Wednesday, November 24, 2010

happy thanksgiving!

This is my attempt at getting a picture of Hannah after church on Sunday. It is getting harder and harder to take a picture of this child. I take her outside and she is gone - all over the yard - and will not stop and look at me for a second. Ok, I did get a couple of her looking at me. Only because I made lots of weird noises. If neighbors overheard they are probably wondering what in the world... Anyway, she sure is cute and full of personality. I'll make a fool of myself any day for her. And someday she'll want to just crawl under a rock.

I love Thanksgiving. I love the family time and yummy meals. I love the weather and being outside. I am thankful for Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the time to give thanks. I do my best to take the action of giving thanks throughout the year. Joe and I are aware of how blessed we are and it is important to us to give thanks to the One that makes it all possible. Just a few things I am grateful for this holiday season:

my Lord and Savior and the faith that makes me want to be a better Christian everyday
my devoted husband who would do anything in the world for his girls
my beautiful daughter who makes me smile and give thanks daily
this little baby on the way...
my family - by both blood and marriage - who make our lives richer
wonderful grandparents for Hannah
true friendships that I simply cherish
my good health and that of my family's
the freedoms we have in this country and so often take for granted
being able to stay home and not have to work
three meals a day and never having to worry about being hungry
time shared around the table and Christmas tree
decorations and Christmas music

...and for this blog as a way of sharing our journey. I could go on and on, but that's a good thing. I have spent lots of time this week reflecting on my blessings. This time of year just makes you want to give thanks, doesn't it?

Wishing you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving from our family to your's.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

laughter is the best medicine

There is quite simply no better sound in the world to me than hearing my baby girl laugh. I forget everything on my mind - if just for a few minutes - and listen to that beautiful, sweet sound. Hannah loves being outside. Everyday I take her out for a little while and let her play in the yard. She squeals in delight. She laughs out loud when we chase her around the house. She gets so excited when Daddy comes home from work. She loves to watch one of us in the backyard through the glass doors. She loves to be pushed in the shopping cart. She laughs when Daddy wrestles with her. She is a happy child and for that I am so grateful.

Yesterday was a great day. She played with her Daddy in the morning before he left for work - I think their favorite time of the day. Then she took a 3 hour nap. Yes, I know. Awesome! I took care of some things, ordered our Christmas cards, and even did some online shopping (which I might do exclusively this year). We went out to lunch with Joe - lunch dates are the best - and then Hannah and I went grocery shopping. The rest of the afternoon we played and then when Joe got home we went for a walk around the neighborhood. She was a happy kid, and I heard that sweet laughter throughout the day. It really is medicine for the soul. Here's a picture of her in the car leaving the store. Completely mischievous.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

boo boo and santa claus

Hannah had her first (and probably not her last) black eye this week. She fell trying to get something off the coffee table and hit her eye on the corner. She cried and cried and it broke my heart. I tried to stop the bleeding (surface scrape) and iced it right away which really helped. Hannah hates ice. She regularly hits her head and the icing process is miserable for both parties involved. Anyway, the eye never got really bad and has healed so fast. Interesting enough, after postponing our church directory photos, the eye never looked as bad in pictures as it did in person.


Last night we went to the downtown Christmas open house. Hannah got to sit on Santa's lap but she wasn't nearly as happy to see him this year. She stared up at his beard for a while and then started crying. Oh well, we did the obligatory.

17 weeks yesterday! Hannah wanted to be in the belly picture this time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

chicken and dumplin's

I am part of a group of moms on Facebook that talks about all things baby and toddler related (and some other things as well, such as what I'm about to share) via a thread. For those of you that don't know, that means we write on-going private messages that reply automatically to all on the list. These girls are sorority sisters from Georgia Tech. We all have children really close to the same age which means that we all go through things at roughly the same time. It all started with breast feeding. So now that most of our babies are toddlers - a couple are still babies and a couple are a little older - and some of us are expecting again (yay!), we have had about a year's worth of sharing with each other. Let me just basically say, that I love these girls. They have offered great advice and been a sounding board to me. I so appreciate them.

You're thinking: where does chicken and dumplings come in? Right here: yummy chicken and dumplings. One of the girls sent out this link for a slow cooker recipe that she loved. I made it today and it was yummmmy. If you're looking for a nice and easy (and I stress easy) recipe for good comfort food on a cold night, I highly recommend it. As suggested by my friend, I followed most of the comments on the first review (on Oct. 8).  However, I used turkey instead of chicken (we prefer turkey) and didn't have to shred it at all - it fell apart. I did use 2 cans of biscuit (glad I did) and instead of an array of seasonings I used fresh ground pepper and - my secret ingredient - Zaxby's seasoned salt. No kidding - Joe's idea. We always ask for extra when we go and they give you a little tub of it. Last forever. Anyway, supper was awesome and we have enough leftover to have it again! And perhaps I'm even more excited because a.) I cooked, not Joe, and b.) I finally have an appetite again!

Thanks Holly, send me some more!

And because you know I can't post without a picture of my baby girl. Here she is a couple weeks ago playing fetch with Mollie:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Spenser (and Hannah) goes to El Paso

Forgive my slowness of posts, but we have been under the weather this week. Hannah and I both have had colds. All the traveling has caught up to us I guess. Hannah is still coughing - a week later - but I feel mostly good. I'm ready to feel like I'm in the second trimester though. I was 15 weeks on Thursday and this time last time I felt great. Not so now. I can't seem to shake the first trimester lethargic/nauseous feeling. My appetite comes and goes day by day, and overall I'm just exhausted. And that could be from chasing a very active toddler all day! This pregnancy has been different. Could this be a boy? or perhaps a more high-maintenance girl?? Oh what fun...  

Last weekend we were in El Paso for the launch of SpenserNation's fourth book, Spenser Goes to El Paso. It was Hannah's first time on an airplane, and quite a busy - and tiring - weekend.

early in the morning, watching for daddy at the savannah airport.
Thursday was an early morning, leaving Jesup at 5:30am for our flight out of Savannah. Our plane was delayed - yes, after all that - and we didn't leave until 10:30. They bumped us from our Atlanta connection and put us on the flight arriving in El Paso at 9pm. Not acceptable! As we arrived in Atlanta we found they had just delayed our original El Paso connection. We were able to get seats (sure as heck better have) and make the flight. As long as we ended up waiting in the Atlanta airport, they still couldn't intercept our luggage, which was on the late flight. No SpenserNation shirts for our Thursday night event at the food bank. Even better, the seats we were so lucky to get (while we shouldn't have lost our's in the first place!) were in the back row of the plane (small plane), at the toilet (lots of smells), with no window. Lovely. Well, we got there. Better late than never. We had a nice reception at the food bank that night and ate the spiciest Mexican food I have ever had.

At the West Texas Food Bank - El Paso
Thursday night was not good for Miss Hannah. She slept almost nada despite putting her in bed with us and walking her around the hotel atrium on two different occasions during the night. All three of us were exhausted on Friday - a full day of activities planned. We had visits at two schools followed by sightseeing. Mom wanted us to see some of the things she did with Spenser in the book, and we wanted to do all that we could. We had lunch at a place called H&H car wash - yes, a car wash. It was excellent!

listening to grandma read to lots and lots of kids!
Then we headed to New Mexico and White Sands National Monument. Very cool. It was a drive but worth it. Purely majestic. It was beautiful. Nothing but white sand for miles - the size of Rhode Island actually. It's weird to be in the midst of all that white powdery sand and never see water. There should be an ocean somewhere, but you're in the middle of the desert!

hannah loved playing in the sand and the two of us and grandma chased her around the dunes.
the cutest little footprints i ever did see.
hannah can write her own name. isn't she smart?!
just one example of God's amazing creation.
hannah with the world's favorite traveling dog.
Friday night we went to a neat place back near El Paso for dinner, called Cattleman's. Holy cow. Ok, literally. Lots of cow. The best steak Joe and I have ever had. It was a yummy meal and a good time. Except for Hannah getting sick at the end. (But hey, it was all over Uncle Ben....I'm just kidding Uncle Ben.) Friday Hannah slept better in the hotel, thank the good Lord. Saturday morning we joined the rest of the team at the El Paso library's book fair for a little while before heading to the airport.

no bias here: if you have kids and don't have these books you are MISSING OUT! period.
We dressed Hannah in her ballerina costume for a full day of airports and airplanes.

walking through hartsfield. notice my bow on daddy's pants? that's where it lives when i pull it out.
sweet, happy baby. finally in savannah - about to drive to jesup.