Friday, November 16, 2018
A quick roundup of our attempt at our annual family pictures this fall.

Every year I make a big deal out of family pictures. Every year I say we're not going to do it. Skip it this year, I say to myself. You don't need them.

Apparently I do need them because every year I frantically order 17 outfits for each of us hoping to put together the perfectly uncoordinated / coordinated outfit...lest we look like we don't dress this way each and every freaking day. (If we wanted a realistic shot it would be me in running shorts, Elli in her jammies, Kaye in a gymnastics leotard, and Sawyer would be dressed to the nines. (Girlfriend knows how to put together an outfit.) Oh...and our Farmer wouldn't be there because 1. he hates pictures and 2. busy farming.

Realistic, right?

But instead, I throw the fit of the century, promise candy and adult beverages to my farmer, pack a giant bag of marshmallows for the girls...and off we go. Family picture time.

Side note - I packed marshmallows this year because we didn't have any other candy around. And wouldn't you know it! They're brilliant! Chocolate melts and stains, friends. Marshmallows pop in the mouth and they're gone. Marshmallows for the win.

You know what else is a win? Having a friend who will take your pictures who also happens to live close. You've seen her work featured here before. Amy is a saint for offering up her talents again...and again...and again. And when I say offering, I mean I asked her expecting her to say, "I can't." (Because she's by far the busiest person I know), but instead she said, "Of course!" (Because that's the type of person she is!)

Then we're in the thick of it. I'm already sweaty, because that's what I do during family pictures. I slap a fake smile on my face and sweat. Then I stress out that nobody is having a good time and it ends up being me forcing everyone to pretend like they're the happiest family in the world standing in a patch of cheatgrass or Russian Thistle. As it turns out, that golden color of cheatgrass is pretty in pictures but it gets stuck EVERYWHERE.

Buuuuuuut...just like childbirth, I block out the pain that was last year and I commit to doing it again and again and again. Because #sadist.

Also note - In the picture below our Farmer's head was floating riiiiight above Sawyer's head. Notice his hand holding Elli. But what a great picture of my gals and me!

Luckily, I'm happy to report, this year went better than expected! Aside from a brief moment when Sawyer threw a fit and told us both her legs were broken (typical Sawyer), she rebounded and we ended up getting some shots I'll be extremely proud to display! I may even get our holiday card out before Christmas this year.

My Farmer gets an A-...but only because he gave me a little big of grief about having to take pictures in the first place.

Sawyer gets a C. Average. Did not exceed expectations. Her fits...I've just about had it. She did have some bright moments, which is why she's getting the C. Otherwise D.

Kaye - Maybe at six she's danced this dance enough times to realize that if she just listens and smiles it'll all be over soon. Girlfriend gets an A.

Elli-girl. Aside from losing her shoe (I blame our farmer), she was wonderful. And dare I say - The camera loves her. I think she was feeling sassy in her romper. Elli gets an A.

And what about me, you might ask? What kind of grade do I give myself? Well...I get an A for effort, that's for sure. But my farmer would probably given me an F for overall attitude.

Next year...I swear - We're not doing family pictures.

Or maybe we will if we can get a few more pictures like this...


Monday, November 05, 2018
A Halloween post all about how we pulled off our first family costume and it was a Disney themed Halloween costume, Peter Pan style, no-less. Keep reading if you want to see my farmer's heart die a little.
Okay! So October has come and gone and I am so glad it's over. November 1st felt like breath had been breathed into me and a weight had been released from my shoulders. October (with ALL of the amazingness that it was) was also the pinnacle of the insanity that has been the last two months of our lives. What was the insanity of September / October you ask?

Elli's first birthday / Farmer's birthday / My birthday / Two week all girl road trip / Family pictures / Joint birthday party for the girls...and then their actual birthdays / Treats for classrooms / And of course...daily life of school and gymnastics, topped off with HALLOWEEN! 

Yes, It's been a bit much. I know some people thrive in the busy-ness. Me? I do not. I enjoy being busy...just not that busy. And in the midst of all that busy I thought it a great idea to try our hand at a family costume, because, why not? 

Kaye wanted to be Tinker Bell and cleverly talked Sawyer into going along with it by saying she could be Wendy and have a bow in her hair and wear slippers. Sawyer fell hook, line and sinker. She was in.

I was able to order the Kaye's leo and tulle skirt from amazon. Then I just picked up some green fabric, cut the leaf shapes and sewed them around the skirt. I made the wand out of a wooden dowel and some cardboard. Reeeealllly pulled out my crafting big guns on that one. Ha.

Wendy was super easy. I ordered a blue dress from Alice & Ames that I knew Sawyer would wear non-stop for the next two years, so I was okay with spending $35 (on sale!). Then I picked up some blue ribbon. We had the slippers, tights, and white shirt. Done!
Naturally, Elli was default Peter Pan. Our little Peter Pan was a total trooper! Her hat was just a touch too big so I sewed some elastic I had left over from a previous Halloween. She wouldn't keep the strap under her chin but for some reason she didn't mind it on the back of her head. It held the hat on all night...Literally. She never took it off. (#nothinglikehersisters)

I knew our Farmer would make a great John because...because he just has that sweet, boyish look about him. I desperately wanted him to nix the pants under the women's PJ shirt I bought him, but he wasn't willing to go that far. Party. Pooper.
And while I tried my best to pull off a sexy Captain Hook costume (because apparently I haven't lost my gusto for college)...the jacket I ordered was basically the worst, so at the last minute I snagged myself a Smee get-up (nothing sexy about it) and our Peter Pan crew was complete. 
We have some great friends who live on a historic street in downtown Boise that's quite possibly the most popular place to trick or treat in the state. It truly looks like something out of the movies each October 31st. So, we popped over to their house for all the excitement and hit about a solid hour of candy-seeking. It was our best Halloween to date. It's amazing the difference a year can make. There were no tears (minus the tears from Sawyer when I wanted to take her picture) and the only person who wanted carried was Elli. The girls loved running from door to door and yelling TRICK OR TREAT just a little too loudly at each home. 

This miiiight be the first and last time I attempt a family costume (it's just soooo much work), but at least we did it. If I try again for next year I should start planning now.


Friday, October 26, 2018
A recap of yet another birthday party that I swore I wasn't going to throw - Complete with a balloon garland, cakepops, a mini donut wall and custom cookies. All. The. Things.

When does my normal mom-brain stop making decisions and the crazy party lady take over each year? This is the question I've been asking myself since September when we had Elli's birthday party...then Russell's birthday...then my birthday...then Kaye and Sawyer each have a birthday to round out October. Throw in a little Halloween and I'm certifiable. Not to mention - I think my credit card grew actual wings and flew out of my wallet sometime around October 5th. That and Jeff Bezos invited me to his annual Christmas party at Amazon headquarters because I was their most active purchaser in the past six weeks. Yay.

But this isn't about me and how I bought costumes instead of milk and eggs. This is about two of my best gals telling me that their party day was the best day of their lives and somehow that makes it all worth it. Granted...I'm sure had I taken them to a movie that would have been the best, too.

For this year I went with Classic Happy Birthday. That meant lots of balloons, all the bold colors, sugar sugar sugar, and some party games.
(invites by me!)
I sent invitations out two weeks late...but apparently October isn't a busy month for our friends because we ended up with about 40 people (including kids). 
Kaye and Sawyer stood by our front window for the better party of an hour anxiously awaiting the start of their friends arrival. Last year Elli had just been born so we didn't have a party. So to say the girls were anything but extremely excited would be an understatement. Kaye even invited her little boyfriend from school which she later told me made her super nervous and made her belly feel funny. So sweet!
After Elli's party and the beyond darling cookies One Haute Cookie made I knew I had to get some for Kaye and Sawyer (and guests). They were so delicious! I ordered extra again so I could tie little thank you tags to each individually wrapped balloon shaped cookie. 
I also asked if they could match the silhouette images I made of each girl and to my huge surprise...THEY COULD and did! Who would have thought that detail was possible?! I mean...can we talk about how much that looks like my best gal, Kaye?! In addition to the silhouette they also made gold trimmed Happy 4th and Happy 6th Birthday cookies for each girl. Friends...I'm telling you. Custom cookies make the party. At least they do for me because they are just so special! 

(And in case you're wondering, One Haute Cookie ships all over the country!)
Another super beyond delicious addition to the party - MINI DONUTS!!! I have seen donut peg boards all over Pinterest and I've always wanted to try one but I just didn't know how to execute. You see...when it comes to Pinterest projects I love the idea but prefer minimal effort. Because...does this mama have time for that? No. No I do not. So after a quick trip to Lowe's where they trimmed the peg board down for me, I bought a can of gold spray paint and in about five minutes...I had a donut peg board.

Boise, being the very up and coming location that it is, also has some new, super awesome businesses! And by super awesome - what I really mean is delicious, adorable...and delicious...and adorable. I worked with Mission Donut on our party donuts and they did not disappoint. Out of 40 mini donuts there were exactly zero left...and there were PLENTY of treats to choose from. Donuts...gone.

But here's the thing...If you want Mission Donut at your next party all you have to do is contact them and they can whip up your custom order! If you're not having a party anytime soon, follow them on Instagram so you know where to find their next drop-off! They are all over town all the time. You can find them at coffee shops in Hyde Park and downtown Boise. They do pop-ups at different events like running races...all the things. What I'm saying is you have lots of opportunity to find follow them! to other important things like my two best gals and their party shenanigans. They are the type of girls (especially Kaye) that if I ask them what type of party they want they go to the ultimate extreme - Cupcake / Superwars / Airplanes / Trampoline / Frosting Explosion! I would never be surprised if this came out of her mouth. So...I just go ahead and do the choosing of events each year and promise to have lots of sugar and lots of fun. It hasn't failed me yet. 
I bought the gals special birthday outfits. I planned special birthday games. And I even let Kaye invite her school boyfriend...which she still hasn't stopped talking about. 

Oddly - Sawyer hasn't stopped talking about him either. (Even though his little brother is in her class and also came to the this my future? Fighting over a boy?)

We played musical chairs. 

I blew up their silhouettes so we could play a very personalized game of Pin the Bow on the Girl.
And lastly - We provided a piñata so as to allow for the children to get out some of their sugar aggression. Never have I seen a piñata go down harder...or faster. There's nothing quite like sugar-rage.
Friends - I have yet to throw a party where I didn't think to myself, that was a sh*t-load of work. It just always is when you host at your home. First you clean. Then you set up. Then you break down. Then you clean again. 
But never have I said...that wasn't worth it. Because...can we talk about all these cute faces?! And this was only the group I could get to pose for the picture! There were six more children...I think. Possibly more. It seemed like they just kept coming. We can't thank our friends and family enough for traveling all the way to the farm to celebrate our gals. To say they felt the love (and the spoil) is an understatement. 

And friends...I can't stress enough how wonderful it was to incorporate some local businesses into the celebration. 

M O R E   P H O T O   F U N !


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