Thursday, January 30, 2014

First Dates & Sickies.

One of the great things about social media and blogging is the awesome people I've been able to meet. A few years ago I met my friend Whitney at a meetup for bloggers. She had a daughter a few weeks before me, and so I joke that Tyler and Charlotte will be college sweethearts. We had originally planned to take their pictures in front of Old Main and the football stadium, but the weather, in true Arkansas form, turned on us and we decided that 20 degree photoshoots didn't mix well with babies ;) The babies did like each other though, and kept us laughing with their coos and mini screams for attention (they even held hands for a moment, which was the cutest thing ever). Aren't they the cutest?!
Gonna be a Hog Baller.Tyler had his first date with Charlotte today. They jabbered, tried to hold hands, and even tried to share drinks. I think he's smitten already.  ;-)
the pic on the left was taken before we left. Cutest little Razorback ever!

Their date was Monday, and unfortunately the week has gone downhill since then. Tyler woke up Tuesday with a mild fever. I'm honestly not sure what to attribute his fever and overall lack of feeling good too; he had the flu shot Monday, and is also cutting both top teeth. Ty spent Tuesday and Wednesday trying to kick his fever, and wanting mommy a bit more than normal. Bless his little heart he just felt awful.
Been holding this sick little guy most of the day. So sad when they feel so miserable.No matter his age, he'll always be my baby.
He may be sick, but he's still a fan of the selfie. Love how he smiles the minute he sees our faces on my camera :)

He woke up feeling much more like himself today, which was a welcome relief to me, as I was looking at the very real possibility of having to take all 3 boys by myself to the doctors office... that situation is never fun for anyone involved.
I snapped this picture yesterday of my little mister. Chewing on fingers for the teeth, and looking cuter than ever in his monkey jammies.

Hope everyone else is having a great week!

Monday, January 27, 2014

DSLR Camera Settings & Editing Pictures.

I've had a few inquiries about how I edit pictures and what camera settings I use. I'm flattered that people even ask me; I am no pro, and have taught myself what little I do know just by reading tutorials online, and mainly trial and error. So I kind of don't feel like I have what it takes and nor am I really qualified to answer questions like this. BUT... If there is anything I could stress to people who want to know about using a DSLR is to just practice and practice and practice some more. Photography is an art, and there are different ways to achieve certain images, but no one gets better by just reading and being told something; the work comes in snapping the shutter over and over and over again. So... with that being said, this is what I do with most of the images you see here on this blog.

My equipment: I shoot with a Canon 60D. I own two lenses; a Canon 24-70L f2.8 and a Canon 100mm f2.8 macro. About 98% of the images you see in my blog posts are shot with the 24-70. I will say that this lens (and camera) are SHARP as a tack, however lately I've noticed my images are kind of soft. I'm fairly certain my focusing is off in my camera, and my equipment needs to be calibrated. I also own a Canon 430ex mountable flash, but I rarely use it anymore, as I prefer natural light photography.

The 3 players of settings (and please, someone correct me if I am wrong... I am not a professional and sometimes I get confused on this stuff, just like the other average joes out there):
ISO: This originally had to do with the speed of your film back in film photography. With digital photography, my best explanation is that your ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light. In a low light setting? You'll want a high ISO. Conversely, if you're outside, chances are you will chose a low ISO. Be mindful of your camera and how it handles ISO though; as a rule of thumb I try not to go over ISO 1000, as an increase in ISO generally means that there is more noise in your images (meaning your images will probably look kind of grainy). If you want to read more about ISO, you can read a great in depth explanation HERE.
Aperture: Your aperture settings affect how much light the lens lets in to a picture. You'll hear terms like wide aperture or narrow aperture; a wide aperture actually means a low number (ie f2.8 is the widest aperture on my lenses that I own) and a narrow aperture means a high number (ie f22, etc). The wider the aperture, the less of the picture is going to be in focus. Sometimes people ask how the background of an image got blurry, and it's most likely because the aperture was set wide when the camera took the picture). As a general rule of thumb, for pictures of people, you will want to make sure your aperture is set 1.5-2 steps greater than the number of people in the image (ie: for pictures of my 3 boys, I try to take them with an aperture no wider than f4).
Shutter Speed: this is pretty straight forward. The speed as which the shutter stays open. This affects light, but it also affects movement. For action shots, you will want a very fast shutter speed (so a high number). I try to not go below a shutter speed of 100 with my boys. They move too much and I get the motion blur if I shoot slower than that. For my food pictures, I try not to shoot lower than a shutter speed of 80. If you want to read more about shutter speed, you can read a great in depth explanation HERE.

How I Shoot:
I shoot manually for all of my images (meaning I set my aperture, my shutter speed and my ISO). This took time, so as I was learning I switched between the Av mode (meaning you will set your aperture and your camera will set all of the other settings) and Tv mode (meaning that you will set your shutter speed and your camera will set all of the other settings). Once I got comfortable with both of those modes, I went completely manual and haven't looked back. I also shoot all my images in RAW. I know this is heavily debated in the photography community. I just like the editing flexibility I get by having the RAW image.

So once I am ready to shoot, I select my auto focus point. For almost all of my pictures, I select one single focus point (sometimes when I'm shooting a group I will let the camera pick the focus point(s) out for me). I always try to make sure I pick out a focus point that is on the subject's eyes. Because I don't have a way to get a screen shot of the auto focus points on my camera, I'll direct you HERE to a good tutorial on how to select your focus point).

And snap. That's how I take pictures.

So... now that we have all of the tiny details out of the way, here's how I edit....

This was a recent image I took of Tyler, SOOC (straight out of camera). The settings on it were:
shutter speed: 1/250, aperture: 2.8, ISO: 250
The first thing I do when I open my images up in photoshop is to adjust my white balance (temperture). Once I'm satisfied with that, I move on to blacks (usually bump up to no more than 10), contrast (generally always set between 30-35), brightness if needed (this image did not need a brightness or exposure adjustment), then end with a slight bump in clarity and vibrance (I generally do no adjust saturation, as it will affect skin tone too much). Once I'm satisfied with the edit in Camera RAW (the RAW image processor in Photoshop), I either save the image (if I'm trying to do a quick edit, this is where I stop.) or open the image in Photoshop for more editing. To be honest, probably about 70% of the images that I put on the blog end here. I just don't have enough time in the day to edit much more than that. But.... I sometimes go a little further using actions.

For this image, I decided to use a few actions on the picture. Most of the images on my blog are edited with actions from: The Pioneer Woman (PW has my FAVORITE black and white action- nearly all of my black and white images are color images processed with her PW black and white action) or The Coffee Shop Blog. I was also recently able to download a Sampler pack of actions from Greater Than Gatsby, and so far I have been really impressed with them. For this tutorial I use the Gatsby action set. If you need help in learning how to load/use photoshop actions, The Coffee Shop Blog has a great tutorial HERE.

So now that I open my picture, I run the first action. This is the result:
Nice, but I still want the color boosted a little more, so I run the clean color action.

clean color action 2
lovely. Now I want to run one more...

clean drama
so I ran the clean drama action. This is perfect, but it's a little much (especially on his face at first). so I adjust the opacity of the layer, and then I also brush up the layer mask.

layermask screen print
(this picture was actually taken on the previous action, but work with me here).... so with a layer mask selected, I'll select the paint brush tool. When I work with my layer masks I like to make the opacity around 40% and the flow around 60%. I brushed up around Tyler's face till I was happy with how his skin looked. I just want to make sure that the skin doesn't look too over edited and funky.

The actions add a layer called "clean lighten". I tend to adjust this to my taste, then I flatten the image (on a PC, click ctrl+E to quickly flatten your image). This is the result of all of that:
clean light flatten

The last thing I do is work on the eyes. I have read numerous tutorials on how to edit eyes. There are actions to edit eyes. But this right here has been the easiest way for me to do it. So first thing's first... I duplicate the background image so that you have two layers, like so:
duplicate layer

With the copied layer selected, go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask
unsharp mask

When you select unsharp mask, a pop up window will show up. These are your settings, and this is typically what I set it at for my eyes layer:
unsharp mask settings
This will sharpen that entire layer, making the image look kind of cray cray. We don't want cray cray, so we need to add a layer mask to this layer.

Like so...
layermask screen print
I always select "hide all" on the layer mask, then I go back and, using the paint brush tool, will paint white on the layer mask over the areas that I want exposed for the sharpening (generally you just will do the iris & pupil, and then sometimes I will make the paint brush VERY small and drag it across the line of the eye lashes so that it will emphasize the area around his eye more). I wish there was a way to screen print this more, but there's really not, so you'll have to work with me here.

Typically once the eyes are done, the layer still will need to be adjusted down in opacity. Depending on the image, I leave the opacity anywhere from 45-60%.

Once you've done all of that, you'll want to flatten the image again, and then save it! And you have your final product!
final product

Obviously this is quite time consuming, so I don't edit EVERY single picture on my blog with such detail. But the monthly posts, and the ones that are specific to one of my boys, I try to edit those especially well. Again, I'm not a professional, and I probably don't do it all the right way, but this is the way that has worked for me over the past 5 years that I've been blogging.

If you have any pointers, I'd love to hear them (as would my readers, I'm sure!), so be sure to leave a comment below.

(This post is linked up on Milk & Cuddles...Lamberts Lately... Inspire Me Please on House of Rose)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tyler Paul {8 Months}.

Yesterday we took the boys to our town's square so I could snap a few pictures of Tyler. He has learned how to army crawl this month, and I know that before long trying to get a picture of him without him moving will be next to impossible.
Snapping pictures of him made my heart cringe a little. I feel like we're in an all out sprint to his first birthday. Only 4 more months of feeding him bottles and snuggling him while he eats. Knowing that he's more than likely my last baby, it just makes me sad of all the little things that I love SO SO much about this stage. Trying to bottle every single moment up right now with him.

Tyler has had a pretty big month this month. Here's a few of the highlights...
{8 Month Highlights}
  • Moved up to size 5 diapers at night. Still wearing size 4 diapers during the day. 
  • He's all over the map with clothes. It depends on brand. He wears as big as 18 months (pants especially-- his 12 month pants are starting to look like high waters, but some of them are so cute that I just can't let them go... which I realize is slightly ridiculous), but mostly 12 or 12-18 month clothes. 
  • He's a CHUNK and a half. I'm not sure on his precise weight/height combo, but I'm guessing he's about 22 lbs. No clue on the height. His next doctors appointment is next month, so we'll find out then.
  • He FINALLY got teeth this month- two at a time! He has the two bottom teeth, and the two top ones are days away from breaking through. I'll be honest, aside from potty training, teething is the WORST.
  • He learned how to crawl! He can army crawl with the best of them. He can also crawl on all fours for about 3 steps, but then gives up and just resorts to army crawling... probably because he's faster and that just seems to make more sense. Can't say I don't blame him!
  • tyler_8months_2_adollopofmylife
  • We have learned that now that he can move and get to things and places he wants to go, he's about the best independent player I have ever had. He'll crawl into the playroom and play by himself for at least 30 minutes at a time. This was UNHEARD of with my other two. So grateful for such a laid back, albeit on the go, boy. 
  • We've converted over to nearly all table food. He just is not a fan of the purees, and despite the lack of teeth, does not let that hold him back from eating food like the rest of us. His love for meat is unmatched, and he also loves cinnamon toast. I pretty much feed him whatever we are eating as long as it's not too salty/spicy. Meals are much happier now that he can feed himself. 
  • He is mostly sleeping through the night. He'll still wake up occasionally, and we'll just feed him a small bottle and he'll go back to sleep. I realize that he probably doesn't NEED the bottle, but when you are sleep deprived and just want to go back to bed, the most reasonable solution is to do what begets sleep for everyone. 
  • Speaking of bottles, he's entirely bottle fed now. I know some people mourn the loss of breastfeeding, but in all reality, I enjoy bottle feeding my babies so much more. It's literally my 4 favorite parts of the day because it makes me slow down and just sit and enjoy him. He holds the bottle all by himself now, so I just get to sit and talk to him and snuggle. It's simply the best. He gets 4 bottles a day, between 6-8oz a piece. 
  • Before we had Ty, I was worried that he may be left behind in all of the chaos, but as he has grown I've been met with the fact that this just simply won't be the case. Ty makes sure his voice is heard. It's really funny when he just starts making LOUD gibberish at night at the dinner table. He also has a few words that he has mastered; Dada (daddy), baba (bottle), baba (sounds slightly different than his bottle word, and he waves his hand... signaling bye-bye). I'm still working on mama. Usually if I try to get him to say it he'll just smile at me. :) 
(this picture makes me laugh-- his hair is so fine and whispy, so when the wind blows it's all over)

Tyler Paul-- this month has been bitter sweet to me as your mommy. My favorite stage with my babies has always been birth to about 8 months old, and I realize that some of these moments that we have with you may be my last with a baby your size. You are absolutely so precious to me and even after a long day of being a mommy, holding you and watching you as you sleep soothes my soul more than anything else in the whole world. I love you so so much and am so grateful that God moved our hearts to add to our family. You bring so much joy to our world and laughter to our ears. As bittersweet as it is, I love being able to watch you grow and learn and mold into the little man that God wants you to be. We love you so much Tyler, and I am so grateful that I get to be your mommy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Creamy Pesto Pasta.

A few weeks ago we were doing what Drew and I call a "pantry purge," which is basically code for: find what you can and make a meal out of it.

I found a can of old, almost expired pesto sauce and figured I'd try to whip something together. I combined the sauce with some drained canned diced tomatoes, a little bit of heavy whipping cream (which, if we're honest, makes everything taste better), some parmesan cheese and some thin spaghetti noodles. BOOM. Instant meal. Drew and I sunk our teeth into the dish (the food, that is, not an actual plate, which I can only imagine is hardly palatable), that night and both realized that what was supposed to be something totally random ended up being a meal that we could eat any night of the week. SO SO good. But there was one problem....

My problem came in that I really didn't want to be adding whipping cream to our diets right now, seeing how we're doing Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30, so I'm trying to keep our meals as healthy as possible. I tweaked around a few things in the meal, added some chicken and pine nuts, and this recipe was born.
Creamy Pesto Pasta
1 box (13.25oz) whole wheat thin spaghetti pasta
2-3 large chicken breast
2-3T extra virgin olive oil
1 jar (6.25oz) pesto sauce
1 28oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 cup parmesan cheese (in the shelf stable shaker can, not freshly grated)
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
6T water
1/2t salt
3/4t coarsely ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup pine nuts

Cut the chicken breast into small, 1/2 inch pieces. In a large skillet, combine the chicken and olive oil, gently tossing until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add minced garlic and cook over medium high heat until chicken is cooked. Set aside.

In a large stock pot, cook pasta as directed on box. While the pasta is cooking, drain and rinse the canned tomatoes in a colander, and let sit so that all liquids drain completely. In a separate bowl, combine the greek yogurt and water, stirring gently with a whisk or fork until smooth. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and then return the pasta to the stock pot. Add all remaining ingredients, stirring well so that everything mixes together evenly. Simmer on low for several minutes, or until the finished dish is heated completely. Serve immediately.

I served this with steamed broccolli coated in olive oil, garlic powder and onion powder (and salt and pepper, of course!). Complete meal, and there was not one bad word about food at the table from the resident preschoolers, meaning that this is a true family favorite ;) Enjoy!

This post is linked up on the Wednesday Link Up at Milk and Cuddles, Create It Thursday at Lamberts Lately, Inspire Me Wednesday at Mama Buzz,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tex Mex & a Baby in a Beanie.

We are having a great weekend this weekend. I think that the warmer weather has lifted a bit of our winter blues. My boys stayed outside most of the day. I love that they are of the age that I can just tell them to go out and play and they will stay out for hours. Makes me anxious for spring when they can go out more often!

This morning Drew and I had a little lunch date. Northwest Arkansas is getting a Chuy's and it opens next week. (which if you don't know what Chuy's is, I feel for you. It's basically the best Tex-Mex that you'll ever put in your mouth. I'm fairly certain that their creamy jalapeno sauce is made in Heaven and shipped down. It's that good). Drew and I were invited to be a part of their training today, so we got to sit in as "pretend customers". This was basically like Christmas morning to me, I was so giddy (food is my love language, and I am unashamed of this fact. I figure it makes it easy for Drew to know how to show me he loves me... just take me out to eat. ha!). I ate the Baja Shrimp tacos, which was a change from the Chuychanga for me. SO SO good.
Getting to be a "pretend customer". Chuy's for the win. Weekend made. (it opens Tuesday, fyi)My Chuy's lunch date  ;-)
It was still on the chilly side for Tyler today, so he and I didn't stay out that long, therefore there are no pictures of my big boys (they were too busy running around to stand still for a picture for momma). I did go on a little Sam's club run with Ty Ty, and he did so great. I think he appreciated the one on one attention, even though he couldn't tell me so (and judging by foot kicks in the buggy, I'd say he was a fan of free samples!). I also snapped a few pictures of him in front of our house while we were outside for a few minutes.
his hands melt my heart. Such squish.
He brings us so much joy and is in such a fun stage right now. It didn't take long for him to realize that there was yummy mulch near where he was sitting. Right after I snapped this picture he got a nice mouthful :)
Doesn't he just melt your heart?! He does mine!

Hope everyone has a great week this week!

Friday, January 10, 2014

On Resolutions and Words.

I'm not big on resolutions. Especially ones that are dubbed for a New Year. I liken it to obligatory roses on Valentines Day (because nothing says "I love you" more than 12 roses that are double in price because every other man thinks it's romantic to do something for your woman when the entire retail world is telling him to purchase said roses. Don't even get me started...).

This year, however, I did set some goals for myself. They are goals that I may or may not attain. I figure if I make a 60% on my own self administered test, that I'm passing ;) A few of my goals this year are:

Get fit.
Typically when the average person looks at me, they gaffaw and say something about how skinny I am. The ones who are even more gusty say stuff about how I probably never eat (not true. I graze like a cow at a hay buffet) or that I will blow away and be Gone with the Wind (also not true. Apparently I hide my weight well, seeing how people audibly gasp when they actually hear my weight number). All this is besides the point, however. I just want to get fit. I want to be ok with wearing a bathing suit, which at the moment I don't because, while the scale may say I am practically at my pre-pregnancy weight, the mirror does not. Things have been shaken up like a top-shelf martini, and I intend to tone and tighten to set things straight. We purchased Jillian Michael's 'Ripped in 30'. I figured 30 minutes a day will not kill me (if you've done this workout, please start laughing at me about now... I realize I may have bitten off more than this couch potato can chew). (edited to add: we started the workout a few nights ago. By 15 minutes into it, I was heaving like I had just sprinted uphill for 2 miles. Bless my own poor little heart. It's going to be a long friggin' month).

Spend time with Jesus more regularly.
There's one truth as a mom that I cannot deny: the days that I get a bit of Jesus, I am a better mom (and wife). I tend to talk to my kids more quietly, am able to handle some of the chaos of the home a bit better, and just have all around better days when I have at least 5 minutes of a devotion. I recently downloaded You Version on my phone, and it has really helped me remember to grab those extra minutes of quiet time when I can.

Have people over for dinner more.
I need to admit something: I hate cooking. And having people over for dinner causes me to almost break out in hives. It's not so much that I don't enjoy company, it's just that I have this weird desire for everything to be picked up, for dinner to be hot and delicious to all mouths at the table (who am I kidding-- 2.5 of those mouths (which would be the mouths of my offspring, if you're not tracking) can complain about pizza, which is the food on the bottom of the list of 'foods that deserve complaining'), and for all dishes to clean themselves and not multiply like rabbits, which is almost impossible given the number of members in our family added to any amount of guests we may have. Yes. I admit. Company coming over can be a daunting task for an ambivert like myself. But I want my boys to grow up knowing that sometimes life doesn't have to be perfect to form community, and so I'm vowing to have at least 1-2 dinners a month with company, whether it be a neighbor, a friend or someone new.

Talk less, mean more.
It is no secret that I am a bit of a social media junkie. Twitter makes life a little better (especially college football. Twitter needs an award during college football season). I have made friends through blogging and I love having a platform where I can share my heart during this always blessed, sometimes difficult journey of parenthood. That being said, I've really been thinking a lot about how I want the words that I put out there (here on the blog or on my social media accounts) to not be stale, to not be too many and to make a difference. Twenty years from now, I don't want to look back at this time in my life and regret not saying things that should have been said, or conversely, regret things that probably should've never come out of my mouth, off of my fingertips and/or onto the screens of over tens of people. Let's be honest... my blog is not ginormous. I don't have millions of followers on twitter or instagram, and my facebook friends are mostly old friends from college and high school (or their parents), who knew me back when I was awkward and wore plaid jumpsuits and size XL t-shirts (yes, it's true that I wore plaid jumpsuits. I also once wore tapered ankle jeans, brown boots and a white and blue denim stripe shirt. As an outfit. For a family picture, which sits immortalized on my parents hallway walls. Someday if I muster up enough courage, you may see it. It's a sight to behold, I assure you.). Anyways, I just chased THAT rabbit...
So basically, I was saying that even though my platform may not be HUGE, it's still a platform. And I just don't want to take it for granted. I also want to remember that the words I speak offline to Drew and to my boys and to my friends have the ability to help or hurt. And so, I've claimed Proverbs 10:19 as my verse for the year.
Here's to a prudent year with my words. I'll probably mess up (more than once), but I feel like it's a good goal to have, especially considering my attachment to words and social media.

Have you set any goals or resolutions this year?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snow Days: Take 2.

We're at the end of our second set of snow days for the year (or should I say season, since technically this is the first snow of 2014?). This one hasn't been as bad in some sense because (a) we aren't having flooring installed, and (b) it ended up not lasting near as long as last time (the last snow day set was nearly 6 days, and towards the end I swear I had worked up a nervous twitch). However, it also should be noted that it is supposed to snow tonight, which means that we may miss school AGAIN. Someone send wine.

The problem with the snow earlier this week, is that it was BITTER cold. And by bitter I mean that when Drew went to defrost his windshield two days ago, the defrost spray froze while spraying AND froze to his finger. Yeah, aint no child of mine going out and playing in that cold (even if they wanted to). Thankfully the first day it snowed it wasn't extremely bad, so the boys got a good hour of play in to get their snow play out. Connor was ECSTATIC, although he couldn't really understand why they couldn't build a snowman (the snow was so dry since it was so cold, so it didn't compact well).
Connor played snow soccer. A little hard to be so limber when you're bundled up like the kid on Christmas Story. Connor still showed some pretty valiant speed and agility, all layers aside.

Brayden, well, he was happy at first, but after about 5 minutes of the wind whipping his face, he decided he wasn't so sure.
he came to the door complaining about his chin strap. Apparently it inhibits yawning. Who knew? (Also, please note that my child was whining because he couldn't yawn. While playing in the snow. Perhaps this snow was, indeed, boring after all).
a few forced yawns and he decided he'd stay outside afterall.

I wasn't able to go outside much because it was just too cold for Tyler, who doesn't have adequate snow gear. I did get to shovel snow off of our front walkway. Shoveling snow is no joke.

Schools are already talking about having classes on Saturdays and during Spring break. I'm crossing my fingers that the weather is getting it out now, before my child enters into the elementary age and I will be subjected to awful school regimens of makeup snow days during planned times of vacation.

Here's to hoping we don't miss school tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

This and That.

To complicate us getting back into a routine for 2014, it snowed post holidays. Which means that my mind is still a muddled mess stuck in post holiday laundry, decorations and the sorts. I plan on being more consistent, and have a few more serious post in my head that hopefully will be blogged about soon, but in the meantime, let's play a game of catch up with this and that.
Created a from-scratch oatmeal whole wheat waffle mix today. Just call me Betty. (Betty Crocker that is)First morning to use our new waffle maker... Someone's excited!
For Christmas, Drew gave me a waffle maker. I have wanted one for, oh, I don't know, YEARS, but have never really had the kitchen space until this home, to own one. Not going to lie-- at first I wasn't so sure that I wanted Drew to have spent so much money on the thing. BUT, I decided to give it a chance and am so glad I did. It has not returned void, and we have enjoyed having fresh, homemade waffles that are preservative free and have a little extra protein added to fill these bottomless little boy tummies that are in our home (once I tweak my recipe to how I want it, I will post it to the blog!).
Justin Bieber just thought he set the saggy bottom trends. Nope. That distinction goes to Dick Van Dyke.
One of the boys Christmas presents was Mary Poppins (a childhood favorite of mine). Who knew that it wasn't Justin Bieber who set the saggy bottom trends, but rather Dick Van Dyke (or, as MP liked to call him, Burt).
Walked into my laundry room and stepped in water. SO thankful it wasn't bad. I can't handle another house flood right now (our baseboards are still off from the great flood of 2013).
This is terrifying to anyone who is a homeowner, specifically a homeowner who is still in recovery mode from a house flood (if you're not accustomed to that story, you can view it HERE).
I had run several loads of wash last week, and happened into the laundry room to change out stuff from the washer to the dryer. I walked in and felt water on my toes and sheer panic ran up my spine. Thankfully our neighbor was home to help me move the washing machine, Drew came home early to ensure nothing was under the baseboards, and all that we have to say for this was a few soaked beach towels. Thank goodness. I'm certain if our new wood floors had been ruined that I would have had a full blown nervous breakdown just thinking of cement floors and construction again.
that is two little boys who are obsessed with all things snow (especially after too many episodes of Frosty the Snowman during Christmas time, and the new family favorite, Frozen). Unfortunately we have record setting lows (and highs-- which is an oxymoron when the "high" is only 8 degrees. Aint nothing high about single digits, y'all.). They did venture out into the snow on the first day, but that was the extent of that. More snow pictures to come, once I can edit everything.
This is what my feet look like in the winter. For years I have struggled with this (with the exception of when I'm pregnant, which kind of makes me want to be pregnant all the time, only that would mean I'd produce more children than Michelle Duggar, and I'm fairly certain that that number of offspring is well beyond the capacity God gave me for young humans both mentally and physically.). During Drew's deployment when we were first married I saw doctor after doctor and no one could really tell me what was wrong. This winter it has come back, which led me to Dr Google (which I was hesitant about, since Dr Google tends to go overboard with symptoms and often leads you to think that you are dying from cancer). I finally think I have a diagnosis. Pernio. You can look it up. It's uncomfortable, and unfortunately there's not a cure for it. Oddly enough, just knowing what is wrong makes me feel a little better. It's also finally given me the kick in the butt to actually wear socks during the winter (I am a flip flop and sandals gal, so wearing shoes in the winter kills me).
He's in the "I know there's a way to move but I can't figure it out so I will cry every minute of the day because I want you to be just as miserable as me, the non-mobile child" phase. It's at this point I start praying my children learn how to move, and
That is what it looks like when you are almost 8 months old and know there is a way to move your body but you can't figure out what that way is. For all of our sakes, we're hoping that it clicks soon. Because when baby aint happy, aint nobody happy.
First tooth! (bottom right).
This is a new tooth (bottom right), which may be partly to blame for the poor sleep and fussiness that we've experienced lately. Teething is for the birds, and I think Tyler would agree.

And that about catches us up for the first week of 2014. Here's to a new year!

A Dollop of My Life Copyright © 2007 -- Template created by O Pregador -- Powered by Blogger