Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Honoring Mommy: SHMS Former Parent Award

When it comes to education, I would easily argue that my parents spared no expense. They sought the best preschool, elementary, & high school for the 4 of us. That in itself was plenty for us and has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. I greatly appreciate the financial commitment & sacrifice that my parents have made for me (in all things but especially my education).

In addition, my parents have always supported the school(s) 110% whether it be donating to the annual fund, auctioning off vehicles, accompanying us on field trips, starting athletic programs, coaching our sports teams, being a room mom, serving on committees, and so forth & so on.

My mom has dedicated the past 30+ years to her children and their surroundings so it really came as no surprise that she would be honored as the SHMS Former Parent Awardee. She was shocked of course because that is how humble she is. She doesn't often realize the impact that she has made on her children's lives. Maybe because we don't always take the time to let her know or maybe because she wouldn't have her life purpose any other way.

I was able to fly home to be at the award ceremony. For those of you who don't know, SHMS is short for Sacred Heart Model School where we went from kindergarden through eighth grade. It is one of the most intense grade schools around with midterms & finals beginning in 3rd grade and a foreign language starting in kindergarden. The teachers are amazing and have positively impacted so many students. I attribute my academic success to SHMS.

My mom graciously accepted her award with this sincere & witty speech...

I am so proud of you mom!!! Congrats on an amazing honor & award!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Adelaide Jane: On the Move

On Sunday September 8, 2013 our big girl took several steps holding onto her daddy's hand...

On Thursday September 12, 2013 our big girl took several steps all on her own...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 EATF Grant Awards & Honoree Luncheon

In the early spring of last year, I was asked to be on the committee of the Eastern Adult Tennis Foundation (EATF). The EATF is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization created to bring public attention and financial support for worthy, grassroots tennis programs for adult and senior participation. Our biggest event is an annual luncheon held in September with morning tennis then lunch & a keynote speaker. 

Late last year, I was asked by the committee to serve as President & Chairwoman for this year. I accepted and was terrified! I am not well connected in the community and the majority of my tennis friends are on the committee!

But thanks to all of the wonderful ladies who serve on our committee, we were able to put on a fabulous day for 150 guests! 

Tennis Registration & Play

We had all of the tennis courts and TWO clubs filled with tennis enthusiasts and local pros who roamed and gave pointers. And the amazing Lindsay Davenport who played with every single group!

Beach Point Club Luncheon Room
Fashion Show Models

The weather was superb making for a beautiful setting on and off the court. Our luncheon room overlooked the picturesque waters as the boats floated in & out of the marina. We awarded nearly $19000 in grants to 18 organizations! We honored the late Maita Blume, my dear friend Abbi's mom, and a long-time committee member who passed away earlier this year.

Our keynote speaker was Lindsay Davenport, one of the greatest female tennis players ever. She has accomplished so much in her professional life: 14 years on the WTA pro tour, 3 Grandslam championships, and an Olympic gold medal in 1996. She has accomplished so much in her personal life: married to her best friend, mother to 3 children & one on the way! And she is honestly one of the most humble, shy, & gracious person that I have ever met. She captivated the entire audience with her stories and her expertise. She was open and honest sharing her struggles along the road to excellence.  

I truly feel honored to have been asked to head such a wonderful organization & cause and be surrounded by so many supportive women! Looking forward to the 2014 EATF Grant Awards Luncheon!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PCG Wonderful Ones

Last January I randomly met Leigh at the gym. She mentioned a great parent/child program that she had started with her oldest when she moved to NY from the south. Desperate to meet mom friends, I decided to join the Babbling Babies group. Adelaide & I spent most Friday mornings with other moms & kids who were navigating the waters of first borns and new motherhood. Whitney & I (Adelaide & Caileigh) became fast friends. We ended up in the same swim class with Heather & Benjamin and enjoyed reuniting with Emily & Bella from prenatal yoga!

This year we started Wonderful Ones on Thursday mornings. We have 3 new friends, Roxy, Ben, & Adam, plus Adelaide's bff Caileigh :) The first session was last week and a great success. Last year we worked with Nancy as the facilitator and spoke about adult topics. The purpose of Babbling Babies is to find a network & community of other moms. Wonderful Ones is about beginning the process of getting our children acquainted with school. For 30 minutes we spend time playing with the kids and introducing them to one another. Then the moms move to the other side of the room to talk alone with Nancy about parenting issues/concerns/practices. While we are discussing, the children play with 2 teachers. After 30 minutes of the separation, we sing songs together and finish up with a snack at the adorable little people table & chairs.

Our little ones did great this first week and it is so neat to see how much they have grown as well as how much us moms have grown :)

Looking forward to a great year!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Adelaide Jane: Cake Smash

On the morning of Adelaide's Paris birthday party, we decided to do a cake smash photo session complete with a mini Eiffel Tower, pink ombre cake, and strands of pearls ;) She refused to sit in the grass really and simply stood while shoveling fistfuls of cake & icing into her little mouth. It was so cute and extremely fun to have cake for breakfast!

Here are a few sneak peak pictures that Shana sent over:

To clean up, we decided to bring an ice bucket outside and fill it with bubbles! She splished & splashed all around as the icing melted from her hair into the tub. I found the most adorable French poodle towel wrap that we bought her for her birthday so she snuggled up next to her daddy and dried off.

I love these pictures and will always remember what a fun day was had by all!

**More pictures to come**

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mademoiselle Adelaide Celebrates in Paris

From the minute Adelaide was born (IT'S A GIRL!), I was planning her birthday party in my head, heart, & Pinterest boards. Not because I was wishing away her first year; but because the thought of celebrating her life, my daughter, felt like the most amazing thing to me.

I set out trying to think of a sophisticated yet feminine yet age appropriate theme. I am not and never have been a crazy Disney/cartoon/baby-ish stuff person. Even as a child I preferred to do or play with more adult things. Then I realized that I love French and I love Paris. And well I hope that Adelaide is fluent in French as a young child (if Ryan would ever hook up the DVD player then I could play her my French baby lessons!) and I just know she will love the language & the culture especially when I take her there for an entire summer to travel around France. SO Paris-themed it was!

I may or may not have gone all out with this party. In my mind, I wanted to create Paris (in Kentucky) to give it somewhat of a real feel. With a southern twist of course ;) Thankfully at Chateau Collins, also known as my parents' house, there is a pool. Insert Le Seine. Making my Rive Droite & Rive Gauche a little more real.

Now no trip to Paris is possible without a passport which is why Mademoiselle Adelaide so graciously sent all of her family & friends one...

Arriving in Paris, guests were greeted with adorable wreaths made by my sister-in-law Amanda to say BONJOUR and let everyone know Mademoiselle A was turning ONE!

As I mentioned early, I wanted to simulate how Paris is actually set up. The Rive Droite (right bank) is famously known for the main drag known as the Champs-Elysees. Lining the streets are various shops & cafes until you reach the Arc de Triomphe. So in our Rive Droite, we had the yummy French fare set up along with delicious cocktails and "shops".

French favorites that were served included the crepe station, the croissant bar, caprese pops, French fries, and fruit flutes. Specialty drinks served were pink champagne, pink margaritas, & pink punch.

On the other side of the Seine, the Rive Gauche (left bank) sits doting years of history. This is typically where the artists, writers, and philosophers hail from. While many of the local Parisians enjoy wading in the Seine, they also enjoy being creative on the left bank. So I decided to set up a few easels so the mademoiselles and monsieurs could get their color/draw on.

Shana helped me set up a Parisian photo booth complete with mustaches, berets, glasses, poodles, Eiffel Towers, & Arc de Triomphes. The memories a photo holds is unparalleled.

Notoriously known for the Eiffel Tower, I collected many many of these little gems to set throughout the house & patio. Also I scooped up several picture frames with Paris accents to show how Mademoiselle Adelaide had grown over the last 12 months. And well I just couldn't resist anything that seemed Parisian so every little detail screamed France!

When it came time for dessert, I felt like cupcakes were way easier for kids & adults...and more convenient than cutting a cake. I wanted it to still reflect the theme so I contacted Brooke Jung (I went to high school with her sister-in-law and know her husband) who does AMAZING work! She created an Eiffel Tower of cupcakes. She also made a tiny cake for Mademoiselle Adelaide to blow out her 1st candle :)

For favors, I wanted to keep with the Paris theme but also do something a little different. Of course chocolate was a must so I ordered Eiffel Tower chocolates for the goodie bags. That covered Rive Droite. To cover Rive Gauche, I found little Paris coloring books with French things to color. They were super cute and educational with French vocab! For the older guests, I found some colorful berets that I thought they would enjoy (along with their chocolates!).

There is nothing more special than celebrating life with those that you love the most. Adelaide will always know how wonderful her family & friends are to us, and I will always remember this beautiful celebration of her!

**More pics to come**

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11: We Remember

As we remember the fallen from September 11, 2001 today, I reflect back to where I was when these horrific attacks took place. I reflect on the great sadness that struck this country. I remember the unity we exemplified following the attacks. I remember the strong emotions I had visiting Ground Zero 3 months later.

As a New York resident, I have an even greater respect & understanding now of the tragedy that this great nation and state felt on September 11th. I honor the people who lost their lives, those who fought/fight for this country, and those who lost loved ones.

Sunday night 60 Minutes did a piece on the 9/11 Museum. Mom, Taylor, & I recently visited the 9/11 Memorial which is breathtaking. The museum structure was up but still a work in progress. I was fascinated and inspired by the story of how the museum has come/is coming to be. Touched by the board of directors who all lost loved ones on that unforgettable day. The museum will tell a remarkable story that a large portion of our young population was not even alive to remember. It will share stories of heros; intimate last phone calls; the man/men responsible for the greatest tragedy in this country. It will honor the lives lost. And it will remind us of why we are proud to call the United States of America our home.

If you missed the segment Sunday night, I urge you to check it out here. To read about the museum, click here.

“All of a sudden there were people screaming. I saw people jumping out of the building. Their arms were flailing. I stopped taking pictures and started crying.” -Michael Walters, a freelance photojournalist in Manhattan

“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” -Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of New York City

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” -President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adelaide Jane Turning One: Her Actual Birth Day Celebration

I am big on traditions. Even at this age because I want to start things on Adelaide's firsts and continue them through out her life. So I thought her birthday was a great time to pull a few things out of my sleeve ;)

She awoke to pink polka dot balloons all in her crib. It brought much delight as she was giggling & playing with them for ever.

Then I fixed up some funfetti pancakes for the birthday girl for a sweet breakfast treat. She was all over that melted icing that drizzled down the pancakes.

Next we enjoyed an afternoon stroll through Henry's Ark which is a petting zoo out in Prospect. I found out about it from Blair over at Element of an Image and deemed it the perfect casual birthday outing. Mimi, Kendahl, Bishop, Collins, Cooper, & Tay joined us which made it extra special.

The day was complete with a homemade cake from Aunt Tay (her Godmother) and tunes of Happy Birthday all around. Such a great first birthday celebration!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Music Mondays: You're Gonna Hear Me Roar

So obsessed with Katy Perry's latest hit!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Adelaide Jane's First Haircut

While in Louisvile, I decided to take care of Adelaide's mullet/rat tail/swoop bangs. I had been hesitant to actually cut it myself because cuttings straight lines aren't my thing, and I didn't want to be held responsible for ruining her hair for the rest of her life. So I booked an appointment at Joseph's Salon with my dear friend Tiffany. (You might recall her wedding last October).

Mimi & Aunt Tay came along to take photos and help in keeping her still. She did great and sat in my lap the whole time with the sweetest little cape on.

Her haircut makes her look so grown up in my eyes. All of a sudden she went from being a baby to a toddler in minutes!! Thanks Tiffany for making Adelaide Jane's hair look perfect :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New York Play Group: Fall Fun

For me, structure and planning is incredibly important. So when it comes to parenting and making sure that I am helping Adelaide develop and become socialized, I need play dates. We have made an amazing group of friends (moms & babies) here which makes getting together unbelievably fun!

We decided to start a fall/winter play group with 6 little tikes. 4 girls, 2 boys. We rotate houses each week going from one side of the county to the other. Since I sort of orchestrated the whole thing, I offered to host the first week.

I had my fall decorations ready and new toys freshly laid out for little fingers to play with. Everyone arrived around lunch time so I made a nice spread for kiddies & adults. I also had little beach buckets filled with a watering can, book, goldfish, & juice box for each child. Just a little something for them to enjoy the last days of summer & warmth around here.

We had a great time as the kids played, giggled, cried, ate, drank, and tired themselves out! We can't wait for the madness to continue next week :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Arts & Crafts: Summer Edition

You might recall that part of my *nesting* phase included beacoup crafting & scrapbooking. Even after Adelaide was born I managed to stay a float with holiday decor and such. But lately our life has been hectic with traveling, play dates, pool time, and sleep. Yes we sleep in this house because it is a necessity to our survival.

In the past few weeks, I have felt rejuvenated or crazy causing my crafting bug to kick in. It all started by cruising Pinterest too often and looking back at DIY projects I had pinned months ago. So nearly a year later, I decided to do something with Adelaide's coming home outfit (inspiration here). I sort of love it and can't wait to put it in her big girl room...

Then I needed a cute yet easy AND travel-friendly hostess gift for our sweet friends who hosted us during our California trip. Viola summer lemonade jars (printable here)...

Next I decided to have a birthday party in New York for Miss Adelaide. This meant that it had to be budget friendly or Ryan might kill me. Thus I set out to order print outs from Frosting & Ink on Etsy to print & cut myself. Then I also decided to make a few decor items myself along with the adult favors.

Ice Cream Cone Wreath:

Adelaide's Ice Cream Shoppe Banner: 

Ice Cream Cone Bath Kit:

I didn't make this, but I did find it on Etsy at EstSignsFeedOrphans and fell totally in love with I had to order for my parents' wedding anniversary. It has their birth dates, their anniversary, their kids' birth dates, & their grandkids' birth dates. I found a complimentary frame and away it went to them. They loved it!

Perhaps my favorite idea of all was a decade of gifts to my besties for our 30th birthdays. I found pictures of each of them from the 80s, 90s, 2000s, and now. For the 80s they received the Time magazine cover of that year and their birth month. For the 90s they got a CD with the best of the 90s. For the 2000s everyone was gifted an ADPi koozie because that is how we met. For the Here & Now everyone received something special to them & I at the present time. I really loved this idea and enjoyed seeing their faces with the pictures and gifts. Cheers to turning 30!

As summer comes to an end, I have a feeling a few fall crafts are hiding up my sleeve. Stay tuned for more madness in the coming months!