Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Since I missed Easter during my hiatus, I thought I'd give a little picture update since I know y'all are dying to know what we did.  Yes?  Okay.

I had grand plans to take Natalie to her first egg hunt since:
1.  She loves to pick things up.
2.  Isn't that reason enough to enjoy an egg hunt?

Turns out the first place we went you had to pre-register.  Hm.  Should've put that on your website Bay Village Nature Center.  Luckily, we heard about another hunt going on around town so we headed over there.  We had some fun on the playground before THE HUNT began.



 Always time to try to stick a little mulch in our mouths....

Then it was finally time to line up for the hunt.  We were inching dangerously close to nap time here people.  Dangerously close.  And throw in a few hundred screaming 2-3 year olds and we were having ourselves a grand old time.  Especially since the starting time was more than 30 minute late.

I'm SO ready for these eggs, Mom!

I'm SO over these eggs, Dad!

Cue our exit.  Yep.  Didn't even make it to the start.  Guess there's always next year.

 Easter basket to the rescue!  

 Don't you feel like everything in life can be cured with a little Cinnamon Maple Puffs?

Sunday morning we attempted to get pictures before church.  See for yourself how they turned out.

 Fail.  Big fat fail.

Oh wait...her new trick!  Kisses!


Guess she's good for something!  Girl holds my heart in the palm of her messy little hand.  God is good.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Being Just a SAHM

Being a stay at home mom is such an interesting role.  I didn't really give it much thought until I became one, of course.  Motherhood has opened my eyes and given me a different perspective on life entirely.  Funny how that happened.

I was out with girlfriends this week and one of them was praising her mother for the work she does outside the home.  She said something to the effect of, "I'm so proud of my mom.  She was just a stay at home mom for 10 years and now she's worked her way up to this really great job."  

The word that made the most impact on me was just.

What does it mean to be just a stay at home mom?  

I know bloggers debate the merits of staying at home with your children vs. working ad nauseum.  That is not my purpose.  I'm more concerned with how society views women who chose to stay home to raise their children.  I'm concerned that my daughter will think less of me for not having a "real" job.  For just raising her.

The truth is, my mama didn't raise no dummy.  I was valedictorian of my class in high school.  I was pre-med and I have a Master's degree in Biology.  But I don't work outside the home.  I could.  I did.  But I chose not to.

So why do I, along with so many others in my shoes, have such a stigma attached to our role?  Like somehow we are less intelligent because we aren't technically employed?

It just struck me I guess.

And honestly, I couldn't care less what society thinks of me.  But I do care about what my daughter thinks.  Perhaps this is just a reminder to myself to show her women are valuable in so many ways.  We have talents and skills and can chose to use them in anyway we desire.  And whatever we chose, it doesn't make us less intelligent.  Or useful.  

Raising children, no matter how you do it, is tough work people.  Breaking down the stereotypes of the world and forming these little minds is not for the faint of heart.  It's the biggest challenge of my life, but one I'm taking head on.  Somehow, my girl will know the job I hold now is no less important than the job I held before.  That my brains did not simply ooze out of my head the day I stopped working.  

Because just being a stay at home mom?  Hardest thing I've ever done.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Party Deets From a Ladybug Picnic!

I thought I’d share a little bit about Nataile’s 1st birthday party with you!  I think that was about the time I dropped off the face of the earth….

We hosted her party in January at our home.  Both my parents as well as Matt’s, along with my brother, sister, and her husband all came to celebrate.  Natalie invited several of her playdate friends as well as a few of Mommy’s.  As an aside, I will never invite this many people again.

First up, my beautiful, year old, baby girl. 





Now, I cannot take credit for this fabulous outfit.  I did nothing.  Well, I ordered the shirt.  Oh, and the leggings.  But that’s it.  My MIL made everything else.  I know, right?  So stinkin’ cute.

Next up…d├ęcor!

I should preface this by saying that I am not a crafty person.  I’m more of a wannabe.  So what’s a wannabe to do when her baby girl is turning one?  Outsource.  Insert my sister.  She made this adorable banner for Natalie that is, in all honesty, still hanging on our mantle.  It also became the most fussed over decoration before the party with practically my entire family assisting in its hanging.  The end results was nothing short of perfection.



I put Natalie's monthly pictures in terra cotta pots with fake grass to fit the ladybug picnic theme.  Those, too, are still on our mantle.  Matt and I sometime go over and try to pick out our favorite.  It changes every time :)

I stepped out of my comfort zone and whipped up some topiaries all by myself.  They were my “big” project for the party :)  Whoa.  I know.  Step back.



I printed this little image to serve as our guest book during the party so Natalie could have a keepsake of who came to her very first birthday.

Okay.  Let’s get to the good stuff.  The dessert table.  Now I may not be crafty, but I am a cake decorator.  This little table was my baby!  Truffles, cookies, cupcakes, candy, pretzels, marshmallows, cake…oh my.  Clearly I went a tad overboard.  But I was so happy with how it turned out and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  And I did make those labels myself…sort of crafty, right?





And here’s my sweet baby enjoying her first bite of cake.  Unfortunately, this moment did not go as perfectly as I had envisioned.  She’s smiling here, but seconds before she was screaming about being burned by the candle.  Yep.  You read that correctly.  The one thing you don’t want to happen to your child happened.  Ah the memories.



It was so much work...but so much fun.  Natalie had a great time with her friends and family and only had to leave 10 minutes early for a nap.  Pretty great, I'd say :)  I had crazy amounts of help from my family with the food and decorations and I could not have pulled it off without them.  Tis why I won't be doing anything like this ever again.  First birthday are a one time thing :)

Love you sweet girl!

All photos courtesy of Zoobee Photography