Wednesday, February 29, 2012

special story

Ok so here's the backstory... 

Every night when I put Audrie to bed I make up a bedtime story for her. I started doing this when she was about a two years old. They usually involve a "moral to the story" about something that Audrie did that day. Then about a year ago I started making up a nightly story about a little girl named Clara and her purple puppy dog named Dodo (pronounced Doh-doh). I honestly don't know where these characters came from in my mind, but Audrie seemed to love them so I just kept the stories coming.

Clara and Dodo have had many adventures over the past year! :)

So this year for Audrie's birthday I decided to write down a Clara and Dodo story. And since my brother Caleb is staying with us (and he happens to be a clever artist/doodle-ist) I asked him if he would mind illustrating my story.

Caleb said he would do it. I was excited! But I had no idea what Clara and Dodo looked like, so I just gave Caleb a few descriptive words and let him go for it.

So here is the story we gave to Audrie for her birthday. (Caleb did add color to all these pages, but I I keep forgetting to take new photos of the color version... so you get the black and white!)

Saturday, February 25, 2012


This is how I feel about tomorrow being my last day of my blissful 9 day vacation from work...

(oh and I got a new app for my phone- Incredibooth. Audrie likes it, too!)

Friday, February 24, 2012

can't smile without you

Just a couple photos of the girls recently that make me smile...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a valentine's day to remember

Valentine's day has never been one of my favorite holidays, but this year was really special. 

As soon as I got home from work I gave the girls a few Valentine's treats I had picked up for them. Then we attempted a craft. We tried to do that thing where you use glue and yarn to create heart shape ornaments. We let them dry on wax paper, but for some reason they never set. Oh well, the girls and I had fun making a mess working on them.

 Then the girls and I went into the kitchen to make daddy a special dinner. I have to say that since Audrie is getting older she actually is a big help in the kitchen! (And she loves wearing her apron.)
 Annie is our official taste tester. :)
So the girls and I cooked up a "Pinterest Meal". These are all great recipes I found on Pinterest!

Chili Curry Fries
Rotisserie Chicken/Cream Cheese/Crescent Roll Puffs
Tomato/Mozz Cheese/Fresh Basil/Olive Oil Bites (Audrie LOVED these)
and Brownie Bites

 After we tucked the girls in bed, Jamie and I decided to go downtown to the top of the Empire State Building. (My brother, Caleb, stayed home with the sleeping girls.)

Jamie and I have never been to the Empire State Building and I thought it sounded romantic.

Like An Affair to Remember/ Sleepless in Seattle??

 The best thing was- there was NO line so we took the elevator right up (90 floors) and the weather was perfect for the view.
 We strolled around the observation deck, had our usual chat about "do we really live HERE??", captured a Valentine's Day kiss, then it started to snow a few flurries. It was very romantic.
 After we left the Empire State Building we walked over near Times Square to a diner that we had heard was known for their amazing cheesecake. And it was true. It was some of the best cheesecake I've ever had!
By then it was past midnight and I had to work the next day! So we headed home. But my goodness my heart was happy. It was a really wonderful Valentine's day.

I feel like this year more than ever Jamie and I have tested out the "love is patient. love is kind... always hopes, always trusts".

I'm so blessed to have Jamie as my Valentine!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


We have been trying so hard to find a good church here, but we just can't seem to find anything close to what we want in a church. I don't know if it's because we were so spoiled by how amazing our church was in Arkansas or if we just have to keep searching? We have visited 5 different churches (and given them a few Sundays in a row to see if they're where God wants us), but still nothing even comes close. 

We got the girls dressed up this Sunday morning to try yet another church and they looked so cute in their dresses I had to snap a quick pic.

Here is Annie after I told her to smile with "big teeth"... so she said "Ahhh" like when I brush her teeth. (I love seeing her in dresses that Audrie used to wear.)

Of course Audrie doesn't have to be asked twice to pose. :)
We visited a FBC on 79th street near Central Park and we aren't completely ruling it out- we'll go back a few times before we decide. But honestly I can already tell it's not a fit. We did meet a super sweet couple who had a little boy that was a few months younger than Annie. They took us out for lunch after church- which was so nice of them.

Jamie and I had to high-five on the train home because: church ran late, then we took the girls to a restaurant with this couple, the girls hadn't had a nap, it was getting close to 2pm, and as we were walking out the couple said to us "your girls are so well behaved!". Ha! It was true that Audrie and Annie were awesome that day so we just smiled and nodded at this couple like "oh yes we have the perfect children", but inside we were laughing because... if they only knew! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

the saga of annie's hair

Annie is the sweetest child on the face of the planet. Every day when I get home from work and turn the key in the lock I hear her start squealing "MAMA!!!!!" and hear her running gallop down the hall. Usually Audrie is racing right behind her and they tackle me in the doorway. I LOVE IT.

Annie always gives me a tight hug and snotty kiss. Then I take a moment to stop and admire her hair. I know you've heard me say this before, but ya'll- Annie's hair is atrocious! 

If I put it in pigtails then it's super cute, but since Jamie is one that gets up with them in the morning... Jamie has a lot of talents, but styling toddler hair isn't one of them.
Annie loves to paint and sing... following in the footsteps of her big sister. And if it's possible Annie is actually more social than Audrie. She wants to be everybody's friend at the park and waves at everyone on the subway. Except she's started doing this thing where she yells "HI" at the top of her lungs at people we pass on the street and grins at them with a huge cheesy smile. Kind of freaks people out. (And that's hard to do in this city.)
"Annie, you're not supposed to EAT the paint!"... wha?
Ok, so back to the hair. Jamie says she looks like Jeff Daniel's (from Dumb and Dumber), but I think it's more like Einstein.
But either way we sure do love this girl. She has finally started talking more. Putting words together and bossing us all around.
When Audrie was born I remember how moving it was to watch Jamie fall in love with our baby. Now it's just as sweet to watch Audrie and Annie love each other so much.
Seriously. The hair!?!

I have all next week off from work (yee-haw!!!!) and I'm so looking forward to hanging out with my crazy girls all week! (A whole week of pigtails for Annie- maybe I can convince her hair to play nicely!?) 

*PS- the reason you've only seen photos of Annie's in her pajamas lately is because we've had a problem with her stripping off her clothes and diaper and peeing in random places around the house. (good times!) But we figured out that she can't take off her zip-up footed pajamas, so that's what she's been living in lately.  Poor little Orphan Annie... no one to fix her hair or let her wear real clothes. Ha!