Monday, September 26, 2011

Tough "ONE" To Top

When you name a child Owsley, you must take the responsibility of doing things differently for that child.  Her first birthday party was no exception!  You have seen the crafting and the invites that have led up to the big day, but now I can share with you the beautiful pictures and reactions that came along with her big day.  The Sandbox Party Room was transformed into a nautical wonderland and our favorite local bakery (Ronnie's) took our ideas and ran with it.

We also took it to the next level by adding her Monogram to the top of the sandcastle with our Little Miss Monogram Acrylic Cake Toppers.  The whole name would have been cute, but can you imagine the size of the cake that would have required-ha!

All of her friends began to arrive and they played through out the Children's Museum.  It's always so much fun to see the babies that used to roll around next to each other now share toys and give each other hugs.

After some play time and Mommy catch up time, it was time for Ows to smash her cake.

There was very little smashing, as she's kind of a light weight!  She was sugar wasted!!!!  Not long after, all of our friends began to head out, but not before we gave them all of the favors we had been working on.

Then, the greatest thing started happening that evening!  Friends were calling to say how much they enjoyed the CD mix and the Orbit Labels.  Even better, a few of them sent us pictures with their Orbit Labels in use

Here is Miss Emma Rose with her pink Orbit Label on her pink sippy cup (the girls likes pink, can you blame her?!?) And then there was Silly Uncle Mike who sent us this shot

You know, in case he forgets his last name?!?!?  Interesting new use Uncle Mike!  Good to know that they are also a highly fashionable accessory!

On a serious note, we appreciate everyone that was able to join us for this ever so special day.  We love all of you and thank you for the love you have shown our precious baby girl!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabulous Favors

So the big day is upon us and Miss O will be smashing her cake tomorrow afternoon!!!!  I know she has no idea what is going on but I am simply beside myself!  Last night I finished putting together all of the favors for the kiddos and adults alike.  I mean, everyone loves to leave a party with a little goodie even if you are over the age of 5!  Sussie and Lisa helped me craft the favor bags and I did a simple PSA stamping (much like on the invites) for the CD cover

The tater tots at the party will be walking away with the incredibly awesome orbit labels by Inch Bug that we all know I am obsessed with!!!

Meanwhile, the adult attendees will be leaving with something that is very special to both my husband's and my hearts.  When Ella was born, we started a play list on our iTunes of songs that just made us think of her.  She was our "Everything" by Michael Buble, our "Little Miss Magic" by Jimmy Buffet and thanks to the chart topper of that year she was our Ella, Ella, Ella, "Umbrella" by Rhianna (though we went for the more toned down version by Taylor Swift.)  Every time I hear one of the songs from her play list it brings a tear to my eye and makes me think of our sweet baby girl.  We decided we wanted to share this with all of of family and loved ones that come to her first birthday party and made them each a copy of "Ella's Mix" to enjoy themselves.  My Mom still calls me every time she puts it on in her car.

So to follow suit, Owsley has quite the play list of her own.  Owsley had a rough first few months due to acid reflux and colic and I remember just saying over and over to her "What can I do to make you smile?!?" and then I would sing her Tim McGraw's "Just To See You Smile." So that makes the list!  My husband and I also have a slight hippie side and one of the first sound engineers for the Grateful Dead was a dude named Owsley Stanley.  Now hold up here, because we are not that hard core!  Take peace in knowing that she is named for my Great Grand Mother's maiden name, just a coincidence my husband finds awesome!  In honor of this there is a little "Sugar Magnolia" on there as well as "The Waker" by Widespread Panic.  And to round off her list is Katy Perry's "That's What You Get For Waking Up In Vegas," cause not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, got me?  Her CD is fun and makes me smile when I think about how much it matches her personality.  I know it's a simple favor but it means a lot to u to share it with our friends and someday, when the girls are old enough to get it, hopefully it will be special to them too!  Almost like a scrapbook of memories set to music....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Keeping The Memory Alive

On Monday evening we lost my Dad's mom.  Her name was Mary Day Martin and she was the epitome of a character.  She was 88 years old and everyone in her town knew her and knew her well.  She often quoted Thomas Fuller by stating that      "Fool's names, like fools faces - Are often seen in public places" and as much, tended to stay close to her home, though her home with my grandfather Johnny was often rocking. 

Growing up, some of our favorite memories with them were their monthly porch parties.  This was no small shindig.  The porch around their cabin had as much living space as the inside of their home and come party night it was filled with rows and rows of tables and a plethora of chairs.  Folks from all over the county (did I mention they lived in the country...and I mean COUNTRY) would arrive with their most famous dishes and the food was beyond dynamite.  Us kids would drown ourselves in the ambrosia, boiled custard, home made cobblers and bundt cakes.  In the mean time, there would be a band of locals playing their guitars and mandolins and on the special occasion a few of the women would break out their clogging shoes.  It was an incredible time.

Mary began to loose her battle with Alzheimer's about the time I was in college and she didn't make it to our wedding though I did have the opportunity to introduce her to Ella on a few occasions
And then, just recently, when we knew that she was in quite poor health, we took Ows to meet her as well.  Neither of them may ever remember the moment, but my Dad and I always will
That woman could cook like no one I have ever come across (well next to Johnny.)  We would go out to her garden and pick okra only to come inside and her fry it up fresh.  Her biscuits were like air and her chicken and dumplings could make any day better. I am trying my best to help Ella learn some of her dishes and we are spending a lot of time in the kitchen together
I need to get Ella out of the princess dress and into one of our kiddo aprons to match mine, as my Mary always had aprons on us when we were covering her entire kitchen with flour, only to make her laugh.  I am going to miss her dearly but hope that we can keep her memory alive, especially through her cooking.  Don't you agree that food just takes you back?  It will always take me back to her kitchen.  I love you Mary and will miss you dearly.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mommy Madness!

Today was an absolute riot!!!  We were invited to a play date at our dear friend Kelly's house and it was a play date to remember.  The hospital where both of our daughters were born offers this amazing Breast Feeding Support Group for all of us new moms.  The leader, Jean, is heaven sent and it is a weekly meeting where we can weigh our babies, ask questions and bond with other mothers that we never would have met otherwise.  All of our babies are a few weeks to months apart and as much all of us moms have become quite good buds.  We have fondly renamed ourselves "The Boob Group."  It has been such a blessing to see all of these precious babies grow together

Those same babies met back up today for the play date but this time Kelly was ambitious and we had a turn out of 11 mothers and 13 children.  Yeah, it was every bit as hectic as you can imagine!  Lunch was served with the child friendly menu of Chick-Fil-A nuggets, hummus, apple sauce, guacamole, raisins and brownies (thanks for that sugar rush Kell!)
Then there was the free for all play time!  It was madness!  Kelly is much more of a woman than I will ever be due to the fact that she just let the kiddos go and enjoy themselves.  I am more of a follow them around and keep order in my house type of person so don't expect to see a play date of this proportion at our house...ever!  Lol
It was at this point that I was grateful for our monogrammed sippy cups as there was more than a little confusion about what belonged to who.  Kelly and I even started a lost and found baggie as we did clean up.  All of these kiddos will probably be getting one of our sippy cups for their first birthday!
After play time we decided to take all of the little bits into the back yard for a photo opp.  Have you ever heard the saying "like herding cats" or "like nailing jello to a tree"?  My new one is "like getting 13 toddlers to take a group photo!"  It was truly hysterical watching all of the moms try to get their kiddos to sit still while Kelly bounced around behind me with a dancing monkey to get their attention.  Classic!  We took about 30 photos and this was our best one...seriously
How cute are these kids?!?!?  I mean to see how much they have grown in just one year is phenomenal!  I can never thank my fellow Boob Groupers enough for the support they have given me in this first year and the true first friends for my little girls.  Won't it be a hoot to see if any of these faces will be seen in the same pre-prom photos in 16 years?  Miss O has her eyes on pressure though-HA!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Off The Grid And Into The Garden

Sometimes you have to unplug to recharge.  The summer came to an end so abruptly and school started up with a force and I needed to get away.  The girls and I loaded up for what was supposed to be a three day weekend in Atlanta for Labor Day with my family but stayed a little longer.  A week longer to be exact.  The weather turned to fall over night and the crisp chill in the air had Mom & Dad's place in North Georgia calling my name.  Rick came back to reality here in South Carolina and the girls and I loaded in to Mom's car and headed North.  It was the best idea we have had in a while.  Oh, and did I mention that cell phones don't work there (darn!)  We went for walks, fed the animals, got in the garden and cooked up a storm.  Mom has a garden that is to die for.  It takes a lot of up keep by her and Dad but the bounty is beyond worth it.  Gin decided to take the girls down there first thing in the morning and see what all was ready for harvest.
Owsley loved the organically grown bell peppers and couldn't wait to try them!  We love that Mom and Dad have decided to do everything so naturally!  Ella really appreciated the Tommy Toe tomatoes!
Child parked herself in front of the bush and cleaned off every ripe tomato in sight!  We also found a beautiful spaghetti squash just ripe for the picking.
All in all it was a successful day in the garden.  Mom decided it was time to pull up the carrots and there was a plethora of okra.
With all of these goodies, it was time to hit the kitchen.  We literally spent all day with the girls cleaning the veggies and finding different things to do with them.  Some of the okra was stewed with the tomatoes and vacuum sealed for the freezer.  The rest Gin pickled and canned (Southern, yes, but one of my favorite snacks in the whole world!)  Ella had fresh carrots dipped in ranch dressing for snack and for dinner we stuffed the bell peppers with rice and meat and had baked tomatoes!  It was so rejuvenating I cannot even express it words.  Easily the cheapest therapy I have ever had! 

As a thank you, the girls and I are having this PSA Stamp for Mom made so she can stamp stickers to put on her canned goods or on a card hanging from a basket of fresh veggies that she often delivers to friends and neighbors.  It's the least I can do for giving me the gift of her time and her knowledge!  She's a pretty great Mom, if I do say so myself, and gives me a lot to live up to!  Our schedule may be a bit off kilter but our minds are right on track!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Family Tradition

I bleed Red & Black, it's plain and simple.  September hits and I get giddy, there's no way around it.  I have been in love with The University of Georgia Bulldawgs (that's right, BullDAWGS) since I was born.  Mom and Dad went there, as well as all three of my aunts and my brother and my high school best friends and my oldest friend in the whole world and the list keeps going.  Mom and Dad were taking me to games from the time that I was toddling around
Case in point, this is me at a UGA v GT game on November 20, 1982.  I was just about 2 and 1/2.  We decided to start with Ella when she was a bit younger than that
She attended her first game just a few weeks shy of her first birthday.  She didn't quite get the concept but boy, did she love the cheerleaders!  To this day if a football game comes on TV she bursts into "GOOOO Dawgs, Sic 'Em, woof woof woof!"  Makes a Mommy proud-HA! 

Part of attending a game (or even hosting an at home viewing) is the tailgating.  Here in the south it is truly an art.  We have friends that went to college either out west or up north and, though the concept is the same, the pomp and circumstance that comes along with it just can't match the south.  While some may find it strange, we girls wear our sundresses and the boys are in button downs and khakis and sometimes a tie.
We throw around the football, mingle with fellow tailgaters, and drink.  There also may be some grilling involved by the gents, but we ladies love to put out our spread.  Everyone sets up their UGA tents and tables full of dips, goodies and the bar.  This year, to have our tent stand out in the crowd, I have added this little gem
We can hang this flag high over our tent, with our name pronounced across the bottom, or even hang it on the front porch when it's an away game that we can't make!  I will also be keeping all of the beverages under our tent nice and chilly in this awesome beverage bucket
And when the time to end the tailgate has come and we make our way in to the stadium, it's always a hoot to see everyone figure out how they are going to smuggle their Jack in.  In the South, they do not serve alcohol in the stadium and four quarters plus a half time is entirely too long to go with out another Jack n Coke, so then comes the flask game.  Usually the boys will hand their flask off to us girls to hide somewhere on us, but this year I am going to have my own flask...and its pink!
How cute is that?!?  Not all things on Gameday must be Red & Black (though if you please, we also have the flask in black!) and as much, LMM has all of these goodies in the school of your spirit, but don't expect me to cheer for them...remember, I bleed Red & Black!  GOOO DAWGS SIC EM!!!!!