June 30, 2011

12 Months AKA One Year Old

Dear Emanuel,

Well, we did it little buddy. Here we are one year later. Twelve whole months under our belt...definitely some of the best months of my life. I never imagined this last year would look like it did, or for that matter go by so quickly. Truth be told, I am the latest I've ever been on your monthly posts since you're already 13 months as I'm writing this. I started this post when you were about 11 months because I wanted to have it ready on your one year birthday. Then life happened, and well, I just never got it finished. But here we are now, and I want to remember everything about you when you were 12 months old, so I'm playing catch-up. :)

-Your 12 month check-up was actually the day before you turned 13 months. You weighed 21 lbs, 3 oz, and were 29 inches tall. Your head measured a whopping 18 inches around! Full of brains, I think.
-I can't get enough of your chubby little feet. You definitely still have my ridiculously huge big toe, but you wear it much cuter than I do. I could kiss on your feet all day long...even though you have stinky toe jam now.


-The back of your mullet hair has started getting a few curls, which I absolutely l-o-v-e. I know it's well past time for you to get a haircut, but I just haven't done it yet. Probably very soon though, as the "party in the back" is starting to get a little crazy.
-You still love to use your pterodactyl yell, and sometimes you just laugh and laugh at yourself after squawking around. I would give anything to know what's going through your head when you're talking like that.
-You love balls. If you see a ball, you get so excited and start saying "Ba-Ba" or sometimes just "Ba". Playing catch is one of your favorite things to do...so much fun.

-And how could I forget to mention this?! You started walking this last month, not too long after you turned 11 months. It really took us by surprise when you did, and it's still crazy to see you walking around like such a big shot. 
-You love to look at books. Your favorite is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that your cousin Hayden got you. You always pick that one off the bookshelf first then start throwing the rest of the books off at a rapid fire pace.
-I think that maybe, just maybe, you're starting to pout. I am not ready for this.
-You love music, and "Fix You" is still your favorite song and helps you calm down in the car.
-You are already working on your molars! I forgot what it's like to have you chewing on everything...it's been awhile since you've had new teeth. Everyone always comments on how many teeth you have...you love showing them off with your cheesy grin!
-When your daddy saw the monthly stickers for 13-24 arrive in the mail, he thought I was a little crazy. To which I said, no, I'm a lot crazy. :) But yes, we're going to do the monthly stickers another year. Daddy says if I'm going to keep doing this you have to wear shorts though, so I guess this is the last month we'll see your chubby little thighs.
-Climb, climb, climb! That's all you want to do these days. You are so proud of yourself when you climb into your rocking chair. Then you like to stand up, which makes mama nervous...and you just laugh. Such an adventurous little boy already!
-Your final monthly birthday gift from my friends in Waco was perfect! Swim trunks, swim diapers, and a floatie toy were the perfect way to kick off the summer and you've already gotten lots of use out of them. The monthly gifts were so fun and I'm a little sad they're over. Thank you guys again for making his first year birthdays so much fun!

Emanuel, being your mommy really is the best feeling in the world. My love for you grows every single day, and your Daddy and I have so much fun watching every little thing you do. I pray that this next year together is as blessed as the first...and I pray for lots of patience and wisdom for me as we enter the toddler years! :)

I love you baby boy. Happy Birthday! XOXO.

Love, Mommy

June 29, 2011

DIY Easy Banner Tutorial


If you've read my blog for more than 5 minutes, you know I love creating. One of my favorite things about creating stuff is sharing with other people and helping them learn how easy it can be to "do it yourself". I try to write my tutorials in an easy to understand way with lots of pictures...because that's how I learn best too. :) So let's get to this simple banner tutorial I've been promising for so long!
What you need:
-scrapbook paper (1 sheet per 4 letters)
-printed letters of saying for banner (template below)
-glue (I prefer rubber cement)
-skinny ribbon
-ribbon punch (found at Hobby Lobby or Michael's
-scissors


1. To begin, take a piece of scrapbook paper and fold it in half. Then fold it again vertically so it's in 4 equal quarters, and crease it really good.
2. Unfold the piece of paper and you should see lines that make it look like 4 separate sections. Using those lines as your guide, cut your paper into 4 pieces.  I just use my scissors and it's never exactly perfect, but I don't think you can tell once the banner is assembled.
3. Decide what you want your banner to say and download my template here. I made it as a Word document because I figured most people have that program. It prints 2 letters per sheet, and you can change the font and colors to match your theme. After you print your letters, cut them out.
4. Glue your letters onto a piece of scrapbook paper. I use rubber cement, but I'm sure most types of glue or tape would work fine.


5. Next, punch the corners of your scrapbook paper. This is what the ribbon punch I have looks like. It actually has 2 slits, but I only slide the ribbon through one of them (the one on the outside edge).
6. Now it's time time to string your banner. This part is important! Start with the LAST letter of your saying, and string them on in reverse. For example, when I made this one saying "Ezekiel Wayne", I strung it in this order: enyaw leikeze...which is just it spelled backwards. You have to slide the letters all the way to the end of the ribbon, so that's why you start with the last letter.
Now hang your banner, and you're done!

Another option is to just tie the corners together with ribbon or tulle instead of stringing it with one long piece of ribbon. When I do that, I usually just use a normal hole punch on the corners (or in this case, a heart shaped one because it's all I could find).
I have made this style of banner so many times. They are easy and cheap, and you can change them up to reflect your personal style. I hope this tutorial was helpful to you! As I was typing it, I think a few parts may have gotten a little confusing. But I promise you, just try it and you'll see it really is quite simple and anyone can do it. :) Please let me know if you have any questions!

June 27, 2011

Vintage Football Sip & See


Yesterday I helped throw a Sip & See for my sister and newest nephew Zeke. We had such a great time! The theme was based around his nursery decor, which is vintage football.

I made a burlap covered wreath for the front door, and embellished it with a few things. Remember the mini bunting I made for Manny's smash cake using the free printables from The TomKat Studio? Well I used those printables again to make a mini bunting that said "Welcome". It's hard to see in the large picture, but it was really cute in person!

I made a simple banner to go over the food table. I will post the tutorial on how to make it on Wednesday - promise! :)
For table decor, I had my mom scan these old football pictures she had. The top one is my dad (isn't he so cute?!) and the next one my granddad (dad's dad) is #28 on the back row.  The picture below is my great granddad. He is on the back row behind the guy in the W shirt. Isn't this picture classic? One of my faves for sure.
Hannah, one of the girls who helped hostess, made some awesome lemon cupcakes, and I added some wrappers and toppers. I also made chocolate pretzel sticks in the shape of helmets and footballs using a mold I purchased on eBay.

I made this "Meet Zeke" banner using my Cricut, and assembled it the same way I did Manny's birthday banner.
For drinks, we served cherry limeade and lemonade in the same jars I used at the Sip & See I threw for my best friend a couple of years ago. I love those jars - still at Wal-Mart for only $6! We also had personalized water bottles (I shared my template here).
Zeke was such a good boy. He is so cuddly; I just love him to pieces! And my sister looks amazing...you're such an inspiration to me Rachie! :)
And finally, all of the hostesses with the guests of honor.
It was such a wonderful day and I'm so glad we finally got to celebrate your little BOY Rach...love you! :)

June 23, 2011

A few randoms

1. Patrick taught Manny how to look through the little telescope on his playset, and now he does it all the time. It's so funny to see him squish his little face up and look through it.

2. I am helping throw a Sip & See for my sister Rachael this weekend, and have been busy planning away for it. The banner tutorial I promised only 3 months ago is coming soon! What a slacker I am.
3. Have you guys seen this Cake Pop Maker? My best friend sent me the link to it and it looks SO cool and easy...I'm trying to convince myself not to buy it. My online shopping has been a bit out of control lately! I was going to order it but they don't take Paypal and I'm too lazy to get up and get my wallet I'm exercising self-control. 

4. It's been awhile since I've shared a video of Manny, so I thought I'd post this one I took on Sunday. It is really long and just random, but I know our family will love to see it and his silly personality. This was right after we got home on Sunday, and I was trying to get him to show Patrick how he dances a lot more now. He was still sick here, but was so excited to see Patrick that he was giddy. He just kept cheesing at him and doing this hissing noise he makes when he gets excited. Towards the end he dances a little, but nothing quite like when he's really getting after it. I'll have to try to video him once he is back to 100%.

Watching this kid never gets old...love him to pieces! :)

June 21, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Well we had a good weekend, but I wouldn't say great. Unfortunately Manny has been sick with some kind of fever virus. No real symptoms, just high fevers that we can't get down. It's the worst I've ever seen my poor guy, and it just breaks my heart. I think he's starting to improve, and I am so thankful for that. The unexplained fevers just made me nervous, and really got me thinking about how blessed we are that he's been in such great health his whole life. Unfortunately that's not the case for everyone, and I am always praying for those of you who are dealing with things much more serious than just a fever.

We spent the weekend at my parent's house so we could help with the opening of their amphitheater. On Sunday morning, we got up to head home, but spent a little time hanging with the fam first. I took these pictures of my dad with Manny and just love them. They are so cute together and Manny just adores his Papa! Thanks for being such a great dad to me as well as a wonderful Papa to Manny...we love you so much!! 
They helped me take the DAD pictures of Manny. I tried to do it earlier in the week, but it was HARD to do without the help of someone else. I didn't think we were going to get to do it because of how sick he'd been, but Sunday morning he was in a pretty good mood so we tried it, and I love how they turned out. Looks a little different than when I did it last year, huh? Patrick wants me to do this every now, buuuut I'm not sure how long that will last. Can't you just see me trying to get him to pose when he's 15? :)
After that, Manny and I headed home so he could see Daddy! Patrick was on call this weekend and had a very busy weekend, so he was very excited for us to get home...and Manny was equally as excited to see him and give him his gifts. It was SO cute!

I ordered a stainless steel water bottle from Snapfish using this picture of them, and Patrick loved it....but so did Manny. You'll notice he has it in all of the pictures...he didn't want to let it go. :)

And a final shot of Manny and Daddy on Father's Day 2011.
They are such a cute pair, and I love watching them together. I'm so thankful to have these guys in my life! :)

June 16, 2011

Lunch Date & Camera Questions

Yesterday Manny and I met up with Rebekah and Cilla for a fun lunch date. As I've mentioned, Manny is ALL into climbing now, so he spent a lot of the time trying to crawl up the slide. He could get to the corner, but then it got too steep and he couldn't make it any further. So he would start complaining - I'm not sure if it was because he was mad he couldn't get higher, or if he was scared and didn't know how to get down. Needless to say, I had to go save him a couple of times. That was a sight to see. (Or not.)

This is sweet Cilla. Isn't she the cutest thing?! She is such a doll and just makes me laugh...such a cute little personality. 
Cilla is on the go but took the time to stop and love on her momma...so cute. Rebekah is one of the sweetest people I know and we could've talked all day...thanks for such a fun time Rebekah! :)

Okay, on to camera questions. I know I ask questions a lot, but y'all are always so helpful, and I love feedback from real-life people...most of which I don't actually know in real life (though I'd love to), but feel like I do...you get what I mean, right? :) And how was that for a run-on sentence? I digress.

Anyway. I think it's safe to say I've turned into a full on momtographer. No, I really don't know what I'm doing, but I like to pretend. I enjoy taking pictures and learning how to get better shots. I have the most basic DSLR and use my 35mm lens 99% of the time. I love that lens, but definitely miss the zoom factor. I was wondering if anyone has the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens? I've heard good things about that one but just don't know if it's worth it. If you have it, or another lens you love, would you please share about it? Also has anyone ever rented a lens? I have heard of places that do that but would love to know your experiences if you've rented one before.
And finally, any tips or tricks for self-portraits? (And by that, I mean pictures with Manny - don't worry, I'm not going to start modeling for you.) Patrick got me this remote and this tripod for Christmas, but I'm embarrassed to say I've never used them! I tried to snap a picture of Manny and I the other day and ended up with this. It made me realize that I need to start using the equipment I have. So if you have a tripod, how do you get your kid to look at it? Or set the height? Is it a lot of back and forth?

Okay, sorry for all the questions but I really do appreciate your help! And I've heard from some of you that blogger still won't let you comment, so you can always try signing out and commenting anonymously (I've heard that works) or just email me at sjg_ou at yahoo.com. Thanks so much friends! :)

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