Thursday, May 25, 2017

Carpool Book Club {May 2017}

It's May book review time!  Today I'm joining Narci for Carpool Book Club.

I listened to Someday, Someday Maybe written and read by Lauren Graham on Audible and have mixed feelings about it.  I love Lauren Graham, so just hearing her read it made it enjoyable, but it took me awhile to get into the story.  I had to rewind a few times towards the beginning because I realized I wasn't listening and didn't know what she was talking about.  The story was a bit slow moving overall as well.  But it had Lauren's wit and quirky humor, so I liked that.  As the story unfolded I was definitely rooting for the main character and her journey as a young actress trying to make it.  Honestly I probably wouldn't recommend this book unless you can't get enough Lauren Graham and just want to experience all of her work.  I knew the reviews weren't super good going in, but I wanted to listen to it anyway just because she wrote it.

Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst was food for my soul.  It spoke right to me and parts of it even felt like they were written for me.  It is very scripture based and I found it really insightful.  I truly feel like I understand myself and other people more than before I read it.  I also think that this is one of those books I could read again and again because there are so many take aways.  There's no way I could absorb and apply it all in one read.  I feel like everyone has experienced some form of rejection at some point in their life (likely multiple times) and would benefit from reading this book.  I highly recommend you move Uninvited towards the top of your to-read list.  There was so much truth and it challenged me in some areas of my thinking.  It was also a great reminder that I am fully known and fully loved by God.  And so are you.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Show and Tell Tuesday: Travelogues

I'm joining Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday and talking about our favorite trips.

We haven't traveled a lot at this point, but we have big plans in the future.  We have a dream of visiting all 48 contiguous states by the time Clara graduates high school.  Alaska and Hawaii would be a bonus!  We have 12 years!  And we have to do something meaningful while we are there to make it count.  Driving a few miles along the edge of a state on our way to another destination doesn't count.  We haven't checked many states off the list yet, but plan to in a few years after we accomplish some other financial goals.  I've also always wanted to go to Italy.  Someday.

The prompt actually says to talk about our best and worst trips, but I'm going to opt out of the latter and just focus on good memories!  Two trips come to mind as highlights from our travels so far: a road trip through the Black Hills to Montana for a good friend's wedding and Acapulco for our honeymoon.

I blogged about our trip through the Black Hills to Montana HERE.  Davey was just 20 months and Clara was 3 1/2.  I had just had an emergency appendectomy like a week before.  And it was a 10+ hour drive.  It should have been a recipe for disaster but we had the time of our lives.  The littles did amazing on the long car ride.  We stopped at Mount Rushmore, visited family and spent the night at a lodge in Rapid City on the way out.  We stayed with my friend, the bride, on their ranch in Montana.  They had three days of wedding festivities planned and we had an absolute blast!

Michael and I got married July 22, 2006, but we didn't go on our honeymoon until March 2008.  Michael was deployed to Iraq with the army for 15 of those months in between and we waited until my spring break from nursing school to go after he got home.

We stayed at Las Brisas resort in a private suite, called a calista, on the mountain side overlooking Acapulco Bay.  It was pretty wonderful.

We spent the first day playing on the beach in the sand and the waves!  Apparently we were having too much fun to remember to reapply sunscreen often enough.  Not a good idea between being so much closer to equator and my fair skin.

We watched a cliff diving show while we ate supper.  It was crazy!

We drank coco locos at the swim up bar.

We went snorkeling...

and saw the cutest puffer fish!

We walked along the beach at sunset.  So romantic!

hanging out in the tiki hut

We went swimming with dolphins which was an incredible experience!  We need to pull out the video and watch it sometime soon.

We rented a jet ski and goofed around on it.

The sunset was stunning every night.  We watched it from Sunset Bar at our resort this night.

We informally renewed our vows on the beach, just the two of us.

It was an amazing honeymoon! 💕


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Emma's 1st Sunshine Birthday Party

We celebrated Emma's 1st birthday with a Sunshine themed party with our family on April 23rd.  She is truly our sunshine and pure joy to our family.  We love you so much Emma Joy!

Get ready for LOTS of pictures.  I can't help myself.  Plus my photographer sister-in-law was there.

welcome sign on the door to our community room

This is my favorite of Emma's newborn pictures.  That sweet little sleeping smile.  She was just 11 days old.

We gave Emma a bubble machine for her birthday and got bubbles for all of the siblings and cousins. It was the perfect activity for a 1-year-old's birthday party.  Emma just squeals with delight when she sees bubbles.

I love how the decorations turned out!  It was so fun to pull it all together.

I have a really good memory of my mom singing a sweet little song to me when I was little.  I remember that I would say the sunshine words and she sang the rest of it.  And now I often sing that song to Emma in the mornings right after she wakes up.  She always gives me her biggest, sleepy faced smile.
"Good morning, Sunshine.
You brighten my day
With your beautiful sunshine, 
It's a brand new day."

Sunny Cranberry trail mix... it's amazing!

Emma's smash cake

I made that banner. 😊  Thanks again to the very kind and generous etsy shop owner who sent me extra fabric for free so I could tie in the fabric from Emma's high chair banner with the rest of the party decorations.

I ordered her high chair banner HERE.  We've also already used it for her one year pictures and plan to hang it in her room when we get a house.

Ready to party and celebrate our ONE-year-old!

I often call Emma "Joyful" as a nickname.  Such a little sunshine baby girl!

She gives such good love.

She loves her Daddy!

Be still my heart.

I'm the luckiest.  So blessed.  So thankful.

the star of the show

auntie Emily

and Grandpa and Grandma Ellingson

auntie Heather, cousin Haddie and uncle Billy

uncle Zachary

Grandma Ann

uncle Benjamin, aunt Gabby and cousins Isaac & Avery

She loves to go!  She hadn't taken any steps on her own here yet.

I'm pretty sure Emma's looking at her silly brother here. 😉

Present time!

Clara gave Emma some of her things.  She's such a giver.
My sweet sister-in-law Gabby is really getting into photography and she's so good!  She took this picture and the last two present pictures.

Clara wrote this card for Emma:
Clara To To
Emma Love,
I love you
my sunshine!

saying thank you for all of her presents 😉

Emma LOVES bubbles!

Emma was just squealing with delight!

Gabby took the most stunning pictures of Emma with the bubbles.  I can't get over them!  They are gorgeous! 😍 All of the professional looking bubble shots are Gabby's!  Thank you Auntie!

I LOVE that Emma has two sweet baby girl cousins who are just 5 1/2 and 6 months older than her.  They're like built-in friends.  And they will all be in the same grade.  It's going to be so fun to watch them grow up together.  (Gabby took this picture and the last two as well.)

Haddie Jo - 18 months; Emma Joy - 12 months; Avery Sky - 17 1/2 months


Cake time!
Davey must have just gone potty.  I didn't even notice his pants... ha!

"Happy birthday to you..."

showing us she's one

My mom text me this sweet picture.

My mom got this sweet shot too.

I tried that last section of cake that survived the "smash"... it was delicious!

all the heart eyes 😍

Thank you to our families for helping us celebrate our sweet baby girl!

And thanks to my friend Gina for the initial inspiration for the theme!

Click the following links to see the kids' previous birthday parties: