Monday, March 24, 2014


Proof that you were sick
Proof that someone helped you ride the dog
Proof of a good nap
Proof that you're learning to walk
Proof that you're the daughter of a drummer 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday's {Frugal} Find

Recently I discovered that our local library has a used book store on the first floor where you can look at old books while listening music that being played on an actual record player. Last time I browsed the aisles while listening to Hawaiian music. 

1. What: Southern Living Christmas 1987* 
    Were: Library Used Book Store 
    What'd it cost: $1 

What's Christmas without a quirky decoration? 

*The best year of my parent's life year Kent & I were born

2. What: Eat This Not That 2013
    Were: Library Used Book Store 
    What'd it cost: $1 

Kent loves these books. The comparing of food and the "HolyCOW guess how many calories are in this!!" comments, but we usually just end up craving/wanting/needing the burger/ice cream sundae/taco that could feed us + 6 other people on the "NOT THAT!" part of the page. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Great Chefs Cook Alike

This happened last night.
Precious. Just precious. 

...Must've had some sibling vibes going on. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pork Chops

Please avert your eyes if... 

A) You LOVE pork, but can't eat any right now (Living in South Sudan, Lent, Weight Watchers, whatever)

B) You HATE pork

2 Reasons why my dad would be proud of this picture:
1. I cooked pork chops for the very first time! He loves pork chops and for the last handful of his Pre-Sudan birthdays, my Mom would cook them for his birthday dinner. I was never a big fan, but here I pork chops. 

Pops, I'll fry you up some next time we're together.

2. Not pictured, but part of the meal, were cheddar biscuits (Have I mentioned we're semi-calorie counting around here?) The recipe yielded about 12 biscuits (Uhh have I mentioned we're semi-calorie counting around here?) So I cut the recipe in half which meant... dividing-ish fractions.

And for someone who figures out percents when shopping like this, "Okay, what's 15% of $20.00? Well 10% is $2.00 off so $18...minus a little a little more for tax..." dividing fractions is kind of a big deal.

So, on Monday night I ate my pork chop and biscuit, exceeded my calorie count and knew that far across the ocean, my dad was proud of me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Baby Changes Everything

One perk (out of like, three) of moving was the promise of a new license. My last license was renewed in January of 2013 when I was a 7 month pregnant 3rd grade teacher with a cold. Not a good combo when taking a glamour shot. It was going to be good for ten.whole.years. I already had plans of showing it to Baby Suits when he/she was TEN and exclaiming, "Look what you did to me!" 

I took a picture of my old license to compare it with my new one- hoping to be able to say, "Woww I look so much thinner, more alert, more with it!" 

{Can you believe I'm sharing this picture on the World Wide Web?} ...Me neither. 
But instead, when I saw my new picture, all I could say was MY HAIRRRRR! 
My baby turned me into a brunette! Sad, sad day. When I got my hair cut AB (After Baby), my hair lady told me that it looked like I had been dying my hair for years and that my roots were starting to show. 


{and also I like to tell myself that I DO in fact look thinner, more alert and maybe a little more with it...even as a brunette}

Friday, March 14, 2014

Day 5: One Year

Little Miss, at One Year...

-You wear size 3 diaper
-You weigh 16 pounds 12 ounces 
-You are 27 inches long
-You wear {mostly} 9-12 month clothes
-You sleep for 11-12 hours/night
-You eat 3 meals, 2+ snacks and nurse at night
-You have 2 teeth 
You like to eat cheese, grapes, bananas, apple sauce, yogurt, pears, peaches, ice cream, a bagel with butter, oranges, peanut butter and jelly, graham crackers, goldfish, cheerios, baked beans, fig newtons, deli meat, chicken nuggets, french fries & much more!

You love MUSIC, dancing, toys with noise, waving to the dog, crawling into the garage, being outside, bath time, playing peek-a-boo, taking things out of bags/off of shelves and tables, sucking your thumb, reading books, going on walks, Sesame Street videos on Youtube, feeding the dog from your high chair, going "bye-bye"- even if it's just to get the mail, swinging at the park and watching/hearing videos of yourself

You don't (always) love diaper changes, getting strapped into your car seat, constricting hugs (that your Daddy gives), getting dressed, teething, being away from me, the church nursery (you're getting better), when we take something away from you (phone/TV clicker/wallflower air freshener), prolonged shopping trips, kissing your Daddy (scratchy face), drinking cow's milk and wearing shoes 
You're able to wave "hi" and "bye bye", give kisses (to me or your baby doll), pull up on objects, cruise from one piece of furniture to the next, stand alone-only for a second, clap your hands, say "mama" and "dada", feed yourself-with your hands, drink from a sippy cup, go outside or to the garage backwards-by turning around first, walk behind your walking toy, open a hard back book-and turn the pages and give a "high-five"

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Day 4: Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful that I weigh less than I did in this picture
I'm thankful that my feet don't look like this anymore 
 And I'm thankful for a fun filled, action packed year of parenting! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 2: 5 Things

1. On March 11th, Kent had an exam and it was going to be the FIRST appointment that he had missed the entire pregnancy. It was ok though, because I had my girl support team: Anna and Kerith. While we waited in the lobby, Kent surprised us by showing up and it happened to be the best thing he'd ever done (since proposing..winkwink) He was there when the doctor told me, "You've been sitting on the fence for awhile and... you fell off the fence" which, when translated into normal-talk is, "Today is Baby Day" {I still give that doctor a C- for her bedside manner}

2. We had no bags packed & no car seat installed. I would get frozen when I saw the super organized, super detailed packing lists that blogging moms put on their blogs so I just never packed...there was always more time... Anna and Kerith ran around town like wild women packing bags, buying preemie clothes, cleaning my house. They rocked my socks off- I'll always remember their hard work. The main thing I wanted was a video camera and my regular camera.
 3. Another memory is how my siblings came to sit and wait through the afternoon and into the evening. I wasn't allowed to eat anything {since 10AM} and Ben came into the room and chowed down on all sorts of snacks- it smelled so good. I don't think he knew what kind of torture he was putting me through. Wes chatted with the nurses- he was my "surrogate Shelly". Sara called from Las Vegas- we cried over the fact that she wouldn't be there to meet her niece. I missed my parents. 
 4. I was scared. In my head I repeated "the Lord is my Shepard I shall not be in want the Lord is my Shepard I shall not be in want" over and over and over. On a lighter note, my anesthesiologist ended up being a TOTAL CUTIE. Yes, I've told Kent. I thought, "Isn't it enough that I'm getting rolled in here like a beached whale, scared and totally humiliated? ...He's gotta be CUTE??" 
 5. I'll spare you (and me) the details of the delivery, but I'll leave you with one word: drugs. Sadly I had many of them and the rest of the her birth day I didn't know if I was coming or going. It wasn't until I looked back at pictures that I saw Kent's {awesome, adorable, precious} Daddy Glow. He was beaming. Susu attended her first sleepover in the NICU (her breathing) so it wasn't until March 12th that I held her for the first time. 
Photos by Kerith

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 1: At About This Time...

At the end of February (Baby Suits was 32 weeks cooked) my belly was measuring small. Through an ultrasound, we saw that there was low amniotic fluid & the fancy label was Intrauterine Growth Restriction. Baby Susu was running out of room. I was also monitored for a short time for preeclampsia because all of the sudden I was swollen like a plump tomato. 

I was put on bed rest, released to go back to work, put back on bed rest, checked twice a week, hospitalized one night and drinking a gallon of water a day. I still had secret hopes (and prayers. Lots of prayers) that a) I would carry my baby full term- even until her due date, April 6th and b) That she would flip and no longer be breech. I played music below my belly button (I mean who WOULDN'T flip for Josh Groban??), I laid upside down on an ironing board, I put a flash light on my belly- slowing tracing the path that she should take... idon'twantacsectionidon'twantacsection

Aside from being sick early on, the pregnancy was fine up until this point. Then I became a train that was slowly, but surely derailing {...and rapidly expanding...} 

my one night hospital stay
From the end of February until the middle of March (Baby weeks 32-36) I hunkered down on bed rest and drank water while Kent practiced his swaddling skills on our dog.
 I was pumped when Anna came to town for Spring Break. Because a) I needed her help (the nursery in particular) and b) I needed some bed rest entertainment.

Doesn't she look fab in her all black attire with her hair pulled back? 
 We did a maternity photo session with Sara (The doctor cleared me for that, strangely enough), Sara and Anna hosted a baby shower for me (March 9th) where Ben stopped by wearing super mismatching socks
 March 10th was a {bed rest} Sunday. Anna, Kerith (She surprised me! Remember?) and I watched Return to Me and Kent whipped up some oh-so-fancy strawberry smoothies for us in between studying for his exam the next day...March 11th...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday's {frugal} Find

What: Shirt for C {12 month but it will fit well into the Florida Fall}
Where: Target
What'd it cost: $1.50

And what lesson did we learn here, kids?

Don't avoid the "Big Stores"..they have good deals too!

Join me next week for THE BIRTHDAY WEEK where I'll reminiscence, plan a party and cry a little a lot.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thankful Thursday {Caris Edition}

I'm thankful that I can get out of my shoes (that I hate)
 For my first birthday present...a bubble maker! (Thanks MBFT!)
And for my first (of many) naked pizza dinner! 
*(Hands unintentionally strategically placed for modesty)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Project: Pantry

Before we begin, let's remind ourselves that this is a Judge Free Blog.

thank you

Over the weekend I knew that it was finally time to tackle the kitchen pantry. We've never had a pantry in our married life so I was excited to have a home for our food. However, we lacked a system to organize food, trash bags, bottled water, yatayata which led us to this...

I'm ashamed 
The first step was to pull everything out and organize it into piles. Piles like Caris, hot drinks, dips, canned food, this doesn't even belong in the pantry, etc. 
I've watched enough HGTV shows to know that the cute hosts dream up an idea and then their stud-muffin-of-a-carpenter appears to build them whatever they want. 

And I'm no different! Here's what my carpenter came up with. Perfect! 
Surprisingly enough I haven't even opened that JIF Hazelnut Chocolate Spread {yet}
Here's the finished product. It's still packed with food (Moment of prayer as we thank the Lord for our daily bread + Easy mac-n-cheese + Wheat Thins + Aquafina Bottled Water) but I'm happy with the result. 

And if you still think it looks bad, please refer back to the first picture. winkwink

Monday, March 3, 2014


Weekends are for...

Snazzy Saturday outfits 
 Finding Chacos for ONE DOLLAR
 Saturday night snuggles 
 And playing outside 
"Weekends Are For..." Idea found here

Waffle Wednesday

Choosing to temporarily forego your waffles, cool whip and blueberry breakfast to read an Insects and Spiders book and have conversations l...