Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Not There Yet

It's early Christmas Eve morning and I find myself still very much missing my Daddy and still dreading the holidays. I look forward to the happiness in JJ's voice, the sparkle in his eyes and the wonder and excitement the days bring for him.  And I look forward to the memories we are creating.  But underneath it all my heart is sad.  The delicious food is the same, the carols are the same, the beautiful decorations and twinkly lights are the same but in the end, nothing is the same.  I so want to be fully excited about Christmas again.  I know that's what my Daddy would want.  It was his favorite time of year and I know he would want me to love Christmas the way I used to.  I've seen a glimmer of it this year but I'm not quite there.  Not yet.

 photo 232323232fp63583_nu32_9_972_467_WSNRCG3776967332_nu0mrj_zpsea1ea5ae.jpg This was our last Christmas with Dad.  We had no idea how our world was about to fall apart.  Oh, how deeply I miss him.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Time To Decorate!

This past weekend we got the Christmas decorations put up. It required rearranging the whole living room but I absolutely love this set up so much better than what we usually have. I put up everything but the tree ornaments. It took me a few days but I think I've decided to leave the ornaments in the boxes this year. I'm thinking life will be much easier this month without having to keep Jack from tearing the tree apart. The tree is very pretty with just lights and a tree topper but instead of leaving it bare I decided to make it our Christmas card tree. I can't wait to see it filled up with all of the cards we get! Once we have a bigger house I'd love to always have a 2nd tree designated as our card tree. The boys had fun "helping" put the tree and decorations up. I have to admit that the thought did cross my mind to wait until they were in bed to put it all up. ha! But I know JJ would have been sad to miss out on the experience and I know we're creating memories here.  photo 11-30-131_zpscea01cf5.jpg  photo 1c33d49d-4197-42ea-977d-c188ca128ccc_zps3f46ada1.jpg  photo 11-30-137_zps0e924bdc.jpg

Every year I look forward to getting the Christmas decorations put up and I always imagine the June Cleaver experience.  Christmas music, the smell of cookies baking in the oven, joyful laughter of children, blah, blah, blah.  Instead, I end up frazzled and stressed out over the chaos and mess that has become my house. I really need to learn to relax and just let things flow. The perfectionist in me (thanks, Dad!) has a really hard time letting that happen. Everything has to be put in just the right spot, everything has to match, and everything has to be "perfect".  And if it isn't, it drives. me. CRAZY!  I know, I know. I need to get over it. Easier said than done. At least I realize it's a problem! ha!  photo 11-30-1310_zps30b3f749.jpg  photo 11-30-1314_zpsfa836434.jpg  photo copyIMGP3041_zps9c767731.jpg

I love the finished product. It's simple but cozy and just how I like it! Ignore the bottom of the tree. The bottom section of lights died last night and I haven't gotten new ones yet. You can see where I've got the cards pinned to the tree. I'm so excited to see it full of cards!
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I've kept the back wall decorations pretty simple as well. This is where all the Santa pictures go. I'm quickly running out of room. I'll be needing a bigger table soon!  photo 07_zps7ec2973f.jpg

I'm very happy with my cozy, simple decorations. The glow of the lights and the sparkle of the glitter adds to the sweetness of being surrounded by precious memories.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


We had a good Thanksgiving this year. We spent the entire day with family so it was pretty perfect. The only thing missing from our day was Dad. I hate that. Absolutely hate that he'll always be missing from our family gatherings. It tears me apart every time I think of it. And the fact that there's nothing I can do about it makes it worse. It's so hard living with something so crushing and knowing that I will live with it the rest of my life.

I didn't mean to turn this into a sad post but I guess that's where it went. Let's go back to talking about Thanksgiving and the amazing day we had with family. We started out the day at Mom's house. Before indulging in our Thanksgiving feast the guys relaxed while us girls got the food prepped.  photo 11-28-13-ThanksgivingDay2_zpsb5c3808d.jpg  photo 11-28-13-ThanksgivingDay3_zps57b87428.jpg

After eating WAY too much we sat around the table and chatted before cleaning up. The worst part about big meals is the clean up but obviously it is more than worth it because we do it every year.  And we'll continue to do it every year!  I can't wait for the kids to get old enough to do dishes!  ha!

As always, we were sure to take plenty of pictures.  I love looking back every year to see how much we've all changed.  I'm so excited that next year we'll have a new little addition.  My sweet nephew Samuel will be joining us!  I cannot wait to cuddle the little guy and get pictures of all 3 boys together!
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Later that day we went to Jorge's parents house for a few hours.  It was a laid back, relaxed time and a good way to end our day.
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Pinterest gave me the idea for Jack's 1st birthday party. I saw the picture of the cake and knew it was what I had to do. It was such a fun theme and so cute, too!  We are so thankful that some good friends of ours let us have the party at their house. It was such a blessing!
 photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty15_zps7bb85034.jpg I squeezed in the Hungry Caterpillar theme in as many ways as I possibly could. It was actually really easy to do and I am certainly glad about that. I don't have time to spend weeks planning birthday parties like I used to.  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty2_zpsb15ec55d.jpg I tried to use as much of the food that's in the book as I possibly could. That, in itself, made the planning a bit easier.  I got the printables for the food table from here.  I tried to make it as fun and kid-friendly as possible but also wanted the adults to enjoy it, too.  Thankfully the foods used in the book pretty much covered all that!  I made PB&J sandwiches for the kiddos and chicken salad sandwiches for the adults.
 photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty3_zpsfed8ca0f.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty4_zps3d36f519.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty6_zps2d205709.jpg
My amazing and talented friend made Jack's birthday cake. She's made every birthday cake for my boys so far. I adore this cake and was thrilled with how it turned out!   I wanted something to put the cake on so that it would stand out but wanted something different than a regular cake stand.  I searched Hobby Lobby and found this little gem.  I love how perfectly the cake fits on the little blue stool!

 photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty7_zps1001fb95.jpg Another pinterest idea was to use balloons to make the hungry caterpillar. I thought it was the perfect backdrop to the food table.

 photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty9_zps58296b3b.jpg For the favor bags I cut out a ton of little green and red circles and glued them on the bags with the kids' names on them. And the wreath was another pinterest inspiration.

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I used her gorgeous fireplace for more decorations and as the gift area.  The banner was one I made a couple years ago for one of JJ's parties and it went perfectly with the theme.
 photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty19_zps8ab16af7.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty18_zps96d47ee5.jpg I set up a little craft area so the kids could make a butterfly using markers, coffee filters, pipe cleaners and clothes pins. I made the clothes pin caterpillars ahead of time so they would only have to put it all together.

 photo copy11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty32_zpsfce7d802.jpg  photo copy11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty33_zpsaf2a4df5.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty37_zpsee23fb9c.png
When it was time for the cake he really didn't want anything to do with it. I tried giving him a little taste to see if it would persuade him to go after it but he just wasn't interested.  I think he took maybe one bite but that was about it.  So much for messy smash cake pictures.
 photo copy11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty43_zpsa2df6387.jpg  photo copy11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty45_zpsc323e658.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty42_zpsdf4caec8.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty46_zps2a0b9151.jpg
I am so thankful for all of those who came to celebrate our Jack Jack with us. He was loved on and showered with so many gifts. It makes my heart so happy to know that so many people love my boy.

 photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty48_zps2dfb7229.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty21_zps937d27e3.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty20_zpsa315a238.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty57_zpsf17ad80f.jpg  photo 11-23-13-Jacks1stBirthdayParty52_zpsa8dfc55f.jpg

All in all, it was a really great day and one that we'll always remember. Jack was surrounded by those who love him the most and we got to celebrate his first year of life.
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Baby Is One!

So hard to believe that today my sweet Jack Jack turned 1. This year has flown by like no other. I'm pretty sure that the more kids you have the faster the years go. Which is scary.  It seems like everything goes by in a flash and I'm left with jumbled memories that feel like they just happened yesterday.  Sigh.  I wish time would slow down just a bit.  I'm not ready for this little boy to be 1!
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One year ago our little family changed forever when Jack made his grand entrance.  Jorge and I became the parents of 2 boys and JJ became a big brother.  It seems like he has always been a part of our family.  I find it hard to remember a time that he wasn't here with us.  And I can't imagine life without him.  He is such a joy and a treasure.  I won't lie about the fact that he has been a more difficult baby than JJ ever was but it is all so worth it and I would do it again in a heart beat.  The beautiful smiles, giggles, and sweet snuggles make me forget the hard times.  Our Jack Jack has quite a little personality already.  He's stubborn and knows what he wants.  And he'll fuss and whine until he gets it.  I'd say he's probably a little spoiled with all of the attention he gets.  He's so cute though so who can help themselves???  ;) 
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He eats like a champ now and devours just about anything I give him.  If we're eating something, he wants some too.  If we're drinking something, he wants some too.  Anything that is ours he now considers his.  He's recently learned to say "bite, bite" and point when he wants something to eat or drink.  Thankfully spitting up is rare now days.
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He is still wearing size 4 diapers , size 12 month clothes, and size 4 shoes.  The boy's got big feet!  I've really got to schedule a well child check up soon so I can see how much he weighs.  It's been a while so I really have no idea what it would be. 

Words he says are "bye, bye", "uh,oh", "momma", "dada" and he'll repeat "bubba" if we say it.  He does a lot of babbling, too.  Just like his big brother.  :)

Crawling is pretty much a thing of the past.  He's become a professional walker and is getting faster all the time.  I absolutely adore watching him toddle around.  It's the cutest thing ever!  I know he'll be running around before I can blink. 

Jack adores his big brother.  Every morning he gives JJ the happiest smile and the biggest hug.  His morning isn't complete without a visit to his brother.  He's JJ's little shadow and toddles after him around the house.  Anywhere JJ is, Jack wants to be!  I pray they grow up to be the best of friends.
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And...we started sleep training tonight.  Not fun.  But he's got to start sleeping in his crib.  For all our sakes! 

My sweetest Jack Jack,
Happy Birthday little man!  You are so precious to me and I am ever so grateful that God has blessed me with you.  I pray you grow up to be a kind-hearted, strong man who loves God and people.  I love you my baby boy!
I Love You More,
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It snowed today for the first time this season.  What a fun way to celebrate a birthday!


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