Monday, December 12, 2011

Morgantown Christmas Parade 2011

When I heard an announcement on the radio for the 2011 Christmas parade in Morgantown, I immediately marked it on my calendar (set a reminder on my phone).  Kerriann is a huge fan of parades and I knew that she would love it!  

It was extremely hard to get her to stay in her stroller and/or sit still, but I think the outing was a success regardless!  

When the bands started to march past I decided to let her get down because she wanted to dance so bad. She was trying to dance in her stroller and I was afraid she was going to tip it over haha!

She was also a huge fan of the candy they were throwing.  Most of it was not age appropriate which was a rough point in the night, but I tried to distract her by telling her that there would be a few M&Ms waiting for her at home if she was a good girl.

Kerriann even loved the firetrucks as they drove by blaring their sirens.

When it was time to go home, she cried and begged to stay longer.  If it had been a few degrees warmer, we would have stayed until the end, but after 45 minutes my toes were numb and I knew hers must have been too.  We just happened to be in the right place at the right time, because as we were walking to the car we passed Santa and one of his helpers on the street.  After accepting a few pieces of chocolate from them, we were on our way home.  Hopefully there will be another parade to take Kerriann to sooner rather than later!

Past Few Weeks in iPhone Photos

I feel like now is a good time to dump a lot of the photos that I've been forgetting to upload from my phone.  Some of them are pretty old (and random) but bear with me.  They're too cute not to share!

Kerriann can now drink out of a "big girl" cup on her own

Playing with Tica at my dad's

Edible Arrangement that Kevin sent for us on Thanksgiving

Opening her first Christmas gift of the season

 The Little People nativity scene from the Walsh's!

My first turkey!

Breakfast (right after bath time, excuse the crazy hair!)

Being silly

Bath time!

Modeling her festive new shirt

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

This year I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time.  While I was a little nervous at first, I think I did a great job at rising to the challenge!  My Aunt Sherrie coached me and everyone brought something to contribute to the dinner.  This was the first year that one of the "kids" took over, so we will see if this is a new tradition or if the "parents" resume handling the Thanksgiving festivities next year.  

My famous apple spice cake... seriously... it's getting quite the reputation for being the only gluten-free thing people have tried and actually loved!

I also attempted (aka slaved over all afternoon) gluten free rolls.  They were not that amazing, but with a little honey cinnamon butter or gravy on top they were edible!

I know I say this far too often, but the only thing missing from Thanksgiving was Kevin.  He was so thoughtful to send this Edible Arrangement for all of us to enjoy.  We were lucky enough to be able to Skype with him right before dinner so everyone was able to say hello.

I'm so happy that my family was able to travel to be with us this year for Thanksgiving!  It really helped to keep me from dwelling on the fact that Kevin was gone, and I really had a great time visiting with everyone.

End of Semester Madness

Life has been seriously crazy the past two weeks!  We had an amazing Thanksgiving, but I wouldn't even say my ten days off was a "break."  We were so busy the entire time, maybe even more busy than we are during typical school weeks.  I have a lot more to share about that, including pictures, so I'll try to get around to more updates sometime this weekend!

Next week I will be finishing up the semester at school so that is keeping me extremely busy as well.  I just want to finish so I can focus on the holidays and all of the fun that comes along with them!  I hope all of our friends and family are doing well!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10 weeks

10 weeks... 10 weeks!  We are officially 10 weeks closer to the end of Kevin's deployment.

I am a firm believer in the fact that it is totally possible to turn a horrible day around after waking up on the wrong side of the bed.  I don't know what my issue was this morning, but I was in the worst mood.  We were able to Skype with Kevin for a few minutes after not really talking to him much the past week, and I have felt guilty all day that I wasn't in a better mood for our chat.  He's been sick and extremely busy on top of that, so I know it wasn't that he was trying to ignore us, but not being able to REALLY talk to him lately has been getting to me.  I'm sure all spouses have these moments while their better halves are deployed, but that doesn't make it ok.

After we ended our conversation and as I was driving Kerriann to school, it really started to hit me that I had no reason to be in a funk.  As of now, Kevin is safe, and that is all that I should really care about.  I am extremely thankful that he is not in a more dangerous situation, and that we are able to talk as much as we do.  I know it could be much worse.  I just need to keep this in the front of my mind as I wake up each morning, instead of being greedy and always wishing for more.

So as I drove home after dropping Kerriann off, I made a vow to be productive the rest of the day and also to be thankful for what I have.

With Christiane's help, we cleaned almost the entire house today and I did all of the grocery shopping for our big Thanksgiving feast on Thursday.  I also got to visit with my good friend, Kat, who hadn't seen Kerriann in ages.

She was so sweet and even brought her ice cream!

It was so great having her company tonight, and I really hope we can hang out again soon!

All in all, it was a great day, and I'm so glad that I had the chance to turn my day around early, instead of sulking all afternoon and evening.  I think it's important that we all take a look at what we already HAVE this week, instead of what we wish we had.  I'm so thankful for the life that I've been given, and if it came down to it I wouldn't change a thing (well... maybe except for bringing Kevin home ;)).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend at Grandma's

On Friday we packed up and decided to get out of Morgantown for a few days and spend some time with my parents.  We had a nice, quiet weekend in Gassaway.  We didn't really do much, but Kerriann really enjoyed herself.  She had plenty of time to play with her toys ("my toys" as she says) and read all of the special books that she loves from MY childhood...

Take "naps" with her babies and kitty on the floor... because she doesn't actually nap on the weekends anymore... only for her teachers at school!

As I'm looking back through these photos, I'm wondering if she needed this quiet weekend more than I did.  All weekend her favorite game was finding new places to snuggle up and lay down with her babies... including our suitcase full of clothes...

and the couch for a few cartoons this morning...

We were also able to see my dad and all of the guys a few times this weekend.  Everyone comes in to go hunting the week of Thanksgiving and most of them came in on Saturday to help do some work around the farm.  We had some great meals with them and Kerriann was the life of the party, as usual!  She even got her first bloody lip... she was really one of the guys haha!

Now we are back in Morgantown and trying to prepare for Thanksgiving on Thursday.  I will be hosting (with a little help from Aunt Sherrie) at my house for the first time this year, so there is a lot to be done between now and then.  Wish me luck, and if you're in Morgantown, feel free to stop by and visit us!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Night Burgers

Tonight Christiane joined us for burgers topped with guacamole and it was a huge hit with all of us, especially Kerriann.

She was in heaven dipping her burger (and fingers) into the guacamole and ketchup!  She is a huge fan of any kind of sauce or dip.

At least avocados are healthy!

Tea Time

On Saturday Kerriann, Christiane and I went to Aunt Sherrie's house for a tea party!

I really felt spoiled after eating this delicious meal.  Aunt Sherrie was so accommodating of my crazy gluten and dairy free diet, yet everything still tasted amazing.  She made a white bean soup, tea sandwiches (on GF bread) and dairy and gluten free chocolate cookies.  Cooking for myself every day really makes me appreciate having someone else's home cooked meal.  Why does it always taste better when someone else makes it for you?  Has anyone else noticed that?  Anyways... I am definitely going to be asking for the soup and cookie recipes for the future.

After tea, we decided to take a trip to the game farm since the weather was so beautiful.  

For those of you who are not from WV, the game farm is a sort of wildlife preserve (I'm not sure what they technically call it) that has animals that are native to WV, they are just fenced in in their natural surroundings.  Kerriann went the previous weekend with Aunt Sherrie and Uncle John and was excited to be going back again so soon.

All three of us had a great time with Uncle John and Aunt Sherrie.  It is so nice living close to them again!