Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Gray Family Photos 2015

My lovely, wonderful friend, Cassie has done it again! She captures the absolute best photos of my family and has been taking our pictures since Hensley was a newbie :) We actually met up with her on our anniversary. Hensley was being a little stubborn and didn't want to smile, but Cassie has tricks up her sleeves and caught some good moments. If you want more information about Cassie you can see her website here or follow her on Facebook here. Here are some of my favorites!

 (there's a frog on my arm)

Monday, June 22, 2015

10 year Anniversary

My hubby and I just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. I just cannot believe it has already been 10 years! I can honestly say that I married my best friend. He is everything I ever wanted in a husband and even more than I even knew that I wanted. He is a great father to the girls and he always makes me feel like a princess. I made this video below to summarize our 12 years together. I surprised Aaron with it and he loved it. The song is one that Aaron has always loved and says reminds him of us :)

Aaron took off Thursday and Friday for our anniversary. On our anniversary (Thursday), we drove out to Okarche and ate lunch at Eischen's. It's a fried chicken bar that is super old. They are very simple. No plates, minimal drink selection, and everything is served family style. Their fried chicken is very good! You also get white bread, pickles, onions, and we ordered fried okra. Definitely not the most healthy meal, but since we hadn't been in about 6 years, I think it was okay to splurge. We spent the rest of Thursday and Friday running errands and doing things around the house.

 We wanted to do something fancy since we had, in fact, been married for a decade. Hensley is still nursing so a long getaway would not have worked this year. We decided to stay the night in a hotel downtown and the girls stayed the night with my parents. Here is a picture of them with their backpacks. They were excited to see Gramma and Papa.
After we dropped them off, we headed to our hotel to check in. We decided to stay at the Skirvin. Aaron wanted to stay in a historic hotel and the Skirvin is supposed to be one of the nicest. We booked one of the rotunda suites and it was so, so nice!
 As soon as we checked in, they brought up champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. The strawberries were delicious!
 This was the living room. The bed was in a separate room and I totally forgot to get a picture of it. The room was so big! 
Here was the bathroom. They had fancy soaps and lotions and the shower was huge and had great water pressure. The room also came with a coffee pot and bottled water which was a nice touch.
We took a tour around the hotel and looked at all the old details and pictures on the wall. Aaron was fascinated that the elevator showed there was no 13th floor, That makes sense because some people think the hotel is haunted :)
After we checked in a looked around, we changed and headed over to Red Prime Steakhouse for dinner. It was about a block from the hotel and is in a building that was built in 1911. We both got the iceberg bowl for a starter. It was very good with lots of blue cheese and fried onions. We then each got a filet with different crusts and sauces. I got the garlic crust with truffle butter and Aaron got the blue cheese crust with their red sauce. I got seared green beans and Aaron got their green chile macaroni and cheese. We also shared the loaded mashed potatoes. They brought out hot rolls with butter and they were delish as well. For dessert we got the house made sherbet. The flavors were blood orange, raspberry, and lime. It was the perfect ending to a delicious dinner. After dinner we walked to Bricktown and got some iced coffee at Starbucks. It was about a mile walk or so and we got to enjoy the canal and the scenery. After our coffee, we went to the movies and saw Jurassic World. It was a great movie! After the movie we made the walk back to the hotel for the evening.
 The next morning we got to sleep in, so that was nice. We then got ready and headed about two blocks to Kitchen 324. It's a great local restaurant that focuses on locally sourced food. They were a tad bit busy since it was Father's Day, but we enjoyed the adult conversation while we waited.
 I got the Fried green tomato benedict. It came with their scratch potatoes and was so good.
Aaron got the special which was chicken and waffles with a green chile gravy. It was very good as well.

After brunch, we made another trip to Starbuck's for coffee and then headed over to my parent's house. My mom had invited us over for steaks for Father's Day and it was very yummy and nice to spend time with my dad. 

We had a great weekend and I can't wait to spend the next 10 years with my better half :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

It feels a lot like summer!

 It actually got warm for a few weeks, but now it has been super rainy. We are even supposed to get a good dose of rain from a Tropical Storm tomorrow! Crazy, right?! We took another trip to the zoo right before Hensley's birthday. It was a pretty warm day, but we got there right at 9am, so when we left at 1pm, it was just starting to get hot.
 These girls...they both had to take turns being in front. They're so silly!

 Hensley was excited to get a package from her Aunt and cousin in Germany. Her and Tae had some fun popping all the packaging. 
 Hensley has fallen in love with Dora. I remember Tae loving it at this age too. Hensley ran a fever and just wasn't feeling good a couple days before her party, so she got spoiled with some extra video time. The doctor thinks she had pharyngitis or a mild case of hand, foot, mouth. After 24 hours with a fever, she was as good as new though!
 After her party, we had our monthly family night. My sister Lyn and her wife have decided to become foster mommies and they brought over their FIVE foster puppies. They were about 8 weeks old and so stinking cute. The kids spent almost the entire time outside playing with them. They will be disappointed next family night when the puppies aren't there, but maybe they will have new puppies to bring ;)

 Oh my little Henny, how can you be 2? She still says she is 1 and insists that she did not turn 2, ha! On her actual birthday I took the girls to a splash pad. Hensley wasn't too sure of the water and was a little nervous. She spent a lot of time sitting next to me on the bench. I think all the spraying water made her scared she would get it in her eyes. She did play some, especially if I got out there with her. Maybe we will try again next week and see if she warms up.
 When Aaron got off work we went to Target and she got to spend her birthday money and buy some new Dora DVD's. She also picked out a Peppa Pig backpack. We then went and ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Green Chile Kitchen and then got icecream. I think she had a super fun day, even if she doesn't want to be 2 yet.

 Last weekend we had Bella and Jack stay the night with us. We had hoped to go swimming in our pool while they were here, but it was closed due to rain. The kids had lots of fun playing together. Hensley was wore out and took a long nap on the couch! 
 We decided to get out of the house for a bit and go on a walk. We had planned to walk to get icecream, but it's about a 1.5 mile walk there. After a mile, the kids were tired and hot, so we decided to head back and just have icecream at home. We didn't tell them about the icecream, but I think if I had, they would have been more motivated to make the trip :) The most exciting part of the walk for the kids was finding a dead squirrel in the road. They just wanted to stare at it forever, haha!
Leaving the squirrel, Hensley says "bye bye cute squirrel"!
 Tae is in love with all things ponies. Every time she colors or paints it's always ponies and rainbows. I think she has quite the artistic ability! Hensley loves to paint too, but often sneaks in her fingers to paint with.

 We made our first batch of summer popsicles! I thought they turned out so pretty! These were red (strawberry), white (coconut milk with honey), and blue (blueberries). The girls loved them!
Sorry this picture is blurry, but they were on the move. These girls have such good imaginations. Here they were using their hula hoop as a choo choo train and giving each other rides through the house. Hensley was the conductor as you can see. I'm glad they play so well together and have become such good friends. It is really sweet to watch.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hensley's Twinkle Twinkle 2nd Birthday Party

 I love planning parties! They are a lot of work, but they are very rewarding and fun to do. About 6 months before Hensley's birthday, I started scouring Pinterest for ideas and happened upon a "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" theme. That is one of Hensley's favorite songs, so I thought it would be fitting to go with this idea.
 These are the invites my sister, Leslie, came up with. I decided to go with pink, teal, and gold for the colors. I also wanted to add in a lot of sparkles. I thought the invites turned out super cute. I taped them to recycled note cards so that they could be stood up.
 I made this sign with the help of my sister and her fancy cutting machine. The gold letters and the gold sparkle two were actually bought in the $1 bins at Target. I attached the cutouts, letters, and number to a piece of glitter cardstock with glue dots. So easy!
 I bought a bunch of these cute pails in the $1 bins from Target. I used one for the silverware and the rest for the kids' favors. I bought the gold glitter favor boxes from Hobby Lobby and used them for the adult favors and the napkins. I bought the plates, napkins, glitter silverware, cups, paper star straws, and balloons (pink, teal, and clear with gold stars) from Amazon for about $30.
 My sister and I cut out a bunch of sparkle stars to use as decoration. I bought these little chalkboard easels in the $1 bins along with the star clips! I wrote on them with gold sharpie. The gold H pictured below I got at Micheal's. It was actually a white fabric and I sprayed it with gold fabric paint.
 Since the party was at 11am, I decided to serve a light lunch. I bought everything at Natural Grocers and it was only about $100! I served a fruit tray (watermelon, grapes, strawberries, and cantaloupe) veggie tray (mini bells, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli) with a vegan ranch dip, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into stars.
I also served homemade chicken salad, hummus, spinach artichoke dip, an assortment of crackers, pretzels, tortilla chips, and two kinds of grass fed cheese.
 For the drinks I mixed two containers of Santa Cruz organic strawberry lemonade with two bottles of sparkling water. This makes a nice refreshing punch.
 These are the kid favors. They included mini "grow your own" flower pots, a wind up butterfly, bubbles, Annie's organic gummies, a YumEarth organic sucker, and YumEarth organic hard candies
 It's always fun when adults get favors too! These included fruit strips, chocolate honey patties, dark chocolate, and YumEarth organic candies. All these things were also bought at Natural Grocers.
 These favor tags were also cut out with my sisters machine. I attached them with these mini clothespins I got in the $1 bins at Target!

 My mom made chocolate and strawberry cupcakes with frosting to match the theme. I took two of the cutout stars and used double sided tape to stick them to toothpicks for the toppers.
I laid out the extra star cutouts around the table and buffet and also hung up some star garland and a pink and gold banner, both bought at Micheal's.
Here's my party girls! Tae picked out her tutu and she had this star tank that worked perfectly. I had bought this Old Navy "two" shirt for Hensley at the consignment sale and added iron on gold stars that I bought from Hobby Lobby. 
 Hensley had the most fun with the balloons. I think she was in heaven with 30 balloons around for her to play with.
 Her cousin, Bella, insisted she open her present right away. She spent a long time drawing this card. Hensley has an obsession with minions and I thought it was so sweet for Bella to remember this and spend her own money buying her a little stuffed minion and making her a card.

 Birthday Girl!
The cousins were all happy to sit together and eat lunch. Hensley got to move to the big kid table since Mavy has moved away. 
She really enjoyed opening her presents and took time with each one. She got a lot of neat books, a puzzle, a gardening set, some money, a pram, and a new easel.
 My sister and her family sent Hensley this pram all the way from Germany!
Hensley testing out her new easel from Gramma and Papa.
 After presents, it was time for cake! Hensley had been waiting to blow out her candles for some weeks now. She did very good and waited until every sang her happy birthday.

 Yum! She really did enjoy her cupcake!
All in all, it was a great party. I'm thankful for those that took the time to come and celebrate this sweet baby. I can't believe she is turning two!