Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Birthday Bash

We had a little party for our sweet birthday girl on Saturday.  And by little I mean we kept the crowd small -- just family and a couple of dear friends -- but I maybe got a little carried away with the details (I realized this when my sister called me a liar).  I just had so much fun putting it all together and doing something special JUST for Ellie...oh well :-)

So here are a bunch of pictures, courtesy of my friend Eileen who was sweet enough to bring her nice camera and good eye to the party.  (And fair warning - this is really so my family can see, all others may become bored in the process of this blog post...)

We'll start with the main event - the birthday girl!  This was about as adventurous as she got with her cake.

She did enjoy fingering the frosting for awhile, though.

Family photo at the end of the night.  Despite Eileen's best efforts, the was the best we could muster.  My poor, non-photogenic family.

It was a watermelon theme, and a cake should generally be the center-piece at a birthday party, so here we have a watermelon birthday cake. Ta-da!

This might have been my favorite thing - watermelon lemonade served out of a watermelon punch bowl.  Compliments to Dan for a very fine "carving" job here.

Watermelon pops, and blurry in the background you can see some quesadilla bites (just because we needed something that wasn't sweet).

I printed off a photo from each month (actually, the same ones I posted on my blog on her actual birthday) and clipped them to some twine strung across the wall.  Then I added some little labels so no one would be confused :)

Another view of the cake.

I also did a knot banner (which I think I strung a little too high - oh well), and you can see the watermelon cupcakes there, too.  The little ones enjoyed those.

Now, back to the birthday girl.  She didn't blow out her candle, and I didn't really give her much of a chance when she tried to grab it instead.  We'll work on that for birthday #2.

Daddy looking on, as I realize I should probably remove the "seeds" (chocolate covered raisins cut in half) that may possibly become a choking hazard - whoops!

"Here Pepaw!"  He gave the best attempt at getting her to try it, tearing off some chunks for her to grab.  But she just thought she'd share, instead.

She played with this hat for a long time a few days before the party, walking all over the house with it on.  But that night - no way was that thing going on her head!  This was about the only picture we got with it.  Oh well, it was free!

My dear friend Jessica and their littlest, baby Claire.

Here's the kid's table, complete with 4 sweet little girlfriends.  Caralena (4) and Mally (2 1/2) are Claire's big sisters, and Kaelyn (2 1/2) is Eileen's daughter.  These girls have been friends since babyhood (Caralena & Mally were our neighbors once upon a time), and they played together all night long.  It was wonderful!  (Eileen's 4 month old son Drew, her husband Dave, and Jessica's husband Jason were also there -- I just didn't get any pictures.)

Here they are with the bubble machine & some chalk.  What else do you need?

Ellie had lots of help opening her gifts (although no one seemed to help me with the toy packaging...)

Caroline didn't seem to mind that the presents weren't specifically for her...she just scooped them up to play with before Ellie had a chance!

Ellie's new giggling baby doll from the Pankake's -- she's giving it some snuggles here.

That's my Ellie!
Happy birthday again, my sweet Ellie!  I hope you enjoyed your special day!

And now I will continue on with my (ir)regularly scheduled blogging...thank you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Ellie Kate!

One year ago today, our precious Ellie Kate joined our little family, turning us into a family of 4 and changing our lives forever.  This has been the FULLEST year of my life, of that I am certain -- full of JOY, full of diapers, full of sleepless-ness, full of nursing, full of tears, full of smiles, full of laughter, full of TWO babes, full of family, and very very full of LOVE. 

To my sweet baby girl -- you are my absolute joy!  Your sweet little personality lights up a room, and that smile of yours makes even strangers stop and smile back.  You are so full of life and ENERGY...and a bit stubborn...and you make us laugh every single day.  Your sister thinks you are the greatest thing that every happened to her (and in fact, you probably are!), and your Daddy is absolutely head over heels for you.  And your Mommy, well, Ellie girl -- you are my sunshine!  Now and always.

So happy 1st birthday Els-a-bells (as Caroline likes to call you)!  We love you to the moon and back...times a million.

Ellie by the month:

1 day old

2 weeks

September - 1 month

October - 2 months

I just couldn't resist including this one -- from our family pictures in October

November - 3 months

December - 4 months

January - 5 months

February - 6 months

March - 7 months

April - 8 months

May - 9 months

June - 10 months

July - 11 months

August - 1 year old

Friday, August 3, 2012


Alas, I have failed at blogging this summer.  Here is my attempt to re-enter the blog-o-sphere.  I make no promises :)

Funny how it's so hard to get rolling again when I haven't been at this for awhile...and how easily ideas seem to come to me when I'm consistent.  I would think it would be the other way around in that one would have more ideas when they haven't been shared for awhile.  Strange.  This feels a bit like that first painful post when I didn't have the slightest clue what I was doing and/or if anyone besides my Mom & sister would ever even find this little corner of the internet.

So I guess I'll start with some of my most recent pictures.  Perhaps they will provide a little inspiration:

We had a wonderful, low-key, do-nothing sort of weekend last week.  It was wonderful (did I already say that?)!  On Saturday Dan really wanted to do something fun with the girls outside after they got up from naps.

So we got them in their swimsuits...
 and filled up the pools.
 Yes, I said pools.  You know, because keeping things simple can just get boring when you're 2 1/2 and 11 months old.  Daddy thought an obstacle course would be fun.

It started out pretty well.
And we were careful to stay in the shade since we hadn't applied sunscreen (as Caroline was quick to remind us when we briefly stepped into the sunshine).
 Daddy even let them pick a few flowers.
 And I could stop there and let you think we had a fine afternoon, whiling away the hours with lots of splashing and giggling.  But here's a dose of reality:

Yup.  Probably not even 15 minutes in to our super-fun-filled afternoon, both of the girls were melting down.  Perhaps the water was too cold, the naps too short, and the expectations too high.  So it goes. 

So we moved on to Plan B:  gardening.  And the time had come to harvest the onions.  Dan had already pulled them and dried them for a few days, so we chopped off the stems, and Caroline collected them for us:
 But in the end, she decided gardening is best done like the original gardeners did it...
...you know, just like Adam & Eve.