Archive | Holidays

Junk-Themed Birthday Party

I posted a couple of weeks ago that my darling, but slightly strange, youngest (for 8 more weeks or so, ha!) kiddo turned two.

Whenever I plan a birthday party for a child that’s too young to tell me their opinion I try to do a theme with their favorite thing.

MM’s first birthday party was all about pink, parfaits, and pinwheels (her three favorite things). Her second birthday party was a cookies and milk party because girlfriend loved her some Oreos.

With Moseby his first birthday party was a fox party (we called him our little fox). His second birthday party was a peppermint party because he looooooooved old-fashioned peppermint sticks.

With Lawson his theme was a no-brainer. He LOVES junk with all his little heart. He has an innate sixth sense of knowing exactly where anyone’s junk drawer is in their home. And if he is awake there is a 100% chance he’s carrying around some random object in his little hand. His favorites? Flashlights, tape measures, phone chargers, and any sort of spray bottle.

lawson birthday invitation

His invitations came from here.

We chose to do rainbow colors with the decorations and we chose to do brunch because Lala LOVES him some breakfast food (Momo had a breakfast-themed third birthday party himself because he was such a breakfast fan too, by the way).

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0001_edited-1

Table cloth found here.

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0003_edited-1

Bacon quiche recipe found here. Ham & broccoli quiche recipe found here.

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0002_edited-1

His cake matched the invitation and was made by a local bakery that has done our cakes for years.

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0007_edited-1

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0009_edited-1

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0015_edited-1

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0019_edited-1

We asked for no store-bought gifts because other than some loveys, Lala doesn’t play with toys. And y’all, he was so cute opening all his little junk “gifts”. He ooh’d and aah’d and held on tight to each napkin ring, set of tongs, feather duster, or paint brush.

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0023_edited-1

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0027_edited-1

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0024_edited-1

I didn’t get any great pictures of his shirt but it says, “I’m the Garbage-Collecting, Junk-Loving Birthday Boy!” I found it here.

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0030_edited-1

august 12. lawson 2nd birthday party_0005_edited-1

(This is him walking around mid-party snacking on a handful of quiche…and when it’s your birthday party you can do whatever you want, HA!)

4


A Mother’s Day

I wrote this on my {personal} Facebook page yesterday on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is a brutal holiday for so many. For women going through infertility, for the women experiencing the grief of a miscarriage, for the women waiting for their child through adoption–I know those feelings.
For women whose children are grown and far away (or even in the same city but far away) or for women who haven’t seen their children in years (or ever) or for women whose children have passed away. My goodness, this holiday can be so very hard.
But you don’t have to give birth to be a mama. Nah, in fact that’s the last thing you need to do. This day is for celebrating all the women (& men) in this world who are nurturers. It doesn’t matter if you birthed them, adopted them, placed them for adoption, are their step mama, their teacher, their godmother, their aunt, their friend, or their grandmother–if you have ever loved and nurtured a child (or even if that’s just what your heart longs to do) you are a mother and I hope today you feel like the world is celebrating you. I know I am. Happy Mother’s Day.

I remember Mother’s Day 2008–C. & I had been trying for a little over a year for a baby. Just a few months earlier I had gone from the “Gee, this is taking longer than I thought…” to the “Oh my gosh, there’s gotta be a problem!” (I only have 1/2 of one ovary left due to cancer and have PCOS so we knew I had a problem, but it took a while to sink in just what that meant). That day I found out my sister-in-law was pregnant with my nephew unexpectedly. It was the first time I ever experienced infertility grief–the crazy mix of happiness for someone you love having a baby with the soul-crushing realization that for whatever reason you are not good/healthy/perfect enough to have a baby.

I remember Mother’s Day 2010 grieving a miscarriage and feeling so hurt every time someone said, ‘Well, you can get pregnant again!’ (note to oneself: don’t EVER (ever!) say that to a woman who’s had a miscarriage; I didn’t get pregnant again for five years)

I remember Mother’s Day 2011 waiting, praying, wishing, dreaming about getting chosen by a birth mother. I wondered if I would ever get chosen.

Those three years were the hardest Mother’s Days. Oh, there have been good ones–the first one as a mama, the first one as a mama of two (and we did get chosen!), and so on…but all the good ones don’t make up for those hard years.

So I get that Mother’s Day can hurt–hurt so very bad. And please know that I’m thinking about you if you had one of those days yesterday. Hugs, sweet friend.

As for my Mother’s Day, I think it might just be the best yet. Yes, there was some fussing (what day with three kids would be complete without it?), some rushing (#churchprobs), but I got doughnut holes for breakfast, didn’t have to change a single poop diaper or wipe a single bottom, and Moseby even told me “Happy Mother’s Day” on his own (HUGE Y’ALL!) while MM showered me all day with hugs and Lawson gave me kisses anytime I asked. We spent the afternoon on the boat and it was just an all-around lovely day.

Doughnuts on the stairs

The kids (aka MM) gave me a gift basket. Man, MM knows me WELL. (Uhm, other than I’m 36, but thanks.)

C. & the kids got me an electric blanket because I’m cold 100% of the time and a necklace.

Yes, yesterday was a good day. A great day. My heart is so very full this morning.

3


Need Teacher Appreciation Week or Teacher End of Year Gift Ideas?

I thought I would share my standard end of year gifts for MM’s teachers ’cause I think they’re pretty cute.

And I’m a teacher (finishing up my 13th year in a couple of weeks…how am I that old?!) so I think I have a pretty good idea what teachers like. I haven’t been a classroom teacher in like eight years though so I just fantasize about end of year gifts now, ha!!

First what *I* don’t like (and have received): apple-themed items, cheap pens, jewelry, strange/out of date candy, wooden painted pins (or really any pins), cheap heavily scented lotions or candles.

Now what do I like: personalized anything, gift cards (even $5 ones), scratch off lottery tickets, fun-colored Sharpies or felt-tipped pens, handmade cards from kids

At the beginning of every school year I send all of MM’s teachers a questionnaire to fill out. I ask them their favorite snacks, drinks, stores, hobbies, etc. to get a list of their preferences. Then throughout the year I try to send them one of their favorite things each month. (I even make a spreadsheet and keep it in my purse; I’m such a dork)

Anyway, here’s my go-to end of the year gift–a summer fun bag:

may 11. muffins with mom. teacher gifts_0007_edited-1

  1. A personalized tote bag
  2. A personalized beach towel
  3. Some kind of personalized cup

Then I also add either sunscreen, a magazine, sunglasses, favorite candy, or something else personalized. (This year we did sunglasses, a personalized cosmetic bag, snack, and homemade flower arrangements too).

may 11. muffins with mom. teacher gifts_0008_edited-1

For MM’s specials teachers, counselor, assistant principal, and principal we did $5 gift cards to Starbucks, their favorite candy, and flowers (for the ladies). I never leave out the specials teachers because I know what it’s like to not get any gifts {do I need some cheese to go with my whine?!}.

may 11. muffins with mom. teacher gifts_0009_edited-1

And that’s our gifts for the year! What are you getting your kiddos’ teachers? …or if you’re a teacher anything I should add to my no-no list? haha 😉


Oh, and guess who’s last preschool Muffins with Mom I attended yesterday? This big guy. Oh, how the years have flown!

may 11. muffins with mom. teacher gifts_0003_edited-1

And he filled out the annual Mother’s Day questionnaire about me. He got some of them right (I drink water 99% of the time and I hug him constantly and I love me some yoga) and some of them wrong (I am NOT 50 years old and birds scare me to death).

may 11. muffins with mom. teacher gifts_0006_edited-1

3


My Dad’s Birthday Fun Days Continue & Georgia O’Keeffe Costumes

I mentioned recently that we are doing weekly outings for my dad for his 70th birthday (which is next Wednesday). The first week we went to a Gwinnett Braves game, the second week we went strawberry picking (so I could make him a strawberry cobbler), and this week we went and did bumper cars/laser tag/arcade games. We were supposed to go fishing last week, but it was crazy cold & raining so we took a raincheck {literally}. We also have to squeeze in a quick trip to Mayfield Dairy to grab some ice cream–my dad LIVES for his daily evening ice cream treat (I wish I could eat as much ice cream as he does and not gain weight #geneticsarentfair).

The reason we did bumper cars yesterday is because Daddy had such a good time with MM and Moseby doing them on vacation this past summer. I Google’d nearby locations for bumper cars and I only found one place near their house–Stars & Strikes in Dacula. But I found something pretty cool–on Tuesdays you can play all the arcade games (but you don’t win prizes), laser tag, and bumper cars you want for $9.99/person (or you can do all the bowling you want + shoes for the same price). Y’all, that is a STEAL. We spent almost three hours there yesterday afternoon and everyone–even Lala who spent the time being carried around on my back in the Tula–had a blast.

Here’s a few pictures from our day from my phone.

These two are the best of buds. So much so that if Pops (who Lawson causes “Dah”) is around he’s all like ‘Mama who?!’. 

The kids (& my dad too) are having a blast with these weekly celebrations–they love getting to do something fun on a random weekday night and we all love celebrating this special guy.


In other news, MM is doing a wax statue museum next week–basically she dresses up like a famous person and pretends to be them as “museum goers” walk around from famous person to famous person. She chose Georgia O’Keeffe (girlfriend LOVES art) and she’s just a tad bit disappointed that her costume will be baggy jeans, a white button down, and a long black cardigan…and a severe-looking bun. I did tell her she could wear lots of my silver southwestern jewelry so that made it a little better (she likes to accessorize!). I can’t wait to see her all dressed up and acting like the famous painter. (We bought a large print of this painting to put on an easel behind her.) Stay tuned. 😉

poppy

0


Coconut Cake & 85th Birthdays

Yesterday my grandmother {who we call Mamaw} turned 85.

May 1. mamaw's birthday_0007_edited-1

We are all just pretty dang lucky to have her in our daily lives. She’s loving and loyal and the most giving woman I’ve ever met. Some of my very best memories have her in them and I know my own kids can say the same thing. Being with Mamaw makes you feel loved and secured–just being around her is like a warm hug, if you know what we mean.

To celebrate her birthday I made her a homemade coconut cake–it’s her favorite. I tried a new recipe by Ina Garten. It’s tasty (but remember I’m not a cream cheese OR a coconut fan so I can’t give you a personal opinion, haha) and the almond flavoring in the cake & icing adds something unusual…but good! The one thing I would suggest doing is chilling the cake after you put the icing between the two layers–if not the layers kinda slide around (don’t look at these pictures too close, m’kay?).

May 1. mamaw's birthday_0001_edited-1

May 1. mamaw's birthday_0003_edited-1

This is the bottom part of my retro cake carrier I got a couple of months ago. It’s now on sale for $7.50 (YES! $7.50–that’s 75% off!). If it’s sold out in the link here’s a few more cake carriers I like here, here, and here. I love cake carriers because you can store them on the counter or take them with you and the retro vibe is on point.

We also got her a few gift cards to local restaurants (she loves eating out) and I potted up some flowers {asparagus fern, marigolds, zinnias, and creeping jenny; #horticulturenerd} in a hen planter I found at at home for her front porch.

May 1. mamaw's birthday_0004_edited-1

We love you, Mamaw. So so so much. I hope you had the happiest of birthdays because you really, truly deserve it. Thank you for all you do for my kids & I–we are so much better with you in our lives.

1


Ms. Haley’s Pre-K Baby Shower

Moseby’s Pre-K teacher, Ms. Haley, is having a baby boy this summer and yesterday the class threw her a shower to celebrate Bennett’s upcoming arrival. What’s so great is that when MM was in Pre-K with Ms. Haley we threw a shower for her first pregnancy with Harper.

february 5. haley shower_0011

Oh lordy, where does the time go?!

Better watch out, Ms. Haley: Lawson will be with you in three more years and I’m more than ready to plan another baby shower. 😉

Here’s some pictures of the festivities in their classroom.

Opening gifts. All the little girls were ‘oohing and aahing’ while all the little boys could care less (my child is in the teal shirt with his head down playing with the rug).

I put white table cloths on the tables and my kid came in and said, ‘Hey! What’s this? Why we so fancy?’ (he knows we only bring them out for holidays and birthday parties, haha)

The favors the kids got to take home were baby boy rubber duckies and balloons.

And speaking of balloons, does anyone else feel very claustrophobic in a car full of balloons? It’s like they’re closing in on me and I can barely breathe. #imsureimtheonlyone

(Ignore my hot mess express hair. I was cutting up fruit for the fruit salad at 6am and didn’t have time to straighten it and this is it in all its crazy curly glory.)

We played three games at the party: a scratch off game I found at Party City, a guess the number of m&m’s in the baby bottle, and a baby boy bingo game (free printable!).

I started thinking about it and I knew 4 and 5 year olds don’t have the best “number sense” so I gave them the first number and told them to just put their favorite two numbers in the two boxes. Anyone want to guess how many m&m’s there are? 255!

I made up little prize bags of each–basically little plastic toys and candy from Party City or the dollar store.

For party food I kept it simple. I made a fruit salad and we also had Goldfish, Capri Suns, and cake from Baking Grounds.

I hope you enjoyed your shower, Ms. Haley. And remember I got you covered if you go for a third baby in three years. 😉

2


Easter Festivities, My Favorite Casserole, + DNA Results

Oh, y’all, this weekend has WORE ME OUT. Egg hunt + my BFF’s birthday dinner + Easter Bunny + Church, etc.

:::yawn:::

Easter Egg Hunt

Yesterday we had our 7th annual Easter Egg hunt at our farm. When we started it MM was just a year old and I never thought we’d still be doing it all these years later…much less with THREE kids and all their friends!

Here’s a short rundown of how we do it if you’re interested in hosting one of your own next year–we’ve done it all different ways and we’ve found this is what works: we keep it simple with cupcakes + juice boxes (and water). Also, we buy 1,000 pre-stuffed eggs (I learned the hard way that stuffing eggs was not for me and takes forever!)  and ask the kids to bring a dozen filled eggs each. That way everyone has an Easter basket full. Over time we have went from one field to three separate fields: 0-2, 3-5, 6+. That way kids are only hunting with their same age peers and it’s not a free-for-all.

By keeping it so low-key (we also provide bread so they can feed our pet goats & cows), we can set it up in less than an hour.

Here’s some pics:

Easter Morning

Here are the kids’ Easter baskets this year (Lawson also got a little car he can drive around because 1. he loves the outdoors and 2. it’s ridiculously hard to shop for an 18 month old’s Easter basket!).

Easter Afternoon

And here we all our after mass before Sunday lunch at my grandmother’s house. We can clean up pretty nice if we have to! HA!

easter 2017

And then we tried to get a picture of all the great-grandkids together. See that little guy? That’s Baby B {real name: Beau}! He’s two and a half weeks old now!

33699197490_083bc771ea_o

This is the best we could get. Five kids 8 and under is TOUGH. HA!

My Go-To Casserole

I made my favorite casserole to take to lunch–pineapple casserole. I think it’s a southern casserole (do my northern readers know what it is?) and it is the perfect mix of sweet and salt with the pineapple, Ritz crackers, and cheddar. Oh my word, if you have not tried it you gotta. Here’s the link to the recipe I use (I DO chop up my pineapple chunks though).

DNA Results are In!

And this has nothing to do with Easter–I just happened to get my Ancestry DNA results Saturday evening and wanted to share.

As you probably know, I am adopted. I met my birth mother when I was 29 (6.5 years ago) and while I don’t talk about it on here (some things are just too private and close to the heart to share) it has been a wonderful experience. I decided to do an Ancestry DNA kit after a coworker of mine found her birth mother by doing one and I am still searching for my birth father.

And while I didn’t get a direct hit/match on my birth father I did find one second cousin (on my birth mom’s side) and over TWO THOUSAND fourth cousins or closer. How crazy is that?!

I also discovered I’ve probably got the palest possible ancestry possible! I’m white with a side of white. HA!

And that, my friends, is why the only way I’ll ever be tan is if I get one sprayed on! #palepeopleunite

I’ll keep you updated (vaguely, of course, because that’s how I roll with my–and Moseby’s too–adoption story) if I find him or any blood relatives on that side.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

0


Another Year Where I Torture Our Kids with the Easter Bunny

Why do I do it? I know they all hate it even when they’re trying to be brave.

Well, maybe not MM. She thinks of the Easter Bunny like Santa Claus and gives him/her/it a wish list. This year it was My Mini MixieQ’s and Pocket Dogs and something about a Chromebook {totally not kidding}. If the Easter Bunny had real eyes I know it was totally rolling them at that item on her list…I know I was. #smh

Look at my little Lala. Poor torture.

And yet I’m positive I’ll do it again next year. HA!

april 11. easter bunny_0004_edited-1

I thought it might be fun to take a little tour down Memory Lane.  Shall we?

2009

Which I totally have in a frame, but it was pre-Flickr for me so I don’t have it uploaded on my computer/internet. So here she is on Easter morning.

0300107883184719905201091602072

2010

'i'm holding my breath here, people!'

2011

easter bunny_0003

2012

easter bunny. april 4_0003

2013

march 11. easter bunny_0006

2014

sally, 6 (SOLD) and boys shorts set (2t)

2015

2016

march 18. 17. dan birthday. easter bunny_0001_edited-1

Oh y’all, just look at Moseby’s expression every year. He doesn’t trust that bunny for one single second. CRACKS ME UP.

And then there’s also this one from yesterday–a complete outtake that sums up having three kids perfectly–a complete loud, crazy, wrestling, giggling circus 24/7.

april 11. easter bunny_0001_edited-1

 

0


What I’ve Been Wearing Lately

‘Cause I know y’all are just dying to see more iPhone photos of me. HA!

I don’t know how all those fashion bloggers get such good pictures. Do they just have a photographer with them all day? Because unless my five or eight year old can take the photo {which may or may not be out of focus with my camera when they use it}, it’s a selfie. And y’all know I can’t make a normal selfie face to save my life.

Outfit 1.

This shirt (and these booties!) I posted back on my Valentine’s Day Wish List. I love it, especially the subtle bell sleeves. It runs a tad small through the back for me and in the arms so I’m wearing a large. (Note: you know how we all have that one body part that is not in proportion to the rest of our body? Well, mine is my arms. #whyIdontdosleeveless)

Gap Eyelet Three-Quarter Blouse (40% off with ‘HAPPY’) J.Crew jeans (20% off everything AND free shipping! RARE!). Lucky Brand booties.

Outfit 2.

Our weather is so wacky here. One day I’ll be in nothing but a short-sleeve top and the next day I’m wearing a jacket and all bundled up. What gives, Georgia? This was one of the colder days last week.

J. Crew gingham shirt (similar color). J.Crew vest {I also have it in bright green. And red and blue plaid. And a black and white print. I have a problem clearly.} J. Crew jeans. **All 20% off and FREE SHIPPING**Lucky Brand booties {which I’m loving so much I wear them like everyday. Clearly I have a problem there too.}

Outfit 3.

This outfit is great for running errands {hence the tennis shoes} or lounging around the house. So comfy–and look at the cute back (& a good deal!)! I will say this top ran a bit short in the waist so I sized up to a large.

Gap soft spun knit cross back top. 40% off with code ‘HAPPY’ (and it was already a great price!) Old Navy rockstar jeans. 15% off with code ‘ENJOY’ (and all jeans on sale). New Balance 620 (very similar colorway).

Outfit 4.

I wore this to Moseby’s birthday party and honestly, at first I wasn’t sold on this top. In fact, I tried it on and didn’t buy it…then came back two weeks later and got it. And I’m so glad I did.

Gap crochet yoke long sleeve top. 40% off with code ‘HAPPY’  Old Navy Rockstar mid-rise distressed jeans. 15% off with code ‘ENJOY’ and all jeans are on sale already too! Lucky Brand booties.

Oh, and let’s play a game called “Why You Shouldn’t Buy Off eBay”. So I’ve been crushing on a Free People ‘Beach Cocoon’ pullover for a while now. I found a size medium “NEW” on eBay for $34 (a great deal!) so I bought it. I got it on Friday and it just didn’t look right, but I didn’t have a chance to try it on. On Saturday MM and I were at the mall and I found the same shirt (different color) for $36 at Macys (40% off sale plus an extra 20% off with card; ) and I bought it. I brought it home and tried both on. Uhm…yeah. Clearly that eBay one isn’t so new ’cause that bad boy is shrunk! Thankfully the seller accepts returns.


Yesterday was Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Tuesday. I made my first two King Cakes. I should’ve made them last week so I could have posted a tutorial (a really easy yeast bread–much like cinnamon rolls to make), but there’s always next year!

I made the kids hold them in the car because they weren’t completely cooled yet. (And, oh my word!, how grownup does MM look here?! Slow your roll, Time.)

Also, please notice that Moseby is already licking the icing off. Thankfully that cake was just going to my parents, haha!


Oh, and for my BlogLovin’ followers: I just realized yesterday that some of you are commenting on my posts via Bloglovin’…but I don’t get any notification on those. If you want me to respond make sure your comment directly on a post and if I don’t respond or if it doesn’t get posted in a day or so (many get held for moderation) please email me. Sometimes comments will get tagged as Spam and I’ll never see them (Sorry for taking forever to respond, Carla! Yikes!).

Hope y’all have a great Wednesday! <3

1


A Reptile Birthday Party!

So this little guy turned five yesterday.

I wrote this on Facebook about it:

today, moseby davin, you are five. or like you’ve been telling me for the past two months: “a WHOLE hand!” and every time you put that hand up to show me just how old you are turning my heart flutters a bit and my soul wonders how can it be? it honestly feels like just last week you were born, tiny & brown & covered with hair & perfect in every way. how can it be five years? i truly don’t know.
but what i do know is that you are fantastically perfect and unique. some things come harder to you than they do to some, like speaking or boundaries, but oh my, some things come so easily to you i’m even jealous. your natural physical ability to run, flip, kick, throw, climb, balance, and catch blow me away. how DO you do it?! and then there’s your ability to go into any situation and “just” make friends—i’ve never seen you nervous or shy—people are just drawn to you. that is SUCH an amazing gift, sweet boy.
at five you love power rangers (“the red one”), wild kratts, paw patrol (just chase), sloths + snakes, going ridiculously fast on your tricycle down our street, your four-wheeler, your friends lincoln + ty, hot dogs and popcorn and bacon (oh, you love bacon!) and my brownies and any cake with icing, and sissy and lala. what do you not like? the dark and ants…and that’s about it.
you are silly and mischievous and loud and always always moving and just about perfect to me.
i love you so very much, momo. happy “whole hand” birthday!

{You can read his birth story here.}

Since he’s going through such a reptile phase right now he just HAD to have a reptile-theme birthday party.

…and because I’m super creative corny I had to give all the foods weird reptile/swampy names. 😉

Pin this post by clicking here! 

 

Swamp Dogs Snakes

Alligator Eggs

Veggie tray featuring a spider zip & snakes made out of zucchini and cucumbers

Turtle (made out of a watermelon shell)

Rattlesnake fangs (aka Bugles)

Pit of Vipers

(I didn’t bake the cake, by the way, Baking Grounds did.) 

His party favors: lizards from the dollar store, spider rings, sour worms, and snakes.

And we had Mr. Greg’s Reptile Roadshow provided the entertainment for the kiddos. He brought a lizard, three snakes, an alligator, and an iguana. Check out Mo’s faces in some of these pics. He cracks me up!

(Yeah, even little Lala petted a snake.)

Oh, sweet Moe, I can’t believe you’re five. I hope whatever your wished for comes true {my wish? For time to slow down.}.

Other details:

2


Designed by WordPress. Designed and maintained by