Thursday, June 28, 2012

Working Hard & Cooling Off

Brent had a great little helper a week ago on the front fence project. Her choice of construction wear is questionable. I will say Brent got a TON of honks, laughs, stares, comments and attention that Saturday. She is usually in some form of dress up at all time.The front with new cross beams. The pain has been the speed at which boards warp in this terrible heat and humidity, causing double work and waste.

That evening we had all earned some nice cool relaxation time, so our friends Tim and Wendy invited us over to play in their pool. Of course Lilli was super excited to swim with her friends Zach and Audrey.Scooting around the pool on a riding toy.Lilli and Zach playing in the water. She can get around great in her floatie, but we really need to get her in some lessons because I think she would pick it up very quickly. She has no water fear and really just needs some instruction on how to hold her breath and balance. We've had her in the pool ever since she was about 5 months old. She thought it was hilarious to watch Zach swim under water and pop back up and "get" her. They all had a ton of fun and it was so nice to enjoy their relaxing pool on a hot summer evening!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Catching Up....

Two weeks ago we decided to do some updating to our front fence. We started pulling off the boards with cracks or holes, and the fence looked a little something like this for a few days:

That led to some decent ribbing from a coworker who lives around the block. When it came down to it, there were more boards bad than good and since the cuts were all going to be custom it was better just to re-do the whole thing. Probably even cheaper in the long run, and it will last longer. So Brent pulled off all the boards and luckily the posts are still in good shape. We're just doing the front section first and then the side section so the yard isn't totally "open". It feels very strange having the yard so open to the tons of dog walkers out each night. And we've definitely seen an increase in door-to-door salesmen.
It doesn't bother Pippin though. The back is his domain and he relaxes out on the deck most of the early morning and evenings.The same coworker I mentioned above invited us over for pizza Friday night a week and a half ago. Their little boy is just a couple of months older than Lilli so we knew they'd be good playmates. She and I made Jello Jigglers for the kiddos. She was SO proud and the two of them devoured that whole plate before we even noticed!! A huge hit I'll have to remember for other kid parties.The two of them had so much fun playing together. They have similar energy levels and played everything from dress up (this is her in his reggae hat and Dinosaur train slippers) to hide and seek, his toys and of course....
jumping....He's probably about her equal in the energy of jumping! They devised a game where the two of them jumped off the ottoman onto a giant bean bag chair. They could have done that forever.They will definitely be good playmates for the future and it's nice to have someone so close. We could've walked if it hadn't been pouring down rain that night. They also have a large bird (maybe a parrot) that talks and says all kinds of things and Lilli absolutely loved it and was talking about that bird for days.We had a great time and will definitely have to have them over soon so we can see what all we have in our house to jump off of!
Just a pic of the fam! One of very few we have of the 4 of us together! Hope you had a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Once again I've signed up for Jenna's Annual Commenting Challenge. I've always thought it's a great way to find some new blogs to read and even connect with people who live near you. And I've been terrible about blogging lately so maybe this will help me get back in the groove.

Today's topic is to pretty much just share a little bit about who you are. In this little family Brent is the dad, Rachel (me) is the mom, we have an almost nine year old Boston Terrier named Pippin and Lilli (our daughter) is nearly 3.5 years old.

We live in historic downtown Nashville in an old (circa 1880) Victorian house we bought as a fixer upper almost six years ago. It was a massive wreck and we've spent a lot of sweat equity turning into a cozy, historically accurate home.

We both work. I'm a CPA by trade but spend my days focusing on marketing/financial analysis for a publishing house that's part of one of the nation's largest Christian publishing/retail houses. I can pretty much guarantee you've heard of us. Brent's a graphic design by trade, also in the book industry. They're the middle man, so I guarantee you've probably never heard of them - but I bet you've bought something from them. So as long as people keep reading, in whatever form available, we will hopefully have jobs.

So that's a little about us! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Silly Geese

Like father, like daughter when it comes to making silly faces on the Iphone camera.....
At least they're having fun.....
Doing a little roller skating one night with the roller skates she got for her birthday from her grandparents...She loves to play in the reading center. One afternoon she and Amelia were reading books when we picked her up.I really need a decent watering can. I broke (cracked) my beautiful Le Creuset ceramic teapot using it as a watering can and Brent won't buy me a new one now. We use our tea kettle all the time, clearly. (Both as intended and in other ways as shown below...)Donuts made a great treat one night!We are loving summertime and as you can tell are spending pretty much all of it outdoors!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pickets & Generations

A couple of weeks ago we decided to spruce up our white picket fence that surrounds our front yard. It's probably 15-16 years old (which is nothing if you consider our house is probably about 130 years old) but it's seen better days and a lot of the board were cracked or rotting. As all projects go when we started singling out which boards to replace we decided the best route would probably be to replace the whole things, except for the posts which still are in good shape. The previous shape was a custom hand-done cut, so each one we replaced would have to be hand-cut, which would take a LOT longer than buying all new pickets. We counted them all up and came up with 194 pickets! We had no clue that many pickets surrounded the front yard of our corner lot.

Never fear, the trusty Vibe can easily hold 194 pickets (an entire pallet).
And a lot of crossbeams. As well as a carseat (unoccupied for this trip). Who needs a truck? Not us!New fence project is underway, slowly but surely around the random rain showers we've had the last week. All the rain is really making our garden grow! Lilli is always excited every day to look for red tomatoes and pick them. Sometime even a few green ones get picked....Last Sunday, June 10th, we had our Generation Celebration at church. Grandparents are invited to come to church with their grandchildren and have a special lunch. Brent designed the postcard mailed out to all the adults and both Lilli's sets of grandparents were able to come. The grandchildren are supposed to serve the parents and grandparents lunch, but being a little small I helped her take the orders and deliver the food to the table.
Then the program consisted of a long game of "Are you Smarter than your Grandchild?" Each kiddo got a turn so it took a while. The object at our table was to not have Lilli in your lap when it finally became her turn!Well, her Grandpa Spears was the "lucky" lap buddy when her name got drawn and he got to go up and answer a question (I've totally forgotten what it was now). Lilli got her question right (How old are you?) but I don't think Dan got his right. By this point all the easy ones were long gone.When the program was over the kiddos were supposed to give their grandparents the canvas they had painted in Sunday School the previous week. Lilli was a **little** protective of hers and wouldn't give them away.Lilli had a great time and asks where her grandparents are every time we go to church now. I think she's expecting them to change home congregations now that she realizes they can make it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Well, a couple of days of being busy turned into a week and a half or so of the old blog being a bit lonely. We've just been really busy and I've had a bug the last few days and still am not feeling well. I even bought Fathers Day cards literally a month ago to have them out on time and for the life of me can't figure out where I stashed them. I'm sure they'll turn up this week!

For some reason a few Granddaddy Long-Legs love her playhouse. There's always 2-3 on it every single day.Driving to school.... (One day a week they have water play which is why it looks like she doesn't have clothes on....)
She can finally ride her "big" hand me down bike, but something is wrong with the back tire and it won't hold air for more than about 5 minutes so we're going to have to pick up a new little tire.
We took her to see the new Madagascar 3 movie the day it came out, a week ago. She loved it! It was so cute and had some pretty catchy songs we heard a lot of for a few days after the movie. She still doesn't weigh enough to keep the seat from folding up on her so we have to each keep a leg on her chair.
We didn't do a great job getting her picture with the movie poster. She was way more interested in looking at the poster herself and singing "Elbow Circus" (the song is really "Afro Circus".
Yup, that's as good as it got!
One night a friend surprised us with some Gigis cupcakes on our porch. If you're going to surprise us with something that's always an EXCELLENT choice!!
Hope you all had a great weekend and a nice Father's Day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ordinary Days

Just being cute one night with her "accessories".....A little tug of war between friends. Pippin looooves to tug.

We dug up our kohlrabi - it was HUGE!!!! We haven't cooked it yet, but kohlrabi was super easy to grow!
So glad tomorrow is FRIDAY!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Princess and the Pea

A few times each summer we try to hit our neighborhood Y on a weeknight. They're open until 7, so we can eat quickly before hand or go straight there after work and have some good water play time without it being as crowded as it is on the weekend. That did not work out well one night last week. It was overcast and the water was chilly. Indoors they were having a large kids swim class and water aerobics, and the head water guy lost his mind and yelled at everyone who wasn't in one of those to get out of there. Very irritating since I pay a lot of money every month to use whatever pool I want to. We really don't like our neighborhood Y that much (which is why we go to a different one as much as possible).

Friday night we went to Opry Mills and ate dinner in the food court. Three different people wanting three different types of food - no problemo! Of course we had to do the carousel after we ate.....
And naturally the Disney store. I always let her pick out one new toy and we came away with a Rapunzel. I think we only have about 32 different Rapunzels now.
Rapunzel has already made the circuit, from tricycle rides around the house to church, she's seeing the town.
And we've got peas to harvest! Lilli (aka Princess Tiana - in the princess costume I found on a great clearance at the Disney Store) is very proud of her peas! She even wanted to eat one right off the vine so we cracked it open and snacked away.
I've already got tomatoes starting to turn red, lettuce going crazy, peppers starting to form and blackberries ripening up. And we pulled our kohlrabi last weekend, too! Taking the risk and planting the garden in March really paid off this year!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Playground Posing

Being a good photographer and having a cute kid gets us (or rather Brent) a fair amount of photography requests from time to time. A friend of ours in grad school asked Brent to help him out with some pictures of Lilli playing on the playground for a paper he was doing on Childhood Obesity. Somehow we ended up so busy Memorial Day weekend that we never made it across the street to our little private playground. So Tuesday night after dinner, we put Lil in a cute sundress and headed over. Only problem - we were minutes away from a heavy spring downpour.

As they crossed the street, the storm seemed pretty far away and the thunder distant, but it was a fast mover and Lilli does NOT like storms. She didn't want to go to the playground and she was pretty preoccupied with all the wind and thunder.

Needless to say, Brent didn't get anything worth using. Unless the paper was going to be about children upset about their obese friends who won't play with them.The next day was sunny and perfect so while I was cooking they headed back and got much better results.
Always happy to be pushed in a swing for hours and hours and hours....
I'm not sure which one (or ones) he ended up using, but I was glad we were able to give him something decent to work with!! Actually, it was for our friend Josh - who came to visit us in Nashville last May and who we visited in Chicago in September 2010. Man, how Lilli has grown from both of those posts!! On a side note, I think we for sure need to go and visit them in Chicago this summer. It is our turn and all....
She amazes me with her strength and agility, for such a small fry. I really need to find her a little gymnastics class to get into.The balance beam....not for balancing - for JUMPING!So that's Lilli's contribution to academia for the week......