Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gracie's girly pink, peach, and mint green soiree!

I'm going to stop prefacing every party post with my usual, "I'm horrible at party planning" disclaimer because I know you guys already know what a hot mess I am.  I try and plan ahead, but most things usually end up getting done the week night before.  I did actually get most of the crafty stuff for Gracie's first birthday party done fairly early, but I still found myself scrambling to finish it all up... even after guests had started arriving.

But I will warn you guys that this is only the decor and recipes... actual party pictures will have to come later. 

I wasn't going for any theme in particular.  I'm not much for themes, anyway.  I usually just try and keep things in the same general color palette.  But I did know that I wanted to try and recreate a look I had seen on Pinterest (see original post here) that featured a paper fan display in pinks, peach, and mint green.

This is what we ended up with.

I was pretty enamored with the look.  Now for the details.

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I scored the mint green frames and runner at HomeGoods a month or so ago. I made the two smaller cake stands from Dollar Tree candle holders attached with epoxy to Target $2 plates (primed, spray painted, and sealed).

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The silver bucket came from Target's $1 spot, and the sucker favors were from Party City.  Almost none of these were eaten.  I'll remember that for next time... ha!

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This chalkboard sign was a One King's Lane purchase a year or two ago, and I wrote the quote on with a chalk pen.

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And oh, the cakes...

I tried a new bakery called Brendal's Bakery and Cupcake Couture (located in Rowlett for any local readers), and y'all.

Brenda was AMAZING.  So accommodating, so quick, and so incredibly talented.

And I swear to you... it was some of the best cake I've ever eaten.

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How sweet is this teeny smash cake for Gracie?

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I actually made these little cake bites myself using this stupidly easy recipe.  I colored the vanilla candy coating with food coloring and shockingly ended up with peach and mint green.  I'm always leery of food coloring... :)

And for the other half of the dining room...

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I know I've mentioned how hard it is to shoot my dining room table because of my very-ugly-and-needs-to-be-replaced chandelier.  Also, how do you like that "Gace" there up on the wall?  The day before the party, the "R" fell off and shattered. :)

I re-used the tissue poms I had left up from my sister-in-law's shower over a month ago! Score!

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The tissue tassel was originally going to be hung on the fireplace, but I ended up making one out of paper (which I forgot to photograph!), so it ended up as table decor.

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The glass vases were some I had from Hobby Lobby, and I just stuck the eggs in at the last minute.  I also found the frame at Hobby Lobby.

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I had some leftover Scrabble tiles from a nursery project.

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Lucky Charms Munch - modified to use vanilla candy coating instead of white chocolate

The bucket is from Hobby Lobby, and the stuff inside of it is heaven.  I had to pick out all of the marshmallows from an entire box of Lucky Charms, but it was worth it.  So very worth it.

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The cotton candy popcorn was really fun and a pretty touch to the table (also delicious).

On one of the other walls in the dining room, I displayed this labor of love.

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It's nearly every Instagram picture I have posted since the day Grace was born taped to foam board that I cut into a heart.  I seriously adored looking at all of these pictures again.

And last, but not least, here is a tulle wreath I made and hung in the living room.

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Sorry for the terrible lighting.  It was just a foam wreath with pieces of tulle tied on.  I glued the letters on with hot glue... crookedly. :)

For entertainment, we rented a bounce house and had an egg hunt.  Thank heaven for that bounce house... it kept all of the older kids entertained and outside!

We also had tons of food, but I didn't get any pictures after we got it all set up.  We served smoked brisket and chicken, potato salad (I'm going to have the share the recipe one of these days!), cole slaw, beans, corn dip, broccoli salad, and peach tea.  Plus goldfish, applesauce, and juice for the kids.

I'm still amazed we managed to survive the whole thing.  But seriously... I'm pretty sure we'll be having a very low-key celebration at the park next year... :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We survived...

We made it, you guys.  We officially survived the weekend of first birthdays and second Easters and lived to tell the tale.

My house still looks like a tornado came through it.  There's icing on the floor and toys everywhere and contraband Easter candy hidden in places only I know (darn you, Snickers eggs!).  But it was an incredible weekend.  

I'll have posts coming up with all of the party details.  I managed to get pictures of all of the decor the day before but didn't get a single picture of Gracie in her cute dress or smashing her cake.  (I seriously feel like the worst mom ever.)  Thank goodness my amazing bestie brought her A game and managed to capture the moments I missed.  

So happy (belated!) Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families, and I promise I'll check in again soon! (... cough, cough... tomorrow. The birthday decorations post is coming tomorrow!)

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Friday, April 18, 2014

How deep the Father's love for us...

How deep the Father's love for us, 
How vast beyond all measure 
That He should give His only Son 
To make a wretch His treasure 

How great the pain of searing loss, 
The Father turns His face away 
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross, 
My sin upon His shoulders 
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, 
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there 
Until it was accomplished 
His dying breath has brought me life 
I know that it is finished 

I will not boast in anything 
No gifts, no power, no wisdom 
But I will boast in Jesus Christ 
His death and resurrection 

Why should I gain from His reward? 
I cannot give an answer 
But this I know with all my heart 
His wounds have paid my ransom

- Stuart Townend

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy birthday, Gracie!

My darling Grace,

A year ago today, at this particular minute, you stole my very heart.  When I heard your sweet cry for the first time, I began to realize that life had changed for me forever -- that being your Mommy was going to irrevocably alter me in the most shattering, earth-moving way.

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Those first few days at the hospital were a kind of bliss your Daddy and I had never known. Yes, we were tired.  And yes we were utterly clueless. But goodness gracious, my love... you were ours, and life was so sweet.

As the weeks went by, we learned what exhaustion was.  We learned about diapers and bottles and naps with you on our chests and sleepy grins and a love so big we thought our hearts would explode.

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Weeks turned into months, and you did something new nearly every day.  You smiled... rolled over... held your head up... laughed... sat up... reached for me... explored solids... crawled... pulled up on everything... waved... said your first word (Da-Da!)... got your first tooth... stood up by yourself... and walked.

You turned me into a liar when I became the kind of mom who wept at the idea of you getting older.

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You are a happy, silly, active, loving, snuggly, giggly, babbling, funny, sensitive little girl.  You love holding soft things, eating, exploring, reading, climbing, laughing, chit-chatting, and basically anything involving Mommy or Daddy.  You adore your grandparents and Lilly.

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You have the chubbiest feet I've ever seen. You give the sweetest kisses.  You say, "uh-oh" about a zillion times a day, and it never gets old.

Gracie, I need you to know that this last year has been the best year of my life.  You being here, a part of our little family, feels like the most natural thing in the world.  And while a part of me gets so emotional at the thought that you're no longer our squishy little newborn, I am mostly excited to see what the future holds for you, angel girl.

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So happy birthday, baby girl.  I can only pray that each and every year that follows will be beautiful as this one was.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just some sentences...

Gracie's party is Saturday.  So naturally, I ordered her cakes and the bounce house... yesterday.

Why in the world can I not come up with another sentence?

. . . 

Maybe it's because the last week or so has been devoted solely to finishing up last-minute birthday party stuff and lying to myself about the fact that my tiny, little baby turns one tomorrow.

We can't talk about this right now.

I'm officially that mom.

And I swore I'd never be that mom.

Just as Grace's second front tooth appeared to be breaking through and I thought we could put this teething business behind us for a little while, I spied TWO MORE bottom teeth popping up. God must be mad at me for all of the aforementioned lying.

We've almost dropped the bottle completely. (If anyone's interested in how we did it, maybe I'll do a post on it soon?)

Gracie officially discovered the Gloworm this weekend.

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Woe be to any brave soul who tries to take it from her.

I haven't had a soda since October, and today I'm dying for a diet coke.

Texas is being quite the temperamental woman with respect to the weather.  Is it weird that I kind of love it? #takesonetoknowone

Alright, friends.  Make it a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

... a hot mess

First, I just want to say how much I appreciate all of your kind words and sweet thoughts about my Mimi.  Even after several years of being a part of this incredible blogging community, you all still manage to blow me away with your outpouring of love and support when I need it most.  It really is incredible.

I'm doing as well as can be expected. We knew it was coming, and I am really thankful that I got the chance to say goodbye, with no regrets.  She will be very missed, but I carry her with me in so many ways.  She was the kind of woman who made an impact and an impression. :)

Understandably, we mostly stuck around the house this weekend.  I did go see Divergent (for the second time... I'm so cool, y'all) with my sister-in-law.  It was as good as the first time, and we had fun spending some much-needed quality time together.  Plus, we had popcorn.  And mozzarella sticks.  And Junior Mints.  In my opinion, it's not a movie theater experience unless I have Junior Mints. (For the record, it was a cheat meal... I'm not regularly inhaling Junior Mints, I promise.)

Gracie has cut three teeth in the last week and a half, and she is not happy about it.

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She has basically whined and screamed for four days straight, and I'm definitely ready to put this teething business behind us.

And in case you were wondering about the adorable leggings Grace is wearing...

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I got them from here.  I've bought quite a bit from Chelsea (she also has an Instagram resale shop @kickinlegscloset), and I'm always pleased with what I purchase.  She makes these hand-painted leggings, and I just think they're adorable.  The little kitties... I die.

I'm contemplating doing a link-up post for everyone to share their favorite Etsy shops.  We could do baby/toddler themed, or just leave it wide open.  Would anyone be interested in that?  I just always LOVE ordering handmade/small business when I can, but I do appreciate referrals from people who can vouch for quality.

Last, but not least... if you've been around these parts for awhile, you may remember the time where I basically made Pioneer Woman's food for each and every meal (i.e. all of law school).  One of my all-time favorites is a recipe she featured (but didn't create) called Butter Chicken.  It's not as unhealthy as it sounds (only half a stick of butter - ha!), and it's apparently a well-known Indian dish.  Anyway, it's delectable, and we had it for dinner last night.

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(It probably doesn't look very appetizing, but I'm telling you... it's money.)

So that's life for us right now.  I'm currently working from home today (or apparently blogging from home) because I've worked nearly every day for MONTHS, and I needed a mental break.  And some time to do some life stuff (like cleaning out Gracie's closet... I finally packed up all of her swaddling blankets and 6-9 month clothes and was on the verge of bawling) plus pick up some stuff for her birthday party.

Mostly, I'm a hot mess right now, you guys.  Bear with me...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Saying goodbye...

The thing is, she was a difficult woman to love, my Mimi.

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She was opinionated, stubborn, selfish at times, and often said things I know she wished she could take back.

But at her core, she was a true and devoted Christ-follower, vibrant, witty, intelligent, tender-hearted, wise, and fiercely loyal.  She was half-Portuguese and louder than each of her three sisters, and I would imagine that even at an early age, she made an impression wherever she went.

She had pretty hands and even prettier handwriting.  She loved popcorn-flavored Jelly Bellies.  She drove a green Camaro until she couldn't.  She adored her sisters and satin pajamas.  She raised two strong, loving children and taught much to her four grandchildren.  And after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer, she was ready to go home to be with her Lord.

So this morning she did. 

I will carry my memories of my firecracker of a grandmother with me always.  And I think she would want me to remind each of you that life is too short to live with regrets...

... and that a little sass goes a long way.

Friday, March 28, 2014

It's Friday...

Five things on Friday.

.... aaaaaaand GO!

One.     Prayers and support for Anna and Nella.
If you guys don't know Anna from The Carolina Country Girl, you should.  She's an incredibly sweet, incredibly funny, and dare I say slightly sassy southern girl, and she's been a wonderful blog friend of mine for a couple of years now.  Anna found out a couple of weeks ago that she has Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  

She is currently undergoing testing to try and pinpoint what stage it is and what course of treatment she will undergo, and I just wanted to show her some love here because I can't imagine how difficult the last few weeks have been for her.  But if you know Anna, you know that she is a fighter, and I have no doubt that she is going to KICK CANCER TO THE CURB.  Get it girl!

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You can show Anna love by heading over to her blog or linking up here or by using the hashtag #TeamTCCG on social media.

I have also had another sweet girl on my mind lately.  Her name is Nella.  Nella is a little over seven months old, and she has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is the #1 killer of young children.  You can read her story here.  Another incredible blog friend, Kristin, has organized an Instagram auction to raise money for Nella's family (medical bills for a baby with with a disease like SMA can be crippling... on top of all of the emotional turmoil Nella is going through).

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The auction ends tomorrow morning, but there is still PLENTY of time to participate!  Follow @wonderfullymadeauction on Instagram to see all the adorable things up for auction.  I've been bidding and REALLY hope I can score some of these goodies!

Two.     Old-new clothes.
I'm still losing weight, friends.  I promise a real weight-loss update is coming soon, but until then, can I tell you guys how exciting it is to have worn several of my old shirts/dresses this week that are NOT plus-sized?!  Hallelujah!  And I have officially grown out of every pair of "fat" jeans that I own.  Which is awesome and not awesome.  I hate buying clothes to wear right now because I know I'm still losing, but a girl's gotta have a pair of jeans.  So I ordered what I thought was the right size skinny jean last week, and they came in last night.  Apparently I was a wee bit ambitious.  #muffintop


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I adore these three.  They make my world go 'round.

Four.     Long lost friends.
Micah and I are having dinner tomorrow with an old friend from middle/high school and his wife.  I literally haven't seen David in probably 8 years or so, and I'm excited to catch up.  It's so strange that we're, like, all adults now.  How did this happen?

Five.     The Fault in Our Stars.
Go read it.  Grab some Kleenex first, but then get busy reading.  It's one of the best books I've read in a long while.

That's all I've got.

Linking up with Joy and Darci!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gracie's cake smash photo session...

Many months ago, I got it in my head that I wanted to do a cake smash photo for Gracie's birthday party invitation.  I kept trying to get over it, but I just couldn't.  So I didn't. 

We did the cake smash mini session in February with a local-ish photographer who has a studio (it was too cold to do it outside, and I sure as heck didn't want buttercream frosting smashed into my wood floors... yet).  We were only there about 25 minutes, and Grace was really serious and curious most of the time, but we still ended up with some adorable shots.

Scroll down to the end to see the one we picked for the invites.  I die.

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fabric tutu from here

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bloomers and necklace from here

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invite from here

This was a moment of pure, frosting-induced joy, and that little snaggle tooth just kills me.

I still can't believe this happy girl is almost ONE!  Best. year. ever.

Monday, March 24, 2014

We have a toddler...

Is the normal reaction to seeing your kid take their first very steps to bawl uncontrollably?

... crickets...

... so... I guess it's just me, then?

I can't explain what came over me, you guys, but as I watched her wobble there, without support, for a few seconds, and then move her chubby little feet in my mom's direction, one step at a time, I just could not handle how big she looked.  It's so fun watching her discover what she's capable of, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how the heck I'm going to handle college graduation.  (Although, let's be real, I'll probably be a basket case at kindergarten graduation.)

And of course I didn't get pictures or video, but she did do it several more times this weekend, so I'm convinced it wasn't a fluke. 

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We met some friends for Greek food on Saturday, and Gracie and I both inhaled a stupid amount of pita bread.  (And hummus.  And olives.  I could live on Greek food.)

I'm so thankful Miss Priss is finally getting on board with table food.  She still hates avocado, bananas, and mashed potatoes (how are we related?), but she loves oranges, tomatoes, bread, pancakes (ha!), sloppy joes, green beans, peas, and pretty much anything else she can get her little hands on.  We're down to three bottles a day, and she's loving her sippy cup, so I'm hopeful we'll be able to transition off the bottle close to the time she turns one next month.  (Although if any of you have good suggestions on weaning from the bottle/formula, I'm all ears!)

We also spent a good chunk of our weekend playing with the blocks I finally got down for her.  She and Micah have a fundamental disagreement about what a person is supposed to do with blocks.

The engineer does this:

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... and the toddler does this:

She's a little destroyer, so Micah had to wait until she went to sleep to build his castle.

I didn't quite get my to-do list done. But I am making headway, so that's something.  And I call the weekend a success because we made time to go and see DIVERGENT!  I freaking loved it, but I know it's not getting great reviews from the critics.  Maybe I just have no taste, but I thought the Tris/Four chemistry was sizzling, and Shailene Woodley (who plays Tris) was excellent.

So in summary:  Grace walked, I ate Greek food, Micah built a castle, and I loved Divergent.  Fabulous weekend, I say.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Getting it together...

I'm on a mission, you guys.

I am on a MISSION to get my ishhh together.  

Because I'm coming to realize that the first six months at work after coming back from maternity leave were probably not representative of what life's going to be like as a working mom.  Maybe people were giving me a free pass and taking it easy because of the no-sleep thing?  Maybe things were just slower for a bit?  Either way, it's game on now.  

And I am totally losing.

I do actually feel like I'm keeping things afloat at work, at least to a decent degree.  It's in the everyday life stuff that I am sucking.  Laundry, organization, commitments... PLANNING MY ONLY CHILD'S FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY (that's in less than a month)!  Heck, I still have tissue paper poms hanging from my curtain rods in my dining room from my sister-in-law's baby shower nearly three weeks ago.  I'm a hot mess, y'all.

So I'm working hard to organize my life.  I'm using the Wunderlist app, which is magical. It allows you to keep multiple lists going, share your lists with others (Micah and I share a grocery list), and set reminders. And I'm going back to my trusty white board at work.

I'm actually going to bore you today with my random to-do list.  Because (1) I love lists (clearly) and (2) I need some accountability.  These things WILL get done by the end of the weekend.  I declare it to be so.

  • Order battery for my car key. (I'm currently having to manually unlock my doors.  How 1990 am I?)
  • Mail Gracie's birthday party invitations.
  • Make eye doctor appointment.
  • Make dentist appointment.
  • Order cakes for Grace's party.
  • Order Grace's birthday present. 
  • Print pictures. (All of the pictures in my office are from months ago...)
  • Schedule one-year session with Lauren and order outfits.
  • Order decorations/favors for Grace's party.
  • Organize Grace's closet.
  • Find a blog consultant. (I'm having SEO issues.  Apparently my blog's not showing up in internet searches for some strange reason?)
  • Take a nap.

Who'll put $20 on me not even getting through half this list? ;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Who am I?

I'm wearing booties today, y'all.

Specifically these booties (in black).
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I feel so hip.  But since I just said "hip," I realize that I am not, in fact, hip.

I also ordered these (in cognac), and they are SO freaking cute, plus they're on SALE...
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... but I have to exchange them for a bigger size.  Whomp, whomp.

I swore I'd never wear a bootie, so I'm not even sure who I am anymore.  But, at the very least, I'm someone who is wearing adorable shoes today.

Also... I don't share a whole lot about work here, mostly for confidentiality reasons and out of respect for my firm and our clients.  Plus, let's be real... patent litigation isn't the most riveting topic for anyone who doesn't do it for a living.

But you guys.

I'm pretty sure I've never felt more like a lawyer than I did yesterday.  I argued in court for the first time, and I think it went really well.  I want to do that every day forever.  It was a good reminder, in the midst of a really hectic time in my career, that I am exactly where I belong.

Hope you guys enjoy your weekend.  We're planning on lots of family time and sunshine.  Texas, be kind! :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I heart...

It has been awhile since I shared the things I've been lovin' on lately.  Today it's going to be a mish-mash of random stuff, but I feel like it might be useful for me to categorize these posts at some point.  I feel like that's what a real blogger would do.  

{skinny vanilla macchiato}

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Although the caramel macchiato was my first exposure to the land of coffee as dessert, I quickly passed it over for the white chocolate mocha.  Then Starbucks came out with the cinnamon dolce latte, and that was my signature drink for a couple of years.  But they introduced the skinny peppermint mocha a few years ago, and I've been unyielding in my loyalty from the first sip.  Until now.

I'm cheating on you, skinny peppermint mocha.  And I'm not even a tiny bit sorry.

{gold office decor}

I've been really wanting to get my office at work looking spiffier.  It's currently very uninspired and generic-looking, and given that it's the place I spend most of my time, I want it to feel like me.  I've decided to shy away from my typical palette of neutrals/greens/aquas and go for something a little... sassier.  I think I'm aiming for golds and corals (and some black, as I've already got quite a bit of lack in here already).

For starters, I'm definitely ordering this print:

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And, in case you want to take a peek, I'm compiling some inspiration on my "workspaces" Pinterest board.

{crockpot cooking}

On busy weeknights, the best thing ever is to be able to come home from work and have dinner already (or at least mostly) done.  What I did this week was throw three frozen chicken breasts in the crockpot on Monday morning, cover with an entire bottle of BBQ sauce, pour a cup of water on top, and let it cook on low the entire day.

Micah shredded the chicken when he got home, and then we sandwiched the chicken between two tortillas with shredded cheddar and pineapple (from a can... we're fancy like that) to make some hawaiian chicken quesadillas.  It wasn't the healthiest thing, but holy cow... they were delicious.  And now we have plenty of leftover chicken to make tacos/nachos or to throw on top of a salad.  Win.

{gracie's thoughts regarding lemons}

I don't blame you, kid.

What are you guys loving this week?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A bedtime disaster...

I wore my hair in a side braid on Sunday.

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Micah called me "Katnip."  And then I swooned and kissed him like I meant it.  #hellotheregale

This weekend was also noteworthy because I did something I never do.

I went to Walmart.

I gagged a little just typing that, but we needed some oversized plastic bins to store all of Gracie's STUFF, and they're just significantly cheaper at Walmart.  Thankfully, we had this little cutie to keep us entertained.

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The cuteness.  I almost can't take it.

She wasn't quite as cute on Sunday night when, for the first time ever, she refused to go to bed.  Like, just flat-out screamed her head off for the better part of an hour because she refused to sleep without being held.

We were blessed with a decent sleeper, y'all, so I know I can't really complain.  But we rocked and laid her down three separate times, and each time, she woke up as soon as we attempted to put her in her crib and screamed until we came to pick her up.  (And, for the record, we did let her cry it out for awhile, but after nearly 20 minutes, this momma couldn't take it anymore.)

I'm thinking now it was a combination of daylight savings, teething, and the fact that we've dropped a bottle feeding.  Whatever it was, she eventually passed out in her crib, and I nearly collapsed on the couch with a face full of tears.

This parenting thing isn't for the faint of heart, friends.

Thankfully, the tough moments are usually bookended by moments like these:

We've been unusually boring lately.  Mostly because I've been working like a crazy lady.  I promise to bring my A-game again soon, you guys.  Pinkie promise.
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