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I am a recovering student, finally free from the grasp of higher education

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Sunday, November 27, 2011


Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!! We had a fun Thanksgiving this year. It started out a bit sketchy with a little girl who is teething and also had a cold. She forgot to sleep on Wednesday and when we got her home after our date, she woke up every hour from 1 am to 8:30. It was rough. We went to Mike's uncle's house for the big family gathering and ate and played some games. We left from there and went out to some friends house for another dinner. The smoked turkey was amazing and her potatoes... TO DIE FOR!!! I must get her recipe, something about white and gold potatoes with a sweet potato and turnip thrown in and of course butter, cream cheese and milk. OH MY!

Friday we all stayed at home and lounged, watched some TV, slept, ate some leftovers then went to another friends house for some leftover food and great conversation. We were so blessed and so stuffed at the end of the two days.

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving here are a few of the things I am thankful for (in no particular order).
1. Family. I love my small little family.
2. Health
3. Heavenly Father
4. Jesus Christ
5. Alabama football
6. a warm home that keeps me safe
7. Amazing friends near and far. (and too many are far away)
8. My sister... she is pretty awesome
9. laughter from my family
10. the internet
11. Food. We have been so blessed with awesome cookbooks that make me a pretty darn good cook
12. A husband who does dishes so I don't have too...
13. A mom and dad who bring us home to spend a whole month with them.
14. teething tablets and children's advil.
15. Men and women brave enough to go out and fight for their country, people like Mark A. Forester.

I hope everyone out there had a fantastic Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday

On November 4th 2011 my happy smiling baby turned 1!! It was a Friday night so we didn't do much. We sang happy birthday to her and gave her extra attention (is that possible??). I had to work that night so we kept it pretty low key. I did make her a tye dye cake. It was not bad but I realized 1/2 way thru mixing the colors I didn't buy food coloring, I bought a box of icing tubes. OOPS! oh well. I also think I forgot to add a bunch of the powdered sugar to the frosting.. my buttercream was... well buttery. Stella loved it. We took the family to the park. I was chilly but not to cold. Until the wind started. It was crazy windy. So we left Stella in the car sleeping and ate at the picnic table without her. :) We were joined by Mike's brother Jamison, his wifey Sheri and their cute baby James. Mike's parent we not there yet. So after we ate lunch we decided it was too cold to stay so we headed out to the church. Some friends were setting up for a wedding reception so we snagged on of the extra rooms and set up her birthday cake. Mike's parents met us there and we had a low key but fun afternoon. Stella really loved her cake. I stripped her down to eat and true to form the church was cold so she started shivering. I tried to take the cake from her so I could put her clothes on and she snatched her arm away and shoved the cake in her mouth. It was pretty funny. I let her shiver and shake for another moment then I cleaned her up.

The birthday cake decorated by Isabel

Birthday Girl!!

loving my cake!

We spent the next little bit playing with the kids. Stella did open up her present and got some awesome stacking/nesting balls from her aunt and uncle. She LOVES them. She also graced us with more walking and crazy laughter while playing with a balloon. Seriously, it's crazy how much fun kids can have with an air filled piece of latex.

Happy with the balloons.

The rest of the night consisted of a bit of shopping, a reception and dropping the girls off at Gma and Gpa so we could go watch the LSU/Bama game at a local bar/grill.

All in all it was a super fun day (minus the outcome of the game of course). Sunday we had our big family home evening with extended family. I made two cakes and man...they were AWESOME. My buttercream was to die for and my chocolate... oh my.

For posterity's sake
Stella is 22.7lbs and 28 in tall.

Friday, November 11, 2011

October recap

I have been waiting to have the camera to download all of our pictures and Mike takes it most everyday for work.... so.. I'm (patiently) waiting for the camera. I worked and worked the whole month and finally we were able to use our Groupon to Grant's Farm here. I had never been and I LOVED it! Grant's Farm is a 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, located just south of the city of St. Louis. The Farm is home to more than 900 animals representing more than 100 different species. Ulysses S. Grant founded and farmed a portion of the 281 acres. There was a tram that took you around so you could see the wildlife and it dropped you off at the center of the farm. There were places to feet baby goats, which was awesome. One of them was trying to eat the fringe off Stella's pants and Izzy couldn't figure out how to walk with them jumping on her. We went to an Elephant show, fed some chickens and saw the Clydesdale. I forgot just how GIGANTIC their feet are.

Tram ride into park


feeding goats

We also had our ward Truck or Treat party, we didn't get to stay long but the girls were cute in their matching outfits. After that party... Some great friends from back home who are HUGE Cardinals fans flew in town just for the 7th World series game. So Mike and I ran down to the stadium to watch the game just outside gates. It was so much fun. After a nice visit at Steak N Shake we finally ended that part of the night.

Halloween night we went over to our old stomping grounds and did trick or treating. Stella made friends with a really cute dog and a bunch of ladies. Izzy made a haul and will still be eating her candy in February. :)

So blogger is being funny and my preview is all messed up... Hope you enjoyed the many odd faces of Stella!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Stella has a little buddy, meet Kyle. Kyle is the son of a friend of mine that I get to watch periodically. He was born a week before Stella and is SO CUTE! I love watching him. This last time a couple weeks ago I started snapping some pics of them both right after their naps. Kyle's face was almost dead pan the whole time Stella was slapping his back and laughing. I love that she cracks herself up. And yes... my child is naked.


I know that you shouldn't have favorite children. I mean heck I only have two living with me but at times I love them both (ok...all the time) and sometimes... well you know. But for the last few weeks this cute face (I wish I had another recent picture of her doing this)

She is awesome! School has been so good for her, it's helping her focus her energy, follow directions better, she is so helpful at home. Isabel loves playing her with little sister... you know this one..

Now of course I love this little girl, she is super cute and squeals all the time. But.... well but. Yesterday we were all desperately trying to take a nap, I have been working so much that I needed sometime to sleep and lay around with my family. Since Stella decided to sleep during church she took it upon herself to try and keep us all awake, squealing with some sort of delight, crying when we tried to ignore her, climbing all over us with her booty in our face. I tried telling her that I would love her more if she just gave me 30 min...honest to goodness, she laughed at me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

one of those days

You know when you have those days where the powers that be are conspiring against you? yep, that's me. Yesterday went pretty well, sewing class was great, I went and babysat for a friend, that was fun but poor Stella never got a nap. So we get home at 3:30 I put Stella down for nap, got Isabel from the bus... and live as we know it was over. Stella was CRANKY (of course I did feel bad that her sleeping was off) and the rest of the night was more cranky, no making her happy, whining, whining and more whining. In the middle of all this I was trying to get my FBI background check info so I could be a chaperone for Izzy's field trip today. (oh and Isabel is the best daughter, I love her!) My work requested me to have it done, but the school also requires it to be with the kids. So I thought 'great I'll knock it out and it will count for both'. So 2.5 weeks ago I went and had it done. Now it turns out that even though it was categorized the same for both, done thru the DESE (dept of Edu) Isabel's school doesn't have access to it. I just don't understand. Isabel was CRUSHED when I told her I probably won't be able to go. I could find no way to log in to check it, no one could help me, my boss was calling to get it done also and to no avail.

Finally we go to bed, it took Izzy 2 hours to fall asleep, Stella was crazy so I went to bed in tears. (my apartment is also a MESS so that wasn't helping) Fast forward to 6:00am. Stella wakes up screaming bloody murder I get her calmed down and for the next 15 min it was like she had turrets, randomly crying or screaming out in her sleep. So all this has left me with an awesome day I'm having trouble shaking. I apologized to Isabel for not being there for her fieldtrip, she understood but said it would be so much more fun if I was there. So Isabel loves me, Stella is driving me nuts (I'm so grateful for cute kids that I can't stay mad at... Stella grins and melts my icy mood). However she did just fall asleep....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

one year

I can't believe it's been one year. I was driving home from work and it hit me that it's been one year since I received a call from Cheyenne telling me that Sr Airman Mark Forester was killed serving our country. I cried on the way home. I cried for the loss of my friend, cried for his family, and cried for what might have been in store. Followed behind those tears was an overwhelming sense of love and pride for what Mark did for us, for Mark living his life, and dying, doing what he felt was his duty, and was what he felt God wanted him to do. My thoughts and prayers are with my friend Thad, with his family. I hope I can always teach my children of the sacrifices, the selflessness of so many who are better examples then I.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New design

Big thanks to Sara Archi for helping me fix my blog! I'm a bit technology challenged and she help....but "she" lost my blog list.(just kidding).... rather blogger is silly so if y'all don't mind leaving me your blog addresses again. Most I should be able to find again, but just in case.

So Thanks Sara!! And now I can weed out some blogs that seem to be dead...or just never updated... :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11

I am humbled and honored this day. Humbled for the obvious, so many people were victimized, so many died, so many injured and hearts still ache, tears still fall and lives were forever changed. I am honored to be an American. Honored to live in the same country where thousands are selfless enough to run into burning buildings, to search for hours, days for survivors. Honored to be served by those are willing to fight for our country overseas, to give their lives to try and save ours.

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing, like everyone else. Today we tried to teach Isabel about why we keep this day a sober one. We watched a bit of the tributes, explained about the planes and towers. Why people would want to hurt us. As much as her little self could understand. When she seemed a bit overwhelmed we turned it off. I hope she can learn to appreciate the freedoms we have, the country we live in, and the giving on ones self that our country displayed that day. For those who died, for those who fought against the hijackers and changed the route of the plane etc.

God Bless us all.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

first day of school!! first day of school!!!

"dad, wake up! First day of school, first day of school!"
I thought of Nemo when Isabel woke up last Wednesday for her first day. She was so excited to get out there and really be a big girl. She wanted to ride and I really wanted to take her, so a deal was struck, if she let me drive her to drop her off, I would let her ride the bus home. She was good with that. So off she went with her back pack and her lunch all packed. She was so excited! My 5 year old is getting so big!
Mommy walk me in!

Public transportation is our friend.

Reunited and it feels so good!

Friday, August 12, 2011


Love these two photos!

July 4th, birthday week and Pioneer day

Now that we're on our way to celebrating Labor day, I thought I would finally post about July 4th. We started out our 4th with a pancake breakfast at the church, (yum!), followed by the parade, the girls loved it but then we left when the rain really started coming down. Mike's best friend Cameron, his wife Annette and their cute kids were in town for Annette's family reunion. So we to to hang out with them. We headed to the Science Center for most of the day with the kiddos before heading down to the arch grounds to watch the fire works. Let me just say that spending 4 hrs by the arch with approx 12 adults and 12 children is SO much more fun then just having the 4 of us. The kids had a great time dancing until there were so many people there was just no room. Watching the fireworks was great, the kids had a blast with it.

Then we celebrated birthday week (or in this case it was drawn out for two). Mike has his favorite peanut butter chocolate chip cheesecake, I had a yummy key lime pie. And we both had more candles then we really wanted. :) Mike's mom also had us over and man I love my two girls!

And for pioneer day, we attended our ward activity and played with friends sat in the shade on a crazy hot day. It was good times with good friends. Mike participated in the pie eating contest, although he didn't win, he did stay the cleanest...I think he deserved a shout out. :)

Our last offically summer before school!

We ended summer the same way we started.. on a high note with lots of family time. We took the girls to the history museum, Izzy has been dying to go there, thanks to Ben Stiller and night at the museum.

Isabel loved looking at the exhibit of the 1904 World's Fair here in St Louis. I learned that the first bread maker was showcased here, the carpet broom, ice cream, and more stuff that I have forgotten in the last couple weeks. Izzy also went to a salon for a hair cut. She was so excited to sit in the chair and get her hair cut! I of course forgot my camera.

We then went swimming last week as a final hurrah. Isabel made some new friends, Stella loved the slide and enjoyed crawling in the water. I was of course worried that she would face plant and drown. When I would put my hand under her to make sure she didn't fall she would stop crawling and toss my hand out of the way.

Izzy sliding, Stella sleeping, and Izzy pouting because we need to leave. Ended a great day at the pool!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slows cooker bags

I just had to post really quick. There is not much more I hate, and will delay, to the point of...well a disgusting mess, then washing a huge baked on mess out of the crock pot. Especially if I've made a roast. That greasy, fatty residue is enough to make me gag. Well a few months ago I bought some Reynolds slow cooker bags on sale. Let me just say ....heaven in a cardboard box. Simpy place the bag around the crockpot bowl, add and cook as you normally would. When you're done.....simply task out the bag and throw it away! Genius, best thing next to Gouda cheese. The second time I used one I punctured the bag with a fork but the ensuing mess was still next to nothing. I made an awesome tamale pie tonight but wanted to use shredded chicken instead of meat so I threw 6 giant chicken breasts (not all for my pie!) and some salsa and let it cook for 5 hrs. After taking the chicken out I threw out the bag and put away the crock pot. Huge time and mess saver in my little kitchen (and sink). So if you haven't used them go now, right now and get them.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

new place

So here it is.. my 2nd Saturday in my new place. I write from sitting here on my bed, Izzy laying on her bed on the floor next to mine. Stella sleeping in the pack n play, in the kitchen. The bathroom 6 steps away. We moved out of our house that was built almost 4 years ago. It finally sold! We were very lucky to have sold it and moved into an apt for the time being. We will start remodeling soon and have bigger space to live it. But for the time being... we are in 312 squ ft. Yes, you read that right. 312 squ ft. It's crazy. But working pretty well. We'll be in here for about 30 days then hopefully be able to spread out slowly. So for now we are on an extended camping trip. :) We have a had a great time most everyday. We are leaving the house daily, Izzy and I can walk to a friends house that's very close, the park is about 4 blocks away. So for now we are on our next great adventure! I can't wait to start work and get dirty working on our home, well not too dirty.. can't bring all the lead paint dust back to my girls. :)

And we finally just got the crib set up. I love it! So does Stella, she was spending time just staring at all the bright colors. Should be a pic up on FB. ( I'm too lazy to grab my phone and up load to my blog right now.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


warning.... more pictures again.
Orlando segment

Monday we drove to Orlando and reached our hotel. Isabel was SO excited when she finally figured out where we were. We hung out at the pool that night and watched Oliver and Company on the big screen poolside. Tuesday we woke up nice and early and went to Magic Kingdom. Mary Poppins was the first we saw to take pics with and we played in Fantasyland for a while. We met Rapunzel, Flynn, Mary Poppins, Tiana, Prince Naveen and of course Mickey and Minnie. Isabel has a crush on Flynn and we have a great picture of him doing the smolder. That little girl had so much fun!! Stella about melted but thankfully we avoided heat stroke. We at some amazing food for dinner at the Liberty Tavern. Isabel and Mike went on Buzz light year and Izzy kicked Mike booty at the game. :) We conquered Izzy's fear of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and now she wants to be a pirate. I really have the best girls.. (have I mentioned that already?) 13 hrs at Magic Kingdom and no crying, no whining, no "my feet hurt" it was magical. We took the bus back, and the girls fell asleep. A couple of quick showers later and we were all in bed ready for the next adventure.

Wednesday brought on Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney. We go to Hollywood Studios and honestly I wasn't expecting much... man it was great. The interactive Disney channel show (Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Club, Little Einsteins and Jake and the Pirates) so great, Little Mermaid show was fun, albeit a tad scary. Ursula was HUGE! Isabel was curled up trying to not cry in her seat. The Monsters Inc show was hilarious as well. It really was a great venue for kids. We ended our trip there with the Toy Story arcade game ride. Again.. that was so fun.

Downtown Disney was fun. We took a but to the Saratoga Springs hotel and took the water taxi over. We walked around and waited for our dinner at Wolfgang Puck. There is a water fountain over by Planet Hollywood and Isabel made a friend so we watched her play and run around for 45 minutes. Dinner was fantastic, although we were still full from lunch. My salmon so amazing as well as my key lime pie, oh my goodness!!! We barely made it home... bus never wanted to get there and when we did.. we tossed everyone in the showers again and tossed them in bed. Poor Stella was not doing so great after lack of proper naps and getting so hot. At least Tuesday we were in air conditioning most of the day. One more day to go.

Thursday we were all so tired getting up but had to be up early for Isabel's princess breakfast at Epcot. We were running late due to a wrong turn and ran so fast inside. Thankfully all was well. She had a blast getting to do the princess parade with Cinderella the 1st time and Aura the 2nd. Since we were celebrating her birthday she got a card signed by all the princesses (and Mary Poppins). She was totally smitten. We did a bunch of rides, walked around the aquarium at the Nemo ride ( I love the picture in front of the 'mineminemine' birds) and enjoyed watching sea turtles, dolphins and a manatee. We walked around to a few countries but we were all exhausted by this point. We did hit the reset button when we picked up some frozen lemonade and stopped by the french bakery and ate some yummy, yummy food. We ended the day about 3 o'clock with a ride on the monorail. And yes, we're already planning our next family vacation there! Next time I think we'll definitely plan a day or two of rest and not try and do three days in a row. But it was a GREAT trip!