Sunday, April 12, 2009


The big birthday weekend is over! Whew! It was so much fun, lots of work, but I totally enjoyed every bit of it! Now, before you say anything....I have a couple of disclaimers! First of all, this post is a lot of pictures! I can't help it. I love pictures. The fact that I have over 300 pictures from the day is a testament to this fact. Lucky for you, I can't find the ones I took as I was baking. Hopefully they will turn up and I can eventually post them! Secondly, yes, I know that Hayden won't remember any of this day, except for through pictures. If you are my "facebook friend" you have seen some of these pictures. I know some of you will think I went a bit overboard, but, that's my perogative! I waited a long time for Miss Hayden, and by golly, I wanted to celebrate! I didn't do anything I didn't want to do. I enjoyed making things, crossing every "t" and dotting every "i" (except for the fact that I totally forgot my cute little flower shaped jello jigglers!!). It let me use my creative skills. I had a blast! So...maybe the party was a little bit for me too???? Of course! I gave birth to her, after all!

The party preparations began on Wednesday when I began baking. Actually, I began making some of the decorations weeks before. I had to spread the food prep out over the few nights leading up because otherwise I wouldn't have had time to get it done. I still wouldn't have gotten it all done if not for my sister, who helped me a ton Friday night! I seriously baked more for this party than I have in my almost 10 years of marriage. Unfortunately, now I've proved I can do it, so I may have to pick it up a bit.
***The Party***

We had the party at the Creative Arts and Events Center in town. It was nice not to have to worry about how the house looked...because let me tell you, it looked really bad! Honestly at times, it looked like Betty Crocker herself had exploded in my kitchen! (I actually took pictures for proof!) We decided that if I ever decide to be a professional baker (ha!) I am going to have a larger kitchen!

I made this birthday banner for the party. I'd seen them on ETSY for sale, but decided I'd like to make my own. I plan to take it apart and use the "HAYDEN" in her bedroom. Multi-purpose, you see!

These are the cupcake pops that I made. This was quite a time-consuming project, but really rewarding because they were so cute...and actually yummy. At first, I didn't like the texture, but they have grown on me (not that I ate more than one or anything). I found the instructions for these on Bakerella's blog.

This is the fruit basket I created. It is assorted fruit on skewers with mini marshmallows topping them off. These were a huge hit! I could have had many, many more (I refilled once)! This was the only thing that had to be prepared on Saturday. I did worry about the skewers being used as weapons....and all the boys at the party didn't let me down!

I made this sign for Haydens' highchair! It too was fun to create! I haven't scrapbooked in forever, so this kind of filled that "need".

This is a view of one of the tables. I made the pots that have the cupcake pops in them. Easter grass was used to cover the "foam" holding the pops. Then, as you can see, there were balloons coming out the pots. You can't see a close-up, but I made napkin rings and had the silverware already wrapped. This made it easier to set the tables. It was another project that was done ahead of time.

This is Haydens' giant cupcake! I bought a little, undecorated 3-tier cake at Wal-Mart because I wanted to decorate it myself. It was one of the last things I did as far as decorating. My icing wasn't the easiest to spread, so it's a little rough. It wasn't the best decorating job, I think I could do it better the next time, but it's cute enough! And you may hear rumors that I had my sis separating sprinkles by color to use on some of the, would I do such a thing? That would appear somewhat obsessive...

This is the cupcake table. I served strawberry cupcakes with creme cheese icing, chocolate cupcakes with whipped icing, and yellow cupcakes with chocolate icing. It was fun decorating the cupcakes different ways! Did I ever mention on my blog that I would love to be a pastry chef???

This is the absolutely adorable, heart-stealing, cuddling, climbing,non-walking,cutie-patootie


Hayden and Harrison with my nieces Charity and Christina.

**Hayden and Nana Kemp**

**Hayden and Papaw Kemp**

**Hayden with Papaw Tom and Grandma Judy**

**Our family**

I'm not sure...but I think she may be a little bit spoiled! I mean, look at that cute chair! Talk about fit for a queen!! It matches her room perfectly, but she loves it so much, we're leaving it in the family room! I'm calling it her "lazy girl"!

And judging by this picture...I think she likes being spoiled as much as we love spoiling her!

I made the bow for her hair because I ran out of time to order one from Etsy. Her dress came from Etsy. What an ordeal it was picking out what she would wear for this day! I think I made a good choice...and believe me, there were several, as in LOTS to choose from!

Hayden was a very happy girl...especially considering the fact that she woke up at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning (much earlier than her normal rise and shine time)! I was worried when she got up that early! She had a very quick snooze on the ride to town, but woke up as soon as we got to the party!

We got Hayden this "whisper-ride buggy"! We saw them last year at various campgrounds and thought at the time "we're going to have to have one of those next year!" She loves it!

I think in this picture she is thinking "faster!" All the kids had fun pushing her around in her buggy!

After cleaning up the mess of opening presents, it was on to her cupcake! She enjoyed being sang to. I had made her a birthday hat...all one year olds must have a birthday hat. My mistake was that I had ribbon to tie it on instead of the usual elastic. She wanted nothing to do with it, so I'm saving it for another year. It was cute tho!

She really had no interest in her cupcake. I'm thinking she might be a bit of a priss! I'll take it while it lasts, because I'm fairly certain that once her Daddy and brother get one-on-one time with her, when she is most impressionable, she will end up a tomboy! I'm just telling myself that tom-boys can still be "foo-foo"! I think of a friend of mine who can be "foo-foo" one minute and the next minute be shooting an opossum off her back deck!

She didn't even want to touch the cupcake!

I really tried to help her get in the spirit of making a big mess! It didn't work, but I succeeded at looking a bit silly!

She's looking a little tuckered out at this point!

She was an absolute joy throughout the party! She was ready to get down and get going though. I think she was "cooped" up enough! I tried to get some good pictures of her in front of this pretty "palace" painting that was in the room, but the minute I let go of her, she was off! So, no posed pictures like I had hoped for...oh well!

Another picture of the *four of us*!!! Harrison wore his shirt that he wore the day she was born!

After the party, we went home and Hayden chilled out for a while!

She loves this new chair! She got many, many nice gifts for her birthday. Along with her buggy, we gave her a jewelry box, and started a charm bracelet for her. Yes, it's something she could care less about now, but it will be special to her one day. Harrison got her a shopping cart. She got several cute outfits and pretty dresses, a bathrobe, a picnic basket and picnic set, books, a baby doll, a Fancy Nancy Madame Alexander, various toys, and lots and lots of love! It was a great day!

It was an absolutely wonderful weekend. We enjoyed celebrating Haydens' Birthday with family and friends! We are SO VERY FORTUNATE to have this beautiful, healthy, growing, little girl.

I mean....Is she beautiful, or what???


In other news....

I'll post Easter pictures as soon as I can. Sunday is Parent/Infant dedication and we will be dedicating Hayden , so I may post those pictures at the same time as Easter.

Hayden is cutting her two upper molars! Her fingers can be found in her mouth 100% of the time! She's not been eating very well...but still nursing LOTS!!! She's going to be difficult about the whole "weaning" thing, I believe!

Yesterday, I thought she'd be taking her first steps soon. Today, it seems as if it will be awhile. Hmmm.....

She is saying "Da-E" for "Daddy" and "Ma-me" for "Mommy"

When I say "give mommy a kiss" she comes at me with open-mouth kisses! love it!

She LOVES her glo-worm! She is beginning to show interest in her baby dolls. She hugs her toys like glo-worm and dolls!

She is becoming quite the climber! Today I found her on Harrisons' bed. He has a trundle that was pulled out...but she made it all the way up to the top! Where was her mother, you ask???

Harrison has his first baseball game Saturday! Yes! I love baseball!

He has a "sculpture" of some sort in the art show! Pictures soon!

We have friends (Aaron works with him) that had TRIPLETS today!!! Praise God for these little miracles! They didn't come easy!

Stellan is in Boston!!! He may be having an ablation on Tuesday. This is a risky surgery on a baby his age. Please continue to be in prayer that surgery will not be necessary.

Please continue to pray for Jonah! He's so adorably sweet! (see his button on my side bar)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's not easy being famous!

Okay, so today I was in Dollar Tree picking up a few things and a nice lady said...

"Aren't you Susan?"

I replied something like "yes, and you're Michelle?

It was my friend and neighbor Rebeccas' good friend who checks out my blog every now and then, apparently when she needs some humor!

We decided we had met once before at Rebecca's church, but I thought she really had a good memory to remember my face from then.

Tonight while I was rolling cupcake pops, which I'll show you later, it occurred to me.

She can't have that good of a memory...wait a minute...she recognized me from my blog!

WOW! Now I know what it's like to be famous! *wink wink*

Sometimes MckMama has mentioned being recognized and she's hit over 7 million visits to her blog! I'm like what...1250 or so...I wouldn't know, it's not like I check it daily or anything *wink*

Anyway, I'm not sure how I'll handle the stardom!


In other news... the birthday is fast approaching! Last night I rocked Hayden and really tried to savor it. I thanked God for her, this little one that once seemed would never join our family, now feels like she's always been a part of our family. I kissed her little ears and nose. I tried to memorize her at this age, knowing full well I won't be able to.

About day 3 after she was born, I began sobbing quietly on the couch. I was sitting there thinking about how our beautiful family picture from the previous Christmas wasn't "good" anymore, because she wasn't in it. I was sad that the family of "3" was no more. Of course it was baby blues talking, but I was I guess kind of mourning that former life that would never be again. I was thinking that I would have to take the picture down, in fairness to Hayden and that made me sad.

I can't believe those thoughts ever entered my mind.

Now, I can't imagine our family without her!

She brings so much joy to our family of 4!
note: a family of 5 wouldn't be bad either :)

My birthday party checklist:

matching hairbow made.....check
party hat made.....check
goody bags.....check
collection of serving pieces.....check
birthday banner made.....check
highchair decor made.....check
napkin rings made.....check
silverware rolled.....check
cupcake pops.....started
fruit skewers.....saturday
croissants ordered....tonight!
picture progress
gifts progress
medicated.....check :)

Just for fun, I thought I'd post some pictures from Haydens' first days in our family....enjoy!
Now, excuse me while I grab a tissue...the country song "It won't be like this for Long" is on the radio....sniff sniff!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Snippets of our Life!

I find it so hard to sit down and actually update my own blog. I follow lots of different blogs, checking some of them everyday, but yet not finding the time to write on my own. Hmmm???

It could have something to do with my Etsy addiction. Speaking of my addiction to this site, which is similar to ebay, but more like multiple stores full of neat and interesting handmade products...well, just wait til' you see some pictures of my most recent purchases. But, you'll have to wait for those until after Haydens' birthday!

I can't believe this cutie patootie will be ONE soon!

If you were a part of our family, you'd be worn out too!

Harrison with his medal for basketball

Hayden making her Daddy proud (blowing a duck call)

We've been counting down the days til' Hayden turns ONE! I about fell off my chair at work today when it read "Hayden is 11 months and 3 weeks old today!". It can't be real! I've been busy preparing for her birthday bash! I have a bit of an obsession with things being "just right", but I'm trying to let that go, but not with much luck. Just a warning for those of you close to me :)

We took off on Monday back to Cincinnatti to the Sheraton CocoKey Water Resort. It's the same one we visited on Fall Break. We had a nice time, despite the fact that the indoor pool was closed...yes, there was the water park, which we enjoyed immensely, but with a little one, a warm pool would've been quite nice. Normally, I wouldn't complain (I know you might find that hard to believe...but I'm usually all bark, no bite!)...ok, so anyway, I normally wouldn't complain, but this time I couldn't help myself. I won't go into the details, but I remained kind as I walked away with 4 free day passes back to the water park at another date, "for my inconvenience". It really was an inconvenience because we weren't even informed when we checked in...and it was broken then! The biggest inconvenience being Monday night when the kids and I got dressed to go swim, make the trip down to the pool (not super close), and only to find it closed. It really wouldn't have been as big a deal, but the water park was not exactly warm and cozy. Anyways....

The kids weren't terribly bothered by the cool water. Hayden went under the "waterfalls" and didn't mind it a bit. We raise "fish" in our family- they love water!

Tuesday we went to the Cincinnati Zoo. It was lots of fun. I did nearly faint when it cost $6.50 to park, but what the's spring break! The kids and I rode the carousel, which Hayden wasn't too thrilled with! We rode the train, which she liked. It was a really nice zoo with a large assortment of animals. I bonded with one animal in particular....the Mama gorilla. It appeared as though she spent her days holding her baby with "the goods" just there for the baby anytime she wanted....yes, that seems to sound familiar to me. I'm pretty sure I didn't just relate myself to a Mama gorilla on my blog for all the world to see....But, on a serious note, I did get a little teary-eyed thinking about it. It was very sweet to see, and from one mama to go mama gorilla! (See how sweet..the baby is on Mama's lap)
You should've seen Aaron getting up on this Rhinocerous...and NO! I didn't even attempt it!We took "Stellan" to Bass Pro Shops and plan to add our picture to his "name gallery" (that boy gets around)
Wednesday morning Hayden delighted us all when she said "Bub-ba" when trying to get her brothers attention!

Yesterday, we left Cincy, and stopped at the Air Force museum at Dayton. It was HUGE! The planes were HUGE! Harrison enjoyed seeing all the planes. It was a lot of walking, and Hayden, well, she was less than interested. We spent time on a bench, her snacking on ground chicken sticks, while I marveled at the planes above and in front of me. I was a bit nervous that I would get sent to Guantanamo for allowing her to eat in an area designated "no food or drink", but no one said anything. They probably didn't want to listen to my screaming daughter so they let me off the hook!

Harrison has his first baseball practice tomorrow night. He's got his new fancy schmancy sports glasses, and new batting gloves. I personally am totally excited that baseball is just around the perhaps is my favorite! He looks so cute in those baseball pants! Hopefully he's not lost any speed from last year and he keeps up his good hitting!

Hayden is not walking yet, thank goodness. She has found the stairs, and stands for a few seconds at a time, but I really feel like she is still a ways from walking. Seriously, I'm in NO hurry for her to take off because that is just one more reminder that she is growing up. She also is cutting her first molar!

Our little angel has begun to throw little fits when she gets put down and she's not ready. She lays herself on the floor and cries. It usually passes after a few seconds, but if not, I'm totally a pushover and I pick her up. I have a sneaking suspicion she may be a "fit-thrower", unlike her brother. Little Miss has her own addiction called breastfeeding! She still wakes up at night, usually around 2:00 a.m. and ends up in our bed. This is the same routine we ended up in with Harrison. Of course, we said we'd do it differently with our next child....yea right! Some mornings we wake up with Harrison at the foot of our bed and Hayden in the middle! It's a bit crowded!

Well, that's a glimpse into what's been happening around here lately! This weekend and next week will be busy getting ready to PARTY!!!

And be sure to come back and see the pictures....featuring my ETSY purchases on the Birthday Girl!!!