Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cali - You were good to us.

I can't believe that the last time I posted we were celebrating Emersyn's 2nd Birthday! The cold weather finally left Ohio in May and Summer has been so sweet. We still have some of it left, but I already know I am not going to want it to end. We have been sleeping in, playing outside, spending weekends at the lake, taking vacations, going on wagon rides, and most importantly to Emersyn... eating a lot of popsicles. :) If it were up to her, she would have a popsicle for every meal.

Here are some pictures from our trip to California. Emersyn absolutely loved California and still asks when we can go back. I love when she says the word "California" so we tend to talk about the west coast quite often. :) She loved the "giant sand box", the water that chased us(waves), and of course her cousins.

We spent a week in San Diego on the beach. Our hotel overlooked the ocean - which was pretty amazing. We went to the zoo, the aircraft carrier, and out to eat at a lot of fun restaurants. Tourists for sure. :) We also spent a few days in Lego Land. Afterwards we drove to Yosemite for another 5 days. Yosemite National Park was amazing, but I'll leave that for the another post.

The best part about it all was spending time with family that we absolutely love, but do not get to see nearly enough. Be prepared for picture overload. I couldn't help it. Xo.

Em and Judah's favorite game.. burying their feet and asking us "Where did it go?" :)

Playing with her big cousin. Look at that belly. :) 
San Diego Zoo with her Cousins!
Family Picture on the Aircraft Carrier.

Sneaking away for a night out after Em went to bed. :) 
Em LOVED kicking her legs in the pool. 
We celebrated Father's Day on the beach. :)

Em's favorite part of LEGO LAND with Aunt Gretchen... the sprinklers. :)

Spending time with Baby Adalyn and Uncle Dave. 

So. Much. Fun.

Time is going so fast. I don't have any other way to say it - but I want it to stop.. and I also can't wait to see what comes next. It's a constant tug and pull.

{I love this crazy, tragic - sometimes almost magic - awful, beautiful life.}

Friday, April 25, 2014

Em is TWO!

On Em's REAL Birthday {This past Wednesday} I took a half day in Kindergarten and picked her up early from daycare. She was kind of grumpy - so I was worried about the rest of the day. When we got home, she napped, and woke up a new little lady!

My sweet two year old.
We opened presents {She got a tiny bike, books, a DORA, and her very own Ariel Doll}, ate cake, and around 5:30 we left for Sesame Street Live!

Em has never really watched Sesame Street on T.V but she absolutely loves little videos on YouTube with Ernie and Elmo. She knows some of the characters just because we love hearing her say them.. {The name Rosita sounds amazing when a little two year old says it!}

I wasn't sure how she'd do.. but when the lights went down and the spotlights turned on with all of the characters, Em was in awe. I actually started crying a little because I've never seen her so surprised/happy about something... and it was just an emotional day because she turned TWO. Ugh.

Anyway, She couldn't stop giggling/dancing and every time Ernie or Elmo would leave the stage she would ask, "Where Elmo Go Mama?"

The best part of the night - We were on an isle and a few characters walked by to highfive the little ones. Em saw Rosita and was so excited and Rosita patted her on the head. It's 2 days later {which is a lot in toddler world} and she's still talking about Rosita. Highlight of her life. :) Haha.

The past two years have been so sweet with Emersyn. I feel blessed every day.. but on her birthday, I felt emotional! It snuck right up on me at Sesame Street Live and I realize how much our lives have changed for the better and how excited I am for all of the memories to come.

Em's Easter Egg Birthday Party

Well. She's Two. My little baby girl is pretty much on her way to Kindergarten. We had so much fun celebrating Em's Birthday! On Easter Weekend, we had an Egg Hunt/Pancake Birthday Party with Em's Cousins. She loved telling everyone that she was two all day long.. and when we served her Pancakes with a candle - she was so excited!
Wait.. I'm TWO?

It was a perfect and chilly April Day. I love that we took so many pictures to capture these moments when they are still so tiny. It will be so much fun for all of her cousins to grow up together and look back one day to see these.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Whole 30

Hey Friends,

I've taken the plunge on a new way of living{at least for the next 30 days} - It's called The Whole 30 and I am documenting it here. If you've never heard of it you should check out It's absolutely NOT a diet. It's more about becoming educated with what you put into your body and why. I'm sold already just from the first few chapters of the book It Starts With Food by Dallis and Melissa Hartwig. I just haven't been feeling right lately. My energy has been zapped. I feel sluggish.. and I'm not sleeping that well at night. I'm also pretty out of shape with the {post-mama not running enough} trap.
When we lived in South Carolina - with our own home, own schedule, etc. I ate pretty healthy (don't get me wrong I still enjoyed kettle chips, baked goodies, and drinking soda every now and then) but all in all I was pretty healthy. Fast forward to this year living with my parents (No..we still haven't found a home. Ugh.) and things have been a mess. I'm not sure why. I'd like to blame the colder weather and my body being tricked into thinking it needs to store food for the winter.. Haha but now that it's spring - I'm still doing the same thing! No more hibernation excuses.

I teach Kindergarten and I was finding myself exhausted by 1:00. So exhausted that I'd run immediately to get a Diet Dr. Pepper after the kids went to their specials area at 2:00. Then I'd feel good for a little bit but be kind of irritable. I'd get home from school and eat a ridiculous amount of junk because I was so hungry.. and then eat a not so healthy dinner.. go to bed.. not sleep well.. and wake up and do the whole thing over.

With the whole30 you eliminate dairy, most grains, legumes and processed sugar from your diet. I might be saying it wrong so if I am I apologize! You focus on what you can eat - and focus on REAL and NATURAL foods. No. More. Oreos. At least for 30 days. Then it's up to you with how you move forward. According to the authors - I'll never think about food the same way again. Does that mean I won't have an Oreo(or 5) every now and then after this Whole30 thing is over? Maybe.. but Maybe not. It does mean I'll at least be educated on what that Oreo does(and doesn't) do for my body.

*Update* The first three days were pretty easy for me.. and looking back at this - I was forming some pretty bad habits so I'm happy that I'm sticking with it {Day 14 now}. I'm not positive that I'll choose to do this for 30 days - but so far it has been eye opening and in the future I really do think I'll be more intentional with what I put in my body. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

22&23 Months and Life.

I was just looking back at my 21 Month Post thinking about how much has changed with Emersyn in just a few months! She is getting so big. Each day I am completely blown away by her new vocabulary. Dan and I will look at each other and say, "Did she really say that? I think she did.. but how does she know that?"

Ohio has still been freezing up until.. well.. today. Today was beautiful! 60 degrees.. sunny.. breezy... amazing. I have missed the spring. It makes missing South Carolina a little bit easier when Em and I can actually get out and play after school.

This year has really been a blur. I am not really sure what to think of it yet or how I will look back on it when time has passed. I'm not even sure what I'll think of these sappy blog posts.. haha but I do know one thing - it's okay that this year has been tough.. and it's also okay that I'm happy it's almost over.

Our first year at the new school is wrapping up, our time living with my parents is ending soon, and this summer is going to be full of settling in to our new little town, traveling with family, and visiting amazing friends. I think through this spring and summer it will start to feel more like home. I know it sounds crazy.. it's been 9 months - but at times it still feels like I'm just visiting Ohio on a long trip. I'm ready for that feeling to be over.

I've missed the positive people and genuine friendships that come with being in a place for a while. 5 years in S.C. was the perfect amount of time to really build some wonderful friendships. It's hard to start over again and it's also hard to admit I have to start over again considering we are living so close to my hometown.

I knew this day would come when I would have to "come back home" and realize that home isn't what I left behind. My parents are still here.. I still LOVE life in the country, but my hometown is not really my little town anymore and the connections I have with people are much different than 10 years ago (but that's understandable, right?)

I'm stronger than I was.. and the relationship I have with my husband, God, and a few sweet friends - has only gotten stronger. They've listened to me cry, assured me it would be okay, and gave advice.  I'm thankful for this year.. and I'm excited about what's to come.


Friday, January 31, 2014

21 Months

Oh My! Sweet Em is 21 months and I can't believe how big she is getting. We have been spending a lot of time drawing, playing in Em's toy kitchen, and with her princess castle. It's been too cold to go outside - especially with the negative temperatures but hopefully when it warms up we can head outside to play in the snow! :)

Her newest obsession is Sesame Street. She hasn't really ever seen the show, but we have showed her little songs on YouTube. Elmo's Ducks and Ernie's Bath are just some of her all-time favorites. Sesame Street Live is coming to our town in April and it just happens to be on April 23rd.. which is Em's 2nd Birthday! Obviously, I was over excited and we purchased tickets RIGHT away. I hope she isn't terrified of the large characters. Haha.

If you follow on instagram {prettylittleelm} then you have already seen this picture! We had so much fun taking these pictures. It's definitely a group effort - but I love that we'll have the pictures one day.

{Food Favorites Lately}
  • Spaghetti, Spaghetti, and more Spaghetti :) 
  • Veggies and Dip (small pieces of broccoli and carrots while I'm sitting with her)
  • Cookies... I gave her one vanilla oreo after dinner ONE night and she won't let me forget it. :) 
  • Girl would listen to music all day long as long these songs were on repeat: EIEIO, BINGO, Hokey Pokey and Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. 
  • Coloring and Drawing
  • Sesame Street Stuffed Animals. She wouldn't try her peas the other night, but when I pretended Elmo was telling her to - she definitely tried them. Ha! :) 

  • She knows her colors! We are pretty excited about it and so is she. We are still working on purple, pink, black and white. 
  • New words every day. Putting 2-3 words together especially - Emi Fall Cry No Way. She loves saying that when she's about to do something dangerous that she isn't supposed to do. :)

  • Em went to the bathroom on the potty! She has done it twice now - not sure if she really gets it or if we are just in the right place at the right time. Either way, we still aren't pushing it but we are excited about it. :) 
  • Em singing to songs, or breaking out with the alphabet song when we least expect it. She started singing Rain, Rain, Go Away the other day and I had no idea she knew the song... but I could totally understand what she was saying! 
  • Rocking her to sleep on a night she wasn't feeling well. We don't get to do that too often anymore and I loved it. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

20 Months

Time is flying with the little lady. Every now and then.. hubby and I take a peak back on the last two years and seriously can't believe how little (and chunky) she was! She's growing up so fast, but she keeps getting better every day! Sometimes I can't even believe she was just a little baby bump. Happy 20 Months sweet girl. You make us happy when skies are gray. Xo.

Daddy was making her laugh so hard because he was having little people fall off of his head. It's the small things. :)


{Teeth} Too many to count! Her mouth is full. :) And she's had a bit of a hard time with teething in the past two months. 

  • She loves fruit! Blueberries and Apples are her favorite.
  • Food - She isn't loving the vegetables lately, so we have to sneak them in! She likes turkey, chicken, and anything we are eating for dinner. I feel like I'm making better food choices because I can't sneak anything with her - she always wants what we have! 
  • She LOVES cheese as well. Basically everything you hear toddlers like/don't like.. she falls right along with it. Although she does like carrots and tomatoes - so we are happy about that! :) 
  • Em is starting to imagine and I love watching her! She got a little people princess castle and loves making them go through the doors, jump out the window {eek}, climb the towers, and say hi to one another. She also loves playing with her baby and putting her to bed and feeding her milk. 
  • She still loves her stuffed animals and has to tell me each name almost every morning. She holds them up and says.. Hippo, Moose, Bunny Hop Hop, Cow, etc. 
  • One word.. ELMO. She is crazy over this little red guy. She got Big Hugs Elmo for Christmas and was terrified at first, but now she wants to take him everywhere and make sure that he does everything she is doing. 
  • Drawing - She wants to do it all of the time! It's something I love doing with her.. we sit together and draw with big chunky crayons. She is trying to figure out the color names - but still confuses them. 

  • Too many to count! She is definitely a talker and is a little sponge when it comes to learning new words. Around 19 Months she started putting two words together like "Papa Bye Bye" and "No Daddy!" Haha. 
  • She leaves the ends or different sounds off of a lot of words. I can pretty much understand everything she is saying.. but it's funny to watch other people try to figure it out! {Jup instead of Jump.. Pay instead of Play.. Moo instead of More}
  • She can count to 4 and make it to the letter E in the alphabet. I'm not sure she really knows what counting means, but she'll copy us by holding up objects as she counts. It's really cute. :) 
  • Em's Favorite Words - {Oh My} when something happens that surprises her. {No Way} when we are trying to trick her or when she doesn't want to do/eat something. {Elmo} for obvious reasons.. and talking about herself in 3rd person like when she is about to do something she shouldn't be doing.. {Emi uh huh Mama. Emi uh huh.} :)

  • Jumping. She is starting to really figure this out when we are on the bed. When she is on the ground she still never actually leaves the ground... but she is trying! 
  • Walking Backwards, Rolling, Twirling, and more crazy dance moves. :) Running - She loves to see how fast she can go, especially when we are chasing her. 
  • Eating with silverware. Not sure if she is a righty or lefty - but she is getting pretty good with both!
  • She loves making us laugh. Just last night out of no where she said "Ah Choo" and pretended to sneeze. When we ask her if she has to cough.. she always does her fake cough and pats herself on the back. :)
  • Playing in the snow for the first time. All she really wanted to do was eat the snow.. but she stayed outside very happily for about an hour! 
  • LOVING her grandparents. It's so great living in Ohio now because she truly loves all four of them and wants to see them all of the time! I think the grandparents are loving it even more. :) 

  • Em loves all of her friends at her new {Home Daycare} We have been on Christmas Break for over 2 weeks and she still talks about them like she just saw them yesterday. I think she's pretty excited to go back and play with them! 
  • She has started with "meltdowns" and we are learning and choosing as parents how to deal with it. So far.. we either just let it be until she calms down {ignore} or one of us takes her to a quiet room and talks to her about what she's doing and the choices she has. Parenting is so tough! I'm not sure if anything is working - but she seems to calm down when we take her away from the situation - and she seems to understand everything we are saying... time will tell!
  • She definitely knows where the potty is.. and what it is used for.. and tell us when she has gone to the bathroom in her diaper. We are not doing anything crazy yet, but if she says potty, we definitely sit her on the potty and see what she'll do. She is around some 2-2 1/2 year olds at her home daycare so she is definitely seeing them use the potty every day! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 - Perspective

I once read that your 28th year was supposed to be your best {you know in one of those crazy ranking articles you find that your friend posted from Facebook}. Anyway - that kind of hit me hard...The year really was wonderful... at least until I turned 28 and we moved back to Ohio.
Moving Day in Summerville {July 2013}
It was a seamless move..Seriously seamless. We both got jobs quick, sold our house even faster, and had amazing parents that opened up their home as we searched for a home of our own. {that we still haven't found yet. Eek.}

It all worked out exactly as we had planned when hubby and I first discussed moving down the coast as {lovebirds} in college.
- live in a little apartment on the coast as newlyweds...check
- teach and enjoy what the perfect city of Charleston/Summerville has to offer...check
- move back to Ohio to be near family when we are ready to settle down and raise a family...check

But it's been hard to come home. Really hard. I knew it was going to be an adjustment.. getting used to all things new.. but I didn't know that I would question our decision almost daily the first few months that we moved back. Every day I asked myself why I didn't love our lives in Ohio as much as I loved them in S.C. Why I liked who I was better when I was in S.C. and why being so close to family didn't fix all of my doubts. I haven't quite worked through all of my feelings yet.. but the bottom line is..{and I'm sorry that it took me 4 paragraphs to get to..}

I'm ready for a new perspective. I'm ready to embrace this new life in front of us. Perspective is my word and resolution for the year...or at least having a positive one. Embracing change and embracing that even if I "think" life is tough - it's really all about perspective.. and I've had the wrong one..oh for about 6 months now.

I've spent all of this time looking back at what we had in Summerville and because of that.. I haven't had the chance to move forward and embrace all that we have here.

I'm so thankful for the person I became through my experiences and relationships in S.C. I'm thankful for the sweet friends that made me a better person and my husband who has been my rock through it all. But I'm ready to start living in the present again. I'm ready to change my perspective and embrace change. Embrace the snow, the country roads, cornfields, and a lake house instead of a beach house.

Sweet Em has had a positive perspective since we drove down our country lane in the U-Haul. She has already turned from a little Carolina Baby into a Country Toddler who loves dancing in the rain, eating sweetcorn, playing in the dirt, and riding ponies {or at least talking about them} every chance she gets.
{Our Little Country Lady}

2014 is going to be an amazing year... and from now on... so is my 28th. :)



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