Friday, August 15, 2014

Midweek Randoms

First things first, I'm a realist.

Things are busy and my heart is just, generally speaking, heavy lately. SO I'm just going to share a few snapshots and choose to believe that I can ultimately will things to get better. =)

The other day, Reid pulled himself up a big chair so he could eat his snack. It was cute and made him way too big.

He was pretty proud of himself.

I need to see Into the Storm. It's got to be done.
Last weekend, I did get to have breakfast and lunch with friends. That was good!


He's been loving to read and will even sit on my lap for a story...
At least for a while...
Annnnnd, that's all for today folks! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dads

If you've been around a while... and I'm pretty sure all eight of you have been ;)... it probably wouldn't surprise you know hear that I'm somewhat passionate about empowering other women. That might sound like I'm some feminist, man-hating hippie but that couldn't be further from the truth. What I mean is that I think somewhere along the way we women have put ourselves against each other. We're competitive, judgmental, insecure, and harder on each other and subsequently ourselves. I love to see a community of women raise each other up - no matter what place they're each at in life - and just show grace and love to one another. Ya feel me? I know so many people agree. I am constantly seeing more movement in that direction.

It also seems, that at the same time we've been putting ourselves against one another, we've also managed to put ourselves against the men in our lives. I notice this a lot in regards to Dads.

As society has changed over the years, so have our roles as parents. In a lot of ways, though, our attitudes and perceptions have not changed. (Again, I think we're moving more and more in the right direction though!)

I sometimes feel like I'm doing all the work. I do house work, care for Reid, co-own and operate a photography business, and work a full time job out of the home. Thing is - Dac does those things too. It may look different for each of us (and it definitely does... whoa nelly) but we're both swamped... just trying to do our best and keep our heads above water each day. It's tough and I'm grateful to have a partner as we scramble to figure it all out.

So - hats off to dads! =)

I love this Cheerios commercial. It might just be my fav! Seriously awesome.

I also love this blog post I read today.
http://designforminikind.com/2014/08/dads-lately/

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Midweek Randoms

This post is just going to be total randomness. I'm behind and don't really have the time to completely catch up. =)

Work has been nuts.  couldn't possibly go into everything here but it's been like absolutely, ridiculously nuts. It's a tad outta control. For both Dac and I. I can't see the end of the tunnel. Helllllllllllllp!

Reid is a pretty good little straw-drinker. Mostly. At the very least, it's entertaining. 



He got a big boy buzz cut. I'd been holding off because I knew he would even older with it cut short but the poor guy was so hot and sweaty - constantly pulling at it. We knew he was miserable so we bit the bullet and Dac buzzed it. He's so much more comfy now... and I have to say... while he does look older, he still looks adorable to me.

He's also way in to blocks right now.
I spent two days home with Reid last week due to him having a crazy rash all over his body. It was a horrible time to take off (refer to the nutty work comment above) but it seems there's never really a good time. Even though I still had quite a bit of work to do from home, it was nice to spend a little more time with him.

One afternoon, I thought we'd try something fun so I let him "paint" with whipped cream. He immediately started putting fistfuls of it in his mouth and quickly had that sugar-coma glaze come over his eyes. Fail. =)
I really really don't like salad but I'm trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my life again (I'd kind of fallen off that bandwagon). In other news, I tried yoga for the first time... just a youtube video in my living room. I didn't hate it but I kind of failed at it. I'm sooooooo not flexible. I also carry around a ton of stress, tension, stiffness, and pain so I think it's exactly what I need. I'm going to give it a real fair shot. Also, I got a nice reminder of how helpful chiropractic care is for me. =)
Speaking of reminders, I've been reminded (on multiple occasions the past couple weeks) how important just checking in with someone can be. Even if it's just a "hey, how are you today?" or "Hope you have a great day, I'm thinking about you." I've been the giver of that check in and the receiver. In both types of scenarios, it made my day better. I think we all just get so wrapped up in what's going on in our own lives (and it makes sense, everyone's so busy) that we forget to reach out like that sometimes.
 Brushing teeth...

 Oh this kid. =) Love him.
I feel like I could use a pedicure. And probably a manicure. If I'd just make time, I could do it.

Allergies. Over them.

I went weeks and weeks with barely any TV but the time home with Reid last week helped me catch up. I really do like TV. Sad but true.

I like rain. I love the sound of it. Dac's been running a sprinkler out back in the evenings... sort of sounds like rain on the windows. =) (Hey, I told you this would be random).

It's election season and while I'll occasionally get excited about that (used to a lot more than I do now), it mostly just annoys me and wears me out.

I think that's it for now. Hope life treats you all very well this week! =)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Midweek Randoms

So last weekend, we went out to eat with my parents. That was great.

The next night, Val and I joined Terese and one of her friends for Bingo! Even though we lost, it was fun! It was nice to have a stress-free evening away.

 I feel like this is me... =)
 I've been able to spend more quality time with my boy this week, which has been awesome!
 I promise I do clothe the child on occasion. ;)
 This lasted about 1 minute. He is so in to books right now though. It's sweet.
 My attempt to get in more pictures...
 See... clothes!! =) Here he is reading one of his favorite books, The Little Blue Truck.

 He's also been way into blocks.
I was gathering up some laundry the other night so I put Reid in his crib for a minute. I walked right back by his room and found this. I asked Dac "what the heck are you doing?" to which he replied "reading books". Like Duh! haha. Then I just had to laugh and take a picture. I'm glad that he gets on Reid's level. They have so much fun together.
 Amen.
We got home last night and found this water table on our porch with a note that read "Have fun Reid!". I dang near teared up. A water table has been on my list of things I'd like to have for Reid but it was just a luxury so we didn't spend the money on it. It was such a blessing! After supper Dac filled it up and away Reid went! =) He had such a great time with it.
Again, I don't know who is responsible, but if you're reading this. Thank you for making our day! We prayed for you last night that you would be blessed in return. =) We also have our eyes out for opportunities to pay it forward!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Me

I'm sure you've probably seen the Facebook challenge floating around - the one where you're tagged by a friend and challenged to post pictures in which you feel beautiful. I chose photos from different points in life from the past decade. I was different shapes and sizes, had different hair cuts, and there's makeup in some and none in others. Regardless, happiness is represented in every single one of these. =)

Moving from left to right, starting at the top:

The first photo is of Dac and I on my 22nd birthday. I had just graduated from OSU the month before and we were engaged. =)

Next, is me with my fuzzy buddy Peety. A true friend. It was taken sometime in the past few years.

Dac and I at my friend Heather's wedding on New Years Eve 2011. I had just had surgery to remove a bunch of endometriosis.

One of my maternity photos by Elephant Juice Photography. I think I was around 7-8 months along. I had a ridiculous hair mishap right before the session but decided I wouldn't let it ruin our time. =) Laura worked with it and made me feel beautiful.

This is Dac and I gearing up for a date night a few years ago!

The next few are all pretty recent. This one is of Reid and I when he was still so new. I look back at pictures from that time and I see the tired, the puffy, the belly that just wouldn't go away, and the hot mess. I see all of that but it's trumped by the beauty of a mama who is so in love with her little boy. For that, pictures from those first days... even the most un-put together ones... will always be among my favorites... my most beautiful.

The next is from our newborn session with Jennifer Miller Photography. Reid was exactly a week old and I was exactly a week completely sleep deprived. ;)

This one is of me rocking my sleepy babe probably a year or more ago.

And finally, my love and I during our family photo session last fall w/ Elephant Juice Photography. =)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Baltimore or Bust...

... and other tidbits.

This is my little love. You may or may not have seen a picture of him here before. ;) Here he is eating at Dac's parents' house while we went out to eat with a good friend who was in town.
 He's been way into his blocks lately...

 This is me taking selfies on my lunch break...

Here's my suitcase for the Baltimore trip. This was my first time to do carry-on only. I may never go back! I went for a national school public relations conference. I'm our state chapter's president this year so I got some financial help from them to attend!
This is me waiting in the Wichita airport for 8+ hours. You see, my flight was supposed to leave bright and early at 6 a.m. SO, I did what I do and got there at 4 a.m. after about 2 hours of sleep. Thanks for the ride Val!
We boarded the plane on time but after sitting on there for for about 30 minutes, the captain said there was a light on the dash that wouldn't go off so we had to wait for a mechanic to come take a look. Another 30 minutes pass. Wouldn't you know the mechanic couldn't fix the problem? Another 30 minutes pass. So, they had to order in a part. From Atlanta. Nice.

After an hour and a half, we de-board and I wait in a forever-long line to get re-booked. I had tried re-booking on the Delta app but it wouldn't go through for some reason. Then, I called the 800 number and got re-booked but went ahead and stayed in line just to make sure I was all squared away. You see, I was supposed to be in Baltimore at 1 p.m. and at this point it was clear the earliest I'd be leaving Wichita was 12:15. At this point I pretty well knew I wouldn't make it to any of my Sunday activities (a regional meeting and supper). I started getting pictures like this and I was sad. Once I got up to the gate rep, she checked my booking and was kind of enough to know the one I had booked (11:15) was overbooked and I probably wouldn't be able to get out. Lovely. She changed it to the 12:15 flight with most the other stranded passengers and even bumped me up to first class.
Finally, we took off and got to Atlanta in time for me to rush to my next gate with no real food to speak of. Turns out, the next plane was delayed due to excess air traffic at the Baltimore airport (they apparently had storms). That was about 45 minutes. Then, it was delayed again due to a storm over Atlanta (approximately 30 minutes). We sat on the plane for quite some time before finally being able to take off. It was during this time I met who I will refer to as my chatty fight buddy. He. Was. Chatty. He talked my ear off. At one point, I asked if he was getting enough air. He misunderstood me and thought I was propositioning an affair. I kid you not, I can't make this stuff up. We were both embarrassed as all get out. We then spent the next 15 or so minutes looking at all the pictures of his wife and kids on his iPad. My oh my.

Once I landed in Baltimore, I hailed a cab and headed to my hotel in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It was nice but I couldn't find food anywhere and it was getting darkish outside... plus I was sooo tired and soooo hungry. So, I ate a little granola pack I took with me and had some vitamin C gummies for dessert. Fine dining. I'm so fancy.
Practicing my top knot messy bun. haha.
Once I got all unpacked and ready to go for the next day, I hit the hay. A great big fluffy king size bed alllllll to myself. After only a couple hours sleep in almost 40 hours, I was beat. Once I fell asleep, I was out. My alarm went off at 5:45 and I just couldn't do it. I kept re-setting it and kept not getting up. Finally, I got up in time to grab some breakfast and get registered before the first main session at 9:30.

FOOD! DRINK!
Selfie time. I had planned to take a picture each day to document what I packed/wore but it didn't happen.
Apparently my feet have been used to wearing sandals and not these because after one day I had lots of blisters and was done with them!
 Our first keynote speaker was the author of this New York Times Bestseller. He was excellent. So excellent I actually bought the book (I'm not a reader) and had him sign it.
I was then invited to join my friend Lori from Kansas for lunch along with a lady from Stillwater, OK and a lady from around San Jose, CA. We ate at McCormick and Schmidt's. I had a crab cake sandwich. Pretty stinkin' good.

After an afternoon full of more sessions, Lori and I headed to the Power Plant Live area with people from Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and California. We ate at Joe Squared. It was featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I even had the featured pizza - chicken, corn, and apple. (crushed tomato, chicken, sweet onion, corn, granny smith apples, crushed red pepper, rosemary, mozzarella, provolone and cheddar). It was pretty fabulous and we had a great time.


Photo from TripAdvisor

After supper we went to a vendor-sponsored event. I enjoyed two rum and cokes, one with Malibu rum and a s'more (they had a fun little s'more bar). We listened to a band and danced a bit before Lori and I headed back.

 The next morning, I got this: goodness gracious I missed that kid while I was gone.
The next day, another great speaker and sessions before lunch with several people from Oklahoma at Miss Shirley's Cafe. Another Food Network pick. SO good. I had the chicken and waffles. (Fried Boneless Breast of Chicken Pieces & a Honey Mustard Aioli Drizzle on Cheddar Green Onion Waffles with Peppadew-JalapeƱo Butter, dusted with Cajun Spice). Delicious!
Then it was MORE sessions (jam packed, I tell you). That night was a big social event at the Aquarium but I was on the waiting list so I made plans to grab dinner with a friend that lives in the area. Emily is one of my cousin Courtney's childhood besties that I know both through association and from spending time down there in the summers.

We met up and walked over to Phillips - a nice seafood place in the harbor. I had crab dip, crab cakes, and crab macaroni! =) Fantastic. I really didn't have anything in Baltimore that wasn't good. I enjoy checking out new cities and the grub is certainly a big part of that. =)
I had hoped to check out Fell's Point that evening but by the time we were done with dinner it was pouring rain so we skipped it. =/

I did get to talk to my little man though. =) Hooray for FaceTime.
The day was my last. I chatted with some veteran NSPRA folks in the morning, attended Lori's session, then took a quick stroll around the harbor to snap some pics before grabbing a bite to eat and heading to the airport.




Baltimore was cooler than I expected and I wish I could have seen experienced more of it! Still, I was glad to be headed home with this in tow for Reid. =) I wouldn't normally get a stuffed animal but they didn't have many options and I thought he was pretty cute. He has been named "Crabcakes".
I used Super Shuttle for the way back, which worked out great and was half the price of a cab. I got to the airport plenty early. When I sat down at the gate, I did a couple things and happened to look over and see the person next to me had an NSPRA bag. =) She was from around Atlanta so we had the same flight. She was nice and I'm glad I had someone to chat with for the next couple hours.

The flights home were much smoother than the ones headed out there. Whew! There was some weather around here so that had me nervous. I did have to book it through the Atlanta airport but I made it in time.

Here's some shots out the window as we approached Wichita. Clouds are cool.



All-n-all, it was a good trip (minus the crappy travel day). I had lots of firsts (first time flying alone for starters...) and adventures. There were plenty of lessons learned too. I'm glad I got to go and here's hoping I can implement some new ideas.

PS - I should mention that I got home around 10:30 p.m. Wed. The next morning I was sooooo excited to get Reid out of bed. Well, I went in there after he woke up and he threw a t-total fit! He screamed and did NOT want me picking him up. =( Talk about breaking my feelings! I even gave him his crab... he threw it to the ground. He really wanted nothing to do with me. Last night though, after I got home for a local photographer's meeting, he played with me a little bit and let me hold and rock him. =) Then, when I tried to lay him down in his crib (he was soooo tired), he just cried and held on to me as tight as he could. =( He looked so scared that I was going to leave again. Poor guy. I sure am glad to be back with my family!