Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweet Girl

I had Ruby's 4th Birthday party a bit early this year.  Her actual birthday is December 22, so if we want any friends to be able to attend a party, realistically we either have to have it in early December or early January. 

In related news......I'm about to have a FOUR YEAR OLD...... How did this happen so quickly???

This year, Ruby wanted a Ballerina Birthday.  As I've mentioned before, we have several dear friends at Texas Ballet Theater and that is where Ruby takes ballet lessons.  What more perfect of a party than to go to see a ballet performance?! 

Even though I try my hardest to really separate Ruby's birthday from Christmas festivities (I want her to feel special - I've grown up with the same issue as a Jan 4th b-day), I got second-row tickets for the group to see The Nutcracker. 
I woke up that morning, and it dawned on me.....what on earth was I thinking???  I'm taking a group of 3 and 4-year olds to Bass Hall to see a 2+ hour classical ballet and we are sitting front and center.  Smart thinking, mama.
Guess what - the day was PERFECT.  The kids were absolutely mesmerized by the goregous performance (by the way, TBT's Nutcracker is probably one of the best in the US).  Everyone was very excited but they were so well behaved.  Ruby recognized our friends on stage and would wave at them "Miss Angela!  Hi, Miss Michelle!"  I tried to explain that they couldn't stop their performance to wave back at her, but she did get a few winks from some of the girls.
After the performance, Ruby and her guests were given a back-stage tour where they got to say hello to some of the dancers (Robin Bangert and Carrie Judson are pictured here).  Ruby got to take a special photo with Ben Stevenson, the Artistic Director of the ballet. 
Then the kids were allowed to go out on the stage of Bass Hall and help George, the Production Manager for the ballet, collect handfuls of snow from the performance. 
 The birthday group on the stage - from L to R - Addie, Ella, Frances, Ruby, Isaac (notice the hand-holding action going on there!), and Hazel
Ruby giving George a thank-you hug
 Collecting snow

 Some of my best friends, Andrea and Lindsay with their sweet girls Hazel and Addie

 Ruby's boyfriend, Isaac, and his goregous mama, Stephanie

 Addie and Hazel

 Before the ballet, we made a quick stop (and wardrobe change) to see Santa in downtown Fort Worth.  I think that Ruby is part elf anyway, she sings Christmas carols all year long and I've never seen a level of enthusiasm for Christmas quite this high.  She was so excited to see Santa - when it was her turn, she ran up to his sleigh, climbed in his lap, and hugged him like a long lost friend.  After a long conversation regarding what a good girl she had been all year and a verbal submission of gift requests, the pictures were taken.  Santa gave a big ho-ho-ho as she walked away and said "Bye, Santa!  I love you!"

Happy birthday to my sweet angel.  I am so proud of you and I couldn't possibly love you more than I do.  You make my heart smile and I am so blessed to be your mommy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Fall, Y'all

Well, we are still here!  I normally would apologize for my lack of blogging, but it just hasn't been a priority for me lately.  Between ballet classes at Texas Ballet Theater, zoo school at the Fort Worth Zoo, Bible study, and trying to get every single ounce of happiness out of our time together, I just haven't had much time for this. 

Ruby is doing well - she is extraordinarily smart (she has begun reading, can write her name, and uses words like "extraordinarily").  She has quite the witty sense of humor.  And she is just the sweetest child ever.  I'm a lucky mama.

Photos above are by Paige Walker Photography.  She's a sweet friend from my Mom's Group at church, and is a very talented photographer!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Summer

Hello friends! Yes, we are still here. I’m sure that you’ve all been eagerly sitting on the edges of your seats waiting for this blog update. You can take a big sigh of relief - your wait is over.

Honestly, life just got in the way. In re-reading my last post, I mentioned that there was a big life change for me and then I never followed through to let you know what it was. I am sure that this is not new news to any of my family or friends, but for posterity’s sake, I’ll post it here as well. Drum roll, please……..

Ta-Da! I now work at Alcon in a Training role. I am just over the moon about it. Many of you know that it has been my dream to work for this incredible company and now my dream has come true. I am just thrilled about the career growth opportunities that are in front of me and I am truly excited to drive onto campus every morning.
However, with my new role comes some additional responsibilities, so between work and spending every free second that I have with my little mini-me, I haven’t had much time for things such as this blog.
Let me catch you up on our lives so far this summer, via Instagram pictures.

We have had our girly days.

We have been swimming. Lots.

We have gotten brain freezes.

We saw a few movies.

We sat front row to see Annie.

We also saw the Wizard of Oz.

We went to Ballet Camp at Texas Ballet Theater.

We went to Kid’s Kamp at Christ Chapel Bible Church.

We were silly at the Fort Worth Food Truck Park

We loved each other.

Hope you're enjoying the summer as much as we are!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

God Bless Texas

It's officially Blue Bonnet season here in Texas.  I love this time of year and it makes me love this great state even more.  My sinuses don't share my same affinity for the lovely blooms though....

Ruby had a great time romping in the flowers yesterday. 

You might also notice a new addition to my pictures - my name.  No, I'm not incredibly narcissistic....I've decided to start watermarking my photos after hearing several horror stories from friends about where their blog pictures ended up being used without their consent.  I know that this won't prevent it, but hopefully it will make it more difficult for them to be used elsewhere.  I hope that it's not too distracting for y'all!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring has Sprung

Spring has Sprung, as they say, here in Texas.  If only the weather would stay this glorious throughout the rest of the summer.  Alas, it will be well into the triple digits before we know it.

Ruby and I took advantage of the wonderful weather and spent some time at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens last weekend.  I brought my camera with me and snapped a few fun pictures.  When I was picking out my favorite pictures from the day, it struck me as to how quickly she is growing up.  I am cherishing every single second with her, but am also secretly wishing that I could somehow figure out a way to prevent her from growing up so quickly......  It's all so bittersweet.

Little Miss Ruby is entirely too chic in her sunglasses. 

The Rose Garden in the Botanic Gardens is one of our favorite spots.

We had to fit one self-portrait into our pictures.  What you couldn't see at this point was that we were both sweaty messes, my arm was shaking because that camera is darn heavy, and we (both of us, not just her) had just finished drinking the rest of the water out of her pink princess sippy cup.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, folks.

Along with the changes in foliage and weather, there has been a pretty significant life change for us too!  I'll share more in a week or so, but let me assure you that I haven't stopped smiling about it since I found out.....

Looking forward to more fun weekends of this beautiful weather with my little mini-me!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Conversation with Ruby

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ruby's first bike!

Ruby is officially a cyclist. I recently got her a 2-wheel bike from my coworker (thanks, Brent!) and a pretty princess helmet that she picked out herself. The bike is actually a Glider Rider - it doesn't have any pedals. These are all the rage in Europe - the kids apparently learn very quickly how to balance on it and can easily transition to a regular bike.

Right now, she's a whole lot more excited about her "dinger" (the matching princess bell that came with her helmet) than she is about riding the bike..... But she looks pretty cute regardless!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tiny Dancer

Ruby has begun taking ballet classes with Texas Ballet Theater!  I've been a big supporter of TBT for a few years, offering to help whenever I can, not only because some of their staff and their dancers are my closest friends, but also because I believe in promoting the arts in our community!

To say that Ruby loves her ballet class is an understatement.  She now tip-toes through the house in her tutu and will gladly show you some of her latest moves (most of which involve running quickly in a circle).... Hey - the name of the class is "Creative Movement," so I wasn't anticipating an early admission to Juilliard at this point.  The smile on Ruby's face shows me that it is worth it.

Ruby seems to be quite well known up at the TBT Studios - the dancers recognize her and Ruby just basks in the attention.  I hope that Ruby grows to have the same appreciation and love of the arts that I do - it's amazing how much beauty is in our world if you take the time to notice it.

"Tiny had a busy day today."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A "Yellow" 3rd Birthday

A few months ago, I asked Ruby what kind of birthday party that she wanted for her 3rd birthday.  Her reply was simply "Yellow."  I thought "Yellow?  Well, that's.....obscure....." 

After a few weeks of re-confirming that she did, in fact, want a yellow birthday party I did what any sane parent would do and I turned to Pinterest.  Obviously.  So, it turns out that color-themed birthday parties for toddlers is a thing (who knew), and I was able to find some cute ideas and inspirations. 

Ruby's birthday is December 22, but to avoid the Christmas hustle and bustle and other obligations we always have her party the second weekend of January.  January in Texas can be hit-or-miss.  Sometimes it's a frigid, miserable, windy, wet wasteland, and sometimes the heavens open and the angels sing and the weather is absolutely gorgeous.  The weekend of Ruby's party, the angels were singing.  It was about 65 degrees, sunny, and wonderful.

I ordered a custom party package from a great company that I found on Etsy, called Anders Ruff.  They designed the invitations, all of the paper decorations including the bunting banner, and the thank-you cards.  It was so fun to have the custom designs and decorations!

She wanted Yellow, so I gave her Yellow! 
All of the food was yellow - we had curried chicken salad, mac-n-cheese "cupcakes", fiesta corn dip, yellow cupcakes, yellow sugar cookies, yellow candy, goldfish, and bananas.

Close up of the mac-n-cheese "cupcakes"

Feel free to judge me, but these are not homemade cupcakes.  Sure, I love a good homemade cupcake any day of the week, but if I have a choice I'll always pick these store-bought ones with whipped icing.  I could eat that icing by the bucket-full.  I only wish I was kidding.

In addition to the custom water bottles, we had lemonade and orange juice.

The party favors for the guests were Nana's homemade (yellow) meringue cookies.  Ruby helped to make them and they are some of her favorite cookies.

Some of the pretty birthday flowers.

Without realizing it, I even coordinated the outdoor landscaping to match the theme. 

When it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Ruby, she wanted us all to stand in a circle and hold hands while we sang.  And she sang to herself also.  Aaaaaadorable.

The birthday girl and her cupcake.  That hat is from her first birthday, but she was very insistent that she wanted to wear it for her third birthday as well. 
Her dress is from an adorable shop here in Fort Worth called Snug as a Bug.  If I have anything to do with it, Ruby will wear smocked dresses until she's in college.  I love these things.

Ruby had so many gifts that she had to enlist some assistance. 
Getting some good help from her friends Hazel and Frances.

The trampoline was a HUGE hit - the kids played outside in the back yard for most of the party.  I have a ton of pictures of the kids with their hair standing up like this - pretty darn cute if you ask me! 
This is Ruby and her sweet friend Isaac from church. 

I didn't realize until after all of the guests had left that in the craziness of the day, I hadn't even gotten a picture with the birthday girl.  So before Nana walked out the door, I had her snap this shot.  We're two very tired and very happy girls.

I can't say enough how blessed we are with such amazing friends and family.  I was absolutely overwhelmed with the number of people that were able to come and celebrate with us.  As a single mommy, sometimes things feel pretty isolated and lonely.  But then moments like this weekend come along when the outpouring of love and support reminds me that I don't always have to be superwoman - my friends will love me regardless.  I appreciate each and every one of you for helping to make my princess's day so special.  My face is still sore from smiling so hard all day.

And to Ruby - Happy Birthday sweet baby.  I love you more and more every minute.  I am continually amazed how each day you bless me in a new way.  I am so lucky to be your mommy.  I love you with all of my heart.