Thursday, November 1, 2012

moving WEST!

We've been living in Reno for about 8 weeks now and I'm just now starting to feel normal and settled!

Please, experience our move in pictures!

 A final evening stroll through our neighborhood!

 Final sunrise across Lake Michigan! Ugh, I'm missing this!

 Let's get a move on! Westbound I80!

 Bye Bye, Illinois!

 Day One concluded in Omaha, NE where we stayed with our lovely friends!

We spent a day exploring Omaha instead of driving! Besides someone stealing my cash, it was the best decision with a 15 mo old!
Sock Monkeys make good pillows!

  Day Three, destination Colorado!

 Keeping a little one entertained in the car for endless hours was tough so we shoved a lot of things in her lap to see what would happen!  Here she's reading to us! The book is up-side-down but really... it was awesome!

 Signing FISH!

 Nebraska, Nebraska, Nebraska!
Finally, there you are Colorado!

 We stayed with another lovely friend in Denver!

 Penny loved the STAIRS! They were really nice!

 Wyoming buffalo!  Don't be fooled - it's just a sign!

 We ended day four of our trip in Park City, UT! BEAUtiful!

 Hooray!  We made it.... or did we?!

 Someone was getting a little stir crazy!!!

 Go ahead, play the video! I'll wait to tell you the rest when you're done!

 In the middle of Nevada, our trailer blew a tire and caught FIRE!  
Yep, you read that correctly!

 After we put it out, called UHaul (sons of bitches) we kept P cool in the 90 degree desert!

 Does UHaul send replacement tires? NO! They send replacement trailers! WTF!!!

 Unloaded the stupid trailer!

 Penny was in the shade under a tree in her pack n play!  Man that thing comes in handy!

 Our Rescuers! 
Be my guest, send them a thank you note!

 They checked all our tires! Just in case...

6 hours later we were on our way...

Told you it was fun!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

In honor of Father's Day, and inspired by another friend, I would like to tell you a bit more about this man I call my husband and Penny calls Dadadadadada!  Here is my list of things you should (or shouldn't) know about Nolan!  

50 Things You Should Know About Nolan!

1. Nolan is a great cook, he has spoiled me because I no longer want to cook while he's gone - it just doesn't taste the same
2. He loves dogs - he's never lived this long without a dog - nearly 4.5 years.
3. He works on a Tow Boat
4. Nolan is still friends with boys he went to elementary school with (I know only a few of us that can say that)
5. Nolan broke his back while skiing when he was 19
6. He is an avid reader - something he got from his parents who send us shipments every couple months of used books they've read
7. He dressed up as Mr. T one year for Halloween - his mom accidentally glued the Mohawk to his head!
8. We make up stories to help each other fall asleep
9. He has some of the most amazing cousins and constantly tries to stay in touch with them
10. His back is riddled with gnarly scars - see #6
11. He is an amazing dad
12. He quotes movies I've never seen, then politely suggests I see them (Paint Your Wagon was the first in a very LONG list)
13. Nolan bought his first computer last year  - and now spends loads of time "window shopping"
14. He loves backpacking and camping and since we've moved to IL he has done very little of both except when we return to Nevada
15. He is a great fly fisherman, something he couldn't wait to teach me within the first 3 months of dating
16. The inside of his wedding ring says "It began with a rain check."  He politely asked for a rain check after I hit on him at work, that weekend I got a text that simply said "rain check."
17. Later I found out that he had to call our work to get my number so he could send me the text.
18. His parents own a cabin at Mill Creek, CA - a place that hold some of his fondest memories. 
19. Far from a traditionalist, he spent a weekend at the cabin, among his closest friends to celebrate his bachelor party the summer before we married
20. I think he might have an internal count of how many times I can use, "just trust me" when referring to home decorating 
21. He has a great Harry Potter voice that sounds nothing like Harry Potter and only uses it for "spells"
22. He loves knives - he used to collect them then got rid of most and now I think he might be building up his arsenal again!  (His big birthday present last year was a knife)
23. His love of bag pipes scares me.
24. His wanting to share all his loves with Penny, including bag pipe music which makes me smile more than anything else in the world
25. He first introduced me to his parents when I was a waitress and unknowingly had to wait on them!
26. One of his seasonal jobs was a children's ski instructor at Mt. Rose Ski Resort, and now takes his nephew and friend's kids skiing every winter he can.
27. His mom had a dream a few years before we met where he was hand in hand with a little red headed girl calling him "Daddy" 
28. Nolan changed Penny's first diaper - it was his first diaper change, EVER
29. At 17, Nolan spent 6 weeks in South America traveling in a jeep convoy with his father and 30 others. 
30. He gets childishly excited  when he hears this song: Convoy by C.W. McCall
31. Even though he only got a few hours of sleep before he had to return to his 12 hour work day after P was born he still took at least one of Penny's feedings at night.
32. It was in Mexico after his cousins' wedding  that we first said, "I love you" to each other, we actually have a photo of the moment
33. He hates cockroaches and has used "taking care of Penny" as an excuse so I had to kill it.
34. He makes me smile EVERY SINGLE DAY
35. We spent a day of our honeymoon fly fishing because he really wanted to submit my photo to The Drake Magazine for their Chix on Six page. 
36. Unlike me, Nolan is very diligent about finishing projects and gets understandably irritated when I don't complete my projects.
37. We wrote letters to each other when I moved back to Vegas to save money before we moved to IL.
38. His nickname among all his family is Bub
39. When he gets around his childhood friends they call one another silly nicknames and speak and laugh alike.
40. His is one of the silliest people I know and it is near impossible to embarrass him.
41. We sometimes walk to the zoo simply to watch the polar bear then leave.
42. I think he secretly wants to wrestle it!
43. He is a great listener and can remember almost everything I tell him (sometimes that's great, not so great other times!)
44. We fuel each others' crazy concocted plans like painting trees in the nursery or organizing recipes to have a future Meatball Factory Food Truck. 
45. He is the co-founder of the Brown Line Shuffle, an OG if you will - a challenge of stamina - one beer at every stop on the Chicago Brown Line in one day.
46. I first considered us to be solely together after making it official by asking if we were "boyfriend and girlfriend," he had considered us official from the first week we hung out without other mutual friends.
47. The first time I visited his parents house was for his father's retirement party where I was introduced to virtually everyone he knows.  He got it a little easier with my family, meeting them slowly, one a time.
48. His determination is most evident when trying to silence anything that squeaks or rattles.
49. He spent the summer after he graduated high school working in Alaska for a hunting outfit.
50. His main duty was to clean and pack in animals that clients shot. 

It seems as though I thought of more than 50...

51. While carrying a quartered caribou on his back he was also followed by a grizzly bear!  
52. His work voice is drastically different than the one he uses with me - he sounds like he has grown up in the middle Illinois all his life and speaks with lousy grammar.
53. He doesn't tell anyone "Bless you" after they sneeze - well except Penny (she's changed a lot of his habits)
54. He never napped before Penny was born, like I said, she's changed a few of his habits
55.  If he could, he'd only eat Triscuits, cheese, and salami.
56.  My younger brother thinks Nolan is awesome, as many of my family members do (but I think it has to do with the drinking games he taught him one summer's eve!)
57.  He can be a bit of clean freak which is awesome except when he expects me to be just as clean - yeah, about that....
58.  He always has his button down long sleeve shirts rolled up to around the elbow.
59.  He never has owned any sunglasses that cost more than $15
60.  90% of his wardrobe is hand-me-downs or bought for him
61.  He's stopped asking how old things are in the fridge and just tosses stuff and knowing me, its probably best to.  I don't know why I keep food for so long!
62.  He can watch documentaries all day long
63.  That also goes for Gangland, which he watched all the time before our move to Chicago; I had to convince him nearly everyday that we'd be okay!
64.  He writes short stories
65.  He bought Penny a puppet for Christmas so it could read her books and tell her stories!
66.  His first job was licking stamps with a bunch of old ladies.

Welp, those are just some of the things that make him so wonderful!  I can't imagine my life any different.  He is a great Dad!  Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Birthday Cake Monster

Nothing is as fun as frosting!  Well, not to a one-year-old!

We celebrated P's first birthday with a monster-themed bash.  I found most of my ideas for the party on!  Most of the ideas were "upcycles" of thing around the house or crafts!  And due to my lack of planning, I don't have many photos other than those of P's cake-tastic event!

Penny sure did lover her first cake experience, and just as Mom predicted, dove into it, face first!

 P loves a good party - especially one where she's the center of attention!

 She did quite get why she was corralled at first, but then she caught sight of the birthday cake!  I am so glad we decided to do this outside!  Thanks to Kerrie, we have pretty awesome photos documenting her love of cake, frosting, most likely the sugar!
After all my work teaching P how to blow, she was too enamored with the candle to try it out!
One thing P is not is shy... just dig in there sweet P!
Her polite begging gesture!

This is Lincoln, P's partner in crime!  We made some fun Popsicle for the kids as well as the cake!  Thanks Pinterest for all the fun party ideas!

We didn't even get around to opening presents until the next day!  Of course, one of the best presents was the wrapping paper!

Sunday, May 20, 2012


It's been a while since writing anything on here and well, I think I have a pretty decent excuse: baby, school, baby, BABY, wait, excuse me, ONE-YEAR OLD!!!!  Holy moly- when did I become the owner of a one-year old?!!!  Sometimes I don't even feel old enough to be living on my own and making my own rules let alone making them for someone else!

So let us recap:

We couldn't help but fall in love with this little face! This is when we thought she just might be a redhead.

Taking a trip to NV was complete with a luau with the cousins and grandparents!

Man, we really subjected her to way to many cute things!

We were really excited about all her changes and abilities like rolling over algebra! Just seeing if anyone really reads this! :)
Her personality was really shinning through! 
Every age had its pro and cons but this age was a delight as she showed us her happy personality and also stayed in the same spot where we put her!

Penny was much more fashionable when her Dad was home!  Just saying

Penny was growing out of her bumbo just in time for a new great looking, poor functioning, wooden high chair.  That thing may have been my biggest flop of a baby purchase!  She loved eating when she started and well, things haven't changed much!  She loves food whether it's in her mouth or flying across the room!

It was beginning to be a long winter cooped up inside so we finally ventured outside with P's warm snowsuit on and braved the sandy playground - it was a hit!  She was all about the slides, swings, and fresh air oh and the sand tasted phenomenal too!  We were really excited for the summer at this point knowing she loved the playground even though she couldn't really get anywhere!

She is a master crawler and furniture cruiser.  Her favorite time of the day is bath time by leaps and bounds!

She is growing like a twig - we could barely get one wear out of any of her 9 month clothes.  We started attending fun neighborhood Meet Up events and P met some buddies, Jordan and Lincoln.
What a whirlwind she has become. Although isn't walking, she should compete in the Olympic crawling events! What, they don't exist?! Well, if they did - P would beat all those other babies!  Also, her talking/babbling is a language all its own, it's a blast listening to her solo conversations.

Amazingly enough I didn't know until it was here that I would survive at times!  She is such a pistol with an exploding personality that just captures every passerby!  She simply stops any and all people with her enthusiastic wave and toothy grin!  How could you not want to wave back to her!? 

Who's ONE?!