Monday, September 28, 2009

This Afternoon...

I found this when I got home.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

They Are Sweet, But He Is Strong

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Ella has been going to children's choir for a few weeks. She's technically not old enough, it's really kindergarten through fifth grade. Since there aren't many activities for her age group at our church and she's pretty mature for her age, we talked to a few teachers about moving her into choir and Sunday School a little early.

The first few weeks she was the only person at choir and was so disappointed. Finally, other children came and her response was "the boys and girls came to see me!" We've enjoyed hearing her practice and it has been good for her to have another weekly activity in addition to dance class.

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This morning was their first "performance," they sang Zaccheus and Jesus Loves Me. Ella has been so excited all week, but was a little nervous about it this morning. I gave her a threatening pep talk and she got up on stage with her friends. Of course, I sat on the front row and snapped photos of this momentous occasion! She did her hand motions to Zaccheus and knew the first and second verse of Jesus Loves Me. She didn't smile much, but she did sing loud and she didn't cry. My favorite part of hearing her practice has been "they are sweet, but He is strong." This morning she got it right!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ketchup

or is it catch up? Either way, we haven't talked in awhile! I'm actually on the mend, but still not back to my old self. I'll probably continue to blog a few times a week for the next month or so and maybe by then I'll have some energy to spare.

Josh and I realized this morning that at this point in our pregnancy with Ella we had names picked out! Crazy, right? We haven't even discussed it. I dug out the old baby name book and looked through it this morning while dining on a breakfast of decaf coffee and Reese's Cups. Mmm-hmm. The deal is {we did this same thing with Ella} that we each make a list of five girl names and five boy names and then negotiate. We each get one absolute veto and after that it's simply a bargaining game. Hopefully we'll have completed negotiations in a month or so when we'll likely beg to visit some friends at their office and figure out what we're having. If not, we'll have another ultrasound with our doctor in 9 weeks to find out for sure.

I know if we have a boy I'll have to change the blog name, but I'm not sure how I feel about that. Then Josh made it even worse when he reminded me my blog was pink and that it would have to change. Boo.

On Thursday, Ella stayed home with Josh and played all morning until time to meet me for the doctor's appointment. I got this hilarious picture via text message mid-morning and it made me laugh out loud. It was obvious they were having a fabulous time. I won't share with you what I thought she looked like...

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Josh has been kind enough to keep the house cleaned and picked up over the last several weeks, but the one area we seem to ignore is the party paraphernalia. Ella's room looks exactly like it did two weeks ago. There are presents still in their boxes, tissue paper everywhere, clothes piled up. It hurts my feelings, but I just haven't had the energy to tackle it. The dining room table has all sorts of party decorations, cake pieces and parts and Barbie doll boxes stacked in a precarious pile. My goal is to situate all of this today. Ella just remembered mid-week that she had presents to play with. We've been unboxing a few a day and having so much fun. The roller skates are still her favorite, which warms my heart, considering that we purchased them for her. She has more grace than we thought she would and is so funny when she falls down.

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In case you need some new things to read, I found a few new-to-me blogs this week that have thrilled my soul:

  • Cake Wrecks is positively hilarious. It is a blog devoted to cakes gone wrong and boy are their some doozies. The misspelled words are probably my favorites. And the wedding cakes. Wow, that would hurt my feelings.{Be sure to click on each individual word that is linked... they are precious}.
  • This blog is something special, though. In case you don't know Katie's story, she moved to Africa to be a missionary at the age of 18 and has since adopted fourteen African girls. She's 20! Her story is amazing and she's now one of my favorite blogs to see pop up in the reader. Reading about her journey will make you so thankful for all that you have, but it will make you want to give more. I promise.

Well, that's all I have for now. I need to straighten the house, take a shower, EAT something and get ready to watch the game. I'm kind of sad to leave my still, quiet house, but I miss my girl :).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baby Update: Week 11

Today was my doctor's appointment and we got another little peek at Baby Fields. This was my last "special" appointment with an ultrasound unless something looks fishy. All things point to a normal pregnancy, though, so it looks like we'll be seeing this baby in another 9 weeks or so to find out what variety we're getting!

Today the baby looked so different. Again we could see little arms and legs, but it was SO wiggly. It's hard to believe in another month I'll be feeling this little bean move all around. We laughed so hard, it was really dancing. I guess it takes after its Big Sister! Speaking of Big Sister... she went with us today. She was a little skeptical in the ultrasound room, but once we were out of there she gave us a good recap on what happened. She was also anxious to meet my doctor, but since she was late because of a longer-than-usual surgery, Ella was fast asleep when she came in to see me.

I've lost two pounds since my last visit, which puts me back at my starting weight! Surely I'll gain some weight soon... I'm finally keeping a little food down. My nausea is still pretty icky and my mouth tastes like pennies, but I can feel the upswing starting to happen. I'm still pretty fatigued, but I have more energy than I have in the last month and food is starting to sound good again.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We are very excited and very hopeful after seeing our little one healthy and wiggly three different times! Hopefully, I'll be back to blogging full-time in a few weeks when I'm feeling better. For now, I'm sleeping and eating macaroni and cheese as much as possible.

Here are my favorite frames from the day...

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Friday Night Football

On Friday, we went to the Homecoming game at my high school alma mater. Did I mention it was raining? We were going early for the Homecoming festivities because three of my cousins were on the court and one was a nominee for Queen. It was pouring down rain, so we went ahead armed with a beach towel, three cushions and two umbrellas. Unfortunately, we needed them all. Jessica did win Homecoming Queen and she, Kalli and Chaney all looked beautiful. It did rain a little on them while they were on the field, but it in no way diminished their beauty!

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Ella and I decided to brave the line and head to the concession stand for some cheese fries and gatorade. It was a HUGE mistake. Despite how unmistakably adorable we look in that photo {wink, wink} we were a mess after this adventure. We walked through mud up to our ankles to get from the bleachers to the concession area and were a mess. A friend carried Ella back to the stands while I manned the food and umbrella. I managed to get her feet and sandals cleaned up, but mommy just wore muddy feet and flip flops the rest of the evening. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of that! It was awfully pretty... or was it pretty awful?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On Etsy

Guess who is on etsy? Click here to see the goods.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fancy Family Photostrips

One of our best ideas for these fancy parties was setting up an area where the guests could have their pictures made. I wanted to be sure we got pictures of everyone in their "fancy attire" and this guaranteed that nobody got left out. I wish I had taken a behind-the-scenes pictures so you could see how it all worked, but we were a little overwhelmed in the midst of the parties. We hung black fabric from the playroom wall and put it on the floor, too. K brought home lights from her studio and set them up. It was like being in a professional photo studio and the pictures prove it!

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These were our practice shots from Friday afternoon. K took some impromptu photos of Ella in her panties to test the lights. When we told Ella to make funny faces these are what we got. We were both laughing so hard the whole time.

Okay... here goes, our fancy family and friends!

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A few shots from Saturday morning...

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Everyone who dressed up on Sunday!

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And finally the fancy people in charge! Josh was such a good sport and picked this kingly outfit up on Thursday after our doctor's appointment. Ella loved that he was her king and I thought he looked dashing. I don't know why my belly looks so big in this picture... it doesn't quite look that cute in real life. I think this is a combination of baby, baby weight left over from Ella and birthday cake!

Thanks everyone for coming and for being SO fancy. We had such a great time celebrating with you. Click here to see full-size photos of each of our fancy guests!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's Get Fancy... Again!

Sunday evening was our family party and WOW is all I can say. Have you ever had a party where every person you invited actually showed up? Well, on Sunday we pretty much did. There were very few people in our group of close family and friends who didn't come. Our house was filled to capacity and it became very hard to visit with everyone. Fortunately, everyone mingled all over the place and really enjoyed themselves despite the limited seating.

THIS is our birthday cake. Can you say wow? A friend from high school made it and delivered it for us and did a fabulous job. We new we wanted something fancy and sent her a picture of what we wanted. She pretty much made exactly what we asked for and everyone was amazed to look and taste it. Ella LOVED it, which made her mommy very happy. Not only was the cake gorgeous, but it was delish. I had so many compliments on how great it tasted. We know who will be making our cakes from now on. Thank you, Kristi!

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Once again, we opened up presents first. It was hard for everyone to see at the same time, but we did the best we could. I sat Ella in the arch between our living and dining rooms and everyone crowded around as best they could. The first present was the best. We had ordered Ella a sweet "Big Sister" t-shirt and framed a little sonogram picture in a frame for her room. There were so many people talking, gasping and laughing that it was hard to explain it all to Ella in the moment, but it was a great surprise and she was just as happy when we told her again 15 minutes later. Nobody in our family knew except for mom and she had only known a few days. We did an excellent job of keeping a deep, dark secret for five long weeks!

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Here we are singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles... we had quite the audience!

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This might have been the best party I've been to. Josh and I sat around afterwards talking about how great it was that everybody came and nobody seemed embarrassed to dress up and get silly. It was so fun to see everyone participate and it really made Ella's day. Check back tomorrow for the family photo strips... they are hilarious!

Click here to see all of Sunday's pictures.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tea Party Time

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Ella was so excited about her fancy tea party that she was ready to get dressed when her feet hit the floor that morning. We had breakfast, finished prepping for the party and took a nice bubble bath. Ella was so anxious that she convinced her daddy to get her dressed while I got ready - even though I told her to wait. I laughed because apparently she told Josh "mommy said to get me ready"! Well, if you're that excited, we'll go with it. K got here a little early so we had a little photoshoot on the front porch. Isn't the picture above adorable? She's making a funny face in almost every picture. Something about telling her to "look fancy" tickled her funny bone.

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Most of the girls and their mommies dressed really fancy and it was so funny to see how they all looked. The little girls were so excited to see each other's outfits and thought it was hilarious that we were dressed up, too. As the party began, Fancy Garan began reading the original Fancy Nancy book and the girls were enthralled.

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We open presents first around our house because cake and lemonade are messy when it comes to toddlers. Big Ella really enjoyed handing the presents out and all of the girls loved playing with the tissue paper. Fancy Ella got lots of wonderful gifts and they were all Fancy! She got dress up clothes, hair salon supplies, a new purse, makeup and feather boas. It was so much fun.

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Aunt K was sweet enough to come early and set up a photobooth and it was hilarious to see the kids play for the camera. Ella and I even managed to get a few cute pictures together. I love these and can't wait to have some framed.

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Before blowing out the candles, each guest at the party got a pink cupcake with white icing, but no decorations! We handed out cups of chocolate chips, candy letters, melt-away mints and sprinkles so that girls could create their own masterpieces. They ate at much candy as they put on the cupcakes, but it was too fun. Once the cupcakes were ready, we sang Happy Birthday and Ella blew out the candles. The food was so yummy - we had cucumber sandwiches, pb&j, iced sugar cookies, cupcakes and pink lemonade.

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Thanks for coming, fancy friends. It was so much fun! Click here to see all of Saturday's photos.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Best Friends

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This is Ryan. She was my very best friend growing up. I cannot remember a time in my childhood that she wasn't a part of. I'm pretty sure we were friends in utero. At the least, shortly thereafter. If it was Friday night, we were spending the night together. We might have alternated locations and occasionally invited another girl or two, but there was never a question that we would be together. We survived on the original Nintendo, eighties movies and baby dolls. We swam and jumped on the trampoline to the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing. We wore biker shorts underneath holy blue jeans. We harrassed her older brother and rolled his hair with Caruso rollers {remember those?}. We almost always headed to Smith's for snacks which included some combination of chocolate chips, coconut, Clearly Canadian, sour cream and cheddar chips and cream cheese icing. I know. It's a wonder we didn't weigh 200 pounds.

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Here we are at almost thirty. With two precious kids barely a month a part. We were pregnant together and it was so much fun going through the trauma of first time parenting at the same time. Wanna know what's even funnier? We're both pregnant now and only three weeks apart. It's a little crazy, but we are VERY excited. Apparently we just make babies at the same time!

Although we don't live but thirty minutes apart, life makes it difficult to spend a lot of time together. Despite the time between visits, however, we lose no time picking up where we left off. It would seem our kids have followed in those footsteps.

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After the fancy tea party on Saturday morning, she and her sweet little boy came by for some one-on-one birthday celebration. They weren't going to make it to the fancy soiree on Sunday night and let's face it, Grey didn't really want to be outnumbered at the tea party! He was big and strong and carried his gift all the way to the door by himself. He and Ella had a little impromptu tea party on the floor while Beemer paced back and forth and attempted to eat their cupcakes.

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Following their little snack, Ella removed her tutu and they began to bounce off the walls. Quite literally. They jumped and climbed on the couch until they had both become casualties. Only then, would they sit down for some tv time while the mommies visited. They insisted on a "breakpast" of goldfish and juice and ended up snuggling with their loveys, Bunny and Blue Dog, and each other. These pictures are my favorite.

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Thanks for spending the afternoon with us, sweet friends, let's do it again soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Raise your hand...

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if you threw up in the car on the way to work this morning. Anyone, anyone? I didn't think so. Well, it wasn't fun, so be glad it wasn't you. Josh said it was quintessentially pregnant that immediately following that lovely moment, I turned into Chick-fil-A for a cheese biscuit and sweet tea. What's so weird about that?

Since I surprised you all with a post last night and offered very few details, I thought a proper pregnancy post was called for. Complete with gratuitous ultrasound evidence, of course!

I went to the doctor for a regularly-scheduled lab appointment in late July and proceeded to tell the lab tech that I was one of the least-fertile people on the planet. Little did I know what God had in store. On August 4th, I took my first pregnancy test and wasn't at all discouraged to see a negative sign... yet. I took the second test on August 6th, {knowing full well it was too early} and it too was negative. Immediately after that test I read a blog post about waiting, which included this verse "Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the LORD" Psalm 27:14. I actually laughed out loud. On August 8th, Ella and I went to Grey's birthday party and had a wonderful morning. Afterwards, I took her to lunch at Chipotle and on the way home I didn't feel so good. Despite the previous record, I decided to take another test. This was was decidedly not negative. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry. We followed it up with another positive test on the 9th just to be sure. Why not spend $40 on pregnancy tests in one week?!

Despite the fact that my doctor wanted to see me immediately, we had a hard time getting a mutually agreeable appointment scheduled and it would be more than two weeks before I got any assurance. It was the longest fourteen days of our lives.

The first ultrasound amounted to a jelly bean with a heartbeat that we couldn't hear. I was too skeptical to even have them make a DVD of the video, but I did get a still photo of our jelly bean. I began to get excited, but given my track-record I was still very anxious. Understanding my concern, my sweet doctor agreed to an appointment every two weeks throughout the first trimester.

The ultrasound photograph above is from Thursday, September 10th. Not only do I have a strip of lovely photographs, but I have a DVD, a very loud and fast heartbeat and wiggly little arms and legs. I am finally beginning to feel a sense of peace that only God can give. We are more confident than we have been in the past about the life of this little one. I know that it's days are numbered and known only to God, but I am trusting that this life is being carefully prepared for our family, and our family for it.

I have lots to share about the big announcement, Ella's reaction and what it means for our family, so you should have lots to read in the coming days {assuming of course, I'm not sick, tired or shopping for clothes for this ever changing body of mine}. For now, I'm going to eat a greasy cheeseburger from Whataburger and sneak in a little nap. Who am I kidding, I'm just going to bed. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Guess what?!?!

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This fancy family has an announcement to make...

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Ella's going to be a BIG sister!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Being Fancy is HARD work!

I didn't take a single picture today. Can you believe it? Fortunately, K took lots!

There is nothing better than having a photographer in the family. My sweet sister took the burden off of me today and not only manned the photobooth we set up, but took all of the party photos, too. That freed up my hands for fixing fancy hair, adjusting tiaras and passing out fancy cookies.

K edited several of my favorites tonight so that I could share a sneak peek. We'll be looking at pictures for many days to come, so get ready to be inundated with FANCY!

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One last shot of our fancy table!

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Here is our VERY fancy girl... this was her birthday outfit.

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A close up of our ring; she got this in a Happy Meal this week!

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A fancy mom and Ella

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All of the fancy girls except for Bella; she wasn't ready for a photoshoot

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my favorite picture of the two Ellas

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our Fanciest Nana!

Aren't these photographs fabulous? Click here to book K for your next event! {How did you like that little plug?}

Friday, September 11, 2009

Disclaimer

So, my plan was to share pictures of Ella's big day before I went to bed. Then to share pictures of the tea party tomorrow afternoon while she napped and pictures of the family party on Sunday evening after clean up. Now, I'm not so sure. I think it's going to be a quiet weekend around the blog, so plan on a week jam packed with birthday goodness starting Monday.

Since I got home today, I've steamed curtains, taken out trash, helped K set up a mobile photography studio in our playroom, make, ice and decorate forty-eight cupcakes, make pink lemonade, clean the kitchen, think about mopping the kitchen and decide to put it off. I ate pizza with the birthday girl and watched her open a few presents.

It has been positively wonderful to watch her face light up all day. But, I'm tired. I'm going to steam two more curtains and go to bed. I'll make pb&j sandwiches, finally mop the kitchen floor and get two girls as fancy as ever sometime tomorrow morning.

Maybe if we can squeeze a nap in tomorrow afternoon, I'll post a few sneak peeks. If not, check back Sunday night and see what I managed to pull together. Thanks guys! We'll be back soon...

OH! I almost forgot. I need to give a big THANK YOU to SD. He has been a wonderful "house husband" this week. He's worked in the yard, washed laundry {even bed sheets, shower curtains and drapes}, cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, swept, dusted, vacuumed and... washed windows, baseboards and window trim. Without me asking!? He has been a huge help and I'd be nowhere close to ready for this party if it weren't for him. Even if he did ruin the down-filled throw pillows by washing them in the machine. It's the thought that counts. Right?

Birthday Girl x3!

I cannot believe that today my princess turns three years old! Last night when I put her to bed I told her, "When you wake up in the morning, you'll be three years old!" She squealed and had the biggest grin on her face. I can't wait to share pictures of her reaction this morning.

Today, she's spending the day with Gran and Aunt Lane. They're having homemade waffles for breakfast and then heading out to Cracker Barrell to lunch with Poppy and his brother, Richard. She is in for a long day because tonight we're having pizza {just like Fancy Nancy} and making cupcakes for her parties this weekend. We're gonna celebrate all day long!

Since I don't have pictures yet to show you, I'll share the ones Heidi took yesterday instead. She carried pink and white iced cupcakes to share with her friends and boy were they happy to see her. Enjoy the pictures of sweet Dean Fields.

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