Throwback to My Prom(s)!

I mentioned yesterday that I'm attending MV's Prom this weekend.  This will be my fourth time chaperoning in my eight years at The Valley.  Last year, I had a newborn and as much as I wanted to be there to see the girls in their fancy dresses, I didn't think it was appropriate to take my breast pump to such a function. :) This year, not only am I chaperoning, but I'm taking "Party Pic" type photos!  I'm pretty excited!  Anyway, because it's Prom week at school, teachers were asked to bring in an old Prom photo of our own for a little "Guess Who" game.  The photos are displayed near the senior locker bank for students' and staff members' viewing pleasure! 

So of course, I couldn't dig through old boxes of memories without posting the throwback photos on here, too!  From left to right and top to bottom: freshman ('98), sophomore ('99), junior ('00), and senior ('01) years!  What do you think?  Am I recognizable??

In my search for old photos over the weekend, I also came upon my senior prom dress!  (It was folded in a bag because dresses with that heavy beading weren't supposed to be hung.)  So naturally, I wanted to try it on!  So I did!  And surprisingly, it still fit me!  And then, as I was prepping this blog post, I started wondering if the rest of my old prom dresses still fit, as well.  Because, if nothing else, it'd make for a fun blog post!  I dug them out of our guest bedroom closet, tried them on, and had a little fashion show--just me, my phone, and the mirror.  (Hubby is not home, remember?  I'm pretty sure he's going to think I'm crazy when he sees this post.)  Not only does each and every dress still fit me, but I almost think they look better on me now that I have some curves!  (To be fair, I'm down a bunch of weight right now.  Give me back the 10+ pounds I've dropped in recent months and I'm certain they wouldn't fit!)  And since I was trying on old dresses, of course I decided to add my wedding dress to the mix.  What a fun night this was!  Check it out! :)



What's Up Wednesday!

Hi friends! Today, I'm joining the fun in a new link-up, hosted by a few of my favorite bloggers!  It's called What's Up Wednesday, and basically, it's just a bunch of random babble.  Here goes!


Sunday: Steak & Hummus Pitas 
(These are delicious.  See image below!  I should really blog the recipe!)

Monday: Homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken
(This had the potential of being delicious, but for some reason, it had a charred flavor.  I think my wok was in need of a deep cleaning...)

Tuesday: BLTs
(Quick and easy before our Tuesday night activities - MOPS for me and basketball for Craig.)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Italian Enchiladas 
(One of my final Wildtree meals remaining from the Wildtree party I attended in January.)

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: To Be Decided...

Steak & hummus pita prep.  Looks good, right??

When Holden was a smiley, giggly, happy go-lucky boy.  He's been a complete stranger since his shots last Wednesday and I'm so over it!  Craig even took him to our walk-in clinic yesterday fearing a bad reaction to the vaccines, or an ear infection, or something, but nope, nothing!  He's needy, he's cranky, he's squirmy, he isn't eating/drinking much, he wants held and then wants down.  It's all beyond frustrating considering he's normally a very laid back baby.  I want my sweet baby back!

The weather!!  We had quite a few dreary, rainy days there, but these last couple have been sunny and 75!  Perfect!  And the forecast doesn't look too shabby either...

The usual.  Work, daycare, Friday night soccer.  Relaxing and returning to a normal life again after planning/prepping/celebrating Holden's first birthday weekend.

The next 36 hours.  Craig left for Dallas for work this morning.  Which means I'm in charge of daycare pick-up, daycare drop-off, meals, bedtime, morning routines, etc. for myself, two kids, and a dog through tomorrow night.  Did I mention our daycare is a good 20 minutes of our house in the opposite direction of my work and through a bunch of road construction, which means I need to leave home at 6:30 tomorrow morning.  Yikes.  Also, I can also almost guarantee there's going to be some kind of drama - flat tire, sick kid, both??  And I'm already convinced that I'm going to see a huge spider at home tonight.  Eeek!

A final exam review packet for my Integrated Math II classes.  I love this part of my job (the planning and prep work), but it is just plain exhausting planning for a new course with new material every day.  Nonetheless, this is the last major thing to plan for and I couldn't be prouder of myself for surviving this year!!!!!!!!!

SUMMER!!!  Three weeks from TODAY is the final day for teachers for the 2014-15 school year!  Our last day was already scheduled for crazy early this year (May 22), but then the lack of snow days prompted district officials to let us go two days earlier.  No complaints here!

Just a whole lotta Royal's games!  Other than the Bachelor(ette), I don't watch much t.v.  I'm always thrilled when April rolls around and there's something good on t.v. again!  

Country.  Always.  Some of  my current faves: Sangria (Blake Shelton), Raise Em Up (Keith Urban & Eric Church), Diamond Rings & Old Barstools (Tim McGraw), What We Aint Got (Jake Owen), Take Your Time (Sam Hunt), Girl Crush (Little Big Town) and a few non-country tunes, too: Thinking Out Loud (Ed Shearan) and Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson...yes, I had to Google that!).

Lots of skirts, dresses, and sandals!  Today, this.  About the comfiest thing there is - a maxi skirt and tee.  However, I look forward to summer apparel (and not wearing make up) even more!!

Friday night soccer.  Chaperoning and taking "Party Pics" at MV's Prom on Saturday.  And a potential Royal's game at the K on Sunday!  Sounds like a pretty great weekend to me!

Ummm duh, the {unofficial} start of the most amazing season there is and the opening of our neighborhood pool and seeing some friends that will be in town over Memorial weekend!

Hmmmm....I took some photos for some friends last weekend whose sweet baby Colton is already 6 months old!  They are some of my favorite photos I've taken to date!  I also took some newborn photos of my newest nephew, Madden, while in Iowa for Easter weekend.  I was especially nervous about those because I don't have any of the cutesy newborn props, nor do I have a studio backdrop, and I was nervous about editing the splotchy newborn skin.  But I'm really happy with how they turned out!  I'm still far from professional, but I'm getting better and I enjoy taking pictures for family and friends!  You can check out my page on Facebook - Sarah Bethany Photography - and if you're in the KC/JoCo area, I'd love to practice on you!


Linking up with Shay @ Mix & Match Family, Sheaffer @ Pinterest Told Me To, and Mel @ The Larson Lingo.

Holden's 1-Year Photos

Last year, when searching for a newborn photographer, I ended up purchasing a 3-session package: newborn, 6-month, and 1-year.  The focus of the 6-month shoot was more on our entire family because it was October and I intended to use the family photos for Christmas cards.  For his 1-year session, however, I wanted the focus to be back on Holden.  After all, we got 1-year (and cake smash) photos of Brantley so, of course, I had to remain consistent!  The session was scheduled for exactly one week after Holden's first birthday.  Wouldn't you know, he came home from daycare the afternoon before with a 102 fever (likely a reaction from his 1-year immunizations a couple of days prior).  He was also not acting like himself whatsoever, so I decided to reschedule the pictures.  Well, then he woke up on Saturday morning acting more like his normal self, so I frantically texted our photographer to see if she could come over after all.  We worked out all of the details and the session was back on....and then Holden started acting unhappy again.  At that point, I wasn't cancelling again, so we gave him some Tylenol and hoped for the best.

We started with brother photos.  Despite the two prior photo sessions, we still only have about two decent professional photos of the boys together and I was determined to try yet again.  We walked across the street to the lake and got both boys to semi-cooperate.   We bribed Brantley with a "special treat" that I, of course, forgot to pick up at the grocery store.  Thank goodness for some leftover Easter candy.

I'm decently happy with the photos.  Both boys are looking and they are semi-smiling at the same time, which is a huge victory, but the pictures don't seem to POP in my opinion.  Maybe it's because I'm getting better at taking photos myself so I have really high expectations.  Or maybe because we were in our own neighborhood and there's nothing exceptionally special about the setting.  Who knows.  I still love the photos because they feature two of the most handsome little boys I know.  And I think they portray Brantley's love/protection his little brother just perfectly!

After 20 minutes at the lake, we headed back home for a few more of Holden himself and the cake smash!  Bear in mind, he wasn't feeling great, but I still think she captured some adorable photos of his sweet personality.

All images courtesy of Sarah Ireland Photography

Follow the links to check out Holden's newborn and 6-month photo sessions (also taken by Sarah Ireland Photography) and Brantley's 1-year session (taken by KJane Designs).

My Gallery Wall

It only took five weeks for me to make some decisions about our walls.  I wasn't crazy about just translating our old decor to our new walls.  I wanted something new, something fresh, and something that fit the style of this house.  I had seen (and loved) the idea of a gallery wall on Pinterest, but I wasn't sure if I'd like it long term...or if it was just a fad.  After searching a bit more on Pinterest, I decided to go for it!

After all, I always thought Uggs were a fad, too, but mine still make frequent appearances in the winter months.

Anyway, I picked up a few new things, but also tried to use what I already had to keep the price at a minimum.  Shockingly, Walmart had some pretty cute and inexpensive frames--exactly the look I was going for--and I found/purchased some pops of turquoise at Hobby Lobby.  My gallery wall went from a mere vision to on-the-wall in five days.

And I love it!  In fact, I couldn't love it more!  I love the mix of photos and prints, and black and brown, and gold and white.  I love the turquoise, love the rectangular array, and love the non-frame pieces I found.  I love that it represents our family in so many ways and I love that I can change out photos and prints when I get sick of what's up there.  Every time I look at this part of our house (which is every time I come down the stairs), it just makes me happy.

And now for the details:

1 | Frame from Walmart (for $4, I might add!).  Print by yours truly!  I needed one final print and couldn't find anything I liked {for free} on Pinterest.  Craig suggested a crown in honor of the Royals.  A Google Image search resulted in this.  Only it was pink.  I used my mad Word skills to turn it into a pale gray.  I love it.  Craig says it looks like the Budweiser crown, but hey, we enjoy beer as much as we do the Royals.  So it works either way! :)

2 | Frame from Walmart (another $4 gem!). 

3 | Clipboard thingy with burlap is from Walmart. I feel like this, along with #8, really helped tie together the black frames that I already had with the new brown frames.

4 | Reused an old frame. 

5 | Gold and white frame from Walmart.  Kansas print from Kyla Mary Shop on Etsy.  This is the only print I paid for, I might add! 

6 | Reused an old frame.

7 | Gold frame with print included from Hobby Lobby.

8 | Frame from Walmart.

9 | Turquoise mirror from Hobby Lobby.

10 | Frame from Walmart. (Same as #2)

11 | Turquoise metal design from Hobby Lobby.

12 | Mirror from Hobby Lobby.

13 | Reused an old frame.

14 | Frame from Walmart.  (Same as #1)  FREE Choose Happy print found here.

15 | Frame from Walmart.  It was actually a diploma/certificate holder (for $4 again!), which was perfect for an 8.5x11 print.  FREE feather print found here.

16 | Reused an old frame.  FREE turquoise chevron print found here.  

17 | This was something that hung in our old house and I loved it!  But I hadn't found a place for it here.  It was perfect for the gallery wall!

18 | Frame from Walmart.  (Same as #15)  I used Word to make the print.  It includes the dates of our first date, engagement, wedding, Brantley's birth, and Holden's birth.  I couldn't love this one any more!

19 | Reused an old frame.

The letters and ampersands were all purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I painted the C & S with turquoise spray paint.


I've had a few questions about the organization of the entire wall and some comments about how I planned the placement of each piece so perfectly.  Here are the steps I took and what worked for me!

| 1 |
Arrange and rearrange the pieces on the floor.  After my initial arrangement, I decided to add four more frames.  Then, I spent a significant amount of time arranging again to my liking. 

| 2 |
Take pictures from above and look at the arrangement both in real life and in the photos.  Sometimes, you get a different perspective in a photo.  Again, I rearranged about a million times before I was finally happy.

| 3 |
Trace each piece on packing/tissue paper and cut out.  Lay on top of original pieces on floor to ensure you've traced everything.  Then number each piece of paper (left to right and top to bottom, as if you're reading a book) or write a general description of each piece on the paper.  I did both because I'm that anal.  I also noted whether the frame was oriented horizontally or vertically.  Not that I wouldn't know based on the direction of my writing, but I wanted to be certain.  (Told you I was anal!)  Take a picture of your final arrangement on the floor, if you didn't already!!

| 4 |
Measure the height and width of the arrangement and the height and width of the area on the wall.  Calculate how much space you need on each side and on the top and bottom in order to space the frames/arrangement to your liking.  Then use painter's tape to tape each piece of paper on the wall.  It should be easy based on your numbers and/or descriptions.  Use the picture you took, too!  Once all of the papers are on the wall, you can readjust/space to your liking.

| 5 |
Finally, remove each piece of paper one by one and replace it with the actual frame.  If you're lucky like me, you'll have a cooperative significant other to help with this part.  Even though he informed me it was "the worst project of his life".  And I'm not going to lie, we have about 1.5 times the number of nail holes as frames.  Unless you're perfect, you will likely make mistakes and things will need moved a quarter of an inch here and there.  You're already going to have a million nail holes in your wall anyway, so what's another few??