Friday, July 30, 2010

Time with Grammy and PawPaw

Ok, everyone. This is what you've been waiting for - Bella pictures! I don't take offense at all. She is pretty stinkin' cute and I probably go to the blog daily more than anyone else! While Mike and I went to Seattle, Bella stayed with her Houston grandparents and i'm sure had a great time! Her Grammy wrote the sweetest letter to her after that trip - and I BOOHOOOED once I started reading it. It was written to Bella so I was trying to read it to her - but, it took me a couple of times because of the tears. I thought I would let that letter tell the story of Bella's time with Grammy and PawPaw. I know Bella will read this over and over when she gets older! Without further adieu, here's Grammy's precious letter to her precious granddaughter.

Dear Bella, Miss Cutie Patootie!
You just left our house after spending three days with me and PawPaw. We had such a good time! You are so much fun to have around here. I miss you already. Here are some pictures to remind you of this trip.

I love these pictures of you and Peanut Every time she walks in the room, you stop what you're doing and wave and say "Hi Peanut". You wanted to sit with her in her doggy bed - and she wasn't so sure at first, but you were gentle and sweet and won her over for a little while.

We had fun at Old MacDonald's Farm - even tho it was so hot! We saw an ostrich, a peacock, pigs, sheep, horses, cows, ducks, llamas and deer. And we got to ride the train.

We went to see MeeMaw and she took us to the toy store to let you pick out a toy. After several minutes of looking, touching and trying things out, you came across a baby stroller and that was it - no more looking - just pushing the stroller everywhere! You got upset with us when we went to get in the car because you had to stop pushing a while. You did settle down to tell MeeMaw thank you. When we got home, we got you a purse and put a bear in the stroller and you were so content. You stayed busy going through the house, outside on the porch and inside again with it. I'd say that toy was a hit!

I'm running out of room, so I just want you to know how much we love you. You stole our hearts the minute you were born - continue to take us to places our hearts never knew were there.
Love you bunches and bunches,
Grammy and PawPaw
PS: Hug your mommy and daddy for us. I wonder if they know you're so special because you're a reflection of them.

Sooo, did you have to grab your kleenex? Yes, I did too! Mike and I are certainly thankful for them!
And these are more pictures from the weekend! Enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seattle: Part II

Now, where were we? Aww, yes. On Day 3 of the grand adventure to the North West - also known as 'The Smith's take Seattle by Storm' or 'The Smith's thought of their cute daughter the whole time they were gone' or 'Wait, that's Mt. Rainer yet again??'...whatever you want to call it.

Here's another fun shot of Mt. Rainer from the University. Can you tell we loved it?
So, Day 4 was spent going to a park at Lake Washington that had great views.
Another profile shot - just enjoying walking and chatting with one another. By Day 4 the time change was really beginning to catch up with us. We were waking up at 4:30am thinking it was time to get up and going to bed late in Seattle which was really late in Texas.
Then we ventured to the Seattle Center to do the uber-touristy-thing, the Space Needle. It's WAY overpriced but everyone needs to do it once, right? Well, we did so now we can say we've done that. The views of the Cascades, Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and Seattle really were pretty spectacular. Yep, there's Mt. Rainier again...just popping in the picture.
And here's the cute hubby letting me take yet "another blog picture".
Then it was off to the airport, a delayed plane ride home, a 4 hour plane ride, arriving in Houston at 1:30am, sneaking in to look at the kiddo, Mike picking the sleep kiddo up to snuggle and rock because she was just too cute not to squeeze, me 'ooh' and 'ahhing' at our sweet kiddo, Mike and I saying "She looks so big! I think she grew" numerous times, finally going to bed after sneaking in to just stare at the sleeping kiddo again, getting up at 6am, driving back to Temple and going to work at 1pm. whew! Then we crashed pretty hard core that evening. But it was a great trip. The End.

Ok, y'all so Part II wasn't near as cool as Part I. But I wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything. Applications for schools are due in December/January, decisions are made Februaryish, and i'll know which schools think i'm awesome and which ones don't by March. I have my top four picked out - and when I googled "Schools of Public Health" rankings guess which ones were the top four? Yep, you guessed it. The four schools I picked. Way to go Emily. Oh well. If you don't shoot for the stars you'll never know. Right dad? We'll keep you posted. It's a hard decision too as it will probably take us away from Texas or New Mexico. Ugh, not going to think about that now. We'll just keep praying and join in with us if you'd like.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seattle 2010: Part I

Hey everyone! As promised, I am blogging our Seattle adventure extravaganza...or whatever you want to call it. I am currently researching PhD programs in epidemiology/international health and the University of Washington has a fantastic program. So, we decided to go and make a vacation out of it. Can I get an 'amen' to that? Sweet Bella was taken very good care of by her Smith grandparents in Houston and I heard she had a great time (yes, for all you Bella-lovin-people i'll post those pictures next.)

We landed at 6pmish Washington time so it felt much later to us Texans. And the weather was awesome! I was laughing with Mike when I was trying to pack..."I don't remember what 60 and 70 degree weather is. Is it 'bring a cardigan' or 'wear your fall sweater' weather?" After we landed we trecked across the airport, took public transportation to the University and walked to our hotel that wasn't too far away, thankfully.

Day 1: I began the day with a morning run through the University, which was beautiful! I actually got lost in the University but the sights were still pretty regardless. And I wasn't completely covered in sweat when I returned, like I usually am in Texas. Mike and I began the day together by going to Pike Place Market. Yes, we did do the Seattle-touristy things most of this day. And this Market did my gardening-organic-healthnut wannabe soul good! Fresh veggies and flowers everywhere! Beeeu..tieau...ful! Awww, gotta love health conscious people. Notice my frizz-ball hair in the picture? It was raining and alas, my natural curls all came out!
Then we took a ferry across the Puget Sound to Brainbridge island. And it was coollddd! Apparently I totally judged the 60 degree sweater-weather wrong. Oh well, us Texans have a hard time with that. It was a beautiful view of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, Seattle, the Sound, and overall Washington Scenery.
Beautiful Seattle sky line!Bainbridge Island with fancy-smancy homes.
Aww, self portrait. There weren't many people on the ferry at all - so, it made for a nice relaxing ride for this couple! Also, notice my hair is in a pony tail. No more curly frizz ball for me!
My man on the ferry!
After a very relaxing day, we had to book it to get to the hotel, change into business attire, and go for my first interview. whew...after that we enjoyed dinner on Lake Washington. uhem. And the weather changed to beauty for us...70ish during sunset! Here's our view from our table.I had the best halibut i've ever had. I guess Texas seafood isn't quite as "fresh" as Washington. Notice that bridge up there? yeah, that's interstate 5...thus, we could barely hear eachother talking. Oh well, it looked picturesque. Mike had himself a good ole' steak. And it was yummy!Day 2: We spent the morning being lazy since I had interviews starting at 11 and basically going throughout the afternoon. All the interviews seem to go very well and I definitely moved the University of Washington to my top 4 programs to apply for. After a long day of talking, we met up with some of Mike's parents friends they knew when Mike and Christie were little kiddos. (I didn't get a picture of them...but, I should have!) They were just delightful people and took us out to a great seafood place on the pier. Then we went to this little park with fantastic views that we never would have found on our own. To the Terry's - thank you so much for great conversation, newfound friendships, hosting us that night and showing us around Seattle. Seattle skyline with Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier in the background.
Puget Sound
Look at Mt. Rainier...Mike and I had a running joke with one another during this trip that Mt. Rainer seemed "to pop" out of nowhere. You turn down a street and Mt. Rainier is there - You walk another way on the University and Mt Rainier is there. It is a beautiful mountain but it does comically seem to appear all the time!

Day 3: We spent the morning again being lazy. Our hotel was about a five minute walk to the University so we meandered through the coffee shops, bookstores (we go to used bookstores in every city we visit - that's why we have an entire wall in our house covered in books - part of our first date was spent at Barnes and Nobles so we are, uhem, nerdy, wait! studious at heart) and then made our way to the University. Here is the library at UW - totally beats any library i've ever been to. It was built to look gothic and old and cathedral like with large, stone steps to walk in when you first enter. Then we came to....
The reading room! Oh my goodness we were in heaven. It was as quiet as a cathedral with all natural light and books everywhere and lots of places to sit. You would either fall asleep or write your dissertation in days in that type of atmosphere.
My smart, academic man took no time to sit and just enjoy the ambiance.
Here is the shot when you come out of the library. Beautiful? Yes!
Can you see Mt. Rainier in the background? We sat right in front of the water to just stare at it - and talk about life, love, the pursuit of happiness and what we were going to eat for lunch.
Be ready for Part II. For some reason we took pictures in a raw format on the Nikon...and I have no idea how to convert them into JPEGs. But my mom is coming on Thursday who can help me out! Stay tuned and I promise not to wait that long to upload Bella's pictures from her time with Grammy and PawPaw.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why girls always need their moms

Hi y'all! I have so much catching up to do on this blog. So, i'm starting back in May...oops! And i'll bring everyone up to speed on our travels and adventures lately. For now, here is the blog titled "Why girls always need their moms".

When Mike and I found out we had lost the baby our parents were the first to be called. Mike's parents were closer so they headed down for a couple of days - and just having them here was good for both Mike and I. (Susy and Tommy, I know we've told you thank you already but thank you again for all you did for us. And for being here with us through that time.) Allison was also a HUGE help during that - bringing supper, watching Bella ALOT, cooking, just being here, taking long walks. Then my mom called when everyone left. She told me the day we found out she would come straight over (after an 8 hour drive) and stay as long as we needed. I knew we would be ok for a while with Mike's parents and Allison so I initially told her no. I thought I would be ok. Then everyone left. And it was quiet. And we were sad. And mom called again. She asked the same question "Do you want me to come? I'll come right now." This I answered while trying to hide my crying and I said "Mom, I just don't think I can make a decision, any decision, right now". To this she answered "Ok i'm coming". To which I answered rather promptly "Ok". So, 8 hours later my mom was here. And it certainly was so nice. I don't think we talked much about losing the baby. But just having family here to "understand" meant the world to us. Mike and I were also able to go camping which did our hearts good! You can read about that here.

So, sometimes girls just need their moms. We need our moms to just say "i'm coming" and for us to say "ok". Even at 29 years old with a family and a mortgage and a job this stands true. Mom, thanks so much for coming and making the decision for me. Your presence is what I needed.

And what trip from my mom would be complete without some great (and lots) pictures! Enjoy.

I love this picture of Brad and Allison. Brad was rubbing Bella's shoulder and she "melted" when he would do that. It was hysterical! She is just like her daddy in liking getting massages!
And more shoulder rubbing. Check out that face...yep, she's enjoying it.
"I'm waiting Brad"...wrapped around her uncle's little finger already...
Bella and her Nana played outside alot during those days.
And Uncle Brad throwing Bella around again...and she loves it!
Little charmer! When did she become a teenager?
She was so sweet during this picture. I had a hard afternoon and she came to sit in my lap and proceed to laugh. Sweetie-pie!
Mom, you will laugh at this. For some reason, Bella started making an "old man face", as my mom calls it. She would suck in her cheeks, hide her teeth, and walk around. uhm, where did you learn that little lady?
Wait, another teenage shot???
I am in love with these curls! They get even curlier after we go out for our morning runs in the Central Texas humidity.
She enjoys sitting like a frog...for long periods of time...especially when she's eating Christina Cooper's yummy lasagna.
And, cheesin'. Little cutie.
This was a game that she played for, oh, a good 45 minutes. On the head - off the head - on the head - off the head...
She is too cute when she gives hugs!
Bella, where's your nose? And show me with some o' that attitude!
Eating bananas in the morning - one of her favorite foods.
And sleeping beauty.
That's all for this post! I hope you've enjoyed. Be ready for more grandparents pictures - from both sides. And documentation of our fun trip to Seattle!