Sunday, July 21, 2013

Aubrey Lane turns TWO!

It's amazing to me that I am posting about Aubrey Lane turning two when it seems like just yesterday that I shared with you my heartache for more babies.  Then a very short time later I got to share my exciting pregnancy news with you; and you all prayed fervently with me as we held our breath and waited for nine months to pass....

Then the baby arrived.

A daughter.

She was more beautiful, more healthy, more perfect than could ever be imagined.  The Lord answered our prayers above and beyond our desires and expectations.

It's hard to believe that the same little profile in that sonogram picture, the same little crying newborn in her daddy's arms on her way to meet me is already two.

But she is.

And she is two in every way.

She talks constantly. Her most popular phrase is "What's this?"  She loves to name her body parts and tell you what sounds all the animals make and name people she knows.  

She is possessive, so everything belongs to someone.  Everything is "Mommy's", "Daddy's",  "Ju-Jude's", or "mine's".   It drives me a little crazy but we are working on it.

She is very smart.  She knows her letters and can name them when she sees them written.  She loves to carry around her daddy's clock and count on it.  And it's impossible to list her current vocabulary because it's so vast.  However, I think that all Mommy's think that their kids are brilliant.

Her personality is sooooo girly.  She loves jewelry and shoes and dresses.  In fact, at her birthday party she received some earrings from her aunt and cousins and her response when she saw them was an exaggerated "Oh my goodness!"  

And just like any little girl should be, at least in public, Aubrey Lane is very polite and uses her manners.  She says thank you whenever given something and whenever she passes someone she says excuse me.  Little ladies get such a kick out of her when she does that in the store.  She also loves responsibility.  She is so eager to help with anything... Putting away clothes, picking up her toys, throwing things away, etc... 

I have to remind myself of all these sweet and wonderful things when she is in the middle of a temper tantrum.  She is in the throws of the wonderful "terrible twos", so we get a lot of crying, refusing to eat what we fix, refusing to wear the clothes we pick out... well, you get the picture.

But I love every stage of motherhood.  Even the ones where I have to leave the house in tears because we are super late for an appointment thanks to potty training and temper tantrums.

To celebrate Aubrey Lane's big day, we had a watermelon themed birthday party.  I ordered the most adorable pillowcase dress that looks like a watermelon slice. 

 My best friend came over a few nights before and helped me with some party decorations.  We made fabric scrap bunting and cut outcupcake wrappers and pinwheel templates for the cupcake toppers.  

I followed my sweet friend, Beth's, tutorial for making the cupcake toppers.  You can see it by clicking here.

We used the same bottles from her party last year that I decorated with baker's twine and paper straws, as well as the lemonade stand to hold the presents.  I also made a watermelon slice pennant banner from pink burlap, green and black acrylic paint, and jute twine.

After we sang happy birthday, everyone changed into their swimsuits and played in the backyard with a couple of kiddie water toys and snack on fresh watermelon.  All the kiddos lined up and let Lane slide them down the slip and slide.  It was a cute little sight to see.

Everyone had fun; Aubrey Lane felt special; it was a great day. Watching her grow this past year has been the thrill of a lifetime. I am sure her third year will be just as exciting.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Aubrey Lane!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

American Beauties

I absolutely love holidays!

I love the symbolic and sentimental meaning behind each holiday.  I love an excuse for celebrating anything.  I love an excuse to hold a family and friend gathering.  I love an excuse for making pretty treats and sweets.  And I love an excuse to decorate.

So being that the 4th of July is a holiday in which we celebrate the freedom of our country, have parties for our family and friends in which good food is served and the house is decorated... I would say it's safe to say I love that holiday too.

I can just see the porch of our future house with an red, white, and blue bunting along the porch rails and friends gathered, eating good food, and watching our children play. 

Well this year, our Fourth was a little less festive.  Southern Charm Marketplace was opening for the first time on the fifth so I had some detailing to do that morning, but once I dropped my goodies off at Southern Charm, we went off to finish our Fourth with a tradition that has kind of formed over the past handful of years.

Since the year I was pregnant with Jude (6 years ago), we have spent some part of the day in Plaquemine with our best friends, Darren and Nickey. 

There is always a band, lots of food and craft booths, and tons of fun going on in the Locks in Plaquemine. 

I love to go and watch the Aubrey Lane and Hannah Grace (Darren and Nic's oldest daughter) dance around and act silly.  Then the evening ends with an incredible fireworks display.  I think that is Jude's favorite part.  He loves the music of the bands, but he is frozen with fascination at the fireworks. 

I love this little friend family that has grown past several years!  I know that with Lane's new job, there will be holidays that are missed due to shift work, but I'm looking forward to the day where there is patriotic bunting around the porch during the day and fireworks in Plaquemine that evening. 

Hope everyone had a great Fourth!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Refreshed and Blessed

Hi there!  Hope your summer is going well.  Mine?  It's fantastic!!

Seriously! No sarcasm at all in that previous statement. 

I took a break from orders and just did family life the past 6 weeks, and I got some REST!  We've played, we've been lazy, we've created, we've pretended, we've grown, and we've had a lot of fun. 

We ended the school year with lots and lots of fun things like school plays and school parties.

Jude was the Baker from The Three Men in the Tub.  And because of his need for assistance in walking, he was the last person to go up to take a bow and the had to go solo.  This Momma got super choked up when the audience cheered and clapped loudly for my redhead!  Never a dull moment with him.

We got most of the family to come out and eat crawfish, listen to good music, and support the Central Community and Schools during Cooking in Central.  In fact, Central sent a large part of their proceeds back with two dignitaries from Moore, Oklahoma.

Then we started with the fun. The children have been in their swimsuits about every day.

And Lane and I decided to give Atkins a try since we both had a little "baby" weight we wanted to shed.  It was successful!! So I've been in my swimsuit just about everyday too! (I don't want any grief about dieting- you have to be comfortable in the skin you're in!) The plan was much easier than I thought it would be, and besides helping us shed a little weight, it has thrown us into a super healthy eating lifestyle.  We were such fast food junkies before.  Now we eat so much better and feel better too!

We have played in the sprinkler, the pool... we've gone to the library, the movies, and the aquarium!

We have given potty training somewhat of a lackadaisical effort.  I say that because I haven't really been a drill sergeant about it for two reasons.  The first reason is that I'm not sure Aubrey Lane is ready, and secondly, I'm not sure that I'm ready.  Sorry if I get criticized, but I think she is growing up too fast and I don't think that she's going to start school in a diaper.

Speaking of school... the realization that school starts back in only a month just blows my mind.  School just got out for the summer!  I have really enjoyed having my Jude home.  He has been so happy and sweet.  He's also been doing some new fun things like pulling to standing position and standing up and doing toe touches... just that much closer to walking!!!

Also speaking of school, I have seriously considered homeschooling Aubrey Lane for preschool.  Well I'm about 99% sure I'm homeschooling her.  Never in my life had I ever felt driven to homeschool my children; however, homeschooling Aubrey Lane came in a tiny whisp of an idea one day.  Well as I talked about it, looked into it, and prayed about it, my enthusiasm for taking control of my daughter's education foundation has overwhelmed me!  I am still looking over some curriculums and haven't made a decision on which path to take, but I'm super excited to get started!

Other exciting things have been going on this summer.  One thing is the opening of Southern Charm Marketplace.  I now have a permanent retail space!  It's actually more like a retail display,  but I love it and it's just another little part of the dream coming true.  And since I took a break from orders, when I got back in the sewing room about a week ago, I felt so refreshed and inspired.  I'm truly feeling like me again. 

Well.. school is just around the corner, but there is still lots of summer left to enjoy.  Hope you are all having a great summer!