Friday, March 8, 2013

All of My Love

Today is the first time I don't get to pick up the phone and call my mom to wish her a Happy Birthday.  It was just 2 years ago that Kraut and I conspired with my sister to plan a surprise birthday party for her and my dad.  She was turning 60 and my dad was turning 61 on March 26th.  The surprise was quite a feat when you consider that we threw it at THEIR house in MS without them ever having a clue.  We had a lot of help to make it all come together.

That year my mom's birthday fell on Fat Tuesday, and they went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans for Mom's actual birthday, so we picked a weekend right in the middle of Mom and Dad's birthdays.  My grandparents brought us some live crawfish, my sister got a cute Mardi Gras cake, Kraut and I brought brats to grill, and my Aunt Nadine kept my parents occupied while we got everything set up.

Quick side note: did you notice Crawfish and Brats?  Yep, this is about the time we came up with the idea of Kraut and Crawfish.  They just went so well together!

Kraut and I drove down from Memphis, TN to Jackson, MS (about an hour north of my parents' house) and spent the night there on Friday.  I even called my mom that night to "talk" (aka make sure our surprise was on track) and when she asked about our weekend plans I fudged and told her we were just hanging out and cooking dinner.  My sister came over on Friday from Baton Rouge and told my mom that there was a school dance at one of the local high schools and that she was going to do prom hair for several of the girls.  We had asked my Aunt Nadine to come in town to "visit" with Mom and Dad and get them out of the house for a few hours.

While they were out, we got all set up and people arrived.  My parents' long country driveway was lined with cars from all the guests.  When my parents arrived back at the house, my mom started freaking out, but not for the reason you might expect!  She thought my sister had invited all the nonexistent high school prom girls over to do their hair at the house!!!!  Mom was venting her frustrations when my Dad piped in and pointed out that these cars looked familiar.  Finally, she recognized mine and Kraut's vehicle and wondered what we would be doing there.  Mom still wasn't 100% sure what was going on, and asked my aunt if she knew about this, to which my aunt just kind of shrugged unassumingly.  Ha!  Her reaction when she came in the house was so cute.  She just burst into tears, and at one point she looked at me and fussed at me for telling her we weren't doing anything for the weekend.  I think she even tried to make me feel guilty for lying, but it didn't really work!!!  Her reaction was so funny, here are some of the pics:

Here is Kraut playing with all my cousins kiddos!  He is going to be such a great dad (probably because he is a bit of a kid himself!):

That was such a fun weekend and its hard to believe that it was 2 years ago already!  I miss you Mom!  I've decided the song of the day should be Led Zeppelin- All of My Love.  This is actually mine and Kraut's song, but today its on loan in honor of my mother's memory.  We are having a service today to lay her ashes to rest at the Naval cemetery here in Pensacola, FL.  She loved being at the beach so I can't think of a better place for her to be.  Today, even though I grieve the loss of her, I'm filled with the love of her spirit and memory, as well as the love I have for my unborn child, my amazing husband and all of my wonderful family that is surrounding us this weekend.


P.S. Our waiter at dinner even brought out a Happy Birthday dessert for us last night in honor of my mother!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ho Hey

Recently, I've been making some attempts to be crafty.  If you have been following my blog at all, then you are already well aware of my new venture into the world of photography.  In no way do I think that I'm a skilled photographer, but I like to think I'm one in the making; just like becoming a runner starts with that single step.  I think I've always had an artsy or creative side, I've just never really thought of it as "good," but I suppose thats not what its about anyway.

Coming up with ideas for Layla's nursery has been really fun and I have a couple of projects in the making that I will have to show you when they are complete.  I do have an arts and craft project that is complete that I want to share with you today.  I have been working on making some wreaths and I have one that I've completed that I was rather excited about.  My mom used to make deco mesh wreaths.  She told me she learned by watching online videos, so here are a few I found to get me started:

Deco Mesh Wreath Making-  This is great for just the basics on how to get started with deco mesh wreaths

How to Decorate a Christmas Wreath- Trees and Trends - this video showed me how to make a bow and I used the technique on a grapevine wreath I'm working on.  He also has several other videos on making garland, a mailbox topper, and tree decorations.

Deco Poly Mesh Ideas- This just shows you some different materials you can use as well as some fun ideas.  They have a website too where you can go online and purchase the items you will want to get started.

How to make a mesh wreath- styrofoam wreath form-  I've been using the wire forms with the ties, but this video shows one made on a styrofoam base.

How to Make a Deco Wreath- This one will show you how to work in a second ribbon and some tubing.

Deco Mesh Wreath- Adding Picks - In this video she shows how to add in picks or sprays that you may use to decorate your wreath.

Those are just some that I found helpful, but there are TONS of videos on youtube if you want to look for others.  I also googled wreaths and looked at a few on Pinterest before I went to Michaels or Hobby Lobby to buy stuff.  It helped me not to get too intimidated when I got to the store.  Thats a big thing to me, because I have gone to those stores several times just to "look" and since I didn't have a direction, I got overwhelmed and discouraged and left empty handed.  So here was my finished product:

I made it for my sweet friend Erin West, and was pretty pleased with how it came out.  I will show you pictures of the other 2 when I get done with them.  Hopefully soon!  

Now for the song of the day on the Soundtrack of Life, Ho Hey by The Lumineers. I love this song and its been in my head a lot lately!  Also, I have one more happy to share.....I know, who thought this post could get better?!?!!!  I saw this dog online earlier and clicked on it because I thought the dog looks an awful lot like our JJ man.  I think Kraut and I watched it for 5 minutes laughing!!!! Hope it makes you smile too!!!! 


Monday, March 4, 2013


I think most of my blog followers are already aware, but I'll go ahead and make it official to the blogosphere. Kraut and I are having a baby girl this summer!!!  We are going to name her Layla Ayer Kettler, but before we ever knew if she was a boy or a girl we called her Peanut.  I guess that somehow means Kraut + Crawfish = Peanut!  We couldn't be more excited about our addition to our little family, and JJ is going to be a big brother!  Doesn't he look excited?  

I can't wait until our little Peanut annoys the crap out of him just like JJ does to Kraut and I on a nightly basis.  Turn about is fair play buddy!  Don't get me wrong we LOVE our JJ man, but every night he waits until we are sitting on the couch and comfortable and then he starts banging his metal bowl on the tile in the kitchen or comes over and breathes his terrible fish breath in our faces.  But I digress....

I'm on week 18 right now, and enjoying my 2nd trimester a lot more than I did the first.  In general pregnancy has made me really really tired, so I usually fall asleep before I can even think to pick up my computer an write a note to all of you.  Also, pregnancy has made me dislike a lot of food items that I normally really love like coffee, a lot of meat (esp. BBQ), and spinach salads to name a few.  Our little Layla is already quite the little traveler.  She has been to Summit, MS, Baton Rouge, LA, Grand Haven, MI, Milwaukee, WI, Miami, FL, and most recently Pensacola, FL.  I still owe you a little blurb about our trip to the National Championship in Miami, but it was kind of a sore subject for a while.  I'll save that for another day, but here is a little Miami preview....

The weather in Miami was GORGEOUS in January while we were there!  I didn't want to leave...ever!    In contrast, we arrived in Pensacola, FL on Saturday, March 2 and it was a high of 42 degrees!!! It got up into the 50's today, but I still had to wear a jacket to the beach because it was really windy so it still felt chilly.  We are having a nice time in spite of it though, including an adventure of getting our rental car stuck in the sand on the side of the road!  Here are a couple pics of us from yesterday.....

  Doesn't Kraut look adorable????


Yep, thats me folks!  I'm going to be a great mom and embarrass my child thoroughly!!  Song of the day is for our little Peanut in my womb, whom we are already madly in love with!  Eric Clapton- Layla.  Happy Monday to you all!