Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Princess's Princess and Knight 4th Birthday Party

The party was a huge success! Birthday girl was so happy and is still smiling and dancing around the house. I need to say a HUGE thank you to my friends Libby and Jeremy for helping out. It's amazing to have such sweet friends that they give up their weekend to make your little girl's birthday party a success. I also owe a big thank you to a new friend Raquel for amazing photo's! She was so sweet and took lots of pictures. I am not a good photographer to begin with but I am always too busy running around at birthday parties to remember to snap memories. 

I will be blogging more about how we put the party together and offering tips for how to plan a princess and knight's party. For now, here are some of the sweet shots from the party. 












Friday, May 27, 2011

Why do we go crazy over birthday celebrations?

So, I am in the middle of planning my almost 4 year old's Princess and Knights party for tomorrow and I began to wonder....why do I go nuts-o planning birthday parties?

The simple answer is this: My kids are already growing at a super fast pace and they will not want whimsical, fancy birthday parties for very much longer. When my kids are older and look back at their birthday pictures I know they will see love. They will see parents making beautiful memories for them and they will know that we cared to make their day truly special.

This is not to say a simple party can't accomplish the same thing. However,  for me, I truly ENJOY planning parties. It is so fun for me to make cupcakes and tissue pom poms. It's a blast to make colorful macaroons and decorate the room in pink and blue! I wish it could be my full time job! I don't want this phase to go by unappreciated by me!

I can't wait to show you all the cool things we've planned for the party. I hope to post sometime early next week with the birthday pictures and details. Stay tuned!

Oh, and that announcement, it's coming next week too! I'm so excited!
<3Sarah

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Superman Was Adopted Party

Ok, so a while ago I ran across an adorable onsie that said "Superman was adopted" and I loved it. I got to thinking this week about a boy gotcha party theme and that onsie ran across my mind again. Then I saw a super-hero party on Facebook this morning and it hit me- Super Hero Gotcha party...why not? This would be great for older toddlers and children because it is fun and boy without being too "done". It's also a cool way to tie in adoption to the theme. You could use this idea for a baby too!




You can get more design ideas using their designs here:

Here is a DIY Super Hero Party for more ideas:







Adorable Super Hero favors:

Kryptonite Favors with downloadable template:


Super Hero Printables:

Superhero party - Personalized DIY printable cupcake wrapper and topper set

Vintage SUPER HEROS Birthday Party - Printable Hero Sandwich Labels

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chinese/Asian Themed Birthday Party or Shower

Check out this adorable Asian themed party!
There are even instructions for how to make this lovely invite:



You could easily use these ideas and translate them into a different color theme or switch it up a bit so that you could have a boy's party or shower. I love the dipped fortune cookies and the fruit kabobs!

I also found this Asian themed baby shower with Sushi diaper cakes!! Too Cute!




Hungry for Sushi CAKE? Check out the tutorial!

Completed Project: Ikura Sushi Birthday Cake Picture #1

Use this simple idea for center pieces:

Monday, May 9, 2011

The pain of infertility.

I am debatably the most blessed woman in the world.

I have a loving,  devoted husband who puts up with me and my insecurities. I have two adoring, beautiful, wonderful, healthy and active miracle children. I have had a lifetime of love and blessings. I am so grateful for the gift of adoption and I cannot imagine my life without adoption! It has changed me, opened my eyes and shown me the kind of love and relationship that only God can create.

There was a time in my life when I could not imagine a life without giving birth. A time when I felt that my whole life depended on that one significant thing. I was mourning, in pain and depressed by my situation. I went through a lot. I went through loss, grief and saying goodbye to my pregnancy before it was even real.

To this day I find myself wondering what it would be like to carry a baby in my own body. I struggle to feel that I am fully "normal" because so many perceive adoption as foreign and their painful words cut me to the core. But I imagine life is like this for many people in different circumstances. I know that I am seeing my life long dream come true- to be a mom. It's entirely different than I imagined in my head when I was younger. I wouldn't change it though. Not for anything!

That doesn't mean I don't wish that I could know what it's like. It doesn't mean I don't wish that I didn't feel the need to explain my family all of the time. It doesn't mean that when someone (particularly those who are close to me) asks me about my children's "real mom" I don't cringe.

I think it means that I have grieved a loss and I am embracing God's plan for my life.

I know many people that tell me I shouldn't give up on the "dream of childbirth". I honestly haven't "given up a dream". I've embraced a different one. I look forward to my future and hope that it involves many more opportunities to adopt, help someone adopt and minister to adoptive families.

If you find yourself still in the process of grieving, I want to encourage you to talk to someone who has adopted. Talk to an adult that was adopted. Listen to the miracle stories and I pray that your hope for your dream of a child is fulfilled. No one should have to face a hopeless future, and let me assure you, infertility is not a hopeless future. It is hard, painful, lonely (I certainly know this) and sometimes it is hopeless for a while. I pray you find your hope. This is what my hope looks like....






I am truly blessed beyond measure. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cupcake Stands- DIY Ideas

I am still working on my Phia's Princess party and started looking into displays on the web. I found some stunning and easy DIY tutorials so I thought I should share them on the blog! I think we will be doing a variation of the wrapped boxes. I will be posting plenty of pictures of the party with detailed outline of my choices so stay tuned! -Sarah


Wrapped boxes cupcake stand
Photobucket
Bird's Party paper cupcake stand


Tutu Cupcake Stand by allthingscupcake
big-cake662
Pretty tiered box cupcake stand by chattybrides


DIY Cupcake Stand
yespleaseblog square cupcake stand

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Mother's Legacy


This is a lovely picture of my Grandmother holding my mother as a baby. Every Mother's Day I think of the wonderful legacy that the women in my life have left.

 My Grandmother passed away when I was 11 on Mother's Day. I will never forget that day. Even though I was young...I understood the pain of losing someone so beloved. More so, losing someone painfully- to cancer. It brings tears to my eyes to this day to think of what a loss this world had that day. 

My grandmother was beautiful, inside and out. She was strong, incredibly kind and always had a sense of humor. She was the type of woman that I believed could do anything! She was very intelligent,  crafty, a great baker, gardener, teacher and wonderful.... wonderful Grandmother.

 I know that she was the best kind of mother to my mom and her sister and brothers too. I know they miss her sweet smiles and warm hugs. I know they miss her laugh and words of wisdom. I know they miss her stories (she was the best story teller I've known). I know, they miss her.

The best thing about remembering my Grandmother is knowing that being a good mom and Grandmother was  an important part of her legacy and she accomplished that in her life. She left an impression on so many lives and has inspired so many. 

If she were alive today I know that she would say that she is incredibly proud of her children. They have all accomplished great things and all of them have BEAUTIFUL families.

Let's look at my family...My mom Sherry...




The whole family including husbands, wives, grandkids and cousins minus my family

Family reunion with all of the extended family including Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and Cousins,  minus my family.


There are SO MANY of us that it is hard to all be together in one place at one time! And it just keeps on growing! My mom had 10 children.

1)Joshua

Joshua, Ella, Bennett, Livi and his wife Leah
2)Kristin
Kristin, Julie, Kayla, Mariah, her husband Anthony, lil' Anthony, Emily and Olivia

3)Jonathan:
{Photo credit: Rachel Grace Photography} Jonathan and his lovely wife Esther


4)My self, Sarah:

My husband Tony, Michael, Sophia and me

5)Rebekah:
{Photo Credit: Rachel Grace Photography} Rebekah's husband Donald, Jack, Riley and Rebekah

6)Rachel:


7) Benjamin


8)Alyssa
{photo credit: Rachel Grace Photography}

and 9 & 10) Noah and Josiah:
Josiah and Noah

All of us have been touched by my Grandmother's legacy. 

If I could speak to her today I would tell her that my life is not the same without her presence. I would tell her just how beautiful and lovely she is and how much I love, respect and admire her. 

I'd also thank her for giving my own mom and me the wonderful example of mothering that she gave. Every aspect of my desire to be a good mom stems from her. She made me feel like the most special child in the world when I felt lost in the crowd of 10 kids. She made me feel like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. 

I would also tell her that she gave my mom so many of her wonderful attributes. My mom is loving, incredibly compassionate and kind. She sees injustice in the world and takes action. She's witty, talented, smart and very tender. She loves her kids and her grandkids with the same sort of warmth and devotion. She sees the good in people and the world around her. 

As I grow older and look at my mom through "mom" eyes I see that she has given 10 kids an incredible gift. She's shown us that life is "not about me". It's about more than just the you and I. For that and many many other gifts that my mom has given....
Thank you. 

Thank you for the wonderful mom that you are and continue to be. Thank you for your love and example. Thank you for being an amazing Grandmother to my kids. For them, you are leaving the best legacy. To think, they have you by the grace of God as their Grandmother. What a wonder that is!

To all of the Mothers and Grandmothers out there that love without abandon and touch lives, Happy Mother's Day! 


{In loving memory of Minnie, the best Grandmother a girl could ever dream of having. I miss you.}

Christen's First Mother's Day- A Guest Blogger Post





My First Mother's Day May 2011

I cannot find the words to describe what it is like to be a mother on this mother's day. I am mommy to a beautiful, precious, vivacious girl who is the most wonderful thing to behold. What makes this holiday so amazing is my daughter's history.

My daughter called someone else mom last year during this holiday.

Last year during this holiday, my heart was ripped to pieces. I wanted so badly to be this adorable girl's mom, and to celebrate this day with her, but my daughter was – at best – confused by what was happening in her life. She didn't really understand why – at four years old, she began meeting these new people, and people were saying I was her “mom” too..... I literally remember sobbing (that horrible ugly cry when you can't breathe) telling a friend how hard that Mother's Day was during that season of short visits with her, and waiting, unknown, and limbo.

She gave me a gift she made at school last year, and then decided she wanted to give it to her foster mother instead. My husband would have stopped her to save me from hurt, but I didn't say a word - I couldn't do that to my sweet confused little girl. On a visit together she asked me if I could buy her mom some flowers for mothers day; and we did. It was a struggle with all these people who controlled her life then, (agencies, foster family, etc.) to even get to see her on Mother's Day last year, and although it was wonderful to see her and play at the park, it really didn't mean anything to her. It was a hard, bittersweet day.

This year is – well, amazing. They have made a big deal at her preschool of explaining what Mothers Day means, and made gifts for mom. She has made me heartfelt papers she colored on and had her teacher write “I love you mommy” on it. She said she is making me something every day this week for mothers day at school – I can't wait to see it all!



She keeps covering her mouth because she wants so badly to tell me all the secrets she and Daddy have cooked up for me. And somehow, she accidentally told me she has made me a Crown to wear on Mother's Day. She asked me three times if I liked her Mother's Day drawing. Three times, with an embarrassed smile! Then she buried her head on me and said quietly “Happy Mother's Day Mommy”.


The real truth is that sometimes during the past year I have wondered if she thinks of someone else when people ask who her mom is. Sometimes I have wondered who she really associates with that special title.

But not anymore. Not after this. Her eyes hold nothing back when she tells me she loves me. Her face shines with excitement when she tells me Mother's Day will be so much fun.




Her school is doing a Mother's Day picnic on Friday. And when I sit with her on a blanket eating heart shaped sandwiches I will never forget what it is like to be – not just a mom, - but my sweet daughter's mom.

Mom to a girl who has had her own heart ripped to pieces by abandonment and trauma. Mom to a girl who somehow has opened her heart to me, loves me, and calls me “Mommy”. How is it possible that God has blessed me this big?


What indescribable joy. I will never forget this Mother's Day. -Christen

<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

Thank you so much Christen for sharing your story and your heart! Your daughter is a beautiful  and wonderful gift! You are a wonderful mom and you inspire me with your tenderness, love and the nurture that you show to your daughter and those around you! I just love how God knits together families through adoption! There isn't anything more marvelous than a family pieced together by God.
-Sarah

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