Friday, July 26, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm back for another Five on Friday!  I am loving this fun little link up right now!  
Thanks to all the wonderful hosts, especially Natasha at Hello! Happiness.


-ONE-
I recently purchased the book, Tails, for Liam as one of his birthday gifts!  The recommendation came from the girl in the red shoes, and it has quickly become a favorite of little L's.  It is a fun read with so many different things to touch & feel!


-TWO-
I won a giveaway this week, whoo hoo!  I never win anything, so I was pretty pumped about this to say the least!  The item was a Little Mr. bow tie, which arrived in the mail yesterday!  It will make Liam look just that much dapper!  If I love it, I might just end up purchasing a couple for the holiday season.  Nothing says festive like a cute little bow tie!  It would also be an adorable baby gift for anyone having a boy.


-THREE-
 While I'm still enjoying the rest of Summer, I am getting a little excited for Fall clothes!  After picking lots of cute items at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I'm having a hard time waiting to wear all the new things.  My current fashion obsession is elbow patches!    Lately, they seem to be everywhere on little boy's clothing, yay!  Now if I could only find a few sweaters for me that had some heart shaped elbow patches...  I picked up this Tucker & Tate shirt for Liam that is just screaming for a trip to the pumpkin patch!



-FOUR-
 Coconut.  One words says it all...  I have a huge thing for coconut.  I love all things coconut scented or flavored.  I was on the coconut oil train LONG before it became a staple of many people's kitchens.  But recently, I've taken my passion for coconut to a new level...  I've always noticed the huge bag of dried coconut at Costco but was hesitant to buy it (no idea why)!  And then one day, a cute little Costco sample lady convinced me to give it a try and I have NEVER looked back!  I buy a bag every time I go and usually eat it within a couple days.  This stuff is better than candy and the texture is so interesting it keeps you coming back for more! 


-FIVE-
I've been baking quite a bit lately (my sweet tooth has been in full force and you better bet many of these items contain some coconut) but almost everything I've made has "flopped" once it comes out of the oven to cool, grr!  I was beginning to wonder what happened to my cooking skills until I realized that the problem is the high altitude of Salt Lake City!  I am just not used to cooking here yet!  Phew, glad it wasn't me!  ;-)  So any tips on baking in high altitude places would be much appreciated!

Little tid bit of the day: this was my 100th post!
TGIF everyone!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

My sweet baby boy turns 1 year old today!  This year has absolutely flown by; I just cannot believe I am the mother to a toddler (gasp)!  He is the sweetest little boy with a laugh that melts my heart and the most kissable cheeks.  I love all his snuggles (even the middle of the night) and the way he still has that sweet baby smell.  His personality is starting to shine, and I love the little man that he is becoming.  On the day he was born, I told him "You will do great things", and I have told him this every day since.  When holding my newborn for the first time I couldn't fathom what life would be like one year later...  Well, life is wonderful!

Happy Birthday Little Liam!
Mama & Dada love you oh so much!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Liam's Almost 1 Party

During our vacation to the PNW, we threw Liam an "Almost 1" Party at my parents lake cabin!  I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to be with friends & family even though it meant celebrating about 3 weeks early!  I have been a little sad when trying to plan something for little L's birthday, because I wanted a huge bash with everyone who is important to our family!  Unfortunately that will never happen, since we have friends scattered all over the country and our families live in two separate states.  I had to continually remind myself that I don't need to throw this epic party that is Pinterest worthy.  Instead I focused my efforts on trying to make a fun celebration with some of Liam's favorite things.  Since it was the weekend after the 4th of July, many people were out of town...  I was a little bummed about this, but it didn't matter because we still got to celebrate with a select group!  :-)

I'm not a huge fan of themed parties, so instead I just wanted something colorful.  I also knew I wanted to incorporate tons of balloons (Liam is obsessed) as well as some zoo animals!  Liam & I take weekly trips to the zoo which he always seems to enjoy, so I'm going to go ahead and assume he also loves zoo animals!  Conor found this invitation which caught our eyes immediately!  It was exactly what I was picturing in my mind; I loved all the colors and kept them in mind when selecting banners, balloons, poms, & more!


After deciding on invitations, I wanted to have a Happy Birthday banner made that incorporated those same colors.  I sent an image of the invite to Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard so that she could custom make me one!  Jane was wonderful to work with and even got my order to me in a hurry, since I was a little late in the party planning department.  I know you can find Happy Birthday banners every where, but I wanted a high quality one that I can use year after year.  My mom hung the same (somewhat hideous, she bought it in the early 80s) banner every year for my birthday, so I want to continue that tradition.  Unfortunately I didn't snag a picture of it, but I will on Liam's actual birthday!

I also worked with the etsy shop, Best Birthday Ever, to find a t-shirt for Liam's big day!  I shopped around for awhile on this one, and I even contacted a few other shops that weren't nearly as friendly or easy to work with.  Again I was on a bit of a tight timeline, but Charles & Sarah made it happen.  I think his shirt is just adorable and it was incredibly soft & well made too!  I see Liam wearing it until it no longer fits!


Liam & the Godfather


The other thing I was really excited about was doing a photo collage in the shape of the number 1 (yes, the one we have seen all over Pinterest)!  I ordered these prints from Prinstagram, a pretty awesome company.  The photos were cheap, although the shipping was a bit high.  However, the ordering process is so simple that it was well worth it!  You literally just sign into your instagram account and then select whatever pictures you want with just a few clicks, easy peasy!!!



Guests arrived to plenty of sunshine and a few pitchers of fresh mojitos!  My parents have an incredible amount of mint growing at the cabin, so we put it to good use!  The weather was perfect for a lunch time BBQ.  I wanted to keep things simple, that way I wouldn't be spending all my time in the kitchen!  My mom & Conor helped me did most of the work preparing hamburgers, fresh fruit, and homemade guac & chips!  I had been excited about making Liam a smash cake for months, but as the party got closer I wasn't too pumped about the idea anymore.  We still hadn't really introduced Liam to sugar, so I didn't want him eating a ridiculous amount of cake all of sudden.  I thought through some "healthy" options, but ended up making a last minute decision to serve Sweet Peaks ice cream!  Conor's sister & brother-in-law own this incredible ice cream shop in Montana, which Liam had his 1st lick of during our recent visit.  This stuff is amazing, so I knew it would be a huge hit at the party!  I picked out a few flavors (cupcake, salty caramel, & grasshopper mint) so our guests would have options!  After lunch, we put a single candle in a cone of cupcake ice cream and sang Happy Birthday to our sweet little boy!  He was a little surprised by all the voices but then was into his ice cream before I could blink.  We shared a cone (read: Liam had a few licks, then I devoured it)!

 

 Liam was a lucky boy, who was showered with gifts from all our generous guests.  I like to think we've been pretty reasonable when purchasing things for Liam, so he was definitely due for some new toys!  During present opening he was pretty into the cards & the tissue paper (my kid loves paper and anything that crinkles)!  I'll be sharing some of his new favorite things soon!  Liam's cousin Hadley was there to help him check out all his new stuff and slam down some ice cream too!  She's such a little cutie pie!



Liam could have partied all day, but I made him take a little nap to break up the festivities!  The rest of the day was spent taking a long boat ride, followed by pizza from the local spot (only 1 pizza place in the tiny town of Spirit Lake), and then s'mores in the firepit!  While I stressed a lot about this day and making it special, it turned out wonderful.  Liam had such a fun time and that's really what is important!  Little L was playing with balloons for days!  As always, I wish I had more pictures, but I was too caught up in the moment to remember to use my camera  :-)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

3 Years

Conor & I recently celebrated our 3rd Anniversary!  Whoo hoo, best three years of my life by far, especially this last year when Liam made us a family of three.  Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend our actual anniversary together this year...  When booking flights for our summer vacation, we decided I was going to spend a few extra days in Spokane while not realizing that our anniversary would be one of those days spent apart.  I was a little bummed about this, but I knew that we would celebrate our special day later in the month.

Our anniversary is July 9th, which we finally celebrated this weekend with a night out on the town.... Liam included!  Living in a new city, we don't exactly have any babysitters as of yet.  Not a problem though, little L adds some extra fun to the mix.  We started our evening at Eva in downtown Salt Lake City!  It is such a cozy little restaurant with a menu of mostly small plates.  We took our time (well as much time as you can take when you have a busy almost 1 year old in tow) ordering a few plates at a time until our bellies were full.  Then Conor surprised me on our way home with a stop at a bakery (he knows the way to my heart) to get some dessert to take home with us.  Palmiers & macarons are a perfect night cap!

I can remember our last anniversary vividly...it was two short weeks before Liam arrived and we were giddy with excitement.  We were as prepared as new parents can be, discussing what life with L would be like.  The few weeks right before a baby arrives are some of the most exciting in my mind.  I am always a little bit jealous of soon-to-be parents and all that is coming there way in such a short time.  This year we had dinner much earlier, had a bag of toys & diapers in tow, and the cutest little boy with us.  What a difference a year makes and all for the better.  Liam has made our marriage more meaningful and our relationship deeper.  Conor is not only the most incredible husband, but he now has the role of super-dad!  I only love him more & more as the years go by.  I really can't believe it's already been 3 years!!!

Here's a look back at some our wedding photos
July 9th, 2010





The day was unforgettable.
Which just happens to be our wedding song!  See what I did there.
Every time I hear Nat King Cole sing that beautiful song,
I can't help but smile and count my lucky stars that I landed this guy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Spirit Lake, 4th of July, & Spokane

After our amazing time in Montana, we drove to Spirit Lake to spend the rest of our vacation with my family!  I love spending time at my parents cabin, where life just seems a little bit slower (I mean it is Idaho.... I kid I kid).  Usually our days are filled with maple bars, swing time, puzzles, raspberry picking, boat rides, cocktail hour, sunsets on the deck, and bon fires & s'mores.  My mom is the most incredible hostess, always having fun surprises to make our stay a little extra special.  Our first night there we arrived to raspberry daiquiris straight from the garden (these were actually made my frozen berries from last summer, since this year's crop hadn't quite come in yet).  The next night's cocktail of choice was mojitos!  My parents have a ridiculous amount of mint in the garden, so Conor & my dad are always making different concoctions trying to perfect their recipe.  I always like to have a cold beverage to sip on, but of course I have to keep my drinking in check since I'm still frequently breastfeeding Liam.



In anticipation of Liam's visit, Nana & Pops purchased a swing to hang from the deck (where Liam had an awesome view of the lake) & a kiddie pool so he could splash around in the water whenever he pleased.  They also got a baby gate for the deck, so Liam could freely walk around and we wouldn't have to worry about him & the stairs.  It was so relaxing for me to know that their cabin is a safe environment for Liam, and that there are always extra eyes watching his every move!



We celebrated the 4th of July during our stay, which just so happens to be a favorite holiday of the Keenan Family (have I mentioned the ginormous American flag in our guest bedroom?!).  Spirit Lake is a tiny town (no stop lights, but three now four bars on Main St.), yet they still put together a little parade every year.  It's always an interesting experience!  Plus, this was Liam's 1st parade, so that makes it just a little extra special.  :-)  I'm really not that into parades. However, I am a huge fan of the candy that always gets thrown!  But alas, I'm getting a little old to be running after candy like a crazy girl and would probably get some evil stares from the little kids.  So instead, I just watched them gather up all the candy in sight as my mouth watered...  Liam had on a festive outfit (of course) and sported some American flag swim trunks!  I also happen to have an American flag swimsuit that I busted out for the occasion.  The rest of the day was spent on the boat, and then we had a BBQ later that evening.  Nothing says 4th of July like barbeque chicken, potato salad, & corn on the cob!  After dinner we usually set off a few fireworks and then head out on the lake to watch some of the big displays.  But this year, we had the little guy in tow; he was exhausted from our busy day and not prepared to stay up for the late night festivities.  He saw a few fireworks before we put him to bed, which he was completely mesmerized by!  Seeing fireworks in his eyes was almost as adorable as seeing twinkling Christmas lights in his eyes!  Oh, who am I kidding...they aren't even close!  Once Liam was in bed, we enjoyed various firework displays from the deck!  Luckily, the loud fireworks didn't seem to bother him, and he slept soundly...well, as soundly as my child sleeps!  Happy Birthday America!




Each day was relaxing and truly felt like a vacation!  Conor works incredibly hard, so it was nice to see him take a break from work in Montana and Idaho and be able to focus all his attention on Liam & I.  There is nothing better than waking up as a family each morning!  :-)  I also treasure the time with my parents and love seeing them shine as grandparents!  My dad took time off of work as well, so lots of fun was had by all!





Sadly, Conor did have to go back to work eventually, but he was a wonderful husband who let me stay with my family for five extra days.  Most of my time was spent at Spirit Lake, but we did head in to Spokane at the end of my visit so I could see some family & friends!  It's always hard to squeeze in time with everyone we want to, so our days were extremely busy trying.  I hardly took any photos while we were in Spokane which I am supper bummed about!  However, the highlights include:
  • Taco (and margarita) night at my brother Ryan's house.
  • Lunch (which included a little bubbly) & shopping date with Nana for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.
  • Dinner at my Grandpa's house with my uncle & cousin from Texas who were in town visiting.
  • Play date at Manito Park with my friend Christina (Liam's godmother) and her little boy Tommy.
  • Lunch and kiddie pool time with my brother Jon's family.
  • Dinner & drinks with Nana & Pops and my godfather & his wife at Casper Fry.  This restaurant was amazing, and they have a great outdoor patio where we got to enjoy the warm summer night.
  • Send off breakfast at Madeline's with Nana & Pops!
I packed as much fun as possible into our visit, but it never feels like enough time!  I better start planning our next visit tonight!  I'm bound to have some Delta miles stored up by now...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sneak Peak: 1 Year Photos

Right before we left for our vacation, our friend Haley came to town for a visit!  She was shooting a wedding in Salt Lake City, but still managed to sneak in lots of Liam time.  Little L was so excited to see her (he has a thing for blondes)!  As if packing for a two week trip isn't stressful enough, we crammed in a photo shoot the night before.  To say I was a little frazzled is an understatement.  Haley is an incredible photographer and continues to amaze me with her work.  I feel so lucky that we had the opportunity for her to capture our family.  Enjoy this sneak peak of some photos she took up at Alta:






Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sweet Summertime in Montana

I'm finally back to the blogging world after being on vacation for two weeks!  It's always hard for me to come back home after being with our family & friends, but at least I can relive all the fun we had in the next few posts.  :-)  No matter how long our vacation is, it is never enough time...

The first part of our trip we spent in Montana with Conor's family!  We dealt with some unusually warm weather for the area, but that didn't slow us down at all.  I was so excited to get Liam in Flathead lake for his 1st dip!  The boy loves water, so I knew putting him in a "huge bathtub" was sure to bring smiles to his face.  I was right; little L could not get enough of the water even though it was a little chilly!  He probably would have stayed in the water all day if we let him!  While the lake was a huge hit for Liam, he would have nothing to do with his life jacket!  He hated every.single.second he had to spend in that thing.  We used it only when necessary (while still being super safe, of course).  Flathead lake is absolutely beautiful, especially at sunset!  Each time I visit, I appreciate the scenery more & more.  My heart definitely belongs in the Pacific Northwest...

 



As usual, we spent our days getting in as much family time as possible and stuffing our faces with the amazing food of the Keenan family restaurant (The Bigfork Inn)!  I also managed to eat Sweet Peaks ice cream every day as well.  This visit, Liam was really staring down my ice cream cone, so we finally decided to give our little boy his first taste of something sweet!  It was the perfect summer evening in Whitefish... We were standing outside of Sweet Peaks when Liam took a huge lick of grasshopper mint ice cream made from the loving hands of his aunt & uncle!  Ahh, such a sweet moment!  And since that first lick, Liam has been in love.


Liam still isn't sleeping great, but did slightly better while we were on vacation, so I got more time than usual to sit and relax with Conor's family in the evenings, yay!  Our evenings were spent on the Keenan's deck with a glass of wine and some good catching up time with the family!  Conor has 4 siblings and  I love the feel of a big family, despite the fact that we were all so busy this trip to ever find ourselves all in one place. The Keenan clan is only getting bigger... Conor's sister, Marissa, is due at the end of July.  The gender is a surprise and I am anxiously waiting to hear!  We can't wait for Liam to have another cousin to play with.  :-)

Our time in Montana felt much too short, but we are hoping to make a trip back sometime in late summer/early fall to meet the newest addition!  It's hard to stay away for too long, plus we would love to catch the tail end of huckleberry season with Grandpa Fred!

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