Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Kisses Goodnight

Every night before I lay my daughter down in her crib, I give her two kisses- one from me and one from her daddy who's deployed in Afghanistan.

 I am anxiously awaiting his safe return home in four months so he can give Grace his own kisses. 

That's just 250 more goodnight kisses...but who's counting?


Sending kisses to our HERO.

Photo Credit: Skye Snyder Photography
This Memorial Day I've been thinking a lot about the costs of war. Thank you to those who have served and sacrificed. May we honor and remember you each day in the freedoms we enjoy. 

Family Focus:

Cole's Grandpa Les- United States Air Force
My Dad- United States Navy

Thank you. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sprucing Up The Nest

While I was visiting my sister in Maryland, we went shopping at Ikea! (That place is seriously A-mazing!) I'm attempting to decorate our house little by little, so I grabbed a few things to spruce up the nest that didn't require too much work or assembly.

My goodies included: 3 glass storage jars, a bag of chip clips, a door mat, 2 throw pillows, 2 bibs for Grace, 2 poster frames and 4 piece patio set...

I decided to add some labels to the jars using some chalk board paint. It was a pretty easy project, and I think it turned out great!

Perfectly functional, but lacking something...
Top left: The finished product  Top right: I traced my template onto scrap cardboard  
Middle right: I used a sharpie to trace an outline onto the jar (it's probably a lot easier if you don't put anything into the jar first like I did!) Bottom left: I carefully painted multiple layers of chalkboard paint, let dry over night, and then painted another layer  Bottom right: It kind of makes me want to label everything in the kitchen... (just kidding!)

Throw pillows for the couch
Here is a little before and after action in the living room:

The blank wall in the living room...
I decided to GO BIG with 2 photos of Grace and I! 
I'm considering painting the frames either light blue or sagey green. 
What do you think? Good idea, or leave them black?

Photos by Skye Snyder Photography
And last, but not least, the front porch which is sad and empty...

See the new doormat?

The patio furniture (some assembly required)... maybe I will wait until my mom visits in July!
P.S. Speaking of sprucing up the nest, I've been playing around with the look of the blog. What do you think? 

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

You Make Mom Jeans Look Hot

Fort McHenry, MD 
I think there are certain "firsts" that I will just always remember. My first job (Mervyn's), first plane ride (Santa Barbara), first car (Jeep Cherokee), first kiss (I'm not telling, wink, wink!), and first day of college (Sac City) are memories that are etched into my mind. I have a feeling that I will always remember my first Mother's Day, too. Not because I need a special day, I don't, but because it made me stop and think,

"Whoa, I will forever be Grace's, for the rest of my life!" 

My Mother's Day was perfect. Even from 7,000 miles away, Cole surprised and pampered me with flowers and a small appliance. Random and not so random acts of kindness from strangers, friends and family made me feel even more loved and lucky. I think Grace's gift to me must still be in the mail, though...

Having my own baby this Mother's Day truly makes me more appreciative of the love my mom has for my sister and I. Wow, Mom, you really love us a lot! Thank you for being so fantastic!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the wonderful moms in my life.  

Photo Credit: wit & whistle
You make mom jeans look hot!

Monday, May 7, 2012

An Interview With the Maryland 1/2 Marathon's Fastest* Twins

After weeks of training and worrying, Jennifer and I headed out to the Maryland 1/2 Marathon on a dreary and damp morning in our matching gear. Not only was I worried about our feet carrying us all the way to the finish line, I was worried about leaving Grace... FOR THE FIRST TIME. 
Just one of my 4 pages of rambling notes for Grace's babysitters!
Luckily, there was no reason to worry. Grace, Jennifer and I all survived the morning. The run was beautiful, and Grace and I both endured our longest separation yet. (Thank you to Grace's babysitters, Jessica and Phil!) 

The day was actually really emotional for me. I'll admit I cried. I cried when I left Grace, and then again at the start of the race. I cried when I ran past a man with a baby in a stroller. I cried when the volunteer gave me water at the first aid station... I cried after Cole called me from Afghanistan at mile 7. (I kept running the whole time I talked to him.) I cried after I crossed the finish line. 

Don't misunderstand, I wasn't bawling or anything, but I was definitely tearing up over everything. I think it was just the challenge of the day and my nervousness over leaving Grace combined with the feeling of awe you get seeing over a thousand people setting off to accomplish a goal. 13.1 miles. 

{An Interview With the Maryland 1/2 Marathon's Fastest* Twins}
*I actually can't confirm that this is true, but it sounds good. 

1. Why did you sign up to run 13.1?
Jen- I signed up in December as a way to keep running and motivated. 
Al- I like having a goal to work towards. Actually 
signing up and paying the money really motivates me... and terrifies me all at the same time!

Photo credit
2. What is your power song?
Jen- Say Hey by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Al- Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO

3. Do you have a running mantra?
Jen- It's about having the courage to start!
Al- Every step is one step closer. 

4. The funniest thing I saw during the race was...
Jen- A guy ran the whole thing jumping rope. It was effortless and graceful.
Al- Guys darting off into the bushes to pee. It must be nice...

5. At mile 12 I was thinking...
Jen- I was mad because my GPS was off and I had already gone 12 miles...but I figured I'd gone this far, so I couldn't stop now!
Al- Outta' my way suckers! I'm finishing strong! Haha!

Look how green it was!
5. Describe the day in 3 words.
Jen- Long. Inspirational. Drizzling. 
Al- Memorable. PR. Donut holes. (That's four words, I know!)

7. My next race will be...
Jen- Maybe a half marathon in Baltimore in October. 
Al- Some local 5K's and then maybe some more trail races in CA. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sweet Potatoes For a Sweet Girl

Mom's kitchen is officially open!

Grace is eating rice cereal and sweet potatoes.

(Homemade, nonetheless!)
She is about as good as eating it as I am at feeding it to her...