Thursday, December 30, 2010


I meant to post this, & our Christmas adventures awhile ago but my ENTIRE family has been sick since the eve of. We are finally starting to get ourselves shaken off, & ready for the end of the year festivities.

New house. New baby sister. New fireplace. New stockings. New everything.

This year was the first of many Christmas' to come. It was the first time our new home got to feel the love our family radiates. A house, that sat empty & cold for nearly a year was graced with it's own Christmas present - a family. A family with a past that has taught them that every second counts, every moment is to be cherished, nothing is to be taken for granted. I honestly believe if these walls could talk they'd thank us over & over again for choosing them, but it's a mutual thing. We are as grateful for this house, as it maybe to have a family that loves every creak & crack.

I can speak for my entire family - we LOVE this house. After two months it has already won our hearts over. Even though we are starting new Christmas traditions, there is no way I will ever forget the happiness that we've felt in the past. The memories will stick in my mind forever, but for my sons sake, I needed visual reminders. So, we covered our mantel full of the greatest winter memories that we've created together as a family. Each year, more pictures will be added to the wall - some put into a folder til next year for their chance to shine through the holiday season.

I also wanted to point out Baby sister's stocking. I searched all over for a cute girly stocking like her brother's. I'll be honest with you - after four websites, I was done. After searching TJ Maxx in two cities, I was done. It was WAY too time-consuming so I decided to put my non-existent sewing skills to work to create a stocking for her... Ruffles & Rosettes. You can't go wrong with that combination, right?

I hope this year, everyone made memories worthy of wallpapering the walls with. I know we did.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS {all those sweet things}

Traditions mean everything to me. The things I look back on in my childhood are the same things I want to introduce year after year into my children's lives. It doesn't matter how little or big these traditions are. It doesn't matter how silly or practical they are. No matter what, I want to give them everything I was given as a child, & more.

I can't remember a Christmas where my mother didn't bring out the cookie dough & all those fun cookie cutters (I swear, we had everything from Rudolph to the little elves in Santa's workshop) No matter how busy things got around the holidays, she always made sure we got covered head-to-toe in flour & were able to create a sugary treat of our own. My absolute favorite part was the actually cutting out of the cookies - choosing which cutter to use, & how many of that cookie I wanted to make. I wasn't actually a fan of the decorating (I will stress to you, after ALL these years, I'm STILL not a fan of icing & sprinkling those things!)

This year was the first year I tried to introduce my son into this tradition. As I rolled out the dough I thought to myself, "these cookies are going to look like blobs! but man, I can't wait to show everyone his masterpieces!" When everything was ready for the cutting I brought Daycen over to the table & started to show him what to do... to my surprise, he looked at me like I had lost my mind, turned & resumed playing with his cars on the floor. I'll be completely honest with you, I was SHOCKED! The kid who loves to mix the cupcake batter & watch me pour it into the little tins wanted nothing to do with the cookie making process. Hm, My little baker turned out to not be such a big baker after all.

It doesn't bother me though. I continued cutting out the cookies with my mother, all the while explaining my every choice in cookie cutter to my daughter who sat in her bouncer on the kitchen floor. She seemed rather interested. Than again, she's only a few weeks old, so pretty much everything is interesting. So, this is a tradition that I don't yet share with my children, but I know as they grow older they'll become much more interested in the process. Perhabs because it's something they'll do with their mother that they'll cherish their whole lives, or maybe it'll be for the sugary outcome. Either way, I look forward to spending each Christmas making cookies with them.

I may however, might not enjoy the sugar high they receive from eating those cookies.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS {the christmas tree}

For the past five years our Christmas tree has been elegantly filled with glass ornaments ranging in a bronze, gold, & champagne color palette. We've added peach colored hollies & owls over the years. This year, however, our son turned two. With this new age, we feared the sound of shattered glass would be an every day occurrence if we didn't invest in some kid-friendly ornaments.

When I was a child, we had a tree filled with different characters (we are talking M&Ms, Turtles, Smurfs, you name it - we had it!) & handmade ornaments that my brother & I had crafted in school. As much as I would have loved to give my children a tree like this, it is unrealistic. My childhood ornaments are safely packed away under the stairs at my parents house, surrounded by boxes of other random goodies - in other words, it would take me at least six months to find them! These types of ornaments range from $5-$20 something a piece, so purchasing enough to fill the tree would max out anyone's credit card. (and probably a divorce for spending $500 on ornaments!)So, this year, there isn't any fancy star wars ornaments, nor any my little pony ones. However, we upped our color palette to brights & made sure they were all shatter-proof. We've decided to buy some fun ornaments at the after Christmas sales so that by Kindergarten our tree is as festive as the rest.

I wasn't quite sure if our $15 pack of shatter-proof balls from Target were going to be a hit, but Daycen sure seemed to not mind that we skimped on the ornaments. It was all Oohs & Ahhs. Even though he didn't quite understand the concept of hanging the ornaments on the tree, he sure didn't mind unpacking them & handing them to me as I put them on the branches. So, this year, our tree also looked very clean & put together. I'd have to say, I'm very impressed with what you can do with very little money.

And what's Christmas Tree decorating without a little fooling around?!

We hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit. Only 5 days left to go.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

INTRODUCTING ARIPSEMAE ANN {my daughter is here}

While you were celebrating Thanksgiving with your family, we were also enjoying ours with the newest addition to our family. The evening before, at 11:11pm to be exact, baby sister entered the world. Her arrival weight was eight pounds, eleven ounces & she was twenty-one inches long. I'll be completely honest with you, the hospital experience this time around was a lot more enjoyable than it was when Daycen was born. I had ZERO issues with the epidural. I had ZERO issues with the delivery. My daughter had ZERO issues in general. We are sincerely blessed that things went so well.

Over the past few weeks we've heard a lot of feedback about our daughters name; most of which has been positive. Even though we kept the name a secret til her birth, she was named the moment we found out we had a princess on the way. Aripsemae, Ah-rips-ah-may, was formed from the name Hripsime which was one of the first Armenian Church Saints. We felt that the H was too harsh, so we chose to softened it up with an A. Her middle name is the same as my mother's middle name, Ann. Her grandmother, a strong woman who helped bring her into this world. I hope someday I can raise her to be an amazing woman as my mother had raised me.

Now, that everything has settled; our new house is purchased & baby sister has arrived this blog will be updated regularly again. So, I hope you all stick around to be apart of our lives. To help convince you to stay, here is a couple more pictures from the hospital...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ON THE FARM {lindsey's birthday}

With all the rain that we are getting today, I look back on this weekend & smile. Sunday was an absolutely beautiful day. We spent the early part of the morning avoiding the crowds for art in the park since with a two year old, we figured our best bet was to stay away from expensive artwork. Unless of course, you'd like to go with us next year and pay for that broken canvas that costs $360 because I'd sure LOVE to go. Anyways, this post isn't about missing out on gazing at masterpieces, it's about our first trip to the farm.

We headed out to the M farm for my brother's girlfriend's birthday gathering. This was the first time Daycen has met Lindsey's family, as well as stepped foot on an actual farm. Despite all of our fears, he was on his best behavior - infact, he turned into this perfect angel. I'm still trying to figure out the switch that turns on the sweet two-year-old because some days, I get sick of the wild, squealing, I have WAY too much energy one that is normally clung to my leg.

My husband was thrilled over the meal that was served; fresh roasted ham. Nothing like treating him to Christmas/Easter dinner early. I really should thank Lindsey's mother for the wonderful meal - I won't have to whip anything fancy up for quite awhile since it's now out of his system with the 13 pieces he gobbled down. Daycen on the other hand is still demanding fancy feasts from me; good thing his only consists of hot dogs mixed with macaroni & cheese.

After dinner, they brought out the baby kittens. The second they were on the floor, Daycen started to strangle them in attempt to pick them up. Thank goodness it didn't take him long to realize they were alive! It would have been just our luck to never be invited to another function because our son killed the kittens.

Once the babies were packed up, we allowed Daycen to enjoy the fresh air outside. Fortunately for us, there was another cat outside that he took fancy too. He spent the whole time chasing the poor thing around the yard. They seemed to be best friends, even when the cat rubbed itself up against him. A little fur in the face never hurt anyone, right?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


One of our favorite meals to have early fall is homemade tacos. There is just something about eating autumn colors; the vibrant red, the striking orange, & the deep brown that make this meal seem like a delicacy.

Depending how much time is available, we jump between making our own taco seasoning & purchasing an already made packet. For those of you out there who have that extra time, & wanted to try a taco seasoning, give this one a shot:


1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. We normally use three tbsp per pound of ground beef used.

This is the first fall that Daycen has been able to participate in our of our taco nights; which to my surprise he was THRILLED! Our normally picky eater went crazy for these. He had his rolled up in soft tortilla shells.

I'm excited to see fall coming around the corner. The leaves outside our windows have started to turn a yellowish hue & the temperature has been dropping rapidly. We've been able to pull our sweaters, scarves, & boots (well, the one pair I have left) out of the closet. Harvest festivals are right around the corner, as well as baby sister. I have a feeling this is going to be the best fall season we've encountered yet. Not to mention, my husband has already learned to deliver the correct autumn treat.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We don't live in a really LARGE city, but I wouldn't say we lived in a tiny one either. The best thing about living in a town our size is they do all those little festivals that smaller towns do, but we have most of the amenities of the big city life. It has also been brought to our attention that the smaller the city, the less BOOM they can produce for their festivals. I guess the community funds just are not there.

On Labor Day, we headed to a small town twenty minutes west of ours for their Fun Days celebration. Which basically is a tiny carnival. This was our first out of town festival, & boy, were we taken back by how downsized it was from our normal activities.

For those of you who have awesome small town festivals, congrats. You should send a how-to list to this town.

On the left, is our pick-a-duck carnival game. The right, shows you theirs.

The left is our delicious cheese curds with hand-dipped batter, the right - theirs.

Not to mention, 85% of our festivals have animals.

We made the best of the evening despite it wasn't exactly what we expected. Infact, their snow cone was EXTREMELY disappointing. I wish I hadn't wasted the $3 on it because it had barely any flavor. If I wanted ice, I would have opened our freezer when I got home. So, Our lesson for this past weekend, before you take a road trip to another town - research it. Otherwise, you'll be craving a good snow cone til your town throws their carnival next year.

Friday, September 3, 2010


Most mornings I try to get up earlier than Daycen, mainly to have sometime to myself & have breakfast rolling before his little stomach starts a-growlin'. I'm not sure if it is just me or not, but it seems the only time that he wants to be an early bird is those mornings I want to get a little extra shut eye. One of those mornings happened to be today.

I awoke to him howling in his bedroom, yes, literally howling.

I turned the coffee on, welcomed Daycen into the kitchen & began to scramble some eggs for breakfast. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched my two-year-old stomp his feet & pout. I've always thought I was pretty quick when it came to making a fast breakfast, but I assure you, Daycen wasn't satisfied with my speed. Yet, he refused to go watch some programs in the living - so, I was stuck with his whining.

Half way through heating the eggs on the skillet, Daycen found a way to entertain himself & his whimpering turned into shrieking laughter.

We like to call this curtain peek-a-boo. It only requires two things; a brightly colored curtain & a semi-tired, hungry two-year-old. What a perfect start to our Labor Day weekend. Hopefully yours started off just as wonderful, & continues that way through Monday.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Sometime near the end of November my darling girl will be arriving in our lives. To be honest, I've never really been one of those patient types - I want to have her here now. That obviously isn't possible, nor would it be something I'd want my little girl to go through. So until she is ready, I have set up a series of 3D/4D ultrasound appointments to help pass the time.

We've been going to Baby's Debut. (which has some amazing deals going on through the end of September) I feel that they are very in touch with all their customers, not just pushing you in & out. If your baby is having a bad day; they'll bring you back a few hours later or at a later date so that you get the best pictures for the money you pay. Is it worth it? YES. I highly recommend their services.

So, without further delay - here is Baby Sister!

Even though she didn't cooperate at first, she produced beautiful pictures. The girl is going to be good-looking like her older brother - and much like her brother, it seems like she'll be born with a full head of hair since at 27 weeks she already has some sprouting.

Now, for those of you mother's who are planning ultrasounds in the future. Here is a tip we've learned ...

Pump yourself full of Orange juice because to the baby it is like liquid gold, she'll be dancing around within 45 minutes - and be sure to be well fed, just incase that power juice doesn't have the same effect as it did on my little one.

27 weeks. Approximately 13 more to go. Who's with me on this?!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Over the past few months a ton of things have happened to my little family, a lot of things that have taken our world, spun it upside down & turned it inside out in a moments notice. This post will be very personal, but I figured if I didn't get it off my chest than nothing would ever feel right again. Those of you who know me personally already know the hardships we have endured in the past few months, everyone else - we aren't looking for sympathy, just simply coming to realization that this isn't something to keep tucked deep in our pockets. We have a story. One in which we need to share.

On March 20th 2010 at quarter after eleven I received the a phone call simply stating that our darling house on First Avenue was on fire. I didn't make it to the house until 12:30, & what I saw I never wished I'd have to see. My childhood was burning before my eyes, my dreams & hopes for Daycen growing up in the same house I did, everything I'd worked so hard for the past few years - gone.

Since that day, I've avoided this blog like a plague, mainly because of the meaning behind it's name. My home on First Avenue is a memory now, something that is simply beautiful but all the same bitterly painful. The first place I went after I was born was that house. The first place my son went after he was born was that house. When I think of my childhood, my teenage years, my early adulthood - that structure is apart of it. Losing it, felt like losing ME.

First Avenue might be an empty lot now, with a for sale sign in the yard. However, to us, it is a place we will always call home. It isn't the end - it's the beginning of something beautiful. We all survived. We were blessed with the news of baby sister a few days following. The next few years whenever we see pictures, we'll cry. Whenever we think of what used to be, we'll mourn. But we are are still here, so we'll rejoice.

First Avenue is the home in our hearts. A place that will never die. This blog will continue, because despite the flames & the heartache, we are left with the courage to step forward. This is the beginning, not the end.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Possibly the greatest thing about Daycen's surgery was that we got to spend hours upon hours with him. No work to attend. No appointments to be at. Just spending good quality time with the little guy. The first few hours after - into the middle of the next day consisted of lots of cuddles, lots of kisses, as well as grogginess with lots of naps. By Thursday afternoon, we had our normal 19 month old toddler who's got more energy that he even knows what to do with back!

Days like this make me wish that I was lucky enough to be one of those stay at home mothers. I would love to spend quality time with Daycen like this each & every day - instead we just get mornings. Oh how I love mornings now that it's the main portion of the day spent laughing. I also love Gap. I love the impact we make on the world, the idea of not just being a store is an amazing concept.

That's why I do what I love




Tuesday, February 23, 2010


We've had computer issues the past few days, sorry for our absence. Our lovely technician (my amazing brother) had to turn our system upside down to get it working again.

Daycen's minor out patient surgery went differently than expected, but overall it went smoothly. It seems little Daycen didn't have an inguinal hernia like they suspected. It seems there was just a weak muscle that was pushing everything forward to make the swelling. He awoke from general anesthesia pretty IRRATE. He was punching & kicking at everything, & everyone.

I loved how cute his gown was, but I hated the concept of it. I hated seeing him all hooked up to stuff. I seriously hated it. It's over now. I'm grateful for a happy, healthy boy.

Thank you to all our friends and family who prayed for us and checked in on us during our short stay at the hospital. We are so grateful.