13 for 13

I have approximately half an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to write my New Year's resolutions for 2013. After that, the TV turns off and I need to accomplish 4,982 things before 2012 ends.

So here goes. What I plan to accomplish in 2013:

1) First and foremost, have a baby. As part of that I would like to breastfeed said baby for at least 6 months or through 2013. While I realize this isn't totally within my control, I feel like I need to set a goal from the outset.

2) Sell our house and buy a new one. To do this, I'd like to save some extra cash by giving up going out to eat, at least for Lent. I'm writing this one without Rob's knowledge so I'll have to publish it before he wakes up.

3) Make progress on my thesis. I'd hoped to graduate in 2012, and I know with a new baby it might be hard to do that even in 2013, but I'd really like to have gotten approval and at least finished my interviews by the time #2 comes along.

4) Fit back into my clothes by the end of the year. Moreso than this, I want to have established an exercise routine by the end of 2013. With Faith, it took me about 8 months to get going again. Instead of 12 races in 2012, I want to do ONE race in 2013. Maybe a warm weather one in December. (Are you hearing me, Iowa State football players?)

5) Take a vacation. Whether that be a long weekend away just the two of us, or a short family vacation with all FOUR of us, I would really like to get out of Iowa/Nebraska for a few days. I'm excited just thinking about it!

6) Maintain my blogs. Pregnancy has derailed my regularly scheduled blogging. I'm so exhausted by 8:30 at night that I collapse on the couch. Hoping once baby is born I'll have more energy -- hard to even say that with a straight face. Going for four per month both here and on the CB blog.

7) Last year, I resolved to read 12 books. Let's go with 13 for the coming year. 

8) Learn to sew. Well, to hem, mend and sew a button on at least. Been wanting to do this for years as not knowing how makes me feel super incompetent. I have to thank my mom for offering me three free lessons as a Christmas gift. Really excited about this!

9) Scrapbook our Ireland vacation. I've printed all the pics, saved all the proper paraphernalia and even bought paper and stickers. Thinking of hosting a Friday night scrapbooking club for a month. Cari McClannahan, you in?

10) Since I didn't read my camera manual in 2012 as I'd planned, I'll say that again, but more importantly, I want to get better about using and remembering to take our nice camera. Every time we use it to take a shot versus our iPhones, it's so much better. Now to do that more often.

11) Speaking of iPhones, my goal is to disconnect from my phone while I'm home at night, at least from the hours of 6-8 unless it rings or beeps. I hope my husband will join me in this one.

12) Plant some flowers at our new house. I have a black thumb, but I hope I can learn to landscape a little bit better in the coming year. I just need someone to teach me as I hate spending money on things that die in the next month. Excited for a fresh start in a new place.

13) Be the best wife, mother and person I can be. I realize this is vague, but I want to be more understanding, less critical and all around nicer to those who are most important to me.

Happy New Year!

24 things: December photo edition

This is Faith's thinking pose. She likes to pull down the cushion backs of the couch, set up her "birthday cakes" and then fall off the couch and hope we catch her.
Laundry basket rides are a hit in our house. Rob's biceps are a testament.
Just reading the Lion King and enjoying a bum bum on Christmas Eve.
Faith's love for/ love for bothering Howie is at an all time high right now.

Could Howie's ability to play dead have anything to do with the picture above?
More thorough post to come, but this is the last pic we have of Faith and the infamous "binky." It's fitting how pissed off she looks.
We made Christmas cookies. Faith tried to eat all the dough.
We went outside to play. Faith tried to eat all the snow. I'm sensing a theme here.
Just an ordinary night at home.
This is my "front porch lookin' in" shot. If you haven't heard that song, you're missing out!
Fun on a snow day at my hair's expense.
Gimme an H-A-M!
Wearing her favorite nightgown and eating her favorite snack.
Faith and Cami enjoying "Rise of the Guardians" in unison. Yes, she ate the whole box!
Faith and Cami playing horsey with the basketball hoop.
Faith to Cami right after she sat down: "Hey! Get off my cowboy!"
Girl needs more country music in her life!
This kid loves her some Santa!
Going a little Clark Griswold on her new princess castle.
My two favorite bucketheads!
If you don't leave a kid alone for five minutes, they can't put their nightgown on inside out, on only the bottom half of their legs.

Not sure who's more interested in Clifford the Big Red Dog...

Random pregnant food shot. The Cheeseball burger from the Tap House in Omaha.

Yes, I ate this. After taking a Prilosec.

My 16 week bump.
My 18 week bump. The growth couldn't possibly have anything to do with the pictures above.
Pretty sure it's all baby. Speaking of baby, I owe baby a blog post of his/her own. Coming soon!

Til next time...

Here Comes Santa Claus

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you........A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

SAME GUY! I have talked the big guy up so much that my stocking best be stuffed this year. You're welcome, St. Nick. Thank me with lots of pairs of sweatpants and a Cyclone bowl game victory.
Yours truly,
Faith's mom

And because I was so excited with this new found love for Santa Claus, I just kept hitting the camera button on my phone repeatedly until the man in red finally looked at me like, "Lady, I got kids waiting." Fine, Santa! We got our seven photos, a video and most importantly a SMILE!

Oh happy days!

She wants "princess stuff."
OK, we've both had enough.
And the Christmas tradition of photos on Santa's lap at the Durham Museum continues...

Deja Moo at 15 weeks

When I was pregnant with Faith, it took awhile for me to gain any weight or "show." Some days I wondered if my belly would ever get bigger. Those were the days. 

I didn't surprise too many people with this pregnancy. Once your first child reaches a certain age, people are always wondering when the next one's coming and looking at you sideways to see if that's a pooch or you just ate too much turkey on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately for me, I started to show before Thanksgiving this time around. We've been meaning to take weekly bumps shots like we did for Faith, but, you know, 2nd child syndrome. 

This is the first one we've taken. 15 weeks now on the left and 15 weeks then on the right. Now that I look at them side by side, they don't look all that different, except things are a bit "looser" near the bottom of my belly. Plus I think I may have been trying to stick it out for the camera in 2009! I do feel a lot bigger this time around though.

While some things are different during this pregnancy, one thing has remained the same. Each time I go to the doctor and hear baby's heartbeat, the happiness I feel in my heart is just like it was with Faith. Now that I know what it's like to have a 2-year-old, I'm even more anxious to get to know the little person growing inside me. That's just one of the reasons we'll be finding out the sex of the baby. Jan. 11th, if you're reading this, hurry up!

It's been a while for me...

So as it turns out, I (Rob) haven't written on here in a while. And looking at the blog - it doesn't look like Nic has kept up maybe as much as she would have liked to. So here's what you've missed since I've last posted (9/19/12 - The Birthday Post):

The President was re-elected

Faith is fully potty trained (knock on wood)

ISU Football became Bowl Eligible

I got to dance with Bruce Springsteen (well, touch him; creepy)... Amazing concert.

That happened... 

And I created a 1-minute movie trailer:
                                                                        Cute, huh?

It's very artsy-fartsy and hoity-toity. It's an indy film, so I don't expect everyone to get it, but I do want the feelings to be expressed throughout the magnificant artistry and benevolence that come with... That's what directors sound like right?

If you didn't watch the video yet (or follow us on Facebook, or Twitter, or in real life): SPOILER ALERT! Baby numero deuce-o is on the way. Expected arrival - end of the school year (Late May/Early June 2013).

And it's funny because Nic and I have had this grand master plan for a while now, and things are still working for us. But planning for #2 and knowing #2 is on the way feels different. Everything has been different for Nic. Faith seems to think she's getting another baby Susie (doll).

So that means we've been looking for our old baby stuff. Found out, Nic has "lost" all of her maternity clothes. We get to buy new I guess. We were walking through Target and a teacher-friend of mine happened to be purchasing a baby shower gift, and was getting Baby Crack (something remembered from our post), which made me look for ours (check).
It's Baaack: the Baby Einstein Baby Take-Along Tunes Infant Toy

Anyway - we're happy. Nic is doing well. I have already gained the required empathy weight. Faith seems to get it... I think. And now that Howie is completely comfortable with Faith, we're going to throw this at him. Good luck, buddy.

I can't go into much more detail because Nic is going to be sending out the Christmas letter soon. It'd help if she had started writing it I think though. Have a Merry Christmas.


Happy Halloween?

 Sorry there hasn't been much to read here lately. I'm hoping I can pick it back up in December...you know...when things die down.

"Better late than never." It could be a slogan for feminine products. Or it could be how I feel about a Halloween blog post in mid/late November. You decide.

Anyway, Halloween.

Howie's alligator (or is it a crocodile?) costume was purchased at TJMaxx in September. For the next four weeks, we proceeded to hear from Faith that she, as well as everyone she knew, was going to be "a alligator" for Halloween.

While that would be really weird/amazing to see so many alligators out on Halloween, we weren't convinced. Someone suggested having her dress like Steve Irwin, in little khaki shorts and a button-up shirt, and walk "Howie the Alligator" around on his leash. I loved the concept, but "Sleeping Beauty" had other ideas.

This child is obsessed with princesses. Not only do I feel like a commercialized failure, she also will only wear skirts and dresses. (Her worst tantrums involve Rob or me trying to put some leggings on her body. It looks slightly like an exorcism.) One of my good friends asked me how I ended up with such a girly girl. Well, I blame karma (and one of my sisters in particular :)

Needless to say, we went with a store-bought Sleepy Beauty costume from Target.

Faith and our neighbor boy/partner in crime, Thomas -- er, I mean Tigger.

 As someone who thrives on homemade Halloween costumes,

I never said they were well done.

 I was disappointed. I wanted her to be McKayla Maroney from the Olympics for Halloween, complete with the face!

Faith can do the face. This is the best one we've got on camera.

But putting on that gymnast outfit was almost as bad as putting her in jeggings.

Instead, I lived vicariously through myself. After spending the day chronicling my fellow employees' costumes for a work blog post, I came across "Michael Jackson." After we got done singing "Heal the World" together, I looked her up and down and thought, 'Hey, even I can do that.'

The most impressive part was my lone strand of curl. The least impressive part: my three quarter mitten-glove, that was supposed to serve as MJ's white glove. I did go for the crotch grab a couple times for authenticity purposes.

I have to thank my neighbors for accompanying us and taking great photos. Without them, MJ would've had to photograph the kids trick or treating and that's never good. I also want to thank my dad for coming with us while Rob handed out candy. He was a big help walking Faith up to doors and encouraging her to say "trick or treat" and "thank you" even though 9 times out of 10 homeowners got a blank stare for their candy. Dad also kept Rob busy with the gift he got Faith for Halloween.

She loves it, but we're still working on singular digit puzzles.

All in all, it was fun. And oh what a different a year makes.

There's always hope for Steve Irwin next year...

Lucky Number 8

Eight years. No, it's not a round number. No, it doesn't have any significance. And no, a "being together"/"couple" anniversary is not something most people celebrate. Rob included.

But he can't stop me from blogging about it, especially when I wake up at 5 a.m. to do so. The man is dead to the world until 6:45 when I have to gently wake him up perform a Hulk Hogan leg drop to get him out of bed. Most of the time I let Faith to do my dirty work. She's cuter than me in the morning (and always) so it works well.

While Oct. 16 is not our wedding anniversary, I feel like it's just as much of a significant date as June 2. I feel like that fall day in 2004 was the day we committed to each other. Not in front of God and everyone, but to ourselves. Sure, it was possible that we'd date for awhile and break up. But what happened was that neither of us looked back after that day. I think we knew within a couple weeks that we truly loved each other. And by the time we graduated from college six months later, we were pretty sure we'd get married someday.

And because after eight years of togetherness, a house, a needy dog with a small bladder and a two-year-old that causes major exhaustion, sometimes you don't necessarily feel the love like you used to. Don't get me wrong, it's there. But sometimes it's hard to feel between the daily grind and busy schedules.

I want my husband to know that I love him. One of my favorite games that Rob hates to play is "5 things you love about the other person." Some might think this sounds like a lame, needy schoolgirl thing to do, and that's just fine. (I'm telling the teacher on you though). However, I think it's important to remind your loved one about the good things they do, rather than the laundry he didn't fold, or the dishes she didn't do. It's easy to criticize, forget what matters and go about your day. It's much harder to stop and think, reflect and tell someone how much they mean to you. So that's exactly what I'm going to do here. But instead of 5 things, I'll go with 8. What kind of list maker would I be if I didn't. Without further ado:

I love Rob because he makes me laugh every day. Whether it's a corny joke, his Gangnam style dancing or one of his tweets or Facebook posts, he's always able to get a smile out of me.

I love Rob because he is all about equal partnership. He cooks, he cleans, he holds Faith on the toilet while she does her biznas. That last one is not for the faint of heart.

I love Rob because he dreams about our future. Going back to school to get his master's, looking at houses online for our family, dreaming of vacations we'll take someday (probably when we're 95)...it's nice to know he plans to be around forever.

I love Rob because because he's so different than me. He's "seize the day." I'm more "Let's just wait and see if the day wants to be seized." I'm frugal/cheap. He's more of an, "if it's going to make you happy, just buy the damn thing." He checks things off his to do list. I like to just stare at mine for a while and then check Facebook. We complement each other well.

I love Rob because he still calls me all the time to say "Hi." Whether it's on his way home from school, in the aisles of the grocery store, or upon arriving to his destination safely, he always checks in and wants me to do the same. Having someone who cares where you are at all times (that's not your mother) is pretty darn great.

I love Rob because he is smart. Not conventional "what's the theory of relativity?" smart, but "I'll-figure-it-out-and-no-one-can-stop-me "smart. Take learning guitar for example. He can't read music, but just taught himself to play by ear. Me? When I tried to learn guitar I took lessons for a few months, got bored and then let my guitar and "beginner books" collect dust. When it comes to attempting  things on my own, I'd rather ask my 12 closest friends, refer to 3 experts in the field and then consult the Interweb. Rob is not afraid to learn by trial and error and I think it's made him smarter than he even realizes.

I love Rob because we share a lot of the same passions. The Cyclones. Running (that one took awhile for him). Journalism. Family. Country music (haha, kidding). And most importantly, Faith. He's the only person in the world that can love her as much as I do and does a great job of it.

And last but not least, I love Rob because he loves me. I know I have flaws (short-fuse, severe procrastination, crying extremely too easily) but when someone can look past all of that to love who you are regardless of your flaws (a mom/wife who would do ANYTHING to keep her family happy and healthy) you know you've found the right person.

 Even when we bicker, even when we raise our voices, even when we're mad because someone accidentally washed our silk tie and ruined it but that person didn't mean to, I love him. I know this because even after eight years, I still get excited to come home, or for him to come home to me. To us. His family. Maybe not "Howie wagging his tail" excited, but excited nonetheless. Happy 8 year "anniversary" to us! Here's to 80 more!