oh boy

I spent last weekend in Colorado so that I could co-host a baby shower at my mom and dad’s home.

boys love toys {a baby shower}

I was in charge of the invitations, decorations, and activities.

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My mom provided a beautiful venue, and with help from my aunt, delicious food to snack on!

It all came together on a sunny, Saturday afternoon in the Colorado foothills.

I have to say that i think it turned out fabulous!

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The main decoration was actually our activity of decorating onesies for the baby.

Vintage toys, bright pendant banners, tissue puffs, paper lanterns, and scrapbook paper flags were scattered around the food and activities for extra pops of color.

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The decorating a onesie activity took most of the first hour, but was a great ice breaker for a large crowd of people.

Once most of the guests were done with the onesie activity they began to eat and  fill out a “Wishes for Baby” sheet that the parents can make into a book or put in a scrapbook.

The last 45 minutes were spent watching the baby momma open the gifts. So much fun!

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Best of all…I got to spend time with some of my favorite ladies that day! My mom, sister, niece, aunts, and cousins!

I will follow up next week with the details about how I made the decorate a onesie activity pretty easy for a big crowd of people, and the rest of the details about the invites and activities!

Stay tuned!

home is…celebrating new babies.

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annual playgroup christmas party

Can it really be only 9 sleeps until Christmas?!

This weekend we went to our annual playgroup Christmas party.

My friend Melissa hosts each year and it is always a fabulous success.

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Her home is always beautifully decked for the holidays.

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The past few years we have included the daddies which always makes it more fun!

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As always, Santa makes a special stop at the party.

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This year we took a group photo of Santa with the kids.

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There were some tears…

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a few escape artists…

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but, we got *almost* all of the kids in the photo…without crying.

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I think there are SEVEN kids missing from this photo…

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and to think we started six years ago with one child each…

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and they weren’t even crawling!

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This last photo cracks me up beacuse the kids were told to raise their hand if they were good this year…notice the boy in the teal shirt (and his partner in playgroup crime) in the front row?! They are the ONLY kids NOT raising their hands!

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She even had an adorable craft for the kids, but they were so busy playing that nobody did it…

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Reece, however, knew there was a craft and wouldn’t leave until he had a chance to do it! So, we overstayed our welcome and did the craft. I love that my boy didn’t want to leave the party with out doing the craft!

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We each bring something to eat and there is always plenty of food!

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I neglected to get a good photo of my fruit plate garnish…a sprig of rosemary from our garden decorated with mini pom-poms and bakers twine! I was pretty happy with my last minute creativity!

I love this celebration every year.

home is…sharing traditions with friends.

community

com·mu·ni·ty

/kəˈmyo͞onitē/
  1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
  2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I’ve felt an overwhelming sense of community this week.

Overwhelming in a good way.

It began the last week with a visit to the zoo with my momma friends from friday playgroup. We haven’t met regularly this past year due to school scheduling conflicts, but we try to get together when we can. A couple of us were talking about how, with the big kids in school all day, we would be able to get together on Friday’s with our little ones again.

And, just like that, we have friday playgroup on the calendars again. I host the first one at the end of this month. Oh, how I have missed those mommas. We have gone through a lot together in 6 years of raising our babies together. I am so thrilled to be able to share Friday morning’s with them again!

Community.

On Tuesday, the little guy started kindergarten at our neighborhood school. He can ride a bus to school, but we are walking distance from the school, so we choose to walk.

On Tuesday, we walked with our neighbors.

On Wednesday, we walked alone, but started to recognize the same families and kids walking together. On Wednesday afternoon, I rode the little guy’s bike while baby girl rode hers so they could ride their bikes home from school. It was so fun!

By Thursday, I was introduced to other moms in the neighborhood by mom’s I met walking around our neighborhood, etc.

This morning, it was raining, so I drove the little guy to school, but the momma’s (and dad’s) in the neighborhood were still out there walking together, coffee (and umbrella’s) in hand. In the future, I’m not going to let a little rain deter me from walking to school. How awesome is it to know they people in your neighborhood?

Community.

Wednesday evening, I went to the parents open house for baby girls school. It is the same preschool we have gone to since the little guy was three. This will be our fourth year there. With all the “newness” of the neighborhood school, walking into the open house on Wednesday was like coming home. The familiar faces of the wonderful teachers. The faces of the parents who I have seen every morning for four years. The same stories that the director tells every year as she goes over the information she has to share.

Not to mention, while I was walking in another mom asked if she had seen me that morning at the elementary school. Yes! I was there. Our sons are in kindergarten together. Their family is moving in down the street next week. As we were talking another mom chimed in. SHE lives around the corner from us and has a son in first grad at the local charter school and a daughter one year older than baby girl. She said another neighbor had told her about our outdoor movies and how fun they were!

Community.

I have also jumped back into a fitness routine. I went on a run Tuesday morning and to a yoga class at our health club yesterday. I love to see the same people on my running route and to share a commonality with the people in yoga and at our health club. Baby girl was even able to reunite with her friends from school at the childcare. Tomorrow, I am going to attend a new class with our next door neighbor. Getting healthy with others is awesome.

Community.

And, finally, online. On Wednesday, at school, I was approached by and Instagram follower who has a child in the little guys class! She introduced herself to me and I was so glad that she did. The sense of community that I find on Instagram and by following blogs is amazing. I love seeing the homeschooler’s starting their school year;  the moms sending their kids to preschool for the first time; the moms finding more time for themselves, and their passions, now that their kids are back in school. Just to know that other moms are sharing the same experiences as I am all over the country is awesome.

Community.

I love all of this.

It’s what I want for my family.

It’s what I want for my kids.

It’s what I want for myself.

Community.

home is…a feeling of fellowship.

two weeks left

we still have two weeks of summer break left around here.

although i am ready for the kids to head back to school, i am thankful {while i watch others send their kids off to school this week} that i still have two weeks to suck the marrow out of summer.

on monday i received an email from one of the moms from our friday playgroup. although we haven’t met for a playgroup in a year we still send group emails out to each other on a pretty regular basis to get together with whoever can make it whenever they can. she said that she was planning to go to the enchanted forest with her kids and wondered if anybody would be able to meet them.

my plan for tuesday was to go to oak’s park for the preschool rides, but when i saw her email i decided that the enchanted forest, where we had never been before, was just what we needed to kick start our last two weeks of summer!

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my prince and princess…

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poor miss muffet…

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my sillies…

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heading into the hansel and gretel house…uh-oh!

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on to wonderland….

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down the rabbit hole…

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and, a little tea party…

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have to admit, Alice in Wonerland is one of our favorite movies…it will be seen on an outdoor movie night someday.

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looking in on the seven dwarfs house…

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the squirrels were making the beds…

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and, then there is this…

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it’s supposed to be the witch from snow white and the seven dwarfs…

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little red riding hood…

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at the shootin’ gallery…

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comedy theater in the woods – pinocchio…

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miss jill and cade…

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and, nola…who invited us to meet them!

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the western town where reece had his “favorite part of the day”…

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and, one of the “free” slides the kids get a chance to ride on with a genreral admission.

this was an awesome day for our 3-6 crowd…under 2 was not able to do much, and over 8 would probably be bored.

we will go again next year and change a few things:

admission averages $10 for anybody between 3-50 years old

you can bring your own food, so be sure to pack a lunch or snacks

you can re-enter the park with a stamp, so leave you lunch/snacks in a cooler and go back out to eat it (or bring it back in)

all said and done, it was a great day away from home and a spectacular kick off to our last two weeks of summer!

home is..waiting until the last minute.

{whatever craft weekend} part 2

So, I hear that Meg and Kimberlee are hosting Whatever Craft Weekend Seventeen this weekend!

Who’s going?!

Here are my pictures from Whatever Craft Weekend Sixteen

friday, may 31st

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When I arrived at the house it was like a dream come true.

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It’s bright, fun, and full of personality!

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I bought a print of the sunflower and bee photo…just waiting to find the perfect spot for it in our home.

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A lot of what I have chosen to do in our home came as inspiration from the Craft House.

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After exploring and snapping photos, we were called to dinner. Erin and I were chatting up in our room and Megan had to come up and get us!

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Kimberlee is a fantastic cook and an incredible person.

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After dinner, we moved into the workroom to make our ruffled aprons.

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There is just so much happy everywhere!

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I finished my apron and then stayed up until 2am with Erin while she worked on hers.

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saturday, june 1st

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Mornings are gorgeous in the Craft House kitchen…

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and out on the porch.

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We ate a wonderful breakfast and headed out to shop! I started backwards with my posts, so you can read about shopping here.

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After shopping, we had a little bit of downtime before getting back to crafting.

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The rest of the evening was spent on our crafts, eating, and chatting the night away.

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Up until 2 am again…I am not a night owl, but I will stay up late for good friends and crafting!

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sunday, june 2nd

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Another fabulous meal, photos, and back to the airport.

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It was an amazing weekend that I will never forget.

Beautiful home.

Even more beautiful people.

Meg and Kimberlee, if you are even in need of a helper, give me a call! I will come back in a second!!

home is…a once in a lifetime.

{whatever craft weekend} part 1

Do you remember when I said I would tell you the story about the time an Instagram friend whom I had never met in real life invited me to be her guest at Whatever Craft Weekend in the middle of nowhere Kansas?!

here it is…

One evening in the middle of February I got a text from my Instagram friend Erin (some of you may know her as @tweetpotatopie).

It wasn’t completely out of the blue because we had traded a few texts prior to that, but this one said, “Call me as soon as you can!”

It was somewhere around Reece and Lorelai’s bedtime and my phone battery was about to die, so I asked if I could call her in the morning.

She said that she would text me the next day if she still needed me.

The next day rolls around and sometime in the afternoon I receive another text to call her. She also tells me that it will be well worth it!

I was intrigued and called her right away.

We chatted briefly. It was so fun to put a voice to a face that I had seen for months on my phone!

Then, she asked if I knew about Whatever Craft Weekend.

OF COURSE!

She said her “number” was picked and she wanted to know if I would like to go with her!

WHAT?!

I was in complete and total shock.

I was in tears. I couldn’t stop shaking, smiling, and crying.

I. WAS. GOING.

Of course, I had to run it by Ryan, but it was pretty much set in stone.

My name had been on the list for over a year and was resigned to the fact that if I ever got very, very lucky I MIGHT get to go.

Man, did I get lucky!

3 months later…

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There we were…two Instagram friends who had never met in real life picking at the barn at Whatever Craft Weekend in the middle of nowhere Kansas!

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I’m starting in the middle of the weekend because it was easiest to start with the photos from the barn.

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I could have snapped photos there all day.

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In fact, this is just a small sampling of the photos I took that day from my Nikon.

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Rows and rows of rusty metal and worn wood.

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Some of my very favorite photos were taken with my iPhone, but I will save all of those for a post of their own.

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It would have been dangerous if I had been able to bring back more.

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Erin and Megan drove down in Erin’s suburban and they filled it up!

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Isn’t it beautiful?

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I’ll be back soon with more about the rest of the weekend…until then, you can read Meg’s post about it.

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Oh, and Erin, she is just awesome. I’m glad to now call her more than just my Instagram friend. She is a blessing.

home is…making new friends.

saying no

This morning we were supposed to board a plane and head to Colorado to visit my family.

Ryan suggested the idea and I came up with the plan.

He has a meeting in California over the weekend, so we figured that the kids and I could go to Denver and visit family.

We would go for a long weekend and attend the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo just like my sister and I used to when we were little.

We would visit with family and friends we haven’t seen in months.

I even printed out all the addresses for the Goodwill’s and other thrift stores in Denver.

It was all planned.

We were checked in for our flight.

And, it just didn’t feel right.

As much as I wanted to go all the signs were telling me that it just wasn’t right.

Lorelai has been sick, the weather was calling for freezing rain right when we were supposed to head to the airport, my body was losing the battle against the unending barrage of germs that it has been fighting off since the holidays, and I was not looking forward to flying through Seattle to get to Denver by myself with the two kiddos.

Yesterday afternoon I called my mom and let her know that we were planning to come, but would keep an eye on the weather…there might be flight delays.

Within minutes of getting off the phone Lorelai threw up in the kitchen. I’m pretty sure it was caused by a coughing fit, but that was the last sign I needed.

I cried, I thought, and I finally decided that we couldn’t go.

Ryan got on the phone with the airlines and canceled our tickets.

I called my mom and let her know we wouldn’t be coming.

The last two times I have visited Colorado I have been sick.

March 2010, we visited for Spring Break. While we had a wonderful time when we were there, I was fighting a cold the entire visit and ended up with walking pneumonia when we got back.

Thanksgiving 2011, I had Laryngitis the entire time. And, Lorelai was sick both times.

I decided to say no.

No to myself.

No to the plans I had made.

No to traveling alone with the kids while we are not feeling well.

I was afraid of disappointing everybody…my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, aunts and uncles, cousins, my niece, and Reece & Lorelai.

But, I had to say no.

home is…taking care of my family.