Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Photo magic edition

The original (for reference)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

December is THE month.

Everybody say a little prayer. 

Just stop what you're doing, close your eyes, and talk to God.  

I mean, if you want to, you can throw in something about world peace, or ending hunger, cancer, the inexplicable run of Jersey Shore and any other societal ailments you can think of. 

But while you're at it, say a little prayer that we get one of these next month:

Because I'm making a prediction: December is our month.  Yep. 

So I'm praying that my will is in line with God's on this particular subject.  I've prayed for patience, acceptance, endurance, faith and all those other things.  Now I'm praying that we can put an end to this  rollercoaster.  I'm praying that this is in His plan.  And I'm re-kindling my optimism, which has taken some pretty big hits over the past 7 months. 

You've heard the song, all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?  I'm asking for two lines.  Two little lines.  Followed immediately, of course, by 9 months of healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.  I mean... it's not so much to ask. 


C'mon, December. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Let there be (Christmas) lights

Part of our Thanksgiving tradition is to stay up late into the night putting up the Christmas tree.

This year, I just couldn't do it (probably because I was tempted to take out my summer clothes and swim suit-up since it was 900 degrees in our house!)

So we went to bed without any hint that Christmas might be coming.

By the time we woke up, someone was missing our tradition.

And by someone, I do not mean me. 

Yes, it seems I've made a convert out of my holiday-ho-humming husband, because the first thing on his mind was to get that tree up!
Notice what time it is??  That's right.  I was still sippin' my coffee... I'm supposed to be on vacation, for heaven's sake!

He had a happy little helper-elf, who was all too eager to participate in what was going on.  To my intense surprise, having her there added to the experience!  That girl was AWESOME!  She ran ornaments back and forth between mommy, daddy and the tree, and even got to help pick out where to place the decorations on the tree. 

We also ventured out of our cozy, Christmas-y little house to watch the City of Denver light the lights.  And it was windy, and cold, and we were out past the little's bed time.  Whoooooops...

At least it made for a good photo-op...

I am so excited to begin this wonderful holiday season!

Friday, November 25, 2011

71 degrees and a turkey

I am a very weather-motivated person.

As in, I really need the weather to cooperate in order for it to truly feel like "the season."

I don't appreciate rain on the fourth of July,
or snow on Easter.
I'm not fond of Indian summers,
and I really dislike warm weather on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Nonetheless, that's what we got. 

And it turned out lovely, despite the fact that I had to open Leah's window and turn on the fan because it was 85 degrees in her room when I put her to bed.  I didn't even have summer jammies to put her in, poor little sweaty girl.

Since Leah was still recovering from her bout with the flu, we didn't do much.  We watched the Thanksgiving Day parade, and spent the day playing games and doing crafts, giggling and laughing and napping a little.

Until it was time for dinner and our guests began to arrive.

Then, of course, we did what every family does on Thanksgiving... we ate!


I was reminded on this Thanksgiving of what a blessing it is to have a family.  What a blessing it is to be a family.  To be a wife; to be a mommy.  Those things seem so common, and yet so extraordinary to me.  I'm lucky to be both, and I'm appreciating that neither actually comes as easily as we're raised to expect. 

I'm lucky to have both my parents, and even my grandma and grandpa.  Although our little table and our little family is a small one, we're extremely lucky to have one another. 

Glory to God, and thank you for all these blessings.  And may I always be reminded, most especially when I don't want to be, of all that you have freely given.  Your will, Lord, not my own. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blood and barf all in the same week

My darling baby girl,

What a rough week you've had!  While making your milk one morning after Daddy had gone to work, I heard a gigantic thud and came running around the corner to find you on the floor.  Although I never take your bumps and bruises lightly, I didn't worry much as I cradled you to me and rocked your tears away. 

But when you pulled away, my shoulder was stained with bright red. 

So of course, I did what any mother would do and completely filled with panic.  I checked for bite marks or puncture wounds, but couldn't find any.  I'm pretty sure you tore that little flap of skin between your upper lip and jaw - yuck

But you're tough, and after we washed out your mouth you were good as new.

Then a few days later, after a perfectly lovely day, we went to Old Navy - or, as it will now be known, the place you barfed up all your lunch for the first time.

Poor, poor sweet baby.  And poor, poor people in line behind us.  And poor, poor man who had to clean it up! 

Afterward, you were soaked in puke and just wanted Mommy, up!  And, mean mommy that I am, I had to take off your clothes and wash you before I could pick you up.  Your little face was so traumatized, like you couldn't quite believe what had just happened to you. 

My poor sweet girl! 

Even though you haven't left my arms in 24 hours, I have to say, I don't mind a bit.  I'm grateful because I know you're going to get better, and that this too shall pass.  I'm grateful that, as a rule, I don't have to watch you suffer like this or worry that you're in pain. 

But I hope you feel better in time for your second Thanksgiving because, my love, the thing I am most grateful for in this whole world is you. 

With love and gratitude,


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thankful for

Today's posts are accompanied by some truly, truly fabulous photos!  Because, let's face it: a picture really is worth a thousand words...

Daddy doing a little coloring...

...and apparently this is what happens when you have girls.

She did this one all by herself... (on another note, do ya think she's growing some molars?  Enough spit on her shirt??)

Yep, those would be pants.  She decided to wear them as a hat.

I love when her shirts speak the truth!
  So much to be grateful for!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankful for

When it comes to possessions, I'm not really that attached.  Generally, I think that stuff comes and goes, and although I very much value the stuff we've been blessed with, none of it holds much of a place in my heart. 

My  most treasured possessions, though, are the cherished images of our lives.  The Leah ones in particular, of course. 

Which is why one of the holiday gifts I am thankful for this year is Tinyprints Christmas cards, because they make it possible to showcase our beautiful photos for the best price: free!

I love everything about Christmas cards - the sending, the getting, the displaying... it's one of my favorite parts of the holidays.  And 50 free cards?  Right up my alley. 

Check out the website, even if you're not in the market for holiday cards, because they definitely rival that other site, and are often more economically priced. 

And then, don't forget to include me on your Christmas card list, because I want to see your beautiful family too.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful for

...internet my husband knows how to fix.
...whole roasted chicken (recipe below!)
...Casey's out of town trip that only lasted 24 hours
...all hours Christmas music on Kosi entire week off for Thanksgiving!!!
...good food, good friends, and cute babies
...our video camera and the wonderful images of our sweet baby we've captured

Whole Roasted Chicken

Dry rub:
4 tbsp garlic salt
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp Thyme
1 1/2 tbsp cumin

1. Preheat oven to 450.  Gently separate skin from breast and coat with 1/2 dry rub.  Coat breast liberally with vegetable oil, then top with remaining rub.  Place breast side up in roasting pan.
2. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, making sure the rack is close to the burner.
3. Reduce heat to 375 and move rack further away from burner.  Cook additional 50-60 min until internal temperature reaches 180.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankful for

Today I'm thankful for that girl and her mad-crazy skills. 


...The fact that she recognizes at least 4 written letters (often I think it's more, but at other times it's hard to tell if she really knows them), the shapes heart and star, and colors red, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink.

...The way she points at stoplights and exclaims, "Green!  Go-ooooo!" "Red, stop."

...The fact that she loves to be mommy's little helper.  "LeeLee he-per!" she cries as she tries to place the books back in the cabinets.

...Her fierce independence.  "Self!" she responds as I try to hold her hands going up the stairs.

...The way she chooses her bibs, and the colors of her fork and bowl at meal times.

...Her incredible empathy.  She is so sensitive to the emotions of others around her, and gets the most concerned look on her face whenever someone is upset.

...Her ever-emerging opinions.  She's not unclear about what she wants, and she's certainly not afraid to tell you. (And I have no idea where she gets that one.  I'm easy-going!)

...The way she can solidly count to five.  Like, on her own with super minimal prompting.

...The freaky way she knows everything.  No, seriously.  E-v-e-r-y-thing.  When Casey was gone last month, I asked her if she knew where daddy had gone, and she responded, "plane."  I was floored.  How she knew this, to this day I'm not sure.  None of us can actually recall telling her this.  It's very bizarre when she answers correctly, and it's a question I wasn't aware she knew the answer to. 

My sweet baby girl, whatever else people may tell you in your life, know that knowledge is totally, unspeakably, hold-your-breath-in-anticipation cool.  In this age of young girls who find their self-worth in their bodies rather than their brains and limit their own potential to fit in, I say a prayer that you will choose the path of the smart girl.  The brain-i-ack.  The bookworm.  The  smartypants

You, my beautiful, bright-eyed and freakishly gifted child, are well on your way.  And I couldn't be more grateful or proud.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful for

...Healthy babies
...No room in my refrigerator or freezer (seriously - what a blessing!)
...Leah exclaiming "Swim!" in the bathtub before barreling onto her stomach and kicking like a maniac
...When I unintentionally match my daughter
...Healthy babies
...How long my hair is getting
...Cleaning out all the old clothes from Leah's room, which have been sitting in boxes in her closet forever
...Healthy babies
...A school librarian who taught my classes yesterday
...Wonderful coworkers whom I adore
...My car
...These two, above all.  Always.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful for husband who does the dishes
...cherry pie and ice cream well that big girl sleeps through the night
...the sweet way she practices her laughs, even when they are totally fake (especially when they are totally fake!!)
...these pajamas
They read, "It's pasture bed time!" and there's a picture of a cow.  Yep.  It's the little things that get me through the day!

...the red cups at Starbucks
...the last week of school before Thanksgiving and a week off
...good girlfriends and much-needed conversations

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The truth about faking it

"Guys can fake it?  Unbelievable!  The one thing that's ours!"

No, no, no.  Move your mouse away from that X!  Don't close me down before you hear me out... That's not the kind of faking it I'm talking about.  (Although I've watched waaay too much Friends to avoid that little reference.)

I'm talking about faking it, attitude style. 

My mom used to tell me that life isn't about what happens to you, it's about how you choose to handle it.  I've always believed that to be true, and I think it's an idea I've lived out in my actions during some pretty tough times.  That being said... I think it's fair to say I haven't handled things very well recently.  And I can't seem to get a handle on my emotions, either.   

Since that addage is currently failing me, I'm heading directly to the other piece of advice my mom always used to give: Sometimes, you gotta fake it 'till you can make it.

In high school, when I would complain about having to go to this rehearsal or that practice or this event, saying I was too tired or had too much homework or just didn't want to go, Mom would tell me to just go and pretend to have a good time.  So I'd get myself together, put on a big, show-y smile, and before I knew it?  My feigned enthusiasm turned into genuine enjoyment. 

See?  Faking it. 

So because I can't seem to muster any genuine enthusiasm, I'm gonna fake it, and keep my fingers crossed that before too long, it won't be a front. 

Without further ado, here's my Sunday night thankful: I'm grateful for Eggnog.

Yup.  Creamy, smooth, delicious.  And I don't care that it's not Christmas time yet... pouring it in my morning coffee makes for one happy Momma.

And that's without the alcohol, in case you were keeping score.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The one where I'm an ungrateful brat

With Halloween behind us, my normal "next step" is to reflect on the many blessings I have in my life. 

This year, there's just one problem: I've got a serious case of the "poor me's."  I can't seem to get my spirits up.

I've done okay.  Alright, so if I'm being honest, I could have done better.  Could still do better.  But I'm deep into resenting the fact that I'm still not pregnant.  Still.  Even though we started this adventure when there was snow on the ground.  There is snow on the ground again. 

My new years resolution for 2011 was to get pregnant.  It wasn't something I admitted to outloud because I knew we weren't going to start trying right away.  Besides that, it's not exactly something you casually drop in during the what's-your-resolution conversation.  "I'm going to lose 20 pounds!" "I'm going save money!"  "I'm going to have sex with my husband until he knocks me up!"  Yeah.  Not exactly a Hallmark card. 

But it was one of those things that gave me a serious case of the happys every time I looked forward to "this time next year," when I would undoubtedly be patting my seriously swollen belly and moved to tears with gratitude over the little life growing inside me. 

And we're, like, there.  But no baby. 

2011 is coming to a close.  We've reached that juncture where I won't be pregnant over the holidays.  Where I very well may end this year no closer to expanding our family than I was when the year began. 

And that thought, friends, is sucky.  Awful.   

I know... there are worse things in life than this one issue.  So don't chastise me 'cause I'm an ungrateful brat.  I told you this up front; at least you knew what you were getting.

I'm fighting a feeling of claustrophobia.  A feeling of sinking, of drowning.  A feeling that everything is just a little foggy around the edges; ever so slightly out of focus.  It's a feeling I haven't experienced often before in my life.  I'm the epitome of obnoxious, determined optimist. 

Hope?  Right now, it's an emotion I'm warring with, and sometimes I don't win.   

Maybe it's all the peeing on things. 

Sticks, specifically.  There is nothing quite like the rollercoaster produced by all the peeing on sticks.  The precision of knowing that tomorrow is two lines and a happy husband, 6 days from (maybe!) the start of my period, 2 weeks until I can test and 9 months later is July.  If you've ever longed for a pregnancy, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

The hyper-aware of even the tiniest fluctuation in my existence during those 6 days between ovulation and the start of my period which can be interpreted to mean either I'm pregnant or I'm not.  The agony of realizing - yet again - that premenstrual and early pregnancy are so! darn! similar.  Well done, whoever thought thought that one up.  What a fantastic trick you've pulled on women hoping to conceive.  

This is supposed to be a time of year for gratitude.  I know I have so much to be grateful for.  I know.  Please don't think that I take it for granted. 

But this longing in my heart.  It's like a hole.  I'm in danger of letting it consume me.  I don't know how to make it go away.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to have the perfect (snow) day

Step 1: Get back in your jammies after showering, instead of getting dressed and going to work.  Bonus: snuggle under the covers with a jammied baby girl.

Step 2: Get dressed up and play in the snow.

Step 3: Decorate for Christmas winter and listen to Christmas winter carols.

Step 4: Eat batter Make pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins with mommy

In a hat she put on herself, no less!

We had a great day!

Two Words-Wednesday

Get ready...

It's coming...

SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!

Which is why I got to witness this: 7:00 on a Wednesday morning.

Ahhh, how I love being a teacher!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat: Take One

Halloween night arrived with pomp and circumstance in our house. 

Our traditional Halloween dinner was eaten: broccoli cheese soup and garlic bread.  But it was both made and eaten in a rush, since we had to hurry out the door so that this little witch could experience her first trick or treating.

I don't know if in 20 years I will still remember the joy I felt watching that little lady run joyfully up and down our street, pumpmkin bucket in hand, her tiny feet flying across the pavement.  I hope the image will stay in my mind, because it was a moment of sheer perfection. 

That girl is absolutely, unquestionably her mother's child, because she was so darned excited!  She couldn't get from house to house fast enough.  She had her "trick or treat!" (really, it came out, "Treat!") down when neighbors opened the door, and said thank you after she placed each piece of candy in her bucket. 

A look of excitement and awe lit that pretty little face all night long.  It was perfect. She brings so much joy to her mommy's heart! 

Afterward, of course, we had to enjoy the spoils of her hard work, and she was pretty excited about that, too!

Halloween should never be on a Monday, because, truth be told, we didn't have very many trick-or-treaters and many of the houses in our neighborhood were dark, which is totally unusual. 
But, Daddy and I kept up our tradition and watched a scary movie after the little went to bed.  We also had to get a few shots of our hard work.

I can't tell you how much I love to hear the happy, awes and even sometimes slightly fearful squeals of the little ghosts and goblins as they come up our walk!  As we were trick-or-treating, we heard some kids yelling, "Don't be such a scardy cat!  Come ON!" to one of their friends who didn't want to go up to the door.  I am such a geek, but I LIVE for those moments!
We have been lucky to have a truly wonderful October, and I'll admit that I'm a little sad to see it come to an end.  Fortunately, the holiday season continues!
Happy Halloween!

I changed my font at