Back in January, our baby girl celebrated her 5th birthday. Which, don’t get me started on the fact that it blows my mind that she’s 5 already, when she was born just yesterday…
One of the difficulties of a January birthday is that it is on the heels of Christmas, with it’s gifts and celebrations and gatherings. The last thing a person feels like doing is thinking of yet another present, after the child has gotten many, and planning another gathering, after that’s all you’ve done for the last month. Or maybe that’s just me, i don’t know. I kinda go into hibernation mode after the new year.
Since she got so many gifts over the Christmas season, we decided instead of another big gift, to instead put the money into an experiance. She is such a quality time girl, and loves spending time with her friends, so we thot taking a few of her friends somewhere and making memories would be fun alternative. Daddy even took off from work to help me execute the birthday plans.
We weren’t sure what to do with 5 kiddos in the middle of the winter. There were several options, but most of them involved an hour or so of driving…hershey chocolate world, crayola factory, ect.
In the end, i learned about The Bounce Place in Lancaster, which has preschool bounce on the day that we had planned her party, so that was an easy final decision.
There was never a more excited bouncy group of Preschoolers then this one, as we arrived at the bounce place. Very very hard to get them still enough for a photo together.
Bentley is a little in shock.
The only dude in the gaggle of girls.
The excited 5 year old.
The Bounce place is exactly that. A huge room full of inflatable bouncy thingys. Def one of those place that you have to be a kid to enjoy.
The girls loooooved the huge slide and couldn’t stop going.
After our two hours were over at the bounce place (which, we found out is PLENTY of time, they were SO wore out), we took them to McDonalds for lunch…
Amost too excited to eat,they were.
Sweet funny ‘Ness.
Chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers and chocolate milk were the fare of the day.
Bentley holds his own. He does love a good cheeseburger.
After leaving behind more food then was eaten, we headed back to our house for the cake, presents and some playing. At this point, I think Daryl and I were swearing off the idea of ever having 7 kids.
The birthday girl with her birthday cake.
Real life here. This is one party you will never find on Pinterest. Dollar store decorations and sprinkles on a cake. That’s about as fancy as we roll.
Mama’s about partied out.
Thankfully, the kids didn’t mind the absense of perfect decorations. They partied just the same:-)
Bentley gets in on the princess action.
Easiest cake ever. This is about as complicated as I go with cakes…(THANKYOU pinterest, for the idea)
Happy 5th Birthday Darling Abbi!
So I thot today, I’d like to share a recap of some of my favorite baby images that I’ve done of various little cherubs throughout last year. Of course, when I went to put this together, I discovered my husband had taken some of my favorite shoots out of the system and archived them already. Eh well, this is prly from 5 or 6 differant babies, including my adorb niece and the cutest santa ever.
I enjoy doing a newborn shoot on occasion. I enjoy the creative freedom I have with babies, that is, when they are sleeping and all. I usually keep the sets pretty simple since I like the baby to be the focus of the image, not the props surrounding the child.
Enjoy your dose of cherub goodness
Wow. This whole week of being indoors with subzero temps and blizzards outdoors? It can only mean one thing (other then, mama’s going a little bananas) : Projects!
This particular project has been brewing in my head for a very long time.
I may have posted once, long ago, that I would like to make our master bedroom a more grown-up, put together area. And I still want to. But not alot has happened to that space between that post and now. Except life:-)
I’m still kinda ‘puzzled’ with what to put with the color, plus it takes time to save together the money to buy the pieces that I really want for the space.
In the meantime tho, we live in it just fine.
The other thing is balancing out ’empty’ with restful and breezy. I don’t want the room to be cluttered and busy, but I think right now, it would tend to lean towards sparse and cold.
there is a particular bare wall, that I thot worthy of some art. There. by the chair:
I imagine some type of large lively piece of wall art in that area. But big pieces of wall art tend to run a little pricey. Well, anything that I like enough to want to wake up to every day usually costs more then I want to pay for it. Plus, I get a little twitchy spending that much for something, because, if I don’t like it, then it’s alot of money committed to something I don’t feel like looking at any more.
Somehow, one day, my brain stumbled across the idea of birch tree silouettes. I think I saw them in a catalogue like Uppercase Living, or some other company of that sort, with vinyl wall art things. Of course, for wall size items, they also run in the hundreds of dollars. eep. So one day, with the help of my sleuthy friend pinterest, I was able to come up with some images of rooms with birch tree walls, and also sources to blogs, where the person created the look w/ paint, and I knew that was just what I wanted to try.
Then the idea brewed in my brain for a half year, at least. And I still wanted to do it. So I knew the project was a definate go.
The freeing thing was, if I hated it? I could just paint over it. It was that simple.
I decided this week to make this project happens. Turns out, I had pretty much everything in-house that I needed as far as supplies. Paint. Yes. Tape. Yes. Brush. Yes.
Can it be any simpler?
So today, I threw down a dropcloth, dug out the paint and brush, printed out my pinterest image and taped it to the wall for referance, and from there, flew by the seat of my pants:-)
I used tape to mark off the bodies of the trees. I wanted to crispy edge that the tape would give me, rather then free-handing the trees completely.
As soon as I had a second coat of paint on, I was eager to pull the green tape away to see what I was getting. Turns out, it pretty much matched what I saw in my head:-)
I had used leftover trim paint from the room, so the trees are a glossy white. Painted against the flat finish of our very pale walls, it is just the right amout of subtle tone-on-tone contrast.
Branches came next, and this was the akward phase of the project where I kept having to tell myself to trust the process. Up close, esp. it just felt like it wasn’t turning out. But then, when I took a step back, or left the room and came back, I liked what a saw. Further away was def. a better perspective.
Lastly, it was time to add the little jagged markings that make them look like birch trees. This part was esp hard because when wet, the paints were almost the same color, I couldn’t really tell what I was doing.
Again. Step back. Trust the process.
Here is the part where we insert a run to AC Moore to get some gold paint to finish the project….
I had words I wanted to add amongst the trees. Some type of message to wake up to in the morning. Pinterest had once again, found me just the right one.
At AC Moore, I got some transfer paper. (remember tracing paper, from years ago, that purplish-black stuff??) Well, this was it’s modern cousins. It came in a pack of all differant colors. Just the thing I needed, since I didn’t trust myself to freehand the lettering. I used yellow tracing paper so that if the paint didn’t cover it completely it wouldn’t show thro my gold paint.
After tracing. I carefully filled in the words with metallic gold craft paint. I didn’t want the words to be huge or in-your-face. Just a subtle bright whisper…
And there you have it. $10 wall art.
This was a project that pretty much translated from my head into real life just the way I envisioned. I’m kinda in love with how it turned out.
It’s pretty hard to get pictures of just because it’s so light, really doesn’t show up great on images.
My dream purchase for this corner would be a tufted armchair. I’ve logged many hours on that ikea chair bouncing Bentley, but the dorm-vibe it gives off isn’t my favorite look. One day I hope to retire it to the family room where it can continue to live out it’s days in happiness and love, and we can class-up that corner a little more:-)
And there you go. Hope you enjoyed seeing the project as I had doing it. Super fun Saturday activity, it was:-)
Hey there! It has been a loooong time!! How does one burst back into blogging scene after a several month hiatus?? I don’t even know. I’m guessing there isn’t any way that doesn’t feel a little awkard, so maybe I’ll just pretend like I haven’t been gone that long.
(altho 4 months?? blush) my goodness. Let’s just say it was a crazy Christmas season.
Also. Ahem. You might think things look a little differant around her. Why yes. They do. And even more so then meets the eye:-) You see a new theme, but unseen is also the fact that this is now a self-hosted blog, and can accomodate plug-ins, and jet-packs, and, and, all sort of other customizable thingys, most of which have the propensity to make me want to tear my hair out in large chunks while I’m try to configure them. So if you do happen to click on something that doesn’t work, which is highly likely, or see somethign that looks a little skewed, we’re still working on the details. Pardon the sawdust.
So a yearish ago, I posted about digital scrappbooking. I had been embarking on a plan to accomplish three digital albums within last year, getting three years worth of pictures into printed form. I kept it up until about…June,maybe? Then life happened. But before that happened, while I was still on a roll, I purchased 3 vouchers for 3 seperate photo books, for when i was, ahem, done. The vouchers did come w/ a January deadline but I figured I’d be able to just pick up and finish at some point in my leisurely life as a mother of two.
So for that better part of last year, I’ve had this ‘thing’ hanging over me…I need to be scrapping..i reeeeeallly need to be scrapping….i should be scrapping……
It was as uncomfortable as it sound. But also highly effective, because along about November I was like, OH shoot. I NEED TO BE SCRAPPING. And from there layed out a plan to finish each book within 3 weeks. And I had no choice if I was going to take advantage of my vouchers, which were of no small value. All through Christmas season, I plugged away. I won’t lie, there were more then a few moments I felt a little overwhelmed with my goal.
But in the eleventh hour, with a day or two to spare, I clicked submit for my last order, and now,weeks later, I’m enjoying, greatly, this feeling of accomplishing a huge goal.
I think I prly mentioned in my last post that my company of choice for digital books is Photobook America. I’ve looked at others, had books printed with others, but just feel like this company, as far as a consumer level photo book, is one worth of repeated business. That is, if you’re looking to go for something a little more substantial then what snapfish or shutterfly offers. I for one, loooove the cover options. They do an image wrap cover, and linen too, but my favorite is this lushy leather, in so many fabulous colors. I could eat them.
2010, 2012, and 2013.
I can’t even express to you what a relief it is to have this project behind me. Altho now I’m thinking…Bentley’s book. I should be doing Bentley’s book. We’ll hush that voice for now.
And of course, if we’re talking layouts. The ones I always love the most are the ones that are free and open, with lots of white space and big colorful images…I’m always drawn to these layouts in print, even tho on my computer they look so blah. I do alo w/ journaling tho, in case you’re worried that no journaling happened.
Isn’t it funny how there are certain colors that define who you are? At least for me, I look around my house and see repeats of this palette everywhere. It’s not something I try, and I didn’t with this batch of books either. Each book color was selected on a seperate occasion from the other…but blues, oranges and greens. That is me.
Here is my complete PBA family 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Hey, so can you do me a favour? If you see something around on the blog that’s not working, or if you have trouble reading the font or layout, or you have trouble commenting, can you please let me know? Thanks!
Sadly, summer seems to be drawing to a close, esp on a day that is as drippy and rainy as the one we are presently having. Our September was more packed w/ fun things then the rest of the summer put together. How that always happens I have no idea. I decided to throw together a scrapbook sort of post of a few of our weekends, since I don’t feel like doing a huge post of each one.
First tho, I found some photos of Bentley’s short career as a model for Luvs diapers. haha. What really happened was that I wrote a review of a new type of LUVS for a couponing blog. And took some photos. He’d such a cute dude, no?
This first group of photots, I’m not even sure anymore when it happened. Sometime in August, I think. My sister in law Shannon and I loaded up our tykes and went to the beach for the day.
There were all the normal drama’s of carting 5 kids on a road trip to a sandy wet location, but the memories of what exactly happened have faded and we are left w/ only the good moments.
The kiddos had soooo much fun. They seriously played and played. and played. We were at the beach till 5 pm. and they still weren’t done!
We enjoyed Ocean City NJ greatly, even tho traffic enroute was horrendous.
I love this photo of the cousins together at the beach. They are getting so big.
Labor day weekend found us with 3 other couple friends, camping at a little campground for the weekend.
There were cute little cabins. Good food. Lots of relaxing. And reading.
Camping with kids tho, cannot really fall into the ‘relaxation’ category by ANY stretch of the imagination.
There’s dirt. Fire. Woods. Many places a small unknowing child can hurt themselves, or get lost.
The next chilly weekend? Knoebels.
I had never been to Knoebels before. It was a pleasant little surprise.
Daryl’s work picnic is held there every year, but we’ve never gone before. We figured this year the kids would enjoy it. And they did. Abbi was the perfect age for all the kiddie rides. And with a free pass compliments of Dutch Valley, who could resisit?
It was a SUPER chilly day. And we rode the ferris wheel. Which: A) is highly over-rated to begin with. B) is Fuh-Reezing when it’s chilly.
She’s pink and she’s girly, but she loooved the bumper cars. It was prly her favorite ride there.
little buddy enjoyed a few baby rides. or, we like to think he did.
Prly the highlight of September was spending a weekend in Ocean City NJ again. This time the dads were along, and we stayed the weekend. So much fun. Our house was just two blocks away from the boardwalk, which made it SO much easier when it came to schlepping the kids and all the gear, back and forth.
Off season beach? That is what I’m talking about! After the chilly weekend at Knoebels I wasn’t sure if we were completely bananas to be planning this weekend so late in the summer. But we’ve had good experiances in the past w/ great beach weather in Sept, and once again we lucked out. We had 3 days of absolute perfection!!
These two? had an adsolute blast.
Little man’s first beach experiance. It wasn’t horrible being there with him, since the beach was so empty, but not exactly relaxing either.
I’m excited for next year, when he won’t quite be so much of a baby.
altho being at the beach with kids is prly not what anyone would call a relaxing vacation either, I found it most restful. Maybe it was the empty beach, or the early morning on the boardwalk or maybe it was the beautiful beautiful 6 mile run that I got to take one morning, who knows, whatever it was, i came home feeling rejeuvenated.
He thinks he’s SUCH big stuff.
and then at twilight, we loaded the kids up, and walked up the boardwalk to the rides. They had a blast going on several rides each, then it was time to get out of there!
The boardwalk at dusk. As summer fades…
And that’s about it for summer 2013. Was it just me, or did I walk by a Christmas section in Khol’s the other day?!?!
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