Tuesday, March 29, 2011

a Party for friends

So, that event I was preparing for (from my earlier post)...

a Baby Shower/Farewell party for friends, Jonathan and Lauren Richmond. Friends of the couple were invited out for a family affair at our place this past Saturday afternoon/evening. Lauren's parents were in town from Arkansas and able to make the event as well, so it was nice getting to visit with them.

In only a few weeks, Jonathan, Lauren and Eleanor will be moving to Chicago and having Baby #2. Wow. Lauren is amazing. A true Supermom as far as I'm concerned. We will miss them dearly, but look forward to visiting them in their new city soon...we'll make sure it's warm there first!  :)

Lauren, Jonathan, and Eleanor

Lauren and Katie

Parker will miss his friend. Eleanor and Parker are always a busy duo when together. :)
(Notice that strawberry in Parker's hand? Over the course of the party, about every 10 minutes one could spot a little arm reaching up to the table to snatch another plate with more strawberries, a sandwich and sometimes a little cheese. We all started laughing after the pattern continued for a good 45 min before anyone said anything to him. Clay, who was downstairs with him at the time and witnessed the eating of the food, said that he would eat all the strawberries on his plate, hand off the sandwich to someone else and run back upstairs to grab a new plate and more strawberries. What is it with this boy and strawberries? I know I lived on fruits when I was pregnant with him, but seriously?!)

Precious Eleanor.

Mike, Susie and Eleanor


Hostesses with Lauren: Sally, Susie, Lauren, Carrie, Stephanie, and Katie
These girls did such an amazing job in preparation for the shower; thank you all so much again for your help with everything!

Sweet Leina and Kelli
I couldn't get pics of everyone (and my candid "room" shots of lots of people did not turn out to my satisfaction, so we will just stick with these)

And a pile of shoes by the front door...what a blessing to have so many good friends.
Jonathan and Lauren, you will be missed greatly.
We love you,
Your Minnesota Family.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

been busy...

Been busy lately.
I have a feeling things are only going to get busier...we'll see what life has in store. ;)

Note to self: Going to need more prayer, a lot more sleep (this 3-5 hrs isn't cutting it), more exercise, more Chai Tea, more Beth Moore and maybe even a little more dark chocolate.

A few things I've been busy with lately:
Capturing a couple of photos of my little men with their daddy

Clay and Cooper
Photo taken on March 20, 2011
(Cooper just over 5 months)

Clay, Parker and Cooper
Photo taken on March 20, 2011 just after arriving home from church

Making healthy food for my littlest man...having fun making his first foods

This picture represents like 12 different jobs done in an afternoon, though you can't see it all in the picture. Cooking up some dishes for an event (more on that tomorrow), spring cleaning, a gas leak fixed (not a fun experience...and quite scary I might add), putting away the remainder of winter decor and breaking out the spring goods, stocking our kitchen with more healthy foods, business calls (which could be broken down into quite a few categories including insurance, taxes and more)

Taking early evening strolls with our little men (on the days we can stand the cold).

Watching these little puppies grow by the minute...

...and maybe I failed to mention a few things.
These are more of the fun "busy details" though. :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

a Glimpse of Green and Winter Memories

I have been giddy the last couple of days over this...GREEN!!! Dirt, mud, dead grass...whatever one would like to call it...it is there. Underneath all that snow lies earth! Yes!
Summer, we are ready...yes, I do know my seasons of Minnesota: Winter, Winter II, Summer, & some years we even get a Fall. 

In a couple of months, gone will be the days of brushing snow off of our cars...

Gone will be the days of having our entryway look like this every time we walk in the door...

Gone will be the days of shoveling and plowing our driveways...

To be true...Though my heart is fonder of warm weather, fireflies and summer nights, there are a few things I will miss about dear 'ole Winter...

Bedtime stories by the Fireplace

Scenic Winter Drives

Cuddling with this snowbunny...

Having this guy bring in firewood for us and spoiling us with toasty fires in the fireplace each night that he is home...I don't know what's sexier: seeing this cutie in shorts, a winter coat and snow boots or the fact that he is about to build yet another fire for us while I prop my tootsies up and have a warm tea and Godiva. ;)

Our Bedroom View

Seeing Parker all bundled up in his snow gear ready to "mow the snow" or ice fishing in the front yard using a fallen tree branch (and then dragging the large branch into my home and asking me where he can keep his fishing pole) makes for a happy afternoon too.

One day, later in the year, when I am waiting around for cooler weather (ha!) maybe I'll grab a mug of hot cocoa and reminisce over some of our Winter Memories.

In the last three days we have jumped at the opportunity to take a few strolls around the neighborhood --bundled up of course. :) You would think neither of my boys had ever seen puddles to splash in or leaves to play with. I can't wait for the warm, summer days of eating every meal outside on the deck, daily strolls around the neighborhood, bonfires with our neighbors, playtime in the backyard, and so much more. Aaah. I haven't had much time to do extra things around the house lately (actually, I've barely managed to keep up with the day-to-day) but I was excited to bring out my spring decor. LOVE the colors and the feeling it brings to see it out each day. Now I just need some bright buttercups to place in my kitchen; and, if I don't chance looking outside to see the remaining white stuff or pay attention to our weather forecast of currently being 27 degrees with a chance of snow on Tuesday...I might believe it to actually be Spring. ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

our 5 month cutie!

(Photos taken by Carrie on March 5, 2011)

Love your chunky thighs
Love your contageous dimples
Love how your face lights up when you hear my voice
Love how you squeal when I sing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" or how calm you get when I sing "Jesus Loves You" to you
Love your bald little head (although in the past week and a half you've started growing a little bit more hair!)
Love your bright, blue eyes
Love hearing your sweet laughs

Love how you look in your simple white onesies
Love how easy going you are
Love watching you play with your toes that you discovered a couple of weeks ago
Love how enthusiastic you get when I put your bib on you when it's time to eat your big boy food
Love how you like your rice cereal, bananas and carrots...I'm still trying to figure out how much you need; we're starting green beans tomorrow and are trying something new every 3 days)
Love how your strong little personality is starting to show (well, most of the time)...when I'm trying to get you to eat(nurse) and you are insisting you're done, you arch your back, turn your head to the other side of the room and throw your arms out...silently, but very confidently...Clay walked by the other day to actually witness it for the first time and bust out laughing
Love how you are mesmorized when you watch your older brother
Love snuggling you

Love how you like to sleep...now we've just got to get you out of swaddling mode (which might make for a few sleepless nights!)...today is first experiment
Love how alert and happy you are when you are awake
Love watching you roll over on your playmat as you play with your favorite toys
Love how strong your little body is
Love your chubby cheeks
Love how expressive you are and how much you like to smile
Love how into and aware you are of your surroundings...you'd rather watch all the activity than eat!

Love how you've been trying to sit up since you were 3 months old (still a bit unsteady...I'm definately not rushing you!)
Love how you have recently starting blowing bubbles and buzzing your lips
Love how you can't wear any of your older brother's clothes right now...well, maybe not so much!
Love how you like to be read to
Love how you like to chew on everything you can get your hands on

I love how happy you make us!!!
I love that God chose to bless us with your sweet little self!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Mother's Prayer and a Winter Walk before Supper

The last couple of days I haven't quite been myself...with a lack of sleep, the lemons that life has been throwing my way haven't been taken as well as I usually would approach them. I have found that my own early morning prayers have been similar to this mother's prayer. Surely someone out there can relate.

Thankfully, I have an amazing Creator who loves me in spite of my shortcomings and offers inspiration daily. He has also blessed me with a strong companion in life, who is awesome at knowing how to handle my "feeling stressed out moments." So, yesterday evening when Clay walked in the door and enthusiastically suggested we all go for a walk at a nearby park before supper, I grabbed my coat and all other winter gear, to which he laughed and said, "You do realize this is the warmest day we've had here this winter at like 40 degrees and camera and ran with the boys out the door.

After posing for and suggesting like 62 photo opportunities just in the hour that we were outside, I knew that hubby was using my passion for photography as a "stress reliever for mom moment." Well, that and hoping that all the fresh air and walking would bring home two exhausted, ready-to-sleep-good-for-the-night little boys. Smart fella. I felt much more rejuvenated when we arrived back at the house.

Most of the walking/skiing trail is in view of the frozen lake, so the scenery is breathtaking.

Cooper loved his winter outing. Due to severe temps lately, this little one hasn't seen much of the outdoors (just like his brother during the winter of '08 when he was born.) He looked totally relaxed, but attentive during the walk. For the first 20 min you would look back at him and he would break out into a huge grin, but I think he was getting tired by the middle to end of the little adventure. This was the look for the remaining 40 minutes of the walk. :)

While walking and exploring, Parker was picking up sticks and leaves and observing little things that his daddy had taught him like spotting animal tracks and trees that had been visited by woodpeckers.
Though it was fun watching him try to slide down the wet snow on just about every hill we came to (which was like every 12 steps), we did have to remind him about the importance of respecting nature and the fellow walkers and skiiers. One could hear his excited little squeals of delight from across the lake I'm sure.
Can you guess who's legs tired out once we got half-way around the trail?

Friday, March 4, 2011

it's her birthday!

Today is a special day...
it's my mama's birthday.
Happy Birthday Mom!!!
I love you so very much!

A few things about my mom:
  • She's an amazing writer....especially when it comes to whipping out poems at the last minute
  • She loves her children and grandchildren immensely
  • She will drop anything and everything to care for the needs of others
  • She moved 11 times growing up (before she married my dad)...all in the South
  • She has taught elementary school for 20+ years...I have never seen a more patient and experienced teacher with her first and third graders. She loves her kids and they love her. She has taught in both the public and private school associations.
  • She is a good dancer.
  • She was very shy growing up
  • You will find her working on props backstage rather than sitting front and center
  • I got my love of books from her
  • She is an amazing cook
  • She is a middle child and is very close to both sisters
  • She is a Southern lady.
  • Though her journey has been hard, she has always stayed strong in her faith
  • She sings alto...and is good

a few more things to know:
  • She is the strongest woman I have ever known
  • She and I could never share shoes because my feet were always larger than hers once I got in Jr High (she wears a 7)
  • She reads her Bible daily over a cup of coffee first thing in the morning
  • She loves spending time with family
  • She has a love for music
  • If she had to choose between shopping for clothes, jewelry or shoes she would choose shoes!
  • She has always supported my brother in me in our decisions, ideas, etc.
  • She gives very wise advice
  • The clothes in her closet are a lot more fashionable than the clothes in mine :)
  • I talk to my mom on the phone every day

Mama, I hope that you have a wonderful day, week, month and year. I pray that it is filled with many sweet blessings and memories. You are such an inspiration to me and I love you so much! Thank you for being the mother and friend that you are to me. (and the Rassie to our kiddos!)


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

a picnic at the zoo

This morning Parker came in my room to wake me up saying, "Mama, come get me dressed so we can go to the zoo." For whatever reason, he was set on going to the zoo today. I laughed, rolled out of bed and we got ready for our outing. At one point, I didn't think it was going to work for us to go and still be back for naptime because it was getting to be quite late in the morning. Parker said, "No mom, we just have a picnic at the zoo then come home and take naps." I told him we might not be able to see all the animals to which he responded, "I want to have a picnic cause it's fun....and I want to see five animals."

Well, all right then Mr. Parker. We will go to the zoo and have a fun little picnic.

And fun we did have! After Parker helped me assemble and pack our picnic lunch, the boys and I headed out. It was one of the most exciting two hours of his week I am sure. People watching, chowing down on carrot sticks, a turkey sandwich, goldfish, grapes, pistacchios, and a front row seat next to the big underwater turtle exhibit...a perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a very cold day. Parker and Cooper were both all smiles.

After our picnic, we headed on down to Tropics Trail to do a quick walk-through. One thing I love about going to the zoo is that I can let Parker have some independence and roam in front of me without worrying about him leaving my side. I could almost hear the words, "FREEDOM!!!" screaming from his little body as he happily ran from one exhibit to the next.

I do believe Cooper is going to be just like his brother in that he loves an adventure and new sights. His little head was bobbing every which way very purposefully admiring his surroundings.

Alas, it came time for us to head home, but have no fear little furry friends...we shall be back to visit soon!