Friday, June 26, 2009

a day in the life

After the oodles of adjectives I used to describe life in the south yesterday, I thought I'd lighten it up today with a photographic story rather than a written ramble! Happy Friday love doves!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

a weekend away

Two years ago I decided to take a teaching position in Tennessee. Three months after the school year started, I became pregnant with Theodore. As it became increasingly evident that very little (if any) of Ryan's work would be in TN, we decided to pack up our baby belly and head home to the heartland. However, my enchantment with the South hasn't faded and I frequently find myself missing life south of the Mason-Dixie. Thanks to a wonderful husband who was willing to do full-time daddy duty last weekend, I snuck away for my first post mommyhood fix of Tennessee.

Summer is my favorite time to visit the South, I adore the heat. A long and feverish season when the air is so heavy and thick, you wear it like a cloak. When the smell of ditch weeds and tobacco fields swirls through open windows with each lethargic sigh of the breeze. When the Osage and Magnolia envelope the landscape, speaking softly to all of nature as if to encourage its survival during the impoverished months. It is a world all its own.....

The nectorious sweet tea, peach produce stands, parched red clay, eternal.

The white craftsmen houses, oversized front porches, firefly performances at dusk, so enduring.

The weeping shadow of catalpas, the drawl, the music....a world without end, amen.

Clearly I had a lovely weekend letting it all soak into my soul. And by the time Monday blew in I was overflowing, and ready to get home to my Ryan and Teddy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

happy father's day ryan

I was out of town for Ryan's 2nd Father's Day, however the reports in from father and son sound like they had a wonderful time together at Troy's Music Festival. Teddy in the backpack and daddy on foot, they spent the afternoon jammin' out to some great artists, including of our favorites!

I've been looking for an excuse to post this funny video I came across of Ry and Teddy in the early months. I think Father's Day is just the occassion.

Work it baby, work it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the traveling parade trio

Last Saturday, in an ongoing effort to think of fun, Teddy-friendly activities to celebrate a first birthday, we drove an hour south to the town of Hudson for their annual Flag Day parade. Earlier in the week I'd heard a morning news commentator mention the upcoming fanfare with great anticipation, saying "my family never misses it!" Sounded like something our family may not want to miss either....

We envisioned.....
A.) An adorable town on the Hudson River, surrounded by the Catskill Mountains.
B.) Lots of fire engines, tractors, and police cars for my oh-so-boy Teddy bear.
C.) A place filled with other children...perfect for the toddler who loves to people watch. By people watch, I mean stare adoringly at anyone under 3 feet tall, with a slack jaw and a mile long trail of drool hanging from his chin.

We Discovered....
Although there were big trucks for Teddy and children a-plenty....the town was a little on the rough side. Either parades bring out the crazies or Hudson was showing its back country Appalachia roots. There were more tramp stamps, cigs, and visible butt cheeks than the last time I hung out at Tootsies Tavern. The only thing people seemed to be short on was teeth. No joke.

Despite the odd crowd, we managed to park ourselves next to another family and enjoyed the snare drums and patriotic songs with the best of them. On the drive home, I proposed becoming a family of parade groupies who travel from town to town each weekend following the fairs. Ry said he didn't think it was the gig for our family.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

my first birthday cake

Last weekend was one big birthday celebration! It began on Friday night with dinner at a small, neighborhood Italian restaurant. They had the perfect set-up for our birthday boy, thanks to patio seating. What could be better than a plate full of eggplant pasta...AND getting to eat OUTDOORS! He was as happy as a Georgia peach! It's funny, I've never known another baby who enjoys eating out so much! He just loves all the commotion, loud conversations, laughing, and everyone partaking in his favorite consumption!

On Saturday we went to a parade (I'll dive into the details of that in tomorrow's blog) and ended the festivities on Sunday with a day at the park and a cake celebration at home. Below is a video of our cake prep and tasting on Sunday. Sorry I didn't edit and cut down its length yet!

It was a fabulous birthday weekend! Thank you all so much for the sweet messages, songs, cards, and gifts! You are truly the best and our little boy is so blessed to have you in his life!

Friday, June 12, 2009

happy birthday theodore

June 12th. Teddy's first birthday. This is truly a day of celebration, joy, and achievement for not only our Teddy bear, but for Ryan and I as well. How much life has changed in a year...

I remember those first few sleep deprived, delirious days at home. Every night I felt thankful we'd made it through another day. I'd say to myself "Okay, this is good, we made it through day # 6. He is 6 days old now. Thank goodness. It is going to get easier now." Although the shift was never quite as swift as I'd hoped, over the course of the year our days (and nights!) have certainly become much easier.

Teddy too, has changed. Physically, he went from being unable to hold up his own head to learning how to walk. At first he didn't even know how to smile, now he rolls on the ground in fits of laughter. Most special though is how he's learned to love. He wasn't an overly cuddly baby, he never really wanted to snuggle in. Now he loves to be held and cuddled. Whenever I get down on the floor, he runs over to give me a hug. It is just soo sweet...his little legs move as fast as they can to get to me and give me my hug before I get up again. Plus he still loves to give kisses....he goes on kissing rampages, giving like 10 in a row!

Theodore brings such joy into our lives. He is the whole reason Ryan and I went from being a couple in love, to a family in love. What a gift. When I was a little girl my mom used to say to me "If God told me I could go to every door in the whole world and pick out any daughter, I would still pick you." Well my baby boy, If God told me I could go to every door in the whole world and pick out any son, I would still pick you. Happy birthday my sweetheart.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

at this time last year

Whenever I think back to those last few days before I had Theodore, I remember this day a year ago. I was 5 days overdue with my baby bundle. We were so excited and anxious to meet our little one. When I woke up that morning and grudgingly realized another night had passed without the "Honey, it's time" I was so bummed. I desperately wanted to get things moving so we hit the lakes for a long walk. And LONG it turned out to be! We intended to walk only Cedar, but after that was finished and I still felt annoyingly great, we continued on to tackle Harriet and Isles as well. All in all I think I walked about 10 miles that morning, at 5 days past due with a 9.3 lb baby in my belly!

That evening we went to Diane and David's for a little family dinner in celebration of Judy and Darrel's 30th Wedding Anniversary and Aimee's 20th birthday. It was a wonderful night filled with family, laughter, and lots of excitement over the baby to come....

Here is a tiny clip of the birthday girl that day. I apologize for the video quality, I'm not sure why it is playing back so poorly.

Happiest of Birthdays to our dear Aimee Kathrine. Wishing you the sun, moon, and stars on your 21st.

Monday, June 8, 2009

from pregnancy to toddlerhood

As Theodore's 1st birthday nears, we've been looking back nostalgically at our home videos from the past 12 months. We thought it'd be fun to share a few throughout the week in celebration of June 12th and the VERY BEST summer blessing ever!

Late last spring, a few weeks before the baby joined our family, we planted a tree in his or her honor (we didn't know the sex) out at our land. Here are some clips from the day!

In the past 2 months, our Junebug has really started to change from baby to little boy! I keep saying to Ryan, "Look at Teddy! Look how big he is!" Yesterday he wore actual sneakers to the park...hard soles, laces...the whole shebang. He looked way too grown up walking in around in such big boy shoes.

Thank goodness, when he sleeps he still looks just like my baby :)

1st birthday, here we come! Have a lovely Monday dear friends.

Friday, June 5, 2009

summer reads

With the warm, long days of June finally here, I am ready to dive into some of my favorite warm weather novels. I'm a seasonal reader. In the winter, I prefer cold, snowy stories. In the summer, they need to be hot, humid, and maybe even a little sultry! On Wednesday night as I set up my book case, I was sure to leave out a few that had already come to mind...

Do you do the same? Crave the same stories at the same time each year? What are your summer favorites?

I'm so happy to have my little reading nook set up here in New York. Although I'm sure the men in our family would prefer I didn't drag around every single book I own to every location we go, I can't help myself. They are my loves and you never know when I might need one :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

because we like food

I just returned from the grocery store and I'm excited! They have good food here!

Well, let me start off by saying those of us from Minnesota are spoiled with easy access to great food. The supermarkets are filled with a wonderful selection of produce that is not only priced well, but pretty darn fresh. Ryan and I longingly speak of our grocery store in Minneapolis all the time. Even in Big Lake though, I was impressed by the selection of natural foods available at Coborn's. Bonus...the staff was knowledgeable, the meat was never scary, and they carried my favorite brand of peanut butter. Wonderful.

With that said, not all places we travel have the same quality or selection of food. Most recently, we struggled in Colorado. There were basic items I needed that the neighborhood Safeway did not carry. Honestly, who doesn't sell chicken breasts on the bone or curry? Not much in the way organic either...

Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a food snob. One of my biggest complaints about Whole Foods was that I couldn't buy the actual, factual Honey Nut Cheerios there. Also, I typically buy all shelf items at WalMart, thanks to the "unbeatable prices." :) I just like access to a wide range of goods and from this morning's experience, I should have little trouble here. I was able to find all the ingredients for tonight's soup, tomorrow's pasta, and Friday's tacos without a single hitch! Fresh, fast, and easy made for a happy mommy/baby team as we left the store. In all truth, Ted's just happy to hang around food.

Monday, June 1, 2009

a new york state of mind

The Alcott trio + 2 furry felines arrived in New York! Teddy and I flew in on Saturday. Ryan and the cats arrived a few days earlier.

A little about the place we now call home:

We are living in an apartment community nestled on a sixty-acre nature preserve. The grounds are great, secluded and set back from the main road. There are walking trails throughout the property, perfect for the mini-man to practice his new skill. The community itself sits half-way between 2 separate towns. You feel their age and history immediately, as many neighborhoods are filled with old brick row houses. It's fascinating to think most of these towns were founded around the same time as the Revolution. Although it is always difficult to pick out housing via the Internet, I think this will work out well. I can't wait to explore!

For now though, the only thing to worry about is unpacking and trying to get our babe back on his regular sleep schedule. Soon enough weekends will be filled with trips down to the city or adventures in the Adirondacks. Tonight it just feels good to curl up with my husband and know we will be here for awhile.