Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review: The Lucky One.

Earlier this week, I read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I had started it about a month or so ago, put it down, then brought it on the plane to Chicago. I read the plane ride there and back, and another night or two to get it finished up. I love to read, but that's usually the first thing to go when I get really busy. Once I get into a book though, I stay up half the night reading, unable to put it down.

This was a good, quick read, and a nice romance. I like Nicholas Sparks novels because they are romantic but not in a totally annoying, cheesy kind of way. I haven't seen the movie, and don't know if I will. Usually, books top movies every time for me. I did like both versions of The Notebook, but that's the exception to the rule.

I am in a very elitist book club (elitist in the fact that we are the only two in it, and we are snobs about what we read) with my bestie where we send each other books we know we'll love, but rarely discuss them other than the obligatory "yes, exactly, you know me SO WELL to send that book my way. xo."

Side note - Props, bestie, for sending me this book. Yes, exactly, you know me SO WELL to send that book my way. xo.

See what I mean?

I can't decide what to read next. The Harry Potter books are staring at me (I know, I'm years and years behind), and I've managed to stay away from the movies, wanting to read the books first. I've made it through the first three, but the last ones intimidate me with their gigantic size. They're a maybe.

I'm also toying with reading the Hunger Games series or 50 Shades of Grey. But I'm just not sure about those two. Generally, I like to stay away from the books everyone is screaming at you to read (see snobby book reader reference above), and besides, my book club buddy has yet to pre-read these to make sure I'll like them.

Decisions, decisions. Luckily, I've got a stack of Southern Living and Parents magazines that I haven't gotten around to that will keep me company until I decide.

Do you like to read? Are you a member of an elitist book club? What books are on your must read list?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Everything's coming up baby bows.

I had been searching for a creative baby girl gift for a friend, and I went to (where else?) Pinterest to find something cute. I found this:

via here

How cute is this thing? So, I had to try it for myself. Luckily, I've got some friends who host a bi-annual bow party for Maddie's Ribbons. I loved going last year, so I anxiously awaited the party to pick out the perfect bows for the new baby girl. I tried to buy some patterns and other fun ones that aren't the "normal" pink and white. I loved what I found! Delaney racked up too, but that's another post for another day.

I got together a pail, some stickers, a thin dowel, some spray paint, and voila! "Bow"quet genius!

 How cute are these pink stickers? I picked them up in the scrapbooking section at Joann's. Never mind the fabric, that's another (as yet incomplete) project coming soon.
 Spray paint fun. Yes, I intentionally photographed my thumb, to prove that it is impossible (for me) not to paint my thumb nail, even during the smallest of painting projects. At least I dig the teal color!
Ta Da! The finished project. So easy, and so fun! I love giving special gifts like this. And most importantly, the mommy to be loved it too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweet Home {Away from Home} Chicago.

We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Chicago, as we always do. It was a mix of fun and relaxation, complete with an afternoon at the horse track, a Cubs game, a little shopping, lots of yummy food, and few pictures. I was too busy having fun, what can I say?

Here are a few phone photos I snapped during our trip:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Greetings from the Windy City!

As I mentioned Tuesday, the hubs and I are off jaunting merrily through the Windy City this weekend spending some quality time together and having FUN!! Also, missing our baby girl and probably waiting on a text update with an adorable picture to get us through...

Have a wonderful weekend, and Go Cubbies!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How To Be an Adult (for a weekend).

As you may have been able to glean as an avid reader of this little corner of the interwebs, the Klahn household revolves around a certain 3 foot adorable, but stern, ruler of the roost. We simply wouldn't have it any other way. While raising her to be a valuable and hard working member of society is important around here, the "life change" - by which I mean, yours becomes theirs - of having a child was a very welcome and planned for one around these parts. We love taking Delaney new places (and old ones), incorporating her into our plans, and doing our best to make sure her life is pretty much awesome a great deal of the time. The non-awesome part of the time, well, we try to make sure that is saved for stuff that we deem relatively essential to her raisin' up: see also, potty training, bedtime, nail trimming, and other things toddlers would just as well skip if you left the raising up to them.

All that mushy stuff said, our marriage is first priority to us, and we both work at it constantly. I should add here that work in this context is not so much as a chore, as a concious choice to try to make our marriage the best it can be. For us, dates are an important part of that dynamic. We make a big deal out of things like anniversaries, and we make a small deal out of things like a dinner out together. Its fun to get a little fixed up, go out, and concentrate on each other. We've been doing date nights from the beginning of our marriage, but now that we have someone else to think about, those nights are a little more planned out and on the calendar well in advance.

A handful of times, we've spent the night without Delaney. Once, we've taken a quick weekend getaway without her. This weekend will be our second time to leave her for a couple of days. Do I miss her? Are you kidding me? She's my girl, my princess, my favorite pal. Of course I do!! Her daddy misses her a lot, too. But any break from the normal is nice, and a chance to recharge our batteries and have some fun as footloose, fancy-free (what does that even mean?) grown-up people is pretty great, too.

For those who haven't taken the plunge to do an overnight without your little one and are thinking about it, here's a couple tips from me. Sidenote: obviously I have loads of experience, didn't you read I've done this an entire handful of times?? Ahem.

  • Leave them with the next best you. If your babe is in good hands, you won't be worrying about what's going on - although that's not likely to stop you from thinking about it anyway. We are very blessed to have both sets of grandparents nearby, all of which Delaney absolutely adores. This makes it easy for us to say goodbye, because we know she's getting to do all sorts of special fun things without us.
  • Know thyself - can you handle the truth?? For me, I can. I love getting picture and text updates and seeing Delaney have a great time, and it helps the "what are they up to?" wonder fade away. If you'll turn into a ball of tears on your romantic dinner out at the sight of your little one, maybe ask for no picture updates, just a quick "went to bed happily!" text. Even when we're just out for the evening, I feel like I can really relax once I know Delaney is happily in lala land for the evening.
  • It's ok to think/talk/purchase about/to/for them. Also, there isn't a limit to the number of slashes you can have in a sentence. Not on this blog, anyway. I never like articles that tell you to talk about something other than your kid - hello, its my kid! And the person I'm out with? Yeah, its his kid too. That means, Delaney is going to come up in conversation. I like to call before we get going in the mornings, and before Delaney's bedtime at night, just to hear her voice. For us, she is having so much fun with her grandparents (aka, those four people on Earth that cater to her every whim), she likes to say hi, love you, bye, and go right on back to playing. If this will upset you, or worse, your kidlet, see #2 and just stop yourself before you sad-dial.
  • Have FUN! And remember that your little darling is too. Be in the moment and remember that whoever you are out with - your girlfriends, your husband, or a few couples - these are people that like you and that you like (Hopefully. If not, well, I wouldn't waste a night out on them.) Try to remember a little bit of what the "old" pre-kid you was like and laugh, joke, and even try to stay out past 10pm.
Hopefully this was helpful to someone, and make you laugh a few times. It always helps me when I'm away from Delaney to remember that one of the best things I can do to influence her life in a positive way is love her daddy and let her see the happiness that we share. To keep our connection strong, a few date nights and weekends away are a wonderful thing. Here's to the weekend - go call the babysitter and take your husband out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

We {Heart} Chicago.

Chicago is one of our favorite cities. We started visiting there while we were dating to see a Cubs game in Wrigley Field - look how cute (and young!) we are!

We've made lots of trips back since then. We always go see a game - besides one trip when there was no game to see when we got a little excited during a good season and bought a flight and hotel up just in case there was a postseason - spoiler alert: there wasn't. We've been to a lot of Cubs games (our goal is to hit all the ballparks sometime during our lifetime) but Wrigley is just the best. Known as the Friendly Confines, there's nothing quite like a ballpark hot dog and a beer, watching our boys play.

But there are a lot of other fun ways to spend time in Chicago, too. We've been to the Bean, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile (uh-MAZ-ing shopping!), several of the museums, an awesome boat tour with the Chicago Historial Society, Oz Park, and lots of delicious restaurants.

We've got some great memories in Chicago, and plan to make lots more - starting this weekend, when we fly up for a quick adults weekend in the Windy City! Can't wait!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Are you ready for some football?

In this house, we are! We are pretty diehard football fans in this house. We have already started pre-season Titans football, with the first home pre-season game coming at the end of the week. We had a good win last week, and some excitement with a fellow MJHS alum, Michael Jasper, getting picked up by the Titans mid-week last week. We are hoping we get to see him play this pre-season and that he makes the team! Pretty cool when a hometown guy gets to come back and play in his own city. My parents have season tickets to the games, so Andrew & I go to most of them, as Grandpa & Grandma are nice enough to hang out with Delaney and watch the games with her from home.

We follow high school football a little too, and Mt. Juliet is off to a good start this year. We usually try to get to one game during the season. Since these are on Friday nights, it is hard with our work schedules and Delaney's eating/sleeping routines, but she gets a little more flexible on weekend bedtime the older she is. We like to get her decked out in her black and gold and take her to cheer for the Bears. If you didn't know, Andrew & I both graduated from MJHS (although they have a nice new school and a new football field now). Although the location moved a bit, it is still our hometown team and we both have a lot of memories going to all the games in high school. It's fun to bring Delaney to those games, and I am hoping she ends up being an MJ Bear herself one day.

When college football starts up, our Saturdays will be a hodge-podge of fun fall events and trying to catch games whenever possible. We root for Vandy (Go 'Dores!), but Andrew likes to follow all of the SEC games...and college football makes great background noise for a Saturday afternoon nap, so I don't mind too much.

No Klahn family football post would be complete without mentioning Fantasty Football. This year, Andrew is commissioning a league for the Greater Nashville Apartment Associaton board, and is in another league with his cross-country buddy (hi, J!) I bowed out this year, as I have SO much going on this fall and it takes a lot of time to manage a league well. That said, I can't wait to join the moms league 2013 with my fellow football-loving bestie!! As you can see, we love the fall and we love our football. Does your family love the football season, or are you a football widow?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Have a little faith in Him.

I'm an inpatient person. I love setting goals, and I love achieving goals, but the in-between kills me. This can lead to some stress from time to time. When I'm in the work stage of a goal, I can get weighed down in the here and now, instead of looking ahead for the goal.

My friend (who also happens to be our church's youth minister) preached about this a few weeks ago, calling this the meantime. Of all his comments that day, what has stuck with the me most is that the meantime happens to everyone, and the meantime isn't a bad thing. It's just a waiting thing.

Cue this morning, when I opened up my devotional and saw the following quote:

Second only to suffering, waiting may be the greatest teacher and trainer in godliness, maturity, and genuine spirituality most of us ever encounter.
 - Richard Hendrix

Waiting doesn't sound so bad in that context, does it? Taking a moment to step back and realize that God is in control of my life always, in the peaks and valleys, and in the in-between, is a pretty great revelation. Of course, this is something I know in my heart - my faith tells me that God is always there. But how often do I still worry, stress, or fret about changing something in my own routine to bring the end of my goals faster?

As humans, we are always waiting on something. My life is amazing right now, but there are always family items we are working on or something in the future we are looking forward to. How great to know that our God is working on our hearts and loving us everyday, not just in the exciting moments of our lives.

I had this on my heart to share this morning, so I bumped my regularly pre-scheduled blog post to share it. My prayer is that someone else who is anxious about something can read this and be blessed.

Do you read a devotional? If so, what are some of your favorites? I love getting new ideas.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom, you are:

Selfless & Generous
Devoted to your family
A great help - running quick errands for me to help me have an easier week to giving me advice
A cancer survivor - Praise the Lord!

I really can't say enough about how much I love my mom. She is an amazing woman. She is all the things above and more. I am so blessed to have a very special relationship with my mom and I cherish her every day. She is a wonderful mom and a fabulous Grannie!! And today is the day to celebrate her!

Happy Birthday, I love you Mom!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012