Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Meet Me in St Louis

This past weekend my cousin Nate got married in St. Louis, and Derek was commissioned to cater the rehearsal dinner. We were both looking forward to a little vacation away from home and daily responsibilities! We started our journey Thursday night, and stayed the night with my aunt and uncle in Marshall, IL. It was really nice getting to spend some time with them, as well as do something different than we usually do (i.e. stay with my mom and dad).  Then Friday morning after a YUMMY breakfast my mom and dad met us there and we rode the rest of the way with them. 
Annabel and her cousin Caleb

The dinner went really well, and I was proud of how professional and efficient Derek was. I wish I could have gotten some pictures of him working, but I forgot our camera that day. It's too bad, too, because Annabel was really cute that day! :)
On Saturday before the wedding, us girls (me, my mom, my grandma, Aunt Paula and Annabel) all loaded up and headed out to St. Louis Mills mall. Woohoo! Banana Republic was having a huuuge clearance sale, which served my interests quite well! :) And of course, Annabel's two grandmas spoiled her rotten at Children's Place, which was also quite nice for mommy!
The wedding was lovely, and I am excited to welcome Ruth to the family. All in all, it was so fun spending time with everyone, hanging out at the hotel, drinking beer with my grandpa (haha), and just relaxing. It was also nice, because my mom and dad kept annabel in their hotel room, so Derek and I got a little break from the early morning kisses ;)
 I thought Ruthie looked so pretty in her dress...

Dancing with grandpa after changing into her jammies!
Running Grandma ragged...

This week we are back in routine, but Thursday we are heading to Bloomington to visit with my cousin Heather and her husband John, who are home for the week from Montana. We haven't seen them since before I was pregnant, so I can't wait! They were such life-savers when we moved to M****, since they were here too. 
Then of course Friday is Halloween, and we are planning to attend the "trunk or treat" at my school with Lindsay and Nora. They're going to be so cute in their little costumes! And I can't wait for all the candy! hehe. 
Saturday I'm so excited because I'm attending a conference led by my hero Kevin Lehman! Maybe I'm a nerd, but it was his books (Sex Begins in the Kitchen, Sheet Music, The Birth Order Book, etc) that really inspired me to want to be a therapist. I'm even going to take a copy of one of my books in case I get to meet him and see if he will sign it! I'm even so excited about it that I'm missing Annabel's one-year photo shoot! I have full confidence in Derek though....at least I hope I do...I'm sure he'll do fine....he won't let her eat breakfast in her picture outfit...will he??
So, busy, busy, busy. I'm trying hard to finish up my internship so I don't have to go into December and I can have the whole month off. That would be heavenly, but it requires me putting in some extra hours until then. Bleh. Something my supervisor says sticks with me - "A person can tolerate anything as long as they know its temporary." That's true! I know that very soon I will be done with school and all this craziness will be over. Until then, I'm trying to appreciate all the perks that come with being a student and the opportunity to learn all that I can. 
Annabel continues to do well. She loves to play, laughs to herself and babbles up a storm, points continuously and says "dat. Dat." She loves cookies and string cheese. She cries when she poops, so I've started her on a higher fiber diet (think prunes and bran muffins:). She loves to give kisses first thing in the morning and is snuggly and sweet. She's walking really well, likes to chase Bailey and loves to wear shoes. If she's not wearing shoes, she'll bring me a pair and point to her feet ("dat, dat"). She's just so great! At 13 months, she still loves her "milkies" (i.e. still nursing) and has embarrassed me more than one time by yanking down my shirt in public!
Anyway, I'd better wrap this up. Derek and I are powering through seasons 5 &6 of '24', so I need to give that my full attention!:) See you soon!
 Nice kitty...
 Last night Annabel looked so cute in her jammies I couldn't resist a picture!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A long week...

I'm not even sure when the last time I posted was, so I'll try to update as best I can! 
Since last week both Annabel and I have been battling colds....bleh. We've both been somewhat cranky! 
This is our little sweetie catching up on her rest!

My mom came over the weekend to help out and spend time with us. She was able to watch Annabel on Friday so she didn't have to go to daycare. Yay! While she was here she shared a few pictures of their house....it's really coming along! They hope to be in it by Christmas. 

This is their new retaining wall. It will be back-filled with dirt and landscaped. These cool bricks were salvaged from a Starbucks order that was never picked up!

On Saturday we went to the craft auction at our church. It was fun, but I bought too much stuff that I didn't need! I bought a great big table that I have no idea what to do with! Here are some pictures of Annabel having fun on the big day....
How cute are these little tights!?! I made them from an old wool sweater.

My painting did sell...and my mom bought it! What a goofball. I would have just given it to her if I'd known she wanted it!
On Monday she stayed through the afternoon so I could go to the library and study. I have a very hectic week this week, with midterms and projects due. I was so thankful for the extra help in getting ready for this week! (even though I still didn't get everything done, and I should really be working on stuff right now rather than blogging and watching '24'....:)
Here they are enjoying their breakfast Monday morning....
Annabel has a photo shoot coming up in a few weeks, with Jen Sherrick. I'm so excited about it! I decided it was a good time to pick out her outfit for it. So we did a little photo shoot with different outfits to see what looked best on her! This wasn't exactly easy, if you can imagine getting a squirmy toddler in and out of tights, skirts, sweaters, jackets, etc! She wasn't too thrilled with my great idea! Here are some of the options I came up with...what do you all think? Which is your favorite? 
 Pay no heed to the snotty nose....

This one's cute but I'm not loving the way the jacket fits...

I love the plaid dress with the white shirt! I'm thinking, the white tights, and either her brown leather maryjanes, or red cowboy boots? I'm not sure...
Here are some silly pictures of Derek from the weekend:
 Not smiling with his eyes...

Smiling with his eyes!
Some of you know what I'm talking about! :)
Annabel looked like a such a big girl today! She really is such a little toddler these days! These are some pictures of her begging pumpkin cake off daddy! She's going through a funny stage right now where she doesn't understand that she can't just eat junk food! She loooves chocolate!
We have also been hectic this week because we are leaving for a wedding on Thursday evening. My cousin is getting married and Derek is catering the rehearsal dinner. We are looking forward to it, obviously, but it does cause some extra stress on top of the normal stuff. But it will be worth it, and it should be fun, too!

Monday, October 13, 2008

What a beautiful weekend!

All in all, we have had a nice weekend. Derek was home all weekend, even today (monday) so that has been nice. Saturday was so nice, we went to the park to play. We have such an awesome playground at the park, I hate to not take advantage of it!

Sunday we went to church and Annabel got to wear her new Colt's cheerleading outfit! How cute is she?!?
Unfortunately, our cable company is not showing CBS anymore so we can't watch the games! Boo!
That night, Derek had the boys over for a poker game. Beth came to hang out with me, so we rented a movie and stayed in. (Exciting, I know!). 
Today, I've come down with the cold that Annabel's had all week. Ugh - I feel like crap. I've gone through soooo much kleenex and my head feels like it's going to explode. Tonight is definitely a Nyquil night!
This afternoon I took our infant carseat to the consignment shop and got a bunch of fun toys, including a sit'n'spin, a toy piano thing, a popcorn popper, and some ball game. And a pair of gymboree socks!:) 
 We went out to breakfast this morning - lovely isn't she? :)

 Yummy!! Apple!
One of our neighbors gave us a bag of home-grown apples, so tonight we had spiced apple glazed pork chops - yum! Annabel is trying to eat like a big girl - she wants to "do it herself"! Usually I don't let her have the spoon because she tends to use it to fling food all over the room. But tonight I gave it to her and it was so cute! She was trying so hard to put peas on in, but they just wouldn't stay! Maybe next time. 

A $300 disposable mp3 player

I am so mad! Our iPod has been on the fritz for the last few months, so we finally get around to contacting Apple. They say, lots of people have been having the same problem we are....(no sound- kind of a big deal!) and as of yet, there's no way to fix it! So what? We're all just supposed to go out and buy another one? What a piece of crap!
 Edit: I just want to say, we did not pay $300 for it. We got it as a gift about a year ago. So, at least we aren't out the money, but still....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tag, You're It

Hmmm, 6 interesting facts about myself.

1) I love to be creative (big surprise, huh?!). I feel most alive when doing something creative - painting, crafting, sewing, etc. I don't think there's any kind of craft I wouldn't at least try!

2) I celebrated my 3rd birthday as a resident of Alaska

3) I wasn't sure I wanted children. Even when I was pregnant I had many doubts and fears. However, being a mom has been the most rewarding, amazing experience of my life, and I may even want to have more!

4) When I met Derek in college, I thought he was out of my league. I liked him, but didn't think he would be interested in me. He was older and one of the cool guys! Now I know the truth....I'm way out of his league! :) (also on that...when we got together, one of the girls on my wing who didn't like him said, "well, at least you'll have beautiful children" I guess she was right!)

5) I feel like a bad mom when I put my daughter to bed without brushing her teeth. 

6) I like to wear a pearl ring that my grandma gave me - my grandpa gave it to her when she was pregnant with my dad (so the story goes...)

So now I tag my aunt Paula - you're it! However - if you want to wait until after the wedding, I guess I understand...

If you haven't already, check out Derek's blog - he doesn't post too often, but he's been putting some recipes and stuff up. Kinda cool, I think. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Annabel's walking!


Yes it's true! We had a play date with Nora on Monday at which point she was not walking. However, that evening, she just took off. I guess maybe she saw Nora doing it and decided she could do it too!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The last couple weeks have been more or less uneventful (which is nice!) Derek was home all weekend, so we got to enjoy hanging out as a family. Saturday I spent cleaning, while I should have been studying. I have a midterm this week already! But I decided instead to scrub the hardwood floors, as I've been noticing a "smell" lately. Not really an identifiable smell, just an overall musty, "dirty" smell. And since I have never cleaned the hardwood, I decided it was time for a deep cleaning. And I must say, it felt great! Though we have been on the outs for the last year or so, cleaning and I have had a lifelong love affair. I do so enjoy the immediate gratification of a little sweat and elbow grease.....and there's just nothing like sitting down at the end of the day in a nice, clean home. It is very rewarding. 
Also last week, I somewhat finished a painting that I have been working on all summer. It isn't quite done, as I need to go over some of the see-through spots again, but here it is:
I'm not super-thrilled with it, but it is probably the best thing I have ever done. It certainly has taken longer than anything I've ever done (probably about 12-16 hours total). So I'm proud that I completed it and it has given me a lot of practice. I think I'm going to donate it to our church's Harvest of Talents this year - a craft auction that donates 100% of proceeds to world hunger. If I were to sell it I would want to get probably $250 for it - approximately $15/hr plus supplies, so we'll see what it goes for at the auction. I may be disappointed, but that's okay. Now I understand why art is so expensive!
Annabel has been cutting her two bottom molars this week. I feel so bad for her - it looks so painful! Here is a snippet of what we've been experiencing the past few days! 
Poor thing!
I need to take a few minutes to say what an amazing husband I have. I know I've said it before, but he is such a good cook! Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. He can seriously make something out of nothing - I could look in the pantry/fridge/freezer a thousand times and not be able to come up with anything, but he can make the most incredible things out of pantry staples. Earlier this week he made a venison tenderloin that almost melted in my mouth along with potatoes au gratin (the real kind - layers of potatoes, cream and cheese baked to perfection, not the awful boxed mix that my mom used to make;). I was amazed. I really wish we could afford for him to stay in culinary school, because he has such a gift. 
Anyway, I need to get back to studying. Sorry for the lack of pictures - nothing too exciting around here! I'll leave you with this:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I love fall!

I don't have any new pictures but I just wanted to take a minute to say how excited I am that it's finally fall! When I was younger, my favorite season was summer, but I certainly love the fall now. There's just something about the crisp air, falling leaves, apples and new tv shows thats so nice. I always loved this time in Knoxville as well, with the football craze and the canons going off on Saturday afternoons (touchdown!), and sitting around on the patio at the Brewery with good friends...ah, memories. I think this year is especially meaningful for me because it reminds of this time last year when I was on my maternity leave and all the new feelings and experiences that brought. And of course this year, it's so fun getting able to (finally!) get out all the warmer fall clothes for Annabel. It all looks so cute on her!
I have been very busy this semester but I am enjoying it. I like my classes for the most part and am enjoying my internship. Annabel has been taking a few tentative steps and is getting sillier by the minute! She loves to "steal" something then crawl away really fast while looking over her shoulder and laughing. What a goofball! She babbles to herself and laughs at the littlest things. I love to just watch her play - it's really amazing to me. 
Another thing I am really getting into this fall is the politics. I guess it's just because I'm older, but I am finding it all really fascinating. I love watching the debates and reading news magazine articles. I'm a nerd, I know :) 
Have a great week, everyone!