Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Falling For A Busy Time Of Year

I'm always lamenting over how busy our lives are. Truth be told, it's an absolute joy to have so much going on. We're really blessed to have such great friends and family, and we just soak it up as best we can.

Last Friday, I got a call from Courtney. Courtney and I have known each other since we were kids. She sang in my wedding, she introduced me to God, and she has been an amazing friend. We don't see each other nearly often enough, but we always pick up right where we left off. While we were whining about not seeing each other enough, I asked her to come over the next day, and she was available! So here she is. Making friends with the dog that can't seem to get along with anyone anymore.
I also love that Courtney actually took off the scarf she was wearing and gave it to me. I asked her how she had it tied, because I'm trying to be trendy (see prior post), and she just gave it to me. That's the kind of girl Courtney is. She'd go home with a bare neck just to put a smile on a person's face. Love her.

On Sunday, James and Cullen managed some football watching while I got to celebrate Megan and Lee at Megan's super beautiful bridal shower. Apparently, I was only in attendance for laughs. You can ask any guest there. I found this really great card for Megan. The font so closely resembled her save the dates, and I bought it months ago at Target. Did you know that Target sells cards to celebrate gay marriage?
Now, if you know me, you know that I am detail-oriented. But I missed the minor detail that there was no 'S' on the end of one of those Misters. Luckily, Megan thought I did it on purpose. Because I'm just that hilarious. And really, who couldn't use a good laugh? Later that evening I shared a ridiculously entertaining bout of texts with Megan's fiance. I'm just hoping they've both forgiven me at this point.

While at the shower, I won a door prize of sorts. For (drum roll please) being really on top of things. My grandmother would be proud. I was the first one to RSVP. And I got this bird on a leaf thing. I'm not one hundred percent sure what it is, but it matches in the dining room.
 And Megan, being very Megan, made homemade strawberry jam as a party favor for each of the guests. I'm just looking for an excuse to use it now.
 Cullen is a really cute kid. Super cute. And smart. But he does not come home with awards from school. I get calls at work about him kissing a little girl on the mouth. Or telling his teacher that 'J' is for jock strap. But last week, Cullen was student of the week. Move over Albert Einstein. Genius baby coming through! Seriously though, he knew the letter 'B' better than any of the other kids. Top two words he knows that start with 'B'? Baylor. Bears. I'm not even kidding. Proud mama right here!
 I would love to take credit for this next picture, but I was too busy being a nerd and staring with my mouth open to catch one. This is the space shuttle Endeavour being flown around Houston. Of course, it didn't stay in Houston, because that would have made too much sense. It was really neat to see up close when it flew past my office last week. After work, I was telling James how it brought back memories of being in the Space Club in the 4th grade. He laughed. We stopped talking about the shuttle. I hate that Cullen may never know the joys of something so awesome.
 Months and months and months ago, I saw an episode of something on the Food Network that James asked me to watch, and they made popovers. I added a popover pan to my Christmas wish list back in May, and I finally just cracked and bought a set on Amazon. These things are beautiful and yummy and wonderful. And cheesy. Yum. The picture does not do them justice at all.
 Last week, one of my orders involved some red velvet cupcakes. Cullen gets so excited when he actually gets to eat a cupcake. Look at that excitement on his face. It was nothing compared to the look on my face when I thought he might eat the frosting on the cupcake. I saw a picture of him at school recently, and he was eating a store bought cupcake (I died just a bit inside). And he ate the frosting. Ugh. He never eats my from-scratch-better-than-anything frosting. Right after I took this picture, he asked me to scrape the frosting off. Maybe he'll eat my frosting another day. I need to teach him to appreciate the finer things in life. Like frosting that isn't made with lard.
 One more of Cullen's school projects here. They did these precious little footprints. When I was tucking them into his baby book, I realized just how big those tiny feet have gotten. It was a sad mama moment.
On Friday, we took Cullen in for a no-big-deal checkup to look at a wart on his finger and check out his cough. Because his pediatrician is just that awesome, she decided to do a full checkup with him to make sure everything was going okay. Long story short, we ended up going to Texas Children's for some x-rays amid a great deal of sweating, cursing and praying. He's fine. We're on a few meds, and there's nothing major going on, but it sure did scare me.

Like any good parents would do, we loaded Cullen up in the car on Saturday to drive to Dallas to pick up our new dining room table. There were a few mishaps on the trip, but I'm excited to announce the we finally have furniture in our dining room! I have no pictures and no chairs, but it is one big step closer than we were before!

Sunday was spent running errands and watching football at Peg and Andy's. Cullen swore he didn't need a nap, so I'm sure he was just resting his eyes here. I snore when I rest my eyes, too. 
Just because I'm a mama, I have to mark down a few moments that have me laughing this week.

Cullen loves to make these declarations by ending a sentence with the word 'okay.' Sample conversation:
Cullen: I don't want to go to school.
Mom: Why not, Cullen?
Cullen: I just don't, okay?
Such a grown little thing, isn't he?

Cullen loves to count anything now. I think he's mostly showing off, but I love counting with him. I especially love when he counts to a number higher than six. Because seven, seven is seben. And it's hilarious.

Yesterday morning, we had some pretty intense fog. Since Cullen usually wakes up all of five minutes before we leave the house, his first glimpse of the fog was when we walked out the front door.

Cullen: Whoa. What happened out here?
James: It's foggy, Cullen.
Cullen: Oh, it's froggy?

Laughter keeps you young, right?

xoxo ashley

Scarf Swap 2012

Not too long ago, Megan sent me over to { the tichenor family } to check out a really great scarf swap that Meredith was getting set up. I keep wanting to be trendy, so I thought a scarf swap might be right up my alley. Who better to pick out my trendy items than a stranger?

So, of course, I wasn't really paying attention when Meredith got us all set up, but (luckily) Shana was! We got in touch, swapped addresses, and got to fill out awesome customs forms, because Shana is in Canada and Texas is not.

I got Shana a fun, warm-ish scarf for her Canadian climate, and Shana got me this colorful infinity scarf to brighten up my wardrobe. I'm hoping to be able to wear it in the not too distant future!
I love my new scarf, and I'm loving getting to follow all of these new blogs! So fun!

xoxo ashley

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Goodbye to T

The past week or so has been an absolute whirlwind. Things have been busy at home, busy at work, and busy with Scout. Megan came over to pick up her order one night last week, and she caught some great pictures of Cullen.
Cullen being a big kid and taking a picture of Megan with James' phone.
Cullen being an even bigger kid and petting T.

Last weekend, James went out to the deer lease again, and he took T back to his home. Cullen got multiple talks about T going home, but it didn't really sink in until T was gone. And boy did he cry. Luckily, we are all moving forward in our T free life, and I think it's going to be okay.
While Daddy was gone, we spent lots of time playing with trains. Cullen is really loving the upstairs living room with lots of space for his trains, and I love that we can set them up and leave them up for a few days. I also love that so much of Cullen's train set was James' when he was a boy.
While we were busy playing with trains, James was at the lease playing with snakes. In case you're curious, that lump in the snake is a rabbit. Yep.
Cullen loves to pop out and surprise us. He does this excellent job of hiding.
And then he pops out to "surprise" us. Classic Cullen.
Sunday evening, a friend of ours offered us free tickets to a Skeeters game. It was great to spend time with Kristen and her precious family, and Cullen loved being at the baseball game.
 I loved holding little Thomas and watching him sleep.
 And I loved watching Cullen eat most of a bucket of popcorn while playing with James.
 Does anyone know when Cullen got so big? Sunglasses on his head and phone in his hand. He told me he was just like daddy.
 James is quite the collector of stringed instruments. Cullen loves to play guitar like daddy. I wouldn't dare tell him that he's playing a ukulele.
Cullen really enjoys sitting on the floor in the downstairs living room, but it is always more fun when he gets someone else to curl up with him. My moments like this with him are few and far between, so I really try to soak them up when they come. James gets more opportunities, and I loved seeing James, Cullen and Scout cuddled up on the floor. So sweet. 
I signed up to be a part of a scarf swap with a group of bloggers recently, and I'm really enjoying following Shana's blog. She is the person I got to swap with, and she has a precious little girl. Check in with her. She's awesome!

My most exciting news this weekend is the work I've been doing on my Scout logo. I'm getting everything together, and I should be able to debut my new logo on Facebook and the blog in the next week or so. I can't wait!

This weekend, we're soaking up family time and fun. And hoping the Bears pull out a win. Things are looking questionable, and I've got to focus on the game!

xoxo ashley

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Like A Duck

James always comes home with entertaining stories about work. I try to keep my head down and leave on time, but James is social. He can't help himself. And with his social tendencies come entertaining stories. Like the one about his former co-worker who uses the camera feature on her iPhone to check her teeth after a meal (hi Robyn!).

One time, James told a story about a Dell meeting where they had to go around the room and discuss what animal they were most like. I don't remember what animal James used, but I remember one of the other guys in the room saying that he was like a duck. Calm on the surface and paddling like crazy to stay afloat. So. Me. I think James and I know that I'm not nearly so calm as I appear, but I'm trying to maintain the facade.

Between work, Scout, Cullen, family, and me, I am struggling some days. I am working at a job where I have no idea what I'm doing half the time. Everyone at work is okay with it, but it scares the bejeezus out of me. The clients I work with are pretty big, and I have no desire to be the girl who messed things up.

Scout is flourishing right now. I recently got two companies to sign on with me. One is using Scout for birthdays, and the other is using Scout as gifts for the clients they work with. I'm loving it, and I'm so thrilled to be trusted with these situations, but I wonder how I'm going to keep it all up some days. In my spare time (ha), I'm creating a logo and having a website designed. This is getting real.

Cullen is a big kid these days. Does anyone else remember feeling like they stole a baby the day they got to go home with their newborn? I was talking to a friend yesterday, and she stopped at the pharmacy while we were talking to pick up a prescription. They asked for her name, and she gave her married name. It weirded me out. Big time. As it turns out, we are no longer 12 year old cheerleaders together. We are married. We are moms. We are in charge of some awesome kids. Who left us alone with that one?  Anyone?

I want to be a rock star mom, an awesome wife, and a fabulous girlfriend. I can't do it all, but I'm trying. To be honest, I just strive to be mom of the year while Cullen is awake. Once he's asleep, I try to be the great wife. After that comes the girlfriend part. That may or may not be why I can't remember the last time I talked to Tera on the phone. I'm just holding out hope that she can make it to the Nutcracker Market this year, so we can have a day of catching up.

In other news, while I panic, life goes on. We still have Mister T stinking up the corner of the living room. Lucky for me, he's going home this weekend. He's cute, but I'm looking forward to not having a cooler as decoration in my home. See his new digs? He enjoys burrowing and creeping around and eating my organic lettuce for snacks.
My boss found out that I bake on the side. It's not necessarily something I was hiding, but it wasn't something I felt the need to tout around the office. He asked me to make something for him to take to a Bible study he and his wife were hosting. I tested out a new recipe for coconut key lime frosting, and they were a hit. I'm glad I got to embrace one more fun summer recipe before getting inundated with pumpkin.
 A long weekend generally means time for extra plans in our little home. We always say we need to take some time off, but it rarely ever happens. Our three day weekend had activities each day, but there was still time for play. While Cullen was playing with his cars on Saturday morning, it started to rain outside. He quickly grabbed his umbrella and opened it to protect James while he watched TV. I guess it wasn't raining in the kitchen where I was working. That, or Cullen knows that I'm too awesome for it to matter if it rains. Yeah. It's probably just that he knows I'm too awesome. Sounds believable, right?

On Saturday afternoon, Megan and "Mister Leef" came over to hang out. Megan and I went shopping and got our nails done while the boys grilled burgers and let Mister T run around the back yard. Poor Lee got tricked into pushing Cullen in the swing.  
Of course, Megan found an awesome recipe for an Oreo chocolate chip cookie brownie to expand on my brooksters from a couple of weeks ago. The brownies were the size of Cullen's head, but he was a happy camper. Luckily, the last of them were taken to work with James.
Sunday was one of the most important days of the whole fall season. Sunday was the opening day of the Baylor football season. For me, it primarily falls in line of importance behind the first day of the season when the temperature doesn't go above 80. Still waiting on that one. We geared up in green early on in the day and stayed up (and out) late to watch the Baylor game with Aunt Peggy. Following the "year of the bear," our expectations weren't too high, but it was a great game. I'm looking forward to some more awesome, can't-miss football this season.
Monday was both Labor Day and my dad's birthday, so we spent the day with my parents celebrating. There was grilling, swimming and key lime pie. It was good to get to spend the time with my parents, and I loved it when Cullen said that he didn't want to go home. I also loved it when he passed out on the drive home. Sweet serenity.  
This weekend, James will be at the deer lease again while Cullen and I enjoy lots of books and naps and finger painting. And, if we're lucky, a baseball game.

xoxo ashley