Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Very Mickey Birthday!

Saturday we celebrated Caleb's first birthday!  My labor of love was preparing for this party and wanting to make it special for my little man, as well as for everyone else who came to help us celebrate.  In an effort to save money, I was determined to make everything, this included a lot of printing, cutting, and glueing!  Here are some pictures to highlight the event.

 His birthday shirt...I did not make this!
 Smash cake, you can also kind of see one of the food labels behind the cake.  The plate we made for our anniversary this year, it is our birthday/celebration plate.
 Red velvet and Chocolate/Oreo cupcakes. The black trays were my $1 pinterest idea that was a great success!

Another picture of the smash cake.

 High Chair Banner and the birthday boys mickey ears birthday hat (which he would not have on his head.)
 Monthly pictures.  I got little clothespins and painted them and decorated them to hang the pictures with.
 Table decorations.
 Kids craft table: Make your own mickey ears and coloring pages.
 Behind us you can see the birthday banner.
Family picture!

We had a great time and Caleb was in a GREAT mood the whole time. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tears and Turkeys

As you may have realized, I have failed to post the past week or so.  **SIGH** Life seems to get away from me sometimes.  November is quickly passing me by.  I been busily trying to get the last bits of Caleb's birthday party together, which is this weekend, AAAAHHHH!  I am not ready for this in any way.  I have realized in the past week that, even though I am excited for his birthday party, it won't stop.  After this first birthday, he will have another, and another, and another.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I think about him growing up, this usually launches me into irrational land, where I am already thinking about him getting married; he is only turning one.  I am just not ready to give up my little boy. 

One thing that I already miss SO much is our morning cuddle time.  Since he was a month old, in the morning when he would wake up around 5am, I would bring him in the bed and we would have cuddle time.  For the first 6 months it was just mommy and Caleb cuddle time, the most cherished memories I have of those months.  This week I have ended my sad attempts to recapture cuddle time.  He has no interest in cuddle time in the morning and is just ready to jump off the bed and start a day of little boy adventures.  I tried desperately to hold onto cuddle time but had to realize that it was only making Caleb, Wes, and myself frustrated.  He is already outgrowing me.  :(

I would like to think that it will get easier, but I just don't think it will.  Eventually it won't just be birthdays, but starting school, the ever interesting teen years, sports, and on it goes.  **SIGH**  And so that is my joy and my misery this whole month so far.  On a happier note, his birthday is going to be so special; I will blog about that, with pictures after Saturday.

The other piece of interesting for this post is Caleb's thanksgiving shirt!  For those who remember my FB post about sneaking in and tracing Caleb's hand while he slept to make a hand print turkey, this is what it was for.  I got the idea from no where other than the wonderful and exhausting Pinterest, I only improved it just a little!  

I traced his sleeping little hand on paper, cut the thumb and hand out and then each individual finger.  I then traced those pieces on to brown, red, yellow, and orange felt (I do apologize if a certain finger stands out a little much, it truly was unintentional).  I cut out a little red giblet and a yellow wing.  I glued the pieces onto a little brown shirt and added a little wiggly eye.  I am so excited to see him in this for my favorite holiday!  One week to go! 

Friday, November 2, 2012


Trying to think of a favorite fall memory only reminds me of how old I am getting and my memory seems to be going.  Being that Caleb was born before the official start of winter, I could easily write about my favorite fall memory being the day he was born, but that seems obvious and I think it would be fun to write about a memory from my younger days (besides, I plan on writing about Caleb closer to his first birthday). 

I guess the time that most stands out in my mind was Homecoming week of my senior year of high school.  I look back on that time with my wonderful friends and always smile!  I am so blessed to have had those girls in my life, and some to have still in my life.  So let me share a little about that amazingly fun week.

I don't remember all the dress up days we had but I do remember a pajama day.  There was nothing I looked forward to more than the day I was able to wear my PJ's to school!  It drove my step mom crazy though, as she did not think it was all that great. Another big thing I remember was working with my friends as we created our outfits for School Spirit day.  All the sewing, fabric painting, accessory shopping all to have a unique, wild, and fun orange and black outfit is a memory that will always bring joy to my heart!  I remember sitting out in my friend's driveway using what should be an illegal amount of fabric paint and glitter on some fabulously modified black pants and tank tops! (yes, tank tops in Minnesota in October, another thing our parents were not thrilled with but it was in all in the name of school spirit!) 

(I apologize for the not so great quality, I had to take a picture of the picture from my high school scrapbook)

Finally, our night of TPing!  Now before you get all noble on me, it was in the name of fun, we only TPed friends, and would not ever do more than TP.  Most parents understood it was in all in good spirit and would not get mad about it.  It was a long standing tradition (or maybe not that long standing, I don't really know for sure) for the seniors to TP houses of our Junior friends and vice versa.  I remember hearing all the stories my Sophmore year and looking forward to the days when I could be included.  Junior year was fun but I most vividly remember the fun we had my senior year.  After unloading, again an amount that should be illegal (oh wait, I am pretty sure it is), of TP on our friend Christy's huge front yard tree, we all headed to Perkins, a local restaurant in MN, and spent the remainder of the night talking and hanging out!  At 6am we headed back to get our stuff and head into school.

We wore our crazy outfits to the homecoming game and froze our butts off but had a ton of fun!  I guess it's not a fall specific memory as much as a memory that happened during fall.  But I do think about it every year around this time and miss all my girls.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


We celebrated Caleb's last first event before his birthday last night, Halloween.  It's kind of bittersweet to realize you have celebrated all his first events, obviously not all his first things (of those there are many more to come), but in the calendar year, all those first milestones, holidays, and events.  I have so enjoyed this first year with him and feel so blessed to have been there for everything, but on the other hand, it means he is growing up.  Before I know it, he will be driving, moving out, getting married...perhaps I am letting my mind wander a little to far in the future.  I need to continue to be able to enjoy each day with him, one day at a time, and not worry about those days to come. 

Anyways, back to Halloween.  He dressed up as Frodo Baggins, from Lord of the Rings, a costume I made, you can see the details of which here: costume construction.  I was so proud of my first home made Halloween costume that we had his portaits taken of him at JCP, this was a whole new adventure since he is now walking! 

For the actual holiday last night, we opted to take him to the mall here and let him trick or treat for a little bit.  We entered him the 0-2 years costume contest, sadly, he did not win but it was still a lot of fun!  He was so cute standing on stage in his little outfit!  We did get a lot of compliments, so that was fun!  One store employee gave him a small handful of candy instead of one piece because he was a LOTR fan as well!  And one girl wanted his picture because he was so cute!  That's my boy!!

My in-laws, Mimi and Papa, joined us for the fun and we had a great time!  Caleb was not so much into carrying is bucket or walking up to get the candy.  He did have his sword in hand, and as any guy would tell you, a sword is far superior to a pumpkin bucket!  And whenever we tried to let him walk, he would start running through mall, in no real general direction.  At one point he took of running into Gordman's jewelers...I guess he was interested in purchasing his Mama some jewelry ;)! And the cherry on the whole night was Caleb getting to meet Mickey Mouse!  He loves him some Mickey Mouse!!

We stayed about an hour and then headed home, in the car, he was squeeling and laughing!  It was such a blessing to hear!  We watched Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin when we got home while Caleb took all the candy out of his bucket and put it back in, several times!  Overall, it was a great evening and though I am little sad that it is passed, it was a great "first" milestone with our little man!


I have blogged before about how being a mom has made more evident my weaknesses but I have learned that it has also brought out many strengths, some I didn't even know I had.  I have learned this as I have been getting Caleb's first Halloween costume together.  I had originally imagined we would do something store bought and easy.  When I ventured into Dad-land and asked Wes if he had ideas of what Caleb should be for Halloween, he chose very quickly Frodo Baggins.  For those of you out there who are not a junior high boy, don't know a junior high boy, or someone who was a junior high boy at some point; Frodo is the main character in Lord of the Rings, a hobbit. (This is a special set of movies for Wes individually and also for us as a couple, it was the first major movie watching series for us when we were dating.)

As any normal, not particularly crafty mom would do, I began searching the internet for a costume just Caleb's size that I could purchase.  Not only did I not find any for smaller than child size, they were all also over $40.  So, I decided to attempt to make this very important first costume.

My first stop was at JoAnn's Fabrics, the remnants section.  I got a great deal on some dark green fleece for the cloak and a mustard yellow fabric(I know, it's not the same color as the picture above but it worked) for the vest; they were also 50% off!  I knew Caleb already had some brown shorts/pants and white dress shirt.  I found a leaf button for the Leaf of Lorien for the cloak, some brown trimming ribbon and brown buttons to add to the vest.  I already I had a plain gold ring and chain from a play I was in and Wes found a small toy sword.

To make the vest, I used a sweater vest of Caleb's as a template and traced on paper the shape for both the front and the back of the vest.  The hood of the cloak was a little trickier, I again used a piece of clothing as a model for how to create the hood and how to attach it to the cloak.  After only about an hour on my mother-in-laws sewing machine, a stomach bug, and about 10 minutes worth of button sewing I was able to transform this...
                                    into this...

Add a few accessories and an 11 month old and you have this...

As a solute to my hard work and complete success at this first Halloween project, we took Caleb to JCP for some portraits in his costume.  At first the photographer, Wes, and I were excited and having fun as Caleb was his super cute self and wandering around babbling and getting into things (particularly the plastic prop pumpkins).  By the end of this short photo shoot Wes and I felt like this...
After chasing Caleb and desperately trying to get him to stand still for enough seconds for the picture to be taken.  It didn't help that our photographer didn't seem to understand that he was not going to stand still and to be ready to snap away the second we let go of him.  Despite the craziness we did manage to get a few good pictures.  All this to say, as a mom you just might find a dormant skill/talent you didn't even realize you had.

Happy Halloween!!


In honor of Fall and, most importantly, Thanksgiving, I am going to try to write about something related to those to things each day for the month of November.  I am already doing a daily what I am thankful for on FB and I figured a blog post about the same thing might become redundant and bit overkill.  This is my first time doing something so ambitious, I hope I can find the time to keep up. 

Day 1

For a long time now Autumn has been my favorite season.  Though I have never fully been able to pinpoint why.  One of my favorite things about fall is the leaves, I know, how bland of answer.  But it goes beyond the colors for me, though they are breathtaking.  I also love the crispness, the sounds, the smells of fall.  There is also this buzz or energy in the air.  I feel as though I come alive when the leaves start changing!  And for me, I feel a season of renewal coming. 

The beginning of the year wrapping up, with all its highs and lows, signals the coming days of rejuvination and renewing!  It's such a life cycle, for everything living.  We all need times of hybernation and inward reflection before we venture into a new cycle!  It's almost like the leaves bright colors are giving forth their last bit of magnificent life before succumbing to the necessary dead of winter and I am soaking up every last bit of that energy and life!  Perhaps it is the introvert inside of me that loves this season so much, but whatever it is, it consumes me.  God is uses His beautiful creation to reach into the depths of my soul and recharge me.  I feel God's love and blessing so much during Autumn (I know many people feel that way about spring or summer so I am a bit odd).  I appreciate all the wonderful things about the other three seasons, but for me, Fall is the very best season, no contest!