Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Halloween in pictures... because that is all I have the energy for after a long day!

My little Dorothy

And my sweet Tin Man

Dorothy with her Toto

The family - Dallas Cowboys Quarterback: Tony Romo, his girlfriend: Jessica Simpson, and our cute kids!

The Wizard of Oz Crew - Tin man, Lion, Toto, Scarecrow, and Dorothy. The ensemble cast with our neighbors The Chambers family!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taking Steps

My baby took 3 steps today. She was so proud of herself too - she loves it when we clap and cheer for her. And Oli loves to clap for her too. We've been working on getting her to drink whole milk and have gotten her to drink more by just clapping for her every time she does it! Here is a precious video. I love Oliver in the background too - what a sweet brother! And Gabby adores him - I love too how she looks back toward him every time she hears him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Birthday to you!

On Saturday, we had a birthday party at our neighborhood park to celebrate Gabriella's first birthday. It was such a special time with lots of family and friends! We had a bounce house, mini-ball pit, games, storytime/finger plays, and of course cake! Here are some pictures from Gabby's special day:

The balloons for our 1 year old's lady bug party!

The cupcake makers the night before the party!

The finished result - look at those cute ladybugs!

Our 1 year old in her fun birthday shirt!

Listening to the story Ladybug's Birthday

My mom, aka "Meme", reading to the kids

Gabriella with her great grandparents!

The obligatory and very sweet messy-cake-face picture! We love you so much sweet thing!

All pooped out after a fun morning!

State Fair!

My family was in town this past weekend for Gabriella's birthday party on Saturday, so we decided to take Friday to go to the Texas State Fair. It was a blast... and made much more fun because we were able to all do it together! We had fried Oreos, fried Snickers, rode rides, shopped, visited a kid's farm and petting zoo, and much more! Here are some highlights from the day:

Oliver got to ride some carnival rides! Here he is measuring up!

In the "little hands" farming area - what a cute idea!

Feeding a giraffe - where else but the state fair do you have a giraffe in the petting zoo!!! One of Oliver's favorite animals too!

Gabriella playing with Aunt Natty's sunglasses - and LOVING it!

Oli enjoying his first turkey leg

What Oliver thought of "Big Tex"

What Gabriella thought of "Big Tex"

Feeling Crafty

So this past week, I was feeling really crafty. I do enjoy crafts, but I don't usually have the time or the inspiration to do them. Well recently I had both. With Gabriella's first birthday coming, I wanted to get to work on her scrapbook that I am behind in. So I spent some time during naptime the other day and pre-made some layouts as I waited on the mailman to bring me the pictures I ordered on Snapfish. I was pretty proud to get these layouts done (and one other, not pictured) in the span of one naptime! Wahoo! Now when the pictures get here, I just have to slap them on the pages and into the scrapbook they go.

So I was at Party City a few weeks ago buying decorations for Gabby's party. I was looking for a sign that said "Happy Birthday" that would follow the ladybug theme I was doing for the party. They didn't have exactly what I was looking for, but something that was ok so I bought it... for $4. Well, I still wasn't satisfied and when the party expenses started adding up, I thought... you know I could make this myself (partial inspiration goes to Megan's sister-in-law Natalie's recent creation). So using my printer and some scrapbooking paper and ribbon I already had I created the cute, personalized sign below which I loved even more than the $4 one I had purchased and this one didn't cost me a thing since I already had everything (you can click on the picture for a bigger image to better see it's cutness). Love it - and the fact that it was also done in the span of one naptime! $4 saved!

This money savings inspired me, so I decided to look through some of the other things I had bought to see if I could return some of them and save some money by making some things myself. I was able to sort through my purchases and return $20 worth of supplies!!! I had bought 2 bags of cups - red and black - but decided to return them and use the red cups I already had and just draw black spots on them to make them look like ladybugs! $4 saved! I was making some cute ladybug cupcakes (see her birthday party post coming soon) that were so fun to look at... so that meant I could use those for decoration and I didn't really need the centerpiece I had bought to match the sign I was returning anyway. Another $4 saved! I had bought some ladybug tatoo's for the kids to take home as a party favor, and found out my mom had sweetly bought some for me to use. So I returned the ones I had bought - and hers were much cuter anyway! Score! Another $3 saved! A few other things returned that I found cheaper elsewhere... and I had saved over $20! Not only did I get some money back, I got cuter and more personal decorations as well as a great feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Then another blogger inspired me to do the creation below. For less than $10, I was able to create the super-easy yet adorable Halloween decoration you see below. This was also done in just a little bit over the span of one naptime (are you sensing a theme telling you the only time period of my day I have time to get things done). SO fun!

I'm not feeling quite as crafty anymore, I think I got it all out! But I am very happy with the creations it resulted in! Happy crafting... hope some of these can help inspire you as well! If you need more inspiration - check out this awesome blog I stumbled onto - JOYS OF HOME!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You Are My Sunshine

Our sweet baby girl had a big day today - she turned 1! That's right... exactly one year ago at 2:06am our little girl came into the world - and we couldn't be more in love! Gabriella has a contagious smile, a happy demeanor, and is an accomplished climber. I love this picture to the left of our family of four on the day she was born.

She has just started standing on her own, barking like a dog, and giving kisses. Coming attractions are walking and more getting into her brother's toys (much to his dismay)!

I really tried to savor the day and cuddle and hug and kiss her as much as I could... so it was a truly special day and so fun to focus on her! Here are some pictures from her big day!

Wearing her "1" shirt that my friend Jessica made

Strike a pose

"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to"

We went out for ice cream to celebrate - I think Oliver enjoyed that part of the day as much as (or more) than she did!

Mmmm... we got her Cake Batter ice cream since cake is the traditional birthday dessert. We will be having the cake though - stay tuned for an update about her birthday party coming this Saturday!


We love you so much Gabriella and can't wait to watch you continue to grow and bless our lives!

Here is a link to her original "birth day" pictures

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking - Fall Desktop

Digital scrapbooking is an interest of mine... but one that I don't spend as much time on as I'd like. Well I've come across a few crafty blogs that have pointed me back in the digital scrapbooking direction. So today I came across one that has free downloads for decorating your computer desktop for fall. So here's my creation (with their help)! I'm so happy with how it turned out. I love the fall colors, the fact that it has a calendar for this month in the bottom right corner, and that it features my adorable kids!

Click here to visit the fun site where I got this download.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What a fun day

The weather was perfect, the kids were happy, the mom was happy, and fall is on the way! A formula for a good day.

We went to the Dallas Arboretum this morning for Tiny Tot Tuesday with Matt's mom aka "Granna." What an awesome place! We all loved being outdoors and the kids had a blast at the pumpkin house, hay bale maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, storytime, and LOTS of pumpkins. We also spent some time walking around the rest of the arboretum and got some pretty views of White Rock Lake and had lunch outside at the cafe. Such a perfect day for a morning outdoors! Thanks for all of your help Annie - it made it SO much easier and much more fun!

Oliver and Granna at the pumpkin house

Gabriella practicing her standing - with the pumpkin's help

Checking out the animals - Gabriella made sure to "bark" at all of them... her noise for all animals

My darlings at the pumpkin patch!

Then tonight we celebrated National Night out with a neighborhood block party. We had a bounce house, cookie decorating, face painting, slides, and food! So much fun and great to meet some new neighbors and catch up with some others! Gabriella did so good getting her face painted, but Oliver turned down the offer with an emphatic "no!" He did get a giraffe tatoo though - his favorite animal. I had fun dressing them up in their Halloween clothes and they had a blast being outside in the cool weather!

Mommy and her kitty cat

Landen, Elana and Oliver (our neighbor friends)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Super Cute Baby

My baby Gabriella will turn 1 year old on October 15th! What a big girl. Here are some pictures of her cuteness that I captured in our backyard yesterday afternoon. We are LOVING the cooler weather and are taking advantage of being outside every chance we can get. Both kids love it out there, especially when we are all out there together. Now if only we could get those darn mosquitoes to go away!!

Smiling Girl!

Balancing Act

Playing in brother's car

Talking... here I believe she is saying "dgjuh" or "juhh"

A connoisseur of fine foods... here she is sampling some lovely, yellow sidewalk chalk

At the top of the toddler slide - she climbed up all by herself! She is quite the little climber. Much more so than her older brother.

Thinking about coming down

Barking at the doggies - LOVES to do this. It's very cute - she shapes her mouth like an 'o' and says "uh, uh, uh" - darling! Just like brother used to do...

Boxes make the best toys... enough said!

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