taz + belly: March 2012

Project 365: Week Twelve

25 March 2012

This week was long and hard. The girls were out of school for spring break and between running, running errands and working like a mad woman at the office this week, I pretty much crashed into bed every night. I'm thrilled to get back on a regular schedule this week, with the girls in school and my intense project at work wrapping up. I have some great photos to share from a birthday party a few weeks ago, some birthday plans of my own for Sweet Sophie and some photos of the work we've been doing in the yard the last few weeks. Until then... here's what we've been up to!

A little #corner of my home. #marchphotoaday

Sunday, March 18 (Day 78): After church on Sunday, SD headed out to play golf with the guys and the littles and I spent the afternoon outside. I finished up a little yard work that we started on Saturday and watched them jump on the trampoline, play in the playhouse and run around in the yard with our neighbors. Later in the evening, we got the girls into bed early and I snuggled up with that blanket to watch the season finale of The Walking Dead. Anyone else? This is one of  my favorite little corners. We have built-in bookshelves in two places of our living area and it makes for an excellent nook to style with books and treasures. The teapots and the brass pineapple are my favorites!
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: corner of my home

A little #funny Ella left on my desk last week. She was playing school :). #marchphotoaday

Monday, March 19 (Day 79): Since Ella came to work with my one day last week, there are all kinds of interesting treasures in my office. She collected office supplies and sat under my desk playing school for a long time. Apparently "Luke" wasn't too well-behaved that day.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: funny

The plan was to fold laundry tonight. #before #marchphotoaday Then this happened under the pile! #after #marchphotoaday

Tuesday, March 20 (Day 80): Josh worked on getting all of the laundry washed and dried on Monday and Tuesday while he worked. It was a little sad, but pretty much everything we owned was in a basket waiting to be washed. My plan was to fold it all on Tuesday night, so I piled it up on the bed as I worked around the house. I was going to pile up and watch some mindless television while I did it. Ella took a book into my room to read until Sophie fell asleep and when I went to check on her, she was sleeping under the laundry. Oh well, it'll have to wait!
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: before & after

Chopped salad from Jason's Deli = #delicious. #marchphotoaday

Wednesday, March 21 (Day 81): Usually on Wednesdays I have small group Bible study, but because of Spring Break we opted to cancel this week's meeting. I stopped by Jason's Deli and got a fabulous salad and came home to hang out with Sophie for a few hours -- Josh was having dinner with a friend. When he got back, I headed out for a quick 3 miler at dusk and it was wonderful! The weather was perfect and there wasn't anyone at the track to distract/disturb me. Afterwards, it was Survivor and a salad. I always talk about how Jason's had the BEST salad bar, but I hate that their veggies aren't chopped smaller. Since I got it to go, I chopped everything again when I got home and tossed it with their unbelievably yummy ranch dressing. It was definitely delicious!
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: delicious

The #kitchen sink -- surrounded by bibs, sippy cups and dinner dishes. Not so exciting. #marchphotoaday 

Thursday, March 22 (Day 82): I almost took a picture of this area before dinner, but it was a mess! We had spaghetti, which always requires two pots, not to mention the plethora of dishes from Tuesday night's "breakfast for dinner". My kitchen is pretty much my least favorite room in our house and I would love to renovate it. I do love my vintage baskets hanging from the ceiling though. They are full of little girl necessities.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: kitchen sink

 Date night with SD. Happy Hunger Games!

Friday, March 23 (Day 83): So, I completely ignored the photo prompt this day. We had a date and the moon was nowhere to be seen any time I found myself outside. Oh well. Josh & I dropped the girls off with his parents and headed out alone. We are fortunate to get to do that multiple times a month and we know what a blessing that is. We found a new-to-us Mexican place that was excellent, hit up GNC and the bookstore, grabbed some much needed Junior Mints from Walgreens and then watched The Hunger Games. I was beyond impressed with the big screen version -- I thought the story and the casting were spot on. I cried a lot and I'd like to watch it again now that I'm a little less stressed about the whole thing ;).
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: moon

My pretty grey ghost. #animal #marchphotoaday

Saturday, March 24 (Day 84): The girls were still at Nana's on Saturday and Josh had gotten up early to fish since the weather was supposed to be perfect. I slept until 9:18 and snuggled this beast for awhile before finally deciding to be productive. I went for a run before it got too hot, visited with my parents for an hour or so and picked the girls up right at lunch. They were both exhausted and took long naps while I got a jump start on our strawberry patch outside. When SD got home, he helped me finish up and made a run to Home Depot for mulch and a wheelbarrow. We were all exhausted (including Beemer, who I snapped right before crashing into bed myself) when we came in for dinner, but I am so excited that my yard is almost completely spruced for spring. Just a new American flag, a bird feeder and one more flower bed and we can call it done!
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: animal

I'm linking up with Laura and Chantelle!

This Week

22 March 2012

I have been reviewing a spreadsheet at work. It has so many rows that after four days of constant glaring, I'm a little over half way there. There are colored highlighters and rulers on my desk and it looks like an elementary school project has taken over.

I only lost 0.4 pounds and I'm frustrated. I realize that a little loss is better than no loss, but I'm tired of seeing ounces on the scale. I'm 4.4 pounds and one pants size from my goal. I vow to be there by summer!

We had to take Sophie to the ER. She dropped something on her foot Monday night and we were worried it might be broken. Thank you, Lord, for soft baby bones because it turned out to be a soft tissue injury. After four hours that we'll never get back, a baby-talking x-ray technician and a Tasmanian devil, we got home after midnight. She's walking on it fine and we're back to normal.

I've run every day since Monday. The first three days I did 2.5 mile treadmill runs on my lunch break and 3.5-4.5 mile runs at the track when I got home. Today I got 2.5 on the treadmill at work, but it was raining when I got home. I'm excited that I'm up to 20-25 miles a week and I'm pressing on. My pace isn't that great (10.5 minute miles), but I know it will come.

Is spring break for everyone but me. I'm enjoying the easy commute to work and home everyday, but I'm tired of seeing Facebook posts of all the fun things everyone is doing. I'm working, doing housework and surviving the pollen infestation. I need a vacation!

I realized that I've done nothing to prepare for Sophie's birthday party other than curate a pinboard. I have got to get moving on this! Her party is in 5 shorts weeks. Yeah, I should probably think about Easter, too.

I have folded approximately 12 loads of laundry. Josh was laughing at me earlier because of the number of trips it took me to put everything away.

Sophie started talking really well. The few words that were hard to understand are finally clear. She looks like a big girl now and it's beyond bittersweet.

I picked up fabric for the girls' Easter dresses and my momma worked her magic. I cannot wait to see how pretty they'll look all dolled up. Now for bows and shoes!

I cleaned out the refrigerator. I did the pantry a few weekends ago, but the fridge was really getting on my nerves. There were some surprises in there, lots of expired goods and it needed a good scrub. Wanna see?

On the top shelf is country crock spread (the only "butter" I like), fresh watermelon and grapes and three dozen brown eggs. Josh & I are on an omelet kick, so I have to stay fully stocked!

The next two shelves house drinks - barely sweet tea, low-fat chocolate milk, 2% white milk, Sophie's sippy and plenty of water. There is NO Dr. Pepper in here these days. It's been almost six weeks and I am still alive. I think it's safe to say that I can live without it.

In the first drawer is pre-packaged ham (for the omelets), fresh sliced oven roasted turkey breast (because my family is sandwich meat snobby) and an assortment of cheeses -- pepper jack & colby from the cheese house, a two pound bag of shredded mexican blend and colby jack slices for sammies. Then there is ground beef (we had spaghetti tonight) and a huge pack of chicken. That'll get boiled in the crock pot tomorrow for enchiladas and a weekend's worth of chicken salad. Second drawer are veggies -- red onions, jalapenos, limes, lime/lemon juice, vine ripened tomatoes, tri-color bell peppers, carrots and celery. Last up is the crisper drawer with baby red potatoes, lettuce, granny smith apples and a few fujis.


The door isn't nearly as entertaining -- top shelf is cream cheese, sliced cheese and cheese wedges for snacks. Then there is the kid shelf with antibiotics (E has an ear infection), plenty of yogurt, applesauce, squeezies and lunchables for Soph. Condiments are next, including mustard (which none of us eat), two containers of ketchup, dijion mustard-aise (SO FLIPPING GOOD - it's Boar's Head, if that helps), mayo and mayo with olive oil. The pink water bottle holds good ranch dressing. Under that are canned biscuits (for pigs-in-a-blanket and breakfast for dinner), dale's steak marinade, peanut butter & jelly, chocolate syrup and hot sauce. The last shelf has all purpose/self rising/bread flour, corn meal, walnuts and peanut butter baking chips.

Wow. Am I the only one completely fascinated by what other people keep in their fridge? I would show you my freezer, but it's boring. Tons of frozen pizzas, steam packs of veggies, frozen meat and waffles. Nothing exciting at all. Maybe I'll do a pantry post another day and tell you what I'm eating these days.

That's pretty much what's going on around here. I'm looking forward to a date night with my hubby tomorrow night. It involves red skinnies and a leopard print top, a quick dinner somewhere, GNC and the Hunger Games. Doesn't that sound fun? The best part is the girls are spending the night with SD's parents, so we'll be sleeping late on Saturday!!!! I'm trying to convince him to run with me Saturday morning while we have no children and then going to breakfast. Doesn't that sound fun?

Project 365: Week Eleven

18 March 2012

How can it be Sunday already? Now that I'm doing a linky party once a week, it feels like Sundays sneak up on me awfully fast! We had a lot going on this week and I got some pretty cute iPhone photos. I know I should probably strive to taking a "real" photograph with my "real" camera each day, but when I committed to doing Project 365 this year, I knew that using my phone would make it much easier to keep up with. After all, it's quite rare that I'm somewhere without it! Here is what we've been up to over the last seven days...

Gangsta Ella #marchphotoaday #someoneitalkedto

Sunday, March 11 (Day 71): On Sunday, we had lunch with Josh's parents after church. I mistakenly packed shorts and short sleeves for the girls, with the assumption it would be a beautiful day. 55* and cloudy meant they were a little on the chilly side. We had taco salad and a nice visit before heading back home to get ready for Mission Friends. Ella was posing in the car and I couldn't resist capturing this one. Luckily, she's all about the pose and was very cooperative with this one!
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: someone I talked to today

The #fork at the end of my taco salad. Yummy. #marchphotoaday

Monday, March 12 (Day 72): I've been doing really good about carrying my lunch to work over the last several weeks and months, but this week I ate out a ton. Monday I grabbed a yummy nacho bowl at a little TexMex restaurant across the street from my office. It was loaded with steak and veggies and for the first time, I almost ate the whole thing.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: fork

Vote. #sign #marchphotoaday

Tuesday, March 13 (Day 73): Tuesday was the primary election in Alabama. I managed to sneak off to the police station to vote right before the polls closed at 7. Ella & Sophie fought over my "I Voted" sticker all the way home.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: a sign

Only a few #clouds today. #marchphotoaday

Wednesday, March 14 (Day 74): This morning, the clouds were so thick there wasn't even much to photograph. I was sad for nothing outstanding to share. By my afternoon run, however, the skies were blue and the weather was beautiful. There was hardly a cloud in the sky! Unfortunately, I was having a pretty severe allergy attack and an awfully stuffy nose. For the first time since starting C25k, I had to bail on my run. I just couldn't breathe well enough to ever establish a decent pace. Boo.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: clouds

Guess who's in my #car this morning? Thanks to an ear infection! #marchphotoaday

Thursday, March 15 (Day 75): On Thursday morning, my mom called to tell me that Ella had been up most of the night with an ear ache (she spends the night with my parents every Wednesday night - what a treat!). I had an important project to finish up at work that morning, so Ella joined me for a few hours until I could get her to the doctor. She was feeling much better, but gets very car sick, so the drive was less than fun. We discovered a raging ear infection in one ear and severe seasonal allergies. She's on Augmentin for the infection and daily Zyrtec to help with the inflammation.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: car

 Vintage-y sunnies. #sunglasses #marchphotoaday

Friday, March 16 (Day 76): I despise self-portraits and was a little irritated that I left my favorite sunnies on the bathroom counter. These J.Lo ones are my back ups and are appropriately seventies-inspired. If only the lenses were darker, I'd probably wear them more.
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: sunglasses

Finally... the view from my front porch is #green. #marchphotoaday

Saturday, March 17 (Day 77): We spent at least eight hours slaving away in our yard on Saturday. Josh cut the grass, weed-eated (is that a word?!), burned brush and helped haul clippings. I cleaned off our gazebo and porches, picked up sticks, pruned our shrubs and brutally trimmed the loropetalums along the front of our porch. I can actually see my front yard from the porch and my sweet architecturally interesting porch can be seen from the street. I am so excited to see green outside these days!
#marchphotoaday photo prompt: green

I'm linking up with Laura and Chantelle!

Won't you be my neighbor?

16 March 2012

Right next door is a pretty little house. It's old and charming like mine. They are really close to one another, share a wrap around drive and some pretty great trees. For the last eighteen months, it has sat empty. We were blessed for several years to live next door to my aunt Heather and her three wonderful children. They were such an important part of our lives and we were so sad when they moved on to bigger and better things. Ella has been pretty depressed about the empty house for awhile and dreamed of having neighbors, especially if children could be involved.

We've known for several months that it was very possible some very good friends might move next door. Parker & Ella are the same age, Conner & Ella are in the same class at school and Carson & Sophie are two peas in a pod at Heidi's. We were so worried about getting her hopes up, so we waited as long as possible to share the good news. 

Almost three weeks ago, these three sweet boys moved into the house next door.

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And our life has pretty much looked like this ever since.

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neighbors 013 neighbors 012

Ella goes straight to their house in the afternoon and if she manages to come inside first, we'll hear a little knock at our back door. They are exhausting themselves after school each afternoon and crying for each other on the weekends.

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My doors have been open, front and back, and it has been wonderful to watch a stream of little people (and Beemer, of course) run straight through the house on an adventure. 

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They climb trees and "build" fences. They navigate play houses and swing sets. They jump on the trampoline, play board games and make believe. I have never seen my littles so happy. THAT makes their momma so happy.

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15 March 2012

My girls love to be outside and they love sports. We all know this has nothing to do with me and everything to do with their daddy. This past Saturday was the alumni baseball game at our Alma Mater. It's a fundraiser for the current varsity team, which my brother-in-law helps to coach. They worked so hard to pull it off and we had a fabulous time at the ballpark. Not to mention, it's just across the street and makes for an awful easy commute!

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First up, we had to say hello to our daddy. He had just hit two out of the park in the Home Run Derby when we arrived. Sophie was pretty happy to talk with him through the fence.

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I just knew she would be a disaster at the park and into everything. I was surprised that she actually sat still the entire day (with only a few mishaps) and was MUCH better than I expected.

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Don't they look presh in the yellow jacket gear?

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There were more than a few trips to the concession stand by these girls. Who could resist a lunch at the ballpark and unlimited Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

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Apparently, not even me! These chicken fingers were so good and I sacrificed other calories all day long to enjoy them. Thank goodness, I didn't even have to share.

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We did actually manage watch our daddy play ball for at least a little while!

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Our one major mishap for the day was this. Sophie was walking along the edge of the sidewalk and stepped off into the grass by accident. Unfortunately, she lost her balance and ended up in a mud puddle. Thankfully, she had on water sandals and after stripping off leggings and washing her feet, she was good to go!

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Ella tried her best to get a snooze in, but this chair just wasn't comfy enough.

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We did get some good snuggles from our Daddy in between games. Sophie refused to smile and this was the best I could do.

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Sophie actually took a nap, even though it was hot and loud. As soon as Jo-Jo showed up, she piled into his arms and was out like a light. I'm pretty sure she slept for the better part of two hours out there. Boy did she feel better when she woke up to find her best buddy Carson there.

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It was the perfect spring day to welcome baseball season and look forward to some pretty Saturdays outside. Wanna check out pictures from last years' game? You can click here! Don't you agree that he looked better with a shaved head than with his current mop top? I'm trying to convince him to cut it again, but he is determined to grow it out long!

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