Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Big 1!

In December our little Eli turned the Big 1! It was a day I had been planning (and dreading a little) since he was born. So after months of planning, pinning, and obsessing over blogs the party came together beautifully! Eli had such a good time. He loves being the center of attention! I don't know where he gets that from ;)  And I only cried a few "Momma tears" watching my little guy turning into such a big boy. Lucky I have a fabulous photo diary of the whole day!

Welcome sign drawn in chalk. 

Lots and lots of carnival food! We had turkey legs, soft pretzels, corn dogs, popcorn, peanuts and more!

One of my favorite pictures of the day! 

Love my boys! Matching bow ties and all! 

Chocolate covered baby ;)

Grace and I and our boys... Clearly on their way to a sugar crash!

Candy and Milk Bar.... this was a super healthy party. Obviously. 

Eli's birthday crown. 

We truly had such a wonderful day! Thank you to everyone who came to support our little guy. And thanks to all my friends who put up with me obsessing over the details for months. It was such a blessed day! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

I'm Back...

Before I started this post I went back to the last post I wrote and realized it has been way longer than I thought since I blogged! Shame on me. I must say, I've written so many blogs in my head, but just haven't had time to sit and type them out. Let's just say it's been an eventful few months!

Quick overview. Ready? Brandon got home! Right near the end of September. And it was amazing! We were a little worried about how Eli would be with Brandon. He had just hit his stride in the "stranger danger" phase and I knew all Brandon would want was to love on his boy. It was truly a beautiful thing. After a few hours of hesitant intrigue and a good night sleep it seemed as though Eli knew exactly who Daddy was. And it just gets better every day. The snuggling, the belly laughs, the wrestling! Oh! These boys pull at my heart strings. Makes me so happy. 

In December we loaded up the truck and headed to the homeland for the holidays. After a quick stop in Fort Worth for the OU/TCU football game (Go Frogs!) we continued to Oklahoma for a whole month. And what a December it was! Time with family and friends can really recharge the soul. And the first order of business was a day I had been planning for a year (at least). Our Eli turned 1! And we partied! In fact, the party planning took up so much of my brain that I only had a short Mommy breakdown at the thought of my little baby boy becoming a toddler. Don't worry. As Grace mentioned, I will post lots of pictures and details soon. It was perfect! So after partying, presents, and far too much delicious food we headed home. With the truck overflowing and a few extra pounds of holiday weight (thanks Oklahoma) we pulled away from my Dad's house and started counting the days until we're back again. 

Two days after we got back I started my new job. Oh yeah, did I mention? I got a JOB! And I just marvel at God's planning on this one. Right before we left for Oklahoma and happened to drive by a Montessori school near downtown Clarksville. The sign said "Now enrolling 6 weeks to 8 years old". I had promised Brandon that I would start looking for child care for Eli so I could start back work in the new year, but let's be honest. I was dragging my feet a little. So I thought this Montessori school looked interesting. I'd studied the Montessori method in college and had always thought I would send Eli to a Montessori preschool when the time came. So I called scheduled a tour and a job interview. And we both got in :)  So I'm a Kindergarten teacher at Little Scholars Montessori in Clarksville and Elijah is a member of the Baby Bugs class. His classroom is approximately 30 feet from mine. Perfection. I can sneak a peek at my little guy all day long. I love it. 

I can't wait to write more about Eli's party and my new job and all the happenings. More to come, but for now I leave you with this....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Ten Things that WORKED From Pinterest

I am obsessed with Pinterest! (Who isn't?) I just love it. Sometimes there are things on there that are kind of unattainable or ridiculously complicated. There are some pins that I have tried that have just backfired. But, there are a lot that I love and have actually worked or served as perfect inspiration. So here is my list for today!

In no particular order:

1.  Curtain Inspiration- I found this pin from the Elements of Style blog showing curtains hanging higher up on the wall to make the room look more elegant. I've used this inspiration a couple times. Here are a couple more pins that are in my future plans for my house. Tablecloth curtains. Front door curtains.

2. Chevron Wall- I love my chevron wall! I got the idea from the chevron trend that's all over Pinterest. I decided I needed something chevron in my house and I just went for it and did a whole wall! It was a little tedious and requires lots of measuring, leveling, and painters tape but it is worth it. You can see the end result here.

8. Eli's bench- I found this pin and I did a mini version in Eli's room. I used a smaller shelf from target and I made the seat cushion out of foam, batting, fabric, and Stitch Witchery. I didn't have a large enough space to use the bookcases from the pin but maybe someday I'll use these somewhere else in my house again.

7. Recipes- So far I have made 20 recipes from Pinterest! And most of them were a total success. My favorites have been: Shepherd's Pie, Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon, and Mushroom Ragout. These recipes are from different sources, but I found them as a result of a Pinterest post. I now use Pinterest as my go-to for recipes. Yum!

6. Metallic paint- I love this stuff! I raved about it on my last Tuesday's Ten on Tuesday. I got the idea here and just modified it for my use. I love spray paint!

5. Fashion Inspiration- There are endless possibilities on Pinterest that I've drawn inspiration from. I love the fashion and beauty ideas! Especially when I'm feeling like I'm in a rut, I can go to Pinterest and find something refreshing. I've used a few ideas and blogged about them here and here.

4. Sensory games- I love this Pin! I blogged all about it here. All these sensory activities are so easy and fun! I can't wait to try more of them as Eli gets older!

3. Elijah's Birth Details Sign- I love this idea! I found them all over Pinterest when I was designing Eli's nursery and had a good friend make me one. It's the perfect way to display all the details of that day and a wonderful keepsake. Here's our Eli sign.

2. Emmitt's blocks- For my little God baby's 1st Bday I made him name blocks with pictures of him from throughout the year. I got the idea and instructions from this pin. I have to say, they were pretty stinkin' cute and mostly because of Emmitt's sweet face :)  You can see his blocks and other fun birthday pictures here!

1. The Cozy Guest Room- This pin was incredibly useful! I love the idea of a cozy and welcoming guest room and this pin helped me achieve that.What a great list!

What are your Pinterest success stories? Pinterest fails?

Hope everyone had a wonderful Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Grace and I have started this new Tuesday blog series- Ten on Tuesday! Every Tuesday it'll be a new list of ten things going on in our lives. Check out her list here!

I am a Bravo TV addict. At any given moment throughout the day I know I can turn it to Bravo and I'll be interested in whatever is on. I just love it. In July I stumbled upon "10 Things that Make Me Happy" with Kyle Richards and Jonathan Adler. It was just a half hour show about 10 things, big and small, that make them happy. What a fabulous idea! So I borrowed it for my Tuesday post. :) Here we go!

10. Metallic Spray Paint: Yes. Random. But this stuff is amazing! I've used it on furniture hardware, frames, and a vase. I'm excited to try it on my $8 junk store lamp, faux pumpkins for fall decor, and more. I'm addicted. I need to SPRAY PAINT! 

9. Bargain Hunt: More commonly referred to as the "broken box store". And that is exactly what it is. All the items are either closeout or have damaged packaging. I have found some great gems and I've never spent more that $60 on any of them. My favorite finds are my two Trina Turk pillows, Kimchi Blue suede pumps, Sam Edelman boots, my reading corner chair (that's right, they have furniture!), and a Dwell Studio duvet cover. Amazing. It really makes me so happy.

8. Jonathan Adler: I had just recently discovered Jonathan Adler through my fabulous friend with fabulous interiors, Grace. After the "10 Things That Make Me Happy" show I was official obsessed! He's is fantastic! As a person, as a designer, as a ping pong player. This inside of his home is awesome! So much color and amazing randomness. Makes me happy!

7. New Girl: OB-sessed. I love love love this show! Zooey Deschanel and crew make me laugh until I cry. When I'm feel a little blue or run down I know I can always dig into the DVR and play my New Girl episodes and immediately feel better. Laughing really is the best medicine. And it makes me so happy! 

6. Adam Lambert: Okay. This one indirectly makes me happy. I like Adam Lambert as much as the next pop music fan, but my Aunt LOVES him! And her fierce obsession makes me so happy! She is a crazed "Glambert" and proud. She saw him in concert on back-to-back nights in July, travelling 8 hours in between, and rocked out until the wee hours of the morning. She is TOTALLY fabulous! And I love hearing her crazy stories and helping her pick her rockin' outfits. Now if I can just get her to wear her fake lashes we'd be in business. :) Aunt B and her "fall into the glitter" attitude makes me so happy!

5. My Wall: My current most favorite wall in my house is in my living room. Painted by my best dude friend and Grace's hubs, Jaron, the lovely color Sassy Peach by Valspar. (I will try to refrain from using the name of the color when tell my husband about it.) It is beautiful! And with my new owl vase and other accessorizing, it's my favorite wall in my house right now.  Every time I walk up my stairs it makes my happy! I love it! ( I will post pictures in a later blog. It's pretty awesome!)

4. Put A Bird On It: Speaking of my owl vase, this video brightens my day. And has inspired my goal to have at least one bird in every room in my house. Watch and love.

3. Boots: I am addicted to boots. I'm serious. I love boots, boot weather, and boot shopping! From time to time I can be found wandering around my house in pajamas and a pair of boots, trying to will fall to come my way. I can't wait to wear all my boots, and until it's cool enough to wear them, I will shop for them! Boots make me happy.

2. My Countdown: Folks, we are closing in on September. And you know what that means?? My husband is coming home!!! Yes! Yes! Jump in the air and high five, yes! I always wait until I have an un-depressing number of days left to commit my countdown to writing. And currently we are under 40 days until HOMECOMING! Hello!! This makes me SO STINKIN HAPPY! (And also makes me use a lot of exclamation points!!!!! Duh.)

Finally, the Number 1 thing that makes me happy:

1. This face: 

I mean, how could you not be happy looking at this grin! The little man who's helped me through this deployment. He makes me the happiest momma in the world. Love. Happy.

Join in the fun! What makes you happy today?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Pinterest Kind of Day

Today was a beautiful day in Clarksville. 80 degrees, breezy, and glorious! I love days like today. It was the perfect day to put Pinterest to good use. I have almost 200 pins on my "For Elijah" board. Some of them are ideas for his room, clothes, or keepsakes, but I have a few whoppers that are full of sensory ideas. I decided to toss the To Do list for the day and spend the day entertaining (and at times confusing) my son! I used this blog post: 56 Sensory Play Ideas for Babies from Growing a Jeweled Rose blog. There are so many good ideas in this blog and I was so excited to try a few!  

We started the day off at the park. We found an amazing park pretty close to our house that has lots of grass, a tiny river, and a playground. There were lots of other families spending the day there hiking, fishing, and picnicking. Eli loved the swing! And he loved watching the big kids swing. The cool breeze and the motion of the swing made him giggle and it melted me heart. Then we took a little rest and I let Eli investigate the grass. We don't really have grass at our house so this is the first time he's really been able to roll around without me worrying about rocks, mud, or dog poop. Yuck. He was very interested. He would run his hand back and forth and then grab a chunk and let it blow away. This lasted about 3 minutes and then he was more interested in eating the grass so it was time to move on. I decided to try a hiking trail. Now, I'm more of an "indoorsy" type of girl due to my allergies, the fact that I don't really like to get dirty, and my hatred of anything in the insect family.  So this was going to be a challenge. And it was a challenge I decided not to accept because I'm a chicken. One Charlotte's Web-esque spider web and it was back to the car for us. We will save this adventure for Daddy. 

Our next stop was the Dollar Tree.  I wanted to make sensory bags and bottles so I needed lots of supplies on the cheap. I ended up with a few bags of small rubber toys (sea creatures, turtles, and dinosaurs), a few bottles of colored hair gel and body wash, some glow sticks, sponges, puff balls, beads, noodles, and a Reese's Peanut butter Cup (for me, obviously). We headed home to continue our sensory experience.

I had saved some small water bottles and I filled one halfway with the beads and puff balls and then filled it with water. This idea worked like a charm! Eli was so interested! He kept shaking the bottle and then holding it really close to his face just staring at all the floating colors. He kept trying to hold the bottle with one hand and swat it with the other but his hands are still a little too small and he kept dropping it. So I dangled the bottle on a string from his jumper and let him swat at it for a while. I kept a close eye on him because I need to get some tape to secure the lid before I let him really go at it. But this idea was a winner! 

Next I made a sensory bag. I only had big baggies, but I think it still worked okay. I'm going to tape them to the side of the bath tub so he can play with them during bath time. For this I used a entire blue hair gel, a bag of rubber turtles, some sea creatures, and a handful of beads. Eli squished and squeezed the bag with his hands and feet. I think he loved the gel. I didn't let him play with this one too long because I need to reinforce the sides with tape. But I think it will really work in the tub! 

Next, we did sponges in the tub. This one was so simple and so fun! He loved squishing the sponges and flinging them around getting me and most of the bathroom a little wet. But it was awesome.

And I think he enjoyed his bath a little more too! :) 
Finally, I let Eli play with spaghetti! And let me tell you, I thought this would be the biggest hit of all. Well as you can see, he was not impressed with the spaghetti. I think this one just confused him and he wasn't sure if her was supposed to eat it (which he could have!) or play with it. But he seemed a little freaked out. Maya was thrilled with this sensory experiment. 

Now my angel is fast asleep. It was a wonderful weekend. So excited to watch my boy grow! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hunting Season

Yes, I hunt. I scope out a location, decide on my desired prey, and do my research. And while there are several hunting seasons, my favorite is approaching. No- I'm not talking about sitting in some tree covered in camo paint and being totally silent. Let's be honest, I would be terrible at that kind of hunting. I'm talking about the hunt that is shopping. I love to hunt for a good deal, the perfect pair of boots, or the perfect piece to finish decorating a room. To me, half the fun is finding exactly what I'm looking for. I've been doing a good bit of hunting lately...

Here are the things I'm excited for this Fall.

The perfect pair of riding boots. 
 The perfect little lion costume for Eli's first Halloween.

These metallic pumpkins. 

Leather jacket

Pumpkin. Spice. Latte.

When do you start itching for fall? What season is your favorite hunting season? Happy August!! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

"Ahn Wee"

Well friends, it's been a while. Blog fail. In my defense, I've been suffering from a severe case on ennui. (A French word pronounced "ahn-wee" that I picked up from Gilmore Girls back in college. No shame.) Ennui is a feeling of melancholy brought on by boredom or idleness. I wouldn't say my ennui was brought on by boredom or idleness. I have a 7 month old which allows little time for either of those things. However, I did allow myself to get a little overwhelmed by mommyhood and forgot to make time for me. Luckily a superhero decided to fly my way and pull me out of my melancholy....

My DAD!! 

Nothing could have pulled my out of my state of ennui faster than a visit from my Dad. He is the best! I had come to a halt on all of my projects (home, cooking, fashion, etc) and I couldn't find the energy or motivation to do anything other than hang out with Eli. Don't get my wrong, hanging with Eli is my FAVORITE thing, but at some point Mom needs to hang out with other adults in the real world. And consume something other than Diet Coke. 

So my motivation flew into Nashville and stayed only 4 days, but it was all I needed to get back on track. Dad would get up at 6 a.m. every morning and when I would finally drag myself out of bed with Eli around 6:30 a.m. there was always a hot pot of coffee and a list waiting for me. And you know I love a good to do list!  Not only was he planning on helping me start and complete several projects, but he also had a Mr. Fix-it list he had made after taking a lap around the house. We started on Wednesday morning and stopped only for food and adult beverage brakes, fireworks for the 4th, and afternoon nap time for all. 

I'm so grateful for my Dad. He is so wise, selfless, and enduring. It inspires me and motivates me to power through hard times and constantly have a positive outlook. And I know that whenever I hit a bump in the road my Dad will be here soon with a good cup of coffee and a list. 

Thanks Dad!