Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Boogies first pajama party!

Boogie had so much fun tonight with E-J-B! They have been in town for the week, visiting.  I'm so sad they moved away- but happy they are close to family now! We haven't seen them since the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, we haven't seen a whole lot of them this week either!  Even though they are staying with mom and dad! Between all of our errands, them visiting other friends and the girl's nap schedules being practically polar opposites - tonight we finally got to hang out for a little while. HOW CUTE WAS TONIGHT?!?!?! So adorable. First we went to Mexican night, which we always used to do with Heather and Jerry and baby E before RQ ever even came along! We still go every week, but it's just not the same, ya know?! Anyway- the girls sat across from each other at our regular table and they giggled and watched each other the whole meal. Two wonderful girls, I might add. Not a peep out of either of them and they stayed in their chairs the whole time, happy. It's a norm for our girl and apparently for E-J -B as well! After dinner we came home and the girls played for a bit in boogie's room- Then they took a bath together. They had so much fun. It was so adorable. (I didn't get any pictures of the naked babies for the internet... sorry. lol)

After the bath, we let the girls play until about 9. It was so fun to watch them. They really interacted and RQ crawled up to EJB and laid her little head on her lap. I melted. It was so adorable. I have some quick photos to share, because you know me and I had to pull out the camera! 

PJ party!

such sweet friends

playing together.


look at that beautiful blonde! 

girls into everything, having so much fun.

climbing up her dresser

cuddle with her mommy- it's getting close to bed time

Goodnight kisses. This was absolutely ADORABLE!


We will have to go visit them soon. I hope it isn't so long until we see them again next time. The girls are just getting comfortable together and it makes me sad to see them go. I do love that RQ has lots of friends her age around here, but I sure with they were close too! 

xoxo


~let go laughing

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

out with the old, in with the new


After yet another debacle at Buy Buy Baby (I really don't want to shop there anymore...) We finally have Boogie's big girl car seat!  This is the last picture of her in her graco and the first picture in her new seat! We finally went with the Britax Marathon 70. After lots of research and discussions, it was the best choice. I did find better prices on Amazon after the fact, but after shipping and such, I'm glad I got it today and was able to put it in the car and if need be, I could have returned it to a store and not online to Amazon. Plus, we got 2 (one for ma-lolo and grandy's car too!) and shipping on two would have sucked. Oh, and hers came with a cup holder and a net for holding toys and such!


The debacle all started after I spent two hours trying out seats yesterday- putting them in the car- putting RQ in and out of them and FINALLY coming to a decision. Only to get to the AWESOME Parkwood Fire Dept. this morning to find out the people who helped me obviously weren't trained well because even though they told me it was rear facing... it wasn't. Crazy since I even told them I wanted to keep her rear facing until she was two.. They even took it to my car and put it in the seat to show me how it would look. Grrr. Anyway- I went back and got the very first, original car seat I had my mind set on. Needless to say, I was treated like a queen and they put them in the car for me and gave me a discount and lots of coupons... Anyway- back to RQ!

SHE LOVES IT! Her dvd player is no longer in front of her because first of all, it scared me and second of all the awesome fireman explained why it wasn't a good idea to begin with. He put her seat in the middle and the dvd player is on the side, angled so she can see it. He also said you should never have a mirror in front of the baby. It too is on the side and angled so I can see her in it. The car seats are made to go forward into the seat if there is an accident. (Although, since in my car we used the tether straps, that isn't the case, but still...) If that happened she would slam her pretty face right into the dvd player or mirror and not the cushioned seat. He also suggested we use the seat belt and not the hooks on the car seat. He showed us how to pull it out until it tightened, strap it through and lock it. It all seems so easy and not complicated, but it is still very nice to have someone show you the how and why. We had them both installed- mine and ma-lolo and grandy's- Anyone selling one that is used and hasn't been wrecked, we would love to know, because we still need one for daddy's car. She has maybe ridden in it 3 times though, so we aren't in a huge hurry for that one.

The good news is that this seat will rear face her until 2 and then front face her up to 70 lbs. I think it will last us a LONG time. :)

Laundry time while boogie is still sleeping.


xoxo

~let go laughing!

running running running

I've always loved to run. I used to run every day in high school and even through college. I ran a lot in the winter on the treadmill and then kind of got out of my habit again for a month or so around our Vegas trip.  I got back on my feet in the last couple of months and it feels wonderful. I have run now, every day for the entire month of June. Out of the month, I have only missed about three days total and I am so proud of myself. It feels strange NOT to run when I wake up. I don't wake up and think "ugh, I don't want to do it..." I just wake up and can't wait to hit the pavement! 

For a treat- I went out and got a new pair of running shorts that I LOVE! I told M last week that I wanted some neon running clothes and these are perfect. They are even reversible! Next on my list- new running shoes. I want those in neon, too! 



It's awesome to feel back in shape. I have gotten my mile time down significantly at home-  if you knew the hills in my neighborhood, you would understand. It's rough. On the island, I can do it faster since it is flat. It's seriously one of the best parts of my day. It's an awesome feeling to feel your body improving daily. Especially in the beginning when I couldn't run a mile without stopping (sad, I know...) When I could get further each day, it was so awesome! 

Riley usually wakes up around 7:30 or 7:45. First we cuddle for a bit and then I get up and run while her daddy gets her out of her jammies and feeds her. Then he hits the gym when I get home. It's nice to be working out together (in a way...). He is so encouraging and it is wonderful!

As soon as registration opens up, were registering for our first 5K together and I cannot wait. It's in November, so hopefully I can get my distance improved by then. We're even planning to push Riley in it! 

Anywho- off to the fire department to have boogie's big girl car seat installed. I don't think I'm ready for this... :(


~let go laughing! 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

our peace

the south end. my life. my heaven. my peace.

I've been thinking lately and praying. And, thanking God for my amazing life. I have been thinking of some of the many blessings in my life and the blessings I get to share and pass on to my Riley Quinn. I know I have posted about it before... but I felt it deserved another.

My island. My little place of peace. Being raised on an island isn't easy. (Yeh. right.)  My brother and I call it "home." To some it is a vacation. To us it is just our life. Many wonder when they come to visit why we don't spend all of our time on the beach... I think it is comical. There have been times that I have gone days or weeks without even walking up to the ocean.

I was raised on an island. The smell of the salt, the sand and even the marsh make me smile. That fall marshy smell is a smell only some can appreciate. I am so thankful that my sweet Riley Quinn is being raised on the island as well. Almost all of our holidays are spent on the south end. We do spend Christmas at home. Traditions are just that in our family... traditions. We very rarely break them.

I grew up riding my bike with the girls (and Adam)... skating over the post office, swimming in the canal... or across the sound (sorry mom!). Being friends with all the police officers, knowing all of our neighbors... shrimping, fishing, oystering... The best part of all of this is... it's all still happening. And Riley Q is now able to join. She loves our morning walks. We stop and chat with all of our neighbors and friends. It's such a Mayberry feeling to know and love our neighbors like we do. We don't walk past more than 2 houses and not know the person who lives there. And I don't just mean we know who they are. They are our friends. Our family.


My family hosts a parade and party every year on July 4th. They have since I can remember. I have to say it's one of the best days of the year! I remember waking up and getting so excited to decorate my bike for the parade. Now I can pass that excitement on to Riley Quinn! I cannot wait for her to be in the parade for the first time this year. It's called the "4th of July Easter Parade." 



several years ago before the parade




I met my best friend on our little island. I'll never forget the "broom" incident. Julie and Kelly and I were floating along in the canal. Middle school age... Here comes a boy on a float and he lost his paddle. So we decided to help him... We then lost a broom in the process. And that folks, is how I met my best friend. Oh the stories I could tell about me and Adam. But that friends, is for another post... or 10. In fact, that might need a blog of it's own. Who would have known he lived just a couple of miles down the road from me in D.town too and we would end up in the same spanish class a few years later... (Sorry, Srta. Thomas.)

We met Riley's God parents/ family on our little island. They helped raise me in a way. Julie and Kelly and I were inseparable. Spending every night together. Watching Billy Madison and looking for lost dogs after fireworks on the 4th of July.

this is how we make potato salad on the south end (for 200 people!)

one of our july 4th EASTER PARADE t-shirts

me and jewels...
karaoke with my brother

the first picture when michael joined our island family
I fell in love with my husband on our island. I was engaged on our little island... Riley will be baptized on our little island... It's my everything. My island. My peace. My joy.

i've always loved an island bike ride- well into my pregnancy i was riding 10 miles a day.
Riley now enjoys the rides behind mommy's pink bike in her awesome giraffe helmet! 

she even has her own pb kids beach chair with a matching pink polka dotted umbrella

RQ's first time on the beach- I think it was Thanksgiving weekend.
Her first actual trip to the island, she was only 2 weeks old. 

RQ's first Thanksgiving 


Thank you, God and thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the opportunity to grow up on such a wonderful place that we call home. And thank you for sharing this with me to share with Riley Quinn.

Dear Riley- 8 months


8 months old today!


Wow. I can't believe I am writing my 8th Dear Riley "monthly" letter. I can't believe I am taking your EIGHT month photo and placing it right here on this blog... I'm sending your 8 month "Dear Riley" letter to your email... I'm writing MONTH 8 in your "R" journal... I can't believe it. EIGHT months... I feel like I say it every month, but WHERE DID THE TIME GO?! It so does not feel like it has been 8 months RIGHT NOW as I am typing this that your daddy and I were getting ready to meet you.


You're the light of my life, Riley Quinn. You have made me so happy and I hope and pray you will understand just how much I love you. I thank God every single night for bringing you to me. I have never not known how much I wanted something in my entire life (if that makes any sense at all!).

I can't believe you are trying to walk already. You are able to stand on your own for a few seconds without falling and you can walk all over the place pushing your walker or holding onto the couch. You can say momma and wave and say bye bye and today you said papa. You have said dada, but not consistently and I am not sure your daddy has heard you yet. You need to get on that, RQ! :)


You are eating like a good girl, but you're definitely still loving to spit it allllll over whoever is feeding you when you are finished. You think it is hilarious, and well... it still is. Avocado is still your favorite and today you had some blue berries. You had some chicken when me and daddy baked some the other night. You are basically eating whatever we eat for dinner now. I'm not really pureeing anymore food for you because you are so good at chewing. Last night you had sweet potatoes that were cooked in the microwave for about 6 minutes. They were nice and tender and you loved it. You LOVE to feed yourself too, so the purees aren't really working out. (Miss Independent!) I buy some store bought stuff still since we're always on the go and it's easier to take with us. Mainly the squeeze pack foods (again- so you can feed yourself) You love the pumpkin! You're only drinking four bottles now. You drink anywhere between 7.5-9 oz each bottle. You have your bottles around 7:30-8am, noon, 4-4:30pm and then bedtime which is anywhere between 8:15 and 9:15 (or 10:30 if your ma-lolo has been in Key West for 4 days and comes home and lets you taste sorbet from the yogurt shop and you are on a slight sugar high from 2 bites of sorbet...)
10pm and you are wiiiiiiiiide awake ;)


You love the beach. We've spent most of the couple of months at the "Boogie Shack" and we are actually home this week for a little time. You sleep so well at the beach, like you know you are meant to be there. You don't even think it is "somewhere new" because it's not. It's so wonderful to me that I get to raise you on our little island just like I was raised. Your daddy says he is planning to keep it that way too! I told him how much I hated coming as soon as school got out as a kid because I wanted to be home with my friends - but how I am so glad I did and how I came to love our island and how it kept me with the "good" and not the "bad." He wants the same for you and so do I, Riley Quinn. I am so glad we are fortunate enough to have that opportunity for you. You even love the ride there. It's like you know where we are going. Luckily it isn't a far drive at all and we can come home and see daddy frequently and he can bounce down and see us for a day or so no and then- so we aren't apart from him for long. 
you and your beach chair in the boogie shack


you love our morning walks on the island before or after mommy jogs



All of our island family loves you so much. Everyone says you fit right in (as if that was ever questionable!) But really, you do.You have your own little get up under the Boogie Shack. Your car, pool(s), swing, wagon, stroller, bike trailer... you are quite spoiled, little one. But we love every inch of spoiling you... You love to play on the beach. This past month you have spent several days up there. You love the sand and you have even taken a two hour nap on the beach. You will play and play and play and you love it. It's wonderful. We hosted the last FFF at our place and you had a blast-

you in your bike trailer with your cute giraffe helmet 

Here are some of your firsts from this month. I have already blogged about them. I can't really think of much else.

Some of the newest things I am loving that you do---

  • you get super excited when ma-lolo or grandy come over or we go there and you start jumping and kicking in my arms
  • you cry when daddy goes to work (it's sad but shows how much you love him)
  • you wave and say bye bye
  • saying mama
  • when you fall you get this look on your face like "hey, pick me up" and you don't even cry
  • you giggle at EVERYTHING- but the thing you laugh at the most is a pony tail 
  • you will fight us to watch a tv if it is on in the room (you are your daddy's child!)
  • you LOVE coach and you say "ca" which we think might mean Coach
  • when we are out to eat you coo and chat with everyone around us and make friends everywhere we go
  • you follow us everywhere and you still crawl with one leg up and one down just like you have done for the past 4 months... i don't think it will change- lol

That's all I can think of for now, boogie. I love you more than you will ever know- well until you have a little girl of your own one day. Then, I think you will know.









xoxo

Love, 

Mommy



I can't believe it's been so long- I feel like you were just 11 weeks old.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

more wooden signs

I am really enjoying making these signs. Several of them are for gifts. I'd love to find a sweet little boutique or any kind of shop in the area that would sell them for me. Anyone have any ideas? 

here is the facebook page I made for the updated signs: http://www.facebook.com/simplysignsbylauren


for the beach house

another for the beach house

for ma lolo and grandy's beach house

house warming gift for a friend's beach house
monograms- can be made into bow holders, towel racks or simple signs to hang on the wall or a door!
$20 + shipping if shipped

Monday, June 18, 2012

the boogie shack has signage!

Our little ol' beach house finally has a name! It's officially the "boogie shack" and I LOVE it! I have almost finished the sign and I cannot wait to get down there and hang it up! I also plan to make several more wooden signs to hang in the house to go along with it as well as some for gifts! :) Up first is Randy's house warming gift. I cannot wait to get started! 

If you want one like the small one, let me know. I can see what I figure out shipping (if you're not in the RDU area), you can customize the color and wording (I can share a couple different ways I like to write the letters) and I can quote you a price! I LOVE getting back into my paint again!


two different signs I plan to attach to make one


Here is the one I made for boogie's door-



~let go laughing!

Happy Father's Day

This was M's first father's day with RQ out of the belly. I wanted to make it special and from the heart. We all know I am into photography and take a gazillion photos of boogie every day! I saw an idea a long long time ago (maybe on pinterest? idk) and I wanted to do it for him. I bought a "D" and an "A" from Michael's Craft Store and took pictures of her holding both. Then I picked my favorites, printed them and put them in a frame with three slots to spell "DAD." He loved it! 


RQ spelling DAD for her daddy
I also made him a hand print paper weight for his desk at the office. It turned out super cute and he loved it too!

He spent a couple of days with us on the island to celebrate Father's Day a little early since he would have to work the weekend and we went to feed the fish on a rainy day. :) It was the first time the three of us have gone away on our own and it was nice and relaxing. (and only a day and a half before ma-lolo and grandy joined us. lol)

feeding the fishies with her daddy

Had to share this photo of boogie in her new ride. She just loves it.

Here is RQ giving Grandy some Father's Day morning cuddles before we
 left the island to head home to her daddy. 


We came back to durham for Riley to see her daddy for Father's Day and we had dinner with Nanny and Papa at Maggiano's. It was so yummy! I'd say it was a pretty perfect Father's Day and even though RQ didn't technically wake up at home with Daddy, she got to spend a lot of time with him when we got home early that afternoon. 


And here are the photos we did for Grandy, Papa and Pawpaw! These were all interesting to take. She wanted to eat the paper and by the end of the takes, she had eaten some of each. LOL




If you know my dad, you know how much he loves Chevy Chase. "You serious, Clark?" is from Christmas Vacation and the cheese prices is in reference to Domnino's. :) We had this one blown up to an 8x10 and it's hanging under his signed poster of Chevy himself! 


Happy Father's Day, daddies! 

~let go laughing!

finger food friday at the "Boogie Shack"

Each Friday on our fabulous little island, someone in our South End crew hosts "finger food friday." It started at the K house then moved on to the F house then the D house, the P house and the C house... this week it was at the Boogie Shack! Michael got up super early and decorated all by himself. I was pretty amazed at how awesome he did. He strung the lantern lights, organized the tables and pulled out the chairs.. It looked fabulous! He even hung some black plastic to cover the air conditioning and wood scraps. 

For FFF, everyone brings something to share and I tell ya- every week the goodies get more intense! This week there were several yummy specialties and I know I will leave some out, so forgive me if I don't mention what you brought! There are usually about 30 people or so... sometimes more, sometimes a few less. It's so fun to get together with everyone and not have a million things to clean up when it is over! 


Mom's specialty this week was hurricanes! She even went to a Mexican grocery store to get the exact juices that were needed for this concoction! It was pretty good and a huge hit! The whole concoction was gone by the end of the party.

hurricanes 

hanging out before everyone arrived!

I made rice crispy treat pops. I saw the idea online for them in squares, and tried them last week.
They didn't stay on the sticks well, so I made them into pops this week and they are sooooo yummy!

Dad's concoction was an authentic recipe from our very special Jamaican friend. Jamaican jerk pork!
It was spicy, but not spicy enough for Sue! 

Jane made chocolate covered strawberries and they were SO good! 

People starting to arrive. Michael enjoying his first Friday night off in a LONG time!
He was back at work the next day, but it was nice to have him join us. :)

another shot of the hurricanes and food set up.

There was SO much food, I can't even begin to name it all- skewers, sliders, dips of all sorts and tons of sweets too! I also made a cheese ball. Wendy made a Paula Dean dessert that she called "the butter dessert" and it was yummy! Rucker brought some yummy onion dip and Cathy made some really good roll ups with cream cheese, jalapenos, mushrooms and more! There was buffalo chicken dip that Laurie made and there was so much more. It's always fun to see what people bring because it is different every week.

If you live in a close neighborhood with lots of friends, I really suggest doing this. At least in the summer time. It's always so fun to get together and this way it is at  different families houses each week. It's also fun for people like us who like to try new recipes! Last week we did adorable spinach dip in bread bowls with veggies sticks.

Yay for Finger Food Friday, y'all!

~let go laughing!