Monday, December 10, 2012

we've got a problem

I know I haven't been the most reliable blogger since the little babĂ© came along.  However, I'm really trying to do better.  Unfortunately, blogspot/google/picasa has not made it easy for me.  You see, it seems that I'm out of storage in my picasa albums, meaning I can't upload any photos on here (until I upgrade storage for a mere monthly fee).  I thought I'd be a genius and delete some of my photos on there to make more room.  Welp, now I've got a few blog posts with X'd out photos on them.  Oops.  Tried to re-upload them, and...I'm out of storage.  

So, please be patient as I figure out how to get around this....or switch to a new blog site!


Monday, November 26, 2012

how to love a doggy

This past weekend, we lost one of my favorite little buddies.  Our dog, Scout, passed away on Saturday afternoon.  It was random, sudden, and totally shocking.  He was only 22 months old (for those of you not so quick in math, that's just shy of 2 years old...almost 14 in dog years...way too young).  We are so, so sad.



If you have known me for long, you have seen my transition into the world of dog-lovers.  Well, to be more specific, Scout-lover.  While I am much softer towards all animals, Scout had found a way to make me really love him (when I formerly had no interest in loving an animal).



We invested in him.  We trained him.  We spent countless hours trying to teach him not to eat dad's socks, where to go to the bathroom, and how to love on the new baby we were bringing home.  And due to the nature of my work environment, I took Scout with me.  So we spent our days together.  How could I not grow to love him?  



I am not comparing our loss to the loss of an actual human, but there are certainly parallels that exist.  Scout was loyal.  Perhaps more so than many people that we know.  He frustrated me to no end some days, and yet he taught me how to extend grace at the end of it (children, anyone?).  Being dog owners taught Jamie and me about sacrificing for others.  Being more responsible.  Planning ahead.  He was my sanity and sense of normal when we brought Hammond home and nothing was normal.  I came to find joy in watching Scout do things that made him come alive - swimming, hiking, running, playing with other dogs.  

Scout swimming after tennis balls last weekend in NC

Scout was a part of our family, and without him here there is a piece missing.  We are going to miss him so much.  But we are also so thankful for a happy, smiley baby boy to help us keep things in perspective and to give us laughter and smiles in the midst of our sadness.  I know he will miss his buddy, but I'm also grateful that he still has such a child-like mind (and memory!).



You may call me crazy, and you may not understand - he was just a dog.  Trust me, I've been there before.  But, I'll leave you with one last thought - Scout taught us how to have a greater ability to love.  And that can never be a bad thing.  


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

6 & 7...ah!

I have a 7 1/2 month old little boy and I'm pretty sure the last monthly post I did was at 5 months.  Oops!

Here are a few photos from 6 months...


always on the move


except when he's just chillin'

And here are the 7 month ones (give or take a few days...er, weeks)...

can you tell I had daddy's help for this shoot?  so happy.

adorable.

speaking of milestones (well, coming up next), here's the little guy sitting up

This little man is growing and changing so much - 
- he's eating all sorts of foods (butternut squash is a fave), but has no interest unless is finely pureed
- he's sitting up all on his own
- and CRAWLING!  all over the place (but technically that's for the next update, since he was 7 months and 1 week)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Halloween

Our little tiger had a great Halloween!  We did a no frills, un-creative approach to the costume this year (thanks Conrad for loaning it to us!), but his cuteness totally made up for it.  It was one of those days that I'm super grateful for the community of people that we share a neighborhood with.  Lots of food, kids, laughs, and pure adorableness.  

ah....love him

H, the tiger, + Liza, the football

Hammond with his pumpkin friend, Harper, + dads

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Congrats Kelly + JP!

 This past weekend we celebrated the engagement of Jamie's sister, Kelly, and her boyfriend, JP!  Pictures of the event to come, but first, Hammond and Scout knew they wouldn't be able to make it to Barnsley Gardens to celebrate...and they wanted to find a way to say congrats.  












After all of these attempts (and many more not pictured), we decided to go with this one...


Lots of fun to come in these next few months!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Everywhere

Every year, about this time, I tend to go a little pumpkin crazy (last year's post here, the year before's here).  I love having pumpkins around the house, I crave pumpkin flavors, and if you ask my husband he would tell you that it's a little out of control.  Now that I'm home most of the day, I cook about 90% of my meals and I have some time to experiment.  So, this year might be the most creative I've ever been with my pumpkin endeavors.  


For our college small group, I made Lindsay's pumpkin whoopee pies.  They are creamy and delicious, were such a hit, and have about 1/3 the calories.


I was craving soup as the weather has been a bit cooler, and saw a recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Prawns and Thai Basil somewhere online.  It combines some of my favorite things - pumpkin, thai, shrimp...yum!  Plus, back when Jamie went to plant our new herbs for the spring summer, he bought Thai Basil because it smelled good!  I have had no idea what to use it for, and then this recipe came along!  Just in time for us to rip out the herb trough. :)


A few other recipes I've tried - 
- this healthier version of pumpkin bread
- pumpkin sauce (not sure I'd recommend this...it was interesting!)
- and I'm still trying to find the perfect homemade pumpkin spice latte...anybody got any ideas?  Of course, I'm searching for that perfectly healthier version that tastes like Starbucks. :)

Anything pumpkin-y that you've tried recently and would recommend?  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Political Post

Now that my dad is out of the race, this is the most I'll be referencing the upcoming election.  While I won't be taking part (in drinking games, not the election), I did find this quite humorous. :)


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

let me tell you 'bout my best friend...

Do you remember that song, by Harry Nilsson, called Best Friend?  You know...People let me tell you 'bout my best friend.  If you're having trouble recollecting, here's a video to help jog your memory.  



Now that we've got that out of the way, that song is constantly stuck in my head these days.  You want to know why?  Because we have so many of these moments...








It's pretty entertaining watching them look at and interact with each other.  They are such good buds.  Hammond laughs so hard at Scout, sometimes just when he looks at him.  And, if you couldn't tell, Scout is always close by wherever Hammond is.  (I think part of this is so that he doesn't miss an opportunity to lick up his spit up...gross, yes, but efficient too. :)

There are definitely days where it might be a little easier without a dog to worry about.  But, more often than those days are the ones when I can't imagine life without Scout!  And I think these two are going to be two peas in a pod as they grow over the years.  Lots of fun to come!

Friday, September 21, 2012

6 month check-up

Today the little man is 6 months old!  It is crazy how time is flying, and I am so loving this new stage.  While I'm hoping to get some typical monthly photos this afternoon, I just had to share these precious ones from his check-up this morning!


This appt alone showed me how much has changed since 2 months ago 
(our last appointment).  He was so easy going at 4 months, laying on his back, 
no rolling over, fully entertained by me.  This time, he was all over the
 place!  And loving that table paper!!

He was also super entertained by the other baby in the room (aka his reflection).  
It was kind of hilarious, watching him check himself out!

Yeah...sorry about the paper, Dr.

Hey, that's one cute baby!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie

Have you ever thought about what your last meal would be?  You know, if you knew you wouldn't make it to tomorrow, but had an opportunity to eat one last supper.  I have.  There's this restaurant in Augusta called the French Market Grille.  And if I knew that I only had one more meal to scarf down, that'd be the place I'd go.  I'd order a salad with their creamy avocado dressing (w/ extra dressing to dip my bread into), 1 dozen oysters on the half shell, 2 lbs of crawfish, and one big ole piece of their peanut butter pie (heck, if it was my last meal, I think I'd just eat the whole pie!).  


The picture that I posted hardly does it justice (it's not of the original FMG PBP), but it gives you an idea.  Anyhow, turns out I have the recipe for that amazing pie.  And because I enjoy spreading the love, this pie makes it way into all of the meals that we take to new moms, families new to the neighborhood, or anyone else who might be in need of a meal.  

And now, I'm sharing this recipe with you.  Wanna know the convenient thing?  The recipe makes two pies.  So, while you're being all considerate by making one for another family, you're left with one extra.  Great excuse for your family to enjoy some!  

French Market Grille's Peanut Butter Pie
(from Second Round: Tea-time at the Masters)
1 8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 8 oz container whipped topping, thawed
12 oz creamy peanut butter
2 Tblsp vanilla
2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts

- Whip cream cheese 10 minutes.
- Add powdered sugar.  Whip 10 minutes more.
- Blend in whipped topping, peanut butter and vanilla.  Beat 5 minutes.
- Pour into pie crusts.  Freeze at least 2 hours.
- Before serving, garnish with whipped cream and peanuts.  
[And I like to drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce.]

Now you should go try it yourself.  Enjoy!  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Nursery

I am finally getting around to posting photos of our finally finished nursery.  Of course, Hammond loves his room, and is constantly telling me how much he appreciates the time and effort that went into it. :)

Of course, we didn't know whether or not we'd be popping out a little boy or a little girl, so we went with pretty neutral tones.  Which, if I'm being honest, is what I would have gone with regardless of whether or not we had known!  The walls were already green when it was the guest room before.  And despite my strong urge to paint them gray (like every other room in our home), I resisted and just used gray as an accent color.  

My older sister has four kids, and was so gracious to save all of their old baby items.  Other than the rug (from West Elm), the baskets (from World Market), and some of the accessories, we either got creative or already had the furniture.  It just took some creative arranging or painting or recovering, and we had ourselves a nursery!

See below for photos...

the view from the door

I decided to go with baskets under the crib for storage purposes, and so that I didn't have to worry about a pricey adjustable bedskirt.  

view from the other side

We turned an old dresser into a changing table by attaching a changing pad (with velcro strips) to the top of it.  I love the antique look.

nursery window

Got the valance idea from Pinterest, and found the wood at a neighbors while Scout and I were out walking.  You should have seen me...big and pregnant, carrying home a large piece of wood.  Then, my crafty husband put it all together and hung it. Oh,and the bamboo shades were another project, referenced here.

above the crib

These are framed excerpts from this precious book, Guess How Much I Love You.  I had a tough time choosing a book, but not only did I love the words, but I thought the colors of the illustrations would go well.  

Robin Anne's precious mother-in-law had this plate painted by her incredibly 
talented sister.  It goes with the Guess How Much I Love You theme. :)


above the changing table

This is one of my favorite pieces that I own.  Such a random story, but a co-worker's step-sister was selling it (along with a dresser I love), and I bought it asap.  It had previously been a headboard, but I think it goes perfectly above the changing table.  Also, see this post for the story of the amazing blocks.  

The beginning of our book collection.

more shelves

This is my favorite DIY project of the nursery.  Our friends, Gavin + Lindsay found this amazing barn wood and they gave us a piece to use as shelves.  Love the rustic look. Also, the brackets we used to hang it were originally silver and too industrial looking.  Our handy, dandy ACE guy told us to soak it in vinegar....and viola!  It worked.  

Love these photos...especially the one on the far right.  That's 
baby Jamie in his old crib.  Wasn't he adorable?!

guest chair, closet, and bookshelf

This bookshelf was originally purchased at Target about 10 years ago, and used in my dorm room, house, apartment, my sister's apartment, and has been painted over a million times.  But, it worked...and it was free!

This sweet car/toy basket came all the way from Madagascar!  Thanks
to Aunt Betsy and Uncle Andy.  Isn't it precious?  

Finally, as much as I love photos, I knew I needed even more space for them.  
So, I created this bulletin board.  Pretty sure it will fill up fast.

For all my indecision and our DIY'ing, I love the way it all came together.  And I can definitely tell that Mr. Hammond loves it too. :)