Saturday, September 29, 2012

if you give a tween a party

If you give a tween a party she'll want to do something big to celebrate turning two digits.
When she decides she wants to spend the night at a hotel you have to look at different ones on the internet.  While she's looking she realizes she must have one with an indoor pool.

Then she thinks about what bathing suit and other things she'll need for a pool.
When she's looking through pool stuff she remembers her American girl doll has a bathing suit.  Since her doll has a suit she decides she wants all of her friends to bring their dolls.  Then she decides all the dolls will go on a trip together.
If the dolls are going on a trip they will need suitcases.

When you're at the store looking for tiny suitcases she realizes they could make a lot of other fun things for the dolls too.
Then on the week before the party you realize they might get bored, so they might want to do something else like paint their nails with starfish.
And while you are thinking of the party you realize you need cake, but you are tired of cake because you've already had 2 other cakes in the past week.  So you think of something inventive and chic like faux sushi. Then you realize you are not Martha Stewart and your sushi doesn't look that cool, so you buy some twinkies and candy fish so they can make different faux sushi.  But they don't want to make sushi they just want to eat the twinkies and candy fish.
Then they get sort of bored of playing with dolls and decide to put the new gifts to good use.  So they make scented body mist.  Then they play drawing games.  Then they judge X factor contestants, and then they are tired.
But when they wake up they want breakfast.  Then they see chocolate Belgian waffles.  Then the breakfast buffet supervisor tells them she has never seen a kid finish the entire waffle.  Natalie and Mary Beth see that as a challenge, and they take those waffles down.
Then they have chocolate waffle energy and decide to jump on the beds until they hear a knock at the door.

It's not an angry hotel neighbor but their missing friend, tired from her back to back Little Princess performances, finally arrives for a bit of fun. Then before you know it check-out time has arrived.
Then they are all so tired from the excitement, but when they are rested they will want to get together again.  And if they get together again they will all want to have...a party.

Monday, September 24, 2012

the big TEN

That's right. Someone in our house just turned 10! I just teared up a little as I wrote that.  We've been celebrating a lot over here with separate parties with both grandparents and one coming up this weekend at a hotel with friends.  She is having 2 friends spend the night at a hotel with her (and I) to swim and eat and she has all the activities planned for their dolls.  I know the whole doll thing won't last that much longer, so I'm eating it up.  She wanted to have each girl make suitcases for their doll to take on their "trip", and we found these great little lunch boxes at Michaels art store that are too cute for words.  So anyway pics of that to come, but we celebrated last Wed. with my fam and then over the weekend with a little boat trip to Lakeside Tavern for lunch with M's fam.  I don't have pics of her riding, but she got some a new helmet and gloves so she feels like a real equestrian.  She got an ipod touch, so she is all about facetime and all of her new apps. I also like to borrow her new "toy". :) And she got a new doll just in time for her party!
Then Sunday I hauled the girls to the local botanical gardens for a little fall festival.  It wasn't quite what I pictured, but it was still a fun little day.  If I hadn't forgotten the diaper bag and if someone wasn't tired from going to the football game we might have been in better shape. Nati really wanted ice cream that we couldn't find, and Hallie wanted a donut.  See the happy photo of Hallie in the donut line? That was right before they announced they were out of donuts.  Ha. But there was a hay ride and petting zoo, so it was sort of a success.  How cute is the fried pies stand btw??

Thursday, September 20, 2012

classy art

The 2nd graders at Ben's school all do a painting as a class to be auctioned off at their PTA Fall Festival.  So this year I was the colorful canvas coordinator (mouthful I know) for his class, and I'm so excited to unveil their painting...drumroll please- kidding, kidding.
 It's adorable right?!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


If you've read my blog in the past few months you know about my slight obsession with meringue.  I even had my friend Beth call me from Austria at 9 am on a Sunday to ask for step by step instructions for the stuff.  So there are these beautiful, colorful French cookies, I think they are called macarons, that are made with egg whites and then have this creamy or fruity middle (depending).  Anyway, I've always wanted to try them, but they are difficult to find in America (or at least in Tennessee).  They are also expensive for how small they are but anyway.... This past week Hallie and I had a little day in the city with M's parents.  I've been dying to try this restaurant, The French Market, ever since I read about them in Southern Living.  Their crepes are so very yummy (we had the vegetarian and the strawberry to share), and then to top it off they had my bucket list macaron cookies (woo hoo!).  So I bought them and enjoyed them immensely.  They are a combo of light and airy but also decadent.  They are pictured in the bottom part of the photo of Hallie at the restaurant.  I had to get a photo because no one ever knows what I'm talking about when I explain them.  See, they do exist!
Also, I bought H this little rain cloud shirt from Boden during their Labor Day sale.  I love love love Boden, but rarely order from them.  This shirt makes me a ridiculous amount of happy.  I'm crazy. I realize it.  I share a love for this company with my friend Kate.  If you love London or words like parcel and cheeky humor you will love Boden too.

Finally, I mixed up the time for Ben's baseball game so we got there a bit early with plenty of time for us to play catch.  Do you know what I look like playing catch? It's funny. In my own defense I didn't have a mit, so Ben ended up throwing me grounders.  I don't love baseball, but I did love having some alone time with my boy and marveling over how grown up he is acting and looking.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

hope and grace and wedding pics

It's been an interesting week.  One of those weeks where I don't have advice for my kids, but just have to say something like "I'm sorry sometimes life/people are hard". A week that has involved tiny bugs, many, many washings, doctor appts., and a student council election that didn't go the way we would have liked. But alas, there is hope in this verse I found (again) and suddenly my (our) temporary troubles don't seem like such a big deal.
 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I also wanted to say that I posted somewhere around last Christmas or right after about making this year about praying bigger, hoping bigger, and it just hit me in these past weeks how God has answered my prayers.  It's been a really amazing year because I have learned so much about God and His truths and promises.  I've been reading Francine Rivers' Lineage of Grace, and I really wish I could shout from the rooftops how huge God's grace is, and that right when you think you've read a Bible story and it doesn't relate to you and all then BAM it hits you that you are this person in one way or many. The Bible tells the stories of several women who were not only saved by God's grace BUT became women in the lineage of Jesus; Tamar who dressed like a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law (Judah), Rahab who was a prostitute, and Ruth who was a Moabite and left her gods and her ways to follow her mother-in-law (Naomi, a Jew) into the unknown. I've been unimpressed with these stories for years until I really put myself into their shoes, and saw their desperation and the hope they found in crying out to God. 
On another note... I'm throwing in here some pics from a wedding Michael, and Natalie, and I just went too. We had so much fun dancing, and the cake was hand down the best cake we've ever tasted!