Monday, January 31, 2011

One Year Ago...

One year ago…
It was a Sunday.
I buzzed around this house making sure that everything was spic & span & in its perfect place.
I curled up on the couch with Jared for one last Sunday afternoon nap & cherished the last few moments of it being just the two of us.
I rearranged my suitcase for the 107th time.
I folded tiny little baby clothes & placed them neatly into our hospital bag.
I packed the hospital favors that would announce “his” name to our families.
I stood in the doorway of the nursery & just stared…trying to grasp the reality of what was about to happen in our lives.
I felt the millions of butterflies that fluttered about in my belly.
I looked back at the house as we were driving away & knew when we would come back home, that everything in our world would be different.
I watched the clock all through dinner, how it ticked slower than it ever had before.
I walked eagerly through the hospital halls, not believing that this was it.
I got checked in at 7:15 p.m. on the dot, & settled into my room & oh so lovely hospital gown.
I got prepped for the induction process.
I anxiously waited for what was in store...

 Isn’t it amazing how much can change in only 365 days?  Tonight is so much different than this night a year ago. 

 I will put frosting & sprinkles on cupcakes.
 I will blow up balloons. 
I will hang streamers all over the house.
I will sit here in disbelief that the year went as fast as it did.
I will grieve just a little.
I will rejoice even more.
I will look back on this past year.
I will gaze forward.
I will celebrate.
I will anxiously wait for what is in store.

It is hard to believe that  last year my sweet little Jett was merely a baby bump, & now look at him—he is his own little person, running all over the house, & making us fall more & more in love with him every single day!  I knew on that Sunday a year ago, that I was about to embark on a journey...
I just had no idea that it would be the best journey of my life. 

Lots & lots of celebrating tomorrow!  Birthdays are a big deal around here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh The Joys Of Little Boys!

If you let a little boy run around naked before his bath...

Chances are...

He'll pee all over your floor!

Oh the joys of little boys!

Happy Weekend!  We've got a fun one planned-- one year old pictures tomorrow, cheering DaddyBoy on in his race, & spending time with friends who are more like family!

 I heart weekends.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Look Back At Eleven Months

Our little eleven month old will only be eleven months old for just a few more days, so I want to reflect on all that he has been up to over this past month! 

Of all the months of his little life, I am almost certain that 11 months has been my favorite.  It is definitely the month that he changed the most & made the biggest leaps & bounds.  This has been the month that we have looked into that little face & have seen not only a baby face, but have seen small glimses of a little boy.   It's been a month of laughter, spunk, personality, & my goodness, has it been fun!  Yep, I'm pretty sure 11 months is my favorite {so far anyways}!

Here's what our trip through eleven months is looking like!

* He is sporting 6 pearly whites!  It is so funny how going from a big gummy smile to a set of teeth can change their little appearances so much!  I love his little smile & he sure knows how to flash that great smile & get whatever he wants out of us!

* He's our little social bug!  He loves people!  He turns into quite the little show off when we have anyone over to our house, & literally squeals with delight the entire time!  He gets so excited to be around other kids, & he plays so well with them!  When anyone speaks to him, he grins from ear to ear & I can't help but be proud of his sweet little personality!  We always say that he gets his social personality from his DaddyBoy--Jared has never met a stranger & absolutely loves people, & it's one of the things I love so much about him.  To see that beautiful trait coming out in my son is so very precious!

* Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy.  He does a little shimmy around the furniture to get to where he's going.  He's still not walking, & I'm completely okay with that.  I'm not one of those moms that is rushing him into the next milestone or comparing him to every other 11 month old in sight.  I want him to go at his own pace, & to just take this great big world in!  

* We laugh & call him a little old man because he actually uses his push toys as a means to get around the house, & not simply for fun.  If I head out of the living room, like to go to the bathroom for example, he makes a beeline to the closest push toy in sight, & uses it to get to me as fast as he can!  He totally uses them as "walkers" & we crack up!  

* A mover & a shaker.  This kid LOVES music!  He will go to the cd player in his room & point to it, & once the music starts playing, he gets down!  It's the cutest thing I've ever seen, & I love that his free little spirit lets loose & just dances away!  

* His naps are getting a little sketchy.  I think we are close to doing the one nap a day thing.  We have tried doing one nap a couple of times, but sometimes he {& I} really need that second one!  I don't think it will be long until he's completely down to one, though!

* Yesterday, we tried Gymboree, & he loved it!  At Gymboree they aren't allowed to wear shoes or socks, & the moment I stood him on the play mats, he stood on his own for the very first time!  I realized at that moment that I need to let him go without socks around the house once in awhile so those little toes can grip the floor!  He loved exploring & meeting new friends, & it is something that is perfect for him & his age right now! 

* He is our little cuddle bug!  Jett has always been pretty independent.  At about five months, he decided he didn't want to be rocked anymore, & once he became mobile, we became chopped liver!  He doesn't have time to be a baby anymore, for he is much too busy for that!    But here lately, every once in awhile when he is in our arms,  he will lay his sweet head on our shoulders & love on us!  Of course we just about die every time he does it!  It is so cool to watch him learning to express his love to us!  

* Happy Feet!  This is my new favorite thing that he does.  When he wants to be held or picked up, he crawls up to us, grabs onto our pant leg, & begins stamping those little feet!  SOOOO cute!

* DaddyBoy worked long & hard with him on "high fiving" & sure enough, he picked it right up!  Jared & him high five all through dinner time! For the past month we have been working on him holding that little pointer finger up to show that he's ONE, but no luck just yet.

* Our little ball player.  He is most definitely all boy {imagine that with a daddy like Jared}!  Jared has had a ball in Jett's hand since we brought him home from the hospital, so it is no surprise that Jett has already mastered the art of "passing" a ball!  He knows to sit still & take turns passing it back & forth, & by next year at this time I sure wouldn't be surprised if he already knows the fundamentals of soccer!  With Jared being his father, he is destined to play some kind of ball!

* We are working on learning our body parts.  He hasn't really shown interest in his own eyes, ears, mouth, & nose, but he can point out the eyes & ears on his toys!  He finds them on his rocking horse, his dinosaur push toy, & all of his little stuffed animals.  It amazes me the amount of information they can retain at such a young age!  

* "MOO" & "NEIGH".  His "moo" sounds like "bvvvvv" & his "neigh" sounds  like "ayyyyy", but he is most definitely trying & knows exactly what he is saying & which noise goes with which animal.  We spend hours playing with his little farm set  & all of the animals that go along with it, & when I make the animal sounds for the cow & horse, he mimics with a "bvvvv" & a "ayyyy"!  I'm tellin' ya, they are such little sponges!

* This kid doesn't miss a meal!  He LOVES to eat!  When he was really sick last month with that stomach bug, his pediatrician laughed that he is the only kid he knows that is vomiting & having diarrhea, yet still manages to gain a pound!  There isn't anything that is going to stop our little meatball from chowing down!  His favorite foods at the moment are: chicken, turkey, baked sweet potatoes, bananas, yogurt, pancakes, eggs, toast, pasta, green beans, peas, english muffins, spaghetti, rice...just to name a few.  On his list of dislikes: blueberries & cottage cheese.  He throws the blueberries off of his tray, & gags on cottage cheese.  In fact, he really isn't a big fan of fruit in general {besides bananas}.  He does okay with apples & strawberries, but I can see that it's not really his thing.  Lately, we have been introducing whole milk, & he has been taking to it wonderfully!  I am so glad!  We offer it in a sippy cup, & he will down it, no problem.  I have even replaced one of his bottles with a sippy cup of milk, & so far, so good!  I should have know when he was born & nursed the first time for over an hour, that we were gonna have a chow hound on our hands!  Which leads me to the next point...

* He is wearing 18-24 month clothing! Now, there is a little room to grow, but a lot of the 12-18 stuff was skin tight!  Yesterday at Gymboree, he was every bit as tall as the 15 month old little boys in his class {who, I might add, were tall for their age}.  I know I've said it before, but how in the WORLD did Jared & I have a baby this big?!  In all honesty, we love that he's so solid & sturdy!

* I hate to say it & jinx myself {even though I don't really believe in jinxing} but since he got his ear tubes, we haven't had one bit of trouble with his ears!  Can I get a PRAISE THE LORD?!  He seems to be sleeping sounder, & has been clear of an infection for over a month now!  Now that's music to ALL of our ears around here!

So there you have it--our look back at eleven months!  I am desperately trying to hold onto the last of these baby days with a death grip, but it's much like trying to grasp water in your hands--the days just keep slipping through.  My saving grace is that we have only scratched the surface of all of the fun, spunk, & personality of Jett's little life, & that there is much, much more to come!  Eleven months has been my favorite so far, but I would bet that there will be another favorite that comes along & blows eleven months out of the water!  And I can't help but be excited about that! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

dRiNk uP!

Regular ol' bottled water for my one year old's birthday party??

Not a chance!

So easy.  Just paper.  That's it.  

I love when the simplest things make the biggest difference!  

Wouldn't it be cute to make some for a Valentine's party or to make a special one to throw in your school age child's lunch box?  Birthdays, baby showers, bachelorette parties...the possibilities are endless!  Go find a reason to make some!  They are too cute & fun!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Love Is In The Air!

Since the day we took all of our Christmas decorations down, & I took one look around at what seemed like a "bare" house, I started counting down the days until I could decorate for the next holiday.

I love a festive home!  I love punches of color here & there {I have a hot pink laundry room, for goodness sake-- if that's not a love for color then I don't know what is}.  I will look for any reason to spruce up the house & make it a little homier & fun!  I come by it pretty honestly, as this is what my mom always did when I was growing up.  I remember coming home after school to find the house all decked out for every single season & holiday!  At Halloween time, our spiral staircase showcased a gigantic spooky spider web, & little orange lights twinkled along the bannisters!  One Valentine's Day I came home to find that my bedroom had been remade into a heart haven!  I had a new comforter, new sheets, new curtains, all splashed in tiny different colored hearts!  I remember absolutely LOVING that my mom took the time to make the holidays special & I have carried it with me & want to do the same for my family!  

So....with Valentine's Day just around the corner, Jett & I got busy gettin' festive!  We grabbed a few supplies from Hobby Lobby {mostly just inexpensive paper & ribbon} & put it all together to add a little pizazz to our home!  

The cutest thing is that this morning when Jett woke up & saw the garland banner hanging {he had gone to bed before I had time to hang it last night}, he pointed at it & jibber jabbered with a sweet little excited expression all over his face!  It warmed my heart to know that he noticed it hanging there, & that he too, loves the little "touches" I place around our home!

{Pink tree is from Hobby Lobby.  I got it after Christmas when all of their Christmas stuff was 60% off}

Now...where did I place my planner?  I'm off to see how many days I've got until I can start on the next holiday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Work From Home Daddy

Kansas City is a winter wonderland at the moment, & as wintery wonderful as I think it is, it makes for some pretty frightful driving conditions! Thankfully, my job doesn't require me to leave the house if I don't feel like it {insert wink} & Jared has a job that is very flexible & he is able to work from home on days like these!  I love having him home, knowing that he is safe & sound, & it's fun to have him pop in & say "hi" throughout the day when he can step away from his work.  I do have to admit though, that I am not very productive when he's home, & sometimes I catch myself wanting to scream, "Get out of my way!" While I enjoy his work from home days every once in awhile, I like his work at the office days too.  {No offense, babe.}

But there is one person who loves work from home days more than any of us, & that's our little Jett man.  He loves waking up to both his Mommy & Daddy, getting to have breakfast with the two of us, & he loads up on double doses of smooches throughout his day!  He doesn't mind that there is lots of work to be done, email to catch up on, & conference calls to listen in on.  Nope, he doesn't mind it one bit!  He is DaddyBoy's little sidekick on work at home days & I can see in his eyes that his little world is complete because the two loves of his life are together at home with him!

So while I joke that I am glad to send Jared back to the office, I really do cherish the little times we are all home together on these snowy blizzard like days!  And I am truly thankful for them. I love that we're all cooped up together, I love our breakfasts & lunches together that we normally don't get to have, and mostly I love the look of pure contentment on my little boy's face!

Yep, a work from home Daddy is fun {every once in awhile}!

To be quite honest, I'm not sure how Jared gets any work done at the office when his little "assistant" isn't there assisting him!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birthday Shirt Gone Bad!

I was browsing on etsy {I swear, I could spend days on there}, looking for a cute little birthday shirt for my Jett man, when I stumbled upon one I just loved & had to have!  I showed it to Jared & his immediate response was, "You can make that."  Hmph...  I hadn't thought of that.  He was right!  I'm a crafty gal.  I could handle this.  Plus, why in the world was I going to spend twenty bucks {plus shipping} on something I could make myself for about 8 buckaroos?!

So I got busy craft craft crafting away!  I worked very meticulously, paying close attention to every detail & every stitch, & when I was finished, the little shirt looked JUST like the one I saw on etsy!  I could just imagine Jett sporting his cute little shirt with the big "1" stamped right on the front--obviously, he would be adorable! I was as proud as a peacock with my work, so I grabbed my camera to take a few photos!  But when I looked into that little LCD screen on my camera, my excitement over that cute little birthday shirt fizzled into oblivion & was replaced with pure & utter shock.  

You know how photos can sometimes show you what you fail to see in reality?  You know, like the little bit of weight that you knew was there, but didn't really let bother you until you saw THAT ONE picture?  Or that double chin that goes unnoticed until you see it in a certain photo, & then it sticks out like a sore thumb?  Well, there was most definitely something sticking out like a sore thumb in the photos of Jett's birthday shirt, & it wasn't a double chin or a few extra pounds.  Let me just say, that the number "1" I had chosen so carefully, going through all of the fonts on my computer & finally deciding on the cute & fun Apple Casual font, well--it didn't so much resemble a "1" anymore.  It had taken on a whole new look, & it was pretty horrifying.   I kept going back to my camera & thinking, "Well, maybe no one will notice.  Maybe it's just me."  And then I could just hear it, years & years from now, "Mom put a ____ on the front of Jett's party shirt!"  I could hear the taunting & mocking & laughing from my teenage children, & let me tell you, I grabbed my seam ripper quicker than you can imagine & ripped every darn stitch out of that "number 1"!  

When I sat back down to give this little birthday shirt another whirl, I chose my font MUCH more carefully!  Who knew the number "1" could be so much trouble?!

Here's how the G-Rated birthday shirt turned out!  

I think it's really cute, but what I love even more is the story behind it!  Jared & I got a lot of good laughs before we deleted all of those photos off of my camera!  

 I apologize to anyone who finds the nature of this post to be offensive.  I did actually contemplate on whether to share it on my blog or not, but then I figured, oh what the heck!  This is the real, the funny, the in between, & the process it took to get that cute little birthday shirt made, & it gave us a good laugh, so maybe it'll give you one, too!  I didn't say it was always gonna be pretty around here...but you can count on it being real!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Itty Bitty Shiner

Shoo wee!  It feels like I blinked & jumped from Friday straight into Tuesday!  I suppose it's true how the saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun."  It was most definitely a fun weekend starting with a girlfriends lunch on Friday, a visit from my parents on Friday afternoon & all day Saturday, a drop in visit from my little bro on Monday, & tons of birthday planning headway on Sunday & Monday!

We did however, have one little itty bitty mishap during all of our fun...

Little mister got his first shiner.

I know, I know, you can barely see it.  But still, it's enough to make this momma's heart break every time she looks at that sweet face.  He had a little rumble with his big dump truck & as you can see, the dump truck won.  Now the dump truck sits down in the basement, having a time-out. 

Truth is, our little "bruiser" was back to being his rowdy, rambunctious self shortly after his tumble, & the little shiner was cleared up within 24 hours.  I've got a feeling that I'm the one who needs to toughen up a little bit.  I am almost positive that this won't be the last shiner my little guy ever sports on that cute face of his!  I'm gonna have to learn that boys will be boys & a bump every once in awhile is no big thing.

I guess I should just be thankful that he's little enough that I still get to kiss his sweet cheeks when one of his toys gets the best of him!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Get on top of people & love em'"

I had a funny, silly, goofy, birthday related post I had planned to blog about today, but my heart has been pricked with a little something different.  So I'm just gonna go with it...& save the funny, silly, goofy, birthday related stuff for another day.

This past Sunday morning, our Sunday school teacher taught on the story of Elisha & the Shunammite woman. He focused on the fact that even though the Shunammite woman's child had just died & she had ridden as fast as she possibly could to get to the man of God {Elisha} in an attempt to save her son, once she got there & was asked what was wrong {because clearly her countenance showed that she was definitely not okay}, she replied "It is well."  What?!  Was she crazy?  Why did she say that everything was well when it most certainly was NOT well?!  It was far from well!  Elisha dug a little deeper to find out what was the matter with the Shunammite woman & found out that the woman's son was dying & that she did in fact need Elisha's help.  Our teacher pointed out the lesson that we, as human beings tend to do this sort of thing all of the time.  When asked how we are or how things are going, we give a quick "fine" or "great" or whatever surface reply we can ramble off,  just for the sake of answering the question.  Most of the time we remain guarded & never spill what may actually be going on in our lives.  And even more so, we often times accept that short "fine" or "great" answer from the people in our lives, even though we can see it written all over their faces that everything in their life is definitely not "fine".  Sometimes we need to dig a little, sometimes we need to ask a few more questions, sometimes we need to take some time to really love on them.  In our teacher's words, "Sometimes you just need to get on top of people & love em'"  Haha...not literally, of course.  But you get it.

Well, because of some various reasons, this lesson has really resonated with me today & I can't seem to shake it.  When that happens, I know it's God speaking to my heart & that I had better listen up.

You see, sometimes I get so caught up in this life of mine, the day to day, the things that are important to me, that I lose sight completely of the world around me.  And not just the world around me, but even the people in my life that I love & are so very important to me.  I get so focused on myself, that I fail to take the time for the people in my life that need some love, some support, some encouragement.  I see it in their faces, I hear it in their voices, I know it in my heart, that something just isn't okay.  But usually, I leave it at that.  I don't want to pry.  I don't want to seem intrusive.  I don't want to offend.  And what ends up happening  is that I completely miss a chance to love somebody at a crucial time in their life.

I've been there. I've been the one who has needed someone to just come along & say, "Hey, what's really going on?"  And fortunately, I am blessed enough to have friends in my life that have done just that.  Just a little bit of concern, just a little bit of love goes a long way.   I'm a big believer in love.  I believe that love is powerful.  I believe that it heals.  I believe that it goes much further than we can ever imagine.

We are all carrying around our own crosses.  And if you're lucky enough to not be carrying one right at this moment, count it a blessing.  But know also, that you will one of these days.  Because unfortunately,  this life isn't fair.  It's not kind.  And sometimes, it's just downright ugly.  But sometimes in the midst of our hurts, our struggles, our trials, our tribulations, it gives us an opportunity to be loved.  It gives someone else the opportunity to love.

God has really been working on me over the past year--trying to get me to take down some of my walls, to peel back some of my layers, to put myself out there even if it ends in hurt, & to be a little more transparent.  He has shown me that it is okay to have struggles, & to admit them.  And it's been amazing, because the times that I have truly let me guard down & been true to myself & my feelings, God has used people to minister to my heart in ways I never thought possible.  I've been loved, that's for sure.  And now, God is telling me that it's my turn to love some people in my life.  To get over myself & the things that I think are important, to carve out some time, to set aside my busy schedule,  & to love some people who need it.

I'm not going to be afraid to "get on top of people & love em"!  & I am thankful for the people who weren't afraid to do the same for me!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Custom Cuteness!

Here lately, I've got one thing & one thing only on my mind-- my Jett Jett's BIRTHDAY & PARTY!  So until his birthday actually rolls around, my blog will most likely be taken over by all things birthday related!  My creative juices have been flowin' like crazy & I am excited to share all of the fun projects that have been keeping me up past my bedtime!

I'm an absolute psycho about having an idea in my mind & then going to every extent to make sure it turns out just as I imagine!  I'm crazy about little details, & I think in the grand scheme of things, the little details are what add up to that one big special event!  Usually, my ideas aren't ones that I can just walk into a party store & find on a shelf, so that generally leaves me doing lots & lots of custom work--which I just so happen to love!

Here's some of the custom cuteness  I've been working on the past couple of nights!

Party Hats!

Jared & I had fun assembling these & were pretty excited with how cute they turned out!  HERE is the super easy tutorial I used to make them!

That's it for tonight!  I've got lots more up my sleeve, though!  So stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Sledding We Did Go!

All throughout the day yesterday, big chunky flakes fell from the sky & slowly piled high onto the ground!  As we watched out our window, white powdery fun covered the earth as far as we could see, & beckoned us to come & play in it!

So that's exactly what we did!

The three of us bundled up as snug as bugs in our ski pants, coats, gloves, warm socks, & hats & dashed outside to have a little fun on our snow day!

This was Jett's very first encounter with snow {besides watching in wonder from the window} & he observed it very carefully, like he does everything.  He watched it fall from the sky, he looked around him to find that as far as his little eyes could see, he was surrounded by it, & he watched his DaddyBoy grab a handful & proceed to eat it!  He wasn't quite sure what to think about all of this cold white fluff stuff!

But just as soon as he laid eyes on his little green sled, he decided that snow days are pretty awesome!  Turns out, our little meatball is a natural at sledding!  He went round & round in circles in our drive way, up & over  little bumps, & only fell backwards into the snow one time {luckily he had so much padding that it didn't hurt him}!  And though you wouldn't know he was having the time of his life by the expression on his face, we knew he was having a blast because when we went to take him off of his sled, he let out the most blood curdling cry you have ever heard, complete with alligator tears, & you would have thought he was in the worst pain imaginable!  Once placed back onto his little green sled, that blood curdling cry & tears turned off like a switch & he was back to his somber expression!  What a little stinker!

After we dashed through the snow for a bit,  Jett's cheeks grew rosy, & his little button nose looked like a cherry, so we decided we'd better get him inside to thaw out!  We had a ball playing out in the snow & we counted our very first sledding adventure with Jett a complete success!

It was a perfect snow day, & we ended it the way every snow day should end--with a nice big mug of hot cocoa!

Here's to many more snow days--& to wearing out that little green sled!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Look what we woke up to today!  Snow!  And lots of it!  It's about time, if you ask me!  I am absolutely loving it!

DaddyBoy is working from home today & I am happy to have my little family all safe & sound in our cozy warm home!

I made some piping hot Chicken Tortilla Soup  to keep our insides all nice & warm!  {I'll post the recipe at the end of the post for those of you interested!}

And at the moment, we are contemplating dragging out all of our snow gear & sleds to take Jett on his first sled ride in the snow!  We'll see how our little meatball feels after his nap & if he's up for an adventure in the wintry wonderland outside our door!

I guess you never grow out of the excitement of a SNOW DAY!

Here's the recipe for the soup.  I got it from my friend Penny years ago, & we make it here at our house all of the time!  It is super easy, so so so yummy, & perfect for a day like today!  Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 can black beans
1 can white northern beans
1 can rotel
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of corn
1 can chicken broth
1 can mexican stewed tomatoes
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch dip
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

That's it!  Told ya it was easy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas With The Cousins!

Last night we had one last Christmas sha-bang with Jared's extended family & my oh my, what a BLAST we had!  My face still hurts from all of the laughing that went on!  I am so thankful to my sister in law who got the whole shindig together.  It's amazing how time flies & if nobody takes the initiative to get together, years can pass right by!  Last night was a reminder of just how important it is to take time with the ones you love--to schedule it, plan on it, & make it happen!

We will definitely be making it a point to spend more time with each other!  The fun we had last night should happen way more often than just once a year!

Here's a brief summary of our eventful evening!

There were cousins, cousins, & more cousins!!!

Umm....did I mention how  CUTE these cousins are?!

We had our crazy gift exchange which resulted in belly aching laughter!

 There were hugs & kisses & loads of love!

There was even indoor sledding!

And just a couple more pics {because they crack me up}!!

"Coach" was a big hit with the kiddos, & it totally looked like he was hosting a "play group" on the kitchen floor!  So cute!

Jared became the hit of the party when he pulled out Jett's little cheese puffs!  He laughed that he felt like they were little ducks attacking him for some bread!  They are the cutest little ducks I've ever seen!

It was such a fun filled evening, & when the time came to say good-bye, none of us were ready.  I suppose that just means we'd better get cracking on planning our next get together! 

It was truly a fabulous way to finish up the Christmas season! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

4 Christmases & Yummy Salsa!

Happy Saturday peeps!  We woke up to snow flurries this morning, so I was pretty excited about that! We have yet to have a great big snowfall here in KC, & I think I am ready for one!  So bring it on!

Tonight we have our 4th {& final} Christmas get together with Jared's cousins {sure makes the snow flurries quite fitting}, so I have already been busy in the kitchen putting together my dish for the party!  While I was at it, I thought I would go ahead & post the recipe on here because it is way too yummy to keep to myself!

I got the recipe from my Aunt Elaine & it has been a huge hit every time I bring it along!

Black Bean Salsa

2 15.5 cans black beans {I use Allens}-- drain & rinse well
1 small bag frozen sweet corn
1 cup green onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro chopped--take leaves off & use kitchen shears to chop
4-6 large tomatoes diced
3-4 serrano or banana peppers seeded & diced
1 green bell pepper seeded & chopped

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Add the following ingredients to olive oil & lime juice mixture.
Pour over other ingredients & mix.

3 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder {or 2 garlic cloves}

Cover & refrigerate for 2 hours
Serve with tortilla chips

**Here are some little personal tips of mine when making this dip

--I usually throw the peppers & onions {one ingredient at a time} in the food processor for a quick spin.  
  My hubby likes the flavor of the onions & peppers, but not the texture & chunkiness so this is a quick  
  fix for that!

--You can tweak the spiciness to your liking by adding a hotter pepper, but I will caution you that
   if you use Serrano peppers, wear gloves when handling them!  They are HOT & can burn your skin!    
   Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way!  Long story short, it burned the fire out of my hand, & the
   burning persisted for over 24 hours! I could not sleep, & the only relief I got was when I would run my
   hand under water.  I ended up having to go to the doctor to get a steroid cream to take the burn out!
   True story.  Feel free to laugh at with me!

Anyhoo!  Go make this dip!  You will love it & can thank me later ;)


Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm Glad It's Me

I have about a gazillion reasons why I think being a stay at home mom is amazing.  If you know me at all, you know by now that I fit the "stay at home mom" position quite well, & that I absolutely love what I do!  Of course there are the obvious reasons why I love being home all day with my little one: all of the smiles I reap throughout the day, being able to take time out of my day to play hide & seek & build forts, getting to rock together in our big comfy rocking chair, reading books before nap time, turning children's music cd's up loud while we dance & sing to them, making buggies out of laundry baskets...I could go on & on!  I am so thankful to be able to spend these precious days that are going by so very quickly with the little guy in my life & I cannot bear the thought of missing out on one bit of the fun that we have each day!

But today, I found myself being thankful for my role as "stay at home mom" for an entirely different reason...

As you know, Jett has been battling a stomach bug.  Well turns out, after a trip to the doctor, we found out that this stomach bug can linger for up to two weeks!  Yuck!  We've already put in a solid week, & let me tell ya, it ain't pretty! So the thought of another whole week of this is devastating, to say the least!  But nevertheless, we keep truckin' on.  So today when diaper blowout 1, 457 occurred {because there isn't a diaper on the market that can hold in what this little boy is putting out}, I proceeded with the normal drill--strip, bathe, sanitize, & rinse clothing.  Oh, & wait a few hours to repeat the whole process.  I'm pretty sure that if I hit the SANITIZE button on my washing machine one more time, it is surely going to fall off!

So as Jett was taking his after the blowout bath, babbling & playing away, I sat there watching him, & couldn't help but feel thankful for moments like these as well.  Sure, there are a million things I'd rather be doing than cleaning poop off of my child & everything he came into contact with.  But just as I am glad that it's ME that gets to have all of those fun little moments throughout the day with him, I'm also glad that's it's ME that who takes care of the not-so-fun moments too.  I always want to be the one who deals with the meltdowns, the one who kisses each little boo boo away, the one who gets the push toy that is stuck against the wall back on track for the hundredth time in a single day.  The bottom line, is that I want to be here for it all--the super fun days, along with the super stressful. Because when it comes right down to it, I know that there isn't a single person in the world who can love my little boy as much as his daddy & I do.  I know there is not anyone who can do a better job at taking care of him than we do.  I know there isn't anyone in the world who will clean up the messes of my little boy's life with as much love & thankfulness that I do.  I believe there are wonderful people out there who take care of children & do a marvelous job at it, but at the end of the day, those people aren't  ME.  And I want it to always be me.

I am so very thankful for my role as a stay at home mom, & though it isn't always pretty, it's perfect to me.  I know that right here, right now, I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this life.  And even on stinky, messy, yucky blowout days, there is nowhere in the world I would rather be!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Let The Countdown Begin!

In exactly one month, balloons will be filled with helium, party hats will be placed upon heads, & close family will gather in our home! We will sing a happy birthday song, eat a yummy birthday cake, & party it up the whole day long!  Our little Jett Jett is turning ONE, & we will be celebrating the first year of his sweet little life!  A part of me doesn't want to believe that our little guy is already turning the big O-N-E, but the other part of me cannot think of anything more exciting than celebrating the little person who slipped into our lives & into our hearts, changing our world forever!  So we will party, we will celebrate, we will have a day filled with love, all for the sake of honoring the past 365 days spent with the cutest, sweetest, smartest baby we've ever known!

But before a grand one year old birthday party takes place, there must be proper planning!  There are invitations to be designed, party hats to be assembled, a cake to be ordered, decorations to be decided on...the list goes on & on!  And while I have been known to get a little caught up & overwhelmed when planning a big event, I am determined to not get lost in the planning of my Jett Jett's birthday party.  I don't want this party to be merely a task, something I zoom through & check. check. check. off my to-do list.  No, I want to be present.  I want to really live each moment of planning the only FIRST birthday party my Jett will ever have.  I want each detail to be showered & covered in love.  I want to truly enjoy the process of taking a bunch of paper & ribbons & bows & turning it into something special for my son!

So sure, my to-do list is HUGE.  There is much to be done.  I will have many late nights over the next few weeks making sure everything is just so!  But I am going to savor it.  I'm going to take time to let it all sink in.  And during those late nights of assembling, running errands, & decorating for the big day, I will take time to remember the months, the weeks, & the days that we have been so blessed with to have this little boy in our lives!

With all of that said, I'd better get going.  I've got a party to plan!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello ROUTINE! It's nice to see ya!

DaddyBoy is back to work today after two full weeks of being home with us.  Those two weeks flew by way too fast, & we are definitely missing our DaddyBoy today.  These past couple of weeks have been such a precious time for our little family, & we have savored each & every moment!  Last night, while we were cleaning up after dinner {with Jett helping by hanging on the top rack of the dishwasher} Jared looked at me, a little teary eyed, & said to me, "I am so glad to have had these two weeks with you guys.  Look at him {referring to little Jett man}, he has changed SO much over the past two weeks!  He is a little boy now!" Boy oh boy, is Jared right.  Jett has had so many noticeable changes happen over this past month than ever before!  I am so glad we all got to share in his little leaps & bounds as a family!  We had much laughter, much lounging, & a very relaxing & memorable Christmas break.  But you know how the saying goes...all great things must come to an end.  So this morning I kissed Jared & sent him on his way back to work!

I thought for sure that today would be kind of depressing, but surprisingly, getting back into a routine & schedule was a breath of fresh air!  Jett & I spent our morning playing cars, beating drums, & pushing that darn dinosaur round & round the house. While Jett napped,  I tidied up the house & prepped it for some major cleaning here in the upcoming days, listed out our meals for the week, scribbled a to-do list for this month, & ran a couple of errands! I think Jett enjoyed things being back to "normal" as well.  He napped right on time & better than he had all Christmas break!  I absolutely love being able to let all of our daily routines & responsibilities relax every now & again & I find it totally necessary in order to "recharge" from the daily grind.  But I have to admit that having my trusty routine back in place puts a little skip in my step, as well!

So off I go!  To do laundry, change sheets, pick up scattered toys, & make endless to-do lists!  Call me crazy, but I've missed it all just a bit!

Oh, & by now it probably goes without saying, but my daily "routine" wouldn't be actually be "routine" without any pictures!  So here are a few from this morning!

{He is the biggest ham these days & I just eat it up!}

Monday, January 3, 2011

A few of our FAVES!

We've been having lots of fun around here ever since Christmas, enjoying all of our new "toys"!   It appears that Jared, Jett, & myself were awfully nice last year, because we made out like bandits as far as Christmas gifts go! I thought I'd post a few of our hit gifts just for fun!

The tool set he got from my parents {with my help of course}!
 Now my already handy hubby is even handier!

It was a toss up & I am pretty sure he loves them both equally.  The rocking horse is from my parents & the dinosaur is from Jett's great grandma Marriott.  They both get the same response from Jett--crying  the second he lays eyes on them!  He cries until we sit him upon the horse, or stand him up behind the dinosaur to push it around the house!  Once he gets his way, he is all smiles--little stinker!

The 50mm lens for my camera that my hubster got for me! I love this thing & am already having so much fun with it!

It sure pays to be on the "NICE" list!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year & Happy 11 Months!

Happy New Year!

We had a super low key, laid back New Years, which was really great.  We haven't spent a New Year's at home for as far back as we can remember, & it was nice for a change.  Jett & I are still feeling a little punky from that nasty bug that dropped in on us earlier this week, but that nasty ol' bug couldn't keep  Coach & Gigi {my in-laws} from coming over to ring in the New Year with us! Jett was over the moon excited to have two of his biggest fans over, & he thoroughly enjoyed wearing his grandparents out!  I thought maybe he would stay up a little later than usual because of all the excitement, but nope.  He tuckered out quick & stuck to his normal bedtime! Once he went to bed, the four of us spent the evening playing Wii games, snacking on puppy chow, laughing, & chatting the night away!  We were so busy having fun that time got away from us completely, & if it hadn't been for the fireworks that boomed at the strike of midnight, we would have missed the twelve o' clock mark altogether!  Luckily, Jared & I were still able to squeak in a New Year's kiss just in the nick of time!  It was a really relaxing evening, & a great start to the new year!

This New Year's Day has been a special one for us.  Everything feels so fresh & new, outlooks are clean & clear, & life feels like a brand new book of blank pages, just waiting to be written!  We celebrated the day by reminiscing over our favorite memories of 2010, & laying out our goals for 2011!  We feel in our hearts that this new year is going to be a really great one & we are excited for all that it will hold!

But the new year isn't the only thing we were celebrating around here today!  Little Jett man turned 11 months old today!  11 months old on 01-01-11!  How fun is that?!  Obviously we spoiled him up, & showered him with lots of 11 month old birthday kisses & hugs {in addition to all of the first New Year's hugs & kisses}!

It was a fun filled day, & we are anxiously anticipating a fun filled year!

We're already off to a great start!