Saturday, May 31, 2008


This is what I did yesterday ...

(Pardon the picture above. Kind of blurry. But you get the idea!)

Friday, May 30, 2008

More water toys!

I introduced Cate to her new (actually, a hand-me-down from Luke) pool after lunch. I don't know if the water was too cold or if she just wasn't in the mood. But she enjoyed her float in the big pool this weekend much more than the other water toy, so I thought she might like the little pool in her own backyard ...

She definitely enjoyed the pool toys Milla picked out for her. When my mom asked Milla what kind of toys Cate needs for the pool she said measuring cups and bowls. So that's what Cate got for her birthday, plus a boat with sea animals that she's fond of in the bath tub.

Cate makes anything into a phone these days. She's probably calling someone to rescue her from her mom who keeps putting her in strange water toys! Notice she is close to the pool, though!

My feet, probably the painted toe nails, enticed her to at least play in the pool without actually being IN the pool.

She splashed some ...

... and considered getting in. But not quite yet.

Maybe we'll try again after her nap.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let's go Krogering!

I like having someone, even an almost 13-month-old someone, along for the ride when it comes to running errands. It helps that Cate has fun with whatever she's doing and wherever she's going.

The grocery store seems to be among her favorite stops. She likes to look at everything, babbling and pointing as we walk down the aisles. She makes friends with whoever we pass, especially other little kids and the older women who love on her with their sweet words.

And we have little games we play at Kroger. Sometimes I count -- "one, two, three ..." -- and then walk really fast down the aisle. Other times I sing "Peanut, peanut butter, JELLY!" (The condiment aisle always prompts that song.)

The baggers love her too. She always tries to reach out and help them. She follows them, first as they put things in bags and then as they put the bag in the back of the cart. One bagger's name is Diego and he's all about talking to her. One time he even told her about Dora, even though Cate is too young to have any idea what he's talking about.

It's these little moments of motherhood that I cherish. And, to be honest, these moments are unexpected pleasures because I had no idea Kroger could be so much fun.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

my night in a canoe

Well, OK, a couple hours ...

Greg's brother John proposed a sunset canoe trip at Land Between the Lakes. Technically, we were on Honker Lake, which is a no-wake lake because it's dammed off of Kentucky Lake. (Is that the right way to say that?) I admit that I was a tad nervous because the last time I remember canoing (Seriously, that's how that's spelled?) I was probably 10 years old and ended up outside the canoe in a part of Cumberland Lake that supposedly housed water moccasin snakes. (They're poisonous, you know. Or so that's what the camp guide guy said they were ... maybe there's weren't, but he got me scared.) Anyway, I like going white water rafting, so I don't know why I was nervous about a canoe.

Silly me.

It was really fun.

Greg steered the boat, and I was a vocal partner! I sometimes doubted his ability to get us where we were supposed to go, but he always got us there. His turns were just really wide.

This is my view. Yes, much algae. I suppose that's what happens in a no-wake lake. I mean, no current whatsoever.

We learned about ospreys. They build big nests in trees and on unnatural structures like this. See, there are two there. Sometimes they start building two and decide which on they like better. My favorite part about them (and generally I don't find much interesting about birds!) is that they often return to their mate after spending the winters separately in the south.

I should add here that we had two guides. There were eight canoes of people like us and then two guides in another canoe. The guided canoe trip was something Land Between the Lakes was offering as part of Memorial Day weekend.

We also learned about beavers. This is a beaver lodge.

I became a tad obsessed with the sunset.

That's Christine and John in the canoe in the forefront. The canoe trip was John's idea -- and a good one!

* The pictures aren't as good as I would have liked, but, like I said earlier, I used a disposable camera I had because I didn't want to risk my Kodak Easyshare ending up in the water. I told you, I was a tad nervous! I have to admit that I wasn't all that comfortable with the old-fashioned disposable camera because I kept forgetting where the lens was, meaning my finger ended up in a few shots!

an extra-long weekend

Our Memorial Day weekend was spread over an even longer weekend. We packed the time with one thing after another, so I'll just give you a run down...

FRIDAY: Holly, Katie and Lucas came over to play cards. Greg and I had been wanting to play cards so we're glad we found friends to oblige our game craving. Katie taught us a new rule in Hearts: If you get 100 points exactly, instead of going out, you go back to zero. I promptly took advantage, even though it wasn't planned, and ended up winning!

SATURDAY: I worked at Greg's office for a little while to accomplish the one serious thing that had to be done. Then we went to pick out tile at Lowe's so some guys can tile our kitchen while we're in Hilton Head. We had lunch at Dwain's and then went to Camee's (Greg's cousin) high school graduation party. Our small group from church was in charge of dinner for the church retreat that evening, so we went out to the lake for that and some of the festivities.

As you can see, Cate enjoyed some pre-lunch popcorn at Dwain's.

SUNDAY: We started the day with meeting some out-of-town friends at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then we headed back out to the lake because our church's service was out there. We had lunch there, and then we headed over to where Peggy and Gary were camping. We swam, ate hot dogs and just hung out. That evening Greg and I went on a sunset canoe trip with John and Christine. (Pictures from that will come later because I used a disposable camera I had. I didn't want to risk water damage or anything else to my real camera.)

It was really Cate's first time swimming because last summer she was so small and just got dipped in the water a few times. This summer she's so much more aware and has great reactions to things.

Elijah "borrowed" (without really asking) this turtle from another family. They didn't seem to mind, which was good because he really enjoyed it!

Cate likes to read ANYTHING, even my upside-down book!

MONDAY: We were planning to spend several hours at the camp site (more swimming and sun) before heading to Louisville to visit my grandpa who was in town from Atlanta, but the storms changed our plans a little. We left for Louisville that morning (after we all slept in until 8:30!) and got there for a late lunch. Then we did some shopping at Kohl's and Target before having Outback for dinner! Unlike our last couple out-of-town trips, Cate slept wonderfully that night, so I'm having hope in that department for our beach vacation that is coming up.

TUESDAY: Greg is looking to buy 10 duplexes in Clarksville, Indiana, so we went to look at those and have lunch with his realtor friend and his wife. Grandma enjoyed some time with Cate while we were gone. Then we spent the later part of the afternoon at my aunt and uncle's house, where my grandpa was staying. My cousin's baby, who is 6 months old, weighs as much as Cate! It was good to see that part of my family, with whom I just don't get enough time.

We worked on teaching Cate to say "dog" and "duck" while we were in Louisville. She had been saying "du-ct" for both of them. It's good when you have object lessons ...

That is Cate with Bailey.

Then, strangely enough, even though my mom lives in the city, she has two ducks who have taken up residence in her bushes while they wait for their 11 eggs to hatch. It's hard to see in the top photo, but that's the mama duck sitting on the eggs. Then I snapped a picture (below) when she momentarily left them.

Milla enjoyed some corn hole yesterday afternoon. As you can see, she'd been working up a sweat!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Seriously, Mom?!

We got out what we thought was Cate's baby pool today. Turns out, it's not inflated with air, but rather water that shoots out of little holes once it's full. I first I wasn't sure, but then once it was full I decided it was pretty neat.

Cate didn't really think so ...

At this point, she's crying.

So she takes it upon herself to go away from the water. It was spraying her in the eyes most of the time, depending on how she turned. Maybe once she can stand by herself she'll like it better. Or maybe I need to sit down with her.

She was going to get away from that, even though it meant crawling through wet grass. She even brought the duck with her!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I haven't been able to get enough of being outside the last couple of days. Good thing Cate enjoys it too!

Now she has sand to play with too.

I can't resist snapping pictures of this cute face!

Cate is fearless, really. Greg was pushing her so high, and she was loving it so much she couldn't stop laughing. It was really sweet. Probably really a video camera moment, but this picture is really all I got!

It doesn't matter if it's the big leagues or just a friendly game of kickball among friends. Either way, Cate knows how to cheer for her team!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


My simple layout created this afternoon ...

(It's really not that washed out!)


It's starting to feel like summer around here ...

This weekend, we set up Cate's water/sand table she got from Grandma for her birthday. Except we don't have sand yet. (It goes in the red side.) I went to buy some at Wal-Mart yesterday, but the lady said it was on back order. Calling a couple other places to find a bag of play sand is on my list today.

Then Greg grilled last night.

I love kabobs. I also made the broccoli salad that tastes like summer to me.

Meanwhile, Cate was giving herself kisses in the window ...

And now I'm ready to vacation. Hilton Head is coming up in June and then Branson is on the calendar for Labor Day weekend. I'm also ready to get out Cate's little pool for the backyard and find myself a comfortable lounge chair!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

About me .... then you

I've seen this (or some version of this) on different blogs, and I wanted to play along ...

Ten years ago, I was ... transitioning back into my parents' house after my freshman year at Murray State. I had met a great guy three months ago, but I was trying not to fall in love with him because he was getting ready to spend a semester in Germany. Little did I know that I would fall in love with him, and we'd get married about four years later. I also was returning to a summer job at The Park at Middletown. But that would be my last job that wasn't journalism-related.

Three things I'm going to do today ... include going to church, scrapbooking while Cate naps this afternoon and going to tour the house that's been raffled off as a United Way fund-raiser.

If I were a billionaire, I would ... buy a beach house, help children and save some for Cate's education.

Five places I have lived ... include only four places, all of which are in Kentucky: La Grange, Louisville, Lexington and Murray, although I've lived in Murray twice.

On my resume, you'd find these five jobs ... The Oldham Era, the Sentinel-News in Shelbyville, the Lexington Herald-Leader (internships are jobs, if only temporary!), The Associated Press and the Murray Ledger & Times.

Now I tag five friends to share their answers on their blogs: Shelley, Holly, Teaque, Bethany, Heather. And anyone else feel free to play along on their blog or in my comments.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Memory Lane

I haven't heard them or seen them now that we're all grown-ups, but the New Kids on the Block are back together again. I have to wonder if I'll still think Joey is the cutest. In my own world, it seems rather appropriate that NKOTB are taking a chance at a comeback.

I keep catching myself reminiscing.

I think it really started when I watched the 19-episode series of "My So-Called Life" on DVD. Mom remembered how much I loved the show in 1994, (Gosh, that's 14 years ago!) so she bought me the DVDs for my birthday.

Angela Chase is always thinking and talking about what she's thinking. I can relate to that. And she's in love with Jordan Catalano, who is completely different from her. Yet they connect. They know each other beyond what's on the surface. The whole thing had me walking down Memory Lane.

Then yesterday when I was driving to Owensboro, I heard Wilson Phillips on the radio. I guess that's what I get for forgetting my CDs. Seriously, though, I left it on, and sang "Hold On" to Cate.

(For the record, I don't sing well, and I certainly don't sing directly to other people. But this other person is a year old and she'll never remember that obnoxious moment!)

Some day somebody's gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don't you know?
Don't you know things can change
Things'll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things'll go your way
Hold on for one more day

And the trip to Owensboro itself kept me on Memory Lane. I went to have lunch with Mrs. Quigley, who can best be described as my second childhood mom. Her daughter, Katie, is my dearest, closest friend. She's the kind of friend I can connect with just by the way we say "hello" on the phone, even if we haven't talked in weeks. She's the kind of friend that I miss pretty much every day of my life because there was a point in our lives we saw each other every day.

So, anyway, her mom hadn't seen Cate since Memorial Day weekend last year, so a visit was well overdue. We visited, ate lunch and shopped a little. I was really glad to reconnect and share my daughter with someone who had quite an influence in my teen-age life.

Later in the trip, I heard Jewel's song "Stronger Woman" on the radio, a country radio station, I'd like to point out. I like that Jewel is considered country these days so I can hear her because that's mostly what I listen to, especially on the radio. Anyway, I really love this song.

... Well from now on I’m gonna be
The kind of woman I want my daughter to be,
I’m gonna love myself
More than anyone else
Believe in me
Even if someone can’t see
A stronger woman in me
I’m gonna be my own best friend,
Stick with me till the end
Won’t lose myself again
Never, no
Cause there’s a stronger woman,
Stronger woman

Cate was a trooper. We spent about 5 hours in the car, traveling 312 miles. She took a nap there and nap on the way home.

I just sang along with the radio and thought about how I could have never planned my life. (Well, that's when I wasn't on the phone!) High school and college were good times for me. I love the relationships I build during those years, and I cherish the ones I still have today. But I really love where I am right now. My life is simple in many ways, and I love feeling free from complications. And I love having Cate along for the ride.

I know how fast my life has gone from a 15-year-old thinking my life wouldn't start until my friends could drive to counting down the days until I could start fresh at Murray State University to wanting to be finished with school to finding a job to being surprised with my boyfriend at my apartment door with a ring for me to moving back to place I thought I'd never live again to working at a community newspaper that was a better experience than I could have ever imagined to trusting God to give us a baby to quitting that job I loved because I was more in love with my daughter.

It seems so quick. And I don't want to miss these moments now. I want to cling to the details that are my life. Because, frankly, it's nice not to be planning for what's next. It's nice to be free to live.

Trace Adkins apparently knows how I feel.

You're going to miss this
You're going to want this back
You're going to wish these days
Hadn't gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're going to miss this

Thursday, May 15, 2008

perfect paper

Both are two-page layouts. The left side is first, followed by the right side.

As you can see, I spent the gift certificate I got for Mother's Day on paper and accessories for these two layouts. Nothing I had was just right, but I found paper that was perfect!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

sights & sounds

This is what I've done today while Cate has napped. And she's napped a lot. She took a 2 1/2-hour morning nap and is in the middle of a rather lengthy afternoon nap. That's what cutting at least two if not four molars will do to a girl.