One of the best things about seeing Hannah more often is seeing how her facial expressions change and how her personality is developing. I heard her say "buh-bye" last week, complete the precious hand wave. The memory is etched in my mind has one of the sweetest voices I've ever heard. My heart melted at just the sound, so I proceeded to pretended to leave a few times so she'd say goodbye again. Didn't work, she's too smart for my shenanigans.

While I was attempting to organize my recent photos, I couldn't help but laugh at the amount of different facial expressions that swept across my screen. 15 minutes in a kiddie pool with Grandma rendered some of my favorites:





No more, Aunt Mere Mere, modeling exhausts me.






Sorry, I'm not fueled with enough creative juice at the moment to come up with another name for this post.
So, now that we've gotten that out of the way..

This past weekend was Kyle's "golden weekend," meaning he had two days off! However, he ended up having to go in all day on Saturday, boo. That's my new favorite word for describing how unfortunate life as a resident can be, creative, I know.

None-the-less, we deemed Saturday night "Date Night 2012!" and made sure we had a great time at our friend's wedding. Which wasn't hard to do, since we were surrounded by close friends, celebrating ones we love and dancing barefoot throughout the night! I even gave Kyle a huge kiss in the middle of the dance floor, just enough to make him blush.

These two kissed a few times too. Bre and Dan were over the moon excited and joyful! It was a blessing to see how God has blessed each of them with the other. They're truly grateful for the journey that brought them to Saturday.








Bre, you're stunning.













Then Sandstorm played, and things got wild.





Followed by, as requested, HAIL TO THE VICTORS!!





Michigan Crew :)



My sore calves the next morning were evidence that the dance floor saw a lot of action. No better way to heal a sore body than indulge in pancakes and coffee the next morning. We shouldn't have let the boys sit right next to one another, as by the end of breakfast we found ourselves at an early movie to see Batman.

A few hours later, we had some more visitors in town :)!



Christine, being an Ohio State fan, did very well in Ann Arbor. I think she secretly LOVED it. Especially since Chad introduced her to Zingerman's.
Please excuse the odd guys on the bench.






Another wonderful summer weekend to be thankful for!




This past week has been all about visitors and celebrations. Doesn't get much better than that, eh? Life just felt so full of JOY.
And that statement should tell you that you're about to be overloaded with photos!
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law, mom and stepdad, dad, brother, sister and niece all came into town this week. Oh yah, and I traveled to a wedding. There was also an owl, wasps and a drugged dog involved.

Let's start from the beginning. Last week was the famous Ann Arbor Art Fair. (It rained the first morning, but we took advantage of the thinned out crowds!)



For two days in a row, I walked around for over five hours...visiting artists, admiring art, gaining appreciation for jewelry makers and drooling (literally) over my new favorite international humanitarian photographer (my dream job, FYI).
I'm sad to say I have very few pictures from Linda & Kelly's visit, as well as my mom & stepdad's. We were too busy shopping and googling at $5,000 art pieces.




Saturday morning, I headed to Grand Rapids with Maizy to celebrate a wedding. No, she wasn't my date, she stayed with Great Grandma GG. Kyle was on nights this weekend, so I tagged along with his whole family. I missed dancing with him, but Kelly & I had a blast dancing barefoot all night.

Thanks Mrs.Stephens for taking some great pictures of the night!! (My battery went dead!)

I love this picture of Kelly & I :)







Ha!



Katie and Sean were adorable as ever, and I'm so thankful I could come to celebrate with them!!



That night we also made a new friend: Otis the Owl
The poor thing had a hurt wing and was hiding in the plants at the VK's home. Kelly ended up taking him all the way to Muskegon on Sunday to save his life.



Sticking with me? Okay!
Sunday I headed back home, snuggled with Kyle for five minutes, attempted to baby-proof the apartment, and then greeted my family who came for the night!



It's so nice that we are just a hop, skip and a jump away from most of our loved ones!
We proceeded to introduce Hannah to her future alma mater,


(don't worry, the pavement wasn't hot!)



She was so excited that she then picked out a sweatshirt for football season. I approved.



Since she held the sweatshirt so well, I taught her how to use a camera and take a picture of her favorite aunt, uncle and cous'





Then we all looked like this after stuffing our bellies with none other than Zingerman's.


(PS. her shirt does say "I love my Auntie.")


I'm back to editing photos, house hunting and attempting to make a dent in the laundry pile.







Ever watched Anderson Cooper? I happen to love him, and the news. Particularly, the RidicuList.
Since it's Friday and we are all in need of some humor to get us through the day, I put together my own list based on our house hunting experiences.

I haven't written much about our house hunting saga, except for the fact that it has been incredibly frustrating and discouraging. Believe it or not, there has also been a good side to it, but I'll share more about that another day. As of now, we are still looking for a home (feels like a part-time job!) and praying that something amazing knocks our socks off...soon! very, very soon!

In the mean time, I hope our recent experiences put a smile on your face.



House Hunting: The 'RidicuList'


1) Seller should not assume their toilet flushed completely

2) Seller should not leave dead mice in basement

3) If seller has a hoarding issue, they should not put the home up for sale until it is appropriately dealt with



5) I promise you that pepto-bismol pink is not a flattering basement color, or any room for that matter

6) Owner should not leave undergarments on the clothes line



7) Seller should be aware that having a terrorist for a dog will not only ward off neighbors but also potential buyers

8) Come to think of it, just take the animals (and yourself!) out of the home entirely



8) Seeing duct tape is never a good sign

9) However you choose to do your business, is your business. But let's not make it so obvious.


 10) When a real estate agent tells you that neutral colors help sell a home, it's for a reason.




13) When your elder parents come to visit, it's best if you remind them to CLOSE THE DOOR when using the bathroom when there are visitors. Yes, that was incredibly awkward.



Most photo credit goes to Julia @ hookedonhouses.net. Every once in a while she writes a post about bad mls photos. It's truly amazing - on so many levels. I thought using existing photos was more appropriate than trying to photograph a man sitting on the coach petting his multiple pets. Dontcha think?



Sometimes in life, things happen that cannot be explained.
I'd like to take this approach when explaining last week's happenings. First, because I really cannot explain it, and secondly, it helps reiterate the point that it was in, in fact, an accident.

You see, Kyle and I have been going back and forth about selling Big Blue (aka, his F250). I know, Gasp! It's his baby (besides myself and Maizy, of course). The reality is that it is just too large to fit into the hospital parking garages. ANY of the parking garages. The antenna found on the ground  demonstrates my point. To solve the problem, he's been driving my car into work everyday....leaving me with Big Blue.
Although I love receiving confused looks from people as my blond self acts confidently driving behind the wheel of that honker of a vehicle, it's not the most practical truck around. Ann Arbor has proved to have narrower streets than Charlottesville, with just as many hills. All this equates to a frustrating experience when drive the majority of places in the city. Every tried parallel parking an F250? Yea, me either. Since it's IMPOSSIBLE!

Now that you've heard my rant, I'm positive that I've won another point for my side of this ongoing argument conversation.
That brings me to this mysterious, for lack of a better word, situation. I was on my merry way to the bank ATM at 8 pm. When I pulled up, I noticed that the dumbo ears of the truck (the mirrors), were very close to the ATM machine.
After finishing my business, I put the car in drive and the rest of the story goes a little something like this:

C R UNCH!! WHAT?!
{instantaneously turning steering wheel}
CRASH! CRASH! CRASH!! 
WHAT THE?!!

And then I pulled away.

I was in shock. Quite frankly, had no idea what just happened. After later putting together the situation , the story unfolded to something of my foot being on the gas, and hitting one poll on one side, to the other poll on the other.

I was temped to call Chase Bank to see if they had the security tape from that night, but I was way to embarrassed to admit that I was the one driving in the video they had most likely been laughing at all day long. I did drive by the next day (in our car), to see if I had done any permanent damage (I actually had dreams of a policeman showing up at our door saying I was trying to break into an ATM), but Big Blue only left a lot of paint on a yellow poll. I figured it was a good start for decorations for football season.

One insurance claim, $2800 estimate and a lot dwindling pride later, Big Blue is still with us.
For better or worse.













Do any of these remind you of yourself? Maybe you should ask a friend instead of answering that question.
Although completely false, I'd prefer to be associated with the Okey-Dokey, simple for the way it rolls of your tongue. See, nice ring to it, right?





Kyle and I have a "secret" place in Ann Arbor. We discovered it while driving around on our typical Sunday afternoon. Whenever we get a chance, we take Maizy there and walk the trails, pick the berries and count how many deer we can spot.

Lately, we've learned a few things. First, flip flops nor boat shoes are adequate for hiking. Removal of tick on foot, CHECK.



Secondly, morning coffee and trail hiking only go hand in hand in my book.



Our expectations may have been set high for the size of animal we would spot:



as my only sighting this past week was out of the car window:



However, the best discovery came when we went off the beaten path {insert Robert Frost poem here}. One small dirt trail leads right to the bank of the river. This past Sunday, we sank our toes into the murky waters, held up our shorts and waded into the river. We splashed one another like school children and cheered Maizy on as she attempted to swim against the current. Those few precious hours of time with just the two of us have become so rare. Our "secret" place may not be the most luxurious location we could have found, but it's ours. As soon as the car door closes, it becomes our safe haven; a place of release from the careers that threaten to steal all of our attention and energy. A simple trail and river that manages to hold our families memories of transition. just ours.








I must be on the track of random thoughts lately, because this definitely qualifies. I was recently running my fingers through our Belize pictures, trying to decide which to print and frame. I had an epiphany that each time I travel, I concoct a new CocaCola advertisement.
I tried to search through my Africa pictures, knowing full well there is one that is million dollar worthy, but to no avail.

At least I can share with you the Belize one, if you promise not to share it. I still need to send it to the execs with my pitch.




Don't be surprised if you see it on the next highway billboard. This is big time peeps.


In other news,
13 hours on my feet this past Friday paid off. I couldn't have been more honored to have shot Steve & Elizabeth's wedding. Here is a sneak peak from the farm:






It's pretty typical to have a conversation in our home that goes a little something like this:
"What?!"
"That made complete sense to me."
"Of course it did, honey."
"I'm still confused that you can't read my mind"
"I just need to understand how your mind got to that place"
{insert an ongoing sentence of one thing reminding me of another reminding me of another reminding me of another...}

Since I've been spending a lot of my time with Maizy, who, bless her heart, is still unable to talk back to me, I have a lot of one-sided conversations. The only positive side being that I don't have someone questioning my thought process, she just nods and smiles. Now, I have this sweet little blog to write on, and although the keys don't type back, at least I feel as if I'm talking to more than my pup. 

Enter: random thoughts for the day.


I'd love to try spinning classes.
My homemade popsicles rock my world.
Is it weird that I'm loving meal planning? All I need is my apron, but it's somewhere in storage.
Creating customized packaging for my photography clients has been ridiculously fun! I can't wait to show you the finished products.
I need to discover a cheap[er] nail salon as my poor feet are feeling the need to be pampered.
Singing in my car should embarrass me much more than it does.
I, not so secretly, feel extremely powerful when driving my husband's F250 and I may or may not use it as an intimidation factor when people go BELOW the speed limit.
Whole30 is going on pause until we settle, considering going out to eat every other night makes it impossible to follow. Talk about bad timing.
Hannah is getting so big. Next she will be graduating high school and I'm just not ready for that.
I have an obsession with letterpress and paper products that is probably unhealthy.
Sometimes I forget that I don't live in Virginia anymore, which has caused more than one awkward situation.
Zingerman's $1 coffee on Monday mornings is my definition of starting the week right.
I never thought I'd say that I am thankful that it is only 90 degrees outside.
Maizy is now trying to hide from me because she says I talk too much.









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