Life Lately

Last Sunday Penelope and I went with my family to visit my younger brother, Ben, who was doing some volunteer work in Illinois with my cousin Murray. We couldn’t miss an opportunity to see him, even though we just saw him two months ago. We knew he was really just excited to see his niece and nephews, but he was awesome getting to see him!

Around the house this week we have been packing, and trying to fill ours days creatively. Penelope’s favorite pass time has become coloring. She is getting really good at it, holding the crayons and markers correctly, and even focusing on things like spots on a snake, so she is beginning to realize there is more to it that scribbling. We are also learning the names of colors, objects (car, flower, apple, book, bubbles, chair, ball, airplane.), animals (cat “meow”, dog, puppy, bear, bird, monkey, lizard), and people (Papa, DeeDee, Reese, Daddy, Mommy (not her favorite word, I’m sad to say), Grandpa, Grandma, Joe, Leo…and so on. She is getting really good and speaking, and she has the sweetest voice!
Reese on the other hand has been extremely bored. I can tell he just wants to RUN! It has either been too hot or raining. Regardless, I know I need to make his fun time a priority, I can sit in the shade after all…
Zack and I have begun a garden that we will take with us when we move, complete with watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, and peppers. Penelope and I make a daily trip to water them. She loves doing this and runs to find her watering can that Grandma Shooie got her. She loves to be a helper (and independent).
Penelope has also become interested in books, an even let me read through a short one last night!
I have dreaded packing with this move, but luckily we have a month to spread out the process, so it’s not too much pressure to get everything done right away. I t is hard to pack with Penelope around, because she like to help, which means random things in boxes and things I just put in boxes taken out. She is too cute though, so I can’t be mad. I usually end up sitting back watching her and cheering her on when something wrong is dumped into a box. She feels so proud, that makes me happy.
This is Zack’s last day of work for the next three days, and we will be celebrating Father’s Day on Saturday- a post to follow- the other days I’m sure will be spent packing and finishing projects, and letting Penelope run around in the sprinkler!




When you look at the cross, what you see is I am more wicked than I ever dare imagine, but I am more loved than I ever dare hope.       -Tim Keller

Surprise from the Sky

This afternoon, after a blistering hot sunshine filled morning, it began to thunder, hail, rain, and blow winds fiercely for 45 minutes.
Penelope and I watched from the patio/ playroom, rocking gently in the rocking chair, Penelope clinging to me like a little monkey not quite understanding what was happening. When she got more comfortable and it was still raining, we pulled out the flashcards and practiced new words.
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Earlier today, however, we did get to enjoy some outside time. Penelope played in a big bowl of bubbles, dancing and squealing in the driveway, excited for the freedom to make a mess! We also colored Winnie the Pooh pages, watched Mary Poppins –which she chose off the shelf – complete with popcorn. We played with jumbo Lego blocks, baby dolls, swept the kitchen, had a dance party, and took a nap. Oh, and ate lunch with Daddy on his break!
Lets hope tomorrow is as eventful, relaxing, and full of just as many smiles!


The Sway of a Sunday

Penelope woke up at a crisp 7 A.M., leaving us with four hours to get ready for church. I gave her a nap in that time, then we headed off to church two minutes from our house, arriving too early, giving us time to catch up with our friend Mark that Zack grew up with ( a second Dad of sorts). The service was amazing, as usual in my opinion, as was the music. [I will be posting the sermon later in the week.]
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After church P-Mae and I went out to lunch with my sister, her boys and my mom. Penelope and Leo find each other hilarious, and squealed the entire time making faces across the table at one another.
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Once home, and after realizing Penelope was not interested in taking a nap, we watched 13 going on 30 with Grandma Shooie, and ate apple slices. 
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I decided to take Penelope outside to sit under the tree in the front yard despite the heat to pass some time before my next attempt at a nap – which was also a failure – the time outside was relaxing, full of giggles, breezes, baby doll kisses, flower picking, and puppy chasing.
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We will have to do this more often.
The rest of the afternoon was spent watering plants, coloring, listening to conversations between Penelope and her baby dolls, filling out my planner with new found events, watching Shrek, eating supper, and giving Penelope good night kisses – lots of them!
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I hope everyone else’s Sunday was just as relaxing, and that all who could enjoyed some sunshine.
Now I’m off to watch Extreme Makeover – Weight Loss Edition!
Happy Sunday!

A Gift

Zack made me this for our anniversary from railroad spikes we gathered on our honeymoon, our second one…
I’ve also added a playlist of songs that describe us pretty well: : :
The first was our wedding song, the second is our song and the third just makes us happy.


This weekend is our big 5 year anniversary!
: : :We have done quite a bit in our 5 years of married life: : :

r We started out with a honeymoon to Meramec State Park here in Missouri
r A week camping out at Cornerstone Music festival in Illinois
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r A second honeymoon road trip style to the Southeast States
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r I fractured my pelvic bone
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r 3 trips to St. Simmons Island, Georgia
r 6 different homes
r 3 trips to Denver CO
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r Made it through five years of college
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r Frequent trips to the Zoo
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r [Many many] Trips to St. Louis
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r Several outings to Springfield, MO
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r Counseled at a camp for a week one summer with our church youth group
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r We became the proud parents of a Poodle named Reese
r I spent 3 months on bed rest while pregnant with Miss Penelope
r We became Mama and Papa during our third year of marriage
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r We’ve owned 4 vehicles; one stolen, one sold (had the whole 5 years), one broke down, and a van.
r Been camping twice; once at Cornerstone Music Festival (a week long), once for our second anniversary (one night)
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r   Been to Cheyenne Wyoming twice
r   Hiked to the tops of [at least] 6 mountains
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r Found one, count ‘em, -one- horse one the side of the road
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r Had many long scenic drives (one of which is where we came across the horse)
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r Gone to Meramec Caverns once
r And we have made made many wonderful friends along the way!

: : : For our anniversary this year we went to The Cheesecake Factory and to see a movie and had a full day of shopping for our new home, since it was supposed to be too cold to go kayaking. : : :
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Last night at The Cheesecake Factory – excuse the deer in the head lights expression on my face, extremely bright flash…

Tomorrow we will be spending our actual anniversary with Penelope, doing things she’d enjoy, like swimming…
Happy Weekend!

A Family Friday

Zack had to work this Saturday, so we decided to have a family day last Friday to have some fun before his work week started.
That morning we headed out to the mall by our house for some window shopping and lunch. After which we decided it would be best to go home and change, as we were far too over dressed for what had now become a very hot day.
Next it was off to the St. Louis Arch to take some family pictures and walk around for a bit. At the Arch the weather was much nicer, with a cool breeze constantly blowing.
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Turned out to be mostly Zack taking pictures of the rest of us as oppose to “family photos”- we’ll have to get him in there next time…


Penelope insisted on holding Reese’s leash and he made sure to drag her around… and around…she loved it!

Itty Bitty very exaggerated baby bump
I plucked a flower for Penelope, which she eventually tore to shreds, but not without getting pollen all over her nose first.

After the Arch we went to Chesterfield ate supper and did some much needed diaper shopping. Fuuun stufff!
Happy Sunday!

Mother’s Day

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This is my third mother’s day, and by far the best. Not because of the way it was celebrated, but because this year is filled with a sweet voice saying “Mama.” When she is hurt, excited, need me to help with something, she says Mama.
My first mother’s day was the most exciting because I was pregnant with a little baby girl, my first. Our friends Daniel and Heather took me out to celebrate-and they went ALL OUT! It was wonderful.
Last year Zack and Penelope took me to San Francisco Oven in Springfield- my favorite place to eat there! I believe we did some shopping afterwards…
This year I thought I was going to spend my day just me and my girl, since Zack was working. The day quickly turned around for the better though. My family picked me up for church, then we went out to lunch then on to Chesterfield to do some shopping – and my dad even got me a gift!- when Penelope and I arrived at home I talked to my younger brother on the phone before we made supper and watched Peter Pan. Then Penelope had a bath, complete with bubbles, and now she is pushing around her shopping cart while I type. It has been a beautiful, full day for the two of us!

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Double Nickels


My Dad turned 55 yesterday. Over the last year, I had been sending out emails to every one of his friends and family members I could find, inviting them to write him something from their heart; a funny memory, or a simple reminder that he is loved.

People came through! From across states and countries. Sending photos, cards, long letters. It was a magical moment watching as he realized what was happening. What was done all in his honor.

Zack found a 1957 nickel at a coin shop, we paired it with a 2012 nickel as decoration on the gift- which he now has on his keys.  We searched through every bunch of change we could legally get our hands on over the past few months- with no such luck, which is why my brilliant husband thought to go to a coin shop! Such a smarty!

He carefully looked over each picture, naming each person and telling us a little about them. We grew up hearing about these people but I never get tired of seeing his face light up as he talks about them. As it all comes back to him…

He slowly read letter after letter, with tears in his eyes, stopping occasionally to wipe away the tears and thank us for do this for him. He had to stop when he got to the last two, my brothers Joe’s and my sister Audrey’s, I don’t know that he could take anymore at that time— ( I read them and wanted to cry. There was so much love on those pages.)

I framed some of the pictures that were sent, and put the letters in a portfolio book so that he can keep them forever.

Joe (above) being sneaky while propping the photo up for me.

Thank you all for sending letters cards and photos to my Dad! It did not go unappreciated.

Spring is Back!

Spring is back in St. Louis, at least for a few days. It’s cool enough to go outside and enjoy it, so that is just what we did today! Over the weekend, my mother-in-law bought Penelope a Lego wagon, a.k.a. : Baby’s new stroller. We took a walk with the wagon full of Baby, her blanket, a snack and blueberry juice for any ‘breaks’ we might have to take.

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She decided half way through our walk that she wanted to be the one to walk Reese, who was very impatient and wanted to go at his own pace, so we both held the leash, so Mama could keep him in check.

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In the next two days we will be spending time outside, dancing in sprinklers, visiting the produce stand down the road, and taking more walks, next time with Daddy!

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I hope everyone else has a good week!
Making this a short post, Penelope is tugging at me and wants to help type… going to have movie time now – – –  Surfs Up again…