Friday, November 30, 2012

Thanksgiving(s) 2012

Our first holiday with the little man started off with a bang on Wednesday morning.  Charlie was in a great mood, in a great outfit and ready to go for the day!

Jimmy and I both drove to work in case one of us got off earlier than the other, so I took Charlie to school and then we were planning on bringing him into Hallmark for lunch.  Jimmy went and got him and we all enjoyed HiBoy, thanks to one of Jimmy's co-worker's husband and son that was so nice to bring it in for everyone!!  Then surprise!  We both got to leave work around noon, so that was awesome because we went right home to spend time with our little man before Carter Thanksgiving.

I have to say really fast how wonderful my in-laws are.  My mother-in-law has set it up so nice because she always hosts their Thanksgiving on Wednesday night so Thanksgiving day is open for all the girls to go visit their family.  So for the last 7 years  6 years (because we broke up for one of them), I have gone over to the Carter house for a wonderful feast.  Sue really always out does herself - it is ALWAYS such a delicious meal and she always has the most beautiful table setting.  

Like I said - she really out does herself for her huge family!! (this was without 5 of us)

The rolls are always so delicious!
With this big family - it's always a good time and there is always something to keep us entertained.  This was the game of have Will point to people and say their name.  He did great!

And then Norah wanted to join in the fun.  However, it doesn't look like she's having much fun!

After our feast - literally - we always have a great time of chatting with each other and playing with the kids.  Which the latter part takes on a whole new meaning now that we have Charlie around.  It's fun because his cousins are enamored by him and it's so neat to see them interact with him and vice versa!  This whole family is baby crazy so he's always being held by someone.

I love this picture too - can you tell the difference? Haha.

Aunt Hillary looks almost like me in this picture - you know, standing with Jimmy and Charlie!  Of course it was a great time and then it was time for bed, for not just Charlie!!

The next morning we lounged around and then when Charlie woke up from his morning nap, we dressed him in his new H&M sweater (with elbow pads....) and headed over to my parents house with a green bean casserole in hand.  Jimmy strapped Charlie in the baby bjorn and he was a happy little camper.

**Notice a trend in pictures of Charlie?   He is pretty much always in a bib these days because he is SO drooly if we don't have him wear one we are changing his outfits like non-stop**

How cute are they?
I love these next couple pictures that my cousin took.  Apparently green was the in color.

While we were getting the last minute touches ready on the meal, my cousin's family had a great time on the basketball court. Her husband had a great time dunking the ball too!

My Uncle Roland and I
My grandmother had surgery on her eye the week before and had to keep her head down during recovery, so she didn't make it to Charlie's baptism, but she sure didn't want to miss Thanksgiving.  Even though she still wasn't able to see - it was so great to have her there!

After we stuffed ourselves again - we dug into some pie and Kansas dirt (my sister makes it and it's SO good), my cousin's kids wanted to jump in the hot tub.  They are just the cutest boys!!  So much fun to look forward to with Charlie!

Ahhh - that's the life, right?

Of course, par for the course, we did take like 100 pictures of Charlie.  So here are just a few...

Mom & Charlie (see the elbow pads?!)

So thankful for these guys!!  My loves!

Wide eyes..
"Look mom, no hands"
My delicious mashed potatoes that looked like ice cream!

My dad and Jimmy on the floor right after Charlie rolled over!
After everyone left, we hung out at my parents and busted out a new toy that we had got at a shower for Charlie.  The Johnny Jumper that goes on a door frame.  It was for sure a keeper!  He loved it!

Then we decided - why not just stay the night?  Jimmy and I went and got our 3 dogs and brought them over to my parents house, along with some clothes for the 3 of us and Charlie's night time essentials.  One of those being the bath tub.  Look at how cute he looks before his bath!

After bath time and bed time - my sister, Jimmy, my dad and I headed out to the Legends (around 9) to go shopping.  We did this last year and it was a blast and we found some great deals.  Oh how things can change in just one year.  Jimmy and I were both so excited that Osh Kosh b Gosh and Carter's were open and 50% off the whole store.  Shopping we did.  Mainly for our little man who was at home sleeping with Nana B and his 7 dog friends (yep, there were 7 dogs at my parents house...)

I was excited about my purchases!
The next day was my sister's 24th birthday and it was very fun to wake up all together at my parents house and wish her a happy birthday that morning.  However, after a long day of shopping - my dad was ready for a nap.  So was Charlie.  So sweet!

After a few more shopping stops, we all headed back home and it was time to organize some stuff and take advantage of this time off at home.  So guess what?  Charlie and I organized our closet and got rid of clothes I will never wear while Jimmy put up the outdoor Christmas lights!  Charlie hung out in his jumper and just loved it!!!

Here was Jimmy's completed masterpiece!!!  He loves colored lights!

Later in the weekend we also put up our Christmas decor inside the house.  The big thing this year was we moved the big tree from upstairs to downstairs, since that's where we are much more and we are loving it already!

It was such a fun weekend.  So many wonderful things to be thankful for.  It's so crazy thinking back to this weekend last year and I had spent the whole weekend knowing I was pregnant and now here we are with a little boy that's almost 4 months old and is such a joy in our lives.  Thanksgiving, feeling blessed and being thankful has a whole new meaning. When I lay you down in your crib every night I just stare at you thanking God for bringing us you and this perfect little baby form.  I'm thankful for so many things this year, including my parents and Jimmy's parents and all the support and love we have gotten from our families - having a baby I feel like brings it to a whole new level of support and love.  We are so thankful for our wonderful friends.  It was so wonderfully overwhelming all the love and support and cards and visits we got from some great people when Charlie arrived and it was such a blessing and reminder of them.  We are thankful for our jobs that provide for our family and put delicious food on the table, a roof over our heads and working cars to get us where we need to be.  We are also thankful for our health, the health of our family and our extended families.  Oh so many things to be thankful that we often take for granted.  

Jimmy and I walked into work on Monday morning saying what a fabulous weekend it was being together with our families and at home with our little man.  Cheers to the holidays!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cake in a mug

I have like 2 posts with tons of pictures and just need me to add words; easier said than done to find time for those words.  One is my sister's birthday post (which is almost a week delayed because I ran out of picture storage space on my blog on Thursday - what the heck!?!?) and the other is all about Thanksgiving fun.  But for now, I give you something quick and easy that I think you will like.

Almost 2 years ago, I blogged about eating eggs in a mug for breakfast.  Guess what?  I sometimes still do that because it's quick, easy and healthy.  Well, I have found another love for "stuff in a mug" - but this time it is dessert.  Go figure.  If you get on Pinterest, you will find like a million cake, brownie, etc. in a mug treats.  I tried this one last night and it's good and low calorie.  So win win!  This is perfect for someone who gets an urge for something sweet but wants low calorie, delicious serving for one (versus making a whole cake for your house and then you end up eating the whole thing...).

It's called 1-2-3 cake, which is great because it's seriously that easy!!!  This is the blog that I found it out - The Hidden Pantry - so go check it out.  There are lots of comments with helpful tips and modifications too!!  It seems like a pretty great blog in general!!

This is what she says in her blog post:

You simply assemble as follows:

1 box Angel Food cake mix
1 box any flavor cake mix
2 T. water


Using a large plastic bowl with a tightly fitting lid or a large zip lock bag, combine the two boxes of cake mix stirring or shaking well.

For each individual serving,  take out 3 T. of the cake mixture and mix it with 2 T. of water in a small microwave safe container.  I used a small coffee mug.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  You now have your own instant individual cake and it is warm and inviting.  You can top with a dollop of fruit or whipped topping if you like.

Try various flavors of cake mix but it must always be combined with an Angel Food mix.

Keep the mix tightly sealed in an airtight container until used and remember:  This recipe is called 1-2-3 Cake because all you need to remember is 3 T.mix, 2 T. water, and 1 minute in the microwave.

Sounds too easy right?  Oh my goodness - it is and it's so good.  I made mine with angel food cake mix and funfetti and it was so good.  I think next time I make it (which is whenever because I have the container of the cake mixes already mixed now), I might add some white chocolate to the top.  YUM!!  Sounds like heaven on a cold winter night!

And there you have it - another recommendation for something to cook in a mug.....

Monday, November 26, 2012

One year ago

One year ago today (the Monday after Thanksgiving), I woke up and knew I was pregnant.  It wasn't just a hunch.  I had taken a test the Saturday morning following Thanksgiving before my family and I piled into the car and headed to Iowa for the weekend.  I knew, but I waited to say anything to anyone (including my husband) just to be sure.  Because guess what...I'm just that kind of girl where I like to make sure 4 eh 5 times....

One year ago today, I went to work with a feeling of anxiousness to call my OBGYN and tell her I think I'm pregnant and see what was next.  When I called and they told me I was 5 weeks pregnant already, I was very shocked (I was pretty much clueless about being pregnant and solely focused on getting pregnant at that point).  I remember walking into an empty conference room, closing the door and making the call.  December 14 was the day my appointment was made.

One year ago today, I pretty much sat at work thinking about how I'm pregnant.  I didn't feel any different (besides my boobs being a little sore), but I knew my life was going to change.

One year ago today, I rushed home from work and took a bunch of silly pictures, loaded them to my computer, put words on them, told Jimmy I had to work on homework upstairs and to not bother me.  He obliged and sat downstairs watching TV.  I was not doing homework...sneaky me.  I was putting together a slideshow of pictures of us throughout our relationship and then putting the pregnancy pictures with my silly face at the end.

One year ago today, I remember that feeling of walking down the stairs and handing Jimmy our computer and telling him to watch the slideshow.  I remember him asking me if this was the same slideshow he had made for me the previous Christmas (!!).  I remember it getting to the end and watching is face as the pictures with words popped up telling him...guess what?  I'm pregnant.

One year ago today, I remember the look on his face.  I will never forget it.  He was smiling ear to ear.  He jumped up to hug me in our family room.  The Christmas decor was up already and it was cold outside.  I remember hugging so hard it hurt.  Because we were so excited.  Then we sat on the couch and talked about how crazy it was and "OMG - our lives are going to change".

One year ago today, we went to bed together and snuggled a lot.  As a family of three.

Today, we will get up and go to work, but this time, we'll have our sweet baby Charlie to wake up and get ready for the day.

Today, I will sit at work not thinking about how I'm pregnant, but will be thinking about how Charlie is doing.  Being thankful that he's feeling better and not as congested and wondering if he is having a good day and eating enough.

Today, we will go home to work together but make an extra stop on the way home than we did last year to pick up our sweet boy at school.  And when we walk into his room and say his name and he looks over at us and smiles - my heart will melt.  And I will fall in love with him all over again, just like I do every time I see him.

Today, we will get home from work and doing our "normal" routine of feeding Charlie, eat dinner, play with Charlie, bath time, story time and bed time.  All together as a family of three.

Today, we will get in bed together and snuggle a lot - with a faint glow in our room of the monitor watching our sweet little boy.  And if he wakes up in the middle of the night, we will be thankful for him.  Thankful that he blessed us with more love than we could ever imagine and more smiles than we thought possible.  We will be thankful that one year ago today, we became* a family of three.

Thank you Charlie for turning our world upside down with love and laughter and happiness.  I'm so happy that when I go to bed tonight, you will be sleeping soundly in the room across the hall and I'll be ready to comfort you, feed you, love you whenever you need me.

Our little family of 3 on Thanksgiving

*ok - so we really "became" a family of three like 3 or 4 weeks before this I know now...but just go with it.  It was the first time I decided to loop Jimmy in on the big news, so just go with it... haha.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving (with a fun video)

With the Carter Thanksgiving celebration last night and my family's today - I'm conjuring up lots of memories from just a year ago when I found out that Charlie would be a part of our lives - what a day that was.  And oh so much has changed and we have so incredibly much to be thankful for.  We are thankful for our health (and health of our families and friends), our wonderful families that we get to see so often, our friends, our jobs, the roof over our head...and the list could go on and on really.  So many things to be thankful for.

One of the main things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving and looking back over this past year?  Yep, you guessed it.  That would be Charlie.  So thankful for the healthy and good pregnancy I had and the great labor that brought this little man into our worlds.  We are so thankful that he is happy, healthy, funny, smiley and just so cute you cannot help but fall in love with him over and over again.  And while I like him just the way he is, I am thankful that he's growing and is a big, strong boy.  Yes, like I so many things to be thankful for this year.  We are counting our blessings and saying our prayers.

Speaking of this growing boy...while he's been rolling over a few times, it's definitely now very consistent.  Consistent enough that I finally got a video of it!!  Yeah!  I just love how he looks so surprised after he does it.  So fun to watch him grow!

Wishing you and your families a very happy and wonderful Thanksgiving!!!   Here's to the start of a great holiday season of fun and joy to everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sweet 16

This week was the overall sick week. Not like sick as in cool.  Just plain sick.  Everyone got sick and Charlie, you stayed sick.  We are not sure if you ever got over your first cold that we took you to the doctor the previous week to look at...but it was in full force still.  You got a little bit better over this past weekend, but then as the next weekend came - you seemed to get worse.  AHH!!  We don't like sick babies because it just breaks your mom and dad's heart to hear you stuffed up, couching and overall just not feeling good.  But I guess that is life right - get your little immune system up and running good now so when it's time for kindergarten you will never have to miss a day?!  At least that is what everyone tells me - now let's see if we can survive all the sicknesses now.

Other than being sick, we did try to enjoy the week with you and make you as happy as possible (nothing new with that!).  Mom got to go and meet your new friend Bo, who's parents (Josh and Sarah), your mom and dad are good friends with.  He and little Bennett (another little boy that belongs to mom and dad's friends) are your newest friends, you just don't know it yet.  It's nice because they live so close too I'm sure when you guys get older you will be begging me to go over to their houses to play.  So crazy to think about that.

You are still drooling like a crazy man.  Your teachers think you might be teething.  And you are now that kid at school that is double bibbed.  It's pretty funny when we pick you up.  And now you sport a bib most of the time at home too because otherwise your whole outfit is soaking wet in just a few minutes!!

What else happened?  Well, you got baptized, which was a big deal and so fun!  But you were STILL sick and the coughing seemed to get worse.  So your crazy mom looked on the internet and kept thinking you might have RSV, so into the doctor we went on Sunday afternoon to make sure.  Again, they say you are just fine and fighting a cold.  So we'll bear through it.  The good/bad news is that mom is getting sick too - but I think it might be good because I'm passing on some good cold-fighting anti-bodies onto you when I nurse you (or so they tell me) hopefully that helps!!

Also had your first necessary clothes changing at a restaurant.  You projectile vomited all over yourself and your blanket and your car seat at Jose Pepper's on Sunday night when we were out with Susan, Brett and the Bruns clan.  Mom stayed calm and just changed your clothes and then Nana B rocked you to sleep.  Poor guy.  Broke my heart. 

Finally?  This rolling over thing has seemed to stuck.  You like to do it almost every time you do tummy time now.  It's so funny to watch you because it almost looks like you are doing it on accident.  You are on your tummy one second and then all of a sudden - on your back and you look shocked.  It's hilarious but so fun to watch you figure things out and grow.  You are playing and interacting with all your toys more and it's so so fun to see your cute little mind process things. 

Oh Charlie - even sick you are such a cutie and a good baby!!!

Other pictures from the week....

Your dad's creeper mustache - luckily he shaved for your baptism!

"I love life and stripes!"

Cutest little Phi Slamma Jamma pledge ever

Friday nights hanging out with mom.  And watching Scandal....

Saddest sick baby picture EVER.  Breaks my heart.

Bib and a toy.  Standard for you now.

Milly & Willy lounging in the sunshine

Snuggles with mom

Love eating my shirt...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Charlie gets baptized!

Guess what happened this weekend?  Our baby boy got baptized.  Here is what baptism means according to our church:

"Holy Baptism is a Covenant between an individual and God.  It is God’s word to us, proclaiming our adoption by grace and our word to God, promising our response of faith and love."

So that's a pretty big deal right?  Absolutely because that means little mister Charlie officially is one of God's beautiful children.  I mean he already was (duh, all little babies are), but it was a nice ceremony with our family's to make it official.  He was baptized at the 5PM on Saturday service at Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.  Loved that all our families were able to come together at the service to see his baptism and then celebrate after.  It meant a whole lot to us that everyone came to the full service and took time out of their Saturday night!! And of course, the pictures!

Charlie with Aunt Lyndsay - his godmother
A great family picture!!! Love it!
The Bruns family
Jimmy's parents
Those were all taken before the service started and then at about 5:20, we were called up to the main stage and were on the big screen.  My sister in law, Lindsay, had told me earlier in the week that our niece, Maren, was just so excited for us to be on the big screen it was almost like we were celebrities.  So funny!!

Jimmy, Charlie and I went up there along with my sister, Lyndsay, who is his godmother and Jimmy's brother, Mike, who is his godfather.  It was so nice to have them up there knowing what great influences in Charlie's life and spiritual journey of his own that they will be!

Steven was the pastor that baptized Charlie and he is so nice and wonderful and we were blessed to have him!

After he was baptized, the service continued and it was a great sermon by Steven all about the true meaning of Thanksgiving and really shifting your thinking and mentality to be thankful for things that come about in your life - good or bad.  He even mentioned thinking of his 18 month old's poopy diaper as a "gift".  Which sounds like a stretch, but when you put it in perspective and realize that a poopy diaper means you were blessed with a sweet baby that is hopefully healthy, eating that you can afford likely from the job that you are blessed to have.  You get it right?  The list goes on and on.  Just changing your frame of mind to be thankful for all things - good or bad - was a great message this time of year and always to remind us to thank God for all we are blessed with.

Charlie made it through half the sermon and then kept coughing (yep, he has a sweet cough.  He coughed mid-baptism too...oh boy...) and squirming around so that was this mama's cue to get up and go to the infant room.  I fed him right before the service and he was pooping a lot - so I was just thrilled that he didn't ruin his cute baptism white shirt before he actually got baptized...these boys.  We made it through the rest of the service in the infant room and then he started snoozing right when the service ended.   When we went out to meet all our family, it was so nice to see other familiar faces of friends that had come to see Charlie get baptized too!  Courtney and Ashley's mom and fiance were so sweet and came just to see him get baptized!  So nice of them.

And what event is complete without a nice little family party/get together to top it off? We had invited everyone to come to our house following his baptism to eat some dinner.  Everyone did come - except Bobby and Hillary because they were going to the Bruce Springsteen for Hillary’s birthday after.  It was so nice that they squeezed in coming to church to see Charlie get baptized first!!!  Oh and on a side note, Jimmy bought tickets with his friends a long time ago for the Bruce concert.  But when we were looking at weekends that were available for Charlie to get baptized, this was the only one.  So he was a good dad and sold his ticket to another friend and we were all together for Charlie’s baptism.  I’m sure his friends had fun and Jimmy was sad to miss out on the concert, but those are sacrifices that a parent has to make and miss out sometimes and he had such a great attitude about it and never mentioned it once!!  My aunt, Susan and cousin, Brett even made a special trip into Kansas City from Colorado to see him get baptized.  My grandma Stephens actually had eye surgery the Thursday before and wasn't able to make it to the baptism, but it was nice to have family in town to keep her company while she recovered.  We were all thinking about her!!

All right, now for some party pictures.  I will tell you that Jimmy thought I might have gone a little overboard with the d├ęcor and getting everything ready at our house, but I mean this is for Charlie, so it was all worth it.  Plus, I resorted to buying everything so there was no DIY here…which made it a lot easier to throw everything together! First off, I knew after seeing these delicious cookies at Vanessa’s baby shower, I had to have something like that.  Unfortunately, when I tried to order them from the same lady, she was booked like 2 months in advance.  While I planned ahead by about 3 weeks – I was definitely not thinking about this 2 months ago.  So that is when I found these cute cookies from Sarah’s Sweets Shoppe.  I called her right away and got my order in for similar cookies, but just a little different and not so girly . And they turned out SO awesome.  I could not have been more happy when I picked them up on Saturday morning.  Sarah runs this shop out of her home and did such a great job!!  Check out her website for some of her great other cookie designs and use her for your next event . You won’t regret it – the cookies were so cute, very reasonably priced, AND so delicious.  Best of all worlds!!

Loved this cookie with his full name

Super cute packaging!

Here is the dessert table before we left for church (was waiting to put the desserts out).  The balloons hanging from the ceiling with marbles in them to keep them down was totally a pinterest steal and then I got the little pinwheel things from Hobby Lobby at the last minute because I wanted something else.  The banner (you will see the original banner) was just a buy from Party City and was so awesome because you could personalize it to say whatever you wanted with cute little stickers. And I had some leftover and was going to put “treats” or “desserts” but didn’t have enough “S” stickers left – so I went with “enjoy”. 

Then here was the main banner that said “God Bless Charlie” on both sides.  For $6.99 – I thought the personalized banner was a steal and looked great and was much easier than me making my own!!!

And finally – I hurried to get the cookies and cupcakes on display after we got home from church (my sister was sweet enough to make the delicious cupcakes!!).  I thought the whole table turned out great and I loved it!!!  I really loved that I put the invite on display in a picture frame and his school picture.  Yep, I love that picture and am that mom that bought school pictures…

Ok so I’m sure that most readers wouldn’t notice, care or wonder where this table came from in the dining room, but it was a last minute change in our normal dining room.  After searching pinterest for all these super cute baptism parties, I knew I wanted a little dessert table to showcase the awesome desserts we were having – but couldn’t figure out where we’d put it.  Well – then I got creative and curious if the hutch on our china cabinet would easily come off.  And it did.  So I took everything out of the hutch, took the glass shelves out and made Jimmy help me move it.  And wa-la…we had a dessert table.  And I loved it!  This space sure looks different from where it started….

Spring 2011 after getting the china cabinet

Early 2012 after spray painting the china cabinet, chairs and new table

And the nice little display
Overall - we had a great time!  I took no pictures of the party at our house (trust me, there were people there), but I think it was a good time!  Our nieces and nephews all have a great time playing play station or wii or getting on Netflix.  Their new thing is going to play in Charlie’s room – so when he fell asleep in my arms mid-party and I took him upstairs to put him to bed, they were all surprised to see us up there when they ran in.  It was pretty cute because all the girls gave him little kisses goodnight.  So sweet. 

The party ended on a sad note with the number 1 ranked Wildcats losing their first game of the football season to non-ranked Baylor…there were not too many people left watching it because it didn’t look good at halftime.  Charlie had a blast getting held by all his wonderful grandparents, aunts and uncles and even great aunts and uncles that made it over.  Such a fun time celebrating such a sweet little boy.  Just love him so much and we are so blessed with such a wonderful baby, wonderful family and a great and memorable baptism.  Thanks to everyone who came to help celebrate!