Friday, January 30, 2015

Showering Miss Courtney

We had a shower for Courtney with our side of the family last Saturday at the home of Ruthann. Unfortunately, Ruthann was under the weather with a nasty cough and cold, and Janet was on the road, leaving Becky to assume the hostess duties. Fortunately, she was able to call in Leslie (along with Darci who provided the delicious cupcakes) to save the day. These women are professional shower givers. I'm pretty sure they were responsible for these towels in the powder room. They don't miss a thing!
Courtney was adorable opening her many lovely gifts. Won't she make a beautiful bride?
She got some help from Ella, who enthusiastically delivered even the largest gifts for opening. Maid of honor Chellsey kept track of the gift givers.

Haleigh helped a bit as well.
It's always nice to have helpers around, and believe me when I say that before we know it, it will be these little girls opening gifts as brides-to-be. Don't blink.
Ruthann gave her a sweet framed Norman Rockwell print called 'Happy Birthday Miss Jones.' Rockwell painted it as a tribute to his own eighth grade teacher who encouraged him to draw. It will be a reminder (some days an encouragement) to Courtney of the important work she does every day.
Courtney and her mama.
Courtney with her bestie and maid of honor, Chellsey.
All the Stewart women. Jennifer, Susan, Courtney, Haleigh, Darci, Ella, Shylah.
Haleigh and Courtney all smiles.
Ella loves her soon-to-be Aunt Courtney. She also looooves Chellsey. It's just too bad that I didn't get a photo of her with them with her eyes open! Wake up, Ella!
It was a lovely day, and I am so thankful for Ruthann, Janet, Becky, Leslie, Darci, and all those in attendance for making it special for Courtney. She received many beautiful and useful gifts, as well as some valuable words of advice, but more importantly, I think she felt the love of friends and family who are happy and blessed to have her in our lives.

Speaking of happy and blessed, Adam came when things were finishing up to help load the gifts, and willingly (sorta) pose for a photo. Aren't they cute? Just 49 days and her students will have to remember to call her Mrs. Stewart (and she will have to remember to answer to it!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

March to the Hodgepodge

Wednesday is here, and that means the Hodgepodge. Thanks to Joyce who hosts the party each week. Just answer the questions on your own blog, then link up to share the fun. Be sure to hop around and visit the others!
Here are her questions and my answers:
1. American Idol is back for a 14th season. Are you watching? Have you ever watched? If you were to audition for the show (or were made to audition), what song would you sing?

I don't really watch any shows on a regular basis. (Except football, and that, sadly, is almost over for the year.) I'll watch Idol if I happen upon it, because it's happy and fun. (I avoid the shows that begin with ominous music and a dead body.)
As for the second part of the question, I am reminded of junior high and high school music contest in which I participated many, many years ago. Our choir director helped us prepare a solo or small ensemble piece which we would practice for a few months. On contest day, we loaded into buses and traveled to a university campus to perform our piece in small rooms in front of a judge. We checked the schedule when we arrived, located our assigned practice and performance rooms, and nervously waited our turn to sing or play for the judge. In eighth grade, I had prepared a vocal and a piano solo. I received first place medals for both solos that day, with perfect scores. It was the peak of my musical career. :) The song I sang was Bless This House, so if I had to audition for AI today, I think I would have to attempt a reprise (with no hope for a golden ticket).

2.  Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first." 

So when did you last have to 'eat a frog'? Or two? How'd that work out?

I can't remember having to 'eat a frog' recently, although I will admit to being a procrastinator of unpleasant tasks. Like going to the dentist. Or the doctor. :) I'm happy to leave that frog on the table.

3. If you were going on safari, what is the number one animal you'd want to see?

I have always loved the elephant march scene from The Jungle Book, so I'll choose elephants. Especially the babies. :)

4. January 21st is National Granola Bar Day. I know. Do you like granola bars? Chewy or crunchy? Your favorite flavor? How about regular granola? Let's exhaust this topic in honor of the holiday okay?

I like granola bars, chewy please, and these are my favorites. Yum! I usually have one for breakfast along with peppermint tea or vanilla coke zero. :) Regular granola is okay too, but I don't eat it often.
And although these bars aren't technically granola, I'll eat them too. Because, Drew Brees. :)

5. If only__the world could live in peace__. 

6. You can add one item to your bedroom. What will it be? Keep it family friendly please.

I have been working on our bedroom makeover for a year. I have added new pieces, and I finally ordered curtains. That being said, what I could really use is a better closet. Or maybe I just need a Jill Martin Today Show closet cleanse. In fact, I could use her help all over the house. If only...

7. What is one thing you've enjoyed about winter thus far? If it's not winter in your corner of the globe, what season is it, and what is something you've enjoyed about whatever season it happens to be?

While we have had some bitter cold, and a little snow, the winter here, so far, has been relatively mild. That I like. :)

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Yesterday was Haleigh's actual birthday, and though we had our big celebration on Saturday, we still marked her day with a few presents and dinner out.

I'm not sure this was her mother's favorite gift, but Haleigh seemed to like the Magical Mermaid who swims in her special light-up tank.
Hopefully, the mermaid will behave herself, and the water will stay safely inside the tank. :)
She posed with her mermaid and her birthday crown from her preschool celebration. (One can never have too many birthday parties!)

We finished up the evening at our favorite, El Reparo, where she got to wear the birthday sombrero while the waiters sang to her.
Happy birthday, dear Haleigh...
happy birthday to you!
We love you! #fun2b5

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Birthday Bowl

Continuing with a recap of our fun weekend, after the shower for Courtney on Saturday, I headed straight to the next event, a bowling party for two sweet grandchildren. Haleigh's birthday is actually TODAY (Happy Birthday Haleigh!), and Matthew's is the first week of February. We celebrated them both on Saturday with bowling and pizza and family, oh my!

Haleigh was so excited for the fun and the bowling and the people and the cool shoes and her sparkle sweater and her tutu and just. every. thing! It's great to be (almost) 5!
Ella got a little help with the bowling from her daddy.
Matthew sends one down the lane.
Jonathan got the only pair they had in his size (15), and they were even velcro. And fluorescent.
The little ones found it easier to use the dinosaur ramp. Ella takes aim.
Haleigh got some help from Grandpa Charley.
Jon, trying to prove his statement that, "I am an exceptional bowler." 
(Written on the inside of our graffiti-covered closet, dated 2-13-04.)
Carter, Matthew, and Riley had lots of fun together.
And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, the bowling went COSMIC.
Haleigh thought it was awesome.
Harper and Jim were wearing matching outfits. Boiler Up!
Ella and Haleigh, looking like our very own Anna and Elsa. Let it go…!
Darci made her famous cupcakes, of course, and Matthew's had light saber illuminated candles marking 11 years old. They even changed colors. Very cool!

The handsome (almost) birthday boy, who will be 11 in a couple weeks.
Make a wish!

Our sweet little 5 year old Haleigh.
Happy birthday to you!
There were balloons and presents, of course.
And we even managed to get all the kids in one photo.
In front: Arden, Emmy, Haleigh, Ella, Harper, and Shayne.
Back: Carter, Matthew, Noah, Riley.
Big Jon and Ella Kate say, "Happy Birthday to all, and to all a good night!"

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wishes and Dishes for our Miss to Mrs.

We are just two months away from the wedding of Adam and Courtney, and it will be a busy season of fun and festivities. We got started on the fun with a shower on Saturday with Courtney's side of the family. As the mother of the groom, it was nice to meet some of the special folks who will be Adam's extended family. I look forward to seeing them again on the wedding day.

One of Courtney's bridesmaids made this adorable towel cake they used for a centerpiece. Erin is a teacher, like Courtney. Those teachers have some skills in creativity! Isn't it cute?
Speaking of cute, Darci made the cookies, which were a big hit with the guests.
The cookies included the wedding hashtag #stewpartyof2.
Here is Courtney, ready to open her gifts. Two of her bridesmaids made the cute banner, and her sister Britney made the framed monogram.
It's so exciting to be a bride and to be showered by friends and family with thoughtful gifts and good wishes. Believe it or not, I can remember that time (just barely, of course), and the thrill of receiving all those clean and shiny new gifts we would use in our new home as husband and wife. Those gifts, like a marriage, will no doubt experience some chips and stains along life's way. A little patience, a sense of humor, and a lotta prayer is a good start to keeping love strong through times of wear and tear. And forgiveness. Lots of forgiveness. :)
Courtney got tickled and a little emotional over the gifts from her girls.
The CMC roomies have parted, and C&A will be joined. So sweet.
Courtney (and Adam) spent a lot of time as house guests of her Aunt Lisa and family. The Rooneys were gracious hosts, and Courtney and Adam like to joke about the 'Roon Way' of doing things that they learned there, and which prompted their selection of many of their registry items. Including these dishes. :)
I know they will enjoy using this cooler filled with fun game-night supplies.

We took time for a few photos with some of the special ladies in Courtney's life who were in attendance.  This is just part of her lovely group of bridesmaids. (The others will be with her next week, when the Stewart side of the family gathers to shower her.)

Erin (the maker of the towel cake), Chellsey (maid of honor), Courtney, Megan, Emily, and Britney (Courtney's sister).
Courtney with her mom, Wendy, and her sister, Britney.
Mom, Grandma (Maw), Courtney, and Britney.
Oh! How did that get in there? Mother-in-law to-be and Courtney.
Courtney and her mama.
Aunt Lisa, Courtney, and Aunt Brenda.
Courtney with her mom, grandma, and aunts.
Courtney's grandma with her three daughters.
Emily and Chellsey with the bride-to-be and the cute banner they made for the Miss who will soon be a Mrs.!! #stewpartyof2