Tag Archives | fifi

it doesn’t get any better than this {BLAKE scott’s arrival}

The story of Blake’s arrival…

We have been in baby heaven around here for the past few weeks! My life feels full and beautiful and I just keep thinking “It doesn’t get any better than this?”  We went into the hospital with a few names still on the table, excited hearts and we came home with a sweet baby boy! Blake’s birth was miraculous in many ways. I was so ready to meet him. I was so over being pregnant and miserable. When the doctor wanted to induce on Wednesday {just a few days before my due date} I was thrilled. The induction began in the afternoon and he arrived just after 1 AM. Aaron got to aid in pulling little Blake into the world and aunt Fifi got some great shots of the delivery {because he was face up she laughs about seeing his little eyes and big ol’ lips first as she was taking pictures}. His delivery was wild. At one point they were considering a c-section because his heart rate was showing distress. I had to stay very calm and just trust that the Lord would take care of him. There were a few points during the process where the nurses and doctors looked very nervous…but God gave me a peace that everything would be okay. I went from 7 CM dilated to active pushing in about 10 or 20 minutes. I was begging the nurses to let me push {in my head I was wondering why it hurt so badly and every time I pushed my epidural button it did not seem to work}. When they finally let me push it took less than a dozen pushes {I felt stronger and more efficient with each push}. He came out facing up…this was incredible painful. Later that night we discovered that the reason I was not getting relief from my epidural is that it had accidentally been shut off for a few hours. We think that when they were prepping me for the potential c-section someone capped off the epidural line…and forgot to reconnect it. Bummer for me…I felt most of the pain of the labor…but I’m glad I had that experience because I never would have had to guts to try to do it naturally on my own. The other crazy part is that when he finally came all the way out they discovered a knot in his umbilical cord that could have caused him major distress and can even lead to infant fatalities (that is why his heart rate was dipping throughout the night). We had great nurses and midwives and I got a single recovery room (hallelujah)! The kids were adorable meeting their brother and wore their “big sister”/”big brother” badges very proudly. I’m so thankful for their joy and love of Blake. All in all it was a great experience {despite the very crazy night of events} and our hearts are full of gratitude for a healthy boy!

Aaron captured our experience through these amazing pictures.

He has such a great eye for photography and I truly love all of the way he captured the hours before and after Blake made us a family of 5 {that’s why there are so many posted here}.  Enjoy!

BLAKE_0007BLAKE induction sepia 100010570103_705870429479348_1234747119_nBLAKE_0027sepiaBLAKE_0017freshBLAKE_0044 BLAKE_0033 BLAKE_0037BLAKE_00321000

BLAKE_0038 BLAKE_00491000BLAKE_0040sepia  BLAKE_00421000 BLAKE_00411000

BLAKE_0050BLAKE_0052 secure


BLAKE_0057kidsBLAKE_0069sepia BLAKE_0084sepia BLAKE_0090loveBLAKE_0082  BLAKE overhead 1000BLAKE_0063BLAKE new toys 1000




BLAKE_0086sepiaBLAKE_0059BLAKE_0110 fifi

BLAKE_0103sepiaBLAKE_0111 BLAKE_0117 BLAKE_0112


BLAKE_0139 BLAKE_0134BLAKE_0137sepia



it’s a small world {after all}

Paigey’s 6th Birthday Party

small words

It was awesome.

Last weekend we hosted a “little” party for our Paigey’s birthday. She loves people, parties, Disneyland, costumes, the “it’s a small world” ride, cupcakes and lots of color…so with that in mind I was able to come up with a really fun shindig for our girl. The theme lent itself well to lots of playful color, Disney elements, world geography {which I love} and making a trip around the world in a whimsical way! It was a costume party and most of the kids dressed up {including Paige who was Merida for the evening}.

We had only 60+ people {around 30 kids} to feed & entertain…so it was a fun and creative challenge to put it all together. I decided to move it to our church so we would have enough room to let the kids run around. Here are some pictures of the party that my sweet friend Chrissie took for me. She captured the feel of it so well! So thankful! I will share more details soon.

Hope it inspires you to celebrate someone you love or take a trip to Disneyland!

::the decor::



We set up six round tables and used lots of fun details as centerpieces. Pictures from Paige’s photo shoot with Jessica, succulents, trays with the names of each continent, and pages from a little “it’s a small world” book that I had in my stash. I collected things for months in preparation. The finger puppets were from Oriental Trading Company, the doilies were from Smart & Final {I just used a stamp for the wording} and I glittered the tea-light holders myself {and forgot to turn on the tea-lights for the party}!

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::the coloring table::

I found these fun printable coloring sheets on Spoonful…a great Disney craft resource.




::the favors & goody bags::

I will talk more about the goodie bags another time. There were very fun to put together and Paige LOVED making them special and helping me put them together. I decided that since grown-ups never get goody bags it would be fun to make a favor for them. I made luggage tags that each “grown-up” lady {one per family} could take home. Each person got to choose the ribbon/string that they wanted to attach to it and bring it home for a suitcase, diaper bag, laptop bag…backpack…whatever they needed it for. More on how I made these another time.

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::the dessert table::

My goal was to have desserts from around the world and a beautiful cake. I found most of the desserts at World Market {swedish fish, hawaiian chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, green tea mochi, scottish shortbread} and my sister had the idea of setting them out in their packaging so that people could see where they were from. I added little trinkets that we had from around the world too.

Thanks to the help of my dear friend Stephanie I got a beautiful & delicious cake {along with tons of yummy cupcakes}. She is a pastry chef and totally made my vision for the cake a reality! I wanted a blue cake that looked like water so that I could float a picture of the little small world boat full of kids on top. I took a pictures {with my iphone} of the sign that is outside of the ride and just cut it out, added a doily and attached it to a stick. I also made a special candle {more on that another time}. It turned out so cute…don’t you think?


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::the food::

I made the food as simple as possible.We had several families with food allergies coming and I am trying to eat gluten-free these days. So I tried to find some foods that Paigey loved {sandwiches, pickles, veggies, strawberries} and that were okay to eat for most people. My mom helped me prep and chop for a few hours and my friend Stephanie helped me wash up all the dishes after the party.

Sandwich stuff with lots of fixin’s’ and different breads

{ham, salami, turkey, mustard, ranch, mayo, pesto, roasted red peppers, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese}

Veggies and Dip and Hummas

Chips and Pirates & Veggie Booty

Strawberry Salad

Water and Lemon/Orange San Pellegrino Sodas

All in all people seemed to eat most of the food…so it must have been okay!

Merida the little hostess and game warden!

merida the hostess

::the games::

I came up with a fun way for the kids to each get a passport and take a trip around the world with the games. It was a challenge because we were hosting 30 kids from ages 1 to 10. I recruited some dads and a few moms to help and we took over the multipurpose room at church {thanks goodness we had such a huge room to run around in}. I will post more on the games another day but here are a few pictures of the fun. Most of the kids participated {I actually bribed them by saying that they had to get a stamp in their passports…from all seven stations…in order to get their goody bags} so I call that a win/win! I also created a “fill-in-the-blank” trivia game for the adults that had questions about geography, the  “it’s a small world” ride at Disneyland and Paige. Papa was the winner of that one!

IMG_4069 IMG_4064 IMG_4054 IMG_4045 IMG_4079 IMG_4077::the costumes::

kids around the world merida and friendsThe best costume may have been Aunt Fifi as Snow White {Laura was a close second and the kids all looked awesome}!



JUNE’s {10 on 9}

That’s right, this month I decided to do 10 pictures on the 9th because I had already planned to feature a week of Travel Tips starting today {in a few hours actually}.We woke up to a sick little guy after just getting through Paige’s illness. She got sick on a trip we took to Texas & Oklahoma that we have not even finished unpacking from. She was pretty down and out for 5 days. Unfortunately Grant must have picked it up and that meant a sad boy, no church and no enjoying the company of friends {as planned} today. Thankfully Aunt Fifi was able to come by, bring toys for the kids {like dinosaur eggs that hatch in water} and keep us company. My sweet Paigey girl was in a particularly happy and creative mood…very content to create and do her own thing. To make it even brighter Grammy brought me dinner since I was home bound with Aaron away at work. It was actually a nice day despite vomit & other details I won’t share. Oh and good ol’ Pedialyte was a lovely companion as well! Hope your day was swell!

barf bowl for buzz lightyear/messy house, messy hair, happy girl/this gift wrap brought to you by paigey/lemon love/fridge art/home-made popsicle heaven/aunt fifi showing off more of paige’s creativity/mango lemonade arnold palmer/growing dinosaur eggs/supper for a sicky boy {that all came up 20 minutes later}

As I am looking back over these pictures and their descriptions I realize that it could appear to be a bummer of a day…but it wasn’t. I hope the beauty I found in it can be seen through these images. I think there are blessings that come with the kids being sick. That might sound like a strange statement, and of course I hate to see them suffer, but if I look hard enough it is true.
There are blessings in the fact that:
They need me.
They are learning to trust me.
They want to cuddle and slow down.
The reality is that I know they will suffer in this life as they grow older. I wish I could keep them from pain but I cannot. For now…while they are still little…I can at least help them through it. I can pray over them and take care of them. I can slow down and forget the mess and cuddle. This sacrifice of tending to their every need, around the clock, always helps me to re-shift my thinking towards what really matters in life. Admittedly, I don’t always handle it well as I would like…but I’m getting there. Ultimately my main life goals are to love God, love others and take care of my family…even when I have a messy house or just want to go back to bed. So I feel blessed to have been able to do that today by taking care of my boy {and I’m praying he is on the mend soon}.

ten on ten button

On a totally different note be sure to check out my blog this week for tons of travel tips! There will be something for everyone and lots of Disneyland info! Happy Trails!

The Blog Days of Summer {Fifi’s Unbirthday & SoCal or BUST}

Mid-July we started out on a bunch of small trips all over California!
It was {a month of traveling Panfi’s}!
First stop was a trip north to hang with friends and celebrate my sister’s “unbirthday” as we called it.  She was not up for having a birthday celebration this year but some of her friends convinced her that she should…so we did! It was crazy, fun, full of kids and HOTTER THAN A HOO DOG (as we like to say in our family)! My impression is that she loved every minute of it (despite my lack of coping skills in the heat) and that made me so happy! We made lots of yummy food and her favorite Ice Cream Pudding Dessert and just chilled out for a few days! Lovely!
Then we were off to Southern California to visit our BFF’s (not sure why I like using the term BFF’s, but I do). We only got a few days together but it was worth it. During our trip Mishawn had this AMAZING idea to hire two babysitters to watch our 8 kids (you heard me-there are now 8 kids among us) so that we could go out together as grown-ups. The six of us have not gone out alone since we were pre-kids and all living in Washington, so it was time!
  We ate dinner at a tasty restaurant called The Bottle Room in uptown Whittier. This is a great place to order lots of food and share (especially if you can make it for the Happy Hour menu) and that is exactly what we did. Then as if we had not stuffed ourselves enough with their delicious small bite varieties of comfort food we decided to indulge ourselves for dessert at Crepes & Grapes Cafe just up the street! They had a wonderful variety of dessert crepes that we all thoroughly enjoyed! The babysitters survived the endeavor and I’m pretty sure fun was had by all!
The next day we managed to get in a beach trip at a really cool spot in Laguna Beach called Heisler Park (just south of Crystal Cove State Beach). Even though it had a steep hill down to the water the amazing view from the top made it worth every step! There was a great bathroom, showers near the water to get sand off and a nice lawn & picnic area that overlooked the ocean.  Check it out sometime if you can!
I ADORE everything about the beach with one exception: BIRDS. Oh how I hate birds! Seagulls have got to be one of the worst…and here is another perfect example of why. We were all playing near the water when I looked back and saw a seagull walk over to our stuff and grab a whole unopened snack size Dorito bag in his beak and take off. I tried to scare it off (hoping it would drop the bag) but to no avail. I created a bit of a commotion in the process as the bird just flew off onto the water and floated there for at least 2 minutes attempting to peck the bag open. When she discovered what was going on poor Aleah got so upset about it that she just kept crying and crying and looking out into the ocean for the chip bag. The dumb bird eventually gave up and decided to go harass someone else. Thankfully Jeff was able to rescue the bag (unopened or harmed) from the water and in Aleah’s sweet two year old mind all was right with the world again. Once her daddy rescued that bag the tears eventually stopped flowing but she may have joined me in the “Bird Haters Club” that day.

The kids played so well together (as they usually do) and then just like that, it seemed, we were off to our next adventure!
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