Thursday, January 31, 2013

True Southerner

You can now officially call me a Southerner.  Yup, bless my heart and butter my butt and call me a biscuit!  I fit right in now.  What, might you ask, makes me a full-fledged Southerner today?

I canceled an event due to rain.

Yup, there I said it.  And I did it.  And moments after, I felt like such a fool.  To be fair, I was fear-factored into it by the institutions of the south.  The schools, the church, they were all calling off events.  And so I did too.  And when it occurred to me to run to the store to grab printer ink so I could at least work if I wasn't hosting a meeting, I realized what a fool I was to cancel at all. 

Alas, I enjoyed a quiet evening at home with these people:
We made delicious Portabella Wraps and Butternut Squash Fries and Eleanor took her first shower (with momma) before going to bed at 7pm!  Yes, our little angel hit the sack at 7!

How did you fare through the big-bad storm?  I shouldn't joke, we did have massive flooding and power outages all around us in the mountains and in South Charlotte.  We are just lucky it didn't hit us as bad as it could have I suppose. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bath Time

This little girl loves the water! I snapped some photos of bath time the other evening and just had to share!
You look at that face and you wonder, could there really be anything better in life?  So much joy in one tiny little bundle!
That smile just kills me.  It just sends my heart to heaven.  I can't get enough of her and that precious grin.

Ok, now I'm just schmoozing on.  I really just wanted to share with you her love for baths.  From the first moment we set her down in water she was eager.  Even before she knew how to make herself smile, you could tell that she loved the water.  On occasion I will take a bath with her so she can get all in the water and float on her back.  She absolutely loves it.  (But she pees in the water, so we don't do that often!)  She also screams when we take her out of her tub.  Therefore baths tend to last at least 30 minutes.  I'm sure it has more to do with being cold than being removed from her precious water.  

I am anxious to get her in a pool.  I believe she will be a little swimmer.  I really want to take her while she is still so eager for the water and hopefully dodge ever having a fear for it.  I am nervous to take her into all those chemicals however.  A public pool uses so much chlorine that I am afraid it won't be good for her little body.  I did a bit of research and found that it is recommended to wait until 2 years of age!  Two years of age?!  I know this summer we will be able to get her in our friend's saline pool, but I hate to wait that long.  Until then I guess it is baths and more baths! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My little chunk-chunk

Today my little girl turns Twelve Weeks Old!  I might have said it at every age, but right now I think this is my favorite age yet.  She is so responsive and happy.  When we make silly faces or voices she smiles and gives us her laugh face (no laughs yet). 
She has the sweetest smile.  There is nothing I love more than seeing her eyes light up and the corners of her mouth turn up.  And then that little dimple shows itself and my heart just melts!
She is getting so big.  I mean huge, really.  I met another mom with a 12-week old yesterday and her daughter had to be half Eleanor's size!  I mean my girl is just a little chunk.  I often wonder if perhaps I'm feeding her too much.  But alas, Eleanor knows better than me.  I am happy to continue to feed her as often as she wants.  I love that big round belly and those rolly legs!
We have really found a rhythm that works for us.  We're not quite on a schedule, but maybe a routine would be a better way of describing it.  Typically she eats, plays, then sleeps.  We tend to be on a two to three hour cycle.  We just follow her lead and it really does work for us.  She's happy.  We're happy!
Well...usually happy!
I don't want to give too much away, since next week Eleanor will be three months old and another photo shoot and recap post will happen.  So we will stop here with the details, but continue with cuteness:
I love how Eleanor played with her dress.  From the moment we put it on her, she just kept swinging it around in her hand.  She is such a big girl!
Such sweetness!  Happy twelve weeks of existence baby girl!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Aah, another glorious weekend has passed.  I'm sad to see it go, but am oh-so ready for a new week.  On Mondays I always look back at the weekend and share in all the fun we had, but this week I also want to look ahead and share with you what I am looking forward to this week:

1. Girls night with my bestie Jill
Ok, so I'm a sucker for bad reality TV, but what I really love is knowing that I have plans with Jill each and every week.  Plans that usually include wine and ice cream.  What's not to love?

2.  1-2-3 Play with Me at the library

I was so excited to find a play group that is age appropriate for Eleanor.  There just isn't much a two month old can do.  It starts today and I am hoping to meet other moms with babies the same age and find out some new ways to play with Eleanor.

3.  The Truth Project
I started this study last week at Morning Grace.  For one, I am so happy to be attending Morning Grace again.  They provide free (and wonderful) childcare so mommas (and non-mommas) can attend bible studies.  It starts with worship and then breaks out into small groups.  They host many different studies and I chose the Truth Project this semester.  It is a Biblical worldview class.  I have been wanting to study the Word in this way for a very long time.  The first session was invigorating and I cannot wait to attend again this week. 

And three things I really enjoyed about this past weekend:

1.  Snow day
We received a little snow and ice on Friday morning, causing schools to close early.  For real, the ice is nothing to play with in the South.  So Alex was home by 10am and our little family of four snuggled in for a cold day.  We had the fireplace going, hot drinks and lots of TV watching.

2.  Church on Sunday
As per usual, Eleanor did fantastic, sleeping all the way through the service.  This week, our pastor Doug returned from Jerusalem and shared his photos and story.  Now I want to go to Jerusalem!

3.  Walk with the family
I know, it's the small things.  But this Sunday we took another family stroll in the park.  Having a kid and a dog make me feel so wholesome.  Life is just really really great at the moment.

How was your weekend?  And what are you looking forward to this week?  I find that if I make special plans throughout the week, it makes Monday that much more fun.  Rather than dread the week ahead, I look forward to it.  So girl's nights, bible studies, and gym dates all make the Monday-Thursday pass that much quicker so I can get to Friday with my little family again!

Friday, January 25, 2013

All I want for my birthday is...

Is it too early to start my birthday wishlist? 

Today I mentioned to Alex that all I want for my birthday is new drip pans for my stove top burners. (It would also suffice as a very romantic Valentine's Day gift)

I absolutely hate to clean the stinking things, but I also hate when they begin to look like this.  So we just buy new ones.

Also on the list...a new car.

My frustration has been mounting with this whole one-car family situation.  I typically pick up Alex from work each day, and while I'm usually happy to do it, it takes me three times as long to load up the crew as it does to drive there and back.  I'm simply tired of the hassle.
And if that weren't enough, the heat does not work at all lately.  Above is my view on the drive home from a meeting this morning.  It started to sleet and the windshield wipers were doing nothing to help my visibility.  Luckily it stopped and alas I was able to see better and make it home. 

I have been praying for weeks for either patience or provision.  Either I find peace in our current one-car family situation, or God will provide in some way for us to have another car.  Slowly we are trying to save and put away for a down payment.  Although we are ever so hesitant to take on a loan,  it may be our only option.  A new car is becoming more of a necessity than a want. 

I think that is a pretty easy birthday wish list...don't you?  Just $12 drip pans and a $12,000 car.  Sure, no problem!  Oh, did I mention my birthday is still more than a month away?

Sorry for the Friday self-indulgent post.  Here's some cuteness to liven up your weekend:
Eleanor, sitting up strong and tall, checking the mail with daddy.
So cute!  And if you are wondering about that pup, here she is.
I think she's settling in quite well.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Plate Share

A sweet blogger friend of mine (and Bachelor celebrity) has the most brilliant idea!  So I just had to share it with all of you:

In Katie's words:

I have this idea that keeps me up at night and leads me to the library on a never-ending quest to learn more but somehow understand less. I have this idea that breaks my heart and gives me hope and sparks my soul on fire all at the same time. I have this idea that if we all give a little, it adds up to a lot. I have this idea that there is enough food on this planet to feed everyone, that our collective good is greater than the sum of our parts, that small actions make big change, and that we, humankind, will not go on believing that hunger is a problem without a solution.

So introducing Plate Share a "a social food photo-sharing smart phone application that empowers each and every one of us to make charitable giving second nature."

It's easy, the idea is every time you dine out or buy groceries you could use an app on your phone to round your bill up to the nearest dollar with your extra change and donating the money to feed the hungry through Feeding America?  Give change, make change. And then every time you do this you also snap a picture of your plate and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram (#plateshare) and encourage them to do the same (because for real, don't we already love to post our food photos anyway?)   It may not seem like much, but what if you did it every time.  And I did it every time.  And then all of my friends did it every time.  And all of your friends did it every time.  And then my friends' friends.  And your friends' friends.  You see, it can all add up very quickly.

So Plate Share is a super awesome idea.  But it isn't quite off the ground yet.  Katie needs our help to get it started.  This weekend at Startup Weekend Charlotte Katie will present her idea to a team of developers, designers, and donors with the hope that they will also recognize this as an ingenious idea.  How can we help?

  • Follow @plateshare on Twitter
  • When you dine out, take a picture of your plate and tweet: “Hey @startupwkndCLT, this plate could help #endhunger. Support @sweettaterblog & the @plateshare project so I can donate $0.xx!” [Fill in the x's with the amount of change it would take to round your bill to the nearest dollar.]
  • When you buy groceries, take a picture of your receipt and tweet: “Hey @startupwkndCLT, my groceries could help #endhunger. Support @sweettaterblog & the @plateshare project so I can donate $0.xx!” [Fill in the x's with the amount of change it would take to round your bill to the nearest dollar.]
  • Tweet: “I believe in the @plateshare project. Support @sweettaterblog at @startupwkndCLT to help #endhunger”
  • Tweet: “Give change, make change. Support @sweettaterblog and the @plateshare project at @startupwkndCLT to help #endhunger”
  • When you dine out, take a picture of your plate and add the caption: “Hey #startupwkndCLT, this plate could help #endhunger. Support @sweettaterblog & the @plateshare project so I can donate $0.xx! #plateshare” [Fill in the x's with the amount of change it would take to round your bill to the nearest dollar.]
  • Link to Katie’s post from your blog and encourage others to do the same
  • Tweet the living hell out of all of this!
  • Post this to your blog’s Facebook page
  • Follow @plateshare on Twitter
Let's help out Katie, and in turn help so many others too.  What a fabulous idea, I am happy to support!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Maybe I am just not the same anymore.  Maybe I am different now.  What used to be true for me just isn't anymore. What I used to enjoy, I no longer find joy in.  Starting from the top:


Oh I used to take such pride in the fact that I was vegan.  So much so that I pigeonholed my life story blog into one narrow and specific category.  Now I want out.  But I don't want to lose my space.  I am no longer vegan.  I try, and it doesn't work.  I restrict, and I cheat.  I don't like the discipline of eating vegan anymore.  I want to eat eggs.  I want to eat Greek yogurt.  And I want to do these things without feeling like a complete hypocrite.  I am sorry if you found this blog looking for vegan inspiration.  You may find some vegan recipes you like, but inspiration won't be found here.


New Year's Resolution: read the bible everyday, completing the bible in one short year.  January 23rd and I am on day 18 in my bible.  Whoops.  My daily quiet time is slipping away.  It's not that I don't want to do it.  It's that I can't find a time that works for me.  What's that you say?  Don't find the time but MAKE THE TIME.  Hear, hear.  That is my goal today.  Catch up on my reading and then plan a time each day that works best for me.  Mornings are my favorite for study.  However, I always wake up with an intense need to clean up the house: make the bed, start laundry, put things away, get ready for the long day ahead.  I realize that spending time with God will be more fulfilling than a made bed any day, I just need to make it a priority.


I don't want to run.  It is cold.  And I don't like to workout by myself.  I keep trying to put races on my calendar and plan trainings schedules that will have me busting out half marathons in 8 weeks, but I just don't want to do it.  What I want to do is meet my friend Jenna at the Y and torture myself with Holly's classes.  Now that sounds more fun to me.  And I shouldn't have to feel guilty about it.

So I'm failing in all the areas I used to succeed in.  But failing is the wrong word, because my new life is pretty awesome too.  So what I'm not vegan.  I eat balanced and healthy meals (except that pie I had for breakfast-dessert the other day!)  So what I am not running marathons anymore.  I still enjoy a good sweat with a good friend.  And so what I don't have my morning ritual of studying the bible, I can study it in the evening when the baby is asleep and there is peace in the house.  I just need to make sure I'm still doing it daily. 

But here's where I feel like an amazing success lately: I am an awesome mom with an amazing amount of patience.  Seriously, where did that come from?  I have never had patience before.  I even have patience for this crazy pup who is currently chewing on my shoe laces (yes Alex I am correcting her). 

I also feel like I am really rocking this Work-At-Home-Mom thing.  Girls on the Run registration starts today and I actually feel on top of it.  More so than many previous seasons.  While each day may not be perfect and smooth, when I look at the big picture I realize I get more done than I think I do.  I am able to accomplish pretty much the same amount of work as I did before. 

And maybe Alex could argue this, but I think I'm doing ok in the wife category too.  Some evenings I stop and think, my goodness I haven't even really acknowledged him.  I may be talking at him or to him, but probably not with him (get the distinction).  So I know I have lots of room for improvement.  To try to not to be too distracted and instead show him the love and attention he deserves.  But overall, we are a great team.  And we are working together really well. 

And that's life.  Full of changes.  Full of ups and downs.  It's just hard to accept sometimes that I am different.  I am still me, but I am different.  Looking at the positive helps, and acknowledging that the negatives are not the-end-of-the-world helps. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weekend Part 2

The weekend fun didn't stop on Saturday.  We had a Sunday breakfast with Schumacher's (Uncle Johnny and Nene) before Eleanor's grandpa came to pick us up.
This is Dave's first grandbaby, and Eleanor's first time meeting him.  I promise she was more thrilled than the photo lets on!
On the way to Belvidere we stopped to do some grocery shopping, and then Dave and Lisa surprised Eleanor with a trip to Babies R Us to stock up on spring wardrobe must haves!  (Thanks Dave and Lisa!)

Next stop was a nice and relaxing Saturday at the house where Eleanor got to meet her Great Grandma Margaret (her namesake).
This is also Margaret's first Great-grandbaby and the meeting was so sweet and touching.
Grandma fussed over Eleanor the entire visit and just couldn't get enough of her. 

After dinner Julia arrived and got to meet her very first niece!
We stayed tucked inside all day Sunday and Monday.  The weather dropped to below zero and there was absolutely no reason we could think of that would force us out into the cold.  On Monday we grabbed the family for some quick photos before heading to the airport.
The Kummerow's-Four Generations

Grandpa, Dad and Baby
The girls
Family Portrait
You can tell by looking at these photos that Eleanor was in a great mood.  By Friday of our trip she was feeling 85% better and smiling and cooing at all her new family members.  Alex and I are sure that we made the right decision to travel despite her illness.
It was so worth it for her to meet all of her family.  Could you imagine denying her Great-grandma this opportunity?
Our flight home was rather uneventful.  She was actually awake for most of it and smiled at stewardess and other passengers.  She only fussed a little and we were able to quickly calm her.  Then she slept during the landing.  The flight was easy, but the drive to the house was nuts.  She stored up all her energy and cried the whole way in the car.  Alas we arrived home and she settled down quickly.  And last night we had the best night of sleep we have had in a while.  I love that Eleanor is so adaptable and easy-going.  I hope this keeps up as she gets older and traveling gets even more difficult!

We are so sad to leave family, but so happy to be home.  Back to the grind.  Girls on the Run registration starts tomorrow and we have a lot to do!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Travels

Prepare for a photo bomb of a post!  We had such a fun weekend with family and of course we had to capture each moment.  Check out all the fun:
If you recall, we started our trip with a very sick baby.  A sick baby means a sleepy baby, which made for a very easy plane ride.
She was such a pleasant traveler and slept the whole flight.  We made it to Chicago and hopped in the car to head to our first stop.  Eleanor got to meet her Uncle Johnny and Karina, or Nene as Eleanor will learn to call her.  (I believe Nene means "sister" in Portuguese, correct me if I'm wrong.)
The running joke is that all babies are afraid of John, but our little Eleanor smiled and cooed at him the entire time.  We had such a special time.  On Thursday, Alex's sister Chrissy (otherwise known as Auntie came over for some snuggles and play time as well.
Karina's friend from church was kind to let us borrow some baby items, a Pack N Play and playmat.  
Eleanor loved playing on the floor with her aunts and toys!
Thursday went by way too fast.  Soon it was Friday already and we were ready to get out of the house for a bit and take in some fresh Chicago air.
In case you weren't aware, it is cold up north! We bundled Eleanor up in her bear suit.  She was almost too cute to look at.
Alex, Eleanor and I walked around Geneva, a cute little touristy town.  We soaked up a little sunshine, got a little exercise and did a little shopping.  We found an adorable consignment shop and bought Eleanor a set of wooden blocks for just $4!  

Saturday we had fun plans with Chrissy and Karina and their families.  Eleanor's cousins (our niece and nephew) are about to turn 17 so we celebrated with a birthday party complete with a chocolate cake from Portillos.
So yummy!
Cousins having fun with baby Eleanor.  (Emily couldn't be there, so we brought her in via iPhone!)
After twelve or so years, there is finally another cousin, and the CuzFuzz couldn't be more thrilled!
Eleanor took to Jessi right away.  I think it was the blonde hair, but she was just all smiles!
Luke and Eleanor (above)

Beautiful family:
Saturday wrapped up in a very wholesome way, with church and then a round of cards.  We learned a new game called Three Thirteen.
Last was an episode of Downton Abbey (season 1) and a snooze on the couch for some!
By Saturday we were already exhausted!  Although our weekend was full of relaxing days around the house, we had too many late nights and too many early mornings.  We had to squeeze in all the family time we could get.  I'll be back soon to recap our Sunday and Monday!