Monday, November 22, 2010

History Repeating Itself?

For the past week, a few-months-old Siamese kitten has taken to loving on our back porch. We called it cat-dog, because it's crazy friendly, then Oliver (after the orphan), then (after discovering "it" was a "she"), Olivia.

B and I have gone round and round on this cutie. I convinced him (without working too hard, mind you) to give it some milk, then it tailed him everywhere, even bounding along beside him when he walked to the gym.

It should be said that we are not cat people. Never had them, never wanted them. But this cat has us both putting milk (and towels...) out on the back porch and going out for snuggles. We think he got lost or someone turned him loose (sad), because he definitely doesn't act like the strays we've seen around.

Our landlord is putting the kibosh on the back porch feedings and is planning to either find it a home or take it to the no-kill shelter B found. (Love him.) For now, here's a pic of B with the other ill-gotten cat in our shared history: the dorm cat our roommates shared custody of.

PS-- How adorable is 18 year old B? He's a baby!

Times are a' changin'

I'm sure one of my brothers could pinpoint the exact game when this photo was taken, but all I can think when looking at it is that this was taken pre-kiddos and, I think, pre-husbands? It's at least college, because that's my roommate's belt I'm sporting. Hm, which may mean my sister was married after all...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Save Me!

Uncle B, please don't make me get in the car tomorrow with all those women. They'll probably make me hold a doll. Again.
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"Treat" is in the Mouth of the Beholder

Note to self: When you tell your nieces they can have Cheetos and cookie dough for a treat, you may want to specify that they don't have to eat them together.

Clearly she's inherited my refined palate.
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Porn for Women, a Picturebook

My sister walked in on her 2 year old during quiet time and found her reading this. Seeing only the book cover ("Porn for Women"), she asked if she could see it.

Much to her happiness, the book was filled with pictures of (fully-dressed) men saying things like, "Look! The playoffs are on, we'll have no trouble parking at the crafts fair." and "I can't offer you any suggestions about your problem, but I'm happy to listen."

Everytime someone offered to read a story, this little lady brought her book along, too.

I like that she's reading it while munching on a spoonful of cookie dough.
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"Are You Going Back to Sleep?"

..and other crazy questions asked by Aunt A at 5am today.

My sister and mom are brilliant and crazy. They made the plan to leave as soon as the first kid woke up. Well, here's kid one, followed closely by kid two at 5am.

I (wrongly) assumed my sister had woken up the 2 year old but apparently no one informed the next generation about Daylight Savings Time. Makes it amazing that Disney's gates don't open until nine, huh? That's practically lunchtime!

So I found little man here and we packed the cooler with chocolate milks and Diet Cokes, then his sister (aforementioned early riser) decided she'd share her doll with him.

I feel like T is really saying:

Dear Dad & Uncle Brian,

Where are you? I'm awake, no one will turn on Sports Center, and I've been given this crazy doll to gum on while everyone else hustles around.

Also, I'm way cute.


I miss them already! When they left the first time, B said, "Ahh. Quiet." To which I replied, "Awh. Quiet."

Safe travels, guys!
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Pint-Sized Wisdom

Ella: Catherine's Daddy is very tall.
Me: Someday you'll be very tall.
Ella: Will I keep growing forever?
Me: No.
Ella (panicked): Why not?
Me: Because then you wouldn't fit in the car and we'd have to get a special bed made, but don't worry, your bones know when to stop growing.
Ella: How?
Me: There's a space in between your bones that says, "Grow! Grow", and when you get older, it closes up and tells your bones to stop growing.
Ella: Is that space where God lives?
Me: (silence)
Sister: Exactly right, Ella.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

18 Months!

Ha! I'm only one day behind this time. Go ME.

Yesterday, B & I celebrated our 18 month anniversary. That's right, it's been a year and a half since we got married. I, of course, ran out of the bedroom, found him sitting on the couch, pointed and yelled something romantic like, "Ha! Happy Anniversary!", thus continuing our goal to out-celebrate the other. The usual response is, "Dah! You got me!" Romantic, indeed.

This month has been nutty. B went to ATL for work, then we went back a week later for a wedding of a dear friend of B's (and my current boss). The travel gods repaid us this week with a visit from my sister, her family, and my mom. We had a blast hitting the science and history museum, children's museum, a deli with the best french fries ever, a park with "both kinds of swings", the farmers' market, and the cupcake store.

We've worked a lot, B at the office and me from home and at the bakery. We've made some big decisions, for us, about budgeting and financial planning (woohoo!) and spent time with friends in the area exploring new restaurants and wine tastings.

It's hard for me to believe that we've only been married 18 months. It feels life forever, and yet we've done so much. We've lived in four places, moved more times than that, enjoyed vacations to two different countries, and worked as hard as we could to love and celebrate each other.

I once read that successful marriages happened when the couple woke up each day and decided to say "yes" again and choose to be happy. Now that I'm actually married, I kind of buy it. I could easily be a crankypants and take out my frustrations, hunger, or sleepies on B (and believe me, sometimes I do. Sorry honey.), or I could choose to focus on us and the good everytime I see him. Which makes me more excited for him to come home and, I'm sure, more exciting for him to see me happy.

That doesn't mean there aren't bills to pay, laundry to fold, or dishes to put away, but it does mean that what I'm doing I'm choosing to do positively, instead of stomping my foot.

I don't really know what makes for a "happy" marriage, or if that's how you'd define a successful one. I remember reading that Yoko Ono never spent a night away from her husband. Then I thought, "Wow, what an amazing thing to be able to say." Then I got married and realized that spending every night together would mean that B didn't get to celebrate his friends at bachelor parties, that I didn't get to go visit my sister and the kiddos before baby T was born, and that, generally, it was a heck of a lot of stress to pile onto something just for the sake of saying you did it. As my sister-in-law says, "there are some things they don't give medals for." In her case, she was referring to natrual childbirth, but I think it applies here.

Today (I mean, um, yesterday), I am thankful for a caring and tolerant husband, one who celebrate my cranky days (and later tells me that they're pretty funny and mostly cute), who puts the dishes away when I know we both hate doing it, who thanks me for ironing his work shirts, who remembers that I like soft tacos with beef (unless the chicken is pulled) and saves me some of his at our favorite Mexican dive. I'm thankful for his nightly text messages telling me he's on the way home, and for his love when I call him (yes, call him. On his cell.) at 6am when I know he's midworkout in the living room, letting me sleep, to tell him I'm cold and that he should come back to bed.

I'm thankful that he doesn't mind when I'm selfish and say all the things I'm thankful for that benefit me. :)

I'm thankful for his humor, his grace, his love of our nieces and nephews, his passion for all things sports, his love of reading, his eagerness to show me new things on Netflix, his calm when I still can't work the Wii without two remotes, and, most of all, his tender heart that reaches out to hurting friends, strives to do well at work, and longs to lead our little family in the right direction.

He encouraged me to take a job I love, supports me when I'm exhausted, and just laughs when I force him to sleep for nine or ten hours on the weekend nights.

You're a perfect fit for me, hon, and that's great, because boy are you stuck with me. What a coup.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two Dudes

...watching the games.
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Part 4!

"I'm cute. And naked. So what?"

"I'm cute. And dangerous to Aunt A, though more so to Uncle B. So what?"

"Hm... maybe I'm just as dangerous to Uncle B...."

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Part 3!

If only we could get B a Santa hat in this one!

B & S draw the layout of our house over brunch at the fabulous Metro Diner. Here's to calling ahead for a table!

Balloon animals! Temps in the mid-50s couldn't keep us away from the local farmer's market, where we saw pets, watched a juggler, dined on chocolate croissants, and picked up two balloon flowers (pink and purple). E told me that, when T was old enough, she'd get him a blue flower. I'm sure he'll be thrilled.

Thanksgiving Turkey hands!

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Family Comes to Visit, Part 2!

Cardio boxing, brought to you by B. And giggles there, on the couch.

No body does story time like Nana does story time, unless it's Nana doing iPhone time and she's showing the girls the "Charlie Bit Me" video, which they found hilarious. Love it.

We visited the bakery on Day 2 in the pouring rain and I'm so glad we did. The girls picked out treats and, thankfully, we ate them back at the house instead of in the car. Can you imagine?

Uncle B does storytime, though perhaps not with the right book...
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Family Comes to Visit!

Our visit began with a Zoe's lunch, a trip to the park, quiet time, then dinner at Al's Pizza. After dinner, the girls surprised me by changing into their Princess costumes (and Tyler into his Prince costume), and becoming our first and only trick-or-treaters! Check out Belle, the Prince, and Aurora. So cute! Plus, Aurora told me she could wear her outfit in cold weather, because it had sleeves (check out those sheer beauties!)

This, dear friends, is the Prince. How stinkin cute is he in his Bumbo chair? I miss him already.

Now this one melts my heart. After the girls were put to bed, B and T had a little quality man-to-man time on the couch. This was during a rest from their workout (you'll see what I mean).

Tyler lifts!

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Family Visit!

I love when family comes to town. This past week, my Mom, my Sister, her husband, and their kiddos came to stay with us for part one of their Florida vacation. Our part consisted of cupcakes, Disney movies, museums, and parks. Part two? Disney World. I can't wait to hear their take on it!

Having them visit was such a neat thing. It was officially the first time a family get together has been at my house. Granted, it was wild-- we were moving sleeping kids and enjoying wild sleeping arrangements, but it was fantastic to feel like a grown up in the family. Thank you, family, for making the effort to come visit! With a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a four-month-old, you know that I know that "effort" is no small matter.

Coming now? Pictures! Pardon my proud auntie state. I can't resist!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 2

(Pssst. This is what watching a football game with three lawyers is like)

Day 2, we took the celebrating back to the streets for the Florida/Georgia game, rumored to be the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail party. Oh boy, was it.

For one, all street drinking laws must be put on hold for the weekend; we saw more outdoor margarita and beer bars on the street than in Key West.

We started our day with a cookout, then a trip to the Landings downtown (again, walking, two miles) where we hung out for the game, watching the sun go down, the dancing get rowdy, and the drinks keep on pouring.

We had a blast! It was the perfect way to round out our weekend of celebration. A perfectly lazy Saturday loaded with burgers, beer, and football.

Congrats, B!
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Much More Celebrating

When B got home from work, we got down to business, popping corks, pouring Champagne, eating cupcakes, and checking congratulatory emails and texts. It was a great night for porch-sitting and sit we did, until it was time to head to dinner for (surprise!) more celebration.

Being the smart citizens that we are, we walked our buzzed tails two miles to dinner, then two miles home and, you know what, it was the best, most perfect thing ever. It's so rare that B lets me lavish attention on him for really tangible things, but this time I would not be stopped!

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This is how WE celebrate.
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