Friday, December 31, 2010

In a nut shell...

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my child is nuts. That’s nuts in a hilarious, rolling on the floor laughing, kind of way. The kid makes me smile constantly and there’s not a day that goes by, that I don’t thank the Lord for such a little character.
Last night, I was chatting with Shelley,  the wonderful lady who watches Monroe, and she filled me in on the goings-on of RoRo this week.  On Tuesday, Dani, Shelley’s daughter, went upstairs to check on Monroe who was supposed to be sleeping.  Dani put her ear to the door to see if she heard anything.  This is what she SWEARS she heard, “Help, Help…It’s Rosie!”  When Dani opened the door Monroe was standing up in the play yard with a huge smile on her face and her arms up, ready to be gotten.  Monroe seemed to be quite pleased that her little ploy worked.  What a little nutJ 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Winter Snow


     One of the blogs I read that truly inspires me is Lindsay Letters.  She does calligraphy and is just plain talented.  I have always dreamed of having her abilities and if I had been born with them, I would definitely be a calligraphist(is that a word?) right now.  She posted this on her blog the other day and it made my day.  It's the words of my all time favorite Christmas Song.  I listen to it all of the time though, because the lyrics are so....I guess, perfect.  I just think of all the ways Jesus could have come to us that night in Bethlehem.  Instead of choosing the most grand, he choose the most humble.  I still feel that's how God communicates with me now and it makes me feel such comfort.  I hope you enjoy them!  Go buy the song on itunes if you haven't already! 

In other news, we are supposed to get 8 to 10 inches of snow this weekend!  Wowzer! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...CHRISTMAS!  And I am pretty darn happy about it.  If you know me, you know I love Christmas and I LOVE decorating for it.  On Friday evening, we finally were able to "do it up" and for the past few days I have been basking in its beauty.  Is it me or does everything seem just a little more peaceful when decorated for Christmas?  It's just so magical.  Our whole house makes me want to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa.  It's just plain amazing. I have totally forgotten about the three hours it took to rearrange the living room to make the tree fit.  It's like it never happened.


I finished wrapping all of the gifts tonight.  I know, I am being super on top of things this year!  This is so unlike me and if I'm not careful I might start to get a big head about everything.  Oh wait, too late!  I am just so proud of myself.  I have pretty much ALL of my Christmas shopping done, house decorated, gifts wrapped, and my Christmas Cards addressed and ready to go.  Last year, I started calling them Holiday Cards, because they were sooo late.  

Here are a few pics I took this evening of all of my hard work:) 

All the pretty presents...


I wrapped a few presents in these little jewelry/accessory boxes.  I thought they were so fun and the receiver will enjoy having a useful box to use after.  I hope they like them:) 

The Christmas Cards all ready to be sent out. 

Tonight, I also worked on the belts I was telling you about.  I think they are just so lovely. 



I also wanted to show you my new Toms that Mark got me for my birthday.  They are pretty dazzly, aren't they?!  I think they will be perfect for the holidays.  



I hope your Monday was phenomenal.  Please be praying for Ezra...he is a sick little guy!   



 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Kiss & Tell

video

You gotta love a girl who knows what she wants:)  I love this video of Rosie and Ezra.  It makes me smile every time I watch it.  Hopefully, it will do the same for you:)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Almost forgot...

The other day I posted about my Chicago Birthday Party and mentioned that everyone was there but the Nudd's and Kelsey...then it hit me this afternoon...our friends the Meharry's weren't there!!!

The Murrill's, The Meharry's, & the Meharry's (Senior) 

Nicole and Zeb were some of my closest friends in college and you don't even know how happy we have been that they moved to our area!  It was literally an answer to prayer.  Since they have a little guy, Ezra, a few weeks older than Monroe, it is even more perfect.

So anyway, we are headed over to their homestead for dinner tonight and I can't help but be thankful to have such amazing people in our lives.

I remember feeling so isolated and lonely when we first moved here.  I worried all the time that this place would never feel like home, but it truly is starting to feel like it!  We have the nicest friends and we LOVE Monroe's child care provider.  Now, if only I could convince our parents to move here it would be great!

This morning Monroe and I went over to Kelsey's for a little tea/coffee cake/chat time.  It was so nice.  She is the sweetest and they have the cutest place.   She also is an incredible healthy baker.  The vegan raspberry coffee cake was to die for!  Can't wait to hang out more.

So anyway, hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday!  I can hear the laughter of my hubby and little lady and nothing warms my heart more.  I better run so I can play with them!  Love you all.

By the way, I really need to post more about our fabulous Thanksgiving!  Will do that soon!

Defeated

I'm really sad.  Some news I was hoping wasn't true, was confirmed this morning and it is really breaking my heart.   One of little girls from my very first class is pregnant.  To me she will always be the little 4th grader with dreams of stardom.  The little drama queen with lots of personality and a huge heart.  Of course she is the same person, but the sweet little girl innocence is gone.

I had always worried this would happen.  Her mother had her young and her sister got pregnant really young as well.  I just hoped that I could make a difference.

As she grew up I would always talk to her pretty bluntly about things.  We were very open with each other and she shared with me her secrets and struggles.  I would always tell her that I would be there for her, but more importantly, so would God.

She would promise me that she wouldn't get pregnant young and tell me about her plans for college.  But after we moved and I started seeing some of the pictures she was posting on myspace/FB, I became worried that something like this would happen.

Do I think she will make a good mommy?  Of course!  Do I think she will make it through?  Definitely!  I just know that the next few years are going to be harder than she ever thought imaginable.  Being a parent is tough at any age, but when you haven't even figured life out for yourself yet...so much harder.

So anyway, please pray for this little lady.  Pray that she has strength and wisdom.  Pray that her family is there with support and love.  Pray that the baby's daddy is super involved--with his time and his money.  Just pray...I know I will be.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What I've been up to...

The very adorable Colton Heinrich's first b-day is coming up and Tasha asked if I could make him a shirt and hat to wear at his party. I was already planning on making him a shirt, so it worked out great.  Here are the finished products...


I've also started working on some flower belts.  I saw something similar on Etsy and thought, "Hey, I could make those." I thought they would make great bows for Christmas gifts, then the recipient could use it for a belt after they unwrap it.  I made TONS of the flowers in brown, cream, grey and black.  I think I may make a few into hair accessories.




It's my parties...

Have I mentioned how amazing my hubby is lately?  This guy went all out for my big 3-0!  Not only did I have one surprise party with my Chicago friends, but after arriving in KC on my birthday he surprised me with another party with the Mott's and the Heinrich's!  It was so much fun!  Here are a few pics from my parties:)
 The Chicago Surprise...Monroe and I are looking pretty rough.  It was a lazy Sunday and I hadn't taken a shower yet!  That's the only complaint I have.  If you are going to have a surprise party for your wife, MAKE her take a shower beforehand!!!  
 Our Chicago friends!  Well, actually we were missing Kelsey and the Nudds!  

The KC Suprise...A fun group of friends at CPK in the Plaza.  After eating, we shopped around the Plaza and then were going to go ice skating, but because of super cold temps, we decided to watch a movie instead. 
Our Dear Bro & Sis
 
Carlos and "Adrianna" 
 Besties 
 More Besties
Muggin' 
 Mustaches were the topic of the evening...can you tell? 
Me with Michael Tait at Urban Ourfitters...I'm a BIG fan:) 
There's a story behind this bandaid mustache, but I would rather not dig up old wounds...
The Murrill Mustaches

Friday, November 19, 2010

I got right on it...

Top Ten Moments Christmas Card
Make a statement with Shutterfly Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Christmas Came Early

Sending out and receiving Christmas Cards was and is one of my favorite parts of Christmastime.  I love getting pictures and letters from my family and friends.  It's one of the few times people send "snail mail" anymore and that makes it even more special.

This year I couldn't decide what I wanted to do for Christmas Cards.  That is until I received the most amazing flyer in the mail from Shutterfly.  Inside they had the most unique photocards I have seen around.  They have so many that I love, I can hardly decide.  Here are a few of my favorites... (Imagine them with pics of our family, of course!)




Be sure to check out their website so you can find some special cards for yourself.  Not only are there hundreds to choose from, they are super affordable, too!  Does it get any better?  Well, to answer my own question, "Yes"!  They also have calendars and photo books!  They both make amazing Christmas gifts for parents and grandparents.

I was so excited because they offered a special deal for bloggers!  (Thanks Angie for sharing!!!)  I'll make sure to let you know how they turn out!  Merry Christmas...a little early:)

Love,

Steph

An Uninvited Guest

This past weekend we celebrated my sweet little nephew, Max Lincoln's, first birthday. 


It was a great day full of food, fun and friends...but also, the flu.  Somewhere in that party lurked the icky stomach flu that is picking off each of the guests one at a time. 

It hit Mark and I on Monday as we were leaving work.  We both looked at each other and said in harmony, "I don't feel so good."  

We arrived home and it got progressively worse.  I will spare you the details, but it was bad...real bad, for both of us.  We were so thankful that Monroe seemed to be cheerful and feeling great.  We put her to bed around 8:00 pm and we climbed into our own bed soon after.   Around 8:30, I heard Monroe start crying.  I went to see if she just needed her binky, but as I was feeling around in her bed for it, I felt something gross.  I flipped on the lights and found her covered in throw-up.  Now that I am a parent, I can think of nothing worse than having my little person sick!!!  It's horrible because you feel so helpless.   

The two of us set up camp on towels outside of the bathroom, while Mark was in bed or in the restroom (he was too weak to do much).  Monroe and I continued throwing up in unison for the next few hours until I ended up calling our moms and they both recommended that we take Monroe to the emergency room to make sure she didn't get dehydrated.  

So we packed up our sick little group and headed to the hospital.  We must have looked pretty pitiful...actually, I know we did, because I saw the ER doc that treated us on Wednesday at work and he said just that, "You guys looked pretty pitiful." 

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally arrived back home around 2:30 am.  We each fell into bed and although I was up a few times during the night, we were doing much better by morning.  Definitely not 100% better, but better.  By the evening we were able to eat a light dinner, although we regretted it after.  

We went back to work on Wednesday and now it all just seems like a bad dream.  I know that it wasn't just a bad dream, because I had to clean the house yesterday and it took me ALL DAY!  The place looked like a very horrible battle had been fought there.  Apparently, when WE get sick, we go absolutely insane and use every blanket, towel, piece of clothing we have ever worn, plate, dish & bowl and leave it on the ground. Ugh!!!

So anyway, today I am thankful for our health.  We just had to suffer through that madness for 24 hours, I can't imagine what it must be like to be terminally ill.  We are very blessed.  I am also thankful for a clean house.  

On Monday, Melissa and I are taking Monroe and Max and heading to Kansas City for Thanksgiving.  Mark, Mike and Mason will follow on Tuesday.  I am so excited to see all of our family.  It's going to be an extra special Thanksgiving because the Mott's (Andrea & Carlos) and the Heinrich's (Tasha, Bill & Colton) will be in KC, as well.  It will be amazing to see some of our closest friends.  I couldn't be happier!!!

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving!  I will keep each of you in my prayers for safe travels and a blessed holiday!  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Honor of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving upon us, I think it's only right to repost this video.  As many of you know, I have a love (bordering on obsession) with As Seen On TV products.  My friends indulge me and sometimes surprise me with such gifts.  In fact, at the Harvest Party, our friends, The Brown's, brought me Leaf Mitts...the perfect fall gift.  So anyway, here is one of my favorite products, Tater Mitts.  They were given to me on my 29th birthday by Tasha.  This video was taken last  November when we were still living in Florida.  I hope you enjoy the video and run right out and get yourself a pair of these pretties. 

video

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's been a long time...

So things have been super busy the last few weeks.  I've felt like I haven't had any time to update the ole' blog, but I finally realized that I need to make time.  It's on my list!!!  I need to make it a priority.  I am still very excited about my list.  I am finding that it's always in the back of my mind and it is truly helping me to get things done.  The two things on the list that I have been focusing on lately, are 


# 6 Tell at least one person a day I will pray for them, and do it
#11 Call one of my friends every week


I am really horrible at staying in touch with people.  Facebook has made it a lot easier, but nothing is better for catching up then a nice phone call.  I have been really taking the initiative to call a friend (more than one) every week.  It feels so good.  


This next week I am going to focus on the calendar goal.  I really want to get my life a lot more organized.  My mom is so great at always having a little calendar with her for all of her upcoming events.  I'll let you know how that goes.


So, to catch you up...
        *   We had both sets of our parents come visit in the last few weeks.  It was so nice.         
             Monroe had a blast being spoiled by them:)  
        *   Mark celebrated his 29th birthday
        *   Monroe was a cute little 50's girl for the Fall Fest at Church
        *   We had a wonderful Harvest party at our house.  It included yummy food, a cornhole 
             tournament, and 27 friends and tons of fun.  


Here are a few pics from the last few weeks...


 Monroe in the worst mood ever at the pumpkin patch
 Our little sweetie
 Nana and Monroe
 Monroe and her Papa
 Our little 50's girl 
 Her new "mad" face...
 Kelsey and Maria 
 Jen and Ella 
 The Hargrett's
 Will and his daddy 
 My Love 
 Kenneth and his love 
Jimmy and Bryan 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Watch out 30, I'm coming for you

As I approach my 30th birthday, I am so happy to say that I don’t feel dread or sadness over getting older. When I really take the time to look at my life, I am so overwhelmed by the blessings God has given me.

1) I have the most amazing husband, and although like many marriages, we had a rough spot, we have put God in the center of our lives and he has renewed us. I couldn’t ask for a better partner and friend.

2) After years of wondering if I would be able to have a baby, I now have the sweetest little girlie to call my own. She has definitely changed us for the better and fills our lives with joy.

3) I have the best family ever! They are each so supportive, generous and special. I look forward to every minute I get to spend with them.

4) God has lead me to three different careers and I have found fulfillment in each one. I absolutely loved being a teacher and will always consider myself one. Recruiting came along right at the perfect time and it helped me learn so many skills that I use in my new job of Volunteer Coordinator.

5) I have some of the loveliest and most beautiful friends around, inside and out!

One of my friends from college, Misty, is taking part in a 1001 days project. This is a list of things that you try to complete in 1001 days. Some of them are relatively easy and super fun, and some of them take a lot of work and really require some planning. I was inspired by her list, and although I am not going to put a date on it, because some of the things I am choosing are a little more abstract, I am all in. I really want to look back on my life and feel like I’ve lived it to the fullest. So, look out 30, here I come!

1. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
2. Be more adventurous

3. Sleep under the stars

4. Read to Monroe more often and more books

5. Leave an inspirational note inside a book for someone to find

6. Tell at least one person a day I will pray for them, and then do.

7. Make a quilt for a random friend or friend’s baby and send it to them for no reason

8. Make a new friend at work each month

9. Introduce myself to a new person at work every week

10. Write a message to every friend I have on FB

11. Call one of my friends every week

12. Be a better listener (I think there is a lot to be learned from things that are not said. I want to take the time to really listen to people…not just their words, but the way they say it and their actions)

13. Improve my posture

14. Find a way to make extra money to use for fun things

15. Actually complete Rosetta Stone (Spanish) this time

16. Have another baby

17. Fly a kite

18. Learn a new skill

19. Go to 5 different museums

20. Get better at sending “thank you” notes

21. Host a dinner party

22. Sing a solo

23. Create a house cleaning schedule

24. Learn a poem by heart

25. Spend time in God’s word every day

26. Make a custom recipe book

27. Seduce my husband a lot (TMI, I know and I’m sorry)

28. Buy another house

29. Make a birthday cake for someone

30. Expand my vocabulary by 100 words

31. Run a 5K

32. Have dinner by candlelight

33. Make dinner for another family for no reason

34. Spend a day at the beach

35. Get up early and run at least 3 times a week

36. Go camping

37. Do something fun/go on an outing with Monroe at least once a week

38. Become an expert on one of the past presidents

39. Don't complain about anything for a week

40. Buy a piano

41. Learn to use Aperture (my mac photo editing program)

42. See a drive-in movie

43. Start bird watching

44. Surprise someone

45. Take an exercise class

46. Learn a new recipe every month

47. Get a promotion or raise at work

48. Ride the train

49. Design a dress and make it

50. Visit New York City

51. Bake an apple pie from scratch

52. Add another soup tureen to my collection

53. Create a budget and stick to it

54. Eat at 5 new restaurants

55. Paint some pottery

56. Get a library card here in Chicago

57. Host a game night

58. Plant a vegetable garden

59. Paint a picture to be hung in my home

60. Watch less TV

61. Update my blog at least once a week for a month

62. Invite my neighbors over

63. Tell my hubby everyday how much I love him and why (either by word or action)

64. Write a book

65. Take my multivitamin every day

66. Reach my ideal weight

67. Exercise (weight train or video) for 20 min., 3 times a week

68. Don't throw away any produce for one month

69. Read at least 1 book a month (I know that sounds ridiculous, but since having Rosie, there isn’t the time for reading that I once had)

70. Try a new hairstyle

71. Be more adventurous with my clothing, without buying a lot of new things

72. Make a blogging friend

73. Create a craft tutorial of something I’ve made for my blog

74. Visit two new states

75. Work on being less sensitive (I am horrible at taking criticism and I really want to be better)

76. Get a puppy

77. Have a date night with my husband once a week

78. Jump in a pile of leaves

79. Go to a pumpkin patch

80. Find ways to make my fun job, even more fun

81. Give a 100% tip

82. Send an anonymous gift or flowers to someone who is having a tough day

83. Send Christmas cards to family and friends

84. Let things go

85. Get in touch with an old friend

86. Visit a craft fair

87. Be in a parade

88. Learn 50 words in American Sign Language

89. Visit a nursing home

90. Become active in church again (We really got burned out after living in Tulsa and took on limited responsibilities in Florida and we just recently decided on a church here in Chicago. I miss feeling like I have a church family, I know that I am going to have to take the initiative in this new area)

91. Introduce myself to one person at church every week

92. Find a favorite restaurant, frequent it, so everyone knows my name

93. Keep in touch with all of my old students

94. Carve a pumpkin

95. Create a comprehensive family calendar (events, work stuff, birthdays, dr. appts, etc)

96. Make friends with my mailman/mailwoman (it’s sad that I don’t know which)

97. Become a better cook (I don’t know how, but I will work on it)

98. Work on finding cool free things to do around town (festivals, parks, events)

99. Go downtown more often

100. Develop a menu to follow for a month

101. Start a women’s bible study group

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hide your food

Seriously, Monroe is going to eat us out of house and home.  She is literally eating everything in sight.  This is a look at her Sunday Breakfast, which I can't hate on because I love a big Sunday breakfast myself...

1- 6 oz bottle of soy milk
6- mini pancakes
2- pieces of banana bread
1- bowl of grapes, raspberries & strawberries
2- morningstar breakfast links
1- banana

For the last few days, I can't seem to keep her full.  I feel like I am constantly feeding her and I'm starting to  worry that she's eating too much.   There have been a few times now that she has eaten more than me!  I don't want to be that mom on Maury Povich with the 200lb toddler!!!

Hopefully, this is just a growth spurt!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Done and Done

So, I have been working on a quilt for Monroe for a very, very long time.  Yes, you may recall that I started long before she was even born.  Well today, two months after her first birthday, I have finally finished!  I can't believe it took me this long.  It's a tie quilt so it really should have only taken me a few days.  Why is it, when you are doing something for yourself, it always gets put on the back burner?

When I gave it to Monroe today, I wasn't expecting much of a reaction, but to my surprise, she got so excited.  She kept laughing at the birdies and rolling all around on it.  She really seemed to love it:)  It was so sweet.   Here are a few pictures:

The Quilt


One of the little birdies that she loves so much

Enjoying her new blankie:) 

 Cuddling with daddy
My little chick

It's been a while since I last wrote.  Mark was in Florida all last week and I had my big event at work, so I was beyond busy being a working mommy.  I truly don't know how single parents do it.  I know I've said it before, but it's so nice having a partner who contributes so much.  I am sooo lucky and I become even more aware of it when he's gone.  

Yesterday, I somehow convinced Mark to go with me to Joann's.  I just had to run in and get something to finish up Monroe's quilt, but, like always, I ended up finding more than I had planned on.   I got some great seersucker to make Mark a scarf.  Here he is a picture of my handsome hubby sporting it... 


Well, I better run.  I've got laundry to fold and I have work tomorrow.  Love to you all!