Sunday, December 26, 2010

'Tis the Season

I hope y'all had a fabulous Christmas! We certainly did and I will be updating you on the details soon...but for now (since it is still the season of giving) I want to give you a chance to win a Silhouette Craft Cutter. Actually, two chances. Head over to:

Brown Paper Packages
Honey, We're Home

Good Luck!

Friday, December 24, 2010

From Me & Mine to You & Yours

Hope that your Holiday Season is filled with blessings and that love, laughter, and special memories abound in the new year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekend Recap

I hope y'all had a lovely weekend!

Friday marked the end of Stay-at-Home-Momma 2.0 and I must say things went surprisingly well.  Lyvi seems to be falling back into the 'at home' schedule pretty quickly and I am on the hunt for fun (perferably free) activities that will get us out of the house for a bit each day or will allow her to interact with other kiddos from time to time - but more on that onto the recaping. On Friday night we attended a city wide pep rally for our very own Montgomery Bears.  The football team made it to 4th round play-offs for the first time in the schools history.  This is pretty major considering the importance of football in Texas high schools and that the same school couldn't seem to win a game when I was a student.  It was really neat to see the community come out to support the team!  Lyvi had a good time people watching and even clapped along with the cheerleaders and when the band played.

We slept late (8:30a) on Saturday ((Funny how sleeping late takes on a new meaning when you have a kiddo). We did some things around the house and then headed over to the Winter Wonderland hosted by the Lonestar Elementary PTA. They had lot of games, rides, fake snow and great vendors.  I wish it had fallen a little closer to payday, but I'm pretty sure Hubby and his wallet were happy that I left empty handed.  (rest assured I did pocket several business cards and I am plotting orders as we speak I write!) We ended the after noon with a late lunch at a local Mexican restaurant and headed home for naptime. Post nap I sent the Hubby off for some Father-in-Law/Son-in-Law bonding time and Lyvi and I spent a quiet evening at home. After she headed off to DreamLand I sipped on some hot tea, returned some emails and started a little project....more on that later too.  I need to wrap up some details before I share.

Sunday brought some time with our church family and lunch/shopping with my family.  Not a bad way to spend a day or to end a weekend!

How did you spend your weekend?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I genuinly try to take time every day to count my blessings and to be thankful.  Some days I do better than is so easy to get swept up in the minutia of day-to-day life and to overlook all that we have to be thankful for. I am greatful that Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to slow down a bit and reflect on all of the blessings in our life.  In my family it has also become a time of celebration!

I am thankful that seven years ago Chris asked me to be his wife, and our life together started.
Thanksgiving 2003

I am thankful that last year we celebrated the birth of our daughter Alyvia and her first Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving 2009
I am thankful that this year that we were able to celebrate my pregnancy with baby girl #2.

Sadie Clair will be here in May!

I am so greatful for the many blessings in my life and look forward to celebrating many future blessings around the Thanksgiving table with my growing family.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

I love Christmas Cards! I love shopping for them, I love assembling, addressing and sending them. The whole process really puts me in the holiday spirit, but truth be told the whole process can be a lot of work and with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the ever-growing to do list it can get pretty overwhelming… Last Christmas LyviBug was barely 3 months old and I, as most new parents, had taken overwhelmed to a whole new level. However, I was determined to send out Christmas Cards (I knew several friends and family that would start a riot if their mailbox did not contain a card with a picture of our new bundle of joy)…Enter Shutterfly! Now mind you, I have been using (and loving) Shutterfly for years, but had never used the site for Christmas cards. Last year, in my new mommy daze, I selected my favorite photos, shopped their beautiful selection of cards and created this:

Beautiful, Right!

No new mommy daze this year, but you can bet that I will be heading to Shutterfly to do my Christmas Card shopping yet again. I think the hardest part may be choosing which design to use!

I love this simple card...the snowflakes add just enough of that winter magic.

Speaking of magic, this Believe in Magic card definatly makes the list.

This Under the Mistlestoe Card is Caa-ute!

I'm lovin' this Seasonal Chic Holiday Card too!

 See, I told you it would be hard to choose.

Once I have made up my mind and I have marked the Christmas Cards off my list, I may start on my gift list. I know a few Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, etc. that would love a personalized mug, a customized calendar or anyone of the awesome photo gifts that Shutterfly offers.

Now, do yourself a favor and head over to Shutterfly
so you can mark some things off that to-do list.

If you are a blogger, stop to learn how you can earn
50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly.

Happy Holidays Y’all!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alyvia's First Year

Alyvia's First Year
Music: The One Who Knows - Dar Williams

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Snapshot

Since I'm a little late for Photo Friday, we'll call this little post Saturday Snapshot.

Best Buddies

Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Look Now

Don't look now, but this is today's 2nd post! Two post in one day...I should totally get extra points or something.  I am sure you are asking what could be so momentous that it could require and 2nd posting today.  Well, I'll tell you.

Kara at Kara's Party Ideas is hosting an AWESOME giveaway. She is offering up a chance to win a Silhouette Craft Cutter. Don't know what that is? Go here to check it out...go ahead, I'll wait. Okay, now that you have seen all the super amazing things that it can do get on over to Kara's Blog and enter to win.

If You Fear Change...

 I wouldn't say that I fear change, or even that I fight fact in most cases I welcome change (my husband will probably disagree). I think that change is a part of life and when everything is said and done I am generally pretty happy with the results. It's just the act of changing and the waiting that I am not so good with. I am a planner by nature and I like to have control of the details and thus control of the results and sometimes life (and change) just doesn't work that way. There are lots of changes brewing in the Land of Douglas right now and I am doing my damnedest to put on my Patient Panties,  roll with the punches, and embrace the waiting and the forthcoming changes.

How do you handle change? Do you fear it or embrace it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

She's a Maniac

She's a maniac, maniac on the floor
And she's dancing like she's never danced before

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back To School

Summer is coming to and end and parents, kids, and teachers are getting ready to go back to school.

Chris has already gone back and is ‘’enjoying” a week of teacher in-service before the kids come back. His college class didn’t make this semester, but he will have three preps at MHS since the board approved his proposal to start a ceramics program. He’s also the president of the local chapter of ATPE and the sponsor for the LEO’s club. I’m sure he will tack a few more things onto his list of responsibilities before it is all said and done. This is Chris’ 5 year of teaching so we are pretty used to the back-to-school-routine.

Last Friday brought a new routine, and it’s taking a bit of adjustment - Alyvia started daycare.

First Day of School (8-13-2010)
We survived the first day drop-off (and all the rest for that matter) with no tears from her or from me. In fact, she generally seems happy to be there, smiles at the teachers and is eager to get to playing. We went ahead and started her in the 12 – 18 month class since she will be 1 in a little over a month (YIKES!) They have a fairly structured schedule that includes outdoor playtime, early learning activities, snack time, nap time, etc. By all reports Lyvi is doing really well at all except the naptime thing. Her teachers have tried everything and she just Will. Not. Sleep. So by the time we get home with her at 4:30 she is exhausted and grumpy and cannot carry on without a nap… a nap that while necessary, totally throws off our evening routine. (I should note that we have considered pushing on without the nap in hopes of encouraging a normal bedtime and a regular nap schedule the next day, but that is just not an option at this point). So for now we will celebrate the no-tear drop off, adjust our evening routine and keep hoping that she adjusts to daycare enough to nap.

Napping aside, we are actually excited about the daycare program she is enrolled in and think that she will ultimately benefit from the program and the interaction with the teachers and kiddos in her class. Everyday they send home a daily activity sheet to tell us about her day and yesterday they sent home her first art work!

I love that I was able to stay home with her for so long and that we are now able to give her this opportunity to learn and make new friends.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Life Happened

I saw the rest of my old friends
At our reunion at the Holiday Inn
And it seemed like it was only yesterday
Standing in the gym in our cap and gown
Full of wonderlust and glory bound
We set out to chase our dreams on wings of passion
But somewhere along the way we got distracted

Life happened
Our clothes went out of fashion with our songs
We started families and bought SUV's
Became step dads and soccer moms
I finally realized we turned out alright
And we spent the night just catching up and dancing
And life happened
                                   - Tammy Cochran

A little of 10 years ago I was a high school senior. Friday Night Football still ruled the weekend, our lives revolved around who was hooking up, who was breaking up and who was hosting the next party (in which pasture). A little over 10 years ago I was one of 217 kids who thought we knew it all, who couldn't wait to graduate and to leave Montgomery in search of bigger and better things.  Many of us found the bigger and better we went in search of, we started careers, changed careers, got married, had children and a few of us even found our way back to Montgomery. Life Happened

Yesterday many of us reunited at our 10 year reunion. Our class officers worked hard to put together a memorable evening of dinner, dancing, and good friends.We are all older, some of us are wiser and all those things that mattered so much 10 years ago (the rumors, the drama, etc) it ceased to exist. We spent the evening reminicing about old times, laughing at how smart we thought we were, and toasting to how far we've come.  Life Happened.  .

When I graduated from college and embarked into the career world I measured each job opportuinty about how I would feel about claiming that job at my high school reunion.  I was ashamed that I eneded up using my college degree to be an assistant.  (I was young, and dumb - I know better now).  With each step I took in my career I thought about how I would measure up at that dreaded reunion.  I finally achieved the managment position I desired and built a resume I would be proud to discuss amongst my high school peers and then I walked away from all of it.  I went to my high school reunion with no career to compare to my peers...and you know what? it didn't matter.  In the last 10 years I have grown up alot, and I finally understand that everyone's path is different and that you can't really compare where you are to where someone else is (yes, my parent's told me that over and over just took a while and some experience for it to sink in) I am proud of all that I have achieved and happy with the life I have built and the family that I have started. I am happy with how my Life Happened.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Box Car Kid

Baby in a Box

Lyvi gets the biggest kick out of having Chris push/pull her around in whatever empty box she can find.  She squeals and even makes a car noise while they speed around the living room (usually chasing Marciello).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making God Laugh...

They say if you want to make God laugh, you should tell him your plan. I can say with a great deal of certainty that he is getting a good chuckle out of my life right now.

I am a planner by nature....always have been, probably always will be.  I make notes, I make list, I pour over the details, I establish a clear Plan A and Plan B.  Before Lyvi was born I planned all the things I would do as a stay-at-home mommy.  Reality made it pretty clear that I was overly ambitious.  We eventually settled in to a nice routine and I gave up on crafting and housework and just focused on enjoying the moments and memories with my sweet baby girl.  Last Sunday I planned to go to church.  We were all up and dressed and ready to go; nap time beckoned Lyvi, a melt down ensued, and we stayed home. I am getting use to my plans changing at a moments notice, but it doesn't stop me from my elaborate plans.  When the time came to discuss going back to work, I had a plan for that too.  Alternative Teaching Program - Teaching Job - PPR Test in December - Teaching Certificate - BING! BANG! BOOM! There is just one little hitch - no one has hired me :( So for now I will continue to work on the online portion of my alt. cert training while substitute teaching and hoping a teaching job or something else pops out of the woodwork at the appropriate time. I'm also going to try to tackle the aforementioned stay-at-home mommy list, maybe a few entrepreneurial endeavors (more on those later) and I just might squeeze in some me time.

So I guess you could say that for now the plan is to just see where life takes me and leave the planning to a greater power.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ketsup, Catch Up and General Updatyness

This whole blogging thing is a lot harder than I thought. I mean the writing part isn't tough, it's the finding time to write that is.  I really want this to serve as a record of how our little family has grown, the things we have done & seen and the memories we make...and to do that I need to keep up with the documenting. Let's get on with the documenting (and a little catch up).

 Lyvi is all over the place. She is crawling, pulling up, trying to walk and just generally into everything. As a result Chris & I are all over the place, chasing her (which she thinks is great fun), baby proofing and playing, playing, playing. By the time she goes to bed, we are beat.

She stayed with my parent's the 15 - 17th so Chris and I could make a quick trip to Austin.  Actually so Chris could attend a Teaching Conference and I could tag-a-long and play all weekend with one of my bestest friends. It was great to have a little break, sleep a little late, wear dangly earings, eat and uninterupted meal, and lounge by the pool...but it was just as great to get home to my little girl.  The look on her face when she saw me for the first time just melted my heart.  Gosh, I love that little girl!

On the 18th we added a handsome little man to the family...a handsome four-legged man,  As we were headed home after playing in The Woodlands (and celebrating my daddy's birthday) Baby Sister texted me that a friend of hers was looking for a home for his Boston Terrier puppy and asked if I thought Dr. Sister would want him. I called to get some more details about the dog, and before I knew it Chris was saying that we could have him. (Mind you that if it was any other breed this would not have been an option - we are Boston Terrier People) After some calling and texting and driving around we met the friend in Conroe and picked up the puppy, took him home, and named him Carmine.

He fits right in, loves Lyvi and plays with Marciello with out missing a beat.
Can't ask for much more than that.

On the 23rd we hired a babysitter for the first time and ventured into town to celebrate of 5 year wedding anniversary over a quiet dinner. Lyvi did great with the sitter and we had a low key dinner at Salt Grass (Thanks to my parents for the gift card). For the sake of tradition we had our annual anniversary pizza on Sunday afternoon (Cheesecake Factory instead of Pizza Hut this year).

On Saturday we hung out with my parents and took Lyvi to Target for an improptu photo session. She was less than cooperative and spent most of the session looking at the photographer like he had 2 heads. We did manage to get a few good shots though.

This week has been spent entertaining Lyvi, cleaning/organizing and searching for a JOB. I passed my generalist EC-6 exam so I am now considered highly qualified to to find a school that feels the same way.  Hopefully this weekend will be filled with time with friends, some productivity, some relaxation and lots of fun memories.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Then & Now

THEN                                                                 NOW

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This, That, and The Other

Life in the Land of Douglas has been very busy as of late, not leaving much time for blog updating. I have managed to steal away a few precious naptime moments for a quick update.  Last summer I was working, working, working and Chris was...well, I'm not entirly sure what Chris was doing.  I know he did some housework, and talked to the dogs, and I'm pretty sure he watched a lot of Law & Order and NCIS and just generally revealed in the goodness that is summer vacation...Ah, how times have changed.  This summer we are busy with the LyviBug and much more and it seems that summer is flying by at breakneck speeds.  Chris has spent quite a bit of time at school trying to organize a new classroom.  You see, the district approved his proposal for a ceramics program and now the work begins to prep the clay room and organize the massive amount of supplies, molds, etc. He has also found time to build a 60ft ship and paint an ocean back drop in the sanctuary of Tree of Life Lutheran Church for our recent VBS. 

Whew!  I'm tired just thinking about it. 

We celebrated Chris' first Father's Day (on Saturday) with a trip to Cannion's Farmers Market and fajitas at my parent's house. 

Went to church on Sunday morning and kicked off VBS on Sunday night. I was a crew leader for VBS and spent the week herding/chasing 13 K-1st grade kiddos through a "High Seas Voyage" of Bible Stories, Crafts and Songs (lots and lots of songs...that I am still singing on repeat) Chris stood in for me one night and joined in the fun (with Lyvi in tow) for two more.

Some where in the midst of all this craziness fun I found time to study for my teacher certification exam (EC -6 (191)) which I took on June 26.  I think it went pretty well, but won't have my actual scores for another 3 weeks.  Now the job hunt begins. Prayers, good vibes, etc are welcome and appreciated greatly!

Throw in time with Lyvi (at home and in the pool) and fun with friends and that pretty much covers our Summer so far. Lots to look forward to in the coming weeks!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Just wanted to take a minute to wish my hubby a Happy First Father's Day! 

Chris, I cannot tell you how much I enjoy watching you with our little girl. You are an amazing father. Thank you for all you do for both of us.

All my love,

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let your light so shine...

My family raised me in the Lutheran church and this provided me not only a foundation of faith, but also an extended family of sorts. My biological grandparents lived far away and the church provided me a wealth of stand in grandparents among them Grandma Biehl, Ray Roller, and Sandy & Orpha Edgar. It also provided me a share of 'other mothers'  (and fathers) who were there to guide me in faith, celebrate my successses and ensure that my shorts were of an appropriate length.

Even before Alyvia was born I knew that I wanted her to be raised in the church. So after the choas of having a new baby had settled slightly we set out in search of the right church for our little family. We were blessed to find a home at Tree of Life Lutheran Church.  On our first visit were met with smiling faces and a warm welcome. Within just a few visits we knew that we had found the church family that we wanted to be a part of....the family that we wanted to help us raise our daughter in Christ. In February we became members and on Sunday (June 6, 2010) our church family, biological family and friends joined us in celebrating Alyvia's christening.

I cannot find the words to adequately express how blessed I feel at this moment. 

Blessed that my sisters, Hailey & Chelsea, will share the role of Godmother. I know that each of them loves Alyvia and will each, in their own way, use their time and talents to teach Alyvia, guide her, and support her in all that she does.  I cannot think of better role modles for my sweet girl.

Blessed that Gary (my future, future brother-in-law) will be Alyvia's Godfather.  I'm not sure that I know anyone that would take the role as seriously as he does and I know that he will love her, protect her and teach her as she grows.

Blessed that my parents took me to church, taught me the importance of faith, and have guided me in my own journey. I am greatful that they live so close and continue to offer guidance & support.

I hope that we can provide Alyvia with a strong foundation of faith, that she will always be surrounded by people who love her, support her, celebrate her, and make sure her shorts are of an appropriate length.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's in the bag...oops basket

These days Lyvi is into everything and of course the things that hold her interest the longest are boxes, baskets, various papers, and basically anything that IS NOT a toy but IS in arms reach.

We have are hands full!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What did you learn at school today?

When I graduated from college 6 years ago I was thrilled! I was so greatful for the knowledge I acquired, the experiences I had, and the friends I made. I was also greatful to be done with studying. I was done...I was degreed...and I was never going to pick up another book for anything other than a nice leisurly read.

Ha!  The degree is framed and hanging above my desk where I sit and study! That's right at 28 years old I am studying. I always knew that the time would come for me to go back to work.  I also knew that I would never go back to the hotel industry so I am preparing myself for a career change...I am going to get my teaching certificate (generalist EC - 4)

I am amazed at all that goes into the act of teaching skills like reading, writing, arithmatic, etc.  My teachers always made it look so easy. I really hope I can do the same.  In fact I hope that I can follow in the footsteps of all of the great teachers I have encountered over the course of my early education.

Ms. Ober, Ms. Parks, Ms. Whitney, Ms. Lemmons, Ms. Rich, Ms. King, Ms. Cahoon, Ms. Martin,
Ms. Teasdale, Ms. Davis, Ms. Kirby, Ms. Oberthier, Dr. Dixon

Each of these teachers has touched my life somehow and has helped to shape me into the woman that I am now. As I enter this new chapter in my life I have found a greater respect for all that they did.  Not only did they teach me the required material, they all created a warm classroom environment that encouraged each of us to think creativly, try new things and above all be excited about learning.  I am still learning from these people who I have not seen or talked to in years.  I am thankful for the time and energy they invested in me when I was young and I am thankful for the inspiration they are unknowingly providing me now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Write your worries in sand
Carve your blessings in stone

I am working very hard to keep this quote in mind today. I am a worrier and sometimes it is just too easy to let the triviality of day to day things get to me.  Life is short and I don't ever want worry to get in the way of me being the best daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, that I can be. I don't want it to block the view of the many, many blessings that surround me.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Monday - May 31 - June 6

I missed the posting boat last week, but I did menu plan, grocery shop, and hold myself to the plan.  All in all it was a success.  We grabbed dinner out on Monday for convienence sake and enjoyed dinner/date night on Friday.  Also made several batches of baby food for the LyviBug! This week we are confined a bit by budget (getting paid once a month REALLY sucks!). Thankfully it is a short week (taking into consideration today's holiday and hubby's last-week-of-school-obliations) and I think we should be able to pull it off with what we have on hand.
Monday - Memorial Day

Tuesday - Left Overs

Wednesday -  Veggie Pizza's

Thursday - Chinese Chicken Salad

Friday - Nacho Night

Saturday - German Pancakes with Strawberries

Sunday - Alyvia's Christening Luncheon

Linking up to:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Menu Monday - May 16 - 22

In an effort to promote healthy eating and to keep our grocery budget in-check I am committing to creating a weekly menu & shopping list.  I will post the weekly menus here for accountablity purposes. (To further my efforts to shop once a week) I have also posted a Master Grocery List on the fridge so we can mark things off as we need them, that way nothing is forgotten.

Monday - Shrimp & Lobster Ravioli, Hot Garlic Bread, Green Salad

Tuesday - Open Face Ranch & Chicken BLTs, Potato Chips

Wednesday - Bacon Wrapped Fillets, Baked Potatoes, Steamed Veggies

Thursday - Hot Chicken Salad, Mandarin Kiwi Salad

Friday - Pizza

Saturday / Sunday

Be sure to check out for more menu plans!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sampler Platter - or - A Little of This & A Little of That

Bad Blogger..Bad, Bad Blogger!

I have been neglecting my blog.  When I have a chance to play on the computer I find myself getting lost in other peoples blogs.  Specifically a collection of home decor, craft & cooking blogs.  One blog leads to another and then another and then it's time to go do something else and I leave this blog for another day.  I have found so many fabuous ideas and projects that I cannot wait to try. When I am not seeking out inspiration online I am busy being a wife and mommy. 

I mixed up several batches of baby food this week and plan at least 3 more in the next day or so.  I was tempted to buy a few jars of baby food to have on hand for convienence sake and after looking at the food in the jars and reading the labels I could not bring myself to add any to my cart. thought I never thought I would the type of woman that makes her own baby food...who knew.

I have also planned Lyvi's Christening...hand made invitations and all. Just need to finish up the menu and make sure the dress we bought her still fits (kid is growing like a weed, a chubby weed)

Also managed to create two gift baskets for the High School (will post pictures later) and unpack a few boxes.  Add in drinks with some friends and a relaxing mothers day and life has been pretty busy around here.

I have made a few promises to myself one of which is to take more time for this blog.  I would really like to post at least 3 times a week and to share some of the gift baskets and baked goodies that I create.  I really think this is a great way to keep a record of life as it is now. I'm not quite ready to share the other promises, perhaps in time.

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Different Kind of Move

She's Mobile...It's not exactly a crawl, but she certainly gets where she wants to.
(Which recently has been under the coffee table)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Won't Take Nothing But A Memory...

Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me
~ Miranda Lambert

We survived what I am now refering to as 'The Move That Wouldn't End'. Despite a few hiccups and very little help we have moved all of our wordly possessions into our apartment. (well all of the possessions that will fit - various items have been stashed at my parent's house and in friends garages temporarily) Lyvi has handled all of the upheavel pretty well but she does get pretty restless in our new home. (I don't blame her a bit, I feel pretty restless myself). To calm her nerves (and mine) we take a daily drive around Montgomery. She typically falls asleep shortly after the drive begins and I drive around my hometown allowing nastaligia to creep in.  So much has changed in the nearly 10 years since I moved away from Montgomery - new roads, new shops and restaurants, new schools and sports complexes. In fact, new people live in the house that I grew up in - 'The LakeView House' 

When my parents moved out of  'The LakeView House' almost 5 years ago there was no shortage of tears.  You have to understand that 'The LakeView House' is where my parent's brought me (and my sisters) home from the hospital and where I lived until I left from was home.  I had never lived anywhere else.  Within its walls I grew up, I learned life lessons and built the foundation of who I would become. All of my childhood memories are wrapped up in that house. Spending countless hours in the kitchen with my mom & my sisters...backyard campouts...Holidays...our tire swing...a snake bite (ouch!)...birthdays & slumberparties...a house first first love...proms & new year's eve parties (friends sleeping in bathtubs and under pool tables), it's where I brought Chris to meet my family for the first get the idea. When they moved, it was hard. At the time it felt like we were leaving all of those memories behind, like we were having to walk away from the future we planned to have in that house. 

I have made several moves of my own over the years, none of them as hard as 'that move' until now.  As I packed up '#17' I felt like I was leaving so much behind so much.  It's where I hosted my first Christmas Eve dinner, were we celebrated Chris' graduation, where we planned, and dreamed, and hoped and finally started our own family.  I think that's what makes '#17' different than the other places we really felt like our home. Countless tear's were shed over the move, I was packing up so much, but it felt like I was leaving so much behind.

Now seated amongst the boxes in our apartment I have come to a realization.  We didn't walk away from those memories made in either home...we simply packed them up and took them with us.  And the future plans? Well, the plans didn't really change...we just modifed the local a bit.

I am greatful for all of the memories (good & not-so-good) that were made in my first homes...the house that built me and the house where I built my family and I look forward to the memories that we will make in the future (wherever we may roost).  I wish good things for the families that now call 'The LakeView House' and '#17'.  I hope they are able to fill the walls with warmth and laughter and that when the time comes, they are able to pack-up box loads of happy memories to carry with them. I sincerely hope they love those homes they way that I have and they way that a part of me always will.

EDIT:   I hit publish on this post last night and climbed into bed realizing that it wasn't really done.  I've gone back and added a few thoughts so that it truly says what is in my heart.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Prizes! Who doesn't like prizes?

I realize that this blog has been woefully neglected for the last week or so but I have a good reason! Packing and preparing for our move this week is taking most of my focus. (at least the focus that is not already dedicated to Lyvi Bug). ...but I want to make up for my abscence by directing you to a bunch of fantastic giveaways...

To celebrate their new communities on the BlogFrog, the SITSgirls, Today’s Creative Blog, Skip to My Lou, and Tip Junkie are hosting a Spring Fling!

They will be hosting a giveaway every hour on all 4 of  blogs on today from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm (CST). Which will total over $6,000 worth of products given away in one day!

Get on over there and sign up

Friday, April 2, 2010

Two for the Price of One

I realize that I skipped Thankful Thursday. I spent most of yesterday trying to convince myself to stop, focus, and write about what I am thankful for. To be frank, it's hard to do amist the chaos of moving, etc. However, I spent a wonderful afternoon with my Mom and my daughter today and I am feeling a bit refreshed and just better.

I am also so thankful for my mom and the friendship that we share. I know that we have a unique relationship and I can only hope to build such a friendship/relationship with my own daughter. We took Lyvi to have photos made for Easter and to celebrate her "half-birthday." We walked the mall and window shopped and chatted. It was really nice to enjoy each others company without any deadlines or somewhere else to rush off too. It's been much too long since we got to do that.

My little Lyvi was a real trooper today and I was constantly reminded what a happy, sweet-natured girl she is. She really rolls with the punches and doesn't minded being out and about on whatever adventure the day brings. I am so very thankful for her, in so many ways.

Okay, that takes care of "Thankful Thursday." Better late than never

Now without further adieu on to Photo Friday...

Friday, March 26, 2010

In the Blink of and Eye - A letter to Alyvia Leigh at 6 months

It seems like it was just yesterday that I met you, held you in my arms and studied your little face for the first time. It seems like just yesterday that we became a family of three.
I can hardly believe that six months of precious moments have already flown by.
You are such a happy baby with a sweet disposition, a real charmer. You are always up for our next outing or adventure and are sure to charm people wherever we go with your bright eyes and big smile. On more than a few occasions people have come up to us in stores and restaurants to tell us what a beautiful girl you are. We definatly agree!
You love Patty Cake, Row Row Row Your Boat, and Giddy Up Horsey and your laugh is the best! I can't help but smile when I hear it. "Tickle Monster" and Peek-a-Boo are sure to get a giggle, as are most things your daddy does. You love when he sings silly made-up songs to you or does his version of the Sweedish Chef voice.

You are a very inquisitive baby always looking around and following people as the enter and exit the room. You are mesmerized by your toes and reach for everything from the TV remote to Nonni's glasses. You are particularly interested in cups and have nearly spilled a few . You put whatever you get a hold of in your mouth and make very dramatic sucking noises. You can just about sit on your own and have got rolling over (from your back to your belly) down. You still aren't sure about getting back over, but are working at it every day and making progress. You push up on your elbows, but can't quite figure out how to get your knees underneath you. This doesn't really stop you though, as you always manage to scoot, reach and rotate until you reach what you desire.

You are facinated with our puppies, Roma and Marciello. Always looking for them, watching them and reaching for them. Roma is very protective of you and Marciello regularly lets you pet him and shows no concern when you tug his ear a little too hard.

You are quite the conversationalist making a variety of noises all of the time. You blow raspberries and say 'ooh'and 'gah'. You have started to make very dramatic noises when you yawn and have learned to squeal. You know that this gets everyones attention and are quick to open your eyes wide and smile when they look in your direction.
A cat nap here and there seems to get you through most days and you go to bed around 9 or 9:30 nightly and sleep through the night. I can almost be guaranteed to find you turned in a different direction from where you started when I come to get you in the morning. I can also be guaranteed to be greeted with a smile. I can see you recognize me and love seeing the smile spread across your face. What a great way to start the day.

You have a great appetite and now eat cereal, oatmeal, apples (plain and with cinnamon), pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, root veggie trio (sweet taters, carrots and parsnips), avacado, peas and plums. You aren't such a fan of bananas. I love seeing you experience new flavors and textures in your food. You always carefully consider the first bite then open wide, like a baby bird, for more. Some times you grab the spoon and try to help or dive eagerly at the spoon if I am not fast enough.

You are such a blessing and a joy. I am so glad that I am your mommy and I look forward to watching you grow and helping you along the way. There are so many things I can't wait to show you, teach you, and share with you, but for now I will wait and enjoy you as you are my sweet little Lyvi Bug, becaues time is flying by so fast and I don't want to miss a moment.

All my love,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Apartment Dweller

So remember when I mentioned that we were moving into a great 3-bedroom townhouse in Montgomery? Uhm...ya. It appears that I spoke too soon. I hate, hate, hate when that happens. We picked up the 42 page lease agreement from the realtor yesterday, that's right, 42 pages. Chris read through everything and called the realtor with several questions this afternoon. We wanted a few points clarified in writing and needed a few corrections before we were comfortable signing the paperwork and turning over the deposit. While discussing this with the realtor she mentioned that the owners wanted to continue to show the property until they received the deposit and signed paperwork. I understand that this is pretty typical, but I find it a bit strange that the same people who were more than okay with the lease starting on April 15 are now in such a hurry. So I know you're thinking, just sign the paper and hand over the dough. Unfortunatly that is easier said then done. They require a $975 deposit, $300 pet deposit, $975 rent (on April 15), $488 Pro Rated Rent on May 15. If you are keeping track that's $2738.00 in the next 30ish days. Not to mention the cost of moving and transfering utilities, etc. Ya, if we had that kind of money we wouldn't be leaving the townhouse we love and trying to find something a bit more budget friendly. GRRRRRR Our house is half packed people! So after much discussing and debating our options we did the only thing we could...we put down a deposit on an apartment.

I swore after we left Houston that I would NEVER EVER live in apartment again. We have had a string of bad luck in apartments and were quite happy to leave that chapter behind us. Yes, we could have continued to find a different rental property, but we are running low on time and high on stress and we had to be adults and make the mature, responsible decision. Sometimes being a grown up really SUCKS! The lower rent means that we can cover all of our bills and then some with Chris' salary and that life gets a little easirer. I am also planning on going back to work (not at a hotel) in August and if that happens my entire salary will be *extra* so to speak. We plan to pay off the car/debt and save pretty aggressivly so that come June we are in a position to buy or build the home of our dreams.

I know that as long as we are all together with a roof over our head and a cozy place to sleep that life will be okay. We may be starting the next chapter with a little less square footage than we had planned and with a few more neighbors (close neighbors) than is ideal, but a little sacrifice for a little while is way worth it for our little family. I hope that your homes (big or small) are filled with warmth and laughter and the best possible memories that only a family can create. I am thankful that where ever we roam and wherever this adventure takes us we will be there together turning our house/apartment into a home.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Hard Way

DNA strikes again! We are still debating whose eyes Alyia has, and what side of the family that cute little nose came from, but one thing requires no both of us she likes to do things the hard way.

All of the experts (whoever they are) list rolling over as a milestone that most babies reach around 4 months of age. Most of these babies learn to roll from tummy to back. I am sure this is because these babies are spending plenty of time on their tummys. Once they roll over they admire the new view and begin to work on rolling from back to belly. Not my kid! Four months came and went with no rolling.(Likely because Lyvi HATES tummy-time) I asked the pediatrician about the missed milestone and she said not to worry because some babies skip that step...and skip it she did.

Until now. Lyvi started rolling over last week. She started slowly at first and got the hang of it very quickly. Now she does it whenever she can - playtime, naptime, bedtime. The problem is that she learned to roll from back-to-belly first and 1) she can't figure out how to get back to her back over and 2) she HATES being on her belly. As a result the novelty of the new viewr wears of and she starts frantically trying to turn over - which at this point envolves flailing limbs, various noises and for some reason lots of drool. I am torn between 'my poor baby' and 'let's see if she can figure this out'. I want her to know she can count on mommy to help, but I don't want her to quit trying and become reliant upon me to flip her over. Ahhh the struggles of motherhood...and this is the easy stuff.

**EDIT - As if this rolling over stuff isn't hard enough, LyviBug cut her first tooth today. She is NOT a happy camper**

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Boxes and Labels and Packing Tape OH MY!

We're moving!

I mentioned the briefly in a previous post, but I finally have time to really address it. In my count Chris and I have moved 4 or so times since we started dating. That's a lot of moving. Each apartment housed their own special memories and various first, but this is the first one that I have felt emotional about leaving.

This is the house where we hosted Christmas Eve dinner for the first time, where we celebrated Chris' Master's Degree, where we've entertained friends and just enjoyed each others company. This is where we decided to start a family and where we suffered the tragic end of our first pregnancy. It's where we journied together through a healthy happy pregnancy, where we nested and where we brought our precious baby girl home for the first time. This is where we became parents. There are so many memories's hard to leave.

There are so many memories to be made...a new chapter to start. I am excited about our new home. We found a great 3 bedroom townhouse in Montgomery. It has a yard and plenty of room for our little family to grow when the time is right. Most importantly this move will allow me to continue to be a Stay at Home Mommy. It seems a bit strange that our little family will be starting a new chapter in Montgomery almost 10 years after I left there to start a new chapter at college. I guess things really do come full circle.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday, we were finally able to put a bow in Lyvi's hair! She is officially a bow head....
Hope your weekend is filled will successes both big and small.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Along for the Ride

I’ve been writing and rewriting this post in my head for a few days now and truth be told I’m still not really sure what to write. I don’t really want this to turn in to one of those Dear Diary whiny post, but I also don’t want it to be a bunch of fluff and nonsense that doesn’t really reflect what’s going on…so here goes. I know that I have a lot of things to be thankful for, but lately it seems that the no-so-good stuff elbowing its way in to the forefront.

My grandma (on my dad’s side) has been here since Christmas, when she broke her hip. Since December she has had a hospital stay, been moved to rehab, readmitted to the hospital for a clot and returned to rehab. Now the situation alone is enough to stress anyone - it has made it very clear that important decisions must be made about Grandma’s future and her ability to live on her own. The situation has been made even more difficult, especially for my dad, because my Grandmother is difficult (to put it mildly) and with my Uncle living on another continent much of the stress and worry has landed on my dad’s shoulders.

As if that were not enough my dad’s best friend and one time business partner Randy Smith died this week. Randy has been deteriorating for quite some time now, and while his death was to be expected it is not easy. I am terribly sad to see Randy loose this fight, I am heartbroken for his family and pray that they can begin to process of healing. I am even sadder that it has added to the burden that my dad is carrying.

On a more personal front, I seem to have stumbled right down the yellow brick road and into a bit of postartumness. The icky bluish feelings are not really helped by the stress of packing (oh ya, did I mention we are moving). This is actually a really good move for us; we will be much closer to Chris’ job and paying a much more reasonable amount for rent, thus allowing me to continue my job as Domestic Goddess. Still, moving SUCKS! It sucks even more when trying to coordinate packing and a 6 month old who is not at all interested in individual play. I am taking care of myself and I’m sure I will be back to myself sometime soon.

Like Gary Allen sings,
Life ain’t always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain’t always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Today, I am thankful for the ride. I am thankful that brighter days are always just down the road a bit and I am thankful for all of the people that are along for the ride with me. I hope that each of you is able to enjoy the journey and that you have ‘road trip’ companions as great as mine.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris

33 years ago today the world was made a bit brighter

You've always had a real appetite for life
...and a SWEET disposition
You were a pretty dapper young man
...and not a bad looking little girl (still not sure how you weren't scarred by this)
You were a football fan...
...and a family man

Somethings never change.
You still have an appetite for life.
...and a sweet disposition.
You are still pretty dapper (no more girly clothes though)

You're still a football fan

...and a Family Man

You are also my very best friend and the love of my life. I am so glad that you have chosen to grow old with me and feel so blessed to help you celebrate this birthday and many, many more.

Happy Birthday Chris!