Tuesday, June 29, 2010


It's time! Our annual family beach photos!!! Everyone knows my love of photography and everyone knows my love of BEACH photography! I love beach photos of any kind.... whether it is my family, your family, sailboats, sunsets, lighthouses (my FAV!) or sea turtles, I love beach photos! So, about 3 weeks ago, we headed to Carolina Beach to do a photo session on the beach with Anna Creissen of Anna Creissen Photography(she was fantastic to work with). I thought I had planned everything to a "t." We were doing photos early in the summer so it would not be too hot.... I tried to think "outside my box" and do some summer colored clothing......and the boys were not too "shabby" in the haircut department. Well, that first item I mentioned.... early in the summer... not too hot...... well, I do not think hell could have been any hotter the day we decided to do photos! It was crazy hot! Even poor little Noah was sweating! Needless to say, we were not all looking our best for Ms. Anna!

So, these two photos are a little preview! I will see the rest of our proofs tomorrow! I am excited to see them, however, disappointed about the heat and humidity that day so I am trying to "look past that aspect." But, Anna had some great ideas for photos like doing several on the boardwalk at Carolina beach with the bright colors and then letting the kids put on swimsuits and actually swim in the ocean while she took photos! They completely forgot she was photographing them, so those shots could be really cute! We'll see tomorrow.......!

Monday, June 28, 2010

miller's special day

Yesterday our family celebrated the baptism of my nephew, Miller Lestrade, with my brother and sister-in-law. What a gorgeous, sunny Sunday morning for a special day for a special little one! We had one other extra little treat to start the church service, Cameron was the bible bearer for Miller's baptism!

Miller was quite the cutie pie during his "time on stage." He so badly wanted to wiggle out of Jay's arms and play with the candle he could see burning! And he smiled extra big for us when the placed holy water on his little head!

Following the service we all enjoyed brunch at the Weathervane where my sister-in-law had everything perfectly prepared for us!

gommy's birthday dinner

"Gommy," aka my mom, celebrated her birthday last month. Unfortunately, our family was not able to be there for her birthday dinner because Doug and I were out of town enjoying an "adult" weekend and member/guest golf tourney in Hickory! So, even though it was a bit late, we decided to celebrate with Gommy in an ultra fancy restaurant..... Casa de Koehler!!! Yes, we transformed our dining room into an ultra posh restaurant complete with fancy place settings, menus (handmade by my own artist, Cameron!) and the most handsome waiters you have ever seen! The boys LOVED doing this for Gommy! So much so, that the next morning Bryson asked if he could be our waiter again for breakfast!

PS. Cameron named our "restaurant "The Dino Bite!" I thought that was the cutest and most creative thing!!!!


Last week Cameron and Bryson enjoyed Vacation Bible School at our church. What a fun week of new friends and crafts and songs! Cameron's buddy (and our neighbor!), Mason, went along for the fun too!

Friday, June 25, 2010

fab find friday!

In preparation for next weekend being a big summer holiday weekend, I am sharing a Fourth of July party idea today. Usually for the July 4th holiday weekend my family heads to the beach. Last year we happened to be in town and we hosted a neighborhood Fourth of July cookout! What fun! So, if you are in hosting a cookout or BBQ next weekend, you may be interested in these. This Etsy site has print your own party supplies like cupcake toppers, treat bag labels, invites, etc. However, I LOVE these clever little sparkler holders. Just print on your own cardstock, insert sparklers, and voila! instant adorable way to hand out sparklers to guests at your Fourth of July party!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

have you seen this?

Love this! It is like Scotch tape, but polka dotted! Featured on Imprintables blog this week. Here's the link to purchase.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a great giveaway!

Look at this fantastic Thomas Paul pillow! Can't you just imagine it on a porch swing or in a sunroom on a rattan wingback chair??

Caitlin Wilson Designs blogsite is having a contest to win one of these Thomas Paul pillows! Check out her site to see all the designs and enter for a chance to win!

Monday, June 21, 2010

boys love trucks!

Noah and my nephew, Max, had a grand time yesterday afternoon with Max's giant Tonka dump truck! I wish I had had my video with me, because to hear Max laughing while pushing Noah all over the backyard was priceless! Oh, to be a little boy with a giant toy truck......!

a little father's day fishing

Yesterday we went to my brother's for our annual Father's Day cookout. My brother and sister-in-law's house has a pond in the backyard, so my boys love to go to "Uncle Jay's!" Doug took the fishing poles yesterday and did a little fishing with the boys, my dad, and Jay before dinner.

And, as you can see, they had some success!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." ~author unknown

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." ~Freud

Happy Father's Day not only to my own Dad, but also my wonderful husband who is a truly fantastic father to three baby boys!

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad! This photo was taken the day Noah was born, a little over one year ago. Daddy ended up being in the room when Noah was born (long story!). Noah's birth in itself was a miracle, but the fact that my husband and my parents were there too, truly made it special. I feel like when I look at this photo of my dad and Noah, I can just feel the special bond between the two of them and see the amazement running through Daddy's mind of how special this little "creature" is that just arrived!

Happy Father's Dad Daddy!

And Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband! I love you both!

fab find friday!

Ok, it is Sunday and I am posting the "fab find friday item!" Needless, to say, it was a busy weekend, huh????!!!

Anyway, I wanted to share another cute site for paper goods, Perideau Designs (you all know I am a paper addict!). She has a new "line" of birthday party packs that are awful cute! This newest one features a gumball machine graphic that I think is adorable. But, if you are not in the "market" for children's birthday party packs, she has really pretty personalized notes and things that would make lovely gifts for almost anyone on your list!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Noah's party is famous one more time....!

Everyone knows how much fun I had creating Noah's very first birthday party this year. Well, I have been very flattered by the comments received on my blog and, on the blogs it has been featured on as well. Today I received an email that Noah's party hat and party favors were featured again (almost 3 months later!) on another site. Again, I was extremely flattered and wanted to share the site info because it is really cute! Enjoy! And... if anyone knows a way for me to design parties for a six figure salary every year, let me know!!!!!

what's in your butter?

As a mother of three boys, my house is always "interesting." I have learned to always check my laundry before it goes into the dryer, after opening it many times only to discover things like, leaves, rocks, frogs, beetles, acorns, mulch and on and on..... And, I have, many times, cuddled into bed with my nice snuggly pillow, only to discover rubber snakes waiting for me under the covers. But, today, I have to say my boys "got me!" Today, I hurriedly opened my butter container only to discover this......

Monday, June 14, 2010

girls weekend!

Just wanted to share a few photos from girls weekend! I had such a nice weekend with two very dear friends resting and relaxing at Wrightsville Beach, NC. We managed to pack in hours on the beach catching up and talking, some fantastic meals, and a bit of "entertainment" when Shelby decided to loose her shoe IN THE WATER during dinner at Bluewater! And, let me just add, they were her only pair of shoes for the weekend! It was comic relief at it's best!!!!!!

Let me also share, as a little "traveler's tip," if you are traveling to Wrightsville anytime this summer, you really should enjoy a meal at Sweet and Savory Cafe. Another very good friend of ours had recommended it to us (thanks Sandy!!!) and we could not have been happier! The atmosphere was very relaxed yet sophisticated, our service was impeccable and the food - outstanding! It's a little "off the beaten path," but so worth the visit!

Thanks Carolyn and Shelby for a fantastic girls weekend at the beach! You guys are the best and I cannot wait for our next travel "adventure!"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

fab find friday!

This has to be one of my favorite online finds ever! I found this site (not even sure I remember how!) that offers some of the coolest, hip, and fun DIY templates for party invites. Yes, DIY and free! All you do i s go to her site, choose your template, download, insert your info and print on your choice of cardstock! Genius! And the selection is so refreshing! So, if you are throwing any type of soiree any time soon... you could DIY gorgeous invites!

last day of school "treats"

Just to share a few ideas that maybe some of you moms out there can file away for next school year. I was really happy with our teacher's gifts this year. Thanks to a "tip" from a good friend and neighbor (thank you Amy!), I did beach buckets for each teacher filled with beach day goodies and a gift card. The buckets turned out super cute and they were a huge hit with the teachers. You can fill them with beach towels, or a beach mat, sunscreen, pedicure goodies, magazines, word search puzzles, snacks, lotion, aloe gel, and a water bottle. And, as I mentioned, I added gift cards to Cameron's teacher's bucket. I tied a cute little tag on the handle and some pretty ribbon... and "voila," it was done!

I also made little treat bags with "happy summer" tags on them, filled with chocolate cookies for all of the assistant teachers, and the "other" teachers, like PE and art and our principal. They also turned out super cute and seemed to be a big hit.

And, my favorite thing of the day today were our cupcakes for the third grade luau party (see previous post). Since it was a luau and we wanted to stay in that "theme," Cameron and I decided to do cupcakes with ocean blue frosting and shark fins sticking out and some with "sand" and little paper umbrellas sticking up. Let me say, these were a HUGE hit at the party. They disappeared in about 2 seconds, and I had 24 of them! Super easy.... tint the frosting blue and cute out shark fins from blue cardstock. And, the others were iced then covered in "sugar-in-the-raw" to look like sand and paper palm tree umbrellas (Party City), inserted. I LOVED how these turned out!

the last day of school

OK, the whole "last day of three year old preschool" thing was hard enough. But, now, the last day of third grade for Cameron!?! Where have all these years gone???? Shouldn't he only be going to kindergarten next year, not fourth grade?????

The third grade had a luau party to celebrate the end of the year. And what a great year it has been for Cameron. He had a wonderful teacher, met some good new friends, was extremely successful with his first End of Grade testing experience, had artwork featured in the Orange County Art show, was on his teacher's "Dean's List," and was a Terrific Kid again for the character trait "respect." We are very proud of you Cameron! And, although we are looking forward to fourth grade, we will definitely miss our third grade teacher, Ms. Dean!!!!!! Thanks for a great year!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

and we say goodbye to 3 year old preschool...

Bryson's last day of preschool was last week. He has completed another year at Abundant Life. Meaning..... next year he is in the 4/5 year old class... his last year there. Then it is preschool graduation and on to kindergarten! OK, let's try not to think about that right now!

Anyway, on their last day, Bryson's class with the other 3 year class had a little "end of the year celebration." The kids had a little performance and then the older kids had their graduation ceremony. Here's a little "snipet" from Bryson's last day! A photo with his good friend, Sadie and then one with his teacher Miss Julie! We will really miss Miss Julie!!!!