taz + belly: August 2012


27 August 2012

Sophie is seriously the cutest thing ever right now. Her personality is larger than life, her voice is sugary sweet, she has the fiercest grin and the most contagious laughter. She thinks potty humor is hilarious and she says poop at the most awkward and inopportune times. I cannot get enough of her. Like sometimes, I pull up the same picture of her on my phone a hundred times a day to see her silly face. She is loud and says "CHEESE" with her mouth wide open everytime you point a phone or camera at her face. Her new favorite name is Courtney and she makes us call her that sometimes. I'm serious when I say you can't say it with a straight face, but she still answers to it. When you ask her who made a mess or who got in trouble, her answer is always Courtney.

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That picture on the right is actually her saying "CHEESE!!"

A few weeks ago at church we were daddy-less and she insisted on wearing big girl panties to church. Even though we are potty trained, we usually wear pull ups in stressfull situations like that! I ran by the nursery between Sunday school and big church to take her to the potty and she told me that she wanted to go to big church this time. This conversation took place WHILE she was on the potty.
SK: I go to church with mommy-daddy.
K: You're not quite big enough for big church.
SK: Yes, I am. I am big enough for big church.
K: Well, you have to sit really still and be really quiet in big church.
SK: I can sit really still and be really quiet. (Not on her life?!)
Fast forward twenty minutes and we've sung all the songs and fellowshipped with our friends and John starts to preach and Sophie gets restless. I realize that she devoured all of her snacks during Sunday school so I tell her we'll sneak out and grab a snack. As I stand up to make a stealth exit, she turns to look over her shoulder at the ENTIRE congregation, waves and says "I gotta get my snack and I'll be right back!"

After Ella fell asleep last Monday night, we could still hear Sophie talking to herself over the monitor. I don't always leave it on now that the girls are sharing a bed, but I do like to listen in when we hear them giggling or if we implement a change in routine. We always take bets on how long it will be before little footsteps round the corner. This particular night it was Sophie and as she walked into our room, she declared "I don't wanna go to fweep!". We pulled her into bed and asked what the problem was and this little conversation followed.

SK: I don't feel good.
J: What's wrong? What hurts?
SK: My weg. And my face. And my wips. I need some medicine.
K: You don't need any medicine! You're silly.
SK: Yes, I DO need some medicine to make me feel better.
SK: Just one Mickey Nouse? To make me feel better?
J: No TV tonight.
SK: My weg hurts. And my face. And my wips. And my belly. And my weg. EVWYTHING hurts!

Enter uncontrollable laughter. Her command of the English language at two, combined with her adorable lisp is a laugh inducer every single time.


On Sunday morning I was getting the Sophie ready for church. They've been wearing "big girl" dresses the last few weeks, so I wanted SK to wear a pretty smocked bishop with a big bow and her puddle jumpers. She ended up in an ankle length dress that was so pretty on her. I said, "Sophie Kae you look just like a princess!" Her response? "Mom, I AM a princess!"


After church on Sunday night we ran in Winn Dixie for a few things the girls needed in their lunchboxes this week. It wasn't dark outside yet, but the moon was bright in the sky already. The girls were holding hands and giggling. Sophie looked up at the moon and we had this little exchange...

SK: See that moon up there?
K: Yes, I do.
SK: Can we go in that moon?
K: We can't go in there, silly!
SK: Why, cause it's high up in the sky?
K: Yep, it's really high.
SK: I'll get God to put us up there really high!
K: That's not a bad plan.
SK: God's already up there.


This morning when she first saw her curls in the mirror she said, "I don't want dat on 'dere!"

Bedtimes & Blanket Forts

23 August 2012

Blanket fort in the living room floor!

On Monday night, we had both girls in the bed at 7:30. We've established a new evening/bedtime routine in an attempt to alleviate stress and have a much happier time at home together. Over the summer, I've been really lax about bedtimes, dinners and television. The girls ate what they wanted and we rarely found time to cook, they whined their way out of a regular bedtime and they both watched as much TV as their little minds could muster. At times I felt very guilty for my attitude towards structure these last few months, but more often that not I attributed it to summer and reminded myself that it would pass and we would resume a normal, scheduled life come August. When we got ready for bed on Sunday night, there were tears about clothes and tears about television and even more tears about what time we were headed to bed. I announced that there would be no more television after dinner. Of course, tears were aplenty and regret was out in full force. Even so, I was determined to hold my position.

I worked from home on Monday so that I could ride with Josh to drop off and pick up on the first day of school. I don't envy his morning routine, but I do miss that I'm not the one getting her ready and grabbing that last kiss on the cheek each morning. It was nice to share in that routine and to see her making new friends at school. Since we were all home together much earlier in the day than usual, I let them watch a few cartoons while they ate snack and I finished up some work on the computer. When SD got back from football practice, he threw the girls in the bathtub while I started supper. I tried not to answer too many questions about what we were having, knowing that when armed with knowledge Ella complains even louder. We had grilled chicken with cheese tortellini and even thought everyone thought they would hate it, both girls ate a sufficient meal with no after-dinner snacking. Ella even asked if there were other options and I told her that we were back to one meal a night, so it was either eat or go hungry.

After dinner, they played a game with their daddy while I cleaned the kitchen and folded laundry in their room. The house was filled with music, laughter and squeals and not a single song sung by a cartoon mouse or a high-school aged pop star. It was refreshing. By 7:30, the house was clean, laundry was done, daddy was working again and the girls had built a blanket fort in the living room floor. We all worked together to put it away and we were piled into the girls bed to read Junie B. Jones with absolutely no attitude. We read five chapters and both girls were happy at 7:45 when I turned out the light. They laid in bed talking for a bit, but it was the smoothest bed time experience we've had in months. Hands down. I know that when we have an organized and structured home that things are always better, I don't know why I let life take over and throw up my hands sometimes.

Here's to early bedtimes, giggling girls and blanket forts!

The First Day of School!

22 August 2012

Kindergarten 002b Kindergarten 001

Ella has been so excited to start school this year. We went shopping several weeks ago and she picked out plenty of "big girl" outfits for her first week. We are officially done with frilly and smocking and as sad as it makes me, she's actually got great taste! We made many a compromise, but we were both pretty happy with her back-to-school wardrobe. I'm hoping to share a Fashion Friday post with all of her first week outfits provided that SD takes good pictures this week... hint, hint.

We laid out our clothes on Sunday night, packed her backpack, talked about what she wanted for lunch and laid her "night-before jitters" confetti near her pillow. Both girls slept great and were up bright and early Monday morning for breakfast and cartoons.

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Sophie wasn't thrilled about posing for pictures with Ella that morning, but we finally bribed her with M&Ms to wear her backpack next to Ella for a few minutes. Too bad we couldn't bribe her to smile! Ella's backpack is nearly as big as she is and she looks so big carrying it around.

First day of kindergarten! #shessobig

Thank goodness, Ella let us walk her to her classroom that morning. She toyed around with walking herself and that would have made this momma really sad! Josh and I both walked her to class, helped her find her desk, put away her backpack and get started on her morning activity. She was all smiles when we left her and came home to an empty house.

Ella at circle time Circle Time

I was fortunate enough to be able to volunteer for an hour that morning in her classroom. Since I'm a working mom, I rarely get to see the inside of a classroom and sometimes that hurts my feelings. I opted to work from home on Monday so that I could do drop off and pick up and it worked out that I could help her teacher with a class project and the lunchroom that first day. You can see that Ella was pretty excited to see me when I got back.

Lining up for lunch!

Here they are all lined up for the long trek to the lunchroom. Ella is carrying her lunch this year, with a few exceptions for really yummy lunch days. She said her lunchbox was too heavy, but she almost ate every single thing I sent!

Ella & Connor at lunch

I am so proud of her for doing so well at school this week and for already making many new friends. Lucky for her, she had several friends (Hey, Conner) from last year in her class to help make the transition. I am so excited to watch her grow this year. I cannot believe I am mom to a kindergartener!!

Sophie's 2 Year Old Interview

21 August 2012

Kindergarten 009b

After Ella completed her homework and folder review after school on Monday, Sophie insisted that she had homework, too. We whipped up twelve quick questions and persuaded her to answer. Of course, this would be much cuter if you could hear her precious voice!

12 Questions as answered by Sophie (2 years/4 months)
1. What is your favorite color? pink
2. What is your favorite toy? my giraffe
     (random, it's a giraffe pillow that they keep in the car)
3. What is your favorite television show? Mickey "Nouse"
4. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? a breakfast bar and a "fueezy"
     (squeezie apple sauce)
5. What is your favorite snack? apple sauce and goldfish
     (because that's what she had today... short term memory!)
6. What is your favorite game to play? princess (I'm guessing she means dress up
     with Ella)
7. What is your favorite animal? a giraffe
8. What is your favorite song? Deep & Wide and You Are My Sunshine
9. What is your favorite book? "Princess books... they're on the shelf. I see them!
     They're really far away!"
10. Who is your best friend? Macy Beth
11. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play with my water table
12. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Tuck, monkey and Pink (her blanket)

* I will be interviewing the girls on their first and last day of school each year for as long as they will let me. I can't wait to see what a difference a year (or two) makes in their answers! You can see Ella's interview here.

Ella's Kindergarten Interview

20 August 2012

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Ella & her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Askew

25 Questions* as answered by Ella (5 years/11 months old)

1. What is your favorite color? pink
2. What is your favorite toy? Courtney (a baby doll that the girls share)
3. What is your favorite television show? Good Luck Charlie
4. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? bran flakes
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Jack's hamburger with bacon & fries
6. What is your favorite fruit? watermelon
7. What is your favorite snack? Reese's cup or mint chocolate chip ice cream
8. What is your favorite cereal? bran flakes
9. What is your favorite drink? sweet tea
10. What is your favorite outfit? a Gap tshirt with "fashion" girls and a denim skirt
11. What is your favorite game to play? "I don't have a favorite game"
12. What is your favorite animal? "I have to say an elephant... 'Ella' phant"
13. What is your favorite song? Oh Baby Baby, by Britney Spears
      (she's only heard the chorus on a movie)
14. What is your favorite book? Ella Bella Ballerina
15. Who is your best friend? Rory
16. What is your favorite thing to do outside? ride my bicycle
17. What is your favorite holiday? Easter & Christmas
18. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? bunny
19. What is your favorite summer memory? the beach
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a cheerleader
21. Name three words to describe yourself. silly, smart and crazy
22. Name something you want to do this year. ride on a ferris wheel (again)
23. If you could travel anywhere this year, where would it be? Disney World
     (score one for mom!!)
24. If you could change your name, what would it be? Ruby or Sophia
25. If you had one wish, what would it be? to have a new house

* I will be interviewing the girls on their first and last day of school each year for as long as they will let me. I can't wait to see what a difference a year (or two) makes in their answers!

Questions adapted from here, along with a few of my very own.


16 August 2012

There are lots of things that have been nonexistent in our home these days... time for blogging, our daddy, good attitudes, the will to clean. You know, the usual. Last week our SD was in Iowa all week and we were going it alone. Taking care of two kids with a partner is hard. Doing it by yourself is huge! We never even made it to the grocery store. Instead, we relied on fast food and Lunchables. I'm guessing you know how well my "eat healthy & exercise" plan is going. I feel like the weekend was just yesterday and now it's already time to have another one. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but this week flew by. We're gearing up for our first week as a kindergartner - buying supplies, planning our wardrobes, meeting the teacher and making her a fun little surprise. It's hard to believe our summer has come to a screeching halt. 

As much as I wish I had pretty pictures to share and stories about all the fun we're having, we are all a little frazzled and running on empty. I have some fun back-to-school posts planned for next week, but in the meantime I thought I'd share some never-before-seen photos from Ella's dance rehearsal back in June. Our sweet K went with us to capture all of the fun and I've been carrying this disk of images in my bag for months. Enjoy these while we suffer through the last few days of summer and we'll be back on Monday with lots of school fun!

Mom & Ella
Ella & K
Ella & Kynnedi
Malie Kate & Ella
Love & Marriage

Best Date Ever

13 August 2012

I guess it's a given that your 10 year anniversary date should rock, right? After we got in bed on Saturday night, I looked at Josh and said "this was seriously the best 24 hours I've ever had". It started on Friday night...

Josh was in Iowa all week for work (they acquired four new facilities and he was training staff and enjoying the corn fields in the mid-west). He told me on Sunday before we headed out for the airport that my gift was wrapped and ready and that he completely out-gifted me this year. Of course, that got my wheels turning and I asked him where he was hiding my gift! I had no intentions of looking for it (I love surprises too much), but it was fun to think about where it might be hidden. He assured me that I would NEVER find it. He was right. On Thursday afternoon he texted me to tell me that I should swing by K's and pick my gift up. Sneaky husband.

Friday, his flight was due to arrive in Birmingham at 6:25. We were both a little worried that he would be delayed or that his flight might be cancelled because his luck was less than stellar on this trip.* I carried my dress with me and got ready in the bathroom after work while I waited to pick him up. I stalked the U.S. Airways website and watched and he managed to be a little early on each of his flights. I was waiting with bated breath in the terminal at 6:25 when he walked out of the tunnel. Happy Anniversary! We had dinner reservations at Fleming's for 7:45, so by the time we grabbed his luggage and navigated a major thunderstorm, we were right on time. Fleming's has started to be somewhat of an anniversary tradition for us and we couldn't wait to chow down. It's pretty expensive, but since we only do it once or twice a year, we don't mind the splurge. I don't have any pictures from dinner because we agreed to leave our phones in the car and have an actual conversation. I'm sad because our food was wonderful and I must admit, I was pretty happy with my new dress and curly hair! Just imagine you saw pictures of yummy caesar salads, porcini crusted filet mignon with white peppercorn sauce, chipotle macaroni & cheese (my favorite thing on the menu!!), Fleming's potatoes, bread with feta cheese spread and tomato/basil butter and chocolate lava cake with homemade vanilla ice cream and chantilly cream. It was SO. GOOD. We had such a good time talking and laughing over dinner and were beyond surprised when the check came that it had already been taken care of?!?! My aunt had called earlier in the day and arranged to pay for our meal as an anniversary treat. It was so thoughtful and a fun surprise at dinner. We left with a box of dark chocolate truffles in hand and laughed that not only did we need gas, we had to run in Walmart and grab dog food in our fancy digs!

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getting ready at work; my pretty new boots!

We didn't get home until after midnight and Josh was ready to open presents. I was so anxious that he wasn't going to like his gift since he had me convinced that he had gone overboard. Fortunately for me, he did like his gift even though it paled in comparison to mine. I bought him a new dry fit polo for the Bama game next month that looks great on him. I also got him a few travel books about France, Normandy specifically, so that we can start dreaming about our trip for next year. He got me a beautiful pair of cowboy boots. Beautiful! I have been saying for weeks that I wanted a pair and would love to wear them to the Cowboy Classic later this month. We even joked about shopping for them on Friday while we were in Dallas and I would have a great souvenir and be able to wear them to the game. Little did I know, he had already ordered them by the time we had that conversation. I probably would've gotten something much less expensive and not nearly as nice, but he did such a great job shopping for them (with a tiny bit of commentary from K) and picking them out on his own. He even made me do a fashion show with my game day dress for Dallas and I cannot wait to wear it altogether.

On Saturday, we slept late and had a leisurely morning around the house. We had a late breakfast at IHOP and gorged ourselves on french toast and pancakes. We had reservations for a zip line tour at Red Mountain Park later in the morning and needed to fuel up! I was so excited about our "day date" and we were doing something so fun and non-traditional. The weather was beautiful and it wasn't humid at all, thank goodness! I was a little nervous about the experience, but I'm usually pretty adventurous and I knew once we got started I would be fine. We were harnessed up and had four other people in our group, along with three guides. There are 7 zips, one swing and a rope bridge. The first zip is pretty short and only about 20 feet off the ground. I made Josh go first, but after the first try, I was completely relaxed and often went first throughout the tour. The longest zip was almost 300 feet long and over 60 feet off the ground. We went backwards a few times and even doubled up and zipped tandem for one drop. We learned that if you pulled your legs in like a cannon ball that you would go twice as fast and there were a few times when I almost knocked our guide over coming in at full speed. We had a blast and are already talking about going back.

breakfast of champions at IHOP

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me all harnessed up; a quick pic before our first zip

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me on the smallest zip of the day; just before the longest zip of the day

We finished the day with a couples massage at Richard Joseph in English Village. I have had a huge gift card for the spa since September and kept refusing to share it with Josh. I decided it would make a great ending to our anniversary date, so we relaxed under capable hands for an hour of bliss. My massage table was even a water bed, so I floated most of the afternoon away. I am not even kidding when I say it was the best massage I've ever had. Jemorris was my masseuse and I highly recommend requesting him if you find yourself there! We walked to Billy's from the spa and I ordered my usual -- Billy's chicken & cheese sandwich with onion straws and managed to almost polish off a bottle of their famous white sauce. 

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our wonderful massage room; a late lunch at Billy's - HELLO white sauce of my dreams!

It was such a fun weekend spent together, we walked together a lot, had great conversation and didn't take care of anyone but ourselves. In the beginning I felt a little guilty for the amount of money we were spending on ourselves, but I can honestly say those thoughts vanished about ten minutes into our day. Everyone deserves to be pampered sometimes and what better day to do it than the anniversary of your other best date ever.

* I dropped him off at the airport in BHM at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon. Flight #1 was delayed out of Birmingham, so he missed his connection in Charlotte. There were no other flights from CLT to Des Moines that day and almost every other flight anywhere even close were full. He finally caught a flight to Minneapolis at 10:30 that night and landed sometime after midnight. His plan was to rent a car and drive the 4 hours from Minneapolis to Des Moines early the next morning. The one-way rental would've cost his company an extra $400, so he grabbed a hotel room instead. He wound up on an early morning flight from Minneapolis to Milwaukee and then to Des Moines, which, as fate would have it was delayed!! He managed to get to work almost 24 hours after his original departure. Then, he car was christened by a hail storm and the rental company demanded our deductible before he could turn in the vehicle. Can you say crazy?

Our Tenth Year

10 August 2012

Ten years ago this summer, I was in a tiny house where no one lived. Spending every extra minute and spare dime making that house a home. Ten years ago yesterday, we pulled into my parents' driveway in a little red truck, giddy about 'tomorrow'. Ten years ago this morning, I woke up in my sister's bed for the last time. Ten years ago tonight, I married my very best friend.

We might have been married for ten years, but we've been sharing life for almost sixteen. That's one hundred and ninety months of hand massages. Five thousand eight hundred and forty days of I love yous. Over one hundred and forty thousand hours since I've been right about anything. And I wouldn't trade one single second for anything else.

basketball games / the wisdom teeth Valentine's Day / the escort  / combat boots / the trampoline / 
back pockets / fish for christmas / Braveheart / raytheon / winterfresh / love letters / movie theaters 

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the pool room / night swimming / pumping my gas / hitting the mailbox / godspell / my notebook / 
computer class / sunburns / his tommy hilfiger sweatshirt / cargo pants / graduation / knee surgery

Roll Tide!

the grand canyon / peaceful, easy, feeling / college / lunch dates / the symphony / gallery openings / 
being my "clean hands" in the print studio / dorm rooms / open windows and electric blankets


 fries for dinner / card games / niagara falls / digga-tater / best friends / the probe / driving in the 
red truck to the beach / the proposal / late night phone calls / dr. peppers / the little brick house

NYC 103

our yellow bedroom / john's santa robe / michelle's speech / your grandmother's tablecloth / crying together 
on our wedding day / first communion / losing the picnic basket / birdseed / praying together 

Date night with SD. Happy Hunger Games!

losing my driver's license in line / mr. wonderful / sapphire earrings / mexican cab rides / two twin beds / 
coming home to sweet tea / wedding presents / ninja / the box fan / beemer knocking down the neighbor 

Today's #weather is perfect! Happy Memorial Day :).

seinfeld / the dungeon / washing clothes at mom's / dancing at chris' wedding / the copper grill / the rock 
house / fudge pops / our front porch / the word game / gulf shores / the christmas spirit / pregnancy tests

FRI - SD's Self Portrait

bloodwork / fertlity meds / ultrasounds / ella / late nights / baby monitors / bubble baths / bunny / emergency 
rooms / heartache / surgery / swing sets / fancy nancy / dinner parties / disney world / lost / movie nights

Kristin & Josh

football season / big sisters / little sisters / taz / nyc / the shake shack / sookie / 30 days / text messages / 
bookstores / ponytails / road trips / chocolate milk / tickle spots / dance parties / the year of presents

Kristin & SD at the Fiesta

I can't even begin to list all of the moments that made me fall in love, over and over again. I just know that for ten years I've been having an epic slumber party with my best friend and I hope it never ends.

Happy Anniversary, Antonio. YOU are my favorite.

Wanna read more mushy gush?     9 year post    //   8 year post   //   7 year post
What about our wedding pictures? Wanna see those? Click here.

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