Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I need something...

I need something. It is a storage building. We have too much STUFF!!! AHHHHH!!!!!!

That is all I have to say...back to my mad cleaning/organizing day....

By the way, folks, I am a hot mess today! Seriously. This makes me nuts...


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Prayer Request...

My dear blogger friends...

please say a prayer for my little family- Cole, Ava, and I. We have been going through a very difficult and stressful time this year, and this holiday season is especially difficult on everyone. I will share more about it when I can. Which will be in April. :) But please just pray for peace and patience for our family.

And especially me. I am really struggling with bitterness and anger towards some members of our extended family. I know that this is not what the Lord wants for me and my heart and attitude. I don't want to feel this way, but it seems to be a daily struggle recently. And this is just compounded by the challenges we are facing as a family.

Thank you, and I promise to share with you all about my family's current challenge when I can. I know I don't like to be left guessing!!!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Waiting for Paint to Dry...

I am literally watching paint dry. So instead of wasting my time willing my canvases to dry so I can continue working on them, I thought I would use my time "wisely" and do a little blog post. ;)

I have been thinking a lot lately about our future children. Cole and I would like to have three total. Although if they are all as easy as Ava, I wouldn't mind four. :D Cole is wetting his pants right now. I am starting a new tradition at our house- I found these fun giant felt bags at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I bought one for Ava to lay out each year and Santa will fill it with her toys! Well I had to go there today for something, and I bought two more, just in case we have two more kids and just in case they don't have them again in the future! LOL! I already have names picked out for our next baby...

GIRL: Claire Elizabeth (I have always loved the name Claire, and Elizabeth is my MIL's middle name. Ava has my mom-and my- middle name, so I guess that is only fair).

BOY: Archer Davis (Archer is my maiden name, and Davis is Cole's middle name and a family name for his dad's side).

But I know that future children are not guaranteed...

When I was pregnant with Ava, I knew of three couples that lost baby girls, either after birth or during the pregnancy. Of course, I was scared beyond measure for the health of Ava. Over the last year I have known several people- some close friends, others just blogger friends- that have suffered miscarriages. This just breaks my heart. Ava happened so easily, really much more easily than anyone expected. We were lucky. It shocked me when I found out how many of my friends had suffered the loss of a precious unborn child.

With Ava's first Christmas (and last round of "first holidays") drawing near, I am burdened deeply for those that have lost babies and children. I don't know if I would have the strength to carry on if something ever happened to Ava. I pray each night that she grows to be an old woman and that the LORD will put a hedge of protection around her, and keep her safe. If you have children, hold them close, and thank the LORD each day for blessing your life with them (even if they are being little toots! HA!) And if you have lost a baby or child, or suffered a miscarriage, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are stronger than you think, and when you can't go on, the LORD will carry you- you just have to ask Him!

If I don't get a chance to write again before the day- MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

And because I know you all just LURVE seeing pictures of my precious girl... haha!

My Santa Baby!

HOLL-E-WOOD!!!! Movie star in training!

"Can I get my soy latte and a non-fat muffin puree please?"

Hey Warden. When is my time up?

Happy Girl! She really is like this ALL the time!!!


Whoohooo! Watch out world! I can MOVE!!!
And I just had to share....few people know that the Brewer family is actually quite the groovin' bunch!!!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Strollin' Around....

Strollers are, in my opinion, one of the best baby/toddler items ever invented. I mean really...right up there with the infant carrier and pacifiers! Obviously, I feel this way, since my garage is now home to FOUR strollers (yes, for ONE child...). Let me explain our stroller evolution...

STROLLER #1: The Jogging Stroller

Our first stroller purchase, while I was pregnant, was a Jeep jogging stroller, similar to this one. I bought it for $50 off of Craigslist. A wise and fruitful purchase, I must say. When I bought it, I was still into running. And although I haven't gotten back into running (YET- see last post), we use this bad boy on family walks around the neighborhood. It comes fully loaded- a speaker system for your ipod tunes, a nice large sunshade, and a multi-function timer/odometer/speedometer. Not too bad for fifty bucks! The only down side is that it will not fit in my trunk. I can get it in my backseat, but it is wedged in there and difficult to load and unload.

STROLLER #2: The Travel System

This is our travel "system"...the Graco Elyse. It is an adorable print- we have a matching pack-n-play. And the infant snugride carrier was great! But the stroller is HUGE. Like GINORMOUS! And I have used it a total of 4 times. It is just soooo big. And for the size and mass of the stroller, not very functional. It does have nice parent's cup holders (x2), but that is the best thing I can say. It is really too much of a hassle. Lesson learned. I will say that, when Ava was still in her infant carrier, I LOVED this system. Because if I needed a stroller, I didn't have to get her out and into a separate stroller. The only redeeming quality, in this mommy's opinion. :)

STROLLER #3: The Umbrella Stroller

This is our umbrella stroller- the Chicco Capri. It is a "mid-range" umbrella stroller, I would say. It is nicer than the cheapo ones. The seat is a little more padded. But it is still light and easy to fold. This stroller has served me well over the last 4 months or so. But after using it for a while, there are some glaring problems that were not something I could really fix easily. First, the seat didn't recline more than you see in this picture. Not good if you want a baby to nap on the go. And the sunshade is little more than a joke. Really, it blocks nothing and is too flimsy to be able to rest anything on (something I do often...). The "cargo" area under the stroller is also a bit of a joke. It is too small to really hold anything other than my dirty burp rags. Which is what I used it for. This stroller is now becoming a hand-me-down to my mother (per her request) because this baby just came into our lives...

STROLLER #4: THE Stroller!

Ok, I will admit. I have only owned this stroller for a couple of hours. And haven't tested it in a "real life" situation. But Peg Perego has an amazing reputation (for quality and safety) and I got an AMAZING deal on it! Really, it was a steal! This baby retails from between 350.00-450.00. Any guesses on my price? Less than $130.00, including the optional 18 month warranty! Whoop! I went to Babies R Us looking for a replacement for our umbrella stroller. Something that would steer better than a mack truck and fit our needs better. I had decided on a pretty red MaClaren umbrella stroller. Then I saw this guy. He is neutral, can hold a PP car seat (for future babies) and has all of the options I was looking for. The sunshade is AMAZING, and covers almost the entire seat if needed. I also love that the seat lays all the way down, and is very cushioned for extra comfort! Hopefully there will be some naps in that puppy! HA! It is a little hard to fold until you get the hang of it, but I get better each time I try, so I feel confident that I will get it down in no time!!! Oh, and it folds down to about the size of my Chicco umbrella stroller! How cool!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Meeting with "The Big Guy"

I wanted to share a picture of Ava's tree. It is the only tree I put up this year (really the only decor I put up...). With everything that has been going on, I just didn't have the time or energy to get the tree and decor out of the attic, put it up, then try like the dickens to keep Ava out of it!!! LOL! She has already discovered how fun tissue paper is. I think I wasted a lot of money on toys this year. She would have been content with the tissue paper! HAHA!!!

I have ALWAYS wanted an all pink tree, and here it is!!! I think I might add some lime Green and maybe purple and turquoise or aqua next year. I don't know. We will see. I also would love to find a bright little tree skirt for it. Ideas on where to find one. They have some at Target that I LOVE, but they are all for big trees...

Her "A" ornament that a little girl and her mommy helped me pick out. They were random strangers. Yeah. That is how I roll...

Ava's Blackhawk ornament. Had to represent Daddy on there! :) They had only a few of these, and I bought them all!!! I really want to do an aviation themed tree someday. Maybe in a boys room. Or I could do a "Our Favorite Things" tree in our bedroom (when we have a bigger house) and do an aviation and theater themed tree! HAHA! I have ALWAYS wanted to have a tree in each bedroom. I don't know if it will ever happen, but we will see. I want to be "that" mom. :)

Cute little helicopter. I just love the whimsy of it.

Yesterday, Ava and I met our friends Amanda and baby Bella at the mall to get the girls' pictures with Santa taken. And Ava LOVED him!!! She was fascinated with his beard and YAY! No tears this year!!! We will see what next year holds. Although if her personality stays the same, she is very outgoing and loves people, so maybe we won't have an issue. I can't wait to see it....

This is the photo I picked. The kid scanned through them so fast, and took so many. And I only got to choose one. Ugh. I wanted them ALL. I loved the one where Ava and Santa were looking at the camera, the one where she is looking at the camera and he is looking at her. The one where she is playing with his beard and hat, and he is laughing. They were all precious. But there was a long line of tired moms and anxious children behind me. So this is the one I picked. It'll have to do I guess. :)

Have a wonderful week! Stay warm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmastime, Crafts, and Diets...

Hello. My name is Rachel. And I am a bad blogger. :) My husband randomly asked me the other day why I hadn't been blogging. HAHA! I didn't even know he read "our" blog. So I guess he does! Hi honey!!! I love you!!! ;)

Sorry I have been out of touch. Just been super crazy nutty busy! It seems like there is always more to do than I have time for this time of year. I guess because there is so much I want to do this time of year!

Ava and I went to Branson with our friends Amanda and almost-5-month-old Bella a week or two ago. It was a lot of fun, but exhausting. We only stayed a couple of nights, and trust me that was enough! I just love Amanda. Her husband is a pilot too, in Cole's unit, so we have a lot in common. We also have infant girls- almost exactly 5 months apart- so it is fun to watch them play. Which right now consists of pulling and grabbing and eating each other's various extremities! HAHA! But they have really started to take notice and enjoy each other recently. They even get into "girl talk!" It is great to watch them together.

After I got back from Branson, I mailed off a Silhouette order for a blogger friend in Louisiana. I hope her sister enjoys them! I am kicking myself for not taking a picture....Heather, if you read this, could you take a picture of them for me please!!!! I totally forgot!!! I have four more now to do for my best friend, to give as gifts to her family. They really are awesome gifts for any mom. And I am wholly convinced that anyone could do them if they had the time. :)

After I got done with the silhouettes for Heather, I had to finish these guys....

... for my nephews' school. They had a silent auction fundraiser, and I donated these as well as a diaper cake. Don't you love how the snowman sparkles?!?! The Hogs are going to the Sugar Bowl this year!!!! WHOOHOOO! So I figured the Hog would be a hit. But my sister said it was up to $55 when she left! Holy Wowza! That was unexpected!!! I am going to email the lady that worked with me on it to find out how much it made. I am just curious. :)

Speaking of work, I have been putting way way way too much effort into coming up with a "Santa" outfit for Ava (for her first pictures with the big guy!). I am not a big "get all gussied up" type for pictures. I like for pictures to capture a person as they are, for who they are. And so I wanted a cute outfit, but something that she might wear any other day too, if we wanted to look cute. So this is what I came up with...

I bought the bow at not too long after Ava was born. She also has a couple of Halloween bows and a 4th of July bow that are similar. Right now we have to use a bow band, which might be tricky. I will be taking a small red or black bow that will stay in her hair just in case. She is too good with her hands these days (and fast!) so bows on the bow band are usually in her mouth in seconds. Maybe if I put it on her after she is in his lap, she will be too stunned by the Santa that she won't pull the bow off. We will see....

Speaking of Etsy, this is an idea I found on there...these are ladies holiday socks- the tall ones- and I just cut off the feet (or toes, as the ones on the far right were toe socks...) and made leg warmers for her! How fun is that! And way cheaper than the ones like on!
I have a couple of cute pictures of Ava to share, but I wanted to talk a moment about diets. I have decided that 2011 is a year of dieting for me. :) In four ways...
1. Obviously. Weight. I STILL have not lost my all of my baby weight. Never did I think it would be this difficult. So my goal for this year is to loose that weight. ALL of it. Famous last words, right?!?! HAHA! Seriously though, I want to get into shape again, start running again, and eat healthy. I want to be a healthy example for Ava, and hopefully it won't be such a struggle after the next one, one of these days.
2. Financial. I spend. A lot. And being a stay at home mom, I get bored and spend more. And I am not bringing in much, if any, income. So I am putting myself on a financial diet in 2011. I have asked Cole to give me an "allowance" (which he agreed to provided he be allowed to remind me that it was MY idea when I complain) and work on saving when I want to spend.
3. Relationship with the Lord. This is not really talking about going on a diet to have a lesser relationship, but talking about wanting MORE of a relationship. Developing a stronger hunger for God and His word. I want that for myself and my family both, and that is both a personal and family goal for 2011.
4. Contentment. This is a little of 2 and 3, but I want to reign myself in and go on a diet from "wants." Christmas is always a bittersweet time for me, because so many of the needs in our community and society are highlighted. And each year I try, and Cole and I try, to give as generously as we can, and to remember those in need. But throughout the year, I always fall into the "wants" trap. My house is never big enough, my car needs to be bigger/better. Susie Q down the street just got a new this- I want one too! That kind of thing. We live in such a materialistic world. And I admit- I like nice things. I like nice shoes and clothes and purses. But as I have gotten older I have come to see those things as just things instead of the prizes they used to be to me. Which is good, but I need to do better. Because, although they are still just objects, I still want them. And I have more than I ever need. And I don't want Ava to fall into that inevitable trap. And when she does (because I think it is a natural, human thing to do...) how can I, in good conscience, try to teach her not to envy and covet, when I do those things in my own way?
So that is my diet plan. And I would like to ask all of my blogger friends to please hold me accountable. Thanks!
And now for the good part...sweet pictures of my girl!!!

In her Christmas PJs! So cute! She loves that airplane. We got it before we knew she was a girl, but that wouldn't have mattered. She is going to love aviation- she doesn't have a choice! LOL!

My bathing beauty rocking a bath time mohawk!!! Someone said she looks like a who-person. And I think they are right! She is a precious little Ava-Lou-Who!!!

I will try to write again soon. And when I do, I plan on sharing about our family pictures with Whitney Flora!!!! They are fabulous!!!!