Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh My....I'm Blushing!

This little ol family blog has been nominated by my friend Jordan for a Liebster Award. How unexpected! It still amazes me when I check my blog panel and see that more than my mom reads this little ol' thing!

If you have a chance, go over to Jordan's blog and read it. Like read a LOT of it. Jordan has a way with words and she can write out thoughts and feelings in a VERY moving way. I've cried many a time when reading her blog (happy tears, sad tears, all of them). She has a beautiful family, and they've been through some challenges I just can't imagine facing. Jordan and I made fast friends waaay back when in church as children. After high school, we followed separate paths, but reading her blog makes me feel rekindled with her...in that bloggy friend kind of way! :)

Anywho, Jordan has posed some questions for me alongside this nomination. So here it goes:

1. What is your favorite room in your house and why?

Ahh! Well....we've been in this house for 2 years now and I really feel like it's still a HUGE work in progress.  The kitchen in this house is the first room I fell in love with. It's everything my last one wasn't...with LOTS of open floor space, a peninsula that friends gather at when over, a fun little stained glass pendant over the kitchen sink, a window over the kitchen sink that looks out into our backyard (which still needs a LOT of tlc, haha)...

But honestly, my favorite room in the house probably isn't considered a room. It's our "man room" which is the 3rd bay of our garage. It's been walled off, and is where we spend a LOT of time with our Little Miss. It's full of manly things like a workbench, deer and antler mounts on the wall, a deep freezer and a beer fridge, a pegboard that serves as Wynston's mini tackle shop right at home, a grill, camp chairs, etc. But it's been my favorite room to find decor for...I guess because I feel like I can have fun out there. I've got picture collages of Wynston's various hunting and fishing memories, a big picture of him with a huge spoonbill he caught a few years ago, a fun framed print that says "Get Off My Lawn", and framed print that is from some old Conservation ad that talks about eating fish because of their sustainability, a framed "12" print (his old baseball number), his framed 30th birthday party guestbook, a wax hand a good friend's little boy gave him for his 30th birthday, and on and on. Every decoration in that room I love to look at. He's got an old Canadian lake map he pulled out of Lake of the Woods this past June, that we want to hang. I want to throw some fun pom pom garland around his deer mount's antlers (haha, I don't think he knows this). And now we've got a lot of little Ava areas...a bin full of toys, her fun Bee she can ride around on, a special little workbench under Wynston's that holds her tackle box. Her playhouse and trampoline sit in the driveway in front of this room (for now). After work and on the weekends we love to open up the door, sit and relax for a bit in a camp chair, and watch all the adventures Little Miss has in this fun room. Those camp chairs usually have cup holders full of rocks and hook-less fishing lures that Ava stashes there. It's not a fancy room by any means, but I love being there with my little family. :)

Wynston's 30th Birthday "guestbook", which we framed and hung in the man room.
Ava, playing in the man room...blocks in camp chair, riding bee close at hand and ready to ride!

Ava going into her playhouse, right in front of our manroom.

2. Best Mommy moment so far

Umm this one is hard, and a little unfair! How do you name just one. I guess the most meaningful moment for me so far, was right after Ava's surgery to correct her Craniosynostosis. What a long day. But that afternoon, around 4:00 or 4:30 they told Wynston and I that we could come see our girl in recovery. We gathered our courage, and followed the nurse back. Ava was lying in her little hospital bed, bandaged, pale and hooked up to so many monitors and tubes. She was so pale. So still and calm. She opened her little eyes, licked her lips and looked back and forth between us. We said hi, told her we loved her, then she put out her little 9 month old finger and touched it to mine. That was our "one" that we did at that age. That was the moment I knew that even after such a big surgical change, our Ava was still Our Ava. And that she was going to be ok. *tear*

3. Why do you blog?

I have my blog so that friends and family can share in our family memories and adventures. I'm pretty fond of what we've got going on in our family, and I want to be able to share our pictures and stories with friends and family, near and far. :)

4. Is there anything "off limits" when it comes to your blog?

Well. Yes I guess so. I tend to flood my blog with pictures. Even mundane little pictures because I think Ava is adorable no matter what she's up to. :) But there are definitely pictures and memories that don't make it onto the blog. Some things are just too special and too personal.

5. Post a picture of your favorite item in your home.

I feel like saying my daughter or my husband is my favorite would be a cop out here. So I'm going with my living room area rug. Even though the overall dark color does NOT agree with all the crumbs my kid produces, I still love it. It's soft, it's durable and it was a GREAT price.
Aforementioned rug, covered in wooden blocks and Pomeranian cuteness!

Ok, so that completes my q&a from Jordan. Now it's MY turn to nominate some fun blogs and see what they have to say.

First up, my LONG time friend Ashley, over at Sow Much In Love. I've known Ash practically my entire life, and I cherish the coffee/play dates we have with our little ones. Friends forever. :)

Next would be Little Bits. This blog is written by someone I attended college with. I don't know her very well, but her blog is fabulous and she has the most adorable life and family.

Finally, Wine Corks and Running Shorts. Isn't that a great blog name?! If you know my friend Crystal, you would really appreciate that title, because it fits her to a T. Crystal's dedication to running and wine reviews are always a fun combination!

Ladies, my questions for you would be:

1. What are your top 3 beauty products that you can't get by without?
2. Why do you blog and where do you draw your post inspiration from?
3. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
4. Which blog post of your own is your favorite?
5. Since you're all moms, when was your first "oh my gosh I'm a MOM" moment?

There you go! Love your blogs, and can't wait to see your responses. :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

That's My Girl

Last night we did some Halloween costume supply shopping. We made a detour at a store where several months back I'd spied some totally adorable toddler boots. Turns out not only were the boots still there, but Little Miss LOVED them. I put them on her to make sure they fit, and she decided they were NOT allowed off for the rest of the night.

Ava loves her mommy and daddy's "boots!", now she has a pair of her own. And I heard about them the entire car ride home. :)

Getting that security tag off the boot was...interesting!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Pickin 2013

Sunday Ava, our friend Katie and I returned to Marionville to hit up this precious pumpkin patch. We spent some time soaking up the very bright sun, waving at goats, playing in large sandboxes full of corn kernels, and of course, hand picking some gorgeous pumpkins! Little Miss also showed off her spacial skills to Katie by sorting and lining up some cute tiny pumkpins. This place offers a beautiful variety of pumpkins and goards to load into your wagon. :)

"This is the one, Mom!"

I think we tuckered her out. She spent a chunk of the trip just relaxing like this in the wagon. :)

Here's when we visited last year. :) Take a peek at how much more of the wagon Ava takes up now, compared to last year!  What a fun tradition. It also appears that I want to put Little Miss in pink polka dots for this annual trip. Ha!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fragile Blessings

Today, I've got a torn heart. Over the weekend I visited with a friend of a friend whose daughter has recently had an unexpected brain tumor found and removed. They were also sent to the St. Louis Children's Hospital, where the amazingly talented staff were able to treat and heal their daughter. Her only indication of the tumor was sudden, unstoppable vomiting (from increasing pressure on her brain). The tumor turned out to be about the size of an apple. In a little 10 year old's brain! So scary. Luckily, she is now in good shape, still as beautiful and charming as ever. What a scare for that sweet family.
I also read on Facebook this morning that a family I distantly know, has lost their little boy. They knew his life here on our Earth would be short lived, and this family truly appreciated and lived out each day to it's fullest. I cannot imagine the pain these young parents are experiencing right now.
Hearing about these things brings me back to just a few short months ago, when I was grief stricken with Ava's Craniosynostosis diagnosis and upcoming surgery. It's hard to believe that it was this time last year when we were in the early stages of trying to understand Ava's condition. Her recovery has been so thorough and rapid, it's just amazing to see where she is now. Unless you know what to look for, it's pretty much impossible to tell she had major cranial surgery this year. She's so beautiful, happy, exuberant. We are truly blessed to have had the medical treatment she needed, and the healthy future that lies ahead for her.
I guess in closing, and to try to bring these thoughts back on track, if you don't do so already, take some time today to say that prayer of thanks. A prayer for comfort for any families you know that are in need or pain. Give those little ones just one more hug and kiss. Tell someone you love them. Life is so complex, yet so fragile. Be thankful today.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

When Dad's In Charge

He gets put on cuddle duty.

Not too long ago, Ava ran a mystery fever. Possibly teething, possibly some little bug. Luckily fever, tiredness and extra cuddles were her only symptoms. Luckily it was short lived and our Little Miss is back to her rambunctious self.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Couple Kitchen Firsts

That is a freezer full of our first "half a hog". We are officially stocked full of bacon, pork chops, ribs, roasts, sausage and some ham hocks. Yum. I predict lots of pork in our future.

That is a LARGE pot of homeade tomato sauce. I'd never done an all day sauce, but it was so easy, cheap and now I have a lot of this in my freezer as well. Ava also helped me make some banana bread while we had the sauce simmering. Anytime we have bananas get overripe, I pop them in my freezer just like my grandma taught me. Then we pull them out on cool fall Sunday afternoons to cook up some goodness. :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Pirate Party

This past weekend, Ava and I ventured out all on our own and found ourselves having a fabulous time up in St. Louis. The big event was an adorable pirate themed first birthday party (complete with gold glittery paper!!) for my friends Brian and Jennifer's little Wyatt. If you've been around this little ol blog long, you might remember Wyatt's true first birthday. We did go up to this party a day early because my college roomate happened to be in town that weekend, and a night of yummy pizza, watching babies play and late night chats was just what this girl needed. The party followed the next day, and was the CUTEST....pirate hat pinata, perfectly themed food, temporary tattoos, and more! And let me tell you...Wyatt CHOWED down on his birthday cake. Well done little man, well done. I may have snuck one of those temporary tattoos onto my daughter's behind before our drive home...then let Wynston discover it while changing her daughter. His smile was priceless.

Wyatt and Ava eating dinner together.

Little Miss obviously LOVED their dogs.

This shirt was probably my favorite item Wyatt received.

This melts my heart.

Trying to get all the little ones together for a picture is always interesting.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Then and Now

Mommy and Ava Close Ups Edition



She gets more and more beautiful every day.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Festival 2013

It's full on Fall here, and that means lots of good things...pumpkin spice lattes, pretty leaves, a break from the 90 degree days...and of course our annual visit to the Fair Grove Fall Festival (actually called the Heritage Festival). This year, we had a rainy Saturday, but returned for a beautiful Sunday. Here are some pictures and memories :)

Watching the parade.

Ava and her friend Adalyn.


Ava's first pony ride. She yelled "HORSEY!" the entire time.

A fun photo collage my friend Katie sent me, showing the many faces Ava makes when demolishing a cob of corn.

See here for last year's Fall Festival. Oh how much Ava's grown!!