Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Avery's Olivia Birthday Party

Avery's 3rd Birthday was on October 2nd. It happened to be on a Saturday this year so we were able to have her party on her actual birthday. The theme was Olivia the Pig. Olivia is the main character in the Olivia books and she is also the star of her own show on Nick Jr. This was the first year for Avery to have an opinion about her birthday party and she wanted Olivia. We had yet to do a character theme until this year and Olivia proved to be the perfect one!! I have to admit I was skeptical at first about the color theme... red, black & white? I am a "happy colors" girl... bright shades of pinks, greens, yellows & oranges, especially for my little girl's birthday, but once I embraced it, I loved it! It turned out to be so much fun!!!

I wasn't able to find any Olivia party supplies, so I had to make most of the decorations. I made the cupcake toppers and used Olivia stickers to go with our theme. Favors were watercolor palettes with an Olivia color sheet and tags I made with one of Olivia's "Rules of Life"..."Red is absolutely, positively the best color for everything." :) We also used Olivia stuffed dolls and print outs from the Nick Jr site. We had Red punch and a sweets bar with all red candy (except for the red, black & white M&M's). Avery and I wore the party colors (apparently Daddy didn't get the memo.) The day was absolutely beautiful and we had the best time! Here are some pics from our special day.

Invitation: Invite Delight Too Found the invite here and had them printed at Fedex.
Cake: Society Bakery Greenville Ave location - So very yummy and the decoration was AMAZING and perfect! Will definitely use them again!
Cupcakes: Tom Thumb Bakery- 7700 Northwest Hwy, across from North Park Center. This is the 3rd year I've used this bakery for cupcakes and they've always been wonderful.
Avery's pillowcase dress: Jazzy Girl Boutique

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ice Cream

Our niece Madison and nephew Connor... affectionately referred to as Mae & Coco by Avery, spent the night with Grandmommy & Papa over the weekend. Since I'm practicing my photography, I thought I would do a photo shoot with them. I have taken pictures of Maddie & Connor for years, but have never done an actual "shoot" with them. I've always been able to get great pics of them doing activities, running around and being silly, but I was surprised at how difficult it was to get natural shots of them in this "photo shoot" setting. They seemed to be very aware of the camera and wanted to pose everytime I pointed it in their direction. This delivered a few good pics, but wasn't what I was going for. So... I did what any good amateur photog would do... I brought out the ice cream! And guess what?? Ice cream did the trick! So fun! :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Gotcha Day

I have been trying to write our adoption journey story for 3 years... seriously. I have pieces of it written, but am having a hard time putting it together. Maybe I need an editor. :) I had intended to have it finished and on my blog in time for Avery's Gotcha Day celebration yesterday, but to no avail another year has gone by and still no story. I will keep working on it though. I want Avery to have it and I want to tell our story... it's an awesome story! So stay tuned...

Yesterday we celebrated Avery's "Gotcha Day". Gotcha Day is the day when our eyes saw our daughter for the very first time and we had the joy of bringing her home.. the day we became parents! Avery's Gotcha Day is 7 days after her birthday. It may seem weird that we celebrate both her birthday and her Gotcha Day, but to us they are both very special days that deserve their own celebrations. As my sweet husband always points out... Avery's birthday parties tend to be a bit over the top, but our celebration for Gotcha Day is much more low key and personal. Usually it's just the three of us spending the day together, going for a special lunch or dinner and so far has always involved ice cream.. one of Avery's favorite things. Gotcha Day is a day for us to reflect on that sweet day when our lives would be forever changed. It's a day for us to praise God for his faithfulness and goodness to us and it's a day when we remember Avery's birth mother and birth family and the sacrifice they made. It's a day for us to celebrate the miracle of adoption.

Here are some pics from Avery's Gotcha Day in 2007 and from our celebration yesterday.

Avery & Landen meeting for the first time... love at first sight. :)

And now.... so big!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Avery's Year in Photos

I have come to terms with the fact that I am not a scrapbooker. Well.. at least not in the traditional sense. I am much more of a photobook and slideshow maker. Actual scrapbooking stresses me out and I'm pretty sure hobbies are supposed to relax you. So, instead of cutting out cute paper things and glueing them onto a page (no offense scrapbookers... I secretly envy your creativity and patience), I take a digital approach. Last year, Larry Lewis, a friend I grew up with offered to do a slideshow of Avery's 2nd year for her birthday. It turned out great and is one of my very favorite things. After my smart husband gave me Photoshop Elements for Christmas, I decided I would start doing the slideshows myself. I keep all of my pics of Avery organized by month, so it's pretty easy to put a slideshow together. I import the photos to Photoshop and then organize them the way I like and add music. Music is a MUST!! I'm convinced that we all have a soundtrack playing behind our lives... just like the movies.

Here is this year's slideshow. It's pretty long since I take so many pics of our little love. If you have a few minutes give it a watch.

I'll have pics and commentary up soon from Avery's birthday party. It was so much fun!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Since Avery's birthday is right around the corner I decided to do a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago to commemorate this 3 year milestone. I made the decision to do it myself because I feel I know her the very best and know how to capture her personality on film. It's also my joy to photograph her. So we just went out in the backyard and did it. I hope I don't regret later not taking her into the studio or paying a professional to do it. I always prefer outdoor pics to studio ones and Avery loves to be outside, so it seemed like the thing to do. And hey... the price was definitely right!

We used a couple of props that I would like to give credit for:
Avery's fab sparkly pink name sign(which unfortunately we broke during the shoot :/)was given to us by a sweet friend that I grew up with. My friend Angie Bailey has a business called GlitterPop. She makes lots of fun signs, bow holders, and other girly things. Her business is currently on hold and she's not taking orders, but hopefully will be again in the near future.
Avery's white baby grand piano was given to her for Christmas last year by her Aunt Alison, Uncle Alan & cousin Alex.
Avery's pink Converse Chuck's were a "starting preschool" present from Grandmommy & Papa.

Here are some pics from our little photo shoot. The two in my last post were also from this shoot.

In just 2 days, our sweet Avery will be 3 years old!! This seems almost impossible. Where has the time gone?! I had absolutely no idea when I laid eyes on that sweet, tiny, 5 pound; 2 ounce bundle for the first time that she would become such a beautiful, joy filled, people and animal adoring, music loving, opinionated, passionate, dramatic, silly, fearless little girl who would undeniably steal her Mommy & Daddy's heart. Avery Grace... the first born of our hearts, our precious gift from the Lord, our Little Love, our baby girl, our sunshine, our daughter.