Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy birthday Dad!

Two weekends ago, we had the awesome opportunity to celebrate a very special moment- my dad's 60th birthday. Throughout my life, my father has been such an amazing inspiration and example in my life. He is a hard worker, a wonderful spouse, and a loving and supportive parent.

His party was a great chance for him to get together with many of our friends, family, and his work colleagues. He is a wonderful father to me, Ally and Ryan and a super cute grandfather to Savannah. Dad, we love you!

Here are some pictures from his party. We held the party at Twin Oaks Park- we were blessed with beautiful weather and had a wonderful time. I even think we managed to keep it a surprise, which if you know us, is no small feat!

Waiting for the birthday boy to arrive with my girl!

We did it! We pulled off a surprise!
The birthday boy!

Two of the biggest blessings in my life- my wonderful parents.

The whole family- if you know how hard it is for us to get a good pic, you'll truly appreciate this one!

A display of Dad's 60 years. If you click in to this picture, you'll see some examples of how truly hideous I was. Seriously, what was I thinking when I was younger? I blame mom...

Dad, Mom, Karen and Steve- the Smith clan!

I love the swings!

Sliding is fun! Here I go!

It was a wonderful day, celebrating good friends, good family, and 60 years of the amazingness that is David Forrest Smith (DFS for short). Dad, we love you!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Graduation and the beginning of spring (finally!)

Well, it's been a busy few weeks in the Metzger house. Over the past weekends, we have had at least one (and sometimes more) overnight guests at our house. This is because there have been a lot of exciting happenings in the past few weeks!

Last weekend, Uncle Tyler came into town. Here are all of the Metzger men!

Savannah has learned a new favorite word, and a new favorite activity. She now wants to be "outside" ALL of the time! She loves playing outside, in her swing, and walking around. She cries when we make her come inside. Here is a picture of her- she gets sad when the dogs get to go outside without her!

Hey, wait for me!

Last week, I was watching an old dance video, and lo and behold, Savannah became super interested in watching the dancers. She even clapped along with the audience at the end of each dance. I think that this is my proudest parenting moment so far!

Watching her dancers!

Last weekend, Aunt Natalie graduated from Webster University. We are so proud of her and look forward to all of the wonderful things that I know she will do with her life in the future. We celebrated with the ceremony and a party afterwards at George and JoAnn's house.

Aunt Natalie with her Hoeckele's graduation cake.

Natalie with the dean of the College of Fine Arts.

This isn't a great pic, but I love her happy little smile! That's my girl!
 Savannah also got to experience her first ice cream cone this week. One day after work, Mom, Ally and I took an impromptu visit to Fritz's- my first high school job! Savannah clearly isn't my child, as she only took about two bites and then amused herself by trying to run into traffic on Old 141. But I managed to get a few cute pics, and isn't that the most important part??

Yummy, let me have it!

Mommy, this is cold!
 This should be a fun weekend for our family too. More later!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

16 months!

Dear Savannah,

How has it already been 16 months! Seems like just yesterday that we went to the hospital to have you, but you are now a walking, chattering tornado with a mind of your own!

You are becoming a very adventerous walker, which has led to a few spills, a few tears, and a few forehead bruises. You is really doing well with it though. You still can't stand up without pulling up on furniture, so that is the next trick that you will have to learn! Overall, though, you are very good at getting around and love to run around, rather than be held or carried!

You talk all the time. You definitely do a lot of jabbering, but you say quite a few words. In addition to the ones I've already talked about, you have added "oh boy, I know, Neigh (what does a horsey say?), Ooh aah (What does a monkey say?), Kiki (kitty), book, opposites (from your FAVE book, the Book of Opposites), back, bath, up, what's that, who's that, no no (your current favorite- you use it for everything that we have told you not to touch- outlets, the toilet, trashcans, etc.), uh oh, nana (for banana). You also say hi and bye to everyone that comes in and out of the door. Recently, you have started saying hi to everyone that we walk past at Target, the grocery store, etc. It is hilarious but a little embarrasing as you literally chase people around the store yelling "hi! hi!". But generally people think you are cute and funny. I know I do!

Your favorite toys are all books. You love the same ones you always have, and bring them to me or Mick to read to you all the time. You still take a bottle in the morning and at night, but we will begin phasing those out soon. You have recently started watching Clifford's Puppy Days in the morning, and seem to really enjoy it. That's the only time that you really watch TV. Plus, it gives Mommy and Daddy a chance to get ready for work!

You also still love your push toy that Laura and Kyle got you, as well as your singing picnic basket. Your favorite toys are still remotes, iPhones, etc. You love your tree swing that we have in the backyard, and you LOVE to chase the cat around. Sometimes she'll even let you pet her, which thrills you to no end.

You still take two naps during the day, and go to bed around 7:00-7:30ish. You love baths, and I think that you are really going to enjoy going to the pool this summer. We take walks around the neighborhood a lot, and all of the neighbors think that you are the cutest thing. Of course, we do to. Not that we are biased or anything.

You wear some 12 month and some 18 month clothes. You are still a peanut. You still hate bows and won't wear them. This makes mommy sad. Hopefully, someday you will decide that bows are alright.

You don't have a ton of baby friends right now, but you hang out with Brady quite a bit since he is right across the street. You also occasionally see Thomas.

Basically, you are a joy to be around and we are so grateful that we were chosen to be your parents. Life as a parent has been so many things, but through it all, we have had a wonderful time seeing the little person you have become in 16 short months! Baby girl, we love you!

Savannah and Linus keeping a watch on the neighborhood!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This week!

Hello friends! It's been a nice week, full of some (finally!!) warm weather. Of course, it's supposed to get down to 50 degrees tomorrow, so we have been outside, soaking up the sun while we can!

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to go to Aunt Natalie's senior art show at Webster University. Of course, we think she is super talented, but obviously others do too because she won a $500 prize for having the best piece in the art show. We were so proud of her!

Since the show was right at Savannah's bed time, we spent most of the time outside with her. Here's a picture of Savannah with her biggest fan- Grandpa Mike!

On Saturday, we spent most of the day with Mick's parents, just hanging out. That night, the Metzger girls went to the Webster Conservatory performance of Legally Blonde: The Musical and the guys just hung out.

Sunday, Mick and I relaxed and took Savannah to the park for a while. It was a nice relaxing weekend!

Here's something interesting I did last week. As part of the high school's 80th anniversary, I wanted to take a picture of all of the students in the shape of an 80. However, that meant climbing on the roof of the school and taking the picture from 3 stories up. Add that to the list of job responsibilities that aren't exactly part of my contract! But it was fun to be so high up.

Here I am high in the sky! Don't look down!

Savannah decided to help clean the house on Sunday. I was so grateful for her assistance...
 This weekend, Uncle Tyler comes in town, so we'll get to spend some time with him. We are looking forward to seeing him.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This weekend and a kid craft!

Good morning all! How is it already Wednesday and the 24th of April?! This month has flown by, and though we are well into spring, you wouldn't know it with this cold weather. Everytime I go to put away my sweaters, I have second thoughts because it's so cold!

This weekend, we really worked around the house. Saturday and Sunday were beautiful warm days, so we spent some time trying to get our garden into shape. Mick and I both love beautiful plants and bushes. However, for some reason, our backyard has only one mission- to kill everything that we try to plant back there. We think it is because of the giant pin oak trees in our yard. Though the trees are beautiful, they suck every OUNCE of water and nutrition out of the soil, and as a result, our backyard is now affectionately claled "where plants go to die".

Despite this, Mick and I plant things every year just hoping that this is the year that we will manage to win the backyard battles. Below, see a picture of the "sunroom" garden. As you will see- there are two things that we have managed not to kill: a knockout rosebush and a small, spiky red plant (yes, that's the technical name).

In addition to the rosebush (on left) and the spiky red plant, this bed has tulips, day lilies along the back, and a hydrangea, which I'll talk about below.

 One of my favorite plants of all time is the hydrangea. So far, I've planted 4 in my backyard in the "fence" garden, and each one has met a painful demise. So this time, I've changed it up and added it to the sunroom garden. I've also named him, in hopes that having a name may make him want to fight for his life more than if he were anonymous. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Howard:

This is Howard. He likes acid-based fertilizer, partial shade, and clouds who aren't afraid to cry on him periodically.
Here are a few more pictures of the plants we have in our back yard. It is my hope that at the end of the summer, I'll be able to post pictures of how they are thriving. Here's hoping...

In front is the lamb's ear that Mick's grandmother gave us. This is also a 2-year survivor. In the back is a gorgeous purple salvia. This is an addition for this year.

This is the "fence" garden. This year, we planted a forsythia bush, tulips, and some purple Phlox. The little hosta that you see in the back was transplanted from the sunroom garden. The squirrels keep eating it up there, so maybe back here, they will leave it alone!

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful weekend. We hung around the house and spent some family time playing outside and hanging out. On Sunday, my sweet husband got up with Savannah and let me sleep in. Imagine my surprise when I came out of the bedroom to find this built on our coffee table. Is it me, or is my child an architectural genius?!?!?

On Monday, I took the day off to take Savannah to her 15 month checkup. She passed with flying colors and got her shots like a champ! She is currently in the 23rd percentile for height, the 50th percentile for weight, and the 85th percentile for head circumfrence. Here's hoping that she eventually grows into that head. Otherwise, she's going to be like her uncle Ryan, who has an EXTREMEMLY oversized head. I'm sure he would say that it makes him smarter. I would probably disagree, though in Savannah's case, it's surely true!

Here's Savannah waiting for the doctor! Poor little thing- she has no idea that the shots are coming!

This week, Savannah got her first pair of "designer" shoes- sparkle Toms. They are so cute!
Here's my sweet girl with our azelea out front. How darling is she?

Here's Mick and I before our dinner date this weekend. Love this guy!
 On to the kid craft! On Monday, I felt like being creative, but it was a little to chilly to do anything outside. Therefore, I decided to copy an idea I've seen on Pinterest and make some art for Daddy's office! To do this craft, you really only need a few things:

1. A picture frame with a mat- I think this one was from Target- I got it a while ago and had it sitting around.
2. Finger paint- we used Crayola washable, non-toxic paint. Washable is crucial. You'll see why in a minute.
3. Newspaper or something to cover the area you are painting. If you care about your floors/table, this is also important.

The paint we used and the newspaper taped to the floor.
Here's what I did. I simply took the mat out of the frame and laid it on a bunch of newspaper that I taped to the kitchen floor. I also took off all of Savannah's clothes except for the diaper. That made cleanup much easier.

Then, I squirted some paint on a plate and let her go crazy. We even had a little help in the form of Garth, but I wouldn't advise it, since dog+paint=

Puppy prints on the tile! Fortunately, it was easy to wipe up. This is why washable paint is important!
 Voila! Here's the finished product! I "helped" her fill in the blank spaces and make the colors more even, but the tiny fingerprints are hers! The red blotch on the top left corner is Garth's contribution.

What do you think?

Friday, April 19, 2013

We have an (almost) walker!

For months it seems, Savannah has been cruising around the house. One of the perks (for her) is that in a 986 sq. ft. house, she can get almost anywhere by cruising on the walls and furniture.

However at Grandma's house, she is forced to let go and walk in order to get her toys or her all time favorite book, The Book of Opposites.

Yesterday, I was able to catch her earliest walking on tape. Here is our (almost) completely mobile baby- how is she already this big!

Happy Friday! We are looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Hopefully it will warm up here and stop raining!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mother's Day Gifts

There are so many cute things that I want right now- everyone knows that saying that Meredith loves shopping is an understatement, so I thought I'd put together a list of items that would make great Mothers Day/Birthday/Random Tuesday gifts for the woman in your life! Men, take it from me- the Random Tuesday gifts are the best!

I'm really wanting a large tote bag for when we go on our 12 hour road trip this summer. But I'd like something that's large enough to hold a lot of stuff, but could still function as a big purse. Here are a few I like:

This is the Michael Kors Jet Set Tote. It's a little on the pricy side for me, at $228, but I love the color and the size is right. Here's the link to this one.

This one is by Rebecca Minkoff, and it's great because it has the pop of color with the strap, but the body of the bag is nylon, which will stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Plus, this one is a steal at $130.65- right Mick? For some reason, I can't get the pics to link, so here's the link to this one.

This one is probably my favorite, and it's also the cheapest- only $78! (Mick, run, don't walk to your nearest Nordies!) I like that it has a shoulder strap and handles, and the color is really fresh and springy/summery. Here's the link.

To go in another (bag-related) direction, this Rebecca Minkoff"Mini MAC" cross-body bag would be perfect to throw in my suitcase and use once we got to our destination. Cross-body bags are so nice with kids because they never fall off of your shoulders. I love the hardware and the adorable green color on this one! This one's a little pricier at $195, but this color would go with everything and it's classic enough that I'd have it for years. Here's the link.

Enough with the bags. Though I'm a purse girl at heart, I'm also hoping for several other completely purse-unrelated options! :-)

I love to craft, and the things that you can do with a Silhouette CAMEO are amazing. You can make any variety of paper crafts, clothing appliques and iron ons, etc. I think the things I could do with this would be seriously awesome. At $299, it's definitely an investment, but it is such a neat machine with so many possibilities! Here's the link.

I'm sure that Savannah is wondering what to get me as well, so here are some suggestions (in her piggy bank price range) that I love:

I love the layered look of bangles right now, and though some of the bright colored ones are gorgeous, I tend to make a color statement with my necklace or earrings, so when it comes to bracelets, I like to keep it simple.

I'm very into gold right now, so the first two two "love" bracelets above are exactly what I'm talking about- these are so gorgeous! And they are very reasonable- only $38 each! Both are Ariella "Messages" collection and can be found at Nordstroms. Here's the link to the first one.

The third one by Guinevere is a total bargain at only $18. The light pink color is totally neutral, and it would look so cute paired with the two above it. All three together would be a recipe for beauty! Here's the link to the third one.

Happy Wednesday! Hope it's a good one!

Monday, April 15, 2013

15 months old!

Good morning! How is it already Monday? It seems like the weekends just FLY by, especially when they are full of nice weather like this past weekend! We mostly just hung out- I worked at Father Daughter on Friday night and had an auction committee party on Saturday, but we got some time to hang out and relax, which was nice.

Last week, our "baby" turned 15 months old. How is that possible! I really should probably start referring to her as a toddler, but she's still that little bitty bald baby that I brought home from the hospital 15 months ago!

At 15 months, Savannah is:

1. Taking a lot of independent steps, but not full on walking yet. I'm pretty sure she is going to take off any day now!
2. She LOVES books. Her favorite ones right now are Mommy Calls Me Monkeypants, Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug, Easter Surprise, Lots of Lambs, I Ruff You, I Love You Through and Through, and Bedtime and Playtime Peekaboo.
3. She really isn't interested in TV at all yet. As strange as this sounds, I hope by the time we have to drive 12 hours to Florida in July, that she will get a little interested in some TV so we can use that to distract her in the car!
4. She still takes two naps- one around 9am and one around 2pm.

The weekend of Easter, we had some family photos taken with Christina Weyers. Here are a few samples of our pictures. I am so pleased with how they turned out. She did a wonderful job!

If anyone is looking for an STL area photographer who is talented, timely, and affordable, I encourage you to check out CW Photography.

When we eat pasta for dinner, we have naked dinners!
Have a great week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekend Activities

This weekend, we relaxed around the house and had a nice time during the first truly warm weekend of the year. I am so ready for spring, so hopefully this weather is here to stay!

Friday night, we hung around the house and relaxed. Saturday was a beautiful day, so Mick and I got some yard work done during Savannah's naps! Mick's parents were flying to San Diego on Sunday, so they came up and spent some time with Savannah while Mick and I took Ally out to a birthday dinner at Drunken Fish. Yummy sushi!

Sunday, we went to the park and ate lunch. We also hung up her tree swing in our backyard, so I think that we spent most of Saturday and Sunday swinging in the yard! We also had Mom, Dad and Ally over for the first official BBQ and meal on our patio of 2013. It was a nice weekend! Here are some pictures from the park!

This weekend, Savannah tried to walk on her own without us coaching her for the first time. I was in the kitchen, and turned around to see her trying to walk from the table to the sink by herself. She almost made it across the kitchen. Looks like someone is getting brave! You also started saying the word "puppy". It is very cute!

Happy to be walking at the park!

Had to get a picture of her with a bow in her hair. Usually, bows last no more than 5 minutes, so I put it in and bribed her with lunch! :-)

My big girl eating lunch!

I love how thoughtful she looks in the picture. I also love this little polo onsie- thanks for the adorable hand-me-downs, Katie!

"Mom, more walking and less picture taking"
Thanks for reading!