Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28th - Then & Now

I love seeing how much things can 
change in the quick span of a year.
Sometimes you need to see a picture
to really see how far you've come.

One of my favorite examples of this was Thanksgiving 2009
on which I realized that IUI #2 had failed and we started our 
13th cycle of trying to conceive Hannah, and Thanksgiving 2010:

From utter disappointment to extreme thankfulness in one short year.

Last year, May 28th, 2011, we were surrounded by family at the old farm house of Christopher's grandparents for Hannah's baptism.  They have this idyllic tire swing and a teeter totter made from old wagon wheels. 
Hannah had just started standing unassisted during this trip, and a few days after we got home she started walking.  

Today, May 28th, 2012, Hannah is full of energy and spunk and charisma.
She's learning how to hold conversations on the phone and spent quite a few hours talking with both sets of grandparents today.  She's also on an impressive streak of 30+ hours* without a wet diaper (*except 1 overnight diaper), which seems amazing.  She's so mature some times.
And then you tell her to do something she doesn't want to...
At the end of the day, I really like this toddler phase {so far}.
She had opinions, and thoughts, and feelings - and expresses them.

It's amazing how much changes in a year.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday at the Park

{I was planning to upload this on Monday morning, but YouTube was giving me grief all day so I postponed this post until today.}

Hannah and I spent Mother's Day together.
We played, watched cartoons, took a shower, 
watched more cartoons, played with puzzles, 
and waited for the sunny day to cool down a bit.

After a visit to see Daddy at work
- by far Hannah's favorite trip each week - 
we headed to a park I discovered while yard sale shopping.

She looks like such a big girl in this photo!
19.5 months old

Hannah was very excited once she saw TWO slides.

Each time she got to the bottom of the slide,
she asked to go again.  This is her signing "More?"

Then she turned around and saw all the swings.

I experimented with shooting into the sunset before going home.
She was tired, so I didn't get very many smiles, 
but this photo was my favorite of the whole day.

Hannah's shirt, shorts and bow are from Crazy8.  
Hannah and I attended the grand opening of a store in our town this weekend.  Related to Gymboree and Janie & Jack (just like Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic), some of their lines overlay and coordinate with each other (especially Crazy8 and Gymboree), but Crazy8 is usually at a lower price point.  Look to see if there is a store near you:  
Not a sponsored post.  Not an affiliate link.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Current Mantra

For those that are focusing on weight loss in their journey to conceive, I thought I'd share my little mantra that I use when dealing with food cravings.
I hope it helps.
Nothing tastes as good
as being pregnant feels.

Mother's Day Card Tutorial

I made Mother's Day cards for some of my dear family and friends, 
and filmed the step-by-step process as requested.

Paper: Yellow cardstock and Polka dot paper from Michaels bulk 12x12 paper
Paper: Floral Designer paper is Storyteller by Out Of Print
Stamp: Thoughtful Tidings (Feb. SOTM) from Close To My Heart
Ink: Crushed Curry by Stampin Up
Embellishments: Recollections

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pinspired Recipe: Summer Porridge

It seems every time I get on Pinterest 
I see the same pin over and over, so I decided 
to finally bite the bullet and MAKE it! has a very popular pin for Summer Porridge, and the Mango Almond recipe called my name.  So after Gymboree, Hannah and I hit up the local Whole Foods and Trader Joe's for all the ingredients, and we made them just before bedtime so they'd be ready for breakfast.

This is an overnight No Cook recipe.   It's single serve, and you prepare it in a half pint jar so it's perfect for an on-the-go morning.

It would also be great for:
~ Hearty afternoon snack
~ Camping
~ Picnic Brunch
~ Get Well Gifts
(Can you imagine if someone brought you this after
getting home from having a baby/surgery/illness?!)

It's hearty, delicious, and easily customized to your palate - 
mango, apple, blueberry, even chocolate banana.
Get the recipes here:

Watch the video of Hannah and I preparing it.
Learn from my mistakes, and watch us taste test it for breakfast.

Let me know if YOU make some Summer Porridge.
What flavors did you try?  What did you think of the Chia seeds?
Have you tried a different Pinterest recipe lately?  Share!

Follow me on Pinterest:  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

She's THAT kid

Hannah is an active little girl.
I know mom’s say that, but to put it into perspective -
she shocks every Gymboree teacher with her exuberance. 

(And I figure that Gymboree teachers, with their classrooms of padded 
floors and obstacles, have probably seen it all.  So that says a lot.)

She’s fearless.
She’ll jump off towers onto a stack of mats without a hint of worry.
She’ll scale a ladder and run across balance beams. 
She’ll dance wildly to the music instead of clapping to the beat.
She’s THAT kid in the class.

Part of me wants to wrangle in her energy, 
teach her to step daintily along the platform like the other girls in the class 
and methodically weigh the dangers before she jumps.

Then I tell that side of me to shut up 
and ignore the other parent’s glances.

I figure that life will happen to Hannah. 
In time, she’ll learn about boo-boos and she’ll learn to be cautious.
But right now I want her to continue embracing life head on.
To not be afraid of what might happen,
but instead to seek joy in what is happening.

Sure, we teach her manners -
“Please” “Thank You” and “Excuse Me”
are a big deal in our household.
And she’s starting to grasp the concept of sharing and
taking turns as much as a 19 month old toddler can.

But for now I’m happy that she’s THAT kid –
The boisterous one, the laughing one,
the running and jumping and leaping one.
That’s Hannah.

She’s a little crazy, a little sweet, and a whole lotta spunky.
And I wouldn’t want her any other way.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Long Road

The summer before 4th grade I went to the town's
swimming pool with my best friend Jolene.
We'd met in 1st grade –
We were both tallish and blondish
And had much older brothers,
but we were basically raised as only children.

Considering how much time we spent at the pool that summer,
it's funny looking back on what little I remember. 

While I can't recall the events of that morning,
all of a sudden I realized I was alone in the deep end.
I couldn't see Jolene anywhere.
I checked the kid's area that was popular because it was warmed by the rays of summer sun seeping in through the window,
I checked the bathrooms and nurses station.
And finally I checked the changing rooms.
There I found her.  Hanging out with another girl.

Worse yet this girl was also tallish –
More so than Jolene, but less so than me
and blondish,
while ours was long and stick straight, 
the new girl's was cut into a short bob and permed.
and Jolene didn't leave her side all afternoon long.

I had been ditched, and I instantly despised this new girl.

Jolene explained that she had just moved into town the month before and I learned later that afternoon, sneering at her from the warm waters of the kiddie pool, that she could dive into the deep end like a dolphin while I still had to plug my nose and pray to God before leaving the pool's edge.

Yup, I hated her.

 Two weeks later school started, and I'm sure I went through the normal 'first day of school' routine of picking out the best outfit from my back to school shopping trip and posing for pictures with my brand new backpack in front of the house or car or mailbox, but none of the preparation for that day was memorable.

What I DO remember is walking into Mrs. Pointer's class and seeing most of the desks pushed into groups of four and labeled with assigned seats.

I walked all around the room looking for my name and hoping that Dustin was next to me, when finally I found 'Carla' scrawled across a bright yellow nametag off in the corner in a lonely group of two.

As I looked to see my partner's name, Mrs. Pointer ushered the new girl from the swimming pool – Ashley – over to me and explained that I would be her 'buddy' as she learned the ropes at our elementary school.

I was devastated.

Not only was I clear across the room from every cute boy in my class,
but I was paired up with my arch nemeses. 
4th grade was obviously going to be a nightmare.

Turns out it wasn't so bad.

Ashley was funny and nice and in a turn of events, Jolene was in a different class and Ashley quickly replaced her as my best friend.

Nearly twenty years later and we're still friends.

We survived middle school AND high school together.
She flew out to visit me at college back East.
I flew out to be with her for the birth of her daughter.
She was the first visitor after Hannah was born.

We have our own lives, which in many ways are completely different,
And we've had countless fights and reconciliations – 
some of which only time could heal.
But since the first day of 4th grade, she's always been my buddy.

I rarely make it back to my hometown, but this weekend I went down to spend time with my mom for her birthday weekend, and to see Ashley.

We met up at the site of our old elementary school,
The significance of which I only realized while writing this
and I followed her out to her new home.

Back along winding country roads,
through old red covered bridges, and
along tiny creeks lined with old rope swings
We drove and drove and drove.

Finally – Finally! – we turned up a long gravel driveway cut between fields of cows and arrived at her house.
Far beyond the reach of internet and cable TV, we sat in front of big windows overlooking the fields and talked as Hannah played with vintage My Little Ponies that Ashley had pulled out of a box of childhood toys.

We talked for hours  - about family, babies, infertility, classmates, memories – and as the sun began to set we walked down the gravel road and watched the cows settle in for the night as frogs croaked and crickets chirped.

 To say it was idyllic was an understatement.

I hope that Hannah has a friend like Ashley someday.
A friend that teaches her patience, and perspective, and loyalty.
A friend that challenges her to be a bigger person,
And a friend that forgives her when she's not.
A friend that she can always be honest with,
And a friend that knows nearly all of her secrets.
But most importantly, a friendship that spans decades:
That outlasts ugly hairdos, bad phases, mean boyfriends,
dumb choices, bitter fights, utter heartbreak,
and is stronger for it.

Sometimes you just need a long drive, an old friend, an amazing 
sunset, and a bunch of cows in order to gain perspective.

Sometimes a journey that starts off badly ends beautifully.

FuzziBunz New Prints

FuzziBunz has released a limited supply of two new spring prints.  
Whimsical Whale and Strawberry Delight, pictured below:

These are sure to go fast, 
so get on a wait list now if you want to add these to your stash.

Affiliate link



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