Saturday, September 26, 2015

I loved you first.

Dear Husband,

I can't believe you turn 31 years old today.  You're one sexy old man, you know it?  

I remember a year ago being on maternity leave, spending every minute of downtime I had planning your surprise 30th, all while our sweet little newborn slept soundly on the couch next to me. Now here we are with a beautiful, fiercely independent and headstrong one year old, toddling around the house.  I love that little girl with all of my being, but I hope you know, I loved YOU first.

This past year has been full of long days and sleepless nights. Sometimes we barely scrape enough energy to kiss each other goodnight, let alone actually touch one another.  Even though there's not a ton of romance these days, just laying in bed next to you is my favorite. As we grow our family and eventually have sleepy little kiddos crawling into bed with us on a stormy night, I hope you always know that I loved sharing the bed with YOU first.  

These days, most of our kisses go to our sweet baby girl, but I still love YOUR kiss the most.

Often, we reserve our hands for Lara.  Holding her tiny little fingers in ours as she learns to walk all on her own.  But when we steal a night away, I still love the touch of YOUR hand the most. 

Evenings are full of sippy cups, chicken nuggets, teddy bears, and puzzles; followed by diaper changes, bath, pj's and bedtime.  When our Lar-bear is finally fast asleep, I love sitting on the couch with YOU the most.  

A year ago, we gave our hearts to that tiny, 6 lb baby girl.  

But I hope you never forget that 8 short years ago, after a few too many butterscotch shots in that double wide trailer bar, I gave my heart to YOU first. 

Happy Birthday Handsome.

I'll love you forever,
Your Wife

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Nice to meet you.  My name's Anne.  I used to blog here on the regular but decided to take the summer off. 
A blogging sabbatical. 
Ok, where did we leave off? 
Summer 2015 in a nutshell: We sold our house, moved in with my parents, I started a new job, bought a new house, hired contractors to remodel new house, fired contractors and did it ourselves, Lara turned ONE, and no, I'm not pregnant with baby #2.
Let's break down the house thing.
Pre Move In
We closed on our new house toward the end of May but didn't move into until June 11th.  We crammed all of our things into the garage, packed a few suitcases and stayed with my parents for a couple weeks while the contractors remodeled the house. 
It was such a well laid out we thought. 
We ended up firing the contractors the day we moved in. 
I'll never forget sitting on the couch with Jon that weekend; looking around at the walls that needed paint, the kitchen that was missing cabinet doors and our hardwood floors that were totally ruined from the contractors who had done absolutely nothing in the house those few weeks.
We were overwhelmed to say the least. 
If it weren't for our selfless family, a few amazing friends and a very patient baby,
our house would still not feel like a home. 
I'm going on the record saying all those house flipper people are absolutely out of their frickin' minds.  I still to this day can't watch any of those shows on HGTV. 
I mean, who signs up for this shit?  Not I, ever again. 
In fact, I've told Jon I'm never moving again.
That ship has sailed. And quite frankly, I think he agrees. 
This summer there were tears, there was sweat and there were more tears.  My husband, usually quite calm in demeanor, even lost his shit a few weeks before Lara's birthday party. We had invited over 50 people over to our home for her party, most seeing it for the first time, and the pressure was on. 
I always knew I married a hard working man, but damn did I ever.  He painted, ripped off the old deck, built a new deck, took care of our little girl, hung light fixtures and ceiling fans throughout the house, worked full time, ripped out our old kitchen countertops, installed tile floor in our bathroom, refinished our hardwoods, installed screen doors, took care of our little girl, installed new toilets, new faucets, hung backsplash and painted some more. 
Best way to test a marriage?
Purchasing a "fixer upper."

Needless to say, after spending our summer covered in sweat & paint, we have thoroughly enjoyed these past few weekends relaxing at the lake with our sweet, baby girl and some great friends. 
We forgot what relaxing felt like.
I fully intend on getting back in the swing of blogging.  I've missed it.  I've missed YOU.
Thanks for your patience while I did "life" this summer.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Great Xenos Move: Part One


That's the only word I can think of to describe the past 72 hours.  

As predicted, Friday morning was pure chaos.  Movers arrived around 8:30, saw all our crap, and became very concerned.  7 hours and a last minute U-Haul rental later, we were out.  

But let's back up to Thursday.  Thursday was Lara's last day with Miss Amanda...

To say it was a tough day would be a total understatement.  
Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I pulled into the parking lot.  

We have grown so attached to not only our daycare, but especially Amanda.  The hardest part of this move has been leaving behind a place that is SO near and dear to our hearts.  

I remember being around 15 weeks pregnant the day we toured BUGS for the first time.  From the moment we walked in the door, we knew it was right.  
100%, no doubt in our mind
This is where we would bring our tiny little baby.  
These are the people we would trust day in, day out.
Lizzi (below on the left) was there that very first day and was there on our last.  
She is also so special to us! 

Man....Thursday and Friday were hard days.  
They were days filled with goodbyes. 
Lara's last day was actually Friday and when I picked her up, she had learned to wave goodbye to all the teachers and all her little friends.  What a day to pick to learn this adorable new skill...
I was a mess.

Friday morning began as every morning does.  Coffee & toys.

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At 11:00 am, we officially purchased our new home.

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We did one final clean sweep.  And when I say "we," I mean my amazing mother.

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To see the nursery emptied was surreal.  And also very, very sad.

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Around 2:00 pm, we were totally out!  One last picture and we hit the road.

Have I mentioned the home we purchased is a total fixer upper?
Oh, no...I left that out?
I think I left it out in my mind to psychologically prepare for what we were walking into. 
Can we all say a big, what. the. hell.

Needless to say, our lives are still in boxes.  


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After digging thru boxes Friday evening we were able to put our lives somewhat back together, and finish out the day with a nice, cold beer.

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We are staying in my parents basement for the next few weeks while contractors remodel our home.  Needless to say, Lara is feeling the change the most.  She was up all night Saturday night so Sunday morning was spent like this...

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Below is where Lara spent her day, in between crying fits because we are in the midst of full blown teething over here.  Perfect timing, right? 

She's lucky she's so damn cute.

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While there's still A LOT of work to be done, we're making progress.
Thanks to an amazing, very hard working husband.
And some pretty damn awesome parents.

If you're having a great memorial day weekend full of rest & relaxation....screw you.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Moving Day.

Well, that sure snuck up on us.

Tomorrow, we'll load up and drive away from our very first home.  Our home sweet lake home.  I'm not sure what I'm sad about most.  Selling the house or the pontoon?  

I almost didn't sit down and write this post because it's been a pretty emotional few weeks leading up to tomorrow.  Sometimes, when you're feeling blue, it's easier just to not talk about it.  So that's what I've done.  Radio silence on the 'ol blog.

But I got to thinking, this house is just to damn important to me to not throw it a little tribute. 

We bought this house three short years ago, not knowing how much our lives would change when we decided to make ourselves a little human.  As wonderful as these past three years have been in this home, we know it's a smart move for our growing family.  Living directly on the water isn't very conducive to tiny toddlers running around unattended in the backyard if you catch my drift.

We enjoyed many a night out on the patio listening to the water...

We spent many weekends docked up with our neighbors, cold beer in hand.

I purchased more swimsuits than one should ever own.

No, but seriously.

Now it's time to jump into a new adventure.


This home needs love on every popcorn ceiling, every single wall and every nook and cranny the eye can see.

Thankfully, we're ready to love on it for many years to come!!!

Stay tuned.....

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day: First Edition

What an awesome day it was.  I tell you what, there's nothing cooler than showing your kid off.  I'm just so dang proud of her.

I fully realize others may not think she's as cool as I do, but what I find most fun in this world these days, is toting her around and watching her bring a smile to everyone she meets.

That....that's the best mother's day present of all.


We started the morning with a fresh cup of coffee and a few little gifts.  My favorite gift of all, the card.  As you all know, I love me a good card and Jon knocked it out of the park this year.

A mommy mermaid & baby mermaid.

Lara was clearly enamored with it as well!

The note inside, sweetest ever.  Tears were shed.

Then we opened a couple gifts.  A digital frame which I've SO been wanting and Miss. Lara picked out a beautiful bangle for mommy.  Photos to come of the bangle. It's adorable.  
Girl's got good taste.
She get it from her mama.

A few hours later, we loaded up and headed into the office.  As some of you know, I work for a senior living company.  I'm the Director of Sales & Marketing.  

In case you were wondering, senior citizens LOVE babies. 

 Like, really love.

It was so neat getting to see these mothers have so much joy in remembering their first mother's day, many, many years ago.  When they see Lara, it must remind them of the days when their now grown children, were little babes like her.  The smiles they share are ones I'll always remember.  

These moments, they remind you to cherish every single second because in the blink of an eye, she'll be grown, taking care of me.

We had quite the day delivering cupcakes, flowers & of course, the Sunday paper.

This sweet girl was the cutest "paper girl" I've ever seen.

Around lunch time, we began making our rounds with the flowers.
100 of them to be exact.

We delivered flowers to every lady we saw!

Then she started eating the flowers.  And the leaves off the stem.  
And I was sweating like a beast trekking around with 10 flower bouquets, a baby in a stroller and a massive camera around my neck all while trying to keep her from eating the petals and prying them out of her hand to give to the residents.  
Sounded great in theory, not so easy to execute.
It got a little crazy toward the end, but memories I'll never forget.

A mother's day for the books!