Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Baby is 3!

Tomorrow is Allison's official birthday. Today we officially celebrated!

The theme of her party was owls. It was so much fun for me to plan. It seemed that everywhere I went, I saw owls!

Here was her party invite. I purchased a pdf from I think I paid $11.95 for the designer to personalize the card and then email me the pdf. I then saved it, took it to Target, and printed the invites out as a regular picture size for 32 cents I think.

My mom and I were shopping at Walmart the other day, and I saw this silly bat pinata on clearance for $5.00. As soon as I saw it I knew I could transform this little bat into a beautiful owl! My mom has the before picture on her phone...all I have is the after picture. The kids and I named her Ollie the owl!
She was WAY too cute to let the kids whack with a bat. So instead, she was our centerpiece in the kitchen. I used a woven basket as her "nest", turned my stock pot upside down inside the basket, covered that with a brown fleece blanket, and then added a few sticks we had collected earlier in the week. Cara was happy to lend Ollie one of her bright pink hair pretties to wear! I think she may have to find a permanent home in the girls' room!

Here are a few more owl touches that were around the house!

These were just some foam owls that I bought in a pack from JoAnn Fabric for under $4.

I also used the foam owls to make a garland. I had several great pictures of Allie wearing her owl hat on a recent trip to a pumpkin patch with her preschool.

Unfortunately, most of my pictures don't have our friends and family in them! I'm always so busy during the party, that I take many of my pictures before it even starts! My awesomely talented photographer-sister-in-law will share some great pictures with me soon! I'll have to update with more "people shots" later.

I found these cute foam owl hats at Michael's.
One of my favorite details was the adorable owl pitcher that I found at Christmas Tree Shop (love that place) for only $1.00! I filled it with gummy worms. They were a HUGE hit with the kids. I am definitely going to keep this cute little piece out somewhere in the house.

If you haven't tried pinterest yet, what are you waiting for?!? I love gathering ideas. Gathering recipes. Gathering quotes. Pinterest is a place to store all of the wonderful tidbits of creativity that you find online. I saw someone use branches as a centerpiece on pinterest, and that is where I got the idea for these. The tiny owl ornaments that I found at JoAnns were the perfect touch!

Allie gave owl notepads to the girls and green owl bags to the boys.
Here is the birthday girl!
Certainly the CUTEST detail at the party was the awesome cake made by Jen Kirkum of Kirkum Cakes.

Brace yourself for some serious adorable-ness!

I just set it right on the cake stand my mom gave Allie to use on all of her special occasions in life, and added some branches around the bottom!
This is what it looked like with a few up lights and when we lit the candles.
After we lit the candles, big-brother-Eli helped Allie blow them out. Allie yelled, "Eli, you are not supposed to blow the candles out!" So, we lit them again, and she got to do it all by herself!
For those of you who have known our family a while, you know that Allie's arrival into our family was a pretty big surprise! The triplets were only just over 9 months old when I found out I was pregnant with her. 9 months later I found myself with 4 kids under 2! Then just two and a half months after that, Brady was diagnosed with cancer. That first year of her life was really consumed by Brady's surgeries and treatment. In so many ways that makes me sad. Many of the wonderful memories I should have of her first months are clouded by all that occurred as we fought for Brady's life. However, I believe that God knew just what we needed during that dark time. We all needed a beautiful new baby to remind us that life goes on, happiness can always be found, and that we could still have some joy in the midst of darkness.

We love you Allison Elizabeth! It's okay that you are turning 3...but how about you hold off on getting any older for a long, long time:)

Friday, September 16, 2011

September Fun

The big kids are in preschool each morning from 8:30 until 11. This means that I get lots of one on one time with my baby, I mean almost 3 year old, Allie.

I absolutely love it.

I love just being able to get things done and have her alongside me. I love just  having one small person making demands, messes, and noises rather than 4 for at least part of my day.

Things like just sitting in the kitchen, her eating an apple and me catching up on work, make me so happy.


She can be a handful in the group, but one on one she is delightful and affectionate. I get many kisses, lots of hugs, and we can talk to each other uninterrupted.

Eli, Cara, and Brady have only been in UPK for a week and a half, but I have already seen so many changes in them. They spend a lot of time singing their songs from school, telling me how cool it is when I say “s” words as it is their letter of the week, and then there have been little surprises like this…


Eli couldn’t wait to show me this! I told him how impressed I was that he could tell me the names of these letters. He responded, “No mommy. I wrote this for you. It says Mommy Loves Eli.” 

Wow. He’s a genius. A very, very sweet genius.

This afternoon the kids and I went to Brown’s Berry Patch with some other local moms. It was a gorgeous day and I really wanted to get some great pictures of the kids. Mission accomplished!

Apple picking









On our way there, I told the kids that we would be picking apples and there would be a playground. A few minutes later, Eli said from the back seat, “Okay Mom. I have a plan. You can pick the apples and we will play on the playground.”

Pictures like this will forever be etched in my memory.




This next one made me laugh. Triplets +1 Smile







Monday, September 12, 2011

Lemonade Succes

Oh gosh. I haven't updated about the lemonade stand!

Well, we had great success again.

Not because of anything we did, but because of the wonderful support of our friends, family, and community.

With all of that support, we raised $1,065 during our two day event. All of that money has been sent to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation in honor of our survivor Brady Andrew Williams.

It was a strange weekend, weather wise. It was muggy and sunny, then cloudy and breezy, then it was rainy, quite rainy and cold.

Despite all the changes in weather conditions, we stuck it out and sold out of all of our baked goods and sold lemonade as best we could!

Our 3 year total in donations is now over $5,000. I'm just thrilled about that.

Thank you to each and every person who donated, volunteered, baked, and purchased something. I got to share our story several times and proudly displayed our family's testimony on a sign for all to see. To God be the glory:)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

School Days

When I was pregnant with the triplets, I had this recurring dream.

In my dream I was looking out the front door of our home on a rainy September day.

I was looking out the door and just down the brick walk were my three kids walking away from the house toward the school bus.

In my dream they were standing side by side, with backpacks on, holding hands on their way to school.

I didn’t get it then. I didn’t get how it would feel once I actually knew those three kids. I didn’t know how my heart would break in such a happy/sad way as I let them go away from the safety of our home and my arms.

Flash forward 4 and 1/2 years later. My triplets didn’t ride the bus to school this week, but they did leave their mommy to start UPK 5 mornings a week in the big school!





That same dream crossed my mind so many times when Brady was sick. I can’t tell you how fearful I was that I would never see that dream come true.

But it did, even though it looked a little different than I thought. And with the joy I felt on Wednesday came a sense of guilt and sadness that so many mommies have lost their precious babies before they can kiss them off to school. I know that is depressing. However I can’t be honest with you if I don’t tell you that every milestone we encounter is now a mix of happy/sad/guilt/joy. It just is.



I love these guys so much! They are so different, so uniquely perfect. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish and what adventures come their way!


And how awesome is God for giving me one more sweet child to hold on to…just for a little longerSmile