Thursday, April 12, 2012

Just a letter...Continue On...

If you're friends with me in real life or on facebook you know that the past week or so everyone except my dear husband has been sick. We've all had fevers, we've all had sore throats. We've had 2 ear infections, 1 case of strep and a miserable mommy. 

But, life does not stand still. While we've had a week of doctor visits, it's also been filled with many firsts for Ginny, lots of giggles, a few tears (well, maybe more than a few), and an overabundance of playtime and love. It's been a pretty great week. One of those super exhausting I'm so glad this is my life type of weeks. 

Yesterday as I lay on the sofa letting Nick make dinner for the kids (leftovers) Lucy brought me the mail. There were a few things I was expecting, but then there it was. The unexpected. A card from a friend. She's one of those friends that just always seems to know when a letter will brighten your day. We had dinner a few weeks ago and had some great conversations, she's such a wonderful encouragement to me. 

I wanted to share what was written in the card. It's a little long, but if you're a mommy or were a mommy or just love your should try to read it to the end. 

Continue On
by Roy Lessin

A woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life. 

She feared she was wasting her potential by being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. 

At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. "Is it worth it?" she often questioned. 
"Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?"

It was during these moments that she heard the still, small voice of her heavenly Father speak to her heart. 

"You are a wife and mother because that is what I've called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye. But I notice. Most of what you give is done without payment. But I am your reward.

Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. 
I bless him through your service and honor him through your love.

Your children are precious to me--even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for me. What you invest in them is an offering to me. 

"You may never be in the public spotlight, but your obedience shines as 
bright light before me. 

Remember you are My servant. Do all to please Me. 
Continue On."

In light of the comments made about Stay at Home mom's in the media. I know a lot of people are defending this dying breed of motherhood. The thing to remember is that it really isn't about what the world says about you as a mother, it's oh so much more. all my mom friends...continue on...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Evangeline Kate is 9 months!

If I didn't want to record your growth somewhere I think I would refuse to do this month's post. You're not allowed to be 9's just TOO BIG!! and you are well aware of what a big girl you are!

Oh Ginny would have thought that when you started moving your brother and sister would have become annoyed with you and started being frustrated with you getting into everything. Exactly the opposite has happened. They fawn over you even more, share their toys and do everything they can to keep you safe (which does result in your tears frequently...but it's {usually} for your own good). 

A few things that you've accomplished in the past month:

You're crawling...officially crawling EVERYWHERE!

You've fallen down the carpeted stairs. I hate to admit this one, but it's true. You were just too quick and had a HUGE interest in figuring out what those things were for...we now keep an extremely close eye on you at all times...and gates are ready and waiting.

You're clapping. Just this past Saturday you started clapping. It's so much fun to watch and you get that proud look on your face when you do it. 

You've waved just a few times. We're pretty sure you learned this from your quick visit with cousin Betsy. But, we've seen it enough to add it to your repertoire of things you can do. 

Just today you pulled up to standing for the very first time all on your own (without immediately falling over). 

We still need to schedule your 9 month appointment, but we visited the doctor on Saturday (where we learned you had an ear infection) and discovered you were just over 21 lbs! That's a lot of baby to love...and man do we love you!

You're EATING!!! You prefer to feed yourself. That "spoon fed" phase was almost too short, so we try to sneak in a few meals every now and then, but you love to feed yourself pieces of avocado, banana, other fruits, and black beans might just be your favorite! 

Your hair is growing in thicker and darker, your eyes still seem to change colors in the light...still giving us those mystery eyes you've had since the day you were born!

You have a great belly laugh. It gives me such joy when your brother and sister get you laughing. They love to play with you and peekaboo type games can really get you going. You're still pretty quiet and mellow most of the time, but when you get laughing it's the greatest sound in the world.

You've also starting babbling more. We're hearing lots of "dadadadada" and a few "mamama". Aunt Katie swears you called out "Mama" the other day at dinner when you wanted my attention. I'll take that! I want you to know that we love to hear you babble and the sound of your voice.

We're so thankful you're a part of our family and we still feel incredibly blessed each day we get to share with you. We can't imagine our family without our sweet Evangeline.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet Lucy. 

6 years ago you arrived into this world, into my life and things have never been the same. You turned your daddy and I from a couple of newlyweds into a family. You've brought us more joy and more work than we could have imagined. I remember it like it was yesterday, but I look at you and the infant I held in my arms in complete awe seems so far away...

You're 6! I can hardly believe it's been 6 years, but here you are, turning into a young lady before my eyes. So much about you is the same as that wonderful day 6 years ago...those blue, blue eyes! I would have bet those would have faded, but they're just as bright as they were that day. 

Your HAIR! It may be lighter, longer and "styled" a bit different, but sweet Lucy girl...your hair has been a trademark since the day you were born. 

You're independent and stubborn...both to your benefit. You don't give get an idea in your head and you work until you get it just so!

You're my baby girl, my first sweet baby. That will never change. You Lucy girl, gave me the name Mama. A name I cherish and always hoped to have. You teach me and challenge me daily about  being a mom. You send me to my knees in prayer to help me do this job right. I oh so want to be the best mom I can for you.

Some things are the same, but you've also grown and changed so much! You're crafty, artistic, strong, flexible, energetic, thoughtful, kind, loving, and getting so tall and so mature. You make me smile. You're starting to show interest in "big kid" things. You're starting to shadow me in a new way. You're not just wanting to be under my feet and near me doing the things I do. You're watching me to learn so that you can do things yourself...for real. You're not satisfied with "washing your baby" while I wash Ginny. You watch closely and want to help me with my chores.  You're practicing for being a grown woman and I am aware of it Lucy. I'm aware that you're learning from me and I'm praying that I'm being an example worth following.

You're growing into a young woman right before my eyes. As much as I want you to slow down, to pause, to stay small and innocent forever...I am SO excited to watch you grown. You're an amazing, silly, cuddly lovely lady Lucille Grace and I wouldn't have you any other way!

From this...

To this...

I couldn't be more thankful for the past 6 years of being your mom! I love you Lucille Grace!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Betsy came to visit today...

She's still trying to figure her crazy cousins out!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lucy's Party

I remember turning 6...

I remember getting my ears pierced, my nails manicured for the first time (with a candle on them that glowed in the dark)  and I remember my party with my friends from school. Maybe this is what made me think that this year Lucy's party should be a bit more involved. Maybe it's that last year was her "golden birthday" and while we celebrated grandly it was in the midst of wedding celebrations and it didn't really feel like she got a day to herself. Maybe I wanted her to feel surrounded by friends since she spends so much time at home with the family. Maybe I just wanted to celebrate being a Mom for 6 seems like a milestone to me. Maybe it was that her and I were completely in awe of the party we saw on pinterest.

Maybe it was a little bit of all of these things. 

Either way her and I talked, plotted and planned for quite awhile. Then I got to work creating almost everything she dreamed of.

First off, the sewing. I am not the seamstress my mother is, but she did teach me to sew a straight line and a few other basics. About 17 phone calls and a few consultations with in town sewing friends and I had 21 adorable ruffles and the velcro they needed to be "mixed and matched" as the girls desired. 

A few iron on's later, the aprons and hats were complete. I must admit, my dear husband Nick helped with the iron ons for the hats! (He's the expert on printing and adhering iron on's at this house) I was the cupcake iron on expert ;)

The girls seemed to enjoy getting their ruffles just so, and in case you were wondering, by the time everyone had adjusted their ruffles "just so" they all had them in the same order: Polka dots on top, then the white cupcake fabric and pink cupcake fabric on the bottom. Lucy was quite the trend setter!

The decorations:
I wanted the house to feel like a bakery...I also wanted the girls to decorate to their delight and not to my dismay...SO we rolled up the rug and turned the living room, dining room into a bake shop. The only items purchase specifically for decorations were streamers, tissue paper for making the flowers and cupcake liners for the garland like we saw on the blog. It was just too cute to pass up on! The rest was created with items we had around the house! I thought it was sufficiently transformed. When Lucy and Murray went downstairs on party day their were ooh's and ahh's all around!

Oh, I also couldn't pass on the adorable "cupcake" party yard sign I found...I mean, I have 2 was an's amazing how many cupcake things I started seeing that I had to pass by...I'm still finding things just walking through stores!

The cake decorating and cake plates:

I made all the cakes from boxed cake mixes, but the frosting and fondant were made from scratch. Lucy picked the colors and we picked out the cookie cutters from our own collection together. I just crumb coated the cakes, figuring the girls were going to add enough sugar over top anyway. 

The cake stands were a bit trickier. The blog we looked at had a tutorial on making them from plates and candlestick holders. Easy enough, except I couldn't find candlestick holders anywhere! As a last ditch effort at the umpteenth store I had been to I found mini punch bowls. I brought them home and then bought clear plastic plates. We filled the punch bowls with Easter grass, got out the handy glue gun and a short time later, Nick had created 7 lovely cake stands. Not quite as impressive as the blog we were inspired by, but they were perfect for the day, and Nick promises the wider base actually made them sturdier for younger girls! 

After decorating cakes we opened presents and sang to the birthday girl "Lucille" as she's asking to be called these days! She requested a Barbie cake and I enjoyed making a fairly simple yet fancy cake for my birthday girl. 

The party was a blast for both of us, it was great fun to do together and I loved giving such a special memory to Lucy. 

I can't wait to eat the cake she decorated for her birthday! Yum!