A Lovely Weekend

Today was Amelia's first day attending Sunday School. The Catholic church that we have been going to is only a block away from my home, but they don't offer Sunday school for kids her age so I decided I would start taking her to the church I grew up going to. She was very excited last night and picked out a dress to wear all on her own. I cut her bangs and put her hair in curlers. For some reason I couldn't sleep last night so when my alarm went off at 5am this morning, after only having two hours of sleep, it took all I had to get out of bed. Amelia was tired, but very anxious about going. Mark, Amelia and I got ready and headed out; we were meeting my sister and her fiance there. I of course snapped a few photos of Amelia before we left home to document this occasion.

Don't believe all you see in these pictures... she herself was a bit cranky this morning. Mark was standing behind me doing something silly with my hair to get these smiles. This was the first picture I took.

After mass we went into her classroom and I dropped her off. She ran right over and pulled out a chair, sat down and was ready for school. I love her curiosity for learning.

Last night Amelia and I had a little date. I made us each a cup of hot chocolate and topped it with some whipped cream; Amelia's was covered in pink sprinkles. Little moments like this warm my heart. She was acting silly and giggling with me, talking non-stop about who knows what. I could end every day like that.

I love the straw she is using. I got a whole container of them from Target and I think they are just adorable!

Tonight I was able to sneak away from the house for a few hours alone. I realized that this was the first time in weeks where I've been more than one room away from Amelia. Even when she was in Sunday school this morning I was just outside the door. I went shopping, hoping to get a new pair of shoes, but nothing caught my eye. The only purchases I made were of course for Amelia. It was a great day though! We are having family photos next weekend and I'm at a loss for what to wear. I am gonna have to spend the next couple of days rummaging through our closets and drawers. Well, I am sleepy and have an early morning ahead of me tomorrow. Good Night!
Ashley Elizabeth

H54F Post

This week was a busy one for Amelia and I. We've been on the go a lot lately and when we are home I've been busy with planning her birthday parties and working on craft projects... not to mention a little babysitting thrown in there. Here is a quick recap of our week. Linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk for High Five For Friday!

1. Amelia and I were able to make it over to my Grandma's house a few times this week. I love spending time over at her house and Amelia always has a blast. 

2. We were able to get outside a bit this week. Amelia rode her bike around for a bit. It was a chilly but beautiful day. 

3. My sister Grace called me up the other night and asked if she could have a slumber party with Amelia. They set up this huge tent that Amelia got for Christmas (it fits over a twin bed). We went on a late night adventure to Target to get supplies for Amelia's party decor. Fun Times!

4. Amelia and I went out to my sister's house on Wednesday so I could catch up on the episode I missed of Downton Abbey. I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! Seriously, every time an episode is over I get bummed and can't wait for the next week. 

5. Today would have been my Grandpa's 84th birthday. We spent the afternoon/evening over with my Grandma to celebrate him. He has been gone two years now and it is still incredibly hard to not have him with us. I'm just lucky that there are very few memories in my life that do not involve him. Grandpa was there for us no matter what, and I know he is still watching over us. 
Ashley Elizabeth

Glamorous Kitty

Let me just say, we have one very tolerant cat! The other night I was hanging out in the living room when I glanced over and noticed our cat in the rocking chair... wearing a hot pink necklace. A few minutes later I look over again and Amelia had my blush and blush brush, making sure our cat's cheeks are nice a rosy... and yes, I did look over a third time to find him getting some hot pink glitter lipstick applied. I am so glad we decided to get him for her birthday last year. Mark was definitely on the fence about it, but he is the best cat ever! He lets her dress him up and cart him all over, without putting up much of a fight.

I'm in the process of planning a birthday party for my little one, she will be four this year. I don't know when she got so tall and started talking like a mini grown up... but I would like it if she would stop growing up so fast. I am excited to plan her day though, it should be a lot of fun! 

We haven't been up to much lately, just hanging out around the house and visiting my Grandma. I have a list a mile long of things I want to accomplish but I've just been so tired lately that it is hard to find the motivation. I have been taking a lot of pictures lately and plan on starting an online photo editing class in the next week so I am really looking forward to that. 

Well that's about all. I just thought I would write up something since I haven't been on here much lately. Have a good night!

Ashley Elizabeth

My, how Pinteresting

So I've had quite the obsession with Pinterest lately. Well, I've loved Pinterest since it first came about but I usually go through phases, but not these days. I can't get enough of the pinning! I have been trying recipes I find on there and doing craft projects so I thought I would share with you what I've been up to.

Amelia and I are just hanging out at home tonight. I made a yummy chicken tortilla soup but after I had my bowl I wanted something a little sweet. Normally I would dig in the freezer in search of bananas to make banana ice cream, but I decided to see if I could scrounge something up and try a new recipe. I was craving a smoothie or some sort of tasty drink, and Amelia and I succeeded with the concoction.

Tonight's creation came from the blog titled Babble and can be found here. Below is a picture of the pin I found, a s'more smoothie.
I did not have any graham crackers so I made the recipe without, and I also doubled it thinking that one cup of milk would not be enough for multiple people... but I was wrong. The doubled recipe made a ton and we got three full glasses out of it. Amelia and I gulped this treat down quite fast. Here is what mine looked like.
I opted to not include the chocolate chips because I really didn't feel we needed them. This was a very quick and tasty recipe. I'm looking forward to more Pinterest experiments.

In other news...
Things have been incredibly busy here lately. My sister went into the ER Saturday morning at 2am with stomach pain and by 5am was told that she needed to have an appendectomy done the same day. They admitted her and we spent the day at the hospital with her. Amelia and I decided to spend the night with her and my little sister to make sure they had all the help they needed. Thankfully she is recovering nicely. Other than that, we've just been cleaning up Christmas and getting the house back in order, crafting and spending time having fun.
Amelia hanging out in a box that Mark brought home from work. She was watching Charlie Brown and I was playing around with my external flash. I'm excited because this was taken in a pretty dark room and there aren't horrible shadows like most of my indoor pictures have. 

Well I think that is all for tonight. I am watching two little boys under the age of two tomorrow and I am so excited! Time to hit the sheets. 
Ashley Elizabeth

A Year in Review

A new year is here.

January 2012 I started blogging. I love blogging, even if nobody reads it! Ever since I was little I have had a serious passion for reading and writing. When I was little and my parents needed to ground me (yes, I was naughty sometimes), they would take away all of my pens and paper... worst punishment ever! I'm looking forward to another year of this. Thanks to the followers I have, and to all who read what I have to say.

February 2012 our little girl turned 3 years old. Where does the time go? As we approach February 2013 I am yet again in shock at how fast time flies. Amelia should still be a little baby, not a 4 year old!

March 2012 my sister Grace moved in with us for a few months to help us out by watching Amelia. We were in need of a babysitter and Grace needed a job before she started at ODF for the summer. It was fun to have her around.

April 2012 was a month packed full of fun. We spent Easter with my family at my Grandma's house, Amelia got to spend a day at work with me for 'take your kid to work day', and she caught her first fish... or 4 to be exact!

May 2012 I turned 27! Oh boy I am getting old! We also geared up for Summer, rescued 4 kittens from our shed and took Amelia on her very first camping trip.

June 2012 was a great month! Mark celebrated his 36th birthday and his family came to visit from Florida. We had a blast with them and I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can go visit them this year.

July 2012 was started off with a road trip up the gorge with my sister and her boyfriend. We celebrated the 4th of July with my family, went fishing, took our own little road trip to Hood River for cherries and I got ready for fire season.

August 2012 Mark and I celebrated our one year anniversary. We took a trip to the county fair, my mom had a birthday, we celebrated our friends Sheena & Jason's wedding, got some fresh veggies out of our garden, took the trolley around our neighborhood and I worked a few overtime shifts.

September 2012 we celebrated my Grandma's 89th birthday and my sister Erica's 32nd birthday. My family and I took Amelia to the zoo for the first time and had a total blast. We went apple picking and tomato picking, and canned for the first time. September was also the month that I put in my final notice at work. It was the end of a tough decision and a little unplanned but it was the right move for us. Let's just say, September was a busy one!

 October 2012!!! The month I became a stay at home Mama! I know I have talked about this a lot on my blog, but I'm still so excited and thankful. My husband is working so hard for us and I love our new life.   After my last day at work Amelia and I went up to my parent's house for a visit and spent Halloween there. It was overall a great month!

November 2012 Amelia and I spent our first month as a stay at home duo. We got ready for Christmas with tons of craft projects and shopping. Mark, Amelia and I spent Thanksgiving with my Aunt's family and my Grandma. We got our Christmas tree and had a new visitor come to our house, Spirit the Elf (elf on the shelf). Amelia also performed in her very first ballet performance of the Nutcracker. The kids all worked so hard and it was an amazing production.

December 2012 was started off with Amelia's final performance in the Nutcracker. My little sister Grace graduated as a Firefighter T1 and is now volunteering at a local department. My mom and I did a lot of shopping, and I did a lot of crafting. We had Mark's family over on Christmas Eve, then we went to midnight mass. We spent Christmas day with my family and it was the most wonderful time ever!

And that is a brief account of our year! I hope 2013 is just as awesome!

Ashley Elizabeth

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday Everyone! This week has been a lazy one for us here. I have been a little under the weather since the day after Christmas, but after a trip to the urgent care yesterday I should be feeling better in no time.

1. Amelia has me in awe with how quickly she picks up on everything. Her writing is pretty awesome for her age and she is eager to learn. Since I've been home we've been working on learning and this week we started in with a preschool workbook. She loves it. The first section has proved to be a little too easy for her, but she just laughs and says "maybe the next one will be harder". 

2. We rang in the new year over at my Grandma's house and it was a blast. Mark had to work at 4am the next morning so he couldn't join us... but I had the perfect little date regardless. 

3. I think we will be picking glitter out of our scalps for weeks after wearing these hats. Amelia has had her hair washed six times since NYE and she is still covered in it. I guess we can thank my little sister for that one!

4. Amelia and I went out to Molalla and had lunch with my old co-worker/BFF. It was a fun trip out there, as you can tell by her excited face.

5. I've decided to add a Pinterest component to my blog. I'm addicted to pinterest and have had a lot of success with craft projects and recipes that I find on there. I'm going to shoot for a weekly pinterest post sharing what I've been crafting and the recipes I've tried. I'm looking forward to having a reason to work on this stuff every week.

Well there ya have it, a quick snapshot of my week. Amelia and I are going to work on her school work and then head out for a nice walk while the sun is out. Have a great weekend!

Ashley Elizabeth

A New Year

(My date for New Year's Eve! Mark had to work so he didn't party with us, but smooches from this girl at midnight were awesome!)

The new year always brings about the idea that one must make resolutions, which I have done and have never followed through on. This year I was thinking about all of the things I would like to accomplish in 2013, and in doing so made myself a "to do" list to complete. If I approach this with the mindset that these things must get done, and  that they are not just a good idea that I can toss out after a few weeks, then I think I will be more successful than in years past. 

My mom and I have made a deal for this next year. We are both crafty people, I get it from her, but we both have so much we want to complete for Christmas time that we never end up getting everything done in time. Starting this month her and I have a deal to accomplish a project each month. If there is a month that we don't finish something or at least put a lot of work into a larger project, then we have to buy the other person an iTunes gift card. It should be a fun little challenge, and a great way to keep each other on track. 

My 2013 to do list
1. Lose weight every week! I don't have a set number I want to reach for the year (overall I do but not in this year) so I just want to lose something every week. I know some weeks will be better than others so I don't want to get frustrated when I have a week where I don't lose as much. If I just try my best and see a loss each week I will be happy!

2. Have more adventures with my daughter! Amelia and I have a lot of fun, but some days we don't do much of anything. I want to make sure 2013 is full of making good memories. I love that I get to stay home now and plan special days for us. I'm looking forward to our time together. 

3. Date my husband! Yeah, I'd like to do more of that. Mark and I have gone on dates here and there since we've had Amelia, but adding it in to a monthly routine is high on my priority list. Our dates don't have to be extravagant, but time spent focusing on one another is something that can only make us stronger. Sometimes we get too caught up in life as a 3 person family and we need a night or two a month to step away and reconnect. 

4. Plan a couple of trips! Florida is a priority for me this year! I have wanted to go visit Mark's brother and sister in-law since we got together 6 years ago. School, work and then the busy life with a baby kept us from going, but this year I am determined to make it over there. Canada is also on my list. Mark has a lot of family up in Vancouver B.C. and I would love to go up and see them. There are so many little cousins that Amelia could spend time with, and I would love getting to know them all more. This is an easier trek for us since we can just drive up (after we get our passports), but both destinations will hopefully happen in 2013. 

5. Become a more skilled and confident sewer! This one might sound silly to some but since October I've decided that I LOVE sewing. I've had my sewing machine for a few years but hadn't really touched it until a few months back. I love that I can make clothes for Amelia and have a list a mile long of projects to complete. 

6. Become more of a photographer! In college I took some photography classes with an incredible instructor, but then I let my skills sort of fizzle after that. I have a wonderful camera and took one class on how to use it, but I could use a few more. Mark bought me an external flash for my camera and an online Photoshop class so I am definitely looking forward to taking that soon. 

7. Write more! Whether it be blogging or working on a novel idea that my sister gave me, I do need to write more. I have been writing poetry and stories since I was a little girl. When my parents needed to ground me they took away my pens and paper... worst punishment ever! I need to get back on the writing train!

8. Be happy! Plain and simple... find happiness in every day! 

What are some of your resolutions/goals/tasks to complete in the new year?

Ashley Elizabeth