Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A celebration of life.

That's what I like to refer to my birthday parties for the kids as.

"Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." James 4:14

So, my thought is that birthdays are an excellent time to celebrate one more year especially with how the first 20 days of Jude's life were spent in the NICU and the twins were a month early and fairly perfect. What a blessing that is!!! From what I understand, Jude was never in a life threatening state but it still acts as a reminder for me to be thankful for the lives of my three: Maksim, Piper Grace, & Jude.

This birthday party was an excuse to celebrate the twins day of birth! And, WHOA, what a whirlwind that day was!

I wanted a theme that was not too girly and not too boyish AND I wanted something different for a first birthday. So, I chose an owl theme which isn't exactly a different or unique theme but it was gender neutral enough to run with it. I also decided to incorporate my love of chevron and mason jars. So, the themes in a nutshell:

Owls. Chevron. Mason Jars.

For the "birthday cake", I actually got the idea from my friend, Sara, when she made a circus "cake" out of pink and yellow fair tickets. Non-edible of course. One thing I learned from Maksim's 2nd birthday was that you CAN make too many sweets. For his party we had a birthday cake, cupcakes, and cake pop on top of hamburgers and hot dogs. So, I knew I wanted cupcakes for the twins birthday but I like the idea of having a cake to use as decoration. That's where my "cupcake cake" came in. The idea might be out there somewhere but I didn't see it so I'd like to claim the invention as my own though I am almost 100% sure it's not.

For the "cupcake cake", the idea wasn't solidified until the week of. I knew I wanted to put two cupcakes on top of each other in mason jars (if you know me, you know I love to use mason jars at parties. They're just cooler than regular cups and more durable!) so I had already ordered wooden spoons stamped with owls to tie to the outside of the mason jars but I just couldn't decide on what to put in them cupcake wise. What I decided to do was to make them. I found an idea on Pinterest where you make cupcakes and put toasted coconut on top and a few "eggs" (I used Jordan Almonds) to make it look like a birds nest. I made the cupcakes a day before, kept them in the fridge (the icing was homemade with cream cheese-yum!) and since they were in mason jars I just screwed on the lids and transported them that way to the party.

Then, to make the "cake" part of my "cupcake cake" I bought 3 cake cardboard rounds and covered them in scrapbook paper for the tiers of the cake and just used the larger mason jars (quart size, I believe,) to be the bases or middle parts of the cake. Then I put the cupcakes in their mason jars around the levels. I cut out two owls (one boy and one girl), taped them onto paper straws and VOILA! cupcake toppers!

Other decorations I had were quart sized mason jars framing the back of the table with colored twigs and branches strategically placed in the jars and one owl on each set of branches. The owls were made out of scrapbook paper. Very eclectic with each part of the owl having a different design of scrapbook paper.

I use a fantastic baker, Lee Stewart, to make cookies for the past few events I've had. She's amazing and very reasonable as well. She made us some owl shaped cookies. Some mostly pink, some mostly blue and then some blue and pink number "1"'s. And, they taste amazing, too!!! Those were some of the favors for the guests to leave with. Not one was left unclaimed.

For the main favors, I ordered 4x6 cotton muslin bags from Amazon as well as an owl stamp with two owls holding a balloon and stamped the bags myself. Then, to keep with the theme, I filled the bags with veggie straws and pretzels (twigs & branches).

I bought a huge wreath made of branches and hung some of the eclectic owls on there and put that on the front door to welcome the guests.

The kids outfits were made by none other than their Auntie Amanda of "Auntie A Custom Designs"... Just kidding. I just made up the company name. I need her to do this full time. She made a gorgeous multi colored chevron dress for Piper Grace. She made pants for the boys out of the same material with T-shirts that had matching ties sewn on and suspenders. So. Cute.

For the sanity of the parents, my parents rented a bouncy house and it was a hit! So much fun. We had The Commissary BBQ, beans and slaw (eew!) and chicken nuggets for the chillins'! All bases covered.

Chalk this up as a successful, gender neutral but boy and girl honoring party!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Congrats Pinterest, you have found another Victim

I don't know if it's the air getting a tad (and I do mean a tad) bit cooler, but I have been wanting to get more crafty lately. And, Pinterest has taken its toll on me.

As I sit in our twins room and feed Jude with one hand (that is recovering nicely from surgery, thank you) and type with the other, I am staring at my lovely pink consignment store find. $5, I tell you! I figured if I messed it up- ohhhh well. But, I sanded that sucker down and put 3 cans of spray paint on it and here we are with a second rocker for the twins room so Grant and I can both rock a baby if needed.

Second craft is these new frames I have decided to start painting and selling. They are the hot design right now so I thought I would get in on it and it's also very therapeutic to paint, I have come to figure out. Email me for these dirt cheap prices for custom frames: angelanixon@mac.com

And, thirdly, if you know me, you know I LOVE to plan parties. I may not always have the money but I make them happen. This year, for Maksim's 2nd (O.M.Goodness!) bday, it's Disney Cars themed and I have had a blast planning it. More pics to come soon, but I will leave you with a few.

So, I spend my Friday night rocking some babies and spending time with the hubby. Oh how life is different than it was when Grant and I met 10 years ago but we wouldn't change it for a thing.

I will leave you with a "Jon & Kate plus 8" quote:

"It's a crazy life, but it's our life".

And, let me tell you. I have never watched the show until now as I am watching all on Netflix and I am extremely sad that they did not make it. You can tell watching these shows that they really did love each other. Truly sad.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paging All Doctors...All Doctors

I don't think I have seen this many doctors and doctor offices in a while.

It started with my Mom who has had back surgery and all kind of check ups since then.

Then, my sister, Kristina went to the ER Saturday followed by my right hand surgery Tuesday, the twins 4 month check up and then my Dad having an emergency appendectomy last night. I have had enough. But, unfortunately, it's not over for me. I have my left hand surgery for carpal tunnel in 6ish weeks. But, until then we are trying to stay clear.

For the twins 4 month check up, Piper Grace is 14 pounds, in the 50th percentile for her weight and a healthy little girl. Jude is 13 pounds, 10 oz and in the 10th percentile for his weight but 50th for his head. Maksim has a huge head as well. All the better to learn with! Ha!

As I write this I am rocking little girl to sleep for their first night sleeping in their cribs. We have been instructed to let them cry tonight if they wake. Super sad but I know necessary. They are growing up too quickly.

Maks got his 2nd haircut at a salon this week and he's so cute as always. He's growing too fast, too. He's saying sentences and acting all big boyish. He said tonight when Grant was putting him to bed as Grant asked him what he did today: "PaPaw has a boo boo on his belly". We went to see my Dad at the hospital and brought him a Memphis Tigers hat. Maks didn't like it when a doctor came in to talk to Dad. He's pretty possessive. I think it's darling.

In other news, I am planning Maks' second birthday. I love planning parties and I wish I had unlimited money but unfortunately, we have a budget here, folks. I will be excited to share that post here in a little under a month.

Here are a few pictures of our adventures. God Bless. Goodnight.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Almost that Time of the Year

I (almost) love this time of the year!

This is when everything leads up to my favorite season- Fall! That means birthdays, CRAFT SHOWS, fall colors, not 100% heat...

We celebrated Grant's birthday yesterday with having a few close friends over. We had tacos, strawberry cake, bottled coke and IBC Root Beer, played cards, and watched the Olympics. Love that everyone made the trek out to our house.

The next event is Maks' birthday! The theme is "Disney's Cars"! I had originally planned on SpongeBob Squarepants, then Maks started loving Cars, then Toy Story, Curious George... I can't change the theme as many times as he changes his mind. So, Cars it is!

It's been nice to settle back in at home and organize, clean, and attempt to get a routine going. Here are some pictures from the weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Out of House, Out of State

I like to be on the move.

With Maksim I stayed couped up in the house for 6 weeks, I believe. With the twins and Maks, I like to get out of the house even just to go to my parents or my in-laws. For my sanity and to see adults.

My Mom and I decided to not only just get out of the house but out of the state- to Ohio and Pennsylvania to be exact! 12 hours and counting is just the drive time.

We packed up my Mom/Gigi, Maksim, Piper Grace and Jude and started the journey last Thursday. I was anticipating a pretty awful trip but surprisingly we made it from Memphis to Nashville with no stops. That's a good 3+ hours and we wouldn't even have had to stop but we didn't want to push our luck. The babies eat about every 3 hours during the day and they were going on 6 by the time we stopped. Let's just say all of the kids did AH-MAZINGLY!

We visited both of my grandmothers (grandfathers have passed), most of my Dad's family and Mom's family. It was wonderful!

I think the trip took a toll on the kids. I had a pity party for a few minutes thinking I was a bad Mom for subjecting my kids to an unfamiliar environment at such a young age (twins are a few days shy of 4 months). But, I did this with Maks too (he's a traveling fool!) and he's turning out pretty awesome!

We did end up cutting our trip a day short because the babies sleep schedules were off as well as Maks' (mostly Maks'... This kid woke up at 6:30 every morning, if that, and he typically sleeps in until 9:30) and his 2 year molars are coming in and he's been miserable. Like REAAALLY miserable! And, this Momma is just ready to have things back to normal at home and attempt to get a family schedule going. Something consistent.

Yesterday, my best friend, husband, and best Daddy turned the big 2-8! He is away at Kids Camp so we are ready to just have everyone back together! Here are some pictures from the trip as well as pics to celebrate my hubby's big bday!

Note about my new blogging style:
I found a blogger app so I can update from my phone and let me just say- it's AWESOME! But, as of now I don't know how to insert pictures anywhere else than at the end of the post and without captions. End of note ;)