attitude is a choice

Dear Jay Bird,
This week has been rough.  Honestly, I have been wishing for Friday afternoon and the weekend since the week started on Tuesday.  I know it was even a short week but kiddo, Momma has been running on survival mode just to get through…

You have had a cold ALL week- runny nose, cough, fussy as all get out- it’s the whole shebang and it has not been fun.  I have been covered in more snot and spit up this week than I have in the last 8 months. I feel like we have gone back in time to when you were tiny and spiting up everywhere except you are much bigger and therefore there is much more of it.  It’s gross, I promise.  I have hope that it is your molars giving you trouble; which means there is an end in sight but still it’s tiring.   You have been clingy and needy and haven’t let me put you down much although at the same time you don’t want to be held, you want to reek havoc on everything around you and destroy anything that I have actually had the time to put away.  I tried to walk with you (and Staci) this week just to get out since we didn’t go to story time because of your cold.  You normally really like this but instead you cried for over half of my walk on Wednesday and for the whole 3 miles yesterday.  It was indeed motivation to pick up the pace and get back sooner but it was also motivation that I surely could have done without.  All of this has been exhausting, again, I promise.  I have napped with you twice this week just to make it until dinner and have been in bed one night at 9:30.  On top of being cranky pants with a cold you have not been sleeping or napping well (which I am sure has to do with the cold/teeth).  Your naps have been shorter and you are up longer so you get tired and cranky- see a pattern?  You have also learned the drop-something-and-someone-will-pick-it-up-game; which means everything and I mean EVERYTHING has been tossed at some point or another this week and while I love to watch you learn new things this game could have waited until another week…

On top of all the sick my to do list is about a mile long and it didn’t get touched this week… I have pictures to look at for clients, family and a ton that I have taken for us too.  I have endless projects sitting in various places around the house in one state of completion or another, the piles of laundry are about to consume us, our vacuum has been broken and the house is a mess.  The vacuum may not sound like a big deal but it has been out of commission for a week and a half and we have three furry (super-duper furry) children living in this house too and in the last week it seems like they have multiplied…

I woke up this morning thinking that if I could just vacuum the floors today (Daddy helped me to use duct tape last night as a temporary fix) that I would chalk it up as a win.  I haven’t yet accomplished that BUT today has already been a huge win…

You still have your cold, you are still super touchy and cranky but when I stopped vacuuming to sit on the floor with you for a minute you crawled into my lap and stayed there hugging on me for a good twenty minutes.  This an eternity for you these days but it was the best eternity that I have had in a long time.  Thanks for the reminder kiddo of what’s important.  The majority of my days are filled up with things and all of those “things” can be wonderful or not; it’s just really a matter of how I choose to look at them.  Attitude is a choice little boy and today we choose to smile…

I love you little bird.



helpful helper…

or monster of a mess?

On Monday, Jamie spent the majority of the day working in the yard, trimming trees, planting grass plugs, getting the gardens ready to be re-planted etc.  After Jay’s second nap we headed outside to join him.  Jay is into everything these days so I quickly tired of trying to keep him clean and in my arms so… I gave in, striped him down to his diaper and just let him go hog wild.  And wild he was- he was a filthy mess by the time we went in for supper but he was pleased as punch with us and himself and that’s all that really matters isn’t it?

playing at the water table
a whole new meaning to the term dirty diaper
snack break- which one do I want??
...this one looks good
yup- I like this one, it's portable! yummy!
high fives with Daddy- it's a fun new trick
checkin' out the new grass
but I don't want to go inside...
just kidding- fooled ya!

party mugs

LOVE is what I have for these photo booth pictures!  I am so happy we ended up doing the photo booth and after taking a look at these I am sure you can probably see why, they are so much fun :-)

By the way, this would be a great post to use the new “slideshow-ish” feature if you wanted- there is a crazy amount of pictures since I couldn’t narrow them down at all.  Just click on the first image below and take a look!

look a little different?

I have been wanting to do a little “spring cleaning” around here lately.  So Jamie and I stayed up way too late tonight (this morning…) to change things up a bit.  We like it… do you??

p.s. Check out the new feature with the pictures- just click any image below to view it larger. Once you do, you can scroll your way through all the pictures on the page, kind of like a slideshow.  Yup, my husband is good- I know :-)  Please be patient while we update our old posts with this new feature.

Want to try it out??  Start here-

i finished it!

This morning bright and early I participated in my first 5K (as a runner/walker- I have helped to organize runs before but never participated).  And while my time was not stellar, I finished it and enjoyed myself too!  Now to run one…

one year old in a flash- the details

As promised here are a few details from Jay’s One Year Old in a Flash Party.  Let me just say this before going any further- the rest of this post might bore some of you.  If you are not a detail person or if you don’t care about party planning, feel free to breeze through the rest of this post or just drool over the yummy food pictures :-)  If however, you like the details or would like the links to some of the recipes that I used feel free to keep reading because I am going to keep writing- I happen to like this stuff and it’s my blog now isn’t it ;-)


Nan designed the invitation for me; she is amazing and I can’t repay her for all of the design stuff she does for me!!  I gave her a few pictures, the wording, date and colors that I planned on decorating with and she sent me the most adorable invite and the time capsule card  along with some other digital files that I used to make the rest of the decorations that we used. Having all of the digital flies was so amazing since I got to personalize Jay’s party AND I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do it- thanks so much Nan!


The decorations consisted of pictures, pictures and more pictures.  We had one wall that showcased some of Jay’s firsts and another that had his month by month pictures.

Aside from pictures I had a few balloon boquets made up and placed them around the house.  Jay loves balloons right now so this was for him more than anything.  I made the balloon weights out of some scraps of fabric that I had around the house, some spare ribbon and navy beans that I am using for a bean bag project.  I think they turned out pretty cute and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about Jay smashing them and having sand pour out everywhere in the house.

this is the balloon wreath that I hung on the door- I didn't make it with the party colors so that I could use it all year anytime a birthday rolls around

I also (with the help of Jamie) made a happy birthday banner (picture of the banner is farther down) that I patterned after this one to hang in the kitchen.

Time Capsule

I thought that it would be fun to have all of our guests and some out-of-towners that weren’t going to make the party contribute to a Time Capsule for Jay.  Nan made a card that I included with the invitation asking guests to contribute along with a bunch of suggestions.  It has been fun to take a look at what was contributed.  I am sure that Jay will love looking at it on his 18th birthday, we only have to wait until 2028- wowzers!!


I usually have a difficult time trying to decide what kind of food to serve when we are throwing a shin-dig like this… We knew that we would be expecting a fairly large crowd and planning food for that many people is always daunting.  So I was really happy when I decided not to try and feed people but to have a dessert buffet instead.  I got to bake up a storm (yippee) and we saved a buck or two by doing this!  I went fairly simple with everything, including drinks, that we choose and did most of it ahead of time which made the set up on Saturday easy peasy.  We had chocolate chip cookies, salted brown butter rice crispy treats, gooey-sweet pretzel melts, sugar cookies, mint-chocolate cookies (I used this recipe for the cookie part but winged it for the filling), homemade Almond Joys, cupcakes, and blueberries- Jay’s favorite sweet.

dessert buffet
camera and dot sugar cookies
vanilla bean cupcakes
chocolate chip cookies
sweet and gooey pretzel melts
mint chocolate cookies
almond joy's and blueberries

For drinks we had homemade Lemonade, coffee punch (a friend’s recipe that is amazing!!) and water.  Notice that even though you can’t really read it you can see the banner in the background.  It says “Happy Birthday JAY!”


These were baked as well.  I used my new favorite sugar cookie recipe to make teal and green camera cookies.  I didn’t have a cookie cutter for the camera bodies (I used a circle cutter that I had for the lens) so I ended up printing one of the cameras that Nan had sent me and used a knife to cut them out instead- it worked great!  I will have to remember this for next time that I am without a certain cookie cutter.  Attached to each cookie was this little saying…

I am no longer a baby,
now that I am ONE!
Glad you came to my party,
Hope you had fun!
Waving bye-bye
Now that it’s through
And giving out kisses from me to you!

making of the camera cookies- step 2, outlining after baking
making the camera cookies- step 4 or 5 (?) letting the icing dry

Photo Booth

We set up a photo booth for the party- yippee!  For months now I have wanted a reason to have a photo booth but I haven’t had quite the right excuse.  Enter photo themed party and voila excuse made!  Honestly, the closer I got to the party the less I felt like going to the trouble of setting it up but at the last minute I choose to anyway.  Man, am I ever glad that I did!  I love the pictures that we got from it and I think that it gave people something to do at the party.  I had most of the props done already (I wanted to have one at Christmas so I had already painted empty frames and made chalkboard thought bubbles) which made my last minute decision to have the photo booth much more feasible. I purchased 3 yards of fabric and some white duct tape which I used for my backdrop.  We have a wall outside that worked really well to hang the back drop from (it’s shaded but still has great natural light).   Then I just put my props in a bin that we already had, set up our camera on a tri-pod, adjusted the settings so it was set and ready to go, Jamie set up the remote so that people could use that instead of having to push the button (I think there are some kinks here that could be worked out for next time- it didn’t always work) and then just let people have at it.  The pictures are really cute- I’ll try and get those up soon- and I am going to add them along with a few other things from Jay’s party to his time capsule.

photo booth- the whole set up
photo booth props- chalk board bubbles, empty frames, silly glasses, etc

All together I spent a little over $100 for all the decorations and food with my biggest expenses being printing and postage for the invitations, the balloons and some of the baking supplies.  Most everything else was put together from stuff we already had and I used some coupons for prints so I didn’t pay anything for the pictures!  Not bad for a party with 35 guests…

Thanks for everyone that came- we loved having you!!

one year old in a flash

On the 27th of January Jay turned one year old!  It is crazy to think of how much our lives have changed over the past year and to see how much Jay has grown.  We didn’t want to let this momentous occasion pass us by so we celebrated in style with a “One Year Old in a Flash” birthday party.  I was super excited a few months back when I ran across the theme idea here– with all of the pictures that we had taken of Jay this year, it was a perfect theme!  Jamie and I decided quite early on that we were going to have one combined (family and friends) party for Jay; so once I had a theme I just kind of ran with it.  I loved every minute of the planning, baking and prep- it’s just so much fun!  I know, I am a dork!

Nan (who is wonderful) made the invitations along with a bunch of other digital files that I used to make printables and help decorate the house- thanks Nan!  We had a photobooth set up outside (I’ll try to get some of those pictures up within the week) to entertain people at the party, balloons in every corner of the house (one of Jay’s favorite “toys” right now), an area for people to leave contributions to his time capsule, drinks in the kitchen and a dessert buffet for our guests to enjoy.  It was so much fun and we are so glad that we had so many people here to celebrate with us.  Enjoy a handful of the pictures!

pre-party lunch

a few party goers- I didn’t have enough time to get anywhere near everyone documented!

the birthday boy waiting his turn for the photo booth
Jay's "cakes"- one vanilla bean cupcake and a fruit pizza topped with kiwi and blueberries
making a wish

a family picture

some of his spectators

fruit pizza time!
walkin' like a big boy
presents- he was spoiled rotten!

I will post some of the details tomorrow- there was no way I could get all of the pictures into one post!

a few steps

Just over the last few days Jay has taken multiple steps on his own.  More often than not I think that he forgets what he is doing and takes them without even thinking.  He is usually “walking” towards one of the animals or to get a phone or other electronic device he shouldn’t have.  Occasionally, he will take a few steps to either me or Jamie; which I love- it’s great to have him walk to you!

Last weekend when he was playing with Piper I accidentally got a few of those steps on tape.  Yippee for cool accidents :-) He was super excited to be playing with Piper, although I am not sure that Piper thinks it was too great since he just hands her the toy but he LOVED it. The first clip (towards the end) shows him taking a few steps, the second shows just a few more before Piper gets too excited to let him take anymore and in the last clip he is too excited to walk at all- it’s still adorable though.  Enjoy!

p.s. sorry for the background laughing in the video, just can’t help myself!

Jay really loved seeing himself and Piper playing on the camera after it had been video taped.  He heard the voices from across the room after I started playing it back, crawled up into my lap and watched fascinated until he had seen all of them.

the curious little boy