Tag Archives: ShilohCate

Pumpkin Pickin’ at the Pumpkin Patch

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Elisha’s preschool took a field trip out to the local pumpkin patch today! We rode on the hayride from the school to the patch, which I think was Elisha’s favorite part. Once we got out into the pumpkin patch I told him to pick out a pumpkin to bring home with us. At first he was all for it and checking out all the pumpkins, but once he realized he was getting dirty he didn’t want to “hold” anymore pumpkins. I kept asking him which one he wanted to take home or I would pick one out and ask him if he wanted that one, but all I got from him was “nooo…” Totally uninterested. But we finally succeeded with a pumpkin he could hold by the stem. No dirt, no fuss. Now his lovely little Elisha-sized pumpkin is sitting on the kitchen window sill with my repurposed baby jar vases (DIY posted here).

Beside the pumpkin patch was a yellow squash patch. Between the two there were hundreds of huge yellow flowers that I just couldn’t get enough of. Then Matthew informed me you could fry up the squash blossoms with cheese… I love squash and I love flowers and I definitely love cheese, but I am totally against cooking flowers. Seriously, food too pretty to eat. That’s my argument and I’m sticking to it.

I hope you all get a chance to go to your local pumpkin patch soon!

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Shiloh Cate’s 1st Birthday Party

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I don’t think Shiloh’s first birthday couldn’t have been sweeter or more intimate for us. Our closest family members and family friends came to celebrate the first year of her life, which made our little family of four feel incredibly loved.

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She got her very first purse (which included a tiny mirror, credit card, keys, phone, and bracelet) and LeapFrog laptop, lots of pretty clothes, a princess stable with 3 princesses and a prince included, a baby doll with a smocked outfit, a monogrammed duffel bag, money, cards, and also her first pair of sunglasses.

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These were by far my favorite. Having an aunt who works as an ophthalmic technician has its perks!

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After gifts, of course, came the grand finale: the cake smash. The cupcakes were simple to make: 1 box of cake mix and 1-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Cook per cake box directions. I piped the icing in a swirl with a zip-loc bag with one bottom corner cut off.

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She only cared for the icing… I think maybe because she had eaten her weight in cheese and baby pickles. I also caught Daddy sneaking her bites of his cupcake before.

Initially, I felt bad about not getting very many pictures (I stole all but the last two from my Mom). I was just too involved in the party and having too much fun, which I guess every parent should be at their child’s birthday party.

I made the ‘Happy Birthday Shiloh’ banner from scrapbook paper and letter stencils. The table centerpieces were fluted pink bowls with white polka dots with clear stage 3 baby jars filled with dried moss (from Hobby Lobby) and white flowers on each side. The tables also had simple white table cloths with pink ribbon trimmed around the edges. The gift table had a gold-framed 8×10 photo of Shiloh at the center with different shades of pink flowers in a clear vase (the same as the one on the food bar). I used pink with white polka dot plates and napkins, pink plastic utensils, and pink and gold striped paper straws. I also used the Cinderella pumpkin used in her one-year-old photos as decoration on the food bar.

For us, I don’t think her party could have been any more perfect. Sweet and intimate, which exactly suits her personality.

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To hold you guys over until Monday when I post the photos from Shiloh’s actual birthday party, here’s a short video of her smashing into a cupcake from the little party her Granna wanted to throw her on her actual birthday. And just let me say, this girl is already spoiled. Not only did Granna make her cupcakes, but her favorite meal: chicken casserole and green beans. The only thing missing was Nana’s boiled potatoes.

Hope you all have a great weekend! I must now get back to finishing up the party decorations…

That smirk on her face is priceless. :)
That smirk on her face is priceless.

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Happy 1st Birthday, sweet Shiloh Cate!

Today you are officially one-year-old! Where has the time gone? You’re now solely on whole milk, you love to dance, and you have been walking for little over a month now. You love to watch Dora and we’ve completely given up the fight to feed you baby food anymore. Since your hair is still short and very light a lot of people think you’re a little boy, which behooves me because to me you look very feminine even without hair. You have the sweetest smile and squishiest cheeks, which you definitely inherited from Mommy. You also have eight teeth!?! And you love to follow Elisha around the house and play with only the toys he’s playing with at the time, which obviously makes him pretty mad at you. We’ve had to teach him to not tell you to “Go away!”

We love you, sweet girl, more than words can express and could never thank God enough for giving us the blessing of adding you to our little family.

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Happy birthday, our little ladybug.

 

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We met up at Cracker Barrel in Fort Payne for a hearty breakfast to get us to Gatlinburg.

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Outside Gatlinburg, we stopped at Sugarlands Visitor Center to stretch our legs and get in some quality “rock climbing.” Inside the Center was a pretty neat exhibit featuring all the natural plantlife and wildlife. We were able to identify several plants and wildflowers later thanks to all the info we gathered.

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We unloaded the cars at the motel, then headed out to walk Downtown to see what there was to see. Matthew, Vette, and I all had a sample of Ole Smoky Mountain moonshine while Mom, Shiloh, and the boys listened to some local bluegrass artists.

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Of course we had to swing by Old Smoky Candy Kitchen while walking Downtown. Elisha also discovered his favorite tourist trap.

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We ate dinner at Bubba Gump’s and took complete advantage of the photo-op afterward.

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Once back at the motel, we cooled off at the pool where Elisha made some new friends and I taught Jackson how to cannonball. The other girls lounged poolside once Shiloh decided she was finished swimming.

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Saturday, we trekked up through the mountains to Cherokee, North Carolina.

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We stopped off at the lookout marking the Tennessee-North Carolina state line to take in the view.

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Once in Cherokee, we decided against Santa’s Land after finding out they’ve jacked up their prices ridiculously and instead checked out a few of the local shops. Vette scored a pair of Minnetonka moccasins that I’m plotting to steal from her once the opportunity arises.

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On our way out of Cherokee, we stopped by the Oconaluftee Island Park for a picnic and to play in the creek. This was definitely my most favorite part of our trip.

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After getting back to the motel and taking another quick swim, we cleaned up and drove out to Pigeon Forge for dinner at The Old Mill Restaurant (the best place for dinner hands-down!).

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Sunday, we drove back into the National Park to picnic and play out at Chimney Tops. This was a close second for my favorite time during the trip.

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Sadly, rain showers were coming on and off, so we decided to pack up and drive back to the motel. But not before stopping back off by another lookout for another view.

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The rain cleared out just in time for us to walk down to Calhoun’s Restaurant for dinner. Featured on Food Network: Checked off our eatery bucket list. Awesome, awesome burgers and barbecue.

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We kept walking through Downtown and while scoping out the mall we found several more local artists.

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Monday, before coming back to sweet home Alabama, we finished off our trip with breakfast at The Apple Barn and Cider Mill (the best place for breakfast hands-down!).

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I cannot wait for us to come back, hopefully next summer! Now onto the countdown to our other big family trip to Panama City Beach with Matthew’s family in 28 days! Thankfully, we have three birthdays including Matthew’s to celebrate in between to keep us occupied until then.

#RealMamaLife | Just Taking a Break

What most people think stay-at-home moms do:

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What we actually do:

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We juggle kids. We juggle them in the midst of everyday life. We juggle kids when we’re busy catching up on a week’s worth of laundry or doing last night’s dishes. When we just need a break to ourselves for a mere 5 minutes… This is what our “break” looks like.

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Where we embrace the glory and humour in the chaos. Un-staged and imperfectly beautiful.’

#RealMamaLife | Happy Memorial Day!

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Real Mama Life: No serious faces (Elisha) or ultimate serious faces (Shiloh). Add a super pollinated front porch that has been swept about 5 different times to no avail (anyone wanting to lend us a pressure washer or just pressure wash our porch/house for free??)

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day! We’re hanging out and grilling at Granna and PawPaw’s house to celebrate.

To all those currently in or previously in the armed forces, there are no words capable of thanking you enough for your service. Thank you so very, very much. My little family will always know about your sacrifice and to never take it nor their freedom for granted.

#RealMamaLife | A Week in the Life of…

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More like “a summer in the life of…” seeing that most of our days lately can be summed up in the photos above:

  • playing outside
  • splashing in the blow-up kiddie pool (aka La Riviera del Cunningham)
  • watching the Braves and local t-ball games
  • practicing for church softball
  • reading both new and old books
  • chewing, chewing, drooling, and chewing

Also, including, just not documented with crappy cell phone pics:

  • grilling
  • singing “I’m Bringin’ Home a Baby Bumblebee” 875733414153476509878 times a day (sadly, you think I’m joking…)
  • being run over by a mobile 7-month-old in her pink walker
  • Dora, Diego, Bubble Guppies, Max & Ruby, Monster Trucks, Super Why!

Other moms and dads, how are your summer days looking so far? Consumed with all child-related activities too? My misery is looking for company…

Honestly, we’re finding more fun than misery these days, except in the sleeping department. It’s give and take, I guess. Our babies still refuse to sleep all night, or at least on the same nights together. Our days are a blast though now that we’re able to play outside. I’m just going to briefly mention we’re looking at temps in the 90s today.

To join and link up to the party, check out Le Petit Reve’s:

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