Friday was my birthday. I'm suddenly reaching those years when someone asks you how old you are and you can't remember for sure, so you actually have to do some math. I hate math. But I have to say, I'm starting off good at 34. I've lost 10 lbs. of baby weight - and counting - since the beginning of the year, though I may have to re-lose a couple of those pounds after all the red velvet cake I consumed this weekend. (More details on that shortly.) I can hold my own in Turbo Kick Boxing class next to all the wafer thin college girls. I feel pretty good, but most of all, I feel blessed. I don't wish I was younger, because that would take me back to a time before I had my Jack and Andie. These days are better - more full. God has been good, indeed!
I got to take Friday off from work, so we all loaded up and headed to Sherman. We dropped the kiddos off at mom & dad's and headed off for my lunch date with Bret and his buddy Shawn. They took me to this hole-in-the-wall place where I enjoyed a BBQ bacon cheeseburger and tots. Obviously, I wasn't counting points. :) They talked me into trying a bite of frog leg. I'll try almost anything once. And I have to say, this was my first - and last - bite of frog leg. It tasted like pond.
From there we headed over to the DMV so I could renew my license. Now, I know that's about the LAST place on earth you'd want to go on your birthday, but the wait there is less than 30 min. compared to the 2-3 hrs. minimum it would have been back home. I would have had to take time off of work, so this just made sense. There were only 5 people in line in front of me - practically painless.
After that, we stopped at an estate sale. I spotted these lovelies. (People really collect this kind of stuff?!)
I'll admit, I was somewhat tempted by the bath tub lamps. I ended up walking away with some cute floral pillow cases for $.50.
I've been needing new running shoes, so afterwards, a trip to the shoe store. I scored these with these shoelaces on the way.
I lusted after these, but they're not much good for kick boxing, so I went with the running shoes instead. If anybody wants to give me $250, I'll happily pick up the boots too.
Later I had BBQ (yes, again) and went to see my Grandpa in the hospital. We were supposed to celebrate that night with my grandparents since my grandmother, Jack and I all have birthdays close together, but Grandpa has had a rough week to say the least. He's getting released tomorrow, though. He's a tough one, that man!
When we got back to my parents', we finally cut into the thing I had been thinking of all day long - my awesome red velvet cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes. I am allowing myself to indulge in the leftovers until tomorrow. Then it's back to Lean Cuisines and Skinny Cows. 11-ish pounds to go.
When I got home later that night, I had one last surprise - this little pretty was waiting on my doorstep. My sweet sis had it sent to me. I LOVE IT so much - thanks, Sarah!!
It's the best birthday I can remember in recent history, filled with all my favorite people. And food. Who could ask for more? Here's to 34 more just like it...
I've been crocheting a lot of little hearts and flowers lately - mostly for little headbands and clips for sweet little heads. I was wandering down the yarn aisle at Hobby Lobby last night in search of the perfect yarn for Valentine hearts, and came across this. I thought it would be fun to use it to make a larger heart and applique it on a tee for Andie.
I wanted the heart to be a little wobbly and imperfect, and this yarn was definitely perfect for that with all its thicks and thins. I followed this crochet pattern for the heart, then I laid it on the tee where I wanted it to end up and sketched around it with my black Sharpie fabric marker to add something fun and unexpected. (Have I mentioned how much I love my Sharpie fabric markers?) Then I pinned the heart in place, turned the tee inside out and stitched the heart down by hand so the thread would be hidden. This was a really quick, easy project that turned out almost as cute as the little sweetie that gets to wear it!
Last Saturday, my little guy turned 3. I can't even believe I'm saying that, because it just doesn't feel like that long ago that we were bringing him home for the first time! I am guilty of going a little nuts when it comes to birthday parties, I'll admit. But, judging by what I am seeing on other blogs and Pinterest these days, so are a lot of other people. I know, because I got a lot of cool ideas from them for this party! Hey, it's only once a year, and besides - I owed him. You see, last year his party never really materialized. I had really great intentions, but a massive sinus infection on top of morning sickness, not to mention a massive ice storm all got the best of me. We had a little family get-together, and he got store-bought Elmo cupcakes. And that was it. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's not the way I wanted to do it.
I fully intended to make up for it this year. I prayed really hard for good weather (check!) and for everybody to stay well (check, check!) and we had us a par-tay!!
Jack is really into anything with wheels or wings right now, so I decided on a construction theme. I designed the invite myself, and was really happy with how it came out. I didn't want to leave the envelopes plain, so I decided to print the backs with a construction stripe. I taped each envelope to the middle of a piece of cardstock so that the stripe would overlap when I ran them through my printer. It worked perfectly!
Instead of streamers, I opted for caution tape, which you can get on Amazon or at a hardware store. I had some posters printed at Sam's for about $8 each, and mounted them to foam core for stability. I struggled with the decision of whether or not to make his cake. I was inspired by this one with the really awesome stripe inside (impressive, no?), but given my severe lack of baking and cake decorating skills and the lack of time to fix things if something went horribly wrong, I made a much wiser decision. I had Market Street make the cake and ice the sides with the stripe and the top with plain chocolate. Then I added all the decorations to the top - the fun part! I dug a hole and piled the cake up next to it. I used crushed Oreos for the dirt and added these candy rock-like sprinkles. I ran one of his trucks with heavy tread across the top to make the tire tracks and topped it off with these cute construction cone candles. It came out even better than I was hoping, and if it hadn't been so yummy, it would have been hard to watch it all disappear. We served it with ice cream - Rocky Road, of course!
I found these hard hats on Amazon and made stickers with each kid's name so they could wear them during the party. But as it turned out, the one little boy we invited couldn't come, and I wasn't even thinking that of course all the little girls would show up with a big bow in their hair. What can I say? I'm still getting used to this mom-of-a-girl-thing. :) I also made aprons for each kid - even the little babies! I left the edges raw with contrasting red stitching. Then I made stencils for the number and letters and used my Sharpie fabric markers to personalize each one.
For favors, they each got to take home a mini construction toy and m&ms - Jack's favorite candy.
By far, the biggest hit of the party was the BUILD ZONE. I saved up cardboard boxes in various sizes, wrapped them up in newsprint, and drew wood and brick patterns on them with a black marker. I also dumped a bunch of packing peanuts on the floor along with his construction tools and trucks. Those peanuts were scattered from the front to the back of the house by the end of the party! They had so much fun, and it was totally worth the mess.
At the last minute, we decided to print up shirts for me, Bret, Jack and Andie to wear.
I couldn't resist adding this detail. :)
Planning this party was lots of work but SO much fun. When it was all over, I was definitely exhausted, but that little smile makes it all worth it. If he had fun, I'll call it a huge success!
Edited to add: You can download the artwork for the signs that I made for this party here (for personal use only, please):
My husband and I run a little business on the side personalizing flower pots with house numbers and names. We'd love to paint a special pot for you or a friend. For more information, visit my website.