28 July 2009

Love Love Love This!!!

You must watch this video if you haven't already seen it!
(i cannot for the life of me figure out how to put the actual video on my blog...i'm clearly challenged.)

26 July 2009

Vacation at Home

For our anniversary...
We went to the St. Louis Art Museum.Then, we checked into the fabulous Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
Next, we indulged in some drinks at the poolside Cafe` Eau.Later that evening we had dinner at 15, an American restaurant downtown.
And after dinner, we walked around the Central West End and shared a dessert at Bissinger's Handcrafted Chocolatier.
The next morning, we enjoyed brunch at Crepes in the City.
We loved our little vacation in the city, and we send out many thanks to Matt's parents for coming here to watch Noah while we enjoyed some alone time!

24 July 2009

I Still Do

Happy 10th Anniversary Matt.

I’ve loved you for 10 years, I love you now and I will love you forever. I promise.

23 July 2009

Dear Matt...

(Taken at the Springfield Brewing Company our first year of marriage.)

Thank you for being a man of character.
Thank you for putting up with me when I ask you if you have your phone, wallet and keys.
Thank you for letting me decorate the way I want to.
Thank you for working so hard to provide for our family.
Thank you for giving Noah his baths when you're home.
Thank you for discussing big decisions with me.
Thank you for taking me to Florida to live for a while.
Thank you for not getting upset with me when your shirts aren't ironed...which is a lot of the time.
Thank you for being an example of a Godly man for Noah.
Thank you for respecting me in front of your friends and at all other times.
Thank you for building me bookshelves and closets.
Thank you for humoring me with questions about Twilight.
Thank you for driving most places.
Thank you for not even allowing the word 'divorce' into your vocabulary.
Thank you for letting me take Noah to Florida for weeks at a time.
Thank you for loving my family.
Thank you for liking my friends.
Thank you for taking me to New York.
Thank you for wanting to take me more places.
Thank you for giving me Noah.
Thank you for watching shows like Top Chef and So You Think You Can Dance with me.
Thank you for letting me wear your t-shirts.
Thank you for staying committed to me for your whole life.
Thank you for the past 10 years.

I would Totally throw Myself on A bee For you

matt gave me this card yesterday morning. i laugh at it every time i see it. it's so cute. i would throw myself on a bee for you too honey!

22 July 2009

Our Bio In 10

1. Meet, date and fall in love at Applebees in Springfield, Missouri.

2. Get in engaged on 'mountaintop' in Branson, Missouri, and have a restrospectively hilarious and wild engagement party.

3. Get married with all of our family and friends at Kearny Baptist Church (Kearny, Missouri) and have fabulous dinner reception at Embassy Suites.

4. Live in a tiny one bedroom apartment (but it had a beautiful black countertop in the bathroom, which is why I was for it...my tastes have changed significantly), and attend Ozark Community College until we achieve our Associates degrees.

5. Move to a larger (1000 square feet...we thought it was a palace) one bedroom apartment with one and a half baths (we were living the high life), and transfer to Missouri State University where we both graduate with our Bachelors degrees. Matt Finance, Evie Secondary English Ed.

6. Matt gets first professional job at MetLife, and after much deliberation, we move to Tampa, Florida. We settle into yet again a one bedroom apartment, but we really like the apartment complex. It has palm and banana trees, ponds with fountains, and a pool and workout room. Wow. We had made it.

7. 6 months in, Evie gets a position at Plant High School (great school), and is quickly initiated into the teaching profession. That summer, we move to a TWO bedroom apartment. (Does it get any better?!) Happy hours, lots of movie nights, excursions to the beach, trips to see my parents, late night soccer games, and scuba diving engulf our time.

8. Move back to Missouri for Matt to pursue the Insurance Industry. Matt has awful experience at first, but things start looking up our second year back. Buy Matt's dad's investment home (THREE bedrooms!!!). Evie drives one hour to work at Reeds Spring High, and can't stand it when she hears people (students and teachers) say things like "I seen him in the hall." Later, however, Evie's bff moves back to Springfield also, lives with her for a few months, and gets a job at the same school! Can you say "carpool?"

9. Move to St. Louis for Matt to run his own agency! Live with Matt Harris for a few months to get our barrings, then move into a loft in downtown St. Louis (two bedrooms, no walls, no doors, great kitchen, fabulous windows). Evie now can walk to work if she desires! Evie works at horrible urban school that makes her want to switch careers. Matt deals with ups and downs at the agency, but is doing well.

10. Evie convinces Matt to get a cute little white puppy. We name him Teagan, and he ushers us into the world of responsibility. Evie gets pregnant, quits aforementioned awful school and prepares for baby! Noah joins us and makes us so so happy!

Year 11...here we come!
Happy 10 Years Love!

21 July 2009

10 More Reasons I Love Matt

Snapshots of him...

1. Matt often talks in his sleep, and one time he asked me where his police badge was. I said, "so you're a police man, huh?" To him, this question was clearly stupid, and he replied in a highly annoyed tone, "uh, yeaaahhh."
2. Every time Noah starts to fuss, or Matt is just trying to get his attention, he sings this made up song that goes something like, "bada, bada, bada, bada, boo, boo, beep beep." (I use the term "song" very loosely!)
3. As a practical joke, Matt used to throw a cup of ice cold water over the shower curtain while I was taking a shower. I would always get him back!
4. Matt has been known to yell at me, "know your role woman" in grocery store parking lots. It is always quite embarrassing!
5. Matt pretty much always takes Teagan out, and for those of you who know our living situation, this is quite the job. He does it early in the morning, late at night, when it's raining or snowing or 100 degrees outside. He does however, often remind me that I'm the one who decided we needed a dog! He doesn't fool me though. He loves Teag more than I do!
6. Matt shows real appreciation for my scrapbooking. I love that he seems genuinely proud of my work.
7. Matt once bought me a "Mahogany" brand card, which is mainly funny, because he had no idea he had done it.
8. When we worked at Applebees, Matt would take an opened paperclip and tie the end of a balloon to it. He would inconspicuously hook the clip to the back of an unsuspecting server, and that poor person would walk around the restaurant serving his tables with a balloon following his trail. We would laugh so hard.
9. Matt loves my parents. He respects them, values their roles in our lives, and he enjoys visiting them when he can. I know not all wives are this blessed, but I am so happy I am!
10. When we first had Noah I documented this conversation, and it is still one of my favorites: "In the middle of the night, as I was putting Noah in his cradle, Matt called me over to his side of the bed and asked, "Is there any leftover breastfeeding stuff?" I replied, "Honey, what breastfeeding stuff?" He said, "You know, like milk." I said, "Matt, are you awake?" He replied in an annoyed tone, "Yes." I said, "I'm sorry, I'm just not sure what you're talking about," and he said, "well, if you're just going to look at me like that then forget it." (He remembered none of this the next day.)

20 July 2009

Constant Change

Noah is killing me recently! In a good way. He has been doing so many new things! I wonder at what point all of these changes and developments will slow. I don't know, but for now, it's really exciting!

He has been:
-crawling around at the speed of light
-standing for several seconds without holding on to anything. (made big strides on this today, 7/20!)
-taking a couple of steps before falling down. falling down is inevitable whenever he does this, so it isn't as if he can walk across the room yet. we just think it's cool that he has the guts to try it. he laughs the whole 3 seconds it lasts too! so cute. (happened 7/19 and 7/20)
-rushing back and forth, from front to back in the bathtub, laughing all the way.
-dropping his food to teag when he's in his high chair
-opening every cabinet he finds. he specifically loves the bathroom cabinet because i let him play in it when i'm in there.
-playing in his drawers...pulling out clothes and various assundries
-laughing at me when i remove him from teag's dog bowls (this one is kind of funny, but i do need to figure out a way to teach him that the bowls are off limits.)
-eating table food...chicken, tilapia, hashbrown casserole, eggs, grilled cheese, he's in love with blueberries right now...and so many other things.

He's going to be 1 year old in just over a month. This past year has flown (as everyone said it would), and it has been one of the best years of my life! Actually, the best. More on this later!

10 Reasons I Love Matt

(Matt on our honeymoon; 10 years ago.)

1. I love what an amazing father he is to Noah.

2. I love that he is loyal to me and his family.

3. I love that he takes the trash out without me asking.

4. I love that he thinks it's important for me to stay home with Noah.

5. I love that he still opens doors for me.

6. I love that sometimes he orders for me at restaurants.

7. I love that he will stop by the store for me without complaining.

7. I love his structured, sexy back.

8. I love that he is a Godly man.

9. I love that he is so handy.

10. I love that he loves me, even when I'm difficult.

Happy 10th Anniversary Matt!
Thanks for giving me so many reasons to love you.

16 July 2009

10 Years of Being Attracted to My Opposite

Matt likes grilling steak.
Evie likes baking chocolate-hazelnut smoochies.

Matt likes Audoslave and Pearl Jam.
Evie likes Damien Rice and Justin Timberlake.

Matt wishes the cars were cleaner.
Evie wishes practicalities like cleaning cars were not issues.

Matt showers, reads and drinks coffee most mornings.
Evie spends her mornings wishing it was still night.

Matt wonders where we would put a piano.
Evie would find space.

Matt likes modern.
Evie likes vintage.
Matt feels loved through service, like if Evie were to clean aforementioned cars.
Evie feels loved through receiving gifts, like the sweet "10 Days 'til 10 Years" card.

Matt likes the Bourne series and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Evie likes Legends of the Fall and August Rush.

Matt likes financial reports.
Evie likes blog updates.

Matt likes owning his own business.
Evie likes staying home with Noah.

Matt is good with his feet. i.e. soccer, skiing...
Evie is good with her hands. i.e. basketball, crafting...

Matt is good in the spatial department.
Evie is good in the decorative department.

Matt likes parties with lots of people.
Evie likes intimate dinners.

Matt is a Mid-West boy.
Evie is an East Coast girl.

Matt puts Noah on his shoulders and throws him high in the air.
Evie puts Noah to sleep with singing and rocking.

Matt is reasonable, logical, smart.
Evie is impractical, rash, flighty.

Matt likes the Speed and History channels.
Evie likes HGTV and the Food Network.

Matt is slow to change (perhaps too slow).
Evie is quick to change (perhaps too quick).

Matt is an analyst.
Evie is a dreamer.

Matt loves Evie.
Evie loves Matt.
Happy 10th Baby!

15 July 2009

My Mom

Today is my fabulous mother's birthday. My mom is the most incredible mom a child could ask for. She loves me more than I deserve, she loves my husband and my son, she relishes time with us, she calls me often, she sends cards and gifts at random times, she loves and supports my dad, she encourages and asks about things going on in our lives, she prays for us daily, she sends me silly forwards, she visits when she can...SHE IS THE BEST. My mom is beautiful, disciplined, cultured, strong, loving, supportive, organized, one of a kind. My mom deserves an amazing birthday, and I wish that for you mom! You are loved beyond belief!
Happy Birthday!

14 July 2009

My All Star at the All Stars

Cheesy title, but I'm tired since I've been walking around downtown for half the day, so just look past it! Although we didn't have tickets to the game tonight, we still partook in some of the festivities, since we do live but blocks from it all.

This afternoon, Noah, Teagan and I tried to make the All Star parade, but the sprinkles had us heading back home before we saw anyone famous. We did however have plenty of time to be amongst all of the hooplah, and a kind stranger took a picture of all three of us in front of the All Star banner in Keiner Plaza, with a pretty sweet backdrop of the Jefferson Monument and the Arch. Nice. Thanks Mr. Stranger!

Later, we met up with Shanna, Aidan and Reese and walked down to the stadium to attempt a glance at Obama as he threw the first pitch. A live feed on a big screen on the side of the stadium was as close as we got. We did see the Secret Service all over the roof though. Pretty impressive. The Stealth Bomber that flew over after the National Anthem (sung by Sheryl Crow) was like a freakin' space ship, and it was SO loud! Scared Noah, even though I was covering his ears. (I hope I'm not permanently damaging this child's hearing with all of my loud noise exposure recently.) The kids snacked on goldfish while waiting for Obama to throw the first pitch, and during our wait Noah had a bit of a breakdown. So right after the pitch, we started for home. It was afterall past his usual bedtime. We had a good evening despite the breakdown, and hopefully one day long from now, Noah will think it was cool that his mom took him to the All Star game. Well, outside of the game...but he'll appreciate the effort right?! I'll tell myself yes!

"10 Days Until 10 Years"

...this was the first line in the card Matt handed me this morning. Inside the card was a $10 bill, and it said, "take 10 minutes for yourself today at Gelateria or any other place you want. Noah said he'll cooperate as long as you share whatever treat you get!" What a sweet sentiment from my hubby and such a wonderful way to start the day. Thank you Matt.
Happy Anniversary love.

12 July 2009

Baby's First Concert

Saturday night, we gave Noah a bath, prepared a bottle, strapped him in the stroller and headed down to the lobby and onto the street to make the 8 block jaunt to the Arch to see Sheryl Crow in concert. We assumed he would fall asleep in the stroller, but he didn't. The concert started, and unexpectedly, Noah went ballistic when he heard the applause. It scared him so badly! He cried in a way that I've never heard before. It broke my heart. Little sobs on his terrified face. I held him close and whispered in his ear. He calmed down...until the next outburst of applause. Sobbing, scared face again, and then once more. After the 3rd song though, he seemed to get more comfortable with the noise, and was a happy camper bopping around in our arms to the music for the rest of the evening. An hour or so in, he fell asleep, and we looped our way through the crowd, back towards the loft district.
One of the great things about living in St. Louis city is that there are tons of really cool, really free things to do. Sheryl Crow performing under the Arch is just a small sample. We had a great time though. Shanna and Daryl arrived early, saved us some grass and we all enjoyed dancing with our kiddos to Crow's bluesy tones. Shanna apparently had quite the time trying to secure our plot as 3 women decided they wanted some of her claimed land. Shanna, being a New Yorker at heart, has no problem letting others know what's up; however, her attempts were to no avail, and we stared at the back of three heads throughout the night. It really was not a problem...in fact, hearing Daryl tell the story of his tiny wife standing up to these ridiculously rude women was pretty stinkin' hilarious; and in my opinion, well worth the verbal battle (although I wasn't the one engaged in it...I might feel differently if I was Shanna!). Such a good night. A sweaty hot night, but a really good one. We ended it with some pizza and beer up at the Gourley's loft. Good times.

10 July 2009

10 Memories

Although Matt and I have experienced many things together, the following list includes some of the particular experiences that stand out. (listed in no particular order)

1. spontaneously driving to south carolina in the middle of the night to camp on myrtle beach

2. romantic get-away to charleston one spring break

3. our new york city trip with steve and andrea, and more specifically getting man-handled by homeless guys, and getting shown the secret handbag rooms in china town

4. our move to tampa in 2002...steve and debbie came along to help us get settled. we roamed around clearwater beach, and found the international plaza (an awesome and very much missed mall!)

5. spring diving with matt harris on the west coast of florida.
6. late night soccer games in tampa.

7. watching the guys play "king of the mountain" on a random piece of styrofoam at matt's graduation party at the lake

8. working our way through college at the bees

9. selling my once most-prized possession...the probe

10. having our precious little boy

so many more memories, but i'm limiting myself to 10 to keep with the theme! again, happy anniversary baby, and here's to SO many more memories to come!
i love you!

08 July 2009

10 People

10 People/s We've Known For 10 Years

1. Matt's Family

2. Evie's Family

3. Beth Gasaway and Family
4. Matt Harris 5. Hannah Edgrin

6. Marcus Myers 7. Brittany Campbell

8. Stephanie Robins

9. Great Grandma Stark

10. Holly Bush

10 People We've Met in the Last 10 Years
1. Janet Stark

2. Marsa` McNutt

3. Parker Stark

4. Tyler Stark

5. Noah Stark

6. Jay and Sarah Sandidge

7. Steve and Amanda Livingston

8. EJ and Michael Malone

9. Shanna Gourley and Family

10. Steve and Andrea Metzler

Happy 10th Anniversary Matt!

I love you.