Monday, May 16, 2011


To the hubby: Congratulations on your CHL (Concealed Handgun License)! Not everyone has, or deserves this privilege. Proud of your accomplishment! (Yeah, I really just wanted a reason to eat cake. ;-)~

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Momma's day...

Happy Momma's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My sister from another mister...

A long story... very long... like a whole childhood/part of adulthood long years kind of thing.

My sister and I were not raised together. We do, in fact, have different fathers (mine unknown, and hers an abusive alcoholic that passed away some years ago). I have been around my sister a handful of times over the years, nothing that ever made us close or made us "feel" like sisters.

We come from dissimilar, yet similar backgrounds. Some of childhood/teenage years we would like to forget, and there are some areas that either of us could probably never forget no matter how hard we tried. We both saw, heard and lived things as children that no child should ever have to. Which brings me to my next statement.... "That which does not kill you, only makes you stronger." If you grew up in/ever lived in a f'ed up environment, do not perpetuate it by learning to live the same and choose the same behaviors.... choose to be different.

With neither of us having much family of our own, it has been an intriguing year of getting to know each other as adults. We are different, but alike in so many ways. We love each other. We are family.

We finally decided to hang out in person. I think we both wondered what the other one was going to be like/look like/act like. Let's just say it was instant family... this feeling of "we have always been".

We are sisters, moms, intelligent, loving souls... we are dorks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Our girl is 3.

Her birthday outfit was picked out and given to her by Keeva (or "Miss Keeba" as Abbie calls her), a dear friend. It couldnt have been more perfect for her, as "daddy's sunshine" is a common phrase in our home.

She is beautiful inside and out. An enchanted little being. There are not enough words to describe the treasure she is.

Aunt Michelle & Uncle Mike in Michigan had this gorgeous edible arrangement delivered to Abbie the day before her birthday party. It came complete with a "Happy Birthday" balloon. She was in awe after dinner when we let her have it (yeah, I was pretty awestruck myself, what with all the chocolate covered deliciousness)! They chose the arrangement in an adorable vintage looking watering can, cause they knew Abbie is a hardcore plant waterer! It was just perfect for her. We love Aunt Michelle & Uncle Mike!

The night before her birthday party, we also let her open a couple special gifts.
Yes, the blur in the photo is a blissfully happy Middle Little upon opening her pink electric guitar!
Daddy promised her when she turned three he would get her one. She shows a lot of interest in music... so nurture it we do.

Okay, so she refuses to wear clothes in the house most the time... she is most comfortable in her drawers. LOL. Guess she can get away with it now. Its alright, if thats what makes you comfortable while you practice... rock on.

Birthday party morning... after breakfast, we surprised her with a lovely new garden home!

Ahhh, now I see, Abbie wasnt yelling at little brother to get out of her house. She was yelling at him to get off the phone and quit running up her phone bill!

Before her birthday, I visited other blogs/craft sites/Martha Stewart's place/etc... yes I did. I was determined to fly my craft freak flag high and proudly. I shopped for vintage fabrics/antique containers/baking & candy supplies/fresh flowers/hit the hardware store, etc. I wanted the day to be beautiful and bright, just like our Middle Little! I crafted my little heart out for several weekends.

Then, mere minutes before setting up the outside table, as the first guests arrived, let me just say, "WTF"? Rain? Not just rain... but RAIN. See my lovely crafty tissue paper flowers on the wall as they "melted" in the downpour? Lovely water soaked orange denim tablecloth? Okay so forget setting up the outside table.

Inside was a burst of sunkist orange and sun-shiny yellows! I loved making these tissue pom-poms to hang. They were very "truffula tree - Dr. Seuss-ish". (So easy! Fold 8-10 layers of tissue paper in a 1-2 inch back and forth accordian  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\  like pattern, tie it off in the middle, snip the edges in points, or rounded corners, and start "fluffing" the tissue out. Voila'!)

I set up a candy buffet with some of Abbie's favorites and added treat bags for the kids as take home favors.  It was a lot of fun, really simple and fairly inexpensive to do. With a little time and creativity, you can make all kinds of crafty fun! I even painted and distressed the frame for her sign. (Yes Cassie, see the tiny frame with your little sister drinking her favorite Yoo-hoo drink in the corner of the photo below? I noticed it missing when I was cleaning up. Yeah, that's what you and Dad were whispering about! Ha! Remember "Secrets don't make friends!" ;-)~

The pretzels... so easy/fun to make... and YUM!
(See my antique milkglass score for a couple bucks at a hole in the wall thrift store?! Suuuuhweet!)

Fresh raspberry lemonade.

I stayed up into the late hours the night before my girls big day, baking away. She asked specifically for lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting, and for her special cake, lemon with "banilla" frosting. (See her tiny cake stand? Yup, made that too! A small white plate, old crystal candle holder, some epoxy glue and a can of white satin spray paint! Imagine the possibilities!)

I spent a lot of time baking this wee cake, trying to make it as perfect as I could possibly get it for her. Around midnight, I went to carefully place it in the fridge, and the &*$%##@! slipped gracefully off of the cake stand into the floor! Yes, insert every curse word you can think of here. (Thank goodness the children were asleep!) So the cake you see here, is a very tired attempt at starting all over again late at night to rebake her cake, because, as much as I wanted to throw in the towel and go to bed, I could not let me girl down. She wanted lemon cake with "banilla" frosting, and by gosh, she was getting it! Note, the drooping frosted I was too tired to keep cooling my frosting while decorating it.) She got her cake and it was good.

All the Littles grazed at the candy buffet. It was sweet to watch their eyes scan side to side to choose what to nibble next. (Note the wet hair from playing in the rain outside.)

It was cool watching all the kids play... they each played something different, yet all together. (Example: In this blurry talking on the phone, one working with tools, one singing in a microphone and another playing with trucks. All busy little bees.)

Then there is this. This is the part that always gets to me. The lighting and blowing out of the birthday candle. I seems so "official", like this is it... once the last verse of happy birthday has been sung and you blow out the candle, another year has passed by and there is no going back.

He has such manners. Carefully picks up his cupcake and licks all of the frosting off before devouring the cake.

Beautiful Middle Little. Can you believe this girl does not like buttercream frosting?! She scraped it all off!!! Said it has the texture of toothpaste. :-)  (Carson, glad you liked the pretzels... I will have to make a batch just for you.)

She loved her special lemon cake with "banilla" frosting... droopy roses and all!

Watch your step... cake war zone ahead. That's a lot of cake debris folks.

Yes, the trash bag was necessary to get her across the house to the tub.

Here is the new kitchen her big sister brought her for her birthday. Little did she know, this was the same kitchen we had been looking at since Christmas last year! We ended up not buying it due to her Aunt & Uncle in Michigan sending her a Disney kitchen. I was going to buy it for her birthday, but after the playhouse and other goodies, I thought it would be a bit much. I couldnt believe it when big Sister said that's what she got her! She had no idea its the same kitchen we picked out! Cool! 

I made her several felt food items to go with the kitchen and had put them up around Christmas last year. Super easy, inexpensive to make, lots of patterns and ideas online! Takes very little felt/embroidery floss and can whip them up pretty quickly by hand! Warning: It is addictive.

It was a good day. Lots of fun, treats, laughs and love.
Happy Birthday has been sung. The candle has been blown out.
Abbie is 3.
We love you big girl!