Emma’s Moana Themed Birthday Party

If you haven’t noticed already, ever since Emma watched Moana for the very first time, she was immediately hooked. It was also the first movie she actually sat through. So naturally, she now wants everything Moana. She especially loves to belt out the theme song, How Far I’ll Go. Case in point here. So when it came to her 2nd birthday party theme, it was an easy decision. I wanted to find a budget friendly party ideas, so off to Pinterest I went for DIY decor. I also didn’t want anything extravagant (mainly because I didn’t have the time), so decided to do a Moana themed sweets table. After five nights of designing, cutting, gluing, I was so excited to see my vision come to life! Also, I would not have pulled it off if it wasn’t for my friend, Morgan and her Cricut! That thing was a lifesaver for sure! For desserts, I made the cupcakes & Heart of Te Fiti sugar cookies. The highlight of the sweets table has to be the Moana boat my husband built. Originally, I was going to make the boat with paper towel rolls, but he said he can do something much better. And off he went into the garage. After a night of sawing, hammering and nailing, he legit built her a boat! Please give this man Father of the Year Award.

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Along with Emma’s friends, we had both set of grandparents and aunts come to celebrate her birthday (we missed you Paul!). I don’t think Emma understands the concept of birthdays, but she sure had a lot of fun singing the Happy Birthday song and eating A LOT of her birthday cake. Oh, and of course, she loved all the presents and running around with all of her friends. I know I say this every time, but we are so lucky to have such great friends and family. I’m forever grateful for all the love Emma receives. Thank you everyone for coming to celebrate Emma’s birthday with us!!

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Trick or Treat!

There is no doubt Halloween is an exciting holiday in our household. Steve and I had our fun share of dressing up and attending Halloween parties when we weren’t parents. Now that we have our daughter, the focus has been on her and I am totally okay with that!

This year was Emma’s first time Trick or Treating which made it even more fun! She had a preview this past Sunday when we went to Lafayette Village for their Halloween event. We borrowed a costume from her friend and dressed up as a ladybug (with Heart of Te Fiti necklace she refused to take off). Although we didn’t stay too long due to gloomy/cold weather, she scored some candy. Before you knew it, she had ripped off the wrapper of a lollipop and was going to town!

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As for Emma’s main costume this year, we decided to go with Moana. Surprise, surprise! 😛 Steve and I also decided to dress up as her sidekicks, Kakamora and Hei Hei. We didn’t go all out and did DIY costumes for us using a glue gun and a lot of felt. I’m glad we decided to go with Moana costume for Emma, because literally, that’s all she wants to wear when she wakes up in the morning. Morgan also took our annual neighborhood Halloween pictures of the kiddos. Morgan and I were joking about how much more difficult it may be this year compared to last year as all of our kids are now toddlers. And they did not disappoint in being full blown toddlers. Thank God I brought some cookies to bribe them. 😉 But I mean, how cute are these kiddos?! So glad we are continuing our tradition!

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Trick or Treating on Halloween was super fun! Emma went door to door saying “Trick or Treat” and was so excited to score more candy! I wasn’t sure how many houses we would do since it was her first time, but she ended up going to quite a few! Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Now, don’t be stealing your kids’ Halloween candies like us! 😉

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Autumn is here!

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. Everything about it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’ve been waiting for the heat wave to end here in NC to enjoy some breezy weather and Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks. Yes, I know. Basic. However, I’m sad to report that I have yet to grab a PSL because the temp is still hitting the high 80’s here in NC. I cannot wait to pull out my sweaters and jeans!

Anyway, what’s Fall without a trip to a pumpkin patch?! This year, we checked out Page Farms with our friends.  I was extra excited this year because Emma is old enough to actually enjoy the visit. Page Farms had a lot of kid friendly activities including a petting zoo, corn maze, play areas, swings, and corn kernel pool, Emma’s favorite! We also took a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick out our own pumpkins. Emma was so excited to pick her own pumpkin to take home. 🙂 Our front porch is now decorated in fall theme and we are ready for Halloween! Can you guess what we are going to be? Make sure to check back for the Halloween post later. 😉

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how cute are these two little ladies holding hands on the hayride? ❤

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Happy Easter!

Looks like Easter Bunny came to town! Last weekend, our little posse got together for an Easter egg hunt. It was the cutest thing ever to see these little babes pickup the eggs and put them in their baskets. We even got to take a picture with the Easter bunny! I guess she prefers Easter bunny over Santa because she didn’t cry at all. She was actually super excited, kept saying “bunny, bunny, bunny” until it was her turn to take the picture. We traded in the eggs Emma picked up for some candy, it was her first time trying a lollipop. Needlessly to say, she loved it. She full blown cried when I tried to take it away. I guess lollipops are now exposed. 😉 Anyway, so glad to have these little friends of Emma nearby, they are so dang cute together! ❤

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Hope everyone enjoys Easter weekend!

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First Snow of 2017

This is our second winter in North Carolina, and I LOVE our mild winters especially after Chicago. However, I was hoping for some snow so Emma could experience it for the very first time. Weather gods must have granted my wish, because we got lots of fluffy snow back in January, well a lot for NC anyway. Needlessly to say, everything shut down and Steve and I had a field day trying to find a snowsuit for Emma. All the stores were sold out of their snow garments if they carried them at all in the first place. Steve ended up driving 30 minutes to buy it off of some lady just so our daughter can “play” the next day. But it was definitely worth it because we got about 2 or so inches of snow and our yard was covered in white.

Emma was so confused when she first saw snow. At first she didn’t know what to do and stood frozen. She then realized she could walk on it and started exploring but definitely did not like that it was cold when she fell in the snow. Her play time in the snow was short-lived but I’m glad she was able to experience it!

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First Santa Encounter

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I absolutely love the year end festivities. We get tons of family time and holiday spirits are all around! For Thanksgiving, we spent a week in Chicago with Steve’s family, it was nice getting some quality time with them as we don’t get to see them too often. Christmas will be spent in our home with my side of the family. It’ll be our first Christmas in our new home, so we are super excited!

This year we introduce Emma to Santa for the very first time. Although we celebrated Christmas last year as a family of three, Emma was only itty bitty newborn, so we didn’t take her to meet Santa. Our neighborhood had Santa come to the community lodge which was nice. Definitely better than waiting in line at the mall to meet Santa, it was more relaxing and not at all chaotic. But that didn’t make it any better for Emma, she immediately bursted into full on cry – no sound, holding her breath and all. It made for a cute picture though!

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First time seeing Santa!

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Maybe next year she will ease up to Santa. Fingers crossed! Emma’s friend Cole also came to see the Santa at the same time, so we had to take pictures of the babies. They were too adorable in their ‘picture with Santa’ outfits!

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We are continuing our tradition this year and picking out our Christmas tree this Sunday! It’s going to be extra fun because we are making a family photo session out of it! Can’t wait to share those photos! Stay tuned! 🙂

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To Emma (Letter #1)

Our dearest Emma,

You came into our world a year ago on October 2nd, 2015. Your grand entrance was as dramatic as it could be, just like the bright star you are! You gave us a scare with malrotation and emergency surgery, but mama and dada knew you would be as strong as ever. The past year, you have been thriving, surprising us with your appetite and developmental growth. Everyday with you was something new even when we didn’t sleep for the first three months. 😉 Despite the lack of sleep, you always brought so much joy in our household and we are so thankful to have a healthy , happy and sweet, sweet baby.

When we found out that you were going to be a girl, we knew Emma would be the perfect name. It was daddy’s first choice and the meaning of “whole” and “universal” fit so perfectly with what we wish for you to be one day. We want you to explore the world, in tune with everything around you – the best life lessons come from travelling and experiencing different cultures and people. And we hope that you too will enjoy travelling as much as we do. This will make you a well balanced person and it will make you whole.

Always follow your heart and your passion, and don’t hesitate to understand others before yourself. Being selfless is one of the best characteristics to have. Don’t get caught up in greed because greed will always make you think you don’t have enough, and you will never be able to stop and breathe. Even though we’d like to shield you from all things negative, you will find yourself in a slump one day, there’s no way around it. But please know that it shall pass, it always does. Things happen for a reason, and bad things end to make room for good things. Change isn’t always bad, it can be good, we promise. And always remember, no matter what, we will forever love you.

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Happy first birthday, baby girl. We are so lucky to be your parents.

-mama and dada