Monday, February 27, 2012

what do you think?

Does Tatum look like Brennan or what?!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Alright, confession time. I like country music. Okay, maybe not much of a confession, but it does seem to be fairly unpopular to be a fan. I'm not obsessed with country music, or listen to nothing else, but I do enjoy it sometimes and I LOVE Lady Antebellum.

I remember watching Pure Country as a kid. I'm pretty sure my sister brought it home from college or something. The movie is unbelievably cheesy....and I love it. In case you aren't familiar with this huge hit of a movie, George Strait is the star. And I went to see him in concert last night. But instead of looking like the man in Pure Country:

He looked a little more like this:
Yeah, not quite the young thing that he once was. :) But still good ole' George haha. My brother-in-law got free tickets to the show (which was in Des Moines) through his job in advertising. Brennan couldn't go because he had another one of those lame Friday night tests. And in the words of my mother, dad isn't much of a "country western" fan. So Crystal and Rich invited some of their friends in Omaha to meet them there and were kind enough to let mom and I tag along.

See, pretty nice of them to put up with us. :)
It was a fun little adventure. Parking was a nightmare and took us fifty years so we missed half of Martina McBride's performance. At the time I didn't really mind that we were missing her, but she was actually quite good so maybe I should have been more concerned. :)

George Strait was good for the first 4 or 5 songs and then he just played a bunch of garbage I'd never heard before. And he did not play a single song from THE movie.
I was so sad. He didn't even sing I Cross My Heart. What a disappoint, George, what a disappointment. I looked it up today, and the Pure Country album was his top selling album. And he didn't sing a single song from it? Unwise. But even when he wasn't entertaining at the least the other people sitting in the nosebleeds with us were. I think my mom got more enjoyment out of watching the two cowboys in front of us than she did from any of the concert. Good times. Even if George let me down, I still had a great time and I'm glad I was able to go. Thanks for the tickets Rich!

And a HUGE thanks to my dad for watching Tatum for me. I was pretty anxious about leaving her and probably would have been a wreck if it was with anyone less capable.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Check it. I'd say I'm a pretty lucky lady.

But seriously. That guy up there works his little tail off. He takes lots of classes at a time so he can get done faster. He studies and studies...and studies some more. And on top of that he works as much as he can so that I can stay home and raise Tatum. Sometimes I'm not even sure how he keeps his eyes open. But he's like the Energizer Bunny and just keeps going. I'm grateful to have him. And I'm grateful to stay home with her.

Like I said, I'm lucky.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Uncle Caden

When I found out I was pregnant with Tatum, I figured my nieces and nephew who lived close would be excited. In fact we told them before we told their parents, hoping they would just share the news for us. :) My assumption was correct, they were excited, but I never would have guessed that when the baby came my nephew, Caden, would have more interest in her than his two sisters. Babies just seem to be a girl thing. So I'm not sure if it's just because he is a boy or if it's that it was unexpected, but it is the sweetest thing. I love watching him with Tatum. He still sort of panics if she starts to fuss at all and will pass her off as quickly as possible at that point, but he is the first to ask if he can hold her. Or offer to hold her I guess. He is careful in his word choice so he doesn't seem too eager or interested. :) I love it when he is sitting next to me and, trying to be all nonchalant, will say, "I'll hold her...if you want."

The thing is, I've seen him take interest in his other little cousins before and I thought it was sweet, but it's just different when it's your own child I guess. I cannot help but smile when I see "uncle"* Caden with Tatum.

What a good kid.

*I feel like I need to explain the title of Uncle. Yes I am aware that Caden is a cousin to Tatum, not an uncle. But one day when Caden was holding her my mom walked by and said "oh, she sure likes her Uncle Caden". Caden, Kelbie, Brennan, and I got a good laugh out of it and now the name has stuck. I'm guessing he will always be Uncle Caden to us. :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


My family came over the other night for dinner and games. We always play Cranium boys vs. girls. Always. Apparently the boys decided they got Tatum though. Here she is helping them out. She is so good she even did a "sensosketch" for them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

socially handicapped

I have come to the conclusion that I am socially handicapped. I can’t make friends. I cannot do it. Something is wrong with me. From the age of 3 or so until I was 18, I was around the same people, the same friends. I became friends with my neighbor at 3 and we are still friends today. I met one of my best friends in kindergarten and that friendship withstood middle school awkwardness and high school drama. I was the Matron of Honor in her wedding last year. The rest of my friends I picked up along my way through the public educational system in small-town Iowa. So obviously I can make friends. At least once upon a time I had the ability. But I haven’t made a new friend in eons. Somewhere along the way I lost the ability. I kinda-sorta made some friends in college. But since I don’t keep in touch with a soul from my three and a half years at BYU, I guess you could hardly call those real friendships. And in the three years since I graduated I have struggled in the friendship department. I blame it on the fact that I never moved and I grew up in a small town where my graduating class was something like 85 people. I don’t think I ever really learned the art of making friends. And now I’m not going to school 5 days a week, 8 hours a day with the same 85 people so where can I make friends? Well I guess work would be the first answer. But my job mostly required me to interact with little people between the ages of 3 and 10. And I guess you could say I did make some friends at work. But really they were just friends I had at work. Not real friends that I would get together with outside of work. Now I’m home with Tatum full time, which I love, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having some adult interaction every now and then. But I can’t. Because I’m friendless. Sometimes that doesn’t bother me. There are days when I say to myself, “Self, you don’t really need new friends. You have siblings you are friends with. And great parents. And a husband and child. Plus a few old friends you see every now and again. Self, you don’t have time for friends.” But inevitably a day will come when I just really wish I had a friend to call up and say “Hey friend, let’s do something.”

So my question for you, all you non-existent or unknown readers out there, is how do you make friends? Because I’m pretty sure my old strategies won’t work anymore. For instance, I’m fairly confident I’m not going to meet someone whose speech only I find intelligible, making us fast friends. Or that having a birthday one day apart and enjoying playing together on the playground is going to be sufficient to form a friendship today. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’m going to form any friendships with a clarinet player by sitting on the border of the clarinet and trumpet sections. I don’t think that offering some intense games of Risk, Mystery Mansion, and Pit along with some yummy instant cookies on a daily basis is going to get anyone knocking on my door. Yeah, I need new strategies. Or maybe I don’t…do people just not make friends in adulthood? From what I’ve observed it seems like they do, but maybe I’m just fooling myself. Maybe I’ll never make friends again and I should just work on fostering the old friendships I still have. Or maybe I should just convince my sister to move closer so we can hang out. After all, she’s my sister. She has to be my friend even if I am socially handicapped. :)

Monday, February 20, 2012


It has been a rough day around these parts. Brennan and I caught a nasty head cold from my parents that we are dealing with and the little tater tot doesn't seem to be herself either. She has done a lot of screaming today and even when I'm holding her will only be semi-content. I have not been able to lay her down even when she is sleeping until just a few minutes ago. Since she appears to be sleeping peacefully I thought I would get on and do a quick blog post about our Valentine's day. It wasn't anything incredibly exciting or out of the ordinary. Last weekend Brennan took his two Valentines out to the Olive Garden. Tatum was not impressed by our date and slept soundly through the whole thing. But it was fun for Brennan and I to be out together and to have some time to talk without distraction. (It was time to decide about my work situation and we had had very little opportunity to have a real conversation about it, so this time was much needed.) That was our big Valentine's date. What did I tell you? Not exciting, or out of the ordinary. But still fun.

On V-Day we exchanged small gifts. I made Brennan one of these cute little chocolate boxes. I would show you the one that I made, but apparently Brennan was eager to get to his chocolate so he just ripped his box open. So mine really isn't looking cute or impressive. Thanks, Brennan. :) We headed to my parent's house for some heart-shaped pizza and to find out who our secret valentines were. The pizza was delicious. The company was great. And Brennan and I discovered that we would make horrible detectives. Neither of us guessed our secret valentine correctly. I guess they were good at being sneaky.
Tatum all dressed in red in honor of the holiday.

While my mom was holding Tatum her bow kept shifting until it was right in the center of her forehead. For some reason that tickled my funny bone, and then my mom said she looked like a miner. That sealed the deal, I had to get a picture of it. Tatum, our little miner?
Now that we have such a cute baby to photograph, we take pictures of little else. Luckily we remembered to snap a quick one of the two of us on Valentine's Day. Me and my Valentine:
I have a special love for the little holidays. Nothing is better than having just a little reason to celebrate at the end of an ordinary day. Hope you all had a great Valentine's day too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Now that I have been a mom for 8 whole weeks, I guess I consider myself somewhat of an expert. Or maybe not. Motherhood is a wonderful thing, but I would be lying if I said it was just what I always expected. It’s not even close! All I ever thought about was having a little baby to hold and cuddle and love. I never thought I would be one of those moms that worry about the silliest things. But I do. I never realized just how much you can love a tiny little person who really can’t give a lot back. (I mean she does, but it’s not like she is telling me she loves me too.) But I really do love her more than I could ever express. I never thought that a newborn would take so much of my time or be so much work. But she does. So, motherhood. Not exactly how I envisioned, but I don’t think I’d change much about it. I feel silly when I worry about things when I know I shouldn’t. Like when she goes 6 hours without eating during the day. Or when she goes too many days without pooping. Or when I worry about her cognitive development, am I fostering it enough? Do I need to listen to Mozart more often? I mean it’s all silly stuff. She is safe and warm and very loved, she’ll be fine. So I might feel silly about these worries, but I’m glad that she is here and that I’m the one lucky enough to be able to worry about her. Sometimes I wish she was old enough that she showed more of a preference for mom. That just every once in a while I could do the same thing that dad or grandma or papa was doing, but it would work just because I’m mom. But I know it will come soon enough and the beauty of it is that I don’t need that reciprocation, I just love her. How could you not love this tiny, perfect, innocent little person? Even if she is a lot of work. :) Yes, I was one of those crazies who thought I’d stay at home with my sweet little baby AND have lots of time to do all the scrapbooking that’s built up, learn how to sew a few things, read all the books on my list, etc. It has been eye opening that is for sure. Brennan would get home at the end of the day and ask me what I did. Eventually I had to tell him to stop asking. I hate it! The end of the day rolls around and I think, what do I have to show for it?! It is amazing how little I can accomplish in one day. :) And when he makes me verbalize that fairly pathetic list of accomplishments it can be a little disheartening. I try to remember that Tatum is safe, healthy, and happy and that’s most important, but it’s still better when he just avoids that general question. So I don't have as much time as I thought I would and I worry about silly things but check out these perfect little hands and perfect little toes, how can I complain?
I can't. Being a mom is the best.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


hehehe. Maybe not quite. Before Tatum was born we went through a box of old baby girl clothes at my parent's house. We pulled out a few gems and took them home with us. Among those was this sweet ensemble. We have actually used the booties and anticipate using the the little sweater. But all together? It is just too funny. I guess I got a little bored one evening while Brennan was studying and so I dressed Tatum in the entire outfit before I put her in her pajamas. And of course we had to take pictures. Good thing we have such a cute baby she can pull off any look. :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grandma Muranaka visits

Well we have been living in Iowa for almost two years and we finally had our first visitor from Brennan's family. I guess having a baby makes us more appealing. :) Brennan's mom was able to come out for a few days to spend time with us and meet Tatum. Considering how mild our winter has been, she sure managed to pick some cold days to be in Iowa so there wasn't a lot of venturing out opportunities. She was probably pretty bored, I'm sure our house felt freezing, and she didn't get to do a lot BUT there was lots of time to hold cute little Tatum so her trip couldn't have been a complete waste. :) It was fun to host a visitor and we are glad you could make the trip Melanie!
I take a lot of pictures, and she is just so cute that once again you get a completely unrelated picture of Tatum. Enjoy!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I completed a pin

Thanks to a coworker, I was surprisingly early to jump on the Pinterest train. But I must have been missing something, still must be in fact. Everyone talks about being addicted to it and that's just never quite happened to me. I think I decided that that is, at least in part, due to the fact that I just pin away but never do anything with it. I think "oh that looks cool" or "those look yummy!" and I pin them and then never think about them again. So Pinterest quickly lost it's appeal. But I am happy to report that I have finally used Pinterest in my real life instead of just in my cyberspace existence. I made this spaghetti bread. If you click on the link you can see what it was supposed to look like. Then check out mine:

Not too shabby eh? The little weaving you have to do on the top started out real good, but it was sort of messed up in the second half, but you can hardly tell! I'll take it. Now this meal is really mostly about the presentation but it did taste good too! I'll be honest, it was nothing special or extraordinary in it's taste, just normal spaghetti and normal breadsticks put together (plus a lot of mozzarella cheese). Is it a meal I will start craving from time to time? No, probably not. Will I make it again? Probably. It was kind of fun to make a meal that sort of looked fancy even if it was all a facade.

Hopefully in the coming months I will have more things that I have completed from Pinterest to share with you. Hopefully.

And just because she's cute (and who wants a post with pictures of food and no baby?), here's Tatum: