Vows for 2013

Happy New Years!! I really can’t believe that it is 2013…..the holidays have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Like every year, I have said that I hope this is the best year yet but who am I kidding?! The past 3 years have been the best years of my life and I honestly don’t think I will ever have a bad year as long as I am surrounded by the people present in my life today. Everyone always asks what your resolution is for the year. Think about it – people who make resolutions tend to break them. Sure we all want to eat healthy, loose weight, quit smoking, drink less, spend less, save money, travel blah blah blah. We do good for about a month and then give in to temptation or get lost in our every day routine and the resolution we were so eager about January 1 no longer exists. I have decided that instead of a resolution, I am making vows for myself. A solemn promise. A list of solemn promises that I can feel good about. For 2013 I vow to:

~Take more pictures! For those that know me this may seem crazy. Nathan has 5 full albums since his birth (which was only 16 months ago). John calls me paparazzi when I get going with my camera. I have all major holidays, events, and milestones captured. But I want more candid and less posed photos. I want my children to be able to look back on photos and be flooded with memories of the “in between” moments.

~Not sweat the small stuff! This is something my Mommom has always said. Easier said than done for many. I am the first to admit that I let stupid insignificant things really get to me. I wish I had John’s attitude towards life. He lets nothing bother him and if it does he doesn’t show it or dwell on it. Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, tells us to ask ourself if it will matter in a year from now. So instead of getting angry or annoyed, I am going to stop and ask myself that exact question. Will this matter a year from now? 

~Take ME time. I may not have a 9-5 job but the job that I do have is 24/7. I wouldn’t change this for the world BUT I am realizing that “mommy” breaks are healthy and needed. I will read a book. Have lunch with friends. Hang out with my sisters. Go shopping with my mom. Take an hour away from the mommy/wife role and re-connect with Amy.

~Make others smile. A friend of mine recently posted an article about doing random acts of kindness that instantly made me smile. Doing something that may seem so simple to you can make anothers day.

~Live lighter and laugh more. Take chances without fear. Focus on being grateful for what I do have. Live with less and appreciate more.  Pray. Nourish my soul ❤

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It’s amazing what you learn from a child…

Am I really learning more from a one year old than I have my whole life?! Well, maybe not, but it seems that way sometimes. Although I am only a mother of one, it seems that down time is hard to come across. Sure Nathan takes one, maybe two, naps a day but that “down time” is when EVERYTHING else must get done. I often wonder what my life will be like ten years from now when there is more than one child, sports, school, homework, activities and lord knows what else thrown into the mix. Me and the hubby joke now about feeling like we are always on the go but really this is nothing. On occasion, I do get some “me” time that is actually quiet and uninterrupted and I am thankful because it’s then that I get to actually appreciate what I have and what a blessing my little baby toddler is. There are a ton of people that I can thank for helping me become the person I am today. But, the one relationship that I believe has impacted me the most and changed me for the better is the one with my son. I am happy to say that I learned major life lessons from a one year old!! Here is what I have learned:

1. Just when you think you know what love is, a child opens your heart to a whole new level of being in love. My son must hear “I love you” 500 times a day. I honestly cannot imagine my life without him ❤ 

2. It’s okay to occasionally do nothing at all. The dishes and laundry will still be there tomorrow. Life is to short and kids grow to quickly. There is nothing I love more than the smile I get when I am on the floor playing with my son! 

3. Your life is no longer centered around you. Before I had my son, I rarely left the house without makeup . I wouldn’t even dare going to the grocery store without at least mascara on. Now I’m lucky if I can get a shower daily. Don’t judge, I know you have all been there 😉

4. I thought I knew exactly how I would parent my child. I would not have a picky eater, no temper tantrums, he would sleep like an angel, there would be one room for toys. You get the point. I don’t know who I was kidding!! My son is in charge and I’m okay with that – for now at least. I have learned to pick my battles and go with the flow. 

5. You find out who your true and lifelong friends are. Having a kid changes your relationship with everyone, including your friends. Luckily, my small group of friends has remained the same over the past few years and I am happy to say that we are able to support and encourage each other through each stage in our lives. 

6. You learn to enjoy the simple things in life. An airplane in the sky. Blowing bubbles. Dancing around the house. Taking a walk. 

7. My house will never be perfect. There will always be crumbs lingering from an afternoon snack that was shared with the dog. Tiny handprints always seem to find their way to the just cleaned windows, mirrors and doors. Blocks that were just picked up somehow always end up scattered throughout the house. The books on the shelf will never be kept in order by height. 

8. Sometimes you just have to laugh…after all, they do say laughter is the best medicine! 

9. Life is to short not to indulge every once in a while. Just yesterday, my son found a package of cookies right after he woke up. He came running to me with a huge smile across his face to show me the treasure he had found. My first instinct was to take them and put them away. Out of sight, out of mind right?! After seeing the glimmer of hope in his eyes, we sat on the kitchen floor and had a cookie for breakfast 🙂 Sometimes you just have to dig in! 

10. Do not take anything for granted and be happy with the life the God has given you. 

Flip Flop Pool Party

Now that things are finally starting to settle down I have some spare time to get caught up on some things. Posting pictures and updating the blog are tops on the list 😉 Back in August I did a flip flop pool party for a client. It was the day after my son’s 1st birthday, so to say that week was crazy is an understatement!! Of course, that weekend we were in a heat wave and temperatures neared 100 degrees which doesn’t fair well for desserts, but you can’t control Mother Nature. Even with the high temperatures everything turned out and I would say the weekend was a success 🙂 Here are some of the details from the party ~

The birthday girl’s party hat.

What would a party be without cake pops?!

These were my absolute favorite! How cute are they??

Rice crispy pops

These water bottle labels were also a favorite. The flip flop theme was such a fun theme to work with.

Happy Birthday Banner

Dessert table.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a picture of the completed table before leaving 😦 The white frames that are in the background were for pictures of the birthday girl each month. The pictures were not there at time of set-up but they were going to be hung using custom made flip flop clothes pins.

Here are a few of the designs I made for the different custom tags 🙂

My Grown-up Banana Bread

When I have free time I usually bake. Sometimes it may be a new recipe. Or brownies from a box – who doesn’t like an easy 3 ingredient and bake recipe?! A majority of the time I like to bake using recipes that I have made many times and I know that the end result will be nothing short of delicious. The one thing I can remember baking with my mom as a child is banana bread. Now mind you, the recipe that we used was called Big Bird’s Banana Bread and came from a Sesame Street book, but who’s judging?! To be honest, no other recipe ever compared to Big Bird’s until I came across this recipe . My mom even approves (even though she would be happy with a tastykake) so it’s a keeper 😉 Enjoy~

Ingredients 

~ 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed (The riper the better! And I use 4 bananas)

~ 1/3 cup melted butter

~ 1 cup sugar (could be reduced to 3/4 cup)

~ 1 egg, beaten

~ 1 teaspoon vanilla

~ 1 teaspoon baking soda

~ pinch of salt

~ 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

* I checked mine after about 45 minutes and it was done so different ovens may vary.

Mmm mmm mmm 🙂

DIY Growth Chart

I finally finished a project that I have been wanting to do for some time now. I am they typical mom that wants to record and photograph every major event and milestone. I am certain that Nathan already runs when he sees the camera come out! But what kind of mom would I be if I wasn’t a bit obsessive  embarrassing? Right?! Please tell me that this is okay 😉

When I was growing up, my height was recorded on the door frame of our shed. My Dad would etch my height and the date with an old carpenters pencil and I would proudly step back and smile from ear to ear upon seeing that I did in fact grow from the last time that I stood there.

I was originally just going to buy a growth chart. That would be the easy way out though. It wouldn’t be ME if I didn’t complicate things and add yet another project to my endless to-do list. Plus, I couldn’t see spending almost $100 on something that I could do myself (with a little help from the hubby, of course).

Here are some of my supplies. Although I did not end up using the polyurethane since it was going to be kept inside. John cut the piece of wood to about 6 1/2 foot and sanded the edges and top surface and I was good to go.

*Don’t mind the pajama bottoms :)* Once the wood was wiped down I applied the stain. After about 5 minutes I wiped it down to get the excess stain off and this is what I got….

You can wait longer to wipe the stain off or apply another coat if you want your finished product to be darker.

Mark out your inches and feet. I just used a permanent black marker and that worked just fine.

I used house numbers to mark each foot but you could also use marker and/or paint to make your numbers. This is where the hubby and his power tools came in handy 😉

And here is the finished project 😀 I did our name with a marker and painted a chalkboard spot below it for custom messages and quotes. This will be used for all of my children and will never be left behind if we ever move ❤

50 ways….

Love….love is a fabulous thing. Well, most of the time. If there is one thing that I have learned about love and marriage is that it takes work. I personally do not believe in divorce – for me. I am married to the man that I will spend the rest of my life with and hopefully have a “notebook” ending. Yes, I am a hopeless romantic!! One of couples that has greatly influenced me has been my grandparents. Married for over 50 years and still in love. My pop pop  loves to push buttons and my mom-mom loves to criticize him for watching The Price is Right every day  but this is what makes them “them.” A few years ago, my mom-mom shared this list titled, “50 Ways to Keep To Keep A Man and Still Be Happy.” At the time I laughed at many of her points but I must admit that now they make sense. If only more couples would adopt this way to “survive” marriage, I think maybe more people would be happily married instead of just married.

  1. No longer me, me,me. It is WE!
  2. Everything should be 50/50
  3. Men are left brain. They have no clue what you want or need.
  4. What you see is what you get.
  5. You can’t change anyone. Only yourself.
  6. Must like everything – Snoring, dirty socks, leaving things around, etc. You get the whole package.
  7. Always look at the positive. Never negative
  8. Don’t be moody. The glass is always half full.
  9. Ask for what you want nicely.
  10. Always look your best. Hair, clothes, make-up…
  11. Don’t complain about aches, chores, work.
  12. Everything is your job. Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, kids – If you get help, consider it a bonus.
  13. His job: trash, grass, cars, etc.
  14. Don’t ever take him for granted. He can walk out that door anytime – 10, 20, 30, 40 years later
  15. Communication about everything. Where we will live/work, when (or will) we have kids, where will we vacation, where will we spend holidays, and most importantly money.
  16. Money is the number one cause of divorce.
  17. Be a good listener. Always listen to what he has to say.
  18. Remember, you are not always right. Compromise.
  19. If he wants to go fishing or watch sports all day, don’t get mad. Find something to do or join him.
  20. Boys like toys and you are one of them.
  21. They like to be touched, kissed, hugged, hold hands, waited on, complimented.
  22. 24/7 sex, sex, SEX. That’s all they think about – except when eating. No matter what you say or what he says, it means sex. Remember, left brain.
  23. Don’t talk about his family or friends. They were there before you.
  24. Don’t ever, ever talk about an ex.
  25. Praise them for everything. They are like little boys. You are like their mother sometimes.
  26. Remember we all have faults.
  27. You cannot change anyones bad habits. Only they can.
  28. Don’t get stressed out over little things. Refuse to waste your energy – don’t sweat the small stuff. And it’s all small stuff!
  29. Getting angry doesn’t solve problems or make them go away.
  30. He’s not always wrong (clueless? maybe). You’re not always right, compromise.
  31. Don’t bitch, bitch, bitch. People don’t like to be put down.
  32. Give the benefit of doubt. There may be a reason. Don’t be judgmental.
  33. Don’t expect to be waited on all the time.
  34. Always help one another.
  35. Be best friends. Be willing to tell each other everything.
  36. A relationship doesn’t just happen. You must work at it 24/7
  37. There will be bumpy roads. Relationships must be strong to get through it.
  38. Nothing has a guarantee. We must take chances. Life is a journey.
  39. Everyday must be like the first day you met. Always get the way you did that first night.
  40. Have date night at least once a month.
  41. Count your blessings and make everyday count.
  42. Create your own life and then go out and live it.
  43. Be good. Be kind. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. Be loving. Be caring. Or spend the rest of your life lonely and alone.
  44. You have choices to make every day. Happiness is a decision. Choose it every day.
  45. Take time to enjoy every moment in every day.
  46. When you go to bed, always kiss and say I love you.
  47. Say I love you often.
  48. Every year should get better. When you’re old you need each other more and more.
  49. This worked 50 years ago, will work today, and will work 50 years from now.
  50. Make beautiful memories together.

Nathan’s Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday

I still can’t believe I have a ONE YEAR OLD!!! Where did the past year go?!?! When I first started planning his party (6 months ago lol) I was torn on a theme. I toyed with a few different ideas until I realized I should go with something that he loves. The only thing that I can say Nathan absolutely loves (besides me of course ;)) is Mickey Mouse!! Once I knew that was IT, every minute of every day seemed to be filled with one Mickey project after another. No lie, I had dreams about this party – multiple times!! When I would come up with a new idea or project most people would just shake their head at me knowing there was no changing my mind. But I must say my husband did get into it and took on two of the more major projects. Thanks hunny – you are the best!! All in all, the last minute stress and running around paid off and everyone had a great time.   Now that the “event of the year” is over I must admit that I avoid the Disney channel in fear of hearing hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog…. Here are some pictures from the festivities – ENJOY

Here is the invite that I am very proud of 😉 I absolutely loved how it turned out!!

 

Dessert table – Background is made out of paper rings. This was my hubby’s project 🙂

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake….again another project done by my hubby.

Cake Pops

Mickey Mouse cookies

Marshmallow Pops

This was one of my favorite things. Homemade cinnamon sugar chips…of course in the shape of Mickey. I have to thank my sister for helping with these!

Mickey’s CLUBhouse sandwiches

It wouldn’t be complete without a hot diggity dog bar. We also had meatball sandwiches, Mickey shaped chicken nuggets, Minnie’s bow tie pasta and other typical party snacks 🙂

These were another one of my favorites. I got the free download here.

How cute?!

I honestly wasn’t sure how this project was going to turn out but I was pleased with the outcome. I used balloons then wrapped them with yarn that was soaked in a glue mixture (just like making a piñata but with yarn instead of newspaper) and voila – a Mickey centerpiece.

My favorite thing – the Mickey bounce house!!

The birthday boy in his outfit made by Briella’s Pink Boutique

The day was a success!! Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated our little man’s 1st birthday xoxo

Welcome :D

Well, I guess this is my first “real” post on my blog. I must admit that I have not really written anything since I was forced to write endless papers for college. I was never really a fan of writing either. I had debated starting a blog for the past few months soooo finally here it is!! I figure if I get to ramble about things that actually intrigue me than it can most likely be enjoyable. I will probably undoubtedly write fifty million stories about my little guy and post pictures of many milestones. What can I say, I am one proud momma!! I am by no means any expert on parenting, marriage, or life in general but I like to think I am doing an okay job at making my way through life.

Growing up, I always thought I knew my life plan. It went like this: graduate college with an education degree, get a teaching job (summers off was my main incentive), do some traveling, get married, buy a house, have kids and live happily ever after. Isn’t this what most girls dream of?! Needless to say, that’s not how it happened but looking back on the past ten years, I would not change a thing. Well maybe I would have stayed in college right after high school, but it all worked out. I believe I am doing what I was put here to do. I have a “job” that I put 110% into and get that much and then some back.

may ramble will share my stories and lessons leaned.

My creativity will be showcased. I recently started my own party and event planning business. Just Dandy events is something that I am becoming extremely passionate about. I love being able to turn the ideas someone may have for an event into reality.

I love to cook and bake. But I must admit, with a 1 year old it is not as easy to just whip up a delicious meal anymore. I look forward to sharing my adventures in the kitchen.

I am opening my life up in the form of blogging…..so get ready to tag along for the ride~

“but the struggles make you stronger. and the changes make you wise. and happiness has its own way of takin’ its sweet time. life ain’t always beautiful. but it’s a beautiful ride.” gary allan