Wednesday, January 30, 2013



My most accomplished craft-to-date: bonnets&an apron for one very special 7-year-old's birthday party. ;-)  I'm not a seamstress by any stretch, but I'm enjoying the process of learning & being creative & jumping in without the fear of failure to stop me!

without further ado: my lovely, girly creations. haha

Unfortunately, we weren't able to visit for Corrie's birthday, but at least I was able to send her something for her party.  I do think that handmade gifts & home made gifts can be powerful things when done with love!

The party was a perfect size of 7, so I didn't have to work too hard to get them all done in time. ;-)  The thought process of the plan&execution is my biggest struggle with projects, and once underway, it seems I'm becoming much more effective in finishing each task, which makes it that much more enjoyable.

The first two done.

My little model - such a willing fella to play the part (and didn't want me to take it off! haha).

Corrie, I hope you know how much your auntie loves you my dear. ;-)  and you&Madeline will have to keep doing fun-girly-things so that I can enjoy it twice a year!! haha  Love, Auntie Brie

I think they were well received!! ;-)


One thing we will LOVE being back down in FL... beach time.  We live 30 min from the beach - and we love it.

Lesson #1: I've now learned that I should always pack a change of clothes (silly mommy) even when NOT planning on swimming.  I am a mother to boys - hello.

Lesson #2: chairs & toys will not entice sitting still.

... with this one exception.

Lesson #3: beach photos are my favorites.

Lesson #4: for now, count on bringing Daddy along because these boys run fast - in opposite directions. (and the new one is slowing mommy down!!)

Enjoying the bump for now & so looking forward to holding this little guy sooner-than-later!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Birthday Boy.

Our 3 year old boy.  Who asks for pancakes for breakfast & got a special one that morning from Daddy!

James' birthday was a Sunday, so we got to go to church & enjoy that together.  Came home & James asked for a lunch outside (?!) haha, which we did!  Set up the table & had our hot dogs & cheese burgers outside together.

Of course had to drive the Jeep for a few minutes while Mom was getting lunch ready... then sweet nap time which I am savoring until it's gone!

Matt&I thought James would enjoy going go-carting for his birthday since we had a race car party, so we did!  You have to be 3 & 36 in tall (which he is above).  A big thumbs up from my little race car driver who did tell Daddy to slow down while they were racing... ;-)

Hayden had a hard time being left out on this one.  Such a sweet, grumpy face.

 We went to the go carts out at the beaches (which I wouldn't recommend), and followed it up by beach time & dinner.  My boys just RAN.  Seriously, we didn't do anything except chase them down the beach & back to the car.  Glorious freedom!!

Happy 3rd Birthday James buddy.  You light up my life & I'll never know how blessed I am to have you in it.  But I know who to thank,  Thank you Lord for my boy.  He is a gift.

Party Time!!

James woke up SO.EXCITED. for his party that Saturday- the whole week of doing different preps built up the anticipation I think.  Had to start off the day with a birthday cupcake - race car #3!!

The gang was all here for James' party- it was a bit crazy!! But having family & friends who love you surround you to celebrate is priceless.  We've been so grateful for that welcome change & really feel like the boys are getting to KNOW their family like never before, just by seeing them so often.

This boy woke up from his nap to the family already here & warmed up slowly to how many friends he had coming over.  He was pretty shy until cake time & then he was in his element.  What a great feeling for everyone to be singing to you!  It shows on his face.  :-)

He did great blowing out his candles...

and was pretty proud of it.  ;-)  Love this big, unbridled smile.

There was lots of playing with friends & food & fun.  I thought James wouldn't really want to open his gifts in front of everyone, but after cake time he was up for all the attention.  We dove into the gifts & little Hayden joined in - even sported the 'Super James' cape that Aunt Natassja made!

One blessed little 3 year old.

The big surprise of the day was the new Jeep that James was given by his Mimi&Grandpa.  We waited for all the friends to head out before giving it to him so he could learn to drive it without anyone standing too close by... he did great & loves going for a drive.  But, he has to have his music turned on!

Hayden is his #1 passenger.  He jumps in and is ready to go even more often than James, haha.

What a great time together - thanks for everyone who came!

Ladies&Gentlemen, start your engines..!

I am ever expanding my craft-abilities these days, which is such a blessing to me.  I have so thoroughly enjoyed doing some little projects for my family & special occasions.  Here is how we threw a race car birthday party!

It was a little difficult finding all the items we were looking for- fortunately for us we have several craft stores in town and visited them all!  haha.  I did order a few items online as well, and most of our theme centered around the checkered flag & the colors red&black.

Project #1:  Table runners.  My mother-in-law made this impression on me, table coverings made such a difference for a party.  I made my first one for my little Hayden's Very Hungry Caterpillar 1st birthday party, and loved how it set the room!  I ordered his fabrics online for ease, but found this checkered flag fabric easily at a JoAnn fabric store.  I made 3 table runners & one that I used for a banner.  (4 yds fabric which I halfed & then measured for each surface.  simple seam and they were done).

Project #2:  I made a '3' t-shirt for James (again, I made my first for Hayden's '1' birthday shirt).  I found a toddler t-shirt & checkered flag felt at AC Moore - perfect!!  Really helped the number stand off the shirt. (I printed a 3 off the computer - cute it out & traced it on the felt - cut out the 3 & pinned it to the shirt - realized I should have had a fabric circle thing to hold it very tight - hand stitched it & done!)

Project #3:  Dollar store popcorn bags 10 for $1!  Added some ribbon to tie them closed & I really loved my party favor bags.  They were filled with Cars themed candies, a hot wheels car, stickers & some prizes.  (hole punched for ribbon & tied simple knot) Easy peazy & done.

I wanted to make some kind of banner for James & our front foyer.  I had one piece of extra fabric after all my table runners were finished & had some red felt leftover from Christmas ornaments... (I tried to use paper letters first, but they didn't stick well or look as nice) and voila!  (one sheet of red felt - printed & cut out letters - traced & cut out of felt - pinned & hand stitched to banner).  James is 3 !!

I made some race car cupcakes for the fun of it & because they looked SO cute...

Here was my entrance... banner + pennants from ceiling + red&black balloons tied to traffic cones + party favor bags.

Nascar racing cake from Publix!

Our race track food spread...

Had so much fun in the prep for this party!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Strike while the iron isn't hot...

We decided to tackle some of our major milestones for our little fellas before their baby brother arrives this spring.  

#1: change Hayden to the toddler bed:  This was more easily accomplished then either of us anticipated & much easier than his big brother.  We moved the bed into his room with the crib still set up, prepared to use it in the case of him not staying in bed as we had with James.  James was all set up now in his twin bed & we were ready not to fight this battle while we have a newborn.

We put him to bed & he stayed.  He stays for naps- even for 30 min or more if he wakes early & I just hope for him to lay back down.  He's as quiet as a mouse & if he drops his paci, he will get out & immediately right back in.  It's amazing.   Now to get rid of the paci... 

#2: Get James out of pull-ups at night:  This was more difficult.  I have a good friend who helped her boy learn to hold it by waking him before she went to bed herself for a mid-night potty break.  We tried this for about a week, and actually ended up forgetting one night for his first successful all-nighter!  (he had not been waking dry our first few nights - tried wakings & success - then waking without success - went back to just letting him sleep = a week dry!!)  We had his first middle of the night accident last night, but honestly, with all his success, (and juice at dinner) I am counting it as a fluke (i hope).  So we'll, see, but hopefully, not getting up at night for potty issues when we have a new baby!

amazed by our boys & all their growin' up.  makes their momma so proud.

Jack Jack

Happy Happy birthday Jack!!

We had the pleasure of being close enough this year to go for Jack's 2nd birthday party -

Such a wonderful time had by all.  Natassja always the hostess with the mostess.  ;-)

Just too much fun to have these simple memories for all our little guys to share.  So grateful for the chance for them to grow up together.

And Uncle John was there in spirit... ;-)