Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Suits and Mirrors

So, I feel really bad that I didn't update my blog after the storm!  It was still storming by the time we went to bed, but the sirens were off and the news said that it had pretty much passed. It was really a crazy scary storm.  I don't think I've seen one that bad.  I feel so lucky because tornadoes touched down not to far from here, but we were safe.  Looking at the news today, it seems there was lots of damage, but no injuries to people, which is a huge relief.  There are so many people still without power.  In fact, I just found out a few minutes ago on FB that Mike and Melissa haven't had it all day!  I feel horrible!  I just got off of the phone with Mike and he said it's supposed to come back on later tonight.  I'm praying that happens!

I was excited to have my doctor's appointment tonight, but his office was also without power and I will have to reschedule it :(  I was really looking forward to that.  This little lady is definitely still very active and growing...well, at least I am growing.  I still haven't gotten word about my glucose test.  I'm hoping that no news is good news.

The list of pregnant people just keeps growing.  I will really need to update that list again.  It's out of control.  I'm sure I can add at least 7 people.  Crazy, huh!!  I can't wait for the babies to start coming.

In other news, every few weeks I restock our hospitality cart at the hospital.  It's a cart that has toiletries and entertainment items to give to patients.  My volunteers take the cart around to the rooms every day.  What I can't get from Central Supply in the hospital to stock the cart, I get at Dollar Tree.  So yesterday, I was there buying tons of Sodoku Games and coloring books, when I came upon something I couldn't resist.

Isn't it the cutest?!  I love nautical anything and I knew it had a lot of potential...especially for $1!  I pulled the suit out to show Mark and mentioned that it looked a little small.  He looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Is it for you?"  I can't think of anything funnier than seeing me try to fit in that suit.  

You may remember that last year I couldn't help myself and bought Rosie a different $1.00 bathing suit.  This is what it ended up looking like after a few little additions. 

I decided to give it a go again and this is what the little nautical suit looks like now...

A few little buttons and some ribbon and it's good as new!  I tried to get a picture of Rosie in the suit, but she wasn't having it.  Here's a few pics of her tonight before she had a major meltdown.  

 Posing for the camera.  
Her cheesiest smile ever! 

So guess who got new mirrors put on his car tonight?  You guessed it, Mark!  He's so proud.  It actually does make it look a little better, but doesn't change my feelings toward the thing.  "Another 10 years, Steph!"  Great!

I'm feeling pretty great that I don't have to work tomorrow!  I better go and use my time wisely.  Love you all!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Keep us in your prayers!  There is a huge storm that is happening, as I type.  There are tornadoes everywhere and especially around our area.  It's very scary out. The sirens are going off so I just got Rosie out of bed and brought her down to the basement with us.  I'm pretty nervous, especially from all of the recent damage around the country.  Just thought I would let you know.  Thanks for your prayers!

Just another Tuesday...

Work was super busy today and I LOVE that!  It made the day go so quickly and before I knew it, it was time to pick Rosie up from Shelley's.  She seemed very excited to see me when I got there, and that always makes me feel pretty special.

My secretary, Terri, was cleaning out her house and came upon an unopened pair of aviator sunglasses for kids.  She immediately thought of Rosie and gave them to me today.  They are VERY vintage, as her kids are now in their twenties.

When I gave them to her on the way home, she was so excited and kept them on most of the trip.  Here are a few pics...

Tomorrow, I have my doctor's appointment.  I still can't believe that I'm in my last trimester of this pregnancy.  I'm already 29 weeks!  If you are doing the math at home...that's really close to having this baby!!!  Time has really flown by.  I'm starting to get nervous, in a good way.

I've started to get really excited about having two little girls.  I've been seeing the cutest little sisters all around town and I'm excited for Monroe to have a built-in best friend.  As fun as having brothers was (and it really was), I'm relieved that my girls will never experience their wrath.  Hopefully, they will never be tricked into eating a scab, locked in a closet or convinced to stick a crayon up their nose. I guess only time will tell, though.

Oh, I almost forgot some very fun, very exciting news.  Angie, one of my friends from college and a fellow blogger, held a giveaway on her blog a few days ago and you guessed it, I WON!!!  She's super creative and made this amazing bag.  Isn't it so cute?!  I never win anything, so this is a pretty big deal for me!  I can't wait for it to arrive in the mail.

Well, I better go.  The Voice is about to come on and we LOVE that show!  It just gets better and better.  Talk to you soon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sweet Home North Carolina?

On Thursday we left on a short little trip to visit North Carolina.  We were visiting our friends, the Nudd's.  They moved there about six months ago.  They are the sweetest and their three kiddos (Mitchell, Blythe & Brynley) are just adorable.  Their new home is just incredible and their hospitality while we were there was off the charts.  

The little vacation was just what I was needing.  I know I had mentioned a few posts ago that I hadn't been feeling like myself lately.  It was so nice just to relax and take in the absolute beauty of North Carolina.  I am telling you, that is the most beautiful place I have ever been.  The whole trip was therapeutic.  We had so much fun and no, I didn't take one picture.  I kept meaning to, but I was enjoying myself so much, I decided not to stress out about it.  I really do wish now that I had, but what can you do?  I guess I did take one picture...

This is Rosie at the airport in NC on Sunday before we left for home.  She was "making wishes" in the fountain.  I swear she threw at least $5.00 worth of my coins in there.   

Part of the reason we went to NC was for Mark to look at a position at the hospital there.  We recently have realized that Chicago isn't the ideal place for us to live.  It just has never felt like home and since being here, I've always felt a little overwhelmed.  I know that sounds pretty ridiculous, but I have to be honest.  I really don't love Chicago.  Not to say it doesn't have it's great points.  It really does.  We have LOVED being close to Mike, Melissa and the boys.  I don't think there is anything better than being close to family and we have enjoyed strengthening our relationships and seeing the kids grow up together.  They love each other so much and it really warms my heart.

We also have wonderful friends here and enjoy our jobs.  So, it's been a tough decision for us, and at this point we don't know where/when we want to go for sure, but we really we want to start looking. We are trying to give the situation to God.  We don't want to rush anything or make hasty decisions.  Our goal is to find a place where I won't have to work and can stay home with the girls.  You probably never would have guessed that we want this since I work that into almost all of my posts:)   It's just really been weighing on my heart as we are getting closer and closer to little lady's arrival.  

Really, I am posting this prematurely, because we don't know what or when opportunities will arise.  It could be months or even years, I guess.  I just needed to get that off of my chest.  

Oh, I do have one little thing I want to show you.  When we arrived in NC, we were greeted with the most amazing gift "basket".  It was incredible!  I didn't take a picture of it there, but I did when we got home...

 This amazing backpack was stuffed full of goodies!  Aren't those little animals so cute?  One for Monroe, one for baby M. I think her name will start with an M.  Maybe...
 Here are some of the books that were inside. There were also tons of other North Carolina literature.  
 This was my favorite part.  Sweet little goodies for the girls!  I can't wait to put them in those vests.  Monroe LOVES her new water bottle.  

Some of the snacks that were inside.  Monroe ate a few already.  It also had 4 bottles of very cool water.  Have you ever tried Lemon Mint water?  It is so refreshing! 

So anyway, I LOVE North Carolina.  They had me at "gift basket", but I'm an easy one to convince.  We still have a lot of praying, thinking, and talking to do.  We also are looking at some other possible opportunities in Florida.  Who knows?!  It all freaks me out a little, because I do have to birth a person in two months.  Hopefully, we will know what's going on by then.  

Father's Day wasn't quite normal since we weren't at home.  Maria and I did make a big breakfast for the boys.  We also gave Mark his cards from me and the girls and a few special little snacks (coconut m&m's, coconut twix and haribo gummy bears).  We are getting Mark a new phone but are waiting until this week, so that he can pick it out.  We flew home that afternoon, so we didn't get to do anything too special, but we did have a nice dinner from Pita House (so yummy) and we watched a movie at home.  All in all...a wonderful day.  

My girls are so blessed to have such a wonderful daddy.  I feel so lucky to have found a man that treats us all so special, so loved, and so respected.  He goes out of his way to be involved in every part of parenting.  I always know that I have a team member and never feel alone in the process.  Mark is truly an amazing dad.  Anyone who spends any time with Monroe and Mark together can see it very plainly.  

I also was blessed with a wonderful daddy.  He has always been there for me, NO MATTER WHAT!  He is so Godly, so thoughtful, so generous, so funny, so compassionate, so smart, so sweet...the list can go on an on.  I'm so thankful that he showed me such a wonderful blueprint of what a daddy and a husband should be, so that I could find a hubby with those same qualities.  Thanks, dad! 

My daddy and me!  Don't you think Rosie and I look alike?!  Maybe my mom will finally see the resemblances.  She still swears that she looks nothing like me!  I beg to differ.

We got home last night, and it was wonderful to be back in our own bed.  I didn't have to work today, so that was wonderful, too.  I was able to unpack, do laundry and clean.  I also was able to take a nap, and that's super important these days.  

I almost forgot to mention how amazing Monroe did on the flight.  She was pretty good on the flight there, but she was absolutely PERFECT on the way home.  Just an angel.  I kept waiting for her to go ape nuts, but she kept it together and made many friends on the flight.  She did love the lollipops and they will definitely be a must on any future flight.  So needless to say, we were so proud of that little munchkin.

She's really starting to say and do some hilarious things.  I need to start writing things down, because there are some real gems.  Today, she came out with these over her eyes...

It's a headband of mine that she was using as sunglasses.  She was channeling LeVar Burton from Star Trek.  

Well, I better run.  This has taken a lot of time and I need to head to bed.  I'm no good passed 10:00 pm. Love you all! 

Favorite Book Ever

When Monroe was born, Grandma Murrill (Rosie's Great Grandma) gave her a book called "God Loves You" by Kathleen Bostrom.  Monroe has loved it from the very beginning and I have ended up reading it a trillion times.  So many times in fact, I now know it by heart.  I feel like the words are utterly amazing.  I can't think of a better way to express how God loves us.  I wish everyone in the world would read it and take it to heart.  It really touches me every time.  I hope you like it.  I really think every little person should have this book.

God Loves You 

You can be silly or you can be sad;
You can be happy or you can be mad;
You can be grumpy or you can be glad;
God loves you just as you are.

You can be short or you can be tall;
You can be big or you can be small;
Your size and your shape, they don't matter at all;
God loves you just as you are.

You can be messy or you can be neat;
You can be pokey or fast on your feet;
March with the others or to your own beat;
God loves you just as you are.

You can be dark or you can be light;
You can be shades of the day or the night;
Whatever your color, it suits you just right;
God loves you just as you are.

God made each part from your head to your toe;
Day in and day out, He's helping you grow.
He made you special and that's how you know...
God loves you just as you are.

And yes, I wrote it from memory:)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Night, Night!

I don't have much time to blog tonight.  I've got a lot to get accomplished in the next two days and there's not much left of this one and tomorrow I work late.  On Thursday morning we leave for North Carolina. I'm trying to figure out how to get the house all cleaned, pack for myself and a toddler, sleep and work a big event for the hospital.  AHHHHH!!!  I know it will be fine, but as I sit here, I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed.  

Today I had to do my glucose test.  I was a little nervous for no reason in particular.   I've been doing a lot better on my sweets intake.  Not great, but a lot better.  Pray that it goes fine and I don't have to take the 3 hours test.  I know there are a lot of false fails and many pregnant women have to do the 3 hour one, but I really would hate to have to worry about it and I really hate drinking that glucose drink!  It's so yucky.  

As I was folding laundry tonight, Monroe was playing with her "baby".  I just loved listening to her feed her.  She talked to the little baby just like I talk to her.  I heard, "All done!" "Yummy!" and "Night Night, baby!" over and over.  It was so cute.  It's crazy how early mothering instincts start.  It really is a natural thing.  I'm getting pretty excited about becoming a mother for the second time in just about 2 1/2 months.  Wow!!!  
Rosie and her little baby!  

Monday, June 13, 2011

A little while after Mark and I got married we were in desperate need of a car.  We had my Four Runner that ran great, but we had a very old, very unpredictable 87' Honda Accord.  This Honda Accord was one for the books.  Besides looking pretty rough, there seemed to be a hole in the exhaust and you could literally hear it coming for miles away.

Funny story, we lived a few blocks away from the school and there was a time that Mark had to run home before we had our weekly chapel in the church with all of the students.  Everyone in the school was waiting in the church for chapel to begin, when all of a sudden we heard this really loud noise.  Everyone started looking at each other, wondering what it could be, especially since it seemed to be getting closer and closer.  Finally, one of the kids shouted out, "Hey, that's Mr. Murrill's car!" and it was.  Laughter erupted throughout the church.  Granted, it was very funny, but also a little embarrassing.

It finally became a must that we get a new car and we ended up buying a Toyota Avalon from a little old man that only drove it back in forth to church every week:)  Well, at least that's what he said.  We've learned since then that he was probably stretching the truth a bit.  This car has been with us ever since.  For some crazy reason, we decided to trade the Four Runner in when we bought the CX7.  This was a stupid decision, because like a day after we did it, the Avalon started falling apart...literally.  Things just started falling off of it.

Like for example...

 The driver's side mirror... 
and the passenger's side mirror...Yes, that's duct tape.   Very classy:) 
and the side stripping...

And, not pictured...the sunroof protector.  Not only did stuff fall off, but people started hitting our car and Mark started hitting things.  You should see all of the scrapes and dents.  It's insane.  It also shakes like crazy when driving and makes a lot of scary noises.  

Some of the back scrapes, dents and holes.  Please notice the rear light.  

Anyway, I have been trying to convince Mark to get a new car for the last few years.  We have paid off our other car, so now would be the perfect time, but he always says he can get 10 more years out of it.  This is terrifying to me.  I always picture the bottom of the car falling out and him having to use his feet to make it go, Flintstone-style.  I don't think it's that far off.  We had to end up getting new tires for it a few months ago and it definitely improved the shaking and noises..."Another five years of life!", he says.  

All of our friends have tried to convince him that it's time to let go.  In fact, when Ash and Jaime were here, we worked out a whole skit like thing to try and get him to give it up already.  Well, last week the breaks started squealing and sounding really, really bad.  For the first time, Mark actually started talking about a new car.  He said he thought it might be time to throw in the towel.  Well, that was until he went tonight to get new break pads put on.  I curse the man who did the installation, because he told Mark that he could replace the mirrors for very cheap.  He also told him that with a few little things, his car could be good as new. 

 Mark and his car.  He's not hugging it, he's trying to push one of the dents out from the inside.  It actually worked.  

This has breathed new life into him and his adoration for this horrid vehicle.  He is so excited.  As soon as he got home, be started pounding out the dents and telling me everything he plans to do to improve the car.   So close...but soooo far away.

In other news, my tomato plants have started growing flowers!!! I'm getting so close to tomatoes I can almost taste them.  I'm so excited.

 Can you see the little yellow flowers?  I can't wait! 
 This is the cilantro planter.  It's really not taking off like I had hoped.  At least it's starting to look more like Cilantro now.  
 The onions are doing well!  My cucumber plant (to the right) isn't doing so well.  It looks exactly the same as the day I planted it.  
The lettuce is doing pretty good.  I can't wait until it explodes!!!  

Guess what came in the mail?!  

My makeup guru, Ashley knows everything there is to know about make up.  I had asked her about how to apply eye highlighter and what did she do, but send me a new highlighter from Mary Kay.  It's really great and I would definitely recommend it.  I am plagued with dark circles under my eyes and this highlighter really lightens the area up.  Thanks, Ash!

I decided I would go ahead and post the Father's Day Cards we made last night.  I'm pretty confident that neither of the dads read this blog and we are doing different cards for Mark.  

They definitely aren't perfect, but they were made with love.  Rosie helped me put the stickers on and helped me glue the scrapbook paper ties on.  Hope they love them! 

Well, I better run.  I need to take a shower and get a few things done around here.  Have a great night!  Love to you all! 

A loss no one can understand...

Sometimes I wonder why I ever complain or feel sorry for myself.  Today I learned the saddest news.  A friend from college who was 24 weeks pregnant just got home from her "babymoon" in Cancun to discover that her little girl had passed away.  She had to go through 24 hours of labor to deliver her.  I truly can't wrap my mind around the whole thing.  I can't imagine what she is going through and my heart completely breaks for her.  What do you say to someone that has just experienced that kind of loss?!  How will she explain all of this to her other daughter who is only 2 years old and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her little sister?  If you don't mind, please send up some prayers for her and her family.  I know they have a long road ahead of them.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Slumpy Slump

I have to be honest...I've been in a bit of a rut lately.  I don't know what's quite wrong with me, but I just feel flat.  (Thanks for that word, Nicole!)  I feel like everything is making me anxious or annoyed and I really don't feel like myself.   Blogging...don't start me on blogging.  It seems so overwhelming.  I really don't know what's come over me.  I'm going to give it a go, though.

This week I work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday is one of the big events I have to help with, the Foundation Golf Outing.  My boss is in charge of it, so that will mean for a lot of work/stress for me.  I'm dreading it, but I love the feeling when things like that are all done.  Then on Thursday, we are heading on a little trip to North Carolina.  I'm exited to get away for a few days.  Hopefully, Monroe travels well.  You never know with that kid!  Ashley gave me a little airplane trick that I'm going to try out this time...lollipops!  Brilliant, right?!  My fingers are crossed that she will be totally entertained by them and have no extra time to run havoc around the plane.  We will see.

I am totally and utterly enjoying the book Mom Murrill gave me from Erma Bombeck.

I LOVE this lady!  Her style of writing is amazing.  I definitely look up to her. 

I mean it's a laugh out loud kind of read and I love it!  The book is actually a compilation of three books.  I've finished the first and am halfway through the second.  There are a few references I don't quite get, because they were written in the 60's, but for the most part, I totally relate to her take on the life of a housewife/mother.  If you are looking for something to make you pee your pants laughing, she's the author to read.  Sadly, I learned the hard way.  Give me a break, I'm pregnant!!

On the subject of pregnancy...It hit me the other day, that it's not too far off before this little makes her appearance and we are FAR from ready.  We still don't even have a name.  I've really got to get my stuff together and realize that this is really going to happen.  We are really going to be a four person family.  Crazy!  Exciting, but crazy.  I can't wait to meet her.

We've had a nice few days.  You really can't beat a weekend.  They are really refreshing.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to it.  I wish it could stick around for a few more days.

Here are a few pics from this weekend.

Rosie is really into wearing jackets right now.  Always before we leave anywhere, she goes to the coat hooks and asks for her jacket--no matter the weather or temperature.  She LOVES her new jacket, especially when she figured out it has a hood.  It's so cute on her.
My child is obsessed with binkies.  I DREAD the day that we have to get rid of them.  We had planned to start the removal process when she turned two, but it hit me the other day that that is right when the new little person arrives.  I would hate to tackle that then.  Well, anyway, she loves binkies so much, that she figured out how to fit more than one in her mouth at a time.  She kept them both in for quite awhile.   Where does she come up with this stuff?

Tonight we worked on Father's Day cards.  Rosie and I made cards for Mom's day as well, but I forgot to post the pic.  Here is what they looked like...

The flowers are Rosie's little finger prints.  She had a blast making them.  

I'll post pics of the Dad's Day cards next week.  I've got A LOT of projects that I am in the middle of.  I still haven't finished the dresser, the table and chairs, the name painting, the quilt or the mobile.  I know, I'm horrible!  I've got to get in gear!  Hopefully, things will start to slow down and I can start to speed up.  

I better head to bed.  Morning will come all too soon.  Love to you all!  Oh, and congrats to the Dallas Mavs for their big win tonight. (I'm pretty sure that Dirk reads this and I would hate for me not to acknowledge his job well done.)  It was really fun to watch.  Good job!  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Surprise in a Box

So moments ago, Mark went to get the mail.  Since we both came home early, we didn't check it earlier.  Well, what a surprise awaited us!  It was the mother of all care packages from Mom and Dad Murrill.  It was too heavy for me to carry in!  As you know, I love getting packages in the mail, so this made us all excited!  Even Monroe squealed with delight as I was opening it.

You won't believe all of the fun things inside!

 Two of Monroe's favorite things...books and stickers.  Good call Grandma and Grandpa!
 I love matching outfits!  So cute:) 
 Monroe did very well in this package!  Aren't these adorable dresses?!  I LOVE the khaki one!  It's my favorite. 
 Adorable summer clothes!  Just what we were needing. 
 I have a thing for little girls' pajamas.  I just adore them.  These are two adorable ones! 
 Little Sis did very well, too!  
 She got some jammies, too! 
 Practical items!  We LOVE almonds and enjoy roasting them and the dried mango is Mark's fav.  You can't go wrong with diapers! 
 Mother's Day Surprise!  I love the summer dishes and placemats.  They are perfect for outdoor eating on the new table!  The apron is the cutest ever!  I can't wait to wear it.  Now, I just need to cook something:) 
 The cutest little rain jacket for Rosie.  She definitely could have used this one today. 
We love books.  Mom and I had been talking about Erma Bombeck books.  I can't wait to get started.  Mark is excited about his new read, as well.  

So, do you see now what I was talking about?!  What a fun package.  It really made our night.  It had been such a hard day and we really needed a pick-me-up.  This really worked:)  Thanks Mom and Dad Murrill!!!

Rosie is definitely doing better.  I went upstairs after I did my last post and she was just waking up.  We read books and she ended up finishing "The King's Speech" with us.  As you can tell below, she loved it.  She's quite the intellectual!  By the way, it was a very good movie.

 Daddy and Rosie enjoying the movie.  

She ended up getting super hungry so I made a fruit salad and she went nuts!  

She ate a very large portion of this.  I was so glad she was feeling better. 
A mouth full of fruit.  You can tell she's looking a little under the weather and rough, but she's in much better spirits! 

So, now I'm really going to bed.  I feel like a trillion bricks have been lifted off of my shoulders now that she's not so sick.  I'm praising God that she's better.  Thanks for all of the prayers.  Love you!