Archives for August 2015

Zoo Atlanta Trip + Free Zoo Passport Printable

Free Zoo Printable

Luke is currently obsessed with animals and we basically have the show Wild Kratts on a loop at our house. Our days consist of pretending that Lyla is a baby (insert animal of the day) and that Luke and I are Martin and Chris Kratts. If you have a preschooler in your house, I’m sure you feel my pain excitement. It’s actually a really great show that has taught Luke SO much about animals. Jake and I have learned a lot as well!

When we lived in Denver, we had an annual pass to the Denver Zoo and went several times per year. Since we’ve moved to Atlanta Luke has been begging to go to the zoo here and I obliged last week. I actually love the zoo too! It’s such an awesome teaching environment and a great way to enjoy a summer day.

To make our trip a little more exciting, I wanted Luke to have a scavenger hunt of sorts at the zoo to make sure we found all of his favorite animals. Of course, I searched on Pinterest and found several zoo scavenger hunts and zoo passports, but most of them involved coloring. My sweet Luke loves to draw, but coloring is just not his thing. After I exhausted my search, I knew I would just need to make our own. So I did!

I incorporated his love for Wild Kratts by including creature power discs for each of his favorite animals. Eric over at My Little Corner is crazy talented and created over 70 different creature power discs that are FREE to download. Free is a great price, so I immediately tweeted him to see if I could use them for a project. He agreed and Luke and I got started selecting 14 of his favorite discs to include in our zoo passport.

IMG_0852Here he is at the entrance to Zoo Atlanta with his Zoo Passport. He was proud as punch! I wish I would’ve punched a hole in the corner and clipped a lanyard to it so he I didn’t have to carry it around all day. There’s always next time!

IMG_0857He had so much fun finding all of his favorite animals and checking them off in his passport. I forgot to bring a crayon with us, so we ended up using a felt tip pen that was in the bottom of the diaper bag. We ALL ended up with ink on us! Next time, I think I will buy some stickers to place in the boxes instead.

IMG_0870Lyla enjoyed the zoo too! And no, she didn’t wear shoes. We lost one of her white sandals that night before and I was just too vain to put red sandals on her feet with this outfit. I would have NEVER let Luke go barefoot at the zoo at this age, but with the second kid, all care goes out the window and we just “make do”. She didn’t seem to care and she came home unscathed, so all is well. I have a new pair of sandals on their way to us from a BST Facebook page so she will only be barefoot for a few more days. Hah!

If you would like to make your own zoo passport like Luke’s please download the files below:

Zoo Passport Page 1
Zoo Passport Page 2
Zoo Passport Page 3
Zoo Passport Page 4

Print the four files on the front and back of two sheets of card stock. (You can use regular printer paper too.) Cut each page in half horizontally, then fold the pages in half. Place all of the folded “animal” pages inside the cover page and staple along the seam.

I hope you enjoy your Zoo Passport and please let me know if you use it on your next zoo visit!

Sunday Scriptures

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This is the LAST of the 26 ABC Bible verses. No, it doesn’t start with Z, but it’s from the book of Zephaniah, so it counts, right?

I love this verse because it’s a great reminder that God is *always* with us, always. No matter what! Isn’t that an awesome truth to memorize and write on your heart?

I’m trying to decide what I’ll do for my next series of Sunday Scriptures since the ABC verses are finished… any ideas? I would love to hear them!

Happy Sunday!

p.s. I wish I could give someone credit for this photo, but I can’t find a source. So, thank you to whomever owns this!

Sunday Scriptures (Tuesday Edition)

ABC verse Y

photo credit: www.verseoftheday.com

Well, if I keep making my Sunday Scripture post a day later each week, I will eventually have them back on Sunday, right? I’ve just been behind on lots of things lately (especially my blog), but honestly, I’m kind of enjoying not being on top of things. Luke starts school in two weeks and Jacob’s first real game is soon after that and then our life starts getting very scheduled and busy… like crazy busy. So for now, we are just enjoying our last few summer days, skipping out on chores that will get completed eventually, taking spontaneous trips to the splash park and not having a schedule. With that said, when we do have a schedule, I tend to be more productive. So, hopefully I will be blogging more… I have a few fun things planned for this fall, so stay tuned! (hint: giveaways!)

Can you believe this is the second to last verse of the ABC Scriptures? I’d be lying if I said I knew them all by heart, but I’m working on it!

 

Sunday Scriptures (Monday edition)

ABC scriptures X

 

This ABC scripture verse is used for the letter “X” in eXalt. I love that this verse corresponded perfectly with the sermon the preacher at our new church here in Georgia preached yesterday. He reminded us that God is holy! God is not a casual God. God is not grandfather like figure that guides us. God is our all powerful, all knowing creator, redeemer and source of life! It was a punch in the gut for me, because sometimes I like to put God in a box. I tend to limit what I think God can do or how much he cares about all aspects of our lives. God is holy!

It reminds me of those shirts that are popular right now that say “Jesus is my homeboy.” I’m not calling anyone out for wearing them. I almost bought one for Luke because I thought it was cute. Of course, I had to look up the definition of homeboy and the dictionary states that a homeboy is: “a young acquaintance from one’s own town or neighborhood, or from the same social background”. I can assure you that after reading that definition, Jesus is certainly NOT anyone’s homeboy! Jesus is our Savior. He is our way to heaven. He is sinless and holy… he is NOT our homeboy.

Lyla’s Pink Lemonade Stand Party

Before Lyla was even born, I began planning her first birthday party. I know, I’m crazy! But, I love party planning and have a serious Pinterest addiction. So, naturally when I had pregnancy insomnia during my third trimester, I started planning her party. I will let the pictures do most of the talking, but we had SO much fun celebrating our sweet girl at her “Lyla’s Pink Lemonade Stand Party”!

MINUTEMAN lyla_invite

The first introduction to every party is the invitation. I always love photo invitations and when I saw this design on Etsy from Abby Reese Design, I knew it was the one. This company was excellent to work with and she even included free favor tags. She has some absolutely adorable custom party printables in her shop.

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The cake table is always one of my favorite parts of any party, because well… I love cake! My dad custom made her mini lemonade stand and my friend, Kelly of Marketplace Gray, added the vinyl lettering. Her cake was chocolate and strawberry with buttercream icing and made by Anita Bertram. Everyone raved about the cake! Her cakes are always equal parts adorable and delicious.

IMG_0360This was the best family photo we could get on the day of her party. She was a wiggle worm with all of the excitement! I just noticed we are all barefoot. I guess that makes us true Kentuckians. Hah!

IMG_0326We’ve been having a “no gift” party for Luke for a few years and honestly, no one really misses the presents. I always felt silly opening gifts while a crowd watched and Luke’s first birthday party present opening was just painful. Jacob and I were trying to wrangle him and thank everyone for the gifts while everyone watching was just bored out of their minds. I mean does anyone other than the grandparents actually enjoy watching a one year old open presents at the speed of snail for an hour? Ummm NO! So, for Lyla’s party instead of “no gifts” we decided to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. This foundation supports childhood cancer research and is a four star rated charity. Lyla’s generous party guests helped her raise $680 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. If you would like to register your birthday party to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, please visit this site.

IMG_0382The strawberry lemonade was the HIT of the party. I must say, it was amazing! And it should’ve been, because my parents helped me juice 38 lemons the night before the party to make it! Let’s just say my kitchen smelled amazing! Y’all the stuff you buy in the store doesn’t hold a candle to this sweet nectar of a drink. I even saved a bottle of it in the back of the fridge so I could enjoy it in peace after the party. We quadrupled the recipe, but if you want to make your own small batch, the recipe can be found here.

And now for the food… the recipes can be found by clicking the link below each picture.

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Ham & Cheese Sliders
These are actually called Funeral Sandwiches. That sounded a little to morbid for my little one’s first birthday, so I renamed them. They are delicious and one of my go-to’s for tailgates.

IMG_0376Glazed Kielbasa & Pineapple Bites
These little yummy appetizers were snatched up so quickly I only ate one, but oh my! They are delicious! I will certainly be making them again soon.

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Pasta Salad & Bacon Cheddar Dip (aka: Crack Dip)

IMG_0436Lyla wasn’t so sure about everyone staring at her and singing, so she started to cry. Once she got to dig into her cake, her frown turned upside down. The girl loves to eat!

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The party favors were Chex Lemon Buddies with thank you tags from Abby Reese Design.

IMG_0432Outfit: Matilda Jane Little Lemon Bubble

LylaRae

This birthday board was a huge headache the day of the party! They lady I purchased it from on etsy was a week late getting me the file and she finally sent it at 6am the morning of the party. My precious mother-in-law went to Walmart for two hours to try to download and print the poster. Can you imagine two hours in Walmart? Oh my word. Very thankful for her patience because I loved the poster and all of the sweet details it included about our one year old baby girl. I’m not going to list the vendor because I can’t recommend her, but there are lots to choose from on Etsy.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Lyla’s Pink Lemonade Stand Party! If anyone has any cute theme ideas for next year, please leave me a comment. You know I’m already on the hunt for the perfect theme!

 

Lyla Rae is ONE!

KAT_1869 How is it possible that my sweet baby girl is ONE YEAR OLD?!? It seems like she was just born yesterday. You know the saying, “Life is like a spool of thread. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.” Well, I certainly believe it. This has been the fastest year of my life! If you follow me on Instagram (@mrsallisontamme) I warned you yesterday that there would be a picture overload today on the blog. I love photos and can never narrow down which ones to share… so I just share them all! Hah!

Here is the story of her arrival:

Jacob was in Denver at the Broncos Training Camp and Luke and I were staying in Kentucky where Lyla would be born. We had scheduled a c-section for the afternoon of August the 8th. Jacob would be able to fly in that morning and I had a detailed itinerary printed out so that everything would go smoothly on delivery day. Well… Lyla Rae had other plans!

The night of August 4th, 2014, I was putting Luke to bed and felt the sharpest pain in my belly. A pain I had never felt before. You see, I was induced with Luke and had an epidural and then an emergency c-section, so I had no idea what real labor felt like. I thought it was just one of those weird pregnancy pains. Then it happened again about 15 minutes later. And again. And again. I called Jacob to let him know and he suggested that I call my parents. By this time it was 11:30pm and I knew I was in labor. I was completely freaking out because Jacob was 1,200 miles away. I felt so alone because I knew he wasn’t going to make it in time.

Thankfully, my parents and in-laws were only 5 miles away and they both immediately got out of bed and came to our house. My in-laws stayed at our house with Luke, who had no clue what had happened as he had fallen asleep. My parents drove me as fast as they could to the hospital in Lexington, which is about an hour away. I know everyone who has been in labor knows the feeling, but oh my gracious, it was NOT a fun car ride. My sweet Daddy was speeding with his emergency flashers on and (carefully) running red lights all the way to the hospital. I think we made it there in 35 minutes flat! My mom kept calling Jacob and giving him updates and at some point he decided to leave his hotel room at training camp and drive to the Denver airport. He didn’t even ask permission, he just left. He later called his coach and told him he was gone to explain his absence at bed checks.

By the time I got to the hospital and got checked in I knew she was going to be born any minute. When they first checked me I was already at 8-9cm. And right after that, the lady at registration asked me to write my e-mail address on a form on a clipboard that she promptly handed me. I took the pen and threw it at her. If you know me at all, you know that is SO not like me. But come on! I was in labor, lady! I won’t go into all the details, but I knew I had to have a c-section instead of a natural delivery even though I was already so close to delivering. So, my mom got dressed in scrubs and they wheeled me into the delivery room. I remember looking the anesthesiologist in the face and telling him that he was my new best friend. Hah! At that moment he was!

All I kept thinking was that Jacob wasn’t there. It was so sad and yet so joyful. I knew he was getting on a plane to come see us, but he was going to miss her birth. It all just happened so, so fast! My mom held my hand the whole time and before I knew it, I heard my sweet Lyla Rae screaming as she entered this world at 2:17am. My mom was the first one to hold her and she brought her over to see me. Through my tear filled eyes, I saw my baby girl for the first time and I was simply overwhelmed by her beauty. She was truly a miracle! A blessing from God! I knew our lives were forever changed for the better because she was with us now!

IMG_4059The first time Jacob met Lyla was on Facetime. We are forever grateful for Steve Jobs and the Apple Corporation for their awesome technology that allowed an incredible Daddy/Daughter moment on Lyla’s birthday. She was screaming her head off in the nursery where they took her to be monitored and my mom brought in the phone with Jacob on Facetime. As soon as Jacob started talking to her, she stopped crying. All of the nurses said one big “Awwwwww!” in unison! I know no one would probably believe that, but thankfully we have it on video! We didn’t want to wake anyone up to announce her arrival, so Lyla was our little secret until 7 the next morning. Then the calls, texts and visits began. Everyone was so excited and surprised by her early arrival.

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Jacob meeting Lyla for the first time via Facetime!

KAT_1820Since Jacob could only stay for one night in Kentucky, our friend, Katie Davis from Kat’s Eye Photography came to the hospital to take pictures for us. I am SO glad we have these photos. They are some of my all time favorites!

KAT_1836I love how real this photo is. How much love there is in the picture. How much change occurred that day. How grateful I am for my family.

IMG_0594 Since yesterday was Jacob’s day off, we celebrated Lyla’s birthday a day early. She loves baby dolls, so we took her to the American Girl Doll Store to pick out a Bitty Baby. I’m not sure who had more fun… me or Lyla? Hah! She squealed the entire time we were in the store and wanted to touch, hold, and kiss every.single.doll. I think we annoyed everyone else in the store because she was SO loud, but SO happy!

IMG_0608This was the moment when they handed her her new Bitty Baby. Love at first sight!

IMG_0613Can you tell how much she loves her?

IMG_0651Today, we went to practice so Jacob could give her a hug on her real birthday. It was a sweaty hug, but a birthday hug nonetheless.

IMG_0478Can’t believe that you were ever so tiny! You are now walking and climbing all over the place. You never sit still and you haven’t met a food you don’t like. You love to play, but your favorite activity is reading books. You have the sweetest personality and have never met a stranger. You know what you want and you let us know about it! Hah! Happy Birthday, baby girl! We love you so much!

IMG_0670And one last picture of Luke because he is the BEST big brother! He accepted his new role with ease and doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body for his sister. He loves her fiercely and is her best friend and protector. We love you too, Luke!

Details on her Pink Lemonade Birthday Party will be on the blog tomorrow. I’m so excited to share our first party on Everyday Allie Rae!

Sunday Scriptures

ABC Scriptures - W

www.reversingverses.com

I often fall in to the trap of thinking I’m just a stay at home mom. I’m not teaching a classroom full of children. I’m not running a company. I’m not creating corporate budgets or marketing plans. I’m just a stay at home mom. I often feel like I’m not making an impact or that I could be doing more. I see moms all the time who “do it all” – moms who work full time, raise their kids, workout every day, have their own at-home sales business, keep their house freakishly clean. You know the kind, the super moms. Well, I must confess… I am NOT a super mom. And I can not for the life of me figure out just HOW they do it all!

Most days I barely make it until bedtime.
Most days I’m in mismatched gym clothes (with no intention of actually going to a gym) looking like a hot mess.
Most days you could feed a small army from the crumbs off my kitchen floor.
Most days you can write a novel in the layer of dust on my coffee table.
Most days I don’t find time to shower or even, heaven forbid, brush my teeth until just before bedtime.
But… most days my mornings are filled with smiles and giggles and “I love you’s” from my babies and that makes it ALL worth it.
I LOVE being a stay at home mom and feel SO incredibly blessed that I get to do it each and every day. Even though I love my job, I am still trying to grasp the fact that it is enough. Being a stay at home is enough. I’m not running a business of my own like I thought I would. No, I’m not changing the world in the ways I dreamed of. But I am changing their world – Luke and Lyla’s world.

I’m certainly not trying to stir up the whole working mom vs. stay at home mom debate. There are days when I long for a job outside my home. Days where I wish I had somewhere to get dressed up and go. I think what all moms (well, everyone really) need to remember is wherever you are, whatever you are doing… “work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men.”

And, stop using that dirty little word “just”. You and I are not just anything. I’m just a girl from Kentucky. I’m just a football player’s wife. I’m just a mom. That “just” word is holding you back, holding me back from what I AM.

I AM a girl from Kentucky.
I AM a football player’s wife.
And I AM a mom.
We are something and whatever that it is… it is enough.

Falcons Training Camp Begins

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Atlanta Falcons Training Camp – our first camp picture as a family of 4


Every time we switch to a new team I feel like a rookie wife all over again. Even though this is our eighth season (8? Really? How did that happen?) I was totally lost when I walked into camp in Flowery Branch, Georgia. As I walked in the gates with Luke and Lyla in tow, I realized I didn’t know a single soul. All I could think was, “here we go again”. Switching teams is a very lonely process at first. It takes time to find friends and meet the people that will soon become your support system. I so desperately wanted to see my old friends from Denver, but have already met one or two wives that seem to be very sweet, and for that I am thankful!

Last year, I was pregnant with Lyla and she was born in the middle of camp, so needless to say, we didn’t go to a single practice. In fact, we were away from Jacob for three weeks and it was miserable! I vowed to never be away that long again because as hard as it was on me, it was even more difficult for Luke to not have his Daddy around. So this year we will be going to practice every single day. Most people don’t realize that NFL players do not get to come home during training camp. They have a few days off during the 3 and a half weeks of camp, but other than that they do not get to come home. I know it’s nothing compared to the deployments that military families endure, but it is still hard to be a single parent and live in a city where you virtually know no one. While it isn’t easy, I sat at camp today and just soaked in how amazing it all is. That Jacob is playing in his eighth NFL season with his third team and we get to sit and watch his dream continue to come true. We are around the NFL so much that I often forget how special it really is… it’s truly a dream come true!

IMG_0516Luke was so excited to go to camp! He is ALL about football right now, but I’m still pushing for golf! Hah!

IMG_0520Atlanta is crazy hot, so Lyla stayed hydrated by drinking pouring water all over herself.

IMG_0563This is the moment we wait for all day! As soon as practice ends, the players head to the fan area to sign autographs and then… its a mad dash to Daddy! It’s so sweet to see how excited they are to see him. They both tackled him after practice today. He was pretty excited to see them too! It is totally worth wrestling my kiddos for three hours in the 100 heat to get to see this moment.

IMG_0536We get to spend about five to ten minutes with him once practice is over and then its back to work for Jacob. Thankfully, we know that we get to see him again tomorrow.

IMG_0569Jacob left his helmet on the field after practice today and Luke asked if he could go get it for him. They walked across the field and Luke had the biggest grin on his face. It was so cute to see how excited he was to be on the field. I think he’s enjoying becoming a Falcons fan.

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Luke Tamme in his daddy’s football helmet at the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp