Monday, April 26, 2010

Memories from our Home 2006-2010

"My first home as a blushing bride
Far from my home, Clay at my side.
Plans and dreams begin to unfold
and soon there's a precious baby to hold.

And now we move on with memories in tow
We have a new home, a new place to go.
God, continue to guide us; lead us in your way.
Please bless our home and family this brand new day."
Poem written by Terry Jones (Rassie or "Raddy") on April 25, 2010
Above: When arriving to our first apt in Apple Valley right after the honeymoon, Clay had adorned the bed with rose petals & leaves to surprise me. The bedroom furniture, which we had picked out prior to the wedding on a quick trip up North, had been delivered just before the wedding in December. It was one of the few things we actually had in the apt for the first month we lived here until we had a chance to move everything else up from MS.

Above: Picture taken outside our bedroom window the day Parker was born; large icicles were common outside our windows on the fourth floor
Below: Welcome home sign made by Rassie & placed outside our door to welcome Parker home for the first time! Picture taken outside our apt complex during one of our many walks

Some fun summer days spent out by the pool

Discovering the magic of Christmas

A moment out on our balcony

Waving to the cars & people below from our balcony (an everyday morning ritual for quite some time!)

Lots of playtime in the living room

Taking a walk to our nearby park

Bird out on our balcony early one morning (we rarely had birds perch up here, so this was a sight to capture)

Winter sunrise view from our balcony...we will miss the beautiful views from our 4th floor balcony

So many memories were made from January 2006 to today in our home...starting with our first apt 402 then on to 423. People say that the place you bring your babies home to will always hold a place in your heart; I understand that now. I am thankful for the wonderful and happy memories in this place these last 4 1/2 years.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

our last day in Apt 423

For the past 2 months, packing little bits of our house here & there has taken up "naptime," (most freetimes) & a couple of Saturday mornings. Over the last 3-4 weeks, the house has been completely consumed with boxes...& the brown yuckiness is starting to take a toll on me. :) I have found myself drawn to organizational sites, magazines...basically, anything bright, orderly & inspiring that I can think about & visualize!

Luckily, we move tomorrow, so the inspiration can really kick in & take action soon! The moving truck is arriving at 8am & we are ready for them! Thanks to my husband, who is Mr. Prepared & Ready-Well-in-Advance-for-Anything, our house & storage room are packed (and actually packed in a very organized manner thanks to him!) & ready for the move! makes me laugh when I look back on my move home from college & then our move from MS up here. I literally had my things in tote bags & garbage bags to load into the big moving van. ha! I didn't know any better; I can't imagine how frustrated Clay was loading that truck for his unorganized, newlywed!

Parker has even gotten into the moving process. The other night he wanted to pack his last box of toys all by himself. What a little helper he is!

For the last couple of weeks, the entrance to our apt has basically looked like this, minus one row of boxes & adding back in the kitchen table. Meals have been eaten on the floor for the last several days. It has led to fun memories though! Picnics at parks & even picnics on our living room floor has caused a little excitement in the least from the toddler's standpoint.
Aunt Lacey, aka CiCi, flew in this past week to play with Parker. :) We really enjoyed the visit & were thankful for the extra helping hands! Lacey is not used to the crazy "always-a-toddler-at-your-feet" daily lifestyle that we live, so I was impressed at her endurance & bouncy attitude through each of the activities & challenges that kept us busy each hour...I will admit though that I was happy when a couple of nights I wasn't the only one going to bed early. :) Thank you for coming to play CiCi! We love you!
I've been pretty impressed with mine & Clay's attitude throughout most of this moving process (I am aware it's not over yet...but still, I feel as if a lot of the work is already done!) We have managed to get through it so far without too many disagreements, which is honestly a miracle when you put two opinionated people like us in a room together for too long to work on a project such as this. :)

I will say this as a warning to husbands out there: If you ask your wife if there is anything else from a particular kitchen cabinet (a month away from the move) that can be packed & she says, "No" please take her word for it. For instance, if you are just needing one more little thing to place in a spot to finish out a perfect box & decide that she really doesn't need that food chopper for the next month, be aware when she looks for it 2 days later you will be the one doing the chopping of the vegetables for the next month...or at least until she gets her food chopper back. :)

And with that, I am off to enjoy the rest of our last day/night in Apartment 423.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Describing our weekend

Family photo taken on April 18, 2010

Warm, sunny, BUSY, rewarding, fun...words to describe our weekend

Friday night: Clay flew in from his trip & we went to a friend's home for a late night "bring your own app" party.

The idea was to have tents set up in the backyard for the kids to play in & a bonfire to toast marshmallows, movies, etc...basically a fun pj party until late bedtime rolled around. The parents would visit outside around the bonfire while we watched the kids & also while we munched on all the yummy goodies. Well, Friday it was chilly...too chilly to play & to stay outside for very long. We had a great time visiting & playing indoors though. Towards the end of the evening, the dad's took the kids out all bundled up so they could roast a few marshmallows before ending the evening. Parker proudly brought one inside to me that he had helped to toast so I could enjoy the sweet fun too! :)

Saturday we had a busy day running errands, packing, & taking care of things around the apt. We've almost finished our packing!

Story for scrapbook: Our Sunday morning actually started with Parker wanting to take his first poop in the big boy potty while we were trying to get ready for church. I was fixing my hair & putting on my makeup when Parker came in the bathroom trying to lift up the toilet seat to do his business. I called Clay in there to assist...his response was, "Do we really have to attempt this today..on a Sunday morning when we're running late for church?" He agreed though & helped support Parker on the big boy potty. Within 20 seconds Parker had taken his first poop in the potty! Clay & I just looked at each other in a little bit of shock. I told him that he was going to get a special summer treat for the new house for doing such a big boy thing! On the way to church, Clay & I were discussing whether or not we really wanted to go ahead & start this potty training thing the week before our move & less than 2 wks before we headed down to MS. (I had planned on starting the first or second week in May) Parker obviously listened in on our conversation to which he replied, "I ready Daddy, I ready." Unbelievable. Looks like we'll be buying the Cars & Mickey Mouse briefs next week. :)

Sunday, after a nice morning at church, we joined the Sunday School class for a quick 3rd Sunday lunch at D'Brian's. Sitting on the deck over the pond & watching Parker run around chasing after the birds was the highlight of that hour. Of course, he was too busy to indulge much in his lunch while we were outside, but when it was time to leave it was, "Mama, I want to eat." :) Next, Clay helped me to complete the final prep work for our baby shower that afternoon for two girls in our Sunday School group. Laurie's mom & dad were sweet enough to host it at their lovely home in Wayzata. There were 6 hostesses, 2 to mother-to-be's (both expecting boys) we were honoring, & about 18 guests. A great turnout & fun time for the girls!

So happy & excited for Katie & Laurie!!!

Carrie, Kelli, Stephanie, Lauren, Nicki & Holly (the hostesses)...3 of these girls have just had babies in the last 2 months as well!
While the girls were partying inside, the boys were enjoying the outdoor sunshine. Mr. Chuck (Laurie's dad), Mike (Laurie's hubby) & Clay took Parker fishing down at their pier. My husband was smart & ran in to retrieve our camera during the baby shower so he could document Parker's first fishing experience! I was one proud wife.

Words can't even describe how much joy our little man experienced out there with that fishing pole. And with a little help, he caught 9 brim & 1 perch!!! I don't know if Clay had ever seen his son prouder! Clay even taught him how to hold the fish by the mouth.

Parker & Mr. Chuck talking about the fish
I love this picture so's going in a frame in Parker's new room!

After arriving home Sunday evening at 7:00 after an exciting day, we decided to have a pizza picnic on the living room floor before bedtime. Good times. I am so blessed.
...and that would be how I would briefly describe our weekend.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adventures at the MN Zoo

In the last several weeks we have utilized our MN Zoo Membership, where we can now not only view the indoor exhibits, but also explore the outdoor fun! During the month of April a temporary exhibit, "Farm Animals," is there for members to enjoy. I think we have visited it at least 3 times already!

Parker has fed the goats, pet the cows, posed as a chicken (he loves to do this for whatever reason!), felt the soft fur of bunny rabbits, & learned the process of milking a cow. Along with all that fun, he has viewed so many more interesting the Russian Grizzly Bears. We saw some exciting action last week when we toured. Two of the grizzly's were wrestling & romping & in the water; it created quite the attraction to tourists.

Parker & Bella taking a turn posing on the tractor on the outskirts of "the farm."
We're looking forward to more fun at the zoo this week & in the upcoming months this year! There are always great adventures awaiting us! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's on your kitchen floor today?

Warning: Before you think about staying up late to sweep & mop your disgusting kitchen floor, read the following story. It might cause you to wait just a little longer....

I'm sure you are familiar with the saying, "There is no use crying over spilled milk."

Well, last Thursday morning I chose to cry (HARD) over 1 dozen + 2 "spilled" eggs on my freshly cleaned kitchen floor. During my luxurious, 7 minute shower, my ever-hungry 2 year old (who had already eaten a bowl of Cheerios, a banana & some of my breakfast as well that morning!) decided to get in the fridge to see what goodies he could find.

When I walked into the living room (in nothing but a towel I might add since I always run out just to check on him before I get dressed, etc.), I wish I could have gotten a picture of him sitting there so proudly in his fire truck footed pjs with the biggest grin on his face in the midst of the yellow goo. Unfortunately, my brain didn't think to grab the camera to capture the moment. Actually, the look on my face alone made Parker not only cry, but also get up & head for his time out corner. I stripped him down on the way out of the kitchen (since egg yoke covered his last-night pjs) & told him in a very quiet, but very tense voice to sit in time out until I told him to get up.

As I cried pitifully staring at the situation, I realized that it might be a good idea to go put some underwear on at least before I stepped into the mess.

Some days --most days as a matter of fact-- I handle stressful situations very well. Had this happened during another week I probably would've handled it very differently...had a look of shock on my face, grabbed my camera for the prize shot, sent Parker to time out while trying not to laugh, & resumed cleaning up the floor.

...that wasn't how it went on Thursday. Oh no, it didn't go like that at all.

Other than the actual mess on the floor, I was seriously upset over the fact that just the night before I had forced myself to muster up enough energy to stay up till 10pm to get just one thing cleaned in the apt...and that was to sweep & mop the kitchen floor. But, that's usually how it happens right? ;)

Do you know how many Swiffer wetmops it takes to mop up 1 dozen + 2 spilled eggs on a kitchen floor (after you've used one half of a roll of Bounty Paper Towels)? Correct answer would be 3.

What was my adorable 2 year old trying to get into that caused the eggs to come falling out of the refridgerator?

Apparently, according to the above evidence of fresh sticky strawberry prints & the fruit remains, a pound of fresh strawberries bought the day before at Target. Have I mentioned before how much my child loves fruit...especially strawberries? He had taken each of the strawberries out of the container, eaten off each one to his desire (some taken a couple of bites off of & others eaten down to nothing but the stem) & made a sweet little pile on the above shelf. I did find some remains in the garbage too...not sure why he made the transition from garbage to fridge unless he got tired of walking to the garbage after eating each individual strawberry. I guess he figured this way was more efficient! :)

Needless to say, this little incident has forced me to either bolt the refridgerator door each morning with some of our handy packing tape along with his wooden high chair standing in front (so he doesn't rip the tape off), or resorting to taking him to the gym just so I can shower. :) I told Clay we were going to seriously look into refridgerator locks...yes, they do make them. I'll let you know how well they keep little 2 year old hands out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Every good and perfect gift is from above..."

"Every good and every perfect gift is from above..." James 1:17
Clay, Parker & I are so excited to welcome a new addition to our family on October 3, 2010! I am currently 14 1/2 weeks along & baby & mama are doing great! (Picture above taken at 12 weeks)
Parker loves patting mama's tummy & saying, "baby!" so I think he will be excited to have a new little brother or sister to play with & help take care of this fall! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Sunday

Our weekend was full of activities & small, sweet blessings! I hope each of you had a blessed Easter! Among all the packing & house stuff to take care of, Parker & I found plenty of time for an Easter egg hunt, a special "breakfast" dinner that consisted of Mickey Mouse pancakes, bacon & strawberries, a new Easter movie for Parker (the classic "The Easter Bunny is coming to Town" with Fred Astaire), a fabulous Easter lunch with friends, & of course an Easter service at church to celebrate our Lord, the risen Saviour! We missed Clay & our other family very much this weekend, but our parents, grandparents, siblings, etc :) were great to keep us company with phone calls & frequent text messages letting us know they were thinking about us! :) Love that!

Parker enjoyed leaving out carrots & water for the Easter bunny Saturday evening & enjoyed waking up to an Easter basket filled with treats the next morning! Sidewalk chalk in the shapes of eggs, a new book, bright colored bath tub letters & numbers, a new movie, popsicle treat holders, some fun matchbox construction trucks, & even a little bit of candy hidden in the Easter eggs were left for our little man by Mr. B himself.

Following Easter basket treats came church, where Parker was so excited to sport his new Easter outfit from Nana & Poppie. (well, maybe it was his mama that was so thrilled to see him in his first spring outfit for the season...especially since every year that we have lived here there has been snow on the ground at this time..this year no snow!) It was the first day we have dressed in short sleeves & shorts in months, so I think the excitement just bubbled out of every step we took that day! Though we didn't get to see the service (I was working the nursery), I know it was amazing. It was just great to be there period & to celebrate the reason for the special day.

After church, we went with a dear friend to have Easter lunch with her family! Parker had an amazing time getting to run around outside with the other boys & then have a delicious lunch. It was wonderful having the food, friends & fellowship that day. (Thank you Tressa!)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

mini albums using the Bind-it-All

A cool tool that has joined my scrapbooking shelf: the Bind-it-all
I purchased this at the end of last summer & have enjoyed putting together several little projects for friends & family. Though the mini albums aren't perfect, they're special because they came from the heart & the books record precious memories. With the Bind-it-All you can create your own style, size & type of mini albums, which makes it fun & flexible for quick projects. I have seen amazing things done with this tool; one of these days I will be a little bit more "pro" with using it, but for now, I'm having fun playing! :)

-The most recent album I created using my Bind-it-All was for a girlfriend of mine who had a baby last year. I collected & printed my favorite pictures from the first 6 months of his life & included them in the thick creation you see below. I did make a front & back cover using chipboard (Tressa & her patient & precise little hands helped to make the sweet window & the covers! Thanks again! :))

This album was started & finished during our scrapbooking weekend. (I had done all the prep work prior to the weekend.) Brads, rub-ons, stickers, patterned paper, was all used. I used very simple & basic journaling in this album, recording birth day facts, how old he was in each picture, & main event titles. At the very back, I left an embellished space on cardstock for "mama" to write a note to her son on special memories from his first 6 months.

First page

- A childhood girlfriend of mine got married last year, so as a last minute happy I put together a mini album of a few favorite pictures of us growing up together & some recorded thoughts on now & then.

(The night before I had gotten married, she rang the doorbell to my mom's house & handed me a precious pink little spiral mini album she had put together for me with pictures from us when were preschool, elementary & jr high/highschool age. I remember how much that meant to me..she knew how important pictures/memories were to me and wanted to do something special. I still keep that album in a basket with other mini albums, pictures, etc. & pull it out frequently when I want to reminisce. :) )

I wanted to do something like that for her too! Once again, it was simple using new & old materials, and I had so much fun creating it! My mom wrote a short little poem for one of the dance pages from when we were little. There was more journaling in this one...I wanted to include "remember when's..." On the very back page was a single picture with a long note. I can be quite long-winded sometimes. :)

*The pink paper next to the album was actually a cd case that I created to hold the cd I had made from the weekend. I used simple rub-ons, adhesive & flowers with brads. It was a fun way to dress the packaging up a little!

-This was the very first album I created (last fall) using my Bind-it-All. It was a simple album made for my sister (in law) to help her document a few important & special memories from her first official year of teaching. The album itself wasn't one of my better ones, but at least it's a place for her to document a few fun memories...and I had a fun time experimenting with my new tool! :) Several of the pages were just blank (the cute patterned paper stood on its own) with the idea for her to place random pictures, tickets, memorabilia, etc. on them.

*I used an acrylic cover for this project
So, if you're into creating little mini books, the Bind-it-All would be a fun tool for you to add to your shelf! I'm happy with mine & look forward to making some fun summer projects with it! :)