Friday, March 27, 2009

The return of our walks

Ever since Isabella was little as soon as we caught the first glimpse of Spring we would go out on daily walks around our neighborhood. These walks would take place in the morning and/or after the afternoon nap. I would usually push her in her little red car or pull her on the big red wagon. Either way we had a great time. As she got older she would make every walk a different adventure. She certainly kept things interested with that very active imagination of hers.

Well, now that the weather around these parts seems to finally be a bit more cooperative and consistent we have resumed our daily walks. This year we're quite the walking crowd with the addition of Sam and my Mom. And these days Sam is the one being pushed in the little red car (which he barely fits in anymore) or pulled in the big red wagon. Isabella usually walks, unless the wagon is the chosen mode of transportation, then she is quite likely to hop in for a ride.

I love our little walks. But I also love just being outside this time of year ~ blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk, playing with toys, picking flowers. Yesterday was such a day. The weather was great, we got enjoy hours of just hanging out outside, and it was awesome!

Sam thoroughly enjoying his ride.

Isabella picking flowers from our yard.

Doing one of our favorite things ~ playing with bubbles.

A walking we will go,...

Sam being his happy go lucky self.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this time of year?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meet our new tenant

Yes, we have a new tenant. Well, aside from my parents that is. Lucky for us this one decided to establish its residence outdoors.

Isn't she cute?

We discovered her a little over a week ago when Scott was outside pruning our Crape Myrtle trees. Which is exactly the reason why this specific tree looks the way it does. We just couldn't bring ourselves to prune the whole thing with the bird sitting in its nest looking straight at us. So we ended up with a haphazardly pruned tree. Well, that and a bird who's probably waiting for FEMA to deliver a better tree after this little catastrophe.

The kids love to go outside and check on "our" bird every day. I can't wait for her eggs to hatch so that they can see the baby birds. Thank goodness the nest is too high for Isabella to reach. The thought of what could happen if it were within her reach quite honestly petrifies me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

While she was at school yesterday...

my Mom and I decided to pick up and redecorate Isabella's room. I don't have a before picture, and I can honestly tell you that if I did I probably wouldn't post it anyway. It was an absolute disaster. Toys, clothes, chalk, paper, crayons,... you name it. There was stuff everywhere. Quite the embarrassing scene.

But a little clean-up, a whole lot of organizing and a few scrapbooking supplies later (her bed and nightstand got a bit of a face-lift), it was like a brand new room.

(Yeah, the bedding was in the washer during picture time.)

All the work was worth it when we got home from school and she walked into her room. The look on her face was priceless. She was totally stunned. She was actually speechless, and this hardly ever happens!

She ran all around the room taking it all in. She really likes her little reading nook located right next to her overflowing bookcase.

She loves her "new" room. She's ecstatic and I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Beautiful Spring Day

We had the most unbelievably beautiful Spring day here today and we definitely made sure to take full advantage of it. We worked and played outside for most of the day.

I absolutely love Spring and being outdoors on days like today surrounded by all of this beauty is like having a little piece of heaven right here in our own backyard.

Sprucing up our backyard is definitely a priority for us this year. One of the things we've been wanting to do in the last couple of years was put together an interactive garden for Isabella. A garden filled with fruit and vegetables for her to pick and flowers for her to admire. And I'm so happy to report that it has finally happened. And what a garden it is.

Scott did a wonderful job building it. He's already planted a variety of fruit and vegetables, but today it was time to throw a splash of color into her magical corner of the yard. So, in the midst of our outdoor fun a trip to Lowe's was in order to purchase some flowers to plant in her garden.

I can't wait to show you pictures of the garden once all the other goodies start growing. This is so exciting!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Are you kidding me?

As you might have noticed on the previous post I got my hair cut. It was about a week ago. I desperately wanted a change. I wanted it short and cute and different. So, I had them cut well over 6 inches of hair.

I got home from the salon to find my Mom and the kids playing outside. Well, as soon as Isabella sees me, she carefully examines it and says: "You got your hair cut. I don't really like it, Mama."

Okay,... not exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Although there's really no telling with her. I mean, remember my doggy do from last year? Man, apparently this child can really do a number on my self-esteem.

Anyway, later that night we're having dinner and Scott made a comment about liking my new hairstyle and the conversation that followed went a little something like this:

Scott: I really like your hair

Liz: Thanks! Isabella wasn't too thrilled with it.

Scott: You don't like Mommy's new hairstyle, Peanut?

Isabella: Not so much.

Scott: Why don't you like it?

Isabella: Are you kidding me?

Apparently to my beautiful daughter it is so painfully obvious that my new hairstyle is such an incredible flop, that she didn't think it was necessary to actually verbalize what it is she doesn't like about it.

Well, here it is:

Photos taken by my wonderful nephew at the park this morning.

So, what do you think? Do you find it as "repulsive" as Isabella did? And please, please, please don't answer "Are you kidding me?"

I'm happy to report that since then Isabella has approached me on numerous occasions to tell me how nice my hair looks and how much she likes it. In all honesty, I think it might have been the way it was styled at the salon that first day. But the again, who knows,...

Me on the other hand, I seriously love going back to short hair. But I do hate that because I have SO much hair, it takes me so long to blow dry it straight in the morning. Also, it's taking me some time to get reacquainted with the round brush after so many years. But I'm sure I'll have it re-mastered in no time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Break Fun

Being that we are currently on Spring Break and the weather here is finally warm, sunny and beautiful my Mom and I decided a trip to the Botanic Garden was definitely in order for today. So we packed up the kids (Isabella, Sam and my niece and nephew) and off we went.

I totally adore going to the Botanic Garden. So much so that I have made it an annual tradition to go at least twice. Unfortunately I have never made it in time for Spring flowers ~ Tulips, Daffodils, Lilies, and Irises. Every year I end up going a week or two too late and I always end up missing them.

Oh, not this year. I am determined not to miss them this time around. This year we went earlier than ever before. Now I must admit my plan to go early backfired just a tad. You see, most of the Spring flowers haven't quite bloomed yet and the crazy fish cannot be fed until about another few weeks (something about their digestive systems). Although there were quite a bit of beautiful flowers to look at, the majority of them are still MIA. So it would appear we went a bit too early, but we had fun nonetheless.

I mean seriously, how can you not have a good time when this is what we were greeted by:

Oh, how I LOVE me some Spring flowers!

The gardens are totally relaxing and the weather was absolutely perfect and the kids played and ran and we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch on the grounds.

My Dad borrowed one of their motorized wheelchairs and as it turns out all of it's wheels/tires were flat and in desperate need of some air. But that didn't seem to slow my Dad any. Initially it took him some time to get the hang of it and it was like he was on a bumper car, a speeding out of control bumper car, but eventually he got it. Boy, did I laugh! I tell ya, we had an awesome time!

Now we can't wait to go back in a week or two so that maybe I can catch my Spring flowers this year after all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sam's Birthday "Recap"

I cannot even believe it's been over a week since my last post. Last week was absolutely CRAZY. Between getting ready for Sam's birthday party and transporting my Dad to and from dialysis and doctor appointments and just everyday living, I have no idea where the week went. But luckily Sam's first birthday party came together nicely and turned out to be a success.

I know based on this post you might not believe me, but I barely took any pictures yesterday. I knew I would be busy running around and taking care of everyone and everything so we had our photographer friend, the very talented Marci Lambert, come by and take pictures for us. You have no idea the pressure that took off my shoulders. I was able to get things done, mingle with our guests and enjoy myself and still get some awesome pictures of our boy's special day. I cannot wait to see the pictures.

OK, so it all started with this:

I found this painted wood train at Hobby Lobby and loved it. I immediately decided this would be the theme of the party so I picked up about 20 of them and got right to work on the invitations. I love that they are colorful, yet simple.

On the inside I included the party details, as well as a recent picture of our boy. I always like to include a picture on the invitations for their first birthday.

Getting this picture was a bit of a dilemma. You see, I am blessed to have a boy who sees me coming with the camera and instantly smiles from ear to ear. However, on this particular day smiling was definitely not on his agenda. On any given day this would not have been a big deal, except that this was not any ordinary day. It was the end of February and the in order for me to get my March 7 RSVPs I had to get the invitations mailed out ASAP. So this was the only picture where he wasn't looking either mad, confused or a bit lost.



A bit lost

See what I mean?

Anyway, so in keeping with the train theme I decided to make a "Happy Birthday" banner to hang in the kitchen. I used a variety of coordinating papers, including the one used on the invitations, a whole lot of scrapbooking supplies, tools and ribbon and this here is what we ended up with:

Now I know I'm no Martha, but I gotta admit I was pretty pleased with it when it was all said and hung.

We had a full house and a total of 18 kids running around so for kiddie entertainment we hired a lady who does face painting and had actually painted Isabella's face during our trip to Cedar Hills Farm last fall. She is awesome! I think all but one of our underage guests got their faces painted. They not only loved having theirs done, but they were mesmerized watching others get their faces painted as well. Unfortunately Sam would not sit still long enough for the lady to do an intricate design, but she was able to paint a few balloons on his cheek.

Isabella however had her face painted like Hello Kitty and loved it so much it was a struggle to get her to let us wash it off at the end of the day.

I decided that instead of doing goody bags this time around, I would give each child a cookie with a tag saying " Thank you for coming to my party! Sam". So I found this lady on Etsy who custom makes cookies and you guessed it, she made them to look exactly like the wooden train that was the inspiration for it all. They not only looked awesome, but they were delicious as well. I don't have a picture of them right this moment, but as soon as I get Marci's pictures I'll make sure to share.

Another thing my Mom and I did was to paint a train on some cardboard, cut out a window and put it out for the kids to play with and take pictures. The kids absolutely loved it! I had no idea how much of a hit this painted train would be. I tell ya, you gotta love cheap entertainment!

Isabella and Madison aboard the crazy train.

And finally, here are a few more pictures:

The birthday cake:

Sam's own personal smash cake:

And smash he did:

As you can see he totally loved his cake. He had a lot of fun getting frosting everywhere as well as eating quite a bit of the actual cake.

I'm really sorry about the LONG post, but now I have to go and get everyone ready for our friend Josh's birthday party at Pump-it-Up. Lord help us all,...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Scrap Therapy

So I went to my twice-a-year crop at my local scrapbook store last night and boy did I have me a great time. I got off to a bit of a slow start. Since I hadn't been in the store in quite some time I basically dedicated my first hour upon arrival to perusing the store, taking in all the new merchandise and doing some serious shopping. Once I finally got that out of my system, I sat down and began creating.

Have I told you how much I love scrapbooking? I love it! I started this hobby just a few months after Isabella was born and have literally made hundreds of pages documenting many of our fondest family memories.

To me scrapbooking it is like therapy. Really pretty, colorful and expensive therapy. If things around here get crazy all I have to do is sit at my scrap desk, pull out some photos, some yummy papers, some embellishments and I'm instantly covered from head to toe by a sense of calm and relaxation. And trust me when I tell you things around here have been crazy lately. So this crop was definitely Heaven sent!

I don't have any specific scrapbook style I stick with layout after layout and I'm the biggest scraplifter around ~ I see a design I like, I copy it, I use it over and over and I'm not ashamed of it. It's that simple. This is supposed to be fun, remember?

Following are some of the layouts I did last night at the crop. A lot of the photos will look quite familiar being that they've all been featured on the blog recently, but I just wanted to capture the stories for our family albums.

This picture of the cousins together was taken last December at the zoo.

Talking about all the things my Dad is to me.

Documenting Sam's first taste of powdered donuts.

Isabella posing for her Mommy on picture day.

This is the picture I used in Sam's Birthday Party invitations.

So there you have it. Put me in a confined place loaded with scrapbook goodness for six hours straight and I'm bound to create something.

Monday, March 2, 2009

In honor of Dr. Seuss' Birthday

which just happens to be today, Isabella's preschool was hosting a wear your crazy socks to school day.

Hmm, how it went from wear your crazy socks to school to dress as colorful as you possibly can from head to toe is anyone's guess.

Now I'll leave you with a few of my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss quotes:

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."


"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."


"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Fun

Well, it's official! Now that we'd had our one annual snow day in Memphis, we are definitely ready for Spring. It snowed so much yesterday and we just couldn't help but go outside and play until our feet, fingers and noses were red, runny and numb.

Isabella loves everything about snow. She absolutely adores it! The mere sight of snow puts her in the best mood and she could play in it for hours at a time. Making snow angels, making footprints, and throwing snowballs are high on her list of fun things to do.

Sam on the other hand, I think would have been quite satisfied by just looking at it through the windows. We sat him in the wagon and gave him some snow to play with. The entire time we were outside he pretty much had a look of confusion and dissatisfaction on his adorable little face. He just was not quite sure what to make of all of the commotion over the cold and uncomfortable situation we had willingly placed ourselves in.

It was all fun and games until someone made sure to notify us he had had enough.

Pitiful, I tell ya!