Thursday, November 14, 2013

Five on Friday

How is it Friday already?? These weeks are just flying by.  But that is kind of ok because that means the weeks to Thanksgiving and Christmas are becoming fewer and fewer.  Let's just jump in, shall we?

Christmas music.  Why do I stop listening to you, like ever? It has been playing at our house all week.  And I don't care what kind of day I'm having or how much we have to do, it totally makes the day better.  I love it all: the classics, the crooners, the instrumentals.  I also love having two little boys to share all this music with.  As Hudson gets older and more aware of what things are all about it makes this season so much more exciting.

Christmas shopping--I've already started a bit. I have the plan pretty much mapped out. I must say that we don't go super big with our boys.  I remember always thinking that my kids would tear into package after package but one year when I was teaching, a student talked about how her family only did three gifts.  And the way she talked about each gift was so special.  She truly appreciated and valued what she got.  So that got me to thinking about our boys and how I always said I wanted them to focus on giving versus receiving.  Plus our boys' sweet grandparents certainly spoil them in a way that puts Santa to shame. :) What is your rule of thumb?

I so want to have a sweet family picture of all FOUR of us for our Christmas card this year but I feel like we are running out of time. I put it off all summer because I don't really want a summer photo on my Christmas card (unless we are at a beach and it's an amazing setting like this..

 but we weren't this past year) but then the fall get's so stinking busy and well, here I am- no photo as of yet.  Here's to hoping Pinterest will spark some creativity. (See how cute they all are!!)

We are purchasing a real tree this year for the first time since we have been married.  Our other tree had some lights go out and I missed having a real tree (from childhood) so that is the plan.  The dilemma: I want to put up said tree like, yesterday, but a real tree just won't last that long.  (Not in a house where I may or may not forget to water it).  We will be going to Bomke's Patch which is where we also went for to get our pumpkins this year.  It was the sweetest place.  I can't wait to see what it is like at Christmas time.

The Elf...are you guys ready for it?? We were not the most creative with our sweet guy last year what, with having a newborn in our house and the elf making it's debut just two short weeks later, a mama having to go in for a gall bladder removal a week after that.  That sweet little guy was just blessed to move around the house (most days!)  This year I am making a plan.  I just know Hudson will be even more into this year and I can't wait to see him get up each morning to look for the elf.  We don't do gifts from the elf typically, just a special arrival breakfast.  What do you all do?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Happy birthday, Beau bear

This year has been a whirlwind for our family.  There have been lots of changes and transitions but I can confidently say the highlight of this past year was going from a family of three to four.

I remember the day we found out we were expecting our sweet Beau.  It was St. Patrick's Day.  I was in such shock over the positive result that I went on to take two more tests.  To say that this pregnancy was unexpected would be an understatement.

Four short weeks earlier, Andrew and I endured the heartache of a miscarriage.  We were six weeks along when we lost our little one too soon.  My doctor assured me I had done nothing wrong; these things happen and it would be safe to get pregnant in a few months- let my body heal.  Yet, anyone who knows me knows, that once something is set in motion, I RUN with it.  I had already seen our next holiday season with two babies; our big and our little.  My heart and arms ached to hold a newborn.

Thankfully, we serve a God who is loving and often gives us the desires of our heart but in a time that He sees fit.  Beau was definitely a sweet surprise; one that absolutely filled a longing in my heart and a hole in our family.

Sweet Beau, we fell in love with you the moment we saw you.  The minute your cries filled the room, everyone was in awe of how handsome you were- and how BIG you were! You were easy right from the go, so cooperative for the nurses and your first feeding.

You adore your brother and he loves you and is fiercely protective of you (unless he wants a toy you are occupying, then you are on your own).

Anyone who knows is blessed by your sweet personality, easy to come by giggle, and light up the room smile.  Those you know you best know that your smile also hides a mischievous side.

You are such a snuggler.  You are perfectly content to sit next to, on top of, as close as you can get to your dad or I.  It warms my heart how you relish being close to us.  I love that those sweet newborn cuddles didn't stop even as you became more mobile.

You are inquisitive and into everything.  I love your sense of adventure; the desire to figure things out, while also hating how exhausted it makes me.  Yet you already know in your short year how to use your beautiful blue eyes to melt away any displeasure that comes your way.  (I will have to work on holding my ground against that one day!)

I love how fearless you are.  You see no need to slow down or take caution.  You are absolutely ecstatic to be scared out of your skin during a game of hide and seek.

Your laughter is infectious.  It comes from deep within and is pure.

I am so blessed to be your mama, Beau.  Thank you for giving me just a small glimpse of how much God loves His children.  I never knew how much love a heart could hold, or how that heart could extend so much to make room for more love.

I don't know the path God has for you yet but I am so sure it is going to be great.  You are loved. You are cherished.  You are wanted more than you will ever know.  Happy first birthday, Beau bear!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our little "deer's" first birthday

This past weekend we spent time celebrating Beau's first birthday with family and friends. I can not believe my little guy is going to be one next week.  It doesn't seem like a year has gone by in the least.  But this party, this party has been on my mind since the day after he was born.  Seriously! Every year Andrew goes with his family, and some members of my family more recently, down to southern Illinois for shotgun season.  Our sweet little Beau was born three days before said trip last year.  You can probably guess where Andrew was not. Ahem. Any who, sitting in the hospital, I told Andrew his first birthday would be a hunting themed one.

Now, I've never been hunting but I've seen plenty of hunting shows (can anyone say Whitetail Properties?).  And I know I am probably completely unaware of how a hunting excursion really is, but in my mind, it can be super classy, and dare I say it, chic!  Which is exactly the direction I wanted to take Beau's party.

To me, a themed party is so fun because it ties all the elements together- the decor, the food, the favors, the wardrobe!  That's right! Our guests were asked to participate and wear camouflage.  And I must say, you can really dress up some camo!

Late this summer I began the hunt for decor, party favors, and a menu plan.  But before I could pull all those things together, I needed to find my paper products.  You know how the colors on the invitations pull together the overall scheme? Well, lucky for me, through a blog recommendation (gasp!) I came across Lauren Haddox Design and she created the perfect party pack for a classy deer hunting themed party.  With that little purchase made, this mama was set to get creating!

We rented the library back in our hometown.  It has this great open room that also has a kitchen (so handy for last minute food and drink prep). It was big enough for all our guests and for the kids to have an area to play.

My sweet mom helped me set up that morning.  Normally, I am fretting over if everything is going to get done; if it will look alright.  But if you recall from my post here, I was really focused on trying to enjoy this special time.  And, with that mindset, everything just came together.

Can we just take a moment and look at how sweet that smash cake is??? My sweet friend from high school, Ashley, makes desserts on the side.  I am a big believer in delegating.  I knew that making the cupcakes and some of the other treats, taking on the smash cake was out of my league.  I am so glad that she took this little project on.  I mean sprinkle overload--I LOVE it!! 

I set up a little spot for photos and gift opening.  

The balloons on the tables were weighted down with moss filled mason jars and these cute little signs! 

The favor table. Each child received camo binoculars, play-doh and a treat! The favor bags where simple- brown paper bags! 

Beau's All About sign
I think food should definitely tie into the party's theme.  So we had some snacks and treats that just make me think manly thoughts! I created my little food signs from torn brown paper bags.  I just hand wrote the signs and stamped them with my distressed stamper.  Sometimes less is more and the imperfections of these little signs went well the theme I think. 

My husband helped me come with food ideas.  I knew smores around the campfire were probably a staple, but a campfire indoors, or the thought of trying to make smores for all our guests seemed a little impossible.  Enter scene: PINTEREST! All over Pinterest I've seen dipped, sprinkled, covered marshmallows.  So we took the smore elements and eliminated the mess and hassle.

Chocolate covered peanuts..calm down everyone! 

Now I for one can not imagine sitting in a deer stand or blind or whatever all day.  I would get bored and hungry.  I think I would snack the entire time.  And what better snack than some trail mix. So we set up a little bar with all the fixin's and let everyone create their own trail mix.  The M&Ms, chocolate chips and yogurt raisins was a popular combination amongst the youngsters. :) 

It was such a low key party.  People ate.  The kids played. We got to visit with friends and family and Beau took it all in like such a champ.  

After some visiting, it was time for cake.  I was nervous about the smash cake because Hudson hated, loathed  wasn't a fan of his cake smash.  Like, at ALL! But Beau, that boy after my own heart, he *dug* right in!!

After we gave him a little rinse in the sink, he got back into his party clothes and it was time for gifts.  This became a free for all because, let's be real for a second, who expects a bunch a kids 5 years and under to just sit and watch. TOR-TURE! It was so fun and they were all so sweet opening Beau's gifts and telling me what it was.  My boys are blessed with best friends and cousins!!

We are so blessed by the people in our lives.  People that love our us and our boys; that cover us in prayer and truly pray God's will over us.  We had two happy, tired boys when the party was over.  I call that a success!

Our little camo family! Beau's shirt came from an store on Etsy.  It was so perfect!