Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Week

I'm getting married in five days, and I love you all I really do but... just no time this week for anymore excitement.

Did I mention the Cardinals won the WORLD SERIES? Now my man gets two rings. 

That's all for now and maybe until I return from MEXICO!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Recipe: No Bake Dirt Cake

It's that time of year and I'm sure you are looking for something spooky to whip up that is still edible. This is especially fun if you have to take something to work OR for your kids around Halloween.

Dirt Cake:


1 to 1 1/4 lb. pkg Oreo Cookies
1 (8oz) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanillla
3 cups milk
1 (12oz) tub Cool Whip (Chocolate will make it darker)
2 (3 1/2oz) pkg chocolate pudding
Gummy worms

Mix it:

Crush Oreos. Put 1/3 of crushed Oreos into new clean flower pot. Set aside.

Mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine milk and pudding mix. 

Fold Cool Whip into the pudding.Next fold together the pudding mixture and butter-cream cheese mixture.

Layer this mixture onto the crushed Oreos. Layer more crushed Oreos and pudding mixture until all ingredients are used. As you're layering the ingredients place gummy worms or other gummy critters throughout the 'dirt.'

Chill in refrigerator for three to four hours before serving.

I used this cake for Big Guy's birthday. I put dump trucks on top because thats about all he thinks is cool these days. 

It would also be cute to put flower shaped lollipops for a little girls party OR just make it creepy for Halloween. You don't have to have a flower pot you can use a pie plate or cake pan or any other fun dish you have around the house. 

Go check out some other 'Whats for Dinner' recipes here and link up your own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Excited, Not Excited

Hello dear friends! As always I hope your having a wonderful day. Tonight I have a headache. I think that this is a stress headache because my mind is bouncing around inside my head with so much emotion. 

My world is about to be flipped upside down, in a great way, and I am very excited! On the other hand this sudden change is coming full speed right at me. I haven't fallen asleep before around 3:30 am the last three evenings. My days have been filled with organizing, laundry, and wedding details. I pretty much feel like I can't do anything without feeling this huge knot in my stomach about what isn't finished yet or what has to be done next. I'm ready to move on.

I'm not excited for my wedding day/weekend to fly by like I know it will. This I know I will want to pause all day. 

I'm excited to move in with my best friend and to see how he has remodeled the kitchen in less than two weeks. He is SO good to me!

I'm not excited to pack up ALL my clothes, pack for my wedding weekend, and honeymoon that aren't for another week. I'm a bad packer as it is, so do it in advance and then have all my stuff be in another state is kinda nerve wrecking. 

I'm excited to be in the newlywed stage of life, only ten more days.

I'm not excited to lay down my craft starting Thursday until November 15 but hopefully will come back more motivated and inspired than ever.

But mostly I'm excited to see my handsome man in three days. I had forgotten what its like to not see him for three weeks and I can't stand it. I also know that a hug from him will make any and all anxiety and stress go right out the window. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bug's 2nd Birthday

Bug and Big Guy, these are the names I have used for you since the day I started watching you. The first day I layed eyes on you, you were only three weeks old.  We really started to get to know each other when you were about five months old. You were tiny. I hadn't had much experience with babies being that I was only 23 and had just graduatd college. I can't say for sure when I fell in love with you but I'm sure it was a quick fall.  It might have been because you were such a stud in your little Cardinal jumpsuit. 

My life changed when I started watching you. I had NO clue what it took to take care of a baby. I didn't know how to fix a bottle or make baby cereal or determine that different cries meant different things. I learned quickly though and you were very patient with me. You must have known that I had never done this before. 

Then things began to get a little tricky. You decided you wanted to sit up and roll over and you even tried to crawl. Lucky for me all you could do was a very impressive push up for a six month old. That didn't last long though and you were on the move. I do remember that I could almost always trick you to sleep with a ride in your swing. I know you think that is mean, but this isn't the first nor last time I would have to trick you to get you to take a nap for me. 

I can't remember which mornings your sister had preschool but I remember what you and I did while she was gone. You would try to help me do some laundry but just ended up emptying the basket all over the living room for me. I do appreciate you trying to help. Then after that we would put in a Baby Einstein movie, my favorite was Baby Mozart I think that was your s too, fix you a bottle and slip off into a deep sleep.  Our little secret. Don't tell your mom and dad that I would actually nap with you. Most days I didn't but your warm little body cuddled in my arms was priceless and somedays put me right to sleep. 

Then you throw me a curve ball as soon as I get the hang of it. One day, we were following our routine and you projectile vommited all over me. I'll never forget that day and the lesson you taught me. You are probably laughing now but I was more scared than disgusted. I was giving you a bottle and I think at the time you had some congestion with bad drainage (also nothing new you teething, snotty little boy) you gagged and almost everything you just guzzled down came directly out and there was a force behind it. You may have set a distance record as well. Your dad and sister had just went to lay down and take a nap and I had no clue what to do with you. It was on my running shorts, in your rocker, all over you, on the carpet, and it made it all the way over to the couch. Just remember if you ever puke on a girl if you get drunk, which I know you won't ever, tell her she isn't the first girl you puked on. 

I guess by now you were pulling up on everything but not daring enough to take walk. This is a huge shock because there isn't anything you won't try and get into now. You were starting to eat baby food instead of bottles and cereal. Before I knew it. You were already ONE year old. Something strange happened when you turned one though. I had to move away to Alabama to be with the other love of my life. I dreaded the weeks leading up to my departure trying to capture as many pictures and moments with you and to teach you anything I could before I left. Your walking was getting pretty good and you started to look like a little boy instead of a baby in your clothes. 

It was a busy weekend. Sister's 4th birthday party was Saturday and you got baptized Sunday morning with a birthday celebration for you to follow. I was there for all of it and I cried because you will realize soon that girls cry, a lot, over very little things. I made you and sister a slideshow of all our adventures from the previous year. I cried while we watched it and you just looked up at me with those handsome eyes of yours. As I pulled away from your house, you, your sister, Mom and Dad were all waving goodbye to me. It was what I thought the last day I'd be considered your baby sitter.

I recieved phone calls from your mom and sister and when I came to town I would stop by and see you. I stole as many kisses from you as I could. I still do that now. 

Then,  I got a job in Alabama and about ten days before I was supposed to start your mom called me and asked me if I wanted to move back to watch you and your sister again. I thought she was joking. I told her the odds weren't very good of that happening. Much to my suprise I called back and committed to being your babysitter for a second time. I thank God for his crazy timing.

It didn't take me long to fall back into our routine however you were a bit different this time. You were running around the house and showing me what you wanted. Before I had to figure all of this out on my own.  There was no more rocker to rock you to sleep in. Now we put a movie in and you fell asleep next to me in the big chair. You were eating people food, not the stuff we told you was delicious from a jar. I think you even knew how to dance a little but not anything like you do now.

Summer rolled around and I've never met a kid that loves being outside more than you. No I'm serious you didn't care if it was cold, hot hot, or rainy. You had to be outside. At the same time your baby jabber started turning into more than just sounds, but words. We went to the pool and you were brave enough to jump in off the diving board. This was another day you scared me pretty bad. You went in one step to many and I looked over not seeing you, dropped anything in my hands and ran to pull you out of the water. It took me a good five minutes to quit shaking. It was just reassurance of how much I love you and care for you and couldn't let anything happen to you.

Now we are up to speed and today you are quite the handful. Your naps are triggered by rides in the car dropping sister off at preschool. When we get back to the house its the same thing each day, I kiss your crazy curly hair and lay you in your bed and stare at you for a few seconds. I say the simplest prayer of 'God please watch over this little guy and let him grow up to be someone amazing.'  Then I think back to what feels like yesterday of how you used to share your naptime with me. 

Your single words have turned into phrases. You tell me what you want to eat for lunch, watch on tv, and do the rest of the day.  And if we don't do that, you throw one of your lovely little fits. I can't help but think its cute because the things you want are often so simple. A ride in the dump truck. A piece of cheese. To go swing. To color.   Mostly you want to go outside to see a truck of ANY kind. You are starting to figure out how big the world is. I have a feeling you will grow up to be some sort of an athlete but that might be because we forced you to watch so much baseball the last four to five months. 

It brings the biggest smile to my face when I hear you say my name.. something like Wahwin, especially "Pweese Wahwin?"  I'll take it. Then to top it off you often mistake your Albert Pujols toy figurine for Brandon. When you get older this too will make you laugh.

All in all you are by far my most favorite little boy in this entire world. I know that my second term of being your babysitter has ended but I'm hoping next year we will get to spend more time together and I can see what your crazy little two year old self is getting into. I am excited to recieve pictures, texts, and phone calls to hear your sweet little voice. Hope you had a great second birthday even though you try to tell us you're four. 

Love always,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Now on Etsy - laurendarlings

I did it. On top of all the other wonderful busyness, I couldn't help but create more for myself. I opened a new etsy shop today.

It is a trial run. I only have a limited number of items ready for sale. I'm hoping though that orders will stem and this will be my job as I arrive in Alabama, husband in hand. He can even help me with my little shop, if he wants of course. 

Anyway I'm pretty excited its been a fun week getting these darlings ready and also cooking up some goods. Stay tuned for the apple butter post you won't want to miss it. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 36th

Did you know I'm getting married on October 36? Well I am. Try and stop me. 
Did I tell you why we chose this date? 

My reasoning to Brandon-

"When you get called up in September and the Cardinals make the playoffs, I'm don't want to have to call everyone to tell them we are moving the wedding because you're playing in the World Series." 

Half of my prediction was true. He did get called up in September. Now I'm waiting for the Cardinals to clinch tonight and head to the world series so the other half comes ture. I don't seem completely crazy for my reason of choosing an October 36th wedding day right?

These beautiful fall days are really making me appreciate that we will have a fall wedding. I used to picture it in the Spring.  Whoa whoa whoa... yes I thought about my wedding some but the time of year was about it. Then last week I found out the leaves are supposed to be at peak season in Tennessee the weekend of our wedding. Apparently they extended it from two weeks to three. Can't wait to see those gorgeous mountains. 

Happy October

Okay FINE. Its November 5th but I just really love the month of October. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Save the Date

How many brides do you know that e-mail a 'Save the Date'?

Well we did. It was sort of a small joke but also just a heads up for some fam and friends that we decided to make a switcheroo on the wedding location.

And guess what?  They were designed by my sister. Seriously why isn't that girl doing freelance work for weddings? Contact me if your needing some cause she is hot right now and taking orders.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

#Happy Blog

#Happy Blog -- in honor of the Cards trying to bring home a pennant with their #happyflight mantra! Anyways.....

Today I was driving. I always get inspired when I drive you know that. But today I did something crazy. Today I pulled off the road. I found a spot along the river,  pulled out the lap top and I wrote.

Did you know its fall. Hubba Hubba! A crisp breeze at 73 with the sun shining brightly. Can you say glorious? Not only is this putting me in an extremely good mood but in three weeks I am getting married! I feel like I'm about to burst at my seams with excitement over everything that is going on right now in my life. Can I get an amen?

It could be that... I spent the weekend in my college town bringing back memory after memory of the person I was. I didn't hate that person, but I throughougly enjoy looking back to see how much I've grown. Its funny to see how my day to day routine has progressed as well. 

It could be that... I'm about to embark on a completely new journey thus bringing even more change for the better. 

Is it... family. Being with my syblings this weekend seeing how we have all grown up. Spending time together without our parents is something I never though of as a kid. Now as we get to experience things together it brings us that much closer. 

Maybe its... my friends in my life that I rely on and know their hearts and could absolutely sit and talk for days. 

Well whatever it is, all of these things combined, I love it. I want to bottle these feelings and keep them forever. Its a bittersweet feeling I wont lie. I know that with the feelings of joy, hapiness, and love that are drowning my heart right now the next few weeks will bring their moments of sadness too. I'll be packing up and leaving the only 'home' I've know to start creating another 'home'. 

So I'm putting these feelings in writing so when those moments come, I remember exactly how happy I am. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bridal Shower

Three ish weeks ago  on the 17th, was my bridal shower. (Better late than never on this post.) It was at my house and my sister, bridesmaid Liz, and Mom threw the shindig.  In cased you didn't remember here were the invites. 
There was so much delicious food. Chicken salad sandwhiches, fruit cabobs, relish tray, seven layer dip, chocolate covered pretzels and cupcakes. Amazing cupcakes!

The events began Friday evening as one of my good friends came in early from out of town to spend some extra time with me. My bridesmaid Liz also came over. We hung out and helped get all the food and decorations finished. It was SO much fun. I really enjoyed spending the night with my mom and sister and some close friends. 

Here are some photos from the shower. 

We ate, I opened gifts, all of which we love, and then we played a game. This had to be my favorite part of the day! This and the cupcakes. 

My sister had emailed my soon to be hubby a list of questions. He answered them. Then at the shower I was asked the same questions. For each answer I got wrong I had to chew a piece of Double Bubble. Here are some of the questions.

Q. What is Brandon's favorite food?

A. Chocolate Syrup and Biscuits 

Q. What was Brandon's first job?

A. A baseball player

Q. What is Brandon's dream car?

A. The Avalanche he drives

Q. Boxers or briefs?

A. Boxers - oops TMI

Q. What is Brandon's favorite song?

A. Small Town Kid- Eli Young Band

Q. What famous person would Brandon like to meet?

A. Mila Kunis

Q. What is Brandon's favorite color?

A. Camo - don't argue with him. It is a color. 

You get the idea. I did pretty good if I do say so myself. I missed five 
questions totally, two I got on a second guess resulting in only half a piece of gum, and I got 13 correct.  This is the wad of gum I ended up chewing. 

The day went by so fast. I seriously had such a blast and I know all the guests enjoyed the food and company. Each on of our gifts will be used and I am so appreciative of all of them and for all my friends and family that could join me in celebrating. I haven't received copies of pictures yet with people, I promise people came, but as soon as I do, I'll try to get them up!

I almost forgot! I got the suprise of my life at the shower. Another very special boy in my life popped the question. Unfortunately, I had to tell him no. Boy, I sure am a lucky gal!

I'm Back

You know that feeling after a long vacation when you get home, change into your comfy clothes and relax on the couch with that feeling, 'I'm back.' That's what I'm feeling right now.

Hello my darling, patient friends. How have you been? I bet you have all been enjoying  this glorious fall weather. You have probably also been hooked to new television series that have premiered in the last month and watching lots of NFL, college football, hockey,  and playoff baseball. By the way the Cardinals won vs. the Phillies in Game 5 advancing them to the NLDS. I'm pretty excited for the team, other wives, and all the Cardinal fans.  Lets see you probably have also been enjoying lots of pumpkin flavored drinks and desserts. Well I am sure glad you have been enjoying yourselves while I have deprived you of my excellent writings. 

So with out further adue, I'm back! Well almost. I am pretty much done working except for a few days here and there.  The wedding is mostly planned. There are some minor things that I need to take care of but most of the hard work is done and a HUGE thanks to my sister for designing my invitations, you'll get to seem them soon.  Then I have to move and I'm not exactly sure the dates that will take place but it will be in the next 24 days.  I'll be taking a weekend trip to my alma mater for their 100th Homecoming this weekend and the rest of the time I will enjoy crafting, packing, catching up on sleep, adding finishing touches for the wedding, and POSTING. (I hope) I have LOTS to get written before I become a married woman.

Lots of love,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I'm Alive

Hi friends

Well the boys made it to the playoffs, well all of them except mine and a good friend of mines. We are pretty much biased and think that it was highly unfair to let go of only two guys, our two guys.  Its complicated to explain but according to restrictions they could only take so many fellows with them. None the less I am still cheering for the only baseball team I've ever cheered for and SO thankful Brandon got to spend the whole month of September with the team. Time to enjoy the offseason. 

I'm addicted to Pinterest. Just saying. Follow me larnlevy! And if you need an invite let me know, and here is a how-to guide

My wedding planning is coming along great. Picture a beautiful ceremony here only five weeks from today.

That's all I got. I'm alive and well.