Sunday, January 24, 2010

Party like a rockstar!

Thank you to everyone who was able to celebrate our little monkey's birthday with us. Eli is so blessed to have so many people in his life that love and care about him...Thank you!

Here are a few pictures from our one-year-old's big day!
These are the party favors that I made. They are bags of Monkey Munch (or Puppy Chow) with pictures of Eli attached.

Here are the cupcakes I made...the big one in the middle was for Eli. They were super easy and I loved the way they turned out. The mouths of the cupcakes are Vanilla Wafers and the ears are Sandies minis. On Eli's cake the mouth is made of a sugar cookie and the ears are Vanilla Wafers. I used gel icing for the eyes, nose and mouth.

The picture on the left was for everyone to sign. We played a game with the bottle of Cheerios to see who could guess the number of Cheerios...the winner got the picture of Eli on the right.

We used bananas to tie the balloons to the mantel and on the tables. I made the banner out of card stock and scrapbook paper. Then we framed pictures of Eli and put them on the mantel.

Here is his highchair and birthday hat!

I was in charge of the cake, other desserts and the decorating, but Chris was in charge of the important stuff...the food! Here are Grandy and Steve giving Chris some grilling advice.
Aunt Alison took pictures of Eli opening presents! Thanks!

Eli was more into his gifts than he was at Christmas. It made it a lot of fun!

Aunt Stef won the Cheerio guessing game!

Grandpaw opened up Eli's savings account and made his first deposit for his college fund!

We were so excited that Nanny and Papaw were able to come down. Eli LOVES Papaw's walker!

Here are Mamaw, Nanny, Stef, Lynda and Papaw. The banner in the window is a picture of Eli every month for 12 months.

We served pulled pork sandwiches, chips, potato salad and veggie skewers.

oh, and Polish can't have a Britten get-together without it!

One more shot of the cupcakes...we also had banana pudding.

Cake time!
This was a pretty big thing for our little guy who really hasn't had any butter, flour or sugar except for his puffs and recently Cheerios. He still eats homemade baby food and is gradually eating more of what Chris and I have for dinner...but it is very limited and very healthy.

Of course, he loved the cake and all of the attention!

We were so messy we decided to take a quick bath!

Here is Chris's family that came to celebrate with us! I completely forgot to get a picture of my family until my grandparents and aunt had already left!

It really was a perfect party to celebrate Eli! We are so thankful for our little boy and what a blessing he has been in our lives! Thank you again to those that shared it with us!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We have a toddler!

Eli is one. Eli is ONE.

We will be having a small party this weekend with our family. We thought about inviting our friends too, but we decided to keep it small for this year.

Here is the invite that I made for our little monkey. (On a side note, 3 people have asked me to design invites for them and I am so excited! I love to do it!)

Holy Moly! Where did this year go? If you couldn't tell, we are proud as peaches of our adorable, bright, amazing, talented, (etc.) 12 month old.

This month Eli, you got your second haircut. You rock a fauxhawk.

You are walking, practically running everywhere.

You still have 6 teeth and your vocab is about the same as last month.

You are transitioning from having your milk from your bottle to your sippy cup. You are using your pacifier less and less. Next week you will "lose" your pacifier forever. Can't wait for that fun.

You still take 2 naps a day about 1-2 hours each. You go to bed at 8 and wake up around 6 or 7. No more middle-of-the-night bottles! Hooray!

You know where your hat goes (on your head), and how to put your toys back in their are also every good at getting them back out again.

You LOVE to play chase with mommy and daddy. You laugh so loud when we chase you, then we turn around and you chase us!

You have just started to really wear shoes since you are walking so well. You had your second big fall into the door facing because you were practicing to walk in your big boy shoes (you can still see the bruise on his forehead).

You started to give your sisters (our puppies) big hugs and laying your head on them.

You know what I mean when I ask "Is your daddy home?". You drop everything and run to the back door to meet him.

You have also started really pointing and saying "that" for things you want and being very vocal about what you don't want! :)

Here is Eli's 11 month scrapbook page...(Look at that super cute sweater vest he has on! Thanks, aunt Stef & aunt Kaci!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?

Yes, we have finished editing the New Orleans pictures. If you didn't know, Chris and I took a trip to New Orleans for our 5 year anniversary. All the plans were laid out and Chris, Eli, my mom (Eli's babysitter), and I were all set to leave the Monday after Christmas. Two days before we were scheduled to leave my dad pulled a ligament in his chest. He was in a lot of pain and asked my mom to stay home to take care of him.

Chris and I didn't know what to do, but decided to sleep on it. In the morning we talked and decided to take my mom up on her offer to keep Eli with her while we went on the trip. I cried the whole morning packing for me and Eli...I couldn't even look at Chris without tearing up. I bet we wavered in our decision 10 times before we finally left to take Eli to Memamaw's house. I wasn't scared that something would happen to him, I know that my mom can take care of Eli at his worst. I was scared that something would happen to Chris and I. We stayed up until about 3 in the morning finishing up packing and were up at 5:30 to leave for the airport.

I hate to fly. Well, maybe I don't hate it, but I am really, really uncomfortable doing it. Thank God I didn't hear about the attempted plane bombing before we left.

Here is how I passed our flights. I couldn't put this book down. I got it for Christmas last year and I decided to throw it in my bag...if you are looking for a good read you should check it out.

Here is Chris at our first NOLA food experience... VooDoo BBQ. It was soooo good. Really, everything that we ate was excellent...and I have the 7lbs. to prove it. I had a pulled pork sandwich with corn pudding and Chris had a trio of meat BBQ and greens.

That night we ate at Red Fish Grill on Bourbon Street. We had Boudin Balls for our appetizer, Chris had gumbo, and I had a Caesar salad.

Walking around Bourbon Street we found this shirt in a shop. I thought it was appropriate for our 5 year anniversary and made Chris pose with it!

Bourbon Street

The next day we headed to the French Market on the trolley that runs throughout the Garden District (where we stayed), the French Market and the French Quarter. I am sure that it goes other places, but we only took it there. The trolleys were cheap and a wonderful way to get places. However, most of the time we didn't see one or they were packed, so most days we walked from our hotel and back (around 4 miles) to wherever we were going.

For lunch we ate at Coop's place. We really picked it because our cousins' last name is Cooper but it ended up being our favorite place over everywhere we went.

Our food! I had a blacked chicken po-boy with fries and Chris had jambalaya with alligator sausage, shrimp, rabbit and crawfish.

Jackson Square

The Saint Louis Cathedral...

Look at those gorgeous floors!

Shop window on Jackson Square.

Next we headed to Cafe Du Monde for me, they tasted just like funnel cake.

We took our beignets and headed to the square garden to feast...

sugar coma...

That night we headed back to the French is a band that was playing on Canal and Bourbon Street.

Canal Street.

The next day was rainy, so we took a quick look at the cemeteries and then went to a mall.

Because New Orleans is below sea level, they use above ground graves. It was really neat to see.

The next day we went to Magazine Street to do some shopping.

We ate at Joey K's. It was one of the restaurants highlighted on Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" that we heard about.

Chris got red beans and rice.

I got a hamburger and sweet potato fries.

Then we happened upon heaven...Sucre.

Chris chose the "Tiffany" to eat, which is a dark chocolate truffle with a raspberry glaze and raspberry filling. He said that was the second best Tiffany he has ever had...ha. I got a filled chocolate cupcake with carmel was heaven. We definitely didn't go back the next day for the same thing...nope, not us. :)

For New Year's Eve we headed to Jackson Square where we caught Lady Antebellum in a free outdoor concert and a firework show at midnight over the Mississippi.
Here is a shot of Preservation Hall. We kept seeing alot of art with it so we decided to check it out. It was fabulous and might have been the best thing that we did on our whole trip.

This was New Year's Eve. They dropped a Fleur de Lis instead of a ball from the Jax Beer Brewery.

After our 3 mile walk from Jackson Square back to our hotel, we enjoyed chocolates from Sucre and was 3 in the morning.

The next morning (well, maybe I should say later that day), we took a walking tour of the Garden District to see their gorgeous homes.

That night we ate at Emeril's in the Business District.

That night we went to Preservation Hall. It is a jazz joint where they play from 8-11 with no smoking and no drinking. It was absolutely perfect. We were a little bummed that most of Bourbon Street was clubs and pop music. We were relieved to find this little gem.

The band leader, Leroy Jones, has played with Harry Connick, Jr. on a few of his CD's.

The next day we headed about an hour out of town to tour the Nottoway plantation. Can you see us in the mirror? We are total dorks, I know.

Here we are at the Kako Gallery, where we got our one piece of art. Each time we travel, we try to pick some piece of art that was made locally.

The Creole Queen...

We chose to take a tour on the Natchez, the only remaining steam-powered vessel on the Mississippi.

Our last night in the Big Easy, we ate at a La Bayou, and finished the evening at the Blues Cafe.

Hot dog mongers were rampant in the French Quarter, but we didn't drink near enough for one to sound good!

Before we left I made sure to pick up another book for the flight home. I got The Time Traveler's Wife. I just finished it a couple of days ago. It was WONDERFUL. I am making Chris read it now. After he is finished maybe we will see the movie.

We had a really wonderful time. Despite what we had heard we felt very safe while we were there...and we walked alot and most of the time very late at night. There were only two times I didn't feel safe. One time was as we were trying to walk back to our hotel on New Year's Eve, we walked down Bourbon Street with the masses. It is what I imagine a mosh pit is like, but I had this fear that someone would fall and everyone would trample them...I will never go to NO for Marti Gras for that reason. The second time was as we were walking back to our hotel late at night and a man was yelling 3 blocks in front of us walking toward us. He contiuned to yell, but walked passed us. Those and a completle stranger walking up to me and giving me a kiss on New Year's Eve were really the only times that I felt nervous.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures! We really loved the city and hope we get to go back again!