Friday, April 16, 2010

Ava's Fourth Birthday Party

I LOVE to plan parties. I am told I will tire of it eventually, but at the moment that idea seems proposterous. I love being creative and making a memorable day for my kiddo. This year, Ava decided she wanted a princess party. Every little girl, it seems, wants one at some point and she is about as girly as they come- her request came as no surprise. I was surprise, however, when a couple weeks into planning, she came to me and said, "I think I'll just have a Dora party again." I asked her why and she said, "cuz that was a really great party and I want a special day like that again." I assured her I was also going to make this princess party special. Immediately I knew I had set the bar a little high when she responded in excitement and awe, "Are you going to get me a pumpking carriage." AYE!

I come from a family of 4 girls. All of us are girly girls and I am the lowest maintenance one in the bunch. Perhaps I am the laziest one in the bunch is more accurate, as my problem has more to do with the fact that if I am going to spend an hour on myself, I'd prefer to crawl in bed with a good book;) Anywho- my sisters are all great and they all love my kids to death, so who better to put to work at a princess party?

The little girls arrived in dress, but had been told ahead of time that their hair and makeup would be done for "the ball" when the arrived. My sister's Kristin and Katie did hair, Karla did nails, and my neice, Jordan, helped the girls put on lip gloss and blush. I had purchased crowns and wands and plenty of sparkly hair glitter. While the girls were awaiting their turns at each station they could color a princess picture or play with playdough. I had made pink and white playdough and added glitter and provided them with good princessy cutters, like glass slippers, crowns, etc. When the girls were ready, I told them before they could go to the ball, they had to pass the princess test. I read them the book "The Princess and the Pea" and then put a pea under a pillow and had each girl sit on it and see if they could feel the pea. They were amazed that they could (what they didn't know is I had taped a small bouncy ball to the underside of pillow inside the case;).
Because the all passed the test, they got to ride in.....the carriage to the ball! My beloved mother and father took Ava's wagon and transformed it into a beautiful carriage. Ava had no idea and all the girls loved it. Because it was raining, the ride was short, but they got out and entered the ballroom through pink curtains. We had decorated our family room like a ball room.

After a bit of dancing, the girls got to eat pizza we'd cut into crown or glass slippers, "safe" apples courtesy of snow white, cheese courtesy of Cinderella's mice, jewel shaped finger jello, and pink lemonade.

They all went home looking lovely and with gift bags with "make-you-own" candy necklaces, rings, nail polish, lipgloss, stickers, and priness fruit snacks.
My beautiful little girl loved her party and must have thanked us a hundred times. Making her feel as special as she is, only made me look forward to her next birthday! My hope is that she grows to know that God's love for her is even more extravagent!

Sheboygan, WI

We have now been in our home for two whole weeks. Does that make me an official Wisconsinite? I suppose it does, but I am pretty sure I could never really bring myself to wear one of those cheese head things; I love cheese and all, but I just don't get that one...

Our transition has been difficult and yet a blessing. It is hard to see your four year old struggling with the change. No matter how firmly my mind knows she'll be okay, my heart breaks for her when she cries about missing friends or asks how long it'll be until she has friends that will come over to play. Marc and I too, have had lonely moments of realizing "we don't know anyone"- particularily for me every time someone asks what we'll do if I go into labor early; I have no answer:) At the same time, I am thankful for stillness. I am thankful for this amazing home and yard and I have this calm assurance that this is precisely where we are supposed to be. Though there is still much decorating and settling to do, it does weirdly already feel like home.

I have felt quite an urgency to get out and meet people. The birth of this baby girl looms ahead and I feel like if I don't have a couple friends in place in ten weeks, how will I make them?;) At the same time, putting myself out there has been difficult. I realize that I am just not very good at feeling weak, needy, and vulnerable. In order to make friends, one must be friendly, but it hard to put yourself out there with no guarantee of acceptance. I find myself praying a lot. I suppose that is something else I am thankful for. I definitely feel needy and weak and this is forcing me to depend on HIM who is strong and can supply all my needs. Really is there any better place to be?

I went on Tuesday to a mom's group at at a local church. It was a bit chaotic (as many moms groups are), but it was nice to just be with moms and I hope to continue attending and make a few friends there. The same day I decided there is no time like the present and, in the evening, attended the women's bible study at the Evangelical Free Church, where I think we are going to attend regularily.

I pulled up and immediately realized I would probably be one of the only young ones there if the ladies entering ahead of me were an indication of the class population. It turned out I wasn't one of the only young ones, I was THE only young one. Can I just say, it was great?! The ladies were very welcoming and I was reminded in the conversation that women are women. I felt welcomed and accepted. I feel like I can learn a lot from some of the ladies, but I also felt like I have things to contribute. They are studying a book on the Armor of Christ and I am thrilled to be challenged and encouraged. I am going to keep going. One of the things we desired in our church hunting was more age diversity and I am excited to make friends of all ages! I came home very excited about the study and each of the ladies that attend.

We've met some nice neighbors and even have a little boy a few months older than Phin living right next door. Ava loves her new school (my next challenge is getting to know moms there- thus far that has proved a bit challenging as everyone is rushing at drop off to get on to their errands, etc.). Marc's job is going well. There are yummy restaurants here and I am thoroughly enjoying my large kitchen as I prepare meals, etc. There are undoubtedly many ups and downs ahead (I can't imagine, for example, it's not going to any easier to clean this house as my belly continues to grow and the back pain worsens;), but what a wonderful thing it is to know you are where God wants you to be!

(I promised to post pics (and would even love some feedback on what to do with the mantel on my fireplace) but for some reason we are having trouble with our laptop uploading at the moment;P So...I will blog a second post about Ava's fab. birthday party three weeks ago and atleast post those pics so those interested can see updated photos of my kids and allow myself to brag about an area of motherhood I am confident in- party planning;)

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Okay so moving at 7 months pregnant is HARD. I don't know if I have EVER and I do mean EVER felt so exhausted in my entire life. I hurt pretty much everywhere;) I have puffy feet and my wedding ring is stuck on my finger (which has NEVER happened to me in previous pregnancies). I am ready for a vacation and we still have quite a bit to do! I am SO SO SO thankful that my in-laws are here and my parents were here to help yesterday, as well. WHAT WOULD I DO without them???!!!!

We are making good progress and I'll post pics soon...promise. My kids are adjusting well. The LOVE our big yard and the new playset and it turns out we DO have kids there age in our neighborhood! They both are sleeping normally and behaving quite well.

All in all things are great, except the place was not cleaned well (or at all??!) before we moved in so we are having to scrub and scrub from floor to ceiling. Atleast we'll know without a doubt spring cleaning is done. Oh- one more problem...I don't really fit in the shower in our bathroom;) I can barely turn around and there would be NO way to shave my legs in there. My belly is in the way;) Since I still have two months to go...I'm a movin' my stuff to the kids bathroom for now. :)