Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring and our Critters

We have been outside enjoying this beautiful weather, and snapping lots of pictures of our little princess:


And some pictures with Lexie, because Tracey Ann still adores Lex... I think Tracey Ann has realized that Lexie has a collar, and so on the rare occasion that Tracey Ann catches Lex, Tracey Ann actually CATCHES Lexie.  She holds onto her collar and makes sure she gets a good hug in.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Bests and Worsts Spring Break 2015

Spring Break Bests and Worsts:

 Worsts (because its better to end with the Bests):
  • the two nights Hubby did grad school
  • the fact our dishes, laundry, dog hair, and dust didn't go on vacation
  • the fact our house looks a little disastrous after our week at home

  •  24 hour date night with Hubby (dinner, a musical, sleeping late, breakfast out, and a hike)
  • playing tennis with Hubby -- Tracey Ann toddled around the court while we played which added a new dimension to the skill required
  • going on several runs and feeling like I'm getting my running endurance back little by little
  • renting several movies with Hubby -- I think the best one was Maleficent, which I enjoyed more than I was expecting
  • Hubby and me getting hair cuts
  • going to the shooting range with Hubby after a nice walk in that area
  • knowing the Hubby got some grad school work done
  • relaxing at home with Hubby
In sum, we had an absolutely wonderful week staying at home, enjoying our baby girl, reconnecting in our marriage, getting out enjoying Springtime, and rejuvenating ourselves for the last 9 weeks of the school year.

We may never travel for Spring Break again. 
Staying home was WONDERFUL!

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

24 Hour Date

During this week of Spring Break, Hubby and I took a 24 hour date.

We took Tracey Ann to her nanny's house on Friday afternoon with a LOT of accessories -- high chair, stroller, pack n play, diapers, clothes, sleepers, books, a bath tub, food, bibs, cups, milk, car seat and more.

Our nanny knows Tracey Ann very well, which is such a comfort to us, but we have never spent the night away from Tracey Ann.  Even when we've gone out for the evening, we are always home to put her to bed, so I came armed with a LONG list of points to cover regarding her bedtime routine.

All in all, Tracey Ann had a great time -- possibly a little less sleep than normal, but I guess that's the mark of a good slumber party.

And, Hubby and I had a wonderful 24 hour date.

We both got showered and dressed up and went out to dinner (and Hubby brought me roses)...

Then to see a local high school play, The Musical Shrek. 

Check out that dragon... the costumes and sets were awesome.

Lord Farquod was hysterical -- played by the actor on his knees for the entire show

Then, we got a REALLY good night sleep, we slept in, and then went out to breakfast, and went on a hike.


Lloyd kept looking for the mud and snow to cool down.

We didn't do anything major, but you really don't realize how much your baby impacts you activity until you have 24 hours without the baby.  Suddenly, we weren't concerned with snack times, nap times, bedtime routines, or diaper bags.

We LOVE our daughter so much and we wouldn't trade anything for all the accessories and hassle of having her with us -- but we both admitted how good it was for our marriage to have a 24 hour date.  We are going to try to make this a priority every month or two moving forward.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

What purse?

Hubby and I had our first overnight date night last night while Tracey Ann spent the night at her nanny's house.  Among other things, I found myself saying things like,
"What purse do I take if I'm not bringing a diaper bag?"

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Daddy's Little Helper

Yesterday Daddy had a little helper putting together her Radio Flyer.  It was the sweetest thing to watch the two of them working together.  We are trying to teach the lessons of "the best things in life are worth working for" and "anything worth doing is worth doing well" at an early age.


What a great feeling, to enjoy a job well done!

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Flashback: Rome Update 8

Flashback: Rome Update 8

Sunday October 17,  2004

Hey Y'all -

I cannot believe this is Rome Update 8.  I think I have more updates behind me than I do before me at this point.  That's a weird thought.  Well, I am writing a day early because tomorrow will start a wonderful and crazy week of midterms and Mom and Dad!  I just received from an email from Mom about 15 minutes ago saying that they were off and that she could hardly sleep last night because she was so excited.  :)

This past week was wonderful and included another girl coming to the Christian Fellowship group, theater rehearsals, the Opera FIDELIO, and a European Chocolate Festival in Perugia.

FIDELIO is the opera that is opening the opera season for the National Opera House here in Rome (Teatro dell' Opera).  I planned on going last weekend, but I saw signs at school that the Student Government was organizing a group to go on Friday so I signed up for that instead and went with a group of five other John Cabot Students and had such a great time.

The opera house was BEAUTIFUL!!  There were chandeliers everywhere, and I don't know how the school pulled it off, but we had boxed seats which were beautiful and had a perfect view of the stage.  FIDELIO is the only opera Beethoven composed, and the cast performed it extremely well.  The principles had amazing voices and the sets were top notch.  The opera is in German, but there was a screen above the stage projecting
the words of the songs... in Italian, so it was a very linguistically diverse night.

Then on Saturday, my roommate Christina and I went to the Perugian Chocolate Festival!  It was about a 2 hour train ride from Rome and we just had an AWESOME day!  We got a little lost trying to find the festival from the train station and so we stopped and asked many different people for directions (in Italian) and saw a lot of the town on our walk.

At the festival there were streets full of tents selling chocolate of every type.  There was chocolate pizza, chocolate bars, chocolate crepes, chocolate pasta, chocolate liquor, and the list goes on.  And all of the items were reasonably priced when you consider Perugia is said to make the best chocolate in Italy.  Christina and I ate our way through the festival.  We had hot chocolate - REAL HOT CHOCOLATE... like melted chocolate in a cup and that is what you are served.  They hardly even add milk, they sell chocolate warmed up.

It was an awesome day.  We did lots of shopping (both for ourselves and for Christmas presents) and found ourselves finally getting the hang of conversing with Italians in Italian.  It was a really cool, very cultural day.  We also tasted the best tasting wine either of us have ever had.  It was a sweet red wine that is SOOO good - and selling for the same price as water.  The least expensive drinks they sold were for 1 Euro, a bottle of water, or a glass of wine.  We found that comparison amusing.

Near the end of the day, we were trying to get back to the train station, and the way that the security men were directing people was into a building but the route down to the station was blocked due to a Spanish music performance going on, and through the building was the only way to walk down to the station.  So Christina and I found a security man and were trying to explain as best we could that we were unable to get through the building due to this music and asked if there any alternative route.  It was a very difficult exchange, but finally one of the officers just told us to follow him, and he took us to a local police car and drove us to the train station.  It was really cool and we were extremely grateful.

The chocolate festival has a website, if anyone wants to check it out: www.eurochocolate.com and then you click on the British flag in order to get the English translation.

Today it is back to reality with a paper to finish and two midterms for which to study, but Mom and Daddy are getting here tomorrow so it definitely gives the proper incentive for working hard today.  Please keep Mom and Dad in your prayers today as they travel, and throughout this week as they are trying to see Rome and see me, and I am trying to see them and study.  I am SO excited to see them and show them Rome.  I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas!

I miss you all and send my love!  :)

- B

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Forever Isn't Long Enough

My mom was a big Michael Bolton fan while I was growing up.  I knew most of the lyrics to his Time Love and Tenderness album, not because I loved the music, but because it was played around the house and in the car so often.

One of his songs on that album is "Forever Isn't Long Enough" and the rest of the line goes on to say, "... to give all my love to you."

My husband and I are coming up on our fourth anniversary.  It's still a few months away, but it really baffles my mind to think about it.

Four years is like nothing.  Four years is such a tiny window of time.  Four years is how long I was in college, and high school.  Four years seems so small when you think that we will spend the rest of our lives together.

And yet, in four years everything has changed.  In four years we have become so good together.  In four years we have become such strong partners.

After four years I can't imagine anything without my husband.  After four years he is still my favorite person.  After four years he is still my best friend.  After four years we still are such a good balance for each other.  After four years we still want to make the other happy and make the other's dreams come true.

We have done so much in the past four years, and they have been wonderful years.  But we have hardly scratched the surface of all our dreams for our life together.  We still have so much more life to live.  We have so many more things to work toward.  We have so many more things to work out.  We really are just getting started.

When I think about the things we, Lord Willing, still have before us, it is not as simple as "We'd like to buy a house.  We'd like to have another child.  We'd like to travel to Asia."  We have so many more arguments to have.  We have so many more jokes to make.  We have so many more loads of laundry to do, and trash cans to take out.  We have so many more meals to eat together, movies to watch together, cuddles to have with our daughter in the middle, walks to take with Lloyd off the leash.

When I think about the next four years, ten years, twenty years, forty years... forever really isn't enough.  My husband isn't like a bag of chips where after a few handfuls I've had enough.  He's not like my college or graduate school that eventually I've learned all I can and move on.

We have grown together these four years.  There have been new animals, new family members, new living situations, new medical challenges, new diets, new trips, new dreams, new books, new churches, new friends, new jobs, new hobbies, new schooling... but we have belonged to each other throughout the changes.

I'm not saying it will be easy... these past four years haven't been easy.  But every year is work, every year gets better, and every year is wonderful.
Forever really isn't going to be long enough.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

And It Begins...

 And so it begins...

It was dinner time and Tracey Ann signed that she was hungry. 
So, I put her dinner in front of her, we said prayer, and she was good to go. 
Then she looked up at me and shook her head, "No." 
I said, "I thought you were hungry." 
She signed, "hungry." 
I said, "Well, this is dinner."
-- She then signed, "Daddy." 

Apparently we know who lets her get away with not eating her vegetables.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Bundled Up

The end of last week, Tracey Ann came up to Vail with us and we had her all bundled up -- and so was SO ADORABLE!!!

She's now walking all over the place... but in this outfit, she could barely move.  She was warm... but she could barely move.

She is such a mountain girl -- and such a Daddy's girl.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Her Mom

Some days, I surprise myself when I realize that I am a mom.

How can I be a mom?

I am so many things I don't plan to be when I'm a mom... and I'm so few things that I plan to be when I'm a mom.

I'm still a kid.  How can I be a mom?

Clearly there's been some mistake.  Don't you realize I'm still the same girl I was in high school?  Yeah, I know, "technically" I was in high school 15 years ago... but I'm still that same girl.

There is no way I am actually a mom.

***  ***  ***  ***

Then, I think of my daughter, and I breathe her in, and I feel her little body in my arms, and I see how she looks at me when she reaches up for me to carry her...

I am HER mom.

Of course, I am HER mom.

I make mistakes, and have a lot of learning to do... but she is so forgiving and she is the best thing in my life -- the biggest challenge, and the best thing.

When I think of being HER mom, it is the most natural, perfect thing that has ever been.  All is well, and all will be well when I am HER mom.

***  ***  ***  ***

I'm still a little too nutty to be A mom.

I guess its a good thing I am not A mom.  I am HER mom.

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