Friday, January 30, 2015

barn yard friends birthday cupcakes

For Emerson's birthday celebration with family I wanted to do something special. Last year I made a little winter wonderland for his first birthday cake and had so much fun doing it that I wanted to do something fun for him this year too.

Now that he is a little bit older and has shown interests in some things I thought it would be fun to take one of his favorites and use that as his cake inspiration. He really loves animals, and has for a while now. He loves elephants, tigers, all of the farm animals, and really any animal. But he loves reading farm books and looking through the pictures of cows, sheep, pigs, and such. So I decided to do a farm animal theme. Then I picked my brain and looked for pictures to use as inspiration. I came up with a pretty neat little plan for his birthday cake.

I thought I'd make a strawberry cake because he loves strawberries, and who doesn't love a good strawberry cake? So I found a recipe and saved it to use for his cake. The recipe said that the batter was enough for two round cake pans and one dozen cupcakes. I gathered and bought everything I needed and got to work. However, the batter did not make nearly as much as the recipe said it did [which is fine because we really didn't need to eat that much cake anyhow]. The only problem I had with that was it spoiled my cake making/decorating idea: one big pig cake, and little farm animal friends to hang around beside it.

While I had my cake pans and muffin tins ready and not enough batter I went back and forth about what to do: cake? cupcakes? little cake and cupcakes? cupcakes? It had to be one or the other. In the end I decided to make cupcakes, mostly because I had spent days before working on little farm animal faces as cupcake toppers. I was pretty pleased with how they had turned out so cupcakes it was.

The recipe said the cake would be light and fluffy and perfectly strawberry. So to accompany that I made a whipped topping as a frosting. It sounded fresh and scrumptious, especially in the middle of winter. After letting the cakes cool I spent a little bit of time icing them and then adding the little toppers. They looked perfect and I couldn't wait to share them with Emerson.

He was also really excited about the cupcakes because he had seen the toppers and that was all he wanted. The second I showed him the animals I was working on, he reached his dimply little fingers towards the tray to snatch one up. I wanted to let him have one right then, but I also knew I needed them for the cakes. So the poor boy had to wait in eager anticipation. And wait he did.

But the second I laid the cakes out for us to eat, he just stood on the chair, looking them all over with the biggest grin on his face, trying to pick one cake. One animal. It was adorable, and I love that he took his time choosing the perfect cupcake for his birthday. He end up with a little sheep on his plate and enjoyed every bite of that sheep and icing. Not so much the cake.

Though, I can't say that I blame him. The cake turned out really terrible. It wasn't fluffy. It wasn't light. It wasn't very strawberry-y. It was as dense as a brick. Oh, it was awful. But it was his birthday cake, and I had made it, so we ate them [though I'm pretty sure even if the cake was good, he still would have only eaten the animals. aka: sugar].

I thought it's be fine to make a new recipe for his cake and that they would turn out fine, especially after reading the recipe through and the many comments below the recipe. I'm sorry I didn't taste one before serving them to family. I had time enough I could have whipped up a batch of fluffy white cupcakes that I know would have been good and cake like. But for whatever reason, I didn't taste the cake. And I didn't do a trial run days or weeks before.

So even though the cakes may have looked sweet to eat, they weren't so much. And that's saying something because I love cupcakes and cakes of all kinds. Oh, well. Lesson learned. Always do a trial run of a new recipe or at least taste it before you serve it to people you love [or don't love for that matter].

It was still a lot of fun celebrating Emerson's birthday with happy little farm faces. I know he loved it and enjoyed eating all of the animals he could over the days that followed [and that he won't remember the terrible tasting cupcakes]. I have a few animals leftover so I think I'm going to make a little batch of [good] cupcakes and top them off with these guys. That way we can enjoy the best of both worlds. Good cake. Cute topper.

On the bright side [?] he was able to enjoy some really good, light, fluffy, funfetti, and perfectly cup cake of a cupcake on his actual birthday. That has to count for something, right?

Anyhow, that's how we celebrated his little birthday. It's also the extent of his decorations and party. I would love to have had farm animals and cute little decorations everywhere and made it a fun little thing for everyone ... but it's just not me. And it's also just not in the budget. But we had fun; I loved making the faces for the cupcakes and he loved gobbling them up. What more could a mama ask for?

I hope you all have a happy weekend!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

it was a happy birthday

Last week we celebrated two years of Emerson. On his birthday I made a small batch of cupcakes because I feel like it's very important to actually celebrate, open presents, and eat cake on your actual birthday. So that is what we did. During nap time I busied myself with last minute present wrapping and cupcake baking so the little guy could have some fun celebrating his birthday. 

He woke up as I was finishing his cupcakes and gift wrapping, so his daddy went to get him from bed. The minute he walked downstairs, Emerson saw the little stack of presents and his eyes got big. He grinned his dimply grin and then ran over to the presents. So we opened them. I didn't have my camera with me and didn't want to miss any of the action, so I just used Landon's iPod ... we made do. 

He absolutely loved opening his gifts. There were a few from us, a few from his grandparents, and some from one of his great-grandmas. After he finished opening one gift he would hold it up high and then run over to where I was sitting to show me. Then he'd run right back to the pile of unopened gifts and take the gift on top and open it. He did this for each gift, it was the sweetest thing.

His gifts from us included a new 'big boy bed' and bedding to go on it. He was so excited to open them and wanted to open the big bed box. Sadly he had to wait, but he seemed happy enough to read his new books and look through the rest of his loot.

After a dinner of banana pancakes, bacon, and fruit [his favorite meal], we had cupcakes to celebrate. I had some of the toppers for his "party" finished, but decided to keep it to just the cupcakes for his birthday and save the toppers for his "party" with his grandparents. 

I was extremely pleased with how well his cupcakes turned out! It was a new recipe and one that I will use again for sure. He also seemed to really enjoy the cake and frosting of his choice: cool whip.

We sang "Happy Birthday" and he blew out the candles. Then immediately asked to do it again. So we did. It was his birthday, I couldn't say no.

Then he enjoyed just about every bite of that little cupcake. We all did.

At the end of the day, after his bath, Bible story, and songs, I sat and rocked him a little bit longer than usual. As I rocked him I couldn't help but think back to the very first night of his little life, two years ago. He was tiny. He was perfect. He fit just so on my chest. I couldn't help but tear up a little bit thinking about how much he has grown and changed. About how much I love him now than I did the day he was born [which was a lot, I tell ya]. 

What a blessing it is to be his mama. I am so thankful we were able to celebrate two wonderful years of his life together, and I can't wait to celebrate a life time more with him. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

it's a ...

Baby number two is a boy!

We feel ever so thankful and excited that this little peanut is healthy and growing just like he should! We are excited that Emerson gets to have a little brother to grow up with and have as a forever friend. I love being able to say 'baby boy' or 'he' instead of just 'baby' or 'it' [which I never really did because it sounds unloving to me]. We can't wait to meet our new little man in a few months! 

Right now we're thinking about names - hopefully we'll have one picked out by June! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a happy visit with family

Today I considered not sharing our little weekend and thought about sharing our exciting news from last week ... but this past weekend was pretty wonderful and so I thought I'd write about now while it's still kind of close to the weekend. Closer than tomorrow will be anyhow. But don't worry, I will have some fun news to share with you all tomorrow and I just can't wait! 

This past weekend was a very full yet restful one. Late on Friday afternoon Landon's parents and youngest sister arrived to spend the weekend with us. They came to celebrate Emerson's birthday with us, to see him [because we know they wouldn't come unless he was here], and to find out the gender of baby #2. They brought all their bags in once they got here. Their bags happened to contain birthday gifts for the little mister. The minute he saw the wrapping paper his eyes lit up and he tried opening them. But we made him wait for his daddy to get home. The second Landon walked through the door Emerson ran over to the presents and tried to pull them down so he could open them. He remembers everything. He quickly and happily opened his gifts.  

After his gifts were opened and played with for a little bit we went out for dinner. It was a special treat. Usually we'll eat at the house the night they arrive, but we decided to mix it up and went out for some pizza; it was so good! Emerson ate everything I gave him: salad, breadsticks, pizza crust, applesauce, cheese, clementines ... I was so thankful! Usually I bring some food for him when we go out, but since we decided last minute I only thought to bring two clementines and an apple. Not even a bib. It didn't matter in the end, he ate the whole time and was as happy as could be. 

When we got home it was time for birthday cupcakes! I was so excited about the cupcakes and so was Emerson. He had seen me working on the toppers for them throughout the week and was excited he could finally eat them! It was so fun celebrating his birthday with family and enjoying the evening together. We also told Landon's family the gender of baby #2! They were thrilled [as we thought they would be].

Saturday morning I went grocery shopping by myself while Emerson stayed at home and played with his Gigi, Poppy, and Auntie M. I think we all had a good morning! As soon as I got home his Gigi showed me all the pictures they had taken while I was gone. I love some good documentation :)

That afternoon we watched UK play and cheered them on... Emerson likes cheering for them because he knows everyone makes over it so much. It's pretty cute.

While Emerson napped that afternoon Landon's mom and I went shopping to look for some maternity tops. We found some really cute tops, perfect for Spring. I was super excited to find them and look forward to wearing them. It's nice to have a few more tops added to my maternity wardrobe, especially since I feel like I've been wearing the same ones forever [I haven't, I just wore them all through the last pregnancy so it's nice to have a little bit of new to add to this one]. We found the tops pretty quickly and when we got home I had enough time to lay down and take a little nap before Emerson woke up.

One of Emerson's birthday gifts was a new bed. The day it arrived on our doorstep he has been wanting to and trying to open the box. This weekend we finally put it together and did a little work on his room. It's not completely done, but there isn't too much left to do for baby, so that's nice. We went ahead and did put his bed together and rearranged some furniture this weekend since Landon's dad was here to help with the heavy lifting and such and we weren't sure if he would be back before April to help us. And I wanted it done before then, so it was a win win. Now Emerson has a big bed and he loves it.

I loved that he was able to "help" put his bed together and "help" make it with his new bedding [that he also couldn't wait to open when he saw it come in the mail/reopened it after I wrapped it up for him to open on his birthday] that was also a birthday gift [we're really into practical gifts....]. My hope was that his participation in the making his new bed up would get him really excited about actually sleeping in it. We weren't planning on him transitioning to his new bed for a while, but it's kind of happening right now. Yikes!

Sunday morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of doughnuts and spent the rest of the morning playing, talking, and getting some cleaning done. I had been wanting to tidy up/reorganize Emerson's closet for a while now, so I took advantage of him being entertained by his Gigi and Poppy and really got a lot done. I have more to do, but I'm saving that for another day [and probably another visit from Gigi and Poppy].

It's always hard to see them leave on Sunday afternoon as we enjoy their company. After they left Emerson took a nap and we chilled around the house. It was a great weekend and I'm so thankful for the visit with family we could have.

Monday, January 26, 2015

baby bump #2 // 20 weeks

20 weeks

I know it's not the greatest picture, but it is what it is... 

How Far Along: 20 weeks! 

Size of Baby: A banana.  

Feeling: Fine. Tired a lot more than usual, and little things like fixing dinner seems to take all that I have. At the end of each day I'm pretty much done and all I want to do is lay on the couch or in my bed and sleep or read or watch a show or something. Basically, do nothing. I really don't feel like fixing dinner each night and just the other night I sat in the rocker for what seemed like forever. Just sat there. I didn't want to move. I wasn't tired, I just didn't want to do anything. Eh... 

Cravings/Aversions: Water has been tasting better and better each day, I've been adding a little bit of lemon to my glass of water for dinner each night and I love it. It's pretty much the best thing ever. I saw a friend of mine add cranberries and lime to her water the other day so I'm pretty sure I'll be trying that out as soon as I can buy some cranberries. 

Clothing: It's pretty much the same story as last week and I'm sure it will continue to be the same... maternity pants [unless they're pajamas or yoga pants or something like that] and maternity tops. 

Gender: We found out on Thursday! .... I promise to share with you all soon :) 

Nursery: We did a lot for the nursery/Emerson's room this weekend and it's basically done which is nice. I'll share more on that later as well. 

Best Moment This Week: Celebrating Emerson's birthday and spending the weekend with Landon's parents and youngest sister. We always enjoy their visits and hate to see Sunday since that means they have to leave. I don't think we'll see them next month at all, which is sad. Right now it will probably be March before we see them again ... But the past few days we had with them were just perfect. 

Looking Forward To: I'm not sure ... and that's kind of sad. 

Thoughts & Prayer: Oh, little peanut. I have done a lot of praying for you these past few days. After we got to see you the other day everything became more real. I pray that I can be the best mama for you and that you will know love from your first day in our arms. I pray that you have a great relationship with your brother and that you will grow in the Lord's truth and grace. I pray that you continue to be healthy and strong. I know I will love you even more the moment I hear your tiny wail and see your face. Keep growing, snickerdoodle. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

from geese to grocery shopping. some random.

A few things for this weekend . . . 

1. A visit.  This weekend Landon's parents and youngest sister are coming in for a visit and to celebrate Emerson's birthday. I'm sure Emerson will love the extra and constant attention he gets when they come to visit. 

2.  Geese. This may sound strange, and it is a kind of odd thing to talk about, but there have been dozens of geese flying around our house lately. More like hundreds. It's insane. There's a pond within walking distance from our house and it seems like that is the hot spot for all of the geese. We drove past the pond the other day and geese were everywhere on and around that pond. It's nuts. I hate geese, but they are fascinating to watch from a safe and indoor distance. Emerson loves to watch them too and will run to the window and make a goose sound every time he sees them. 

3. Grocery shopping. My big chore for Saturday is always grocery shopping, it's my least favorite chore, but it must be done. Anyhow, usually I go to one store to do our shopping, but am now considering stopping at two stores. I'm not sure how I would go about doing it, make one trip to one store one day and the other store a different day? We shall see... If you shop at more than one store how do you go about doing it? 

4. Birthday cake. Wednesday was Emerson's birthday, but I knew that since his grandparents were coming in this weekend I would want to have a cake to eat with them too. And I couldn't let the boy not eat cake of any kind on his actual birthday or make the big cake a few days before everyone would eat it. So I made a tiny batch of cupcakes. I doubled a recipe I found for two cupcakes and turned out with five little cupcakes. It was perfect and so fun to make such a small batch. 

5. Speaking of cake... I finished Emerson's cake. It turned out a little differently than I planned, but it's I still like it. I had planned on one big cake and some cupcakes, the recipe I was using said there would be plenty... but there wasn't. So I went with cupcakes, Emerson said that's what he wanted. 

Anyhow, those are my random things for today... I hope you all have a happy weekend! 

Linking up with Darci and some other ladies here

Thursday, January 22, 2015

a lazy day

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes when there is a long list of things for me to do, I get nothing done. Take this afternoon for example, the munchkins are sleeping and I have time to get some things done around the house: clean the bathrooms, write a grocery list and menu for next week, pay bills, write a thank you, dust, put the dishes away... pretty much make our house clean and tidy for when my in-laws come to visit tomorrow evening. Even knowing that tomorrow I will have to bake and decorate a cake, pick up last minute things [because there are always last minute things], and sweep and mop the kitchen ... I let today's to-dos be put off for tomorrow [or at least until tonight]. Instead of taking advantage of the time I had to clean and prepare for their visit right now, I laid down on my bed and [maybe] slept for a little bit. I have done nothing productive today. And for the life of me I can't get my act together and actually do stuff.

So here I sit, sipping ice cold water, reading this and that blog or book, thinking about what I have to do and not doing it. I'm even dreading fixing dinner tonight, and it's nothing fancy. I just don't want to do anything. sheesh. I realize this makes me sound like an incredibly lazy person, and well, today I guess that's exactly what I am being. eh... I'm sure I'll get my act together in time to tidy up and fix dinner by tonight.

. . . and on a side note, we saw Baby this morning! Everything went well for the most part and I can't wait to share some happy news with you all later next week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

a happy birthday letter

Today is the day Emerson turns two, so I wrote him a letter ... 


Today you are two years old! I can hardly believe how much you have grown this past year and how much you have changed. Only a year ago you were taking wobbly steps and today you are a speedy little mister running or walking anywhere you can. 

You are such a sweet little boy, Emerson. You'll come up to me and give me a big hug and a kiss then run off to play again, or you'll go find your daddy if he's home just to check on him and give him a hug five. You are usually a good listener and obey when asked to do / not do something, but there are times you want what you want and that's it. We're working on not throwing fits if / when you don't get something you want. 

Right now your vocabulary is exploding. This past weekend you said "test" clear as could be [your daddy's working on a really hard test right now] and anytime I said daddy or you saw daddy you would say test. Some other words you have started / have been saying are: shoes, mommy [it was always mama before], Gege [for Gigi], Poppy, Papaw, snack, Boady, pictures, no, door, milk, apple, crackers, blocks, box, book [with the 'k' sound!], bird, Hoho [for Santa/Christmas], oh no, socks, blankie, Pooh, Cocoa, pee, poop, play ... there are more [I'll write them down as them come to me :]. You know so many animals and recognize them. You see them and make their sound, or hop [if it's a bunny or kangaroo or some other hopping creature]. It seems like just in the past few weeks your vocabulary has grown so much! I know it will only continue to grow, it is so much fun to hear you make your thoughts known through your words [or sounds]. Keep talkin mister! 

Soon you are going to start sleeping in a big bed [well, not your crib] as we are getting ready for the arrival of your little brother or sister. You guys are going to share a room so you'll have a buddy to keep you company at night. I hope and pray you two have the sweetest of relationships with each other. 

I am excited to celebrate your birthday with you some more tonight with presents and cake! We're going to celebrate some more this weekend with your Gigi, Poppy, and Auntie M. They can't wait to see you and celebrate two years of you! 

Emerson, I pray for you each and every day, throughout the day. There are many things that I pray for and over you, one of the biggest ones being that you would know, love, obey, and desire Christ in your life above all else. I know temptations will arise some day and I pray that God will give you the strength to resist and flee from them. It is my prayer that you are kind, faithful, and strong. I pray for your wife and children [yes, already!] and that you will have a strong relationships and that you will always seek the Lord together and individually. I pray that we will have a good relationship with each other [even when you are stinky teenage boy] and that you will always feel like you can [and want] to come to me and your daddy to talk. I pray for your safety and provision, for blessings and future. I know that the Lord is keeping you in Him and I pray that you know that one day too. 

You are such a joy to me and your Daddy. We love you so much and are so thankful that you made us parents. We can't wait to see you as a big brother, we know you'll be the best one. Thank you for making me your mama and for loving me even on my bad days. I will always love you and cherish each moment that I have with you, because they are oh so precious to me. I love you to the stars and back, Gooseberry. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

sleeping troubles

Bedtime and nap time used to be so nice and sweet. I would read a story, pray a prayer, lay my munchkin down and then leave his room. He'd play quietly or read a book and fall asleep shortly after. It took us a while to get there, but once we were, we all loved it.

Nap time and bedtime are not as sweet right now. We're having troubles. Well, not sleeping per say, but falling asleep. I used to just lay him down in his bed and he would roll around and play and fall asleep with little to no fussing. Mostly no fussing. But suddenly, he has started crying and screaming and calling "mommy" over and over again. Sometimes it lasts for five minutes, sometimes ten, and sometimes for a few hours. It's pretty great. I have prayed with him and over him, that he would be filled with peace and calm. I have read him stories. I have let him cry [scream] it out. I have played pretend night-night with him in hopes of that helping him. But nothing is getting better or changing. When I put him in his bed he'll stand up, hold on to the railing, and jump up and down while screaming, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mama, Mama....." It's awful. And I don't know what to do or how to help him.

I just hate that he is crying for me [or at all] and I can't help him. Even if I go in his room, pat him and sing to him for a while, the moment I start to move he starts it all over again. It doesn't matter if I'm in there for five minutes or forty minutes. Any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome -especially if you have a fix for it. Thank you in advance.

I hope your sleeps are sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2015

baby bump #2 // 19 weeks

19 Weeks

How Far Along: 19 weeks! 

Size of Baby: A mango.  

Feeling: Apart from feeling sleepy all the time and falling asleep before my head even hits the pillow at night, I'm feeling pretty good. Oh, and congested. Not in a terrible I can't breathe unless I have my mouth wide open kind of congested, just well... stuffed up a bit. It's especially irritating when I'm reading books with Emerson. I just want to breathe and read at the same time. 

Cravings/Aversions: Starting to want more fruit; right now it's clementines -they are nature's version of gummy bears, and oh so yummy. Still not wanting Mexican food. And thankfully my want of all of the sweet foods all of the time is disappearing. So that's good. 

Clothing: For the most part I'm in all maternity clothes. Yoga pants, pajamas, and t-shirts still fit, but jeans and such is maternity. 

Gender: We find out on Thursday ... as long as this little snickerdoodle cooperates!     

Nursery: I still have ideas but that's probably where it will stay for a while. Right now we're just talking about and trying to figure out when to move Emerson into a big boy bed... we shall see. Thoughts? Suggestions? Have you done this before? Helpful advice for when time does come to move him? 

Best Moment This Week: Feeling baby kick and wiggle. Also, a trip to Target, it's the little things. 

Looking Forward To: Our ultrasound - so exciting! And also Emerson's birthday! And family visiting this upcoming weekend to celebrate Emerson's birthday ... and to find out the baby's gender! 

Thoughts & Prayer: I continue to pray for your health, development, and growth, Snickerdoodle. Every time I feel you wiggle around, I praise the Lord for creating you and blessing me with the gift of you. You have already brought such joy into our lives, I know that joy will only increase after you born. This weekend you helped me make some decorations for your brother's birthday cake, I don't remember my belly being quite as covered with sugar last year... Maybe it's time I should start wearing an apron when I'm in the kitchen. You get to help finish those decorations over the next few days and bake a cake! I'm just praying that I have enough energy to stay awake and actually get those things done, I feel like I am always sleepy with you around! I can't wait until one day when you actually get to help me make a cake and icing and all that good stuff. It's the best. I love you and I can't wait to see you in three days!! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

tests, plans, and decorations

It's always nice to link up with some lovely ladies on Friday so I can share a few random things. Here goes...

1 / The Big Test 
Today is the day Landon is going to get his test. I mentioned it last week, but this test is one that goes over pretty much everything he studied in his undergrad, masters, and doctorate classes. There are six questions and he has a weekend in which to answer them. He is anticipating lots of long nights, early mornings, and few breaks. This test will officially enroll/allow him to be a PhD student at the university. It's a pretty big deal. He has been studying for months, reviewing notes from past classes, and looking at example exams from the past. He can't wait for Monday to come around so he can turn it in and be done with it! 

2 / Weekend plans 
Because Landon will be occupied with his test for the entirety of the weekend, I have cooked up a few things to help keep Emerson and myself busy. Some of which includes getting ready for his second birthday next week [what?!?!]. It should be a fun weekend. I hope. 

3 / Decorations? 
When it comes to decorating, my talents skill are extremely lacking. I see pictures of houses and rooms in magazines, on Pinterest, and even real life friends houses ... and their decorations/house is fixed up so pretty and perfect. Then I look at my house and well, it's not so much. One room that starting to really drive me bonkers is our living room. It has one big empty wall. Our tv is against that wall, but apart from that, there is nothing to add pizzazz to it. And as we are renting, I don't really want to spend a ton of money on it, seeing as how we'll just be moving in a few years. But it needs help, desperately. So if you have any helpful tips when it comes to decorating a big bland living room wall on the cheap, please share them with me. Thank you in advance. 

4 / Laundry 
This week I stayed on top of our laundry. As in, I didn't let it pile up into a huge mountain. I also didn't let a load sit in the dryer for a few days before folding it and then let it sit in a laundry basket for a few more days before putting it away. I did one load a day and that same load got put away the same day. I just think it's something to be noted since that never seems to happen around here. Maybe next week I'll be just as successful? Here's to hoping. 

5 / Note Cards 
I like to have note cards handy so that I can pull one out, write a little note, and send it on to someone every now and then. Sometimes I like to include a picture [especially if it's a note to grandparents]. This is where it starts to get tricky... all of the note cards I seem to find are all too small to accommodate a 4x6 photo. Do they even make cards that size that you can get in a package? I don't want to have to spend two to three dollars for one card. I like a set of cards. You know? Anyhow, I've been looking everywhere and just haven't had any luck with finding a cute greeting sized card that comes in a little bundle like all of the other blank note/greeting cards do. If you know of a good place to get some bigger sized blank cards as a package, I'd love you forever if you passed that information my way. Again, thank you in advance :) 

So there it is. Things that have been swarming around my mind this week. I hope you all have a refreshing weekend and are able to spend some time with family and friends! 

I'm linking up here with Darci and some other fun ladies.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

on sharing the baby #2 secret with family

There are a few things I never want to forget about being pregnant, one of which is telling family and friends. So before I forget how we shared our exciting news with family I thought I ought to write it down. You are welcome :)

When I found out I was pregnant in October I obviously told Landon that same day [how can anyone keep that kind of secret from their hubby?!]. After a few days or weeks [or maybe just hours?] we talked about when we would tell our families. We knew that we wanted to tell them when they were together, as much as could be anyhow. We also knew that we wanted to tell them in person if at all possible. With my family it didn't really matter as much, seeing as how they are spread across the world. We knew we wouldn't be able to tell my brothers or parents in person, so it didn't really matter when we told them, but we wanted to be sure to tell them around the same time as we told the rest of the family. As far as my sisters, telling them in person was at least a possibility.

When we visited my sister in Minnesota for Thanksgiving she asked me to run the Turkey Trot with her. I did it last year and it was a fun little thing to do with her. So I figured she might ask me again. She did. So I told her that I really wasn't supposed to get my heart rate up too high [140 or something like that -obviously I'm an exercise fiend ....] and that I just didn't think I should do it this year. Thankfully my sister is pretty bright and caught on right away. And then promptly excused me from running with her in the sub zero temperatures. She was sworn to secrecy [I knew she could keep a secret] until I told the rest of our family at Christmas. It was so nice to tell someone! Apart from her I had only told one of my dearest friends.

We decided to wait until Christmas to share our secret. We knew that we would be able to see Landon's family while they were together, so instead of sharing the news with his parents and one of his sisters when we saw them in November, we waited until both his sisters were there. It was so hard to keep that secret ... but also really fun. I love a good secret!

I thought of a few ways I wanted to/could tell and settled on a calendar. I had made one the previous year of pictures of Emerson throughout the months, so I did the same thing. Only this time, I added an event to the calendar: the baby's due date, and I put a picture in the month of December, that shared the news. And then I waited until we could give it to them...

It just so happened we had been able to stop and see our small group friends before we saw Landon's family. The moment I saw one of my friends, she looked at me and said, "You are pregnant." It wasn't a question. It was a statement. I wasn't even really showing, I was wearing a coat and scarf, and had just walked through the door. "You are pregnant." She was so matter of fact. She's like the pregnancy whisperer lady or something amazing like that. She was right. It was nice to finally tell more people about baby #2. She also told us the gender of our baby. She's been right about all the other babies in our small group. I hope she's right about this one too :)

the picture that was front and center on December's page 

Anyhow... we left our friend's house pretty late that night and drove the hour or so drive to Landon's parent's house. Emerson had fallen asleep in the car and by the time we arrived he just let me hold him and cuddle for a while. We went inside the house with the calendar all wrapped up for his parents to open that night; there was no way I could wait until Christmas Day to share the news. We had Emerson "give" his Gigi and Poppy the non-Chrsitmas gift, as they had requested we get them nothing for Christmas. Landon's mom unwrapped the paper and was so excited to see it was a calendar. She carefully and very slowly flipped through each page, commenting on pictures, oohing and ahhing. You know how grandmas do. She flipped right past the due date, though I wasn't too surprised. The whole time she was flipping through the pages my heart was racing and I was trying to stay calm. It's hard when you know what's coming and they don't. She would look at the pictures, Landon's dad and sisters would look over at the pictures and then at Emerson and talk to him while he was laying on my shoulder. Finally it was December. The picture was there. Big. Center. But there was no recognition of us having another baby. Instead, Landon's mom just oohed and ahhed over the pictures and over the bigger one - his face and dimples .... like grandmas do. She asked if she could get a copy of just that picture. She looked at Emerson, back at the calendar, and talked about how sweet he looked. Then finally [two or three minutes later], after looking back and forth between Emerson and the pictures, she looked back down at the calendar and realized that his stocking said "big brother". And she screamed, jumped, threw her hands to her face, and jumped some more. She got it. When she started screaming and jumping Landon's sisters and dad all looked back at the calendar and it finally registered to them too. At which point they all jumped up and down [well, not his dad] and screamed and yelped, hugged and danced, and carried on. It was pretty fun.

We shared our secret with Landon's mom's sisters by showing them the calendar and they all did the same thing she did. One sister took even longer than the others to realize the significance of the picture, so it was fun she finally did. We gave a desk calendar to the great-grandparents to share the news with them and it was special to watch them as they saw that last picture. I told my parents on FaceTime, and just sent a message of that same picture, they hadn't gotten their calendar yet. It was fun to see their reaction even though we couldn't be there in person with them.

I had wanted so badly to tell my other sister in person, and I could have, I just didn't have the patience to wait any longer to tell her. So I called her and asked if all of her Christmas shopping was done. When she said yes, I asked again, "all of it? For all your nieces and nephews? Are you sure?" At which point she said, "You're pregnant?!" Then she asked me, "Well, is all of your Christmas shopping done? For all of your nieces and nephews?" WHAT?!!?!? She was [is] pregnant too!! Holy cow! She is due six weeks after I am and I couldn't be more thrilled for her! When I was pregnant with Emerson she was pregnant as well, and due four weeks after I was. It was so fun to be be pregnant with her. But unlike me, she never got to hold her sweet little peanut in her arms and had to say good-bye to her tiny angel baby at 20 weeks. So knowing that she is pregnant at the same time as me once again, makes my heart leap with joy. It was heartbreaking that Fall, I'm just so glad the Lord has blessed her and she is going to be a mama again!

Anyhow. That's how we shared our happy little secret. How did you share the news of your little one? Or how did someone share their baby secret with you? I always love to hear!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

a cozy weekend

We had a quiet and fun little weekend. And I did something I had only done once or twice before: I got a manicure. A friend invited me to hang out with her and some of her friends for her birthday on Sautrday night. Her invitation was to get pedicures, but as it is the middle of winter and I am the only one who sees my toes [and when I do see them it's only for a few minutes in the morning and at night before I put socks on or slip my feet under the covers] and I'm not crazy about having someone rubbing on my feet [I've gotten one pedicure, but wasn't crazy about someone rubbing on my feet and calves ... ] I opted for a manicure. It's fun to have pretty nails and since I do see my fingernails all day long, every day, I thought it's be the more sensible option. I'm glad I got it. I'm really loving the color too, so much so that I plan on buying it so I can paint my nails once this paint job goes away. I remember the color and am excited to spend some of my Christmas money on some pretty polish. 

Saturday morning I headed to the grocery store by my lonesome. It was kind of nice shopping without feeling like I had to rush around because at any given moment there was the potential for a little cranky mister to make himself known. When I got home I was greeted by a happy little guy who had obviously been enjoying his morning with his daddy. If you follow me on Instagram you might realize I'm doing some double dipping, but hey, I'm allowed, right? :) 

Saturday afternoon we cheered on the Cats and I tried a new recipe and made some bread for us to nibble on throughout the week. I'm pretty sure I took a nap somewhere in there too. It was nice.

Sunday morning we went to church and when we dropped Emerson off at the nursery, he just let the lady hold him and take him over to play with blocks or read books or something. He didn't cry, he didn't fuss, he just went like the sweet boy he is. He had been better about not crying when we drop him off at the nursery, but then there were a few weeks [months?] that he would scream when we dropped him off. Awesome. I have been praying that he would be happy to go play in the nursery and talking to him about it before we go to church. When I picked him up after the service I asked him if he had fun and he said, "yeah," and smiled so big. Then he waved and said, "byyyyee," to his nursery teacher. Too sweet! I asked him again after we left if he had fun and he said the same thing. Such an answer to prayer. And I am so glad that he had fun! Although, I am a little apprehensive about it, he's gotten used to this nursery teacher, and in a few weeks he's probably going to have to move up to the two year old classroom! yikes! After taking so long to like the nursery, I just want him to stay there where he's happy. Hopefully the change and transition will go smoothy. Although, I plan on waiting as long as possible to move him to the new classroom. 

Sunday afternoon was quiet, complete with naps, falling snow, and book reading. It was a nice way to end the week.

I hope you all had a fun weekend too and that your week is off to a good start :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

baby bump #2 // 18 weeks

18 Weeks 

How Far Along: 18 weeks! 

Size of Baby: A sweet potato.  

Feeling: Pretty good. I usually fall asleep between 8 and 9, but apart from the sleepiness and exhaustion I have been feeling fine. 

Cravings/Aversions: I don't have too many cravings, I just kind of eat whatever. I am still not crazy about Mexican food and don't plan on fixing it any time soon. Coffee is another thing that hasn't been sounding very good to me. I didn't realize this until the other night when I was talking with a friend, at which point it dawned on me I haven't been wanting coffee for a while now. I want to drink it and it smells wonderful, but when I fix a cup for myself I just can't drink it. Eh... probably for the best I suppose. 

Clothing: I'm still wearing some non-maternity clothes, but have started adding my maternity clothes in my weekly rotation as well. Although, at this point it's pretty much all maternity pants. 

Gender: We find out in a week and a half!   

Nursery: I'm still trying to think about how we're going to fix up Emerson's room to share with the baby, I had decided on some bedding for him but changed my mind when I saw something I thought would be better [and cheaper]. It's a work in progress, but I have time. 

Best Moment This Week: Going out on Saturday with some other mamas. It was nice to talk with them and be out of the house for a change. 

Looking Forward To: Next week when we find out the gender of our little sweet pea! 

Thoughts & Prayer: I continue to pray for your health, growth, and development, Baby. I pray that you will know the love of Jesus and that you will always seek him. You are such a blessing already and I love that I get to feel you kick and wiggle more and more every day. I can't wait to see you again soon in less than two weeks! Keep growing! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

stitches, bandaids, school, and birthdays

I always enjoy sharing a little of this and that and today there is a lot of random going on for me. So I thought I would share five things for this Friday...

one. Emerson got his stitches taken out on Tuesday evening and he was amazing. God truly filled him with His peace and calm. After he woke up from his nap we went back to urgent care and thankfully didn't have to wait long at all. We got into the procedure room and he laid with me on the chair/table, just like he did when he got the stitches put in. While they cut the stitches off of his little chin he laid completely still, such an answer to prayer. As soon as they were done he was ready to run around the room like nothing had ever happened and was very happy to choose two stickers from the basket!

two. If you are looking for some bandaids for your munchkin, these bandages are the perfect. We tired the regular type and a few others but none of them held up to the toddler test. In the span of 20 minutes I went through at least a dozen bandaids, at which point I called it quits and decided to let him run free -until we got some better ones. The chin is a really tricky spot to keep a bandaid on, any exposed skin is hard on a toddler, but especially the chin. You know? Anyhow, Landon braved the sub-zero temperatures and went to the store to buy some much needed bandaids. I knew these were our last hope. Now they are the only ones we will use for him. He can't take them off as long as they are applied properly [read: no little bumps for him to pick at ... and they will find the bumps and pick pick pick]. Anyhow, we love them and Emerson loathes them. In fact, it's more of a chore to get a bandaid on him than it was for him to get stitches or have them removed. Who would have thought....

three. Emerson's birthday is coming up [all too soon!] and I'm trying to figure out what to do for his cake this year. I have a theme running around in my head, but I'm trying to narrow it down and figure out exactly what I want his cake to look like. We're not going to have a big party or anything, just the three of us and then we'll celebrate a little more with Landon's parents and one of his sisters the a few days later. No big decorations or anything, I like to keep it simple, but I do want to do something.

four. Landon has a big test coming up next weekend. He has been studying for over a month for this test and that's all he's been doing day and night. Passing this test will make him an official PhD student and allow him to finish his program. It's a pretty big deal. He takes it next weekend; he'll pick the test up on Friday evening and will have until Monday morning to work on it. It's going to be a terribly long weekend with late nights and little sleep. I know it will be such a relief for him when it is over! Us too!

five. One of my friends recently asked me if I would want to do the 100 Days or Real Food challenge with her or at least keep her accountable. I agreed to keep her accountable when she first asked me and the more I looked into it I decided to take the challenge with her. As I continued to read about it, the more excited I became about it and am looking forward to starting next week. I grew up eating mostly fresh foods: fruits and veggies from our garden, eggs from our chicken coop, and chicken too for that matter. I took for granted the freshness of everything we ate, and am excited to get back to eating wholesome, healthy, and fresh foods again. It's a process so I like that we can gradually change our eating habits.

Anyhow, that's what's going on in these parts. I'm linking up with Christina and a few other fun ladies   here today!