Thursday, February 7, 2013

The haps

I opened my eyes this morning feeling very refreshed. I must have slept well. The sun is shining and I have an attitude I am proud of today! Oh what a good night's sleep will do for us.

We are currently in the midst of big changes around here. Kyle just started his last semester as a college student. What a relief/blessing/long time coming! We are so excited for May to hurry up and get here so this boy can celebrate all his hard work. He has been working close to full time, volunteering at the fire department, raising a tiny child, and studying full time and I can truly say, he deserves a break, a big congratulatory hug and many many great things and opportunities to come his way. Speaking of my husband, he just put in his first application for a fire-fighting position! And the best news, it is for Central Pierce! While he still has a long way to go in terms of checking off his to do list in becoming fire fighter certified, his enthusiasm and motivation to put himself out there is inspiring. We know his odds are slim; they are hiring 11 positions and hundreds will apply, but those odds don't weigh him down. He is absolutely determined, and that is something to make a wife proud. So! We will see what happens :) Right now I am just dreaming of him getting a job where we are currently located. How amazing would that be? A miracle, I tell you!


As many of you know, we just got back from a family vacation to DISNEYLAND! I know, I know, what were we thinking?! Yes, I am aware Winn will not remember meeting Goofy or Minnie, she won't remember the castle, or riding Pirates of the Carribean, Peter Pan, amongst many others.... but I will never forget watching her see it all for the first time. She was a joy to behold. Truth is, I am still so young at heart. I eat up Disneyland like a 5 year old. I just can't get enough! But as we left the park for the last time on our trip, I couldn't help but say aloud that this was my favorite time yet. It's becoming clearer and clearer how much of a mom I am. Experiencing Disneyland with my daughter was like doing it for the first time for me, too. Watching and enjoying it all through the eyes of a little baby was indescribable. Her happiness was my happiness. And although she doesn't understand much right now, it was still so fun to show her all of my favorite things and watch her light up and point at whatever catches her eye (pretty much anything and everything, really). She loved to walk around on her own and you could tell how proud of herself she was. She loved to wave at all the characters, even on the rides, until she got too close, then it'd be tears. She was a total trooper and far exceeded my expectations. Her patience was tested and she laughed in it's face! And thankfully, she submitted and fell asleep in her stroller on more than one occasion ;-) I have many take-aways from traveling with Winnie. One: pack way more diapers than you think necessary, chances are she will use every last one of them! Two: know ahead which bathroom on the plane has the diaper station. (I stupidly thought they both had them and didn't think to look before entering, hence me changing a baby on my lap...I should get an award for that.) Three: even if your baby never has blow outs, ALWAYS pack a change of clothes (really learned our lesson with that one!). Four: prepare yourself beforehand that no matter how hard you try, you can't get rid of germs. They are everywhere and as much as you sanitize or wipe down, that baby of yours is gonna find the spot that you missed. Get over it and move on, she will survive and you can save yourself the exhaustion. Five: I gotta give the babe more credit! In many cases she did better than my husband did, who got winy or tired or you name it, wayyy before she did! Haha, sorry Ky, but let's be honest. Winnie rose to the occasion every time and powered through it like a champ. Despite her getting sick an hour before we left for the airport, oh did I forget to mention that? Yep. Poor girl had a terrible cough and a very runny nose almost the whole trip. In summation, yes, I would do it again. In a heartbeat. She was a fabulous travel companion (ask Kyle for his seperate opinion on that topic), I can't wait to go on another journey with her! I'm thinking next is NYC :)


As for me, I finally bit the bullet and picked up another day at work. For this long, I just couldn't do it! I'd rather be broke and with my girl than the opposite. However, reality isn't that way. And actually I am really looking forward to it. My amazing SIL offered to watch Winnie while I work and Ky is at school. How awesome is that?! It'll only be for a few hours because he will be done with class fairly early. She was so excited to get more time with her and I just feel so blessed for that. We have amazing family and I need to remind myself of that daily.

Also, I've been working at becoming a runner. My friend told me about this app that trains you to become a 5k runner, and surprisingly so, I took on the challenge. 5k isn't much, but it's a starting point. I have been doing it for a few weeks now and am really loving it! Who would have thought?? Thankfully the weather has been cooperative as I've had many sunny days to enjoy while jogging. Who knows, maybe this will lead to something much longer than a 5k..... I can dream!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

a first birthday

This morning I woke up in high anticipation for the biggest day. A day of celebration, and a day of FIRSTS! Normally we lay in bed waiting for Winn to make her "ok, people it's time to get up now!' noises, but instead I rolled over and gave Ky the "look" and he knew what I was thinking. So I ran to her room, scooped her up and brought her back to bed with us. We spent the morning cuddling and laughing and giving lots of kisses. It was the best start to my day I've had in a long, long time. She learned to clapwhile we layed there, too. And I mean, really learned it. She kept doing it over and over. And then whenever time would pass, we'd remind her of what she'd learned, and she would do it again! She knew today was a big one, and one that deserved lots of cheering and clapping.

It is so hard to imagine a year ago, she was nestled inside my belly. And how wild that now I can't imagine a day without her. She has changed my life in more ways than I could ever anticipate. I feel so completely blessed by her sweetness and her easy-going personality. She has made the transition for us practically effortless. We really hit the jackpot with her! If ever there was a day I could go on and on about how great she is, I'd think it'd be today, right?? The girl has slept through the night since about four months. She eats just about everything. No wait, she definitely eats everything if you put it in front of her! She is content playing by herself. She is a quiet girl who likes to soak up her environment and just take it all in. She smiles whenever I do anything silly. She is such a love! One of the first things she learned to do on command was give kisses. I just melt! Her favorite stuffed animal is Mr. Fox, and she could just sit there and give him kisses and squeezes all day. I cannot believe how lucky we've gotten with her. Truly blessed.

Winnie was such a happy birthday girl today. She let out plenty of squeals of excitement along the way, too! The only time she wasn't at her happiest was when we had to take her dessert away. She didn't like that. So she cried. And we let her because it was her birthday.

Oh my sweet Winnie. You make me one very, very happy mama. I am so glad we got to spoil you today and show you how to celebrate in fashion. You will never know just how much I adore everything last, little thing about you. Happy first birthday, my girl.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A pinterest-ing find

25 ways to communicate respect to your husband without saying a word

--I pinned this link the other day because it seemed close to home... I am a newlywed remember?! How great to add a few new tools to my belt right off the get-go. After reading it, I felt totally inspired and ready to tackle this marriage/partnership in a healthy, happy way. I would ordinarily just post the link on here in hopes that you'd follow it and read the article. But this is too good not to just put straight on here. It's helping me and I hope it can help someone else see things differently, too!

 1.Choose Joy

It’s true: A happy wife makes a happy life. Please don’t use moodiness as an attempt to manipulate your man, but in all things rejoice, because that’s the right thing to do. (1 Thessaonians 5:16; Philippians 4:4)

2.Honor His Wishes

Give weight to what your husband thinks is important. Make those things a priority that matter most to him, whether it’s having dinner ready when he gets home from work or keeping the house tidy or limiting computer time. Don’t make him ask twice. (Philippians 2:4)

3.Give Him Your Undivided Attention

Yes, I know that women are masters of multi-tasking, but when your husband is speaking to you, make a point to lay other tasks aside, look into his eyes, and listen to what he is saying with the goal of understanding and remembering his words.

4.Don’t Interrupt

Have you ever been around a person who won’t let you finish a sentence? That gets old fast. Even if you think you already know what your husband is going to say, allowing him to say it without cutting him off mid-sentence shows both respect and common courtesy.

5.Emphasize His Good Points

Sure, he has his faults (as do you), but dwelling on them will only make you (both) miserable. Choose instead to focus on those qualities in your husband that you most admire. (Philippians 4:8)

6.Pray for Him

Ruth Graham advises wives to “tell your mate the positive, and tell God the negative.” Take your concerns to God. Faithfully lift up your husband in prayer every day, and you will likely notice a transformation not only in him, but in yourself, as well. (Philipians 4:6-7; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

7.Don’t Nag

Your husband is a grown man, so don’t treat him like a two-year-old. Leave room for God to work. You are not the Holy Spirit, so do not try to do His job.

8.Be Thankful

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Don’t take your husband for granted. Be appreciative for everything he does for you, whether big or small. Always say thank you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20)

9.Smile at Him

Smiles spread happiness. Smiles have even been shown to create happiness. Smiles are contagious. And a smile makes any woman more beautiful.

10.Respond Physically

Did you know that the way you respond (or don’t respond) to your husband’s romantic overtures has a profound effect on his self-confidence? Don’t slap him away when he tries to hug you or make excuses when he’s in the mood. Your enthusiastic cooperation and reciprocation will not only assure him of your love, but will make him feel well-respected, too. (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)

11.Eyes Only for Him

Don’t compare your husband unfavorably to other men, real or imaginary. It is neither fair nor respectful and will only breed trouble and discontent. Avoid watching movies or reading books that might cause you to stumble in this area, as well. (Psalm 19:14; Proverbs 4:23)

12.Kiss Him Goodbye

I once read about a study done in Germany which found that men whose wives kissed them goodbye every morning were more successful than those who weren’t kissed. Success and respect often go hand-in-hand, so be sure to send him off right, and don’t forget to greet him with a kiss when he returns home, for good measure. (2 Corinthians 13:12)

13.Prepare His Favorite Foods

Although the rest of the family is not overly-fond of spaghetti, my husband loves it, so I try to make it at least two or three times a month as a way to honor him. Next time you’re planning meals, give special consideration to your husband’s preferences. (Proverbs 31:14-15)

14.Cherish Togetherness

I love to sit near my husband, whether at home or away. Our church shares potluck dinners every Sunday afternoon, and although the men and women normally sit separately to visit, I like to position myself close enough to my husband that I can listen to the conversation, as I think everything he says is so interesting. At home, I’ll take my book or handwork to whatever room in the house he’s working in, just to be close to him, because I enjoy his company, even when neither of us is talking.

15.Don’t Complain

Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer. It is grating on the nerves. Remember the serenity prayer: accept the things you can’t change, courageously change the things you can, seek wisdom to know the difference. (Philippians 2:14)

16.Resist the Urge to Correct

I know one wife whose spouse can’t tell a story without her stopping him fifteen times to correct inconsequential details: “It wasn’t Monday evening, it was Monday afternoon…. It wasn’t blue, it was turquoise…. He didn’t ride the bus, he took a shuttle.” Please. Please. Please. Don’t ever do that to your husband — or to anyone else, for that matter! (Proverbs 17:28)

17.Dress to Please Him

Take care of your appearance. Choose clothes your husband finds flattering, both in public and around the house.

18.Keep the House Tidy

To the best of your abilities, try to maintain a clean and orderly home. Seek to make it a haven of rest for your entire family. (Proverbs 31:27)

19.Be Content

Do not pressure your husband to keep up with the Jonses. Take satisfaction in the lifestyle he is able to provide for you. (1 Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 13:5)

20.Take His Advice

Do not dismiss his opinions lightly, especially when you’ve asked for his counsel in the first place. Make every effort to follow your husband’s advice.

21.Admire Him

Voiced compliments and heartfelt praise are always welcome, but you should also make it your habit to just look at your husband in a respectful, appreciative way. Think kind thoughts toward him. He’ll be able to see the admiration in your eyes. (Luke 6:45)

22.Protect His Name

Honor your husband in the way you speak of him to family and friends. Guard his reputation and do not let minor disagreements at home cause you to speak ill of him in public. Live in such a way that it will be obvious to others why your husband married you in the first place. (Proverbs 12:4; 22:1)

23.Forgive His Shortcomings

In the words of Ruth Bell Graham, “A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” Please do not hold grudges against your husband. Do not allow a root of bitterness or resentment find a home in your heart. Forgive your husband freely, as Christ has forgiven you. (Mark 11:25; Matthew 18:21-35)

24.Don’t Argue

You are not always right, and you do not always have to have the last word. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry.” Be willing to accept the blame. It takes two to argue, so “abandon a quarrel before it breaks out.” (Proverbs 17:14; 21:19; 25:24)

25.Follow His Lead

If you want your husband to lead, you must be willing to follow. Neither a body nor a family can function well with two heads. Learn to defer to your husband’s wishes and let final decisions rest with him. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

This list is written by a woman named Jennifer Flanders, who also wrote a book called Love Your Husband, Love Yourself. Here is a link to her blog

Get inspired and enjoy!


Oh my Winnie darling.

She is ten months old! That first birthday is quickly approaching and I can't decide whether I am more excited or sad that my baby girl is growing up. There is absolutely no stopping it from happening. She is becoming quite the mobil, curious, silly, sneaky girl and each day it is getting harder and harder to keep up with her. But talk about rewarding! The things she learns in the span of one day rattles my brain. I love hearing her babble, almost like she's having a full on conversation with herself. I love watching her crawl, and stand up and crouch. I have recently decided to start giving her free reign to feed herself at some meals. Yesterday I mashed up some peas and she just thought it was the funnest thing in the world to grab them with her fingers and shove it in her mouth. She has this odd habbit of every time she takes a bite, she immediately puts her fist in her mouth. It can get real tiresome if I'm spoon feeding her purees. Must be teething. I've learned when in doubt, crabby, tired, not tired, rashy, cranky, screaming, fever...blame it on the teething. Anyway, I've done the same with shredded bits of apple. She enjoys the freedom and learning how to be more self sufficient. And let me tell you, the girls LOVES her water! In the beginning it was hard just getting her to take one sip of it, but now she drinks non stop it seems. After the honeymoon I declared that Winnie and I are inseperable for life. I just don't think I could go another day without seeing her, touching her, kissing her, making her laugh.... it was too hard! So now, we spend every second together just about. Except when I have to work or when she's sleeping and even still it's hard to leave her! She thinks I'm pretty funny. Mind you, I do whatever it takes, as silly or embarassing as it may be, to make her laugh. Yesterday morning as I was mopping the floors, I had her bouncer positioned right at the landing of the kitchen into the family room, and we were listening to the wedding CD... well she just thought it was the funniest thing to watch me dance with no inhibition. Frank even had to join in. Just laughing away! I do it for her. I love those moments.

More about my sweetie---

anything involving being outside
discovering new things
making pouty faces
her Mimi and grandpa
morning time
sweet potato
standing up
unfolding newly folded clothes
car keys

Not a fan of:
nap time
wearing shoes
sitting in the same spot for more than 5 seconds

She's a hoot. Gotta love her!

Monday, September 10, 2012

happy & grateful

August. What a month of changes. So many highs and one really big low. It's been hard figuring out how to cope with it all. I will say, I am happy, no, thrilled, to have married Kyle. What an unforgettable night! We have never felt more surrounded by love and wonderful people than we did that night. We just kept saying to each other "I wish we could stay up here all night" (as we ate dinner and shared toasts and looked at the most beautiful faces staring back up at us). My heart is so full with gratitude and appreciation for those who've reached out to us, picked us up, gave us hugs, sent heartwarming cards, shared our joy on the biggest day of our lives. Thank you. You will never know just how much we needed that celebration. To commit our love and devotion to each other for eternity and to let go of much sadness surrounding Kyle's father. It was quite the mix of emotions on our wedding day. Not for one second did we stop thinking of John or miss him or wish that he was there with us. He would have looked so handsome in his polka dot bow tie! But with sorrow and grief, comes a lighter heart every day. We are learning to find new happiness and embrace each day for new chances, new beginnings, new friendships, more love and definitely more laughter.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catch up, will ya?

Woah! It's been awhile. How are ya?

Life has been crazy busy and so good. Feels like we've been living in the fast lane for the last year. I wouldn't change a thing! Well maybe something, but I can't think of what. It's been stressful, trying, triumphant and very, very rewarding. We moved a little over two months ago. Talk about a big adjustment! No longer did we have mom and dad close by to run to (aside from being nearly right across the street from them now :)), to make us dinner when we were too tired and too broke to do it ourselves.. oh the changes we face when we finally have to grow up and move on!

I love our place. It is so us. We have a big front and back yard, and a quaint living space, really. I just started my own garden. Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, peppers... yumm!! Oh, but it just didn't feel complete until we welcomed a new doggy into our home and into our family! Frank, previously Dartagnon, came to us from another family who was forced to give him up. I just can't think for the life of me why or how someone could give him away. He's an 18 month old Bernese Mountain Dog and he is sweeter than sweet. In fact, I just so happen to think he is sweeter than the half dozen sweety chocolately cupcakes he devoured the other day. Ok, so maybe he has some things to work through. But who doesn't? Despite the unforseen astronomical vet bill, we still love him fiercely. He brings such a dynamic aspect to our home. Frank adores us. I mean, really adores us.  He's a whole lotta dog, a whopping 100lbs and still growing! But he's gentle and listens better than Kyle most days ;) Winnie thinks he's pretty special, too.

Kyle is still busy with school and work and being a new daddy. Oh, and to top it all off, he is starting training to become a firefighter. The guy just can't get enough of life-- it's one of the things I love most about him. Eventhough the days are long and grueling, he wants more. A lot more. Most don't know how he does it. But I do. He's magic. There, the secret's out!

Winnie recently turned six...six...SIX months old. Wait, hold the phone, where did the time go?! Will I always be asking that? I have a feeling the answer is yes. That little girl. Oh my goodness, I could talk about her for days. It's true. My world revolves around this little person. She is growing and becoming so playful and silly, and yet still has her serious side from time to time. She sits on her own. She has a funny giggle. She loves when we pop up and scare her. She puts up with my terrible singing and uncoordinated dance moves, and loves me beyond all things. She needs me. And I have come to realize that I really need her. She makes life so fascinating and thrilling, madening sometimes, but again, I wouldn't change a thing. Now that Winnie is eating solid foods, our feeding times have gotten much more pleasant and less frustrating. She will eat you under the table any day of the week! Her favorite is sweet potato. And bananas. And pears. And peas. And carrots-- can't forget about carrots! From the beginning we called her Winn The Bin, I don't really know why or how we came up with that nickname, but it's stuck. Tonight, she pooped in the bath. And yes, I was in it with her. Usually I love our bathtime together, but after scooping her doodies out with my bare hands, I can't fathom when we will share that time again. I'm sure by tomorrow it'll all be forgotten, but for right now-- yuck!! Was that too much? ;-) I'm going to keep going. If that's alright with you? Winn sleeps through the night most nights. After finally transitioning her into the crib (yes, it took us until she was about 5 months because we were just flat out scared of what it'd be like) bedtime actually got much easier. I think she likes the freedom. She is a real water baby! I mean, she LOVES it. She splashes and smiles constantly. And now that warm weather has finally showed up at our doorstep, we are soaking up every ounce of it we can.

It's funny how a year and a half ago how different life was. And now I can't even picture that life we were once living. Of course, I miss the freedom every once and a while, and alone time, but wow, a life without my sweet Winnie girl? Cannot begin to think of that! And luckily, I don't have to :) Ok, I feel better now. Who knows when I'll be back again, but I hope it's soon. Goodnight!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Engagement shots

Courtesy of Jeff Marsh,

We had an absolute blast working with him! He did such a great job getting us to relax and just act natural. Can't wait to take more pictures with him on our WEDDING DAY! That's right--we have a day! August 24, 2012 to be exact :) Save the dates will be in the mail soon, so stay tuned.