Monday, February 28, 2011

goodbye february...

...hello, march!

Yes, we're one day ahead because the little pumpkin couldn't wait to put out the crazy ribbon wreath she helped make for our weekend craft!
Just wait 'till we add the moss-covered bunnies and easter eggs and get rid of the sad looking flowers - HA!
(oh, dear!)

And just because he makes me smile...
Yes, "attack of the oreo ice cream sandwich"! Sure gives a whole new meaning to "chocolate-covered bunny", doesn't it?

HaPPy MOndaY!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


It's almost march!!!

March is one of my favorite months...not just because it's the little pumpkin's birthday...and mine...and Noonie & Papa J's anniversary...but because it officially marks the beginning of SPRING!

So with temps climbing to the mid 70s today, we pulled out the first of the bunny outfits and headed to church in full spring wishin' splendor! Lance had to go out of town for work so Noonie & Papa J joined the littles and I for mass and treated us to lunch. Thank you! {he he he...I think Grace's wish from yesterday must have come true because she loves Jason's Deli and we had lunch there, right at that same strip mall from yesterday}

But first...

An early birthday present from Papa J...hmm, what could it be??
So super excited for her very own hopscotch garden stones! THANK YOU Papa J!...and here's to hoping that get well card does the trick and your stitched up thumb gets to feeling better really, really soon! Grace wasted no time checking it out! Papa J researched how the original hopscotch went and so there you have it...12345678910 Heaven! Of course, Hudson had to get a turn too! This is fun, Papa J! Emerson & Marshall...sure wish you guys were closer so you could come play with us today! Marshall~ happy Feb. 29th birthday!!! ~3 fast! We love you!!!

And then after church & lunch...guess where we headed? To make more penny wishes, of course! The belly laughs from the little pumpkin begging Papa J to pretend to throw her in the water were the sweetest sound ever! A little someone volunteered to carry Noonie's purse, wind kicking and all...Hmmm...wonder why?
He, he, he...she is a great little shopping sidekick!
Especially thankful today for loving parents and for the littles having all of their grandparents close by so that they can grow up enjoying that special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren.

Hope you had a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

weekend finds

Super sweet finds this weekend...

First up, this fun little play outfit. And guess where I found it???
Give up?
The mini boden copycat shirt came from Walmart of all places!! Yes, I'm glad I stopped by the baby aisle for a sippy cup for Hudson because I spotted this fun $3.50 shirt on a nearby display. And then I found this pair of cute plaid shorts at Kohl's for $10. Add a fun bow from our collection and voila...
ice cream parlor {cheap} chic!

Then while browsing a local shop, I found this sweet pink & green apron...polka dots + ric rac = love! Best part, I had forgotten I had some $ remaining on a gift certificate until I went to pay was free! Yay me!
Of course, we couldn't leave the strip mall without our usual stop by the water fountain to make penny wishes!And to answer your sweet comments/emails, we DO have a thing for knit ruffle pants. They are just so comfy and girly and easy to mix-n-match. This particular pair was a sweet treat from my friends over at
TaDa! Creations. Thank you Angel & Amy! And yes, the little pumpkin likes to name each pair...these are her "key lime pants" ;)

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I can't say enough how wonderful it is to work with highly creative people who take pride in their business and who believe 100% in customer service.

When I told
Jess of Party Box Design about our birthday switcheroo and asked her if 1) she could accommodate us in her already busy production schedule; and 2) if there was a premade design in her shop that could fit a bounce house birthday party or that could be tweaked (given the very short time frame we were working with), she was AMAZING.

I sent her the wording and she really went above and beyond in literally hours to create something for the little pumpkin. Not only is she an incredibly talented graphic designer, she's a mama. She understood how important birthdays are to little kids (+ their mamas!). Most importantly, she didn't run in the other direction when I told her what I envisioned - HA!

She tweaked one of her designs beyond my wildest dreams and came up with this:
Isn't it soooo cute for a "jumpy jump" party???
THANK YOU, JESS! Your God-given talent and your sweet personality shine bright and wide!

This little pumpkin was super excited to pass out her jumpy jump birthday invitations at school today.
Almost as excited as she was about the kitty cat in her dress ;){ Thank you Amber for the super cute pants! We've named them her "cotton candy" pants!}

Sooooo................."polka dots & bubblegum" it is....... the bounce house never looked so cute. *wink*

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

have you been to Target lately?

Sadly it is right by us and we go waaaaay too much.


If you haven't been lately and you have a little girl, you totally should go.

They have the cutest little spring play dresses, like

this one:
(sorry for the crummy lighting)
Sweet, sweet colors (think Easter eggs) and "oh so comfy, I just don't want to take it off, mama".

The leggins are from the
Gap Outlet - I couldn't pass up those cute little (slightly uneven - ha!) buttons.
And then there's this little flutter sleeve dress top that is fun, fun, fun! Sorry for the goofy pics but these were snapped really fast yesterday morning as we were headed out for a morning full of errands. Here's the little pumpkin {fake} laughing at her own knock knock jokes...she's pretty good, huh? Drama classes, anyone...And how about this one, this one, this one, and this one? So sweet!

And totally not fashion related but who can pass up 49¢
red melamine polka dot plates??? Yes, I got these last week at 75% clearance from the valentine stuff, but I'm thinking 4th of July picnic :)
{super sweet image via here...because I heart taffy}

Then again...polka dots and bounce houses do sound good together, no?

Repeat after me...
I will not try to beautify the jumpy jump bounce place.
I will not try to beautify the jumpy jump bounce place.
I will not try to beautify the jumpy jump bounce place.

Monday, February 21, 2011

weekend fun

Amazing what having no birthday projects to complete will do for freeing time up to just be. And play. And go to the park. And enjoy bright blue skies and 70° weather.

Saturday morning after
the big birthday switcheroo, the little pumpkin and I stopped by the grounds of our local art gallery to have a little girl time, take a walk, and talk about all kinds of things that matter to almost 4 year olds - I love having these yearly "interviews".

I love this picture of her, even if I cut off her arm - can't believe she's about to turn four. Where did the time go?
Here she is showing me "girl power". HA!She slid down a little hill and thought it was hilarious. Isn't it great being a kid?Later that afternoon we went to eat ice cream and then to the park. Yes, along with the other 1,000 other families that had the same bright idea :) Sister's turn!
(so funny to me to see how different their personalities are) And you know what the park is good for? Great naps! After all this excitement it was time for a Target run for a few last minute dinner ingredients. Grace went with me and of course talked me into buying her a pretzel and orange icee - her fave snack.

We were cruising the aisles when lo and behold we ran into some blog friends!
Andrea and her sweet girls had driven a couple of hours to come shop and were making a final Target stop. Sweaty from the park and munching on pretzels...Oh, dear, I'm afraid we might have been a sight to behold! Thank you Andrea for stopping us so we could visit in person! What a fun surprise!! Your girls are beautiful and so well-mannered too!

Sunday brought a much needed sermon at church - isn't it great when you feel like the words spoken were meant just for you?? Thank you, Jesus!
And Sunday afternoon, another first. Check out this little guy's excitement at trying paints for the first time! Hooray for a bonus day to the weekend with President's Day!! Lance met us for lunch and a ride on the carousel...Hudson's first time on a big carousel all by himself! Grace riding her favorite...the bald eagle. Fitting, huh...for President's Day - yes, I'm cheesy like that :) Uh-oh, what do you mean this thing goes up and down??? I think I really like it, mama! Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Other than God's love and faithfulness, it seems that the only thing constant in life is change.

A little background...

I have to start off by giving
Jess of Party Box Design a huge shout out for her incredible work on Grace's birthday invitation. I literally sent her a few scribbles on what I envisioned and a few days later she came back with this:Yes, that's the first proof she sent me and it was PERFECT! She got everything right, from the soft, taffy inspired colors, to the feel I was going for...everything! If you are looking for someone with fun, creative, ORIGINAL ideas, then Jess is your go-to gal for all your party invite needs. Did I mention she is super sweet and so personable, to boot? Check out her site HERE. THANK YOU, JESS!

{And just a word of caution here...PLEASE respect other people's creative rights. "Inspired by" does not mean a stamp of approval for COPYING other people's work. Believe me, I've had a recent experience with someone downright copying my work and passing it as their own and it is Please respect Jess's work on Grace's invitation.}

Sorry for the soap box...can you tell it's a sore subject for me? :O

So it goes something like this...

Feeling super excited about the little pumpkin's invites I quickly printed them, stuffed the envelopes, and mailed them off late Wednesday afternoon. DONE! One little task happily completed from my gigantic birthday To Do list.

And then...
The little pumpkin went on a super fun field trip to a new "jumpy jump" (Grace's code work for inflatable party place) with her preschool friends last week, wednesday to be exact. Ever since then she's been talking about how much fun it was and how she would love to have a party there.
Something stirred in my heart.

The feeling still there this morning, I asked her how she felt about her upcoming birthday and whether she wanted to have it at the jumpy jump place or at the park like we'd planned with a jumpy there. She looked me straight in the eye and whispered the jumpy jump's name.

After breakfast we got dressed and I took her with me to check out the jumpy jump place since Lance had been the one to go with her on the field trip and I had not seen the place. Her excitement as we pulled up was contagious. Funny how those feelings deep inside are always right. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the place to have her 4th birthday.

Yes, even if it meant switching gears 3 weeks out.
{There's that "change" again.}
Local friends & fam: New party details being mailed out this week.

No, this isn't about a spoiled kid getting her every wish and want. This is about me as a mama, following my heart and going against my mind. Every part of me wants to go ahead with the elaborate, super fun birthday afternoon I'd envisioned after talking with Grace about her birthday months back.

But that's not what she would enjoy the most right now.

So if jumping all over the place at a neon colored inflatable zone is what would make her little 4 year old's heart beam with birthday happiness, then who am I to stand in the way of a bouncing good time?

Sure, it pains me to throw all the other plans out the door, but in reality there's no point in working MANY, MANY late nights (and spending $$) on projects for a party that is not what would bring the greatest joy to the birthday child. After all, it IS about the child and celebrating another sweet, God-granted life milestone.

This little pumpkin of mine has such a sweet, gentle and sensitive soul wrapped up in her little almost-four year old body...tonight as I was giving her little brother a bath, she came into the bathroom, twinkle in her eye, approval-seeking tone to her little voice and said to me..."you know mama, I do want a party at the park for my 5th birthday"...point taken my sweet child.

I love you with all my heart.

P.S. Would it be in bad taste to re-use the gorgeous invite (new photo/wording of course) and other printables if we do decide to run with it next year? HA!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

happy birthday to some of my favorite people!

Yesterday was Lance's birthday and though it was a crazy busy day, we celebrated with Outback Steakhouse takeout and cheesecake (Lance's favorite) after Grace's ballet.

I joked with him the cheesecake was a sign of
true love since I don't like cheesecake at all and he's going to be out of town for work for the next couple of days so I'm not sure who's going to eat that gigantic pie! Want some, Noonie?
And yes, 3 yellow candles + 4 blue and green candles =
Happy 34th Birthday!!!

Today is my stepdad's birthday and though we don't get to see him today, we'll be sure to celebrate really soon!
Happy Birthday Papa J! We love you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

special delivery

Don't worry, I think this is my last valentine post *wink* but since I like to print our blog as our family's scrapbook I didn't want to miss recording these sweet memories of my littles with gifts from their grands, great-grands, and aunts!

This past week, Grace & Hudson received a very special package in the mail.

Who could it be from??? It's from Memema (the littles' great grandma on Lance's side) & Aunt Marilyn! Yay!!! Hudson loooooooves m&m's...yes, even the wrapper :) Thank you Aunt Marilyn & Memema!

My attempt at a "posed" picture together.
Thank you Noonie & Papa J for the littles' treats! Nothing like getting a bunch of treats right in the car after school! Thank you Mimi & Pop and Aunt Tammie for all the fun treats!!! They were both so excited about their toys and $ for their piggy banks!I later found Grace during a quiet moment playing with her minis. So sweet! More than anything she loves to play with itty bitty dolls :) A little valentine love for the grandparents... Some sweet treats too!Lance and I exchanged valentines too and we'll catch up with a proper date soon ;)

And that's our valentine wrap-up! *whew*
Now, bring on those birthdays!