Sunday, November 28, 2010

blah - and I love my husband

We made it home last night around 1:00 AM, just in time for the stomach bug to hit me full force. Awesome. Fortunately, we had absolutely nothing to do today so I have spent the day on the couch alternating between sleeping and reading my book. I still haven't eaten much, except for the chicken noodle soup Dan made me work on a bit, but I think I've turned a corner anyway.

Speaking of Dan, it just seems appropriate to skip to day 7 for today - a photo of someone you love:

While it's true that I am beyond blessed to have many people in my life who easily fall into this category, my husband really belongs in a category of his own here. I love him for so many reasons that I can't even begin to name them all on here. One of those many reasons is pretty apparent in both of these photos - he is an incredible Daddy.

If you can't tell, he's pretty crazy about that precious little girl of ours. He knows how to make her laugh, but he also knows how to care for her most basic of needs. I've laid on the couch all day long today, without needing to lift a finger. Dan has fed Caroline 3 meals, gotten her up and down for 2 naps, dressed her, changed her, bathed her, picked up her toys, done some laundry, taken her out for a walk, ran to the grocery store during nap time (after unloading the van), snuggled with her, disciplined her, changed her several more times, etc etc etc. He even made some baby food for her to make room in the freezer for some frozen berries he bought to make me smoothies. And that's not to mention a single thing he did for me - which was an equally long list including keeping a fire going for me all day, keeping my drink cup filled up, and even holding my hair back when necessary (sorry if that's TMI).

There are things you know about a person when you wed, and there are things you cannot possibly know about that same person until you are years down the road. I loved Dan with all my heart when we said our vows nearly five years ago. I trusted him wholeheartedly. I expected the best. But I couldn't even think to ask for someone cabable enough to care for our child when I was ill, or someone compassionate enough to slip a headband in my hair and get me a wet wash cloth while I lay on the bathroom floor. I'm not sure I ever wanted anyone besides my mother to see me in such a state. But marriage has ways of surprising us along the way. Dan has surprised me time and time again since March 18, 2006. And with every surprise, I manage to love him a little bit more.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

hello again

As you've probably guessed by now, Dan & I headed home to Missouri last Friday and have enjoyed a full week here in the heartland. I brought my laptop home this time with good intentions of blogging more often while I was here...and you can see how well that went. There is just too much going on with family and friends all around, and I can't stand the thought of missing a minute to be on this silly computer!

Anyway, here I am today, loading pictures before we hit the road again this afternoon and high-tail it back to the [much warmer] South. We have had such a sweet time with family, and I promise to share some pictures when I have a little more time. In between all of the family time, we also got to see some dear friends, my life-long friend Kandi and some of Dan's Cali friends who now live in KS, Travis & Jenny and their sweet little Bella. We are so blessed to have so many dear friends in our lives.

For now, I'll get back to my little photo challenge. For Day 5, I'm supposed to post a picture of myself, so here you go:

I'm certainly no beauty queen here (as opposed to all of my other photos - ha!), but Dan snapped this when we were hiking along the Natchez Trace back in early October. There aren't many things I enjoy more than being out in the woods with Dan (and now Caroline, too) and no one else, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, away from the noise of the city, with nothing around me except God's beautiful, peaceful creation. We were hiking along a creek in this picture, and Dan is always amused when we have to climb over a fallen tree or hop our way across some rocks to avoid getting wet. After all this time, he still forgets that I'm kind of a nature girl at heart until he sees me again in my element, and I think he snapped this picture as proof. This will probably manage to resurface the next time Dan tries to convince me to go stomp around in the woods again. I will then point out that I am wearing shorts and a tank top here, and that this totally and completely loses its appeal when I have to wear 32 layers to keep my toes from falling off. I'm just sayin.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 4 - plus some new videos

Day 4 - a photo of the last place you went on holiday

I'm not sure if this counts as a "holiday" or vacation or whatever you might call it, but the last trip we took was to Jamestown, North Dakota for a friend's wedding. (No, it was not a destination wedding, believe it or not.) Some friends snapped a few pictures for us before the beautiful outdoor ceremony, and I was so grateful to have a few shots of all three of us dressed up for a moment in time! It was a good trip, but a bit stressful at times. Caroline decided sleeping in a hotel room was not exactly her cup of tea.

Now these have absolutely nothing to do with the photo challenge, but I thought you all might enjoy seeing them anyway. The first video is of Caroline playing with Grandma & Grandpa Johnston and her new kitchen. Grandma is officially moved to Tennessee, and we could not be more excited to have them just an hour away! In fact, we even met Grandma for lunch today and a little afternoon shopping - such a treat! We are embracing the blessing of having family so close after being hundreds and thousands of miles apart all of our married life.

And this video is from yesterday morning -- Caroline's new favorite game seems to be crawling underneath anything she can possibly squeeze her little body under. And as you can see, she can squeeze into some pretty small spaces!! Crazy kid.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 3 - a photo that makes you happy

This was a tough one to narrow down to one photo. I have so many that make me smile! I've been looking through the challenge a little more, and most of these are supposed to be photos of yourself. Goodness knows you all have seen a bazillion Caroline pictures here in the last year, so I'm going to try and stick with the challenge of posting photos of myself. (But don't worry, Caroline will still pop up all over the place, I'm quite sure!)

Moving along, here is the photo I went with for Day 3:

There are so many things about this photo that makes me happy. I'll start with the obvious - we look so completely ridiculous! This was taken my junior year of college (Dan's senior year) at an event we had each spring called "Lamrof" ('formal' spelled backwards). It was basically a dance with a ridiculous theme that called for some imaginative costumes and some good, old-fashioned, small-town fun.

The year was 2005, and the theme of that Lamrof was "My Big Fat Dutch Wedding," a play off of the popular movie about a Greek wedding and the local Dutch population/heritage in our college town. We actually had a campus-wide vote for the bride and groom, and one of my closest friends ended up being selected as the bride, and therefore asking me to be one of her bridesmaids...hence the dutch costume each of the bridesmaids donned that night. I will never forget getting ready in Rebecca's dorm room, fluffing her thrift-store, over-sized 80's wedding gown, applying too much make-up, and laughing until our sides nearly burst. We even had a wedding procession from our dorm, where the groom and groomsmen came to escort us over to the cafeteria/reception hall.

After the wedding party was released from our duties, I met my date, who was dressed as my "cousin from Missouri" in an outfit courtesy of my cousin Barb. I think everyone else was supposed to dress as wedding guests, and people really used their imaginations :-)

Aside from all of the craziness of the event itself, Dan and I were just weeks away from becoming engaged and blissfully, head-over-heels in love. Looking at this picture brings back so many wonderful memories in an instant - walks around our quiet college town, staying up way too late to finish homework because I had spent too much time with this boy, being surrounded by my best friends, random nights like this where we had no cares in the world (except maybe hoping that somehow I could pull-off looking cute in a dutch costume to impress my "cousin from Missouri" with the mullet).

Those were definitely some good times. Do you think Northwestern would take us back?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 2 - A Photo From a Year Ago

This picture makes me happy :) This was my Mom's first trip back to Nashville after Caroline's birth, and I can remember so many details so clearly. It was a sweet time as we enjoyed a 6-week-old Caroline, and she and Nana spent lots of time just "visiting."

I remember dressing Caroline that day with the intent of getting some good pictures of the 3 of us. This was one of the first full outfits that I bought for her, and I absolutely loved this little sweater. I had no idea that it would only fit for a handful of weeks! My little chunky monkey was packing on the pounds (well, ounces is more like it) back in these days!

Monday, November 15, 2010


As you've probably noticed, I've been lacking a little blogging inspiration as of late. Things are great around here, but I just can't seem to pull together a blog post to save my life. Last week, my friend Jenny (who is a fabulous blogger - you should check out her page if you never have) started this 30 day photo challenge. I think it's just the inspiration I need to get out of my little slump! Being the un-creative type that I am, I love having a formula to follow - I love recipes and directions and rules and step-by-step instructions that take the guess work out of things. Call me boring, but I'm just embracing who I am :-)

Anyway, we'll start with the photo for Day 1: your facebook profile picture

I've already posted this one here, but I'm just following the rules, ok? Besides, I think this picture is worth seeing twice - isn't she beautiful? When my Mom visited last month, she brought with her an entire suitcase full of "new" clothes for Caroline that she had picked up at a local garage sale. She knew the people holding the sale had especially good taste in clothing and a little girl who is just a couple years older than Caroline, so she made a point of being there when they opened. This is one of the little outfits she snagged - and it also has a long, peach-colored angora wool sweater to match the hat. Great find, Nana! I'm pretty sure no one would suspect this little fashionista wears hand-me-downs, but my wallet is grateful.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Official

I officially have a walker on my hands. She has been making lots of progress and basically walking for about a month now, but just yesterday she suddenly stood up in the middle of the floor for the first time - and she hasn't looked back! Today the little munchkin was practically doing laps around the house. And she is so very proud of her accomplishment, too. She jabbers happily as she goes along, more content than ever to play by herself, bringing me various treasures from time to time. It's a joy to watch her discover this new skill, even if it means everything just became slightly more chaotic around here :-)

So does walker=toddler? I'm not sure I'm ready to totally let go of the baby stage quite yet, but I'm realizing I don't exactly have that option. Ready or not, here we go!

Here's a little video of her stomping around my disaster of a kitchen. It's a little long, but she was so cute, I just couldn't turn of the camera :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Go Colts!

Here are my Colts fans getting ready for a little grill-out before the big game tonight. Caroline is quite the little helper these days!