Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm not in Kansas anymore :(

I had such a wonderful time visiting Jess and her beautiful family! Ella is gorgeous and so funny and sweet and Gabriel is a living angel. Seriously, I have NEVER seen such a sweet, snuggly and content baby. And I have seen a lot of babies. Here's a pic of me and the gang, Ella is far too energetic to pause for a pic :)

All of the pictures I tried to get of Ella are blurry because she is constantly in action! I told Jess that I would vouch for her that she is NOT exaggerating on her blog, Ella has more energy than 3 toddlers combined! Luckily this is countered with extreme sweetness and hilarity. She was not shy at all and instantly became my buddy. I even got in on the rotation of the "I need..." whomever she thought she could sucker into some attention when she was supposed to be doing something else. Needless to say, I was a sucker everytime. I didn't even mind the early morning "Allie! Where are you?!" Too cute.

My favorite Ella moment of my trip was actually after I was supposed to have left. I said my goodbyes and she knew I was going on a trip on an airplane. Well, my plane ended up being really delayed so Bob brought me back to the house. When Ella saw me walk in the door she said "Allie!! I missed you!!" haha! I hadn't even been on my trip yet. :)

Gabriel is a dream baby with his cues. Within an hour I could tell what he needed when. Basically, if he's crying at all, he's either hungry or gassy. If he's just slightly fussy, you give him his pacifier and he's fine. If he gets his old man squishy face he has gas and you just switch his position to where he's upright against your chest and he's fine. If he's crying and making an "o" shape with his mouth, you hand him to mommy to eat and he's fine. Simple right??

It was so great to get to visit with my friend! We were amazed at how long we've known each other and how much our lives have changed. We were so young, I was just out of high school and she was just married and here we are now, 2 kids later for her and I'm planning my wedding! Who knew on that first day of a way too early English class that one day her daughter would be my flower girl? We did escape for a girls' night to go see a movie. It was fun to do an old time Allie and Jess activity, as she was one of my main movie buddies when she lived here. It was really a great trip overall, it just flew by too quickly.

I'm glad to be back to my normal routine, but I'm sad that I don't get to see Jess and the kids until May. I miss them all so much already!

Thanks Jess for a wonderful trip, I had so much fun enjoying your family and catching up with you!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

De-Cluttering/ Limited Consumption

I've said it before and it seems I'm saying it again. I'm sick of stuff!! Why oh why do I feel it necessary to bring in more and more stuff into my house? I have a lovely little home but you couldn't tell it from looking at my kitchen, bathroom or bedroom (my family room is the one saving grace, it stays pretty beautiful). I am seriously going to turn a new leaf. I don't need all of my things. I don't even overtly feel that my happiness is at all related to things, nor do I even value them that much. So here goes. I'm going to be ruthless and go through my closet and dressers and give tons of clothing to people who actually would benefit from my stuff. On the same note, I am not going to go crazy as the season changes and new beautiful colored items hit the racks. And I'll save gas by not even driving to the mall which is probably the only way that I'll be able to avoid such purchases! I am also not going to purchase any new products (house, toiletries etc.) until what I have has been used. I've already gotten better about this with hair products (when I worked at the salon it was ridiculous!). One other good step I've made is I've been buying less groceries and getting creative to use what's already in my pantry. This is a great space saver! Also, I HATE to waste so I've only been buying produce and fresh ingredients that I KNOW I'll use before they spoil.

On a different note, is anyone else really ready for spring? I was walking through the produce department tonight (buying limited things) and found myself longing for the farmers market. Oh how I cannot wait for some sweet cherries and a ripe tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil. I am so excited to pick out flowers and herbs to grow on my modest little patio since I managed to not kill anything last summer! I'm also on the lookout for a cute patio set so I'll be combing the yard sales once they get going.

Another nod to less consumption and a happy thing for me is that I got a new car!! It's a small Hyundai Accent, not a glamorous, high class name but I could not care less. It's brand new, runs like a dream, has really great trunk space and the best part is: I've cut my gas consumption in HALF! This means I'm saving way more money a month all while being a little nicer to the environment. Can't beat that!

Another unrelated note: I bought my dress!!!! My mom and I went looking today and the second one I tried on was simply beautiful. I initially chose it for a try on because I wanted to get an idea of all different styles and I knew my mom loved the style of the skirt. It was a little "poufier" than I thought I wanted but when I walked out, I not only felt like a bride but I felt like I was supposed to be that bride. And it made me look the skinniest :). The best part? No alterations needed! I did have to special order it to get it in ivory and to nix the train (I hate trains) but that was all for no extra cost. I'm psyched! More wedding details to come as I get them!