Saturday, July 30, 2011

Last of the Birthday Festivities

Party #3 Nammy and Big Papa's House

Last Sunday we finished up the celebrations for our big 3 year old! My parents graciously hosted the get together and lots of sweet family showed up to spoil our little girl. Lauren decided on a Cinderella/Princess theme and it turned out super cute!

Easton was totally chill during the whole day. He really enjoyed getting loved on by everyone.

Jared's girlfriend, Taylor, is one of Lauren's favorite people. Lauren was pretty much her little shadow all day long. 

Easton got lots of love and attention from his Aunt Victoria. I think this picture is just darling because he is smiling up at her!

 Lauren was the cutest opening up all her presents. It was seriously like a whirlwind. I couldn't keep track of what she was opening because she would open and throw, and open and throw!

I am so glad I caught this picture of my Uncle Darell, Papa Bob, and Easton. What a cute one!

 Lauren enjoyed having everyone sing for her and she did a great job blowing out the candles on her very own #3 cake! I think she felt super special because she had her own. :) 

Easton and Meme Bandy (or Baby Meme as Lauren calls her)

Papa Bob and me! Love that guy!!!

It was so great to spend the day with Meme and Papa Hutsell too!!! They are just so cute!

It was such a great day and so much fun to celebrate Lauren once again. I can't believe that she is 3!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Birthday Party #2 ~ The Actual Day

On Lauren's actual birthday Shawn woke up early to head to the store to pick her up her annual birthday balloons. This year he also picked her up her own bouquet of purple (her favorite) flowers. I just about melted inside when I saw he had done that. I am so grateful that her first flowers are from her daddy. I hope there are many more in the years to come from him to her. I've said it before and I will say it again, she is such a lucky lady to have Shawn as her father. He will show her through his actions and his kind heart just what to look for in a future spouse. What a gift he is giving her even at this young of an age. 

Anyway, when he got back I fed Easton and then we all went into her room to wake her up and sing her Happy Birthday!!! She was so shy and crawled right over all her "guys" (stuffed animals) to hug me and bury her head in my shoulder. Ha! She soon warmed up though and we let the festivities begin. 

Shawn had already prepared the annual birthday pancakes (which I am SO sad I did not get a picture of this year) and so we all got right to work eating our yummy breakfast. Shawn and I had toyed around and around with the idea of what to do special for her birthday this year. He took off work again to celebrate (which again I think is such a sweet thing for my super busy hubby to do for his girl) but it was so incredibly hot that most everything we would have wanted to do outside was just completely out of the question. :( So, we decided to pack up the kids and head to Branson to let Lauren go to the Disney Store and pick out some things she wanted with her birthday money. 

Right outside of the store was this mechanical horse and since it was her birthday and I had enough quarters she got to ride. She liked it for about .5 seconds and then she was all sad faced. 

I love this picture of my two favorite men. Easton did so great and slept most of the time. 

We came home and let Lauren take a nap and then we headed to Sam's to get her surprise present!!! Shawn and I have been so excited to get Lauren a trampoline and we knew she would LOVE it. I mean, what kid wouldn't right? Well, we get to Sam's and we let her pick out a cake (since I dropped the ball on picking up a cake mix at the store) and headed over to the trampolines. We showed her the box and she said, "My no want it." ~ WHAT? She didn't want anything to do with it. We explained what she could do on it, we showed her the one set up in the store. Nothing. She did. not. want. it. Shawn and I were heartbroken. Our big surprise went out the window. We both decided that since she wasn't the least bit excited about it we would hold off and wait. No reason to spend big bucks on something she has absolutely no interest in. So, we left Sam's with a cake. Totally not what we expected. 

When we got home we had dinner and then we sang happy birthday and ate cake. She didn't seem fazed at all that her only present that day from us was a Rapunzle barbie doll she had opened earlier. 

She wanted Cars plates and decor for her birthday with us. :)

Here she is making her wish and blowing out the candles. I cannot believe that she is actually three years old. When I look at her I can still see that tiny little baby the nurse placed in my arms three years ago. My heart hurts that she is growing so fast, but oh my she is a beautiful little lady...inside and out. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Posts

I'm back! Seems like forever since I've posted last! Here are the newest blog posts...

And, believe it or not I still have posts to come. One special little girl has a birthday tomorrow and a family party this coming Sunday! I've also been working to finish writing Our Love Story as many of you have asked for the next chapter, ha! 

Hey Baby Let's Go To Vegas...

....I wish!

Ha, with two sweet, darling, children (one of whom will not take a bottle) Vegas just isn't an option for us right now. But, have no fear! I decided to surprise Shawn with a Vegas night at home for our anniversary! 7 years seemed like the perfect time to celebrate with a little Vegas theme!

The dinner table aka Super Fancy Restaurant.

Shawn's gift: Half a year's worth of pre-planned dates. Each month has a manilla envelope. Inside the envelope is a clue for him. These will be at home dates since we can't really go out a lot. :) These will be a surprise for him since the envelopes are sealed and can only be opened on the day of the date. 

The decor (very classy, ha!):

We had a lot of fun pretending we were in Vegas for a short time and it was certainly nice to spend quality time with the hubs! I'm looking forward to the rest of our dates!!!

*This idea and others came from here*

CARS 2!!!

Shawn and I were so excited when we found out that  Cars was coming to theaters in July! We both knew we wanted to take Lauren to celebrate her birthday. This was her very first movie theater experience ever and we talked it up for weeks and weeks. Nammy was so sweet to come and play with Easton while Shawn and I got to take Lauren out for our little date. She sent us a sweet picture of him while we were at the movie and he seemed to be doing just fine soaking up all of her attention. Poor child doesn't really have a chance when Lauren is around, ha!

Of course, my little shy bug didn't want to take any pictures at first.  

Once we had the popcorn though she warmed right up. What a face, right? The flash was pretty bright. :)

Mater* enjoyed watching the movie with us, especially since he was quite the star in this one!
*Shawn and I got Mater when we were a young married couple contemplating having kids. We spur of the moment picked it up in the Disney store knowing it would one day belong to our child. I've prayed many a prayer for my unborn children because of that little tow truck. It is such a full circle for us to see him in the arms of our firstborn.*

Lauren did AMAZING in the movie! Aside from one slight mishap when her clumsy mother spilled soda all over the two of them things went really well. For the record, I felt terrible about dousing my daughter with soda on her first movie outing but after apologizing to her in the bathroom and hearing her say, "It's o-tay Mama" over and over I knew she was fine. We made it through the entire movie (not something either Shawn or I were expecting) and even though the movie was a little "darker" than the first one, we really liked it. Lauren took turns sitting on mine and Shawn's laps and let me tell you those were some mighty special moments for this mama.

Now, what will our next movie date be?

The "Mountains" Fountains

Last night Shawn and I loaded up Lauren and Easton and headed to "The Fountains" or as Lauren kept calling them last night, "The Mountains" to splash around in some water! It has been SO super hot here lately and so we decided to go a little later in the evening to beat the heat. The fountains run at the top of every hour through the day until 9:30. We got there around 7:00 and it was perfect. There were quite a few people there at first but it dwindled down to just a few of us by the time we were ready to leave.

We hadn't ever been before so we weren't sure how Lauren would like them but we were pleasantly surprised to find out she didn't just like them she LOVEDthem! Shawn wore his swim trunks, but I just wore some shorts and a tee shirt because I wasn't planning on getting wet. That didn't last too long. I tried really hard to stay out of the fountains but I got blasted several different times. Twice right into my open eyes! (Yes, it's on the video too.) I kept looking down to check on Lauren and I wasn't paying attention to where the spray was coming from. By the end I was soaking wet and sore from laughing so hard. It was one of those precious family moments when I just wanted to stop time and I wanted to memorize the way Lauren looked in her little bathing suit running through the bursts of water. The way her daddy held her hand and ran through the water with her. The sound of her giggles and the sight of JOY beaming on her face. The tiny little man sleeping peacefully in his carseat and then later waking up and being totally chill and content. If I've learned anything these last three years of being a mother, it's that babies don't keep. Every single day is something new. I love that. I really do. It's just that there are some moments so magical I just can't bear the thought of them slipping past me. I guess that is one reason I keep those memories alive somehow.

I am such a girl. I totally own that after seeing this picture. Ha!

Our VIDEOFrom the Night:

Let The Birthday Celebrations Begin!

Party #1 ~ Meme and Papa Wayne's House

This year we decided to take it easier on ourselves and do several small parties for Lauren instead of one great big one here at the house. So far, Lauren hasn't seemed to mind one bit. She really ended up lucking out with three parties her agenda. 

This past weekend we made our way to Eldon to visit Shawn's parents and brother and to celebrate our growing up girl turning 3. *tear* Lauren and I went to the party store the week before and I let her choose what three different themes she wanted for her parties. She loved getting to make the choices (and I think she chose mighty fine if I do say so myself!) and being such a big girl. For her party in Eldon she chose a Minnie Mouse theme!!! We found plates and napkins, a birthday banner, and cute table confetti to decorate with.

 Bev and Wayne ordered a super cute Minnie and Mickey mouse cake for us to enjoy as well. 

When Saturday night rolled around we were all excited to decorate for Lauren's big party. Shawn's brother, Scott and his wife Allison helped get everything set up while Wayne held Easton and Bev played with and distracted Lauren. :) It was such a precious moment for me. Watching all these people who love Lauren so much help put a little party together for her was a moment I won't soon forget. 

Easton was such a good little man as we decorated for his big sister's party. Of course he loved all the attention he was getting from his Papa Wayne.

I am so glad I caught this face on camera. How precious is that? She was certainly giving it her all!

Lauren wanted the piece of cake with Mickey on it so Shawn gave her that whole piece!

Shawn and his brother, Scott. I love these guys. They are hilarious to be around and I am so thankful that for the rest of our lives we will get to hang out together and have fun together. Scott's wife Allie is just precious and I like to think that she and I balance out the crazy that is in these guys. :)

Easton was a bit tired after all the festivities. How sweet is that?!

She got lots of fun things from Meme and Papa Wayne. :)

One of her favorite gifts was the Mermaid Dora doll that Uncle Scott and Aunt Allie got her. She swims in the bathtub!!! 
*gotta love the chocolate cake on her face, ha!*

We had such a fun time celebrating our little girl with Shawn's family. She is so lucky to have family that loves her so much.

A Few Videos of the Festivities!