{Living Room} Changes

This year's tree.

Last year's tree.
Besides some obvious changes with the tree, notice anything?!

Yes, we moved the tree.

It's the paint.

Doesn't the new paint scheme go so much better than what was previously there?! All white trim, no wall paper, and a nice tan instead of mustard yellow mixed with baby poop brown.

I'll try to get a better picture of everything but I only have the weekends for day light and we were busy this weekend with a 5 hour round trip (counting both ways) to visit some family for a surprise birthday party for my uncle and then I just was too busy yesterday.

{Lily} Lilisms

Lily has been saying some of the funniest things lately! I love this age right now (although I'm pretty sure I've seen that before!) and she is full of it! I've been posting them on Facebook so that when I finally get around to making her book I can add them to it. But I figured I'd post them here too.

So she was saying "ummm" when she wanted me to tell her what the item was. I told her to use her words. She says "I'm not using my words, I'm going 'ummm'."

She was doing something that kept me telling her "no" the other day while the two of us were out together. I kept saying no to her actions and she told me to "Quit no-ing!"

Last night while putting up the ornaments on our GIGANTIC tree, Doug said that we're "running out" (of ornaments) and Lily walked by and she said "I'm not running, I'm walking."

Ahh, the joys of a 2 1/2 year old!!!
And there's our big tree! It's HUGE. I'll get pics of it tonight hopefully now that it's decorated.

{Lily} 2.5 Years

OK, so the bear isn't the exact same one as we've taken her pic with before, but it's the same size. The other one was MIA for awhile and has now been found, I just haven't taken any more pics. These were from yesterday to show her growth. We had taken her pic with the bear when she came from the hospital, every month for the first year, and I'm trying to do at least every 6 months from now on.

{Holidays} Happy Thanksgiving!

I found this recipe on Pinterest (don't you love that site?!) and I had to try them. Super easy, delicious and only a few ingredients!

Mmmmm... chocolately goodness!

Feeding Daddy a cookie.

Doing her "Swipper, no swipping!" move from Dora.

I love her. 'Nough said.

{Holidays} Happy Thanksgiving!

There's a lot of things I could dwell on today but I want to stay happy and focus on what we have now. I've already listed what I'm thankful for and probably could easily go on and on - family, friends, everything - but I'll keep it simple for now and just say "Happy Thanksgiving!"

{Pets} Krypto

Excuse the not so good photo, but please welcome Krypto! He came to live with us yesterday from a local rescue organization. He's been one spoiled pup from his foster mom (much better than a pup who's lived in a shelter!). He tried sleeping on our bed with us last night, tries to get on our brand new couch, and LOVES toys! He's already destroyed some rawhides, broke the squeekers in the soft toys, and has gotten into our hearts. Mine at least. He's a good dog, house trained and fits in well with the rest of the animals. Well, except the cats. I think Rocky is realizing he's not the devil and Taz is just pissed. She'll get out of her shell in a month or two or six. I'm not worried about her, she always leave us alone anyway.

As for him, he's a little over a year old and has lived most of his life in the foster care system. From what I remember of his foster mom, who I briefly met a few weeks ago, he must have been one loved pup. She let him get away with a lot and they were super close. She was about my age and he has lived with other dogs and animals, including a bunny. He's a lab/American Bulldog mix so he should be a big guy who is super smart and a good watch dog. He alerted me last night when Doug home and I hope he'll continue to do it. He woke up with me this morning when Lily was calling for me.

He has never had a fenced in back yard, so he's enjoying it a lot! He is super happy!!! I took some other pics of him yesterday but I need to find my cord to put them on the computer... I actually used my camera and not my phone for some decent photos of the guy!

He's also passed the food test and I pulled a bone out of his mouth (both things I needed to do before Lily tried). He did give a slight warning when I first tried the bone but after talking to him, he was fine with it. I could even hold the bone in front of him and he wouldn't growl or grab it. Food was no issue at all and toys are being shared between him and Zoey, who I think is enjoying a dog that'll actually play a little more than Beefy.

Yes, we're a family with three dogs, two cats, two adults, and one 2 1/2 year old! Oh yeah, and one frog and a fish tank. And another fish tank at school if that counts.

{Life Lately} THANKSgiving

I'm following the trend that is circulating around Facebook and saying one thing I'm thankful for each day... but I'm going to do it here and just edit this post each day. I could easily come up with a list of the obvious, and those will be in here, but I wanted to come away with this as something to look at when I need a pick me up and include those small things in life too (like today's - #3).

1 - My family. This blog (and the five people who read it) know about the struggles, heartache, and loss my family has gone through this year. Without each other... well, let's just say I'm happy to have such a wonderful, loving family that includes my parents, husband, Lily, aunts, uncles, cousins, and my in-laws too - Doug's parents, sister, nephew, and so on.

2 - Lily - I know she's included in #1 but she's such a fun little person and has definitely help our family in our darkest days this year. Plus, every day is a new day with her. Prime example - we were getting groceries tonight and she started singing a new song. It took me forever to figure out what it was because she'll mix up all the songs she knows. I realized, after many random lines, that it was the Monkey Jumping On the Bed song (or whatever it's called) after she kept saying "and one fell off... monkey fell down... and one fell off...random words... bumped his head!"

Just a few days old!

3 - Beautiful sunsets like the one tonight. Some days you need those simple reminders that life can be beautiful.

4 - I'm thankful that I live close to my parents. We can easily go out to dinner, like we did tonight, just to visit and talk.

5 - For our house. In today's economy, we are lucky that we have a roof over our heads. It may take a lot to run between the up keep of the house, mortgage, and everything else that it takes to own a house, but we're luckier than a lot of people. Even when I complain about cleaning and how long it takes me to find things - that just means we can afford things and that we have money.

Our house on move in day. Not much has changed in the front, other than the addition of one flower bed on the left.
6 - Our jobs. We may have trouble with them from time to time, not to mention stress (we're both teachers), but we are lucky to have jobs that allow us to afford items such as our house, our cars, clothing, shoes, and food. We both see people every day in our jobs that aren't as fortunate (or their kids anyway).

7 - Each other! I don't know what I'd do without Doug helping around the house, being there for me and for Lily. We've been together for 9 years and we've seen our ups and downs in more than one way, but we're still together!
Our 2nd anniversary on a bridge over the river.

8 - Friends. We have definitely seen a lot of friends change as we've graduated college, moved, and gotten married. We don't even stay in contact with some of our "friends" which is really sad. However, we have some really close friends we can still count on!

9 - Doug's parents. His mom recently made four scarves - 2 for Lily, 2 for me, and they are beautiful. Lily and I both enjoyed them very much and we continued to talk about Grandma (her name for Doug's mom) for a while. Lily is very lucky to have two sets of grandparents!

10 - I'm going simple on this one - I'm happy for Fridays. I look forward to them every week.

11 -  I'll join the bandwagon on this one too - I'm thankful for all of our Veterans. They do jobs I couldn't even imagine doing, in places that can be extremely horrible. I have a few Vets in our family - both my grandparents and Doug's grandpa. We have some of his personal belongings from World War II and will eventually get around to framing them. I'd love to frame a few items from my grandpas too.

12 - I'm thankful for family time. We had a great time last night with friends and family and today is a day all about family time with the three of us! Doug has some things this morning but Lily and I plan on hanging out, going to town, and checking out some dogs. We may even go get a new couch later on, or at least see what specials they have going on. Our couch is 8 years old and is slightly broken and has seen better days! Although it's a good brand (Lay-Z-Boy), it needs replaced.

13 - Simple gatherings. I got together with one of my best friends and a few of her good friends today to go shopping at a local charity event. It used to be a lot about Christmas and I wish it still was, but I did find a few cute gifts. Doug stayed home with Lily so I could enjoy my time a little better. It's nice to be able to do that!

14 - My Aunt Sally (and the rest of her clan). I got an email from her today and she asked if I wanted to come over for dinner. She just moved here from out of state and we have definitely been enjoying it but when we get together, it's normally with my parents and sometimes more family. However, tonight my parents were busy and so Lily and I went over there and then Doug met us after coaching was done. We were able to hang out and visit for awhile. Lily was a little let down at the fact that she couldn't trick or treat, which is what she did the last time she was there, but she enjoyed it! On their last visit to their old home, they brought back some puzzles for Lily.

15 - Simple pleasures. Today they came in a few forms but I'll enjoy what I can get! I have a fish tank in my classroom and some of my fish had a few babies. I saw maybe 2, and some of my students saw them too, but for some silly reason, I love seeing my fish thrive enough to produce babies. I know they are just platys, nothing fancy, but it's still fun. I think they've since been eaten. I can't find my little net for babies, so we'll see what I can come up with because there are a few more pregnant fish. Another simple pleasure - smaller classes. For some reason today I had maybe 20% of my class gone (5 or 6 kids out of 25) and it makes such a huge difference! Some of the kids are louder, but some are my really good kids. It truly shows how nice it is to have smaller classes. I can help the students with all aspects of the assignment and walk around to watch everyone.

16 - I'm thankful for Lily. The 16th is always a hard day for my family. It's been 6 months now since we lost my brother and it was a tough day. So, I'm thankful for Lily who helps us get through all of this.

17 - Insurance. I have crazy poison ivy (the first time EVER) and so I ran to our local clinic and got some meds. Luckily it was a cheap visit because my $25 copay and $4 prescriptions! Woo hoo! Here's to hoping it works quickly!

18 - Fridays. 'Nough said. 

19 - New furniture! Last weekend we bought a couch. It's been years in the making and super necessary seeing as how our couch has been broken for years. The recliners don't always work (one's broken and goes crooked) but we've put it against the wall and postponed buying a couch while other things have been in the way - you know, the house, Lily, a new (for me) car, grad school, buying a new HVAC, house remodels... all that stuff.

20 - Family time. We didn't have anything else planned for today and I got a lot of Lily time in! Doug went off to play rugby with his guy friends and I stayed around with Lily. We played Play-Doh, built a fort with the new couch and pillows, took a bath, and had some good cuddle time!

21 - A warm place to call home. The weather is getting cold but our heater is working and we can pay for our heat bills. It's also nice to have a house we're making a home. This weekend's newest arrival has made us want to decorate our room. Yes, we've lived there for 4 years but sometimes I just haven't felt like doing much. And sometimes it just takes some motivation in the form of a giant, gray sectional!

22 - Breaks from school! I enjoy teaching but it's nice to know I have time off. Call it a benefit of the job considering the pay isn't wonderful. I had a conversation with some of my students of how little teachers get paid and they were super surprised at it. So I'll enjoy my time off and try not to spend too much time thinking about the next 4 weeks until my semester is done. Or the Art Show I have in a week... which means a lot of work for me to Monday (if I don't go in this break and do stuff!).

23 - I know I've used her already but I am so thankful for Lily. She makes our family complete and she is a complete blast! She does amazingly well wherever we go, has a great sense of humor, and is so freakin' smart! I love that little 2 1/2 year old! Yes, she's officially 2 1/2, which means we need to pull out the bear and take a pic to show how far we've come since she was born! I think I did it when she was 2, so about every 6 months is what I'm doing now with the bear pics (instead of every month like the first 12).

24 - Thanksgiving Day. I'm thankful for good food, good cooks in my family, and family time. I can't wait until it's time to go see the family and enjoy some delicious food!!!

{Vacation} Eureka Springs, AR

**This is an old post from the older blogs, posted August 2010.**

Last weekend, my best friend got married. She had a short and sweet wedding at a local hotel and then we went to various places around ES to party. I may post photos, but probably not. If you're my friend on Facebook, they are there.

Before we went down, we decided to take some time to ourselves (aka without Lily) and so we went down there and took some enjoying the sites. We took the trolley around town, did the Ghost Tour at the Crescent Hotel, walked around the whole town (yes, we WALKED in the crazy heat), and had a great time. I LOVE the buildings down there. The majority of the houses I took photos of are from the 1880's to early 1900's (maybe 1905 or so). They are beautiful!!

You'll want to click on the pictures and make them full size, especially of the first oen so you can see just how pretty this door is! I wish my house had this on the front porch.

Yard art was big down there. I have a lot of pictures of various ideas but I think this door frame/shape may be the best. It was either this one or a similar one that they had tried to have ivy grow on but it didn't work. How cool would be if it had worked though? Or a clematis? If I could find a good, fun, pretty door frame for Lily's garden, I have the perfect spot for it!!

I WANT THESE GATES! 'Nough said!

The next two are the same house (obviously) but I love it. However, I would NOT want to paint all those details. It's definitely pretty though.

The porch. Can you imagine sitting here?

Don't you love this pot? I'll take a few, please! I also like the rocks mixed with the hens n chicks.

Isn't this gorgeous? The house, the yard, the plants….

This fence section was about 4-5" tall. I WANTED it so bad. It was hidden on the property side of their fence, underneath a plant. I seriously thought about taking it, as it was so weirdly located that I doubt the owner knew about it. It would have made a great fairy gate for Lily's garden (or just a cute piece somewhere). But I didn't take it. It's one of things that I wish I had done though. Now I'm just going to be in search of the impossible - a teeny tiny little gate.

This, I guess, was their potting shed. They had it full of junk. Wouldn't it be great for a doll/play house for Lily? There were a lot of these little homes around the walk.

And finally, there were a lot of homes that backed up to this cliff/cave/rock wall and a lot of them had doors into it. One house for sale even advertised the size of the room. How cool would that be?!?!

{Holidays} Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

Last year I remember walking into Gymboree and they had an adorable peacock costume. I was slightly obsessed with it. I was NOT obsessed with the $50+ price tag. And I thought I could do a better job. But I was also super broke last year due to student teaching and not having a paycheck. So enter this year where things are slight different (I have a paycheck!) and I kept thinking about the peacock. By the way, last year I found a super cheap and super cute giraffe costume at a garage sale that was in perfect condition.

So I continued my obsession with the peacock but I didn't want to pay more for something I wasn't too fond of (the Gymboree costume). It was cute but just not THAT cute. Know what I mean?

Enter Pinterest. Have you heard of the site? It's awesome. After looking and pinning a few awesome ideas, I came up with her costume. It was a giant tutu and although it hung a little lower than I wanted (more of chest high than where it ended up), it still looked great. I bought all different colors of tulle - black, teal, purple, light blue, light teal, blue glitter, and purple glitter. I wrapped them all around an elastic circle and added a bow and the neck piece to help hold it up. We ended up tying part of the back to the neck piece too in order to hold it up more. After the skirt was made, I added the peacock feathers to the back and hot glued them all.

This head piece was bought at Hobby Lobby, pre-made and was great. I want to keep it for future use for her or me. ;-)

Eating dinner before the fun begins!

Ready to go!

Mommy and Lily!

Her favorite item of the whole night - a teeny tiny mini pumpkin.

Walking with Babby and Papa.

{Life Lately} Dress Up

Doug had Spirit Week at his school a couple weeks ago and he dressed up using the items in the picture and then some. Well, Lily found them and had to try them on herself.... She is all about the funny faces and goofy attitude right now and this picture captures it (well, part of it anyway, she's so fun right now!).

I can't believe Halloween is tomorrow! Her costume is ready to go, along with a bag full of candy for her Halloween party at daycare. We're spending the evening with my aunt, cousin, and my parents. I plan on going Trick or Treating with Lily for a few houses at least - we'll see how she does tomorrow!

{Life Lately} Pumpkin Patch

I'll post more pictures when some 2 year old isn't begging for Blue's Clues on the computer (vs the TV - I seriously need an iPad for this girl!) but I wanted to post something.... These are three pics from the 3 years we've gone to the local Pumpkin Patch. I tried all three to be in the wagon but we didn't do it her first year. I'll find some more that are related.
Almost 2 1/2 years

2010, the first time she had her hair in the pony tail.

2009 - By far the cutest outfit but it also happened to be the coldest day and we weren't prepared. Taught us a lesson in parenting that day.

{Life Lately} Homecoming Celebrations

My friends and I met up on the local college campus and took Lily to go see all the house decorations they had. They also do skits but we only watched one due to timing and some issues from one house. However, at the one with the timing issues, they had this house as part of their props and the inside had been painted with chalk board paint. They allowed kids to go in there (it was about the size of most small kid play houses) and Lily fell in love!!! She had to be dragged out when I thought their skit was going to start. Too bad I didn't know about their issues or she could have stayed in another 20 minutes. But it was also late and so we went home shortly after this. Don't you like all the chalk on the coat? And of course, the pink. She's obsessed!!!

Caught in the action!!!

{Life Lately} Benefit Concert

My brother's friends used to be in a music group years and years ago. My brother had to be their biggest fan. And now, months after trying to set up a time that worked for everyone, they got together to put on a benefit concert for the Jimmy V cancer foundation. It was a really good concert and a lot of my family went to it - aunts, uncles, my one cousin that's in town, family friends, etc. The first pic is, obviously, of them (yes, I posted a pic where all their faces are blurred on purpose - the rest of the pics are on Facebook), and then the bottom is of my brother's best friend, me and the lumber jack looking guy is my husband. :-) Although the purpose of getting together was sad, it was great to see people enjoying their music again and to celebrate my brother in a positive, (semi) happy way. I hope they continue this for a yearly concert and to raise money for Jimmy V.

{Life Lately} Homecoming Parade

Yesterday was the high school's homecoming and the joy of living in a small town is that we got to have a parade! The Student Council at the high school puts it on and does a great job. The local sports teams all normally have a float (or a truck and flat bed trailer to show off all the kids) and so do the middle school and high school sport teams. There were also floats for the high school grades and other random items that change throughout the years. We got to ride in the middle school float for the cheerleaders and volleyball players. Lily wasn't sure at first but then she found Skittles!!

Here she is after the parade. Her outfit was too cute not to photograph but she wouldn't look at me for very long. I LOVE the boots! They are from Old Navy and I want them in my size (so does every adult that's seen them that likes boots). And of course there's pink in the outfit - her shirt and leggings. The skirt is cute too and I'm glad it still fits because it hasn't seen a lot of use!

Lily already knew she liked suckers and she definitely enjoyed a lot yesterday. Here she is showing off her favorite candy (well, her favorite might actually be M&Ms).

This was her yesterday morning with her jean jacket on and her hair wet from her bath. I love that when she says cheese she gets this biggest smile on her face. And yes, our tile floors have the biggest grout lines ever for small tile. It'll all disappear some day.

{Life Lately} Lily's Hair

Miss Lily has some crazy hair and this picture shows what it looks like in the morning and without any assistance from a comb or leave-in conditioner (a must with her hair!).

She's also playing with my ancient iPod that she calls the "white phone."

{Life Lately} Boating Fun

My parents, Doug, Lily and I went boating last weekend and here are some of the pics. We went on a nearby river and it was still pretty high from all the flooding. It was nice and we went to the little island that no one was at luckily (it was packed the last time we went) so we got out and went swimming. My mom and I look for rocks but didn't find many keepers. I did, however, find a small snake that most likely was a copperhead. Luckily it kept it's distance as we circled each other so I could walk past it.

Driving the boat with her Babby. She loves to drive the boat!

The view of the river with hardly anyone on it. Soooo pretty!

Walking on the rocks. Luckily the island we went to is rocky and not sandy or muddy. We forgot her water shoes but her hippo crocs worked great!
Swimming in her "green boat" and showing off her skills! She loves swimming!
Hanging out with Babby and Bapa!
A funny story that happened while boating... I forgot her swim diapers at home and we took her regular diaper off so it wouldn't swell up. We weren't thinking when we came back on the boat for lunch and after we were done eating, I noticed something odd on the floor. The floor of the boat is a grey color and this was brown. I quickly realized what it was and looked at the culprit. She was pooping! And because she had nothing on and the swim suit is too large for her skinny butt (don't I wish that was my problem!), it slid right out! It was hilarious. Doug had to wash her off in the water and get everything else out.

After we continued swimming, we got poured on! A big storm came through and soaked us as we were trying to get out.


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