Monday, August 13, 2012

First go at being an Aunt

I am so excited to be an Aunt for the first time I can hardly stand it!  So, I went a little overboard with Pinterest and helping to plan her shower.  Thought it would be fun to share the wealth of what we put together for my sis in law and her baby girl to be!

This shower truly was a gift of love because I couldn't have been given a better gift of a sister in Aunt Ricki! Which, by the way she hates that I call her that (obviously not her name) but I love it.  Its the only pseudo sister like thing I think I do to her! HA!  I don't have a real sister and am honestly very thankful for that.  HA!  Seriously-all my friends with real sisters make me love the fact that I have a brother!  Aunt Ricki tcame into our lives almost 5 years ago and just embraced our family!  JD called her Aunt Ricki well before she was actually married to Uncle Badgeman!  She and Uncle Badgeman now live just a few seconds down the road from us now and it is so fun to be able to see them all the time!  I can't say enough about how  much I love her, how much I think she is PERFECT for my brother in law, and what an amazing mother I know she will be...frankly she already is!!  She has been such an amazing aunt to our kids I hope to be able to be the same for hers!

Click for Pinspiration

Click here for Pinspiration
I just did these myself with the leftover white chocolate from the cake balls (below) and used a little pink icing to decorate!  BEWARE: These are ADDICTING!

Double Chocolate Fudge Mini Fudge Cupcakes
Chocolate Cake Mix
Hot Fudge Sundae topping
Icing of choice
Piping bag (if desired)
Make cake as directed on box
Fill cupcake tins with small spoonful of cake mix
Spoon in a pinch of hot fudge sundae topping
fill cupcake tins the rest of the way (2/3 full)
bake as directed on box
Let completely cool
Ice with your favorite icing!

Strawberry Cream Cheese White Chocolate Covered Cake Balls:
Strawberry Cake Mix (make as directed on box)
Let completely cool
Break up in a bowl so it is completely crumbly
mix in 1 container of cream cheese icing
roll into 1-2" balls
place in refrigerator overnight
melt white chocolate (as directed on bag)
dip each ball (I sprinkled as soon as they were dipped so the sprinkles would stick)
place in refrigerator until the day of event
Click for Pinspiration

Click for Pinspiration

Click for Pinspiration
Click for the Free Printable

Click for Pinspiration

Click here for Pinspiration

Click for Pinspiration

Like these products?
Click for monogrammed items: Stitches to Britches
Click for burp cloth (there is more but thats all I show): Bobaloo
Click for bows and flowers: Girls Crochet Headbands

How cute is she?!!  Love!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


It must be time to return because for the last month or so I have had this tug at me.  This pull.  Topics and opinions and whole "blogs" running through my head to share.  To write.  I have pushed this away, tried to ignore it and its not going away.  And so I am back.

Its been a long time.  This could be rusty.

It occurred to me this past weekend how much I have grown.  Matured.  It was a hard weekend.  Filled with floods of memories, both good and bad...lots of holding my tongue (and we all know this is hard for me to do), then wondering WHY I held my tongue.  Loads of compromise.  Listening to things I didn't want to hear but bearing through it anyway.

Can you tell I went "home."

I did.

"Home" for me has had its ups and downs and all arounds for the past 15 years.  I used to carry it around on my sleeve and my heart ALL the time.  That was daunting and hard and I can't believe that I allowed myself to do it for as long as I did.  With that said, in some of the hardest years, I spoke my mind and tried not to let anyone or anything get in the way of my goals, hopes and dreams.  For the most part I was successful.  The outspoken part of me during those times has faded into what I call maturity.  But I am not necessarily talking about maturity in a glamorous fashion.  I sort of miss that side of myself.

However, I do believe maturity has allowed me to take the weight off.  That burden, however very present when I am around it, is not necessarily with me as much.

I realized this very fact after this weekend.  I enter into what feels like the twilight zone when I go back.  My parents home is the same but both of my parents don't live there anymore.  Very little physical changes have been made in 15 years.  So much love was put into building that home and yet so much crap (and I mean crap literally and I am using my inside voice) has come out of it.  So much crap still goes on inside of it.

I took a moment to think about bubble of a life at the point where I found myself alone, baby napping, boys at golf and sitting in what used to be my home living room and realize how lucky I am to have escaped all that embodies that place.  Don't get me wrong.  This girl has had a good life overall.  I loved my childhood.  I had good friends there, I had good times there.  But all of that "stuff" is gone.  Those people too have moved on.  So its just me and the people that live there now.  Some I love.  Some I don't trust.  An unbelievable misfortune. 

I live in a world where my friends all are college educated, smart, beautiful people inside and out.  And I am including the "friends" that fall inside of my daily Facebook feed. Don't hate. 
I live in a world where all of the babies I know were chosen and loved well before the first positive pregnancy test. 
I live in a world where the people around me have goals, ambitions, and see the positive side of the life around them (most of the time).  :)
A world that a bad days consists of a fight with your husband that doesn't involve actual violence, or your kids spent more than 5 minutes in time out. 

On paper it sounds a bit ridiculous and flowery.  And maybe it is a little ridiculous and flowery.  Because there are days that I am completely overwhelmed, feel overworked both at work and home, feel like my children have become hooligans (ha-I think that word is funny), and struggle to find consistent emotional  intimacy in my relationship with my husband.  I feel desperate, mad, worried. 

But my maturity has shown me that life is all about perspective.

"home" can provide a definite taste of that for me.

This trip just made me realize so much for some reason. 

It was less than 24 hours.  The trip.

Maturity, or whatever you want to call it made me realize that I no longer feel guilty for getting a private college education.  Or for the success I have had in my career.  Or the two homes I have been fortunate enough to own thus far.  Or for the way I have chosen to raise and discipline my children.  But to some the act of paying or the act of having money is the equivalent.  I guess.

Side note: Is it weird that me writing down that I no longer feel guilty about getting a private college education is the most profound (for me) of them all?  Maybe that's how serious it weighed on me?  Wowza.

I love my dad and my brother so much that it hurts.  They are the reason I sit alone in the living room and want to cry.  They are the reason too that I moved on.  That I am who I am.  They are not the reason I am writing this.  And neither is my hometown..  I love that place and what it provided me.  Its the cloudy place that is now my former "home."

Everyone has their family stuff.  I get it.  I just carried mine so close to my heart for so long that I allowed it to affect so many aspects of my life I can hardly stand it when I look back.  And looking forward...well thank God for maturity.  HA!  No seriously, I know that the road ahead is much like the road behind me.  I just have a different perspective now.  I am thankful for the lessons and know there will be more.  I just pray (and I am being literal here) that one day the place I once called "home" will find peace again.

That felt good.  I need to quit ignoring that nagging to come here and write.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Baby J's first year video

Its been wayyy too long!  I need to blog badly but for now I will leave you with this!  I cannot believe that Julia is a year old.  Too fast!!