Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Smith Family | Christmas 2011 Card Designs

Merry Christmas from the cool Kujawski family...

The not as cool Rabroker family...

And the extremely hard to get everyone to look at the camera Smith family...

And the fact that we got the above family picture with just a tripod and the auto-timer on my camera is amazing because most of the pictures looked like this.

Seeing this picture always makes me hum a little Robert Earl to myself.

And for anyone wondering, my brother is showing off his ring finger. Promise. There were kids present, so we kept it PG. What kind of family do you really think we are?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 Months with Kassidy

Well, Kassidy turned 5 months last week, but being the always-behind working mom that I am, I just now had some time to post her picture. Complete with her Christmas headband that I made. The headband making has now turned into an addiction, so don't judge me. Please.

What is she up to? Well, she can roll both ways, shriek like a crazy woman, laugh when Mommy and Daddy tickle her, and put away some veggies. And she is obsessed with Massey. And Massey tolerates her.

The girl does not know a stranger. At all. She flirts with everybody. At some point, we're going to have to sit her down and have the "stranger danger" talk. Probably more than once.

And while she has been sleeping through the night consistently since 9 weeks, we can now put her to bed without swaddling her, which is awesome, because I was never really good at swaddling her anyway.

She is at such a fun age to experience her very first Christmas, and loves Christmas lights. I can put her under the Christmas tree in the morning when I'm trying to get ready for work, and she will just stare and smile at the lights. The Christmas tree is such an awesome babysitter. And doesn't charge me.

Can't wait to take her to visit Santa next week. I'm thinking she will dig the long, white beard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I take my Christmas music very seriously

I love Christmas, and I love listening to Christmas music. I have literally been listening to the same Christmas playlist for years now. Years. And I never get tired of it.

So I wanted to share my favorite Christmas songs with you — I thought about just posting a Facebook status on this, but quickly realized I had too many opinions to fit into a little Facebook status. Me? Opinions? Who would have thought, right?

These are songs that I remember singing in the car with my brother and sister or songs that help me remember the true meaning of the season. And, I want to make sure you realize that the artist singing these songs is just as important to me as the song itself. Because there are like 10 gazillion versions of Christmas songs out there, but I am super picky about my favorite versions.
  • Beautiful Star of Bethlehem by The Judds. Love, love, love. It's the Judds singing about the place of Jesus' birth and the importance of Jesus in our lives as the "star". How could you not love this?
  • Happy Birthday Jesus by Alabama. Another song that reminds us of the true reason for the season. And it reminds me of being a little kid and singing a different Happy Birthday Jesus song in our Christmas children's program at church.
  • The Birth of the King by Clint Black. I don't think poor Clint gets enough credit sometimes, but I grew up listening to his Looking for Christmas album, and this song is very powerful. I couldn't find the full version on YouTube, so you will have to make do with this sample. Other songs to check out on this album include Slow as Christmas and Looking for Christmas.
  • There's a New Kid in Town by George Strait. It's George. Singing about baby Jesus. Need I say more? Only a sample, but you get the idea.
Are you seeing a pattern here? I like to go back to the country artists of the 80s and 90s for my Christmas music.

But his year, I was also on a quest to spice up my Christmas playlist. Even though I still love the songs and artists I mentioned above, my musical taste has changed and broadened so much in the past few years that I knew there had to be some cool new Christmas songs out there. So I searched and searched the WWW for Christmas songs sung by some of my favorite Texas country artists. No such luck. Seriously, when is Reckless, Micky, Stoney and Cody gonna make a Christmas album? I would buy it.

And then I stumbled upon this.

And even though most of the artists on the album are emerging, they all rock. And track #2 makes my heart happy every time I listen to it. This is totally my type of Christmas music. So Marca, I'm sharing this specifically with you, because you will also get all nerdy excited with me about this album, and about some Blue Christmas with Micky. Love this. Go download it now. Now.

I also found this.

A very ecletic mix of some newbies and oldies, but worth checking out the samples. I am partial to acoustic versions of songs. And I do love me some Willie and Ricky.

And finally, the power of Facebook has proven itself yet again. Thanks to some of my awesome Facebook friends sharing these links with other friends or talking about them, I have discovered the awesomeness that is Beta Radio (thanks Catherine) and The Civil Wars (thanks Shana). You can still download four Christmas songs from Beta Radio for free, but the free download of O Come O Come Emmanuel will now cost you 99 cents from The Civil Wars.

So, if you have any Christmas song or album recommendations for me, please share! I am always on the lookout. As I'm sure we all are.

And I was going to leave you with a picture of my beautiful Christmas tree, but my beautiful Christmas tree is still in its tree bag. In the living room. Just waiting for me and Brady to put it up. Sorry Christmas tree.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Two out of three ain't bad

So, I've really gotten on this baby-headband-making kick. It's fun, fast and cheap. And, while I won't bore you with all the step-by-step directions of my latest creations (because there were literally like two steps for each headband), I will entertain you with beautiful pictures of Kassidy wearing them.

If you want to recreate any of the headbands below, here's what you do. Go to Hobby Lobby. Buy the headbands. Buy the embellishments. Go home. Wait until Kassidy takes a nap. Heat up your hot glue gun and get after it. The end.

And now this completes your introduction to Headband-Making 101.

And no, I did not make the Santa hat. This was Ruger's hat, but since Ruger is a hyper puppy with teeth, he tried to eat his hat. So Kendra gave it to Kassidy, and since she doesn't have any teeth, she did not try to eat it.

But she did try to blow raspberries on it.

I guess she likes Mommy's headbands better.

Monday, November 7, 2011

4 Months with Kassidy

Miss Kassidy turned four months old yesterday, and my poor little girl has spent the last few days recovering from a fever, ear infection and RSV. But her happy and curious spirit helped her get over all this, and fast, because, well, she just wants to play!

I expected her to really hit a growth spurt this past month, but that didn't really happen. She's around 13 pounds now. But what did happen was even better. Her cute and bubbly personality really started to shine through, and she literally keeps us laughing all the time. Even when we're trying to put her to bed. Funny little girl.

In 18 years, she could easily be voted "Most Likely to Talk Your Head Off" or "Class Clown." Either way, I'll be one proud momma.

So check out Kassidy in all her glory and tell me if this doesn't put a smile on your face. Oh, and the camo hat is in honor of the opening weekend of deer season. She may be too young to hunt, but her Daddy and Papaw aren't.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Aggie cousins

And there they are. Three of the cutest members of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2033.

I'm thinking they have the looks and the brains.

And, maybe, just maybe, the Ags may win a National Championship in 2033.

And I'll be rich so I will actually be able to afford to go to every game and the Championship bowl. And the girls will let me, Tiffany and Kendra hang out with them at the Chicken. But with inflation, a burger and Tijuana fries will cost $30, so it's a good thing I will be rich. I am married to a teacher. It. is. possible.

And we'll be the coolest moms. You know we will. Stop laughing.

Mia (11 months), Kassidy (3 months) and Teagan (7 months)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Meet my doppelganger

Back when I was a wee little girl circa the 1980s, the word doppelganger didn't exist. People would just say you looked like someone else.

For instance.

Friends: "You look like Punky Brewster."
Young me: "Really? Is that a good thing?"
Friends: "It's the freckles."
Young me: "Ok."

So I grew up most of my life hearing that I looked just like Punky Brewster.

Recently, I decided to look up Miss Punky to see what she had been up to lately. You know how you lose track of child stars and wonder if they stayed in the business, ended up in jail or started their own puppy factory? Well, I was curious if my look-a-like was now successful or not so much.

And what I discovered was that Punky Brewster had a pretty good life. Two beautiful daughters. Good husband. Successful career.

But somehow, the last 25 years had been way kinder to Punky than to me.

Maybe we looked alike in the 80s, but that's where it stopped.

Damn you Punky Brewster for looking hotter than me.

Punky in the '80s
Me in the '80s. Check out that attitude
Punky today
Me today

Who's your doppelganger? I wanna know! And if you comment, include a link to a picture of that person since I am awful at pop culture. I am. Really.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mia Brooke | First Birthday Invitation Design

Miss Mia turns one year old on November 1, and we plan on helping her celebrate in style. So when Tiff asked me if I'd design her first birthday invitation, I agreed.

And this is how we brought a little island style to the Big D.

Happy Birthday Mia!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

DIY: Baby yellow braided scarf headband goes to the Pumpkin Patch

Holy crap, I'm crafty. Who would have thought? Not me.

So just this week I decided to visit Etsy to check out all their cute, vintage baby headbands. This is when I realized where all the cute baby stuff resides — accessories, dresses, tights, jewelry. You name it. You can find it here.

But being the money-conscience person that I am, I just couldn't find it in me to spend any money on anything for Kassidy. I mean, the girl has enough clothes from Mia and Teagan to cover her little butt until she's 18.

And while most of you admit that your little girls cost you an arm and a leg, I have to sadly admit that I honestly have spent maybe $50 on her, with the most expensive clothing purchase being a $15.99 Dallas cowboys onsie because Brady just had to have it. Read had to have it.

Don't get me wrong. If I didn't already have access to used clothes, shoes and accessories, I could easily have the best dressed, and probably most expensively dressed, daughter out there, because after perusing Etsy, I also realized that my taste in baby clothes and accessories is pretty darn expensive. Vintage, couture, one-of-a-kind. Yeah, I could totally be a rich snob in another life.

But in this life I am a practical mom. And I don't like to waste things. And I like to try new things. So I was easily inspired to try to make my own one-of-a-kind baby headbands. Thanks Allison. Thanks Little Red Wagon Photography tutorial. And thanks Hobby Lobby. Two hours and $50 later, I was ready to give it a try. And by $50, I mean that I bought enough goodies to probably make 50 headbands. Yeah, I went crazy.

So, check out my first attempt at making my own headband for Kassidy. I even reused a blue, elastic band I already had but wasn't using because the cheap bow on it scratched her head. So I ripped it off and started fresh.

I made this headband because I needed something to match a dress from Mia that I wanted her to wear to the Pumpkin Patch in Franklin. So that is where I got my inspiration.

And, I should also note that the only reason I was even inspired to make my own headband is because it did not involve a second of sewing. Just hot gluing. Which I can handle.

Things you will need if you are a money-conscience mom like me and want to be crafty too:
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • Elastic ribbon
  • Fabric or in this case, an old scarf from my closet
  • Embellishments from Hobby Lobby
  • Wire cutters
  • Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • Ability to not cry when you hot glue yourself
  • Band-Aids for when you poke yourself with wire and bleed
  • A husband to watch the baby so you can focus
Even though I bought 10 types of fabric at Hobby Lobby, I didn't come home with anything yellow. Which is why I stole the yellow scarf from my closet. I cut it into thirds and braided it together.

I used the Caribbean jerk seasoning because the container was the perfect size circle I was looking for. So I placed it on the felt, traced out the circle, and cut it with scissors. Then I hot glued the braided yellow scarf on the felt.

Then I hot glued the entire yellow circle onto the elastic headband where the headband already came together. I cut a second piece of felt and hot glued it on the other side of the elastic ribbon so it would be soft on Kassidy's head.

I added some fun embellishments to the headband. In this case, some tulle with pearls and a ring of beads in the middle of the yellow braided scarf. The tulle with pearls came from the wedding aisle and the beads came from the flower stem aisle. And flower stems are wiry, which is how I poked myself and made myself bleed.

But my burnt and bleeding finger did not stop the pure joy I felt when I was finished!

And I think Kassidy liked it too. Because she was the cutest little pumpkin at the Pumpkin Patch. And this money-conscience mom bought her a mini pumpkin for 50 cents. Yep, I'm a big spender.

Total cost of headband = less than 50 cents. And 30 minutes of my time. And a hurt finger.

Wow, the mini pumpkin cost more.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tyler Liere | 5th Birthday Invitation Design

What better way to celebrate a little boy's fifth birthday than with a huntin' party? Too bad I didn't get a picture of Kassidy in her camo onsie, but then again, you probably would have had a hard time spotting her in the photo.

Guess you'll just have to live vicariously through the birthday invitation. Can you find Tyler?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We go together like peas and carrots

Whoever thinks a new dad has to have a son to play dress up, think again.

Brady and Kassidy seem to be doing just fine.

The camo look. I wonder if deer can see pink?

Go Lions!

We're working on her Whooping skills

Even little girls look cute in cowboy blue

Monday, October 10, 2011

3 Months with Kassidy

Kassidy turned three months old this past Thursday.

And, in the last week, she was baptized, started daycare, made a boyfriend, learned to sleep 10.5 hours at night, and became a Hudini baby that can escape out of not one, but two swaddles.

And to celebrate the Ags upcoming move to the SEC for next year's football season, I thought this picture would be very appropriate.

Gig'em Ags. And Gig'em Kassidy.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ku-Tip: The perfect use for your old yearbook

Between the two of us, Brady and I have kept most of our high school yearbooks, and I'm the only one that even bought an Aggie yearbook.

And, from time to time, we like to pull out our high school yearbooks and laugh at ourselves and the people we know.

But I have never pulled out my Aggie yearbook to look through it. Except for the picture of me, I don't know 99% of the people in it. And it's too damn big anyway.

I mainly bought it to have it as a keepsake, so one day, I can pull it out and show my kids how dumb I looked as a senior at Texas A&M. Let's just say I'm glad I'm done with highlights.

So, the other day, I needed something about as thick as, oh, an Aggie yearbook.

I didn't even bother to dust it off.

And, it worked perfectly. And, Kassidy didn't even want to open it up to see the picture of her amazing mother. She just needed the extra height. My poor short baby.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 Months with Kassidy

Well, I'm two weeks late, but you get the idea. Kassidy turned two months old on Sept. 6, and I'm a bad mother.

So, in order to make sure I actually do a halfway decent job of keeping up with her monthly pictures, I've decided to just go simple. No extra pictures or funny captions. Sorry. I don't see how other moms do it! I have no time in the day, and I haven't even gone back to work yet! Guess I'm just not cool.

But don't worry all you Kassidy followers out there. I'll still try to post separately when she does something funny. Or nasty. Or both.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Exclusive must mean "I do"

Five years ago today I married my baby's daddy. Sorry, it's fun to say that now that it's true.

But if it hadn't been for a technicality back in the summer of 2002, when I was a junior at Texas A&M and Brady was a wee little lad at the innocent age of 19, then we would have never had the opportunity to spend the last nine years together.

So thank you Brady for not really knowing what exclusive meant. And thank you for being such a caring husband, father and friend.

So enjoy a quick trip down memory lane. I wanted to post some embarrassing pictures, but decided that since we are now all adults and Brady is responsible for molding the youth of America, I better try to keep them at least PG.

If you want to see the embarrassing pictures, come visit me and Kassidy. I'll provide the wine.

Our five-month relationship that began in 2002
survived the first of many college ski trips.
Every year, at least one person hurt themselves, but it was never us.

Our first Chilifest together in 2003.
We have a love-hate relationship with Chilifest.

Halloween 2004.
Who's that Spartan in my teepee? It's me. It's me.

Popping the question at Lake Bryan in 2005.
He even remembered the camera.

Sept. 9, 2006. Brady missed my mouth and the cake fell down my chest.
I kid you not.

And then Dustin popped the champagne and almost hit his grandma with the cork.

And Brady had trouble finding the garter.
But he came through. Don't worry.

And a bunch of Aggies sawed Varsity's horns off.

And then we left on a jet plane to Zihuatanejo because that is
where they went in Shawshank Redemption.
But then I learned that the movie had really been filmed
in the Virgin Islands. Oh well.

Massey joined our little family in 2007. She was perfect from day one.

Just a day trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in 2008.
In our matching sunglasses.

Christmas 2009 with Phoenix and Pryce. We must have been naughty
that year because only the kiddos got gifts from Santa.

Getting in shape together in 2010 at the Blue Bell Fun Run.
Yes, Massey got ice cream too.

Our new little family of three arriving home from the hospital in July 2011.
I'm not wearing makeup and I had just given birth. Don't judge me.