Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kickin' off the Season

I loooove this time of year!  This year has been especially fun already because a) I'm not working so I can enjoy it and b) Westin is into it too :).  I have all sorts of plans of things I want to do and know there's no way it will all get squeezed in to the next few weeks!  That's okay.  

In my mind, Christmas starts with Thanksgiving.  Some people seem to be very offended by that, thinking that Thanksgiving is too overshadowed by Christmas.  I, however, think it's great-- what a better way to start off the "holidays" than by focusing on what we're thankful for?  The day before Thanksgiving we got to "see" our new baby and hear it's fast, tiny little heartbeat for the first time.  I was immediately thankful for a strong heartbeat and another active little baby!  It's still amazing to me how such a small little person that we haven't even met yet can be so very loved.

On that note, I never did get to finish by "new baby post" last week!  Here's the reader's digest version: 
* I'm due June 16 (currently 12 weeks along)
* If I'm guessing, I'm guessing it's a girl-- just because everything has already been so different! Disclaimer: my entire life is different, which could be the actual reason :)
* Yes, we have agreed on names.  It's a lot easier the second time around!
* I was silly enough to take a pregnancy test while Kreg was on a 2-hour flight.  Longest two hours of my life :)
* We are using a midwife this time around and planning a home birth.  I am SO very excited! And already love my midwife.
* It was Kreg's idea to have another summer baby :) I would have waited for a winter one. Ha! Now of course, I think it's perfect and can't wait for June.

Okay, back to Christmas! We spent Thanksgiving at my parents' house with all of my mom's side of the family, Kreg's cousin Tiffany & her husband, Todd, our Chiropractor and his wife, and a friend of my sister, Kortney's.  It was a full house with all the yummy foods I look forward to every year! Of course, after the meal was cleaned up we attacked the Black Friday ads and planned out our course of action! We nearly went to Toys R Us at 10pm that night but there was no way I was going to make it... after heading up there Friday, I'm sure glad we decided not to!




We started our Black Friday shopping just before 6am... a little late, I know, but I took my 18-month-old :) Pulled him right out of bed, didn't even comb his hair!  He did fantastic-- we spent 12 hours shopping (and made a great big dent in our Christmas lists) and he lasted the whole time, with catnaps here and there.  
 Westin & Chief... about 6 am at Walmart
 No, my dad is not selling my son for $58
 Westin & Daddy... still trekin' that afternoon
 Still enjoying his new book from Mimi


Mimi bought him a book to keep him entertained at Kohl's and he entertained everyone at Kohl's with his little dance :) I tried several times to upload the video of it, but it's not cooperating with me-- oh, well!


Westin loved the tree last year, mainly he loved playing with the ribbons and watching the lights.  This year, he was very active in helping Kreg set it up and putting his ornaments on the tree.  The trouble is getting him to LEAVE his ornaments on the tree!  We're still working on that.





He loves Santa, whom he calls "Ho-Ho" and can spot one a mile away!  I don't think he quite understands what all this excitement is building up to, but he will :) And it's going to be AWESOME! In the mean time, I'm enjoying all the fun little traditions with him that I remember being so excited about when I was little.  Yes, the cliche, it makes me feel like a kid again-- hehe :)


I hope you all are enjoying your traditions with your sweet families and keeping in mind all the things that you are thankful for!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Westin's Big Announcement

Westin would like everyone to know he is going to be a big brother!!  We're going to add another member to our family around June 16, 2011.  We could not be more excited :) 

 There's lots more to tell but I am neglecting my pies to bring you this short announcement... check back soon!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Festivities

I've decided that I really just need to come to terms with the fact that time is always going to pass more quickly than I think it will and I will always be waking up saying, "how could it possibly be November 9th, 2010 already?" So, rather than making MORE apologies for being so bad about keeping up with my blogging, I'm just going to catch you up-to-speed on our fall. 

We've had such an unusually warm fall here that it's felt more like an extension of our summer-- which has been just fine :) Although I will admit, I'm ready for snow and Christmas music.  

I took Westin to the pumpkin patch with my mom, sisters, and brother-- that was a hit! Not only did they have a pumpkin patch, they also had a petting zoo and corn boxes (like sand boxes) and hay slides and tractor rides.  I think he enjoyed the petting zoo the most.  There was a little black goat that he called "Beau" (that's our black lab puppy's name).  

 We enjoyed pumpkin carving at my parents' house... I'm not one that loves to play in the guts, but Westin did, not surprisingly! 


The Saturday before Halloween we dressed Westin up-- he had an adorable little giraffe costume-- and took him up to our church where the youth group had put together a little party for the little kids. He cracked me up all the way to the church as he kept looking at the head of his giraffe costume out of the corner of his eye like, "hey... what are you doing in my carseat??"  It's fun for me to watch Westin interact with "little people."  He really loves to be social!  He enjoys his Bible Class on Sunday mornings and the little friends he has made there :) 


Kreg took him trick-or-treating on Sunday evening... he'd been working on saying "trick-or-treat," which comes out "tre-o-tre." However, after a few houses, once he realized what was going on, he started saying "mo" (more) instead of "tre-o-tre..." it was pretty adorable.


This past week Kreg took off a few days and we just spent time together! He's been working SO hard lately, putting in long hours at the office and then working the replay board at the Air Force Academy football, basketball, and hockey games in the evenings and weekends.  So, we decided that we just needed a few days to be together and relax and do some fun things with Westin.  Andddddd that's exactly what we did!  The first day we spent just getting some things done around the house we'd been meaning to do for forever... which let us feel good about spending the rest of the time just having fun.  We spent most of our time in Denver-- we went to the Downtown Aquarium, which was SO MUCH FUN.  My grandparents met us there and we just followed Westin around and watched him take in all the big fish.  He is so enthusiastic about everything-- everything is "WOA" or "WOW" or "Ohhh boy."  He has an excited face that is just priceless!  My personal favorite part might have been watching Kreg feed the stingrays :) See video below...


video


We spent some time at my grandparents' house in Denver, getting spoiled rotten with yummy meals and playthings for Westin.  We celebrated my little cousin's 5th birthday with all of that side of my family...and ate some more :)


THEN, we went to the Denver Zoo.  Again, it was a bit hit with Wes! He was in a very giggly mood all afternoon and he just laughed and laughed and laughed... especially at all the monkeys! You can't help but be happy when that little boys is laughing! :) 


Looking back at the past few weeks, and living with my new realization of how quickly time is passing, I am SO thankful that God made us to make memories. I am treasuring these days with my sweet little boy and I know that he will not be little for very long at all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Westinisms

While I was at the pediatrician's office yesterday, she asked how many words Westin says that I can understand.  That reminded me that I still have not made a list of current "Westin-isms."  I immediately put that on my list of things to do today! I never want to forget his cute little words.  Here's the list, which is also going in his baby book:
mama
dada
max (mac)
beau
chief (sheef)
pizza (thaa-thaa)
more (mohh)
juice (deuce)
milk (mohk)
Aunt Taylor (Tay Tay)
Uncle Drake (Daaaake)
Bob (Veggie Tales/TV)
His Name (Dub-Dub...a nickname-- sometimes he prefers "bob")
fish
ball
no
yes
that (dat)
there (dare)
nurse (na-na)
Kiana (NAH)
Chloe (Ka-Low)
puppy (pupu)
baby (bebe)
I love you (uh-luh-loo) *my favorite*
water (wah-wah... which he says out of the corner of his mouth!)
slide (sly)
poo poo
banana (nah nah)
apple (pull)
up (pup-pup)
down (doww)
wow
woa
oh, dear (oh deeah)
book
Thomas (toss)
snack (nack)
bubbles (bubus)
uh-oh
bible (bi-ba) 
shoes (shooooos)
moose (he knows where the moose head at Texas Roadhouse is...)
moon
hi
bye-bye
heyyyyyy (usually said to TayTay)
popcorn (pop-pop)
shakes (shik)

I feel like I may still be missing some... but I'll add them to his baby book as I hear them or think of it :) I'm also planning on getting as many as I can on video today!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Catching Up

Well, I am not proud of how I have neglected this poor little blog spot! However... our little family has been staying quite busy! I feel like I've been playing catch-up today with more than just blogging... laundry & vacuuming & cleaning bathrooms for instance.  I also got Westin in for a (much) over-due check-up.  So, I am starting off my Monday in a productive manner and hoping it will set a good tone for the rest of the week!

That being said, here's what we've been up to:

Kreg's birthday was October 5th.  We celebrated the week before by going to the Rockies game up in Denver.  It was so much fun!  Westin was getting excited as we were driving towards the stadium and he could see all the lights!  He kept saying, "oh, WOW! oh, WOW!"  It was precious.  He was excited the whole game and even stayed awake the ENTIRE time.  My camera was dead when I got there, which for me, is pretty devastating, but I didn't let it get me down! And thankfully, Taylor was there with her camera!

Then, we had dinner at our house the day of his birthday-- I told him we were going to celebrate southern style :) It was high time for a little "taste of home."  I pulled out the "Curtis Cookbook" and we had grilled chicken marinated in "oriental marinade," cream corn, mashed potatoes, a veggie salad and a fruit salad, and homemade rolls.  Then, for dessert (which we served immediately after dinner, which MUST be a southern thing because here in Colorado we wait at least 45 min to an hour) we had "almost no-chocolate chocolate pie" (with a little extra chocolate...) and white cake with white icing (I did use this as an excuse to practice my marshmallow fondant, which in my opinion, is getting better & better!).  It was a Kreg meal :) and I thoroughly enjoyed it myself! We had my immediate family and Cole over to help us eat!

The major thing that has been occupying my time has been my little business :) Those of you who have known me a long time know that I have a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit in me.  I giggle now as I look back and remember the "preschool" I ran from age 10-12-- I had three little students twice a week and I made over $100 a month... that was a big deal at that age!  Then, I taught piano lessons from 12-14 and had 11 students and made about $500 a month.  I also babysat through all of those years :)  Then, at age 14 I started working for State Farm and never looked back until May of this year! I love being a stay-at-home mom more than anything I have ever done!  I would be perfectly content to do nothing besides this for the rest of forever.  BUT... somehow, I snuck myself into a little photography business which has taken off with a vengeance.  It really is perfect for me because I can set my own "hours," work from home, and it's an awesome creative outlet for me.  My mom and my sisters and I "own" our little business called "it'sALLgood" (Good, being my maiden name and all of their last names).  We are doing mostly photography but our dream is to expand it a little bit to encompass design and event planning.  We've done a little bit of home-staging and are currently working on a logo for a local business.  Included in our dream is it will be something that will allow us some flexible extra income as my sisters both want to stay home and be a wife & mommy like me some day!  It's been fun-- the last few weeks have had 7 photoshoots and 1 wedding!  It's kept me busy, in a good way! 


Well, there you have it... the reason for my blogging absence.  I do have every intention of getting back to a more regular posting routine!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project: Kitchen

Kreg spent all of last week up in the mountains bow hunting... those of you who know me know I am pretty attached to my hubby!  I can handle a day or two of him camping or fishing or hunting or gone on business or gone on pleasure... but, once I hit that two or three day mark, I start to fall apart.  And this time, Westin started falling apart even before I did.  He is VERY attached to his daddy! 

Well, when I find myself in a "mini-crisis" of any sort, my solution is generally to find a project.  I am very good at losing myself in a project.  I decided to tackle the kitchen last week.  It needed what I have been calling a "grown-up" look.  Here is the progression my kitchen has made since I have known it:

This is what it looked like when we first bought it.  I'm not a white-wall person :)
So, this was the solution :) As much as I love orange, this was not the orange I was hoping for, and it was just a little too much!


Here's what it looks like now: I think I'm finally pleased!




 
Whew! Let me tell you... had I any clue what I was getting myself into re-finishing cabinets, I probably would have chosen a different project :).  But, I am so very pleased with the results!  This is a very good thing because I do not intend to tackle cabinets again any time in the near future.  Kreg got home and was very impressed! 

I also got out my fall decor-- which seemed a little odd because it is still nearly 90 here in Colorado Springs almost every day.  I don't ever remember having such a hot fall here!  Knowing Colorado, we will probably go straight from summer to winter once October hits.  Time will tell.  Anyway, I have been wanting a fall wreath for my door.  I went out looking, hoping to spend about $20.  HA! The cheapest (nice looking) wreaths I was finding were on sale for $50.  Sooo, $16.00 later, I came out of Hobby Lobby with the supplies for this: 


and I had so much fun!  I really am loving having some extra time on my hands to be creative.  Over the past 5 or 6 years I nearly forgot about my creative side!  Thank you again, Kreg, for working hard for our family so I can be a housewife! I love you so very much and am thankful for the past week that we spent apart.  It reminded me of how very blessed Westin & I are to have what we have in you.  We are blessed beyond measure!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Balloons, Snacks, and Rashes-- Oh, My!

I love being a mom!  Have I mentioned that lately? Because I really do. Nothing has ever been more challenging or more rewarding, and I have a pretty good feeling nothing else ever will be.  So, I am enjoying the day-to-day.  Which is never, ever boring! Kreg and my Dad spent labor day weekend in the mountains bow hunting... we're hoping to get some good meat in the freezer this year!  While they were gone, Westin & I spent most of the weekend with my mom.  We took Westin to the Colorado Balloon Classic, which I haven't been to in years.  It's a HUGE hot air balloon festival.  We got up early Monday morning and drove down to Memorial Park to watch all the balloons lift off.  When we got down there, however, we found out that even though it was a beautiful, clear morning, they expected the wind to pick up and hinder the balloons from landing, so they did not even lift off.  They just blew them up so we could look.  I was disappointed at first, but Westin wasn't.  He loved it, so I did too. Unfortunately, the best picture I got of him that day was this one:




On a side note, Westin's appetite has like... quadrupled in the past month.  He is constantly grabbing my hand and taking me to the fridge saying "nack, nack!" I want to feed him healthy snacks, but buying healthy food is so expensive! So, my solution has been to buy healthy fruits and basic ingredients and do lots of cooking!  I have really enjoyed making yummy, healthy snacks... the biggest hits so far have been granola bars and pretzels.  



Also new this month-- a lovely rash that has appeared around Westin's mouth that doesn't seem to want to go away.  I have scrolled through just about every nasty child rash picture on the internet and in my baby books (not recommended for those with weak stomachs) and tried every basic, natural solution I can think of for the poor guy. Some days it looks better than others, but I can't pin-point anything we're doing differently to make it better. It doesn't seem to bother him and he has no other symptoms so I suppose it will be fine until his check up next month.  I'm posting a picture (look out!) in case any of you wonderful mom's/grandma's/great-grandma's recognize this lovely outbreak.  As always, I am open to suggestions! (as you can see, it hasn't affected his infectious smile!) 



And, on that note, I think you're caught up-to-speed with the Kell household!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today's Harvest

It absolutely amazes me how I am constantly learning new things about myself!  I have discovered this summer that I love gardening.  I get such a wonderful sense of satisfaction watching things grow! Maybe that's why I love being a mom so much :)

Today I picked these from my herb & veggie garden.  



And I marveled at my pretty columbine & mini roses.


And I thanked God for the rain that fell this afternoon. He is so mighty.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This past weekend, Kreg & Westin & I took a little two hour drive up to Breckenridge to see Kreg's aunt Karla & her husband Randy and daughter Alissa who were up here vacationing.  We had such a great time! It was great to see them and to spend a little time in Breck... 



Karla & Randy had a great condo just off of downtown and backing up to a ski lift.  Pretty ideal! We met them there and then walked into town for lunch at a great grill that had a patio overlooking the river.  The weather was perfect! I think it was just about 68 degrees, which was awesome.  




After lunch, we rode the gondola to take us up to one of the ski villages... I can't remember exactly where we ended up but we rode a ski left up to the very top of the mountain which was TERRIFYING.  Not that I'm afraid of heights... but we had our 14-month-old son on our lap (who loved every moment, of course) and I KNOW his tendency to wiggle and squirm.  Thankfully, we made it up and down with no children falling off the lift.  And it was beautiful :)




We also got to walk the shops and eat some homemade ice cream.  It was a great day!
We are constantly reminded of how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful part of this country! We get so caught up in our day-to-day routine that we forget we're only a short drive from places people travel miles and days to see. We are determined to take better advantage of our location! 


On a side note, my friend Valerie, has asked me to write for her site The Village of Moms. If you haven't checked it out moms, you really must! She has great reviews and giveaways, as well as great articles from various moms on various topics.  I'm so honored to be asked to write... I'm feeling very inadequate because I don't feel I have much to offer in the way of advice!  She's been great, though, and told me to start off writing about something I feel very comfortable with-- photography. SO-- look for my posts on the third Monday of each month if you're interested! I'm praying that I will have positive things to say that will be encouraging and uplifting to the moms who visit Valerie's site.