Family of 4

Family of 4

Thursday, September 12, 2013

One Year (and a couple weeks)...

One year and almost two weeks ago, I was birthing a baby!  It is so unbelievable to me that it could possibly have been a year already, but I cannot even imagine what life was like before my little Anderson came in the world.  Babies really do change everything... so much in fact that you can't remember what it was like without a baby.
He's so beautiful.  He's not just cute and fun, but he is beautiful!  God created him with such precision. Just the right amount of giggle to overjoy my heart.... just the right amount of independence to keep me patient.... just the right amount curiosity to keep me busy.... just the right amount of watchfulness to make me want to be a better person.... and just the right amount of tears to keep me compassionate.  Yes, I could argue that he was created with me in mind, and yet I know he has a much greater purpose than to just fulfill my hearts desire.
I truly feel so many emotions over this milestone, but we had to celebrate!  It was, in fact, one of the most wonderful days of my life.  So, we had a party!  A fun, colorful, monster party.  I worked on the decor for quite sometime and then we invited family and a few friends to come enjoy it with us.  Here are some of the highlights!

The Welcome... I found the monster wreath idea on pinterest (here) and loved it!  I know you don't often need a monster wreath, but he was the perfect greeter for our party and I thought at least maybe I could reuse him around Halloween time.

So, most of the things I created for the party were inspired by pinterest.  Here are some canvases I made for decorations.  (Inspriration here and here.) I painted each of them with acrylics and then used my Cricut to cut out the words and stuff.  The blue canvas and the green polka dot canvas both have paper letters that were applied using Mod Podge.  The yellow canvas has vinyl letters that are self adhesive.  I finished them off with a nice coat of matte finish clear acrylic.  I have this vision of pulling out "the birthday signs" each year... so hopefully they'll last for a long time. 

The sweets table... and of course, Andy's favorite snack- Goldfish.  Though you can't see them, the big pompoms have giant wiggly eyes to make them look like monsters. We have lots of monster books from my kindergarten days, so there's a couple of those on the table, too.  My favorite by far is Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly.  So much fun.  

A close up of the goodies.  Don't judge my attempt at a monster smash cake.  The cupcakes and cake pops definitely turned out better than it did.  I'm not sure what I did wrong... my icing kept falling off and it is terribly crooked.  Fortunately, Anderson didn't notice its flaws.  The links for my smash cake and cupcake inspiration are here and here.

The monster cupcakes.  I made some chocolate with cream cheese filling and icing and some yellow with cream cheese filling and icing.  The small candy eyeballs were ordered online (I can't seem to remember which website) and the large ones are Wilton brand purchased at Michael's.

I made lots of little funny monsters with my Cricut and stuck them and monster party hats around on the furniture.  The party favors came from Oriental Trading and we had lots of wallet sized pictures from the year to give out also.

A couple of banners.  The picture banner has a one picture from each month starting with a maternity picture and going to 11 months old.  The happy birthday banner is being stored with the birthday canvases in hopes of using it again for future birthdays.

Of course, we had to have one more mini-banner for the birthday boy's chair.  

First, we ate lunch  (hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixings) and then it was time to open presents.
He was definitely starting to get sleepy at this point.  You can see it in those little eyes.  Time for cake before it's too late! 

After-  My sweet icing covered sleepy boy.
He didn't really get into his cake much... I think he was too sleepy.

We put the boy in the bathtub and one more photo opp at the Monster photo booth. Inspiration here.

Then, the photo booth became a kissing booth!  

Anyway, we had a wonderful time celebrating with those that came.  It was a special day.  My mom made a wonderful time capsule for Anderson to open on his 18th birthday.  We all wrote letters and I added all of his birthday cards and a monster party hat.  James made a lovely slideshow which I could not lay eyes on without crying. So much fun and so tiring!  I look forward to doing it again in a year.  
**  All of the pictures you see here (except for the monster wreath picture- which was taken with my iphone) are courtesy of Mrs. Twila Allen of Twila's Photography!  Check her out- she's fabulous! You can see her site here. **

Saturday, February 23, 2013

diapers to dorms

We all know them, in fact you might be one of them, sometimes I am one of them.... the people that are never happy with where they are in their lives.  The ones who are always wishing away the days longing for the next step.  I'm not saying you're wrong in doing so, it's just sort of been driving me crazy lately.  Wishing for a relationship... a wedding.... a new house.... to be pregnant.... to have a baby..... etc.  Maybe it's about feeling accomplished? Maybe it's just dissatisfaction?  But on top of this constant "looking to the future" each stage holds constant complaints about what was so wished for.  Wishing for a house just to complain about the responsibilities that come with it.  Wishing for a pregnancy just to complain about every ache and pain. Wishing for a baby only to complain about sleeplessness and fatigue.  {Side bar- Let me just remind you/myself that there are people that only dream of the blessings we have.  He only dreams about having a warm home to sleep in, let alone the 4 bedroom 2.5 bath "mansion" that you own. She only imagines feeling that little baby kick inside her womb and push its little feet into her ribs making it difficult to breathe.  Infertility comes in many forms and is so painful.  Those parents can no longer hold their child on this earth but look forward to holding their child somewhere in eternity due to a heart-wrenching tragedy that took his life away.  I know... moving on.}

I guess the reason it has bothered me so is because of where I've been... At least that is what I've come to assume.  I don't really know... and I know at times I am guilty of the other. But I'm here wishing with every ounce of me that I could just slow things down.  That I could find a way to hold on to each moment that passes.  That I could find some magic wand  time machine something that would help me to remember every second of this precious time.  I don't want to forget.  I don't want to let my baby grow up... so, I ask myself.... "Is this really better than wishing for the next stage?" I mean, I know that there has to be a balance between treasuring the moment and looking forward to the future.  Oh, that's so hard!

I know he's here (Anderson, that is) for the same purpose I am.. to further the Kingdom.  I am enjoying each stage of his development and truly love watching him learn, but I have this dilemma of the heart.  Each time he learns something, he becomes more independent of me.  He needs me less and I want him more.  For nine months it was up to God and me to sustain his little life.  I understand that he's only six months old and we're far from moving into the dorms, but I see it happening in my mind's eye and it is too quick.  I miss him already.

 Children are a heritage from the Lord, 
offspring a reward from Him.
~Psalm 127:3~


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stationery Card

Rainbow Letters Valentine's Card
Modern shower invitations and holiday cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hope Fulfilled

I can't describe to you the feeling I have each time I look at this sweet boy. 
Through our journey to the present, I have loved each of our babies with my whole heart.  Nothing takes away the longing to hold each of them and look upon their sweet faces.  But as the precious coos, hearty laughs, and happy squeals fill my living room even as I write this, I am so thankful for the gift that God has given in my sweet Andy.  He's such a blessing and I know no truer example of hope fulfilled in my life.  Praise God for His faithfulness in blessing us with the desires of our hearts and for holding tight to our little ones until we join them in eternity.  What a beautiful hope he gives.

"Now, Hope is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see." 
-Hebrews 11:1-