Sunday, October 31, 2010

what are you gonna be on Halloween night?

A ghost or a goblin or a ghoul?
{mom, we so need to find these songs for Carly and Shay}
When I was a kid, we were all about the "homemade" Halloween costume.
I remember one year my oldest brother going as a "tourist".
Put sunscreen on his nose, Hawaiian shirt, camera around his neck.
I also remember an old Giants baseball jersey that we all seemed to wear multiple times.
And I remember a Power Rangers costume my little brother refused to take off until it was nothing but rags.
But my most vivid costume memory was when I went as a witch.
Wore a black dress and a witch hat.
Then my mom painted my face green.
That was the itchiest face paint ever.
I just remember my face itching so bad all night all I wanted to do was go home and wash it off.
Good times.
On Monday I decided I should probably figure out what Carly was going to be.
We headed to babiesRus to see if there was anything on sale.
No luck.
So I talked to a friend in our ward and she said she had one that would probably fit.
A candy corn.
Ok, Carly looked seriously adorable.
The problem?
Carly doesn't like things on her head.
And apparently she also does not like bulky things on her body.
The costume was held on by Velcro, and in no time she was ripping it off every time I put it on.
I mourned, as she was a seriously cute candy corn.
Friday night I pondered long and hard what she could wear.
It had to be a costume without feeling like a costume.
It couldn't cost anything.
It had to be quick, as the trunk-or-treat was the following night.
Oh, the light bulb went on.
When Carly was a wee baby, Chris's dad went to China and brought her back a pair of Chinese pajamas.
They were huge at the time, but now she is huge, so they fit.
I wanted to put chopsticks in her hair, but the only ones I could find were full-sized, and looked more like spears on her little head then chopsticks, so I googled "oriental princess costume" (weird, I know) and saw lots had flowers in their hair. No doubt, this was inspired by the Japanese geisha, and I wasn't exactly wanting to model my one-year-old's costume after a geisha, but we did have matching flower clips, so I went with it.
And voila, our China Doll:
How many kids can say their grandpa bought their Halloween costume in China?
It did not take our doll long to figure out how much fun candy was.
Little things that make crackling noises that you can spread all over and put in your pumpkin purse? Is this heaven?
She loved the candy before she found out how yummy it was to eat.
You can imagine her affection for it upon first taste.
{caught in the act, little chocolate-chin}
Our Ward's Trunk-or-Treat/Chili Cook-Off was a success.
Chris got back from a conference about half-way through.
We were very excited to see our man.
{reminding Daddy where her nose is after a long absence}
We didn't have Carly go collecting candy.
No one in this house needs that candy.
So instead she wandered around saying "Hi!" to monsters and princesses and superheros.
And I gave out all our candy except the Almond Joys.
I may have saved a few for personal enjoyment.
And today for Church Carly looked a bit festive:
Wearing her purple tutu-esqe skirt (yay, Target clearance!)
and a Halloween bow from my aunt, Dore.
We closed off the night without a single Trick-or-Treater.
That's ok, though.
That means I didn't have to give up my few remaining Almond Joys.
Hope your Halloween was a spooky one.

Friday, October 29, 2010

little surprises.

First, thank you all for your sweet comments (and phone calls! ha!).
I'm really not as much of a wreck as I appear.
But isn't it great when you think you are all alone,
but then discover there are others just like you.
Feeling the same things.
Worrying about the same things.
Wondering about the same things.
I was talking to my mom on the phone and we talked about the passion thing.
She said its something that doesn't go away.
You devote your life to your children, and when they are gone, then what?
But she said passion doesn't have to be something big.
You don't have to save the world.
Just find what makes you happy.
Even if its spending time with your husband.
Or reading.
Or just being a good friend.
All too often we can find our passion in the little things.
{my mom is smart}
Want to know one of my favorite things about motherhood?
The little surprises.

Like when I put Carly down and went in to use the restroom and found . . .
my entire family waiting for me.

when I went to do the dishes and found . . .
two giraffes in the utensil basket.
Both times I laughed quite hard.
My evening tonight is a husbandless one.
I will be spending it in the following fashion: 
gluten-free cinnamon sugar doughnuts
chocolate milk
a random yet so-far-so-good book from the library
the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Chris said it was me and Sid's date night.
And tomorrow I'm going to try to get Carly to wear a costume long enough to take a picture of it.
Seriously, there is screaming and yanking whenever I put any sort of costume-esque thing on her.
She may just be herself for the majority of our ward's Trunk-or-Treat.
But thats ok.
Because she is cute.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

don't you ever grow up.

I finally managed to get my paws on Taylor Swift's new CD yesterday.
I always have an adjustment period where I have to get used to new songs when I'm used to the old ones.
But she has already made me cry with her little number, "Never Grow Up":
Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And, it’s so quiet in the world tonight
You’re little eyelids flutter cause you’re dreaming
So, I took you in
Turn on your favorite night light
To you, everything’s funny
You got nothing to regret
I’d give all I had, honey
If you could stay like that
Oh, darling don’t you ever grow up
Don’t you ever grow up
Just stay this little . . .
It can stay this simple . . .
Just try to never grow up, and never grow up

Oh, Tay. You get me every time.
I've been a big bag of chaotic emotion lately. Carly seems to have entered the "terrible teens" rather than waiting until she gets all the way to 2. I feel like things are a bit out of control as a mother. She screams a lot (I mean, a lot) and I don't know if screaming and crying all day is normal. Is it normal? She tears everything apart, taking everything out of everywhere. She is now tall enough to reach the edge of the counter, and she will grab things off it too (um, steak knife, anyone?). And she seems too young to discipline. Does she even understand me when I say no? Sure does not seem like it. She just seems wild. I have fears growing in my mind. 1) I don't want her to be a spoiled brat. 2) What if something is wrong? Like what if she has ADD, or OCD, or Autism? I don't know what is normal. I don't know how a 15 month old is supposed to behave, and the thing is, every kid is different. So there is no normal. I just want her to be a nice, well-behaved girl. I mean she can be funny and spunky and energetic. Just maybe less screaming and throwing herself on the floor in defiance. Can someone teach me how to parent a toddler? I'm just not catching on.
I vaguely remember what my husband looks like. I knew PhD school would be busy. But I didn't expect the combination of Carly going insane and his schedule would send me into a stupor. I find myself surviving the days rather than living them, wishing these 4 years away. I don't want that, but how do you not? Its obviously a personal problem, one I've been doing a little soul-searching (if you will) to figure out. People do this crazy school + kid thing all the time. Why am I the only one on the verge of a constant mini breakdown? I think its easy to get a bit lost in the day-to-day grind. Chris is so good. He knows how much I love school. How hard it is for me to not be in school anymore, when I once dreamed of graduate school and traveling the world. He asks if I want to go back, do night classes or something. Or online classes. "I just want to attend lectures without having to do homework or take tests" I told him. "Well . . . . " he searched for an answer. He is cute. I've been searching for something, outside of Carly, that I can feel passionate about (read my sister-in-law's fabulous post on passion here). I picked up sewing. Kind of. I'm a dreadful sew-er (I would never use the word seamstress to describe myself). And while I do enjoy it, I don't see myself being the same extreme sew-er as I see others are. I would love to get back into working out. Its been tricky, as Carly won't sit in a stroller for more than 5 minutes, its already getting too cold to work out outside, and we are far too poor for any sort of gym membership. I know its important. I like how it makes me feel emotionally and physically. But passion? Not sure working out makes the cut. I'm fully aware my passion lies in learning something new every day. Finding answers to questions I care about. Which is why I absolutely adored college. Which is why this sometimes repetitive, sometimes un-stimulating environment of stay-at-home mom world is a challenge. But don't get me wrong. I know I want to be here. I know I need to be here. I know I'm supposed to be here. And Carly really is my light and life. But I don't think that having the desire to do something else, something outside of her is a bad thing. In fact, I know it will be good for her because it will be good for me. I'm just not sure, at this point, what that "something" could/should be.
Pictures of my tiny perfect new niece and watching my giant running-playing-learning toddler planted the idea of #2 in my head. We are in no position to add #2. Chris is so busy, Carly is a nutcase, and I'm a bigger nutcase (though, she pulls it off in a much cuter way than I do). We are dirt poor. I haven't worked out in like 18 months. And we know its just not time. Which is really the most important factor, listening to the Spirit. #2 is up there in heaven, watching the chaos she is destined to join, and probably hoping I pull myself together before she has to. But she is tugging at my heartstrings. The same way Carly did before we decided to try for her. And I will be joyful and grateful when the time comes for her to join us (she better be a girl, with Carly's cute new room they will have to share and the tubs of clothes we have stored up). I just pray I will be in a place emotionally, physically, grammatically, where I can do it . . . the mother of 2 thing. And not just do it, but rock it. All I want is to rock it
My grandpa once said to me, "I like reading your blog. Its like a soap opera."
I wasn't sure what he meant by that.
I'm now assuming he was referring to posts like this one.
Don't mind me.
Happy Thursday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

just call me auntie.

Look at this little lovely.
Her name is Shayla Jane.
She is Carly's very first cousin.
Shay was born on Tuesday.
Her adoption was finalized yesterday.
I'm not going to pretend I understand the emotions of this week,
the joy of finally having her home.
I do know we sent endless streams of prayers on behalf of her parents.
On behalf of Shay.
On behalf of her birthmother.
I know my heart pounded all day waiting to hear it was official.
I know I loved little Shay the first time I saw her little picture on my phone.
I know she was always supposed to be in our family.
I know she belongs with my brother Michael and his wife Camie.
We are so grateful Shay is here.
So happy for Michael and Camie.
They will be the most fabulous parents.
And Carly is seriously excited to have a cousin.
The first time she saw Shay's picture on my phone,
she pointed at her and said "doggy!"
{We are working on "baby"}
But that's a real term of endearment from her.
As my mother texted me the night Shay was born:
"Its a good day for girl cousins."
We are grateful for the miracle that is adoption.
Congratulations to Michael, Camie, and Miss Shayla.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Went on a walk today.
Its getting quite chilly here.
How beautiful is this girl?
She was seriously fascinated by the guy with the leaf-blower.
Shall we continue our house tour?
Lets head upstairs.
{the landing is a favorite perch for this little birdie}
Our bedroom.
I sure love our bedroom.
There is a bed in it.
And thats about it.
You see, everywhere we have lived we have has a serious lack of space, storage and otherwise, so our bedroom has always served as storage and an office. Overflowing closets, blinking computers, all sorts of stuff. Well, we moved our office to the living room area, and we have a massive unfinished basement for storage.
This means our bedroom is just our bedroom.
No junk.
No computer.
Just our little place.
Its not fancy.
We don't have much in terms of decoration or furniture.
But I'm happy with that.
Except I'm dying for some bedside tables.
Poor Chris is using a plastic tub full of baby clothes.
Anywho, hear we have it:
Opposite the bed:
Someday I would love a dresser under this little setup.
Over by the closet is my vanity.
One of my favorite spots.
Ok, then there is the bathroom.
There is a door from our bedroom into the bathroom,
as well as a door from the hall to the bathroom.
Its our only full bath, but we have a half bath downstairs (that needs a makeover . . . someday).
Its not fancy.
But its home.
And sometimes it even looks as clean as these pictures.
We (errr . . . Chris) painted Carly's room on Saturday.
Tres cute.
That will be the next leg of our tour.
Another day.

Friday, October 15, 2010


I don't think I've mentioned yet how I've been a sicky for the last week.
Coughing up a lung.
Sneezing up a storm.
All sorts of stuff.
I'm not a fan.
But luckily, all my handwashing and coughing into my shirt sleeves have spared Carly from the worst.
I seem to be a bit better today.
I didn't feel like dying.
But being sick when you're the mom really is no fun.
Cuz the Shmarly doesn't stop.
Anyway, to celebrate all sorts of things, from Carly reaching 14 months of life, to Chris coming home before 7, to me being taken off the disabled list and labeled day-to-day, we had date night.
How do you do date night when you are poor?
1-Bring the baby.
2-Eat dinner at home beforehand.
3-Order just small fries and milk shakes.
4-Watch the [free] MLB playoffs as your entertainment.
Bam. Date night.
{very serious about her cheese fries. see her new Frankenstein bib peeking through?}
{happy family date night.}
Did you notice I mentioned Carly is a whopping 14 months old?
At 14 months, our Wild Thing . . .

loves, loves, loves brushing her teeth.
I have to limit her to 3 times a day.

gets into everything.
She loves to empty things and disperse the contents.
Cupboards, drawers, purses, you name it.

loves Elmo.
Elmo's World is the only TV she watches.
And she points to him and squeals and says "hi!".
Then she just sits/stands and watches.
It is the only 20 minutes during the day where she is awake and still.
As long as she is sitting on my lap and I'm watching with her.

is still a generally lousy eater.
And a loud eater.
Screams a lot during meal time.
But if its something she likes (like cheese) she will stuff it all in her mouth at once.
I've been quite impressed with how much banana she can fit in that little mouth.

is still happiest outside.
Loves to push her stroller.
And go down the slide.
And meet doggies.
And say "hi" to strangers.

She can also identify her head and stomach:

And she is really good at saying "hi":

Though, she seems to think "hi", "da da", and "doggie" are the only words a girl really needs.
I can't get her to expand her vocabulary at this point.

She snuggles with dish towels.
I don't know why.
I'm planning on making her a small snuggle blankie.

She likes giving my stomach raspberries.

She likes playing soccer.
We kick her ball around our big kitchen.

She loves animals.
At the library there is this giant stuffed alligator.
She ran right up to him and said "HI!".
Like they were old friends who hadn't seen each other in forever.

She is ticklish on the back of her thighs.
Just like her daddy.

Every morning at breakfast she points to where the Rice Krispies are.
Her mean mommy never lets her have one, though.

She runs to her daddy and gives him hugs when he gets home.
And then makes him hold her for an extended period.

She gives the juiciest kisses.

She takes her sleep seriously.
When I try to kiss or give her snuggles she pushes me away like,
"just let me sleep!"

She is really, really, cool.

Yay for 14.
4 months until nursery.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

morse code.

Yesterday, we put a little Halloween package together for Carly's Uncle Brady.
Halloween treats and pictures of his favorite niece and cups with spiders on them and a sparkly pen with a pumpkin on top.
And the cutest Halloween dish towels.
{I heart Target's dollar section}
"You got him dish towels?" Chris asked.
"Well its not like he can walk around in Halloween socks" I reply.
Then I sat Carly down and told her to draw a picture for Uncle Brady.
Her picture was a series of dashes and dots.
I hope Elder T can read Morse code.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

yes, i know it's not real.

Ok, if you haven't read the Hunger Games and are even vaguely considering it, I will tell you when to stop reading. Or you can stop now, because none of this will make sense to you anyway.
The other night I had a dream. Of course, I was in Panem, and me and this girl I went to high school with were trying to escape (my mom sent me a text that day saying she saw her at Walmart, which is precisely how she ended up in Panem with me, as I haven't seen her in years). Anyway, we were trying to escape with Carly and the girl's little boy, and the girl had these really tall boots on that were making it impossible for her to go very fast and it was driving me crazy. All the Peacekeepers were wearing Sidney Crosby jerseys, like they were trying to convince me they were friendly. And we had to make it to the MTC in the Capital to rescue my little brother because he was sick. It was seriously stressful. I don't know what ever became of us. I woke up before the end.
What, you don't have nightly Panem dreams? Maybe that's just me.
I finished the last book last night, and let me tell you, I enjoyed them quite a bit. I went in to them literally having no idea what they were about. I remember when Mockingjay came out a few months ago everyone's Facebook status was about it, and later a friend told me she had them so I borrowed them. I was pretty surprised when I actually got into the first one, by what it was about and how it was written. I was kind of expecting something along the lines of Twilight, a lot of mushy love with a bit of action. But these are mostly action with a bit of confusing love. Right up my alley (ha!).

Since I'm no book critic, I'm going to share my thoughts in a series of likes and dislikes. You should probably know that this is entirely too long, and its mostly for me, as my mind has been spinning with thoughts I have no one to share with because I want Chris to read them (probably at Christmas time) without them being ruined.

{Ok, if you haven't read the books and want to, stop reading now. Seriously, because I'm going to ruin them. Chris, that includes you.}

This is in no particular order.

Like: Prim. I love how Prim matures and develops throughout the series. How she becomes the rock of the family as Katniss crumbles. How, as Katniss describes her, had the best attributes the family has to offer. She comes across as sweet and innocent, but she is talented and calm when the chaos ensues, when the sick and dying need her. She knows exactly what is going on and how things are working without having a panic attack (Katniss . . . ). And one thing the author did that I love most of all? At the very beginning of Hunger Games, Katniss describes Prim as a little ducky with the tail of her shirt hanging out. That portrayal of Prim then fades, as Katniss notices how the Games and the Revolution have forced Prim to grow up so fast. Her shirt is always neatly tucked in. Then at the very end, just before Prim dies {told you I would spoil the books, cheaters}, she returns to that image, the ducky with the shirt tail hanging out. Tears, I tell you. Love me some Prim. I have a current desire to name a little girl Primrose. Hopefully that passes before the time for #2 rolls around.

Dislike: Katniss. Yes, I dare say our Mockingjay drove me a little insane. She had a good heart. Good intentions. Loved those she loved fiercely. She was talented and smart. But something about her rubbed me the wrong way. Can I just tell you this without sounding like a crazy person . . . Katniss drives me crazy because Katniss is a little bit too much like me. Selfish but really trying hard not to be. Unable to express herself appropriately though spoken words. Constantly questioning herself and her abilities. Cherishing nothing more than those she loved. Too often when Katniss was exploring her own motives, thoughts, and intentions, when she was getting to the bottom of how her mechanics worked, it reminded me of me. Though, for the record, I've always known exactly who I am in love with.

Like: No, LOVE, Peeta. I know I've said this before, but he is so much like Chris is my opinion, if only Chris could bake and I wasn't allergic to flour. Sweet and sensitive, always paying attention to the smallest details. Strong and able, but not violent or angry. Able to see the positive, express himself well, and say the right thing at the right time. When he was hijacked, I just knew it was the authors way of getting him out of the way to clear the path for Gale and Katniss, and I was not happy that she destroyed my Peeta. She just barely made up for it.

Dislike: No, like quite a bit less, Gale. To be totally fair, you don't get to know Gale as well as you get to know Peeta. But he always seemed like he had a chip on his shoulder. A bit more angry or competitive than Peeta. But there were times, I admit, that my heart turned a bit and I wanted Gale and Katniss together, but they were few and far between. I do not, however, like how they ended it with Gale. Just taking off to a fancy new job and leaving Katniss without a second thought? Not sure about that one.

All through the last book I kept trying to decide who she would end up with. Both seemed like too obvious a choice. I even thought for a bit that everything would turn upside down and Katniss would fall for Finnick. Then I got pretty convinced she would end up with Gale, that Peeta was all freaked out and guilt ridden by his insanity and he would kill himself to save the both of them. I was preparing for the heartbreak. I literally shrieked when he asked if she loved him and she said "Real". De-lish. Though I don't really think she deserves him, kinda like I don't really deserve Chris. But some of us are lucky like that.

Like: The way the books are written from Katniss' perspective. I like how the language is pretty casual, like she is sitting next to you and telling the story like it just happened. And how its present tense (? I've been out of school too long) . . . Like she says "She crouches beside him and puts the coil in his hand" instead of "She crouched beside him and put the coil in his hand". Ok, I sound like I'm doing a homework assignment, but I thought that was a cool way to write and really fit Katniss' personality.

Dislike: Katniss' blackouts. A couple of times when Katniss got hurt or something, the author used it as an opportunity to . . . not write a bunch of big events, because Katniss wasn't there to witness them. Like when she got burned at the end of the Revolution, we hear about the end of the war, where everyone ended up, what happened to Peeta, and how Gale escaped in one single paragraph. The story lines were wrapped up too quickly when she did that.

Like: The portrayal of Panem. I loved how the future is portrayed. Its so interesting how the future is simultaneously so advanced and yet primitive. The people in the districts cook over fires and mine coal. Electricity is off and on, medicine is unavailable. But the Capital has all the magic one expects the future to have. I think its interesting how the author took the course of history, the destination of North America. Its a fascinating, yet depressing, view of what we could become.

Dislike: Violence, except not really. Ok, this one is making me wonder about myself. The "violence" in the book? Didn't really get to me. I mean the gory stuff didn't. Thus, I've come to two conclusions: either I'm a heartless psycho, or I don't have that great of an imagination when it comes to violence. Can we go with the latter? While I usually produce pretty vivid images that stick with me when I read a book, the gory scenes in the Hunger Games came out very tuned down in my mind. I'm guessing it let me enjoy the books more, because I wasn't distracted or freaked out. That's just how my brain works sometimes, kinda like how I tune dirty parts out of movies and totally forget about it, then recommend the movie to someone and the person is like "That movie was kinda dirty!" Whoops. Yeah, kinda like that.

Like: President Snow. I said it. I like him. Not as a person, but as the bad guy. He was unreachable, safe in his big city, playing with Katniss' life and sanity like she was a chess piece. And the roses were the perfect touch. Something that is traditionally used in a romantic way, symbolizing love. Twisted perfectly into something totally creepy. Don't think I'll ever be thinking of roses the same way. Thanks goodness my wedding took place before these books came out, because I did love my bouquet of roses.

Like: The way the series ended. Love that she ended up with Peeta. Love that all the lose ends came together. Love that Prim died. Heartless? No, if anyone deserved an escape, it was her. And someone really important to Katniss needed to die, and making it Gale or Peeta would have been too easy. Love that they had an epilogue that included babies that looked like Peeta and Katniss. Chris will tell you, I like stories that end in weddings and babies, not "I love you" or a kiss. We need a real happily ever after. Well, as much of one as you can have in the aftermath of Panem.

Dislike: The way the series ended. Mentioned before, the author wrapped things up too quickly. Between Katniss being out after being burned, and being locked away after killing Coin, it was finished in a blur. Oh, I do love that Katniss killed Coin, but I don't like how she was declared innocent based on insanity, and that Coin wasn't really exposed for what she was. I don't like Katniss's attitude in the end. How she was all depressed and seemed like "Ok, I guess this is my life." She got the ultimate reward: a life, loving husband, children. And of course she would have lingering emotional trauma, but you think she would be a little more positive in the end. That she survived. That she transformed Panem. That she beat the Games.

On the whole, I loved the series, though I did think each book was slightly less good than its predecessor, which is not uncommon. I flew through Hunger Games, ate up every word. Fell in love with Peeta, worried about Prim, stressed over Katniss. I really liked Catching Fire as well, especially as it shifted primary focus from the Games themselves to the Revolution as a whole. Mockingjay was slower on the uptake, and it took longer for me to get into it (like a few days rather than a few minutes). Then at the end everything wrapped up so quickly, like the author didn't want to write another book but she still had a million things to cover. But I will have to say that to date its one of my favorite series ever. {Gasp!} I'm not sure why, but I enjoyed my trip to Panem more than my trips to Forks or Hogwarts (still working my way through Hogwarts . . . ). My greatest fear at this point is that they will make the books into corny teeny bopper movies and there will be "Team Peeta" t-shirts (though . . . . just might buy one of those. ha!) and its quality will be lost in an annoying trendy obsession. Just like the destruction of the Twilight Saga. I've already declared to Chris I will never be seeing any Hunger Games movie. There.

How about you? What did you like? Dislike?

Saturday, October 9, 2010


We love fall.
I think everyone does.
But we do, too.
Since its fall, we decided to do some fall-ing.
We headed out to Uncle John's Cider Mill with some friends from Chris's program.
We enjoyed:
caramel apples
fresh cider
pumpkin doughnuts
wagon ride
pumpkin patch.
We also came home with some Snickers fudge (mmmmm) and honey crisp apples.
If you ever consider moving to Michigan, honey crisp apples are reason enough to make the leap.
{caramel apple's biggest fan}
{looking at the airplane with Becca}
 {our little sunflower}
 {wagon ride}
 {how tall this fall? we'll have to make it a tradition}
 {heavy lifting}
 {picking the perfect pumpkin}
{it was a seriously exhausting, but fun, morning}
When we got home, Carly proceeded to fall asleep for 3 hours and I accidentally joined her for 2.
Meanwhile, Chris was at the adult session of Stake Conference.
He is the good one.
Apparently, I'm being cursed for missing it, as the Twins lost and are out of the playoffs, the Pens have started their season 0-2, and I've got a zit on my forehead that hurts like the dickens.
But other than that, it was a fabulous fall day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

twenty four.

I turned 24 yesterday.
It was a nice day.
We had a picnic at the park with lots of friends.
It was warm and sunny.
And there were lots of bees.
But it was fun to spend the afternoon with friends.
{picnic time . . . decked out in our baseball gear for the playoffs . . .
her bow has baseballs on it. thanks Dore!}

 One friend brought me flowers.
I was sitting at the picnic table and she said "I brought you something. Let me go get it."
Her 3 year old daughter came and sat next to me and said, "My mommy got you flowers."
It was funny.
And sweet.
I'm grateful for the wonderful friends we have made here so quickly.
My birthday afternoon was a lazy one.
When Carly went down, I watched my guilty pleasure (Teen Mom, anyone?), and laid around and read Mockingjay when the UPS delivery man brought it to my doorstep (thanks again, Jenny!).
Of course, this left the house in ruins, but it was my birthday, after all.
Chris came home and brought me my fav, Jimmy Johns.
Then we scooted the couches back and played with lots of toys.
And built a fort.
And cheered wildly for the Twins.
Who almost won.
But lost.
Thanks for spoiling my perfect birthday, stupid Yankees.
{wild child}
 {just another day in paradise}
 {birthday fort}
I got cards in the mail, texts, emails, and, of course, the Facebook well wishes.
I felt well-loved all day. 
It was a relaxed {perfect} birthday.
P.S. Today I finally got Carly to sit long enough to let me put piggies in her hair.
Only took a cell phone, 3 pencils, mascara tube, and a blow dryer.
But, it makes her look all grown up, does it not?