Saturday, March 26, 2011

1st Birthday Bash!

First of all, I can't believe I have a one year old. After all the waiting and struggle to have a baby, it's surreal that she's been with us for a year already! And we've been able to keep her alive and thriving at that!
A lot of this post will be for 'journaling' purposes, so it may not be too entertaining, but the cute pictures can keep you entertained!
For Ella's birthday we had a family party at Jer's parents house. We decorated with some cute balloons outside and inside (clear and purple w/white polka dots and pearl pink) and some pink and white streamers.

Luckily we had more people come than we thought. Both of our parents were there, all but one of the families of Jer's siblings was there (Justin's family), my oldest brother, Chris, and his oldest 2 kids came (Lorie just had Jefferson 9 days ago so they didn't come! Rich's family was sick and Andy's family lives in AZ). We had water, fruit, little deli sandwiches, cupcakes, and ice cream. I made 2 kinds of cupcakes: chocolate w/vanilla almond cream cheese frosting (dyed pink and used neufchatel instead of cream cheese) and white cake w/chocolate frosting (I was going to dye the cake pink, but forgot to, oops).

For Ella's 'smash cake' I marbled the chocolate and white cake and put chocolate frosting on it.
She was a little overwhelmed by all the attention, but she got over it I think.

She didn't know what to think of it at first, but really got into it after a couple minutes. Her little cousin who's 3 weeks older than her came up and was eating her crumbs that had fallen to the seat of the high chair, it was so cute and funny.

She got lots of fun presents from everyone, she really is super spoiled. I feel so lucky to have the family that we do, they're so loving and supportive to Ella (and us).

The presents she got:
From RaKell: Winnie the Pooh toy chest full of assorted books, activity books and paintbrushes, Goldfish shaped snack box, a cute knit hat, 2 outfits, a swimsuit, a pair of super cute sandals, and a couple of little stuffed animals and finger puppets
From us: 2 pairs of gripper feet pajamas, block sorting box, 4 pack of princess books, and Jer made her a DVD slide-show to music of her 1st year
From my parents: pillow bag w/4 Suzie's Zoo books and a handmade kitty
From Jer's parents: life jacket, swim suit, sun hat, Little People house
From Chris's family: VTech my first laptop
From Rich's family (they sent a gift w/my parents): B. You linking rings
From Jenny's family: a bunch of different books, touch and feel, peek-a-boo, etc
From Josh's family: Princess Activity Hut
From Jake's family: little shopping cart full of little boxes w/different foods on the front

I was serious when I said she was spoiled, that's a pretty big list. It took a couple of days to find homes in our house for all her fun stuff.

On another exciting note, she took her first half-step that night. She hasn't done anymore by-herself walking since, but that's still pretty big news to me!

I love her so much. It's crazy to look at the pictures through the last year and how much she's changed. She's starting to look like a little girl now and it makes me so sad and excited at the same time.

Here's to the next amazing year of your life, little miss, can't wait to see what's in store!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New Dinner Plan

So, if you know me, you know I'm really indecisive. This is very evident around dinner time in our house. Usually around 4:30 the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Jer, what do you want for dinner?
Jer: I don't care.
Me: What are you in the mood for?
Jer: Whatever you feel like making.
Me: I don't know what to make, that's why I'm asking you.

And around and around we go. I don't even remember what we eat half the time, and we probably eat out more than we should (though part of that is because the nights Jer has class and Ella and I go with him, we're in such a hurry to get going that there isn't time to make something).

Well, this isn't really a problem anymore. Yay! I've tried meal planning before, but it never stuck or worked and I couldn't stay motivated, but awhile ago I saw a cooking segment on Studio 5 where the guest said something about a theme night every night (different genres). I thought to myself, that might work, and what will it hurt to try? So I worked up a list of something different every night (crock pot, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, etc), and wouldn't you know it actually works?! We're on our 3rd week and it's made life so much easier. I just look at my chart to see what kind of food we're supposed to have that night and then narrow it down from there; example: Wed is Italian night, last week we had chicken tetrazzini, tonight we'll probably have spaghetti). I've made allowances for left-overs (pulled pork one night, pulled pork tacos the next) and random nights where we can have sandwiches or breakfast for dinner (or something else), but I'm so happy to say THIS IS WORKING!
Just wanted to throw this out there in case anyone else could benefit from this idea!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Photo Shoot

For Ella's 1st Birthday, I decided to attempt to take her pictures. Partly because I'm cheap, but mostly because I don't have a car just waiting around to be used and my job can be inconsistent through the day, which makes scheduling things really frustrating and difficult. So I dressed her in her cute "Introducing ME!" shirt and the tutu I made her and set her up in her room (she gets really great natural light in there).
These are some of the resulting pics (I took a bunch, but she's a mover and most of them didn't turn out), along w/some other fun ones I had to throw in for your viewing pleasure.

"The Queen"

Deep in thought

Giggly girl

Goofy smiler


Precious smile

Busy w/her toys


Snuggling w/daddy

Reading a book

Lovin' ice cream

I sure love my babe! I can't believe she's gonna be 1 in less than 2 weeks! Time is a crazy crazy thing.