Sunday, September 9, 2012

One Awesome Birthday

 Where do I start as we celebrate this milestone. This sweet girl blessed out lives a year ago on Labor Day. Labor I did to get her here and the weeks following were not so easy either. Well, lets be honest, the whole year has been one of change.

However, I would not trade this little monkey for the world. She is such a blessing to have in our lives and in our home. The day of the party we had a torential downpour in the morning, and I was a mess. I had rented a pavilion at a local forest preserve to have cake and ice cream at and I was sure we would be celebrating in a hurricane, or smushed in our small home with the cake table in the master bedroom and the toilets would have to act as the finest chairs.

We spent the morning celebrating with birthday pancakes for breakfast and then made a quick and short job of opening the Birthday presents that Grandma and Grandpa Bywater had brough the night before when they arrived.
She loved the princesses and the books, and the cute little dress. She also will not get off the trampoline from Grandma and Grandpa Bywater. The jumping is endless and the buttons that make noise more so.
Not sure how I captured this's her dad's.

 I then ran (well okay, drove) to the airport to get Grammy and collect the cakes. We enjoyed the day chatting and watching the little munchkin jump and play. We also made four kinds of homemade ice cream for the party.
I found this great link with some perfectly simple recipes for homemade ice cream.

We headed over to the forest preserve later that day and had a gorgeous evening to work with despite the not so great forcast.

My fantastic friend Aimie made this cake for Elsi. It was a checkerboard on the inside and a delight of sprinkles on the outside. It was fantastic!

Ice cream flavors included chocolate (soupy chocolate anyway), Strawberry, Oreo (by far the leader and champion of the night), and vanilla.


Elsi wasn't sure about the cake and at first just really liked brushing the sprinkles off, and then when I gave her her own piece (yes, she is independant and worried about having her own thing...drives this mom nuts some days!) she dug right in. Loved it...

We are so grateful and lucky to have so many wonderful friends, the party was so fun and we loved having family and those that are our suragot family around us.

The party was such a big hit that I caught Grammy cleaning sprinkles out of the tred of Elsi’s shoes later that night...I couldn’t ask for more.

A one year old party in the hat for this mom.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


We did it in style...

For some reason my thought process was a little off that day...obviously, a skirt and flip flops. I would roll my eyes at my daughter. :)

We went to the Indiana Dunes (on Lake Michigan) and had a great time with friends.
 First time in the sand- checking it out in her fingers
 The first morning that we went to the beach the water was very calm. Later that day the wind had picked up and the waves were rolling.

Elsi loved the water, she ate rocks, and sand, and dirt. Yes, I did survive...barely. Elsi was not much of a fan of the sleeping arrangements and had a hard time going to sleep the first night, it was pure drama. When Scott and I woke up the next morning neither of us knew when she actually succumbed and went to bed. Hope we didn't wake anyone up. Our eight person tent worked snugly for the three of us and the dog, and the air mattress, and the pack and play. I could go should have seen the car. 

The weather was perfect....and then we came home to the rain, and higher gas prices...sigh.

The End

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Growing In

We all have to do it, and we are doing our fair share at this house. I am amazed that we are celebrating our Sweet Elsi’s first birthday in the next few weeks. I remember the last few weeks of my, lets not go there. :)

 Leads to this....

I am in St. Louis currently on my way to Tulsa, OK. to trade these cute cards!

That is all I do at my job, you really can’t call it a job. If you like the stamp like I do, my friend and fellow scrapper Kelly Purkey sells them here. She has some great catchy phrases. Enough of that...

Lately we have been drawn to parks, and as the area we live in is full of them we really don’t have to go far. Elsi is fearless (pray for us) when it comes to stairs, tubes, slides, etc. We took Scott a few nights ago and he just stood there as she went backwards down a tall twisty slide.

Check out the swing. Soon she will be able to see over it.

Scott and I got an opportunity to have a date night and go to a White Sox game. No, I am not adding my hat to the White Sox pool, I am still Switzerland when it comes to all things sports. When you are this close to the field though, it's hard to ignore the players running towards you and the ball coming faster.

 We were invited to our first birthday party. I almost killed over with anxiety (chalk it up to a REALLY bad experience when I was younger) for Elsi. She didn't notice though because there was a pit of plastic balls...she didn't want to get out

Another thing about growing up...she is starting to thin out, get taller and reach for the door knobs (pray harder for us.)

I feel like I need to mention my milestone as well, I don’t relish announcing this is in public, but I want to go back and read this when the next baby comes along and I feel like it will never happen again. I finally wore my pre-pregnancy pants. I did a little dance and moved on (I had to because Elsi was just about to jump off our bed.)

We are headed into several weeks of business with a summer trip to the Indiana Dunes and a Birthday to celebrate. I hope to get another post in, but may disappear for a while.
Love to all!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Moving and Shaking

We have been moving all over lately...
She is so close, but would rather have us carry her. :) Stinker.
We have been eating watermelon like crazy
 Mr. Bywater bet Austin, one of the young men in our ward, that he could beat him at the watermelon eating contest at the ward BBQ. He lost, but not before he convinced five other ward memebers to join him.
 I was in Lancaster, PA this last week doing a show. I has such a great time and a little stress getting home, but it was all worth it to see this great city and some of my friends from years gone by. 
 Lancaster, PA.
 Elsi has been talking on the phone like Mom, and taking her shoes off every chance she gets. No, that is not a cell phone it is the bug spray fan we use. Silly Girl...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's hard being an Elsi

10 Months old- asleep in the closet
The other day I showed Elsi some of the toys in her closet. She is a champ at playing while mommy steals some time to get ready in the morning. I am used to listening to her little voice talk and play, but it suddenly stopped on this particular morning. In our house that means that you are doing something you are not supposed to, like climbing the stairs or the decorative suitcases in the living room (that is the trick from last night.) I went running in the room expecting her to be jumping from her crib to the rocking chair and found this in the closet. It's hard being an Elsi.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fourth of July

Was hot and sticky, but we had a great time. Elsi is such a calm child, and for that I am grateful. Fireworks were no biggy for her, she didn't act scared, she didn't whimper, and she didn't jump.
 Elsi and her friend Grahm.
 Glowstick Love

What a cute little chub, I love this girl.

In 30 Minutes...

Our house can look like a storm has raged, and actually it does on a daily basis now that this little one is doing this
 And this....(thanks so much Mr. Bywater)
 But the 30 minute storm that we had last Sunday actually happened outside our house. That's how long it was, just 30 minutes. It did this to our city...(please pardon the photo's they are taken from inside the car as there are downed power lines everywhere)

 This is the home next to some of our friends.

 There are whole streets that were closed because of power lines laying in the road.
I looked out my kitchen window at 12:00 and saw blue sky. At 12:15 Scott pulled into the garage from church. We were dealing with hand, foot, and mouth at our house so we had done the swapping thing for church. Anyway, he came in the garage and I remember thinking "wait....where did all this rain and black sky come from." At 12:30 the sky was blue again, it really was the weirdest thing. Then we started seeing posts on Facebook from neighbors and friends about  driving home from church dodging power lines and falling trees. Our power winked out at 12:30 and I really just thought it would be back on soon, little did I know. Scott left our house at 3:15 in an obnoxious orange t-shirt and with our chain saw slung over his shoulder to go help the ward members and strangers "cut out" (literally) , and he didn't get back until almost 7:00 at night. We still had no power, and he had this look on his face. Needless to say we got in the car and proceeded to three Home Depots to try and find a generator. There is a reason I wasn't a pioneer, and it was plain as day to me in that paniced moment. Anyway, no generators in our area led to bath time like this...
Whoever says decorative candles are not functional is crazy. We finally had a friend loan us a generator and were able to get our freezer as well as both the neighbors fridges plugged in. Bed time for the little one finally happened at 10:30 in the cool basement with a fan, but was rough. Scott and I were up chaining the generator to the garage door that was stuck like this...
And barricading the door to the house with a cooler full of water and various other things. Finally we got to bed and layed there for 45 minutes and the power winked on. Awesome. Commence de- generating the house. We had several friends that were without their power for four days. Needless to say our house was busy with people coming and going, the pool was packed, and the city cancelled all fourth of July activities and declared a state of emergency.
Never trust a 30 Minute storm....

Monday, June 25, 2012


We have been so busy lately. With me traveling and Scott traveling and Elsi growing up...if I get a moment to sit down at the computer I use it to pay the bills. :)
Here is just a run through of the things we have been doing...besides paying bills
 Taliesin West in Arizona. This fed my soul more then anything, Elsi was just along for the ride.
 Manchester, New Hampshire, and while I was playing there Elsi got to play with some friends in the ward.

 Utah, boy oh boy do we love coming to play in Utah. This was a first for Daddy, he got to take the little one on the plane all by himself. We played with Aniston, Carter, Jensen, and Anja. We loved every minute of it and didn't want to come home.
 Mother's Day- What a lucky girl I am.
 Daddy's Birthday
 Mommy's Birthday
 First 5k - Since Elsi, and first 10K for Scott
 Hannibal, MO- Grammy flew in and we went to St. Louis for my show and for some sightseeing. We took a little road trip to Mark Twain's home in Hannibal on the way home.While we were away Scott ran his first Ragnar from Wisconsin to Chicago.

 Shipshewanna, IN- Oh how this place fed my inner trailer trash diva. Think antiques, auctions, flea market, Amish country, and pure joy.
 Daddy wasn't with us for Father's Day this year, so we went to the Field Museum as soon as he got home for some fun.
 First 10K- Was something else. :) I completed it, and I was glad I had this scenery on my route to help out.
 Pool time- we got smart this year and bought a pool pass, we have been there just about everyday since.
Bounce house fun- at a friends pig roast this weekend. We had such a good time, and Elsi loved the bounce house!