Friday, May 28, 2010


Every once in awhile something happens that reminds me how lucky I am. So I thought it would be nice to review a whole mushy list of reasons I think Jim is great!
1.) He indulges/tolerates my guilty pleasures even though he doesn't like them (make that HATE for Gossip Girl).
2.) He will (with only minor begging) bring me food at work when I have forgotten my lunch and don't have time to leave the office.
3.) When I stay at the office late & he is home he gets bored and cleans. He even folds the laundry, which I appreciate even if it isn't the way I would fold it. (Crazy that there are methods you never even saw out there isn't it!)
4.) He cooks, and not just easy foods but great meals. He even takes requests... and I can be difficult when choosing food and change my mind often.
5.) He does not complain (much) when I wake him up early because I can't sleep anymore. (I have learned if I bring coffee he responds more quickly).
6.) He is the ultimate body pillow. When I can't get comfy I just make him turn, move his arm, scoot over so I can have more room. He doesn't even complain when I am a wiggle worm or have to watch P.S. I love you  two weeks in a row to be able to fall asleep and never once get past the first scene.
7.) He listens to me make my insanely in depth plans about our future. (Seriously I have these things written down in very great detail and discuss time lines frequently).
8.) He gives me huge hugs and tells me how wonderful I am when I have bad days. He even picks my favorite food/movie without me having to ask to cheer me up.
9.) We are great on road trips/adventures together. The first time we went somewhere traveling together I was so surprised how easy it was to agree on our activities. It hasn't faded yet!
10.)He tolerates my obsession with Pottery Barn and how I cut out pictures from their magazine and keep them in a notebook for design inspiration for our future home (see #7).

There are so many more reasons. I am so completely spoiled and I know it. I love you dear.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top 5 Ways to Avoid/Cure Baby Fever

5.DO NOT choose a major that requires you to study child development/parenting philosophies... in other words anything that makes you consider parenting choices and become opinionated on how to raise children before it is time to actually start having said children.
4. STOP communicating with your friends/family members who have recently had or will be having babies. They will inevitably have baby showers which will force you to look at totally adorable baby items. THEN they will post adorable pictures of the cute little one doing absolutely nothing and being so stinking cute at it.
3. QUIT working with ridiculously cute kids that will constantly remind you how amazing kids are. You will feel a surge of pride with each new accomplishment, the first time they say your name (Insee is what I am commonly called), and then when they develop their own little personality!! You will just want to video tape it and brag about how great they are.
2. SUE the baby industry for making their items too cute. Tell me that mini versions of grown up things don't make you wish you could know the gender of your future children before you are even pregnant. (My practical side won't let me buy anything that isn't gender neutral). And if you have already gotten rid of those friends with/expecting babies you can avoid this department all together.
1. DON'T marry a man who is as ready to have children as you are. It would be helpful if I had a "voice of reason" instead of a "a baby would be great".

That being said I have allowed myself one purchase. They were on sale, completely appropriate, and I figure they can be worn by either a boy or a girl.

*Disclaimer all advice given with thick sarcasm as I have failed on all counts*

The Adventures of Camping with Dirt Day #3

  I woke up early Sunday morning and found that the racoon had not simply gotten into our trash bag... he had spread it across our campsite. Luckily Jim had some medical gloves in the truck so "There ain't no germs on me". Our neighbors from NC had the same problem, Paul (the dad/husband) said his trash had been scattered as well and the racoon had even gotten into his cooler and eaten their hot dogs! And Jim thought I was being paranoid by making him put the cooler in the tent for the night. Here is a picture of the greasey foot prints our little scavenger left on Jim's truck bed.
While Jim slept I cleaned up all that I could, I left the tent open so Tucker could see me and come out if he wanted food or needed to potty. He simply laid there next to Jim with his head on his paws and dozed in and out of sleep. I got just about everything but the food and tent packed up before Jim woke (again with that ability to sleep).  Doesn't our site look sad all cleared out?

Tucker not quite awake and making sure the truck wouldn't be going anywhere without him.
By 7 am we were completely packed up and on our way to check out. (Note the three vehicles at the campsite ahead to the right. Crazy college students)

It didn't take Tucker long to fall asleep. Not even out of the park.

We were ready before it was even time to check out so we drove around and wrote down the numbers of sites that we would prefer to stay at the next time. We then went to the camp store in order to check out (this was on the opposite side of the campground from where we stayed).

Next time we are staying on this side. They have electricity and a bit more vegitation to act as dirt control... they also have more light colored sand compared to our black dirt.

On our way home... to sleep. (You noticing the pattern?) It was such a relaxing weekend!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Adventures of Camping with Dirt Day #2

   When we left off we had been woke up rudely by a not so welcome visitor. It was a little difficult to get back to sleep after that. I was constantly hearing things and peeking out our window before disturbing sleeping beauty. Jim's ability to sleep anywhere and through anything never ceases to amaze me. We woke up early Saturday to take a walk to the beach and watch the sunrise (plus a MBSP dogs aren't allowed on the beach between 8 am & 5 pm).

  This was at about 6am. We were the only people out and had the beach to ourselves.

After sitting and watching the beautiful sunrise we took a little walk. We looked for shells, Tucker chased birds (this is a new thing for him). We stopped at the pier store to get Jim coffee and headed back to the campsite. There Jim and I made a breakfast of turkey bacon and scrambled eggs. After breakfast we took another walk in an attempt to see the elusive alligator. We did see several birds and a few wild children on the paths.
The park puts out some dummy proof signs that spell things out specifically.

After our walk I took a nap to make up for the horrible sleep the night before. While I was sleeping Jim chopped wood and made me a little something. He woke me up to show me....

Isn't that so sweet? I then convinced Jim that he should take a nap with me (he can't wake me if he's sleeping too!) We woke up and cleaned the site up a bit and hung out, talked, and relaxed. Once the heat of the day had passed we decided it was time to check out the showers. For a campground that seems so primitive (we only had a hook up for running water and no electricity) they were really nice. And as a bonus I was the only person in the bathroom at the time and got to take my time. I only noted one spider in a far tippy top corner.

We spent the rest of the day just hanging out and relaxing. By the time it started to get dark Tucker started to let us know how tired he was. It started like this

There was A LOT of dirt and not many nice places to lay so Tucker prefered being in a chair or in someone's lap. We had only taken two chairs so this is while Jim was playing with the campfire

Jim enjoying his big fire.

This was Tucker's final pitiful act to show how tired he was. Several times he walked over to the tent sniffed it, looked at us, and walked back. Of course, once we were asleep again, our night time visitor came back again and woke me up.  One guess who slept through it....again.  This time he was bit more sneeky and tried to hide behind the tarp while attacking our trash bag in the back of Jim's truck.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Adventures of Camping with Dirt Day #1

   We are back from our first camping adventure together! We spent the last week purchasing and preparing things for our trip. We decided to go to Myrtle Beach State Park this time since we were able to search and reserve a site online at their website. I happen to be a little bit of a list maker.... and had most of the things together and organized by Monday night, Jim said he has never been camping this organized and prepared.
     These pictures are our camping site when we first arrived. It was the last site in the row so we only had 2 neighbors. A man who had been camping there with his wife and dog since bike wee & the other a family from North Carolina here for a mini-vacation. Whew what a relief no crazy/creepy people.
Pretty cool site huh? Think we should move here permanently?
This was the lizard living in the tree on our camping site. There were about (we never saw them all at once) three of these living in the tree and were the first thing I saw when we pulled up. Not gonna lie they were a bit creepy looking but it turns out they were more afraid of me than I was of them. They were very  hard to take pictures of. My "deal" with all the wildlife for the weekend was if they stayed out of my space I would not kill them.... although this applied mostly to insects, I couldn't kill one of these.

Everything all set up and ready to go. Homey isn't it? I had everything organized things into food tent, clothes/toiletries tent, and sleeping tent.

     Tucker happy he got to come along! He made many friends the first day. The lady at the check in gate gave him a peanut butter cracker, a girl at a campsite down the way who thought he was "the best dog in the whole world", & the girls at the campsite next to us who pet him for five minutes straight.

Our site was surrounded by woods. We were a bit surprised when all the sudden groups of people started walking through the woods behind our site. Apparently there was a hiking trail back there. The man at the site across from us (a little off and weird but seemed like a nice guy) told us that if you go back to the pond at around dusk or dawn there is a large alligator living in the pond.

So of course we had to go... I was a bit hesitant because it was getting dark and with the trees it was even darker. What if the alligator had gotten bored of the pond and decided he liked the trail better. We also had bait on a leash with us and I kinda like him.(Jim didn't leave his knife in the truck this time).
Of course one of the first things that we had to do once we got the fire started was make hobo pies. This was the first time for Jim but a camping staple for me. Hobo pies are two pieces of bread filled with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and peperoni you then put them in a pie maker and heat them till the outsides are toasty. These were followed by s'mores with marshmellows that were toasted NOT burnt.

With all the excitement and activity we were tired early. I had put Tucker's water bowl over his food bowl to keep it free of bugs and safe overnight. Or so I thought. Just about the time  we both settled into a good sleep we heard a clattering outside the tent and saw our little visiter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


   Most of you know that J & I have an amazing dog Tucker. You may or may not know Tucker is a cocker spaniel which is also what my first dog Maverick was. Maverick or Mav for short was our family dog for as long as I remember before I was even three. When I was young Mav was hit by a car and his front paw was injured. I distinctly remember him  limping around outside and the bloody bandage that covered it. My next memory was of Mav in a box on our breezeway and my dad explaining that they had had to take Mav's leg off since it was not healing well enough (I even remember my shirt purplish/pink with teddy bears as cheerleaders).
    Mav made a full recovery and ran and played like a normal dog. He became an important member of our family. When Katy was born and my grandma babysat her he would follow them during their walks outside & grandma would always buy "Maggie" Milk Bones for Christmas. As Katy (& Mav) got older Mav quickly learned to back away/hide whenever Katy came near. Mav had so much personality, he was able to follow you around without getting underfoot, he was a great protector, and very aware of when someone was sad or sick. One of Mav's more humorous quirks was how he "hid" under tables/stands. He would put all but a part of himself, either his nose or tail, under the cover of the table and think that he was hidden. Mav lived with us until Summer 2001. It is so comforting for me to see some of the same traits in Tucker. This weekend I caught Tucker backed into his "hiding" place. This is where he goes if he is trying to avoid us or the cat.

Commenting Tutorial

   It has come to my attention that leaving a comment w/ a name maybe something some are unsure how to do. So I've done my reseach and am here to share (really I am just hoping you all will comment more... it makes my day!)  Don't feel bad about not getting it I honestly spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get things to go where I want them (just ask Jim I frequently get upset when it doesn't do what I want). And because I learn best with visual prompts I am providing them for you (admit it you look at the pictures on directions and attempt to complete something without reading the words unless it doesn't work too).
  1) Read Lyndsey's (maybe someday Jim!? hint hint) amazing blog entry.
  2) Once you have scrolled to the bottom you will see a place that says Comments. Click on the word COMMENTS
3) You will now be at a screen that looks like this

Go to Select Profile drop down box and click on Name/URL (it is closer to the bottom)
4) That will bring you to this screen

Where it says Name: type in whatever name you would like to appear with your comments and then hit Continue
5)This will take you back to the comment screen

From there you just type a little message. Then hit Post Comment & you are done.
If you need more help just let me know. I am wanting this blog to really keep the family updated and involved and LOVE LOVE LOVE getting your comments & input!

Just for Fun

I recieved this e-mail and thought it would be fun. What have you done? Anything that you think should be added to the list?

Bucket List

( X) Shot a gun?

() Gone on a blind date?

(X) Skipped school? Does it count if my mom gave me permission?

() watched someone die?

( ) Been to Canada ?

() Been to Alaska ?

() Been to Cuba ?

() Been to Europe ?

( ) Been to Las Vegas ?

() Been to Mexico ?

(X) Been to Florida ?

(X) Been on a plane?

( ) Been on a Cruise Ship?

( ) Served on a Jury?

(X) Been lost? Last week

(X) Been on the opposite side of the country? AZ

( X ) Gone to Washington , DC ?

(X ) Swam in the Ocean?

(X) Cried yourself to sleep?

() Played Cops and Robbers?

() Played Cowboys and Indians?

(X) Recently colored with crayons? It's a job requirement!

(X) Sang Karaoke?

(X) Paid for a meal with coins only? At Dairy Twist

(X) Made prank phone calls?

(X) Laughed until some beverage came out of your nose?

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue?

() Danced in the rain?

(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus?

() Been kissed under the mistletoe?

(X) Watched the sunset with someone

(X) Blown bubbles? Again almost daily sometimes 2-3 times depending on how many kids I visit!

(X) Gone ice skating? I took figure skating as an elective at OSU!

( X) Gone skiing

(X) Camped out under the stars?

(X) Saw something so beautiful that it took your breath away?

( X) Are or have been married? YES! :)

( ) Have children? Does my dog count?

(X) Have a pet? Mine thinks he's a baby!

() Been skinny dipping outdoors?

(X) Been fishing?

(X) Been boating?

() Been water skiing?

(X) Been hiking?

( X) Been camping in a trailer/RV?

( ) Flown in a small 4-seater airplane? No but a few that weren't much better!

() Flown in a glider?

() Been flying in a helicopter?

() Been flying in a hot air balloon?

() Been bungee-jumping?

( ) Gone to a drive-in movie?

(X) Done something that should have killed you?

(X) Done something that you will regret for the rest of your life?

() Been to Africa ?

(X) Ever eaten just cookies for dinner?

(X) Ever been on TV?

() Ever steal any traffic signs?

(X) Ever been in a car accident?

(X) Have a nickname?

(X) Body piercing?

() Tattoos?

How much do you love your job? On a scale 1 (low) to 10 (high) 7 Depends on which part of my job I am doing at the time.

Do you drive a 2 door vehicle or 4 door vehicle? 4

Favorite number? 3

Favorite movie? P.S. I love you

Favorite holiday? Christmas

Favorite dessert? Cheesecake

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Raising my kids

Furthest place you will send this message? CA

Who will respond to this? EVERYONE!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Camping We Will Go!

   For some time Jim and I have been discussing wanting to go camping. Jim has a really great tent that he has been dying to use... we had recently been discussing going soon so today Jim decided to put together the tent to make sure had all the parts and assess the difficulty.

Jim putting things together.

Tucker enjoyed running back and forth between Jim and I in the long tent!
We haven't seen Tucker run like this for about a year. We were starting to think he was getting too old for this.
Tucker coming back my way again.
He finally tired out. Tucker seems to feel right at home in the tent already.
Following Jim without leaving the tent.
I think this will do just fine for our camping needs.

Look how good my puppy sits for pictures! I think Jim may be a bit proud of his tent too.
Now we just need to get some other necessary camping supplies. I cannot wait to make hobo pies and s'mores. We are taking Tucker along for this as well. It appears he likes the tent at least.
Any suggestions on where to get quality camping supplies or must have items?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wedding Recaps

     Unfortunately since we live so far away Jim and I did much of the planning by ourselves. Let's be honest it was mostly me but Jim was very supportive and at least usually interested in the larger details (seriously I know I got lucky). But now that wedding pictures are in I thought I would do some recaps to fill out of towners in on what happened behind the scenes. And we might as well start at the beginning... so let's talk about the proposal!
      We have been talking about getting married since October 2007 although at that point I kept saying that I wanted to wait until I graduated to get engaged. After graduation we started seriously discussing time lines and talking about rings (it was at that point just daydreaming though). Then we moved to South Carolina and recruit school and me searching for a job took over. Jim finished recruit school last January and I landed my dream job in February. We could actually start REALLY looking at rings. Yes, we looked at rings together. I am slightly opinionated when it comes to jewelry and this is a ring I'll be wearing for the rest of my life. Then there's my whole belief in a relationship being a partnership thing and all decisions being made together. I did still want the exact when/where/how  & ring to be a surprise & up to Jim. We went to several jewelry stores together. At first I was stuck on this one EXACT look and was so frustrated that we just couldn't find what I had in mind, so we broadened the search. We  found one ring that was a princess cut with a sapphires on either side. We both LOVED it, but had just started searching for the something other than the EXACT match so we looked a bit further. By the time we were finished I liked so many rings I just gave up and told Jim he knew the general idea of what I liked and he could go from there. When Jim went back he was seeking the ring with sapphires which happened to have been a one and only and just been sold. Jim decided to custom make my ring since he couldn't imagine anything else and used the opportunity to make a few changes from the first ring (I didn't know any of this at the time by the way).
     Jim and I had also discussed wanting to get married in either spring 2010 or fall 2010 (summer is not ideal for an outdoor beach wedding with the heat and tourists). I had also let Jim know that I needed roughly a year to plan the wedding properly. So I was certain Jim would propose on our 2 year anniversary May 25th, especially since Jim wasn't working that day and was very vague about what we would do... but nope. Nothing. Then we went to Charleston one Saturday & Jim had to make a stop on the way home before we could leave (I was convinced he was picking up the ring). We went to the aquarium and Battery Park... all great places for a proposal. I can't tell you how disappointed I was on the ride home. It seriously got to the point where every day he was home & we left the house I thought it might happen. Then it was June and I was getting worried/frustrated. How was I supposed to plan a wedding in 9 months or less!?! I had been daydreaming but made no concrete plans until after I had the ring (I had this fear vendors would  not take me seriously).
      June 15th 2009 was a Monday and I had a not so great day at work. Jim offered to take me to dinner to try and cheer me up. Did I mention I was not happy... actually I think it would be better described as hurt (see also: glum/disheartened/sad)... I had really been trying to help this family and already lost sleep worrying about them & what to do to be shut down. I was just at a total loss and for the first time questioning if I could really become the amazing Early Interventionist who makes a difference in the world one child at a time. At first I told Jim no... I just wanted to put on sweats and pout. Jim had no reaction, he didn't appear to be flustered or upset about me declining dinner only worried about cheering me up (have I mentioned he's great?). Then Jim asked again and offered Olive Garden...well pasta is comfort food and their garlic bread sounded good. Jim drove down by the ocean and we went to the Olive Garden on 17. They had a wait time of 45 minutes and we were  both STARVING... so we decided to keep driving and find somewhere else to eat. Jim didn't react to this change in plan either so no clues there. We saw Carrabas and decided that is what we wanted (twist my arm). We actually had a great dinner and the food came out quickly, no wait at all for anything.  Then we decided to take a walk by the ocean at my favorite park Anderson Park (it is so pretty with its pillars and fountain). Again no signs yet for me that anything was going on. We walked down to the park and as I babbled about how great those pillars, swings, & fountain were Jim got quiet (rare). He was holding my hand and he half stopped, when I turned to look I noticed he was digging in his pocket and had this guilty look on his face...(here is where I ruin the proposal) before I even thought about it I asked "Are you trying to be sneaky?". He immediately swooped me up in a hug and told me that he loved me and wanted to marry me. It was one of those moments where you know what's happening but you can't believe it's happening I am fairly certain I eked out that I love him too and I also want to marry him. Then he was down on his knee holding out my amazingly perfect ring. We sat on the beach for a little bit together enjoying our excitement before we started calling parents. Since my sister was out of range (some sort of wilderness camp without cell or Internet service) we kept it quiet until I could tell her myself. Jim then took me for $.99 Waffle Cone Wednesday at TCBY.

My Pretty Ring :D Great job J!

Our park!

Hi Strangers!

      Sorry I haven't been writing much lately. I know how anxious I get when the blogs I stalk don't update frequently (I mean gesh they have lives beyond updating their blogs?!). I have been trying to catch up/get ahead at work. Which at times seems impossible, especially with all the IFSP meetings I have been having lately. For those of you who don't know what an IFSP is it is a document that outlines a child's information, how they qualified for services, and goals and services that are planned to address those delays/areas of concern. While they are not "hard" they just take a lot of time & require a lot of accompanying paperwork. I always feel a slight twinge of guilt for parents as I explain/review information and ask them to repeatedly sign their name. One mom made me feel a bit better by letting me know it was not as bad as the paperwork involved with buying a house (sorry real estate agents, at least I'm not the worst). Anyways these require a lot of busy work after the fact and gets old when you've recently done one for more than half of your caseload (in the last few months). On to more exciting news.... the reason I am trying to catch up/get ahead. Katy (my sister) is coming to stay with us for a bit this summer. I want to be caught up and just doing things as I go so we can spend time doing more fun things when I get home from work... for some reason I don't think she'd enjoy watching me write summary visits.
      This trip should provide plenty of blog worthy stories too. Poor Jim. He has lived with women before; Jim grew up living with just his mom and older sister and we have lived together for about a year and a half.  Jim is great at tolerating my girly movies/shows and has no problem following my whims when it comes to everything from food to what we do on our days off together (if you hadn't noticed I have been choosing the beach a lot lately). So you would think the addition of another girl would be no big deal.... Yea um about that. While Katy and I are sisters, share the same parents, and lived in the same house for 10 years we are VERY different. Jim has been living with the more conservative, subdued of the Paul girls. I'll keep you updated on his education!
   Also now that the wedding photos are in it is time for wedding recaps! Can't wait to show off our amazing pictures and tell you all about our wedding and a few events leading up to it!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another Weekend at the Beach!

  Another beautiful Saturday... another trip to the beach. We have officially gotten our money out of the state park pass now. (You know the same logic as dividing the total cost of the shoes by the number of times you wear them.) This week we went to the Myrtle Beach State Park... this was the site of my previous biking "incident" which happened to be the same day that my last cell phone met its match in an unexpected wave. Since it is now full blown tourist season dogs are not allowed at the regular beach except early in the morning and in the evening. We like to take Tucker to play in the water so the state parks are perfect for us.
Tucker relaxing back at the towel after running through the waves. He is such a good dog. See that leash? It is only there because it is required. Tucker never wanders off or leaves us, unless it is to run the distance between Jim and I when prompted.

Cleaning sand out of his paws. 

The water was the perfect temperature!

Jim was able to fly his newly remodeled kite. At least until he let me fly it and I crashed it into the dunes. Evidently beyond the pretty grass and mounds of sand there are some seriously spiny plants that he had to wade through. Then once the kite was retrieved the string was so tangled that I think we may need to just purchase new string altogether.  Sorry dear :l. We also saw another sand sculpture. This one a little more detailed than the first.

Said dunes looking deceptively pretty.
What did you do this weekend?