Monday, July 23, 2012

Baby Alphabet Book

For our niece, Payton's birthday Nick and I made her a custom alphabet book.  

We used an online photobook company to put it together.  Each letter has pictures of family or of Payton doing something like napping or going to the zoo.  Here are a couple of the pages:

G is for Grandparents

L is for Lake
M is for Mommy

S is for Sister

V is for Very Busy
W is for Wedding

Y is for You
The other letters were:
A- Aunts
I-Itty Bitty Payton
J- John Deere
O-Ohio State
P-Pictures (we used pictures of art that Payton had created at school)
Q- Quite Happy
V-Very Busy
W- Wedding
X- X-mas
Y- You
Z- Zoo

It wasn't the easiest thing in the world to put together and as you can see we had to stretch a bit for some of the letters, but in the end I am pretty happy with how it turned out and hopefully Payton has not only an educational book but also a keepsake!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baby Bucket List

Now that Nick and I have been married almost a year the most frequently asked question we get asked, I am sure comes to no surprise, "When are you having kids?"  Actually some people started asking us that question pretty much the day after we got married but they shall remain nameless :)  My usual response is either "someday" or my favorite response "Its at the end of our 5 year plan, we just haven't decided when our 5 year plan is going to start."  The real answer however, is just that there are a few things that we would like to do before we are responsible for a tiny human.  On one of our many road trips lately we decided to make a list of all the things we would like to do before having a baby;

Our Baby Bucket List: 

  1. Both of us would like to complete a Triathlon
  2. Finish the basement
  3. Go on another all inclusive vacation
  4. Pay off debt
  5. Learn to kayak
  6. Leave the hemisphere 
  7. Lose a combined 60lbs
  8. Go to Vegas
  9. Vacation with friends
  10. Nick wants to relearn to play the piano
  11. I want to relearn to use my sewing machine
Now we both know that somethings are out of our control and people have unplanned babies all the time.  We also know it is probably unlikely we will accomplish everything on our list but we figure we are much more likely to at least accomplish some if we don't set goals! 

We will keep you posted on our progress and until then we are happily living baby free!  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bye Bye Mr. Kookaburra

or at least your sweet gum tree.  If you don't know that reference it is from an old preschool song (this was the least annoying version I could find!):

Anyway we have 2 sweet gum trees in our yard, one in the front and one in the back.  If you have never experienced these annoying little trees in the fall they drop these prickly little balls all over the yard: 

They are a pain to clean up in the yard and they really hurt when you step on them.  Basically they are very very annoying.  I'm not usually a fan of cutting down trees but this tree had to go.  So a couple weeks ago we hired someone to come cut down the tree in the backyard.  (the one in the front yard we think might belong to the city so we are still working on that one)

Here is what the yard looked like when we moved in:

The sweet gum tree is the one on the left.  It did provide a lot of shade which we enjoyed but the annoyance was enough to make it go.  The guy that we hired does this as a side job so he broke the process up over a couple of days.  First, down came the branches

Even Nick helped:

The next morning all the branches were gone

but our yard was a bit of a mess

Nick and I cleared the yard a bit and made a nice big pile of branches 

and we had a nice clean yard

and the branches were all chopped up

then it was time for the trunk to come down

and finally grinding out the stump

Our yard went from this

to this

Lots of ground up mulch so we still need to plant grass and make it look like a yard again but at least there will be no more gum balls all over the place.  

Monday, July 2, 2012


The first weekend in June, Nick and I packed up and headed to Grand Rapids, MI for my dear friend Brittany's wedding.  It just so happened that my grandparent's house is a little more than halfway there so we decided to leave St. Louis Thursday after we both got home from work.  We drove to a hotel near their house so Nick could work Friday morning and I could have breakfast with my grandparents.  I didn't get to spend a ton of time with them, but it was nice to see them and enjoy some yummy pastries.

Around lunch time Nick and I continued North.  Our first stop when we got to Grand Rapids was to swing by the airport and pick up Jenni and Tyrone.  The four of us then headed to the hotel.  All of the wedding events were in the same beautiful hotel, The Amway Grand Plaza.  After we checked in we still had a few hours before the rehearsal dinner so the four of us headed to the hotel restaurant to kill some time.  On our way back to our rooms to get ready we ran into the wedding party in the lobby.  We couldn't resist our first photo opportunity even if some of us were still a little under dressed.

Clearly we needed to step up our game a little, so we headed upstairs and quickly changed for dinner.  Dinner was in a beautiful restaurant at the top of the hotel.  Once we all arrived we decided a picture redo was in order.

It was a beautiful evening celebrating the happy couple's last night before wedded bliss began.

The next morning Nick and I were up early and decided to explore Grand Rapids a bit.  The hotel was just across the river from the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum.  Anyone who knows my husband knows that we couldn't be that close to a Presidential Museum and not stop by.

Nick and I with Mr. President

This was actually a ballroom at the hotel, but we couldn't resist a picture
After we got back from the museum we met up with Jenni and Tyrone for lunch at a local yummy restaurant called "Taco Boy" and then we wandered around a local art fair that was happening downtown to kill some time before the wedding.  Then it was time for the big event!

The beautiful bride and groom

The pictures really don't do justice for what an absolutely beautiful day it was. We had such a great weekend celebrating with all our friends and it was a great mini-vacation to kick off our summer.  Congrats Tany & Gabe- we couldn't be happier for the two of you!