Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Squeaky Christmas Treat

I saw this little project on a morning show several weeks ago, and thought it would be fun to do with Will. He loves helping with just about anything in the kitchen, so I figured this would be right up his alley.

For those of you who may be interested in giving it a try, it's super's the "recipe."

- Semi-sweet chocolate, melted
- Hersey Kisses (I used Hugs with the milk chocolate & white chocolate)
- Maraschino Cherries (get the ones with stems...I accidentally purchased ones without stems, so our poor little mice are without tails)
- Sliced almonds

Melt the chocolate, dip the cherries into the chocolate and immediately place the Hersey Kiss against it to make the head/body, and then add the sliced almonds to make the ears. Then use a toothpick to dip into the melted chocolate, and make the eyes and nose of the mouse.

Friday, December 17, 2010

1 Week and Counting

We are thoroughly enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas around here. Will has been anticipating this for months, and has been convinced since August that he's been seeing Christmas lights while driving at night. Thankfully the time is finally here, and we don't have to keep explaining to him that Christmas is still several months away!! I love seeing the anticipation on kids faces, though...makes me wish I was a kid all over again.

On a couple occasions we have gone through McDonald's drive-through, picked up dinner and ate it in the car while driving around looking at lights...Will thinks that's pretty much the coolest thing ever (especially when Daddy takes him, because he'll even get them a chocolate milkshake to share). Christmas songs are pretty much playing around-the-clock at our house on Pandora, and even though I'm way behind on my shopping, I think I have my to-do list sorted out...somewhat :/

I finally got my Christmas cards off in the mail, and even though you won't be able to see the full effect of the metallic paper I printed them on, I included the file so you could have a sneak peek at the card :)

Thinking back to this time last year when we were still in the hospital with Will after his scary seizure ordeal, we are so incredibly grateful that we are not spending our week before Christmas in the ICU! We praise God for 2 healthy, growing boys, and although our life seems somewhat chaotic at times, we are falling more and more in love with Will and Graham every day. We feel so blessed that the Lord chose us to be their parents, and pray for another healthy year for all of us! The older we get, the more we realize what a gift health is, and not to take it for granted.

On that note, we are praising God for another blessing...we're expecting baby #3 next summer. I'm almost 12 weeks along, and glad to be entering the 2nd trimester. I haven't been too terribly sick, but moreso with this pregnancy than the previous 2. I'm ready for my energy levels to pick up again as well, but other than that, I can't complain. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that we're going down this road for a 3rd time, but I have to keep reminding myself that Graham will be close to 2 at that point (21 months, to be exact), and that stage should be slightly easier than where we're at currently. Right?! (gulp).

Merry Christmas, everyone! Enjoy your time with family and friends, travel safe, and share pictures when you have them :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Summer Days at the Lake

Anyone else already singing the Winter blues? Don't get me wrong...I love this time of year with all its gatherings with family and friends, and I even enjoy the occasional snow, but I'll never be a fan of the bitter cold. I get cabin fever way too quickly during these winter months, and dream of Summer days spent on the water.

Looking back through some of our pics, I realized I never posted some of my favorites from our time spent at Dave's parents cabin. We love the days at the lake, and always make great memories there. The first photo is of one of the boys' favorite activities while there...going for a drive around the lake in the golf cart.

Hurry back, summer...hurry back!

Will loves helping Grammy by watering her flowers. When I took him out do so on this particular day, he wanted to pick Grammy a flower, so I had to capture it :)

Brother love ;-)

I love this looks like he's driving a hard bargain with me from across the table.

He's also very serious about his corn-on-the-cob.

Friday, November 5, 2010

HaPpY 1st BiRthDaY, GrAhAm!!

Just a a few thoughts on our fun little boy, in no particular order...

Our sweet, silly little Graham has come a long way in one year's time. I guess it's only to be expected that he'd grow and change during his first year, but sometimes it's still hard for me to believe that a year ago today we had an 7.13 lb infant fully dependant on us. And although Graham isn't officially walking yet, he's taking steps and keeping up with his 3-year old brother quite well.

Many have made comments that they've never seen a 1-year old play quite like Graham...he plays like he's 2. He's very dexterous. I remember when he was 5 months old and I saw him grab his pacifier and pop it back into his mouth, I thought for sure it was a fluke; but sure enough, he has done that consistently since that day.

He zooms around with cars and trucks just like Will, and the two of them love to wrestle each other. Graham is such a little tease. In fact, as I sit here working on the laptop, he keeps coming over pushing buttons and giving me this big mischievous grin. He has the most contagious belly giggle I've ever just melts me. He's definitely a social little bee...he wants to be where the action is.

At this stage in the game, Graham is most definitely a mama's boy...he doesn't like to let me out of his sight. If I need to leave his side for any reason, he'll often take it personally and start crying. He also currently enjoys attaching himself to my pant legs. I'll be working in the kitchen trying to make a meal, or put dishes away, and he'll be clinging to me; which, as you might imagine, makes it quite difficult to get much accomplished :) And although I find myself getting annoyed at times, I know those are the very things I will miss as he gets older.

Unlike Will, Graham is both a blankie and a paci baby. He loves to take blankets and rub them in his cute. And although his personality is more fiery than Will's, Graham, surprisingly, is more of a snuggler than Will ever was...and I eat up every minute of it...even when he wakes up too early ;-)

One more thing about Graham right now that we just think is the cutest thing, is how he crawls. In the most adoring way possible, we sometimes refer to him as "peg leg," because when he crawls, he'll push off with his left foot. For some reason we find it very endearing...sometimes we'll even catch Will calling him, "peg leg." Oh, and just for the record, we don't typically endorse name-calling, but in this particular case we find it to be oddly adorable.

You may recall in one of my previous posts that I made the prediction that Graham will one day to grow up to be an engineer, and I still stand by that. He loves to open and close drawers, cabinet doors, roll our dishwasher rack back and forth, basically anything with hinges or tracks, he wants to play with. He's also an excellent burper...yes, I said, "burper." If we held a contest with grown men, he would win hands-down. In fact, Dave just informed me that at dinner last night, Graham let out a belch, Dave laughed, and Graham kept trying to burp more because he apparently found it funny as well.

Our little man has certainly brought a lot of joy and laughter to our lives, and we're so grateful the Lord has blessed us with him. We continue to pray that both of our boys would "grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man;" that they would "love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that they would love others as themselves;" and of course, above all, that they would come to know the Lord at a young age. We pray that our boys will live long, healthy lives fully devoted to the work of the Lord. We love you, Graham...happy 1st birthday, little buddy :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Evolving Endeavor

Someone once told me that just because you're becoming a mom, don't allow yourself to get "lost" in that role...continue with your hobbies, passions, and other things you enjoy. Well, I've had a passion for photography for many years now...ever since my late Uncle Jim let me put my hands on his old manual SLR camera when I was 15 years old, and showed me his photos from their trips to U.S. National Parks, I fell in love with the art.

My Uncle Jim and his family circa 1985-ish

While attending Taylor, I minored in art, and concentrated my studies in photography. It's hard to believe that I graduated 8+ years ago, but as you might expect, the technology has changed quite a bit since then. If you can believe it, digital photography still wasn't quite the "norm" at that point, and it's even harder for me to believe that enhancing and manipulating photos in programs like Photoshop wasn't part of the curriculum (wow, we're getting old).

As far as my knowledge of Photoshop goes, I'm fairly well-versed in the area of graphic design due to my previous positions in marketing, but I would love to expand my knowledge of the program for enhancing photos. I am hoping to take a class or 2 at a community college within the next year. I'm not sure to what degree I'd like to practice the art of photography professionally, but for now I'm enjoying getting some experience photographing friends, family, family friends, and friends of friends :) I have also taken on the role of building a photo library for our church, which has been a fun, on-going project as well.

As much as I enjoy photographing people, I also enjoy still life. My dream job would to be a photgrapher for a magazine...more specifically a travel magazine. Would that not be the best job ever?! I rather think so. Most of you probably didn't know that I interned at a newspaper after my junior year at Taylor. The newspaper allowed me to fill the position as chief photojournalist for the summer, and I loved every single day! I learned a lot and had some wonderful experiences, but more importantly, realized how much more I have to learn!

Now that my life is officially slowing back down to a more normal pace (Kristin got married last Saturday...more on that later), I am ready to sign myself up for other projects to fill my time. Sooooo, if anyone is interested in photos for Christmas cards, I'll take all the experience I can get.

Here's a small sampling of some of the photos I've had the privilege of taking recently:
My friend Heather asked if I would be willing to take senior photos for her cousin, Janna...I was thrilled that she asked. We shot them at Heather's parents' much fun!

This little guy, Alec, just melts my heart. I'm friends with his parents, and he and Graham are only a month apart, so I had a lot of fun with this one :) I learned a lot during this shoot...specifically how challenging this age is to photograph...these little guys don't stop for a second!!

My friend Jen wanted to surprise her husband with photos of she and her boys for Father's Day this year. We probably shot all the pictures within 15 minutes, because Graham was not a happy camper, but alas, we still somehow managed to get a few :)

When our good friends Abe & Lindsay were pregnant, I went to one of Lindsay's baby showers, and all the girls there filled out "coupons" for things we would offer to do to help them once their little Ethan was born. Because I'm always looking for any excuse to hang out with them, I thought I'd offer to take some photos. We had a blast, but I think poor Ethan was a little confused why we changed his outfit so many times in one night :) He was a trooper.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Time to Kiss Singlehood Goodbye, Kris!

Dave's sister (or shall I say, one of my best friends?), Kristin is getting married in t-minus 5 days. It hasn't really sunk in yet, as we've all been in the planning stage for so many months, but we're very excited for her and Dan. They're a great match, and Dan's a fun addition to the family :)

As her matron-of-honor (is it just me, or does the word, "matron" sound old-maidish?) I had the privilege of planning her bachelorette party. Luckily for me, she didn't want the "typical" bachelorette party (whew!), so I was able to be a little bit more creative in the planning process. Since the major theme of Kristin's wedding is romantic vintage, I ran with that...everything vintage.

We began the night with all the girls meeting at our house, then ventured off to do a little shopping. Following our shopping spree, we went to a fabulous restaurant and ordered pretty much every appetizer on the menu. I reserved one of their quaint rooms, and we all stuffed our faces with amazing food. We concluded the evening back at our house for a round of desserts.
I particularly like Kristin's hat in this photo.
anyone else obsessed with hydrangeas? LOVE these flowers!!
We're so excited for you,'re going to make an amazing wife. Dan's a lucky man...and we think he's a pretty cool dude, too ;-) I can't wait for your big're going to be a beautiful bride!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Stealing Ideas Left and Right

You can't say I didn't warn you (my mom friends, that is) that I'd be stealing some of your fun ideas ;-) I'm sure just like us, you're trying to take full-advantage of these last remaining warm days. We've had gorgeous temps in the 70's the past couple weeks, but apparently the shift happens tonight. Today's high reached somewhere in the upper 70's, but there's talk of snow flurries next week (GULP)! Apparently a cold front is coming our way, and tonight, rain to boot...which explains this nasty headache of mine that won't go away.

Nonetheless, me and the boys have been out and about as much as possible. The first idea we stole was going on a nature walk. We made some high-tech toilet paper roll binoculars, and collected leaves, tree bark, berries, acorns, and flowers along the way, and glued them to construction paper. Thanks for the fun idea, Meredith...we had a great time.

our nature walk treasures

The second idea we stole was from my friend Becca. I took the boys downtown to the riverfr
ont this afternoon. There's a park area right on the river that has big metal slides. At first Will seemed a little unsure about going down, but he was having fun watching all the other kids. I could tell he was contemplating it, but until I asked if he wanted to go with me and Graham, he was pretty hesitant. However; after hearing my suggestion, he responding with a resounding, "YEAH!" Hence, Will, Graham, my camera, purse, and I all went down the slide at the same time...wish I had that one on video...or not ;-)

Thanks for the ideas...keep them coming, yall!!

for once, Will's actually cooperating with my camera

thinking about it...

at the bottom right after we went down :)

yes, this is Omaha...not as podunk as you thought, huh? :)

We met up with Dave after work for dinner, and had some great family time. To make the day even more memorable, Graham took his first official (independent) steps today. He was so proud of himself, and so were we...good job, little're growing up too fast!!!