It's Party Time!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Candles, streamers, balloons, blowhorns, friends and icing all made this girl very happy on Saturday. Putting on a child's party is harder than I thought it would be considering you have to cater to the food likings of both adults and kids. I was a dimwit and didn't take a picture of the table before hand, so all I have is a sad looking display of what once were apples, homemade scones, crackers, mac&cheese bites and an empty cake platter. Oh well, I guess we were too busy with friends and the birthday girl, which is what mattered most.

Silly Evelyn, though. The girl didn't even touch her cake during the party. After everyone left we went for round two and she was still hesitant. There are few things that she will eat with her fingers these days and apparently cake was not one of them. I had to fork it to her. Once she realized that the stuff was amazing, I let her sit on her own and she was stabbing away. Haha, even toward the end she was licking the crumbs off her plate. I told you little lady it was good ;)

p.s. my mom made Ev's linen birthday dress. She did amazing, especially since she had to eyeball the measurements seeing that we live two coasts apart. I wish these photos showed more of the detail, but thank you mom for making this day extra special! 

Happy 1st Birthday, Evelyn Rae!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mother. I can't believe I have had that glorious title for one whole year today. That six letter word has forever changed every fiber of my being. When I held Evelyn for the first time, a surge of love deeper than anything I can describe penetrated my veins and burst through my heart. Looking at this tiny soul, I understood completely for the first time the supreme gift and unbelievable power that is harnessed inside us women to bear children. It felt divine. I was never more sure that there was a God than at that moment. And God has continued to manifest himself through her as I watch her grow. Nothing could be this perfect and feel so innately right unless it was heaven sent.

Evelyn, your birth day will always be my greatest gift. You are the gift that keeps on giving. You have completely changed everything about me - the way I view the world, the way I understand life, my ability to love deeper and stronger without bounds, my excitement for learning, the magnitude of your father and I's relationship, the time I get up in the morning and how I manage my day, how excited I get when I see a dog because I am anticipating your joy when you see that furball - you have changed EVERYTHING about me. And I love you all the more for it.

One year ago today you came in to this world completely dependent on me for life. I could cradle all 7 lbs 8 oz of you in my arms and you would sleep peacefully. Now you are walking, eating kiwi and throwing green beans on the floor, splashing in the tub, sucking on my headphones, tearing apart my wallet, squealing for your giraffe, "reading" books, and addicted to water. While times have definitely gotten more challenging as you've grown older, it has equally become more fun and engaging. 

It's been one lovely year, my dear. My heart hurts on one side because you are no longer a baby, but the other half flutters in excitement to see you come into your own. 

Happy 1st Birthday, Evelyn Rae! 
Your daddy and I love you eternally.

You can watch Evelyn's birth day video here.

Evelyn tells a story

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The other day when we were waiting in the parking lot to pick Jared up from the metro, Evelyn gave me my very own story time. Dr. Seuss has never brought such a smile to my face :)
I love how when I ask her if the story is done, she gathers her thoughts after being swept away in a daydream and looks at the book as if to say "ah yes, where was I..."

*** if you are wondering if I video everything Evelyn does, then the answer is yes. I have to restrain myself from posting about 5 videos a day.

two things that have never happened before happened

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

thing #1. If I did believe in such a thing as reincarnation, I would take a wager that I was a dog in a previous life. I have such a keen sense of smell. I can pick up on an-e-thang. Sunday morning I was up with Evelyn when I walked by the kitchen and smelt smoke. It was pretty strong and caused me to panic. I thought maybe I had left a candle burning all night or something. After surveying our apartment and not finding a source, I laid back down on the couch to cuddle with Evy Rae. Then massive sirens went off throughout the whole courtyard of our complex. I leaped up off the couch, galloped down the hallway screaming " I knew it! I KNEW it! There's a fire!" I was so proud of myself for detecting such a threat before the smoke detectors even went off but then I realized "hey, you've never been in a fire evacuation before. Your teacher isn't leading you to your class' spot on the blacktop. what do we do?" So we kinda took our time. I mean, we were rushed, but I definitely took the time to pack Ev some snacks and a bottle because we had no clue when we were going to get back in. Ev loved the excitement. It's a good thing that while we were waiting out on the snow covered ground that all the dogs were out as well. That girl gets overly enthusiastic when she sees a furry creature.  I'm sure Jared was just as thrilled to claim me in public as his wife whilst in my evacuation gear - dress boots + pajama pants + sweatshirt + peacoat + make-up less and craz-ay hair = one smokin' wife. Hello, first fire evacuation. I'd like for that never to happen again. {Note: fire not in our apt, but 3 doors down}

thing #2. So I thought that once January hit I would be ignited by the spark of new year resolutions to be better and quit my addiction, to sweets that is. I am a treat-a-holic. I grew up with ice cream every night before bed with a galore of toppings. I kinda carried that on through college but once Jared and I married and I started working for a nutritionist I actually kicked all that stuff aside. I was totally 100% on the healthy train. Then we moved to Virginia and I discovered that I could indeed make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world, so there they have nestled in to my tummy about three times a week. That's in between donut and cupcake runs :) So when this Sunday rolled around and I realized I needed an intervention, I joined my friend's healthy 12 week challenge. For the first time I will be restricting myself to sweets only on Sundays. Bah! Good thing I stuffed my face sick with 3 cupcakes and warm cookies from Friday-Sunday. Thinking about sugar right now makes me gag. And drinking 64 oz of water a day is a lot harder than you might think.
p.s. if you've seen this floating around pinterest, my friend and I decided to try it this weekend. Frosting a cupcake is a lot harder than it looks. It's a true art.

Featured Post: The Shine Project + Giveaway

Monday, January 23, 2012

Charity is not one of my strong points, folks. That's not to say that I'm not kind, supportive, and attentive to the needs of others but I think I lack the COURAGE to go outside my comfort zone and do service for those who need it most.  For that reason, I so admire those who are brave enough to reach out and make a difference in this world. Ashley is one of those brave ones.

Have you heard about the The Shine Project? Ashley is the leader behind this endeavor, focusing on motivating people to do hard things, accomplish their dreams and spread light to those around them through service. I was so inspired after watching her project in action here. I couldn't believe someone so young and beautiful could be just as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside. She truly shines. 

This year Ashley is taking The Shine Project on the road, stopping in many cities around the West like San Diego, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and even my old hometown Los Angeles to promote community service and inspire people to be the change. Her first stop is February 25th, where she is teaming up with blogger Casey Leigh in Dallas. How exciting!

Ashley also sells SHINE shirts and necklaces, and proceeds benefit the shine scholarship project which raises scholarship money for inner city high school students. I know, this girl is simply amazing! 

Today Ashley is giving away one of these BEAUTIFUL necklaces to a lucky reader. 
Entry opens today and closes Friday, January 27th. 
To enter, please visit Ashley's blog and leave a comment below about how you are going to shine this week. Good luck!

Funny Friday

Friday, January 20, 2012

Miss Evelyn is one funny gal. She has sooo many -isms that leave Jared and I saying "that is SO Ev." One of those -isms is her inability to eat her meals in silence. She is the loudest eater. EVER. This was rather embarrassing when she was younger and I would nurse her in public. Have you tried having a conversation with someone when there's a loud baby chugging happily away on you? Sorry, tmi, but it made for some awkward circumstances. To say the least, this lovely little lady of mine is still a grunty eater.
Her insistence on voicing her pleasure {or in most cases displeasure} over her food reminded me of this lovely film. Oh how I wish could invite Bob over to my house and have him sing accolades of my meals! 

"Ahoy! I sail! I'm a sailor! I SAIL!"
Let's all take Dr. Leo Marvin's advice and take a vacation from our problems this weekend!
Happy Friday!

you are my sunshine

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I love winter time for all that it brings - snow, coziness, twisty naked branches, brisk air. But one thing I wish winter had more of was sunshine. Although it might not brighten the temperature outside, it atleast brightens my mood. So last week when some rays decided to burst through Evelyn's room window I grabbed my camera to hopefully capture the warmth.
I heard this quote a while back:

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in." 

It pretty much echoes what my grandma said to me on the phone the other day - that you have to have the downs in life so that you can know and better appreciate when you are on the up and up. I am grateful for those in my life who are my sunshine when skies are gray. 

spontaneous donut date

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

When you add the word "spontaneous" to anything it automatically adds a bit of fun flare to whatever you're about to say next. It implies that you are confident, a risk-taker, and most importantly a big ball of fun. So yesterday when we were out and about doing errands we just happened to be in the same shopping center as this grocery store that makes the most AMAZING colossal donuts for only 57 cents, yo! Here's how the spontaneous date ensued:

Me: Soo... I think a sprinkled donut sounds mighty tasty right about now.
Jared: You ready to hop out?
Me: You kidding? I'm always ready! [action: quickly unharnessed my seatbelt, rolled out of the moving car, tucked between oncoming traffic, jumped over the curb and bolted full speed for the bakery! Or maybe I just unbuckled my seat belt, casually walked across the street and stood infront of the automatic door that read "EXIT" and wondered frustratedly why the door wasn't opening until a man kindly pointed out to me that I could be admitted in through the "ENTER" door.]

However it went down, I courageously went into that grocery store, took what was rightfully ours and presented Jared with his chocolate frosted sprinkle adorned donut. {Notice Evelyn giving us the one evil eye, glaring at us in envy}
 And the girl who cried "I don't have a donut! You just gave me hand santizier to play with!"
I hope we have more impromptu dessert dates coming up shortly :)

3 cheers for 4 years!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jared brought up this past weekend that January 9th has come and gone. While for most of you this is just another day, for the two of us it is monumental. 4 years ago on January 9th Jared returned home from serving a two year church mission in Mexico. That same day I began my journey living 4 months abroad in London. I don't think either of us could have fathomed at the time how much these two countries would influence us then and now.

There is nothing like traveling outside your comfort zone. You find a person inside of you that you didn't know existed; this person that yearns for a deeper understanding of humanity, or in my case maybe just tall men with british accents {good thing Jared can spew out a good tally-ho and cheers every now and then}. I also found that my love for gelato at Harrod's and a good starbar could puff out my cheeks real quick, but the weight gain was all worth it to experience that country at it's finest. And atleast I pretended to work it all off during runs in Hyde Park.
oh, and here's this tan stud of a missionary
We'll be back, Mexico and UK! Just you wait!

Funny Friday- Modern Family Edition

Friday, January 13, 2012

I can't think of a more charming show than Modern Family. It bundles everything in to one - comedy, life lessons, positivity and always ends with the importance of family. And it's all so believable that you want to jump through the screen and squeeze each one of them because they are so endearing. Seriously the best show in TV history in my opinion - well, maybe second to "Boy Meets World."  
Happy Friday!
Now go watch all 3 seasons!

Have you tried cooking dinner while someone is tugging your leg and screaming their head off?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

No, you haven't? Let me tell you it makes for one heck of a party headache. For the most part, this motherhood thing is pretty dandy. And "the most part" is 99% of the time {ok may be slightly less. let's go with 98%}. But man alive, these past three days Evelyn has been in tantrum mode, SEVERELY.  That makes it very difficult to accomplish anything, in particular cooking dinner for a husband who has been at work all day and would probably appreciate a nice warm meal when he gets home.

Yesterday we decided that maybe she needed to get out and stretch her legs. So we went to Costco for lunch, of course, and headed to the mall where we let our child risk her life by exposing her to thousands of germs in that playpen thing. It was worth it so she could do this:
But not big enough for that play place rudeness. Some little boy full on pushed Ev down and I was NOT having that. Mean kids.

Kendra the Explorer

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I have always had a passion for absorbing my surroundings. I think this started way back when I was two years old and my parents took me to Monticello. There was a changing of the guard and I guess I wanted to get a better view, so I stuck my head between two bars. Well, as my parents tell the tale, my head was so big it got stuck and they had to get security to cut the iron bars to free my noggin. That's how much of an adventurer I am! Gotta get in on the action. Every city I have lived in I have tried to take advantage of all the place has to offer. Even my small hometown of Clovis, Ca has quirks that no other place in the world has.  So you can imagine how giddy my adventurist soul got when we found out we would be moving to DC - the home of National Treasure!

Lucky for me, my friend Julianne works in the Capitol. Evelyn and I had a double mommy/daughter date with two of our friends and Julianne gave us a private tour. It was stunning! Being a history major, this building was eye candy for me.
I love it when you start to feel like you "own" a city because you have explored the nooks and crannies, ya know what I mean? 
What's your favorite thing about your hometown?