Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Best Hubs Ever!

I am going to take a moment to give my hubs a huge shout out. This will be sappy, so I apologize for all you people who aren’t fans of public declarations of sap. You may want to stop reading. I just have to share how incredible my husband is and explain why he is the absolute best hubby ever.

First, my acknowledgements:

 I have to give a huge cosmic thank you to my Daddy for exemplifying the qualities of a good husband and father. Because of him, I knew that I needed (and my Daddy even made me feel that I deserved) a husband that would love his family (and tell them daily) and put them first all while working hard to provide for them to the best of his abilities. Because of my Daddy, I waited for such a man and am soooo incredibly glad I did.

More than all of that, an infinite thank you to my Father of Fathers for blessing me with such an earthly father and creating Christopher Hardegree especially for me. Thankfully, our God does not give us the things we deserve, instead He gives us things beyond our wildest expectations and dreams. Even though I knew how a good husband should be, I could never have imagined such an outstanding man as Christopher Hardegree.

And the sappiness will probably only increase from here on out.

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:"

1) Chris is an outstanding gift giver. He knows me so well and puts a lot of thought into his gifts. Every gift he has given me has been perfect. He listens to me (whoa! he is a keeper, right ladies???) and makes mental notes about things I mention. He also surprises me regularly with flowers. Out of everything the best gift is probably my engagement ring--I still think it is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen to this day, and he picked it out all by himself.

My engagement ring

My Mother's Day gift (Charlotte's birth stone)
Flowers sent to me at work to help me survive my first busy season as a mom
2) He is extremely brave, and I know he would do everything in his power to protect Lottie and me. I always feel safe when he is around.

But, really he is and he would. I just don't have a picture that would convey that.
3) He is very attractive and is getting more attractive as he ages.

4) He is the best father to a little girl. Lottie lights up when he walks into the room. She is one lucky little lady--her daddy dotes on her.

5) He makes up silly songs and appreciates my silly songs (which not everyone would, trust me). He made up the following jingle to a super catchy tune:
I am Beth
I am brilliant
And I am beautiful
I am Beth
I am brilliant
And I am beautiful
I am really stinking smart
I am like a work of art
And I make him happy

This is so catchy that it randomly pops into my head and really brightens my day (well aside from feeling weird singing a song about myself in my head).

6) He keeps Lottie & I laughing...and laughing...and laughing.

7) He is amazing with people. He can make anyone feel welcome and at home, and he has made me better at this as well. It is what most people, including myself, admire about him. He is going to be the best doctor.

8) He loves to hunt. Never knew I would love this in a guy, but I do. I love that he goes outdoors and brings home food for his family. I especially love the way he respects animals and the outdoors. True hunters love the animals they hunt.

9) He always knows where my keys are--something I do not. (No picture of this because I can't take a picture of my keys without knowing where they are.)

10) He is the best story teller, and I mean the best story teller. I think I am improving after 7 years of watching the master. (If you want to see it first-hand, ask about the sandhill crane incident).

11) He helps around the house, and no matter how busy he is, he takes out the trash--my least favorite chore. It means a lot to me that he takes time out of his crazy med student schedule and does this for me.

12) He is romantic. He plans super creative dates and surprises me with random notes or flowers. He also makes sure we get regular dates. He puts a lot into our marriage.

13) He is very very very hard worker. I can't say enough how proud of him I am. He is doing amazing things.

14) He tells me I am beautiful and that he loves me every day. I never feel more special than when Chris is around. I am a very lucky lady.

And I love him for a thousand more ways. I can't count the ways.

Boo--Thanks for the incredible journey you are taking us on. It is a long road and sometimes I know we wonder why we are doing it, but we both trust God will get us where He wants us. No matter we end up I know you will get us there laughing. Happy 29th Babe!!! I love you!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lottie is sitting up!

Lottie sat up for a few seconds for the first time Saturday! Chris and I decided it was long enough to count. :) She did it several times that night. It so crazy to think she is sitting up already! 

I think she would have done even better if Amber had not been laying in front of her. Lottie loves the dogs, so she kept leaning forward trying to fall onto Amber and grab her fur. Her feet are the other obstacle to her sitting up. She has discovered that if she lets herself fall completely forward, she can fall so her mouth lands on her toes and she can chew on them. It is actually pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Best Distraction Ever

Working at night is so much better with a sweet baby by your side. Especially if that sweet baby cracks up every time you look at her. Of course it does distract you a bit.

She was lying on her play gym next to me while I worked at the kitchen table. Every time I looked her way she just cracked up. I had really going for a while. She isn't laughing as hard here because the camera distracted her some. Also, she is a little congested, hence, the snorting.

Busy season may be a little harder with a baby, but man these moments sure exceed the little extra stress. I sure love this girl!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Circle of Life

We did it. We bit the bullet and joined the Minivan Club. And I must say we are very happy with it.

We have been saving for at least 3 years to pay cash for a car (this one is for you, Dave Ramsey!). Of course, we didn't start out thinking "Man! I have always dreamed of owning a minivan! Now is the time!" We started out looking at SUVs about 1.5 years ago. And this is what we discovered:

There is a reason no one wants to own a minivan, yet half of America drives one.

They are just practical:
- Cheaper than a SUV
- Better gas mileage
- More cargo space
- Full sized 3rd row
- Cargo space even with 3rd row in use
- Easy to get in and out of (ie easy to get a car seat in and out of)
The list goes on and on.

This will come to no surprise to those of you who know me--practicality won out. Chris man-ed up and got on the minivan train.

Now that we knew what we wanted, it was just a matter of when to get it. Driving home at Christmas loaded as seen below (note the crib on top and how low the rear is over the back tire) made it clear that Christmas 2014 was our deadline.

After a lot of searching (Honda Odysseys are actually a very hot item apparently--we had 4 bought out from under us), here is the latest edition to the Hardegree family:

It is a 2006 with 74K miles and is loaded. Chris and I feel like we are living in luxury. And the best part: it was at the lower end of our budget.

My 2 favorite aspects:

Butt warmers and separate air control??? This is the posh life for the Hardegrees.
And last, put definitely not least, Lottie loves it.
It is just the circle of life. My mom left the minivan world after 25 years in July, and I entered it 2 months later.