Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Autumn Crafts

This post is going to make me look a lot more crafty then I actually am :)  The crafts are either made at the library's story time or ideas I pulled off some websites, but I thought it would be fun to share the crafts that Charlotte and I have done.  On a side note, it's funny how its story time for toddlers but the mommas end up doing most of the work!

Our first craft at our new story time was about falling leaves, so it was a pretty simple project of glueing leaf cut outs on a piece of paper.  But, it was C's first time to use the glue stick on her own, so she had fun.  And it's a pretty on the fridge!

For Halloween we made a spider at the library.  It was really easy, just a small plate turned upside down and colored black (or in C's case any color) and then we accordion-ed 8 black strips of paper to be the legs.  Top it off with some googly eyes and you have a spooky spider!

We made a pumpkin during the library's trick or treat event.  It looked like a pretty simple idea - glueing the strips together at the bottom, then pulling them all up to the top and glueing them together at the top.  Slap on some leaves and you've got a pumpkin!  Somehow this mom screwed it up and our pumpkin turned out totally lopsided!  Oh well... it's cute, right??

This past weekend Jeff's parents came down to Huntsville to see the new house and visit C of course!  Charlotte loved having them here, and we talked about the next time we were gonna see them - at Thanksgiving.  Well, for a 2 year old, we deal in the matter of "tomorrow" not 2 weeks from now.  So we made a paper chain to count down the days until Thanksgiving!  I've been trying to explain that we only tear off one ring a day just like we only take 1 vitamin a day (weird analogy, but she understands it!)  Then we count the rings and talk about how it's that many days until we get to go to Granna and Grandad's house.

Anyway, I got out my scrapbooking scissors that are somewhat child proof and cut out cool patterns.  So Charlotte got to do some cutting for the first time and loved it.  Of course she burned out pretty quick and I finished the cutting.  Charlotte got to help with the stapler, but we ran out of staples, so we resorted to glue!  It was a fun little project to do.

Today we had a turkey craft day!  We traced Charlotte's hands and feet to make a special turkey for daddy to decorate his office at work. She usually loves having her hands and feet traced so this was the perfect craft for us!  The brown turkey is actually made of her two feet traced (without defined toes) and laid on top of each other, spreading them out just a bit at the bottom.  Jeff thinks it looks more like a potato, but oh well!  Charlotte loved being able to do all the glueing and putting the eyes on.  She was super excited to show daddy when he got home.

We also had to have a turkey to put on the fridge, so we made a Thankful Turkey.  On each of the turkey's feathers we wrote a name of someone we were thankful for - Daddy, Mommy, Granna, Grandad, Nan, and G.  (sorry to everyone else, we had limited leaves!) I think he is a pretty cute turkey!  This is something I hope we can do every year to remember what we are thankful for.

That wraps up our Autumn crafts!  If you have any cute winter or Christmas ideas, send them my way!  I want to be more proactive on doing arts and crafts with Charlotte a couple times a week, especially things she can do more on her own and less that mom has to do!   Happy Fall everyone :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What a Beautiful Morning!

If you read our potty training post you know we have been cooped up inside most of the last week.  So we took to the outdoors today!  Charlotte has been begging to go outside and I finally feel like she is up to the challenge!  It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day - sun, clouds, nice cool breeze.

We started out by going for a walk, we usually only make it a house or two away and today was no exception. We found this little field and she had so much fun just running and jumping around.  I love these pictures of her - just 2 year old fun :)  (Ok, I'm taking the easy way out of things and putting all the pictures in a gallery instead of posting them one by one under their applicable paragraph.  Forgive me dear reader. Click on the photos to make them larger)

Next up - flying a kite!  We bought this Yo-Gabba-Gabba kite like last year sometime and have yet to use it!  Now we have a yard big enough and today was a easy windy day so Charlotte and I decided to give it a try!   We had soooo much fun!  It took a bit for me to remember how to fly a kite :)  Then I had to fly the kite, figure out how Charlotte can help, and take photos for the memories of course!! I took some video too, I'll try to post it over on FB, I dunno if it will work.

After kite flying we spent a bit long riding scooters and such, Charlotte had a really good go at peddling her trike by herself.  So glad we got outdoors today and got some fresh air!!! Hope we can do it again tomorrow too.

[gallery order="DESC"]

Potty Training!

We have delved into the wonderful world of potty training!!  I was a little apprehensive because in our discussions before about potty training, Charlotte said she only wanted to go in her diaper, she didn't want to go on the potty.

Tuesday - we went to Target and she picked out her big girl underwear (Minnie Mouse), pull ups for nap time and bedtime, got step stools, prizes for poopies, and smarties for pees.  That night while she was sleeping I got the bathroom all ready!  Prizes, toys, sticker chart, books, seat, stool, etc.  I was pretty excited :)

Our rewards:  We have a great sticker chart too, she gets to pick out a heart or butterfly or star to put on her chart if she pees or poops.  Then for pees she gets 2 smarties, and poops she gets to pick a toy out of the bowl (I picked up a few toys at the dollar bins at Target)  I'm writing this on Tuesday and we have pretty much forgotten about smarties and stickers, just hanging on to the toys for the poops!

Wednesday: Charlotte was actually excited about picking out her pair of underwear when she got up!  We set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes and C got to pick out her ringtone noise (the Xylophone)   Thus began our day!  I read in a lot of books and such that you had to give them a lot of juice so their bladders are full and they get used to the feeling of needing to pee.  Its hard to know if it actually worked or if we would have made the progress we made without it - I do know though, that it gave us a lot of huge accidents!   Carpet, hardwood floors, tile, her pottery barn chair... I think we had 7-8 accidents all together.  I finally made her sit on this little mat to watch her shows. :)  It did look like my 15 minute timer worked though!  She got all excited when it went off and we ran to the potty.  Finally with all this, we finally peed in the potty 3 times!  I was frustrated with the accidents - I felt like I was cleaning up pee all day!  But the fact that we got 3 times in the potty, it felt pretty successful.

Thursday:  We continued with the timer method!  She wouldn't go at all in the morning, even through like 3 timer rounds, and then playing kitchen we had a major accident - I guess I learned she can hold it when she wants too!  haha.  However, once we had this accident, the rest of the day went great! She had no more accidents but went on the potty many times.  We are using pull ups for naps and bedtimes, it seems like she is saving her poops for the pull ups cause we had that happen today!

Friday:  She has really started understanding the feeling of peeing and gets so excited when she realizes she has to pee, runs to the toilet and hears it hit the water - so fun!  I've had a couple times where I've just about cried because she was so happy and I was so happy.  We had out first (and so far only) poopie on the potty.  I think it was a fluke, she was trying to toot and ended up pooping - she was so very proud of herself and she got to pick out a toy!  It was a fitting choice - noise putty that makes tooting sounds, and she loves just throwing it around and squishing it.  She really wants the other toys in the bowl but she knows what she has to do to get them :)

Saturday: We stopped using the timer, Jeff and I were both home all day and were able to double team her so we could see when she needed to go and she got really good at telling us too.  It was so cute, she even told Jeff "I don't want to pee on your floor!!!" and took off running out of his office to get on the potty.  She did tinkle a bit on her way but the fact that she was able to hold it in as much as she could and didn't let go til she was on the potty - 2 thumbs up kiddo! She did start putting up some resistance when we would ask her to go and she said she didn't need to - like we make her go when she wakes up or lays down, its time to eat, etc.  I was very proud of another day with no accidents.

Sunday: I was a little nervous because as of yet we hadn't been out of the house with her in 4 days, and we were gonna head to Spring Hill!   Jeff was invited to go the the Titans Bengals game, Charlotte and I can't turn down a trip to see friends and family and the potty training was going really well so I thought we'd give it a try.  We did put a pull up on for the trip, but even when we arrived at my parents house she was dry and peed on the potty immediately.  Yay!!! I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I was happy about it. :)  I had packed my bleach cleaner and carpet cleaner because I was so afraid of Charlotte having an accident at my parents or Nana's house, but she was fine!! No accidents either place we went to!  What a big relief for this momma :)

Monday:  Jeff, Charlotte, and I were all under the weather so Jeff stayed home from work.  We watched way too much TV (as we have been since this potty training thing began.  Most of our accidents happened while playing and getting side tracked, so Netflix has been our friend) but we just enjoyed relaxing and hanging out together.  Again, a day with no accidents!  She is starting to refuse to wear pull ups at naps and bedtime, but we haven't gotten up dry yet so I don't think we are quite ready to give them up! (I love her little wedgie in this picture! lol)

Tuesday:  We played outside!  I have been afraid of playing outside cause we'd get so distracted playing and have an accident.  Today we actually were outside for an hour taking a walk, flying a kite, and riding scooters and such and had no issues at all.

So what's next?  Pooping in the potty instead of waiting for the pull ups, staying dry overnight, and being able to run errands and go out to eat, etc  All in all, after a week of training, I feel pretty darn good about Charlotte and her progress :)

Halloween Weekend

We had a fantastic Halloween weekend!  We journeyed back up to Spring Hill Friday night, visited with friends to catch some of the World Series, and spent the night at my parents house.  Charlotte looooves sleeping at Nan and G's house up on the Ridge!  Saturday we just got to enjoy the day and prepare for the bonfire!

During Charlotte's nap Jeff and I got to have a little afternoon date - lunch and a movie, we saw "In Time" - it was great!  When we got back it was bonfire time!  I love having bonfire's at mom and dad's house.  I remember when our church was small enough that we all gathered at the Ridge to fellowship around the fire at least once a year!  Charlotte really got into the bonfire this year and was very excited about G starting the fire.  We had hot dogs, smores, and just enjoyed being outdoors with friends and family!

The next morning we got to head back to The Bridge for church - it was like we'd never left!  That afternoon Jeff and I got another mini-date - we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch Titans game!  It was nice just being together :)   When the game was over and Charlotte was done with her nap it was costume time!  She was the cutest ballerina ever!!!!

We headed to the Bridge for our church's annual "Trunk or Treat"  and Charlotte had a blast jumping in the moon bounce, trick or treating around the trunks, petting the pony, and seeing friends.

Our little family was exhausted that night and headed back to Huntsville.

Monday was officially Halloween, and that morning Charlotte and I headed to our public library for their trick or treating!  They had story time, crafts, and of course trick or treating around the different areas in the library.  It was a very nice and safe thing for them to do for our little ones.

Sadly, we got no trick or treaters at our door that night :(  I was all ready too!! I guess we'll just have to eat the candy.... oh well.... hehe

Enjoy the gallery below of all the photos from our Halloween Weekend!

[gallery order="DESC"]


Hello everyone!  It has been just over a month now that we have called Huntsville Alabama home.  Well, maybe not "home" yet, but it is our new residence!   The house starting to feel homey though, we are getting used to where everything is and settling in well I think.  My mom and/or mom and dad have already been down like 5 times, Jeff's parents are coming down this weekend, and we have a couple friends that are starting to plan visits.  The next thing on our priority list is to find a church and start making some friends!  I have kept myself pretty busy with moving and Charlotte and all our Spring Hill trips already, so I haven't found time to really be homesick yet!  With all the holidays coming up, it may be awhile before I feel disconnected from life-as-we-knew-it, and I'm ok with that!  Anyway, enough of my rambling, I just wanted to share some pictures of the house.  Most of you probably have seen them on Facebook, but I wanted to make an official blog post too :)

[gallery order="DESC"]

If you ever find yourself traveling down I-65 and want to swing by for a visit, just give me a heads up!  We'd love to see you all :)

P.S. Our street is Tanglefoot, if you're wondering why the blog title is what it is :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emotional Day of "lasts"

Today has been the most emotional one (thus far!) for me.  It is Thursday.  We move on Saturday.  Where did all the time go?

I had to contact the Williamson County Animal Shelter just now.  We haven't been able to find any other options for Brady.  He has driven me crazy lately, but still the thought of him not being around and even worse, being in a shelter with tons of other dogs waiting to be adopted... That awful ASPCA or whatever commercial with Sarah McLauclan is playing over and over in my head.  The lady I spoke with was very positive that being younger, and a small dog, with a specific bread, will find a new home easily.  Plus, they will make sure he gets all his needed shots and whatnot updated.  I think this could be a good thing.... Its just hard to actually do.  I don't want to take him and drop him off tomorrow.  Not one bit.

Charlotte and I went to our last story time at the library today.  Oh, I'm sure we'll find another one at the Huntsville library or Barnes and Noble, but still, this one is familiar and C loves going to Her library.

I have a friend coming over today to pack the last 2 rooms - the kitchen and playroom.  Once those are done, we'll literally have most everything packed.  I'm not ready for it to be done.  That means we have to move to unpack these things in a whole new house. I think the excitement of a new house, a new challenge, etc had taken over the last few weeks but it's a little more daunting now.

Charlotte spend her last night in this house tonight. Ever.  That make me extremely sad.  She has slept in her room since the night we brought her home.  2 years and 9 months of that being HER room and now it won't be.  C is very excited about her new house and her new room, etc.  She doesn't grasp the concept of what that means and what will change, I'm afraid for the time when it does sink in to her that we won't live in the house she remembers anymore.  We won't go to the Home Depot where her Nan works, won't go to the Bridge anymore, won't go to her favorite Target store, won't have her Daddy home every day.... won't, won't, won't.

We had our weekly play date with Allison, Hazen, and Laney Combs yesterday.  Had a great time at their house, and then at the park for lunch and time on the playground.  It wasn't until we were leaving that I realized that's the last time we'll see them as Tennesseans.  We have already talked about plans for them to visit us in Hville or us to make SH trips, but still... it won't be the same as living less than 5 minutes from each other and just getting together to play during the mornings.  Because I didn't realize that this was the last time I'll see Allison for a while (she is leaving to ATL tomorrow and won't be back til after we move) I didn't get to actually saw bye like I wanted.  Maybe that's a good thing...

Our last Sunday at the Bridge was Sunday.  Eesh.  The Bridge is what brought my family and Jeff down to Tennessee/Spring Hill in 2003.  (Jeff and I weren't part of the Bridge for a few years as we leaved in North and East Nashville, we came back in 2008)  Josh recognized all the website, video, and tech work that Jeff has given to the Bridge over the years... it seemed so final.  There were so many people I wanted to say goodbye too, but then it just felt like a normal Sunday and I know we'll be back to visit so in some ways it didn't seem necessary.   And then we were done.

The night before, we had our last "hoo-rah" with a bunch of people from church to hang out and watch the UFC PPV.  We love hosting these events.  I had a moment during the night where I just stood and looked at the full room as we pulled chairs in from all the different rooms so everyone had a seat and I wondered... when will this happen again?  How long will it take us to find a new group of friends, a new church, a new UFC bunch ;0), to fill up our living room?   As my mom pointed out, I love playing hostess, and the thought that I may not do that again for a while was a little depressing.

My dearest and oldest (old like we've been friends forever, not that she is old!) friend Sarah also came down Saturday afternoon and stayed the night and went to church Sunday.  Sarah lives in Bowling Green KY, which is only an hour and a half or so away.  It's totally close enough that every 1-2 months she'll come down for a weekend, especially if it is a birthday or special get together.  And she is friends with Josh and Jana Howerton and loves the Bridge, so that's an added bonus for Spring Hill visits!  Now with us being in Huntsville, it is going to double the drive from BG and not have the Bridge and the Howertons to share a visit with.  We've already talked about how she can still come to Huntsville, but I know it won't happen near as frequent.  I'll miss our times together!

Jeff's parents came down Sunday afternoon for lunch and to watch the Titans game.  They live in BG as well, but sadly we don't see them near as often as we should!  I'm hoping that we'll be able to get a full or queen size bed for a guest bed instead of just a twin, and then they can actually come down and stay a weekend! We will be much more intentional about visits with them.

We had a last dinner with my parents too.  They took us to Pancho's mexican restaurant to celebrate Jeff's birthday.  I'm so used to my parent's being 10 minutes away.  We can just decide, hey, lets do dinner. We see them at church, they stop by the house just to say hi, we go out to the Ridge to use their hot tub.  It's easy and comfortable.  Plus, we have built in free and reliable babysitters that charlotte loves!  I know I'll still talk to them all the time, and we'll make many visits. But it won't be the same.  It won't be the same for my Nana either.  We would make pretty regular trips on Wednesday to play at her house and eat dinner (she lives in Nashville, about 30 minutes away from us)  We are all going to miss our time together.  She has already talked to my parents about making plans for her first trip to Huntsville, so that makes me happy :)  I love my sweet family.  Hannah has already moved to Cincinnati so I know I won't see her til Thanksgiving probably, but still, it feels different now.

Wow... this post went long.  I was just gonna write about Brady and our last story time... oops!  I guess is this probably more of a journal entry than a blog post that people will actually want to read!  So don't worry if you aren't reading this, or if you are and you skipped right over a bunch of stuff!

Oh and no, I didn't read over it and do any type of proof reading so no judgement!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Brady Boy needs a new home :(

I hate writing this blog post.

We got Brady 5 years ago and he has been a great family member ever since!  He has been with us through 3 moves but won't be able to make this next one to Huntsville with us. ;(

We would love to find a friend or friend of a friend to be able to give him a new home.  We are not asking any money or "adoption fee" for him.  We just want to find someone who will love him!!  If you would love a little pup to add to your family, please read below and see if he would be a good fit for you.  We are leaving Oct 1 and hope to have him in a new home by then.

Some info on Brady:

He is a Puggle  - one of those designer breeds of Pug and Beagle.  He is a good sized dog - 25-30 pounds.  Not too small and not too big :)

He was born May 2006.

He gets along great with kids and other animals.

He can be an outside dog, but prefers to stay inside.  He currently uses a lead system in our backyard as it isn't fenced, while it isn't his favorite, it would be an option for your home too if needed.

He loves being loved  - will take all the petting and belly scratching you can take!!

He always wants to lay on something soft - like a pillow or blanket.

He is kennel trained for when you leave the house or overnight - he really loves his kennel and prefers to sleep in there and will go hang out in his kennel on his own.

He is a very good and sweet and kind dog.

He loves his chew toys, but will only play a round or two of fetch.  He loves chasing a laser or light, or just being chased!

He is not "fixed" but we have never had any issues with marking or over aggressiveness, or "acting out" because of it.

He isn't really a guard dog, as he isn't aggressive, but he will make a lot of noise when someone is at the door, so that can be nice!

He will need all of his vaccinations etc. updated.  This is an area where we are not responsible pet-parents :(

If you have any questions about Brady or want to meet him or take him home, please let me know!  I really don't want to go the craigslist route.

Here are some pictures of Brady over the years

[gallery order="DESC" columns="4"]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Last "Hoo-rah!" Saturday @7

Hello friends!

In case you missed the news, we are moving to Huntsville October 1st - that's just over a week away, crazy!!  There are so many people that we want to get together with one last time, but there just aren't enough days or nights until we go - especially considering Jeff is commuting down to Hville 3 days a week this week and next.

Sooooo... Come on over Saturday night!  There is a Ultimate Fighter Championship fight that night on PPV that starts at 8 - we have had many a get together to watch these PPVs and would love to host one more.

I do know that many of you are probably not big fans of UFC, and 8pm may be a bit late for those of you with kiddos to put to bed like me, so come over starting 7 instead!!  I'll make some desserts - even apple dumplings to tempt those of you that know and love them!  We'll just hang out and visit and say our goodbyes. :(  Sorry for the late notice, even if you can just drop in and grab a cookie and a hug anytime between 7 and approx 11, we'd love to see you.

To recap:

7:00-11  desserts at our house

8:00-11  stick around for the UFC fight

125 Crestwood Lane in Lexington Farms

PS - we will be putting out a call soon for help to load the UHaul on the 1st... ;) ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our Crazy Car Carousel!

If you have been following along the last month+, you will have noticed a few changes in our automobiles!  The last 2-3 years we have been driving a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix and 2008 Dodge Magnum. These were really great cars, fit our family very well, and were in great condition.

This really should have been a blog post on it's own about a month ago but I'm too lazy, so here we go: The past 2 years, Jeff has been fully self employed and working at home, so having 2 cars was really unnecessary on most days.  So we decided to sell my Grand Prix and just be a 1 car family!  It's a much longer story than I'm sure you want to hear, but it ended up being more financially beneficial to us to sell both of the cars and get a new 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited!

Taking a ride on the open road!

Jeff had a fun yellow Jeep before Charlotte was born but we traded it in for the Magnum, had to have a more responsible "family card" right? Well, Jeep runs in his blood so he has always wanted to get one back.  With the 4 door Jeep option, it really worked out for us to get one at this season of life!  Charlotte LOVES her Jeep - she says that exact thing just about every day.  And she will correct you, it is not a car, it is a JEEP!  Charlotte loves having the top down, and enjoys off roading more than I even do!  Even better, we haven't really run into any major issues with having just 1 car. Yay - it works!

Enjoying the breeze!

Charlotte loves wearing her "jeep hat" and sunglasses!

Then comes Huntsville!  Not only will Jeff be working outside of the home now, he will be commuting starting Wednesday for the first 3 weeks or so of the job, so we are back to needing 2 cars!  I'm sad that our great experiment only lasted about a month and a half :(   We decided to get a nice, reliable car that can hold some miles, and have better gas milage too.  Jeff can use it for his work commute, and we can use it for our trips back to TN and KY (which will probably happen monthly!)  In comes the Toyota Camry!  We found a couple options, crazy enough 2 of them sold either right before or right after we looked at them, so when we saw the 3rd one that we liked, we felt like we needed to jump on it!  We picked it up last night, and so far have really enjoyed it.  It is an 06, has only had one owner that took great care of it so it is just about spotless. It reminds me so much of my old 93 Camry, it's almost like coming home.

It's so shiny! When we picked it up, they put it in a rooms with a disco ball and lasers - ha! Quite fun :)

So it's a long story, but I thought you might need a little help wondering why you have seen us driving 4 cars in the past 45 days or so!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We found a house!

We found a house in Huntsville!  We spent many hours, looked at tons of houses, and had to decide between renting, buying, or building.  We finally decided that while it's more fun to buy, especially a brand new house like the ones we were looking at, it would be best to rent for a bit.  We'll get to know the area better, make sure the job is gonna stick ;), and save up some more money for a better downpayment.  We would also have the flexibility to then build the house that we really want in the subdivision we really want and have plenty of time to get that going.

All that said, we are looking forward to the house that we are going to call home for the next year!  It isn't perfect, I think we'll have some creative space planning things to decide, and it's a little further drive from things than I'd prefer, but it's a really nice place.  It is by far the cleanest we have seen (and boy did we see some icky ones!) it is cute as a button from the outside, its got a great yard, deck, and long driveway for Charlotte to play on, and has some great features like a fireplace, hardwood floors, tray ceilings, big bedrooms, and a lot of storage.  It's a little smaller than our house now - 2100 sq ft vs our current 2600, but it's 4 bedrooms, 2 bath, and has a nice sunroom. OH, and one FANTASTIC thing I'm finding in Alabama - most homes are 1 STORY!  I am so looking forward to being on one level and not having tons of stuff piled on the stairs to go up or downstairs. :)

Here are a couple pictures - of course it will look different with our stuff in it :)

Isn't it cute!  109 Tanglefoot Huntsville AL 35811

It's 1.23 acres... Jeff's gonna love mowing this one!

Kitchen is a bit smaller and not open to the living room, but it's nice and clean and laid out well.

Nice LR with hardwoods, tray ceilings, and fireplace. Our biggest challenge is gonna be figure out furniture placement :)

Stay turned for our next blog post: we'll take a trip on our Car Carousel!

Monday, September 5, 2011

We're Moving to...

Huntsville Alabama!

Now some Q&A!

What's in Huntsville Alabama you ask?  Jeff's new job!  Jeff has been fully self employed with his video work for the past 2 years and while we have thoroughly enjoyed this season of life with him home every day, it's time for a change and a little more stability :)  After looking around at multiple jobs around the country, we feel pretty lucky finding a job that is just an hour and a half away from where we currently live in Spring Hill, TN!  We are still going to be close to our family and friends and dear city of Nashville and that is a big advantage to Huntsville.Now for some Q & A!

So what's this job?  Jeff will be working for Baron Services, a Huntsville based company. I'm gonna steal this tag-line from their website because they explain it best: Weather monitoring technologies and applications for broadcast, public safety, aviation, marine, ground, and government.  All that said, you've probably seen their technology and don't even know it!  They have a great video team within their marketing department, and Jeff is excited to be part of a creative team instead of going it alone like the past few years!  Baron is a family company that will only continue to grow as long as there is technology and weather, we look forward to becoming a part of this great company.

Jeff has had a great saying while we have been making this decision over the past few weeks: We are excited to go but sad to leave. I think that nails it to a T!  If you know me, you know I HAD to make a Pro/Con list and we had so very many things make this list.  We are looking forward to the change and excitement of learning a new city and moving to a new home, the financial stability, no more child-care work for me, the benefits (like health insurance!), the fact that it isn't too far away from friends and family, and Jeff's excitement to join a creative team like this.  Huntsville also seems like a great city - it's the 2nd smartest city in the US with tons of bioengineering, aerospace, NASA, and on and on.  It's also made several top 10 lists of best place to live, work, retire, raise a family, and on and on.   It's big but not too big!  The Cons list was of course longer: leaving family, friends, missing our church, having to do the actual move (so much work!), moving a 2 year old from all she knows and loves, potentially being unhappy with our new place, and on and on!  But even with the cons list being longer than the pro, we felt like there were enough major pros to accept this position and move on with our next season of life.

So when do we leave? What comes next?  Well, we are not sure exactly.  Jeff and Baron have talked about the option of starting sooner rather than later and doing some work at home and commuting 1-3 days a week.  We have to look at the ins and outs of that actually working out.  We also have to find a place to live!  We have lots of options open to us right now between renting and buying - and yet more pro/con lists of course.  Jeff and I hope we can get down there 1-2 more times in the next week to two and really make that decision so we can move onto other decisions - like what to sell, what to pack, what about our dog Brady, and on and on and on!  The decisions are a little overwhelming right now but we hope that we can take it step by step.  In general, we are thinking that we'd move in about a month.

So what can you do?  Pray for us!  For these decisions we have to make, for our stress levels, for what this my do to our 2 year old, and for our family and friends that are sad about this transition.  Also, if you have any advice about moving with a toddler, or any knowledge about the Huntsville area, I'd love to hear it!!  We also need more boxes and packing paper if you have any laying around your garage or if you see a neighbor moving in let me know and I can take the boxes off their hands!  We haven't decided what to do about the actual moving - like hiring movers, do it ourselves, etc.  So we may be calling on our church family to help us move... thanks in advance?!?  And finally, we may or may not be able to take our dear Puggle, Brady. So if you would love a sweet 5 year old pug/beagle mix, we may have one for you.  If you are interested in our house... my parents will be looking to either sell it or rent it, so let me know!  I hate leaving them in a possible lurch like this.

Thank you all for being such wonderful friends and loved ones and thanks in advance for supporting us through this new phase!

*photo Credit http://www.Huntsville-Homes.com all rights reserved.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Then and Now! June

So I got inspired by my friend Parker and her blog to do a "then and now" post to see what we have been up to the last couple Junes - here we go!

So June 2008 - when Charlotte began her existence and we didn't even know it!  Jeff and I went down to Destin and Panama City Beach for vacation and for Jeff's sister Ashley's wedding on the beach!  I was a little emotional and not feeling the greatest - who knew, it was because I was pregnant!

A couple weeks later, we bought a test - voila!  (funny story, this test was taken in Super Target!  We had one at home that we did but didn't want to just take one so we both called in sick to work, headed to Target, bought the test and a drink and off I went! lol  We have always loved Target so I guess it's fitting! Plus, we got to go straight to the baby section and get all goo-goo baby crazy!)

June 2009 - Charlotte made her arrival in January and is now 5 months old! She was such a very very happy child and pretty easy to take care of too! (and still is!)

And of course being June the pool was open so we spent lots of sunny days relaxing in the cool waters :)

June 2010: Charlotte really had fun this year in the water since she was able to walk around with the sprinklers and go down the slide at our rec center pool!

And here we are at June 2011! We haven't made it to the pool yet this summer, but I know Charlotte is gonna have a blast when we do get to go!  For now we are enjoying being indoors in the AC and playing with fun toys like the tent! (and the iPad of course!)

And a new favorite food: Cantaloupe! but it HAS to be on a big fork like momma and daddy!

So far June 2011 has been a good one! We are looking forward to a week of vacation that will include a trip to Owensboro and Bowling Green Kentucky, and some good ol' summer fun!

What about you?  What was June like last year or the year before that?  Amazing what changes a year can bring!

Monday, June 6, 2011

$1 Summer Movies!

I am very excited about a cool thing to do this summer - go to the movies!  Charlotte has yet to experience the whole "lets go to the movies" thing - tickets are so expensive we didn't want to chance her not liking it or being too loud and having to leave!

I think this is the perfect way to introduce her to the theatre - Carmike Cinema's Summer Kids Series! Tickets are just $1 per person and the theatre will be filled with other kids and parents so she won't have to be so very quiet!  Even if we do have to leave, we have only wasted a couple bucks and not $20+  They even have a $4 kids bucket with popcorn, drink, and fruit snack.  How cute!  Movies will be shown Thursdays at 10:00am - perfect timing to fit in that afternoon nap still.

We have tons of friends that want to go too, my sister is home for the summer, my Mom usually has Thursdays off, Jeff can always steal away from his work for a couple hours, and of course I have Thursdays off!  Looks like you can find us at the theatre most Thursdays :)

You can go here to find out more about this great program, I went ahead and called our local theatre Thoroughbred 20 in Franklin/Cool Springs to get exact movie dates. Starting Thursday June 9, they will go in this order:

Hotel for Dogs

How to Train Your Dragon

Kung Foo Panda

Madagascar 1

Madagascar 2


Monsters Vs. Aliens

Shrek 1

Shrek 2

The Last Airbender

Obviously some of these movies are too old for my 2 year old daughter, but I think there are quite a few we can go too!  If you have any opinions on them (especially for a 2yo girl) please chime in!   If you are local and would like to go to the movies with us sometime, let's chat!  Charlotte and I would love to have movie friends.

So to recap: $1 per person, per show at 10:00am on Thursday's starting June 9!  Whoohoo!

Regal Cinemas is also having a $1 movie program, called Summer Movie Express, on Tuesday and Wednesdays at 10:00.  The Regal Cinemas that is closest to me is not showing these movies, so we would have to go to Green Hills.  A possibility if we really want to see one of these movies, but  I think we'll be good with the ones in Cool Springs :)  You can go here to find out about their program and what theatre is closest to you!  Here is a peek at the Green Hills line up:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Nana and Poppa Visit!

Charlotte and I had a very long but very enjoyable morning yesterday!  We got to spend some great time with Nana (my Dad's mom) and Poppa (Dad's dad)!  We used to go up to their house every Wednesday evening and meet my Dad and we would all have dinner together.  Both my grandparent's health declined over the past few months so we had to stop these Wednesday visits.

My grandmother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and has been going through treatments and surgery for that for the past few months.  She has handled it all with the best spirit and hopefully just one more surgery then a titch of radiation will be needed and she'll be cancer free.  My grandfather has a myriad of issues relating to his heart, diabetes, and spinal stenosis. Because of these issues, plus the fact that my grandmother cannot care for him any longer, he is currently residing in a long term health facility.  Unfortunately the facility he is currently in is in Smyrna, about 30 minutes away from Nana's house.  Because of these things, we haven't been able to visit as often, but hoping to remedy this soon!  Now that I have my Wednesdays off (and soon will have Thursdays too) I'm looking forward to making the visit to Nana's and the trek to Poppa's more often.

Anyway, back to yesterday!  We played some at Nana's with all the toys in the toy box, then loaded up in the car and drove to Smyrna.  Charlotte was a little freaked out at first as we wound through the halls towards Poppa's room, but after a few minutes in Poppa's room and making friends with a little bunny stuffed animal he had on his window sill, she warmed right up.  We got to spend some great time with Poppa!  He is looking and acting better than he had in a while, he was actually sitting in a chair vs. the bed, carried on conversation with us, and ate his lunch well too. (all things that haven't happened that well in the past few months)  We stayed for about 30-45 minutes until Charlotte was ready for lunch and Poppa was almost ready for an after-lunch-nap.  All in all, it was a great visit and I was so happy to see Poppa doing well.

For those of you that know Nana, you can see how much weight she has lost! She is a whole different woman!

It was difficult to get all 3 of us looking and smiling while Nana was trying to work the iphone camera! :)

At this point poor Charlotte was past her lunch time and almost at her nap time and we still had a 30 minute drive and had to pick up BBQ for lunch.  By the time we got to Nana's Charlotte was just about fed up and ready to eat some lunch!  We had a great lunch of BBQ and was able to enjoy a few minutes of outdoor time with Nana before we headed back home.

I'm so glad my grandparents/Charlotte's great grandparents live so close that we are able to have visits like this!  I'll cherish these memories that Charlotte is making with them.

This is Charlotte after a short nap once we got home at 2:00 - you can see she is still tired!  We had a lazy rest of the day and watched Tangled :)

Monday, April 4, 2011


I feel like this past week has been filled with wonderful progress!!  It has made the start of this week so much better too!

First off, we successfully got a full week of the low carb diets under our belts!  Proud to announce a weight loss of 9 pounds!  Super excited to see that in the first week - I know it will become less and less per week as we go on, but I can't help but dreaming what losing this much weight a week would be like!  Overall, the diet wasn't as hard as I had remembered it and while I am already losing interest in some of the foods, seeing that 9 pounds off the scale feels better anyway!  Hopefully gonna try some new foods/recipes this week to change it all up!   I have decided that I will only be weighing weekly.  Before I got caught up so much in the numbers every day and could get really discouraged by it - so just a week at a time people!

Secondly, we got a treadmill!  I have been looking at craigslist for weeks now, every day, to find a free/cheap treadmill to get.  This one was $70 so a little higher than what I wanted but I feel like it is a good deal.   Thanks to my Dad and Jeff for picking it up and hauling it upstairs to our room!  So far I have worked out twice (I'm doing an every other day thing for now) and have walked a mile each time.  I am soooo out of shape people!   But the second time I was able to shave 2 minutes off my initial time!  The treadmill is old and has some quirks for sure, its  really a tad loud so a little hard to watch TV while I'm doing my thing, but I'm thinking if I keep at it long enough and prove that I'll use it maybe I'll get a new (ie quieter) one!

I'm sure the above two items of "progress" has really had a hand in this as well, but I just FEEL so much better!  My stress level is down, my productivily level is up, and my skin has finally cleared back up!  I account a lot of it to having this past week (and forever) without the extra two kids.  It's tough having 5 kids 3 and under anyway, but when 2 of them are having some major stress inducing issues, it does not make life easier!  I have gotten so much done, the house stays cleaner, and I am in a better mood.  Even Jeff has noticed the overall stress level in our house is so much lower.  Say it with me "ahhhhhh"  :)

This week I am looking forward to just 2 more days of childcare and 2 days in Owensboro Kentucky!  Another thing that letting these kids go has allowed me to do - have some days off :)  I'm happy that Charlotte will get to spend some time with her Nana and we'll have a little girls vacay!

I'll share a fun little story to wrap up this little post!  I got in my latest Scentsy order today, and Charlotte loooves when Scentsy comes in.  She loves to help me unpack it all, to smell all the bars, and then to climb in the boxes when they are empty.

She was so enthusiastic in getting the paper out!

Then it was her turn to sit in her box, smell her bars...

And watch TV in her new spot :)