Friday, March 3, 2017

Tea Party Baby Shower

My sister is expecting! It has been Facebook official for a few weeks now so I think I'm allowed to tell here. 😊 We are all very excited. She is due in a few weeks and we threw her a baby shower mainly for family and a few friends.

I haven't ever been in charge of throwing a shower for someone else so this was a new and a bit overwhelming experience at first. The easiest part as coming up with the theme... Baby's First Tea Party!

Of course the first place we hit was Pinterest to get ideas. We set our goals high and then came crashing back down later. Truly I wonder how some of these people put together these elaborate showers without killing each other and spending so much time and money on something that lasts an hour.

While there were so many ideas I thought back to when we were kids and what we would do...Barbies, Pretty Pretty Princess, and tea parties. That was it, we could do a Tea Party and give baby her first tea set. Our inspiration began to flow once we found the perfect book to use as a guest book. "A Little Sweet Tea" by Christina Bynum Breaux.

Next was figuring out where, this really helped us determine what the end result could be. First thought was my parents house but then it comes down to wanting to be able to make it a little more special and having room for potentially 40 people. After a lot of looking around and changing dates we were able to secure a location. It was perfect because my grandma only had to walk down the hall and it was a pretty blank slate for us to work with.

To order invitations or make them...that was a difficult decision. I found so many I liked but after looking at the price decided to attempt it on my own. It was pretty easy in the end. May not have been able to use the lace to wrap around it...I am not crafty but we still were able to use the color theme and pearls.

Since the 3 of us hosting the shower live at the very least 2 hours apart we couldn't get together to plan except at Thanksgiving. Which is also when we had planned to hand out most of the invitations.

Who would have known that the next 6 weeks would become some of the craziest for all of us but in the end it all came together. (I started this post in January and just now posting it in March so things didn't slow down really)

Most of what we used was either from Hobby Lobby or borrowed. I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for some dear friends letting me borrow tea pots and my mom's collection of several china sets.

The week before the shower was a bunch of running around doing last minute errands. Buying silk flowers realizing how expensive and how I would probably never reuse them so changing to real. Making chicken salad sandwiches, cupcakes, and doing a run through at my moms.

Unfortunately the other hostesses were also feeling the stress when their children became sick and one couldn't make it. Sad she couldn't come but to drive 5 hours and be away from a very sick child (my niece)...we all knew she needed to be at home. I am thankful that the other lived much closer so they were able to pop in to come to the shower and still get back to their sick one quickly.

I picked up a plastic pink tablecloth and then put one of my mom's lace table cloths over it and hung the fans (not sure what they really are called) from some pearl string I had picked up to use on the invitations (was suppose to tie the lace envelope that never made it).

The cupcakes were placed on stacked china plates and tea cups. I went simple with the icing on the cupcakes just adding a few edible pearls. The cookies were the hit of the party made by my sister-in-laws mother which luckily only lives an hour away from me. She always does a great job.

We ordered the gold patterned plates through Amazon and the pink were from Walmart.

I did figure out what to do with the lace I bought for the invitations...It brought the drink table together perfectly. Oh and instead of doing a true tea party we did lemonade and ice tea because we decided simpler is better.

Last minute add was the quote I framed. "Today I'd like to sit and sip, Forget about the world a bit. Ignore the things I have to do, And enjoy a cup or two." Author Unknown

I found this sign at Party City and thought it would be perfect for baby's room and a little more gold.

Here are a few more random pictures from a memorable day. We were all going to dress up in "tea" attire but it was a bit to cold to request it still.

Thank you for those who were able to come, my niece was blessed greatly. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Minnesota Vikings

So if November was so last minute it had to carry over into December. The very first thing was a trip to Minnesota to visit family, Kentrell. It would also be our first NFL game!

After an 8.5 hour drive in the dark and very few places to stop we finally made it to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Checked into our hotel just after midnight but it was worth the wait. This was the first time we have stayed in a big city and had a room on the 16th floor. It was a great view to fall asleep with.

Of course we ended up sleeping in a bit but up in time for Kentrell to surprise the boys. You can't tell that we haven't seen him in a couple months.

Some things never change.

I have never been to Minnesota so of course we headed to Mall of America. I'm not a big shopper nor a person who cares for crowds but it is one of those places you have to go to just to say you have been...especially when you are in town for less than 48 hours and to cold to do much site seeing.

The boys really wanted to go on a ride but couldn't agree on anything but the obstacle course which wasn't open yet. We had missed breakfast so we had an early lunch at Rainforest Cafe. The boys really didn't want to eat there, they wanted Subway, but after going in they changed their minds. The animals helped keep them occupied. The food was ok noting to be excited to go back for but the experience was worth it.

On to get some "fan" gear for the game.

We should have hit the shops before lunch because it was lines circling the store several times to checkout busy. So I kept the boys busy...

They wanted to take a picture with the mannequin while waiting. Daddy is finished heading our way and one of Kentrell's teammates is in the background.

As we were leaving we noticed the obstacle course was finally open. Here is the of my boys is very cautious about everything and the other is an adrenaline junkie...not only that BUT I could not be on the same obstacle as the hesitant one while I was REQUIRED to be no more than an arms length away from the adventurer.

My oldest had to be helped across on this one, then he decided he had enough, if I had went first I think he would have been fine. He wants to try it again. The younger one wanted to go to the top (3 stories up) and do some crazy ones but I wasn't feeling it. Mainly because both of us walking together made the cables shake so much and I was more worried about making him slip...ok maybe me too.

We made it back to get our tickets and start walking to the game. Yes, you heard that right we decided to walk about 20 minutes in December in Minnesota! It really wasn't bad on the way because we used the skywalks up until the last 3 or 4 blocks because we needed to get food and all places were closed along the walkways. The boys got their wish and had Subway for dinner, except they didn't have the makings for a pizza sub. I was a bit disappointed, that is my go to sandwich there.

We arrived safely and found our seats without to much confusion. Along with almost 67,000 other people.

From our seats we could feel the fire from the dragon as the players ran out.

We arrived in plenty of time so the boys killed time fighting Pokemon...later the youngest fell asleep in the middle of the game. Not sure how he is able to do that but it is not the first time.

There he is! I don't know if we truly paid attention to any of the game except when Kentrell was on the field...

One of the rare times I like a photo of just me... ok any picture of me.

After the game, they lost to the Dallas Cowboys, we went to the players' lounge to wait for the team to change and be released. It was kinda cool being down there and learning more about the other players...well their families.

We walked back to the hotel. Not going to lie it was cold. The skywalks were closed so we had to walk on the sidewalks. It wasn't bad, actually shorter but the wind was brutal. The boys kept it together until about a block away when the younger could hardly feel his hands. Although they fell fast to sleep once we got back.

The next morning we packed up and I took the boys for a quick swim before checking out. We had the pool to ourselves...well except the gym is a wall of windows that look in on the pool so we felt like we were on display.

We spent the rest of the day with Kentrell mainly at the arcade in Mall of America and just chilling at his house before heading back home. It may have been a quick trip but can't say we will forget it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Last Minute November

I can't leave November out. It seemed to be my month of literally doing things at the last moment.

It started with a birthday party my boys were going to. The party was on a Friday night, I knew the mother had a lot on her plate so I offered to make her son's cake. I may have not realized that basically I only had 24 hours to plan, buy, bake, and decorate.

The theme was Pokémon...ideas were already flowing but I knew simple was best. She had given me most of what I needed to bake it with which was a relief. The boy wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting which put a hiccup into ideas but I think we overcame.

Chocolate cake with a chocolate icing for a base and a "surprise" poké-ball on top.

Getting the colors right in a short amount of time was difficult...and may have had a batch I messed up but then used part of it to get the bed red I have been able to. Black again was similar except I just went with it. An Oreo cookie was the perfect button.

Once we arrived I assembled it on site. Ended up having to redo some of the decoration on the bottom layer, but really it was a cake for 3-9 year olds so I don't think they cared as much as I did.

I try to make everything on the cake (besides the candles) edible but this time I used part of the birthday present as decoration.

When the poké-ball was cut open M&M's© poured out.

The next weekend we had a garage sale (later than I like and again last minute but cleared out the garage) and then went with some friends to tour the Old Missouri Penitentiary. I love history, maybe not all the dates and stuff but the stories. At Thanksgiving I was pulled into looking up some of my genealogy based on a story that my grandpa told me about his great great grandfather.

Anyway back to the penitentiary. I really had never been taught much about it and I have lived in Missouri all my life and the last 15 years within 40 minutes of it! It was the longest running and held the most prisoners in the United States and possibly the world although they can't really prove the later.

One of the friends I went with is a photographer, Vicki Winton, you can check out some of her pictures from the penitentiary here.

I did take a few but I truly forgot I had the camera because I was taken in by the stories.

This is the main building. A couple years ago it was covered in mold and had to undergo remediation. It was open from 1836 until 2004, Alcatraz was only open 1933-1963.

Vicki and Meagan in the showers...

Death-row inmates were held in the basement.

Those on death row were allowed exercise as well but were confined to a smaller area.

Some famous inmates walked these halls including boxer Sonny Liston and James Earl Ray (may not have been housed here though)

The cat walks across were not for those weary of heights.

Some inmates decorated their cells. This one was done to look like a cave. Others wrote inscriptions, unfortunately much was lost when they had to scrape the walls to remove the mold.

Death row cell had bunk beds so the top could hold all of their legal books and papers.

It was a bit of fun to tell people we went to jail over the weekend...

Next up was a "field trip" to the roller rink... before going the boys were excited and wanting me to buy them skates. NO WAY was I going to buy skates especially since they had never been skating. I warned them:

1) You will fall.
2) It will hurt.
3) You will cry.
4) You will want to go home.
5) You will try again.

The first 3 minutes of having the skates on they accomplished the first 4...

The younger one is in blue.
I then caved and rented a "walker" the younger didn't want to use it. He is a little more stubborn but also takes pain better. If he hurts it is usually because it really hurt or he is exhausted. He tried to play limbo but it took him so long to get to the back of the line it had already gone through and the pole had been lowered.

I love that he was so adamant about trying.
The older fell using it several times and tried giving up but I tried to encourage. By the end he was making it around the rink without it...neither was really skating but they were having fun!

Success! We even played the dice game and survived until the end. Not to brag but I may have won 😏 but I had already won having fun with the boys and doing something I haven't done in over 15 years. As we were leaving they were already begging to go back!

We host our annual Thanksgiving on "black" Friday. This year we didn't start shopping until the week of! This is not like us but luckily after 10 years it was a piece of cake. Part of the reason was the week before my grandpa had a heart attack. He is doing well, actually he looks better than he has in a very long time.

My parents ended up hosting Thanksgiving day at their house for my dad's side. It was good to see all of them and best part was bringing my "little" brother back with us. He was a huge help in making our prepping for Thanksgiving easier by playing with the kids. We even managed a little black Friday shopping (on Thursday) in, although it was actually for him.

I admit I stress over the last minute details normally but this time I decided to just let it be and it was really one of the best times we have had even if we couldn't get the tree due to sickness and cold.

We ended up going a few days later. Not the same but it helped us feel more in the Christmas spirit.