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playing during the holidays...

zack and finn at the mall playplace
just going boatin...
driving the john deere at the children's museum
picking the freshest of fruits at the c.m.
playing with water at the c.m.

family at christmas...

grandpa ken, grammie dee and finn
mom, zack and myself
finn and uncle zack, bestest pals
grandpa ken and finn, play play play
finn and justin rockin it out on finn's new keyboard

a little bit of our christmas...

the christmas tree
finn opening up a gift
finn wondering how to find out what's inside
finn showing uncle zacky (who slept through all of present opening) his new cars, without response
justin, working finn's new welding mask


finn playing...

finn loves this fire truck that aunt chari got for him last year. he loves using the ladder as a car ramp! i was in the living room, and kept hearing his little gleeful sounds, grabbed the camera and was able to document this playtime. finn usually shies away from the camera, so i tried to be sneaky, but he surprised me and continued to play even after he saw me and the camera. hope you enjoy this video as much as i do... also you will notice that finn has come to love his socks, and just seems off balance if one is on and the other off... and no one likes to be off balance!


Help Us Name Our Yellowstripe Maroon Clownfish

some options (feel free to chime in as well):

  • Bob Dole
  • Michael Scott
  • George Michael
  • Ghandi


oh what a night...

i fell asleep on the couch this evening, like usual, only justin didn't even try to wake me up to come to bed. i woke up at 12:30, hungry. a handful of graham cracker bites, a slice of colby jack cheese, a chocolate chip granola bar, a glass of water, and 2 online puzzles later, it is now 1:59am. i have turned a movie on in hopes that it will make me sleepy and will help me drift off. wish me luck.


recent pictures

this is a picture of me from today! i'll be 17 weeks along on friday... feeling little squirmies inside, but no firm movement... still fun though.

this is finn a week or so ago... with his new blow up chair he got from grandma and grandpa easley. he loves this chair. he also loves puppy and monkey, which are also featured in the photo.

this is a pine tree branch in our backyard. just thought it was pretty.


december happenings

- snow, snow, snow, ice, and then more snow.

- five out of eleven december days have been spent hanging out with delsenno kids.

- our local mall, the one where WE shop, becomes a "massacre" site with nine people being shot to death with an AK47. weird.

- justin turned 26.

- finn learned to say,"NO." he has also overcome his first really bad cold.

- corrie is 16 weeks and several days along in the pregnancy. yea! along with this she has said "see you later" to her favorite pair of GAP jeans, along with many other wardrobe items. so sad.

- rudy, the dog, is reminded of her dislike of the winter-time. cold paws, cold paws!

- justin's second fish, the blue one below, died. his water is checking out fine, must just be getting sicklies. so sad. so we are fishy-less.

- and most importantly, harry potter and the order of the phoenix dvd comes out today, and justin already picked it up for me. hooray!


they say it's your birthday...

....well,happy birthday to ya...

i had a picture of this really elaborate cake to post here, but blogger is being difficult so i have none.

today is justin's 26th birthday.
i forgot to say happy birthday this morning. so he walked out the door without any well wishes... and me not realizing it until about 10AM. i was a little preoccupied this morning with all of yesterday's events and trying to get out of the door by eight oclock to go watch cathy's kids. sorry dude.

so, justin, happy birthday! i am so glad to have you as my partner in crime, my compadre... without you life just wouldn't be right. as dr.evil once said, "you complete me." haha:)

hope that next fish works out for you!!


Yellowtail Damsel

this is our official starter-fish. he's quite aggressive and will be to large for our tank in the long run...so he'll most likely go back to the local shop once everything has had a chance to balance out. good thing he was only $6. he is a pretty color though. Finn loves to watch us feed him.



well, here we are, back home after our thanksgiving/easley christmas trip in illinois.

it was a great weekend.
there was the eight hour drive in insane traffic (usually only takes six hours).

there was the amazing thanksgiving day food, drink and great company. and i'll admit, i especially liked my sweet potato souffle. and ja's pecan pie was worth each of the 500 calories that went along with it.

there was black friday, in which i found most of finn's christmas gifts (kohl's was an amazing stop with 50% off on all toys, although the line was a bit atrocious, half way around the store...)and some good movies at target for $4. we also had avanti's gondolas for lunch, which will make anyone's day perfect. we decorated the christmas tree that evening.

there was our pretend christmas morning, in which i got several items i have been delaying in buying for myself... a 1.5 qt. tupperware juice pitcher from the 80's, a giant pancake griddle, and a tupperware cupcake holder. also got a sweet bag from anthropologie and some cash which i will put towards a bike in the summer; post-baby.
finn got this sports tent/sleeping bag/blow up chair set, which he loves the chair. i will try to post a pic soon. it actually gets him in a lot of trouble because he thinks it's a trampoline. he also got this great thomas and friends phone and book from cousin caroline. justin got a few board games and cash to put towards his aquarium. saturday was also christmas dinner, which was my second favorite meal of the weekend. the cheesy potatoes were sooo good.

there was sunday church, which finn made all the way through without going to the nursery. sunday lunch, which scored as my favorite meal of the weekend, soups soups soups... baked potato, made by chari and darin, was so so so good, and caron made chili, which was spicy to me, but also very very tasty. caitlyn left to go back to IWU in the afternoon, and the rest of us just hung out...

monday came, and finn had a bad cold. we never leave ILLinois without an ILLness. go figure. we packed packed packed, forgot a couple things, and headed for home at around 1:00. we made it back by seven, but not without a little throwup from finn at dinnertime.

all in all, the trip was wonderful. it was great to see all of the kids that we haven't seen forever, or has never seen at all. finn loves playing with his cousins, although, we discovered he is not super keen on babies, especially babies being held by mom and dad. hopefully this is a stage, otherwise where will be some issues for finn to overcome, come may!

love you easley's! it was so good to see everyone, can't wait until next time!


Cleanup Crew

Hermit Crab

Astrea Snails (on the glass and the other cone-shaped shells)


you know the world is upside down when...

...you make an oil change appointment online during the seventeen minutes the lube place has you on hold on the phone.

...the pharmacist tells you your kids medicine will cost half of your months grocery bill. (you just laugh and drive away without the medicine)

...all you want is a nice pair of sweatpants that don't collect every dust mite and piece of dog hair in the house.

...you live in the sweetest house in the neighborhood and no one wants to buy it, much less even look at it.

...you look in the neighbors back yard, and not only do you see an old conversion van, but a newly added minivan, which is not only illegal, but also really ups the value of your house.

...when walmart ONLY has ripe, very yellow bananas.


what we've been up to...

we have been hanging out with these girlies a lot, annie and sophie. finn loves to watch them play and be goofy, and of course he loves to play with all of their toys. he has no clue who is who, but he can almost say "sophie."

and we have been trying to stay out of doors, before the big blizzards start shutting us away for the winter. the afternoon weather has actually been quite nice.

i have had a few side jobs, and i just got a borrowed sewing machine so i can resume my craftiness. it is the nicest sewing machine to ever sit in front of me. i am SO thankful.

and we are slowly preparing for our trip back to illinois next week, which will be a WELCOME break from the monotonous-no-family-in sight-land of nebraska. woohhooo!!


Reef Update

i moved the rock around a bit and will probably do a bit more moving after it cycles and we start to get some coral in there. we've seen a snail, some dusters, and a couple of tiny brittle stars (serpent-like starfish).


our little guy


for clarification...

the two posts below, and probably most posts following regarding the "nano reef" will be done by justin. this is his new project, his christmas and birthday presents from many. it's a saltwater tank, so we will be able to have corals and ocean-y fish in it... it will kind of be like having "finding nemo" on permanently in our living room. it takes awhile for the water to cycle to be safe enough to put fish and corals in it, so that's why it's kind of plain now, and will be for two weeks to a month.
so anyway, that's the longer version of the two posts below, which you must have noticed weren't written by me, because i usually go into every detail as humanly possible.


Day 2

Here's the tank with the rest of the live rock. there's a lot of it in there...you have to have about 1 lb. per gallon. not sure i like the structure yet...we may have to break one or two in order to get the right look.


nano reef

we'll post pics as we start to pull this thing together.


the dining table

my sisterinlaw caron just got a dining room table to replace ones that were not really suitable for a family of five. this made me think of how important the dining room really is. it's the family meeting place, the place where everyone comes after their day apart. other things besides just eating happen at the dining room table. conversations. crafts. baking. homework. carving pumpkins. playing board games.

so i was thinking back to some of my favorite memories at the table that i grew up with, which was actually passed down to me and sits in my dining room right now. these probably aren't really important to you, but it's funny how the smallest memories can mean a lot to an individual.

i remember sitting at the table after a taco dinner with my brother and my best friend danielle. i was probably in seventh grade. danielle and zack were having a heated discussion about evolution. i was kind of bored and didn't care to join in... but there was a bowl of chopped lettuce sitting there... so amidst the raised voices, i munched on the lettuce and pretended to be a monkey. nobody noticed for awhile, but after they did, i think they were pretty confused!

i remember sitting at the table when my now stepdad came over for the first time to meet me. i remember mom had made chocolate chip cookies that day, and made a great dinner, complete with corn... i proceeded to eat the corn, when one kernel got stuck on my lip. everyone looked at me, and with one quick vaccumm-like suck, i managed to inhale the kernel into my mouth... along with making mom and ken laugh hysterically.

i remember sitting at the table and dipping easter eggs with my stepdad... our first easter in central illinois.

anyway, all to say, i am glad for dining room tables. and i am glad to have good memories at ours. and i hope our children will have great memories of gathering around our table.

finn's first modeling deal...


here is finn in his modeling debut with an add for "UGG's" new line of baby and children footwear. he brought loads of cash in from this shoot.

just kidding, of course... but my mom emailed me this picture yesterday, and needless to say that when i saw it, i thought for sure someone had kidnapped finn in the middle of the night for this photo shoot. they say everyone has a twin somewhere in the world! i guess this means finn has a future in modeling!?


babies: the epidemic

there are a lot of babies being born. it's a little insane. in a good way, of course.

this is ivory rae, born to tonya and jeff. i know tonya from high school. she is one of my many "moms."

this is josiah parker, my second nephew on the easley side (there are five nieces). we were really excited for this one, as justin and i both were betting he was going to be a girl! josiah is baby to chari and darin, who already have two girls. we can't wait to meet this little guy.

and this little sweetie is noelle marie. her parents are christin and dwayne, who were great pals of ours during our college days at indiana wesleyan university. they now live light years away, in LA.

there is one more, who SHOULD be here, but alas, he is being difficult. it is almost a week past darby's due date, so pray that her little boy makes his appearance soon soon soon!!

the mysterious vanishing sippy cup

have you, to those of you who are parents, ever lost a sippy cup? i am sure you have. it's like, one minute you see it, and the next minute, "alacazam," it has been sucked into some wormhole in time and space.

last monday, i served up some fruit punch in a sippy cup, very similar to this one. finn wasn't really excited about the fruit punch (what is wrong with the kid, who doesn't like fruit punch?!!) and so it just sat on the ottoman for awhile. later that night, it was nowhere to be found. the following three days were spent away from home, but everyday, i thought about that cup and where it could possibly be hiding.

for those of you who know me, you know my cleaning habits. you know everything has a place. the underneaths of furniture are cleaned out daily. all toys are put away twice a day, once at nap time, again at bed time. if you know me, you KNOW there is no way a sippy cup could go missing in my house. but alas. it is gone.

by now the fruit punch probably has a thick film on top, possbily of the color white or green. i know if i ever find this cup, it will go directly (do not pass go) into the trash can. IF i ever find it.

wouldn't you know it. about two hours after i posted this, i found the above mentioned sippy cup. it was upstairs in the toy box. it actually doesn't look too bad. (we don't play upstairs very often...)


bathtime smiles

finn has this really funny "bwahaha" laugh. resulting in these too cute smiles.


here we go again!

whelp, baby number two will be here sometime in early may! we are breaking our silence. this pregnancy has been a lot different than the first; sicker, sleepier and more food aversions. greasy food does NOT sound good. with the exception of pizza. what does sound good is iced tea, warm salty pretzels with cheese, subway club sandwich, cereal, and sleep. may can't come soon enough!


how many can you fit in your mouth?

finn just shoved about 20 of these in his mouth. i decided today i am going (to try) to not be the mom who regulates how much a kid puts in their mouth. unless of course it really starts to get dangerous. sometimes i find myself being too militaristic and wanting to enforce unreasonable rules on my 18 month old. anyway, i am starting to let go, beginning with the goldfish.