Things I'm loving

  • The Biggest Loser - I am actually really glad that the season is over now because that darn show always makes me cry and I watch it on the treadmill and running and crying at the same time is difficult.
  • This kid:
  • This video, that somehow ruined the song for me and made it better at the same time. 
  • Checking my blind spot and seeing this while driving down the highway. Please tell me I'm not the only one who has forgotten to buckle their child before? (Again, please don't report me). :)
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  • Practicing Easter egg hunting so that Jack can score me some good candy at the easter egg hunt we're going to on Friday. 
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We are already getting sad that we will not be in Logan to roll/chuck hard boiled eggs down Old Main Hill on Easter weekend. If you live in Logan, will you please think of me while you join in that amazingly awesome tradition?


Spring Break 2013

Spencer's spring break was last week, but since Jack and I were in Arizona and Spencer was in Chicago the week before spring break, spring break was a pretty regular week for us. Spencer worked extra hours and I had work trainings, but we managed to do a few fun things we wouldn't normally do when Spencer is in school.

We met for lunch a couple of times during the week and I think I have officially decided what my favorite meal in Birmingham is - it is the Spicy Beef Salad from Surin West. I was never a huge Thai food fan but I am now.
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Spencer is on a quest to find the best tasting BBQ pulled pork sandwich in Birmingham. We tried Jim N' Nicks this time and their cheesy biscuits were my favorite. I was also reminded that it is never a good idea to take Jack to restaurants.
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Please don't report me about the knife, okay?
 photo IMG_5835_zps028be171.jpg FYI: There are a lot of cool churches in downtown Birmingham (and everywhere in the south). This is one of my favorites:
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We took a quick trip to the zoo to see the new Lorikeet exhibit:
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Spencer went to Bass Pro Shop to spend a birthday gift card from my parents when Jack and I were in Arizona and he convinced me to go with him again because he claimed it was better than Disneyland. ***SPOILER ALERT*** It was not better than Disneyland but it was better than any other outdoor store I've ever been to.
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A friend from church organized a play date to take a tour of our local fire station. When I bring my 16-month-old to bigger kid play dates such as this, I feel like I need to preface my "hello" to everyone by saying, "I know my child has no clue what's going on but I'm desperate to get out of our apartment and talk to people..." :) photo IMG_5811_zpse8d57592.jpg  photo IMG_5822_zps3c174b8f.jpg
Parenting question!!! Is it okay to let Jack watch Gangnam Style on repeat while I make dinner? Will "Hey sexy lady" be in his early vocabulary now or will he just become a really awesome dancer?
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Arizona: the food edition

I finally got around to uploading all of my pictures from Arizona today and was sad when I realized that I took more pictures of food than of people. (In case you were wondering, I totally took pictures of all of my meals before social media even existed) (That is a lie)

So here you have it, everything I ate in AZ:
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  • Food from the grocery store. Jack loved the cool cart.
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  • A Flancer's BLT, which is my most favorite sandwich in the world. (The sweet potato fries were not my favorite sweet potato fries in the world).
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  • Bobas. If I were to die tomorrow, I would have a chocolate coconut boba at The Street on Dobson and Southern for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today. It is my #1 favorite food/drink.
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    I went with Krissy and we went to the Temple afterwards, but we got stuck in a hail storm in the parking lot. When the hail stopped (but not the rain) we sprinted to get inside and were both drenched by the time we got in. I took a picture of us to document, but we both looked like wet rats and Krissy told me that I was not allowed to post it. :) Somehow Arizona rain is always more exciting than rain anywhere else.
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  • Donuts. My mom bought homemade spudnuts from a boy in our neighborhood doing a fundraiser and they were sooooo good. I am not telling how many I ate.
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  • Island noodles. I went to the Aloha Festival in Tempe with Katie and cute baby Seth.
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  • Pesto, tomato, and mozzarella cheese paninis. It was fun catching up with lots of high school friends!
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  • Green beans with butter, sliced almonds, and lemon pepper. My mom made these for me because she knows that I think it tastes better than candy. photo IMG_5777_zps92f10ab0.jpg
  • A delicious salad at Liberty Market. I went with my mom and Jack liked playing with the cup of ice.
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  • I had a Diet Coke almost every day. (I will not point fingers at whose example I was following... :) I am now experiencing DC withdrawals and my text messaging with Spencer yesterday went as follows:
Me: It is taking all of my willpower not to buy a Diet Coke at Sams Club right now!
Spencer: Then buy one!!!
Me: Are you financially prepared to support a twice-a-day fountain drink addict?!
Spencer: No I'm not. You can't start that addiction until I have a salary. And we have a dog named Bruce. And I get lasik eye surgery. And we have paid off our student loans. And we have gone on a vacation with just the two of us. Then you are free to get addicted.
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Non food related activities that Jack participated in included: beach at Val Vista Lakes with Katie and Seth, TV with Elizabeth, Barbie youtube videos with Elizabeth, motorcyle riding with Isaac, lots of walks, yard work with my dad, and basketball with my mom. WE LOVE ARIZONA TRIPS!
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The closest thing to Hell on earth and cinnamon rolls

In Jack's short lifetime, he has been on nine flights, not including connecting flights. (Yes, you can judge me because he is spoiled and I am spoiled and I know it). Spencer has been on three of them to help, and even when I've flown with Jack by myself, it hasn't been pleasant but it's been doable...  that is until this last trip to Arizona.

The flight to Arizona was all on one plane, but with an hour and a half stop in St. Lewis. We were on the same plane for almost 6 hours and Jack acted exactly like one would predict a toddler stuck on a plane for almost 6 hours to act - terrible. He cried, he grabbed the person next to us' drink, he cried, he grabbed the person next to us' laptop, he cried, he grabbed the person next to us' phone, he cried, he sat on my lap while I went to the airplane bathroom two separate times (and had a this is seriously my life right now?! moment), he cried, he had two poopy diapers, and he cried some more and refused to take a nap the whole day. But we survived! And we had a great time in Arizona! But I was dreading the flight back home and I had every right to because the flight home was an absolute living nightmare.

We woke up up at 4:30 am, we got to the airport late (thanks to my mom and Elizabeth, ps I still love you), we waited in a ridiculous long line to get Jack's boarding pass, we tried to check my bag but it was 3.5 pounds overweight (thanks to me, who can't correctly do math on the scale with little sleep), I frantically grabbed things out of my luggage as my underwear was spewing out the sides, we took an extra long detour because we couldn't find an elevator, we rushed through airport security even though it's not actually possible to rush through airport security with a baby (the carseat to take out of the stroller and the stroller to fold and then unfold and the shoes to take off then put back on again and the computer to pull out and the baby food that needs inspected and the extra stupid gallon size bag of oatmeal and extra pack of diapers that were pulled out of my too heavy of luggage that were probably not even worth keeping but I kept anyway), we missed family boarding and cut in the middle of the "B" boarding section, I balanced Jack and the carseat and the diaper bag and the backpack and that stupid bag of oatmeal and extra pack of diapers down the tiny plane aisle (my arms were shaking and my whole body was sweating), and after all of that rushing, we had a one hour delay on the plane due to maintenance issues. We did the poopy diaper on a plane thing, the crying and bored baby on the plane thing, and we landed in Dallas ten minutes before my next flight was supposed to leave. We sprinted across the airport (if you could call it a sprint with Jack and all of those bulky accessories that come with him) and thank goodness, they held the plane for me. When I got on the plane, the only seat available was an aisle seat next to two old ladies already asleep who I just knew were going to hate us. I sat down and when Jack realized we were on another plane after just getting off of one 5 minutes before, he had his first real, back arching, kicking and screaming, temper tantrum.

But then my miracle happened. Those two old ladies that I thought were going to hate me, didn't hate me after all. They gave me gum to "help my ears" at take off, and the one at the window seat grabbed Jack, calmed him down, and held him while the plane took off. He only lasted two minutes with her, but those 120 seconds were all I needed to take a deep breath and say a prayer of gratitude for making the flight and a prayer for strength to get through the final stretch. Those two ladies turned out to be my angels that day. Together, we fought Jack's desire to walk in the aisle, his boredom, his fighting against his nap (we lost that battle), and his refusal to eat food.

They happened to have peanut butter crackers (basically his favorite and only snack he eats) and also gave him pretzel sticks that he also miraculously ate. They continued to say he was such a cute and sweet baby when he was acting the total opposite of cute and sweet. When they pulled out the two Cinnabons they had bought for themselves to eat, but insisted that Jack and I share one of them, I felt that quiet familiar voice:

I know you're tired. I know you're stressed. I'm helping you.

Those ladies must have thought I was crazy as I accepted their Cinnabon with tears in my eyes. What those ladies didn't know was that Jack is a terrible eater, and that he has put himself on a strict diet of oatmeal and yogurt for the last two months and that I stress out about it way too much. They didn't know that just two days before, he miraculously ate half of a cinnamon roll (a whole half!), which was the first non-cracker solid he has eaten in a long long time. They didn't know, but God knew, and as Jack inhaled his second cinnamon roll that week, I was reminded again that God is in the details of our lives.

The rest of the flight was not great, getting off the plane was not great, getting my suitcase at baggage claim and getting all of our stuff to the curb where my friend was picking me up was not great either. But knowing that God knew I was tired and stressed and cared enough to send me earthly angels made me less tired and stressed and more happy.

That night, I went to bed with gratitude for my earthly angels: for my mom and Elizabeth who helped me on the first plane, for my mom's neighbor who helped rush my stuff to my connecting flight, for my dear, Christ-like Cinnabon friends, for the lady sitting behind us who let Jack play with her tablet, for the man who lifted my luggage and stroller into the back of my truck, and for Jack who ate three chicken nuggets and half a piece of toast and a can of mandarin oranges when we got home (the oatmeal era is over! Knock on wood!).

I am grateful for my God who knows me, loves me, and who was in the details of my life on a day I really needed help.


The Final Rose via brick phone photos from Spencer

Spencer only reads my blog when I shove the computer in his face and force him to read a post. Last week, I asked him if he was even a tiny bit curious about what I put on this blog and he said no because he figured I probably just put stuff up that I already talk to him endlessly about. That's true, but now I know for certain that I can put embarrassing things about him on here and he will never know.

His most recent secret is that he watched The Bachelor tonight for the first time ever. (without me!) Just look at those loyal fans...
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 It started out as just the three of them but then more classmates came and it turned into quite the party.
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Isn't it special that even though we are miles apart, we both watched the same stupid, trashy TV show tonight?! So cute.
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P.S. I have only watched this season of The Bachelor and last season of The Bachelorette. I thought the Bachelorette was way better. Emily was way more entertaining than boring Sean.

P.P.S. In case you were wondering what Spencer ate today, it was a Chicago style hot dog for lunch and Chicago style pizza for dinner. Sounds delish.
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The perks of having the first grandchild

Since this upcoming week is spring break for my siblings and since Spencer will be at a healthcare conference in Chicago the same week, Jack and I are headed to Arizona today! So if you are in Arizona, text me so we can go running/get bobas/go to the park/force Gecko Grill to open a few weeks early. :)


Birthday continued...

We continued to celebrate Spencer's birthday into the weekend by going to The Fish Market with friends and it was delicious. (Seriously click the link so you can watch the hilarious Greek man do his fish demonstration.) A couple of Spencer's awesome classmates offered to babysit Jack so we could actually enjoy our meal and I think Jack did just fine without us. This is the picture they sent of Jack while we were at dinner:
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We picked Jack up on our way home and then had Spencer's favorite cake and ice cream. When they blew out the candles, powdered sugar blew everywhere and into the camera's lens which explains why the group picture is so foggy looking.
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By the way it SNOWED on Saturday, March 2, in Birmingham so I had to do my 10 mile run on a treadmill. I am doing a half marathon on the same weekend in April that I did last year, and I can't believe that I have had to do more indoor training in Alabama this year than I did in Logan's incredibly mild winter last year. What the heck?!

And on Sunday, Kana outdid herself again with her incredibly festive St. Patrick's day awesomeness!
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