Thursday, August 30, 2012

Letters to Tory: 12 Months

Happy birthday Tory Girl!

One year ago today, at 7:52pm, you changed our lives forever. I can easily say, you are truly a gift from God. Your friendly personality and warm brown eyes have touched so many people and I feel blessed to have you in my life.

Before you were born, I dreamt about being your mom. I imagined holding you in my arms and rocking you to sleep in your nursery, drinking in that newborn baby smell and every audible coo you made. Despite all the sleepless nights, I loved every minute of our first days together. You were everything I imagined you'd be those few months of life. What I didn't realize, however, is just how much I would love being your mom today. Is it strange to say I fall head over heels in love with you more everyday? It's absolutely true. You are the center of my world, baby girl, the most important part. You teach me patience, love and cause me to belly laugh every single day.

I could gush for hours about how special you are to Daddy and I, so let's talk about how much you've matured in the last month. I'd venture to say you've grown more developmentally in the last four weeks than any other span in your lifetime. Perhaps the biggest change is your eating preferences. Suddenly you went from showing no tolerance for anything but purees to completely demanding only grown up foods. At your 9 month check-up, I expressed concern for your lack of interest in solid foods to your pediatrician and he said eating is a social activity and you'd eventually come around when you were ready to join the party. He was right - one day, you woke up and decided you'd like to eat everything Mommy and Daddy were eating and that's exactly what you do. Your favorites are cheese quesadillas, enchiladas, waffles, macaroni and cheese, peaches, pickles and mashed potatoes (not necessarily in that order). In a few weeks time, you've gone from wearing most of your food (or deliberately tossing it on the ground) to eating every single crumb set before you. I'm amazed at your progress in just a few week's time. You're a great little eater and always excited to try new foods.

Your trick ratio is also way off the charts! I amazed how we have real conversations now. Well, you're not exactly speaking back to me in a verbal sense, but you do communicate through sign language (more, all done, nap, love, hi, bye-bye) and through physical actions. One such gesture - spitting/blowing raspberries when you don't like something - is heard loud and clear, little girl. You definitely let us know when you do or don't want to do something we ask of you. Grandma says you might be like Daddy and only do something if it was your idea in the first place. Ha! We might be in serious trouble then .... As sassy as spitting six inches away from my face is, you're also very sweet when you "give us love" with hugs and kisses and rock your baby doll in your arms. You are so smart, Tory. When asked, you can point to all of your body parts and even hold up one finger when we ask how old you are.

Walking has been another milestone achievement for you this month. You were able to take several steps at 11 months old, but now use walking as your primary mode of transportation. Your legs must be so tired by the end of the day because you are constantly on the move. Around the kitchen island, outside in the backyard grass, down the hallway to your bedroom, then to the your playroom, to the kitchen and back again. I'm still in awe as I watch you toddle all around the house. I can't believe one year ago you were a tiny newborn and now you're a walking, talking little person.

This month, we spent a lot of time at the lake cabin, continued swimming class and took you on your first visit to the Minnesota State Fair. No matter what activity is before you (large marching bands, crowds of people or big boats on the water), it's trees that captivate your interest. "Oh!"you say and point your tiny finger to a green leafy tree near you. You might be an arborist someday or a tree-hugger because trees are your favorite thing. You continue to love books and often bring us your favorites from the shelf if you'd like us to read to you. Daddy bought you a princess tent and many days, you'll sit inside the castle and look at pictures in your books forever (real time: 10 minutes which is a very long while in baby time).

Our family is stopping by to celebrate your big birthday milestone tonight. I can't wait to watch you dive into your very own birthday girl cupcake. You're going to love it, I just know it. Your babyhood chapter is coming to a close and toddlerhood is on the horizon. I'm giddy just thinking about all the fun things we have in store in the next year. I can't wait to see your personality blossom, bake cookies with you and watch you discover the magic of Christmas. If this year is any indication, the best days are yet to come.

I love you always and forever, Tory Bean.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Tory's 1st Trip to the State Fair

If you're not from around here, you probably don't realize the summer rite of passage, if you will, of the Minnesota State Fair. It takes place the week before Labor Day every summer, and Andi and I have made it a point to visit every year since we began dating. I remember my first taste of buttered corn on the cob (the best you'll ever have), numerous trips to the Miracle of Birth Center, trying just about any kind of food on a stick and visiting Andi's sister Lindsay who works at the State Fair full-time. Most of all, how could I forget our multiple trips last summer as we attempted to "walk the baby out" by touring the fairgrounds for hours and hours with a very, very pregnant belly? Since Tory's birthday is during fair time, I think she'll always have a special love for the fair, too.

Three years ago, Andi and I decided to make a State Fair video about our yearly experience and it's become somewhat of a ritual.

MN State Fair 2012 from Andi Dickson on Vimeo.

This year was Tory's first trip to the fair. Despite the hot, humid weekend weather (GAH - so many people! so much body odor!), Tory had a blast taking in the sights and sounds. I let her taste all the foods we ate (pickles, turkey sandwich, ice cream and lemonade), we watched the parade and visited the Little Farm Hands exhibit. I can't wait to go back next year when she'll be able to enjoy all the food, animals and activities even more!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not Enough Hours In The Day

It's been a crazy, hard few weeks around here. Back-to-school time means work is busier than ever and this fall, I've really struggled to find a balance between career woman and being Tory's mom. If I had the option, I'd choose motherhood all day long. Unfortunately work is a part of my life these days, and I'm not one to give less than 110% when someone's counting on me to deliver results. Pre-baby days, I worked from home many fall evenings when busy days prevented me from crossing anything off my to-do list but now with Tory in the mix and a part-time schedule, I'm challenged to find enough hours in the day to balance it all. I absolutely, positively cannot flash any sign of weakness at work for fear my boss (or actually, my boss' boss) will question my part-time schedule and my ability to manage both worlds. What if she comes to me and says this schedule isn't working? That I'll need to come back full-time? I would die. I refuse to be away from my baby girl for more hours than I already am in a week.

What's more, Tory's been teething and sleeping like garbage. I've been up with her every two hours most nights the last few weeks and waking up in the wee morning hours to work from home before leaving for my actual job. Last night / this morning, I was up with Tory at 11:30pm, fell asleep in the rocking chair until 1:30am, then stumbled back to my own bed for a few hours of sleep. She woke up again at 3:00am and as I was rocking her back to sleep, I was half-dreaming / half-panic attacking about work crap. I laid her down to sleep and decided I'd just get up and start knocking items off my to-do list. Today, I started work at 3:00am. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds.

All this to say I'm running on energy and patience. I've barely talked to my husband in weeks because he's just as swamped at work as I am. Every night, I count the minutes until bedtime because I cannot wait to lay down and not have to respond to barking orders from anyone. I want more hours in the day to read blogs (and write on mine, too!), trim my fingernails or watch the news. I feel guilty for being less than thrilled to read board books to my baby girl or follow her as she toddles around the living room a million times because I am just too freaking tired to keep up.

This time of year will pass, it always does, but not before I'm exhausted, stressed and over-loaded. I hate feeling this way. Balancing motherhood and a busy work schedule is more effort than I wish to contribute. I'm fantasizing about a day my calendar doesn't blow during the months of August, September and October; one that has me solely focused on being a devoted mom to my baby girl.


Twin Cities Mom Trying to Have It All

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Day In The Life - Summer 2012

Day In The Life posts are some of my favorite, so this edition is bittersweet for me. It's the first post since I took Live Inside My Bubble private. As interesting as it is for me to document a day in my life, it's even more fun to see other blogger's posts featured on Navigating The Mothership's DITL series. Since I've gone private, I won't be featuring my post there, but I know a few of you will still see my day here. And, this just means I'll have to be extra engaging and comment on everyone else's posts! (This is me, forcing myself to stop hiding in my corner of the Internet and say hi).

This is a big reason I struggled when deciding to take this site private because I truly enjoy the interaction between bloggers, even it's just through the comments section. I've made some real-world friendships because of this blog which is just crazy wonderful. Who knew spilling your guts online would connect me to some of my favorite people?!

Thanks to all of you who emailed and asked permission to continue following Live Inside My Bubble. I receive some of the sweetest messages from many of you and it was truly one of the best parts of my week. It was a bright spot on this whole creeper-stalking-my-blog thing and I really, truly appreciate your support.

Thanks for reading!


Day In The Life - Summer 2012
Friday, August 10 

I hear Tory cry out from her crib and stumble to the kitchen and make a bottle. I walk back to her room, pick her up from her crib to rock her back to sleep. She drinks it quickly, then sits up, reaches for her nightstand where a few board books sit in a pile and speaks gibberish as if saying "Mom, let's play. I'm not tired anymore." Oh no, no, no, kiddo. It's time to sleep so I push her head down on my chest and she closes her eyes.

Crap. My neck is broken. I fell asleep in the rocking chair again. I lay Tory down to sleep in her crib and crawl back into my own bed. Lately, Tory's been teething and learning to walk which is seriously screwing with her no-so-great-anyway sleeping skills. Lately some nights she's been up every hour. Tonight I squeak away with only one wake-up.

Tory cries from her crib. I walk into her nursery, pick her up and bring her back into my bed to snuggle for a bit. She isn't one for cuddling, but I'm hoping it at least buys me a few minutes of laying down before the day begins. I turn on PBS and she crawls around the bed for a few minutes before we finally get up and going.

Tory's hair is going through a big growth spurt and this morning she woke up with the cutest bed head!

I take Tory back to her nursery and change her diaper. She reads "The Going To Bed" book while I put on a new diaper. (Read: I recite the book by heart while she peaks over the top of the book and grins from ear to ear). This is the only way I can get her to lay still while changing her diaper and I still have to be speedy-quick.

Tory and I have breakfast. This morning, we're both feasting on waffles, blueberry yogurt and peaches. Within the last week, Tory has completely shifted her eating preferences, refusing purees and only eating foods she can feed herself. What's more, she'll only eat foods in big chunks. If you cut something into small pieces, she throws it on the floor. I have an entirely different post ready to publish about this topic because I'm seriously stressing about how much food she's actually consuming. Why is it once you get a handle on one baby stage, it changes?

I hose down Tory (literally - I plop her in the sink and spray her down) and then clean up her breakfast mess. Seriously, what is the secret to not having food EVERYWHERE after each meal time? Tory insists on throwing her food on the ground, flinging her food-covered cup against the wall and dropping more food down her body than ingesting in her mouth. I dread meal times because of the 15 minute cleaning process which follows. UGH.

To distract Tory while I clean up messes, I cleared out the cabinet under the sink and stocked it full of Tupperware, kitchen spatulas and empty pasta boxes to entertain her. In the 15 minutes it takes me to clean up the breakfast mess, she scatters bowls, spoons and toys all around the kitchen.

Fridays are swimming days, so I pack items for the pool. I change into my swimming suit with clothes over top and Tory into an outfit. I always bring her swimming suit along and change her in the locker room because she'd wet her reusable swim diaper in the time it takes to drive to the pool.

We're out the door to swimming class.

Swimming class! Today, Tory's teacher is on vacation so we have a substitute. She's a younger girl and does a nice job, but it throws Tory for a loop not seeing Miss Amy. During class, I find it funny how "lazy" of a swimmer Tory's become. She only kicks her legs when she's really interested in swimming over to a toy. Otherwise, she lets me do the work and drifts along in my arms. I also feel like a horrible parent today when the substitute teacher tells me the reason Tory coughed after swimming under the water is because I shoved water up her nose. "Face down," she tells me. (Weep! I'm sorry, Tory! Worst. Mother. Ever.) This swimming session ends at the end of the month and I'm really going to miss the other babies and moms we've grown to know over the last few months. Afterwards, one of the swimming moms and I swap digits and make plans for a play date later this month. Nice!

Afterwards, Tory and I change in the locker room. At times like this, I often laugh to myself and reflect on earlier days when the idea of getting her and I dried and changed after swimming was such a process. I have a good system down now of bribing her with a bottle of water while I quickly get her dressed, then sit her on a bench while I dress myself. Parenting gets easier every single day.

The real challenge now is driving home fast enough to avoid her sleeping in the car. It's only a 10 minute drive, but she's exhausted by the end of swimming. If she sleeps in the car, she won't take a morning nap - hence, the race. Today, Tory drifts off just as we're pulling onto our street. I park the car in the garage, close the garage door and leave the garage door inside the house open as I quickly make her a bottle in the kitchen. She stirs awake and I immediately carry Tory to her nursery and rock her to sleep. She falls asleep quickly and I'm thankful. On the days this doesn't work, I walk around unshowered with chlorine hair until her afternoon nap time. No bueno.

I shower, get dressed and knock out a few chores around the house. On Fridays, we use a lot of water at our house - it's "water the flowers extra long to survive through the weekend" day, "catch up on a week's worth of laundry" day, shower me, bathe Tory and anything else that needs to be washed or cleaned from a week's worth of wear and tear.

Ah, time to relax. I sit down, turn on the television and check email. It's a gorgeous day in the 70's and perfect temperature on our three-season porch. This is my absolute favorite part of our house. When the weather's right to have the windows open and the sun shining in, I love sitting out here.

Of course the minute I sit down, Tory wakes up. I walk into her nursery and pick her up. She is g-r-u-m-p-y! Why do babies want to get out of bed if they're not ready? She fusses and lays on my shoulder while insisting on being carried around everywhere I go. I regret sitting down for a few minutes and not drying my hair and putting on make-up because now I have to do it all with a baby at my heels. I carry Tory into my bathroom and begin to blow-dry my hair. She immediately starts to scream (I think she's afraid of the hair dryer) so I decide to air-dry the rest. I place Tory on the pedestal sink in front of me while I put on just enough makeup to get by for the day. Meanwhile, she chews on my (closed) birth control pack and dips her fingers in my foundation. Super.

I take Tory downstairs to do a load of laundry. She's quite the laundry helper as she pulls out the wet clothes I place into the dryer and climbs into the basket full of clean clothes. I patiently wait behind her as she crawls up our 13 stairs when we're finished.

Lunch time! I struggle to come up with ideas for lunch and stare into the refrigerator for a minute or two. What foods can I feed her that will be soft and easy enough for her to swallow without creating a giant mess and require a ton of prep? I warm up a Plum Organic training meal (it's a chunkier version of pureed food) but Tory refuses to open her mouth for the spoon. I give her slices of peach which she happily starts gnawing on, diced steamed carrots and a leftover cheese enchilada from last night's dinner. Of all the choices, Tory scarfs down the cheese enchilada and I'm shocked. I've never seen her show so much interest in solid foods.

Tory, the high chair and the surrounding area are a complete mess when she's finished. I usually give her a bath after lunch on Fridays anyway since I still need to give her a good wash after swimming class. We head to the bathroom and I strip her down. While the water's filling the tub, she tries to swing her leg over the side and climb in. Tory Girl loves bath time.

After she's bathed and dressed in her second outfit of the day, I plop her down with some toys on the three-season porch while I tackle cleaning up her lunchtime mess. There's enchilada sauce smeared all over her high chair pad so I decide to completely deconstruct the high chair and give it a good wipe down. A giant smile creeps across my face as I listen and watch Tory playing with her baby doll a few feet away. She's talking gibberish to her baby and giving her a hug. It's moments like this I realize how much Tory's growing up. No longer is she my little baby but a walking, babbling toddler who entertains herself with toys. Her playtime eventually ends up in the kitchen at my feet pulling out the Tupperware and scattering bibs on the floor.

Nap time for Tory. I make a bottle and rock her to sleep in her nursery.

After Tory's asleep, I run downstairs to change a load of laundry. I clean up the latest Tupperware mess in the kitchen and finish unloading the dishwasher.

Ah! Time to relax. I flip open my computer lid and take a swig of Diet Coke.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! I listen as a giant truck backs down our street and dumps a dumpster container onto our neighbor's drive-way. (That's right, the neighbor directly outside Tory's bedroom window). DIE DUMP TRUCK! DIE! Tory cries out from her crib so I go back into her room and try to rock her back to sleep. Except, I finally realize there's no way she's going back to bed. The beep! beep! beep! and crash! sounds outside her window are making her eyes bug out of her head. We get up and go play.

Tory and I play toys on the porch. I'm amazed as I watch her walk back and forth from the window to the couch, wall to door. My baby is walking!

We change another load of laundry and then head back to the kitchen for snack time. I give Tory Cheerio's and a teething cracker to munch on, while I attempt to sneak bites of yogurt into her mouth. She seems willing to take a bite if I do it first, so that's what we do. (Great, I'm eating whole milk yogurt ... I can feel my love handles expanding).

Andi calls and says he'll be home soon from work. I carry Tory into the bedroom and pack our suitcase for the cabin. This is one of my least favorite things to do on Fridays - it takes twice as long to pack with Tory in the mix and I almost always forget something critical. Last weekend, we had to stop at Wal-Mart on our way to the cabin because I seriously forgot underwear. I bought underwear from Wal-Mart and what's worse, I actually like them. (Read: I am old).

Andi's home and it's a mad rush to pack last-minute things, load up the car and leave for the cabin. I toss half our fridge into a cooler bag, throw some bottles and formula into a tote and cross my fingers we have everything we'll need for the weekend.

We're on the road! Unfortunately, we're not moving. We're sitting at a dead stop in rush hour traffic. It's going to be a long drive to the cabin. I suggest we turn around and go back home until traffic dies down, but Andi continues onward. (That must mean he doesn't agree with my suggestion). While we drive, I sit in the back seat and entertain Tory with toys, songs and silly faces. She's bored about 15 minutes in and resort to my last-choice secret weapon: the iPad. Backyardigans it is, Tory Bean. She's immediately content and entertained for the next hour.

We're starving and tired of driving. Our usual 1 1/2 hour drive to the cabin has doubled thanks to traffic out of the city. We stop at Tippy Canoe's in Osceola, WI for dinner. It's so fun taking Tory to restaurants now she'll sit in a high chair and can eat real food. Tonight she eats (aka: wears / throws on the ground) her very first restaurant meal - macaroni and cheese, a pickle and cucumber slices. Weep! Where did my little baby go? Andi orders a blue cheese cheeseburger for dinner and I have a Reuben sandwich.

I take Tory to the women's restroom to change her diaper and use the facilities myself. I mentally pat myself on the back for maneuvering all of that with a baby in my arms.

We hop back into the car and continue our drive to the cabin.

We're here! I change Tory again, dress her in pajamas and play toys for a few minutes while she burns off some energy from the car ride.

Bottle and bedtime for Tory. As I'm rocking her to sleep in a dark, quiet room, I start to drift off to slumberland myself and decide to call it an early night.

I wash bottles, grab my Kindle and a glass of water and head to our bedroom when Andi intercepts me in route to say Joe and Lisa (our cabin landlords) are coming over for a drink. For real? Actually, I'm excited to have them over because they're so much fun, but I already had laying down and relaxing on my radar. Change of momentum ...

Andi pours me a beer and we wait for Joe and Lisa to arrive. I start typing up this DITL post and Andi watches an episode of Deadliest Catch on my Kindle.

Joe and Lisa arrive at the cabin and we pour ourselves another drink. We sit in the living room, laugh and talk for another hour or so. When the neighbors leave, it's lights out for us. The hours tick until Tory's wake-up call.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Going Private

After much consideration, I've decided to take my blog private. There's just too much at stake - my husband, my baby girl, our livelihood - for me to to go forward in sharing details about our life publicly.

I'm not disappearing completely, oh don't you worry! If you'd like to continue reading along as I ramble on about babies, married life and everything in between, shoot me an email at and I'll grant you access. You have until end of day Sunday, August 12 at which time Live Inside My Bubble goes private.

Thanks for reading!


Creepers be creeping and it's really icking me the ick out.

After oversharing about my life on the Internet for the past four years with no second thought about it, I suddenly find myself questioning posting anything about myself, my family or my inner thoughts online. A rash of crude comments from one particular person (HEY YOU WHO WORKS AT RCIS!) has left me feeling exposed and hesitant to post anything here.

And really, isn't that defeating the purpose of having a blog in the first place? I started this site as a place to share life happenings with my family and friends across the country, and as a therapeutic spot to brain-dump all my internal struggles and hair-brain ideas. Now I'm regularly perturbed by a certain someone in Anoka who feels the need to spew sexual innuendos or non-helpful criticisms ON MY BLOG, and it hardly seems worth posting.

What's more, two days ago I noticed a Facebook friend request from someone whom I didn't know. I saw the same person had "liked" several of Tory's photos through Andi's Facebook page. Hmmm. Thinking it was probably some kid Andi used for event labor or something, I asked him about it that night. Turns out, he had no idea who it was either, but accepted the person as a Facebook friend anyway. WHAT?! I freaked out and made Andi un-friend the kid because why does some teenager we do not know need to be creeping on our life via Facebook? To which Andi responded, is the same thing people do on my blog every day.

Heh. Point well made.

Sigh. I'm half-tempted to take this blog private to avoid all this drama entirely. Yet, another part of me is thankful for the awesome friendships I've made through my blog which would've never occurred otherwise. Let's not forget the college friends and family members who I've developed stronger relationships with because we share a common interest in blogging. Maybe I'll just take a social media hiatus altogether? To be determined ...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tory - 49 Weeks Old

Tory - 49 Weeks Old

Classic Tory face these days ...

I posted this photo on my Facebook page a few days ago, and I received more "likes" and comments on this week's photo than any other one this year. Our little Tory Bean is definitely a ham and this is one of her classic faces these days. It's here "oh!" face (in the most innocent sense) and she does it about a million times throughout the day. It never ceases to crack us up!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I think it might be time to work out.

Holy crap, when did that happen? I've got two squishy love handles wrapped around my middle.

I bought these pants at Target the other day. I'm trying to branch out of my "all I wear is black and white" habit and the plum color called to me from the racks. I could pull this off, right? I've never bought pants from Target before so I'm not familiar with their sizing, but figured it can't be much different from everywhere else. I guessed my size, grabbed for the tag marked "Fit 6" and threw the pants in my shopping cart.

Now, I never try on clothes at the store because A) it seems like a lot of work (even though purchasing said item, trying it on at home and then returning it to the store when it doesn't work out seems like a lot more work when I think about it) and B) Tory was with me and trying on clothes while wrangling her in the dressing room doesn't sound like a barrel of fun. Had I tried on the pants in the store and discovered Fit 6 really means "squeeze everything in the middle up and over the top," I probably could've avoided this entire disappointing self-revelation: I need to work out.

I came home, threw the pants in my closet for a few weeks and pulled them out again just before date night with my husband this week. I ripped the tags off, shimmied one leg in, then the other, and tried to pull the pants up to my waist. Heh, kinda tight. Two pigs fighting under a blanket is not the look I was going for. When did this happen?! Oh, and awesome, I ripped the tags off so I can't even return these crap pants. Smart.

It's obviously the pant sizing that's goofy, I told myself. DUH! Cheap material, maybe? Weird fit? But over the last few days I've worn a few other pairs of pants from my closet and since realized they're all a little tight. I think it might be time to start working out. Either that, or stop eating like I have the metabolism of a 21-year-old. (I do not).

Keeping a fit figure is tougher after becoming a mother. It seems like we're home more now that we have a baby, which means we snack more, cook dinner more, and sit more when the chaos of the day is finally done. Part of me just wants to coast for a few more months until I'm pregnant again and then I can say "oh, I'm pregnant again! No use in focusing on a fit tummy now!" But, I really can't wait for that. I should do something now.

I've actually thought about joining a gym for a month or so. The free childcare while I have 60 minutes to myself was really the draw, but who says it can't be? Maybe that's the kick in the pants I need to get myself there. Look's like now is as good of time as any ...

Friday, August 3, 2012


By Year 3, I should've learned my lesson to look ahead at these things. With only a few weeks to go until the big anniversary date, I was STUMPED for leather gift ideas for my husband. Leather should be easy, right? There are tons of things made of leather (Check my Pinterest board for ideas because I seriously came up with a gazillion) but not for my impossibly-difficult-to-buy-for husband.

I like the idea of following the traditional wedding gifts by year, though I'm sure Andi would gladly throw the ritual by the wayside if I offered. But, it's fun and it makes anniversary gifts different than any other event. Plus, somewhere down the line, gifts with jewels and precious medals appear ....

Andi and I decided to exchange gifts before we left on our Vail anniversary trip. Partly because we both had our gifts ready to give and also because neither of us are very patient people. The night before our trip, Andi presented me a beautifully wrapped package with a new Kindle Fire, complete with a trendy green leather case.

I absolutely love it. I had one of the first generation Kindles and upgrading wasn't really on my horizon (my other one works just fine), but it's so convenient having access to internet and full-color magazines on my e-reader. Andi's always good about surprising me with gifts I would normally never buy myself.

I gave him a J Crew leather-wrapped flask for his drinking pleasure. Don't all strapping young men need a flask? I thought so. Surprisingly, he didn't have a flask before, but I know he enjoys a little splash of something-something once and a while. I hope it's a gift he'll use (he tells me he will) although he's yet to pick it up since I gave it to him.

More than anything though, I wanted to give him something meaningful. I considered buying a pre-printed anniversary journal to document our years together or one of those books with lists you complete together, but I couldn't find one that didn't seem like it was intended for an elderly couple. While scouring the internet, I stumbled across this idea and decided to make it my own. I bought a leather bound journal from Barnes and Noble and gifted Andi an empty book with an inscription inside.

My gift to him: For every day during our third wedded year together, I promise to write a journal entry to him about us. It'll take commitment on my part to complete, but at the end of the year we'll have this wonderful book full of thoughts and memories of our third year together. Some days will be full entries about events or happenings, others might be a small note about something he said that made me feel special or loved. I'm excited to see how my gift will turn out and I think Andi liked it, too. I wish I'd thought of the idea a year before our "leather" anniversary as it would've been better to give a completed book instead of an empty one. No matter though, the end result will still be the same and we'll have a wonderful snapshot of our third year together to reference for years to come.

By the way, Year Four is linen/silk, so I've got less than a year to come up with something special.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Three Years

Andi and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary (officially) on Tuesday. THREE YEARS! Part of me can't believe it's only been three years because, really, I can't remember my life before this man. Yet, I couldn't help but remember throughout the course of the day just how many things have changed in our relationship in three short years. A new house, new baby, new cars and the start of Andi's business. Time has a funny way of playing tricks on you that way.

Yesterday was like any other normal, uneventful day for the most part. I was up with a teething Tory for most of the wee morning hours (side note: I'm starting to realize the whole "baby sleeping through the night" thing is really an evil lie people say to convince others to have children because hahahaha, no, my child definitely doesn't sleep through the night. EVER). Andi and I both went to work and bee-lined home a little early to make our annual trip to Noerenberg Gardens -- the place we were married.

We started the tradition of visiting the gardens on our first wedding anniversary to remind ourselves of our vows and celebrate one year of wedded bliss. Last year, I was hugely pregnant during our visit and this year, we had a little 11-month-old in tow. How much life changes in the span of a few years ...

The columns where we were married in 2009

On this circle, we stood and recited our vows over very gusty winds
"I dooooooo!"
This is where you were married, Mom and Dad?

Hooray for three years together!
Afterwards, we went home and I put Tory to bed while Andi whipped up a fancy dinner of flat iron steak, baked potatoes, corn on the cob and green beans. We sat down to dinner and talked about our day. Simple and perfect, just how I wanted to celebrate our third anniversary together.