Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DownEast Basics Giveaway!

Okay, I love DownEast. I wear one of their classic tees under just about everything. It's so nice to not have to worry about showing skin if I bend over, or stuff hanging out on top when Ada is pulling on my top. I have a couple of their dresses and other tops and love 'em! I drool over their catalog when it shows up.
See their adorable clothes HERE.
Cherry Blossoms the blog is having a giveaway HERE, so go and enter! :)

Spring & Renewal

On Saturday, we needed to get out. It was a beautiful 75-degree-sunny day on the central coast. I called my mom and she said she'd come with us to hike Pt. Sal.
It's amazing what fresh air, sunshine, breathtaking views, and some cardio will do for you.
We cried a little while talking about Sandy and how we miss her.
We also laughed remembering some of the silly things she did.
Looking around at the new purple blooms on the green hills that weren't there on our last hike made me think. Spring is here! Every day is a new one, every season is another time for growth and change. We are blessed with the ability to enjoy the beauty that is around us, and experience such tremendous love & joy. Because of this, we also feel the heartbreak and pain that is inevitable during our time on earth. There is opposition in all things.
After the rain comes the sun.
My baby girl was especially snuggly and smiley on Friday, she knew her momma needed extra cuddles and loves on that sad, sad day. She was my sunshine!
...
Her face gets so smooshed while she sleeps in the backpack.
She doesn't care for a camera in her face when she's just woken up...
My handsome husband overlooking the beach
The two of us laughing...Matt is trying to pin my hair down with his head because the wind was blowing it everywhere :)
What a beautiful area we live in!
I am so grateful for the sunshine, growth, & renewal in my life.
Because I taste the bitter, it means I can also taste the sweet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sandy.

This morning, we had to put Sandra Lucille Johnson-Miller down. She was in our lives for 14 wonderful years (that's 98 doggie years so you don't have to do the math)! She was like Yoda. Old, loving, & wise.
This is Sandy & I the week we brought her home. I house trained her, taught her how to sit, lay, roll over, and shake. She would always try to shake instead of roll over because that was an easier trick :)
She was the dog we got after Jake died, the year my parents divorced. (Affectionately called the Year From Hell). Sandy was nicknamed Big Fluff by the family we got her from, and she was a big old cinnamon roll of happy-go-lucky goodness. We needed her so during those formative years. Sean was 8, Lindsay was 10, and I was 12. We are now 22, 24, and almost 26! Sandy saw us through some tough & and some wonderful times.
In her younger years, she was my running buddy.
She loved having her head out the car window on the way to the beach & loved chasing seagulls! She would jump into the waves and start swimming, determined to catch them.
Sandy was such a lover. Even when other dogs were abrasive and nipping at her, she would keep wagging her tail and want to sniff and be friends.
Memories of Sandyface:
- the time she jumped out of the back of the Ranger
- the first time I took her for a walk and had to lift her to get over the curb because she was so small
- how she used to fit in our hands
- the whole neighborhood out in the street trying to corral her back to our house
- one neighbor calling her a menace and throwing rocks at her
- another walking over with a shovel of her poop and throwing it on our lawn
- the time she hid a half-chewed baguette behind Lindsay's bed & we found it, rock hard, who knows how much later...Sandy was ecstatic we found her long lost treasure!
- how you could tell she'd been burying treasures when the top of her nose was pink from pushing dirt around
- when she was happy how her ears went to the side and she looked like a little cow
- how she used to go from bedroom to bedroom each night to check on us kids & sleep with each of us a little
- how she slept on the couch and used to jump off when someone was coming...then she got so lazy/deaf that she just stayed there
- how much she LOVED bread and butter
- when the birds would come eat her food and she'd want to run outside and chase them
- the times we dressed her up in ridiculous Christmas sweaters, giant pink t-shirts, etc. and she put up with us
- the time Lindsay & Allison dyed her tail purple and it stayed that way for so long!
- how good she was with kids
- walking with her while pregnant & people asking if Sandy was pregnant too!
- how protective she was of Ada
We will miss her so much. It is going to be a hard adjustment to make. Coming home today from running errands was painful. I am so used to that thumping tail and happy face to greet me. While putting away leftovers, I missed her big, begging, brown eyes looking up at me for a scrap. Our house seems too quiet right now, but I know it will get better.
She is in a happy place now, where she doesn't have her bump or arthritis. I know her sister Sasha, our old dog Jake, Matt's old dog Bitsy, Mommy's old dog Beau, and countless other pups were there to greet her. She was such a happy dog until the end, even when she could barely walk.
Thank you, Sandy Lucille, for all of the years of unconditional love.
We will miss you pups!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ada's First Beach Day!

While Auntie Linds was in town, we went to Avila on St. Patrick's Day.
It was GORGEOUS out! The water was Arctic & took my breath away.
It's definitely still winter in the water, even though it didn't feel like it on the beach.
All is right with the world with Lindsay back in California.
I think between the baby, family, weather, & food...we've convinced her to move back!
It was neat because one year ago to the day, I told my mom I was pregnant.
Now look at what we have :)
She is not shy about smiling,
laughing,
singing,
or pouting.
We call her bi-polar baby because sometimes she will be happy as a clam,
then suddenly bust out the lower lip and turn into sad baby.
We kept cool in the shade of the umbrella.
Then Ada relaxed and took a nap.
She didn't get covered in sand (her pacifiers are another story), probably the only time that will ever happen!
We had yummy Crab Louie salads at The Custom House to cap off a perfect day.
I am so excited to carry on beach days with my daughter...my mom has been bringing us to Avila ever since I can remember!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Universal Studios!

To celebrate Sean's golden birthday (22 on the 22nd!), we went to Universal Studios Hollywood! We did the studio tour, Jurassic Park, Mummy, & Simpson's rides. Oh and I also dragged my mom through the haunted house. She kept trying to hide in corners and I literally had to pull her through so more scary people wouldn't get us!
It was Ada's first night in a hotel and she did great. Slept through the night in her pack-n-play and didn't make a peep. Those pack-n-plays are wonderful! We stuck it right in between the two beds and she was a happy camper.
Here she is relaxing in the hotel room :)
It was a beautiful, warm day and we loved the water spritzer things while you stand in line. So refreshing :)
We had Ada in the stroller with the shades over her, she stayed pretty cool. She had so much fun people watching and smiling. The only time she cried was on the studio tour when the earthquake hits because people were screaming. Once that was over she was happy again!
I love the things you learn when bringing a baby somewhere for the first time. Did you know there is such a thing as child swap passes? Here's how it works: someone stays with the baby while everyone else goes on the ride. Once they get off the ride, you switch places and get a pass to the front of the line with one other person! GENIUS & AWESOME.
This worked out well for us...I was able to feed and change Ada then Auntie Linds (who was in town on her spring break) got some quality time in.
Also wonderful: the all-you-can-eat passes! We may or may not have cheated the system a bit, but we ate a ton of good food :) Burgers, pizza, Panda Express, oh my. A nursing momma is a HUNGRY momma!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

This Outfit

I fell in love with this outfit years ago!
My mom and I were shopping for a baby shower gift (I can't remember who it was for) and we found this little tennis skirt and top.
Matt & I were just recently married, and knew we wouldn't have a baby for a couple of years.
I just adored it so much that I couldn't bear to give it to someone else...so my mom kept it for when I had a baby girl.
I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see her in it :)
On another note, have you ever seen a cuter bellybutton?
It's a cinnamon roll!
Or Buzz Lightyear's chin...whichever way you want to go with it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Modern Mom!

This week, my blog was featured on ModernMom!

Here is the synopsis I sent in (thanks to my sister Lindsay for the help editing...it's hard to sum up what you're all about in a short paragraph):

The Life and Times of the Millers

My blog is about love, happiness, and seeing the beauty in everyday life. It's about getting out and doing things, being active, and enjoying the gorgeous earth we live on. Having a baby doesn't mean that life has to stop. As a young new family on a tight budget, we invest in experiences rather than material things. Money isn't everything; family is. You can make do and live a full and happy life with less; we are living proof! As an amateur photographer, I love capturing my family through our experiences and moments in time and keeping an online journal for future generations.

Check out the whole article and other awesome blogs HERE!

Thank you for featuring me...I'm grateful for the exposure and new readers :)

Officially Grown-Ups

After almost 4 years of marriage, Matt & I finally have a headboard!
Isn't it great? My dad gave it to us as our Christmas gift. He let me do the shopping though, smart man ;) I love the upholstered look, so shopped around. Everywhere was so expensive! I had one picked out at Target, got to the checkout page, and shipping was $90! Seriously?! And of course they don't ship to the store. Grrr.
I thought they only did phone orders from TV, but they're online as well! Who knew? They saved the day and I found this beauty for half the price of other places. I even scored free shipping. Woohoo!
The gorgeous duvet was my mom's Christmas gift to us...that's a good story. She wanted Lindsay & I to pick out what we wanted and I told her I knew already. As I started describing the duvet cover, she said, "I think that's the exact one that I'm getting for my bed!" I turned to it in the PB catalog and sure enough, it's the same one! I definitely have my mom's taste when it comes to decor and clothing...we show up to church wearing the same outfits sometimes. Or at least the same colors.
Lindsay and her share the same food taste and usually end up ordering the same items off the menu when we eat out. It must be one of those crazy mother/daughter connections :)
I love our bed now. It is so relaxing and serene. Just need to hang pictures above it and we're done! Finally a complete bed...must mean we're grown-ups now.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake!

I made this last night. WOW. I found the recipe here at the lovely smitten kitchen blog.
It really lives up to all the hype! It does require planning (items needed at room temp, rising time of 2 1/2-3 hrs) but it is oh, so worth it.
Mine didn't rise as much as hers did, but still tasted incredible. Also, because I used a glass pan, it didn't have the dark crust that hers did.
This picture illustrates how much Matt and I ate last night.
Also, notice the chopped off corner. One of my hubby's signature moves...he's such a little muncher.

We Are...

Clutching things!
Like our blankie while we're trying to sleep and Mommy is taking pictures...
and our friend Sophie! Just two old buddies headed out for a drink...
Have you heard of this little French giraffe? I hadn't until my sister-in-law, Kandie gave me one as a gift for Ada. It's a squeaky teething toy that is made with non-toxic materials and is all the rage on the mommy message boards!
Ada especially likes gnawing on her legs.
Have you heard of Sophie? Does your baby love her too?

Monday, March 8, 2010

3 Months Old!

This past week, our sweet baby girl turned three months old.
It's cliche, but I'm gonna say it...it goes by SO fast!
Ada weighs 16 lbs. and is around 26 in. long.
She has rolls on top of her rolls and is the most squishable, huggable, kissable little ball of goodness!

Things Ada does:
- rolls from her belly to her back
- supports her head and pushes up during tummy time
- sings & squeals...she is really finding her little voice!
- balances on Daddy's hand
- grabs hair, neck skin, blankets, clothing, faces, toys, etc.
- sucks on her lips & fists
- kicks like crazy
- smiles at herself in the mirror (she was crying and Matt took her in front of the mirror and she stopped, smiled, then continued to cry)
- pulls her binky out of her mouth & holds it
- smiles huge and sings along when sung to
- tries to sit up on her own
- checks out her feet when she has shoes on (the fetish has already begun...)
I'm thinking she really is going to have curly hair! The hair on the sides of her head started turning out like ringlets yesterday...we'll see as it grows more!
She also has the cutest dimple on her right cheek when she smiles huge. Uncle Devin spotted it the night we brought her home from the hospital, and it's in the same spot as my mom's. So cute!
Acting as maestro of Handel's Messiah with Daddy before church :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ada's Nursery

Is featured on Baby Cheapskate! It's part of Angie's series on Nurseries With A Budget.
Check it out HERE!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Melts My Heart

Seeing my baby girl laugh at her Daddy...
trust him wholeheartedly...
and smile at him with complete adoration...
...just melts my heart.
Sometimes the thankful tears come when I watch them together.
I am so grateful for such a gentle, caring man to be the father of our children.
To play with them, protect them, hug them, teach them, and lead them.
Such precious little lives we are given charge of!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Scream, You Scream

We all scream for FREE ice cream!
On Friday, Doc Burnstein's was giving out free ice cream!
It was due to a labor dispute of sorts, you can read the full story here.
Needless to say, we were there! The line wasn't that long, and luckily we beat the rain.
Here's Evelyn catching a ride on Dad, and Gray catching one with Grandpa.
Cousins! Ada & Evelyn are 8 months apart.
Love this little mug :)
I got chocolate with peanut butter cups and peanut butter in a sugar cone. YUM! Matt got cookie dough of course. Ada had some in her hair...good ol' baby carriers :)
This ice cream shop used to be called Burnardo'z.
I have memories of coming here with Bobba after boating at Lake Lopez!
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