Wednesday, February 10, 2016

JJ’s FIRST [star wars] Birthday Party


Hello little blog, I can’t believe it’s been so long!  And hello to any readers I might still have wandering around here… thanks for sticking around through my unpredictable pop ins.

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Well, we did it!  We survived a whole year (and now almost 2 more months!) raising a tiny little human.  I thought pregnancy and childbirth was a huge accomplishment, but having a one year old is right up there too!

I wanted to just share a little about our little guy’s first birthday party.  So much has happened since my last blog post, including a trip to Disneyland, 2 birthday parties, Christmas, a trip to Puerto Rico and so much more… but one post at a time here. :)

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We decided to have a Star Wars theme for his first party because that is the theme of his room… (which I can’t believe I never got around to sharing on here.  Soon, I hope!) Because the new movie was coming out right around his birthday too, there was tons of ideas!

We had his party at a local clubhouse, and it was the perfect amount of space.


We used different Star Wars things from JJ’s room as centerpieces, and in that back corner you can see his monthly pictures hung. (The ones shared at the top of this post!)


We printed out some of our favorite pictures from his first year and made them into this 1 sign, and right below we had some Star Wars coloring pages that I printed out for the little ones.


These blocks were a Christmas gift for JJ last year, and the 2 pictures are just ones we had hung in his room.


My mom was amazing and made JJ his own BB-8 cake, and other Star Wars cupcakes for everyone else!


For food we had just some small snacks—with a Star Wars theme.  Here we have grape sabers, trooper scoopers (tortilla chips) with Yoda-mole, Han salsa, millennium falcon fuel, (sour cream) and tie fighter washers. (olives)


We also had meat and cheese for the nachos, and Jar Jar Links in a Blanket. :)


For our guests’ sweet tooth we had light sabers, (pretzel rods dipped in colored chocolate with m&m buttons) thermal detonators, (whoppers) mini Ewoks (gummy bears) Han Rolos, and Wookie Cookies. (Chips Ahoy)


For beverages we had Luke Sky-water, Vader-Ade, and Blue Milk. <—I guess this is a Star Wars thing? I had no idea, but that was Zack’s one request for the party so I happily obliged.


True to most of our parties around here, we had a photo booth!  I hung a quilt that Zack’s aunt made JJ as a backdrop and made the masks as props.


My mom helped me sew up a special onesie for JJ’s outift—complete with a Star Wars bowtie.


A hit for all ages.  See how big little Hadley is now?!


JJ had a blast opening presents… little did he know this would be the first of many many presents to come with 2 birthday parties and 2 Christmas within 2 weeks! #DecemberBabyProblems


We weren’t quite sure how JJ would react to all the attention, (he’s pretty shy) but he didn’t seem to mind the singing and candle blowing…


He was a bit cautious at first with his cake, prefering to feed others instead of himself…


But in the end, BB-8 didn’t stand a chance.  I can’t say he actually ate much of it… but he LOVED smashing it.  And everyone loved to watch. :)


Overall, JJ had such an amazing first birthday party.  We were so thankful for all the wonderful family and friends that were able to celebrate with us both at this party, and at his party down South with Zack’s family too!

We just can’t believe he’s already one!  So thankful for the joy he’s brought us this past year, and excited to watch him grow!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baby Harrell [11 months old]

I think every single month we find ourselves saying, “This has been the most fun month so far.”  It is just amazing to watch our little guy grow and discover new things every day.  Not to mention how active he’s becoming!  He’s definitely more fun… but also a lot more work! ;)


We don’t have a doctor’s appointment until 12 months so we will have to try and get some measurements on our own…but so far we haven’t.


This month was a tough month for JJ health-wise.  Right after he turned 10 months old we had a trip planned to go down south for his baby dedication at Zack’s home church.  The night before we left we saw his cousin Harper who was sick, and she sneezed right in his face.  I actually said, “If JJ gets sick, this is the moment it happened.”  And sure enough… he got sick.  Our poor guy had a runny nose, cough and fever for our whole trip… plus we had a scary brush with what we think was Fifth’s Disease.  Turns out, it’s pretty common, but giant red welts all over your baby’s face and body are pretty scary regardless.  Despite being so sick, his mood was surprisingly good—our little guy is a trooper.

On top of the 2 colds he had this month, he also is becoming a lot more mobile which has lead to his fair share of bumps and bruises.  He’s a little boy so I guess I’ll get used to that—but I feel awful when he gets these big bumps on his head. :( 


He is still loving to eat!  This month he is all about clapping and dancing, and we just think he’s the cutest.  Whenever he hears clapping on TV or wherever, he claps right along with them.  Then, when he hears music, he starts bobbing all around dancing. :)  He has also been really into waving hi and bye… but only to people he knows… he’s still pretty shy when it comes to unfamiliar faces. 

His favorite hobby has been ripping up old magazines.  He got hold of one when I wasn’t looking and I figured as long as he doesn’t eat the pieces, what’s the harm?  (Turns out, he did eat a piece… but we’re working on that. :)  He also loves to just sit and look at books.  It makes my heart SO happy that he is starting to love books just like his mama.  Usually throughout our day you can find him crawling all over the place pushing around a ball of some sort, it’s pretty impressive and he loves to do it!


Stranger danger is still there—though a bit better than last month.  This month his dislikes include sleeping, (could be due to him being sick so much!) and eating avocados… which is so strange because he LOVED them up until now.  When we try to give him avocado chunks he will make a sour face and gag on them.  It’s really weird. Maybe we over did it?

JJ has been skipping his second nap lately—it is such a fight to try and get him down for it so he usually doesn’t have one and starts melting down around 5pm.  From 5-7 it’s a struggle… Once he does go to sleep he is still waking up 1 to 2 times a night.

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JJ is eating mostly anything and everything these days.  We will still do some purees at each meal, (just to guarantee he’s getting a lot of good fruits and veggies) but we also will give him pieces from whatever we are eating too!  This boy loves to eat!

Mostly 9-12 month stuff… plus a few smaller pairs of 18 month pants.  We are still doing cloth diapers so they take up a lot of pant room. :)  He also still fits into a few 6 month onesies too.


Our big trip this month was down to Zack’s parents’ house to have JJ dedicated at their church!  It was such a special day and JJ was lucky to have both sets of grandparents there!


-JJ’s first Halloween was a success!  Read about it, here!


-Developmentally this month has been huge!  Not only is he crawling and standing and walking along everything… but he can sign, “more” “milk” and “please.” Wellllll kind of, they aren’t the textbook correct signs, but he has his own way of doing them each time and he’s consistent whenever we ask him so that’s what counts, right? :)

-JJ also claps, dances, waves, and blows kisses!! It’s the cutest thing ever.  He also just discovered belly buttons which is hilarious… but not ideal when I’m trying to nurse him and he stops to point out my belly button every 10 seconds haha!


-Verbally, we swear he has said, “Harper” and my mom says she heard, “Grandma” but I don’t know if I believe that one. ;)

-JJ is filled with so much JOY and he loves to laugh.  He has a fake laugh that he does quite often, it’s pretty funny.

-We had our first big snowfall of the year and JJ LOVED it!  I took him out for a few minutes (he was sick, so not long) and he was mesmerized by the big flakes falling.  A true mountain boy already.


-On the opposite end, he has started to throw little fits.  I didn’t think this started so early but boy was I wrong… if you tell him no, or try and stop him from doing something he wants to do, he will just throw himself forward on to the ground and start crying.  Oh boy, we’re in for trouble with this one already!

-Finally, this kid has a serious arm!  He loves to throw balls around, and he is getting great at it!


We’ve got a huge month ahead of us… lots of exciting things happening so I know it will just fly by and my baby will be ONE before we know it. :(  It’s a good thing, but I get so emotional thinking about it already.  Fastest year of my life—but also the best! <3

In case you missed them…
Welcome Baby JJ
Birth Story
1 month old
2 months old
3 months old
4 months old
5 months old
6 months old
7 months old
8 months old
9 months old
10 months old

Friday, November 6, 2015

Baby Style—Thanksgiving Etsy Finds

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Having a baby is a lot of fun for so many reasons… one of which being that you get to dress him or her up in the cutest outfits!  I love finding special clothes for JJ, perfect for every occasion, and I can’t wait for this Thanksgiving! 

Here are some of the amazing baby items that I’ve found perfect for this Thanksgiving holiday…

**Note: In this post I’ve just included things suitable for a boy or unisex… I know, there are so many cute girl outfits for every occasion, but this post I’ll stick to the items I’ve found that would be specific to my little guy… meaning unisex/boy items only.

I love how the back of this onesie from babyxpressURself includes the tail feathers.  Simple but oh, so cute!

I’m a sucker for a baby in a bowtie…bonus points for suspenders!  This shirt from CuddleSleepDream is too cute to pass up—and could be worn for any fall occasion, not just Thanksgiving!

I am a big fan of the simplistic designs I guess, and this shirt from bravelittleleaders really sticks to the real reminder of the holiday.  (*Sidenote: I’m loving all the designs in this shop—super cute!)

This onesie from TennesseeSweetTee is so clever.  I love the rhyming, and that it can be worn all season long!

Right after college I lived with a family and they called their baby boy their “little turkey.”  I thought it was adorable, and it always stuck with me.  I love this onesie from littleHONESTtees so much, and all the color options makes it even better!

This t-shirt from EmbellishedBD also comes in brown for a more festive look.  I’m pretty obsessed with the saying, “Gobble ‘til you wobble” I think it’s hilarious… so chances are pretty high that JJ’s outfit will include something like this.

Speaking of “gobble ‘til you wobble”… I’m in LOVE with these little fabric shoes from LittlePitterpat.  Too cute, and that little pull tab on the back of them?  Serious lifesavers… why all baby shoes don’t have those is beyond me. 

Finally, there’s this… I mean, come on.

JJ’s head is in the 99th percentile, so I doubt we could squeeze one of these hats from MiniToppers on him… but if we could—you know that’s what he’d be wearing this Thanksgiving.


There are too many fun Thanksgiving outfit ideas out there… have you seen anymore that I haven’t listed here?  If so, please leave a link—I’m in the market! :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Favorites

I started this blog when we moved, with the intent of keeping family in friends updated on our happenings.  What this blog turned into was more than I could have ever imagined!  It has become my own little creative outlet, one where I can write just about anything and connect with others.  Here are some of my favorite posts:

Baby Harrell:
Our Pregnancy Announcement
Telling our Families
Our [Disney Themed] Gender Reveal Party!
Link to all of my “Bumpdates”
Our baby’s name & the meaning behind it
Welcome Baby JJ
JJ’s Birth Story
JJ’s Monthly Updates
First [star wars] Birthday Party!

On Purpose & Passions
On Being Enough
There’s Something Bigger Going on Here
Think Big
On my Family & God’s Character
Why I Blog About Jesus

Chicken & White Bean Chili
Freezable Mini Quiches
Pumpkin Spice Cakies
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Peppermint White Chocolate Popcorn
Cake Batter Popcorn

DIY & Party Planning:
My sister’s gender reveal party
My Chevron Wall Tutorial
A Baby Shower Brunch
Baby it’s Cold Outside, a winter themed (Hot Chocolate Bar) Baby Shower
Hadley’s Baby Sprinkle (sprinkle themed shower)
JJ’s 1st Star Wars Birthday

Sock it to me
A letter to my best friend
My Most Embarrassing Moment
Link to all my book reviews
Why I love my friends

Marriage Secret #1
Marriage Secret #2
25 Things about my favorite 25 year old
To my love on his 26th birthday

Gift Guides:
First Anniversary [Paper]
Second Anniversary [Cotton]
Third Anniversary [Leather]

Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin’ to read all my posts as they are written! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Harrell Halloween 2015

JJ’s first Halloween was a success!

This past week he has been recovering from some sort of bug, so I was really hoping he would recover in time for his first Halloween… and he did, mostly.

My friend’s baby had his first birthday party earlier in the day which we had to opt out of because I didn’t want to overdo it… JJ was under the weather and I wanted to fit in a good, long nap so he wouldn’t be too cranky that night.  We were so sad to miss it, but overall I think it was for the best.

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JJ had two costumes this year, one to go with our family costume…


And one to go trick or treating in. :)


The Darth Vader costume was just a zip up hoodie we found at Target, (as well as our costumes too!) and the dinosaur was Carters, but we got it for $5 off a local sale site. 

The weather ended up being awful this year (thanks, Oregon!) but the dinosaur costume was super warm and perfect for the night.

After Zack got off of work we went to my sister’s house for a festive dinner and pumpkin carving.


Mummy wraps!


Cinderella and her pumpkin! :)


My sister (Jacques), the kids and I.


My sister’s family’s costume was too cute!



We went to a nearby neighborhood and trick or treated at a few houses just so they could get the idea of it.  The weather really was rough though, so we didn’t stay out too long.

After trick or treating we went to a neighborhood carnival thing that’s put on for younger kids.  We missed the 0-3 costume contest, but we stayed and tried out a few of the carnival games.


We appreciated that some of the prizes were glowsticks, JJ loved them… and he obviously doesn’t eat candy yet. :)

After making our rounds there we went back to my sister’s house to take inventory of our loot and eat a festive dessert!


We warmed up some hot apple cider and made floats!  So delicious!

candy corn cookies

Of course, like every year I made my favorite candy corn cookies!  I was having Harper help put some in a tub for them to keep, and she would eat one and put one in the tub… That’s what aunties are for. ;)


Overall it was such a great Halloween.  So thankful for these special moments with family, and all the great memories we are making together!