Friday, May 28, 2010

It's been a year...

Where does time go?

Maddie is growing up so darn fast, and Matt and I are just doing the same old stuff...

Matt just finished his first semester in the nursing program here at Dixie State. He did very well and enjoyed his classes. He is taking a class this summer as well, so he won't get much of a break unfortunately, but he is doing great. He is also an amazing dad. It is awesome to watch him with Maddie. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father for my children.

I just finished my 2nd year of teaching. I had an amazing 5th grade class this year. They were awesome... both smart AND fun. The last part of school was very bittersweet. I am so glad to have a summer break and be home with Maddie, but it was hard to say goodbye to this group of kids. I'll miss them.

Maddie had her 1st birthday on April 26. I can't believe it has already been a year since we had her. She is very friendly, showing-off and demanding attention everywhere we go. She is running all over the place and getting into EVERYTHING. She decided at about 8 months that crawling was not her thing. I think it is because she was not able to keep up with her cousin Dax. He is running right along with her now, but at 8 months, he was a super-crawler, and she didn't stand a chance keeping up with him. So she began to work on standing, balancing, and taking little steps... by 9 months she was walking around with no help, and she and Dax would chase each other around. She could keep up a little more effectively this way. I have decided this was a bonus for me as well... she doesn't get nearly as dirty as when she was crawling, and she doesn't find as many things to put in her mouth... both good things for the mom.

A few other new developments of the past few months...
  • She has learned how to wave, clap, spin, and stomp... she is becoming quite the copy-cat of anything cool she sees other people do.
  • She knows what to do when she hears "if your happy and you know it".
  • She loves to play peek-a-boo.
  • She loves to climb anything... the stairs, bookshelf, couches. etc.
  • She knows what she wants and has major attitude at times when she doesn't get it (this I am not so happy about).
  • She can show us where her eyes and nose are... although most of the time after she points to her nose, her finger disappears... needless to say, we don't ask her to show us her nose quite as often as we used to.
  • She tries to say "moo" like a cow (it still needs much work but it's coming...)
  • She eats by herself (sometimes)
  • She points with one finger
  • She LOVES shoes!!! She brings my shoes to me, Matt's shoes to him, and tries them all on herself.
  • She loves music and is beginning to dance. Her latest move is the head-banging technique. She especially likes Def Leopard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me". I have a video I wanted to put on, but I am having serious issues with that so you'll have to just imagine it...

That is all I can think of right now. Mostly, she is simply a JOY to our lives. We love her. She brings smiles to our faces constantly and is such a blessing to us.

Here are some pictures of recent highlights:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just a little update...

Tonight I came home from Matt's Christmas work party and sat down to check my email and look at the weather. I saw the link for our blog and realized I hadn't posted for over six months... a prime example of why I wasn't ever going to blog in the first place. I guess I'll do a quick update...

This summer, Matt and I had some big decisions to make... Should I continue working, even after having Maddie, to get Matt through school? What does Matt really want to study at school anyways? Should we keep renting or try to buy a little place while prices are down? If I work, who will watch Maddie?

Well, after many discussions, prayers, studying, pondering, etc... we weighed our options. Considering the state of the economy, my job being pretty stable, having a child to care and provide for, and having wonderful parents and other family members who were willing to watch Maddie... we decided I would keep working until Matt finishes school. With that decision made, we needed to decide about the house situation. Should we keep renting or should we buy. On the one hand, renting would save us on the roof-over-our-head part of the monthly budget. However, my own opinion, I hate renting. I know there is a time and place for it for most people, but knowing that we pay that money and its value if forever gone for us is hard for me. Buying, on the other hand, would do a bit more for us... help build our equity and credit, etc. Yet that would increase our roof-over-our-head part of the budget significantly and is much more responsibility. Buying would also lock me into working, where if we kept renting, I could change my mind and quit if I really felt the need. (This is how my brain works... do you feel bad for Matt yet?!) This was a hard decision, especially for me. Again, after many discussions, prayers, studying, pondering, etc... we decided to go ahead and buy a house. Not our dream house by any means... but a little house we could call our own. We bought a townhome in Hidden Valley, kind of by Bloomington Hills. We really love it. I can't say I haven't wondered if we made the wrong decision. I have even almost regretted it a time or two, although I try not to because, in many ways, it is too late. It is SO SO hard for me to leave my baby each morning. The only thing that makes it okay with me is that Matt or one of Maddie's grandmas are usually watching her. If not them, it is one of our sisters. Thank heavens for family members who are willing to help us and who love Maddie almost as much as we do. We are so grateful, and forever in debt, to all of them.

In the meantime, Matt was having a hard time deciding where he ultimately wanted to end up as far as an occupation goes. It seems so overwhelming sometimes when you are closer to the beginning than the end. We decided to take it one step at a time. He knew he wanted to do something in health care that allowed him to work with people. He decided to begin with nursing school. He applied for the program at Dixie State and will start in January. We'll see where he goes after that, but right now we are just focusing on getting this step done.

I went back to Bloomington Elementary. Last year was my first year of teaching. I had the most wonderful third grade class ever! I loved third grade. Well you know the stable job thing I mentioned earlier... it was on the condition that I change grades. I was on my way to first grade... spent all summer getting geared up and ready for that. Two days before school stared, I had my classroom on the verge of ready... then my principal called me in. The numbers were off what she thought they were going to be and wondered if I would be willing to change to fifth grade.... WHAT??? Third to first to... fifth? How could I say yes? How could I say no? It was only my second year, we had just bought a house, and I needed a job. I said yes. My wonderful family flew in to rescue me once again. It was amazing, and very humbling, to know that I had such amazing family (both mine and Matt's) that were willing to drop everything to come help... for many many hours, day and night, without stopping until it was done. The other teachers were amazed at how well it came together, and all I could say was it was ALL thanks to my family. Anyhow, I'm now in the middle of fifth grade. I have to say, I've learned a lot. I often feel very inadequate at teaching these kids. I am studying the curriculum and freshening up on facts constantly. I am enjoying it though. I have a class full of great kids once again, and I am adjusting. The first trimester was a bit rough, but we are starting to settle in much better.

Maddie is 8 months old at the end of the month... I can't believe how fast time is flying. She still has a bunch of dark hair and blue eyes and is the cutest thing ever (I might be a bit biased). She has quite the little attitude at times, has since she was just tiny. She is happy most of the time, but she knows what she wants and lets us know if she isn't getting it. She is sitting up and rolling all over the place. We have done pretty well with her increasing ability to reach, grab, move and be mobile... until last week. She got her finger smashed in the stroller, fell out of her swing, and rolled off the bed... all in the past week! She hasn't figured out the crawling thing (probably best for her safety sake). She gets up on her hands and knees but it hasn't gotten any further. She LOVES to stand and walk around while we hold her hands. I think she just go straight to walking if only she could figure out the balance thing. I just wish she would stop growing up so fast! She keeps us busy... we love it!
That pretty much catches us up I think... We are doing great, all things considered. We are healthy and happy... Life is beautiful!

Here are a few pictures of our darling baby...

She loves playing with Dax...

Even when they attack each other! :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Maddie's First Photo Shoot

A long time ago, when we were only pregnant with Maddie, we decided that we wanted the photographer who did our wedding to do some baby pictures for us. We LOVED our photographer, Shellee Draper of Photography by Shellee. Her website is Check it out... It is awesome! She is so talented and fun. She has become a great friend of ours... plus we love her work. Since my sister, Kari, also had a baby, just nine days after Maddie was born, we decided to do a double shoot. Then, since my brother and sister-in-law, Tyrel and Kristin, were going to be down to visit, we just decided to have all the grandkids so we could get some fun ones for my mom. It was quite a tricky morning trying to get two infants and an 11 month old to cooperate, but we all survived! We got some great pics and had a way fun time. Here are some of our favorites...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Big Weekend Surprise...

Well this weekend we had big plans. Matt was going to take some tests and study for his finals. I was going to correct papers from school, start my third graders report cards, and try to get ready for a baby to come in a couple of weeks...

However, the baby decided to join us THIS weekend!
Saturday morning, I woke up at 5 am with contractions. I tried all morning to talk them into being false labor... they wouldn't listen. Later that night--technically the next morning--at 12:42 am our sweet little girl was born. She was very cooperative during the delivery. Everything went well and she came out a healthy, crying, 6 lb 10 oz, 18.5 in long, head full of long dark hair "Baby Carter". :-) She remained "Baby Carter" until today when we checked out and had to put a name on the birth certificate. We have struggled with this for the whole pregnancy and finally we decided she looked was Madeline Kate Carter, "Maddie."
Of course we are a little biased but we think she is very cute and getting cuter every second. Here are some pics of the big event...

Monday, April 6, 2009

How did this happen???

Well we finally caved in... this is our first post. We officially have a blog and I swore we never would. I very strongly believed that we had nothing worthwhile to share that would justify creating a blog. I still don't think we do to be very honest. However, some people have tried to convince me that having a baby is a good reason, and since we do have a baby that should be here in about a month, we decided to give it a try. Matt and I are still pretty boring, but hopefully our baby will be cute and fun and will give us something interesting to update... at least once or twice a year. And if we fail miserably... hey at least we can say that we gave it a try!

So here is one of our ultrasound pictures of our baby (we only have 32 of them... one of the wonderful benefits of having the father-in-law that I do!). We have been keeping an eye on her since the beginning. This one is at about 23 weeks and is a 4D image so you can actually see her facial features. This is when it all became more real and exciting to me. I think she looks cute in this one... hopefully she hasn't changed in the last few weeks. Our niece, Abi, did tell us that our baby's name was "scary monster". It had me frightened for a while! Sometimes kids just know these things...