30 October, 2012

Evie Bee

Since almost day one, Evie earned the nickname "Little B" from me, and "Little Bit" from her daddy. This has escalated into Evie having "Bee" things, like her lunch box for the sitters and her backpack for Nana's house.

When Eric's sister called and offered to make Evie a Halloween costume (yes, please, I don't do Halloween) she asked what Evie wanted to "be" for Halloween (see what I did there?).  I knew instantly that Evie needed to be a Little Bee!

Aunt Leeann and Grandma did an outstanding job making Evie's little costume from scratch!

We had a great time "walking" around their neighborhood Fall festival.  We can't wait for next year when Evie can actually do things like the pony rides and bounce house.

This year we just stuck to the swings...and tried the slide, but she's just not into sliding yet.

14 October, 2012

I'll stop the world and melt with you* {Happy 30 to me}

According to Ask.com (It's the new dictionary), 
The 30th birthday is special. You are now officially a mature and responsible adult who has the necessary wisdom to make important decisions in life. The 30th birthday heralds your adult status with measured indulgence. 

This statement is exactly what I thought 30 to be like as I watched my friend's [much older] older siblings turned 30.  I thought they had the world figured out. Ha!  More like, at 30 I realize how little I know about the world.  I do feel like I have the "necessary wisdom to make important decisions in life"  which still, often results in a call to Mom and Dad.  Knowing when to call for help is wise, right?

All sentiment aside, the actual turning of 30 was a grand celebration.  My husband and sister threw a small party for me.  They served all my favorite foods, including diet staple, grilled cheese. (HHhmmm maybe THIS is why I can't seem to lose that muffin top.)

 (for those of you always asking, these are "Totchos")

 After lots of tasty appetizers, it was time for the real feast. The make-your-own grilled cheese "bar".  There were four choices of breads, all from the Publix bakery. 

  Eric went to Star Provisions to pick up lots of fancy, local cheeses.
He also picked up some store brand cheeses for some extra melty goodness.  A variety of seasoning were available as well. 
 Soften butter, bacon, and tomatoes rounded out the fixings for the grilled cheese bar.  
Let the games begin!
 Look who is hiding in this picture with Eric.  The one and only Rosemary Walsh.  She made a cameo for my big day!  Such a good surprise!!!

Melty goodness for everyone.  So good!  

Sam, Eric and Sean also brewed me my very own birthday beer, "Betty Buergler's Birthday Brown Ale" (Not to be confused the one they brewed for Evie when she was born, "Baby Buergler's Birth_Day Brown Ale")  The remaining keg is at home on our tap.  Not only is it my favorite style of beer, but they did a great job with it as well! Thank you, guys!
Me and Leeann (Eric's sister).  The over 30 club. 
We're almost exactly two months apart. I married a younger man, remember?

 And to make my birthday EVEN BETTER, my husband ordered Dorothy Lane Market Killer Brownies as my "cake".   I discovered these unique-to-Dayton-Ohio goodies on my birthday my sophomore year of college.  Now it just isn't my birthday with out them. 

Thank you for such a thoughtful celebration.  And thanks to everyone who grabbed my camera for pictures.  I'm just sorry it wasn't on the correct settings!

It's great to know I'm SO loved!!!

Now that I am thirty, I reviewed my 30x30 list.  What should I do next?

*Modern English (This line always makes me think of grilled cheese mmmm)

10 October, 2012

The Real Story of How We Met The Second Time.

A little over six years ago I agreed to go to a Braves game with my friend Sarah and her then boyfriend slash boss.  She had four tickets so to fill the fourth seat she invited her friend Eric that she knew from Notre Dame who also lived in Atlanta to join us.

That day was really awkward and not suitable for print. (Please join me in laughing if you know the Real Story of How We Met The First Time. Or email me if you really want to know.)

Fast forward a month or two. It was now football season 2006. Since Sarah graduated from Saint Mary's at Notre Dame, she was hosting a Notre Dame game-watch party at her parents' (who, gasp, weren't home for the week) house.

I knew we would be drinking and staying up late so I made arrangements to stay the night at Sarah's parents' house. As I drove up to the house I saw Sarah sitting on the front porch with someone.  I couldn't see who it was, or even if the person was male or female.

As I pulled in the garage, as I was previously instructed, I pulled up next to a black Jeep Wranger with the top down.  

Be still my heart.

Time out for a little back story.  I come from a family of Jeep owners.  My aunts and uncles have all owned them, my grandparents have one at their cabin, and my best guy-friend drove one.  It is rite of passage in my family to learn how to drive a manual so you can drive the Jeeps.

Now back to the story.

I knew the Jeep was neither Sarah's nor her parents'.  I was instantly in love with this Jeep and therefore it's owner.

As I blindly walked from the garage around to the front porch I yelled over to Sarah and her mystery guest, "Whoever owns that Jeep, I want to have your babies!!" (Did anyone else use that phrase to express extreme "love" of something or was that just my group of friends?)

At this moment a brown-haired head popped up over the railing to acknowledge me.

It was Eric.

I was both humiliated and intrigued at the same time. While I had enjoyed my time with Eric at the Braves game and thought he was rather cute, I wasn't really interested in dating since my heart had just been broken twice in six months.

Gulp.  I blushed.  I am not usually so forward, or casual with expressing wanting to have babies with someone, even if it was a silly catch phrase.

That night something happened.  For the first time in my dating history a guy made the first move.

We had a great time hanging out at the party.  Eric followed me around a little bit, but wasn't clingy.  We made small talk. We partnered up for a few drinking games.  And he sat by me during the post Notre Dame game movie night.

At some point during the night (pre-drinking games) he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride in the Jeep.  I agreed.  I saw that it was a manual and commented that I knew how to drive it.  He made up some dumb cute excuse about not knowing the roads in the area so he asked if I wanted to drive.  Yes.  Duh.  So off we went cruising into the starry night.

We laughed.  Everything just seemed natural.  I felt normal and comfortable around him.  So when he called Sarah the next Friday while she and I were out and asked for my number I said yes with a little hop in my step.  A boy with a Jeep.

Well friends, that boy with a Jeep became a husband three years ago today.  And a daddy a year ago next month.  Jeep Wranglers aren't known for their safety or gas milage.  So with Eric's new job being so far away and our new house being an additional 5 miles (which in Atlanta terms means 25 minutes of traffic) from the high way, we needed something more economical.  And with moving we will not longer be at the crossroads of a highway and major thoroughfare, and therefore can no longer be a one-carseat-car family.

With heavy hearts and tears in our eyes, Eric sold our beloved Jeep in exchange for a daddy-commuter car.

It was the best thing to do for the environment, wallet and time, but Oh So Hard on our memory and emotions.  The Jeep was the spark that started it all....

Happy Three Year Anniversary, my love!!  I am so glad I met you (again) that day.  I love every little detail about you, including your weird pinky toe.  But most especially how you make me a better person, challenge me, and are my steady rock.  Thank you for all that you have sacrificed for me and Evie.  The car is merely a symbol of all that you have done for us.  I love you!!

Engagement Day AnniversaryFirst Anniversary | Second Anniversary

Join me in remembering our beloved Jeep... 
* The ride to tell his sister we were pregnant (and a picture of Eric's mustache)
*Bailing us out of Snowcation 2011
* R&R on President's Day
* Bringing home Baby Girl's Crib

07 October, 2012

Evie: 10 Months

I wrote this a month ago, but never got around to uploading the pictures, sorry for the delay! Evie turns 11 months tomorrow!

Weight: 24.5
Length/Height: ~30 inches
Eats: 3 solid meals, one snack, 30oz of formula, 5+oz of water
Diapers: no change
Clothes: 18 months, with a few random 12 months

Firsts for Evie
August 17
Finally started crawling!!

August 23-Sept 2 (Ireland week)
Spent the week shuffling between grandparents' houses
Cut her a top front tooth! (the other is on it's way!)
Ice cream cone with Nana & Grandpa

Sept 5
Started going to a sitter on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with a co-worker's son

Evie doesn't seem to have as many fun "firsts" but she is checking off milestones like crazy!  She has finally reached the object permanence phase.  She looks for things when we ask where they are.  She knows which room we are in when we call her.

New foods: scrambled eggs, toast or pancakes, mixed veggies, ravioli with sauce, meatballs

Evie is starting to say a few words with correct associations: dada, mama, and dog.

Waves hello, goodbye, and any time she wants to say "hi"

Has mastered crawling.  She even carries things around with her, like Delaney, but most especially the Roku remote.

She loves to look in boxes for toys, and helps herself to her toy bins.

Evie no longer sleeps with a blanket or pacifier.  She is in a great nap and bed time routine (finally!)

Loves playing with all sorts of toys, and non-toys (boxes, purses, diaper bag, tupperware, etc), but has her favorite Sophie, Delaney, and Glowie.  

Trying to pull her self up, but can only do it with the help of mom or dad.

Finally learned how to drink from a sippy cup.  She's mastered a real cup (with help) and a straw.

Can hold her own bottle, including the 10oz glass ones.

Likes to read books and turn the pages.
Likes to sleep on her stomach with her face wedged in the corner
Like to "help" making her bottles. Laughs when it's time to "shake-a-shake-a-shake"
Doesn't like stage 2 baby food. Spits it out all over the place.
Doesn't like being in a room alone. She'll cry if she can't see one of us.

Evie eats like a champion!  She had mostly self weened from purees before we left for Ireland and by the time we returned she was only eating table food and the occasional stage 3.  We give her just about everything we're eating for dinner as long as it's not too chewy, tough or spicy.  She loves to feed herself, as is very dainty about it, but she takes FOREVER!

We've packed up the Exersaucer and Johnny Jump Up.  This girl loves to crawl and stand!

She mostly skipped the 12 month clothes.  She lasted in 9 months forever and then I unpacked the 12 and they already seemed too small.  She can still wear 12 month dresses, but she is a solid 18 months!

She's held to her same schedule from last month.  This has been a huge blessing to Eric and I.  We feel like we can plan stuff around her now that she's fairly predicable. 

She's still waking up about once a night, though she's getting better at calming her self back to sleep and doesn't need a clean diaper or bottle.  We're hoping for a few all-nighters again soon!

Her naps are getting shorter. They've gone from about 2 hours twice a day, to 45-90 minutes twice a day.  Some mornings she only sleeps about 30 minutes.  I am thinking the one nap a day might be around the corner (oh, sad day!)

What they say...
"Savor this time...college is around the corner"
"Enjoy her now before she can talk back!"
"No seriously, she is the cutest baby"

We are...
Itching to buy a house. We'd love to have more room for her to play!
Really enjoying the phase of crawling, exploring, snuggling, peek-a-booing, reading stories, and watching our Little Bit grow and learn
Ready for her to flip her carseat around (though we have to wait another year!)
Thinking of trading in the Wrangler for a more suitable Daddy car.
Loving that Eric has been home all month to help care for and play with Evie!

30 before 30... Revisiting The List.

Well friends, it's true. I turned 30. I celebrated the much anticipated Golden Birthday. In honor of The Big Day, I am going to review the thirty things I wanted to complete before I turned 30.

30 Before 30

Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride, completed in July 2012.  
I was able to soar 3,000 feet in the air over Asheville, North Carolina. Incredible.

Take a Photography Class, completed May 2011. 
My Dad and I took a course on how to use our DSLRs in full manual mode.

Lose and Keep Off 12 pounds, no progress
As I started this challenge I sprained my ankle and shortly after recovering got pregnant. Battled post-partum depression...and well....I now need to lost closer to 30 pounds. Gulp.

Run a second half marathon, completed Feb, 2011 and April, 2012 
I had to walk both due to the issues list above. I give myself full credit, I walked two half marathons!!

Compete in a second Iron Girl or “real” sprint triathlon
See # 3

Run a Muddy Buddy or Warrior Dash type race
See #3

Be Debt Free, completed September 2011
Hell Yeah! Read our week long series on our debt freedom story!

Save up a 20% down payment for a house, completed September 2012
We're moving in November!

Go to a Dayton-Xavier game as an alum, partial credit
Between the game schedules and my calendar, I could not make it to a game Dayton-Xavier game. Though I did go to a game in Charlotte, NC

Volunteer with the Sisters of Charity twice, no progress
Sadly, I didn't even make the effort. I did think about it but I just couldn't get out of my comfort zone to go.

Actually finish Jane Austen’s Emma, incomplete
I picked it up a few times, but never made it to the end. I regret not reading more while on bedrest instead of being addicted to playing solitaire on my iPad

Return to Mustard Seed Nicaragua, decided not to
Eric and I had the opportunity to go, but we prayerfully declined. It just something you have to be called to and that's not where we are right now. Some day we will go back there.

Visit Ireland and Scotland, August 2012
Yes!! We made a huge effort to make this happen. It took two years of savings and a lot of planning, but we made it to Ireland. We decided against traveling to Scotland. It would have wasted at least a day of travel.

Add 3 new more airports to my list, completed August 2012
b) Dublin, Ireland
c) Belfast, Northern Ireland 
(I did not actually take a flight to/from here, but since we rented a car, bought coffee, and went to the bathroom, Amanda and Eric said I could count it!)

Hike a Volcano or 14k footer, not attempted
I don't know what I was thinking. I saw this on someone else's blog and thought it sounded cool. This would have required a trip out West or to Hawaii.

Visit David and Paige for a non-holiday / no reason trip, completed April 13-15, 2012
We packed up Little Bit and spent a fun weekend with my brother, his wife, and their son (who is only 5 months older than Evie)

Have a Baby (God willing!) 
Read Evie's Birth story, 11/8/11

Go skiing (preferably out west), incomplete
We talked about this a few times like when or if, but put our travel money towards other things. It's still on the list.

Go to Las Vegas or San Diego, incomplete
We had planned a trip to Vegas with Eric's family. But, by the time it rolled around I was 8 months pregnant. I figured Vegas was the last place I wanted to be.

Commit to a Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, total fail
I didn't even try.

Attend daily Mass during Lent (one Lent), attempted
I decided to do this for Lent in 2011 but about a week in I was soooo tiiireeed all the time. Oh, then I found out I was pregnant. I started sleeping about 10 hours a night so this one quickly faded out. And there was no way this was going to happen with a 3-4 month old in 2012. Those who can do that, I am very impressed.

Take a cake decorating class, attempted
I signed up twice but work got in the way. I did teach myself how to use fondant and decorated a few cakes for parties. I still need a lot of practice, but I am pleased.

Buy a sewing machine and learn how to use it, intentionally did not complete
I decided before I bought a machine I should learn how to use one and then decide if it's a hobby I'd like to take up. I worked on two sewing projects, one with my mom and one with my friend Lisa, and well...I can say that sewing is not a hobby for me right now. I'd rather focus on a few other things than learn something new. This will stay on a list for the future, but it's not a right now thing.

Visit a small town for lunch, completed
The original goal for this was an intentional visit to a new small town for a lunch, but we live near a historical small town, visit a small town in North Carolina on a regular basis. We also dined at plenty of small towns in Ireland. I think I met this one on technicality.

Learn to make homemade gnocchi, not completed.
Oops. I forgot this was even on here.

Have a friends weekend at the cabin, not completed.
But we did have a siblings only weekend, which was awesome.

Learn to use Indesign and Photoshop, I give myself a B+
Instead of Photoshop I learned Lightroom. Indesign is like sewing, it's another hobby I will take up once I've become more proficient at some other skills.

Have blog visitors from all 50 states, completed May 2011
Hooray! Thank you!

Earn the Pizzaiolo Badge on Foursquare...visit 20 different pizzerias. (10/28/11)
This badge used to be a big deal before they changed how you earn it. You used to have to visit 20 unique pizzerias to earn the badge (which is what I did), but now you earn it after 5 and then "level up" for every additional five. This isn't nearly as prestigious

Earn my Brewniversity Master Degree at Taco Mac, in complete.
I did my best for being pregnant and nursing during most of the time I had this challenge running. I had 125 unique beers on my beer list before I started this challenge. My goal was to reach 225 (a Master's Degree) before I turned 30. I only made it to 161.

Overall I only truly completed 11 out of 30. A few of these I could have made a better effort. I also realized that this list wasn't well thought out. A lot of them involved money. To get out of debt and save 20% for a house prevented traveling out West, skiing, and buying expensive software. Having a baby prevented me from drinking beer, going to Vegas, or hiking a volcano. Blah, blah, excuses! Only kidding.

This list was purely for fun. And honestly, I think I shall consider myself very successful for turning 30. I am married to an incredible guy and have a beautiful daughter, and this is all that really matters :)

I want to start a new list. I already have a few ideas.  I am just not sure the time frame I want to give myself.  Turning 40 seems SO far away...and who knows what life will be like then.  We might finally get those hovercrafts I have been patiently waiting for.

06 October, 2012

So, we're buying a house...

Eric and I have taken the plunge.  After 3-4 years of kicking butt to get out of debt (including car payments!), living on a tight budget, and saving like crazy, we did the math and it's time for us to take the next big step!

We have loved apartment life, especially when we were so busy.  It was nice to lock the door and leave for 10 days without even thinking.  It was nice not to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, or worry about maintenance.  All we had to do was clean.  I am seriously going to miss this "easy" living.

But, after patiently saving and waiting, we're excited to have some growing room. Our current situation is starting to feel like we're living in an IKEA ad. (though I know Rosemary in New York would probably kill for our sized apartment)

Don't get me wrong, we could very easily stay here.  It's comfortable and very do-able, we're just excited that we can spread out a little bit.

It's not just the space we're excited about.  We're excited for:

  • non-fluorescent overhead lights
  • heck, natural light!
  • windows that open more than 6 inches
  • a cross breeze in our house
  • not having 6 air handlers outside our bedroom
  • not having 2, 50 lb dogs living above us
  • line drying clothes and diapers OUTSIDE
  • composting
  • gardening
  • a real garage (aka getting the bikes out of the baby's room!)
  • the opportunity for a deep freezer to buy bulk grass fed meat
  • a full sized refrigerator
  • a pantry
  • a fire place
  • a yard
  • a drive way for Evie to ride her little toys on instead of a hall way
  • a living room big enough to have more than 2 additional adults and 1 additional toddler over at a time! 
  • hosting playgroup
  • hosting couple's bible study
  • a place to spray paint and paint so we can finally do some DIY projects
  • Walkable to: Dunkin Donuts, Pizza, Kohls, Trader Joes, Moe's, Starbucks, a Catholic Church, and TACO MAC!!!

I think living in an apartment after living in my parent's posh house between college and marriage has given me more appreciation for the little things that I used to take for granted.

Obviously there are set backs to having a house like home maintenance, lawn mowing, HOA dues, and  more expensive problems that could go wrong.  But, we are now at a place in our lives and lifestyle that we are really ready to give up apartment life for a house.  Financially we're in a place that it actually makes sense.  It feels good.

So the nitty gritty?  We are under contract and aren't scheduled to close until mid-November.  Most of the paper work and negotiating is done.  The long closing was agreed upon since the sellers don't have a new place lined up, and I am busy with work and Eric with a new job until then anyway.  No rush.

I keep having to pinch myself that this is real! 

02 October, 2012

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Because I work on Sundays, I take a day during the normal work week "off".  I don't answer emails, I don't take phone calls, and I don't go into the office.

Because Eric is working from home until November, we've have taken advantage of our unusual weekday family time.

Last Tuesday we woke up to a beautiful day.  Low 80s and not a cloud in the sky.  I craved the outdoors.

I randomly said, "Let's go to the Botanical Gardens".  I've never been there.  And it's practically Fall.  I figured there wouldn't be much to see, but we decided to go anyway.

Thank you to the almighty Internet, I found 2-for-1 tickets, and children under 2 are free.  Sweet.

Eric and I packed up Evie and we were out the door, in the car, and headed to downtown Atlanta.  Yes, our botanical gardens are in the middle of the city.

Despite being surrounded by skyscrapers and traffic jams, this little verdure haven had a terrific display of fall flowers, grasses, and lively green houses.  We were excited to see so many unexpected blooms (and bees!)

 (and this is why you don't wear bright white to a photo shoot at noon on a cloudless day)

Evie was such a trooper.  She had fun touching the plants, walking through the misty green house, and watching the fish ponds.  We're hoping to take her this winter to the Garden Lights with the hot chocolate and blankets.

While we were there, we got word that we had a showing at a house.....

But more on that later :)