Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's our Blogiversary!

One year ago today I sat with a laptop in our bedroom and began typing out the very first words of this blog. It was after a lot of prompting from Eric and several different friends who randomly mentioned "Hey, you should blog" that I finally gave in and created this little corner of cyberspace. I was super reluctant, because I worried about what in the world I could write day after day, if I would have time to do it, and if anyone would even care to read it. Little did I know when I pressed that first "publish" button how much this blog would be such a blessing to me.

Yesterday I met up with a fabulous mama and her two sons for a stroll around the neighborhood. It was absolutely wonderful. And if it wasn't for blogger, I am 99.9% sure that would have never happened. Blogging has introduced me to some of the coolest people I have had the pleasure to meet in a very long time. It has brought me more encouragement than I have ever had in my life. And most importantly, I now have an entire year in the life of our family documented forever. That is such an awesome gift to give to my children someday. :)

Overall it has been a fantastic year. When I look back at the various blog entries and all of the things we've done I can't help but smile and reminisce. (I can't believe I used to blog 7 DAYS A WEEK. What, was I crazy??) There are definitely posts that stand out in my mind as being favorites of mine; mostly because they hold fond memories for me, but some were just super fun to write. It's funny that some of my favorites didn't necessarily get the most comments or page views, but I stopped caring about that stuff a long time ago. These are the posts that make ME smile.

September 6, 2010

I was pregnant with Gracie and determined to get our house ready for Fall. For some reason this early post always stands out in my mind as being an instant favorite. It was such a nice day, and this one was super fun to put together. 

September 22, 2010

Ah, my very first recipe sharing post...well, actually, I thought I was awesome because I figured out how to cut a pie crust with paper. :) Luckily since then I have been gifted a pie crust cutter, but I'll never forget this Fall ode to apples!

September 28, 2010

This day is one of the fondest memories I have with just me and my first baby girl. I was due to have Grace very soon, and I freaked out thinking that my days with my firstborn alone were numbered. So we packed up and spent a morning at the park together. I STILL tear up just thinking about this day and the emotions I was feeling as we prepared to welcome Gracie to our family.

October 19, 2010

Eric and I kept the world updated as we welcomed our second baby into the world. It was a super nerve wracking, exciting, wonderful experience, and I was so happy to share it with all of you!

November 22, 2010

Every year my mom and I get together to bake Christmas cookies, and I love doing it. It's always a fun day, but I mostly love just getting to spend this time with my mama. Plus, we get a billion cookies at the end. :) WARNING: Do not read this post if you're hungry or go by the name of Scrooge. 

November 27, 2010
(A play in three very short Acts)

I love putting up the Christmas tree every year, and I giggled putting this one together. Definitely not your ordinary "Getting There" post. :)

January 2, 2011

It was hard choosing just one post-Christmas entry to share, but this one takes the cake. Eric and I have played Mary and Joseph at the Simpson Family Christmas for the past 2 years, and last year we had a blast! You have to check this one out...I'm cracking up just thinking about it.

April 12, 2011

Sometimes remembering a really great weekend is all it takes. And this was a really great weekend. The weather was warming up, the girls and I had a blast digging in a box of toys, and the promise of summer was still ahead of us. 

There are many more that I could list here, but that's eight of them, and eight seems to be a favorite number around here lately. :) 

I honestly cannot express enough how much it means to me to have so many new and closer friends, to share our lives together, and to make memories along the way...all through the wonderful world of blogging. I don't know what I would've done this past year without it! I hope that you'll keep hanging out with us as we continue on for another year. Who knows what could happen?? Birthdays, holidays, vacations...babies? Hehe. Hope you'll stick around for it all!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My August Girls

We're doing this post a day early, because tomorrow is a very special day around here. ;)


Oh, August. You came and went much, much too quickly. And along with your crazy weather which ranged from scorching hot to downright gorgeous, you blew in another season of change for the Robert girls. Grace is now an official cabinet getter-inner just like her big sister was. No plastic bowls are safe! And Evelyn's laugh has changed...changed from a silly little toddler laugh to a big kid laugh. At first I thought she was joking...just experimenting with sounds. But then she kept it up. Every time something remotely funny happens now, out comes this foreign laugh that is equally adorable but different than anything I've ever heard.

I once read a quote that said something to the effect that "2 is the beginning of the end" for innocent childhood. And I thought it was bogus. What?? Maybe insert "6" or "7" in there. But now I'm beginning to see exactly what James Berry was saying. Evelyn is so much more aware of how what she says and does effects people around her. She does things like changing her laugh to get attention. She has officially become...well...aware. And now that she's living to purposely please or displease others, even in the smallest of ways, a bit of the carefree "I'm just going to sit here and play to my little heart's content without worrying about a thing around me" is slipping away. Everything now has a purpose.  Two is the beginning of the end, eh? Yeah, I get that.

Still, there's lots and lots of fun childhood ahead. :)


Gracie. What can I say about this blossoming little joy? The month of August turned Grace's head into a magnet for all hard surfaces...our poor baby spent the month as a giant bruise! But that is certainly a testament to how much braver she is getting with the whole standing, reaching, stepping thing. One of these days she's just going to take off while no one is paying attention, cause that's just her style.

Grace graduated to a forward-facing big girl sitter in the car this month, and she has consequently enjoyed car rides infinitely more. I still cannot get over the fact that when I look in the backseat I can see the faces of both of my children. I swear there is no greater contradiction in this world than being the parent of a growing baby - to love and hate milestones all at the same time. To appreciate new freedoms but mourn the loss of a small piece of their babyhood being left behind. *Sigh*


Evelyn shocked us all this month when one day while playing in the bathtub she nonchalantly counted to  eight. Just rattled it off like she had done it a million times, even though I had NEVER heard her get past "four" without jumbling the numbers out of order. I'm pretty sure my eyes were saucers as I sat there listening to her counting, and I had to giggle at the number she chose to count to. Most kids learn to count to ten...a logical place to stop when learning those first numbers. But eight is a very special number around here, hehe, because eight is the amount of scoops it takes to make a pitcher of lemonade. :D

Every time I make lemonade we count the scoops out loud together, and well...we always stop at eight. So while your children may have mastered 1-10 like normal kiddos, my kid counts by eights. That's just how we roll, I guess. :)

If there is one thing my girls have in common as the month ends, it's the fact that the both of them are getting noticeably larger. Grace is actually *eek!* starting to thin out a bit. She's still a chunky monkey, but her little rolls are slowly getting smaller as she works out her legs with crawling and standing. And Evie's hair and feet are growing like weeds, which means it's time for new shoes and wearing hair in single ponytails in the back. *Sigh* Don't worry, we are still pro-piggy tails. :) When the girls go down for a nap, there are days that I SWEAR they have gotten bigger in their sleep. Yep, August was a month for growing. What else did we do this month?

We kicked off the month with a fun day at the park....


We did lots of arts and crafts....


Evelyn began a weight loss program... :)


We transformed into fairies...



And we even had a play date with friends.


August was a wonderful month, and in just a couple of days we begin my FAVORITE month of the year. Oh, September and the Fall things it brings. I can't wait!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A great weekend for birthdays :)

Please forgive any rambling or random words that don't make any sense today. I'm so tired, haha. But what else is new? Grace and I are having a battle of the wills with bedtime and the adequacy of cribs for sleeping in. I think I was winning at the beginning of the weekend, but she scored a few points on me last night. Eric tried  to describe to me some things that took place between Grace and I this morning (apparently I exasperatedly plopped Grace down on our bed, and I crashed on the pillow while she turned to Eric with a big cheesy grin knowing she had won), and I have no memory of it whatsoever. Pretty sure my new address is in Zombieland.

But we had a great weekend overall, and I hope you did, too. :) On Friday evening a very special guest joined us for dinner. Eric's parents were babysitting our nephew Austin, and he and Evelyn had a blast together! Evie talks about her "cousin Awesome" all of the time, and she gets tickled pink whenever we tell her she's about to see him. They were adorable at the dinner table, swapping food and saying "thank you" and hamming it up for anyone who was watching. Afterwards they went to grandma and grandpa's for a while to hang out while Eric and I got to run errands with only one child. I forgot what it's like to only have one kid to load up and take to the store, haha. We ended up getting several things for Gracie's birthday party at the Dollar Tree. <-- Love that place! I'm getting really excited about the way things are shaping up for Grace's big day.


Evie and Austin swinging with Grandpa Robert. I'm telling you, these kids are hilarious together. They could have their own variety show. :)

The highlight of our Saturday was definitely getting to celebrate my little sister turning sweet 16. My sister Shannon and I are only 4 days shy of being exactly 10 years apart. (All of my siblings are way spaced out.) I'll never forget the day she was born. My parents never found out ahead of time if they were having a boy or a girl with any of us, so the wait to find out if I was getting another brother or a little sister while my mom was in the delivery room was agonizing. I remember sitting in the waiting room, checking the vending machine a million times, watching it get dark outside...waiting and waiting...and finally around 8:45ish Shannon was born! I was over the moon about getting a brand new sister.

I remember going home that night and running over to my best friend Heather's house to tell her the news. We were so excited to have a little girl to boss around baby and play with. When Shannon got a little older I would take her over to Heather's house and we would let her crawl around her bedroom. We thought we were so grown up "taking care" of a baby, haha. Of course, I was ten, so it didn't take long before the newness wore off and I resented being a "built in babysitter" as I liked to call it. Baha.


Anyway, we had a great time hanging out with family on Saturday evening. Evelyn got to run around with several of her cousins (she's still talking about seeing all of her favorite people this weekend) and we got to eat lots (and lots) of yummy barbecue and birthday cake. 


I love how after my dad says, "We love you, Shannon!" little cousin Ezrie says, "Yes, we do!" Hehe...too cute!

Yesterday morning was church of course, and Eric and I got to hang out in the nursery will all of the little ones. After playing with the kiddos and going out to lunch we came home and I won an ebay auction for clothing from all time favorite Gymboree line: Prep School. Evie had a couple of peices from this line last year, and now I'm happy to have some more a couple of sizes up!


I LOVE the apples! If you ever see this line at a yard sale or something...I'll pay you back! Haha.

We eventually found ourselves at Target, and boy am I glad we went!! One of the things I had mentioned in the plans for Grace's birthday party was that I wanted to be able to have lots of twinkle lights and lanterns around for a pretty glow in our "enchanted forest." The only problem with that is that it can get kind of expensive buying a bunch of that stuff. I had no idea how I would actually pull it off. And then there was Target. Oh, Target. How I love thee.

I was casually pushing my cart along when I felt a strange gravitational force pulling me towards the back of the store. I think there was a voice whispering in my ear..."This way, my child..." Haha. Honestly I never go to this part of the store usually, but there were lots of little red clearance tags luring me onward like Hansel and Gretel's dropped bread crumbs. I finally turned the corner of the very last aisle, and there they were. Dozens of boxes of twinkle lights and lanterns and strings of party lights were beaming down at me from their shelves. And most of them were sporting those wonderful, beautiful, glorious CLEARANCE tags. *Queue the Hallelujah Chorus* I picked up as many of those lights as our budget would allow.

There was a gorgeous double rainbow in the sky on our drive home - a reminder of God's promises. :)

If you're in the market for anything outdoorsy run to Target now - it's all on clearance. Patio furniture was 50% off! They had all kinds of lighting, grills, fire pits, flower pots, and more marked down in the back. Check it out!

Yes, it was a great weekend for birthdays - both buying for and celebrating. If you celebrated a birthday this weekend...well...Happy Birthday to you! August is a great month for a birthday. ;) Hint, hint baby Henry. 

Have a great week friends!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Confession Friday 8-26!

After my birthday weekend last week, this is exactly how I feel:


Happy Friday! We've made it through another week of summer. We're getting closer, pals!

I confess that I'm being upstaged by a one foot plastic dude in cowboy boots, and I don't like it. Last night instead of calling out for mommy right before Evelyn fell asleep, she said, "Woooody...." Usually Evelyn can't fall asleep without me, but now she's content with Woody tucked beneath her arm. Sad day for this mama.

I confess that I'm a repeat offender pinecone swiper. Who wants to pay for a bag of pinecones when there are houses in our neighborhood whose trees drop those suckers like hot cakes? I *usually* try to find the ones that have rolled onto the road. Usually. :)

I confess that I'm offended when I find a new freckle. I don't have many...but I feel it's an affront on my personal property. You don't belong there. Go away.

I confess that Grace is beginning to drive me bonkers. Just like her sister did before her, she's waking up in the night and then REFUSING to sleep in her crib. Um, we cannot have two kids sleeping in our bed. I'm getting no sleep either way. This sucks.

I confess that I may have just involuntarily chucked Woody across the room. Hard plastic noses do not feel good on kneecaps.

I confess that I'm totally jealous of moms who got to send their kiddos to school last week. I love my girls, but I can't even imagine how nice a day to myself would be.

I confess that when it is time to send the kids to school, I'll probably hate it and feel really lonely. I'm so fickle. ;)

Evolution of a sleepy baby:





 Hehe. 

I confess that I really despise having slip covered furniture, but I honestly can't imagine not having it with little kids. I strip the couches and wash these things once a week, and you wouldn't believe the junk that I find tucked in the cracks. Regular furniture would be so gross in this house!

I confess that I'm addicted to root beer, and we don't have anymore. I'm having withdrawals and it's 9:30 in the morning.

I confess that I'm desperate for a mindless TV show that is just about families or normal people. Like Gilmore Girls. Or (gasp) 7th Heaven...the early years, haha. What happened to normal TV??

I confess that I hung a wind chime in our kitchen because the girls love the sound, and they come running every time I make it ding. It's a great way to get their attention, but I might hit it once or twice a day just for giggles when they run to see what's up, haha.

I confess that Evie makes me laugh with her way too serious statements about totally not serious things. Just a minute ago she walked up to me with a furrowed brow and a frown and sadly said, "I don't like bananas." Well, that's okay, Ev. I'm not holding it against you. :)

I confess that I sincerely hope that Cassie has Henry SOON! Today is her due date. Been there, done that, and it's no fun!

I confess that both of my kids are whining for my attention, and it's breaking my heart. I gotta get out of here!

Hope you all have a great weekend. Come on, Henry! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A day in the life of....

Good morning! We're going to do a little something different today. :) Instead of blogging about life after it has happened, we're going to keep you updated all day long on a typical day in the Robert household. (In other words, I didn't prepare a post for today, and this is better than nothing, haha.) So feel free to check back in periodically, or even wait until the end of the day to see what we've been up to. Even I have no idea what our day will bring...but we might even shoot a video for you or somethin.'

Our Thursday started at 7:45 this morning with Eric's send off to work. It's a gorgeous day already!

Eric takes his lunch to work almost every day....


Evelyn got a new buddy on our shopping trip last night, and he slept right beside her, haha. 


I told her to show everyone her new pal. "Cheese!"


As usual I made a fruitless attempt to get Eric to stay home from work. If it were up to me, he'd never go to work, and we'd be in big trouble. :) We had a good, snuggly kind of family morning...those are the hardest kinds of mornings to say goodbye.



Don't mind our junk and the strollers that we park inside the house. We're very protective of our strollers, apparently.

Eric left and I poured Evie her morning juice. Juice to Evelyn is like some people's morning coffee. The kid can't function without it. :)


And since snapping all of these pictures I've started a load of laundry, taken the trash to curb, and fed the kiddos some breakfast. We're an exciting bunch, aren't we?

I hope I'll have something more to post today then just the hum drum of everyday life, but I never know what kind of mood everyone will be in and where the day will take us. With a high of 88 degrees, I have a feeling we're going to be scooting outside as soon as possible! But before we do, I have to make myself put these groceries away from last night. That's my goal...just get junk where it needs to go.




Grace wouldn't look at the camera, but she says hello. :) I hope to update every hour or two today...we'll see how this goes!

*****

10:20am

Mission accomplished!
(Where's a little thumbs up icon when you need one?)


By the way, we're currently warming "Pumpkin Roll" in the Scentsy warmer and it smells like a heavenly Fall day in here. I hear that fragrance is making a comeback next month!

So we decided to get out and enjoy the fresh air this morning! We just got back from a nice little walk around our neighborhood...



Evie is showing you that her hair is finally long enough for one ponytail in the back!

I shot a video of my Red Bud dream house. :) So as soon as that loads...which can sometimes take a while...I'll be throwing that up here. 


For now, we're enjoying a new snack that I saw at Aldi last night. I was intrigued when I saw this box. It caught my attention for a little too long as I was walking by. I left them right where they were and went strolling past the produce when my curiosity got the best of me and I turned that cart around and threw a box in. :) They're pretty yummy, and I'm a sucker for anything in the shape of a leaf, haha.


I'll be posting the video soon (I hope)!

Ignore the middle part where I thought it would be a good idea to turn the camera on myself and stick my phone in the cup holder. Baha. It isn't the biggest, newest, or grandest, but something about this place says home to me.

Off to make lunch!

****
12:45pm

Grace loves the computer!


Alright, so I'm not going to lie. What was I thinking? Taking care of two kid and blogging all day long? Haha. This is what happens when my back is turned.


Grace destroys everything in site, and those books were NOT on the coffee table when I started typing. One of Evie's new things is to find the bible and flip through all of the pages. All I hear is "thump, thump, riiip..." Not good. Needless to say, I might be able to squeeze out one more post after this, but I'm already about to lose my marbles. :)

Evelyn asks for a blanket to go on top of her bed all the time, just so she can pretend to be sleeping. Yet she still doesn't sleep in her bed at night. Something is wrong with this picture.


It's time to push for "operation Evie in her own bed" again.

So I decided to be ambitious and try something new for lunch. I've never boiled my own ravioli...and I was pretty proud of myself for not screwing it up. :)


The girls approved! Evelyn was trying to make me laugh at the table...


 Meanwhile, Grace tried to swipe food off of my plate...


...but I didn't think she could reach it, so I turned my attention back to Ev...


...and when I turned back around, there was Gracie, a smirky look of satisfaction on her face and ravioli in hand. 



It wasn't long after this that we cleaned up, and Gracie took a pretty bad tumble, hitting her head hard on our kitchen floor. :( Now she has a nice bruise right next to the goose egg she gave herself yesterday. My poor baby. I don't usually give out medicine left and right, but I gave her a small dose of tylenol for this one, because it looked like it hurt a lot. This learning to walk phase comes with too many bumps and bruises for my liking. 

So my day has taken a turn for the crazy, and now it's nap time. Evie's naps have been getting shorter and shorter lately (boo!), and I still have laundry to fold and a house to finish picking up. This is usually the point of the day where things get pretty quiet for us. Perhaps this afternoon there will be another update on what we did after nap time. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I haven't decided on an activity yet. :) 

****
2:45

No pictures just yet...Grace just woke up from nap time and Evie is still snoozing away! I'm thinking a nice long bubble bath is going to be in order though, because my babies look like little ragamuffins. :) Grace seriously looks like Sylvester Stallone at the end of a Rocky movie right now. What are people going to think when I take her out in public? I need to buy her a helmet! :)

This is about the time I start wondering what in the world I'm going to do for dinner. I have no clues. Cassie, that recipe you had on your blog the other day would've been right up my alley, except then I remembered Eric won't eat beans. Gosh darn it! If I have to eat taco salad one more time this MONTH I'm going to have a fit, haha. Hmm...maybe we'll fire up the grill when Eric gets home. Now that's a possibility!

****

Evie finally woke up and the girls took a little dip!


I promise she really is a happy baby, but sometimes the pictures Grace takes look like they belong on one of those save the children commercials. 


Rescue me from this horrible existence. 
Haha.

You can't see her bruises horribly in this picture, but they're there. :(


Oh, how I love those kids. :) I think we're going to call it an afternoon here. I'm going to start defrosting meat for dinner and the girls are off playing in their bedroom. We didn't do anything exciting...nothing special...but that's our life most days! And now you know. :) Thanks for checking in with us today. See ya back here tomorrow!

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