Saturday, December 3, 2011

The $175 baby blanket

Thanks to Pinterest I'm often finding projects online and thinking to myself, "I could do that if I had a sewing machine."

After convincing John that this was going to save us money in the long run we bought our first sewing machine and tonight I made my first baby blanket!  Please note- this may look really nice in the picture but in person you can totally tell I'm a novice :) 

The problem is that while I could teach myself to do clothing alterations/repairs, curtain making, etc I keep finding "cute baby stuff" to make for all my friends and family that are having babies- which isn't exactly the money saving route John wanted me to take with this new machine.  (he should have seen this coming) 

So....all in all, machine, thread, scissors, fabric, batting, fountain pop to keep me focused this one blanket set us back about $175.  Totally worth it right?  :)

If you're interested I used this tutorial I found via Pinterest

Thursday, November 24, 2011


You want to know what I'm most thankful for this Thanksgiving?

These two, right here...

Seriously, try not to be jealous ;o)
Of course also on the thankful list include wonderful parents, in-laws, jobs we love, a home that's just perfect for us, and a new baby arriving in April!  And who could forget about Midas!?  While the drool does drive us both insane- he's pretty wonderful too!  

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!  Let the Christmas countdown begin! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Our first Halloween in the new neighborhood was absolutely AMAZING!  I'm not kidding when I say it was like something out of Martha Stewart magazine- the weather, tons to people, mom with their coffee's, dads with their "drinks", the leaves on the ground, every house lit was just perfect!

We spent the first hour out trick-or-treating with Sloane while my parents handed out candy.  Sloane did a pretty good job considering it was her first treat time out trick-or treating from house to house.  Of course she wanted to eat the candy before we got home.  :)  

My first costume pick for Sloane was to go as Curious George, her favorite but then I got worried people would think she's a boy.  I switched it to a pig in a blanket where I'd dress her up at a pig and give her a blanket but of course she wouldn't wear the pig nose.  And without the nose she looked like a then I found a great owl costume on Pinterest (if you not on it- get on it now- awesome, awesome stuff).  So after a few burns with the hot glue gun Sloane was ready to be the cutest owl ever! 

I asked my mom to keep count of how many kids came to our door- over 100 and all prepared with a joke and most even said "thank you"! 

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween! 

 (I realize this isn't the best shot but I wanted one to show how busy it was- lines at most houses for treats!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We're Pregnant!

If you haven't already heard the news (or read the post title).... I'm pregnant!  And yes, that's my excuse for taking a small vacation from updating the blog.  :)  After a few rough weeks in the beginning I'm feeling great!  We're due April 26, which makes me 15 weeks prego- I'll save you from doing the math in your head.

Sloane seems to be pretty excited about it too.  She thinks the baby is in my "button" (belly button- close enough right?) and it's always sleeping :)  She loves to say, "Shhhhhh, the baby's sleeping in there, don't wake the baby."  She's going to be a great older sibling.

Again, I feel like everyone else is pregnant too which is great- more friends for Sloane and more mom's for me to troubleshoot with!  I'm sure it's just our age but John and I have close friends/family that are due every month from now until May!  Babies, babies, babies!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited John and I are to have another shot at the baby stage.  Ask either one of us and we'll tell you babies (under 12 mths) are just not that fun.  We'd much rather have a running, talking, even sometimes kicking and screaming toddler then a baby.  But now that we're in Des Moines, closer to friends, family, entertainment, the gym, multiple babysitters, and equipped with much more knowledge I think we might be able to enjoy the early months this time around and dare I say it.....relax a little bit and have fun!

Stay tuned-- Halloween pics to come soon!  

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm crazy!

Again, I've been a little slow to blog about our exciting Summer and now it's September!  (I think my last post started out very similar hmmmm). 

Everyday honestly keeps getting more and more fun with Sloane.  She talks, sings, giggles, and of course still cries from time to time but some of the things she says and does just amazes me.  So..... if you haven't had the privilege to see Sloane in awhile I've come up with the top ten thing she does that crack us up.  Enjoy!

10. A hug always comes with a kiss....on the lips.  Even if she barely knows the person.
9.  Every morning she asks for some coffee (my luke warm, heavy on the cream and sugar version of coffee) with a spoon.  (I wish I was joking about this)
8.  She'll shake her head back and forth yelling, "I'm crazy!"
7.  She finds every blanket in the house (including towels) put them on the floor in our bedroom and jump from our bed to the floor over and over again.  I've given up on making beds. 
6.  Every color is green.  Next guess?  Yellow.  Always
7. She can hear a fire truck a mile away and when she does she'll come running to you to see it.
6. She thinks fire hydrants that are two colors are wearing a "hat"
5.  If you leave your wallet and/or money laying around it will end up in her "cash register".  Sounds vaguely similar to her father....
4.  Hold up an outfit and ask her what she thinks, "Cuuuute." is always the answer.  Sounds vaguely like her mother :) 
3.  She knows our neighbors by the names of the dogs that live in them
2.  Some how magically waits to pass gas until she's naked in the tub and then laughs and says, "I tooted"
1.  When she figures out something all by her self she yells, "Yay!  I did it!"

Gosh, I love her!  Don't you?

Friday, August 5, 2011

July in Review

It's August?  Seriously?

What happened to July?

Here is a wordless recap of our "fly by July".  Enjoy!
(click on photos to make larger) 

more to come....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thank you Officer

Yesterday Sloane and I took a visit to the Clive Police Department for a car seat check and a nice chat with Lt. John. 

Despite the fact that she wasn't quite as much in awe of him as I would have liked her to be I do think she was listening.  He told her to pretend her buckle was a "hot potato" so now when we get in the car she always tells me, "no touch, hot. hot. hot" :)

The number of times she's unbuckled herself has decreased since visiting but I'm banking on a replacement clip (which Lt. John recommended) will keep her in for good! 

I'd love to elaborate more but we've got a jam packed weekend ahead with lots left to do! 

It's hard to believe that 2 years ago today I was waiting in Winterset for John to pick me up so we could go to the hospital and have a baby!  Tomorrow Sloane's two!?!  Can you believe it?

She seems so grown up!  As John would say, "she's like a mini human."  (I think he means adult)  :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Calling the Police!

I knew this day would come.... I just thought if I didn't talk about it then it wouldn't happen right.  It did.  It's begun....

Sloane can and WILL unbuckle her own car seat.  Uggggghhhhhh.

So far I've tried yelling...which is kinda forced and I think she knows that.  I'm not "mad", I'm concerned for her safety so yelling doesn't really fit the crime. I would do it if it worked but it's not working. 

We've both tried pulling the car over (which will continue to do every time until we figure out a way to solve it).

I've tried "slapping" her hands.  She laughs at me which then makes me want to pop her cheek but of course I wouldn't do.

I've looked and looked online for something to cover the buckle (it's the one that goes across the chest) and I can't find anything!  Yes, I know about safety pins, zip ties, etc but I've also read that those can keep the car seat straps from functioning properly in the event of a crash and it's additional equipment that a EMT (GOD FORBID) needs to remove.

Sooooo before I go turning her car seat into a straight jacket we're going to take a trip to the police station.  I'm partly going in for a car seat check but I've also requested that a man in uniform has a little "chit chat" with Sloane.

I know these two things about Sloane.... she loves police cars and she always seems to behave better for strangers then her own loving, caring, sit with you in time out for 15 minutes without losing their cool until you say your sorry parents.

Pray this works.

Stay tuned to find out what happens..... 

Monday, July 4, 2011

shake it baby!

As Sloane would say, "Ohhhh Man!" What a weekend!  I hope this finds everyone recovering from a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.  John, Sloane and I celebrated by watching fireworks on Capitol Hill Friday night.  We were a little leery of letting Sloane stay up so late but I think it's safe to say she enjoyed it. 

I think she stole my moves... :) 

(the sway and clap...a tutorial)

(the clap and jump) 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Before and Afters!

As some of you may know John and I were inspired by close friends of ours to enroll in Financial Peace University.  FPU is a 13 week class designed by Dave Ramsey (our new best friend) to help get you and your spouse on the right track to reach your financial goals.  Needless to say, in order to reach our goals (like buy a loft in some big city when we retire for me and a log cabin on a lake for John) we needed to spend less and save more.  Ok, Ok... I need to spend less. :)

Sooooo.....  with a little creativity and a helpful husband/toddler I came up with these two room makeovers using supplies we already had!  And, I have to say- I'm so very proud and impressed with my interior design innovations and handy work.

Here is the bathroom before....

 We didn't buy the house with torn wallpaper and broken towel bars but it was U.G.L.Y!
 My little helper!
I had to throw this in here because...well... this is our life.  Work a little, 
find her naked on the window sill, then work some more :)
 Bathroom AFTER!

 Mudroom before....
Mudroom AFTER!  


Ahhhhhh....much better!

And now I have three days, few plans and a husband to help!  What to tackle next?!?

Hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I have a riddle for you today...

Cooks and cleans, doesn't hesitate to change diapers or give baths.  
Gentle enough to sing a song at bedtime but tough enough to put you in time-out.  

Who am I???

That's right everyone....he does it all and he's all mine (and Sloane's).  John works hard all day long and doesn't even blink an eye when he comes home to a messy house, crying child and a stressed wife.  He can take it all in stride with a smile on his face.  Yes, it's kinda annoying at times (he is rarely in a "bad mood" because it's a "choice".  I wish I had that skill...). Sloane and I are so thankful to have him in our lives. 

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to my Dad (and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY today as well).  If he had a dollar every time I threw a softball in his face when I got frustrated he'd be RICH.  :)  But his patience and encouragement have provided support when I needed it the most- even if I didn't "want to hear it".  Thanks Dad!  Love you!  

When I asked John what he admired about his dad he replied without hesitation, "He leads by example."  and I agree.  The day before our wedding the whole wedding party arrive at the reception site to decorate so there would be less to do the following day.  Well, the idea was great but I forgot half of the decorations.  Typical bridezilla...  I threw a fit, cried and was convinced the day was ruined (dramatic, I know).  I'll never forget Ernie-calm, cool and collected as usual hugged me and reassured me that it's going to be fine.  He was right.   

Happy Father's Day to all the great dad's out there.  Thank you dads!   


Monday, June 13, 2011

John's Half Ironman

He did it!  John officially completed one of the most difficult endurance races around- the half ironman!  On Saturday at 7:36am John entered the (cold) water to begin the race.  Six and half hours later...he finished!

For those of you who aren't familiar with triathlons and/or ironman races the half ironman distance consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run.  Yes, done one right after another. 

Even in cold water and chilly morning temps John got off to a great start with the swim.  The water temp was 66 degrees.  The typical YMCA pool? 84 degrees.!  At just under 50 minutes he exited the water ripping off his wetsuit, goggles and cap as he ran into the transition area.  The bike leg was made up of two 23 mile loops with one 10 mile out and back at the end.  Despite a wrong turn (made by many other riders) that cost him a little time he came off the bike and into the run with a smile!  The run, as you can imagine, was a challenge but John pushed through the fatigue and pain to the finish.

**I think it's important to note that there were aprox. 260 individuals registered for this race and 30 of them did not finish.

Aside from a nice sunburn and a bum knee he's recovering well.  (Not that John would tell me if he wasn't!) While he says he's not interested in competing in this lengthy of a triathlon again I think he will.  Give him some time for the sunburn to fade, knee to recover and he'll be back for round two :) 

Thanks to everyone (grandmas, grandpas, friends, family...) who have supported John and our family while he completed his training.  It took a lot of discipline and dedication to complete this and I know many of you have helped watch Sloane, provided encouragement, etc to make this possible.

More pictures of John will be available shortly at (click on Liberty Triathlon 2011)  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Curious Sloane

I know most parents think their kids are the greatest but ours really is.  :)  Ok, I'm only joking (kinda) but she does keep us entertained and on our toes.  It really is amazing how much and how quickly they pick up on everything you do... things you do everyday that you don't really even think they notice-- they know, she's watching you.  For instance, yesterday I caught Sloane putting on my bra and many times she's taken paper towels and wiped Midas's mouth off and it never fails- every time I pull out a chapstick or lip gloss she's standing below me making a kissey face.

This last week I had taken my debit card out of my wallet to quickly run into Target and must have just set it on the passenger seat when I got back in the car because John found it days later on the floor in the car.  He brought it into the house, laid it on the counter and told me he found it.  A few days go by and I mentioned to John that I still didn't have my debit card.  Convinced that I had left it someplace we looked around a little and then finally called the bank a week later to get a new card.  This morning John found it...

  My card was safe and sound right inside of Sloane's cash register :)  She's either really smart or she's gone shopping too much with mama... 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I took this photo of Sloane yesterday.  I'm not even sure how I got this effect.  I think I was moving the camera with her.  Anyways, I thought if I had to pick one photo that best captures Sloane's attitude, demeanor, personality whatever you want to call it- this would be it. 

She's a whirlwind of constant movement, curiosity and enjoyment all wrapped up into one little sweet package.  And although most days I feel like my head is spinning by the time John comes home I wouldn't change a thing. 

Happy Mother's day! 


Monday, May 2, 2011

Kitchen Before & After

It's not completely done but good enough to show you a picture.  I'm pretty please with our work considering we did it 100% ourselves and only had to ask the home depot staff and Jesse (our good friend and contractor) only a few questions.  :)   plz. note-- this is not the finished product- I realize I have light plates and decor and much more to work on.  And no, the bottom cabinet are not a different color- it's just the lighting :)


I'm afraid I've created a monster....

I hope I'm not alone here but... I often "yell" for John.  For example, I'm upstairs and he's downstairs and I need him to bring me something (b.c my legs are "broken" and I can't do it myself) or he's out in the yard and I need him to come inside to look at something on the computer- very important stuff here.  Anyways, it's always the same tone and pitch.  I'd like to think it's a short, sweet, filled with affection, "John?".  John would probably tell you it's an annoying, nagging, shrill.  :)

Well, it never really occurred to me how many times a day holler at him until I was carrying Sloane on my hip and were were standing on the deck waiting for John to come home.  She spotted him and yelled in the exact same pitch and tone that I do.... "JOHN"! 

While I've seen her give expressions or have mannerisms that remind me of either John or myself I've never heard her sound like either one of us until yesterday.  She sounded exactly like I did.  I thought it was hilarious.  John did not. 

If you've seen the movie Wedding Crashers you might be familiar with Will Farrell's line, "Mom!  I want some meatloaf."   I'm embarrassed to say that I might sound strikingly similar to that at times but it didn't top last night when John had strapped Sloane in her seat and while waiting for dinner she yelled, "JOHN!" Clear as day from the dining room. 

Ohhhhh I love that girl.  She's one of a kind. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

John and I kicked off Sunday with the first of hopefully many Easter egg hunts in our backyard this year.  Sloane loved it.  Of course we had to stop and eat the "treats" inside each egg before looking for others so it took awhile but I think you can see from the pictures below how much fun she had.  Hope everyone else had a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Home Preview

 On Thursday we officially became the new owners of this home!
 Thanks to help from Grandmas and friends John and I have been able to spend quite a few hours putting our "touch" on the house.  This is the "before" picture of the kitchen.  Other then the paint color it's in great shape just not what we wanted.  Finally, my hours of reading DIY home design blogs during nap time have paid off!

 It's not totally done yet but I'm impatient so I have to give you a little preview of what we've been working on.   I'll be sure to post final pictures as soon as we're done! 
Happy Easter everyone! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Elkhart Time Trials Race

Tonight I (Annie) raced in my first ever bike race- the Elkhart Time Trial.  It's a relatively flat, out and back, 12k course.  I decided that I need to post about this before the official times came out and change how I feel about the race.

While I don't know my time exactly, I know that thanks to the TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, could barely stand up at times wind it wasn't near as good as I'd like it to be. (Which is why I'm sharing this now as opposed to waiting to see what I placed) However, it's amazing to think that less then six months ago I was nervous to even attend an indoor training session with the DMOS race team and now I'm racing right along with them!  Well, some of them are passing me but I'm still out there! 

I've been really lucky to have a more than supportive husband who lets me train and compete whenever necessary as well as made a few new great teammates/friends who have taught me a ton of valuable lessons about bikes, racing and how to handle races that are less then ideal.  I've even been so inspired by my teammates that I'm planning on becoming certified to teach group spinning classes at the YMCA!

I never in a million years thought that John and I would be competing in triathlons or that I would be on a cycling race team but I'm so happy we've been able to find something to give us that competitive feeling once in awhile.  (Instead of trying to make monopoly a competitive, full contact sport)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gracie turns TWO!

For me, the silver lining of the horrific events that have taken place in Japan is that it has brought my great friend from high school, Kylan and her family home to Ames (for at least a bit anyways).  On Sunday her daughter Gracie turned two!  It has to be one of the best hand-made birthday parties we've been to.  (Check out the elmo and cookie monster cupcakes and elmo decor below!)

You couldn't have wished for better weather.  And, although we couldn't stay long Sloane and I had so much fun and we're so happy to be able to celebrate Gracie's birthday!

Gotta have a picture of the mammas :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bueller? Bueller?

My former teammate and dear friend Stefenie (Miller) Wright is an amazing graphic designer.  Multiple times I have seen pricey prints on esty that I would love to have but just can't spend the money.  With in days Stef can come up with a customized version, complete with the perfect colors, fonts and size to fit my decor for less money and less time.  LOVE HER.  Check out the latest one she did for Sloane's new room...
 To see more of her amazing work (she did the family trees for me too) check her out at

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sloane's Straight Jacket

If John and I had a dollar every time we did one of the following we'd be RICH
1. Found Sloane un-snapping her onesie
2. Found Sloane naked
3. Found Sloane naked in her bed after nap time
4. Found Sloane naked in her bed in the morning

So... you get the point.  Sloane likes to be naked and as cute as I think her little tushy is John and I are sick of constantly changing her soaked clothes and or sheets.  Short of duct taping her diaper on (which we have seriously considered) we've tried everything.

It took her about ten minutes to figure out how to take off a backwards diaper off and maybe a couple weeks how to un-snap her onesies.  We've even done a diaper, then a pull up diaper over then a onesie and she manages to still stretch them so far they leak. 

Her best trick so far might be running to the bathroom and yelling "poop".  I fell for it a few times but it turns out it's just a fun game for her to sit naked on the toilet and flush it. 

I think I may have nailed it this time though.  If she can get out of this I'm driving to the nearest talented and gifted center for 20 month-olds and enrolling her ASAP!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bad Luck of the Partially Irish

If you know Sloane you know she's no dummy.  She's never one to be tricked into playing with toy cell phones, car keys, or television remotes.  She has to have the real thing.  And yes, she knows the difference.  John and I have gotten in to a terrible habit of giving her our phones, keys, remotes, etc to play with and until today have only run into problems like she'll accidentally calling your boss or DVR something on the home shopping network.

Today was a different story. I was putting her in her car seat in the parking lot of the YMCA this morning.  She had the car keys in her hand and it was causing some difficulty buckling her in so I took them from her, threw them in the front seat of the car, buckled her in, closed the door, grabbed the drivers door handle and ......IT'S LOCKED!!!!!!!!!!  Every single door- LOCKED!!!! 

All I could think of was that OnStar commercial where the crying mother calls and says, "I've locked my baby in the car."  Did I really just do this?  I had nothing on me- no wallet, no phone, no ID, no idea what the number to OnStar was even if we did have OnStar and of course Sloane was sobbing.

Thankfully a nice women leaving the Y (with two kids) called her husband at work to get the number to OnStar then let me use her phone to call.  Thankfully we had a free 6 month subscription to OnStar with our new car, thankfully they were able to unlock my doors in a matter of minutes and thankfully the lady was prepared (unlike me) with milk and snacks for her kids so they didn't mind waiting either.  I told her she was going to have very good luck today for her kindness.  

To top it off- Midas pooped in the house while we were gone.

Lessons learned today
1. Find Sloane a new pair of keys to play with
2. Keep OnStar subscription
3. Don't leave phone in the car...just in case...
4. When Midas whines to go out and you think he just wants attention let him out anyway. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Up to Speed

Sloane's Christmas Card 2010
William (Sloane's friend) dogging a kis
For me updating our blog is like picking up the phone to call an old friend.  It seems the longer I wait to do it the harder it becomes.  So, to catch everyone up on what we've been up to the past FOUR months (where did the winter go?!) I put together a few pictures and promise, again, to post more often!

We also have some great news to share...we bought a house last month and move in late April!  It's smack dab on the corner of Kingman and 42nd in Des Moines.  We absolutely love the neighborhood and can't wait to finally unpack everything one last time!

While it's already a great house there are a few easy, cosmetic changes I'd like to make so I'll be sure to post pictures once we have the before AND the afters.   :)   

Taken during one of our many practice photo shoots

Found her dad's headphones

sticky, sticky!