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Friday, February 25, 2011

Finally Friday!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah
zip-a-dee-ay
my oh my what a wonderful day!

Here are a few of the streets, towns, and lands I will be enjoying over the next several days...




To say I am excited would be a huge understatement. CAN'T WAIT!
Actually, yes I can ...
just a few more hours at least because we have to be at the airport at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow, and I'm still not packed!
I have piles of clothes surrounding my suitcase, but none of them have actually made it INTO the suitcase. Why is packing so difficult for me!? (Although this trip I have the added challenge of fitting everything in a carry-on-sized suitcase! Yikes!)
Wish me luck!
I'm off to the happiest place on earth to find a little pixie dust!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweetheart alert...

How did I get so lucky to have such a SWEET girl!?
Last night, I was sitting at the kitchen counter reading through my photography lessons. Lucy had been playing in the living room with Daddy, and I hadn't really even noticed her standing next to my chair (and tugging on my leg!) .... but when I finally looked down and turned my attention to her, she said, "You're so booful, Mama!".
Oh geez. How do you top that!?
I scooped her up and called to Scott, "aw, honey - did you hear that!?" ...
to which Lucy added, "Dada's booful, too!".

Then there was two nights ago when Scott got home from work and picked her up ... she started patting his back and said, "You OK, buddy?". Oh man. We about fell over laughing! It was SOOOO cute.

Later that night, she and I were "snuggying" in my chair before bedtime (that's our word for cuddling ... every night, she says "snuggy in mama's chair"). About 8:00, Scott walked over and picked her up to take her up to her bed, and she gave me and kiss and said, "thanks for snuggying me, Mama" ...
I seriously about cried.
I have the SWEETEST little girl! :-)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The potty training blues...

This face pretty much says it all, really ...
(sigh)
I realize that 6+ months ago, on this very blog, I was practically bragging about my not-even-two-year-old being almost potty trained.
Yeah, well, we never got past the almost part, unfortunately.
I think I've been blessed with the most stubborn child on the face of the planet.
More or less every day, after asking her countless times if she has to go potty - and getting a "NO!" response, I eventually lose patience and put her on the potty, ignoring the kicking and screaming, for 30 minutes straight - if not more! ....
I finally take her off after I can no longer stand the hollering coming from the bathroom (sounds something like this: " NO POTTY!!!!" x 1,000,000) .... and less than 60 seconds later, I have a puddle on the floor.
I'm not even kidding.
Trust me, I wouldn't kid about this.
I feel like I am being outsmarted by a toddler!
Not my proudest moment...

And I have tried EVERYTHING.
Bribery, potty chairs, forcing the issue, bribery, ignoring the issue, potty parties, bribery, letting her sit in her dirty diapers, potty seats with Elmo on them, bribery, the potty dance, stickers, bribery, potty books, potty videos ... and more bribery.

I give up.

At least I want to, that's for sure!

Help me.


(*Note: ya'll CAN comment here on my blog ... in fact, that'd be great! Or do I have to bribe YOU, too!? :)~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A night in the big city ...

"As people grow up, they realize it becomes less important to have more friends, and more important to have real ones."

I was fortunate to go out with the girls Friday night.
Fortunate because 1) we don't get out much - especially all of us together at the same time, 2) we got to go to one of the yummiest restaurants in Portland - located on the 30th floor of the tallest building in the city, and 3) I had some of the best friends a girl could ask for to spend the evening with!

Let me introduce you to some real friends:
Ang.
"No man can be happy without a friend, nor be sure of his friend til he is unhappy."
~Thomas Fuller
Angie is one of my oldest friends ... we met our freshman year of high school and became fast friends after bonding in "Mr. Ed's" global studies class. Angie is a whole lotta fun. This girl is always up for anything, always positive, and is always making me laugh. She is straight-up FUNNY. And she's also a busy lady, with two adorable girls (Bri and Ashley), and she and her husband are serious entrepreneurs - always in the middle of a successful business venture. Despite all of this, I appreciate that Ang is never too busy to make time for her friends. I especially love doing "girl stuff" with her - pedicures and shopping! And dinner dates with she and her husband, Matt are some of our favorites. :-) They're also the reason Scott and I "get out" to the big city as often as we do! (which I wish was MORE often!)

Therese.

"Friends listen to what you say. Best friends listen to what you don't say." ~Anonymous
Therese is my "Cuz". Ever since figuring out (our freshman year of high school) that we are related to the same people, "Cuz" is what we've called each other.
If it were the middle of the night, on any given day, for any given reason, and I needed a friend ... I would call Therese. If I were sick and couldn't have my mommy ... I would want Therese there.
Therese just makes me comfortable ... probably because I know, without a doubt, that she will always have my back and would do anything for me. She is one of the most loyal people I know.
I know that my friends are her friends - but more importantly, that my not-so-friends (really don't want to use the word enemies here, because I'd really rather not have any of those) are also her not-so-friends. And she won't even pretend to like 'em behind my back. Now THAT is hard to come by, people.
Therese and I can entertain ourselves for hours upon hours doing pretty much anything - though we usually don't have to entertain ourselves because we tend to attract the crazies when we're together ... it's a special talent the two of us have.
I don't know where I'd be without my Cuz.

Sherry.
"A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad." ~Arnold H. Glasgow
Sherry is my "everyday friend". I literally spend more time with Sherry than I spend with my own husband, I think! :)~ We share our kindergarten classroom Monday-Friday, go to church together on Sunday, and it's not uncommon for us to spend Saturdays together, too.
Although I've only known Sherry for four years, I feel as close to her as anybody. (I suppose this could be due in part to the crazy-huge amount of time we spend together!?) And while my older friends may know more about the whole me because we share so many years of memories, I feel like no one knows the me at this stage of my life better than Sherry does.
The two of us could probably talk for 24 hours straight, with no interruptions (just ask our husbands!), and we share the same values and opinions on darn-near everything.
Sherry is my proof that you are never too old to find a new and true friend. I don't think it's very often you come across someone, while already well into your adult life, that you can develop that strong of a friendship with. When people don't have a history with you, it's just hard to get to that place of a deeper, real friendship. (or maybe that's just me!) Regardless, I feel so blessed to have found a forever friend in Sherry - even if it wasn't until I was 27!

Jenny.
"Are we going to to be friends forever?" asked Piglet.
"Even longer, " Pooh answered. ~A.A.Milne
Otherwise known as Gwenny. (one of the many stories we could tell you) Jenny has been my best friend since we were old enough to know what a best friend was...eight-years-old, to be exact. I wouldn't even know where to begin to explain our friendship because it is just so much more than that. Having a friend who has been your friend since childhood is priceless. She is like part of my family. I think even my grandma considers her part of the family.... simply because, she's always been there. Family vacations when we were kids, singing together (New Kids on the Block, anyone?), countless sleepovers, riding home in Leroy (Jenny's infamous car, may he rest in peace), being college roommates, singing to each other (in a twin dorm bed), being there when we met and married our future husbands - and being there right after giving birth to our children ... and thousands of memories in between. Nothing can top that. And although weeks and even months can pass between us even talking sometimes ... no matter how much time has passed, it's always as if none has.
Not only am I proud to call Jenny my oldest best friend, but I am proud of Jenny ... because I have watched her grow up and become the amazing musician, teacher, wife, and mother that she is. And it's the way you feel proud about a little (or big) sister. (She's older, I'm bigger, so ...?).
I'm excited for when we are fifty-eight ... and we'll be able to say we've had a best friend for 50 years! Because I know we will. I love my Gwenny, oh yes I do ... I love my Gwenny, 'cause she's so true ... When she's not with me, I'm blue .... Oh, Gwenny, I love you! (this is the song we'd sing to each other nearly every night in our dorm room in college:-)
And did I mention that Jenny and I are about to fulfill a life-long dream of going to Disneyland together!?! Uh-huh. Six days and counting ...

And now I'm in tears. Sheeesh. Too much mushy stuff for one post. But hey, I've got some pretty amazing friends and I wanted to tell you about them! (minus one, who I will have to tell you about soon ... yes, I'm coming for YOU, Mick:)~

And yes, I know there is one more pretty girl in that first picture ... and no, I'm not forgetting about her. :-)
Rachael.
Rachael is kinda new to the "club". Sherry and I work with Rachael's husband, John, and over time - we have had the opportunity to hang out with Rachael quite a few times, as well. I LOVE that she doesn't hesitate to join us - for game night or girls' night - with or without her husband! She is easy-going and easy to talk to - and most of all, she's real, and we are loving getting to know her more. There's always room for a new friend! Especially a cool chick like Rachael. :-) Oh! And she's also the only pregnant gal amongst us at the moment, so we are all enjoying watching her growing (albeit tiny) baby bump. :-) (think pink, think pink! ... I've become partial to girls, what can I say!?:)~

And now, let me just close this (incredibly long) post with a shot of how we ended our evening at Portland City Grill.
Two words: YUM and STUFFED.

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things. ~Author Unknown

Friday, February 18, 2011

Finally Friday!

I say this every Friday ... but this week has been the. longest. week. EVER.

But ... there are good times ahead:

* Girls' night tonight! With THESE wild & crazy girls:

Look out, Portland City Grill!

* It's a 3-day weekend! YES!

* Scott doesn't have to work this weekend! (I can barely remember the last time he was home for a whole weekend!) ... hmmm, maybe I can get him to (finally!) take down the Christmas lights!?

* I think we'll actually make it to church! Hooray! (hard to get your husband to get up at 6:30 a.m. when his alarm goes off every other day of the week at 3:45 a.m.)

* A trip to Great Harvest ... yep, so I do this about twice a month, but it just makes me happy. :-) Love my bread!

* In exactly 8 days, I will be on a flight to DISNEYLAND!

Happy Friday to you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Photographer's Workshop, Lesson #1

OK, so in case I forgot to mention it, I got a nifty new camera ... a "REAL" camera ... a few months ago.
(Here it is!)
i LOVE it.
And now I am obsessed with taking pictures ... even more so than I was before! Poor Lucy. She is gonna have to get used to a camera in her face OFTEN.
Anyway. If you've seen my "35 by 35" list, you'll notice that numero uno on the list is taking a photography class to learn how to USE my nifty new camera! (gee, there's a concept, eh?)
And GUESS WHAT!?!


I'M ACTUALLY DOING IT!!!!

I'm taking The Photographer's Workshop with Karen Russell... thanks to the awesome referral from Melissa (thank you, thank you, thank you!). I am only two weeks into the class, and I am already overwhelmed, dazed, confused .... and in love with this new obsession of mine. Wow. There is a LOT to learn! And I'm pretty sure after the class is complete, I will need to go back through all of my material at least sixteen more times before I actually comprehend it.

Lesson one this past week was on viewpoint and composition of a photo ...
Here is my little attempt at completing my assignment. We had to have some "good" examples and some "bad" examples ... but my problem is, I'm so in love with my subject, they all just tend to look "GOOD" to me! :)~
Thank goodness for helpful, friendly critiques from my classmates.
If you know something about photography ... or even if you don't, give me your thoughts on these!









(*Side note: goal #8 on my 35 by 35 list is happening in 9 days!!!!! Crazy excited!!!!!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A little love from Lucy ...


...well, from her cute little foot, at least!

There's a story behind this. Of course. :-)
We have stickers coming coming out of our ears around here! Lucy is obsessed with them.
She. LOVES. stickers.
She spends hours upon hours peeling stickers out of her sticker books and sticking them to any and everything.
And for some (strange) reason, she loves putting them on the bottoms of her feet!
I think she actually started doing this because of Joy (Lucy's nanny). Peeling stickers off of her socks before she leaves every day has become part of Joy's daily routine here! (Not hard to imagine why if you've ever seen our floor after Lucy's been playing with one of her sticker books!)

Happy Valentine's Day!
from Lucy's foot ... and me, too!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where's the milk?

First it was Baby Jesus. Now it's the milk. Where did it go?? And yes, I looked in the shopping cart.

The other day, Lucy was upstairs playing (with the usual necessities: 1) blankie, and 2) sippy cup of milk). She came down eventually with the blankie... and no milk.

Me: Lucy, where's your milk?
Lucy: (long pause) .... I dunno!
Me: Go find it, please.
Lucy: (long pause) .... No, thank you.

Ugh.
Yep. This is a typical conversation in our house these days. (Hey, I guess she's POLITE while she's being defiant..? Gotta give her a little credit.:)~

Anyway. I proceeded to search high and low for that darn sippy cup. I looked in the toy bin, under the couch, in the playhouse, in the bathtub, in the garbage can (where she often likes to throw things away - regardless of whether or not they are actually garbage), etc. Could NOT find it anywhere.

So I gave up.

And 15 minutes later, it hit me (well, not literally - but you get my point). I ran back upstairs to Lucy's kitchen ...

I opened the fridge door, and look what I found!

Right next to the carton of milk and the orange juice. Of course! Why didn't I think of that earlier? Silly me!

I came walking back down the stairs with the cup ... at which point Lucy looked up and remarked, "ooooohhhh, dar diz!" (translation: there it is!).

And I'm 100% sure she knew exactly where it was the whole time. She just enjoys entertaining me --- or should I say, entertaining herself by watching her mama run around the house like a crazy person.

:-)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I have the best alarm clock :-)

At 7:30 this morning, the very first thing that came blaring over the baby monitor was Lucy singing. And this is exactly how it went.
"You are my sunshine! ..... hmmmmm{random humming/mumbling} ... you make me happy! ..... hmmmmmm {more random humming/mumbling} ...... I love you!"

Yep, baby. You're exactly right.
You are my sunshine. You make me happy. And I love you.

Is she too good to be true, or what???
What a great way to start the day! :-)