First birthday

First birthday

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


That number sure is inching closer to 30, isn't it? Eric has been making fun of me now that I'm in my "late 20s" and reminding me that I'll be 30 four months before he will. Thanks, honey. I guess it makes up for the fact that I could rent a car on our honeymoon and he couldn't? :-)

Anyway, my 27th birthday (week) was a pretty fun one! Last year's birthday kind of slipped away without much notice since we were dealing with a new baby/buying a house/getting ready for Eric's graduation. This year, though, I felt like we were really able to celebrate with a week of Christie. Woo-hoo!

The "big" thing we got to do was go on a whole day date alone! My sweet friend Tara offered to babysit Samuel and Eric had the day off. It was sunshiny and warm and pretty much perfect out. So I let Eric sleep in a bit and then we went to Panera for brunch. We went and wandered around Home Depot and talked about different house projects we want to do next year (I know, I do SUCH exciting things for my birthday, right??), and then we went downtown and went on a food tour of the city!

I was a little nervous about doing the food tour. It was kind of pricey and Eric and I can both be a little picky about things. However, it ended up being a fantastic experience and I'm SO glad we did it! We got to walk around downtown, learn a little bit about the history of the area, and try some yummy treats at six different restaurants. The managers/owners/chefs came out at each place too to tell us a little about the restaurants. Maybe I'm a big nerd, but I really really enjoyed it!

We also rented a super cheesy chick flick (Austenland) and Eric watched it with me and didn't fall asleep. So props to him for that. (Seriously, it was sooooooooo cheesy!!)

On Wednesday, the day before my birthday, Eric got off a little early, so he brought me home flowers and these yummy mint chocolate cookies from Dewey's that I love and then grilled me a steak. Mmm. 

On my actual birthday I got my free Starbucks coffee, had lunch with some friends and got some Dewey's cake and ice cream. Samuel was a bit of a disaster all day, but what's new there? Haha. Then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner when Eric got off since it was 60 cent wing night and we had a gift card.

We topped it off by going out for Cold Stone Friday afternoon (after Eric came home with a nice new necklace and earrings for me since a certain little boy keeps breaking all my jewelry!) and then the food truck festival on Saturday (okay, we probably would have done that anyway. We REALLY love food!)

So, all in all, a pretty good week! the weather was lovely, I got to spend time with my family and some sweet friends. Here's to hoping 27 is a great great year!! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

14 Month Snapshot

My sweet boy is 14 months old! And what a silly thing he is. :-)

I can't keep count of all the crazy things he's done the last few months. He gets into funny habits for a week or so and then suddenly drops it for something new. I know now that he is older, I probably won't be very successful in blogging about him month to month, so I thought I'd try just doing a quick snapshot of what he's doing right now. We'll see how it goes!

Talking: Samuel's very into saying "Uh oh!" to everything. He LOVES cats and will yell "kit daaat!" anytime we see one. He says "ba ba" for banana and "boo boo" for blueberry. He also says "ba ba" for ball, so I kind of have to think in context to figure out what he means. Everything else is "da." Last week at the Y, the nursery workers said he went up to every kid in the room and started talking to them - "da da da da da da." Apparently he had a lot to say, but no one knew what! haha. At least he's social. :-)

He also started signing "more" and "please" last week and does those ALL. THE. TIME. It's cute, but I don't think he really understands what either of them means, which leaves me puzzled half of the time about what he wants!

Eating: Everything. Well, sometimes he gets a little picky and throws things on the floor, but I think it's more an "I'm not hungry" thing. He eats a banana every morning, still LOVES blueberries, goes crazy for yogurt and strawberries and applesauce. He pretty much wants anything that's on my plate too. He is obsessed with milk, and I hate that I can only give him 3 glasses a day. He's recently tried peanut butter (which he loves!), chocolate chips and sugar cookies (thanks, preschool! haha). We don't do much of that at our house, but I figure I can't shield him from sugar forever. We try to stay healthy, though!

Reading: Peek-a-Boo! I love you!; Mr. Brown says Moo; Quack Quack!; the Bible; Being in the Jungle; and, of course, the Foot Book! (He also loves "Where is Bear?" but he tore a few pages out on accident).

Playing: Samuel rides his little yellow motorcycle every morning. He still loves his activity table and any kind of ball. He's really into his blocks right now. He can stack 5-6, but usually only does 2-3 and then knocks them over. That's just more fun, I guess! He also loves his stacking cups and shape blocks and pretty much anything that involves putting one thing into another. Oh, and we've been going to the park every day. He loves the slide, hates the swing, and wants to climb on everything!!

Sleeping: Still sleeping pretty well at night, but naps are a ton of fun to deal with! We've finally cut down to just one nap a day. Last month baby boy decided to start waking up at like 5:45 am and not nap at all, so I knew something was going on... I finally made the executive decision to drop his am nap, and that has at least lessened the problem. He still gets REALLY tired around 11 and I have to force him to stay up til 12:30/1. He often fights going down for his one nap, but usually sleeps anywhere from an hour and a half (normal) to three hours (very abnormal!). He still goes to bed around 8 and, other than some random night time crying that seems to be in his sleep, stays down til 6:30-7:30. It's not ideal, but I'll take it.

Annnnd he's screaming. Guess nap time is over!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Survive & Thrive

I've decided that's going to be my motto for the rest of Eric's intern year.

This year has been hard on us. People tell you at the beginning of intern year that it's going to be rough. We knew going in that this was not going to be easy. And at first it was just that - not easy, but manageable.
But then it started to wear on us.
And the weeks went by with my husband working 13 hour days with few to no days off (I think he's had a 14 day streak almost every inpatient block). He came (comes) home exhausted and I was exhausted and we didn't (don't) get to spend any time together and our baby is crazy all the time.
I started dealing with horrible anxiety and wasn't even able to do things I enjoy like work out or visit with friends or go shopping.
We were sick on our vacation.
We found out our next vacation was taken away.
 It went from not easy to miserable. Wretched. Like Terrible-horrible-no good-very bad day every day. We were barely making it by.
The last few months have not been fun, to say the least. 

But God is good.

He gave us help right when we needed it. We are still having a hard time, no doubt, but He's helped us see His hand in all of this.
My PPA is not completely gone, but I have been doing so so so much better.
We've learned the significance of choosing to trust Him in every situation.
We are striving to enjoy the little things - Eric only working an 11 hour day (what?!?), Samuel taking a good nap, sharing a dark chocolate bar after the baby's in bed, cuddling on the couch, laughing at dumb posts on Imgur together.
I think most importantly, we have found hope. Hope that this won't be forever, that there's an end in sight and that all of the struggle is part of a bigger plan.

And He's reminded us that what we are doing is important. Eric is making a difference in people's lives, supporting them and their families through difficult times. I'm helping shape our sweet boy in his most formative years, learning to give of myself in the way Christ gave Himself to us. Our little corner of the world is pretty small, but I'm thankful we are able to make a difference where we are now. 

There are still 13 weeks left. 3 months. I've been in survival mode for pretty much the last 9, but I want more than that for these 3 months.I want to say we did more than barely make it through intern year.

I want to enjoy time with my Samuel and make Eric as much a part of that as possible. He's growing so fast!
I want to be sure and take lots of pictures. I've been bad about that lately.
I want to make Eric feel supported, but also plan fun things for him for his rare times off.
I want to make our house feel more like home. It's been such a work in progress! 
I want to be a better friend and family member and connect with those around me more. Sometimes I get lazy and don't make time for people like I should because I'm in my own selfish little world. I need to get out of that.
I want to enjoy this spring - the newness and freshness of everything around me.
I want to read more. I used to read ALL the time, and haven't really done much since Samuel's been around. 
I want to find ways to give back, to support community ministries and to just love on people more. That's been difficult to do while single-parenting a lot, but I know there have to be some things I can do with a 1 year old in tow!

It's become so apparent to me through this time how community is key, and I hope I can support those in my community the way they've all supported me. I still don't feel 100% all the time, and I know I may struggle with for a while still. I also know the best remedy is to give of myself and get focused on making the world around me a better place. 

3 more months. Let's do this! :-) 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's March!!

I am so so so so so glad that spring is finally almost here! This winter has NOT been my favorite. But these warmer days and the beautiful sunshine and now daylight savings time have made me realize there's an end in sight. Woo hoo!!

I got my spring decorations out last week, and then made a wreath for our door yesterday. I was pretty proud of the wreath since I generally consider myself to be an un-crafty person. All I did was buy some fake hydrangea and cut them off the stem and stick them through the wreath, then paint a letter Y that I found for 50 cents at Michaels and glue it on. My house feels so much happier now.

Oh, I also finally put pictures into the frames I bought at Thanksgiving to go in our entryway. We finally decided to put up pictures from when we went to Venice a few years ago (as opposed to family pictures - I'm planning on doing a blown-up version of one of those). I think it looks pretty nice... I really need someone to come show me how to decorate though, because I am just NOT good at visualizing things!

Eric had his first golden weekend since his "vacation" last month (on which we were all sick), and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!! Both days were BEAUTIFUL. We went to lunch at Chick Fil A and took Samuel to get his first haircut (which was adorable - pictures to come!) and went to the park and then our friend Jib graciously babysat so we could go out to eat just the two of us.It was so wonderful to just go sit and enjoy a nice meal together baby-free! It was our first date of 2014. Sad, I know, but between Eric working, the snow, us being sick, and my bouts of anxiety, we had a rough couple of months that kept us from doing much of anything. Plus I have no clue how to find a babysitter, and I feel awful that I keep asking all my friends to watch Samuel. Oh well, I am just so grateful for our sweet buddies who are willing to help us out!

On Sunday we went to church, then I got a wild hair and decided I wanted Panda Express for lunch, so we drove to High Point only to discover that their PE was in the mall, so then we drove to Greensboro and ate at the one there. I know, silly, but we haven't done anything crazy like that in a long time (we used to drive to Charlotte to eat at On the Border fairly regularly), and finding good Chinese food in Winston is next to impossible. (Plus I wanted to "practice" driving on the interstate since my anxiety issues have been particularly bad while driving).

I have been doing sooooo much better with the PPA stuff though. Quitting nursing altogether has made SUCH a difference! I don't feel 100% normal all the time, but I am leaps and bounds above where I was, and hopefully can put all of this behind me pretty soon. It's been SO great to feel like a fairly normal, functioning person again!

Anyway, Eric had to go back to work Monday (of course) and after this coming Sunday off, he has to work another two weeks straight (yuck). But he only has 15 weeks left of intern year. 15! That feels like something we can manage. And yesterday he got a list of options for tracks for 2nd and 3rd year, and they all looked SO nice compared to this year! It's like an end is finally in sight.. or at least some reprieve!

Anyway, I am just soo so grateful that March is finally here. It seems to be bringing so much hope and cheer. God has definitely provided for us through the last through difficult months, and I know I've learned and grown a lot. But man, am I thankful for a happy happy change!

Happy March!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pictures! (and random thoughts on our living room)

Thanks to our awesome friend Jamie, we now have some cute Samuel 1-year pictures and some semi-updated family pictures! Woo! I'm really excited about blowing one or two of these up to hang in our living room.

I'm also debating about making some other changes to our living room --
1) Moving our (new flat screen!) tv to above the fire place. This would involved moving the cable and drilling a hole in the floor and I'm not sure that our plaster walls could handle mounting, so it might just have to sit there. It might also involve rearranging the furniture, which I'm having a hard time picturing for some reason. And where would the DVD player go? But I still want to do it. Hmm.

2) Adding built-in shelves next to the fireplace. I LOVE built ins. And they would definitely go with the character of our 1940s home. But I'm not sure if it would be a waste of money, or, once again, how that would affect the layout of our furniture. I also don't know if we should hire someone or attempt to DIY it... residents aren't made of money, you know!

Anyway, enough about that. Here's our fun pictures!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

It has snowed at least three times in the last month, including a good inch or so yesterday (that's right - it's March). There was a time when I would have thought that sounded magical... and maybe when I was working and that meant I got to stay at home in my PJs instead of going out in the cold, it did. But when it means I'm stuck at home with a toddler while worrying about my husband driving on slick roads because he is working the night shift.... not so fun.

I want to go to the park and go running and have a picnic. (Apparently Samuel does too, because today he took my hand as soon as I put my shoes on and walked me straight to the back door and tried to reach up and turn the knob. I think he has my stir-crazy genes.)

The snow did make for a few cute photo ops (see below). I'm so over winter, though.

Samuel Turns 1 (The Final Chapter. :-)

I know, I know, this is getting ridiculous. But I never blogged about his actual birthday, and I seriously WILL forget things. (It's been a month, so chances are that I have already forgotten half of it!)

So Samuel's birthday morning started bright and early at 7:15 am. I was still nursing at that point, so Samuel ate with me, then we went into the kitchen to put on the birthday crown his preschool teachers made him the day before (I forgot to mention that they threw him a little party there too) and to eat a banana with Pappy (my dad). We played a little, then let him have some blueberry waffle with whipped cream for snack time. He was a pretty big fan of that!

(photo his teacher sent me of his class party)

Eric was doing... something that day, I don't know what, but whatever it was, it allowed him to be home for a couple of hours over lunch. So we let Samuel "open" a couple of presents (his tunnel and maybe his soccer ball?) while he was there to be part of the festivities. Then we got a special delivery from Gran Gran and Granddaddy - balloons! Now THAT is the kind of present a kid likes! We will have to remember that next year.

After nap time, we all loaded up and went to Chick-Fil-A. It was a pretty icky day and starting to snow, so things weren't too busy. Samuel really enjoyed his chicken nuggets (as always). I'm still amazed that he can eat a whole kid's meal by himself. But that's a story for another day.

Anyway, a little bit of snow turned into a LOT of snow. It came down all afternoon, so we pretty much hung out inside and played and napped some more. I made a chocolate cake from scratch based off of a couple of pinterest recipes I'd seen. It was far and away the BEST cake from scratch I've ever made. No joke! I was pretty thrilled with the results.

For dinner I whipped up one of Samuel's favorites - Chicken Pie. He was pretty exciting about it. Then for dessert - cake of course! I left icing off of Samuel's piece since it was his first taste of anything that sweet. He was pretty stoked about it!

After dinner, we set up the car track that Eric's parents had sent a few weeks earlier and let Samuel play with that. We Face Timed with them while he climbed up the stairs to see it for the first time. Once again, I think I was a little more interested in it than he was, but I guess that's just the way it goes when you have a one year old.

Then, since the snow had FINALLY stopped, we went outside and stomped around in it for a while. Samuel is NOT a fan of snow (a fact that's been reiterated several times over the last month. We've gotten a ridiculous amount of snow this year). I thought it was really nice that it snowed on my baby's birthday though. What a beautiful way to start a new year!

Anyway, I *think* that's the last of the birthday posts. Props if you made it this far. ;-)