Tuesday, June 28, 2011

C is for Cookie

I love parties. I don't so much love the chaos that runs rampant the day of the party but when all is said and done, I love the outcome and the memories of it.


This year our invites for Campbell's party were a joint effort. Normally that is 100% Justin but this year he did the design in Illustrator and I cut it out and assembled each one using my Cricut. Between all my summer projects and this party, my poor cricut has been smokin'. Love.that.thing.

And if you turn the cookie over, we put all our information on the back of the cookie. Pretty cute until we realized that we never put Campbell's name on the invitation...smooth move, huh? Oh well! 

Have I mentioned how 99% of the things you see on the blog are not my original ideas. Almost always they are stolen, but I always give credit where credit is due. That makes it better, right? When I saw this blog last summer, I knew immediately that I wanted to be a big fat copycat and do the same.

Mostly because I didn't have to use brain power to come up with this. Someone else already did the ideas I just had to do the rest. Even just doing the rest was enough work to make this pregnant lady want to ditch the ideas and go take a nap.

Of course wouldn't you know that the day of the party it was in the forecast to be 105. Yep, anything under 100 at this point of the year is considered a "cool front".

I got these cookie jars from the Dollar Tree and filled them with cookies of course.

The hats were compliments of a hot glue gun date with some googley eyes and the mouth was another cricut invention. I told ya it was smokin'.


This shirt was bought sometime last fall when I knew I wanted a cookie monster party. I would try it on about once a month and cookie monster's head just kept getting bigger and fatter with my growing belly. With each passing week I kept telling Justin, "Maybe we should move Cam's party up. The thread on this shirt is holding on for dear life." But I made it even though Campbell told me, "Your cookie monster is mean." I think it just looked mean from being stretched. But I made a really good prop and looked like I had consumed a whole jar of cookies myself.

The kids made cookie monster hand puppets and surprisingly most liked it and were into it. We used them later for the kids to take home their goodies from the pinata.

I was dreading going outside but we had to for couple of games. We turned our playground into a cookie monster head. It's amazing what some butcher paper and some paper plates can transform something into. The kids took turns tossing cookies into cookie monster's mouth.

Next came the pinata. We hadn't really planned that one out. So you know what that means. Dad standing on the playground sacrificing his knuckles for the enjoyment of the kids.


At this point, we've only been outside for about 15 minutes but the deodorant is kicked into high gear for everyone and the only ones in the sun are the kids who seem to be oblivious that we could actually bake some real cookies for Cookie Monster and toss them into his mouth.

So once everyone had their turn, Justin pulled an Incredible Hulk so that outside party could quickly move inside. Everyone was such a good sport for going outside.

Next up...cupcakes. My cake lady isn't doing birthday parties anymore, only weddings and larger cakes. I might have to just invite 100 people to the next birthday party so I can use her again.


The cupcakes turned out so cute just like always even though we got a bigger cupcake from a bakery that got a little smooched.


Campbell apparently thought it was his first birthday again and went to town on that sucker. My friend Carlynn put it perfectly, "He eats a cupcake like I want to eat a cupcake." Well said, my friend.


Campbell is so not shy at home but sometimes when we're going some place new he puts on a good act or when a lot of people are looking at him, he shuts down. But not this day, it was his party and even singing him "Happy Birthday" with all eyes on him couldn't send him to shy land.

I love at birthday parties for kids how all the kids are practically with their heads in the bags trying to see what's in it even if it's not their birthday. This isn't their first rodeo....they know that good stuff comes out of those bags.

 I'm so thankful that everything went well. And the fact that we had it over a week before his actual birthday (TODAY!) makes it nice that I could take these last few days of 2-year-oldness (yes, I know that's not a word) and savor every second.

 Love this boy so much. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Big water, big step

What Campbell doesn't know yet...that he could probably get anyway with ANYTHING if he just wore goggles all the time. Tell me this kid ain't cute!

Goggles and a few other things have saved my sanity this summer. Well, make that most days.

I'm not gonna lie and sugar coat things. This summer has been pretty hard for me with two energetic guys and being 7 months pregnant at home all day by myself. I feel so guilty that I just wanted summer to be here so badly and now that it's here, I'm so worn out and snappy. I remember having days like this last summer but not so frequently...so I'm blaming it on the fact that I'm pregnant and just feeling the burn.

Since my boys aren't exactly Michael Phelps caliber yet, the pool is a lot of work, especially when I'm by myself. First, they make me a nervous wreck. All it takes hearing one horrible story of a mother losing their child to drowning at the pool to make your days of laying out by the pool a distant memory. 

But each year the pool seems to be a little more manageable. Church camp did wonders for Nolan as did swim lessons. Houston, we have our heads under water! Again, thank goodness for goggles!


Swim lessons were over this week and I gotta tell ya, as thankful as I am for the confidence the lessons gave my children, I'm doing a little happy dance that they're over. I'm not sure if they put ice cubes in their pool every night or what but that sucker was ridiculously cold. And getting in my moo moo of a swimsuit with a kicking toddler wasn't exactly up there on my fun meter.

Nolan has be intrigued by my growing belly this pregnancy and asks to look at it daily. Recently, when I showed it to him, his only response was, "Whoa."

Exhibit A : Whoa

Campbell was awarded the flying fish in his swim lessons class and was a pro. This boy was 4-5 seconds under water after only 8 days of lessons. I can't ever imagine how he got the flying fish award. 


And Nolan being our more cautious one has really made some leaps and bounds this summer too. Last summer I was so worried about his fear of water that I asked my doctor about it and she just said, "Give it time." And it's amazing what time has already done.

But when we're lucky and we've got Justin home on the weekends, pool time is way more fun. There's even time to snap a few fun shots. I think it must be something about his aura but kids flock to him in the pool and before you know it, Justin's tossing strangers' kids across the pool. Sometimes, it's so hard waiting for a turn with Daddy.

But sometimes even Mommy isn't so bad either. 


 As much as I may whine about how much work it is and how exhausted I am, I wouldn't trade being anywhere else but with them. Although a random pedicure or girls night out might help remedy the situation. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


We didn't waste a second starting summer this year. Nolan missed his very last day of school to go on a road trip to East Texas with Justin to one of my favorite places on Earth...Athens, TX. Now it may not sound like much but there is something so magical about that place. That place is exactly where I met one of my dear and closest friends in 5th grade that I still cherish today. You might remember her from my trip to New York in November.

That place is also where I realized how much life isn't just about myself...it's so much more. Every year when I'd go thinking I was just going to come up with the craziest skit from SNL to re-enact at the talent show or to flirt with the boys, I'd come home with this high-on-life mountaintop experience. I wanted to bottle up that stuff and tell everyone what they were missing out on.

I have so many memories of that place that I can't even come close to naming them all. And I want my kids to have that same experience. Now I know theirs will be different, but I just want them to have that high-on-life mountaintop experience like me. It's not hard to catch, it's contagious in those parts.


To get the kids to just "dip their toes in the water" so to speak, they have a camp called Grand Camp. It's for grandparents to take their grandchildren for the weekend for the rookie campers. Well since it was in the last day of school (or very close to it) it was nearly impossible for my parents to get off work as teachers. So since Justin was in charge of leading music for the camp, he decided to act like a grandpa and take Nolan.

My baby got to experience s'mores for the first time. Ummm, how did I let that happen? That is craziness that my boy is almost 6 years old and trying one for the first time. Shame on me! But maybe it's better that way because it was so special to him that he talked about that ONE s'more for days.


I would talk each night with them and Nolan would hardly take a breath he wanted to tell me so much. Justin said that something came over Nolan at that camp. Our kid, you know the whole a few years ago that was scared of the wind and the one that normally wears 2-3 floaties on every appendage per swimming adventure, was trying new things...and loving it.


He soon saw that no one was sporting any floaties and realized that for the first time he could actually touch the bottom of the pool! It's like a whole new world was revealed. He shed those floaties like they were so 2010 and actually put his head under water farther than just his chin. I know, you're thinking, "Big Whoop." No really, it's a big freakin' whoop.

And after each phone call, I couldn't help but think about how fast he's growing up and how me not being there just might the motivating force for him not to be so scared and try this new world.


For days, I heard about canoe rides, songs he sang, and he wouldn't quit bringing up those darn s'mores.

I'd say that we got a really good start on the mountaintop experience.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Good Sport

We had Campbell's birthday party this weekend even though his actual birthday isn't for over a week. We went wild with the cookie monster theme. It was a lot of work but after all of it, it was worth it because my soon-to-be 3-year-old said, "I love dis party."

One of my neighbors/friends/co-workers, Anna, came over and saw Justin all decked out in a cookie monster shirt, snapping pictures for me and said, "He's such a good sport." And I couldn't think of a better way to describe him as a father...a good sport.

I mean anyone willing to stand in the 105 degree heat to sacrifice his knuckles for his 3 year old birthday party, I'd say is definitely a good sport.


A good sport in the true sense of the word...

I'm convinced that when every father hears the news that they're having a boy, they go straight to these visions in their head. Not so much the diaper changing and the rocking at the crack of dawn, but these moments that father/son TV moments are made of. 

A good sport in being hands-on and taking whatever waves come his way.

A good sport, driving 2 hours and spending the weekend to take my growing-up-way-too-fast 5 year old to church camp because it was so important to both of us.

Kissing boo boos and giving a frisbee pointer or two...another check mark for the good sport column.

Putting on a guitar straight from work to play guitar for the boys' VBS...good sport? Yep, I'd say so!

But there's a million pictures that I don't capture. The birthday invitations that are made, the endless hours of painting nurseries and bedrooms so that his kids can proudly say, "My dad did THAT!" The books read, prayers said and blankets tucked tight so monsters don't stand a chance.

When I dreamed of getting married when I was younger I had this vision in my head and what I wanted in a husband and father to my kids. And he's it....100% my vision. Probably the biggest compliment that anyone ever gave me about him was from a good friend of mine at church. She has daughters recently out of college and she said, "I pray my girls find their Justin." 

I prayed for my Justin and I'm so so thankful for him. So on this father's day and everyday, Justin, I just want to tell you that I love you and thank you for being such a good sport.


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