Princess Party.

FOUR. Really hard to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby girl is growing up.  She is developing into a smart, loving, honest, kind, witty, stubborn at times, hilarious, independent, athletic, artistic young lady. For her birthday this year we decided to throw her a princess party with something every little girl dreams of…….a REAL princess! Her princess of choice – you guessed it – Rapunzel.

It was a blast planning her big day.  I spent hours crafting up banners, lanterns and other decorations which included my coolest creation to date…..a huge 4 foot braid made of yellow yarn and adorned with flowers which wrapped around our column at the front door.  I took the Rapunzel/Tangled theme and ran with it!





Our little princesses anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rapunzel.


Story time with Rapunzel! This included a treasure chest, music, bubbles, dancing and face painting – FUN – and you can see it written all over their little faces!!!











After story time inside we all headed outside for more pictures! I must say, having the princess here at the party was a huge hit with the little girls.  So worth it to see the looks on their faces as they interacted with Rapunzel! Jensen was so excited and still talks about getting to meet Rapunzel.  In fact she has already asked me if we can have another princess come to her party next year.







I set a kids table up outside (too bad it was like a million degrees and humid) and immediately after Rapunzel left the kids got to sit at it for a bit and munch on sailboats made from orange wedges which sat on cup of blue jello, goldfish and fruit snacks – yum!




After some snacks we headed over to the jewelry station – every girl’s dream! There were crowns, wands, necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all.  I even had some crowns for our little princes.



J was so happy when everyone was singing to her. Makes me tear up every year as I think about how quickly she is growing up.



The finale of the party – her big girl bike!!


Happy 4th birthday to our princess!  Mommy, daddy and baby brother love you more than you’ll ever know!!!


Baby Zoie.

My beautiful niece, Zoie, was born on Thursday, April 11th around 5:30pm.  She weighed in at 7 lbs and was 18.5 inches long with a head of dark hair……which has been a common theme with all the babies in this family!

I was fortunate to be able to take the day off and be there with Rach during her labor and delivery.  It was one of the best days of my life to be there for the birth of Zoie!  And Rachel did an AMAZING job through the entire process.  We love baby Zoie soooo much!!


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Owen’s Elephant Party.

Owen is One.  Hard to wrap my brain around it.


The month of March was going to be extremely busy for us, so I worked hard to be sure and have all of Owen’s bday party supplies gathered and created in advance.  I decided to go with an elephant theme and am pleased with how everything turned out.  I created a birthday banner, favor bags, tissue pom pom flowers and I bought blue and white lanterns.  On the day of his party I had to lecture until 4PM which meant I wouldn’t probably get home until close to 5….good thing my in-laws came in town the night before.  My mother in-law helped by grocery shopping, decorating, cleaning and preparing most of the food for the party…….sooo appreciative of the much needed help!

The night before the party I made and frosted the birthday cakes.  I made a chocolate sheet cake for all the guests and a round chocolate smash cake for O.  I frosted the sheet cake with white icing and then using an elephant stencil that Drew created for me (same elephant from the invite) I piped an elephant in the center of his cake with grey icing.  I then piped a blue circle around the elephant to mimic the bday invite.  I then added some darker grey accents to the elephant which I thought added some character.  I really wish I was better at cake decorating.  But I guess practice makes perfect so I will keep at each with each chance I get!  For the sheet cake I iced it with white frosting, created an elephant with a circle around it and put Owen’s name on the cake.  Not 100% happy with how they turned out, but I can say that I made them and they did taste good!


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Owen did not get a very good nap that afternoon so by the time his party started he wasn’t in the mood to be the center of attention.  The site of his bday hat made him cry, too many people making a fuss over him made him bashful and it took him a while to enjoy his smash cake.

Jensen and I enjoyed posing with the hat, but Owen did not like that hat coming near him.  Poor guy.




Jensen made Owen this card and she was so proud of it!  She wrote everything on it except “happy birthday.” She surprised me several times when I would ask her if she could write a certain letter and she would do it!  She is writing so well!


Then it was time for presents!!  He got a lot of cute clothes and some fun toys!  Shortly after opening presents it was time to get this little boy ready for bed.  We had a great time at his bday party and are so grateful for all the family and friends that shared his special day with him!




Drew and I celebrated our 7 year wedding anniversary earlier this month and a few days later we celebrated Drew’s birthday.  We had a great time seeing friends and family for Drew’s day and his mother made him his favorite breakfast!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!

We have also been celebrating accomplishments of our little man over the last few weeks.  Owen is sitting up on his own (for the most part) and on the move!!  He is sooooo close to having an “official” crawl.  He is still mostly inch worming around, but occasionally we have noticed that he moves his arms and legs just right for one move.  I have a feeling it won’t be long before my baby is crawling around my house 😦  what?!?!  He is supposed to be my “baby!”



Right along side all of this movement, Owen is also saying his first word – “dada!”  The first time he said it was on Drew’s bday!!  What a nice gift!  It sure is sweet to hear him say it – even though I am sure I have heard Owen say “mama” when he is crying 😉

We also celebrating Grandparents Day at the end of September!  My parents got to go with Jensen to her classroom one morning to see all the fun she has!  My dad got some really good pics while he and my mom were there together so I will add those photos to this post when I get them.  I went to pick my mom up and snapped a pic of my own.  Jensen had so much fun showing her grandma and papa around!!


Berry Birthday Party!

I utilized Pinterest this year to gather up ideas for Jensen’s 3rd birthday party.  She LOVES strawberries so initially I thought we would go with a “Strawberry Shortcake theme.”  After looking around, I felt like going too crazy with the strawberry shortcake theme wasn’t really the look I was going for.  I wanted to be able to create some decorations and not have the party look so “bought in a box.”  Eventually, I changed the theme to “Berries” and started to create my list of to-dos!!

With my berry theme came an automatic color scheme: red = strawberries, blue = blueberries, purple = blackberries and pink = raspberries.  I created a happy birthday banner and some tissue pom-poms (thanks Martha Stewart) and purchased a balloon bouquet utilizing colors from our berries.  I looked around online for a cake recipe that would fit the theme but not be too over the top berry.  Duncan Hines had a recipe for a chocolate and strawberry cake.  I changed the recipe slightly and made the cake a double layer – one layer strawberry cake, the other layer chocolate cake.  Topped it with Vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries.  I also wanted to utilize my new buffet table and frame for the display table.  I hung the banner on the frame and clipped lots of pictures of Jensen around it.  For the buffet, I had the cake as the center piece flanked by some strawberry licorice.  I created some “berry shake” recipe cards as favors.  I found the simple recipes online and had a few recipe cards for each of the berries.

I really wanted to have some strawberry cookies for the party as well.  I really debated whether or not to buy them or make them myself.  I wanted them to be perfect and wasn’t sure I could pull it off.  After recruiting my sister for help, I decided to make them.  I bought a strawberry cookie cutter, some red and green frosting and some chocolate sprinkles.  I made my famous sugar cookie recipe (so good) and once the cookies cooled we started to decorate them.  This ended up being very time consuming and I’m so glad I had my sister here to help me.  They turned out perfect!!  And they tasted great too!

I also made some favor baskets.  One for Jensen, one for cousin Ella and one for our friend Malia.  I put some strawberry shortcake hair clips and tattoos in there along with some squeezable apple-berry applesauce and a couple strawberry cookies.

We had a very yummy lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs baked macaroni and cheese, veggies and berries.  I also bought a really yummy raspberry lemonade – which Jensen loved!  After lunch we sang happy birthday, ate cake and ice cream and opened presents.

Little brother hanging out!

Cousin Ella had fun helping Jensen open her presents!!

Jensen was spoiled again this year by all of those that love her so much.  We have the best friends and family EVER!!  I’m pretty sure she had the best birthday party yet!  I know when it was all over, this momma was exhausted!!  But I have to say, I love planning parties and am already looking forward to my little man’s first birthday!

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby Girl!!!

My beautiful Jensen is 3 years old today!  So much has changed in her life over this past year.  Shortly after Halloween last year she was potty-trained (huge accomplishment!!), she finally grew that inch she needed to pedal her own bike, she continued to learn new things like how to count from 10 to 20 and learned all the sounds of the letters and is now telling us what letter different words start with!!  She can spell her name and practicing writing letters all the time.  She also is trying to draw different shapes.  She continues to LOVE music AND performing.



She asked daddy just the other day for a guitar!!  HA!  She is my rock star!!  Her vocabulary continues to grow and she fascinates us everyday with her sentence structure and the things she knows!   She really likes the movie “Ghostbusters” right now and is even quoting the movie – so her father’s child!


In March of this year she became a big sister and is the best!  She makes him laugh, shares her toys with him and wishes he could play more, which I keep telling her will happen soon enough.

She is very independent and definitely mature for her age (poor thing gets that from her mama.)  She tells us everyday that she is the “teacher” and she loves to read to us.  She is a great listener and has a very polite and sometimes shy personality (until she gets comfortable then you better watch out!)


Mommy, daddy and baby Owen love you soooo much!  You bring so much joy, laughter and wonder to our lives!!  Happy birthday baby!!