Saturday, February 26, 2011


I have reluctantly decided to return to life with society after being in denial for a week.  We returned from a fabulous trip to Denver last Monday (has it really already been almost a week since we've been home?) and it's taken me about that long to shake off the post-vacation blues.  Denver was awesome- sixty degrees and sunny everyday and we were outside more than we were inside!  We returned to my beloved Midwest and found out that winter is definitely still here.  Yep.  The big snow we had a couple of weeks ago is pretty much all gone (amazingly enough!) but we get a dusting about every other day and the temperature refuses to get out of the thirties.  I have loved winter and accepted it lovingly with open arms, but I think the gloomy skies are getting to me!  I sure hope that groundhog was right.

But I digress... back to vacation.

We stayed with the lovely Boyer family and Jacob enjoyed spending time with their grandkids that are the same age.  The three of them were so cute together and I think Jake developed a little crush!  We too Jake on his first zoo trip (sidenote: the Denver Zoo is awesome by the way) and although he didn't really notice many of the animals, he loved riding in the stroller and his first go around on the carousel.  Looks like he's going to be an amusement park thrill-seeker like his mommy and daddy based on the huge grin he had on his face the whole time.   Josh's dad came out and met us for a night, joined us at the zoo, and treated us to a great night in the mountains.  Josh skied Breckenridge one morning while I pampered myself at the spa.  I actually knew he'd have more fun without me because he'd feel like he needed to stay with me and is a much better skier than I am.  Plus, as a mom, I will pay someone anyday to have an hour of peace and quiet while someone rubs soothing lotions all over me... it was pure bliss!  Plus, my ski clothes are really not up to par, so that sounded way better than literally freezing my tush off.  We did lots of shopping (another sidenote: downtown Denver is amazing!  Streets are blocked off for pedestrians and it's shop after shop, indoor/outdoor malls, and every restaurant you could ever want!), ate great meals that we don't get here like Cheesecake Factory and Brio, got Jake his first "big boy" haircut, and spent a really fun afternoon bowling at Lucky Strike.  Josh and I get away every now and then, but we usually come home feeling like we weren't really "away."  Often this has to do with all of the running around, especially if we're visiting family with our uber-popular son, but this trip was truly refreshing.  We were truly away, unplugged, and disconnected.  There are not many sights on this planet as breathtaking as the Rockies and the sunshine did us some good.  Now if we could only figure out a way to get out there more often life would be good!  Sigh.

So without further ado, here are some trip highlights:

He offered to help us out with the 13-hour drive.  Tempting.
Jake loved the snow in that still lingered in a shady spot of the yard.  Playing in snow while still warm?  It was the best of both worlds!

Miss Julie and her precious grandkids showing us around the zoo.
Pawpaw met us at the zoo!  It was such a good surprise for little Jake!
Getting a haircut at Kool Kuts for Kids.  Such a fun place and Jake loved sitting in the little car!

Our cheering section at Lucky Strike.  Getting three kids to look at the camera at the same time?  Impossible!
Proof that he is my son... he can sleep anywhere!  Even at a bowling alley! 
So where are these pictures of our time in the mountains?  Ummm... let's just say that I was SO on vacation that I didn't even pick up my camera.  Although I would've liked to come home with a snapshot or two from that beautiful mountain town, it was kind of nice just being in the moment rather than worrying about capturing it.  We'll just have to go back!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Funny Valentine...

He can make me laugh in any situation... even when I desperately try not to laugh at his antics.  A funny accent, a silly phrase, or his signature dance with his tongue out can always turn my day around.  He takes out the garbage and the recycling because he knows I hate it.  He gets excited about some pretty weird stuff, but I think it's cute.  If he sits still for too long, he will go crazy.  He could eat tacos and frozen pizza with ranch dressing every night and be perfectly okay with that.  Although right now he's on a bit of a salad with popcorn chicken kick.  Even though he gets up at the crack of dawn to fit more into his day, he never makes me feel bad about having my lazy mornings.  He challenges me to learn everyday, take part in more activities, and take ownership of things that I am passionate about.  He is a fantastic father to our son and someone that our son thinks is the coolest person on earth.  Hearing the two of them say, "Jakie"... "Dada" in voices that mock one another makes my heart soar, even from the other side of the house.

I still don't know how I got so lucky, but with this man beside me I am constantly reminded of how good our God is.  Only God could put the two of us together at just the right time to make it work so well.  So even though we don't really do Valentine's Day, I am sending my digital valentine to him today, because he deserves it.

Happy Valentine's Day to my perfect match... thank you for loving me the way you do!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


This is a little overdue, but I misplaced my video camera for about a week (my brain is on permanent hiatus right now) and was finally able to sit down today and upload some of the video from our blizzard last week.  I had to laugh a bit at my footage as there were about 12 short clips that I deleted of the snow falling outside the window.  Sure, it was falling at a pretty impressive pace and you could certainly see how windy it was, but it was one after another after another!  Can you tell that I've never really lived any place with this much snow??  So don't worry, I won't bore you with those, but here are a few from our winter wonderland:

The first is a short clip of the dogs running in from outside.  This one shows how deep the snow is!

Next up is just a view of the front of our house and neighborhood.  We live on a main road, so we were lucky to wake up to fairly-well plowed roads.  We have friends, however, who live out in the country and were snowed in for days!  I will say that living in the Midwest is nice when it snows as they are very used to it and very prepared to take care of it! 

And lastly, little Jakie in the snow.  He loved being outside and didn't mind the cold too much.  His snowsuit limits his movement, however, so often times he just ends up sitting in one spot with a blank stare on his face.  Please ignore the commentary in the background... I tried to put it to music but I'm not that talented!

While we did love the many inches (er... feet) we received, Josh and I have decided that we are officially ready for spring!  The groundhog told us that it would be an early spring and I sure hope he's right!  Today the temperature got up into the upper 30's and no joke, it feels like a heat wave.  I even went outside in short sleeves and felt like I was dressed warm enough... what is happening to me?  I think they are turning me into one of them!  But seriously, especially with a toddler (yes, a toddler... this kid has definitely mastered walking... video to come and I promise to not make you wait as long this time!) who has cabin fever, we are ready for some warmth and sunshine!  Heck, what am I talking about?  I am a mommy with cabin fever, too!  I guarantee as soon as the thermometer hits forty degrees (which is rumored to happen Tuesday... and we'll be out of town of course!) the stroller will be out in full force.  So groundhog, bring it on!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It Definitely was a Blizzard!

Did you know that it can thunder and lightning during a snow storm?  Did you know that snow can fall so quickly from the sky that it actually looks like rain?  Did you know that if the wind blows hard enough an entire screened-in porch can have a couple of inches of accumulation?  Boy have we learned a lot in the past couple of days!

Tuesday afternoon the snow started coming down, fairly normal at first, but then the winds picked up and we could hardly see the houses across the street at times.  And it just didn't stop!  We stayed up fairly late and it was still howling outside when we turned in around midnight.  At that point it was almost up to the dogs' chests when I let them out and we were still in for a few more hours according to the radar.  This is what we woke up to:

Can you find the Route 40 Sign?

Snow snow everywhere!  We got 16-20 inches in most places, but with the wind, it made for some major drifts in our driveway and side yard... check it out!

I assure you that the above picture has not been doctored!  Walking through that just to get the picture was quite an adventure!

Late in the afternoon after all that super-fun snow-blowing and shoveling was behind us, we bundled up our favorite little man and ventured outside to check it out.  The weather was spectacular!  And yes, I say that even though it was a mere 8 degrees.  But the sun was shining, the snow was sparkling, and the air felt clean and crisp.  We weren't sure how Jake would react, but he loved every minute of it!

I have plenty of video to post that I took throughout the storm and the morning after, but this gives you a good idea of the fun we're having in Small Town, Illinois these days.  There's so much snow that the department of transportation is trying to find solutions as to where to put it all... especially the tons of it in parking lots!  Looks like we'll be seeing this white stuff for awhile!

And yes, those are still Christmas decorations on our porch railings.  In fact, our Christmas tree has only gotten as far as being out of our living room and onto our (now snow covered) screened-in porch.  It's freezing here- don't judge us!  

More snow fun to come... stay tuned!