26 Aug 2010

Being Married is Like Having A Color Television Set, You Never Want to Go Back to Black & White

I am a sucker for sweet old people, particularly sweet old couples.


I love the movie When Harry Met Sally, partially because it has these short clips scattered throughout the movie of older couples talking about some aspect of their relationship.  It's so sweet.


This is also why I found the movie Up to be super sad.  But it's a wonderful story.




My grandparents have one of those sad but beautiful love stories.


My grandpa had various health issues towards the end of his life, a few heart attacks among other things.  I remember a few instances when all of the family members came into town, thinking that those days were probably his last, but he always pulled through.  He would surprise everyone by coming home from the hospital, a little weaker or worse off, but still kicking.


My grandma, on the other hand, declined very rapidly.  The details are a bit fuzzy because I was young when this all happened, but she was sick, they found out that she had cancer, and she passed away about 4 months later.


My grandma passed away during the day.  That evening, my grandpa passed as well.  It was incredibly sad, but also terribly lovely and romantic.


They had a dual funeral.  There were 2 nights of calling hours to accommodate the people who came to offer condolences and share their fond memories of the couple.  The line wrapped around the room and out the front door of the funeral home.  They certainly were loved and many came to say goodbye.


I'm feeling a bit sentimental today because Mom sent me home with a box of "stuff" from her house, and as I was going through it, I pulled out several items that belonged to my grandma.  I'm so happy to have them.


Furthermore, I saw this video the other day on a friend's blog and had to share it.  It is impossible to see it and not sit around day dreaming about your grandparents love stories, or your own.  I should warn you that it's sad, but like many sad things, it's still worth it.





Danny & Annie from StoryCorps on Vimeo.







24 Aug 2010

Water War

Jayce likes to help Chris water the grass, and often ends up running under the spray and getting himself drenched in the process.


So yesterday, with a little guidance from mom, he had his revenge.

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And then, well...


But then with a little help and guidance from dad,


he headed back towards me with a devious look in his eye.


Luckily I was onto him, and he fell for the whole, "Mom screamed and jumped out of the way so I must have got her!" thing. For now, this works. For now.



23 Aug 2010

The Children's Museum

We have an awesome children's museum in Bloomington that we just went to for the first time a few weeks ago. I shared a few of my favorite pictures of the day on this post, but this is the first time that I've had the chance to post some other pictures.


Patsy and Erin went with us while they were in town and we all had a good time playing at the different exhibits. Yes, Jayce also went with us, and apparently he played too.

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Sometimes we all played together.

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It was a fun morning, with lots of running around in areas where he was interested in everything, couldn't really break anything, and I could see him completely. I love the Children's Museum.

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He painted, made pizza, burned off a load of energy and took a fabulously long nap when we got home.


Did I mention that I love the Children's Museum? Or that we're joining asap? I also fully intend to rip off several of their great ideas for those freezing cold days that aren't too far off.


20 Aug 2010

Cedar Point

One of the big activities that we were really excited about while we were in Akron was a big trip to Cedar Point.


Since I grew up in Northern Ohio, I went to Cedar Point all the time throughout middle and high school because it was that place.  You know, the one that is perfect for capping off prom weekend, summer youth group activities, end of the school year field trips, and road trips with friends.  However, since I moved out after high school graduation and never moved back home during the summer, I haven't been there since high school.  As in over a decade!!

Furthermore, Chris has never been.  Justin, Chelsea and I have been talking about how we need to take him for years now, so this last week we finally pulled it off.  And it was awesome.


I was just a little bit worried that we had built it up too much with Chris.  It is just such a fun theme park that it is hard to hold back your excitement, let alone not talk it to death with someone who has never been.  Luckily, it did not disappoint.


One of the fun/nny things for me was all of the things that were different from me, mostly based on my perspective.  Monday morning when we were driving to the park, I was wondering whether drinking coffee would make me feel sick when we were on the rides.  I was trying to remember whether or not this bothered me before, until I realized, no, I did not drink coffee in the morning throughout middle and high school.  I also did not have a cell phone, a debit card, or car keys to worry about whether or not to bring into the park with me.  There also is that whole different energy and stamina level of a high schooler verses a near 30 mom of a toddler thing I've got going on.  Yes, it was different.


But it was great!  There were new thrilling rides and though we were exhausted, we still pulled off a 12 hour day, staying from open-close and getting 8 different rides in.

My favorite was this ride, the one that I had no intention of getting on, the Dragster.  Look at the picture.  Yes, it is straight up and down.


When I went to Cedar Point last, the tallest roller coaster there was the tallest in the world, at 210 feet high, the Magnum.  Here are pictures of us going up the hill on the Magnum.


Notice there are multiple takes.


The ride up the hill was almost leisurely.  Like, "We have all of the time in the world...this thing is moving so slow...hey Justin, get a picture of us...wait, one more...wait, now just the girls..."  There was the time and the low stress level that is needed for things like that.


But now the Dragster is the tallest, at literally double the height of the Magnum. 420 feet!!  And just in case you missed this in the picture, you LITERALLY GO STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN THE HILL!!  It really made me feel old since what used to be the baddest and scariest roller coaster in the world has since been doubled.


What?  You want to see the Dragster in action?  Luckily for you, Chelsea got a little video of it.  Okay, I'll shut up about it.  But something about going from 0 to 120 mph before we had even started to go up the hill made a real impression on me.



It was a fun sibling day, just Justin, Chelsea, Chris and I, a perfectly sized little group.  Mom and Jayce stayed home and enjoyed spending the whole day together, which was the perfect way for us to take advantage of all that the park had to offer.




19 Aug 2010

Slip and Slide

Last week when we were in Ohio, my camera stayed in it's holder for most of the trip.  I typically take tons of pictures, and though I'm disappointed that I don't have more photos to show for our week, I am really grateful that we were able to just relax and lay low without a million different events and activiites that I wanted to document.

However, Chelsea and I came home from the store one afternoon to this activity, and it certainly was camera-worthy.







16 Aug 2010

The Final 12

I just found out that my Barn Wood Stencil Art made it into the DIY Club's August Top 12!


Yay!! I love this project so much and am so happy to have gotten such great feedback about it!! I've had several project fails lately, so this one has made up for at least a few of them. :)

But now I need a bit of your help. If you would be so kind, could you head on over to the DIY Club's website and vote for it to win? Just click here. (See?! It's so easy. :)

It's the Barn Wood Stencil Art (contest entry #32)


Thanks a million!! The winner will be announced Friday, so I'll keep you in the loop.


13 Aug 2010

Puzzle Portraits

Here are a few other shots from my little photo session the other day. We were working on the puzzle in the kitchen when I realized I probably should get him by a better light source.


We have this jutting-out-of-the-chin-when-concentrating thing going on right now.


You can actually see the "Mo-om" happening in this picture.


He was hard at work, telling me all of the letters and pictures. It was a good distraction for a photo session, especially when he actually looked up every once in a while.



12 Aug 2010

Crayons and Heat

This is what happened when the heat index was 120 degrees. A mom was too hot to go outside for any length of time, so everyone stayed inside. A bored 2 year old made the most of his crayons in the amount of time that it took for his mom to walk outside to get the mail. (You will notice that there are all 7 colors represented here. He worked fast.)


This little episode took place when I changed the laundry over. Seriously! Jayce had never colored outside of the coloring book before this day, and he was on a rampage. So I made him clean up the scribbles with the magic eraser.


I then took him outside, hooked up the sprinkler and hosed both of us down. It was the only way to survive an attack on the walls.


10 Aug 2010

Sweet Shot Tuesday: A Sweet Face

My little 50 mm lens has really been neglected these last few months. In light of vacations to the beach, a trip to Europe, and just general playing outside, I find myself reaching for my wide-angle instead of my 50. But I was looking through my images the other day and realized that I miss the brightness and clarity that my shots have with that lens. The photos always seem a bit more intimate as well, since it brings me in so close to my subject.

So I grabbed my 50, lured Jayce over by a window with his favorite alphabet puzzle, and snapped away as he told me the letters, their colors and what they stood for.


He was not entirely happy with me, (can you tell?) but he appeased me for a little bit.

I'm having some success with my etsy shop, so I'm saving for a new lens. It will take a while though, because I have my heart set on Canon's 24-70mm, f/2.8, and it's not cheap. It's my favorite to use when I'm shooting with Christine and I always want to bring it home with me!

What is your favorite lens?

Happy Tuesday. I'm linking to Sweet Shot Tuesday here.


7 Aug 2010

Museum: Black and White

Erin and Patsy came to town last weekend and we headed up to Bloomington to the Children's Museum. Among the many incredible displays, there is a little painting center and we let Jayce dive into that for a while.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, some pictures just deserve black and white.





5 Aug 2010

Egg Dancing

This is one of those things that I considered not posting about, because it's a little embarrassing. But it is one of those little games that has stuck, so here it is, on record. The egg dance.

One afternoon last week, Jayce and I were playing with his little plastic eggs. These have kept their novelty factor from Easter because I keep putting them away when he's not looking. As in, all the way away, high in the cupboard where they can't be seen or reached. So every few weeks he will suddenly remember them and ask for them. Then we'll pull them back out, start naming the colors, counting them, sorting them, throwing them, pretend eating them, etc.

Anyway, back to last week. Jayce had just given me 2 eggs to hold while he was playing with the others. My eggs were blue and pink, obviously male and female, so I decided that they should dance. I took one in each hand, and started bouncing them around on the floor, going, "Boo ba dooba doobie dobbie doobie dooba dooba, egg dance! Doobie doobie doobie dooba, egg dance!"

Jayce sat for a few seconds, watching his mom's craziness. He then started dipping his shoulders to the beat and eventually got up and starting bouncing around, saying, "Dooba dooba dooba dooba, egg dance!!" Throughout the afternoon, he would periodically bring me an egg for each hand, get a few eggs for himself, declare, "Egg dance!!" and then we would start dancing. When Chris got home, he got in on the action too, but with a lot more flare. He would kick his leg up and let Jayce run underneath it and do jump spins. Jayce loves it.

It is now a thing. We egg dance every day now, and eggs don't even need to be a part of the process. One person just has to declare, "Egg dance!" and everyone has to participate.

This is, perhaps, the best part about having a 2 year old. You never know what random little comment or action is going to become the new latest craze in your household. It's kind of a big responsibility. And it's kind of fun.

A little egg dancing demo. Only Jayce is participating in these egg dances, which is why they have been made public.

This one is primarily for the grandparents. A little egg dancing, a little counting, some colors, and a big sweetie.


3 Aug 2010

The BCs

Warning: The following pictures have pretty much nothing to do with the subsequent stories. But they are cute. Consider yourself warned.


As I have said previously, Jayce has entered into a fun new stage, where the talking has become more than simply repeating what we say or expressing a basic need. We are really enjoying listening to him putting words and ideas together.


Last week we were at the store and Jayce declared, "tractor," and then a few seconds later "smoke." I wasn't really paying attention to whatever he was looking at, and said, "Oh, do tractors have smoke?" To which he replied, "Mo-om. No, choo choos smoke." Whoops.


Later on in the week, we were playing and I said, rhetorically, "Are you momma's baby?" and he said, "No. A Jayce." This happened again that afternoon, when he was playing with a sheep puzzle and baaa-ing along with it. I said, "Oh, are you a sheep?" "No, a Jayce." I guess I'm just not used to him responding to those kinds of questions.


The other day we were getting him ready for bed and he was saying something over and over that neither of us could understand, that sounded like "e-er". After repeating it a few times and looking back and forth expectantly between us, he said, "A-B-A-B-A-B." To which we replied, "Ooooh, letters!" It is the first time that he has explained something to us. I think there will be many more.


Along this letters theme, the alphabet is his new favorite thing, besides balls, of course. A few weeks ago I was rocking with him and started singing the ABC's. This is now his favorite song.
He has been getting his 2 year molars in, so we've had to rock with him a little more than usual, and the other night Chris was rocking and singing to him and he only wanted the ABCs sung to him. Whenever Chris would start into another song, Jayce would just interrupt him and talk over him, going "Da-ad, BCs! Da-ad, BCs!" until Chris complied. They were both giggling and it was funny, but he's already showing signs of our stubbornness rubbing off on him. I mean, our persistence. But he's a good boy.




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