Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A New Blog Fave

I have to let you know about this blog. I know the author from my days in college. She is just plain funny. And her posts are short. So you can read it quick, get a chuckle, and move on with your day in a better mood for having read it. It's a win-win-win, which is what Michael Scott always prefers, and I do too.

We just had a weekend with NO KIDS. It ended up being kind of a life defining moment for me. I'll write more about that later.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Sammy!

My big 1 year old.

I can't believe I gave birth to Sammy a year ago . . . in Spain of all places! If you would have told me at the age of 21 that I would be willing to have a baby in a foreign country, while speaking a foreign language, I would you have said, "Estas loco!" But I have to say that having Sammy in Spain is one of my most proud and happiest memories in my life. The whole experience was one big adventure for me (and you know me-I'll do almost anything for an adventure!). The frustrations of dealing with totally different systems and expectations for birthing Moms, the joy of having an ultrasound at EVERY APPOINTMENT, meeting my good friend Bea in the process and having her help me understand everything I needed to bring to the hospital, even something simple as taking the bus to my appointments was fun for me. Call me crazy. But I loved it.

I think there are some things in life that you say, "If that ever happened to me, I would die." But then you find yourself on the other side of that situation saying, "I did it! I actually made it! I'm so proud of myself!" Perhaps this is how Moms who go through birth without drugs feel. See-I can relate! :) I remember holding Sammy while I was in our hospital recovery room thinking, "I did it. I had a baby without any complications, while speaking Spanish, and I was able to understand almost everything that was said. I can't believe I did it!"

So to get all spiritual applicationish on you . . . be encouraged that the thing you are about to face that you never thought you could . . . you can do it! But not by yourself. Today I was reflecting over this day a year ago and I was reminded how many people were praying I'd have a normal delivery, with no surprises or complications. Jesse and I had been praying about it for awhile. And so many people (especially my Mom!) were praying that Sammy would be born while my Mom was still there-and he was! I know that none of this was by chance. I could not have done any of it had God not set it all in motion. God is so good, and so faithful.

And just to reminisce . . . I had to repost this video. It's for my own sake-you don't have to watch it! :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Joining the Ranks of Swagbucks!

I recently joined this fun way to earn a few extra "cookies" in life. Swagbucks has been on my radar for about 9 months now as I watch friends and family Facebook status' change to say, "Mildred has earned 5 swag bucks!" Well now it's my turn. Here is how it works:

You sign up by clicking this link. Then you download the toolbar (optional but I recommend it) and start using Swagbucks like a search engine. That's pretty much it! As you search throughout the day, you'll be rewarded with a random amount of swag bucks. It does you no good to do extra searches in hopes of earning more. In fact, don't do that. You could be marked as spam if you do too many back to back searches of similar things. Just think of Swagbucks as your new Google. Enter in stuff you would normally enter into Goodle and you are set to go. I plan on using the swag bucks to buy Amazon gift cards. Because we have free shipping with Amazon prime, (are you a student? you could get it too!) I could get some good stuff for free! I have friends who say they earn about 50-100 swag bucks a week. If a Amazon gift card costs 450 swag bucks, that's not too bad of a deal, eh?

So click on this link and get started. No really. Please do this link so that I can get credit for referring you! :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sammy's 1st Birthday Party-(I am amazing . . .)

( . . . because the party guests haven't even left and I've got this blog post done!)

Moving on. Sammy's 1st Birthday Hamburger party was a success!

The younger guests.

The young guests.

The sweet chubby birthday boy.

New toy? No thank you. This card will do.

Renae loves the presents too . .

Fast food fun

Would you like to super size that?

You know how much of a fast food junkie Grandma is . . .

"Sammy, this is the ONLY time all year you'll get this. Trust me. Make the most of it."

A quick serious moment of pondering.

"Hmmmm hamburger."

What is with my children and loving their sweets??

Oh that's right. Key word: MY children.

Thankfully Sammy only received one noisy gift.

"Hey! Turn off your cell phone! I'm starting my performance!"

So glad Great Grandma and Grandpa could come!

"How is it that you are almost 1, little boy?"

At least we made Grandpa smile for the picture . . .

One happy little boy.

Possibly more pictures to come as I gather them off of others cameras. For now, I stand by the fact that I'm amazing for getting this post up on the same day of the party. Gotta go. I have an Iowa State football game to go too!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Moving on to the Next Birthday

This weekend we are headed back to Iowa to celebrate Sammy's birthday and attend an Iowa State game-first one in 3 years!! I don't really like the idea of celebrating Sammy's 1st birthday almost a week early, but I also don't like the idea of celebrating it without anyone. Not that we don't have friends here, but we have only been here a few months. And 1st birthdays are really only enjoyed by family and close friends. Only those people can really get into all of the "Ahh, cute! Look at what he just did!" moments. You know?

My Mom and I are going to be decorating tomorrow night. Are you wondering what the theme is? I'm going to attempt this fun theme, with help from my Mom. Are you wondering why I chose a hamburger theme for a 1 year old? Well it goes like this . . .

First, I really like doing theme birthday parties . . . if you haven't noticed. Second, I usually pic a theme based on something the child really likes. With Renae it's always been pretty easy. But with Sammy . . . well let's just say that I tried really hard to come up with a toy, or an activity that he really likes and literally the only thing I could think of was that he loves. to. eat. And although he was born in Spain, he eats like an American so what better way to celebrate than with a hamburger party! We are even going to eat hamburgers for lunch before we eat them again in sugar form.

Changing subjects . . . we have no idea what to get him for his birthday. Aaaaan we kind of don't care. My ideas are to wrap up one of the toys that belongs to us that we've left at Nana and Grandpy's house, buy some boring clothes, or buy a Halloween costume (used). Either way, he's going to play with the box, wrapping paper and anything but the thing we get him. So it's a win win for all!

I hope to post pictures sooner rather than later, but I can't promise anything. Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Renae's 3rd Birthday Bash . . . a month after the fact!

It's a Pocoyo party!!!

Ice Cream toppings and a Pocoyo video playing in the background.

Pocoyo himself . . . in cake form.

Renae enjoys a bowl of ice cream in the backyard (Pocoyo water cup in tow)

Love this.

And this.

Enjoying the coloring table

And coloring with cousins.

We put Michael in charge of the piñata . . .

. . . and he eventually followed through.

Some of the partay guests

Little Brother enjoying time with the Grandpas

Aaaaaand I love this too.


Renae wasn't so sure why Pocoyo was hanging from a tree.

"Really? We're going to beat Pocoyo?"

Ready to go . . .

Swing Renae! Swing!

Taylor takes a turn.

Watching the demolition

Caedmon the champion busts him wide open!

Collecting the goods!

Opening presents . . . Renae had to try on her new crocs.

Pocoyo books from Bea, Jose and Jaime!!!

Notice the backpack? It went on and never came off . . .

Still has the backpack on . . .

Renae was so kind to share her stroller with Daddy . . .

Renae passed out cupcakes to everyone.

Nana gave Sammy a sneak peak of his 1st birthday.

This is pretty much how Renae spent the rest of her party.

Payton helped her know what to put in the stroller. A bear of course!

Sammy and Reagan . . . just chillin'.

"Here Sammy, have one of my chewed up crackers."

Renae is networking with the guests.

These 2 girls sure do like hangin' with each other.

Helping Renae with presents . . .

Helping Renae push the stroller . . .

Staying close incase Renae ever lets go of the stroller . . .

Chasing her down!
Whew! That took awhile to do! Now I remember why I hardly blog anymore.
1. I have no camera.
2. When I do have pictures to post, they are usually from Penni's camera which makes really pretty, high quality photos . . . but they take FOREVER to load.
3. Posts like this take 1.5 hours to upload all the pictures. No lie.
4. I think there was another reason but I can't remember.
We are celebrating Sammy's 1st birthday next week. I can't believe he's almost 1!!!! I'll try and get his pictures posted sooner than I did Renae's party. No promises though!
****All pictures except for 2 were taken by my wonderful mother-in-law. Thanks Penni!