Thursday, March 31, 2011

Resolution Recap: March, Part Two (aka The Going Away Party)

I know I posted earlier today about all of my resolutions and how I did in March. Well, I spoke a little too soon! Brad and I were able to go out tonight, even if it was the last minute! There was a going away celebration for one of his coworkers/friends that has taken a new job that will allow he and his wifey to live at home (Knoxville) and close to their family. That is quite the blessing since she is 33 weeks pregnant with their sweet baby Elena! There was a crew of folks that met at Whiskey Kitchen (where we dined for my birthday back about 6 months ago), so I was super excited. And I'm not gonna lie - it was so nice for "Uncle D" (that's what I call Brad's company) to pick up the tab! Here are some pics from the evening - I'm pretty impressed that I've already uploaded and am blogging about the event that we just attended. I think that is some record for me! Anyways, here are some pics of the night....
Some of the guys

Me with Melinda! I sure will miss that girl (and don't worry - another post will follow about our lunch tomorrow...the wives of all the guys that work together and are buddies are heading out for lunch to spend time with Melinda and bring a few cute, pink things for her!)

Me and Brad - I don't like that my head looks twice the size his does. I do remember wondering if I was leaning too far forward in the pic as it was being taken. Oh well - pretty cute anyways! And I am loving that I finally have some color - after having gone to Punta Cana and spending some time in Phoenix (which, by the way, explains why I've been MIA lately - and will be featured in a separate post soon), I sure hope I look like I have some color!

And the happy couple! I'm so glad they have the opportunity to go home - and I can't wait to meet that sweet little girl! Doesn't she look fabulous for 33 weeks pregnant?!

Resolution Recap: March

I can't believe it is already the end of March! Whew! Where does time go?? I feel like I am doing better in some aspects of my resolutions, and finding other items that need improvement. I guess we will see what to focus on next month! 1) Read 14 books: I have finished 2 books so far, so I better put it in gear! I am about a fourth of the way through my 3rd book with lots of others I want to read. I typically read before I fall asleep at night, but lately, Brad and I have been watching DVRed episodes of NCIS - love that show! 2) Learn to sew: Nada. 3) Cook more frequently (2-3 times/week): Doing better! I found that if we sit down and write out a menu on Sunday for the entire week, we do much better at eating at home. That is mostly because we aren't deciding what to do for dinner at 5:00 PM. We just look at the list! Here is the list I made - and we keep it on the fridge! 4) Read the Bible everyday and read it all the way through: I need to do better with this. I still use the app on my phone to read it each day, but we have been traveling so much that I've gotten behind. In fact, I think I'm like a week behind. I will catch up though and get back into the routine in no time, I'm sure! 5) Use treadmill 4 times/week: Yep, need to get back in this routine too. As long as I exercise 4 times/week, I think that is sufficient. Last week I walked in my neighborhood 3 days in a row. And I need to clarify that walking in my neighborhood DEFINITELY counts as exercise - it is SO hilly. Great rear workout for sure! 6) Use coupons when I shop: I think, rather than just coupon shopping, I am going to have to go through the inserts and just cut out the ones I know I will use. I just don't have time to go through the different websites with the good deals and only buy those items - we'd be eating soap for dinner! Plus, if I am going to cook, there are just going to be things I need to buy for a meal that may not be on sale or may not have coupons for them! 7) De-clutter & simplify: Since I've been in and out of town, that just hasn't happened much this month. Always needed though! 8) Find a Sunday school class at church: Again, nope. Mostly because we've been gone. 9) Buy fresh flowers once a month: I didn't buy them, but I did have fresh flowers in the house! One of my friends bought them for me - so nice! She had a baby not too long ago and got them as a thank you for bringing them dinner and other items - certainly not necessary at all! But I do love fresh flowers :) Here is a picture of them! 10) Have a date night with Brad once/month: I don't know if we did this or not! We have been SO busy when we are in town and then being out of town too, so it may have gotten away from us this month. We will take care of that soon though :) 11) Send 2 handwritten notes/cards a month: Success! Here they are waiting to be sent! I actually one used one of these because the other thing I mailed was a birthday card! 12) Have another baby: Yep, still working on this. 13) Use more eco-friendly cleaners: Well, I bought this Haan steam cleaner and haven't used it yet! I can't believe that! I will definitely use it soon and post how it does. I also have been using Method products and I like them! 14) Have "structured learning time" everyday: This hasn't happened yet. Well, at least not in an organized fashion. Sure we play, read, run around outside, etc. But I haven't done anything structured and really intentional just yet. That will come soon. My big conference I plan is a week from tomorrow, so I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off (especially since we went to the Dominican Republic and Phoenix)! I plan to post some things I want to do soon though!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Every Itty Bitty Sprinkle

I'm afraid we have another sweets-lover on our hands. Yep, folks, Katie loves sugar. What toddler/little kid doesn't? She is a good mix of Brad and myself - she does like chocolate (Brad does not - quite un-American if you ask me), but she LOVES sugar cookies. I bought a box of them at the store a few days ago and she was beyond thrilled. After lunch and dinner she asks for a cookie (I bought the small ones so that she could have one). And I love watching her eat them. She is not wasteful at all. When she eats the cookie and a few sprinkles come off, she pauses, looks around, and picks up each teeny-tiny sprinkle and eats it! I think that strategy is quite cute. And I find it pretty cute that she loves cookies that much. When she is finished with her "teuh-tee", she always has blue fingers and a blue mouth from the sprinkles. Must be the sign of a good ending to a good meal.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You Know What Spring Means?

Oh, how I am loving the warmer, sunnier weather! We have been spending a lot more time outdoors these days. Unfortunately, I seem to have some allergies this year - but that isn't stopping me! I love fresh air - especially after being indoors all winter! Here are some pictures of what springtime has brought us so far! I can't wait for it to warm up more - you know what that means, right? POOLTIME! For now, spring will do :)

Sliding at the park after a picnic dinner with friends!

And swinging at the park...

Sliding with friends! This is Katie with our neighbor (who is about 7 months younger than Katie) - these two are going to be trouble one day! :) We also love that she is a little Auburn fan too!

Playing on the dinosaurs - I just love that look Katie is giving me!

...and yardwork. Yuck! Brad fertilized our yard last weekend. Our poor yard needs some definite TLC.

Evening walks! Here Katie is walking up the street with Grandma!

Fresh flowers! I love these bright, happy forsythia bushes!

Running around the backyard after naptime. She loves going out there and running and throwing the ball with Sadie!

Our two girls taking a break from playing. Clearly our yard needs mowing too :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All Decked Out For Easter

Now that it is officially spring and St. Patty's Day is longgone, I decided to break out the Easter goodies. It did require a small amount of shopping - I don't have many Easter decorations. I remember growing up, we had an Easter tree - my mom found a great big branch, spray painted it white, put it in a cute pot, and had Easter lights and ornaments all over it - so cute! I hope to have one of those maybe next year. For now, these decorations will do...

Cute little Easter tree and a dotty bunny!

I have wanted one of these domes for over 2 years and I finally found one at TJ Maxx! My mom had made these fabric eggs, and I think they look just perfect in the dome on our island in the kitchen!

Towels out in the kitchen

Easter egg wreath on the front door...

And the garden flag out in the flower bed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Punta Cana 2011

What a great trip we had! I will go ahead and apologize for the length of this post - and the number of pictures I have included. I took about 650 pictures on the trip, so narrowing it down to this many is a big accomplishment! We drove to Atlanta to fly in and out of because that ended up saving us a lot of money. So we drove there on a Monday and used some Hilton Honors points to spend the night near the airport and flew out that Tuesday. We were gone for a week and then drove home the evening we flew back in. I have to say - going through customs in Atlanta was such a pain! It didn't help that we were all tired and had a sick Katie in tow. But all in all, what a trip! The ocean was beautiful - and doing an all-inclusive was definitely the way to go! It is so different to order any and all of what you want - that could be dangerous after too long! Here we go with the pictures from the trip:

On our way to Atlanta - Katie has all her favorites with her in the car!

Reading books before bedtime once we arrived in Atlanta

We made it to Punta Cana!

No jetways at the airport there - kinda strange!

Once we arrived at the resort, we all changed into shorts and comfy beach clothes to walk around and go to dinner. Katie was definitely not so sure about the ocean at this point!

I'm not sure why, but I just love this picture - Katie was getting a ride on Daddy's shoulders to dinner!

Ready to head to the pool on our first full day there!

My favorite drink - the Ocean Blue. YUM!

Every night after dinner, we headed to the lobby! They had live music and the kids loved running around and dancing!

Again, Katie gets a lift on Daddy's shoulders!

Momma and her girl :)

I couldn't decide which picture I liked best, so I posted both of them - just love them!

An island sunset

Happy girl at dinner!

One of the few pics of the two of us on the trip

Such a funny expression - hanging out in the lobby after dinner

I love how soft her skin looks here. I think she was trying to find Elmo on TV.

Ready to hit the beach!

I love this picture - isn't that water beautiful!?

Happy girl - laughing at the other kids playing in the sand and ocean

And she finally decided to join in the fun!

Ahhh...I just can't get enough of this!


Letting the ocean water cover her feet

I think this is a neat picture

She loved splashing in the pool! I splashed out of the pool to get a wasp to go away and she thought that was the funniest thing ever!

Climbing out of the pool - and so happy.

Every day, there would be employees that danced and played games and music around the pool for a fun atmosphere.

Brad brought Katie back out after naptime - and yes, he put her bathing suit on backwards...

...the rear view of the backwards bathing suit!

Katie loved Kennedy's Dora suitcase!

Another "WOO WOO WOO!!" - she started doing that while we were gone! And I love it!

Do you think she's happy? You can see straight down her throat! We were playing in the lobby again...

I think she was dancing with someone here - such a sweet smile.

I'm so glad Katie figured out how to drink out of a straw before we went. She loved drinking juice (lemonade) anytime she could get some. We were most concerned with keeping her hydrated, so she drank a LOT of juice!!

Daddy & Katie reading before bedtime - she loved Goodnight Moon! She would hold her finger and say "shhh" when the part with the old lady whispering "hush" came up!

She also loved Elmer's Friends while we were gone. She learned what a kangaroo does (bounce) and what an owl says!

Look at that sassy stance!

A view of the kiddy pool

One of the bars with a swim up bar! Katie got to know the bartenders because of her love of juice! She would give them a fist bump (boom, as we call it) everytime!
The building our room was in
We had matching shoes! Hers ended up breaking - and it was only the first time she had worn them!

Katie and Kennedy

The 3 kiddos - we obviously went on this trip with another family and one of the sets of their grandparents! It was so fun!

The other family - great picture!

And our family picture

Katie playing in the lobby again!

I'm thinking of having this one printed and framed to hang somewhere in our house - I just love it!

Katie decided sand wasn't so bad after all. She and Brad worked on a little castle!

Turning the bucket over...

Voila! It was just a matter of seconds until she knocked it down :)

Pure bliss.

Happy girl. This was when she began the whining and not feeling so good.

Hanging out with momma in the pool!

Poor girl had a fever of 102! Thank goodness I packed our whole medicine cabinet!

Another family picture! Poor Katie.

Whenever Katie had her fever reducer, she got a second wind - as shown here!

The kids playing after dinner! Oh the laughter out of those kids - so sweet.

Daddy and his girl

And she was out - she would never sleep on us like that, so we definitely knew she didn't feel well at all! And we did go back to the room at this point - we didn't make her stay out (even though it was our last night there)!

The next morning - Brad had just given her the tshirt we bought her. It was the only thing we bought and brought home with us - a handpainted Elmo shirt. She LOVED it!

Katie loved these fish in one of the walkways through a building.

Happy girl waiting on the shuttle to the airport. Again, she had her second wind here because of the medicine!

This was heavenly. After eating at the resort all week, mostly off the buffet, we were ready for something different yet familiar. Wendy's was at the airport - and it tasted divine.

Right before we hopped on the plane to come home. She slept all but the last 20 minutes of the flight home - poor girl. She finally caught up on sleep and started feeling better after being home a couple of days. Thank goodness! What a great trip it was - I'd definitely go back, and I'd love to try a different resort to see what it is like! Maybe something a little more high-end so we don't have to deal with spring break-ers :)