Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Birthday Girl

Lauren's birthday party was everything and more than I had anticipated. It was so fantastic
to be surrounded by our families and share this special day. I have lots of pictures to share and am going to go in somewhat of an order of events. Enjoy! Our house was full of family
and yummy food. We had a spread of chimichangas, guacamole, yummy dips and salsas, rice, and of course lots of cake and ice cream! (I tried to steer clear of Thanksgiving type food!)
I saw a pattern for a bib similar to this on a friend's friend's blog...anyway...I looked up the website, wrote down the instructions and attempted sewing for the first time since I was in
4-H at the age of 14. I was happy with the way it turned out and thank you to my
mother who helped me!!! :) I wanted something cute and fun for her to wear while eating her cake and also to fold and put in her baby box. And I loved the print so much I got enough to make her a sundress for next summer. I will probably need to practice before that!
Party Favors These are the party favors...white chocolate covered pretzel rods. You probably can't see it but the mold is flowers. I wanted to stick with the whole daisy theme!

The CakeAgain, I went out on a limb here for this party and attempted my first birthday cake.
I mean actually making and decorating. I was pleased with the outcome although I thought
my grass looked a bit more like stalactites or are they stalagmites...anyway...the fondant flowers
took quite a bit of time and I learned a lot along that way that no one tells you how the color will stain your counters :)'s the cake. It was fun to put in that much
work and effort in making the cake. I really enjoyed it although I am a real perfectionist and had to let some of that perfection go...
The Gifts
Lauren really enjoyed tearing the paper off her gifts and examining the bows. She also enjoyed looking at the boxes of the gifts she got. It was pretty fun to watch. She got some really fun gifts! James was even more excited than she was about all of them! Another perk to having
multiple kids. She got lot of fun girlie gifts!
James loved helping
Lauren got many exciting gifts, but this has to be one of her favorites so far. It is a very
large stuffed dog. It looks like a husky and both James and Lauren LOVE it! James
has been asking for another dog and they both love animals, so G & G Carpenter thought
this would give them their "dog fix" for a bit. She lays her head on it and snuggles it. It's very cute. James named it Harley because it looks like our neighbors dog. I need to get a picture of
them both laying on it.

Eating of the Cake....
Well...not exactly....the difference between a boy and girl. James ate the cake....the ENTIRE cake. He even started eating it without hands. Miss Lauren simply stuck her fingers in the frosting and modestly licked them off. She never did dig in which I always think is fun to watch, but she seemed to enjoy it. There was much less mess to clean up with her.
The Love from Family
Grandma & Grandpa Bogue

Grandma & Grandpa Carpenter
(this is where Lauren gets her blue eyes)

Mommy, Daddy and Birthday Girl
this is one of the only pictures of just the 3 of us...

Luke and I snuck in a quick picture since we did play a little part in creating this little girl's life :)

What a great night we had filled with laughter and memories. Luke worked hard to put together a slide show ofLauren's first year and it turned out beautifully. It made me tear up looking back at the course of the last year. What an amazing year it has been. If one year can be filled with so much emotion and memories, I anticipate what the years ahead of us will bring.
Thank you for sharing this special day with us! We love you!!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lauren's ONE!!!!!!!

WOW!!!! My baby girl is 1 today!!!! A year ago Luke and I were staring at each other in amazement at the birth of our beautiful 7 lb. girl-Lauren Michelle. I remember the first time James met her I just looked at them both in utter amazement at how richly we had been blessed. Here we are a year later and I feel that same sense of blessing and amazement but so much more and so much deeper. It has been an phenomenal year. One filled with tears, disbelief, frustration, lack of sleep (lots of lack of sleep), and yet so much love, joy, and gratitude. Those of you who journeyed with me the first 6 months of Lauren's difficult little life know how far we've come! :) Thankfully too...otherwise I may not be blogging about her journey :)
9:30 a.m.
My dad has been bringing James a donut every Friday for the past several months. James loves it and looks forward to them each week. Well, my dad was laid off a few weeks ago so he has been stopping by the house more frequently which means....more donut days. Lauren has gotten in on the fun now too and she LOVES them (just like her mommy). We figured since today was her birthday we would put a candle in it and sing to her. It was lots of fun...probably more for my dad, James and I than for her. She looked a little confused! :) Of course James loved blowing out the candle!

We ended her birthday night with a trip to Target to buy her kitchen (bday gift) and we stopped for ice cream at Dairy Queen. As you can tell by the pictures, she loved every bite. She would have eaten much more, but we cut her off. This girl LOVES food and sweets....We think she eats more than James! :) She squeals as soon as she swallows what's in her mouth. This is one happy girl!

She is such a fun and happy little girl and such a stark contrast to the first half of her life. We are so thankful for her and are so excited to watch her grow into the girl and woman God has for her. Here are some pictures of little ways we celebrated Lauren's birthday today! Her party is on Saturday and I have been very busy at work and will be sure to blog all about tuned!
And a few facts about Lauren at 1 Year:
-she has a "blankie" she sleeps with and loves to lay on and cuddle when she's tired
-she LOVES whole milk (thank the Lord too...SO much cheaper than formula!)
-she loves to put things in various places and especially the animals in James' barn
-she has a little temper. I have seen more anger from her than I ever have from James!
-she loves to open and close EVERYTHING! and has found the only few door and drawers that didn't have latches on them from James
-she responds easily from just a look
-she loves taking baths
-she loves chasing James and being chased
-she loves food of all kind
-she has a really sweet nature
-she will dance to anything that has a beat
-she hates being left...and loves to be included in everything
***So I lied when I said I just a few things....hey, I could go on!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tagged A to Z

This is for you Sara! :) I hope you all learn a few new things about me!!!

A. Attached or single? Attached but I also like to be single (I'm very independent)
B. Best friend? Luke...really... I have a couple close girl friends and of course my mom and sisters
C. Cake or pie? pie for sure (peach if you want me to be specific)
D. Day of choice? Saturday
E. Essential item? lipstick (always wear it) mainly because my lips are chapped and sensitive to many lip products...even carmex! It's not all vanity! :)
F. Favorite color? red and yellow
G. Gummy bears or worms? aren't they the same??? Give me both :)
H. Home town? Elkhart
I. Favorite indulgence? ohhh..I could have a lot but don't on 1, a Starbucks Caramel Frappacino will have to do
J. January or July? Toss up-January because it's James' bday month but July because it's our anniversary
K. Kids? two- James (3 in January) and Lauren (1 on Tuesday)
M. Marriage date? 07/20/2002
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 2 brother and 2 sisters. I'm a middle child!
O. Oranges or Apples? Apples
P. Phobias? snakes and large bodies of water ( I have a great fear of drowning)
Q. Quotes? "There's no pillow as soft as a clear conscience."
R. Reasons to smile? LIFE- I love watching my kiddos play and laugh together, I have an amazing husband, fantastic friends, AND an amazing family!
S. Season of choice? Fall
T. Tag 5 people: I don't know anyone who blogs that hastn't done this if you haven't done it and you are reading this...YOU'RE TAGGED!!!
U. Unknown fact about me? I was a camp couselor (3 weeks) and a master puppeteer every summer from 8th-12 grade and LOVED it!
V. Vegetable? A good salad...does that count?
W. Worst Habit? bite my nails when I'm anxious
X. Xray or ultrasound? Ultrasound for sure!!! Love seeing those itty bitty babies!
Y. Your favorite food? tough one...I like food...maybe taco salad...
Z. Zodiac sign? Taurus (I think)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Best Buds

So over the course of the last several weeks, James and Lauren have become inseparable. is really the sweetest and most enjoyable part of motherhood so far. I really mean that.
To watch and listen to your kids play together is just amazing. They are SO bored when the
other is sleeping or away. In fact, Lauren has started crawling back to his door and pounding on it when he is taking his nap.
In fact, she has managed to push it open a few times. We have to really watch her. She just
can't wait for him to get up and James is the same way waiting for her to get up each morning.
He often times will say, "Lauren's awake!" She almost never is the first few times he
says she is, but it is incredibly sweet. As soon as he hears her make the smallest peep, he barges in her room saying, "Morning Wauren." (he can't say his "L")
He then talks to her in just the sweetest voice. Then he climbs in her crib and loves on her. Oh it melts my heart just thinking about it. They are playing nicely together and James
is learning to share his things with Lauren. He's not perfect by any means, but he is
learning and today was a pretty fantastic day!
So this is their latest thing...James and Lauren wrestle. Lauren thinks it's hilarious. They just laugh and laugh. James tosses Lauren every which way and in spite of the way the pictures look, he is usually pretty gentle with her. It is so much fun to watch and listen to!
Going in for the kill!
This looked a bit uncomfortable for her...but again...she didn't seem to mind.

She laughs pretty much the entire time!

I LOVE this picture! I am not sure if she was kissing him or biting him! Hey...the girl has
to defend herself somehow! :)

So happy!
This has been one reason we have enjoyed their closeness in age (despite what the observers at the dermatologist office thought). They really seem to get along well! Luke informed me tonight he is ready for baby #3. I think watching your kids interact like this
does something to you...maybe tomorrow they'll be little terrors and he'll change his mind! :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Where have I been you may ask? Ahhhh...where haven't I been is how I feel? Things have been so insanely busy here lately I feel like I am having a tough time finding the time/energy to sit down at blog. So this is an update of things that have filled our week...Enjoy and laugh a little! :)
Viewer Discretion Advised: Content may not be suitable for young audiences!!!Umm....yeah... this is Nemo as James named him. Less than 24 hours after we purchased and named him, this is what he looked like! You probably just laughed out loud because you all KNEW this would's inevitable...but why? Why do goldfish ALWAYS die? James did try and pet him on a couple (that we saw) of occasions which probably did not help the matter, but he was so sad and honestly...I could not stop laughing (but not in front of him). Is that bad? He is like Darla from Finding Nemo...the fish killer... The worst part about it is the next several days he had to tell everyone about his fish Nemo that he got that died...complete strangers!!! Oh, I am sure we will try the fish thing again, but that was an expensive 20 hour activity!
So then I came out to the garage to see him doing this....he actually went inside and got his fishing pole out to try and catch the dead thing....oh, kids are hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing about that either....I wonder what was going through his little mind...I can only imagine!!!
Moving on from Death to Life.....My new baby niece Claire... Tiff had her baby on Friday morning and I was so excited to be able to hold her. It was amazing how tiny she seemed to me and how quickly I have "forgotten" what holding a new baby feels like. She is precious!!!!
Lauren's Birthday Party Invitations!!!
I finished them over the weekend and got them sent out yesterday. I cannot believe I just sent out the invitations for my baby girl's 1st birthday! I liked the way they turned out...simple yet cute and girlie. I added a picture of her under the vellum but didn't take a picture of that shot.

Just a couple of random pics of Lauren. She seems even more girlie and big now that she is standing (oh and taking a few steps every so often :) )

A Little Tuesday Night the Tub...
I should have put another viewer discretion note before this pic! Ignore the fact I'm in a bathing suit please! :)
So, unfortunately both kids have their first colds of the season...BOO....They have stayed healthy now for quite some time and we lost the battle over the weekend. It's been a tough several days with them not sleeping well...Terribly runny noses, body aches, and poor James' face is very chapped. Tonight was especially difficult and James' only nap was 15 minutes in the car on the way to the dermatologist (I'll tell more about that later). add a bit of fun in the night I said I'd take a bath with him. Of course when I told him I was putting on my suit, he wanted to put his on too. It was tons of fun and it was a great ending to a rough day and an even rougher night. Only bad thing...he is already talking about me taking a bath with him tomorrow night! more funny thing...a bit of dialogue from the dermatologist office today. I had to take Lauren in for the diaper rash she has had for 4 months...YES 4 MONTHS. I'm not bitter though! Anyway...keep in mind both kids are sick. Lauren only slept 45 minutes and Luke was supposed to be home in time to watch James but couldn't so I took him without a nap (except 15 minutes in the car). I packed A LOT of snacks, capri sun (because it's cool and different) and tons of toys and books. Heck, I even got out some little planes I gotten James for Christmas. I was desperate! Anyway...I had literally only taken 3 steps in the door when these two older ladies noticed us and began talking to us and discussing myself and the kiddos. Here is some of the dialogue. I hope you gather the humor....There's a good chance all of you reading this have had a similar encounter!
"The Observers" I call them...
Ladies: "Wow, you sure have your hands full don't you." (3 steps through the door)
Me: "Yep, I sure do." ha ha
Ladies: "At least they look like they are well taken care of."
Me: "Well, I do try..." ha ha
(Note-in between their questions an comments they were making observations aloud about me and the kids. All good, but a little awkward)
Ladies: "Is that a little boy or girl?" (referring to Lauren)
Me: "Oh, she's a girl." Are you kidding me? Did you miss the teal barrette in here hair and the cute pink polka dot shoes? Seriously? She even looks like a girl these days...I think
Ladies: "So, how old is he?" (referring to Lauren. hmmm thought we cleared that up)
Me: "SHE is 11 months."
Ladies: "Oh."
Ladies: "So, are you in school? Do you go to kindergarten?" (talking to James)
Me:" Oh no, he's not even 3 yet."
Ladies: "OH WOW, and he's 11 months," (referring to Lauren) "So, they're REALLY close in age. Oh wow!"
Me: "Yep they are."
Ladies: "So did you plan it that way?"
Me: "Well, ya know...not exactly but we enjoy their closeness in age."
Ladies: " Wow, there's probably never a dull moment at your house."
Me: "No, not usually."
Ladies: "He's really cute." still referring to Lauren
So yeah, I know this was long, but I just wanted to share with some ladies I knew would be able to laugh, appreciate it, and probably relate. They were super sweet and kind...but just chatty and really quite funny. Oh and all this time we are in the waiting room the kids were PERFECT!!! Lauren sat on the floor and played with her toys and James read his books in the chair and played with his early Christmas presents while eating his snacks. It was just funny...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Let the Festivities Begin...

Nothing like seeing cute kids dressed up in costumes to brighten the mood on this election day! That is why I am NOT in bed at 5:45 this morning! Actually been up since 4!!!! We had a great time celebrating Halloween this year and we stretched it out to 2 days!!!
When I asked James what he wanted to dress up as this year he had said a lion. I know how fascinated he is with them, so I thought this would be a good fit. He enjoyed
wearing the costume and especially loved having his face painted. When we put it on him he tried to scare us by roaring...James is very soft spoken so it made his attempt to roar was that much cuter! We were given this elephant costume for Lauren so we figured we go with the safari theme!
Date: Thursday, October 30th
Place: Sara's for Play date
Victims: Our Own Children :)
Here are James and his friends Morgan and Addie. We of course dragged the costumes with us to the play date (the day before Halloween) and put them on our kids. Our poor kids...we did the whole face painting and everything! They didn't seem to mind and even continued playing WITH their costumes on and were a sweaty mess by the time we got them off and ready to go home!
On Friday, we met up with my sister and sister-in-law (tradition) took the kids trick-or-treating in downtown Goshen. We had a great time and the weather was beautiful! But I did make a mental note for the future...DO NOT attempt to go into building with steps and tight quarters with 2 kids in a double stroller. It got a bit complicated and frustrating at times!!!
The Cousins...They all look so serious! This was before the sugar kicked in...Notice James already has a sucker. What kind of mom am I?Lauren was great all day but very mellow even after her very first piece of candy...this sucker. I wasn't sure what she would do with it. They funny thing is she kept putting the stick end in her mouth too so she was an absolute mess by the time we got home! Her fingers and face had grey fuzz stuck to them too!
I thought all that sugar (probably 10 pieces of candy) would have made it difficult for James to fall asleep...but I was wrong. This is how I found him after I had gone in to put Lauren down for her nap. I didn't even have a chance to wash his face...poor kid...
Our Little Elephant...
Someone gave us this costume for Lauren so we decided to go for it and I tried to make it a bit more girlie by adding pink ribbons by the ears. I actually wished now that I would have gotten her her very own first Halloween costume that was a bit more girlie and cute...oh went with our safari theme! :) She didn't seem to care and I got a kick out of that trunk!
Trick or Treating in the Neighborhood
After the kids woke up from much needed and great naps, Luke and I loaded them in the wagon for some neighborhood fun. Once again, the weather was beautiful making it that much more enjoyable! It sure was nice having Luke's extra hands too! James loved having his face painted again. He would climb up on the bathroom sink trying to see his "whikskers." (that's how he says whiskers)
I loved seeing James choose what kind of candy he wanted when he had the option. It was usually the same things...skittles or starburst (he's my kid...passing up the chocolate). We had to remind him on several occasions that he only could choose ONE piece. Yes, my child was the one trying to stuff his pumpkin!!!
James loved the candy...just like Christmas...he never cared to get to the next house because he was too interested in eating the treat he had just received.
Sucker #2 for the day in case you are keeping track. Lauren again was such a great sport! She loved riding in the wagon and we took a little basket for her and a few people gave her suckers. She just enjoyed being along for the ride!
Tradition...Last Stop...My Parent's
Each year my brothers and sisters and kids end up at my parent's house to get some goodies and show off costumes! It's a great time and my parents and the kids all love it! They got fun goodies this year...McDonald's coupons and the little kids got Veggie Puffs...MMMM for all.....
Grandpa took James to a few more houses when we arrived at their house (not that he needed any more candy) but he thought it was cool to go with grandpa.
Grandma holding our baby elephant....

And of course...the four of us! It was a long, but fun day! We enjoyed the memories that were made and the traditions we will continue to carry on...Next year we'll see what James wants to be...I'm sure we will see how his interests evolve as his Halloween costumes change.