19 months...whew!

Let's just say that months 18-19 have been totally different from the past year and a half. Lots of changes, good and not so good...I guess all to be expected!  Larkyn is making us laugh a lot more and making us shake our heads  lot more. Welcome to toddlerhood.

New words this month: "no?" (always said like a question but clearly it is a declaration, "wehwa"= umbrella, "bapo"= apple, MOMMY (yayyyy!), "boop"= boot, "oh whoa!"= whenever something goes wrong/looks slightly amiss (ie: our neighbors cut their tree down and for days, it has been an "oh whoa" situation

New skills: Identifying letters A-G or the letters on my North Face sweatshirt

New developments that make us say "Oh whoa": She still hasn't adjusted to Daylight Savings Time apparently. Ever since that day, she has woken up an hour early, which is no fun when I am trying to get ready for work. I'm not sure if I should dread or welcome "Spring forward"??

New favorite activities:  Climbing and standing on the ottoman, pretend play with the baby doll (baby loves to eat syrup and salt), running. Man does she love to run. You can bring her back from the dark side simply by asking "Do you want to run?", bubble baths!

New favorite foods:  I'm not sure because all of a sudden she doesn't like much of anything anymore. Oatmeal cookies from the McDonald's drive through? Those are a God-send.

So what comes next in this stage, mamas? 

Wednesday in (Wedding) Pictures...

After a fun few days of catching up on phone calls and telling "the story" a million times at work (it doesn't get old), I have a few photos to share. And then if you want to see all of them, you can watch the video. Enjoy!

And this is a wonderful time to find out that I am out of storage on Blogger. Ha! Guess you will just have to watch the video:)

So, we got married...!

Ooops. I meant to publish this yesterday, our WEDDING DAY!! 
picture courtesy of Kate

At the 60th Anniversary party of Matt's grandparents, we learned that the two lovebirds actually eloped instead of having a big blow-out wedding. We did not know this. Thus began an interesting conversation in the following weeks...

Funny, the conversation went a little like it did for my parents (who are going on year 33!) It was a mutual decision, not exactly a proposal. Which is perfect for us. We are a tad unconventional and (I) love big surprises, so we began planning!

The plan was to steal away, just the two of us, to the Hocking Hills, and surprise everyone on Thanksgiving. Then, we decided we wanted Larkyn and our families to be there too. So, it grew a little, and I don't regret that. They were all there when Larkyn was born, and this was another big moment in which they needed to be included.

We picked out the rings on lunch hours and through text photos and internet pictures, making sure we both loved what we picked out. I picked out the dress on the Nordstrom website and when I told the customer service rep that it was intended to be my wedding dress, he waived the $15 expedited shipping fee so that I could have it as soon as possible. You know how I love good customer service like that. Pinterest of course led to fabulous "casual wedding" and "courthouse wedding" ideas. We wanted it small, but of course, reflective of us and our personalities.

We started the planning with Karen at Hocking Hills Wedding Chapel.

We were so lucky to get down to the courthouse and back on election day without hassle.  We got a rock star parking spot, had no lines, and were out of there in about 15 minutes. People who got on the elevator and even a homeless man saw our envelope and congratulated us. So sweet.

Kate, my trusty photographer and longtime friend, accompanied me on a few very frustrating shopping trips to find jewelry, shoes, and a cover-up (we expected it to be freezing outside!)  I ended up with my first pair of heels, which I am not sure I will ever wear again. But they are so pretty! I tried to find tall gray boots, but those apparently do not exist in Columbus, Ohio a week before a wedding. Truth.

Then, time for my favorite part, flowers! Since Larkyn already had her pretty holiday dress, I decided on red flowers. I used a local grocer to order the tulips, spray roses, alstromeria, mini gerber daisies, and hypernicum (red berries). My awesome mom read a few tutorials and off she went, making my bouquet the night before the wedding. She even included a photo pin that my grandpa made of him and grandma as teenagers.

We ordered a big old BBQ feast of our favorite foods: fried chicken, beef brisket, mac and cheese, potatoes, salad, and desserts. Giant Eagle Marketplace (less than a mile from our house) catered it all. It was delicious, convenient, and inexpensive. Check, check, check. We had two little wedding cakes, one chocolate and one white. And then all the necessities for ice cream sundaes, of course.

Matt and I spent the morning watching An Idiot Abroad marathon and relaxing. I had fun getting ready with Larkyn. She brought out several pairs of shoes for me to wear. She really wanted me to wear my "boops" (Uggs), so I did. Matt fed her while I did my hair and makeup, and when his dad arrived, we were off to Hocking Hills!

The 45 minute drive went quickly, but suddenly became interesting when the turns were 90 degrees and roads like "Chicken Coop" and "Klump" turned into straight-up 90 degree inclines. Yeah, I am mathematical like that. Anyway, the grounds of the Valleyview Cabins and wedding chapel were adorable. The views were beautiful and we had so many places to take pictures. There was a fire in the fireplace, started by our sweet Pastor who we met shortly after we arrived.

The service was short and sweet, which was a good thing, because Larkyn was not impressed. It took the whole rest of the family taking turns to keep her occupied. The girl just wants to run, plain and simple. I wish I could remember more of what the pastor said, but it is a blur. I just remember feeling loved and feeling love radiate out of my whole body. I was a big, happy mess who burst into tears as Matt was saying his vows.

He pronounced us husband and wife, and that was that!

We came home to watch the Sprint Cup Championship, the end of the Browns game, and feast on our reception food until we thought we'd burst. The kids were noisy, the dogs were everywhere, and it was chaos. But, it was 100% us.

I loved keeping our little secret and now am proud to wear these rings and call Matt my husband. Yay!

15-18 month essentials

It's that time again, when I share my favorite things that have helped me get through mom-of-a-toddlerhood through each stage of the game. Hope it helps you buy some useful things for the holidays...
Skidders!  Not the Skidder socks (no tread on the bottom), but these bad boys. They claim to be an indoor/outdoor hybrid of sock and shoe. We have a pair for the sitter's house and a pair for our house. I don't want her running around in slippery socks, bare feet, or stuck in shoes at home, so these are the solution. You can get them for $14.99 at Target, or for multiple prices on amazon.com.
Once Larkyn's hair got long enough, I started doing ponytails and pigtails ASAP. I tried 2 other kinds of bands that were ridiculously unflexible. These little rubberbands save the day, and if you lose one, you have 1000 more. I have yet to get one tangled in her hair, which is also a plus! I found them at Giant Eagle for 2.99.

Make way! She loved this stroller so much that we had to pack it in our vacation bag. It folds up just like a real umbrella stroller and it super light. Her cousin (who is a boy) also loves to play with it. Look how happy she is in her trail of destruction! This is the You and Me umbrella stroller from Babies R Us for 9.99.

OK, I had a bad-mom moment a few weeks ago. As I was giving her a bath, I thought "Wonder if I will ever use that faucet cover I got at her shower? She's never even gotten close to the faucet." Within seconds, she tried to stand up in the tub and smacked the back of her head on the faucet. Out came this little guy, who has protected her ever since. You are truly a mom when your faucet is covered in an ocean creature. This is the Skip Hop Moby whale from amazon.com for 10.47.

This could be any box of dry cereal here, but this is her new favorite. This has been a lifesaver because she no longer takes a morning nap....which was when I used to shower. Now, I pour a ton of cereal on her high chair tray, snap her in, turn on Sprout, and take my shower! By the time she is done picking up each piece to eat it, I am successfully showered!

The Fisher Price baby animal sounds app. This is a screen shot of her favorite sound. Rarr! We use this when someone (ie: everyone) takes an excessive amount of time to help us at any given store or restaurant. It is free in the app store! Another good one is Toddler Jukebox.

Jumping beans jeggings. We had them in capri for summer and full length for winter. Much more comfy than real jeans (am I right, ladies?) and perfect underneath dresses or shirts. AND $5.50 at Kohl's. Run there.

Lift-the-flap board books are a favorite around here. In particular, we love books by Karen Katz, Elise Broach, and any of the Biscuit books for the holidays. All of these either have flaps or textures to them. These are the books she brings to me to read to her every night!
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