Party Time

Prepare for a photo dump. 

I took hundreds of photos on Saturday and couldn't decide which ones I liked best so I posted all of them.


Pink and gold glittery goodness took over the house.  Between the "happy birthday" banner and gazillion cupcakes and cake pops, we were in girly birthday heaven.
The guest of honor woke up from her nap ready to party…
Birthday Girl was spoiled to the max. She has so many people that love her so well…
And after presents, she attacked a smash cake in the shape of a "1"...
And by "attack" I mean cheese out for everyone staring at her and attempt to lift the plate to show everyone just how pretty it really was…
All in all, the party was a success. It wasn't anything major but it was a sweet afternoon surrounded by some of our favorite people. It was so fun to have our little group of family and friends over to help us celebrate our girl.

Cupcake Love

What would a birthday be without a nice little cupcake? To kick off G's weekend birthday celebration, we gave the little lady her first cupcake last Thursday night after dinner. Her big, blue eyes lit up when she saw Justin bringing that chocolatey goodness towards her highchair.  We lit a single candle and sang "Happy Birthday" off-key and everything.

G ate that cupcake in 5 minutes flat.. 
dad, meatloaf cupcake!
what is this? heaven?
…tastes so good...
… and done. boom.

Monthly Photo Roundup

We made it. All 12 months and we managed to get pictures every time. Success!

Gracyn was a trooper and the last few months I had to call in reinforcements in the form of Daddy to help me get her attention, coax a smile or keep her still for half a second. It's so cool to look at these pictures and compare her from month to month.

I never would have guessed my dark-haired little babe would turn into a blondie! And some days she looks like a red-head. So crazy.
And thanks to my cuzzy Elizabeth for giving Gracyn the cutest little blanket that served as a backdrop!

Gracyn :: One Year

Miss Gracyn, today you are ONE.

Excuse me as I wipe my tears and reminisce about the year gone by. My baby - my sweet, precious little girl is ONE year old. She's not even a baby anymore. We've graduated into toddler-hood and that shit is bananas. A whole new ball game, folks.

I gotta say, this first year of parenthood has been pretty f'ing awesome. It helps that we lucked out and had one of the best babies in the whole wide world. I might be biased but she really is pretty wonderful. Obviously we had challenging times, sleepless nights and days where we had no clue as to what we were doing but overall I feel like we had a pretty good handle on things around here! Everyone's still alive and thriving so I'd say the first year was a success!

Gracyn Girl, your daddy and I love you more than words. I'm sitting here at the computer trying to type a cohesive thought but my mind is running 439 different directions going over everything that makes you wonderfully you.

The way you light up when your daddy walks into the room kills me every time. Your cheesy grin goes from ear to ear and you let out a high-pitched "Hi!"

When we ask for a hug and you come running over with your arms stretched out? Pretty much the best thing ever.

We have the best "conversations" as we get ready in the mornings and in the bathtub at night. You will babble the whole way home from daycare as you tell me about your day. Mama loves those "talks" and I'll have to remember those days when you're a teenager and don't think mom and dad are cool anymore…

You eat your bodyweight at each meal and you will try pretty much anything we give you.

You will find your baby doll and hold her up by your face and pat her back. You are a little mama already and it melts my heart. You are so gentle when you see other babies. We went to the park this last weekend and you walked right up to another kid, said "hi" and waved.

You get excited every time Rufus comes in from outside and even though that damn dog is an asshole 99% of the time, I have to admit that he's really great with you. He doesn't love when you touch his ears or feet so we have to work on that but for the most part, he's gentle.

It was so fun to watch you grow this year. To be able to physically watch you learn a new skill and develop day to day is mind-blowing. You are the best and we are so lucky to be your mama and daddy.
Oh yeah, did I mention you're beautiful? 'Cuz you are...
Happy 1st Birthday, baby. We love you so, so, so much.

{First} Birthday Party Planning

Gracyn's first birthday is rapidly approaching and I still have my Christmas tree up which means I have some serious un-decking of the halls to do in order to get ready for her first birthday bash! This is the first weekend since Christmas where we'll be home so my plan is to get the house back in order, organize some party deets, be crafty and ask myself over and over again, "WHERE the hell did this year go!?!?! HOW is my baby already ONE YEAR OLD!?!?" along with other cliche mom-isms.

The invites have been sent - it'll be a small party with local family and friends and G's grandparents are planning on coming in to town too. The color scheme has been chosen - pink and gold - and I have been pinning cute ideas on good ol' Pinterest. I want it to be a sweet and simple day celebrating our girl.

{ONE :: Outfit}

A girl's gotta look good when she's going to a party, am I right? I would LOVE to buy her a fancy new outfit from one of the hundreds of awesome Etsy shops out there but this mama's on a budget and I'll probably mix and match from stuff we already have. I do want to make a "ONE" onesie so I'm going to hit up the craft stores this weekend to see if I can find some gold iron-on letters to put on either a white or pink long sleeve onesie that she already has in her drawers.
The far-left and far-right pics are my inspiration via Pinterest. The center pic is from her 6-month photo shoot and I'm going to see if I can cram her back into that precious skirt to go with her ensemble. We shall see.

{TWO :: Food}

Yummy cupcakes, cake pops, chex mix, fruit and other goodies are on the menu so far. The party is at 4pm so I'm debating whether or not I need to make a "main dish" to serve as a dinner. If I do, it'll probably be a soup or chili or something that will be easy to feed a medium-sized group of party-goers.
I've never made cake pops before and I'm not known to be Betty Crocker but I'm going to attempt to make some pink and gold treats.

{THREE :: Drinks}

Punch, soda, beer, wine, and champagne. Alcohol at a one-year-old's birthday party? Yes. Absolutely.

{FOUR :: Smash Cake}

I'm really wanting her smash cake to be in the shape of a ONE. I'll probably eff it up royally but my goal is something like this:
…in hopes that SHE ends up looking something like this when it's all said and done:

Seriously, babies covered in cake? Doesn't get much better than that.

{FIVE :: Decorations}

Pink and Gold. Sweet and girly. Simple.

Things like this always seem to look better on paper Pinterest but I think I can pull it off to a degree. Either way, Gracyn will have a wonderful first birthday surrounded by people that love her to the moon and back. Can't wait!

*This is where we cue me getting all teary-eyed reminiscing about the year gone by, looking through old photos and getting ready to parent a toddler!

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A new year.

I've never been big on New Year's resolutions - I don't like to put all that pressure on myself. And let's be honest, I won't be joining a gym any time soon (I have a deep hatred for working out...) or vowing to never eat ice cream again (I need ice cream and I need it now in a bad way...). But, I've been reading a lot of blog posts lately and almost all of them have to do with making the most of 2014 and I plan to do the same.

{Patience is a virtue...}

We had a tough December as a family. My husband's father suffers from dementia and we moved him up to the Kansas City area a couple of years ago so we could help manage his affairs. We had to move him to assisted living (a change that we knew was coming but happened a lot sooner than we had anticipated) and we spent the majority of our time making sure he's settled into his new home.

Kudos to anyone who is a caregiver on a full-time basis because it. is. tough. We are fortunate to have found a facility for my father-in-law and he seems to be doing well there. He is only 58 and to see his disease progress so rapidly is terrifying. I don't always handle the situation with the most grace so one of my goals for the new year is to take a step back and be patient. Patient with my hubby (no one should have to watch their parent go through this) and especially patient with my father-in-law. Instead of stressing over his finances or fretting about another doctor appointment, I need to just relax and enjoy the time we have with him.

{Live in the now...}

Do you know how many times I've wished away the sleepless nights, rushed through the house trying to get everything done or threw f-bombs at the person who just cut me off on the highway? Far too many times. That's not cool. 

What's cool is that even after a sleepless night, my sweet little girl wakes up to greet us with a smile and gives us hugs and kisses all day log. Even though I've gotten what feels like 37 minutes of sleep, it all melts away as soon as I see her.

She won't be teething forever and we will sleep again - some day - but until then I'll try to remember to love the time spent rocking her in the middle of the night. I'll be begging for that time back sooner rather than later, I'm afraid. She's almost ONE for cryin' out loud...

It's cool that even if I don't get the bottles washed or the laundry done, life goes on. I would much rather spend my time at home cuddling, playing, dancing and singing with my little family. The sweeping and dusting and dishes can wait. Fair warning - if you come to my house in 2014 it may be a total pigsty but at least we're livin' it up, one precious moment at a time!

And every once in a while I need to take a chill-pill behind the wheel (see my rant above on being patient...), drop back 100 feet and let the crazies fly down the road. Life is too short and ain't nobody got time for accidents and speeding tickets. 


I cannot live without social media, my phone or the Internet. OK, that may be dramatic but I feel like I'm constantly checking email, Facebook, Instagram and playing Candy Crush like it's my j-o-b. I could use a little tech timeout, especially between the hours of when I'm at home after work and before Gracyn goes to bed. I really don't need to see the latest status update the second it's posted and I will be OK if I put off wasting hours of my life trying to beat the current CC level that has me stumped - seriously - level 275 is impossible. If we unplug from the virtual world and plug into real life a little more, everybody wins.
Don't worry though, I'll still continue to make a frugal attempt at blogging every now and then. I wouldn't want all of my loyal followers family members to go through Gracyn withdrawals or deprive them of Rufus stories and the details of our mundane everyday life...wink wink.

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