Monday, February 3, 2020

Ella Grace {Six Years}

Dear Ella,

Today you are SIX! 6 whole years ago, you made me a mom. It has flown by, but I also feel like we've known each other for much longer than 6 years! ;) The fact that your birthday is on a Monday this year (you were born on a Monday) makes today even more special for some reason. You got so tried of me telling you yesterday "Ok, at this time 6 years ago, Daddy and I..."! You now have to hold up TWO hands to show your age, and you are becoming such a little lady!

We go to the doctor in 2 weeks for your 6 year old check up. (PS, Scheduling around school is hard!) If I had to guess, I'd say you're about 44 pounds and 46 inches tall. You wear size 6 clothes, but can still fit in some size 5 (and even some size 4) dresses and leggings. Your favorite thing is to wear a smaller sized dress "as a tunic," and just wear it with leggings. Gotta love girls' clothes!  You are size 11/12 shoes. You don't really like clip-in bows anymore (TEAR!) but you do love your headbands!

You continue to be a rockstar sleeper, as you always have been! You go to sleep around 7:30 PM and on the weekends have no problem sleeping till 7:30 AM. On school days, I wake you up at 6:30 AM and half the time you are already awake, ready to go! I still make you have quiet time on weekends, where you read or play quietly in your room while the boys are napping. On some very rare days, you will still fall asleep during this time! It's pretty great.

The biggest change this year has been starting kindergarten and you are flourishing. You absolutely LOVE school! You actually cry/get very sad on Friday nights when you don't have school the next day. You were very upset at the start of Christmas break because you already missed your teacher so much!! Your best friend Alevia is in the same class as you, and you have made many other new friends. You love riding the bus and have met lots of neighborhood kids doing that! You love all of the special area classes, but it cracked me up that you got a PE Award last quarter! PE?! MY child?! LOL! Clearly, you take after your dad! ;) You are reading on a level G which is equivalent to a first grade reading level! We are so proud of the wonderful reader you are becoming! You love to read and your favorite books are Piggie and ElephantFancy Nancy, and Pinkalicious books.

Even more than loving to read, you LOVE LOVE LOVE to write! You are constantly making books. When I say constantly, I am talking every free second of the day when you're home, you're probably up in the bonus room making another book! I love that you are such an author and your invented spelling gets me every time. The illustrations are pretty amazing too. You make books for all of us...and we're not just talking about basic 4 page books. Oh no, you make pop-up books, lift-the-flap books, cut out books and your latest obsession: chapter books! I am trying to figure out a good way to organize all of these books because they are all so precious and I want to save them! You have always wanted to be the tooth fairy when you grow up, but now you tell me that you want to be an author, too!

Your brothers both look up to you so much and absolutely adore you. Lucas sometimes gets on your nerves (and also sits on you...) but he gets sad when you are at school! When you two aren't fighting over the same toy, you actually play pretty nicely together and are SO hilarious! Bennett lights up with a smile every time you walk in the room and of course knew how to say "Ella" months ago! Both boys love your books that you make for them, and also when you read to them.

You are still doing dance class every Monday and our church program on Wednesdays! You've also started taking Chinese lessons online and you LOVE Teacher Elaine! At this point you know more Chinese than I do, which isn't saying too much but I'm still pretty impressed! It is a HARD language to learn! But the thing I will continue to be the most proud of is that you are SO kind to everyone. That was the first thing I asked your teacher at Parent/Teacher Conferences, if you were kind. And she said "oh my goodness, yes!" There are two ESL girls in your class that you have taken under your wing and you are always concerned if someone is sick or hurt. You love to pray for all of your friends. We recently "adopted" a sponsored child from Tanzania...she has the same birthday as you! And if we don't mention her in our nightly prayers, oh man do you let me hear it!

Sweetest girl, you continue to shine and make us proud every single day! I can't wait to see what this next year brings...6 is such an amazing age and I know you're going to have the best year! We love you so much!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve! I'm popping in real quick to share this year's Christmas card with you! 

Shout out to our wonderful photographer, Tara for hosting a fun Santa Day and providing the picture for this year's card! :)

Also just for fun, I'm including the responses to the Christmas questions I ask my kids every year. They never disappoint, ha!

{Ella's responses in pink, Lucas's in blue}

What is on your Christmas list? Peppa Pig Glamping Tent; Lightning McQueen track
What is the best part about Christmas? That Santa comes; Santa
Where does Santa live? At the North Pole; Black Lion (LOL....this is the store here where we always go to see Santa!)
What are the names of Santa's reindeer? Prancer, Rudolph, Francer (Francer! 😂), I forgot...; Rudolph
What do you think Santa's favorite food is? Cookies and milk; cookies
What will Santa bring Mommy and Daddy for Christmas? Socks....that's what Peppa Pig's mom and dad get; socks (so clearly we are still very heavily influenced by Peppa Pig over here, ha!)

Hope your holidays are very merry!!! 

Monday, November 18, 2019

New Kitchen and Family Room!

Hello! I am here and alive! I can't believe it's taken me this long to get these pictures on here, but I am so excited to share my updated kitchen and family room with you! 

In case you missed it on Instagram, I finally (after almost 4 years of living here!) convinced Travis to agree to have our dark wood kitchen cabinets and family room built-ins painted white! And oh my goodness, I am so in love with how it turned out!

First, a look back at where we started... these are the MLS pictures from the original listing of our house.

I have no clue why my husband didn't want to paint these immediately after purchasing this house, but whatever, he finally agreed to it, so here we are! 

After a week of painting (plus a little extra; we were waiting on some special-order glass to go on those cabinets. Plus I ordered the wrong hinges, so whoops), here is the finished product:

Now, we obviously still need to replace that granite and backsplash in our kitchen, as well as add recessed lighting and new light fixtures throughout both rooms, but for now I am extremely happy with how much brighter both rooms are! And yes, I've already put up Christmas decorations...feel free to judge ;) 

Wall paint color: Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray (best neutral EVER!)
Cabinet/trim paint color: Sherwin Williams Alabaster
Hinges: Amazon
Drawer pulls: Amazon
Fan: Lowe's
(thanks to my father-in-law for spending almost an entire Saturday installing this with my husband!)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Bennett's First Down Birthday Party

What's this...a blog post?!?!
This is SUCH a belated post, but I was having major issues with my old computer. It was almost 6 years old, things weren't loading and it was slow AF. It took me 5-10 minutes to open any program and I was staring at that stupid beach ball spinning constantly. I thought I could just go to the Apple store and get a new computer...but no, I needed X amount of storage and they just don't make them like that anymore. So wouldn't you know, I had to special order a freaking computer and it took 2 weeks to come in! Then they had to transfer all of my files, which took another 4 days (it's only supposed to take 24 hours)! 

So that's my excuse for just now posting Bennett's birthday party, 2 months later! Whoops!

Anyways! As soon as Bennett was born (at the very start of football season, mind you), I just knew we had to have a football themed first birthday party! This was SO much fun to put together!

Behind that "Tailgaters Welcome" sign, we had a cooler full of beverages to greet our guests!

The dining room was our main party room housing the majority of the food and decorations! I couldn't find a backdrop that I liked, so I made my own using a plastic "grass" tablecloth and chalkboard-style contact paper! I was kinda proud of myself!

For food, I tried to serve as many "easy" tailgate foods as I could think of! We had jalapeno poppers, mini chicken & waffles, chicken wings, pizza rolls, veggies & dip, chips & salsa, and popcorn!

I also made this football-looking thing out of crackers, cheese and pepperoni! (Thanks, Pinterest!)

And of course we had cupcakes and cake!

I could have done with out the REF written on there, but hey it was like $30 so whatever.

I have loved making these numbers out of photos for my kids' birthdays! The number 1 is definitely the easiest to make!

Moving into the kitchen (which looks SO different now that it's been painted...a post on that coming soon!), we had all of the drinks at our "Concession Stand"!

At our kitchen table, I had football helmets that the kids could color and grown ups could write a note to the birthday boy! I also bought foam fingers for the kids to decorate, which was a big hit!

A few more decorations in the family room and front hallway...

For party favors, I dressed up Gatorade bottles like referees!

It was a very fun time celebrating our 1 year old boy!!!

{Please see the reason for throwing that rug away immediately after this party!}

Bennett was super excited to open his presents! He loves his PBK chair, Ramses and a whole bunch of B Toys (we haven't owned a toy made by this company that we didn't like; they are the best)!

Bennett's shirt: A Little Stitch of Charlotte
Ella's dress | Lucas's shirt: Smocked Auctions
Blowup goal posts: Target
PVC pipe goal posts, monthly banner, high chair banner, assorted banners/decorations, bib and football headband: another mom on my local Facebook group :)
Wooden signs: Hobby Lobby
Grass tablecloth, plates, napkins: Target
Cake: Publix
Chalkboard contact paper: Amazon
Chalkboard milestone poster: Etsy
Cupcake toppers: Amazon
Pom Poms: Amazon
Chalkboard easels: Target
Tablecloths: Hobby Lobby
Foam Fingers: Oriental Trading
Whistles: Amazon