Stella's First Birthday!

This post is SO overdue. I started working full time again (except Wednesdays) so my time, energy and creativity has been limited. But here it is... :)

Our sweet Stella was born on August 4th, 2009. You can read about that special day HERE. We made plans to have her party on August 7th. Here’s a quick peek at the invite - Designed by yours truly.

Here’s the front..

And here's the inside..

We went with with a cupcake/purple stripe theme for the party. My mom made this ADORABLE cake! It was perfect!!

I decided to put together a little dessert table. Complete with mini marshmallows, brownie bites, peanut butter bites, frosted animal cookies, Gerber cherry puff snacks and frosted Cheerios!

I printed out some of my favorite pictures of Stella from the past year. I can't believe how much she has changed!

How cute are these?! They are little clothespin magnets. A few wonderful people and I assembled these one night... By candle light. No joke. The power went out at my house the night we were trying to put them together.

We decided to open presents first. And there were LOTS of them.

Stella was being quite comical. She would open a present and then wander around and visit for a few minutes then she would come back and sit on my lap again to open more presents. She was hamming it up!

The last present she opened was from Mommy and Daddy. We got her a brand new "big girl" car seat! It's a 3-in-1 convertible seat. Basically we won't have to ever buy another car seat!

After Stella finished opening all of her presents we moved onto cake! My mom made the cherry on top of the big cupcake out of cake so Stella could eat it!

And let me tell you.. She ate it. Smeared it. Smashed it. Squished it.

Stella made a HUGE mess, but she loved every bit of it! After she finished I stripped her down and gave her a quick bath. A wet wipe just wasn't doing the job.

Stella's party was so much fun. It was a lot of work to plan, but worth every minute!

I can't believe our sweet girl is a year old. She is such a blessing in our life. I'm so thankful God chose us to be her Mommy and Daddy.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Oh, wait.. Have you ever sat through the credits after a movie only to be treated to an extra scene? Maybe a few bloopers? Well...

Here you go.

After the party died down, I found my sister.

In the car seat box.

Playing peek-a-boo with the birthday girl.

Oh goodness..


Just wanted to touch base. I'm determined not to go so long between posts! Hopefully tomorrow I will finally get pics up from Stella's birthday party. I've been procrastinating... There are so many pictures to sort through and we've been super busy this week.

Anyways... There is a reason that this post is entitled "Hmmm."

Because I've been thinking about something.

Yep. Thinking. Scary.

So in the blogging world there is a trend to occasionally post just pictures. Not detailed blog or much explanation. Just pictures. My friend Jill does Wordless Wednesday, my sister Amy started Favorite Friday, and my cousin Sarah is doing Silent Saturday.

I feel left out!! Haha.. I was trying to think about what I might name my picture exclusive day.

Minute Monday?

Tuesday... Tuesday... Ehh I got nothing.

Thoughtful Thursday? Thoughtless Thursday? Wait.. What?

Say Whaaaaa Sunday? Uhh.. No.

Ok, ok, I'm scrambling for a good idea.


Wicked! (Jazz hands!)

In my last post I did a quick recap of what has been going on in the last few months. However, I completely forgot to mention anything about going to see Wicked!

I have been waiting for about 2 years for Wicked to tour in Houston again. As soon as the Houston show dates were released I talked Andy into letting me order tickets! Before Wicked he had never (Ever!) been to a stage production before. So we HAD to go. Plus, it was the perfect late anniversary present.

The show started at 8pm so we decided to grab dinner first. We went to Chuy's. YUM. Can't go wrong with Mexican food. It was so delicious. We finished our meal with Chuy's famous fried ice cream. Needless to say, we waddled out of the restaurant. :)

After dinner we headed downtown to the Hobby Center. The weather was lovely too. Perfect driving weather!


It rained buckets the entire way!! Andy was frozen with fear! Hehe.. He cracks me up!

Because my honey is an amazing driver, we made it safe and sound to the theater. We were super early, but Andy had never been to the Hobby Center before so it was nice to just take our time and look around.

Once they opened the doors we found our seats and got comfy... And that's when the cheesy childish smile became plastered on my face. The stage looked amazing. The orchestra was warming up. People of all ages were finding their seats We were all waiting for the lights to go down and the music to start. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkk!!!!!

Oh. My. Goodness. EVERYONE needs to see this show. AMAZING. I seriously could not get that smile off my face! We are totally going again. Did I mention that Andy loved it too? Yesss!

After the show we headed straight home. Well, tried to head straight home. The on-ramp for I45 N was closed due to high water. (Remember, raining buckets?) So we detoured a bit - through more high water... There was no avoiding it. So I did what any good passenger would do.. Took pictures!

We finally made it back home after picking up Stella from my mom's. Then we totally crashed. Too much excitement for this old couple.. :)


Today my sweet girl is a YEAR old! For the past few weeks I have been trying to get all of the plans finalized for her party. I can't believe it's only a few days away! Thank goodness for my mom, the party planning pro! I'll try to post pics from her party sometime in the next week.

So I was trying to get a few pictures together for something I'm putting together for the big bash when I realized I haven't backed up pictures from my camera since May-ish. Which means I haven't blogged since then either! Needless to say, I have some serious catching up to do.. I'm rewinding a bit and posting a few highlights from the past 3 months. Don't worry, this post shouldn't be too long!

Let's start with May.

Every Mother's Day our church has a Baby Dedication service (not a christening). We had a little get together afterwards to celebrate both occasions!

How adorable is this headband that my mom made for Stella??

And of course it wouldn't be a proper get together without some kind of food.

I made (with some help from my mom and sisters) the cutest marshmallow cupcakes! They were delish! Lemon pound cupcakes with cream cheese icing then topped with sugar dipped marshmallows!

Stella got to swim in her baby pool for the first time. She loved it! At first I thought baby bathing suits were hard to get on.. Until it was time to take it off. Sheesh!

On Memorial Day we had a little cookout/birthday celebration for my mom. We ended the evening by going swimming! This was Stella's first time in a big pool. She wasn't a fan. She preferred sitting on the edge of the pool with her Bebe (my mom) and letting her feet soak in the water. Diva.

Ok.. We made it through May! Now on to June.

We started finger foods with Stella this month. Mostly little soft veggies and fruits. This picture is before she dumped her plate everywhere.

Wow.. So apparently nothing really exciting happened in June. Oh! Andy and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary! Love you, honey!

Last stop.. July!

This year was Stella's first 4th of July! She started taking her first steps around this time too! Only 11 months. What an over achiever! Hehe..

It was stinkin' hot, so Stella ran around in her patriotic bathing suit all day! We spent the afternoon at my Mawmaw's house. Once it got dark we had a little fun with some firecrackers! Thanks to Red Rocket Fireworks, of course!

Did I mention it's been hot?? Man.. What better way to cool off than a little ice cream!

Towards the end of the month we went to the Houston Museum of natural science to take a peek at 'Lois' the Corpse Flower! If you don't know anything about this plant, I suggest you Google it. Fascinating!

Since Stella has been doing great with finger foods, I decided to let her try a PB&J..

I think she liked it. This has to be one of my favorite pictures.. Look at those little teeth!

Back around March my best friend Joanna got us tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert! The show sold out in 4 minutes... and WE had two tickets! Yes, we designed custom shirts for the event. :)

Everything about the concert was insane!! Lady Gaga is an amazing artist and performer! Love her. This is a picture of her encore.. AMAZING!

I figured I would end this post with an amusing picture of Stella, Peyton, and Madison. Grandaddy accidentally left the fridge open, so they decided to investigate :)

So those were the highlights of the past few months.. Thanks for hanging in there!

Top Secret

Let me start off by saying this, I can not cook.

I mean, I can make a mean mac & cheese or whip up a simple casserole, but when it comes to really cooking I'm not too hot. My sister, Amy, can cook some amazing stuff, but apparently I didn't get that gene. Ha!

Here's the good news, friends.. I can bake! So tonight I decided to whip up a batch of my mom's Top Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies.

But why keep a good thing top secret? Maybe I will share the recipe...

Just kidding, Mom!

I would seriously NEVER do that. When I say top secret, I mean TOP SECRET! Let's just say when my mom handed me the recipe she had written "SHHHHHH" on the top in bright pink highlighter. Cracked me up!

My mom knows I'm terrible at keeping secrets. When I was younger my family planned a surprise party for my aunt. Everyone knew of the plans except for me. I had a bad habit of spilling the beans. So needless to say, when everyone yelled "SURPRISE" I was just as shocked as my aunt! I think I've gotten better over the years. My mom doesn't have to worry about me sharing this recipe. :)

The cookies turned out so yummy. They were perfectly baked - crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside. My house still smells delicious!

Years from now I will be able to pass this recipe down to my children. Hopefully they will be good at keeping secrets!

Under The Big Top!

Well, there wasn't exactly a big top... But we did go to the Circus!

One of the perks of working for a newspaper is the opportunity to exchange advertising for free tickets to different events. We have been able to go to so many different shows over the past 2 years; Monster Jam, Harlem Globetrotters, and now the Circus!

I was able to get a few extra tickets so my sisters Jen and Amy, Amy's husband Eric, and their twin girls Peyton & Madison were able to go too! We had such a blast!

Let me tell you.. It really was "The Greatest Show On Earth!"

They didn't allow photography during the show, but luckily I had snapped a few pictures before-hand. We could NOT get Stella to smile. She has a 'scared monkey face' in every shot! I'm posting them anyways.. They crack me up.

Stella and Mommy

Stella and Daddy

We had awesome seats. We stayed there for the first half of the show, but decided to move to an empty section during the second half so my little nieces could run off some energy. It was nice to be able to spread out a little. The seats were so close together. I think I elbowed Andy a thousand times during the first half.

The show was amazing. It was pure entertainment from start to finish. However, I was a nervous wreck watching all of the tricks and stunts! I guess I take after my mom. She always said she was NOT a good 'Park Mom' and I'm starting to understand what she meant by that!

We discovered that our child can officially sleep through anything. This is how she spent the second half of the show...

After the circus was over we decided to grab some dinner at Cracker Barrel. YUM. We were starved! The $9 bag of cotton candy didn't really stick to your ribs..

Yes, I said $9 bag of cotton candy. Crazy.

When we were finished Andy toted Stella through the parking lot on his shoulders. It was so sweet. She just giggled the whole time.

The drive home was pretty comical. There were a few missed exits, a couple wrong turns, but we eventually made it home. (Andy is going to hate me for sharing that..)

As soon as we got home Andy changed Stella into her PJ's and she passed out. Poor girl was exhausted!

I'm looking forward to the day that Stella will be old enough to really enjoy the circus. So needless to say, there will be many more trips like these in our future. :)

I am a blogger.


I know.

About a month before Stella was born I decided I needed a blog. I had good intentions of blogging weekly about Stella's little milestones or about interesting things going on in our lives, but after she was born I barely had time to brush my teeth. Babies are time consuming.

Can I hear an AMEN?

But really, now that she is older I want to try blogging again. I don't know what I will write about, but I WILL write. Plus, I think it will give me a chance to unwind and just meditate on my day or week. Just tonight I have written 2 blogs. This one and the one below about Stella's birth story. I know, I know.. The date clearly says August 6th, 2009, but I have to be honest..

I back-dated.

Oh well... So I think I'm blogged out for tonight, but I'll leave you with an ADORABLE picture of my girl. I just can't believe she is almost 9 months!

Until next time.. Yes, there WILL be a next time. I think.