Friday, December 31, 2010

Austin's "Bean-doc"

Austin enjoys the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cartoon and one of his favorites has a beanstalk on it. Lately he has been calling anything that is tall or like a tower a "bean-doc". So fun to see him talking more and more! His vocabulary while being in MN has grown so much as he tries to say everything that we say, however, probably only me (mom) can understand him. In this video he is building a bean-doc and his high pitched noise is actually him saying "look!" or "wook!". I am glad I captured it so well so I could show daddy how big he is getting!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Props to the Hubby for the awesome Lens!!!

I am SOOOO excited to post about this lens! I have been eyeing a Macro/Micro for some time now. After talking numerous times with the clerks at camera stores and photographers who know so much more than me, I was told that the Nikon brand name Micro would be best. Then of course after seeing the price and knowing that I don't take photos for money or a job at this point, it didn't seem logical to get such an expensive lens. So I was hinting to the hubs for a new prime lens to at least get some sweet photos. Little did I know what he had up his sleeve MONTHS in advance. So here we are Christmas morning and I have a present from "Santa". Haven't had one of those in years (wink wink). Unfortunately I messed things up and my dear and sweet husband wasn't able to see me open the gift ( one of those moments in life I wish I could take back and try again). But there it new Tamron SP 60mm F/2 Macro. I started crying of course, but I waited patiently until I could talk to my hubby to try it out for the first time. It has definitely taken me a bit to get used to the non-zoom factor of the lens, but it looks so good! YEAH! The funny this is, is that a few days before I was in the National Camera Exchange store, and the clerk had me hooked on this exact lens! So I am going to share some of the first photos taken with the camera...please give me tips to help create more crisp and creative what angles look good with macro and whatnot.

I love these two photos (above and below) because of how crisp the subjects are and how blurry the background is:-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Day and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Our Christmas Day didn't start till 8ish which was so nice! Woke up to cinnamon roles and opening stockings. Then an array of gifts under our tree! Don't worry it wasn't just for the boys...there was 9 of us total opening gifts. It lasted about 3 hours since we go one by one, but it was a blast to see all the thoughtful gifts given and received. Here are a few photos from the day!

The before and after Christmas tree, Austin waiting to open gifts and Logan digging in:-)

A few days before Christmas I made a cake to start a tradition of celebrating Jesus' Birthday. I really think and hope that this makes a difference for the boys and helps them understand the real meaning of Christmas, how Jesus was the biggest gift, and why it is so great to give of ourselves. I bought this plate this year that we can use every year for the cake. This year we ended up using it for all the baby Jesus' we had:-)
Logan singing Happy Birthday Jesus (yes the cake is not that appetizing, but it WAS tastey!) and Austin being oh so careful to get all his frosting. They each got to blow out some candles which was fun to see.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas stuff and Christmas EVE!

I LOVE spending Christmas in MN. Nothing like having a white Christmas, awesome decorations, family laughter and wonderful traditions. This will be my first post of many about our Christmas adventure this year!

First I have to show-off my mom's awesome ability to decorate her house. She has so many cute and original ideas for a country Christmas and I have noticed how I love the choices she makes more and more. Here are some mittens she has collected over the years and she hangs them on their french doors.

This is a button/bell/ribbon/bead garland over the banister in the kitchen. For those of you who don't know, my mom is an avid button collector and has made out pretty well over the years!

Can't forget the reason for the season right? I got this ornament for Christmas and I asked Logan who it was and he said "Mary with her baby Jesus!" How perfect that he knows this just as well and hopefully better than Santa:-)
We spent Christmas Eve this year with Mike's family as we switch every year what family we are with on either day. The boys had a blast checking out their gifts all day as we waited till the evening to open them. They made out pretty good! Mike even got to see some of their enjoyment of the present openings. So blessed to have this computer technology. Austin really surprised me with how into it he got, ripping off the paper and saying "Look!" in a high pitched voice.

Here is Austin saying cheese for the camera, Grandpa opening the toy, and then our Christmas Eve dinner...little Hens! We each got one. I thought it was so cute and clever for the boys who devoured their meals...YEAH!
Here we are back at my parents house. If you look behind them you can see another awesome decoration my mom made. Snowflake and button garland. I love it! We are leaving Santa's cookies here and of course they get to eat one too. I had to watch Austin so he wouldn't steal one of Santa's cookies off the plates. It was so cute because the first thing Logan asked me in the morning was "Did Santa eat his cookies?". It is so fun for this age! Stay tuned for more Christmas pictures to come! Plus I was spoiled by my hubby who surprised me with a new lens...can't wait to show off those pics!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Musical Monday

With the festivities of the Holidays being over, most of us look back on these days and cherish those moments with family. We laugh with our close loved ones at the joy experienced together. This is something I didn't realize how much I would miss this year. After having the past 5 Christmas Seasons together I guess I got spoiled. It was nice to have Skype work for the most part, but of course it still wasn't the same. I am very grateful to have two duplicates of Mike to help make me feel his presence.

Tomorrow is a major day in our relationship. You see, when we first met, I was the one to try and grab that first kiss from Mike. I was going to be his first girlfriend and his first real kiss...if he would only have done it! I tried so many times to kiss him, it actually became quite the game. Well, 9 years ago tomorrow I got that first kiss that is lasting the rest of my life. I wish we still had the futon that it happened on, or maybe a piece of the fabric or something. At least I know exactly what it looked like, exactly where we were, the movie we had just finished watching, and the sweet way he kissed me. I find it ironic how last night I had a dream about Mike and I having a first kiss:-) Wish I could have slept until he got back from deployment! Well, this song reminds me of that time in our lives and speaks my heartsong of wanting my husband home. Incubus "Wish You Were Here" says it all...feet in the sand, arms open wide, wanting my other half here with me now! I miss you darling! Thank you for kissing me and making me complete...

This was our Christmas from last year:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Tunes-Something Beautiful

This morning has been a rough morning...up since 5 and most of the night (not sure what is wrong with Austin) missing my man, dealing with my two wonderful but sometimes tough boys, and just going through the motions during this Holiday Season. As always, my amazing husband knows just how to calm me down and of course he did it through music. I have posted about this group before, but their lyrics can be so touching and reassuring. NeedToBreathe has a song called "Something Beautiful", which is one of their more popular songs right now. It talks about needing this deep desire for the Lord to consume our souls, wash over us and let us be taken up in His arms, give Him all our cares, and we will feel something beautiful.

Recently I have thought about the question "is this what I imagined my life to be like?" Taking care of two kids ages 3 and 1 with another on the way? Having a husband who I desire and need so much but is so far away and in harms way? Living in a part of the country that is not at all close to family or even the close friends I have made over the years? Sounds kind of depressing and overwhelming at times...but my answer to these questions is absolute YES. Without all this going on in my life, I wouldn't see the Lord work and see how beautiful and amazing He is. The timing of when I met my husband to the timings of his deployments, births, pregnancies, where friends are, etc. My family is far from us, but I have truly never felt closer to them. I have a few people that I depend on only because that is what I allow, and these people have never let me down...I love you guys! So praise God I am in this life! May not be what I had imagined, however, when I look back and try and think about what I wanted I don't think I really had a clue. Definitely wouldn't have it any other way and I am so excited for our future. I don't know where we will be in a year or what our plan will be, but I think that is the way to go for me. Just letting God do His thing and watching His beauty along the way! Thanks dear Husband for your encouragement and for always helping me up:-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I was stoked to get to my parents house for their huge tree and lights. Glad the picture turned out! I am enjoying this Christmas season and thinking about all that Christ has done for us. One of my favorite Christmas songs of all time is titled "Born to Die" Those three words say so much and just humble me in the most loving way. God's plan was perfect from the beginning and it puts me in awe every time I see how it all worked out and is till working out:-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowy MinneSNOWta

As I was walking to my "warmed" up van tonight to run an errand, I thought to myself "I can't believe I grew up in this crazy winterland!" So many winters gone by with so much snow, slush, "chocolate snow" (according to Logan), whipping wind, frozen boogers, cold finger tips and noses, and hat hair. It is fun to be back in the thick of it watching my little guy Logan enjoy the snow so much. He has been asking since the minute we saw snow on our drive to touch it and then to play in it when we got here. So we braved the single digits, bundled up and went out to play in the white fluffy snow. Otis was of course, more than happy to join us and chased after the snow balls thrown between us both. Here are a few photos of our enjoyment:-)
Is there anything as a child you did that you get to share now with your children/or look forward to doing it with your future child?

My parents house...the snow drifts are about 2-4 feet here

Otis sunk in the snow! Enjoying his time

At least 4 feet here.

Logan having a blast

Using a scooper to fling the snow around, at me and Otis

Sliding down the bank

Started a tunnel for Logan here...he was a bit hesitant to climb in...

Minnesota and Tuesday Tunes

So after 4 days of traveling (when it normally takes us 24hrs straight) we finally made it to MN! I will be posting more about our adventure in an other post, but wanted to do my overdue shout out to my husband!

This is another fun and flirty song, guess I am just in that mood...wink wink:-) This song I loved for a period of time and always thought of my husband. Can't even tell you how many times he has "taken my breath away!" So glad that after 7 years (yes 7 in just a few short weeks) of marriage my man can still make me giddy and take a double-take at him like it was the first time I saw his sexy smile and blue eyes. I never knew as a little girl what my husband would look like, or dreamt about a certain description. All I know, that whatever expectations I had...both physical and overall, he has blown my mind! I could go on and on about what triggers such joy and desire for him, but to be honest that is between me and him and I highly doubt you would want to know...hehe. These separations sure make the time we are back together so special and give us an overwhelming sense of passion and love. One of the biggest perks of military life. I also love how we fit together so well, how when I give him a good hug, we mesh together in all the right places, even the kiss on the forehead is in the right place:-) Anyways, trying to keep this you my dear husband!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas-time Fun!

Some of you may know that we will be traveling to MN for Christmas this year, and to prevent taking all of the boys' toys from us (mom and dad) we had our own little family Christmas a few days ago. We had a great internet connection and I positioned the computer just right so he could see all the commotion going on. I tell ya, a 3 year old and an almost 2 year old Christmas is quite fun. Logan did great taking turns and being excited for all of us. And Austin's expression of the day was "OOOOOHHHH COOOOOOOL!" -just like that. I used our video camera and also taped the whole thing so mike can watch it again (if he wants) when he comes home. It was a blast to pick out gifts for the boys because even though they would play with the same things, I could still find gifts that fit their personalities. So fun blessing your children!
We actually got a family photo! Austin was smiling so well and we all were looking...probably one of the best yet, go figure.

Logan just waiting (no it wasn't december 1st, just haven't changed the calendar in the backgroud)

Austin kinda looks like his Daddy here.

What a good brother Logan is here...sitting there with his hands in his lap while Austin opens a gift. Love it!

Talking do Daddy

Couldn't wait to get his hands on the gifts!

Showing Daddy his new Transformer...a little close Logan!

Austin checking out his toy

One of the best gifts for this little guy! Couldn't believe he figured it out too!

Austin showing Daddy his present.

Last but not least, their new workbench (taking place of the kitchen...another big hit!)

My mess to clean up...not that bad, but had to do it myself.

What a blast this was! It has been so wonderful having a whole family for the past several Christmastimes, we know we have been very blessed. This year was just as fun and we know we are in for it in the years to come. Hope you all have a great December and fun anticipation to your gift openings! OH! We also got to do this on our Half Way point...can't believe he has been gone for over 3 months already! Only 3 to go, YEAH!!!! Remember, Jesus is the reason for the Season!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Musical Monday

I have been waiting anxiously to do this song for the post since I started this! In fact, this is probably the reason why I started it! About a year ago Mike and I ventured on a vacation to one of THE most beautiful tropical places, Antigua. I will talk about it every chance I get and brag even more just because of how enjoyable it was. Prior to that vacation Mike was on deployment and I saw that hilarious wedding party entrance dance thingy on youtube like millions of us did. That song "Forever" by Chris Brown was brand new to me then. I don't really listen to secular music any more just because I feel like I am too old or out of date to get in to it:-) Anyways, I fell in love with that video and that song. THEN...too cool...they had the song on Jim and Pam's Wedding on The Office. I know...some of you, well probably all of you are laughing at me for enjoying a TV show so much, but Mike and I LOVE the Office and have enjoyed seeing the "relationship" portrayed by Jim and Pam, as fake as it is. Therefore, that song officially became our song for that time being and when we planned our trip to Antigua I would dream about all the fun we would have while listening to that song. Wheww! Had to explain the history of it...sorry it is so lame.

That song sure did fulfill our thoughts of fun in Antigua and it is funny I am posting on this song now thinking about our vacation because we are already thinking, dreaming and possibly planning another vacation! Unfortunately it won't be for well over a year due to finances and nursing our new baby, but waiting will make it so worth it!

So enjoy the song and feel free to look at my old posts about our Antigua vacation. Day1 Day2 Day3 Day4andDay5 Day6 Some fun facts about our trip:

  • I think it was better than a honeymoon because a vacation after having children and 3 deployments was WAY overdue. Plus we knew each other much better after 6 years of marriage that there wasn't any conflict as to what we wanted to do.
  • Even though I had amazing God given boys to come home to, I was truly sad to leave on the last day.
  • I probably acted like an 18 year old with all the freedom we had and love in the air
  • It was so nice to flirt in 80 degree weather, swimsuits on, and a hot husband.
  • The place was beyond gorgeous (I am partial though since I haven't been to any other tropical place) and I felt like I was seeing parts of heaven!
We got some professional pictures taken there, so here are a few!

Friday, December 3, 2010

6 months and counting!

For those of you who don't like my head being cut off, next belly shot will be able to be taken by someone else:-) Logan was running circles around me...pretty typical. I got the black shirt from my dear friend Casey and I love it! I will be wearing it more than she knows...too comfy

This is what I normally look like. Comfy pj's or sweats, with soft slippers. This is also what it looks like when I look down...either boys' hands on my belly (yes, Austin can reach it) and I can still see my toes. Logan likes to poke the belly...literally:-) Whenever we ask him what he we are having ...boy or girl, he still says girl. But I think he is sucker for those little baby girls around us. (yes he is still wearing his halloween costume)

Another routine week, with another routine belly shot. Baby M is doing great, getting stronger every day. There are times when this kid is really laid back and barely moves at all, and then there are times where I can feel it rolling around and doing somersaults! (spel?) It is still staying real low and kicks are in my low-lowest abdomen. It likes to join in a makes it's presence known when the boys are sitting on my lap or laying against my belly. I have found that I have acid reflux or heartburn. And it reacts when I have the things I want the most: chocolate and soda. Bummer dude. Can't wait for this one to join our family! I will be missing the next 1-2 appointments here in VA, so when I get back I will be close to 31 weeks and go right into my glucose test as well as another baby growth scan. Time will start flying!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving (kinda late)

Austin and his little smirk

Logan enjoying bubbles

The boys eating breakfast and watching Toy Story 3

Me actually getting some hot coffee for once (and TS3)

Austin talking to Daddy on my belly isn't actually that big, just a bad angle

Logan showing Dad his new gun

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I just realized that I took no pictures of food, or of us eating, or anything like that! Yikes! What was I thinking? I did get plenty of pictures of this adorable little girl, Daisy.

Had fun editing...Daisy and her Daddy

Daisy and her mommy

Daisy Baby!!!

Casey, me and our kiddos! Nice job Casey picking up Logan! What a strong momma you are! And yes, I look frazzled as always. no excuses.

We went down to NC to visit some friends, or family, which ever you want to call them...they are the same to us. Traditionally we have spent the past several Thanksgivings together. Gratefully, they let me and the boys join them yet another year despite the life of the party (my husband...haha!) not being there. I know next year when we are all together with 4 children total (who knows maybe more right Casey?) it will be total chaos. It was a low-key yet delicious meal, made all in about 2 hours or less. Some of their family joined us for the day and the boys ate up the attention...literally. They just hovered and hounded their family for attention! Guess I need to work on giving them more huh?

It was a much needed break for me as I got to have lots of good conversation about being a mom, photography, husbands, food, the Lord, etc. I could have stayed up all night talking, but our lives just don't allow for that any more. Seriously Casey, those conversations filled my cup and made it overflow! Thank you!

The boys got some man time and wrestled a bit with Joe (Casey's husband). However, we do now know that Logan does not like it when you play dragon. The bubbles were a hit as well as a little nerf gun...thanks so much!!!

There is so much to be Thankful for this year, yet I am still working on that attitude...thankfulness. I don't really let things, or I try not to let this get me down. I try and see the good side of situations because I know that every time something goes wrong, there is a lesson in it from the Lord. I pray that God showers all of you with Blessings this week as we prepare and are excited for the next Holiday Season. Thank you for my friends who love and care for me despite me not being the best of friend. Thank you family, for putting up with me during deployments, and well, the rest of the time:-) Thank you dear husband, for loving me beyond all imaginable, for being my best friend, for holding me accountable, and giving the best kisses. Thank you wonderful sons, for keeping a smile on my face and keeping me on my toes.