Sneak Peek

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I spent the night crafting for Cian's birthday party. it was fun and it made me even more excited. If you didn't see my inspiration board post, the theme is What are little boys made of? or Snips and snails and puppy dogs tails.

Mary Leigh and I met last week to work on our pennant banners and I finished them tonight. She also had our invitations made and they are sooo cute! I mailed them out this week so they should be coming soon! (The party is at my sister-in-law Tracy's house so I blocked out her address just in case she didn't want it all over the internet).

Cian's party is in a couple weeks so I will post the finished party then! I can't wait!

Wedding Inspiration Boards-Owl-love you!

Friday, October 22, 2010

So no, I am not getting married again but I do live eat and breathe weddings and events most of the time. Today while meeting with a bride and her mom I looked at some inspiration collages I put together for my weddings and event class this year. We were asked to design an inspiration board for a wedding in each season and then one for someone in class. This took a lot longer than I expected but turned out to be a really fun project! I wish I could do this for someone all the time!

I actually have these on foam boards at home with fabric swatches and artificial flowers pinned to them but I thought I would share a couple. I stared out by going to Hobby Lobby and picking out a piece of scrabook paper to build a wedding around. I have some photos of actual venues in Nashville on the boards that I thought would look good with the theme/decor. (Sorry SRCC of course you were my first choice of venue but I coudn't put you on every board now could I?)

Since it is currently Fall I will start with that one (A little late for this year, but good ideas for next year):

Owl-love you:

Call me country or outdated but I just love pumpkins at fall wedding. I also really like outdoor weddings in the fall, nature is so beautiful this time of year why not capitalize on that right? I think you could also have a very fabulous church wedding using the rich fall colors. I don't ever get tired of seeing the burnt orange, red and brown combo. Maybe one day I will move on from you fall but not any time soon.

Flowers! I have to admit that the ones on the top and bottom left are the flowers from my wedding. I loved them! Again, there are so many cool color combinations you can do with the fall and so many really cool flowers you can use. I am no florist so I am a fan of telling the florist "this is our color combo and these are our ideas" and letting them run with it.

I also kind of love this kelley green color right now. I have some clothes in this color so I think it is cool to let that translate to the bridesmaid dresses. I am a big fan of having different dresses for each bridesmaid lately as well. I do still love the uniform look but it's kind of fun to let each girl get a different dress for her body type.

The sweets! One of my favorite parts about each and every wedding. I still love the "candy bar" (who wouldn't, it's like access to Willy Wonka!) but a cookie bar would be a fun yet yummy way to do something different. A gooey chocolate chip cookie definitely says fall to me!

It was fun being able to look at wedding dresses for the project. Each season had different types of dresses on my inspiration boards. I wonder what my dress would be like if I did it all over again??
I love owls. (Hence the cheesy owl-love you title) Watch out because if I have a little girl her room just might be done in cute little owls. I actually really like birds right now. (Not necessarily watching or owning one but on clothes and in decor). They are in, I'm on the bandwagon. I thought it would be so cute to do a theme with little love owls. I think buttons would be an awesome favor and loved the ones at the top right with the owls on them.
There you go, a glimpse into my brain. Now go out and enjoy this awesome fall day!

The Middle Half Marathonm

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Me, Caitlin, Roy and Shawn after the race
My training for the Rocket City Marathon in December may be in full swing but that didn't stop me from running (and struggling through) The Middle Half Marathon Saturday. Miles and Melinda Tate (who had their daughter's wedding at the club a few years ago) are the masterminds behind the race. They are awesome and today was such a good race day. I must say not only because I had my personal record (1:46:42) but because the weather was great and I ran with a great group!

I found my running buddies, Catilin, Roy and Shawn before the race started. Like always, Roy had a plan for us and like always we tried to stick to it but eventually we started picking up the pace. Roy is kind of our ringleader in the early mornings, we show up at 5 or 5:30 and he has a plan for us, whether it be 8 miles of hills or warm up and cool down at a 10 minute mile pace and four miles at 8:30. Roy told us we were going to start the marathon at a 9 minute mile pace and work up (or down) to 8:30 and keep it at that pace for the remainder of the race. We started to go a bit faster with every mile and were under 8 minutes for some of them. Shawn left us in the dust after halfway but Caitlin and I stuck together until about the 13th mile. I had run the course a couple times with the Special Kids group and I think that helped along with having someone to run with and push myself against. It was great to have someone to talk to so that I didn't just think about how heavy I was breathing. The race was nice and flat, unlike country music, and I really felt great for most of it. I started to get tired again at about mile 13. This makes me a little nervous because next time that will not even be halfway!

We also saw the Special Kids coaches, Mike, Sharon and Margaret on the side and they were rooting for us and cheering us on. You would be surprised how much difference this makes when you are on a long stretch and see someone who is yelling your name or giving you that kick you need to make it to the finish.

The race ended on the MTSU track and as soon as I hit that track I starte booking it. I like to save a great big oomph for the very end of the race. Unfortunately the result of that oomph is what you will see below. I was really happy to see my time when I crossed because I was shooting for 1:48!

Are you ready for the hottest picture of me ever?
This photo is me thinking, "Thank God that is over and now I want to pass out". Imagine what I will look like at the end of 26.2??
My training for this week looks like this:
Monday: Cross Train 1 hour
Tuesday: 4 miles easy and cross trail 1 hour
Wednesday: 8ish miles (or whatever Roy has in store)
Thursday: 5-6 miles
Saturday: 18 mile long run
I think I can handle the 18-miler but it is the 20 mile long run in a couple weeks that scares me. I think I can, I think I can...

Diaper Cakes

Friday, October 15, 2010

I have always loved to craft, though I haven't always had time. My crafts seem to progress and change with the place I am in life. In college I liked to scrapbook and make mosaics (maybe the smashing glass with a hammer thing was nice). Now with the child in the family and all the diapers around it seems my natural progression has moved on to diaper cakes. (I can't bake so I might as well make a "cake" out of rolled up diapers). I did a lot of research online about them and scoped out how I wanted my diaper cakes to look.

The first one I made was for my friend Jennifer's sock monkey baby shower:

This one took the longest because it was first experience. I went through about a bazillion rubber bands and had a tough time with tissue paper. I like the inside of this one because concealed behind all those diapers was a bottle of wine for the new parents.
The second one was for my sister-in-law Amanda's lady bug shower:

I decided to give this one a more punchy look by adding receiving blankets and embellishments. I used the paper shreds like you would use for an Easter basket and some ribbon.

The third one I made was a rocket ship cake for my friends Michael and Jennifer from church:

I kept the punchy look with the receiving blankets but added socks to this one. Both the latter "cakes" have bodywash in the middle instead of a bottle of wine. Truthfully, the wine bottle is the perfect heght and the bodywash is a little short. I think from now on I will use a sparkling grape juice bottle in the middle if they don't drink or if I'm not sure if they drink.

I have lots of new craft projects on the horizon for Cian's upcoming birthday. The one I will be tackling this weekend is mod-podge letters for Cian's dessert table. I will post pics of how they turn out!

Goodnight Moon

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For awhile now Cian has loved to have us read to him. He has the same hand full of books that he loves, ABC, Look at Me, Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you see, Polar Bear Polar Bear what do you hear and a few others. I actually have the ABC book memorized, yep, don't even need to look at the words anymore. He will go into his room and get a book out of his bookshelf then bring it to you and say "read it". This is so cute and how can you resist?? Reading has gone beyond just a before bed thing and to an any random time of the day thing.

I am so excited about this! I just hope he continues this love for books! When we read "Brown Bear" I can ask him, "which one is the yellow duck?" and he can point to all the animals correctly! It is so cute to hear him try to repeat some of the animal names like hippopotamus and walrus. Steve or I almost always read to Cian at night, and last night when he was in bed he wanted to read the book himself. The gave it to daddy and said "read it."
I love having a book, a bound book that you can smell the pages of, in hand. Steve has been trying to convince me to get a kindle or something like it for about a year now. While I like the idea of having access to hundreds of books at my fingertips I think I would just miss the feel of a book and my full bookshelf. I can't imagine going to a midnight kindle release or not being able to browse books in the bookstore to find just the right one to read next. I even got a library card recently and have it on my list of things to do to go to the library more often. Right now I am reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I just finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.
I really enjoyed Water for Elephants, it was kind of depressing (it was the depression) but I thought it was such beautiful, well written story. It was amazing to read an account of what a traveling circus could have been like. It is both fascinating and horrifying. As an animal lover, is sad to see how some of them are treated but refreshing to see Marlena's love for them all, especially her horses.
We will see what happens with the Kindle, but I have a feeling I am not going down without kicking and screaming.

Discover Center

Monday, October 11, 2010

We went to the Discovery Center last Monday for Parents and Tots. It is a cool thing they have on Monday and Tuesday mornings for pre-school age children. They have books and they sing, learn words and sounds, numbers, days of the week and they get to make a craft, have a snack and explore the center before it actually opens to the public. It was very cool, and Cian loved it! (As Steve points out, he loves anything where he can just run around and play).

We started downstairs with stories and songs and then went upstairs to see their new exhibit "Dragons and Fairies". This exhibit has a lot of history about Viet Nam. Cian was able to sit on a scooter, bang on a gong and catch some fish.

They have a grocery store esque conveyor belt downstairs that you can put fruits and vegetables on and Cian loved putting the produce on and turning the wheel. The only problem was that he called everything a "mato", even the orange! (This is the same child that calls every color and many things orange most of the time.)

There is a section for younger kids as well with things you can climb and ride on and Cian had a blast. I think this might be our new Monday or every other Monday routine!!

Who knows how long I've loved you, you know I love you still...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five years ago today I said yes to a journey that I knew would be a long one. I said yes to an adventure that I was so ready and willing to take. I said yes to growing up and growing old with the one person that I could not imagine spending a day of my life without. I said yes to becoming Mrs. George.

The chapters that have unfolded in our book have brought two more dogs, buying a house, new jobs, new friends, old friends, and a baby. They have brought their share of troubles as well but none that we haven't been able to make it through. My dad once told me a quote he had heard from a man that had been married for 50 years. They asked him how they had made it work and he answered, "We never fell out of love with each other at the same time." This my friends, is genius. I have always kept this in the back of my mind. You will fall out of love with each other, it is inevitable. You can't live with someone for fifty minutes, let alone fifty years without becoming disenchanted with them at some point. It's the fact that at least one of you is willing to fight for till death do us part that keeps both of you going. If I can see that Steve hasn't given up then I can keep on going too. We have both changed and have been through a lot in the last five years and I know there is a lot more to come. Marriage is not any easy trip, nor will you be able to coast your way through, but like anything else in life that is worth working for, it is rewarding and worth it.

Five years ago today started the marriage, which is most important, but it was also the wedding! I wouldn't be me without recounting at least a little of our big day. It was wonderful, and knowing what I know now about weddings there might be some details I would change but not many. I had the time of my life. It made all the stress of planning completely worth it to have all your friends and family gathered in one place and to be able to just celebrate! Steve and I dated for four and a half years before getting married so I was very ready for this day to be here.

The walk back down the aisle is still one of my favorite parts of every wedding days I am a part of and ours was no different. It is one the happiest walks you will ever take. The weight you have been carrying is lifted and there is just happiness. It is official, you are someone's wife and that is amazing.

To my husband:

We may not be those people who said "I do" five years ago, but we are much better. We have grown and strengthened our relationship and I am so thankful for where we are and where we will go. Thank you for being the only person that will put up with me. Thank you for keeping me grounded but still letting me spread my wings. I love seeing who you have become and who you are becoming. Things I love about you:

  • You love your family and they are very important to you. Not just our little family but your extended family too.
  • You think things trough logically, something I can never do.
  • You love our son and our dogs.
  • You are a fun daddy.
  • We can sit in the same room doing different things and it is ok.
  • You will sit in the same room with me every once in awhile and do the same thing.
  • You come home with a mohawk or bleach blond hair sometimes.
  • You let me be me. Maybe not without some grumbling first, but you always let me.
  • You never give up on me and haven't fallen out of love with me yet.
  • You are fun and fun to be around.
  • You don't mind it when I'm hyper and crazy! (Or at least you tolerate it).
  • You are a gamer nerd who teaches our son to yell "Star Wars".
  • Hockey season!!
  • Sometimes I feel guilty that I am lucky enough to have you.
There is so much more and will be so much more for years to come. Thank you, for being my husband! I will close and ask you the burning question, "Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm sixty-four?"

Mommy Monday; Mommy Guilt

Monday, October 4, 2010

Yep, we all have it. (Or at least I hope I am not the only one). It's that thing that comes creeping up in the back of your mind that says, "you didn't do that well enough" or "what kind of bratty child are you raising?" I know that these thoughts are things that I shouldn't stress over or give too much thought to, but sometimes they are hard to ignore.

Mommy guilt is the thing that makes you feel bad about doing things for you and not devoting all 24 hours of the day to your child. It is the thing that makes you question whether you are doing or saying the right thing, whether you have got it right or wrong. It is the thing that leaves you thinking, "Am I raising this child in the way he should go or am I sending him down the complete wrong path?"

The guilt is not always brought on by us alone, sometimes other peoples words or even mean looks bring about the guilt or deepen it. Yeah lady, I am at Target at 9 at night with my son in his pajamas and no, it probably isn't the best thing but we are getting on the interstate to drive and he will be asleep in five minutes. Yes officer, I did just yell "that sh** isn't free at my son in the backseat but he is the one who dumped over the goldfish!! My excuses aren't always good ones and they don't always validate my actions but I know deep down that I am leading Cian in the right direction and he gets the love, attention, etc. that he needs.

I think I really felt the guilt when I went back to work, and not so much for leaving him with someone but more because I wanted to go back to work. Don't get me wrong, it was hard to leave a 9 week old (and still is hard to leave a 23-month old) and I did long to be with him and still have days when I would much rather be home playing with my son. It's just that I felt like I should want to stay at home, but I just didn't. I wondered, can you really be an efficient mother, wife, employee, friend, etc. at the same time? And do I want to just be efficient at all those things? I still wonder that sometimes as I am dragging out of bed at 5:30, but I have put the mommy guilt to rest. Yes, it is ok that I don't stay home and don't long to stay home. I think it is the most challenging job to be home with a child and I have so much respect for the mommy's and daddy's that stay at home, but I am not ready to be one of them.

I know the way to nix this guilt and to receive guidance on how to raise my son is to pray about it. I am really good at the praying part but I think I still need to work on the listening to God's answers part.

Philippians 4: 6-7: Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

A cute picture of Cian in a laundry basket just because...
Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground