31 December 2008

My 2009 Resolution

This year, I don't have a bunch of resolutions. I won't keep them anyway. My only goal is to follow the phrase, "Bloom Where You're Planted." (Hence my blog facelift.) All I want out of this year is to spend every day making the most of what I have and being the best I can in the role I'm in.
As a stay-at-home mom, the daily grind can really get to a girl. I want to make my year as full as Lucy and I made our advent. We spent every day doing something memorable and made our days so interesting. I want to bloom as a mother and give Lucy so many memories. We have another little girl on the way and I want to turn their room into a princess paradise. I want to learn to sew. I want to show Lucy how to bake bread. I want to teach her a funny dance to perform for Daddy. I want to show her how to put socks on her feet. I want to get her all excited for a big girl bed. I want to save a lock of her hair from her first haircut. I want to make this year something to remember. Toddlers come and go so quickly, and I don't want to miss a moment.

I want to be a charitable and giving wife. I want to support Andrew 200% as he finishes his MBA. I want to make his birthday big and exciting. I want to remember to kiss him bigger every morning before he leaves. I want to remember to go to bed a few minutes early so that we can fall asleep together. I want to remember to stick a love note in his lunch. I want to spend more time admiring our beautiful girls together.

I don't have a lot of resolutions. I just want to take in all of these moments that are going way, way too fast. I want to parent with grace and patience, and love my husband just like I did on the day we were married. I know it won't be possible every moment of every day, but if I can manage maybe, 85%, I'll be happy with that. I'd just like to bloom where I'm planted.

Our Wonderful 2008

What a wonderful year it's been!!


We made a special trip out to WA State to surprise Grandpa and ended up with a very nasty flu! Lucy was a trooper through it all and we had a wonderful trip!


Our baby is 9 months old and growing so fast! We decide to take another stab at househunting and have very little luck!


Lucy is 10 months old and well, March just isn't always nice in Frostburg.


The good weather is here! We find the perfect house for our family and go under contract. We also decide that waiting until January '09 is just too far away to start trying for a baby. We agree on the end of May instead.


Lucy turns 1, we sign on our wonderful house and we start looking forward to Baby #2, hoping that we'll be expecting by the end of the summer.


We head to the Outer Banks on vacation and come home with Phoebe on her way into our lives!

Lucy thinks this is awesome.

With the hot weather comes outdoor play, a little bit 1st trimester yuckiness, sloppy kisses and lots of family fun!

August bring camping, a new puppy and lots of travel! Andrew heads back to Frostburg to work on the house and Laura, Lucy and Phoebe the Fetus head to Washington to see family and friends!

With September comes puppy messes, pigtails and playgroup!

Lucy enjoys a very busy October packed with Halloween activities, housewarming parties and lots of fun. We also find out that the little person joining our family is a GIRL! We couldn't be more excited about adding to the Princess Count.

We celebrate Thanksgiving at home and enjoy LOTS of early snow! I hadn't seen this picture of Lucy until uploading it just now and boy is it cute!

Our Winter of Waiting begins with lots of baking, a busy Advent and plenty of baby kicks! After a relaxing Christmas at home, Lucy heads East for fun with family while we ring in the New Year with friends and a morning of sleep!


We know the year ahead will be filled with so many blessings and surprises and we wish the best to you and yours!

What a Dreamboat.

Andrew and I have this little book of sticky love notes that we keep in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Occasionally one of us will pull one out and stick it on the bathroom mirror for the other to find. I was brushing my teeth last night and left this one up. When I woke up to tame my killer heartburn, I found that Andrew had written all over it for me. He's so cute.

We've been having a really nice week so far, baby free and lazy. We've been out to dinner twice and tried a new place just a few blocks from home last night. The service was wonderful and the atmosphere was great. It was very "us." We like bars, but it's hard to find an upscale bar that you don't have to drive all the way to Cumberland to enjoy. Frostburg is a college town and believe me, most of the bars in town are pretty gross. The new place was actually never a restaurant before renovation, so the bar truly is smoke-free and it's SO nice. Being pregnant, even lingering smoke gives me really bad headaches so it's so nice to sit and enjoy a place that's never been filled with smoke. Last night we had a light dinner and took some time to sit and chat before heading home for bed. So nice spending time alone with my sweetie before our next big life change.

30 December 2008

Weekend Pictures!

"Grandpa, for the last time, the long screws go in the front."

"Counterproductive? Never heard of it."

"Somebody hand me that whisk!"

"Hang on, Grandma! I've got lunch coming!"

"Just be careful, it's still a little hot. You should always give your Corn Pops time to cool."
Getting ready to head to Rocky Gap for the Mountain Reflections Christmas Light Show

Quick stop for a bath...

...at Lowes.

Looking at the light with Grandma. She was mesmerized!

Moving to Grandpa's lap for a view from the other side.

Stopping to walk around. We couldn't keep her attention for pictures- too many lights!


I love this picture of her - just wired!

Very, very excited to be seeing so many Christmas trees in one room!

After Rocky Gap we took her to Puccini's for dinner. She had plenty of fun playing with the pizza rack and eating crab dip and tomatoes!

When Lucy's Away....

Can anyone guess what happens when Mama has the whole day to play around on the computer??

That's right! A facelift for my beloved blog! This is one thing Lucy would never allow on a Tuesday afternoon...

Tuesday Morning...

I have more pictures to upload, but I'm too cold for that nonsense. I think I'm going to grab a movie and get a giant blanket and do that instead.
Lucy is doing well at Grandma's. Apparently she had a tummy bug overnight and was feeling a bit lousy, but she still managed to get to sleep without a peep and sleep through the night like a big girl. I know she's probably a little confused, so I'm SO proud of her for being such a good kid! Mom said she's having lots of fun with the boys and keeping the house very busy. I can't wait to see her!
Andrew and I had a nice night last night. We went to the library when he got home and then went out to dinner at Ruby's. When we got in I had a bubble bath with a side of contractions and Andrew watched The Dark Night while we waited for Mama's Boys to start. That show is just so awesomely trashy. It's just the perfect way to start the week with a little bit of someone else's drama. And that's the best kind of drama to have, right?
Today there's supposed to be a major sale at Kohl's. However, the 50 mph winds are telling me to just stay inside and enjoy the warm house. Maple is outside for her morning constitutional, so I'll bring her in around 11 to play. I should do some major cleaning today, since I really want to get a bunch of stuff organized before Lucy comes home. I'd really like to move my Fransiscanware to...somewhere. I think it would be super awesome to move it all upstairs, but I have to figure out just where it would go.

29 December 2008

Nice Day!

LOL, Andrew called me this afternoon and asking me what I've been doing all day. I said, "Nothing at all!" and he responded that he was happy I was taking the time to relax. I then had to inform him that by nothing, I meant ABSOLUTELY nothing. As in lost-the-will-to-shower nothing. When he told me he was coming home early I did a couple of things, but otherwise, I've been doing less than nothing all day. I feel like a slug. Tomorrow I will busy myself.

Looking back.

I ran across this picture this morning and it made me start thinking about how much I can't wait to meet Phoebe! I can't believe how much Lucy has changed and how much she's stayed the same. Seeing this picture of Lucy so small and round and cuddly reminded me that I just can't wait to have another chubby little baby around!

I also found this one, of me in labor with Lucy. It was a really, really long three days and I'm so glad I have this picture. We didn't get many pictures of labor and delivery with Lucy because things went from no progress to panic and we just forgot all about it. One of my goals for this labor and delivery is to take SO many pictures. I almost want to hire a photographer so that we don't miss a minute of it! I wish we had so many more pictures from our days in the hospital, waiting for Lucy. It was a long three days, but even the craziness of a long and scary labor is a cherished memory when it comes to your babies, right?


When I was sorting through pictures on my laptop I came across this one of Sarah and I from when we were about 20 months or so. I love this picture! Sarah and I, along with Katie and Nina, spent a LOT of time together growing up. I suppose "a lot of time" would be a bit of an understatement.

One of my favorite memories of growing up with Sarah was in...3rd grade? On school picture day I came to school in a black dress with polka dots and thought it was very original. When I met up with Sarah that morning, coincidentally wearing the same dress, she informed me that she didn't like it. (Not that there were many dresses she liked.) I spent the rest of the day upset that my mom had put me in such a terrible dress, because if Sarah didn't approve, it must be horrible.

28 December 2008

Missing My Baby Already!

Lucy just left with Grandpa and Grandma and Andrew and I are just relaxing around the house. I already miss her terribly, but she was SO excited to be going on a trip! She's overpacked, loaded with snacks and ready to see everyone!
I'm going to get in a hot bubble bath with (a book entitled) The Man Who Loved Jane Austen. So far, it's a perfect Sunday Bubble Bath read and I'm very excited to get back into it. After that...who knows? It's only 2pm and I'm childless. What do childless people even do??

26 December 2008

Where the flip is everyone tonight?

My mom is not online to chat with. This always leaves me unhinged. I tend to do just fine living 3 hours from my mom; we talk almost every day, and having Google chat is so nice when it comes to needing my mommy 24 hours a day. HOWEVER, she hasn't been online all day. I sit down at the computer and look at my buddy list and think, "Well, now what?" I really should be able to entertain myself at this point...I'm guessing Lucy thinks the same thing when she just HAS to crawl into my lap to read the same book for the 23rd time. ..."I really should be able to entertain myself at this point..."

We had a very nice day. Lucy was a doll, as usual. She got up at 6 and then hung out in our bed until 8:15 or so. THAT is very nice. I just can't bring myself to think that this little routine could be a negative. She goes to bed at 7pm, sleeps without a peep until 6am and then plays in bed with us until 7:30 or 8. She drinks her milk and babbles and falls back asleep while Andrew and I have the chance to wake up slowly. Very nice.
Once we were all up, we puttered around the house and cleaned for awhile and then went out around lunchtime, when Lucy really needed a change of pace. We headed to the mall for lunch at Jerry's and a walk, and then we did our grocery shopping. We got home around 1:30 and Lucy went straight down for a nap while Andrew and I read our books and relaxed. When Lu woke up, she and I cuddled for about 45 minutes and tried very hard to wake up. We spent the late afternoon and early evening playing upstairs and discussing our next round of home improvements.
We really made no progress on the home improvement front. We haven't really discussed where Phoebe will live when she's ready for her own room, so that's what started this nonsense. We've been trying to decide whether we'll move when Phoebe moves out of our room, to be closer to the girls, or if we'll wing it and stay where we are. It's a big decision because it would be a lot easier to be closer to them, but we'd also have a lot to do upstairs before that happens. Lucy is getting to the age where we'll start talking about "big girl beds," but for now she's still tiny, so we have her in her crib where we control where she's sleeping. That's all well and good, but her room is loft-style, upstairs where there are no doors. That wouldn't be an issue if weren't considering moving upstairs. If we move upstairs into the loft-style rooms without doors, we'll have a toddler sneaking into our bed at all hours of the night. Not that we'd care too much, since we love sleeping with her, but we do want boundaries and independent sleepers, so we have to draw the line at morning cuddling. So, we'd have a fair amount of construction to do upstairs before we all move rooms. It would be fabulous to just stay where we are, but I don't like the idea of my babies being that far away when Phoebe is so little.

So, we started talking about how we'll renovate the upstairs, and I think we're onto a good plan. It's a way off, but I think that a lot of the early stuff is stuff we can do on our own. When we bought the house, it was a 4 bedroom. Technically, I think that's true, but we already knocked a wall out between the kitchen and back bedroom and the upstairs rooms aren't really private, so it feels more like a 2 bedroom right now. I'm pretty sure there's another room downstairs that is meant to be bedroomy, but it's mostly just creepy and pink. It will eventually be an older kid's room, since it's one of those basement "I'm not supposed to enjoy my family at this age" rooms. I think that when all's said and done it would officially list as a 4 or 5 bedroom, but we have no plans to sell. I think we've decided that our mortgage is low enough that even if we relocate, we'll keep the house and rent it while we're away. We just love it too much and I think this is really our "forever home." We're very fortunate that it holds so many possibilities and has so much space to spread out. It's just hard to see the possibilities when your list of renovations is a mile long! It's an older house, but we sure have a lot of choices as far as what to do to really fit it to our needs. I just had no idea that renovating with cash meant taking 30 years to see a project through to the end...it's a work in progress, to say the least!

I think that Andrew has a small list of projects to do while we're in our last few weeks of pregnancy and living downstate. Since he'll be here alone he'll have a chance to work upstairs and hang a couple of doors, and he can work in the kitchen to repaint. We still haven't found the magic color for the kitchen and I can't stop thinking about it. The stainless appliances in a kitschy, 40's kitchen is a tough combination and we're trying to come up with just the right color combination. We have dark wood trim through the entire house and the kitchen is no exception. We were thinking maybe a sunny yellow so that we can bring some of the color out of the wood, but I'm not sure about the cabinets. I don't want it to be like stepping into the middle of the sun...I need to think more about this.

I've been typing for way too long. I'm feeling very chatty tonight, but Andrew is watching "Mystic River," and I doubt he wants to hear about paint colors. But if I keep typing here, I'm risking losing my readers to, well, someone who isn't so long-winded. Guess I'll take advantage of some library books. I've already read two today, so the thought of diving into another book feels a little...repetitive. Maybe a non-fiction would snap me out of it.

Merry Christmas! 2008!

The Naked Chef, doing her thing. I promise she's not learning from example.

Daddy is a tad concerned that Lucy's kitchen is more of a jungle gym than an imaginary play facilitator.

Lucy taking part in the Christmas Walk

So exciting!

Andrew & Maple enjoying the cool weather and very un-White Christmas!

L! U! C! Y!

Most Memorable Moment, Christmas 2008: Giving Mrs. Potato Head a bath.

Opening gifts with Mama

Daddy & Lucy

Jumping for Christmas Joy!

Lucy's new food set to go with her kitchen.

Christmas candy!

Santa really does listen! Lucy with her bag of marshmallows.

Exploring the new kitchen.

Checking out her new and amazing gift about 5 minutes after waking up.

Notice her early-morning milk cup keeping her company!

Lucy's first look at her new kitchen.