Monthly Archives: September 2011

Two Cents Tuesday: The White Board Calendar.

The white board calendar, a simple way to keep the family schedule coordinated, obvious for the entire family to see, stylish and up-to-date!

Our white board calendars, hanging in our kitchen, I took the pic before I wrote our current months schedule, figured you didn't need to see our little family's entire monthly schedule!

Here is the system we use with our white board calendars:

  • Color-coordination with the markers – Different color markers mean different kind of events; blue – family, red- work, green – friends…and so on (this color-coordination keeps things from just running together on our schedule – plus we were recently given an even bigger packet of expo markers, which is allowing me to be even more specific with our color-coordination on our calendar – keeps it fun too);
  • Change the calendars each month – we generally have the current month and the following month displayed on our white board calendars (helps us stay ahead of planning our schedule as we try to sit down at least once a month and talk through our calendar at least two months in advance, before I fill out the next white board month);
  • Obviousness of it hanging where all in the family can see it – this keeps us from scheduling conflicting events;
  • Use it as wall decor – the black wooden frames we have with ours match with the decor of our home, so these helpful and very useful calendars are not even an eye sorer but rather a welcome piece of wall decor in our home (got mine at good ‘ol Target) – plus it is also magnetic and you can stick cute pictures, grocery lists, to-do lists, etc. up there too, also very helpful;
  • Makes it fun for you to write/coordinate your family schedule – keeping the family on the same (although sometimes crazy) schedule and helping with the peaceful flow of the home, no matter how busy the schedule may get certain months!

Here are a few helpful tools I found on Amazon to help you get started on your own white board family calendar:

Board Dudes 18″x22″ Home Décor Magnetic Dry Erase Calendar w/ Cork Strip

Melannco, Black Calendar White Board with 3 Picture Frame Openings

Board Dudes Double-Sided Magnetic Dry Erase Markers, 4 Packs (14002UA-24)

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Filed under Decorating, Organizing Tips

Baby Durso #2…..it’s a Girl!!!!!

That’s right everybody, the big baby cake reveal party was last night for us and the frosting was PINK!!!! This means little Ella Faith Durso is on her way and we are going to have two little girls!!! Sisters, so close in age, so so special!!!! Emma Grace is of course absolutely thrilled!!!

We also found out that my sister will be having a boy! Little Cooper!!! They have a little boy already, Jackson, meaning…yes…they will have brothers so close in age…also super exciting!!!

Right before we cut into the cakes.....love Eric's "game time" excitement face captured in this pic!

Our two little ones will be about four weeks apart (Ella is due February 12th and Cooper is due March 8th). Now that we know and we get to call them by their names the excitement and realness of these two little ones has grown even more and we could not be more thankful for these two little blessings from God!!!

Here is a video from last nights cake reveal for all wanting to see, enjoy!

Sidenote: My brother goes to college in Chicago…he was in attendance via Skype to the baby reveal..that’s who we are talking to on the computer screen for those of you wondering!

And yes to all of you wondering…Eric is thrilled to have his two little girls (as am I of course)…and I must say Emma and Ella are two very blessed little girls to him as their daddy, he loves them soooo much!!!!

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Filed under Baby Durso #2, Family Life

My Husband.

Today is Eric’s 26th birthday!!! I cannot tell you how thankful I am that this man was born 26 years ago and here is just a small handful of the many unending reasons why.

Eric Durso knows how to lovingly lead. He leads our family well, he is the head of our household, no doubt about it, and I love that. I thoroughly enjoy following, supporting and encouraging him because I trust him. I know with each decision Eric makes, he has mine and our families best interest in mind. It is truly a privilege to walk through life by this man’s side.

Emma laughing hard at her funny & fabulous daddy!!!! :)

Eric Durso is an amazing father. True, he has only been at it for a little over a year, but our little daughter could not be more loved by her daddy…and she knows it. Emma can run up to her daddy anytime she wants and she knows he will pick her up, hold her, hug her, play with her, read her a book, sing her a song, you name it…I have never seen Eric turn Emma away, he is never to busy for his baby girl. Daddy takes Emma on such fun adventures to the park, teaches her to not be as afraid of bugs as mommy is, and can even give Emma a super high view that mommy can never seem to give her (Eric is 6’5″ and I am 5’4″).  Their daddy/daughter bond is precious to watch and it thrills my heart daily as I watch them together!

Eric Durso is a passionate prayer warrior. Every morning I wake up to the sound of my husbands alarm early in the morning, set early strictly for the purpose of being able to spend quality one on one time with God each morning, in the Bible and in prayer. I am blessed to have the prayers of such a godly man on my side each morning before I am even out of bed. His love and desire for God is truly contagious and for that I am so thankful because as his wife, it rubs off on me continually and I know I have grown in my own walk with God as a result of watching this man constantly yearn for and love the Lord…a priceless gift.

Admiring my amazing man that I love and appreciate so much! He is one of my greatest gifts from God for sure!!

Eric Durso is…funny (makes me laugh daily), laid-back (never gets uptight about anything, takes it all in stride), athletic (love that my man is an athlete, so attractive to me!), adventurous (loves discovering new things and taking our family on fun little adventures together). I never think twice about holding his hand in public or hugging him or giving him a quick kiss in front of people, he doesn’t ever mind. He leads family devotions for our little family each night (but doesn’t mind when Emma decides we should go outside and look at the squirrels for a little mid-family devotions intermission). He laughs at me and with me. He protects our family.

He loves God first and our family second….everything else falls after that, he has his priorities straight and he lives that out in all he does.

He amazes me daily, and that’s that. I love you Eric, happy birthday my love! :)

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Two Cents Tuesday: The Mason Jar.

Ah, the mason jar…one of my most favorite organizing containers for so many reasons:

Just a few of the endless possibilities with Mason Jars.

  • they are see-through (so you easily know whats in them)
  • they are cute (so they can be stylish/decorative storage)
  • they are not expensive (so on our budget, they have quickly become a favorite of mine)
  • they come in all different sizes (so you can use them for such a variety of things)
  • they can be used with lids on or off
  • they can be labeled or not labeled (and yet you will still know just what is in them either way)
  • they can even be used as beautiful vases

……I mean the possibilities are endless people!!!

So everyone, this week I am encouraging you all to consider the usage of Mason jars as organizing tools, in our home they currently store quite the variety….cotton balls, q-tips, sharpe markers, water-based markers, colored pencils, random change from Eric’s pockets, and even napkin rings….welcome this organizing tool into your home and you will not be sorry!

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Baby #2 Ultrasound…Excitement is Building.

This morning was just like Christmas…had no problem getting up and getting going because we knew we got to go see the ultrasound of our little Baby #2 and we were thrilled! We remembered our 18 week ultrasound with Emma and the amazement of seeing that little person really moving around inside of you and now when we look back at it, we even try to pick out little pieces of her personality that we could pick up on from the ultrasound (kinda silly I know, but oh so fun!)!

Baby Durso #2 at 19 weeks...perhaps sucking it's thumb, little cutie!

So, this time you can imagine we were on the lookout for silly things this baby might do to give us little clues into it’s personality! At first this little one was not quite as cooperative as Emma was in allowing the doctor to see it’s gender, but it was just playing around a bit and eventually allowed the doctor a very clear picture of just whether it is a boy or girl!!!

Eric & I amazed and excited holding Emma's ultrasound pictures, nearly a year and a half ago!

We will be finding out the gender this coming Sunday as we get together with family and Eric & I cut a cake that has either pink or blue frosting inside, revealing to us the big news, as well as to the whole family as we all wait and watch with serious excitement and anticipation! We can’t wait!

And even more exciting…this time my sister and her hubby will also be cutting a cake at the same time as us to find out what their baby #2 is…could there be any more build-up and excitement? I think not!!! Oh but there is…Eric’s birthday is this Thursday so we will also be celebrating his birthday together…God is so good!!! Needless to say, there will be a lot of happy screaming at my parents house this Sunday evening as we all gather to celebrate these two new little ones!!!

For a little idea of what our “Cake Reveal Party” looks like you can look at my hubby’s blog post…he posted a video on his blog shortly after we did the cake reveal when I was pregnant with Emma, just click here to see it and read about Eric’s adorable reflections on finding out our little Emma Grace was on her way back in March 2010!!!!

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Filed under Baby Durso #2, Emma, Family Life

Two Cents Tuesday: The Time Limit.

Doing dishes at night is never fun…this is a well-established and widely agreed upon statement….my solution to this: I give myself a time limit.

Cute Vintage Clocks can make the time limit even more fun!

I get to the kitchen, set a goal in my head as to what time I will have the kitchen sparkly clean again (I usually give myself around 15 to 25 minutes depending on how messy the kitchen is and whether I am doing a surface clean or deep clean on any given night) and the time limit gives me just enough motivation to get the job done and…dare I say…even makes it the teensy tiniest bit fun when you find yourself finishing minutes before your decided time limit!

Side Note: This can work in cleaning any room or area in your house (time limits and project loads will obviously vary) and is a great help in getting the family on board with cleaning, when they have that time limit in their head too, everyone seems to get into their competitive nature with the clock and cleaning and it turns out great just about every time!

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Snapshots of Our Sensational Summer.

Yes, it’s true! I’m back on the blog, new pictures, header and all (thanks to J.Costea photography and my hubby putting the header together)! As you can so clearly see (from the date of my last post) about halfway through July, I came to my senses and realized…”yeah right there is no way I can keep up with the blog over the summer” and I gave myself the rest of the summer “off” from the blog, which, I must say, was a good decision. So here in a very small snapshot are some of the happenings of our family’s summer!

Revealing the exciting Baby #2 news to the family!

June: We found out BABY DURSO #2 was on it’s way!!!! We announced the wonderful news to our family and friends!!! Eric & I celebrated our 3rd Anniversary with an entire date day out in Old Town Pasadena! We went on vacation to Northern California – got to hang out with good friends from college in a cute little vacation home in Carmel, got to visit one of my best friends from high school up near San Fransisco, then our little family visited downtown San Fransisco and Sacramento, and Emma was a superstar baby traveler on our 7 hour drive back from Sacramento on our last day of our June vacation!

Our little family at Emma's first birthday party!!!

July: Started with more wonderful news…we found out my sister is pregnant with Baby #2 as well, due just about four weeks after Baby Durso #2!!!! We had a fun picnic and fireworks in the park with Eric’s side of the family for 4th of July. 3 days later we left on a youth group trip with a group of about 7 highschool/jr. high students (plus our little family of three), took them to my parents for a pool party/bbq/movie night, down to Oceanside beach the next day, headed to Fallbrook (our old stomping grounds) where our previous pastor and his wife graciously hosted us and our entourage of students, Eric took the students down to a youth conference at a large church in San Diego, visited our old church (fun fun!), then a quick stop at In ‘n Out before heading back up home by Sunday afternoon, whew, quite a trip! Emma then took her FIRST STEPS right before bedtime the night we got home from our youth trip, Eric and I were both there to see it, super special! :) Emma’s first birthday was just a few days after we returned from the trip and her party was the day after her actual birthday, so I got straight to finishing up all the birthday preparations! Family came to celebrate Emma’s first birthday, Emma devoured her little lamb cake (we were very proud!) and then her bigger birthday party the next day went wonderfully as well (pics and details in a separate post later, promise!)! We redid the youth room with the youth group over the next couple weeks, including one giant Ikea trip for our little family of 3 (fun, bu can get a little long when trying to keep a little one entertained for 2 to 3 hours in Ikea) and two workdays with the students in the youth room. Took a beach day trip with the youth group. And of course threw in some frozen yogurt and swimming “family dates” on some of these summer nights! :)

With my whole side of the family in Lake Tahoe!

August: Yep…there’s still more to our summer! VBS at church the first week. Family vacation to Lake Tahoe with my side of the Family the second week…sooo much fun, Emma had her first real hike, we got ice cream with the babies (although they were in the end more interested in playing in the dirt and sticks than eating the ice cream, we enjoyed the ice cream though!), Eric got in lots of tennis and racquetball time with my dad, bro, and bro-in-law at the resort we stay at, had lots of fun board games, conversations, laughing, good dinners (we each took a night to cook dinner for everyone), it was a fabulous family vacation! My 25th birthday was days after returning from Tahoe, for which Eric took Emma and I to the Glendale Galleria/Americana shopping area to meet up with my parents and little bro for dinner and some fun shopping with my mom, ending with fun watching Emma be fascinated by the fountains in the pretty outdoor courtyard they have there, great birthday! Sadly after my birthday both Emma and Eric got sick and both had a virus for a good ten days…baby #2 and I thankfully stayed healthy (tired but healthy). We ended August with a fun day visiting Eric’s parents, sister and her two boys while they camped at a beach in Ventura, a great way to spend one of the last official days of summer!

Emma getting a fun ride from Grandpa during our Labor Day walk to the park!

September: I know, not technically a summer month….but I feel like the first week of September really wrapped up our summer so here it is! Eric and I attended a conference at Grace Community church, while Emma had her very first overnight (technically 3 nights) away from us at my parents, so she was safe and sound and very happy! We missed her oh so much but also enjoyed the time being alone, while also hearing some great speaking on God’s Word that weekend! We ended the labor day weekend by joining our little Emma out at my parents, along with my sisters ad some other good family friends for some fun in the pool, at the park, a little shopping for some prego clothes with my mom and sis, and of course some great bbq! Getting back late Monday night  on Labor Day (happy to have little Emma back with us), we got ready for Fall to officially enter our calendar. Eric was up and out the door early for seminary the next day and we are happily falling back into a schedule now as September progresses!

Our little family enjoying the very cold Lake Tahoe water!

Whew! And that in a nutshell (or as much as a nutshell as I could keep it in) was our super crazy, sunny, and sensational summer!!!

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Filed under Baby Durso #2, Emma, Eric & Ashley, Family Life