Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just like her parents...

If you know Mike and I, you know we like to read.  Ok, we love to read.  We have an entire wall of books in our house.  We went to Barnes and Nobles on our first date.  We go the bookstores in new towns.  We go to bookstores on date nights. Now, we take our kids to bookstores.  Nerdy? Yes, we've embraced it.

Our bed time routine with Bella consists of bath, snack, brush teeth, and then we will read three books.  Then she can read her books until the "sun goes to bed" (her words - aka. sunset).  It's adorable listening to her read. I'll sneak to her door and listen to her sometimes.  She knows most of the stories and I think she has "Goodnight Moon" and "Bears on Wheels" memorized.  She'll make up stories for the other books.

We went to tuck her in one night and this is how we found her.  I think I pulled out 15 books from her bed and underneath the covers. Love it!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tyler trip

Mike's grandfather, PawPaw, passed away so we made a quick trip to Texas to be with family. Although the circumstances were bittersweet, it was so nice to be with everyone again. I know the kids enjoyed it too. It was also our first car trip with both of them and they did relatively well! We drove during the day to Texas and little Muscle Man slept about 1.5 hours the whole day! He finally fell asleep the last 6 hours of our 18 hour trip so that was much better. We drove through the night on the way back and they both slept the whole time. Woohoo!

Little man climbs. on. everything these day!
PawPaw and Grammy took Bella to the park one morning.  She is fearless!

She loved having tea parties with Grammy and wanted to pour our "tea" when we would come in the kitchen.

PawPaw took Bella fishing near their condo the morning before we left.
And, she caught one!
I absolutely love this picture!
They also took Bella to the museum.
Grammy and PawPaw, thanks for having all of us!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Update on kiddos

I don't want to miss getting these pictures in the kids books. So here's a random assortment of what we've been doing! Bella and her daddy went on a daddy-daughter date to the museum one day. She had a great time!
Our little man likes to pull ALL of my cookbooks off of the shelf.  He is pretty proud of himself when he does it too.
One of my best friends from my Masters degree days came to visit with her beau.  We love Dr. Wagner!
We do lots of crafts these days.  Bella painted a flower box that we  now use as her craft box. 
And, here's an updated picture of our little sweetie.  She's a beauty isn't she!

Gardening update - Week 5

Happy gardening, y'all! This gardening project has been so much fun to do. And, watch things grow.  I know it sounds funny but when you grew up buying all your produce at the grocery store, it's a whole 'nother level of excitement to start from seed and actually see a veggie become a veggie.  Right fellow gardeners?

Bella is still my little sidekick to help water and sometimes pull the plants to early. Oh well.  It's a learning curve and an educational tool anyways.  Here's an update on the beds.

Mike built me a trellis because the pesky pole beans were wrapping their sweet little self around my tomatoes and pulling them down! You would have thought it was war because I ripped those phalanges off of my tomatoes and put them in their place - around the trellis.  And, boy do they like it.  They are wrapping-happy now and I am tomato happy too.  I think one of my tomatoes told me thank you the other morning for doing that for them. We're tight like that.

Anyhoo, back to the garden and away from veggie-talk.  In the bottom left corner you'll see our flowering cucumber plants lovin' the sun.  The first row are all the tomatoes, the middle are the pesky pole beans, and the last row (it's hard to see), are my sweet potatoes.

Here's a close up of those winding pole beans!

Now let's move on to the next bed. Check out those carrots! 

And our green bell pepper.  You can see the eggplant to the right of it if you look closely.

And, here's the last bed.  The middle rows are the turnips and radishes that are nearly ready to pick.  The rest are the squashes. Can you tell which section of the bed gets more sun?

This is where we started!

Happy gardening y'all!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Gardening update - Week 4

Hi everyone, The garden is taking off. And I am as giddy as my daughter getting to go on a date with her Daddy (read = very giddy!).  It is one of the neatest things to me to see a garden grow. To see something come from a seed. To wait in anticipation for the first budding of the vegetable.   It's made both me and Bella giddy to water it every day!  Here's a little of our loot.

Our fresh tomatoes are doing great in this summer heat. We've enjoyed 4 tomatoes so far and they  have been gooooddd.  We've also seen the first flowers of the cucumbers, the first fruits of a green bell pepper (that Bella calls cute because they are so little), the first look of an eggplant, and lots of growth elsewhere. Enjoy the new pics - with cute interruptions of Bella-gardening pictures!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day thoughts from a PhD wanna-be

My Dad has always been my biggest fan.

I had him for a teacher in the 4th grade. (I'm the one with the cool bow and dark glasses...)

My sister and I remember a wall he had right above the water fountain. It was covered in stars and planets and we each had a spaceship that was our own.  The saying in the midst of the stars that my Dad cut out said, "Shoot for the stars".  It was such a little saying - on a little wall - above a little water fountain - read by little fourth graders - in little unseen moments.  But, I would dare to say it had a profound impact.

I remember that wall. I remember that saying. I tell people about that wall and that saying when they ask me why I wanted to pursue a PhD. And, what helped me get over my fear of actually doing it. 

My Dad has also always been by biggest steadying factor.  I remember certain conversations watching a storm roll in on our front porch.  Or listening to the night in the swing on the back porch.  I remember trying to pick his brain on what is the meaning of life and what I needed to do with my life and who am I in this life (poor guy - I was kindof a deep kid sometimes...).  I remember a conversation we had when I was trying to decide on getting my PhD.  The conversation started out with his typical, "Oh Emily" in a very compassionate voice - I don't really remember the rest of the conversation except it was stabilizing for me.  It was a gentle pushing - a gentle letting go - and a gentle "shoot for the stars".

Now, i'm 32 and in a PhD program that sometimes scares the bajeebies out of me and is very far away from my Dad.  Yet the little saying that seemed to guide his life and guide mine and my sister's life is still with me.  Dad, I will continue to shoot for the stars because of your impact.  Thanks for riding in the spaceship with me.

Daddeo, these reasons do not begin to touch on the profound impact you have had on me and continue to have on me.  Nor do they begin to tell you how much I love you. But I thought i'd try. =)

Love you and happy Father's Day!

And if you want to feel nostalgic here are other Father's Day excerpts.  Grab your tissues!
 2011 - Click here
2010 - Click here
2009 - Click here

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

April pictures - catch up time

These pictures are old and from when Mike's parents came in April. But I definitely want them in the kid's books so I'm making sure to put them in.
One of my favorite pictures EVER!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer cooking

I'm done with school for the summer and one of the perks is I have more time to cook for people. Bella has always been a great helper in the kitchen too.  We heard in was Mr. John's birthday last week and since he is such a great guy at our church, we decided to make him a birthday cake.  Mr. John is one of the funniest, sweetest older gentlemen at our church that Bella likes to run away from - mainly because he'll chase her!
Little man decided to help too.
She also decided to make a trumpet out of the blender.
And, isn't this the best part of cooking - licking the batter! Again...
and again
and again.
Yep, these kids look happy.

I am so stinkin' thankful lately at these kiddos. I'm thankful I love being a mom. I'm thankful i'm their mom. I'm thankful they are healthy and vibrant and mine.  I'm truly trying to soak in these moments - even through the tantrums and potty breaks and cries for more food.  I don't do it perfectly but I am trying to make this summer one of memories and taking time to simply soak in the moment.  So, for now I will soak in these two sweet kiddos doing nothing more than hangin' out with their mommy in the kitchen. And that is certainly enough!