Monday, January 30, 2012

I {heart} Crafts

One of my favorite things to do is create.

I love to craft and decorate...

although you might not think so walking into our home. 
We have empty walls everywhere!

Because we moved into our house one week before Ethan was born... we've been a bit slow on the decorating.

Taking down Christmas is always a sad day.
Not only do I have to work to take it down, but I can't help but feel like I'm working to make my walls bare.

This year after Christmas, I decorated an empty wall AND made some Valentine's Day Decorations
(I know... replacing old holiday decorations with new ones... well, it's something!)

Oooooh it felt soooo good! :)

Here is a "Happy Valentine's Day" banner I created with my trusty Cricut.

I bought the black and white paper (on sale for 29 cents each!) and heart stickers at Michaels... everything else I already had!

The thicker, long, sateeny silver ribbon was - believe it or not! - ribbon from one of my bridal showers!
Talk about up-using something!!

And actually... it's kind of appropriate.
7 1/2 years later, our love is still holdin' it together ;)
{Praise Jesus!}

The candle is a reused Christmas Candle... I turned the label around to the wall, put some left over silver ribbon around it and a heart sticker to top...

Instant Valentine's Day Candle!

The photo box was something I made when we first got married. 

The picture is taken right after Mark proposed at the Kensington Palace Gardens in London... we were 20 years old!!... and the flowers I had dried and saved from our very first (dating) anniversary - pre-engagement.

Mark had 2 dozen roses scattered around the room with poems attached to each rose.
I saved one of the poems, cut it up and put it in the box. 
It says...

"All the love that history knows is said to be in every rose.
Yet all that could be found in two is less than what I feel for you."

Can you blame me for saying "Yes!" to his proposal 4 months later??

This was an "extra" banner I made out of the negatives from the first banner...
all I did was cut out enough hearts with the Cricut to back the letters.

But I DID actually decorate a wall that can and will stay up year round!

This is our new and improved hallway:

I bought the Y at Joann's for $9 and decorated it with moss which cost about $12.

The Y is just a paper mache, 3 dimensional letter that measures approx. 2 feet by 1 foot depending on the letter. The moss comes rolled up in a package. Magic revealed!

They sell similar letters on etsy for around $50 each, so I was happy to make it myself.
The secret is hot glue... that's it! Now go make your own :)

The frames are from Michael's and Hobby Lobby, the shelves are from Target (left over from a pack of 4 where I used the 2 larger ones in Ethan's play room).

This is how I mapped out the wall:
I measured the dimensions, roped it out on our floor, and played!
This is what I came up with...

Handy Man Mark did all the leveling and drilling...

Finished Product:

Here's hoping to fill more walls soon!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Cabo Wabo Wedding

It happened... it really happened!

Christina & Marc got married... on their 12th anniversary actually, January 14th, 2012!

Wooo hooo!

Since the beautiful couple decided to get married in Cabo San Lucas - and we HAD to go since I was the Matron of Honor and Ethan was the ring bearer... we made a family vacation out of it :)

A note to begin with:

Unfortunately I have NO wedding pictures. Lame, I know... but I did say I was the MOH and therefore not the photographer... Mark, my Mom & Dad were busy watching the ring bearer that day too so... no luck.

But I can tell you this...

It. Was. Beautiful.

Just use your imagination ;)

Here are some pics of how we spent our days in "wedding prep" 

Splashin' around with Grandpa

Walk to the beach...

Cruise ship gazing...
In Ethan's world, all boats are pirate ships.
Yup, even the cruise ship.

"Pirates coming!"
This was voiced every single day.

Lots of hand holding with Ethan...

The weather wasn't perfect until the wedding day which was in the middle of our trip so... half the time, we shivered as it wasn't warm enough to go swimming and the RIU Santa Fe - sad to report - doesn't have hot tubs on their grounds...
Ethan, however, didn't care...
Happy boy in a non-heated pool... don't let those bubbles fool you... just another part of the pool...

View from our room

My favorite view :)

Another note on this vacation:

Ethan's nap time was our "free time" everyday.
My mom volunteered to stay in her room reading and listening to the baby monitor for Ethan. 
(They were staying 2 rooms down from us)

This meant Mark and I got to lounge by the pool, read, take walks on the beach...
a full 2 hours to ourselves... toddler free!

A true blessing!

2 days before the wedding, Christina and Marc rented out a private catamaran for those who flew out for the party... it was awesome!

Sunset. Fajitas. Music. Dancing. Friends. Family... 

Mom and Dad

This little boy was cool as a cucumber 95% of the trip.
He didn't want to do anything but sit on Mommy or Daddy's lap. 
I know... right?!

Where was this kid on the plane ride over here?

This was Ethan's first meet and greet with the wedding party so, naturally, he was showing off.
That, and the boat was pretty rocky so... thought it best not to wonder. 

He gave fair warning to all and alerted the party, "Pirates coming!"

The beautiful bride-to-be!

Close to Lover's Beach... appropriate.

Daddy with the lap child.

This was about the time Ethan broke out of his shell... just in time to drive the boat ;)

Downtown Cabo

The resort had a kid's playground or "RIUland".
We visited the swings daily.

To the beach!
Beach Babe...

Digging buddies

Ethan's digging style...

And then there was the "juice".
Don't worry, they were all non-alcoholic (for him!).
But seriously, nothing at the resort was actual juice... more like punch... so why not make it blended?

Strawberry Daiquiri 

Bundling up with Daddy
(we had to take baths before nap time to stop the shivers)

Vacation = Sugar/Treats.
Ethan learned the word "treat"very quickly here...

Dress Rehearsal Dinner 
The ladies...

{Insert Uncaptured Wedding Here}

The Next Day...

Good Morning Cabo! 
Thank you God for the beautiful weather...

We went whale watching... it was an adventure for sure!
Didn't expect to get so close to the pod!

Taking the boat out...

Squish-faced, Ethan said, "Weee. Weee." the whole ride out to sea.
Couldn't smile for obvious reasons...

"Thar she blows!"

Flips make big splashes... camera wasn't quite ready to capture the mid-air twist...

The waves rocked Ethan to sleep

With Mrs. Rubalcaba

Sweet smooches

More nights out with the family.
One of the best things about vacation is that I don't have to cook for a week!
Especially at an all-inclusive... all meals are covered!


We were here for my 29th Birthday!
This was probably the coolest thing I've ever done for my birthday... celebrate in Cabo!

My birthday started with brunch with Mr. and Mrs. Rubalcaba (true celebrities of the week! Knowing their presence was in high demand, I felt truly honored!)

Then another excursion... thrills included.

Dinner at an Italian Restaurant...

Finally entertainment by Ethan and Michael Jackson.

Here are pics of the day (in reverse order... sorry!)

Before dinner...

Later on that night, Ethan joined the kids on stage for dancing and balloons.
Of course, his balloon was a sword!


After the kids had their fun, the resort had a Michael Jackson show.
My parents put Ethan to bed and stayed back at the room so we could enjoy the show.

Earlier that day, my mom watched Ethan so my dad, Mark, and I could leave the resort to ride "Dune Buggies" (turns out they were actually Rhinos) and play in the dirt. 
Sounds like a birthday wish come true, right? 
It actually was fun... some were more excited about it than me... but I can cross it off the bucket list.
Or as Mark said it, "Put it on and cross it off all at once."
Pretty much :).
Maybe I'll put: Ride a Rhino.
Sounds better that way ;)

Getting ready for the ride!

Maskin' up!

Crazy man, Mark.
Boy is an adrenaline junkie!
Haven't I said this before?

I rode with him the first half of the adventure... 
let's just say I was literally holding onto my helmet.

So happy to ride with my dad... and so was Mark (who kicked it up a few without me).

Another thrill seeker in the family:

He is a lot of fun to watch...

This was a new thing:
Ethan walked up to me with a mouth full of water.
Spit it out on the floor.
then walked away to do it again.

We caught most of it on camera:

Not much has changed with our water bug.
He still likes to jump in the water, go under water, "swim" by doggie paddling, and yes... he still has the biggest smile underwater.

He did like hanging out by the stairs.
Ethan would float away from the steps and then doggie paddle himself back.
It was super fun to witness his first attempt at swimming independently!!

The bartenders slipped Ethan some bananas... smooth kid ;)

So, I love this picture because while it looks like I'm just hanging out in the pool... 
I'm actually absorbing the heat off the granite table top. It felt soooooo good! 

Nap time walk on the beach with hubby

Pirate ship!
We saw this on the catamaran cruise and Ethan said, "Ohhh nooo! Pirates coming!!"

Going home...

Last family picture

Flight home... Praise Jesus for empty seats!
Ethan juuuuust skimped by on the lap child requirement. A few weeks shy of 2 years = free flyin'!

The drive home.

Christina and Marc joined the Married Club.
I started off my last year in my 20's by riding a Rhino.
My parents are still, and always will be, a tremendous blessing.
My hubby hasn't given up his need for speed.
And, by some miracle, despite Ethan's prophetic words...
the pirates never came.