Tag Archives: family

Meeting Baby Parker

14 Mar

My mom had not seen Parker since he was born (my parents live a few hours north of us) so last week she came to visit. There were lots of homemade meals, shopping trips & snuggles with the little guy. It even gave me a chance to get out of the house without him and get my hair done (1st time since September – ahh!). All in all a successful visit with Mamaw!




And then this past weekend my sister and her family came down to visit. While my sister came to the hospital when he was born, my nieces and nephew (ages 15, 9 & 4) had yet to meet him. While everyone enjoyed holding him, no one did more than my niece Zoe. She held him no less than 10 times and would affectionately call him “Baby Parker” and even sang him the ABC’s to put him to sleep. So cute! And I would get a lot more done around the house if she lived here! Glad we all got to spend some quality time together!







My younger brother also visited and brought Parker his first pair of Timberland’s from his trip to Europe a couple months back. They are still a little big, but cute none-the-less! Thanks Uncle Mike!




Between all the visitors and late night feedings it’s safe to say Banjo is pooped. Yes, he is actually asleep!



Storybook Shower

21 Nov

This past weekend my mom hosted my first shower. She invited family from our side as well as family friends and some of my friends that I grew up and went to school with. Since Eric and I were both English majors in college and since reading has always been a big part of my life my mom decided to make it a “storybook” theme. From the food to the decor she made sure everything tied together perfectly.

In lieu of a greeting card she asked guests to bring a children’s book. We’re so excited to see Parker’s book collection grow! Reading is very important to us and we can’t wait for all our future nights of storytime. Once I got home I loved going through each books and reading the sweet messages from everyone.

Parker made out with so many great and thoughtful gifts! When I got home and hung up all the clothes Eric was like, “seriously!?” – because I still have two more showers! One thing I know for sure is that Parker will never go naked! Maybe now is a good time to say if you are coming to one of my future showers – we are all set on newborn to 3 month sleepers, haha! But seriously, how come the smaller the clothes are the cuter they get?
The doll furniture my mom used as decor in this picture was mine when I was little. I don’t think we’ll be passing that down to Parker, but maybe there will be a female Mini Matto in the future I can give it to!

Thanks again to my mom for throwing such a perfect party. It was very much appreciated and I think everyone left with a smile and full stomach! We are grateful for everything we received and now all that is missing is the baby!
Newborn pictures of Eric and I
Another thank you to my car buddy for the weekend! He was such a great sport as I rocked out to country music and gabbed about life. Love you Banjo!

Gender Reveal Photo Recap

10 Oct

Because pictures are worth a thousand words, I thought it would be better to share a few of my favorite photos instead of posting a lengthy, wordy blog about the day. I included my sources for inspiration at the bottom. And if you missed my earlier post that included a video of the reveal that can be seen here.

Dessert Bar


Team Boy or Team Girl?


Blue icing was stuffed in the middle


Blue Moon to represent Boy. Leinenkugel Berry Weiss to represent Girl.


Some of the guests showing off their guess


The box that hid the balloons (who knew the hot water heater box from May would come in handy?)


It's a Boy!


Floating Away


Eric & I with our excited parents and grandparents (or should I say excited soon-to-be grandparents & great-grandparents!)


Fun with Friends


Banjo is already such a proud big brother! (or incredibly scared because he can't figure out why the balloons keep following him)


Ready to test drive this parenting gig

Sources (If I found the idea online I included the link):
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip w/ pretzels & animal crackers
Baked Brie & Crackers: I mixed dried cranberries, honey & pecans. Poured it over the top & baked it for 20 min at 400 degrees
Cupcakes: “Fun in Da Middle” box mix (I found them at Kroger) w/ funfetti icing
Shortbread bottle & pacifier shape icing cookies: Made courtesy of Aunt Jill & Great Aunt Mary – sorry, secret family recipe
Lemon Bars: Krusteaz brand box mix from Kroger
Bunting: Self-made w/ extra scrapbook paper, yarn & sponge stamps I already had
Chalkboard Signs on Dessert Bar: $1 picture frames from the Dollar Store. Spray painted the glass with chalkboard paint & the frame with yellow spray paint. (I actually already had these on hand from something else & didn’t make them just for the party.)
Cupcakes Liners: A kit from Michael’s Craft Store
Mustache & Lips Gender Guess: It was a play on this idea
Balloon Box: Quilt was an heirloom passed down from Eric’s Aunt. Bought black posterboard, cut it in a heart & wrote “Boy or Girl” in chalk in front.
Balloons: Purchased at our local Factory Card & Party Outlet

Just a Little Story I’d Like to Tell

30 Aug

Author: Eric

I read this story the other day and it really stuck with me.  There is just something in a story about a dog – man’s best friend – that opens up a soft spot in my soul.  If you haven’t read it…take a minute to read/watch the story.  To summarize briefly, a fallen Navy SEAL is being eulogized while his canine companion, his friend, lies broken-hearted and faithful at his side.

This made me think about a story that I wanted to share.  It has a lot to do with family.  It has a lot to do with love.  And it has everything to do with the miniscule moments in life when we actually get to see what somebody is truly all about. 

The summer after my fourth grade year, my parents finally broke down and bought a puppy.  Well, a 1-year-old rescue dog that we stumbled across at the pet store, but nonetheless it was a dream come true for a 9-year-old boy.  Jesse was a mutt, a mix between a beagle and a black lab.  Can’t visualize?  Let me assist…Jesse, in her prime, was a jet black version of a classic beagle…not the overweight beagle you see wheezing around, rubbing its belly against the sidewalk begging for less food and more exercise, but rather the type of beagle you see in one of those old-timey English fox-hunt paintings:

Now, that’s a good looking dog…and if we can get off topic for a second…don’t we all wish we could ride around in one of those sporty red jackets and a top hat?  Why did those fools ever come to America in the first place?

Back on track…unfortunately, this is not a story about Jesse’s life (amazing as it was) but instead it is a story about the day she died, and oddly enough, a story about my dad. 

In the tail end (not a pun) of her life Jesse had grown a number of cysts to go along with the complications of old age.  One of the cysts, about the size of a fist, ruptured on her underbelly causing immense pain when she would eat and even more so when she would lie down.  We immediately took her to the emergency care pet clinic.  There we were told that age and severity would not allow for surgical intervention.  The vet gave us pain meds and told us that a heating pad could do the trick, but it was unlikely.

Sadly, it is true what they say…when a dog knows that it is going to die, it will try to separate from loved ones.  At home that night, Jesse could not lie down from the pain, could not stand from the arthritis, and decided in her own mind that she would head outside to find her peace.

It was December 31st and as frigid as it can get in Indiana on a New Year’s Eve, but Jesse was not going to be alone on her final night.  My father faithfully donned his tattered and faded Carhartts and braved the blistering cold to find his longtime friend.  All of the between-the-legs, upside down belly rubs…the garbage can dodging walks around the neighborhood…the butt-in-the-air welcomes…the stolen ears of corn and missing potatoes…those were more important, those were warmer than the snow-covered backyard. That night, my dad sat down next to Jesse, as she had finally found comfort, and stayed with her until the end.

I read that story last week and couldn’t stop thinking about that night my dad went out in the freezing, December cold and comforted our dying dog.  I thought about what I would do.  Would I have the… “balls”…to freeze my balls off like that?  I thought about what I wrote last week…about being afraid of the things that I could do wrong.   Strangely, I began to feel a little solace.  A little calm.  There are probably a thousand other moments that could define my father.  His family.  His work.  His dedication.  But that moment, those few hours in the crisp winter evening tell me everything I need to know:  If I can be  half of the dad that puts on Carhartts and sits with Jesse…I’m gonna be alright!

If you have a few spare minutes in your day…take the time to read that story.  It is a great piece on an American hero and the friend that will always love and remember him.

Me & Jesse