Sunshine and Lemonade, Birthday Party Invitation and Party Photos

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sunshine and lemonade birthday party invitation processIf I haven’t said it a thousand times already, Jess and I make a great team! So when she came to me with the idea of a vintage summer birthday party for her son’s second birthday, back in probably November haha, I had many months to get excited to get started on the project. This time, she left it fully in my hands on what to do. She just gave me a photo of a lemonade stand that she wanted to make and then said go. I thought about it for a month or two—seriously, she always gives me plenty of time—and came up with using watercolor as a way of coloring in the invitation. And since her colors started as being yellow, gray and white, I thought a simple line art illustration would work perfectly.

sunshine and lemonade birthday party watercolor invitation processJust to show Jess the layout I wanted to go with, I sketched out a rough idea. Once she saw it, she suggested adding the pendant banners. Love! And then we also decided to add the blue and green to add some more color and make it more kid like. It was for a 2 year old’s birthday party after all.

I then traced the photo she had given me of the lemonade stand, added a kid’s big wheel bike and voila! The invite was almost done.

Then came the fun part… I first tested water coloring straight on the invitation. We ended up not going that route for two reasons: 1. who has time to paint each invitation? and 2. the paper just got too warped from the water.

So instead, I painted on a blank page with the general idea of what I needed. I then scanned that in and added it the drawing. I really am happy with doing that, it allowed us to have the lemonade stand wood in solid white rather than having the green grass show through.

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But to still give it that tactile feel, we printed all the invites on watercolor paper from our home printer.

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Then my part was pretty much done. Except for a few more graphics for the party, the rest was up to Jess’ magical party planning hands (see her Pinterest board here).

It’s always fun to hear about all the planning that goes into such an event and then get to just show up and see it all brought to life!

I took a few hundred photos of the party… the day couldn’t have been more perfect for a sunshine filled party celebrating little Grayson! Hope you enjoy…

And thanks Jess for sharing some of your photos with me too… hers are marked below. Read her post on the party here, and then invitation here.

Since this was a lemonade party, the focal point of the decorations was this amazing lemonade stand that Jess and her hubby Scott made!

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Then Jess took a few old bicycle tires, found at a garage sale, spray painted them white and adding dozens of photos of G through the years. Such a cute idea!

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Then she had the treat table…

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Along with the “guest book,” a sun I designed based off the invitation that was filled with fingerprints of all the guests (like last year’s caterpillar!).

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And then of course, a party couldn’t be complete with cake!

Grayson seriously makes the sweetest faces! Here’s just a few as he was so adorably admiring his cake…

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And any good 2 year old’s party includes lots of kiddos running around… so let’s end this post on the cutest of notes!

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You remember baby Parker?

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Grayson had the sweetest reactions to his presents… especially his new Toy Story pajamas.

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Little Grayson,

Hope you know how much you are loved… how much you have been prayed for. I love your sweet demeanor, those sparkly eyes, and your flirty show-off side… may you never lose that sparkle and precious little smile that shows us all that dear heart of yours.

Love, Auntie Sam

Loving Life thru My Lens

This past week was just so fun… from Disneyland trips to the birthday celebrations over the weekend… I spent a lot of time behind my camera capturing the moments. I feel so incredible blessed to call these people friends who are really more like family.

I just wanted to share a few of my favorite photos from this last week, just a glimpse of the joy I saw thru my lens.

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Molly’s first trip to Disneyland.

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Just the cutest little profile of an almost 2 year old on a break from playing with the ducks.

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Eli runs home at his weekly baseball game.

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Trying to capture all my last moments [for awhile]  of the Happiest Place on Earth.

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Amelia’s happy grin in her mama’s arms.

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Eli’s first pinata experience.

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And a dad’s extreme joy and getting to pull the pinata out of reach. 🙂

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How cute are two 2-year olds!? I mean really, is there anything cuter??

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And then spa splashing fun!

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Eli’s fun with his new bubble machine from Auntie Yoyo.

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Hudson’s backward binoculars experience.

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The big boys playing ball games.

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And to end the weekend, our new two year old Owen being so happily embarrassed during his happy birthday song.

Hope you enjoyed loving life thru my lens!

Another Year of Babies, Brides, and BBQ (November & December)

Good morning 2014! And with the close of 2013, here is my last Babies, Brides, and BBQ post! It’s been a fun 2 years documenting all my new little loves that have been born, following the love of brides to be’s, and of course the craziness that is this BBQ world we have found ourselves deep within. Hope you’re enjoying this first day of this brand new year!

Babies!

My little baby section is just growing and growing and growing!!

Jameson

In celebration of this little guy turning 2 yesterday, we went out for some frozen yogurt just like we did 2 years ago the night before Courtney went into labor. This little guy has the sweetest voice, and is so incredibly smart from knowing his letters to his shapes, even including the crescent moon. 🙂 Thank you Mama Coco and Little Jmo for a night out of blueberry topped fro-yo and the showing off all your new 2 year old tricks!

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Owen

Well this darling boy now says “Andy” and “Sam” among many more words in his ever widening vocabulary. And he still has us wrapped around his slightly less chubby fingers as well… and surprisngly Andy is even more wrapped than I am! They are just the cutest little pals! Andy and I have been cracking up over Owen’s new “cheeeeese” face! So I just thought I’d share it with you all here! It’s too funny how distorted kids faces get when they say “cheese!”

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Grayson

Oh this little boy… I do not get to see this little little guy often enough but I happily watch him daily through his mama’s eyes, whether its through Instagram or her blog. Thankfully I got to spend a few precious moments with him in these last couple months at Girls Night and seeing the Mission Inn lights.

P.S. You can tell more in the right side photo that I am definitely forcing him to pose for a picture with his Auntie Sammi… but I don’t even care. 🙂

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Parker

I can not even tell you how happy I am that this family bought Disneyland passes in November. It only took one night of constantly bugging Shane to convince them that it was definitely the right decision! 🙂 I see quite a few more visits in the near future too. This is one tired Parker after their very full day at the Happiest Place on Earth.

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Chara

Next week I’m posting more of the adorable Rice family, but for today let me introduce to you all, Miss Chara. She’s an adorable little munchkin who was fighting a cold that day with her sweet smiles. I can’t wait to share more photos next week, it was such a perfect day for Christmas photos.

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Amelia

Disneyland is “one of my favorite things” without a doubt, but going with sweet little babes and kiddos multiples that joy by infinity. Since Amelia’s mama is my Disneyland buddy, I was just that much more excited to finally go with her… here’s a photo from our first ride together: It’s A Small World. I was just a *little* excited. 🙂

But of course since Miss Mia was a little entranced by the wonders of It’s A Small World, you must check out her 6 month photos I posted last week. She is just all smiles and giggles.

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Molly

Little Miss Molly is just one of the happiest little babes I’ve ever met… but of course my photos today are of sleeping Molly. I must apologize on her behalf, because her smile just lights up her whole face… and I must encourage you to check out her beyond adorable 3 months photos her Auntie Jess took a few weeks ago. Go look, you know you want to. 🙂

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Brides

Amie

Well this Bride had her wedding last month… After almost a full year of planning, crafting, and celebrating the day came and went! If you want to see more gorgeous photos of this beautiful bride and the amazingness that was that day, click here for the full wedding post.

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BBQ

I have been such a slacker when it comes to all these recent BBQ competitions… in fact, I only made it to this past weekend’s competition and only for awards, and only on the first day. Bad BBQ wife right here… 🙁

But even without me there, the boys have been doing amazing!

Last month they were invited to compete at the World Food Championship where they were placed among the top 10 in BBQ which allowed them to go forward in the semi finals. So keep and eye and ear out for the A&E special on the WFC, which will have one entire episode devoted to the BBQ portion of the event. Andy wrote more about his time there, here.

Aaaaand, they took part in a commercial for a major American corporation that we are hoping will air during the Super Bowl… I’m not totally sure on all the legalities of that so I will post more when I can. 🙂

And one last note, in case you are reading this solely because you found this post because of the BBQ section, and you want to learn more about the art of barbequing, you can email pro@greenmountaingrills.com and my hubby will come to your aid, offering as much help as you may need!

With all their success this past year, I am really excited to see what’s to come in this new year!

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Follow past and upcoming Babies, Brides and BBQ here!

Photo A Day, October—Week 4

The big wedding day is finally here… today is full of pedis, manis, luncheons, and rehearsing… all in preparation for the “I Do’s” tomorrow afternoon. I. Can. Not. Wait.

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24/dark, 26/depth of field, 27/peaceful, 28/just for you, 29/hair, 30/wet, 31/treat

And since I wasn’t planning on blogging these photos, I just had to share a close up of this one from the above’s “peaceful” photo… as these little boys have stolen my heart. Love them so…

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And since it’s now November… join me and follow Fat Mum Slim’s blog for the Photo A Day prompts, join us for the month of November!

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Another Year of Babies, Brides, and BBQ (September & October)

I can’t believe this crazy year is coming to a close! With this update, a brand new friend was born (Baby Molly, another girl thankfully!!) and with the next update I will be posting about the Pankratz wedding day, with a photo of my best friend in that glorious wedding dress of hers! I can’t believe the big day is almost here, like literally its just 3 days away! And then its Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Years and hello 2014!

Babies!

My little baby section is just growing and growing and growing!!

Owen (and Eli)

I seriously can’t say it enough, I love having this adorable family as nearby neighbors! Getting the chance to see these boys growing up on the week to week basis is such a huge blessing for both Andy and myself. They even stopped by on the morning of my birthday with a card, cupcake and a balloon. Along with Owen giving me a hand picked flower and Eli giving me a drawing he made. My heart is full, that’s for sure.

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Okay I just have to share one more photo of Owen, and his whole family all dressed up in their Halloween costumes, from this past weekend… how stinking cute are they?! When Jamie first sent us a photo of Owen’s Halloween costume, we all “ooo’d” and “awww’d” over how cute he was going to be, and he did not disappoint. 🙂

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Parker

I rarely get to see this little rolly polly, Parker… but I was so excited to spend the afternoon with him and his family a couple weeks ago. And got to snap this photo of him in honor of his 6 month birthday. Can’t believe he’s already half way to 1, doesn’t seem like he was born that long! Time flies!!

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Amelia

I am quite thankful Rachel has made it a point for me to see Amelia every few weeks, she will drive out just to sit with me as I work at home, catching me up on life. I love it… and then just this past week (the day after I posted her 3 month photos) she came by and we made up a “bed in the woods” photo shoot, just for fun. Here’s just a sneak peek, but oh. my. goodness…. I love so many of them. I can’t wait to post more in a few weeks!

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Molly

Molly is here!!! She has made her sweet precious arrival into this world, blessing her mommy and daddy beyond belief!! I got to be there with friends and family waiting… and waiting for her Tuesday night, but just after we left for the night, Trisha delivered at 2:55 a.m., Wednesday, September 18.

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I have gotten to have a few cuddle sessions with the little miss… but this photo is from that first day, at just about 8 hours old. 🙂

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Brides

Amie

I can definitely say that the months of September and October were full of nonstop wedding activities (hence the shortage on the quantity of baby photos above) from crafting days, to engagement photo sessions and of course, the bachelorette party! There were so many fun events to choose from but I have to share a favorite from their engagement session with me…. because its just so sweet. This day marked a turning point in the wedding planning as from that day forward, with just over a month to go, its been full time wedding crafting/scheming around this house. I left their place after our session with a long list of duties… and I must say I am kinda sad its almost here. It’s just been so much fun! It really has! But in just a few days (!!!) time, my best friend will be the Mrs. to her Mr. and that is just going to be the first page in a whole new chapter of our lives and that I must say is something I am most looking forward to!

P.S. The rest of their engagement session will be posted next week… and I must say it was extremely hard to narrow down which photos to post!

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Caitlin

For Cait’s wedding, I “coordinated” the wedding ceremony, which was a first for me—and we definitely we were just winging it! It was funny how many people asked if that was my new job and when finding out that was my first attempt at it, they then asked if I would do it again. And I totally would, even if it was just for friends and for the sake of seeing this moment… the moment before the miss became the Mrs., the moment where the bride takes that last deep breath holding onto her daddy’s arm, before she says “I do.”

She was just gorgeous and the wedding itself was beautiful!  You can see a photo I snapped during the ceremony here…

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BBQ

The boys have been doing so SO GOOD at their competitions. It’s pretty amazing to witness their triumphs at each and every comp. Over Labor Day weekend, they placed 4th among some of the top teams in the nation—over most of the guys on the BBQ Pitmaster shows. Everyone thought they were going to win 1st and the $10,000 prize for Grand Champion, but with a bad score in brisket, it brought them down to 4th place. Either way, just knowing that they have that ability, is pretty neat! Read more about that comp here.

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And then just one month later, at the Dana Point BBQ competition, out of a California record breaking 101 teams, they placed 4th again! So proud of our boys!

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And last, but not least, Andy’s episode of Supermarket Superstars aired on September 12 on Lifetime! He swears he spoke up quite a bit, but all of his lines were cut! But I still got to see my hubby on TV so it was still exciting!! He’s in the red jersey, #12 in this clip of their focus group.

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Follow past and upcoming Babies, Brides and BBQ here!

Photo A Day, September—Week 2

This was a pretty nice week! Highlights range from attending THE BEST bachelorette party for Miss Caitlin to having a couple afternoons with my favorite little neighbors to celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary yesterday.

Of course when I say celebrating, I mean that my husband attended to my every need while I laid on the couch with a headache.

And of course, I have to mention, that this little one year old shown below now knows who his Sam is… and when asked “Where’s Sam?” he lights up and points to me. Melts. My. Heart. 🙂

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8/made by me, 9/on the wall, 10/sweet, 11/what I did today, 13/unexpected, 14/liquid, 15/season

I follow Fat Mum Slim’s blog for the Photo A Day prompts, join us for the month of September!

SEPTEMBER-2013-PHOTO-CHALLENGE-LIST

Another Year of Babies, Brides, and BBQ (July & August)

I really thought life couldn’t be crazier than it was last year, but this year has seriously been insane! I am so blessed with the work that I have been doing and get to do, but I am ever so thankful for these babies and being the matron of honor to my best friend bride to be, Amie! Oh and I guess I am thankful for BBQ too. 😉

Babies!

My little baby section is just growing and growing and growing!!

Jameson

Oh how I missed this sweet boy… having not seen him since his first birthday (!!!), he had all sorts of new tricks to show me including knowing how to say Sam. So so sweet!

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Owen

Oh little Owen, this kid just cracks me up! And every time I watch this video I want to laugh and cry at the same time. That laugh is just hysterically contagious!

And then just last week, I was looking after the boys for just a short amount of time and when I set Owen down, he just stood up and starting walking. I was in shock to see him walking around so much without holding on to anything! So proud of their little guy! (for some reason the walking video is only showing up sometimes 🙁 so I’ll just post a cute photo of the two of us to make up for it 🙂 )

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Grayson

I saw little G off and on over the months but each time was just too short of a time… I did manage to snag a few photos of him at our girls dinner a few weeks ago. His mama sure has him trained to pose for the camera… I would say these photos go…

“What do you think you are doing?”
“Oh, a camera! Here let me pose for you like my mommy taught me to”
“Would you like to see my belly button, I know just where it is!”

Or something like that…

And that “What are you doing?” totally reminds me of a face his mom gives me all the time too. 🙂 jk jk

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Evelyn

I know I just shared photos of this little blue eyed babe last week so I don’t have much more to say, but here is another photo of this gorgeous little lady and those giant blue eyes of hers!

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Amelia

I love that Rachel has moved back closer to me! It’s been a joy to watch Amelia grow over these last couple months with visits every couple of weeks. But after having gone about a month with no visit, seeing her for her 3 month photos was quite a shock to the little chunk she has become! Her mother had quite a few affectionate nicknames ranging from her little pot sticker to Buddha belly. 🙂

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Jedidiah

Our newest family member, Jedidiah made his entrance into this world on June 30… (funnily enough Miss Amelia, Jedi, and the next baby Gage were all due within 3 days of each other but all made their appearances over a month’s time). Anyway, we got to meet Jedi just last week while him and his family were down visiting the many beaches of southern California.

He truly is a sweet sweet baby, all smiles. 🙂

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Gage

This little guy… he is such a fighter! He was born with “transposition of the great arteries” and has had quite a few surgeries thus far in his short little life including open heart surgery! I finally got to meet him just two weeks ago and of course fell in love right away! You can see so many more photos of him and learn his story here… and as our pastor’s son, you can hear their testimony here from Pastor Josh’s first Sunday back at church last month.

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Molly

The day after we returned from our trip, we celebrated Miss Molly’s soon to be arrival with a baby shower for her mama. Jess did such a great job on the shower! You can see her post here, and mine here. It’s hard to believe that in my next post in two months, she will be here!! 🙂

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Brides

Amie

I spent the majority of the month of July getting ready for Amie’s bridal shower… which turned out to be exactly what I hoped it to be… it was a [hot] beautiful day showering Amie with love and presents. And since our bestie and my fellow bridesmaid was in from New York we ran as many wedding “errands” as possible in the days after the shower. From picking up our bridesmaid dresses and shoes to assembling the wedding invitations. And of course, Amie’s wedding dress fitting. Can not wait for you to see her in that gorgeous white dress! Pretty much the most beautiful dress I’ve ever did see!

This photo is just the first of many from her bridal shower. It was the first time all 6 bridesmaids were together with our bride, and a very happy moment! I promise to be posting a TON more photos in the coming weeks!

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Kathleen

Welp, Kathleen is now a Mrs! We celebrated at the Riverside Art Museum during the last weekend of July and then spent the night dancing on the rooftop! Okay… we didn’t dance because we had to catch our flight to Maine, but you get the point! She had the most fabulous details that I just adored, especially her cake table! I hope to share their photographer’s photos along with the invitations I helped her design soon! And of course, in mid-July we celebrated with a good old bachelorette party which you can read more about here.

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Caitlin

This gorgeous girl is getting married in just a few short weeks! And her bachelorette party is just next week! It was a short engagement but it still went by so much faster than I imagined! I am so excited for Jarred and Caitlin’s wedding, it is going to be such a good time!

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BBQ

I actually haven’t even been to a BBQ competition since the team competed in Temecula in June. That’s just crazy to think, but it’s been nice 🙂 haha

Anyway, the boys competed have just competed in 3 of their 4 back to back comps… starting in Huntington Beach on August 17 (same day as Amie’s shower!), then they took the 10 hour drive up to Wendover, Nevada and then this past weekend they competed in Mesquite, Nevada (their 4th time competing there—and they did an amazing job!!). I’ll wait to share Mesquite until next time but if you’d like to know more on their past two competitions, click here for Huntington Beach or here for Wendover.

Remember way back, when I mentioned Andy filmed a spot for a television show as a member of a focus group? Well his episode of Supermarket Superstars airs just next week on September 12, at 10:30 p.m. on Lifetime! After finally getting to watch a few episodes, we know his part will be super short, if they even show him at all, but I am definitely looking forward to my husband’s television premiere!

Follow past and upcoming Babies, Brides and BBQ here!

Another Year of Babies, Brides, and BBQ (May & June)

I really thought life couldn’t be crazier than it was last year, but this year has seriously been insane! I am so blessed with the work that I have been doing and get to do, but I am ever so thankful for these babies and being the matron of honor to my best friend bride to be, Amie! Oh and I guess I am thankful for BBQ too. 😉

Babies!

My little baby section is just growing and growing and growing!!

Owen

This is the Chunk as we all affectionately call Owen. He has just been growing and growing, and getting so tall! I love having them as our neighbors, seeing him each week has just been the biggest blessing for Andy and me. And having him “wow us” with walking into our arms on the last day of June, couldn’t get better than that! 🙂

This first photo is from our BBQ pool party we had in May, look at that chunk. Adorable! And then next photo is at Owen’s big brother Eli’s 5th birthday party this past weekend. I love how this photo sums up his personality and the way we think of Owen, belly out and guns blaring all with a smile on his face. 🙂

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Grayson

I can’t believe this little guy turned 1 last month!! It feels like just yesterday that he was born… he has the sweetest little personality, with so much curiosity and sparkle in his eyes. Oh and his little grin… he’s gonna be a heartbreaker! See more from his party in this post from 2 weeks ago.

The second photo is also from Eli’s birthday party, Grayson just loved the water! He’s just such a happy kid!

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Evelyn

Oh this pretty little miss was definitely worth the wait! She was born last October to my dear cousin Katie. And since their little family lives in Colorado, we had yet to meet this happy little lady. I think we all scrambled to get as much cuddle time in as possible during our one afternoon together and I am looking forward to so much more of Evie in Maine later this month even though there I will have to share with twenty other people! I’ll be just as happy snapping as many photos of this pretty little one anyway!

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Parker

At the beginning of May, we took some newborn photos of Parker, and even some with his big brother Hudson. He’s just so darling, and so alert!  See more here.

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Amelia

This blog was busy these past few months showing you another set of Rachel’s maternity photos and the baby shower. While she wasn’t expected to make her arrival until next month, Miss Amelia made her debut a few weeks early on June 8! I am excited to show more photos from her one week photo shoot with her Auntie Sammi.

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Molly

Miss Molly has been growing away, and her mama just glows with excitement for her arrival. We just finished up her baby shower invitations for the shower this August. Oh my, I just can’t wait to see all the girly fun gifts she will open! Here’s a photo of the little mama and the birthday boy, Grayson, last month.

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Brides

Amie

Wedding planning has been in a small lull… but the bridal shower planning is full steam ahead! My office is bursting at the seams full of branches and glassware for the upcoming cherry blossom festival themed shower! I asked Amie not to peek while she was here last night—the wedding invitation process has officially begun as well! Oh, and the birthday girl celebrated her big 27th birthday—she now shares her birthday with Rachel’s Amelia! And the two birthday buddies even got to have a cuddle session on their now shared birthday!

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Kathleen

How gorgeous was this lady at her shower! I just can’t wait to show you the photos from the festivities—but the rest will have to wait until next week! Oh, and her bachelorette party and wedding are just weeks away! I am so so so excited!!!! 🙂 I’ll give you a sneak peek at the wedding invitations we designed together too!

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BBQ

BBQ somewhat slowed down, only 2 BBQ competitions in 2 months… not too shabby… plus a couple catering jobs. The husband just won’t stop! The TV show he filmed a small part for starts this month too! He’s part of a focus group on a food related show coming out on Lifetime, but his episode probably won’t air until September… I’ll keep you posted.

Long Beach

Last year Long Beach was the craziest BBQ competition, in regards to vending, that we had ever been a part of. Double lines, 50 people deep, nonstop until we sold out of food. This year we came prepared to vend vend vend—we sold the same amount of food as the big guys who have been on national BBQ shows and were able to keep our line down. We were mighty proud of ourselves by the end of the day and then the boys were still able to compete at their finest by winning a second in pork and a 10th in chicken out of 55 teams. Read Rooftop’s blog on the event here.

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Pechanga

Pechanga was a great event! We only planned to sell our leftover food so we didn’t feel the usual rush and stress. We even had a 3 hour break before awards! Then during awards the boys were called in 3 of the 4 categories, taking home 8th in chicken, 9th in pork, and a FIRST in brisket. I don’t know if I have ever seen Andy happier than getting that first place call! See Rooftop’s post here.

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Follow past and upcoming Babies, Brides and BBQ here!