Thursday, June 30, 2011

Another Year Older, But I Don't Feel it.... Yet

I had a wonderful birthday week, thanks to my family and friends. We spent the morning with the Lynch family,  going to Aiden's swimming lessons and enjoying lunch while the kids played. My mom came in the evening with my brothers to take Emma to Chuck E. Cheese while Jason and I had a date. I'm not sure we've gone out to eat alone, or to a nice restaurant since Emmabuns was born. It was a wonderful night and he surprised me with a Nook Color for my birthday!

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I can't wait to start using it! I am a complete book-a-holic and this will save me loads of trips to the library. He did awesome shopping for me- thanks hunny!

Emma also picked out a beautiful Mom necklace that I love! She did a great job if you ask me :)

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On Wednesday morning Emma and I headed out to Saugatuck to spend the day with my mom and brothers. Everyone had a blast at the beach, even though the water was a touch chilly.
I'm not going to lie- it was nice to relax on the beach and watch everyone else play in the water :)

Enjoying an afternoon snack.

Emma had a ton of fun burying her uncle Paul.
After a day of fun in the sun, we had a nice dinner at the cottage where my mom was staying and then went out for ice cream afterwards. I got a case for my Nook along with a gift card to download some books and a  cute shirt and nail polish. I was so blessed to be able to spend time with my family. What a wonderful day! I look forward to seeing my dad's side of the family this coming weekend.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Great Start to Summer!

This post may be a bit behind (only like a week), but when you return home from a week long camping trip there are things to be done. Such as the book work you neglected while on vacay, the umpteen loads of laundry, the unpacking and cleaning of the camper, not to mention the celebration of Father's Day once we returned to the homestead. Needless to say, our first trip of the year was a success- how can it not be with beautiful weather, surrounded by awesome friends and family???

Emma loved camping this year almost as much as playing with the adorable Meiste boys. We may have to keep an eye on these guys, oh 16 years down the road or so :) Emma would update me from her bed every morning on the happenings outside her window. She wanted to make sure she didn't miss out on a thing. Especially precious play time. Here are just a few snapshots of all the fun activities we partook in while at Tri-Ponds
Emma and Daddy fishing.

Checking out the tadpoles mommy caught.

Enjoying time at the petting zoo, the fav attraction. Max was a natural with all those animals!

Burning off some energy on the jumping pillow- who doesn't want one of these in their backyard?

Doing some demo in the rain. And guess what, no one yelled at us!

Playing after the rain. Waters not going to stop these kiddos!

We did try to throw a few naps in the mix, but you can tell what Emma thought about that :)

Checking for snails at the beach.

Lil' Ayla even got in on the water action.

Spending some time at the pool with daddy.
This was our first experience at Tri-Ponds and we loved it! We are already talking about another trip there possibly later this summer. They had so much to offer the kids and everything was really well maintained and cared for. Camping is probably one of my favorite summer activities and I can't wait to get the camper on the road again!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011

After a wonderful week of camping with some dear friends (more to come on that later :), we had some things to do before we could celebrate Jason. Packing and unpacking the camper, getting 20 loads of laundry started, catching up on book work... Once we were done though, it was all up to the big daddy of the house.

Last year we spent the day at Silver Lake enjoying the beautiful weather and sand dunes. Jason briefly entertained this idea until he remembered that the Jeep is gone. So we spent the day together enjoying west Michigan instead.

The first request was ice cream so we headed over to Captain Sundae for a frozen treat. Next we hit up the putt putt golf course for 18 holes. He did win by a few strokes, but how could I beat him on his day???  Then we headed out to the beach to stroll around and test out the water- pretty chilly yet. We ended the day with his fav meal, pizza from Pizza Hut.

Sadly I didn't have my camera along to capture the memories that we made today, but it was a joyful occasion all the same. I hope that all the wonderful dad's out there had a fabulous day and know how celebrated and loved they are, including mine!

Thank you for all that you are and everything you do babe! You are an awesome father who teaches our little one new things every day. I look forward to all the memories you will continue to make with our peanut over the years. Each one of them is special and unique that forms a forever bond.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My First Attempt at a Towel Cake

I'd say this adventure went fairly well. I hit a few road blocks along the way, but overall I think it looks pretty good! I had a shower to go to on Saturday and wanted to do something fun with my sis-in-law's gift. My mom sent me the inspiration to a link for a towel cake and I decided to give it a whirl. My dear friend Anna made one for me as a shower gift a couple of years ago and I loved it.

Long story short, I thought I had brown towels and could tie in the pink and green theme of the wedding. Turns out I had red towels that really clash... I forgot I had exchanged the towels a few weeks ago after the registry was changed. Oops! So the color scheme doesn't exactly match the bride's colors, but I decided to go for it anyways.

I realized when I was done I should have taken some pictures as I went through the process, but it's pretty easy to accomplish and there are lots of videos on Youtube as well. I improvised a few things along the way.

I started out with the bottom layer. Take two bath towels and fold lengthwise in quarters and then roll your first one up. I used a rubber band to secure the cylinder and then roll your second towel around the first one. Secure the edges with straight pins.
The middle layer is made out of hand towels and the top layer is made out of wash cloths. Most directions say to use two of each, but I used three of each for the top to layers- I like the fuller look. Follow the same steps as above to make the remaining layers.

Since I was throwing this together last minute (go figure, I bought the towels a month ago!) I had to use things around the house to add the finishing touches. I used shish kabob skewers to stabilize the layers. I didn't want to lose one while carrying it in along with my lil' peanut.
The ribbon is some that I had left over. I tacked one side down with a straight pin in the back, wrapped it around, cut it to size, and the tacked the other end down.
The 'N' on top is an ornament I bought last year during Christmas time and put away for a future gift. I used hot glue to attach it to a popsicle stick. That way it can easily be removed and placed on a future tree.
The carnation flower is one I made for my daughter's hair. I just used a straight pin to attach it along with a few artificial flowers I had laying around.

Easy peasy as that. It probably took me an hour to put together. A lot of that was me monkeying with the towels trying to decided how to fold and roll them. It makes an ordinary gift more unique and is so much fun!

Friday, June 10, 2011

School's Out!

 We'll from now on it's just the Emmabuns and I... at least for the summer. I love having tons of one-on-one time with her, but I know she will miss her 'broders' as she calls them. We've had a blast with the boys and look forward to playing with them during the next school year (mom is a teacher and is able to be home with the boys for a few months). Here's a few pics of the adventures we've had.

 Birthday celebrations

 Treks through the great outdoors

Hours playing outside

Three peas in a pod :)

Picnics on the porch

My little fire department

Playing in the pool.

I love how well they all get along. It's so fun to watch them play and grow together. We will miss you boys, but hope you have a wonderful time with your mom this summer!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lovin' Those Summer Nigths

We are finally getting the chance to enjoy some warm, dry weather here in Michigan! Last night, Emma and I took full advantage of the beautiful evening. We packed up some fruits and veggies, hit up Wendy's (hence the cooler full of healthy food :) and headed to the park. The temps outside were glorious, perfect for a little picnic.

 Emma did a great job eating all her food even with the various distractions around her. A bus drove through the parking lot as we were packing our things up to go play that was blasting music. Turned out to be a wedding party and they stopped to throw candy to the kids. Emma was so confused. She remembered all the candy she collected on Memorial Day at the parade and was worried because she didn't have a bag to collect the candy in!
 Then we went to feed the duckies- mommy forgot the duck food, so she had to share her hamburger bun instead.
 Almost a hour was spent running with wild abandon from play structure, to slides, to swings and back. You can see the sheer joy on my little one's face :)

 Of course, what's a perfect summer night without ice cream??? We had to pick up dinner for daddy on the way home to deliver to his tractor and Miss Emma got her own ice cream cup. As you can see, she was thrilled.
 Once home, Emma had a quick shower and wanted to show Grandma Jen how she uses mommy's hair towel like a big girl.
Within minutes of laying down she was out cold, feet hanging out of the end of her bed. Looks rather uncomfortable to me, but I think she was trying to cool off with the fan blowing from her dresser. All that playing wears a girl out!