2013 in Review

Another year.  Faster than the last.  Can that possibly keep happening?  I hope not.  Otherwise, I’m going to end up blinking and Mini Bunches will be graduating high school.

Now that everyone has hopefully received our Christmas cards (sorry for the delay, but it was Vistaprint’s fault), here it is for the interweb.

© 2013 Nickel City Studios

 

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The photo was courtesy of Nickel City Studios’ Alyssa.  She is AMAZING.  I think that an annual photo shoot with her will become a tradition for sure.

It’s hard to believe that 2013 led us to so many places . . . Seattle, Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Florida, the Adirondacks, and Boston.  Phew.  Will 2014 be the same?  Let’s hope so.

And just to do a quick look back, here’s what a year did to my baby . . . from January 2013 to January 2014.  Sigh.

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Wishing everyone a happy and health New Year’s!!

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Clowning Around for Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!!

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Mini B loves her clown costume (handmade by Aunt J).  She even gave us the “sad clown.”

 

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But only briefly.  The hat was a bit of a challenge for her to keep on, but she loved the rest of the ensemble.  Dressing up is totally her idea of a good time these days . . .

 

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I love that I have such a wonderful, talented Aunt who took time to not only make Mini B’s costume, but also a matching one for Mr. Squishy.

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If only they could be trick-or-treating together tonight, but maybe next year?  Either way, we love that they’ll be dressed the same even if they’ll be miles apart.

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She loved walking in it and crunching leaves.  She just kept going back and forth.

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I told her to go stand by the garage so I could take a picture.  She walked over and decided that she should sit down for the pictures.  Her mind is too funny.

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Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!!!!

 

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Someone can’t wait to get some candy . . .

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Peekaboo

Good morning.

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Where’s Mr. Squishy?
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Where is he?!

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Peekaboo.

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Mini Bunches: 1 Year

It’s three months overdue, but finally here it is: a celebration of Mini Bunches’ first birthday!!

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Don’t expect any Pinterest-worthy pictures here.  We didn’t go overboard for the party, nor was there any super cohesive theme.  The most cohesive thing would have to be the flag bunting.  Remember how I made her invitations?

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Well, I tried to carry the flag theme through as best I could.  I bought a bunch of vintage sheets and made some fabric bunting (I used this free tutorial).  I wanted something really girly for Mini B, and I think this fit the bill.  Plus, it’s something that she could possibly decorate her big girl room with some day.

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I made a bunch of different sizes, and put them up all over the house.

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Besides that, the decorations were minimal.  Some balloons strewn all over, and some new picture additions to the house.

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Those are all printed Instagrams (I used MPix to print them–great quality and they have an app, so you can upload files right from your phone), and I used a hot glue gun to stick them to the door (just a tip–be generous with the glue or else they’ll come down after a couple weeks).  I put them up in chronological order.  My plan is to completely cover the door.

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And then I did a little artwork on the chalkboard pantry doors, and put up all of Mini B’s monthly pictures.

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Now that we’ve covered the decorations/theme (or lack thereof), let’s get to what really matters about such occasions–the family and friends that really make it special.  Mini B lucked out on her first birthday–so many close family and friends made the trip to celebrate with her.  Just look who she got to wake up with . . .

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That’s right–it’s Mr. Squishy!!!  He came out for Mini B’s big day.    So not only did she get to wake up to that smiling face, but she also was rocking some awesome birthday hair.

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All of Mini B’s grandparents made the trip.  I don’t know what they liked more–playing with B or comparing who had the cutest pictures of B.

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She had a great time at her party, even though the weather didn’t exactly cooperate.  Our outdoor cookout turned into an indoor feast thanks to some drizzly rain.

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But we did sneak outside for a quick family photo shoot.

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Mini B loved that everyone sang Happy Birthday to her.  So much so that we ended up doing it twice.

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And then it was time for the moment we’d been waiting for–the SMASH cake!  I wanted to make her cake myself, so I used a low-sugar recipe for the cake (from here), and then just made regular cream cheese frosting (since she loves cream cheese).  I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t notice that ragged edge without icing–it’s in all the pictures.  Ugh.  When I made Mr. Squishy’s smash cake a few weeks ago, it came out much better.  Oh well.

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We had high hopes for what might happen when the entire thing was placed in front of her.

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That might have been her only taste.  After that she was more interested in feeding it to Mama and Dada.

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Things progressed pretty slowly.  I felt badly for our guests.  Can you tell which ones of these are family?  I’ll give you a hint . . . ahem-iPhones-ahem.

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We tried helping her along with a fork, but she just wasn’t digging how the icing felt on her hands (she was having a diva moment).

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In the end I think more ended up on her chair than on her.

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All in all, it was a great day.  Thank you to everyone who came, and thank you to all the friends and family who couldn’t make it but sent along lots of well-wishes.  B’s favorite part, besides the singing, was seeing so many new, fun people.  And also opening their gifts, haha.

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Happy Birthday Mini Bunches.  I love you.  Best year of my life.

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Graduation: 2013

This post is long overdue, but what else is new?  I have about 73 posts milling about in my head, and about 1,316 pictures to go along with those, but let’s be realistic.  Probably ain’t gonna happen.  But, I have already edited these pictures, and since I’m feeling nostalgic for my own college days now that schools are back in session, I thought I’d get this one done and out there.

This past May my oldest little cousin graduated (I’ve got a bunch of cousins, all much younger than me, but this one’s the oldest of the crew, hence the “oldest little” bit).  I am so proud of her.  Hard to believe she’s gone from a little baby whose diapers I used to change to the accomplished woman that she is today.  But enough of me gushing and getting weepy.  Here are some pics . . .

No visit to UConn would be complete without a trip to the Dairy Bar.  Best. Ice. Cream. Ever.

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Although I’m not sure Mr. Squishy was sold on it . . .

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Time for a campus tour . . .

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Nerd alert: she’s an engineer!

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Deep thoughts in UConn’s halls of learning . . .

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And now for the main event . . .

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Someone thinks she’s big woman on campus . . .

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Way too cool for school.

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And then there was cake.  Yes.

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And since the graduation coincided with Mother’s Day, we thought it was a good time to add to my grandmother’s charm bracelet.  Two more charms for her great-grandchildren: Mini Bunches and Mr. Squishy!!

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It was a great trip to Connecticut filled with family, laughs, food, and good times.  And to my oldest little cousin: I’m so proud of you!!! Congratulations again.  Love you.  One more round of applause!

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And a final big toe up! from Mr. Squishy . . .

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Mr. Bunches Has a Birthday!

Wouldn’t it be funny if everything was titled like a children’s book?  I think so.

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Happy birthday (or as we like to say in our family, bursth-day) to the best dad, husband, friend, Donald-Duck-impersonator, Vacation Bunches, and companion there is.  We love you!

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House Crashing: MO Style

As promised last week, here’s a quick recap of our recent Florida house crash, MO style.  MO has been a frequent blog bomber here on Bunches of Joy (see more on MO here, here, and here), but this time we got to invade his space; his new digs by the beach to be more exact . . .

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In fairness, MO’s new digs are a rental and came with some of what you’re about to see (like the valance and letters above).  So not all of this is exactly MO’s taste.  Moving on . . . 

MO is the consummate host–he had lunch prepared for us upon arrival (granted, it was a true bachelor meal of turkey burgers with only McDonald’s ketchup packets as the available condiments, but I must say–it was delicious and much, much appreciated).

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He also did a great job entertaining Mini B . . . with kisses, hopping, and apple sauce.

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His entertainment for Mr. Squishy was somewhat, er, less appropriate . . .

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Oh well.  Luckily Aunt Doodles spared him :) . . .

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While MO was entertaining the kids, I had a chance to snoop poke around and get some shots of his little bachelor pad.

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It’s quite the beach-ready place.

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The best part was the upstairs deck, complete with a picnic table that MO built himself!  Color me impressed.

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The pictures don’t do that table justice–it’s HUGE.  Could easily fit 8 people.  Maybe on his next trip to Buffalo he can whittle us a new table?  Mini B would be much obliged.

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All in all, it was a short visit, but a great one.  Thanks again for all your hospitality MO!  Oh, and points to anyone who can guess what his home is built of?

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Any guesses?  Brick?  Wood?  Fairy Dust?

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Seashells!!!!  Ha.  Thanks again MO!  Next time we’re going to drop Mini B off for a long weekend . . . sound good?!  Chickie Chickie Yeah!!!!!

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