Friday, January 29, 2016

beauty things, dutch ovens, and the pup

Oh, Friday. I love you a lot this week.


one. nail polish 
I've always enjoyed painting my nails and when my nails are painted it helps me feel a little more put together. Who knows why, but it's the truth. For the past month or so I've been able to find [make] time to do a little nail painting, and I love it. I've realized that I've become really picky about my nail polish though and I just really think that OPI is the way to go, at least for me. Maybe one day I'll share some of my favorite colors but for today I'll share just one: Small + Cute = Love. I feel like it's the perfect shade of light pink. The deep reds are festive and fun and I'm still enjoying those colors, but I needed to lighten things up a little and I was happy to find this color the other day.

found here

two. eye shadow 
For a while now I've heard a lot of hype about the Urban Decay eye shadow palette, then the other day I had a had a coupon and a gift card so I decided to give one of the shades a try. I didn't get the whole palette, I figured I'd try one color first. And truthfully, I didn't like it one bit. I thought it'd be perfect and great and I'd have finally found the perfect shade/shadow. But no. At least, not for me. I've see ads for this palette and after reading about it here today, I've decided that I'll just do a little exchange this weekend. I figure if Jess uses it and loves it, it's got to be good :) Here's to hoping it works for me.

found here

three. curling iron 
For Christmas I was given a new curling wand. My sister uses it and loves it. I love the way her curls look when she uses it. It was the perfect gift, the only trouble is, I don't know how to use it! ha! I told her today that I've tried over and over and fail every time. She has always said it's so easy [and quick] to use, so hopefully I can figure it out and master the curling iron soon. Sometimes my curls just need some help - especially at current length for my hair. She told me the next time she goes to fix her hair with it she'd FaceTime me so I can get a personal tutorial :)

found here

I feel like that's as much beauty talking as I've ever done here before. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to the beauty side of things, I know enough to fix my own make up in a very simple and minimal way each day. Which is why it's not something I talk about. Ever. Except today for some reason.

four. dutch oven 
Food seems like a good way to get out of the beauty side of things. More specifically, a Dutch Oven. I feel like more and more I see/find recipes that require a dutch oven. The recipes all look so good and I find myself wishing I could make them, but I can't since don't have one [or an oven proof pot]. So right now I'm having an internal battle trying to decide if I should take the plunge and get one or if I should wait and ask for one for my birthday. Even though there's a big sale going on, plus a few coupons would mean I could snatch it up for a steal.Oh, decisions... In reality, I'll probably wait, but it's nice to think about something fun like this.
found here

five. the pup
A while back I mentioned we gave our pup to a new home. Since he's been there I've been in regular correspondence with his new person, Deb. It's nice to hear how he's doing and just know that he is being loved on and spoiled. Well, the other week Deb wrote to tell me that a spot Boady had on his back had grown to double in size, fairly quickly. She let me know that she was taking him to her vet to have it looked at. Afterwards she told me that the vet said it looked "ugly" and that he removed it [and what he removed was the size of the tip of your pinky finger!] Poor pup. She also told me that he said it had roots, which isn't something you want to hear. He sent it off for a biopsy and she said she'd let us know when she heard back. It's over a week later and we're still waiting to hear how he is doing and what the prognosis is. I know he's a pup, and he's not even living with us any more, but it breaks my heart to know that he might have cancer. I love him and have hopes of a long happy life for him. I'm praying we hear good news soon! I'd appreciate any prayers you'd say for him and Deb too.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

little gifts {129 - 153}

Being thankful for the little things makes life all the more enjoyable. I've been working on keeping a list of the little things I'm thankful for - little blessings or gifts - and today I'm going to just add some more to that list.

129. fuzzy fleeces 

130. new stationary - ready to send to a friend 

131. a medley of songs sung by two year olds [and a three year old!]

132. dancing and hopping in the kitchen 

133. sun beams 

134. a fresh manicure 

135. a clean kitchen

136. cuddles with my seven month old 

137. reading books with Emerson before nap time every day

138. two littles cleaning up the play room without help! 

139. food - for tasting good and being a wonderful motivator [see above]

140. watching two littles work together to fix a problem/clean up/play

141. big, wet, open mouthed, slobbery, baby kisses 

142. being attached with baby kisses - one right after the other 

143. Oliver - not waking after minutes of being asleep

144. rolling balls of cookie dough in the palms of my hands 

145. creating little people for a birthday cake 

146. my three year old 

147. ponytails - and hair long enough to be put in one 

148. the excitement of what is to come 

149. new baskets and bins for organizing and storage 

150. slow days 

151. a God who cares 

152. not caring so much about the messy state of my living room 

153. Friday eve [today :] 

... and the list will go on, but for today we'll stop there. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

minion birthday cake

Growing up my mom always made us a birthday cake for our birthday. We got to pick what kind of cake we wanted and she would bake it for us and then hide it until it was time to eat after dinner/lunch [whenever we were going to have cake time]. She would decorate it too, sometimes it would be a simple "Happy 8th Birthday, Hannah!" written on top and sometimes it would be more - like when my sister and I helped her decorate my brother's cake with legos [it was awesome!]. But it was always a cake of our choosing. And it was always special. 

So naturally, when it comes time to birthdays, I want to make a cake - and decorate it too. Landon usually picks a boring cake [ie. one that cannot be decorated], but with Emerson? He's just a little guy so I decided to make the most of it.

For his first birthday I made a winter wonderland cake - with a January birthday I thought it'd be a fun little theme. I loved it. He didn't really even seem to care. One year olds...

By the time Emerson turned two he was showing more interest in some things more than others, so I made him farm animal cupcakes because he loved all of the farm animals. I still think those were my favorite.

But this year? This year Emerson really has likes and dislikes and he lets me know what they are. I asked him about his cake and we looked at pictures of cakes together. From the beginning he was all about having a minion birthday cake. So that's what I did.

I'm not a professional baker [though I'd love to be] or cake decorator [obviously] and I could use a lot more practice, but I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with how the minion cake turned out. I try to look past the little imperfections on his cake and just focus on the fact that they are minions and that Emerson loved his cake. Because in the end, that's what really matters. Not only did the toppers turn out like I had hoped, the cake turned out wonderfully this year - perfectly light and fluffy!

I had so much fun working on this cake for him. Hopefully next year he doesn't pick something super tricky to create. Though, if he does, I'll have a little more opportunity for practicing my skills. There is a certain little baby boy [that I'm not going to name in hopes of it prolonging his birthday a bit] that I know will be in need of a cake all too soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Emerson turns three

Because this blog is a way for me to document our life and the little adventures that make it special to us, I wanted to be sure to dedicate a post to Emerson's birthday celebration. I know I've talked about his birthday festivities a little bit already; but I wanted to be sure to really capture his special day and include a few pictures. 

The morning of his birthday, once I was ready and heard him chatting away in his room, I opened his door to wish him a happy birthday. As soon as I walked in his room he looked up at me and said, "My wate up for my birdday!" He was all kinds of excited. It was so sweet to see his excitement and know that this was the first year that he really understood and got into the whole birthday fun. 

The night before, after the boys were in bed, I had put up a little birthday banner in our kitchen and wrapped his presents and "hid" them behind one of our couches. So that morning when we walked downstairs, he noticed a gift bag behind the couch first thing. He was so excited but was also really good about listening and waiting until later to open them. He walked into the kitchen and oohed and aahhed over the banner and then we had our usual breakfast of yogurt/toast/cereal ... fancy, I know.

We finished breakfast and finished getting ready for the day before Bee arrived. She came bearing a present and immediately told Emerson to, "Open it! Open it!" He obliged and they spent the day playing with her gift to him: play food [some of the best I've seen!]. Emerson was so good about waiting until Bee went home before he opened the rest of his gifts. He would mention them if we walked into the living room, but was so good about waiting.

Our small group leader [wife] sent me a text that morning asking what the birthday boy wanted for lunch; she wanted to come over with her little boy and baby girl to see Emerson and to play. They arrived around lunch time; she brought Thai food for me [bless her] and berries for Emerson [bless]. Once lunch was over we took the kiddos to play for a while in the playroom. It was a fun and unexpected visit and way to spend the morning. Emerson loved that one of his buddies came to play with him and before they left they gave Emerson a birthday present - I dare say it may be his favorite one - a Despicable Me Fart Blaster. Oh goodness gracious. At least it doesn't omit a smell? He loves it and carries it with him all around the house, haha. Boy mamas everywhere unite. 

Once naps were over, Bee went home, and Oliver ate, he was finally able to open his birthday gifts. He was all kinds of excited and knew exactly how to open gifts. He ripped through those gifts so fast that he was done in less than five minutes. He got one thing to play with and the rest were things that he needed. He was happy with his loot and ran around the house with his "tooting gun" while I fixed his birthday dinner of pancakes and bacon. Boy loves breakfast food.

Since Landon's parents were planning on coming to visit on Friday we decided to wait to have his 'big cake' /"party" for when they arrived. But, you have to have cake on your birthday, so I made a few cupcakes so we could let him blow out candles. He loved blowing his candles out [and remembered about blowing candles out from his birthday the year before] and took the job so seriously. It took him a few breaths, but he huffed and puffed and got those candles to blow out.

It was the perfect ending to his third birthday!

That night after the boys went to bed Landon's parents arrived early so they could beat the snow storm headed their way. I worked on finishing Emerson's cake toppers and visited with Landon's parents after they arrived for a little while. Friday morning Bee came over and the two of them played all the day long. I baked and frosted Emerson's birthday cake so it would be ready for eating after dinner that night.

For dinner we went to Longhorn and then came home for presents and cake. Emerson was excited to see that he had more gifts to open and went to work opening them all in record time.

*He has been talking about and asking for a trumpet for months. One of his thoughtful great aunts sent him, what else, but a trumpet for his birthday. He was beside himself.

He opened a few more gifts and some cards. Every time he opend a card that had money or a check in it, he'd take the money and toss it to the ground. haha. What good is paper, right? ;] 

Emerson and I had talked about what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday and he always said the same thing: a Little People [aka Minion] cake. Well, there were two times he said Curious George or something, but it always came back to Little People. So that's what I made for him. It was so much working on his cake and seeing his joy and excitement when he saw the Little People on top of his cake gave me all the warm fuzzies. 

We had a wonderful celebration for this sweet boy and it was so much fun to see him excited about his birthday and all that it entailed.

And now that he's three he just suddenly seems so big and grown up on me. I'm looking forward to what this year of his life will bring and excited to see how he grows, learns, and continues to develop. It is my prayer that his heart will love, seek, and obey Christ all of his days. I pray that as he grows he will be a man of integrity, generosity, compassion, and boldness. He is a non-stop little firecracker and I'm so thankful I get to be his mama.

Monday, January 25, 2016

a celebration weekend

This weekend I kept seeing pictures of piles of snow and hearing from friends where we used to live about how much snow they were getting. We got none of it, which makes me a little sad. I like a good snow and feel like you need a really good snow each winter. I would love for there to be a big snow here before the winter is over.

Even though we didn't get any new snow, we enjoyed the snow we had from a few days prior and we enjoyed spending time with Landon's parents who were in for a visit. They came in on Thursday night instead of the originally planned Friday afternoon because they were fearful that if the waited too long the snow would start coming and not let them come for a visit at all. Friday morning when Emerson woke up I told him GiGi and Poppy were here and he was so excited. I still had to babysit on Friday, but Emerson [and Bee] were happy to have more people to play with. I had planned to bake Emerson's birthday cake on Friday morning during Oliver's nap while the big kids played with play dough. As it turned out GiGi and Poppy said they would be happy to play with them both while I went upstairs to work on his birthday stuff. I got to bake uninterrupted for the first time in a long time, it was really nice and oh so relaxing to enjoy baking in the calm of the morning. I kind of felt bad for leaving the kids downstairs, but not bad enough and the cake had to be made. I think everyone enjoyed how the morning ended up going.

That evening we decided to go out for dinner and then come back to the house for birthday cake and some presents. It was a nice dinner out and then Emerson stayed up a little past his bedtime, playing with his gifts and Poppy and GiGi, which he seemed to enjoy very much.

Saturday morning I made baked oatmeal for breakfast and then we headed out to run some errands. Landon and his dad were going to Lowe's to get some lumber to fix our bed and his mom went with me and the boys to Ulta and then the grocery store. On our way to the store Emerson asked where we were going and I told him the beauty store, to which he replied, "Me no like butey tore." Smart boy. I had a coupon for $10 off a $20 purchase, which is like buy one good nail polish get one free - so I got two and helped Landon's mom pick some nail polish of her own. Then we headed to meet Landon and his dad and get some groceries. Fun fact: our grocery bill was $60.77 our savings from that grocery trip was $80.98. Snap. That made me sooooo happy. Yay for saving money! And since we were already out and Oliver was snoozing away, we made a quick stop at Kohl's [I had some Kohl's cash and had to use it]. I was able to walk around by myself for a little bit while GiGi pushed a napping Oliver around and Emerson went to see some "animals" at Field and Stream with Landon and his dad. We headed home for lunch and naps. While the boys napped I cleaned my desk and night table out and folded some laundry.

We went out for dinner again that night and when we got to the restaurant were told it would be a 30 minute wait. Not ideal, but doable. We ended up waiting for over an hour before we were seated. It was not so good. Thankfully the boys did pretty well, even though they were both hungry and don't like to sit still for long. During dinner, Emerson ate and ate and ate. He ate so much food! While I was eating my meal I noticed how quite it was - he was so busy eating he didn't have time to talk. haha. he usually doesn't eat food we order for him when we go out, but he ate nearly all of his chicken nuggets, french fries, some salad, biscuits, and the cookie and ice cream dessert he got for his birthday! Holy goodness. It was kind of wonderful. After we got home [much later than anticipated] and the boys were in bed, we watched "Saving Mr. Banks." It was a really good movie. I feel like there are so many hit or misses when it comes to the movie world. But this one was really good! Funny, a little sad, entertaining, wholesome, good plot, and character development. All of us really liked it, which is saying something because I'm pretty sure in the two and a half years we've lived here and had Landon's parents visit us, there have been one or two movies that we've watched that have been good.

I was short an ingredient for the apple bake I was going to fix for breakfast on Sunday, so we had cereal and toast. hah. We decided to hang out at the house that morning so Landon's parents could spend as much time with the boys as possible. We weren't planning on going anywhere, but then Emerson's diaper pail broke [and we need a diaper pail - pee eww!] so Landon and I went on a "date" to Target to get a diaper pail and a few other things. Romantic, huh? Though it was nice to have some one on one time with Landon and talk without being interrupted. If we had gone out to eat I don't know where we would have gone [everyone puts dairy in everything - it's really easier to eat at home] anyway. It was a nice way to spend the morning and the store was deserted at such an early hour, which I always love.

We were planning to have lunch together, but Landon's parents needed to leave at the same time Oliver needed to eat. So they all went out for lunch and I stayed home with Oliver for a little one on one time. It was so quite, just me and the little babe. Our day ended with naps, dinner, and play time.

It was a fun weekend celebrating our little three year old and it was nice to spend time with family.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend [snow or no snow]!

Friday, January 22, 2016

birthday, cake, family, and freedom

Happy Friday to you! I've got things to get done and family with visit with, but I just love this little space so much and it has become a sort of therapy for me to come and write [even if it's a little bit about everything or nothing at all]. So before I go off to do those things, I thought I'd share a few little tidbits . . .

one. birthday birthday birthday 
We spent yesterday celebrating Emerson! It is so fun to see him as he grows and learns and becomes more and more of his own little person. He is such a sweet boy and I am so very thankful for him.

two. early arrival 
Due to Emerson's birthday, Landon's parents were planning on coming in to celebrate with us. They had planned to get in this evening, but due to a wintery forecast of lots of snow, they decided that instead of potentially being stuck in the snow they'd just come early. They arrived last night after the boys were in bed, so we were able to spend an extra day with them. Emerson could not be more excited!

three. cake!
I've been working hard on Emerson's birthday cake - both on recipes for the cake and frosting and on the toppers and decorations for the cake itself. I had hoped to have it finished last night, but that just didn't happen. Thankfully GiGi and Poppy were more than happy to hang out and play with the little people while I finished working on the cake. Now I just can't wait to show Emerson! I'll be sure to share with you all next week.

please excuse the harsh lighting in these pictures... 

four. mama's boy. 
Oliver has become such a mama's boy ... and I kind of love it. He's always loved me and let it be known that he prefers me over others, but lately he's all eyes for me. He watches me from across the room and any time I turn around, I see him with his eyes glued on me. It's so funny. I know one day he will be all about his daddy, but until then I plan on cherishing these sweet days.

five. bye bye "freedom" 
For the past year or so I have been borrowing a carseat from my sister. It has allowed me to get out of the house with all three kiddos [two before Oliver was born] to go to Bible study each week and to the store if we needed something [fake butter] or if there was an emergency [like the time Emerson bust his head open]. But this weekend I'm going to have to say goodbye to that carseat. My sister has asked for it back so she can use it with her little peanut. And since it is hers, I can't very well tell her I won't give it back to her. So no more Bible study [I hate that for Emerson and Bee] and no more trips out with all three, no matter how desperate I am. Oh well, right?

Anyhow, I plan on enjoying a birthday weekend with my favorite little three year old! And family too. I hope you all have a cozy weekend and enjoy snow [or no snow].

Thursday, January 21, 2016

three // a birthday letter


Happy Birthday to you! Today we celebrate three years of your precious life! It seems crazy that it has been three years since your daddy and I rushed to the hospital and held you in our arms just a few short hours later. The day you were born was a wonderful day. The day you were born is a day I will remember for always. 

Watching you grow and learn has brought so much joy into our lives. You have gotten so big and these days you seem like such a boy, not the tiny little nugget 6 ounce baby we brought home three years ago. It's not hard to believe it's been three years though. You are every bit a three year. You are bigger and older looking. You have stretched out and are growing fast. You've already nearly outgrown some of the pants I got for you in the Fall. You talk to us about everything and have so many questions. You are more boy than baby, but still sweet as ever. 

You love life and you live it to the fullest - every. single. day. You are not easily upset and when you do get upset, it doesn't last for long, you find something else that makes you happy [or we distract you with some "super cool" thing and 98% of the time you're all about the new cool thing we're talking about]. From the moment you wake up in the morning to the time your head hits the pillow at night, you are on the go. You are a busy little guy with so much to do and talk about. Sometimes it it seems like you aren't listening or paying attention because you are distracted with something else or talking yourself; but then we ask you a question about what we were reading/talking about and you are able to give the correct answer. 

Reading is still your favorite, though now you love to read more independently than ever. Before bed and nap time, you sit in your bed and read book after book, studying each page and "reading" the story to your buddies. Often times you'll fall asleep with a book by your side. When you wake up you usually entertain yourself by reading until we come and get you. It's so sweet to hear you reading your stories to your favorite buddies. Some of your favorite books are: all of your Bible story books, Curious George, and the "Best First Book Ever". There are other books that you love, but those ones are your favorites. I love that you love reading and I love when we get to read stories together. I do pray it is a life long love for you [and your brother ;]. 

Running, playing, and being outside are other favorites. You love cooking in your kitchen and are always happy to fix me whatever meal I ask for, you love trains, running around in circles [literally - you run around the room in circles while squealing in delight], playing with Bee, playing with Oliver and giving him all of the toys [except for the ones you want to play with, ha :], playing Hungry Hippos, watching a show in the evenings, helping me fix dinner or bake [anytime I'm in the kitchen you want to help and always ask, "Whad I hep you width?"]. Your favorite shows are Daniel Tiger, Superwhy, Curious George, and "the little people" aka, Minions. 

This year you went through some pretty big changes - the biggest one being that you became a big brother! You have done so well adjusting to your new role and absolutely love and adore your little brother. You are always so eager to bring him any and every toy. Sometimes you want one of his toys, but you always replace it with a different toy. You love holding him and reading books with him and think it's hilarious when he tries to eat the book we're reading. Giving him hugs, pats, kisses, and just playing with him is one of your favorite things and you are always asking to play with "Otto". Sometimes while I'm fixing a meal you'll come in the kitchen and dance, hop, sing, blow bubbles [pretend with a measuring spoon], for him. He loves it and cracks up peals of giggles, which you love just as much as me so you keep doing whatever it was that got him giggling in the first place. It's basically the most adorable thing. ever. 

Your bed time is around 8 o'clock, but can change a little based on the night. You still take an afternoon nap, although lately you've been skipping those and just play and read books in your room. I'm not quite ready to give up your nap time yet, and you still act like you really need one, so we're going to keep on with the naps for a while yet. I've heard of some babies and munchkins your age sleeping until 8 or later in the morning - you are not one of those kids. Before the sun is shining you are up and ready to start the day.

It is such a joy watching you as you grow. You fill our home with so much laughter, joy, and love. You are a blessing and we are so very thankful for you and your life. I pray that you will always know and love God and that your heart will always seek after and obey Him. I pray that you will be compassionate and generous, brave and wise. May your light always shine for Him. I love you so so much, sweet boy. 

Happy third birthday!