happy birthday, poppy girl

My middle is three – how did that happen?!  I am forever blessed to have this spunky middle girl and am so blessed to be her mom.  A little note for Miss Poppy and details on the chocolate confetti cake I made for her birthday.


What a joy you are in our home.  Deciding to have another child was somewhat risky to us and we were unsure of what the health of our second baby would be.  We were VERY sure, however, that our family wasn’t complete and we had so much room in our hearts for another child.  We were worried, but were confident and excited.

Being pregnant with you is something I will never forget and will be forever grateful for.  You were my joy in darkness and my reminder that a deep love can still exist when the person is not right in front of you.  You felt everything right along side of me those 3 months after Dad passed and I am so thankful for it.

When you were born – you lightened our household.  Yes, you had colic, but you showed us what “normal” baby things were like.  We were in constant awe of you as you grew healthily and happily.

Over the last three years you have amazed us with your humor, intellect, and heart.  You make us laugh to the point of tears and challenge us.  You absolutely adore your sisters and they – you.

We love you, Poppy girl, and are so blessed to have you as ours.



Choc Cake

When I showed up to Sunday night dinner to celebrate my nephew, Grant, and Poppy’s birthday my mom complimented my cake and then politely asked me how many boxes it took to mkae a 5 tiered cake.

I was so offended that she didn’t think I made it from scratch!

And then I told her 3 – haha.

The truth is – I went to Kroger and had everything I needed to make a 5 tier chocolate cake from scratch and then decided

who has time for that?!

So, I purchased 3 boxes of cake mix – a ton of icing and sprinkles and headed home.

Here are my tips for the cake…

  1. DO NOT make a 5 tiered cake unless you’re feeding 50 people.  We had so much left over – basically 11/12 of the cake.
  2. Follow the directions on the cake box
  3. Layer your cake and put icing between layers
  4. LEAVE OFF the top layer
  5. Take an empty paper towel holder and stick through the middle of the cake.  Remove the excess cake and fill with candies, sprinkes, etc.  I used a hodge podge of what I had around the house and what I bought at Kroger – it was perfect.
  6. Put the top layer on and ice around the entire cake
  7. Sprinkles everywhere
  8. 70686F7F-2B2D-4162-98D0-E9F1E2D3082FIMG_5750IMG_5784IMG_5786

family pictures


We had family pictures last night so I wanted to do a post about the girls were wearing!  I posted in my Instagram story while we were getting ready and was immediately flooded with questions on who made their dresses and where I got them!

Enter:  Shop Dear James.

I came across their Instagram page (@shopdearjames) and immediately fell in love.  They carry Roller Rabbit, Little English, Petite Plume, and my new favorite brand – Pukatuka.

When I saw the clothing Pukatuka was putting out, I was head over heels and immediately started planning the girls picture outfits (see below).  I thought about sharing all of this once I got the professional pictures back (and yes, we used Kortnee Kate and she was incredible as always!) – but I figured some of you would be planning Christmas card pics so I wanted to get you to this site IMMEDIATELY!



Their dresses are from Dear James – click over to their website HERE!

Their bows are from Castle House – find them HERE

I also have to say that in the 11th hour, Bea decided her shoes were too small so we called Castle House and they immediately a solution – we pulled up – they came out with the shoes – tried them on – they fit – we gave a CC and we were on our way!  SO easy!

Shoes:  Bea’s are from Castle House (They are Nina) and Poppy’s are from Target.  Find hers HERE.  Target black ballet flats are a staple in our house – I have a million of them in a bunch of sizes!  Definitely order for the holidays!

My dress can be found HERE and it’s on sale for $114!  Necklace is old and from JCrew 🙂

Happy shopping!


the story of lemonAID


I realize that some of you that read the blog may not be aware of what transpired over the last couple of weeks so I wanted to do a blog post explaining!

Over Labor Day weekend, our family friends – the Zerbes – decided to have a lemonade stand and invited us to join.  We were so excited to do something outside other than take the kids to the pool – so we made our “lemonade for $1” sign and headed over.




The kids passed out Amanda’s freshly squeezed lemonade for about 45 minutes and made $148!  It was incredible!

The Zerbes had the idea to donate it to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital because they know how special of a place it has been for Bea.  We were so excited.  (If you are unfamiliar with Bea’s liver transplant story – click HERE to learn more).

Then, on Friday, September 27th Amanda and I met some ladies from the development department at CCHMC down at the hospital with all 6 kids.  They had made the kids a giant check highlighting their $148 donation and made a huge deal about it which was so sweet and fun.



Amanda and I took the picture and posted it to Instagram later that morning and asked if anyone wanted to match their $148 lemonade stand donation.  If they did, they could Venmo @hillary-weidner.

And from there – it caught fire.

Donations started rolling in…$148, $14.80, $1,48, etc.

My Venmo account was flooded with sweet messages about the kids and people donating money to their lemonade stand.

We then set a goal of $7,700 in honor of Bea’s 5 year LIVERversary coming up in July and before we knew it -that goal was hit.

Donations continued rolling in and we caught the attention of Andy Cohen & Anderson Cooper.  Andy announced on his SiriusXM show that he was donating $5,000 to our lemonade stand.

As the amount of money crept up – we decided that instead of this being a lemonade stand…that is truly was a lemonAID stand for livers.  All of this money was going to go to developing organoids at Cincinnati Childrens.  Video is below and is a cause near and dear to our hearts.

Everything continued to catch like wildfire – Channel 9 news came over and did a video on the kids, the store of how this lemonAID stand grew from $148 to $50,000 was featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, and CBS Morning news.  We were invited to spread the word on B105, Q102, 94.9 and WARM98.

The number on donations kept rolling in…

We had local businesses contribute and national businesses contribute.

Then, we got a call from Country Time Lemonade who wanted to be a part of the lemonAID movement.  They donated $7,700 in honor of Bea’s 5 year LIVERversary.

The number of donations grew to $125,000…

We kept posting about this on social media, mainly through our Instagram stories and people continually helped us spread the word by tagging bloggers, celebrities, local and national businesses, etc.

We had Vineyard Vines on board, Boogie Wipes on board, Liz Adams (my favorite blogger) on board, and so so many more!

And within one week of posting that photos of the kids donating $148 to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – they raised over $175,000.

We are so proud and honored to say that while writing this post we have hit over $187,000 in donations for the organoid program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

There are so many people to thank and businesses that were a part of this fundraising campaign – we truly couldn’t have grown so large without the participation of so many.

There will be a few other posts that I plan to do to follow up from this (a thank you to our big donors, why this lemonAID stand went viral, etc) but if you want more information – check out the below.

Also, if you are reading this for the first time – feel free to match the kids $148 lemonAID stand donation by venmoing @hillary-weidner.  Or email me:  hillary@make-statements.com to send a check.

Wouldn’t it be cool if we got to $200,000.00?!?!

Organoid Video HERE


Good Morning American video HERE

Cincinnati.com article HERE