Thursday, July 29, 2010


I've had a gift card burning a whole in my pocket since December 25th. My brother, Zach, got my mom and me both gift cards for pedicures and life has just not been cooperative enough for us to both go at the same time and use them.

Until last night. Oh the happy of last night!

My parents decided to come into town for a little while and my mom brought up the idea of finally going to get the pedi. I, of course, was all for it. It was even better that it would be just the two of us. A girls date of sorts. We left little Miss Lauren in good hands with Shawn, my dad, both brothers, and some of their friends. They went to Bass Pro and said she didn't miss us girls for a second. We, on the other hand, missed her bunches. In fact, we talked about one day bringing her with us and how much fun it would be.

The pedicure was amazing. I haven't had one in a sweet forever and I was really thankful that we finally got to use our gift from Zach. I went with the french tip, which just delights me to no end!

It was also really great to spend one on one time with my mom. It seems like since Lauren was born it isn't ever just the two of us. Not that I mind, mind you. I love that it is now us 3 girls and we have had MANY a fun time together! I think it just made it even more special that it was just the two of us last night. I definitely didn't take it for granted!

We all met up afterward for some yummy Mexican food and it did not disappoint. What a great evening!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

“If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.”

This morning, Lauren and I got to head to Mandie's house for a playdate! We were told to bring our little ones in their swimming suits and that we were having a themed play time. Lauren and I were super excited so see our friends and well, since we are all about themes, we were all about this party!!!

I have to give Mandie such praise for this playdate. It was fun from the very beginning to the very end! In fact, Lauren did not want to go home! We started off by sitting around in a circle while Mandie talked to the kids about the story of Noah from Genesis. She brought out the Little People Noah's Ark and their children's Bible to share the story. All the kids got to touch some of the animals in the ark and Lauren was enthralled!

She made all of the kids a little white paper bird that had wings that flapped when you moved it up and down and she talked about how Noah sent the white dove out to find any sign of vegetation. She had the kids get up and pretend to be birds looking for twigs with leaves on them. Lauren found hers with a little help from me!

Next, she let the kids play with a big basket full of all types of animals while she went to change into...Noah! She wore a white robe and made a headdress thing! It was great. She brought out a brown blanket and told the kids it was her ark. She had them each grab two animals and bring them into the ark. It was fantastic! She played them a music video about Noah while they sat in the ark with their animals. =)

When the video was over, she talked about how the flood had gone down and now everyone could get out of the ark. Precious!!!

Once all the kids got up and moved around for a bit, Mandie moved us into the kitchen for a Noah's Ark craft! She had everything ready and it was such an easy transition. Loved it!

Blue paper for the water + manilla file folders cut into the shape of an ark + animal crackers + glue + half of a paper plate + paints in the colors of the rainbow + q-tips = ONE FUN CRAFT!

Aren't those the cutest?

Since the playdate was Noah themed, we went outside to have some fun in the water. Mandie had set up a shady spot for us moms, a sand and water table, a little pool full of water, a fun sprinkler, Kyler's truck, and their red wagon. The kids had a blast moving from one water themed activity to the next. =)

She also provided snacks for the kids. The big hit was the watermelon. Look at these watermelon faces - the cuteness is almost too much!

We had such a fun time! Thanks, Mandie for going to the extra effort to make it so memorable!

birthday round 2

Saturday we had Lauren's family birthday party. We were excited to celebrate Sesame Street style again! Most of the decorations were the same...I did add this beauty:

And then there was the addition of the fabulous cakes my friend Lacy made. Fabulous. Simply Fabulous.

Lauren's expression when she saw the cakes was precious...I don't think my camera taking abilities did it justice.

I made a new coloring area for guests to write a little birthday wish to Miss Lauren. So precious and meaningful.

I tried to capture a picture of Lolo's Elmo shirt but she was crazy everywhere. This was the best I got and at the end of the evening she had managed to get a stain down the front that will.not.come.out.

Opening presents was so much fun. She got so many wonderful things! Thank you everyone!!!

One of the presents she got was an inflatable jumping apparatus. It seriously takes up our whole living room. Thanks, Uncle Scott and Aunt Allie! ;) Oh, and obviously she loves it!!!

At some point during the party, Lauren decided that both Nammy and Meme needed bows too. I love this picture! That little girl sure is lucky!

When it was time for cake, Lauren was ready to go!

She helped take the characters off of the big cake so we could cut it. I think she ate a few of the fondant balls as well.

Making a wish!

Lacy colored the insides of the cakes and it was a huge hit! Lauren's favorite color right now is purple, so her cake was perfect!

We are so blessed to have so many friends and family who love Lauren and wanted to spend their time celebrating her. I am grateful that she has such a strong family to grow up in and I know one day she will realize just how special that is.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Got Milk?

Last Friday, Lauren and I had the opportunity to attend the Dairy Farmers of America meeting with my dad and grandpa. My dad and grandpa own a dairy farm and have for years and years. I remember helping milk when I was younger. My brothers will say that I hardly ever helped, but I remember many times going before school or after school to help dad. He would always stop at the gas station and get us something fun to eat or drink before heading to my grandpa's farm.

To say that I respect my dad for what he does would be an understatement. I am truly proud of him. He has worked so hard throughout the years and the man knows his stuff. He serves on the executive board now and flies all over the country to attend meetings. He has never grown stagnant or bitter in a field that has its ups and downs. He makes decisions, seeks out opportunities to learn, and just does it. I admire him so very much.

Lauren loves her Papa so much. She was thrilled to spend some time with him and so was I! The meeting was in a conference center and I cracked myself up thinking that this was her first formal dinner and there she was with a sippy cup at her place. She was excited to get some milk and chose white over chocolate. In fact her words in reference to the chocolate milk were, "oh, ewey". I don't know how she is my daughter because I totally chose chocolate.

Don't you think this should be the next Got Milk? add? Me too!

My grandpa, dad, and Lauren.

I love these pictures of Lauren with my dad. This was such a special and precious time to spend with him. I loved seeing him in his element and he was so proud to show her off.

And, finally, no lunch could be complete without ice cream!!! I caught them both in mid-bite. Love it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday School

After a busy couple of weeks and a very fun birthday party yesterday, we were excited to get back into the routine of things and get to church.

Shawn and I both look tired, but Lauren looks ready to go! She wore a new dress that Nammy and Papa got her for her birthday and she looked absolutely adorable in it.

She loves to brush her teeth and she really does a good job of it. She brushes back and forth and up and down and it just cracks us up.

Today was a big day for Miss Lauren at church. Because she turned two last week she was moved into the toddler class. She was not excited and cried and held on tight to me. It was so sad. The nice lady took her to the classroom and Shawn and I waited for a second before going to look in the classroom window. I'm not going to lie...I totally cried. Right there in the middle of the church hallway, and then again in our Sunday School class. The kids were all sitting around a little table with a craft to work on and it just hit me that she is growing up. How is it possible that I have a little girl in the toddler class?

When we got home and she changed into some lounging clothes I took a few pictures of her with her very first Sunday School craft. To me, it feels like such a momentous occasion. I know that there will be a day when I complain about the amount of paperwork that this sweet little girl brings home, but today I am cherishing her very first piece ever. She was so proud. So am I. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Lauren's Party?

Yesterday was Lauren's playdate birthday party! I had so much fun planning this birthday party. She has been in love with Elmo and Abby from Sesame Street the past couple of months, so the party theme was pretty easy to come up with. :)

I found the cutest invitations on Etsy by andersruff:
 Adorable, right?

Some pics of the setup:
Our chalkboard frame has really come in handy!

I sat up a coloring station for the kiddos by taping white paper to a chest in our living room!
The party favors included a personalized Elmo cd for each family to take home. Of course songs about the number 2 and the letter L were on there!
These Elmo guys hung out above the snack table!
The cupcake toppers and party favor tags were made by PrellyPartyPapers, another fabulous Etsy store! And the cupcakes...oh I made those, can you tell. ;)

Shawn helped me make the Lauren "Sesame Street" sign. I think it turned out pretty darn cute!!!

Lauren was in awe of the presents. She especially loved the Elmo and Abby bag. It was the first one she wanted to open!

The birthday girl herself.

The kids were adorable! Lauren and Miss Isabelle were the only girls! At least Bethany and I have our pick of wonderful little boys being raised by amazing Mamas!!!

See....a hit!

Opening presents was the cutest thing ever. All the kids gathered around to watch. Then they got closer. And closer. And closer! Ha! It was really cute and nobody could blame them! We're talking presents people. Never been opened or played with presents. All wrapped up. In shiny packaging.

Once all the presents were was time to bust them out!!!
This picture cracks me up!

The youngest party-goer...Silas and his beautiful mama Desire! He was the best baby ever. And look at that adorable little outfit. Almost makes me want one of my own. The outfit. ;)

Lauren enjoyed her cupcake on an Abby plate. She was very specific about which one she wanted! Love it.

Kelly and Ryan stayed after everyone left to help me clean up a bit! Thanks, Kelly!!!

And then Lauren sang me a song on her new microphone from Isabelle. Girl has talent. ;)