Sunday, October 31, 2010

The 4 day Deck

Back in April we had a professional deck company come out to draw up a plan and give us an estimate. The price was higher than we were anticipating by about $10,000 or so. On the upside, the deck was guaranteed to be completed in 4 days start to finish. The project was way out of our budget and we decided it would have to wait until next year. But then my wonderful dad and grandpa stepped in and convinced us that the 2 of them and John could build the deck of our dreams themselves and do it for less than half the cost. That was back in May. Well ladies and gentlemen, the deck is FINALLY completed!! These 3 men have been working tirelessly to build and re-build posts, railings, flooring, and stairs to the specificity of the unbelievably uptight City of Westerville building department. They've worked in temperature extremes ranging from 102 to 42 and followed building plans that were, at best, totally unclear and at worst, missing major information altogether. And although we are still pending our final city inspection, I have a good feeling we are going to pass this time. The deck looks fabulous and I am so thankful for my dedicated family that helped us make it happen. We will be spending lots and lots of time out there in the years to come.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


We enjoyed another fun year of trick-or-treating tonight with our wonderful friends and family. It seems crazy that one year ago we were moving into our house on beggar's night and I was trying to hand out candy while unloading boxes.
Eli was out of control hyped up to "go get some candy" and we have been talking about it for days in our house. And despite a windy cold evening, he was firing at all cylinders as he ran down the street, barreled up driveways, and boldly asked total strangers for "2 more treats please" after they had already deposited candy in his pumpkin. The boy has never met a stranger, which is slightly concerning for his parents, but he's sure to be the hit of all the parties in college (which is very concerning for his mother).
We trick-or-treated with a lion (cousin Claire), Mickey Mouse (cousin Max), a pea pod (Norah), a fellow Elmo (buddy Grason), and Joe Dirt (my husband). It was such a great night and so fun to watch all their little faces.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From the Archives...

Last night I wanted to show John a video I had taken of Eli dancing earlier that day. We watched it laughing several times and then started looking back at all of Eli's funny video moments over the years. It's amazing how fast he has changed. We had some good laughs watching our silly boy grow. Here is a gem we found from last year when he was 11 months old. Its one of John's famous home videos he loves to take whenever he's on kid duty. Enjoy. (Make sure volume is turned up)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hired Hand

I finally found myself a nanny! He's easily distracted, prone to break things, can only put away dishes in the bottom cupboards, occasionally wets his pants, and tends to fight the baby for bites of her cereal--but he's affordable and always available--Oh, unless Elmos on TV.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stocking the Freezer

My mom came over a few nights ago to help me make a whole bunch of home-made applesauce to stock the freezer with. I was introduced to my new favorite kitchen gadget, the Victorio Strainer. Its fantastic. It strains and grinds to the perfect creamy smooth texture and automatically separates the waste. It would be perfect for making baby food and I absolutely want to get one. Early Christmas present maybe?
Eli quickly learned how to turn the apple crank and loved getting to help with all the preparation. It was a fun night with my mom and now I have plenty of applesauce to get us through the winter. Well, that is if I can hold Eli back from eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daddy would be so proud

In his popular book Bringing Up Boys, James Dobson writes, "Young boys bask in their mother's femininity and womanliness during infancy and toddlerhood. Fathers are important then, but mother's are primary."

Ok good, so this is totally normal then. Just checking...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Papa Gramps

Tonight we celebrated my Gramp's 76 birthday. My grandparents are incredible, truly amazing. They are full of energy, vibrant and so loving. I have always enjoyed a close relationship with them growing up and now its so much fun seeing my children able to enjoy them just as much as their great-grandparents. They babysit, build decks, paint rooms, host tea parties, take swimming, and spoil all the kids. We are beyond blessed. Eli calls them "Papa Gramps" and "Mama Dee" and he just adores them. Norah's middle name is in honor of her wonderful Grams and it was the only name we ever considered for her.
Tonight we enjoyed a delicious dinner at my parents followed by an enormous chocolate cake. It was perfect. Happy birthday Gramps! You are so funny, and sweet, and helpful and we all just think the world of you (and you too Grams).

Norah Dee-5 months old

Our sweet, blue-eyed girl is already 5 months old and she is full of smiles and laughs. She is healthy and drooley and beautiful. We just can't get enough of her.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Last weekend John had to work both Saturday and Sunday and Eli was not happy about it. To help eliminate the constant line of questioning that goes something like this: "Where daddy go? Daddy working? Why? Daddy makin money? Why? Buy me some toys? Daddy home yet? Why? Daddy daddy daddy..." I wanted to give him something to look forward to. So I promised him that when daddy got home from work we would take him to pick out a pumpkin. He is all about pumpkins this year and talks about every pumpkin on every front porch that we see when we're out driving. Needless to say, he was super excited and was anticipating this trip all weekend. Unfortunately a Saturday that started out sunny and warm turned cold and rainy during nap time. But Eli bounded out of bed shrieking about his pumpkin and I couldn't bear to break his heart. So we bundled up and headed to the pumpkin patch where we trudged through the mud to find the perfect one. Luckily we were the only ones there so there wasn't any competition. It takes Eli a LONG time to make any sort of a decision so we finally had to give him a 2 minute countdown to chose or be chosen for. He picked out two tiny pumpkins, one for him and one for Norah. Not exactly the fall decor statement piece I was looking for on the front porch, but you can see them if you park in the driveway and crane your neck.
And just for fun, a look at picking pumpkins in years past.. .
2009And just 5 months old in 2008
Happy Fall!