Saturday, November 30, 2013

What I Wear Workdays

We're all well aware that I'm not a fashionista. But I've spent so much time and money lately on revamping my fall wardrobe that I feel the need to share. A friend of mine is doing a series of what she wears on Sundays to church, so I thought I would do a week of what I wear to work. This was a good week since I was rocking a lot of new things! It's nice to finally feel more confident in what I am wearing. (Although I'll always be a jeans, hoodies, and flip flops kinda girl at heart!)
 
Look #1
 
 
 
Sweater - Boden
Camisole - Old Navy
Belt - NY & Company
Pants - The Limited
Shoes - Nine West
 
Look #2
 
 
 
Sweater - Banana Republic
Camisole - Old Navy
Necklace - Handmade from a craft show
Pants - The Limited
Shoes - Nine West
 
Look #3
 
 
 
Sweater - Banana Republic
Camisole - Old Navy
Necklace - NY & Company
Pants - Banana Republic
Shoes - Nine West (and yes, I've worn the same type of shoes in 3 different colors for 3 days in a row!)
 
Look #4
 
 
 
Sweater - LOFT
Camisole - Old Navy
Necklace - LOFT
Pants - The Limited
Shoes - Nine West
 
 
Look #5
 
 
 
Blouse - NY & Company
Camisole - Be Maternity (yes, I'm still wearing maternity camisoles because they come up higher on my chest!)
Necklace - Banana Republic
Skirt - The Limited
Boots - I scored these for $30 at a women's show years ago... I wish I had bought another pair for when these wear out!
 
So, you can see what stores I tend to frequent. LOL. And no, I don't spend a fortune on my clothes. Am I the best dressed in my office? Not by a long shot. But I'm holding my own and I feel excited about my new clothes. I try to watch sales, shop outlets, and we have a Banana Republic Visa card, so we can get benefits of shopping there, Gap, and Old Navy as well!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks Worth Giving

It's no secret that Thanksgiving is one of my least favorite holidays. But stay tuned for an actual post about what we did and all that jazz. No, today, I just want to express my unwavering gratitude to the universe for blessing me with the most amazing little girl I could have ever dreamed. Bimmer is my heart and my soul and every reason I still take a breath each day. I am beyond thankful for her. I've never wanted to scream my thanks for anything more.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Take a Moment

It's funny how I'm still realizing the universe has my greater good in mind.

I was recently scrolling down my Facebook news feed, when I noticed an article that a friend from college had posted. The name of the author sounded familiar, so I clicked on it. (You can read it HERE.) As soon as I went to the website, I recognized the author, Sarah Mae. I randomly had a chance to meet her earlier this year. I also have her book, "Desperate," laying on my desk, just waiting for a quiet moment to be able to pick it up. I have a gut feeling it is going to provide me with a lot of comfort.

The blog post she had written that my friend had shared was about how her daughter just needed her sometimes. It can be taken as the child misbehaving, not listening, or being disrespectful, but sometimes, they're just trying to get your attention because they crave and need that attention from you.

That hit hard with the Queen of Multitasking over here.

My typical evening routine is coming home, giving the baby a bottle, and letting her sit on the kitchen floor with it while I unpack her school bag, pack her lunch for the next day, prep dinner, etc. One night, about a week before seeing this article, Bimmer walked over to me with her bottle and was rubbing my leg. She followed me back and forth a few times from the sink to the fridge and back again. All right at my feet. I finally stopped what I was doing and picked her up. She slung one arm around my neck, put her head down on my shoulder, and laid there until she had finished every last drop of her bottle. Then she looked up, gave me a huge grin, and wiggled her way back down to the floor to play.

Had I not stopped to pick her up, I would have never had that moment with her. She needed her Mommy and I needed her in return; I just didn't know it.
 
Since that day, I have made a very conscious effort to make sure I'm not missing things like that. One night, we sat together on the bedroom floor for 30 minutes watching videos of Bimmer on my phone. Another, she laid with me on the bed pointing to my eyes, nose, mouth repeatedly, smiling proudly when she got it right. And yet another, she let me hold her in my arms on the couch, like a baby, as we rubbed our noses together, and she giggled and giggled.
 
I have caught some grief at times about our co-sleeping with Bimmer. It wasn't necessarily a decision I set out to make. But in hindsight, all those nights of snuggles were good for both of us. I miss it, but it's good for her to assert some independence and stay in her crib. That's not to say I don't sometimes let her get into bed with me if she wakes up around 5am. I love weekend mornings with her in bed with me... when she wakes up and crawls right up to you and pats your face until you open an eye. Then she just gives you the biggest, toothiest, grin imaginable. Melts. My. Heart.
 
I'm hoping Puff will take some time to step back and assess his relationship with Bimmer as well. We both have room for improvement in taking time to just BE with our baby girl. She's growing up way too fast and before we know it, she won't want to hug on us and won't need us as much. I am promising to make memories... even if it's just a generic memory of me being there for her as she grows.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

18 Month Update

 
Yup - very much a toddler!
 
How and where did an entire year and a half go?!?!

Time to start working on a sibling ;)

OK... but for real... a few little updates on things Bimmer is doing/saying these days...

1) She has discovered raisins. They are da bomb.

2) We are trying to work on manners, so when she points at something she wants or signs for "more" we are trying to encourage "please" and "thank you." She does the sign for "thank you" if she's prompted. And she says "pees" when you tell her to say "please." Pretty much the cutest thing ever.

3) She has relapsed a little on the whole sleeping in her crib thing. It's totally our fault. We're working on it. Slowly.

4) I love telling her to say thing and listen to her repeat the words to me. Some things she knocks out of the park, like "cardinal." Who would have thought? Others, not so much. She did pretty well saying Puff's name and when I asked her to say mine, she said "Tee Tee" which is the exact same thing I called myself when I was little!
 
5) The kid is obsessed with pretzel crisps. She calls them "cacas" (her version of "crackers") and does her sign for "more" the minute she sees the bag. Even at the grocery store, she spotted the bag and had to carry it around with her in the cart. I let her dip them in cream cheese one night and she went "mmmmmm" with a big smile. I think I blew her mind.
 
6) She has finally started to really show true fear. I've noticed it most with animals. She likes them from afar, but if they get near her, she freaks out. There's a cat in the neighborhood that's been hanging around the house and now, even if it's not that close, she screams. We are working on DH consoling her versus telling her to "suck it up." She has also shown fear when we sit her on the counters or washing machine. (Of course we don't leave her unattended!) But she'll scooch back to the back now to not be near the edge. At least she has that instinct!
 
7) She still hasn't mastered climbing and I feel like she's a little behind on that. She can go up steps OK and can get down off the couch or bed OK. But she can't get up on any of the furniture to save her life. Part of me is fine with it though... one less thing to worry about.
 
8) We have officially retired all her 12 month clothes. I was holding on to some of her jammies, even though she was rockin' the Honey Boo Boo look with the bottom of her belly hanging out. We are now in all 18 month clothes and some 24 month jammies. She is still in her 4 1/2 shoes that we bought her back in April! We plan to get her new ones in January if she hasn't grown out of them by then. That's a long time for kid shoes!
 
9) I'm obsessed with her giggles. I chase her around the house just so I can hear them.
 
10) No, we haven't gotten rid of the bottle yet. Doc Hottie had said he wanted her off it by 18 months. That didn't happen. Why? Because I hate sippy cups. My goal is to get her off bottles by the end of January. It's not going to be pretty. I am also hindering her ability to eat with utensils. I rarely give her one because she makes such a mess. Time for me to let go of that. My baby girl has to grow up somehow!
 
11) As strange as it is, she loves lotion. Her cheeks have been chapped lately with a burst of cooler weather, so we've been putting it on her daily. She loves it! She likes to help squirt it out and rub it in. She wants us to rub it in on her belly too. It must just feel good!
 
12) For as sweet as she can be sometimes, she is very much a toddler trying to assert her independence, test her boundaries, and see how much power she really has. We are in for it!

Friday, November 22, 2013

For my Favorite President

Bang! Lincoln. Bang! Kennedy. 100 years apart, the United States lost two great men.
 
That was the start to my first ever speech, back in 1994, when I was 12 years old. It was a comparison of the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy. My teacher loaned me this book for research. I've been dying to get my hands on a copy ever since. My research on Kennedy also included long talks with both of my grandmothers. Granny dug into the bottom of her dresser drawer and pulled out a large garnet colored book of photos from his funeral. Grandma told me stories. Her eyes lit up when she spoke of him and his family. They meant something to her.
 
 
 
It was then that I got on board the Kennedy train. I became fascinated. I borrowed books, watched documentaries, looked up old newspaper articles. (This was before the internet, remember!) I wasn't necessarily obsessed, but I drank the Kool-Aid. I sat and listened about a time when world leaders had charisma and tragedy struck everyone personally. It was a different time... a time that will never be able to be replicated. I even decided that Kennedy would be a badass name to use for a future child.
 
"The energy, the faith, and the devotion, which we bring to this endeavor, will light our country and all who serve it. The glow from that fire can truly light the world."
 
I saw this quote at Kennedy's grave when I visited it at that age. I saw it again when I visited a few years later, and again in 2009 when Kim and I stopped by. I've been to Dealey Plaza in Dallas. I've been to the 6th floor of the Book Depository. I've been to his library and museum in Massachusetts. I've stalked his family's compound in Hyannis. I feel like my Grandma lives on through me in her love for the Kennedy family.
 
As the 50 year anniversary of his assassination has been front and center this past week, I couldn't help but reminiss. The family compels me, intrigues me, and downright fascinates me. Here's hoping interest never wanes. I know mine won't.
 
This bit of an article I saw today caught my eye. Sums it up, doesn't it?
 
 
 
"We cannot get past it. The president with the easy grin who became a symbol of change in the status quo gunned down in an instant. His wife, forever frozen in our minds donning pink and a pillbox hat. The motorcade. The sunny day."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thank You, Thank You

I love my job. I really do. The industry I work in is tailor-made for me.
 
But it's not always glamorous. I posted HERE about a super awesome client from awhile back who told me how much of a rock star I am. Those clients who notice all that I do are few and far between.
 
The company I work for isn't always quick to recognize me either. Probably because my role is misunderstood and erroneously gets lumped into the sales department, which means that everyone else thinks we giggle all day, do no real work, and go out to drink on the boss's dime at 4pm. I'm not in this job for the recognition, but I won't kick it out of bed if it jumps in.
 
Then our quarterly all-employee meeting happened. And the GM spouted off a bunch of things about how awesome this award recipient was and how much they do for the company and how important their job is. Then he said that the company is very lucky to have this person as an employee. (Which was not said about the other winners, I may add.) And he called my name.
 
All star manager for the quarter.
 
 
 
It's practically unheard of for anyone in my realm of the company to win this award. As I said, most people don't understand what I do. And this is a nominated award. My coworkers had to take their time to fill out a form and submit it. So humbling!
 
I will graciously accept the certificate, but I will be even happier to accept the month of free parking (a $70 value), the $50 Visa gift card, AND an additional paid vacation day!
 
Now to plan a trip to use that on :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pulling Back the Curtain

As I think I've mentioned before, my digital SLR camera is about to bite the dust. Puff and I are patiently waiting for Christmas to come, a we've kindly asked for cash as gifts so that we can put it toward the purchase of a new one. (I'm thinking it'll run us about $800 or so.) In the meantime, it's amazing how many photos I find myself taking on my phone. I never thought I would be that person. And while I definitely don't luck out with the composition or flare that some people have for phone photography, I don't ever intend for it to replace a real camera. But in a pinch, it's good for daily lives and cuteness that just sneaks up on you. So, here's a little photo dump today of some pics I've taken in the past month on my cell.
 
A sneak peek into our daily lives...
 
 






 
Yes, she's on a leash :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sound Bite Sunday

It's been ages since I've written about any new music. I don't even remember if I told you about Robbie's latest CD, Take the Crown. It's classic Robbie. You need it in your collection, I promise. I've been stuck lately on his greatest hits, In & Out of Consciousness, because I'm obsessed, so you should go buy that right now too. I'll wait. So I'm totally out of the loop on new music on the radio, new albums by any of my favorites. Nothing... just Robbie.

It did make me tear up one night when I was jamming in the car with Bimmer and "Sin, sin, sin" came on and she started singing along going "la la la." Most. Precious. Thing. Ever.

Such a proud mama!

While Robbie is obviously my preferred choice these days, driving back from Columbia on my own recently (after a much needed girl's shopping day with Kimhead) I was about to fall asleep. So I rummaged through my center console in the car and found something I thought would keep me awake.... Amaryllis by Shinedown.
 

 

I had almost forgotten how much I love me some Shinedown. Of all the new rock music out there, this guy can sing. Honest to goodness. Like, if you took away the music and just heard his voice, it would be pure heaven.

I know I've pimped this song before, but "Call Me" on the "Sound of Madness" album is my all-time favorite. Probably one of my favorite rock ballads of all time. And that's saying something.... more than Journey or Bon Jovi. It just hits you in the gut. And I just want to sing along at the top of my lungs with every ounce of passion I can muster.
 

 

Happy singing! Here's hoping there is some new music in my future after the holidays!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Get Your Pose On

Puff, Bimmer and I just recently wrapped up a quick fall photo shoot with one of my co-workers. While she's not a professional, our normal photographer is back in The Fort, and we won't be there til Christmas, so there wasn't much option in having her do some Christmas card photos for us. (But we definitely plan to do Bimmer's 2 year photos with her!) Alas, it worked out. We got a few sweet photos of our little family to document and remember this time, and that's all that matters!
 
 
 
Anyway... since I'm an OCD planner, I'm already starting to think about what we'll wear for our two 2014 shoots. Yes, even next fall, when I'm thinking a garnet/black/white theme might be in order. This all prompted me to reminiss about what we've already worn for shoots, and I thought I would share my logic and process for picking out photo shoot clothes.  
 
Let's be clear... there will NEVER be any of this business happening...
 
 
 
Before Bimmer, it was a lot simpler. I found an outfit that I loved and hoped Puff had something to match. For our engagement photos, I was madly in love with this dress I found on sale at LOFT. It was a pretty bold pattern, so it was easy to find something in Puff's closet that was more subdued, but in the same color range. You want to coordinate - not match!
 
 
 
Our maternity shoot was a little more difficult, since I was as big as a house. I was hell-bent on not buying a new outfit for the shoot, so I busted out this simple purple dress from Target (size medium - not maternity) and thankfully, my stylish husband already had a shirt from Banana Republic in his closet that had some complimentary purple in it!
 
 
The baby was naked in her newborn photos, so I'll skip that session. LOL. I hadn't initially planned to do another photo shoot until Bimmer was about 6 months old, but our amazing photographer offered a quick mini-session for free when we were in The Fort visiting when Bimmer was just 8 weeks old. How could we turn that down?!? (She's amzing - really!) The MIL had gifted Bimmer a pink/white striped dress that I never thought she would have any reason to wear. That became my jumping off point for these outfits. Since I was still not in all normal clothes, I decided to fit my way back into a blousy white LOFT top and Puff already had a pink Polo shirt, so we were all set. This one didn't take much thought, and is my least favorite of all our photo clothes, but I think we look alright!
 
 
 
 
Bimmer's 7 month photos definitely had a lot more thought (and shopping) behind them! I fell in love with a black/white/pink dress for her at Carter's and had to buy it... not even necessarily knowing when/where she would wear it. When we scheduled our photos, I was on a mad dash to find stuff for Puff and I to wear that coordinated. A trip to the outlet mall yielded about 4 potential options for me (just to be sure... ha ha ha) and I settled on a blouse from Banana Republic that was patterened, but subtle enough not to compete with everything else going on. A pink cardigan from The Gap and then a subtle pink/black/white checked shirt from Banana Republic for Puff and we were ready to go. I love the mixing of patterns here. I think they all work since they're in the same color family, but the scale is all different.
 
 
 
I hadn't planned to go with more pink (since we had already used two different shades in her past photos) but when Bimmer's first birthday shoot was rolling around, it just sorta happened that way. Another trip to the outlets had me coming home with a pink/white gingham shirt from Ralph Lauren. I also snagged some J.Crew shorts in navy, since I thought they would go well together. Puff already had a Polo shirt in navy/white, so I was down to just needing to find Bimmer something that would work. It was a change of pace from us normally working our clothes around the baby's. After striking out at local stores, I hopped on to Etsy and had something made. I had the person custom make this dress with the colors that way (she wasn't selling this as an option - but is now, I just noticed). Again, we're all in patterns, but the colors are spot on. I love these pictures!
 
 
 
This go round, it was back to Bimmer being the center of attention. When I found a seersucker blazer, I couldn't pass it up, even if I did buy it when Puff was out of work. From there it was a few months search for the rest of her outfit. I about screamed when I finally found baby boots at Kohl's for her. I had wanted funky tights, but couldn't find any that worked with the coral of her shirt. Going with navy seemed like a logical choice then for Puff and I.
 
 
 
Wrapping up, here are my thoughts....
 
(1) Go with outfits you love that fit your personality - We would all wear these outfits again (and do!) in our normal lives
 
(2) Find an inspiration piece and work the rest of the wardrobe around it
 
(3) Don't be afraid to mix patterns or go with a bold color
 
(4) Make sure you coordinate, but don't match - No one wants to see an entire family wearing denim shirts
(5) Talk to your photographer - If you find a good one, they'll have plenty of good tips and suggestions
 
 
So, with our fall 2014 photos already decided, I'm thinking Bimmer's 2 year photos may be a purple/gray/turquoise kind of theme. Now to get shopping!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Year Gone

Puff turned 36 this year. Gosh, he's so old! ;)
 

 
 
For a family that always has a plan, we were lacking this day. It was a gorgeous fall morning so we hurried along and got through the gift opening... a pair of khakis, two books, and cards from both Bimmer and I, and then we hit the road to the mountains. We hadn't been on any leaf hunting adventures, so we took advantage of a quiet Sunday to enjoy the gorgeous blue skies!
 
 
 
We hit up Twin Falls and Table Rock in South Carolina. Bimmer loved walking along with her daddy on the trails.
 
 
 
I'm a wee bit jealous of his fall birthday (versus mine in the dead of winter.) It was the perfect day to spend time as a family and celebrate another year together. Another year older and wiser for Puff. Well, at least older.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

European Wanderings

This is part two of a series I started HERE about all the countries/territories that I have visited over the years. I am so anxious to get abroad again! Iceland is calling my name! I foresee Bimmer's first foreign countries being a little off the wall, since I've already been to the "normal" ones. Behind Iceland, Puff and I are dreaming of a road trip through Croatia & Slovenia. Beyond that? Norway, Scotland, Latvia, and Lithuania look good to me! Now on to the ones I've already been lucky enough to see for myself!
 
 
Ireland (2009)
 

 
Puff and I opted for a road trip through Ireland as our first trip together abroad. It was after that trip we knew we could stand each other to get married. If ten days driving on the wrong side of the road doesn't kill you, nothing will.
 
England - London (2002)
 
 
 
Gotta give a shout out to Contiki. This tour company is the reason I was able to see most of Europe. And I got to experience it with 3 of my closest girlfriends. London was a whirlwind... it was my first foreign country really done on my own. Puff isn't too interested in going back, but I think it would be a good jumping off point for a day or two before a drive around the rest of the country. We'll see.
 
Belgium (2002)
 
I have no photos of my time in Belgium. Probably because I literally just drove across it. Puff is skeptical of me listing that I have even been there, but just because I didn't get to chill in Bruges or Ghent doesn't mean I wasn't actually there. I definitely want to go back sometime and see something!
 
The Netherlands - Amsterdam (2002)
 
 
 
Being young and carefree while we toured around Europe on this trip, we were lucky we took in anything worthwhile in any city we visited. I have lots of good pictures of canals and the outside of the Anne Frank house (which we did tour) but this was back in the days of film, and my scanner is broken. I promise we didn't visit the sex museum to see the giant penis you could stand behind to take pictures. I was, however, a little bummed we missed it.
 
Germany (2002 -  St. Goar & Munich & 2011 - Schwerin)
 
 
 
Puff studied German in college, so he has been to the "fatherland" more times than he can probably count. However, I've only been twice. The first time, with the girls, we stopped in a quaint town along the Rhine river and did shots of wine in an old bomb shelter. Puff and I stopped in Warnemunde as a port on a cruise, but snuck off on our own for a train trip into the adorable town of Schwerin. Puff's fluent German is pretty sexy sometimes. Especially when he gets mistaken for a local.
 
Austria (2002)
 
 
 
I definitely would love to go back to Austria and see a little bit more. It was here that I had one of the most exciting and fun nights of my life (thanks to Wolfie, Benny, and Johnny... ha ha ha) but I also got to see the wonderful beauty that is this country. One day I'll take in a city worth noting (since Itter is probably no place I'd be rushing back to) but til then, at least I have fond memories.
 
Italy - Venice, Rome, Florence (2002)
 
 
 
Trying to cram Italy into a few short days is almost an abomination and doesn't do anyone or the country any justice. However, I now know that I have no affinity toward Florence (been there, done that) and when I go back, I can focus on taking in more sights in Rome and hit up the Amalfi Coast or the Cique Terre region. Pretty much anywhere is probably OK though, since I'm pretty much always content with some lemon gelato.
 
Vatican City (2002)
 
 
 
See... I told you we did something worthwhile on this trip! Granted we were probably wasted that night (and the next) but we still took in the Vatican. It was amazing. Since we were 20, we didn't do it right though. We should have found a guide that could have taken us to all the cool stuff and explained a lot more to us. I will definitely do that next time. I am confident there will be a next time in Rome.
 
Switzerland - Lucerne (2002)
 
 
 
It's kinda pathetic when I was going back through the few photos I have scanned from this trip and I see a tram and I'm like, "Oh yeah, we did go to the top of a mountain!" Needless to say, my memories surround the prison hotel we stayed in and all the naughty trouble we got into that night! Oh yeah, and chocolate croissants. Mmmmmm!!!!!!
 
France - Paris (1998 & 2002) & Tours, Biarritz (1998)
 
 
 
I don't like France. I'm just going to come right out and say it. It does nothing for me. I couldn't believe in 2002 that I was back there again after hating it so much in 1998. I gave it another try. And I did find that the Musee D'Orsey is pretty amazing. But outside that? I'm still not sold. I have fond memories of shopping with my girls, but I would rather do it in just about any other country. The people are just not friendly and I find Paris to be very dirty. They have crepes, which is slightly redeeming.
 
Spain - Madrid, Toledo, San Sebastian (1998)
 
I don't have any photos online to share of this trip, since I was only 16 years old when it happened and that was way before digital cameras! Would you believe that my first trip out of the country was to Spain? I went for two weeks with a group from school. It was definitely a learning experience. I am certain that I will get back there someday. I'm confident Puff would like it and we could find some new and interesting places to visit.
 
Denmark  - Copenhagen (2011)
 
 
 
For our 1 year wedding anniversary, Puff and I decided to blow it out of the water and do a Scandinavian cruise. (I posted all about it on here, so you can go back through the archives!) I really liked the charm of Copenhagen. It was chilly and Puff didn't love it, but there was something about it. I wouldn't tell anyone not to go there. Will I rush back? No. But did I have a nice visit? Absolutely.
 
Estonia - Tallinn (2011)
 
 
 
Tallinn was one of those places I didn't know much about, but once I started to research, I knew I would love it. And it did not let me down. Because of the beauty and history, not to mention the amazingly sweet people, Puff and I would go back in a heartbeat. Estonia is the reason we are considering Latvia and Lithuania, Estonia's neighbors, as a possible future trip. Of course we would hit up Estonia again as well! How could you not?!?
 
Russia - St. Petersburg (2011)
 
 
 
Puff was not sold on Russia. I was a bit indifferent. I am so glad I went. I will, however, probably never go back. It was a little out of my comfort zone, and if the people were friendlier, I would consider a return visit to see some more things we missed. However, we did a city tour and saw all the highlights, we visited Peterhof Palace, and we got to spend time in the Hermitage Museum. We checked the boxes.
 
Finland - Helsinki (2011)
 
 
 
Gotta give Finland credit... it was clean and the people were nice. But it was sooooooo boring! There just isn't the history there that other European capitals have. There wasn't anything that jumped out to us as "come see me." We took a ferry out to an island and walked around one church and some shops. I loved that day with Puff, meandering the back streets all the way across a big city, back to our ship. We stopped in a neighborhood grocery for cookies. But the city just wasn't anything special.
 
Sweden - Stockholm (2011)
 
 
 
This is the only place on this trip where I felt like I missed something. We chose to go to Skansen, which is like a mixture of Colonial Williamsburg and an amusement park. I'm glad we went though, since I had the best pastries ever in the history of pastries. We also checked out the amazing Vasa Museum. But we didn't do Old Town. We figured we had seen enough cobblestoned streets to last a lifetime, but as we glanced by on our way out of town, I was a little sad we had skipped it. I know we probably won't be rushing back there, but I wouldn't turn it down either.
 
 
And last, but not least, it doesn't fit in any category but its own...
 
 
 
New Zealand (2005)
 
 
 
It's a shame, really, that I don't have any of my amazing photos scanned from this trip. My rinky-dink digital camera just did not do it justice. You've heard me say it before, and I will scream it until the day I die, but New Zealand is hands-down the most spectacular place I have ever seen. (I figure Iceland and Norway may be the next in line to give it a run for its money.) It's also a shame that I spent my trip there bickering with The Ex. He didn't deserve to be there with me. He didn't appreciate it. I am itching to get back with Puff and Bimmer. We have already decided we will go in 2020... for our 10 year wedding anniversary. And yes, I will be taking my kid(s). It may be the last time I am ever fortunate enough to get there, and I am going to soak up every second. I hope to focus on the South Island and bungy swing in Queenstown, take a jet boat ride, and let Puff thrill in the drive to Milford Sound. My head just wants to explode with the excitement and anticipation I am already feeling... with this trip still 7 years away!
 
 
So, there you have it. A run down of the 16 European (plus NZ) countries I have been to... bringing you to a grand total of 30. My mom pointed out when we stopped in Sweden that I had hit 30 countries before I hit the age of 30. That was a pretty major milestone. I wonder if I can get 10 more in the next 10 years?






Friday, November 8, 2013

Boo!

Last year for Halloween, I went round and round on whether or not Bimmer needed a costume. She was only 5 months old and I didn't think it was really necessary. But then I bit the bullet and decided that this holiday is pretty awesome when you have an adorable baby girl to share it with. So, she was my sweet little bumble bee last year.
 
 
 
This year, I was super hell-bent on her being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. However, when I saw the costume options for her age, I was disappointed. They didn't look anything like the real thing! Yes - I'm totally the mom who would put her toddler in a midriff baring top/vest with booty shorts. Because, seriously, how cute would she have been? So, since that didn't work out, and I imagine this is my last Halloween I get 100% say in the outfit, Puff and I decided the next best thing would be a garden gnome.
 
 
 
We had planned to take her to a local children's Halloween event, but we got there and the line was about a mile long. (No, seriously.) I figured she's still young enough to not really care or understand, so we just went back home and took more cute photos. I was insanely surprised that she kept her hat on for her photos!
 
 
 
 
I love this kid.
 
Don't fret too much though over her lack of trick-or-treating... she did get to partake in a trunk-or-treat at her school's carnival, which included a bouncy house. Unfortunately, I had to work that night, but Puff stepped up. He said she had the best costume and was the cutest kid there.
 
Not that we're biased or anything.
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bimmers for Bimmer

It wouldn't be fall here at Rushing Life if I didn't talk about the BMW European Auto Show at their plant in the upstate of SC. (Read about last year's adventure HERE) I was excited to take Bimmer this year since she would be able to walk around and yell "car" at every one passed. She's kind of a tool (and kind of her father's daughter) when she does that.
 
 
 
However, it didn't turn out to be the great day I had in my head. The weather was drizzly and the baby was exhausted... which meant she was a little bit pissy. We did get to see our friends, Rissa & Nathan, though, which was great. We had missed them! Plus, the feature car this year was the Ferrari, which doesn't interest Puff or I very much.
 
 
 
You can't hit them all out of the park, right?