Blue Man Group

If you haven't been to see the Blue Man Group, you need to! It's hilarious, creative, surprising and just plain FUN. My face hurt from smiling so hard (it also hurt when I woke up because I got wind burn from a 10 minute walk outside in freezing Nebraska temps).


January Reflections: Reading

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I've never been much of a reader but I've been converted. This sweet, sleek white little machine has changed my world. Yes, the Kindle has made me love reading! It's so easy to take anywhere, I can read several books at the same time and not feel guilty that I need to finish one before I start another. Since my dear Kindle has joined my world on Christmas I've read/almost finished the following:

-"The Help": This book is hard to put down. It's set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement. The story forms around it's 3 main characters- Miss Skeeter, Minny and Aibileen. Miss Skeeter is a recent college graduate who chooses to write about black maids working for white families. Minny and Aibileen (the black maids) keep you hooked in to their stories. I don't want to tell you much more except go get it!
-"In Their Own Voices"- A blog friend recommended this to me. It's a very difficult book to read but I'm so glad I did. The entire book consists of interviews of transracial adoptees. These adoptees talked very candidly about their life growing up in white families while being African American or biracial. Some stories shared great pain about never fitting in and struggling to find identity. There were also amazing stories of love, acceptance and family. 
-"A Non-Runner's Marathon Guide for Women"- I bought this book because I strongly considered running a half marathon this May and I'm definitely NOT a runner. It followed the author, Dawn, through her journey from the couch to a marathon. She was super open about the how hard her training schedule was and the toll it took on her body. She spoke often of aches, pains, boredom, etc. Personally it de-inspired me to run. That's just my 2 cents.
-"Love & Respect"- The entire basis of this book was that without love, wives struggle to respect their spouses - but- on the flip side, without respect, husbands struggle love their wives the way they need to be. Couples get stuck in a "crazy cycle" where their marriages go round and round in a hamster wheel of discontent. This book teaches wives to treat their husband with deeper respect and husbands to love their wives deeper. It was a really good read. I catch myself nagging or cutting off my husband on some issue and I've taken pause to think "does this show him respect?" more often than I ever have.  A must read for all married couples. 

Currently, I'm also reading "Crazy Love", "Aftershock" and "The Five Love Languages". What are your faves? I'll put them on my list! 


January Reflections: Fun

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Most things in Declan's toddler world are simple, laugh inducing FUN. Thus, must fun activities I do these days have to do with him. A recent fave: hide and seek ("more hide???" he asks). I will hide in the kitchen or around the corner in the dining room and call his name. He loves to be scared. Like, 48 times in a row, for an hour. Loves it. His laughter is intoxicating and we play this game often.

Now that we are in Old Man Winter's tight grip I'd love to hear what other people do for fun (inside)? 


Snow Day!

Last year at this time we had already endured nearly 40 inches of snow- a chunk of that was a Christmas ruining snowed-in mess. Today we finally have our first snow storm. We bundled up and went outside to scoop and my dad was already out there doing it. Declan was pumped to scoop with Papa!


Nothing mickey can't fix.

Mark introduced Declan to the old school Mickey and Donald Duck cartoons a few months ago. It's been a love affair ever since. When we went to Target to pick out "special bandaids" to cover Dec's stitches, he was so excited to see Mickey ones. 
 Oh, did I forget to mention injury #2? Declan reached up to show his nanny a toy this week. It wouldn't have been a big deal if she wasn't cooking! He burned his hand- blister and all. He tells us at least 10 times a day that his hand is hot. Neasporin and Mickey are helping it heal. :)
 I can barely handle the cuteness:


It was inevitable...

Mr. Daredevil was destined to have stitches at some point. The fact we made it to 28 months+ is pretty amazing. He's the kid that makes you hold your breath all day long- completely reckless. 

My first thought when I look at this- besides how adorable my son is? That iodine and blood soaked hair that I can't wash until Saturday. Yuck.
 Declan was wearing his ONLY white shirt today- an adorable gift he got for Christmas. It tells so much- sucker juice (that's what I decided to call the spit/sucker drippy gunk), Diego reward stickers for being such a big boy and blood of course. 

Funny sucker note- I do not give Declan suckers. I'm scared the ball part will pop off and choke him and I hate the sucker juice. After the nurse put on stinging liodocaine gel she gave him a sucker. He turned his tears right off and told her "I love suckers!" What? Who's slipping my kid suckers behind my back?!
 Such a sweet, tough guy! His pain tolerance will really pay off when he's a sports star, I'm convinced! :)


baby jaguar

Declan watches too much Diego because when Papa & Nana gave him this stuffed animal he proclaimed it to be "baby jaguar"!! Cracks us up b/c it's the fattest least baby-ish form of a tiger or jaguar or whatever it is. Got to love the imagination of a toddler. :)


He's a natural.

Not sure if I should find an art dealer to sell Declan's first masterpiece or a therapist to interpret it? Just kidding. Either way, Dec's new easel is a huge hit. 
I asked Declan if he'd stand in front of his pretty picture and he said "Jack-Jack do it." So, that he did. 


January Reflections: Moment

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I've joined Corrin at The Glorious Impossible to look back on this past year with a project called January Reflections.
Today, I wanted to remember one of the best moments from 2010. The "build up" to the moment still gives me anxiety reflecting back. Back in August, we were on our last day of our first vacation (tongue twister) in Texas and we had planned a long anticipated breakfast at a cute little place called Monument Cafe. We had a bit of a wait because our family was a big group. Right away, Declan had zero patience so we quickly took him out of the restaurant and out to watch Dora in the car. The food [finally] arrived and we brought Decs back in and then it happened. The melt downs of all melt downs. Inconsolable 2 year old, stressed parents, a quick and obvious exit. We went straight back to my Aunt's house and were packed up and ready to get on the road by the time the rest of the family was back home. We were completed deflated.

Our drive back to Nebraska from Texas started smoothly. After 15 minutes of driving, the monster (i.e. Declan) fell asleep and Mark and I popped in a book on CD. All seemed well until all traffic stopped. We scooted along at 15mph seeing accident after accident for hours. It was the day after Labor Day- what were we thinking?! A drive that took us 4ish hours before (to Norman, OK to sleep for the night) took over 7. We were both boiling over in stress, Declan was ready to be off the road, we were starving and d-o-n-e.

Embassy Suites had never looked so fabulous. We took turns going down to the free happy hour and hoarding drinks up to our room. We ordered and devoured outrageously overpriced room service, turned on a football game and watched Declan run around and have a blast. After Decs had a long bath we all 3 settled in to the king sized bed and Declan fell asleep cuddled in between us. It was delicious contentment of an evening.

A moment I won't forget.


2010 in Pictures

Snow, lots of snow.
We had to tame the climber with this ugly tent (still in use):
taming the climber

Declan officially moves from baby to little man.
looking so grown up!
As that happened, we saw more of this:

sweet boy
Marriage conference, hotel and alone time with my husband. A rarity.

Warmer weather + park = Declan in heaven.
(notice the scraped arm? pretty much a fixture for Decs)
pretty eyes!

My Aunt from Texas visited. Always a fabulous time.
Mom & Aunt Laurie
We celebrated 7 years of marriage at a local vineyard.
Mark @ JAV
Erik, Jess and baby Evie move back to L-town from Seattle!

Decs gets the "big chop" in time for some hot Nebraska weather.
Em did a great job!
Always a fun time with the cousins!
Many days spent at the spray park.

Daddy and Decs on the 4th:
Many good times with Life Group buddies:
we plan to take this pic yearly
Bye-bye front tooth! Also, first swimming lessons. 
the day after Dec's face met the wood floor
Some more cousin love! Summertime is just the best.
aw, love this!!

It's hot, hot, hot!
Declan turns TWO. We celebrated in 95 degree temps outside. Brilliant. Good times besides the sweating.

Our first ever vacation! We took a long road trip from Nebraska to Austin, Texas. Decs snoozing in the car:
sleeping on the road
At my Grandaddy's 80th b.day party in Texas:
our little family :)
I also celebrated my 29th b.day.
Grandaddy's birthday bash!
Annual Mahoney State Park trip.
Mahoney 2010

Cheered on the Huskers. They needed all the cheering they could get this season.
Fun at the pumpkin patch with the sister-in-laws.
Declan was a little pirate for Halloween.

Mark turned 30 and we had a big birthday bash.

Celebrated Thanksgiving with a near death turkey frying:
Frying the Thanksgiving turkey
Enjoyed mild temps with a T.Giving day football game.

First time decorating gingerbread house.
 Hung out with birthmom!
 And birthdad!

Declan celebrated 2010 with exuberance.

Last year was a year of joy, love, family and blessings. We also met many valleys that made us hug each other a little tighter. 

In 2011 I look forward to new memories! And a new baby?! Hmmm. We'll see. :)

Happy New Year!!!!