46 / 52 : “Balloons”

What is it about those colorful, drifting ovals? Light as air, tied to a string, static electricity, happy decor, joyful atmosphere – it just isn’t a birthday around here without a flock of floating fun. This year my little boy is a big man…sigh… We celebrated with just the four of us and went out to dinner, per the birthday boy’s request, to Chick-fil-A. I made him a chocolate chip cookie cake. YUM. It was nice.

46 / 52 : “Balloons”

Balloons

I love a birthday. I love planning them, I love photographing, participating, celebrating, eating, gift-giving…it is a beautiful thing. Last night I decorated the house a bit so the birthday kid would wake up to find streamers, balloons, signs, etc… It was precious to hear little feet trot down the hall, then little voices say, “Mommy! There is a birthday out there!” Makes staying up late WORTH. IT.

Birthday boy

Here is the most handsome child I have ever seen with his cookie cake. I found the recipe here, via Pinterest, then embellished it with a little icing and sprinkles. It is reaaaaaally good. I had always wanted to make a giant chocolate chip cookie!

37 / 52 : “Aunt”

She is here! My precious little niece. She is absolutely beautiful. My dear sister-in-law and her wonderful husband have begun an amazing family together. So tiny, so sweet, so peaceful. I just love her. This is my first time being an Aunt…I can’t wait to spoil this precious girl!

37 / 52 : “Aunt”

What a blessing she is to our family already. My kids, her only cousins, simply adore her and could not wait to meet her this past weekend. I am so excited for them to grow up together!

31 / 52 : “Precious Girl”

The birthday of my AMAZING daughter…what an event! Hard to believe it has been 2 years since that hospital stay and bringing home that tiny Peanut. She is our little treasure! Her party had a Sesame Street theme, naturally. Who doesn’t love that little, red monster? šŸ™‚ She was surrounded by those that love her, tasty food, a pool and some lovely presents. God even held off the torrential downpour and brought out the sun for all the kiddies to play in the pool for a little while…and us to get our grill on!

31 / 52 : “Precious Girl”

Does it get any cuter than that Precious Girl with a smashed Elmo cupcake on her face? I am so in love.

I had so much fun pulling ideas and getting ready for her party. I have Pinterest to thank once again. I took some ideas I saw and made them my own. His eyes were filled with a Ā fruit or vegetable dip accordingly.

I made chocolate Cookie Monster cupcakes and “funfetti” Elmo cupcakes. Both had candy melts for eyes. Elmo’s nose was a jelly bean and Cookie had a cookie of course. Cute and yummy, too.

I am so grateful for those who helped out and all who were able to come and enjoy my Baby’s special day. Our loved ones mean the world to us, even the ones which distance separates from us. They were there in our hearts.

29 / 52 : “Crafty”

On Saturday (when this was suppose to be posted) IĀ co-hostedĀ a baby shower for my sister-in-law. I am going to be an AUNT! I am very excited. That party gave me the opportunity to be crafty again. It has been a while since I created anything. It was quite refreshing. I made little food labels, hanging pom poms, advice cards, etc… My favorite were the little monogrammed cupcake toppers.

29 / 52 : “Crafty”

I haveĀ PinterestĀ to thank for a lot of the party ideas. It was fun exploring and planning, then finally making plans into reality.I am a detail person and I enjoy tedious tasks. I find it relaxing. It gives me time to think. I also like being resourceful. It is a good thing too, when you are a stay-at-home mom with two parties to plan in one month, you have to be!

Strawberry with Homemade Frosting

28 / 52 : “Bubble”

Yesterday my little family took a trip to the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth, Virginia. Didn’t know what to expect, but we were VERY, pleasantly surprised. It was a great museum! Wow…the kids had a blast and I had so much fun documenting their experiences through my lens. One of our favorite areas in the museum was the bubble room. They even had a huge bubble circle that you could stand inside of and make a bubble around you. I have to admit, I do love some bubbles.

28 / 52 : “Bubble”

Sometimes when I am blowing bubbles for my kids outside, I find myself just blowing away even when they have moved on to something else. It is a little bit peaceful and slightly magical to watch the tiny circles floating through the air. It definitely brings out the kid it me.

Had to share my cute kids marveling at the gigantic bubble šŸ™‚

26 / 52 : “Growing Up”

Today was a big day in my household. I have no more babies. My precious daughter went to bed in her “big girl bed” for the first time. It literally feels like she just came home from the hospital. I am not sure how she grew up so fast. As I sang her favorite lullaby, she hugged on her blankie and her Cookie Monster. I began to tear up looking into her big, blue eyes. I asked her if she was going to stay in her big girl bed and go to sleep, I got the sweetest, little answer: “yes.”

26 / 52 : “GROWING UP”

And she did…she cried for a few minutes, which about made my heart break…she never came out of her room and went to sleep like a big girl. I feel like I am just a blink away from an empty nest…

21 / 52 : “Scars”

This week I have been thinking and noticing all the markings on my skin. Because of recent health issues, I have a lot more marks than I once did. All these markings have a story; they make up who I am. Some I’ve had ever since I was little, some are more recent. Some are emotionally deep, some I question where they came from. Some I am grateful for, some I wish would just disappear.

21 / 52 : “Scars”

These scars on my knee are from what I call a miracle. One day I was sitting at my desk and my one year old daughter walked up to where the dinner trays were sitting on the outside of my desk and began pulling them. Before I could stop her they started falling on her. Somehow I was out from under my desk, she was next to me and the trays and stand were on top of me…and I was in pain. My little, sweet baby got up and gave me a kiss, then went about her business. All I could do was thank God that it was me and not her under the trays. I bashed up my feet, knee and hand – I was bleeding and hurting. I still cannot figure out how I got to where I did. A miracle.

On a side note…knees are weird. They are very awkward looking in a photo. I have to admit, I have never really attempted knee photography before – definitely not my favorite subject. I have learned this week that knees are not photogenic…or maybe it’s just my knees.

19 / 52 : “Heartbeats”

This self portrait is pretty simple. I may not be physically present, but I am represented. This may not be the most high quality, well done, put together photograph, but it is me, it is them, it is us.

19 / 52 : “Heartbeats”

These two photos were taken this week of my sweet heartbeats doing things they love. My daughter is “rock rock”ing in the big rocking chair at the library and my son is riding a ride a Busch Gardens. I think they are the best kids in the world (I am bias of course).

It is funny to see yourself in your children. Their expressions, their mannerisms, their language – they are always watching and listening. They are tiny reflections. It still amazes me that I have two little people running around my house that have opinions and minds of their own – who look up to me for love and guidance. I feel so inadequate most of the time. I can’t believe God entrusted me with these precious lives. They truly are the beats of my heart.

Garden Morning

Down in the garden a cool breeze blew. On that breeze bubbles drifted and giggles danced. A sweet morning spent in the fresh, Spring air.

Tomatoes blossom. Peppers stretch their leaves.

Even small gardens have small inhabitants. Peacefully passing time.

Precious smiles. Little explorers. Bubble enthusiasts.

Early growth brings hope for harvest.

Nature is beautiful.

Mother’s Day

I love being a Mother. I even get a special day. I chose this year to spend the day at Busch Gardens with my dear family. Why not spend a beautiful day, with beautiful weather at the most beautiful park in the world? It was wonderful!

It was the first time we took my sweet daughter without a stroller. It was an intimidating venture, but both kids did great walking and playing for hours around the park. We rode rides, munched popcorn, learned about animals, had a yummy BBQ lunch and I got a sweet Mommy’s Day gift – a caricature of my kiddos!

My precious daughter had a blast not being confined to a stroller, the only thing was she kept falling on her knees! She got a little beat up, but that kid is a trooper and it didn’t bother her much at all. She had way too much fun exploring and riding rides. It was all smiles on the egg ride and all “ohh’s” and “wow’s” as she bobbed up and down on theĀ carousel.

My sweet son always has fun at Busch. He loves all the rides he can get on! He is my little curious monkey. As soon as he gets on a ride, while waiting for it to begin, he starts looking around at the buckles, levers, water, buttons – whatever happens to be around as he sits. He has figured out how to get out of theĀ seat beltĀ on one of the rides – needless to say he does not ride that one alone anymore.

I want to wish all the amazing moms I know…and those that I don’t…a happy belated Mother’s Day! I hope you all had lovely day yesterday like I did… God Bless!