Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout the...

...birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees and the moon up above, and a thing called love.

1. The Birds

There are a lot of birds here - beautiful birds - right outside our windows. Even though my sister, Brooklyn, swears there were bluebirds all the time in the pine trees outside my mom's house, I never saw them. Therefore, they were never there. But there are blue jays and northern cardinals (state bird), yellow-throated warblers, scarlet tanagers... etc. All these pics are Google images, I have yet to bust out my camera to capture the flighty things.

2. The Bees

If you know me, you already know how much I HATE bees. Yeah sure, pollinate and honey and all that stuff - but why sting? And must their buzz be so loud?
Anyway, fun fact about North Carolina: they have these things called Carpenter Bees that are basically bees that like to burrow and lay their eggs into old wood. Oh, another fun fact: there are a lot of trees in North Carolina, and some of them are old and dead. Also people have a lot of dead wood and branches just laying around their yards from various storms. And also, our deck out back is made of old wood. So here's what I see at least sixty of every. single. day.

In addition to all these monster bees, North Carolina is also home to your standard, everyday wasps, bees and bumblebees - which look like this if you don't know:

So yeah, basically I go through a living hell every time I pass beneath a flowering tree (of which there are hundreds - but we'll get to that in time).

3. The Flowers

The flowers here just pop up out of nowhere in the most unexpected of places. Not just weedy flowers either - there are daffodils everywhere. Just bloomin' away like they own the place. Spring is beautiful everywhere, but have you guys seen an an azalea bush?

4. The Trees

Though the flowers are spectacular, the showstoppers here have got to be the flowering trees. Thanks to books and movies I had heard of dogwood trees, but I had never actually seen one in real life. The white dogwood trees are gorgeous - it looks like millions of butterflies are sitting on the branches.

But, the pink dogwood trees are by far my favorite.

Before the dogwoods were in full bloom though, there were all these droopy pink-flowered trees that were so pretty. I did some googling and I am not sure, but I think they were called weeping cherry trees? Anyone that knows their NC trees, please correct me if I'm wrong.

And, of course, the beautiful tree right outside our front door... I don't know it's name either. 

Every time I passed underneath it on our walkway I felt like I was in a wedding, or a fairytale!

5. The Moon Up Above and a Thing Called Love

I don't really have anything to say about the moon here - it's the same moon everyone else sees. I guess I could write something cute and sappy and along the same lines as the American Tail song... Except the time difference would mean I would have to stay up way later than my Utah peeps if we wanted to stare at the same moon at the same time. I'm so sentimental!

And it's still a little early to say that we love it here - I mean, we like it. But right now it's like as a friend kind of like. Winter was really rude to us and I think we might hold that grudge for a while. But hey, we love each other! Even though you'd think we'd be sick of each other by now, we're not :) Stay tuned though, finals are just around the corner. 

**Again, the only pic in this post that was taken by me is the last one. They're all from Google, but only because I have so many things to carry around these days that my camera has sort of been neglected.


Time for a Blog Post I S'poOOoose...

Anyone else used to watch Homestar Runner? Specifically Teen Girl Squad? If so, click the link and enjoy the nostalgia - if not, don't click it and keep your same opinion of me :)

Anyway, I'm way overdue for a blog post. Luckily, I'm NOT overdue for a baby - that won't happen for 5+ more weeks. Which is just nuts, if you think about it. Five weeks!

A few gals from the ward threw me a baby shower this past weekend - it was a blast! I mean, I know I've said somewhere before (probably here) that I'm totally anti second-baby showers, but you know what, my heart has changed. Because sometimes ladies need any sort of excuse to get together and eat delicious foods and talk. It also didn't hurt that I walked away with armfuls of adorable pink and yellow baby stuff.

I wish I would have thought to take pics at the shower, but let my otherwise useless English degree paint you a picture:

It is noon on a drizzly spring day. The buds on the trees have recently burst, and there is excitement in the air at the anticipation of sunny spring days ahead. Walking up the driveway provides a grandiose view of the front of one of the most beautiful white wood homes in the south. The spacious front porch welcomes you warmly to the party - but even warmer still is the smile of the owner and host, Nancy, who invites ya'll to come on in and make yourself comfortable (Nancy has appropriately turned her southern charm way up - her accent thick as shrimp gumbo). Loren (co-host) plays with her little daughter, giving me a delicious glimpse 18 months into the future. Pink and white bouquets of balloons, a bowl of butter-mints wrapped in pale pink plastic, an adorable little cake that has been polka-dotted pink and tied up like a gift with matching ribbon. It is a beautiful party. But wait - a smell wafts gently through the air as Jessica (co-host) takes a breakfast casserole out of the oven and sets it on the kitchen island. The dining room table is also full of food of the most delicious variety - layered salad, fruit and dip, croissants... it is all too much to take in - yet I can't get enough. After seconds and thirds, we all retire to the living room to ogle over the contents of the caboodle of gifts on the table. And oh, do we ogle. 

Eventually, as one would expect of course, the conversation turns to Dateline murders, concealed carry permits and whether or not keeping mace in your cleavage while running is healthy. We also talked a lot about babies and what happens in the delivery room - but that stays in the delivery room, and between female friends congregated over cake. 

It was a wonderful affair, and I believe all involved had quite a pleasant time - leaving with lifted souls and an eager anticipation for the next opportunity to gather together. 

Alright, there you have it. So whether or not you live too far away, or your invite was sent to the wrong address, or you simply had other plans - you basically came to my shower now!

Later I laid everything out and showed Kade and Jonah the spoils. Jonah was very excited - I had to keep telling him this was all for baby girl, not him. I could never get him to take a binky when he was a baby, but for some reason he was obsessed with his sister's.

So yeah, the shower was great, and everyone was so generous! And get this - I just got done writing all my thank-you notes and licking all the envelopes and writing my address until I thought I might go crazy, and it has only been three days! I'm so proud of myself. Guys, this is a huge accomplishment for me. Some of you are probably still waiting for thank-you notes from my bridal showers (sorry, you can stop obsessively checking your mailbox... you probably won't get one. Just know that I am sorry, I was busy being a newlywed, and I promise to pass it on by never expecting a thank-you card from any wedding gift I ever give from now on). 

In other news... 

We contemplated transitioning Jonah to a big boy bed, but wondered if it was too early. After much listing of pros and cons, we finally decided we would just try it out and see what happened. 

He stayed in his bed after we said goodnight, and didn't get up the entire night! In fact, he slept better than he has in a long time. Here ^ he is pictured contemplating the many days of baby and toddlerhood that has brought him to this point.

This morning I saw from the camera that he was only halfway on his bed - so I thought he was awake and playing. Turns out he was fast asleep.

(By the way, he LOVES his Thomas jammies and Thomas shirt. Like, you can't even fathom how much he loves them. I have to pry them off of him to wash them. Great job Nana and Gma Marilyn!)

He even took a nap today and didn't leave his bed! Oh, words cannot express how proud I am of my cute little boy. Seriously though, I definitely take him for granted sometimes. Sure, he can be a huge pain, but he has been so easy about big life changes. He weaned himself in a day, he moved across the country and it weren't no thang, and he moved to a big boy bed without a fuss. I don't want to jinx anything but he really is a good boy. He has never been too mischievous either. Yet, I still lose my patience with him too often. What is my problem? Ah, parenthood. Definitely a long arduous journey into a world of constant self-doubt and soul-wracking guilt. What do you do. 

So that's the hippity-haps 'round these parts.

Oh! Also, we watched the movie Mud last night, and brother did that threaten to turn my accent completely southern. I just couldn't help it. Other than that it was a decent movie. One thumb up and one hand rotating quickly from palm-up to palm-down.  


Spring Break Part 1: Mayberry

 I'd like to think there are still a few of you who check up on my blog without the help of Facebook links - and so, because I've already posted all of these pictures to Facebook, I decided to still write a blog post about our spring break adventures.

First stop, Mount Airy, a.k.a. Mayberry! Home of Andy Griffith himself.
Ever since we found out we were going to move to NC, Kade's dad has been beside himself with anxiety to visit ol' Mayberry. Yet, he somehow forgot his fishin' pole and we didn't make it to any fishin' holes - mostly because that scene was shot at a lake in southern California. Yeah, cheap.

But despite most of the "old relics" being fake (on account of most of the TV series was shot in Hollywood), and mostly despite this super creepy cutout:

just look at how excited Curtis is to finally be here:

Fun Fact: It was because of the photo above that my sister and I began a discussion about people's hairstyles, and how sometimes there's just one single hairstyle that makes you look the best - and how this one was not working for me. I have too much white on my face. As in a serious lack of eyebrows and stubby eyelashes. I gave myself bangs that very night. 

After the Andy Griffith museum (in which we were NOT allowed to take pictures... lame) we walked on over to old main street and wandered around.

We went to Opie's Candy and got ourselves some sweets and a few Cheerwines in glass bottles. At this point I feel it important to note that Jonah had been freaking out for a good thirty or so minutes (he was exhausted) and even a giant yellow lollipop could not console him. This is why there aren't many pictures of the rest of our Mayberry adventure - including the red velvet cupcake that was *LITERALLY* the size of my face that I ate without sharing. Hey... pregnant. No shame there.

Hey, check it out - Jonah being cute for a minute. 

 We were a little bit disappointed that there wasn't an old courthouse we could walk through. Then, lo and behold, as we were driving around we found one!

It was pretty cool, because it was empty. You could walk around and look at whatever you wanted without some tour guide telling you all the stuff you already knew. Well, stuff that Curtis already knew - which was everything about the Andy Griffith Show. And I thought I was a fan...

Then we found this gem out back ^
Which was ironic since Curtis had just barely been talking about the Darlin's. He asked if I remembered them and I shamefully had to shake my head no. Brooke remembered though! Probably due to her lifetime of watching old movies and TV shows into the night long after everyone else had gone to sleep.

Thankfully, the weather all day was gorgeous. It was a great day to wander around and check out some history, and also some staged history. And Curtis is the happiest he's ever been.


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