Monday, June 20, 2011

Ahh Summertime...

School is finally out up here and the girls aren't waisting any time with playing in the one thing I think we all played with when we were kids...the hose....

Harper: Do it Ainsley, do it!

And she did.

But I think little sister showed her how it's really done!

And with that picture, I think we can say it's officially summer around our house;)
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day...

....well of course it won't be the same. A few days ago I would have mailed my dad a present and a card and on Sunday I would wait until after he and my mom got back from church to call and wish him a happy father's day. He would have then asked what we were doing and what I had planned for dinner for Mike since he was a father too;) He liked to tease me because he knew I didn't like to cook.

The song playing is the song we danced to at my wedding. Every single verse is so true. I miss him more than anything and I so wish I could call him on Sunday. I guess I've been super busy and I haven't let myself "go there" lately when it comes to my dad but with Father's Day coming up, how can I not?

As sad as I am about him no longer being here, I am so very thankful my dad was there for so many big events I had in my life. Big swim meets, graduations, my wedding, the kid's being born, our first house, baptisms. He was there for it all and I have wonderful pictures of it to cherish. But my dad was there for the not so big things too, it was just nice to have him there.

My dad was predictable and I can just play out what he would say once we move down to North Carolina. He'd familarize himself with the new house, give suggestions when I asked about projects (I always had projects for my dad and he always did them), he'd tell us he really liked it and he would study the way it was built.

I often find myself playing back the last time I saw him and how he seemed so uncomfortable but still tried to act like he wasn't. You know how you feel when your child is hurt and you hate to see them hurt? That's how I still feel, I still cry over what the melanoma did to him even though I know good and well he's totally fine now. He's better than fine. But it still hurts to know he wasn't fine and that he was in pain. I think a part of me still wants to fix it. Like, what could we have done to save him? As if it would change the outcome now. I still just can't believe he's gone. Because, well, that just wasn't in my plan.

I guess this is all just part of the grieving process.

So even though I won't be able to call him this Sunday, I'll forever be thankful for the pictures I have of him. Even without the pictures, I don't need them to remind me that he was the best dad in the whole world.

"Maybe, I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because
I was loved by you."


Monday, June 13, 2011

A Cupcake Party For Harper!

I've been planning this party for months. Seriously, I think I started purchasing things back in March. Harper's original party date was supposed to be in the beginning of May but then my dad passed away and of course that changed everything. Just didn't feel like partying.

But I really wanted to do this for my little girl because Harper is the middle child, she puts up with a lot and Bennett gets a ton of attention with all of his therapies. I felt Harper needed a special party this year and after all, girls just wanna have fun:)

So without further ado, a cupcake party for our little cupcake;)....

At the bottom of the post I'll list where I got everything in case you're planning a cupcake party-such an easy and fun theme!!

The weather held out-so thankful for that because it looked like it could start raining at any minute! I'm loving pom poms right now and they added the perfect touch, just floating above. Pink and green were the colors-another easy combo!

The birthday girl! Her favorite color is purple so of course I had to make her a skirt and then I found a cute apron kit (Hobby Lobby) for a child and doll and it fit her theme perfectly.

Harper with her "Bitty Baby" in their matching aprons!

The goods.

Another beautiful cake made by my talented friend Jeannie! We are really going to miss Jeannie and her wonderful cakes when we move!! The inside was purple upon Harper's request;)

By no means do they look professional but I wanted to tackle making my own sugar cookies with royal icing and I feel I succeeded. I'll list the site where I got the easy instructions on the bottom. Cute stickers were from etsy-site listed at the bottom.

I found these straws on etsy and these glasses jars at Hobby Lobby. I just took of the tops of the jars and they worked great as cute glasses to hold the pink lemonade!

The party was later in the day so I offered light "healthy" snacks along with a ton of sugary ones;)

I saw this somewhere and the person was selling it for $45- I knew I could make it for less since I already had a ton of ribbon. So easy, just used a topiary and then cut ribbon about 4 inches long, looped it and pinned it with tiny sewing pins.

Ainsley's room is pink and green so it now sits in her room as a decoration and she loves it!

More cupcake things I found at Micheals and etsy. The little cupcake confetti as well as the big cupcakes hanging from the lanterns (hard to see) were from an etsy site and I got them for a great price.

So for the party I had the girls decorate their paper baker hats with markers and stickers. The girls were all either age 6 or 4 and they loved writing their own name by themselves. Some of the little ones needed help but I think they enjoyed decorating their hat with tons of stickers!

After that, the girls iced and decorated their own cupcakes that I had made. Ainsley's proud of her creation.

Not sure if Harper could get anymore sprinkles on hers!
The whole gang!

After the cupcakes, we decorated our own cupcake cake pops but we don't have pictures because that took both Mike and I to help and supervise;) Btw, Mike was a HUGE help!!!

We also cracked open a cupcake pinata but again no pics, just video and it's hilarious to hear the 6 year olds tell the 4 year olds: "Get it girl!"

Bennett could have cared less about all the girly stuff and went straight for the bat we used for the pinata- "attaboy!"

All in all the party was a success and Harper told me the next morning that she loved her party and all the things they did-I'm one happy momma:)

Here's where I got ideas and everything seen at the party:

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Here We Go Again....

So every 2 years, almost to the month, our lives seem to change. Mike and I have been married for almost 11 years now and have lived in 5 different houses and in 3 different states. Twice it's been within the same town (although different states) but the other 3 times it's been big moves. Well, here we are again, a little over 2 years (actually this is the longest time we've been in the same house!) guessed it-

We're moving!

From the south, to the north and now back down to the south again! I have to say this move is going to be bitter sweet. Yes, I love almost everything about the south. I feel like the south is my home.

Maybe because I lived there for 12 years (in college and then with Mike after we got married).

Maybe because my girls were born in the South.

Maybe because little girls wearing big bows, big porches with hanging ferns and southern accents make me smile. Besides, I did grow up just below the Mason Dixon line in VA.

But the North, well there's something about living in the Northeast. It has a lot of character. It's beautiful up here. And where we live, there are rolling hills, farm land and mountains. Living just a short drive from NYC has it's perks too! And believe it or not: the northeast has REALLY nice people!;)

I have to admit, when Mike first got his job up here, I was a little concerned with what it would be like to live just minutes from New Jersey. The people seemed so different. I guess we can thank all the reality tv for that! But you know what? Some of the people were different and that's okay. Most of the people we're nothing like what you see on tv and if they were, they were entertaining;) Seriously though, I've met some of the nicest people in my life up here.

I'll never forget once Bennett was born and when people I hardly knew brought us dinners my dad said "I know you guys want to get back down south but you've got some really nice people up here". He couldn't believe all the love and support we received after Bennett was born because we had only been there for 6 months! I know he felt good about where we lived and he felt like the people up here were going to take care of us.

These last 2 years have easily been the HARDEST, without a doubt. Moving to a whole new place while pregnant, not knowing anyone, then finding out my unborn child would have Down syndrome and would need heart surgery, going through the heart surgery, becoming "a special needs mom" and everything that goes with that, then finding out my dad had Melanoma, then spending a year to try and help my dad find the best treatment, all the while experiencing the ups and downs of having a child with Down syndrome, then losing my dad.

But the people that came into my life during these very hard times, will NEVER be forgotten. Some of these people deserve their own little post but that will come on another day.

Mike has been blessed to work for the same company for 11 years and will remain with them during this move. We've been anticipating it, praying about it, wondering about it, talking about it and agonizing over it. I've been cleaning out closets, organizing and eliminating since January. C'mon now, does that surprise you? Ya'll know I'm a planner! LOL.

So there's a lot still up in the air ie: an actual move date (it will be sometime this summer), an actual town we'll live in but I guess I'm used to this by now and hope to have another awesome experience in this new chapter of our lives. Stay tuned, it's going to be another crazy summer!

Can ya guess what state we're moving back too??

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Play room Makeover!

I've been a busy bee lately and I decided I'd link up to The Shabby Chic Cottage for:

Transformation Thursday

So I transformed our living room into a playroom a while back and I've been wanting to change things up a little to make it more organized and nicer since it's the first room you see when you walk into our house.

Here are the before pics from when we first moved in over 2 years ago:

Yuck! My style has changed so much!

Then the first transformation into a play room:

These chairs are now in the family room.

So I eventually took the chairs out and moved the table in their place and the room started to get crazy with all the toys. I don't think I have pics of that transformation.

But here is the after of what it looks like today:
I went with a black and white color scheme but wasn't willing to change the wall color. I love the white rug but we've had a few issues with it;0

I painted the polka dots on the table white-they were green and yellow. I added white pom poms-so fun! I also painted the "MDA" and the "play" letters white-they were gold. I glued on black numbers to the baskets with my handy glue gun and tried to organize the toys as best I could. We've got a lot of junk toys:)

Love these chalk board sticker labels! I found them here.

I bought these ikea shelves on the left and right from my friend that was selling them in a yard sale for $15! She had 5 total and now I wish I had purchased all of them-great for storing all of our other toys! I plan on painting those top bins black btw.

More chalkboard labels!

I decided to add these small, easy to clean chairs to the room for a reason-but more on that later;) I'm a pillow making machine right now so I found some down pillows in the basement and covered them with some new fabric.

I took down the yellow polka dot curtains and hung white panels but when I saw these, I knew they would be perfect in the play room! But they may have to wait-more on that later too;)

So there you have it, our new playroom but not for long! Never a dull moment around here!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Busy as usual around here. Can't believe I haven't posted in a week but pure craziness has erupted it seems and as if I wasn't busy enough, I'm going to be a whole lot busier...more on that later;) {no, I'm not pregnant}

We had a big weekend here but before that, in my precious, spare time I made some fun things I'd like to share...

A fun summer wreath! I found the idea here, she deserves the credit but I added my newest obsession- starfish and seashells!
Super fun and cheap shoes! Again, found the idea here. Cheap walmart shoes dyed to your favorite color! Sooo easy! I can't come up with all this stuff on my own! The girls LOVE their new shoes by the way and I'm really digging mine as well!

So on to our weekend...

My mom came up, which was wonderful and got to see Ainsley in her kindergarten fashion show and concert!

For the fashion show you had to write a small paragraph about the first letter of your name and come up with a matching costume and props. We did Apples for Ainsley and I made her a little dress and she carried out a basket of fake apples and a fake apple pie that I made. All the kids were so cute and some of the costumes were so creative-very impressed.

The next day was our neighborhood garage sale. My mom is a super perfectionist {wonder where I got it from??} so we had the nicest looking garage sale by far if you asked me;)

I mean, would you look how professional this looks!? My jewelry sold well {for .50 it should have!} but I did have to snag back those blue earrings in the far lower, right corner. Forgot I had those and decided I still liked them;)

More of my mom's cute way of displaying things.

So the next day was Ainsley's dance recital. Actually she had to perform 4 times-twice Saturday and twice Sunday-more like a dance marathon!

Before the recital, waiting to go in. Harper was excited to hold Ainsley's flowers.

Backstage- two brown eyed beauties!

More backstage.

I barely got any pictures of her in her costume so here she is in all her glory! {Pictures are not allowed during the performance.}

So that wrapped up our weekend. It was exhausting but fun!

I did want to share that Bennett is now sporting new shoes with his new orthotics. For those that don't know, orthotics are small inserts that help support the arch of the foot and ankles. Kids with Down syndrome have lower tone so these offer just a little support. You can barely see Bennett's as they go just a little above his ankle. He doesn't seem to mind them either.

Look at my little man! Love him!!

Other than that, just starting our crazy lazy summer days:)

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