Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Don't get me wrong. I love the whole it-took-me-an-entire-week-to-prepare-for-Thanksgiving-build-up. Homemade pies. Homemade bread. Brined turkey and all the fixins. But even me - Mrs. Tradition - found myself a bit thankful for a Thanksgiving away from home this year...more precisely at a restaurant.

This year we boarded all the animals (my first holiday away from them - SO sad) and headed to Sun Valley with Court's parents for a long weekend. While I admit I missed bread dough pancakes and leftovers that last for weeks, it was nice not having any anxiety over the meal (especially after hosting my first Thanksgiving last year). We just showed up at the restaurant and voila - turkey and all the fixins! (Although Court got ham and it was TO-DIE-FOR! Honest to God - best darn ham I've ever eaten...but I digress...)

Our "BIG" preparation for the meal- pictures!

Seriously - a HORRIBLE hair cut! UGH!

Three Generations

Grace sitting at the table
like she's been conversing over wine and appetizers her whole life.
I love how her arm is leaning on the back of the high chair
like she's too cool for school.

What is a Thanksgiving meal without reading the book
"Five Silly Turkeys" about 35 times before the meal is served?
That's what they make red wine for right?!

Grace was a trooper at just about every outing. On the very last night, we celebrated my birthday. I don't think Grace likes sharing her birthday month with me as she was a wreck throughout the meal. (Sabotage if you ask me.) While I thought a birthday couldn't be any "worse" than being 65 lbs over weight and not being able to drink, I was wrong. It can be. I ended up eating my dessert - in the car - as Grace bounced around the back seat - sockless. Yes, somehow in all the "activity" we lost her socks in the restaurant. So far, the 30's are kicking my ass in terms of birthday celebrations...although my real birthday is on Wednesday....December 2...in case you were wondering when to send my present...or better yet...my check. I'm just sayin...

The highlight of the weekend? Yes, yes being happy, healthy and with wonderful family...of course! Without a doubt! But I'd be lying if I didn't say Grace's boots! She is a legit snow bunny! Furry boots and all!



No trip to Sun Valley would be complete without setting foot on Mt. Baldy. Thanks to the new gondola, we were able to head to the lodge up top for some lunch and take in some lovely views.

Somehow, I managed to pick the ONE hat
that is about four sizes TOO small for Grace.


Either Grace is not afraid of heights or she has no understanding of what a fall from that height would do to her. Either way, Grace LOVED the gondola!

video

And finally, the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Treasuring the small moments that mean the most and being oh-so-thankful.

video

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving FILLED with lots of small moments.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fire It Up!

Now that Grace is walking...
RUNNING rather...
she is becoming quite familiar with the phrase "NO!"


Last night, we made our first fire of the season. She was enthralled as can be seen below. Yes that is Grace SPRINTING towards the flames.

Then she heard Mom say "NO!" and she stopped D-E-A-D in her tracks.


And then she peeeerred around at me with a look that asked "Are you talking to meeeeeeee?"

Wait until she sees the Christmas tree. Then we are in REAL trouble!

Thanksgiving "vacation" officially begins for us tomorrow at 5 pm. At that time, Operation Butterball officially goes on hold (where it has been unofficially since Halloween) and will resume next week. Oh wait! My birthday is next week! Hmmm...

Wishing you a safe, happy and YUMMY Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Gisele

My mom sent me this clipping...
to point out all the "similarities" I'm sure.
Gisele is due about the same time this December as I was last year.

Lots of similarities, huh?

If "similar" means it looks like I ate Gisele, than by God, we are identical!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Goodbye Oprah

I just finished watching Oprah announce that her show is coming to an end in 2011.
Her decision was heartfelt.
She cried. I cried.
I already know I will miss her.

The Death of Me

While out and about shopping with the girls in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, my life began and ended all at once. You see, I tasted a Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Ball for the first time. It was good...dangerously good. Remember that episode of Sex in the City where Miranda throws the cake into the trash can and then finds herself eating the cake OUT OF THE TRASH CAN?! To stop herself, she ends up dousing the cake (that is in the trash can) with dish soap. That is how good these Peanut Butter Balls (PBBs) are. If you can refrain from eating them long enough to get them into your house you are IN trouble! Luckily, the PBBs "live" in Philadelphia so I am safe.

Or so I thought.

Home from Philly for weeks now, the PBBs have been on my mind day and night! I tried to buy them online from the store in Philadelphia but they weren't available for sale on the website. The thought of calling the store and requesting to a real person that I needed...wanted...had to have them shipped across the country was a bit embarrassing. "Luckily", my friend, Jamie, was willing to share her family recipe.



It's all over folks. I made these yesterday so I now have access to Chocolate Covered Peanut
Butter Balls anytime I want. This is going to be the death of me!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lucky

When he isn't guarding the ball with his life...


he's guarding Grace!

Sure life would be simpler without dogs but it wouldn't be as sweet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Freedom

Two weekends ago, Court and I got a taste of freedom and it tasted G-O-O-D! Uninterrupted sleep. Drinking to excess. Eating in peace and quiet. Not to say we weren't ecstatic to get back to Grace, I'm just saying....
FREEEEEDDOOOOOOM!
(To get the effect I am going for, this is best said like William Wallace (aka Mel Gibson) in the movie Braveheart.)

Luckily, our friend, Jamie, had the perfect excuse to leave Grace at home and eat and drink to excess again. A surprise 30th birthday party for her husband, Chris, in Seattle.

**Sidenote**
For the record, I didn't get the memo that wives are supposed to throw surprise birthday parties for their husbands when they turn 30. Ooops! For Court's 30th birthday, I went to Vegas to see Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (it was AWESOME!!!).
Oh don't look at me like that! He was in harvest! He couldn't have managed a night - let alone a weekend - of binge drinking with friends. Don't worry. He got his "revenge." When I turned 30, I was 10 months pregnant and 70 pounds overweight. We'll just have to go big on the Big 4-0...that's the new 30 anyway, right?!

I digress.

Last Friday, after Mommy and Me class, Grace and I made the looong drive to Seattle. The party was Saturday night but I wanted to take advantage of being in Seattle and do some Christmas shopping. The pass was a snowy, icy nightmare but I drove it - BY MYSELF! Can I tell you how proud of myself I am? I honestly thought I would never be able to drive in snow again - trapping me in Eastern Washington all winter long. Lucky for me, Grace slept during the "hairy" part of the drive...by the 15+ car pile-up on the side of the road that sent shivers down my spine... and after 5.5 hours in the car, we made it to Seattle!

Court was already in Seattle along with his parents who had agreed to watch Grace while we went to the party. It worked out really well. Dave and Priscilla went to the "surprise" portion of the party, mingled and then came home to their sleeping granddaughter. While the surprise portion of the party was going on, Court and I put Grace to sleep and prepared ourselves for the "post-surprise" party. It was SO fun! We got to see all of our friends, chat and just laugh. I miss laughing so hard you are sore the next day and we definitely laughed on Saturday night. Needless to say, we don't get out of our cages much and when we do, we tend to go a little over board. "Freedom" is exhausting! Feels a lot like being hung over...oh wait!! hehe

After all that "freedom" I was sure happy to get back to Home Sweet Home Place. What's even better is that we have nothing on the agenda this coming weekend, except for sitting by the fire and enjoying the view. Ahhhh...freedom!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Four Years!

It's amazing.
So much has changed since this day four years ago.
Jobs. Home. Baby.
Yet everything is better than I imagined.
Thank you for going above and beyond making my dreams come true.
Happy Anniversary!



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Buckle Up! This is a long one!

Last Tuesday, Court and I packed up Grace, her menagerie of toys (and our menagerie of pets) and headed to Boise. We got in late that night after a loooong drive. (I swear that drive gets longer and longer!) Luckily, I had Wednesday to recover by getting the second worst hair cut of my life. I don't joke. It is bad. It is so bad I didn't think someone who went through hair cutting school could possibly produce such an atrocity. Leave it to me to find the ONE person on earth that cuts hair to do it. No tears were shed (though they were considered) and it definitely took a little air out of my sails as I was beautifying for our FIRST WEEKEND SANS BABY!!

Yes, folks. We left Grace for a long weekend with Grandma and Grandpa (my parents - thus the long drive to Boise) so that we could head back to Philadelphia for a surprise 30th birthday party for Court's brother, Tygh and our good friend, Chris. I oh-so wanted to blog about this MAJOR event but wasn't sure if Tygh or Chris read the blog (I doubt they do) wherein I would be the jerk who spoils the surprise. (I think my sister-in-law, Sarah, would have hopped on a plane to come kick my ass had I let the cat out of the bag and she works out - a lot! - I would've never had a chance...unless I sat on her...but that is a whole different story...)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, beautifying for the big trip and swallowing down and squashing fear, guilt and anxiety. I don't know what I was worried about. My parents are GREAT with kids and Grace LOVES them! I never imagined that I would be the mother having heart palpitations about leaving my daughter - with her grandparents - for three nights...but I was! I don't think I slept a wink on Wednesday night. Every horrible situation that could happen over the course of my absence went through my mind.

Everything from the usual suspects - What if she missed me SO much that she didn't stop crying for three whole days? What if I missed her so much that I didn't stop crying for three whole days? - to the extreme - What if she swallowed a rubber band and it got lodged in her stomach causing havoc on her digestive system for years and years requiring a myriad of visits to doctors and specialists trying to uncover what was wrong with her stomach only to find out YEARS from now it was nothing but a rubber band in her stomach? (I literally had this thought.)

Our flight out of Boise left at 6 am and being the early birds that we are, planned on arriving to the airport the recommended 1.5 hours ahead of time. We went into Grace's room before leaving - she was sound asleep - and that is when the tears started. What if this was the last time I ever saw her? How unfair for her to grow up without a mother and father just so we can get away for a few nights? (Mind you I am having these thoughts and I haven't left the house yet. Can I be any more over dramatic?!)

I cried THE ENTIRE way to the airport. How could I just leave her? How selfish was I to want to spend time with my husband and friends? I had to fight off the urge to turn that taxi around and head home - to Grace. But the normal, logical, sane side of me told me to carry - on. That she would be fine. That this would be good for Grace, it would be good for me, it would be good for me and Court and it would be good for Grandma and Grandpa. A win-win-win-win if there ever was one!

The bad news about our first trip being away from Grace was that we were heading to Philadelphia - a LOOONG flight across the country. If something did happen we were so far away! The good news was we were going to Philadelphia - a LOOONG flight across the country. I wouldn't be able to call and check-in until Grace and Grandma had spent the entire day together. (Also, I got to watch a movie on the plane! Jackpot!!)

Upon landing, I called to check-in and all was well. Grace and Grandma had had a very successful day of walking, playing, napping and eating. I could tell from my mom's voice that they were ALL having a really good time. That call melted away all my doubts, fears, and anxieties and I was able to settle in for a fabulous weekend.

Thursday night, after arriving in Philadelphia, Court and I hustled to our hotel to change into fancy-schmancy attire for a dinner date at the Four Seasons in honor of our four year anniversary. We figured that since we had the babysitters already lined up, we might as well take advantage and fly out to Philly a day early so that we could celebrate sans baby! It was a long, relaxed, delicious meal. As my waistline clearly indicates that eating is one of my FAVORITE things to do, it was nice to be in such a beautiful restaurant with such delicious food with my amazing husband. Had we flown all the way to Philly to spend just this ONE night together, it would have been worth it!

Lucky for us, the fun was not close to being over!

Friday we woke up to a beautiful, crisp East Coast fall day! It was my kind of weather. We walked around and did a little shopping. Went to a FABULOUS lunch where we kicked off the weekend by sharing a bottle of Savignon Blanc and eating the best bacon cheeseburger and truffle french fries on planet earth. While the meal may have shortened my life by a handful of minutes, it was completely worth it!

After our meal, it was time to meet up with the gang for Operation Surprise Tygh Old School Style. Our plan was to do a little something like this...


We even bought the pantyhose! Unfortunately, Tygh didn't follow orders...I mean, directions...and ended up at a location that would prevent our "kidnap". Instead, his surprise went a little something like this...

video

Once Tygh and the surprise was a success, I was officially off-duty. I was off-duty as a mom, off-duty as the photographer - an on-duty for F-U-N! (Oh God I am getting old!) I think I single-handedly drank 3/4 of a bottle of champagne before dinner. It was that kind of night!

After dinner, we went to a rooftop bar that had a fireplace. When the deck started spinning, I knew it was time to call it a night. Court walked me home where I promptly passed out on the couch. The rest of the gang hit up some Philly cheese steaks. When they finally made it home later that night, the group was quite loud. Still out-of-it from the champagne, I started shushing everyone thinking the baby was in the next room. Shhh....Shhhh...SHHHHH YOU ARE GOING TO WAKE THE BABY UP! Like I said, I was a bit out of it.

The next morning we did a little more eating and little more shopping. It was also the night where we were all going to get dressed up and try to act classy. I will leave it at this. We all looked the part but...

Me and Court


The Girls
Jamie, Sarah, Me and Carrie


Sarah & Tygh


Chris, Me, Court


Jamie and Chris



Jud and Chris
Hmm...that's interesting. Jud's drinking water?!

...well you know how these kind of weekends can be!

It was hard to leave on Sunday. Even though we were heading home to our darling baby girl who, while snacking, also got her hair done. (Why isn't this an option for adults?! Seriously?!)





We were curious how Grace would react upon seeing us at the airport. I'd heard horror stories where the baby would cry and cry for days, other babies that would ignore the parents - denying them all smiles, hugs and kisses. I was sure that we were in for it.

As we approached Grace in her stroller, you could see the wheels turning in her head. She knew we were familiar and that she was supposed to be happy...but at the same time she was already happy. She was warm, had a full tummy - what else is there? Then, after a few seconds, a HUGE grin broke out over her face. We took her out of the stroller thinking she would come toddling to us for a hug. She practically ran to us - her walking had improved THAT much in just a few short days - but as she got within arm's distance, she stopped dead in her tracks and BOLTED in the opposite direction laughing hysterically. It stung a little but we couldn't help but laugh.

Happy to report that it was a successful weekend for all. Grace is not holding a grudge against us (yet - sure that day will come) and we had a great weekend. Thanks Mom and Dad for making it a success and for helping us relinquish control - a little bit! :) Until the next adventure...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Buzzing

She's only been walking for two weeks but she's already buzzing.
This is what Grace does ALL DAY LONG!

video


Monday, November 2, 2009

Can You Even Imagine?

I lost a few years off of my life this morning watching the news. Can you even imagine?!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

A "Devil" of a Halloween!

Our "little angel" had a run-in with a few "devils" on Halloween night. 









When Grace was born, I am sure the dogs probably thought "Well, the good news is we get to eat all the food the baby throws on the floor AND we will never have to get dressed up for Halloween again." Oh it sucks to be wrong, huh Lindey?








They look like they are having about as much fun as last year!







Seriously Lindey what is there not to love about Halloween?! You look ado'able!



Oh yeeeeaaaaah...
Pictures like this are what there is not to love about Halloween! Ugh!