Sunday, July 13, 2014

Road Trip on a Budget

I mentioned back in April that my aunt and uncle came to Arizona and that we had brought up the idea of taking a road trip with the kids.  Every year for the 4th of July my dad's family meets up at their lake house in Georgia on Lake Oconee.  Well-- We did a little research on i10, found some things that we wanted to see along the route and different places to stay.  We came up with a money amount that we would need in order to make it 2 weeks on the road including food, travel, hotels, and everything we wanted to see.  We planned our road trip date from June 26th.  I spent so much time looking at travel tips online, things to bring and places to stop.  Thanks Pinterest!!  One thing that I really liked, was to pack a reusable shopping bag full of overnight clothes for each hotel stay.

After 2+ months of planning, it was finally time to go!  Our first overnight stop was Fort Stockton, TX.  We already had hotel reservations so that was our goal.  Between Arizona and Texas is New Mexico.

& New Mexico, I think you need a new Welcome sign, this one is pretty beat up!

Jakey was with us too, but he was sleeping in his car seat.

We pulled over at a truck stop and for whatever reason, we thought it would be fun to take a picture of all of us in cowboy hats.  Except having a family of 5, we don't always fit in for selfies!

Nothing too exciting happened on our first day.. Eventually we did make it into Texas.

We spent over 8 hours driving in the car and by the time we got to Texas it was late.  The drive was a little boring... dirt, and more dirt.. just like we see every day.  There was some cactus too.

After a very long day of sitting in the car, we finally made it to Fort Stockton and found out hotel.  Our first hotel wasn't the greatest.  I searched online to find a decent hotel at an okay price that had free breakfast.  For paying $100, it definitely didn't live up to it's standards.  

I wanted to write a little more but the kids are getting into everything.. I'll get back on later to tell about our next few days!

Day one- two state lines crossed and 8+ hours in the car.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ryan's 4th Birthday Party

Ryan Michael-

This post is for you.  I hope your birthday party was everything you wanted it to be... Even though in the long run, you won't even remember this day at all.  That is something that always makes me sad.  Most of the things that have happened in your 4 years of life won't be remembered by you.  But you know momma, I have tons of pictures to remind you of so many memories your daddy and I have made for you.

Grandma was sweet enough to let us have your birthday party at your house.  You must have been pretty excited about it because you passed out in the car on the way over to her house.  Actually, I know you were excited about it because you have been talking about it for weeks!

While you were sleeping, we did everything we needed to do to set up.  A few minutes before the party, I went into Grandma's room to wake you up and get you dressed for your train party.

We walked around so that you could see all of your decorations and you loved every single party detail.  I think you loved your train cookies the most.  :)  Your cupcakes were pretty cute too, they all had a smoke puff on the top and said "Choo Choo."

Grammy made your rice krispy treats by dipping them into melted chocolate and sprinkling some sprinkles on them before they dried.

We had taco meat ready for the walking tacos.  Doritos for most of the people and fritos because some of our friends are gluten free.

Your gift table didn't take long to get filled with gifts!

Here is your very first piñata. We went to pick it up from party city and this was the only train piñata they had... it was falling apart so they only charged us a couple of bucks for them.

These Thomas boxes are probably the most ridiculous craft idea I've ever had, Thanks Pinterest.  They took so long to make.  Daddy made the Thomas face and the sides too and we spent way too long cutting them out.  Surprisingly, they were a huge hit and you and your little friends had so much fun just sitting in them!

After everyone ate, it was piñata time!  Your friend Wynter was the one to bust open the piñata!  It was filled with lots of chocolate candy.  Yum.

A couple of weeks before your birthday, we were at Grammy and Papa's house and I was giving you and your brother a bath.  I asked you what you wanted for your birthday and do you know what you told me?  "A green Thomas cake."  The only thing that you asked for was a green Thomas cake!  You are and always have been so easy to please!  So you know what I did, I searched and searched for a picture of a green Thomas cake and I found a cake baker to make it for you.

Singing "Happy Birthday" is always the most emotional part of your birthday.  Your sweet little face smiling looking around the room while everyone is staring at you.  & then your eyes meet mine and you have got to be the happiest I've ever seen you.  You are perfect.

Lots and lots of sweet and playing with your friends and it's finally time to open up all of your presents.  You always get so much that I don't even know what to do with all of your new stuff.  We don't have any more room for more toys.

Do you know what you say after each gift you open, no matter what it is?  "Oh, thank you!"  You love everything, always.  I love how big your heart is.  You walked around the room and you gave every single person a hug.

Oh baby, how I love you.  I love how big your heart is.  I am so glad that you chose me to be your momma.  I have loved every single day that I've spent with you.

Happy 4th birthday, baby!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Birthday Party Planning

Every year, I make things hard on myself with all of the birthday planning, decorations, cooking, and baking that I want to do for the kids' parties.  Thanks Pinterest!!  I don't even go fully overboard, I just mainly do everything myself... with the help from my mom, Tim, my niece Haley, and Elyse.

This picture of Elyse is still so weird to me.  It was the first time I let her sit in the front seat, and I kept looking over at her thinking "How is she old enough for the front seat."  Yeah yeah.. some people let their second graders sit in the front seat, but in this house we follow what's safest for the kids!

First thing on our list was ordering balloons.  Check!

Next was pick up all the food for the party.  Check.  Can you guess what we had??  Rice Krispy treats, yep.  &  walking tacos.  & we also needed a lot of candy for the goody bags and the piñata.

When we got home, Ryan's present from Aunt Loni, Peyton, and Marlo came in the mail.  I couldn't get over how cute it was and that's why I had to take a picture.

And try them on...

Can you guess what we did next?

You guessed it, we went swimming.  I kept staring at Ryan because he's way too cute in his new suit and his sunnies.

Next up was some serious party planning mode.  We had to make the decorations, stuff the piñata, make the goody bags, bake some brownies, make rice krispy treats on a stick... all sorts of fun stuff.  Thank goodness my mom always comes into town to help with all of that.

I decided to make it easier on myself this year and order the cake, cupcake, and cookies.  However, people are no joke about that kind of stuff.  They sure do come out pretty but they are expensive!

Ryan in his new sunnies and shirt.

Can't wait to celebrate him tomorrow.