Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's been a long time.

It's been a while since I've posted here. Don't blame me - I've just been dealing with every sickness on the face of the planet the past month. Along with daycare comes a hoard of germs that brings every illness home with Dakota. Her and I are just now getting over the same cold. So as I sit hacking a lung in my office, I'm hoping this is the last of the sicknesses for a while. Here's hopin....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wii Wii!


Christmas 2008 has crept on me so fast. By this time, I am usually done and ready to go. I save the wrapping until December to get in the spirit, but shopping with insane crowds last minute in December does not get me "in the spirit" so I try to finish early. This weekend, I started to have a freak-out thinking about how I have NO GIFTS yet. Okay, I take that back, I have a few. Okay, actually everything I am getting for Dakota is in the guest closet, but I digress....
On Saturday, I decide it's time to buy Jared's. He is at work, so it's a perfect opp to get online and find the best deal on what I'm getting him. I realize this gift is impossible to buy online. So I proceed to spend the next 6 hours watching bids on eBay. What??? Yes, I know, it's a little crazy. Nevermind eBay, I can find one myself! Challenge!
I woke up super early on Sunday morning to scour the ads online to find a Wii. From what I had researched, you had to see if stores were advertising them and if you saw them in the ad, it meant they had a few in stock and was instructed to "jump in the car and head to the store". Upon researching the ads, I found no one advertising the Wii except Kmart. Well, there are no Kmarts in Dallas. Darn. But I got in the car anyway, knowing I am a crazy person when it comes to finding some kind of shopping bargain or must-have and head out.

Stop 1: Target. This is my go-to store for everything. It's close to home, they were bound to come through for me. Right? Negative. No Wii. No one even in the store to ask. It's so dang early I can't even find a soul.

Stop 2: Walmart. Super nice Asst. Manager but no super nice Wii. He helped me locate 2 stores with a few in stock "nearby".

Stop 3: Route nuvi to Walmart (Neighborhood Market). What? This was supposed to be a regular Walmart. Pretty sure the grocery store does not carry Wiis.

Stop 4: Route to Walmart in Ghetto Garland. Find an old Hypermart that is now abandoned. Thanks, nuvi.

Call for back-up at this point: my mom is on stand-by ready to head to her local Kmart to find one because they were advertising them in their ad. She looks up said Walmart location and by this time, I am practically in Downtown Dallas. Hop back on to I-30 towards home and stop in at my 4th Walmart. SUCCESS! After the poor sales guy is in the back of Walmart searching for about 30 minutes, I get the bundle and am on my way.

I arrive home and the fam is awake. Jared is curious and has no clue what I was on the hunt for. I think of the exciting game sitting in my car, lonely and sad. Wait - I have to wait for two months to give him this thing? Oh boy...you know how I am with waiting. I say, you want it? He says yes. I say no you don't! He says you are right. I say are you surrrrrreeee? I start getting excited. He starts getting excited. But I'm thinking there is in no way Mr. Christmas is going to go for this. I tell him I'm going to the car to get it. He says he thinks he knows what it is. So that was a done deal. I couldn't wait to play it or to show him my exciting find. Christmas for Jared came a few months early, but it was worth it.

Although, I'm not sure his idea of a Christmas present is me whooping him up on boxing. And yes, I beat him. At boxing. It's true! And now we have two more games on the way: Cooking Mama (for me, of course) and MLB Baseball. Can't wait! Is it sad I have sore pecks from playing this thing?

For those who don't know, the Wii is a gaming console from Nintendo. After being out for over 2 years, they are still in high demand and hard to find. The Wii offers interactive gaming for the whole family, with controllers that are motion-sensored so you are actually "playing" the game. It is really fun and super addictive!

Monday, October 20, 2008

11 Things I Love About Dallas.

1. Ranch dressing on EVERYTHING.
2. Chips, salsa and margaritas.
3. It's fall and still warm outside.
4. The mild winters I'm looking forward to.
5. Unsweetened ice tea.
6. Cool things to do.
7. The diversity.
8. Every restaurant serves Dr. Pepper.
9. All the Dunkin Donuts that are opening.
10. The great shopping.
11. Coach outlet!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall festival.

Yesterday, we went to our local nursery's fall festival. It was beautiful outside and we had a lot of fun. I wanted one picture of Dakota in front of a bunch of pumpkins, but as you can see in the photos, that just wasn't happening. She loved the petting zoo and was not scared at all. In fact, she wanted to touch the goats, baby pigs, chickens and even a mean bird. She loved it!

You can view the pictures here:

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZtm7Rm1bsmToY

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dakota's first step!

Dakota took her first steps tonight, and luckily, Daddy, Mommy and Grandma were all there to witness it! It was pretty darn cool. All of a sudden, she was standing and just WENT. The first time, she took about 3 or 4 steps. By the time we got the camera, she was pretty much over it, but I was trying really hard to get her to do and she took 1 step for the camera. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. I can't believe how amazing it is to see your baby walk for the first time. Enjoy!

*I am experiencing technical difficulties at the moment, will try to upload it tomorrow - sorry!*


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jayhawk representation.

Oh yeah, and I'm currently on the hunt for massive amounts of KU gear for my office. That place is chalked full of Aggie/Longhorn crap!


ROCK CHALK!

cold hands, big office and nice people.

I have officially started my job (in the office). Day 2 is complete and it's safe to say I will indeed be returning for my third day. It's been great so far. My office is ridiculously large with a huge window. It's a little overwhelming, but hey, I might as well love it, they aren't moving me anytime soon. Although, the atmosphere is a little like I would imagine the Antartic to be. AKA FREEZING. Luckily, I was able to bring in my space heater and had that thing running on high blast all day. Much better. The people are nice, the environment is laid back and it appears as if I'm going to be keeping very busy writing a lot of copy and coordinating the entire marketing department and all the projects that occur on a daily basis. I feel great about it!

Dakota is doing great with Grandma Schreiner. She has not missed me at all,which I'm thankful for, really. It's great to have someone watch her who loves her and plays with her all the time!

Jared is currently painting Dakota's room. Pictures to come!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

before and after comparison.

Before:



After:

new front yard.

So Jared and I decided to be ambitious this weekend and do a little front yard makeover. We planted a crepe myrtle, 3 bright orange lilies, pansies and 5 new mums! We also bought a beautiful orange potted mum. We put down black mulch and also put in a new border around the palm. (Please notice how awesome the palm looks now!) We think it looks pretty darn good, especially with dad's new white paint job on the trim around the house! We also put up some Halloween decor with pumpkin lights, orange bush lights and a fall wreath. Next projects include fertilizing the yard and killing the bad grass and weeds. Then we will start on the back.









Friday, October 10, 2008

starting in style.

In honor of starting work next week, I went for a last minute outing this afternoon while Jared watched Dakota. I don't typically post on here everytime I make a purchase, but I thought I would share these precious gems with my fashionitas who read my blog. Check em out, aren't they cute? And they are comfy, which is also very attractive.




Thursday, October 9, 2008

Good thing for coffee.

What a way to start my morning. A reminder email from Ticketmaster informing me my Ben Folds concert is soon! WOOT!

I have become a big fan of coffee these days. Scratch that - more like creamer (with a hint of coffee). I got hooked on the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and then Amy introduced me to the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino Light (with skim milk, of course). Man, these things are heavenly and I hear the Gingerbread is even more delicious that comes out in November. Great. I really enjoy dropping $3.74 on a tall coffee (aka small).

Also, there is a brand new Dunkin Donuts opening about ohhhh a block from my new work, so that is going to be fabulous. Dunkin coffee is the BEST. And, hello, we can't fail to mention the make a mean chocolate cake donut and strawberry frosted.

In an attempt to save some cash, I bought a really cute pink coffee canister at Target the other day and decided to get started on the right foot by NOT spending my lunch money on a coffee every morning. I can be a barista, too, right? So I bought some Dunkin French Vanilla coffee and my favorite Coffeemate liquid creamer (vanilla caramel) and I must say, it's pretty tasty! And for the price of one Starbucks drink, I can make my own coffee for a good two weeks.

We'll see how long this lasts when I'm running late and pass a convenient Starbucks drive-thru on my way in next week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Koty!

video

BEN FOLDS!!!

I know the majority of my audience has no clue who Ben Folds is. And that is okay. But what you need to know about me is, I am a HUGE Ben Folds fan! He is an insanely amazing musical artist who rocks out (and I mean REALLY rocks out) on the piano and is an unbelievably talented musician. I have every song on my iPod he has ever written (yes, he writes his own music) and have been to every concert he has performed in the 90 mile radius of my location.

Well, the highlight of my MONTH most definitely is going to be....
the Ben Folds concert in Dallas on October 23!!!!

Luckily, Grandma Schreiner will be here watching Dakota so Jared and I can go out and have a date night. I cannot wait for this concert. We went a few years ago when he came to the Lied Center and that venue was so huge, it was hard to really get up close and personal (although still amazing of course!). This time, he is a more intimate venue where we will get to see him rock out on the pearly white keys and I couldn't be more excited.

First day at work.

Well, even though I technically didn't go into my new office, I started work today from home. Even though I only have 3 projects on my plate at the moment, I feel slammed being here with Layla, Addie, Maggie (doggy-sitting) and Dakota. And not to mention a mound of paperwork to fill out. I contributed my first official blog post today for my company.

On a lighter note, I am very excited about Grandma Schreiner coming to be with Dakota for two weeks until her brand new school officially opens. She has agreed to come down and watch her starting this weekend while I start my new job. We feel blessed to have Grandma be here and I have a feeling it's going to be a much easier transition for all of us!

Off to finish a press release...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Getting ready.

I am now obsessed with my newly purchased planner. See here:

http://www.target.com/Franklin-Undated-Compact-3-Color-Organizer/dp/B0011ZTM8E/sr=1-11/qid=1223064773/ref=sr_1_11/601-7968000-7247322?ie=UTF8&index=target&rh=k%3Afranklin%20covey&page=1

I love it. It's pink and brown most importantly. And yes, I'm old school and enjoy writing things down the old-fashioned way in my planner. I have a phone that does just about everything but walk my dogs, but I just can't get into the technology planning.

In other news, the Schreiners have been preparing for our new transition. Jared and I have been interviewing daycares and we have it narrowed down to three locations. All three we feel very comfortable with and Dakota has even been able to go into her classroom and play to see what she thinks of it. She has immediately began playing and talking and really could care less if we were in there. It's probably going to be harder on mommy....

This weekend, we plan on cleaning and organizing the house. I have made a few* purchases in preparation for my new job and am trying to get my life organized. I am having a little anxiety about trying to be the perfect mom, wife and career woman, but I just have to realize there will be days where I fail and stuff will be left undone. Life goes on as long as I remember what is important in life: my family.

My posts might be sparse in the next few weeks. My company has called me and asked to start on Monday instead of Oct. 13 from home so I will be working on projects starting this weekend. Nothing like jumping right in!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Did you miss me?

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet. No, the birthday cake did not eat me. I am still here, fear not. Barely moving, but still here. I have been going non-stop for over a week now and I'm finally ready to enjoy the next two weeks relaxing and having fun with my family. Before I head back to the real world.

Yep, you read right: I am headed back to work, kids. I am very excited about the future and am excited to see where it takes our family. For those of you who didn't know, I interviewed for two completely different positions for a few weeks: one was the assistant director at a new daycare opening up by our house and the other was a marketing coordinator/copywriter position at a fast growing software company. After many prayers, discussion and sleepless nights going back and forth, I decided to go with the software company. The idea of being in the same building as my daughter during the day seemed nice, but when you factored in the extremely low pay, long 12-hour days and not really being able to be with Dakota, it didn't look so pretty anymore. I start my new job Oct. 13 and the company seems very successful and very fun. I get my own office, incredible benefits for my entire family, 3 weeks of vacation and not to mention, beer stocked in the fridge, catered lunch and breakfast, games and fun people who a lot of kids of their own. We have been looking for a daycare (WHOOPS - scratch that - we are calling it "school") for a few weeks now and have toured a few places. We have it narrowed down to three schools where we feel very comfortable leaving Dakota for the day. The interaction with other children will be great for her and so will the stimulation. The schools we are looking at offer a curriculum based program in which the children learn as well as play to stimulate their little minds! We are very excited about that. The great thing about my new job is my boss is very flexible with my hours. He is pretty much leaving them up to me, so I'm hoping I can get in there fairly early in the morning so I can leave early in the afternoon to pick her up.

Although this was not the original plan when Dakota was born, I am happy with the way things are going and nothing is permanent. I hope that this will be great for everyone - we can have a little money to be able to go to the zoo with Dakota, I can get back into my career field and Dakota can make some new friends and learn new things in a safe, fun environment.

I will be posting pictures from the big party soon!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A year ago.

So, I'm feeling a bit nostalgic and emotional these days. A year ago at this time, fall was in the air back in Kansas. I was finishing up my last few days at Garmin. I remember being very large, very pregnant and very uninterested in work. I could hardly make it through an 8 hour day at my desk and would have to go home early to take a nap. That office chair was killer and I didn't think I could make it much longer....

Little did I know my life was about to change for the better, forever....

Yep, you guessed it. Dakota is about to turn 1. On September 28, she will turn the big 1. And while I am extremely excited she is about to meet this big milestone in her life, as a mother I am extremely...I don't know what the word is. Not sad - that's not it. I'm not sad she is turning 1. Maybe bittersweet. My little girl is growing up.

She has changed so quickly right before my eyes. I can't believe how big she is getting and how fast she is learning. It's amazing to watch her see new things in the world, and I just want to shelter her forever and never let her grow up. Yet, I want her to grow up and turn into a woman I am proud of. I want to see her play her first t-ball game. I want to see her first ballet recital. I want to get her all dressed up for her first day of school. But I don't want any of that to happen too fast. As a mom, I want to see her hit milestones, yet I don't. For instance, last night, she stood unassisted for about 15 seconds. I sat there in awe and couldn't believe this little petite 17-pound girl was standing all by herself. At times, I can't wait for her to walk and can't resist thinking about how cute it's going to be to hear little pitter-patter of feet in the mornings. But that means growing up is hard to do...for mom, too.

Giving birth to Dakota tops my life list for all-time best ever events (besides getting married, of course!) I have a feeling her 1st birthday will be a close follower. My mama always made sure my birthdays were so special, with the coolest cakes decorated by her, the presents I dreamed of and a special day with the most talked about parties. I hope Dakota's 1st will be one to remember, too.

I love you Dakota! You will always be my baby girl.



The life as a stay-at-home mom.

A man came home from work and found his two children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?" She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?" ''Yes," was his incredulous reply. She answered,"Well, today I didn't do it."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New layout.

As you will see, I have a new fall-themed blog layout. I am ready for fall! The heat has FINALLY laid off a bit (80s all week) so I am ready for pumpkin season! (Not so much the football, though.) We took a walk tonight and it was so beautiful. We realized we need to start spending more time outside and also realized we have some very friendly people in our neighborhood! BRING ON THE CANDY CORN.

Another week begins.

This weekend was really good. Jared worked a short day Friday and was off Saturday, and had a short morning again today. We were able to go out to dinner Friday night with some new faces from Jared's residency at a delicious Mexican restaurant in Uptown, Uncle Julio's. Yesterday, since Ike was upon us and brought crazy rain and wind, we stayed in and got some stuff done around the house. I am cleaning out Dakota's room, organizing toys and packing away "baby" clothes to make room for the new toys that are coming in just a few short weeks for the big birthday. I had her 1-year pictures scheduled, but with the rain, I decided to postpone them until next week. I have a lot of projects ahead of me this week. I am trying to finish Dakota's 1-year scrapbook in time for her birthday, but this is going to be a huge challenge. We shall see if I can accomplish it. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Maroon 5 Concert.

Last night, Scott very graciously volunteered to babysit for us so Jared and I could attend the Maroon 5/Counting Crows/Augustana concert. It was nice to get out with the hubby and enjoy a date night. We shared a meal at our favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant, Pancho & Lefty's and then hit Fair Park. $15 later for parking (insane), we found an open spot in the grass and parked on our blanket. Augustana was pretty good, Maroon 5 was awesome. Counting Crows was the headlining act and while Jared and I enjoy their music, we aren't huge fans. So due to the insane amount of smoke and Jared having to wake up at 4 a.m., we decided to head home. It was a nice evening, though! Next time, we probably will think twice about an outdoor venue like that. While it's nice to enjoy the weather and sit in the grass, it's awfully hard to concentrate on the bands when everyone is talking and walking all around you.

Ben Folds is coming to Dallas October 23. We are dying to go (my favorite artist, hands down) but not sure if we can swing a sitter. We shall see!




Friday, September 5, 2008

dog days of summer.

We ventured to Target this morning to buy a few home goods. They were having some great sales (shocking!) and almost everything I bought was on clearance, including this PRECIOUS strawberry doggy bed. I felt like there needed to be two in the office, since when I'm working, they both fight over the one that's already in here. Layla appears to be a little large for the bed, but doesn't seem to phase her. At all. Besides, she likes being able to look out the window. Notice closely her collar. It has strawberries on it, too and matches the pet bed. Too cute for words.







Thursday, September 4, 2008

A good day.

Today, Dakota and I ventured up to the Allen Outlets, my favorite spot in Dallas to shop. They have great stores there, all outlets which is even better. Nike, Baby Gap, Gap, Carters, Coach, J Crew, Fossil, Banana Republic, Childrens Place and the Cosmetics Store are my favorites. As you can see, there are lots of good stores there. I managed to buy Dakota a really cute outfit for her birthday and a few tops for me at Gap. It is nearly impossible to find tops I like, for some strange reason. I guess I am just picky.

We had lunch with Uncle Scott at Tin Star, a fabulous tex mex restaurant. I've never been there before, but with the salsa bar and amazing tacos, I'm sure to go back real soon.


On our way home, we stopped off at Toys R Us to see if I could wrap up D's birthday presents. Well, as I was pulling in, I noticed the store was closing. Bad news: it is the closest store to us, still almost 30 minutes away. Good news: there was a great sale today. I managed to pick up a pink princess see and say, a pink medical kit (can't wait to show Daddy!), a pink corn popper and a great deal on a disney princess toy organizer. Notice a theme here?

I got home and was determined to put this toy organizer together myself. Jared and I had just discussed how we needed something for her room because the living room was getting a bit out of control with all the toys. Dad, you would be proud! I put it together all by myself with a very curious and interested baby trying to help. Pictures below. So, today was a success. I managed to find some great deals to wrap up Dakota's birthday presents and organize and clean up the house a bit.

I think we are done with Dakota's birthday. Yesterday, on Daddy's day off, we went to Target so he could pick out a toy for her birthday. Of course, he picks out the biggest Mickey Mouse airplane rider there. It is really cool, though. So as the guest room is piled high with goodies, it's safe to say we are D-O-N-E. (Famous last words.)







Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dakota and the Carousel.

We took Dakota to the carousel for the first time this past weekend. She wasn't really sure what to think. But we had fun, anyway!



Monday, September 1, 2008

Might as well be a zoo.

Please tell me every homeowner encounters this many animals in their house.
I am beginning to really wonder about our house....and wonder if this is normal.

Last night, around 11:30 p.m., I started packing Jared's lunch and meal planning in the kitchen for the week. As I was making my grocery list, I noticed out of the corner of my eye something race from the sink area under the fridge. Great. I thought maybe it was just my imagination, since it was so late and I was tired. I hear some rustling and it comes out, and goes back in again. It appears to be a HUGE "frog". I scream. Natural reaction, I suppose. The dogs are in the bedroom with Jared, who has to get up at 4 a.m. for work. They start barking. I run into the bedroom and politely scream at Jared to get up, get up, there's a "frog" in the kitchen. He's not the happiest camper. In a trance, he crawls out of bed and walks out to the living room. The dogs immediately think there is an animal under the entertainment center and start hunting in that area. Probably because we have had, oh, 15 animals hide out under there in the past 2 weeks. I swear to Jared it was under the fridge, so he calls Layla and goes over to move the fridge. No "frog".

All of a sudden, we see something scurry from the kitchen into the dining room and camp out under the corner bookshelf. The "frog" was on the move. Jared politely, calmly and quietly tells me a bit of shocking news. His words: "Hun, I hate to tell you this, but that's not a "frog"."

You are now probably wondering what kind of creature it really is.

Well. I can not-so-calmly tell you. IT. WAS. A. MOUSE.

Great. I start freaking out and Jared's moves the bookshelf. The "frog" (aka mouse) runs across the living room and into the laundry room, with Addie and Layla right on its tail. Jared enters the laundry room with a cup in hand, being the great, courageous husband he is. I hear a LOT of banging, sniffing, scuffing and moving of items. I am now standing on top of the couch, literally saying a prayer that they catch this nasty rodent. A few minutes pass and they exit the crime scene. No mouse. Jared thinks it went into a duct. GREAT. So now there is a mouse. In our house. As soon as Dakota wakes up from her nap, we are going to get mouse traps. YUCK.

Of course after that I can't fall asleep because all I am thinking about is how this mouse is going to jump up in my bed and gnaw me with its evil teeth all night.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Layla, our great hunting dog!

Last night.
Ready for bed.
Leave office, turn off lights.
Hear Layla in the living room, running around.
Turn on light.
See something on carpet.
Walk closer.
See baby lizard on carpet.
See baby lizard not moving on carpet.
See Layla wagging her tail, saying "aren't you proud of me mommy, I caught a baby lizard!"
Pick up lizard with paper towel, throw him out back.
Thank God for Layla, my hunting dog.

Same thing happens tonight. Luckily, Jared was the one to be involved. He let the dogs out, let them back in and closes the door. He feels something on his head, looks down, and a lizard scatters across the kitchen. He calls for Layla, who immediately runs over to sick the lizard. Lizard runs under the fridge. Jared pulls the fridge out and tells Layla to get the lizard. Layla runs behind the fridge, scoops up the lizard and proudly prances into the living room and puts him down on the rug. Jared walks over and lizard's tail falls off (it's their defense mechanism). Layla goes after the tail (it's still moving) instead of the rest of the lizard, who tears off under the entertainment center. Jared pulls out the entertainment center and Layla once again retrieves the lizard and brings it to the middle of the rug. Jared scoops it up and throws him outside.

We are so proud of Layla!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm not a slob, I promise.


Just very....busy. Being creative.


I questioned whether to post this picture or not. For fear my friends and family might think that I have become a hermit, messy and not caring what the place looked like. But, I have decided to go for it. Who cares. So what, my office is a disaster right now. I have very good reason: I am planning a very important birthday extravaganza. But, alas, don't fear...a few of my goals this weekend include:

1. cleaning the office.
2. purchasing a new camera.
3. applying for jobs.

This anxiously awaited holiday weekend by so many employees across the country has left me and Dakota a little bored and non-excited. Jared works an overnight tonight as well as Monday night. Oh well, we shall get things accomplished! Go forth and clean, Erin!

On a lighter note, apparently the key to being a green thumb is being lazy. I went out back for the first time since I got back from Kansas, and it appears my mint plant has come back to life and in a big way and my pepper plant is taking over the entire garden. Oh, and half my rose is green! And what I thought was an ugly plant left behind appears to bud really beautiful bright red tropical-looking flowers. Cool!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Meet Margarita Casey!

The newest addition to our family, Amy and Scott's new puppy! It's a Morkie (a mix between a Maltese and Yorkie). She is precious and I get to go dog-sit tonight!







Just call me Martha.

I love being crafty and creative. It makes my world go 'round. Today, I started a list because I have so many creative projects going. Here are the things on my list:

1. Dakota's birthday party invites (check)
2. Dakota's tutu (gotta get it done in 1 month!)
3. Dakota's 1 year scrapbook (gotta get it done in 1 month!)
4. Dakota's party favor bags (more to come on this later)
5. Libby's scrapbook (so close to being done)
6. Maggie's blanket

Better get creating.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

whoops.

So, it's been a while since I've posted. Sorry about that. Here are some of the fun things we have been up to since our return home to Dallas.

Sleeping:



Eating:



Staring:



Organizing:



Riding:

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

World Famous Topeka Zoo!

My week back in Kansas has been busy and has gone really fast. The theme of my week is squeeze. I have managed to squeeze a lot in in just a few short days and have a few more days left to squeeze in even more. Tomorrow, I am headed to Kansas City to squeeze in a lot of stuff. You get the idea.

Today, Grandpa, Dakota and I ventured to the World Famous Topeka Zoo! It was a lot of fun. Dad says he's not sure who had more fun, mom or baby, but I think it's a toss up. My favorite was the orangutans and sad gorilla, even though it made me sad to see him so bored. My least favorite part was the rainforest. I hate birds. We then lunched at BoBo's...yum!

Here are some favorite pictures from the adventure.

Click to play A Trip to the Zoo
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Colds, rain, expensive strollers and salmon.

Yesterday, the Schreiner family enjoyed a day with daddy home. Dakota woke with a runny nose and we thought it was just her allergies. Jared went to Walgreens to fill her script and we thought we were set. I was able to go the grocery store for a little break and was able to move through the aisles much quicker without Dakota. Jared was planning on mowing our forest, but alas, Mother Nature decided she would bring Dallas some much-needed rain yesterday. I think it was the first time it rained since we have moved here. Crazy.

We were planning on going up to Amy and Scott's to meet the new addition to the family, Margarita the Morkie, but Dakota got progressively worse through the day. She was cranky, stuffy, runny-nosed and rubbing her eyes like crazy so we decided to stay home.

Around 5, we got a little restless with the rain and overall laziness, so we headed up to Babies R Us to look for a new stroller. Our big Graco is great, but it is big. If we travel, it takes up most of our trunk space. We bought a cheapy umbrella stroller about 6 months ago to use on short trips. I find myself using this a lot more since she is getting bigger and there is more stuff to transport (it's also easier to push through aisles). However, Dakota HATES the thing. She squirms around and flips over and does anything she can to get out of the thing. I eventually end up holding her, trying to drive to the stroller and look at clothes at the same time, which is not very easy to do. I researched a lot of umbrella strollers, and of course, the one everyone said to get was the most expensive one out there. I thought nah, we don't need that one. Well, what do you know, that was the ONE STROLLER Dakota didn't mind being in at Babies R Us. I think that may be waiting until I get a scrapbook order or two :)

We came home and put Dakota to bed. Jared then made delicious salmon for dinner. I told him he needed to be chef more often! It was very tasty! But alas, he is back at work today so his life as a chef will have to wait.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun family time. Finally!

Yesterday, Jared got home after call around 2:00. Everyone was really excited to see him. We wanted to go do something fun, so we headed up to Central Market to buy a few grocery delights. The store is GREAT and has amazing fresh food. They make a lot of stuff in the store from aunthentic tamales to breads to homemade tortillas. They have a huge variety of wine, cheese and also have a condiments bar where you can fill your plastic containers with olives, homemade dips, salsas and guac. YUM!

We went home with a few cheese blocks, some fruit, a piece of salmon Jared is going to grill tonight and some salsas.


Here is Dakota outside the store on a giant eggplant. She wasn't so sure about it, but Daddy was there to assure her she was safe with him!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Potential job.

Now that I have fully launched my business and just applied for my official business license, a potential job has rolled in. Figures.

I told you all about going to meet with a creative recruiter here in town. There is an ad agency looking for a mid-sr. level copywriter and they submitted my portfolio to them. I got a call from my recruiter today and she said the owner thought I had an "interesting slant" to my writing and it was very "experimental". Whatever that means. She said he was really impressed with what he saw and heard (print and broadcast samples). This agency has clients such as Petmate, ColorTyme, Don Pablo, Taco Cabana, Rosewood Hotels and Anheuser-Busch.

He wanted to see if I wanted to meet with him and talk about a potential opportunity there. She was pretty sure he was wanting to bring me on full-time. They submitted me for freelance, so she said he might be open to that. She told me the salary range he could offer. And I must admit, it's pretty tempting. I told her I would meet with him, couldn't hurt. And then I hung up and walked out to Dakota munching on her animal crackers, thinking there is no way I could leave her to go work full-time. I can't imagine shipping her off to a daycare wondering what she was doing all day. But...we need some kind of income from me, one way or another. So we will see what he has to offer me. I'm really only open to freelance.

ANYBODY NEED A SCRAPBOOK?!?!??!?!?! They make great gifts! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

i've got a good system going!

Last night, I stayed up to organize my "office" and also started on my first real business project! A scrap album. I am very excited to be actually working. In the mail today is my official "Doing Business As" form so I'm ready to roll with advertising! One of the first things I'm going to do is contact the local hospitals to see if I can put a flyer in the "mom" packets.

Yesterday, I managed to snag a great deal on a car seat for Jared's car, make brownies, M&M cookies and two pans of lasagna! I was on a roll. I feel like I'm back into my groove with keeping up on the house, laundry, meals, Dakota and work. Now I just need to make some money and we will be golden!

I also bought a few things for Dakota for the fall. I can't believe I am buying 12 mo. clothes! I am headed to Hobby Lobby today to start a fun sewing project. I'll be sure to post a picture when I'm done. If it looks good, that is.

New clothes!


Me and my puppy


See my teeth!?!?!?


Yum.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A trip home.

We just returned last night from visiting our old home - Overland Park, Kansas. We made a last minute trip up specifically to see Adam, Jared's brother and it was nice to see the family and spend time with everyone, even though it was a short trip.

We realized we miss:
trees
the small town feel of Kansas City
not having to drive 14 hours to get to Costco
Houlihan's
our church
familar faces
knowing where everything is
family

Jared had no break, as he had to be at work this morning at 7 and is on call tonight. I have a feeling tomorrow when he gets home he will be sleeping the remainder of the day. I was able to get to the grocery store today (Finally!) and actually have meals planned out for the week! Now if I could only tackle that dishwasher....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Work.

I stayed up late last night (again) trying to get a PDF portfolio together for my rep at Creative Circle. FINALLY, at 2:00 a.m. I was done and figured out how to make the file small enough to send to her. It was quite a process.

I am busy today researching ways to advertise my business. I am looking into setting up a booth at the Heart of Texas Arts + Crafts Show here in Garland in September. I am also attending a mixer Thursday night (hosted by TheBump.com) to network with other small business owners that target moms and pregnant moms-to-be to get my name out there I do scrapbooks and birth announcements.

I have a list of advertising ideas going...anyone want to add to them? I know some of you are creative....come on! It's easy to post a comment....I would love some input! (ahem, Melissa, my advertising guru!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

it's a hot one.

just would like to point out my weather temp on the right site here...it's reading 101 in Rowlett, Texas. Phew!

Another birthday...

I believe I have another Uncle who's birthday was yesterday....don't think you got out of it that easily, did you Uncle Dean? Picture coming! Stay tuned.... :)

Happy Belated Birthday!

To my Uncle Rick! I won't post your age, don't worry. Hope you had a great one!


I wonder who Dakota looks like in the family...

and where she gets that open mouth thing?








Saturday, July 26, 2008

She already knows...

...what she wants for her birthday!


Clearly not a green thumb.

I try to be a domestic goddess. I really do. But being a green thumb just apparently isn't for me. I have tried. The one time I had a plant in our old townhouse, Layla destroyed it. Dirt everywhere. I had an "African Violet" (not really sure if I would call it that, more like a dead weed) for the longest time in my window sill. We tried to plant a little garden with tomatoes. The green onions got so big that they overtook the garden and became weeds because I never pulled them. My rose Jared got me was the only thing that survived the doom of Erin. I didn't touch that thing, and it would bloom religiously every spring with hundreds of beautiful buds. When we moved into our new house, I thought it would be fun to plant a lot of flowers. After 2 months of residing here, the only thing left standing is my palm tree.

Not really, but it's getting dangerously close to plant funeral time here. My rose is looking really, really sad. I thought it was going to overcome the traumatic 500-mile move, but now it's looking brown again. My hanging baskets are a wreck, I water them, the leaves turn yellow, so I stop watering them, and then they basically die. My house plant my mother-in-law graciously gave me for Mother's Day is still hanging in, but every time I turn around, there is a brown leave hanging off of it. My African Violet will not bloom. YOU GET MY DRIFT.

So I spent a significant amount of time this morning outside, weeding and watering and feeding my plants. But, alas, my good old palm tree! That thing loves to be tortured and neglected and I love it! It does have a dead leaf on it and I'm not sure what to do about it. Do I leave it or cut it off? Can't find much online.

I am really sad because my mint plant is almost dead. I'm not sure what happened, but I really wanted to use my mint for mojitos. However, the good news is my jalapeno plant is still going strong and I even picked a bright red jalapeno today! I might just use it in my taco salad I'm making tonight for dinner. I guess I should be thankful for a good jalapeno, since the salmonella scare and all.

Perhaps next spring I will save my money and buy some other yard decorations besides flowers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Coach update.

#236...and I'm now on the newly popular list. I gotta get to the top 100 to be considered by Coach representatives and possibly be chosen...keep spreadin the link love!

Introducing Erin Lee Creative.

My business has officially launched! Check it out here:

http://www.erinleecreative.com/

Coach...

#326....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coach design!

I suppose it's the little things in life. Either that, or I get easily excited. Yesterday, I entered myself into the design a Coach tote contest. Fully knowing there is no chance I would ever win, I love playing around with my new design software, and this was a great project to allow me some practice. And of course, I love designing. Anyway....I just went to the page and my tote is already ranked #954 out of 2267 entries! I'm not sure if that really even means anything, but it sounds promising, since yesterday it started out at the very bottom. And someone (even though it was probably one of my beloved blog readers) made a really sweet comment on my bag. Sweet!

Down time.

It's 9:02. The toys are picked up. The kitchen is clean from the spaghetti buffet. The laundry is in the wash. Dakota is fast asleep. Jared and the dogs are fast asleep. The plants are watered. (The outcome of the rose is still TBD.) I sit in my office, where I have spent the past couple of weeks working late at night. I feel so at home in here. Looking at my desk, I'm trying to figure out what to do first: make a few last adjustments to my website, get my PDF portfolio together I promised my recruiter today or fill out some lovely government paperwork to get my social security card, passport, birth certificate and marriage license. (That's a whole other story.*) The night is mine. But so much to do.

This afternoon after getting ready, doing my hair and actually putting on dress clothes (and heels! gasp!), I ventured downtown to meet with a rep from Creative Circle. They are a placement agency for "creatives" in Dallas. They also have offices in Chicago, LA, Miami and New York. I was excited, not nervous, to get back into the advertising game and show off my work to someone that pretended to be interested in my 32-page annual report, among other work. She seemed impressed by my book and is going to send out my credentials to her contacts. Basically a "hey Dallas, there's a new copywriter in town" ploy. The position I initially went in for I was told is for a crazy huge agency where they make their creatives work 100 hours a week and she said I would never get to see my daughter. Um, no thanks. NEVERMIND. Not worth it. Even with the high salary she threw at me. So we will see where it gets me, perhaps nowhere. She said it will be hard finding work for someone that wants to stay at home. WHAT? News flash: this is not news. But at least I know I still got the right stuff, as NKOTB would say.

So, back to business. I am so excited to get my website finally up and running, and I am working hard and quickly to get it DONE. I can't wait to start advertising my business, getting some creative work and being a real business owner. Setting my own hours and making some money. Yee haw!

*Regarding my insane new obession with getting all my "legal" documents together...last night, as I was compiling stuff for my interview, I realized I had nothing to prove I was actually a U.S. citizen. My driver's license was it. And it wasn't even current. I have my passport, with my old name. No social security card, lost that months ago. No birth certificate. No marriage license. What? Where was all this stuff? So...needless to say, I am working like crazy to get all this stuff back into my possession. Unfortunately, the smart government is not so smart. Because to get your social security card, you must have your driver's license. And to get your DL, you must have your birth certificate. And to get your birth certificate you must have your blood drawn and urine sampled. And to get your passport updated, you must have your marriage license. And to get your marriage license you have to have your social security card. You get my drift. AKA NOT FUN AND RATHER ANNOYING. Oh, and FYI to those newly married - GO GET YOUR NAME CHANGED ON YOUR PASSPORT NOW. If you don't do it within a year of getting married, you have to apply for a new passport and pay the lovely $75 to get a new one. What a crock of crap. OH well, it's not like I will be traveling abroad anytime soon. But I need these documents because well, they prove I am an American. And an American who can own a business here in the states. (Gotta register my business with the county.)

Ok. Rant over. Back to work!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

holy smokes, batman.

The Dark Knight was incredible. Or I should say, Ledger was incredible. I cannot believe what an outstanding job he did playing the Joker. Amazing. Incredible. Insanely good. Too hard to describe in words. It's a real shame we lost such a talented actor. It's also a real shame that some couple in front of us decided it would be a good idea to bring a baby about Dakota's age to an insanely loud, late night movie. WHAT? I had a nice bitch session with the mom next to me, so luckily Jared didn't have to listen to me for 30 minutes before the movie started. I couldn't believe it.

But, as I read today in the news, Christopher Bale is apparently NOT the hero we all took him for in real life. Assaulting his mother and sister? Nice. What in the world, he was so innocent in Newsies.

In lighter news, I GOT A JOB INTERVIEW. HOLY CRAP. I am pretty excited. A recruiting firm here in Dallas, Creative Circle, places creative talent in ad agencies and companies. This particular position they have called me in for is a Mid-Sr. Level Interactive Copywriter. Their client was impressed with my portfolio. The job description lists working on big brands at a big agency. Sounds really fun. And what's even better is I emailed the person that contacted me and told him I was looking for a part-time work-from-home position and he said "we should be able to swing that for you". Cool! So I'm off to my first interview in Dallas tomorrow, and regardless of whether I get the position or not, it's a good feeling to be wanted. So my work is good and I do have talent. PHEW.

So I'm off to go update my portfolio. The last time I updated it was before my interview at Garmin. Consequently, I have to get 2 years worth of Garmin work in there. It's going to be a long night ahead.

Coach design contest.

Took a nice creative break today to enter this contest. Please vote if you think it's good! I LOVE COACH!

Monday, July 21, 2008

back to routine.

Well, the weekend is over. Dakota is finally napping, and so is Jared before he has to go into work for his night shift. This weekend was a lot of fun with Grandma and Grandpa Osburn. Dakota was spoiled and now the fun is over. I unfortunately had no time to work on my business, but such is life. I plan on getting the website ready to launch before July 22, 2008. We shall see what I get done tonight. Crossing my fingers.

Unfortunately, I have ZERO pictures to share with you all from this weekend. We were too busy shopping for Dakota's entire fall wardrobe :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Anniversary to me.

Well, I get to deal with some fun stuff on my anniversary. While Jared is sitting in lecture, no doubt bored, I get to deal with....





Yep, you guessed it...

FLEAS.

Last night, I saw one hopping around on Addison's belly. I thought no big deal, dogs get a flea, whatever. This morning, I saw TWO FLEAS on her belly. So I immediately went into freak-out mode. Addie has now had a bath, a haircut, another bath and her flea, tick and heartworm medicine. After I wrote this post, I am headed to the laundry room with her pet bed.

AND NOW MY HEAD ITCHES.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Yay for anniversaries!

Tomorrow, Jared and I will be celebrating our 4-year anniversary. We are very excited! Celebrating an anniversary is better than celebrating a birthday. You get to celebrate with the one you love. I can't believe it's already been 4 years. Time flies, really.

Dad is driving down as we speak and mom flies in Friday. Tomorrow night, Jared and I are going to hit Uptown (a trendy restaurant+bar+nightlife area near downtown that we love) and enjoy a nice meal out and drinks afterwards. We are really looking forward to it, since we really haven't had a date night in quite a while. We'll also hoping to sneak out Saturday night super late to catch the new Batman movie while everyone at home sleeps. And what's even better is Jared has the weekend off! YAY!

New venture.

Well, I am slowly emerging from my cave I like to call my office. I've been up until the crack of down (okay, not really, but super late) working on my business. Setting up my website. Getting samples together. Brainstorming ways to advertise. The legalities. You name it. When I put Dakota down for the night around 8, I immediately lock myself in my office with a Coke and a handful of Jolly Ranchers and go to town. I am super, super excited about this business venture, and I can't wait to share it with you all once it goes live. This business is exactly what I have dreamed of: combining my quirky writing skills and my love for graphic design, all while bringing a smile to someone's face. My goal is by Friday to have the website up and running. I have to go register with the county and fill out a "Doing Business As" application, but that will have to wait a few weeks until I get A. my new social security card B. my driver's license C. the form. It's been a lot of work trying to figure out each and every logisitic of how this business is going to work, but no one said it was going to be easy. Stay tuned....

Monday, July 14, 2008

A good weekend.

Despite a few minor hiccups (Erin ruining her bathroom rugs and Jared taking a dip in the pool WITH his cell phone), we had a great weekend. It was nice and relaxing and great to have Jared home for a few days. This should be an exciting week - Grandma and Grandpa Osburn are coming to visit and we will be celebrating our 4 year anniversary!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

hooray for weekends!

This weekend is very exciting. Jared has today, tomorrow and Monday off! He heads back Monday night for his first overnight shift. We are really looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. I have spent the past few nights working on my business until the wee hours of the morning (and now have roughly 48 + ounces of caffeine in my body) and Jared has been working really long, tiring shifts. Jared was able to sleep in this morning, which was nice. Then, we helped Dakota with her very first tooth brushing! She has 2 teeth now, and they recommend you start the habit early, so here she is, brushing away! Jared is playing golf with Scott and then we are grilling steaks (yum!), shopping off fireworks (yes, from the 4th) and I am making some peach cobbler. I plan on having a nice, refreshing mojito tonight. Tomorrow we will probably do something fun as a family and Monday we are going swimming! I love weekends when Jared is off. Have a great weekend!