31 March 2010


matt took this picture today, and we both just love it. noah looks a little too old for my comfort level, but his eyes and his dimples kill me. my handsome little man.

30 March 2010

History Lesson

OK so, not so much a lesson, as a let-our-kids-run-around-and-play-and-discover-stuff activity at the History Museum.

entrance to the world's fair department

noah trying to reach a listening device that looked a lot like a phone

reese and noah in front of an old stage coach

the robeez of yesteryear (as deemed by shanna)

canned food creations for the food drive (our original purpose for going to the museum)

1904 mom and baby, 2010 mom and baby

28 March 2010

Weekend Review

Friday started off fabulously because it was my "day off." Shanna kept Noah all day for me while I roamed the city doing all sorts of things you take for granted when you don't have kids. Running here or there for a very small reason or no reason at all. Being able to jump out of the car without mangling with a car seat was revolutionary. Such a lovely break. That evening, Matt picked up some steaks and then we ended the evening with New Moon. Don't hate, it was amazing!

Saturday, we babysat Gina and Rodney's little ones, Will and Eva. Will and Noah had a blast wrestling with Noah's living room chair, and Eva kept herself busy with other toys, while the boys did their thing. Later that night, we went to church and then had a delicious family dinner at Sage. Noah was delightful at dinner...he behaved beautifully.

We had a super relaxing Sunday. Noah was especially comfortable as he watched Veggie Tales in the big chair. He and daddy got lots of play time in...they played with the train, took a trip to the grocery store for me, took a walk around the neighborhood, zoomed around the house on Lightening McQueen, along with other various activities.

I made Easter Sugar Cookies. Yum!

And that was our weekend! Although we missed hanging out with friends, it was nice to spend the whole weekend with just the three of us!

22 March 2010

John Mayer; Yes Please.

Last Saturday night, we dropped Noah at friends, Sandra and Alejandro's house, and headed to the Scottrade Arena to see the John Mayer concert.


I was so stoked, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. It was, hands down, the best concert I've ever been to. He is a true artist, and although he is definitely a little bit full of himself (ok, totally cocky), the man has an amazing voice, he writes beautiful music and lyrics, and he absolutely kills it on guitar! I love his work, and I listen to it loudly on a daily basis.

The night was also really great because Matt and I were together, just the two of us, which doesn't happen all that often these days. He was a real gentleman, doing all of things a girl secretly hopes her husband will do when on a date! It was a great night!

If you don't have this album, it is very worth the money. There are a ton of good songs on it, not just a few like so many other pop artists. My favorite is Edge of Desire. Really, you should check it out.

PS: If you are a lover of good music, check out my sis-in-law's blog about Zach Williams. I've got some of his stuff, and he's amazing!

Road Trip 2010, Part 2

Easley, South Carolina was our next stop. I was so hyped to see Stephanie, along with her husband Brad and little one Reiss. I haven't seen her since her wedding, which was 5 or so years ago. A lot in our lives has changed since she and I were teenagers. All we had to worry about then was being annoyed by our basketball coach and accomplishing our Algebra homework. We're all grown up now, and it was priceless to hang out, even for the short time. I am SOOO mad at myself though for not getting any pictures of Steph and Reiss! I even had my camera out. Such a dumb oversight on my part. I did however get one shot of Noah and Grams in front of Reiss's crazy cool dollhouse.

Noah and Grams on their way out of Target.

Noah is enjoying one of the many icecream cones he had during the trip.

After leaving Easley, we headed back to my childhood hometown, Columbia, South Carolina. I spent my middle and high school years there and made lasting friendships. I spent the two days in town with Hannah and Kerry and the Gasaways. Hannah (who I've know since 2nd grade) has had three boys since I last saw her and Kerry (close friend in high school) has had a boy and a girl, so needless to say, things for us all had changed quite a bit since we were last together. It was such a joy for me to finally meet their children, and it was exciting for us all to be together again, as mothers. We spent the morning at Leapin' Lizards (similar to Monkey Joes), and the kids had a blast. All of the boys bonded quickly and Hannah and I were scrambling to get as many pictures as possible. After some play time, we headed to Chic-Fil-A for lunch and more time to chat. Noah stole some chicken from Michael and all the kids smeared ice cream all over their faces...I mean, ate ice cream. After lunch we headed back to Hannah's, loaded all the kiddos on the couch, and got some classic photos! Man, I miss those girls!
the boys...Michael, Jon, Noah, and Brennan

Grams and Noah playing

Noah playing with Michael.

..Hannah, me, Kerry and little Haven

Jon Jon and Noah

We spent part of both days with the Gasaways, our long time family friends. Seriously long time...Beth and I have known each other since we were 2 years old! Just like most of the others we visited on the trip, we hadn't seen the Gasaways for a really long time. It was so great to catch up. Beth's two little ones, Marliegh and Bailey are so much older than last time I saw them. They're both so sweet, and they both played so well with Noah. Bailey let Noah play with all of his toys without complaint, and Marliegh was a little mother hen. Beth looked phenomenal, and her parents, Mrs. Theresa and Mr. Mike were just as they've always been...warm, loving and fun to be around. We chatted and chatted and chatted...they were all probably ready for bed by the time we left both evenings! We also got to visit with Will a little and it was so crazy to see him all grown up. I will always think of him as a toddler, so seeing him at age 16 (may be 17) was just plain weird! I miss all of them so much, and even though we see each other very rarely, we were able to pick up right where we left off. The first evening together, they made us an amazing meal, and the second night we had pizza and ice cream. Yes, Noah had ice cream yet again! And we got some really cute pictures of it. Later that night, Beth and I scored a little girl time and we went to a movie together (Valentine's Day), and then talked for a while after wards. I wish we could have more time like that!

While in Columbia, we stayed at Holiday Inn and Suites and our room had a huge tub that Noah made his personal swimming pool. At first the jets started shooting all over the place and scared the mess out of him, but once we got that situation under control, he was in heaven!

After leaving Columbia, we were finally headed towards home. We did have to take a detour due to a rock slide on I-40, however, I missed the suggested detour turn off, and we ended up on a tiny, super curvy, snow covered mountain road. Well, the road wasn't covered in snow, just everything around it. It was actually quite beautiful and even though some of the curves made my knuckles white, it was a happy mistake. Some of the views were incredible, and we ended up eating lunch at this tiny deli in a tiny town. I thought the road as seen on the GPS was funny...so curvy!

Shocker - more ice cream! Yes, he was eating this in the car, but only after he had gotten really wiggly. Grams thought he needed a little pick me up, so she sat in the back and monitored the mess.
Last stop: Nashville. We always love going to Nashville...yes, because it's a super cool city, but mostly because of our close friends Marcus and Katie. They are always so hospitable and we have a blast with them. I hadn't met their newest addition, Reese, yet, and she was killer cute. Cheeks for miles and boy did Noah love kissing them. Sadie got her fair share as well. If Noah tries to kiss all of his girl friends when he's 16, we're going to have a serious problem on our hands. At this stage, it's still pretty cute and Marcus was right there with his camera too! We had originally planned to spend the night with the Myers, but Mom and I were so tired and just ready to be home, so we stayed for dinner and some play time, and then we were back on the road.

Road trip 2010 was definitely one for the records. It was the most Noah has ever been in the car, Mom and I got a chance to spend a lot of time together, which is always nice since we get so little time together in general, and we saw so many special friends and family. We made it home by midnight exactly a week after our start, and Matt got up with Noah so Mom and I could sleep in a bit. Noah was very ready to spend some time with his Daddy. He talked about "dada" the whole time we were gone.

We still had a few days with Grams before she had to head back to Florida, but I will save those pictures for the next post, as this one has already reached a ridiculous length!

Peace out road trip 2010.

Baby Girl Shower

go to my dear london blog to see more pictures and to read more about this baby shower!

18 March 2010

Cake Pops

Friend Shanna and I spotted cake pops for the first time on one of the blogs we frequent. I can't remember which one it is now, so Shanna if you read this and remember, please leave a comment with that blog title. Anyway, Shanna was the first to tackle the project, and she experimented and came up with a successful method. Here's how to make those delicious little evil things.

1. Choose a Duncan Hines cake mix. (Between Shanna and I we have tried, Chocolate, Strawberry, Red Velvet, White and the Butter Recipe. The Butter Recipe is the only one that has come out less than stellar. It was just too sticky or something. Didn't work well, and for some reason was not as tasty. Chocolate is my personal fav.) ANYWAY, bake the cake according to the box directions.
2. After cake is baked and completely cooled, crumble it in a large bowl. Mix in 3/4 to a full container of store bought Cream Cheese Frosting. Mixture should look like a dough once mixed together. Store mixture in refrigerator for about an hour. (This makes rolling the balls a bit easier and less sticky.)
3. Take about a tablespoon of mixture and roll into a ball using your palms. Ball should be roughly 3/4 inch. (This may seem small at first, but once you get the candy coating on, it will get bigger, and keep in mind that you don't want it too heavy or it will fall off of your stick.) Place rolled balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Once your cookie sheet is full, place in freezer for several hours. Cake balls will firm up, but never freeze completely solid.
4. Melt a small portion of your Candy Melts (picture of these below). Once melted, remove balls from freezer, dip one end of Lollipop Sticks (picture also below) into the melted candies and then press into center of each ball. After you have inserted all sticks, place cookie sheet back in freezer to re-firm. (This helps your balls stay on their sticks.)
5. After a short time of firming back up (20/30 minutes or so), melt the remainder of your Candy Melts and dip your cake pops into it. You may need to use a spoon to help cover the entire cake ball. Then holding the cake pop in one hand, sprinkle non-pariels over wet candy coating. (Shanna and I like non-pariels over sprinkles; but sprinkles work fine too.) You can place cake pop either top down back on your cookie sheet to dry, or you can stand it up in a piece of styrofoam for a fully coated cake pop.)
6. I always place my tray back in the freezer one last time (although, I'm not sure this is entirely necessary) and then once all cake pops are dry, store them in a Zip Lock freezer bag. (I have left these frozen for up to a week; however, if you are using them within a couple of days of making, no need to do this.)

Side Notes:
-We would not recommend using Almond Bark, food coloring, or those old school wooden Popsicle sticks.
-Hobby Lobby, Michael's, JoAnn's and even Walmart have a variety of Lollipop Sticks and Candy Melts colors.
-I have mixed various colors together to get interesting shades.
-These directions seem really long, but really this is a pretty simple process once you do it. It's actually an easy thing to make even if you have kids running around, because each of the steps is so quick, and the worst that can happen is you have to re-heat your candy melts or firm up your balls in the freezer. No big thing if you can't do it all at one time. In fact, I never have done all of these steps in one day.
-Shanna and I have both served these in various ways, but the easiest and least complicated way is top down on a platter, like the picture at the very top of this post.
Enjoy, and let me know if you have any questions.