Friday, October 2, 2015

Warner's 3rd Cowboy Party

Warner and his BFF were born two days apart. Our families have mostly all the same friends so we decided to do a joint "friend" party with a western theme. We had a great time!

I kept decor simpler and just did a balloon background and a couple fake flower vases for the food table. It was rainy, so we held the party indoors with Warner's birthday gift... a MOONBOUNCE!  The kids all had a blast!

Our menu was:
Chili Cheese Dogs
Pasta Salad
Deviled Eggs
And cake!

We gave our guests a cowboy hat and some "Cow Patties" as a favor for coming out!

Birthday boy loved his party and his fun moonbounce!

Winter ONEderland | Marjorie's 1st Birthday

My baby girl turned ONE......10 months ago!

We had such a wonderful time celebrating her sweet life.

I decorated with a "chalkboard" of her favorite things, some large photos of her, coffee filter snowflakes hung with fishing line, and snowflake clings made of puffy paint on the windows. I also spray-painted some tree branches with gold spray paint and put them in mason jars with clear glass marbles.

Our menu included:
Purple punch, with vanilla ice cream glaciers
Hot Ham and Cheese Sliders
Ham and Cheddar Cheese Quiche
Roasted Mushroom, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Quiche
Sausage Balls
Willliamsburg Bread
Oreo Truffles
Vanilla Meringue Cookies

Friday, October 24, 2014

identity | infj

All over Facebook the past several days I have seen so many Myers-Briggs personalities represented throughout my friends. I decided to take the quiz and it determined that I am the elusive INFJ. Apparently my type makes up a small 1% of the population. I sent the overview to my dad and Cody and they both confirmed that it summed me up. As I have been reading up on different aspects of INFJ I have certainly identified characteristics about me that I had often overlooked and have thought more in depth about other traits my "type" is known for.

For instance, I have a very strong sense of intuition. Unlike Olivia Pope my gut is actually never wrong. These instincts and feelings lead to stubbornness in situations even when I can't articulate exactly why I have the feeling or opinion that I do. A few years ago Cody and I were going through Dave Ramsey's FPU CDs and something he said has stuck with me since I heard it (although it has no relation to finances because like a true INFJ I don't deal with money very well.) Dave said he listens to his wife's "feelings" because women have this intuition that usually hold true. His wife may not have all of the financial knowledge as him but she gets "feelings" and he is wise to listen to them because they are usually on the right track. Since hearing about the "feelings" I think of it often when Cody presents an idea and I shoot it down just because it doesn't feel right in my gut. I have a feeling and intuition about it.

Also, while reading up I saw that INFJs are perfectionists and think they should always improve themselves and the world around them. In my last post I talked about how I am trigger shy on starting projects I feel I may fail, and I think that is because when you start something you aren't an expert yet. "Don't compare your beginning with someone else's middle or end." I tend to compare myself to others in order to measure myself, but when I compare it is to a much different person's much different journey. I am always trying to better myself, my marriage, and pushing for Cody to better himself. "Good enough" for me is never good enough. I strive for excellence. I believe if you aren't growing you are dying and that there is always room for improvement. Sometimes this can make Cody feel overwhelmed because he takes it personally that I am never satisfied with relationships, always seeking out how to be better communicators, better at showing love and affection, and so on.

Cody took the personality test twice and got two different results. He got ENTP and ESFP. They represent the performer and the devil's advocate. I believe both of these are accurate representations of him. I also believe it is accurate that we are so dissimilar.

As I have been reading up on all of these types as they relate to myself and my loved ones (my dad's type could not have described him better) I have seen how unique each of my friends are. How we all work together to create a beautiful community. Where my strengths make up for other's weaknesses and how others strengths fill a void left by my weaknesses.

I look to God, the creator, and am in awe of how unique He made each of us. He took the time to make these intricate differences that work together and complement each other so well. How we can learn from and appreciate others who are different from us. How we were all created in His image. How His personality has no weaknesses, but all of the strengths He gave each personality resulting in one perfect being. How all of the different facets of his personality are reflected in his children. He is so good. I marvel at how He took such care and thought in His creation. We are seen as good in His eyes and only He is good. How humbled I am. How I hope to treat His creation and His people with utmost care, kindness, love and respect - regardless of our differences.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

poker face

I am not a risk taker.

Last night we got together with great friends of ours. After dinner, while babies and toddlers were playing sweetly the grown ups got out a deck of cards and some poker chips. If Kim Kardashian's sisters find her the be boring than certainly they would think I am about as much fun to hang out with as a rotting corpse.times out of 10 I would choose to stay home than to go out, but bless the friends who will come and see me so I am not a total recluse. Anyway, all of this to say I had to be taught to play poker last night.

Texas Hold'em.

Not only did I learn the rules and not at all the strategies, I learned something very important about myself.

I am not a risk taker.

I do not bet.

I do not raise.

I will fold for no reason on a winning hand because I am not confident enough to take a chance.

Thankfully my good friend kept urging me not to fold and to stay in the game. I even ended up winning a couple hands.

This poker "strategy" (to lose) carries over into my everyday life in every way. You know the phrase "even if you finish last you are still beating the people still on the couch?" Well I am the one still on the couch. I am researching and googling and educating myself of the best techniques, pinning the most motivational quotes, finding the best recipes to make sure I can finish the race, but when the trigger is pulled I am still on the couch. I won't finish the race because I am too scared of coming in last.

For a few years now I have owned an entry level DSLR camera. I have always been interested in photography since the very first cheap film camera my grandma gave me when I was 5. I get it from my mom. Every ounce of creativity I have is directly from her. Since I have had this camera I have taken classes, read several articles, pinned photography tips, looked into starting a business, read branding advice, everything but actually pulling the trigger and taking the steps necessary to starting a business and working toward my dream.

Yesterday, I asked Cody if we could take a trip to see my family in Northwest Georgia. I used to spend a couple weeks there every summer and it holds such a special place in my heart. Cody has never been and he has never met my family there except a quick hello at our wedding. It would mean so much to me to be able to go with him and our kids next fall. Cody quickly responded that he would make it happen IF I set a difficult and measurable goal for myself over the next year. Immediately I thought of photography. Together we agreed that if I photograph at least 24 "sessions" (not including our kids) and at least 1 each month then we will pack up and road trip on down to GA.

I am so excited.

For finally putting my dreams into motion. For making plans to go on this trip.

I am humbled.

Several friends and family members are already planning on helping me achieve this goal and are rooting for me. Their excitement, encouragement and support means so much. I don't bet on myself, but I have so many others betting on me. Its a very humbling feeling and I feel so loved.

I am thankful for Cody who knows just how hard to push without being too pushy. For always being my biggest encouragement and support. He is so wonderful.

I have my first "shoot" on the books for November 2 and I am so nervous, but I am excited and thankful for this opportunity AND looking forward to catching up with old family friends.

We'll see how this plays out. Hopefully I get on a winning streak.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Have We Got a Party for You, Warner's 2 | Veggie Tales Party

Veggie Tales are Warner's favorite thing, my dad has gotten him several plush Veggie toys and W sleeps with Larry every night. He loves to sing the theme song and watch a show whenever we let him. There were other party themes that I thought I wanted to do... I really wanted a pirate birthday, especially since we live right on the water, but most of the activities I found online for a pirate party really lended themselves for 3+ years olds... so it was a natural progression into a Veggie Tales party. There is not much to find on Pinterest or otherwise for a Veggie Tales party. There is a line of party supplies that you can purchase online, but personally I am not a fan of all the character party themes, especially the mass produced character plates, cups, napkins, favors, etc., I much prefer a handmade and personal touch. So, I had to take it upon myself to do a lot of online searching and being creative to make this party work.

I created a pinterest board with a bunch of ideas and inspiration and went from there. I was so proud of myself for being able to come up with original ideas as well as copying things that I found.

I chose my menu with kids in mind, we planned for 11 kids + parents, and I did not have an unlimited budget so I kept it simple (for me.) We had:

North Carolina BBQ (I tweaked this recipe)
Pasta Salad (recipe post to follow)
Veggie Tray
Chips & Homemade Salsa
Fruit Salad (we didn't actually have this because I ran out of time and I didn't prepare in advance)
Oreo Truffles (covered in green candy melts which I intended to decorate as the French Peas, but again I ran out of time so we just had plain green)
Jr Asparagus Cake (boxed cake, canned frosting)
Madame Blueberry Punch (blue hawaiian punch, lemonade, ginger ale, frozen blueberries)

We had friends from 7 years old down to a few 5 month olds, so I wanted to have plenty of activities around to occupy all the kids. Cody thought I was crazy, until I explained that I certainly was not expecting to gather everyone together to do an organized activity, but rather let them come and go and do things on their own time.

Activies Included:
King George's Duck Pond (baby pool with rubber ducks - idea found here)
Pirate Who Don't Do Anything water table (birthday gift)
iPad playing Silly Song playlist
(planned on having) Coloring pages
"Plant Your Own Cucumber" (painting station with biodegradable seed pots to decorate that doubled as favors)
Veggie Bowling (inspiration here, but used a bowling set which I painted into veggie characters myself)

I used $1 store plates, napkins, utensils, cups in green, red and yellow. I would've loved to do crepe paper in those colors and balloons, but we just didn't bother with that.

I also made my big 2 year old a (way too big) tshirt, and welcome poster for the door.

Ultimately, we had a great time with great friends and Warner felt loved and special. He was so upset when his friends left. I am so thankful for the amazing group of friends we have, and that they all have kids around the same ages as ours so all the kiddos have a built in set of friends. They all love each other and it's so great to have a village of love and support in this parenting adventure.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Snow Day

Its always nice to have a snow day, especially when your kids aren't old enough to be in school so they don't have to make it up! And Daddy got to stay home!!

Yesterday was so peaceful and wonderful. Both kids behaved well all day, and we packed so much special fun into our time together.

We started our day with a special breakfast, nothing grand, but we got to spend it together and I didn't have to cook.

While Cody was making breakfast, I snagged a couple pictures of the kids. Baby Sister was hanging out in her chair and Big Brother was watching Dinosaur Train in his high chair. They are so cute.

[bow via: etsy]

After breakfast we did what most families do on a snow day... pretend its summer and play in the BIG bath! Complete with pool noodles, which actually insulated the heat really well. He had a blast! It was so much fun for Cody and I to see him having such a great time

He was so sweet and tired when he got out. Cody stole all of his cuddles, but we had fun playing afterward before it was time for his nap.

When he woke up from his nap I had to go outside for a minute and I realized that the snow was perfect playing snow, and with the sun it wasn't too cold out. I promptly bundled him up, told Cody to put on shoes and a jacket, grabbed my camera, and we went. This was his first time playing in the snow. The first few times we were sick or just too plain lazy to take him out. We didn't stay out too long, but he loved it. I really think as long as he's outside he is happy.

While we all played outside, Baby Sister slept peacefully in the warmth of the house.

I'm sad this (hopefully) our last snow day of the season, but I'm SO ready for spring and being able to spend more time outside. Lord knows Big Brother needs to be able to run free and get his energy out... preferably not in the house!!

During nap time, Cody and I were able to relax together and talk without interruption. Usually when Big Brother goes to bed at night /little Sister is cluster feeding among other things so we don't really get a good stretch of uninterrupted time. We talked about our hearts, and what we wanted to give up for the next 40 days to prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate Easter. We aren't Catholic and I don't know if there are any rules for Lent, but I am excited to see how we grow individually and as a family during this time. I did two Advent studies before Christmas and got so much out of them. Not only did it make Christmas more meaningful for me, but it helped prepare my heart for welcome my new baby into the world. I really was able to relate to Mary in a new an unique way. Bring on Easter!!