Monday, August 31, 2009

Cookie Monday

Welcome back! It's always bittersweet getting back to the school year routine. Ten weeks of sleeping in is so nice, but let's face it... no longer dealing with the end-of-summer boredom is even better. Plus, I love fall! I am so ready for apples & stews, sweaters & scarves, pie baking & Cookie Mondays!

I started my blog around this very week last year. It seemed like the perfect way to keep non-local family and friends up-to-date with three growing kids, and the perfect solution to my laziness at physically documenting those three (rapidly) growing kids. But mostly, I really needed a creative outlet. Some place to share trial and error in the kitchen, in the craft room (HA!), and regarding healthy living & motherhood in general.

A big believer in family traditions, I declared Monday a day for baking together long before the blog was born. Cookie Mondays..... Ice Cream Sundays seemed to sum up our week in one cutesie title. Cookies with Mom on Mondays, Ice Cream at the Dairy on Dad's Softball Sundays, and the many adventures in between. The emphasis on sewing grew as I found more and more unexpected inspiration, and realized I, too, could teach myself to sew. Why didn't I start sooner?

Cookie Mondays is so much more than a recipe a week. It's sharing my love of baking with my kids. It's letting Chayse crack the eggs all by himself. It's knowing Chloe will remember a special treat on the kitchen table every Monday after school. It's watching Camden let her cookie sink to the bottom of the milk, then finding it again later. It's listening to the giggles and funny conversations, and realizing life must feel so carefree to them in those moments.

So bring on the weather, cool enough to bake again. Did I mention the move brought a brand new oven?! It's time to get back in the kitchen!

{...if I can possibly take the time away from sewing.}

Saturday, August 29, 2009

eight is great!

Happy Birthday, Chlo-bo!
You are eight years old today.

But it seems like this was just yesterday!
(That's what a 90-pound lady looks like after gaining 50 more. Puffy.)

You were the perfect baby.
{Besides the fact you wouldn't let anyone hold you but me.}

As the firstborn, can you believe just the two of us spent all day, every day just hanging out, watching Sesame Street & having fun those first few years?!

When you were three and ready for preschool, I became a preschool teacher, so we STILL got to spend all day together. Soon you became big sister to Chayse.

At four, you enjoyed picking dandelions playing T-ball, loved the Disney Princesses, and learned to read.

You started Kindergarten on your 5th birthday, the day you met your best friend, Ava. Then baby Camden came along- a sister!

At six you started Brownie Girl Scouts and lost your first tooth (Chayse accidentally knocked it out in a wrestling match). You got to be the Flower Girl in our wedding. Hannah Montana rocked your world.

When you were seven, you took an interest in sewing (I wonder why...), started and soon quit soccer (you are SO not sporty... I wonder why...), and started your own blog (am I sensing a pattern here?).

You have always been creative, mature, quiet, stubborn, smart, thoughtful, and funny. You are a hard worker and the perfect student. You are a great big sister and an awesome daughter.
You make me so proud every single day!

How can you possibly already be EIGHT?

Party Time!

I love you so much, Chloe!
Eight will be GREAT!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fit for a Third Grader

You know 'em.
You love 'em.
Behold...

The Pretty. Messy. Flower.
{made famous by the fabulous Julie.}

And now I give you yet another adaption of such a versatile creation.

Chloe wanted something fun to tote her books & supplies in this year.
Third grade, after all. I mean come on...
we're not talking lower grades anymore, folks.

She got this cute bookbag for her 6th birthday (recognize it, Tegan?).
Two years later, here it is washed and ready for its re-fab.

Extra fabric from the dress I haven't started.
{No longer a first-day-of-school dress.
Now a picture-day dress.
I hope.}

You can't argue with ruffles.

I sewed them directly onto the front flap,
then added a few snazzy buttons.

DONE!
A brand new look for a perfectly good old bag...

and a very anxious girl.

And the cute hair clip?

Go visit Sherryl!

I can't wait to see how my big girl held up today!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

one year

A year ago today, Kevin and I finally tied the knot-
a joining of not two, but five hearts.

When Chloe and I met Kevin and Chayse in 2005, the kids were just three and six months old. Almost instantly, we created an unbreakable bond, and a new little family. A year later, a happy surprise. A baby sister!

His Ours, Mine Ours, and Ours.

A couple more years flew by.
Wedding bells rang August 23, 2008.

It has been an unforgettable year. Marriage is challenging enough without three little stinkers along for the ride from the get-go! But our story is proof of the power of family, no matter what the dynamic! So we did things a little backwards. There's certainly no less love in our home. At the end of the day (yes, sometimes there is wine involved) we just count our blessings and feel thankful to be walking this road together. I couldn't ask for a better partner. And without question, the many rewards outweigh those challenges.

Happy Anniversary, Kevin! I love being your wife.
***
Since I'm the world's biggest procrastinator and have yet to print any of these amazing images from the big day, I had fun browsing through them again today!
Here is the beautiful ceremony.

And on to the fabulous reception, held in my father-in-law's backyard.
Kevin and I planned and executed almost every single aspect of this weekend, with the help our great families and friends.

Both moms and all sisters helped me pull off the flower arrangements- centerpieces and bouquets, and the M monogram hanging on the entry gate.

I did the stationary (with the exception of the actual invitations), including save-the-dates, place cards, programs, and menus. Also, the table settings, the favors, and all the dessert baking... plus barked offered bridezilla-esque orders gentle decor direction (Okay, I'm bad, but my mom is worse, and her mom was even worse).

Kevin did the stunning electrical job. We used over 150 white paper lanterns!

We pre-mixed all of the drinks ourselves (I think I hand-squeezed about 765,893 limes for mojitos), and created a huge play list on our iPod to blast from the speakers hidden throughout the yard.

My talented friend, Tegan took over when I was forced to stop working and actually get in to the limo bus headed for the church. I knew I was leaving everything in good hands.

It was perfect. Simple, relaxed, FUN, and so us!
I want to do it all over again, and not change a thing.