Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cupcakes, Smiles & Summer Decor

Life is good.

I just got back from another trip down to Georgia and just when I think life can't get any sweeter it goes and gets a big, thick covering of frosted goodness.

Because I don't want to paint a misguided picture, I will admit that our life is good but it's also messy. Actually, very messy at times.

I have come to realize that I am writing my life. God determines my destiny but I don't doubt that He gives me the choice to enjoy this life or waste it away. I simply choose to write my life and fill the pages with rainbows, chocolate chips and cupcakes. This means that I sometimes have to look a little more inwardly to find the goodness.

This is how it's been frosted the past two weeks...

Sissy loves the potty. She gets on it as soon as big brother gets off and, when he's not around, she likes to just sit on it. When she get up she claps and yells "Yayyyyyyyy!"

If it's not the potty it is the harmonica and Hunter's TV chair. 

Sissy mimics just about everything her big brother does. And, can you blame her? Just look at this face. 

There is this beautiful red cardinal that lives near our house. I have tried my hardest to get a good picture of him and, although I haven't yet succeeded, I am bound and determined so hold tight.....
We had our first tag sale and did pretty well. Aside from Dave discovering a guy was about to buy one of his Brooks Brothers suits that he claims was not in the bag labeled "Dave's stuff for garage sale", all went really well. (You'll be happy to know that the guy laughed and gave the suit jacket back claiming, "buddy, I hate to tell you that the pants are probably long gone.")

The preparation for the garage sale (ahem, tag sale as it is called in the New England area) was the hardest part. 
I got smart and set up a kids' activity station so my kids would stay occupied for at least an hour. It worked. 
After they had bored of the Radio Flyer, trucks and balls, I moved them inside for lunch and then a movie. I snuck back out to finish up and kept peeking in on them. I noticed that Sissy had not moved for a while so I went inside to take a look at her and found this....
She is one sweet sleeping girl. 

And this is how I found big brother. 

Sissy soon woke up because she doesn't like to miss a thing. 
Later that day Debra came by with her girls so we could finish setting up for the sale as she agreed to be my cohort in crime (who doesn't want to get rid of their junk and make a pretty penny for it?!). 
Once Carly saw (potty-training) nuddie Hunter, she had to follow suit. Hunter played DJ, 
put on their Music Together CD and the dance-off began....

Meanwhile, Emerson and Baby Lucy played nicely in the ball pit.
(Emerson's loves to touch baby Lucy's head. And eyes, and lips, and nose...)

After Debra and I parked all of our goods in our garage and living room (we had a LOT of stuff) we parted ways and met back up on Saturday at 6 a.m. sharp. Debra arrived with two steaming cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee and even had a muffin for me too--we were two girls who could do anything! Although the sale started at 9, our best customers showed up at 7:40. (Thanks Mom and Dad for advising me to be fully set up by 8 just in case. You were both right!)

My sweet little neighbor Caroline purchased this plant for her dad for Father's Day and my old suitcase. I gave her both for free since I knew they were going to a good home. I told her that my Uncle Lee and Aunt Sarah gave me that suitcase when I graduated high school and it had been on many adventures with me--including my move to NYC and my wedding and honeymoon. 

We started a really fun project with it. More to come.....
The new favorite snack in our home is sliced bananas with peanut butter and sprinkles cuz' everything's better with sprinkles.
We have had a few summer rain storms but we're always sure to follow them up by testing the puddles and dirt they leave behind. 

(I adore how Hunter stands with his hands crossed behind his back. He has done this since he was a small(er) toddler.)
(Tiny hands finding the tiniest of objects.)

(I love this half walk half crawl she still does.)
The little footprints that I know I'm going to miss one day.
Sure it gets messy sometimes but how could I deny them this?

Emerson is a full-on Mama's girl. She needs to be right beside me at all times and I love it. 
One of my favorite things about being a Mom is fostering an environment for creativity and discovery. I have spent a lot of time searching online and reading books to find unique ideas for my kids and I notice I have a preference for messy sensory boxes that can be filled with all things yucky, squishy, mushy and wet. 

This particular sensory box started out with 15 lbs of rice. It is now about 1/16th of a lb.
The kids love throwing it up into the air.  Carly and Hunter also decided it would be a great idea to scoop the rice into a nearby puddle and then water it to help it grow. I keep finding puffy rice all over our yard.
Because I spend so much time entertaining little people I feel the need to be entertained by big people. Fortunately my friend Peggy was generous enough to offer to keep the kids so I could have a date night with my hubby. 

Peggy won extra points when she raved about how "perfect" our kids were when we got home. (And you thought the only reason I did date night was to hang with Dave!)
I would be remiss to continue talking about our little family and not mention our cats. 

Columbus and Lexi were our real first babies but, as I am sure most of you can relate, they took a back seat after our kids were born. Our kids; however,  make up for it ten-fold. 
Hunter and Emerson love our cats with all their hearts. They continually reward the cats with lovingly aggressive bear hugs and sloppy kisses. I am always finding Hunter laying down on the ground about two inches away from Columbus' face as he eats exclaiming, "watch Columbus eat, good kitty".  
His new thing is proudly showing off the fruits of his potty labor to Columbus saying, "see? Hunter potty!".
The kids routinely try to feed the cats their sippy drinks and eats and we are so thankful that they tolerate our kids' way of showing their love.
I am constantly being reminded what a kind, gentle soul Hunter is. He never wants to leave anyone out surrounding himself with all of his favorite toys at meal times. When he goes to bed, he makes sure to have every single stuffed animal he owns right beside him.  He is quick to notice if one is left out and shows great concern until the friend is found and, once he is confident they are all accounted for he smiles saying, "night night baby animals!!!"

Out with the old,

In with the new. Sissy upgraded to a booster seat. After shamelessly claiming I would never do pink when I had a daughter, well.....I did pink. I even waited six weeks until the color was officially released.

Emerson has still been having a hard time with her teeth and her naps are short. We have enjoyed our girl time while big brother sleeps. 

 A girl after my own heart. (I swear I did not set this up!)
(Emerson is very inquisitive. She is always looking for the next big thing.)
I recently got the feeling that Hunter needed some one-on-one time so I left Sissy at home with the sitter so I could have a date with my son. We went to the neighborhood diner. 
(Hunter loves his sunglasses and must be wearing Daddy's medals at all times.)
Hunter requested a big boy glass vs his usual sippy.

Hunter read to me from the menu. It said, "hummus, eggs, hummus, cereal, eggs". We went with the grilled cheese and BLT.

One of the most enjoyable parts of being Hunter's mom is watching his interpretive dance and singing. 

Our final stop was a local cupcake shop. Hunter wasted no time picking out our cupcake. It was delicious but seeing him devour every delightful bite was the icing on my day.

Later that day our friends Carly and baby Lucy came over for our weekly play date. We had coconut and guava popsicles.

The hotter the weather gets the more my brain swells with creative ideas. I painted one of our old lamps white since that seems to be the color I'm obsessed with now. I feel the color translates "clean" when I know a life with two toddlers is anything but.
I changed our breezeway to greet guests with swimsuits, sun bonnets, 
beach memories, sand toys, pastel colored sidewalk chalk, 
and flops because what's summer without them?
(Yes, someone needs to clean those windows but it's not going to be me anytime soon. 
I'm too busy crafting and making messy sensory boxes.)
And, of course, messages to remind us how quickly this happy season ends and how we should relish every last drop of it.

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."

Whether you're getting messy, staying clean or finding yourself knee deep in a combination of puffed rice, screaming toddlers, and Jell-O, relish it.  Because before you know it, it will be gone.


  1. This blog made me realize how well you have become at recognizing "Little Happies." Its so appropriate that you named it this and to watch these postings unfold shows me how well thought out this concept was and how purposeful your approach to life with family has become. Thanks for being a truly inspirational sister (and mother). I love you! ~J

  2. I can't even begin to tell you how much I seriously love reading your blog. Getting the inside look into your life. You amaze me at taking notice of the little things and realizing that they really aren't so little but significant moments in the lives of you and your children. It makes me stop and remember to take notice of those little things in my own life. THANK YOU!!

  3. I am amazed at how creative you are. You certainly challenge Hunter and Emerson with ideas of fun while learning and experimenting at the same time. They are fortunate to have a mother such as yourself, BaBa

  4. I always enjoy reading your blogs; keep 'em comin'


I love reading your comments like I love eating chocolate donuts....