Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crazy Quinten



David spent 2 years in the jungles of Peru with a group of guys who, by any standards, are some of the craziest you'll ever meet. Quinten, though no longer living in the jungle, is still a bit of a nomad. He pops into our house sometimes when the wind blows this way....and we are always glad to see him.

Jude and I got home from Gulf Shores on Tuesday night (more on the trip later) and Q arrived sometime on Wednesday.

So far, he's entertained us with countless stories and crazy videos of his adventures out west. He's taken Rebekah on a ride on his motorcycle.




And he's helped David fulfill one of his dreams in which his wife quite simply refuses to join: swimming in the Mississippi River.





This crazy obsession with swimming in random lakes, ponds, rivers and streams actually originated with Quinten. Before leaving for Peru, David and Q swam in all 5 of the great lakes on their trip up to training in Virginia. What an accomplishment, right?

Since that trip, David's been dipping in the Amazon down south, the Bosphorus in Turkey, and ever stream and river in between. He simply can't wait until I give the ok for Jude to accompany him. Until that time, I'm glad Quinten's around to indulge him. It's one hobby that I don't plan on picking up.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

To Hubs...



...because who wouldn't miss this face?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Morning

I woke up this morning to this....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hitting Pause



This morning, Jude and I are loading up the car for a trip down to the gulf coast. Thus, I am hitting the pause button on the blog for a few days unless I happen to run into a computer with wi-fi on the sandy beach.

More details next week...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

99



When it is 99 degrees in late September, the only thing I know to do
is...fill up a bowl with vanilla bean ice cream, raspberries and brownie and pretend it's still summer.

Fall does indeed follow summer. Memphis is just testing us.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Mixed Bag


I realized that there are a few topics I've mentioned in the past week or two that I haven't yet followed up on. Here's a mixed bag update on everything from cloth diapering to little Amelia.

1. After reading my blog post asking for running stroller input, our sweet friends Todd and Shannon dusted off the Baby Trend jogger out in their shed and brought it over to us yesterday. Jude is on his 2nd run as I write this!

A few of you emailed asking what information I found helpful...check out the great comments under the post for some advice and also this useful website Lee sent me: http://www.consumersearch.com/jogging-strollers/budget-3-wheeled-strollers

David called some friends of ours in Louisville who run with their 3 & 5 year old daughters (pushing around 90lbs!). They recommended Tike Tech to us and considering the way they run, we're seriously checking into that brand if we decide to upgrade.



2. My manual photography abilities are slowly and steadily increasing...but I still have a hard time shooting a crisp shot in low light. I am going to focus my efforts in that area...




3. The Rite Aid game is proving to be worth my while. It seems to be a bit addictive. I can hardly wait to see tomorrow's ad for the week. David finds it all very entertaining. I make sure to give him a "presentation" of my bargains each time. So far, I've 'spent' $28.50 to get over $70 worth of products. (This includes UP points I now have to spend in-store.) The best bargain this week? That $28.50 includes not only a multitude of toiletries but 178 diapers! Due to the successful start of our cloth diapering endeavors, I bought sizes 3 and 4 as we usually only use disposables now for church and other outings!




4. Cloth diapering is considerably less time consuming and messy than I thought it would be. I'm an avid fan of Bum Genius and would definitely recommend that brand (at least after a month in cloth diapers). I did receive our utility bill yesterday and it was outrageous. I think with a little more coordination and effort though I can drastically reduce our energy output though. Unfortunately, our apartments have a code against hanging laundry on your balcony. If that were not the case, it would require a lot less creativity and kwh of power. A little bit of sunshine goes a long way!



5. Soon and very soon I am going to dedicate a full post to little Amelia. For now, check out their blog for the story and these pictures of my giant baby next to Amanda's petite maiden:



Friday, September 17, 2010

A Perfect Cut

If you've ever tried to cut a mango....



...you may agree with this statement:

The Williams Sonoma mango cutter is AmaZinG!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This is for you, Beth.

Over the past few months Beth's been posting about her drug store deals at CVS (a.k.a. Free-V-S) and Rite Aid. I've been thinking about trying my hand at the bargain hunt. Last week I read the primer on Rite Aid on moneysavingmom.com

Today I printed off my temporary Wellness card, signed up for the $5 coupon, made a list of my purchases and the total to be spent/earned. If my calculations and couponing are correct, I will get $46.50 worth of products for $20.

Beth....you're my inspiration. :)

We'll see how this goes....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Photography 101



I like to take photos. I like to look at photos. The only problem is that sometimes I can't take photos that I like to look at. I've been stuck in partially automatic pictures on my SLR for a few years now. They usually look better than pictures taken on automatic but I still feel very limited.

I like to make a list of personal goals every few months. Recently, I added: learn to take pictures on the fully manual setting on my camera.

Last week on our "date afternoon" (thanks to David's mom:) David and I plopped down on the floor in front of the library shelf containing books on photography. For 1.5 hours we read about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, etc. We took pictures of David's feet and hastily made a pathway through the mound of books when librarians passed by. It would probably make my top 10 list for fun dates, seriously.

Tonight, we went for a walk and David suggested we take the camera along and the photography book we checked out. We're nerds, so we did and we sat in the parking lot of our apartment complex taking pictures of the fire hydrant on various settings.

Automatic:



Manual:



See what I mean?

My progress may be slow in days to come...and no doubt this little experiment may result in some terribly blurry or overexposed photos on the blog...but I'm hopeful that the effort will broaden what now feels quite limited.

I think it will be worth the effort.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mmmmm.


Lately I'm on a sandwich kick....my favorite: avocado, sharp cheddar, ranch dressing and turkey.

Try it.

It's delicious.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Besides Bob...


Jude is just about ready to start his running career.

There are a LOT of running stroller options out there....we need help. Besides the popular and amazing (and way beyond our budget) BOB, any suggestions?

We've seen quite a few Baby Trend strollers on Craigslist but the reviews don't seem to be great for that brand. We're not sure if this stroller will go across the ocean with us or not...but we're leaning that way.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Say What You Will....


I confess that though I do not listen to her radio program, I do occasionally read books by "Dr. Laura." At my mom's suggestion, I picked up The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands when I was engaged to David. I've re-read it once or twice since.

She surprises me.

I thought she would be a feminist. She used to be. Now she's adamantly opposed. I thought she would be quite liberal. She's a committed Jew who frequently references God's design for family life.

Through her radio experience, she has gained an insightful view of American society...the society that I am influenced by and within which I live.

Not to say that I'm an advocate of all the advice she gives, or that her writing style is likely to move from NY Times Best Sellers into the Classics section of B & N but, say what you will, I read her marriage book and I just checked out her book on parenting at the library. We shall see....

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Quiet Weekend?

For a weekend at home with not too many plans, we've had a hoppin' Labor Day Weekend! A few highlights...

1. Sharing in some GOoD news with Bear and Amanda! (More details and baby pics later in the week!)



2. Celebrating my bro's birthday ice-cream cake style!



3. Spending every spare moment outside in some spectacular September weather.



4. A fierce badmitton competition with Lindsey and Andy.




5. Newks with a couple of David's Peru team mates and an afternoon with our new Probate Court Clerk, Paul.


6. A family cookout with the Dawkins clan.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

In the Air


Fall is in the air. After the scorching heat of August, we are ready to give it a hearty welcome! Happy Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jumpin' Jude

Jude is so much more interactive these days...and I'm loving it. One of the best/worst things about his mom is that you can see anything she's thinking right on her face. It seems that Jude has inherited my expressiveness at an early age. Lindsey took a little video during the Scrabble card preparations...apparently Jude gets a little jumpy around card shufflin'...



Yes. I am a little ashamed that he is in a Bumbo chair on top of the table. Don't worry, it didn't last long before I realized that warning about elevated surfaces is on the box for a reason.

Good Ole Days

I like Facebook for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that on occasion I open up my account and find that someone's scanned an old picture of me dressed as a chicken and sitting beside a ninja turtle:



or of me in a Got 2 Be Tru shirt with pleated khaki shorts on:



They were the good ole days...but I'm sure glad they're over! Thanks for the laughs:)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Have I mentioned...

...that I loVe living 10 minutes away from my little sister.



Perk for me: she likes Scrabble as much as I do.