Friday, February 26, 2010


Levi has finally turned a corner in the whole getting-settled-into-a-new-life-funk.  He's been mostly sweet about the move and the marriage, but he's certainly had his quirky and trying moments...okay, more than just moments.  He was screaming every morning for at least 1/2 an hour...."I wanna go home!!!"  What a pleasant way to great the day.  He was also refusing to acknowledge that this was now our house.  Until two days ago he was referring to it only as "Teven's house".  If anyone mentioned that it was our or his house, Levi would scream, "Nooooo!"

But, then on Wednesday morning the screaming was oddly shorter than usual.  It was even followed by a very happy munchkin.  The happiness lasted the whole, entire day!  Thursday morning rolled around, and the screaming was almost unnoticeable.  And, the happiness returned for yet another whole, entire day.  Now, it's screaming...just happiness....except when I tell him he can't watch a movie, but that's really a whole other post.  Over the course of the past 2 1/2 days Levi has actually been referring to it as "our house" and "home."  Oh, sweet relief!

Now that laughter is back and we're on a happy note, I thought I'd leave you with some photos of the huge snow we got the day before our wedding.  A whopping SIX February!  What's up with that?!!!



For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mississippi landscapes...this much snow is unusual...anytime...especially in February.  But, hey, Levi thought it was the best thing in the world, and although, it was certainly cold, it was also undeniably beautiful.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet Dreams

My poor camera has been severely neglected lately.  Something about a wedding.  ;)  Therefore, there are no current Levi-sleeping-with-strange-objects pics to be had.  So, as a stand in for the normal Sweet Dreams post, I thought these just might do. 
Wasn't he the cutest little baby?  And, isn't she the cutest Aunt?
This one makes me smile.  We were trying to take Christmas photos, but the little munchkin (who was only about a month old) passed out on us...or more accurately on my dad.
Sigh...where did my baby go?

Monday, February 22, 2010


We are technically over our no good, very bad, rotten stinkin' awful stomach bug, but we are still recovering from our week of dealing with it plus moving, plus never ending home renovation projects, plus trying to get a two year old settled into a big change. So far Levi is okay with moving except in the morning when he screams at us from about 6:30-7:00 and then finally accepts oatmeal as a substitute for going home. Y'all, it's been a rough week.
On the upside I married an incredible man (who has changed a total of 5 of the nastiest diapers I've ever seen...all in one week) and we had a beautiful wedding.  So, here are a few pics of the wedding that I ripped off of my sister's facebook page. 

The "cake"...homemade cream puffs dusted with powdered sugar...heaven...
The eating of the "cake"...
One of our few family photos....Levi insisted on spending most of the wedding outside....And, oh, what's that you see covering the ground?  None other than snow in Mississippi in February....a rare event that obviously nixed my outdoor wedding plans.  It was beautiful at least.
Levi...because he's way cuter than us anyway...
And, the getaway...
So, there's a taste of it.  Once we get a little more settled in and I get my camera's memory card (and other people's photos...ahem...hint, hint.) then I promise I'll share more.  It really was lovely.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Still Here

We did get hitched. The day was fabulous. But, then Levi got sick. Then I got sick. And,we have no internet. Someone was supposed to hook it up today, but they seem to have forgotten.
I'm typing this on Stephan's phone which is turning out to be more complicated than I thought. I promise I'll be back soon with photos and tales of what an incredible guy I married....really, really fabulous. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guest Post: Erin

Last but definitely not least we have the ever so wonderful Erin from It's Your Movie to finish us off.  She's a mama to two intensely adorable little ones, and she's just announced that a third is on the way!  Erin blogs with a genuineness and candidness that is so very endearing.  You should definitely head over and give her a huge "Congratulations!!"

It has taken me a long time to write this post.  I'm sure Madeline had no idea what a funny subject marriage is for me.  I have avoided blogging about my wedding and marriage for a long time, but I feel compelled to tell this story.  This is all I know about marriage.


I cannot believe the path I took to get to where I am.

I married my high school sweetheart when I was 20 and he was 22.  It's a long story, but we got married for all the wrong reasons and in the wrong way.

Our wedding was in a courtroom on a Wednesday afternoon.  I didn't even really do my hair.  My mom wasn't there.  I wore a $300 floral Nanette Lepore sundress I bought at Nordstrom the day before. I felt important as I was purchasing that dress but nothing like a bride when I was inside of it.  My shoes were pinchy and I remember the judge looking a little like he disapproved as he read us our vows.  We repeated a few things and signed something.  Then we were married.  We didn't have wedding rings.  We didn't go on a honeymoon.  We loved each other but we didn't know what we were doing.  I have a lot of regrets in this area.

We weren't very nice to each other or good at being married for the first couple of years.  It was confusing. I have regrets in this area too.

It wasn't until three years later when I (tada!) got pregnant with our first baby that we figured it all out and really learned how to be married.  No, actually not "to be married" -- to be partners in a marriage.  I remember one particular evening during my pregnancy, I went to take my nightly bath and instead of grabbing my well-worn copy of "The Mother of All Pregnancy Books", I grabbed a bible.  I read a little but I mostly prayed.  I broke down and sobbed and asked for help and forgiveness and a path that made sense.  I asked God to show me how to be a wife.  It's funny that most women freak out about impending motherhood, but being a mom never worried me.  I had a weird innate confidence that I could be a good mom, but I also knew I couldn't truly succeed at motherhood without first learning to be a good wife.

I don't know if I am a "good" wife now or not, but I know that I try really hard.  I am very mindful of my job and my commitment to my husband, but I'm not perfect and always wish I could be better.  I am and always will be a work in progress.
I do know that I love my husband entirely.  We are not exactly the same and it sometimes takes a lot of my patience to balance our personality types, but I think he's the coolest person I know and when I wake up at night and look at him I kind of want to wake him up too so I can hang out with him some more.  I miss him when he's at work and I do everything I can to make his day easier.  And every single morning when I wake up and head out to the kitchen to give the kids breakfast the sink is empty, the dishwasher is running, and the coffee pot is full.   This is his way of saying, "I want to do everything I can to make your day easier" and I can feel it all over as I pour my coffee.

We've been married for almost seven years now and I am thankful every day that this is my life and that he is my husband.
One of these days, we are taking that honeymoon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Guest Post: Dera: For Better, Worse, Sickness, Health, and Sink Full of Dirty Dishes

The next gal in the line up of guest bloggers is Dera from Casablanca.  If I could plan my own neighborhood (as in exactly who lived in it) Dera would definitely be one of my neighbors.  Our ridiculously cute children would play together while we had tea and gardened.  It would totally rock.  And, seriously, if you haven't checked out Dera's blog yet, you are missing something special.

Sweet Madeline was kind enough to ask me to be a guest writer while she goes on her wedding break.  I happily agreed, thought of at least a hundred personal funny wedding accounts (although you could click here for a good one) that I could choose from to use for my guest post, and then slowly began to forget each of these stories over the weeks to come OR they lost their humor the more I thought about them OR I became distracted by the numerous distractions that are so distracting that they can actually distract me from the first distraction.  Every time I'd sit at my computer at the end of the day, one of the following events would occur:

1. Terry (husband, web designer by day, movie-watching steam-blower by night) would kindly ask me to get off the computer so that he could (and I quote) "spend a fraction of the time with his wife as those ladies in the computer get of me".

2.  A child would come out of their bedroom, complaining that she had a nightmare, in need of a happy story.  (Something you don't know about my super special children?  They have the ability to enter REM only seconds after being put to bed!  Amazing, I know.)

3.  The current furniture arrangement of our living room looks directly into the dining room, which ultimately is the tunnel room into the kitchen.  Straight back to the kitchen sink to be exact.  If the dishes hadn't been finished by the time my butt was ready to plant itself onto the couch for the night, I would eventually be guilted into getting back into the kitchen each time I caught sight of the mountain of stinky pots in my sink.  (Note to self: rearrange the furniture.)

4.  I would find myself browsing around Terry's favorite online shops, in search of the perfect present for his upcoming birthday.

5.  I would read Madeline's blog, captured by a another Levi-hammer-bedtime-lovey anecdote (!!!), making me long for a little boy of my own.

6.  I'd download pictures from whatever backyard adventures me and my girls had that day, lovingly reminiscing the day's ordinary events as if we had gone to the moon and back.

7.  I'd fall comatose by the warmth of the laptop on my lap, the fire that was built for me in our little living room fireplace, and my couchmate, Terry.

So why am I telling you this?  This was not intended to be the happy funny super-fantastic wedding memory I wanted to bestow as a gift to the bride-to-be.  It's not just to justify my tardy post (although I hope it does), but to serve as a reminder of what this is.  THIS is life shared.  Life shared is busy and chaotic at times, but isn't that what it's all about?  What good is it if not shared with a handsome couchmate and cutest offspring this side of the Mississippi?  (And guuuurl, I've seen the pictures and he is one handsome couchmate.)  What better wishes can I give than that?

~Madeline, here's to nights of fewer blog posts and more mister.
Here's to the invisible vault of memories that you will be storing up as they get greater and sweeter and bigger, now that you're sharing them with mister.  Here's to life shared!
 (I'm virtually toasting you, as I cry virtual drunk tears of joy.  Love you!)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guest Post: Leigh: The Secret To Our Happy Marriage

Today's guest blogger is the ever fashionable Leigh from Marvelous Kiddo.  She's a breastfeeding, babywearing, homebirthing mama with one heck of an awesome sense of style.  She lives in NY with her hubby and two marvelous kiddos.  You're sure to be inspired by a visit to her blog.

A Recent Conversation
The Secret to Our Happy Marriage

Taro (to Leigh):  "You're good at everything."
Leigh (to Taro):  "And you're good at everything else."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Guest Post: Holly: Yes, Dear: Sold on Marriage

Today's post is from Holly the blogger behind Tropic of Mom.  Holly is a super sweet, exceptionally witty and wonderful mama to two little boys.  Have you seen her boys?  Double cuteness!  And, if you are currently drowning in snow and wishing for summer, you're sure to be cheered up by Holly's beautiful, sunny Florida photos.

Men. Women often think men are clueless when it comes to love and the art of wooing women. Some men are true romantics through and through. Other men start off a relationship with effusive adoration for their woman, then taper off after they get the gal and the chase ends. Some men, like my husband, know what they want and go for it -- using sales techniques.

Let me back up a bit.

Madeline has been a bloggy friend of mine since we "met" discussing babywearing, back when Levi was a baby. She is a lovely person -- and really, I don't say that about a lot of people because how many times do you get to say the word "lovely" and not come off sounding merely quaint? Madeline personifies lovely. So I was excited to read that, in her words, she's getting hitched! Because everyone wants to see their friends happy in love. It has been fun to read about Stephen and how he and Madeline met.

Because our Barefoot Mama is getting married the same time of year that I did -- my husband and I just celebrated our anniversary -- I thought I'd share how my husband proposed to me.


Isn't that perfect for the Barefoot Mama?

See, we were on the beach. We were college students without a lot of money for dates. But this one warm November night, we splurged on an IMAX movie and later headed to the beach, as we often did.

Once we were settled in the sand and listening to the waves, my husband started asking me questions about the future. "Are you going to stay in the area after college?" "Do you think we'll stay together?" "We've had a good relationship for a long time, haven't we?" These were things we had talked about before, because we had been together for years -- since high school -- and I was almost-but-not-quite tuning him out (shh, don't tell him!) because I felt like we had been over it all. So I was humoring him. "Yes," I said. "Yes, yes, yes." Everything he asked me. Yes, dear. It's all true. We've got a good thing going. Yes.

But suddenly one of the questions was, "Will you marry me?" and I said yes without thinking. Yes! Wait a minute -- what did he just say? He tricked me!

My husband snagged me into marrying him using the proven sales technique known as the "repeated yes!" You get the other person used to saying yes so he or she will also say yes to whatever you want that person to do. Clever trick.

And then he sealed the deal by pulling a little black box out of nowhere, with a beautiful ring inside.

Despite the fact I was sold to, and that he pitched marriage to me, well ... to be fair, I have to say my husband is romantic in his own way. And I love him.

I would have said yes anyway.

Yes, I did, and yes, I still do. Yes, dear, yes.

I hope Madeline and Stephen have many years of true romance and love ahead of them!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Guest Post: Nell: All Love

We're kicking this series of guest posts off with the lovely Nell.  She blogs about life as a Missouri mama of 3 exceptionally handsome little boys at Casual Friday Everyday, and now she's added a new blog, Crunchy Pea, to her accomplishments.  Nell has got to be one of the friendliest, most genuine bloggers out there, so do pop over and say "Hello!"


I dreamt about my husband last night.

Don’t you just adore a good, happy dream that involves your better half?

When mine shows up in my dreams it starts my day off being even more in-love and appreciative of him.

Today I watched him play with our baby and smiled to myself with deep joy in my heart. Every time I look at my baby boy I see my husband.

The eyes, the smile, the eye lashes, the teeth, the hair… he is a spitting image of his Daddy and it melts my heart.

After being married for nearly eight years, and being together a total of 12, you might think the love could have faded a bit. Sure, the excitement of ‘new love’ is gone, but the respect and loyalty and friendship have only grown.

I think about us, when the kids are all grown and out of the house, and day-dream about traveling the world with my sweetheart. I think about lazy afternoons sitting on our porch, drinking coffee and reading the paper together.

I think about hikes in the woods with our dog, and vacations together to our favorite place ever… Branson, Missouri. Not a happening place for most people, but it holds love and forever for us. It’s where we eloped and got married. Branson will always be so special to us.

I have to laugh when I remember the actual wedding day. You see, we printed off directions to the wedding chapel from our home in Kansas City. What we failed to realize was that Branson was past the little chapel in the woods. So the directions were backwards.

We drove around the countryside for what seemed like forever, searching for this little chapel in the woods. We drove up into, what felt like a mountain to us, and navigated tiny little roads …

Not only was I frustrated and afraid we’d miss our wedding, but I have to admit I was beginning to get a little freaked out by how ‘country’ it felt. Almost like we might hear a banjo playing at any moment, part of me swears I did!

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, my husband-to-be announced the mistake we’d made. Of course I blamed him. What self-respecting, totally upset bride-to-be wouldn’t have? It got a little heated in that little car of ours. All because of my frustration and inability to control my emotions sometimes. Okay, so I admit I over-react a bit too often.

And then we pulled into the drive-way of where forever would be said and none of that mattered anymore. It was so cute and perfect for us. Out in the country, in the woods, a tiny little old log chapel. A preacher, a witness and a photographer. Music on a tape deck and a few candles lighting the room.

I’ll never forget that day. I’ll never forget Branson. Or the McDonalds food we grabbed for lunch afterwards!

My husband and I have a beautiful friendship. We’re kindred spirits.

I adore what we have together and adore the little men that came from our love for one another.

I had a feeling I’d end up marrying my high-school sweetheart. And I did.

All love.

Just love.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hitched...Or At Least Getting There

If you are reading this before 10 a.m. Central Time then we are currently running around doing all of the last minute readying and dressing.
If you are reading this after 10 a.m. then we are either gettin' hitched or we've already been there, done that.
Either way this is the day!

I hope you are sending lots of good wishes and love our way. 

We may not officially be going on a honeymoon, but I am definitely taking some time away from the computer.  However, I have something special up my sleeve for y'all.  Starting tomorrow there will be 5 days of wonderful guest posts from a few of my favorite married ladies.  Each time one of these wonderful posts landed in my inbox it felt like opening a present.   A huge thanks to each of these very special bloggers for making this time in my life that much more wonderful.  

Just in case curiosity is getting the best of you, I'll let you in on who will be posting this week...
mom blog

Holly from Tropic of Mom

Leigh from Marvelous Kiddo

Dera from Casablanca

Erin from It's Your Movie

These gals rank as some of my all time favorite bloggers, so you should definitely click the links and make new friends (or visit old ones). 
Enjoy your week!  

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Knew?

Housework has completely escaped me for a while now thanks to wedding to-do's.  Levi doesn't seem to mind...
Who knew that the piles of laundry in my house had the power to magically morph into a playground?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Levi "earned" his first dollar yesterday.  A family friend was fixing my mom's washing machine.  Levi was mesmerized.  He sat with him until nap time and passed him tools.  As we were leaving Levi got a whole dollar for being such a good little helper.
When we got home I pulled out a piggy (hippo) bank that was stashed away in the closet, and Levi got to put his very first dollar inside.  And, then, of course, the piggy bank had to go to nap-nap too.  It's hard work holding onto a dollar. 
levi sleeping piggy bank blog

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Let The Countdown Begin

The clock is really starting to tick now.  As of today, there is exactly one week before vows are spoken, lives are united, and we start a brand new life, a brand new family, and a brand new adventure.  Sigh.  Happiness.
Oh, yeah, and there might be a little stress involved.  It's been raining buckets upon buckets around here.  Our yard (which drains really well by the way) has been looking rather pond like lately.  And, although, we are perfectly capable (and kind of okay with) getting hitched indoors, outdoors was definitely on the agenda...and the invitations. 
More rain is in the forecast.  Is there an anti-rain dance to be done?  I'm up for doing it.  Anyone want to join me?  Oh, yes, and a slightly warmer weather dance would be great too.

Photo via Leo Reonalds flickr photostream.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Love Is In The Air

As most of the world seems to be getting ready for Valentine's Day, I'm still plugging away at getting ready for our wedding!  Unless Stephan has something crazy up his sleeve (unlikely, considering the insane number of hours he's had to work the past few weeks), then Valentine's day is going to be pretty low key around here.  I see sleeping in and a family date to a restaurant of Levi's choosing in our future.
Of course, amidst all the preparations, I've still managed to sneak in a little Etsy Valentine's Day window shopping.  You wanna see what I've found?  :)

I thought these were pretty darn adorable for the little munchkin...although, with a heart shaped muffin tin and our ten million broken crayons, we could totally conjure them up on our own....

But, these....these are brilliant....I want some...How fun would it be to draw with a mustache?

I also think Levi needs this shirt...maybe next year when I'm more on top of things and it might actually get here in time for Valentine's day...But, really, wouldn't he be adorable?
As far as stuff for me,  I don't need a thing.  I'll be hitched to my best friend.  I have the cutest little boy I've ever laid eyes on.  I have a brand spanking new sewing machine (okay, so it's still waiting at the Bernina store for a part to come in....Ack!)....a new computer...and a new camera!  Me thinks I could currently be classified as quite spoiled.  But, if you insist on seeing a few other things that I could totally go all "Oooooh!" and "Aaaaaah!" over, well here you go...only because you twisted my arm... ;)

I think this is so incredibly lovely....
And this makes me go all "Aawwwww!!"...

And, well, I wouldn't be at all upset if Stephan secretly snuck a thumbprint from me and showed up with this... for Stephan...I'm thinking a terrarium kit like this one would be pretty fabulous....especially since he loves to garden, but oops we bought a house with zero sunlight in the yard.  Oh. my. what are two gardeners to do?  I suppose we could always hack away a few trees.
So, anything making you all swoony this time of the year?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Preparing The Munchkin For The Big Move

So, I have zero practice at preparing munchkins for large life changes, and quite obviously we are about to hit a major 10 days to be exact...Yikes! Is it really only 10 days? Hmmm. Despite my lack of skill in this area, I'm still making a few fumbling efforts at helping Levi get acquainted to the idea of a rather new life. Not only will there be an extra person living with us, we'll also be moving 45 minutes from my parents. I'm bracing myself for the first morning when we wake up and can't go to Nanno and Baw-Baw's house.

As far as preparations go here's the list:

~ We take Levi over to the new house often...granted he calls it "Tevens house" which means he doesn't get that it will soon be our house. In case you need a translation "Teven" is Stephan.

~ We've moved some of his toys over there so that despite all the renovations it might have some feeling of home (or at least fun).

~ We take Levi to the house frequently for naps, so he can adjust to sleeping in a new place.

~ We've also been taking him to some of the spots we'll soon be the grocery store and nearby playground. Did I just say grocery store and nearby playground?!  Oh, I'm going to be so spoiled.

~ I tried talking to him about it, but that totally went over his head. He didn't get upset, but it was obvious that he had no idea what I was jabbering on about.

~ For post wedding, we've decided to postpone the honeymoon.  Stephan is taking off the week after we get hitched.  We toyed with the idea of going away for a couple of days.  We even considered taking more of a family vacation than a honeymoon, but in the end we decided that it would be best to just stick around and adjust to being a family. 

I had planned on having more of our stuff moved, so the place would gain a familiar feel.  But, things are going a little slower than anticipated.  Stephan's trying really hard to get the popcorn ceilings scraped and all of the ceiling debris cleaned up before we  move stuff in.  But, as is typical with renovations, there have been setbacks.  It should be done by the wedding which puts us at moving stuff the week after.  Sigh.  At least we'll get to visit Nanno and Baw-Baw a lot that week.  There's always a sunny side, huh?

Any suggestions from you seasoned and even not so seasoned vets?  How would you prepare your kiddos for a whole new life?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweet Dreams

These critters were Stephan's Christmas present to Levi.  The munchkin adores them, and at first I thought I was okay with them....hmmmm.  After being hit over the head multiple times with an elephant that's beginning to feel as heavy as the real thing, I'm having second thoughts.  Is it too late to return them?  Sigh.  Too bad Levi wakes up every morning asking about his "ephant"...that and his hammer.  Are we sensing a Captain Destructo theme? 

Monday, February 1, 2010


A ginormous "Congratulations!!" is in order for my sister, Annie!!  She was just accepted into Veterinary school!!!  We are so stinkin' proud of her...
So, I think this is the perfect post for sharing a slightly gross but, oh, so very Annie story with y'all.  It starts one fine day, somewhere over 10 years ago, when she was still just a kid.  A veterinary show on t.v. had her glued.  I, of course, have always had impeccable timing and walked in just as a man with a glove up to his armpit stuck that same arm up a horses rear end.  My jaw dropped.  My teenage self thought in horror, "Do they really show that stuff on t.v.?"  But, what came from Annie's mouth left me utterly speechless....a very adamant, "That is exactly what I want to do when I grow up!"  And, you know what?  She does that kind of stuff.  Not only can you find her kissing roosters and doing the farrier work for her own horses....
And teaching her nephew how to ride those same horses (and how to kiss roosters)....
But, her facebook status, grossly enough, frequently entails stories of being covered in poop from palpating large animals.....Eeeeewwwww!  She actually does the exact thing she was in awe of over 10 years ago.

I really can't imagine a gal more suited to becoming a vet.  And, despite all the grossness, I am totally convinced that she is one of the coolest people in the western hemisphere.  Can you tell that I'm a proud big sis?

So,  a very mega huge "Congratulations!" to you little sis!!!  We knew you were a shoe-in.