Monday, February 21, 2011

we don't do valentines day

well.... at least that has been our tradition.. since the second or third year we were dating. We just never needed to go out to dinner with the masses on that ONE day.. just because you were 'supposed' to. I really didn't need to have a card, preprinted with lovey dovey stuff. I certainly wasn't about to buy a card for my husband since he thought cards are a total waste of money.. ( and then I'd have to have a place to store them!). I didn't want him to buy me chocolate or spend 4 times the amount on roses, just like everyone else was going to get on THAT day. and so.. once we had kids, we deemed Valentine's day to be a family themed and celebrated holiday. I have always dressed the kids in their reds and pinks. We had special treats made together like heart shaped cut out cookies or cupcakes. In fact when Brigham was two and three, I made invitations and invited about 10 of his little friends and their moms (and siblings) to come over for our own special party. We did a craft, read valentine stories, decorated cookies and had a great time. If you know me, or have followed my blog, then you have probably seen my themed meal of a heart shaped meatloaf smothered in sweet ketchup... red potatoes, strawberry jello, pink milk and red velvet cake. The kids always got little baskets of goodies.. and I have to say it was so much fun to do that for them. Its always better to give then to receive.... until 2.14.11 -

I was told on the previous Friday to see if my mom could watch the kids, because Andrew had made reservations for dinner. I was a little shocked and after some prodding, got out of him where it was we were going. ( I hate for him to spend crazy amts on dinner)... he said he got the last reservation at La Scala... only our favorite Italian restaurant (reserved for anniversary dates). I decided.. if my mom could watch the kids, then it would be ok to dine out.. just this once.

Sometime on Monday afternoon, these lovelies were delivered to my door. Gerbera Daiseys are my absolute favorite springy flower.. and since my hubby had surprised me a month earlier with a dozen red roses for my birthday../ These were just PERFECT!!!
we dined on decedent crap and shrimp dip.. then delicious fresh green salads.. and then my meal was THIS. and I added shrimp.

I knew Andrew would splurge on a cannoli and since I am not doing chocolate much these days, I went for a lemon tart filled w/ a ricotta mousse and topped with a fresh raspberry sauce. It was divine. We had a wonderful leisurely dinner in the quaint little candle light setting. Even though the place was packed, it was if we were the only ones there. He surprised me once again, but telling me that I better stay home the following day so that I could be there to receive the following deliveries.

Oh..... I am in LOVE!!! this has been on my wish list for about 6 months.. actually was super close to buying it last fall, and then decided to wait. Kinda glad I did. =).

And.... I have been struggling with having 'me' time and work time, since my business is hopping and keeping me really busy at home. I feel like I have had a hard time balancing my mommy time and my business time. I have been doing all my edits on the desk top in our bedroom office area, but really hate to be cooped up back there when the kids or Andrew are around. My good photographer friend has raved about how healthy it is for her to go to Starbucks and other places around town to do her edits and other biz work. I was a bit leery for awhile about editing on the laptop, but have researched and found that many photographers do it with great success. I have basically been using Andrew's macbookpro all the time for other stuff, so I figured it would be great to have one of my own. We had decided it wasn't necessary for me to have a mac.. though tempting... We had talked about it, but I didn't realize he was serious. As soon as we get PS installed and a few other things, then I will look forward to my 'me' time at the various coffee shops around town as well.
Needless to say.. my valentine's day was one to remember... and I love my man like crazy.. think I have a keeper. And I am kind glad he decided to "do valentine's day" this year. wowza!!
Thank goodness our love languages are not the same.. or we'd be broke.... with a dozen kids!! lol
Hope you were able to enjoy a great celebration with the ones you love.

Friday, February 18, 2011

her party dress

I love petti skirts.. and have a hard time resisting them , both for my girlie and for my photo prop stash.... they can be pretty pricey and so I watch for deals.. (group buys from my photog friends) but they are still about $60..... so I jumped when I got an email from my favorite tutu online shop Fairywonderful, with a bunch of clearance skirts for $26!!! The color combos were not my most favorite, but I knew I could make anything work.... so we paired up this chocolate and fuchsia beauty with a pair of chocolate suede boots... then the night before her party I went running around to find a shirt that matched. After 3 stops.. Target did not disappoint and I found this perfect shirt for her valentine's day party. (picture is a real quick snap after a session I had last wknd. she wasn't really cooperating and wrinkled up the backdrop.. lighting was sketchy! lol, but you get the idea)

I sent her to the child care at her school for lunch after her preK... there was a little boy , about 2 who kept following her around saying "I love you Princess!"... and just as I was picking her up, the children's director came down, saying she was told she had to come see Miss T.. that all the moms that morning had been talking about her sweet outfit.
and attention getter she was. we went to the Olive Garden for dinner that night, and she got raves, and raves by workers and guests. Stopped at Jo Ann's afterwards and several older couples made a point to stop and start a conversation with her.
I told Andrew that if he ever wants female attention, he needs to spend the day with his daughter.. wearing her pettiskirt!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

my valentines

just a real quick recap..... these were what the kids handed out to their friends at school. I have always done home made ones.. usually involving cutting/scrapping/ gluing... this year I decided to go the simple way. Needless to say, homemade ones are super unique, but waaay more expensive than the box of Spongebob ones for $2.47 that he could have gotten from Target. oh, well. he didn't ask, and the kids (and parents raved on these.) oh, and the double bubble taped to the back of these, didn't hurt either. =P I helped out at Brig's party on Monday afternoon. I love being able to get into his class for parties and field trips , since I can't really volunteer on a regular weekly basis with the little ones at home. He loves having me there. It is super cute to see him with all his friends... And Miss T, was super excited for her Valentine party last Thursday. It was just a simple one during class , where they had extra snack and did a themed craft. Moms had to help the kids drop their cards into the friend's bags when we dropped them off. We added a blow pop sucker to the back of hers. Of course it was pink. She was giddy about it.
She didn't really know what this party was all about, but she came bouncing into my bedroom, before my alarm went off, asking if I would drive her to her Valentine party. so cute. (I'll show her party attire in the next post) . and even though little man didn't have his own party, didn't want to leave him out. This shot was one from his 18 month session last month(which , I realize I never shared here... oops.).. dang Facebook gets all the attention lately. lol

I hope you all had a wonderful celebration with your someone (s) special. I know I did.. (saved for another post).

Friday, February 04, 2011


we are slowly starting to thaw out around here.. though we still can't get the van out of the driveway thanks to the plows.. that (finally!) came yesterday!! Kids were out of school all week and Andrew's company closed for Tues and Wed. Not bad when he already doesn't go to work on Mondays. We have had lots of family time.. and while many of my friends were about to lose their minds... surprisingly, I was doing ok. I used an idea from one of my good friends to set up stations around the house. The kids loved it! It helped with keeping order and gave them something to look forward to. At the kitchen table ,I set up Moon Dough at one end, and Bendaroos at the other, At the bar, we had finger paints. At the little table, coloring books and activity books(learning books from a local teacher supply store). In the living room, we had several spots set up.. one had the little rocker and some books. Another section had all of the little people and accessories(car, boar, bus, train,etc). I set the timer for 25 minutes, and they got used to hearing the buzz.. though Miss T had a hard time with patience, as she was ready to scurry on to the next one, saying she "continually heard the buzzer". This gave me time to sit and engage with the kids, but also some uninterrupted time to clean up the kitchen, etc.
It was also super nice that Daddy was home. Him occupying the kiddos during that crazy 4-6pm, allowed for me to actually cook dinners. (instead of the norm.. him walking thru the door and then going back to pick something up or him throwing something together- gotta love that man!)
I made a wonderful cheesy , potato corn chowder one night. We had stew one night. Andrew actually followed the recipe I found for Swedish meatballs and egg noodles, which turned out yummy. (who knew there was tomato paste in Swedish meatballs?). The kids enjoyed lunches of grilled cheese, fruit and chicken noodle soups in variety of characters.. Dora, princesses, Spongebob, Toy Story.. compliments of Grandma. Each evening after dinner.. we watched movies, ate popcorn.. and stayed up late.. ( so they would sleep in.. lol). Good times!!

As you can see we(they... I just ran out and snapped some pics LOL) were able to get out and
enjoy the white stuff. They had a blast sledding (first time!) down the driveway. Andrew had a blast too.. Grandma took Brig for a fun filled snow day at her house yesterday. Today Tatum got her day, since Brig went back to school. It has just been me and the baby .. and laundry.. Marc Cohn, and my editing.. kinda nice to have the peace and quiet. Looking forward to a great weekend starting in a couple of hours!! lol

And.. while I didn't make an official announcement.. the date on my last blog post kinda gave it away! LOL...
I decided to take kind of a break from the computer and blogging.. and reading other people's blogs..and face book even( at least not what I was spending on fb)..
Last fall during my busy , busy time in business.. I was always getting sucked in to face book longer than I needed to, or emailing /chatting with friends.. I found tons of decorating and nifty craft and parenting blogs, that while informative, and many with a spiritual tone, (so I tried to justify my time spent there... ) My time was suffering... actually.. I was just not prioritizing my time in the correct ways. My work was keeping me on the computer til' wee hours and by early December , I was shot.. physically and emotionally. My kids were not getting the focused attention that I needed and I was realizing that their days of being small and cute were fleeting fast.
After a good long talk with a great girl friend.. she reminded me, that even if I didn't look at fb for 9 hours.. that same stuff would still be there. I pulled back (way back in the fall ) from my photo message boards too, just not having the time for it either. Stopped reading blogs....except my GA friend.. because she would post on FB her links! lol- so I knew when she posted... even then I missed a bunch. I realized that yes.. life does and DID go on, if I didn't keep up with what was out there. (however, I did realize, that like a lot of ppl, fb has been the communication tool for most.. so if I didn't catch a friend's status update, then I was out of the loop and found out several days later at church or mom's group..) *oops*. January was a good month of reorganization, and while a certain (condition-more on that later) has put me back in a bit of a slump.. I am moving forward and trying to get some unfinished projects for my business completed. I am super excited about some new things to be revealed , hopefully by early next week.. Also, need to catch back up on this here , blog.. I need a Christmas/winter break recap of pictures. Our family has been doing SO much... and I need to be sure that I get it down here , before I forget!
Started a new bible study in Jan too.. and it was exactly what I needed to keep me grounded and focused. LOVE that time. (and the kick in the pants to get in the word every day to keep up w/my homework.. lol).
So while some folks... and I will admit, that I was a bit skeptical of our first snow day, when there wasn't ANY snow coming down.... I am thankful for the time we had this week as a family.
Kinda feels like a mini vaca only we were stuck in our home.. lol- which by the way is starting the major de-cluttering undertaking this weekend.
Looking forward to fun, friends and a bunch of work this weekend! (but I secretly love to make lists... so I can cross things off!)
If you have snow... then I hope you are staying warm and able to enjoy the beauty that comes with it!


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