Lisa Mitchell

It is seriously laughable how difficult it is to find time these days to sit down and bust out a blog post. I think one of my resolutions for 2015 needs to be to do a better job at churning out new content for this here blog!

Anyway, a little over a month ago our Miss Anna took a big step into the world of becoming a big girl, she started preschool!

She had been saying since before Maya headed back to school this year that she wanted to go to preschool. She would tell anyone who would listen that she was going to start preschool (even though I hadn’t signed her up or planned on sending her this year). My original plan for this year was to do some at home preschool type stuff with her, sign up for a few classes like gymnastics and then send her to preschool next year. She still seemed so little to me. After much bugging I decided she was ready and I needed to get her into a program. A friend of ours recommended their program to us and they happened to still have an opening in their 3s class so we I looked into it. We did a tour and we loved it! She started class the following week.

The first few weeks were a little rough. She was shy and sad every time I dropped her off and begged not to go back :( I was surprised by her reaction given how much she begged to go and how not shy she usually is. But, the last couple of weeks have gone really well. She doesn’t cry at drop off anymore and is all smiles and full of stories when I pick her up. Progress!

The program is only twice a week for 2.5 hours, similar to what Maya did her first year of preschool. I think it is a good way to start. I can’t believe she is already at this stage. She is growing up so fast.

It is no secret that Maya loves all things art. She spends a good portion of her free time creating things. So, when she requested an art themed party for her birthday I wasn’t surprised! My mission to throw her a birthday party to remember began. After I got over the fear of completely failing at throwing a decent party I set to work hunting down the perfect ideas on Pinterest. I found a few project ideas I thought would be perfect and some decor ideas I hoped I was capable of pulling off. With me to do list in hand I set to work creating what I hoped would be the perfect Art Party for Maya’s 7th birthday.

The decor came together so well. I had so much fun creating this party. From the mini easels, to the mini paint cans, to the rice crispies paint brushes, to the “Maya’s Art Studio” sign it was all so much fun to create and put together.

I decided to make a couple of examples of the art project we had planned for the party and display them along with a “Maya’s Art Studio” sign I made. I figured this would give the kids a chance to see what the project looked like once completed and it gave the party a nice artsy feel.

Since we were going to be painting had aprons for each girl and I bought fabric markers so they could decorate their own aprons. I had a friend of mine put each girl’s name on an apron with puffy paint to personalize them a bit for them. I also made a mini easel out of popsicle sticks for each of the girls. During the party it held their name tag but I figured it would be a fun way to display their artwork at home.

Decorating and personalizing their aprons was a great way to kick off the party and the girls had so much

fun. Each girl did a great job making their apron their own and using their creativity.

Once everyone had finished their aprons we moved onto the main project. I chose a watercolor project for the party. I provided each girl with a canvas and some watercolors. The idea of the project was to saturate the canvas with as much color as they could, once their painting was complete we sprinkled salt on the canvas to create some starburst effects and drizzled a little glue to create further unique effects on the art work. The girls did an amazing job and created some beautiful pieces of art. I hope they are proud of their pieces and are displaying them at home on their little easels!

This is Maya’s finished artwork. I love the tie dye effect created with the watercolors and the starburst created by the salt. I opted for sparkle glue and that was a big hit with the girls. This project was so fun and so easy. I highly recommend it if you are looking for a good kid friendly painting project.

After the art work was completed we moved on to eating. The rice crispies paint brushes were a big hit and so fun and easy to make.

I had a lot of fun coming up with creative food and drink ideas for this party. Turns out an art party is a great way for the host to channel their creativity as well :)

The final art spin of the day was with the cake. I opted for cupcakes and picked up some paint trays with a large center. I placed the cupcake in the middle and filled the paint tray with sprinkles of various colors, sizes and textures and had the girls decorate their own cupcakes. It was another huge hit!

This party was so fun to throw. The birthday girl was very happy with how everything turned out, which is the most important thing!

Today Maddie would have been 7, just like my Maya. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I feel compelled every year to keep writing, to keep remembering.

I met Heather, through blogging, when our daughters were about to have their first birthdays. I stumbled across her blog and loved it. I loved the stories about Maddie. I was a first time mom to a little girl born just a few days before Maddie. Though our paths to motherhood were very different and the struggles they had as a result of Maddie’s prematurity I couldn’t even imagine, I could relate so much to them through Maddie. I started commenting on her blog and we exchanged a few emails here and there. I grew to love that little girl I would see smiling at me on my computer screen. She lit up the world with those bright blue eyes and that infectious grin.

Today she would have been 7. Today she should have been 7. So, today I will wear purple in honor of that little girl who touched my heart. I will send love, light and peace to Heather, Mike, Annie and James so that they may feel the support of so many standing with them and behind them remembering and missing their little girl with them.

Happy Birthday, Maddie! Wish you were here and that I was reading about the amazing birthday party your mama would have thrown for you this past weekend and seeing pictures of those blue eyes that would still undoubtedly be as bright as ever and that smile that I know would still be lighting up the world.

At 11:30pm on this day 7 years ago I heard the cries of my first baby as she came into this world. I cuddled her soft baby skin against mine and basked in the glory of brand new motherhood.

The last 7 years have flown by. My first baby has gone from a helpless bundle, to a waddling toddler, to a rambunctious preschooler, to a full of life first grader in the blink of an eye!

Maya, you are one heck of a little girl. You are smart, creative, loving, fun and passionate about life. Your favorite things right now include reading, gymnastics, dancing, playing with your friends, and being artistic. You crave knowledge and spend so much time reading and learning. You want to be either a teacher or an author when you grow up, or both. You are a good friends and your friends love spending time with you. You are a good big sister, you set a good example for your little sisters (most of the time!) and they both look up to you and love being around you and playing with you. 7 years ago when you came into this world I could hardly imagine you were finally here let along imagine that one day you would be a big 7 year old! I’ve loved watching you grow up and can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.

Happy Birthday, Maya!! Love you to pieces.

As in many households around the world we are a bit Frozen crazy around here. My girls, and admittedly myself, love the movie. Even Nora recognizes the opening notes of the movie and will start dancing! Given their love of all things Frozen it was no surprise when Maya and Anna wanted to be Elsa and Anna for Halloween. Since they were going with the Frozen theme I figured It was only fitting that Nora go with the theme as well. What more fitting costume for my happy go lucky Nora than Olaf. After a quick search I discovered that someone failed at their job and didn’t think a baby sized Olaf costume was a good idea. Since I couldn’t find one I decided to make one instead.

Really, it was a pretty easy costume to make and It was so fun too. All I needed was a white hat, big enough for a face,a white shirt, white pants, some felt and pipe cleaners. A trip to Target and one to the craft store and I had all the items needed. I pulled up a picture of Olaf and did my best to copy his eyes, nose, eyebrows , arms and hair. I think it turned out pretty well.

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The first “try on” attempt of the costume didn’t go so well. Nora was clearly not a fan of dressing up that day ;)

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She has warmed up to the costume now that she has worn it a couple of times. She makes one pretty adorable Olaf if you ask me.

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I had one woman come up to me at a Halloween party we attended and said I totally should have mass marketed this costume. And, she is right. I could have made a ton, oh well!