A princess & her party

I’m late posting…but here are some pics from Riley’s first birthday party! Our unofficial theme was ‘garden party’ inspired by a couple old paper lanterns I picked up at Target a few years ago.IMG_1662 (1)

I’ve never been a huge pink person so I wanted to use the coral and turquoise colors as my main inspo. I also wanted the decor to not scream ‘baby party’. Googling found me this stunning party http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2015/11/13/garden-party-first-birthday/. I knew from the beginning that we were just going to have a small gathering of friends and family so it didn’t make sense to spend a ton of money on decorations that would likely only be used once. There are a ton of tissue paper flowers on Etsy but you still have to put them together yourself and for the amount I wanted they aren’t budget friendly!

We trekked all over town looking for flowers but they seem to only sell the tissue poufs that hang, not 2D flowers for the wall. I thought I remembered making some as a kid on a smaller scale like with pipe cleaners and such so I found a tutorial which turned out okay but not as plump as the flowers I was envisioning 😦 I finally found these sold online at Target http://www.target.com/p/pink-hues-paper-flower-d%C3%A9cor/-/A-50940315 I decided to try them since I was running out of options and I’m glad I did! I rounded the corners since I didn’t want pointy flowers, and once I knew how to model the flowers it was easy for me to recreate the design with other colored tissue paper (shoutout to my sister & husband for staying up til 1am with me finishing making and putting up the flowers!). I wanted to make more flowers but we ran out of time. This is what our completed floral wall looked like:IMG_1440I wanted to do something with Riley’s monthly photos to showcase how much she grew in the past year so I made a simple banner with them. The hearts on the edges (and on her high chair) were these free printables that just happened to match our theme and color scheme 😉 from here http://nataliemalan.com/watercolor-florals/watercolor-floral-free-valentine-garland/ Look at that tiny peanut!img_1439.jpgI also used Natalie Malan’s letter floral printables to make an “I’M ONE!” banner for the front of her high chair. (http://nataliemalan.com/family/free-botanical-garland/)img_1430.jpgThere was so much more I wanted to do but there simply wasn’t enough time as a busy toddler mom, next time I’ll have to start planning a few months in advance. Overall I spent around $50 on decor including her party outfit, so I was pretty happy with that expenditure.

I made chocolate, vanilla, and carrot cake cupcakes for variety and a little smash cake for Riley. I’m no professional baker or decorator but apparently they tasted okay 😉IMG_0061IMG_1420Little miss didn’t nap well the morning of the party so she was a little grumpy in the afternoon but began to perk back up during lunch and of course cake. Enough from me, I’ll let pics share the rest of the day!IMG_0054IMG_1416IMG_0114img_0143.jpg

Unfortunately with all the hustle & bustle we didn’t even think to take a family photo until the end of her party so we got these gems lol. All in all it was a pretty great party though!

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My baby girl’s turning one

And I’m so not ready. It seems like just yesterday I was anxiously awaiting her arrival even though the hospital bag was only half packed. Riley came exactly one week before her due date. I can’t believe it’s been a year already because it feels like time has flown by. In my experience, nothing can truly prepare you for parenthood except parenthood itself. I’ve nannied and had childcare experience for over 10 years, but it’s different (and terrifying at first) when it’s your own tiny human that you’re responsible for 24/7. That being said, I love my job as Riley’s mama and I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to stay home with her this past year. I am so SO blessed and I honestly think I have the most amazing kiddo in the whole wide world 😉

As I’m sitting here drinking wine, eating girl scout cookies & reminiscing (#dontjudge), I remember how sleep deprived I was those first few months and how I thought it would never end. There were a few times I cried from sheer exhaustion because the baby would not sleep or settle and only wanted to be held so I held her and cried with her. The other night I teared up thinking just how much she’s grown up in a seemingly short period of time. Riley is such a happy little girl and the past few days it’s like she’s KNOWN how hard it is for me that she’s growing up so quickly because she’s been extra snuggly and smiley.  I’m soaking up every moment and just trying to enjoy the time I have because I know she’ll be off to school sooner than I can realize.

If there’s one piece of advice I would give to anyone who’s about to become a parent or is a new parent, it’s “don’t sweat the small stuff.” If you’re like me, having a baby will make you worry more than ever. Baby doesn’t sleep you worry, baby sleeps too long you worry! You WILL fall behind on chores and struggle somedays to get out of your pajamas or make it out of the house. It doesn’t matter. You will love more than you’ve ever loved before or more than you’ve ever thought possible, and the first time your baby smiles at you it’ll remind you just how worth it parenthood is. So give yourself a pat on the back and cuddle your baby, you’re going to be okay and you will get through it! And while it is bittersweet watching your baby grow up into a toddler and beyond, it’s also the most amazing indescribable feeling watching your little grow up.

I’m sorry for my huge absence on here, I spent most of January fighting off multiple infections and very tired. I still don’t feel back to 100% but I have a couple more blog post ideas that I am going to try and get up asap!

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50 pics of the last year, from our last pic pre-parents to yesterday!

There’s never enough time…

Have you ever taken a stress test? Experts say there are several stressors you should avoid if possible. Obviously some change is inevitable, but still, certain life events are naturally labeled as ‘stressors’ because of the way your body reacts to them. These include a change in relationship status (getting engaged/married/etc), moving, starting a new job, pregnancy, and buying a house. 2 years ago my husband & I did all of those things and more. Well technically I did most of the pregnancy part 😉 But I can’t believe it’s 2017 already and I can’t believe we got through the last couple years.

We got engaged the day after Valentines in 2015. It’s a really sweet story of how he proposed but we’ll save that for another time. In March we moved from central Florida to St. Louis, Missouri. My fiancé had a job offer he couldn’t pass up and my home is wherever he is so we packed up and moved across country in the pouring rain. Our German Shepherd dog-ter Kacie May was along for the ride too, and couldn’t have been more excited to find that her new house had a fenced in almost quarter acre yard! But I’m getting off track. Here’s us about to leave Florida and start our trek.10682305_659467570853730_703344018139342871_o

Being more private people, my fiancé and I had planned on eloping in December instead of having a big wedding. But after we moved and got settled in, he decided it would make more sense for us to get married sooner rather than later so I didn’t have to change all of my documents twice and a few other reasons. So we found a minister and legally got married in June!

In July we found out it’s a good thing we got married since I got pregnant right after. (Total surprise that neither of us saw coming, but it turned out to be the best surprise ever!)

In October my husband got an even better job offer in Minnesota (where he grew up) and we decided it would be best for our family if we moved here. We started looking into buying a house instead of continuing to waste money renting, so I flew up in November to find a house. My husband didn’t have vacation yet and he didn’t want his job to know he was thinking about leaving, so the house thing fell on me to handle. I’m sure house hunting is crazy any time of the year, but add pregnancy and trying to pick a house on your own and moving again to a new place and all the paperwork?! Let’s just say it was an extremely stressful time. We found a house and closed right after Christmas. The day we moved it was raining again and turned into a snowstorm the next day. But we made it!940958_761384380662048_2221533887360907099_n

2016

At the end of February we welcomed our amazing daughter into the world and couldn’t have been happier. 12747977_785246408275845_7967213739169349672_o12778841_785246434942509_1446621618518907243_oYou know how people say you never know how much love your heart can hold until you become a parent? They’re not kidding! It’s so true I’m smiling ridiculously as I type. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve loved every moment of being a parent, because that’s not true. There have been hard times, ugly cry in the bathroom because you just need 20 minutes of sleep and you don’t know how this tiny human can be so tired yet refuse to sleep times where you question everything you’re doing. Then that little baby stares up at you and smiles, or gives the sweetest cuddles and you remember how amazing they are. Seriously. I nannied for years and got pretty attached to a bunch of kiddos so I thought I knew what it would be like when I became a mom. But when it’s your own flesh and blood and you’re the one in charge of them 24/7 it’s wonderful yet terrifying.

I love being a mom and conquering all the hardships that come with motherhood. I can honestly say it’s the best and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Compared to 2015, the rest of 2016 wasn’t filled with a bunch of crazy stressors, just a lot of sleepless nights and googling advice. 😉 We’ve settled in our home in Minnesota pretty well, and although there’s still house projects we want to do we’re taking them one at a time. We’re tackling this parenting thing together and it’s definitely becoming easier (and harder…parents of toddlers know what I mean!). Though there’s never enough time, hopefully writing will help slow down the whirlwind of life and give me a little more to look back on in 2017. I love my little family and I’m excited for everything that’s yet to come. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading!img_0699Our 1 year house-a-versary pic!

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