Sunday, August 28, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

While the East Coast was hunkering down for a Hurricane: emptying grocery shelves, boarding up windows, and charging flashlight batteries, Aaron and I went to a baseball game.
We walked to our seats and got a pretty legit view of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It was a sight to behold
I have been to a few baseball stadiums in my time, which is odd considering the fact that I don't actually like watching baseball, but I was taken back by how beautiful and green the field was. The grass around our apartment is dying a slow and patchy death due to the heat, and seeing a lush well-groomed stretch of grass brought a tear to my eye.
As we settled into our seats we had a nice view.
The Rangers played well
We were with good company.
Texas pride was out and about and going strong
We were brought to our feet by a grand slam.
And we yelled "Texas!" at all the right times.
The heat was absolutely miserable, but the night itself was a lot of fun.

With a Rangers game under our belts, we're now looking to check Cowboys game, and Mavericks game off of our list. Our Texas citizenship is starting to solidify.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

There seems to be a painted nail trend going on. I thank pinterest for all of my knowledge concerning recent trends. People do crazy things with their nails these days. Leopard print, rainbow, glitter, maybe even all the pictures from a favorite childhood story meticulously painted on all 10 nails. Unfortunately for me they didn't have those bottles of nail polish at the place I went to the other day. The craziest it got was red with sparkles. It makes me think of Dorothy's Ruby Red slippers that she had to click three times while saying "There's no place like home," so she could get out of the land of Oz. 
All week long when I catch glimpses of my nails I think to myself, "What do I consider home? If I had to click my heals three time to get home, where would I land?" I have moved a lot in the past 5 years. Utah, California, Texas. My roots are deeply embedded in Virginia, where I grew up. Those tall green trees and gorgeous seasons make my heart swoon. Deep down in my soul I am a Virginian. But Virginia, in all its beauty and awesomeness isn't home anymore either. I couldn't define 'home' for the longest time. Tonight I was away at a Cub Scout Pack meeting (Yes, I sported the Canary Yellow Scout Leader shirt, it was my yellow brick road to my ruby red nails). When I came home I was greeted at the door by my Gracie yelling "Momma, Momma!" I gave Aaron and kiss and Gracie led me by the hand to the couch so I could sit and snuggle with her. I finally had my answer. This was home. Being with Aaron and Grace. Sitting together. Loving each other. Soaking up the tiny moments of the every day together. The scenery can change and differ and be hot or cold, green or brown, but I will always be home when I'm with the ones that I love. So there is no need to click my heals and say goodbye's. I'm already home.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Long and Short of It

I'm not sure what my drive is with extremely long marathon posts, but here is another one.

In 2007 I was in a rut. I needed a change. With a desire to move forward and grow and change I decided to chop my hair off (and you all know much much I like haircuts) as an act of my new found direction in life.
 I booked an appointment and basically told my stylist to "go for it" and it was a done deal. New me.
I established a rule for myself with that experience. If my hair was so long that I would rather wear it in a ponytail than take the time to do it, then it was too long. Short hair forced me to style it everyday, basically, a no-pony-tail zone. I kept my hair short, and even survived a nightmare hair cutting experience, but by the time I was pregnant with Grace, 2 years later, I started to grow it out.
Three years of growing it out and my hair was long, very very long. I had almost achieved Mermaid Status with it. I had many a trim to cut off dead ends and to thin the bejeezies of out it, but I had done it. I even survived the heat wave with my hair. I was proud. But proud moments often falter when it takes 45 minutes to style that hair. Combined with a shower, make-up, and corralling a toddler I swore it took me 3 1/2 years from start to finish. I was batting at once a week, usually Sunday, where I would go through the effort of styling it. Jillian actually styled my hair when she visited, bless her soul.
But, enough was enough. I had reached my limit and drifted into the land of ponytails and no blow dryers. I took the plunge this afternoon and bid adieu to Mermaid Status.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Telephonular Device

When I got my current cell phone I had two requests. #1. I wanted it to have a full keyboard for texting. #2. I wanted it to have a camera. There are moments that occur where the big bulky camera is out of reach and a cell phone camera is key. G-Money and I also like to take pictures and send them to Aaron to show what he's missing out on with all that working he is doing. Every so often I download these pictures onto my computer, here is the recent rush of photos.

Grace is a shoe girl. Through and through. We have to keep our closet door closed or she with ransack the shoes and they will be strewn about the apartment. She has great taste and prefers to wear heals regardless of her attire. I think she is better at walking in them than I am. Jammies go with red heals, right?
Grace always sits in Aaron's chair when watching a show. I honestly don't think I've ever seen her get up onto the couch. On this particular day she added her own toddler flair. Recliner plus bumbo equals pure comfort. And yes, at 23 months she can still fit into that thing.
I purchased some pork at Walmart that ended up being rancid. I took it back to the store for a refund and was told that with food I could only make an exchange. Not needing anything in particular, I browsed the store and came back with all the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. As the cashier was ringing me up she informed me that I was a $1.50 short of my exchange amount, and that I should "grab a pack of gum or something." I headed to one of the aisles and browsed my options. I settled on a Twix bar, but the regular sized ones were only 75 cents, still leaving me 75 cents shy of my goal. I was totally forced to go with a king size, my life is so tough sometimes. Grace and I headed out with our overly sugary and caloric loot. Texas is still in the throes of an intense heat wave and that twix bar started melting the second we stepped outside. By the time we got in the car I knew that thing was a goner. In a moment of sheer panic we had to save the twix bar so we inhaled it as fast as humanly possible. I'm telling you, life is tough for us.
Our maiden voyage for Operation Wear Grace Out. Grace looks thrilled, doesn't she?
 Texting Aaron at work.
I am a recent convert to pinterest. My first time on, I wasted spent hours browsing through pictures and links that blew my mind. I am not a super crafty person but pinterest had so many good ideas out there that I couldn't pass them up. I was looking for something ABC related for a blank wall in Grace's room. I found a pin and a link and realized that this blogger was offering free printables. A few days and lots of printer ink later, an ABC craft for cheap. Love it.
Saturday date night at the Dallas temple. Perfect. And can I mention that nothing is finer than your husband in a white shirt and tie?
 Reading about Samuel the Lamanite.
A few months ago I went shopping at Walmart. When I grabbed my diaper bag out of the cart to pay for my groceries I heard my keys drop to the floor. After paying for the groceries, about 4 Walmart workers and I spent half an hour searching for the keys. We were on our knees, we used brooms, and I walked all  the surrounding aisles. The next day I made copies of all the lost keys. I went to customer service every Monday about 5 or 6 times asking for the keys. I basically gave up hope on the whole endeavor. Monday on a whim I decided to check again. There they were, right on the top. It was a Monday miracle!
 Today Grace and I played in the "backyard," aka the stairwell to our apartment.

Things that were Once Mine

The "Duck"

I use quotations because it's not technically a duck, but a goose, although it looks like a duck. My Junior year of High School I was gifted a plastic "duck" statue thing. It was from a home decorating magazine and the duck came with a series of outfits. One outfit for all of the major holidays, as well as a few novelty outfits for fun, rain coat, hula girl, ballerina. I loved it. I dragged that duck everywhere. I took him to college and ensured his safe arrival through 6 different moves. Aaron asked me on multiple occasions to get rid of it, because it was "totally pointless." I couldn't part with it. I knew one day we were going to have kids and, when they were old enough, they would take notice and appreciate the duck for its complete awesomeness.  That day has arrived. The duck which was once a decoration in Grace's room is now her partner in crime.
She dresses him up, makes sure his always has his cowboy hat, and puts him down for naps. I take a certain amount of joy out of this situation. All of those moves, and years, and hopes that it would be worth it have finally paid of.

When I was pregnant, my Mom sent me a package full of old outfits of mine from when I was a baby, that I could pass down to my little girl. On Sunday I dressed Grace up in one of those outfits. To be honest, I think it's still a rad little get-up. I have no idea how my mom kept such a delicate light pink outfit in mint condition. I guess after four kids you develop mad laundry abilities.


Once upon a time he was just mine. I had him all to myself, and while I still have him, I now have to share him. Grace and Aaron are serious pals as I have mentioned before. They have a special bond and seem to understand each other on a different level.
He knows the right way to read books
The right way to play with stuffed animals
And the right way to snuggle
There is no way I can be selfish and keep him all to myself when he makes her so incredibly happy too. And I am more than happy to sit back and watch them play, and share, and giggle.

So, to Gracie, what once was mine can now be yours.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Forever Changed

Any words that I could say would feel incomplete, so I invite you to read the words of Ruby's parents.

I ached all day yesterday. I prayed. I cried. And I realized that because of Ruby Jane, I am forever changed. She strengthened my testimony in the gospel. Her life and example forced me to ask hard questions and earnestly seek the right answers. In the 8 months she was here, she taught me more about life than I ever thought an infant could. She is, not was, incredible.

Ani, thank you so much for sharing your fight and sharing your daughter with the world. It is a better place because of her.

Please keep the Taylor family in your prayers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In Need of Sleep

At around 10:30 this morning Grace started melting down. Random bouts of tears after seemingly innocent things. "Gracie, do you want to give your baby some kisses?" "(Tears) It's (sob) my (cry) baby!" We snuggled on the couch, but not the way she wanted. We read the pages of her books, but not in the order she was hoping. I went back to the basics of early parenting. Is she fed? Yes. Is she dry? Yes. Is she tired? I'm not sure. I figured she might be tired and knew that my chances were basically slim to none of her actually falling asleep, but I took the plunge anyway. As I shut the door to her room and walked away I rolled my eyes at myself "Why did you even try? It's an hour and a half before her naptime. You know you're going to have to just go back in and get her." After thirty minutes of silence I knew that the little lass was sleeping. I was in shock.

About an hour into her uncharacteristically early nap it finally dawned on me why what was happening, was actually happening. Here is some background. When Jillian and Lucas were here, Grace had a constant playmate. She and Lucas would run around with each other, leading them to be exhausted during naps and at night. Once they left, Grace and I got sick and were stuck inside, at home, all weekend. With no outlet for her ever growing energy levels Grace woke up early, strongly rebelled against naps, and had a few (cough...3...cough) diaper removal incidents. And yes, the diapers were duct taped. I mentally couldn't handle the lack of sleeping and boredom leading to Houdini like skills of duct taped diaper removal during naptime. 

On Monday, I devised a plan. This plan: Operation Wear Grace Out. 

After a long play-date with cousins. I packed our "Outing" bag with the essentials and we ventured out. 
The fountains were our first stop.

It was a hit. She ran and played to her hearts content.
That night, Aaron got off early and we headed to the mall for some window shopping and carousel riding. G was ecstatic about the horses, but after saddling up she lost her nerve and opted for the seat thingy. No less thrilling, however.

The next day, we headed to the water park with my sister and her kids.

And my water loving baby was in heaven

After multiple trips down the lazy river, hours in the splash area, and many rounds in the wave pool (in which Grace insisted that we both lay on our tummies whilst getting splashed in the face), Grace was completely spent.
She took a later nap and woke up around the time that Aaron got home and we headed off to Chick-Fil-A for some dinner and Play-Place action.

Her sleep schedule seemed to be back on track but her energy levels must not have caught up. Our plans fell through this morning which allowed for some down-time and a much needed early nap for this wee babe.

Operation Wear Grace Out was a success. I must start planning for OWGO part 2 for next week. Anyone in?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Prayers to be Prayed

My mind has been so preoccupied as of late. I find myself feeling anxious, checking my computer, and falling to my knees to say a quick and earnest prayer at random times during the day. A friend, I met through the blogosphere,  and her family are sitting in a hospital room watching their just turned seven month old cling to life. Ruby Jane's liver is failing. She is in desperate need of a transplant. During a time in her life where she should be learning to sit up, and scoot, and babble, Ruby is fighting for her life.
(Photos taken from their family blog and are property of the Taylor family)
I am asking for a favor, and by asking I mean begging and pleading, for you to say a prayer for this sweet little girl. Pray that her body will be stable enough to receive a transplant, pray for her to continue to fight, pray to lift up her family. There is something so incredibly powerful about prayer and I wouldn't feel right with myself if I didn't reach out to the incredible people I know and ask them to pray.
Thank you for listening, and thank you even more so for praying. If you would like more information on Ruby Jane and her status, follow this link.