Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day

Here's me and my little crew on Mother's Day. Honestly, I couldn't imagine a better group of folks to spend my days and nights with. Also, Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful moms out there, especially my own beautiful mom. Love you!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Welcome to the World Little One

 Brynn Charlotte arrived on October 27th at 2:24 A.M.  One day before hurricane Sandy hit the east coast and just a few days before Halloween. She weighs 7 pounds 8.5 ounces and is 19 inches long.  After watching way too much hurricane and election coverage at the hospital, I'm now enjoying the fleeting moments of snuggling my sleepy, soft and sweet newborn babe. Welcome to the world little Brynn!

Friday, October 12, 2012


At the beginning of October, Jared and I decided we should have one last family hoorah before the baby arrives. We decided to head west for a camping trip in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Unfortunately the weather was not so cooperative and we basically got rained on for two days straight before we decided to cut the trip short. It was a bit of a bummer but we still managed to have a good time in spite of mother nature and we were even able to catch a first little glimpse of fall foilage along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

All packed up and ready to go!

Our first stop. Morrow Mountain, a nice, well kept state park outside of Charlotte. 

Caroline's first camping trip-she had a great time!

Next stop, Lake Lure (where Dirty Dancing was filmed) and Chimney Rock State Park.


 In case you are curious, this is what it looks like trying to take a picture with three kids and a dog on top of a mountain on a big rock shaped like a chimney when all of the above mentioned are trying to fall to their death off of said rock. Stressful. :)

More from Chimney Rock:

After leaving Chimney Rock, we got on the Blue Ridge Parkway and drove to Mount Mitchell: the highest peak east of the Mississippi at over 6600 feet. This is where the trip got a little hairy. We arrived at the park after dark and the ranger warned us that black bears were a real problem so all food had to be kept locked away. (Scary!) It was also freezing outside and the ranger also warned that foul weather was iminent. However, since it was already 8:00 and we were on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the middle of nowhere, driving to a hotel didn't seem like a viable option. Another bummer was that we couldn't drive into the campsite, we would have to carry all our gear (in the dark, in the cold, with the bears) about 100 yards into the site. This wouldn't have been that big of deal under different conditions but after a brief scare with a bear* in our would-be campsite, I said no thanks. (*I didn't see a bear, but our dog Ruby, who never barks, was growling and going crazy barking at the tall brush that surrounded our campsite. There was definitely something lurking in those weeds!) So, this is what we ended up with. Something Mitchell termed a "pop-up camper" in the parking lot. Our kids thought it was pretty much the coolest thing ever. It was windy and rainy all night but we stayed dry and we didn't get attacked by any bears so while it wasn't ideal, I'd still call it a success.

All and all it was a good trip. Had the weather been better, it would have been amazing! Thankfully our kids LOVE to camp and kids in general are pretty resiliant. To them, a make shift tent on a trailer turns into a "pop-up camper" and dense fog and rain turns into an adventure "sleeping in the clouds."
The Blue Ridge Parkway has been on my list for awhile so even though the weather dampered things a bit, it still didn't disappoint. We'll definitely head back under more favorable conditions. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


My little Spencer is finally five! I say finally because to Jared and I it seems that he has been five for a long time already. When he turned two, it seemed like he should be turning three, when he turned threee it seemed like he should be turning four. You get the idea.  I think this is mostly because he spoke well pretty early and he has been riding a two-wheeler bike since he was three. Accomplishments that have made him seem a little older to us. Spencer is friendly, outgoing and very thoughtful. (He picks flowers for me on a daily basis!) I have a feeling this one is going to break a lot of hearts and I definitely couldn't imagine our family without our spunky little Spence. Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Country Mouse

Jared likes to say he married a country girl but when he says that I have to gently remind him that while I grew up in a rural area surrounded by country, I myself am not what you might term a country girl.  Small town girl, yes. Country girl, no. Growing up my family always lived in a neighborhood with a sidewalk and participated in no activities one might associate with country living: farm animals (we had house cats), hunting, gardening, horseback riding. I don't know, name anything that might be associated with the country and I most likely had never experienced it.  The closest I ever came to farm animals was an annual visit to the county fair.  Jared on the other hand grew up in a rural area and lived in the country surrounding it. He grew up in an old farmhouse on five acres and raised animals: rabbits, goats, pigs, chickens and who knows what else. He hunts, he gardens, he has bailed hay, driven a pick-up truck and likes Hank Williams Jr. In other words, he is a country boy and embraces it. So here we are, somewhere in the middle. Living on two acres, in a neighborhood, with bee hives, a dog and a small flock of chickens. Call it the best of both worlds, if you will.  It actually took me a few months to feel comfortable touching the chickens with my bare hands but I can honestly say I rather enjoy them now. Also, watching our kids take care of those chickens is pretty much the cutest thing ever. (Caroline squeals and chases them all around the yard and Spencer and Mitchell treat them like little babies.) So, while I still wouldn't consider myself a full fledged country girl, if Jared has anything to do with it, I'll be milking my own cow and cleaning out horse stalls sooner rather than later. :) What about you? What things do you associate with country living? Are you a city mouse or a country mouse?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thirty Two

So this is what thirty two looks like.
Thirty two weeks prego and thirty two years old.
Happy Birthday to me (and happy birthday to baby in just a few short weeks!) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guess Who's Seven?

It's hard to believe my first born babe turned seven yesterday. Seven! I don't know why but that sounds a lot older than six for some reason.  Mitchell has always and still loves anything with wheels and an engine. He wants to be a race car/monster truck driver, an astronaut and a cowboy when he grows up. He is a kind and patient older brother to his siblings and like me (at least when I was a kid) is pretty reserved most of the time. There's nothing quite like becoming a mother for the very first time so today I'm feeling extra grateful we've had this cute dark haired little babe turned handsome little man running around our house for the past seven years.
Happy Birthday Mitchell, we love you!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Jared and I are celebrating nine years of marriage today. I don't like to get too cheesy or sentimental in public forums but just for the record, marrying Jared was the best decision I've ever made. Also, just for fun, here's a quick recap in pictures:

May 2003: Jared surprised me with a weekend trip to Chicago. I had never been and he knew I wanted to go. He popped the question in Lincoln park and we spent the rest of the day sight seeing all over the city, with me admiring the new ring on my finger.
 Engagement picture taken outside of my apartment. We look so young! :)

July 26th 2003: Short engagements are best. We were married in the Columbus Ohio LDS temple just three months after we were engaged. (And no, I was not pregnant.)

 We honeymooned on a Carribbean cruise. Here we are above Meagan's bay in St. Thomas. We also stopped in Aruba (our favorite), Martinique (our least favorite) and Barbados.

July 2004, First anniversary: We celebrated our first anniversary with dinner at a fancy  restaurant in downtown Columbus called "M." We also went to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's outdoor performance, Picnic with the Pops. We also made a stop a the temple and took some self timer pictures together where we were married.

 July 2005, Second anniversary: This year, I was 8 months pregnant with our first child Mitchell. For our anniversary, we cleaned out our kitchen cabinets (can you say nesting?), then went for dinner at the Yard Club. (A pub style restaurant in Hilliard that is no longer open.) We also continued the tradition with a few self timer pictures at the Columbus temple.
 (Awkward hand placement on my part but this is the only
picture I could muster up.)

July 2006, Third anniversary: Dinner at the Columbus Fish Market and Picnic with the Pops afterward. We also managed a few more self timer pics at the temple just for kicks.

July 2007, Fourth anniversary: I was 7 months pregnant with our second child, Spencer. We had dinner at at the Eddie George Grill on Ohio State campus. (It's a sports bar, and it was loud and noisy. Definitely not ideal for an anniversary dinner.) Afterward we walked around a little street festival, The Lazy Days of Summer, in Grandview and of course self timer temple pictures. 

July 2008, Fifth anniversary: For our big five year celebration, we decided to do something a a little out of the ordinary and very romantic. We went to Cedar Point and stood in long lines with hot, sweaty people all day. I believe it was my idea, not sure what I was thinking. (You might remember I blogged about our experience here.)

July 2009, Sixth anniversary: We didn't take a picture this year but we had just moved to Marietta for Jared to start Physician Assistant school. It was pouring down rain and after trying to have dinner at two local restaurants with no luck, we ended up eating Italian at a cute little place called Spagna's. Afterwards Jared took me on a tour of his new home away from home: the Ricky Science Center on the campus of Marietta College. 

July 2010, Seventh anniversary: Caroline was one month old. We had dinner at a local place in Marietta called Da Vinci's.

July 2011, Eighth anniversary: Jared had just graduated from PA school. We were visiting Columbus and went on a triple date with my sister +bro-in-law and Jared's brother+sis-in-law. We had barbeque on high street and then went back to the church building at Ohio State where Jared and I met. We also walked around campus and toured the brand new student union.

Nine years later and we are living in North Carolina with three beautiful children and a fourth on the way! Time sure flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Miss C Turns Two

Miss Caroline turned two last week! We celebrated with lemon cupcakes topped with fresh cream cheese frosting, yum. Caroline wasn't so sure about the candles at first, but after a little help from her older brothers, she was determined to try it on her own. Again and again and again. Happy birthday sweet Caroline! We love you to the moon and back.