Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Packing up.

And moving! Go to to find me from now on.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How Romantical.

Brady and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary last week. FIVE YEARS! Holy crap, where did that time go?! To honor it, we passed the kids off on my in-laws (thank you!) and took a road trip. We went to Oklahoma City for one night and then got a cabin for three nights in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. I know, Oklahoma - not the first destination that comes to mind when you say romantic. However, it turns out that when you're starved for some adult time, it doesn't matter where you go! We had a blast together, totally reconnected and made some great new memories that don't involve babies and toddlers. It was fabulous.

So, I have tons of pictures to share, but I'll start with a short story. From OKC to Broken Bow, we decided to take the Talimena Scenic Drive, even though it was a little longer drive. The weather was awesome, the air felt and smelled so fresh and we cranked up the iPod and drove and drove. One of the first scenic overlooks we came to, we pulled off the road to check out the view.
Pretty, huh? Not sure if the picture does it justice. It was breathtaking. I think I said, "Are we still in Oklahoma?" So we sat and enjoyed it. And even thought it was incredibly beautiful, there was this one dead tree sticking up right in our view. Getting right in the way of perfection.

I mentioned it and before I knew it, Brady climbed down the hill and tore the tree down.

Ah, much better :) Now, that's love.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This is why I take so many freaking pictures.

I fill my camera. And then I fill my back-up memory card. And then I fill my hard drive. And now my back-up drive is full. Plus, I print the pictures and organize them into page after page of albums, then line them up on shelves. Officially, having pictures is a hobby of mine. Not just taking pictures, but looking through them, editing them, sharing them, reflecting, etc, etc. All the things you do with them after the shutter clicks. Take a lot of time and energy.

So, why do I do it? Good question. I ask myself the same thing. Don't always come up with an answer, but this helps:

Luckily, Lilah (and Jak and Eva) love to look at photo albums. I let them each grab an album from the shelf and they get so excited as they turn the pages, recognizing people and themselves. As Lilah has gotten older, she actually seems to recall some of the memories - or at least I tell myself that. Before we go see friends or family that we haven't seen lately, I always pull out a book and we talk about who they are.

Lilah really appreciates looking at all these photos we snap, and I hope that never fades. I know that I still enjoy sifting through albums of my childhood and talking over them with my parents. Every photo means something different for them than for me. Like, I remember my incredible 5th birthday and the awesome bike I got, while my mom remembers slaving away on my Rainbow Brite cake up to the last minute before the party.

Mmmmmm, cake...

Friday, August 28, 2009

DIYday, Vol. 1

As a far as crafting goes, I am a collector. I collect piles of fabric, jars of buttons, stacks (and stacks) of papers, drawers of thread and notions, rows of ribbons, piles of clippings, etc, etc. Actually, instead of "collect" a more appropriate word might be "hoard". I hoard all these things in hopes that someday I'll have time to do something creative with them. One of my favorite things to hoard is tutorials. Like, free online tutorials where somebody has come up with some cute little sewing or paper project that they explain in photos and tell you how to do it. I seriously have hundreds of these bookmarked on my computer. Hundreds. I know, silly, right? Please don't ask me how many I've actually used.

Anyways, in an effort to bring purpose to all that tutorial hoarding, I want to share some with you. I'm calling this DIYday. You'll see tutorials for sewing, crafting, cooking - just about any kind of making. So, here goes:

Pinwheels by Heather Bailey. My daughter loves pinwheels and I have been wanting to make one of these for her. Hmmm ... maybe with my new SAHM-status, we could do that together. Break out the safety scissors!

Poms by Martha (no last name required). My SIL has made some flowers similar to these, and I keep them on the window sill by my computer, so I see them every day! A little bit of color that never wilts!

Fun stuff, huh? I'm thinking those poms would be great decor for a baby shower, or even a baby's room? And I love that the cookie jars can be customized with a different color for another occasion. Not that the pink isn't awesome.

Okay, now I don't feel so guilty for hoarding all those fabulous ideas!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Even straighter.

About a year ago, I wrote that I was "getting my priorities straight." Well, here I am, taking that one step further. Yesterday was my first day as a professional mommy. I'm out of the office and back in the house for 24 hours, 7 days a week of motherhood bliss.

Okay, who I am I kidding? Bliss? Pish. I know it's gonna be tough. I know there will be days where I will be calling the agency and begging to come back. I'm quite positive that I will long for adult conversation and advertising talk. And I'm sure that I will want to throw my kids at their dad when he walks in from work and jump in the car, head to the liqour store and never come back. But, the thing is, I think it's going to be better than dropping them at daycare every day and missing so much. Like today when I got to listen to Lilah sneak in to sing Graham to sleep. Or when Graham sat up on his own today for a full 15 seconds - and then Lilah had to show me she could do it, too.

So, it's a temporary tradeoff. I'll go back to work, someday. Fingers crossed, I make it past next week :)

Some random photos from the last month or so:

Digging potatoes with Brady's family in Clay Center. Lilah was pretty excited to get dirty and play with her cousins. As you can see, the adults did all the hard work. Me, I took pictures and held Graham.

My family's vacation to Beaver Lake - in Arkansas. We have friends that have a home there that we borrow and the whole trip is fabulous. We swam, boated, grilled, floated, took walks, toured a local hatchery and ate incredibly well. Tried some new recipes, including my families new favorite, JalapeƱo Poppers. (Please note: I am not a fan of these, but everybody else who eats them is.)

Lilah's first French braid. As a child, my mother did this to my hair A LOT. And one day on vacation, while my mom had Lilah, I was surprised and delighted to come back and see this. I love it and have been trying to master it myself. Would be much easier if she wasn't so wiggly.

And, also on vacation - my favorite picture of Lilah and my dad. It just captures everything - she absolutely adores him. So much so that she would rather chill on a picnic table with him than go play on the beach with her cousins.

This little guy is growing up so much lately. So close to being able to sit up on his own. Plus two teeth now. And the jolliest little fart ever.

Check out those baby blues on my favorite little girl:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Going green. (A new reason to potty train.)

Everybody's doing it, right? A few months ago, we started seriously recycling. We switched waste companies and started getting curbside recycling. In Wichita, you can now get a huge container that you can throw ALL your recyclables into. EVERYTHING. Paper. All plastics. Aluminum. Cardboard. Chipboard. Glass, etc. No sorting. No hauling it to your nearest recycle bin. It feels great and is super-easy. It has really cut down on our amount of waste. If there were no diapers in it, we'd hardly have any trash each week. (But we're working very dilligently to reduce the amount diapers that go into it!!! See photo below!)

I also even started collecting plastic bags to recycle (Not throught the same service.) - Dillon's takes all kinds of plastic bags, plastic packing, etc. Not just your grocery bags (cause now everybody uses those canvas bags anyways, right?), but all plastic. I've been really amazed at how much this has added up in just the few weeks I've been collecting. Seems like everything comes in a plastic bag.

If you're interested, Waste Connnections is who offers the recycling service. As a bonus, you get rewards for how much you throw away - they weigh your bin each week and then you get "points" for how much you've collected overtime that can be redeemed online. (We have over 1600 points already! Pretty sure those are going to a target gift card soon...)

Anyways, the whole point of this post came from this letter I got in the mail today. It was one of those fabulous credit offers where they say you have some crazy amount of credit line available to you and they'll give it to you at some insane pseudo-low rate. I get a ton of these, don't you? What a waste of paper and postage and stuff! I was about to toss it into the recycling bin when I read this at the bottom of it:

You can choose to stop receiving "prescreened" offers of credit from this and other companies by calling toll-free 1.866.567.8688.

Sweet! Five minutes later, Brady and I were both opted-out for the next five years! Even better than recycling! Let's call it pre-cycling! (The process online was super-simple. It recongnized our home phone number and had all our info already. All I need was SS#'s.) Okay, no excuse, go do it now, if you haven't already!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Uneventful and lovely.

Just a few photos from a quiet weekend at home. I can't get over how much I love to just stay home! We spend last week on vacation with my family, so it was greatly appreciated to just hang out in our house and be anti-social.

Right after bath time, which is a favorite for him. And, if I'm being honest, doesn't happen as often as it should, unfortunately. (All you mom's out there with more than one kid understand, right?? RIGHT?)

That's my man. Suckin' his thumb. See, he gets rid of his own germs :)

This evening we took the kids and our nephew Jak to Buffalo Park, which has been recently updated. A great place for the kids to let out some energy.