Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Hello World!
I told you'd I'd be back.  Took me a few weeks, but I kept true to my promise ;o)
Anyway, I'm putting the final touches on McCartney's last two monthly posts (which are wayyy overdue), as well as typing up how we spent our Halloween (a perfect mid-November post). But, before I share those I thought I'd catch you up on what we've been up to around here these past couple of months.

:: On October 31st, Ben finished his FINAL night of his FINAL night float rotation!  Can I get an amen?  Something about this being the last one was so exciting.  It felt like we were checking off a residency milestone.  To be honest, I've never completely hated night float.  It's always been doable, but it does get lonely.  We miss having him home at night to eat dinner with and watch movies.  We tried our best to go visit him a few times during the week while he was at work, but many of those plans fell through due to emergency surgeries or an abundance of consults.  Such is the life of a resident wife!  But, when we did visit him we always enjoyed it.  Also, kudos to the cook at the hospital who makes the most amazing mushroom Swiss burger I've ever tasted.  Let's face it.  That's the real reason we go.

:: Last month I taught a class on decorating with real pumpkins at one of our local home decor stores in Kansas City.  I taught for them last year and had so much fun, so needless to say I was thrilled when they invited me back.  I wrote a blog about it for the ranch that you can check out right here.

::  That same week I also hosted Craft Night for our residency spouse's group.  It was so much fun! Twelve lovely ladies came to my house and brought with them the most amazing dishes (we've got some seriously good cooks in the group).  I served chicken tortilla soup (so good!)  You can find the recipe I used here.  I didn't follow the directions exactly.  I find that with soups it is pretty safe to do that.  For example,  I like really thick soups so I didn't add as much broth as they recommended.  I also added in some black beans to the mix.  Oh, I also made my own version of Fall Apple Cider Party Punch.  I got so many compliments on it - it's yum yum yummy! As for the craft, we made these cute little pumpercase pumpkins.
Aren't they adorable?

:: Since I last updated, we also celebrated Ben's birthday (well, that was in August, but I never wrote about it) and my birthday.  For Ben's Dirty Thirty, I threw him a poker party with some of his close friends.
My birthday was really low-key since Ben was on night float.  We went out for sushi at one of my favorite resturaunts and then he serenaded me with a gourmet cupcake that he had picked up from a local bakery.

So sweet (him and the cupcake!).
Oh, and my gift was awesome!!!  For my birthday, I finally got a DSLR camera!  I have been drooling over one since we got married and with McCartney joining our family I knew that I needed something better than just my iPhone.  After much research I went with a Nikon D5100 body and a 50 mm 1.8 f-stop "nifty fifty" lens.  I FRICKIN' LOVE IT!  I have so much to learn since I know, oh you know, nothing at all about true photography.  But, I can't wait to improve my skills!

::  In October we also took a trip to one of the local pumpkin patches here in Wichita.  It was a lot of fun to see another pumpkin patch and how they do things.  Plus, I got lots of good ideas to bring to the table for things to add to our pumpkin farm next year.

:: Since I last posted I also redid our office.  You may remember when I first transformed it?  Well, it was a good change back then from what we had.  However, as time went on there were a few things that bothered us about it.  First of all, it stood out like a sore thumb from the rest of the color palette upstairs.  Second of all, while the dark walls were fun it was too much.   Lastly, I actually use the room more than Ben and selfish little me wanted a corner of it for my own work.  So, here is a glimpse at the new look:

:: I have a new favorite show that I am FINALLY caught up on:
Any other Scandal fans out there? I'm obsessed!

:: As you might have guessed, I'm in full-on Christmas mode right now.  I've got about 50% of my shopping done (remember, I'm a nut about it).  My goal is to have the majority of it done by the first week of December so we can avoid the stores and just enjoy the festivities.

So, that's what's been going on around here.  Now Ben is on a rotation where he has been busier than he has been in a long time.  So, McCartney and I are keepin' it real at home.  Speaking of that little munchkin, I've got two belated monthly posts that I will get up today and her 10 month post that I'll be posting ON TIME tomorrow - mark my word!

Until then, I wanna know:
What have you been up to?

~ Kelly Jo

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Street

Happy Halloween!
Fun Fact About the Writer Of This Old Blog: I LOVE Halloween.  Always have.  Always will.
Needless to say, I am so excited about celebrating McCartney's 1st Halloween tonight.  I'll be back soon with lots and lots of photos oh her in her ferociously terrifying costume, but in the meantime here are some that I took over the weekend.
You see, there is a street in our town known as "Halloween Street."  During the month of October it is absolutely nuts.  The residents go all out decorating there ALL OUT!  So, it's no wonder that they get an average of 3,000-5,000 trick-or-treats each year.  It's so busy that on Facebook this week local businesses have been posting about how they will be closing early on Halloween because of the parking and traffic situation.  Craziness!  So, of course we had to check it all out.  Last Saturday night we took a little drive-through tour of the neighborhood and I was able to capture a few pics out the car window.  These are just the houses on my side!
Anyway, if you're in need of some last minute decorating inspiration, check these out. ;o)

Happy Halloween Ya'll!

~ Kelly Jo

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We're Still Here!

World's Worst Blogger?
Um, I think so.
I can't believe that it is has been almost two months since I've posted anything!  Not only do I still need to get McCartney's 8 month post up, but her 9 month one too.  Plus, I've got lots and lots of updates about life around this sweet little home of ours, as well as some explanations for my blogosphere-absence.
So, I shall return soon with all of that (I'd do it now, but I've got to finish the dye job for part of McCartney's Halloween costume which is so adorable I can't handle it).  In the meantime, I just wanted to pop in and say, "Hello and Happy Fall Ya'll!"
McCartney at our Pumpkin Farm last weekend.

Now tell me,
what have you been up to?

Talk to you soon!
~ Kelly Jo

Friday, September 6, 2013

McCartney: 7 Months

Oh, McCartney!
Words cannot even begin to describe just how much fun you are.  You are absolutely wonderful!  This past month it has been so cool to see you grow and learn new things.  Every day you are discovering something new.  I could probably write a novel about you by now, but I'll spare you and share just a few of my favorite highlights from this month:

:: Well, obviously one of the biggest things this month is that you are officially on the move!  You are a crawling machine.  You didn’t even do the whole moving backwards thing.  You knew that forward was where you wanted to go and that’s what you did.  I was in disbelief the first few times that you did it.  “Um, Ben, I think she crawled.”  But I was certain that I must have been seeing things.  But, my eyes weren’t fooling me.  You’re are cute when you crawl too.  It’s very articulated.  You also like to growl while you’re on the move, especially if you are headed for something in particular.  Of course, the things that you want are always the things that you shouldn’t have (i.e. shoes, Trudy’s toys, Trudy’s dog food, Trudy’s water bowl, Trudy’s tail, etc.)  You get the picture.

:: You have also gotten really good at pulling up on your own.  You love to stand in your playpen and watch me when I’m on the elliptical machine.  You just stand there and smile.  You are so proud of yourself! I'm pretty darn proud of you too ;o)

:: You have started babbling like crazy!  You haven't said "mama" or "dada" yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if you do here before long.  Although, who knows?  Maybe you'll say "Trudy" first!

:: No teeth yet! You're still rockin' that gummy smile that I love.

:: At dinner each night and sometimes at lunch is when we give you some solids to try.  You don't dislike them, but you're not crazy about them either.  What can I say, you like the boob!  If I had to pick your favorite flavors through it would be strawberry applesauce or sweet potato.

:: I don't want to embarrass you or anything, but I think that I should just state for the record that this month you had the worst blowout in your diaper history.  I have never been grossed out by your diapers, but this one was gag-worthy.  I have video footage of it in fact because I wanted your daddy to see what he was missing out on while he was at work.  I won't share it on here, but remind me when you are 16 to show you.

:: You LOVE LOVE LOVE our nightly dance parties.  We always have one while we’re cooking dinner waiting for your daddy to get home and right before bed.  You usually get the giggles so hard that you give yourself hiccups....

:: Speaking of our dance parties, you love music! And not lame kiddie music either, you LOVE music with a good beat! You instantly light up and start kicking your feet.  I have a feeling that one day you are going to LOVE taking dance lessons.

:: You are turning into quite the little bookworm these days.  You love being read to and will listen for a long time.  I just brought down all of my childhood books from KC, so you're library just became huge!  I can't wait to read all of my favorites to you :o)

:: There have been a few times in the car when you have started crying and seem inconsolable.  That is when I’ll sing your lullaby to you.  It’s our special song.  It’s pretty neat - you’ll stop crying and either smile or fall asleep.  When I sing it to you when you’re happy you’ll turn to me with the biggest smile on your face.  You just love it.  your daddy really loves it too. He really wants to get it on video because he thinks it is the most amazing thing ever.

You truly are the sweetest little thing.  You are just so loving and happy.  Your snuggles and smiles are seriously the best thing in the world and you make each and every day so bright.
I know we say it every month, but we love you so much baby girl and we thank God every day for you!
You are the best!

Your Mama

Saturday, August 10, 2013

That Old Husband Of Mine

Today I just want to wish a Happy Birthday to the most amazing man, husband, father, surgeon, and friend that I know!
You do so much for this little family of ours and you work your butt off every day (which is evident today since it is 1pm and you are still sound asleep).  I don't think any amount of birthday cake or presents can express just how much we love you, but we're gonna try.  So, with that being said, we just want to say Happy, Happy Birthday Ben/Honey/Daddy and cheers to being a hot old guy now!

Your Much Younger Wife ;o)

PS - I'll be back later with the details on how we celebrated his Dirty Thirty, but until then we are going to keep the par-tay going!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Whoops!  So, I took an accidental blogging hiatus.
I'm gonna blame it on the fact that I visited my parents two weeks in a row where there is no Internet besides what my 3G can muster and the fact that I would rather be cuddling with this sweet little thing...
I could just gobble her up all day long.
Anyway, she is currently snoozin' as she swings, so I thought I'd take to the old blog to do a quick update on what's been goin' on around here.
As you can imagine, due to my lack-o-blogging I have about one gazillion things to share with you from Trudy and McCartney's bestfriendship to how our fridge is healthier than it's ever been and even a Day in the Life post that I penned and never hit publish on.  So, perhaps this will be the week that I will be lighting up the Internet with my oversharing.
Sound like a plan?  Awesome.
Let's see, what else is new?

:: Can you believe that little miss is 6 months old now?  I know!  It may have been two weeks late but I FINALLY put up her monthly post.  Better late than never thought, right?  She's doing so many fun, new things everyday...she just blows my mind! Last night, she crawled.  Yes, crawled.  Like a legitimate crawl - not even an army wiggle or anything like that.  I was folding laundry on the bed, looked down at her playing, and there she was trucking it across the room.  I tried to get it on film, but she got camera shy and of course she didn't repeat it the rest of the night despite her Ben and my cheers.  I have a feeling though that by the end of this week I'll be chasing her around.

:: Anyone that knows me knows that I am obsessed OBSESSED with the Royal Couple.  I was right there with the rest of the world on Door Watch 2013.  And I cried.  No, wait, I didn't.  I bawled.  Yes, happy, joyful sobs for William and Kate (hence why Ben thinks I'm crazy).  And, of course, when I found out that they had a little boy I just couldn't hide my enthusiasm:
But it looks like McCartney might have some competition. ;o)

:: Ben's birthday is this weekend and he is turning the dirty 30.  I've got some fun plans underway and to say that I am e-x-c-i-t-e-d is an understatement.  I can't say much more since there are a lot of surprises.

:: However, I am further along on McCartney's 1st birthday plans.  I know, I've got half a year left to plan it but when it comes to parties I don't mess around.

:: If you have a second, you should clickity click on over to my friend Erin's blog and enter her giveaway.  It's cute, cute, cute and even though it lowers my chances of winning, you should still do it. ;o)

:: Bachelorette Finale Thoughts:  I was Team Brooks just because of how she felt about him, but all along I would have chosen Chris.  So you can guess how elated I was when she ended up with him.  Tears of joy my friends!  I know, I'm pathetic.  Besides the fact that he was romantic, funny, and still a man's man, he was a baseball player.  Basically, he was my Ben in Bachelorette contestant form.
Which brings me to my second point, I think they could be twins.
Ben, will you accept my final rose?
:: Speaking of that Ben of mine, we took a little date to Lowe's a few nights ago to look at refrigerators.  Long story short, our oldoldold refrigerator (the one that I painted back in 2011 because it was in such bad condition) is going to be evicted here soon.  I mean, I'm thankful for works.  But right after McCartney was born it started making this sound: "EEEEHRHRRRHRHHEEERRRRRR."  Just shout that out loud at the top of your lungs and you'll get the picture.  Since then I've been shopping around online for a good deal since I feel like it might not have much life left in it.  Then the other day I went to put away some milk and the handle fell off. :o|  So, after flooding Ben's phone with pictures of our literally-falling-apart fridge followed by pictures of an awesome deal I had found he agreed to venture with me on a little kitchen shopping date.  Man, this long story didn't turn out short at all, did it?  Anyway, second attempt at a long-story-short, it was a fun little date night.  We didn't make any purchases since we decided wait until the next big holiday sale and purchase an entire kitchen suite instead, but it was definitely fun to plan.  When we bought our house, our realtor recommended replacing the appliances since they are old and outdated.  So, hopefully we can do that here soon so I can actually enjoy them for a few years.  This will give you an idea of the look we're going for.

:: Since I'm one of those people that always needs a project, in the meantime I purchased some paint to redo our office.  While the initial paint job did make a world of a difference, it is just too dark.  Plus, I use it more than Ben does so I need to make a space for myself in the other corner.  We're opting for a lighter color...sculptors clay to be exact.  We're also getting ready to redo our counters using the Rustoleum Countertops kit.  We figure that it would be better to get that mess done before we bring in the appliances.  Have any of you ever done it?  I've heard muy bueno things about it.

:: After 6 months of only working out once, I've finally started to get back into a fitness routine.  I really have no excuse since we have an elliptical in the basement.  True long story short: I'm out of shape.

Annnnnd that's a wrap for now.  McCartney just started growling in her swing so it's time to play!

Over and Out,
Kelly Jo

Monday, August 5, 2013

McCartney: 6 Months

Baby girl, how are you already six months old?  That's half a year!
This past month flew by and it seems like you went from being a newborn to definitely being a baby.
And baby, you are all baby!  You are so much fun and are doing brand new, exciting things every day.
Here are some of my favorites from this past month:

:: We just had your six month checkup.
You weigh 14.44lbs (16.6 percentile) and are 25 inches long (12.77 percentile).  You're our tiny, little shorty!  On your legs I can count at least 4 rolls though so we're all good.  Your doctor said that you are perfectly proportioned - you line up right at the center of the chart!  That's right, he thinks you're perfect too! ;o)
At this appointment you got 4 shots (two in each chubby little thigh) and one vaccine by mouth.  You were such a trooper. I always hate watching you get shots because it is seriously the one time that I really see you truly cry.  And when that nurse poked those needs in your leg (she took her darn time too!)  you screamed!  But, I picked you up right after and within a few seconds you were quiet and cuddled up on me.  I am not lying though when I say that you turned to the nurse and gave her the saddest, guilty glare.
See the cute little bandaid?
:: This past month you nailed the whole sitting by yourself thing.  Last month you were getting there, but still pretty wobbly.  We always made sure that we were sitting behind you because you would topple over.  But, right when you turned 6 months you started to really get the hang of it.  Now we can set you on the floor and surround you with your toys and you just play your little heart away!

:: We tried to tell you that you have met your milestone quota for the month (I don't want you to grow up too fast!), but you just keep surprising us every day.  You are so so so close to's awesome.  You get up on your knees and rock back and forth.  Last week you started to get the hang of moving a hand out in front of you and this weekend you took a few "accidental crawls."  Today, you did about three that looked pretty purposeful.  I have a feeling that it will be any day now.  Until then, you can just "tumbleweed" your way around.

::  You're also pulling up.  We just started putting you in your pack'n'play to play and we're already going to have to lower it because you pull up onto your knees and look over the side.  If that's not enough, last night you pulled yourself up for the first time in it.  Like to where you were standing along the side!  I couldn't believe my eyes!

:: Despite the sitting and the almost-crawling, you still prefer to stand.  You love to hold our hands and walk towards us.  You always love it when we set your feet on hard surfaces so you can stomp, stomp, stomp.  We think you might be an excellent tap dancer one day.

:: When it comes to sleep, you are changing every week.  Some weeks you'll snooze through the night, other's you're up every few hours.  Now that we are going to be home and not traveling for a month or so, we're going to work on transitioning you to your pack'n'play.  Right now you are still sleeping in your rock'n'play right next to our bed.  You haven't liked laying flat until recently.  But we've taken a few naps together and you like to be sprawled out.  So, we'll see how this week goes ;o)

:: Your doctor asked me how your speech was coming along and if you made a variety of sounds.  I told him that you did, but then I said, "She reallllly likes to growl."  He just laughed.  I'm not sure he believed me.  That is until you let out the deepest, cutest growl that I'd ever heard.  You had him laughing so hard.  You just love to growl.  It's a hoot!

:: I can't forget one of the biggest changes this past month!  To celebrate your six month birthday we let you try your first solid foods.  For your first taste, I mashed up some avocado.  You were unsure about it.  We tried some carrots later, but still, they were just "eh."  That is until last night I pureed you some sweet potatoes and OH BABY!  You LOVED them! Phew, I was starting to think you didn't like my cooking ;o) It's so much fun watching you discover all of these new tastes (btw, you really wanted my hummus the other day and made the grossest face when I gave you a little taste).  I love making your food for you and feeding you in your high chair at the kitchen table.  You're still being breastfed primarily though and will be until you decide no more.  Until then we're just "playing with our food" and enjoying all of these new tasty treats.

:: You may not be obsessed with food yet, but you know who you are obsessed with?  Trudy!  Even though she gives you about 20 gazillion kisses in a row, you still love her.  And she loves you too!  Whenever you're playing on the floor, she will come lay right beside you.  You'll roll around and scoot until you can touch her (you always want to touch her).  I have to keep a close eye because you love to pull her hair out.  She's so good though!  You've pulled out a chunk before and she'll just kiss you and kiss you and kiss you.  Unconditional love!  I have a feeling that you two are going to be really good friends.  Just wait until you start crawling and can chase each other around!

:: Second animal-friend runner up would be, without a doubt, Sophie.
You two have some special bond going on.  Either that or you just love giraffe meat.

:: You are such a well-behaved baby when we're out and about (*knock on Internet wood*).  Everyone says so.  I took you to Krissie's bridal shower last week and for three and a half hours you just sat in front of me and played with your toys.  I even took you to a business meeting at the ranch and they couldn't believe how good you were for almost four hours.  You either sat in my lap and chewed on Sophie, nursed/slept, or played on your picnic blanket with your toys.  I love taking you everywhere with me.  You're just my little sidekick.

:: I think I'm going to have to get a LifeCase for my phone because you want to play with it all the time, even if it's at the other end of the couch.  The case I have on it now isn't waterproof and guess what - you're a drool machine and everything goes in your mouth.  So, we'll have to add that to the list!  ;o)  What's even cuter is that you love talking on the phone.  Whenever Grandmama and Papa Boo-Boop call to talk to you, you just light up!  It's so awesome - you recognize their voices and even laugh!

:: Okay, so Papa just can't get enough of your Grandpapa.  Now, you love your Grandmama too and the two of you could just talk to each other all day long.  But Papa Boo-Boop cracks you up.  Up until recently, he was Grandpapa, but whenever he sees you the first thing he says is, "Boo-Boop!" and you just eat it up!  It's hilarious!  So, after staying with them for a week last month and after several hours of "boo-boops" we decided that he needed a name change. :o)

:: Speaking of that visit, that's where we learned just how much of a cartoon lover you are already.  This is your go-to pose when the TV turns on.

::  You have such an easy smile.  All we have to do is look at you and you just light up.  Whenever strangers say hello to you, you give them that big, toothless grin and you can just tell that it makes their day.  It's not just your smile though; you have this joyful glow to you.  You are just so happy and so sweet.  I pray that you never lose that.

I think it goes without saying that you are just the light of our lives.  You bring so much joy to us everyday.  I love spending every moment with you and watching you grow into the most beautiful, kind little girl.  Your daddy always says that no matter what kind of a day he has had at work, when he comes home it all goes away because of that huge smile you give him.

We love you so much, baby girl!
I can't wait for all of the adventures to come!

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