InstaFriday! (times two)

Ready for a double dose of Instafriday? Including a birthday, thanksgiving, a 50th anniversary, dates and the beginning of advent? Here we go! Linking up with the lovely Jeannett of Life Rearranged.

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In my last instafriday post, I shared that it was my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. We celebrated that night at dinner with family and their closest friends and it was a really sweet time. You can still kiss after being married 50 years? Gross. :)

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The kids with the parents. We love you mom & dad!

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It was my birthday a few days before thanksgiving and I felt so showered with love from my family and friends. The day before, a group of 15 friends went to lunch and to see Catching Fire to celebrate. It is so rare to be able to get this many friends in one place at one time, so it was a great present for me.

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I took this at church that morning. I truly am so thankful for our church family- especially being a pastor’s wife, it is a blessing to be a part of a community that loves Jesus, loves each other and is so real.

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On the morning of my birthday, my boys and I hiked Torrey Pines- one of my favorite spots in San Diego. It was so lovely!

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My sweet husband knew how much I would appreciate a handmade gift so he made me these joy letters:

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How cute is that? He even used glitter- his least favorite thing in the world. What a good crafty guy :)

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That night, I thought I was going on a date with David, but when we got to the restaurant, he surprised me by having a bunch of my dear friends there to join us. One of my favorite places to eat in San Diego (Extraordinary Desserts) with some of my favorite people? Definitely a win. At the end of the night, one of my friends bought me a sparkler candle and they all laughed at my while I lit it. A great end to a great day.

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Thanksgiving weekend was crazy, full and wonderful. We are blessed with amazing families on both sides and I never take that for granted. On thanksgiving, we drove a lot, ate a lot and laughed a lot. Especially at the end of the day when my brother showed the kids Elf Yourself. They were belly laughing for a good 15 minutes watching their faces on dancing elves. My heart was so full in that little moment at the end of a big day.

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No black friday shopping that day, just lots and lots of family time. Every year, either the day after Thanksgiving or the day after Christmas, we have the Cheney family olympics. We all plan 2 games, break into teams and have some healthy friendly competetion all day long. It is a highlight of the year. We are super goofy and there are 24 of us, so it is entertaining for sure. Here is a quick look into some of the activites.

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Daveed always starts off the festivities by leading the group in the most lovely (errr.. off-pitch and loud) version of the star spangled banner, followed by ridiculous and awkward stretches. Normally, we do this down at the park, but the rain kept us inside in the morning. We started off with a bunch of minute-to-win-it style games.

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The next series of photos started like this (throw the cheetos on the shaving cream head game):

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Which led to this (sibling shaving cream fight):

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Which, obviously, led to this (polar bearing in the freezing pool):

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We headed down to the park once the rain stopped for some soccer, basketball and balance beaming:

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After our park games, we headed back inside for name that tune, a cupcake decorating contest and ended the day with the adults playing nouns in a bowl. It was such a fun day and I love that my kids will have these memories.

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Cousin cuddles:

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The next day, we did thanksgiving with Daveed’s family and I totally forgot to take any pictures. It was delicious though! Before that, we got all 24 members of my family together for a big family photo. It was pretty crazy, but went better than I thought. The professional pics are going to be beautiful, but here is a quick iphone snap of my siblings and parents:

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I’m so glad that these people are my people.

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It was so fun to have one of my favorite past brides take our photos. Kelsey, thanks for being brave enough to take on the Cheney family :)

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Amazingly, in all of that craziness, Hudson only had one timeout. #placeshudsonhasatimeout: grandma’s house.

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On December 1st, we got our tree and kicked off advent. Every morning, we read a devotional with the boys (from the great website The Story Warren- which uses The Jesus Storybook Bible) and then Isaiah gets to take a card out of our advent calendar banner. Here is a look at what we have done the first 6 days:

Day 1: Getting our tree

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Day 2: Christmas book marathon (which ended up being not a marathon due to some tantrums and a terrible dinner time… but that’s another story for another time):

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Day 3: Christmas crafts with Nonna (including a playdough dreidel for good measure)

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Day 4: hot chocolate time

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Day 5: Christmas legos:

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Day 6: Hanging the lights outside with Daddy:

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Isaiah is loving every minute of it. It’s just the best. Reading about Jesus together every morning and creating memories. We also do a couple of little things to celebrate Hanukkah, to teach Isaiah about his heritage (on Daveed’s side). I realized this week that he thinks everyone does that as part of their Christmas celebrations :)

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We got a couple of dates in during the past two weeks- we are approaching the finish line for our 50 dates in 2013. For date 43, we walked from my parent’s house up to get some breakfast and grabbed some donuts to surprise the kids on our way back. Those streets are the streets of my childhood- riding bikes to get ice cream, walking to get McDonald’s on long summer days. Walking them with my love was a sweet thing.

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For date 44, we decorated our tree while listening to Christmas records and starting our advent readings together. Such a dreamy way to start off the holiday season.

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While looking at maternity clothes online, I came across these. No. Just no.

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We have become that family that all wears our team shirts on game days. And our boys are perfecting the 8-clap. Go bruins!

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I am currently up in San Luis Obispo for the Stitch Market. If you are in the Central Coast, come see us tomorrow at Grace Church from 10-3.

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How you know you’re a mom of boys: a customer finds a star wars angry bird guy in your box of Christmas banners and then sets it on display:

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How you know you’re a crafter: your 6 year old texts you from his grandma’s phone to ask if he can show her how your cricut works.

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Happy weekend everyone! I’ll try to not post 37 pictures in my next instafriday post :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be blessed!

Isaiah’s Halloween Birthday Party

Today, I am sharing Isaiah’s 6th birthday party- a halloween party. Yes, I realize that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. At least I am getting it posted before it is Christmastime, right? :)

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Issaiah’s birthday is mid-October and this year he really wanted to have a costume party with his friends. We went with a non-spooky Halloween theme- lots of black and white stripes with orange accents. I found a ton of food ideas on pinterest- you can see the board I put together here.

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He was supposed to be Yoda, but at the last minute, pulled out the spiderman costume from our costume box. The spider man costume that is too small and has a big whole in the crotch. How could I say no when it was his party? :)

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Some details:

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Halloween food:

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I have a vivid memory of going to a friend’s halloween party when I was little and being blown away by the smoking punch. I had to get some dry ice to give my son the same memory, even if it meant calling 10 stores to find some.

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We did a couple of crafts, played pumpkin bowling, and then I took everyone’s least favorite bridal shower game and made it halloween themed for kids. “Make your friend a toilet paper mummy” was a big hit.

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Yes! High 5 to myself for getting this posted before Christmas (and even a few hours before thanksgiving!). Ha!

Shop news for the holidays

Hi everyone! I wanted to give you an update on a couple of things with my shop:

 

photo by Drew B. (how cute is tiny Isaiah? Hudson was in my belly in this photo!)

 

I will not be taking any custom orders during December. The last day to place a custom order is this Friday, the 29th. This includes flags, thank you banners, custom holiday orders, etc. So, if you are thinking of ordering any of these things, please do as soon as possible. My shop will be open throughout this time, but only selling items that are ready to ship. I will start taking custom orders again after New Years.

 

I do this in an effort to simplify the holiday season. I want to be able to focus on spending time with my family as much as possible and to not have to worry about rushing to finish custom orders. I did this last year and it was so incredibly good for our family.

 

That being said, I will be listing any holiday banners that remain after the Stitch Market. I do have a few listed in my shop right now, but I will have more available after the 7th. I will do an instasale first on the 9th and then list any unpurchased items in the shop on the 8th.

Instafriday!

Friday again- you know what that means! Linking up with my friend Jeannett for Instafriday and sharing some of my favorite moments from the past week.

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One of my close friends from high school got married out in Palm Springs last weekend. It was such a blast! We got to stay at the wedding venue, Korakia Pensione, which is an incredible bed & breakfast. The architecture and design was so charming and it had such a peaceful, romantic feel. I highly recommend it!

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Date #42 of 50: celebrating Jenna & Dan’s wedding and playing music together before the ceremony. I love that we share a passion for music- it has been a part of our relationship from the beginning. We met as a part of our church’s Jr. High worship team :) My husband is crazy talented and I love that I get to be a part of his music. And that he finds me instruments I can play. Like my buddy the harmonium there:

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The wedding was beautiful and so so fun! We love you Mr & Mrs Fig!

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As a bonus treat, there was an after party at a local bar where my friend Clarissa’s awesome 80′s band played. My prego feet were super tired from all of that dancing!

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On our way out to Palm Springs, we had date #41 out of 50. I scored major wife points by agreeing to eat at a wings place (not my favorite by far) that had 30- seriously- 30!- TVs playing sports. Only for my husband and only to watch UCLA play (and win! Go Bruins!).

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On our way home, my sweet Aunt Corky went to be with Jesus. Visiting her in Central CA growing up is one of my favorite childhood memories. She will be so missed and was dearly loved. I’m looking forward to celebrating her life with our extended family in a couple of weeks.

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Isaiah brought this home from school:

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When he finished one of his assignments early, he was told to write a sentence about a turkey on the back. This is what he came up with- ha!

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With all of the craziness the past couple of months, my reading has slowed down significantly. I finally finished this book, After Visiting Friends, and I enjoyed it. It is an interesting read- a memoir and true mystery. Totally different than what I would normally pick up, but I am glad that someone recommended it.

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My friend Emmy has hosted some super fun exchanges to raise money for her adoption and now for another family’s. This time, it was a handmade Christmas exchange. I haven’t received my package yet, but this is what I sent off to my secret exchange buddy:

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Side note: I will have those wood chalkboard ornaments at the Stitch Market in a couple of weeks. Christmas banners will be in the shop after the boutique on the 7th :)

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Yesterday, Hudson walked in Daveed’s office/recording studio, kicked him out of his chair, grabbed his headphones and said, “I listen Daddy’s music”. Love that kid.

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These two kids got married 50 year ago today- how amazing is that? Love you mom & dad! Happy anniversary!

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Happy weekend!

Central CA boutique: The Stitch Market!

If you live on the Central Coast (california), come check out the Stitch Market December 5th-7th in San Luis Obispo! I will be there with my banners and some new fun holiday items, along with a bunch of wonderful vendors including my sister-in-law, the lovely lady behind The Pleated Poppy.

Fall Party 2013

5 years ago, my husband and I decided we wanted to have a party to celebrate all that we loved about the Fall. The food, the decor, the music. This then carried over into Winter and our seasonal party tradition was born. Year after year, it is one of my favorite things to host. Daveed & I love planning and throwing dinner parties for our friends, and seeing this become something that our friends look forward to every season has brought us such joy.

 

This year, the fall party was wonderful. Our house filled with dear friends, pumpkins, garlands and smells of Daveed’s risotto, sangria and all of the delicious fall themed foods that our friends brought to share.

 

It also was the least stressful year of prep. We’ve finally got this thing figured out :)

 

Here is a look into our fall party. You can see past seasonal parties here and here.

 

Runner fabric from Jo-anns, pumpkins, leaves and candlelight:

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Leaf garlands falling from the chandelier and the walls and, of course, we had to have one of my thankful banners out.

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Sangria station, a bit more decor and our littlest guest, my buddy Archie:

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The risotto king. Thank you God for blessing me with a husband who can cook :)

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I truly am thankful for the community we’ve been given here in San Diego. It’s not where we grew up, but it has become home, mostly due to these people. A few people had already left and I promise there were guys there too, but I am so happy to have a moment captured with some of my dear friends. Thank you Lord for these people.

Instafriday!

It’s friday friday… I woke up with that annoying song in my head. I apologize if you now have it stuck in  your head as well :)

I am recapping our week with Jeannett for Instafriday!

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Last friday, we had our annual fall party and it was SO fun! I will be sharing all of the details next week.

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The next morning, David and I snuck in date 40 of our 50 dates in 2013. We walked to our local farmer’s market for some groceries and a waffle. Such a sweet time together.

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17 weeks with my first pregnancy (6 1/2 years ago!) and 17 weeks this time around:

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Our pumpkin plant in our garden grew exactly one pumpkin. Which is one more pumpkin than we got last year, so success!

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I announced this week that we are having another boy. You can see my thoughts on that here.

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Isaiah got to spend the long weekend in Santa Barbara with his Nonna (daveed’s mom) & GG (daveed’s grandma). He had such a wonderful time! Hudson definitely missed him though, so they were so happy to be reunited. They were straight up crazy that day, but I love how they love each other.

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Minimum day and 85 degrees calls for ice cream. Also, I’m glad that San Diego got the memo that it’s fall today and dropped 20 degrees :)

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Happy weekend everyone!!

Boy #3

Two and a half weeks ago, we loaded the boys in the car and headed 20 minutes south to get a 4D ultrasound of our baby. Thanks to impatient grandmas, we were about to be able to find out the gender of the baby a month before we normally would have.

 

Baby Toney #3 is… a boy. Again.

 

I am going to be honest with you today. I was bummed. I am bummed. This will be our last baby, so we have now closed the door on the possibility of having a girl in our family.

 

Before I continue, let me just say from that start that I am so happy to get to have this little guy. After loosing a baby this summer, we are overjoyed that he is looking healthy and growing well. I love him fiercely already and I will NEVER wish that he was a girl.

 

However, I still need to mourn. When I found out that our second was a boy, I received a lot of mixed reactions from people. I was surprised to find that many people instantly tried to give me a positive benefit of having two boys: “You’ve got hand-me-downs!” “At least they can share a room!”. But the reaction that stood out the most to me, and was the most helpful, was what my sister-in-law immediately said. She said, “it’s okay to be sad”.

 

It was okay to be sad. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I felt guilty that I was holding back tears- that I wasn’t jumping up and down that it was another boy. Somewhere in my head, I was telling myself, “you’re not being a good mom because you are bummed that it is a boy”. Lindsey’s simple words gave me to freedom to give myself grace. To grieve the hope and idea that I might be having a baby girl.

 

And, now, when I am faced with the fact that I will never have a daughter, I’m allowing myself to be sad. To mourn all of the dreams I had of braids, dolls and prom dress shopping. You see, I always envisioned that I would be a mom of girls. God obviously saw me as a mom of boys. I have absolutely LOVED being a mom of two crazy little men. It has brought me more joy than I could have ever known. I love watching Isaiah play baseball, I know the names all of the Star Wars, Thomas and Cars characters, I am always looking for adventure and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that Isaiah loves to craft and bake with me. However, I am sad that I will not have a pink, ruffly, glittery nursery. I am a bit heartbroken that I will never get to use the girl name that we picked out 6 1/2 years ago before we found out our first was a boy. As a young girl (and a girly young girl at that) I loved playing house and playing with dolls and barbies. Whenever I was pretending to be a mommy, the baby was always a girl. Even recently, I assumed that, at some point, I would get to have nail painting parties, go to mommy and me ballet classes and, one day, help my daughter plan a wedding.
It has been hard for my husband as well. I choke back tears pushing away the dreams I had of seeing him with a little daddy’s girl wrapped around his finger. He told me one night that he was really sad thinking about how he will never walk a daughter down the aisle (cue the flowing tears).

 

The boys, on the other hand, are happy as can be to have another brother. Isaiah was jumping up and down in the ultrasound room and on the drive home he told us, “I prayed that it would be a boy”. It melts my heart. I love that we will have three little buddies. That this baby will have two older brothers watching over him and loving him wholeheartedly.

 

In the past two weeks, I’ve been able to work through a lot of tears and to begin processing all of this. As a side note, I don’t suggest watching the show Parenthood while dealing with all these emotions :) It is a hard hard thing to come to the realization that your life is not going to look exactly the way you had planned and dreamed and expected. Yet, every time my expectations have been turned upside down, God’s plans for my life have been ridiculously better. I take comfort in that. The excitement has come back and I’ve directed my attention to designing another boy’s nursery (no pink, ruffles and glitter obviously) and to trying to come up with a name (I am 99% he will remain nameless).

 

I will continue to allow myself to be sad and to grieve that which will not be. One of my dearest friends had this same situation in her life and she told me that she still has moments where she grieves, even though her youngest son is now 6. That is fully okay and healthy and I know that I will have moments of sadness for years. But I will not let this steal my joy. I will thank God daily for giving me these three sweet boys, when we thought chemo was going to take away my chances of getting pregnant. I will embrace being the lone woman in a house of dudes and will rock the mom of boys thing. I will paint nails and have tea parties with my nieces and other little girls in my life. One of my boys  might end up in dance class, much to my husband’s dismay, but we will cross that bridge when we get there :)

 

I will thank God continuously for my three blessings and my little sesame seed that is with Him. Even if it does not look like what I had envisioned, my family is more than I could have ever dreamed of and there is not a day that will pass that I will not be grateful for that. Even in the hard moments. Even when I’m sad.

InstaFriday!

Hello there! It’s been a while…

 

Things have finally started to slow down a bit after Nashville, Isaiah’s birthday, Halloween & Queen Bee Market. I do intend to recap all of those things on here, since I missed many weeks of linking up with Jeannett at LifeRearranged for InstaFriday, but today I am just going to start with the last two weeks.

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I had the privilege of being part of The Queen Bee Market again. It is always so fun and is a great show for me. Here is a look at my booth:

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This year, it happened to fall on the day after Halloween. The night before a boutique tends to be a bit crazy for me, but I was determined to be ready ahead of time so that I could enjoy Halloween with my kiddos. I was mostly successful with that goal, which was awesome. Halloween was especially fun this year because my brother, sister-in-law, their kids and my parents came down for dinner and trick or treating. My bro’s family lives up in the central coast, so we’ve never been with them on halloween before. It was so fun!

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Yoda & Batman:

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Amidst the crazy crafting prep I did for weeks leading up to Queen Bee, I was able to sneak in some time to read Allegiant, the final book in the Divergent series. I don’t want to give anything away, but it was intense. I definitely cried. But I did think that the author ended the series well. Now I can’t wait for the movie to come out in the spring!

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I was able to keep my workload under control, with some help from sweet friends watching my kiddos, so our lives weren’t nuts the week leading up to the boutique (not that they have been in past years…ahem…). I even got to sneak in a little date with this curly haired dude to get some chocolate (he definitely inherited my sweet tooth).

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Timeouts are still coming in strong, thanks to the strong-willed child in the midst of the terrible twos. It’s a good thing he is so cute, cuddly and sweet :)  Here is another #placeshudsonhasatimeout pic: at church during worship band practice;

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One of my new products this year: double sided snarky banners! This one says “hooray!” on one side and “oh crap!” on the other. Another version says “welcome” on one side and “go home” on the other :)

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I loved how this custom banner turned out. It was for a send-off party for a marine pilot from our church. It is super long, so I couldn’t get a full picture, but it says “fair winds & following seas”

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My family is quite large- my parents have 13 grandkids plus all of us kids & spouses, which means a lot of birthday parties. We’ve started lumping together all of the birthdays in one month and celebrating them all together. I love these times- my family is such a blessing to me, especially these sisters of mine:

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Yesterday, I started an instasale of my thankful banners that are left after The Queen Bee. Hope over to @courttoney on instagram to see what is still available. The sale prices are only good today- tomorrow I will be putting them into my etsy shop at full price.

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That’s it for now! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!