It's Football Time in Tennessee!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Last night we went to Nate (our nephew's) middle school football game. I loved all of it! ALL OF IT. Ok. Actually, I did not love the fact that Tennessee forgot that it's football season and we should be BUNDLING UP, not sweating bullets. But other than that, I loved every. single. thing. I loved dressing the family in our school-spirited colors (even though that color is green). I loved watching the sun fade and the field lights turn on. I loved cheering on Nate (#3, on the far side of the field) as he took on a guy twice his size. LOVED. LOVED. LOVED.

It was both kids' first football game. It was a big deal for me before we got there, until I quickly realized that they would have no interest in what was going on and would instead spend their time entertaining themselves in the bleachers and stealing our snacks. Still, it was a fun family night.

Beckett spent the whole time playing with his little friend Paisley. I adore watching them together. His Uncle Russ likes to joke that they are girlfriend & boyfriend, but I'm going to go ahead and say that they're hopefully one day cousins-ish (she's Russ' girlfriend's niece) and whether they're blood related or not, and whether we live in Tennessee or not: NO.

Then there's the nephew. Nate would probably kill me if he knew I was calling him "cute," but seriously. THE CUTE FACTOR! Insert all the heart eyes. These kids (the middle schoolers) are so intense and serious about this game. I CANNOT WAIT until it's Beckett's turn. WE WILL BE A FOOTBALL FAMILY.

We won the game, by the way. 41-8. Go Vikings!

Charlie Grace's Garden Party First Birthday

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Once upon a time, I pretended like I wasn't going to go all out for Charlie's first birthday. I was convinced that our lives were way too chaotic and it would just be easier on everyone if we did something very small and simple. But then reality set in and we admitted to ourselves that there is no. way. that we are letting our only little girl's first birthday go by without celebrating in true first birthday (and Denise) fashion. So Charlie Grace's Garden Party was born.

I've always wanted to host a garden party and our current backyard was the perfect little setting. This party was so much fun to plan! I found the invitations, Charlie's dress & headband, and my skirt on Etsy. We ordered the cakes and fresh flowers from small shops here in town. We borrowed white table cloths and a couple of friends and my mom helped put together a beautiful spread of breakfasty type snacks.

Of course, we also had to have a mimosa bar. Because if you're over 21 and required to hang out at a first birthday party on your Saturday morning, you should at least get a mimosa (or 3).

We also had Stuart from Everbright Photography come out before the party to take some official first birthday photos of Charlie Grace (and crew) as well as the party. We did this for Beckett's first birthday and were so glad we did! Stuart did a FABULOUS job capturing our special little day and I was so grateful to know that we would have plenty of photos but didn't need to worry about taking them ourselves!

The [artificial] flowers for the kids table, high chair, and chalk board sign came from Hobby Lobby. I made those flower crowns! Are you totally impressed!? They took ENTIRELY TOO LONG and I definitely do not recommend it. Still, it was fun to see the kiddos play in them, even if just briefly.

I wish we could have cute parties like this all of the time! It is such a rare and sweet blessing to just be able to spend our mornings relaxing with people we love... and sitting around drinking mimosas!

Generally I'm really frantic and stressed during a party. There is always a million things to do. But I was pleasantly surprised when we were completely done with preparation and hostessy stuff by the time the guests had all arrived, so I was able to spend my morning enjoying our guests and celebrating my sweet birthday girl.

Charlie Grace kills me. This little girl is so full of spunk and sass. Unfortunately, she was a bit "off" this morning (of all mornings!) and spent a lot of time just snuggling her Uncle Russ. Then she fell asleep mid party! Luckily, she got all of best parts out of the way before she conked out.

We expected her to totally demolish the smash cake. She was a bit hesitant so we all pitched in to help her get started. Beckett was not shy at all. He took this brotherly duty seriously.

When it came time to open gifts, this girl perked right up. You'd think she'd done this before! Of course, she's totally spoiled and was showered with love and goodies. We're so blessed to have such an incredible support system, even in our "temporary" home! We were sincerely blown away by the group that came out. We love these people!

We are still blown away that this little girl is a year old already. We're also very grateful that we took the time and energy out to make this special little party happen. In the midst of chaos and exhaustion, it was a very sweet reminder of what is really important. Thank you to all of our wonderful friends & family who were able to attend. And happy birthday, Charlie Grace!!

Charlie Grace is ONE Today!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Charlie Grace is a year old today. INSANITY. Where in the world did this year go? I feel like that is an incredibly cliché sentiment but clichés are clichés for a reason. We are completely overwhelmed with love for this little girl, and CANNOT BELIEVE she is a year old already. It's been a huge year for this crew!

Charlie has completely rocked our world. Just today, I was chatting with a friend about the adjustment from one to two, and I admitted that it was a significantly bigger adjustment than I had anticipated. I attribute a lot of that to the chaos of our lives, but it also had a lot to do with Charlie's BIG and fairly demanding personality, which is not something Beckett had prepared me for.

Newborn & 1 Month
2 & 3 months
On our third anniversary road trip, Brian and I entertained ourselves by "planning" our children's names & personalities (to entertain yourself with that nonsense, click here). Today I reread that post and this is what we wrote about Charlie:
Charlie will be our little bit edgy, little out of control, little bit of a rebel, little bit country, needs to be reigned in party girl. We envision her with crazy curly hair and a strong personality. She’ll have no clue what she wants to do with her life, and won’t be concerned about figuring it out, but will end up rocking the college life and impressing us all. She may even end up at Bible College with her big bro. Charlie will be our tough one, and will end up with a hilarious, no-filter relationship with Granddad Dennis Wayne.
4 & 5 months 
6 & 7 months
Guys. It's looking like we may be prophets. (Totally JK). But seriously. With the exception of the crazy curly hair (the girl looks nothing like what we'd anticipated), she's on track to prove our predictions right. She's feisty, determined, and sassy. And she's my best friend.

8 & 9 months
10 & 11 months
In true cliché birthday fashion, I thought it would be appropriate to document some fun facts about Charlie Grace. I imagine sitting around on her daughter's first birthday and comparing stats. Should be interesting. So without further ado:

Charlie Grace LIKES Hot Wheels, monster trucks, and bath time.
We obviously think this has a lot to do with her big brother, but Chuck's go to toys are cars and trucks. [Did you read the part about "little bit country?"]

Charlie Grace LOVES nursing, dancing, and SHOES! 
One year into nursing and she shows no sign of letting up. She LOVES nursing and is not super interested in real food. Dancing is her THANG. Turn on some music (or sing a song) and she'll bend those little knees and get right into it. It's incredibly entertaining.
Shoes are a new infatuation. While she screams when I try to get her dressed and tears off every bow I try to put on her, as soon as she sees me pull out the shoes, she swipes on her serious face whips her little foot in my face. She's not playing around. Today, she even went into the closet and picked out her own shoes. Gold glitter. Be still my heart.

Charlie Grace dislikes food and hair bows.
Do you see the concern here? FOOD. And HAIR BOWS. I'm actually, literally, shaking my head as I think about this. I can't get her to eat MOST foods. I'm not sure how to deal with this problem, but we're just going to stick with nursing as her main source of nutrients for a little bit longer and hope I can get her to eat something other than meat and fruit pouches.

The hair bow situation. Whatever man. I'm not going down without a fight.

Charlie Grace has 7 teeth and bright blue eyes.
BRIGHT. BLUE. EYES. What in the world?! When she was born with blonde hair and blue eyes, we were certain both would change in 6 months. I know there's still a good chance, but we're enjoying those baby blues while we've got em!

Charlie Grace can walk and use a fork.
This girl started walking about a month ago. Now she's even trying to run a bit. Of course she's still getting the hang of her new, improved mode of transportation, but she's in love. Fancy pants can also use a fork, which is funny because she doesn't like food and her brother (who LOVES food) STILL has to be reminded to use his fork. Not sure what's up with that but it's fun to watch. 

You should also know that I took these pictures today because I wanted to make sure we documented Charlie on day 365. I even made this cute sign. She wasn't impressed. Every time I tried to hand it to her, she threw it.

Have you ever loved someone so much that it hurts? Because I can barely stand it. This one and I have had a roller coaster of a first year, emotionally, but I'm so grateful for every minute. Happy first birthday, favorite girl. Here's to many more.

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