Category Archives: Friends

A very special birthday

A very special birthday

Just recently, my very favorite girl in the world turned one year old.

SAMSUNGCan you believe it? I feel like she was just barely joining our family. (We never could get an answer from the doctor on why she was on the smaller side or why it was “critical” to induce. I suspect it had something to do with the doctor wanting to be paid for being on call that night.)

Anyways, we were lucky enough to spend Evelyn’s FIRST birthday with many of her extended family and some friends, and it was a wonderful day! We did a “Whoo’s Turning One?” theme, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

It started with these cards I designed using my Cricut cutting machine.


I made this cute little gift/decoration for Evie a few weeks before hand to go with her party theme:


I made treats and decorations and thank you bags:

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My mom kindly lent me her kitchen for a few days as I worked on Evie’s cakes. (Yes. Cakes. I know I am crazy, thank you. Jared also reminded me of this often throughout this process. “She’s only turning one!” He said. “She won’t ever remember this!” He said. Pshaw, party pooper!)

First, I baked some colorful “balls” that went inside the cakes:


Then I made the cakes themselves, Evelyn’s mash cake and the cake for everyone else, the day before and of. I am pretty proud how they turned out!

SAMSUNGEvie’s owl mash-it-up cake!

2013-06-28 13.51.56 2013-06-28 13.52.11The formal owl cake for everyone else (covered with homemade marshmallow fondant – which turned out to be a very fun learning experience that also tasted better than the store-bought colored fondant I purchased for some of the other parts of the cakes!)

2013-06-28 15.40.38Side by side at the party!

Then there was the actual party decorations and happenings.


(Thanks Sarah for the cute sign!)IMG_2624

Evelyn by the month birthday banner!

2013-06-28 15.41.24Cute decorations and guests!


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The spread!

Evelyn had the chance to get sung to, “blow out” her candle, mash up her cake while on daddy’s lap, play at the park, AND open some wonderful gifts. She was a very happy and tired girl by the end of the day.

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How amazing it is to me that somebody who once was this tiny, five pound baby:2012-07-04 13.54.54-1

has turned into an adorable, healthy, happy, active, curious, bright, and beautiful one year old toddler.


Happy birthday, sweet Evelyn. We ALL made it through your first year- and there were several times I doubted that I could do it! Here is the hope that we have many, many more we will celebrate together!

Paying it forward!

Paying it forward!

So, those of you on Facebook may have noticed that at the beginning of January, there was the “Pay it forward 2013” going on. Initially, I was concerned about my ability to do anything homemade for it, but I decided to join in on it anyway.

Well, my friend Carie sent me HER “Pay it forward” to me recently, and I got it in the mail. (By the way, kudos! That was super fast. My recipients may have to wait a little longer… there’s still 11 months left in 2013!) Carie was my mentor teacher the my first year of teaching, and her patience for putting up with my many questions, especially as we were all dealing with a difficult transition to a new grading system) will always make her have a special place in my heart. She also has a great eclectic style. So when she posted that she was involved in the 2013 Pay it forward… well, I had to get involved in that!

Drumroll, please….

My very own Mystic Black Cat Fortune-Telling Journal!

Then there are 100 pages of awesomeness like this:

It’s kinda like a Magic 8 Ball, but on steroids. So it’s pretty dang cool.

Happy Friday, y’all. If you have a question and you need a fortune teller, you know where to find me.


Her Highness the Princess Evelyn

Her Highness the Princess Evelyn

Kaysie, a dear friend since 7th grade (how long ago that was!!!), was so kind as to send Miss Evelyn a princess dress that she made. She should create an Etsy shop or something like that, because the dress is adorable and is great for a 7 month old’s desired range of movement and comfort. Actually, she sent two dresses, but the Belle yellow dress is for when Evie is a bit bigger, so she gets to play Cinderella for now.

Too bad she can’t stand up on her own long enough to practice her sweeping and washing. (JUST KIDDING. Really.)

Her Highness was kind enough to pose nice and smiley long enough for a photo shoot, and I made the most of the pleasantries until she demanded her tea and crumpets be served.

Actually though, she prefers croissants to crumpets. Now you know.



Okay, so I didn’t post daily, but I am still grateful for several things. But posting daily with a persnickety four month old just isn’t a realistic expectation. So here are some highlights of things from the past week or so that I have been so grateful for!

#1– I am so grateful for my “nerdy” husband. He’s seriously the best with technology. He helped me set up my blog, he takes care of all the techie things around the house. And he and one of our couple friends were able to get “Downton Abbey” Season 3 for us. And then the other wife (my friend Christy) and I got to have a Downton marathon while the husbands got to play with more technology. Life is good.

# 2– I am grateful every single day for the miracle of life. This time last year my daughter was just a little lentil-bean, and now she’s a healthy four month old baby who is completely where she should be in growth.

#3– This might go along with #2, but I am grateful for all those times my daughter doesn’t want to nap because she is so fascinated by the world around her. I am constantly amazed by how bright and intelligent Evie is. It constantly fascinates me whenever she smiles, laughs, or does anything new. I LOVE that little girl!

#4– I love our two dogs. they are adorable, and I love them so incredibly much! They are so fun and cuddly.

#5– (Last one for today!) I am grateful for the wonderful people who have donated to the “Evelyn Clothing Fund”.  We do not have to buy ANYTHING for Evelyn until she’s at least a year old, and even then we still have a good array of clothing for her. In fact, we have so many clothes from the 3 mo range that she’s not going to be able to wear everything more than once! It also makes me grateful that we don’t have to freak out with dramatic weather changes like this week- I just look through the clothes for the long sleeved outfits and we’re set! It’s incredible how much we have.

All right, I think I should stop for now (especially since who knows how much time I have left with Evie’s nap!) So I’ll leave you with another cute picture:

(And we didn’t buy a single item of clothing here. All were given/bought by others and given to us! So blessed!)

Positive endings

Positive endings

Well, the week has gotten better- thank goodness!

Yesterday, Evie and I got to go on a play date. One of my neighbors is super sweet and has two young kids of her own, and has invited me to a few things with her friends. One of her friends has a little boy a month or two older than Evelyn, so we got together with another girl who had a baby just a week younger than Evelyn, and hung out for a few hours. It was wonderful to get out of the house and talk to other adults.

Then Jared came home “early” at 8:00 PM Friday night. (Yeah, we really know how to party here, right?) Just spending time with him this weekend has been a welcome change. With him working so much, I really miss my best friend. Especially when Evelyn and/or the dogs decide to have a bad day.

Then, today was wonderful because we took it easy. We just spent time with each other for much of the morning. We did get some things done, but we didn’t push too hard. Later, we were able to go to a party with another friend of mine from my teaching days. It was great to catch up with her and see her home and pets… and it was a lot of fun because a lot of the couples there have kids now, too, so it wasn’t too weird if Evie got a little fussy. And even better, I got to try some great homemade German food!

I’m exhausted, but it was a good end to a fairly difficult week. I do not regret the choices I’ve made to stay home with my daughter, but it’s not always easy. It’s been a major shift of direction on my lifestyle and how I think, and it’s just different. There are days where I miss teaching in the classroom more fiercely than I thought I could ever miss it. I miss the social interaction with students and peers. I miss achievable, obvious goals being made and met.

But no matter how hard things have gotten so far, I wouldn’t trade this time I’ve had with Evie for all the world.