A Mermaid Party

How is it April already? I guess this means I should post pictures of Lydia’s 4th birthday party before it’s completely too late. After all, as she informed me firmly the other day when I told her she wasn’t old enough to do something, “But Mommy, I’m ALMOST FIVE!”

Not sure if 4.25 is almost 5, but that’s a discussion for another day, so instead I give you the invitation for Lydia’s fourth birthday party…

Mermaid Party Birthday InvitationI am proud to say that I purchased some mermaid clip art and then Photoshopped my own invites instead of hiring out this time. I can’t say that it was quick or easy, but I am happy with how they turned out. Lydia was okay with them too, although she didn’t hesitate to point out that the mermaid isn’t a “real Ariel”. Can’t win ’em all I guess…

She was delighted with her party outfit though. I found her dress online at JCPenney (my go-to source for little girls’ special occasion dresses).


And when I say she was ‘delighted’, I mean her exact words were, “I love my new dress! It’s pretty, it has a flower… And it covers my underwear!” Truly, could anyone ask for more?

Besides a fancy outfit, there were also balloons, which Caleb carefully inspected for leaks…

mermaid party balloonDSC_0633

And I decorated the mantel and memory table with pictures of the birthday girl and other mermaid inspired things (bonus points to the first person to find and correctly name Ariel’s two treasures from the movie)…Mermaid party mantel decorations

DSC_0674The dessert table included cake, cupcakes, chocolate covered strawberries, white Sixlet “pearls” and coconut delights (homemade Almond Joys). It was quite a spread!

Mermaid party cake tablewhite sixlet pearls for a mermaid birthday partyLittle Mermaid birthday party cake ombreThe candy seashells on top of the cupcakes, the favor bags, and of course, Ariel walking on the sandy beach next to the cake were all quite thrilling for our birthday girl. She could hardly wait until it was time to slice the cake so she could steal Ariel off the cake stand.

mermaid birthday party seashell cupcakes Ariel on a Little Mermaid Birthday Cake

Little Mermaid party favor treat bagsI wish I had gotten more pictures of the actual party for you. Suffice it to say that I was a bit busy in the thick of it, but it seemed like all the guests had a good time and enjoyed the seafood appetizer spread. Lydia herself was more interested in the presents and blowing out the birthday candles, but who can blame her?

DSC_0889DSC_1042Life sure is grand under the sea…


Happy birthday to my four (I mean, almost five) year old girl!

PS. If one BobbleHeadBaby celebration isn’t enough for you, visit my Parties Page to view them all!

Spreadin’ the Love

Today was the first day of spring. Oh, I know it’s not official, and we may (probably do) have snow coming our way yet, but it was over 50 degrees here today and I wore flip-flops, so I’m calling it close enough. That’s why I’m putting up Easter decorations tomorrow. The weather is glorious, and I’m tired of looking at my Valentine’s decor, so why not, I ask you, why not?

But before I do, here’s this year’s February memory table, featuring photos of the girls from Valentine’s Days of years past, along with an arrow-pierced heart carved by my great grandfather, and some white tulips…

DSC_2185For the mantel, I did a quick and easy craft project that I whipped up after a trip to Michael’s. I was so inspired by their spring line, I had a hard time choosing just one project to make. And no, they didn’t pay me to say that. But seriously, four vintage-looking metal letters, a pre-made riveted burlap canvas, five minutes and a bit of super glue was all it took to make this little baby…

IMG_2015Which was inspired, of course, by the Robert Indiana “Love” statue in Philadelphia, ever of significance in our home because we were standing next to it when Peter proposed to me. (And it’s where we took Alethea on her first ever airplane trip in October of 2009.)

Philly Trip 09 009

I used this free printable as a guide for my chalkboard art. Then I added my five-minute canvas to the mantel with an assortment of other items I already had on hand and after a few shifts, tucks and tiny tweaks, I settled on this arrangement…

DSC_2694My best Valentine’s mantel ever! (Okay, so it’s only my second year doing one, but who’s counting? Not me!)

And now that you’re feeling all lovey-dovey inside, let’s move on to Easter, shall we? Hurray for SPRING!!!!

He Keeps Me On My Toes

I know I’m long overdue to write a Caleb update with all his cute weekly pictures so you can see how he’s growing up. But part of the problem is that he is changing, and FAST! So quickly in fact, that unless he’s sleeping, I barely get to sit down.

It started about six weeks ago when he began pulling himself around with his arms. He’d scoot about the living room and end up wedged between the wall and the chair in the corner chewing on whatever cords or cables he encountered…

IMG_1911Then he got a little more proficient in his army crawl and suddenly the magazine bin behind the couch was under constant attack…

DSC_1134A few weeks later, it was up onto his knees at every chance, which is when he discovered the cookbook shelf…

IMG_2028And that Mommy sometimes leaves cupboards open when she’s cooking or unloading groceries…

IMG_2070Then a week or so later he’d decided that being on his knees wasn’t high enough, so naturally he started pulling up onto anything and everything…

IMG_2034He’s still not crawling on his hands and knees, but his army crawl is fast and fluid enough to make any soldier envious. He uses that to his advantage when he zips around the living room, dining room, and kitchen with his favorite toy hammer, banging on everything in sight…

DSC_2297So you see, I haven’t had much time for writing because I’ve been busy babyproofing my main floor. And now that I’m done with that level, I’d better begin on the second floor, since just this morning Caleb managed to climb up four stairs completely on his own before falling backwards into my waiting arms.

Hopefully I’ll at least get a long update written before he starts shaving. But wait, no, we’ve already hit that milestone too…

IMG_2020Oh well! I expect that someday I’ll get the chance to write regularly.

Now you’ll have to excuse me while I go rescue Herr Caleb (aka Mommy’s Little Monkey) off the stairs yet again.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m not terribly good about blogging on a schedule, you all know this by now, but one holiday that I’ve managed to mark for several years in a row now is Valentine’s Day. In fact, I’ve posted something on V-Day four of the five years my blog has been in existence, which is probably better than I’ve done on any other holiday.

So to keep my hot streak going, happy hearts day from three little valentines…DSC_1917DSC_1864DSC_1805DSC_1874Rest assured, no babies were harmed in the making of this valentine…    DSC_1907DSC_1922XOXOXO,

Alethea, Lydia & Caleb

DSC_1809PS. You can check out Valentine’s Day posts from previous years here: 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2014

Glimpses of the Future

Today I did a little Valentine’s Day photo shoot with the kids. Alethea was a bit reluctant at first, even when I promised a treat afterwards. “I’ll smile, but it won’t be fun,” she told me. So to sweeten the deal I suggested she put on her favorite pink fancy Sunday dress. “And besides, I need photos for your photobooks,” I added.

Well, those were the magic words. She ran to put on her dress, quickly returned to “set” and promptly proceeded to tell me exactly what images she needed for her next book. “Take one of me smiling,” she directed. And then, after getting carefully into position, “Now, take a picture of my hands holding this heart.”

DSC_1858I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Nothing makes me more excited than diving headlong into a new project, and everyone is always telling me how much Alethea takes after me. Still, you know I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled to constantly be reminded that she has such a strong creative bent.

She is my beautiful, thoughtful, passionate, creative girl, and I absolutely cannot wait to how she uses her gifts and what God has planned for her life.

iPhone Archives

So you all know by now that I love taking pictures of my kids. However, unlike a lot of parents, I rarely photograph them with my phone. Not that there is anything wrong with phones, a lot of people seem to get really good pictures with them, I just always seem to reach for my camera when something cute is happening. I guess I feel more in control with my Nikon’s myriad of settings at my disposal.

Anyway, I don’t take many photos with my phone, but I’d finally taken enough of them that my iCloud storage was full and after many weeks (it may have been more than a year actually) of reminders that my photos weren’t being backed up, I finally plugged my phone into my computer and downloaded my library.

And what do you know, I take an occasional share-worthy phone photo too. Here are my four favorites….

Alethea at dairy queen – October 2011

IMG_0327Alethea on the “Water slide” – August 2013

IMG_1105Alethea and Lydia – September 2013

IMG_1106Lydia trying on her thrift store princess dress – September 2013

IMG_1121And yes, Alethea is 2 years old in that first one… maybe should try syncing my phone a teensy bit more often, huh?

So Not Cool

Yo Mom. When you don’t post anything on your blog for weeks on end, no one gets to see what a totally rad kid I’m turning out to be.

I think it’s about time to get your head back in the game.


Sorry, but I gotta tell it like it is.

A little tough love from your son,


Happy Birthday, Lydia Grace!

You are so beautiful

IMG_1298To me

DSC_8844You are so beautiful

DSC_0262To me

DSC_1026Can’t you see

DSC_3086You’re everything I hoped for

DSC_3289You’re everything I need

DSC_3733You are so beautiful

DSC_4789To me

DSC_8295Happy 4th Birthday, Lydia Grace!

You are beautiful inside and out and we couldn’t love you more!


Mommy & Daddy