Hear Me Roar

I have anxiously been awaiting Halloween because this will be baby B’s first holiday and yes, we are all about firsts around here! Even though Broderick fell asleep two blocks into our outing, this was by far my favorite Halloween in a long while! I had a whole new appreciation for all the adorable kids walking around dressed in costumes.  Those kids used to annoy me on Halloween because I had to stop for an extra long time at each crosswalk so everyone could cross and had to be re-routed because certain streets were closed. I know, I was a scrooge! That former annoyance now brought me so much joy.

While trying to put Broderick to sleep, I took a late afternoon walk around town and saw the beginning of the Halloween festivities beginning. Instead of being annoyed by the kids, I was excited.  They filled my heart filled with happiness.  I wondered how many times they each changed their mind before walking out the door for their big night. I saw parents holding hands with pride. I saw big smiles from the kids and even bigger smiles from parents.  I wanted Ryan to come home right away so he could share this new joy the children brought to the holiday.  Joy in the most unexpected ways.

Even though Broderick slept for almost the whole night he was the cutest little lion I ever saw and couldn’t help but smile every time I saw him and all the other kids on the street. Tonight, I gladly wait through two waves of people at the crosswalk and just smiled.

Happy Halloween!

lemon and lime of a good time.

Since my little brother, Nick, was a little boy, he has been nothing but all boy. Growing up, Nick dreamed of  growing up and becoming an Army Bomb Detonator. I don’t even know how he knew what this was, but somehow he knew that is what he wanted to be. After a few years it changed to becoming a Fire Storm jumper – yes, he wanted to be the guy to jump out of an airplane and into a raging forest fire. I am not sure if it was the influence of my parents or him coming to his own senses, but somewhere along the way he settled with becoming a firefighter. There is nothing that gets him more excited than to talk about the fire calls he goes on or teach us the lingo (“Code 3” or  “frequent flyers”).  All of the sleepless nights don’t bother him because he gets to do what he loves. Nick has never been one to love school or frankly even understand why he needed to go to college. But, my parents never stopped encouraging him.  So, on Saturday, my baby brother actually did it and graduated from California State University of Sacramento (Sac State) with a degree in Fire Service Management.

So, what does this mean? PARTY!

We decided that a  lemon and lime theme would go nicley with the party venue and as a bonus green and yellow are Sac State’s colors. Since we plan most all family events from different locations, I love to get everyone on the same page with an inspiration board.

I saw the tissue pomanders a few months ago in Martha Stewart and have been looking for a reason to make them! Like most things Martha does, they look beautiful in the magazine, but in real life they turn out looking a bit to DIY-ish to actually use. So, intially I was a bit skeptical of this project. I followed the instructions from her website and 12 minutes later I had my first pom-pom completed! While mine didn’t look 100% as good as Ms. Martha’s I was happy enough with the outcome!!

After making 20 or so of these things I learned:

1. Do not tie the wire too tight because it makes it impossible to actually seperate the tissue paper.

2. Make sure your wire is centered before you start to pull the tissue apart or else you end of with an oval pom-pom.

3. Cutting through all those layers is rough, so just take a few at a time.

As for drinks, we wanted to offer guests something other than beer and wine, but it also had to be easy for them to take and drink. The solution was to use canning jars and fill them with homeade,  “Hard Lemonade”. For this, I mixed 1 can of frozen lemonade concentrate, 2 cans of water, 1  can of vodka, and 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice. We poured the mix into the canning jars and added fresh lemon wedges.

For budget friendly centerpieces, my mom bought 6 bags of lemons which we used to fill various sized vases and glass containers. These were left over from my wedding so we didn’t have any added cost there.

And to put the finishing touch on the lemon and lime theme party, my Mom made a 3-tier cake with each layer a different flavor. The bottom was the secret family favorite carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, the middle tier was lime with whipped cream frosting, and the top was lemon.  As it turns out, the middle layer was a bit too soft to hold the weight of the top tier, so we ended up with only a 2-tier cake (at least for decoration purposes)! The cake was a major hit and tasted fabulous too!

We have plenty more pictures of our time up there, but these were just the first few to get out for now!