Sunday, July 21, 2013

Life Happens...

Holy Moly Batman! It has been 2 months since my last post!

When I started this blog, my sweet baby was napping twice a day, sitting by herself, and allowing mommy a plethora of opportunities for mid-day blogging. Welp, times have changed my friend! I now have a coo coo crazy 15mo old running around, climbing on things, teething molars and fighting naps. (Umm, those molars are no joke folks!)  I'm super psyched to be back to the blog this afternoon. I have so much to catch up with! We've had a hospital stay for a baby butt pimple gone awry ( yep, you read that right!), a family photo shoot, words are being spoken, steps are being taken, daily mama drama and a family trip is coming up! Where do I begin!?

I'd love to share our latest family pics with you - A windy day in the Kansas City West Bottoms. I loved the urban setting and the easy breezy pictures we captured with the help of Wendy Cantwell.
Tallan has officially decided she is over the adorable hair accessories we've gotten away with in previous photo shoots, so her hair is a little wild, but I love it. If you would have told me 15mo ago, that a gorgeous, fair-skinned, blue-eyed, red headed child would be coming out of me...I wouldn't have believed you. Oh, but Miss Tallan Hope, with her silly mommy faces and perfectly drama free attitude, has made me cherish the little silly things about myself that I see in her daily.

Enjoy the pics! Butt pimple stories, cloth diaper tips, and silly mommy stories coming soon to the blog. Promise I won't stay away so long next time!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In a Texas State of Mind

Five and a half years ago, Matt and I moved to Kansas City to embark on our first adventure as a married couple. He was accepted into pharmacy school here, and through the years I have grown to love this city and what it has to offer. After pharmacy school graduation, we decided to stay here to grow our family and experience life as a new pharmacist and a new stay at home mom. I am grateful daily for the life we live here; but from time to time, I reminisce about a place I hold very dear to my heart. Just a tiny little place called Texas...have you heard of it?

Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle, then relocated to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I like my hair high, my belts sparkly and my music country. My roots have cowboy boots and my occasional curse words have a slight Texas twang. I don't miss the Dallas traffic, or the Panhandle cell phone reception....but the food and the fine people are constantly on my mind. Most importantly, a piece of my heart is in Mansfield, Texas, where my immediate family still lives today.

About a month ago, Tallan and I sneaked onto an airplane and headed to Texas to surprise Mimi (my mother) with a special visit. We had such a great time, and she was so shocked to see us! With family time in the works and good Tex-Mex in my belly, I had one more thing to check off my list during our stay.

From the moment I learned I was pregnant with Tallan, I hoped we would one day have the opportunity to take pictures in a field of bluebonnets: Texas springtime personified. Lucky for me, I have a friend that could make that happen, and I couldn't be happier with the results. Tamera Lewis, with Snap'd Photography, helped us capture sweet Tallan in one of the most beautiful settings: a Texas bluebonnet field at sunset.

We had such a great time visiting family and are so thankful for the relationships Tallan is building with her grandparents. My visits to Texas always have a funny way of  allowing memories of my past to meld with my present...and give me a glimpse of the future.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tallan Hope: A Birth Story

Over a year has passed since our lives were changed forever. Tallan Hope has brought us so much joy and laughter, and cliché as it may sound, I cannot imagine life without her! I’ve wanted to share her birth story, and thought a year after her birth would be a great time to reflect. One day, when I’m the over sharing, embarrassing, too many picture taking mom she loves to love…she can read back through this “over share,” and know how her entrance into this world was the greatest moment of our lives.

After a relaxing Easter weekend, I awoke early morning on Monday, April 9th, 2012 to do what any normal 36 week pregnant woman does…..RUN (ahem – more like waddle) to the bathroom! Getting back into bed, I told my husband I had a funny nervous feeling. “What do you mean, funny feeling?,” he asked. I had a butterflies in the tummy feeling that I just couldn't shake. To top things off, our dog Marley had climbed into bed with us (which she’s not allowed to do,) and had laid right next to me. Dogs have a 6th sense right? A sign? I THINK SO! My husband laughed off the aforementioned canine omen, and left me for Pharmacy School around 7am. With a precious 3 more hours left to sleep before heading in to work myself, I could not drift off due to the butterflies.
Giving in to my gut, I got up and proceeded to pack my hospital bag…ya know, just in case! God forbid I go into labor at work and the responsibility fall on my husband to bring me the hospital essentials! He totally would've forgotten my eyeliner! That task completed, I left my readied bag on our bed and proceeded to head to work managing a fitness facility.
First things first when I got to work – the noon boot camp fitness class. My big bellied, swollen ankled self got those dumbbells out and music bumpin'! While getting our workout on, I felt a couple “trickles.” Frustrated that I was now at the point of my pregnancy where I’d pee on myself whilst teaching group exercise, I headed to my office to answer emails. Upon sitting and chatting with a co-worker, I GASPED as one extra “trickle” seemed a bit more noticeable than the rest. I promptly called my doctor and requested to be squeezed in for a quick check for my water breaking….or to confirm that my bladder was deceiving me.
At 4pm, I met my husband at the doctor’s office. As we waited, we both felt silly being there for such a false alarm as peeing on myself, but figured we’d lasted 36 weeks before pestering our doctor with our first timer worries. Silliness was converted to down right SHOCK when the doctor returned to tell us my water had broken, I was 4cm dilated and to waddle my butt right over to Labor & Delivery! Whaaaa!?  Good thing I packed my bag right!?
With Matt’s parents headed to the hospital, my parent’s rushing for a plane from Texas, and Matt running home to grab my bag, I was being signed in to the hospital and getting my IVs. Not knowing how long my water had actually been broken, I was given Pitocin to ensure active labor. Speaking through easy breezy contractions, as my nurse readjusted my monitors, Tallan kicked and broke the rest of my bag of water. Within 5 minutes of the kick, my contraction intensity increased exponentially! As my parents arrived at midnight on Tuesday, April 10th, 2012, I was a little bit ready to tell them “hello, thanks for coming,” and a LOTTA BIT ready to have an epidural.
Epidural in, 7-8cm dilated, and I was one fat happy camper! The next three hours were a blur of chit chat, steady progression, and building excitement. By 3:00am I was ready to push! Channeling the yoga I had taught my entire pregnancy, I was determined not to be the mom who couldn't push well! With G-Dad and Grumpy (our fathers) sent to the waiting room, and Matt, the grandmas, and sister-in- law ready to help me during the long haul of pushing…we were well on our way.

With a calmness in the room I would NEVER attribute to my personality, I pushed 3 times (less than 10min) before little Miss Tallan Hope arrived into this world. Looking back, I have no idea why my type A, intense self wasn't more vocal, scared or stressed….but I just wasn't. Everyone in the delivery room can attest to the cool, calm and collected manner in which our birth occurred. A peace given from God is surely the only answer. We were truly blessed to have such a positive experience, with no complications.
4 weeks early, weighing in at 5lbs 12oz and 19inches long, Tallan was just ready to meet her phenomenal family. Her arrival made a couple of silly married people into the blessed little family we are today. We are still silly, we just added another character.

It has been a year from her birth, and I cannot comprehend how the time has passed so quickly. To sum things up after a year of motherhood: I have never been more in awe of the miracles God provides, scared of being inexperienced, proud for learning how to be a parent, excited to watch my spouse be a father. I love this little person so much it hurts. She is the best pieces of husband and myself all rolled up into this perfect little miracle that God has let us borrow.  Thank you, Tallan Hope, for joining our family. We will 
never, ever be the same.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Candy Shoppe Birthday Bash!

It's been a while since I've blogged..mostly due to the fact that my brain has been in overdrive with first  birthday plans for Miss Tallan! Now that our extravaganza is over and done with, I'm excited to be back and share all the fun little details that had been keeping me busy for the past couple months!

We decided on a vintage candy shoppe theme, because who doesn't like a theme party....and who doesn't like candy!? The trick to pulling off such a theme was not so much in the big items, but the small silly details that really pulled everything together! Take a look-see at our party pics below, and I will shoot some tips and reference how-to's and websites along the way!

Bought a Wilton's huge cupcake pan from Michael's, and used the large star tip to make swirls starting at the very top of the cake. Used the leaf tip to zig zag icing on the base, and star tip again to fill in little gaps. This is verrrrry much a pedestrian cake attempt and the mistakes made it look for vintage homemade to me. I used boxed red velvet cake mix and made homemade cream cheese frosting (which I will blog recipe soon!) 

My Pier One apothecary jars and canisters made for perfect candy jars! Table covers were fabric from Hobby Lobby! The candy we provided was pastel M&M's, rock candy, gum balls, candy necklaces, lollipops, and cotton candy (all purchased at Party City, except M&M's.) The mini bundt cakes were TO DIE FOR and totally NOT homemade! My parents drove them to KC from Texas...yep, they're that good. Nothing Bundt Cakes are the bomb!

I'm disappointed that I forgot to snap a closer pic of my goodie bags at the top right of the picture above. They were brown paper bags hand stamped with baby owls & "Thank You" stamps from Hobby Lobby, then stuffed with one piece of tissue paper. Guests made the rounds and collected treats for their goodie before leaving the partay!

Picture frame + twine + staple gun + mini clothes pins
Cutest timeline photo idea ever!

Made a homemade chalkboard a while ago, but it came in handy when wanting a cute vintage way to write down some silly Tallan stats! This took FOREVER...writing this neat with real chalk is HARD!

My friend Crystal from The Hown's Den made this amazing bunting banner for me! Fabric from Hobby Lobby. I will use this for all of our summer get-togethers! Looooove is an understatement!

The HIT of the party were the french macarons from Milk & Honey bakery here in Kansas City. They're naturally gluten free and the monogramming was precious!

Metal letters from Hobby Lobby made a great monogram centerpiece, and the scrumdiddlyumptious chicken salad croissants were provided by my MIL! Cute pinwheel toothpicks from Party City snazzed them up quite nicely! 

My favorite craft of party planning....the rag tie garland. Many many pinterest tutorials to choose from! I will blog about my experience with this soon!
Tallan and Gmommy & GDaD (hub's parents)

With Mimi & Grumpy (my parents)

With her Uncle "Whiskey"

With Mom & Dad!
I wanted a cute way to have a "guestbook" without really having an old fashion party guestbook. Soooo we made our own Step N' Repeat! Guests chose a fun prop, and snapped a pic with the birthday girl before leaving! I will print all photos and have a photo book guestbook to always cherish!

We had an absolute blast celebrating with friends and fam...and emotions were in check, yay me! (Technically, Tallan doesn't turn one for another week, so I cheated those mommy emotions.) I'll find a quiet corner and sob on her actual birthday! It was a great time to be grateful for so many things: the ability to stay home and cherish this time with my well as plan a birthday bash, for the help of both of our families, for our friends, and for the amazing little life God has blessed us with! A few more pictures of birthday shenanigans are below. Enjoy!