House Update

This is long overdue! Things have been moving so quickly at our house that it has been hard to keep up. We took these pictures last week with the intent of posting them Wednesday, and today these pictures are already old and the house has totally changed. Oh well, this is what you get for today :) I wrote on the pictures, so this is all you get from me other than the photos - you even get to see inside the house this time!
(pictures above are the living room opening into the kitchen when you walk in the front door)

Since these pictures, the walls and exterior have been primed, crown molding has started going in and all the cabinets are in the kitchen and bathrooms - and they are gorgeous. But you'll have to wait a little longer to see them since this upload took 800 hours. Hope you enjoyed the tour!



This morning as I was drying my hair and Terry was shaving, getting ready for work, Salem the dog, laid on the floor outside of the bathroom, stretched out and looking overly depressed. We joked about what a rough life she has and has always had as she looked up at us with those pitiful eyes.
But she really is always sad in the morning because she knows we are about to leave for the day. Then I got to work and was looking at my calendar and realized why she was looking so depressed. It's because I am a terrible mother! I forgot her birthday! Today was her birthday and no one (read: Terry and I) didn't sing to her or give her cake for breakfast or an extra large bone or anything. She is probably already feeling sad to not be the only girl in our lives anymore; and beyond that, birthdays are a pretty big deal at our house. Yes, even for Salem. She is used to things like:

Trips to the beach

Swimming in the lake

Party hats and cupcakes

If I were a dog, I'd like to have Salem's life (minus my mom forgetting my birthday this morning). Well, and minus my uncle who threatens to turn me into labrador-burgers. It's okay, before I saw Salem for the first time, I didn't want a dog either - and in fact was not a dog person at all. But I just had to have her. I didn't tell anyone we were getting her and just showed up on my mom's front porch with her one day. I knew she'd tell me not to get her otherwise, and I just had to have her.

Granted, there have been days [like when she ate my planner, or bills, or picture albums, or proof book from our wedding, or her lethal tail knocked over drinks on the coffee table, or she pulled me across the street to chase a squirrel while on her leash, or embarassed us by being the only dog to pee in PetSmart during puppy training classes, need I go on?] that our decision has seemed less than wise. But all in all, even in light of these things, I could not be more glad to have her; and I'm glad that our daughter will get to grow up having a doggie friend. (Even if I am training Salem by letting her lick on all of Chris & Jen's kids to get it out of her system so she doesn't lick our newborn baby too much; or if I will be even more obsessive about the FURminator and Dyson so that there are not hairs on baby blankets, bibs, clothes, etc.) And I guess the licking isn't always bad, it's just a sure way to know that she loves us, even when we forget her birthday. Happy birthday Slim-Shady!


Things to Come

"Dear Little One,

Last Friday was our appointment to find out if you are a girl or a boy. We cannot believe we don't have to call you 'it' anymore when we talk to other people about you. As I sat through a highschool graduation this past weekend, I could not believe that in 18 years, I would be sitting through yours. Your sweet dad reminded me that there are going to be a lot of things we have to survive with you before that! As the mom's around me went on and on about how they felt like their children had just gotten finished with preschool, and how could they be here at highschool graduation, I felt like I could jump into the conversation with "I know can you believe that just a few weeks ago my child was just a manatee, and is now 1/2 of a pound!?"...but realized I might get some funny looks. But, if I feel this way already, I cannot imagine what a mess I will be at your highschool graduation and beyond.

You are growing strong and healthy just like your dad prays for you every day. Your heart is beating strong, your kidneys are working, and your little bladder was even full. Not as full as mine always feels though I'm sure. You kept kicking the ultrasound head through my tummy so we got lots of good chances to see that you have all 10 of your toes, and your foot looks long enough to let you grow into a tall Bruce!

We bought you your first clothes this week - because I just couldn't resist - and your closet filled up some more thanks to your Aunt Becky. Your Aunt Whitney got engaged the same day we found out what you are, and there has been lots of celebrating in Charlotte this past week!

Your dad and I finally chose all of our paint colors for your new home, and are even picking out things for your room. We hope you will feel cozy and loved in your sweet little room. It will not be pink...but it will not be blue; but we hope that green will be perfect for you, our sweet little girl!

We love you and are so excited to meet you!
Your mom and dad"


27 Candles

Much to the dismay of some, I only saw the movie Sixteen Candles a few short years ago for the first time. Today, this guy is celebrating with 27 candles on his cake, and I've already reminded him of how OLD he is, since he did the same to me...two year ago...when I turned 27 - thanks babe.
June 11th has always been a birthday celebration day for me, because it is my brother's birthday [happy birthday old man!], and now I get to celebrate it double because it's also Terry's birthday. (Or really triple, because it's also Adele's husband's birthday - happy day Tom!)
But for now, I'll celebrate my hubs and the candles on his cake with some of the reasons I'm so thankful for getting to be the one to celebrate this day with him. Here are my 27, in no particular order:
1. Well, just look at that face
2. His sweet spirit that loves others so well
4. He thinks I get funnier by the day - this is a big feat folks...I'm not that funny
5. He has enough athletic genes to make up for my complete absence of any [lets just hope the babe gets HIS and not my duds!]
6. He will eat anything I cook and like it - with the exception of one time when I made him what he refers to as 'fratwursts' because they were made with soy instead of meat, anything 'fake' like that gets an 'f' put in the front of it
7. He makes up words that start with 'f': my Frada purse, fausage for the soy sausage, etc. and puts up with all of my 'fake' things
8. He loves a lazy day or night at home with a movie just as much as I do
9. He never lingers, rarely angers, and always gets over everything quickly
10. As a result, we have great communication, thanks 100% to him. If it had been up to me, I'd probably still be sulking about some tiny thing that happened 2 years ago :)
11. He L-O-V-E-S his family - the one he grew up with, and the one we are about to start
12. He has never had a fight with any of his siblings, all five of them. Sorry Adam and Laura!
13. When he sleeps he reaches over and rubs my head or back and doesn't even know he's doing it - now that is love
14. He rescued me from the rat house, my hero!
15. In highschool, he pretended to love to rub my elbow [weirdo!] and now admits it was just an excuse to touch me :)
16. He keeps me sane and grounded - like when I'm sobbing about reading about car seats or a hormonal mess while pregnant and he just pats my back and lets me be irrational for awhile
17. He prays for our baby to be strong and sweet every day (among other things)
18. He is a great leader
19. He loves his friends, deeply
20. He quilted when he was a kid and is 500% proud of it even if/when made fun of for it
21. He is going to be a fabulous father and a nervous wreck if we have daughters
22. He is 100% himself and never tries to conform for others
23. He listens to great music and keeps me cool
24. I am such a better (and as we know from Laura, cooler) person because of him
25. He loves my pregnant belly
26. He keeps me young
27. He is the best husband. Ever.
I love you birthday boy - hope it is a fun day of being loved and celebrated even if it's not your blowout party days of old, and you can't hear from anyone because your phone got run over by a car :)


Deep South

“Visions of sugar plums danced in [my] head…” This would accurately describe how blissful and peaceful I thought my life would be once we moved out of the rat house. Somehow, it turned out to be the week of my emotional break down. I guess that it’s fair to say it was building and a long time coming! Even though we were out of the house, successfully moved, successfully found the dead 18 inch rat under our sofa, and were cozy in our new, clean, temporary home…I totally lost it Thursday night. Poor Mr. Bruce. Feeling a little overwhelmed by my ‘baby Bible’ and its vast amounts of information and the 100 pages about strollers laying ahead of me to read that week, I tried relaxing away my stress in a bathtub – which is a cure all for me – but not this time, and I finally just conceded to laying my head down and having a good sob session. It was mostly curative. The Rita’s I had with Becky an hour before also might have helped.

But what really helped was when Kat and Matt asked us the next day if we wanted to go on a last minute trip to Charleston. Of course, first of all my much too planned self thought, “no, we’re keeping Mike’s dog this weekend, we don’t have anyone to watch our own dog this weekend, Terry has basketball Saturday morning, the cable guy is coming to set up our cable on Saturday, Terry has a corn-hole tournament Saturday afternoon [I know, busy guy, huh?] – we can’t go.” Then I thought…wait a minute, wasn’t I just sobbing (literally) last night about needing to relax, and in a very short few months we are not going to be able to pick up and go like this…so we went! The dear hubs didn’t even hesitate to cancel his plans to let us go on this get away and regain some sanity for his dear crazy wife.

And boy was it worth it. We drove down early, spent the day on the beach – baby’s first trip to the beach. Couldn’t believe we didn’t have chairs as I’m lamenting and struggling through not being allowed to lay flat on my back anymore – this is mostly horrible at night, but hello, laying on the beach…so Terry and Matt dug me a chair in the sand complete with a backrest and arm rests – can’t believe we didn’t take a picture, it was amazing, I was definitely the envy of Sullivan’s Island. I ate a HAMBURGER for lunch from the infamous Poe’s. We strolled downtown and rocked in some great rocking chairs while we waited for dinner at S.N.O.B.

This deserves a post of its own, but since I’m already going on and on…here’s the short version of this amazing dinner. I sent a text message to my brother on our way down to Charleston because they were at the beach for the week at Hilton Head. He asked where we were eating dinner, and said he recommended this place, S.N.O.B. We tried to get reservations, but the earliest available were at 9:45 – past my bedtime folks! So while we went to eat elsewhere, we stopped in to put our name in for brunch the next day – but they weren’t serving brunch the next day – but said they could get us in to sit at a different table in 45 minutes. Sold.
So I sent Adam another text with a picture of the menu to show him we were there along with a picture of the scraped clean bowl of crème brulee we had just polished off. Terry says it was the best meal he’s ever eaten, and it was DELICIOUS. Bellies full, we were waiting for our check when our waitress came to our table and said to me “You’re Ellen, right?” I thought one of these jokers I was with had told them it was my birthday or something – not that this was the kind of restaurant that was going to give me a hot fudge sundae and come out singing and clapping, but what else was I supposed to think? So hesitantly I told her I was, and she proceeded to say “Okay, well Adam has taken care of the bill for your table.” WHAT?!?!?! What a sweet brother. We talked and talked about how thoughtful and how generous, who thinks to do that? Well, my brother does I guess, and I’ve been bragging about him all week. I even called mom to let her know she should brag on him too. He says it took the people he talked to on the phone about 30 minutes to figure out what table he was paying for. He described me as having short dark hair and being a little pregnant.
No wonder they couldn’t tell which table we were, after we ate, we ALL looked a little pregnant!

So Adam, even if you did get your name on the board in elementary school when I warned you not to...I guess you turned out okay. Thanks again Ad, you're my favorite brother :)