Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Alabama Trip 2014: Installment 2

My how the time flies.  One more day in 2014, and I'm still updating about our Alabama trip a month ago!  Nevermind all the fun stuff that's occurred since we've been back!  Like Christmas...  Ah, but I'll get there...  Eventually ;).

So, after our awesome Scrubs party and a night at April and Greg's (with a delicious breakfast cooked by April on that Saturday morning), we headed to Dothan around noon on Saturday.  The drive is about 3 hours.  We made good time.  Lynnaea did pretty well for the most part, but started melting down inconsolably around Midland City.  So we stopped at Publix to pick up some groceries and allow her a little break from the car.
We reached my dad's house around 4:30.  He was thrilled to see us and re-meet his little grand-daughter.  Like usual, she took a bit of time to warm up.  But before long, she was running all over the house and trying to get into all his goodies laying about (and by goodies, I mean tools, etc, not food ;)). 
Because it was so cold there this year (an rather unseasonable freezing snap!), Lynnaea slept between me and Jeremy while we were at my dad's, to make sure she stayed warm enough.  Let's just say it wasn't the most comfortable sleeping arrangement for the grown-ups.  I think Lynnaea, on the other hand, slept just fine!

We attended church with Dothan 2nd Ward and were able to see many friends and acquaintances.  It was nice to be back there -- though much has changed over the years (people, is what I mean...  Lots of faces I didn't recognize).  But I guess that happens as life moves forward for everyone.

On Monday, we met up with my dear friend Stacy and her cute son for some pictures at the Botanical Gardens.  Just a few quick shots.  And a chance for Lynnaea to run around outside and drink the water out of the fountain.  Gross.  She's still alive, so I assume she either didn't drink enough to catch anything, or it was better than it looked.  (I swear, it amazes me children ever survive to adulthood!)  Naturally it ended up being a warmish, muggy day, so my choice of sweater was not the best...  We continued our visit with Stacy at Panera Bread.  Over some delicious mac and cheese.  Fortunately, they have Panera bread locally here...  Because I have a sudden hankering for that mac and cheese.  
On Tuesday, Lynnaea and I headed out to Troy Dothan to visit Donna.  It was a nasty drizzly day, but that sort of thing doesn't keep a munchkin down!  She was all about sitting in the swing and swinging.  And running through the puddles and wet grass.  Then we joined Donna for lunch at Cheddar's and enjoyed some yummy chicken fingers, french fries, and some mac and cheese which doesn't hold a candle to Panera's.  Not even a flicker.  It was a lovely visit with Donna.  I love that we are able to see each other every now and again when I visit -- or on the off chance she comes to Seattle!  (Hey, it's happened once -- in 2009 -- so it's possible ;)).  Around 3:00, Lynnaea (who took a 20 minute nap in the car) and I met up with Anne at Atlanta Bread Company and enjoyed a little dessert.  That was another wonderful visit.  I love meeting up with the dear friends I've had for ages.  Yes, life changes for all of us.  But there are still those ties, and it's wonderful to sit and visit with long-time friends.  Even if only for a short while.  On Tuesday night, after dinner, my dad, Jeremy, Lynnaea, and I watched some of Fantasia.  We didn't make it all the way through, as Lynnaea's attention span doesn't last that long.  But she enjoyed the parts she watched, and it was nice to do that as a family.

Wednesday was a nice day, and Lynnaea and enjoyed the must-have-when-in-Dothan roast beef sub from Italian Express!  We met up with Kristin there.  Oh my goodness.  My only complaint is that, like with everywhere else, the serving is getting smaller.  But oh what delicious goodness it is while I devour it.  With gravy on the sandwich and on the side, of course ;).  Afterwards, we went by the new public library.  And the ever-awesome Kristin checked out books for us on her card so that Lynnaea could have new books to read for a few days (not just the same boring 2 we brought from Washington...).  Lynnaea loved visiting the new library and it's awesome Children's Section.  She loved being able to play on the computer.  And we also got to visit with my former boss Bettye and Charlotte with whom I also worked.  Pretty much everyone else is new, though.  So many changes.  Including the fact that there is now no building where there was once a massive library.  No more page rec room.
True, change is good.  But there will always be a part of my heart that aches when i see the empty lot -- with the Indian standing alone in the corner.
But it is a nice new library!
Oh yeah!  Lynnaea and I also stopped off at the Visitors' Center and picked up a couple peanut ornaments (it's my new tradition:  to have a Christmas ornament from the places we visit) and for Lynnaea to have a little chat with the King (peanut-ized).  She thought he was cool.  On Wednesday night, we fulfilled Jeremy's one request:  that we at a buffet!  I was shocked when he made the request when we landed in Birmingham (because I'm the foodie in our family, not him!).  I thought he was joking.  He assured me he wasn't.  So when I asked why, he said, "Because we don't have them in Washington!"  True.  So we took my dad out to Golden Corral.  If you ever want to go to a buffet and not have a ton of people there...  Go the night before Thanksgiving.  Seriously.  We had no wait for anything.  It was pretty bomb. 

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  We were just having a small dinner at my dad's.  I went down and visited Julie and her family during the day and was invited to eat Thanksgiving with them (they ate mid-day).  It was wonderful to see her dad and brother again.  We had a great time visiting and sharing what we are grateful for.  Julie's family will always have a special place in my heart for a number of reasons.  I'm grateful for them.  At my dad's house, I was in charge of the cooking.  And the turkey breast took longer than anticipated.  I was annoyed a bit.  But we got through it.

Friday was a mellow-ish day.  It was a nice day outside too.  So Lynnaea and I took a walk down my dad's street.  It's beautiful in Alabama at this time of year when I go.  It's why I always choose to go at this time ;).

Lynnaea loved all her outdoor time while we were in Alabama.  This walk was no exception.  Check out this happy face!
Friday for lunch, Lynnaea and I tried out Chicken Salad Chick with my friend Karen.  It was yummy!  And a nice visit :).  Friday evening I met up with several friends at Chill, a frozen yogurt shop.  I got there a little early, so I went into the store next door because it was new and different, so I thought I'd check it out.  As I was about to leave the store, I heard someone say, "Hila?"  I looked up to see a guy I used to work with at the public library.  So we visited for a few minutes and caught up.  According to him, I look the same as I did way back when.  I'm choosing to believe that means I still look young -- and not that I looked old back then ;).  Hahaha.   So anyway, we said our good-byes and I headed next door to check out the frozen yogurt selection.  And met up with these fabulous ladies!  Let's just say the conversation was awesome and funny.  As always.
Friday night, Lynnaea and I played with her monkey hat.  She thinks I'm hilarious.

Saturday arrived, and it was time to get ready to head out.  Back to Birmingham. Before going, though, my dad, Lynnaea, and I went out to visit the grave of my grandparents. 
I just felt it was an important thing to do.  Then it was time to go.  It's always sad to say good-bye.  Always. 
As you can see, it was a beautiful day.  Our drive back to Birmingham was good.  We stopped for food.  Made good time.  And actually watched the Iron Bowl at Julie's house.  First time ever for me to watch it.  I am not attached to football, but I have to say it was a fun experience.  And I realize I probably should have given it a fair chance years ago.  But, you live, you learn.  Oh, and in case you were wondering what Jeremy does while I go out visiting and eating a bunch of delicious food with friends...  Well, he helps my dad with stuff around the house.  He's happy doing that while I socialize.  It works out well for all of us ;).

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Alabama Trip: Installment 1

So yeah... It's only been a month since I last posted.  And 2 weeks since we got back from Alabama.  What can I say?  It's a busy time of year.  But I figured I should probably at least start posting some stuff from our way-awesome trip to Alabama this year. 

After all, I've decided tomorrow is going to be a lazy pajama day.  Lynnaea and I will not be leaving the house.  And after the busy days we've been having, I'm quite looking forward to it.  So I'll sit here and pop my holiday mint m&m's for some late-night oomph and get this thing started! 

Welcome to our Alabama Adventure 2014 Installment 1! 

We began our morning at 3:30 on November 19th.  Jeremy and I did.  We did everything we could to finalize getting ready before waking up the munchkin.  And at 4, we couldn't put off waking her anymore.  She was surprisingly easy-going about being awoken from her sleep -- though she did want to do a lot more snuggling than usual.  My mom (bless her) picked us up around 4:25 and dropped us off at the ferry.  We hauled a suitcase, a rollaway bag, a backpack, and a carseat (whith child still in it) onto the ferry.  We spent the hour ferry ride deconstructing the car seat and keeping Lynnaea entertained.  She wasn't into sleeping like all other commuters were at that hideous time of the morning (4:50).  We docked in Seattle, and hoofed it several blocks to the light rail station.  Jeremy wore Lynnaea on his back and carried most of the items.  I had the backpack and rollaway bag. 

I was exhausted by the time we boarded the light rail.  Then we got to the airport (45 minutes later), got checked in.  Checked our bag and car seat (I love Southwest!  They let you take checked bags for free!!!).  Went through security.  Blech.  It took about 20 minutes.  Not horrible, but still annoying.  Lynnaea fell asleep in the baby carrier during the security line wait.  She woke up around the time we got to our gate.
She likes to pick her nose.  Nice, huh?  But yeah, this is pretty much right after she woke up. 

She did not sleep on the first flight.  Which was only 2 hours.  Which, sure, is nice.  But that meant the 2nd flight would be a long haul.  Our first layover was in Las Vegas.  Now there's an interesting airport for you.  Gambling machines everywhere.  And children aren't allowed near them.  Which is nice, since they are totally lit up with lights and look oh-so-appealing to a toddler.  Anyway, turns out one of my cousins is in Las Vegas these days, and she drove 30 minutes to see us during our brief layover!  It was pretty awesome of her, and it was nice to see her.  It had been almost a decade since I had.  We had a nice visit for the short amount of time we had. 
We left Last Vegas and flew about 4 hours to Birmingham.  Julie picked us up (after we got all our luggage), and we got Chick-Fil-A for dinner.  It's, like, the greatest welcome back to the South.  We were exhausted, so after visiting for a bit, we all turned in for the night.  The next couple days were spent in the Birmingham area with Julie and her family.  Lynnaea was in heaven, because there were other little kids there.  Which made it even more vacation-y for us!  At home, we are her entertainment.  She likes it way better when there are new people.  I can't say as I blame her.  We're kinda boring ;).  Anyway, she enjoyed hanging out in the backyard at Julie and Jon's house. 
We even found a huge knot in one of the trees in the yard and we could sit her on it.  She even cooperated long enough -- and sat still so she didn't fall ;) -- to snap a picture of it!
We spent Friday night at my friend April's house.  After an awesome [Scrubs] party.  Which, did I mention, was awesome.  Here's a group shot.  But if you're curious about other pictures and the details of the awesome party, just check out this link.
It was good times. 

On Saturday, we drove our rental to Dothan.  After April cooked us a delicious breakfast.  And so this is where I'll leave you with installment 1.  Because I need some sleep!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Some Pictures

Here are a few cute pictures of my cutie.  Just for fun :).
Here she is, practicing for the big plane ride...  We've got that tablet loaded with Elmo.  And we bought her head-phones.  We wanted to see how she did with the head-phones.  She did great. 
Jeremy built her a couch fort.  She thought it was fun...  For about 15 minutes ;).  
When I'm in the kitchen, she opens that cabinet and sits there...  The other day she even brought a book to read while she sat waiting for me to finish the dishes.
It's just so stinkin' cute.  Sometimes we find her burp rags (we call them her spitties) in there -- I guess she tucks them away for just in case.  She doesn't need burp rags anymore...  But because they were such a prevalent part of her infancy, she became attached to them, particularly the embellished cloth diaper ones.  She uses them in place of a blankie when she sucks her thumb. 
This little girl has my heart.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Today Was [Not] the Greatest

It's a song-title post!  Like the first in forever! (I love this Smashing Pumpkins song.  I remember watching it on MTV.)

The good news is that the day ended on a good note. 

The rest of the day... not the greatest day ever. 

It began at 6:40 when the munchkin woke up.  I tried to convince her she wanted to sleep longer with me in my bed.  She was having none of that.  So we got up. 

And she was uber-fussy.  And I was uber-grumpy.  She yelled at me because I wouldn't give her one of my pre-natal vitamins (the audacity, Mommy!).  Yep, she's entered the tantrum phase.  And so we've started showing her that the only place it's okay for her to throw tantrums is in her room.  We carry her in there, put her on her toddler bed (which she isn't currently sleeping in yet, but it's a good option for her when she's not really being punished and can therefore leave her room of her own choice) and tell her she is welcome to come out when she is ready to not be angry with us.  Then we pull the door to (not closed, so she can get out) and return to what we were doing.  She usually comes out within 30 seconds. And so far, her mood improves just as fast...

She also yelled at me because I insisted on holding the cup with the chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie we were sharing, even while she was drinking out of it.  Because I didn't want it spilled all over the place.  We again talked about where tantrums were appropriate.  (Not that we are super-excited to have her throw them... But we acknowledge that she has opinions and she is her own littler person with likes and dislikes and frustrations.  We believe she has the right to express herself, but there is an appropriate way and place for her to be in a bad mood...).

Of course, maybe I should have stayed in my bed all day since I was grumpy.  Too bad mommies don't have that option.  I'd have gladly taken it today!

Anyway, I did a lot of baking (prepping for the Christmas goodies give-away I do every year...).  Plus I had a friend coming over with her kiddos for dinner since her husband is away for work and she needed a mommy break -- and her kids love rough-housing with Jeremy.  Plus I was making enough to take to another friend who just had baby number 5 -- and the first one via c-section.  So, I was in the kitchen a lot, and Lynnaea didn't like that, because she kind of likes to be played with a lot. 

And I'll confess, I let her watch way too much TV today.  In the interest of her being happy and me getting stuff done.

And we did blow bubbles for a while -- which she thought was great.  Until she wanted to hold the bubble solution and I wouldn't let her.  Then she yelled at me again.  Repeat the "your bedroom" discussion. 

By the time Jeremy got home, I was just not in the happiest of moods.  I was exhausted and trying to finish everything.  My house looked like a disaster. 

And my thought:  This is why some women choose to work and send their kids to daycare! 

And then I felt guilty.  Because I have, for as long as I can remember, always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  But some days are hard.  And, until you're in the thick of it, you don't realize there are really hard days.  Before you are a stay-at-home mom, you live in ignorant bliss of what that really means

So, I thought of my own mom a lot today, while I was being the complete antithesis of the kind of mom she has always been -- and the kind of mom I aspire to be:  patient always, loving always, generous and giving always.  Being that she is, in fact, human, I am sure my mom had her frustrations when she had two toddlers running around -- or even a toddler and an infant!  But I cannot recall a time where I ever felt like she regretted being home with me -- or wished I'd just go away. 

And so, today, as I had those thoughts...  I felt a heavy heart.  Shame.  Guilt. 

Because I love being home with my Lynnaea.  I love her so very much.  And at the end of the day, as I hold her while she starts to fall asleep, and I sing to her...  Or while I read her stories before we head to her bedroom, and she calmly and sweetly sits on my lap and barks at the appropriate spot in the doggie story (she says "woof!" every time I point to the dog in the book; so I point to the dog every time the story says "woof!" -- it works great, and we're reading together :)).  In those moments, I look back over the day and think, "What was so hard about today?  Why couldn't I just deal?" 

And the answer is, I don't know.  Jeremy says we just have our ups and downs... 

But even so...  I want to be better than this.  Lynnaea deserves better.  And so, though today definitely wasn't the greatest day of ever...  Tomorrow is a new day.  And I'll try again.  To be the mommy I want to be.  And the mommy my precious girl deserves.  True, mommy-hood is not all roses.  But it's a wonderful blessing.  And I honestly wouldn't trade it -- or being home with my daughter -- for anything.  Even if, for a split second, I think I might...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Golden Girl Musings

Excuse me while I wax nostalgic for a bit...  I am feeling nostalgic on this crisp Autumn day here in the Pacific Northwest.  It's beautiful outside.  And something about the chilly air, and the uncharacteristically sunny sky at this time of year, has me thinking of Alabama.  The weather reminds me of that today...

Of course, that's not all that's been turning my thoughts to Alabama and reminiscences of days gone by.  I've also been watching some old episodes of The Golden Girls, which I borrowed from the public library.  And these are the things I remember, as a result; for The Golden Girls always bring to mind memories of summers spent visiting Dothan:

...Supermarket Sweep.  You see, this was a game show we would watch every summer in Dothan when we would visit.  I'm not even sure why I liked this show so much, but I did!  And, honestly, if it was still on TV; and if we had cable, I'd probably still watch it.  Even if for no other reason than old times' sake.  I just got sucked in to watching that episode I linked on Youtube... 

...Crystal Pepsi.  It came out in 1993.  And that summer, we visited Dothan.  I remember the excitement of walking down to the little convenience store at the end of my grandmother's road.  I think it was called Lolo's or something.  And the following time we were there on vacation, my grandmother said we couldn't go there anymore as someone had been shot.  Ah well... But in the summer of 1993, it was one of the places we went to "escape" the boredom of being at the house all the time.  And we'd buy the Crystal Pepsi -- and other yummy treats :).

...Nick at Night!  Being in Dothan meant having many more cable channels than we had in Panama.  And we loved it!  Every night, we'd watch Nick at Night.  And that's how we got introduced to some awesome classics like Mary Tyler Moore.  The one rule:  we couldn't be loud and the TV couldn't be either.  Once my grandmother went to bed, we needed to be quiet.

...Strawberry Shortcake.  The dessert, not the 80s toy.  Honestly, our summer vacations spent in Dothan were full of yummy treats.  My mom would go to the grocery store and get all sorts of yummies for us to have.  One of them was the little yellow sponge-cakes, strawberries (which she'd slice and sprinkle with sugar), and cool whip in a can.  I don't know why I remember that one so fondly, but I do. 

...Unsolved Mysteries.  We loved that show too!  And watched it on a couple different channels at a couple different times every day.  Some of the episodes freaked us out.  Seriously.

...Rice.  Lots and lots of rice.  Rice with dinner every day.  My grandmother usually cooked dinner -- and the Panamanian in her made sure rice was always on the menu.  It was a good thing, though.  She made the best white rice.  And we'd have it with a variety of meat dishes:  ropa vieja was one of them I remember.  And some sort of platano (plantain) dish.  Good stuff.

Yep, so there's a little variety of the memories that float through my brain every time I watch The Golden Girls.  They are happy memories :).  I've had a good life :).

...But before I end, I should go back to the future ;).  Or the present ;).  And show you a couple pictures.  From Halloween and other stuff :).
Nice side-ways picture...  But Lynnaea and I chilled on the couch on Halloween and she took a mini nap before Trunk or Treat at the church.  (she didn't go from car to car, because she doesn't need the candy... but we gave out candy and dressed up :)).
 Here we are!  Jeremy just threw on random stuff, but ended up being like a made scientist.  I was a witch, and Lynnaea was a Care Bear :).
Our friends Lea and Chuck stopped by the church to see Lynnaea and they also gave out some candy for a bit too.

 Me and the candy stash...
And this sweet girl trying on the witch hat ;).  So stinkin' cute!
Lynnaea is getting to the age where she wants to be involved in everything we do...  So Jeremy lets her help him make bread.  So after they get it all into the bread machine, she likes to watch it mix.
Then she is ready to get back down :).  So cute.  Love this girl.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

34 Minus 1 Day

Because tomorrow is my birthday.  And so I figured I'd make that my post title. 

It's hard to believe this was already 4 years ago.  I mean, seriously!?!  My life has changed a lot in 4 years.  And it's about to change a whole lot more...

So, first of all, I should tell you all about our adventures.  But that would take forty forevers, so I won't.  We survived being kicked out of our house temporarily.  We were out for 8 days.  And we were so thankful for the amazing friends who welcomed us.  It was so nice -- like a bed and breakfast, really.  And after hearing the horror stories from the other tenants who took the offered hotel option...  Yeah, I am even more grateful for what we had.  It was still challenging at times.  Hard for me to know what to do with myself day in and day out not being in my own house.  It was kind of like vacation -- but not.  Lynnaea loved it, because there were new people around a lot -- not just boring old mommy in the evenings. 

Gosh, I really haven't blogged in a while...  So this picture is from the ferry when we were on our way to Jeremy's family's reunion that takes place in October every year.  I think it's the only picture I got of the whole day.  I've become a lame picture-taker...  Unless it's food, I guess.  Anyway, this was the Saturday before we started staying with friends.

The Monday after we started staying with friends, I took Lynnaea to a local park to play with some other kids.  It happened to be Columbus Day, so the schools were out and there were tons of kids there.  She had fun.
 Here's the only picture I took while we stayed at our friends' house.  Lynnaea looks thrilled, doesn't she?
 Then this past weekend, I went with Lea to Seattle.  We went to see Beauty and Beast.  It was awesome.  Want to know what wasn't awesome?

This was the P.F. Changs I had before we went to the play.  So here's the thing:  I've been wanting to try P.F. Changs for some time now.  And so Lea and I decided to go there before the play (with plans to hit up Cheesecake Factory afterwards -- it's all about partying on one's birthday, right?).  Lea and I got the exact same thing.  Like right down to the soup. 

Lea's was fine.  Mine.  Was not.

I managed to make it through the play (thankfully!).  But we skipped Cheesecake, because I didn't know if I'd make it.  For a while there, as we trudged our way back to the ferry, I thought I was going to toss my cookies on the streets of Seattle.  Because there were no garbage cans anywhere that I could see.  Believe me, I looked.  But then I felt better.  So we stopped into a Starbucks (probably the only one in creation without a bathroom, I might add) for some water.  And by then, I was feeling bad again.  Really bad.  And so...  I threw up in the garbage can.  And chased off the clientele (sorry people I don't know).  And made them close.  20 minutes early.  Embarrassing.  I felt so bad.  But there was nothing I could do.  I felt a million times better after that.  And so we got to the ferry terminal.  Where someone else wasn't having such a great time of things either....  I don't think she had P.F. Changs though.  Apparently she'd been drinking.  A lot.  So she puked all over the ferry terminal and then passed out.  That was adventurous to see.  Eventually the paramedics came and took her.  We learned a lesson though:  don't be near death at the ferry terminal.  It takes the ambulance so long to get there, you'll probably die.

And the fun wasn't over for me...  I also tossed more cookies at the ferry terminal.  Fortunately I was not suffering from alcohol poisoning, so I could make it to the bathroom.  And then 3 or 4 more times on the ferry.  And then once when I got home.  It's not fun to be sick when you're the mommy and your husband's at work.  Because you still have to keep doing the stuff you have to do to take care of your munchkin.

Anyway, after all that puking, I had managed to purge whatever bad food and bacteria had been ailing me.  And while my stomach wasn't happy...  At least it wasn't rebelling against me anymore.  Because that was lame.  I went to bed and started Sunday with small amounts of bland food.

So, yeah...  I really wanted to like P.F. Changs...  But food poisoning kind of makes that impossible.  So I won't be going there again.  I'm glad Lea's was fine.  To be honest, mine tasted weird.  I kept checking the beef for doneness...  Perhaps I should have been smart enough to stop eating it...  Novel idea.

But the play was awesome.  I'd highly recommend it. 
And isn't she a cute cool kid?  Love this baby!

And here's a few of Lynnaea in her newest "toy" from Costco.  She sits in it like a chair.  And I think it's the cutest things ever.
Please take note of her hair...  That's some mommy skills.  Jeremy was unimpressed.  Fortunately for him I know some hairdresser friends.  So today, after lunch with my former co-workers at the County, one of them fixed the bangs for me.
She is so pretty.  So cute.  Even if I'm a little biased ;).  I can't believe she's growing up so fast.  She amazes me every day.

And so...  our next adventure (assuming all goes well):
Hormone levels were in the normal range (but that's a huge range).  And I hope to know more soon, just for the sake of knowing.  Sure, it's a risk to announce at this point (8 weeks).  But there is a life, and I am choosing to celebrate.  Not everyone feels the same as I do, nor do I think everyone should.  I think people should do what's right for them.  But this is what I want to do.  And we'll hope :).  Because there's every reason to.  (By the way, this explains my lack of motivation to blog -- or do much of anything else these days.  Seriously...  I nap a lot.  I'm exhausted!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


...Now don't go gettin' all excited that we are movin' to Alabama.  It'd be cool.  But it's not happening... yet ;).  (Actually we don't know where we'll end up...  Could be Alaska for all I know!)

But we are relocating.  Temporarily.  And I'm so not looking forward to it. 

Jeremy says I should think of it like a vacation.  Except it isn't

So what gives?  Well, miracle of miracles, they are finally working on our stairs!  And while this is a most blessed event (trust me, the ghetto-fabulous look was getting real old), it comes with its own fair share of inconvenience.  The largest of which is the whole "we have to remove access to all the units, so you can either stay in a hotel paid for by us or you can take cash and make your own arrangements" thing.

We're taking the cash. 

Because who wants to live out of a hotel with a mini fridge and microwave for 10 days with a toddler!?!  Perish the thought!  (Am I playing up the dramatic?)

Fortunately for us, we have some amazing friends.  Our friends Mark and Amalea have invited us to stay in their basement which has a bedroom and a full bathroom and a large space for a toddler to play.  Not that we aren't allowed upstairs ;)...  We are.  But that will be our little "home away from home."  And it means Jeremy's commute doesn't have to turn into a 45-minute each way nightmare (which would have been the case if we'd have stayed with his parents).  Especially since he's on swing shift and isn't getting home much before midnight. 

So yeah...  We have amazing friends.  We are blessed.

In other news... I think I have lost my mind.  Due to the fact that I wanted to find out some information for myself without spending a lot of money to do so...  I am in the middle of planning a vendor event for December.  What possessed me to head something like this up?  I have no idea.  Well, I do.  But now I think I was just crazy.  So, here's to hoping it will be THRIVEing for all involved!  Thank goodness for my sister-in-law Gwen who is helping me.  Just the fact that she's involved gives me great peace -- because she's way more go-with-the-flow than I am ;).

Oh yeah...  And Jeremy may or may not have hurt his ankle at work the other night...  Should make for loads of fun when we're temporarily moving this Friday...  Let the good times roll!

Oh, so do you need some pictures :)?  Cool....  Because Lynnaea and I -- we like to take selfies.  A lot.  Have I mentioned she is the awesomest ever?  Even when she wakes up at 11 p.m. and won't go back to sleep until after midnight -- after you put her in bed with you and the hubby...  Yeah, that happened.  It's okay.  She's worth it.
If you're Lynnaea, the object in her hand is alternately an object that makes the DVD stop playing (which she thinks is hilarious) or a phone.  Which I think is hilarious.  It's a win/win.
Mostly her facial expression in this one cracks me up.  She's like, "Okay Mom...  I'm done with this."

Saturday, October 4, 2014

7 Years

I have no idea why I'm still awake.  Because I'm a night-owl, I suppose.  And because my husband is still at work (and probably will be until midnight -- good times!).  I should be asleep.  Because my munchkin doesn't care when I went to sleep the night before.  She'll wake up at 7 or 7:30.  And she'll be so happy.

Which is good, because it makes me happy too :).  Her happy squeals from her crib that wake me up make forcing myself out of bed a not-so-bad thing.  I actually smile as I hear her.  Who knew motherhood could do that to a not-morning-person such as myself?

But I felt like writing.  And then I felt like looking over where I was in life around this date of the last seven years.  Thank you blogger.  Can you believe I've had this blog for 7 years?  I kind of can't.  My life has changed drastically in 7 years.  It's so crazy.

Last year my baby was a baby.  Where did the time go?  I mean, I remember the days...  And it just doesn't seem possible that they are gone -- that they were a year ago.  That that baby in the pictures can now walk.  And talk some.  And actually do what we ask her to do most of the time.  She understands so much of what we say.

The year before that, I was overwhelmed, emotional, nostalgic.  And pregnant (which probably explained all of those symptoms), but we weren't telling people yet.  We were still newlyweds with no clue how our boat was about to be rocked.  Ignorance was bliss, people.  Ignorance was bliss ;).  (Don't worry...  we survived the boat rocking.  And we are much better for it!  Apparently parenthood is a shock to many...)

The year before that I had just moved into my own little house.  Finally.  After so much time waiting and hoping to be on my own.  Sometimes I don't think I gave myself the opportunity to enjoy that as much as I should have.  But that's okay.  I'm kind of crazy that way.

The year before that, I was getting ready to turn 30.  And listed a whole ton of toots and sweets.  Which made me laugh as I just sat here reading over it.  Holy cow.  Sometimes I crack myself up.  Plus, Lea and I had gone to the play Fame and took pictures with some of the cast members.  That was good times.

Then there was the year before that, when I was tripping to Florida and Alabama.  Or getting ready to at any rate.  My awesome friend April was getting married, and I was going to get to be there :).

And a year before that I was in a blogging funk.  So I was doing tag posts.  I did a one-word tag post where my answer to every question had to consist of one word.  One question was:  significant other?  And I wrote "future."  Hahaha....  Clearly I was full of hope for what would be.  And clearly my hope was founded -- and the promise fulfilled.

Which brings us to the year of my blog's birth.  This blog, at least.  When I was living it up in Tuscaloosa.  Making great memories with Virginia, Le, and Annie, Jeni, and a myriad of others.  I was in a place -- both geographically and metaphorically -- I never thought I'd be.  But I was surviving.  No... I was thriving.

7 Years is a long time.  And so much can change.  It is hard for me to believe that that 26 year old woman beginning this blog would, 7 years later, be a wife and mother.  That her dreams and hopes would come true.  Her prayers would be answered... again and again and again.

Sometimes I can't believe she and I are the same person.  And I guess, in many ways, we are not.  7 years have changed me.  Hopefully for the better.  But either way, I am different.  But grateful for the intervening years.  Grateful for the amazing and abundant life I've had.  Even when it was hard.
Our most recent selfie :)...  It was a pajama kind of day...  A warm pajama kind of day :).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Motherhood Means Wearing Many Hats...








Story-teller (or reader)...





And many more.  These hats are donned daily.  And changed often. 

The best one is snuggler.  Well, maybe.  There's a lot of really awesome ones :).

Like these:
I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything.  Even on the hard days.  This little girl has changed me for the better.  And anytime I see her, I can't help but smile. 

Her newest accomplishments? 

Folding her arms for prayer (she does this as soon as she sees me put food on the table or attach her tray to her high chair.  It's beyond cute. 

Saying "baby".  And I think she's even starting to realize what it means.

Running up to the heater installed in the hallway wall (which doesn't work) and strumming her hands across the vent part whenever Jeremy gets home.  She plays him music.  And gets very excited about it.  It's a daily occurrence in our household right now -- one I'll miss when he starts swing shift in the next couple days.  We've dubbed it "strumming the banjo."  It actually makes Jeremy feel really good too.  She is just so excited to see him when he comes home from work.

She has perfected "no."  and when to use it.  Which, for her, is anytime she's asked a question.  "Do you want more pancake?"  "No."  "Is Mommy nice?"  "No."  Hmmm...

I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones I can think of right this second.  She is amazing, though.  And I love her more every day.

(We're still nervous about how she'll handle not being able to run around in the airplane for 4 hours...)

Monday, September 22, 2014


...And if you know and love Scrubs like I do...  You're pronouncing that differently :).

Speaking of Scrubs...  It's on the list of things that are happening in November when I'm in Alabama.  It's already been discussed.  Will be the coolest ever.  Well, maybe tied for the coolest ever.  Because I have a lot of cool parties ;).


Just a couple of pictures from tonight.  When Jeremy's beard doesn't get shaved off...  It's a sure sign the project at work is finishing up.  It's some tradition the engineers in his -- we'll call it a group -- do every project.  And then, eventually, some of them shave the beard and leave the mustache.  I could really pass on that part...  But it doesn't last long ;).
First, there's my munchkin.  You may not be able to tell now, but I trimmed up her hair a bit in the front.  It was always in her eyes.  I did a hatchet job, really...  But she doesn't really care.  As long as I don't dare try to put anything in her hair or on her head!
So that picture was because Jeremy was originally making a goofy face.  But I thought it turned out pretty cute, so I kept it :). 

And then we did our family picture.  Very informal, as you can tell.  Jeremy's already in his hole-y pajama shirt.  He laughed about that.  But I think a pretty good picture, nonetheless. 

So yep, the end of the project is nigh at hand...  Which is good and bad.  Good because the project will be done.  Bad because it means the month of October is going to feel like I'm a single mom again -- Jeremy will be working a ton of overtime.  But then it'll be November.  And I'll be winging my way to Alabama and all the awesomeness there.  So it's all good :).  And then, we see where we go from there!  (As of right now, it'll be on to the next project!)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just Some News

As some of you may have heard, I will be heading to Alabama in the not-too-distant future.  Yeehaw!

We are flying Southwest for the first time ever.  I'm pretty excited I can take checked bags for free.  Because traveling with a kid means you don't travel light.  That's what I've learned. 

We are already sort of contemplating how unpleasant it may be to fly with a toddler.  But she did awesome at 5 months...  And she did great in the car.  So here's to hoping!  The problem is we won't stop every 2 or 3 hours to let her get out and run... 

But we are flying in the day-time this time.  So hopefully she won't disrupt too many people's sleep, if she's fussy.  We'll be finding some cool apps for the tablet too.  And maybe find a way to put some Sesame Street Elmo stuff on there.

The girl loves Elmo.  Did I mention that?  After letting her watch it on the car ride back from Utah, she has been hooked!  If you show her a picture of Elmo, she starts dancing from side to side and trying to sing his song ("la la la la").  It's so stinkin' cute.  But who knew Elmo would be such a hit with my toddler?  She now brings me the Sesame Street DVDs we own for me to put them on for her.  I concede about once a week. 

Anyway...  The other thing she loves to do is to have us take video of her with Jeremy's camera and then let her watch it. 
That's her, watching one of her videos on the camera.  How cute is she!?!  She'll just toddle around watching the videos over and over and over.  And whenever I'm singing in the video, she starts dancing (while watching herself dance in the video).  It's pure awesomeness.

Just a selfie from last week.  I need to get this kid a hair cut.  Seriously.  She won't let me do barrettes!  That's a weird word, by the way.  She had her 15 month check-up last Tuesday.  She's seriously a champ.  She got 3 shots.  Only cried after the 3rd one.  Poor baby girl.  But she quite crying after a minute.  This kid is amazing to me.
Watched the girls this weekend.  And so we built a blanket fort in the living room.  The girls loved it.  Lynnaea loved being Godzilla and walking into everything and pulling off clothespins.  She did have fun going under it with the girls...  But she didn't like the low-lying areas where she was too tall.  Now that she can walk, crawling is just not her thing. See?
Another selfie...  It got nice and chilly here.  Then today it warmed up.  I spoke with my sister-in-law on the phone and she asked how I was handling the heat...  My distaste for hot weather is well-known, obviously ;)...  I commented that it didn't seem so bad here.  Well, that was at 2ish.  By 5ish, it was hot with the evening sun blazing through the window of the living room.  Blech.  But it's been dropping into the lower temps at night, and that makes all the difference.  It's comfortable now. 

Why did I write that?  Because you can see Lynnaea was all warm and snug in her fleece footie pajamas.  So I figured I'd tell you I wasn't roasting my kid in mid-September.  Tonight she isn't wearing those ;).
And, finally, a picture of the cute girls in the door of their blanket fort.
It wasn't as awesome as I'd like it to have been.  Jeremy could have done it better (too bad he was at work when it was constructed).  Our living room has too much empty space, so it was hard to get the cool fort thing.  But the girls loved it anyway, and that's what matters.  I love how Lynnaea no longer "cheeses" for the camera.  She waits until after the flash to get all excited and smile. 

So that's life.  Just some fun stuff.  :).