Friday, May 25, 2012

Gardening pays off on so many levels!

Gardening has been such a stress release for me lately. It is great exercise to be squatting, tugging, lopping, digging, and sweating outside in the beautiful (warm-hot) weather we've been having. And I love watching all of my hard work pay off on our dinner table and in our vases. I love being able to spend time outside in our little piece of paradise, which is what I've always called our beautiful yard. I have a lot planned for the coming months and years, and its transformation into a super paradise, but for now, it's beautiful, and we love it.

I usually don't grow flowers. Most of my resources (money, time, water, care) go toward vegetable gardening, since that is what will (theoretically) benefit us the most. But I realized last year with my poor squash harvest that attracting pollinators is a crucial part of gardening, which usually involves growing flowers of some sort. So this year, I have embraced flowers. I have planted rose bushes, tickseed coreopsis (which is much cuter than it sounds), butterfly bush, salvia, and milkweed. I also allowed 1 of my broccoli to flower, and that's been the biggest attractor of honeybees for sure! Along with a marigold border to keep pests away and beautiful (but small) lavender blooms, the garden and yard is blooming upfront! In the backyard, I have 2 Lacecap hydrangeas that are beautiful! I didn't realize that there are 2 types of hydrangeas, so I assumed that for whatever reason, my blooms weren't filling in. So when I went to troubleshoot this via my good friend the Internet last week, and discovered this lesser-known variety, I was thrilled that nothing was wrong!

Today while doing some weeding and pruning in the backyard (a weeding holocaust is coming for the plants by the creek), I decided to bring some of the beauty inside, so I clipped a few flowers and brought them inside!

And, of course, I took some pictures.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I ate the first raspberry off our bushes yesterday. It was...COMPLETELY DELICIOUS!!!!!

Broccoli, lavender, rosemary

Lacecap hydrangeas

Same bloom, with flash...

without flash. Crazy, right?

Pool Party!

Can you see the skink?

Grapes on the pergola! Not ripe yet, but tart and delicious!

JJ filling up his pool! I got this pool because I liked that it rolled up for easy storage, but it is really flimsy. I may replace it. We'll see.

See the "nice" collapsable sides?

Bodybuilder. Ladies!

JJ thought the water was too cold, because he didn't spend a lot of time in the pool. He was much more interested in the weeds that I was trimming and pulling. Or climbing the stairs on his way to the street. Usually he hangs out in his pack n play in the yard while I do my yard work, which works great for us! Love spending time with my little guy in our piece o' paradise!

Tomorrow JJ starts swim lessons at the YMCA! So excited!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Just thinking about how far our little guy has come, and looking through some of my favorite pictures of him. Thought I'd share...

Hours old

6 days old (I think this is my favorite picture ever of JJ. When I think of those first few weeks with him, this is what I think of)

1 1/2 months old

2 1/2 months old

4 months old

4 1/2 months old

 aw (<<-- JJ typed this when he peeked around my computer. I'm going to leave it a) as evidence that my child is a genius and b) because it's exactly what I say when I look at these pictures of my tiny little man!)

5 1/2 months old

6 1/2 months old

7 1/2 months old

8 1/2 months old

10 months old

11 months old

12 months old

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Take me out to the ball game!

For Mother's Day with Jim's mom, we went to a Charlotte Knights baseball game! It was the busiest I've ever seen the stadium! Despite the crowds, we had a great time! Jim, JJ, and I took a ride on the carousel and played on the hill for a while, since JJ was getting antsy. The Knights won (woohoo!) and the evening ended in an awesome fireworks display. JJ enjoyed them once he was cuddled up with his mommy. Here's some pictures, which are all pretty self-explanatory, of our awesome trip!