Friday, February 5, 2010

A Special Birthday Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend away with my sweetie. We stayed in a cabin in the mountains and it was awesome. Can you say fireplace and hot tub? What a great birthday present. A little extravagant but we don't indulge often.
When a storm came in Saturday, I must admit, I was hoping to get snowed in for an extra day or two. Alas, no such luck. My only consolation was knowing we were having a birthday gathering at the house Sunday afternoon.

This was the view as we were leaving. Completely dry roads, completely iced trees.

The trees were so beautiful.

After we got home and unpacked Justin, Heather, and Alex came by to wish me Happy Birthday.
Justin had to work so they missed the party, but I was so glad I got to see them.

Alex always has fun, he doesn't need a party!

My sister got here first and sent me to my room so she could set up the party. How sweet is that? It was supposed to be a surprise but I have been a mom too long, and it really is hard to get anything past me. After almost thirty years of constant parenting you just know when something is going on, good or bad.
We celebrate birthdays in groups because we have so many birthdays. (The grands get their own, of course.) This one covered mid January to mid February. One name is missing from the cake, DDIL (Dear Daughter in Law) Amy was the first January birthday. Mine was the 30th, then Stephen, Matthew, and last but not least Brodie.
Brodie is having his solo party tomorrow at Chuck E. Cheese. First time for all the grands to visit Chuck E. I can't wait!

Our sweet little Lauryn taste tested the icing and found it delicious. Too cute!

Kyleigh loved her some chips and onion dip.
See those eyes, that's why I call her my little ole livia (Color Purple reference).

Brodie helped his daddy eat his chips and dip.
See any resemblance?

I got some beautiful handmade cards from my sister and the grands.

Last but not least Kinsley (the oldest of the 7) made me this beautiful "Grand Garden".
I can't tell you how much I love this, the pictures are so....perfect. You can really see each of their personalities. Such a cute, sweet idea.

It was a great birthday all around.
Lots of love and thanks for all the planning and effort, that made it so special, go out to my sweetie, my sister, and the kiddos!
Love you all a bushel and a peck,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

April 17, 1992

"17 years, 9 months, and 6 days" he says with a grin. My sweetie can always tell you how long it has been since our first date. I hear "Happy Anniversary" once a month not once a year. Lucky girl, huh? That date was the beginning of it all. One date, now one family (okay, one HUGE family).
When we went on that date, almost eighteen years ago, we were both single parents with three kids, all under the age of 12! People thought we were crazy and they were right, we were crazy.......about each other. So crazy about each other that we added one more to the mix. Yep...yours, mine, and ours....the Brady Bunch plus one....we've heard them all. And I'll let you in on a little secret, there is a certain feeling of pride when you hear it that I think comes from what you have to go through to blend into such a large family. The youngest LOVES to tell people he is the youngest of seven.
I am posting tonight, technically this morning, because I am busting with gratitude lately. So grateful that we are a family. Each always there for the other, one for all and all for one! There were times I would have said it could never happen, but it did. It was hard work at times for all of us but what we went through together is, I believe, what makes us so close.
Our family of nine has expanded through the years to included 5 spouses, and four (soon to be six) grand babies. They visit each other and the cousins get to play together, too sweet. It tickles me no end when they visit each other. We are a close family.....all of us, and I am grateful for that daily.
It is a wonderful thing to really enjoy spending time with your grown children. Not because they are your children but because you like them. I am proud of each and every one of them. I take great delight in them individually but the crowd of us, all together, is.........glorious chaos! As good as it gets.
I realized as I started this post that I only have one picture of the nine of us. It is 15 years old and not digital so no picture this time but you can be sure, at the next gathering, I will get one of the nine of us and one with all eighteen.

With gratitude for family,

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Christmas craft collaboration

I had so much fun crafting and shopping for the grands this year!
I did a set of felt ornaments from a kit for each of them. Ballerina bears for the girls and a Christmas train for the boys. Very cute but WAY too labor intensive. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started but they were so cute I couldn't put them down.
They each got a few pieces of felt food too, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach when I started and I just did not get finished. Fried eggs, cheese,and bow tie pasta (soooo cute!) will work for a start though.
The favorite, hands down, was Lauryn's present. It was one of those few (for me anyway) things that actually came out better than I imagined, due in no small part to the help from my sweetie. Poppa really kicked it up a notch! I had been waiting, yes and planning, for the day the girls would be big enough for dress up. When I found out that is what Lauryn wanted for Christmas I was so excited!
I started shopping right after Halloween and got some great deals on costumes. I found a fireman, a pirate, a vampire, a witch, a princess, and of course the requisite Disney gals. Got a great deal on some dress up shoes and tiaras after Thanksgiving, throw in a few necklaces and earrings and what little girl would not be thrilled!
But wait......
"how bout a wardrobe packing box to make her a dress up closet?" said MamMaw "I could cut doors to make it a closet."
"I could cover it in fabric if you have a piece" volunteered Poppa. "We could also add a spot for her shoes and a shelf for her jewelry" he said.
"YAY! That's a great idea honey." says MamMaw running for the fabric stash.
Two days, four yards of fabric, a box cutter, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, and three cans of spray adhesive later......
Ta DA!!!!! Lauryn's dress up closet.

And open.....

I can't wait to do one for Kyleigh next year!

I love collaborating with my sweetie,

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Beginnings in 2010

I know, I know, its been a long time. It had been so long I just stayed away. The last half of 2009 was a bit of a struggle for us on too many fronts and I let it overwhelm me. I've spent the first few weeks of the new year reflecting, re-grouping, and re-organizing. I did not make any resolutions but did decide I need to work on habits. All of the best and worst things about me are habits, good or bad. Need to drop some of the bad ones and develop a few more good ones. We'll see how that works, but I am back and ready for a new year.

The biggest news since I've been away.........
Grand #6
Tristan and Jason are expecting!
We are all so excited! It is a little girl and they have picked a name that I love. Miss Stella Laine is due April 19 and we can't wait to meet her.
She will be our second grand daughter born this year. We found out that Daniel and Alicia are also having a girl! Miss Katherin is due March 17.
Blessings abound!
Random Odd Thought.... our seven were two girls then the five boys, grands are two boys then four girls. We need one more girl huh?
We had a very nice low key Christmas. Focus was on the babies. I did a good bit of crafting and was happy with most everything, and thrilled with a few things. Michael and I collaborated on one project that I will share as soon as I dig up some pictures. The favorite gift this year for MamMaw and Poppa was a picture of all four grands! The moms (thank you girls I know that wasn't easy) all met up and had a portrait made. Priceless! We just love it.
I have been working on a few UFOs lately and finished several projects that were hanging over my head. Needed to clear my to do list as much as I needed to clear my head. Both are still pretty cluttered but.....
To New Beginnings!