Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Seriously one of the cutest things ever....

Don't mind the glasses and beer can (??) in the way.  I was trying to take the video without her know.  She sometimes gets a bit camera shy.

She is reading a nursery rhyme/story her day care provider gave her for Christmas.  And, in a robe her Memere made for her older cousins, which she loves to wear after her bath.

I'd say she has lots on angels and bright stars looking out for her.  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Three Days of Christmas

Holy cow have we been busy! Sick, busy, traveling, busy, sick and busier!  And I wouldn't change a thing!

Abby recovered in the nick of time for the holidays and passed on her germs to Tim and I.  I'm still battling plugged and echoing ears and tiredness.  Tim is Tim.  :-) 

Day 1:
We celebrated our immediate family Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Meeting at my parents house and patiently waiting for Abby to wake up from her nap, we finally opened our presents!

After our Christmas we headed over to the Legere family Christmas where we enjoyed scrumptious food including seafood casserole, ham, Italian chicken, jello casserole and oh so much more....We switched up gift giving by having a very successful Yankee Swap. 

Day 2:
Christmas was fantastic!  Abby was totally awesome.  She walked timidly into into the living room and then ran to the tree.  She climbed on top of all the presents to check out her new kitchen.  She finally moved on to her new piano from Santa and all of her other presents to open.  Our Santa doesn't wrap presents (call it lazy or thrifty - whatever) but he does have cool "to: Abby, Love: Santa" labels. 

After we opened all of our presents, we headed to worship to celebrate Baby Jesus' birthday, and then drove down to Woburn to share the holiday with the Proctors.  A yummy dinner of lobster casserole, ham, crock pot potatoes, sweetened carrots and more!  I need to get some of these recipes!  After presents and a Yankee Swap we got on the rode around 8pm. 

Day 3:
Tim and I committed to serving breakfast at Preble Street Soup Kitchen and I'm so glad we did.  Not only did we volunteering our time for the hungry and sometimes homeless, we had the opportunity to put our life into perspective.  We left feeling very fortunate for our abundance of food, family, gifts, and love. 

We had dropped Abby off to MiMi's and met everyone up to the Lee's for the Dee Family Christmas.  Again, more food of steak, eggs, toast, bacon.....oh how I'm full.  The Christmas Auction is always one of my favorite traditions of the holiday.  Where we each have 40-50 pennies and we bid on items pulled from Santa's sacks.  Several of my family members purchases items (beef jerkey, beer, wine, candy, gadgets, household items, toiletries, and just plain stuff) to auction off to the family.  There's always something for everyone! 

So there was our three days of Christmas...are you tired?  I'm still trying to catch up!  Even after hitting the sack before 9pm each night this week, I'm still exhausted!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Traditions Part 4 - The Polar Express

While this is one of the priciest traditions in the mix, we're split 50/50 if we'll continue next year. Seeing the pure excitement and wonder in Abby's eyes was something to be treasured.  AND, I'm a big fan of experiential gifts :-) 

We picked Abby up from day care and got down to train in the nick of time. 

On our way with our gold ticket!

 We strolled pass the steaming, shiny black engine, to the conductor waving us in.  We chose one of the last cars with plenty of seats. Anxiously waiting to see what awaits us, we jump with excitement as the steam engine roars to push the train on  its way.  We pass the chefs ready to serve the hot cocoa and as the train stops they dance their way on the train!  Serving a delicious beverage and sugar cookies we dance with them. 

The train gets going as the narration of The Polar Express begins.  We're on our way to the North Pole!  The conductor stops by and asks for Abby's ticket and name.  She quickly punches an "A" and passes it back, "I hope you've been a good girl!  Santa is on his way!"

We reach our destination in record time and enjoy the sights of Casco Bay while we wait for Santa to make his way to our train car.  Finally, we catch a glimpse of the big man in red as he opens the door! 

Abby stares.  In astonishment.  Santa makes his jolly way down the aisle and stops to talk with each child.  He asked Abby what she wanted for Christmas and she stared.  What a magical sight!  Santa moved to the rest of the train and Abby just watched him.  It was really a lot of fun and I can.not.wait to see her look on Christmas morning.

I will be that Mom who races to the tree before anyone else in the family to get the camera ready.  That's another tradition I remember fondly.  We weren't allowed one step down stairs until we heard, "Go!"  :-)

The Polar Express was a big hit for us this year!

Merry Christmas!

We're heading south for the Proctor family Christmas and had a minute to post a Christmas greeting! A few more tradition posts are scheduled for the next few days and a recap of Christmas morning with a two year old. Oh what fun! Santa came to visit and left lots of goodies!! Worship this morning reminded us of celebrating the holy family and the birth of Christ the King. So from our family to yours to the true reason of the holiday, Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Traditions Part 3 - The Gingerbread House

Who doesn't love building a house out of Candy?  No, I didn't bake the house, but I sure did get a killer deal on the kit.  Maybe I'll find an inspiring recipe for next year.  :-)

Abby and I got down to business after she got lost in her excitement that we actually got to play with the candy. While it looks like I did a lot of it, Abby actually picked from the instructions where to put things.  I did most of the "gluing" while she did the "sticking" 

What a fun project to add to the tradition list!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Traditions Part 2 - Baking

Let's face it, I don't bake a lot.  Not for the lack of loving treats, I just don't have a lot of time.  The holiday are a perfect time of year to make the time.  I love my mom's peanut butter fudge, my aunt's needhams, the chex mix, the cookies, the macaroons, the chocolate fudge, the pies...there is absolutely no bias here. 

My friend has a cooking blog that sometimes inspires me to spend more time in the kitchen.  Actually several of my Nestie friends (online girlfriends) have cooking blogs that are totally awesome.  Here is the recipe that inspired our time in the kitchen this year.  Abby was just starting to feel better, but shows a few signs of being sick.  Red eyes, leaky nose, etc.  :-)  Tis the season, right?

What's more fun than a little flour fight?  Most of these went to my coworkers as gifts, but I did leave a half dozen for our house. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Traditions Part 1 - The Tree

We seem to all be on the mend, so I thought I'd write to more exciting happenings.  Tis the season for all things Christmas!  The next few posts will involve what we hope to be some great family traditions that create some fabulous memories.  Don't forget our elf, Eddie, who made his appearance on Thanksgiving.  He's been a fantastic addition to the holiday season. 

First up, the Tree!  One of my favorite traditions was decorating the trees and sometimes two trees at our house growing up.  When my parents moved us to their current house, my Mom wanted a tree in the front room for space to open presents and one in the kitchen for us to enjoy.  As crazy as it was, it was always fun.

Here are the Proctors decorating our 2011 Christmas tree:

The first ornament

Notice the Willow tree behind Tim?  Family.  He gave it to me our first Christmas with Abby.

The final touches - the Angel! 
We bought the second tree we picked up, enjoyed the candy canes given to us by the nice Rotary guys, and drove on home with our 2011 tree.  Isn't it pretty?

on top of it all...

We now have conjunctivitis! 

Just to keep all our family and friends in the loop of what's going on in the Proctor household.  Fortunately, Tim has started his holiday vacation and can be home with her today and starting tomorrow I'm off the rest of the week.  Let's hope that Miss Abigail is better by tomorrow at 4pm where we hope to be riding on the Polar Express.  I think we'll make it.  We've been armed with antibiotics and eye drops so we're good to go. 

I have a few more things to get for the upcoming holiday and most of the wrapping is done.  pheewwww.  There was certainly an advantage to being home all weekend and having a sleepy baby. 

We are very much looking forward to Christmas and all the family time!  I'm excited to go to Christmas Day service in our PJ's and serve breakfast at Preble Street on Monday.  I have a big box of donations ready to go to the food pantry thanks to my couponing and dropped off mittens and gift to the mitten tree. Tis the season of giving, you know. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And the doctors say...

Ear infection!  Abby's cough deepened last night and we were nervous her cold may turn into pneumonia.  So we called last night and ended up seeing the on call doc this morning.   Luckily, it is not that serious and she is now on antibiotics for her ear.  I'm thankful our office has weekend hours and we were one of the first ones on the list!

After a fairly normal day helping me bake in the kitchen (stay tuned for priceless pictures!), she took a turn backwards and whimpered herself to sleep with a leaky eye, leaky nose, and cough.  I'm predicting her leaky eye might be conjunctivitis.  We'll see what tomorrow brings!  Let's hope she is on the mend very soon and the rest of us stay healthy for the holidays. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sick Abby

Tim and I have been splitting the last couple of days between home and work as Miss Abigail has caught the cold (disgusting mess) that was running through day care and school.   Poor Abby worked so hard to poop in private she fell asleep.

Tim didn't dare move her......

Thankfully the nice folks at Port tix took pity on us and exchanged our Polar Express tickets to another day.  There would have been no way we would have made it tonight.  Abby is running fevers up to 104, blowing snock rockets and just today refused to eat any food.  She's still drinking fluids, but I have a feeling we might be at the doctors on Monday if not sooner.

I can't help but chuckle at her lovely bed head, rosy cheeks, and bright red nose as she wakes from a to watch Elf on the Shelf or Rudolph for the upteenth time.  We'll keep y'all updated!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Tree Hugger

 When we started feeding the ducks in Millcreek last summer, Abby began to hug and kiss the trees.  Without my encouragement.  I think she's going to be the next EPA leader.

I found this picture on Tim's phone from this fall. :-)  Oh, how I love her!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Elf Part II

Yesterday morning after breakfast.  Eddie has already been found in the bathroom toilet paper holder

Me:  Abby let's go wash our hands and brush our teeth!

(Abby does her toddle waddle off to the bathroom!)
Abby:  Teeth? 
Me:  Yes, Abby you can brush your teeth
Abby: OOOOK!
Me: (A few minutes later) Alright, Abby, it's Momma's turn to brush teeth...(I usually make sure she got all the crevices)
Abby:  No, Mummy, MYSELF!  Eddie's watching.

The bathroom is THE best place for Eddie to show up. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This Christmas season is going to be!  Abby is at an age where she understands the meaning of Santa...well, that he brings presents, that is.  I'm working on how to introduce the religious aspect of the holiday and that will come.  For now, seeing the awe and wonderment in her eyes when she met Santa for the first time this year was priceless.

I had to work a bit late on Friday night and was fearful we were going to miss the Christmas Tree lighting and potentially seeing the man in the big red suit.  A frantic call to my mom and brother led to a quick change in plans.  Mimi rushed through through her evening plans (thanks, Mom!) to scoot down to the park earlier than anticipated.  While we waited for the lights to magically come on, we stopped by city hall where Santa was anxiously waiting his good little girls and boys.

We walked into the room and I couldn't get over the shock in Abby's eyes.  Because Eddie, our elf on the shelf has been visiting, we've been talking about Santa all week.  The surprise of seeing Santa in real life was just awesome.  It wasn't just the reality that Santa really does exist, it was a reminder of our children's innocence.  This innocence should be captured, bottled, and given out in times of despair causeless it is precious and short lived.  

So thanks Mimi and Uncle Chris for shuffling plans for getting to the park in time to meet Santa and **almost** see the lights came on.  They were off when we went in to see Santa, and they were on when we came out! 

Merry Christmas to all and may this holiday season be the happiest of ones for you and your families.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My New Favorite Picture

All Aboard!

Tim and I decided to take Abby on the Polar Express this year. She's been talking about trains, loves watching Thomas, and her attention span has increased to well over 10 minutes.  :-)  We asked her if she wanted to go on a train and her response was, "The blue one."  Not a questions, but a statement.  When I mentioned it might not be blue, she said, "The orange one."  Well, might not be orange either.

We received our tickets in the mail and I showed her the gold ticket that is hers.  Her eye lit up like a Christmas tree!  She has faithfully asked about the train every morning solidifying we made the right decision.  I pull up Polar Express on line, show her the train, and we share a little bit of the story.

The author, Chris Van Allsburg, wrote an excerpt on Amazon that I found heartwarming.  Scroll down to the Amazon exclusive to read it.  It will tug on your heart strings and will compel you to hug your loved ones a little closer.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Favorite Books

I have several favorite books I love reading to Abby.  We've been reading to her since the first day we brought her home and she now will sit and read books for a lengthy period of time.  Her love of reading will hopefully advance her when she hits kindergarten and beyond. 

When we moved to Maine, the first time I read Good Night Maine, I shed tears like it was my job.  A simple story with such poignant meaning.  We read this one several times a week and I express my gratitude each and every time. 

Another one is, On the Night You Were Born, byNancy Tillman.  I'm fairly certain this one was one of the first ones we read to Abigail Jean.  Even to this day, there's one page I can't get past without the tears forming, my voice cracking, and Abby looking at me like I have five heads. 

"So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for geese honking high in the sky, 
(They're singing a song to remember you by.)

Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It's because they've been dancing all night for you!)

Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen's whispering your name again!)"

Get's me every time.

The new favorite is a book Abby received as a birthday gift from cousins Kelsie, Jeff and Trevor -  If I could Keep You Little.  The title speaks for itself and definitely will be on my gift list.  I haven't found it in a board book like the others, but it should!  

These a few titles I tend to pick out.  Abby has a tendency to pick out the nursery rhymes, Sandra Boynton books, and lots others. Not only is she my dancing queen (which she is currently doing), she is my reading queen.  On that note, I'm going to join in on the party!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yes, I know I am a couple days late.  We have been so busy expressing our gratitude, it's been hard to write.  You know, contributing to the economy (shopping), making sure we don't go hungry (stuffing our faces with yummy food), and engaging in educational advancement (watching Monsters vs Aliens and Happy Feet 2). 

On a more serious note, the Proctors have so much to be thankful for.  Our families, a beautiful home to keep us warm, a full pantry to keep our bellies satisfied, our health, employment, and of course each other.  We wish each of you a blessed holiday season and hope your Thanksgiving was filled with love and laughter. 

Gobble! Gobble!

Tim, Jess & Abby

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Two.  She's two.  Abigail Jean was born two years ago today at 12:37pm after four long hours of pushing.  Oh boy do I remember that one well....Here's the original story.

We celebrated yesterday with lots of family, friends, and food.  Southern BBQ was the theme and we had pulled pork sandwiches, baby back ribs, corn bread, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, beans, chicken wings, clam dip, buffalo chix dip, and sooooo much more.  We didn't starve that's for sure.

Here are some pictures of our day!

The obligatory picture with Teddy

Our cow girl

Enjoying lunch outside 11/20/11 58 degrees (Yee Haw!!)

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Creating with new paints!

We had a splendid day and enjoyed every last minute!  The only down fall of having a large family is not being able to spend quality time with everyone.  We loved seeing grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, little ones, and the family's newest additions.  Abby was spoiled in true fashion and will be celebrating her birthday a little bit each day.  Thank you!!!

Tim, Jess & Abby

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Two months!"

Abby knows it is her birthday and she knows she's getting presents.  We've been working on the "thank yous" and holding up two fingers for two years.  When and how this happened, I will never know, but our little Abigail is going to be two on Monday.  We're celebrating tomorrow with family and wish we could have all our friends and little friends with us. 

We started the festivities with dinner at The Local Buzz with Papa and Gwen.  We very much appreciated their willingness to come up to Cape Elizabeth from Kennebunkport and they saw first hand how craaazyy Miss Abby can be.  We love having dinner at TLB because it is family friendly with great staff and they have a corner for kids to play. Genius.  Did I mention family friendly? 

After a short cold shoulder, Abby warmed up quickly to Papa and Gwen.  We enjoyed dinner and are looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.  Let's hope Abby stays her crazy self!

When asked who's birthday is coming up she says, "Abby!!!"  How old are you going to be? "Two months!!" (don't mind the first few seconds...)

I'm not sure where she got the "months" from instead of years.  No, Abby, you're not two months, but time has flown so fast two months sounds about right.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


It's hard to find time these days for much of anything besides family, work, and a bit of socializing or sewing.  However, there are few missions as important as Mission:1.  I became involved with Mission:1 through the Mission Outreach Team at our church.  During Nov. 1-11, 2011 we are ONE UNITED CHURCH on a shared mission for 11 powerful days to feed the hungry and confront food-related injustice.  The goal is to raise $111,000 for Neighbors in Need, write 11,111 letters to Congress, and 1 million food items for local food banks.  Our own group was nationally recognized by the UCC here.

We sponsored several awareness events for our congregation including inviting Donna Yellen, Director of the Maine Hunger Initiative and Advocacy at Preble Street, spoke to us about Food Securities in Maine last night.  In 90 short minutes, I learned so much.  

I learned about hunger and poverty in state of Maine as well as international famine.  I learned that Maine is the 6th hungriest state and has had some of its funding slashed by 57% while other states only 24%.  I learned that the men and women begging on the street corner work hard for those few dollars.  I learned that they are more hurt by the lack of eye contact than the lack of money.   They've been ignored, have had hot coffee thrown at them, and have been arrested for stepping into the street to reach for the money being generously handed to them.  I learned that those same men and woman are the sickest of all the homeless and will most likely die on the streets. The news doesn't share those tragedies.

I learned that food sources have been slashed. Grocery stores are using technologies to analyze what their shoppers purchase, therefore having less extra inventory to donate.  And those dented cans?  Dollar stores are buying them for next to nothing.  In light of the economic downturn, funding has been cut.  The shelves in food pantries are struggling to stay stocked while more and more families are in need. 

I learned that I am thankful for my well stocked pantry and full refrigerator.   My time might be precious, but I absolutely have time to try and give back all I can.  That may mean volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating healthy food, writing a letter to my Congress, or donating a few extra dollars to my church's food panty.  I have the ability to help this travesty. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time flies

I can't believe Abby is going to be two.  It's really unimaginable, but here we are almost two years later....

There are some instances where she's clearly not two.  She's still solidly wearing 18 month clothes and size 4/5 shoes.  Many kiddos her age are well into 2+ clothing and size 9 shoes! Abby has completely mastered many of her Melissa and Doug puzzles for ages1+.  She's just a petite little one with a big head, er brain. 

In other cases she's surpassing the two year mark with flying colors.  Her fine motor skills are top notch and she's drawing up a storm. She's coloring on every scratch pad, church bulletin, and coloring book.  Thankfully not many walls.  She'll be replicating Van Gogh's any day now.

I'm excited to give her a trunk filled with dress up clothing for her birthday because the pretend play is amazing!  Currently, Elmo, Teddy and George are eating breakfast with us.  Actually, Elmo is "eating" some of Abby's cheerios right now.  Santa told me he's bringing Abby a play kitchen, so I suspect that will be a huge hit as well.

Oh, she's your typically two year old.  Flirting with peeing on the potty, sassy talk, and of course negotiating on many occasions.  Most of this is quite minor as she is polite (please, thank you, and bless you) most of the time and the "noooooooo's" are only once or twice a day.

The snuggle time first thing in the morning is absolutely one of my favorite things about this almost two year old.  Oh, and the eskimo and butterfly kisses.  And the contagious giggles and streaks of independence.  She's going to be in college tomorrow.  Oh how time flies...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

What a fun Halloween!

5:45pm - wrapping up dinner at MiMi and Grampy's, dressing in costume, taking our last bite of pazzo as we scoot out the door. 
6:00- practice trick or treating at MiMi's and Grampy's.  She did awesome!  The look of incredulous that she was being given candy was priceless.  The phone rang in the middle of the practice round and she had no problems reaching into the pumpkin for more chocolate.
6:15 - Trick or treating at the Lester's!  What a blast to visit my old street and neighbors.  Now, those were the days of pillow cases and bags and bags of candy. On the way, I asked if she wanted more candy? "YESS!!" was her response....
6:20 - On the way to Uncle Rob and Trish's, I asked Abby if she wanted to get more candy.  "candy, Candy, CANDY!" was her response.  Trick or Treat = twik tweat :-)
7:00 Next stop the Benson's/Braiser house!  So fun to see Pirate Liam and Monkey Nora.
7:30 Last stop at the Legere's. Clearly noting her sleepy eyes,  I asked Abby if she wanted more candy.   "No. No more" I'm not sure if this little flower is my child anymore!

She was very polite for all our visits.  Many times she said "please" instead of trick or treat and rarely grabbed for the goods.  Well, I take that back - she seemed to sneak a few pieces when no was looking.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Home Projects

We are very lucky to be related to or have friends who are painters, masons, plumbers, electricians, welders, or just general handymen.   Because of this we have crossed a lot of our "House To-Do" list.  So much it's worth a post!  As we plan for projects and prepare financially for each one, the new job was a good reason to kick off several.  Additionally, bartering has been proven helpful.  You know, where the cobbler exchanged services with the tailor or the baker swapped goods with the blacksmith.  I exchanged Red Sox Tickets with a mason and got this!

I also exchanged a pedicure with my electrical/lighting savy friend and had our chandelier fixed.  Now all five light bulbs work and the candle sticks are back to normal!  We also borrowed my Dad's trailer to make several dump runs of yard brush and dead flowers.  It's hard to cut down the peonies, hostas, and hydrangeas but knowing spring is right around the corner is helpful.  My brother the painter also snuck by one day and painted a portion of the front side, which was a result of this.    We definitely were the "cool" house on the block.  Other small projects (really can't believe this hasn't been done sooner) was drilling nice hooks on the back of the bathroom door and adding door stoppers to all the doors.  

Next big project?  Replacing four old wooden windows on the bottom floor.  Last year, two layers of plastic barely kept the draft in.  We've moved the roof replacement to the spring and hope it holds out.  Although, our chimney sweeper mentioned there were a few soft spots while he was on the roof.  Cross your fingers peeps!  Stop by and you might see our mason (brother's-girlfriend-BIL), painter (brother), roofer (other brother) ripping shingles off our roof in the spring. :-)

The chimney is swept for nice fires; a cord of wood cut, split, loaded, unloaded and stacked; boiler cleaned for fall/winter warmth; chandelier ready for daylight savings time, walkway installed for easy shoveling; and gardens almost laid to rest for their winter sleep.

Although never complete, the To-Do list is a bit shorter these days....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Dear future boyfried,

I love chocolate covered strawberries.  If you know what's good for you, shower me with these regularly!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Studio Pictures

I love, love, love having Abby's pictures taken by someone with a nice camera.  She happens to photograph pretty well if you ask me :-)  Her birthday pictures last year were taken by Tess J. Photography and you could sit mesmerized by her pictures on her site.  Unfortunately, there's a price that comes along with it. So, when Living Social, a daily deal discount website, offered a $12.00 Picture People deal, I couldn't resist.

Here are some shots from Abby's session on Saturday night.

Note:  They mentioned there is another deal coming very soon for $10 for three sheets.  Just in time for the holidays! AND, if you three of your friends buy a deal from your referral code, your Deal is FREE!  (hint, hint)

So, while Picture People might not be a super, duper professional studio with a $3 million dollar camera (okay, not that much) they did a nice job.  I'll keep using those daily deals so I can save my pennies to have Tess take pictures again!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Forget one week, in one month....

ABBY WILL BE TWO!   Waaa waaaa

When did our little newborn turn into a walking, talking, inquisitive, independent, crazy, fun, lovable two year old??? When did she move from hanging out in her bouncer to dancing circles in the kitchen?  When did she once giggle at colors on a block to coloring flowers at her art table?  When did she move from enjoying the sounds of her rattle to "reading" books, completing puzzles, and loving an episode of Curious George, Clifford, Cat in the Hat or Thomas the Train??

At this very moment she is grooving to the closing tune of Thomas, giggling, pointing to the TV and just mesmerized.  Full disclosure, I'm blogging and enjoying a cup of coffee.  I've heard this second (and third) year can be doozies  so I'm enjoying the quiet while I can. 

Yes, that TV part was something we said we wouldn't do...oh, how parenting changes on a dime.  It's hard to imagine not having Abigail Jean in our lives and we celebrate her every day.  I can't believe we're going to celebrate the end of her second year in less than a month.  (Hey, Tim!  We made it!!! We kept her alive and well!!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

One Week Down

I'm happy to report I'm still alive after week one.  Starting a new job combined with Tim's business trip made for a very busy week.  I'm also getting ready for a craft fair on the 29th so every spare moment has been devoted to the sewing machine.  Crazy busy. 

As for the job, just fabulous. It's amazing how life puts you on a path you didn't know where it was going.  And, then, you end up right where you're suppose to be.  It's that good.  Who knew??

 These two rock my world and make it all worth it.

One week down and lots more fun ones to follow.  Boy, am I one lucky gal. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Forts Rock!

We've been jumping and playing on cushions and finally got around to making a fort with blankets and chairs.  Certainly not as elaborate as when I was a kid, but we have plenty of time for the real deal.  

Cushions, blankets, chairs and tables...

....make a cozy place for a tea party. Elmo and Teddy drank lots of water. 

All this building and entertaining makes for a well deserved cup of tea, which by the way was water.  She's been asking for a "big girl" cup and doing fairly well with the two handed, open, 1/4 filled cup. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

one of my faves....

Looking through some pics from this year...taken in June.  I may have already posted it.  Worth another post, if you ask me :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

She's going to kill me later in life.....

 for posting these....

I stepped out of the bathroom to give her privacy and I came back a minute later and found her like this.  Daddy's girl.....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Under the Bus

Notice I didn't say, the wheels on the bus??  Abby's conversational style is direct and to the point.  Direct.

While cooking dinner and getting out a glass baking dish, one of the drawers broke off the track.  The track broke and I certainly didn't have the tools to fix it at that precise moment. So I took everything off the drawer and shoved it in the rest of the cabinet.  Abby was "helping" with dinner and asked what I was doing. I proceded to explain what happened and that it was broken.

What does she tell Daddy AND uncle Chris AND Jen?  In three separate conversations, Abby says, "broken, Mom broke it".  Clearly telling them that I broke the drawer.

That's okay Abby, I have 45 years to blame stuff on you.  Throw me under the bus, but guess who's driving??

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Biiiiig News

I realized lots of family and friends read our blog by the number of texts and messages I've had regarding my "stay tuned for biiiig news" comment.  No, we're not expecting :-)  The biiig news was in relation to the new job. Sorry to disappoint, folks! 

Direct to Business

Some of you might be wondering what the heck "Direct to Business" is...Did Abby get right down to business on the potty?  Nope, but we're working on it.  Did Tim do his business and clean the kitchen in the right way?  Nope - we're working on that, too :-)

Direct to Business is a department within L.L. Bean's Customer Satisfaction area, where I currently am.  Starting October 17th I will be the new Front Line Supervisor.  What's the big deal?  Well, it's much more challenging than the role I play now, a lot more work, and it's a YEAR ROUND POSITION!  That's right folks, my career is back on track. It's only took 16 months..... Benefits, vacation time, bonuses, etc. 

I wasn't going to apply, but he turnover rate is so low these positions don't come around very often.  Also, I was pretty excited about where I was.  I realized, after being inspired by the company's Bean's Best celebration, which is the highest form of recognition, you don't get any where by not taking risks.  Challenging yourself keeps your drive to succeed fresh.  So I applied.  I went through the interview process and was successful.  The feedback I received was about to make my head explode.  "We love your enthusiasm, energy, drive to succeed, great personality, we'd work well together..." My new supervisor reminds me a lot of one of my favorite boss' - Katie at VTB.  She was the epitome of a fantastic leader and I owe much of my current style of leadership to her. Thanks, Katie!

Now we can get those windows we've been talking about, a new roof, and maybe squeeze in a new camera.  Getting right down to business, I tell you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apple Picking!

We managed to squeeze in a trip to Benoit's Apple Orchard before we met with friends at a rainy day BBQ.  I was excited to get apple cider, apple cider donuts, and of course apples! 

Excuse me, where are the apples?
This is what I'm talking about it!

mmm, this is tasty!

Daddy, you try it!

A fun weekend to be had!  Stay tuned for some biiiig news in my world.