Happy Halloween 2014

Saturday, November 1, 2014
   Did you know Halloween used to be one of my least favorite holidays? Yes. I am was a Halloween humbug (is that a thing?). Well, this year everything changed. I think that once Harper was born my dislike of the month October started to morph into an extreme obsession with the month October. I think she helped me see the beauty in a month that I previously only associated with ugly events in my life.

   She has changed all of that, because now I associate the month of October with the birth of my favorite little girl and her new excitement with dressing up and trick-or-treating. I love her for it.

   This Halloween was packed with so much fun. Me and Harper decided to live it up! Halloween Eve we carved pumpkins and harvested the seeds. Harper ended up throwing up all over the couch that night... so that put a small damper on the festivities, BUT! Thankfully it was a one time thing and when she woke up the next morning she was happy as a lark!

 
We started off our day by tiding up the house. Then we lit our pumpkin spice candles to get the house smelling AMAZING. We then rinsed and soaked our pumpkin seeds and laid them out to dry while we went out to finalize our costumes. Harper had the cutest outfit given to her by her aunt Candice at her 1st birthday. We decided she could be a cute witch using the outfit, some black pants and some socks her Great Grandma (GG) gave her. Really, all we needed was a hat! Ash told me that the only thing he wanted me to get him was a beard... so he could be "Bearded Ash." I was like, "Okay, whatever you wish!" Even though secretly I wanted us to do a themed couple costume (because then I think I could get myself to dress up--remember that I was a Halloween Humbug previously so last I remember dressing up was when I was 11).

    I didn't really have a costume plan for myself due to the fact that I never had a plan for myself when it came to costumes on Halloween except to not wear one. So me and Harper set out to get her and Ash costumes. We FINALLY found a costume store and spent 45 minutes in there as I looked at all the costumes thinking, "Maybe I should dress up. I bet it would be fun." Then I saw it... A set of black wings. Immediately I decided that I would by little Harper's crow. After all, don't witches always have a crow with them?! I decided that I was possibly the most clever mom ever and that there couldn't possibly be a better mother daughter costume theme. So I got myself a mask and the wings, the beard and the little witches hat and we left.

    By the time we got back we really only had a little bit of time left before we had to leave so Harper could trick-or-treat with her uncle Nate and Auntie Bek. So we popped the pumpkin seeds in the oven and started getting our costumes on. Ash got home about the same time from work and relaxed while we finalized our costumes. Then I got out the pumpkin seeds and we took pictures outside because I was so excited to show off my clever mother daughter costume idea.

Attempting to look somewhat creepy.

Her SMILE! <3 td="">

Sorta bird like...

She kept taking off her hat!

Most of our pictures look more like this...

I finally resorted to holding her hat on. 




    We drove to my parents house. Of course I told everyone my brilliant costume idea. "Witches and crows don't really go together that well... I mean it works because they are both Halloween themed... but a witch and a cat would probably be better," was the response I got. I was DEVASTATED. Wait... what?! My idea was only half-way good?? My dad told me, "Maybe if you had dressed Harper us as Edgar Allen Poe, then the crow would have worked." Thanks Dad. Ash told me, "You look more like a dark angel than a crow by the wings help I guess." Then my little sister told me that if I wanted people to think I was a crow I should have got a beak or painted my lips yellow. Okay... because since when are crows lips yellow? Not in the real world... maybe in the cartoon Dumbo. Yeah... so I am still a little bitter about how everyone smashed my what I thought was a perfect costume theme, but its all good, I'll get over it!!

    After everyone agreed that witches and crows weren't exactly a match made in heaven we brought Harper around trick-or-treating. At first she was so confused by what we were doing... but after about 3 houses she knew exactly what to do and would get so excited to walk up to the door and pick out a candy then put it in her candy bag. After we did maybe 10 more houses, she was completely worn out (she pretty much walked the entire time) so we went back to my parents to pick up our car. We then went to Ash's moms house so Harper could show off her costume. After some visiting their we decided to call it a night and went home. We were all pretty excited. Our cute little witch fell asleep in the car, I transported her from her car seat to her bed and she was pretty much out for the rest of the night.

    *sigh* kids make holidays so much better.

    I love it.

    Oh here is my pumpkin seeds recipe for anyone who is interested! It is SUPER easy.

    1. Preheat oven to 375 F
    2. Lay out cleaned pumpkin seeds on a foil covered baking sheet.

    3. Let dry.
    4. Season with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

    5. Toss to coat.
    6. Bake for 7-15 minutes depending on how crispy you want them. I did mine 15 and they were perfect but my oven is temper-mental and I live at a high altitude so I wouldn't swear by it.


ENJOY!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM THE CRAIGS!
The only picture we have of "Bearded Ash" he isn't a huge picture guy :)

Happy First Birthday Harper!

Saturday, October 4, 2014
Guess who turned 1 this week?!
HARPER.

I cannot believe it. 
They say the first year goes by so fast, and they were not kidding!

It feels like yesterday when I first held my tiny 5 pound bundle of joy,

BUT IT WAS A WHOLE YEAR AGO.

AHH!!

In honor of my sweet baby girls birthday we threw a family party for her. 

The theme was "Poodles in Paris"

1. Because she LOVES dogs.
2. Shes a little girl and what little girl doesn't love pink and Paris!!

I did good with the Paris part... but failed a bit on the poodle part... oops! (Thank you Gram for saving me by making the cutest poodle cake EVER).

We had a light dinner...
Played the funnest game (a questionnaire to see who knew Harper the best!)
Watched a movie I made highlighting her first year on earth
Had cake (Harpers first cake EVER)
And watched Harper open her presents (She LOVED each and every one!)

I don't know how I am going to top this party next year because it was so cute!
(Thanks to my wonderful Mother-in-law I was able to use old decorations and spend close to NOTHING on this cute party.)
Yay for me and an even bigger yay for Ash ;)

I cannot begin to express how amazing my life has been since Harper joined it. Being a mom is seriously the GREATEST job EVER. I wouldn't change a thing. 

Thank you Harper for upping the joy in my life x1000000!! I am so grateful to be your mommy and cannot wait to see you keep growing your darling, fun, cute, and charming personality. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!
















Imma Black Widow Baby

Saturday, September 27, 2014

I have never been one to be that afraid of spiders. Granted, if one lands on me, or runs up my arm at 60 mph I am going to freak out and run into the bathroom screaming as I tear my clothes off and slap myself... but if I see a spider walking on the sidewalk, or across my carpet, or on my wall, or even in a web in the corner of my house I am not going to flip out. I'll just squish it. Problem solved.

However, there is one exception to this rule. 

Black Widows. 
Oh Hiiii Spawn of Satan

I am a pretty loving person and I wouldn't say I am a hater... but black widows... I really do hate them. What part of a sleek black, huge, and round spider body with a blood red hour glass is there to love? Especially because the monster is 10 times more poisonous than a rattle snake. 

I mean lets get real here. This thing is no bigger than my thumb nail and it could kill me with one bite. 

How can you love that?? 

I don't know why I felt the need to justify my hate of a black widow... but there ya go. 

So... 

About a month ago I noticed these small cream colored spiderlings all over my house. Seriously they were everywhere. I found them in all the corners of our house, in the kitchen in the living room, in the family room, in the hall way... you name it. I started squishing them when I saw them, but there were always more that took the place of those I killed. I took a closer look at these baby spiders and noticed that they looked just like black widows but were obviously the wrong color. But their lakes and hour glass bodies were IDENTICAL to a black widow.

 I looked up online what a baby black widow looked like and much to my dismay they looked JUST like the baby spiders I had been finding in my house. 

"Ash... I think our house is full of baby black widows" I told him. 

Ash is seriously the strongest, manliest man I know... There really isn't a more manly person alive...but when it comes to spiders he definitely is the bigger baby of us two! So you can imagine how unhappy he was knowing his home--his safe haven--could potentially be overrun with one of the most poisonous spiders in the United States. 

After researching a bit more I learned that baby and adolescent black widows are harmless (HALLELUJAH!). But babies can grow into adult black widows pretty fast and those are NOT harmless so I needed to find out what type of spider this was before all these babies started growing up then invading my home and bringing their potential poison with them. 

I decided the next step we should take is to go outside at night. Black widows are nocturnal so we could examine all the webs outside and see if we could spot black widows in them. 

A couple nights later, after we purchased some spider spray, we went outside with a flashlight to check the webs. The outside of our home was COVERED in webs. Every place a spider could make a web... they did. I don't think I have ever seen so many webs in my life. Every window-infested. Every corner-infested. Every cubby hole-infested. 

And that wasn't even the bad part. 

EVERY SINGLE WEB we came upon had a black widow sitting smack dab in the middle of it. 

Whoever said "It could be worse" obviously didn't know about my spider situation... BECAUSE THIS COULD NOT GET WORSE!!

I counted 50 spiders before I stopped counting. Oh and guess what else we found smack dab in the middle of a web? An egg sac. Which to our eternal gratitude had started to hatch right as we discovered it so we were able to save ourselves from potentially hundreds of more spiders.

 By the time we finished spraying the outside of the house and moved to the garage I was officially the worlds most jumpy, itchy, arachnophobic. I truly thought I was at my lowest point...

Then we entered the garage. We found BIG black widows in every corner, every window sill was covered in babies... I turned around to walk towards our storage room when I discovered babies dropping from the garage ceiling from webs ONTO ME. I started screaming while simultaneously slapping myself  all over as I ran into the house.

"They cannot hurt me... they are babies..." I repeated to myself as I rocked in fetal position on the floor.

"I think you are safe, if they were on you, you probably killed them" I heard Ash tell me as he walked from the garage, into the house, and towards me. I was too scared to find it ironic that he was comforting me about spiders considering in the past I was the one comforting.

"THEY WERE DROPPING FROM THE CEILING!!" I exclaimed. "ASH THEY WERE DROPPING DOWN FROM THE CEILING!!" I still was in shock from what I had just seen. Really I spent the rest of the night in shock, feeling like I was covered in babies still. We decided to spray ASAP and we reassured each other that it would be okay and we would take care of our small pretty big huge GINORMOUS black widow problem.

*Sigh* SAVE ME FROM MY HOUSE.

2 Weeks Later:

I am happy to report that our home has been sprayed. YAY. Now all the black widows we do find are outside, and dead. THANK THE HEAVENS. Since we sprayed I have not found 1 bug/spider alive in my home. I think I officially am going to spray ever year because I feel 100 times safer in my own home than I did before.

Does anyone else find it funny that us humans who are like a billion times bigger than spiders feel SO MUCH better when we prevent spiders from entering our homes? I think we should be called "the biggest babies ever" instead of humans because honestly it is pathetic that huge/spiders are so scary!! I do have to give them props to being so creepy though, just don't be creeping at my house widows! #IWillPass
Black Widow I Found DEAD! HAHA!

Today I Am Grateful For Worms.

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Thank you God for worms. Yes, worms. I was looking out of my bedroom window this morning and noticed how pretty the green grass looked covered in the morning dew. I owe much of this beauty to those small worms who cultivate my soil all day and make it soft and healthy. Thank you for making them such hard little workers God, they remind me that my duties, no matter how small can make a pretty significant difference in a big way.

Thank you God for stinky diapers. I had to change a pretty bad one today. At first I couldn't get past the feeling that if I inhaled one more breath of those rotten egg fumes I may pass out in my own vomit, but then I looked down at my beautiful daughter, who was looking at me with her big eyes, blowing bubbles and smiling ever so big, and you know what I wanted... more stinky diapers because these special moments are fleeting and I could use some more of them, smell and all.

Thank you God for the endless amounts of laundry, the ceaseless dishes, the hungry mouths to feel, the floors to mop, and carpets to vacuum. I have found so much joy at the end of each day looking at my happy family and sometimes clean house and realizing how much I am relied on and how much service I can give. It makes me feel good to help people God, so thank you for pushing me to do that every day.

Thank you God for babies. Especially mine. I don't know how you were able to create a soul so loving, a body so chunky, a laugh so contagious, eyes so big and bright, fingers so dimpled, skin so soft, and a little body that is full of such happy energy... but I am grateful you did. And, God... thank you for giving her to me. I don't know how I could ever deserve such a blessing, but thank you for blessing me with it anyway. You sure love me don't you?

Thank you God for hubbies and leading me to mine. He is the perfect amount of silly, caring, and strong. He loves me so much, and tries so hard to be good for me and to me. God, he is so funny isn't he? He makes me laugh so hard. I love it. I love him. You obvious knew just what type of guy I needed because he tries every stubborn part of me and heals every broken piece of me all at once and at the end of the day I feel whole and better and more blessed because of him.

Thank you God for tiny clothes. I am looking at the cute blue bird sewn on the butt on my chubby babies pants and there really isn't anything cuter. Except for all the rest of her tiny clothes that I have to replace so quickly because she grows so fast... speaking of which...

Thank you God for time. Time for me to spend with my baby, family, and friends. Thank you that even though time passes much to fast, that it is there, and that I get to enjoy it. Thank you for the time you give me to try again and hopefully get it right this time. Thank you for the time you let pass when you don't answer my prayers right away. Thank you for taking time with me each night when I pray, I know you have a whole lot to do, but I appreciate you take time to listen to me.

Thank you God for imperfection. Thank you for making me notice mine... for helping me change what I can, and accept what I cannot. Thank you for surrounding me in imperfect people who teach me that imperfect isn't bad, its human and that we ALL truly, badly and consistently need you.

Thank you God that my toilet didn't overflow today. I know I shouldn't have stuck that extra clump of toilet paper in it. But I did because I was delusion and thought my toilet could handle it... Thanks for having my back and helping the water stop rising a hundredth of an inch below the rim because I really didn't want to deal with that this morning.

Thank you God for bad days. They make the good ones so much better. Thank you for making it possible for me to look back on my bad days and be grateful for them in a way that I never will understand. All I know is the bad has made me better, its made me grow and though I would never go back and relive some of those days, and I thankful for the person I have become because of them and with your help. Thank you for the opposition in my life that helps me find and experience true joy.

Thank you for giving my husband a good job so I can stay home with my baby, thank you for seasons in the weather and in life, thank you for doctors, for medicine, for good people, for families. Thank you for the good and the bad, the big and the small, for everything really.

Yes thank you for everything God. There are some days I struggle to say that but its true. Thank you for everything because your plan for me, for my family, for my friends, for ALL of us is so very perfect and crazy and hard all at once... but its so very beautiful too. So keep doing it God and I'll keep working on being grateful for it and together I think we will do just fine.    

Dentist.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014
I have often said that my life is a series of interesting events that make for some pretty exciting blog posts. In other words, the most random and honestly perfectly crazy things happen to me when I am going about doing very ordinary things.

Like last week for example.

I went to the dentist. It doesn't get much more ordinary than that. Except for the reason I was there was not very ordinary... at least I would truly hope it isn't ordinary to have 13 cavities. Yes I typed that correctly. THIRTEEN. Shoot me.

All joking aside, I really do have 13 cavities. I am trying to make myself feel better because most of them are small "spots" that could potentially turn worse so they are taking care of them early, but it is still considered a cavity on my dental record so I really am not doing myself any favors by justifying it. I CAN however blame someone else for the terrible news my dentist gave me.

"You just had a baby didn't you?"

"Yes. Yes I did! And I didn't come to the dentist once in that 9 month period."

"You probably should have come," was his reply.

"Yeaaaaahhhh... " I thought to myself. "I know that NOW."

Oh well we live and we learn right?

Well I learned that having a baby can do some serious damage to your teeth if you are not extra careful about taking care of them. Which I wasn't. I was sick... hungry all the time... I honestly couldn't tell you how many times I woke up at 2 am to make myself food because I was too hungry to sleep. SO considering THAT it makes sense that I have cavities, right? I hope so because honestly this is not me.

I was always that child who walked into the dentists office all bright eyed and bushy tailed, happy as a lark. Who opened her mouth wide as the dentist exclaimed, "Perfect teeth like always!" and passed me off with a perfectly spotless bill of health. Yes that is right, I NEVER had cavities, I NEVER had braces, I ALWAYS got a toy at the end of my appointments because I was the pearly white child. I had 2 cavities once... Just ONCE though, in 21 years.

So you can imagine my surprise when the dentist told me my mouth was worth over a thousand dollars. Dollars in the dentists pocket that is! I wanted to cry. But instead I tried to make myself feel better by apologizing with complete confusion as to how this could happen to the pearly white queen, then blaming my child for my misfortune.

It honestly couldn't get worse, could it?

That is what I thought. I mean I almost had a cavity on every tooth in my mouth, and I would have to come in 4 separate times to get the work done. This was not something I ever planned on experiencing.

Well it got worse.

I went in to have my first group of teeth corrected. He started numbing me and I would not go numb (I am used to this... I guess I have a high drug threshold). He decided to go for a second round and see if that would numb me.

ANNNDDD... IT TOTALLY DID! So that was good. But then he said, "Alright, open your mouth!"

ANNNDD... I COULDN'T! It was stuck shut. No matter how hard I tried to open it, I could not get it open more than half an inch. He massaged my jaw and told me to try again.

Nothing,

He then tried to open my mouth for me and it wouldn't budge. "I'll be back." about 20 minutes later he walked back in. He proceeded to tell me that he went and contacted the oral surgeon next door to ask him if he knew what had happened to my mouth. He told me I had something that he had never seen in his 30 years of dental work but that the oral surgeon had seen a few times called trismus. This lovely little word that sounds more like a holiday than a jaw disorder basically means that my jaw somehow had locked and would be stuck for at least the next 3 days and then after that through some jaw therapy I should be able to open it again at some point in the future.

Lovely.

To make matters worse, since I couldn't open my jaw, they were unable to do any dental work on me so I was sent home with an apology, some well wishes, a "I'll check on you tomorrow" and a VERY VERY numb face.

I always exaggerate things and prepare for the worst case scenario due to my anxiety, so I was pretty much preparing for the worse: I would probably go home and somehow get sick to my stomach and because I couldn't open my mouth I would asphyxiate my puke and die.

Thankfully that didn't happen. I actually healed VERY fast. Yes I had to mash up my food and shove it in the small gap in my mouth for a couple of days. Yes I couldn't talk much, and my jaw hurt. But I survived and I am proud to say that as of today I can open my mouth completely once again! YES.

The bad news is I still have 13 cavities, and I am now scared of numbing shots.

But I'll tough it out.

Besides it was a good learning experience.

Oh and P.S. Ladies if you get prego,... Please eat good, and brush your teeth RELIGIOUSLY. Your teeth with thank you. :)

How much I could open my mouth when I got home. Thankfully Harper was cute and gave me hugs and kisses


Trismus ^^^


I was so sad but trying to stay positive. 

I should have divorced my husband a long time ago.

Sunday, August 24, 2014
I should have divorced my husband a long time ago.

The odds were never in my favor really. I am a high risk case for early divorce, and bad marital satisfaction.

The moment I said "I do" at the age of 19 I was asking for it. I read I should wait until I was 25 if I wanted this love of mine to last. Well I didn't, I shaved 6 years off 25 without a second thought because I was in love. I was pretty much doomed the moment I put that wedding dress on my teenage body.

Neither of us had much money. He spent what he had on a ring, and all I owned went towards an old car to help us get around. We were pretty much broke before we even started our life together. I heard that will cause you to fail pretty fast too.

We didn't attend any premarital classes like the therapists would recommend, we just dove into this thing head on. We heard it was hard but we were not worried because we were crazy about each other.

We married 6 months after meeting. This is what some experts would call "marriage suicide." Because there is no way you can know someone well enough to commit your life to them in a year... let alone 6 months.

9/10 of the things statistics would say will raise, double, triple... or pretty much ensure your chances of divorce... we did.

Technically our divorce papers should have been signed *at least* a year ago.

I should have divorced my husband a long time ago.

I'm serious.

I really should have.

I could come up with a pretty good list of reasons why, and honestly, I don't think anyone would blame me. Most would see me as just another percentage point on the divorce statistical board.

I think its fair to say I was slightly naive when I got married. Naive in the sense that I thought since I had found the right person, someone that I got along with, and who made me laugh, that marriage would be easy... Even when it was hard. Meaning that if we ever struggled the struggle would be easy to combat and we would tackle it together and be happy because when you are in love, everything is easy.

I was wrong.

Being in love does not automatically make things easy.

Just because you tied the knot does not ensure you will be happy all the time.

Having someone love you does not mean you will be treated like gold all the time.

The person you love can hurt you pretty bad at times, in ways you didn't expect, and they did not necessarily intend.

Because the fact is that marriage is as much (if not more) of a roller coaster as dating.

It is tough.

I never expected to be faced with many of the trials, pain and heartache I have been faced with.

I never expected that sometimes I would cry myself to sleep.

I never expected that love would push me to my very limits sometimes.

I never expected to go through things that I truly didn't deserve.

But all these things have happened. Sometimes more than once, because guess what?

He makes mistakes.

Lots of them.

But so do I.

The truth is, neither of us is perfect. We are both pretty far from perfect and our relationship is still growing. It is a process, and it always will be a process.

Happily ever after isn't instantaneous.

Its something that takes time, effort and endless work and dedication.

But it does happen.

I should have divorced my husband a long time ago, but I didn't. It's a good thing because I have grown so much more than I ever thought was possible.

WE have grown.

Both of us.

And we are better for it.

If I threw in the towel the moment we hit our first bump in the road I would have missed out on all the beauty and hope we have experienced together.

If I quit when it got hard and I felt like I deserved so much more, I would never have learned how much I truly did have, the love you don't get until you learn to love someone for all their strengths and for their weaknesses as well.

If I opted out when I was hurt, I would have not learned how wonderful it is to forgive, and then have the favor returned to me when I fell short of what he deserved.

If I let myself believe that it wasn't a good marriage unless it was perfect, I would have never developed the gift of finding perfect satisfaction in my relationship despite all my reasons to not be satisfied.

I have learned that a happy marriage is made up of two imperfect people who realize that despite their struggles and mistakes, they are perfect for each other.

When we hit 50 years I have no doubt that we will be in more love than ever despite all the grief we have put each other through, the trials we have endured, the pain we have dealt each other, and all the countless reasons that we really should not have made it so long.

True love defies all the odds and then some. I am learning that a little more each day. I will continue to learn it in the future. And the truth is, I look forward to learning it over and over again with the imperfectly wonderful man who I "should" have divorced a long time ago... that I am forever and eternally glad I didn't.


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner... Oh Wait.

Friday, August 15, 2014
So last night was fun.

This is going to sound pretty strange to some, but I have a very real fear of raw chicken. It is probably more of a paranoia. I am down right TERRIFIED of raw chicken. When I cook it, I have to use a knife and fork to remove it from its package, straight into the boiling water, or frying pan. Then I use plastic grocery bags to pick up the slime covered packaging when I throw it away. It is ridiculous, I know. But, I can't help it. I really can't. 

Yesterday I removed a large package of chicken breasts from the freezer so I could use it later. The package was too big to defrost in the microwave, so I put it on the kitchen counter so it would thaw throughout the day. 

That was that. I didn't really think about it again... 

Till 11:00 freaking p.m. when I was sitting in bed about to go to sleep! 

Crap! 

I ran out to the kitchen to put the now thawed chicken in the fridge. When I picked it up, I was alarmed to find that it was completely wet. When the ice had thawed it left water all over the counter and plastic packaging.

Gross. 

But at least it was water right? I could handle water. I started walking over to the fridge. I put the chicken in my other hand so I could open the fridge when I felt a cold goop slide down my fingers. I stopped mid step and froze. 

It took me about 5 minutes to muster up the courage to look at my hand. 

I finally looked down. Pink... sticky... gooey... nasty... gross... germ filled... chicken breast juice covered my fingers. 

Then I saw the floor. 

I had left a thick trail of juice from the counter to the fridge. 

The fact that it was on my fingers was bad enough, but covering my KITCHEN! I walked on this floor every day, my daughter CRAWLED all over this floor, I cooked on the counter, I practically spend half my day in this room! WHY OH WHY OH WHY!!

I composed myself and began the long and heart wrenching process of cleaning up the toxic slime. I put the dripping package of chicken in a garbage bag so it couldn't drip anymore and put it in the fridge to deal with in the morning. Then I wiped up all the nasty juice with paper towels. It took me a whole roll to clean it up if that gives you any idea of how much juice was in my kitchen. I then washed my hands 3 times and sprayed all the affected areas with bleach... then I used another roll of paper towels to wipe that up. I then washed my hands another 3 times. 

It was 12:30 am by now. 

Feeling like I was covered in bacteria, I stood in the kitchen and contemplated life. 

I was still alive, I was not showing signs of acute salmonella, I was breathing, and the kitchen looked pretty clean. 

"I think I will survive this," I thought to myself. 

When I woke this morning I cleaned the whole kitchen again, and mopped the floor with bleach again, and I am feeling pretty safe finally. 

Oh sweet paranoia, what would we do without it. 

For some people its spiders. For me, its raw chicken. 


Making Our House A Home

Saturday, August 9, 2014
I have been working on decorating our new home. It is a lot harder to decorate while taking care of a baby than I originally anticipated. I wish I could say I feel like I have finally made this house my home, but there are still pictures to be hung, books to unpack, and clothes to sort.

Lately my typical decorating thought process goes something like this:

I look at a room.

"Hmm... I don't like the couch there... I should move it.

"It looks really heavy. Where is Ash when I need him?"

"I bet I am strong enough!"

I put Harper down with some toys and I try to move the couch.

"Okay this is heavier than I thought."

I put my back against the arm of the couch.

*Gruuuuuunnnt*

"My face is on fire. I am going to pass out."

"Why did I do this?"

"Why oh why did I do this."

"I really rather not do this!"

"I must finish what I started"

More grunting.

I create a beat in my head.

"You can do it! You can do it! If you put your back into it!"

My music tune fades as I pause.

"That was a really lame song."

"Weeeeiiirrrdddo"

*Grunnnnt*

One final push.

"I did it!"

I rearrange the tables/lamps/bookshelves/etc. Then I look at the room again.

"Eh..."

"Do I even like how this looks?"

It looked better before"

"Why exactly did I move the couch again?"

As I ponder, I feel little hands on my calves.

"Hi Harper!" I say.

"Dadadadada!" She says as she looks at me.

"When will she learn to say my name!"

"Say mama!" I say.

"Dadadadadada."

*Sigh*

I pick up my daddy obsessed offspring and look at the room again.

"I'm too tired to move the couch again. This will do for now."

"Oh well... At least it was good exercise."

I move to the next room and repeat.

Well I don't repeat that exactly... it just feels like it sometimes!

The good news is I worked on Harpers "big girl" room over the weekend and I finished it! (Besides  a few pictures of her I have to print and hang, and her personalized name wall decor).

Me and the hubby both agree that her room feels like home. "I feel good when I'm in there," Ash told me. Ditto Ash, Ditto.

So I have one room down and 1...2...3..4ish to go!

It might be a slow process but I'm one room closer to making this little starter home of ours quite comfy!

Harpers Room


























Dear Daughter: I was a bad mom today.

Saturday, August 2, 2014
Dear Daughter,

You were picture perfect this morning. I woke up and saw you laying there, your chubby cheeks looked extra chubby, your little mouth with its full pink lips seemed especially kissable, and those long dark eyelashes lay gently on your lower eyelids, covering those big blue captivating eyes of yours. While you dreamed, I watched my picture perfect baby, in a moment that I could never revisit unless I captured it, but I was a bad mom and I didn't take a picture.

I didn't take a picture... nope, not even one. So, unlike me, you'll never see yourself the way I did on Aug 2nd, 2014. Unlike me, you'll never know just how long your eyelashes looked, or how rosy those scrumptious cheeks were in the early morning light.

When you grow up, I will not be able to show you how many people liked your photo on Instagram, or how many commented on the image of a sleeping angel they saw on Facebook, because there wasn't one. I didn't post a thing, because there was nothing to post.

Instead I just sat there and watched you sleep. I looked at each perfect little feature on your perfect little body. I watched your little tummy rise and fall with each breathe you breathed. I watched your eyes dance under their lids as you dreamed dreams I will never hear about, but that I can only imagine were as beautiful as you.

Did you know you smile in your sleep? Those full pink lips dimple your cheeks suddenly with each sleeping grin and I can't help but smile back. I wonder what made you smile, did you dream of me? Or of your daddy? I bet you were dreaming of milk. You sure love your milk, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is what occupies your dreams. I hope you love me and daddy more than milk though...sometimes I wonder.

You looked so soft and gentle in that moment. Last night you were a bundle of energy, a BIG bundle of energy, you wore me out! All you wanted to do was crawl, and play with toys and eat cheerios and climb all over me. But this morning, you just looked soft, like a soft, perfect, cherub princess.

You are gorgeous Harper. I know you grew in my belly, but there is no doubt in my mind that you were designed by God. Only he could make something so intricately perfect, I really had very little to do with it.

I should have taken a picture of you, I really should have. Then everyone could enjoy seeing you the way I saw you. But I decided to be selfish today and keep that moment all to myself. I hope one day you will forgive me. I know one day you will understand. Because there are some moments that are too remarkable--too divine even--too be captured by earthly technology. Some moments can only fully be captured by the soul. You sleeping in all your innocence was one of those moments.

So please don't be upset when you get bigger and I tell you how special today was too me but that I have no picture to give you; no way of showing you what I saw. Please please don't be angry. I know it probably won't make sense to you how I could love how you looked so much, but not lock that image in time.

Harper, I will never regret not taking a picture. A picture is priceless, but my moment with you this morning, uninterrupted by getting the right angle or finding the right lighting, was even more priceless. It is now more than some fleeting image that will fade with time. Now it is a vibrant, undying memory etched in my heart and will stay with me forever.

So my sweet daughter, if I ever am a "bad mom" in the future and neglect to get that perfect picture of you opening your birthday present. Or I forget to capture you trying your first sour lemon or ice cream cone. If I somehow forget to film your first steps or the way your hair blows in the wind as you ride your bike with two wheels for the first time. If for some reason there are pictures missing from your scrapbook that according to the "perfect mothers scrap-booking guide" should be there, please know that they are not there because I was there; there with you fully and completely, taking in every single moment with you, and not just behind a camera screen.

Please remember that I was taking each and every one of those pictures with my heart.

Love Forever & Ever,

Your Mommy

Mystery Diagnosis

Saturday, July 12, 2014
I woke up with a black tongue today.

No, it wasn't the lighting, and no it wasn't in my head.

My tongue was literally covered in a fuzzy black substance.

I woke up with a strange taste in my mouth, but didn't think much of it except that maybe today it was necessary to brush my teeth before going the bathroom. When your mouth tastes like old wet laundry wrapped in corn husks sometimes it is necessary to make cleaning it your first priority in the morning no matter how bad your bladder calls for relief.

As I opened my mouth to insert my toothbrush I was met with a very disconcerting sight.

Black.

Everywhere.

I jumped when I saw it, the same way I jump when someone hides in the shower to scare me because they know how paranoid I am of someone being behind the shower curtain. I may have jumped worse actually.

My first thought was mouth cancer. But then I remembered how every time something strange happened to my mouth I thought it was mouth cancer and it never was, so I probably didn't have it now either.

Then I remembered how our fridge had some mold in it (because we had left it in the humid garage for a month as we were waiting to move into our house--after it had been hosed down--yeah, I know, not the brightest thing to do). I had cleaned out the fridge 5 times with bleach before we ever put any food in it, but what if I missed a spot and my food was infected?! What if the black stuff on my tongue was mold?!

"NO NO NO! Gross... nasty... ew... get it off me!! Get it out of my mouth!! AHHHH!"

I turbo brushed my mouth, realizing that as I brushed the black fuzz came off my tongue. It took a good 10 minutes to scrub it off, and I couldn't reach the back of my tongue due to a gag reflect that I was not about to disturb--mold or not.

I calmed down a bit. There was no way this was mold. I am not being logical, I told myself. There has to be a resonable explanation for this.

I went to my room and grabbed my phone.

"I woke up with black fuzz all over my tongue. Please help" I entered in the Google search engine.

The results that came up mentioned a lot of stuff about upset stomachs.

Then it dawned on me. I was feeling sick to my stomach the previous night and had taken two chewable pepto bismols! Could that have anything to do with this? I quickly changed my search...

"Black tongue after chewing pepto bismol"

A ton of webpages popped up listing a black tongue as a side effect of pepto bismol, there were also a bunch of people saying they too had a black tongue the morning after taking chewable pepto bismol!

This HAD to be my answer.

 I researched a bit more and sure enough the brand of pepto I took was notorious for black tongues. I cannot tell you my relief. It was completely harmless... besides being a bit traumatic and I was going to live yet another day!

So my friends, if you want to completely freak someone out, your mother... your sister/brother... your significant other... take a chewable pepto bismol and the next morning you will have a black tongue waiting!

You're welcome.  

:)

P.S.

To finalize my theory, I had Ash eat a pepto bismol tablet to see if he got a black tongue. Sure enough... he did!