Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photo Shoot

Just had to share a couple of my favorite pictures from Stafford's photo shoot today!!  I can't get enough of that grin!!!!





Monday, April 25, 2011

Help Me Choose-The Comforter Edition

Our bedroom is one of my favorite rooms in the house.  I wouldn't call it a work in progress because I haven't made any progress on it.  I "finished" it a couple of years ago and haven't really done anything to it since.   The big move is the perfect opportunity to fine tune aka completely re-do my bedroom.

I know I said I love our room but I don't love it quite enough.  I have this vision of what I want my house to look like someday and right now that room just doesn't fit the bill.  It might fit a little better if I could learn to put away my clean laundry but that's for another post!  Using Vivien Leigh lines as your mantra doesn't really help keep your house clean.

I THINK I want to decorate my house in some combination of shabby chic and something unnamed that I'm not even sure that I can describe.  Sometimes I am a minimalist and sometimes I'm not.  I love the color blue and I think I'd be happy with a totally white house but then I would get upset when my kids spill OJ on the carpet.  So we'll have to nix that idea.

So back to the bedroom.  The first thing I'm going to do is get a new comforter.  And then I think I'll build the room around that.  My furniture now is a mish-mash of Craigslist purchases that I can keep and re-do or sell and get more.  I also have a GORGEOUS framed black and white print from our wedding that goes over our bed.  It is enormous and it is framed in black so I can't steer too far from my current color scheme which is: blue/grey walls, steel/grey furniture and black/silver/grey accessories.  If you are a super smart decorator and have any ideas about how I can incorporate my obsession with black/silver and shabby chic but not too shabby I would love to hear them!!!

So vote for your favorite comforter below!!  It's the first purchase I plan to make once we get to the West Coast.....well, other than a Starbucks!

Madison Park Carrington 7-pc. Comforter Set

Madison Park Cascade 7-pc. Comforter Set

Sherry Kline Preston 7-pc. Comforter Set

Platinum 20-pc. Scroll Bed Set




I think I have a favorite but I'm not sure yet.  I can't wait to share my eventual pictures of my new comforter in my new bedroom in my new house in my new town in my new state!!! 


Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Tricks

I was all prepared to share a post with you in which I exposed some of my more embarrassing moments.  For some reason I seem to be drawn to awkward yet funny situations like a magnet.  You'll have to wait for these though because we have some new tricks at our house that I can not WAIT to share with you!!

Growling is a fairly new thing.  Little Guy takes after his cousin in this area.  She's the expert but he's becoming quite proficient!  He tends to growl between each bite during meals and sometimes when he wants your attention. 


Stafford has always been a great nighttime sleeper.  We are very thankful for that!  Naps on the other hand are kind of hit or miss.  I haven't really paid too much attention because he's such a happy baby and he sleeps so well at night that I don't really feel like there is much to worry about.  We came home this afternoon after a wonderful lunch with old friends and Peter tried to put him down for an afternoon nap.  This is what we found:



Someone can now get into a sitting position when he is laying down!!  And he can also get onto his knees!!  Which means he'll be pulling up on the side of the crib!!!  It's time to put that mattress down!!!!

In addition to growling, eating dog food, sitting up, sitting on his knees and generally being adorable Stafford is also CRAWLING!!!  He took his first "steps" yesterday.  He isn't moving very far yet but I know it will only be a matter of time!  He also rode "big boy style" in the running stroller for the first time this week.  He did a great job!

We are having so much fun watching this little man grow!  Now if he would only slow down just a little!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stafford's 8 Month Update

Stafford at 8 months


Dear Stafford,

Each month seems to go by faster and faster and the faster it goes the bigger you get!  You are almost at the "in to everything" stage so I am trying to enjoy sweet cuddles and kisses from my little guy as long as possible!

You are still wearing your 3-6 month clothes but now that the weather has gotten warmer we've gotten out your 6-9 month clothes.  I love all the cute summery outfits and colors!  At the beginning of March we traveled to KY with Bear to visit family.  You had a great time with Memaw & Grandpa and Nola.  It won't be long before you are running around after her!  While we were there you also got to visit with other family and friends.  You were a GREAT little travel buddy!

You are still eating like a champ!  You are a very loud eater and make some sort of noise between every bit.  You love everything you try (except some type of turkey that Mama tried to make you eat in KY) and you never seem full! For breakfast you usually eat oatmeal or rice cereal, some type of fruit or veggie and then as much applesauce as you want.  For dinner you usually eat 1 veggie or fruit and then applesauce or yogurt.  You still nurse 5 times a day, every three hours.

You are still wearing your size 2 diapers.  We tried a size 3 when we ran out of 2's but they were huge!  So it is back to 2's until you grow a little more.  You started drooling a lot while we were in KY and Daddy and I keep thinking that we'll wake up in the morning and you'll have a little tooth but so far you don't have any. 

You are sitting up and love to play with your musical table and your elephant you got for Christmas.  We bought you some stackable rings, blocks and books to read as well.  Right now you are only interested in closing the books.  You have pulled up a few times on your musical table and once you even stood up!  You are also getting very close to crawling.  You go backwards and in circles and manage to get where you need to go with a combination of that and rolling around. 

One of your new tricks is making a "wah wah wah" noise with your mouth.  Memaw started this when you would make a noise.  Now you clasp your hands in front of you and bring them to your mouth and make a noise.  It is so cute and funny!

You are still sleeping from about 8 to 8.  You usually take a good morning nap but afternoon naps are still up in the air.  You are such a happy baby that I don't mind you being up.  You love to play!  For a while you were playing independently a lot but lately you have not wanted to be out of Mama's sight.  You still love to give hugs and kisses and you play with my hair or your hair all day long.  I can tell you are tired if you start to do that or arch your back when I am holding you.

Stafford you are an absolute JOY to love.  Your Daddy and I love you so very much.  You grow more and more special to us with each passing day.  We love your sweet spirit and happy heart.  We pray everyday that you will grow up and follow Christ!  We are so thankful for the special blessing that you are in our lives!!

Love,
Daddy & Mama

Clearly I didn't think these shots through when I started them!  I forgot that I'd have a little wiggle worm before the end of the year!!  Pelican shots in the green chair now require multiple adults for supervision!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Little Helper

I've been an a cleaning rampage in our house.  For the most  part I'm trying to get the house ready to be shown so we can hopefully rent it out!  But the rest of it is just the "I can't take it anymore!!" urge to spring clean!  Of course I have two special helpers here at my house.  One stays out of the way and one wants to be nearby all of the time.  Our kitchen floor gets cold because it is tile so I put down a blanket for Stafford so he could be in the kitchen with me while I spent most of Tuesday scouring every surface (except the floors!). 

While cleaning out my spice cabinet I heard the familiar noise of Bear's bowls being clanked against the floor.  I figured Stafford had managed to overturn the water bowl and didn't think much of it.  There was no crying involved so I didn't stop my work.

When I finally did look up this is what I found:



If you can't by looking, Stafford is chewing on a piece of dog food!!  This from the boy who refuses to eat  puffs or cheerios by himself.  I mean, I'm proud of this developmental milestone but did we really have to do it with dog food???  I got it out of his mouth before he swallowed but still....gross!!

The front of his outfit was covered with water because he did indeed spill the water bowl as well.  I just have to laugh at these things because I know it is what I have in store as the Mama of a little boy.  I can't wait to share more of Stafford's adventures with you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Unsettled

I'm feeling a little unsettled today, and no it's not because I am STILL in the process of cleaning the entire house.  I am making slow progress but it is getting there!

This is what is on my mind....

I've enjoyed the outlet that blogging has given me over the past few months.  I've met new friends, been encouraged in my faith, learned new skills, received fun affirmation, given positive feedback and for the most part I've enjoyed reading and sharing in the lives of other women.  I don't tend to "follow" a lot of blogs because I am a new mom and I really do work to try to keep the house clean, play with the Little Guy and get together with friends for fellowship, Bible study and encouragement.  Oh, and I nap too!

I had been following a blog for a while that I thought was going to be encouraging.  There is no need to tell you anything about the blogger (and I only  know what he/she shares on their blog) but from the posts it seems like the blogger is a committed Christian.  At first I was encouraged by the blogger's story, they are definitely making a difference in the world in a positive way, but lately the posts seem to be more negative.

Today the post encouraged readers to "rant" about things that bothered them.  At that point I realized that I just couldn't identify with the blogger any longer.  Don't get me wrong, I am certainly capable and guilty of complaining.  But I work really really hard to have a spirit of thankfulness in my life and heart.  I'm not always successful but I do not think inviting others to fuss and fume about what is bothering them is a way to promote positive Christian living.  On a side note I declined to post or send an email to the blogger.  Do you think this is the right thing to do?  I have seen how people can 'attack' others through message boards and blog posts and that is not my attention here.  What would you do?

One of my favorite sets of verses says

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

God doesn't really make suggestions in the Bible.  He tells us what to do.  He's not suggesting here that we should probably try to be thankful.  He is saying, "Hey, be joyful ALWAYS and while you are at it don't ever stop praying.  And if you think that is hard no matter what happens or how hard it is or how much you want to fuss and fume about it BE THANKFUL because this is the circumstance I have given you!"

He says it in a nicer way than I did but seriously people!  I know life is hard!  I know that you may look at me and think well she has it easy so of course she can rejoice.  But that isn't true!  Everyone, yes everyone, is daily fighting a losing battle with their own sinful heart.  It is ONLY be God's grace that I can be thankful....that I can pray continually....that I can be joyful no matter what!

We are in the middle of a special season-Easter.  In some ways this season shouldn't be any different than any other time of year.  We aren't called to live "extra-specially good" during Easter.  We are called to live before Christ daily every day of the year.  But this is a special time to reflect on the enormous gift that Christ gave us when he died on the cross to save us from ourselves!

I would encourage you to turn your frustrations into JOY.  Am I frustrated about things in life?  Yes!!  But I find it much more peaceful to turn that frustration into something I can be thankful about.  If you're having trouble with this let someone know!  Find someone that you trust that can lift you up in prayer and keep you accountable with this!!  Letting thankfulness rule my heart has absolutely changed my life.  I hope you will let it change yours!!

Have something you are thankful about?? Share it with me!  I'd love to be thankful with you!!!  Also, please please keep me accountable in this area!!  I never want to turn this blog into a place of negativity or complaining. 

Among zillions of other things today I'm thankful for Spring and the new life it brings....







.....and sandwiches....really big, yummy, pesto stuffed, mozzarella and tomato sandwiches!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Project 365-Weeks 15 & 16

April 3-We're doing a lot of playing around our house!

April 4-Stafford loves his blocks! 

April 5-This little dog says "I woof you" & "want a smooch from a pooch?"  So cute!!

April 6-The Thunderbirds

April 7-SO tech savvy!

April 8-Enjoying bathtime with Memaw


April 9-Grandpa got in on bathtime too!

April 10-Playing outside in Grove City

April 11-Hanging out with Memaw

April 12-Yummy plantains!!

April 13-I love my Great-Grandma!!


April 14-Wild man hair!!


April 15-2 adults are now required to take pelican pictures!!

April 16-Little Guy's first flight

monday randomness...the cleaning edition

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters



1. motivation

Who took mine?  I'm not sure what my issue is lately but it seems like every time I decide I'm going to get something done I end up doing something else.  My house is atrocious!  Maybe I need to schedule a party so I can force myself to clean.  Maybe I just need to clean because it is the right thing to do!

2. a winner

Speaking of clean, my sweet wonderful husband surface cleaned the entire house while Little Guy and I were in Pennsylvania.  I came home to nothing on the floor, toilets cleaned, dishes clean, all the floors vacuumed.  What a guy!!

3. garage sale goddess

While we were in Pennsylvania we cleaned out my Grandma's garage.  It was a disaster.  My Grandma can barely walk due to a bout with polio as a child so she really depends on us to help out with that kind of thing.  I kind of thought we'd find some buried treasure but I should've known we wouldn't.  If there was any treasure she knows how to turn it into money.  For three or four years in a row she'd have a garage sale and make over 500 dollars-mostly on junk!  Sometimes she'll pick up something from the side of the road, wash it and then sell that!

4. always something about the move

 In preparation for the move we're having our own garage sale.  I LOVE getting rid of stuff.  I HATE storing it in my house until the garage sale.  I can not WAIT until I have that space back.  I LOVE empty space. 

5.  can't leave out the Little Guy

I'm in the process of putting all of the Little Guy's 3-6 month clothes away.  It is so sad!!  I love these little outfits and the memories they already evoke.  I know I'll love the next set just as much but it is evident that he is growing and growing fast!  I can't wait to take him for his 9 month appointment in a few weeks to see how big he is getting.

6. another kind of clean

Sometimes cleaning my house reminds me that I need a little spring cleaning of the heart!  Working on that this week as well especially in preparation for Easter.


Hopefully next week I'll have wonderful progress to show you!!

Happy Monday!!

This guy loves getting clean!!


 
I need a little helper like Nola-"cleaning" the floor with wipes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm back....

.....I know you  missed me!!  There are some other people who miss me too....well, they mainly miss the Little Guy but I'll take whatever missing I can get!  In order to remedy all this missing I traveled this week to the Keystone State to visit with my parents, my grandma and some good friends.  It will the Little Guy's first plane trip and I have to brag on him a little.  He was a CHAMP!  On our first flight we found out we would have an unexpected 3 hour layover.  No big deal!  Stafford just charmed everyone he met, showing his dimple and never making a peep on either flight!  He was just as good today on the return flights.  I was SO thankful!!

We had a fabulous time on our trip!  We visited with some of my college friends and sorority sisters, current girls in the sorority (who are FABulous of course!), childhood friends and our family.  I got in a 8 mile run (go me!), a trip to the Cheesecake Factory, a new t-shirt and 2 trips to Katie's Corner for icecream.  Oh, and of course some General Tso's from Victor Lee.  Little Guy enjoyed his time with the grandparents and great-grandma and I enjoyed a little break!  Despite all the excitement we are super happy to be home and back with Daddy!!

Before we left on our adventure I made this meal twice.  As usual it is super easy and yummy! 

Chimichurri Burgers

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T ground cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the cilantro, parsley, vinegar, cumin, red pepper and salt in a blender or food processor.  Pulse and slowly add olive oil.

Mix beef, salt and cayenne in a bowl.  Form patties.  Spoon Chimichurri mixture into the center of the patties and top with remaining ground beef.  Press the edges to seal. 

Grill the burgers how you like them!  We topped them with tomato and onion and more Chimichurri sauce.  They were moist, flavorful and of course, fabulous!!  If you aren't a fan of spicy food you might want to add the red pepper flakes to taste.

At my cookbooks suggestion  I served these burgers will grilled plantains.  This is the current dessert of choice at our house!

Grilled Plantains

2-4 ripe plantains (they aren't ripe until they look brown and gross!)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Slice your plantains.  I usually cut them in half and then slice them down the middle so I get 4 pieces from each plantain.  Mix the butter, sugar and cayenne.  Brush on plantains with a pastry brush.  Grill for 4-6 minutes and then flip.  You can brush on as much or as little of the mixture as you like.  The more you put on the more the plantains will caramelize.  Caramelization = yumminess!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

First Race


Last Saturday I ran in my very first race!  If you've been reading for a while you know that I'm training for a 1/2 marathon (that is less than 4 weeks away!!).  We thought it would be good to run in another race first just to see what it was like.  The Cooper River Bridge Run is an annual race in Charleston.  This was the 34th year for the race.  Over 40,000 people run in this race every year.  Yep, I said 40,000!  You run over this bridge

with all of these people.



For someone who isn't super fond of crowds it was a little overwhelming.  I managed to finish in the time that I hoped for though and definitely enjoyed the experience.  I have to say though I don't think I will be come one of those people who becomes addicted to road races.  I can hear the collective gasp of the other 39,999 people but I it's the truth!  Why?

1.  You have to wake up REALLY early.  In order to get to the starting line on time (which by the way we did not) we had to leave the house at 6:15.  That meant getting up even earlier.  For this sleep lover that was not fun!

2. The Crowd.  40,000 people is a LOT of people.  It is overwhelming and a little nerve-wracking for me. I prefer to run alone.

3. You have to pay.  Yeah, yeah, I know I'm paying for the experience.  But considering the points above I am paying to get up early, be in a crowd and run.  For me it doesn't add up!  I'd rather pocket the money, run a 10K in my neighborhood with Peter, Stafford & Bear around 9:30 on a Saturday morning.  Then I could buy a new dress!

All in all it was a fun experience.  I'm really glad I ran the race before I left Charleston.  The weather was gorgeous and it is definitely fun to see people out enjoying the city that I have grown to love.  Plus you get a cool t-shirt!  I had to admit that I felt pretty proud when I wore my shirt around the house earlier this week.  Two years ago I couldn't even run 1/2 a mile and now I've done an official 10K!  If you ever get the chance to run I totally recommend doing so!

After the race we went to the Flowertown Festival in Summerville with our friends the Rileys.  We had a great time exploring the craft booths, people watching and hanging out in the local coffee shop.  James is an amazing photographer and captured this awesome family shot for us. 

We finished up the evening with a yummy dinner at EVO, one of my personal favorites, and a trip to Starbucks!  I am so thankful to be able to participate in some of these fun family events before we leave Charleston.  We have been so blessed to live here and we are so thankful for the friendships and fun we've had here!!

Here are some more pictures from  our weekend!

Happy to be finished!

Beautiful bird feeders at the festival

Stafford enjoying puffs

Blooming Azaleas

My sweet Little Guy giving hugs

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Project 365-Week 13

March 27: Litle Guy can not get enough Bear in his life

March 28: My "goal' clothes for my next weight-loss goal

March 29: So ready to crawl!

March 30: Our butterfly fingerpuppet

March 31: Glass bird-feeders at the Flowertown Festival

April 1: Beautiful Azaleas in bloom  here
April 2: Boy & his dog

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