Monday, November 28, 2011

It's that time of year...

for writing and sending Christmas cards! This year I am vowing to actually get the cards out before Christmas. So next weekend our family is going to head over to The Gibson House in Woodland (an historical mansion turned museum) to take some cute pictures of the kids and maybe some of mom and dad too. And this year Tim and I are going to use the sewing machine he bought me last year for Christmas to make the kids some matching Christmas outfits so they will be extra cute.

We are going to use Tiny Prints for our Christmas cards this year. I have used them several times in the past for things like party invitations, birthday and Mother's Day cards, etc. and have always loved their designs, their quality and their service. They are reasonably priced as well so they can be an affordable option for cute cards even if you don't have a lot of money to spend.

They have a lot of neat features on their website and one of the things that I love is their "favorites" feature. They allow you to check the cards that you like so that you can easily remember and acess them later. It saves so much time and all you have to do is click on the favorites bar at the bottom of the page and it will bring up all of your stored favorites lined up in a row so that you can easily compare.

Tiny Prints also has an easy to use guide that allows you to narrow your search (because they have lots of pretty designs to choose from). And you can choose from eight different design styles, including contemporary, vintage, whimsy, classic and more to help you search and find just the right card for you.

Here are some of my favorites:

Christmas Cards Simply Merry - Front : Tomato I love the simple design and rounded corners of this one.

Christmas Cards Blessings Be Yours - Front : MossIt's always nice to be able to include the real reason for the season.

Christmas Cards Family of Trees - Front : Bright RedThis one is a little more playful.
Tri-Fold Holiday Cards Swirly Plates - Front : WinterberryAnd this one is kind of unique because it's a trifold and I like that I can add more pictures that way.

Tiny Prints also has a few DIY cards that you can design yourself. You can easily personalize any of their cards as well by changing text, format, etc. to get a customizable card.

I'm excited about taking our Christmas pictures and just hope the kids cooperate so that we can get some good ones. And all we have to do is finish sewing the outfits, find more fabric since we didn't buy enough, wait until Saturday after all of the kids are rested and fed, and hope for some nice pictures! And then we just have to pick out one card from all of the hundreds available from Tiny Prints, upload our pictures, order them and wait for them to arrive. Piece of cake!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

DIY reupholstered small target storage ottoman

Here is a not-so-quick (but really is just not w/ three kids) DIY project that Tim and I finally completed not too long ago. I've slowly been trying to update and pretty up our family room and thought that putting some new fabric on our small ottoman would be a nice change and something that wouldn't be too hard to do. I picked out some pretty Amy Butler fabric that has colors that will coordinate with the room eventually.

I forgot to take a before picture so here is one from the world wide web:Ours was dirty and stained so it definitely needed an update!

And here is the after:

Tim did most of the hard work, like the stapling and I think it turned out pretty nice: a small change for a big impact.

Family Vacation 2011 (to SLO) part One

We drove down to San Luis Obispo for the first part of family vacation since it'd been so long since we've been there. Nearly two years I think. We were going to be going down to Disneyland for a few days so we decided to add on a few days and stop in SLO to break up the trip a little. We got to visit with old friends and go to the beach and just bum around in my old home town. It was certainly nice to be there again but we were both a bit surprised at the number of college kids around because Poly hadn't even started yet. We agreed that there were just too many young kids running around for our taste. I think we must be getting old! Exploring downtown. Showing the kids Bubblegum Alley and trying to explain why they shouldn't touch the walls of gum (it actually took a bit of convincing!).

At Morro Bay

Enjoying some ice cream

Not liking the life vest on the tour boat ride in Morro Bay

This is the first time we've done this tour since we both had spent so much time here in the past. But the kids loved it (well not Clara) and it was fun to get out into the water and explore a bit.

At Avila Valley Barn

Feeding the animals

Apple picking

Avila Beach. Clara's first trip to the beach.

I think she liked it!

Playing in the waves.

Family shot.

A visit with my good friend, Julie.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dylan turns 3!

My boy turned three about two weeks ago and again I am behind on posting about it. Oops. Another year ending and beginning with my little man. I hope the third year has a few less meltdowns from my emotional boy than his second year had. But he's got me wrapped around his little finger no matter what and I love him to pieces. He makes me laugh and is pretty compliant when he wants to be. He really just goes with the flow most of the time. I can tell he is excited about growing up so that he can do all the things that his big sister does. But please, not too fast, Dylan.
Showing me how old he is the day he tuned three.

 We took the birthday boy to his version of heaven: the tractor museum.

Blowing out three candles in his cupcake

Hiding behind his very large present from his Grammi and Grandpa at his party at the park. (It was a ride on tractor!)

Enjoying some cake off of the candle

Thomas the Train pinata! The end of his second year has ushered in the new obsession with Thomas.

Thomas the Train cake

Opening more gifts and wearing his party hat that I made him.
Happy third birthday Dylan! I love you!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Year Already!

Happy first birthday to my littlest little one! So I know this is really late but I still wanted to write a post commemorating Clara's first year.

The year has gone by rapidly, as do most now with three little ones to care for. And now my youngest is a baby no more and is on the cusp of toddler hood and walking and talking and everything else that is non-baby. Clara is such a sweet little (emphasis on little) thing, curious and bright, active and smiley. She loves to dance to any beat (even if it's not music, such as the breast pump) and is learning to wave goodbye (and sometimes even say it). She loves looking at books, particularly the ones with babies or animals. She loves dollies and babies and loves to poke and prod at her younger cousin, Noah. Clara right after she was born.

I love seeing her laugh with her big brother and sister as she is learning to play with them. I will remember putting her into clothes that were much too big for her or how she had to wear clothes for a 6 month old at a year.
I remember her first smiles and laughter. How she took so long to roll over that I got worried. How she spit up so much that we had to change her three or four times a day when she was really little. I remember how she cried during her first bath and how proud I was of her when she sat up by herself for the first time. I remember singing patty cake to her to get her to lie still enough so that I could change her diaper. How Kaylin and Dylan could make her giggle by making faces at her. I remember how she hated baby food (so different from her brother and sister in that way.) And I will remember how she always had to hold something in her hands, especially while nursing.
3 months

6 months

I will always remember how we spent her first birthday (first at the splash park because she loves water so much, but later out in our backyard for two hours because the carbon monoxide alarm went off.)
9 months

I love to hear her constant babbling as she talks to herself or to us. I love how she crawls over and sits herself down right smack in your lap and leans back to get comfy. I love her pretty green eyes (the only one of us without brown.) and how her ears curl. I love how every time we go to the doctors office she screams in excitement and almost leaps out of my arms to look at all the fishies in the big fish tank. I love how she points and points and points at everything. And how she kicks and kicks her legs every time she is excited. 
I know there are a million little things that I am forgetting to put in here but I hope that I will always be able to remember my sweet baby's first year with fondness and recall all the things she learned to do and all of her ways and the things that made her who she is.
10 months~learning to pull up

One year party

Her first birthday (outside, because of the carbon monoxide detector)

Just being cute

I love you Clara Lou and happy birthday!