five years and counting...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Then: May 29,2004. We were in Gatlinburg, TN for the weekend when Josh proposed. We were married exactly 8 weeks later.

Now: July 24, 2009

This past friday was our five year anniversary! Thinking back, we've been through so many different stages of life in just five short years. It's hard to believe that it's actually been that long. That could possibly be due to the fact that for a year of it he was in iraq. It's also hard to believe that within our first year of our marriage, he headed off to war for the second time. I remember going through it and it was tough, but looking back it's just amazing what God gives you when you are faced with less than "ideal" circumstances. I truly believe that God works in you most throughout the hard times. Maybe in order to have the wonderful marriage that I'm so blessed to have now, we had to really go through the ringer. I am so grateful for that year in so many ways. And I am grateful that God gave me the patience and the willingness to accept what he was doing in our lives so that three and a half years later i can honestly say it was a wonderful year for us! You don't realize just how much your love your husband until you have to miss your husband :) There were a few bad things that I got out of that year (i never was afraid of death until i worried for his life daily) but I know God will release me from those fears one day when I decide I'm ready to be released.
But on to the fun part about our anniversary date: we stayed in a completely overpriced hotel that wasn't worth the money and ate at the most amazing restaurant! Who doesn't love a little fondue?! Even though the hotel was a little disappointing, it was still an amazing evening with my best friend. And we slept late...9 a.m.! We also learned a lesson: just because you can afford the hotel room, it doesn't mean you can afford to stay at the hotel. After valet, room service, breakfast, and all of the other little things were added to our bill, we definitely decided that next time we'll just come home! :)

Our waitress took a picture of us over our delicious dinner. We had milk chocolate swirled with crunchy peanut butter as the "sauce". Then on the tray in front of us there were strawberries, rice crispy treats, cheesecake, pound cake, graham cracker covered marshmallows, oreo covered marshmallows, and brownies that we dipped into the chocolate. It was amazing. They also gave us complimentary anniversary toasts of champagne. Ahhmazing!
There was also a fountain outside of our hotel, so of course I made Josh stop traffic so that we could go sit in front of it for a self-portrait :)

hold it?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yesterday marked Ella's very first trip to the ice cream truck. it was exciting! we were actually taking a walk around the block because she was having a cranky day. i know how that goes, i'm a girl too :) so we hear the music coming down the road. luckily mommy had some change in her pocket. so she takes off running down the sidewalk because she instinctively knew something good must come from a truck with a catchy tune blaring from the speakers. so i picked her up and she picked out the tweety bird popsicle from the pictures. so at first she asked me "hold it?" and i told her that mommy was going to hold it and she was okay with that. then i stopped and thought to myself that sooner or later, i have to let go of hating sticky messes and just let her be a kid. so i put her down and handed over the tweety bird. oh man, that was a long walk with no wipeys! so we get about halfway back to the house and she has eaten almost all of it. she got down to the gumball eyes and ate one. she loved it! then all of a sudden, the other half of tweety's face (including the other gumball) fell to the pavement. at that moment, she knew it was a disaster. she started saying "oh no" over and over again! i forced her to keep walking and leave behind the ice cream. she wasn't happy about it, but she trudged on with what was left attached to the stick. every once in a while she'd look back at the ice cream. it was so funny! we got home and promptly got in the bathtub! :)
here is a picture of the aftermath from ella's first popsicle:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

i was out of town last weekend working a chrysalis flight (which was awesome, by the way). But i was gone thursday through sunday. it was hard being away from ella, but not as hard as i thought it would be. i'm so used to being away from josh. the two of us are good at that. but it was my first long weekend away from the girl. well, let's just say she still hasn't let me off the hook. she is the ultimate daddy's girl. she and josh were sitting on the couch this morning and i was sitting on the other side of the couch. i decided to slide over and put my head on josh's shoulder and ella did not like that. she made me take my head off of his shoulder and then she squeezed herself right in between us so that i couldn't sit next to him. someone is jealous (and that someone is me!!)

i'm hoping she goes easy on me soon.....she'll need someone to buy her new clothes someday and it definitely won't be daddy. she'll come back to me then :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

4th on Main was a raging success! We had the most amazing planning committee and I have to say, I think we pulled it off! Here are a few pictures from the talented Laurie Heath. She really captured the spirit and the atmosphere of the event. An all-american, small town, old fashioned, family oriented picnic. Thank you for sharing your gift with us, Laurie!

Here Matt and I are working the Watermelon Eating Contest

And our round one winner is....

And our round 2 winner is....

Josh entered round three, but he lost...

The Jalapeno Eating Contest:

And finally, the Hot Dog Eating Contest:

Here's my beautiful little watermelon. Her favorite part was dancing to the blue grass music. Or the train....

Cousins Ella and Piper had so much fun playing!

And to finish it off with some volleyball.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Babies grow up so fast. I can remember countless people telling me how fast it will go by and to enjoy every moment. You don't really know it until you look back yourself and think "Wow, when did all that growing up happen?" But I admit, I am one of those moms who kept saying "I can't wait until Ella can ___". When she was rolling, I couldn't wait until she was crawling. When she was crawling, I couldn't wait until she was walking. And I have to say that each stage has been better than the last. I don't look back and miss the baby stage. While it was wonderful while we were there, it passed. But right now, where we are today, I never want it to end. Ella is talking so much. Not only is she talking, she's making sentences. She understands practically anything I say and she always responds appropriately. It's amazing. She is just so much fun and I never want her to get any bigger!! This is definitely my favorite age.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Well, we made it back from our first real vacation with Ella. We had an absolute blast. I seriously could not have asked Ella to be a better child. We took our first plane ride. We ran into a little snag as our luggage made the first flight, but we in fact did not. So we woke up at 3am that morning to make it to the airport in time for an 11am flight. But, we managed to have a little fun while we waited for the next flight! Ella had a great time playing the "hat" game where she found anything and everything to put on as a hat and then tell us "Hat!". I was able to snap a few pictures of her in her hats. She also had a fun time pretending to take a nap. Too bad there was a smudge on the lens of my camera and all of my pictures turned out a little foggy.

As soon as the plane took off, you could tell she got a little dizzy as the plane was turning to head in the right direction. About 30 seconds after takeoff, she was asleep! I have a video to prove it....

After she woke up, she looked out the window and played and really just had a wonderful time. She loved looking out of the window while we were taxi-ing and seeing all of the other airplanes.

Next, we picked up our rental car and headed to our hotel in Memphis. Again, she was amazing. But we didn't get much downtime. We had to head out to the rehearsal dinner. Here are some pre-rehearsal dinner family pictures.

And Daddy was able to snap a great family photo! I can't believe she was smiling! :)

Sleeping in the hotel was a bit tricky because Ella doesn't ever sleep in bed with us. But we found that if we turned on the DVD player and put in Monster's Inc. (her new favorite movie), she would watch it and then pass out due to exhaustion! She stayed up later than we did! :) If you ask her about Monster's Inc, she'll tell you about "Sully/Kitty", "Baby" (Boo), and "Circle" (Mike Wizowsky). She's so funny!

The next day, we were able to take a trip to the Childrens' Museum in Memphis before the wedding. I cannot even explain how much fun Ella had. She could've played an entire day away, but since we were on a time crunch, we had to make sure she saw every single inch of the museum in the hour and a half before we had to leave. Her favorite part was definitely the wall with all of the doors, light switches, doorbells, and locks. She loved it. The tooth puzzle was also very fun, but she kept giving the mouth a "snaggle tooth".

Ella and Daddy also had a little fun playing basketball. Ella and I made some paper trees and paper dogs.

After the wedding was over, we headed up to Clarksville where we had an AMAZING time and caught up with our wonderful friends that we dearly miss! We got to see Joe and his girlfriend Bre (or as Ella would say, Doe and Bee). Ella had a great time playing with Lola's toys while we sat around and caught up (beer and pizza!). The next day, we were able to visit with Jon and Nicole and Addison and ate lunch at one of my favorite restaurants: Blackhorse. I had to forgo the vanilla beer as I was driving us back to Memphis right after lunch. We made our flight home on time...barely. Apparently we can't be early anywhere we go (which drives Josh crazy!). But all in all, it was a wonderful trip and we can't wait to go back to Tennessee, my favorite state.