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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
#newenglandblogger #maineblogger #mainelife #maine #bloggersofmaine #thewaylifeshouldbe #newenglandlife #newengland #southernmaine #maineinvitesyou #mainetourism #maineliving #newenglandliving #onlyin207 #mainemom #abmlifeissweet #howyouglow #darlingdaily #bloggervibes #behindtheprettypicture #documentlife #momiform #mommybloggers #summerinfant

I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
#christmastime #christmassy #christmasinspiration #holidayinspiration #christmascountdown #letitsnow #happyholidays #giftgiving #holidaycheer #alliwantforchristmas #deckthehalls #blogmas2018 #newenglandblogger #maineblogger #mainelife #maine #bloggersofmaine #thewaylifeshouldbe #newenglandlife #newengland #southernmaine #maineinvitesyou #mainetourism #maineliving #newenglandliving #howyouglow #darlingdaily #bloggervibes #behindtheprettypicture #mommybloggers

Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

Allie’s First Christmas

Happy Friday! This post is a little delayed, but I hope you all had an amazing Christmas with friends and family. We’ve officially celebrated Allie’s very first holiday season which was super exciting. I don’t know what is, but having a baby makes everything so much more fun and exciting. I loved being able to celebrate the holiday with her and although she won’t remember any of it, I made it my top priority to make sure she had a great first Christmas full of all our favorite family traditions. And of course I made sure to take a few too many photos of absolutely everything we did with her. So fair warning, this post could be a bit photo heavy. But let’s get started on our holiday recap!

Meeting Santa

A couple weekends ago, we had breakfast with Santa. The USO was hosting a free breakfast on base along with gifts, a Santa meet and greet and they were even passing out free toys and turkeys. We were super thankful to have gone home with a turkey for Christmas dinner along with a few other miscellaneous food items. One less thing we had to buy for Christmas dinner!

The morning started out with a full breakfast and then we all headed into the chapel to meet with Santa. I wasn’t sure how long the line would be to meet him so we were thankful to have met up with Santa outside when he arrived. So we were able to get a photo just in case we weren’t wanting to sit in line for him. We ended up waiting in line anyways so we got multiple photos with him. She refused to look at the camera, but at least she wasn’t crying. So that’s a win to me!

We celebrated at Sea World.

I did a whole blog post on this one so I won’t go into a ton of detail here. But Zack’s work had their annual Christmas party at Sea World this year and we were super fortunate to have been able to go. Allie and I had never been to Sea World before so I was super excited to go. Originally we were going to celebrate Christmas at Disneyland, but after going in October, we weren’t impressed. Sea World was a much better option, especially for Allie’s age group. She loved sitting in front of the giant fish tanks watching the fish and sea turtles swim by. We got there right when they opened so we were able to sit her in front of the tank for a good 20-30 minutes without being in anybody’s way. She loved it! And we loved watching her try to interact with them as well. If you want to read more about this day, you can do so here.

We set up the Christmas Tree.

We were super late in buying a Christmas tree this year. Late as in we bought it last Monday. BUT in our defense, we’ve been a bit busy and everything seems to die here super easily for some reason. Our pumpkins were dead and moldy within 48 hours of bringing them home. So I also didn’t want a dead tree by the time Christmas arrived. So we bought it last week and got it decorated that night. Originally we had put it in our dining room. It was the only place where we already had a space for it so it worked. Buuuut then a few days later I decided it wasn’t pretty enough there. It wasn’t producing pretty Instagram photos…seriously. This was a concern of mine. The floor was tiled so it felt like it was in the kitchen and it was in a weird corner and it just wasn’t working for me.

So after a big glass of wine, I decided to move it into our living room while Zack was at work. And this wasn’t as challenging as you’d think it would be. I literally just dragged it across the floor. The only “issue” I ran into was when I had to pull it under the ceiling fan in the living room. Other than that, it went super smoothly and everything was all moved and looking pretty by the time Zack came home from work that night!

Fun fact: Allie is afraid of Christmas trees. Seriously. I put her in front of the tree and she was totally fine when facing it, but if it’s next to her or behind her she’s just not having it. No idea why. I couldn’t even get a good photo of her looking at me with the tree because she would look at the camera. She was too busy staring at the tree as if it was going to come to life and grab her or something. It’s the weirdest thing. And if she’s in front of it too long, she’ll cry. No idea what it is, but this is the first thing she’s been scared of so far in her 7 months of life.

We visited Candy Cane Lane.

I had heard SO many great things about Candy Cane Lane so I knew we absolutely had to go this year so Allie could see all the lights. We took her this past Saturday and dressed her up in her Christmas pjs. This onesie is super thick and has a hood on it so it was perfect for the chilled temperatures. We parked the car on the end of the road along with everyone else’s cars and walked the neighborhood to see all the gorgeous lights and decorations. It reminded me of Christmas decor sight seeing with my parents when we were little. We used to get all dressed in warm pjs and pile into the car and drive around the nearby neighborhoods to see all the lights. We always loved it growing up which is why I really wanted to take Allie as well. It’s a tradition I wanted to continue.

Candy Cane Lane wasn’t as amazing as I had anticipated, but it was still super cool to get out and walk around and look at all the gorgeous decorations. Allie wasn’t as amused as we thought she’d be (she LOVES anything that’s bright and moving) but I think that’s because I had to wake her up from a nap in order to go. So she probably wasn’t too happy with me. But she was still super good and liked looking at all the decorations. I’m hoping to find a similar neighborhood when we move back to Maine next year so we can do this again.

Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve was actually when we decided to go to Candy Cane Lane so I already told you about that part. But during the day we really didn’t do a whole lot. We stayed curled up on the couch, drinking Bloody Mary’s and watching Christmas movies all day. We watched The Santa Clause and The Santa Clause 2. Zack had never seen the second one so that was high on my priorities list. Zack was also really wanting to watch Toy Story for some reason so we watched that as well. We’ve been big on movies this weekend.

We also got Allie dressed up in her Christmas dress that Zack’s mom bought her so we could do her first Christmas and family photos. She is horrible with photos these days. Now that she’s almost crawling and rolling everywhere and trying to stand, it’s impossible to keep her still. Seriously. I put her down and two seconds later, she’s across the room. She refused to look at the camera too. So that was fun. Thankfully I did get a few good ones for Instagram and Facebook so I’m happy. Other than that, our Christmas Eve was actually pretty uneventful!

Christmas Day.

Christmas Day was super relaxed here and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Normally we spend all of Christmas Day opening presents with family over FaceTime, but it was really important to us this year to NOT be glued to our phones all day. It was Allie’s first Christmas and I really didn’t want the entire day to be spent with an iPhone in her face. We wanted that one-on-one time with her to really soak in the holiday. Zack used to have a really crappy police work schedule where he’d work every single holiday and we were so thankful this year to have him home with us for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It meant so much to me to have him there for Allie’s first holidays and I know it meant a lot to him as well.

We knew family would obviously want to see Allie so we did FaceTime with Zack’s mom and brother that morning so they could see her open a few gifts. They then headed to his aunt’s house and during that transition, Zack and I relaxed with Allie and let her open the rest of her gifts. We miss family so much but honestly, it was so nice just having be just the three of us. We’ll probably never a holiday just us once we’re back in Maine so I really enjoyed this a lot.

Allie was at the perfect age for her first Christmas. She’s still super young and obviously doesn’t understand that it’s a holiday or anything like that, but she’s also at an age where she was actually able to help open the presents. We started them for her and then let her pull the paper off herself. And then of course she loved it when she opened something that was colorful and made noises and things like that (which happened to be just about every gift!). She spent the whole day playing with all her new toys and she ended up getting so much that we had to run to Target the following morning to get a new toy basket for the living room. The one we had was much too small at that point so I found a super cute wood/wicker one that looks really nice in our living room.

Later that afternoon, we FaceTimed with the rest of Zack’s family. His aunt and cousin had never “met” Allie over FaceTime so they loved seeing her and being able to interact with her. And, again, she’s at an age where she could interact with them as well so that was super fun to watch. It’s like we had free babysitting over FaceTime while we cleaned up the living room and drank Bloody Mary’s!

Zack’s brother bought him a beer pong game so that was a huge hit for us that afternoon. I may or may not have had a few too many glasses of wine, but hey, it’s Christmas and we don’t drink like that often. We had put Allie down for a nap and had some much needed mommy and daddy time which was SO nice. We just played games and had a couple drinks and FaceTimed with his brother and cousin (who were also drinking and playing games). It felt weird to have a moment just the two of us and while I missed Allie, I loved the alone time with Zack. It’s been so challenging to take time to ourselves because we’ve been so busy so it was very much needed.

Once Allie woke up from her nap, we FaceTimed with my parents and two of my sisters. My dad worked Christmas Day so we had to wait until it was probably 9 or 10pm their time before we could finally talk to them. Everyone was very tired but it was really nice to see everyone. My dad finally got an iPhone for Christmas which is super exciting. Now we can FaceTime him and send him Snaps of Allie on Snapchat throughout the day as well.

Overall, we had a really good Christmas this year. I don’t have too many complaints. The holidays are definitely so much more fun after you have a baby and I think Allie had a great first Christmas as well. I’m already so excited for next year when she’s a bit older (I think she’ll be 19? months next Christmas) and can understand it better. Plus we’ll hopefully finally have our own home as well which is SO exciting.

So that’s the end of our giant holiday recap. Tell me about your holiday! Who did you celebrate with? What did you get?


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