Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Emersyn's 2nd Birthday Party

Emersyn's First Birthday

Emersyn's Second Birthday

Emersyn's second birthday was wonderful. I was SO excited to celebrate it with her this year. Last year was fun yes, but she was still too little to really appreciate it. This year I would ask her, "whose birthday is it??" and she would say shyly "Emersyn" with a big old smile. I loved it!!!

We started out her birthday celebration with a quick walk in the morning to get some pictures before we met up with Brett's parents and aunt for a birthday brunch. Ems just loved her "Abby Cadabby" balloon. We bought it at the party store the day before her birthday when Brett and I were out running errands while Ems slept at her Nana's. When Emersyn woke up on her birthday we went into her room with the balloon and sang happy birthday to her. We got it on video. It was pretty cute. She loved this balloon.

After our quick little walk and photo shoot, we headed to "Biscuits" for breakfast.

Emersyn's cousin Annabel was able to come to breakfast which was fun!

Eatin' strawberries and pancakes, yummy!!

After breakfast we went and picked up her cake and then headed home. I was hoping Emersyn wouldn't continue the "I don't take a nap on my birthday" policy that she instituted last year and luckily she didn't. She got a great nap and I had to wake her up to leave even!

Emersyn's party was at 5pm so it gave us a good chunk of the afternoon to get stuff done. I made PB&J and ham and cheese sandwiches for the kids and cut them up with flower shaped cookie cutters. They turned out really really cute! They were a little time consuming though. I also frosted all the cupcakes and made the toppers in the afternoon.

Emersyn and Daddy bringing the balloons to the park.

Someone's excited to party!!

For dinner I served BBQ Crockpot Pulled Chicken, coleslaw (that you put on the sandwich), a macaroni salad that Brett's mom made, grapes, strawberries, rainbow goldfish, kettle potato chips, a veggie tray, and then dessert.

Rowen about to enjoy a cupcake!

Cool cape from Christopher!!

Stella, one of Emersyn's bestie's enjoying the bubble machine. We rented it from a party place for $12.95. It was money WELL spent.

Ems got Minnie panties for a gift and she insisted on putting them on her head. Crazy girl.

Birth class buddies. I think they'll be friends forever. :)

Cake is DELISH.

The look on her face makes my heart so happy. Emersyn was running through the bubbles and screaming with joy. It was a memory I'll never ever forget.

I attempted to recreate this picture from last year:

However, the sun was in their eyes more this year and they were NOT interested in sitting still. Little turkeys. :)

All the kids:

Rishi, Sanjana, Deepak (head's cut off, my bad!!!), Hazel, Hudson, Addalyn, Annabel, Rowen, Charlotte, Christopher, Evan, Kaypha, Ashlin, Stella, Emery, Ellie, Maddie and Jaiden. Gunnar was there too but his mom must have already grabbed him when this picture was taken. Also not pictured: Sophia...her mom's due in 2 weeks. :)

We had such a great time. Emersyn was blessed with some wonderful memories and gifts. We had close to 40 adults and lots of kids. This was only the second birthday party I have ever thrown for my daughter but I learned a lot. For one, we won't be using that park again. :( The wind was just TOO intense. It was like that last year and I think I kinda forgot about it. But it made it so the balloons just wouldn't cooperate at ALL, plates and napkins kept blowing around everywhere, and it got pretty cold when the sun went down. We'll be looking for a different venue next year. Also, I will NEVER have Emersyn's party on her birthday again. At the end of her birthday my house was such a mess and I was cleaning up and I realized that all I wanted to do was snuggle with my birthday girl. So much of her birthday was spent concentrating on her party. Never again. I don't regret doing it this year on her birthday but feel like I learned a good lesson. Plus, it spreads the celebration out a bit too which is always fun. :)

I didn't get near as many pictures as I wanted to because last year my brother took most of them but he couldn't come this year; his sister-in-law was getting married that same day. We missed Uncle David and Auntie Jenny at the party, as well as Emersyn's other Aunties and Uncle that live out of state.

'Til next year! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Emersyn

Dear sweet Emersyn,

Every since I had you I am instantly teary eyed when it comes to putting into words how much I love you. Just typing out "happy 2nd birthday" did me in. They are happy tears though, for my life has never been the same since that very very special August 28th at 3:45 in the morning.

I cannot believe you are two years old. I thank God each and every night for your health Emersyn. I pray that God will protect your mind, your heart, and your body from any disease or illness and He has been so faithful to do so. Every night I watch you sleep and you are the picture of perfection. Your hair is such a beautiful strawberry blonde color and I love how long it's getting. Mommy is still working on perfecting the art of piggy tails. You have such an adorable little body too, a miniature little person. Your baby fat has lessened for the most part, though you do still have a belly on you, though I'm not one to talk. :) You have the cutest legs with shapely little calves. I love painting your toe nails, they look adorable pink.

You are just the right blend of girly and tough. You love your bike, airplanes and trucks but also love your purse, mommy's make up and cooking. I wouldn't say you are a daddy's girl or a mommy's girl...you are both of our girl and I truly believe you love us equally but differently. You love your mommy's snuggles and your daddy's flips. You love your mommy's silly songs and your daddy's silly snuggles.

You are going to make a great big sister someday. I'm not sure exactly when that day will be but you never know, it could be before your next birthday!! You are very maternal, love taking care of your babies and feeding them. Last night you were rocking your baby and giving her the most tender sweet kisses while you sang to her. You often come and tell me that your baby is poopy and and then make the same gagging noises that I make when I change you as you wipe their bums.

Here are some stats about you: I'm not sure how tall you are but I know you weigh about 27 pounds. You wear a 2T in most brands, and a 3T in some other brands even which is crazy. Your favorite foods are: STRAWBERRIES!! (You ask for these by name almost daily and can eat through a giant container from Costco in two days), cottage cheese, mac and cheese, zucchini, corn on the cob (you just tried it the other day and LOVED it!) steak (pretty much the only meat you'll eat except for that you ate some chicken the other night but only when I told you it was Daddy's and you thought you were stealing it from him, muaha!), blueberries, oatmeal, waffles, watermelon, blackberries, really any kind of berry really, yogurt, cucumbers, guacamole, beans, cantaloupe, banana bread muffines and smoothies that Daddy makes you out of bananas, blueberries and milk. You also loooove ice cream but who doesn't. The other night your Nana and Papa came over for dinner and at dessert time you sat with Nana because you knew she would share and then when she was done you came over to mooch off mama. I happily shared with you.

Some of my favorite things about you: when we're on a walk and you look up and me and say, "hi mama"...I know it comes from a happy place in your heart; love how you say "bye bye" to everything, "bye bye home" when we pull out of the drive way, "bye bye mail" when we are done getting the mail, "bye bye Starbucks"; when you run and jump on my bed and pillow and laugh hysterically because I pretend it makes me really mad and you think it's hilarious, your MiMi started that game with you; when I hear you singing to yourself in the house, usually singing "happy birthday dear Annabel" in a really high pictched voice; how you ask to watch "Babies" (AFV) when it's time to go to bed because you know that's Daddy's favorite show, during football season you ask to watch "go ball"; you will call yourself a turkey before I get a chance to, like when you steal the remote control from me you will run away and show it to me from across the room and say, "turkeeee"; you add an "eee" to everything...."I'm cold-eee", "my phone-eee"; you've started calling us "mommy-o" and "daddio" just to be silly; you are very independent and kinda bossy sometimes, you will tell me to NOT cut things for you, demand to hold things, and say "Emmy self!!!" whenever you see me cooking because you want to make it very clear that you plan on feeding yourself; you love your Crocs; you love sitting at the computer and saying "my typing!!"; if I can't find something it's likely that you put in in your microwave (like my keys, my phone, your snack, etc.); you will do something funny and then yell "watch!!!!", whenever we are dancing you say "watch daddy!!!" so that he will watch us and of course he does; oh Emersyn, there are just too many cute things to name!!!

You love music. You love Carrie Underwood and ask to listen to "party" (Undo It) and "cowboy" (Cowboy Casanova). You also love the "elmo" song (Jason Mraz's Sesame Strett version of "I'm Yours"). You love the worship music and church and love dancing in the car. Recently you have started pretending you are snapping to the music and it's adorable.

Emersyn Grace, you live in the moment. Your mommy is a planner to the core. Sometimes I will be telling you about the fun things we have planned for the day or even the week and you are quick to remind me of what we need to do first. Like we will be eating dinner and I'll ask you if we should go on a walk after dinner and you'll say "eat dinner first". You like to tell me what needs to be done "first". It encourages me to enjoy the present, not be so anxious for the future. You are wise beyond your years sweet girl.

You are learning your ABC's and can sing much of the song. You love your "Letter Factory" DVD and are repeating all the letters and phonetic sounds; you are very smart. You can count to three, love to say "ready set go" and are a good little helper around the house. You can pick up your toys, put away some of your laundry and love to wipe down surfaces with baby wipes.

Yesterday I was doing some chores around the house and I was very aware that you were both observing me and copying me. I know you are watching me and this is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I promise to be the best woman I can be for you to look up to. Becoming your mother has changed me forever sweet girl and everything good that is in my life is because of God's grace and His goodness. You are a tremendously blessed little girl. Your parents both love each other and you very much. Your daddy and mommy work hard to provide a wonderful lifestyle for you. You have many many incredible people in your life that love you and us to pieces and for that we thank God every day.

I pray that your life as a 2 year old is blessed with health and happiness. I pray that you continue to learn and grow and that God guides me as your mama. He is so faithful and I thank Him every day for you and your Daddy. Thank you for the sunshine and joy that you bring to my life.

I love you forever and ever Emersyn Grace.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} I am pretty sure that this little girls face is going to be plastered all over the Hillsboro Farmer's Market next weekend via a "Wanted" poster.

Wanted: Farmer's Market Bandit
Crime: Stealing berries from mulitple booths with reckless oblivion.
Ha ha.
No really, I could hardly keep up with Emersyn on Saturday. She would run from booth to booth, jacking blackberries in particular. Several booth vendor's were not pleased. Finally I bought this thing of blueberries (a much less mess berry) for Ems to munch on and she was a happy camper.
{2} One of my best friends is due with her first baby, a little girl, in three weeks. I get giddy excited when I think of holding a newborn.
{3} Yummiest thing ever: sliced sweet onions, crushed fresh garlic, drizzle of olive oil, mix together in a jimmy rigged foil pouch and then grill. Seriously.
{4} This is how Emersyn experiences a time out at a resteraunt.

Brett and I will laugh and have ourselves a good old time and Emersyn misses out on all the fun due to her naughty behavior. How sad.
{5} I used to dread summer ending but now I don't so much. I LOVE fall and there's something about summer that has not encouraged me to say on the *ahem* weight loss wagon.
{6} Emersyn loves guacamole. We may or may not have let her eat it with a spoon the other day.
Okay, we did.
{7} This week my baby girl turns TWO. In one month my husband turns 30. Wow.
{8} Over the weekend I was having SO much fun with my sweet girl. At one point, a mean voice whispered in my ear (imaginary voice mind you), "don't you wish you got to do this everyday with her and didn't have to work". I told that voice to shut it! I wasn't about to let the devil ruin my beautiful moment with my little lady. I'm livin' in the moment people, enjoying each minute and hour for what it is and not dwelling on what I can't change. And because of that, my life is wonderful. Not perfect but wonderful. :)
{9} I'm totally going to get Emersyn some cowboy boots again this fall. I just put away her boots from last fall and they were too darn cute.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Balance of Being Busy

Something I am constantly striving for and shockingly enough, actually feel like I'm coming close(r) to acheiving.

When Emersyn was younger, I hoarded our time together. I didn't pursue friendships for myself except for a select few, and I defined my quality time with her as us at home, doing nothing but soaking in each other's presence. But instead of actually soaking in Emersyn's prescense, I often took advantage of her sweet easy going disposition and mastered the art of keeping up with the laundry, making dinner each night and having a presentable home. I struggled very much with feeling adequate as a new mom (which I'm finding we ALL do) and those feelings mixed with some good old fashioned hormones led to a mild case of postpartum depression. I talked with a counselor, which I HIGHLY recommend if you are struggling with any sort of sadness or anxiety, and through a couple 30 minute chats I was able to redefine some of my expectations. Most of our chats consisted of ME chatting myself through my feelings. One thing that the counselor made me realize was that by participating in activities and playdates with Emersyn, I might actually pay more attention to her versus being the busy body that I am at home and trying to be the queen of multi-tasking.

So, over time I started to fill up our schedule more. Because of Brett's work schedule, my availability for social time is kinda limited. He is off Thursday and Friday so those are special family days for us and then most of my friends have their family days on the weekends so I am only left with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to hang out with mama's on playdates. Tuesdays I am usually involved in something at church and so Monday's and Wednesday's quickly became full with playdates and other fun social things. And yet, I found myself overwhelmed with the same inadequate feelings and this time, my house was a MESS due to lack of time at home. My house being messy leads to a wickedly cranky Patti. In addition, I started to feel like Emersyn was just plain tired. It's a lot for a toddler to be going going going all the time.

Thus, I have tried to scale life back down to a reasonable pace. I have realized that Emersyn and I NEED mornings at home together on days that I work occasionally. It's quality time that both her and I enjoy and it makes for a much happier mommy and toddler. This means that sometimes I let people down when I realize that's 3 weeks before I can get together but the friends that truly understand that are the ones that I treasure the most.



This is a word that makes me cringe.

Every so often a friend will say, "think you can squeeze us into your busy schedule"? Or last week I met with the women's ministry director at church and she said that she had been wanting me to get involved for some time but that several people had told her that I was too "busy".

I am blessed to have a large network of friends through going to a large church, reconnecting with high school friends via Facebook, new mommy friends that I meet through current mommy friends, etc. Because of my limited availability like I explained earlier, yes, it does appear that I am *busy*. But I still have priorities. I still want a pie chart of my time to reflect quality activites; activities that matter in light of eternity ya know? I never want to give my friends the impression that I am too *busy* for them....that just makes me sad. My neighbors paid for a babysitter the other day and I asked why they didn't ask me first (I am a HUGE believer in child care swapping, for reals) and she said because she knows I am always *busy*. I think she was also respecting the fact that it was one of my family days but still, I would have loved to be asked and had the opportunity to help them out. I am inspired when I hang out with awesome women. I am so grateful for my farmer's market buddy whose husband also works on Saturdays. It's NO fun to go to the market by yourself (even with Emersyn), surrounded by families whose husbands DON'T work on the weekends. Hanging out with Caitlin makes me forget that and makes me LOVE my Saturdays, even though Brett works. Sundays are a little harder because I hate going to church alone but that will change once our church goes back to two services in the fall. Anyways, I digress......

Yes, our lives are busy but in part, that is because we LOVE life. We aren't major homebodies on our days off; we love to go to the park, on bike rides, shopping, etc. I'm sure it makes us appear as always doing something but that's just how Brett and I are and it makes us happy for the most part. Sometimes we end up with a day off where we do nothing and those are relaxing too.

This morning I skipped my Tuesday morning playgroup at church. I needed a morning "off". It was glorious. Emersyn and I played. We colored. We laughed. I went into my kitchen and saw that the dishwasher needs to be emptied and some dishes done. But then I realized, I am going to spend 30 minutes cleaning this kitchen only to come home and mess it up again making dinner. No thank you. Instead I danced with my baby.

I also did something I didn't think was possible before. I did my devotions while Emersyn was up and playing. I used to think that my quiet time needed to be done in the early morning, long before anyone was awake in my home. But that didn't happen this morning and I just said, I'm going to do it anyways! And it was awesome. I would read a page or two, write in my prayer journal, then pause to color with Emersyn. I told Emersyn, "mommy is going to have some quiet time, would you like to read or color with me?" and she loved it. I love the idea of her growing up, knowing that her mama values her time with the Lord and that she seeks to better herself as a person. Emersyn happily colored beside me for approximately two minutes and it was great. :)

I am finding a lot of freedom in life by letting things go. I have a whole post on marriage brewing in my head on that topic even. :) I've realized that in order to acheive the balance that I aspire to in life, that means that my kitchen isn't always going to be clean, the laundry hamper might never be empty, and there may be an ever growing stack of un-read magazines in the basket next to the chair in my living room. But my daughter will be happy and feel loved, my husband will feel like his home is one of warmth and affection versus a crazy woman always complaining about things not being perfect enough, and I will feel like I AM adequate through the guidance of the Lord.

I was asked recently to get on board with the women's ministry team at my church and of course, my initial thought is "I don't have any time!!!". But this is something I want to make time for. Investing in other women, being an example for my daughter. One time Brett told me that I needed to not stress about being involved in ministry at the sacrifice of occasional time with Emersyn. He told me that Emersyn will never remember occasional evenings away from mama but she will appreciate the kind of person I am as she grows older. That thought really stuck with me.

I think it's so important in life that we don't get caught up in the mirage that we think life *should* be at the cost of not enjoying how life truly *is*. I will not be hostage to the way of thinking that says, "someday when you lose the weight, someday when you don't work, someday when you have a bigger house, someday someday someday". Instead I will appreciate TODAY and make it the best one possible. (I'm pretty sure I've written this 1000 times before)

I hope these jumbled thoughts make sense and by NO means am I trying to convince you all that I've got life figured out. If anyone out there DOES figure life out, will you let me know?? :) It's therapeutic for me to blog out my thoughts, anyone else feel that way too? :)

Angie Smith wrote a great post today that really got me thinking too and actually had a lot of similarities with some of my overall thoughts today. Click here to go to her blog.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} It's official. I'm growing my hair out. I'm excited. I came to this decision for a couple reasons. One, I'm bored with my hair. Two, I believe that women reach a certain age where it's no longer okay for them to have long hair. I am not sure what age this is, nor do I think that I am anywhere near this age. BUT I do realize that I am still kinda young(ish) so I should rock the long hair while it's still cool on me. Wish me luck.

{2} This morning on the way to her Nana's house (where Emersyn goes while I am working in the afternoon), Emersyn says, "Starbucks time! no mama work.....Starbucks time, no mama work". It was adorable. I hadn't said anything about going to work OR Starbucks but it's just what her little mind thought would be fun.

{3} I have a fridge stocked with fresh fruits and veggies. Yesterday I went to Costco and bought sugar snap peas, strawberries, spinach and two bundles of bananas. My lunch today is super healthy and delicious. I really should have been a good wife and made Brett a lunch but I didn't get up in time. FAIL. Anyways, I am determined to get back on track with healthy eating and it's all about one meal at a time, one bite at a time.

{4} Last weekend while I was cleaning my bathroom, I got inspired to be sorta crafty so I found an old frame and printed this scripture onto some photo paper, framed it and placed it on my jewelry box (thank you Amancia) in my bathroom ..."The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17. I love it. SO encouraging and a great reminder while I am blow drying my hair. :)

{5} Somehow I totally hit the jackpot this weekend and got to eat dinner for FREE, bring nothing and hang out in airconditioned homes THREE nights in a row. Score.

{6} I had a really great coffee date with the director of women's ministries at our church on Thursday and I'm really excited about some new opportunities on my horizon ministry wise.

{7} I have a bazillion magazines just waiting to be read. Maybe someday. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I made these last night and thought I would share the recipe! Emersyn LOVED them and asked for more "cake" when she finished the first one. :) I love that they have flaxseed in them as well as the squash puree. Yummy yummy!


* 1/2 cup firmly packed light/dark brown sugar
* 4 tbsp margarine, chilled
* 1 cup lemon lowfat yogurt
* 1 cup blueberries
* 1/2 cup yellow squash puree
* 1/4 cup egg substitute
* 2 tsp pure lemon extract
* 1 tsp grated lemon zest
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp salt

**Note: the recipe says it yields 12 muffins but I was able to get 18.

* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.
* In a large bowl, beat the sugar and the margarine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the yogurt, blueberries, yellow squash puree, egg, lemon extract, and lemon zest.
* Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just to combine, but do not overmix - the batter is supposed to be lumpy.
* Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 13 to 16 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.
* Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze up to 1 month.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Miscellany Monday

{1} This weekend I both ironed my husband's work shirts and painted my own toenails. These are tasks that I used to believe should be done entirely by professionals. I am starting to think otherwise *gasp*. I haven't gotten a single pedicure this summer, unheard of for me. It's not because I haven't wanted one, more a lack of time and child care. I am hoping to get one this month though.

{2} I actually kinda liked ironing Brett's shirts. The iron and ironing board was already set up in our guest room from when I ironed a dress of Emersyn's on Saturday and as I hung up Brett's very wrinkled wrinkle free shirts, I decided to press them and be a good wife. I found ironing to be kind of relaxing, similarly to vacuuming. It was rather time consuming though which surprised me. While I ironed his shirts, I prayed that he would get promoted soon. :)

{3} If you ask Emersyn where she wants to go, she will say "Starbucks!!!".

{4} PF Changs Happy Hour is amazing. I love love love me some lettuce wraps.

{5} I really really really love my husband and daughter. They are my favorite.

{6} I haven't Shredded like I said I was going to in my other blog. Naughty. I had a sinus infection though so that's the excuse I am going to go with.

{7} I feel like I am really behind on certain things in life. Anyone else ever feel like that? I need to catch up on emails, reading, ministry stuff, etc.

{8} Miscellaneous picture. Emersyn did this herself and thought it was hilarious. I agreed.Tell me this doesn't make you smile. I dare you. Also, disregard the laundry on the floor. This was like the day after we got home from our trip.

Happy Monday!!!