Monday, February 28, 2011

New Post!

Exclamation point because this is exciting! I haven't blogged in forever!

Since we were last together, we've had a death in the family, a whirlwind trip, lots of packing and shopping and visiting with friends. Our baby girl keeps getting cuter and bigger and better at smiling, and of course we are just falling more in love with her. We are also on the cusp of our year apart.

So much to write about. So many pictures!

I'll just give you a little overview to give you context for what I'll be blogging about in the coming days.

On Feb 17, my husband's cousin's daughter was on a school trip when the SUV she was riding in was in an accident and she was killed. She was 15.

We had planned a trip to visit family in Texas and Oklahoma leaving the next night, but were able to get on an earlier flight out. We spent several days with this family and are better people, parents and husband and wife because of it. This girl, her life and death, changed so much for so many people, and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

One of the reasons we were already going on this trip was for the family to say goodbye to John and meet Ayla. I met John's family in the wake of his brother's death seven years ago, and now my daughter was meeting them in similarly tragic circumstances. We gave her the job of bringing joy to everyone she met, and since she started smiling just the week before, she accomplished her mission perfectly!

We said goodbye to another family member on this trip, too. Mocha went to live with her Aunt Kim this year. John decided she'd be better off with them since they have a dog, a big back yard and a 5-year-old, all things Mocha loves. She's settling in pretty well, as you can see!

And now we are preparing for yet another goodbye. This one, probably the hardest we've had to face in a while. John will most likely be leaving this week, so pretty much all our time and efforts are going towards getting him and us ready for that. It's really hard. Did I mention that? It does make every moment, every hug and kiss, every folded t-shirt and dirty coffee mug that much sweeter.

John has agreed to write a guest blog for me before he leaves. What do you think he should write about?

(Yep, the question at the end of the blog is back. Mwa ha ha ha!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I love Bob

My dad's name is Bob and I love him. This is not about him, though.

This is a true and awesome story about a man named Bob whom I decided to love today.

I braved the beautiful 70 degree weather today to go get a Valentine's Day gift for John. I'll show you what I got him (and what he got me) later. It was something I called around to several stores to find, and so I was going to this specific Hallmark on purpose.

I had Ayla in the car seat, but hadn't brought in the stroller, though as I was walking in, I second guessed that decision since I didn't know how long I'd be in there. Right as I entered, an employee, I'll call him Bob (because that's what his name tag called him), from the Buy Buy Baby next door came in behind me pushing an empty stroller.

I jokingly said, "Oh, is that for me?"

In my lightening fast mind, I thought of a few reasons this man was pushing an empty stroller into a Hallmark. Such as, a customer had left it in his store and he had followed them out. Or his wife was in the Hallmark and had asked him to bring the stroller because she didn't want to carry their child around in a car seat while looking for the perfect card (like I was about to). Or maybe he was friends with the staff at the Hallmark and wanted to show them the latest model.

It never even crossed my mind that he might reply,

"Sure, you can have it."

I looked around for the cameras. Couldn't see them.

"Oh, I was just kidding."

"But you can have it."

Me, still not comprehending that he could just give me the stroller.

"Um, I have one already, I really was just kidding."

"But you can still have it. I'm the manager and I was just going to get rid of it."

"What's wrong with it?"

"Nothing. It's brand new. It's the floor model and we don't need it any more. I brought it in here to give away."

Right about then he and I realize that he meant to enter the next store down, a thrift store.

"Well, you should give it to them, the money goes to a good cause, and I'm sure you'd get a tax break for it."

"No, we don't get anything. You can have it if you want."

"I'm not sure this car seat would even fit it." (different brands)

"Yes it will." (Puts car seat in stroller. It fits.)

"Um, ok. If you're sure."

"Yes, take it. It's worth $250. It's a good stroller." (He then shows me how to collapse it.)

"Wow. Thank you. Happy Valentines Day!"

He goes back to work. I stand in the entrance to the Hallmark utterly amazed at what just happened. Still looking around for cameras or any witnesses that will judge me for taking a stroller that could've been sold for  charity. Nope.

Just me and my brand new Chicco stroller.

But wait. There's more. Actually, just the funny part.

When I got back to the car, I couldn't figure out how to collapse it. Bob had shown me, but I must have been in "Oh my gosh is this really happening" shock and didn't remember which thing he had pushed. So I pushed and pulled everything. And looked around for cameras. After what felt like 20 minutes of surely looking like an idiot and feeling Bob was going to come out and take it away from me since I couldn't collapse it, I put it in the trunk and drove it home (very carefully) just like this.

Happy Valentines Day to me!

(I did figure out how to collapse it once I got home and looked it up online!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Every Day Ayla

I had hoped to be able to roll out a new website today to introduce a project I've been working on.



With limited time and my attention divided between feeding Ayla, changing Ayla, helping Ayla sleep, giving Ayla baths, and kissing Ayla, I didn't get the website up and going.

So, for now, please be content with this. Let's call it a preview. Yes, that sounds better.

I'm taking a picture of Ayla every day of her first year and will be posting them week by week (maybe).

Yes, I realize it's already a month into it.
(Please read the 4th line again. K? Thanks!)

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