Monday, June 30, 2014

"Cute As A Button" Baby Shower

Over the weekend, my sisters and I, along with three of my momma's best friends, threw a baby shower for my youngest sister, who is expecting her first baby (Skylar Ann!) at the beginning of August. 

 The sistas (Just missing Mariah, who was on a fun weekend away with her hubby!)
Two of my Momma's three best friends, who also served as hostesses

Knowing that the nursery is going to be ahhh-dorrrr-able! with bright colors and mixes of patterns, we wanted to use the same color scheme for the shower, hoping that maybe our guest-of-honor  could re-use some of the decor in the nursery, should she choose to. 

Now, without further ado, the shower details:

The fun invitation was designed by an etsy seller and turned out so cute!:

The shower was held in a swim and racquet clubhouse, which was basically a huge room that allowed plenty of room for chatting, drinking, eating, gift-opening, and celebrating Baby B. Within the room, we had three stations set up. 

First, the food station:

Bright balloons anchored the table for an extra pop of color
I easily made this button bunting using bright scrapbook paper, a circle cutter, and ribbon. Easy peasy and festive!
Bright utensils and paper products were a must for the yummy food, all of which was so graciously made by my momma's best friends.
 And a staple at the baby showers we throw, a diaper cake, made with love by my Momma for her baby girl.

Next up, the drink station: 

We were able to re-use this bright, fabric bunting from the baby shower my sisters-in-law hosted for me when I was pregnant with Banks 5 years ago!
 Of course, we needed a Momma Mocktail for the preggo ladies in the room, which was DELISH!
And a Mimosa Bar for all of us non-preggers. Also delish!
 And what good is a yummy drink without a fun cup?! I recycled these after using them for Raleigh's first birthday, simply tying on some bright, polka dot ribbon and throwing in fun straws for sipping.

Finally, my favorite, the favor and dessert station: 

 I made this button pinwheel bunting using bright scrapbook paper, a little baker's twine, and buttons, of course!
 Knowing how much the Momma-to-be loves popcorn, we decided to include a popcorn bar, which included freshly made popcorn and four different seasons to choose from (including sprinkles--yummy!) for toppings.
 A washcloth bouquet served as a little extra decor and guests were invited to take home button lollipops, also easily made with swirl lollis, buttons, and some hot glue gun action.
 This was maybe my favorite decorative touch: The baby's initial made with buttons and one of those 3-D cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby. Easy, cute, and great decor for the nursery!

Finally, we just had to do a personalized onesie bunting to hang from the mantle. Not only did it look cute hanging over the area where guests left their gifts, but some of them brought a few chuckles, too: 

We played two fun shower games during the party and had plenty of time for talking all things baby and spoiling our Momma-to-be. 

 Gift time! 
 Four generations ;)
 Lifelong best friends
Could she be any more beautiful?!?

There are simply no words to describe how ecstatic I am that my littlest sister is going to be a momma in just over a month. I actually cried tears of joy on the way to the shower, thinking about the beautiful moment when she will see her baby girl for the first time. I just cannot wait to see her shine as a momma to sweet Skylar, who will no doubt be as cute as a button. :) 
One proud and excited aunt and one glowing momma-to-be!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Banksisms and Raleigh's Ramblings, Part 14

It's been awhile since my last post like this. So. I have quite a few funnies to share from my oldest kiddos. Maybe others think these are as cute and funny as I do. Maybe not. But at least these little sayings and instances are documented here so I will never forget the hilarious innocence that escaped their lips at the precious ages of 4 and 2...

Banks: "Mommy, do giants think houses are their anthills?"
He knocked my socks off with this one. I mean, our houses ARE anthills to giants, right? Right.

Banks: "Do you want to hear my song?"
Momma: "Sure!"
Banks: "Either 'Hot Wheel,' 'I'll See You Tonight,' or 'A Little Bit of Concentrate.'"
Momma: "Oh, definitely 'A Little Bit of Concentrate.'"
(He then proceeds to sing a made-up song about just that.)
I mean, how could I not choose "A Little Bit of Concentrate"? And it was good, I tell ya. Good. And also? So random, those song titles. So random.

Banks: "Mom, I love the baby you picked out. Love him."
Such a sweet, proud big brother. 

Raleigh puts some Playdoh in her right hand, closes her first tightly around it, raises her hand towards me (while leaving her left hand down by her side), and asks, "Which hand do you think it's in?" She was SO excited I got it right. 
Whew! And to think, I was thisclose to choosing the left hand. ;)

Banks: "Mommy, it would be funny if my hiney was in the front of me and my penis was in the back."
How do I even respond to this?!

Banks: "Are you so excited we're going to heaven?!"
Momma: "Yeah. Are you?"
Banks: "Yeah!"
Momma: "Why?"
Banks: "Because then we'll be taller than everyone!"
At least he's not competitive. ;)

Daddy: "I'm going to Miami."
Banks: "Where is your Ami?"

Daddy: "Homey don't play dat."
Banks: "Okay! I won't play that."
So literal. 

Banks: "Daddy, Raleigh is smelling your shoes."
Umm...?? Things you never expect to hear...

Banks: "Is she a photockoler?"
And by photockoler, he clearly means photographer. 

"Do you want to use my han-itizer?"

And by han-itizer, he clearly means hand sanitizer. 

(After being given lollipops at an OB/GYN appointment Banks and Raleigh accompanied me to):
Banks: "Will this keep us busy so we won't interrupt you?"
Yep. Exactly.

Banks: "Raleigh has 100 muscles, but I have 105; so, I'm stronger."
Raleigh: "I have 106."
Did I mention it's a good thing my children aren't competitive?

(Momma's pen stopped working while writing...)
Raleigh: "This pen is disgusting!"
I mean, I think that's a smidge harsh, but whatev.

(Banks, after picking out two new toys at the toy store...)
Banks: "Those are the best choices I ever choiced."
True dat, little buddy.

Raleigh: (to Banks) "I love you better than chocolate!"
Just about the biggest compliment she can give. 

Oh, these sweet, sweet babies of mine. I love them better than chocolate. And coffee. And wine. And that's a lot. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five On Friday: Baby Sister Baby Shower Edition

Howdy! And Happy Friday! It's time again for my weekly, go-to post, "Five On Friday," which holds me accountable for documenting five random happenings of what's going on with my little family o' five each week. 

In case you missed my last post, yesterday was a very special day for my hub and me. Although he was away traveling on Wednesday and it would have been much easier on him to travel to his next city from where he already was, he decided to fly back home that night, getting home well after 9:00 pm and leaving at 4:30 am the next morning, just so that we could at wake up together on our anniversary. Needless to say, he was gone by the time I got up for the day. But. I was greeted by two dozen roses and 10 bottles of wine when I walked into the kitchen. I then spent the rest of the morning laughing and crying as I discovered sweet and funny notes he had hidden all over the house for me to discover. He is a keeper, that hub of mine, and I can't wait to see what our next 10 years of marriage bring. I also can't wait for the fall, when we'll do a long weekend away, just the two of us, to celebrate our special milestone. <3 

Our summer fun continues! Now that my sweet baby boy is doing better tummy-wise (more on that in a minute) and thus napping for more than 20 minutes at a time, I've really been able to capitalize on the extra time and have more play time with my older two. Yay! I've missed them! I also bring Harrison along for the summer ride whenever possible, which usually means tagging along in the Bjorn. :) A few snapshots of our summer fun from this week:

Tomorrow will be spent spoiling my baby sister at the baby shower my other sisters and I are throwing to celebrate her first baby--a sweet little girl named....SKYLAR ANN (and yes, she gave me permission to share that!). The theme of the shower is "Cute As A Button," and I will definitely share photos from it next week. Have I mentioned how much I love all things baby? Especially when it comes to celebrating my precious nieces and nephews! Yippee! And throw in time with my sisters (we'll miss you, Mariah!) and woohoo! One happy Momma here.

This little fella turned 2 months old on Wednesday. 

Wait...what?!? Y'all. I seriously tear up when I think about that. The last 9 weeks have been a crazy blur, and while things have certainly gotten easier, I already miss those early weeks. But. The GREAT news is that Harrison is doing so, so much better since we've gotten him on the Prevacid and me on the dairy- and soy-free diet! He just feels better--no more screaming out in pain, which is such a relief knowing he is not hurting anymore. He is just the sweetest, chattiest, smiliest little fella and he melts me into a big puddle on the floor every single day. He is also growing like a weed! He weighed 12 pounds, 4 ounces and was 24.5 inches long at his well-check visit, which means he's gained over 2 pounds and grown 3 inches in a month! 

I was able to sneak away for a little "me" time a few different times earlier this week, getting a fresh cut and color one evening, showing some support for the amazing R+F line during an afternoon momma party another day, and doing a little (unsuccessful :/ ) dress shopping right after. I always come home feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on my Momma duties with an a reinvigorated positive attitude after getting a little time to myself. Three cheers for "me" time!

Here's hoping the weekend is filled with plenty of "me" time, "you" time, and "y'all" time. Catch you on the flip!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ten Years

We "met" when I ran over his football with my car in a Clemson apartment parking lot. I immediately put my car in reverse to apologize for the mistake, accidentally running over the football again before speeding off without a word. He turned to his roommate, with whom he'd been throwing the football, and said, "I'm going to marry that girl." 

Approximately one year later, our paths crossed again, and we started dating. It was the summer before our senior year at Clemson. I was leaving for the summer to work in a camp in the middle of the woods in rural New Hampshire, a camp for children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. I would be working 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, leaving little time for a long distance relationship. We didn't care. We started dating two weeks before I left. Shortly before I left town, he took me to the Clemson botanical gardens. As we sat side-by-side on an old wooden swing among the flowers, he held my hand and said, "I love you." I felt the same way.

As my mom drove me to the airport a few days later, I told her that he was the one. 

Two weeks later, a camp counselor position opened up at that camp in rural New Hampshire. Without hesitation, he applied, interviewed over the phone, and was hired immediately. He gave up the best summer of his life to join me for the hardest he would ever face: one filled with emotionally and physically demanding days trying to help very troubled children, getting just one day off per week for the entire summer. I worked with girls. He worked with boys. There was very little face-to-face contact between us during the days as we worked hard in our jobs to try and help our troubled campers. We decided to keep a joint journal that we would both write in throughout the summer. We took turns filling its pages, detailing our days and writing about our growing relationship with one another. We would hand over the journal every few days, and I would pour through the pages, savoring his words and looking forward to our next day off together. We spent our day off each week visiting different New England towns, traveling to Maine for fresh lobster and taking in the sights of a beautiful mountain town in Vermont. We walked new beaches, explored new towns, and continued to grow in our relationship.

The summer ended and my family awaited me as I returned to the South, glowing with excitement over the love I felt for the boy who had followed me across the country to begin our relationship together. 

We spent our senior year at Clemson together and with our best friends, finishing up our last classes and making sure our final memories of college were spent together. I graduated six months before him. He gave me my graduation gift: a beautiful, original, hand-painted piece of artwork he had commissioned--a rendering of that old wooden swing where we had first said, "I love you." One month later, he proposed to me on that swing. 

I moved to Atlanta shorly after to begin a grueling five year doctorate program. He joined me as soon as he graduated from Clemson a few months later. We planned our wedding by day and stayed up late at night to talk to his dad via internet, who had been deployed to Iraq as an Army reserve. We prayed for his dad's safe return back to the States, which happened approximately one month before our wedding the next summer. 

We were married in his hometown of Aiken, South Carolina, in a beautiful, blooming outdoor garden. Surrounded by our families and friends, we were married by his best friend's father, saying our I do's and promising each other our forevers on June 26, 2004. And then we laughed, we cheered, we ate, we drank, we toasted, and we danced. Oh, did we dance. 

It's been exactly 10 years since that day. 

There are not enough words to detail the many adventures we've had since that beautiful evening in June: 

The amazing trips we've shared across five countries and all over the United States;

The challenges we've endured as a couple, the hardest of which involved living apart for a year as I completed an intensive internship program at the University of Minnesota Medical School;

The homes we've owned (three). The jobs we've had (four between us). The friendships we've maintained since college. The new relationships we've formed throughout adulthood. The most important friendship we've worked hard to nourish and sustain: our own.

We've grown together as a couple. We've weathered family storms and stood by others as they've faced unimaginable circumstances. We've grieved over loss and smiled over new life. 

Today, we are growing in our Christian faith together. We are raising our three beautiful children together. We are spending time with our families together. We are making memories with old and new friends together. We are doing life together. 

So, Clay, my very best friend, my partner, my co-parent, my soulmate, my hub, my one true love, here's to our first 10 years of marriage. What a beautiful life we are living together

With All My Heart, 

Your Wif

P.S. I'm so glad that football was overthrown over 12 years ago. 

P.P.S. And now, a little walk down memory lane...
  • We shared many an adventure during our nine years living in Atlanta...

  • We've been lucky enough to be a part of so many wonderful celebrations for our family members and friends over the years...

  • We've made so many incredible memories with all of our favorite people, rarely turning down an invitation for fun, wherever that may take us. 

  • Of course, our most exciting, terrifying, important, meaningful adventure--parenthood--we are traveling through together, first welcoming our precious Banks after 5 wonderful years of marriage...

  • Then adding our one and only little girl just over two years later...

  • And finally adding the final piece to our family puzzle, our last precious baby boy, just over two years after that (exactly two months ago, yesterday!)...

  • Every single one of my most favorite memories starts and ends with you. 

Here's to many, many, many more amazing years with my very best friend, my Rich. Love you.