Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mitchell Baby Shower

Here are the pictures you've all been waiting for! When I say "all" I mean my few faithful friend and family followers. As you know, my best friend Heidi is pregnant with baby boy Lincoln. She is due at the end of May and I cannot wait to get my hands on this little guy. Heidi has been hogging him all to herself the past few months. Geez. I know Lincoln coming into this world will be the most amazing thing that has ever happened to her. Heidi and I have a great friendship, one of the best, but I know that her becoming a mom will make us that much closer. Not to mention, she is joining the boy club.

On to the shower. Heidi's sister-in-law, Caimbrin, and I were in charge of putting it together. I couldn't have asked for a better co-host. We deliberated for a while and finally deciding on a theme, which turned out to be labeled the "bright antique owl" theme. Don't laugh. My ideas rarely fit into a nice orderly box. Anyway, once we started planning, Heidi's friend Ashley asked if she could help out. I'm normally a total control freak (I know, completely surprising), but I'm becoming more mature in my age and have realized that help is good. Plus, I knew Ashley was a great photographer which meant she has an eye for cute things. I was so right. Anything I described to her that I wanted she ran with and did an amazing job. Thanks Ashley!

I decided that I wanted to home make a few things for her shower to give it a more personal feel. Plus, I like to try to make things. Yes, I said try. My ideas flop as often as the succeed. First project was a banner. I saw an idea from a blog and came up with my version. Here's how it turned out.

The next project was pillows. They turned out cute, but don't look too close. The stitching wasn't so great. I'm a newbie at sewing things other than hems.
I was super excited to see Heidi use them in Lincoln's room decor!
These burp clothes weren't decor, but I think they turned out so cute that I have to show them.
 I can't wait to see baby Lincoln in this little onesie.
I really wanted to use milk glass for the food dishes but didn't want to have to bring my own on a plane to Florida. I called Ashley to see if she could locate some down there and it turns out she collects it too! She brought some of the most beautiful plates.
The food labels matched the invitations. Fancy shmancy! Check out the Ashley's cake stand where we put the cake balls. Adorable, huh?
Here are some of the other yummy deserts. Caimbrin had the great idea for the rock candy and I made a mess churning out these chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and homemade fondant.

I had set in my head that I wanted antique colorful vases for the centerpiece. Ashley hit up her favorite thrift stores and found these unique vases that produced this beautiful scene.
Caimbrin and I brought some pretty flowers for Ashley to fill the vases. One of my favorite things is that some of the prettiest wild-looking flowers are the cheapest.
For drinks, we had three lemonade options: Strawberry, mint (strange, but so yummy thanks to Caimbrin!), and plain. Mason jars were a perfect little touch for this party.
Heidi and Mike are so completely different looking, so I cannot wait to see who Lincoln takes after. Or maybe he'll be a mix? We had both of their baby pictures set up with a guest book Ashley made.

Here is the beautiful mommy with her three hostesses.Wow. That word has a lot of S's.
Isn't her dress pretty?
At one point during the shower while Heidi was showing some girls Lincoln's nursery, I walked by to see like 8 women in this little room. It looked so funny. So, I thought...why not cram all of us in there and get a picture? Well, when you have two professional photographers on hand the deed gets done. How cute is this?
It was all so much fun. From the planning, making, baking, shopping, and decorating, this party was a blast. I know that Lincoln could care less, but we wanted Heidi to know how special she was to all of us and I think we got that across. Heidi, I love you and am beyond excited for you! I'm ready to plan another party!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pink is Pretty

I'm in the pink mood. My friend Sheena and I are participating in Race For the Cure this Saturday. Come join us if you can! I've never really been a part of it before, but when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, it became a little more important to me. So, this year I'm running a little 5K in her honor, and she's doing great by the way. She finished chemotherapy and radiation in December of 2008 and has been cancer free for over a year now.
My azalea's outside are also collaborating with the pink theme. They're blooming their little pinkish-purple hearts out. One thing is kind of sad though. They are starting to lose their blooms. I hate see pretty (free) flowers go to waste so I came up with a way to enjoy them longer. First, Parker and I picked up all of the loose flowers. He especially enjoyed this part.
Next, I had to get them out of the clinches of Parker's hands. Not easy. He is really into flowers. I brought them inside and rinsed them off. I found two of my biggest vases, filled them with water, and stuck the fallen beauties inside.
I'm not a huge tablecloth fan, but I'm also not a fan of my two-toned table. I really wanted the pink to pop, so I laid down a simple white table cloth and got out my plain white dishes. Voila!
For fun, I added a little flower in the cups.

I know what you're thinking. Who's coming over for a dinner party? My answer? No one. I did this all for myself. :) Pretty  and creative centerpieces make me happy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

FL Trip-Part One

Well, I just got back from my first hiatus to FL. Part 2 will come at the end of May when we take a family vacation. I definitely came home from this trip more tired than when I left. Welcome to vacation with children. The first three days were crazy. Graham picked up a virus a few days before we left which landed me in the Med-Express the morning we were to fly out. Fun. They put him on a antibiotic for a bronchial and ear infection. It was so sad. As if that wasn't bad enough, he shared it with Parker who had worse symptoms than Graham. He lost his voice for three days. I feel slightly guilty that there was a part of me who enjoyed the quiet, however, I did not enjoy staying up all night with a wheezing 2 year old. Both were feeling much better about the time we had to come home. The last two days, the boys were feeling good enough to gallivant outside and Parker took advantage of the pretty weather. He loved the hammock. This face scares me. I'm never sure what's coming next after i get this look.
This is a sweet face though.
Graham got up on his hands and knees for the first time while there. He gets his knees moving but hasn't quite figured out how to make his hands go forward. So cute.

Want to see something fun? Well, OK. When Parker was 7 months, Heidi took pictures of him at my parent's house. I wasn't able to get professional pics of Graham this trip, but I took a few sentimental shots with my little point and shoot. They are definitely brothers, eh?
Parker was chubbier, but they still look very much alike.

The best part of the trip was on Friday when I got to co-host my best friend's baby shower. It turned out super cute. As soon as I get the pictures, I'll devote a whole post to the shin-dig. Heidi looked flippin cute in her gauzy white summer dress, such a beautiful pregnant gal. We also got to finally see her completed nursery for the new baby Lincoln. Check it out! Ridiculous, huh?

The trip home in the plane was a little trickier than the way down because the boys weren't lethargic from a fever. Parker also felt the need to pee twice on the plane. It's a sight to see all three of us go in that miniature sad excuse for a bathroom. It's an interesting experience to say the least.  Besides missing MeMaw and Papaw, we are all glad to be home. Can't wait to post the shower...stay tuned!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April Showers

I am hoping for clear skies this week as I am headed to Florida for my best friend's baby shower. Heidi is due at the end of May, so baby Lincoln is almost done cookin'! Her sister-in-law, Caimbrin, and I have been excited about this party since before Heidi even announced she was pregnant. Don't worry. As soon as I get back there will be a post on the whole sha-bang. Here's a sneak peek (since I know you're holding your breath in anticipation.) Heidi has already seen the invitation, so I can show it off. I had such a fun time making these. More cute owls to come. :)
For those of you who are praying people...get on your knees. I've taken each boy separately on an airplane and both with David's help, but this trip I'm flying solo (literally). Nah, I'm actually not worried at all. I picked my seats this time and I picked the side of the plane with only two. This means I will not have to try and feed Graham next to a large male athlete and that Parker won't annoy any old ladies by talking their ears off. It should be a breeze. (Maybe I'm naively optimistic.) Anyway,  I'll let you know how it all went down when I get back. Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's a Beautiful Morning...For Me.

I woke up at 7:15 this morning to a quiet stillness. In case you don't currently have a toddler and a 7 month old, let me accentuate the miraculousness of this feat. It's amazing and peaceful. I then heard a small voice. It was my sweet baby boy happily playing in his crib. After 12 hours of straight sleep, he was content and completely rested. Such a beautiful moment. Parker, who only knows running at full throttle, is still asleep at 9:00 a.m. I'm in Heaven. For now.

There is a place in West Virginia this morning where people are not waking to this kind of serenity. They are waking to a devastating horror that is long from over. I am speaking about families of loved ones who were killed or are currently missing from a coal mine explosion near Beckly, WV. My heart goes out to them. I cannot possibly imagine the sorrow they are facing. Though you may not know anyone involved, we all have known someone who has gone through some life-changing tragedy, so say a prayer for these people when you have a moment of quiet today. It's really the only way we can help.

I'll end on a brighter and longer note. Here's our family Easter picture.

You don't have to say it. I know my heels are stuck in the dirt. I know Graham is looking down. I know Parker is making a scrunched face. I don't care. This was as good as we could get on Sunday. Here's a bit of self-embarrassment. I'm all about "being yourself" and truth, so I've got to put one of my low moments as a mother on here since I put my highs. I know Easter is about Jesus raising from the dead and as a Christian it is one of the best days each year. However, in addition to going to church and celebrating my Savior's life, I wanted a family picture. Not too much to ask, right? Apparently so. Here's how picture taking went...with a few pictures to demonstrate.
1-Everyone ready and dressed early to take pictures before leaving for church.
2-I get out the tripod so that everyone can be in the picture. Going good so far.
3-I can't figure out the stupid tripod while David impatiently (in my opinion, not his) waits inside with the boys.
4-David is yelling instructions on how to raise the tripod while holding a screaming, tired baby  while I am about to intentionally break the tripod. Picture taking is starting to go downhill.
5-I finally get the camera set up on the tripod and ready to go. David and boys come outside.
6-I remind Parker that he has white pants on so he cannot frolic and play today. "No running and jumping" was a phrase used at least 50 times.
7-Self-timer is set and we all smile. Nope. I realized I looks bigger than David because of my heels and being on a hill and Parker's face is covered. Try again.
 8-Self-timer set. Flash. Nope. Parker is out of the frame.
 9- Self-timer set. Flash. Nope. Graham is screaming. I am starting to get really frustrated.
 10-15 more tries fail to make a nice picture and the first was the best we got.
 11-I decide that it's impossible to get a good family picture with everyone looking and smiling (yes, I really thought is could happen for those of you wondering if I'm delirious). I decide to just get one of daddy and boys and then me and the boys. On the way to the front porch, Parker forgets his white pant no running rule and slides in the grass as if trying to make it to home plate. Green streaks go from ankle to thigh. Yeah. I grit my teeth and decide to proceed.
12-Daddy and boys...check. Mom rules.
 13- David then tries to get one of the boys and I. It sounded like this."Parker, look at Daddy. Grammer, Grammer, Grammer. Parker take your hands out of your mouth. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Hey! Hey! Hey! Look at Daddy." All of this yelling was in vain. In the middle of all the commotion, Graham throws up on himself. I was over it and decided to not fake anymore smiles. Here's this best shot. At least Graham was happier after the spewing. He seems pretty pleased with himself.
At this point, I handed both boys to daddy, started grumbling, and ran inside. I almost threw the camera. I had the worst attitude. I just wanted a flippin' picture. In the midst of my trying to calm myself and bring my expectations back down to reality, my husband decides to so kindly remind me of what day it was and what was really important. Bless his soul, he thought that his pep talk would help. Eye yi yi. After a few minutes, I finally realized how stupid I was being. After washing the boys' pants on the quick cycle and redressing them, we were off to church and I was feeling much better. The rest of the day, I was over pictures and decided to just smile and let whatever happened with my kiddos' faces and bodies to be an expression of their age, not their desire to please their momma. Parker forgave me and I made it up to Graham. 
These moments we have as mothers are to remind us that we are human and have soooo much more room to grow. This situation seems ridiculous to me now, but I was for real upset on Sunday morning. I am now much more mature...until the next holiday. Feel free to share any moments you've had recently that you now see as juvenile. It will make me feel better. :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break...NOT!

For those of you who are no longer in school (for now, at least) and have a job, or are staying home with children, you totally feel my pain. The pain of not having a spring break.  As a kid, teen, and undergraduate, we obsessed over plans for our one week vacay. Well, those days are over. It's like March came and went and I never got to chill at the beach or...well, that's really all I ever did for sping break. Beach it up. All week long and it was superb. In case you didn't know, West Virginia is really lacking in that department. We have lovely mountains, a few pretty lakes, but not much in the area of coastline. I did get to go to Alabama for a weekend, but I still had to take my miniature human responsibility with me. No, I'm not complaining (much), I wouldn't trade my boys for anything, but I'm just grieving a hair over the loss of spring break. I'm done now.

I did have a really great week this week though. It started on Monday with a jog in the snow. I couldn't believe it. The week ends today, Friday, with the temps expected to near 90 degrees. Yesterday Parker played outside in his little swimming pool. Only in WV could you experience snow and swimming pools in the same week. It's pure craziness. Here are some captured moments from this week. First of all, how could my week not start out good when I walk in the room as see this sweet boy's face? See his first two teeth?

We took the boys to the mall to meet the Easter Bunny. Parker was in love. He won't get within 100 feet of Santa, but almost tackled the scary cute 'lil bunny. Graham smiles and loves everyone and everything, so he was totally down with sitting on some strange fuzzy creature. The picture was super cute of both boys with the bunny, but I don't have a scanner and wasn't going to pay an additional $12.99 to get a photo CD after already paying $14.99 for one 5x7. It's ridiculous.

We have yet to get a double stroller, so this is what happens when you're toddler insists on walking and then gets tired.
On Wednesday, we had a small Easter get together with my friends Lynsey, Abby, and their boys. Craft time is always interesting with toddlers. I have to declare Dylan the winner of the cutest egg. He was really passionate about his egg decorating.
Here are the boys scoping out the situation. They were sighting eggs before we even got out there. Super excited. We had to hide the eggs twice because they found them all in 3 minutes.
Hopefully eggs and seashells are the only things my boys ever hunt. Sorry Dad.

Enjoying his spoils.
Baby Graham meeting HoJo up close and personal.
Thursday we played outside almost all day long and we have the same plans for today. So beautiful. Here's Parker frolicking in the Parker way.
 Grammar is eating, like usual.
Ok. I know this has already been a super long post, but I need your help with something. Many of you are not into leaving comments, (thus all the hits and few comments) but step out of your box and help me out. I need opinions. I am finally going to start working on decor in my house. After refinishing 1500 sq. feet of hardwood floors, ripping out carpet, painting every room, etc., we were exhausted with this place. I'm just now feeling the urge to make it look like a home. I'm starting with the dining room. I was given this buffet, but don't really like the color with my hardwood floor tones, it's just too much of the same color. I was thinking of either staining it a dark black/brown like my table or painting it a whitish color. What do you think?
 Also, my lighting is brushed nickel. Should I keep the hardware and find a way to convert it to a brushed nickel look, or buy new?
Other thoughts and suggestions for this room are welcome. I already have my thoughts, but I want to hear yours.

Happy Spring!