Showing posts with label Gwendolyn's 1st Year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gwendolyn's 1st Year. Show all posts

Cake Smash

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Happy April Fool's Day!  It might have been funny for me to do a fake "I'm in labor!" post today, but then I always think it's not so funny when you find out I'm actually kidding.  Those kind of jokes are more fun for the prankster than for the . . . prankees?  I like sticking to jokes that are funny for everyone.

I've got nothing.  So instead I'm going to share pictures from Gwen's one year old cake smash!  Even though she's 15 months old now.  Can that count as an April Fool's joke?

Anyway, I do have Gwen's cake smash photos up today!  And they are cute, cute, cute.  Little Girl loves her some cake.  Go to my photo blog to check it out!

Gwen's One Year Photos!


This is a little sneak peek of what we wore for our family pictures for Gwendolyn's one year session a couple months ago!  I'm finally getting around to posting them.  These aren't our exact outfits, but they are similar.  Head on over to my photo blog to see all of Gwen's one year old pictures!  

Winter First Birthday Party!

 Last weekend was Gwen's first birthday party!  As I've mentioned previously, I went back and forth on themes for a while.  Having a birthday right after Christmas makes it a little tricky to me - I wanted it to be wintery and fit in with the season, but without being Christmas-y.

I finally settled on a "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" theme!

For those of you who are not familiar with the song, it's from The Sound Of Music, and you can read the lyrics here.  

I tried to incorporate as many of the things from the song into her party as I could!  We had:

-Brown paper packages tied up with string.

-Whiskers On Kittens, Bright Copper Kettles, and Warm Woolen Mittens candles, from Yankee Candle (which I already happened to have).

-Snowflakes "that stay on my nose and eyelashes" (actually they just hung from our chandelier and her birthday banner).  I made the mosaic snowflakes with Wyatt several weeks ago.

-Sleigh bells, which I strung along with the balloons and spread onto the table for decorations.

-Schnitzel with noodles (otherwise known around here as Chicken Noodle Soup - I was just trying to think of something with noodles in it).

-Crisp Apple Strudel muffins (which I thought were going to be a disaster when the first batch flopped - thank goodness for the mason jars to make them look pretty!  I just baked them straight in the jars).

-The weather even played along and we had a "silver white winter" that will eventually melt into spring!


Overall it was a really fun and easy theme to do, and I'm really happy with the way everything turned out!  

If you have any questions about any specific elements, let me know.  Aside from Gwen's birthday banner, I made the rest of the decorations, invitations, etc.

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We had a really nice time, and Gwen especially enjoyed her birthday cupcake!  It was nice to be able to celebrate our sweet girl with our closest family and friends!


Punch recipe here.

To see cake and present pictures, head on over to my photo blog.

(If you aren't a follower of my private photo blog you'll have to request an invitation here first.)

DIY First Birthday Decorations

The birthday party preparation is in full swing!  We're having Gwen's 1st birthday party (just a small one, mostly family) on Sunday!

A couple weeks ago Wyatt and I sat down while Gwen was napping, and we worked on some decorations for her party.  It was a pretty fun toddler craft (not just for party decorations), so I thought I'd share it here.

I got this idea from our craft girls at our MOPS group - they gave a little talk about projects you can do with your toddler, which was helpful since I never think of these things on my own!  It's the same thing as the "stained glass" tissue paper projects that you see floating around.  

Basically I cut out some snowflakes, and I used a bunch of the paper scraps that I had left over from making Gwen's party invitations.  

I took a sheet of contact paper and had Wyatt stick the little pieces of paper on the sheet.  I just had him stick them wherever so he could put the pieces face up.  

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Then we sprinkled some glitter on the paper (which he loved doing), and I framed his creation with a paper snowflake (with the middle piece cut out - tip from the MOPS ladies).  

We sealed it off with another piece of contact paper and I cut the snowflakes out.
Wholla!  Party decorations for Gwen.

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This was a craft that Wyatt really liked to do (the kid can only take so much coloring), it was easy, and it looked really cool when it was all done!  I also think it's kind of special that Wyatt had a part in decorating for Gwen's party.

More pictures next week!

Gwendolyn Is One Year Old!

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(A sneak peek of Gwen's 1st birthday party invitations!)

Miss Gwen is officially a one year old!

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This last month has been so much fun - I feel like she has just grown by leaps and bounds in one month!

-Her four front teeth are coming in nicely, and they make her little grins that much cuter (if it was possible for her to get cuter).

-Her hair seems to be growing in thicker all of a sudden, and this month we did her first pigtails!

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-Playing peek-a-boo.  We've played it in the past, but she re-discovered it in the grocery store the other day and couldn't stop giggling.  It was so cute to see her lift her little blanket over her head and then drop it back down over and over again.

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-She has gotten even more comfortable cruising around furniture, and she has stood for several seconds by herself!  I need to find her some good shoes, because I think she feels a little unstable still, like Wyatt did.  But she is very mobile and gets into everything.

-She learned to say "dog" this month, which really sounds more like "da".  It's cute!

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-She got a little play makeup/vanity set for Christmas, and the other day I showed her how to use the powder puff and lipstick.  She just lit up, and she started trying to put the lipstick on me, and rubbed the powder puff all over my face!  It was one of those moments where I was just so glad to have a little girl - what fun we're going to have as she grows!

-She likes to copy everything Wyatt does, and cars are still some of her favorite toys.

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-She's developed a new love for stuffed animals!  We went to the zoo to see Christmas lights, and she got really attached to this sloth stuffed animal, so we were sneaky and bought it for her birthday - she loves it!  I caught her talking to it, and moving it's arms the other day - it's so cute to watch her playing get more and more "sophisticated", so to speak.

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-She loves using a sippy cup, and since she turned a year I've been giving her more of the same food we eat, since we're past all that allergy stuff.  She loves it!  She wants to do the same things she sees us doing, and she gets upset when I don't let her try a certain food.  She's growing so fast!

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-She is growing out of a lot of her 12 month clothes, but she's still a little small for a lot of 18 month clothes, so we're in a weird middle spot.  She's in size 3 diapers, size 3 shoes.

-We are in the midst of teething, and it's been really rough on her.  Wyatt never had that hard of a time with it, but she does.  It amazes me how she seems to know that the medicine we give her makes her feel better.  She calms down as soon as we give it to her because she knows she'll feel better soon!

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-We celebrated our first Christmas with Gwen, and she loved opening her presents!  She wasn't even interested in the paper, she knew that there were toys and other fun stuff underneath it!

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-Gwen's personality is just so sweet, and she just seems so much more grown up to me all of a sudden.  I still call her my "Baby Doll", but it struck me the other day that she is seeming less like a baby and more like a little girl.  It's bittersweet - I'm always sorry to see the sweet baby days going, but then there are moments (like with the makeup) when I know that we have so much fun ahead of us too!

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My Sweet Baby Girl,
You are a year old!  I can hardly believe how fast this year has gone.  I turned around the other day and realized your baby days are on their way out.  I treasure every moment with you, Sweet Girl, and I've loved every minute of these baby days with you - it makes me sad in a way, to see them go.  But then you grin at me and try to put makeup on my face, or share your bottle with me, or kiss your stuffed animal, and I know that we have so many more precious times ahead of us - and they are going to be so much fun!  I love watching you grow and learn new things.  I love watching your personality develop with each passing day.  I so look forward to being able to teach you more about Jesus as you start understanding more this next year.  You are growing up, and I will love every minute of all the years we have ahead of us!  But still know, Gwen-Girl, that at the same time, you will always be my baby.  I love you so much, Baby Doll, more than I can ever tell you.

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2013 In Review

The year of 2013 was another big one for us!  A lot happened this year - this is a quick recap!


-Rang in the New Year up with Gwen for a feeding!  Her first holiday.

-We started out our first year as a family of four!

-I wrote about Gwendolyn's birth story.

-We took Gwen's newborn photos.

-I picked my word for the year.

-We went to a rodeo/stock show together - our first real outing as a family of four!

-I held a star-themed baby shower for my sister.

-I started avoiding dairy because Gwen seemed to be allergic to it.

-Gwen turned one month old.


-Derek started traveling and I started watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette (I know, I know).

-Wyatt turned two!

-We celebrated Valentine's Day.

-Gwen started smiling!

-Started potty training Wyatt, then I got overwhelmed and quit again.

-We had a tractor birthday party for Wyatt!

-Gwen turned two months old.


-We took Gwen to visit the paramedics who helped deliver her.

-Gwen started sleeping through the night!

-I made up a coffee syrup recipe.

-My nephew was born!

-I went back to work (one day a week).

-We celebrated Easter!

-Gwen turned three months old.


-Gwen laughed for the first time on April Fool's Day!

-Derek and I went to see "Sense and Sensibility: The Musical".

-Derek got me an iPad!

-I got the spring cleaning bug.

-Gwendolyn and I got really sick for the first time since she was born.

-I started a 30x30 challenge.

-Gwen turned four months old.


-I cleaned out all the closets in our house.

-We moved Gwen's room upstairs.

-We celebrated Mother's Day

-Gwen started rolling both ways and sitting up by herself, and we started feeding her solid foods.

-Gwen turned five months old.


-I finished re-decorating our bedroom, the office, and Gwen's new room.

-I wrote about how Wyatt started talking so much more and other fun things about my boy!

-Wyatt started singing songs with us.

-My friend Ashley and I went to a pottery shop.

-We made vacation plans.

-Gwen started sucking her thumb.

-Derek's brother and sister-in-law came to visit!

-Gwen seemed to grow out of her milk sensitivity.

-Gwen turned six months old.

-We took Gwen's six month pictures.


-We celebrated the 4th of July

-We went on our first family camping vacation to the Grand Canyon.

 -Derek and I celebrated our 5th anniversary!

 -We went to a Hawaiian-themed family reunion.

-Gwen started inch-worm crawling.

-We took the kids swimming a few times.

-Kind of started potty training Wyatt again.

-Gwendolyn turned seven months old.

-I got pregnant, but didn't know it yet!


-I wrote an update on the many books I read the first half of 2013 - 32 books!

-We took our five year anniversary pictures (which I will post one of these days!).

-After growing my hair out for almost two years, I finally cut it!  And it felt good.

-I found out on August 10th that I was pregnant!  Biggest surprise and best news of the year!

-I apparently had a hard time writing much of anything except book reviews for the rest of the month.

-We visited a peach festival and went to a hot springs, and I invented a peach salsa recipe!

-We went to our county fair and rodeo.

-I felt slightly nauseous throughout the month.

-Gwendolyn turned eight months old.


-We enjoyed a campfire at my parent's house.

-We started preschool at home with Wyatt.

-Derek started traveling again.

-We started going to MOPS again.

-I wrote about cute stuff Wyatt was doing.

-We had our first ultrasound, and baby looked great!

-We told our families about Baby #3!

-I started my blogging tips series.

-Finally got serious about potty training Wyatt!

-Gwen started crawling on her hands and knees and pulling to her feet.

-Gwen turned nine months old.

-I invented a lemon fudge recipe.

-We got a minivan.


-I finally told everyone that we were having another baby!   Posted the full story here.

-We did a bunch of fun stuff - went to the zoo with friends, took Wyatt to his first movie in the theater, and went to a corn maze!

-Discouraging stuff happened, which I still can't go into.  Maybe soon.

-Gwen started walking around furniture.

-Gwen said her first real word - "hi", and decided she was done with baby foods - only finger foods from now on.

-Gwen turned ten months old.


-16 and 18 weeks pregnant. 

-I sent out our gender reveal party invitations.

-I did a wine (*no wine for me) and painting class with some friends!

-We took Wyatt to the Christmas ornament store, and he started talking about Christmas stuff all the 

-It snowed a lot.

-I did a new wall display in Gwen's room (those white flowers would just not stick).

-Gwendolyn turned eleven months old.

-Celebrated Thanksgiving (Gwen's first!), went to a Christmas parade, decorated for Christmas, and turned 20 weeks pregnant!


-Had our 20 week ultrasound and found out we are having a baby BOY!

-Sent out invitations to Gwen's first birthday party.

-Turned 22 and 24 weeks pregnant.

-Celebrated Christmas (Gwen's first!)!

-Celebrated Derek and Gwen's birthday!

-Celebrated the New Year!

This past year has been so full of blessings, and looking back I realize just how great a year it has been!  The Lord has given us so much, and I'm so thankful.  Can't wait to see what will happen in 2014!

On "Treasure"

I'm sorry if you're seeing this post for the second time, I had some post scheduling issues.

Since 2013 is coming to a close, I wanted to reflect a little bit on the word I chose for this past year.  


This is the first year that I've participated in choosing a word for the year, and I think it was a good experience.  

When I first chose the word, I thought I had an idea of how the year was going to go.  I thought that we probably wouldn't start trying for another baby until the end of this year, so I wanted to just take these twelve months and appreciate all the sweet times with my two babies.  I wanted to try not to worry about our past trying-to-conceive problems until (I thought) I had to face them at the end of this year.

 Sometimes I get so wrapped up in future plans and worries about the future that I forget to take time to truly appreciate the moments that I am in right now, so in my mind I chose that word as a reminder to myself to not worry and just treasure the present moments.

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And that's what I did, but little did I know that the Lord would bless us with a surprise baby!  So at the end of July, instead of remembering not to worry about Baby #3 and appreciate this year with Wyatt and Gwen, "treasuring" became about treasuring every moment with Wyatt and Gwen and each little milestone with this baby.  

Having the word "treasure" became a good thing in another way, because when you already have two little kids running around it requires more intentional thought to notice and treasure the little moments with the baby growing inside you.  That first bit of movement, breaking out all my maternity clothes again, watching my belly grow - I want to treasure every minute of this pregnancy, because it may very well be my last.

Another way that the concept of "treasuring" the moments took me by surprise this year was how much I have come to appreciate and treasure Derek.  I'm not sure why my time with him wasn't something I thought about when I picked "treasure" as my word, but it wasn't.  In 2012 Derek got a new job that requires him to travel a lot, but the traveling didn't really start until this year - and having him gone so much makes me realize how much I had taken him for granted.  It also makes our time together that much more precious to me.  

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He is home for now, until he has to start traveling again in the next few months, and I am just soaking up the time of having him here.  The little things make a big difference, even something like having him sleeping next to me.  I never would have taken time to appreciate something like that so much if I didn't get the experience of not having that every day.  So while I kind of hate this part of his job right now, in a way the Lord has used it to remind me to treasure the biggest thing in my life that I often take for granted - my husband.  So all the travel has ended up being a blessing (in an ugly disguise).

"Treasuring" has not looked like I thought it would this year - but I think it describes my year perfectly.  This year has been about learning and remembering to treasure all my "little" (which are really big) blessings.  The Lord has used this challenge in some surprising ways in my life this year - He is always keeping me guessing.  It's been a reminder that I can't plan things out, and the Lord decides how my life will go - and He has good plans for everything, even something as simple as a little word.  I can't wait to see what He has planned for 2014.
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