Monday, June 29, 2009

I Heart Faces, Week 25- Wedding Bells

Here is my entry for the photography contest over at IHeartFaces! The theme for this week is Wedding Bells! I had a bunch that I thought could qualify that I liked better, but the rules stated that the photograph must show that this is obviously from a wedding, so I figured I should use a shot from an actual ceremony... maybe not my best shot, but I just loved that he was brushing the hair off her face- to me it was such a tender moment and I swooned ;)

Head on over to I Heart Faced to view the other amazing entries by clicking on the button below:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Jack And Austin: Best Buds

On Wednesday, Ang brought Austin over for his 8 month photo shoot (even though he's going to be 9 months next week- hey, it's been a busy month!), and for babysitting! We had so much fun with him! Jack adores "Baby Austin" and Austin loves him, too! They are definitely Best Buds ;)

Austin LOVED the light saber... appropriate, too, because up until two weeks ago he had a long lock of hair on one side of his head that we lovingly referred to as his Padawan Braid

Jack was showing off to Austin, showing him how he climbed chairs "All by yourself!"...

showing off his beautiful big lips while making kissy faces...

and showing off his muscles ("so strong! big muscles!").

And no, Austin still wasn't quite done with that light Saber...
"Hey Jack, Have you seen that light saber?"

"Thanks, dude!"

"No prob, kid!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And While We're On The Subject Of Blessings...

In case you can't read it, Jack's shirt says "I'm gonna be a Big Brother... but I'd still rather have a dinosaur!"
Yes, we've been blessed again, and Jack is going to be a big brother! I pretty much knew that I was pregnant right away since I felt so similar to how I felt when I was pregnant before (but much more intense!), but I didn't find out for sure until the Friday before last. It was the Longest Weekend Ever, because Dave was on a 72 and I didn't get to see him until Monday morning! It was soooo hard to keep it to myself until he got home, but I managed! Usually when he gets home from work Jack yells "It's daddy!" and runs to give him hugs and kisses, so when he got home on that Monday morning, I gave Jack the positive test to give to Dave. He was pretty happy :)

It was even harder trying to keep the secret until after Amy's baby shower! I almost told my mom so many times (Dave kept saying to me "I can't believe you haven't told your mom! You tell your mom everything!"), but I really wanted to wait until after Amy's baby shower. Father's Day was the next day, and it was the perfect time to tell my family, since my parents and my brother and sister were all in the same place for once!

I had this shirt picked out ever since before I was even pregnant with Jack! Even before I knew how I wanted to announce #1, I knew how I wanted to announce #2! The link to ordering this shirt has been on my computer for years, and I was thrilled when I was finally able to order it! I am due in late February, so I told my dad that not only was this for Father's Day, it was for his birthday, since his birthday is February 15th!

Jack is excited, too, for as much as he can understand. Here was our conversation:

Me: That is a pregnancy test
Jack: It a pregnancy test!
Me: That means momma is going to have another baby!
Jack: Momma has baby!!!!!! Momma have babies!
Me: Well, hopefully only one! You are going to be a big brother!
Jack: I be big brother!
Me: Do you want to be a big brother?
Jack: *gasp* YES!
Me: Are you excited?
Jack: Excited the Pregnancy!

And I ordered this shirt for NJ, too!

Jack and Grandma

And yesterday Dave came home and we gave him his present: a Chef's shirt! He thought it was pretty cool and said he'd actually wear it when he grills! He made such amazing ribs the day before for the baby shower, that I couldn't resist getting him this shirt! I went for black, since I thought it'd look cleaner than the white, and got the short sleeves since he grills. We may go exchange it for the long sleeve version, though, since he said he could just roll the sleeves up if he needed to.

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Blessings, And A New Monkey In The Barrel

We had a very fun, very full weekend! You all know that Sunday was Fathers' Day (more on that in a post to come later this week... probably tomorrow), but Saturday was my sister's baby shower! I am so thrilled for Amy and Scott, and I can't wait to meet NJ (his womb-name, as they still have not picked his real name. I've been given permission by Scott, however, to continue to call him NJ after he's born, no matter what they decide to name him.) Upon finding out that Amy was pregnant this past Christmas Eve, I, as the sister of the mom-to-be and the future auntie of NJ, offered to throw the baby shower!

Oh, and have I ever mentioned before how blessed I am? I have? Good. I'm so blessed. If you've ever been to Casa de Chaos then you know how small it is. It's not really a good place for a massive baby shower (Amy decided that she wanted it to be more of a party than a shower, and so we invited boys too, which more than doubled the number of invitees and attendees), but with all the unexpected events that have occured over the last several weeks, Casa de Chaos has become considerably smaller. But that's not what I meant by being blessed. I am blessed because I have such a wonderful family, that is composed of the mosts wonderful, supportive, and giving people I know.

First, my Uncle Greg and Aunt Sandra were so generous to allow me to use their house for the shower, which not only allowed more space for the party (can you imagine how cramped it would have been had it been held at Casa de Chaos???), but also allowed me to spend my time preparing for the shower without worrying about cleaning and reorganizing and rushing through last minute fix-it projects that are constantly needed here. Second, my mom, grammy, aunts, and even a cousin were willing to help me out even more by bringing a sidedish or two to the party, which greatly relieved my day-of prep work, our pocketbook (which has been unexpectedly shrinking right along with Casa de Chaos' unexpected shrinkage), and my stress level! Third, my mom watched Jack all Saturday morning, despite having him all Thursday afternoon, so that Dave and I could prepare for the party without neglecting our son! Okay okay, I know this wasn't really a sacrifice on her part as she assures us that she'd drop anything to watch Jack on any given day, no matter what she had planned (and I really don't think she's exaggerating at all!), but it was a HUGE blessing to us!

The blessing of having these particular weights lifted from my hostess duties was further amplified when Dave was unexpectedly called away for a time (that we didn't have to spare!) on the DAY OF the party, in the middle of our major preparation- cooking the main course (ribs, yum! Dave makes them AMAZINGLY!). Our fourth blessing? My dad came over to take the first carload of stuff over to Greg and Sandra's house, since I was unable to leave the house during Dave's absence (I couldn't leave the oven/stove unattended!).

It's been 6 crazy weeks since Casa de Chaos got turned upside-down, and while most times we feel like we just can't get ahead of this situation (every time we feel like we might be getting a handle on it, something else happens to that takes us back a step), we are still just taking it one day at a time, and concentrating on our many, many blessings. As hard as things get, it could always be worse, right? And no, I'm not asking how they could be worse, because I don't want to find out!

Anyway, back to the shower... Amy and Scott decided that the theme of their nursery would be Mod Pod Pop Monkeys! Freaking. Adorable! So, with that as my inspiration, here is the invitation I came up with (in your brain, punch out holes where the two little brown dots are, and tie a brown ribbon through it to add some nice texture!):

The Cake I made!

The Party Favors

As I was performing my Hostess duties, I wasn't able to take many nice pictures, but here are a few snapshots from the party

Scott and Amy have discovered an easy way to eat cake when you don't have a TV tray handy

Little Avah

My mom and Savannah, one of my goddaughters

Aunt Sandra and her granddaughter, Melanie

Congratulations, Scott and Amy! I know you're going to love being parents and I can't wait to meet NJ!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jack's Daddy, My Love

I've tried to write this post so many times. I keep starting and deleting, then starting and deleting over and over again. I've realized that there are just no words to describe how much I love Dave, how wonderful of a husband he is, how wonderful of a father he is. He works so hard, has sacrificed so much, and always puts our family first. He is so supportive of me and of Jack, and there is no doubt in my mind as to how much he loves us. When we hit rough patches, he forges ahead to smooth the road as best he can, and if he can't then he grabs Jack and me and with God's help carries us through. There is so much more to be said, but my heart struggles to put it into words. Without Dave, I would not be able to be a mother to Jack at all, let alone the good mother that I am continually striving to be. Because of him I was able to make it through the long, rough labor that brought Jack into this world (he didn't agree with my decision to have a natural, drug-free birth, but when it counted he refused to let me waiver and encouraged me to stick to the plan that I had given much loving consideration). Because of him I was (sort of) able to handle those first 7 months of having an insanely colicky infant on top of having post partum depression. Because of him and his hard work, I am able to stay home with Jack and give him the attention that is so critical. Let's face it, we all know I don't deserve him!

Jack does, though. Those two are two peas in a pod. Have I mentioned how blessed I am? Seriously. I am one BLESSED woman. I must have done something right that God would give these men to me.

And now, before I completely mush out, I would like to share some photos of my wonderful, sexy, super-fantastic husband, being the wonderful, sexy, super-fantastic father that he is:

Jack getting his very first 'Eskimo' kiss

Dave and Jack, on Dave's first Father's Day, 2 years ago

Dave's first birthday as a daddy

Jack adores being Dave's sack o' potatoes

I know I've shared this one before, but it definitely needs to be in this post. Definitely. I mean, they are THE SAME!

Can you see how much these two love each other?

Dave unfortunately had to work today, so Jack and I weren't able to spend Father's Day with him. We're planning on celebrating tomorrow, though! That is, if Jack is feeling up to it. He felt pretty lousy today and I'm wondering if he isn't about to relapse with his pneumonia! Please be praying that he heals, and heals GOOD!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Brahms, Sibelius, Uncle Travis, and Tchaikovsky

He remembered all their names after learning them three weeks ago! He hadn't learned Tchaikovsky yet, but had remembered that 10 minutes ago Uncle Travis had said his name...

Daddy's Hat

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day To Me!

Okay, yeah, so it's a little late for Mother's Day, but our new washer and dryer were delivered this morning! Yay! Our old washer and dryer weren't necessarily broken, but neither were they in good working condition. I mean, the washer worked fine, but it was a top loader with an agitator, didn't have that great of a wash capacity, was prolly 10 years old, and we were having a lot of issues with the soap not dissolving despite all our attempts at employing 'tricks' learned from my mother, friends, and Dr. Google. The dryer also worked, but it was about 100 years old (note: it is possible that I am exaggerating slightly), and while it did try the clothes, the opening was maybe 1 foot wide by 1 foot tall, had to run for hours upon hours in order to get the clothes dry enough, and occasionally decided to just stop in mid cycle- which meant I never knew if Jack's sheets/pjs/ducky would be ready in time for his nap/bedtime, or if Dave's uniforms would be ready in time for him to go to work.

I hated to spend the money on new ones when our old ones were still adequate. Even if they were obnoxious to use they still (more or less) got the job done. Dave and I both agreed that they were okay for now, though. But I did want new ones, so when Dave came home from work one day saying that we were going washer/dryer shopping I was thrilled! He said that he had been keeping an eye on the prices and that they were on sale right now! What with the situation with Dave's family, this really has been an unexpectedly expensive month for us and we really didn't want to be spending money right now. However, we figured that we might as well get this purchase over with before the machines do break on us and we have to buy more at a time when the machines may cost more!

After taking a trip to Home Depot to check out the floor models, we were torn between 2 sets. Both were front loading, which was the biggest thing that I was looking for in a new set. Only one (the less expensive one) had the ability to be stacked, but we weren't planning on doing that, so that didn't matter to us. The more expensive one had an extra foot of wash space and the dryer had a built-in-but-removeable drying rack, which I loved! I told Dave that either set would make me happy and I'd be thrilled with either... I really liked the more expensive one because of those two features, but I wasn't sure if it was worth the extra money, so he'd have to make the decision. So, say hello to my new washer and dryer!

They delivered it early this morning, before Dave got home from work. I told the guy that we didn't pay for installation because my husband said that he could hook it up himself, and he said "Okay, we'll the washer is no problem so I will go ahead and hook it up for you. For the dryer, all he has to do is... well..." then he winked at me and said "I'll just do that for you, too!" And then he said "Hey, you know this set up right here that you paid a little extra for me to fix for you? Yeah, that was a piece of cake, so I'm going to credit your account for that!" Awesome!!!

Seriously, awesome. Have I mentioned that we've had a lot of unexpected expenses this month? I love how God throws in an obvious blessing here and there, just to remind us that He's still in it with us.

Anyway, when Dave got home he double-checked all of the connections, let me put in a load (I had been saving my laundry all week so that I could use my brand new machines!!!), and sat on a chair, in the garage, in front of the washer while it ran! He used the excuse that he was just reading the manual while he checked to make sure it wasn't leaking, but I think that he really wanted to watch the clothes go round and round through the glass doors! I mean, you must admit, it is pretty cool!

"Oh, I see Jack Jack!"

"Oh look! And there's another Jack Jack!"

"I like the new washer!"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Congratulations, Andrew and Teresa!

This weekend Dave and I headed over to the Crowne Plaza, where Dave stood up with Andrew as he said his vows. We've known Andrew for 10 years now, and we were so happy to meet Teresa, his new wife! Don't they look so happy together?

Mr And Mrs!!!

His Vows (I love that he's brushing her hair off her face!)

Her Vows (I love that she was so excited, she kept giggling!)

The Kiss

The Extremely Sexy Groomsman

Doesn't he look sooo handsome in his tux?

And while we're dressed up (since that pretty much never happens!), I figured we'd get a nice picture of the two of us! Unfortunately the only way that happens is if...

a) We hold the camera up at arm's length and try to squeeze into the shot...

or b) We wait until we get home after a long evening and a few drinks and have our babysitter (aka, my mom) take a snapshot of our tired selves.

Neither option is ideal, but I guess something is better than nothing! And photoshop does help some ;)

PS, The lame thing about being a (wannabe) photographer is that you can't take pictures that include yourself, so if anyone who is trying to build up their portfolio would like to borrow a family to photograph, I'm volunteering us! We've never had nice family pictures taken and I'm dying to get some on our walls. I'll trade a session for it, too! How 'bout you take pics of my family, and I'll take pics of yours!