mother’s day gift ideas

As my dad recently reminded me, my very first Mother’s Day is coming up. It’s so exciting to be a mom and to celebrate motherhood with so many other moms. I’ve got a few gift ideas for the daughter giving to her mom or for the husband looking around at his wife’s favorite blogs for Mother’s Day gift ideas!

Stella and Dot is promising that all orders placed by May 1st will arrive in time for Mother’s Day. Stella and Dot has so many great items for mom and now there’s even a line of jewelry for daughters, too, so they can match their moms. This ring comes in sizes for little girls and women.

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Kelly Moore Bag is perfect for the camera-loving, busy mom who needs to be hands free as much as possible. The strap is long so the bag falls at your hip, which makes it perfect for moms holding a baby to reach inside the bag without having to juggle everything. The bag has an easy snap closure and has plenty of storage. If you’re not carrying as many lenses around (as pictured), you can use the compartments for your wallet and baby bottles, diapers, wipes, etc. It’s a great multi-purpose bag for the woman trying to take on the day and catch a few photos of her gorgeous kids at the same time.

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I am a huge fan of Ashley Brooke Designs and her stationery. She recently introduced a design for recipe cards and a shopping tote. These are both perfect for the cooking mom who is always at the grocery store. This is a great way for mom to be green and to have an adorable bag that matches her personality.

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Picture 2I love Sonya Renee jewelry– especially the initial gold necklaces. Todd has given me a collection of three of her necklaces for my three initials and I absolutely love them. Sometimes I wear them all together and sometimes I just wear one of them. Another cute idea is to get mom the initials of her children if that’s something she would like.  These leather braided charm bracelets are also adorable and smart!

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For the mommy blogger in your life, what’s better than a brand new blog design? Check out Penny Lane Designs for her prefab designs or for a custom design.

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To help mom stay organized and do it in style, get her a momAgenda. The new colors are beautiful!

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Le Creuset isn’t the typical kitchen item that is considered a “no no” for gift-giving. This stuff is beautiful and even if she’s not a cook, any woman would love this to just accessorize her kitchen.

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I’m obsessed with white watches right now, but until now they’ve been a little out of my price range since I got a great watch last year for our anniversary. This Anne Klein watch is only $55.00 at Dillards. It’s so stylish and the price is perfect! It also comes in three other colors, so if you can’t decide on a color it’s completely affordable to buy them all!

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looking back: a post about perspective

Two years ago this week I was in the shoes of the brides and brides-to-be. And I was looking forward to wearing my gorgeous wedding shoes! I had just wrapped up my big golf tournament event for work and I was finally able to take one week and completely focus on planning our wedding and nothing else.

I was born a planner, so planning our wedding was a dream come true for me. I planned events for work, but I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted and I was always on limited funds. We definitely had a budget for our wedding, but it was ours. We could splurge on food and other things if we wanted to.

I was so excited to have all of my family and friends and Todd’s family and friends together in one venue. It’s such an amazing feeling. That never ever happens again– having all of your loved ones gathered in one space to celebrate.

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ah, we were so carefree! (photo by Kelly Moore Photography from our engagement session)

Before we got engaged, I hoped that my extreme need for control wouldn’t turn me into a Bridezilla. And it didn’t. I was a surprisingly go-with-the-flow kind of bride and let a lot of details roll of my back. I was excited to marry my best friend and to spend the weekend with our loved ones. There were no fights and no falling outs with vendors. I had a few freak out moments when I felt like people weren’t doing things at my pace and following the standards that I thought a wedding timeline should follow, but I never let out those frustrations on anyone.

My big “thing” that I wanted was to have the wedding get published either on a blog or in a magazine. Because we had such an amazing photographer, that became a reality when the wedding was published on the Southern Weddings blog and later in their magazine.

But there was still a big let down after the wedding planning was over. Todd and I were completely enjoying being newlyweds, but I missed having such a fun project to work on. Well I’m not sure how much I prayed for a new project, but the Lord gave me a big one. Five months into our marriage, on October 15, we got the surprise of our lives when I took a pregnancy test after not feeling well for a few days. I was at least four weeks pregnant, I knew.

Our life was flying by right before our eyes and there was no way for it to slow down. We would officially be forced to grow up and put ourselves last. Wedding planning became a distant, but fond, memory. As the months of sickness and baby preparation flew forward, the obsession over the details of our flowers and invitations seemed silly and unnecessary. I’m not saying that these things aren’t important at the time of wedding planning. But everything was coming into perspective for me.

Now, here I am, two years later. Todd and I are about to celebrate our two year anniversary and in a month we’ll celebrate the end to the best, most challenging year of our lives. I will still say that planning our wedding was one of my favorite life experiences and I have zero regrets about the whole thing. We ended up with some beautiful photos and great memories. It was a fantastic party, but it was also the day that I committed to love and honor my wonderful husband and be the kind of wife that he needs.

We’ve gone through so much since that day and any worries that I had get more and more fuzzy every year.

Those worries were replaced with worries over how much food to feed my newborn boy and how to get him to get enough sleep for him and for us. But when he was a few weeks old I stopped worrying and started praying and turning it over to the Lord. I’m confident that there will be more struggles, worries, projects, and things that I exaggerate, but that’s all part of completely experiencing life.

Next week we’ll celebrate two years from our wedding day and look back and remember the people that were there, the laughs we shared, the music we danced to, and how much it meant to us for everyone to be there.

Then we’ll remark on how far we’ve come since then and thank God for never failing us.

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our little family when Hudson was 5 months old* (photo by Tracy Turpen Photography)

*We’re due for some new family photos. It’s hard to get a picture of the three of us together because one of us will pose with Hudson while the other holds the camera. And no, we’re not so good with the timer feature on my camera. We’re meeting up with Tracy Turpen again on June 9 for some new family photos!

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inspiration for a first birthday party!

I can’t even believe that Hudson is so close to turning 1 year old! Time seriously flies. I honestly don’t miss the tiny baby stage– this stage is so much more fun. He plays games with me and laughs all the time. He is playing his own version of “boo” where he buries his head in the sofa and pops it back up. I think he thinks that because he can’t see me that I can’t see him and it must surprise me when he pops back up. So cute. I would like to take this time and just freeze it.

But little boys have to grow up. And I get to plan a party. We’re celebrating Hudson’s first year of life, but we’re also celebrating our first year as parents. We’ve all had quite the eventful year and we’re ready to party.

Because we don’t have many (or any) friends our age with kids, we’ll be inviting all of our friends that don’t have kids. Hudson’s Little Gym friends and their parents are invited and we’re also going to invite a lot of our friends that have older kids. We’re asking that no one bring a gift– this isn’t about gifts. We were spoiled by our friends and family enough when Hudson was born. Todd and I will give him a few big things from us and I’m sure his grandparents will spoil him even more, but we don’t want our friends to bring gifts. This is just a celebration!

But I love to throw a party, so I’m going to let you in on my preliminary plans. I’m planning it around an inspiration board that I did for a baby shower that I never planned, so it will have a lot of the same aspects except it’s for a birthday party and not a baby shower.

The baby shower board was based on Green Eggs and Ham. I think orange and green are a great color combination.

This was the original board that I created back in 2008:

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This is the new board based on my plans for Hudson’s first birthday party– and still following the fun green and orange, Green Eggs and Ham theme:

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thanks to Nina for helping me modify the board since I no longer have Photoshop

I have lots of fun plans for the party–most of them revolve around fun food, but I’ll be revealing more and more as the planning progresses. I don’t want to give too much away before our guests get to experience it.

Any good, helpful first birthday party tips? I already have a few bloggers and Etsy sellers helping me with invitations and decorations, but I’m looking for tips on activities. I’m thinking of having a giant ball pit. Any experience with that?

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we’re walking, we’re walking…

I’m so happy to be back home with my boy after being gone for a few days. But we’re back to the grind of keeping our house clean for possible home lookers and today there was actually an agents’ open house at our house at lunch time. I had to get Hudson and the dogs out of the house for two hours.

I needed to run some errands and don’t like to leave the dogs in the car, so I called our wonderful vet and asked if I could drop off Boudreaux and Fiona for a couple of hours this afternoon. Hudson and I went to the grocery store and to meet Todd at his office for a few minutes. When I picked the dogs up the vet told me that the day boarding was “on the house.” I can’t even express how wonderful that is and how much it means to me to have people in our lives, helping to take care of the canines in our family, that truly care about us.

We also had Hudson’s class at The Little Gym today. He absolutely loves it. He loves seeing his friends every week and smiling, clapping, and bouncing to the music. He does the wheelbarrow move and when put in a handstand position he always tucks his head to roll. He’s a natural! And I’m biased.

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playing with the bells at the beginning of class

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doing his shoulder stretches

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doing a little stair climbing

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totally the stair master

At the end of class, his teacher always gets out the balls and then the bubbles. Hudson is more fascinated with the bubble blowing contraption (not the old school bubbles we had as kids) than the actual bubbles and he tries to get in his teacher’s face to inspect the device. Today he pulled up on her legs and let go and stood for a minute or so. Then…. wait for it…. he took a step. Then another!

I’m so happy I saw it and got to see him reach such a big milestone. Earlier tonight, after Todd got home, we tried it again and he took one or two steps before sitting back down and going back to his easiest form of mobility: crawling.

Todd and I are going to be out of town for a few days to celebrate our anniversary next week and Hudson’s grandparents will be keeping him. I’ve been praying that he’ll either walk before we leave town or he’ll wait to walk when we get back from our trip. He’s just been on the verge of walking for a few weeks now, so I knew it would be soon. It just thrills me that Todd and I were able to see him do something so big before we left.

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