Thursday, June 30, 2011

4th of July Plans

I have a nasty summer cold. I soldiered it out Tuesday and Wednesday at work. Today...I couldn't do it. I called in some reinforcements and my kids got to play outside all morning with a dancer and are helping Grandpa Jim spread mulch right now. It's quiet. The only sound is Carrie Bradshaw waxing philosophic on my tv and the pounding of my head. Please excuse my scattered posting and over zealous adjective usage. I cracked open a fresh bottle of C-section strength ibuprofen to take care of my headache and sore throat.

And that got me thinking...about the 4th of July!

We're hosting a little barbecue here this year. It's exciting for me, because we haven't hosted the 4th in a long time. Heck, we haven't hosted anything in a long time. It's crazy how much EXTRA work it takes when you have a newborn, are pregnant and then BAM another newborn. ;)

So now, via Pintrest...I'm compiling some great 4th of July ideas I'm planning to try out. Kid friendly and cheap are my caveats, because well. I've got 2 kids and Dave will be the first to tell you...I'm CHEAP. ;)

ADORABLE pretzels! Shout out to Amber for pinning this. I'll tweet you a pic of mine and Rory's finished product. :)

Red jello, white cool whip and blueberries. Hello easy!

How easy and cheap! Red, white and blue streamers with some Christmas lights. Badabing, badaboom. :)

What are you planning this year? What are you cooking? Are you heading out? Hosting? Happy 4th of July! God Bless the USA!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Disney Memories

I'm probably about to get really annoying. You see...I'm planning a trip to Disney for next June for my dancers to perform in Disney AND our recital theme is Disney songs. So...just be prepared. If you aren't a fan...welp. Avoid me for the next 12 months. ;)

I've been planning the recital songs over the last week or so. And wow! It's brought back some great memories.

Remember these?!

Just Around the Riverbend from "Pocahontas"

I Just Can't Wait to Be King from "The Lion King"

For a while, Disney movies weren't as great as they used to be. But, trust me, they are awesome again! Tangled, The Princess and the Frog...fantastic! Even Gnomeo and Juliet is adorable. If you haven't taken the time lately to sit down and watch a good animated movie, you really should. Simple love stories are so refreshing. You know you want to. :)

"Dig a Little Deeper" from The Princess and The Frog

What's your favorite Disney movie? What songs do you think HAVE to be in my recital next year?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Recap

This weekend FLEW by. It was so fast. A little recap...

Friday was a wonderful day! It was cold and rainy here in the forest. Dave was off work, as he is all Fridays in the summer. He stayed home with Trace while Rory and I went to watch my 10 year old cousin Kaari's dance camp showing. She attended the same dance camp this year (and last year) that I did when I was her age! It's still run by the same wonderful lady. It was a great experience for me and I love that my some of my students enjoy it now.

Rory was fascinated the entire time, sat on my lap and stared at the dancing. She loves to dance. This makes my heart happy!

Kaari was awarded the scholarship for her level! That means she was basically "student of the year" for her camp group. Another one of my students, Marcie, won outstanding ballet student for her level. I'm a very happy teacher. :)

When we got home, we picked up Dave and Trace and we headed to visit Dave's grandparents. Grandpa Fran had a rather serious heart surgery a few weeks back and he is doing fantastic! He told us the worst part is he can't drive or have a beer. :) It was nice to visit with them and boy do the kids love them. Dave's parents stopped up to. Always nice to see Grandpa Mike and "Grandma Mike." Oh Rory...haha

Saturday was pretty low key. We had plans to go to the drive in but it was cold and rainy. AGAIN. So Dave took Rory on a date to see Cars 2 at the regular movie theater. They had McDonalds too. A perfect day for Rory! :) Saturday night, Trace and I went to church then to visit my parents.

Sunday Dave went on the annual Father's Day golf outing with my dad, his dad and my uncle Tom. The four of them pick a different course each year and make a day out of it. They really enjoy it and it's nice for them to spend some "man time" together. I went to my best friend from high school's bridal shower. It was lovely! I'm very excited for her wedding in a couple weeks. After the shower, we took the kids to meet the men for dinner.

It was a lovely weekend...and I didn't take a single picture. YIKES. Now it's Monday, I was up a good chunk of the night with a sick baby. Both kids have colds/allergies and I'm wiped! Oh well. It's 4th of July weekend coming up and Dave's off for SIX DAYS! Lots to look forward to!

What are your 4th of July plans? Anything exciting? Fireworks??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Someone's 8 months old...

Mr. Trace is EIGHT months old! I can't believe it. Where did time go?! I have never been good at those monthly posts so many moms do for their little chickens. I wish I was, but I always forget. Oops. But this month I remembered! :)

Weight: 19 lbs, 7 oz! Big boy. :)
Height: We didn't measure your height at your last appointment, because it was an ear checkup, not a well baby. But you are TALL. I will say that. :)

Sleeping: You my little man sleep like a champ. Even with all your health problems, you started sleeping at 8 hour chunk around 8 weeks and it got longer ever since. Last night, it was 13 hours! Usually it's 11-12 hours, from 7:30 until 7:30 or so. Sometimes you wake up earlier, but I let you play in your crib. You aren't a morning person and you need to "ease into the day."

Feeding: You get 4 7 oz bottles every day, plus baby yogurt, oatmeal cereal and baby food 2-3 times a day. Your bottles are interesting. Breakfast and lunch are all soy, dinner and bed time are half soy, half Nutramigen. We've worked hard to find a good balance to keep you "moving" but your belly full. You are working your way back to all soy and I am so thankful. I would buy your Nutramigen forever if it kept you happy, but man it's expensive. You are worth it, though, little friend.

You have loved ALL your baby food so far. Everything I've given you, you've chowed right down. You've had bananas, apples, pears, blueberries, carrots, green beans, peas, mixed veggies...I'm sure there's others you've had but I don't keep track anymore. You've loved it ALL!! Good boy, keep eating!

You've also tried some puffs lately. You aren't a huge fan and you are so cute trying to get them in your mouth! You do like biter biscuits and sit in your high chair every afternoon when I'm cooking dinner chowing down on one. Yogurt is your newest treat and you think it's the best! You cry when the container is gone. :) Keep it up, little man! Eat, eat, eat!

Milestones: You crawl SO FAST now. You started crawling right around 6.5 months and have never looked back. You also pull yourself up on everything. You think you can walk, but you can't! You take quite a few tumbles every day, but rarely cry. I am thankful for soft carpets all over our house! You can go from sitting to crawling and back to sitting now, which is always nice for your independence. You still enjoy your bouncer but not for as long anymore. You are a mover and a groover, for sure!

You weren't impressed by the dance show at all, you fell asleep both nights! (haha) At the sports store the other night, we took a picture of you with a golf club and you sobbed when we took it away. This is a good sign for your future daddy-son golf outings.

Trace Joseph, you are the sweetest baby ever. You love to cuddle, especially with your Grandma Beth. You wrinkle your nose when you smile. You laugh all the time, especially at your sister. You are into EVERYTHING. Daddy calls you a "dickens" all the time. You love to grunt and growl. You never sit still. You'd stay in the swimming pool all day every day if you could. I am so excited for your future, little man. You are my favorite son. <3

Thursday, June 23, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance: #1

Starting this week, I'm going to be recapping and giving my humble opinion on "So You Think You Can Dance?" each week. I planned to start last week, but I had a sick baby and that didn't happen. Turns out it didn't matter, since all 20 were kept around for this week!

General Observations:
1) Cat Deely looks great in yellow! STUNNINg, actually.
2) Debbie Reynolds is adorable. They should do more classic dance legends as guest judges.
3) Mary Murphy clearly knows what she's talking about, but when she screams and yells she makes me want to claw my eyes out. Shudder.

Ryan and Ricky: Mandy Moore "Sexy" Jazz to "Addicted to Love"
Ryan annoys me, I can't figure out why. Also, Keltie Colleen has been dancing in combat boots for YEARS, so you aren't going to make that happen. This dance was kinda boring to me, I thought.

Caitlynn and Mitchell: Stacey Tookey Contemporary to "Turning Tables"
OMG. I LOVE THIS DANCE. The chairs, the emotion, the choreography...this was my favorite of the night. Caitlynn is straight up adorbs!

Missy and Wadi: Jean Mark Generaux ChaCha to "Cannibal"
Usually I love the latin ballroom. I thought this was pretty bad, though. I don't really care for either Missy or Wadi. I won't be sad if they are in the bottom.

Yvetta and Nick: Bollywood to some song I don't know the name of
Confession. I watched about 30 seconds of this and skipped the rest. I didn't think it was very entertaining. I want Nick to stay around because I want to see a tap duet on the show(!!!!) but Yvetta is not my fave.

Miranda and Robert: Tabitha and Napoleon hip hop to "Break Ya Neck"
LOVE LOVE LOVE. I am a huge NappyTabs fan anyways and I loved this. I thought they killed it. Miranda surprised me with how great she was at the fast, quick and poppy hip hop. Plus she's from Pittsburgh...WHAT UP PA!

Clarice and Jess: Stacey Tookey contemporary to "Cathedrals"
It was pretty, kinda slow for my like though. Plus, Jess annoys me to no end. At auditions, they told him they worried he was too arrogant. I think he's trying too hard to come across as funny and nice now. He's an incredible dancer, but he needs to lose the goofy guy persona.

Jordan and Tadd: Jean-Marc Generaux Viennese Waltz to "Fade Into Me"
Umm...Her dress was pretty. She's Dave's favorite. Ehh. I'm not impressed with either of them really at this point. Her solo was AWESOME last week though, so. It's not her fault she had the slowest dance possible this week.

Melanie and Marko: Mandy Moore Jazz to "Sing With a Swing"
Loved this one! Costumes, hats as props, dance style, song choice...loved it all! It's nice to see actual jazz dancing, not fast contemporary passed off as jazz (Cough Travis Wall, I'm talking to YOU! :)) Melanie is my FAVORITE. Marko is in my top for the boys too, but Melanie...just wow.

Sasha and Alexander: Tabatha and Napoleon Hip Hop to "Coming Home"
Hmmm...I'm torn on this one. I loved the song choice and the concept. I didn't think Alex pulled it off well, though. Maybe his outfit? I'm not sure. Dave thinks Mark from Season 4 (?) that did "Bleeding Love" would have done it so much better and I agree. Sasha was awesome, though.

Ashley and Chris: Spencer Liff Broadway to "Please Mr. Jailer"
This one was great! They are a great pair and I loved the whole bars between them concept. Fantastic. Added bonus, Ashley's red dress was smoking!

In top three boys are:
3. Chris
2. Mitchell
1. Marko

My top three girls:
3. Ashley
2. Caitlynn
1. Melanie

Bottom three girls (based on last night only!)
3. Missy
2. Ryan
1. Iveta

Bottom three boys (based on last night only!)
3. Alexander
2. Tadd
1. Jess

Did you watch?? Who were your faves? Who didn't you care for?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rory's First Dance Class

Today was a big day. Today was Rory's first "dance class."

Let me explain.

I give private lessons through out the summer to kids who request them in certain areas. Today I did two, one in acro and one in tap to a brother and sister. Their younger brother, Eric, will be two next month and his mom wanted him to get a little tap time in as well. Rory joined the "class." I thought it would be less intimidating for both of them to do it together.

Eric was hilarious in his tap shoes, running back and forth. He did about 2 shuffles and that was enough for him. That's what we expected, of course. His mom gets it. :) Rory on the other hand...stood patiently at the wall, did her shuffles, her marches and her toe taps. She was SO SAD when it was time to be done. She wanted to "keep going, Mama! Keep doing my shuffles!"

To say I'm proud is an understatement. My girl wants to tap. And that's a blessing!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Day in the Life

Before I start, no update on Christina so far today. That's a good thing, no news is good news. We're praying faithfully and I hope you are joining us! See this post for details. Thanks to all my wonderful blog friends for the support. It's comforting beyond belief.

Moving on to happier things...I'm linking up with Megs again this week for tips and tricks! She did a day in the life of a mom with a 6 week old so I thought I'd play along and clue you into our life with 2 kiddos!

Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Yesterday, 6-20-11

7:25 am: Trace wakes up and starts talking/crying in his crib. He's very cranky when he wakes up and does much better if I let him calm himself down. Once he gets to just talking, I go in and get him. He's not a morning person, like his daddy. :)

8:00 am: Rory is up, Trace is happy, let's all get out of bed! Round 1 of diaper changes for both chickens. Trace is sick again, so he has diarrhea. Yeeeehaw.

8:30 am: Breakfast time! Rory gets yogurt and peanut butter toast. She usually eats at her Buzz table in the living room and watched an episode of Jungle Junction. Trace gets a bottle, oatmeal cereal and some baby food fruit. He also gets his Zantac at this time. Yesterday I also gave him his ear infection prescription.

8:50 until 10:30 am: Playtime! We play on the floor of the living room, out on the deck sometimes, in the basement, in Rory's room...wherever! I also use this time to throw in laundry and straighten up wherever we are playing. Rory is crazy about her dollhouse right now so we spend lots of time playing with that.
Yesterday, I noticed Trace had major hives all over his back and arms. I called the Pediatrician and it turns out he's allergic to whatever medicine he was taking for his ears. He gets taken off that and put on Infant Benadryl twice a day for a few days to clear up the hives. Poor baby!!

10:30 am: Trace goes in for a short nap. He doesn't always do this, but he did yesterday. 30-45 mins and he's good to go. During this time, I dedicate 100% to Rory. She craves one on one interaction.

11:15 am: Lunch time preparations begin! Diaper changes...the poop factories are working over time and both kids are dirty. Yippee skipee.

11:30 am: Lunch time! Trace gets his benadryl and I give him a large bottle instead of food. I did this hoping to help flush his system faster with more urination. Rory eats some plain pasta with cheese, turkey, carrots and half a banana.

11:50 am: Nap time for T-fizz! He goes right in and falls asleep quickly, because of the Benadryl I think. Usually he fusses for 10 minutes or so before falling asleep.

Noon: Rory goes in for a nap willingly today because she remembers she gets to go to Daddy's office when she wakes up! No crying from her today.

Noon until 2:30: This is when I rush rush rush. I try to get my studio work done, the laundry finished, dinner started, the house straightened...all that house stuff that never seems to get done needs to get done in this time. Yesterday though I had a pounding headache and spent the majority of nap time on the couch. Yuck.

2:30: The kiddos wake up! Trace is covered in poop from head to toe. It's also all over his crib and sheets. Grrrrrreat. Emergency bath time. I toss both kids in the tub and scrub them down. Gross and disgusting, but that's my life! :)

3:00: Snack for Rory, a Gerber Fruit Strip. We call them fruit roll ups and she loves them. Easy way to get in another fruit serving!

3:10: Snack time for Trace. We're working on getting him to stop taking a bottle after his nap. He doesn't need it and he needs to get on a 3 meals a day schedule, instead of 5. We're transitioning to cereal and baby food at this feeding. Some days it goes over great, other days...not so much. Yesterday was one of those "not so much days." But we'll get there!

3:30: Trying to get ready to leave. We're heading to Dave's work to drop off the kids. I'm meeting my best friend, Brittany (aka Trace's godmother) for dinner and some girl time. Both kids are melting down, especially Trace. He's screaming bloody murder while I'm trying to get Rory's shoes on. Luckily, Britt walks in the door at that moment. She scoops up Trace and he stops crying for a while. Thank goodness.

3:50: We're out the door, 5 minutes late. I've packed food for Rory and 2 juice cups, a bottle with powder and hot water in a water bottle, all in a thermal lunch box for Trace. Diapers, wipes, extra clothes and toys for both kids. We get in the car and I realize I'm out of gas. Ugh.

4:40: We finally pull in to Dave's office, after a 40 minute ride during which Trace screamed for 20 minutes. Luckily, Brittany is his godmother so she can't complain. :)

4:45: Dave takes the kids off my hands, feeds Trace in the parking lot of his work then drives them home. I get a report that they were just fine on the drive and Rory claims to have "broken her leg" upon arriving home. haha! She's something else.

5:15: (or so, I wasn't here) Rory eats dinner. Yesterday she had pizza, a fruit cup and some cheese. She eats incredibly balanced, because she LOVES fruit and veggies, especially carrots and green beans. If I sprinkle a little parm cheese on the beans, she'd eat the whole can. I'm so thankful! She also loves cheese, yogurt and super cold milk. It's easy to keep her the moment.

5:45-7:15: Playtime with Daddy!! Dave plays with the kids, checks his email, lets them explore. Yesterday he says he spent a ton of time chasing Trace around, keeping him from eating everything and anything he could get his hands on.

7:20: I got home from dinner. Trace was exhausted, ready for more Benadryl and a bottle and bed. Dave got him dressed while I made his bottle and got his medicine. He went to sleep super fast last night. Poor guy is sick.

7:30: Rory got to stay up a little late last night. She ate some goldfish and drank some juice while watching an episode of Dora. She went in to bed shortly after 8.

Both kids slept all night and started our day over again this morning at 6:57. Yawn.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Begging you for prayer.

I know bloggers will often blog a prayer request, seeking prayer and comfort from fellow bloggers. I will pray whenever I see these requests, it doesn't take much time and it's a nice thing to do.

I'm not asking you for prayer.

I'm begging.

A long time student of mine (and family friend), Christina, has taken extremely sick. She's the one in the blue in the picture above. Tina has tons of allergies, asthma and a heart condition. Aside from those things though, she stays really healthy, playing sports and dancing like any other 16 year old girl.

This past Thursday she was admitted to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital for dehydration and exhaustion. That has since become pneumonia, viral meningitis, an inflamed liver, spleen and gall bladder, head to toe hives, difficulty breathing, an extremely low blood platelet count and liver enzymes that are completely out of whack. To put it simply, she is beyond sick. The doctors can't figure out what the root of all this sickness is.

She's sick. Beyond sick. Her time in the hospital is unknown at this time. Days, weeks, 2 months? Who knows. What we do know is that we are asking everyone we know to join us in prayer. Please, pray for Tina. And her family. And her doctors. And her friends. And her dance family. My heart is broken for my beautiful little Tina.

This Weekend

This weekend, Dave and I went on a little trip to DC. In the summer time, he works 4 ten hour days Monday thru Thursday, so he's off (most) Fridays. We took advantage of it this time for sure! We dropped the kids off at his mom's for the day and my mom picked them up on her way home from work. Rory and Trace LOVE their Lenaway and Undercoffer grandparents so not one tear was shed. Once again, I am reminded how blessed I am to have in-laws and parents who love my children just as much as I do.

We left our area around 9 am on Friday. We pulled into our hotel at 2:30! Even stopping for gas and lunch, we made great time. We stayed at the Capital Hilton. I got an amazing deal on Hotwire. Our hotel was only 99 bucks a night! Sidebar, I didn't take my camera. I linked all pictures back to where I found them. :)


The hotel was worth WAAAAY more than 99 a night. It was gorgeous! It was 2 blocks from The White House and about 5 blocks from the Washington Monument. Perfect!

We walked all over on ALL OVER. Dave hadn't spent much time at the monuments before so we headed off to check them out. It was blazing hot, but we had a good time. We trekked all the way to the Jefferson Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Wall, FDR Monument, Washington Monument, White House, Korean War Memorial and everywhere in between. It was nice to just walk and talk to Dave without pushing a stroller or stopping to feed a hungry baby!

We ate dinner at this little hole in the wall Italian restaurant in Dupont circle. It was DELICIOUS.

I have to say, I was really impressed with DC for lots of reasons but I thought the food prices were incredible. We've been to New York lots of times and the prices are outrageous. I figured DC would be along the same lines, but it definitely wasn't. It was much cheaper! We had no problem find nice, classy restaurants well within a good affordable price range. Props to DC on THAT one. :)

Saturday morning, we slept in. Did you read that? We. Slept. In. I can't remember the last time I got to sleep past 8:00. I slept until 10!! It was glorious. We lounged around, taking our time getting ready.

We walked to the Smithsonian around noon. It was beyond hot and humid so we were glad we were headed to AC all day. :) We started at Air and Space, grabbed lunch at the on sight McDonalds and walked around for a good long time. Then we went to the Natural History Museum. We watched an adorable IMax movie on raising orphaned and orangutans. We walked around Natural History for a long time because that's definitely Dave's favorite. He'd never been to the Smithsonian before so I let him decide the agenda. :) My favorite is definitely American History, but I've been there lots and lots. We did stop in there to see the original American Flag and visit the First Ladies exhibit. (Mrs. Obama's inaugural ball dress is on display now...WOWWWW. It's gorgeous! She's so classy!)

Natural History...via

Saturday night, we went to eat at a modern restaurant called Barcode. It was delicious! I got lobster ravioli and it was *amazing.* Dave and I kept talking about it all day yesterday! haha

We then walked all over trying to find frozen yogurt. See, in the forest we don't have those neat frozen yogurt places the rest of you do, with all the neat toppings and cute names. :) We found one, but of course it was 8:00 on a Saturday?! UGH. We grabbed ice cream from a little shop...and the lady gave me peanut butter instead of smores. I was too tired to care and it was still good. ;)

We came home yesterday and it is nice to be home...even with a teething toddler and a baby who thinks he can walk. ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wedding A to Z

Meghan, my KKG sista and awesome blogger over at The Perfect Compilation Tape recently posted an A to Z about her wedding. She played along with Tara at Fabulous But Evil. Since I think they are both pretty great, I am playing along as well! :)

Dave and I "met" in the summer of 2005 via Myspace. His cousin was dating my best friend. We had a little trouble (cough David cough) meeting up that first summer but we finally got it together and went on a date in December of 2005. We were engaged July 10, 2006 and married on March 24, 2007. When you know, you know. :)

Here we go!

A: Attendance

We had a big old wedding. Around 300 guests. Dave has a huge family and I run a dance studio. There was no chance of a small wedding! Thankfully we were able to afford to invite everyone we wanted.

B: Bridesmaids

I had 5 bridesmaids and one maid of honor. My sister was my maid of honor, of course. One sorority sister, my college roommate, a dance student and my two life long best friends rounded out my bridal party.

(Sorry it's weird and grainy...I don't know?!)

C: Cake

My great aunt made our cake. She is an awesome baker! I heard it was delicious, but I didn't get a piece. In all honesty, I forgot to get some! I had the bite Dave fed me and that was it. :)

D: Dress

I *love love love* my wedding dress. It was the only one I tried on, for real. It was ecru, because I look AWFUL in pure white. :)

E: Engagement

Dave proposed to me at my Aunt Barb's house after he cooked me dinner. I was housesitting while they were in Finland. Fast forward 8 months and we bought that house! I get a little smile every time I think about it. :) We also picked our wedding colors (deep purple and antique gold) off the wallpaper border in the living room. It's a beautiful grape and vine pattern.

F: Flowers

My flowers were very special to me. Dave's grandparents owned a flower shop and greenhouse for 53 years. Dave's grandpa (Jerry) passed away 3 days after we got engaged. His grandma Jean carried on the flower shop until just 3 months ago. We were the last Undercoffer wedding Jean's shop did. Leann and Debbie, the designers, are wonderful family friends and they put a ton of love into our flowers.

The church flowers were made to look like wildflowers: pinks, oranges, greens, yellows, purples...beautiful! The flowers we carried were all shades of purple and white. Dave picked the actual flowers because it was very special to him.

I can't seem to find any of the pictures on my computer that we took specifically of the flowers...soooo...yep. That's as good as it gets. :)

G: Groomsmen
Dave had 5 groomsmen and his best friend, Jeff, as his bestman. My cousin Connor was a Junior Groomsmen. He's super close to me and Dave and I couldn't imagine him not being a part of our day.

H: Honeymoon

We spent a week at a condo in Pawley's Island, South Carolina. It was wonderful! Simple, relaxing and fantastic.

I: Invitation

I loved our invitations! Hold on, I'll take a picture with my phone...
Nope. Not working. I will describe was cream colored linen type paper, with torn edges. It had a beautiful Bible verse on the front in shades of purple. The inside was lovely as well.

J: Justice of the Peace

We were married by our dear friend, Rev. David Lake. He was assisted by my pastor from my childhood, John. It was a wonderful, relaxed and touching ceremony. We were married in the Methodist Church. We kissed three times because the first time, Pastor David "wasn't impressed" the second time I kissed Dave on the cheek so Pastor David said once more because third time's a charm! haha :)

K: Keepsakes
Does this mean favors? If it does, we gave everyone daisy seeds to plant. A tangible reminder of a wonderful day. :)

L: Ladies Night

I didn't have a bachelorette party. I was supposed to...but I didn't. Long story short, my best college friend dropped out of my wedding two weeks before and I just wasn't up for a party. I should have though. Oh well.

M: Music

We did traditional music at the church during the ceremony. The pre-ceremony music was a bunch of Broadway love songs. :) My sister and her friend, Constance, sang "Where Are You Going?" from Godspell right before the processional. Constance sang through out the wedding.
At the reception, Dave and I did our first dance to "When I Fall In Love." My dad and I danced to "Sunshine On My Shoulders" by John Denver. My advanced dancers and junior team danced three dances: "This Will Be," "A Moment Like This" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." It was wonderful. :)

N: Newlyweds

Here we are! The day after our wedding...

O: Old, Borrowed, Blue and New

Old and Blue was a beautiful blue ring that was my Grandma's. Borrowed? I don't remember. And new was my dress/shoes/jewelry.

P: Photographer

We had a local photographer do portraits for us. It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for but it was affordable. We had over 1000 pictures taken by other people though so it worked out just fine. :)

Q: Question Popping

See E for Engagement. ;)

R: Reception

Our reception was held at a local banquet hall, a half an hour away. It was really large and held us all well. Also the price included food, drinks (nonalcoholic), linens, place settings and some basic decorations. It was a lot of bang for our buck!

S: Shoes

I had beautiful sling backs. They were quite lovely! They are ruined now, from dancing and having a March wedding. But they were beautiful!

T: Trash the Dress

I haven't done that but I want to!! As soon as I lose the rest of this baby weight, I'm ALL OVER THAT.

U: Unique

Hmmm...well, I had dancers perform at the ceremony. That's rather unique, isn't it?

V: Vows

We had traditional vows. It was really important to Dave and I could have done either, so I let him decide on traditional.

W: Wedding Woes

Oh my. There were two things that really ticked me off. But it's not worth going in to now.

X: X Rated

Oh dream on.

Y: Young Kids

We had lots of kids at our wedding! I own a dance studio for goodness sake. :) I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Z: Zzzzz

After our reception, we grabbed McDonalds on the way to the hotel and CRASHED when we got to our room. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I'm Loving

What I'm Loving...

That Pretty Little Liars is back on. True story, I googled the plot so I already know who A is. But I have to tell you, I have NO CLUE how they are getting there! The writers are doing a really good job. For real.

Grilling. We're grilling again tonight! That's what summer is all about.

Hanging out at my Aunt Barb's gorgeous pool. The kids are total fish. Pictures tomorrow. Honestly, swimming is the happiest I've ever seen Trace.

Watching Rory play with her dollhouse. She makes the dolls talk to each other now. She's playing like a kid, not just a baby. Use that imagination, Rosie!

The Tony Awards were on Sunday! In case you aren't a total nerd like I am, here's the best part...

Oh how I love Sutton Foster.

Fresh produce. MMMMMM! I'm making garlic green beans tonight with fresh green beans. This time of year is the best for cooking!

That this weekend Dave and I are going to DC. We got a rocking deal on a hotel via Hotwire. $99 a night for the Capital Hilton!! We're doing the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, all the monuments of course. Can't wait!

What are you loving?? Link up!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Baby Bumps of the PAST.

No, I am not pregnant. Nor do I want to be! I am very very very happy and satisfied with our decision to have 2 children and for me to have a tubal during my c-section. Just to clear that up! :)

Shell over at Things I Can't Say is hosting a "Rockin' the Baby Bump" Picture link up today. I love looking at these pictures now so I thought I'd play along. And to all my blog friends who haven't had kids yet...this is what you have to look forward to! ;)

37 weeks pregnant with Rory. We had a dance competition three weeks before Rory was due. I was GINORMOUS. She weighed 9 lbs, 7 oz when she was born.

34 weeks pregnant with Trace...even huger! He also was almost 10 lbs. With my second, I felt like I had a bump immediately. (And I definitely "showed" sooner!) Trace's bump was straight out front and Rory's was much more round. That's pretty obvious in the above pictures, I think. ha!

Oh being pregnant is an adventure. Not my favorite thing in the world, to be honest. I LOVE my kids and would have done anything to get them here, but man I'm glad I don't have to be pregnant anymore. My body just doesn't handle it well. You know how some women look their most beautiful, healthy and happy when they are pregnant? I'm the exact opposite. No amount of healthy eating, working out, walking, water, vitamins could make me feel "vibrant and glowing" during pregnancy. I'd do it all again to get Ro and Trace but MAN I'm glad I'm done! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

That's the Truth.

(inspired by the fantastic Neely! :))

My kids had baths by swimming at my Aunt's last night. I was enjoying it so much I couldn't stand the thought of leaving early for baths.

Trace has been sleeping in onesies only because of the heat and I think he looks like the cutest old man ever.

Rory is a bossy cow the last few days and I secretly go in to the bathroom and laugh at her, after I reprimand her. She is me, 100%.

All I feel like doing today is watching Sex and the City and drinking endless diet cokes with lime. In bed. Air conditioning on high. In my pajamas.

I am considering going to my dance studio alma mater's recital both nights because I miss my teacher so much.

I am already checking the mail for my recital DVD even though I know it will be at least a month before it's here.

Sometimes my husband thinks he is funny and he really isn't. Sorry Grave, but it's true.

Oh. Also. I call Dave Gravey or Grave way more than I call him Dave. :)

Dave and I are supposed to be going out of town next weekend as an end of the dance year celebration. Once again, I have no idea where to go.

I got stung by a bee on my ankle last week and it's still puffy and itchy. Annoying.

I am forcing Dave to go to church more often with me. I don't care how hard it is with two kids, we go to church from now on.

I really miss our Pastor and his family that left last summer. A LOT.

I like these rambling, train of thoughts posts. I haven't had much to blog about lately that's substantial because my brain is tired. The recital wore me out!

I spent an hour cleaning my bathroom yesterday. It's sparkling clean but the rest of my house...looks like a tornado went through. One room a day I guess!

Actually, I'm considering hiring a cleaning lady for the dance year next year. Just once a week to help me out. I just don't have time to do a good thorough clean once a week like I like during the dance year. Wow I like that idea. :)

...and that's the truth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Recital Pictures

Pictures copyright Hemdal Photography, unless noted. :)

Our theme was BOOKS. Every song was named after a book. I'll let the pictures do the talking...

Advanced Pointe: Harry Potter (Hedwig's Theme)

Advanced Hip Hop: Lady Gaga Little Monster Mix (Disco Stick, Alejandro, Bad Romance)

Advanced Ballet: The Diary of Anne Frank (Theme from Schindler's List)

Lyrical 3: Around the World in 80 Days (Married Life from Up)

Rory doing here "solo" onstage before the recital started :)

Kick: Biography of Will Rogers (Our Favorite Son from The Will Rogers Follies)

Myself and the "staff" :)

Tap 3: The Great Gatsby (The Hot Honey Rag from Chicago) Taken from the light booth by my dad. Our set was 36 feet wide and 12 feet tall! A labor of love...ahem.

Just a few moments from a year of hard work...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Recital

My recital is done. Wrapped up and done. The sets are torn apart, the stage is clean, the costumes are put away. I've washed off my makeup and taken out my bun. For this year, I am done.

This was the hardest recital weekend I've had thus far. Last year was extremely trying emotionally, I had to say goodbye to five amazing seniors and lost a dear friend in the process. This year...this year was it's own set of challenges.

Saturday is always dress rehearsal and then an evening performance for my studio. We hold our recital at a Pitt campus about half an hour away from our hometown. It's a WONDERFUL facility, staffed by great people. This year's dress rehearsal was the WORST. Injuries, messed up music, the slide show was all was just awful. I am not exaggerating, one of my alumni actually told me she was nervous for us! At one point, I was dissolved in tears backstage, sobbing to my mom about music problems. It was bad. Just. plain. bad.


I run a Christian studio. It's no secret. I cover the studio in prayer all the time and have many prayer warriors who stand with me in prayer. I called upon my prayer warriors, near and far, and they lifted me up when I couldn't do it myself. I cried in the bathroom to a dance mom and she looked me in the eyes and told me "Kate Rebecca. YOU are doing what God wants you to do. You do the best you can and that's all that matters. Let. it. go."

She was right. I needed to trust that it would work out.

It did.

Our sound guy (a 19 year old college kid who's sister and brother dance) "happened" to have his laptop in his car and it just "happened" to have the same CD program on it. I used it on the break to make brand new CDs with the music on it correctly. Problem solved. HUGE problem solved.

Missing costumes? Found. Shoes? Located. Dancers? Present. Through some hard work and intense team work, we straightened the whole thing out. It was a testament to the good people I am BEYOND blessed to work with. They stood with me when I couldn't stand up on my own. It worked out, because I learned that it was important to ask for help. I can't do it alone. And I don't have to.

Being a mom of two is TOUGH. Being a mom of a baby and a toddler? SUPER TOUGH. Being a mom of a baby and a toddler and owning a business? YIKES. I don't need to try to be super woman though. I need to ask for help because they are more than enough people who want to help! My lesson has been learned. I'm asking for help from now on.

The weekend wasn't all sunshine and flowers from there on out. There was a (rather nasty) run in with a parent, some misunderstanding in how I discipline/reprimand my students and some small things here or there. But I took it all in stride and I'm not letting the negative get me down. It's time to focus on SUMMER DANCE! :)

Picture posts through out the week. If you are on Facebook, search Hemdal Photography. That's my Aunt Barb's (awesome) Photography business. She has tons of action shots up on there! :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

PYHO: Moms vs Dads

Last night, Dave took the kids to Wal-Mart and McDonalds. A good, relatively easy Daddy date. I was working (HARD) and I got a text about 7:00. It said "Taking two kids to wal-mart and mcdonalds is too much for me. I have a headache."

I burst out laughing. I assumed he was being funny.

He wasn't.

He really was at his wit's end. When I got home, he was laying on the couch, looking like he'd been hit by a truck.

Again I laughed. We have a good natured marriage, so it's perfectly fine for me to get a little chuckle out of his desperation. (And to all the Undercoffers reading this...this just proves that I am not the only dramatic person in this marriage! hehe ;))

He told me he can't do it again. He said that it was too hectic, he forgot the diaper bag in the car, the kids were crying, Wal-Mart was busy...etc etc etc.

I laughed because I do it every day. I run all my errands with both kids in tow. THEN I take them to work with me for two hours until he gets home. He is in charge from 4:30 until 7:30 Monday thru Thursday. And Dave is a GREAT dad. He knows what and when to feed the kids, how to do baths, how/what to take swimming, all the important stuff. But he gets so flustered!

Is that the difference between Moms and Dads?

I am slower to get flustered because I just have to do it? If the roles were reversed, would our reactions be reversed? Since the day Rory was born, I've been full time mom, full time business owner. My job is hard. Being a mom at the same time has made it even harder. I look at it like this: if I let a little frustration at all the steps it takes to get to Wal-Mart deter me, I'd never get out of the house. We just get up and do it every day because it must be done. If I don't load up the kids and go grocery shopping, we'd never have food in the house.

I am thankful every day that Dave is the type of Dad who jumps in and takes care of the kids while I work. I know it's not his favorite thing in the world and he would definitely rather be golfing. We have gone rounds about the fact that weekends are for family, not for golfing every Saturday and/or Sunday. To me, the more time we spend together, the better. I've had to come to terms with the fact that Dave craves time to himself. (Perhaps as a result of having very little alone time with five brothers and sisters?) It's a balancing act, much like getting two kids to Wal-Mart and fed is a balancing act. It's a learning process and one that will never actually be over. Running a family will never be smooth.

Smooth rides are boring. Bring on the bumps.