Saturday, January 29, 2011

getting out of the house with Capital MOMS

Part of my job at Capital (I work at Capital Christian Center) is to have a date (coffee/lunch) with new people who are looking to get connected at the church. In the first month of doing these dates, I was getting asked over-and-over again if we had a MOMS group. My answer at the time was no. But it got me to thinking...why don't we have a group? is it that hard to run a group? should i start a MOMS group since i'm a young mother of a 7 month old (at the time)?

I'm so grateful to say that we launched our MOMS group in June of 2010. Since then, we have had TONS of outings and made great friendships along the way. The whole goal was to be somewhat of a support system for MOMS and also an open door and connection point for new people to the church. We still have tons of room to grow in how we do things, but I've loved the journey so far.

I'm also grateful to say that I don't have to do it alone! I have a great support system and team of leaders who help make the load light! We divide up months of responsibility and have a blast at our planning meetings. Our goal is to do 1 event a week. Most MOMS do work, but we have several stay-at-home moms too. We break it up like this: 1 free event, 1 paid-for event, 1 art/craft at the church, 1 MOMS only outing, and every-once-in-a-while a family outing. It tends to work pretty good. I'm a working mom and wish I could make it to every event, but i can't. Luckily, we are able to do a lot of events on Mondays/Fridays which help in my case. But all the good deals for MOMS tend to be on Tuesdays/Thursdays...I guess you just do the best with what you can.

We launched the group all on FACEBOOK. It has worked perfectly for us. We post events, photos, pictures, and discussion groups. Most young moms these days are on Facebook, so naturally it was an easy starting point.

We are always looking for new fun ideas and ways to stay creative and keep our kids wanting more. If you have a fun idea, please comment below! A new thing I'm super excited about is an upcoming event called" Coupon Craze, Infatables, & CBS 13 News!" That's right...we are getting featured on CBS 13 News. I think God seriously gave us this idea and team of young MOMS to reach out in our community. Going on fun outings and talking about our kids is such an easy entry point into talking and inviting new people to church. It has been an absolute JOY for me and Judah of course (he loves every event! he just loves getting out of the house in general- another reason we started the group)...=)

Check out our pictures on facebook (and recently our videos too- thanks to my husband for my flip) If you know of anybody in the Sacramento area that is looking for friends...point them our direction!

Also, if you need help in starting your own MOMS group...we have great tips and suggestions. Comment below and I'll connect with you!

Here is a video of our latest outing:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

cheering for valentine's day...

Do you have plans for Valentine's Day? We do. We will be driving back from our cheer trip to LA for our West Coast Competition. I say "we" because (as of now) we are making it a family trip. I don't really mind that it falls on Valentine's day either, because we've done the whole "go out to dinner" that night and it's a crazy mess. We have vowed to never celebrate "the day of" any longer. We still celebrate, but not on Valentine's Day and not with flowers (because i made the mistake early on in our dating years to say that I don't like flowers. it's kind of true- just because they die and fade away so fast- but i do like getting flowers as a surprise every once-in-a while- i hope joe is reading this, wink wink.)Maybe it's not flowers, but the special thought that counts. right now for me it would be a McDonald's or In N Out burger, or some candy or big spoon (wink wink again).I guess I'm speaking to myself too...I could do more surprises for Joe as well.

I cheered all throughout high school, went to Florida 3 times for Nationals and to LA a few times as well. I loved it...have a national title and some of the best memories. This is my 5th year coaching cheerleading. Joe and I started our relationship my first year as a cheer coach. He randomly appeared at JV football games and hung out in the bleachers with me. So cheerleading has some emotional ties for me as well. I've been coaching this year dragging Judah to practices- and now with our second on the way- I'm retiring for a few years. Need to focus my energy on being a MOM. Regardless, this year has been a huge growth year for me. Dealing with parents, injuries, a varsity squad, and now boys (we will be competing as a coed squad, and we are loving every minute of it...)

I guess I'm writing about this because it's swarming in my head. We just had a parent meeting tonight and an awesome practice. Our team is working so hard to pull this off. It's our last horrah! We still have a ways to go of cleaning up our routine...but we are on the right path. We are performing at the winter banquet rally on Friday. So we are working tirelessly these next couple days to perform to the best of our ability.

I'm so looking forward to our trip. Say a little prayer for us if you think about it...we are leaving Feb 11-14. The girls/guys have been working so hard, and we are praying that their hard work pays off with a big win! We also get to experience Disneyland while we are down looking forward to it...this would be Judah's first trip down there as well.

Here is a sneak peak into our practice today (don't mind us yelling in the background):

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Great Expectations

As I am sure many of you know by now, Laine and I are expecting our second child. While this has brought great joy and excitement in our household it has once again caused me to pause and weigh the gravity of the situation. When we first learned Judah was coming I was consumed with thoughts of "I don't like changing diapers", "Sleepless nights", "there goes our freedom" and "am I really ready for this??"!!!

Now, #2 is on his way (yes,praying for a boy and speaking it into existence now)all of the old thoughts are racing through my mind. I mean, I have just gotten used to one child, now 2? Needless to say I haven't been sleeping well lately. Thankfully he won't be here tomorrow and we have some time to soak all this in and prepare.

Yup, the next few months shall be interesting, and we will keep you updated along the way. From Laine's progress, finding out the sex (even though we already know its a boy), transitioning Judah to a big boy bed and of course the arrival of the new mister man!!!! We will keep you in the loop for the entire journey. In the meantime.........

(Laine speaking here: In the meantime ... You all need to help give me some topics for Joe to write on...he's too quick and to the come he doesn't like to write long emotional blogs? I guess that gives you a little look into our relationship.)

Yesterday's Surprise:
Take a peek into how we told Joe's parents the second is on the way...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shabby Chic {part 2}

It was hard not to resist blessing my sister-in-law and soon-to-be-born niece "Ella." We had a blast throwing the party and putting our creative heads together (Caitlin Zick, Yolie Orozco, Kellie Vandermark, Paige Ellis). I think our mothers have all passed down the joy of throwing parties to us, or we just fell in love with the idea somewhere along the way. I guess I just like reading blogs about parties and then I think to myself, "I could do that" we make it work...

Here are a few snapshots:
Mel (Baby Ella), Caitlin and Myself...the reason the shower happened...

I had purchased this old antique chalkboard for $15 from an antique store in Old Fair Oaks for Judah's birthday. Since then, it's been used at birthday parties and showers galore. A great purchase! If you are ever bored and like to rummage through antique stores, there is a row of them in Fair Oaks Village. Amazing finds! Caitlin had purchased the birdhouses from Michaels during a good sale and we had to hang them on my tree with torn ribbon from Joanne's. The gift table features just a few of the pom poms that were hung...Purchase "clear thread" from Joanne's and hang them with a staple into the ceiling. Another great trick we learned from our good friend Aubrey Stewart.

Even though we had nothing to do with the Cake design, I had to feature it here because it was AMAZING! Paula Ellis (Paige's mother-in-law) did this amazing design for us and went above-and-beyond! If you are looking for a baker...I'll give you her contact info! She was amazing! Not only did it look beautiful, it tasted wonderful too!

Paige Ellis made this amazing Blueberry French Toast (Perfect for any shower)...I'll have to post the recipe! Also, the tags for the food and our party favors were done with the "Silhouette." Have you ever heard of a Cicket before? This is much more fun because it's like itunes for party designs! It can cut vinyl, banners, stencils, glass etching, and more! Aubrey purchased it with a friend when it was on sale, or you can try to win it off blogs...they are doing giveaways often! I think I'm requesting one for my birthday. They make any party stand out in detail...and it's great for home decor too! We made all the food dishes per Mel's request (Can't say no to a pregnant woman!)Looking for any good brunch ideas, just ask- I'll email you the recipes!

Last but not least our the tables. The colors we went with were pink and gold. Caitlin and I scowled antique stores, shabby chic stores, but most importantly the Goodwill for vases and random artifacts that represented the "shabby chic" look. The Goodwill happened to prove to be a success with each trip. We found vases from $1-$2. It was amazing. We hot glued left over fabric and rosettes to the front entry chairs (the hot glue peels right off).

I was in love with the way some of the Shabby Chic stores had pairs of books wrapped together in twine. They weren't for sell, so I decided to replicate on my own. I again purchased some hardcover books (each for $1 at Goodwill) had some twine from Walmart's craft section and made it work. Funny thing is we have moved them to our mantle and they are still up in my home.

I still have a few secrets to share, but I don't have GREAT photos on hand (maybe somebody else captured them). For the party favors, I had seen at anthropolgie a super pretty glass teacup with melted candles in them. I ran out of time to melt the candles but found amazing deals at the Goodwill for glass cups. I ended up at 3 different Goodwill stores and purchased punch bowl sets. Did you know they sell glass punch bowl sets with 12 cups for only $5.99. I even found an identical punch bowl to my mother's expensive set for only $7.50 (which i ended up keeping for myself). Ever in need of glassware...that's a great start for a cheap price! We had our guests use their favors for coffee during the shower and gave them bags to take them home.

Also, I have to give credit here to Caitlin Zick. She is in love with this blog "Save on Crafts" We were able to purchase 3 birdcage sets (for a great deal). We hung them with fabric from a vent above the food table, and then Cait gave them to Mel for her nursery. If you are looking for cheap decor, whether getting married, having a baby, etc. This is the first place you should look.

Well...I wish I had taken some video of the decor. Once we took everything down, I realized my flip camera hadn't been utilized. I was so bummed...but hopefully you'll get the gist and be able to use some links above or ideas for something in your near future!

then there was TWO . . .

The first question you get asked after getting married is, "When are you going to have kids?" I guess it's just part of the natural cycle in life, so it really never annoyed me. Joe and I knew we wanted children. We had talked about having 3, and our preference was all boys (with the cliche answer- but of course we will be happy with whatever God blesses us with.) I still feel the same. We are approaching our 3rd anniversary on March 1.

Joe probably wouldn't have minded if we got pregnant on our honeymoon, but I wanted to wait a little. We thought we would start trying around our 1 year anniversary. Then, all those questions pop through your mind, "what if it takes us forever to get pregnant? are we financially ready? (the answer will always be no to that one) how will that fit in to my work schedule? what in my life will i have to give up?" etc. etc. etc. So, we got the itch around Thanksgiving (a few months shy of our 1 year anniversary- just to see what the outcome would be) I think I took a pregnancy test a couple of weeks later, and I have to admit, when it said I was NOT pregnant, I was a little disappointed. Weirdly so since I wasn't so sure I was ready. Then, one more month went by, and we took the pregnancy test again- sure enough...the Little Man was starting his journey into this world. We understand that life is a miracle. They say God knows how much you can handle, and I'm not so sure I would've handled years and years of trying. So, just a little shy of our 2nd year wedding anniversary, we welcomed Mr.Judah into the world.

After you have your first child, guess what question you get asked by the population next? Yep, "when are you going to start trying for another?" Again, those questions don't bug me because Joe and I have talked about it...We wanted to have our kids close together (probably because that's how I was raised and my brothers and I are still really close). We were telling people probably by the time Judah turned 1 we would start trying again. However, at the time that he did turn 1- my life was a little crazy. He was walking by 1 and into destroying our house (you can read Joe's blog about that), I was working only 2 days in the office (2 at home), I was also coaching cheerleading...and it just didn't seem like the right time. I think I might have felt a little overwhelmed by the idea. Joe was also in the process of possibly switching careers. We continued discussing it, but never really came to a clear decision on when to make the move...

There is something about the holiday season that must bring out the love in our home. I don't know if it's because we have extra days off, or just the lights, glamour and gift-giving...but we are excited to announce that there will be another little mr/mrs joining our family. I think I told Joe that I was pregnant that night. Then the cravings for McDonalds, the hunger for breakfast, the extra trips to the restroom began to happen. I just knew it. We took 2 pregnancy tests yesterday before attending Joe's mother's birthday party. Sure enough, those tests don't lie. I took the first one right before leaving for the party and was assured that my intuition was on track. Joe wasn't so sure, and I brought the second one with me to the restaurant, snuck into the bathroom right when we got there, and came out with another positive test.

The crazy part about all of this is that the due date would be the exact same as Judah's, September 28 (my dad's birthday again)...even though Judah decided to come on October 1 (a little late)...We are hoping this one will show a little early this time around. It's going to be a fun ride. Judah and his brother/sister will be almost exactly 2 years apart. It will be fun to track the differences between our second and first child. You always here no 2 kids are alike. We are going to enjoy experiencing that for ourselves now.

I'm not worried about splitting the love between the 2 yet...I already feel like part of my heart is opening up to the wonder of this new life. I'm sure it will be tricky (I obviously haven't had that experience yet)...but I'll keep you updated along the way! I'm excited to explore names again (we'll find out the sex right around Mother's Day in May) our house to make room...and enjoy my pregnancy journey number 2.

Sorry about not updating the blog this week like I said...I guess I might have been a little tired and expectant for what was to come...we'll get back on it this week!

Today's Surprise:
Judah is going to be a big brother!

Coming this week:
1. More surprises (just because that's the way God likes to work in our lives)
2. Shabby Chic Part 2 (it was a blast...and I want to share still)
3. Average Joe (he'll do it again...i promise)
4. And more....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Marriage After Judah {part 1}

I would be lying if I said marriage is easier after having a kid. As a new mom, I was trying to balance meeting the needs of my baby and the needs of my husband. I think at the beginning, I was a little overwhelmed with all the selfishness that having a kid brought out in me. Without having any alone time, you can feel like you are giving out all the time...and everyone in your home is just taking from you. However, I do think that time, advise from friends and family, and of course God has helped me figure it out a little along the way (again, not saying I know everything, but just what has worked for me and I hope can work for you if you are in the middle or learning how to balance it all- this is just from the perspective of having one kid too, not multiples [yet].

We were told from the beginning to have date days. It's easier said than done. We are so lucky to be able to have both of our extended families in town which has helped with the babysitting aspect, and the fact that both of our parents value and understand the need for Joe and I to have dates. I have heard it said time and time again from my mother, the best gift you can give your children is a healthy marriage! So, for about the first year of Judah's life, we attempted to go out on date nights a couple times a month. Some months were more successful than others, but we made it work! Joe planned 2 getaways for us in Judah's first year of life as well (meaning over-nighters). We went to San Francisco for our anniversary trip and then he surprised me with another trip to go see the musical "Wicked." Both were highlights in our 2nd year of marriage and fun memories made. We easily could have stayed home and not worried about bugging our parents to watch the little man, but looking back, those times together helped keep "us" a priority.

Now that Judah is 15 months old (for those who hate month calculations, that's 1 year and 3 months old)...we have decided to try something new in 2011 with the help of our great friends and neighbors. They pitched this idea to us of wanting to celebrate each month with a date night on the day of their anniversary. They were married on the 27 of a month (can't remember which one) and Joe and I were married on the 1 of March. So, to ensure keeping the romance alive (and not having to bug our families for free care) we have agreed to watch each others kids. Meaning, on the 27 of each month, we will be watching our neighbors adorable 3 year old, Preston and 6 month old Sienna, while on the 1 of each month, they will watch our wild child. The best part- it's FREE care, a 30 second walk from our front door, and great UNDIVIDED attention for our spouses. So, we are booked on the 27 and 1 of each month for the next year! No matter what the date is, we are going to make it work!

We made it a point this week to have a double-date with great friends too. Aubrey & Jeremy Stewart introduced us to a great burger restaurant in downtown sac called "Burgers & Brew." For some reason, I'm addicted to cheeseburgers so this place hit the spot. It's owned by the same company that owns "Crepeville" - Another favorite if you live in the Sacramento area. Good friends, fun discussions, no kids, sometimes it just doesn't get better than that. It's funny how double-dates brings out the romance too- for some reason we end up holding hands more, the car door gets opened every time, lots of laughter, cute glances at eachother...All around, making it a point to work at your marriage is so vital. Do you have a favorite date spot? Please share! Also, I'll have to do another blog on fun date nights that don't cost anything...sounds like fun, huh!

Again, we don't have it all figured out. We would probably be embarrassed by some of our interactions with each other if there was a hidden camera in our home. Joe and I are opposites, and even more than being opposites, we have different love languages. Learning to communicate love the way the other person accepts it is a whole different story (maybe part 2 of Marriage After Judah). Focusing on the positives about each other really does help. Another tip my mom has shared with me for all the women out there: Never talk bad about your husband in public. I might share some funny stories of what we have learned from "bad" moments in our lives, but regardless of the mess we each bring with us- I LOVE my husband and I know that God has given him to me as a gift to honor, support and walk out life together. Love you babe and excited for our date nights to come this year!

Today's Surprise: Well, my husband has been out of town this weekend for a snowboarding trip to miss all the shower action. Judah decided to take a perfect nap so I could blog. The house is all clean and put back together from the shower. And, I get to see my handsome man in a couple of hours! I'm hoping his guest blog on Wednesday will be surrounding why he decided to go out of town this weekend. I think it's cute, funny, and probably necessary to keep both of us from killing each other...=)

Things to come this week:

1. Shabby Chic Part 2 {with photos}
2. Marriage After Judah Part 2 {love languages}
3. It'll be a toss between a cheerleading highlight, kickboxing class, or work...
Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

an ocd father's perspective

I just spent 2 hours tonight putting child locks on our kitchen cabinets. Why? Because we have a raccoon in the house. He is 14 months old, about 24 lbs and 34 inches long. Blond hair, hazel eyes and he just learned to walk on two legs and I swear to you he can talk. His name? Oh yeah, we call him Judah!

I have come up with 2 theories since my son has been born; either God is helping me with my patience or having a great laugh at my expense. I mean really, He knows I am an excessive compulsive clean freak and He gives me Godzilla for a child. You think I'm kidding? My son leaves a path of destruction wherever he goes, he eats my deodorant, destroys my wife's tampons and pulls anything and everything out of the cupboards.

I hear you out there; oh that is just like any child his age. I say to you NOOO!!! You have no idea, he is not the same. He is something different, something outrageous. He is uniquely him and he is mine and his mothers. We love our little tazmanian devil. He is ours and you can't have him.

{average joe}

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

shabby chic :: part I

My brother & sister-in-law will be welcoming a little baby girl "ella" into the world near or around February 19. We couldn't be more excited because our world right now is all about how to shop for a little boy and get dirty. If you ever have done any baby girl shopping, you would understand why I'm so excited...girl clothes and frills are simply hard to resist.

We are throwing Melissa a shower for baby Ella on Saturday. She's got a "shabby chic" theme going on in her room, so our decor and theme for the shower naturally is "shabby chic." I've found that I have a hard time going there in my head, because my home is so not shabby chic (I'll do a blog on my home decor another time), however, I'm loving every minute of exploring antique stores, thrift stores, and other shabby chic blogs for ideas. I love opening my mind to new things and designs.

We were also inspired for the theme by reading this blog- "Hostest with the Mostest"

I can't ruin all the elements of surprise before the shower, but I thought I would share a few simple craft ideas that I discovered from reading blogs and then of course watching the hands of my good friend Aubrey Stewart (soon to start an Etsy store - which I will link to later). They are so simple and fun and make a big impact- statement if you are planning a party any time soon and need some cheap fun is a good start...sorry if this is so last year for you...but I'm just getting around to learning all these new fun things.

If you live in Sacramento and have never been to "Wrapped All Up" and you enjoy throwing parties or gift are missing out! I bought the tissue paper (which they sell all unique colors) for $2.50 for 24 sheets. Each pom pom tissue ball takes 8 pieces of tissue. I initially saw these on a party blog which I can't recall at this point in time...but then Aubrey showed me how to do it and I realized how simple it really was...Here is a good written tutorial you can follow from Martha Stewart...Or just search "pom pom tissue tutorial"...and you'll come up with video how to's and more...This was my first attempt:

I was first introduced to the idea that you could even make these again by my friend Aubrey Stewart. After she convinced me that they were easy to do...I decided to give them a try. They are the perfect hair accessory and they can make anything look a little more "done up" I was sold. We will be using them as little perks throughout Mel's shower...Here is a great tutorial (or again, just search "fabric rosette tutorial" and you'll come up with a ton of great links)...This was my first attempt (taken from my phone camera).

I'll throw up more photos and pictures from the shower after it takes place on Saturday...This is just Part I of the Shabby Chic collection...=)

Today's Surprise:
My lovely husband surprised me at work today. The only bummer was that I was in a meeting, but I got to see his handsome face for a second (one of the perks of working with friends and for my dad)...wishing I would've taken a picture for you...maybe next time...but the real surprise for you is that he is going to be a guest blogger on here on Wednesdays. We are going to call it the "average joe" spot- since I'm {everyday laine}...I think it would be fun for you to hear about life from my husband's perspective...I'm sure it's a whole lot different than mine...ha ha!

More to come this week (especially tomorrow)!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

everyday is groundhog day with a surprise. . .

As a mom, sometimes it often feels like groundhog day...

1. You wake up to chatter (sometimes screaming) from the bedroom down the hall around 7am.
2. Clumsily you crawl out of bed, and head downstairs for milk and breakfast (coffee for me).
3. Clean up the breakfast have some play time which consists of Judah emptying the cabinets, drawers, and cleaning tumble and climbing time...
4. All of a sudden it's 12 and you are making lunch and cleaning up the mess again...
5. Down for a good nap (which often feels like I need to take one too)
6. Up for some more play time, begging to go outside or at least to the garage.
7. Then it's dinner already, I'm out of ideas for what to cook and before I know it...I'm cleaning up a mess again (or Joe is...he tends to do more of the cleaning in our's a blessing and a curse all in one)
8. We are cuddling on the couch, grab some more milk and Judah's down for the count...
9. Then it's catch up with the husband time and I crash on the couch...

Ok, so not everyday is just like that, because I tend to keep myself occupied with too many other fun things (work, cheerleading, moms group, throwing parties) all of which is soon going to appear on this blog...

I'm attempting for 2011 to blog at least 3 times a week (if not more)...I guess you could say it's a resolution, but I look at it more as an outlet. My everyday's are interesting...and I hope you can get some joy out of peeking into my life with 2 boys (for now)...

Today's Surprise :: Judah discovers mascara on the way to church.

I'm sure you are wondering why he had mascara in the first place...well, it was a quick easy teething object that I thought was working well...I guess it worked great in his opinion.

Things to come this week . . .
1. I've switched my work schedule to work Tuesday, Wednesdays, Thursdays (used to just work Tues/Thurs in the office)...but I'm excited for this new change...I'll let you know how it turns out
2. Throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law (shabby chic) with pictures to come
3. Hanging out with good friends and double-dates

PS- Thanks to my husband Joe for helping me come up with "Everyday Laine"...I guess he thinks I'm entertaining everyday...ha!

Looking forward to sharing my life with you...