Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Whatever Wednesday

I'm officially "back to work" all cozied up in my home office. Baby free for the moment thanks to Bennett's sweet grandparents. Sipping on my 2nd pot of coffee. Rocking my pjs until wayyy too late in the afternoon. I have 3 computer monitors with no less than 30 tabs open on each screen.  Working consistently on cabinet concepts, social media, rebranding efforts, organization of a massive server mess, accessing new emails and confirming existing accounts. You name it, it's happening. And I've hit the point where my thoughts on everything are just ...
For lunch I had a hard-boiled egg, some of Maggie's carrots and a few cucumber slices because I'm too lazy to make anything other than another cup of joe...I realize this does not count for a real lunch and therefore will be grazing the fridge for the rest of the afternoon. I may or may not have also thrown in a fun sized Twix, but I'll let you decide if I had one or three. 

So, while IT is currently overtaking my computer and using some crazy remote access to see what in the bananas is going on to why I am unable to access all of my server and email business via my work computer (which for the record I find amazing, I literally have zero access to anything I need to work on right now, and someone who is miles away is able to login to my computer and fix the problem and I am sitting here with what seems to be watching my screen magically open/close/reopen windows until it fixes itself .. technology is so cool!)  Anywhoodles, I'm running through everything that needs to happen in my personal life and thought I'd share ... for no reason other than I have no one to whine to, and I don't feel like writing it in my planner so if I make a blog post out of it and share it with the world, perhaps it'll be just the swift kick I need to get em' complete!

I need to pick up my trays from the dentist, that have been waiting on me for nearly 3 weeks now. I need to order the plaque for the chili cook-off trophy for the family competition ... in addition hubs and I are on this crazy eating regimen that makes normal cooking and eating impossible, so I am constantly faced with trying to throw together a gourmet meal in the matter of minutes, all while enjoying it and keeping the household running smoothly ... that shouldn't be too hard right?
I've got to finish a small project and plan Bennett's baptism because class is now finished and it appears we're already behind the ball. I've got to get rocking on the decor and shenanigans of this shower I'm hosting in a couple of weeks. My house is is DESPERATE need of being cleaned, but I've already decided that will have to wait for another day week. Bennett's Halloween costume came in, but there is still much to be done in regards to the additional parts that need to be created ... which will likely involve at least 3 trips to the thrift and craft stores .. and Halloween is tomorrow, PERFECT. I've got to complete my dad's Bengal's cooler before next week's game or what on earth will they use for their tailgate?

We need to find someone to come chop this beautiful piece of furniture in half so we can get it downstairs because I am DETERMINED this will go into our basement, and I want it complete before our entire family is here next weekend. I need to purchase numerous shower, wedding and birthday gifts ASAP as I am getting dangerously close to that one year rule. I need to get a new chair for my at home office before my back gives out on me while I continue to sit on this piece of metal that is breaking my spine. And I am also supposed to be placing some other orders that for the time being I just don't have time to talk about. 

Okay, email is dinging, I just glanced once again at my massive work to-do list before little man comes back home today and the coffee pot is buzzing. Lunch break and blog whining are over. Back to work!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Penny!

Today is a very special day in the life of my main lady. 

It's Penny's birthday!!

We celebrated last weekend with quite the celebration and had such a great time!  We gathered the whole family, some friends too, and held "The First Annual Family Chili Cook-Off"!

We had some stellar labels and score cards, created by yours truly. I wasn't sure how many chili's we'd have, so I had way more entry space than actual number of entries, but I guess at least I don't have to worry about making new scorecards for quite some time!
We did as close to a blind tasting as possible (because my family is ridiculously competitive), so we put every one's crockpots in a separate room, and then served everyone a half of a little Dixie cup labeled with a number of a coordinating chili. Everyone got their own score card, their own tester cups, and a full belly!

After everyone had voted, we then opened up a free for all and at until our little hearts were content. Including a table full of fixins of course. Enough white and green onion, shredded cheese, hot sauce, corn muffins, oyster crackers, and sour cream to make every chili guru happy.

 It was a close race ... we had three people tie for overall winning chili's, so a tie breaker was in order! We had to break it down by actual number of votes. Vitor and Cris came away with the win beating Jon Ryan and Brooke by ONE POINT! They will forever be the first set of names on the family plaque. Ironically enough, this was Cris's first time ever making chili (they're from Brazil more on that here) and they still beat all of us! HA! Go figure.
After we'd eaten enough chili to make our little hearts content, we walked up to my parents barn in the woods to finish out the day shootin skeet. I mean really, is there anything better in the fall than a belly full of chili, football on the TV and shootin some guns while hangin' with the fam? Pretty sweet way to spend your birthday celebration I'd say ... or any day for that matter. 
Thank goodness Bernie was lookin out and got earplugs, because that helped the babes deal with the loud bangs. We all started out shooting the clay pigeons with a 20 gauge shotgun. Once we got the hang of the 20 we moved up to a 12 gauge, whew! That sucker had a little more kick! 
After everyone had hit at least one skeet (except for the birthday girl ... dang) we moved on to shootin pistols. I was TURRRRIBLE when it came to the hand guns. For some reason I couldn't seem to get a feel for the fact that I had to shoot a little below the target, because it kicked up so much. Oh well, it was fun.
Anywhoodles, more about the lady that this day was dedicated to. The best mom in all the land. And now, the best grandma there ever was. Bennett sure is a lucky little guy to have such a great lady in his life. I wish her the absolute best birthday ever. She is my bestest bestie in the whole world and brings so much light to my life. Happy Birthday Mom! We love you!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Four Generations

Now that I've shared one of the greatest miracles to grace our family to date, I can finally share the most perfect weekend spent at my Aunt Toby's house!  While MaKenzie and I still had a short time left on maternity leave, we planned an overnight gals trip to gush everything baby and get our wee-ones together while snuggling with OUR mommies :) .... I told you it was perfect.
My Aunt Toby (she actually has a beautiful name: Treva Lynn) ... but we've grown up calling her Toby our entire life.  It has something to do with a doll she used to carry around by the toe as a little girl, but regardless she's always be our beloved Tobes :)

Anywhoodles, she and Uncle Dan recently built a BEA-UTIFUL new home, and that made for the perfect backdrop of our generational sleepover.
I mean, are you serious with this swing right now? 
I want one so bad! Amaze.
The rest of the weekend was filled with oodles of girl talk, playing with babies, and eating delicious food. Could there be anything better?
And what would a family get together be without Maebyn teasing her younger cousin :) hehe.
Love these ladies, and my sweet boy of course, so very much. In the words of my Uncle Gary "a moment in time, lived by all!"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Snug as a Bug in a Rug.

When all else fails, and le' baby won't cool his jets ... try this.

Or this.

Hey, don't knock it until  you try it.  And no judgement allowed unless you too have a screaming baby and have found a better solution that you would like to share with me.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

A couple of months ago when little man had to get some ultrasounds on his kidneys and the little rascal wouldn't settle down long enough to get adequate pictures, the US nurse tried a few things and taught mommy a few new tricks too ;)

She snagged a few warm blankets and wrapped them around the top of Bennett's head and like magic, Mr. Squirmer laid still!  Now, when I'm folding fresh out of the dryer laundry it's become one of Bennett's favorites to be all wrapped in daddy's warm t-shirts and I'm able to get a few things folded and put away.  And when things get REALLY crazy we throw in the swing aka the third parent.

Ahhhh the mom life ... behind the scenes can be so glamorous.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Smokey Mountain Munchkins

Good ole' Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee!

Last week our little family piled in my parents ridiculously awesome astro van and settled in for the long haul to make our trek to the Smokey Mountains ... with an impressive stop in Nashville too!

Long story short, my pops is a big time game fisher (like blue marlin and stuff) and has a fishing boat in the Bahamas, so he heads down for big tournaments and always comes back with crazy stories. His latest and greatest is a young fella he met at a tournament: Colton James.  He's an up and coming country artist and basically, dad's getting involved with the whole shebang.

So, we headed to Nashville for a full day of "laying some new tracks" (I learned the lingo) in the Ocean Way Recording studios. Thank heavens for the upstairs lounge area where BUBs snoozed away while the band kicked it up downstairs.

I've never seen that side of things ... SO cool. It took some serious self control to not touch all the BUTTONS! I'm such a child.

After a LONG day in the studio, we piled back in the car to head on to Gatlinburg. Gatlinburg had a dual purpose. One, we were just havin' a hollerin' good time with the babe on our first real trip. Two, Colton was shooting a music video for his song 101 Proof and we were gonna see some Hollywood movie makin' magic (so stinkin cool). 
After we checked out the music video and got lost for nearly 3 hours trying to find "the cemetery"
We decided it was time to actually see Gatlinburg and let Bennett be strolled and Bjorned until his little heart was content. 
Bahhh...the baby sunglasses and that hat. The cutest munchkin I ever did see. And his daddy's pretty cute too <3

We had such a great time ... a few more favorites:
And perhaps my most favorite of all ... Bennett fell asleep next to the real mountain river in PaPaw's arms. Gahhh. 
THE most precious. Ever.

And because no one is allowed to leave Gatlinburg without an old timey photo, we made sure to get one of those too. Just for good measure.
Until next time Tennessee. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Perfect Petite Princesses

Bottom line: I'm embarrassed this post has taken me so long. In all honesty, I haven't posted about it yet, because I wanted to make sure I had ample time to explain and hash everything out. But, I'm realizing my life is and for a long time will be ruled by episodes of short spurts in between naps and feedings, so waiting around for a "good period of time" may never actually come. 
Funny, I'm even complaining about that with my sole child ... as the story I'm about to share with you will blow your mind. 

I know buddy, we were all shocked too.

Okay, so here's the deal. Remember my sweet princess Maebyn being born (wow, sorry for the length of that post back in the day, clearly it needed to be broken up into about 3 ... I was a newbie)? Or perhaps you remember here from this post, where you will also see her preggo momma. Well, she's no longer preggo and she didn't just bring one additional perfect babe to the world, she brought TWO! Two completely perfect, HEALTHY baby girls.
Correct, two absolutely perfect, beyond adorable, petite little princesses. Gah! 


Here's another great note to mention ... Sweet Maebyn turned one year old on her Sunday birthday ... Her sissies? They were born on Monday. 


MaKenzie, you are my hero. Like for serious. And I want to complain about my life being hectic. HA!
I was horrible at documenting the twins story, but lucky for you, their incredible Daddy did all of that work for us. He's got a fabulous stay at home dad blog you should check out sometime. The twins were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion and much of MaKenzie's pregnancy was in a state of uncertainty, and the outcome of the twins was constantly in question.  Ross and MaKenzie's strength, love and faith throughout the diagnosis was ROCK SOLID. 

They are such a great example to me and everyone, or anyone for that matter who is in need of some inspiration. Or if you're looking for a real life story with a happy ending ... I've found your book.  I truly encourage you to read their story.

And take a moment to gawk (pictured left to right) Maebyn, Larkyn and Truette. A little excerpt in regards to the names, more can be found here:

"When MaKenzie and I were trying to determine the names for the twins, we looked back on what this journey has meant to us and both decided we really wanted to give each girl a name that meant something and held significance, so that they both would remember and never forget what happened even before they were born. The name Larkyn means “to be crowned in victory” and the name Truette (our little “True”) we wanted to represent truth. Together, the girls names tell the story of what we believe it really means to be “crowned in true victory”… a display of God’s direct intervention and healing touch when all else around pointed to an inevitable loss. We wanted their testimony to be shared." 
Sending lots of love to my sister from another mother, and introducing for the first time on my blog ... the most perfect three little sisters you ever did see.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ice Cream Cone Head Candy!

A while back I posted about my sweet niece Emmie's 5th birthday party.  I was charged with handling some decor for the Ice Cream themed party and was able to come up with some cutesy decorations thanks to some Pinterest inspiration. And, today I wanted to share my take on the Ice Cream Cone Headband.  

Most of the designs used an actual ice cream cone. And, although I will say that certainly looks more authentic, the reality of a 5 year old (or any youngin' for that matter) not crushing the flimsy waffle cone is a bit far fetched. 

I knew she needed a party hat, even if its sole purpose was to wear it for 5 seconds while blowing out her candles.  And once I saw some ice cream cone headband samples I was set on finding a sturdier alternative.  Challenge accepted!

Supplies needed:
  • Paper Mache cone
  • Any headband
  • Felt
  • Hot glue / gun
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Ribbon
  • Cotton ball or other end piece

Get all of your goodies ready to go!  Any color scheme is accepted and this can be tweaked, embellished, or repurposed for another theme for years to come!

I chose to use 3 layers of felt, because I wanted to mimic 3 melted scoops of the goodness (and because I always want at least 3 scoops). Simply cut the felt in various sized circles and layer them so you can see all of the colors.  I hot glued all of the layers together before I attached them to the headband. To make sure I liked the placement.

Next cut a small rectangle and securely attache the rectangle underneath the headband to the bottom layer of felt.  I wanted mine at an angle, so I attached it more towards the right side.

Now it's time for the cone.  I hot glued the embellishment ribbon prior to attaching the cone to the top layer of felt. 

I left a little additional ribbon at the bottom of the cone, so once I attached the cone to the felt the additional ribbon would cover up any glue that spilled out the sides. Simply hot glue the bottom of the cone to make sure it is secure on the top layer of felt. 

And that's the basics my friends. Now, its time to embellish!  I started by simply adding a glittery cotton ball to the top :)

Next, I added some glittery pipe cleaners to give some extra pizazz.  I simple put small slits in the second layer of felt.  The allowed the folded bottom the pipe cleaner to be easily hid and tucked away, while the top side was ready for swirly fun!  I simply rolled them around a tumbler stray ... a pen/pencil will give you the same effect.

And to finish it off, I added some cute ice cream stickers and a felt #5 for the birthday girl!  

So cute, and so easy! And what kid doesn't love sporting ice cream not only smeared on their face but also on their head?!