I changed my font at thecutestblogontheblock.com

About Me

My Photo
I am 27 years old and am blessed to have my husband Brady, as my partner and best friend. We have two children, Parker and Piper, our little yorkie. We are constantly amazed by the joy they bring into our lives and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!
View my complete profile

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moving Day

This is what I am looking at right now. I can't believe this day is finally here...
It is amazing how quickly someone can pack your whole life into a box. For the last month I have been sifting through every drawer, cabinet and basket trying to decide what we are taking, what is going into storage, what is going in the trash or to goodwill, and what is too important to fit into any of those other categories (pictures, Parker stuff, etc).

I have lived with piles all over my house and been completely crazy the entire time. I am slightly anal (it is not a problem if you can admit it, right?), and living like this has been driving me mad. I have been praying that today comes sooner rather than later. Well, it's here. I shouldn't have been so anxious. I didn't realize how sentimental I would be about this house. I simultaneously fell in love and saw the potential when we walked in almost four years ago. This was the first house that Brady and I looked at when we decided to buy. I was hooked with the first step inside the door. On the second step, I realized that this was my former youth director's house. It was fate. She had started her family here and I was excited to start mine. We signed the contract the
next day.

We have so many memories in this house. This was the house that Brady and I came back to the day after our wedding, and where we put sweat and tears into making it ours. We brought Piper home here. This is where I laid the six pregnancy tests on the sink (Brady didn't believe the first five:). This is where we painted the nursery the perfect shade of gender-neutral blue. Hardest of all, this is where we brought Parker home from the hospital. This was our first home as a family.

Last night I started getting especially anxious about the movers coming and making sure everything got to the right place. Then it hit me...all I really need are Parker and Brady. We will survive if my dishes don't make it or if Parker's if toys get detoured. We have made a home here and we will be able to make a home there. It is going to be so hard to be away from our friends and families, but we are also so blessed to have technology on our side. Plus, this is the little man that I now get to hang out with every day!!! Love this guy! PS...daddy dressed him this morning (notice the socks)!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My New Role

Friday was my last day at work. I am officially a stay-at-home mom. Tomorrow morning, if I choose, I do not have to set my alarm for 4:30 AM (oh my goodness, just typing that makes me so excited!) I do not have to worry about how much time I will get to spend with him. I am so blessed.

I have always known that I wanted to be a mom. And although I knew this was something I have always wanted, I had no idea how profoundly it would change the way I feel, act and think. Every decision I make is now for Parker; how it will affect his well-being, growth and development. Before I discovered I was pregnant, I always believed that I would be a working mom. Brady and I both grew up with working mothers and have complete respect for how they raised us and the sacrifices they made. I really feel like I am the person I am because my mom worked.

When I had Parker and had to go back to work, I told myself that I was a better mother to Parker because I was able to feel fulfilled in my career and my personal life. It was hard...so hard. I often felt like I was not able to do anything really well because I was being torn into a million different directions. My days were extremely rushed, and by the time I picked up Parker after work and got home, I barely had an hour to fix dinner, feed and bathe Parker and read him a story before bed. I was constantly juggling evening meetings and work times to make sure that I was still spending more time with Parker than a babysitter. Despite this, I still felt like I was able to juggle everything and hadn't really thought about staying home... until England.

When we first found out about England, we were told that I couldn't work. There was something comforting about the word "can't". It was easier to deal with the thought of having Brady be the sole provider if I "couldn't" work. Then, we found out that I could. We still knew that I wouldn't work. Mainly because it just doesn't make sense financially (daycare is even more expensive than here!) More importantly, I was so, so, so excited at the thought of spending time with the little Bug. I feel like Brady has given me a gift that I can never, ever repay. However, I am struggling with the thought of not contributing financially. I know that my job with Parker all day is going to be the hardest job I have ever had, but it will just be an adjustment for the whole family.

I am also struggling with the thought of giving up my career. I have worked hard to complete both my Bachelor and Master degrees and now I am petrified at the thought of not having a career for the next five years. I have been at the Boys & Girls Club for almost two years and have loved it. I love the kids, I love the people I work with and I love the job. I am scared that I won't be able to find something I love this much when we get back, but I know that this a sacrifice that is well worth it if I can spend more time with Parker.

Whenever I start to feel stressed about all of the changes happening in our lives, all I have to do is think of this face! I just love him!!

Family Pictures

Almost six weeks ago, I found out that our time in the US had been extended to the end of June. At the time, I felt like we had an unlimited amount of time to see family and friends. I was so sure of this that I felt kind of ridiculous at our going away party my parents threw us just two days after finding out our move was postponed. Looking back, that really was the last time I have seen most of those who came to say goodbye. Now, we are literally counting down the days; 6 days to go. We have been spending lots of time with family and trying to make time for dinners with friends, but free nights are few and far between and now it is almost time to go.

When we scheduled our going away party, I also scheduled family pictures. I wanted to make sure that I had lots of updated pictures to hang around our new home. All of our siblings except for one (Brady's sister's husband had a work conflict that came up at the last minute). Luckily Ali Moore, find her website here, agreed to take our crazy family pictures for us. I have been thinking about how much I am going to miss our family and friends lately and wanted to post the pictures that will be hanging all over my walls in just a few short weeks.

LOVE this picture of Brady's aunt Janae!
Soooo.....after an hour and a half of shooting on the coldest day in May, P was not happy...
Parker and Kamden (Brady's brother, Scott's son)

Luckiest kid with the greatest grandparents in the world!
P and his cousins Kyler and Kamden with Papa and Grammy.
Brady's family
G-Dawg and Gram Gram
My family
Love the eyelashes!!
Uncle Courtney and Van
Uncle Landon

Ali was nice enough to paint the sign for us to use.

Awwww, can't wait to put these on my wall so that I can feel like our family is always around. We are so blessed!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Just for Parker

Time is going so fast...too, too fast. I feel like every day Parker does something new to completely astound me. I also feel like there is no time to enjoy it and that my memory is going to fail me. This was supposed to be what this blog was for, but as you can tell from my lack of regular postings, I am not very good at even remembering to post.

So...this post is for Parker and Mommy and Daddy. You are so amazing and we are so blessed to be your parents. Everyday we are awed by how complete you make our lives and how full you make our hearts. You are such a good baby (which I realize probably means that I am in for a doozie on the next one:), and I am so blessed to be your mommy!

Just so I don't forget here is what you are doing right now!!

You can count! Since around 13 months, you have been counting to two. Around 15 months you started counting like this..."one, twoooo, ten!" A month ago, you started counting like this, "one, twoooooo, wheeeee!" This was mainly due to the fact that on three we always said wheeee when we either picked you up or pushed or on the swing (we have since learned to count to three first and then say wheeee:). Saturday, you said, "one, twoooo, three!" Yay Parker!

New Animal Noises! From around 10 months you have been saying different animal noises. Your first was "quack quack" thanks to your yellow duck in the bathtub. Mommy and Daddy quickly learned how entertaining this was and began teaching you lots of others (cow, moo; horse, neigh; sheep, baaa; goat, maaa; goose, honk; bear or lion, roar--I really didn't know how to make them sound different...if he gets them confused when he is older, we'll all know why!) Your newest noises are turkey, gobble and perhaps my favorite; rooster...COCK-A-DOOOO!

Colors! Before you turned one (again, this would have been helpful to post about at the time because now I can't remember an exact date), we started asking you, "what color is this?" The first toy we tried this on was the yellow duck. Soon, you began to answer, "wewwo". Genius baby!!! Haha, actually, stupid parents. We soon realized that you always said yellow anytime we asked you what color something was. Hello Pavlovian dog! Recently, you have been labeling things by color..."boo shoe" "green block." We still get, "yellow" when we ask you what color, but at least I know you know your colors even if I am the idiot that taught you to say yellow.

Bieber Fever! You are an amazing singer:)! You have quite possibly the cutest impression of Justin Bieber I have ever seen. When you sing, "Bebe, bebe, bebe, ooooh" (while using your fist as a microphone) my heart just melts! You know that you can really get us laughing if you play the piano while you sing. Now, you also sing Lady Gaga (I know, I should probably adjust my radio in the morning). You sing, "rah, rah, rah, rah" (bad romance) and move your hands all at the same time. Thank you for always making us laugh; you are truly the best entertainment a mother could ask for.

Prayers! Talking about your prayers melts my heart. From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, I prayed for the words and actions to teach you to love God. We have always said our prayers before bed and dinner. For the last couple of months, you have begun to be able to say them on your own. With eyes shut and hands folded (and many times during silent prayer time at church), you will say "mommy, daddy, parker, puppy, AMEN!" We go through the whole family at night, but I am just glad that you can remember at least part of the prayer!

I love you so much and am so proud to be your mommy!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Welcome to Norwich

Welcome to Norwich! Here are some quick facts...
  • Norwich has approximately 259,000 people within the city limits.
  • In the 11th century, Norwich was the 2nd largest city in England. (I know, it is crazy to even think of anything being this old!)
  • 98 homes were demolished to make way for the Norwich Castle (pictures below) after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
  • The cathedral was commissioned by Herbert de Losinga, Bishop of Thetford, in 1096.
  • Norwich is one of the top 10 most prosperous shopping destinations in the UK.

I could go on and on. I am so excited to live somewhere with so much history to explore!

Norwich Cathedral. The city is always bustling, but the area immediately surrounding the cathedral is wonderfully peaceful.

Above is a great view of the Norwich Castle.
The picture above is a picture of the sign for the Adam and Eve pub (picture of the pub below). This is the oldest pub in Norwich (one of the oldest in England) and first records of the pub are from workers building the Cathedral...around 1096!

I just had to take a picture of the cobblestone roads. I definitely learned my lesson about wearing flat flip-flops for hours at a time.

This is a picture of Elm Hill. It is an old mid evil street and the oldest in Norwich. Residents say it is haunted (they have ghost tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays).

This is some of the shopping area. In the background you can see a glimpse of the Norwich market. I will probably be making daily trips here to pick up fresh produce because my refrigerator will not be able to hold much more than that!

This is one of the 52 churches (they have turned some of them into other city uses). I am kind of morbid and couldn't help but think the old gravestones leaning up against the churches were kind of neat. All of the churches are built with flint which is mined locally.
Yes, they still have these...funny, huh?

Another view of the city centre.

Another church that is now a community center.

Another view of the Castle.
One of the bridges from the Riverfront to the city centre.

It really is a great city and, if I only think about day to day life, I am so excited for a new adventure in a new place!