Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Apartment Living

As you all know, Paul is working in Tennessee building some apartments. He recently got an apartment (1 bedroom) and Courtney and I are here visiting for 2 weeks. Tomorrow is our 1 week mark and I'll tell you what, we love it here! Those of you who know me know (I say think) I am spoiled and pretty high maintenance. (I prefer well taken care of and clean) Many would have doubted me living in an apartment, as I did. But I'll tell you what, the simple fact that my husband is here, I get to see him every day, I get to sleep next to him at night, and Courtney gets to kiss him goodnight (many many times) makes it ALL worth it.

There is about 1/4 the space than our house, Courtney trumps us and takes the bedroom so Paul and I are camping in the living room every night, there is only 1 bathroom, no wireless internet, no kitchen table and everything is miniature - the fridge is smaller, the bathtub is tiny, even the kitchen sink is super shallow; none of which I realized until I had a house. But you know what? I don't even mind; it's less to clean! I am so happy to just be here and have our little family together, I thank the Lord that I am able to be here for so long and not have to report to a 'job' and leave my husband.

Last night we were all hanging out in the living room and Paul and I were both messing with our phones and I realized Courtney doesn't call him anymore. Since we got here she has not picked up my phone to call Dada, not once. How incredible is that, a 1 year old has the security that she gets to see her Dada every day and doesn't need to call him. Although she has been sick since we got here, she is so happy to have her Mama AND Dada every day. The other night she gave him a kiss 'ni-ni', walked about 5 feet, turned around and gave him another - turned back around, walked about 10 feet and went back for yet another. She did that about 5 more times until she finally climbed up in Dada's lap with tears running down both of our faces. It was the most adorable thing ever.

Side note - Ethan did that when we first moved out to Arkansas. We dropped him off at his mom's house and as we were driving away he came running up, opened the truck door and said to Paul "just one more" and kissed him, climbed out and closed the door. Aren't children just amazing some times?

Anyway, here are some pictures from the past week here in Tennessee.

This one is at the shopping center (there are sooooooo many of them here!). This is in the family bathroom where there is a mini toilet for the little ones. I had to take a picture.

Dada got Courtney her own baby in a car seat, she is pretty rough putting her in the seat and kinda smacks her around when she carries the seat, but she loves it.

I was taking Courtney swimming yesterday and this is how she came around the corner...I guess I left the 'under garment' drawer open...(that's a sports bra, not underwear!)

Paul got me the best sticker ever!

She LOVES shoes...

After scooping out the apple sauce she decided to arrange her chicken sticks nicely in order.

Not my typical baby who hates the tv. I put a Christian dvd on this morning and she was mesmerized, even climbed up on the couch to watch it with me.

She's not really that fat, just a bad angle. :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Support Our Troops

Yesterday Courtney and I flew to Tennessee to visit Paul for a couple weeks. Our first flight was to Atlanta where we had a little over an hour before the next flight. We went to Starbucks of course then back to wait for our plane. I couldn't help notice ALL the military men and women in the airport and most of them were on our flight. I was instructed to get a picture with one of them and Courtney, but I went for it and ask a bunch of them to get a picture with her. They were happy to do so. I had originally placed Courtney down in front of them and this nice man picked her up for a better shot. She didn't even mind. I ended up talking to them for a while and they really touched my heart in so many ways. They were all 'on leave' from Iraq. They had been there for months and were going home for 18 days, then back for 3 or 4 months. They had been traveling for over 54 hours at this point and they were all so polite and happy and played with Courtney. One guy (around my age) was going home to his wife and 1 year old daughter. I asked him when the last time he saw his daughter was and he told me not since the day she was born. That broke my heart! He was very interested in Courtney and so sweet to her. He was nervous that his little girl wouldn't recognize him. I can't even imagine. That reminded me how blessed I am to get to see my little girl every day, all day, any time I want; oh how I take that for granted.

I had sent the picture of Courtney and the guys to Stefani (Ethan's mom) and she said to hold on...and she sent me a picture of Ethan and Anna with a sign that said "Thank You". I showed all the guys and they were touched, then one guy said 'hold on'...and he drew a little sign that said "You're Welcome" for me to send back to Ethan and Anna.

As we were boarding, one guy came over and handed a patch to Courtney - said he wanted her to have it. That about brought tears to my eyes, how sweet is that! What a great bunch of people. I hope we are all so grateful for these men and women and what they are fighting for. They are tough, they are strong, they have drive to protect our country and they have huge hearts.

When you support our troops, I hope you do it in many ways. I personally pray for them often (especially now that Blaine is one of them) and I always say "thank you" when I see one in uniform, but yesterday I realized that they often need more support than that.

When we arrived to Nashville I didn't go the way I should have; down to baggage claim. I'm not really sure why I didn't, I guess I was being put in a different place by the Lord. As I walked around upstairs (when I should be down stairs) I found my way to go down stairs and also saw a guy in uniform using a pay phone. I didn't think that was right so I offered him my cell phone. He reluctantly used it to call his father; who was not at the airport and was not going to be at the airport any time soon. I couldn't believe it, this guy is off in war, comes home for a mere 18 days and his family isn't there WAITING for him? I can not even imagine that. I heard him tell his dad that he would just get a cab and a hotel and get off the phone. When he handed me the phone back I asked him if he needed a ride to his Dad's, and he said he had moved while he was at war and didn't know where his new place was. I told him Paul was down stairs and to come with me and we'd take him where ever he needed to go. Again, he reluctantly came with me. As we were walking away there was another guy on the pay phone and I gave him my phone also. He called his mom and she was on her way. In the elevator going down to baggage I jokingly said 'you guys need a new family' and they both agreed and said that is why they joined the Army in the first place. As I talked to Julian (the soldier we were going to give a ride to) I found out that he has been enlisted for 2 1/2 years, he's stationed out of Kansas, will be in Iraq for almost another year, only has his Dad and some distant brothers and sisters in Nashville, and does administrative work for the Army. We didn't end up giving him a ride, he called a buddy who said he would come get him but as we were walking away I stopped and went back to ask for his email address. I thought, this is such a great opportunity to try to make a difference, to be some one who cares. So I got his email address and thanked him again.

So when I say "Support Our Troops", think about how else you can support them next time you see a man or women in uniform.

Here are some pictures from yesterday.

This patch is apparently a 101st Airborne Infantry patch. I sent the picture to Blaine and he was literally speechless. He said that was the sweetest thing for the guy to do and it isn't just an every day thing for someone to give that away.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Proud Redesign...for free

When I was pregnant I did a lot of watching TLC. Apparently I was paying attention because I have successfully redesigned/redecorated our room; for free. OK, not 100% for free, but just about. I did buy the 2 side tables at Hobby Lobby. But, if you know Hobby Lobby, you know everything is 50%, all the time. So I really only bought one table. Anyway, I am so proud of myself and my sister even says it looks good. Since no one ever comes out to our house, I felt the need to post pictures to get some recognition. I'm not totally done, but what I want to do cost money. So, I'm done for now. What do you think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

More CA

When we got back from the lake (read prior post if you haven't read about the lake, it's fun) Courtney and I went to visit my family for a few days. In about the past 5 years I have really started to appreciate my grandparents and really enjoy spending time with them. Since Grandpa died last year I have been reminded of our short time here and have really tried to 'get to know' my grandma better. I'm not sure if it's my age, maturity or just God opening my eyes, but I love sitting and talking with my Grandparents now. I've always enjoyed them, but it's different now. Like I told Grandma a week or so ago..."it's like I realized you are a normal person all of a sudden". (she understood) So we just talk, we talk about Paul (she adores, she LOVES HIM TO PIECES!), we talk about the world and what is going on, we talk about Grandpa, we talk about her marriage, we talk about her memories, we talk about pretty much everything, some times even things I don't necessarily want to hear, but we talk and I enjoy it. Some day she will get to be with Grandpa and I really don't want to wonder if I could have gotten to know her better.

So, Grandma was our first stop in OC. Here is a cute picture of her and Courtney.
After Grandma's we went to Newport where my parents live and Courtney got to go to the beach for the first time. She did not like it at first, not only did she not like it, she hated it! Notice, she is not smiling.
Bopa tried to get her to like it since I couldn't.
So what if I copied Angela and Matt for this picture, it's still cute.
They don't have this one though, do they?

Walking with your grand-daughter on the beach: priceless

She says 'ewe, ewe'.
Run run run
This is just funny.

And after the beach we kept walking down to Balboa and she got to ride on a the carousel...she hated that too.

The last day we were in town we picked Grandma up for lunch and I kidnapped her for the day. Ok, I called the night before and asked if she wanted to hang out for the day; she checked her calender (literally) and agreed. So, after lunch at Friday's (try the Jack Daniel's burger, it rocks!) we went down to Irvine to some indoor kart racing. K1 something or other where I proceeded to not whoop my dad's butt which I had nicely told him I was going to do the night before. Although I improved each race (and we did come in 1st and 2nd two out of 3 races) he seemed to improve too. Whatever.
This is me, I'm going way faster than I look.
This is Dad, he is going as fast as he looks. :-)
When we pulled up to the racing place Grandma said, "oh, you weren't kidding".
In the racing seat...where she'll never be! hehe (sorry hun)
#1 baby

What a great trip.

We're back...for a few days

Well hello blogging world, I have missed you. I would have posted sooner but my husband sabotaged my internet while I was gone. I know he was upset that I got an extra week vacation so he took the closest thing to my heart...the internet! Little does he know that I am a genius and can fix any computer/internet problem. I don't think he really did it on purpose, but he was left here alone to try to get the computer working (one that has sat since we got the laptop) and the internet did mysteriously stop working while he was trying to do that.

Anyway, enough bashing my husband, as fun as it is. JK I love you honey! We are back from CA/Arizona. We had a wonderful time of course. The first week was spent out at Temple Bar which is pretty much in the middle of no where. It's awesome though, and a lot of fun and good quality family time. The kids had a blast, even though it got up to 116 degrees. Yes, I said 116 - and I am not even exaggerating. Actually, the day it was that hot, poor Ethan was running a fever and was sitting on Grandma's lap shivering with a towel wrapped around him. He got better the next day and was back out on the lake.

Here are a few (a lot) of pictures from the lake. I didn't even remember to copy the pictures from my mother-in-law's camera so I will post more when I get them.

This is at Buffalo Bills at state line. We drive there and stay for the night, the kids enjoy swimming and roller coasters when we get there. I enjoyed sleeping since I had the fever that eventually caused Ethan to be shivering in 116 degree weather.

Ethan finally got up on the wakeboard, he was so happy about it!

Fun with the 'big boys'. This was the last morning when he went out with just the guys and I guess he got a little tougher that day.

Paul, relaxing in the shade.

Fever day.

Typical lake baby picture.

Paul's sister is a riot. Go Green or go home.

"Call a vet because these puppies are sick"
Interupting a game of washer toss to be too cute.
Sleeping with Gaunga. (one of the ONLY people my daughter will sleep on)
Never too big for the kiddie pool.
...I don't even know...

Friday, July 4, 2008

CA here we come! ...and blackberry pictures

We are off to CA in the morning, we are soooooo excited! It's been a while since Paul has been able to take off work to go to the lake. This year it will be all of us, our perfect little family all gets to go. We're looking forward to the time with the Pursley's and just getting away. We go out to Lake Mead in Arizona where it's hot and there is no cell phone reception. Yes, I said it, no cell phone reception. Granted we don't have Verizon, so we don't have 'the network', we may see that guy out there saying "can you hear me now", but our phone won't work so that is RAD. It's just fun to get out and just spend some family time, play washer toss, play on the lake with the kids, and all that fun stuff. Not to mention it is beautiful in the mornings.

Here are are some pictures from my blackberry, there are A LOT of them as I always have that thing with me and there are so many photo ops these days.

This is lovely, I took Courtney to Stefani's for a few hours to go to Girls Night Out and this is the picture she sends me. Are you serious?!

These pictures are so out of order; this is just yesterday at the airport while we were waiting for Dada.

Just precious.

These don't do anything, don't bother buying them.

Courtney has not been feeling well; if you know her, you know she does NOT usually lay around.

A good reason to wean off the bottle.

No one is getting that sippy cup!

I know this is sideways but i don't know how to change it in here. I am so proud of myself as I cleaned out the 'black hole' as Ethan calls it.

Someone tell me how to rotate these in here. Or do I have to do it before I upload it?

Me looking cool in my mom's new car.

Is this thing silly?

Ok, there is a goat in the back of that jeep. A goat I tell you! It was looking at me like a dog, all normal, like he belongs in the back of a jeep!

At the doctor's office, getting ready to get shots.

Drinking out of a straw, I didn't know she knew how! (it's just water, she doesn't get soda)

Mom's new car that I look so cool in.

Double whammy here. New stroller courtesy of my mom; it's a Peg Perego, it's awesome, it has shocks, it lays down, it does all kinds of things, I think it even has cruise control! And Courtney has about 15 clips in her hair. She woke up and kept handing them to me to put in, she was very proud and felt very pretty.

I LOVE these moments. Headed to swimming lessons.

Only the largest piece of pizza in the world!

She got very upset when I put this toy back on the shelf, but we were just trying it out.

Our neighbor has a pond, and now she has ducks.

I made these! And ate them all!

Talking to Dada.

I so wanted Paul to get these glasses but he was like 'uh, NO'. Whatever, they are sweet!

Courtney wanted to take a shower with me, so she climbed in fully dressed while I was getting undressed.

I was cleaning the boat covers out and Mr. Frog came jumping out. He felt the need to supervise me as he would not go away, even when I sprayed him with the hose!

I was trying to take a picture of our starfish to show Paul, not working so well.

I feel like such a bad mom when she gets sick and I have no extra clothes. Redneck?

This is Kaylee, my niece, she is precious.

Our fish, AKA Ethan.