Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Getting Crafty

I usually love when a new challenge comes in. *Disclaimer: I say usually, because sometimes people are just ridiculous.* Something new and fun to bake and create. I absolutely adore sweet Lola, and I was so excited when her mom asked me to make her rainbow-themed birthday cupcakes. 
It was a lot of work, a lot of wasted frosting, and a whole lot of dirty bowls, but I think they turned out just right. More importantly, so did Lola.
In a couple of weeks, some sweet friends of ours are having their annual Valentine's brunch. Megan has always been incredibly thoughtful and is one of the few spouses of James' friends that I actually want to spend time with. I enjoy her company so much, and these kind little touches show just how awesome she is. Cullen always shuffles through the mail on the drive home, and he was pretty peeved when he opened the envelope to find a pink card. He spotted his name and Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye on the envelope. How could it possibly be for anyone else? 
As if I don't have enough on my plate these days, I decided that I wanted to find a way around using store bought Valentine's and candy for Cullen. I have plenty of fantastic crafting things, so I put them to good use and made these little cards. They're going to go in a cute little bag filled with Teddy Grahams all tied up with raffia. I'm sure I'll get more joy out of it than anyone else, but I'm happy with the project so far. 
Tomorrow night, James' company is taking part in an activity called Taste of the Town. It's a really neat opportunity to familiarize yourself with local businesses, and I was really honored that James' boss offered me the opportunity to have some baked goods on the table. Unfortunately, I just don't have the energy to stay up late making candies, work a full day and then spend 6 hours standing and talking to folks. I just can't do it all. 

Last night, James and I stayed up making over 800 little candies. Tonight I will put them in individual bags with my business cards. Tomorrow night, the bags will go on the table, and we'll hope that people have a snack and give me a call. Here's hoping that it brings me some new business. I can't wait! 
Anybody out there need some candies? They're fantastic party snacks for Super Bowl!

xoxo ashley

Friday, January 25, 2013

Make You Feel Good

James spent the early part of this week in New Orleans for work. Because his departing and arriving flights corresponded well with my schedule, I offered to drop him off and pick him up. It's always nice to have extra time as a family, and I knew Cullen would love seeing the airplanes so close at hand. 

The downside I didn't anticipate was that Cullen was expecting to actually put James on the plane. Dropping him off at the front door of the airport was a bit disappointing. Lucky for me, Cullen has a pretty quick rebound rate, and we were back to Hakuna Matata in no time. 

James was due to arrive back at home on Wednesday evening, so we hurried home from work/school, got dinner and bath time out of the way, and headed back up to the airport with Cullen dressed in pajamas and slippers. We pulled up just as James' flight was landing, so we decided to park and go in to wait for him. 

The last time Cullen was in an airport was almost three years ago, so everything was really new and exciting to him. Baggage claim, moving walkways, and big televisions everywhere! It was about a 15 minute wait before we saw James at the top of the escalator, but I can assure you that the wait did not dampen Cullen's excitement in the least. (I cannot say the same about my refusal to pay for a massaging chair while we waited.) Cullen yelled, "Daddy! Look, it's my daddy! That's my daddy up there!" 

One of James' co-workers said she almost cried to see Cullen so excited to see his daddy. It really warms my heart to know how crazy my boys are about each other. I think the best comment of all was as we headed home in the car with another one of James' co-workers. Ben told James that it must feel pretty awesome when Cullen gets so excited. After a short pause, he added, "I bet it makes you both feel good."

And that comment almost brought me to tears. Because it does make us both feel good. Because it thrills me that I married a man who is incredibly supportive, kind and loving to me. And I love what an amazing father he is to our son. I'm one very lucky girl. And that is something else that makes me feel good.

xoxo ashley

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dallas In A Day

I was so lucky to have an extra day off this weekend. Again. I'm a pretty big fan of the three day weekend, and this one was no exception. Of course, we filled it with two baby showers, a trip to Dallas, a precious birthday cake for a neighbor, and lunch with friends. I needed Monday off to take a nap. And I did.

Our Saturday was by far the busiest, but it was so nice to spend time with my two best boys. We had plans to drive into Dallas to meet friends for lunch and a baby shower, so we started off with Cullen's breakfast of champions. He loves chocolate donuts, and we really try to make road trip days all about him. It makes the trip run more smoothly for all of us!
Our first stop into Dallas was at Avila's for lunch with some of the Coe family. Cullen has been in love with Madison since the King wedding last year. He played it shy for a few minutes, and then he was ready to watch Blue's Clues and eat lunch with her. The last three consecutive mornings, Cullen has asked if we can go back to Dallas to see Maddie. It was so nice to spend some time with Meredith and Jason, and I am really hoping it won't be another year before we get to see them again! 
After lunch, we headed over to Royce and Shelley's baby shower. Shelley is absolutely glowing, and I know she's going to be a great mama. Cullen had the best time running around and acting like a little boy. It was no surprise that he was fast asleep a few minutes after we got into the car. 
On Sunday, I made it to another baby shower celebrating another precious couple. I can't wait to meet Brandon and Amy's little boy. And it was so fun to catch up with a few people I haven't seen in a while at the shower. It was a huge surprise to walk in and see my mom there!

For this week, James is out of town for work, so Cullen and I are enjoying some quiet time. Last night, I was in bed by 10, and I'm hoping to do the same tonight. The little things really have the ability to make my day!

xoxo ashley

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wedding Cake and Naps

This past weekend, I had the honor of being the wedding cake lady for a dear friend and former co-worker of mine. Stacy and Chad got engaged a little over a year ago, and Stacy asked me to do wedding cupcakes shortly after that. Two hundred cupcakes and a small wedding cake later, Stacy and I were both pretty pleased, and I was in huge need of a nap.
"wedding cake" cupcakes 
the whole spread

I think I sufficiently wore myself out, because I managed to sleep until 10 the next morning. I woke up to my precious boys delivering breakfast in bed. I am one lucky mommy!

xoxo ashley

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Big Boys & Bears

This past week has been full of fun and activity for our little family. We've been so busy with so many projects around the house that all revolve around getting Cullen 100% into his big boy room. He's been sleeping in there for two months now, but it has been full of our junk and completely lacking in his. As much as Cullen is enjoying his two-bedroom status, I don't want him to get too comfortable. Someday, we'd like to put another baby in that nursery!

Last weekend, we cleared all of our mess out of the "new" room and moved some of Cullen's things in. During my lunches this week, I've done some shopping to get Cullen's new bedding and dresser. Thanks to Ikea and their fun color schemes, Cullen will have a blueberry dresser that will complement his new Pottery Barn bedding set. Next up will be cleaning out the nursery to differentiate between big boy toys and baby things. Our trash guy has got to be hating me right now, as I'm throwing out things left and right, but things are really starting to come together. I'm hoping to have everything done with the updates in the next couple of weeks. Then I'll be off to my next project!

Cullen is becoming more and more involved with his school work, and it is such an easy conversation now when I ask him what they talked about at school that day. A couple of days ago, Cullen came home with Corduroy.  
Cullen's description went a little something like this: "Hi Mommy! This is Corduroy. He lost his button. He has an eye and an eye and a nose and a mouth and a button but not this button because he lost it." I thought it was beyond adorable, so I promptly stuck it with the mail to carry it into the house and creased him right down the middle. Mom fail.

Cullen continues to be a total rock star with the potty training, but if you tell Cullen he's a rock star, he will correct you. He's a Cullen. As always, this season is my favorite with Cullen so far. There are so many fun baby things that I miss, but he's the best little guy a mom could ask for!

xoxo ashley

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bath Time Rules

We have two rules in our house during bath time.

1) No splashing.

2) No pooping.

I think the best part is when you ask Cullen what the rules are, he knows them. It's unfortunate that we have to declare either one of them, but it is what it is.

xoxo ashley

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year, New Stuff

The Christmas holidays came and went with reckless abandon. I know they happened. I know I took pictures. I just wish I had taken more time to enjoy them. The new year swept in quickly, and we have so much to look forward to in 2013. I'm really excited to see the things God places in our path.

With the new year came a four day weekend that I decided to dedicate to potty training. For a while now, I have been getting a hard time from some folks who thought Cullen should have long since been potty trained. I wanted to wait until he was ready. Once I thought he was ready, other people gave me a hard time and told me I was pushing things. If I have learned one thing in parenting, it is that you can't make everyone happy. Right or wrong, I'm not too concerned with how others feel about my parenting. I know my son is healthy and happy, and I'm pleased with that.

Anyhow, two hours into our potty training boot camp, I got a call from a frantic mom in need of cakes for her baby's first birthday. The next day. The cakes were far from perfect, but they were exactly what she needed.
This was my first (and hopefully last) topsy turvy cake. The pictures don't do it justice, but it went along with a winter wonderland theme. 
After cake delivery, it was back to the potty training. Thankfully, James was willing to manage the majority of the potty training while I was baking, decorating and delivering. I am excited to say that Cullen is pretty much entirely potty trained. He went through two solid days and nights without an accident. I just hope school can keep up with the new and improved little guy.

For New Year's Eve, we went over to James' boss' house. It was probably ridiculous to wander out in the midst of potty training, but Cullen had the best time playing with Parker, and he got to experience sparklers for the first time.  
We had a lot of fun ringing in the new year, and, with the holidays behind us, I can get started on planning out this year's projects. First up? Cullen's big boy bedroom!

xoxo ashley