Friday, April 6, 2012


My 1st Birthday
Birthdays are very special to me. 
I blame my Mother.  She always made a big deal out of our birthday.  Out of all holidays. 
She always put in great efforts to make us feel special and loved and a part of a big important thing: 
Another throw back 1st birthday shot!
I try to do the same thing for the people I love.  Bet you cant guess my love language;)
Every year when my day rolls around I start getting excited. 
This  year I celebrate 29 years.  I thank God every day for each day I am given and all the many blessings I have been given over these 29 years. 
Surprise 21st birthday!  Western Themed:)
This years birthday has been nothing short of amazing.
My husband surprised me, spoils me, made me extremely happy when he dropped this box in front of me a little over a week before my birthday:
there is no denying his manhood with a wrapping job like this, and there is no denying his love for me in so many ways when this was inside of it
not only did my hubby get me my Canon Rebel T3i... he also got my the 50 mm lens that was #2 on my wish list and some kind of bundle so it came with lots of extra goodies.  I spent forever stalking my favorite blogs and bugging all my friends to decide on what type of camera and what type of lens I wanted as I stepped up from my beloved Sony Point and Shoot.  I landed on this and could not be more pleased.  So I hope to have less iPhone pictures on the blog and more real pictures with real light:)  (I promise it is on manual, Casey, you just cant see:)

Following this amazing surprise from the love of my life I was brought to tears with these

My friend, Casey, is amazing at everything she does:  life, mommying, hosting, sorbet making, and picture taking.  Look at her work.  She truly captured our everyday life.  I stay home with my beautiful baby boy.  Daddy works hard to provide for us and for us to afford this lifestyle.  There is not much glamorous about it, but its mine, and it is everything I have ever dreamed of, and more.  The pictures show it in all of its glory and I will treasure these for all of my days.  Thank you my dear friend. 

Then I received this in the mail:

did I hit the friend jackpot or what?  My friends went to Germany recently and knowing I have an affinity to all things German (thanks to my Grandma Arnold) I received a box of goodies and a note that made my whole day!  Lizard is one of those friends that I can not talk to for months and then be up to speed with in two seconds.  Her last visit over we sat on the couch together for about two hours and discussed two things:  a girl she worked with at one point and the many options available when toilet paper shopping and which is the best and why.  My husband that night in bed said "do y'all seriously always talk like that?"  It made me laugh and smile and realize we do!  We are comfortable and non complicated and friends who can discuss our joys and our disappointments and toilet paper and enjoy every second of it!  I am ever so thankful for the day I walked into History 437:  Ancient and Medieval Britain and met this friend I know I will have forever.  
forgive the messed up picture, but here is a pic of us with some fellow "history groupies" wrapping up a semester all smiles!

I woke up on April 5th and was immediately greeted with a phone call from my nieces singing me Happy Birthday.  I was flooded throughout the day with phone calls and text messages from all my dear friends and family. I got beautiful cards in the mail and sweet notes, and I got to see a beautiful healthy growing little baby that will remain gender neutral until August:). My cup runneth over... Thank you all for playing such a special part in my life.  You make it better.  
Around dinner time our sweet babysitter, Paige, showed up to give us a grown up evening out.  The Hubby had not told me much, only to get dressed for outside in Texas weather and when to be ready.  Little did I know I would shed some tears before dinner when Paige gave me my birthday gift.  She is so thoughtful and made a photo book for me filled with special pictures of my family and friends and trips and my two guys.  Melt my heart!
Then we headed to dinner.  Pulled up at a happenin local spot and walked out to an awesome patio with some of my favorite people.  My Aunt came in from Lake Charles and my beautiful cousin detoured on her way home from Austin.  My Beaumont besties all made it out despite their sick kiddos at home.  I hardly go a day without speaking with these two ladies and it would not have been a birthday without them:)  My sneaky little Husband surprised me and planned this little pow wow.  It was perfect.  I really don't think I could have asked for a single other thing in the world. 
Our friends the Hoyts couldn't come, because they have family in town for Papa Hoyts big #50 Saturday, and Patti personally made me that beautiful cake:) Chocolate cake with Butter cream icing... yum yum yum!
The Hubby and I finished the night off putting a train together for our little man and watching Duck Dynasty on the couch.  It just doesn't get much better.  The older I get the more I am realizing how much more the little things matter. 
and this is the man who made it all happen... I'm so thankful to be sharing life with him everyday.
We continued the birthday/Easter celebration with a little trip to the Kemah Boardwalk, but that is another post for another day! 
I hope this was a Thank You to all my favorite peeps... xoxoxo... love ya more than my luggage!
The Mom

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Best of Friends....

The J's with their cheeks full... one with cheesy bread the other with carrots:)
Where are the turtles?
the only time my guy had the lead... his buddy runs circles around him
a little golf course maintenance and a lesson in sharing
With Best Friends Baby Bubba
I have never seen a more photogenic baby!  This guy makes any camera happy!
My furture is so bright... I gotta wear shades!
A recap through pictures of our little afternoon playdate with my little mans Best Friends.  Thank you for having us Henley Family... It was a perfect Tuesday!

The Mom

Disclaimer**Forgive the bad light pictures... I have only had my camera a week... I am learning**

Perfect Summer Meal

Saturday night we had Craig's boss and his wife over for dinner. 
I love saying that... Because it sounds fancy.  The guy at the grocery store meat counter said "oh... the boss is coming for dinner=Big Deal".
Most people think so when I say that, but they just don't realize my husbands boss and his wife are like our family.  When the boss man hired my husband on for this job it required us to relocate and move to a new state, new town, new job on the Monday following our wedding.  I'm serious. 
But let me tell you... They welcomed us and included us and acquainted us with this little place we now consider home.  If we are here for holidays, we are with them, when any of us have anything (sick, happy, sad, tired) we cook for each other... Their daughter is our dog sitter/house sitter/baby sitter extraordinaire and our little boy is apparently head over heels for their little boys (who is actually about to graduate from high school) girlfriend.  Who knew a 1 year old flirts, but Jo Jo you have some competition!!

So after they treated us to "homemade coca cola BBQ sauce" pulled beef and pork sandwiches on Saturday for lunch we decided to have them over for a little pre-summer dinner.  I got the idea for this very very very yummy meal from PointLess Meals.
I was originally excited about the flank steak... then I saw the tomato salad... then I was drooling.  We added some grilled corn and had the perfect meal! 
I am going to be crazy and just give you all three.  They are all easy peasy and ah-maz-ing!
Originally From Pointless Meals
Serves 4 (sparingly... if you are feeding men I would recommend doubling the recipe)
  • ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • salt and pepper

Combine first four ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Add steak, turn to coat; marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. Grill until desired doneness. Let stand, covered loosely with foil for 10 minutes, before cutting in thin strips against the grain.

adapted from Pointless Meals
  • 2-½ c. grape tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ c. diced red onion
  • 3 T. Gorgonzola cheese (or double if you love this stuff as much as I do:)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1-½ tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper

Place tomatoes, onion and cheese in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together. Drizzle over tomato mixture. Toss to coat.

Grilled Corn

Place the cleaned corn on the cob in foil.  Salt and pepper the corn and then place a few pats of butter on top.  Grill for 20-25 minutes.  Open foil and sprinkle a little Parmesan on top.  Serve warm:)

Alright.  That is a heck of a summer dinner post.  I cannot wait to make this exact meal again very soon! 

The Mom

Monday, April 2, 2012

Whats been playing here lately....

"The Scientist" cover by Willie Nelson? ummmmm yes, please!

to get into "The Hunger Games" mood... as if seeing the movie twice has not been enough!

one of the eight million reasons that I love Booth and Bones... They have good taste in music!

and this song just says it how it needs to be said so that is what has been blaring through the iphone/itunes! life with background music makes me happy:)

The Mom

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We EGGED Our Friends

Friday nights are crazy around here.  We spend our Thursday nights stuffing eggs (with non chocolate candy in case of melting... we are in the South) and then we distribute to our favorite kiddos the next night.  I cant think of much better than quality time with my men doing things for our special friends.

This idea was so much fun. 
To prepare for and then to do together.  Our little man was almost no help, and at both of our friends houses really did NOT understand why we were not there to play.  He kept trying to get in their doors and gates. 

We used this sign above from eighteen25 and taped it to their doors.  Then we hid 25 easy eggs around their landscaping and front yards pretty much:)  There is a 4 year old at one house and a 2 year old at the other.  We didnt make it too difficult:)  Here are a few pictures of our little buddies hunting their eggs and then enjoying what was in them:)

Happy Almost Easter!
The Mom

Toddler Muffins

I have a toddler.  Hes a great eater... When it is something he wants to eat.  The problem is that the things he wants to eat are not fruits or vegetables (with the exception of bananas and applesauce).
I found these on Pinterest and immediately knew I had to try them.  So get all the ingredients together and then just dump one at a time into your mixer or a bowl with a hand mixer or get a good arm workout... whatever floats your boat.  They are adult and kid friendly!

Toddler Muffins
Originally from AllRecipes

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) jar baby food squash
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze.    

Hope your little person enjoys these as much as mine did:)

The Mom