Thursday, August 26, 2010

And now the rest of the birthday celebrations!

Earlier in the week, my parents had us over for dinner and my dad made my favorite meal he makes (brisket) and my mom made my favorite cake she makes (german chocolate!)! It was a yummy meal!

Does that look so good or what?!IMG_0899

Someone (besides me) was excited about dessert!IMG_0935

Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!IMG_0943

My actual birthday was a WONDERFUL day (minus the drive from school to work where I cried because I left Ava at school crying. She was sad and when I left she had her arms held out to me and was screaming “mama, mama” and it broke my heart) :( But the day significantly improved after that!

I got to have lunch with three of my old co-workers. I loved working with these ladies and we all had so much fun working together even under awful working conditions. I miss seeing them every day but am thankful for sustained friendships!

During the afternoon, we had dessert compliments of my awesome boss! photo(7) Oh my gosh, was this good! It was a 10 layer torte and it had chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cake as well as some other goodies in it! Delish!IMG_1031

When I got home, my sweet girlie was waiting on me with this:IMG_1012

I think I had way too much dessert. Thankfully there was lots to share. I also got a new pair of my favorite shoes! I got a pair of black canvas Toms! These shoes are soooooooooo comfortable!

toms

I was also told during the day to come home and get ready quickly because we were leaving about 10 minutes after I get home. Zach had arranged for a baby-sitter and we headed for a special birthday date at one of my favorite restaurants – Abuelo’s! YUM! We don’t leave Ava a whole lot so it was nice to have a date night for ourselves. Thanks so much for planning that, Zach! It was such a great night and it was a wonderful birthday!!

Thanks to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes and for all who made it a special day. I am beyond blessed!

Now, it’s on to planning the big 2nd birthday! I got the invitations today and I’m so excited for her party!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Happy Birthday to me!!!!

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{p.s. – don’t miss the post below!!!}

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ummm… I wasn’t kidding!!!!

I wasn’t kidding about the shoe obsession people……

Look what Ava fell asleep holding tonight…

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Her beloved shoes! Could she be any cuter??!

Monday, August 23, 2010

First day of school!

Today was Ava’s first day of school! She’s in the 2 year old class and definitely knows the routine!IMG_0949 (She’s got a 2 year molar coming in and chewing on the finger must feel good because she’s doing it a lot!)

How sassy does this kid look?IMG_0951

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Ok, so let me tell you about the shoes. Ava needed a new pair of shoes for school this year and we found a pair over the weekend. Oh. my. word. She is obsessed with them. She was so excited about them. She kept talking about them. When we got to school, she looked at her teacher and said “my shoes!”. I firmly believe she probably talked about them ALL day and probably drove her teacher crazy! :) Gotta love the mind of a 2 year old. More on the shoes in a bit.

{i seriously love this picture}IMG_0968

{not sure why she looked so mad here!}IMG_0976

So we got to school and Ava was excited to see a mom of one of her friends! She was happy and smiling, and then she tripped over her brand new shoes! She scraped up both of her knees. Nothing like starting the first day of school falling down and bleeding!IMG_0998

But she had a great day and played hard and came home with her daddy talking about the shoes! (Girl has a one track mind people! She loves shoes!) She had them on when I got home and seriously about fell apart when I took them off. I showed her pictures of this morning, and of course, the only thing she cared about was… you guessed it… her shoes! :) Love that goofy kid! I’m glad she had a good day and I know she’s happy to be back in school! I’m thankful we have a place that she loves so much!

{edited to add: when I dropped her off this morning, I asked if she drove them crazy talking about her shoes. Of course they were sweet and said no, but her teacher did say Ava showed them to everyone who came in their room yesterday. Oh, that girl!}

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Extra long weekend!

Thursday and Friday I took off work to spend some days with Ava (and because we didn’t have anyone to watch her since school doesn’t start until tomorrow). The days off were SOOOO nice and sooooooo good for this mama’s heart. I had the BEST time just spending my days with her and getting to have fun. But as great a time as we had, it’s going to break my heart to have to go back to work in the morning. ::sigh::

I barely took any pictures just because we were busy and just enjoying ourselves. Thursday I helped a friend out by watching her little boy. He’s almost 1 so it was definitely busy around here. Ava wasn’t too jealous but when our friend first got here, she sat down in my lap and kept saying “my mama”. It was cute. Ava’s twin friends came over to play too! And their mother and I were brave and took all 4 kids to lunch!

Friday we ran errands and then Mommy got to meet up with a friend! Here’s the little lady while we were waiting:photo(5) I met Sarah back in April and I’ve been dying to meet her precious little man, Emanuel! I took my camera and for some reason it wouldn’t work so we had to settle for a blurry phone pic! :(photo(6) Oh, what a cutie this little boy is! It was so fun to catch up and just chat! I love that blogging has introduced me to people and that when we meet up, I feel like we’ve known each other forever! Ava liked them too! She wanted to go home with them instead of me!

I’m so thankful for the new friends I’ve found through blogging! A couple weeks ago, I finally got to meet Holli and we just sat and gabbed for a couple hours while the kids played. (I sadly don’t have any pics from this meet up! I will next time!)

Friday evening, Zach’s mom and grandma came into town to spend the weekend with us. We had an early birthday celebration with them and had a good time while they visited. Ava turned on the goofy-ness while they were here. They brought me a birthday cake! It traveled a long way! I was impressed it looked this good after a day of traveling! It was sooo yummy!!!IMG_0885

We had a really fun time and it was so nice to have a long weekend to visit. I know Ava loves having extra attention from her grandmas!IMG_0894

Thanks again for coming and for the birthday celebration!

We have a busy week in store! Ava starts school tomorrow! She’s in a new class but her teacher from last year has moved up so she’ll be with her again! My birthday is Wednesday so I’m sure I’ll be back later with lots of updates! Hope you all have a great week!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

potty training 101

Sooooooooooo…. we are working some on potty training these days. We’re not pushing it by any means, but if she wants to sit on it, we’ll let her. Ava had some luck several days in a row of telling us she needed to potty & then proceeded to do so. She looooves stickers, so I made her a potty chart.

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She’s way into this. She loves putting stickers on here. One morning she came to me and kept saying sticker over and over. I kept telling her she only got a sticker if she went potty. So when I went to her bathroom to get her hair and teeth brushed, I noticed that there were stickers missing from the reel, and I looked around and couldn’t find them on anything. I eventually turned around and found this:

photo(4) She’d gone ahead and just filled in some of the squares! It was really hard not to laugh when I saw this. She had a few good days in a row and then hasn’t had ANY interest for like the last 3 days. That’s ok though. I know she’ll do it when she’s ready. Until then, we’ll just keep encouraging and letting her go when she asks!

Tomorrow is my last day of the work week and Thursday & Friday I get to hang out with my girl! I’m excited to have a few days off with her before she starts school again on Monday!

And just for good measure, and because it’s been a while, here’s the wild lady tonight. Her hair just keeps getting curlier and curlier, and messier and messier!IMG_0874

Happy middle of the week!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

just for fun!

Page tagged me to tell you some things about me, so here goes:

1) What was on your To-Do list today:

  • Pulling weeds out of my flower bed. I’ve been avoiding it and it had gone on long enough.
  • Picking up the house. It sucks that this is on my list every day. It just doesn’t stay clean. Grrrrr…
  • Go through Ava’s toys and pack up the ones that she no longer plays with. Toy corner in the living room looks SO much better but I have a feeling that won’t last long since her birthday is fast approaching.
  • Paint my toes. Sadly I didn’t accomplish this one, nor do I care to anymore.
  • Work on some birthday party planning. Didn’t really make it to this either. Oh well.
  • Make up the casserole we’re having for dinner tomorrow night. Tomorrow is Zach’s first day back with the kiddos so we’re back to planning out our meals and prepping as much as possible before we get home from work.

2) 5 Snacks you enjoy:
popcorn, apple slices with fat free caramel, grapes, pretzels, and strawberries


3) 5 Places you have lived:

  • the first house I grew up in
  • the house we moved to when I was 9 years old
  • the dorms at the U of A
  • an apartment during college at the U of A
  • the house we live in now


4) What were you doing 5 years ago:
Five years ago, I had recently graduated college and jetted off to Europe the day after. Upon return, I started my first job which quickly went to the crapper after the boss of our department left. I had just moved into my own little rent house all by myself and was a little over a month away from meeting my husband. At the time, I was full of anguish over whether or not I’d ever meet anyone. I had no clue what was in store for me shortly thereafter! It feels like just yesterday, but forever ago at the same time.


5) 5 things you would do if you were a Billionaire:

  • quit my job!!
  • donate money to causes we believe in
  • build a huge house with a swimming pool (& hire a pool guy since Zach says he never wants to take care of a pool)
  • -Share with our families
  • Travel to all the places we want to see
  • And one more – I have always thought if I had a lot of money that it’d be fun to anonymously do things for people, like buy them something they needed or send them on a trip they’d never be able to afford. I think it’d be fun to do stuff like that.

And the other day, Candace posted a fun blog and I'm going to do it too!

Always. Sometimes. Never

I always.....
  • take a glass of water to bed with me.
  • wear my seatbelt.
  • try to be on time, meaning early. I hate being late.
  • err on the side of caution when it comes to how long something has been in my refrigerator. I probably waste a lot but don't want to risk eating something bad.
  • wait in the driveway to make sure the garage door goes down.
  • wear my wedding/engagement ring, Ava's birthstone ring and earrings.
  • make lists. On paper, in excel, in my head.. they never end.
  • always thinking of something. I never let my head rest. I try, but it doesn't seem to work.

I sometimes.....

  • lose my keys.
  • feel like I don't quite measure up.
  • forget I have little ears listening to me.
  • talk too much.
  • let Ava fall asleep in my arms just so I can hold her a little longer.
  • change into my pjs as soon as we get home because I'm ready to be comfortable!
  • remember really random info from the past.


I never.....

  • start a tv show or movie in the middle. I have to watch from the beginning because I don't like not knowing what is going on.
  • lay down in bed and go right to sleep. So wish I could. Never have.
  • like to be the bad guy. Unfortunately sometimes I have to be.
  • get tired of hearing Ava's giggle.
  • feel very confident when I'm with a group of people I don't know well.
  • seem to get in bed as early as I intend to.
  • like it when friendships end, but as I grow up, I realize that sometimes things can never go back to the way they used to be.
  • go a day without thanking the Lord for blessing me with so much more than I deserve!

Is there anything you always.sometimes.never do??

Sunday, August 8, 2010

PSA – Online banking & credit card accounts

For anyone who may not know, besides being a doting mother and wife, I’m also an accountant by day. Exciting, I know.

I’m a number oriented person and I watch our finances like a hawk. I just feel like we can’t be too safe these days. I do a few things and I want to share those with you because doing so has found an error that I may not have otherwise noticed.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a financial guru, this is just what works for us.

A little back history: Zach and I both work very hard to ensure we handle our finances responsibly. We’ve worked hard to get rid of small debts we had when we first got married just due to us being in school, etc. We have ONE credit card we use daily – and we use it only because we get pretty sweet rewards from it. However, we treat it like a debit card and write down transactions in the check book, because it is paid off monthly. A balance is never carried on it because paying interest on it just means the things we purchase are really more expensive than what we pay.

Because I don’t want to miss any transactions, and because of the ever growing risk of identity theft, I check our bank account and credit card account pretty much every day. I feel that by doing so, if a charge that wasn’t ours is on there, I could catch it fairly quickly before anything got out of hand.

For example, I was going to write down some transactions and just went to make sure I hadn’t missed any and saw a debit coming out of bank account. The balance in our bank account had changed which was odd – because I only pay bills out of it at the beginning of the month, write checks, or pay the credit card account, it sits pretty dormant for most of the month. Firstly, we have pretty much quit using our debit cards simply because of the reason mentioned above – why not get something back for spending $$$ we’d spend anyway? Secondly, the charge had a transaction date at the end of JUNE that just TODAY showed up in my bank account. It was labeled a POS (point of sale) transaction which meant it was a debit card transaction & it should NOT take that over a month to process. Thirdly, it was for a restaurant that we have not eaten at in OVER a year. The last time I remember eating there was when Zach and I met for lunch last summer after one of Ava’s dr’s appointments. Just out of curiosity, I went and looked at the EOB for that dr visit and it was the SAME date as the debit card charge that was coming through THIS year. I also pulled up my bank statement from last year at the time I remembered us going, and the amount from that day is the same to the penny as the one that just came out of our account. I called the restaurant and spoke with the owner who is looking into it for me. He was very understanding and said he hoped it wasn’t just a duplicate transaction, but I’m kind of thinking it was.

He did tell me something I was unaware of. Whether this is true for all places, I’m not sure. Apparently since we’d used a debit card there and put a tip on it, it had gone into a “holding account” if you will, and it could possibly not get closed out. That’s very concerning to hear. Thankfully this was only a small amount of money but it just goes to show that even though we sometimes do all we can to protect ourselves, things can still happen. However, I believe the more we do to keep things straight, the better off we are!

One other thing we do is regularly order credit reports from the 3 credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian & TransUnion. You can find more information here. You can get 1 free report per place per year so you can get 3 free per year. It’s just a good way to make sure there’s nothing shady going on under your name! :)

I hope that this has been helpful and that it will help someone prevent fraud for themselves!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Little Miss Fashionista!

Or so she thinks…..I can’t believe Ava is already getting particular about what she wants to wear. Twice already this week, she has wanted to change clothes because she wanted to wear something other than what I picked out. Um, seriously? You aren’t even two yet, Ms. Thang. Oh how I pray the strong willed stubbornness will be to your benefit later in life.

One of her most recent favorite past times is to dress/undress herself even if she already has clothes on.

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Watch out Vogue! She’s headed your way!  IMG_0849 She is also really into makeup these days. She thinks she needs to have some (as well as deodorant – seriously, she sees us use it and lifts her arms… ) so I sometimes pretend to put some on her and she gets oh so excited. I’ve even taught her how to open her eyes really wide (and apparently her mouth) to apply mascara! Love it! IMG_0861IMG_0859IMG_0862Now if she’d just leave a bow in we’d be in business! Maybe one day!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lake Michigan – Final Part!

I’m finally blogging our last vacation pictures! I’m glad to have these going up so I can move on to blogging about other things!

Our last day there, it started out cloudy but then turned into a gorgeous sunny day!!! The waves were huge and fun to play in and it was the perfect last day!  LM099 LM102 LM105

So I mentioned before how much Ava disliked putting her feet in the sand. We tried to get her to do it so she could realize it wasn’t so bad. It took a little bit of coaxing, but she eventually was okay with it (after a little drama)!LM107 LM108LM110LM133LM143

The gorgeous house on the beach that I want to spend next summer in – ha! LM148

I know I talked about how much Ava loved the water and I think these pictures show it pretty well! Waves would crash over her head and she’d just laugh and go back for more! I hope she always loves the water this much!!LM117 LM118

WIPEOUTS!!!!!!!          LM155 LM156 LM157 LM173

      LM167 

She looks like such a big girl, just swimming away! :) She definitely had a wonderful week, and we did as well!LM185LM164

We had an amazing week at Lake Michigan and I can’t wait to go back again! LM204

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