Monday, January 31, 2011

Happy FOURTH birthday . . . . my little Ethan!!
(With an early birthday present from Grandma 'Nette and Grandpa--his very own Hester jersey!)

Is he just not the cutest thing you've ever seen?
We love you so much, E Ry--you have been such a joy to 
have in our household since arriving four years ago!!

{Our birthday bowling/Mexican-eating adventure pics to follow soon!}

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dear Reese . . . .

We "girl" cousins just want you to know....
{L to R: Annelyse, 3 months; Lola, 1 year; Olivia, 3 years}

....that we MISSED you at the party!

We girls have to stick together--let's meet up soon, okay!?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First birthday celebration

We had such fun on Saturday for Lola's party! As any mother could tell you, birthday parties for their babes are awesome--but....yikes! Are they a load of work!

Friday, I got started baking the cupcakes.
One extra-large, and many littles!

Friday night, Lola and I got to work making the icing. We had plenty of little taste testers--the boys made sure to 'double check' each and every color to ensure it was juuuuust right.  Lola had a blast, sitting on the counter with me and watching the Kitchen Aid go round and round!

{ blessed am I to be able to stare at this face all day?}

Her face just screams, "Please, Mommy? Please can I try some?"
{She got to, by the way....}

Saturday morning was an absolute flurry of activity. While my in-laws helped put together sandwiches and veggie/fruit platters, I decorated the cupcakes. It took longer than I anticipated, and soon I was panicked because we were running late!

Thankfully, we made it to the church about an hour before the party was to start. 
Between Shane's parents, Shane, and my mom, we got things set up and the food/cake/gift tables ready just in the nick of time.

The cake table

I LOVE how the giant cupcake turned out!

And the little ones were so colorful!

At the end of the cake table, we displayed a frame of Lola's first twelve months. 
Her daddy put this all together!

The food table. 
I can't say enough about how much I loved all of the 'supplies'! 
They were so cute, and so perfect for the whole cupcake theme!

Lola with Grandma 'Nette and Grandpa

Lola and Grandma MJ (known to her and my boys as 'Grandma Jane')

My sweet boys

We started with some food--Lola loved the macaroni and cheese!

Luke and Livy--this is what I got when I said, "Smile for Auntie!"
Typical. *grin*

One of my favorite pictures of the day--right before cake time!

Daddy, helping to get Lola started on the devouring process....

She figured it out pretty quickly after she got a taste of that icing!

Even though she had it annihilated in minutes....

....she was kind enough to share some with her Great Karen!
This is my Aunt--technically my kids' great aunt. Great Aunt Karen was too big of a mouthful 
for Colin when he was little, so she simply became 'Great Karen'!

While Lo was chowing, I started cutting the big cupcake for the guests.  This thing was a hit--I borrowed the pan from a friend, but I'm really hoping to find one for myself on clearance somewhere!

One of our favorite things of the day--Lola's first Illini shirt, from Great Karen!

Lola had plenty of help when it came to opening presents!
She got an awesome new PINK carseat from Grandma MJ....

....a new bike from Grandma Nette and Papa....

...lots of great Spring clothes (which her Mommy is super stoked about), 
some ah-ma-zing new hair bows from Aunt Aimee (seriously, this will be a post in itself, y'all!)
and even some girly, age-appropriate toys--which we have very little of in our house!
You can see how excited she was, too!

Soon it was time to clean up and go home....Papa kept Lo trapped in her carseat entertained for us!

The babies did really well....but as soon as it quieted down, both were out!
Lola and Grandma Jane

Annelyse (my niece) and Grandma 'Nette

On our way home, we passed my Aunt Karen's store, and found one last surprise! 
Another birthday greeting for Lola!

We came back to our house, the kids played, and the adults chilled for a bit.  It was the most wonderful day--I could not have asked for things to have gone any better than they did!

Oh, a teaser for that hair bow post....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Look who is ONE!!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Baking with Mommy

There is not a day that goes by that I do not thank God for giving me the privilege of having a daughter.

I love knowing that I will be able to teach her things about being a woman, a wife, and a mother.  I've spoken before about how I have a great love of all things that happen in the kitchen--and this is probably the thing I am most excited about passing along to her!

Today, one day before her first birthday party, we spent the morning baking cakes and cupcakes.  It was so much fun watching her.  She had quite a ball with this task!

Checking out the strainer and wooden spoon.
" just what is this?"

"Yummy.  This one tastes good."

Around the head, behind the head....

....and on top of the head!

"Do you like my hat?!"

I'm so, so thankful for Lola girl. I could not love this little face more!

After she was done playing, she decided to show me her most recent trick, and stood up all by herself!
Of course, my hooting around about how great she was doing led to her clapping for herself!

Only two more days and I will have a one-year-old!