a giggle!

Hazel just let loose her FIRST giggle! Looking forward to hearing a trillion more of those this year :)



My big sis wrote a Thankfulness blog. Seems extremely appropriate for the season, eh? My head literally SWARMED like locust in the Middle East with things I am thankful for. I bet y'all can guess my Numero Uno (hint: rhymes with Basil).

However, I'm gonna boil it all down to this: I am THANKFUL for security (and Benjamins).

Over two years ago, Jake and I had just finished our big move out west. We were fresh out of school and excited about our adventure. We had lived on student loans and small work-study stipends for 2 years and our bank account was scary... in fact, I don't think the bank considered it an account. When my new employer told me that it would be two months from the time I started working to the time that first paycheck was in my pocket, my knees buckled. There as NO way we were gonna make it. So, we ate humble pie and asked my parents for another loan. It felt like SUCH a big deal to me each time they put $100 into our account. (they were so gracious about the whole ordeal- thanks ma and pa! yes, we paid them back promptly!)

Living in our new city, we discovered this GREAT grocery store (WINCO) that had super low prices. The catch with the place is that you have to pay with cash/debit and you bag your own stuff. No biggie... except we had no cash! What a cruel world it is when you can't afford to shop at the cheap grocery store (yeah, cheaper than Wal-Mart!).

Then one day early in my career, there was a sweet anonymous note and $100 bill in my school mailbox. Now, there is just a small group of wonderful people who knew about my predicament, but I never tried to figure out who my anonymous angel was because that was what they wanted. The relief that that gift brought was immense! My coworkers also pulled together and gave me a nice gift card for that store on my birthday that September.

Once again, we have been without a paycheck for an uncomfortable amount of time. However, this time we were prepared AND our bills are extremely low (we live on my parent's property and I work for them in exchange for rent). So, even though my bank account is happy, my tummy is full, and I am warm... I remember the value of a $100 bill and I am thankful for the kindness of an anonymous friend who helped me out so long ago.



Dear blog, I'm sorry that I have been ignoring you. The only computer always at my fingers is an old, creaky desktop. Though there are 3 laptops floating around, none of them ever seem to be available for little ole me. So here's a quick update on my week:

Good news: Jake made it safely to PA! Thanks to his dad for taking the time to help him load up and drive across the country. He's a better man than me ;)

Great news: We just got back from a 4 day trip to Jake's hometown. Hazel got to meet her Uncle Josh (and he got to change his first ever baby diaper!) and her Great-Gma Kosker! Hazel also got to meet our dear friends, the Tosts and interview their two sons for possible courtship in the future. Throw in meeting Jake's Aunt Mary Lou (one of the people reflected in Hazel's middle name) and Aunt Vonnie as well as spending some quality time with 3 of her grandparents... it was a wonderful trip! However, just like her mama, Hazel does NOT sleep the first night in a new place. I don't know how she can tell a difference 'cause she had been in her travel bassinet for weeks, but she surely let me know that her routine was affected!

Other news: Last night I finally agreed to make Hazel sleep in her crib. I've known for quite awhile that this would as hard or harder for me as it would be for her. For her entire life, she's slept with me or within arms reach in a bassinet. And yes, I frequently pet her and hold her hand throughout the night. I'm in love, it's my only excuse. So, with the help of Jake, I stayed in my bed (maybe with my teary face buried in pillows) while Hazel cried, screamed, whimpered, and SLEPT! When I finally fed her at 6, amazingly we all fell back asleep for a few HOURS! Guess no one got much sleep. One night down, two more to go (everyone says that it takes three nights to teach a babe how to sleep through the night). My mom just told me that she thinks Hazel is a stubborn as me... she sounded oddly pleased at this... HUMPH!

Now, to finish organizing our apartment and PREPARE FOR THANKSGIVING (my favorite holiday 'cause we spend it with Ape (mom's college roomie), Dick (looks like Steve Martin), Whit (their daughter and one of my dearest friends), and Drew (who laughs at all of Jake's jokes)!



In less than 24-hours, Jake will be HERE! We've been apart for 2 1/2 weeks and it feels more like 2 1/2 months.

To deal with her anticipation, Hazel began practicing her hunting skills. It's gonna be a daughter/daddy activity and so she decided that it was time to start practicing. Of course she didn't use a gun, but she still bagged 3 animals!

Look closely at Hazel's shirt and you'll see another thing that she is anticipating... meeting her Aunt Marianne and Uncle Christoph in Alaska! That won't be for a few months, but for now Hazel is content with seeing them on Skype and looking at their photograph.


4 months of bliss

Happy 4 month birthday Hazey Mari! Hazel seems like such a part of me, I can't believe I lived for 28 years without her.

This month, Hazel has focused on ab crunches. She wants to be sitting up and looking at everyone. So, if you try to lie her back in your arms or on the ground, she will work her abs in an effort to sit up. She also has begun cooing! It sounds more like "ahhooo" in the sweetest sing song voice. When she is in a good mood, she will try to hold a conversation. I'll speak, pause, and she'll coo, repeat until mama's heart melts and swoops her up into a cuddle.

She is definitely past the colic phase. However, when she's around a large group of people, she becomes over stimulated and is quite inconsolable. Fortunately, once again the sling SAVES THE DAY and she can stare at her mama or sleep.

It's a beautiful warm fall day in Pennsylvania. As usual, I forced Hazel to have a photo shoot when she wants to be napping, however Hazel takes after her father and is very happy when wearing her birthday suit. The girl sure knows how to work it!


designed for ME

I've always wished that I had a personal designer. I would love to call someone up, describe the perfect pair of shoes/dress/nursery decor, and have them MADE! It would save me so much time because I always have something VERY specific in mind and have to trudge store-to-store looking for something close to what I've envisioned.

My sister does not understand my obsession with owls and birds. Now I have PROOF that I'm hip and trendy and I'm suffering from a MAJOR case of the I WANTS...

Time to warm up the old charge card! Thank you Pottery Barn, I will forever be a loyal shopper (now how about a discount for blogging about this?).


my father's hands continued

FINALLY... I have the pic to go with this old post.

HUGE, right (his hands...and her cheeks)? Last night Hazel fell asleep with her head resting in her Grandpa's hand. Just like her mama used to do when she (I- in case you're confused) got tired after dinner.

Needless to say, Hazel has been getting lots of love since moving across the country! There are still many more people and relatives to meet, but the girl only has so many hours in a day. Since my hubby is away on a hunting trip (a mighty successful one!), I am REALLY appreciating the help I'm getting by living on my parent's property. I'm almost as spoiled as Hazel (however judging by the growing number of gift bags piling up around here, I'd say she's winning by a landslide)! Hazel does enjoy her solo play time, but she also loves to be held or entertained. Without my parents help, I think Jake would have come home from his hunt and found a wild beast in his wife (not THAT kind of wild beast ;)