Tob Tabs

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It's Fall, Y'all

My oh my.  Fall just might be my favorite.  I love everything about it.  I love the crisp autumn breeze scattering colorful leaves that have flittered and floated to the ground.  The glow of a warm bonfire melting marshmallows for s'mores.  Football games, delicious chili, and cozy oversized hoodies.  The sweet woodsy smell of burning leaves as soon as you go outdoors.    Bright orange pumpkins decorating porches all around.  Scarfs, leggings, and boots.  Candy corn, Halloween Captain Crunch that turns your milk green, and Pumpkin bread.  Well pumpkin everything.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin spice coffee.  Scary movies, carmel apples, and daylight savings.  I mean who doesn't love an extra hour of sleep?  Throw in Halloween and Thanksgiving and ahhhh what a lovely time of the year.  It's almost the most wonderful.  But Christmas time will always have the number one spot in my heart.  

Last Fall I was sick and pregnant.  And the entire month of November I thought I had had a miscarriage.  So I didn't get too giddy about the Holidays...(and that's a different story for another day), but with that said, this year I am trying to squeeze lots of Fall related fun into my days.  : )  I've been a little over the top, but Holidays make me happy.  And happy me is better than pouty me ; ).  I'm sure my husband would vouch for that.  

I've gotten to do a lot of the things on my "Fall Bucket List" so far. You might have read in an earlier post about our trip to the Texas state fair .  The fair is a must do each fall, no excuses.  I've also baked some fall goodies, and I FINALLY got around to decorating.  Though, I didn't do as much decorating as I would have liked, I had a good reason.  Well two good reasons.  Behind not having a whole lot of extra money, my husband made me an offer I couldn't refuse.  I could either get fall decorations that would come down in a month, or I could get some more Christmas decorations that I could put up early.  But I couldn't have both.  I have been known in times past to talk my family into putting up Christmas decor the first of November. ; )  Like I said above, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.  It is magical and my love for Christmas couldn't pass up that offer.  Sorry Fall, maybe next time.  

So the little bit of decorating I did was a center piece for my kitchen table.  I bought a bag of tiny pumpkins and painted a few of them.  Add some ribbon and rhinestones, and ta-da.  Easy smeasy.  I also made the "It's Fall Yall" sign or serving tray (whatever you want to call it).  The girls in my life group had a project night, and we made many variations of serving trays'.  I really like how mine turned out, and it was really simple.  (Simple speaks directly to my crafting language).  All you need is a picture frame and handles.  I decided to paint on the glass with chalk board paint, but you could also put scrapbook paper in the glass instead.  So many variations with all ending up being fab-uuuu-lous!  I also attempted my very first fall wreath, y'all.  It didn't really turn out how I planned, but after a few hours of working on the darn thing, I just gave up and hung it up.  It's not a complete disaster.... Right?  Or can I hear the neighbors laughing now?      

I know burlap has been an ever going trend now, but I still love it.  What I love even more, though, is coffee.  And wouldn't you know that my love of coffee warranted the need for my very own coffee bar?  I saw the idea on pinterest, and have been jonesing to have one for a while.  It's perfect really.  It frees up the lack of counter space we already didn't have, and it helps cover up those awful off-white apartment walls.  Plus, it is good for year round use.  But it was the perfect addition to our residence for the start of Fall.  Oh, nothing is better on a chilly morning than a steaming mug of pumpkin spice coffee made directly from your coffee bar.   

I've got a handful of things to finish on my Fall to-do's.  I just have to prioritize.  Which I might not be so good at.  ; )  But so far, so good.  And just an FYI, if you already haven't figured it out, the whole "adult" thing is fun at times.  Like getting to decorate how you want, and making cookies because you want them, (though you definitely don't need them).  However, the bill's and budgeting, I could do without.

Now, to my favorite part of Fall so far.  PICTURES.  These pictures are my absolute favorite.  This is Kasen's first Fall, first Halloween, first everything.  And by golly I have to take photos to remember it.  They were too cute to pass up.  You're welcome, Kasen.  

I mean, that pumpkin booty is the cutest little thing I have EVER seen.  I can't stand it.  Goodness.  Well y'all, until next time.  Cheers !!

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Oh Darling Don't you Ever Grow up, Just Stay this Little"

A very merry half-birthday to you......

My sweet little baby celebrated his six month birthday a few weeks ago, and I’m left wondering how that's even possible.  The fact that I even have a child still amazes me, let alone that he was born HALF a YEAR ago.  And so you know,  uttering the words  "half a year" just makes Kasen sound so very grown up.  Ahhhh . . .  It makes me tear up.  Being overly sentimental and a woman can be a lethal combination during moments such as this. 

I am the mother of a six (almost seven) month old.  And to think, I never thought we'd get him out of the NICU.  His very first month of life seemed to be the longest of days.  We all spent that rather chilly month of April at the hospital.  It was our home away from home where time seemed to stand still.  Staring at a tiny miracle baby in his incubator, anticipating each and every day.  We couldn't wait to have him home. 

Born at a mere 3 pounds 4 ounces, he was sooo little.  His eyes were black, his skin was translucent, & his eyelashes were non-existent.  Who would have guessed that my husband & I would have had such a small child?  Coming from a mother that weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces & a father that weighed 8 pounds 8 ounces, we expected a chunk.  Granted, Kyle was 10 days past due, and my mother ate an entire box of Little Debbies a day while pregnant.  Yes, you read that right.  A DAY.  I blame my ridiculous sweet tooth on her ;).  (Love you mom).    None the less we prepared for a big baby.   Of course we also expected Kasen to be born full-term.  But life certainly has a way of surprising you.  I mean finding out that we were pregnant was quite the surprise in and of itself.  And now life would never ever be the same without Kasen in it.  Our entire world would be so different, but I wouldn't trade our little family for anything.   My husband and I just adore our boy.  We are especially fond of this age Kasen is at.  His personality is really un-raveling in the best of ways.   I miss my tiny baby at times though.  I miss my newborn.  I miss my two month old.  I miss my four month old.  It seems as if I blink my eyes, Kasen is a month older.  

Though the time is fleeting, I have to remind myself how much of a joy it is to watch him grow.  But babies grow up too fast.  Way too fast.  And I’m not sure that I like it.  There I said it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely wonderful that my baby is growing big, strong, & healthy. But I just wish it didn’t have to fly by.  I know that each stage of parenting will be a brand new experience, and I’ll love each and every one of those stages (well at least something or two from them). But sometimes I just want to hold on to these baby phases Kasen is in for a little while longer. Please?  Pretty Please?  (If I put a cherry on top would it work)?  I can’t help but to think about him turning one soon.  I mean after one it’s three, then five, then ten, then he’s a teenager, then an adult.  Sigh…. You know, I’m not sure there is anything much better than holding a baby.  The amount of joy a baby brings is incomparable.  And as silly and ridiculous as it is, some days when I feel like Kasen is growing up rather quickly, I look back at pictures and videos and I cry.  Yes, I cry.  I cry for all the times I didn’t get to hold him when I wanted to.  I cry for all the times I was too tired.  I cry for all those months that are now written in history.  I wish I could start at day one again.  The very first day of his life, and the very best day of mine.  I would do it over time and time again.  To relive those wonderful memories.

Even the not so great ones.  I've used this quote before but, Dr. Seus once said, “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”  He’s right you know.  Time is an inevitable and intangible thing.  There is nothing I can do to slow the hands of time (as much as I wish I could).  All I can do is enjoy the time while it is.  And be thankful.  I know I probably sound selfish.  There are some people that never got to have children.  There are some with babies that are gone.  There are some that wish they had even gotten 7 months.  And I am so blessed to have gotten to spend so much time with my boy.  

Dwelling in the past and being sad about what is already over wastes the
very wonderful moments right here and now.  I can’t say that I won’t ever get sad again.  I know I will.  Toddler years, kindergarten, and skipping way ahead to graduation (as far off as that sounds) will get to me.  But I will know deep in my heart that those moments are full of joy.   They are wonderful and special.  They are full of LIFE.  And that is the most important thing.  I can’t keep him a baby forever.  And as much as I say I wish I could, it's not the whole truth.  The other side of me can't wait for him to say his first word, take his first step, potty train, hold conversations with me, color and jump, play sports, make friends, discover new things, have his first crush [welllll maybe not this one as much ; ) ], and the list continues.  My job isn't to let my emotions dictate my parenting.  My job is to love him and raise him to be independent.  A sweet, loving, smart, respectful, independent, God fearing MAN.  And knowing my role as a parent makes me strive to be a better person all around.  I want to be the kind of person I want my kid(s) to grow up to be.  I want to be the kind of mother & wife that Kasen will look for in a future spouse.  Being a mom is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.  And I’m blessed for it.  I am so in love with my child.  This all consuming love I have for him is one of the greatest things in this world.  So today will be a day like many other days, where I neglect Mt. Laundry (who needs clean clothes anyways)? and hold my baby ALL day.   & I'll leave you with a few pictures out of the 3,000 + I  have of Kasen in no particular order.  Oh how I love pictures. Can you tell?  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Everythings Bigger in Texas

I've got a case of the Sunday night blues.  You know, as if I have to wake up and go to school the next day.  Middle-school at that. Yikes.  

Glad I'm past those days, but I can't seem to shake that once removed feeling.  This weekend was one of the very best weekends I've had in awhile, and I'm sad to see it end.  I guess I'll hold Dr. Seus's quote close to my heart today.  "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."  

So what did our weekend hold?  A road trip to Kyle's oh so favorite state and not to mention home town.  The dear oh dear state of Texas.  Ohh Texas.  I am quite fond of Texas.  
We started our road trip off on the right foot with lunch at What-a-burger.  It's always a must have when we pass one.  Even if we're not particularly hungry.  We were starved though, and boy does their food never disappoint. So a fussy baby, pandora, and a few hours later we finally made it to the good ole' state of Texas.  We stayed with Kyle's grandparents for the weekend.  They took us to dinner that night, then we settled back in at their house with coffee and a movie, which I got to choose (and this sooo never happens).  I picked Breakfast at Tiffany's, and after seeing it for the first time, I think I'll add eating breakfast outside the Tiffany's store in New York to my bucket list.  Just because. Maybe I'll even wear a tiara.  ; )

After the movie, we went to bed early, seeing that we had to wake up at four the next morning.  Yes, FOUR.  At least that's what we thought (and by we, I mean my husband). Who knew that four in the morning would arrive so quickly.  We were up at the crack of dawn because we were meeting some of Kyle's friends' to have some family pictures taken.  Some how I got ready on time AND managed not to look like a complete disaster at that.  Early rising never looks good on me.  We loaded up our still sleeping child (thank goodness) and headed out.  The drive was half an hour, and it was still pitch black outside once we arrived at our destination a little before six.  In my semi-delirious state of mind, I actually wondered why they wanted to meet up so early since the sun doesn't rise for another hour, but what did I know?  I didn't give it much more thought as it was too early for thinking to be done.  Especially before coffee.  

The minutes ticked on, and there was no sign of Kyle's friends.  Maybe they were running late?  This warranted a call, in which no answer was received.  "Maybe they meant six at night?"  my dearest of dear husband thought out loud.  Sending them a quick text, it began to dawn on us that six at night might actually have made more sense.  You think my ever so clever husband would have thought to ask that ahead of time.... ; )  Because if you already didn't know, six o'clock in the morning and six o'clock at night are VERY different.  Surly they meant in the morning though.  Please let them have meant in the morning.

All you can do is laugh though.  Laugh at the text that informs you that the meeting time was indeed at night.  Laugh that we had actually gotten all dolled up at FOUR in the morning.  Just laugh.  And just maybe treat yourselves to doughnuts.  ; )    

I'm sure calories don't count that early in the morning.  It was still dark when we got back to Kyle's grandparents house with just a small hint of the sun coming up.  I'm almost sure I've seen the sun rise before.  But I suppose I haven't really slowed down and taken it in.  Since we were up, including Kasen at this point, we three watched the beauty of the sun rising over the horizon.  It wasn't anything special or romantic as you see in movies, but it was a nice ending to the morning.  Or, well, nice beginning I should say?  Not really sure what we were going to do that day, Kyle's grandparents sent us away to the Texas State Fair, insisting on watching Kasen.  And how could we say no?  It had been quite awhile since we had spent time together.  Just the two of us.  We decided to go ahead and go early instead of going back to sleep first and wasting the day away.  Though sleeping for a few hours did seem enticing... but to the fair we went.

We got lucky and found a free parking spot on the road across from the fair grounds.  Guess the early bird really does get the worm.  Of course if I were a bird I would much rather have cake.  Strawberry cake at that.  Nothing really opened until 9 a.m. so we just walked around the empty fair grounds looking at everything.  I had my eye on all the minions you could win.  As we strolled around, it began to get chilly and not to mention cloudy.  It actually started to feel like Fall was upon us. And we were SO not prepared for that kind of weather.  

The first thing we did once everything opened was eat.  As if the doughnuts from a few hours earlier weren't enough.  But I got to cross something off my bucket list.  Eating an odd fried food.  Which happened to be fried Oreo's, or should I say fried duh-licious-ness.  Seriously.  After my new found love of fried Oreos, we shared a lemonade, looked at precious farm-animals and cars, and scouted out games.  Games that had large minions as prizes in particular.  Even though it was lightly raining and freezing, it made for a fun morning.  A fun, un-crowded kind of morning.  The best part of the day was when my hunk of a husband won me one of the minions that I had my heart set on.  It took four games, but it was well worth it.  You should have seen the look on Carny's face after Kyle actually won.  He had thought he had suckered my husband into playing, not realizing just how awesome he was.  Oh sweet victory.   

We ended our fair experience with nachos eaten by no other than myself and a footlong corny dog for Kyle.  Oh, and would you judge me if I said we had some fried reeses on the way out as well?  You know I'm beginning to believe that everything really is bigger in Texas.  Prime example is ME.  Pretty sure the amount of calories I ate in half a day was absolutely outrageous.  But it was well worth it, as everything was extraordinarily good.  Because there is nothing worse than wasting a meal on food that is not so great.  You know?    As we left it got colder and colder.  It was absolutely freezing outside.  Probably because we had shorts on, and you better believe we got some crazy looks from people that were actually prepared with coats and jeans on.  And just a side note, we have decided that the best time to go to the fair is in the morning.  Early in the morning at that.  

I don't think sitting in a car has ever felt so good.  We cranked the heat up, and decided to drive around Dallas.  We ended up at an estate sale where the cheapest thing was a 300 dollar pillow.  I don't think we could have gotten out of there quicker.  Our next destination was the mall, where all the people that didn't go to the fair were at.  I bought a new outfit for our pictures that night all thanks to the cold weather. ( Really, thank you weather).      

By the time we were done, it was almost time for pictures.  We picked up Kasen and got ready at the right time of day this time.  I won't lie, I said a few prayers that my sweet little six month old, Kasen, would be happy and in a good mood for pictures.  You just never know with him.  Luckily, I have a baby model on my hands.  Haha not really, but that kid was working it.  He was looking at the camera and even cracked a smile or two.  I think I have trained him well with how many pictures I take of him all the time.  Now, if only I could get my husband to cooperate as well as Kasen ; ).  We are so excited to get the pictures in.  Our friends James & Lori, that Kyle has pretty much known his whole life, do such a fabulous job on pictures.  They took our engagement pictures and a few wedding pictures and videography.  Just for fun here are a few of our engagements they did : )  

Stay tuned for the family pictures.  : )  Here is their website for the photo credits.   

So the next day we woke up ate breakfast at Steak&Shake (breakfast included a shake) and headed home.  We stopped at What-a-burger, though this time we were not hungry. Oh, and we topped the trip off with a good old fashioned speeding ticket.  And once again by we, I mean my husband.  Not the added bonus we wanted, but it is what it is.      

Our spontaneous road trip proved to be a fantastic time.  Minus the ticket.  The last time Kyle & I spent quality time together was on our very first wedding anniversary trip, which was two months ago.  I vowed to have regular date nights after it, but we haven't honestly made it a priority.  I want to change that.  I forget how much fun we have together, and that is kind of sad.  I know there are couples that are dying for the alone time Kyle and I sometimes take for granted.  Even though we have a baby, it doesn't have to be an excuse.  Now don't get me wrong, I see Kyle everyday.  And everyday we talk, laugh, and joke.  And I enjoy doing life together with him, but from time to time it is good to set aside quality one on one time.  To plan something fun or romantic to do together.  Learning to make this a habit now will only help us in the future as life adds possibly more kids and more busyness.  -CHEERS       
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