Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Flower Girl

The big day finally arrived for Ivie to wear her "beautiful white princess dress" and make her flower girl debut! We've been talking this up for months, particularly since Ivie has a tendency to turn shy in front of crowds. So we've been telling her what an important job she had to make sure to drop enough rose petals on the ground for Carla to walk on when she came down the aisle...

Since the rehearsal didn't go so well Friday night, we ended up having to bribe Ivie into an appropriate performance. If she did great, smiled, and made it all the way down the aisle with Olivia and Brayden, she would be rewarded with a trip to Target for a toy when we returned home. Probably won't find that method in any of the 16 parenting magazines that I'm behind on reading right now. But it was the best we could come up with in a pinch... (And it worked great - she gave a pretty stellar performance, though she did display a nervous giggle the entire time she was coming down the aisle. I think she was laughing to keep from crying.)

Anyway, it won't surprise you all that I took several pictures to document Ivie's first flower girl experience. Or that I've already used said pictures to create a Shutterfly book to take advantage of a free book offer I had! Instead of just posting the book here for you to see, though, I thought it would be easier (and with bigger pictures!) for me to just post them here. So that's what I'll do!

At the Beauty Salon ("getting curls like Macie's")

Pre-Wedding in the Girls' Hospitality Room

A Few Post-Wedding Shots

Snack Time (and some climbing)


And a few of my favorites from the day...

3-Word Wednesday: This is No Exaggeration...


(I love you more than words can describe. Thank you.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cleveland, Day 2

On Friday, while the guys golfed (trend continues), the kids and gals went to Lake Metroparks Farmpark (does anyone else find that to be kind of an odd name?!?).

I didn't take very many pictures while there (too busy pushing the stroller or chasing the girls), but I did get a few cute shots of Macie while we were on the wagon ride around the park.

Messin' with Brayden

Kissin' Her Cousins

Chillin' with Nina

That evening was the wedding rehearsal. Yet another opportunity for pictures!

Matt with Family and Friends

Me and My Girls

Sarah's Clan

And the Rest of the Story...

Cleveland, Night 1

Thursday night, we headed to Noce Gourmet Pizzeria in Chardon, OH for dinner. Who knew that it would be so difficult to find a pizza place that actually had dine-in and would seat 15 people (the whole crew except for Matt and Carla, as they were off running pre-wedding errands)? (Schaeperkoetter crew - watch the video that I link above to Noce! Great memories of the staff we met and scenery in Chardon - it's great!)

But the search was WELL WORTH IT. Noce's was just great. A quaint little place on Main Street in a cute little town of about 5,000 people. Olivia, Gavin, and Ivie were able to enjoy some running-around time on the city square (home to the Geauga County Courthouse) while the rest of us finished our dinner. Then, just up the street, we snapped a couple of grandkid pictures on the steps of a beautiful church. This was our last "free" evening, since we had the rehearsal and dinner the next night (Friday) and the wedding Saturday. Noce's didn't disappoint. It couldn't have been a more perfect choice.

Cleveland, Day 1

Last week, our family headed to Cleveland for Matt's wedding. My Mom and Dad's "baby", and the last one of us to get married. So it was a special weekend!

We all arrived in town on Wednesday afternoon and spent the afternoon/evening just hanging out, ending the day at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. A wonderfully LOUD place for our group of 19 (our 17 plus Carla's mom and sister).

So the real "Day 1" was Thursday. While the guys of the group golfed (you'll see this as a trend for the weekend, and I can't really say much, since it was Matt's wedding weekend, and that's what he wanted to do!), the gals took the 6 younger kiddos (minus Sam, who was golfing with Tony and Papa) to Preston's H.O.P.E Playground.

Can I just briefly say what an AMAZING place this is? I randomly found it on a Google search for "things to do with kids in Cleveland". The best way to summarize is to say that they must have done many things right in the construction of a playground that will entertain 6 kids, spanning in age from 21 months to 8 years, for 4 SOLID HOURS!

Here are some pictures from our day:

Josie, Brayden, and Olivia

Ivie and Gavin on the Roller-Slide

Macie and Olivia - Same Slide!

Swinging and Riding

My Favorites...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010


I don't believe in "being lucky". Maybe because, prior to several months ago, I never won anything. Raffles, giveaways, you name it. I would always enter, but never won. But I guess it's good to go into those sorts of things without any hope of winning, because it makes it easy to accept and move on when you, again, DON'T WIN.

But lately, I can actually say that I've been "lucky" more times than I deserve. Thanks to jasmere (about which I wrote here, even though I have yet to actually wear my shapewear) and, now, to flipflops and applesauce, a very sweet blog I follow about a family I have never even met. I can't even tell you how I started following this blog. I'm pretty sure I randomly saw it on another friend's blog list and just clicked over to check it out (probably because of its cute name). But as soon as I read the story about the adorable twin girls and how they became a family with the blog writer and her husband, I was, well, hooked. Not to mention that Chrissie, the writer, is very crafty, and creative, and fun, and overflowing with love for life. I could go on and on. But I wouldn't want her to get a big head (even though it would be justified!).

But on to what this particular blog has to do with me being lucky...

Last Monday, on her site, Chrissie wrote about the cardboard rocket that her girls had painted for the 4th of July. It just looked like so much fun! And, as luck would have it, Chrissie was hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader to get his/her very own cardboard rocket. All you had to do was leave a comment about your 4th of July tradition.

So I left a comment and promptly forgot about it. Until I got a comment on my latest blog post from Chrissie telling me to hop on over and check out the contest results.

When I did, I saw this:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rocket Playhouse Winner

I wish I was neighbors with each and every one of you, so we could be best friends and celebrate the 4th of July together. And I wish each one of you could win the rocket playhouse. You are all so amazing!

But alas, there can only be one winner. And congratulations to you, Amy of Herman Nation!

Amy said:
We're only going on our 2nd year of this "tradition", but we join my brother-in-law's family at the river near their house in Boone, NC, and just spend the day fishing and playing in the water, watching the college kids float happily by. Great times with family!

Amy, email me your address to, and we'll get your rocket to you.

I've won the rocket!!! Yipppeeeeeee! The girls are going to be just beside themselves. I can't wait for it to get here. I see a painting project (and hours of fun) in our future...

Thanks, Chrissie! Not only for picking me in your random giveaway. But also for being an inspiration to someone you don't even know.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Show-and-Tell, Round 54: Lighthouse Stacking Blocks

Not sure why, but Ivie decided she wanted to take one of Macie's stacking toys for Show-and-Tell today! Not wanting to burst her bubble, I didn't tell her that the toy was intended for, you know, one-year-olds. She was excited to share it with her friends, so we just rolled with it.

When Macie saw me taking a picture of Ivie, she, of course, wanted to have hers taken, too. While she sat on the island and ate her cereal, no less. So here she is:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ivie's Random Thoughts (#12)

On Sunday night, we took Amanda for her first-ever visit to P.F. Chang's. (Please let this lone sentence serve as a reminder of "the time that Macie dumped my entire Root Beer on my lap while we waited for our food". Joy.)

But back to the story at hand, since elaboration on the Root Beer story would only involve a description of how I immediately glared at my not-even-two-year-old-daughter and watched her, in a split second, morph from a crazy-jumping-all-over-the-place-wreaking-havoc toddler to an angel, frozen-in-fear-of-the-impending-wrath-of-a-drenched-in-sugary-mess-mommy.

Okay, so maybe a one-sentence reminder wasn't enough to fully get the incident off my chest. But I'm finished now. Really. On to why this is titled an "Ivie's Random Thoughts" post...

Since the entire dinner process that night was lengthy, from the serving of the appetizer, to the drying-off-and-calming-down-after-the-Root-Beer-incident (JUST LET IT GO, AMY!) , to the arrival of the entrees, to the bill-paying, the girls got to spend some quality time outside studying the horse statues that stand in front of the restaurant. Ivie also managed to have enough time to try to balance and walk on the curb, which resulted in her falling off once and getting a small scrape on her knee.

Fast-forward to tonight after school, when we were stopped at the stoplight right in front of P.F. Chang's on our way to pick up Chick-fil-A for dinner (Tuesday is still Kid's Night!). The following conversation took place:

Ivie: Mom! The place with the horsies!

Me: Yes! We ate dinner there the other night, didn't we?

Ivie: Yes. And I fell down and got a boo-boo on my knee.

Me: Yes, you did... Does it still hurt?

Ivie: No! It's all gone now!

Me (shocked at her apparent speed of healing): It is?!?

Ivie (looking closely at her knee): Not exactly.

Isn't it funny the phrases kids pick up?!?

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Not sure what came over me last night when I, in clearly a weak moment, told Holly that it was okay for Macie to have a Fudgesicle with the big girls for dessert.

Actually, I do know what I was thinking (points recounted here in no specific order):

1) This is going to be a huge mess.

2) But it's better than having to listen to her scream about wanting what Ivie and Sydney have.

3) Do I think I can clean it all up with paper towels so that I can avoid having to give her a bath?

4) Where's my camera? This might be the only blog material I get all weekend.

5) Will I be able to get the chocolate out of her dress?

6) Or her hair (sans bath)?

7) Do I want a Fudgesicle, too, or should I eat the super-sized Snickers bar Dale brought home for me instead?

8) How does Dale always know, without asking, exactly what kind of candy I'm craving?

9) Is there anything cuter than a kid eating chocolate? Can't pass up the opportunity to witness and document it...

As you can see, Macie, ummmm, didn't disappoint. And I WAS able to still skip bath. But the jury is still out on the chocolate coming out of the dress. Which reminds me, time to go switch the weekend laundry to the dryer before heading to P.F. Chang's for dinner with Amanda (who "survived" a really quiet weekend alone).