Monday, June 30, 2008

sneak preview...

jeffrey's family is in town so we have been busy showing them the city...a feature presentation of the happenings will be here soon! until is just one of the hilarious things my four year old daughter does on a daily basis...hope you chuckle as loudly as we did!!!!!

we looked over...and ella had put her sunglasses on george washington's granddaughter!!!! only our ella...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


since our move, i have spent a lot of time reflecting on our situation. as i have shared, this has not been easy for me. i resist change probably more than anything else in my life so the fact that this whole thing turned out to be a reality still blows my mind...but i feel like i am being led down this path for a reason.

as i joined the "blogging" world, i have been exposed to some incredible people. there are so many men & women that show unmatched strength in times of adversity, unwavering faith in times of uncertainty, and immense love for God and others in times of deep sorrow. you can't help but be changed by these "strangers"...and even more, you can't help but feel that you know these people...because really, we all walk down similar paths.

i have cried tears for mommies that have lost their babies all too soon, i have rejoiced for families that were granted a few more precious moments together, i have laughed at the antics of another child whom i will never know, and i have questioned my purpose on this journey. just when you think that you have been dealt a swift blow...someone always seems to have it a little bit worse.

things are stirring in my soul. i am not quite sure what message i should be hearing...but i am trying to listen. i know i want to make a difference in people's lives...outside of loving every minute of being a wife and a mother. i also know that i want to be "awake" for the "difference" happening in my life. i don't want to miss opportunities to grow spiritually, physically, & emotionally.

thank you to all my "blogging" friends...many of you don't even know that i "know" you...and even more of you don't even have any idea what an impact you have on my heart and mind. i know i am growing because of a tiny seed that drinks in every drop of water offered.

life would be nothing without friends...those known and unknown.

thank you God for all the blessings in my life. help me to see things more clearly and trust that the prayers of my heart are being heard...& that i will accept Your plan above all others. i have so much to be thankful for...i don't want to waste the beauty that surrounds me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

here is what we had for dessert tonight...

just another reminder that God always keeps His promises...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

history in the making...

i must admit that it is really fun having so much history right here in our won't suit me forever, but we are trying to take advantage of it for now! we packed the kids up yesterday and drove to visit the civil war battlefield of manassas. it was so neat to stand in the same place that so many confederate and union soldiers stood so many years ago and try to envision what they must have felt like.
to our surprise, ella LOVED the history behind everything. she was a bit afraid that the "canyons" (aka cannons) were going to go off in 2008...but other than that, she asked lots of questions and was genuinely excited to know about each "sign" that was along the trail.

the scenery served as an excellent backdrop for some beautiful pictures of the girls...yes, i know-i view a lot of my family's life from behind the lens!!!!! i love it! they were especially "lovey" today so i got some excellent shots that made our hearts melt! madeline is such a little "doddler" & takes her sweet time picking flowers, smelling them, & occasionally taking just a little bite. it is so precious to see her personality blossoming...i'm not sure, but i think she gets cuter by the day!

if that wasn't fun enough, on the way home...we might have discovered, in my expert opinion, the best ice cream in the metropolitan area. FYI - since madeline has been born many things about me changed...some i have already shared such as my hair being out of control wavy...another is my sincere love/hate relationship with ice cream! i crave the stuff! we drove through the historic downtown of clifton and spotted peterson's ice cream depot. oh yeah...this is gonna be great! i should have started "mooing" as we were walking up because i had eyes big enough for 4 stomachs! we ordered one "squish"...doesn't the name just want to make you eat it? it was 2 gigantic chocolate chip cookies with homemade vanilla ice cream "squished" in the middle. goodness. then we ordered a "clifton creek"...basically a very homemade version of a blizzard. ella got vanilla with fresh strawberries & maddie got red raspberry. YUM-YUM! it was really so good that i wanted to buy the t-shirt...i still might...because i know we will be going back!!!!! the girls enjoyed dancing to the live music - we really felt like we were transported back in time!

the ride home was like the cherry on top! since ella has been born, one of our favorite things to do is take drives on old country roads. as ella has gotten older, she loves to find "dips" in the road that take your stomach away. well, the road we were traveling on last night was like being on the texas giant! it was so much fun, we turned around twice so we could laugh some more. madeline has a sensitive stomach so she did not appreciate this too much...but the other three prices loved it! (thank goodness i did not have to clean up any remnants of madeline's dislike!!!)

it was such a fun day and we were sticky and worn out by the time we got home! i love making these memories with our girls. history of our past, history for our future, & ice cream...could it get any better?

hope you had a wonderful weekend...tell us what you did?

Friday, June 20, 2008

take me out to the ball game...

or at least take ella out! my sweet friend offered to let madeline come hang at her house tonight so that we could give ella a little bit of tlc! we headed to the national's game because they were playing the rangers...we were very secretive about the fact that we weren't rooting for the home team!!!!!!

ella continually yelled "go tigers!" (that's my girl!!!) and "go quarterbacks"!!!! the kid has lots to learn about baseball, but at least she knows what's important! she bleeds purple and gold like her mommy!

here is the rundown of our nutritional intake prepared to eat your tums from simply reading this...consider yourself warned!!!! one famous "1/2 smoke" smothered in mustard, cheese, onions & CHILI, one all beef hot dog - mustard only, one order of french fries, one coke, one lemonade, one order of dippin dots, & one bag of gummy bears! (given to ella by one of the ballpark employees...that made her night!!!) it was very yummy but i have to admit that i feel gross...even though we only got a few bites each!!!!!

we had such a fun time soaking in our little ella...being silly...talking with her...

she is growing up so fast.

i will have to say that her 7th inning stretch can't be beat by a mile...wish i had it on video!

we picked up madeline who was z'in it up & brought our little family home! thank you, jane for giving us this opportunity to give our undivided attention to our first born! it won't be long before maddie is going to get to go on some of these fun outings by herself!

we love you, ella! you're the best hot dog sharer, "football cheering", baseball date we've ever had!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

christmas in june...

i know, i's christmas in july! but who am i to argue with a four year old that has christmas on the brain and wants to celebrate TODAY! so, we dusted off the christmas cookie cutters, dug our heels in, and made some christmas sugar cookies!!!!! it is currently 6:27 p.m. - the girls have had NO supper but they have each devoured two tiny candy canes and christmas trees! they are probably thinking "mom is pretty cool"...i am thinking "how dumb is this to let them eat cookies before dinner...they could have served as a wonderful bribe to get them to eat some vegetables!". oh well, what's done is done!

ella had a great time decorating them, maddie had a great time watching them bake and BOTH enjoyed eating them!!!!!!

maybe we'll make sailboats and beach balls in never know what you're gonna get as a price!

christmas tree anyone?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

back from the big apple...

with empty pockets and a heart full of memories!!!!!!

we had such a FUN time on our girls' trip! if you don't know, my mom took brooke and me to new york city for our 30th birthdays. no, we are NOT twins...i turned 30 last year and she turns 30 this year...but i was nursing my new baby last year so we decided to wait until i was "free and clear" to travel...sans breast pump or children!!!!!!!

my mom, being the energetic planner that she is, had everything mapped out to a tee. we went to see THREE broadway shows and shopped till we dropped! the last night we were there we stayed up until 2:45 a.m. - laughing until the last second our eyelids just couldn't stay open!

mom is what you would call a "pro" at NYC so she knew where we should go, when we should go, & how we should get there! we had a built in tour guide! we didn't have too many celeb spot tings...however, we did sit next to anthony wright (NY giant) at the lion king!!!!! WOOHOO! his superbowl ring was the size of a serving platter!

here is a list of a few highlights...

jersey boys. duane reade - box fan. naked cowboy (yes, he's real). the plaza. bergdorf goodman. FAO schwarz. COKE. cheeseburgers. double decker buses. flip flops. visiting friends. pizza. the little mermaid. cab ride (notice that's not plural). denim. smelly smells. family. phone calls from the girls. anthropologie. H&M. FUN!!!!!!

thank you, mom for a wonderful, amazing, fabulous vacation! it will definitely be a time that will be tucked away in my treasure box of memories! i can't imagine two other people i would have rather shared the experience with! i love you both.


i must get on my soap box for a moment. to all of my fab friends that have precious little boys - please take every opportunity to teach them what it means to be a gentleman. as three women, all of whom are vertically challenged, tried to hoist our extremely heavy luggage (remember those empty pockets) up the steps & over our heads...NOT ONE ABLE BODIED MAN OFFERED TO HELP US! i am pretty sure i dislocated my shoulder and sprained my wrist trying to do a "man's job"!!!!! i still don't know why i am so appalled by this...i just think that our generation could bring "chivalry" back!!!!!!!!!!

wordless wednesday...

Monday, June 16, 2008

anyone can be a father...

but it takes someone special to be a daddy!

this post is one day late due to the fact that i just got home from a fabulous vacation to new york...but it in NO WAY minimizes how blessed we are to have jeffrey as the daddy we celebrate for father's day.

patient. hilarious. strong. faithful. ambitious. sweet.

just a few words that come to mind when i think of my daughters' father & my husband. based on his last "guest post", i don't think i need to explain why this man is a fantastic dad. so many people asked me how i felt leaving jeffrey with the girls while i went out of town...and i had to answer very honestly - i wasn't nervous at all! he is so amazing with these two little girls! it's like having a little piece of disney world right here in our family!!!!!!

seeing my little sweet peas smile up at him, hug his legs when he walks in the room, and lay their head on his strong shoulders makes me so happy that he chose me. we are certainly not perfect...not even close really...but he gives us so much and there is not a day that goes by that i am not so thankful that he is in my life...i have watched a boy become a man...and then a hero. and my girls get to love him and be loved by him...forever.

we love you, daddy. more than any words we could ever speak, more than any hug we could ever give, more than anyone could love another.
p.s. ella says you are the best "breakfast chef" EVER!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Guest Blog: Notes from "Mr. Mom"


Prelude - After I wrote this post, I thought I may need to make a couple of intro statements.

First, although I may make myself sound like a dead-beat dad, I really am a semi-responsible parent and I do spend time with my family...Its just a ton easier when I am not the primary and only care-giver.

Secondly, I would have loved to have posted some pictures like Meredith always does in her posts...but I really don't know how she has the time. I have lost 4 lbs. in two days because I haven't even had time to eat!!! So with that...Here is the run down of the last couple of days.


Well, as many of you may know, Meredith decided that if she had to live on the east coast, she might as well take advantage of it! Her mom, sister (brooke) and she headed up to New York early on Thursday morning for a shopping and broadway extravaganza. I told her I could work from home on Thursday and Friday and that I would be fine with the girls by myself....what the heck was I thinking!!!!

First off, Ella summarized my thinking exactly on Thursday morning. She woke up and asked where Mommy and Honey were, and I reminded her that they took a trip and that she would be here with Daddy for the weekend. She crinkled her nose, looked up at me, and said, "I am not too sure about this arrangement!" neither.

My approach to child-rearing differs from Meredith in many important ways. Meredith is always aware and concerned about the girls' mental development, their nutritional habits, maintaining a clean (and sanitary) home, not allowing them to watch too much television, having them nicely dressed, etc. I, on the other hand, really only have one focus: Don't let the children get bodily injured!!!! If they want to eat cheetos and fruit snacks, with a side of cracklin' oat bran while watching a non-stop marathon of Yo Gabba Gabba in their stained pajamas with hair that hasn't been combed for two days because daddy can't find a be it!

We started out Thursday morning with some downtime...The girls and I stayed down in the basement because I had a few sections of testimony to write and a few other loose ends to tie up. They played in the jumper (for those of you who don't know, we have a 12 x 12 blowup jumper in our basement...the girls love it!). I actually got my work done and the girls played perfectly together. In the afternoon, we ran out to blockbuster and rented "the borrowers" and Hello Kitty the Movie (I would have preferred something from either the Rocky or Rambo series, but Ella would have none of that...). We then went to the pool for an hour or so...Maddie wore the swim sweater and loved it! Ella decided that she is a big girl and didn't wear floaties of any kind. As long as she was in the shallow end of the pool, she was fine. She loves to jump off the side and to go under the water. She is soooo proud of herself!!! Then it was home for dinner. As all of my camping buddies know, "ol' cookie" is really only good at cooking breakfast, so I decided the girls could have boiled eggs, turkey bacon, potato pancakes, a few cracklin' oat brans, and some fresh cherries for dinner. Ella just loved it and told me, "daddy, this is the best tasting food that I have ever put in my mouth!" It was nice to have a little affirmation! Maddie went down to bed without a problem and Ella and I watched movies until 10:00.

Friday was not quite as easy of a day. There were multiple times that I had to go into the bathroom, shut the door and look myself in the mirror and say, "You can do this!!!" At one point, I was on a conference call, with Ella on my shoulders and Maddie holding my legs, covered in donut sugar and milk, all while trying to edit a pleading that I needed to get out before 5. As I hinted, we ran out for donuts at the "BPA" (ella's term for the bp gas station that has krispy kremes and pellet ice for Meredith's cokes) for breakfast....the girls love donuts! They both had one plain and split a chocolate covered. It was a sticky mess, but worth it to see them loving it! After a lunch of frozen burritos and guacamole, the girls decided to spare dear old dad's nerves and both of them took 2 hour afternoon naps! Without that downtime, I am fairly certain I would have lost my marbles. I got all of the Friday afternoon fires that always come up at my work put out and everything wrapped up for the weeked.

To reward the girls, I took them both to Chuck E. Cheese for playtime (that would be Chuckie Jesus in Ella speak...I know its wrong, but I laugh everytime she says it!). Ella ran around like a banchee while Maddie took in the sights and sounds. Maddie has a major love/hate relationship with large pretend animals like mascots at ballgames, puppets at parades, and that dang mouse at CEC. She would run up to the stage with her hands out and a smile, but as soon as he moved any part of his oversized body, she would get a look of terror in her eyes and run to me crying. We literally did that for 15 mintues. After an hour or so (in which papa had the chance to brush up on the fine art of skeeball a few times), we left to have "dinner at a restaraunt", at E's request.

I know many dads would take their kids to mc'ds or burger king...that is just not in my blood. For the folks who know me well, what follows will come as no surprise. I gave Ella the choice of the Moby Dick House of Kabob (Persian), El Tapico (Salvadoran), and Pollo Loco (Peruvian), all of which I have been eager to try. She picked Moby Dick so we had a dinner of Joojeh (some type of marinated steak), Chenideh (a chicken dish) and fallafel (spiced chickpeas that have been smashed and fried). Was it any good, you may ask? Let's just say it was reason # 1001 that I am glad to be an American. The girls liked the bread alot and ate some of the meat. Ella wasn't sure about the fallafel, but Maddie liked it ok. Maddie also ate most of the kalamata olives (I suspect that she thought they were spoiled cherries, but whatever works). It was definitely worth trying, but probably not worth going back. We then ran over to Kaleidoscoops for ice cream. Ella tried no less than half a dozen samples (with a line that was 20 deep...she is sooo my child. I am sure the other folks in line just hated us.) before settling on Rainbow Sherbet. After ice cream, it was home for a bath and straight to bed. Both girls were tuckered out so they went down pretty easy.

This morning we had another big breakfast of strawberry and honey pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sliced banana, and cracklin' oat bran (the girls just love that stuff). After a few pillow fights and "raslin" matches, maddie is down for a nap and Ella is watching shows. We have been invited for burgers over at Meredith's friend, Jane's house this evening, which is such a nice gesture. It will be nice to be able to have some adult conversation (how many times have I heard that come out of Meredith's mouth?, do I now know how she feels) and then I have to start cleaning up the house before Meredith comes home tomorrow. It is an absolute wreck!

Well, that is my description of our time without Mom so far. I definitely have even more of an appreciation for my fantastic wife. She does such an amazing job of keeping our house, mothering our girls and loving her husband, I can't wait to have her back home!!! Hopefully, she has really enjoyed her girls' weekend and will come back renewed. Despite the stress and craziness, I have really loved being with my girls for an extended period. They are such special little people!

Ok, I have to go now...Ella just dumped a whole bag of pretzels in my bed...I hate sleeping on crumbs!!!

One worn out, but happy, Mr. Mom,


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

betcha didn't know...

here are a few facts about each of my pumpkins that i bet you didn't know...

1. ella DOES NOT WANT PEANUT BUTTER TO COME NEAR HER!!!!! (weird - i know - i can hardly even talk about it)

2. maddie despises & i mean DESPISES having her diaper changed...which in turn, makes me despise changing her. i basically have to use the scissor hold to get her to stay still...too bad ella is afraid of poop...i may have to work on that one...

3. ella was born two weeks water broke in the middle of the night on a sunday - just like my sweet ella - wanting to call the shots! what would we do without our precocious little one!

4. madeline has a beautiful "singing" voice...she can mimic just about any string of notes pretty much perfectly...what an amazing thing if she turns out to be the singer i have always wished i could be!!!!!!!

5. ella has expressed a strong desire to take drum lessons...yes, you just read correctly! we are looking into this - what does this mean? could the little girl who never goes a day without a bow potentially become a rockstar?!?!?!

6. madeline secretly covets the fact that ella gets to wear bows in her hair...she is constantly pulling ella's hair to prove it!!!!!!! one day, sweet maddie, one day!

just in case you're wondering...

sweet tarts grape flavored lip balm is NOT poisonous if eaten as an afternoon snack...(by a little 17 month old, wearing nothing but a diaper & a swim ring)...poison control said so!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

ta da...

here are a few pics of what's been going on with the yummy strawberries!!!!!!

here is what the process looked like...for all you "worriers", the stove was turned OFF for this part - she loved helping!!!!!

5 cups of fresh picked "strawbs" homemade whipped cream

for good is what maddie was doing...hanging out in the swim ring...with no prospect of swimming in the near future...funny girl!!!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

berry, berry fun...


172 strawberries later we are home after such a FUN, FUN day!

we headed out this morning with berries on the brain and made our way to bluemont, virginia...home of the "u pick it" berry farm! i think it was my favorite day to date...except of course when anyone i know comes to visit!!!!!

it was the hottest day recorded for we prepared to "sweat for the sweet" but it was SO worth it! great country farms is an organic berry farm with lots to offer the little ones! they have a petting zoo, lots of playground equipment made from old tires, a corn pit (basically a sand box filled with oodles of corn), a fishin' hole, a cow train ride, and lots of other attractions! due to the extreme heat, not all of the festivities were hopping...but we still had a blast!

while we were taking the hay ride to the actual strawberry field in the 100 degree heat...they mentioned that they use no pesticides or chemicals so the berries were "ready to eat" as soon as they were picked! ella got her game face on! madeline would have been double fisting regardless...germs, smerms! she & ella were like kids in a candy store!

price girls + berries = euphoria

at one point, jeffrey and i looked up and madeline was SEVERAL rows away from us - gorging her face with strawberry! it was funny but a bit was as though she might not have ever been given these delicious little bundles of red, sweet goodness!!!!!! she was truly a sight to behold! we have NO IDEA how many or how much dirt she actually consumed!!! she seems no worse for the wear...just a little stained and full! word to the wise...
don't wear white to pick might stay cool but you WON'T stay clean!!!!

the strawberries grow on vines very close to the ground and they hide under the leaves. it was so neat to pick them ourselves...knowing we get to come home and make something really yummy! it felt so granola & earthy - I LOVED IT!!!! you may not know, but my secret desire is to be really "crunchy" and go totally organic! (jeffrey said on the way home...if you want to do that you either have to be loaded or have your own's to wishing!!!!) anyway, ella & i voted that a strawberry ice box pie sounded the best...other than eating them "a la natural"!!!

any recipe ideas would be greatly appreciated!

we are up to our ears in strawberries...but we are awaiting the blackberry season so we can go back and experience that!

our little shortcakes were tuckered out after a hot day in the sun...but we headed across the street to the bluemont vineyard because they said the view was not to be missed...they were correct. in a word - beautiful scenery...we definitely weren't in the city anymore! the girls enjoyed some dancing and then we made our way home!

such a fun day spent with my "berry favorite people"! if only we could have met strawberry shortcake...