Princess {Kate} and The Frog

It finally stopped raining here in Nor Cal, so I was able to do Kate's 3 year photo shoot this weekend!
How cute is her dress?
I bought it from Ashley the designer/owner of Lil Blue Boo.
She makes all the dresses from up-cycled t-shirts & does her own screen printing! So talented!
This dress is inspired by Disney's Princess & The Frog movie.
Even though Kate hasn't seen the movie, she loves frogs.
More than frogs, she LOVES the color purple, so I knew this dress was perfect for her, since none of her clothes are purple (I always end up buying her pink clothes)
*sidenote - The frog is also perfect because she isn't really into the Princess thing. I showed her Cinderella for the first time 2 weeks ago (the only princess movie she has seen. After the movie she told me her favorite characters were the cat, dog & mice. Kevin was so proud since he is anti-princess*
In order to convince Kate to let me take her picture, I told her we were going to search for frogs & she needed to wear her new purple frog dress!
Of course, I have learned that I can't do a photo shoot with her on my own, so I begged my older sister to come with me to help make Kate smile!
Thanks, Elyse!
Kate was surprisingly cooperative!
I think she was just SO happy to be outside!
It has been so rainy the past 2 weeks & this week she came down with a nasty cough (and she has since given me her cold) so we have been cooped up in our house all week.
*This may or may not have been the only time we weren't wearing pj's this weekend*
Kate loved running up the hills, it was quite the workout for me trying to keep up with her!
One of the good things about all the rain is that all the hills around our house have turned GREEN!
It makes a great backdrop for pictures and it is a reminder that Spring is right around the corner!
In order to have her sit for some pictures, I bribbed her with the promise of candy.
It worked, for a minute.
Kate had her 3 year check up this week.
She weighed in at 26.5 lbs (10th percentile)
and is 36.5 inches tall (25th percentile)
I still can't believe I have such a short little girl. I am 5'9", so I assumed I would have tall kids!
Claire is probably going to pass up Kate in the next couple years.....
Gotta love the pink converse!
Kate was bribbed rewarded with a lollipop for her cooperation!
We are back to lounging in our pj's & trying to get over our colds.
I lost my voice 3 days ago...not fun when you are a teacher!


Kate's Minnie Mouse Birthday Party!

Kate's 3rd birthday party was last Saturday, on her actual birthday!

Here she is proudly displaying one of my cupcake toppers that I made.
She was excited to be "THREE"!
And, even more excited about the flowers that Daddy got her for her birthday!
For her birthday breakfast, she requested "Mickey Mouse" pancakes.
(I made them using Trader Joe's pumpkin pancake mix. SO good!)
It rained ALL week, but on Saturday morning we woke up to blue skies.
And, it was so cold that there was even snow on top of the foothills/mountain.
(I took this photo from my driveway, with my 75-300 lens)

After breakfast, it was time to get ready for Kate's 3rd Birthday Party!

The theme that Kate chose was "Mickey & Minne Mouse"
(Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has been her favorite TV show for the last year)

Here is the invitation that I made:
{Invite can be found in my Etsy shop}

Since she has a January birthday & the weather in California can be rainy (like it was this week....Hello Stormwatch 2010), I decided to have her party at an indoor bounce house place!

The party place had a huge bounce house,
a "Tot Town" (see below) with a ball pit:
There was also a climbing wall for some of the older kids (and some of the parents even climbed it!)
Air hockey time for the boys:
Elijah, Tyler & Kieran.

After an hour and a half of playing, it was time to get ready to go into the party room!
Here is the party room (before everyone was let in)
The plates & napkins Kate picked out:
Her Minnie balloon:
(Kate LOVES balloons)
Lunch is served! (pizza)
Lots of kids & lots of fun!
After pizza, it was time for cake!
Here is the AWESOME cake my mother in law made:
Seriously, she is the cake master!
(Click HERE and HERE to see other cakes she has made for me)
Kate blowing out the candles:
Make a wish!
{Thanks Becky for the picture}

Here are the favors that I gave out:
My friend Heather made the cookies & I made the favor tags!
The party was a ton of fun & after a very wet & rainy week, it was a great way for all the kids to get out all their pent up & excess energy!

After the party, we headed home for naps & then to get ready for the family dinner party we were having later on that afternoon!
After Claire went down for her nap, we let Kate open up some presents that she got.
I told our friends "NO PRESENTS!" - Kate's birthday is a month after Christmas & she is really spoiled by both sets of grandparents, so she truly doesn't need anything.
But, I kept getting emails from friends asking what they could get Kate. I kept telling them "Nothing!"
But, the about a week before the party, I got an idea!
I emailed our friends reminding them "No Presents for Kate" but I told them if they felt the need to get a present, they could bring a small check written out to the American Red Cross or Compassion International for Haiti Earthquake Relief.
Our friends are SO generous & we collected almost $200 for Haiti Earthquake Relief!
Thank you!!!
Funny Story: After I emailed our friends asking them to give to Haiti instead of getting Kate a present, I told Kate that there were kids in Haiti who lost their homes & all of their toys in the Earthquake. I told her that she wasn't going to get as many presents this year because her friends were going to give some of her presents to the kids in Haiti who needed things more than she did.
Kate's response? "Can we give those kids Claire's presents instead?"
I want to point out Kate's "3" t-shirt.
I made it!
This shirt is attempt #2...attempt #1 was a FAIL.
I have A LOT to learn about sewing!
While Kate & Claire were napping, I got things ready for Party #2 (the family party)
My biggest project for this was this cupcake tower!
I was SO happy on how it turned out!
It was a plain cupcake holder & I added ribbon to each tier.
I made 2 different kinds of cupcakes, Funfetti & of course THESE which are my go-to.
A new little project I worked on was making the cupcake toppers!
I made about 8 different designs for the cupcake toppers & I was really happy with how they turned out!
Seriously, I LOVE cupcakes!
I might start designing cupcake toppers & favor tags and add them to my ETSY shop.
(But, if I do, that wouldn't be until later this Spring or Summer )
I could eat cupcakes everyday! Yum!
When Kate woke up from her nap, I told her I had a surprise for her downstairs & then I showed her the cupcake tower. She kept thanking me for her cupcakes all evening.
"I love my cupcakes Mommy" She melts my heart!
Later on that evening, both sides of our families came over for dinner (I made a double batch of my green chicken enchiladas & Mexican rice)
We also had the cupcakes for dessert!
Happy 3rd Birthday, Kate!
Thank you to all our family & friends who helped us celebrate Kate's 3rd birthday!

Click to see:
Kate's 1st Birthday Cupcake Party
Kate's 2nd Birthday Carnival Party


I Heart Faces: Texture

The theme this week is "Texture"

Texture is not something I have a lot of experience with.
In fact, today is the very first time I have ever used or attempted texture!

But, since the girls both napped at the same time today, I had some fun playing around with some of my favorite pictures & adding texture to them!

After about 4 different attempts, here is my favorite!
(I added a fiberglass texture to the background)
{original picture is on this post}

Check out I heart faces for more fun pictures with texture!


Happy 3rd Birthday, Kate!

To my beautiful Katelyn Grace-

Today you are THREE!
It feels like just yesterday that our lives changed forever when I gave birth to a beautiful 8 pound 5 ounce baby girl.
I will NEVER, EVER forget the moment you were born at 1:58 pm on Tuesday, January 23, 2007.
When Dr. W said, "It's a GIRL!" I cried lots of tears...
Tears of relief that our baby was healthy.
Tears of thankfulness that our baby was here
Tears of joy that it was a girl!
Tears of gratitude that I was now a mommy.
{seconds after you were born}
It is an honor & privilege to be your Mommy.
You have taught me so much about life & what it means to be selfless.
Everyday you make me want to be a better person & a better Mommy.
{ready to leave the hospital 2 days after you were born}

When I think about you, my heart swells with pride & joy.
You are such a sweet, sweet, sweet little girl.
You are kind to those around you & have such a gentle spirit.
(1st birthday - January 23, 2008)

Your personality is fun & goofy.
You are a total spaz & ball of energy at home (or at Mimi's & Jimmy's or Papa & Grandma's houses)
But in new situations or big group situations, you are reserved & almost shy.
You definitely like to assess situations before you jump into doing something, this confirms that you are a thinker and like to take your time to warm up to new things.
(1st birthday photo shoot - January 2008)

The past year you have blown me away with how much you can say & do.
You are a smart little girl, you know your ABC's, you can count to 20 & count to 10 in Spanish.
You know how to spell your name and love telling us letters different objects start with.
(2nd Birthday party - January 2009)

This year you were potty trained, You graduated from a crib to a big girl bed, you started dance, class with your friend Maddie , and have loved being in the yellow room at church for Sunday School. I help out in your class once a month & I love seeing you interact with your peers. I love helping in there & you love having me there. Every Sunday you ask me if I am helping in your classroom.
You are an amazing big sister. You ADORE Claire. I love how much you love her.
You get sad when she is napping. You always want to wake her up so you can play with her.
I hope you continue to love her like this. Having a sister is a blessing. I am so glad you guys have each other. Of course, you do have your "sisterly" moments and you sometimes like to steal her toys & not share, but we are working on it!
You love to color & do puzzles. Those are your top activities. You also love your doll house.
You are left handed (just like your Daddy!)
You really love to help me bake & cook. I hope you continue to be my little kitchen helper!
You are becoming very independent and like to do things "all myself" especially dressing yourself, undressing yourself & most recently picking out your own outfits.
You can also be very stuborn (gee, I wonder where you got that from....both parents!!)
At 3 years old, these are some of your favorites:
Favorite foods-pancakes, waffles, eggs, mac & cheese, chicken nuggets & sweet potato fries, pizza, hot dogs & fruit. You LOVE fruit. You would eat only fruit if I let you. And, you really love chocolate.
Favorite shows- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einsteins, Backyardigans, & Handy Manny
Favorite Books - Pinkalicious, Purplicious, Fancy Nancy, The Giving Tree & the Llama Llama series.
Movie- You have only seen 1 movie & it was last Monday. We borrowed Cinderella from Tara. You are now officially obsessed with it. You aren't a princess girl, you told me that the dog, cat & mice were your favorites. (Kevin is so proud!)
Favorite Color - Purple (and then pink).
You are still daddy's girl through & through.
You will pick Daddy over me any day of the week. But it doesn't bother me. I think the bond you have with your Daddy is wonderful. You are lucky to have a Daddy who is so involved with your life & who loves you so much.
You still take a nap & we put you to bed at 7:30-8:00. But most nights, we hear you "reading" your books in bed or talking to yourself until 9:30 or 10.
You sleep in until 7:30 or 8 most mornings. You get VERY grumpy in the morning if you don't get breakfast right away (also just like your Daddy).
Your 3 year appointment is next week & also next week i will do your 3 year photo shoot (too much rain this week!)
You are very aware of your birthday this year & that on January 23rd you are turning 3!
You have been asking me everyday this week if it was your birthday.
Every time we got in the car this week you asked if we were going to your birthday party.
Well, Kate, it is here...your 3rd birthday has arrived!
I hope you know how much you are loved by me, your Daddy, your sister, your Grandparents & all your aunts, uncles, cousins & friends.
But most importantly as you grow up, I hope you know how much God loves you. He created you in his image and I hope you will always cling to that.
You are BEAUTIFUL inside and out. At times, you take my breath away by what you say or what you do. You truly are an amazing & special little girl. I have tears running down my face as I write this because of how much JOY you have given me.
It is an HONOR to be your Mommy. I am so blessed & thank God everyday for choosing ME to be your Mommy. His timing & plan are perfect and YOU remind me of that EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Happy 3rd Birthday Katelyn Grace!
All my love,
(or as you sometimes try and call me "Mamissa")


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