Our Weekend Rewind


Little Moments Like This

Hey everyone! I hope y'all had a nice weekend. I'm so excited for this first edition of Weekend Rewind. I love posting about what we did during the weekend because it's so much fun to look back and see how we spent our time as a family. I can't wait to read all about everyone else's weekend too.

I do have to be honest though- we didn't do a single exciting thing this weekend. :) That's okay, though. I'll still share, even if it bores you to death.

We kicked off the weekend with a little playdate at the park. Emerson and her little friend had so much fun running around and climbing. Of course, they had to stop for a few snacks along the way.
While we were there a huge bus full of preschoolers arrived. They, along with their teachers, surrounded us to get a closer look at the little blonde babies. Then one of them whipped out her cell phone to take a picture and I finally had the courage to say no. I mean, I know E's picture is plastered all over my blog for anyone to see, but I just think it's weird that a stranger wants to take her picture. Up until recently it was so hard for me to tell people no, but I've gotten better about it and had no problem this time. We actually ended up moving to another area of the park so the girls could play in peace. I think it's sweet that everyone here loves babies so much but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.

Unfortunately the rest of the weekend was spent with a sick little munchkin. Her nose started running on Thursday night and then she started coughing and ran a low-grade fever. I could tell that she wasn't feeling well because she just wasn't her usual self. We gave her a little bit of Tylenol and did the only thing there is to do at a time like that. We hung out in our jammies for most of the weekend.
 We played, we read books, and we did lots of sleeping and cuddling.
By Friday night she seemed to be feeling a little bit better. Jesse went to play night golf with one of his buddies and I had a little Grey's Anatomy marathon. I'm still not caught up but I'm getting there.

We really didn't do anything on Saturday except for hang out. Even though it was pretty hot we thought it was best to keep Emerson out of the pool until she is well. We did spend some time outside though and the fresh air seemed to perk her up. She played outside on our patio for a little bit and we took several walks around the compound.
It's still surreal to see her walking right next to me. I just love it. She is getting more and more steady each day but that definitely doesn't stop her from falling. She took a few pretty good falls this weekend and has a nice little scrape on her forehead and her nose. Poor thing!

The highlight of our weekend was purchasing our tickets for our trip home this summer. I've been trying to decide forever when we should go and what airline we should use. I'm so glad to have that taken care of and I am SO looking forward to the trip. I can't wait to see these two (and everyone else too!)
And I can't forget our big splurge. Baskin Robbins! Jesse had some extra cash so he decided to run to BR. This is what he came back with.
Yes, I know. Incredibly healthy. It was our one last splurge before going on a healthy diet this week :)

And that, folks, is the extent of our exciting weekend. Luckily Emerson seems to be on the mend and we are looking forward to another fun-filled week. Hopefully we won't melt in this crazy heat!

Emerson's First Easter


I know I'm a little late on this but we just got the pictures back from the Easter egg hunt a few days ago and I don't want to forget to to document our sweet girl's first Easter.

The Spring Fling was held at the Embassy on Saturday. Even though it was pretty hot that day, I really wanted to dress Emerson up in her fancy little Easter dress from Mimi. Of course, I didn't manage to get one picture of the three of us together!

We started with a visit from the Easter bunny. Emerson has been a little leery of strangers lately so I was worried that she might be scared of the big bunny, but she absolutely loved him! She kept looking at him and then looking over at me and trying to do the sign for bunny. It was so sweet.
After our visit, it was time for the egg hunt.  Emerson wasn't walking yet so we held her hands and led her to an egg. As soon as she spotted it, she said down and grabbed it. There was no more egg hunt after that. We threw one more egg in her basket just for good measure before heading over and having a few snacks.
On Easter day, we were excited to find that one of our sweet neighbors had left a little Easter surprise for Emerson. She was so excited when we opened the door and she saw this:
Since Sunday is the beginning of the work week, Jesse had to go to work so Emerson and spent the day playing and of course we had to make Emerson's first Easter craft. I love the way it turned out.
That evening we had some of our neighbors (and great friends) over for barbecue. The kids played while we ate and talked. Emerson just loves our neighborhood kids so she was thoroughly entertained watching them play.

After everyone left I had to get in one more snuggle with my sweet girl before bedtime.
I couldn't have asked for a better last "first holiday" for Emerson!

Two Years Ago...


On April 26, 2010 I wrote my very first blog post. We had been in Africa for just a few short weeks and had no idea what was in store for us!
We didn't know that we would find fun things to do in a third-world country or that we would take weekend trips to the beach.

We didn't know that we would develop new hobbies and interests or that we would make lifelong friendships.
We didn't know just how much we would miss our dogs and all of the little things that we take for granted in the U.S.
We didn't know that we would get to travel to so many fun places like South Africa and Germany.

And we certainly had no idea that we would find out I was pregnant just a few short months later!
As our time went on there, we celebrated birthdays and Christmas, and excitedly and unexpectedly found out that we were having a darling baby girl.
When I wrote that first post I never dreamed that I would be leaving less than a year later to get ready for the birth of our sweet Emerson.

We could have never guessed that Jesse would miss our girl's birth by just one day or that saying good-bye to him just two weeks later would be so heartbreaking.

And of course we had no clue that we could love such a tiny little person so very much or that she would completely steal our hearts from the moment we laid eyes on her.
We couldn't have predicted that our munchkin would be such a great little traveler or that we would adjust to life in the Middle East, despite the cultural differences.
We never would have thought that we would make such a wonderful life in a foreign country, meet so many amazing people, or experience such neat things.
When I started this little old blog two years ago, we just didn't know where life would take us. But I am thrilled to say that it has been better than we could have ever imagined! God has blessed us beyond measure and we are so, so thankful.
And do you want to know the best part of all? I have it all documented right here so that we will never, ever forget!

Midweek Randoms


Because my week just wouldn't be complete without at least one random post, here we go:

-I noticed that I post about our weekend practically every Monday so I thought it might be fun to host a linkup for weekend recaps. It's going to be called Weekend Rewind and it will start on the 30th. Someone out there please link up so I don't look like a total nerd. :)

-The Mom Creative is offering a $25.00 credit to Paper Coterie for new subscribers. You can't beat that! I may or may not have spent E's entire afternoon nap time designing birthday party invitations. ;) I am so, so excited at how they turned out and I can't wait to share them. Yippee!

-I've added my blog to the listings on Blog Lovin. Click the link below to follow.

-Our grocery store has not had any spinach for the last few weeks but they finally had some when I went yesterday. Hello Green Monster! I've missed you my friend.

-Have you seen this amazing video?

This little girl's father took video of her every week from birth to twelve years and then combined it into a 2 minute video.

I'm not going to lie- it definitely made me a little sentimental. Somedays I feel like Emerson is growing that quickly right before our eyes. I feel like she will be twelve years old before we know it.

-Speaking of the little munchkin, she fell again yesterday and hit the exact same spot on her forehead. I'm afraid our sweet girl is going to have a permanently bruised forehead. Poor thing!

-Over the last few days she has become obsessed with her little baby doll from Amy and wants to carry it everywhere she goes.

 She also loves to put it down on the ground and kiss it. And practice her yoga at the same time. Such a multi-tasker!
 It is the sweetest thing I have ever seen!

-One of my sweet friends is coming over tonight for wine and takeout. It should be totally laid back and relaxed. My perfect kind of night...

-I decided I wanted to try and catch up on some of the shows I used to watch. Since One Tree Hill just ended I went with it. I've always loved it- especially since it was filmed in Wilmington- just 50 miles from where we lived in North Carolina. I've even run into a few of the cast members a few times. (I was actually in a restroom washing my hands right next to the absolutely gorgeous Sophia Bush one time!) Anyway, back to the subject-  I missed all of Season 8 so I started it yesterday. I'm kind of excited to finally catch up and the see the series finale but I'm sure it's going to take me forever.

Next up will be Grey's Anatomy, Army Wives, and Gossip Girl. Considering I finish one episode about every two days I should be finished by the time E is in college. :)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Where To Next?


Now that we are on the downhill slope of this program, it's time for us to start thinking about where we want to go next. Of course, we really don't get the final say but we do get to create a wish list of sorts. So even though we are months away from another move, the deliberations have already begun.

If we truly had a choice we would head back to Texas as fast as we could. Even though we haven't lived there in over 10 years, it is, and always will be home.  We would give anything to be close to our families again. But at this point we will just be happy to be back in the United States where everyone is a 3 hour flight away instead of 15+ hours away!

Since we can't go to Texas, we're considering requesting to go back to our second home: North Carolina. Before we came overseas we lived in NC for 8 years. We have a house there. We have family and friends there. We know it. It's familiar. For all intents and purposes, it really is home. But at the same time- we know it. We've seen and done most of what there is to do. So there would be lack of adventure but there would be comfort and familiarity.

On the opposite end of the spectrum (and country!) is sunny and beautiful California. Part of me really craves something new and different and California would definitely fit the bill. There are so many fun things to do there- especially for kids. Not to mention the amazing shopping and restaurants and the awesome cities that are so close. The beautiful weather year-round is also a plus.

Of course, I can't forget Hawaii, South Carolina, and Japan. Any of those places would be pretty awesome, don't you think?

So- here's where the decision gets tough.  Each of the places I've listed has its own set of positives and negatives and I'm sure that we would be happy no matter where we go. But there is something that keeps leading our hearts back to the place where we first made a life together.

While I have loved this opportunity we've had and I have been content with our life in each place, I haven't quite felt "at home" since we left. I miss that feeling. I crave it. And part of me thinks that the only way I will really feel it is to move back to North Carolina and back to our house. Back to the place that was home for 8 years and back to the house that I can decorate and fix up to my heart's desire.  Back to the place that we couldn't wait to leave just two short years ago. Isn't life funny that way?

Jesse keeps saying that he just wants to be back where we belong. He doesn't want us to be the outsiders or the new guys anymore. No more learning our way around- but instead back to the familiar- and, dare I say, the ordinary.

While I definitely crave adventure and the thrill of discovering a new place, the familiar and the ordinary really don't sound half bad.  And picturing Emerson playing with her cousins, running around our back yard, eating in our kitchen, and sleeping under our roof? Well that's just about enough to get me started packing our boxes today!

Another {Lovely} Weekend Come and Gone


I love weekends. I really, really do. And this weekend was no exception. It was laid-back and relaxed and we had the best time... doing a whole lot of nothing.

We napped, we ate, and we spent lots of time in the water. It was just perfect.

As always, we spent a few hours at the pool on Friday afternoon. Emerson had a blast kicking and splashing.

But she was not thrilled when it was time to get out.

On Saturday we decided to head to the beach. We haven't been in about a month and I am so glad we went! The ocean water is finally warm enough to get in and Emerson loved sitting in the sand.
Of course, all that wading wore her out and for the first time in months she actually took a nap somewhere other than her crib or carseat.
Jesse and I took full advantage of this and read magazines and laid out. It was so nice to just relax!
After she woke up we took her over to the large grassy area near the beach so that she could play.
She was all over the place! The huge open area and the lawn furniture gave her plenty of opportunities to explore and practice walking.

She did take a little spill though and like the good mother that I am, I got it on video. ;)
Don't worry- she was fine and didn't even cry. I think she's getting used to falling! Good thing she's tough. :)

On that note, I think we can officially say that we have a walker! I couldn't quite decide if we could consider her a walker just yet but once she started walking across the room and choosing to walk more than crawl I knew it was true.
My baby girl can really walk!
We're both pretty excited about it!
Hope your weekend was as lovely as ours!

Friday's Letters



Dear Car,
Darn you for breaking down and costing an arm and a leg to get fixed. There goes Emerson's first semester of college! But thank you for waiting until I was in the parking lot to do it. I would have died if you had died in this crazy traffic.

Dear USA,
In case you didn't know- you are the best country in.the.world. I can't wait to step foot on your soil again! I might even go to Target and just sit in an aisle all day for a while.  I will also be consuming an unhealthy amount of Mexican food.

Dear Emerson,
I hear you up there yelling in your crib. It's nap time girlfriend! I promise you we will play all afternoon, but first you have to take a nap.

Dear Exercise,
Why must we have such a love-hate relationship? I know that you and I must meet again today but I will be honest and tell you that I am definitely avoiding you right at this moment. If only blogging and drinking coffee could get me in shape.

Dear Bloggity Blog,
You are almost two years old! Crazy, no? Thank you for giving me a place to share my life and document our memories. Most of all, thank you for allowing me to "meet" so many awesome people.

Dear Saltykins,
Have I told you lately how much I love you and appreciate you? Or that I am SO proud of you? You're the best and Emerson and I are so lucky to have you.

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