Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Help a girl out, will you?

So, Team, UNP.  It seems that I have 226 followers (though I am questioning the validity of this as I only get comments from about 20 of you!!).  If you could be so kind as to do me a teensy, tinsy favor, I would really appreciate it.

So, you know that I have this son I talk about regularly.  And you also know that I love to shop for said son.  Well, one of my favorite online stores, Bella Bliss, is having a facebook contest and the person with the most "likes" on their picture will win $150 to spend at their store.  I uploaded a pretty darn cute pic of the buddy from 9.5 months in one of their outfits (I have it in 3 different sizes, friends, that's how much I like it!!), and if I could get your help in voting for my picture, I could potentially get a gift certificate for new fall and winter clothing for Spencer.  Sooooooo.....head over to FB (or if you are at work, mark this as unread so you read it again once you get home and then do it when you aren't blocked by your work computer), go to Bella Bliss's facebook page, and "like" Spencer's picture.  You should definitely like the site once you are there too, as they often will post advance notice about sales on their page.  I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to do this today!! 

Thanks, friends!!

Oh, and another thought........there are a LOT of you that I have tried and tried to email over the past two or three weeks (Emily, Sarah, and quite few others) and I can't because I get the noreply@blogger.com when I try.  I also, for some odd reason, can't leave a response on your blogs (which I never had a problem doing before, so why now, blogger????).  I'd love to be able to respond to your comments, so if you have a "noreply" in your settings, and you want to hear back from me, check out this post so that you can see how people can more easily respond to your comments that you leave!!  I'd love, love, love to get back to you all!!

These are a few of my favorite pins.......

Perhaps it's the fact that it has been really hot here or perhaps it's that I always dream of what it would be like to have my summers off, but the past few days, all I can think about is the sound of the lake as it comes rolling in at night, the summer breeze through the trees, and the fabulous nights when you need just a little nightie, a thin sheet, and you're just a tiny bit chilly.

The pictures below help me to dream this just a little bit further.....

Do any of you dream of a sleeping porch? 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A fabulous grilled dinner!!

We've been wanting to try grilled pizza for awhile, but thought it would be too complicated, too much work, and not worth the time we'd have to put into it.

Boy were we wrong!!  I followed these two recipes, and they were perfect!  If you've never made your own crust, it is easy and so, so, so much better than any store bought crust ever could be. 

They may not have been perfectly round, but they were perfectly delicious!  I can't wait to make them again with different toppings.  I'd love to try one with grilled veggies as well as a bbq chicken.  The crispiness of the crust and the little bit of char made it seem so much "summerier" than a regular pizza.


If you haven't tried grilling pizza before, I would highly recommend it.

So would this little guy!!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekly winner!!

Very fun surprise this Monday evening as I was checking FB.  I was the weekly winner on Salmon Cove's FB page!!  The weekly winner gets a $50 gift card towards Salmon Cove products.  I've blogged about the company before.  The quality of the shirt I already own is phenomenal, and it's the first shirt I  pull out of my closet when I need a polo (easy choice because it's navy, it's monogrammed, and it's seriously the perfect fit!!)

Pink and green!!

I would highly recommend "liking" the page on FB to see if you could also be one of the weekly winners!!  Why not, right?  Seriously, who would turn down this chance?  Let me know if you head over there or if you already own some of their products.

Now, the questions exists, do I get a long sleeved polo, a short sleeved polo, or do I buy B a new shirt??  Any advice? 

PS- Don't forget to check out their blog here!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fourteen Months!

My dearest baby boy,

You are now 14 months old!!  You are no longer a baby; you are a complete toddler.  This is such a fun age.  Definitely my favorite stage so far!!  You are so interested in everything.  It's funny to see how you differ from other babies your age.  You are definitely slower to warm up to people than you used to be.  You won't just immediately go from person to person.  You will hide in my legs and peak out on occasion.  When you are in a new situation, you will get really quiet and for the first 10-15 minutes, you just observe.  You don't rush to jump in.  You also aren't as smiley with strangers as you used to be.  If we are holding you, you will smile and say hi or bye bye, but you don't want to be put down, and once we do get you down, you will grab a toy and play contendtedly at our feet.  Once you do warm up, you start to babble, laugh, play and smile.  I can tell you are very comfortable at daycare, though, because you immediately walk in and act like you own the place :)

You are walking like crazy now.  In fact, we even make comments when you occasionally crawl because you just walk all the time.  You definitely have moments of unsteadiness on your feet and are the definition of a "toddler".  Luckily you are so close to the ground that falling doesn't bother you in the least bit, and you are really quick to bounce back up. 

You have become quite the climber and will try to get up on everything.  You love to be on top of your little picnic table, the ottoman, your little truck, pretty much anything!  You are also learning/trying to kick balls.  It's funny because as we roll the ball to you, you pick your foot up in anticipation of it coming but you haven't quite mastered the actual "kicking" motion yet.  It totally cracks me up.  You do love to practice it though. 

You are a great eater and will eat pretty much anything.  Your favorite are bananas, hummus, cheese, sweet potatoes, squash, and your spinach smoothie.  We make sure you are getting 2-3 veggies a day (which really isn't a problem for you) and 2-4 fruits (again, not an issue).  You are a great meat eater, and you LOVE to eat off our plates and drink from our glasses.  You think water tastes a lot better from our glasses than from your sippy cup.  We even bought you a Camelbak water bottle that looks like mine because you weren't drinking anything for awhile and that was the one way you would drink well! 

You have gotten a little better about drinking in the past month.  You will drink water from a sippy (you like your water best from the straw sippies or your camelbak) and you love your smoothies.  We do the spinach smoothie every day and we do a milk based smoothie 5ish days a week.  You absolutely 100% refuse milk.  You won't even drink it with chocolate added!  We do a whole milk smoothie with vanilla carnation instant breakfast and fruit or with banana and fruit.  If we just do fruit (strawberries, blueberries, and/or raspberries) you can still taste the milk and you refuse it.  We went through a long period of time after you stopped nursing where you really wouldn't drink anything and you'd only have 3 wet diapers a day.  We really felt like we were at a loss.  We are happy you love the green smoothies as they have a ton of spinach in them so at least you are getting some calcium that way.  You also eat a lot of cheese and yogurt to make up for your lack of milk and lots of avacado for the healthy fat!

(walking in the grass!!)

Your favorite toys are definitely balls.  You've mastered the word, you like all kinds, you love to throw them, kick them, catch them; it doesn't matter to you at all!  You also like your bike, the slide, and our chargers for our phones.  You love to push buttons on all the remotes and our phones.  You've dialed some pretty weird numbers before!!

Spencer, you are a pretty good sleeper.  You go down sometime in the 7 o'clock hour and you sleep until the 6 o'clock hour.  We've tried keeping you up later to see if you will sleep longer in the mornings, but that failed miserably, so we put you back on your normal schedule.  You vary between two naps and one nap, depending on the day and on our schedule.  While we were on vacation, you were a GREAT napper.  I think all the fresh air and sunshine just tired you right out. 

You love to smile, you are so easy to make laugh, and you are just an easy baby.  I know I say this all the time, but we are truly blessed to have you in our lives.  Your daddy and mommy just adore you, and we can't wait to see the person you become.  I pray for you every day and hope you are able to realize all the potential you have.  I also pray that God gives your daddy and I guidance in raising you and helps us to be good parents for you!!

Love, Mommy (aka: AEOT)

Vacation, part two

So.......Tues through Sunday.  What did we do?  Enjoyed beautiful blue skies like the one above every day!!  Blair golfed Tues, Wed, and Thurs (aren't I just the nicest wife?), so Spencer and I spent time going on walks, going to the beach, and playing with balls. 
On Wednesday night, Mom and Ralph watched SYT so that B and I could go to dinner.  We went to the Veranda at The Perry Hotel to have a "proper cocktail" prior to going to dinner.  We thought we would end up at Chandlers or Little Traverse Bay Golf Club, but the weather was perfect on the Veranda, the drinks were stiff (Arnold Palmer martinis!!), and the view was so beautiful, we decided we couldn't leave.
Pretty flowers in the garden

One of the views from our table

The other view from our table

We stayed to watch the sunset over a bottle of bubbly.  Great decision on our part!!

Thursday evening we were able to head down to the beach to get a few pics of SYT in his sweet Kissy Kissy outfit that B's aunt bought him last summer when he was just a wee little lad.  He had a horribly runny nose (getting teeth) and it was, perhaps, just a little too close to bedtime, but, for the most part, he was cooperative :)

Friday morning, one of the besties and I forced allowed our husbands to watch our lovely angels, and we went into town to shop for awhile.  I got a few new books for Spence at the bookstore, almost bought a pair of Lilly shorts (am hoping they'll be on sale in a few weeks at sidewalk sales), and mostly enjoyed hanging out with NCS.  Friday night we had dinner with my family and B's aunt out at her house.  It was lovely.  Pesto (for our third time that week- no worries, we never tire of it!) with shrimp and chicken, salad, a gorgeous berry crumble, and great wine all served on the deck.
(please excuse the obviously puffy hair/no makeup/I had to really hurry home from the beach look!)

Saturday B and I did a little antique shopping after his 10 mile run, spent time organizing all our stuff so that we could pack, played more ball with SYT, made dinner for mom and Ralph, and then joined friends at one of our favorite watering holes to toast to an amazing week together. 

All in all it was a WONDERFUL week filled with sunshine (have I mentioned that yet??), babies, friends, fun, family, and lots and lots of love.  I couldn't be happier than I am in my little tiny version of heaven.  Amazing, extravagent, worldly vacations have nothing on being "up north".  Blessed, I tell you!! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An amazing honor

Today, my husband will be singing at Betty Ford's funeral service at our church in Grand Rapids.  The services for Mrs. Ford were held in California (where she has spent a lot of her life) and at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, MI.  This is the church we started attending after moving here and the church that B sings at every single week.  After the death of Mrs. Ford, a call was put out to all the choir members to see if they were able to sing, and B is taking off most of the day to be able to have this amazing experience.  I know he is really, really honored that they are allowing our small little church choir to sing at the previous first lady's funeral.  One of President Ford's funerals was also held at our church- amazing, huh?  There is a fantastic picture of the funeral in our gathering space at church that I always sit below when SYT gets fussy during the service.

I am praying that today the choir is at their best and that the family and friends of the Fords are happy with the musical performance.  I am also praying for Mrs. Ford and am thanking God for her amazing life on this Earth.  She was a truly amazing woman.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Ahhhhhh......there is NOTHING like a good vacation to get your heart, body, and mind where they need to be.  While rest wasn't on the top of my priority list, not having an absolute set schedule for 10 days straight was a form of rest for me.  You want to know what is also restful?  Full loads of laundry with all stains gone, completely folded, and placed on our bed all of which was done by my wonderful mother!!  She is an amazing person and SO great with "baby Spencert" (yes with a T)(that's what our neighbor's little boy calls him!!).  She just kept trying to force B and I out of the house with just each other so that she could steal our little guy for a few hours.  She is never impatient with him (even when he is being naughty) and she couldn't love him more!

Warning, the next two days of posts are going to be picture overload, so feel free to ignore them if you could care less about our little family vacay!!

The first day we were there, it was warm but slightly overcast.  Not really what we would consider a "beach day".  My aunt and uncle bought a new boat this spring, so we were able to go out on it Sat afternoon.  It was SYT's first boat ride and he seemed to love it!  I was a little nervous as I can get a little queasy on boats at times and I wondered if he would have the same issue.  He didn't seem to have one bit of trouble, thank goodness.  The last thing I wanted was baby puke all over the nice white leather seats!!

(The sun finally came out!)

Spencer and my mom- "Mimi"

Gorgeous boats on the bay

Saturday night my mom and Ralph watched SYT so that we were able to go to dinner with friends.  It was a great first night as we were able to catch up with everyone.

After dinner we were all able to stay out a little longer and have drinks at a new place downtown.  They have a great outdoor roof deck, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. 

After Saturday afternoon, we didn't have one even remotely bad day of weather while we were there.  It was simply gorgeous!  Sunday, and most days thereafter, we spent part of the afternoon (either before or after SYT's nap) at the beach with our friends and their children.  Spence loved the baby pool, the lake, and the sand.  He occasionally got a little testy when another child was playing with a toy he wanted, so I would have to intervene a bit.  Sharing will take awhile, I think!!

Sunday night we went to Vespers with my Grandmother.  The theme was patriotic music (being on July 3rd and all), and it was perfect.  I feel so lucky that B is willing to attend things like this with me.  Most of the members that go to Vespers are, on average, between 50 and 70 years old, but I adore the weekly Sunday night concerts and went almost every Sunday with my Gram even when I was 17, 18, 19, etc.  After the concert we went to a party at SSK's parents cottage.  It was so much fun!!  A few cocktails later, B and I called it a night and headed home to prepare for my favorite day of the year!!

 A few shots of the kiddos at the Harbor Springs Parade.  Spence loved the parade.  He was clapping every time a band or a float with music went by, and he would wave and wave at all the cars.

A friend of mine monogrammed his outfit and it turned out to be cuter than I could have hoped for.  He had on little blue sandles with stars on them too. 

B and I did the Paul Revere Run the morning of the 4th (B pushed SYT in the stroller so that he would have a slow enough pace for me to run with him!) and spent the time before the parade exploring the art show.  We had a family dinner at my Gram's that night and watched a few fireworks but were so exhausted, we didn't end up seeing most of them.  The first big fireworks didn't start going off until after 10:30.  With a little one who gets up between 6 and 6:30, numerous late nights in a row make for a tired mommy and daddy!! 

More pics (and the rest of the week) to come.....