boys helped me paint it mint green. (It's great on the bassinet just not on our front door)
The little handmade [by me] bunting is so cute too. I found the little linen stick-on letters in the $1 isle at Target.
The bunting fabric and the cheveron sheet were both remnants from Fabric World.
The rest of the room is down right maddening. It is basically a laundry dump. Clean and dirty. Laundry everywhere. I just can't keep up. It isn't actually washing/drying the clothes, it's putting them away after they are folded. I can't even show you.
Remember the bed I bought on Craigslist TWO YEARS ago? Yeah, well it is still sitting there unchanged from when I first bought it. It is going to be a lot more expensive to get reupholstered than I initially thought so I have been trying to find cheap affordable fabric, but to no avail. After New Years I need to just bite the bullet and get this thing into the shop.
A huge rug will be essential in making the room feel pulled together (and as a bonus cover my blah Berber carpet!). I bought this one from RUGS USA.
I have been loving these Moroccan shag rugs for a long time and this one was recommended by my favorite blogger, Emily Henderson, so I just ordered it one day. It was 75% off which sounds like a great deal...But it still needed up costing more than I've ever spent on a rug before. Unfortunately it is still rolled up in my bedroom, but I am really looking forward to unrolling it.
I also ordered Emily's new book. I haven't bought a coffee table book for years, so this feels special. From what I have read to far, it will provide me with tons of inspiration too. (Not that I am ever lacking in decorating inspiration.)
Our good friend and neighbor for the last year and a half bought a house and moved. It's pretty sad because it was nice seeing her every morning. She always left her door open for her dog and the boys would always yell over to her. " Hi Annieeeeeee!"
We got all the kids on our street together for a picture (in front of her house). It turned out so cute.
The kids decorated a picture frame and we delivered it one Saturday morning.
Annie had her place almost all put together after just a few days!! (Why is it taking me over 4 years?!) She used to be an interior designer and has great style. Oh and very sweet too! We are really going to miss her!
The house is up for sale now so hopefully we have a nice new neighbor soon. Hopefully we get someone that keeps our "great neighbors" streak alive.
My sister flew down the week after my birthday. It's so sad that we don't live close to eachother. We have a great time just being together. We always have a lot to talk about. A lot of times its comparing toddlers to dogs.
We made it out one night, just the three girls to our "regular" spot Serpas. The tuna tartar and salmon chips are to die for!
Sunday we made it to the farmers market. We never miss if we are in town and the kids never miss their King of Pops!
That is Ben. The boys are friends at school. Luckily Ben has a cool mom and we hang out a couple times a week. "Play dates" save my sanity. Sue Ellen and I sit and have adult conversations and it's wonderful. She holds my baby sometimes too and that is also wonderful.
One of the last weekends of the farmers market, there were artists set up. I stumbled into St.Francis' tent and fell in love. First of all I LOVE watercolors and these were just unique.
Is that a zombie face? I don't know, but there is something about it that I liked. (The metallic gold?) Body forms are always attractive to me.

I acquired another piece of art that I am just loving. This is one my neighbor painted and was about to toss [along with several others he had painted a long time ago]. He doesn't want any credit for it because he doesn't like it. It is big and it is great! And art is in the eye of the beholder. What do you guys think?
I had a birthday in November, but it was just another day. (Is 42 supposed to be special?) I loaded my three kids (wha??) up for Legoland. I'm so glad one child is not walking yet, because this guy is a runner.
He ran through the exit into the Lego store before I could grab him. Luckily an employee saw it happen and stopped him from running into the mall. Chasing two toddlers with an infant does not make for a relaxing day, but they were entertained for a good while, so it was a success. You don't know how ready I was to strap those boys into their carseats. Ahhhhhhh Peace and quiet!
My parents flew in my birthday night. I think we all know who they really came to see.
My mom has always given me the best presents. Her time. This year was no different. She wallpapered my little bathroom with my Lily and Serena paper [that I bought at a huge discount-it's still on sale with a bunch of other papers too!]. Wallpaper is so expensive. I am really happy with this design/color. What a difference!
Bye bye stencil! Hello wallpaper. I love it so. Much. Better.
I grew up in a wallpapered house, all done by my mom. It has been years since she has done it, but it looks great! She can do ANYTHING! I'm so happy. (Thanks mom!) Of course we still need to add a new sink and light fixture, but that can wait till after Christmas.
After we were past 90 degree weather, out habanero plant started producing big time.
We use these babies for salsas, spicy popcorn and I really want to make my brother Tims Habanero hot sauce again.
My neighbors pecan tree also had a big year. I collected enough nuts from my driveway to make a pie for Thanksgiving. And we still have some left. They are such a pain to crack, but so delicious.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, it was a really strange day this year. We didn't have any family coming, nor any Atlanta friends. Luckily our friends Rob & Fenella drove down from Asheville to join us.
It was great seeing them, but unfortunately they didn't get to our house until 630pm. Ernesto took the boys to see a movie (The Good Dinosaur) and killed some time at Atlantic Station while I made the whole turkey dinner.
I always appreciate my time alone, but one person in the kitchen on Thanksgiving did not feel so Thanksgiving-y.
Then this happened when he got home.....
Leaf blowing. That did not feel so Thanksgiving-y either. But then he did this.....
...and when our lights go up on the house, that felt like the holidays.
Ok, Is anyone still with me here? Comment if you are actually reading this post.
Let me just leave you with one final picture of my sweet tired babies. God they are cute aren't they? I am so lucky.



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