Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the daddy monster.

Carly loves running from the daddy monster.
She gets so riled up, she can hardly stay standing.
And she really loves getting caught by the daddy monster.
Enjoy the part at the very end when she tries to run out the window and smacks her head on the glass. A lot of crying took place afterwards, but its hilarious.
{Oh, and enjoy our new kitchen floor, which used to be carpet and old white linoleum}
Oooo . . . and a sneak peek at our bedroom.
Things are coming together.
It's starting to look like a home.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

going green.

Since Chris had a break from his super-exciting orientation on Friday, Carly and I journeyed up to campus to check things out. MSU's campus is a lot bit beautiful, nestled in the middle of a forest with a river running through it. We walked the path along the river from Chris's building to the bookstore. It was a beautiful morning in a beautiful place.
I am loving Michigan. I can't really explain. Knoxville was a nice place. We made some wonderful lifelong friends there, and it was a great two years. But it always felt like a step along the way. Chris's Masters degree was a good one, but he probably could have gotten a similar degree at a few other locations. Why did the Lord take us to Tennessee? I think I know now. Chris's thesis advisor at UT was a MSU graduate. Shortly after our ultrasound with Carly, Chris felt strongly that he wanted to do research on the positive effects of exercise on pregnant women. He talked to his advisor about it, and the advisor's advisor at MSU (following me?) happened to be one of the leading researchers on exercise and pregnancy. And he happened to be coming to UT to give a guest lecture. Chris met him then, and then applied to MSU unsure whether or not he would get in to study with such a distinguished researcher. But he did. And we are here. Where I know we are supposed to be. In a place that I feel more at home in than I have in a long time. This is the place. Tennessee was our path to reach Michigan. We wouldn't have found it any other way.
I feel very blessed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

sideways stories.

We went to the nearby park the other day and, I kid you not, our Wild Thing climbed up the entire slide all on her own. She is wild. And strong. She didn't like going down, but she sure loved going up.
I just love this. Proof of the aforementioned old bib she likes to wear.
We call it her Superbib.
We went to a little get-together last night for Chris's program. We met a great deal of wonderful people, as well as some llamas, sheep, and bunnies. A nice thing about this program is it is a bit like an extended family. We are excited to be a part of it. And Carly was a huge hit. She always is. Even at Lowe's today the child walked up and down the isles knocking things off the shelves and smiling and waving at her adoring fans as they told her how pretty she was. Anyway, we're at this party last night and out of the blue this girl asks "So what ward are you guys in?". Ummmm, where am I again? At the Michigan State party, right? I'm a bit thrown off, but I awkwardly answer her question. Later the story comes together. She saw my CTR ring, had heard someone joking about Chris going to a bar, heard we went to BYU, I was from Idaho, and we are younger and married and have a kid. This girl is not dumb.
Anyway, turns out she is LDS as well, just returned from a mission, and is in two classes with Chris.
Its nice to have that connection, even if she is a Redwings fan.
Oh, and how about a girl from my graduating class is in our new Ward here?
I saw her in sacrament meeting and couldn't believe it.
Small world.
Our home is slowly but surely coming together.
There will be pictures when its all done in about a month.
Its 2 am.
What in the world.
Have I mentioned yet I'm pretty sure I'm a Minnesota Twins fan?
As an Idahoan I pretty much feel like I can pick any team I very well please to be a fan of, though I do avoid bandwagon teams at all cost (Yankees, Laker, you know.)
As for the Twins?
You see, we started getting to know each other a while before the All-Star break, and everything is going so well. Our relationship has been getting pretty serious and all the sudden I'm DVRing their games when on TV and watching the dots on ESPN.com when they're not. They are so fun. They have great stories. I like a team with great stories and nice boys. Thats how I fell for the Penguins.
A few final signs that showed our relationship was fate?
Their brand new field is Target Field, and Target happens to be my favorite store on earth.
Their All-Star catcher, Joe Mauer Power Hour, well I could write a whole blog on him, but most important, other than he only struck out once his entire high school career, is that his middle name is Patrick.
Joseph Patrick Mauer.
And my boy Sid?
Sidney Patrick Crosby.
And my eternal comp?
Christopher Patrick C.
Its fate, you see.
And it doesn't hurt that Mauer Power looks like this:
I'm just saying.
Did you know my husband is a super hero?
I always knew.
But he keeps reminding me.
Like how its now 2:15 am and I'm still blogging and he is doing the dishes.
I won quite the prize when I caught him in my snare.
I sure love him
I'm freezing.
It gets cold here in Michigan at night.
Quite the phenomenon.
Or morning.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

my toodler.

Stacey, remember when you said "toodler" in your Facebook status?
I always call Carly my toodler now.
Thank you.
Yesterday was fabulous.
Today was insane.
I'm tired, and the boxes won't go away.
Anyone want to babysit my hyperactive but beautiful toddler so I can get a few things done?
Carly is going through a clingy phase.
Its been going on since we began major packing in Kville.
She wants to be held all the time.
And if you leave a room she cries like you're going to pack her in box.
I'm trying to involve her in the unpacking of her room so she sees this is home.
It mostly results in a major mess.
But she loves sitting at the table and working on her computer.
She loves to pull the space bar off and laugh while I snap it back on.
She loves yogurt.
She screams in joy when we give it to her.
She loves this old bib from when Chris was a baby.
She wears it like a sash.
She loves, and I mean loves, being outside.
She brings me my shoes and points to the door when she wants to go out.
And its often.
She likes hitting rocks together because apparently it makes a cool noise.
She loves, and I mean loves, doggies.
She points and says "Dah-eee!"
She is so independent.
Just walks away from us without a worry.
When we were still in Indiana she was out in the garage pushing her umbrella stroller around (another favorite hobby). I decided to use reverse psychology on her to get her to come inside so I said "Goodbye Carly!" and waved goodbye and started to walk inside. She waved goodbye to me, and continued pushing the stroller out toward the street.
Crazy girl.
She is so cool.
P.S. We got new flooring in our entryway, bathroom, and kitchen today.
I'm a big fan.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

lady of the lake.

So, we live in Michigan.

Facts about the state of Michigan you are probably dying to know:

  • Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline of any political subdivision in the world

  • A person in the state is never more than six miles from a natural water source or more than 87.2 miles from a Great Lakes shoreline.

  • Only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas

  • The lower peninsula is often called the "mitten", and one can show where they live by pointing to the corresponding location on their hand (we live just to the right of the middle of the palm).

  • The Upper Peninsula is called "The U.P" (which I learned in person today)

  • One can get flipped off for driving a foreign-made car (I happen to drive a Honda).
Facts about the C Family living in Michigan:

  • Chris has approximately 7 days of orientation ahead (seriously? how much orientating does one really need).

  • Erin has approximately 7 months (or it feels like it) of unpacking, organizing, and decorating to do.

  • Carly would eat approximately 7 rice krispy treats a day if she was allowed to.
Ways the C Family has upgraded since the move:

  • Borrowing an extra old car that Chris gets to drive to campus (he is lucky . . . its a Ford). Merci, Pat and Lisa!

  • Found a beautiful new desk for 50% off.

  • Found a beautiful new TV stand for 50% off.

  • Got DVR (wooohooooo!) and can rewind live TV (already 30 minutes behind in the Twins game).

  • Now have stairs, though with the laundry in the basement and the bedrooms upstairs I'm starting to wonder if thats really so great.
Things I love so far:

  • Our new place. Can't wait to decorate it. Too bad all the boxes have to be unpacked and stuffs put away before I can do that.

  • Our ward. We went to church today, and it looks like we have a seriously fabulous ward full of young student families. We enjoyed our first dinner with friends tonight, and look forward to another one next Sunday.

  • The weather. Its chilly in the morning (kindof). And you can go outside in the middle of the afternoon and not want to die. I do however, reserve the right to hate the weather in January.

  • The occasional Fargo accent. Very charming.

  • Michigan State University's campus. Seriously beautiful. 
Life is good. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

famous potatoes.

{At the risk of doing this way too late,
a few pictures from our most recent wonderful western escape.}
Idaho Falls Temple.
La Petite Princess.
Big Splasher.
Summer band concerts in the park.
Unsuccessful attempt at family pictures.
Upon our arrival, we made a list of things we wanted to do while there.
Wouldn't you know it, we crossed every one of them off.
A non-comprehensive version of this list:
-Temple, Target, and Chuck-a-rama in Idaho Falls
-Thrift store shopping
-TJ Maxx
-Costco (its a tradition!)
-Swimming (Carly)
-Watch Avatar
See how busy we were?
It was a grand visit to the land of famous potatoes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

green-footed monster.

try to tell me she isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen.
i dare you.
We said goodbye to Knoxville on Friday. On Thursday we packed up the truck in the humid heat with the help of some friends from the Ward. Carly and I went to her final doctor's appointment, where her sweet doctor said how much she would miss us. I walked out wondering if there would be any other pediatrician I would ever enjoy more. During the entirety of our preparation to leave Knoxville I never cried. Until I drove away from that doctors office. Go figure.
Thursday night we cleaned. And cleaned. And cleaned. I officially decided we are growing old in this townhouse in Michigan, because I never want to move again. Ever.
Friday morning we said goodbye to our apartment. I sat on the floor and cried. But as we drove North out of Knoxville, I felt only excitement and peace. A good sign, I would say.
[Carly certainly loved the wide-open spaces]
For now we are in Indiana, as we can't get into our new place until Thursday night. It is nice to have these final days of nothingness before we start our new life, but I feel like we have been waiting, waiting, waiting so long. I can't wait to get home.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

gonna party like its your birthday.

I don't know if you heard, but Carly turned 1 last week. We were in Idaho the week before her birthday, so on the 7th we had a little birthday day for her, and of course to celebrate Sidney Crosby's birthday (ok, not really).
First, we headed to the Pocatello Zoo. The thing about the Pocatello Zoo is that is has only "indigenous animals", and therefore has goats, bison, elk, and birds. Their best show is two really old bears. But let me tell you, Carly loved those bears. She would squawk at them and wave and when we moved on, she kept pointing back and them to go see them again. No fear, that girl.
[At the petting zoo. That goat peed on my foot. I wasn't a fan.]
[Waving to her beary best friend.]
[Walking champ leading the pack]
That night we had a little birthday party for her. We blew up balloons and made cupcakes and invited my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins over (did I mention my whole family was together except our dear missionary brother? it was fab.) Carly was oblivious to the party, I'm thinking, but she does thoroughly enjoy being the center of attention.
[We won't talk about how many of these GF cupcakes I ate]
[Star of the show]
[Reading her card out loud]
[Not sure about this . . .]
[Ok, now I'm sure.]
[Getting cleaned up.]
[With Carly's great-grandparents]
It was a fun little party and it was nice to get together and celebrate our girl.
It was the first of three birthday celebrations.
Three parties for making it one year?
Not bad.

Friday, August 13, 2010

twelve months old.

I get these emails from babycenter.com.
I signed up for them when I was pregnant.
I've never actually read one, but they give weekly updates on your baby's development.
The subject heading always says "Your Baby: 4 months and 2 weeks", or however old.
The one I got this week? "Your Toddler: 1 year".
I'm sorry, did you say "toddler"?
Carly, at 12 months old you . . .

*are a walkin' pro. You took several steps before our trip to Idaho, but once you got to the wide open spaces of Grandma and Grandpa's house, you took off. If you were cute before, you are even cuter walking around with your tiny self.

*speaking of your tiny self, at your 12 month appointment you were 19 lbs 1.5 oz (19%). I was shocked. You feel so heavy to me, I was ready to see that scale at around 30. But you are healthy and so strong. People always comment on how strong you are.

*completely quit baby food. Cold turkey. Your favorite foods these days? Yogurt, Gerber meat sticks (eww), strawberries, and avocado. You still don't show a particular fondness for eating, but we stuff food in your mouth whenever we get the chance.

*officially say your first word (other than "dada"). It is . . . "Hi!". You're so friendly, and you will give a big wave and say 'Hi!'. I have been trying to get you to say 'mama', but you just smile and say "dada!". Daddy's girl.

*have lots of energy. You are very busy, always carrying things around and moving them and putting things in things and taking things out. I always say you have so much to do, and not enough time to do it.

*are getting so interactive. You and daddy play chase, where he will chase you and then you will turn around and chase him. You squeal and giggle like crazy. You also assert your will more and more, demanding more food or pointing where you want to go.

*love to be the center of attention. You like lots of people watching you. You also get a bit jealous of others stealing the show. When little Eliza came over the other night, you would go over to whoever was holding her and demand to be held by that person. Bodes well for when you're a big sister . . .

*are so so funny and sassy. You like to dance and play and make funny noises with your mouth. And then you giggle at how awesome you are. Because you are totally awesome.

*have made the last year the absolute best year of our lives. We sure love you, Shmar.

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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

letter to home.

Dear Knoxville,

How is it that our time with you has come to a close so quickly? We have learned so much here with you. We have grown so much and changed so much. Yet in hindsight if feels as though our time together was so brief. In the long run, I suppose it was.

I remember the first time we met. I had never seen so many big bushy green trees in one place before. Remember how I sat on the floor of the smoke-smelling apartment and cried? I just knew you would never be home. I just knew it would be the longest hardest two years of my life. I just knew I wouldn’t survive.
Then something happened. Chris got going in his program, I found a great job surrounded by your wonderful kind people. We met friends in our ward. We got to know you. You showed off your beautiful autumn, your snowless winter, and your sunny spring. We began to see your virtues as well as your vices.

We experienced so much together. Remember the morning of December 6, 2008? Remember how Chris and I stared at that pregnancy test in disbelief? You celebrated with us that day. For a whole 24 hours you were the only one who knew our beautiful secret.
Remember August 9, 2009? Remember how we stayed up all night together timing contractions? We watched as they got stronger and closer together. Remember when sweet Carly came into the world? Yours were the first sounds she ever heard, the first sights she ever saw, the first air she ever breathed. You will always have a special place in my heart for that reason alone.

Remember all those nights where we stayed up all night, just you, me, and Carly? Poor Chris had to get up at the crack of dawn and go to school, so we let him sleep on the living room floor. Remember watching her learn to eat, smile, sit, crawl, and walk? Can you believe how fast she has grown? You have been here through it all.
Remember watching Chris cross the stage at graduation, wearing his Masters hood? For so long I thought the day would never come, then all the sudden it was there. I was so proud of him. Weren’t you? He worked so hard and completed the work he came here to do.
To be honest, I haven’t always said completely nice things about you. I complain about your summers (you should really work on your humidity problems). I complain about how you are so far from my family. I complain about this and that and the other. But I really did enjoy our time together, and I may even admit that I’ll miss you.

Really all I have left to say is thank you.
Thank you for your beautiful park that was an escape for me and Carly.
Thank you for teaching me the value of the word y’all.
Thank you for your church softball league, where we found a place to belong.
Thank you for showing me how to live my faith out loud.
Thank you for the Target around the corner, and the Mall across the street.
Thank you for the friendships you made it possible for us to form.
Thank you for Calhoun’s and Qdoba and Jimmy Johns. It was because of you that I met them all.
Thank you for showing me how to love and depend on my husband more than ever.
Thank you for taking care of us.
Thank you for being home.

Love, Erin

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

remember when.

We have a one-year-old.
I can't believe it.
We love you times a million.
Happy Birthday, Shmar.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

the end.

We are getting back on an airplane tomorrow.
Why do all good things come to an end?
That is lame.
Can't we have yummy food and playtime and zoos and family and puppies and parties forever?
Tomorrow we get back on an airplane.
Away from the fresh mountain air and sunsets and cool nights.
But one step closer to being home.
{In Michigan, that is}.
More stories to come.
But I've got to go to sleep.
Because, tomorrow, we get back on an airplane.

Friday, August 6, 2010

just a trim, please.

We have a little tradition, my mom and I, that we roll out of bed and go get our haircut whenever I'm in town.
I fly across the country to go to our wonderful Elizabeth, because apparently no one in Kville knows how to cut hair for a reasonable price . . . or for an outrageous price.
So I come home and we go see Elizabeth and we bring Carly and she plays with the kids.
This time Kasee even came, and we got a whole spa girls morning out.
Anyway, Carly's hair is getting long. Its a beautiful disaster, to be sure, and something we love about her. But Elizabeth mentioned that if we gave her a little trim, it would grow in fuller and healthier. So I called Chris and he said he was fine with it (honestly, he wondered why I even called him . . . ) and she got her very first Elizabeth haircut. 
Just a little trim.
She sat still for about a minute and a half, then began to wiggle and try to escape in any way possible.
She is clever, that girl. 
She figured if she climbed up in Elizabeth's arms, she would have to quit messing with her hair.
But we persevered, and Carly came out with a slightly less chaotic head of hair.
Elizabeth saved some clippings for Carly's baby book.
It was a little emotional for me, thinking she was big enough for her first trim.
The first of many to come.
Carly's not the only one who got a haircut.
What do we think of my new bangs?
I'm still on the fence.

p.s. We are loving us a whole lot of family time in Idaho.
It goes too fast.