Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today was beautiful. It has been pretty chilly up here since we arrived- at least, to me it was chilly. I came from 74 degree weather, so anything below 60 feels very cold to me. I am a total wimp when it comes to cold. I break out the Uggs and sweaters when the thermostat gets to 68. And it has been in the 50s and low 60s since we arrived. But not today. 

Today it was beautiful outside. 

Ironic, because I have been a ball of sadness as we prepare to say goodbye to Jeremiah. Rather than wallow in my misery and eat 18 snickers, I decided to join the little ones in the backyard and soak up the suns rays. I realized I had yet to take any pictures of the backyard (or front yard, or inside of the house either) so I grabbed my camera and click clicked until it was time to leave for the bus.....which could not come soon enough. Today was a little better than yesterday, but I am still suffering from bus-anxiety.

Here are some pictures of what the back of the house looks like. As small and unprivate as the backyard is, I really like it. And we have the only great big tree in our backyard and I am thinking that is going to come in super handy in the hot summer months. 

This is the view from the garage entrance. I ended up moving the kids little table once I started taking pictures. That little table used to reside in our kitchen, but like I have said over and over, our house is very small.


Our house is one of ten brick town homes on the edge of the base. Jeremiah and I were very nervous about being "attached" to people on both sides because we tend to be a little noisy. But we have been amazed at how little we hear. Either the insulation is super or our neighbors have taken vows of silence. (Although, I should probably ask them how loud we are.....)


Oh, and we are only partially attached to the home you see on the left, because we are on the end we jut out some. Not sure why that matters exactly, just felt like sharing.


We are going to be planting grass in the spring because the kids have been tracking muddy feet and I am going to lose my mind. I really am not a fan of carpet y'all.


This is our little patio. I like it. I like sitting up here and watching the kids make noises that rival the sounds of the jets  and helos flying overhead. I can't wait until it is springtime and I can have my coffee out here and watch the kids play.


The view from our back walkway- the trunk of that lovely old tree.


I know you can't see the other shoe, but it is a red croc that belongs to his sister.


This little slide makes her all kinds of happy.




As I was peeking through the viewfinder, it dawned on me how big she has gotten. My sweet bald baby has enough hair to clip. Her chubby little fingers can hold a spork to shovel spoonfuls sporkfuls of mashed potatoes into her chubby cheeks. And she can climb up the slide all by herself and claps at me (her way of saying BACK OFF CHICA!) if I try to help her. So forgive the picture overload. I just want to document her lovely little chin dimple, perfectly pink little pucker, and the wispy pieces of golden hair I have been waiting to see grow.


Hello sweet thing. I adore you.


I love how she knows I am watching her and snapping away, just waiting to get a shot of her beautiful eyes staring back at me, and she does this. her thought bubble: "not gonna look at you. not gonna. see. still not looking."


Then she did this. And it makes my love grow even bigger for her. She is quirky and silly and sweet and willful and beautiful and cuddly. And somewhere during our big moving experience she crossed the halfway point between 1 and 2. My sweet baby girl is growing up. In case you couldn't tell.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hi. I moved.

It's been a little while since I have written last. And ay yi yi  have we been busy. The short version goes like this: painted the house, scrubbed everything down, kids said goodbye to their school and classmates, took mini trip to Orlando to visit Legoland and Seaworld before we bid the Sunshine State adieu, movers came, loaded our things, said goodbye to our amazing friends, loaded up 2 cars with 4 kids, 2 adults, 2 fish, 1 dog, 1 cat, and 1 frog and made our way to our new home. I feel like I could fill a thousand pages with the stories from the past couple weeks. But because I have reaction paper that needs to be done, I am just going to talk about today.

This morning was to be my kid's first time as "bus riders" to school. They have ridden buses to school field trips, but never rode it to get to school. To say I was hesitant to let them ride would be the understatement of the century. I honestly kept trying to talk them out of it. "Isn't it fun rock out to music on the way to school?" "You don't ever have to worry about who to sit with in my car......." "I'll give you a lollipop if you ride with me!!!" 

Nothing worked. 

Apparently riding the bus is a Very Big Deal, y'all. Jeremiah and I talked about it and agreed to let them try it out. If anything even remotely not-good happens, sayonara bus! The reality is, it really is convenient- the bus stops on our street of only ten houses. It takes us ten seconds to get to the bus stop from my front porch. I won't have to wake the littles up and bundle them tight in the mornings. But mostly, the kids were crazy giddy to ride the bus. 


The bus arrives on our street at 8:50. School starts at 9:30 (crazy late!!!) but the kids are all provided a free breakfast, if they'd like, that they take back to the class to have. They arrive at school at about 5 after 9, I am told. So at 8:48, I peeked out and saw the bus heading our way. The kids and I walked down and said hi to all the neighbor kids. 

{I know I have not mentioned much about it, but we are living on the base- in the only actual on-base housing. Our street is totally removed from the hustle and bustle of the base- the ten homes really are the only thing back here. I like that. There is a park right next to us, too, and lots of trees which make for a shady, quiet street. And because all 10 homes are all 4 bedrooms, you have to have at least 2 or 3 kids to even live here. So between the ten homes, there are about 25 kids. About half of them are all attending the same school my kids do- and the school is small. They have less than 240 students. From what we came from, that is super duper small! So some of the little kids that live on our street are in the same classes as my kids.}

Back to the bus stop. I asked them for the 962nd time if they were sure they wanted to ride the bus, and Kaiti shot me daggers and said with such exasperation- "MOMMMM, I am a BUS RIDER." Can't blame a mom for trying, right? 

I watched them climb up and I waved until my arm went started tingling. I was chatting with one of my neighbors, but was mostly watching to make sure the driver's hands never slipped from the ten-and-two-o'clock positions. And then I watched him drive away with half of my offspring and fought the urge to try and jump on his bumper. I hurried up my porch steps and told Jeremiah I was going to  get in the car and follow them to make sure they made it to school okay. He intervened. And got me a paper bag to breathe into.

I promise I am not really this crazy mom. If anything, I'm probably too lax. But we are in a new city, the kids are going to a new school, and I don't know the bus driver from Adam. His make might even be Adam, for all I know. I freak out when even our parent's drive our kids around- which has happened maybe three or four times. So. There it is. Go ahead and judge it if you must, but I admit, I have some control issues. 

School ends at 3:55 and the bus is supposed to drop off at our stop at 4:05. I was at the bus stop at 3:35. Just standing there, about fifteen feet from my front door, peering down the street, waiting to hear the sounds of the wheels on the bus chugging down my quiet little {new} street.

Jeremiah came out and took the littles to the park, which is conveniently right next to the bus stop, as I stood. My feet would not move me from my spot. 
I announced when it was 3:55. And then 4:00. And then at 4:04 I yelled out "One minute!!!" to Jeremiah. I am pretty sure he rolled his eyes at me, but I couldn't tell because I did not want to avert my gaze for fear of missing the bus. 4:05 came. No bus. Then 4:06, 4:07, panic, 4:08, why did I let them ride the freakin bus???, 4:09, serious heart palpitations and some sweat developing on forehead and under arms, 4:10 about to flipping SCREA--- WAIT! I see it!!!! I see the bus.


Oh thank you God, for giving my kids back to me. 

I had a little speech I planned on giving the bus driver about what tardiness does to an anxious mother, but I forgot all about it the second I say my girl bounding down the steps, followed closely by her brother!

Huge hugs, and then I asked them a million questions about their first day. And you know the first thing they said???

"The bus was so much fun!!!! I can't wait to ride it again!!!!"

Well, crap. I have to do this all over again tomorrow. I'm going to need some  chill pills and some heavy-duty deodorant to keep the bus routine going folks.


Happy Bus Riding Monday friends! Hope your day was less sweaty than mine!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

a group project you want to be a part of. (really!)

I start dry-heaving when I hear the term group-project. Serious. I am more like a 'just give it all to me and I will email you when I am done' kind of girl. I would really just rather do things myself than rely on others. That is probably not awesome of me. But there it is. 

If any of you happen to interview me for a job at some point in life, I will probably deny ever having said this and blame that statement on a potent mixture of two chai latte k-cups and a 800mg ibuprofen. I am pretty positive that dangerous combo can result in some crazy talk.


Group projects- cannot stand them. For eight thousand reasons. HOWEVER. Every once in a while, something comes along that makes you want to change your beliefs.

Are you picturing that Friends episode where Phoebe is debating canceling her plans with Joey? Or am I the only one who relates even the most minute details of my life to something I saw on Friends? No, I am pretty sure y'all are remembering that part of the episode, too. but just in case.....

 I think Shannon means "queen of digression" in Latin. Okay. So the group project thing. If you are on Instagram, chances are, this is old news. So ignore this and go back and watch the Friends clip again. On twitter and instagram, there's a fun 'group project' running wild called Photo-A-Day. I believe part of the task was conjured up by Fat Mum Slim. The idea is to take a picture every day (and she provided the list of photo projects for january) and share them on social sites, like twitter and instagram. And it is oodles of fun. I know it may not sound like any big whoop, but it's fun to see people's different takes on things and what they are capturing. Here is the January 'assignment', in case you want to get in on the group action fun......and you TOTALLY should!!

image credit

Here are my photos taken so far:

Day 1: Me! I had just put Evie in her bed, so it's dark and grainy-- just the way I like pictures of myself ;)

Day 2: Breakfast: caramel frappucino light = love in a cup

Day 3: Something I Adore. Him. And even more so when he is laughing at me.

Day 4: Letterbox. Doesn't get much sexier than this.

Day 5: Something I wore. These socks. And what my littles were wearing was cute enough to get them in.

I am not sure what the deal is for February- I am sure twitterworld will fill me in. Or I will just make up my own. That could get reallllllly interesting. So get on instagram folks, and get some of this fun.

Oh, and the best part for me is that the photo-a-day project leads me into another project! I read about Project Life last year, but it was the end of January and I thought I was too late to try it out. And I am not a scrapbooker. At all. I am a great starter, so-so middler, and not terribly wonderful finisher. And if the project doesn't go like I envision, I throw in the towel (hello, purchased cricut machine I used one day, got frustrated with, swore at, and put back in the box to never use again. seriously, my not-at-all-cheap paper kept ripping whenever I tried to remove it from that dang sticky mat. how is that fun?)

But Project Life is different. My take on Project Life- it's a scrapbooking system designed for people who are either dabbling, don't have a lot of time, are just starting, don't want to sell a kidney for scrapbooking supplies, or just like the simplicity of a system already laid out. I am a member of each of those demographics. We are a good fit, this Project Life system and I.

I talked to my cousin, Amber, did some research online, and decided I was ready to take the scrapbooking plunge- if for no other reason than to get my pictures out of boxes and into something lovely we could flip through. My package of wonderful arrived on my doorstep today (seriously, the UPS dude must be THE most well-received man in town. I always greet him with a big, goofy smile!) And I am in love. I ordered some prints from snapfish so I could get going on it- right now I am working on December.

I know hard-core scrappers would cringe at what I have got going so far, because it is super basic. But I will hold my 1/3 completed, unadorned, 5th-grade-handwriting scrapbook page high and I will say

"I will not go quietly into the night! 
I will not vanish without a fight! 
I'm going to live on! 
I'm going to SURVIVE! 
Today, I celebrate my PATHETIC SCRAPBOOK PAGE!!"

-I may have seen Independence Day more times than I can rationally explain-

This is what I love about Project Life so far:
-the journaling cards-- I can write!
-the design of the paper
-the photo pockets have different layouts so I am not committed to one
-it is so easy to use
-tons and tons of room to put your own spin on this
-it's cute, and that makes it so fun!

If you have ever scrapbooked, I'd love to hear tips or check out what you've done. And if you are in on the photo-a-day fun, let me know!!! You can join me on instagram my name is: shannonleighn

And just for number-twos and teethes (the pg version of that saying I don't quite understand) here's a little present for you. But instead of Mr. Pullman, picture me, Shannon, standing on 17 scrapbooks. Feel free to fist pump me at the end-- go ahead-- put yourself in the crowd scene!


On a serious note, some good friends of ours need your prayers once again. Their little boy is facing some serious health issues-again, and I would love you to join me in prayer for Drew! Please lift him up and wrap this amazing family in prayer. This little guy is tough as nails and has already endured so much in his little life- let's call out to God on his behalf! Thank you!!!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


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