Monday, February 29, 2016

10 and 4: The Birthdays

It seems to me that Dawson and Evan are having birthdays every.single.year.
Does that happen to anyone else? 
Dawson celebrated his 10th birthday last week. 10. Double Digits. A decade!
We stayed home that night and gave him his gift: The Lego Jurassic World Indominous Rex Breakout set:
 It actually takes longer to build than it does to pronounce.
I kind've want a gyro-sphere now.
Then he was allowed to choose a few buddies from school and have his party at Sky Zone, which is a local trampoline place. I don't highly recommend being in close proximity to stinky, sweaty, red faced 4th graders unless it's required by birth.
I've asked Dawson if he'd like to be a cliff diver but he said no.
Evan loves Dawson's buddy Ethan. Mainly because Ethan will let him do stuff like this:
Speaking of Evan, no Olympian can match his jumping skills. 
Yesterday we had Evan's birthday party at our house. Is there anyone out there willing to admit that birthday parties at your house are hard work? I thoroughly enjoyed having our friends and family here. But the cleaning before and after the party caused fatigue I haven't felt since he was a newborn. Note to self: Self, have parties at other people's houses going forward.
This cutie bug sitting on the floor is baby Josiah, brother of Evan's friend Jakin. He is blind and our entire church is praying for his healing. The purse in the picture should totally be mine, but it belongs to Josiah's mom Hayley, and since she's my friend, I have a pretty good feeling I can talk her into giving it to me.
Dawson has recently learned to make balloon novelties (I'm greatly hoping I'm using that word correctly). So we had him make some balloon animals and swords for the kids.
 If there is anything I absolutely DO NOT recommend, it is this! NO BALLOONS AT PARTIES! More on this sensitive subject in a minute.  Let's discuss cupcakes first.
I made cupcakes. See:
Complete with homemade frosting which incorporated the use of flour, of all things.
 Evan got 4 candles on his cupcake because he turned 4 and Jason knows math.
 More of those dadgum balloons were left on the gift table and I didn't have the forethought to take them outside and burn them.
For the record, I'm convinced that YouTube videos depicting the instructions to wrap odd shaped packages are digital. There's no way it can be done. (I also feel the same about instructions to fold a fitted sheet).
 Guests began to arrive and I was all like "Let's get this party started!".. because I'm a party animal by nature. Even though I go to bed at 8:30.
 Here you go Jenessa, this cute one is for you! #Cousins
 Sadie is one of Evan's best buddies. Evan wouldn't set down that balloon! Curse them!
 Jason hung a Happy Birthday Banner up because we're great parents that way.
 After eating, we let the kids play a bit and then we called them into the waste of space room to open presents.
 And this is when the balloon problem began. All manner of chaos and annoyance involving people my brother-in-law hitting me on the head or in the face or in general in a consistent and aggravating way commenced. Kids were hitting each other. Irritation Fest 2016.
 Take a close look at this picture because it's the only one I was able to get of Evan opening presents without army crawling my way into the madness.
See: The tight circle of present protection program took over.
 Apparently whatever Jakin got Evan was good, because we got a hug out of it.
 Halfway through the chaos, we let Dawson open some gifts. You know I've blogged all of the boys' birthdays. That's 10 years of birthday blogs for this boy. (of course, it still counts that I just blogged his 5th birthday this year).He had been waiting and waiting because he begged for money (or gift cards) this year since he had his heart set on Legos. How does Lego get so much money for plastic squares anyway? Since we didn't have a party with the family for him, they brought his gifts to Evan's party.
His patience paid off. Literally. With the gift cards and money he received from friends and family, he was able to buy a skateboard:
And the Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon which I had to ask several times "what is it called again" because I've never been able to sit though an entire Star Wars movie. Let alone the trilogy. Sci-Fi is confusing Ya'll.
Anyway, back to the party:.
 I hovered all Mission Impossible style from the ceiling to capture this photo of Evan with a gift.
Here he is opening this one. I used ninja skills to capture the video.
He loves play dough. I was happy with his reaction to this gift even if he did continuously end every reaction with "I want another present".
Finally, we managed to move on to the important cupcake eating portion of the day.
We sang the Happy Birthday song:
 Then we had the extreme privilege of warm enough weather to head to the back yard and play. This is when I had the awesome idea to have my picture taken with Evan for memories sake. Do you have the patience to scroll through the number of photos it takes for Evan to love his mother?
 Surely a kiss on the cheek wins any kid over.
 Well. I'll take this one.
 I'm truly grateful for the warm weather, and the love and friendship we were able to share  by celebrating Evan's birth.
 I'm certain Evan enjoyed the day as well. He slept in until 9:30 this morning though. He didn't even clean before or after the party ya'll.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Swag: I Won

This is swag:
This is me with sag swag:

If you were able to successfully divert your attention from the annoying piece of hair protruding from the side of my head (Liz! I know we only had 31 seconds left before I had to run up front for worship team, but couldn't you have spit on your fingers and forced the unruly hair to cooperate? just kidding!)
So, that little shout-out didn't count as a shout-out. That was more of a shout-at. Here's the real shout-out: My friend (and one of our church's youth pastors) Liz was super kind enough to take my picture when I only had 31 seconds to make it up front for worship team, even though she had a lady interrupt the process with questions. In addition, Liz encouraged me in my gold endeavor by telling me the color looks okay on me, whereas all these years I had the understanding that gold was not a good color for my skin tone. She said it makes me look tan. Tan ya'll! Without burning my butt in an intensely hot oven loaded with lights meant to scorch my insides and brown my outsides. PLUS, take a look at my wrist. See the gold bracelet which beautifully accents my necklace and stray hair? Liz let me borrow it to flaunt around church that morning. 
Anyway, I won the necklace in a sweepstakes on Twitter. There. I finally got the words out that I've been blabbering around for the last minute. 
Entourage Clothing & Gifts had a contest on Twitter that I entered. This one to be exact:
I'm sort of troubled that my phone was at 40% battery level. Anything under 100%  unnerves me. I strive for perfection friends. The following day, I received this happy little notification:
Winner! winner winner (echo). Once the $20 code was mine, all mine, I went to their website and started shopping. Then I landed on the necklace, ordered it and received it just a few days later. Winning has never been so easy. Or fun. 
You'll see a rather blurry (Hey, I've never claimed to be a photographer, k?) kind note in the picture that was sent with the necklace. Who does that? I've never received a sweet hand written note with an item I've ordered. Check out the link to their site that I provided above. They have some cute stuff! 
Let's discuss some more swag. Shall we?
My friend Stephanie is a winner. (figuratively and literally). She has been entering in sweepstakes and winning swag like nobodies business and hearing her brag talk about it got me interested, so one day she sat me down and taught me all she knows. And now we're besties. See?
Since that day, I have been winning stuff!
I won a coffee Tumbler from Signature Tumblers on FB 

this one, which I got to choose from their website:
I still won even though I had a typo in my comment which is driving me crazy because it's etched in history now in this picture.
p.s. that picture of popcorn isn't mine. I googled images of popcorn and stuck it in there on a whim because I thought it added character. #thelazywaytolookgoodincontests
I'm so excited that they let me choose! 
I had it narrowed down between 20.
I sent them a picture of me with the tumbler after I got it. Because let's face it, who wouldn't? The picture is fuzzy and off centered and pathetic lovable.
Next I won (one of 100) the Crest + Refinery29 #StrikeASmile Twitter contest:
I even had to sign an affidavit for this one! I submitted one of my wedding pictures along with "this is the best I've got". I think they took pity on me and that's how I won! #pitywinsthings.
I believe my sample illustration that will be coming in the mail is the picture in the bottom right corner. Unless... it's the one in the upper left corner, in which case I have questions.
My friend Stephanie won us (her and I) a sweepstakes on Instagram. Only there were no rules. Which should have implied that you had to pick up your prize. Which is at a shop in Florida.
Fortunately, her mom lives near the shop and told Stephanie she would pick up our prizes (we each get a necklace) and then she'll ship them. 
Stick with me. I'm almost done. Just 4 more!
There is this phenomenon called a "twitter party". You just tweet for an hour with a host and use their hashtag and you could be selected to win (in my case it was one of several gift cards). Seriously. Tweet for money.  This is something to which I am not opposed.
Isn't that  nice? People from all over took the time to congratulate me. Made me feel like a SUPERSTAR!
Last week I tried to win a bracelet on FB by leaving this comment:
So.. I still haven't received the "you're a winner" notification on this one but I haven't given up hope.
 I won this contest from a company I wasn't familiar with called Southern Breeze:
Only, after I won and started looking up the product I found out that the tea is zero calorie and sweetened with Splenda. I can't do artificial sweetener because the taste makes me want to kick puppies. So I'll be sharing this sweet (ha! get it?) prize with friends. Friends that read my blog.
Speaking of sharing. I'll be sharing this book I won on twitter as well:
How does my phone keeping getting down to the 40% range?!
Watch for a giveaway of this book coming soon to a blog near you. After I've read it of course.
Finally, we've come to my most recent win from Hair2Wear. Another entry on FB.
Once again I came through with a typo for the win.
My friend Holly was kind enough to point out that It was actually Joy DePaw Wilkins that won. They respond to a typo with a typo. Well played. Well played.
Of course now I want to win something every day which doesn't happen. So I sit at home in my holey t-shirt and smelly sweats hoping to be a winner with only a slight chance of success. The only real downside to the whole thing is the junk mail you receive from all the entries.
My complimentary subscription on diabetic living is still waiting for me.