Mouse 1, Ashley 0

Tonight we were cleaning out our badly neglected garage prior to trash day tomorrow. I was carrying out an old planter that has held the same spot for nearly 5 years. After setting the planter down at the embarrassingly over full curb I felt a bug bite on my back. I reached back and it was a MOUSE under my shirt. I almost stripped right there but I was: 1) outside on my driveway and neighbors were out too and 2) we had one of my husband's friends there helping us with this project.

I sprinted inside while simultaneously grabbing the mouse (which felt like a rat) and twisting it so my shirt "trapped" it in place. The second I got inside I ripped my shirt off and threw it in a nearby Tar.get bag and tied it. My heart was pounding out of my chest. After putting on a new, fresh, mouse-less shirt I took the bag to the trash and told my husband and friend the horrific happenings. What does my sympathetic husband do? OPENS the bag to check out the rodent. It scurries off unharmed. My husband, straight faced, turns to me and says "It's just like a little guinea pig, I don't know what the big deal is." 

Please, Lord, may this never happen to me or anyone I know ever. EVER. I hate mice and I'm forever traumatized. Bleh.

Just re-telling this story, I feel a bit like this:


7 years. Woot!

7 years ago today, I said "I do" to this good looking guy:
Best decision ever.
So, in celebration, we headed out to one of our favorite places:
To drink a little bit of this goodness:

Here's to 7 more. I'm a pretty lucky gal.


Oh, it felt so good...

...to drop off paperwork at the post office for Homestudy #2.
Here we go.

The difference this time? We took nearly 5 weeks to complete paperwork that we filled out in 2 nights with Declan's homestudy. Ha! Such is life with a busy toddler. 


21 months! Baby to boy...

First and foremost, this past month my son has had a love affair with basketball. It's his happy place. It's the only toy he really likes to play with.

This past month he started rocking size SEVEN shoes, 2t shirts and shorts and started to move out of size 4 diapers to size 5. Is this a sign of impending potty training...these sizes run out soon, don't they?!

He's active 24/7 and never winds down. He's a climber and loves all things dangerous. This keeps us very much on our toes. I love that Decs started recognizing our house (he immediately says: Jack Jack & Mae Mee - our dogs as we pull in to the drive way), my dad's truck ("papa!!!" at any similar looking truck) and, just last night, recognized his cousin Asher's apartment building as we pulled up. 

Speaking of cousins, Declan got to meet the newest cousin, baby Evie. He's smitten and always wants to hold her. We're super excited Evie's mama and daddy chose to move back home.

One of the coolest things I've noticed this past month is Declan and his new little relationships. He talks about his favorite friends when we drive to daycare- CeCe and Ryker- over and over until we get there. He also calls his daycare provider "Nannie" (Natalie). He mentions his cousin, Asher, about 10 times a day. It's been fun to see him play like brothers with my best friends son, Luke. There are many pool dates in our future! 

And, for anyone not already bored with this post, here's a cute video from last night at the park:



Happiness is defined in many different shades in people's lives. 

I've really enjoyed following Pioneer Woman's "Happiness Photos" challenge. I made my own little collage of happiness pictures I've captured in the past year. Enjoy. Go, hug your families tight and be happy. :)


Fresh Air!

Fresh Air.
Sunny Skies.
Fresh cut grass.
Cook outs.
Summer is a comin' and
I love the taste of it we've had so far.


My Sweet Daughter

Don't get too excited, folks. No daughter here.
[Baby fever has begun, though.]

Here's snippets of 2 conversations with total strangers today.

In Bath & Body Works:
(As Declan says "hiiiiiii" to anyone that would pay attention)
Lady behind counter: "Your daughter is so sweet"
Me: "Thanks, my son has tons of personality"
Lady behind counter: "Your SON- sorry I looked at the hair and not at the clothes"
Me: thinking but not talking- HUH?
(Declan made this one easy by signing "thank you" and saying byeeee- his favorite thing to do at stores. Do you think I take this child on too many errands? Whoops.)

Moving on to Victoria Secret:
Declan's charming everyone as usual as we wait in line.
Random lady: "My granddaughter socializes with everyone just like your daughter"
Me: "He's pretty fun!"
Random lady: "Sorry, hun. Thought he was a girl with that long hair. I had a daughter-in-law that couldn't give in to that first cut either. She even put it in a pony tail in the summer (gasps)."
Me: "No worries- to each their own, huh?"
Random lady- "So are you planning on cutting it soon? He has such a handsome face!"
Me: "Not at all- we think he rocks the mullet."
Random lady- awkward smile, walks away

Ha! I love the conversations the long hair is starting. Should I make a shirt that says "yes, my son's hair is long and, no, we have no current plans to cut it." Kidding, of course. 

C'mon now, he does "rock the mullet" don't you think? :)


National Birthmother's Day

Today, National Birthmother's Day, we had the joy of spending some time at a carnival (held by our adoption agency) with Dec's birthmom, C. We gabbed over hot dogs, watched Declan run from game to game, and just enjoyed each other's company. We're so happy to be in a great place with C and so extremely thankful for her and her decision to place this spirited, precious boy in our arms to raise forever. This was our first Birthmother Day we celebrated together and hope for many to come.


Go grandpa, go!

Last weekend we cheered Grandpa on at the Lincoln Half Marathon. He did great!!
I would love to run the 1/2 next year. First, I have to make it through my first 5k in June. I am totally NOT a runner. More on this later...


Say what?

These last few days Declan is obsessed with bas-kahhh-bal (basketball). He loves watching people play it, throwing it around and- most of all- saying it. He says it as we lay him in the crib at night and he says it the moment we open the nursery door in the morning. So cute! He also started counting off "one, twoooo, fweeee" for about everything. I can't believe how quickly he's growing up!