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Last week I had the brilliant idea to cohost an egg hunt and lunch with Jasper, for the three little boys his age from church and their Moms. What started as a last minute idea turned into a great way to commence Jasper's life as a host. He was gracious as he allowed others to play with his toys (we've never had anyone over to play before) and when it came time to eat lunch he sat like a big boy at a table quietly eating his lunch. I think he was in such awe of having such dashing lunch companions that he didn't even think to throw his food or his plate on the floor. My heart could have burst with pride as I watched him interact kindly (for the most part) with each little boy. This party was a good reminder how important it is to not put limitations on our children. Jasper did brilliantly in a completely new environment and I foresee a lot more get togethers with this cute little bunch of boys and their mamas. After everyone left I felt exhausted, but pleased to see how even though we parent differently the outcome is still the same- kind, sweet and loving little boys!
It is in the quiet moments I find the most joy as a mother. When I enter my son's room to get him from his crib after his nap and I see his beaming face and outstretched arms or the moment he stops crawling and looks backward to make certain I am going to chase him or when he rubs his tired little eyes and rests his head on my shoulder for a few seconds. Those are the moments, the moments I want to engrave on my heart. The past few months, I have made a conscious effort to pick up my camera more often to capture these small, but important moments in our lives.
Now that Jasper can pull himself up and stand on his own I find him standing all over the place. The other day he was suppose to be napping, but instead he was standing and beaming from ear to ear. Rather than try to fight it and lie him back down, I went and grabbed my camera to capture him in all his ten month glory. This child of mine is changing everyday and whether it be the tan lines in the folds of his wrists and thighs or the way his hair and eyes continue to lighten I want to capture all these little moments.
Every Summer we like to invite our friends over for an Ice Cream Social. It is the perfect party to host in the Summer because it is a simple party to put together. Based upon the decor, guest list and food offered, it can be as elaborate or laid back a party as you desire. Although we always host our Ice Cream Social in our backyard, the party could easily be held at a park, or inside if the weather does not cooperate. This year for our Ice Cream Social we served one of our favorite locally made ice creams- Snoqualmie Ice Cream.
On the actual day of Easter my mother was under the weather, so we just celebrated Easter as a family this past weekend. By postponing the festivities it was a good reminder how without my mother, the holidays are pretty much just another day of the year. Each holiday she works tirelessly to pull off a delicious meal, a beautiful table setting and the perfect gifts. And if you are lucky enough to be our little family than all that is required of us is to show up. Over the years I have come to understand and appreciate just how much effort, planning and work goes into these events. I am grateful for the traditions she has established in her home and for the role model she is to me and our children. The greatest lesson she continues to silently teach me is to work hard for the ones you love and expect nothing in return.
Every year the women in my church congregation get together and have a Garden Party. This has been a tradition for as long as I can remember and this year I had the privilege of hosting it at my home. In years past, it has been held at some pretty beautiful homes with equally stunning gardens so I felt a lot of pressure to make it special.
One of the most heartbreaking acts I performed after our son passed away was to dismantle his nursery. Several friends and family members suggested they take over this task for me, but it only seemed appropriate I would be the one to take it down. Ten days after he passed, I decided it was time to pack up all of our son's belongings. Unfortunately, this decision coincided with my birthday. Looking back I believe I tried to inflict the most amount of pain I could upon myself in hopes my heart would stop feeling. After the initial surge of love and support from loved ones, I struggled with feeling guilty for having moments of happiness. The act of packing up his belongings was punctuated with heavy sobs and feelings of anger. The life I was looking forward to was over and instead was replaced with large clear plastic containers of memories. Life felt unfair. Life felt hard, but the very act of keeping all those baby items was a testament to my faith in the future.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year. Between the crisp Fall air, the luscious colors, the leaves which start to scatter all over the ground, and the ability to wear layers again I am pretty much in heaven. In addition, the fact we are expecting our second child this Fall makes me doubly excited for the impending season. There is no shortage of wonderful things to do in the Pacific Northwest in the Fall, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my all time favorite things to do in the coming months.
For our gender reveal party I wanted to make something new. I have a bad habit of thinking it is a brilliant idea to try something new the morning of a party and then serve it to all my friends and family without hesitation. I suppose my cooking style is best described as fearless, but I know deep down inside if something doesn't turn out I can always make an old standby. I saw this recipe of S'mores Cookies from Downtown Cookies Co. and automatically deemed it the perfect treat to make. Once the guests arrived at the party it was obvious to see the "smookies" were a grand success and might even eventually make their way in as an old standby.
I wanted to make our Gender Reveal party special without going over the top on budget or time, so decided to focus my attention on a few key elements to make the event fun and memorable for guest and ourselves alike.
Almost two years to the date we held a gender reveal for when we were pregnant with our first child, Asher. My parents at the time only had granddaughters, so the announcement of the first grandson was really a reason to celebrate. As simple and last minute as the party was it has remained one of our favorite parties we have ever hosted.
For our anniversary I usually try to make a delicious and visually appealing cake. Several years ago, in lieu of gift giving, we decided to spend our money on things we could enjoy together (ie. eating out at a fancy restaurant, going away for the weekend, attending a musical or a concert etc.) Making this cake has turned into a small token of my love on our special day.
Ever since I saw a positive on my pregnancy test we have been in baby mode over here. I know for many "nesting" does not occur until much later in the pregnancy, but for me it is quite instantaneous. Last time, I had clothing hung on hangers, the sheets washed, the crib set up and made, and the baby quilt finished. By week 27 I was pretty much just waiting on our baby to arrive. I was prepared or as prepared as I thought I could be.