Saturday, July 31, 2010

Our first day...

...consisted of this.

Lots of swimming!
Then we went to Chris and Brenda's and had amazing chicken, homemade chips, homemade mac and cheese and cookie bars! We swam and hung out and Tate fell asleep in the car on the short drive home!
Knutsons were here when we got home!
More to come!

Doak Campbell Stadium

On the drive down to Florida, we took a little bit of the "scenic route" and went through Tallahassee so we could check something off of Sean's "bucket list".
We visited Doak Campbell Stadium and toured around the Florida State campus.

Sean was SO happy!
Although I think now he added another item to his "bucket list"...actually go to a game at Doak Campbell Stadium! :)

It was kind of an amazing stadium!
I even enjoyed myself!

Tate after the first day of driving 14 hours...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

We are here...

We got here last night safe and sound. Tate is in are we. We had a great time in Tallahassee at the FSU to come. More later. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

T minus 13 hours...

We'll be heading to Florida in the morning. I am excited, BUT I am sick. So are Sean and Tate. Seriously?! It's nothing serious...just colds. Tate and I have been blowing our noses all day. I have a sore throat and a little cough. Sean just says he has a sore throat and is super tired feeling. Ugh. Tate acts completely fine. I am exhausted and will be heading to bed EARLY! I've got almost everything done and feel like any of the remaining items on my list can easily be completed in the morning before Sean gets home. Can't wait to get on the road so that vacation is officially started! Hopefully the excitement of it all will make my cold go away. :(

I'll have my computer in Florida, so there will be many posts to come! :)

still feeling ahead of the game!

One more day to get everything ready for our 2 week trip! I'm still feeling ahead of the game!!! Woohoo! On my list tomorrow...clean out my car, vacuum, double and triple check my lists :), call our landlord to let them know we'll be gone for 2 weeks, clean out any remaining food from our fridge, take out the trash, move Tate's car seat from the middle seat to a side seat so we can put the other side of our back seat down and lastly, line up all of our things to be packed by the back door so that it's ready when Sean gets home from work on Tuesday morning and he can pack up the car! :) Oh, and I would REALLY like to get a GREAT night sleep tomorrow night so that I am refreshed and ready to go for the long time I'll be driving on Tuesday while Sean sleeps after working all night. Getting a good night sleep is SUPER HARD for me, so we'll see how that goes. Ugh.

Goodnight all!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2 days and counting...

Sunday (tomorrow, but technically today because it's 1am) morning after we get up and around, Tate and I are heading to Muscatine to pick up some odds and ends we need to bring to Florida. I think we're going to go out for breakfast and hang out for a bit. We're actually pretty organized here. I've already got Tate, Sean and myself packed (aside from toiletries) and have my lists ready to go. I've printed out our grocery list for when we get to Florida (we already have our menu planned so we know what groceries we need), I have the driving directions printed, sunscreen and swimming gear packed, hotel information printed, house cleaned and the budget in order. I'm feeling pretty good. We got online to stop our mail while we're gone and I got all our bills paid that we need to pay before we return. I've realized I am going to make it on the little amount of groceries we have remaining and that makes me happy! I will do a mini grocery trip for snacks to take on the drive down, but that's it. I managed to get all of Sean and my clothes packed into a little carry on sized suitcase and Tate's are in a small duffel bag. I am the queen of over packing so this is my proudest accomplishment in regards to this Florida trip so far! :) Sean was a HUGE help to me today and that's why we are so organized. I don't really feel like I have much more packing to do aside from the things that have to wait until the last minute. Sean has already made it clear that he would like to be the person who actually packs the car up, so I'll let him own that project on Tuesday morning right when he gets home. I'll have everything packed and ready to go by the back door. Hopefully, all will go as planned and we'll be on the road by 9:30am and Tate will be a PERFECT ANGEL for the whole drive! Ha! Typically, my life doesn't go as I always envision it will. Maybe just this one time it will! :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Recipe Posted

Have A Peakin To My Recipe Book to see a recipe for an easy chicken casserole.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Random stuff from today...

I bought Tate water shoes today. I figured they'd be good for him on the hot sand and in the water with sharp shells and stuff. He tried them on, loved them and was so excited! We were in the car when I showed them to him. After trying them on, he was just kind of silent. A few minutes went by and all of a sudden he said, "Mommy, thank you for getting me swimming shoes!" Oh my goodness...this may seem like no big deal, but it was about the sweetest thing ever! Melted my heart. I also bought him a DVD to watch on the drive. When we came inside he said, "And mommy, thank you for my water shoes AND my new DVD, thank you!" So sweet. Makes me want to buy him more stuff. Ha. I will restrain myself from doing so though! :)

He is back to being a super sweet angel...I love it. I hope it's not just temporary because he's been amazingly sweet (aside from the whole 'mommy you stink' thing i blogged about a couple days ago) and polite these last few days!

On another note...I have taken ZERO pictures since being in Des Moines this weekend! This is unheard of for me! I may not take any until we leave, I'll probably be too busy.

Today Lora and I went to lunch and then manned the Water For Christmas booth at the Street Fest for the Bix7. I love my time with her when it's just us two. We get to talk deeper about things and she and I are just on the same page. It's so amazing to have a friend like that!

It's before 11pm and I'm tired. This is UNHEARD OF! I am so excited to get to bed at a decent time. That's where I'm going let's hope I can get right to sleep!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

I stink

I recently was raving to my mom about how much of an angel Tate has been these last few days. He really has! I've been so proud of him and he's gotten NO time outs for days! Well, I spoke too soon. He has been good today until we ran errands. He had a complete melt down when we were getting out of the car saying he wasn't going to go inside. He was flailing about and acting like a crazy person. So I said he was getting a time-out. This made him freak out more.

Anyway, I put him in time-out and he's SCREAMING...not crying...screaming, like an angry scream. Then he goes silent for about 5 seconds and at the top of his lungs screams..."MOMMY, YOU STINK!!!!" Ummm...well I kinda do. It's hot, I'm sweaty from carrying my 40 lb child in from the heat. I do stink. Only he was talking figuratively, not literally. I went in there and said, "what did you say to me?!?!!!!" He said, "I didn't say anything." Uh, ya right.

Seriously?!?!?! I stink?!?!?! He's 3!!!!

our fridge is looking empty

And so are our freezer and cupboards.
I've got 4 days left to feed our family.
My goal is to NOT go to the grocery store before Florida.
Not sure if we can survive 4 days only on:
1/3 gallon milk
1 frozen pizza
1/2 bag chicken nuggets
Quart of ice cream
2 cans corn
1 can green beans
2 lbs ground beef
1 bag of chicken
1 box cereal
6 eggs
1/2 loaf a bread
2 waffles
3 slices cheese
2 frozen bananas
2 onions
a bunch of condiments

So now that I look at that list, I actually think I'll manage these next 4 days! Seeing those items written down makes me realize I have more than it looks like!
We're doing supper in Muscatine tonight with my family and the DeCooks. James, Sean and my dad are golfing today and the girls will just hang out with the kiddos. Then tomorrow Lora and I are manning the Water For Christmas booth at the Bix for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Check out what Water For Christmas is doing HERE.

To me, once Saturday arrives...the race is on! Sean will be unavailable after about 2pm on Saturday pretty much until we leave for Florida. So my hope is that on Saturday morning, we will get a lot done together. Then, I plan to do most/all of the packing by myself (which I like to do anyway) and get this house CLEAN so that we can arrive home to a spic and span house! Sunday I will head to Muscatine to pick up some last minute odds and ends that we will be bringing to Florida. Monday will be last minute packing and checking everything off the list, printing out our hotel information for when we stop on the way down, printing our map and getting the car all cleaned out and ready to pack to the brim on Tuesday morning. I am hoping to be on the road by 10am at the latest on Tuesday. We'll see if that happens!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Well, the weekend was pretty insanely busy, but also really fun! We didn't get home until midnight last night. We went straight to bed and fell asleep immediately. After sleeping 8 hours (unheard of for me these days!) I woke up with a pounding headache and still felt like I could sleep for 8 more hours. I ended up editing photos for about 2 hours and decided to take a nap. I slept for 1 1/2 hours and awoke feeling MUCH better! I took almost 1200 pictures this weekend between my 3 photo sessions I scheduled and just other random pictures, so I had A LOT of editing to do! I spent the rest of the afternoon doing just that. That is truly my favorite part of this new job of mine...editing photos! :) This evening the headache came back though, so I suggested to Tate after supper that maybe we could lay in Mommy's bed and watch a movie together. He thought that was a great idea, so we headed up there and he watched a movie while I actually ended up sleeping again! I just can't seem to get enough sleep today! Unfortunately, when the movie was over, Tate was ready to go to sleep and I felt refreshed again! Ugh. So here I am, it's midnight and I have a second wind. I plan to take a Melatonin pill (thanks for the suggestion Jamie!) and see if it helps me sleep.

A HUGE thanks to Corey and Melissa for letting us stay at their new home! Really, thank you so much was so fun! Also, thank you to Jessica for doing my hair and for lunch, Cathy and Steve for feeding me dinner and letting us borrow your air mattress, Poleys for feeding our whole family and hanging out with us all afternoon and evening and Jenny for breakfast and taking time out of your Saturday for me! I am so blessed with such amazing friends and family!!!

Check out to see some of the photos from the 3 sessions I had this weekend!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

the countdown begins

We have so much to be excited for in the next 3 weeks! Tomorrow (technically today), we are going to Des Moines. Sean is going to golf with friends and I am going to get to see so many people who I miss since we moved. I am going to get my hair done (woohoo!), do some hair and have 3 photo sessions lined up! I'm super excited that we're staying at Cory and Melissa Morris's house for the weekend and Melissa and I will get to chat for hours! Tate will surely have fun playing with Brady and Carly while we're there too!

Then, upon our return, the race will be on to prepare for our 2 WEEK vacation to Florida!!!! I seriously feel like making a paper chain...for myself. I am THAT excited! I still have some items on my list that I would like to check off before we go. I really want to visit a local winery with the DeCooks next week if we can all squeeze it in. Also, we will likely just need some "DeCook Time" in general. :) We spend a lot of time with them and will miss them while we're in Florida. Wish they could join us!!!! Also, we hope to have some time with Sarah, Mike and the girls next week. When we get back, school will be starting shortly there after and since it seems like virtually all of our local friends and families are teachers, we try to soak up as much quality time with them in the summers as we can! Summer will practically be over when we get back! WHAT?!?!?!!! Didn't summer just start?!

We are driving down to Florida...we've NEVER done that before. We are flyers all the way. However, we just couldn't ignore the incredible savings it would be for us to drive now that we have the Prius with such great gas mileage. The only problem is that the Prius isn't terribly large. We have to fit Sean's golf clubs and our luggage along with all the other necessities. We will figure out a way, but it will be TIGHT! Is it weird that I'm excited for the drive?

Since we are driving, we decided to make a couple day trip out of it. We are taking a different route down to Florida then when we come home. On our way down, we will be driving to Birmingham, Alabama the first day. It will be a lot of time in the car the first day, but we'll survive. The reason we are going that way is because from Birmingham, we are heading to Tallahassee, Florida which is only about 4 1/2 hours away. For those of you who don't know, Tallahassee is home to the Florida State Seminoles who are Sean's 2nd favorite college team after the Iowa Hawkeyes. He has ALWAYS wanted to see Doak Campbell Stadium and some other various things on the FSU campus. So that's what we plan to do over lunch time on the 2nd day when we drive through there. We will check out the campus and eat lunch somewhere on the campus and most importantly, check out the stadium and surely take lots of pictures! Sean also has a friend who lives in Tallahassee that he hasn't seen since they lived together in college. We may try to catch up with him over lunch while we're there. After that stop, we will head to Venice and stay there for 10 days! Knutsons will be joining us the next day. The guys will be golfing several times and the gals and kids will be by the pool or at the beach pretty much every day! So I am sure to be a lobster upon my return! Ha. We are also really looking forward to spending time with Chris, Brenda, Bode and Boone while down in their neck of the woods! Chris has a BIG birthday while we're down there that we look forward to celebrating with him and also plan to just hang out with them whenever they're available!!! They will work during the week, but we'll be there for 2 weekends when they'll be available. Yay!

So lots of stuff going on in the next 12 days before we leave! Then I hope for 2 weeks of fun, rest and relaxation!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

bottomless pit

Tate just ate a ham and cheese sandwich, then a cheese sandwich, about a 1/2 cup of coleslaw, a hot dog, an icee pop (I thought he was done and this was "dessert"). He just asked me for some mac and cheese and another hot dog. Seriously?!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the fruits of his labor

The pudding pops we made last night...

He loves them...LOVES them...

not sure

Not sure exactly what it is about this picture that makes me melt.
But this face, oh my, this face.
I love this little man!

It's hot out...

Heat index of 114...yuck.
I took my camera out to take a picture when we went outside and this is what I got...for like 5 minutes!
I couldn't keep the lens from fogging up!Can you tell what this is a picture of?
See the next post for the pictures I took AFTER my lens was de-fogged! :)

Brigg is 9!

I can't believe it.
We celebrated at Buffalo Wild Wings with dinner, cheesecake and fun.
We ended up taking Brigg and Lani home with us so that Brigg and Sean could watch the All Star baseball game and we could all have fun.
And fun we had!

We got Brigg a Cardinals Baseball book.
I love how Lani is looking on in this picture like it is the most amazing gift...

Brigg loved it!

While the big boys watched baseball, Lani, Tate and I made rainbow pudding pops.
They had so much fun making them!
It really was a fun project!

They were very serious about their work.
I was actually kind of impressed with how well Tate did...

Lani is very good at things like this...

After putting the pudding pops in the freezer, Lani, Tate and I headed to Vanderveer Park to the fountain.
It is so cool!
It's kind of like a fireworks show and these pictures don't come close to doing it justice...

Lani and Tate were super excited and impressed with it!

I love Tate is this picture!
He was yelling and pointing the entire time.
"WHOA! Look at that one!!!! WHOA! Look at THAT one!!!!"

Then we got home and the kids ate icees...a few of them. :)

SUCH a fun night!
Happy Birthday, Brigg!!!!

He's not a Red Sox fan...

Brigg's a huge fan of Sean, loves him.
And Sean loves him so much too!

They don't agree on baseball teams though.
Brigg IS NOT a Red Sox fan...can hardly get his picture taken next to the words "Red Sox" on Sean's shirt!

Hugs and Smiles

I wanted someone to take a picture of Tate, Lani and I and Sean said, "I don't know how to use that camera!" Brigg pipes up, "I DO!" And he did!

These 2 are so unbelievably sweet.
Love them with all my heart!
And they love each other with all their hearts!!!

And Tate was in HEAVEN having Lani and Brigg here all night!
He loves loves loves playing with the "big kids".

Seriously, they were all having so much fun tonight!
Laughing, hugging, snuggling!
I love having them here!

Wipe Out

You might remember when I wrote yesterday about how we let things get jumped off of and things jumped onto in this house.
So the kids did that tonight.
Brigg and Lani were pretty good, and had quite the form...

and then there was Tate.
Not quite as coordinated and maybe not big enough to make it in one jump from the chair to the couch...
I laugh every time I look at this picture!
He was fine...Brigg and Lani were dying laughing.
Brigg said, "it's like the show Wipe Out!"
It was.
You might of had to have been there, but it was hilarious!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

no pictures?!?!?!!!

We spent the evening at DeCooks. I brought my camera and didn't even take it out! This is unheard of!

We had homemade pepperoni and sausage pizza and Ava had a penny for dessert. I believe it was approximately a year ago that Tate ate a penny. I remember vividly smelling his breath and saying, "ewww, his breath smells like copper!" It was so funny because just after Ava downed the penny, Lora went to her and said, "ewww, your breath smells like a penny!" It was kind of funny. :) She's fine. Right after she swallowed it she said, "Mommy I'm hungry." Well, apparently she was! Ha. Then Tate decided to pee all over the place. Ugh. We just couldn't have a no incident evening. The story of our lives.

While the kids were eating pennies and urinating in the living room, we played Apples to Apples. It was really fun!

Sean is golfing with his brother tomorrow morning, then will come home to nap before work and then works the rest of the week. I will be meeting some family at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and celebrating Brigg's 9th (what?!!!! wasn't he just born like 5 years ago?!) birthday! We are heading to Des Moines this weekend to fit in some fun with friends, I'm getting my hair done, doing some hair and taking some photos! Should be jam packed and fun...can't wait!

we pick our battles

This battle is not one we pick to fight.
He jumps off the stairs.
He loves it.
He does it all. the. time.

We let him.
Hopefully he won't break anything.

Gator Wrestling

Just practicing up before we go to Florida...

You know, in case he gets himself into a predicament with a gator.

my favorite

My absolute favorite physical feature on Tate are his very faint dimples.
Oh my goodness, I CANNOT resist this little man...and he knows it.
He has certainly learned the power of flashing those babies to me!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Website is up and running!

There were some minor complications, but is officially up and running! Woohoo!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

golf and soccor and Bag-O, OH MY

Sean and his brother marshaled the John Deere Classic today. They were on the first hole and were there at the crack of dawn. Sean LOVED it! He says he'll do it again next year. While Sean was gone all day, Tate and I just hung around at home and played and watched a movie. Then we headed to Mike and Sarah's to hang out and have dinner after the guys were done.

They played soccer...

And then we fit in one game of Bag-O before it started to rain. We ate pizza and then just headed home. Sean was so exhausted that he went to bed at 7pm! Tate followed him at 7:30. He was TIRED! I, on the other hand am surely going to be up late as usual. I am so frustrated with my insomnia. It's worse than I've ever experienced ever before. I need to do something about it. I certainly shouldn't be complaining until I try to fix it...which I haven't yet. I need to work on that!

I just have to say, we LOVE living here!
It's been a bit over three months that we've been here and it's just starting to feel like home for me. It's not like it's been bad until now, it's just surreal. We've been in Des Moines for so long! Having DeCook's to hang out with so often has been so great! Tate and Ava are the best of friends and words cannot describe how grateful I have been for Lora and her friendship...she has been here for me in more ways than I could have imagined in such a short few months. And Sean loves having James to hang out with too! They have played many hours of Bagg-O and basketball and have drank more than a few beers. :)
And then it's been so amazing having family so close! We hang out with Mike, Sarah and the girls frequently and it has been so great to be a more active part of Kayla and Leah's lives and Tate adores them! It's so nice to have family that feel like friends, you know?! And of course being closer to Cassie, Paul and the kids and my parents has been so wonderful as well! We're able to go to Brigg's baseball games more easily, spend time with the kids and my parents almost whenever we want to!

And Sean's job...he loves it!
The decision to move here was such a great one for us!