Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Royal Celebration

Grace's Princess Party was a blast!  Our family gathered for a fun filled, tantrum free day celebrating Grace turning 3.  That tantrum free part is probably the biggest blessing these days! ;)  Enjoy pics from the par-tay!

The royal invitation

Recipe for princess party: tulle, feathers, beads, repeat

Closeup of the centerpieces

The mantle

I fell in love with this party ware set as soon as I saw it!

The candy buffet and Emma Kate's favorite part of the party.  As the adults went around, Emma Kate stayed near the ground gathering dropped candy and stuffing it into her mouth as fast as she could.  That's my girl!

The favors:  Tiara and Wand, Notebook and Tiara Pen, Checkers, and Foam Sword

The guest of honor

Princess Grace and Princess Emma Kate

Applique shirts and ruffle pants made by my friend, Mandy, at fashiondeeva.etsy.com

Grace and her BFF, Sarah coloring at the fun table

Grace, Emma, Trenton, Emma Kate, and Jacob playing with blocks

Kaitlyn, Kayla, and Ethan chowing down

Mmmm, strawberries!

Princesses don't always sit like princesses when it comes time for present opening.

Aunt Andrea showing the girls how the Barbie cash register works.  "Clean up on aisle 2."

Watch out, American Idol!

It's a sister act!

What's in this one?

Princess dress up clothes and accessories!

Modeling birthday gifts?  Nope.  Playing momentary dress up?  Nope.  Just a regular Tuesday at Princess Grace's castle.

Thank you so much to our family and friends for making Grace's birthday so special!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Princess Grace!

On Grace's actual birthday, she was treated to all sorts of girly fun.  We started off with an appointment for ear piercing, followed by a manicure, a visit from family and friends, and ended the day by preparing for the par-tay!

Here's my big girl on her big day.

Grace has been talking about getting her ears pierced for months.  Since I had my ears pierced for my 3rd birthday, I thought it would be a neat birthday present for Grace too.  I have to admit though, I didn't really think she'd go through with it.  She is a self proclaimed drama queen, so I figured the preparations that take place prior to the actual ear piercing would be enough to send her into a full fledged drama-rama followed by an adamant refusal.  Boy was I surprised when Grace sat in the chair and discussed everything from her favorite color (pink - betcha couldn't have guessed that!), to her silver sequined sneakers, to her princess party.  She sat patiently while the ear piercers prepared, and then didn't shed a tear as the earrings went in!  As she looked at her new jewelry clad ears, a huge grin spread across her face.  She actually squealed with delight when we got outside!

Listening to instructions

There's no turning back now!

Hey, that stung!

I love my new earrings!!!

After lunch at Grace's favorite place, Chick-Fil-A, she and I headed to the nail salon for a "Ladies Outing."  Miss Sassy got up in the chair by her self and acted as if manicures were part of her daily routine.

Guess what color nail polish she picked...

Yup, PINK!


Turning 3 = Becoming a Little Lady!  I hope Grace had as much fun as I did on her 3rd birthday!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Dear Grace,

In just a few short hours, you will turn three years old.  It's so hard to believe that a mere 3 years ago, I first laid eyes on you.  As I think back to your beginnings, my mind immediately goes to the moment I found out I was expecting you.  In that instant, my instincts kicked in and I felt an overwhelming need to protect my tiny yet perfect baby.  As you grew in my tummy and I could feel your little kicks and hiccups, the excitement for what was to come intensified.  When we found out we were expecting a girl, our mother-daughter bond began taking shape.  You were deeply loved from the very beginning.

The day you were born, it was warm and sunny.  We had made so many preparations waiting on your arrival.  Early that morning when you were laid in my arms, you began teaching me how to be a mama.  Three years ago, I had never worried about keeping a newborn warm or tied bonnet strings.  Three years ago, I had never worried about feeding schedules and how many ounces were consumed; I had never paid so much attention to applying powder or lotion; I had never tried to perfect the art of swaddling.  Until you, I had never checked to make sure someone was breathing so many times during the night.  Until you were born, I had never sank so deeply into curious eyes, never had my body ached from sleeplessness and felt so strong all at once, never had I felt such pride.

My precious girl, I did not dream of the joy you would bring.  It's so hard to remember life before Grace.  You quickly became our world.

I vividly remember our first walk to the mailbox.  It was the first time we had walked outside except to and from the car.  I remember the feel of your tiny body against mine, how you stretched your face toward the sun, the sound of birds chirping, and I remember pointing out everything from the jonquils to the breeze.

I can still hear your first word.  You were lying on our bed while I was getting dressed.  You looked straight at Daddy and me and said "Hey."  It was clear as a bell.  If only we had known what a firestorm of conversation that first word would start.

Your first steps seem like they were yesterday.  You and I were playing in our living room floor on a Saturday afternoon.  One...two...three!  It didn't take long for you to be toddling all over the house.

I remember the day you became a big sister.  I was so worried that you weren't ready.  I underestimated how quickly you and Emma Kate would realize the bond of sisterhood.

The first time you sang a complete song was nothing short of Grammy worthy.  "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" will forever have new meaning.

The first time you prayed brought tears to my eyes.  Sometimes you pray for your family, sometimes you thank God for your food or your sister or the sunshine.  Sometimes you ask God to heal booboos or sickies.  But you always pray from the heart, and I know God hangs on to every word.

Somewhere during these 3 years, I blinked.  Somehow, my tiny baby soared through infanthood, surpassed toddlerhood, and became a little girl.  Your chubby fingers have become capable and nimble.  Your stumbling toddles have given way to surefooted strides.  No more are fragmented baby words.  You now speak in complete sentences... make that novels, and your imagination shines through in your grand tales that I so love to hear.  We have some really great conversations.

This past year, you have really grown into your own personality.  I love your independent spirit, your unwavering determination, and your hilariousness.  You are the funniest kid I know!  Since turning 2, you began wearing big girl panties and learned to spell your name, sing your ABC's, and recognize most letters.  You gave up your beloved paci, learned how to dress yourself, and we're working on left and right.

Recently, we have discovered your desire for organization.  I could hardly believe it when I caught you reorganizing a store display shelf.  This wasn't shocking because of the act in and of itself.  It was shocking because as a little girl, I was caught doing the same thing on more than one occasion!  You and I have a great time dressing baby dolls, reading books, and having tea parties.  You are the best helper I know.  You are excellent at putting away dishes, putting away towels, and cleaning up messes.

In the last couple of months, you have decided that pants are offensive and a dress is in order every day.  You love all things fru fru.  The prissier the better.  Oh, you are your mother's daughter.

I never imagined love like this could exist.  But I was proved wrong (twice)!  Three years is just long enough to blink.  These past 3 years have been amazing, challenging, funny, and more wonderful than words.  You keep me on my toes to say the least.  These past 3 years have been the fastest and best of my life.  I would go back to day one and relive it all in a heartbeat.

It makes me sad that you are no longer an itty bitty, but are about to step into a whole new world of childhood.  I'm excited too though, because as great as these three years have been, I know the best is yet to come.  This next year, you will start preschool and ballet.  You are so excited about picking out your first backpack!  I'm already preparing myself for those inevitable notes that will come home from the teacher saying something about your inability to turn off the chatterbox.  And, I'll just smile and think "Yup, that's my girl."

As you continue to grow, I want you to remember that you are so very special.  You were planned long before you were created.  God loves you and has a special plan meant just for you.  It is my prayer that you will trust in Him to show you the way and guide you daily.  You have such a vivacious personality, and you can do anything you set your mind to.

When you blow out your birthday candles tomorrow, I will be holding back tears just a little.  But I'll also be cheering you on with all my might.  Watch out, World, Grace is three!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Hello, Sunshine!

I just found this post in my list of drafts that I forgot to publish.  The pictures are from back in February.  Ehhh, a little late, but that's certainly not a surprise for those who know me well!

After a winter as cold and snowy as this one, when it was warm and sunny a couple of weeks ago, it was like welcoming back an old friend.  While the daddy was golfing, the girls and I didn't waste time getting outside either.  We took our sweet dog Millie for a walk and really soaked up the sun.  Too bad it only lasted the weekend before the snow was back!  Here are some pictures from our outing.

The 3 girls

Lovin' from Millie

Millie, Our 7 month old Vizsla

Millie trying to get in the stroller with Emma Kate.  Emma Kate was not game!

These make nice seats.

Don't you wish you could run as freely as this sometimes?

My sunshines

The sneaky look is because I was telling her to come here, but she has discovered her sassy side.

I love this one.  Grace was in the middle of telling herself some great tale about who knows what.  Sometimes I think she's going to be a great novelist with the way she can spin tales as she goes.

I can't wait for sum-sum-summer time when the sunshine will stay longer and we can be outside even more!