Friday, November 16, 2012

Sock Monkey Celebration

Time Flies

Where does the time go?  I swear just yesterday I was having contractions while working and trying to hold out for a scheduled C-Section a few days later.   Well it has officially been ONE year! My youngest Caleb has turned one a few days ago.  I being the over excited mother who loves to plan super cool parties for her children I decided to go all out and do a sock monkey themed first birthday.. Can I just say thank goodness for Pinterest and Etsy too!

I ordered a sock monkey themed birthday invite from an Etsy vendor that put together my pictures of my son who was dressed in Sock Monkey attire into a cool invitation.   Th ere are many on ETSY a great place to find what you are looking for.  With that the vendor threw in cupcake toppers too!

Great Friends

I have the most wonderful friends with the most amazing talents.  A friend of mine from high school helped to create a couple posters following the theme.  My favorite was the KEEP CALM MONKEY ON! They added so much to the decor!


Thank goodness for Pinterest! I can't say that enough. I have soo many ideas and things I am doing now for the holidays, home decor and more! It's my 10 minutes a day of calm time, Mommy time if you will. My "pinteresting" ideas that I used were to deck the house out.  I made a balloon and ribbon wreath,  wrapped letters with yarn (I did not finish so did not use) but gleaned ideas for water bottle labels, candy/food buffets and more. 


It is amazing to know that Sock Monkey (the classic one) is making a comeback.  We found a Jack in the Box Sock Monkey style, Kohls cares offered a 5$ Sock Monkey which I purchased for party favors for kids and Birthday Party Express had a sock monkey themed party package (plates, streamers, cups, balloons and more)!  I even purchased fabric online that I used as table runners, and decorative accents for outside of the house decor!


My Son!

My son wore his Sock Monkey hat (along with his older brother) for part of the party and enjoyed balloons, was overwhelmed by the amount of family that arrived to celebrate his first year of life and enjoyed his first taste of sugar!  Happy First Birthday Caleb! We have had a blast celebrating your first year of life!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Little Freedom

I was trying to remember the first time that I learning to ride my bike. I think it was like 6 ot 7 years old, though I am not truly sure.  I should probably ask my parents.  Who knew that this would be the summer or that TODAY would be the day that my four and half year old son would learn to ride his bike without training wheels! I can't tell you how incredibly proud I am.  I didn't know what kind of emotional thing that would be for me but really I have the biggest sense of pride right now.  My son can ride his bike without training wheels.  WOW Really?!

Ty has been requesting that his Uncle Mike (my brother) come down and help him to ride his bike without training wheels.  Well today was the day.  Uncle Mike steadied the bicycle, Ty hopped on and off they went. Mike held the seat for a few minutes and let him go.  Off he went without even knowing how incredibily independent he was being and how proud of him we all were.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Playing Hard~

July 5th's photo a day challenge subject was : On the Floor.

Here's a photo of my son's room.  Guess what is on the floor?  You got it. Many, many toys. He had a friend over yesterday and they pulled out all the stops. Toys everywhere inside and outside.  It was a great day to be had.


Today we will be picking up.  We were too exhausted yesterday. Good thing we have organized bins thanks to my participation in the Simple Mom's 2012 home cleaning challenge.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


WOW to photograph the subject fun could mean a lot of things to many people.  I always look to my kids to share with me what "fun" might be.   Here's what I came up with.


Fun on a summer day! Running through the sprinklers in the backyard. Nothing says fun better than that!

Best Part of My Day~

July Photo a Day Challenge:

The best part of my day is when I get to give this little guy a rest.  He plays so incredibly hard, crawls very fast, pulls to stand and mouths everything.  He has cut his first tooth this week too!


He is so peaceful when he sleeps. I know he uses this time to grow and grow!  I love this part of my day.  I don't often get this part of my day when I work full time but during the summer or days off this is what I look forward to!

Fourth of July Party

Party in the USA!

Fourth of July I had nothing really planned.  But we threw together a small BBQ with a few friends and family.  It was realatively easy. Not too much planning because it was a throw together party! Sometimes those are the best. No over thinking, everyone pitches in and it somehow pulls together. 

The weather was great! That was a slight worry of ours since the day before it was cold and rainy and we actually wore jeans and sweat shirts.  But really the weather was perfect even with a slight breeze. BBQ was comprised of hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, fruit salad, corn on the cob, watermelon kabobs (circle and star shaped made with cookie cutters), chips and dip and many different beverages.  I even found The Pop Shoppe old school cream soda, orange soda, lime rickey soda and cola bottles. They seemed to be a hit.

Of course we ended the celebration with fireworks.  I shop at Costco so I purchased the $49.99 package of fire works that had 65 fountain fireworks to light off.  Take a look.

Dressing for the occassion

Each year I purchase a red, white and blue t-shrit (cheap ones from Old Navy) for each memeber of my family (my husband, myself and my two boys).  We wear those on the Fourth of July!  So this is what we looked like this year.  Unfortunately we were unable to get a full on family photo but maybe next time.  I always find it hard to get photo's of myself since I am the one taking the pictures and when I do someone forgets to tell me that my hair is awry or they don't zoom in. But I am working on training my husband and then asking others to take all family photos.

All in all it was a great day, we celebrated had great company, dealt with a little bit of four year old attitude but enjoyed it none the less.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Pinteresting Party~ Anyone in?


Oh the pinteresting places you'll go (spoof from Dr. Seuss' quote).  Tonight, as I was working on a project I found and pinned to my Home Decor board, I wondered what I ever did without Pinterest.  I realized that this year my creativity and zest for doing things craftily and within a shorter budget, cause lets face it we all want to save money, has increased 10 fold with my introduction to Pinterest.  I find Pinning to calm me a little bit. Maybe it is because I am finding my interests in an organizing way. Maybe it is because I love to be creative? Maybe it is because I see what others might be interested in as well and share some common bond with people I truly know and others I don't know. I have started following different blogs, different Pinterest boards, and have a variety of ideas that I will accomplish. 


An Idea~ Anyone Pinterested?

I have heard of Linky Party's, and Pinning Party's, where bloggers linky projects or ideas or blog posts to one place to share and connect with each other or pinn the same type of subject within pinterest.  I was however thinking of hosting a Pinteresting Party.  What type of party is that you say. Well for those who I know or live within driving distance I would host a party.  Each Pinteresting Party would have some sort of theme, for example baking, crafting, home decor, clothing etc.  For those biggere Pinterest Ideas we would collaborate on a project.  For those smaller ideas you would bring your own stuff set up shop and work on projects sharing ideas with each other but actually working on projects from ideas that we have found from our friend Pinterest.  This would be a great way to complete some of those many ideas found on pinterest, increase our comraderie, and just plan ole have a great time.  Any of you interested?

Pinteresting Projects I have Completed

On my pinterest page I have created a board called Things I've Tried from Pinterest.  This is the place that I repin projects, ideas, meals etc., that I have tried.  Take a look by clicking the link above. 

Comment if you would be interested in attending a Pinteresting Party.  I would host, it could evolve and it will be great!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A new challenge ~

Last day of June

And finally, here's the photo a day July list! Are you going to play along? Details on how to play on my blog: is the last day of June. Oddly enough it doesn't seem right. However tomorrow begins the month of July and I am ready, ready for new challenges.  Not only does the new month bring the new daily photo challenge hosted by Fat Mum Slim and the challenge to follow through with the entire month, but it brings new life (babies), and new experiences.



Take a look today's subject is Self Portrait.  Hmm I thought about drawing a self portrait. Then I thought about taking yet another picture of myself.  But really I am not wanting to do that either. So here's what I came up with.

#photoadayjuly  Self Portrait

Not the most flattering picture of me.. but better this way.. Still trying to loose the baby weight. Working on the running entering back into my life as per a previous post as well as engaging in the P90X program. But really this picture captures quite a bit about who I am.  I am a working woman, hence the heels. I have been sleep deprived for quite some time, hence the coffee (probably my 5th cup today and it is 7:41 pm) and no it will not keep me awake. I love my flowers, my yard and home hence the flowers in the background (I am facing).  In my back pocket are paint brushes and kids working gloves. This depicts that I am crafty, roll my sleeves up around the house (love to paint my house that is) and have kids who also love to work outside.  What else.  I love my hat for a little bit of flava and I often love walking around without my shoes on, especially when I am at home. I think this picture speaks to who I am.

Help Me! Help Me!

I think it is time that I enlist my readers for support in keeping the momentum and keeping up on my daily photo challenge.  I have also been looking for other opportunities to get creative, and learn more about photography.  A local photographer (self trained but you'd never know it) has offered a basic course this July for a reasonable price on how to use your DSLR camera and capture photographs.  I have signed up.   Check out some of Whimsy Hollow's work.  Here is a photograph of my son's preschool teacher's daughter.  Know the story?

 You should check out her work on Whimsy Hollow Photography facebook page or on Whimsy Hollow's website and you can also find her work on her blog.  So I am excited.  Please support me through the month of July by making comments on my blog itself, encouraging me through my facebook page Sweet Williams Family and check in with me daily to see how my photographs change and grow throughout this month. 

If you want you can ask me about my excercise, party planning (which I am mentally researching my next party plan) and anything else that you would like.  I may or may not answer but know that you and your comments or posts to this particular blog will keep me going and involved and up for the challenge.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hiccups in the Road.

Keeping on Track

Each month I have been trying to focus on my photography by engaging in daily or weekly challenges. This past week it got incredibly crazy and I have been off track for the entire week.  It is frustrating to me although I will say that being a working mother of two and wife to my wonderful husband has taken precedence.  There are times that this happens.  This past week I have been trying to begin transitioning my job to next school years job. I have been assigned as the Middle School Principal and Special Services Director (which is my current position this year).  I did not have enough time to complete my work between transitioning my work and thought process, working two days and then attending a conference for two with my husband and kids and ending the week with my husbands shoulder surgery, let alone have some ME time.  (I am taking that now)  I carried my camera and I guess that was the positive or silver lining of the week. I rarely snapped pictures except for a few and did not submit them via Instagram, Flickr, or Facebook.  So I am going to do my best to catch up and share some of those shots.



Here is where I left off with Fat Mum Slim's daily photochallenge (#photoadayjune) all taken with Instagram on my Android phone.

Day 13 Art

My Son's Painting with a Straw!

Day 14 Time

Sand through the hour glass..... Timers we use for brushing teeth in our house!

Day 15 Yellow

Pretty Sunflowers!

Day 16 Out and About

Driving past the Elementary school in Mt. Angel, Oregon

Day 17 In Your Bag
My KABOO bag is filled with files, deodorant and my iPAD!

Day 18 Something We Don't Know About You


Day 19 Imperfect

Broken Tail

Day 20 Fave Photo You've Ever Taken

(NOTE:  This is my favorite photo via Instagram on my phone.  I have others with my Nikon D90)

My Boys!
Day 21 Where You Slept

My Bed!
Day 22 From High Angle

Stood on a table to get this shot!
Day 23 Movement

Portland, Oregon's Double Decker.. Really?

This brings me up to speed on the Photo A Day Challenge for June.  I am going to be more diligent about this and continue on with my daily photos via phone (droid) and Instagram.  With Shutter Sisters photos I can't catch up so I will need to pick up where I left off.  This will be the last week for that particular challenge.  I will be carrying my Nikon around to capture those and upload those to Shutter Sisters through my Flickr account.  Check it out One Word Project photos are tagged #sscolormonth!

Until then.  Thus is the life of a mom!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Goodbye First Year of Preschool~

A Year of Firsts

I remember blogging about the first day of school not so long ago. Wow where did the time go? From the beginning I knew great things would happen for my son. He would soon be experiencing new friends, new curriculum, teachers, having substitutes and learning tons.  I was hopeful that some of the issues we were having with his shyness would dissipate with attending five full days of school and that we would see maturation.  I  remember the first day, when my husband and I got the kids ready, took pictures, and walked together to school a few short blocks away from our home. I remember how proud, anxious and happy we were as parents for what might be in store for him.  I remember how teary eyed both my husband and I were as we left the classroom and how we wondered what his first day was like.  Was he happy, enjoying time there, was he sitting in a corner away from others or was he making friends?  Did he like his lunch that we packed for him?  Did he follow directions?  So many questions, thoughts and feelings we felt that day and now as I am preparing for his final day of preschool I have a crazy amount of new feelings and questions.

What will next year be like?  Only a few of the friends that he has made are remaining in his class next year (one more year before entering Kindergarten).  Many of his closest friends are moving on. He will still get to see them occasionally in the hallway or at all school functions or play dates as we would set those up but it would not be the same.  We have been prepping him for that change. But he so wants to be a Kindergartner next year with them.  Then again maybe, next year will be better than this year.  Maybe having one year under his belt he will not begin with such a shy exterior. He will know his teacher already, and has a great relationship with her, he knows her routine, he knows the classroom and location and he knows her expectations.  He knows some letters already and is recognizing words, he is reading stories and proud to share his knew knowledge. I can only hope that this will be the case.


This year has proven to be a year of new things for our first born.  He has moved from one home to another. He has stopped day care and began formal schooling. He welcomed into our family a new brother and has demonstrated love and affection for him.   He has learned new routines, new names and faces of friends, and has learned so much about God, Catholic Faith, and speaks of it routinely.  He has even grown physically out of his 3T size clothing and into 4T, he has gained weight and height. He has overcome some of his shyness as well. It only took him three quarters of a year to say hello to his Principal.  Now he does this routinely.  He writes his first name, knows his address, family members, recognizes words, follows routines and directions, expresses empathy and much much more. His drawings went from simple scribbles to more recognizable animals and people. Even in activities outside of school, our son has improved and developed. During swim lessons he is ready to move on to the next level. He is no longer shy with his teachers there and is not afraid of trying. He surprises us with what he says from time to time. He is putting it all together and then some. 

The Eve of the Last Day

Tonight marks the evening prior to the last full day of preschool 2012.  To mark this occasion I have collected all of my son's preschool work and am placing it all over the house to show him all the things that he has accomplished and to help him celebrate by honoring his work.   His many water color paintings, his drawings, the special book related projects, his handwriting, and journals as well as the many special projects he has made for his father and I are being proudly displayed for all to view in the morning.

Wow, I am flabbergasted by all of the work he has done! I am impressed with what he has learned! I am proud of him and love him so much.  I am also spending some time to share with him in a letter that he will read later on in life what this year has meant for me as a mother, what I am most proud of him for, and to continue to encourage him to do and be anything he wants to be.  (I hope I get some sleep!)

Morning Will Come

It is true that morning will inevitably arrive and we will complete our morning routine, getting up, laying on the couch watching Baby Einsteins or WildKratts, eating something for breakfast, getting dressed and oh yeah this morning we will add in our photo opt.  Just like the first day of school we took a picture we will be taking a picture of the last day of school. It will be interesting to see the amount of physical maturity that can be seen with these two photographs.  I will relish in the last moments of taking him to school in the morning and watching him walk down the hallway by himself (he often does this now, he really doesn't want his mother walking him to class he is a big boy) and seeing him for the last time this year enter the classroom and complete his morning routine there.  Every morning I drop him off he gives me a big  hug and kiss! I will look forward to this as those are the moments I cherish. 

I know he is excited as am I in some ways.  I am happy that he is growing up, using his manners with others, becoming knowledgeable and loving life. Here's to the end of your first preschool year! It has been a wild ride and we love you!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Vibrant Yellows

I love the color yellow, it is bright, full of light and often makes me happy! The color yellow is clean, can be crisp and inviting. There are softer yellows, darker deep yellows and shades in between. Well yellow is also today's color for the one word a day challenge put on by Shutter Sisters. I have been participating in this challenge using both my Nikon D90 camera and variety of lenses as well as my Android camera on my phone with Instagram.  

Here is the first shot of color posted to my Instagram.  I love calla Lilly's!  These happened to be at the local Safeway (for sale) as I picked up a morning cup of joe! Even better below are some yellow sunflowers I stumbled upon at a local farmers market. 

Not Just Flowers

Funny how yellow has been depicted by taking pictures of flowers. I seem to have that theme throughout this particular one word a day challenge with Shutter Sisters. I am on the lookout for more yellow things, items, places, anything other than flowers.  This is what I found.

A local fire department has a yellow ladder truck. Today it was spiffed up and looking super shiny. Too bad it is supposed to rain again soon.  Here is my son's yellow shirt!  He is posing on a local covered bridge at a nearby park. So glad he didn't fall in!

Oh yeah and we once bred our yellow female lab with another yellow male lab and had many yellow labs around.  Aren't they adorable. She was a great mother for sure. Still hangs out with some of her pups but they are a few years old now. 

So that is what I came up with for #sscolormonth YELLOW as today's theme! Just in case you were not aware the first two photos were taken with my Android phone and posted to Instagram the last several photos were taken with my Nikon D90 and stock lens. Let me know what you think about the color yellow and of course my photos, leave a comment on my blog.