Monday, November 22, 2010

So Thankful

I'm updating early this week, because I'm relatively certain that things will be too chaotic for an update by Wednesday. I am so thankful for all our blessings, and I'm hoping a little reminder here and there will keep things in perspective by the end of this week. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year, so it will be a busy day. Luckily, James' parents are providing the ham, and my parents are providing the turkey. I'm only responsible for sides and desserts. They're so much more fun anyway!

I've planned out this week with all the details filled in. As if things weren't busy enough, James and I are meeting with a lawyer today to get our will written in stone. I drafted one up shortly after Cullen was born, but I think I'll feel safer knowing that we have something official. We also have to squeeze it in now, because I'm only on my company's legal plan for a few more weeks. I'm getting my money out of that one.

Last week was pretty incredible with the amount of illness that passed through our home. I spent the majority of the weekend scrubbing to overcome the germs. The picture below is of Cullen's long hair and the first smile of evidence that he was starting to feel better.

Only moments later, he was in impeccable condition when he elected to use the drawers in the entertainment center as a stepping stool. I now know why there is one little hand print at the top of the screen. He'll even climb in there when the tv is off. I think it's just for shock value.
Friday night, we all went in to get my favorite boys some hair cuts. I haven't gotten my hair cut since July, but my boys were the ones who managed to get in. James' hair came out looking fantastic, while Cullen only came out with a less Beiber-looking 'do. One side was significantly less bald than the other, so I tried to amend it a bit with some safety scissors last night. It doesn't necessarily look worse than it did, but I don't know if I would call it an improvement either. All I can say is that Cullen won't be seeing me or Mallory for a trim ever again. 
Cullen has darn near refused to smile for a picture since his hair incident. I think he knows how it looks. Luckily for me, he poses for cute pictures without even knowing it. Below, Cullen and Scout are spying on the neighbors. With Cullen banging on the window with a plastic screwdriver and Scout barking, they aren't exactly discreet.  
And now it's back to work for me. I have a couple of incredibly busy days in the office, followed by a few incredibly busy days at home. I can't wait to see family and spend time with them, and I'm really looking forward to my Sunday afternoon nap!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Human Petri Dish

The Shulers are sick. And not like perverse crazy (although sometimes it fits). We are all ill with fun fall sicknesses. Yuck. James was sick last week and still has a lingering cough, Cullen is harboring ear infections with other fun activities, and I think I died earlier this week, but I've forgotten to stop doing things. Alas, Cullen and I are having some super fun Mommy & Me days while James goes out and mingles with the world. Lucky guy.

Tomorrow night is the annual Gobblerfest at a friends house, so tonight I will be utilizing my germs to test out a new recipe. Pumpkin creme pies. Let's hope those that try my goods have built up their immune system. More importantly, let's hope I can build up mine before everyone arrives for Thanksgiving next week. Both sets of parents, a grandparent, and our little family for Thanksgiving dinner. Let's just hope I can find a place for us all to sit since I don't have a dining room table!

xoxo Ashley

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When A Baby Becomes A Toddler

 Cullen's first birthday was on Saturday. He is now a toddling toddler. He goes everywhere quickly, with no regard for safety or my heart rate. I love that he's walking already, and it makes me so incredibly proud. I just wish he didn't have to grow up! Sometimes I think about Cullen growing up and my heart breaks a little bit. There is so much ahead of him, and I won't be able to protect him from everything. Ah!

All that rambling to say that Cullen's birthday and party were on Saturday. We had so many great friends and family members share the day with us, and I was happy with the big picture. I spent most of Sunday recovering, and now we're just enjoying our precious little toddler.

The gift/favor table. Just moments before the party, we assembled the wagon, car, basketball goal, and workbench. Luckily, we got everything done just in time!
I wanted so much to be responsible for the food, so I made fun little cupcakes in ice cream cones for all the kids, a beautiful cheese tray, and some precious gingerbread bears. Next year, I will be ordering take out.
 Although I didn't make Cullen's birthday cake, I did design it, so that's good, right? The little bear on top was almond cake. He was so yummy!
 We have a full 15 minutes of video while Cullen stared everyone in the room down. He wouldn't touch the cake for the longest time. I gave him a spoon, and all bets were off. It got so much worse after this.
 Cullen loved the little car we got him. We took him for a long walk on Sunday morning, and he really seemed to enjoy honking the horn and propping his feet up on the dash.
Cullen's first birthday was overwhelming on so many levels. I'm disappointed that the moment has passed us, but I'm so glad to be done with the stress. This weekend, Tera comes to visit so I can have a shopping buddy at the Nutcracker Market. We can't wait!

xoxo Ashley 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chaos Is Good, Right?

Cullen's birthday and his party are only three days away. I cannot believe my baby will be one year old in just a few days! I am in complete and total denial. As the party draws near, we are doing everything we can to be prepared. I still have a laundry list of things to do, but it is slowly getting smaller. I'll be taking Thursday and Friday off this week to make sure Saturday is an easy day.

As is to be expected, we've had a couple of guests here and there let us know that they won't be able to make it. Sadly, James' parents are a part of that group. James' mom was assigned a case at work that absolutely requires her to attend on Friday. Since they wouldn't be able to arrive until Saturday morning, we decided Thanksgiving would be a better visit. Now we have more family time to look forward to later this month! The crummy part is that I was counting on the extra help with Cullen on Friday, and I just can't bear to send him to school when I could have him at home. So I'm taking an extra day off work. Bummer. Two days at home with my favorite little guy. :) The good news is that we can have a fabulous Thanksgiving at home with just a few people. I love quiet family time!

Last night, James and I stayed up until midnight making little bear-shaped gingerbread cookies as part of the party favors. Tonight's project is assembling the favors and cupcake toppers and completing Cullen's scrapbook. Wish me luck! Hopefully, I'll have party pictures to post by this time next week!

Cullen's first Halloween was a fabulous success. He looked great, he was completely happy with his costume, and we had so much fun! I can't wait to do it again next year!
xoxo Ashley