Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

survival.

So we are in Indiana. For the second time. We made it to Michigan and back. I was actually quite a fan of the place. The weather was SO beautiful. So much better than the 90+ and crazy humidity we have going on in Kville. Today I was even chilly and tried to convince Chris I needed a cute Michigan State hoodie (to no avail--our housing hunt was a constant reminder of just how poor we really are). Anywho . . . I will love the summers I feel. And I'll be blogging a TON in the winters because I won't be able to leave the house . . .

Or should I say townhouse. You see, I have long since outgrown the whole tiny apartment thing. We have been looking for weeks for houses to rent. We had FIVE houses lined up to go see when we got there yesterday. Want to know how many we actually saw? One. The rest had been taken or fell out in some other way. So we went and saw the first house and it was TINY and had a big yard we would have to maintain and it was old. REALLY old. So we decided, if we are going to rent, lets find a nice place [built before 1950] where we won't have to mow a massive yard or shovel mountains of snow. We began the search for townhouse communities. I was initially quite sad, desperately wanting to live in a house. But its just not worth it at this point. And you know what? We found a great townhome community that looks quite a bit like a neighborhood. The townhouse is 1100 square feet (the houses we were supposed to look at ranged from 800 to 950) not including the big ol' basement. Comes with a brand new washer and dryer. Really open and nice. We'll have a little back porch and it opens up on a big shared grass field. I'm really quite excited. It does only have two bedrooms (upstairs!), so I'm trying not to worry about a 2 1/2 year old and a baby sharing the same room (tell me its possible . . . tell me it works really well). Its house-esque, without the worries of a house. And at this point, we probably don't have the time or money to maintain a yard. And now we don't have to buy a washer & dryer, a portable dishwasher (we thought we might have to), OR a snowblower (considered a necessity to many Michiganders). So maybe, just maybe, we can get rid of the Craigslist couches we've had for 3 years and upgrade. I'm feeling excited and blessed. I'm ready to go.

I'm rambling. I took ONE picture on our trip. Its of Chris's building on campus. Did I mention how beautiful campus is? Really beautiful. Tennessee is NOT beautiful; BYU was SO beautiful. MSU reminds me of BYU.
Anyway, I'll show it to you soon, its a pretty building, but the camera cord is in the room with the sleeping baby, so it will be later.

Oh, my sleeping baby. These [almost] two days were the longest I'd been away from her. Before that I maxed out at about 3 hours. I missed the child like crazy, and it was a bit heartbreaking that she had to "get used" to me again upon my return. But I'm so very happy to be reunited with my lil' pal. She is the bomb {dot} com.

And so is my hub. It was a seriously stressful 2 days, going non-stop, looking at a million places, finding a handful that each had everything we wanted BUT one thing. Goodness, that was annoying. But we were in it together. When we found "the place", we were signing contracts, etc, and the lady asked how long we had been married. We told her 4 years and she said "Really? I wouldn't have guessed that. You still have that whole newlywed thing going on." How about that? She didn't realize we had just spent two crazy days looking for a place to live and were a little giddy about finally finding it. But I love him. He is my hero. And we survived.

Now I have a picture in my mind of our new home and I can't help but want to decorate the crap out of it. You see, I've had the same "decor" for 4 fabulous year and I'm ready for something new, hip, chic, if you will. Granted, on our meager budget that will be trixy, but I'm ready for a challenge. If anyone knows good DIY blogs or simple yet fab decor blogs, let me know.

And just because: Can I tell you how much I love this? I want to get a Tennessee one for Carly since she was born there, an Idaho one for me since I was born there, and a Michigan one for #2. I don't think Chris would go crazy over one, so I'll spare him. Next time I have $150 to spend on pillows, I guess. Ha! Maybe I'll try to copy them someday.
That is all. xoxo.

Friday, June 25, 2010

engineering marvels.

So a few days ago, Carly woke up from a nap and I delayed getting her for a bit while I finished something. A few minutes later I went in to find her with little white paint chips around her mouth. I examined the crib to find a rather impressive chunk missing. Our little Carlysaurus was apparently eating her way out. We went to BabiesRUs to find a solutions, but the gummi-crap we came home with was lame. So we got our $17 back and I used my ingenuity to figure out a better solution: 
Towels + athletic tape + brilliant mommy = a crib that will hopefully survive to see a second child.
[Pretty classy, I know.]
~
My next engineering marvel had to do with a baby walker toy with lots of pieces and screws, a set of lost directions, and a really annoyed mommy. I searched high and low for those directions. Couldn't find them. So I sat down and layed all the pieces out and used my powers of deduction to piece it together. Not gonna lie, I was pretty excited. Carly still needs to work on her steering. It will be slightly frightening when this girl gets behind the wheel of a car.
~
In other news, Chris and I enjoyed our 4th anniversary on Thursday night by having a baby-less dinner at PF Changs. The Young Women's Presidency I'm a member of held a meeting that night, and instead of requiring me to go, the president offered to watch Carly during it while we went to dinner. Not too shabby. It was a nice dinner, and we even managed to talk about a few things other than Carly.
Earlier in the day we went to our favorite used bookstore and spent too long there. Chris found a new read, but since I still have a stack to conquer, I headed to the baby board books section. I found 6 fabulous finds, each priced between a quarter and 75 cents. After a wipe down with Clorox wipes and a damp cloth, they are good as new (I'm always afraid used items will have the swine flu on them or something). Anyway, it was nice because I read 12-15 books a day to Carly (4-5 before each time she goes to sleep) so it can get a bit repetitive. I have more books memorized than I ever thought I would. I will recite some favs to you next time I see you, if you want.
[L-R: David the Lion, Carly, and Rex learning about the different ecosystems. David may or may not have been named after David Beckham]
~
[Look! Carly stand on her own! And she helps with the laundry!]
~
Carly loves her highchair booster thing. We keep it on the ground between meals and she loves to play on it and sit in it. Isn't it so cute? I'm currently contemplating getting some cute little chair for her birthday [!].
~
And finally, since we've been home for a whole month, its time for us to leave again. Tomorrow we depart on a 9 day, 4 state adventure. We are blessed to be able to go to the temple in Louisville, KY tomorrow morning (we will be missing the USA game, but Chris's parents are recording it, so DONT say anything), then spending time in Indiana, heading to Michigan (babyless!) to find a place to live, and then to Chicago to celebrate the 4th of July with Chris's extended family. Sounds like a party, does it not?
xoxo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

blood, sweat, and tears.

On Sunday I was talking to my dad and he asked "So what are you guys up to these days?"
My answer? "We spend about 6 hours a day watching soccer."
Its true.
BUT  . . . we do pay attention to our little Wild Thing, and we had to go to the grocery store a few times.
You see, I'm not going to feel guilty for indulging in a little lazy nothingness with my man for a bit.
After the 2 years of craziness we just endured, and the 4 years of even crazierness ahead, I think we deserve it.
Anyway . . . speaking of watching 6 hours of soccer a day.
[Carly's baby-sized World Cup ball.]
We do love us some World Cup. There is nothing quite like it.
We love us some Alexi Lalas, former US soccer star and current ESPN/ABC soccer analyst.
I was watching him a few days ago thinking,
His hair reminds me of someone.
But who?
Then it hit me.
The child was born to be a soccer player.
~
So this morning was the big US game. There were a lot of scenarios, but really the US needed to win in order to make it through to the next round. I started my morning off with GF waffles topped with strawberries and bananas (did I mention my husband is the bomb diggity?) and settled in to watch the game. It was a crazy one. I will spare you a play-by-play, but it was intense and I was getting emotionally invested. It was still tied 0-0 as stoppage time began. The US looked like they were out. But in the 91st minute, Landon Donovan scored a goal to send the US to the next round, winners of their group.
~
I tell you, quite a bit of screaming commenced in the C House.
We jumped and yelled and I ran to Chris and jumped into his arms.
Sometimes I wish we had a constant video recording us because we are so cool.
This was one of those times.
Our celebration looked something like this:
Only significantly less awkward (hopefully).
Chris then returned to watch the replay on TV.
I followed him, but he didn't realize it, so he swung around to continue the jumping, and I kid you not, hit me so hard in the face with his big muscular arm. I felt a buzz go through my head and I dropped to the ground. Things went a bit black for a second and I could taste blood. Yes, he drew blood. I had tears in my eyes. Tears of joy from our victory, tears of pain from getting hit in the face.
It was a glorious morning.
There is nothing quite like the World Cup.

Monday, June 21, 2010

my prince.

meet william.
its his birthday today.
~
The first time I laid eyes on William was shortly after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a tragic car crash.
I knew I loved him the first time I saw him.
He was 15.
I was not quite 11.
~
After Diana's death, my mother kept a few of those "special tribute" magazines they put out about her. She kept them in one of her drawers. I used to sneak into her bedroom and pull the magazines out to look at pictures of my prince. I don't know why I did it in secret. The only explanation I can find is that I was 11.
~
My crush on him lasted a solid . . . 8 years.
He graced the walls of my bedroom and insides of my lockers.
I read several books on him and his family, making me proficient in all things Royal.
[Even now Chris will ask me questions concerning royalty and I will know the answer.]
My dear William just held a special place in my heart.
~
~
Just over 8 years after I first met William, I met another prince.
The first time I laid eyes on Chris was during Ward Prayer in our BYU Ward, shortly after I arrived for my freshman year.
I knew I loved him the first time I saw him.
He was 22.
I was not quite 19.
~
We used to text each other late at night.
We used to snuggle in the back of his car after curfew.
We used to meet between classes for a few seconds.
We used to say goodnight and go our separate ways.
~
This prince makes me laugh.
This prince holds me tight.
This prince promised me a lifetime of love and happiness.
This prince took me to the Temple.
I get to be with this prince forever.
And this prince gave me the most beautiful little princess.
~
We will celebrate 4 years of wedded bliss on Thursday.
~
Happiest,
hardest,
craziest,
most wonderful
4 years.
Ever.
~
Here's to infinity more.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

notes in a box.

I have a little box where I put notes, mementos, and other gizmos that I want to keep.
The box contains all sorts of things that are special to me.
I was digging through that box today looking for something that we seemed to have misplaced.
While I flipped through things, I stumbled upon this:


A note from my daddy.
I said the closing prayer at my seminary graduation and my dad passed me this note on the stand right before hand. I remember expecting it to say "I'm so proud of you" or something along those lines. It said this instead.
But this was better.
I've never doubted that my dad loved me or was proud of me.
And I'm blessed because of that.
I love this little note.
Its one of my all-time favorite keepsakes.
~
Also in my box? 
About 15 of my favorite notes from my boyfriend/fiancee/husband, Chris (depending on when said note was written).
I certainly love this man a lot.
You can tell by the fact that his notes and letters make up about 90% of my little box.
~
Happy Fathers Day to my daddy,
and to Carly's daddy.
~
I love you both times a million.

Friday, June 18, 2010

jokes.

What do you call a beautiful ten-month-old scary monster who loves to roar and cause all kinds of devastation?
Carlysaurus.
~
What do you call a beautiful ten-month-old scary monster who loves to roar and cause all kinds of devastation's dog?

Carlysaurus Rex.
{Rex for short}
The girl loves that blue puppy.
~
[ps. if you know where we got the inspiration for our hilariousness, you are a C family soul mate]

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the reader.

When we were in Idaho [ummm . . . almost a month ago? Has it really been that long?] we had lots of people around to entertain/feed/care for Carly. In all our spare time, Chris and I spent a fare amount of time reading. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and wondered why I didn't read more. Then I got home and was alone with Carly again . . . and then I remembered why I didn't read more. Ha!
~
I was once a reader. I love a quality book. Chris and I enjoyed our reading time in Idaho so much, and our visit to a used book store there, that we decided to pay a visit to a popular used bookstore here in Kville. This bookstore was about 20 times larger than the one in Idaho, and we spent entirely too long in there surfing the shelves for the perfect read, while Carly hung around in the babybjorn. 

We walked away with some fun prizes, priced between 25 cents [!] and $4. Can't beat that.
~
My current stack. Can  you tell I love history/politics?
I just finished Pope Joan and am now about 80 pages into Queen Noor's autobiography. Technically, I'm a member of my sister-in-law's online book club, but since my pregnancy and having Carly, I have found it hard to keep up. My mom keeps up well though, and she recommended and let me borrow her copy of Pope Joan, which the club read several months ago. It was definitely a quality read, though difficult to swallow at some points.
And I'm currently loving Queen Noor. It has turned out to be quite a bit of history and political science on the Middle East, with a bit of light romance and family mixed in.
~
Anyway, my point? I'm reviving little pieces of myself, one bit at a time. I think it is all too easy to start to lose yourself in a baby, in motherhood. You quite literally devote all your time and energy into this tiny person (and save a bit for your husband), that it is no wonder mothers forget to take care of themselves and forget to develop their own hobbies and interests. For so long after having Carly I felt a little like that . . . I didn't work out (well, couldn't for a long time), didn't read, didn't listen to music, didn't follow my Pens (blasphemy!). But I'm feeling like I'm back. I'm still 100% mommy, but I've discovered I can be 100% Erin too.
~
Any recommendations for a quality read?
I'll add it to my pile.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the field is white.

Elder T left the MTC today, and by now he should be in Indiana ready to find those who are waiting for him.
His letters are wonderful.
Its amazing how much a 19-year-old boy learns and grows so quickly on a mission.
The Lord truly qualifies who he calls.
~
When you are praying for missionaries around the world tonight,
remember in the back of your mind Elder T in Indiana.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

weekend in review.

We had a nice weekend.
We've spent a great majority of it watching soccer, but we squeezed in some fun activities.
~
On Friday night we got ice cream at Chill.
Its one of those places where they turn the cream into ice cream right there in front of you.
Mine was actually quite good.
But it was mostly peanut butter.
Chris wasn't a huge fan of his.
Not worth the $11 [!] it cost.
Carly had fun, despite how it appears in the pictures.
Saturday morning we headed to K-ville's Farmers Market.
We've been meaning to go for a while, and managed to pick the most insane humid day to go.
We limited our purchases to a fresh fruit smoothie that Carly loved, and a loaf of bread that smelled like heaven but I couldn't actually eat.
We will work on expanding to fruit and veggies, but I'm actually quite intimidated by it all.


It was insanely hot and humid at the Market, and I was eaten alive by mosquito's. I have the proof in little itchy red spots all over my legs. Glamorous.
So the rest of the day we stayed in, and relaxed . . . and of course watched the USA vs England game.
Did you see it?
The US tied with England, 1-1, but their goal was heartbreaking.
The poor England keeper.
He will never live this down.


And today we survived our Sunday.
Our talks went smoothly, though I have a tendency to spout random jibbering personal stories with a few quotes and scriptures and crying and "um"s thrown in there. Chris was fantastic, of course.
And Auntie Jenny came over today, too.

It was a nice weekend. Chris doesn't have much forcing him into campus these days, so our weekend continues tomorrow.
I'm cherishing these summer days before I become a PhD widow.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

ten months old.

We have reached the double digits, folks.
Today Carly threw her first temper tantrum when I wouldn't let her play with a choking hazard.
[What kind of mean mom am I?]
We are entering a whole new phase.
We are ready for the party.
[We think so, anyway.]
Carly, at ten months old you . . .

*are a renowned expert on making a mess. You spread things about, like toys, DVDs, clean laundry, and kitchen utensils.

*are a routine baby. Or maybe I'm just a routine mommy. We do well on our routine (which includes exercise, naps, reading, meals, playtime), and get a bit thrown off when it gets disrupted.

*have 5 teeth. Three on top and two on bottom. The top three all came in within days of each other and are growing at various rates. We think it makes you look like a jack-o-lantern.

*love to play with your daddy. You especially love when he "chases" you and tries to grab at your feet while you crawl away. You screech and laugh and then look back at him like "K, daddy, get me again!"

*have the wildest hair. I don't even know what to do with it. It is getting long and wavy, and it gets wavier in the humidity. But you hate when I mess with it, and hardly let me even run a brush through it.

*have such a funny personality. You are a diva, but so sweet and funny. You make me laugh all the time.

*are very decisive. If you don't want to do something, like give a kiss, you just stick your little hand out like "Nope, get away!" And when you are done eating, you are DONE EATING. You flail your arms around so we can't get the spoon anywhere near your face.

*have been resisting naps. I've been considering going to just one nap a day, but you get so grouchy without both. And I do enjoy when you nap twice.

*stand more and more by yourself without holding on to anything. But you seem hesitant to stand for more than a few seconds.

*are talking more and more. And LOUDLY. Its hard to keep you in church! You mostly stick with "da, da, da" so we are trying to teach you more sounds.

*love to explore and get into things. You love playing under the table, and sometimes when we try to grab you from under there, you push our hands away to leave you be. You love getting into the cupboards, fridge, and pantry.

*hurt yourself on a constant basis. You hit your head 50 times a day and are always slamming fingers and arms in drawers.

*never cease to fill our days with laughter, frustration, smiles, chaos, and joy.

Happy ten months, Car. We're glad you joined us.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

the stuff of life.

{how delicious is this little fashionista?}

  • I used a curling iron today. I want to say it was the first time since my wedding (yes, I did my own hair at my wedding), but that's not true. Definitely the first time in Carly's existence. I did loose ringlets/wave things. I don't know. I'm sick of my short hair and waiting impatiently for it to grow out. It was a good way to mix it up. And it didn't take much longer than straightening it. Might have to do that more often.
  • Just watched the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. Strange, anti-climatic goal. Not anything like last year. Though, I'm a bit biased. Sadly, the Cup will now bare Marian Hossa's name. What can you do? But I'm happy for Jonny T and Chicago. We like Chicago, in general. 
  • This Sunday Chris and I both speak in Church and both have to teach the 3rd hour. Isn't that the way it always goes? I have enjoyed preparing our talks the last few days, though. Its nice to be busting out old Conference talks and sharing thoughts about the Gospel with my EC. Maybe that's a sign we should be doing this more often.
  • I've been trying to work out a lot harder lately. I'm really sore. I have this last little flab layer I can't get rid of. I don't know why. Wait, maybe I know why . . .
  • I'm genuinely addicted to Snickers bars. I mean, when I go through the grocery line, I have an uncontrollable urge to get one. And when I'm with Chris I just bat my eyes at him and he caves in and gets me one. He knows what I'm batting my eyes about, even when it is unspoken. He is my enabler. And I can't think of one thing more de-lish than sinking my teeth into one of those bad boys. I'll have to work on that . . .
  • I'm currently loving this song. I know, weird title/lyrics. Chris already informed me it was "creepy". But I think its catchy and the lyrics are even cute, when taken in a non-creepy way. Please don't deny you thought about marrying some guy at some point when your relationship was nowhere near the marriage point.
  • We can't find a place to live in Michigan. We are currently facing a great debate: closer to campus and not as big/nice, or farther away and a bit bigger/nicer. Why can't we find a place that's close to campus and nice and plenty big but still right in our price range?
  • World Cup starts Friday. Mark your calendars. I would invite you over for a party but we have a hand-me-down 1980s TV. And chances are you probably live in another state. We love the World Cup. Four years ago we got married and went on our Honeymoon during it. And you know what we did at the beach on our honeymoon? We sat inside and watched soccer.
  • Apparently at the pool yesterday I got sunburned. I didn't even notice. Then Chris saw my red back and said, "You got sunburned." Now that he pointed it out to me, its all burny and itchy. Isn't that weird? I wonder if it would still be bothering me if I had never noticed and he had never said anything. 
Such is the stuff of life.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

what do you do in the summertime?

The Wild Thing and I went to the pool today.
It was her first time.
She started out unsure.
But she quickly caught on and started kicking her legs and splashing.
The best parts according to her?
1) watching the big kids swim and play, and
2) scaling the poolside chairs as we dried off.

[sorry I look so glamorous. went straight from the gym to the pool. i know, my life is hard.]
The little girls that were there came over to meet Carly. They asked her name and after I told them, one said "Like iCarly?". We get that a lot from 8-12 year olds. I always want to explain its a coincidence, that our Carly was in no way named after iCarly. But instead I just say, "Yep, like iCarly!" They think its cool.
~
Anyway, we had fun at the pool.
We will have to make it a habit, and soak up the Southern sun as much as possible.
Because I'm pretty sure in Michigan we will be enjoying like three and a half weeks of pool weather each summer.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

little miss blue eyes.

she is growing so quickly.
she is more of a little girl every day.
she always has something going on.
she is so busy.
there are things to get done, apparently.
it used to be more bitter than sweet for me, how fast she is growing.
but now it's more sweet.
she is so smart.
 its obvious from how those big blue eyes are always figuring things out.
i simply cannot wait for her to start talking,
because i'm dying to hear what she has to say.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

let's groove tonight.

like her mother, the child can't help but groove to a good beat.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

us, currently.

wow. wow. Our May just flew by. South Carolina, graduation, and Idaho pretty much took up the month. I can't believe we are already to June.

We remain alive and happy. Chris got his thesis submitted for publication (yay!) so he has very little tying him down to the University of Tennessee these days. Its nice. He's transitioning to Spartan-hood. He left this morning to the Northeast to attend a national academic conference. He will be gone for nearly a week, and since I'm really bad at being a single parent, my MIL is headed down tomorrow to pick up the slack. {We transitioned to talking about me . . .} I'm hoping to get a lot of clearing out and throwing away accomplished while she is here in preparation for the move. We have so much stuff. Its just everywhere: in every drawer and every nook. I just want to throw it all away. So I'm going to. I'm about 98% ready to become a Michigander. The waiting it whats driving me crazy. Lets get a move on already (ha!).

Carly is wonderful and wild. Her mobility is increasing daily, but what is most impressive is her perseverance. When she wants to get somewhere/something, there is no stopping her. She has also begun standing on her own, but only when she doesn't realize it. She will grab something with both hands and stand there looking at it until she realizes she is unsupported, then she promptly drops to her bum. Her hair is getting longer and wavy-er and blonder. It reminds me of a surfer for some reason, the blond wavy shaggy look. Its tres cute. Today she refused to nap for more than 45 minutes, probably because she knew I was alone and wouldn't get the relief of her daddy coming home (ha!). It made for whiny hyper day. But tonight she was so tired she actually laid down and snuggled with me and we just watched House Hunters together. Yes, she knows how to end a frustrating day on a good note.
[picture from my phone]

want to see a million cute Carly pictures?
I thought so.
~
Evidence of Carly's new chaotic hobbies:

*escaping during diaper changes
 

*escaping during meals

*weaving through any barrier we construct to reach the dishwasher
*raiding the fridge (she is OBSESSED with the fridge)
*getting into places she can't get out of
*waving to her loyal subjects from her chariot

*and being ridiculously cute [oh, wait, that's not new]
[yes she is holding a spatula, and yes she held it during her entire bath]

So that's us, currently.