what’s cooking, BK?

One of our goals for this year is to take BK on a date once a month. Sure, we do things outside of the house, all of the time. Play dates and dance practice, trips to her favorite restaurant or the park. But, we wanted to be sure to carve out some one-on-one dedicated time with our girl this year. And of course, we’ll continue the tradition as Jud grows.

For January, I signed BK up for a cooking class. My girl loves to cook! It’s one of our favorite things to do in the evenings while Jud takes a nap. I thought a cooking class where she could take home her own set of tools when the class was over was right up her alley.

And she loved the fact that our neighbor Brayden went too!

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Her favorite part was getting to use a knife. I let her have plenty of tasks in the kitchen. She mixes, measures, rolls out dough with her cute green rolling pin. She doesn’t slice and cut, I normally take care of that part. At the cooking class, she was able to cut up fruit and she was thrilled. We had a long talk about only using her “special red knife” and she’s super excited about using it during our next kitchen adventure.

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They also made some gooey Oreo balls, and I definitely had to refrain from taking one of those. Oreos are a favorite in our house, and I caught BK sneaking Oreos several times, no surprise there.

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We had a great time and she was excited to tell Allen all about our adventure one she came home.

Baby It’s Cold Outside, showering a sweet baby girl

Could party planning be my love language? Seriously. I love, love, love to help throw a party. I love to make a plan and have a vision and see it all come together. It’s my favorite.

This past weekend, I helped host a baby shower for a sweet baby girl making her debut in a few weeks.

We went with a pretty pink and silver color scheme. Delicious chicken salad sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, cupcakes, chocolate candy and hot chocolate with all the fixings.

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Those yummy cupcakes are from Publix, of course! They make the best cupcakes.

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The hot chocolate recipe is a go-to for this time of the year at our house. And I’ll be posting the recipe tomorrow on Every Day Cheer.

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We tied pink ribbon on the cups for a sweet detail.

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And included a few tasty toppings for the hot chocolate.

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I’m looking for any excuse to make a tissue paper garland these days. We added a few snowflakes (purchased after Christmas from Hobby Lobby).

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One of my favorite things were these hot chocolate thank-you’s that everyone took home with after the shower. The perfect portion of hot chocolate and marshmallows to enjoy on a cold day. BK wanted to take them all, but she refrained.

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American Idol: Superstars Made Here

For years, we have watched American Idol at our house. It’s one of our favorite shows to watching from the beginning of the season to the end, and we even have some of our favorite past contestants in our iTunes library. Hello, Carrie Underwood! I can’t believe that the 14th season is underway; that’s a ton of music superstars over the years.

I remember sitting on the living room floor at my parents’ house, anxiously awaiting the decision of the first ever American Idol… Justin or Kelly?! And then squealing with excitement when the winner was announced!

There isn’t another singing competition on television that produces superstars like American Idol, like Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Phillip Phillips, Chris Daughtry, Adam Lambert, just to name a few! IDOL’s alumni have earned quite the resume, selling more than 60 million albums, with more 250 million downloads! They boast of Platinum and Gold records and more than 70 IDOL contestants have been on the Billboard charts with 440 songs attaining No.1 Billboard hit status. Those stats are impressive!

Idol alumni have racked up awards from music to television, from Broadway to radio, from country to pop. No matter which genre you choose to fill your music library with, there is probably a former contestant somewhere in the mix.

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American Idol is airing on FOX Wednesday and Thursday nights at 8/7 right now! One of my favorite parts of the show is the audition round, and tonight they’ll be in Kansas City. The majority of the contestants first auditioned on the IDOL bus tour. Rumor has it, Keith and Harry join a banjo-playing contestant tonight for a rendition of the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies. You know the one, right?! And of course, American Idol will tug at your heartstrings and give you feel good stories that bring a tear to your eye. Tonight will be no exception when a hearing impaired man hears his daughter sing for the first time in front of the judges. In true Idol fashion, Jennifer will be serenaded by a contestant, and Keith joins in on the fun while testing a contestant’s vocal range using the piano. On Thursday night, a past favorite will return as Adam Lambert helps judge in New York!

Seriously, they pack so much fun into each episode, and that keeps us coming back for more. I also love that American Idol is a show the whole family can gather around the television and watch. We love talking about the auditions and choosing favorites to pull for throughout the show.

I’m so excited for this new season! Are you tuning in and watching every Wednesday and Thursday night? If not, you’re missing one of the best shows on television! This season just kicked off on January 7th, so you have time to jump right in to the season tonight.

Who are you rooting for this season on American Idol? Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a $100 VISA gift card!

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holiday happenings

Let’s forget the fact that some of the events happened nearly a month ago. I’m just getting around to posting about our jam packed December.

It started out with a Christmas party for BK’s dance class. We showed up empty handed, no Pinterest worthy goodies, we just ran out of time this year. You should have seen BK and Sophie’s face when they both realized their moms showed up empty handed. We’ll make up for on Valentine’s Day.

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We attended our local Christmas parade and both kiddo’s had a blast. BK waved at everyone as they passed and Jud just watched from the comfort of his stroller. We grabbed breakfast after the parade and Jud showed us his new skill, waving and saying “heyyyy” to everyone who passed us by at the restaurant.

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After breakfast we headed to our church for a little Christmas caroling. BK was pretty excited to get to ride on the fire truck with Santa Claus, it pretty much made her year!

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The next morning, we met our church at a local nursing home for more caroling. BK was the star of the show when she recited her version of Luke 2, she’s been practicing for weeks and she did a fantastic job. We were all so proud of her.

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We celebrated Christmas with my dads family, and Jud showed us just how fun Christmas would be this year. He dove right into opening gifts, but in the end he was more interested in eating the paper than the actual toy.

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I had an annual baking day with my mom and grandmother, and it was as dun as always. We made a double batch of cinnamon rolls, sausage balls, and homemade hot chocolate mix.

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Christmas Eve brought more fun times for our family. We had Christmas with Allen’s family before heading to my grandparents house for Christmas with my moms family. Allen decided to wear this lovely tacky sweater to Christmas. He definitely made everyone laugh all day!

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We headed home to read Twas The Night Before Christmas, prep breakfast casseroles, play Santa, and try to get some sleep. As sad as I am that Christmas has come and gone, I’m always happy for a fresh start and a new year. We’re busy planning two big parties in April and Disney trip in May. For now, we’re just enjoying this slow time of year. And crossing our fingers for at least one snow day this winter.

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dear little ones, my new year’s resolutions for you

dear little ones,

I know you don’t understand, but there is quite the chatter about New Year’s resolutions right now. Many people are resolving to lose weight or exercise more, maybe to quit an unhealthy vice or start something healthy and life-altering. These resolutions come in all shapes and sizes, and while you’re not old enough to have the slightest clue, I’ve come up with a few for you.

Not truly resolutions, by definition, instead these are my new year wishes for you.

May your year be filled with less busy. Less car naps and more nap-time snuggles. Less urgency and more calm.

May your year be full of fun. Not fun by the lighted screen of an electronic device. Instead, fun in the form of board games and puzzles. Playing chase in the backyard, learning to ride your bicycle in the driveway, fort building on rainy days.

May this be your yes year. May you hear yes to baking in the kitchen and fun dates with mom and dad. Yes to spontaneous zoo trips and park adventures. Yes to letting you be little. Yes to post-dinner dance parties. Yes to Let It Go, even though we feel the need to let that song go.
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May we let you be little. May you live with a set of expectations meant for a child, rather than a tiny adult. May you be disciplined when needed, loved when needed, and may you be extended grace, even when it feels like there is no more to be given. May you be allowed to mess up, and mess up again, and mess up a thousand times more, and still feel the same love as if you got it right the first time.

May your home be filled with laughter and love. May you wake up with a smile on your face and go to sleep to sweet lullabies and bedtime prayers.

May the adults in your life understand that these days are fleeting. Not just say it, but understand it, feel the urgency. May they pause while doing the dishes and have a concert with you in the kitchen using plastic storage containers and wooden spoons. May they pause folding the sheets and putting away the towels in exchange for make-shift superman capes and make believe heroics on an ordinary Wednesday.

May they hold your tiny hands and trace the outline of your tiny lips. May they rock you to sleep when you reach your tiny hands up to them in the middle of the night. May they let you sleep in the middle when you wander in from a bad dream in the middle of the night.

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May this year be slow.

May this year be full of adventure.

May you understand gratitude and give thanks.

May you feel love and in turn give love.

May you know how thankful we are for you each and every day. And even though you don’t understand, I hope you can feel it from my heart when I hold you tight. You are my gift, this year is our gift, and may you be reminded of that every single day. May you feel celebrated and loved each day, even on a rainy Monday in March or a scorching hot day in August. May each of your days be celebrated, no matter how ordinary they may seem.

This my dear little ones, is my wish for you in the new year.

May it be our best year, only to be topped by the next year.

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