Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent and other gifty memories

As a child, I remember pulling out the christmas decorations (typically around my birthday, thankyouverymuch!) and getting excited to see the "new" things each December that were included.  They weren't new... it's just that after 10 or 11 months off of them, they were re-"new" and exciting to look at, play with, or read.  There were nativities, advent candles, and of course, christmas story books... the best.  When my parents could get us to sit still (I'm sure some years were better than others) we'd even take the time to read favorites aloud.

That's why I was so excited to see this idea on a blog I like to keep up with: An Advent "Calendar" made of Books!  How brilliant is that?  Take the same books that your kids loved last christmas season, wrap them up, and open one at a time!  What a great way to keep the excitement going all month long.  Of course, we should also consider more eco-friendly options than using all that wrapping paper.  Anyone have suggestions for some sort of re-usable wrapping that might work?  Or you could re-use old wrapping paper if you're one of those who unwraps carefully enough.  Or what about a big Santa bag that a child could blindly grab one out of per day?  Hm... I've got time to figure out what works for us, huh?

It also reminds me of the habit my mom had when we were kids about bringing "presents" along on long trips.  I wish I knew where she got the idea from.  But when we'd get in the car for a road trip, her purse would always be secretly full of these little cheesy toys... each one probably worth a dollar at the local Walgreens... each one carefully wrapped.  We'd get a little too bored, too restless, or too irritating, and POOF!  Out would come a NEW TOY to be unwrapped and played with.  Small travel games, little books of riddles... whatever it was, it kept us busy for a few more minutes or hours as dad drove farther down the road.  Brilliant, if you ask me.

2nd half of the pics

As promised... I figured out where the "reveal" part of the gender reveal party pics were.  For your viewing pleasure:

p.s., MAD PROPS to the baker, T.B. who made this tasty treat!  Amazing fondant work and yummy cakey inside!  Evidently it was his first one!  What a rock star.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Well, those of you with whom I'm close have already heard the results.  But for posterity's sake...


The gender reveal party went smashingly well.  I was far more popular than I expected to be.  Our little home was sorta busting at the seams!  They say a picture says 1,000 words, so I'll be brief and let the party pics speak for themselves.  If you're pictured here and have a huge problem with it (sorry I didn't ask first), please feel free to email me off line and I'll blur you out or something. ;-)

The cake... pre cutting.  Who know's what's gonna happen?!?!?!

The pink and blue voters... or those who randomly wore pink or blue and were forced into pictures.  Thanks, Ben for getting your boxers out.  We appreciate it. :-)

My moms with the belly bump.

okay... some how I'm not yet in possession of the pics of actually cutting into the cake and seeing that it's pink.  So when I get those, I promise I'll add them.  This will have to do for now. Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green Christmas with Children

Hey guys... this is why I can't be a "real" blogger.  'cause I get busy and I don't write a post for 10 days.  And then by the time I return, the title of my blog doesn't make sense any more because I know what gender my child is.  No... I don't know the gender yet!  But we ARE finding out soon!  The ultrasound is on Thursday and the Gender Reveal party is on Saturday.  So exciting.  You gonna be there?

Anyway, I don't have any brilliant links to share tonight or new information about ways to live green in the city or with your kids.  But I have been thinking about it, as always.  This last weekend, I hung out with a few of my lady friends from church, working on a variety of craft projects for ourselves and for Christmas. See my friend, Emily's blog for details:

And while we were working away with our hands, the two of us ladies who were expecting got all sorts of amazing mama advice from our two friends with kids under the age of 3.  It was wonderful!  One thing we talked about is how to keep your Advent Conspiracy principles with extended family who may not follow Advent Conspiracy.  What is Advent Conspiracy you ask?  Check it out here:

I think I leaned toward this concept for years, just simply because of my frugality and my green-ness.  But it's so nice to take that principle of spending less and turn it into giving more in other ways, through time, donations, etc... really linking my moral and practical values to my Christian beliefs.  But I will say that as an impending new mother, I'm nervous about how to follow through with Advent Conspiracy when involving extended family and in-laws in family holiday traditions.  My current thoughts are:

- make requests for items that we/baby actually will need over the next 12 months, whether it be clothing, educational items, toys, etc.
- encourage the concept of less-is-more and minimalist living by request family/friends spend time and perform acts of service for our family rather than putting wrapped items under a tree
- model great behaviors by giving recycled/reused, homemade, or acts-of-service gifts or by giving donations in family's honor rather than giving brand new retail gifts
- love family anyway, even if they don't understand what we want to do and buy us more than we want or need despite all of the above.

Anyone have any other brilliant suggestions for me?  I love hearing your advice!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gender reveal party!


Today has been a pretty exciting day. Ben and I decided that our first ultrasound (at 10 weeks) was anticlimactic, so rather than find out the gender of our little olive at the second ultrasound, we would host a gender reveal party!

It's gonna be hilarious and ridiculous, I'm sure. And if I had more energy tonight, I'd post pictures from a variety of other parties I've seen online. But due to my exhaustion, I'll let you go look it up yourself on pininterest or google images or something.

BUT the exciting news is that we told my parents about the party and my dad bought my mom a plane ticket to fly in for the party!!!! Isn't that the best? My dad is pretty awesome. As my (not so little any more) friend, CW in Milwaukee says, "Jeff Whitmill? I love that guy!"

Okay. I now release you to the intranets for gender reveal party hunting. But before you go... Tell me what the likelihood is that baby won't cooperate and my poor mom comes from MN and wwe don't know the gender...