Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2 Years Ago Today...


Chad and I got married! I can't believe it has been 2 years! I am so thankful that the Lord led me to Chad. I think our story is a really neat one and I love to tell it over and over...
November 28, 2005: I had been living in Birmingham for 5 months and I was a member of a local praise and worship band. This was a Tuesday night and my mom had come into town to hear us play at my church. We finished rehearsing around 6:30pm (the service started at 7pm) and so I walked out into the auditorium to greet my mom as well as the other people who were sitting there. I noticed a guy (Chad) sitting in one of the pews by himself, and I didn't recognize him, so I went to introduce myself (we always tried to welcome visitors/newcomers.) We exchanged names, made small talk, and he told me he had been invited by Dr. Wilhelm, our bass guitarist. I went on about my business and didn't think anything of it. OK actually, I went straight to my mom to tell her that I had just met a really cute guy. And what's even funnier is that I was dating someone at the time pretty seriously, so I had no business even looking Chad's way. But anyway, I thought he was super cute, but my boyfriend was there as well, so Chad and I didn't talk again that night.

January 22, 2006: Aforementioned boyfriend and I break up, and I am utterly devastated. I immediately go and spend about $700 on clothes (which to this day I do not regret) and bought every season of Sex & the City, determined to become Carrie Bradshaw and live a happy single life. The only problem is that Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and as much as I'd love to be satisfied just being a successful single Birmingham gal, I wanted a date. I needed a date. If for no other reason than to just get over my break-up. I honestly would have been satisfied with a cute-but-not-interested-in-a-commitment rebound dude to take me to IHOP and buy me some stuffed french toast. But little did I know, the Lord had other plans.
I knew that Dr. Wilhelm (the band's bass guitarist) saw a lot of drug reps come through his office. And we all know what it takes to be a drug rep - you have to be good looking, have good teeth, and know how to dress. These 3 qualities would suffice for a Valentine's date. So I told Dr. Wilhelm to find me a date for the big day. Three days later I get a voice mail from Dr. W that says,

"OK, here's the deal. He won't be in town for Valentine's Day because he's going skiing with his buddies. He leaves on February 13th. But he's agreed to take you out on the 12th. He's picking you up at 7:30pm so be ready."

That's it. No name, nothing. I immediately called him back and he told me the guy's name was Chad Morgan. I knew the name sounded familiar but couldn't remember why. But when February 12th rolled around, I was surprised to see the cute November boy standing at my door! I couldn't believe it was him. I was immediately nervous because I knew him...well, sort of...and I couldn't believe it was the same guy. We had a fabulous dinner and great conversation at The Village Tavern and the next day he left for his boys-only Colorado ski trip. He called me a week later from the airport in Vail and asked me if I wanted to get coffee sometime the next week. I agreed, of course, and I guess the rest is history. We were engaged 5 months later and got married on March 31, 2007!
One of the neatest things about our story is that when Dr. Wilhelm first called Chad about setting him up on this blind date for Valentine's Day, Chad was actually in Long Island, NY, on a sort-of job interview. He was looking at possibly taking a position there in Long Island to be a trainer for his pharmaceutical company! A couple months after we started dating, Chad was still entertaining the thought of leaving in the fall to take the job. I sent him an e-mail in April that said, "I don't know if you heard, but there was a freak flood in NY today and Long Island was completely washed away. Sorry about that." He stayed in Birmingham, of course, and I'm so glad he did! Here are just a few pictures from our first few months together...

In Texas visiting his grandparents (April 2006)


At the canyon in Texas...


One of our first dates to the Georgia Aquarium


At my friend Jenny's art show in Tuscaloosa

Monday, March 30, 2009

Baby Einstein


For all you Baby Einstein lovers out there, this one comes out tomorrow! I'm super excited about this because I want Mary Ella to grow to have a passion for all kinds of music! I have seen the previews for this one and it looks pretty good! We may enroll Mary Ella in Kindermusik in a few weeks so I'm hoping this will give us a jump start!

Menu Plan Monday


Menu Plan for this week:

Monday: Spinach Feta Florentine Chicken (this is one that I did NOT make a couple weeks ago due to our busy schedule!)

Tuesday: Dinner at Highlands Bar & Grille for our 2nd anniversary! Yum! (And we have a gift card! Hooray! Otherwise we would be eating at KFC.)

Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff, fresh peas and a salad (I'm not a huge fan, but Chad loves this so I make it for him.)

Thursday: Dijon Chicken, baked sweet potatoes and a citrus apple salad

Friday: BBQ Chicken Pizza, salad

Saturday: Beef & cheese enchiladas, black beans, chips & Salsa

Sunday: Leftovers

Did I mention I'm busy?

Wow. I have become one of those terrible bloggers who never update! My apologies to everyone who actually reads this.

My excuse is still that I am VERY BUSY! On top of being mother to a wild energetic nearly-9-month-old monkey, I have been going, going, going lately and haven't even had time to stop and read blogs, much less write about everything happening in my own life. In the past 2 weeks I have started working again (just one day a week - Chad's mom keeps Mary Ella), celebrated a friend's upcoming wedding with a bachelorette weekend, enjoyed a day at Six Flags with my husband, brother and cousins, and hosted a Pampered Chef party! Not to mention taking Mary Ella to the pediatrician for a fever, which turned out to be nothing at all (probably teething), and this past weekend we made a trip up to Huntsville for my brother's surprise party Friday night, then over to Florence for my grandparents' surprise birthday party on Saturday night. We rolled back into town around midnight last night, and we were (and are) exhausted! Chad left around 6am this morning to drive BACK to Huntsville to work. So needless to say I know he will be a zombie when he gets home!

So that is my excuse for the lack of posts. The weekend was great and I am glad we got to stay as long as we did and visit everyone. My grandparents were super surprised that we had planned a 70th birthday celebration for them. They loved all of their gifts, especially their book that I put together on MyPublisher.com. (An awesome website for scrapbooks, photo books, albums... great for gifts! And very reasonable!) The entire family was able to come and Gran & Gran were thrilled! We ate Bunyan's chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans, and some yummy homemade desserts.
My grandaddy also shared a story that no one in our family had ever heard before. He told us that when my brother Adam and I were 3 and 4 years old, he took us in his pickup truck to feed the cows (like he had done many, many times.) This was back when seatbelts were just a suggestion, so my brother and I were standing in the seat of his pickup truck while Grandaddy loaded the hay into the truck bed. After he got done, he got in and pulled the truck up the hill to my great-grandaddy's house, and he ran inside to tell my great-Grandaddy something. He left the truck running while he did this. When he came back out, the truck was no where in sight. He ran down the hill and found the truck, which had somehow rolled down the hill, and had crashed into the barn. He said Adam and I were still standing in the same positions with the "I didn't do it" looks on our faces. He said he was so scared and just never thought one of us would shift the gear. But oh yes, we did. I don't remember this, and neither does Adam, but we're pretty sure Adam was the one who decided to try and "drive" the truck. My parents were laughing so hard when they heard this story, because it's definitely not a surprise to hear something like this. But it was just funny that Grandaddy had never shared this until now. Guess he thought he'd get in trouble!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday


There are a few other mom bloggers that post their menu plans on their blogs every Monday, so I am going to start doing the same. So what's on the menu this week?

Monday: Pasta e Fagioli soup with warm tortilla crisps
Tuesday: Dinner at Shelley's (Bible study)
Wednesday: Chicken & cranberry pan sauce, mashed potatoes, salad
Thursday: Spinach Feta Florentine Chicken, angel hair pasta, salad and french bread
Friday: Beef and cheese enchiladas (For Chad and my Dad, who will be visiting; I will be out with my girlfriends for a Bachelorette party)
Saturday: Sandwiches and leftovers

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Busy

I've been busy lately. As you can all see by my lack of posts. Hopefully there will be more to come this week.
My Grandmother and Grandaddy are turning 70 this year (well, Grandmother already had her birthday on March 5th) and I have been working on a project for them that I can give to them next time I go home. So that has been occupying a LOT of my time. I'm not going to say what it is just yet because I'm afraid Grandmother reads this blog. It's going to be great, though. So there's my first excuse for not blogging.

This weekend was fun, despite the yucky rainy weather. Friday night we ate pizza and watched college basketball with Jamie and Les. Saturday we went to Jackie's birthday party and stuffed ourselves full of crawfish, potatoes, corn on the cob and cajun sausage. And today was our usual Sunday - worship, lunch, Wal-Mart, rest. Chad and I also watched the Dark Knight this afternoon. It was a good movie although I didn't really understand the whole plot, with the money and the investors and all the city officials, and I thought there were way too many characters and not enough explanation as to who those characters were and how they related to the story and to Gotham City. And I was confused on why Batman doesn't just kill Joker, when he has like a bazillion chances to do so. I have to say though, Heath Ledger was very believable and extremely creepy. Not sure he deserved to win the Oscar, but either way, an excellent portrayal of such a twisted character. R.I.P.

To leave on a good note, here are a few pictures from the last couple weeks...

Bathtime


"Brush away... tooth decay... up and down, brush away..." (that's the song we sing)


Best buddies

Thursday, March 5, 2009

When Daddy's in charge...

He takes me to a girl's favorite place...Best Buy! He lets me ride in the buggy like a big girl and I get to look at some of my favorite things... like high definition projector screens and GPS systems and iPhones... oh my!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

P is for PUFFS.

The other night while Chad and I were getting ready, I sat Mary Ella on our bed. I didn't have any clean toys handy for her to play with, so I reached into the diaper bag and grabbed the Gerber Puffs container and handed it to her. She likes to play with the container sometimes... and usually she just shakes it or bites it. But when I turned around moments later this is what I saw:







So we called in the emergency clean-up team.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Jason!



We love you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

8 Months Old

Mary Ella is 8 months old TODAY!

She is weighing in right at 20 lbs and I'm thinking she might be around 27.5 inches now. She's a long little girl so she may be taller than that now. Just a guess. She doesn't have to go back to Dr. Anderson until she is 9 months old, so we've got another month before any more shots, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that the sickness stays far, far away.

At 8 months old Mary Ella is even more curious and playful. She loves to sit on the floor and play with her toys. Her favorite toys are books (which she likes to chew on), and anything that makes some kind of noise. She can sit up and play for a pretty long time, but I'm afraid the sitting-in-one-place stage is nearly over. She is getting close to being able to crawl. She will get on all fours and rock back and forth like she wants to go somewhere, but she can't figure out that you have to actually lift your arms and legs to actually get somewhere. So she usually just rocks for a minute and then just belly flops onto the floor and flails her arms and legs, thinking (I guess) that she'll just "swim" to wherever she wants to go. Bless her. It's so cute. Eventually she gets tired of kicking and not going anywhere, so I usually have to pick her up and put her on her bottom again. It won't be long and she'll be going everywhere, though. Time to invest in a few baby gates.

Her favorite tricks are patting, kicking her legs when we hold her in mid air and say "Kick! Kick! Kick!", playing with her food, feeding Lucy her leftovers and "calling" Lucy with a clicking sound she makes with her tongue. She has also mastered the fake cough and the tantrum. Lovely. Her baby talk includes words like "Bubba," "Da-Da" and "yuh-yuh" and every once in a while I swear she says "Mama" when she's screaming her head off. Of course she does not associate these words with anything/anyone yet. But we still think she's gifted. :)

She is still an eater, and a good one, too. The only thing she's ever completely rejected was plain avocado, which, who can blame her? I bet if I mixed it with banana she'd eat it. In addition to milk, she eats 3 meals of baby food every day - cereal and fruit for breakfast, a veggie and a fruit for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I try to add those Gerber meats, but to tell you the truth, they gross me out and I really just can't bear to make her eat them. Yuck. Ham in a jar = disgusting. Her favorite snacks are Puffs and Yogurt Melts. She ate her first few bites of birthday cake at Addie Jane's party Saturday night and couldn't get enough! She loved it. I'm glad she's not too picky.

She is working on drinking from a sippy cup, but so far just gets frustrated with it. We'll have to keep trying. I am trying to find a good transitional sippy cup for her to use. I have the Nuk brand (same as her bottles) and it's supposed to be a good training cup, but so far it has not eased the transition too well. I hope that changes!

I am so thankful that I've been able to stay home with her. It has been the most wonderful blessing in the world. Although some days I worry about not having tons of money to buy the things I'd like to have or to fix up my house the way I want it, or not being able to save as much as I'd like to, I know at the end of the day that I've made the right decision and that I'm spending priceless time with my daughter; time I will never get back. So for that I am thankful, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy 8 Months, Mary Ella! I love you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow Day

Dearest Winter,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...



I love how you make my backyard look like something out of a fairytale.







I love eating snowballs with my Daddy.









I love riding down the hills in my rubber ducky [bathtub] sled.








I love making snow angels.







Winter, I apologize, as I was clearly unaware of your capabilities. I love you.
(Can we keep the snow? Please?)

Sincerely,
Mary Ella Morgan
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