Friday, March 15, 2013

Turpentine Creek

Last Saturday felt like our first day of Spring. It was a gorgeous day and we knew we had to spend it outside somehow. So, we decided to spend the day in Eureka Springs with the Greenwoods. First stop was Turpentine Creek, one of the largest big cat rescue facilities in the country...and just 40 minutes away. We had never been before and decided it was a perfect day to check it out! I'm so glad we did! 

Before we got there, Lyla asked if they were going to have a playground and I told her I wasn't sure. This was literally the only tiny little slide they had and when Lyla saw it, she genuinely got so excited and said, "Mommy, they DO have a playground!!" :) 

This cat was so intrigued by Lowen's stroller...he was pacing back and forth following it intensely (and I'm assuming he probably wanted a taste of her yummy thigh)

sweetest little sleepy face :)
Right before feeding time, all the animals were pacing around growling. Intense.

It's blurry, but check out that growl! They are protective over their food.

Josiah having a stare-down with the lion. He's not scared.

After the cat farm, we went into town and walked around the shops, had a coffee break, and got some saltwater taffy and fudge. :) I love that little town. And even more, I love our creative God who so brilliantly created such gorgeous animals. It was really cool to be that close to them and see the powerful presence that they have mixed with such tenderness that you almost want to snuggle up next to them. Thank you, Lord, for your creatures and for a beautiful Saturday! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Lowen is ONE!!

We could not have had more fun weekend celebrating our sweet Lowen! Her actual first birthday fell on a Saturday, so it worked out perfectly to have a little party for her on her big day. My precious family came in town for the celebration which made it so special! (Aside from preggo Aunt Ali who's just a month away from having a new baby girl so she was understandably not there, although we missed the Deal family! And Pop and Pappy!) The Eoffs and Marshalls arrived Friday night, so we all met up for some Rick's Donuts Saturday morning to start the birthday out right! Then, Whitney, Julia and I ran about a million errands to pick up all the food and last minute things for the party. We had SUCH a great time talking and catching up...truly a highlight of the weekend, just getting to spend quality time with them. We picked up some Penguin Ed's and Cookie, Papo, and Jan Jan all arrived in town around lunch time. While kiddos napped, we picked up the house, got all set up, and were ready to party by 3:00...
 The inspiration for the party was this Lowen banner that I already had from the baby shower Katie Henry threw me when I was pregnant. I figured it was too cute not to use again! She also had the paper garland on the piano, and throughout the party to go with it, so most of my decorations were already made thanks to Katie! :)
 I also already had these Lowen letters in the playroom for their shelves, thanks to Lacey Harris. :)
 And this is the door that hangs above her crib that Aunt Ali painted her monogram on! It all just came together nicely using things I already had. I printed off her monthly pictures and put them around the monogram. So fun to see her grow! 
 I was actually pretty proud of myself for making these cupcake toppers...this is way crafty for me. I even bought my first hot glue gun for the project!

 officially walking everywhere!
 SO thankful for this playroom that the kids could escape to, destroy, and it cleans up in about 10 seconds.
 Opening gifts! The awkward part about a one year old's party is that I ended up opening all the gifts...but Lowen (and Lyla) LOVE everything she got! Such fun new toys, great new books, and some new clothes to wear! We are so blessed, it's ridiculous.

 The birthday girl checking out all her new goodies!!
 The adorable dress that Kelly sewed her!!!!
And the party favors...chocolate covered pretzels that Lyla and I had a blast making. :)

And, finally, her last monthly picture!! I seriously can't tell you how obsessed I am with this sweet girl. She is just the best!! She has the sweetest, most content temperament. She loves to giggle, dances on command or anytime she hears music, loves books, puzzles, cheerios, honestly any food she's tried so far. She loves exploring, climbing up the stairs, giving hugs, waving, saying "hi". She thinks it's so funny to drop something and say "uh oh". She also says "Mama" and "Dada". She only has 2 bottom teeth, but I'm sure some more are coming soon! We can't wait to watch her continue to grow and learn new things every day! Happy first birthday, Lowen!! Our lives are richly blessed by you!