Dec 29, 2011


That's my word for the new year.


I want to cleanse my home of clutter and crap. I'm always one to be up for a clutter-purge, and I'm feeling that urge to purge again. Seems only right that it's happening now. The beginning of winter, the beginning of the new year. I want to start FRESH.

So, over the next couple of weeks, hubby and I are going to seriously go through all of our stuff and really think about what we need to keep and hold onto. Well, really it will be me going through everything and dragging my husband along. But right now, he says he's "in", so I'm taking him with me. Each nook, cranny, closet, under-the-bed will be sorted. For instance: that bag of charcoal in the hallway closet? Gone. We haven't had a grill in, oh, a year? I'd rather give that to someone who will use it now, and pay $5 for another bag if and when we ever get another grill, you know? Free up space for me now. Cleanse.

Also: my health. I'm healthy. Really, compared to the average person (in my opinion, of course). We eat a vegetarian diet, very low in dairy. We eat as organic as we can afford. We avoid fast food about 95% of the time. We don't eat fried food, high fructose corn syrup, food with a super-long ingredient list, etc.

But we could do so much better, as I think we all probably can. We are going to do a Healthy Eating Challenge for the month of January, inspired by an article in the latest issue of Kiwi magazine. Cooking from scratch as much as possible, avoiding overly-processed, overly-packaged foods... you know, that stuff that's an easy and convenient go-to when you're feeling lazy. It will take teamwork, dedication, and lots of planning to make it happen. Especially when it's been a long day at work and I come home to a messy house (maybe not though! Cleanse!) and a fussy baby (toddler?). But, again, Kevin says he's "in"... so hopefully we'll be able to start off the new year with at least a month of conscious eating.


What's your word of inspiration for the new year?

Dec 28, 2011

Our Christmas Morning... Adelaide's first!

Christmas is never more exciting than when you're a kid. The anticipation of waking up Christmas morning to a slew of new toys and gifts, not knowing what has been hiding under the tree all month. The flurry of wrapping paper tossed aside, the growing heap of boxes and bows and ribbon. You see stuffed stockings, and new books, and maybe that one thing you really hoped to get.

Then you grow up and Christmas is still fun, but some of the magic is gone. You decorate, you buy gifts for your loved ones, you anticipate what others might give to you. But you're busy working most of the month, you spend your free time cleaning the house and doing all the grown-up stuff that gets int he way of just relaxing and realizing that Christmas is so close.

Then you have a kid, and the magic is back! Santa came to this house for the first time this year. Last Christmas, Adelaide was 3 days old, and that was enough magic for us to last through the holiday season (and the rest of our lives, really!). But this year, Santa stopped by to surprise an unknowing 1-year old with her very first bit of Christmas wonder. And I must admit, it was so exciting to anticipate her reactions to the whole thing!

Santa came!

Walking down the hall in the morning, seeing the rearranged furniture and fun new stuff.

What's this? A tunnel (that she has yet to crawl through).

Christmas collage 1
She went straight for these toys and started exploring. Emptying buckets, then filling them back up!

Tents are so much fun! Great fun for reading, hiding, and going in and out of!


This looks makes me melt!

Christmas collage 2
Thank you to all our family who showered wonderful gifts on our little girl!

The aftermath... We cleaned up wrapping paper as we went, so it didn't get toooo bad.

Merry Christmas from our family to your's!

Dec 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Here, have a peppermint!



I have something in my pocket. And I have a really cut tummy.


See my tooth? I now have 3 more you can kind of see, if you're annoying like Momma and shove your fingers in my mouth and pull my lips away.

Ok, I'm done. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Adelaide is ONE YEAR OLD!

Dear Adelaide,

Happy birthday! Someone, please pinch me! Has it really been a year already since your sweet face joined our family?!? The saying is true: time flies. Probably because you keep us so busy and sleep-deprived, but still. It has been one amazing year. So full of life and love and adventures and fun discoveries... for you and for us!


One year ago, it was the winter solstice, and you were coming while the moon was orange and the day was short. It was the second day of winter when you arrived, strong lungs screaming and beautiful eyes alert and watching your dad within minutes of your life. Your head full of dark hair which just keeps getting lighter, and your limbs so thin that have filled out considerably (prompting everyone to say "Well, she hasn't missed a meal, has she?!").


While I read the books, and heard veteran moms say how much will change the first year, I never really knew until it happened. You went from being a helpless little ball of person in my arms 24/7 to a strong, independent toddler who wants to do everything herself. You went from drinking only my milk to eating nearly everything put in front of you (though you will still always drink my milk every time it's offered). You have become more confident and determined to explore... as long as you know momma is nearby, you aren't afraid to turn corners and walk down new hallways, roam around dance floors, and take off in the middle of a store.


You have taught your daddy and me patience, deep (DEEP) love, humor, to see the lighter side of things, to let the bad things go more easily. To realize what's really important: family. And that's you, little one. Life is brighter, warmer, more exciting, and faster. We love you so, so, SO SO SO much. Every day brings new adventures. I'm excited to see what will happen in your second year of life. It's all so amazing!


Love, Momma.

P.S. By the way, here's what new this past month! You:
  • Can point out your belly button on cue
  • Can point out momma's and daddy's noses (but not your own)
  • Are infatuated with dogs, exclaiming "DAH" when you see one (picture or real)
  • Have no problem lifting your sippy cup to drink
  • Raise your arms when we say "All done!"
  • Help get yourself undressed by lifting your legs out of pants, and putting your head down to take your shirt off
  • Can get off the big bed by yourself by sliding down off the side
  • Know what these words mean: Up, ball, dog, cat, cup, milk, hug, kiss, gentle, all done, diaper, brush hair, book, phone, dada, doorbell, hat, and many more!
  • Know what a brush is for, and try to use one
  • Go from hitting to rubbing and saying "Ooh" when we tell you to be gentle
  • Have tried cat food, three times (didn't like it!)
  • Love the bath more and more (content with just a cup to play with, too!)
  • Can sit in our laps! This makes us so, so happy! Especially when you bring a book to read!

Dec 24, 2011

Adelaide, meet Santa.

I debated on deleting a few of these photos, but I really like the progression they show. On my hip, Santa seemed a funny, delightful fellow with reindeer jingle bells that made Adelaide smile. As soon as I started leaning in to pass her off to Santa, the freaking out began. But I needed that Santa shot. As soon as I grabbed her back, the tears stopped immediately and she smiled at him again. Oh, Adelaide! Also, how endearing is this Santa? He looks so authentic, and the scenery around him is perfect. We will be visiting this shop yearly for our Santa photos. Hopefully next year will go a lot smoother. No matter though, look how sweet and concerned he is with her!

Dec 21, 2011

A moment, finally!

It's winter break, y'all! So happy! I have literally had no time or motivation to post in the past three weeks, after that Thanksgiving update. But now I have no work until JANUARY. So. Awesome.

(Last weekend, right before heading out to meet Santa for the first time!)

Since starting work in October, I've really just been trying to keep afloat at work, planning lessons moment to moment (thankfully I think fast on my feet!), and never having a break to switch out art displays or get something fantastic together. I really feel awful about my level of dedication this year, but I have something way more important to think about and get home to. No more late nights prepping or creating cute displays. No more hours spent perusing art lessons on the internet. Nope. I'm pretty much just sticking to lessons I've already done, with a few new ones thrown in here and there.

But! Monday and Tuesday were workdays, and they weren't filled with staff development like every other workday has been (literally - these were the first two days given to teachers to spend in our classrooms so far this year), so I was able to PLAN! I've got some fun art games prepped and ready to go, neat lessons all written up. It felt good to turn on some music, wear my jeans, sip some root beer, and really fluff up my plans.

And today? Today Kevin's at work, Adelaide's at daycare, and I'M HOME ALONE. Which is why you're finally hearing from me. I do apologize. I keep thinking, I can post about this, it wouldn't take but a minute. But then, no. I'd rather sleep or catch up on Modern Family. But today I get 7 whole hours TO MYSELF. No baby on my hip or screaming at me because her gums hurt (damn teeth! STILL working on that second one - I see it now, though!).

On the agenda: LOTS of sewing/crafting. I have a huge, embarrassing pile of just-started, half-done, or almost-completed projects that I've been avoiding for the past, oh I don't know, YEAR. I'll have time to get something started, but then you-know-who needs me, and I can't finish. And then my scatter-brained self starts something new. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

I'm so excited for this time today. I plan on writing a couple more post, just to catch you all up, but really, I'm probably just going to turn up the music and plop my tush in my chair at my machine and stitch up some awesomeness. Pictures to come. Maybe. Don't hold your breath.

Love you all! Thanks for sticking around, and I hope everything is going well! Please do pop in and say hi sometime!

Dec 4, 2011

Thanksgiving picture post #2 (Image heavy.)

Boys playing with their mama.

Brothers goofing off (as always!).

Around the dinner table.

My handsome husband! (and beautiful baby)

Best place I've prepped diapers thus far: the beach!


Family beach photo!

Every year, Kevin swims in the freezing water. I can't do it. Way too cold!

With Aunt Ashley and Uncle Jesse.

HOW ADORABLE IS THIS PHOTO??? Cousins holding hands looking at the water! I die.

Daddy and Adelaide.

Watching the tide go.

And finally... with my baby girl.

Next Thanksgiving will be even more fun! Hopefully Adelaide will be more independent then, talking, running, who knows what? And we'll have another little cousin at the house, about 10 months old. It will be so sweet to see the three cousins together, a new generation to form relationships and have magical times together! I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was great, too!

Finally... Thanksgiving post #1 (Image heavy!)

So, Thanksgiving is old news now. Especially because it's DECEMBER. When did that happen? Only 18 more days until my little lentil is ONE YEAR OLD. Holy cow.

Thanksgiving was a blast. Kevin's grandparents have rented a different beach house each Thanksgiving for a few years so that everyone has a place big enough to get together. They rent it for the week, and whenever you can get there, there'll be a room for you.
With work, we ended up leaving Tuesday evening and getting there around 9pm. Adelaide slept 3.5 out of the 4 hours!!! Amazing. We kept looking at each other and grinning. Adelaide does NOT like her carseat, so this was a great way to start the vacation!

Everyone LOVED Adelaide. She would walk into a room (or be carried, whatever) and whoever was there would smile and say how happy she looked, that she was always smiling, and wanted to talk with her. She, of course, being the social baby she is, loved all the attention. At some point, she let everyone hold her for a bit, but she was most comfortable walking around and exploring the place. We got to see her and her cousin (about 4.5 years old) playing... like, chasing and squealing and laughing. It was so cute!

Instead of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, each person was to prepare an appetizer of some sort to share. Then we piled them on the huge circle dinner table and dug in. Unfortunately, it's a family of meat-eaters, so I really only had the salsa I made and some vegetarian baked beans. Everything else was meat or dairy filled. I made sure to bring lots of steamed veggies for Adelaide, so she was good for the week.

Breastfeeding made the week so much easier! I always knew she had something to eat, just right, always at the ready. It made going to sleep so easy for her, even though we were in a new place. It was able to calm her down when she got over-stimulated with all the people and attention. Just some perks :)

And, maybe most exciting: Adelaide saw the beach for the first time. The house was right on the beach, so we just had to walk down and there we were. The first couple times I set her down on the sand, she freaked out a little bit. It's a different feeling under her little toes, and the sand was cold. But by the third time, she was pulling our hands to walk out to the water, laughing when the waves went back to the ocean, and squealing/screaming happily in anticipation for the next wave! It was amazing to see her warm up to the beach and the water so easily.

And now for part 1 of the pictures: Enjoy!

Loving the wind.

Lots of hugs these days!

Early morning sunrise with my daughter.

Exploring... meeting The Captain.

I wish my house had natural lighting like this!

My parents-in-law scuba diving!

With Great-Granddad.

Kevin and his younger sister.

4 generations.

The Browns (missing a sister and her husband and her baby bump!)

The two that make these Thanksgiving trips possible.

The whole gang (missing three (four?) people.)

Stay tuned for picture post #2.