Monday, January 31, 2011

1st Vlog- 1 Yr Anni.

Here is my first ever vlog. 
It was a bit nerve wracking.
That is my phone vibrating in the very first second that may or may not sound like a toot, fart, passing gas {get it...this is a dialect post. ha...ha...ha}.
Also, I don't really talk out of the side of my mouth.
I think it's the way I had the computer positioned. 
Or maybe I do.
Who knows.

I  don't know how to change the size therefore half of the video is cut off.
But that's ok.
This is about my voice, after-all.

Read these words:

Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

And answer these questions:
•What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?

•What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?

•What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?

•What do you call gym shoes?

•What do you say to address a group of people?

•What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?

•What do you call your grandparents?

•What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?

•What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?

•What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Have a wonderful Monday!
And Happy 1st Birthday to The Smelly Life!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Taste of Spring

Or not.

Today I was scraping the snow off my car
with no coat on.

I wasn't cold.

It felt warm.

It felt like spring.

It lifted my spirits.

It gave me hope.

Winter is depressing, you guys.


It's too long.

And way too cold.

But not today.

Today was fairly warm.

And refreshing.

And then I looked at my phone to see how "warm" it was.

Oh, a toasty 27. 

How sad.

Isn't it crazy how your body adjust?

Compared to the negative weather we have been having, trust me- this feels good.

I hope you all enjoy a relaxing warm weekend.

But I don't want to know if it's truly warm because I will be jealous.

So instead I will bask in the warmth of the mid-twenties.

And tomorrow looks like it will be 34. 


Time to break out the shorts.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Men...The Family That Stares at Goats

Early this summer my family decided to embark on a new adventure.
With 24 acres of land, which includes a barn and horse corral from the previous owner,
my parents decided it was time to get some new fur {and feathered} family members.
I blogged a little about it months ago,
but to bring you back to how cute the goats and Roxie were- here are some cute pics.

This has become a leisurely "activity", if you will.
We are the family that stares hangs out with the goats.
I am not sure how many farmers actually consider their goats pets and literally hang out with them, 
but my family does.
Hand over the Academy Award, I am SO not a fan of little nasty goats all up in my bubble.
And I guess I'll hand that Award right back.
This may be a fear that he was going to pull my earring and rip my earlobe.
Total guess and complete exaggeration.
The summer months were enjoyable.
The winter months, not so much.
But they bundle up and make the best of it!

Please don't let me give you the idea that I do this regularly.
I do not.
My crazy wonderful family does.

But I do appreciate the many free eggs.
That has been an awesome part of this farming experience.
On occasion we even get a double yoker.
Are you jealous yet?

I found this adorable picture of Roxie and Gizmo when they were only about 3 months old.

And here she was last week much bigger and still fascinated by them.

And while browsing for baby pictures of the goats
I saw this one from one of the many days we spent outside
How cute?!
So easy to forget how small she was even though it was just months ago!

I don't know what else to write.
I am still in a rut.
So my brilliant idea was to show a glimpse of life at
"Saving Grace Farm".
Seeing how it has become a big part of the Grace Family. 
Lucky you.

So there you have it.
The End.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How Did I Not Know...

So I am not sure if I learn something new every day, but this weekend I did. 

I was at my parents' house and the girls wanted a baked potato for dinner.
In my mind I was thinking there wasn't enough time to bake one so I wasn't sure how it was going to happen, but it did. 
When I went downstairs to get a drink I noticed that the microwave was beeping signaling that something had finished cooking. 
I went on with my business and went back upstairs to finish watching Mean Girls 2 because I am actually 12 years old
The wheels were turning in my head when I discovered that the girls really did have a baked potato for dinner.

I am sad to admit that hours later, while replaying my day as I was trying to fall asleep, it clicked.
A vision of the microwave popped into my head.
Was it possible??
This button that says "Baked Potato" that I see a 19487 times a day bakes a potato???

Ya'll, I have been baking potatoes in the oven for over an hour. 
Hello, 21st century bake your potato in the microwave for 4 minuteswhere have you been all my life?
Oh yeah, my bad....
it's been in my face all this time. 

So this has been my new favorite discovery.
Turns out everyone knows about it.
Everyone does it. 
Apparently they forgot to inform me. 
Maybe because it seems to be a pretty straight forward concept. 
Just a guess.

For the record, I do use the "popcorn" button.
That's the only one though.
Now that my eyes have been opened to what these magical buttons can do,
we will see what other adventures I may find myself on.
"Dinner plate", "Frozen Pizza", "Frozen Vegetable"...
I see lots of excitement in the near future.

As you can imagine, we had baked potatoes on Monday night, we are having them tonight and we will also be having them tomorrow night.
I bought a 10 lb bag. 
This is quite the deal in the Smelly household.

I apologize for such a lame post for those of you who have previously been enlightened to this wonderful button. I know I haven't blogged in like a week and this may come across as a sad comeback. I have found myself in a blog rut again, and well this is the best I could come up with for the moment. So I think the rut is pretty self-explanatory after reading this, right? 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on "Favorite Choice"....
Kidding. I think

Friday, January 21, 2011

Possible Culprit

I think I discovered something.
I hope i discovered something.
Actually, I kind of hope I discovered something.

Yesterday morning I was watching Good Morning America and my girl Elisabeth Hasselbeck was on talking about her G-free diet and the new protein bars they are coming out with. 

In her interview, she briefly and I mean briefly like casually mixed in with the other symptoms, said
"I wasn't able to conceive a child, my body was in such distress"

{Like Gru from Despicable Me}

Celiac disease runs in Mr. B's family. 
His mom and a couple of his aunts have it and for the last couple of years we have questioned whether or not Mr.B has it too. 
About two years ago he was going to get tested for it because he was really sick, but it ended up being some other type of bacterial infection so we never found out if he really had it.
And to be honest we didn't want to know if he really had it.

When I heard Elisabeth say this I thinking oh no she dih int/oh shoot/ohhhh no.
I text Mr. B, Mama K and Mama Grace asap. 
This has to be it. 
This could be the culprit.
I googled it and found a million and one websites on how Celiacs can be linked with infertility.

I am not even joking, just last week during dinner I said to Mr. B,
"I am so glad you don't have Celiacs and we don't need everything to be gluten free"
Isn't that funny how life works? 
Hardy har, I don't think it's very funny either, 
but it's kind of one of those laugh or cry situations.

Here is why I want to cry:
Aside from the obvious forbidden foods (bread, breadcrumbs, rolls, muffins, bagels, donuts, croissants, cereal, pizza, fried food, pasta, beer, crackers, pretzels, cookies, cake, brownies, pie crust) I advise saying no to processed foods and mixes, fast food, junk food, snack food dusted with added flavors, packaged seasonings, soups and dressings- in other words, anything with ingredients you can barely pronounce. {cite}

Sounds like a fun diet, right? 
Those "forbidden foods" are our staples.

There goes my life.

BUT hopefully there will be a new life because of this.
I read that the chances are greatly increased when you eat gluten-free! 

Now, I realize that I don't have to follow it as strictly as Mr. B. 
You can bet that for the most part I will be eating gluten filled lunches and going to Chick-fil-a with Mama Grace,
but as far as dinners and the majority of the food we have in the house they will be gluten free.
 It just doesn't make sense to make two separate dinners for just two people.

Mr. B has a Dr. appointment next week and he will be tested for it.
We are hoping this is why we have been struggling with getting pregnant.
In the end it's a small price to pay if that's what needs to be done.
But we aren't going to lie that we are dreaddddding this.

I know it's possible to find good food to eat.
For it to become an easy thing, to know what you can and can't eat with out a 300 page book in hand.
But it is an inconvenience.
Right now it's a bit overwhelming.
And sad.
But we are hopeful and ready to do what we need to do!

Has anyone heard of the connection between CD and infertility?
Do any of you have CD?
Any recommendations?

Thankfully CD is becoming more and more popular, lots of restaurants offer special menus, lots of grocery stores have special aisles and the internet is filled with resources and recipes so I know we will survive! 
Another benefit is we will also be healthy.
 It's the new year and I wanted to get in shape anyways!
{Forced smile and positive thoughts}

I will keep everyone updated with the results!
Prayers are appreciated :D

In the meantime we will be attempting to fill up on lettuce.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mama Roxie

No, Roxie isn't really a mama.
And she is never going to be a mom.
We covered that topic last week.
But I have recently discovered that, like me, she is meant to be a mom.
I guess human babies will have to do for her.
I don't think she has a preference anyways.

They were looking at some toy and her arm was just resting on his back, ha!
Usually, I put Rox in her crate when I have the babies and I take her out during nap times.
Lately though she has been driving me nuts.
She is a completely different dog when I have the babies.
She whines. all day.
She barks. all day.
She's hyper. all day.
I get it, I don't blame her, I know she has a lot of pent up energy and well, she's a puppy.
This is what puppies do.

I decided to switch things up a bit and let her out of her crate about 20 minutes after the baby gets dropped off.
Some miracle occurred.
My precious little annoying Boxer puppy transformed into mama protect-o boxer.
Before getting her, we knew that Boxers were really good with kids and babies and that is a characteristic that we loved about them, but I didn't think it would begin this young.
And I am so amazed that she knows to be gentle. 
She plays so differently with the babies than she does with my siblings.
And she has no aggression {towards anyone}, she can be chewing a bone...or a water bottle, they can even take it away from her and she just licks them and waits for them to give it back.
And she also let's them do whatever they want to her.
You know, like hug and ...body roll... and smush your face all over her fur. 
It's a win-win situation.

It is the funniest/cutest thing.
And she does it every day.
These two have a special bond and I no longer think a second dog is needed.
It melts my heart.
It gives me hope.
It is the perfect practice for one day when we have our own.
It makes me proud.

She get so serious about this role.
She will hover over him wherever he crawls.
And he will hug and kiss when she's not over him.
She gives me this look like "Don't worry, I got him".
The baby doesn't seem phased by it, he will often times rub her belly or play with her legs.
It's just too funny.
It keeps them both busy.
And happy.
Therefore making me happy.
And my job easy.
And I'm surprised because she's only 9 months, she's still a puppy!
But it's so precious to see and I am so thankful she has that maternal instinct.

{These are with my phone so quality isn't so good, but it's enough to get the idea}

Man's Baby's best friend :)

Boxers are the best.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Bigger Picture

The other day I was thinking about how focused we have been on all the negatives tests and the frustrations of not being able to have a baby in the time that we had originally wanted.
I was sitting on the floor watching the babies that I watch play together and it hit me.
It took a while, but it finally hit me.
I took a step and looked around and realized that I have fulfilled one of my dreams
that we have fulfilled some of our dreams.

And now I am watching a Baby Story and trying to keep these positives thoughts in my head...but anyways ever since I was a little girl I was obsessed with babies. Throughout Junior High and High School I knew that one day I wanted to have an in-home daycare and in the meantime I babysat all.the.time. I graduated High school and completed two years of college, a bunch of courses in 108058 degrees because I couldn't make up my mind and I decided that the debt I was putting myself in wasn't worth it. {$25,000 and no type of degree later I wish I would've came to the conclusion a little earlier..but not really because in the end I paid that much for some great friends and memories!} I knew what I wanted and it didn't come with a Psychology degree, an Elementary Education degree or a Speech Therapy degree. 
I wanted to be a nanny and eventually have my own little in-home daycare. 

Today I watch 2 babies in my house and it is the best job I have ever had. 
Recently, I added another baby that will be joining us on occasion too. 
I did it.
I have an in-home daycare.
I knew what I wanted.
I worked hard to get here.
I made it.
I love it.
I'm proud.

Mr. B and I started dating in High School.
He was going to be a Junior.
I was going to be a Senior.
I was his first girlfriend.
He was my first boyfriend.
We were in love and knew then that we were one day going to get married. 
After Mr. B graduated High School he knew he wanted to graduate college in 3 years.
The sooner he graduated, the sooner we could get married. 

He was right on track to finish on time, he worked and took classes through out the summers.
We changed the plans a bit and decided to get married his Senior year of College instead of waiting until graduation.
After dating for 4 years and finding places to hang out around campus, we were ready.
We knew it would take some sacrifices and we would need to convince our parents, but we knew it was what we wanted.
We prayed about it and decided that I would work and be the provider and he would finish his last year. 
We knew what we wanted.
We knew it wouldn't be easy.
We worked hard.
{{I learned that I am not a fan of being the only provider}}
{{Neither is he}}
We made it.
We were happy.
It was the right decision.
We accomplished another dream.

At the time we were living in Florida, but knew we wanted to move back to our home state after he graduated.
I was determined to live close to my family.
He was determined to find a job in the area so that we could live in NH in order to make me happy.
{Yes, he's a smart man}
While visiting for Easter he set up a few interviews in NH/MA. 
He went to his first interview and just like that it went from the recruiter, to the company managers to an interview with the President to an offer letter and a job. 
We were ecstatic.
The next day we found the perfect place to live, in our price range and the area we wanted to live.
We were only visiting NH for four days! 
The Lord was sooo good to us and everyone could see His hand and the divine appointments.
Today Mr. B is working in Boston and loves the company and his position.
He knew what he wanted, 
he worked really hard, 
and he is living one of his dreams.

Yesterday he found out that he was promoted to a new position AND given a significant raise.
He hasn't even been with this company for a year yet!
This was not expected and a complete blessing!
He hates that I tell people all this, but ya'll {I don't say that in real life, but wish that I did}...
I am proud of that man
and sometimes I think people should know all that he has accomplished. 
He's so humble about it, but I take joy in sharing about him and showing how 
a. things happen when you believe, put your mind to it and work hard
b. how the Lord has truly blessed us and how often we take it for granted

I think the hardest part about trying to conceive is that it is something we have no control over.
We can time everything right, hang upside down for 30 minutes, spend the money on silly tests but in the end it's the Lord that performs the miracle of making that life and it's our only option is to put complete trust in Jesus. 
To know that God has a plan bigger than our own. 
Proverbs 16 says we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. 
It's important to look at the bigger picture and look at the steps the Lord has taken us on.
And also, to be thankful that he allowed certain steps to be apart of the plan that we had in mind.
Because they aren't always and I think that is a lot of times overlooked and taken for granted. 

So I encourage you to look at the bigger picture in your own life too.
To see the steps that the Lord has brought you on, both that were in the plan you had hoped for and not. 
It's so easy to focus on one thing that is going "wrong"
 instead of the millions of things that have gone right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

She has her snowpants on!!

I think it's about time for a topic change dontcha think??

Well just like all the other states, except for the one that I lived in last year that I sometimes miss, we were hit with snow.
A lot of snow.

We knew we were getting a big storm so on Tuesday night we decided to spend that night at my parents' house. 
I knew Roxie was going to have a blast playing in the snow with the kids.
I knew Mr. B would have to be working out of the house regardless of the weather.
I knew I would have a lonely boring day if we stayed at our house.
So off to to the farm we went.

I even brought my snow gear which just in case.
You guys, this is a big deal.
Ms. J don't play in the snow no mo'.
My siblings are all 10+ years younger than me {with the exception of one who is in college} and they could not believe I brought snow stuff. Actually, I don't even think they knew I owned snow stuff. You would've thought I brought over some wonderful extinct animal or something.

It got even better the next day when I told them I was going outside to play in the snow with Roxie.
You are??


Are you really going??

I went upstairs to change and bundle up and as I am coming around the corner Julia shouts, 
" She has her snow pants on!!"
And it was a matter of seconds before the rest of the kids put their snow gear on.
Because they are so much younger than me, they apparently have no recollection of me ever playing in the snow with them.

Please take into consideration that snow pants and coats add some weight in pictures :)
So off we went. 
Snow to our knees. 
Lots of laughing.
And Throwing.
And freezing.
And runny noses.
And I remember why I don't play in the snow anymore.

We didn't head back home until a little after the snow stopped around 5ish. 
We Mr. B was dreading having to shovel our driveway in the dark, but we came home and we pleased to see that our landlord had already done it for us.
Ummm awesome.

Of course, Mr. B had to take my car to work today because his was a little buried still.

We got about 2 feet of snow in just one night.
I thought this sign in our front yard was kind of comical

He only had to shovel the back steps and path for Roxie.
She enjoyed the last minute play time in the snow.

She's been sleeping most of today.
The snow and I have a love-hate relationship.