May 31, 2013


Our last week has been jammed packed, which is exactly why the blog has been so quiet. We got back from a week in Maryland on Wednesday. Over the weekend, I attended one of my dearest college friend's bridal shower and bachelorette party in Pennsylvania. When I priced out airline tickets for the trip, we quickly noticed that it would cost more for me to go Friday-Monday than it would for all of us to go Wednesday-Wednesday. So, Peter used some of his vacation days and we visited with my family.

When I say my family, I mean lots of my family. On my mom's side, nearly everyone lives in the same zip code (it used to be 21212 but in the last few years everyone has moved into 21204). Being that so many of my relatives are still in Baltimore, we get to see everyone each time we visit. My mom hosted a small sixteen person family dinner on Thursday night. My sister, who recently relocated from San Diego to Hoboken, drove down to visit. Fortunately, she works from home so we were able to hang for a bit before she headed back to New Jersey. 

We made sure to visit with Ali, who took a job in Baltimore not too long ago. We grabbed lunch at a spot near her work. Lunch was decent, but Cole forgot her restaurant manners. She just wanted to run around Fells Point chasing balloons. And really, who can blame her?

By the way, it was windy and raining, hence the hair.

May 24, 2013

The Sea Lion Bubble

Our trips to the zoo are becoming increasingly more fun. Cole is starting to notice the animals and develop favorites. Her current favorites are the fish in aquarium and the sea lions. She'll run up and down the tank wall chasing the sea lions as they swim by.

Here is a short video of her watching the sea lions from the viewing bubble in the exhibit:

May 22, 2013

A Sunday Show

Over the weekend, we went to our second Rock-n-Romp show. This one was at Rhodes College. It was warm and the Grizz were playing. Fortunately, there was ample shade and a large TV set up so that everyone could watch the game. Once again, Cole thought the show was just for her. She made sure to get right up next to the speakers and dance around a bit. We bumped into a number of our park friends which was so fun. Since I take Cole to the park nearly every day, we've made a number of park friends. It's great to see them in another context and be reminded how small and friendly our little part of the world is.

We can't wait for the next Rock-n-Romp in August. It will be inside, which is nice considering the heat of a typical Memphis summer and the fact that I'll be 35 weeks pregnant. We're committed to the idea of getting more friends to come with us. We always bump into people but it's such a blast we want to spread the word and share the good time with more friends. So save the date people: 2:00-5:00 on August 10th at Bridges.

May 21, 2013

Doing My Part

It's NBA playoff season, which means everyone in Memphis is doing what they can to help the Grizzlies on to victory. For me, that means watching the games and baking thematic desserts. Today's special: iced sugar cookies. Go Grizz!!

May 20, 2013

A Little Celebration For a Big Birthday

We celebrated Peter's big thirtieth birthday this weekend with festivities on Saturday. Months ago, Peter gave me two requests for his birthday: paintball and gelato cake. Happy to oblige, I got a Groupon for a 6-person paintball package (at 60% off!!) and I ordered a Snicker's gelato cake.  I also gave him a Grizz shirt on Wednesday so that he could be a surprised about something for his birthday. Saturday afternoon, Peter and five of his friends met up at Memphis Paintball Park for three hours of paint balling. They had a great time but Peter was feeling his age.

Later on Saturday, we had a small celebratory cookout with a few friends and their kiddos. Nothing big and nothing too late since all the kiddos were under 18 months. Everyone was so kind, they offered to bring sides to share so I just got the meat, drinks, and a bag of chips. And the requested cake, of course.

For a family that has historically had pretty nonchalant birthday celebrations, this has been a big year for us with Peter's thirtieth and Cole's first birthday parties.

May 16, 2013

Day Old News

Yesterday was Cole's last day in the baby room at school. It was bitter sweet. Cole is absolutely ready to move up but her teachers have been so wonderful that it makes the transition hard. When Cole started going to school it was all tears, all the time. She went on hunger strike and would only take milk from a spoon. Fortunately, the situation improved and in the last year she's grown to love going to school. She was sad to hear that she'll going to a new class in a couple of weeks. But I'm sure she'll grow to love her new teachers and classmates by the end of the summer.

In other news, yesterday one of my pictures from Instagram was featured on the I Love Memphis blog.  If you tag your Instagram pictures #ilovememphis, Kerry will look at them and possibly put them on the blog. I'd never tagged a picture #ilovememphis before this week, but I'd also never seen a dog chilling on the back of a car while his owner shopped for groceries. It was pretty cool.

Finally, the Grizz won last night! They closed out their series against the OKC Thunder and will move on to the Western Conference final, for the first time ever! The whole city is pumped. What a fun time to be a Memphian

May 15, 2013


Happy birthday Peter, my best friend and husband! 30 is going to be a good year.

May 14, 2013

Over Halfway

I'm 22 weeks pregnant and this may be my first real belly shot. Unlike last time around, I'm very distracted. And busy chasing a toddler. Yes, with this pregnancy there is still anticipation and wonder and worry, I just have a sweet distraction in Cole.

This pregnancy has been different than I anticipated based on what I've heard second pregnancies to be. I showed later this time and I'm coming in a bit lighter on the scales than I did at 22 weeks with Cole.  Baby girl's placenta is on top so it actually took a while longer for me to feel her moving.

Baby sister has one outfit to call her own (thanks to the Days) and nothing else. She and Cole will share just about everything, including diapers since we use and love one-size cloth diapers. She may get her own room but that is still to be determined. Since we already have a bassinet that will fit in our room we really don't have to decide where sister will sleep until a few months after she arrives. We're hoping to make that decision sooner rather than later but at the rate September is approaching I'm not holding my breath.

It's quite exciting to be pregnant a second time. We know we don't know our daughter and won't until she's here. As a wise friend pointed out, second children don't necessarily imitate their predecessors. But it is just so exciting! We could never have imagined all that Cole would add to our family and hearts and surely baby sister will do the same.

May 13, 2013

Resolution Catch Up

I haven't forgotten or given up on my 2013 resolution. There just hasn't been much to show. After a less than stellar first attempt with the remote in January, we've just handed our camera off to friends or family and asked them to take a picture simply to satisfy the monthly goal. 

This month, I decided to buck up and try the remote again. (I still haven't used my tripod for our monthly family pictures but the day is coming.) On Sunday, I rested our camera on top of Cole's stroller and got out the remote. It was a Mother's Day miracle when we got a handful of decent pictures!


Now for a quick recap, here are our monthly family pictures from earlier this year. The only requirement I have for these pictures is that all three of us are in them.  It would be nice if each of us was smiling and looking at the camera, but you can't have it all:





May 12, 2013

For the Mommas

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mommas! Peter and I are blessed to have mothers who we can look to as examples. I'm ever grateful for the spunky little princess who made me a mother and my own mom, pictured with me below circa 1985.

May 10, 2013

For Nap Time

Sometimes I make an effort to be productive during Cole's nap time. Other times, not so much. I just like to sit down. Sometimes with a book or a couple of articles. Other times I'm less inclined to read for fear I'll fall asleep. During those times, I like to listen to  Mockingbird's conference recordings: 2013, 2012, 2010 (there are videos too but I stick to the recordings since I can find them all on one page)*. Take a gander if you think you'd be into that sort of thing.

*For the record, there are also some shows I watch if I'd rather do something mindless. 

May 7, 2013

2013 St. Jude Half

In 2009, I ran the St. Jude half marathon.  It was great experience. The race took us through the St. Jude campus then all around midtown and downtown Memphis with supporters the whole way.  Then on Thanksgiving day 2010, Peter and I ran the Atlanta half.  The Atlanta race could not have been more different from the St. Jude. We basically race 13.1 miles through a ghost town. Since then, I haven't run another half. But on May 1, I made a decision: I am going to run the 2013 St. Jude half marathon on December 7, 2013.

Yes, the race is 12 weeks after my due date. And I'm aware. But I've talked it over with the pros and it's absolutely feasible. I'll start training now, at 21 weeks pregnant, and continue training until baby arrives. I'll take the required time off post-delivery and then get back into the swing of it. At the end of the day, I'm not above walking but I am above not finishing. So if I start the race, I'm going to finish it. 

This year, for the first time, I am going to raise money for St. Jude as a member of Team GoJGo, which is Josiah's team. I've known Josiah since he was born and have seen his family become direct beneficiaries of the work at St. Jude. It's good stuff!  St. Jude does phenomenal work in Memphis and for children around the world.

While some people may think this is crazy, my logic boils down to this: if kids at St. Jude can fight cancer and other life-threatening diseases, who is to say I can't take on a half marathon for those kids months after delivery. What a great reason to run! Here is my personal fundraising website if you are interested in supporting the work of St. Jude and Team GoJGo.

                                                             Pre-Race 2009

May 6, 2013

A Little Sunshine

So far May has been cold and wet, which is a bit uncharacteristic for Memphis this month. Just the same, the sun snuck out for a few hours this weekend. On Saturday, the rain held off until the afternoon which was convenient because Peter was playing in a golf tournament. By Saturday afternoon the rain was back. In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo (a day early, I know) we tried a new-to-us, highly praised Mexican restaurant. It was quite good, if not a bit overpriced. I'd go back just for the tesote and limeade.

Sunday morning Cole decided to pick out her clothes for church. She picks out her clothes nearly every morning but this outfit is worth noting. Typically, I'll lay out a couple of options for her to choose from, she'll make her selections, and we move on in peace. Lately though if she finds the options provided unsatisfactory, she'll go bang on the closet door. Sunday morning she ran off once her tights were on. When she came back, she brought us the dress (from the "too small" pile) and her pink moccasins. She asked to have them put on. Once dressed, she saw her shades and asked for them as well. We did opt to change her before church seeing as how it was a bit cold and wet for a summer dress.  I see a big box of dress-up clothes in our not to distance future.

Sunday afternoon we found a small window between the rains. The sun was shining so we booked it to the Botanic Garden. The place was nearly empty due to the weather and Grizz game. Cole was able to play in the music house for quite some time before moseying on to the worm holes and swings. We were all delighted to get outside for bit.

May 3, 2013


We have a ridiculously wide, long hallway in the center of our house. While decorating it has been something of a challenge, it's been wonderful for Cole. She pushes walkers, wagons and baby doll strollers down the hall. On rainy days, I'll even put in her in a stroller and walk her inside. Of course, daddy makes the hallway the most fun! Cole will climb into her wagon and Peter will run her down the hall. She always wants more, more, more!

May 2, 2013

Mural Progress

When I first moved to Memphis, Peter lived downtown in the South Main Arts District. We moved apartments but stayed in the same neighborhood during my first year as a Memphian. Then we got a dog and decided we needed a yard.  So we moved to midtown, into a neighborhood we love. It's close enough to Peter's work that he can come home for lunch, which he does most days.

Anyway, in the next two months there are two murals going up on underpasses in our neighborhood that I'm really excited about. The murals are beautification projects that should prevent graffiti and vandalism. While both underpasses are prepped, the first mural is starting to take form. There is still work to be done and I'll be sure to snap a picture when the work is complete but for now, this is great. The other morning, for the first time in five years, I saw how lovely the light is in the space. Oh to have fresh eyes!

May 1, 2013


Just about a year since my first blog redesign, I got the itch to do it again. I've heard and believe that when you buy your first house you have an idea of what you want, then within months of moving in you know exactly what you want in your second house. I think the same may be true for blog design.

While I loved my first real blog design, it was uncharted territory. Since commissioning Beautiful Dawn Designs for my first design, I've learned so much. First off, I've developed specific web design preferences. I've also learned there is a ton of coding information available online, specifically through Code It Pretty. I've also learned about the marketplace of premade blogger templates available on Etsy for a fraction of the cost of a custom design.

In the last few weeks, I've been obsessing a bit over the various templates available on Etsy. Initially I was looking for a watercolor inspired template but then I found the simple, beautiful template by Bella Lulu Ink that you see now. I couldn't get the template out of my head so I knew it was the one to go with. Working with Bella Lulu was a dream! Chelsea, the Etsy shop owner, provided thorough instructions on how to install the template and was available for questions. I'd recommend her to anyone.

Here's hoping you enjoy the new design as much as I do.