E Turns One

September 26, 2007 at 2:42 pm | Posted in baby, birthdays, celebrations, family, friends | 8 Comments

yes, her birthday really was in july.  i’m a little slow–what can i say?  :)

i decided the best way to tell you about everything would be to just share some photos…

our friend, sara, graciously offered to make Elisabeth’s birthday cake.  we had no idea it would be so beautiful–or delicious!

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can you get over the precious cupcakes??

she even made E a special separate cake:

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Elisabeth, of course, LOVED it!!

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 she really enjoyed opening all her wonderful gifts–i seriously couldn’t believe her reactions and expressions!

she loved helping unwrap…

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interested already in dishes, shoes, hats and cards…what a little woman she is!

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this one’s priceless!

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the eubanks family graciously allowed us to use their private lake and pavillion; it was the perfect setting for the party!  sadly, i didn’t get any photos of everyone swimming, but i know some of you would like to see the birthday girl in her bathing suit!!…so here’s some photos of E modeling her itsby bitsy teeny weeny flower polka-dot bikini back in may:

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as you can see, she’s not nearly as happy in her other bather (later in the summer):

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okay, back to the party!

doug, always young at heart, having fun with bubbles!

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we were overwhelmed by all the friends and family who came to celebrate E and her first full year of life.  the sproles, jennie, and the clevelands all came from little rock.  several friends, young and old, came from our local church:

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i guess you could even say that my nephew, E’s cousin, came all the way from australia for the event!  (it doesn’t look like he had much fun…although, i’m not sure any 18 year old would have very much fun at a 1 year old’s party!)

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my favourite photo of all–the entire family, both sides.

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1 daddy + 1 mommy + 4 grandparents + 4 aunts + 1 uncle + 1 cousin =               ONE HAPPY ONE YEAR OLD BABY GIRL AT HER FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!

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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

July 13, 2007 at 1:26 pm | Posted in baby, birthdays, celebrations, family | 6 Comments

Tomorrow is the big day: Elisabeth’s First Birthday Party!!

We have made plans to have it at a private lake…but with the forecast, I’m wondering if our water activities (swimming, canoeing, paddleboating) will have to be cancelled?  :(

We’ll still have fun, though, and come rain or shine, Elisabeth will still be ONE YEAR OLD on Monday!!

Rachel’s Big Night

July 9, 2007 at 1:44 pm | Posted in celebrations, entertainment, family, friends, marriage | 11 Comments

Rachel & Harry’s wedding weekend was so jam-packed with events; if I am ever going to post about them, I need to write in little installments.  Otherwise, I feel way too overwhelmed to even beGIN to tackle everything.  :)

We couldn’t have a bachelorette party for Rachel without first sending invitations!

With her input, I chose these:

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I love them–I found them on finestationery.com (LOVE that site), but then went straight to the designer’s website & actually got them for less!  (They were having a sale.)  :) 

Because I had to communicate so much extra information, I made an additional card to go with the lovely invitation.  I guess I committed a crime by copying the picture, but I wanted my card to match!!…

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Yes, I made up the cheesy poem at the bottom…but Rachel loved it!  :)  So girly and fun.  Also, did you catch the r.s.v.p. email address?  Uh huh, I really did create an email address SOLELY for her party.  So much fun!!  :)  I absolutely LOVE to design/print any type of invitation or stationery…too bad I didn’t major in graphic design!!  (I never know what I’m doing–I consider it “playing around.”)

Along those lines, I really didn’t know WHAT to do for favors…and since I wanted us hostesses to be able to give something unique and special –say, in lieu of the traditional doodle* gift? :) –I decided to make stationery for all the girls.  We had to be semi-strict on the r.s.v.p.’s since we were working with a fancy-schmancy restaurant and staying in a suite at The Peabody (didn’t want someone to end up without a BED to sleep on, for example!), so I knew the names of all the girls who were coming.  Here’s a photo of the party favors, lined up on a table in the hotel suite:

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The o-c in me almost made a set for myself–I hated there weren’t an even 20!!  :)

[*this is the term I learned in Australia for a certain male part…ah hem…] 

The reality of my baby sister getting married REALLY set in when I was making her set…I couldn’t put Rachel SPENCER on her cards; she wouldn’t be able to use them anymore!

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As stated above in the catchy poem, :) we all met first at the restaurant.  This would be the time and the location that ALL FIVE SISTERS would be together for the first time in over twenty years…I was so excited for that (in addition to being excited for Rachel’s party) & a little nervous, too!  Sadly, we didn’t even get a photo of us five together that night…I think we were all just so focused on Rachel and the huge event that was about to happen in her life!  :)

so,…SO (I’m sure all you Little Rock persons know this, but that is the name of the restaurant) was REALLY wonderful.  I had a good feeling going into it, because my contact guy had been so great with all the planning.  I got to/had to (once again, with the Princess Bride’s input!)  :) choose a “set menu,” and there were some delicious choices!! 

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Let me know if you can’t read the menu & want to know details!!  :)  I had the chicken pasta…oh.my.goodness.

INSERT: oops…I just realized ALL FIVE photos I’ve posted so far are nothing but stationery…BOH-RING!!  Lemme change that for ya!  :)

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Rachel had such an interesting mix of close friends at her party–they literally came from all over the country!  (And, including Kellie, all over the WORLD!!)  :)

Here’s Sarah, enjoying her “chocolate sack” that she so graciously shared with all of us:

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I’m not sure, but that arm in the bottom left might be going in for the kill!!  I wish I had a picture of the dessert before Sarah dug in–it seriously was amazing.  Literally an edible chocolate “sack,” filled with all things delicious.  yum yum.

I absolutely love this photo of Rachel; I think it captures how genuinely happy she was:

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She was such a little cutie in her tiara and “bride” t-shirt.  :)

After we rooollled out of there, we were off…to The Peabody!  I had never been there before–it’s stunningly gorgeous!

The two-story suite was amazing.  It really looked like something straight out of a movie or something.  Sarah & some of the other girls had gone earlier and decorated the room a little….

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Ha ha…too cute.  Things started getting a LITTLE crazy when Rachel started trying on all her gifts–over her clothes, of course.  :)  One of the girls had even given a gift for Harry–a pair of black mesh (see-through?!?!) undies…yep, Rachie put those on, too.  :)

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After things died down a bit following the “Name Your Lingerie” game (hi-lar-i-ous…can’t go into the details here on that one), we had cake.  As you might remember, I was kind of up a creek with the cake responsibility.  I thought Sarah had taken care of it, but the DAY BEFORE the party–when talking with her about everything–she said she didn’t care about a cake.  I said, Sarah, it’s a SHOWER as well as a party…we’ve got to have SOMEthing!!  And she said (in a very stressed-out state), “Fine!  Then go make some cookie bars or something.  If you don’t then fine, we won’t have anything!”  It kind of reminded me of the Grandma in Napoleon Dynamite saying, “Go make yourself some dang quesa-dill-ahs.”  Too funny.  (But not at the time–I got pretty stressed pretty quickly trying to think up a shower dessert/cake for 20 people less than 24 hours before I needed it.)  Once again, ubercheesy, but I went with a “photo cake.”  The local grocer’s bakery saved the day!!  Although I think the roses were a bit much, I was really happy with the way it turned out–and Rachel liked it, which is all that mattered, really!

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I think she had a wonderful time and felt very honored and special–rightfully so!

Spa Day/Rehearsal & Dinner/Wedding Day to come!!  :)

Random Thoughts…Again

June 13, 2007 at 2:39 pm | Posted in baby, birthdays, celebrations, family, music, random, travel | 7 Comments
  1. how has 2 1/2 weeks passed without one single post?  for shame, for shame.
  2. my youngest sister is getting married in THREE DAYS.  i’m so afraid i’ve been holding in a lot of emotion and that it’s all going to come blubbering out soon–hopefully AFTER the wedding day.  (is that possible, PLEASE?!)
  3. doug has been in India for ten days now, and he’s doing really well!  although i cannot imagine the heat (125 degrees, anyone?), he loves it there…so much so that he has been writing things like, “i just wish you were here, because i never want to leave” and “you and E would do just fine here.”  um…
  4. still haven’t decided on a birthday theme for little E’s first birthday.  it’s one month away!  i’m so excited about her turning one year old, but i still cannot believe how fast the time has passed.
  5. my sister, Kellie (and this should be #1), and my nephew, Daniel, are here from Australia!!  they have been with us in Arkansas for one week now, and the time with them has been so great.  i wish all of you could meet them–or at least just hear them talking.  :)
  6. going along with #2, rachel’s bachelorette party is tomorrow night, and there is much left to be done!  tonight i have to figure out what type of dessert we’re going to have in the hotel suite after dinner, make/buy it, figure out party favors and make/buy those, gather up cds and dvds…the list goes on and on.  this is no run-of-the-mill bach. party, either: we’re having dinner at some la-la restaurant called SO and then staying in a two-story atrium suite at The Peabody.  wow.  it should be a LOT of fun, though!!  i’m excited about everything, but, like everyone else involved in planning for the wedding, being able to breathe again will be nice, too.  :)
  7. i booked our plane tickets for london–we’re really going!  since our house lease ends in december, i don’t even know where we’ll be LIVING come January, but hey!–we’re going to london!
  8. i’m going to get a spray tan after work today.  a little nervous?  yep.  hope i don’t end up being the orange one in all the wedding photos.  :)
  9. don’t ever put your phone number in anything you fill out “on a whim” online.  just for kicks, i clicked on a yahoo link a few weeks ago re: online masters degrees.  why oh WHY did i put in my personal info. including my phone number??  but i did, and within MINUTES my phone was ringing.  i’ve gotten probably at least one call a day from admissions counselors at all these random schools.  i answered the phone once and talked with someone, but i was too embarrassed to have to keep saying i am not genuinely interested…so i recently changed my voice mail message, addressing the counselors at the end.  yes, i seriously did that.  immature?  yes.  a relief?  definitely.  no more calls since then.  :)
  10. Rachel asked me to sing at her rehearsal dinner, and i heard the song for the first time on sunday–beautiful!!  do you know “mended” by watermark?  here’s a snippet.  :)

Picture Pages

May 25, 2007 at 12:33 pm | Posted in baby, family | 6 Comments

Doug has been busy with his new camera!!

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She Wore An…

May 23, 2007 at 8:25 am | Posted in baby, entertainment, family, holidays, travel | 5 Comments
  • finished music & lyrics–loved it from beginning to end.  very, very cute!!  and the songs…they are definitely stuck-in-your-head kind of tunes!  :)
  • embarrassing confession: i’m at least FIFTEEN minutes late to work almost every day.  what is WRONG with me???  i am amazed that i still have my job.
  • i cannot believe Doug is going to India for three weeks.  he leaves in twelve days!  i’m really going to miss him–and so will Elisabeth and Anabelle!  i guess i’ll get a taste of how he felt when i was gone last summer.  i got him a camera for our anniversary, and i’m already excited as i imagine all the amazing photos he will take!  (he’s an EXCELLENT photographer!)
  • did you watch the american idol finale last night?  i thought it was pretty anti-climactic and that the winning song from the songwriting contest was LACK.ING.  oh well.  although i love blake, annoying jordin so fits the ai image & will almost surely win.  i’m kind of glad–that way, maybe blake won’t have to be the producers’ puppet.
  • can you believe memorial day weekend is only a few days away??  (i say this in almost every post, but WHERE does all the time go?!)  Doug’s family will be coming on friday and spend the whole following week at their time share in hot springs.  i’m so excited to go splash in the pool…with sweet baby in her little bikini!!  :)  when i was online shopping for her bather (as they are called in Australia), i kept thinking i would get her a one-piece–i’ve got to teach her modesty, you know!  HA HA J/K  but seriously, she’s got the cutest little outie belly button you’ve ever seen, and i decided it simply had to be revealed!  :)  here’s a picture of her itsy bitsy teeny weeny flowered polka dot bikini (those polka dots seem to be a recurring them, hmm??)…oh DRATS–i just went to the website so i could swipe the photo, and of COURSE it’s half-off now!!  oh well.  :)

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deoderant, ditties and dots

May 21, 2007 at 11:01 am | Posted in baby, birthdays, entertainment, family, london, random, travel | 9 Comments

·         obviously, i’m stuck in a rut doing these little bullet posts.

·         do you ever forget to put on deodorant?  yuck—i did today.  how could i be in SUCH a hurry that i could forget such a crucial thing??

·         we got home last night from a whirlwind one night trip to memphis…to find that my precious Mother had washed ALL of Elisabeth’s laundry.  (and there was QUITE a bit—three loads worth!!)  she is more wonderful than i could ever express.

·         i’ve been living with a shadow overhead…have you seen music & lyrics?  i started watching it last night after getting E to sleep, and i LLLLOVE it.  that sweet little song has been in my head all morning.  i can’t wait to finish the movie tonight!

·         my sister, Rachel, is unbelievably hilarious sometimes.  she called me at work this morning, and here’s a snippet of the beginning of our conversation (she starts):

“hiiiiii!  i tried to call you ALL weekend!”

“oh really?  it never showed up on my phone!”

“well, that’s because i didn’t have your number.”

·         thanks SO MUCH for the first birthday party ideas.  i’m really thinking about those polka dots!  (i actually had previously considered that as a theme!!)  although…you know, the lizard theme—or even the polka dot lizards—is really tempting, Rix!!  ha ha.  believe it or not, speaking of funny Rachel, she actually called Elisabeth “lizard breath” one time—no joke.  (i didn’t find it funny at the time, but now—especially after your comment—it’s a knee-slapper.)

·         besides party themes running through my head, i’ve got London on my mind!  (what else is new.)  i think it’s really going to happen!  although January is the coldest (and rainiest, i believe) month of the year there, that is when we’re planning to go.  ANY LONDON TIPS??

today’s thoughts

May 16, 2007 at 10:54 am | Posted in baby, celebrations, family, friends, gross, holidays, london, marriage, random, travel | 5 Comments
  • one month from today, my youngest sister will be getting married.  WHAT?!
  • Julie, you will already be married!!
  • did you hear last week about the boy with the spiders in his ears?  i’ve thought of this EVERY night before going to sleep since then…earplugs, anyone?
  • for girls only: commando.  do you ever go?  i had to yesterday due to the MOUNDS of dirty clothes yet to be washed–and it wasn’t as bad as i thought.  no, it wasn’t my first time, but it had just been a long time.  (unlike one unnamed sister, whom i think does this pretty regularly??  can’t imagine.)
  • i wish i could hire some “helpers” for my parents.  because their days are filled with everything Elisabeth, they simply do not have the time to clean their home and unpack boxes that are yes, still sitting untouched.  the space they’re in is SO much smaller than their previous home, and so there’s literally not room for everything.  this is such a burden for them–especially my Mom–and so it’s a burden for me, too.  if i had vacation time, i would be there in a flash.  could i please, like Evie, just stop time for a while?
  • Elisabeth is ten months old today.  how is THAT possible?  :)
  • a year ago, i was enjoying a night’s layover in London on my way to Finland.  (again, how is that possible?  that it’s been a YEAR?)
  • i had my first official Mother’s Day on Sunday.  so surreal.  and precious and wonderful.
  • doug finished SO WELL this semester!!!  i could not be any more proud of him!  after his trip to India this summer (mission trip, simultaneously earning 6 credit hours), he’ll only have ONE–count ’em, ONE!!!–more semester to go.  -big sigh-
  • i’m in the process of planning his huge graduation present we’ve been dreaming of for years…A TRIP TO EUROPE!!  (just London, we think.  and maybe a chunnel visit to PARIS!!)  :)

imagine me and you, i do

May 11, 2007 at 7:34 am | Posted in celebrations, family, marriage | 7 Comments

on this day five years ago, i was smiling for pictures on the front steps of shaw’s tea garden after a lovely, delicious bridesmaids brunch.  thank you, aunt debbie and uncle doug, for that gift and the wonderful memories you gave me that morning.

i had woken much earlier in the presence of my dear sister, sarah, and my friends, jennie and julie.  rachel and mary beth came later to help with hair and make-up.  thank you, precious girls, for staying with me that night and for all your help the next day.

wearing a green layered flowing dress, i was about to rush home down the street to change into my beautiful wedding gown.  thank you, mom and dad, for the gifts of those dresses, the flowers and the food, the limo…there are so many things you gave me that day and throughout my life; i will be thanking you until my last breath for the constant gifts of your time, energy, resources, and most of all, your love.  thank you.

and on this day, five years ago, i was about to marry you.  you, with your handsome tuxedo, jittery nerves and slicked hair.  you, with your sweet tears and committed heart, i loved you from that moment in my car on the way to the triplets’ birthday dinner in 1998.  you know the moment, you know me, you love me.  and i, you.

here’s to five hundred more.

 

 

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Raspberries

February 16, 2007 at 3:48 pm | Posted in baby, celebrations, family | 14 Comments

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today Elisabeth is seven months old.

how has this much time passed?  I can close my eyes and still hear the sounds of the hospital, as though I were there yesterday.  In the recesses of my mind and heart are the images of her tiny two pound body, connected to at least half a dozen wires and machines.

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The first time I really saw her, two days after she was born, was through holes in her “incubator.”  I reached in my hands so as to delicately touch her, shaking with the deepest fear I had ever known.  My heart lept when the compassionate nurse asked me if I would like to hold her.  Hold her?  Hold her?  I have longed for nothing else for the past 48 hours, I thought.

 

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All my life I have wanted to be a mother.  I had always envisioned giving birth (a la natural, mind you) and immediately holding my baby against me.  Everything that was happening could not have been further from my plans and dreams.  In fact, I was in the middle of the worst nightmare I had ever experienced.  Still, how could I keep from thanking God for entrusting us with such a precious child?  We were, are and forever will remain so grateful to Him for giving us the opportunity to be parents.

My entire stay (both times) in the hospital, the scariest night of my life when I had the emergency C-section, and Elisabeth’s 48-day stay in the Neonatal ICU are not things that I’ve really allowed myself to reflect on–in public or private.  I’m sure any therapist would rake me over the coals for this, but here I am now, aren’t I?  I’m trying; this is a start.  And for the whole world to see, at that.  (Yes, the entire world reads these posts–didn’t you know?)  :)

—————–

Unless you saw her (or have ever seen a micropreemie, as those her birth size are called), you cannot imagine how small she was.  And now she’s blowing raspberries.  And almost sitting up on her own.  And eating (baby) food!  She’s had carrots and sweet potatoes, green beans and sweet peas, apples and now plums!  My baby, eating food!  My little tiny precious lamb and angel.

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Only five months until your first birthday, Elisabeth Grace!  You are so loved.

 

EDIT: FIVE YEARS LATER!!! I was amazed and a little freaked out when I just googled the term “kangaroo care,” and a photo of me and Elisabeth was in the results!!  Somehow the photo isn’t connected to this post, though, but I am okay with that.  :)

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