Archive for February, 2011

weekend getaway

After a long couple of months we were really excited to get away for a weekend.  70 degree temps in Mena, Arkansas gave us an early taste of spring, and Nana and Bubba spoiled all of us in typical grandparent fashion.  They started the weekend by taking the kids shopping to pick out their Valentine’s presents.  Owen chose a toy rifle (you’ll see MANY pictures of the rifle in this post).  Molly picked out a Cinderella play set.  She hasn’t stopped playing with it since she got it.  Here she is checking it out with Nana.

We’ve asked Owen several times what his favorite part of the weekend was and he consistently says, “Fighting bad guys in the woods with Bubba”.  They were partners in crime-fighting this weekend, traipsing through the woods shooting at bad guys in the trees. 

We always look forward to spending time with Grandma Renie when we go to Mena.  During this visit she was excited to share some old pictures with us. 

The days were perfect for playing outside and the nights were ideal for S’mores.  Molly didn’t care for the S’mores but ate her fair share of marshmallows.  Owen took his sweet time and polished off the whole thing.

Sunday was a church day.  This was the first Sunday since I started my job in August where I got to go to church simply to worship.  I love my job, but this was a nice break.  After church we took a few pics in our Sunday best.

Sunday afternoon brought naps for the kids and me, shooting hoops for Trav and his dad, and an afternoon of work for Julie (boo!).  Despite everyone doing their own thing, we snuck in a walk around the neighborhood before dinner.  We’ve all agreed that this walk was our favorite moment of the weekend.  Everyone donned a gun so that we could “protect the people from bad guys”.  I think they look pretty tough, don’t you??

Our little princess didn’t want anything to do with the guns.  Instead she insisted on bringing her favorite princess book.  We figured she’d get tired of carrying it around after a couple of minutes, but no…she held onto it the entire time.

Sweet girl…she even decided it was time for a break and settled in the middle of the road to read her book. 

Molly brought up the rear since she couldn’t tear herself away from her princess book, but Owen lead the pack.  He was constantly on the look out for the bad guys.

Check out Owen’s stance in this next picture…this is serious business!

To polish off the weekend, we watched Cinderella together on Sunday night.  The kids had never seen it but Molly’s become obsessed with Cinderella.  They cuddled up on the couch with Nana and Bubba and watched the movie.  Owen stayed in this position throughout the entire movie (no surprise to us).  Molly stayed that way for 15 minutes and then walked around destroying things the rest of the time (again, no surprise). 

The thing that brought her back to the couch was her love of popcorn.  She chowed down!

Our weekend was great.  It was a much needed getaway from real life.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.  Thanks Nana and Bubba for spoiling all four of us rotten!


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mu vs. oklahoma

Part of Owen’s Christmas present this year was a date with Mommy and Daddy to see a Mizzou basketball game.  We bought tickets for the Mizzou/Oklahoma game on February 12 and had a perfect day with our son.  We started the day by taking him to the Mizzou bookstore where we got him this totally awesome Tigers hat.  He loves it and wants to wear it all the time.  Still.  And it’s been a couple of weeks since the game.  As we were getting ready to pay he saw the foam finger and HAD to have it.  He proudly carried it to the game and pretended it was a gun and used it to shoot people in the stands.  What can I say, the kid’s obsessed with soldiers, army guys, and battles.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I tell you that Owen’s favorite part of the whole game was when the ROTC guys came out during halftime.  Real live soldiers!!!  Owen was thrilled.  He got his $30 worth right there in that moment.

The Tigers made our day even better by giving us a win!  The time with Owen was great.  The game was fantastic.  And being back on our old campus with our kid is kind of a surreal experience.  Best day of 2011 so far.

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monthly update

Molly is 22 months old.  Let me pause for a minute and say that Owen was already in a big boy bed (and had been for 2 months), was speaking in sentences, and was one month away from being a big brother.  And he had a LOT more hair.  She’s her own girl…our happy little gal.

A couple things about Moo this month:

*  She loves to pray.  As soon as we all sit down she claps her hands together and yells, “PAY!!”.  She squeezes her eyes shut and then shouts “AMEN”.  She likes to learn to pray.  We’ll say a short prayer, sentence by sentence, and then she’ll repeat it in her own Molly gibberish.  It’s adorable.

*  She’s learned to jump.  She practices ALL the time.  Often we’ll find her in her crib jumping up and down.  I’m pretty sure she just likes how high she can bounce on her mattress.

*  She loves to help me cook.  She pulls up her chair and wants to watch everything I do.  It’s sweet…but stressful.  She’s learned how to open the oven and it scares me to death.  I need to buy some kind of oven lock.

*  Molly loves everything about her brother.  She couldn’t bear the thought that he might be in a picture without her so she kept trying to barge in.  I think this picture is hilarious on so many levels.  Her surprised face that shows off her receding hairline quite nicely.  His mid-blink grin.  And the fact that Noah’s Ark made the picture.  (It has been the toy of the week, but instead of animals it houses all his knights and dragons and he won’t let you open the door because they might escape.)

Here’s Owen’s monthly pic:

Big news about Owen this month…he’s engaged!  Yep, that’s right.  His buddy, Ella, told her parents that she is going to marry Owen in 3 months.  She is going to be taking his last name (according to her) and she is saving a pink carnation to hold at the wedding.  At first Owen wasn’t too sure about this idea.  When I asked him if he was going to marry Ella he responded that he’d rather be a dinosaur or a tiger.  But today we happened to drive by the building where Trav and I had our wedding reception.  I got all sentimental and pointed it out to O.  He followed my comment with, “Mommy, I’m going to marry Ella.”  When I asked him when this was going to happen he said, “Um, maybe at 16.”  He then told me that the people in attendance would be Kate, Daddy’s friend, Daddy, and maybe Mommy (WHAT??).  I asked if Molly would be there and he said, “Mommy, she’s just a baby!”.  So there you go. 

One other thing about Owen…he’s finally taking an interest in learning his letters!  He is obsessed with the letter O and points it out everywhere.  He’s also a big fan of W.  That’ pretty much all we’ve got, but we’re going with it.  We had a mommy/Owen date last Sunday to write his Valentine cards for his class party.  He was very excited to write the O’s on all his cards.  Big stuff. 

And a random Owen tidbit…he tells me almost daily that I’m going to be a pig for Halloween next year.  Random, yes.  Maybe I should take offense at this?  Anyway, he says it a lot and it doesn’t help the old self esteem.

That’s all for this month!

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bathroom redo #1

We are in the middle of updating both of our bathrooms.  Our master bath is the one that is in dire need (and I’m still debating whether or not to put before pictures of our bathroom…it’s that bad).  The hall bath (the one the kids and guests use) is in good shape but the floor needed some major help.  Here’s a before shot of the peeling laminate…

I’ve never liked the floor, but it’s always been one of those things that is far down on the to-do list for this house.  Over the last (almost) 6 years, we’ve been slowly checking off things on our to-do list and the time had come!  I wasn’t the least bit sad to say goodbye to this cream-colored floor accented with blue diamonds.  (And I promise that these pictures show it CLEAN.  It just is all scarred up and worn-out looking.

I included this next picture because Owen thought it was just hysterical that the toilet was in the bathtub. 

It only took three days and we have a much prettier bathroom! 

Ahh…so much better.  And so nice to have a floor that looks clean after I clean it…a big frustration I had with old, stained laminate flooring that had been there who knows how long.

The master bath is a MUCH bigger project.  The whole shower is being gutted and redone, along with removing all the tile that lines the walls.  I can’t wait for my new shower.  It’s going to have a shelf built right into the wall to hold all my bottles and soaps and razors.  No more hanging shower organizers for me!  That redo hasn’t started yet…don’t expect pictures for a least a few weeks.  I’ve been told that things like redoing an entire shower take quite some time.  More soon…

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the year in movies

Emily and I did something I never could’ve fathomed in 2010/early 2011. It surprises me…shocks me…overwhelms me to announce that we saw 9 out of the 10 Academy Award Nominees for Best Picture!

Ever since we had the kiddos, going to the movies (one of our favorite pastimes as a couple) has been a bit of a challenge. But thanks to some lucky timing, earlier-than-usual DVD releases, and accommodating grandparents/babysitters, we’ve seen everything except 127 Hours – and who knows, we still have a couple weeks until Oscar Night, so we might be able to go 10 for 10!

Now, if you know me, I’m a list nerd. And I feel that the “10 best movies of the year” and one’s “10 favorite movies of the year” are very, very different.

Emily and I both agree that The Social Network was the best movie of the year and should bring home the gold on Oscar Night. The morality story exploring the themes of ambition, success, jealousy and friendship was so well told. The pacing, music, dialogue and cinematography was crafted together almost perfectly (Fincher should win Best Director and Sorkin Best Adapted Screenplay, in our humble opinions). The acting was pitch perfect. And the timeliness of its making was pretty gutsy (Zuckerberg’s not even 30 yet!)

Now, that does NOT mean that it was our favorite movie of the year. It’s up there, but Em and I both agreed that The Fighter was our favorite movie of 2010. Just when you think you’ve seen every kind of boxing film, this one came in and – caution, terrible pun coming – knocks you on your seat. We loved the complex relationships between the characters/family, the way you as an audience member feel like you become part of the town of Lowell, and how you love and are frustrated by Christian Bale’s Dicky character simultaneously throughout (Bale definitely deserves the Best Supporting Actor Oscar). The fact that there’s really very little boxing in it shows how good of a movie it really is, as it doesn’t rely on inside-the-ring action to keep you engaged.

Okay, so you got our “Best” and our “Favorite.” However, our “favorites” list starts to differ a little bit in order. Without further adieu, the winners are:



  1. The Fighter
  2. True Grit – loved the original, loved the new one.
  3. The Social Network
  4. Inception – Brrrrrrraaaaahhhhmmmm!!!!!!!
  5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – this one’s also not for everyone, but if you’re a video game/comic book/superhero geek like me, it’s nirvana.
  6. Black Swan – not for everyone…I’ll leave it at that.
  7. How To Train Your Dragon – I’ve seen it about 17 times now, and while it may not be a popular opinion, I think it was better than Toy Story 3. There. I said it.
  8. Toy Story 3 – I did really, really like this one, though.
  9. Winter’s Bone – they nailed rural poverty. Which is pretty depressing.
  10. The King’s Speech/The Town/Shutter Island – I liked them all and can’t decide which to pick because. Call it a cop out. I don’t care.


  1. The Fighter
  2. Twilight: Eclipse – really? Really.
  3. The Town
  4. The King’s Speech
  5. True Grit
  6. Shutter Island
  7. Toy Story 3
  8. The Social Network
  9. Black Swan
  10. Winter’s Bone

And there you have it. We can’t wait to hear how much you agree and disagree with us.

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there’s something about mary

Meet Mary.

She used to have two sets of eyelashes.  She has lots of slobbery kiss marks all over her pretty bald head.  And she needs to do everything with Molly. 

She sits by her at dinner.

Mary is prone to misbehavior, and Molly is quick to enforce consequences.  I believe Mary didn’t eat her dinner and had to sit in time out (according to Owen). 

Even though she has a bit of a rebellious nature, Mary is quick to assist Molly in housework.

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My favorite consignment shop, Once Upon a Child, has a One Day One Dollar sale twice a year to get rid of all their clearance merchandise.  This is my third time to go and it never disappoints. 

The first time I went I didn’t have any idea how many people show up for this thing.  The store opens early at 7am, but I didn’t really see the need to get there at 7.  I learned the hard way by waiting in line for an hour and half.  I now know to get there at 6:55 (which seems REALLY early on a Saturday) so I can reserve a laundry basket to carry all my finds.  I also know that if you bring cash they’ll get you through the line a WHOLE lot quicker.  And I also know to bring my mom.  We shop together for a few minutes and then she goes and holds a place in line while I continue shopping.

The way it works is that there is a section of clearance items in every size.  Any item marked with a red stamp is $1.  If you want to get any of the good stuff you have to get there first, which definitely brings out the worst in people.  I’ve actually been looking at a dress and had it grabbed away from me.  People, this sale is vicious!

But I love it.  I really do.  I look forward to it two times every year.  And because I’m so proud of my amazing finds, I’m going to show them to you.  Get ready to be impressed!!  First I’ll show the things I got for Owen.  Generally the boys’ stuff isn’t as good as the girls’ stuff.  I think boys wear their clothes out more often than girls.  This year I only got three things for Owen.  But spending $3 for an Old Navy hoodie, a Children’s Place sweater vest for church, and a flannel shirt from Target…not too shabby!

I did a little bit better for Molly:

A couple of things worth mentioning…the turquoise hoodie was new with tags from BabyGap (originally $25!!).  The little floral leggings and sweater are brand new from Gymboree ($1 total…they came as a set!).  And the little red shirt is a Gymboree shirt that will be just adorable next Christmas.  The floral shirt is from H&M.  The pink capris with little white flamingos on them are from Old Navy.  The green floral capris are Target.  The khaki capris are Children’s Place.  And the crocs…well, they weren’t on the clearance rack but they were just too cute.  I gave in and spent $6.50 on adorable lime green Mary Jane style crocs for this summer.  Pretty impressive finds, huh?

I also like to shop ahead.  These jammies are all size 4T but how do you pass them up when they’re a dollar for each set?  I know I’ll be so excited to pull them out in a couple of years and not have to spend money on jammies.

I know I got a little carried away and gave you WAY more info than you cared to know about my finds.  But I just love a good bargain and love that this sale has give me a head start on Molly’s spring wardrobe.

Anyone in the STL area ever interested in going…it’s SO worth it.

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