taz + belly: January 2009

A Fancy Birthday Breakfast

30 January 2009

Ella & I decided to cook SD breakfast in bed for his birthday and wanted to make it "fancy." So, we donned the spirit of Fancy Nancy herself and got all dolled up. We served sausage balls, sweet tea {he doesn't drink coffee or juice} and presents, of course.

Dear Sweet Daddy, Happy 3-0! We love you VERY much and are so glad that you are home {for good} to celebrate with us. You are positively the best daddy and husband we could ask for and we thank God for you every day. You'll be pleased to know you even made the "thankful" list one night this week. We plan on taking good care of you today and making your big day as wonderful as we can.

We love you because you...

take us to church,
provide for us,
cut the grass and do dirty chores,
cook really good fried chicken,
pray for us,
love to read Fancy Nancy,
give good back rubs,
snuggle us,
and best of all
take us to the circus on your birthday!

We hope you love your new bible and that you enjoyed the fancy breakfast as much as we did. Thanks for being our best boy {he calls us his best girls}.

We love you,

Kristin & Ella

Family Night Supper

It is tradition in my family, especially once you're "too old" for a birthday party, to have Family Night Supper. This means all seven of us {Gran, Poppy, K, Cory, SD, Me & Ella} get together at somebody's house and my mom cooks all of your favorites {unless of course it is her birthday when we cook for her or go out to dinner}, meaning you totally pick the menu and it is good!

Tonight was Family Night Supper at K's house and my mom made pot roast, potatoes & carrots, corn, peas and homemade biscuits. We didn't have dessert or birthday cake because Josh doesn't eat sweets {weirdo}, but dinner was fabulous. We had a chance to visit with each other and see how K's house is coming along.

As much as I want to wish Sweet Daddy a Happy Birthday, I'm saving that for tomorrow's post. Look for a sweet birthday post in the morning with many adorable pictures. It promises to deliver.

Amazing Grace

28 January 2009

This is sort of a random post, but I heard this song today on the way home and while I'm singing along, it never ceases to remind me what a wonderful Savior we have. I'm posting the lyrics below and emphasizing my favorite part. It isn't set to the tune of Amazing Grace, so if you haven't heard it before you should absolutely watch the video below. I love how God seems to provide a playlist for my life and the song always speaks to that moment incredibly.

"Amazing Grace
(My Chains Are Gone)"

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine


After posting the pictures of Emma's paintings, I got several emails, so here are a few more that I painted before Christmas. Again, these are pink, green & yellow. It seems that every request I get is for a little girls room and those are always the colors. Any baby boys need some nursery decor out there? These are antiqued and have a little different feel. Enjoy!

**Please keep in mind my photo skills leave something to be desired. The color and finish on these is much prettier in person :).

Emma Rose

These are the paintings Sue ordered for her grand-daughter, Emma's, first birthday this weekend. They are really similar to the ones in Ella's room, but a little less formal. I hope she loves them as much as we do. Ella asked me this morning when we were taking them to Emma. She's been saying all week, "These are for another little girl?"

If you know of anyone who's interested in paintings for kids spaces, please let me know. I'm hoping to set up an Etsy shop one of these days, but until my house is back in order, that's on the back burner. Enjoy!

The Day

27 January 2009

So my post was originally titled "The Perfect Day". Then I read this post while waiting on my pictures to upload and was reminded that despite the fact we are determined, I am determined to post about the most perfect parts of my life, it remains imperfect and stressful. I have bad days. I had one today.

Then when I compare what I consider 'bad' to all of the other things that could be going on in my life today, I am humbled. I have a home and food in my pantry. I have a reliable car that gets me back and forth to work everyday. I have a career that supports my family and allows my husband to do what he loves. I have a beautiful child, whom I prayed desperately for, that fills my life with such wonderful moments. A Father in heaven. Saving grace. Eternity with Him.

Although there are so many things that people I know are going through, that I don't identify with and might never understand, my life isn't only the happy pictures posted every day. I struggle. I cry. I ask questions. I've dealt with things I never dreamed I would have to. I hurt. I grieve. I want another baby.

I read an email today that reminded me of why I started this blog. Our scrapbooks and photo albums are full of photographs. Snapshots reminding us of births and parties, vacations and holidays. If someone we didn't know flipped through those pages they would think we "live at Disney and open presents everyday". I began posting because I wanted to preserve a more realistic picture of our everyday lives, the little things that won't make it into the baby book or the photo album. I think somewhere along the way I began to edit those moments and this blog is starting to resemble those scrapbooks.

I don't apologize for the abundance of happy posts and pretty pictures, the lists of things I'm thankful for. What I am sorry for is painting a picture of a perfect family and a perfect life. It is by God's grace alone that I am blessed with a family to speak of. It is because of Him, I have the strength to share. I'm starting to learn that transparency is rewarded. Other moms need to know when we struggle and when we question and when we grieve. I have learned so much from those of you who share your most intimate moments with perfect strangers. I hope that I can be brave enough to follow in your footsteps.

Below are the photos from my original Perfect Day post. They seem a little unrelated to the post now, but boy were the moments they capture wonderful.


When daddy's away

26 January 2009

the girls get to play! Wanna know what we do when you're gone, daddy?

We get messy with red paint...

and then make bubbles to clean up the mess.

You light up my life

I bought this lovely little shade today at Target for 17 clams! Pretty exciting, huh? I wasn't even looking, but it looks great against the mint green walls of our studio/play room. The lamp isn't quite right, but it was an extra that I had stashed in the closet and it will do until I find a great gourd lamp of some kind.

While pulling this lamp from the closet, I dropped it and the light bulb shattered into a million pieces. Did I mention that it hit my knee pretty hard on the way down? I followed it to the ground and rolled around a little while the dog licked my face and Ella asked what was wrong. She said, "Don't worry. When Daddy gets home he can fix it." Be still my heart. When I told her to back up that the glass was sharp and would cut her foot, she said "It would cut my foot and then I fall down on the floor like you." Like mother, like daughter.

p.s. don't look too close, that Rosemary is on it's last little leg.

French Braids

25 January 2009

I'll be back in full-force tomorrow, but I wanted to share these pictures first.

I've been busy this weekend. We had a fab date night {but I wouldn't recommend that movie for guys} and I spent all day yesterday cleaning and organizing my house. I didn't pick Ella up from Nana's until after 4 o'clock and my Christmas decorations are finally packed up! Well... almost. I ran out of storage boxes {which means I bought stuff this year} and I still need to take down the wreaths on my front porch. I'm close, though, and that's more than I could've said on Friday. SD and I have also spent the weekend walking around the rock house, dreaming and taking lots of measurements. We're contemplating some major renovations in the coming months and we're really excited. Pray that the interest rates hang tight and his schedule doesn't fill up for February and March and I might have some amazing before and after shots for you.

In the meantime, I'm brushing up on my french braiding skills. She didn't sit very still and her hair is so fine it will probably all just slide out. It excites me nonetheless.

Fat Suit

23 January 2009

I was really excited about my date tonight. Ella is spending the night at Nana's. We're going to see this and eat here. Then I tried on jeans. My fat jeans. And they wouldn't button. So, now I'm wearing my super fat jeans. I mean the back of the closet, I know I'll never get this big, but I'll buy them because they are $13 at TJMaxx, have cute sailor buttons and maybe I can wear them if I ever get pregnant jeans. I would TOTALLY wear maternity jeans right now because they'd be cuter and more comfortable, but then I'd be compelled to eat ice cream and cheeseburgers so I'll tough it out.

The moral of this story is my New Year's Resolutions better kick in gear any day now or I'm liable to fall completely apart. If you hear screams and wails tomorrow it's because my elliptical is getting 4 times the workout it is used to. Pray for it. And Josh for that matter.

The hall monitor and the car ride home

22 January 2009

I know that you know that we're positively enamored with Taylor Swift. And by we, I mean Ella. We must have put that CD in fifty times and listened to Love Story and Breathe at least a thousand times. I pretty much let Ella do what she wants to do in the car, because come on, it's the car. There aren't exactly options on a five hour car trip and I can't deal with the childish screaming while Josh uses the cruise control buttons instead of the gas/brake and I climb back and forth over the seats looking for Bunny. I should really just burn a CD that has those two songs and Chicken Fried on it. At least then my fingers wouldn't cramp from pressing the skip button.

Most of the car ride home was filled with snoring and chocolate-consuming with a few memorable one-liners thrown about. She begged for the elevator a few more times, requested that we stop at camper dealerships to look at a few more campers, ate Reese's Cups and beefed up her vocabulary.

I know you probably get tired of the daily recap of Kids Say the Darnedest Things, but I didn't know they could be so funny. I never expected my two year old to both impress and confuse me daily. Josh tried to warn me that I was teaching her to talk too early, but if you know me IRL* then maybe you understand. The prospect of living with another person who likes to talk as much as I do seemed like the unattainable dream, a mere myth. Then God gave me Ella and made my wildest dreams come true.

She loves to read and memorizes passages from books to use later, like: "See Dick run. Run Dick run." Then she turns the page to further her drama. She says, while reading Fancy Nancy, "I love accessories" and "Ooh, La, La - My family is posh." The she looks at you with this sparkle in her eye like she's pulling one over on you. She even asked me Monday night if we were watching "'Merican Idol" and tells us that AI is "Stupendous." We spit tea in the floor and spew coke from our noses on a regular basis around here. Just in case you were asking.

I've taken to calling her the hall monitor because she is in charge of conversation and regulates the spoken word at our house. Frankly, she regulates the spoken word at every house provided that she's present and awake. Gran has determined she has the foulest mouth around because Ella corrects her at the close of every sentence. She is the language nazi and even scolds the television for taking the Lord's name in vain. I'm afraid any day now she's going to correct someone in public who will really let me have it.

We laugh because she'll occasionally run a word by us for approval before adding it to her rotation. She asked about gosh, golly and holy-moly before using them in conversation. But, it gets even better. Sometimes if she forgets we'll have a conversation similar to this:

E: "God!" {in frustration}

M: "What did you say?"

E: "God made the sky. He made everything."

They're crafty little creatures.

This week instead of asking for permission and/or clarification on "ugly" words, she began asking about words that had many syllables or that she didn't fully understand. Among them: gracious, attitude, heavens and Valentine's. "Do we say attitude? Is that ugly?" Don't laugh if you see us in public and we're spelling out benign words, talking in code or saying goodness gracious in place of harsher words. Unless you want it repeated to the best friend, the check-out clerk or the Sunday School teacher, we can't say it around here!

*IRL means 'in real life' for those of you who don't speak blogish!

Front Page News

21 January 2009

breakfast at the beach on Sunday
Tonight we watched American Idol, cause that's what we do. All the while I was recording Lost in the other room to savor while Ella slept {it was fab by the way}. During the commercials we were eating grapes and loving on Beemer. Ella reminded me that Beemer was her favorite and I could be second. But not first. Conversations with her are always so funny; it was at that moment I decided on the interview.

The following questions and answers are to the best of my memory.

M: Who is your favorite person?
E: Beemer

M: What is your favorite TV show?
E: Mickey Mouse

M: What is your favorite color?
E: TV Show
M: No, color... you know... red, yellow, green?
E: Blue

M: What is your favorite food?
E: Donuts

M: What is your favorite outfit?
E: Pink {dress}

M: What is your favorite book?
E: Holly
M: You mean Lilly?
E: Yeah, Lilly {Lilly's Big Day - a book about being a flower girl}

M: What is your favorite toy?
E: Fancy and I can't say {which means I can't remember the word}
M: Jaz?
E: No
M: Tinkerbelle?
E: No
M: Bunny?
E: Yeah, Bunny

M: What is your favorite song?
E: Taylor Swift {as if there was any question}

M: What were you thankful for today?
E: Molly, Jessica, teddy bears, my pictures {that I painted in her room}, all my friends

Naked Baby + Pull Up = Hat

This is just further evidence that we spent the weekend being naked. She would rather wear panties on her head than her heiny.

When I grow up

20 January 2009

At some point over the weekend I asked Ella what she wanted to be when she grows up. She didn't even acknowledge the question at the time, despite its relevancy to whatever conversation we were having. Now some of you might laugh and say that she couldn't possibly know what I meant, but this child gets it. Well, except that sometimes she gets confused between "grow up" as in age and get older as opposed to "growed up" which usually means to throw up or gag, but that's a story for another day.

Anyway... on Sunday afternoon we were eating lunch at Live Bait in Orange Beach {sidebar: let me tell you that we were the only customers this side of 75!}. We were eating seafood, coloring pictures and admiring the sea creatures hanging from the ceiling. My only complaint is that the television selection was awful. They were playing a different ESPN channel on every monitor and the one closest to us was showing women's professional bowling. Ella looked at the TV and then looked at me. She pointed to that big screen and said, "I wanna do that when I grow up!"

A professional bowler that loves the beach. What more could a mama ask for? Make me proud, baby! When I grow up, I want to live at the beach and make more beautiful babies like this one.

We did a lot of stuff...

Our summer trips to GS are full of fellowship, family time and long days at the beach. We travel in a caravan of RVs and usually spend upwards of ten days camping at our favorite State Park, many of us stay for a month or more. We spend most days at the beach, one day shopping and several days lazing around our campsites riding bikes, reading books and playing cards.

I am so lucky to be a part of an amazing family and we are all very close. There are as many as 35 of us at the beach together on a given day. It is crazy to see us all spread out like a Bedouin community not far from shore. There are coolers and umbrellas, tents and towels, toys and sack lunches. It is without question my favorite time of the year.

I know that people like the beach, some people love the beach. My family adores it. Despite the naysayers, we love avoiding the overpriced hotels and condos in favor of time outside and a place to stretch our legs. We've watched the park change after hurricanes and other natural disasters and love it's scarred landscape all the more. Sitting outside listening to crickets after dark, fighting racoons for your trashcan and waiting in line for a shower are all part of the charm. I wouldn't trade those experiences for the most beautiful house on the beach.

That said, this trip was a little different. Wait, this trip was very different. There were only three of us and we stayed in... {gasp} a hotel! We ate out almost every meal and were absolutely indulgent. It was just what we needed to shake the January blues and remind us that in five short months we'd be at it again, only that time there would be sunshine and cousins to fill the days.

We didn't tell Ella where we were going. When we arrived a little before midnight, I asked if she wanted to look out the window and see where we were. She told me that she'd rather go to bed. Just before sunrise the next day, I woke up to a sweet little girl peering at me over a nightstand that separated our beds. She said, "G'morning Mommy." I smiled and waved. She said, "We taked a trip!" I tumbled out of bed, crazy hair and all and whisked her away to the window. We shoved back the curtains {much to SD's dismay} and she screamed, "DADDY! We're at the beach!"

She stood right here on top of the heater for almost thirty minutes. Watching dolphins and seagles {sea gulls} and admiring the ocean.

We had horribly overpriced pancakes for breakfast, with loads of syrup and apple juice.

We took a walk on the beach and got a manicure from SD before naptime.

We went swimming in the hot tub because our 'indoor' pool wasn't heated; she didn't even notice.

My favorite part of the weekend was snuggling on clean white sheets while the sun filled our little hotel room, listening to the waves roll in before we even brushed our teeth.

Ella had her first solo ice cream cone and insisted that it be pink with candies. We rode the elevator countless times and Ella always pushed the button. We had no major meltdowns, no food aversions, no tummy aches and no accidents. She cried when we left; she begged to go back to the hotel. Can we ride the elevator one more time?

GS, we miss you already.


19 January 2009

As evidenced by this photograph, we spent a lot of time naked on vacation. Let me rephrase that, Ella spent a lot of time naked on vacation. Any time we returned to our room to change clothes, whatever the reason, as soon as I took the last item she would say, "Can I be naked?" Of course you can, that is what vacation is for! We just kept the thermostat cranked up and she ran around in a pull-up for three days.

Tonight before bed, I snuggled Ella into her room under a sheet, sweater blanket and two quilts. I turned her heater on and gave her two bunnies. She told me both of her bible verses for this month {Psalms 139:14 and 34:1} and said her prayers. At the suggestion of a great friend I asked her what she was thankful for. She immediately said, "God" because that is her standard answer for most questions that occur in close proximity to verses and prayers. I asked her to tell me a few more things and after much consideration she declared she was thankful for {and I quote}, "Dora, Boots, Diego and Baby Jaguar." Me too. But mostly I'm thankful for Martin Luther King Day, family road trips, naked babies and toothless grins.

Good Morning Gulf Shores...

This is what we woke up to on Saturday morning. A beautiful sunrise and about 12 dolphins {not pictured} playing not far from shore. Ella & I stood at the window for half an hour watching them jump up and down. She kept screaming, "I see them, I see them." Very exciting.

We had a fabulous weekend with many stories and not as many good pictures {we were much too busy having fun to remember the camera}. Much more to follow...

Present to myself

15 January 2009

{{UPDATED - I found a picture!!}}

I know, I know... no picture. I'm sorry. What can I say? I packed my camera already. Along with half of my wardrobe and all of Ella's. I haven't even made a reservation yet and we still don't have anybody to stay with the dog on Sunday night. I'm pretty sure we're going, but with the way my week has been going one never knows.

I'm really frustrated because I wanted to show you something beautiful and I can't find a photo via the web. I am too excited because I bought an exquisite coat today at Express. Wanna know what the tag said? $298.00. You don't really think I'm that crazy right? I bought it for $29.99!!! Are you freaking out? I am freaking out. It was marked down a hundred times to $49.99 and then all of their sale items were 40% off. My friend, Ryan and I both bought beauties and we only darted in on a lunch-time whim. Boy were we glad. It is black wool with satin lining and three-quarter-length dolman sleeves. Oh, I'll take a modelesque picture this weekend and post it for you. Every girl's dream.

Did I mention that my child told me she didn't love me today? In a rather harsh tone I might add. Thank you Jesus for my lunch time shopping success or I might be having a nervous breakdown right about now. She apologized and she's "practicing" folding laundry; which is really a pile of hand towels. It was either that or have her unpack her bag for the fourteenth time.

We haven't even told her that we're going to the beach {hopefully}. I think we're gonna let her wake up in a hotel room Saturday morning and just open the curtains. She likes drama. It ought to go over well.

Hopefully, you won't hear from me again until Tuesday {If you do, don't ask about the beach - it must have gone to hell in a hand basket}. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend, your post-less Silent Sunday and your holiday. We'll be swimming in a heated pool, watching the waves roll in and eating at least three meals at The Shrimp Basket. Wait for it.

Resolutions gone awry

14 January 2009

WARNING: There are too many parentheticals in the post.

Sweet Daddy finally started feeling better on Saturday evening {when you get to spend a week on the couch, I'm guessing you probably do feel pretty spry} so we all headed to church Sunday morning. We had children's church and wow they were energetic. We had conversations about how we should "...praise the Lord at all times" {Psalms 34:1} and that included when we were sitting on the front row waiting for our cue to leave and while we were running screaming up the stairs to our classroom. I'm just guessing, but I don't think they got it. SD had a pain as we were leaving church {which threatened to ruin our much anticipated Mexican feast}, but he got over it and we joined the fam for lunch.

As if kidney stones, surprise surgery and multiple trips to the doctor in one day aren't enough, he strained a muscle getting in the car. I know... what grown man strains a muscle seating himself in the passenger side of a relatively tame Jeep? Apparently one who walks a little crippled to keep the kidney pains at bay. Moving on.

Do you remember that famous list of New Year's Resolutions that I made, mostly because I haven't ever done that before and kind of because I needed a little kick in the behind? Well this week I kind of said to heck with them. I haven't had a soft-drink since we left the hospital, but I haven't had an ounce of water either. I can count only twice that I've set foot on the elliptical, although that's mostly because SD took up permanent residence in our bed, which happens to face said excercise equipment. I haven't been a very good wife or mother this week, it is too hard with sick people and whiny two year olds and a 90 pound dog that is suddenly obsessed with all things stuffed. I mean seriously, everytime I walk in the door she's holding a pillow, stuffed animal or pair of socks in her mouth?! I digress... The worst part of this resolution debacle is that I haven't come any closer to organization since balancing the checkbook and ordering a day planner last week {which is pretty stinking awesome, but I missed the part about it only being a 40 week planner!!!}. I have been carrying bills around in my purse for 5 days, but have failed to pay a single one, the empty trashcan is still lying by the mailbox and there is a load of laundry that quite possibly will need to be washed for a third time because I can't seem to remember to put it in the dryer.

Everyday that I come home and think, "Today is the day I get organized, clean house and act industrious" something new comes on television. I hate admitting that I'm a slave to appointment television, but come on! When did reality television get so good? I was thrilled to see 24 return, but four hours in one week is a little much. Especially when you add two hours of The Bachelor and four hours of American Idol. When do you expect me to do my housework, network television?? Next week LOST comes on and I'll completely lose another hour of my week. If you think I'm sacrificing LOST to assist with potty breaks, cook dinner, fold laundry or let the dog out then don't know me very well. This is quite possible my strongest vice.

You'll also remember that I mentioned being off work Monday and the excitement about pretending to be a stay-at-home mom. I seem to recall saying something about having my housework done before then and that my Christmas decor would be neatly packed in boxes and in our storage building so that I could enjoy lots of girly goodness. Since there are still wreaths on my front windows, lights on the mantle and a tree in the studio that is looking less and less likely. Instead, we're thinking about packing up and heading to the beach for the weekend and ignoring the mess altogether. After all, there is nothing like celebrating Christmas for ten whole weeks.

I think my new resolution is to have the house un-decorated by Valentine's Day. Maybe I can schedule exercise and bible reading for March. Don't you think that is much more reasonable?

::UPDATE:: Did I mention that I ruined dinner two nights in a row? I really need a vacay!

Semi-Silent Sunday

11 January 2009

A few pictures from our day.

Ella playing with her new magnetic Ballerina paper dolls.


This is how I found her. I was checking on her today and when I cracked the door, she was asleep in her chair about 2 feet from where I was standing. We're working on staying in our big girl bed during naptime. It makes me wonder at all of the sweet moments that we miss when we aren't following them around. You know I didn't care if the camera woke her up, right? It was too cute to miss.

In case you were wondering, she's still dreaming.

Better with time

10 January 2009

Well, things are getting better around here. Not good, but better. I was feeling a little frustrated last night thinking about all there was to do today, but I vowed not to do anything productive before bed, just relax. Josh and Ella were both in bed by 6:30 and I read blogs, ate a snack and watched What Not To Wear. It was fabulously quiet.

This morning I got up and made pigs in a blanket and a pot of coffee. I sat at the computer and played while Ella watched Franklin and Jack's Big Music Show. Josh slept. Beemer slept. It was quiet again. I decided that I would relax for a little while and then bust a move around the house. We were eating dinner with Josh's parents so I knew I had all day to work before we had anything to do or anywhere to be.

Guess what? We were eating lunch, not dinner. Apparently in Josh's drugged up state and my exhaustion, when Josh's mom offered to cook for us neither one of us were paying attention. Anyway, cleaning got pushed to the back burner and we had a FABULOUS lunch with Nana & Cookie. It was yummy fried chicken and fried potatoes & onions and it was just what we needed after fast food and hospital fare. Ella fell asleep on the way home, Josh took some medicine and laid down. I took a look at the mess and said, "to heck with it." I climbed in bed with Josh and slept like a baby.

In the two hours since we woke up, I've managed to clean the bathroom, kitchen, living and dining rooms. I've rid them all of Christmas cheer, dusted, vacuumed and rearranged doo-dads. I still have lots to do before bedtime and a little more to do tomorrow, but I'm starting to feel a little better about my situation.

I'm off work a week from Monday and I want my house to be spotless. I want to play Barbies, make play-doh cookies, scrapbook and watch movies. Maybe we'll make brownies or play outside if the weather is nice. Whatever the weather, I want to enjoy a wonderful day at home with my family and I absolutely DO NOT want to do it while looking at Santa Claus.

** Since Ella is in an anti-photo mood today, these are a few from last spring - she went through a phase where she loved helping Kalli clean our house in the afternoon. How cute is she? **

Tag You're It!

I have been tagged by Ashley at Heath Bars & Reese's Cups. The rules are to post the 4th picture from the 4th folder on your computer where you store your pictures, explain the picture, then tag 4 of your friends to share their pictures, too. Don't forget to let them know they've been tagged by leaving them a comment on their own blog.

Luckily, my fourth folder contained pre-blogger photos, so you won't be bored! This is a picture of Ella and Isabella last February, right before Valentine's Day. It was a Saturday and we were all home hanging out and having fun. Bull, Ali & Bella came over to play and had such a good time. We put Bella in a white wicker bassinet that Ella's dolls sleep in and Ella pushed her all over the house. It was hilarious. This picture is of Ella kissing Bella on the head. Can you believe how little they look? Ella had virtually NO hair!

You know I'm not very good at passing the tag along, but I'll try and do my best.

1. Beth at Adventures with Alston
2. Sue at The Cotton Patch
3. Amy at My Beautiful Disaster
4. Amye at All Things Creatively Designed

Ladies & Gentlemen...

09 January 2009

my new boots!* Just in case that last post stressed you out as much as it did me, here is a little pretty to cheer you up. These are Ella's new boots, perfect and polka-dotsy, don't you think? The ones Nana picked out for Christmas were adorable, but didn't take into account Ella's chunky-monkey legs! She swapped them for these and they came in the mail this week. Ella loves them, but refused to be in the picture, so this photo is the best I could do. Awesome, right?

*{not to be confused with an earlier post of the same name} I can't quite remember why, but at some point my sweet friend from college, Michelle, told a story about "Ladies and Gentlemen, my new boots" and it quickly became a go-to phrase in my vocabulary. I didn't realize I had another post of the same name/topic until I was going back looking for scrap-booking pictures a few minutes ago; how funny. Michelle, if you're reading... I never, ever say that without laughing out loud and thinking of you!

Christmas is over?

This is what it looks like when you buy a dead Christmas tree {without knowing it, of course}, then leave it up for six weeks and attempt to take it down and out without the assistance of your able husband.

Since Josh has been to the emergency room once, stayed overnight at the hospital, had surgery and been to the doctor twice since we got home on Tuesday and I've worked exactly fourteen hours this week and spent the remainder caring for him, our house still looks like Christmas was yesterday. The trees are the only thing I've managed to take down, the wreath is dead and getting worse by the minute, there are boxes everywhere, about 90 loads of laundry to fold and a trail of junk from the front door to the back door. Josh is sleeping {the Demerol and Percocet helped, I'm sure}, Ella isn't home yet and I'm standing here staring at the mess wondering where to even begin.

The good news is I've scrapped 8 pages of Ella's life this week, cheered for the return of prime time television, paid bills, balanced my checkbook and ordered a day planner. Still on the list are:
  • fold laundry
  • clean kitchen, bathroom & laundry room
  • dust & vacuum
  • box up Christmas decorations
  • organize closets {I still haven't put my winter clothes in the closet yet}
  • refinish table/chairs for my living room
  • clean off back porch
  • organize storage shed
  • take the dog to the vet
  • have my car serviced before the warranty runs out
  • and fulfill prior New Year's Resolutions
Anyone want to join me for a Coke?

New things to do

08 January 2009

Ella always wants us to play in her room {which, of course, we don't mind}. She'll say, "Come in my room. There's toys in there. It's fun." We laugh so hard because it is almost the same speech every time. Today she invited me to play in the kitchen, but I must admit after only 15 days I'm worn out from kitchen play. This time, I suggested something new.

Do you think it's weird that my two year old daughter has never played with Play Doh? She got some for Christmas last year and we never even opened it. We got some again this year and I promise we're doing better. We put on our smock, whipped out the rolling pin and cookie cutters and got to work. She kept saying, "It's a new game!"

New games are always fun. As a part of my resolution to memorize more scripture this year, I decided to share that fun with Ella. I decided if she was smart enough to memorize an entire Taylor Swift album, then she could certainly learn a bible verse each month. Wow did she blow me away. We're working on our second of the month and today is just the eighth day!

Our first verse is: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalms 139:14; our second one is "I will praise the Lord at all times." Psalm 34:1. As soon as I can figure out how to get video from my camera to my computer and then to blogger, I'll share them with you.

New games are so much fun.

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