Friday, May 13, 2016

Circle of Blessing

At Ryan's preschool they have a 'Circle of Blessing' for all of the graduating kiddos. The 'Circle of Blessing' is an intimate little ceremony that commemorates the end of one milestone and celebrates the beginning of another. We all met in the auditorium and sat in a circle with our kids.  The church pastor opened the ceremony with a story and a prayer and then each of the parents said something to their child. It was very sweet - I loved hearing what everyone had to say to their children. Most of us had prewritten letters, poems, or prayers but some spoke straight from the heart in the moment. It was a special little ceremony and nice to have during this busy time of the year - a great opportunity to slow down and think about how far these kids have come and celebrate them. 

I am sure that most of what I said to Ryan probably wasn't absorbed so one day he will be able to come back and read it here. 


You will always be my baby. You are my firstborn and I have learned so much about the world, about life, and about love from you. You were the first one to make me forget myself. You were the first one who taught me how my heart can grow. When you arrived your dad and I really had no idea what to expect. You arrived three weeks early and rocked our little world. We have been learning ever since. 

Since you were a baby you have always been cautious, loving, and sensitive.  I love how you take your time, observing the world around you, asking lots of questions. You are forgiving, helpful, curious, and loving – you watch out for your younger brother and sister, and I love how you always save some of your school snack to share with your brother. You take care of your sister - always watching out for her and making sure she doesn’t put anything in her mouth. 

I love your creativity. I love watching you build legos - creating robots that you say can do amazing things.   I love watching you learn - reading together at night is one of my favorite parts of the day.  I love that you LOVE watching the funny show with me - and give big belly laughs when something really funny happens.  And I love tucking you in - where you put your “helmet” on. One of my favorite things about you is how sweet you are. I love that you won’t let me leave the room without a kiss and a hug.  I hope you are never too old to give me hugs and kisses. 

You will always have such a special place in my heart and I can’t imagine a single second of my day without you in it; I’m so proud of you and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you. 


After all of the parents spoke, their teacher said a little something and read a sweet book (that I can't remember the name). 

At the end of the ceremony Ms. Prude gave them all Bibles and they were all so excited and proud of them!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Champagne & Sparkles 40th

My sister-in-law, Sarah, celebrated her 40th birthday last week and although her husband is taking her to Napa he also threw a 'little' party for her. She's a lucky lady :)

Like any good husband, he enlisted help. After a few emails were exchanged I think he realized he was in for more than just a 'little' party. Michaels response was "You guys are insane! I was just going to get a keg and a couple of bottles of wine and call it good." 
Oops! I just love parties! 

Invitations were made by Jennifer @ The Inviting Ink

On Saturday Michael and I spent the day decorating. Besides the 11am yoga class that we walked into everything went pretty smoothly. AND nothing had fallen off the walls when we returned. Yay!

We decided to make it girly and fun - who doesn't love champagne and sparkles? 
Our desert table - with all of Sarah's favorites! Society bakery cake and cupcakes, cafe donuts donut holes, Festive Kitchen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and candy including milky ways and york peppermint patties! I also was suppose to have mini cheesecakes but I forgot them at home! I have a lot of cheesecake now...


I also did a table with Sarah's favorites - Sarah's Top 40 (inspired by Trinh's party for Nat's 30th)

Instead of a photo booth we had a mini Polaroid camera for guests to take pictures. They could tape them up on the chalkboard or on the Guest Mad Libs that Jennifer created for the party. 

We had lots of pictures of Sarah and friends hanging for guests to see. There were some great ones!

And Michael had Blue Mesa cater - so yum! The servers that came were amazing and even served drinks!

Here's that keg Michael spoke of...Sarah's favorite beer. 

I created a little DIY champagne bar and it was a pretty big hit! People actually used it! Yay! The pitcher was full of Bubbly Strawberry Mojitos and they were AMAZING. I will definitely be making those again!

The champagne bar was inspired by Mint Loves Social Club
The Blackberry Thyme Sparkler was from here.

Red wine, white wine and champagne

And Jello Shots! I am not typically a fan but these were so GOOD! Backstory: one of Sarah's good friends makes Jello shots for every occasion. So we hit her up to make a special one for Sarah's 40th - a champagne Jello shot - it was delicious! 

I found these marquee lights at Michael and they worked perfectly! I just hung them on the wall with command hooks!

 That's all for the decor - now a few party pics!

Hanging with the birthday girl!

Two Amy's

People following directions! woot woot!

This sweetie who had the kids all day while I set up for the party. 

I had so much fun and wish I could do it all over again! 
Cheers to Sarah!

Ranch Weekend

A couple weeks ago we headed out west to some of our friend ranch house. Since it is spring in North Texas it is no surprise the amount of storms we have been having - nothing like driving in the middle of nowhere keeping your eyes out for tornadoes. Luckily we avoided most of the severe weather and didn't see any tornadoes! We got their Friday evening and managed to squeeze in a quick ride on the polaris before heading back in for dinner. 

Saturday morning was a bit chilly. I think it was in the 60s, but there was no sun so we all needed/wanted jackets. 

Hayden followed the boys around all weekend. 

Grayson & Hayes

A little MJ and camo combo. 

Cruising around...checking out the animals

When you gotta go - you go.

running around looking for sticks and flowers (for their mamas). I was kinda terrified since it was "snake season" but amazingly we didn't see a single one! 

We headed back for lunch and the SUN came out! yay!
So we had some pool time :)
those are my happy feet. 

Chet and Kevin went out again on the polaris so Courtenay and I hug with the kiddos. When the guys returned we took them all down to the little creek. 

Love these kiddos. Can't believe Ryan and Ford have been friends since they were 6 months old! 

Lots of supervised rock throwing

Hayden was obsessed with the polaris. 

Riding with daddy

This little guy passed out

hanging out with Brooks in the morning

happy girl!

Lounging by the pool

One of this biggest things to come out of this weekend was Grayson GIVING UP his pacis!!! (I know, he is 3.5 years so it was time, but I didn't want to push it. I'm kinda a wuss.)
The four older boys (Hayes, Grayson, Ryan & Ford) all slept in the bunk room together and on Friday night Grayson came out upset, with his paci in two pieces.  He was so sad - I think he had it in his mouth and Hayes was pulling on it, anyhow it ripped and he was sad. We asked him if he wanted another (yes, I had backup) and he didn't. I don't know if he was embarrassed, or if he thought it would break again but the whole weekend he had no interest in one. If we put one near him he would throw it away from him. We talked about getting rid of it and he was all about it. He wanted nothing to do with it. Sweet. 
When we got back on Sunday night I found him looking in his drawer for his pacis...and I had to remind him that he gave them away. He was not happy. One night of crying and he finally calmed down to go to sleep. Obviously I knew he'd be fine since he had just gone two nights. Anyhow, the biggest issue now is getting him to fall asleep. When he had the paci it would calm him down quickly and he would be out. Now he isn't quite sure what to do with himself.  We are almost two weeks in now and its getting better. At least once he goes to sleep he stays there!

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