Love it.

I felt inspired this morning when I read this.


Roll Out.

So, I finally created my blogroll. It is a work in progress, since I am using Paul's laptop currently in Dallas, and my desktop is the computer with my bookmarks saved. So, if you aren't on there, and you want to be, tell me. Chances are, when I get the chance, in say, three months, I would have added you anyway. It's been a while since I've done my regular blog cruising, so things are getting hazy. We're still friends, right?

If you are on there, and you don't want to be. Tell me. Then maybe we'll actually email back and forth a few times, and I can hear about stuff that you don't post on your blog. Or maybe we're not as close as I thought. And that's cool too.

Um, I also added several blogs that I read on occasion, that may or may not have unorthodox content. Seriously, it's like opening up my innermost thoughts and dreams for public consumption. But the lure of the ease of having them all in one, easily accessible place was too great. So, don't think I'm weird if you check out any of those links. I'm currently obsessed with homeschooling. If I had done this six months ago, you would have seen a bunch of vegan blogs. I'm a phaser. Who knows what I'll discover next. (Although, I'm considering hula-hooping.) (But the hardcore people out there just call it hooping.) (In case you were wondering.)

Oh, and I'm not vegan. And I never plan to be. But I am still drifting closer and closer toward what I would probably define as 'weird'. And that kind of scares me. In a good way.

I think.

Who the heck is "Honey"?

My sister Laurel decided early on in Ella's life that Aunt Laurel is too hard for a baby to say. (This was back when Ella was a baby.) So she became Aunt La-La. I am not sure if Ella loves Aunt La-La because Laurel fawns all over her. Or because she can say her name. Maybe she would talk about everyone else if she only could. Or maybe she does talk about everyone in the family, and I simply don't understand. Whatever the reason, Ella spends a fair amount of time talking about Aunt La-La. Don't ask me what she says. All I understand is "La-La". (If you can imagine.)

After our most recent family gathering, Ella began talking about "Honey" in the back seat. "Do you want to eat honey?" I asked. No. "Honey, your baby doll?" (I named her baby doll Honey, mostly because it's a word she can already say.) No. Then she brought things into context by mentioning La-La. "Oh! Uncle Hunter!?!" "YEAH!" was her enthusiastic reply. Um, basically, could there be any cuter couple than Uncle Honey and Aunt La-La? I mean, linguistically cuter. I think not.

We have been trying to get Ella to call Hunter "Uncle Huh-Huh". But mostly because it annoys him. I think I like Honey better.


Turning the camera around.


I made Ella a book for her first birthday entitled "When Ella was a Baby" with pictures of her and the family and other various milestones. She loves to read it. But she calls it her "Dadd'n Book". (She calls Paul Dadd'n, with the occasional 'Dad', or more recently, 'Paul', thrown in.) The reason she calls it her Dadd'n book is because the only pictures of me in there are the ones of me pregnant with her. I may as well be an invisible influence in her life, according to our camera. Since I'm (marginally) more obsessed with Ella than Paul, I am usually the one taking the pictures. So I opted for a self-portrait of Charlotte and I when we visited the waterpark last week. Charlotte has not gotten the hang of looking at or smiling for the camera. The least she could do is look a little sassy. I think vague is a nice word to describe this look.

The upside of the waterpark is that we had a blast. There were three pools, two of them had a maximum depth of 24" or something, so Ella got to explore her little guts out. There were a couple of little slides, too. The third pool had "grown-up" slides, so Paul and I got a few thrills thrown in the mix. It was a fun day. The downside of our day being that this was the only cute shot of the day. And I'm the only one who looks cute in it. Oh well, the memories can live on in our hearts, if not our hard drive.

Oh yeah. And we have the internet. And Paul took Charlotte to the store while I was putting Ella to bed. And it doesn't take that long. (Although she is not asleep, strictly speaking. She is yelling things from her 'room' (closet) such as "Mom? Park? Yeah?" "Mom, tee-tee?") So here I am. If anyone has the perserverence to keep checking my blog, that is.
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This summer has been...

an interesting lesson in minimalism. We rented a one bedroom apartment for the summer for Paul's internship:
mostly because I didn't want to move our stuff and then move it back. Financially expensive, emotionally sound. So we loaded everything we could into our little Mazda (ourselves included) and basically started from scratch.
Clark and Linds came into town the same weekend we moved in and so we all "camped out" in our apartment the first few days. Clark and Paul braved a Mexican Flea Market to procure what little furniture we now live on. A king mattress and a futon. Paul and I later craigslisted (isn't that funny how that's becoming a verb, kind of like "google") a table, and so in the way of furniture, that's all we got. Oh, and a mattress for Ella... in our walk-in closet. Don't tell CPS. Sometimes we close her in the closet if she won't go to sleep. And we feel like real jerks for locking our daughter in a closet. But we do it in love, and she does
n't seem to mind too much. Usually, she just ends up singing Old McDonald quietly to herself, and bonding with her stuffed penguin... and then falling alseep.
Paul rides the train to work every morning. If the girls are up, we all walk down to the station together and kiss him goodbye. Last week I rode the train downtown for an outdoor concert, which was fun. The ticket-checker looked at me like I was getting a really good deal for my four dollars, with the three (me and the two girls) of us all riding on one pass. You don't have to pay until your kids are five.

This weekend has been our first weekend not going back to College Station. Whew! So nice. Paul and I went estate sale shopping this morning, mostly just because we like looking at other people's stuff. Seriously. So interesting. We did buy sheets for our king bed for $1. Which just happened to be all the cash we had. :)

Life is simple, but good. I am loving not having very much stuff. All of our dishes were dirty the other day, and we just barely had a full dishwasher load. Ella has maybe five toys, and a few books and she stays plenty busy in her play. We do have a little yard where she takes a few tupperware bowls and plastic cups and pours water, and plays with the rocks and sticks out there. I am loving that. I just read a book called Simplicity Parenting, so now I don't even have to feel guilty that she doesn't have (m)any toys. It was a great book. Although he doesn't advocate the level of minimalism we are living... but I do. I am getting rid of the rest of my toys when we go back to A&M. She is a great helper and loves to help me clean and cook, which is also good for her development. Andhopefully having less to play with will allow her to be more creative (forcing her to create her own play, rather than following the script of whatever toy strikes her fancy). I can't wait until she can talk, so I know everything going on in that sweet little head. (Although that is a whole nother post.) (There's another made up word that we use all the time.)

We don't have internet either, if you haven't guessed. So we utilize the services of Starbucks and the Public Library. Good times. We are getting internet, though. We've put if off, trying to decide if we really need it. "Need it". Of course we don't need it. You know. But we do "need" it. I like being more connected than I am. And I'm getting used to not having it, so hopefully I'll waste less time on the internet once we're connected again. Hopefully.


At a summer concert sponsored by at&t. It was a nice venue, out on the patio of the at&t Performing Arts Center.