Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween theme: Under the sea

I'm a sucker for coordinating outfits and themes. It must come from my obsession with scrapbook paper and coordinating ribbons. I need more scrapbook paper like I need a hole in my head but I just keep buying the stuff. I know, it's a sickness. But I digress...

Back to coordinating...I'm milking this for as.long.possible. Yes I'm quite aware that they will grow up and ask me, "Mooooooooommm, why did you have us coordinating in every Easter outfit, Christmas photo and Halloween costume?" And my answer will most definitely be, "Because I'm a mama of two boys and about the only thing us boy moms can get excited about when it comes to boy outfits is...well, matching them!"

Two years ago...


One year ago...

 Under the sea was our theme this year. It all started with Nolan wanting to be a deep sea explorer and the fish costume seemed like the least amount of work. Obviously, I'm not a good judge for budgeting time. Well it took some effort and I mean a lot of effort. Please remind me next year how much work and stress homemade costumes take.

No, really, don't let me forget.

Grandma made the fish costume. I swear she could make costumes for movies. And I finished up hand-stitching the scales. Yep, lost count after about 60. But dude, tell me my kid isn't CRAZY cute?!

It was actually a high of 70 today but supposed to be 80 on Halloween night. Poor kid will be drenched with sweat. Hopefully the sugar will be a good distraction. Today was a pretty big deal at school...costume parade day. 

We'll see if he'll actually keep this hood on all of Halloween night. Once again, candy and bribes work wonders for distraction. 

But I have to give all the credit for the next costume to my wonderfully talented husband. Grandma made the hood but the tank contraption was definitely all done by Justin. It's a wonder what a trip to Home Depot and a 2-liter coke bottle can do! 


It's like this kid was born for Halloween. What can I say? It's part of our genetic code. There's a long family history of holiday love.


Unlike Campbell, who wanted to take off his costume seconds after his parade, I think Nolan would sleep in his if I let him.

Grandma and Granddad made to the parade too and the boys were so excited to have them watch.


All the work, all the stress of these costumes was worth it. And that is why I put myself through it.

But seriously, don't ever let me do that again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's two clues about the boys' costumes:

Nolan's costume involves all of the following materials and it's being created by Daddy:

Here's a preview of Campbell's costume. Once again, grandma the seamstress does NOT disappoint.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Forced Family Baking and Crafting

I don't know when exactly this cupcake fascination started of mine. But today I found myself at the grocery store looking to make Frankenstein cupcakes. I had both boys with me so there's nothing like preventing them from squishing the bread, breaking the eggs, and looking for ingredients for cupcakes that are WAY too complicated. It's then that I decided to heck with the Frankenstein cupcakes, this mama was going to take the easy road. We went to my sister's house this weekend and I really wanted to decorate some cupcakes with the kids. How about some really simple skeleton cupcakes? Ok, so even if it's a really far stretch, just tell me that they look like skeletons even if it's a lie.


I think I might have made about 6 of these "skeletons" and then I just let the kids go crazy with the decorations and icing. You know what I mean, so-many-sprinkles-you're-not-sure-if-there's-any-icing-under-there kind of cupcakes.

Frankenstein, skeleton, witch or just a mound of cake a icing, these kids had no preference for the decoration. It all tasted the same going down.

Notice the cupcake in front of Nolan with only the icing eaten. I might as well have just given him a spoon and a tub of icing.


And it wouldn't be a holiday without some crafting. We had fun decorating these little finger puppets and Campbell especially had fun ripping the heads off of them. 100% boy right there for you.

We ran out of time to make caramel apples but I'd say that we definitely got bit by the Halloween bug. I can't wait to take pictures of them in their costumes. Now let's just hope my very stubborn 2 year old cooperates wearing his. I see bribery in my future next weekend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

906 miles

906 miles. That's what separates us from "Deep in the heart of Texas" from "My old Kentucky home."  My in-laws made the trek down for a visit for a little over a week from Bluegrass country. They're both officially retired!  And let me tell you, there are some definite perks to having retired grandparents.

1. My mother-in-law made us dinner more times than I can count. And I'm talking barely any leftovers kind of dinners.

2. Campbell spiked a fever at school while they were here and they picked him up for me from school and gave him a full dose of grandparent lovin' to help him heal quicker than he's ever healed before.

3. My father-in-law is equally magnetic to children as playgrounds are. It's in his aura. Good news for me after a long day of work to have a much-needed break, but exhausting news for him.


When grandparents are around, the backyard is officially a playground...more so than any other day. Rocks are suddenly amazing...

Birdfeeders are meticulously checked...

And even a little taste testing. What? Oh, like your kid hasn't eaten birdseed.


And there's nothing like a good ol' game of Ring around the Rosy.


4. Last but certainly not least, my mother-in-law not only cooked us dinner, she rolled out dozens of sugar cookies for me for Nolan's party. She really did do all the hard work.

But enough about how their stay affected ME, what it did for the boys was just solidify their relationship with them that even 906 miles can't sever. I wish that money, time and geography would allow us to see them more, but it really does confirm quality versus quantity is what truly matters to our boys.


What would I do without Gram and Pop? Well, I think Campbell's face says it all...I just don't know!

Thanks for such a wonderful trip Gram and Pop! We love you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Control Freak, OCD, Smothering...these might all be adjectives you might use to describe me as a first-time mother. I wanted to do everything by the book, do it right (still do, it's the teacher pleaser coming out in me, again). I'm letting go of that rope. Five years ago I was holding on...I mean white-knuckled death grip holding on and throwing a tantrum like a 2-year-old if you told me to let go.

I'm learning that as with everything, there's balance. There's balance that a child needs as much discipline as love. There's balance in family time and "me" time and when I don't have it, everyone feels the wrath. There's balance in being overly protective and then letting boys do what they do best, get bruises. There's balance in feeding my kids healthy food and then letting them eat cookies or a french fry even if it means getting a look a judgment from another mother. But remember....I'm letting go, s-l-o-w-l-y. Some days, it's more of a leap. Those are my "wild" and crazy days.
Sometimes I wonder if I was too much for Nolan, too intense. I mean when you pick your child up from school and they have a "yellow" day and they ask, "Do you still love me?" you really worry if you're doing right by them. Talk about a punch to the gut. There's no worse nightmare that you have as a mother than hoping you don't send your kid to therapy when they grow up.

No, my dream as a mom is that they'll remember me playing with them. I mean down in the dirt, kicking a ball, can hang with the boys type of mom.


I remember being pregnant with Nolan and how much the worry consumed me about him getting here safely and then the worry would stop. I know, you can stop laughing now. Little did I know, that was only the beginning of a lifetime of worry.

Speaking of worry...

I'm really getting worried about Nolan being so shy.

He's just so timid and serious.

I just wish that he could let loose and be silly.

Hmmm, maybe someday he'll come out of his shell.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sassy new wig

Seriously, have you ever seen anyone look this beautiful going through chemotherapy? My sister, Tonya, makes this beating cancer thing look like a piece of cake. The cancer center that she's been going to gave her some wigs, but she said that they made her head itch and it was like wearing an electric blanket on her head it trapped so much heat.

Well, her amazing (I really mean amazing) best friend, Sheri, got her this adorable sassy wig. It's perfect for her. Sheri takes her to her chemo treatments, raises money for her, makes her laugh til she literally almost wets her pants.

She still sports the 'do rag look when she feels like it but loves having the option to sport her wig.


Sure, she has her bad days as do I. Days when she can hardly get out of bed. Days when we've had family outings where one of us has to drive her home because she doesn't have the strength to drive. Days when the steroids make her feel like she has the temper of the Incredible Hulk, but she has handled this treatment with such dignity and strength and perseverance. She absolutely amazes me.

And as if her girls don't already look exactly like her enough...


As for an update, two good bits of news...

1. We found out that her cancer is not a genetic cancer. This is a huge sigh of relief for her girls, her other half-sister, and me! Don't think I'll dismiss this though. I'm going to the doctor to discuss what all this means for me in a couple of weeks.

2. The lump in her breast is shrinking! The doctor and even Tonya can tell just by feeling it. This was the largest of all the tumors so the doctor feels that if this is shrinking that chances are the tumors on her lungs which were much smaller are shrinking as well. We don't know anything for sure yet because she has two more weeks of chemo before they run more tests.

The worry still gets the best of me sometimes. I hate that we live 45 minutes away. I always feel like I'm not doing enough, not seeing her enough. The balance of starting at a new school, being a mom, working full time, being a wife, and being there for her make me feel like I'm doing all of it but a crappy job at all of them. I wish I could do more. I wish I see her more. God willing after this first round of chemo, we'll get more good news and my wish will come true.

Keep those prayers coming!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Belated Happy Birthday

I know that Nolan's birthday already passed but I took this the morning of his birthday and just got behind posting it but it's crazy cute.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn's Glow

I fall for you Autumn 

from the red in your hair 

to the cool breeze in your kisses.

 I fall for you Autumn 
from your ever changing moods. 

To the way you harvest my love.
Autumn loving you is 

like a feast of thanks. 

I thank you for your touch 

I thank you for your understanding. 

Autumn you are the changing

season of my heart.

From sadness to joy.

And when it comes to loving someone; 
I fall for you Autumn.

And just to answer your question on how we dealt with the bright sunlight for our pumpkin pictures...

Oh YES we did!


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