My Morning Started with a Starbuck’s Latte….

and my day just kept getting better from there….

my baby love!

my baby love!

Let me rewind so I can explain how totally spoiled and how wonderful my first Mother’s Day weekend was thanks to my Mr. & his little sidekick!!

Swoon!

Swoon!

The week leading up to Mother’s Day we were finally enjoying 75-85* weather, it was bright, sunny, and BEAUTIFUL aboutdamntime and Maddy and I spent every possible moment outside, walking, playing and just enjoying being outside.  It has been a L_O_N_G winter and we both needed to be outside getting some fresh air and sunshining love!!!! Needless to say, I was all but jumping out of my skin thinking about my first Mother’s Day weekend being filled with picnics, long family walks, FroYo & park play dates……IMG_2552

HAHA! Jokes on me!!!!IMG_2529

Saturday we wake up to a freezing cold raining day.  I was not pleased.  You know, sometimes the weather just sucks and that sucky-ness can really bring you down… and down I was.  I think, per my usual overdrive of an imagination my hopes for the weekend were WAY WAY up and this weather brought it crashing down.  Up until this weather hit I had been able to keep control of my emotions about spending my first Mother’s Day without my Mom…. the thing is we have unfortunately had to spend several Mother’s Days apart because of college, but this year it hit me HARD.  I was missing my mom some kind of bad, I mean sometimes I hate these miles between us so much that it hurts.  As my Mr. puts it, it takes me about 3 weeks to get over saying goodbye…. I guess in my grand plan hahahahaha of life, I imagined my first Mother’s Day being spent with my mom too…. so ummmm yay, the miles were felt when I woke up to freezing rain!!!!IMG_2531

HAVE NO FEAR, my MR. was here and ready to save the weekend!!! First we went out to get steaks for him to grill and movies to watch (one good one WAY too long) and then the moment the sun came out we went for a long walk to a local coffee shop….IMG_2559

Okay, it’s finally sunny, we harness up the pugs, bundle Maddy up and head out for a good latte.  We get about a mile into our walk and the first FREEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZING rain drop hits me.  I say, “do you think we should turn around, I don’t want Maddy out in the rain…” Him….”no, there are no clouds, these are probably just fluke rain drops….” Me…OK.IMG_2534

Three blocks later and three blocks from the coffee shop…. the sky got DARK and we have to practically run home to beat the rain. SANS coffee……but that’s okay, because it is times like this that memories are made and my family laughs!!! I bet people driving past were cracking up as they watched us trying to semi-run, dragging two pugs, me in Toms shoes that were preggo sized (HUGE) and Justin leading us all with the stroller…. then we passed another young family who had zipped their baby up in the Dad’s coat, difference is they were carrying coffee 🙂 so yeah, we all make questionable decisions when there is a desire for a good latte!!!IMG_2537

Later that afternoon, Justin asked me a couple of times if I wanted him to go get me a coffee…no, that’s ok I said over and over, then he said “but I know you want a grande cafe latte with skim milk, right?…. ummmm, yeah, I would love one, but it’s fine I just drank a DC. …then he said (which should have been a clue) but if you were to go to Starbucks, that’s what you would get right>

ummm yes.IMG_2540

Well, folks, Sunday morning I woke up to my little smiling nugget and my Mr. holding a Starbucks cup!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!  Justin woke up early, loaded the loud pug, Magnolia in the car and drive to Starbucks to get my latte and came home, wrapped it in a warm dish towel and then took care of Maddy until she was hungry so that I could sleep in.  It was AWESOME.  I would like to wake up to my family holding my Starbucks latte every morning!!!!IMG_2539

He had a plethora of cards, (I get two from him for each holiday) a nice, thoughtful card and a funny (usually inappropriate….) card and then a SWEET card that Maddy picked out for me!!!! He said he held up a dozen cards and this is the one she picked and then immediately started eating WINNER!!!!!  They got me a picnic blanket to use on all our park outings and then we headed out for brunch.IMG_2551

That afternoon, the nugget gave me the honor (it really was) of snuggling with her for two hours while she napped, we watched Argo… and just enjoyed spending the day as a family.

No, the weather was not pleasant, but it turned out not to matter.  We still went walking,still ate FroYo, and still got to play with Maddy….IMG_2536

So my day started out with a latte and it just kept getting better!!!

Happy (late) Mother’s Day to all the Mamas and soon-to-be Mamas out there! I hope you all received your version of a Starbucks latte in bed!!!IMG_5861

& Thanks again to my Mr. for making my first Mother’s Day a very special day full of memories, laughs and most importantly love for me!!!!

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PS… sorry for the few blurry pictures… baby on the move is rough on picture quality! HAHA

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What my baby only weighed 7lbs?!?!

IMG_4602Let me start by saying I almost put toothpaste on Madison’s face this morning… yep. My bad!  I was putting on her lotion when I ran into the bathroom to grab her face lotion which just happens to come in a tube just like toothpaste so TOTALLY easy mistake to make!  HAHA!! I’m just grateful that I noticed the new refreshing minty scent of the “lotion” before slathering it all over her face.  My bad.

Mama get it together!

Mama get it together!

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4 days before I gave birth… HUGE!

January through…. April I pretty steadily lost weight during my pregnancy due to excessive throwing up every time I tried to eat… anything. . . then it all just stopped! AND BOY WAS I HUNGRY!!! NOMNOMNOM FEED ME!!!!  I started being able to eat and enjoy food again which was very exciting so I ate like I was eating for like one plus a little more.  I was still working out and eating healthy, but I wouldn’t turn down a cupcake if offered one (or half a dozen from Sprinkles….) SO GOOD!  But I was more just growing a bump and not a huge belly.  Then came August.

At my last appointment in July I had only (relative) gained about 27lbs total. I was pretty proud of this because I wasn’t getting overly huge but I was gaining weight at a rate that my Dr. was pleased with… then came August (yes, August deserves two introductions)22166223135492509_9NCd6Sz4_c

Let’s just say I did work from August through Madison’s birth on October 4th. The total number of pounds needs not to be discussed…. (WAY MORE THAN 27) but to say I was blown away at the fact that Maddy was only 7 lbs was an understatement!  I was HUGE!  I expected to have a least a 30 pounder in me! I was picturing giving birth and losing like 20 lbs instantly then like another 20 or so over the next couple of days! I mean that is what happens on TV!!!!77476056059830128_Sio9yuJE_c

THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENS! I am pretty sure I lost like 8 lbs total at the hospital, 7.7 being Maddy. DISAPPOINTMENT!134545107587343303_h4q86key_c

So yeah, new year, new much larger body than ever before…. and shockingly NEW DIET.  This time at least since the Mr. enjoyed eating dessert every night since pregnancy allowed with me… for moral support WE are doing this “lifestyle change” together.

131308145356455507_1zynjPZN_cLet me tell you about this “lifestyle change” …. it should be called eat nothing tasty and still not lose weight.  We are doing the 17 day diet and Insanity workout.  The diet is pretty much lean proteins and veggies…. add in carbs for milk production reasons and NO SUGAR!  NO SUGAR! OMGOSH, that is the worst.  Seriously, we ate three huge tubs of scoop and bake chocolate chip cookies in two months that’s like 400 cookies… now, we are not allowed to eat cookies?!108156828521760096_zZkac0bA_c

TRAGIC.

But alas, we are slowing getting used to snacking on carrots instead of cookies and dessert, plain, non-fat yogurt. YUM. (that is what I am supposed to feel, instead I just feel anger) ANGER because after like 14 days of eating like a rabbit and working out like Susan Summers in 1984 I have not lost a pound.  I told the Mr. if I gain weight on this diet I will go back to burritos and cookies.  He is scared. IMG_4608

So yeah, we are doing the healthy thing around here…… I will get back into my pre-preggo non-fat jeans clothes… weight wise I was half-way there…. then we went to Louisiana for Christmas and I ate like we were expecting baby number 2 (not even close) and yeah…. now I am a little less than half way there… so pass the carrots and tilapia this Mama needs to lose some rolls!

Book club snacks!

Book club snacks!

PS— I think we should start a revolution that makes rolls on Mama’s just as cute as they are on our little babies… because, that would be awesome! 60728294945761061_8HCaPauO_c

30 Reason to be Thankful: part 2

images-1I have been thinking about this list for a while and it is apparent to me that I need to really think about all I am thankful for more often.  It is a nice reality check when I start thinking about all we can’t do, or don’t have to look around and realize how our life is extremely blessed. Just watch a St. Jude’s commercial and try not to feel thankful for the healthy babies in your life, I know we are!!!

images-3Part 2:

16: I am grateful for a husband who doesn’t complain about listening to Christmas music with me every time I play music for a solid month.  He won’t admit it, but he could probably sing the entire N*Sync Christmas CD… of course he’s been listening to it every year since we were in high school!!!

17: I am grateful for a house with a working heater!!  My parents are dealing with replacing their heating system and luckily they have a wood stove to keep the house warm, but without our heater we would just be cold!!!

18: I am grateful for Apple… this is strange I know, but I am so happy we are able to keep in touch with family through facetime. It really lessens the distance between us when we can talk face to face.

19: I am so grateful that I have been able to stay home with our little girl.  It is such a huge relief to know I will be the person raising our daughter and getting to be there for all her new expressions, giggles and movements is pretty special!!!

20: I am GRATEFUL for eggnog lattes… yep, obsessed.

21: I am grateful for Christmas traditions and starting new ones with Madison.images-4

22: I am grateful that my in-laws celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and my family celebrates on Christmas Day, this means that we are able to spend quality time with both sides without splitting our time on one day!!!

23: I am grateful we are going to Louisiana to spend Christmas with my brother and sister in-law and of course my niece Boo 🙂  We can’t wait to see their house, meet their friends and of course eat some good food!!!

24: I am grateful for Maddy’s Monkey! Thanks to Tara and Katie!!! Maddy loves it and it gives me the freedom to get ready, clean house or just pet the pugs while keeping her happy!!

25: I am grateful for Hallmark!  I love that this time of year I am only watching Christmas movies, full of family themes, happy endings and Christmas magic!

26: I am grateful for my camera.  We got it for Christmas last year and now that Maddy is in the picture I love being able to document her growing up with such quality pictures!!

27: I am grateful for school breaks!  Justin and I were able to spend five days together last week and it was so nice sharing the Maddy load, eating meals together and going for long walks with the pugs.

28: I am grateful for baby milestones!! I love reading about what to expect each week from Maddy then seeing her do those things! Like grabbing for toys, smiling at me, and building her strong neck!

29: I am grateful for our baby monitor!  It gives us such a clear picture of Madison at night so I can just look in on her from our bed without having to get up and go into the nursery.  This girl talks all night long so I would be making a lot of late night walks to see her sleep talking!

30: I am grateful for a baby that sleeps!!!  It is so rare that she sleeps less than five hours in a stretch at night that when she does I am exhausted! Right now it is 5-6 hours, eat 30 mins, then 3-4 more hours… I don’t know how parents do it when their kids don’t sleep at night!!!images-2

Bonus:  I am grateful that the Mr. and I are starting a workout plan together! I need that extra support (literally and figuratively) to lose this baby weight and get into shape!!!

Our little turkey!

I posted last Thanksgiving about my love for the holiday and all our traditions, bloopers and beyond that make Thanksgiving Day one to remember year after year.  This year I woke up excited to share this holiday with our daughter for the first time.  I envisioned waking up, drinking pumpkin spice coffee while we played with Maddy and the Macy’s parade would be on in the background.  

We would FaceTime with Grammy & Pappy (my parents) and just enjoy our morning as a family… then later I would cook…. well, this Thanksgiving definitely welcomed us into the holidays as parents!!!

We both woke up early with Madison and sat down to enjoy our coffee while she took a little nap.  The weather was AH-MAZING at like 60 degrees so we loaded up the pugs and baby and headed out to the reserve to go for a long walk.  

We walked and talked about Thanksgiving and holiday traditions, where we may end up (Louisiana was winning with their 75* vs Alaska at -1*) and Maddy slept the entire walk.

With the pugs tired, and me a sweaty mess from carrying her we headed back home.  Watching the parade and just relaxing I didn’t feel the need to cook early because I was only making a couple of dishes and we were having such a good time… then it all started….

As soon as I started to prep Maddy decided she was STARVING, so I went to feed her while Justin prepped, I would come back and do the next step and she would need to eat again, or would spit up a little.  

We both were making ruts in the floor between the living room and the kitchen…  Girl could not make up her mind as to what she wanted!!!

Everything was in the oven, deviled eggs made and green beans were cooking on the stove.  I headed upstairs to start getting ready.  I am not kidding you I get my curling iron plugged in and curl one strand of hair when I hear Justin say, WOW that is impressive.  Then OH MY GOSH MADDY!!! So I run down stairs and he is picking her up and handing her to me!

She spit up all over her monkey, her clothes, her hair, her face was practically white!  He said it was pouring out of her nose at one point… so much for getting ready! To the bath we go!!! I run the bath and get Maddy in while Justin runs down to get the monkey into the wash since it needed to come to dinner with us (the monkey is her bouncer seat)-  I get her washed and go to put her in the towel to dry off … moments before putting the diaper on her… and ….

you guessed it she poops! Back in the tub to wash her off and back to the next clean towel! I QUICKLY got the diaper on and started the lotioning up process and got her into another plain onesie… (I was not tempting her with the turkey outfit yet!)

Good thing because two more outfits later, she was out of spit up and we were finally able to get dressed ourselves!!!!!  Oh did I mention in the process of cleaning up the milk baby… the green beans cooked out all the water and BURNED the entire bottom layer.  AWESOME!

The thing about Maddy is that no matter how much she spits up she is still happy!  We all got ready and loaded up the car and out we headed to the Alper’s for a fabulous Thanksgiving feast!

Maddy slept the entire time we ate, then was a happy playful baby pretty much the whole evening!  The food was wonderful, the company even better and the baby handled her first extended trip away from the house like a pro.

Not even one major spit up, pretty much blew us away after such a hectic afternoon!!!

Lesson learned…. cook while the baby naps or suffer the burned consequences!!!

As our lovely Aunt texted us earlier that morning, we have so much to be thankful for this year,  the best thing in our lives happened 7 weeks ago!!!

As mom says, it’s my last birthday as a “not-a-mama”!

So, ummm, about 26 – I’m not super weird on age, because clearly getting older is for sure the best option ever… but being closer to 30 than 20, that is a little weird. So, officially I think I am going to just keep on at 25, it’s been a good age this past year!!  I decided this year I would do something a little different to celebrate my birthday, just trying to keep things fresh!  I decided that the night before my birthday would be the PERFECT time to send my husband out to the wonderful, warm, West Coast for a little Coffman family time.  Right?! Great plan?!

Since a couple of weeks ago I realized that is exactly when he would be going and I was going to be alone (with my pugs) on my birthday I decided that clearly I needed to have the best birthday weekend EVER!!!!  Like it would need to really be something special and exactly what I wanted, I may be a brat, but I really like my birthday!  Being the great Mr. that he is, and the fact that the last three months have been exhausting for both of us, he was totally on board with my birthday celebration.  Get ready… it is pretty impressive…

The suspense is killing  you right?! You are thinking, ball room dancing, a hotel at the Ritz, glitz, glam, you know, the works! Well, you are so totally right… and a little, teeny bit off… What did I want to do more than anything?!  Eat at Chick-Fil-A for lunch, shop for crib bedding and hit up Sprinkles for cupcakes for dessert. WOW!!!  And you know what I did, just that… and it was incredible. Perhaps pregnancy has made me easy to please, but when you don’t live near a Chick-Fil-A so Sunday is not the only day you can’t eat it, but every day you can’t eat it… then finding out one is a mere hour and a half away is this preggo woman’s dream!

 We hit the road around 11:00 Saturday morning and heading into Chicago, more directly, made a beeline through traffic to pull up to this wonderful location.Beautiful isn’t it.  YUMMM!!!!  The funny thing is that when we opened the door the line to order was almost coming out of the restaurant! OMG!  We started laughing, it was so unexpected.  Lots of people came in and then left, like no way are they waiting in line.  I call those people crazy.  We waited (like 10 minutes) and ordered, I was a little excited, especially when I saw the lemonade.  YUM!  Considering a drive out there tonight…. Dangerous post to write when hungry!  I stalked people until I found an open seat and we….Or ate… but you get the point!

I feel like you may judge me for this long of a post about the lunch at a fast food restaurant, but you may judge me more when I tell you I just found out there is one minutes from IKEA… so, I will now be making more trips to Schaumburg, IL for housing goods and chicken.  No more Swedish meatballs for me (j/k, I totally get the ranch wraps at IKEA…)

Okay, after the Mr.’s second trip down the line to get more nuggets (for him not me) we headed out to make our way to baby heaven, or more closely named expectant mama’s heaven!!! The Land of Nod.I have had my eye on a certain bedding since about 8 hours after finding out we were pregnant… this was my chance to see it live in person to make sure it was as adorable in person as it is online… you know what… it totally is.

The Land of Nod, for those you do not spend all day shopping for babies… is the Crate and Barrel baby store, it is adorable.  We walked around trying out rockers, playing with toys, looking at rugs, curtains, bedding, books, wall décor, lamps etc… they have it all and everything is super cute!!!  I think the funniest part of this store is how I was constantly telling Justin what our kid would be doing with/on each item… take this rug,

Umm duh, our son (if son) would set up his little lego towns, and then drive around the city with his hot wheels, OMG so cute.  This is the Mr… so is that how our little boy is going to play?!  Yes he is, very calmly and creatively.  Justin… or he will be like me and my brothers and will start major battles in different areas and destroy the town!?!?! WHAT?!  No, no, this is when I said, it is my day so I get to create our kids personalities today, and you just have to love everything. Ok? Yep, I am such a grown-up!!!

I also found out at this location that the bedding I am in LOVE with is apparently the most popular bedding of the year, and it is sold out.  I am not even a little surprised. I have a knack for choosing the unreachable items. Luckily, she said so many people are ordering, they are constantly filling their stock in stores and online.  So by October, I should have my bedding in the crib waiting for this little Beau or Belle!!!  Since this location did not have the bedding we hit up another location on the way home… here it is 🙂 SO CUTE!!!

It is called Not a Peep crib bedding!!! OBSESSED! Please take note of the polka dots… you didn’t think our child would escape that did you?

After The Land of Nod, we headed out and shopped around the area, I exposed the Mr. to the glorious world of The Container Store and World Market, so that was exciting.  How he has made it this long without ever going in these stores will continue to be a mystery for me!

A little shopping later and we made our way to the Lake front area to enter cupcake utopia. Where the line literally was down the street! But, again worth it…And perhaps… went a little crazy.  We each picked out two cupcakes… Then I panicked and added a third choice…Then the lady while we were checking out, told us that they were already going to be packaged in a box of six, and did we REALLY want an empty space?!  No.  We did not want an empty space?! So I threw in another Red Velvet.  Since Sprinkles was packed, we headed up the block to Starbucks… which was also packed, armed with our coffee and cupcakes we headed to the car to enjoy a fabulous end to a perfect day…They did not disappoint!

Then just as I was throwing myself a pity party and throwing a possible dose of guilt on the Mr. I came home to a lovely surprise and a card that was addressed to Mama! LOVE it!!!!

Today I am grateful for my Mr. how went out of his way to make my 26th birthday extra special and I am also grateful that he has the next five days to catch up with the Coffman’s!!! We miss y’all & I know you will have a blast, catch a big one for me tomorrow!!!

I should also mention, I am a little sad we are out of cupcakes, but three days of Sprinkles, was a good run!

12 years since I gave him my heart…

Ladies & Gents this year, Valentine’s Day 2012 marks our 12th Valentine’s Day as a couple and it all started with a little game of hearts keep away at our high school.  The Mr. & I are semi competitive people and for ONCE in our relationship this turned out to be like the best thing ever in 2001, one short day after meeting him on a basketball road trip our competitive nature not only made us awesome at the hearts game, but it brought our crush into high-speed!For those of you who didn’t attend Colony High School, the Valentine’s heart game was a two-day ordeal, day one (which in 2001 was on a Monday, yep I remember) – the girls wear a necklace with their heart and they have to give their heart up to any boy they talk to during the day.  Day two, the boys wear the necklace, same rules apply.  You only get one heart and the goal is to gather as many hearts as possible throughout the day.

 Okay, so how do I remember the day of the week you may be wondering… well, because the weekend before is when we met… and I did not give out my phone number in high school to boys.  I was all about the if you wanted to go on a date, then you are going to have to work on it at school first for a little while.  The problem this time was that a day after we met I was crushing big time on this sophomore and I couldn’t talk to him, because I was not going to lose the game. And I really wanted to save my heart for him, awe cute/gag right 🙂 Then day two he couldn’t talk to me and it drove me CRAZY.  Finally, when he met me after school, or at practice he brought be his heart!  SWOON!   The best is that later that night he had a basketball game that I went to you know, just watch… he brought me a huge bouquet of daisies!  Stay with me, getting daisies from your crush, Valentine’s week in high school, is like a major deal. I am pretty sure I ran out to my parents car and just counted the seconds until I was home to call Kristin!  So fun!

 Happy Valentine’s Eve!

  I am grateful for my Valentine and Mr. I am so happy that we have had each other’s hearts now for 12 years!

 P.S. – Is it weird that I am pretty sure the only phone number I have committed to memory outside of immediate family & Justin is the Mayschak’s second line… I think I called it about 1 billion times from 6th-12th! The WORST was when someone was online and it would be busy!!

The 12th day of 2012

NYE at the Horny Goat

Happy New Year!  Oh, what… you say that is like so 12 days ago?! Well, friends I have been incredibly busy what with having to watch the first two seasons of Mad Men… having a shrimp boil, hockey game… and the National Championship Game. Life around these parts has been BUSY BUSY!  & Just as I start to unwind I catch a cold that knocks me out then while I am down it takes my voice.

Wearing our festive attire courtesy of Miss Tara

Basically, that means it is time to get back to the blog and get to posting my 2012 “resolutions”…. but being the complete poster that I am I think a little NYE celebration is in order!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mr & I are what you call unlucky NYE celebration goers… we want to go out, have a good time and celebrate with friends… however, when we have in the past our evening ends up …not so celebratory!  Last year we decided to take a break and spend the night on our couch with our good friend watching the ball drop and eating take-out pizza while sipping our champagne!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year thanks to some clever arranging and luck of the Groupon era… we bought tickets to spend NYE at the Horny Goat Hideaway!  The Horny Goat is one of our favorite bars to hang out at in the summer, it has outdoor seating, right on the river, multiple volleyball courts, ping-pong, fire pits etc… and they did it up right for New Years!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were treated to a great night with even better friends! Live band, balloon drop, photo booth, valet parking etc… we had a blast, and perhaps broke our curse!! Happy New Year!  Now… onto those resolutions… 12 days in is a better date to start than 360 right?! 🙂

The whole gang on NYE!!!

I am grateful for a group of friends and a fun & safe NYE spent in Milwaukee!!!

Cheers to 2012!

 

 

Merry Christmas Mr. Bublé! (part three)

Have I mentioned that I LOVE Christmas!!! I love wearing coordinating PJ’s with the Mr. & making my family all match too… that is fun! I LOVE that I get to listen to Christmas music all day long and no one can say anything because, duh… it’s Christmas. I love opening gifts, watching others open gifts and the WRAPPING paper! I LOVE wrapping paper. This year my wrapping theme was glitz & glitter (yes, there is a theme each year)!  It was fabulous!  Especially since everyone was sufficiently glittered up by the time they had opened gifts 🙂 Lovely!This year was no exception!  When we got home Christmas Eve I passed out everyone’s matching PJ’s and explained that this is my tradition and I would love for them to share in the festivities… READ:… this is what you will be wearing in the morning, and you are really happy about it… got it…? NOW SMILE!I was all kinds of giddy just thinking about the morning so we called mom & dad (it was about 2am our time, so 11 theirs) I wanted to be the first child to call and say Merry Christmas… clearly, that makes me the best! What?! Christmas isn’t about competing for best child title… you had me fooled.After a short conversation centered around the hilariousness that  is our family jib jab cards (SO FUNNY!!!) we went to sleep.  Actually, I kept talking and then the Mr. rolled over and took off his glasses… that means, I am going to sleep now… continue talking at your own risk. An episode of Psych later, “you know that’s right!” and I was out.  Only to wake up a few hours later and ready to get this Christmas on the road!WHOOOO HOOOO! We ran upstairs, had some coffee and then sat impatiently around the tree while we waited for everyone to wake up and get to unwrapping! Since most of the gifts were delivered the night before, Justin and I were stacked high this morning with gifts from the Boyd side! It was quite exciting!!!  Let me just give you a little insight into gift giving in our marriage. We both love to give gifts, but it stresses one of us out to the MAX!!! That would be Justin. A couple of weeks ago I had an email from my MIL asking for what I would like for Christmas, I sent Justin my Nordstrom’s wish list to forward on. This is his reaction: “WHEN DID YOU MAKE A  WISH LIST?! WHAT IS ON IT?! WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT IT?!” PANIC…followed by a very long and silent car ride to Target. I was so confused, but being the kind and loving wife I am on 12/18… one week before Christmas…and his gift had been wrapped and under our tree for almost three weeks. . . I’mjustsayingMrs.– “I’ve had this wish list for a while, I just keep it updated so that I can tell people (read…always ready for a gift) if they ask. And BTW, you told me like two weeks ago that my gift was covered. So, why would I send you this wish list?!”  also, FYI I send you things I want like 50 times throughout the week…save them!

Mr.– “I do, have your gift covered, but now I am confused, and second guessing myself.”

Mrs.—“Well, I am sure I will like what you had planned? PS… Christmas is in one week.”

Mr. –“ I know, you don’t have to remind me…grrrrr”

Mrs. – “I’m just saying, I don’t have any gifts under the tree. Le sigh.”

SILENCE. Muttering. Silence. More Muttering. . .

Well friends, he blew me away on Christmas morning! First off he gave me a really cute golfing outfit (wow), a golf club cover that is a pug (adorable) and my grand finale and long Northface winter coat!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been wanting one for so long! YEAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

He rocked my Christmas gift world 🙂

Now, onto his gift.  I got him some golfing equipment and some clothes (snooze…) but his main gift was a pair of glasses that has a video camera on them to record his hunting expeditions (THAT IS ALL)— inappropriate Dedekers 😉 Jared  & my Dad each have a pair and Justin has been casually (all the time) been talking about these glasses. They are pretty cool, so I am looking forward to him getting to use them next duck season.  **A little side note on me trying to purchase these glasses.  I found them at Cabela’s on Black Friday and knew it would be wise to purchase them on that day. The tricky thing is that I was trying to purchase these glasses while Justin was shopping in the same store.  No lie, I literally hit the floor three separate times in line when I would see him pass by so that he couldn’t find me. I also turned off my phone so that he couldn’t call me. It was ridiculous, and the line was about a 60minute wait. Stressful, very stressful.After gifts (which we both were spoiled rotten!) – the Tennessee Clan arrived to open stockings with our family.  This was hilarious!  Stockings were never like the thing we looked forward to in our house, I can’t even remember if we did them every year… sorry!  But for Justin’s family since they do Christmas on Christmas Eve, stockings in the morning are a HUGE deal and the gifts that go inside are nothing if not unique and FUNNY!!!Let’s start with the most unique and ummmmmmmmm interesting? (ew) thing I have EVER like, in my life seen in a stocking.  Justin’s Aunt Judy opened a smaller size gift from Santa that simply said, “For the woman who needs to go.” Yep. Then she starts to read the packaging, “Get your Go Girl: a female urination device that allows women to pee while standing up. Go Girl is great for outdoor activities, concerts, or just the girl on the go.”  Really?! I am shocked right now, like mouth open shocked! I mean concerts?!  Excuse me Kenny (ala Chesney, we are tight) I am just standing here using the restroom while standing, because if a man can do it then so can I?!

OMGOSH! The HORROR!  And just when I think it can’t be any worse, Judy opens the box and pulls it out. . .  pause for dramatic effect.WOW! NEVER IN MY LIFE!!!!!!   I should mention that Judy and family does a lot of outdoor activities like camping…not concert nasty stuff… so this is more appropriate for that application… I do not, so this was foreign and gross, and wrong. And weird right?! This is weird.  So props to you go girls… I am just going to keep on keeping in the bathroom line.  I mean concerts, and just on the go?! WHAT IN THE WORLD!Okay, moving on… hehehe – another HIT of a stocking gift came from my MIL to all the boys in the house.  These were like air guns for marshmallows.  You put a baby marshmallow in the tip and blow and out they shoot! At first they were okay… then they were a HUGE success.  Props to her for knowing how to shop for grown men 🙂  I like to believe this was Betty Lou & Magnolia’s favorite part of the day. Because, in pug speak bullets aka marshmallows= TREATS all over! Very exciting day to be a pug in that backyard!After stockings the rest of the clan arrived and we had a big pancake brunch. It was really nice, we all sat around and visited about gifts, shot marshmallows through open windows, took pictures and relaxed and listened to a little Christmas music 🙂 Then we (the Coffman’s) got busy!The Menu: Two turkeys (one smoked, one cooked by Jay), Sweet potatoes (X2), Cornbread dressing (2), corn pudding (2), Winter salad, red velvet cake brownies, tiramisu cake, vanilla bread pudding, deviled eggs, rolls & mashed potatoes (dean) –WE WERE BUSY Y’all!!! I did all the cooking (hahaha) Well, I was doing all the cooking and bossing 🙂  I had a plethora of helpers at any given point, two people cut themselves, cough, Justin & Kyle… everyone else survived alright.  We even ate on time! MIRACLE!  It was a great day in the kitchen just cooking and chatting!Dinner was fantastic and the evening ended with a ummmmmmm competitive game of Funglish! Y’all have to play this game if you haven’t already! For the newbies, I would suggest a less competitive crowd to start with, we are RUTHLESS!In the end, the day was just like it was supposed to be, a family spending time enjoying each other’s company. For me it is always a pleasure getting to visit with his extended family and getting to know everyone a little better.  Five years in between visits is too long, good thing we have the Carolina’s this summer!

And that does it! Christmas 2011 – we were in Minnesota a few more days, in which time I took Ryan shopping for a new wardrobe :), went to a movie with the ladies, watched Conner play in a couple of bball games and ate and talked way more than I had in a long time! Phew, we were exhausted, no worries three days on the couch and we were ready to roll…

Dedeker Grandkid Tradition... oldest to youngest...

I am grateful for the time we had as a whole family in Minnesota this year, with everyone spread out it is always nice to come together over the Holidays.

2012 New Years…resolutions…to do list… plans… to come next… I’ve just got to finish this cookie… j/k

A VERY Merry Christmas Eve (Part two)

WARNING: Lots of photos 🙂

Christmas for the Dedeker clan arrives on December 24th, a WHOLE day before I was ever allowed to open gifts, this is a pretty great new tradition in my mind.  Once we started dating we always celebrated Christmas Eve with Justin’s family and Christmas day with mine. This year was no exception!  We all got up early-ish on Saturday and visited before getting ready for church.  Justin’s family is Adventist, which means I always feel like I get a bonus weekend day when we are visiting, since I associate Church with Sunday… tangent…After church we all piled in our many vehicles and headed over to the good ole’ Macaroni Grill for lunch.  Apparently, we are now old, so we were stuck 🙂 sitting with the adults for this meal! No more kids table for us! We secretly high-fived.  Because at the adult’s table, you get to discuss dreams about being nude and monkey poop coffee! Really?! That is not normal… well that is what we discussed!! Apparently all the Dedekers have a similar dream about being in a public situation partially or in some cases, nude. The most common was topless & in underwear! This cracks me up, the outlaws (aka, spouses) found constant amusement in their dreams and deciphering what they could mean.  Then my MIL dropped a bomb excuse the future pun  of a story involving her enjoyment of monkey or lizard (not sure it makes a difference) poop coffee. I guess it is a really expensive type of coffee bean that is processed after an animal digests it and then you know… poops it out?!!? GROSS!!!! She was busy defending it and I could not hardly breathe I was laugh/gagging so hard just thinking about that.  Nope. Sorry, that is one fancy pants trend I am not going to try!About three and a half hours later, busy? No, just slow… we left for home to hang out and nap before heading back over to Dean & Evie’s house for Christmas Eve dinner & gifts!!

Dinner was delish as always, we had pulled pork sandwiches, tortellini soup and tons of appetizers & Conner’s fabulous apple pies! YUMMY!!! When we were all in a food coma, we decided to get to work on the mass amounts of presents. Did y’all see that tree?! 17 people from extremely generous families comes out to be a LOT of presents!!!A few funny moments from the night:

Jason received a waffle maker and exclaimed, “blessings to you! I LOVE waffles” HAHA!! He was so genuinely excited to get a waffle maker! LOVED it!Then the Tennessee Dedekers, have an alpaca farm located just a few miles down the road, so alpacas were the theme! We had alpaca head bands, socks, scarves, etc… the funniest part was that Jenna told us they came from the alpaca babies!  This created the sarcastic ones from the group to remark on how there used to be an alpaca farm near them… now we are wearing it!  Side note: my alpaca head band rocks, so crazy warm and soft!

Again with the Tennessee Dedekers, they also gave Conner a pair of pants that are made out of water hoses or firemen’s hoses?! Not really sure, but they are like super thick carharts, pretty nifty pants.  Well, Derek (Conner’s older brother) was just about in a fit wanting these pants, so to say he was excited when he opened up his very own pair would be an understatement!!! It was hilarious!!!

They also gave all the Coffman boys naked man underwear in a can! HAHA! Apparently according to the Mr. they are awesome.

We made the all knowing mistake of giving the MN boys duck & goose calls. . . it was never quiet again!

I have two favorite gifts, one that was received really nicely and the other that was so cute!!  Justin’s family all has North Face coats, me included and we all wear them pretty much all the time. Well, this year for Papa’s birthday he received a North Face coat too. . .  Now, according to Grandma she was the only one in the FAMILY who didn’t have a North Face and she wanted one!!! This is really cute on so many levels, mainly because she is very soft spoken and doesn’t really ask anyone for anything, and I think everyone in the family knew what she was getting because I even heard about her wanting one at least three times 🙂  Go Grandma, get that gift!!!

The second gift that turned out to be an unexpected super emotional gift was a spotting scope (I know, this is not exactly what it is boys…) but a really high tech scope for Ryan.  Ryan is a Marine Sniper who is getting ready to head over to Afghanistan for his last tour here in March.  This past Thanksgiving we learned of a scope that basically allows him to see his target  from 1600 meters. It also tells him, wind, temperature, levels, etc… it is pretty neat.  Anyways, it was a big ticket item that the majority of the family, us included had our hand in on in order to get him this for his job.  In our minds, any small thing we can do to help our military, especially Ryan we will do.  So gift given… he knew he was getting it and in turn he gave the most sincere, appreciative thank you to the family I have ever heard.

They are his words, so I won’t go into detail, I will just leave it at there wasn’t many dry eyes around that tree when he was done.  I also hope he is reading …. And knows that all of us would do anything for him and will be supporting him from a far while he is away!!!

This cracks me up, tough marine still gets tackled by his big brother!

Moving on from that gift. . . I was sufficiently fueled up with Starbuck’s gift cards (apparently, my addiction is not so secret!) and many other great gifts.  Justin’s aunt even quilted a t-shirt quilt for his grandfather with shirts from all the kids! It turned out so great!!!!

About three hours of highly organized gift opening later… it was time to head home and get our Christmas PJ’s on and into bed!!!

I am grateful for my new camera so that I was able to capture all the great moments throughout this past week!!

We did Christmas… in a big kind of way this year! (part one)

So remember (because I know you do…) all my bahumbug this and bahumbug that like 10 days ago, because I was like stuck in Milwaukee while the Mr. was all Christmas joying it up with his family in the Twin Cities. . . Well friends my joy arrived promptly at 10:30 Friday morning when I left my spacious office (read tiny cubicle of doom) and headed to the airport!When one thinks about getting to the airport on Friday, the 23rd of December one may be met with a Griswold-esc expectation of how this is going to go down. Long lines… angry flight attendants…security check points from down below… Check. Check. & Check.

I had a carry on roller bag, a bag of gifts and my purse, liquids all separated and everything ready to go through security when it dawned on me that I had NO IDEA what was in the gifts I was trying to bring on board.  Up until this  point I was in a total panic that my bags would be searched and eek the security people would see my stash of underwear (that I forgot to send with the Mr.), or somehow my bag would be ripped open and gasp underwear EVERYWHERE!  OMG. PANIC!  Back on track… panicking, I was loading my gifts, bags, liquids, shirts, boots, scarf, belt, (I am practically nude here) and I had the flash vision of what if the gift to Justin was some sort of hunting knife situation from my brother (the gift was from Jared to Justin and hunting accessories are not out of the norm) OMG! What if I am trying to bring some sort of huge animal gutting knife on board a Delta flight to Minneapolis! Serious sweating was taking place.  Reluctantly, I put everything through and stepped through the metal detector.

BEEEEP! I almost died right then. I was thinking, just take me now, I surrender! Then the man said, honey I think your necklace is causing the beep, please throw it in  your bag.  Oh right, my necklace, and my bags had not gone through the scanner yet.  Ok. Calm down crazy.

BEEEEEEPPPPPPPP! OMG! It’s the knife I know it, I am so sorry, (in my head) – sweating again, the man said, huh, is it your bracelet.  Right, (get it together lady!) so I go back, take off the bracelet (bangles mind you so this took a while in my panicked state) – – –

BEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost hit the floor.  And that is when I just knew it was the machete I was trying to pack on the plane. The following happened in slow motion (no, I am not exaggerating). . . The man said, Miss, it appears you have something sharp in your bag and we need to check it.  All the thoughts right now, underwear, machete, underwear!!!!! As I approached the table the man said do you have anything in here that you need to disclose? I was about to admit to everything in the bag, ummm crazy amounts of underwear, tights, boots, gloves, flat iron, hair dryer, curling iron, make-up etc… anything vain… yep, in my bag. Then thankfully, he said, Miss do you have tweezers in your bag?

OMGosh! Tweezers make this thing beep?! (yep, out loud)- he said sometimes. So I was able to open the outer pouch on my suitcase (nothing private in this pouch) and gave him my tweezers.  I didn’t even wait for him to run the test to see if I could keep them. I was like, they are yours, I’ll just take my unmentionables, and killing weapon of choice and get on the plane!

Then I ran. . . scratch that, walked calmly and unassumingly away. Only to have forgotten my belt. So I had to go back.  Story of my life.The flight was seriously the greatest thing ever. Crowded, late… etc… but it didn’t matter. And do you know why?! Because I was all kindle what can you offer me today, oh, a lovely Christmas love story, yes please! And we take off, and we fly for about 15 minutes and we descend and land pleasantly on the ground in Minneapolis.  This all took place in about an hour and half. It is about a 6 hour drive. I HEART flying!!!  The Mr. and I navigated our way through the grocery store for all of our Christmas Day meal groceries (2nd annual Coffman Christmas Dinner), while he told me about all the great things he had been doing and gave me an update on my pugs.  Then we checked out, and while Justin was busy bagging our groceries (so particular) … the checkout lady said she wished I would have let her know I was coming in from Milwaukee (nope, don’t know her.. never met her before) because I could have picked up her step-daughter (nope, don’t know her either) along the way. That would have saved them gas money. WHAT?! I was like, oh, well, sorry I didn’t know she needed a ride?! Really?!?! I  wasn’t really sure how to respond. So I helped pick up the bagging pace and out we went!When we finally made it to Justin’s grandparents, I was greeted by my pugs, and all the in-laws. Not to mention shortbread cookies and garlic baby crackers (I am sure that is the official name!) Not too shabby of a welcome.

 I sat around and visited with these characters. . .

and these lovely ladies. . .Then we headed over to Dean & Evie’s house for a Mexican Fiesta complete with Chili’s (my fave) chips & salsa and margaritas 🙂 virgin, but with the stories that were being told I am pretty sure there was some truth serum cough, cough, tequila  mixed in! JOKES!!And the medals for the best stories of the night. . .

 Apparently, when my husband was a wee little lad, his dad would put a piece of sandpaper in between his cheeks (yep, the ones you are thinking) and watch him run around?! WHAT!  The best part of this story is that his uncles were talking about how they would plan to go visit based on if this event would take place! Awe, my poor husband’s buns 🙂 TOO funny. Although, sorry hubby, that will not be on your list to do when for our future little lad. A side note story to this one, is that while we were laughing, Justin said I am so scarred from this experience (totally sarcastic & he meant emotionally scarred) his grandmother offered up a hand mirror so that we (not going to happen)could check for scars! I thought I was going to die from laughter!

Justin’s uncle rigged a pulley system so that his baby boy could reach a string and lower his bottle down to his mouth when in his little seat.  This was not for a pure invention purpose… nope, he was trying to get a high score in a video game.

&  finally, the summer we got married, my brother in-laws were snorkeling at Hanauma Bay- a little bit of background on this bay. It is shallow, the tide is intense and it is relatively easy for the following to happen… Well, Kyle and Ryan were swimming along when all the sudden the tide went out and Kyle was beached on a chunk of coral. (funny right) the best part of the story is that (Kyle told the story, so I am safe to say we all laughed together) … anyways, the best part is that Ryan, without missing a beat swam by Kyle while talking whale speak.  OMGOSH. We laughed so hard. I can’t believe in the almost five years since that trip that we had never heard this story.Whale Speak (watch this if you don’t understand whale speak!!)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the men in my family 🙂

Christmas Eve festivities are up next!

Today I am overwhelmingly grateful for the past three days that were spent on our couch, just the Mr. & I watching Mad Men with the pugs.  We were bums, but we needed the time and relaxation before real life started again!