Category Archives: think happy thoughts

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:

2013-06-28 09.36.24 SAMSUNG

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!


2013-06-28 15.41.46 2013-06-28 15.41.50

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.

2013-06-28 16.09.492013-06-28 16.13.06 SAMSUNG

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!

May-be a busy month

May-be a busy month
May-be a busy month

Yeah, I know. Lots to say, not enough time to type and post. Unless I decide to miss out on sleep. Or maybe a hot shower. And my priorities just don’t roll that way.

Anyways, May is a busy month in our household. The Man Of The Household has his birthday, and one of my brother’s birthdays. In the past, I was wrapping up the end of the school year, which was always…fun?

SAMSUNG(Showing Dad how to party on his special day!)

This year brought on Mother’s day and baby’s first swimming lessons AND first tooth, instead. (And then there’s the fact I take care of one small human, one tall human, 3 small dogs, and four chickens, too.  What? You can do all that and a full time job AND weed your garden every day? Show off.)

So fun times for us. The Little E turned ELEVEN months. (I get to be the Big E. Go ahead and laugh.)


Seriously, where has this year gone? I’m pretty sure Evelyn just barely showed up in my life a month or two ago… and now she’s almost walking on her own.

Oh, and NOW she can bite. Baby teeth are like little razors. I think I would be extra grumpy if that sucker was breaking through my skin, too. But since Evelyn’s always pretty grumpy, fights going to sleep, drools, and gnaws on everything, it was still sort of a surprise for that cute tooth to poke up Tuesday.

She also did a GREAT job in the pool. She had no problem going into the pool. She is such a water baby. Which was great when she had 45 minute class four evenings a week for the past two weeks. I think it wore me out more than it did her!

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(Hey Mom! I’m all dressed up! What’s the surprise?!)2013-05-20 15.58.55

(Inner Baby Model: Yeah, I know I look good. How YOU doin’?)20130520_175816

(Mom, this is AWESOME! It’s like my bath, but A WHOLE LOT MORE room to splash!!!)

You know, I had a whole bunch more to talk about, but I just looked at those cute pictures of pool-ready Evelyn and with a big smile on my face, completely lost my train of thought. It was a busy month, but full of good things. So on that bombshell, I think it’s a wrap.

Just look at that cute little smile and think happy thoughts before you go to bed tonight.

10 + 6 = Wonderful Weekend!

10 + 6 = Wonderful Weekend!

This past weekend was great for our household.

First, Evelyn turned 10 months old.


Seriously… this girl could not be any cuter. And she is shooting up from a baby to a toddler too quickly for me to keep up with her climbing, crawling, and walking along the furniture.  🙂

*sigh*… I love her so much.

Even more amazing to me, it was our 6 year anniversary.

benchiconOne of my favorite pictures from our wedding. OVER SIX YEARS AGO.

Dang, I was so much skinnier then.

Anyways, it was a lovely day. A family from church took Evelyn for a two lovely hours so Jared and I could have grown up time at a restaurant sans a baby. I forgot how easy life was to sit in a restaurant with just me to worry about. Amazing.

So, awhile back, I pinned this about traditional/modern gifts for each anniversary. (Yes, Pinterest again. HOW DID IDEAS EVER GET SHARED BEFORE THIS WEBSITE?!) And apparently, Year Six is the “Candy” anniversary. And you can supplement with iron and calla lily gifts. And I know I just started several sentences with a conjunction. And I don’t care.

Okay, moving on to the gifts. Jared and I were meant to be together, and this anniversary proved it.

First, Jared got a little potted calla lily plant with 6 lovely purple flowers on it. This man does his research on anniversaries.

Then I gave him one of his gifts. MANLY CANDY:


And then he gave ME a candy gift that made me laugh:


Personalized M&Ms. With “Jared + Elisabeth”, “Happy 6 Years”, and a picture of our faces from our wedding on them. In pretty purples and pink colors.

Now, you might think, “Why would that make her laugh? That’s a pretty thoughtful gift from your man.” And you would be absolutely right. (And there’s that AND again. It must have been that kind of day today.)

I laughed because of the gift I had him open up next:


Personalized M&Ms. That happened to say “Jared + Elisabeth”, “Happy 6 Years”, and a picture of our faces from our wedding on them. In our wedding colors.

We had essentially gotten the exact same gift for each other. Of course, my gift to him came in this AWESOME old-fashioned dispenser, but that is beside the point. This was just more proof that WE ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER.

Wuv, twue wuv.

Other than the M&M awesomeness, this last gift was amazing, too. It’s a handmade, custom necklace that is uniquely beautiful, and I love it.

Photo: Holy smokes did the bluing came out great on this one. Really sets off the copper wrapping.  What do y'all think about it? ~Mark<br /><br /><br />
Link in first comment.

I know I say it often, but right now life is being so good to me. I can’t imagine loving this little family of mine anymore than I do without my heart bursting out of my chest because it won’t fit anymore.

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.


Spoiled, much?

Spoiled, much?

Evelyn’s first Christmas with us was absolutely lovely. I know she won’t remember it in the future, and she doesn’t understand what Christmas is, yet, but I still wanted it to be a great day for her and us. We weren’t disappointed!

She almost slept through the night, which was wonderful for me. When we both got sick over Thanksgiving, she went to getting up every 1-2 hours during the night again, and so we had to work on getting her to sleep in her room once she was well because I just couldn’t swing that schedule again. She’s gotten better and even slept through the night a few times, so it was overall a good night for her.

Of course, opening gifts for/with her was a blast. This little girl got SO MANY GIFTS. I would say that this almost-six month old girl owned at least 2/3 of the gifts under the tree, and most of those were from our relatives! 🙂 She doesn’t know how lucky she is to have so many people love on her like they do. I hope she does know it some day, because I am in awe of everyone’s generosity towards her.

To give you an idea, here’s Evelyn’s piles of Christmas loot she got this year:

I couldn’t get all of them into one picture very well, but I tried.

So to everyone who sent Evelyn something, THANK YOU! Everything was so adorable- I don’t think there was anything that we didn’t like. I can’t even name favorites because everything was so great! She was old enough and curious enough to want to grab at everything and play with it for a minute or two until the next toy/object came along… at one point, she was surrounded by 4-5 objects and you could tell from the look on her face that she was confused by having so many choices to play with!

Jared had a great time holding Evelyn and showing her all her gifts.

Both Jared and I were quite satisfied with all our gifts as well. He’s going to go to a car racing class in a few months, and I got a dehydrator and will be attempting to learn knitting and crocheting. (So far, so good on the knitting front! Crochet project is a little more complicated… hopefully I’ll figure that out, too!)

Even the dogs got in on the Christmas fun!

(The dogs got their pjs just in time, too! We had a cold front roll in later on Christmas day, and they were able to stay warm in the freezing temperatures.) 🙂

Once again, thank you everyone who thought of us and helped make our Christmas that much better.

I hope everyone else out there had a wonderful Christmas. Anybody get a favorite awesome gift? 🙂