Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Birthday Party Pinterest Style

This weekend we celebrated my son's first birthday (Friday) and my husband's 30th birthday (Sunday) with a party on Saturday! It was a superhero party that was planned after hours of time perusing Pinterest for ideas. And because I am covering life with you here, I will share pictures and ideas stolen borrowed from Pinterest. In a world full of Pinterest-fails (I've had plenty myself) I count these as Pinterest wins:

Number 1: The Invitation 
I found a lovely "pin" that had these figures and city background as free clipart so I tweaked them using Powerpoint and added my words and the picture of Bug from Halloween and saved it as a jpg and bmp. (because honestly I don't know which is better) And then we printed them on cardstock and mailed them out. We are all about cheap and easy at my house!

Number 2: The Cake
I found MANY superhero cake "pins" but none had my husband's favorite four superheroes all together (Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Nightwing) then I used paint to create an idea of the cake:
Then I sent the picture to one of our favorite cake makers, Cakes by Hannah and asked 1- if she could do this cake and 2- can she do it with real icing because we like the taste better... her reply was yes and yes except for black icing, which is understandable (and honestly, I thought the fondant tasted good too). And this is the final result:
How cool is this cake?! We were so pleased (and quite excited) about this cake.  Yes, it was one of the most costly things (though still MUCH more reasonable than other places) and it was well worth it plus it was so delicious!

Number 3: Decorations
They were very simple...let me tell you, in my opinion balloons are really all you need because they scream Birthday!  My mom already had the disposable white tablecloths so we added a balloon to each salt and pepper shaker and there you go- instant party!

We also added a city backdrop for fun superhero pictures. And though I saw many homemade ones on Pinterest I didn't think I would have that much time on my hands or skills so I found this one on Amazon for $11(at that time).  I will say I was a bit disappointed though, because I thought it was going to be much taller (Note-always read ALL the product descriptions and reviews) but my resourceful husband saved the day (see what I did there- superhero... saved the day...hehe) by helping me double it to make it taller. And it was so long, we also had enough to cover the gift table!

Just call us the Bat family.

Another find from Pinterest was collages in the shape of the age:



If you can't tell my favorite sites to explore are Pinterest and Amazon.  Thanks Pinterest for the ideas and thanks Amazon for the items (balloons, party favor items, batman socks with cape, backdrop)!


I think overall the party was a wonderful success! Even though Bug had no idea it was his birthday party, I think he had a good time eating, swinging and socializing and I especially think his Daddy did.  And as a special treat Batman showed up at the party- so if it wasn't a great party already that sealed the deal! (Thanks Batman and Batman's mom for hooking it up!)  ;-)

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I had SO MUCH HELP in putting this party together.  Our parents and sisters were there all day cooking and setting up. And we had many people bring food and gifts- all of which we are so grateful for! I was reminded again just how blessed we are to have such wonderful parents, family, and friends. I truly hope people feel the love I have for them as much as I feel the love they have for us.

Please feel free to borrow any of these ideas for your parties...especially since most weren't original in the first place!  And please forgive this diversion from usual posts, but this is our life- covered in blessings and love and we thank God for it!

Love in Christ,

Alyson

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Be a Christian in Name Only


Grandparenting, I've been told is one of the greatest blessings that God gives.  It's a bit of a mystery to me at this stage of life because a year ago (in two days exactly) I became a mom.  And the unconditional love that I feel towards my son seems supernatural, so to think that it can be even stronger for the child of my child is unfathomable.  Now before you grandparents get all stirred up, I didn't say that y'all don't still love your kids or that I doubt this stronger emotion for your grandkids to be true, I just can't understand it, myself, right now.  And because of the four amazing grandparents my son has and the pretty awesome parents he has as well ;-) (hehe) something I can't understand even more is when a person sees being a parent or grandparent as a status or title instead of a relationship. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Don't Just Do to Do


This weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of traveling to Maiden, NC to speak at a discipleship weekend for youth. He taught the main sessions and then we each had the opportunity to speak to the guys and girls in their breakout sessions. It is such a blessing and answer to prayers to be able to serve the Lord together with my husband.  Though I didn't wait until I was married to serve the Lord.

Friday, April 11, 2014

How To Read Your Bible

My son at 3 weeks old- had to take picture because it looked like he was reading the Bible with me.

Some people may look at the title of this post and say, "How to read your Bible...duh, you read it!?" But I bet there are some people reading this, who are like me, and struggle with reading their Bibles.

Since I was saved, and probably before that actually, I was told that I needed to read my Bible everyday.  So like I always do when starting a book, I began at the beginning in Genesis.  It didn't take long for that to stop and for me to try picking verses at random.  But then I never knew how much to read.  When I was a teenager I was given a Teen Study Bible.  It was great.  It had little explanations on some pages, and separate pages that explained everyday issues and what the Bible said about them.  It even had a listing in the back of all the books of the Bible and their chapters with boxes beside them so you could check them off as you read them.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grow Like a Baby


In less than 3 weeks, my son will be 1 year old.  Already I have started the nostalgic review of his life thus far.  I won't share all of my thoughts with you now, but it has been so amazing to witness the growth and development of a little person.
My baby when he was born (probably the morning after actually)

Sure the months I was pregnant were interesting, and every week I would text my husband with the update from my Baby Center app on what vegetable or fruit our son was the size of this week.  Though in reality this gave me no basis of measurement, because I didn't know what half the plants actually looked like in real life- what size is a kumquat or rutabaga anyway?

So my favorite time has been actually seeing and holding my son.  He used to snuggle under my chin and his feet barely reached my belly button after he was first born and now, well now his knees have to bend just to be able to lay his head on my shoulder.  And I've also witnessed the small amounts of milk he drank increase to larger amounts, then on to rice cereal and baby food, and now to solid foods that he can pick up with his hands.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thank Yous

This Sunday, I admitted to my mom that I felt like I had sinned against her.  And I want to confess to all of you, because I feel I have sinned against some of you as well. I hope that you forgive me and know that I truly am sorry and please do not hold my actions against my parents-they really did raise me better and this is in no way a reflection on them.  But I confess to you today *deep breath* that I never sent out thank you notes for all of our baby gifts! *insert gasp or laugh (hopefully laugh) here* Notice I didn't say that I never wrote them, because as I was in Bug's room looking for something this weekend, I saw a large stack that had already been written, just never addressed or mailed.

And I know, believe me I do, that some of you are judging me right now.  I was raised in the south and like I said, my parents taught me all about the importance of thank yous and note sending. So I understand that some of you are disappointed and possibly offended that you never received a note. Though I honestly have to say, personally, I'm perfectly fine if I never receive a thank you note and don't keep up with it if I do or don't.  It's a very nice gesture and having written all the many thank you notes for our wedding gifts I am appreciative when I receive one, because I know the time it takes. (All the wedding notes were sent by the way even if the last 2 were sent within a month of our 1 year anniversary- which is still within the limit according to etiquette, so I was told!)

And though my son isn't quite a year old yet and I don't know if that within one year rule applies, I want to tell you that if you haven't received your thank you note yet, you probably won't because I think it would be kind of weird at this point.  I will tell you all though, that we were completely showered with love and the gifts have been so much fun and wonderful to use this past year- yep even the diapers with their adorable designs!  And we still have some diapers and wipes left that haven't been opened yet because of such great kindness. I want you to know that not sending a thank you note means that we aren't less thankful for your gift, just like sending one wouldn't make us more thankful.  We were so blessed and have continued to be- we know this and we are completely grateful.

So for those of you who do get offended by not receiving thank you notes, I ask for your forgiveness.
 And I would like to encourage everyone to try something:
Let's choose not to be offended by things that may have offended us in the past.
Let's extend grace to others instead of harboring negative thoughts.
Let's choose to cast those thoughts aside.
Let's choose to love each other.  
I'll be honest, letting offenses pass on by has been a struggle of mine in the past...not about notes but in so many other things.  And those things are difficult to forgive at times, because I won't let them go. But if we choose up front, not to be offended by the actions of others against us, then there will be no need for forgiveness in the long run because there will be nothing to forgive.

It's in facing my own struggle with being offended that I write this post.  All of us have things that happen to us that we take offense to, whether it's someone not holding the door for you, or cutting you off in traffic, or not sending a thank you note.  And what offends one person may not offend another.  So as I encourage you to choose not to take offense, I also recognize the need to apologize for unintentionally offending you.  And I want to thank you truly for any kindness you have shown me or my family.  We really do appreciate you.

 Love in Christ,

Aly