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"uh oh..."

Monday, August 31

showcasing ella crawling...pulling up to standing position and her new word..."uh oh"...enjoy - and happy monday to all... (to prevent irritation...stop music prior to pushing play...scroll all the way down for my playlist).

side note...follow me on twitter...see side bar for link under "tweetin'"

seeking inspiration...

Friday, August 28

i think i used to feel guilty if i saw an idea someone else had and then tried to incorporate it into whatever it is i'm trying to do. everything i ever did had to be "completely" my own idea/ know...."original". i'm finally realizing that inspiration is just THAT. it inspires creativity and "originality". right? inspiration is meant to be shared. it's meant to "push" you. it's meant to help you to grow. it's meant to ignite the fires within...

and my "fires within" have been lit...
you see, i've been seeking inspiration for ella's upcoming 1st b/day party and i've been taking notes in my little handy dandy notepad. (it's chock-full of ideas). here is a small peek into the ideas i've come across...the inspiration behind the upcoming event:

i'm so super excited. it's going to be "sweet". (literally) *wink*
enjoy your fabulous friday & go seek out some inspiration for whatever you've got coming up...

image sources:
giant cupcake: the tomkat studio
cake topper: lollipop workshop
pompoms & fortune teller candy holders: martha stewart
mini cupcakes: bakerella
popcorn holder & cotton candy: amy atlas


Wednesday, August 26

so this is ONE of the things we were doing last week - along with school clothes shopping, dentist appointments, surprise party preparations, and normal life stuff. *wink*

picture taken with my phone - don't you love how i positioned her right in front of the "ortho" sign on the building.
it was the PERFECT photo op.

yes...clara got braces! and her poor little mouth has been sore for 5 days. (and she only had to get them on the top for now). she's FINALLY to the point that she can eat normal food now. although she wasn't complaining too much about having to eat ice cream and popsicles. don't you love this stage of development? it's such an awkward time for kids. (i have to point out that she chose pink and black rubberbands to coordinate with her cute).

and then there were cookies...
we had a surprise birthday party for "uncle nate" this past weekend. his girlfriend, kris, organized the entire thing. it was luau-themed and i was asked to bring nate's two favorite desserts. ("peanut butter n' chocolate extravaganza" and "not yo momma's banana pudding"). in addition to that - without kris knowing - i went ahead & made these adorable cookies to correspond with the whole luau theme. again, these pics were taken with my phone and there are actually more i'd like to upload but i'm having issues getting them to photobucket right now. so here's a sneak peek for now...

have a delicious wednesday!

it's officially a tradition...

Monday, August 24

it's officially a tradition when you've done it at least twice...right? well, j & i took the girls over to the orlando world marriot for the weeekend...for the 2nd summer in a row...and we had a great time. it was, of course, ella's 1st time - i was pregnant with her last year. she totally loved the water and being in the pool. we only stayed one night but made our money stretch by going over saturday, early afternoon. we didn't think we'd be able to check-in early but it worked out to our advantage. so, the girls got a good portion of the day on saturday to swim and play. We then stayed the night saturday night and had most all of sunday to hang at the pool(s) again. we had a GREAT time. we even continued the "gotta order hot fudge sundaes from room service right before bed" tradition. (the girls were inquiring about whether they could do that again this year before we ever even GOT to the marriot - and i won't tell you the pretty little price tag that came with that special order).

here are the pics from our stay:

ella in her new swimming/floaty thingy j & the girls picked up for her

swimming with a fashionable headband...of course. *wink*
what a super cute smile.

this is where we had dinner in the hotel saturday night. the girls enjoyed a couple of games of pool...
em even scooted ella over from the dinner table to be part of the action

quick shot in the restaurant - em, ella & i

another quick shot, compliments of em

me and the girls on our way out of the restaurant

a shot from the cool glass elevator that we rode up & down all 28 floors, several times -
it was pretty fast moving. actually, we rode in one elevator and then switched to the "fast" elevator - which made you lose your stomach - even ella got a bit sketchy. the elevator started out being "inside the building" but once you got to like the 5th floor the elevator is attached to the outside of the building. it was simultaneously creepy and cool to be riding all the way up 28 floors at night - attached to the side of a resort.

giving ella a bath in the hotel room sink...she's so stinkin' cute
(another pic by ema)

em enjoying the mushroom-type water fall over at the "spa" pool
clara's standing behind her, in the background

clara had me take a picture of this large snail.
she wanted to document it's size in comparison to her big toe.

here are the girls getting ready to ride down the cool slide - em is holding onto clara's arm
& that's the lifeguard sitting under the yellow umbrella.

i almost missed this shot of clara coming down the slide because
a kid walked right in front of me. (those darn kids).

and here's ema coming down the slide - i like the "thumbs up" pose
& the puckered lips. that's soooo totally "ema".
and so we were finishing up our wonderful stay when things kind of took a different turn. j had proposed we leave by 2p.m. so he and the girls were finishing up a game they play every time the girls can get j in the pool. he stands with his legs open - like a tunnel - and they have to swim through. each time they make it through without touching his legs AT ALL - not even swimsuits or hair, he makes the tunnel smaller...and smaller...and therefore more challenging. anyway - they were heavily involved in reaching level "22" of the tunnel game while i took ella out of the pool to dry off and get her into warm clothes. i had her laying on her back on the lounge chair, (a really comfy one i might add because we were over in the "spa pool" area for most of the day on sunday). so i turn my head to watch ema's last attempt at beating level 22 and i turn back around only to see ella face first on the concrete. OH MY GOODness...thankfully she wasn't seriously injured...she escaped the traumatic fall with a few scratches on her cheek and a good-sized bump on her head. i was so embarrassed and ashamed and of course everyone at the pool - or in the hotel for that matter - had their eyes glued on the situation because ella was, of course, screaming at the top of her lungs. needless to say, we left immediately after that.

and for the icing on the i'm carrying ella towards the bathrooms to get her completely dressed & calmed down, (all while feeling like the worst mom in the world), j went to start the car & gave clara my big bag to carry. well, unfortunately, as the girls and i enter the back lobby of the building, clara slings the bag to reposition it from her side to her back. (it's a pretty big bag and i'm sure it was a bit heavy). next thing i know i hear a crash. yep! my camera! it had been resting on top of the items in the bag and the bag wasn't zipped. the camera hits the ground and little pieces of shutter release button and view finder fragments are scattered across the floor. clara felt terrible. the camera was the least of my worries at that moment but that just added to the trauma and the drama. i'd done a good job at holding back the tears until j gave me a hug as i got in the car - then i lost it for a minute. (he wasn't even aware of the camera situation at that point). he did a good job at not making me feel worse than i already did.

other than was a perfect weekend. *smile*
(and no, i cannot use my camera at this point. and yes...i'm pretty devastated). *sigh* but i have recovered completely from the "ella incident" and i'm happy to report, so has she.

hope all is well for everyone else. i know it had been awhile since i'd been able to post. things should get back to "normal" - school started back today!

enjoy your week. i have to catch you up on the cute cookies i made for nate's surprise b/day party this past weekend.

happy monday!

the final springfield pics...

Monday, August 10

how much longer do you think i could drag out our visit to springfield...omgoodness! i can't NOT post the last few pics i've been promising...

so. here. here they are. the last official remaining pics from our visit to springfield. these were taken on our last day. debbie & wayne arranged a "meet & greet" and invited friends & family over to meet ella. it was so nice to visit and show little ellapie off to everyone. friends and family both, were super sweet and showered us with lots of love and gifts. thank you to debbie for the extra special attention and detail she put into the table decor/spread. it was beautiful and delicious.

after the guests left and the sun was starting to set, we went and took some pictures with grandma & grandpa. these were some of my faves...

and then finally...this picture sums up our trip to illinois - (in my opinion). the trip was all about ella, all about beautiful weather, all about "schnapp"...and so is this picture! love it!


i love these gals...

Wednesday, August 5

i'm finally getting around to posting about my much anticipated "reunion/ first-time in-person meeting" with my "gals", celeste & dina. we met and worked together some years back on the 'scrapgal design team'. they both are super- talented and i'm amazed at all they do for the scrapbooking world. when i found out they both were going to be in orlando for the cha show this summer...i KNEW i couldn't let the opportunity pass without scheduling lunch with them. and so...that's what we did. i met them on wednesday of last week and we ate lunch at the show and mingled a little and chatted a little and it was a little too little. it went by fast and i wish we could've hung out in different circumstances. thanks celeste & dina! i REALLY enjoyed seeing & meeting with you both...(psst...dina...send the dcwv photobooth pics...*wink*)

and have no fear...the last batch of illinois pics will be posted soon.
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