My days are filled, but with what, I'm not sure.

I'm living in a house of cardboard.  I complained to hell and back when my living room was full of other people's belongings.  Now it's full of mine.

I don't know where to start.  I need shelves to place these earthly goods.  I need to see it all to know how much there is, how much storage is needed, and where the shelves should go.

I'm frozen.  Is there an unpacking reality show that I can apply for? 


wishin and hopin...

We all have THAT friend.  Who seems way too together for reason.  When I was a Junior in HS, I became friends with Liz.  Really, it boiled down to the fact that she was a singer AND friends with this really hot and fun group of guys that I leached myself to.  So, we were the lucky two girls amongst gorgeous men.  Life was tough (like going boating and having the guys make us a steak dinner on a friend's houseboat tough).

Now, she is a stay-at-home mom to two wee ones, is battling MS AND if that's not enough to make anyone want to go take a nap... she just launched her professional photography business.  Seriously, take a gander at this website.  I'm in utter awe.

Look through her site long enough to view all the galleries AND you'll be lucky enough to hear my favorite song (from the Once Soundrack).  That will make you a winner, but she's also having a contest on her blog and IF I WIN... she'll be in my hometown photographing Hazel on her 1st birthday!  WHAT ARE THE ODDS THAT SHE'LL BE HOME THAT WEEK?  Oh my, winning hankies from my sister's blog was way exciting, but this... this would be orgasmic!


Shout it from the rooftops!

I'm in LOVE!  Yes, I often talk about the two big loves of my life (hubby and daughter), but there's a new creation that I'm talking about...  my NIECE/ NEPHEW (who is currently cocooned inside my sister).

I am SO excited about this.  My sister and bro-in-law are true adventurers, so I wasn't quite sure how long I'd have to wait for them to "get it on".  They were designed to be parents.  They love kids and do to my sister's ridiculous crafting abilities and my b-i-l's ridiculous outdoorsman activities... there offspring is bound to be the coolest kid!

I truly can't imagine Hazel as the OLDEST cousin.  I bet she'll be like my sister was to all of us youngsters and spend her time teaching them crafts, braiding their hair (even if it's a boy), and making them instant pudding.

**Update:  It seems that it was only I who was subjected to my sister's lumpy pudding in wine glasses.  Sorry M, but it's true!  Jake also loves to make instant pudding and has discovered the most amazing combination:  chocolate pudding with coconut milk!


la la la Life is Wonderful

Yesterday, I surprised my sister with my optimism.  Like most bloggers, I choose to post about the highlights of my life.  The lowlights I keep close to home.  Well, that's not completely true, I do like to share lowlights AFTER they've been surpassed and they've turned into highlights.  It's not that I don't want to be authentic on the internet, but I do think it's important to be a bit protective for the sake of my self and my sanity.  I know... you're remembering the time I wrote about YIs (that's shorthand for a girly health problem... Yup... you figured it out ;) 

With that being said, I will admit to having downer mornings lately.  By the afternoon, I've had enough Hazel and Jake time to be focusing on the bright side of life.  But the mornings...they're full of worry, stress, and a touch more worry.

So, this rainy morning, I want to shout from the rooftops that LIFE IS WONDERFUL!  I turned on my favorite Jack Johnson Pandora Radio Station to serenade Hazel and I during our breakfasts.  I haven't listened to the radio in MONTHS.  As we finished, the most glorious song came on and Hazel and I just HAD to dance around our new gorgeous house as the lyrics really hit home:

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story
It takes an egg to make a hen
It takes a hen to make an egg
There is no end to what I'm saying

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes some words to make an action
It takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction

La la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Al la la la la

It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to make you yawn brother
And it takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other

And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
It takes some fears to make you trust
It takes those tears to make it rust
It takes the dust to have it polished

Ha la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is so full of
Ah la la la la la la life is so rough
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is our love
Ah la la la la la

It takes some silence to make sound
It takes a loss before you found it
And it takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to make you care
It takes a hole to make a mountain

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ha la la la la la life is wonderful
Ha la la la la la life is meaningful
Ha la la la la la life is wonderful
Ha la la la la la life it is...so... wonderful

It is so meaningful
It is so wonderful
It is meaningful
It is wonderful
It is meaningful
It goes full circle
Full circle

Artist:  Jason Mraz


8 is GREAT!

I know!  She is growing like a weed!

A sneak peak at OUR balcony which overlooks the living room :)  Of course, I had to take these pics on the one morning when it wasn't sunny so please excuse the lighting!

Finally able to put my rocking chair to good use!  Hazel and I rock here each night, look out over our empire(10 acres), read books, nurse, sing, and snuggle.  It's true bliss! 

Where do I even start when describing this heavenly creature?  She is so FUN!  All it takes it a "peek a boo" or "HELLO" to elicit the most gorgeous smile.  She loves to be held upside down.  Her body literally convulses when Dada walks into the room 'cause she knows he's gonna play with her.  In fact, we're pretty sure she's been saying "DADA".  It's her favorite babbling sound, but often coincides with seeing or hearing him. 

Her new nickname is "the reacher creature".  She can lean over farther than seems humanly possible.  Believe me, more than one cup of tea has been knocked over (no burns thankfully!).  She just loves to reach for things!  In her bumbo seat, she can expertly turn the lazy susan to grab all kind of fun toys (napkin rings, salt shakers, butter knives...oh my!)

Sitting up is no longer a big deal.  There have been minor knee movements that will soon lead to crawling.  How can I be so excited about these milestones and yet want to FREEZE time?

We've been in our new place for almost a week and her sleep has magically doubled in length, predictability, and quality.  WOW!  I'm one step closer to sanity and where have those beautiful bags under my eyes gone?  Guess all she needed was her own space (where she can't smell mama's milk OR the cat litter).


a fast forward update

So much to blog about and no time to do it!  Here's a quick bullet list of what I hope to blog about soon:
  • Mini reunion with college girlfriends and their families.  Awesome to reconnect.  Funny how you forget about mannerisms, but after 6 years you notice how people fidget/talk/express the same way!
  • Drive through Amish country and dine at an Amish run restaurant... on their MEXICAN night!  Too funny.  FYI:  Amish kids LOVE Hazel!
  • MISSED Hazel's 8 month birth anniversary!  Realized a day late... plan to take pics today!
  • Slept in new house last night!  Hip Hip Hooray!  Haven't officially signed yet, but it's still mine... all mine.  I like to randomly remind Jake that we have 3 BATHROOMS!  As a couple who has moved 4 times and never had more than one bathroom, we are obnoxiously happy about the number 3!  (though we slept there, the main floor is still all boxes of my grandparents' stuff, the kitchen needs a scrub, and we're still in limbo.)
  • Hazel seems to not sleep the first night in a new place.  She screams unless she is on my chest OR we are forehead-to-forehead.  Though I love her cuddles, it makes for a very non-restful night!  Looking forward to moving her crib today!


Real Breakfast

This morning, the cereal cabinet was EMPTY! And to make matters worse, I just wasn't in the mood for eggs.

Desperate to consume REAL FOOD and not just eat Girl Scout Cookies (my first/primal instinct), I took a moment to really think about my breakfast.

Fortunately, I saw my mom's dirty pot in the sink and decided to copy her.  Old fashioned oats with a little soy milk, raisins, and of course brown sugar.  I'm not trying to be a sugar martyr here.

The only drawback was the gag reflex I had to fight because the last time I had oatmeal was with my father-in-law and I learned that he REHYDRATES HIS RAISINS!  Oh the horror!  Oh the insanity.  And to think that this man's DNA is in my daughter...  sigh...  Let's hope she gets his compassion or interpersonal skills and not his taste buds!


Marchin' in like a LION!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: My Lutherlyn friends just get it. They get me. They support me. They challenge me. I love them. Whether it's because they're Lutheran, they're outdoorsy (it is primarily a summer camp after all), or because the stars aligned when I met each of them, I'm not sure. However, I missed them when I moved away. And by "them", I'm referring to Shayne, one of my camp counselors; Deb, my first Unit Leader (in charge of the summer camp counselors); Amanda, my CAMPER; Leslie, the mother of my campers; Shannon, my cowoker/partner in crime (for real)... it would take me all night to list them all. Seriously, I have THAT many friends. I just wanted to point out that we are all friends, though our ages range from 23- 60+ (for the record none of the people I mentioned are 60 ;)

So, I'm following a challenge that was thrown out there by my Lutherlyn friends and some fellow bloggers. Real Food.

I'll be doing this for the month of March and so I'll let you know what "Real Food" means to me throughout the month.

For now, my real baby is BEGGING for some real food! Tonight she will dine on breastmilk and pureed food fresh from the kitchen! Wish us luck!

author's addition: After posting, I realized that I may have made it seem like my Lutherlyn friends are all female. Oh, the glorious Lutherlyn men... suffice to say that I am now related to TWO handsome fellows I met at Lutherlyn. Figure that one out ;)


Look out HGTV!

Since living in a house with cable for the past few months, I've watched more than a fair share of HGTV (so has Hazel... oops time to get her into the woods!).  Unfortunately for me, I've perused the HGTV website and THE NERVE... they don't film any of their shows in poh-dunk PA.  HUMPH!  No free designing for me :(

Jake and I have strong opinions when it comes to home decoration.  Correction, we have strong opinions about other people's decor.  We have NO idea what our own style is. 

I'm fairly certain our house will be a blank canvas.  Blank because Jake hates knick knacks.  Blank because I have a fear of commitment when it comes to artwork.  Blank because our decor budget falls extremely low on our list of priorities (but this stay-at-home mom won't complain about that!  reality check:  yes I will, but please remind me that it's one of the sacrifices I've made to spend my time with the Haze.).

Ok, so HGTV let me down, but my favorite magazine, Real Simple, was there to save the day!  This month they have an article entitled "What's Your Decorating Style".  Hoorah! 

The choices are:
  • Sophisticated Classic (my friend, Whitney, who I've discussed numerous times.  I LOVE her house and her style, but after reading this article, I agree that it might be too pretty and elegant for me and my yoga pant wardrobe!)
  • Modern Graphic (my bro-in-law, Josh.  He's trendy in a non dorky way and can rock the modern decor without looking like a pauper or a fraud.)
  • Vintage Eclectic (Cynthia's mom.  The lady's Victorian house is the perfect mix of antiques, function, and fresh air.  Just thinking about her reminds me that I desperately need to make the time to stop by and have a visit.)
  • Cozy Casual (ME!  Jake and I immediately agreed on this one.  Not surprisingly, Pottery Barn falls under this category)
Ok, so now I have a description of my style... let's see if I can pull things together and if you'll see cozy casual in my upcoming postings about my new home (no, I haven't bought it yet... but soon!).


Look Pa, NO HANDS!

This morning, Jake finished an exhausting set of work nights.  So, to celebrate, Hazel had a surprise ready...

practicing the night before in her drool covered (first tooth on the way?) church clothes

shot taken this morning with one very proud papa smiling in the sidelines!  Please note the HAIR!

Disclaimer:  though Hazel is gifted and above average in COUNTLESS ways, she can only maintain this upright position for limited amounts of time (however judging by how quickly she is growing, it won't be long till she's mastered her new trick!).