Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Long Overdue

The title of this post is fitting on sooooo many levels....least of which is because this BIG event in my life happened awhile back. But MOST of which is because I finally get to G-L-O-A-T (or continue doing so ;-).

About a month ago our good friend Jenny came for a visit from Texas. We always like when she visits. It gives us an excuse to travel the 3 mile distance to visit Brad & Dana, (Jenny is Brad's sister), sit around and do nothing, and stuff our face with a potluck of sorts from the local gas station.

Needless to say, due to my expanding waist line, over the past few years we've had many evenings like this. Of course along with stuffing our face comes playing a few games like Scattergories, The Great Dalmuti, and of course my new fav - FARKLE!! As weird as the name sounds it is totally down my alley. 6 dice. 1 cup. and 90% luck. Why is Farkle my favorite you ask? Well your honor, please see
Exhibit A:


That's right - read 'em and weep. Here, you will see a total of THREE rounds played on this score sheet and upon further examination you'll find that I was the winner of all three! I believe this lucky streak even extended over two days.

You must know - over YEARS of game playing with this crowd - I've either lost or placed "2nd to last" every. single. time. It's kind of been the running joke. Especially the night where we got down to the wire while playing the Great Dalmuti and with seconds to left I had the cards to quench the win only to have John (yes my beloved husband) steal it away from me with a hand of cards that trumped mine. It was more dramatic in the moment as everyone witnessed my dreams being crushed by my HUSBAND! I can still conjure up some guilt from him by bringing this up - which I do.....often.

Anyway, I had resigned myself to the fact that I just wasn't a "game-player" and by the time I ever caught on to the concept, everyone else was already out of my reach with all their strategery. So needless to say, when I won Farkle THREE times - I did indeed gloat! Along with displaying these score sheets on my fridge and now even resorting to shouting it to all of blog-land. So whomever wishes to de-throne the Farkle Queen - bring it on! :P

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lost & Found

Thanks to little Miss Addibell, we all experienced a "first" this past weekend. And frankly it's a first that I would also LOVE to be our last (but I highly doubt it is).

We lost this little girly:

Despite the scare, the conditions were a little better than you'd expect. We spent Saturday just lounging around at home and both Mommy & Daddy were sidetracked with something. Usually Addison is either underfoot or off playing happily by herself. I think I had just hung up the phone and checked for her in a couple of rooms before I casually asked John where she was. He didn't know. Then we both slowly started to panic as we ran from room to room, checking her typical hiding places: closets, bathrooms, etc - with no luck. We called for her over and over and she never came toddling out. Panic began to set in even more. We started checking tubs, locked doors, the backyard, front yard - knowing there was no way she could unlock any of them herself. Of course my mind was imagining all sorts of scary things during the process. Luckily after only about 30 seconds (which seemed like 30 minutes), John found her hiding behind the glider in her bedroom. Of course she thought she was in trouble since she was playing with the Library books that Mommy hides back there so she doesn't ruin them. Maybe that is why she didn't come out when we called her. Either that or she was stuck pretty good behind the chair. Either way we were both sooo relieved to find her that I didn't care if she tore out 20 pages of the library books - I would have happily paid it. (Shhhh...don't tell her that).

Anyway, it was definitely an experience I hope to never go through again. I can't imagine if we were in a public place with all kinds of escape routes and creepy strangers. It made me sad for those parents who lose their children to kidnappings. How could one even go on living without knowing where their little child was? I could barely function for my 30 seconds. It definitely put things into perspective for me. Now I'm a little more grateful when she spends her time right underneath my feet.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hittin' The Open Road

I bet you didn't realize Addison and I are sooo popular that we frequently have to "tour" nearby towns just so everyone can see us. Welp, it's true! It's a nice problem to have - being loved/adored by everyone along our path. Seeing the throngs of people clamoring to eat lunch with us or visit with us.

Recently, we hit the open road to visit some family/friends who were LONG overdue for a visit. Our ultimate destination was Columbia, MO. Where I spent 7 years of my life single, working, going to school, and hanging out with friends. However, we did manage to find a few people to visit along our way as well. All in all, it was a GREAT trip and very seamless when it came to all the details that one can have when traveling by themselves with a very antsy 1 year old!

We headed on our tour last Tuesday right after nap time (yes for both Addison and I since we had to wake up early and get John to the airport for his trip). First stop on our way was Grandma Bell (my mom). We swung by her work and had a quick bite to eat while Addison ran some laps in the gym.

Then we hit the open road yet again (right at naptime mind you :-D) and headed to our next stop - Uncle Kyle & Aunt Cassie's house. This is where we spent the majority of our time. We couldn't have picked a better place to do it either. They were very hospitable and didn't mind at all that we basically moved in with them for three consecutive days. At least they pretended like they were happy to have us ;-).

Day 1: Addison loved playing with cousin Alexa. She's the closest to her age on the "Bell side" and they always seem to hit it off. We lounged around the house and divvied out naps to the two little ones and had a very relaxing day. We did venture out for some shopping and the park but of course not until about 5:30 pm. It was quite nice visiting and enjoying a laid back day.

Necessity is the mother of invention. Needed: nice quiet shopping moment with two 1 year olds in tow. Invented: portable dvd player strapped to the cart. Mission accomplished! And yes, we got quite a lot of stares along the way. I'm sure they were just jealous of our creative genius! :D

Day 2: Addison and I loaded up and headed to our next destination: Columbia, MO. My old alma mater, hometown, and old place of employment. Once we arrived we met up with these folks for lunch:

L to R: Tracy, Addison, Me, Emily, Kim, Dave, Pat (we missed you Joy!)

These are all my old co-workers that I spent 5 years working alongside at MBS. It was so nice to have everyone come for our lunch visit despite their busy schedules. It had been wayyyy too long since I've seen them and this was their first time meeting Addison! Needless to say, I think she won them over pretty quickly.

Tracy was a doll and helped me try to get Addison's wiggles out. I think we were successful, especially since we went to visit my old work after lunch and she spent most of her time running the halls while we visited.

Then we headed right on over to visit Uncle Quentin and give him a much needed break from all of his school work. I hope we were a pleasant distraction. You can't lose when you come bearing butterfingers and skittles upon arrival - we take this "break" thing very seriously ya know! It wasn't long before Aunt Natalie joined us after she got off work. We just sat around and visited until it was time to reunite with these people for dinner:

L to R: Brayden, Kami, Karra, Addison, Wanda, Quentin, Natalie, Aliisa (we missed you Lisa!)

These are all my old friends that I made while I lived in CoMo and miss a lot! I wish I could move all of them to Arky with me. We had a great dinner at Shakespeare's and a great visit as well. It was so nice to see familiar faces that I hadn't seen in such a LONG time. Now that makes TWO trips for me to see them - it is now their turn to wander down this way! Ahem...ahem!?

After our long day in CoMo, we headed yet again back to our temporary home at Aunt Cassie's house and they once again welcomed us with open arms. Alexa even got to stay up past her bedtime just so she could see "her Addison" one more time before nighttime. We got to visit a little more the next morning before we pushed off and headed for home.

Addison spent 90% of her time in this car. I guess we now know what to ask Santa Claus for Christmas this year.

Of course, we had to make the lunch pit stop in Springfield to visit Grandma Bell again and get our wiggles out. Can I just say it's soooo nice to have family/friends strategically placed along your driving route? Along with our two-hour driving segments between stops, and LOTS of Yo Gabba Gabba playing on the laptop, Addison and I had a VERY pleasant drive. And frankly, that was the part of the trip I was most worried about. She handled all the change of schedule beautifully and even seemed to enjoy her visits w/Mommy's friends. I don't know if they were more excited to see me or her!

Thanks to everyone who made our trip so fun and such a success. Hopefully it won't take me near as long next time to head back that way. Keep in touch and drop me an email sometime!

Here is Addison helping me unpack. Her version of unpacking is chucking everything across the room. So kind of her 'eh?

Birthday Boy

A week ago we got to celebrate the day of John's birth (August 22nd). Addison and I had such a fun time honoring the only boy in this household (so far that is - nope no announcements here).

We are VERY grateful to have him in our lives and we feel very loved and adored by him as well. He's such a hard worker for our family and he never complains. He's just happy to put in a long day at work and then spend the evening hanging out with his girls.

So what exactly do you do to honor the best Dad/Husband ever? Well, shopping for him can be a bit tricky. If he really wants something, he usually wants it a specific way/color/size/look/etc. so I rarely venture out and surprise him with the bigger purchases. This birthday was no different of course. We showered/surprised him with lots of little stuff. Addison got him two new ties, a wallet, and a hand-made frame to display her drawings. Mom got him a book, a foot massage, and coupons for a bat bag and dress shoes. (Both of which he did pick out later - just to his liking!)

So not too much in the way of surprises for the birthday boy but either way I hope he had a great day and could tell how much we loved him.
The celebration continued on throughout the whole day of course - that's the way we like to do it around here. We spent the morning dining on waffles and blueberries. And lunch was pork chops, fruit, green salad w/vinaigrette dressing, and croissants. We even had some good friends over for cake and ice cream afterward. He definitely deserved every minute and then some! Here are a few pics of his special day. Happy big 3-4 John! We are so very glad you were born - we wouldn't be here without you!

Addison was very helpful w/opening the gifts. So much so that you'd almost think it was her birthday!

She sure loves this Daddy of hers. Most days I tell her "Daddy is coming home" right before he walks in the door from work. Each time of course she goes and looks at the door and waits for him to come in. She greets him with a hug and a smile and just loves to wrestle with him. Lately, she has even been crying when he leaves for work in the morning. Surely staying home with me can't be THAT bad!? ;-)

I'm so glad to see the relationship she has with her Daddy and I'm equally as glad to see how loving and kind he is to her as well. Their relationship will be such a strength in her life and I am glad I get to see it develop more and more everyday. I couldn't have picked a better father than John.