Sunday, February 28, 2010

fence repairs = fun day at the zoo

The fence in our backyard has been leaning for quite some time. Last night at the last minute, Lance and I decided today would be the perfect day to repair it. Knowing this wouldn't happen with little ones around, I quickly planned a mini day trip.

So this morning, as Lance tackled the project, the littles and I set off on an excursion. One Dora dvd and 2 hours later we arrived at Noonie & Papa J's house full of anticipation for Hudson's first trip to the zoo.

Still a bit shaky from YESTERDAY'S MISHAP, I was apprehensive for what our day at the zoo would hold. Luckily it went off without a hitch. In fact, Hudson snoozed the entire first hour we were there.

This lioness spooked me with her back and forth pacing around the enclosure. Every time she passed the viewing chamber, she would back up right in front of Hudson's stroller and show her teeth. Needless to say, we didn't stay at that exhibit too long. In fact, we didn't stay at any exhibit too long. The little pumpkin's favorite words were, "C'mon Noonie, let's go look at those fishies again". Apparently the koi pond was the most exciting part of the visit today :)

That and this mini merry-go-round conveniently located in the picnic area. Maybe she was having withdrawals from Chuck E. Cheese - the little pumpkin LOVES Chuck E. Cheese! Who knows, but she sure was into this little choo choo ride and made sure Hudson got in on the action too. This peacock sure stole the show! Isn't it beautiful?!
One final stop at the playground... and it was time to say goodbye to our friends and go home. Thank you Noonie & Papa J for treating us to a day at the zoo, complete with a yummy picnic! Thanks to you, the littles snoozed all the way home, making the 2-hour return trip a breeze!

P.S. Grace told me tonight she is already planning her next visit :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

premature gray

Since having my bundle-of-energy chunky monkey I've noticed grays popping up right on top of my head. First just one. PLUCK! Then two. PLUCK, PLUCK. Then four. NO KIDDING. So maybe the old wives tale if you pluck one, two will grow in its place really is true.

True or not, they seem to be growing in a little too quickly for my liking. Maybe it's the age, 30-something and holding, or maybe it has a teeny weeny bit to do with the fact that this little boy keeps me on my toes every single moment of the day.

A gorgeous Saturday, mid to high 50s, a bit windy, but with a perfectly lined sun casting warm sunshine to make us giddy with anticipation for all things spring. So off to the duck pond park we go.

We had so much fun. The monkey bars calling the little pumpkin in and she responded by hanging tight and then beaming with pride at her daddy's approving smile.This little guy had fun swinging at the park for the first time. His belly laugh so contagious even passerbys stopped to get a chuckle too. We tried our best to tempt the ducks with our bread crumbs, just like LAST YEAR, but their bellies must have been full from all the other park goers that came out on this glorious day. Right after that, Hudson's wet diaper leaked - so much for the free sample of "New and Improved Pampers Cruisers" I received in the mail. Sorry, but I'll be sticking with our trusted ones.

So while the little pumpkin enjoyed some Daddy-Daughter time, I placed Hudson in his stroller and started making the slightly uphill walk back to the car to change him. Although we have a standard travel system, more times than not, we use this Graco stroller frame and just snap in Hudson's carseat because it's lighter, more compact, and turns easier. Well, apparently this lighter frame is not intended for park pavement.

30 yards or so from our car, as I'm pushing slightly uphill, the ENTIRE carseat (with Hudson in it, mind you) flips over OFF the frame and lands face down on the pavement. Of course, you can imagine my scream. Lots of mamas with kiddos ran to us as I madly flipped the carseat over out of the way and scooped up my baby boy out from under it. His loud sobs making me fear the worst.

I quickly checked him from head to toe as another mom went to find Lance & Grace who came running to us, a sight to behold - mama and baby on the ground amidst a circle of park goers.

Somehow, defying all odds, he had NOT A SINGLE SCRATCH on his sweet little body. All I can guess is that by the POWER OF GOD his blanket landed first helping to cushion the fall and preventing his face from smashing into the ground. His cries were out of fear and not out of hurt. After I held him a minute or so he calmed down and started babbling sweetly once again.

We took him to the car and stripped him naked, checking every part of his body for any signs of broken bones or dislocations. Our little boy was okay. His mama, not so much. Forget premature gray. This little one is going to give his mama a coronary before he leaves the house!

On a serious note~ THANK YOU JESUS for watching over our little Hudson today and EVERY DAY!

Friday, February 26, 2010

a berry sweet gift {birthday party dress}

I love birthdays, I love hand embroidery, and I love vintage designs. So what do you get when you combine all three? Major cuteness!

I should be saving these photos until AFTER the little pumpkin's birthday, but I can't help myself I'm so excited about her outfit and all the love that went into it that I just have to share...and journal a little bit about it too so that when I FINALLY get around to printing our blog book it'll be recorded for Grace to read about one day.

So let me begin with the piece that started it all:

My good friend Angel of TaDa Creations made that sweet little apron as a gift for Grace! Three years ago when Grace was born our lives crossed paths when I bought a dress Angel designed and from there we became friends. I'd say 90% of the cuteness in Grace's closet came from Angel - he, he, he. She's one talented designer, a loving mother and wife, and most importantly one of the nicest, Godly women you'll ever meet. She's got a super fun blog too - check it out HERE, you'll love it! When the package arrived, Grace was awestruck. She flashed me one of those sweet, sheepish, I'm-so-excited-I'm-about-to-start-jumping-up-and-down smiles I love so much. Then she said, "I looooooove it. It's my favorite. Thank you!" in the sweetest southern drawl you'll ever hear. So from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU ANGEL!!!

Now, she can't just wear an apron and nothing else, right? So in comes Noonie to the rescue! She made THE sweetest dress for Grace to wear.
I. LOVE. IT!!!
And Grace said she's ready to wear her strawberry dress and "twirl, twirl, twirl until I'm dizzy". This was another one of those "I have a project for us, mom!"...and then my only contribution to the sewing: these cute little buttons. THANK YOU, THANK YOU NOONIE!!! We will cherish this dress forever! Cheesy as it may sound, I LOVE that her birthday outfit was made by hand with so much love by such special people.

And finally, a few little details...sort of like the icing on the cake. I LOVE how sweet these little piggy tail bows turned out.
There's just nothing cuter than little girls wearing piggy tail bows...except maybe little girls in knee socks :)

And I'm over the moon happy with two super great deals I've scored lately. I lucked out and found a pair of brand new red puddle jumpers in Grace's next size for just $15!
We love puddle jumpers around here!

And then, I found a pair of my most favorite Target sandals ever for just $1.75 on ebay!!! This is my fourth pair to purchase - that's how much I love them :)

So we're all set. Can't wait to see the little pumpkin dressed up in her sweet birthday, the turning 3 part? I'm in no hurry for that one. My little baby is turning 3! Where did time go? *sniff, sniff*

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

3 is such a fun number! {birthday party invitations}

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that feels like this, but do you sometimes feel guilty or like it's wrong to be planning a party or something fun when so many around you are going through really difficult trials? I know I do!

I've experienced both really happy, joyous times and really downright crappy times in my life so I can see it from both sides of the coin. I'm sure you can too. But then I'm reminded that God WANTS us to celebrate life and find joy in the little things, to appreciate each other and give thanks, so that when things go wrong we can persevere in the knowledge that happier times are ahead.

So, with that off my chest, let me share with you a little birthday loveliness! Isn't that a fun picture? This past weekend, I took Grace out as the sun was setting to capture a few frames of my almost 3 year old little pumpkin. She was in such a good mood! We were only out there 10 minutes and I was able to capture a whole bunch of expressions...cute, sweet, tender, funny, silly, WILD!

Can't wait to share more of those with you later, but for now, let me show you how sweet her invitations turned out!!! I'm really into "homemade" and "handmade" and for this party I wanted a fun, vintage feel with lots of handmade sweetness.

I found authentic vintage Strawberry Shortcake invitations from a seller on etsy. She had a set of 8 listed but when I convo'd her to find out if she had more, SHE DID! She had 20 - more than enough for us!!

Isn't that the sweetest little card...Strawberry with Custard (the pink kitty)?

And here's how I personalized the inside to give it a little twist: And speaking of handmade sweetness, check out THIS new blog - super cute!

Okay, better go work on those birthday hats!

the ugliest 6 letter word

Before sharing with you a little birthday loveliness (separate post), I must tell you my heart is heavy tonight. I keep thinking about little Layla Grace (see HERE and HERE), sweet Kate (see HERE), and so many others big and small who have been affected by cancer, the ugliest 6-letter word. It's so hard to understand why things happen like they do. I have to remind myself often that it's not always our job to understand but simply to trust. Easier said than done.

There's a book that I consider a must read - Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived. You can find it HERE. I've read it many times and I always walk away with something new. Beware it's a real tear-jerker but such a wonderful, important message.

My mom got it for me a long time ago - I think I was in college. I'm so glad I read it for the first time BEFORE I had children. I bawled. Then I read it again when I was pregnant with Grace...yea, probably not the best idea. I was already hormonal and scared about the pregnancy since we'd just had the miscarriage. But even then I walked away with a sense of appreciation and feeling humbled beyond words at the courage so many show in the face of adversity.

Please pray for Layla Grace, Kate, and if you find it in your heart, please pray for a dear friend of our family that will be undergoing surgery tomorrow to remove a cancerous breast tumor. Pray that God will guide the hands of the surgeon to remove all of the tumor and that it will not have spread beyond the lesion in the scan. I know all too well the scared and nervous feelings of undergoing a lumpectomy and my heart just hurts seeing a loved one going through that.
Thank You!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

it's about time...

Two years ago I tried my hand at sewing for the first time. Grace was just about to turn 1 and I took a pillowcase dress class at a local quilt shop in hopes of learning to sew so I could make her lots of pretties to wear.

I made the sweetest little dress for Grace - SEE HERE - but thinking the pattern was too small, my friend Heidi and I took it upon ourselves to add yardage to our little dresses. Well, two years later the little pumpkin is FINALLY big enough to wear the dress.

She wore it today as we had a belated birthday lunch for Papa J at Ruby Tuesday. Whatcha think? Okay, here's a better picture, but I couldn't pass that one up since she was looking so sweet and lady like :)
I lucked out that a pair of Matilda Jane ruffles from last spring coordinated perfectly! I love when things work out that way!!

I love ric rac and I love polka dots so polka dot ric rac = LOVE! Then there's that sweet bunny toile fabric...LOVE...I'm so ready for Spring! We had a great lunch! Here's Papa J with the littles. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPA J!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

busy, busy, busy

A fun, but busy couple of days around here...Lance had to go out of town for work right after his birthday on Tuesday, so I've been pulling double duty and boy, was I glad to see him come home last night!

Luckily, mom came to the rescue and helped me so I was still able to cross off lots of items on my to do list. Yea! Doesn't it feel good to just cross stuff off, no matter how small? I think this is why I'm a list maker. So if you're not already a list maker, try it - you'll be feeling good in no time!

1. Clean out Grace & Hudson's closets. CHECK!

2. Go through bins of clothes and separate: keep / give / sell. CHECK!

3. Get clothes ready for the consignment, hang, label, turn in. CHECK!

4. Birthday party favors. CHECK!

5. Birthday hair bows ordered. CHECK!

6. Address invitations. CHECK!

7. Sew dress. NOT QUITE. But all the pieces are cut and we'll be sewing on Monday!!!

Still have lots of stuff to do, both fun and un-fun chores, but I won't bore you with the un-fun ones, so let's go with one of the fun ones like "pull down easter baskets from the attic and spray paint to match this year's outfits". I ♥ spray paint. And speaking of outfits...I'm so super excited that the matching brother/sister smocked sets I bought last year at 80% off are THE perfect size for both munchkins!!! Best part of these last couple of days...actually there's lots of "bests". First, this: This little guy has been pulling up on everything! He's finally crawling with his belly off the ground too!

Second, planning this birthday party for the little pumpkin has been LOTS of fun! Strawberry Shortcake is such a super sweet theme! I love the party favors - they are so cute!

Third, spending time talking to my mom late at night. Girl talk is always good for the soul :)

And then, there is this fun Christmas gift from Aunt Lexi that we just broke out today: Nevermind the shades in that photo...we're going through a sunglass phase around here ;) I think it's fair to say... She LOVES it, Lexi! Thank you! It's been a gorgeous day here, 69° and sunny! I'm ready for Spring!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy, Happy Birthday!

To my wonderful husband and an amazing father, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! We love you!!! Think someone was excited to see him come home??? She waited for him by the door with a hat and a card in hand - so cute! Hudson wasn't too sure what to think about that hat. That's over 50 lbs. of kiddos :O We love birthdays around here! The little pumpkin is next and boy are we excited about THIS!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hudson's 1st Valentine's Day!

We had a nice Valentine's Day - Church and then lunch at a yummy seafood restaurant. The little pumpkin ate A LOT of fried catfish, I mean "chicken strips". Grace's ear infection seems to be getting better and she's no longer complaining of ear pain. Yay!

A silly breakfast of heart shaped chocolate chip pancakes and string cheese love bugs. After lunch, the littles had fun checking out their valentine goodies. Reckon at some point they'll stop wanting what the other one has??? Probably not, right? One cool chick! I don't think he was amused by the bib. I love that they're still little enought to get excited over every little thing! Hudson's favorite gift...the crinkle paper! Thinking about it...
Ooooh, that IS good! Okay, now I want my own. He was so sticky from that lollie! All the crinkle paper kept sticking to him and he just couldn't figure out how to shake it off - he, he, he.

A little love squeeeeeeeze. LOVE! My valentines! Mr. Sweet. Miss Silly. Mr. Serious. Hope you had a sweet day with your loved ones!