Tuesday, May 6, 2008

ten smile tuesday...

so many smiles...and so many of them captured in photos. i will try to refrain from completely filling this post with pictures...but with 159 photos uploading from my camera right now (all taken from the past week!) it might be a challenge. i'll just assume you like seeing the pictures just as much as i like posting them!

we had such a delightful week "away"...another thanks to my parents for letting the girls and me invade for the week...and then still being willing to muster the energy and excitement to keep them for the weekend! though mike and i were busy with wedding stuff over the weekend, it was so refreshing to have the time in the car to chat and listen to sermons and simply having some "us" time...being able to stay out late for the rehearsal dinner and reception...and not having to worry about the girlies (and knowing they were having a marvelously fun time with grandmommy and poppy!).

i will admit that coming home was a bit overwhelming..funny how just a week away gets you out of the routine. yesterday i was completely overwhelmed and exhausted by the "norm"--the laundry, dishes, and all that competes for my energy and attention. of course, elizabeth would have liked to spend the ENTIRE day outside on the swingset...and i find it so hard to balance when i should be getting the miscellany of daily housekeeping, cooking, and life done and when i should be spending time on the floor or in the backyard playing with the girls...that is my prayer right now...that God will show me the balance and that His spirit will lead my daily activities. (and that mike and i can get a handle on the clutter and "stuff" that crowds our house and seems to keep us constantly scrambling to keep our heads above the water when it comes to housework...as opposed to being able to stay ahead of the piles!).

anyway...i digress...of course...but here they are...my smiles!

1. the chance to visit with oh-so-many special people while i was up at my parents...my grandma j, grandpa and ethel, aunt cak and pat, and a dear friend-jill. so fun to see elizabeth respond to these people she so rarely sees...her personality shining through in different ways each time. she would love to tell you the story about the firetruck in my grandpa and ethel's house (they have a storm alert system, and the sirens were being tested while we were there!) or how miss jill had bubbles and animal crackers and balls and blocks...(jill, you were a HUGE hit....and yes, she did pass on your boat-ride request!--can't wait to have you join us at the lake!). both girls did a great job with all the running and visiting!

2. elizabeth's first boat-ride of the season...poppy and i took her out in the fishing boat. she wasn't so sure about it while we were out (i think she wasn't so sure about the "little" boat)...but we got to see some swans and ducks, which was a hit...and by the time she got off the boat she was talking about the trip as if it was the BEST thing she'd done in her short little life! maybe that's one of my favorite things about this age...the wide-eyed, excited wonder elizabeth brings into every situation...its contagious!

3. the chance to read a book (and half of another). i can't tell you how long it has been since i've read something...i love curling up with a book, but shortly after kate was born i realized i was consuming far too much time with fiction. so it was wonderful to have a chance to sit back and read while i was away...now if i can just find a few moments to finish up the one i'm halfway through! then its back to picture books for me! :)

4. the drive to detroit...riding in the car isn't always my favorite activity. but after being apart from mike for four days it was wonderful to simply have time together...uninterrupted time....listening to sermons and then being able to actually talk about them, knitting away on a pair of socks (another thing i had to sit aside at home since it is a hugely addictive time consumer for me!--i'm only allowed to do projects that i can finish during nap-time these days!--a rule i imposed on myself).

5. one of the tastiest meals ever...seriously....the rehearsal dinner was at an incredible italian restaurant. seared ahi tuna, filet mignon, a delectable flourless chocolate cake covered in strawberries...and appetizers i can't even begin to pronounce or spell...

6. the gorgeous necklace my hubby got me for my birthday...to match my wedding ring and the earrings he bought me last year. isn't he the sweetest! (i'll add a picture later...miranda is sleeping in my room right now)

7. enjoying some "girl time" saturday...a hair styling and luncheon. so nice to spend some time with my sister-in-law (the bride), m-i-l, and some of the other girls...i mean really, who doesn't enjoy a bit of pampering followed by some tasty food from panera?!

8. walking weather. i know, i've shared this before...but i'm still smiling about being able to pull out the stroller and walk places...walgreens yesterday...the library this morning. saves gas, better for the environment, good exercise, and a great time to talk to my girls...elizabeth loves walking along the main street...passing the fire station, seeing all the cars, waving at the buses and their drivers...

9. mail...i really love finding something with my name on it in the mailbox (well, unless its junk mail!)....and i had TONS of great mail waiting for me upon my return. free samples, birthday cards (for those who asked...my birthday was sunday--mostly spent in the car driving--and, okay, i'll admit it...i was a crab about this...i'm one of those people who love to have the "big deal" birthday thing--but hey, i can't really complain...i had a whole week, right!?). but back to the mail...i also received the target giftcard and bracelets i won in the bloggy giveaway AND the kroger giftcard you wonderful blog-friends helped me win.

10. still smiling about the swingset. elizabeth has been in and out the back door about a million times in the past few days...she's figured out how to swing on her tummy (and twirl the swing in circles). so she runs outside, swings a few times, climbs up the ladder and zooms down the slide...then back to the swing...and on and on. kater gator is also loving the swinging....and i'm loving having something fun to do outside. we have miranda for a bonus afternoon today, and elizabeth was beside herself with excitement about showing miranda the swingset...so cute!
swing katers! 3 swingset lovers!
"wheeeee!" tummy twirlin'
the view just moments after
bizmuth (as miranda calls libs)
and 'randa (as libs calls miranda)
went running outside!

libs shows her new miranda's turn
elizabeth gave her a
"real" name...not just
"baby") how to go
down the slide

11. finally...an extra smile. today is kate's 9 month "birthday"...can you believe it?! in the next couple of days i'll try to post a "happy 9 month" entry for her...
12. and ONE more...grandmommy and libs baking "bendie" cookies...

some bonus photos from the wedding!

a few rare glimpses of me...since i'm usually on the
other side of the camera!

the gals....caitlyn (dennis's girlfriend), me, and marilyn (my m-i-l)
the guys...dennis (mike's younger brother), ray (mike's dad), and mike
we're missing kim and dave (the bride and groom)...but obviously they were a bit "busy" at the wedding! :)


Lisa said...

You looked beautiful at the wedding!!!
And very happy belated birthday to you....

swell.life said...


Rebecca said...

great smiles!! so glad you had a great trip. you looked beautiful at the wedding...love the dress! all the pics are great...i know all about posting a lot of pictures ;).

Wendi said...

Yay! I have been waiting to see pictures from you trip! You got some really good ones.
Praying for you on the balance of time (I am SO right there with you!) as well as the organizing. I really get it. It is especially difficult after a trip. I am finally 'dug out' after our trip, but it was only an over nighter.
I really have an appreciating for the alone time you and your hubby got traveling together as well. I always joke that when we are in the car together Dave can't get away from me! :) Our lives have become so busy that simply having the time to connect, talk, laugh together is precious!
I loved your dress too!! Great choice!! :)

Little Candle said...

I love all of the pictures. You looked lovely in your dress. You are your Sweetie make a great couple. I am glad that you made it home safe and sound.

Sarah :)

Mommy Mechanics said...

Love, love, love all the pics keep em' coming. Sounds like you all had a wonderful weekend.

diashermosos said...

I adore your hair! I looks so cute all curled up like that. And that last picture is a hoot:) Glad to hear that your week away was filled with so much happiness and time well spent with the hubby.
You will have to tell me your trick. I get so drawn into books that I simply can't put them down. I could go days and not get anything done until I finish a book. I need to work on my self control muscle!

Leslie said...

Amanda, can I just tell you how much I enjoy the simplicity of your smiles... so great.

and you look so great in these photos, and mostly SOOOO SOOOO HAPPY. That myself is such a great example to your girls, a mommy filled with joy.