Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Review

Maybe no one else is excited about a post in which I review the past year, but looking through everything that has happened was super exciting and also extremely nostalgic for me.

January: We rang January in the right way last year, with lots of excitement. Aubrey started walking. I almost burned the house down. Martin wore footie pajamas. Can you even ask for any more in just one month?

February: Aubrey becomes a groupie. Martin and I continue to have ridiculous conversations. We enjoy the best subs in the world!

March: Aubrey continues to get cuter and cuter in her daddy's shoes, on the farm, and playing in the dirt. I get my first pedicure! Katie teaches me the fine art of making the most delicious fresh salsa on our fabulous vacation in Florida.

April: Aubrey gets really into showing off her muscles. I have a spectacular time in Georgia with college roommates. The ridiculous conversations continue. I start making the most delicious pork tenderloin.

May: My mom turns 50! For the first time ever, my brother wants my approval. It
becomes apparent, once again, that I am terrible with cars. And Aubrey has adorable clothes.

June: Martin and I can sleep through anything. I learn some motorcycle lingo. Aubrey falls in love with strawberries and wildflowers. Caton continues to exaggerate (but less so).

July: We temporarily were without internet this month. But..... Aubrey starts climbing out of her crib. Martin defends the family. And we discover that ice cream is a huge hit.

August: We enjoy a weekend vacation for a wedding, and Martin is again...ridiculous. Aubrey finds her favorite toy. And the sleeping saga continues.

September: We go to a Zac Brown Band Concert. I become obsessed with Chicken Tacos and spend way too much time thinking about the meaning of hashtags. And Aubrey gets a kitten (or three).

October: I think I've finally overcome my issue with picking out vehicles (turns out, I haven't). The sleeping saga continues, again (the good news is at this point it's almost over). We find out we're having a girl! And we close on our dream house and move in!

November:  I really dragged my feet on getting internet access in our new home so I have a limited recollection of what happened in this month. But it included some home improvements and Aubrey learning the blame game.

December: I lose my keys. Aubrey gets really into Hide and Seek. My brothers attempt to help Martin with my Christmas Present, and of course, Christmas happens.

So.....that pretty much sums up 2012. See you next year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Throwing Snowballs

One of the best parts about having kids is the ability to re-enjoy children's activites through your own child's eyes. I mean, yeah, playing in the snow is fun as an adult....but nothing really compares to the joy in Aubrey's face when she tosses a sprinkling of snow at her feet.

This weekend we've spent lots of time outside enjoying the snow. Sledding has definitely become a fast favorite. Snow has become a new favorite snack. And throwing snowballs at mommy is the most halarious thing in the world.

Martin: Want me to take your picture with Aubrey.
Me: No.
Martin: Why not?
Me: Because I don't want to be in a picture.
Martin: You're wearing my carharts. You can't even tell you're pregnant. (Looks me over) Well, you kind of can, but it doesn't matter.

He got one of my anyway.

Like most children, Aubrey goes from having the time of her life to freezing and needs to go in the house immediately in a matter of seconds. Seriously, it's crazy how quickly her mood can change. One second she's laughing and throwing snowballs and the next second she wants to go in the house.

Of course, once we're back in the house I make hot chocolate for both of us like my mom used to do when I was a that's a pretty good incentive.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Missing Shirt

Since we've moved into our new home - I've done nothing to decorate our bedroom. I haven't even attempted to organize the massive pile of clothes that Martin dropped in there on move in day and that continues to be picked through, worn, washed and then returned to a massive pile. I also haven't attempted to organize the dresser which is full of Martin's clothes and was in no way organized before moving day so I'm sure is not organized now. I do want to decorate our bedroom so it looks a little more homey and inviting, but it's really low on my priority list of rooms I want to look homey and inviting. Mostly because it's usually dark when we're in there so I don't see the mess.

Martin: Have you seen my Brockway shirt?
Me: No. Was it in that laundry that I just washed, because that is clean - I just need to fold it and bring it upstairs.
Martin: No. It's been missing since we moved. I wasn't sure if it was still in the other apartment somewhere.
Me: Oh. No. There is absolutely nothing in the old apartment. It is probably somewhere in that giant mess of clothes you have in our bedroom. I haven't touched that.
Martin: That is an organized mess and I would have found it in there by now!

The next day.

Martin: So, I found my Brockway shirt.
Me: Oh yeah, where was it?
Martin: Pretty much where you said it would be.
Me: See, I told you. It's been there the whole time.
Martin: I'm not so sure about that. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Hide and Seek

Aubrey loves Hide and Seek.....

She is also absolutely terrible at Hide and Seek.

A typical game of Hide and Seek with Aubrey goes something like this...

Aubrey: Mommy, play Hide and Seek?
Me: Okay, you go hide. I'm going to close my eyes and count to ten.
Aubrey: (immediately starts running away and you wonder through your closed eyes how a toddler can possibly make so much noise)
Me: One, two, three, (footsteps headed away from me, that's a good sign)
Me: Eight, Nine, Ten

By the time you reach ten she will be directly in front of you shouting come find me! with her best smile.

Coaching doesn't work.

Trying to get her to hide with someone else doesn't work.

The girl just wants to be found!

Sometime last week my brother, Garrett, was over and attempting to teach Aubrey how to properly play Hide and Seek. Martin starting counting and Garrett led Aubrey over to the piano and instructed her to hide behind it and be very quiet so daddy wouldn't find her.

By the time Martin got to ten Aubrey was barrelling out from behind the piano to tell everyone that she Hide behind piano!

Martin: She is just like you, honey.
Me: What do you mean? I'm awesome at Hide and Seek (I know -  comparing my skills to those of my two year old daughter is probably not a very good parenting technique)
Martin: I just picture that you were probably just like this as a child.
Me: Oh....probably.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!! I know ours was fantastic and also very busy! The festivities started on Christmas Eve with our traditional Brucker Family Christmas get together. As there seems to be more kids every year, Aubrey and all the children had hours of fun chasing each other in circles around and around and around the shop. Needless to say, she came home dirty, happy and exhausted! Meaning she slept until 9:30 Christmas morning!

Christmas morning was marked by breakfast at our house with my family and present opening from Santa. Santa sort of cheated this year and just wrapped up some pictures to hang on Aubrey's wall, but she didn't seem to mind at all! Of course, there was a puppet from grandma and a toy tractor from Uncle Garrett and something somewhere that came with packing basically it was heaven!

Christmas afternoon we spent with Martin's family which once again resulted in a lot of scenarios of toddlers using Martin as a slide and yelling at Gabe to sit down! and do the right thing!

And finally Christmas evening was marked by a sudden urge of mine to reorganize the playroom while Martin assembled my new pool table! It looks amazing in our house!

So....that's what happened around here.

Putting out milk and cookies....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

That Crazy Hour

Yesterday, I spent the day hanging out with my amazing sister in law, Ingrid. Meaning, I dragged her to work with me for a few hours and then we had an amazing lunch and caught up on some tv shows ( the Mindy Project anyone. ) also I made her follow me all around the house while I folded laundry and gave Aubrey a bath. In a great hostess like that. Martin had been spending the day with Gabe and at some point when we were still at work, he recruited my brothers to go get my Christmas present. They rolled home about 6:30 after spending four hours at the Crooked Door ( our local bar). Gabe made a late entry because he was calling up dragons in our backyard. Alex wandered into the house, fell on the couch and then proceeded to puke all over our couch and floor within a minute. Mitchell are 6 pieces of pizza and just giggled a lot. He was basically a toddlers dream cone true as there has been no other time when someone so enthusiastically played dinosaur with Aubrey. Gabe came in the house and declared he needed to move the crib upstairs for me. I told him not to worry about it for the moment. He took matters into his own hands and bent the crib trying to drag it. I made Alex clean up the puke because it was making everyone gag. He managed to get a trail of puke from the living room to the kitchen. Martin kept apologizing. All I could really do was laugh.

Martin: I am so sorry. Please don't look at our credit card bill.
Me: wait. Did you buy their drinks?
Martin: well... They paid for some of them.
Me: so what you're saying is you took them to the bar, paid for them to get drunk, and then brought them back to our house so they could puke on our couch and break our crib.
Martin: it sounds a lot worse when you say it like that.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Soothed with Words

Martin has a tendency to stop in for a quick minute somewhere to say hi or run an errand and then he doesn't return home for another five hours. I've gotten pretty used to how easily he gets sidetracked combined with his lack of attention or any spacial concept of time at all and there are certain places where I have come to expect a late arrival.

Martin: I have to go over to Tom's quick and help him move a fireplace.
Me: Ok.
...a few minutes later
Martin: Well, I guess I better go get this over with.
Me: Don't make it sound like a plight of yours or something. It's a Tuesday night. I know you're going to spend four minutes moving the fireplace and two hours drinking beer.
Martin: Just let me soothe you with my words.

He then proceeds to walk over to the drawer full of coozies.
Me: What are you doing?
Martin: Well, I figured I should probably bring a coozie.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Proof That We're Both Ridiculous

A phone conversation between Martin and I on Monday morning when I was still "looking" for my keys.

Martin: I'm sorry honey. I should have put them up higher. They were right where Aubrey could reach them.
Me: It's ok....I'm sure they'll turn up.
Martin: But they definitely weren't next to your purse?
Me: Were they next to my purse this morning?
Martin: I don't know. I went to sleep in my clothes so I just left this morning for work.
Me: You went to sleep in your clothes??? Why?
Martin: I don't know. I thought I might not be able to this morning. I just really wanted to go to bed last night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Gift of the Magi

Have you ever read the short story The Gift of the Magi by O'Henry? I love it! It is one of my favorite christmas stories of all time. O'Henry writes amazing short stories. This post is very, very loosely related to The Gift of the Magi but about 1000 times less heroic and brave and heartwarming.

This morning my hair was very long.
Then I cut ten inches off at lunchtime
Now it's short and sassy! (excuse the fact that I am terrible at taking self portraits. I can't seem to get my eyes to stop bugging out and my face to look normal)
Just after high school I got a drastic hair cut and donated my hair. After college I did it again. Now its a fun four year tradition (even thought I'm at four and a half years now).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pregnancy Brain

On Sunday night as I was walking into the house with my arms full of sleepy toddler and freshly decorated Christmas cookies ( thanks for the great afternoon, Jen!) I left the keys to our house hanging in the doorway. Within a few minutes Martin came in the house with my keys in hand and set them gently next to my purse.

Fast forward to Monday morning when I'm rushing around trying to get out of the house. Sitting next to my purse is....not my keys. I start frantically searching high and low. I looked in my purse, under the counter, in the toy room. I called Martin to verify that he had set my keys next to my purse. Eventually I really needed to get to work as I was already late for a meeting so I called my mom and she came to save us and to let me borrow her truck for the day.

Monday night I had to work late so Martin started the key search before my arrival. His conversations with Aubrey went something like this:
Martin: Aubrey, do you know where you put mommy's keys? Did you take them off the counter>
Aubrey: mommy lost keys!

By the time I arrived home close to ten Martin had given up the search and was cuddled on the couch with a very exhausted Aubrey watching Dora. As I grabbed Aubrey and leaned her against my shoulder on our way to bed, I did a quick scan of the area for my keys.

Me: Aubrey, do you know where mommy's keys are?
Aubrey: the keys in your purse.
Me: no, I'm pretty sure they're not in my purse. I already emptied that this morning.

I go back over to my purse anyway and empty the front pocket yielding a wallet, some change, and a spoon from lunch. I empty the back pocket pulling out my 2012 planner, my 2013 planner, an envelope, and just when I'm reaching down to grab my checkbook .... My keys!

Me: I really thought I checked this! In sorry honey.
Martin: you have pregnancy brain.

This event is coming right on the heels of Martin and I watching this episode of How I Met Your Mother, an episode which while watching I was actually thinking to myself that my judgement has not been at all impaired by my pregnancy. Apparently I've got a few things to learn about myself.

ps. sorry for the poor quality of this clip. It was the only one I could find on youtube.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa Claus

With Christmas just around the corner, Aubrey is finally old enough to really be excited about the event. It's been contagious around here and I love listening to her excitement and cheer. Bathtimes usually alternate between putting bubbles on her face and declaring she's Santa Claus and then moments later breaking out into song, happy birthday baby Jesus.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Keeping Me In Line

Ok... so here's a confession. I am terrible at putting together cute outfits and when I do assemble something I think looks cute I usually try to wear it two days in a row, provided I'm not going to see the same people again. Another confession: when I say looks cute I really mean anything that looks presentable. It doesn't even really need to be cute.

Since I've been pregnant and huge and assembling public worthy outfits seems like the hardest task of my life, I've gotten much much worse with this habit.

Martin: Is that what you're wearing to church?
Me: Um....yeah....why?
Martin: That's like the third day in a row you've worn that shirt! I'm pretty sure you wore it to bed last night.
Me: Fine! I'll change! I just don't have that many clothes that I look decent in!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Justin Michau Photography

Last year for Christmas, Martin got me a family photo session with Justin Michau Photography. You guys, this guy is amazing!

He managed to take our very awkward at getting out pictures taken selves and come up with a goldmine of photos.

Seriously, narrowing the batch down from 61 to 14 to post on this blog post was really really hard.

This picture of the cow is one of my absolute favorites, though.

And this picture of Aubrey runnimg through the barn... it's true love.

He does amazing things with the sun and angles.

And Martin looked like a complete stud in every picture (although that might have a lot to do with the fact that Martin is a complete stud!)

Seriously the shadow? The angle? So artistic, so beautiful. I'm in love. Also, sometime around when this picture was taken Justin congratulated me on my pregnancy. For some reason my first thought was that he could tell even at such an early stage and I was immediately very defensive. Then he informed me Martin had told him about the upcoming event. Whoops.

One of my good friends looked through these photos and declared they looked like engagement photos. They do, but better.

This is one of my favorites because it's just

Be sure to check out all Justin's work and if you're looking for a good photography, I would highly recommend his work! Blog......   Facebook.....  Instagram (ok, I don't know how to link to instagram...but follow him @justinmichau)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Decorations

Since I've already posted about our tree, I figure I'd share with you the other small christmas decorations scattered about our house. Above is my Nativity which I love! My youngest brother, Garrett, made the manger for me the first year Martin and I were married and even though a little bit of the straw comes unglued each time I move the set, I really love the rustic look. And the nativity pieces are part of a gorgeous set which my mom has been slowing giving us a piece at a time since we were married.

Ice skates, a christmas book, some tractors with ornaments scattered about....a very low maintenance christmas display.

Our mantle, though I'm having a very hate relationship with the cords hanging down from our tree and then dragging across the floor to our computer (I'm in the process of dealing with them and in the process is code for I know they look terrible but I haven't had the time or energy to make them look nicer yet) I love the idea of actually hanging stockings by the fireplace with care.

Martin: That picture looks like it was taken in the 1960s or something.
Me: Well, it's my mom as a it was taken in the 60s.
Martin: Oh, I thought that was you and Alex or something. I guess I better take a closer look at it.

Have I mentioned that my mom gave me her player piano!!!! It's provided countless hours of fun for Aubrey and I since we've moved it into the house.

This is a very small and pathetic attempt at decorating outside. Maybe next year I'll get bigger, better and add some lights.

And my personal favorite, the book tree! Aubrey looks lovingly at this tree every night and says Ooo, Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wrapped Around Each Other's Fingers

Martin's work truck was broke down and in the shop for a few days this week so Martin was home playing dad with Aubrey with Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a couple of rare days that they both really enjoyed spending together with no obligations and without me hanging to play. Since this time together, its tough to tell which is more enamored with the other as Aubrey was marching around the kitchen this morning chanting "I love daddy. I love daddy. I love daddy"

And last night when Martin received a phone call from a friend during an important game of Dollhouse.

Tom: Hey, whatcha doing?
Martin: Playing dollhouse.
Tom: Uh......can I pull you away from that for a second?
Martin: Oh...yeah...I guess so...What's up?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Beauty of the Booth.

Sometime since Aubrey turned one, I've been avoiding restaurants like they are the plague. Believe it or not, a toddler really doesn't get the concept of why they need to sit in a chair for a half an hour before any food arrives. Nibble at their food. And then continue to sit there for at least another half an hour while the adults chat. It's not something you can reason with a toddler.

Aubrey has always been notorious bad with restaurant highchairs and the few times I've taken her to a restaurant since she's been able to walk she's spent the majority of the time in the restaurant trying to sneak out of the high chair while I've spent the majority of the time trying to keep her corralled in the chair. I don't even remember whom I had the pleasure of dining with on these occasions because I was that distracted. And then I basically just gave up on the whole meeting people in public places thing and chalked restaurants up to the type of place I would visit in another 5 to 20 years, depending on how quickly Aubrey/baby girl mature.

I really hadn't even attempted a restaurant in at least a few months when Aubrey and I went to visit Caton in Boston. When we arrived on Tuesday night Caton was beyond giddy about going to an amazing tapas restaurant because she had a coupon that made all tapas only $5. Although I had a lot of fears about the event, I love tapas and so pushed them aside and joined in on the excitement.

Turns out, with a blank piece of paper, four crayons and a booth where she is shoved in the corner, Aubrey is a pretty good dinner companion. I mean, sure, she's constantly crawling down below the table and hiding, and anything on the table within arms reach is fair game - but considering she's not disturbing anyone at tables surrounding and the people I'm dining with are fully aware I have a toddler and still invited me to dinner, I'll chalk it up as a win.

In light of this successful evening, I was eager to try Aubrey's skills again and so when our friends Matt and Judy came over on Saturday night I suggested we go out for dinner. (This was also partly because we hadn't purchased any groceries since Thanksgiving and our refrigerator/pantry was getting scarce.)

I thought the trip was pretty successful. Not quite as successful as the tapas trip, mostly because our booth was the end booth by the wall on the tapas trip so there was no one for Aubrey to ogle behind her as there was on this trip, but all in all, pretty successful. Matt (who I should point out is notorious for getting embarassed way to easily), however, was a little uneasy with the whole situation. Towards the end when Aubrey was starting to grow impatient and had taken to dismantling the beer list (which I could easily put back together in under a minute) I suggested that we head for home. Matt, who was apparently dying of embarrassment, jumped up from the table and ran to the door forgetting both his leftovers and his hat. He did, however, remember Aubrey's sippy cup.

...Because I thought this post needed a picture

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Tree....

I suggested we take a family expedition to get a tree on Sunday, December 2.....This seemed like a perfect plan until Martin remembered how he had cursed our tree stand the previous two years and how our trees had spent most of the holiday season leaning against a wall. And then he remembered how he had vowed to make a much better tree stand this year. So that's how the afternoon was spent on Sunday.

No tree will be tipping in this stand anytime soon! And it's since been painted red so it looks very festive!

Wandering up and down the rows looking for the perfect tree while Aubrey yells, I got to pick one out intermittently every few seconds.

Man.....she is cute!

Martin screwing the tree into the stand, a process that took under five minutes this year!.....We've come so far. (notice Aubrey crouched down behind Martin "helping" out)

And Aubrey immediately asking for a picture in front of her pretty tree, then having difficulty looking at the camera. This is obviously pre-ornaments but still a beaut. (Also half of our strand of lights didn't work so its just randomly laying on the ground.)

The selecting and setting up of our tree this year was so smooth it is almost not worth posting about. It's really out of character for us. I don't know if this means we're growing up, getting smarter, dumb luck, or I'm speaking to soon and it's going to come crashing down before we reach the BIG DAY. (Probably the last option).

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good Looking

Photo from here.

Watching Dora the Explorer together a few nights ago, Dora is going on a trip to visit her Abuela.

Martin: (as Dora enters the house and we see her Abuela for the first time) Dora has a pretty good looking grandma.
Me: Um...are you being serious.
Martin: What she's pretty good looking. Her mom is really good looking too. She has a nice haircut. It's very stylish!
Me: (quizically looking at my husband)
Martin: I'm just saying, for a cartoon they're pretty good looking.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

First Haircut

On our last day in Boston, Aubrey and I were walking around and looking into a few different shops. Basically, we were just lazily enjoying out day and getting to know Caton's neighborhood a little bit better. We wandered by this shop which I thought was a toystore and decided to go inside. I figured Aubrey could play with a few toys and we could take a little break from walking. It's not hard to understand why I thought this was a toy shop considering that it looks amazingly fun! but upon entering we realized it was not a toy shop at all, but instead a place that exclusively cuts children's hair. Since I've been meaning to schedule a hair appointment for Aubrey, we decided to go for it right that morning. And Aubrey was such a good sport. She sat so still and really enjoyed herself. It probably didn't help that the hairdresser gave her her first ever lollipop to suck on while she got her hair trimmed, but regardless - look at that little lady! Since the appointment she's been walking around holding her hair and telling people she got a haircut and a lollipop. Oh the joys of being a child!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Daddy's Deer

Now that we own a little piece of woods, Martin has become an avid hunter. Or maybe not avid, but he seems pretty dedicated to me since he uses all the weekend morning when he could be sleeping in and cuddling up in bed to sit in the cold in a tree stand and wait for deer to pass through his line of vision. On opening weekend Martin got a buck and when he brought the deer up to the house, Aubrey wanted to get in the picture with Daddy and the deer. This has quickly become her all time favorite picture (which I understand is slightly morbid considering one of the three subjects is dead) and she asks to look at the picture multiple times a day. Everyime she sees my phone she screams....Picture of daddy's deer, please! The second deer Martin got we decided to have made mostly into hotdogs and Aubrey couldn't be more thrilled. She spent the entire car ride  to the butcher's telling us how much she loves hotdogs and how she's going to get hotdogs from the deer.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Guess Who's Two?

Two days after Thanksgiving this little cutie turned two! We celebrated with pizza and chocolate cake and lots of family. Basically all of Aubrey's favorite things. Especially because it was a party which is quickly becoming one of her favorite things.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This year, we hosted Thanksgiving at our new house! I got way too excited about hosting this event and took way too many pictures of the preparation....and then none when all the people actually arrived! Whoops!

My turkey...early in the day...just starting to get a nice brown to it. By meal time it was a beatiful golden brown and falling off the bone! Huge success!

My sister in law always texts me with super cute photos of her super cute outfits. If I put together a cute outfit I tend to see how many different times I can wear it and not see the same people twice. I decided to send her a photo of my Thanksgiving day outfit with the message Only when you are six months pregnant do jeans and a cardigan qualify as a creative outfit.

I took numerous pictures on the progression of the table decorating which I was very pleased with the end result. The tablecloth is an old antique tablecloth from Martin's grandfather. It's a little short for the table, but I think it worked our perfect anyway. Aubrey and I collected the leaves in the front lawn earlier in the fall and then we scattered them throughout the center of the table and put one large one on each plate setting.  Aren't those hot plates Martin cut me from the tree in our yard adorable?? I'm in love with them. They are so much more festive than seeing regular hotplates down the table.  And I love seeing all the food lined up across the table! My dad sat down at the table and took one look at his plate with an autumn leaf posed on it and gruffly wondered What am I supposed to do with this leaf??? Me: It doesn't matter....just set it in the center of the table, there's a ton in there anyway. He then promptly threw his leaf on the floor.

Thanksgiving was such a gorgeous day this year we were able to go for a nice long walk in the woods afterward and then help Martin finish cleaning up the tree in our yard. Now we have a nice pile of wood ready to burn in our fireplace! So thankful for a great family to spend the holiday with and can't wait to host many more holidays!


Howdy Partner!

Chomping on snow before it all melts!