name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : August 2018


Easy Unicorn Party Ideas

It happened. My little one turned FIVE this past week. I don't get it - I know they say time flies and the years do, too, but it went by faster than THAT. I can still remember the day we saw pink balloons fly out of the box at our gender reveal, and here we are now planning all the unicorn things!

I know parties at home can be a messy pain, but I don't mind them - with a pool and some hot weather, we have ourselves the perfect backyard pool unicorn shindig. I wanted to share a few affordable, easy party ideas we incorporated. If you have unicorn fans in your home, pin this picture below so you have easy ideas for your next party!
Amazon affiliate links used in this post - thanks for letting me help plan your unicorn party!

For this party, Amazon was my jam (well, Amazon is always my jam #tbh). Her swimsuit and unicorn float came from here. She wanted a bathing suit that "covered her top and showed part of her belly" - sass comes with five, y'all.

I'm also thankful for some creative mamas - they save me when my creative juices aren't flowing! My sister made the precious cupcakes. She always makes my kids' treats for parties and makes sure to match the theme. This year, the bright colors were in order for my unicorn-lover!

I also have to give a shout-out to Amy at Cole's Custom Chalkboards for the precious chalkboard Emmy had when she woke up on her big day. It made the perfect decoration for her party, too. Amy is so creative and can make a board for your little one - whether for a celebration or a first day of school. Go check out her creations!

 A few other ideas that were well-received and birthday girl-approved - cotton candy party favors (with FREE printables I found HERE) and this funfetti party dip. I paired that with Nilla wafers and strawberries. I might need this on a regular day because good golly, that was YUMMY. Funfetti is where it's at! And if you need a sparkly gold tablecloth, guess who has you covered? Amazon, of course.

Emmy girl had the best time - we are some lucky peeps to have a loving crew to help us raise our five year old! We love you, Emerson Kate - even more than you love unicorns!

To see my letter to my Em and how she saved me - go HERE. She is a colorful blessing, no doubt.


The First Time I Met Grief

The first time I met grief, I was 21 years old. Sitting in my college apartment - using dial-up to search for jobs now that the real world was headed my way. After hours of searching, I got off my computer, and my phone was ringing.

Did you hear? Are you okay?

I hadn’t heard til that moment. And being okay was suddenly a thing of the past. With frantic cries and calls to loved ones and friends, I needed someone with me since I was alone when I received the news. My friend rushed over as we waited for my dad to make his way into town.

My first action was to have my friend turn his pictures around that were on my bulletin board. The guilt came rushing in so much that I couldn’t bear to see his face knowing we had left things undone at the time of his death. My dad arrives, and he just lets me cry - comforts me as only a dad can. 

We wait for answers and plans and check on others. He then drives me home so I can be close to loved ones and his family if they need me. All I remember as I get to my childhood home is hugging my mom on the garage floor. I vividly remember retreating to a dark bedroom where I lay for hours trying to make sense of this loss - this guilt that is so powerful I can hardly breathe.

The funeral comes, and there a few things I remember - his mom, her asking me to sit with the family, praying the Serenity prayer huddled with his aunts, and my dad not leaving my side despite the heat. I didn't know where I fit in at this time as our history together was left without any closure. I retreated back to that dark room and just needed to be left alone.

My parents thought otherwise as they sought out a counselor for me. His parents reached out and wanted me to visit them when life returned to its new normal. Still, I felt guilt. It was physically heavy, and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. For someone who likes order and plans, I couldn't handle that I did not have control. I couldn't deal with the fact that so much was left unsaid and undone. No one was mad at me, but none of that mattered. 

This August, we approach his 40th birthday. The hard part is his birthday is also the day we lost him. I won't be alone in grieving him - his beautiful mom needs prayers. His fun-loving dad does too. He has nieces and nephews and cousins who adored him, and I adore each of them. This day cannot be about me though it's extremely painful to revisit. 

The first time I met grief, the wind was knocked from me. The second and third time I met it, the same. My breath was gone, and my stages with each rotate in different directions - never in the same pattern as the other losses. I often think this why I am tired and anxious - actually, I know it is. With all the thoughts and trying to keep up with grief stages, you can get just plain exhausted. I will be tired thinking of the loss, but his family will be more so. And for that, I ask for prayers.

I've never written about this loss. There is still much I'd like to keep to myself because of the situation, but I want prayers for him and his family. And I don't want that first time I met grief to be the only thing we think of when we think of him. He LOVED his family. He LOVED classic country music; he was the best two-stepper in Texas and beyond. He was a die-hard Aggie and wore his white Aggie cap daily. He was simple. He was fun. He was an amazing artist. 

The first time I met grief is very hard to recall. I picture my dad with me each step of the way, physically and now as my heavenly protector. Grief never, ever ends. With anniversaries, birthdays, or the days you just feel their absence, it's always there. I hope he's okay with me sharing more about him. I think he would be okay with it, but it's one of the questions I won't get to ask. 

When I think of this time of loss, I know God had plans for me, for him, and for his family and friends. We have all done well in our lives though we wish we could see how well he would've done, too. None of us will wake up one day and not grieve - especially not this month. We grieve for him and with each other. 
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