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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I used to think it was weird...

Tea Time...

Before we moved here, I thought that tea time was this daily 3:00 PM ritual where everyone sat down, drank tea and had a biscuit.

Don't get me wrong...in some instances, this is exactly what tea time is (at Brady's office, one of the guys goes around and gets everyone tea and coffee at 3:00).

As for every other time...it just depends.  Some people say 'tea' when we would say 'lunch' or 'dinner.'

As the 'Dragon' from Room on the Broom would say, "...and I'd like to have witch and fish for my TEA!"

Sorry...I just read that to P before nap-time and I couldn't help myself!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

pluggies to the babies

Saturday was a big day...Parker gave his pluggies to the babies...

I should have taken a picture, but the lady at the donation store was already looking at me like I was an idiot...yes, I'm aware that they had to throw them away as soon as we left... luckily there was a man there who was empathetic.

P walked in, took them out of his pocket and handed them to the man...such a little man himself...

Then we went and got these...

We started a tradition when we moved here of going to a local toy store and buying a wooden animal for every milestone, birthday, etc...for this occasion, P picked the tiger.  He also was surprised to finally take home a Gruffalo of his own from the bookstore (he has been telling me it is his very best friend every time we go for at least a month).  

So proud of him for making his first donation...even if it is to 'babies who don't have pluggies.'  Yes, I realize this is ridiculous, but for him it was a big deal...such a big guy.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


We don't have football (well American football anyway), so we have been trying to go to more rugby games.  Amateur rugby is a big deal here and fortunately, our friend Tom plays for a rugby club nearby.  I'm not going to lie...I have no idea what is going on during the game.  At first I thought it would be similar enough to football to follow, but I just can't seem to make sense of the game (working on this).  Parker loves to go to the games...mainly because they let the kids play on the field after the game.   He spent most of the first half going, "can I go under the fence and play rugby?"  It got so bad that he and I spent the second half in the clubhouse.  

I took about a million pictures of him playing, but I promise I'll only put a few on here.  There is just something about the pure look of joy on his face that made me continue to snap.  Oh, and yes, I was that mom chasing my son around with a camera like a huge dork...hey, not knowing anyone has it's perks.

There was a lot of this...

And this...

And lots of wipes because P doesn't like to be dirty...

So happy...:)

And home...we had to hold on to his vest because he kept trying to go back under the fence...great day!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Last week, my beautifully talented friend, Lauren, at Climbing Grier Mountain, tagged me in a getting to know you questionnaire.  Yes, last week.  I have been so excited to participate, but putting it off because well, let's face it...I'm a bit of an over-sharer and I knew that this would probably be a long post.  To participate, you are supposed to share 11 things about yourself and answer the 11 questions the blogger wants to know about you.  So, here goes...

11 things about Sam...
1.  I am ADDICTED to dark chocolate...seriously, I am that mom that keeps a stash hidden in the fridge...I wish I could say I only like dark chocolate, but I am not known to turn down any other kind either...
2.  I love reality talent shows...I cry when they make it, cry when they don't...something about seeing people achieve their dreams gets me every time.
3.  I am a bit of a political nerd (going to the Republican National Convention is on my bucket list).
4.  I love school supplies.
5.  Manhattan, KS is one of my favorite places in the world.
6.  I used to want to be the next Katie Couric...ok, I secretly still kind of do.
7.  I think daily about going back to school to be a teacher.
8.  I really want to do another marathon, but I'm not quite sure I can do it without my best friend, Jamie.
9.  I have been having a serious style crisis ever since I had Parker...yep that is almost 3 years...I. need. help.
10.  I am not-so-secretly, but kind of oddly addicted to who-dunnit suspense novels.  I love John Grisham and James Patterson, but will gladly sit down with Jane Austen anytime.
11.  I like to put on sweat pants the minute I walk in the door...yep this probably explains why P undresses and puts on his jersey too.

Lauren's questions...

1. Whole Foods or Traders Joes? I have never lived in a place where we had either (I am so deprived)...seriously, I wish I could answer this question.
2. If you could sing one song in front of a large audience, what would it be and why? Hmmm, I just don't know....ha, just kidding...Broken Wing by Martina McBride.  I like to pretend that I can belt it out and that is the song I've been singing since the Girl's State talent show in 1999...wow, I am such a nerd.
3. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I'm going with Jamie's answer on this one...I hate hard questions like this.  I'm just going to ignore this one. :)'
4. Who or what inspires you and why?  Hmmm....I feel like I am inspired daily...usually by someone's blog or my family.  However, I think my ultimate answer is my Grandmother Millie...she is 104 and the most incredible person I know.  

5. If Abe Lincoln and George Washington got into a fight who’d win?  I have to go with George...he just seems feistier.
6. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?  Kansas...anywhere in Kansas...as long as I could see the people I love!!
7. What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up on?  P-Man...I will probably that mom that is always telling him he could do better or praising him when he does.  
8. Would you ever consider being a contestant on the Bachelor? Ha, I don't think Brady would approve, but I have seriously considered submitting my brother's name if I thought I could handle watching him make out with a bunch of crazies.
9.  Glee or Smash?  Smash hasn't started over here yet, but I'm quite sure I might be addicted to both once it starts...singing and dancing?  I'm in.
10. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?  The power to do laundry with the snap of my fingers...you would want this power too if you had a washer-dryer combo.
11. Coffee or tea? I try to like tea...I really do, but I LOVE coffee...love it.

Wow, that is a lot of information about me...sorry!


We were in Lincoln again this week.  Don't get me wrong...it is a charming town.

But we have been traveling so much recently, that P is just tired.  You know it's time to stay home for a while when your child says..."can we go back to the hotel and check in?"  Unfortunately, we couldn't and we had some time to kill before we could go back and relax so we braved the windchill and walked up to the Lincoln Cathedral.  It really is spectacular.  I think I am kind of hoping that Parker will look at me one day and say, "oooh, look at this amazing display of Gothic architecture,"  or "gee Mom, thank you for dragging me to all of these amazing historical sites!"  Ha, a mom can dream...right?  

The Cathedral really is awe-inspiring.  It was first commissioned by William the Conqueror and built in 1092, then after it was partially destroyed by a fire and then a weird earthquake, it was completed in all its glory around 1400.  The towers used to have spires (until wind blew down the central spire), and until 1549, it was the tallest building in the world.  

The picture below gives a better view...

We didn't last too long...Parker is not impressed by architecture quite yet, but I'm working on him:).  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I used to think it was weird...

Garbage Disposals...do you have a garbage disposal?  I thought so.  We don't have one here and it's not just us, I have yet to meet anyone who has one.  I didn't realize what a luxury it was until we moved here.  Not only is it scraping the bigger scraps into the trash, but you have to be careful of even the smallest bits of food because it could make the drain smell.  I can't tell you how many prayers I have said while doing dishes that sound like this, "dear God, if you would give me a garbage disposal when we move back, I promise never to put potato skins down it again, love sam"

Monday, February 20, 2012


Just a few things that me smile in the last week or so.  I love this age, he is constantly making me giggle!

"mommy, I think you forgot something."
"oh really? What did I forget?"
"I think you forgot your bra."
"my bra?"
"yeah, your bra." (I promise I was wearing one)
Dear God, please don't let me leave irreparable damages.

"Who built our house, mommy?"
"I'm not sure who built our house."
"Did Papa Marvin build our house?"
"haha, I don't think so."

"I just feel a little sick."  (followed by a cough)... unfortunately, he says this a lot whenever I want him to do something he doesn't want to do...I can't help but think that he learned this somewhere...shoot.

We were just finishing our prayers...
"Mommy, can you pray for the zoo?"
"Dear God, please be with all of the animals at the zoo and keep them safe and healthy..."
"and happy Mommy!  Can you pray for the baby chimp?"
"and the mommy monkey?"
"and the daddy monkey?"
"and the giraffes and the elephants and the tigers and the zebras?"
My favorite was when he asked to pray for the jag-you-are...or what we would call the jaguar.  This would probably make more sense if I knew how to spell phonetically, but lets just say it is the first time that he has used the British pronunciation of a word and I have no idea where he got it from!

He has three race cars in his 'little baggie.'  He calls them, 'serious race car' 'happy race car' and 'silly race car' (he thinks these are the expressions that are on their faces).  Whenever he picks up the 'serious' one, he has to say, "serious face" and show me his most serious expression...love it.

The other day when we picked up Brady from the train station, he had flowers (I know...love him).  Before I could say anything, Parker saw the flowers and said,
"Ooooh, Daddy has flowers for you Mommy!  Now you can go dance!"
I am just hoping this means he'll be a hopeless romantic because I have no idea where this stuff comes from!

Parker was trying to do a somersault (sp?) the other morning.  He was going a little sideways and said...
"oh shoot, a rolling pin!"  At least it ended in his favorite dance move...and yes, he said shoot...shoot.
When Brady didn't hear him ask him to watch, Parker says...
"DADDDDYYYY!  Look at your son!"

Yesterday, he was lining up all of his farm animals under the chair.  When I asked him where they were going he said..."they are going to the Colosseum."  At least he remembered something from our trip!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

First haircut

Parker got his ears lowered for the first time today...(tear).  He was so excited to get his hair cut, but when he asked, "how am I going to put it back?" And we said, "you can't, but it will grow back," he started to get a little nervous.  Luckily, the nerves subsided and he was a trooper on the chair (although he did start dancing a little after 5 minutes...what can I say, the music was that good).  Little man is growing up so fast!

Friday, February 17, 2012


I used to always look forward to Fridays.  Constantly checking the clock on my computer or rushing through any last minute tasks before I could finally pick up my baby.  Don't get me wrong, I loved my job and the people I worked with, but I could hardly stand being away from P.  Now, I get to spend all of my days with P Diddy.  I am one lucky mama.  Every day is a new adventure and he is constantly surprising me with everything he is learning and what a sweet boy he is.  Even though I spend my days with one of my two favorite people, I still get so excited on Fridays.  Excited for our weekly dinner out and two full days with my two favorite people.  Brady will be home soon...I. can't. wait.

P is so excited too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a week of discoveries

This week I discovered that the worst part about having a totally diaper-free house are the endless trips to the toilet that P uses to stall bedtime (he did this before he stopped wearing diapers to bed, but we are a little more afraid of accidents now).  I also discovered when your child does have an accident after you refused the fourth trip to the bathroom, you feel like a real jerk.

This week I discovered that P had two imaginary friends stuck in the back of his semi-truck (toy of choice this week).  Turns out it was KiKi and Cayman...Cayman is a friend from daycare which now leads me to believe that KiKi is actually Keegan, another friend from daycare.  I'm trying not think about the implications of him keeping them captive in a toy...

This week I discovered we have a drain problem...or should I say a Parker-peeing-in-the-drain problem.   P really likes to take showers and I may have let him potty in the drain once 6 months ago out of necessity and now he gets in the shower before I can stop him to potty before I turn on the water.  I thought this was an only-at-home problem, but he did it at the pool on Monday...shoot.

This week I discovered the answer to the following equation...
spicy brownies (that P won't eat) + Brady out of town = empty brownie tray and tight pants

This week I discovered that calling your child stinky-pants results in the following wake-up call...
"Wake up Mommy!  Get out of bed stinky-pants so we can play with my semi-truck!" (Yes, I realize that you are wondering why I called him stinky-pants in the first place, but some things just can't be explained...)

This week I discovered that when you are trying to scold your child for doing something wrong and they respond (with finger pointed), "I'm sorry Mommy, accidents happen," it is really hard to keep a straight face!

This week I discovered that when you tell P he can look at the animals while you look at books, this is what happens...for the record, I was right beside him...just clueless.
 Oh, and this is what happens after you tell him to put them away...

So much more to discover this week!

I used to think it was weird...

"Are you al'right?"

Little did I know that this phrase is our equivalent of "how are you?"  A one word answer will do...don't give them a list of your troubles.  For two months, I just thought that everyone thought I was emotionally unstable (probably because I was), and was actually inquiring about how I was coping.  I actually started crying one day in the church nursery when another mother asked me this...imagine my embarrassment a few weeks later when it hit me that she really just wanted me to say "yes, you?"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Mine

Happy Valentine's Day!  My valentine is actually in Switzerland this week so I spent the day with my other love.  We had a FANTASTIC day!

P Diddy asked to go to the gym today (ok, so he just wanted to play with the Buzz Lightyear toy they have).   I never get to go to the gym two mornings in a row because of other activities, but this week is half-term so we had a clear schedule.

I got to run 6 miles yesterday and 4.5 today...not a lot, but definitely made the most of my 50 and 40 min workouts...plus, I think it helped finally convince myself to sign up for a half marathon here...I heart running.

 P was a trooper for 2 hours of errands and I was finally able to get frames for our maps, his letter chart and my antique flash cards...WAHOO!

P told me the story of the three bears and the french fries (this is not your mama's Three Bears:) around twenty times today.

When I got to the checkout at The Range, I found three chocolate cows in my basket...apparently P is also a cow smuggler.  I probably should have gotten mad and made him put them back, but I totally bought the cows.

I made two batches of brownies for dessert...:)

Finally, my friend Mandy offered to come over with her three kids and keep us company for dinner.  Her husband had to work late (he actually made it here less than an hour after they did) and we all had a great time watching the kids play.  I LOVE having good friends here!

Monday, February 13, 2012


When someone becomes a parent, you always hear them say something about how much joy their new little bundle brings to their lives.  Until I had Parker, I always thought it sounded a little cliche.  Don't get me wrong, I have always known that I wanted to be a mom and I have always known that it would be one of the greatest experiences of my life, but I don't think I realized just how full it would make my heart.  Just looking at P makes my heart swell and I honestly cannot remember what we did before he came.  An even bigger surprise was how much I learn from him.  It sounds crazy, but my little two-year old teaches me more about joy than anything I've ever known.

When the sky is cloudy (maybe I should just say everyday:), I will be complaining, but P will see the smallest hint of the sun and say..."the sun is peeking through, the sun is peeking through!"  Or, he will remind me to be thankful on the rare blue-sky days, "Mommy, the sky is blue.  It is kind of beautiful."  Yes, part of my smile probably comes from hearing him say 'beautiful.'

Some days when I am just homesick, I will see P get so excited about his favorite clean shirt (or even pair of 'big-boy' underwear).  I don't know why, but I can't help but beam when he says, "thank you for cleaning my jersey Mommy!  I'm so excited to wear my jersey!" It is just a reminder that we are so blessed and not to take even the little things for granted.

I don't know what it is but he can tell when someone is sad.  I am a sucker for sappy commercials.  Sometimes I try to hide it, but he will come and give me a big hug and say, "you sad Mommy?"  The other day he even tried to cheer me up by playing me a song..."I'm playing you a song Mommy!  Are you happy Mommy?"  I usually make it worse by tearing up a little when he says it.

I could have him out walking around in the cold all day long, feeling guilty about dragging him on errands, and he will light up at the sight of our house.  "We're home!  I see our new house!  I'm so excited!"  Seriously, I know it will not always be this easy to make him happy, but I will for sure take it now.

Finally, he will walk around singing lyrics to songs (hmmm, I wonder where he gets that from?)  In general, this makes my day, but lately he's been singing, "its a beautiful night, I'm looking for something fun to do, hey baby, I think I want to marry you."  It melts. my. heart.  I can't help but say a little prayer every time that he will someday find someone to make him as happy as his daddy makes me.

Who knew I could learn so much from my little man.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Brady had training up in Lincolnshire this week and, because he can't drive, P and I had to take him.  Driving is not my strong suit (I apologize if you know this from first-hand experience), and driving in England is definitely not a strength.  Needless to say, driving two and a half hours was an experience for all of us, but we made it.  I am actually so glad that we went with him.  Lincoln is a charming city (it has a cathedral therefore it is a city), and Parker and I found enough to keep us occupied.  One of the best parts of our adventure north was that we were close enough to meet my dad's cousin and his wife and kids for dinner.  With work schedules and everything else, it has been hard to find time to meet them, but this was a great excuse!  

After pushing a stroller uphill for a mile, in the snow (ha, just kidding, but not really), P and I toured the Lincoln Castle.  Much of the tour was actual a victorian-era jail, but it did have one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta which was pretty awesome (I am such a nerd...I know).  

Here are a few pictures...not very good ones...we were cold!

Here's hoping that this is the only time I see P in a jail cell!

I know you are probably wondering what these pictures are...it is the jail chapel and they had dummies in the seats with masks over their heads...pretty creepy...I can't believe I took P.  I also can't believe I actually tried to explain to him what he was seeing. 

 The Cathedral is beautiful here, but we were too cold to make it there.  It's on our list for the next trip.

Yes, I am an idiot and took P up to walk along the walkway of the castle wall...while carrying the camera case and P's backpack...stupid, stupid, stupid.

 P was pretty cold.

Even dumber...we walked up four flights of foot-wide spiral steps to get to the top of the observation tower.  We were both so scared that this is the only picture I took.  Don't even get me started on how we got back down...:)

I'm so happy we had to tag along, but I am even happier to finally be home for a few days!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pictures from Rome

What can I say?  I am in LOVE with Rome...even if the weather wasn't ideal, the architecture is spectacular and the history intriguing.  You almost feel like you are a part of it when you are there and I cannot wait to go back!!  I took a lot of pictures (350 to be exact...good thing the weather wasn't that great), but when I went back and looked through them, I realized that they look much clearer on the camera screen when you are shivering.  I was going to try to edit them, but we've been out of town again and if I don't post them now, I don't know if I ever will.  So, these are not great, but here are a few of my favorites!

If you go to the Coloseum...don't bring a stroller, especially when its snowing.
Brady carried it up a LOT of stairs.

When you have a two-year-old, always know where the toilets are!

This is the only picture we have of the three of us...seriously.
Everyone warned us so much about pickpockets that I was
too afraid to hand my camera over to anyone.

I don't know why, but this is my favorite picture.
Parker spent a lot of time in this position at the Vatican.

His poor little feet and legs were soaked...and frozen.

"A backhoe loader Mommy,"  Parker was more excited about this
than anything else!

We had an amazing time!