Sunday, November 30, 2008


"There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit."-Isaiah 11:1

At our church the children are making ornaments each Tuesday afternoon to place on the Jesse Tree the following Sunday during the service. I'm really excited about this opportunity for my children to celebrate the Advent season and be reminded of how the story of Jesus didn't just begin in the New Testament, but that from the beginning, each story whispers his name and tells of the hope we have in Him.

A brief description of this was given in our bulletin: The Jesse Tree, (Jesse being the father of David-the line from which Jesus is born), is a centuries old Advent tradition based on the lineage of Christ. The children participate in the stories of Advent by hanging handmade ornaments on the tree that represent O.T. events from Creation to the Birth of Jesus. Another source says this about the symbolism of the Jesse Tree..."Even though we can have Peace and Joy through the presence of Jesus Christ, we still long for deliverance from the oppression of sin in the world. We long for the full reign of the King, and the Kingdom of Peace that He will bring. So, while we celebrate the birth of the Branch, the new shoot from the stump of Jesse, we still anticipate with hope the Second Advent, and await the completion of the promise.

The Jesse Tree helps us retell this story, and express this hope."

Something our pastor said tonight resonated with me. He was talking about how easy it is to focus on the externals at want everything to be over a months preparations culminate in one day (instead of continuing the celebration after Christmas Day as well) and how that day never "fulfills". Each year at Christmas, not unlike Clark W. Griswold, I struggle with this. I want to be sure I'm creating memories of this time of year for my children to take with them as they grow. I also love to give gifts. Thoughtfulness and gift giving are my "love language", so I get really excited about choosing things for people and often I catch myself wanting things to be "perfect". What Tom pointed out so well tonight was the Advent is about longing. The people 2000 + years ago were longing for a Savior, as we long for His return today. My children, nor I, need a perfect Christmas. We do need a season to reflect on and that causes us to remember the joy we have and the hope we have. To show us what the longing is for. That that longing will never be met in gifts or celebrations or traditions, but in Christ alone.

More 1st Birthday!

Beautiful M.R. is about 3 weeks younger than M
with Papa and Jenny (with another Baby Girl Cousin on the way-yay!)

gift from The Dettling's

Lauren and N

opening gifts

my favorite shot

we are very much into windows these days

here are some more photos of the big day. thanks to my mom, mother-in-law, Aunt Susan, and Aunt Adrian for the help! for those who asked for info about the party details...i made the invitations myself, separated our plethora of Halloween candy into different colors/types and used that for my balloon anchors, the vases holding the candy I already had, a friend made his special birthday bib, the frames at each centerpiece were $3 on sale at hobby lobby and the little wooden animals were also from h.l. (50 cents each)...the gumballs i purchased with my CVS extra bucks ;), tablecloths were from Walmart and Party City...and lastly, the 2 shirts he wore at his party were from etsy.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Party Time!

each centerpiece featured a picture of the birthday boy at a month during his first year, some colorful dot wrapping paper i found at swoozie's, a square vase filled w/ colorful candy which anchored the balloons. the wooden animals on the vases came from hobby lobby.

the "sign in" table with his invitation and party favors

we carried out the theme w/ 3 round cakes. 2 of which had fondant polka dots and the center one had his initial spelled out in M & M's. saved my self some time by having Costco and Sam's do some of the work for me (bought plain iced cakes and i added the details).

my neighbor works for Southern Living at Home and i scored these cute votive holders from her :) i filled them w/ gum balls. the circus figures are from my 1st bday cake!

more table decor

SMASH cake! from Savage's...

play doh table

party favors!

regardless of all my efforts to make time stand still, my baby's first year flew by with a speed rivaling...well...nothing. never has a year gone by so quickly.
turning one is a big deal and i do love to throw a party! so we celebrated with a Polka Dot Circus "Soiree" with some family and friends. it was a sweet day surrounded by lots of people who love our little guy...and we took LOTS of pictures! so, i'm going to divide it into 2 posts. 1st the details. the 2nd post will, of course, feature the Guest of Honor and his guests!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11 months and Halloween!

We had a Star Wars Halloween in our household! Well, 2 Star Wars characters and one pumpkin. I had high hopes of finding a little Ewok costume for him, but alas, no luck. This pumpkin was on Korduroy Krocodile's front porch the day before Halloween and in M's size...perfect! Nothing like waiting til the last minute :) We've had a great fall. This time of year is so refreshing to me and I always feel rejuvenated by this weather and all the festivities. The view outside our front door is so beautiful w/reds, yellows and oranges. I wish this color could last until Spring.
The boys had a lot of fun trick or treating in our neighborhood and especially with our across the street neighbors who would spoil them rotten if they could!

Just before Halloween M turned 11 months and now I am planning for his first birthday. I remember thinking in the hospital how far away his birthday seemed and how I wondered what he would be like at one. Now it is upon us. There is a part of me that is mourning that my last baby is now out of true babyhood. But, my sadness there is quickly changed to joy by his bright face and all the love we have for him. Parenting is such a bittersweet journey and I tend to see that on my babies' first birthdays so clearly. It doesn't help that I'm such a sentimental softie about most everything, though.

He is in a more affectionate phase now. He had been so cuddly up until a few mos. ago when we had a brief departure from wanting to snuggle due to his new found talent of crawling, I imagine. He crawls up and pulls up on my legs, crawls at a pretty fast clip around the house and loves to imitate us with his voice. If I call for one of the boys, he goes to the hallway and yells for them. His facial expressions are always good for giving us lots of laughs. He really is happy most of the time except when he's getting his face washed or diaper changed!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Free cup o' joe

FREE COFFEE tomorrow if you tell 'em you voted!
Check it out here:


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fall Break Trip

the perfect spot for a morning cup of coffee

dinner of trout that we caught

with our supper!

G's catch of the day

the stream behind our cabin

S as Huck

mommy's favorite at TFB...french toast with their raspberry sauce and honey creme anglais
G thought it pretty enough to photograph!

such a fun loft

breakfast on the porch

open air eating at The Flying Biscuit

The boys recently had fall break off from school so we headed to the mountains. We had the best little cabin in the woods complete with a babbling brook in the back. S and G might as well have been Tom and Huck. It was the perfect set up for little boys! We spent a ton of time outside in the fresh air as Fall had just arrived in the South. Some of the highlights for the boys were sleeping in their very own loft, playing board games and eating S'mores, and trout fishing! We ended up our time in Atlanta where we hit some of our favorite haunts like Trader Joe's, the Flying Biscuit and the midtown area.
It was a much needed and sweet time to get away from our regular pace and focus on each other.
Oh and these pictures are not in order. Sorry ;) I'm lazy...