Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Monday, February 28, 2011

weekend warriors

 It's sort of funny (in the non-laughing way) how much we look forward to the weekends. To those two days that are gloriously sandwiched in between the weeks of go, go, go. How we long for those days to hibernate with each other, to just BE, to just soak up life in a not so go, go go way and yet... the weekend came and we went, went, went. 

I don't regret our weekend. I don't wish to take it back, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn't hoping for a quieter, less hectic one next time around.

This past weekend we kicked off the next phase in our home renovation project. As I explained to Dan, it is by far the "least exciting" reno project ever. We are reconstructing the back wall of our foundation. So, no magical before and after shots- although I'll share with you the "during" below. They're not pretty, so don't get your hopes up. We have to do this though because our 50 something year old house is built into a hill and the weight of that hill is pushing upon our foundation, thus making my engineer husband very worried. So, I guess the security of knowing that our house is no longer going to collapse is slightly exciting, but still not pretty. Luckily, the next phases of this massive renovation should involve a lot of pretty.

We also cleaned, played, volunteered a little bit of time packing meals for those in Haiti, did some grocery shopping, fit in a couple of trips to Home Depot (what renovation project would be complete without these?), enjoyed the spots of spring-life weather, went to church, and more... 

Monday came too quickly, as always, and we are back yet again to the go, go go... which never really stopped. I am just going to hold my breath, hold on tight and ride this chaos out until it hopefully slightly subsides in July. We have some hope that our jobs will slow down a little bit then, giving us a chance to breathe a little. 

Here is wishing for you an amazing week and hopefully we'll all find a few chances to slow things down a little and soak each other up. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

dinner with jp: week 54

tonight you're having dried apricots, cheese and chicken... all of which was almost spoiled by the ridiculous amount of rice krispies daddy gave you before i arrived home from the office. thankfully, most of the cereal ended up on the floor instead of in jp's mouth.

Construction Zone

Ground-breaking on the next phase of our home renovation (the never-ending project) is kicking off tomorrow. Some of the materials were delivered today while we were at work- a very visible sign of the chaos that is to come as our home becomes a construction zone. This project could very well turn out to be the straw that breaks the Jessica & Dan's camel's back. It will all be worth it, right?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

president's day

We are having a week (that is sure to turn in to a few months- more to come on that later) where we are fighting to keep our heads above water with juggling all that needs to be juggled which is my way of explaining my semi-absence from writing on here. But, I did want to quickly share Jackson's first museum trip. Much like his first trip to the book store, I had been dreaming since before he was born about his first trip to the museum. 

So, on Monday we decided we would go to the children's museum at the museum center in honor of President's Day because I feel like "learning something" would have been approving in their eyes. I was so happy to have the entire day for just Jackson and I and we took full advantage. He LOVED the museum, he ran and played and "talked" with the other kids there and was actually annoyed with me when I tried to get too close. He proved once again how fearless he is and seems to have misplaced the memo that states that he is only 1... not 5, not 13, not 21... he is one, but that does not and will not stop my little man, for better or for worse. 

I'll leave the rest of the story to the photos because I am exhausted and I am guessing my rambling isn't making much sense anyway! But, there are sure to be many more museum stories since we decided to buy a family pass. 

Museum family pass = endless fun and learning! No, seriously, I am being serious.
Rainy, rainy day... note to self: rainy day + holiday + new exhibit opening = mass chaos at the museum! Luckily for us, the more chaos the better in JP's opinion.

Giving himself kisses in the mirror. Self-esteem is not an issue here.

Playing fireman and other boy-type stuff

Puzzles! One of his favorite toys to play with.

I guess this is how boys play with baby dolls... they push them around in wheel barrows? 

Lets just say this little man was not too pleased when he realized that yes, he is in fact too small to climb this wall. 

Always a sign of a day well spent! 

Monday, February 21, 2011

juice nazi

Allow me to introduce you to my husband, the juice nazi. 

He's just like the soup nazi, but we're talking juice here. And juice is serious business. Every thing from the selection process of the produce to the drinking of the freshly-squeezed juice is a big deal to him. Last night he and JP made an orange and grapefruit concoction for us to enjoy. 

After it was finished the evening went a little something like this:

Dan: Are you going to drink that juice?
Me: Yep, in a little bit.
(10 minutes later)
Dan: Are you going to drink that juice?
Me: Yep, in just a little bit
(10 minutes later)
{REPEAT THE ABOVE several times}
Me: (going in to tell him good night) Good night, I'll come to bed in a little bit
Dan: So, you're going to drink that juice first, right?

I finally drank the juice around 11:30pm. Not because I wanted the juice, not because I needed the juice, but for the sake of our marriage. To make my husband, the juice nazi, happy. Lets all say a little prayer that poor JP didn't inherit all of both mine and Dan's quirks... because if he did, the kids got no chance.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"THANK YOU" to nanna, poppy & uncle jordan for taking care of JP so we could have DATE NIGHT last night. It was a perfect little mix of Dan & me. We began with going to the Auto Expo (the Dan part) then went to dinner at Local 127 (the me part that actually ended up being the 'us' part). Date nights are so good. Good for the soul, the heart, the marriage. Just really good. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

10 things making today EXTRA perfect:

1. It is Friday
2. It is not only ABOVE freezing outside, but all the way up in the 60s!
3. Tomorrow is DATE NIGHT
4. We are on the verge of a 3 day weekend
5. Therefore, Monday will be a mama/JP bonus day!!!
6. Did I mention there is no longer any SNOW on the ground for the first time in months?
7. Productivity and progress have been FULL-on this week at work
8. Dan found his "dream truck" and bought it this week. I don't dream about trucks, so I don't quite understand, but he is so excited about having it that it makes me happy too. Officially saying goodbye to THIS disaster also makes me happy. 
9. I'm going out to lunch with some friends from work in a little bit. Lunches outside office walls are always cause for excitement. 
10. This lovely little quote that was in my inbox this morning. It really speaks to me because this is how I feel our work lives operate at their peak. "We want people to feel WITH us more than to act FOR us." -George Eliot. 

*Update: So, we're back from lunch. We grabbed some quick Thai. It was delicious, but the highlight of the lunch was driving through the movie set that is shooting for George Clooney and Ryan Gosling!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A few recent videos of JP:

Week 52 Breakfast- JP thinks bananas are hilarious or better said, he thinks throwing them on the floor is hilarious until mama puts her foot down:

Singing Happy Birthday to my little man on at his 1st birthday party:

JP thinks he knows how to sign his ABCs... it's like sign language jibberish:

Pointing to his body parts:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

spring fever

Jackson was rocking his swimming gear tonight. Maybe it's because he has spring fever or maybe he was just dressing appropriately for the 'heat wave' that we're experiencing... that's right, when it's February and the temps get above freezing it does feel somewhat like a heat wave. But, really, mamaw and papaw gave JP this surfer-like outfit for Valentine's day and it was so adorable that Dan and I wanted to see him wear it. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

dreams are how we figure out where we want to go, life is how we get there.

warning: the following is a little glimpse into how my mind works. in over-drive. all the time. lots and lots of random thoughts that aren't actually so random to me, but they'll most likely appear that way to you- a little recap of the past few days.

1. last night jackson had his 1 year well check at the pediatrician. highlights include: he is in the 75th % for height and 45th for weight. tall & thin. dr. callahan said most likely from the "baby version of p90x" that jp puts himself through on a constant basis. the little guy basically runs everywhere, all the time. he is a mini Dan. other than that he is 100% perfect. i can't tell you how happy it makes me that we have been through an entire year with zero ear infections and zero antibiotics. 

2. unfortunately, speaking of health, dan seems to have caught the fever/sore throat/cough/runny nose little fiasco that jp and i suffered through this week.

3. the sun in shining today. this is HUGE news! lately the only thing seen coming from the sky has been ice and snow. sunshine, you are completely welcome here anytime. please visit us more frequently. i think someone else is also ready for spring- here is jp peaking outside earlier this week or as he says "ow-si"... 

4. i am making more purposeful attempts to detach myself more from technology. this is especially challenging for me when i'm working. in our office- as i'm sure is the case in most global corporate settings- when we're not in meetings we are tied to our computer screen, catching up on email, working on presentations, doing research, etc. it's almost as if we have this invisible elastic band tied to us and it snaps us back to our screens at any given moment- it's an addiction, really. well, personally, i find that my brain functions 200% more clearly away from the computer screen. so, yesterday, i rearranged my office space to allow for more "computer-less" work time. i have to tell you, even after just one day of making a more conscious effort to be less computer-dependent i felt so much more energized and productive!

5. i am eternally over-the-top grateful for these little pockets of full-on-energizing-conversations that i have during the work day with some of the most amazing women in my life. i love that we can go from 0-60 in 5 seconds- we can go from just passing in the office to discussing deep, meaningful stuff in no time. that ability is a very rare thing to find. i value it highly in my friendships. 

6. i'm still adjusting to the fact that i am the mother to a 1 year old. how did that happen? i have no idea. i feel like just last week dan and i were in high school, chatting it up on AIM and then talking on the phone until we would fall asleep. PS: HERE is what we were doing exactly 1 year ago today... it was our first full day home with our precious little man. 

7. dan sent me this link HERE earlier this week. don't let the name of the blog deceive you, this stuff applies to women just as well as men. we're going to go through this little exercise together. 

8. there was a little quote from church that keeps popping back into my mind. "live your life out loud so that others will see that Jesus is alive EVERYWHERE." i love that. and i feel like that's what i'm doing when i write, when i blog. i'm living my life out loud and i'm thankful for those that read along and in turn live their lives out loud- whether that be in their own blog or on facebook or in conversation or however. it allows us to all multiply our blessings and "wins" and divide up the tough times, weakening them and leaving them that much less tough. 

And, now time to get back to work. Thanks for the little coffee break!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

happy, happy birthday, baby

happy birthday to you
happy birthday to you
happy birthday dear, jackson
happy birthday to you.

Someone was so excited for his birthday that he decided a 5am wake up call was appropriate, leaving ample time for a little morning birthday photo shoot. This mama is now off to work, going on very little sleep and with a mind that is almost entirely focused on remembering every detail of the most magical day that happened one year ago today. On 10:16am, February 8, 2010 our lives were forever changed. These past 12 months have been better than a dream.
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