Monday, July 21, 2014

Family Visit


We have only been in our house for about 5 months but we have already had plenty of guests. I'm so glad that we are able to host friends and loved ones. Our house feels like a bit of a retreat and I'm thankful that we can share that experience with others.


This weekend my aunt and her family drove over from Ashland City, TN. Daniel had to work for part of the weekend, which meant he didn't get to visit much, but it was nice for Jack and I to have visitors.


Jack must really be missing Daniel because once my aunt, uncle and cousins arrived he was really wound up. I don't think I have ever seen him so hyper and excited. 


We let him stay up late all weekend which meant he slept in (score!). Unfortunately it was rainy and foggy the whole time my family was here, but we all enjoyed being lazy and drinking coffee and visiting.


Saturday night after dinner, my Aunt Becky mentioned that Daniel and I could sneak out for a date if we wanted. It hadn't even crossed our mind to do this because Daniel had just worked about 100 hours in 8 days and we were both exhausted.


But we felt like we couldn't turn down a date opportunity, so we decided to leave bedtime duties to my aunt and cousin and we went to Nino's Pastaria (now just called Hummingbird Pastaria) for coffee and dessert.


I'm so grateful that my aunt suggested that we sneak off. It is the first time in two weeks that Daniel and I had had a semi-long conversation. We left the restaurant at 9:30pm and realized that closing time was 9! Thankfully they didn't hurry us out, and there were a few other tables still eating when we left.


For Sunday lunch, Daniel's dad and his wife joined us. As I prepped our burgers I realized we had no propane in our grill. We have been talking about refilling it but Daniel has been so busy with work that he hadn't gotten around to it. Thankfully our friends on the mountain came to the rescue. Daniel hurried over to the Reynolds and picked up a propane tank. Lunch was late but that gave us time to visit.


We had a lovely weekend and Jack loved all of the extra attention.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Keeping Busy While Daddy Works


Daniel has been working a lot over the last two weeks. As in, he's only had one day off and he happened to be sick on that particular day. 


I have been coping with my current "almost-single-parent" status by keeping us as busy as possible. If you can wear your child out so that he will take a long afternoon nap, that is the definition of a mommy win.


On Monday-Thursday we typically go to the Y so that I can have some "me time" and Jack can have some fun with other kids. 


In addition to the Y, we have been hitting up local library story hours. Last week the Signal Mountain Library hosted the Chattanooga Aquarium. The speaker brought animals that live in Tennessee – things likes snakes, lizards and turtles. It was a good talk but a little long winded for my squirmy two-year old.


Last Friday I gave Jack the choice between going to the pool or the Creative Discovery Museum


He chose to go "dig dinosaurs." We had a lot of fun, playing with all of the exhibits at the museum. I love that we can easily go and spend 2+hours at the museum. It never gets old for Jack.


Right now they have a Wizard of Oz exhibit in their upstairs area. Jack had fun pretending to gather eggs, climbing the castle slide and brushing the cowardly lion's hair.


This week we spent all day Wednesday with friends. Jack didn't nap and somehow made it through the day.  I guess having 7 other kids to play with can keep any toddler going.


Thursday we went to the Zumbini music class on the mountain. This is our second time and Jack loved it. I think drums are his favorite. 


After Zumbini, we went to the Chattanooga Zoo with our new friends from the class. The zoo was cute. Just big enough for a toddler to run around and look at all of the exhibits without having to take a stroller with you.


We started out the visit with a train ride and ended our trip on the carousel. The Coolidge Park carousel is better, but this was still a fun experience for Jack.


I am so thankful we live somewhere where it is easy to get out and do lots of activities for Jack (that don't really cost anything). 


We will be so glad when Daniel gets back to his normal working schedule and can do some fun activities with us.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Then and Now

70s Roller Skating Trip, Spring 2001

Since having one of my college roommates visit last week, I have been thinking about some of the differences in my life since my college days.

Swimming at Heber Springs, not sure year, maybe 2001?

In college, eating a pizza at midnight was no big deal.
Now, late-night pizza would give me heartburn and mean exhaustion the next morning. Instead a bowl of frozen yogurt after putting Jack to bed is more my speed. That and going to sleep by 10pm.

Hanging out with friends, possibly Spring 2001?

In college, going out to eat meant fast food (and a break from the cafeteria). It was cheap and I had no money.
These days, going out to eat means a nice break from cooking and dishes... and it's NEVER fast food.

Spring Sing, Spring 2001

In college I collected all of my favorite music on CDs.
Now I listen to the local 80s and 90s radio station or Pandora. Mostly "classic" rock and lots of kids music as well.

Zurich, Switzerland, Summer 1999

In college, I went to the movies almost every weekend.
Currently watching a movie in a theater is a treat. I think we go twice a year. For one thing it got expensive, but mostly, we haven't really found a babysitter.

San Diego, Spring Break 2000

In college, gas cost between $0.70 and $1.10 a gallon.
These days gas never costs less than $3.00 a gallon.

Caving Trip, Spring 2001

In college my social life revolved around meeting up with friends in the caf or student center and figuring out what to do.
Now, social life is going to the gym and chatting with other moms on the playground. My friends tend to be the parents of Jack's friends.

Club Pledging Week, Fall 2001

In college, I took 18-20 hours every semester and worked as many hours as I could waiting tables at the Dixie Cafe.
After 8+ years working as a full-time graphic designer, I am now a full-time stay-at-home mom. On the side I do some freelance design projects (often late at night or during Jack's naptime).

Above Multnomah Falls, Oregon, Spring Break 2001

In college, I liked to spend weekends hiking, camping, canoeing or caving (anything outdoors).
I still love to do those things but have to plan a little more to accommodate our almost-three-year-old.

Rome, Italy, Summer 1999

In college vacation meant going home for the summer, couch surfing or camping.
Now a vacation means renting a vacation home for a week and enjoying the mountains or the beach with my little family.

Toronto, Ontario, Spring Break 2002

Speaking of vacation, Daniel has been working long hours with very few days off... I think it's about time we took a vacation.
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