Friday, January 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

I got tagged by Lori to do this husband post and thought I would save it for his special day! Today is Greg's 24th birthday- yes, you did the math right- I am 1 year and 10 days older than him. (He will never let me live it down when I reach 30!) He is amazing and I am so proud to be called his wife. Happy Birthday, Hubby!

1. Where we met - Paul Jasinsky's party (I didn't want to go and my friend said that little soccer guy that you think is hot might be there... we didn't know Greg bc he was younger and had just moved to Lexington. My mom thought he looked 12-- for some reason I thought 12 was the new hot!!!)

2. Our First Date - We went out a lot with friends before we had a by ourself date.... our first date alone was to Charlie Brown's

3. How long did we date before we were married? - 4 years

4. How long have we been Hitched? - Just celebrated our 4 year anniversary on Jan8th

5. Favorite Feature - Physical feature- his smile :) and his strong arms

6. Favorite Quality - Greg is so calm, especially when I am the storm. I love that his demeanor is a perfect balance for mine. He is also a very hands on daddy and I am so appreciative for that.

7. His nickname for me - Sarahbone

8. His Favorite Color - Green and Brown

9. His Favorite Sport - Soccer (he has played since he was a little tyke) and he is not CRAZY about any sports on TV which I am thankful. Too many boys I know are in physical pain and are sour pusses when their teams loses.... ANNOYING! He watches but he is not like a sports stalker.

10. Who Said I Love You first - We dated for a year.... and then I said it. He did not say it in return for about 3 more months. This was so sad for my over dramatic 17 year old self but it was so special when he said it to me. It was the first person who really really meant it.

11. Our First Kiss when and where - In my driveway in his Taurus (how cool was he!!)

12. Favorite couple thing to do - Cuddle, get coffee, and be outside doing anything when the weather is nice.

13. His Hidden Talent - Greg is very artistic and crafty. He can fix anything, he sews, and he draws. He painted a mural on his ceiling in high school- that is probably one thing that totally won me over.

14. His Favorite Music - He likes anything chill (this is probably not how he would describe it)- unless he is working out and then he likes screaming/terrible music. He loves music and his favorite thing to do with Ivy is dance. Ivy requests "Bob" (bob marley)!!

15. What I admire most about him - He is the spiritual leader in our family. He is definitely a man of God. I never ever would doubt his love for Ivy and I.

16. His favorite pastimes - Riding his motorcycle, fishing, and drawing

17. Will he read this? - No- not until I tell him to. :)

I want to know why you love your husbands:
Kim, Terri, Ashley, Brooke, Nicole, Allie, Diana

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Homemade Cookies- YUM

Days at home make you do crazy things! Last night I made my very first batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I am not above the simple break-n-bake cookies but I felt very successful to make my own cookies with my own ingredients forming my own dough! Greg was so proud of me... just another reason he is bound and determined to allow me to be at home full time. Homemade cookies more often!

Ingredients: 3/4 c of granulated sugar, 3/4 c of brown sugar, 1 c of butter (softened), 1 egg, 2 1/4 c of all purpose flour, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1/2 tsp of salt, 1 sm package of instant vanilla pudding, 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 375.

2. Mix sugars, butter, and egg.

3. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix.

4. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix until dough forms.

5. Bake 8-10 minutes.

6. Taste test!

For those of you that don't know me well.... a little back ground. I was committed to try cooking for my 1st year of marriage. I did cook at least 5 days a week and never enjoyed it- not even once. Then Greg took over when I threw fish tacos accross the table. Poor Greg! He always cooked and I always did the clean up. This summer the Suzy Homemaker started to come out. I am now cooking 90% of the time. It is my joy to find new recipes that are cheap and healthy! I still make Greg do the cooking if I am scared it won't turn out.... I think I am afraid to fail in the kitchen as it might start another cooking haitus!

Yay for trying new things- like homemade cookies!

More snow = More play

This morning we woke up to more snow on top of the ice that we got yesterday. Everything is closed and we have not left the house. (Even UK got out... which is monumental!) We got to go out for another romp in the- much softer, much colder- snow. I was glad that Daddy got to join us.... he is a lot more adventurous in driving the sleigh!

The BIG snow!!!

Daddy running through the snow with Ivy in tow :)

Weeeee!!! So much fun in the real snow!


Peek-a-boo!
We have red cheeks- time to go in.
Praise God for white fluffy snow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A little snow, a lot of ice

We got some snow and a lot of ice... but I can't complain. Ivy and I have a had another very relaxing day iced in the house. We took the sled out and had a blast- we plan to have another go around when Daddy gets home. I am thankful for snow days... and the little gifts that they are! Yay for a relaxing day at home :)

Bundled up ready to go out- can you see the ice covering the door?


Getting pulled all around- she glided right on top the ice and giggled when mommy slid on her booty!! Sorry no pics of that :)


Playing dress up with Miss Potato Head parts- pre photo she had the ears on and was carrying the purse too! She is so silly :)


Riding on our toy train- Note: this train is not meant to carry children, however, Ivy believes that it was made just for that!
All in all- we have had a great snow day!



Monday, January 26, 2009

We WANT Snow!!!!

Grandma is making sure Ivy is prepared for a big snow. Today she dropped by this perfect sleigh and Ivy has been taking rides around the house while we pray and hope for a really really big snow. Tonight we are going to bed with our faith that God will grant TG's forecast of 4 to 8 inches. And know that if He does tomorrow you will get more pics of us putting this sleigh to good use!
Dear God,
I really really love all the seasons but feel that I have been deprived of a really great snow. I would love for you to blanket our grounds with white and allow all the children to play play play! We will build snowmen, make angels, and go for sleigh rides as we sing your praises! You are an awesome God and we can't wait to see your weather forecast for the next few days!
Amen
For now, Ivy will have to get her thrill of taking rides in a small circle around our living room. Hey, I am thankful that she is easy to please! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Play Dates & "Wuv You"s

Yesterday Ivy and I had a great day!! We got to have a play date with Vada and Stella. Ivy calls them "Day-da" and "Ta-ta"- while Ivy is forever going to be referred to as "Baby Ivy." This is the first picture that Diana and I have ever captured with both Ivy and Stella together. They are destined to be best friends.... the mommies already decided this one! We went to the library to enjoy storytime. I was originally sad to give up Monday story time but this one was perfect and Vada was able to enjoy it alot more because it caters to children ages 1-5. I love story time! I love all the little ones appreciate it in their own way. Vada is a performer, Stella is a listener, and Ivy is a socialite! They are so sweet :) We went to their house for lunch (Diana, it was awesome!) and the girls played while we were able to chat. I have said it before and I will say it again-- I am so thankful for this friendship! I am thankful for working part time as it has really allowed our friendship to grow. We are able to share mommy advice, vent about our hang ups, and laugh at our girlies!
We came home and rested up for Unc and Esie's arrival. We enjoyed a yummy (very vegetarian) eggplant parmesan that my mom made. This was a favorite meal before the veg makeover and we doubly enjoyed it last night! No pictures.... :( But I must say we had a great time laughing and enjoying their company. Today my grandparents came up to celebrate my Grandpa's 75th birthday! He is 50 years and 2 days older than me~ this was a big year for him!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I try not to blog about every little thing that Ivy is doing, but this really melts my heart every time. Last night she responded to Nana and Pops "Love you" with her own "Wuv you." She has since told me about 100 times and every time I just about die!! I am so glad that she can respond to us when we say this and know that what we are saying is special. She rubs my cheek and said "Wuv you" this morning when we were laying in bed. I just love my little girl to pieces and am so excited about this mini milestone.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Birthday Surprise!




Today marks the day that I am 25! A quarter of a century, entering the mid-twenties, and getting sort of old feeling. I feel like 25 is 10 years older than 24.... however, I am so thankful for where I am right now in my life. I couldn't be happier being a mom and a wife. I truly feel so blessed. I think my 25th year is going to bring so many positive changes! The best present that I will receive this year is Greg's graduation which will lead us to so many opportunities~ YAY!!!!
So today I had to work. Not too thrilled about that portion of my life, but it is a one day week so I can't complain. (My class and the first grade team made my work day special!) AND... we have a super babysitter that pulled off a fantastic surprise with the conspiracy of Greg and my Mom. She had Ivy's picture made in a new outfit my mom got for her. Then she made me the cute frame with Ivy's handprints. I LOVE IT!!! (I had trouble capturing it's greatness because it was too big to scan.) But it was so sweet of her. She did this all with by herself with a husband out of town, a 2 year old wild man, and a styling eyepatch (underneath she bears 3 stitches). Seriously, Kendra, you amaze me! Thanks for all you do!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Out in the Snow


Putting on the finishing touches! We are now (after 25 minutes) prepared to face the elements. Ivy is excited to go "out"- she has been begging all morning!



Taking her first steps in her snow boots... what do you hear??


Choo- choo!! Ivy's current obsession...

As a result her favorite song- "I've Been Working On the Railroad"

High fives in the snow!

Taking a rest in the shade.... followed by sliding down the hill on her booty!


Happy to be outside!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Potty News Via Ivy

video

Ivy is happy indeed!! We had quite the afternoon with Ivy's potty issues. We have not had any constipation problems since Ivy first started formula. So yesterday it had been 2 days with no poop. My mom and I were about to take Ivy and run some errands when she started to act like she was going to go~ 2 hours later she was crying and clearly having major troubles. It was so sad! Finally, Greg and I decided to put her on her potty seat and maybe that would be more "natural"- if you will! :) Now, keep in mind we have the potty seat so that she can sit on it and play. We want her to be comfortable when we do start potty training. She sits on it while her bath water runs because we have had many incidents of peeing on the rug! So anyways, last night she sat on the potty and in about 2 minutes she pooped!!! We were so excited and shocked that she did it. We rewarded her with a few m&m's and lots of "YAY's"!! Maybe it will start something... most likely though it won't happen again for a little while. But none-the-less, it was an exciting event at our house!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

MUMS

Today Ivy and I started MUM's at church. It is a group of Moms that meet and enjoy fellowship together twice a month. Today was pajama day!! Ivy looked cute in her princess jammies and boots. Then on top of that she had about 13 more layers because it is freezing! The babes go and have a lesson (and mostly play time) while the moms enjoy breakfast and a time to get to know each other. Diana and I were two of the new gals! Everyone seemed really nice and I am looking forward to next time. It is great to meet a million other moms that are going through the same times as you are. It gives peace and comfort to hear advice from others. My group leader is a teacher (now stay at home mommy) and she also job shared like I do. It was so amazing to talk to someone who knew exactly how I felt about work! I am excited to see these ladies again in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Vegetarian Verdict


For most of you reading this- you are aware that I am a picky eater when it comes to meat. I do not eat red meat- and haven't in since high school. This is with the exception of during my pregnancy when I craved hamburgers (this might have something to do with my crazy weight gain)! I also have went on meat free periods several times in the last 10 years. My first aversion to meat was in high school. It had nothing to do with health or animals but soley on the fact that the texture made me sick. Then I started early in college reintoducing turkey and chicken into my diet. After having Ivy my health became important to me. Not only to lose the baby weight but also to model good eating habits for her and I wanted to feed her stuff that was going to provide her with good health and few dangers. I had read enough about the horomones in red meat and the connection they have with early onset puberty for our daughters. Seriously, have you been in an elementary school lately? The 5th graders look like they are 15! I talked to the pediatrician and she stood behind me in the healthy choice I made to have Ivy be raised red-meat free.

Then came the second stike against meat. I am a strong believer that food is poisoning us! This came to light when a childhood friend was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 23!!! She is healthy and I again became strongly aware of the danger food can present to us. I started reading up and again confirmed my decision to be without meat. I never know for sure if it is the cravings or the inconvienence that makes me eat the white meat again, but nonetheless it happened. And chicken was again introduced into my diet, along with Ivy's. As you read my journey you see that it always has to do with the health or the risk factor associated with meat, not for any other reason.

As of last week I had eliminated any fear I had about chicken. I had read several articles about the arsenic in chicken and determined that it wasn't a risk factor. All of this changed when I read the article titled "Fowl Play" in the latest issue of Self Magazine. This was not an article promoting the vegetarian lifestyle. It discussed bacteria that commonly makes people sick, took you on the chicken journey (sans the abuse), and basically recommended buying organic chicken, being ultra careful what you eat at restaurants, and to keep the cooking area clean. You can read the article from Self magazine here. They had NO idea that they were going to lead me on what will probably be my final quest to vegetarianism!

I started asking some questions of people that I know are vegetarians and reading more about the pros to going veg. As I have said, being a vegetarian was always inspired by health and not any other motivation. I had even said if the animals could motivate me (and sadly, I said if I cared that much) that would be it! I would be sold! So then I clicked on a link on my fellow blogger friend, Jackie's blog. That led my to some very disturbing video. You can see the PETA investigation videos here. I watched about the way they treat animals and I was appalled. The next day I thought about it some more but went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.... and was done with my nuggets early because of the thought of those poor animals. I knew it sealed the deal when I went to the Melting Pot and they bring you meat to cook. I could only eat the salmon, lobster, and shrimp (I will continue to eat fish products). I knew that what I saw I could not ignore. I knew that the health had now bumped to second place and I was horrified by the animals. Greg could tell I was really disturbed and started doing his own investigations. After many conversations I have fully decided I will not support the inhumane treatment of animals and Greg is going to try the vegetarian lifestyle as well. Totally his choice... this is a first time for him!

We hope that through this journey we develop some healthy changes (it will eliminate chicken fingers and fries!) and we can raise our children this way until they are old enough to decide for themselves (I always speak of many children who don't yet exist). We hope to provide each other with support when sometimes our culture doesn't lend itself. I am committed to trying some new recipes, even though we really didn't cook much meat before. We are excited about this change in 2009.

Please know that in blogging this I do not judge anyone for eating meat! I really mean that! I simply am sharing my story and allowing you to read more if you are interested. I also would love for Ivy to read this someday... as it may give her a clearer picture of how our decision was made.

Anniversary Celebration



For our anniversary date we went to the Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. It is very pricey so let it be for special occasions. However.... when you have wonderful parents the Melting Pot is free! Great parents think alike- both of our parents split the cost of our dinner as an anniversary gift. Thank you, thank you!! My favorite part was the lobster (yum!) and the dark chocolate/marshmallow fondue. Greg and I really enjoyed our night out!


Greg and I ready to go!! Take note friends, I got some skinny jeans.... a month ago I would have never even tried them on. However, my new shirt inspired me to try on some skinny's and wah-lah I was in love--- this then inspired me to buy some little ballet flats!

Ivy and Nana stayed at home and played. They had a great time!

Ivy is wanting to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider as we were capturing this moment~ she is so silly, loves music, and is definitely dominating the radio in the car at age 17 months!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Today Greg and I celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary! I am so lucky to be married to an excellent man. We are excited to see what this next together year holds with Greg's graduation this May. Here is something that we used to do in high school to flatter one another :)

I LOVE YOU.....

Gorgeous
Relaxed
Entertaining
Graduating
One & Only
Romantic
You are the GREATEST husband!!!


We are dorks... I know!! But it is good to remember those days of our early relationship and how much we have grown. Here are some of my fondest memories from January 8, 2005!











Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I Scream... You Scream...



We all SCREAM for ICE CREAM....
or at least in the Smorstad house we do!!!

Ivy takes too big a bite.... and then stops to say "Col...." several times!
Note---> Ivy's brain freeze face!

In the end... Ivy is very pleased with Mommy's introduction to a delicious fudgesicle!

Disclaimer: Ivy is wearing pink tights- not too tight, too see through-ish pants as it may seem in the photo... she shed the dress prior to the ice cream! Smart thinking Daddy! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ivy Loves her Esie


video

Dear Esie,

I love you so much! I can't wait to play with you again and you can watch my singing movie with me. I will teach you some dance moves :) I am so glad that now you really know that I can say your name. I talk about you and Unc all the time so I am certain that next time I won't have to be shy when you come to play. Miss you lots!

Love, Ivy

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's At the Lake

We had the second annual New Year celebration at my aunt's lake house. It is so much fun for everyone (minus Anthony and Chelsea... we missed you all lots!) to come together and visit. I have an aunt and some cousins that live in Alabama. They are not able to come to Louisville for the holidays but the lake get-away is really a perfect location for everyone to meet. We all were excited to meet Baby Cole who was born on November 26th to my cousin,Rachel and her husband, Brian. The new family is doing great! Cole was so sweet and made Greg and I have a large dose of baby fever! However, Ivy didn't feel the same! She didn't want Greg, Nana, or Mommy to hold Cole at all!! We had to take turns distracting her so that we could all get some loving in! :) Overall, it was a great time with family. Here are some pictures to capture our visit.





All the grandkids and great grandkids (minus Anthony)~ This was really funny because none of the babies wanted to cooperate . They all were ready for nap time!

Cole Trevor Mattioli~ so sweet!!!

Cooper brushing Ivy's hair :)


Cooper and Ivy hugging~ they had so much fun together! I have to brag on this little guy... he is not even 2 yet and he can already count to 20, tell you where he lives, and recognize a lot of shapes (including a trapezoid)!! CRAZY SMART!
Harper, Ivy, and Cooper taking a rest after a lot of jumping on Uncle Tony's bed!