A party is a party...

But a party after all this whole lock-down/social distancing/shelter-in-place/quarantine business is going to be amazing! I’ve already started planning it. Its going to be a backyard rib fest rainbow themed birthday party for when the girls turn five.

We’re in weird times, and I am ready to get together with friends and family. One of the benefits is that a lot of the clutter in our lives has gone by the wayside, and I find myself enjoying meaningful connections more, even when at a distance. I’ve been better about dropping something off to a friend, calling my grandmother, sending notes my kids make to my mother (their grandma). And I find it fulfilling. And the best part, getting cards BACK from grandma. I remember how excited I would get when I got something in the mail as a kid (still do when I get anything actually addressed to me personally, not bills or junk) – and now I get to watch it on my kids. Their eyes light up, they get big smiles on their faces, and they cherish those envelopes and notes addressed to them.
So why don’t we do that more? 

This year I am sending out party invitations for the girls party – addressed to the their friends. I know when I get a text invite or email invite I don’t show my kids, they don’t know they’ve received anything (can I say how much I’m enjoying no email invitations in my inbox to keep track of?). I would love to spread joy with a card. We do it at Christmas time, send love in an envelope, why not more throughout the year?

I’ve already got the party invitation all figured out, with the help of BasicInvite.com. Here's what I've got so far: 

Dates and times can be figured out later, but I've already got the cuteness figured out. Now let me show you SOME of their color customization options - they have over 180! Plus foil options, multiple card shapes, designs with or without pictures, over 40 envelopes to choose from. They’re fully customizable invitations – you’re not pigeon holed into 4 color schemes.

They give the widest variety + most customization options I’ve seen (and in marketing + as a photographer, I’ve worked with a lot of invitation sites), and all of cards you actually want. You get the benefits of working with a graphic designer, without the cost. They offer free sample orders, free address collection + printing (so your envelopes come printed with addresses and return labels. My mind keeps exploding over this!), and free websites (wedding, party, shower, anything!). They even have an option to mail your cards for you! For this party I'll be self-addressing and mailing the cards myself, but the opt-in's are endless. 

Amazing, but what's the bottom dollar? That's the force that drives a lot of my decision making. They’re the same as or less than any other card you’d find on an online stationary site, – but I also looked at uncustom, very boring cards at some retail stores (the kind that say where/time/date and a blank line for you to write in the info) - these are about ten cents more a card, that’s it. For that marginal extra cost you can get a card made for any event: high school graduation announcements, wedding save the dates, 50th wedding anniversary celebrations, surprise 80thbirthday party invitation. They’ve got you covered. 

And thank you notes for after - how cute is this? 

And I can change the colors to mimic the invite - so they'll coordinate, but aren't the exact thing. Not too matchy-matchy. So adorable. And now to aspire to be the mom that helps my children write thank you notes (I joke, but it is a goal of mine to be better at writing thank you notes, and teaching my children). Is it too early to start planning our Christmas card?

This post was sponsored by BasicInvite.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This really is an amazing site and one I will be recommending to friends and family (and brides). 


2020: week 21

"I scream, you scream, since we bought it, all you do is scream for ice scream!"

We went to a park! First time in months. 

We also went to our first get together at Bryan's brothers and the kids were overjoyed to see their cousin. We got there, saw them once to give them food, and grabbed them when it was time to go. Other than that they disappeared. Well, we did see them in passing - Jac always in a different dress-up. And I overheard them playing with balls on the "jumpoline" (Blake's word) and yelling "don't let the corona virus get you!" as they ran from the bouncing balls.

Jac walked into the kitchen and declared, "I need carrots. They're good for my eyes."

Wade has one week left of school, two days left of assignments. He's been brainstorming gift ideas for his teacher and how he's going to hug her next year when he's in first grade and all this "stupid virus stuff is over."

Found this winner he took of himself during school:

And when his teacher told him to make a silly face:

Wade learned how to ride his bike without training wheels! His tires were flat and we've been trying to get a pump for almost two months (got one, it didn't work, everywhere was sold out, one got "delivered" but never came...finally got one). I think all the anticipation made Wade beyond ready, Bryan helped him one time, then he said, "Daddy, I got it." And he did. 

Sunday we went on our first family bike ride. Well, Bryan and I walked/ran because we knew littles would need help. They did. Everyone had a crash. Everyone had at least one melt down. Bryan ended up carrying Jac's bike back 1/4 the way. 2 out of 3 kids were sentenced to naps afterwards. It was humid, we were all sweaty. Such a fun afternoon.

Wade has started saying "reckon."

Neighbors got a new driveway put in. It was fun viewing for all.

We were eating chicken and Blake starts talking about how they got their heads chopped off. She told us she knew about that cause we told her that's how they kill pigs. We might be scarring them,. Wade talked about how we needed to eat all the meat or the chicken would've died for nothing and wasted their life. And we'd waste money if we bought food and threw it away. Both very good points. Kids eating chicken like dragons:

The kids were trying to see who could slap Bryan's hand the hardest. Blake ran from the other room (to gather speed), wound up her slap, and missed Bryan's hand.

Set up the deck, kids played connect 4. Feels like a good outdoor game, all those pieces to lose. 

They really the best of friends. Who yell at each other a lot.

It keeps raining. Waiting for flash floods to ruin all the crops and we're onto our next 2020 disaster. Also, it's making a river in our yard going into our neighbors. Everything is muddy. My kids have a sandpit, but keep playing in the mud. 

My house has been quite the sight to see. Muddy kids + yard working mom + projects  = neglect. Bryan mopped Saturday afternoon and all that evening and Sunday he kept lamenting how it was already dirty. Shocker. 

Here was Wade's room before we did our Saturday clean:

The girls slept in there while I worked on their room, which made Wade very possessive of it during the day and he really went to town on some creations. 

I finished the girls room. I'm so proud of myself. More pictures in the previous blog post (or you can click here). 

As soon as they came in Blake started drawing on the doodle wall, just what it's for! Really tried to make it a fun space for them. Success!

It's currently the sleepover room because Wade was sad the girls got a new room, so now I'm working on his. Plus the bathroom. I love projects!

Wade, Jac and I made cupcakes together. It's the most difficult thing I've done all week. They wanted to record themselves and we saying things like, "Welcome to our show." "Hope you like our video!" and everything they've seen on youtube channels.

A plant spilled in the girls room. It's going to happen if you put plants in your house, especially in kids rooms. But then Jac decided to carry some into Wade's room. And that's Jac thinking for ya. I'm not sure if she wanted his room dirty too, or thought it might throw me off her scent and blame everyone? Not sure, Jac thinking.

Oh, man, I am so grateful I have a running list on my phone of things to add, cause I already forgot this one. Bryan didn't know that the yellow dandelions turned into the white dandelions. I had to show him a life-cycle picture. And on that note, I'll end for this week.