Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Camp Bryar - Bryar Turns 5!

There are always a couple of things that I take in consideration as I begin planning a party for my littlest of loves. What is their favorite thing in the world right now, besides Mommy of course. How cheaply can I make this theme happen. Also how quickly their years pass by. 

I never realized how quickly years and days pass, until I became a Mother of two. I am uncertain if this was due to Charli Beth starting school, or just having a second child that keeps me busy. Either way, I love celebrating them but most of all I love loving them. 

When I told Bryar that it was time to prepare a party for his big number five, he immediately said "I want to deer hunt." So of course after a lot of dwelling on how hard this party could be to plan, I started planning. 

The shotgun shells were purchased in a box from etsy. 200 of those awesome bad boys for a few dollars. As you scroll through, you can see that they were food card holders, garland and fillers in empty spots. Hallelujah that was easy...

We decided to change the venue up this year and set up at our church pavallion. Even though it was away from our house, we were blessed to have tables already awaiting on us. Except for the main food table, which also happens to be made from an old store door in Allen County and is also my sewing table. This door was been super loved through the years. 

The deer sausage was more of a hit than I guess it to be since I'm not a summer sausage fan. But by the end of the party it was gone. Nice to know that my husbands hunting weekends were made use of. 

The antlers were a combination of mine and Mother in law's. These were all from bucks their family has killed over the years. I'm more than certain that my cute little guy, will be adding his own to the collection before long. 

The food was an easy choice as it was hot, windy and hardly any prep needed. Curtis took over the grilling and sixteen  people are 32 hot dogs. Dude can grill a killer dog apparently...

Did you notice that cake above? 

Amazing, huh?

My talented Mother in law made it from scratch. I cannot even describe the blessing that she and my Mother are. My parties and mostly my life would be insane without their grace. 

"Take a scoop of each to create the perfect deer stand snack."

This is what you call party favors made easy.

But also cute.

The logs were left over from a wedding and once again we used the filler shotgun shells. The greenery inside is from the yard. Cheap, cute and perfect! 

I painted this sign the night before because I loved one that I found on Pinterest. It looked to be commercial printed and I was trying for a cheap, creative photo area. It wasn't perfect. But it worked and made cute pictures.

See? Tytus even made the sign adorable! 

Oh, this boy... How I could eat him and his "senior poses" up! Why does he have to be so adorable, just to grow up SO fast? 

I also sketched this big angry buck out the night before the party. I was trying to be funny (which of course never works) since everyone always says "we always just pin the tail on the donkey" when we were kids. Well folks, here's pin the target on the buck. 

The younger kids actually loved seeing where they placed their target. But were able to catch some major laughs at watching me almost fall down after spinning. 

The kids who wanted to were able to shoot BB guns at targets. 

Bryar checking out his bullseye.
Watch out outdoors channel Bryar is coming for you... 

We brought these two targets from home. The one in the top photo was a Christmas gift from Nana and Pa last year. He loves shooting each animal before he climbs into bed at night. 

The buck below was given to him on his actually birthday. How cool is he? 
Inflatable deer that actually stands up. Big props to Amazon for him. 

Yes, an army Swiss knife and a new bow! This kid is all ready for deer camp! 

{All children are safe and the knife is tucked away, until he needs the toothpick of course!} 

That cake! I was just simply impressed. White on top, chocolate on the bottom. Everyone is happy, but most of all Bryar to have one amazing cake. 

The Garland on the food table was made cheaply by me. I purchased this card stock banner at Walmart for $4, and stencils for $2. I thankfully already had the paint and brushes in a stash at home.  Cheap and made by Mom = not so perfect but perfect for us. 

My most proud moment was making this simple appliqué on a blanket to give to Bryar and a shirt. I saved myself over $12 by sucking up my major insecurities and trying my machine once again. After some high blood pressure and through the roof anxiety (yes, I'm exaggerating) it was complete. 

This party was super fun for Bryar and even more easy for me. I'm thankful that I have a family that loves to party. But most of all kids that I can celebrate in years to come. I cannot wait to see how much Bryar grows throughout this year. Gulp.. The year of kindergarten or maybe even his first deer hunt! 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Stop laughing. Start focusing.

I'm really not into Facebook rants or wars these days. I'm more into long nights snuggled up to my squishy newly five year old, and helping my southern belle of a ten year old pick out clothes for the upcoming week. But while watching the famous debate tonight, just after the time searching for perfect attire for the fifth grader in my life, I thought I would read Facebook during a break. 

What a clever little way to unwind and get a feel of cute families ending their fall break. 


Tonight until the Novemeber election our feeds and social media outlets have become wars of opinions. Opinions that we all have, and are all different from one person to the next. But that's the wonderful way that God created us to be. Different. Full of opinions and oppositions. But he also created us to hold respect, and love for our neighbors. 

Stop judging me, and the millions of times I've not been ever so loving and just read this sinners thoughts...

Today is the day. The day to STOP saying how much we cannot stand each candidate. Or how we wish we could have a do over. We did this. Our parties picked these two, no matter how big of clowns they each are. These are the two major party American candidates. 

We can no longer stand on the side lines watching the train wreck. Standing back, laughing at the damage, and awaiting your next Facebook famous status. That is the issue among all issues - social media. We've let it become our voice, rather than listening to our own inner voices. We've become derived from thoughts that we had because of falsified characters of a comment from another. 

To feel secure and safe with your decision, stop watching the train wreck moments. It isn't funny. It's sickening and part of the problem. Do your research, pick your topics, write them down if you need to, and be ready to listen to what the answer to your passion questions may be.

I know mine. Do you

While you all were laughing tonight. I found some of my answers. Answers that were in the midst of the train wreck moments. But I listened and surprise they were actually there. I figured out the ending to the scenarios that I was hoping to clear. I hope you did the same.

Last Novemeber, I was able to work an election booth but did not partake in the ballot myself. An elderly man was disturbed when I told him this and wanted to know my reasonings. I told him that I had not researched enough on the candidates and did not feel comfortable in making a solid casting vote. We agreed that my choice was correct and he then informed me that this should be the only reason to not cast a vote. I still agree with this choice that I made and plan to always do my research to make my vote. It doesn't matter if you live in a large delegate state or not, every vote matters and so does every voice. Even if it's different than my own. 

Stop laughing. Start focusing. We need change in our beloved America. Wether it be left sided or right sided. In some way or form, you must pick one on the Election Day to clear your heart and mind to spend the next four years until the next tormenting ballot say arrives. 

Until then... I'll leave you with this.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Love What You Do.

 Our parents smoked, cursed, attended church, watched tv, birthdays with cake and a piñata, they gave us kool-aid and we all survived. I learned how to swim by my dear Mother tossing me in and saying, "sink or swim child" after many times of refusal. I'm sure you all can guess how that experience worked out for my 29 year old breathing self. We were spanked, and given a hard time when we stepped out of line. We didn't have someone giving us a medal or trophy to work hard. As we were told that it was a way of life, and you either sink or swim. We learned to cope and we survived. But, sometimes a few things change in the world and that shouldn't always be considered a bad thing. We grow to love a few different things. Then we earn stripes of parenthood through the accomplishments we survive through.

Lately, as I'm planning yet another birthday party for my son, I am consistently being told that " parties were much simpler when you were a kid."

Yes, so was adding on sunscreen to a child. It didn't have to be organic, non-chemical, non-spray. It just had to say sunscreen, and BAM it was on. You didn't have to purchase bug spray in the same aspect. Or organic foods.

You see some of us may love purchasing the most healthy vegetables known to the whole foods market. Some of us may love attending every sport our children play, running marathons, taking selfies or serving on the PTO for ten years straight.

To an actual surprise some of us may just actually just love throwing parties. They don't have to be pinterest worthy of an event. It just has to be worthy of what you love to do. This has nothing to do with a failed birthday as a kid or the way I made a success of being tossed into an above ground pool. But it has all to do with a passion and what my family has always loved to do. From the Halloween parties as children with the amazing haunted houses and smell of "chainsaw" smoke fills our memories every Halloween. To the flashlight tag we played as we all camped out in our backyard for a huge sleepover birthday celebration.

Our passions may differ from travel, bjsports to chalk board designs above buffet bars. It doesn't make either of us trying harder, or failing - and boy how I could scream when someone tells me they are failing at parenthood due to an attempt. You put love into whatever you do for your children, and that is by far more of a success than my frantatic mornings of trying to make sure flowers match a table runner, or last minute trips to dollar general to make sure I have enough lemonade.

We choose what we love.

Mine for sure isn't waking early on Saturday morning to run a 5k. Or traveling each weekend to watch my child play a sport.

But it is planning, organizing, staying up too late to finishing super gluing a last minute craft, or sewing a table runner in twenty minutes. I may love to be stressed about not having enough items, or the correct table cloths. So if you want to stay up late applique a last minute birthday shirt. Do it. If you want to sit under a tent in the pouring rain while your son is playing football. Do it. If you want to plan every event for your child's school while on the PTO, do it. If we want to only go out to eat and celebrate your littles birthdays with movie and pizza. Do it! Or chase pokemon around your city limit... please, by all means do it.

I'll never regret celebrating the life of my loved ones in the way that I choose to do so. Most of all, you shouldn't regret loving what you do either.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's more than just a shirt...

As you look upon my oversized shirt today, you may wonder why I picked it. Could it be from the spirit week, we are enjoying at school? Or the fact that I love anything that screams comfort out to my Mama weight that's lingering in all places of my body. In all reality, it's all of these things plus a day that I am able to feel closer connected. Yes, by wearing an oversized shirt. 

But this isnt just a shirt that I'm wearing. It's stitches of memories sewn together. This isn't just something oversized and tropical. It's a shirt that gave me too many laughs to count from. Because it's  a shirt that my Mom couldn't stand, but my Dad loved to wear. It may have been it's comfort that he loved, but it could've also been the picking mechanism that he loved to hand out to her. 

It's a reminder of laughter, joy and most of all love. It's more than just a shirt. But buttons of dignity, that you can never loose a battle to cancer when you have Hope in Christ. But only to win and rejoice within glorious beams of heaven. 

It's more than just a shirt. But a reminder of too many puffs of cologne, or lazy days upon the beach. It's more than just a shirt. It's a reminder of his strong body, that was the Pa whom could fix all. 

It may be just an oversized, tacky tropical shirt to you but it's one that brings joy to a broken heart. You may give me funny looks when I come face to face with you today. But know that I'm not just wearing something found in an old box. It may be a keepsake forever tucked away after today, but each time I see it I'll smile and remember the joy within his laughter.  

My blog won't always be filled with emotions of grief. But if you've ever lost a loved one, or someone you're so closely connected to, you'll understand. I don't just write to be heard, but to let my memories flow and rejoice in all that we've triumphed as a family. Sorrow and grief are tricky, funny, roller coasters of emotions. Sometimes we just need to feel sad, and others we just have to do something to make us smile. Today I'm going to enjoy wearing this shirt that I've had on my mind for tropical day, just to smile and even to tell his story some more. It may mean nothing to you, but to me it means everything. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

29 forever.

Each year I blow out my candles on Septemeber 11. All while our country mourns in remembrance of so many innocent lives that were lost. I, myself remember the day so vivedily and if you are of a certain age, I'm quiet sure you do as well. The day that America was attacked, was a day that changed lives forever. For a young teenage girl, it became the day that I was able to get a cell phone. In my silliness of immaturity, I thought it was because I was hip and cool. But in reality it was that my parents were scared, and wasn't sure what lied ahead for our nation. 

It's amazing to look back to 15 years ago, and what journey my life has taken me through. The times that I really wasn't sure I would make it to the next day. Then days that I aged into an adult all from seeing two pink lines on a white strip. There are still moments in time that I wonder how life has become something that I don't understand. But as I sat in church this morning, listening to the gospel as I most certainly need, I was reminded of how "God knows."

My heart may still be broken from the recent passing of the man I called Dad. And silent moments to myself are mainly filled with weeping, as the missing is more than I can bare to find joy within. But God knows. He knows the situation, and most certainly knows the purpose of our families journey - of my journey. 

While I didn't want to celebrate my birthday this year, because of the memories it held from my last. We have.  Even though it took a lot of prayers, and even tears, we survived our first cook out as a family without him there. Our first prayer without his voice praising God, while we all held hands, was filled with my own. It was gut wrenching. 

But we will make it. We will find the joy for God knows the purpose of this journey, and most of all he knows our hearts. 

We celebrated. We laughed. We hugged. We decorated, Held hands, told stories, blew out candles, opened gifts, and played games. 

It may not be the same but our joy came, and will continue to do so. For this, I am thankful that my journey is known by the the Creator of all and I can find joy within the breath of life - and the years of candles of I am capable of blowing out. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Busy Season of Firsts

There is something special about new seasons of life. They can be exciting, scary, draining, and even tiresome. During this season I am experiencing every single emotion. The back to school spirits are wearing off and we are in full blown crazy mode of softball, football, volleyball and baseball.

Yes, baseball. We are in the time frame of not being home one single night until the weekends, and getting to bed so late sometimes that it's quiet shameful. Bryar has excitedly started playing baseball for a five and under league. He's been over the moon happy for his moments on the field. 

Most of the times the bright little moments start with hitting the tee, sliding every five steps or running to the wrong base. But he is already learning to stay in his position, and where to throw the ball. It's a learning process and for now I will continue to giggle at him and his pure cuteness. 

Not only has this little guy started a new sport, he also recently went hunting for the first time. I believe that it is true that boys are natural to all things outdoors, as this little it waited so impatiently for his first moment. While it was deer hunting as he would've liked, he was able to dove hunt with his Papaw and Daddy. Is it quiet ridiculous that I could've cried at this first moment? Seriously, it's almost as great as the first time Charli Beth was on stage for a ballet performance. 

Charli Beth is still finishing up her fall softball league. This year has been quiet different and although she hasn't been able to have her shining moments in the past, she still truly loves the sport. I believe this season will help her decide which sport she would rather focus on greatly. 

Since volleyball quickly became a passion of our little, "Mighty Mouse" she has continued to love playing even between seasons. Even though it's been since high school that I participated in this fun sport, I am helping her coach out. I believe this has been pretty exciting to her. But how did I ever forget that fourth and fifth graders are oh so very chatty! 

Curtis is finishing up his second season of coaching middle school football. While I admire his want and passions for these children, I also selfishly miss him being around. To be a grand role model as a male figure and an officer in these children's lives is exceptional. Everyone of the coaches go above and beyond to help these young men become great athletes. Even if their year has yet to go as planned, I couldn't be more proud of the work they are doing in young lives. 

While my family is staying busy in activities. I've quickly taken up the role as driver, packer, cleaner, and multi-tasking extraordinarie. Just kidding on the last word... I'm failing miserably at this stuff but we make it work. There are days that I've come home and just wanted to hide with no one asking for anything. Or that I've even wanted to just fix dinner rather than grabbing something quick and late. Then I have to snap myself back into reality and remember that this is my job. It may be tiresome, but it's where I've been placed to be. These days will fly by, and at some point I'll have no one to drive to practice, or to fill with sugary snacks, so I better savor every cute little moment that I am able.

Story of Mommy

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I am a sinner saved by the grace of God. A wife to the 5oh, and Mother to Charli Beth and Bryar. This is my story of Motherhood, life experiences and sometimes even my overwhelming heart all typed out. I believe in second chances, yet the firm hand of parenting. That sweet tea is of the comfort food category. Chickens belong in every backyard. Children should each have a responsibility of their own while helping take care of duties in the home. Sports are a must for our family, and we spend many nights on courts or fields. We consistently feel new to each of the experiences that are brought into our lives. But we are always excited for the journey in which God has given us.

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