home || about me || tutorials || shop || my favorite blogs || home education

31 August 2013

The merits of rising early

In honor of Labor Day weekend, I woke up this morning at 4:45...am...in the morning...yes...very crazy early...on a Saturday. Thank goodness it was worth it. The kids slept in their clothes last night so we could wake them up and be out the door, bed-head and all.

We went to the Colorado Classic Balloon Festival, which is an amazing, free event we try to attend each Labor Day weekend. Truett was a little traumatized by the early morning. The loud, flaring balloon torch thing that lit up directly as we were passing by very closely didn't help much, either. He mostly sat in my lap the entire morning. Two-year-old boy snuggles? I'll take them when I get them!

Maren, on the other hand, was thrilled with the morning's festivities. What's not to love about a field full of colorful objects ascending in the air around you?

They have a sweet, special relationship. I'm glad Maren loves her daddy so much.

Maren's favorite balloon was the pink heart one, of course.

Turned out, our little spot was perfect for watching balloons take off over our heads. Someday Brett and I are going to go for a balloon ride.

So may balloons!

I can't say Smokey was my favorite balloon, but he did take off right behind us, which was pretty cool to watch.

Tired little guy...

A balloon chair! This is NOT how Brett and I will enjoy our one-day ride!

The black and white checkered balloon was a neat contrast to all the colored ones.

...and, the poor guy didn't even make it through his lunch.

Tiredness aside, I'm glad for our little Labor Day tradition. What fun things are on your agenda for the weekend?

28 August 2013

Come and see...

Autumn is just around the corner and I've been busy creating some fun new additions for the shop! If you click on the pictures, they will take you right to the listings.

My favorite cousin gave me a flaxseed wrap as a gift a couple of years ago, and it quickly become one of my favorite things she's given me. I have since given several away as gifts...new moms love them, grandmas love them, teachers love them, kids love them...and you will, too! These wraps can be stored in the freezer or warmed in the microwave...I especially love mine heated up during the cooler months.

I've also been having fun creating these special little collages. I love mixing the different patterns and colors...each one is unique! The current listings are for 4x6 small houses...wouldn't they be a great addition to a gallery or collage wall?

I've got several more new items that will be listed soon...and, how about a coupon code?! Use SEPTEMBER20 for 20% off your orders throughout the entire month!

19 August 2013

She turned 5

It happened. Maren turned 5. The strange thing is, I remember things about being 5. I'm sure she will, too. We had a day filled with celebrating her, and doing things she thought were very special. No big party with friends this year, which was kind of nice. I'm pretty sure she didn't even miss it!

We had a special breakfast and opened a few gifts in the morning. She got a Caboodle for all of her little treasures.

A special outfit from Uncle Ben, Aunt Allison, Paige, Will, Annie and Isaac...

Maren also got to open several cards from far-away family.

We surprised Maren with a trip to the American Girl store in Denver. Felicity came along.

We stopped at the bank for Maren to cash her birthday checks...she was very serious about signing them by herself...so grown-up!

Maren chose to get Saige with her money...and we all enjoyed a birthday lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.

After lunch we did a little shopping for some new shoes.

Truett spent the day with Papa and Gigi, and we celebrated with a family dinner at their house when we were finished with our 5-year-old-date-day.

A little swimming...

...we forgot swimsuits (oops!)

Getting warmed up with Gigi!

We were glad to have Maren's great-grandpa join us. Maren still has 5 living great-grandparents!

Uncle Mike, Aunt Tiffany, and Ian joined us.

Some new puppies...

And homemade chocolate lovers birthday cake with pink frosting. I might have to share this recipe sometime...it was SO yummy!

I love Truett's face in this one...

Five things I especially love about Maren:

1. She is creative and loves pretend play
2. She makes friends easily everywhere we go...and is quick to make others feel loved and welcome
3. She is loyal and has a special love for her family...and a special friendship with Truett
4. She loves to sing and worship
5. She has a unique vocabulary and asks endless questions about the world around her

15 August 2013

Summer...a post in pictures

Have I really not posted since May? Obviously, a lot has happened since then! Thank you for your sweet emails and inquiries as to my whereabouts. Our little family has had a full summer of learning, growing, making memories, visiting family, and mostly just enjoying time together. I've chosen some highlights from our summer to share...knowing I'll never take the time to go back and document each individual event.

We've enjoyed spending time at our neighborhood pool...both kids have become quite the brave little swimmers this year.

In June, we celebrated Truett's 2nd birthday! I could write so much more about my special little guy, but that will have to wait for another time. Our family is blessed by his quirky, happy self each day and we loved having a couple of opportunities to celebrate his life early in the summer.


Maren loved participating in VBS this year...this was hat day with her special cousin/friend, Hannah.

We also celebrated extended family birthdays with a picnic at the park. My sister-in-law, Tiffany, and cousin Carisa are always so much fun to see!

Fourth of July...and maybe one of my favorite pictures of these two. Truett's green blanket is a permanent fixture in our lives...and I love how close Maren and Truett have become. They are at the most fun ages right now...lots of laughing these days!

Sweet boy...

Maren loved riding her 2-wheeler in the parade this year. What happened to my baby?!?!

Maren and Gigi enjoying the bagpipes.

Papa got to ride in the parade, but came to watch the last half with us.

We took the kids camping twice this summer. The first time was a disaster, but the second time was so much fun. We spent a weekend with friends and family from church...22 adults and 22 kids! We had a beautiful campsite with the best company...I think our entire family is already anticipating a return trip next year!

It was impossible not to praise God in this beautiful place...we serve the most inspiring Creator!

Brett and I splurged on a date night...complete with babysitter, dinner, movie and ice-cream. We saw Mud at a small local theater downtown and both loved it. I am always grateful for opportunities to date my husband...he makes me laugh, we share our dreams and talk about what we're learning. Nights like these are always so special.

Towards the end of July we packed up and drove across the country to visit my family in Michigan. We stopped in Chicago to pick up my brother, Zach. He lives just a few blocks from Millennium Park, so we took a couple of hours to walk around the city.

The kids loved playing in the fountain...especially after lots of hours driving in the car.

Our final road-trip destination was in northern Michigan at my family's lake house. We had a chillier-than-hoped-for week, but we still made plenty of great memories. The kids didn't let the cooler temps keep them out of the water!

Truett loves playing with buttons and steering wheels, so he spent lots of time in the boat.

The adults didn't spend much time in the water, but Grams was always willing to warm Maren up after her swims.

Truett had a great buddy in my dad. They spent lots of time together during the week.

The kids found a caterpillar and managed to keep track of it for a couple of days...such fascination!

I could not believe how brave Maren was on the tube! She loved going fast and being whipped in and out of the wake. It's been a long time since I've laughed as hard as I did while tubing with Brett and Maren.

Maren also loved the EZ Ski...she would've gone around and around all day if we'd have let her.

My cousin's little guy, Max, is 3 and he and Truett had a blast together. They had little conversations, jumped together on the trampoline when the big kids were doing something else, shared snacks and toys, and became great friends.

We celebrated Maren's birthday early with my parents. She got some new things for her ballet/tap class she'll be starting this fall. I think she was just a little excited.

We really missed having my brother's family with us at the lake this summer, but were thankful for other extended cousins...it's such a blessing to have so many kids so close in age! Maren, Ellie, Hailey, Drew, and Jack had so much fun together. It's a treat to watch this new generation making similar memories to ones I cherish from my own childhood...the kids ate s'mores, raced around the house with sparklers, jumped on the trampoline, played capture the flag, took nighttime swims...all things I remember doing as a little girl in this exact same place. What a gift to share these memories and to make new ones with my own kids!

Whew! That was a lot of pictures...hopefully I'll post again before October. :) Happy summer!