Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Elyse's 1st Snow--Sort of...

Well I failed to capture of Elyse's first actual SNOW, which officially happened last year...but until today we honestly haven't had enough snow for Elyse to actually play in.  So...I'm dubbing this her first unofficial snow!   It wasn't enough snow to keep Hubby & I home from work and I really wanted to be able to snap some photos of her first experience with the cold, fluffy, white stuff.  We got around early, ate a quick breakfast and headed out the door before we had to be at work.

She wasn't really quite sure of all that cold white stuff, and it probably didn't help that she didn't have any gloves.  Yeah...we're those bad parents who had their 14 month old out in the snow without any gloves!  Don't worry we stopped at Walgreens on the way to work to pick some up for her...too bad they were "girls'" sized which were only 14 sizes too big!  Regardless, I think she enjoyed it and we were able to snap some fun photos of her first official snow experience!

I can't wait for many more snow days in her year, a snowman for sure!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Turning 30...It Only Happens Once!

So, I'm finally getting around to posting about my fantabulous (yes, that's a word) 30th birthday celebration!!!  I'm getting it done on the next to the last day of my birthday month...which I figure is still "on-time."

A little background info...we have always tried to celebrate birthdays in our family.  It might just be a casual gathering with cake & ice cream, but for the most part there's always some sort of celebration.  And...since 9/11 when the SuperBowl was moved back one week, my birthday has normally fallen on or near SuperBowl Sunday.  So, my family & close friends would gather together at my parents' house to celebrate watch the SuperBowl, while eating some yummy birthday cake, candles, singing & present opening being crammed in somewhere right before the National Anthem. 

Last year, on my 29th birthday I informed my mom & husband that I DID NOT want to share my birthday with the SuperBowl seeing as my next birthday was the big 3-0.  The weekend before my birthday I thought something might be going on, but the weekend came and went and NOTHING.   Then throughout the week I thought maybe something was going on, we even had tickets to see West Side Story at our local theater and I thought those tickets might just have been a ploy to mask the plans that were going on behind the scenes, but NOTHING.  Friday night was actually fairly open for us, but my parents were busy...maybe they had changed their plans?!?  Still NOTHING. 

And so, we still went to my parents' house for SuperBowl Sunday on February 3, and I was really kind of expecting some kind of cake or singing or candles...but again, NOTHING.  The next day, on my actual grandparents brought my birthday card filled with a little cash by our office & my aunt also dropped off a card & a cute little orchid plant. And surely a Monday night wasn't when a big party was being planned...I mean all my friends are teachers or coaches or have other lives with their own plans & Elyse is normally a 7:30-8:00 bedtime girl...which doesn't leave much time for a big party.  Plus, Monday is Zumba night...which meant most of my girlfriends couldn't come! 

Normally I get to pick the restaurant for my birthday dinner with my immediate family, but this year I just couldn't decide.  Hubby & I had just eaten at a nice restaurant on Friday night, and I just wasn't feeling any of my typical favorites.  Hubby & my mom both mentioned an Italian restaurant downtown...which it's good, but definitely not my favorite.  However, they kept mentioning it so I had finally just given in.  On our way to pick up Elyse after work, Hubby asked me what my favorite meal was in which I know an Ultimate Sergio & a Mango margarita from Maria's (my favorite local Mexican restaurant) sounds pretty good!  Nick says...well we can go there then.  But Maria's isn't fancy...and birthday dinners are normally fancy. 

My parents convinced me to open my presents from them before we headed home to change & we also went ahead and fed Elyse since we weren't planning on my meeting my brother & his wife for dinner until 6:30.  We again had finally decided on the Italian restaurant Bruno's for dinner...which just so happens to be like 3 doors down from Maria's.

My dad parked the car (quite a long ways away now that I think about it) and we headed towards Bruno's.  As we got to the door my mom says...well I don't see your brother & Millie...let's keep going.  As we come to Maria's, I notice that the shades on their big side-room are pulled, but we walk to the front door...and mom says we should go in.  As I walk into the room I could not have been more surprised. 

Almost 60 of my closest friends & family were all seated, munching on chips, queso, & guacamole...all there to celebrate me.  I was in shock.  Personalized photo invitations had been sent out to everyone on my Christmas card list by Nick.  The tables had all been decorated with help from my mom, aunt, & mother-in-law.  A huge cake had been ordered decorated complete with pearls, in honor of my 30th.  A photo book with a ridiculous amount of embarrassing photos had been created to use as a guest book.  A table was filled with cards & gifts from all those in attendance.  Pinatas had been purchased to keep with the Mexican theme.  And my favorite meal was waiting for me when I arrived...not an Ultimate Sergio, but Fish Tacos which is another one of my favorites!

I knew that there was most likely some sort of party in the works...but this went above & beyond what I had ever expected.  & Nick did it all--with a little bit of help from my mom & MIL. 

And now...for a few pictures from my big night as a new 30 year old!

As the night ended all I could think about was how 57 people, 57! had taken time out of there busy schedules to celebrate me.  People from all sorts of different circles...from high school, from college, from church, from work, family, and neighbors, and old friends & new...they were all there.  And we were even missing several of my bestest people...for sickness, or scheduling changes, or just life.  I was practically in tears that Nick had gone to so much work to throw such a big bash for me.  It was definitely a night that I won't soon forget!

My wish of a non-SuperBowl birthday definitely came true!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life Lately....

Life lately has been pretty status quo...minus the joyous family bonding time we've had by all sharing a sickness, it's been pretty fantastic.  Lots of things that are worth mentioning, just nothing that necessarily deserves a post all on its own.

*Hubby & I booked a trip.  It's in April.  We're going to the Dominican Republic.  By ourselves. Adults Only.  Elyse will be fine.  Elyse will be fine.  Elyse will be fine.  7 nights.  Elyse will be fine.

*In reference to the above post...I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT WAIT!!!  I am such a beach girl and Bavaro Beach is supposed to be incredible--5 glorious days in the sun & the sand with my Hubby. Yes please!

*I already bought my Easter dress, and my mom & I went today to purchase material to make Elyse's Easter dress.  I can't believe I already have those things checked off the list 6 weeks before Easter!

*After returning a few things I received for my birthday from Hubby, I had enough cash to treat myself to a new Coach purse.  My first purse since this time last year, I think I deserved it!  
A shoulder strap. Check.  Smallish, but big enough for a few little girl extras.  Check.  Springy & fun.  Check.  
*I still need to blog about my 30th birthday...if I do it within the month of my birthday then it's still on time right?!?

*We're having friends over for dinner tonight & we've been trying to get together for the past month but schedules & sickness & other happenings keep getting in the way.  I'm looking forward to some fun conversation!

*I've got to get better about meal planning.  It's really one of those things that saves our grocery budget & with sickness and other occasions I've been failing miserably.  We may be eating grilled cheese & PB&J for the rest of the month just because it's all my grocery budget can handle.  I'm kidding.  Sort of.

*I can't believe February is almost over.  Seriously, I've got crocus blooming & I feel like I should be getting all of my Spring decor out.

*A few weeks ago we decided pretty rapidly to buy a new washer/dryer because our dryer had started making a funny noise.  We bought a bright red front load set by Samsung.  I think I'm in love!
Yeah, I should probably get rid of that rug, who has a rug in the laundry room anyway?!?

*We're supposed to get a fairly significant Winter Storm in the next twenty-four hours...and I'm super excited.  We haven't had a good snow in a few years & we're due!  Here's to praying we get more snow than freezing rain/sleet!

*Hubby & I both had Presidents' Day off but instead of spending it together we all went separate ways.  Hubby headed out with his Dad on a quick golf outing, Elyse stayed with my MIL, & I spent the day with my bestie having a makeover at Sephora, eating some yummy lunch, and running errands.  It was a pretty great day!
And as a complete blogger failure, I didn't take any good before & after enjoy this nice, non-artistic shot of the brushes the lady used on my face!  
So this was all about US, and not about Elyse...but an Elyse lately update is coming soon as I can type out everything that she's been up to lately!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day 2013--Do-over Please?!?

Well this Valentine's Day was one that truly deserves a do-over.  While Hubby & I aren't over the top Valentine's Day revelers, we do like to appreciate the day & go the extra mile to express our love & appreciate for each other.  However, the first wrinkle in the plans was Elyse being sick over the weekend and continuing into the week...which meant we had a lot of times that looked like this...
No, I'm certainly not complaining...when she feels good I think she's decided she's outgrown the cuddle stage!  ;o( 
So...instead of Elyse & Momma running to Springfield for some last-minute Valentine's Day errands, or making Valentine's Day crafts for Daddy, or even buying Elyse a Valentine's Day present...we stayed at home, cuddled, and Hubby & I proceeded to also catch whatever virus Elyse is fighting off.  YIPPEE!!!!!
Hubby did come in the door on Wednesday night armed with a vase full of tulips, but ate a quick dinner and basically went to bed at the same time Elyse did...7:30 p.m.   
Thankfully Elyse & I were feeling enough better on the actual day of love to have lunch with Daddy, Papa & Gigi.  And let me just say...I ALMOST had my first official "my baby's growing up" really big sob cry when I realized that Elyse's hair is now long enough to clip a flower/bow/whatever in it without using a headband.  Cue the big fat, ugly alligator tears! 
Of course we had to go to lunch so Elyse could get a Valentine's Day present from someone...Papa & Gigi got her a big RED wagon to stroll around the neighborhood in! 


Elyse also had a special visit from Mamaw, who brough another bag full of Valentine's Day goodies...several fun new books, a Piggy Bank just for her "shoe fund," and a knee pad for Daddy to use when he gives Elyse baths.  Something he's only been requesting for going on a year!  ha!  I think she made out ok even if her parents managed to not have A. SINGLE. THING. for her on Valentine's Day.  Don't worry, I plan to fix that problem this weekend when we pick something up for her! 

Instead of fixing a fancy dinner at home, we instead opted for quick & easy carryout sandwiches from a local restaurant...finished off with my one homemade Valentine's Day attempt for the year...iced sugar cookies!  They were delicious and well worth the effort! 

 Maybe next week we'll attempt a Valentine's Day re-do...or maybe that will just make next year's festivities even bigger & better! If we're not sick again next year of course! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Perfect Blend

So I still have lots to share from my 30th birthday, since I really haven't shared anything...but from that we started looking at some of my baby pictures & it dawned on me that we'd never really compared who Elyse looked like from the photos.  Sure, everyone has an opinion of whether she looks just like her Momma or she looks just like her daddy...but in all honesty, I think the pictures will reveal the truth!

Crinkly grin...




And then her serious, contemplative look...




I honestly think that if you look at the last two pictures of Hubby & I, that we could easily pass for that's a little scary!   I've always thought Elyse was just a perfect blend of both of us...which is exactly how it should be!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Weekend At Home

So I'm back...sort of.  The posts will still probably be a little sparse...but I've missed documenting our lives & I honestly need an excuse to take just a few pictures! 
With Elyse having the croup, we quickly adjusted our weekend plans to include basically nothing.  We had plans on Friday night that we postponed until this week and ended up spending Friday night at home eating leftovers for dinner & putting Elyse to be early. 
Saturday Nick & I were both off work so we lounged around the house as a family of 3 just taking it easy.  The youth at our church were hosting a Valentine's Banquet on Saturday evening and originally we were going to head to that because they were providing childcare as well; however, we didn't want to expose all the other kiddos to Elyse's sickness so we dropped Elyse off at my in-law's house. 
We had a lovely pasta dinner, a quick version of the Newlywed game, & some worship before Hubby & I had to leave.  With Elyse being sick we didn't know how well she would go down on her own so we headed out a few minutes early.  I managed to take not a SINGLE photo, which I've decided is ok...sometimes it's nice to just sit back and enjoy the company & the fellowship! 
Sunday morning we decided to stay home from church to let Elyse rest up some more.  Our church has an iCampus so we were able to watch a live stream of the service while sitting in the comfort of our home and while Elyse napped away.  She took a LONG nap, and we actually had to wake her so we could eat lunch. 
After lunch we headed out to enjoy the warm temps, but the wind was ridiculous!!!  We took Elyse for a spin in her first car & she LOVED it!  I can see us spending lots of hours outside in her Cozy Coupe once Spring arrives!
I've already got crocus blooming and it's not even the middle of February!
All set up with her trailer & everything...

Daddy pushing her along!

Beep, beep!!
Hubby had a meeting at church and then went to lead our small group while Elyse & I stayed at home.  With her taking such a long nap in the morning, she basically refused her afternoon nap so I was afraid it was going to be a LONG evening before we got to bedtime.  She had her moments, but we managed to make it through dinner & a nice long bath before she crashed at 7:15! 
Thankfully even when she's sick she's still in great spirits!  Oh how I love this little girl! 


Friday, February 8, 2013

An Icky, Ucky, Croupy Day

Well the past two days have allowed us to experience another of Elyse's firsts.  She is currently dealing with her first official sickness (other than a cold)...Croup.  Ughhh...she sounds so pitiful. 
She started her symptoms suddenly on Wednesday afternoon right after she woke up from her afternoon nap.  At first I thought maybe she was just experiencing some hoarseness, but we quickly realized that she was dealing with some serious congestion.  We put her to bed fully expecting to end up spending the night dealing with a sick little baby girl...and we were right.  About 2 a.m., Hubby went and got our poor baby & she ended up sleeping in bed with me most of the night while Hubby headed to the couch.  She was feverish and just overall miserable, so cuddle away we did! 
We quickly decided that we would try to get her into the doctor yesterday, because with all the sickness going around we didn't want to put it off too long.  I'm not normally a dr-runner because I know that the majority of the time it's just a virus and all we can do is treat the symptoms...but a fever that won't break & chest congestion are two things I don't want to mess with. I initially left the dr's office a message and decided to go ahead and get around for the day in case they could get us in super early.  She kept trying to curl up on my bathroom floor so I knew she just felt awful. 
Her first official time using a pillow...
& after a few minutes of her looking just pitiful, I decided to grab a blanket, her cup of water, & her Cheerios and we set her up with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I finished getting ready. 
My view from the bathroom...poor baby!
Thankfully we were able to make an appointment for 2 pm yesterday afternoon, so Elyse & I cuddled most of the morning and I gave her whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted it. 
The doctor gave us the diagnosis of Croup, gave her a steroid shot, and told us to just rest up and relax for the next 3-4 days while the virus ran it's course.  I was expecting another night in bed with her last night but she actually slept through the night.  When she woke up this morning you can tell she still doesn't feel 100% but I'm certain she's on the mend.  The weekend will probably be  a little more laid-back than originally planned, but whatever we need to do to make our little girl feel better!
Ahhh...the joys of parenthood...but I can't say that I mind the cuddles at all!   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

30 in 30

I failed to jump on the bandwagon for any sort of list of goals to accomplish before I turned, instead I decided to make a list of 30 things to do/achieve/work on/continue doing/see/etc. in my 30th year.
  1. Take a trip with just Hubby & I (we're already in the planning stage of this).  
  2. Take another family vacation to Florida in the fall.  
  3. Continue going to Zumba at least 2x a week.  
  4. Take Elyse to Story Hour at the local library. 
  5. Make healthier eating choices for me & my family. 
  6. Fix a new recipe for dinner at least once a month.  
  7. Read at least one fiction book each month, preferably at least 2.    
  8. Blog for myself, to keep track of the important events & the mundane details of our family's life.  
  9. Meal plan consistently to keep the grocery budget in check.   
  10. Go on family walks in the evenings during the summer.  
  11. Continue having a couple's devotional with Nick (we started Night Light by James Dobson and are really enjoying it).  
  12. Continue getting up a few minutes early to have my quiet time.  
  13. Have lunch with a at least one good friend a few times a month. (I've already got this scheduled to start this week!)
  14. Plan craft days with my mom to do some of those Pinterest projects that are stacking up.  
  15. Go out to lunch/shopping once a month with my mom & Elyse.  
  16. Try new learning activities with Elyse 1-2x per month on my days at home with her.  
  17. Have date night with Nick at least 1-2 times per month.  
  18. Schedule play dates with a few of my fellow momma friends.  
  19. Continue feeding Elyse new foods in the hopes of avoiding a picky eater!  
  20. Visit our local zoo on a regular basis with Elyse.  
  21. Read to Elyse from her Beginner's Bible on a more regular basis.  
  22. Take Elyse to at least one St. Louis Cardinals' game.  
  23. Just relax & enjoy time at home with my family.  
  24. Visit our local Discovery Center to play with Elyse.  
  25. Read & research some good parenting books for raising daughters.  
  26. Finish Elyse's baby book & order the photos to go in it.  
  27. Drink more water.  
  28. Run at least 4 5ks (Color Run-April 2013, Running of the Squirrels-May 2013, Running of the Lights-November 2013, Turkey Trot-November 2013)...maybe another one or two, maybe.    
  29. Plan more girls' nights or girls' days out!  
  30. Worry less.  
Several of these things I am already doing and I hope to continue them as we move through the year.  Most all are easily achievable or already in the planning stages, and as I look at this list I'm pretty excited for what my 30th year holds!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Elyse Ann~1 Year Photoshoot

With the holidays, and my self-imposed blogging break I completely failed to share Elyse's pictures from her 1-year photo shoot!  I can't believe that we have now completed the sessions included in our "newborn package" that we bought from our photographer! 

I'm in love with these images & I'm so thankful that Erica captured her personality so perfectly! 


I can't believe that it's already been almost 2 months since these were taken...TIME PLEASE SLOW DOWN!!!!

All photos courtesy of Turner Creative Photography