Friday, July 29, 2011

Insta-Friday: Bachelorette Party Version


A sneak peek into this Haus of Girls’ week as I prepared to host a fantastic Bachelorette party/weekend for my sister Maggie.  She had several college friends visiting from all over, so we had a massive slumber party extravaganza on Friday and Saturday with a float trip, night out filled with line dancing and even a shower mixed in.  Crazy fun.  Memories made.

These are just a few of the 400+ photos I took so next week I will post the real photos of the entire weekend. 


Maggie’s gift from my mom and I.  A super fun antique table which was the inspiration for the weekend of fun.


One day, in the midst of being a psycho Bachelorette party planner, as well as a caring for about eight kids everyday last week, I was able to sneak in some reading during nap time one day.  It was a cool 100 degrees.  I have never burned so many calories from sweating in my entire life.  All while simply sitting. 


A classic example of our days.  All of the children I care for were picked up, except Lily and Ryker. 
Poor Ryker is all I can say. 
However, I think in a few years he will be wishing he was back in this bikini clad girl-filled room again.


I put my hubby to work.  Painting our bedroom the perfect shade of blue. 


Practicing for the float trip on Saturday…


Another late night dinner after our adventures.  The girls rocking out to Selena Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song.”


Writing her new pen pal, Megan, which happens to be this fab lady’s sweet daughter. 


Off to Cali it goes!


Midnight.  Washing vintage china for Maggie’s shower on Sunday.  
The table my mom and I got her inspired an old fashioned, vintage and rustic themed weekend.


Steve slaving away on my birthday present chalkboard for my kitchen. 
Also at midnight. 


A check at the forecast.  The float trip on Saturday will be a hot one!!!


Friday night as we anxiously waited for her friends to arrive, Maggie tried on her cowgirl bride bling my sister Adie made her.  Amazing what some tulle, spray paint and bling can do!


Skinnygirl Margs and the “Bachelorette” tank I got her. 


Yay for friends!  (And lots o’ guacamole!)


Our destination Saturday night was full of cowgirl boots, line dancing and Richard. 


Maggie was serenading by the band.


“I told you so…….!”


Sunday……Happy Birthday to me!
I can’t think of anything more perfect to celebrate my thirty-second (gasp!) birthday than with a fantastic vintage rustic wedding shower with all Maggie’s friends!


One of my favorite gifts were these fun glasses that my mom got me.
I was stalking them at an antique shop a few weeks ago!

Birthday dinner = shrimp and chicken kabobs. 
Best birthday (weekend) yet. 

Join in the fun that is Insta-Friday, and link up all your fun phone pictures with Jeanett!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Get Happy {My Challenge to You}

I have always been intrigued by what makes people truly happy. 
I am a simple kind of girl that needs little, materially speaking, to feel fulfilled. 
Just give me four walls and my family, I’m happy.  Oh, and maybe some cheetos.
I don’t feel the need to surround myself with things in order to feel satisfied.  Things, as far as I’m concerned, are such a momentary thrill.  Before long, the short-term boost wears off, leaving us feeling no happier than before.  The new thing becomes an old thing.  Then you are back to square one. 

I thought it was interesting that after a visit to North America, Mother Teresa observed that she had ever seen such an abundance of material wealth.  But she had also never seen such poverty of the spirit, of loneliness, and being unwanted. 

How can this be?  In this glorious country, filled with all the luxuries of the world, the people living in it are not very happy.   Maybe because because people are so preoccupied with pressing deadlines, that we rush past the homeless on our way to work.  Stuck in a crowd at rush hour, we brush by the woman who struggles to lift her baby’s carriage onto the bus.  In a sprint for material wealth and our relentless efforts to fulfill our own definition of success, we often leave others behind.  Probably the greatest casualty in this is our own personal happiness. 

Here there is such a gap between our society’s soaring monetary wealth and the true wealth of happiness and well-being that all of us deserve to enjoy. 


One striking thing I read yesterday completely reiterated what I’ve always felt, even from a very early age.  “Money itself doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness and neither does what it often takes to obtain it: time.  The fact is, we only have so much time, and once it’s gone we ever get it back.  When we get caught up in the race to get ahead, taking time away from our spouses and our children, we risk falling victim to an overwhelming emptiness.”  The authors of “Me to We” call this the “rich-but-poor phenomenon.” 


Your life is your journey.  We only have so much time. 
Once it’s gone, we never get it back.
Say this over and over to yourself.


In the struggle to meet deadlines, impress clients, and advance through the ranks, it’s easy to become so focused on accomplishing specific tasks that we lose sight of how our actions impact our personal well-being, not to mention that of those around us.  Don’t fall trap and work long hours because of the responsibility to others trying to provide “only the best” for your family.  Because at the end of the day they are not the best for your family, or yourself. 

If you’re like me, you want to play with your kids, get a good night sleep and spend quality time with family, loved ones, or get together with friends.  But sometimes you can’t because you have a project to finish, emails to reply to or a deadline looming.  When the choices you make in your life leave you with no time, energy, or incentive to focus on anyone but ourselves, there’s a problem.

My challenge to you?
Make some changes now that will move you in the direction of happiness.
You only get one life. 

Let me know the changes you will make to get happy, and link up to this post.
The Haus of Girls Get Happy! challenge starts now.

Little changes make a big difference…Ready, Set, Go! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Look at Home and Happiness


We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life.
We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose.
We cherish our freedoms but long for connection.
In an age of plenty, we feel spiritual hunger."

                                                                                                                                                                                        _David G. Myers

A quote taken straight from this book that my sister Adie gave me.


My nap time reading (if I am so lucky to have a few minutes lately) for the past few weeks.
Read it now.
Life changing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

a puppy party

This year Mia wanted a Puppy Party. 
And, like I mentioned in this post, she decided that this year, instead of her guests bringing gifts for her,  she requested they bring something to donate for the homeless dogs that live in a shelters.
I was so proud of my big girl and the puppy-filled extravaganza couldn’t have been better.


How cute is this bone cake my friend Erin made?


She also made the fun paw print favor cookies that Mia handed out to all of her cousins.


Mia helped me decorate the donation box.


And I sewed up a fun bone bunting. 

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I made some brownies with malt balls and chocolate chips paw prints.

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Our back sliding glass doors where paw printed as well.



And our crooked, yet cute, front door welcomed guests to “Mia’s Puppy Pound.”

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Our traditional cake pose.
(Extra special since it included Daddy’s “Steve’s Roadkill Cafe” sign from Uncle Meade!)


Time to sing!


Make a wish.


My wish is that I can continue to instill in my girls just how important it is to think of others as you go through life.   Mia and I talked about how her choice, to use her birthday as a way to help others, resulted in some very sad, lonely, homeless puppies’ lives being changed forever.  All  because of her choices.     
Many tails will be wagging with joy all because of her. 

The lesson?  Anyone of us can make a difference.  No matter your age. 
It may be small thing, but it matters in a big way.   


She was so excited to deliver the goodies with Daddy and her sisters!
(I just love how the SUN is shining right in their eyes in this photo!) 

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Delivering the goodies!!!

We get to visit the puppies that she helped this weekend. 
She can’t wait to pet and play with them all!


On top of her puppy donations, she got a few other gifts as well.   
This bike, from Mimo and Grandpa, is one of her faves. 


And don’t even get me started on this….

I wanted to get Taylor Swift concert tickets a few months ago when they first went on sale.
No dice.  Sold out.  In like five minutes. 
My hopeful idea of surprising Mia with the most exciting gift of the century was gone.

But thanks to Jimmy, Haley, Ella and Tyler,  Mia will now get the chance to see her idol on stage strummin’ away,  and make memories that are sure to last a lifetime.

Thank you to everyone who helped make Mia’s seventh birthday so special and memorable in every way. 
Your thoughtfulness is so inspiring and appreciated by our entire family!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

from six to seven




I said goodnight to a six year old…


and good morning to a seven year old.
It hasn’t registered in my brain yet.



Her birthday morning surprise!
A retired American girl doll appropriately named, Mia.


Seven is the perfect age to introduce all things American Girl.  
It was love at first sight.   


Mia was so exhausted for playing all day that she needed a nap before heading out that night for some birthday fun!


Her first road trip.  Too cute for words.  


Mia’s request was a night at a huge local indoor sports facility.
There was this  trampoline basketball game…



a giant bounce house obstacle course…



rock wall climbing (go Daddy!) …



a giant jungle gym…


and even laser tag. 
But as you can tell by this picture, one particular seven year old got a little too scuuuured to try it out.
The rest of us old kids did not.  We had a blast and guess who won in our guys verses girls competition?

Don’t even get me started on the dodge ball game of guys verses girls.  No pictures of that, thank goodness.


To end our night of fun, Aunt Maggie had the girls pose for a special little etched key chain.
Adorable to the max. 

I love summer. 
I love birthdays. 
I love my family.


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