Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two Ellas

Meet the two Ellas. Dean Fields and Big Ella. They are best friends. Inseparable. They play so well together and are always at eat others' side. Big Ella was born in May and Dean Fields in September. They've stayed together since my maternity leave ended in November of 2006.

This week, Big Ella's mom got transferred to another school in Shelby County and Dean Fields is the only Ella at Heidi's. We are so sad. The Ella's don't know yet and it will be a hard transition. Since Dean Fields was home sick the first two days Big Ella wasn't there and we got to see her at a birthday party yesterday, they haven't even noticed. I'm afraid this week will be a long one.

I sent my camera to school two days last week for Heidi to get some pictures of the Ellas. These were my favorite!

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We're going to miss you, Big Ella!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Sick Day List

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Today, we had two breakfasts in bed. Both consisted of cheerios.
Today, we watched Dora, Max & Ruby and Fresh Beat Band. A hundred times.
Today, we begged to go to school and dance. We claimed we weren't sick.
Today, we made yummy grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and took a long nap.
Today, we listened to the band practice and sat on the porch in the rain.
Today, we wore pajamas and didn't take a bath.
Today, we snuggled on the couch and pretended to be well.
Today, we had McDonald's for dinner because SD felt bad for us.
Today, we were sick, but we had a good day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Friends

Since Ella and Natalie will be in dance class together starting Thursday, the mommies thought it was a good idea for them to meet. We had a fun afternoon at the park and these two girls hit it off immediately. They were swinging, climbing, sliding and acting silly.

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**I realize neither of them look very happy in this picture. I'm not sure why, they had such a good time. Also... not sure why they preferred the "baby" swings, but they kept at it for quite awhile!**

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Stroll

Since Ella is suddenly addicted to cartoons, we are trying to capture her attention and creativity in other ways. We've been eliminating television during the week, except for thirty minutes before bed. The weekends, however, are more difficult. We're all tired and want to relax and somehow find ourselves piled into bed watching Toot & Puddle and Wow, Wow, Wubzy.

Today after nap, SD suggested we play outside. The weather has been great this weekend - beautifully sunny, with low humidity and a sky full of fluffy white clouds. Although we only spent about a half an hour outside, it made her forget about cartoons {or the lack thereof} and pay attention to the grass and the bugs and the clouds.

Here are a few pictures from our sunny Sunday afternoon...

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hanging out in the fort with daddy

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swinging high!

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this is Beemer falling when she attempted to "climb" the ladder

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being brave

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a walk around the neighborhood with daddy

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two Ballerinas

Today, Ella was a trooper. Me, Ashley and Beth set out at seven o'clock this morning in search of a consignment sale far away. The two little babies stayed home, but Ella was in tow. She didn't want to play golf with daddy and she didn't want to stay at home.

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I got her several cute outfits, which I'll share later in the week in a fashion post. The one thing she picked out was a pair of ballerina pajamas. They were in great shape and at $5, it was an easy sale.

Then, as if that weren't enough shopping, we picked up Alston and Ava Reese and headed to town. We went to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Tuesday Morning, Ross, Hancock Fabric and Home Goods. I didn't buy much except for birthday party accessories, but in Homegoods Ella found another little prize. She had been such a good girl today, I couldn't resist. As you can see, this prize was a ballet outfit for her sweet doll Jazz. There was ballerina goodness in abundance today!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Promise is a Promise

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Today was the big day. When I got to Garan's this afternoon Ella was beyond excited. She was all dolled up and the only thing for me to do was whip up a ballerina hairdo. She got up on the ottoman in the sunroom and gave me a couple of good poses. That girl is good at taking pictures!

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Isn't her dance bag cute? I couldn't bear to spend a lot of money, so I picked up a $2 tote bag from Hobby Lobby and had the amazing Ellen monogram it for me. She was sweet enough to doll it up with pink rick rack and ball fringe, making it even better.

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When we got to class we saw some girls we knew and we were a little more relaxed. The mommy's got to go in for a few minutes which was fun. I swear I was on the verge of tears the entire time. I know that's silly, but she looked so big and did such a great job. There are about 18 kids in her class and two boys - she was very happy to see boys! Their teachers are Ms. Haley and Ms. Amanda. They called the students up by name and gave them name tags. They were so brave walking to the front of the room by themselves.

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These are the only two pictures I got of Ella during the class. The one on the right is just before the mommies {and daddies!} were asked to wait in the hall. There was a collective sigh as we left the room. Fortunately, we quickly discovered we could watch from the window near the sidewalk. I know its hard to tell in the picture, but I had a good view and Ella really participated and followed directions well. I was so proud of her!

Now... for the title of this post. Just as we were leaving the class it started pouring rain. We had left our umbrella in the car and got soaking wet. I had promised we'd go to McDonald's for a celebratory meal, but I was kind of hoping to get away with the drive-through instead. Especially considering I looked like a drowned rat! As soon as we pulled in Ella said, "Are we eating at Donald's or at home?" If you know her at all, you'll know that she despises the drive through! Apparently her philosophy is that fast food is better if you can eat it in a dirty restaurant, near ragamuffin kids and a death trap, I mean play place.

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Despite the torrential downpour, soaking wet clothes and screaming kids who nearly ran into our table a hundred times we had a lovely dinner just the two of us. She told me all about dance and scarfed her six chicken nuggets almost as fast as I inhaled my cheeseburger.

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What could be better than finishing off the night with a big green sucker? All the students got a prize as they left for being such big girls {and boys}! Ella did great and we can't wait until next Thursday!

Today is the Day

Guess who gets to dance today?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vera & Ella

All summer long Ella and Garan have been visiting my aunt Vera. They go to lunch, to the pharmacy, to the market. Ella pushes a tiny metal buggy full of her groceries. Vera has loved spending time with Ella and... well, the feeling is mutual.

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On Saturday, we had a family reunion to celebrate Vera's 94th birthday. Ella was so excited about "Vera's party". We talked about it for days and she worked hard on a birthday card for her.

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These are my favorite pictures from the day.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Little Fancy Practice

I ordered Ella the CUTEST fancy outfit for her birthday party today. Then I set off in search of accessories. Dress up shoes were $12, so instead I bought pink glitter flats from Target for $9. She can actually wear these in public and won't kill herself trying to walk. I bought little colored clips to assist with her requisite "up-do" for the soiree. Mommy even got hot pink tights to sport!

Ella was so excited about the whole thing that we wore the shoes all afternoon and we did a practice run on her hair. She looked adorable. Seeing herself in the mirror was shortly followed by, "Get me fancier, momma!" We threw on what we could find and had a little photo shoot.

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Her party dress is a surprise, she'll be opening that on her birthday before the party. Until then, enjoy this preciousness!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sweet Daddy

Today when I picked Ella up from Garan's she asked if SD was at home. She's so used to him being gone during the week that she was very surprised when I said yes. She said, "Oh! Is he spending the night with us tonight?"

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Embarrassing

As much as you are going to enjoy this post, I'm a little embarrassed just thinking about it. I know that pretty much every wedding you attend these days has a slideshow at the rehearsal dinner, but I never remember seeing that in college. My dad decided he wanted to put together a slideshow for us as a "gift" since he'd never seen that at a wedding. Instead of playing it at the rehearsal, we played it just prior to the ceremony on the screen in our sanctuary. It was set to What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong and At Last by Etta James. The wedding party got to see it the night before since we were lined up in the foyer during this part of the ceremony. It was funny to listen to the laughs and wonder which pictures they were laughing at.

I can't wait to see your comments about baby pictures, side ponytails, mullets and the like. I hope you enjoy these embarrassing moments!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wedding Day

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Remember on Monday when I said I'd scan a few wedding photos for you? Well, since then I decided I may as well scan them all. I really wanted them on disk anyway. Unfortunately, the quality is less than stellar. I'm thinking about calling my photographer to see if the negatives can be converted to digital. It won't be as good as the real thing, but it can't be as bad as these!

At the time of my wedding, my photographer did exactly what I asked. He was wonderful to work with and really put us at ease. I loved my wedding and my photos. Now that K is a photographer, I'm so jealous of her style of photography. I wish so much that mine were more documentary and less posed. In any event, it was the wedding of my dreams and I loved every detail.

Although my wedding was much more conservative than K's, it's funny that we both wanted a garden theme. In the sanctuary we decorated with an iron arbor and fresh ivy topiaries. I carried calla lilies and bells of ireland. The boys wore calla lily boutonnieres and the girls carried beaded flowers and asparagus fern.

The reception was my favorite part. The tables were decorated beautifully and we had a "memories" table with family photos, memorabilia and our mothers' wedding gowns displayed. It was the hit of the party. We also had a table with a box and tiny slips of paper to write messages for the bride and groom. We laughed and cried as we read them to each other after our honeymoon.

A few funny things... there is a picture of my something old {hankerchief}, something new {pearl earrings from K}, something borrowed {heirloom ring of my mom's}, but my something blue was unavailable to be photographed. The bridesmaids are laughing in that picture because we're talking about how every woman has one boob that's bigger than the other. Sorry, guys. The picture of me and SD sitting in a chair with no one around just before leaving the church is because the battery in our videographer's camera died... after everyone was lined up outside the door to see us off.

The funniest part of the evening couldn't be captured on film. The ladies preparing the food had packed us a wonderful picnic of food to take home with us after our wedding. Unfortunately, they misunderstood and put the food in the trunk of the car we left the church in. If you look closely in the photo of us leaving, you'll notice that Josh has car keys in his hand. That's because our plan was for the driver to deliver us around the block at our car. Needless to say, my uncle tracked the driver down and made a late-night delivery to our house that night. He left a picnic basket on our porch and blew the horn!

Click here to she the whole shebang. Oh, and tomorrow I'll have an even better set of pictures for you to see!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A note from God

I love it when I'm dealing with a particular issue in my life and God gives me a bible verse. Recently though, "give" is too passive of a word - I'm being hit over the head with them instead. Today, I even laughed out loud when I read the verse from Proverbs. These are some verses that I've written down just this week that pertain to something specific I'm dealing with in my life.

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Phillipians 4:6-7

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

"Before they call, I will answer." Isaiah 65:24

Am I the only one who thinks these verses are related?

Blessing

Maybe one day I'll actually get the etsy shop up and running. Until then, I'll just share with you what I'm working on.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Friends

Today Beth called to see if it was a good night for a play date. For the adults! With the daddies traveling we get lonely sometimes and tonight was as good a night as any. We had yummy chicken salad for dinner and the kiddos played hard.

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Alson tuckered out and they headed home. Ella is finally down for the count and I'm soon to follow. It was a good night playing with friends... big and little alike!

Four hundred and ninety two

Did I tell y'all that the air conditioner in my Jeep broke on Friday night? We were in traffic between Outback and the movie theater. It just stopped working. After the movies it started making a noise. We went to the birthday party in the sweltering heat Saturday morning. And to lunch. And to church on Sunday and the grocery store. By Monday, I'd had enough. I borrowed the BIL's extra car and dropped mine off with our favorite mechanic.

Does it always seem to happen that whenever you have a windfall, a bonus or a stellarly budgeted month that something goes terribly wrong? Our washing machine broke and we still haven't replaced it. It's been six weeks. I've just hated to write the check and with Josh traveling it hasn't really been a big deal. He's done laundry at his mom's on the weekend, I've done it at mine during the week. I told Josh on Sunday that I wanted to get a new washer and dryer this weekend. Then the mechanic called.

That'll be 492 dollars. For parts. I'll be shelling out another 150 of those bad boys in a few more days for labor. Are you kidding me? I'm not upset with the mechanic or even with the number so much, just the timing. I guess I should be happy that bad things wait until after we have a little extra money, I just wish they'd hold off a little longer!

I'll share smiles and happy pictures tomorrow. For now I'm hosting a pity party. Anybody want to join?

Let's Make a Deal

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I'm sure I'm gonna get a little criticism for this, but Ella is very particular about her baths. She really wants time to herself, but I want her to be safe. So, we struck a deal. I let her spend about 10-15 minutes in the bathroom by herself. Primping, playing, singing, whatever. In exchange, she answers "yes, ma'am" every time I call her name (usually about every 30 seconds!). If she fails to answer, private time is over.

Generally, I'm in the next room working on projects or cooking dinner and tonight was no exception. I was dusting and straightening up, getting ready to vacuum. When I went in to tell her playtime was up and I needed to bathe her so we could eat dinner, she groaned. Her response was, "Can I have a few more minutes to finish scrubbing my legs?" Scrubbing her legs? I got a little closer and noticed she'd begun rubbing the bubbles from her bath all over legs and was using a Barbie paper doll to "shave" her legs. It seriously made me giggle.

I snapped a picture and gave her a moment of privacy before ruining her moment.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Weekend Trifecta

What is better than the trampoline, swing set and swimming pool... all in thirty minutes?

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Seven Year Itch

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We made it seven whole years... well, really twelve and a half if you count the near six years we dated before getting married.

SD & I started dating in February of my junior year of highschool, after much prodding and convincing from a certain friend who will remain nameless (ahem, Chris). He was absolutely not my type. He was the jock, Homecoming King, Mr. VHS. I, on the other hand, was sporting combat boots, listening to the Grateful Dead and dreaming of art school.

On our first date (which was supposed to be a friend evening, but the above-mentioned-friend backed out at the last minute) we had dinner and saw Star Wars at the movie theatre. My mom bought me a new outfit and was furious that I wore my Doc Martens anyway. SD wore a flannel button down shirt, baggy Levi's and black high-top basketball shoes. Thank God there aren't any pictures! I don't think we spoke 15 words to one another all night long and he didn't call me for a whole week. Obviously, things picked up.

We dated throughout my senior year, as he went "off" to college and eventually I joined him at our alma mater one year later. We made the decision to get married the summer before my senior year of college and I bought my wedding dress before seeing any evidence of an engagement ring. I've always been a planner.

On December 30th of 2001, I was in my pajamas playing cards with my parents and other family. It was almost eleven o'clock when he called and invited me over. For whatever reason, I thought it was no big deal and finished my hand. I made some comment about why he would want me to come over in the middle of the night and my dad made a snarky comment about how he was probably going to propose. Holy forshadowing.

I made the seven minute journey in my pajamas and was greeted by a sleepy boy with a diamond ring. Embarrassed by my appearance, but otherwise excited, I agreed to the first day of the rest of my life. Since I didn't get home until the wee hours, I slept on the living room floor in front of the fireplace, so I'd be sure to hear my mom when she got up to make coffee the next morning. She made me wake my dad up at the crack of dawn.

We were married on August 10th, 2002 in front of four-hundred friends and family in the church we still attend (I'll scan some wedding photos this afternoon to share - we got married in the olden-days of film photography!).

Seven years later, we are happier than ever. Living in the rock house, raising a princess and blogging about it all. We don't celebrate big for anniversaries around here. In fact, SD left this morning on a business trip, so I'll be eating frozen pizza with Ella instead. What we did do this year, that I hope we'll continue, is make homemade cards. They were hilarious. Mine was a list of seven things I love about him, including: he gives the best hand massages in church and that he sometimes eats fudge pops for breakfast. His was a comic strip of his favorite days, including Ella complaining about her belly ache and the dog barking. We laughed all morning.

Happy Anniversary where ever you are, SD. I love you more today than I did seven years ago and even five and half years before that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pumped Up

Yesterday we had a birthday party to attend. My oldest and dearest friend, Ryan, has a little boy just a month older than Ella. We celebrated at "the bouncy place" with cake, ice cream and sand pails full of goodies. We really needed a nap!

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