Monday, May 31, 2010

happy memorial day!

we celebrate this day in honor of those who have served and fallen in the line of duty, serving in the armed forces. i am proud of all of my family members who have served and are serving in the armed forces, and proud that bella has such a brave daddy.

in my family, on my dad's side, my grandfather served in the navy, my uncle served and fought during the gulf war in the air force, my dad was in the air force and my aunt and cousin are civilians with the air force. on my mom's side, my uncle served in the air force. and of course my husband is currently serving in the air force.

we may not always agree politically (and i mean throughout history) with our commander in chief, but there are men and women who, on a daily basis, in all parts of the world, put their lives on the line and have put their lives on the line so that we may enjoy freedoms, like playing outside without fear. putting our children in schools where they are free to learn. speaking our mind about things that matter most. writing this blog. reading this blog. you know, that simple stuff. that most of us take for granted.

so for those fallen, thank you for the ultimate sacrifice. to my husband and family, i am so very proud of you. and to friends who are currently in iraq and afghanistan, come home safely.

happy memorial day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

hello 26. nice to meet you.

this year has been a whirlwind, and it's not over yet. but yesterday was my birthday and, well, it's a day all about me. so how could i not be excited? i mean, really?!

for as long as i can remember, my birthdays have been pretty spectacular. my mom should have won an award for best birthday party thrower. for my 10th birthday, she rented a hotel room and i brought 9 of my closest friends and we slept all over the place. i woke up on a lawn chair by the pool. sweet 16? we were "going out to eat with our friends" which turned out to be a restaurant full of just about everyone i knew. and of course i got a car. which was waiting outside with a bow on it (at least that's my memory. really, the insurance lady ruined the surprise when she called and told me i was added to the policy. so my dad brought it home the day before. but let's not ruin the moment). birthday's ere a really big deal in my house.

so when i left home, i kind of had an expectation that that would be the way birthdays were for the rest of my life! fortunately, i have a husband who likes to do what i want. so i have pretty awesome birthdays still.

this birthday was no exception. my first year being a mommy we went to, where else? DISNEY WORLD. only.....we didn't make it to disney world. or sea world. or even wally world (wait......yes we did......). we went to WONDER WORKS. never heard of it? us either. so we went.

no, this picture isn't upside down. the building is. the coolest thing was that in the "basement", aka, 3rd floor (upside down building. get it?) there is a high ropes, black lit course. it was a pretty cool place, full of experiments and fun science-y things. and lots of 2nd graders.

we walked up and down the street, we ate at some fun places, and we got some much needed alone time (thanks mom!!). and bella gave me the gift of cutting her first tooth! yep. thanks bel, your crying was a wonderful addition to our weekend getaway!

you see that little booger poking through? she's real proud of it. and likes to show me how sharp it is by leaning over and chomping on my arm/finger/ear/leg/toe/pretty much anything she can put in her mouth. fortunately, she hasn't linked eating with chewing yet. because that would be bad news.

and while it was MY birthday, someone else decided it was time for her to grow up.

that's my girl. up on her knees. starting to actually crawl.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

i have a mom car.

no, no. not a minivan. nothing against minivan's or their drivers. some of my favorite people drive a minivan. i grew up in a minivan. but, i have never thought of myself as a minivan driver. for one, i only have one kid. so i don't have the need for one. for two, i'm not ready. mentally, i'm just not there yet. just like, i am still holding on to my skinny jeans. i can't quite fit in to them anymore (who said i ever could?), but i am clinging to them with all the desperation of "one day" and hoping that, miraculously, they will make me skinny again.

we decided to look around at some cars. joel wanted the nissan leaf. ok, i'm down with that. zero emissions, no gas, plug in. wait. crap on a stick. we don't have a garage, which outlet. ok, so, we aren't going to save the planet. at least not in the next 6 months or so.

we talk about some cars. decide we might want a ford, maybe another hybrid? so we head over to the lot, "just to look". and there. it. is.


let the haggling begin! i won't bore you with all the details. but we got it and are happy. and that's what matters. and i give bella credit for that, for wooing all the salesmen. the girl's a charmer.

mmmmmmm.....gotta love that new car smell.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

finally, something she got from me!

her love of food. figures. how have i figured this out? i gave her some.

and. she. lovedit!

this is actually our 3rd night of rice cereal, and she can not be more pumped about it. when i started mixing it, she started squirming and crawling towards me and squealing at the TOP of her lungs! here's how it started.

2 nights ago, we sat down with a mixture of mostly breast milk with some rice cereal.

**side note: yes, i am making her food. i decided to start her on earth's best certified organic whole grain cereal. after some research, this was a healthier alternative than making rice cereal on my own. BUT i will start making her food after about 2-3 weeks of this, and THAT will be an experience all of its own.......**

she wasn't so sure about it. ate most of it, but left about 1/3 of the cereal. i counted this night as a success. most of it got in her mouth, and she seemed pretty excited about it. you can see her eating for the first time, here.

night 2-last night, she was quite a bit more interested in her food. when i brought it over, she immediately started reaching for it. she ate faster and more. she finished off the whole thing. and seemed very satisfied. night 2? success.

night 3. tonight. the girl gulped it all down. and BEGGED for more. this was her, when it as all gone.

then she started to full out WAIL. so i made some more. about half of the original serving. she leaned forward with her mouth wide open, like a little baby bird, waiting for her worm.

so. my kid is an eater. just like her momma. here's hoping i can instill healthy eating habits in her from the get go, so she doesn't have her mommy's other love. edy's cherry chocolate chip ice cream.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

i swear, she NEVER does this.

this has become my new mommy mantra.


::old ladies stare, shaking their heads knowingly, men of all ages scoff and walk quickly away::

me: "i swear, she is never like this!" (knowing full well that whenever she is hungry/tired/dirty/bored/looked at strangely, she is, indeed, like this.)

i don't know why i feel the need to justify my crying baby. i mean, that's what they do. they cry. but for some reason whenever we are in public and she starts to wail, i start to get all sweaty and red faced. because i can hear it in my head: "i wish she'd get that baby to shut up", "why did she bring a baby out of the house, anyway", "if i wanted to hear a screaming baby, i would have one". i feel the eyes all around the room, staring holes into my head, urging me to "get that kid out of here".

but then, she stops. i feed her/change her/get her to sleep and when she wakes up again, she is the most precious, happy, snuggly little thing you have ever seen.

then the old ladies come up to us and tell me how she looks like the gerber baby, and how lucky i am to have such a perfect little one. and then bella flashes her million dollar smile and my heart melts, and i forget about the sweat on the back of my neck and behind my knees. that girl has me wrapped around her littlest finger. the one i like to pretend to munch on, because it makes her giggle.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

and here it is.....

how joel proposed. a friend suggested i share this story. so, here it is!

a little back story (for my plethora of new followers who don't know me personally). joel is a diamond in the rough. he is a man's man. outdoorsy, rugged, not sentimental (at all), only gets emotional when he hears sad stories about puppies and babies (true story). but. he is incredibly romantic. when he wants to be.

this is a semi long story. so MORE back story.

1st date-we went to college together at UNC charlotte and there is this little shopping center near the campus centered around a lake. we ate at this pizza joint (i really can't remember the name) and it wasn't anything special, especially since we were broke college students. but it was all full of butterflies. lovey dovey, i know......

our favorite place to eat-mcalister's deli. who doesn't love soup in a bread bowl and a big ol' sweet tea?? and it's cheap. and we were poor. (noticing a trend??) but we ate here a lot.

our first valentine's day-we went to a beautiful park in charlotte, had a picnic, walked around, played in the rain. oh yeah, it was raining. but it was wonderful and fun. and again, full of butterflies.

fast forward a few months. joel asks my dad for permission (he's old fashioned like that) and then begins to take me on a string of dates-mostly very fancy, like, you know.....olive garden. and randomly he would get down on a knee. to tie his shoe......or....pick up a fork. (if you're wondering, yes i had an idea that a proposal was coming). come october, still no ring. i had told joel that if he was going to propose, i wanted at least 9 months to a year to plan a wedding. and knowing our timeline, i knew that window was closing soon.

ok now to the real story. he picks me up one day from my dorm. i don't know what we are doing, except that he has the whole day planned. we head over to mcalister's and he buys 2 sweet teas and 2 salads. next stop, that nameless little pizza place i mentioned earlier for a nice big dessert. then we head over to brixx pizza oven for a wonderfully yummy pizza. finally we get to that same park from our first valentine's day.

now i have to say, at this point in our relationship, i was very desensitized to the idea of a fancy proposal. i had really started thinking that it would be incredibly random. so i wasn't really expecting anything. especially not this day.

we get to the park, gather all of our "picnic" gear and start walking toward the picnic area. we get halfway there and joel turns to me.

joel: will you go get the lighter from the car?

me: it's ok, we don't need candles. i'm hungry.

joel: just go get it.

me: no, why? i just want to eat.

joel: (in a very stern voice) go. get. it.

so i huff, loudly, turn around and go get. i get back to the table and joel has the table cloth all spread out, candles and food set out, music playing. very cute. we eat our dinner backwards-dessert first, then pizza and salads. after we're done eating i start cleaning up all of the stuff, blow out the candles and pack everything up. then joel stands up and does that little "whip the table cloth out from under the place settings without pulling the plates off" thing. only, there is nothing on top of the table cloth.

me: ooohhh. good job honey, you didn't break a thing! ::giggle giggle, snort::

joel: look.

me: at what? (yeah, i'm clueless.)

joel ::nods towards the table::

i look down and carved into the wood of the table (which i'm pretty sure is destruction of public property but why let a silly thing like the law stand in the way of true love!?) are the words, "WILL YOU MARRY ME?". my first reaction-"aw, that's cute! someone carved that into the table!!"

i look back to joel, who now is on one knee, with a ring in his hand. like i said. i. am. clueless.

obviously, i said yes, and almost immediately started planning.

skip ahead 8 months. may 20th, 2005.

5 years ago today, i married my best friend. really.

he makes me laugh, especially when i am angry. usually at him.

he makes me cry. but in a good way. like when he comes home and jumps on the floor to play with our baby. even before he has taken his shoes off.

he knows me, sometimes better than i know myself.

he sharpens me, mentally and emotionally.

he gives me confidence. he believes in me. he encourages me.

he leads me. he guides me. he walks beside me.

he is my better half.

when he isn't around, i do silly things. like throw the keys away (it has happened).

most of all, he is part of who i am. without him, i am only half of a much better whole.

i love you honey.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

let's get real

yep. that's my living room. at 8 in the morning. you see that laundry basket there, in the front? that was there yesterday, too (it's clean, i promise), i just haven't "gotten around" to folding it.

wanna know why??

that girl. right. there. that's why she's in a basket. because as soon as i start folding laundry, she sneaks up behind me and topples a pile of towels on top of her head and guess who has to fold them AGAIN. can you guess?? no, not joel.

and look what i got done while she was in that basket

i know it doesn't look like much, but these diapers are all lined and ready to go! which makes mommy happy!!! and you know what that means........

i get to take pictures of my smiling with my baby!!!!!! which like, sooo never happens.
::insert sarcastic eye roll::

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

no sense crying over spilled milk.

spilled coffee?? now that's another story.

so there i was, sitting with bella over my shoulder, THINKING she was asleep. when out of the blue i feel this warm liquid spilling down my back. it was too much for spit up, too little for a flood.

:: cue clinking of coffee mug hitting table::

coffee!!! nooooooooo.

seriously, i wasn't concerned that there was coffee on the FLOOR. i was concerned that there was COFFEE on the floor! you get the inflection??

and my sleeping baby? she was the culprit. i guess someone has the same inclinations as her mommy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

my life on the d-list

no, i am not stealing from kathy griffin. more on this in a minute.

i am new to the blogging community, but not new to blogging. i started this blog about 2 years ago while we were living in hawaii, as a way to keep my family and friends back on the "mainland" up to date with the happenings in my life. i was newly married to a brilliant man in the air force, fresh out of the security blanket that is the college experience, and far away from home on my "extended honeymoon".

this lavish lifestyle came to an end 4 years later, when the air force moved us back to the mainland and back to reality. we now live in the middle of georgia. people have said we would love it, we would hate it, and have called it "the arm pit of america" (nice, right?!). but for the next 3 1/2 years, we call it home. ok. that was cliche, even for me. and i haven't decided what i think of it here.

so, i started writing again. mostly to show off my adorably perfect, new little baby. i love her like a fat kid loves cake. especially chocolate cake. with layers of fudge. and buttercream frosting. mmmmmm. she pretty much the most amazing thing to ever descend from the birth canal. and i talk about her a lot. and about my first baby, my fur baby, duke. he's pretty awesome too when he isn't digging through the trash or crapping in the baby's room. and of course, there's that studly man i like to call my honey. (this is where that whole "paradise" in the middle of georgia thing comes in to play)

back to that d-list thing. since becoming a "mommy blogger", i've decided to join in on all the fun of blog communities and start pimping out my blog in high style. so thanks for stopping by, fellow mommy bloggers. and my loyal 9! you guys are awesome. here's hoping that number goes up. my goal? 10. i'm a high achiever.

a few of our favorite things

mommy's favorite things for bella

1. sophie the giraffe.
2. raz
3. her bright starts rattle, exersaucer, play mat
4. her super duper cute sunglasses
5. cheer bear, the creepy, talking care bear

bella's favorite things for herself

1. the victoria's secret catalog that mommy left on the floor
2. mommy's computer
3. unwrapping daddy's anniversary present that mommy is storing under the coffee table
4. a cup. that came free with a pitcher
5. a wash cloth

yep, that's sophie on the floor there, just WAITING to be nomed on.

lesson to be learned here: baby toys are bought for mommies. not babies.

mother's day saga: the final installment

finally, mother's day has come to a close with the arrival of grandma! we shopped, we dined, and what better to do with grandma's first visit than break into the pool for a little dip! ok, we didn't have to break in. we have a key. but it sounds so exciting.

bella has no choice but to love the water, but she had never been in the pool. that is no longer the case! we hit the pool 3 DAYS while grandma visited! and even went once at night!

in true bella form, she jumped right in and started kicking and blowing bubbles. i even got her to go under water a few times! she wasn't a huge fan of the waterfall, but she tolerated it. of course her favorite thing to do was cruise around in the float that she borrowed from another little boy.

do i sound like the uber-proud mommy that i am?? well, it is mother's day (week)!

we also introduced bella to the joy that is.........

STARBUCKS! and as you can tell, she loved it too! (don't worry, i didn't actually let her have any). but i may just have a future addict on my hands.

bella got to spend a whole night with grandma while mommy and daddy went out for a date (thanks mom!!) and was so good, grandma offered to keep her again the next morning!

all in all, i have thoroughly enjoyed celebrating my first mother's day(s). now on to the next celebration.......because, i mean, any reason to party. right!?

Friday, May 14, 2010


dear bella,

today you are 5 months old. you can sit on your own and play by yourself. you army crawl so fast mommy can hardly keep up with you. you are very vocal and love to squeal at the top of your lungs. most of the time, at dinner. you love squishing mommy's face in between your hands while you give her "big kisses", aka try to eat my face. you are beautiful. perfect. sweet. and most of all, you have so much personality, i am surprised you can contain it in that little baby body.

mommy used to pray for you. that god would give me a healthy, beautiful baby. really that god would give me any baby. i don't know what i did right, but one day in march of 2009, god decided that i was his most favorite child. because he gave me the most perfect gift.

now, mommy prays for you. that god would protect you. that he would teach mommy how to be a mother that deserves a baby like you. that you would grow up to be a person who loves jesus, obeys her mommy and daddy, and is nice to puppies. that you would be someone who fights for those who can't, who loves the unlovable, and who hates injustice. that you would be happy and healthy and that you would make those around you happy, too.

i hope that you will know how much you are loved. you have blessed the lives of every one who knows you. i hope that you will feel the security that, no matter what happens in your life, will keep you solid and strong. i hope you have confidence, but that it doesn't get in the way of humility.

i don't however hope against hardship, loss and hurts. because those things make us who we are and build us stronger than all the love in the world. they are also inevitable. i just pray that you would be surrounded by so many people who care for you, and will have a faith so strong, that you can weather any storm that should pass.

for now, i enjoy watching you learn that when you fall, you aren't stuck, but can roll to your tummy and move on. that when your teeth hurt, you can nom on your raz or sophie and it feels better. that when something is just out of reach, if you wiggle to the side, you can pull it with the tips of your fingers, and then pick it up. the world is so new, and every day you discover new and amazing ways to enjoy it.

i love you little girl. with every fiber of my being. no one has EVER been as blessed as mommy and daddy. i truly believe that.

love your mommy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

mother's day, part 3

sunday! we headed up to huntersville for a few hours of MORE geo caching. so here, i guess is where i'll explain this fun little hobby of ours. geo caching, as i have said before, is like a treasure hunt with GPS. not like your tomtom. more like this:

this is mostly what we did all weekend! it's fun, exciting, and at times, quite frustrating! we went about 6 for 12 this weekend, and the ones we found were FUN!! but the ones we didn't find, well, it felt like we walked around for forever before we would finally just say....."moving on....." and walk away, downtrodden and disappointed. imagine a child, on the hottest day of summer, who realizes that the pool is closed because some kid pooped in it. that's about how it feels to search for a cache, only to realize that we. can't. find. it!

but then, YOU FIND ONE! and it really is like a kid on christmas! i know i keep comparing the feelings to a child, but honestly, you feel like one!

the caches range in difficulty to find and difficulty of terrain, so it can go from a "grab and go", which basically means it's on the side of the road, to an all out hike! most of the ones we choose to do are pretty simple, simply because.........

we have a passenger. bella LOVES to geocache, mostly because when mommy and daddy find a cache, they start jumping up and down, hooting and hollering. yep. we're children. but it's a pretty awesome feeling when you search for something for a long time, (most of the time, you don't even know what you are looking for!) and then you find it! if you're interested, here are a few more pics from the weekend (they were taken with the GPS so they are too small to share here).

we spent sunday doing this around northlake mall and in hornet's nest park with my dad and family. we loaded up the dogs in the truck and headed out. it definitely was even more fun the more people we had!

the final installment of mother's day madness will be coming this weekend. because, like every other holiday in our family, it lasts all week!! the momma is headed up for the weekend to round out my FIRST mothers day, and her first grandmother's day!! it is sure to be.....GRAND! stay tuned

mother's day, part 2

saturday was FILLED with babies!! for the first time since they were all born, all the nelson grandkids were in the same place!

sadly, we couldn't get them all in the same picture at once. it was quite an event to catch them all awake, all happy and all there at the same time! bella and taylor seemed so content to sit and play with each other the whole time! it is so exciting for me to watch bella interact with other babies!

and of course, bell loves her nana!
that night we enjoyed some s'mores by the fire. hopefully this is a tradition that will continue through the years. these are the moments childhood memories are made of, and i can't wait to give bella all of these fun memories!!

details on sunday, along with pics to come later!!

mother's day, part 1

for mother's day this weekend, we decided to go camping!! what a great idea, honey!!!

hmmm.......did i actually say that? i mean, camping is fun. don't get me wrong. campfires, s'mores, grilling, swimming in the lake, hiking, sleeping in a hot tent on the ground with a 4 month old who still wakes to nurse 3 times a night.....wait. how did that last one get in there? and how did that not DRASTICALLY sway my decision?

well. that might have SOMETHING to do with it. i miss the water! i miss waking up every morning, looking out the window and having the OCEAN as far as the eye can see. so, this is a pretty good argument. isn't that gorgeous?! and for a last minute trip, we didn't get a bad spot. right on the water.

and here's another reason. this baby LOVES the outdoors! i'm telling you, she is so happy when we are outside. it's her element.

don't get me wrong. at 3 in the afternoon, it was a pretty miserable 92 degrees, with some high humidity. but we solved that problem (somewhat) by hopping in the car and going geo caching. if you don't know what that is, it's basically a treasure hunt done with GPS coordinates. not like the GPS in your car (which is great, since ours was stolen......grrrr), but a hand held one with actual coordinates and a compass. for mothers day, joel bought himself a pretty high tech one, (while i realize that this i said he bought it for HIMSELF for MOTHER'S DAY, he also did spoil me, so i forgive him). so we took off with our GPS and hit the treasure trail. on friday night we went 2 for 2! and found some other really cool places along the way. my favorite cache was a bunch of scrap metal, formed to look like a dog with a big wagging tongue. then a plastic squeaky bone was wedged into his mouth, which held the actual cache. TOO cute! (pics to come later!!)

saturday we woke up bright and early (you know, cause we slept outside), and headed towards charlotte. we hit a few more caches on our way, but didn't have any luck. we DID however get a chance to take in some amazing scenery, as two of the caches were at the dam to the lake we camped on! it was beautiful! and made up for not finding a thing.

after our morning of caching and sightseeing, we headed for charlotte! part 2, coming soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

pink toes. and joel gets formal.

i know, i know. 2 posts in one day. WHAT AM I THINKING!?

we are going camping tomorrow and so i am pretty sure there won't be another post til monday and, well, i just can't have that can i?? but no worries. this will be short.

but i HAD to share this.

aaaaaand THIS!

yep. i'm lucky! i have a devilishly handsome husband. who left me at home with my devilishly screaming baby. so he could get all fancy. eh. so it is. still.

what. a. stud.

care bear cousins!

i was a HUGE care bear fan when i was little. ask my mom. i knew all the words to all the songs. i knew every bear and cousin. "care bears, ROAR! care cousins, CALL!" yep. i'm a dork.

but i found this care bear while i was pregnant, and went ahead and bought it, because i LOVELOVELOVE the care bears! =) and i knew i was having a little girl who would, undoubtedly, LOVE the care bears too. they were my favorite growing up. so, when bella started sitting up, i introduced her to cheer bear.

i have to be honest, this bear is a little creepy. she talks. a lot. and she says weird things like "look how happy you MADE me" with this weird inflection on the "made". and the creepiest part is that, after i toss her into the toy box, and she sits in there for a few minutes, she'll say, "i need another care bear hug!". um. hello chucky. we stopped playing with you half an hour ago.

but bella seems to like her.....or at least she is starting to like her. pretty much she just tries to eat cheer bears face. but she tries to eat my face too. so that's nothing new.

"look mom! i look like a care bear! " belly and all. bwahahaha.

"ok, mom. now this doll is really starting to creep me out."
and before you ask, my mom was on the computer with her "big ol' granny glasses". i think it would have been mean to expose her in her morning glory.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

bella is a star!

at my mind she is. =)

we had a little photoshoot today, courtesy of my new friend andrea, and the pictures turned out beautifully, if i do say so myself! and it was oh so much fun dressing her up in different little outfits. the diaper shots were SO cute, and i think we got the most out of these. look at that little ruffly butt!!!
then we changed her in to her tutu, and got a few good ones of her in that too! and this one MIGHT just be my favorite! i LOVE everything damask, so when andrea said she had a damask background i almost jumped for joy. she. is. awesome.

we had so much fun playing with her in the tutu, but of course, like little babies do, bella got tired. poor kid didn't get her morning nap, and was such a trooper. but alas, she put her foot down, like any good diva would............

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

getting ready for solids!

"say WHAT, mommy!?"

"don't worry bella. not QUITE yet. we're just getting ready."

"shew. good thing! i'm just a wittle baby, after all!"

this would be the conversation we would have in MY mind. because i am not ready for bella to be eating solids. not yet. she isn't old enough! she is just a little bitty baby!!!

(almost) 5 month old!!! what the......where did the time go!?

so. we are getting ready for solids. it's true. and thanks to some great helpers, we don't have TOO much work left! i asked people to save baby food jars and i got an OVERWHELMING number of them! today, i pulled them all out and peeled off the labels and i had 121 jars!! that's a LOT of jars.

yes. that IS a lot of jars. i won't be using them ALL for baby food. i have a couple of other uses for them, but that will be a post in a few months =)

i'm excited to really get started on cooking bella's baby food. we are waiting to give her anything until 6 months (we MIGHT start cereal at 5 1/2 months....but we're still undecided). She has already started watching us eat, and grabbing our food. and of course she has hit the developmental milestones of sitting on her own, so PHYSICALLY she is ready. our biggest hesitation is we don't want to introduce it too early to reduce the risk of allergies. we already know she is allergic to pollen, amoxcicillin AND possibly dairy. of course, that doesn't stop the random stranger from telling me that i should "put cereal in her bottle, because she will sleep better". i won't even get in to why that's not true, BUT we have our reasons for waiting, thankyouverymuch. now i just have to get my hands on one of these babies........

and i'll be good to go! i'll be sure to keep you updated on the status of "bella's bites" over the next few months as we get her eating like a big girl.

she's pretty excited about it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

makeover monday!

ok, this is not a permanent installment. i probably have enough things to makeover to make it permanent, and i might do it in the future, but not now =)

that said, i have been trying to makeover a little bit of our house. i'm doing small things for now.

starting with the bed. new bedding!!

and new pictures above the bed! i got them HERE and i LOOOOVE them. i have a few more pictures, and they will be added to the collage soon, i just haven't decided how i want to do it yet.

another shot of the collage.

i added a few more things to the nursery too!

my intent was to have some blackout curtains so when bella naps, she has it nice and dark. i found these at wal mart on sale and couldn't pass them up, they make bella's room glow RED when they are closed during the day. so. makeover gone bad. fortunately they sell blackout liners so i can fix that problem quickly.

those are all the updates for now. here's hoping the next makeover will be my own =)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

a three hour tour.

uh huh. i think you know where i am going with this one. we started out on a three hour tour. literally. i told our friend who was watching bella that we were leaving at 11 and would be back at 2.

well, call us gilligan and the skipper, because our s.s. minnow took a trip into deliverance.

ok, wasn't THAT bad. it was actually a ton of fun, despite the fact that it turned in to 7 hours, and at one point, i was pretty sure we were on the wrong river.

i'll start at the beginning.

we bought a canoe. yep, i asked for a boat. joel got me a canoe. well, it is a boat i guess. just not the one i was envisioning. so, we wanted to take our canoe out and break it in-joel plans an amazing trip, while i am urging him to tone it down. the last time i took out a canoe, we flipped over every time someone breathed too heavily. joel tells me, over and over again, that this canoe is better, more stable, and HE wasn't in the last canoe i was in. like that makes it better........

so he plans a "3 hour trip". it'll be easy! about 5 miles........or so. what's that honey?? oh, nothing. ::insert devilish laugh here:: at least this is how i would like to think it all played out. in reality, i think he really thought it would be a short trip.

so we get someone to watch bella ::thank you williams family!!!!!!:: strap the canoe onto the explorer, suit duke up with his life jacket and hit the open, er.....closed? seas. we get to our "put in" spot, and this is where things start to get tricky. our put in spot is actually someone's house. joel goes to ask if we can put in from their yard and the lady kindly refers him to a park "up the road a little ways". try 10 miles up the road! it's a quaint little town though, called juliette, home of towanda, the whistle stop cafe and fried green tomatoes. we see signs for "fishing boat and canoe launch". FINALLY. only.....don't celebrate too soon....there is a dam blocking our way down the river. so we drive around for another 30 minutes trying to find a place we can launch from. finally we drive down a dirt road and pull off onto some private property. yep. P-R-I-V-A-T-E. so we pull off far enough so we aren't seen and we load everything up and get going as quickly as possible.

yep. ready to go! excited to finally get in the water! our trip has been diverted a little, but we won't let that get us down. no siree!

and we're on our way! i've got the front. duke's holding it down in the middle and joel is el capitan! we are ready for adventure. or whatever comes our way.

cue rapids! these were pretty tame, and we made it without getting stuck or hitting rocks! after about the 3rd run, we are feeling like a super canoeing team! we hit a hard right, a hard left, and "jangle" back to the right. whatever that means. it's joel's word he made up to describe to me where to go. but we're in such a good mood that i accept his made up word, chuckle a little and keep going.

then we meet these guys. there were about 5 paths to choose here, and this is the one we chose. once we got to the other side, we were comforted by the fact that this was the least rocky of the choices. which is good because after being on the river for 2 hours already, we realize that THIS is where we were going to put in originally. by THAT calculation, we had at least 3 hours left. what we didn't know at the time was that, in reality, we had 5 hours left. (good thing we didn't know that, because i might have cried.)

so we decide to take a little break. duke absolutely enjoyed it, and didn't want to get back in the canoe (what's that they say about how dogs have a 6th sense? i think he was telling us something). this reinvigorated us and after about 20 minutes of playing on the beach, we hop back in our little boat and head on down the river.

for a while, we enjoyed beautiful houses, made some friends and even saw some turtles! then.....nothing. we hit a straight path in the river, and see.......nothing. no houses. no rocks. no landmarks. most importantly, no bridge. which is where we are taking our canoe out at. we realize we are in for a looong trip. it's been about 4 hours and we still see no signs of ANYTHING we recognize from the map.

at least we are in a good enough mood to joke. fast forward 2 hours. this is where i start thinking, maybe we took a wrong turn. ok, before you roll your eyes and say "but justine, it's a straight river!" understand that we were supposed to be off this stupid river 4 HOURS AGO! i hear more rapids and start stewing. until i realize it isn't rapids. IT'S A MOTORCYCLE! which means...dun dun dun. A ROAD! we turn a corner and about half a mile up ahead we see..........THE BRIDGE!!!!!! i felt like someone stranded on a dessert island, you know, with the coconuts on the beach, spelling out "S.O.S"? then the helicopter comes and starts to land. yeah. it was like that.

the rest of the story is pretty uneventful. we pull up, tie our canoe to a tree and then go get the cars. all in all, it was pretty awesome. we bonded, the baby stayed with someone other than me for 9 1/2 hours (!!!!!!!), and to top that off, she didn't cry the whole time! we learned a lot yesterday (the biggest lesson was, always bring water. and snacks) and we had a good time doing it. so moral of this story? plan ahead. and plan for the worst. oh. and bring a gps.