July 27, 2011

Then & Now

July 27th, 2010

July 27th, 2011

Stay tuned for my post about our trip to meet Garrett's great-grandparents, an aunt and uncle, and several cousins!

July 19, 2011

July 18th, 2003

I can't believe it's been 8 years (and 1 day) since Nathan asked me to marry him!  Some of you reading this may not know our proposal story, so I'm going to brag on him a little bit.

On Thursday, July 17th, 2003, I was wrapping things up for the day at Central State Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, where I worked for Dr. Wieben, and in walked my boyfriend.  (That would be Nathan.)  He was supposed to be at work, so I was a bit surprised to see him.  "What are you doing here?", I asked.  He replied, "You need to get home and pack your bags.  We have a flight to catch to California!"  (Now, I suspected he was planning something for my 25th birthday, but I was thinkin' maybe a trip to Six Flags.  Our friends, Mike and Karyn Riddle, lived near Santa Barbara, CA, at the time, but we had just (well, 8 or 9 months earlier) been out there to visit them.)  So, to my tiny apartment I went and hurriedly packed my suitcase, and off we went to Willard Airport to catch our flight.

Mike and Karyn picked us up that evening at a tiny airport in Oxnard, CA.  Karyn, then a graduate student at UCSB, was going to have to be on campus the next morning, and Mike had to work, so they told Nathan and me about a good picnic spot and told us to help ourselves to whatever we could find in their fridge to take with us.  I was surprised when Nathan woke up as early as I did the next day but still suspected nothing.  Mike handed us a map of the area and showed us how to get to the picnic spot they had told us about.  We packed a small cooler and were on our way.

Neither of us owned a digital camera back then, so I don't have a way to share our pictures with you, but trust me: the spot Mike and Karyn recommended was b...e...a...utiful (and within walking distance from their home).  We were on a bluff overlooking the ocean, and the sun was shining.  We made ourselves comfortable, ate a little bit, and relaxed.  After a while, I asked Nathan if he wanted to walk some more.  "Nah, let's stay here for a while."

A few minutes later, Nathan said, "I have a confession to make.  I planned all of this."

"I know...and...?"

Then, he wrapped his arms around me from behind, I looked down at the ring he was holding, and he asked me to marry him.

"Oh!  You mean you planned this!  YES!!!"  (I think I actually said "Oh my gosh!" a few times first.)

After everything sunk in, we took a few pictures, gathered our things, and headed back to the Riddles' place.  As we walked, Nathan told me about talking to my dad, shipping the ring to California, making sure Mike and Karyn stocked their fridge with food for our picnic, and many other details about planning his surprise. 

I guess he wanted to make sure I wouldn't say "NO!!!"  :-)

After Mike and Karyn returned, we celebrated with lunch at an ocean-side cafe.

I say "YES!!!" to Nathan in one way or another every day.  Maybe not with that much enthusiasm, but "Yes" nonetheless.  And he does the same for me.

July 12, 2011

Tuesdays With Garrett

I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to work part-time and spend my Mondays and Tuesdays with Garrett.  Most Tuesdays, we meet friends at Nick's Park for a couple of hours, but we stayed home today.  I'm a wimp in this humidity!  Today began, instead, with Garrett throwing up in our bed and then biting my...ahem...flesh when I resumed nursing him.  Thankfully, that sequence of events wasn't an indication of how the rest of the day would turn out.  (And I could tell Garrett was sorry for hurting me.)

This afternoon, I caught up on some reading while Garrett snacked on some Cheerios.

In the January (yes, January) issue of Real Simple, I came across a cool use for an old picture frame: a dry-erase board!  Here are the instructions, straight from the source:

Let's see - you need milk, eggs...and something
to replace the stark white memo board that's
sucking all the style from your otherwise charming
kitchen.  Frame a pretty piece of fabric or paper,
then write temporary to-dos on the glass
with a dry-erase marker.

I love this idea!  There's an empty wall in our kitchen, which, by the way, is not completely 'otherwise charming', that would be the perfect spot for a message center.  Click here to browse more of Real Simple's New Uses For Old Things. 

Oh, and stay tuned to find out how I intend to use some of the baby food jars we've been collecting!

July 5, 2011

July 4th (& Many Firsts!)

Oh, how great the last few days have been!
Sunday, my brother, Ryan, his wife, Chesli, and their 'kids', Dora and Rocky, stopped by on their way to Peoria to have lunch with us.  We enjoyed Italian Kabobs, a delicious pasta salad, and ice cream with fresh raspberries and blackberries.  (I really wanted to share the Italian Kabobs recipe with you, but I could not find it online.  You can find it in the Better Homes and Gardens New Grilling Book, 2nd Edition.)  Soon after they left to head to Peoria, we Hannas ventured to Bloomington for Elaina's first birthday party.  Elaina's mom, Sam, and I have been friends since working together at First Midwest Bank in '98.

Baby E., The Birthday Girl

When we returned home that evening, Mom and Mark were sitting on our front porch!  (Yes, we were expecting them, but we'd welcome a surprise visit any day!)  Monticello's fireworks are always on the 3rd.  Since we were out of town last year, we still weren't sure if we'd be able to see them from our house.  Unfortunately, we couldn't, but Garrett wasn't too disappointed.  Next year ought to be fun!

Monday, the 4th, we had a fried chicken picnic at Nick's Park in greater downtown Monticello.  Man, it was a beautiful day!  Nathan thought for sure the park would be packed, but we were the only ones there!  Some highlights of Garrett's day were swinging and going down the slide on Grandpa Mark's lap.  (Thanks again, Mom, for the wonderful pictures!)

Oh, those eyes...

Wee!  (Not sure who had more fun!)

Later that day, Nathan blew up Garrett's pool, and we all sat out in the back yard while Garrett splashed, cooed, laughed, and otherwise melted our hearts.

The pool and trunks were baby shower gifts from my friend, Courtney.

(Note to self: Time in the pool makes Garrett sleepy.  Use this to your advantage.)

We topped off the visit from Mom and Mark with a trip to Christie for Garrett's 9-month check-up with Dr. Palazzolo and lunch at Sun Singer.  Garrett now weighs 18 pounds and 11 ounces (25th percentile) and is 29" tall (90th percentile)...long and lean like Mommy Daddy.  (By the way, Dr. P. expressed no concern whatsoever about Garrett's weight.)  His heart and lungs sounded perfect, his ears and eyes looked perfect, and his development is right on track!  Music to his parents' ears!  Garrett's latest firsts are pointing and sticking his index finger into any hole it'll fit into, including his nostrils, and he's so incredibly close to crawling.  (I'm in no hurry for that!)

This morning, as Nathan left for work, Mom, Mark, Garrett, Solo, and I were sitting on the front porch enjoying the cool, sunny morning.  I told Mom and Mark that I finally know what 'My cup runneth over.' really means.  My hope is that you do, too.

Thanks for stopping by!