Sunday, January 15, 2012

oh the memories...

Clockwise from me (Me, Lachae, Summer, Adrianne, Michelle, Brooke, Kisha, and Melissa)

I got to spend last night with some of my oldest friends.....I met most of these girls in Jr. high, a few in 10th grade and even one in 3rd grade. It has been almost 15 years since we graduated from highschool - wowza - that is just crazy. We were the girls that loved highschool, were very involved, cheered, danced or supported cheer and dance and followed all the rules (well....most of us). Ya, I guess we were pretty nerdy but we didn't think so at the time.

We get together about once a year (or longer unfortunately) and we just laugh and laugh. Everyone is multiplying like rabbits (most are done with 3 or 4 kiddos and me with my measley 2). As our kids grow up there are hopes that we can get together even more. One of my best buds, Adrianne, is heading off to Seattle for her husbands new job and I will miss her dearly. It has only been a short time that we have reconnected since she moved back from San Diego but it has been wonderful....she has hooked Ella up with an awesome preschool, elementary school and piano really I owe her a lot in the short time she has been home. I really hope to visit her in Seattle - hopefully this summer!!

Thanks ladies for a wonderful night! We will miss ya Big A!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Halloween 2011

Halloween this year was fun and as always lasts more than just one day. We went to two pumpkin patches (one up in the desert of North Scottsdale with the in-laws and one here in Gilbert with the Zaurs). Blogger is being weird right now and not letting me write under each you are on your own. We went as the cast of the Wizard of OZ this year....yes, "we". Even my mom and Wayne went in on the fun. Our annual neighborhood pizza party went great and then we hit the streets for some good trick or treating....this was Jonah's first year really getting in on the action and he loved it more than anyone....probably even scored more candy than anyone else. But who wouldn't want to give all their candy to an adorable flying monkey?? Ella is already planning next year's Halloween theme....she is thinking "Aladdin".

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ella Marie - 5 years old

My baby girl is 5!!!

What?? I told her to stop growing up....she forcefully said, "NO!"

Ella is an amazing gal. She LOVES school, LOVES her friends, LOVES playing "The Lion King" with all her lions, LOVES elephants, LOVES to eat junky, "unhealthy" (as she calls it) cereal when allowed, LOVES her family, and LOVES being 5.

We started off her birthday weekend with a few treats that she was so excited about. She came home from school one day earlier in the month and said, "Mom, I know what I want for my birthday.I want to get my haircut and my ears pierced." Say what?? I was ok with it, but we had to talk daddy into both....luckily we did.

First, it was to get her ears pierced.


After (I think...I can barely see if there are earrings there). It was the EASIEST thing ever. I was surprised by how well Ella did and how simple and harmless it all looked. She now has a pair of pretty purple studs in her ears and is taking very good care of them.

After the ear-piercing event, Travis and I surprised her and took her to see The Lion King in 3D. What fun!

The next morning we were off her get her haircut.

She had never been to a salon before so this was all a real treat.

jonah was so happy it wasn't him getting his hair cut. He has already had more haircuts than his sister and he is not a fan.

Let the cutting begin...we were all a little nervous but once that first chop happened, and there was no turning back, we all relaxed.

She wasn't much of a fan of the hairdryer...complaining it was too hot.

But the final product was....

So freakin cute. I loved it, Travis loved it, Ella was in shock and it took her a little while to love it. After everyone else saw it and loved it, she felt better.

Our pretty birthday girl.

I started this last year and hope to keep going with it throughout the years. I love seeing the changes as she gets older.

Ella Marie - 5 years old

Ella's favorite

color: purple

food: McDonald;s

drink: milk

movie: Aladdin

tv show: Franklin

game: The Ladybug Game

friends: Lauren, Danielle and Taylor

book: Dumbo

animal: elephant

shoes: Crocs

shirt: any of her Disney shirts

breakfast: cinnamon rolls

season: fall

letter: E

number: 100

song: The Farmer in the Dell (she says Bell)

thing to do: color

sport: soccer

toy: Dumbo

special in school: Music

thing to learn: reading

holiday: halloween

place to go: Disneyland or the Disney store

And she wanted to come up with a question and it was "what is your favorite thing to do when it snows??" pretty random considering it doesn't snow here ever. But she answered "build a snowman"

We love you to the moon and back Ella! (and she would reply: "I love you to Australia and back")

The Purple Polka Dot Elephant Extravaganza

Ella's 5th birthday party was a success!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I put a lot of work into this party....probably too much because in the end all that really mattered was that Ella had a blast and she did. Months ago she decided on the "Purple Polkadot Elephant" theme and I tried my best to make it happen. I know Ella was impressed :)

Ella and her new kindergarten friends. They all laugh and give hugs like every 3 seconds.

I just thought all these shoes looked so funny outside the bouncy castle....what a great way to entertain.

The "mom" friends

Carissa, Brooke, Camryn, Danielle, Ella, and Olivia

Ava, Taylor, Hannah, Audra, and Abby

The "older" girls

Jonah was lovin life in this mix of girls

These girls were just overcome by excitement while Ella was opening her presents...

Amanda and Jonah

Playing a little "Pin the Trunk on the Elephant"

We did the same game last year but it was "pin the kiss on the frog", she wanted it again this year and she will probably want it again next year....creature of habit.

Ella's wonderful girlfriends (minus Lauren)

The family good as we could get.

The morning after....he was in heaven!

Ella Marie on the morning of her 5th birthday...still going with the purple polka dots.

we love you beautiful!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Busiest Month EVER!!!

The month of September proved to be an extremely busy month for me. It all started off with Disney, then 10 days of making 20+shirts, then it was Amanda and Jake's engagement party at our house on the 17th (pics below), Ella's bday party at our house was the next weekend, as well as my mom's bday and NY was the following weekend after that....all super fun, memorable, and exciting stuff - just all within 4 weeks of eachother....I usually like things spread out a little more.

Anyways, all things were successful. I found quite a knack for party planning (I have always loved entertaining but PINTEREST has turned me into an obsessive party planner)

Amanda and Jake's party was black and white themed and although the pics of the table aren't that great, there was a lot of time and effort put into it and everyone had a wonderful time.

Amanda and Jake are getting married on March 17, 2012. We are all very excited for them to start their real lives together. They are very much in love.


The decor

Amanda and her future sis-in-law, Meghan

We might as well all be sisters...

We need a trick to keep my grandma's eyes open in pics....she will be in a lot of them in the next 6 months.

The food turned out great with lots and lots of help from my mom....wish I had taken a pic before it was devoured.

The "nearly" weds

Jonah LOVES Jake....and Jake LOVES Jonah!

J and B

These two are getting closer and closer to being able to "play" with eachother. If they are anything like their sisters, they will be best buds. Can't wait to watch these two grow up.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth!!

Well I think I am still on a Disneyland "high" because each time I think about or talk about our trip I just get soooo happy! We had the BEST time imaginable....Travis is probably laughing at the fact that I am saying that. He just couldn't understand how this trip was considered a "vacation". He had fun too....just won't admit it like the rest of us.

We drove to Cali on Friday, did Disneyland from 10am-8pm on Saturday, ran the Half Marathon on Sunday morning then did California Adventure from noon-10pm, and headed home on Monday. Relaxing? No.....So much fun??? YES!!!!

OK so I posted the wrong pic of the family but did not want to start all over again to get the one with Ella looking at the camera....we do have one though.

Ella was sooo hesitant as we walked into the park....she has a panick attack every time she sees a character of any sort, whether it be Pluto or Mary Poppins. It took her a while to realize that they wouldn't be around all day. In a good way, her anxiety cut down on a lot of wait waiting in line at the Princess Fantasy Faire or to see Rapunzel and Flynn. She (nor really any of us) would dare go on a scary that helped with timing too. We were so relaxed the whole time and just followed her lead.

Ella is OBSESSED with elephants and couldn't wait to ride Dumbo.

But first she had to go on the Tea Cups....luckily Memaw was willing to take her since her lame parents can't stomach rides like these.

While Ella was on the teapcups, Mimi and Papa waited in line for Dumbo and they took Ella and Jonah. Both loved it.

A dream come true for Ella....

And then it was off the Casey Jr Train (the Little Engine that could from Dumbo)

And by about 2:00, Jonah was toast. We took him on It's A Small World and then Trav and Greg took him back to the hotel so they could ALL nap.

The crazy crew...Ella LOVED the "small world" ride....which made me happy since it was my favorite ride as a kid.

She and I went on it twice...

This look gives away her emotion for the whole weekend.....she was in pure bliss.

Toon Town....

The "Soundsational" Parade was spectacular.....gave Ella the chance to see all the characters without the fear of having a heart attack.

Ariel waved right at us!!!!

Mimi and Papa loved spending the day with their little princess....

And of course, they each got their own set of personalized Mickey/Minnie ears.

It has taken a few days to detach from the his best friend "the Pacifier" was his saving grace through this busy, off-routine, trip...and I am thankful for that!


Sunday morning, my mom and I were up at 4:15am for the Disneyland Half-Marathon. What an AMAZING was a lot of fun; very motivating but very crowded - which made way for some slow running. But that's ok cause we had a blast!

Donning our oh-so-cute Minnie tees...

Success....we finished strong and kinda can't wait for next year!


Who hasn't ridden on one of their parent's shoulders at Disneyland???

Once again, by mid afternoon Jonah was toast and graciously, Mary and Greg took him back to the hotel for a nice long nap. That gave Ella and us the chance to see "Aladdin" live on stage. What a great show!

Three generations at Disney.

Ok so since Ella was so petrified of the characters, we didn't really scope out any. As we were walking into Bugs Land, we spotted Chip and Dale doing photo ops and signing autographs so I stood in the short line and got Ella, what she apparently always wanted, an autograph. She stood about 100 feet away and just watched but then talked and talked and talked about how she got their autograph. Funny, I would have done the exact same thing as a kid.....luckily I became a little braver as I grew up.

daddy and ella on the bumper cars

mommy and ella on the spinning lady said before, I DO NOT stomach these rides well and I am not sure what I was thinking going on this other than that I knew Ella wanted to and there wasn't a grandparent in sight. I seriously felt horrible for about an hour after this 3 minute ride.

And then we come to The World of Color.....such a perfect way to end our Disney adventures. It was a magical experience to say the least. Ella and Jonah both loved it and it even brought tears to my eyes because it was soo good (well that and the fact that they showed when Mufasa died on Lion King and I cry every time I see that part).

Just is all she keeps talking about.

This was our view of the back of CA Adventure from our hotel balcony. Miss Mary got us the presidential suite at the Hilton for the weekend.....score!!

Our dining room and living room....

Half of our balcony. We had a perfect view of the Disneyland fireworks each night....

This trip couldn't have been more perfect. Thank you to my mom for signing us up for this race and getting this whole ball rolling. Thank you to the Mantle's for getting this fantastic room (hope these hook ups last forever) and for taking care of Jonah while we hung back at the park. Thank you to Travis for being filled with patience all weekend....good job, you did it!! Thank you to Wayne for not being too mad when we forgot to order your breakfast two mornings in a row!! Thank you to Ella for not crying or throwing any fits...well maybe just a few on the last night. Thank you to Jonah for going with the flow as well as you could. And thank you to the "Happiest Place on Earth" for entertaining my family for two days. We will never forget this was our first but definitely won't be our last. (Don't worry Travis and Greg, we will give you a few years to recover before the next one)