08.10.15 | A FROZEN PARTY

for claire's second birthday, she requested a little mermaid theme. i couldn't bring myself to have three birthday parties in a row with an underwater theme. (claire's first was under the sea and landon's fourth was an octonauts party.) so, frozen it was! 

my favorite part of every party is definitely the dessert table! we usually use our sideboard to hold our desserts and since we still don't have anything up on that wall of the dining room i almost always fill that space with streamers of some sort. for every single party, it seems. (i think i'm starting to hate streamers?) anyway, this year i used streamers that i cut and hung at my sister's bridal shower (and then painstakingly folded them and saved them) and then taped up a few light blues one for a peek-a-boo effect. my mother-in-law let me borrow some of her christmas decorations so i used some snowflakes for the top of the streamers and then while shopping at hobby lobby, i noticed they had all of the christmas stuff out now too so i picked up a couple strands of sparkly bead garland to hang in there. and then i picked up some more silver snowflake glitter garland and laid that out on the food tables. i really love the way it turned out and have thought about how i could keep this in our house. one option i'm considering is to hang it up in my room, above my soon-to-be refurbished vanity. (it's still hanging in the dining room because there's nothing else to put there and i love the way it looks. c;) i found a frozen poster that i got for about $3 that we hung in the living room by the presents and even though it's still there (i'm lazy, alright!), we have plans to hang it in claire's room eventually. c;

i went a little crazy at jo-anne fabrics with all the frozen decorations. c: the cupcake stand, the little olaf candies on the cupcakes, and basically all of the toys in the gift bags were from there. i found the frozen themed table cloth at fred meter's, as well as all the plates, cupcakes and napkins. (if you can't find frozen stuff at your local stores, this site has some great options. i got all of landon's octonauts decor there.)

i decided to ask for help with the actual food of the party, that way all i had to focus on were the desserts. my mom brought potato salad, my mother-in-law brought chips and dips (three different kinds). we supplied the hot dogs, buns and condiments, as well as the drinks.

claire requested a pink chocolate cake for her birthday. i didn't know how i was going to manage that so i made cupcakes instead. so, i made strawberry cupcakes with a blue vanilla frosting (the BEST store-bought frosting ever) and tie-dye cupcakes (best box-mix cake ever) with a chocolate frosting. when my in-laws visited california earlier this year they made a stop at the jelly belly factory and ended up bringing us home the frozen set of jelly beans. they're so cute! i found some frozen blue sixlets somewhere (i think hobby lobby or jo-anne's but i'm not sure. i got them a loooooong time ago.) then my sister (she's the best party helper c:) came over the night before and helped me put together the snowmen, which are marshmallows held together with pretzel sticks, mini chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons and some of those orange slice gummies for noses. it's kind of hard to tell in the picture but the jello is actually two different jello flavors layered on top of each other, to mimic ice. i found the recipe here, on pinterest obviously. since then, i've made that same combo twice and then just last week, i made a lime-cherry combo because that's what i had on hand and my kids loooooove jello.

the week before, justin and i had taken the kids up to OMSI (we recently purchased a family year-pass) and while there, they had some flubber stations set up. i took a picture of the recipe and then my sister made it for me while i was making the jello. we colored it frozen blue and added some white glitter to it, hoping it would look sparkly but you couldn't see the glitter and it just got stuck on you. i forgot about it (like i always seem to do at parties - forget the activities that i actually have planned for the kids!) until justin remembered it right at the end. the kids that were still there seemed to really enjoy it and my kids loved playing with it every day after, until it got to the recommended time of keeping it. i also made some snowballs out of really fluffly, soft, white yarn and set up some baskets with pictures of olaf, sven, and the trolls on them for the kids to throw the snowballs into. i had planned on making it a contest but then completely spaced getting prizes so i just had it out if they wanted to play with it. i got the baskets at hobby lobby in their spring section where everything was 60% off so i ended up only paying about $10 for three really nice baskets that claire now stores her stuffed animals in and we keep all the octonauts/paw patrol characters in the other. 

we didn't really get any good pictures of the birthday girl, unfortunately. she looked super cute in her elsa gown. sorry all i've got pictures of are the decorations, and not even all of them, at that. justin always hangs streamers from the ceiling and he has definitely mastered the art! 

i think i still haven't shared anything from landon's party in april so i really need to get on that! thanks to everyone that came and shared in celebrating our baby girl - we love you all!

07.16.15 | TWO YEARS

this little turkey turned two yesterday. TWO. can you believe it?! yeah, me neither. we had a pretty great day, eating donuts for breakfast, spending some time at the play are in the mall, doing some shopping, meeting daddy for lunch and then having pizza for dinner. which, by the way, is one of her favorite things. she'll almost never turn down pizza. oh, and the birthday fairies came last night to decorate her door, just like big brother's earlier this year. c;

i started to upload these pictures yesterday and had plans of writing a really awesome, lengthy little diddy about my baby girl. and then life got in the way (read: landon and him refusing to use the restroom when he was told) and i just never got around to doing anything with it. 

so, i finished choosing some pictures today and i don't know, i guess i just don't feel the need to write a big long post today? i mean, we all know how precious and darling and smart and talkative and cute and cheeky and ornery this little lady can be, so why do i need to write a blog post about that, too? 

anyway, we sure do love her and feel blessed to have her in our lives every day. it's been a pretty great two years, baby girl. her's to many, many more.
and in case you forgot just how small she was two years ago:
all the heart-eyes guys, all the heart-eyes. 

06.25.15 | STILL HERE

don't worry, we're still alive. still doing the same 'ole thing. living life to the fullest!

we're totally enjoying the AMAZING WEATHER OREGON HAS BEEN HAVING. i know some people like living in oregon because of the mild summers but goodness gracious, i live for these long, hot days. truth be told, i'd be fine with cooler days as well, so long as the sun was out to play. i really just need the sun, that's all. and oregon kinda isn't the best place for that soooooo, yeah.

the kids really enjoy the hot weather tho. we bought a little splash pad thingy for the summer and it's awesome. we've been getting up early, spending a lot of time outside and the eating of popsicles has started (landon's obsessed). 

we're looking forward to fourth of july plans with friends, claire turns two in just a couple of weeks (ACK! i haven't planned anything really, and that's kinda stressing me out), we've got a little getaway to bend coming up in august, justin's been taking on some extra work stuff lately, landon starts preschool in september as well as justin and i taking off for a couple of nights to our favorite place: vegas! sippin' drinks poolside is my jam, people. this summer sure started off right, and it's looking like it's gonna end right, too. 

now to get back to my regular scheduled day, which is currently making food for kids that a). don't appreciate the effort/time i put into it, b). complain that they don't get to have a popsicle/candy/fruit snacks with lunch, c). never stay seated at the table , and d). fight over their cups/plates/silverware choices. it's FUN being a parent, right?!

05.11.15 | MOTHER'S DAY

these kids of mine, they fill my heart with so much joy. for all the crazy, messy, frustrating, hard days, there are so many more days of laughter and giggles, hugs and kisses, cuddles and love and growth. just as they are growing up every day, so am i, as their mama. 

i feel so blessed to be given this life and these little ones in it, to nurture them and teach them and love them the best that i can. 

and now i'm crying, thinking about how precious life is and how we get such a short amount of time here on this earth. i'm forever grateful to my Heavenly Father, for when i do leave this earth, i know i will be with my babies again. it's such a wonderful feeling, to have that knowledge. 

i hope you all had a wonderful mother's day with your children, in whatever form that may be. 

04.27.15 | SUNSHINE

we've been having some crappy weather as of late and then today we were surprised with a full day of sunshine! warm, warm weather with the sun shining down on us and the slightest of breezes, it was amazing. we spent our morning slowly getting ready, waiting for it to warm up a bit, and then we spent pretty much the rest of our day outside. we went on a walk, played out front doing chalk, riding bikes and just enjoying being out of the house. it's days like today that make me not want to move away from oregon. 

landon got a balance bike for his birthday this year and he requests to ride it at least once a day. he was so excited that it was nice enough today to be able to use it. he does amazing with it and it's so much fun watching him get so excited about it. claire is showing an interest in the tricycles we have and seems to understand the concept of pedaling but she ends up pushing it around more than anything. 

keep the sun shining, oregon!