We just made it back from our annual North Conway trip. It was AMAZING. D and I had so much fun showing L the fun spots. We did a train ride on Father's Day (what a great way to celebrate some fantastic dads since my dad joined us as well) We also hit up a paint your own pottery store, where L made an adorable coffee mug for D to take to work. Of course the outlets were stopped at and we did a geocache in the heart of North Conway that toured all the little shops. Swimming and dining! By the way if you are ever in North Conway there are 2 little eating places that are a MUST! Stop in at Peaches for a mouthwatering breakfast and then The Moat for a FABULOUS dinner (we actually went there 2 nights since we enjoyed it so! The first night we even walked 3 miles just to get dinner there!)

However the BEST part of our trip was sharing something that I love with both D and L. Growing up my sister and I were always well taken care of and my parents tried to give us anything we wanted. But we had limits and most of our fun activities were spur of the moment free ones that my mom and aunt thought up. (See an earlier blog post about one of these adventures!) But something my parents would save and plan for was a trip to Storyland. I have been there a handful of times and every time the rush of excitement gets me. For me it is like Disney to most (I have never been to Disney.) Every summer from the moment D and I stared dating I have talked non stop about how much fun Storyland is. 5 years ago I was there for my little cousins 5th birthday but D was on travel and couldn't go. This year for her 10th we went back and....D finally made it. Driving into the gates he squeezed my hand and said "I hope I love it as much as you do"

I had my doubts, after all Storyland is aimed at small children. Was he going to love it too? Well the rush got him as well. As we made our way around with an 18 month old who was working on 4 molars and 3 other teeth, which you wouldn't know unless you looked in her mouth since the only sign she showed was chewing on Snuggy's ears a bit more. We were thrown back into our childhood days. We took L on the Alice in Wonderland's Tea Cups and on the Swan Queen, the Whirling Whales and the 100 year old Carousel. We toured the 3 Bear's House and Peter's Pumpkin. As our little one napped and was pushed around my Papa we hit the "big" kid rides, the Polar Coaster (which had a real ice North Pole out front and on an 90 degree day it was really neat to see!), the Bamboo Chutes, Dr. Geysers Remarkable Raft Ride (I ended up so soaked that my top wouldn't stay up and we had to tuck it and twist it to make it stay up), and then took a romantic Hot Air Balloon ride on the Great Balloon Chase where we were the only ones not toting a kid after us :0) When L woke up we did the Farm Tractors twice since L enjoyed it so much and the Antique Cars as well.

The day was absolutely perfect. Our little family was laughing and running and enjoying every minute of it. In fact D ended up loving it so much, we have plans to go again next month since the BFCO will bring us halfway there anyway! I walked away so happy that something I loved so much was also loved my the ones I now love more than anything!

First Kiss

Smells provoke certain memories. Each of us has a smell that takes us back to a certain place with just one whiff. It could be a smell of glue that transfers you back to your kindergarten projects, or the smell of lemons that bring you to a summer picnic or the smell of baby powder that flashes you back to the snuggling of a newborn baby in the middle of the night. For me one of the smells is bug spray. Yep BUG SPRAY!

Bug spray will flash me back to 10 years ago today. A bunch of friends hanging out having a great time. A new couple that had just formed after months of back and forth so called flirting. Everyone could see it coming except that one boy and that one girl (although she was wishing pretty hard that it would happen). It was a summer night of swimming and hot tubbing. A group having fun just being teenagers the summer before the big senior year. S'mores were had and bug spray was put on.

It was that night long after Derrick should have left to go home and sleep since wrestling camp started the next day in Iowa and he had a plane to catch early in the morning. That I walked him to his car to say goodbye and to get away from the group for awhile. It was then with the truck door open, one foot in that Derrick leaned over and kissed me for the first time. For me not only was it the first kiss with my later to be husband but it was my first EVER kiss. It was the sweetest thing in the world. Time stopped and the peepers were peeping and when our lips met it was all bug spray....LOL Derrick had sprayed his whole self with the stuff and when we kissed it was ALL I could taste after. This kiss was short and sweet and amazing and the bug spray...well that added a chance to remember back to a time when just a girl and a boy first started. So summer for me brings fireflies, peepers, hot days and warm nights, fishing, hiking, camping and bug spray! Which brings sweet memories of a sweet kiss that has blossomed into an amazing love story.

I love you Cowboy :0)

a brag post

Ok so as a mom my newest favorite hobby could be bragging. When I am at work and someone asks me how the baby is I automatically say " She is WONDERFUL I am so in love" and then of course I have to tell the most recent cute story of what Ella has said or has done.

Ella amazes me! It is amazing how much she has picked up or learned or does or says or just how stinkin cute that little munchkin is! She now talks up a storm. We have multiple conversations about everything during the day. From "mom pup lick my neck gross!" to "potty pee in there, orange M N" and my newest absolute faovrite conversation goes:

Me: (driving home from work after picking Ella up) "Ella I love you"
Ella: "Love you"
Me: "you do"
Ella: "yeah, miss you too"
Me: awww you missed me"
Ella: "yeah love you miss you too"

It melts my heart EVERY TIME!

So we have not yet had her 18 month appointment so I have no idea how much she has grown in height or weight but she has gorwn tremendously in her language skills.

What can Ella do? She can:

Climb furniture
Climb in and out of the bathtub
Run everywhere
Draw and write (she can make one line of an L and we are working on the bottom one)
She recognizes the letters E and L and has started A too
She knows her colors (well pink, blue, orange, green, yellow, black and sometimes purple)
She talks in 3-5 word phrases or sentences
She counts from 1-3 and with help can go to 10
She blames her dad for tooting when it is really her and thinks it is hysterical
She knows a bunch of food names and tells me what she wants or DOES NOT want
She sleeps from 8pm-7am
She loves ice cream (she must be her mother's daughter!)
She can put some shoes on by herself and she tries to put pants and shirts on
She sits on the potty and tells you when she wants to
She knows that during the day she can find the sun and at night the moon
And lastly she ALWAYS needs to be wearing a hat or sunglasses or headband when we leave the house! (I have also started laying out 2 outfits and letting her decide what to wear since she LOVES clothes!)

Thanks for letting me brag :0)

Thoughtful Thursday

So I don't know how I managed to pull it off but I talked Derrick into going to get takeout AND bringing the little sass with him! So that gives me about 15 minutes to "think" or pretend that I am at least :0)

I have been thinking a lot today about how much my life has changed in the past couple of years. This week marks a lot of "milestones" for us. Four years ago today we bought our wonderful 19th century home that we so lovingly work on day after day after day... In all actuality while I hate my house for what it looks like I LOVE it for all the memories that it holds. If I could get over the appearance and the intense urge to run into hiding when someone comes to the door so that I don't have to invite them in, where "GASP" they will see the worn wide pine unleveled floors or the cracked original to the house 1870's windows or the billion other things that I see wrong on a daily basis. (Yes I know that was a run on, my grammar will always be atrocious!) I can say that I honestly love living here. I love the neighborhood and the neighbors (one of which is about to have a new baby and I can't wait to see him!) I love that this is the house that Derrick and I bought together and started piling in the memories when we got married (almost 3.5 years ago!) and brought home our little spitfire (18 months ago Sunday!!!!)

Since they are pulling back into the driveway, darn! I will quickly reflect on the other milestone that will be met this weekend. Derrick and I will be together for 10 years that is right a whole decade on Saturday! As the kids were writing an essay around what they could not live without today at work, I started thinking about how I truly love having Derrick in my life! Who else would put up with my craziness or my humor. Who else would jump in and help me plan and execute a bridal shower. But most of all no one else could have given me my sweet peanut butter pie and for that I love him even more. Happy (almost) 10 years Cowboy!!! I love you!

Yummm the food smells great!

Wordless Wednesday