Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No Kids?

I just read an article about the rise of married couples choosing not to have children. The explanation for this "trend" is that children are not an economic asset but rather an economic downfall. Another reason for this is that the couples want the perks, such as: More disposable income, more sleep, more free time, not having to go to boring soccer games, and not having to haul other people's children around in there minivan. The number of vasectomies has gone up by nearly half. A psychologist from Harvard says that when couples first get married their level of bliss is high but it then drops when their first child is born and doesn't go back up until the children are out of the home...

As I was reading this article I was agreeing with everything it was saying, yes its true that if I didn't have Bella I would have more cash, more time to do what I want, more time to lie in the bed, etc. But do you know what the overarching theme in this article is? That our culture yet again is saying choose yourself over everybody else. Don't put yourself out there to actually make some sacrifices and lay down your life for others. This attitude goes so totally against what I believe as a Christian. We are called to give our lives for others in service, not be totally self-centered, not to mention highly cynical beings.

Now, in my mind having a child, or children, takes two different forms of giving your life for the benefit of others. One, it is bringing another little person into the world, giving of your free time and your extra sleep to raise that child to be a good, kind, loving person who will enrich the world. The second thing is a sort of extension of the first, if you raise your child right, teach them right from wrong, bring them up to love God and treat others as they want to be treated, your child WILL have an amazing impact on the world.

I feel so blessed when Bella goes up and hugs people, people who are hurting and sad. There is absolutely no way for Bella to know that these people are sad and in need of her toddler love, but something inside her encourages her to give hugs, say HI, and sometimes give kisses. I think Bella, at the ripe old age of 2, already has her own little ministry. I also think and believe that if Daniel and I give of ourselves to bring her up in the way God would have her raised then she will make an impact on the world she is living in....

I know being a parent is hard, and it involves a lot of daily sacrifice. But in my opinion those sacrifices are worth it for the blessings. Blessings that go far beyond money, free time, and sleep.

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm on the outside.....

*DISCLAIMER: I love my family, friends, Daniel, and Bella- this post in no way means I take all the people in my blessed life for granted!!!!!!*

Do you ever feel like one day you woke up and had forgotten how to make friends? Well that is how I feel. I used to be super outgoing and friendly, would chat up just about anybody and never had a hard time talking to people. Somehow I have turned into a person who doesn't now how to do that...I don't know if it is because I have had so many people who I got close to turn out to not be very good people or what.

One time when I was young I prayed quite fervently for God to send me a best friend. Sam had Kevin and all I wanted in the world was to have a best friend. God answered that prayer and sent me Mary Catherine...we had an awesome friendship for many years, drifted apart for a bit, and are now getting back to being buddies. I have friends but I just feel like they are all so scattered and I'm feeling really down about that.

Marissa lives in Kansas and I miss her so much! Mary Cat lives out in Sevierville which isn't exactly down the street. Renee is in Chatt for two weeks. Franny is in Cookeville. Kendal is in Nashville. Callie is off the map. Sasha is far away. Jeneva is super busy with work and trying to make her way up the corporate ladder (get it girl!), Adam is always working his fingers to the bone, and I see Kate like once a week...Not exactly a cohesive group huh? I love all these girls so much and am trying to forge friendships with others like Laura Hayes and Leslie Hogan, but you know; new friendships are a little scary aren't they? You don't know, for a while atleast, just how high you can let your freak flag fly lol.

I guess it's just difficult to forge new friendships and paths in life. I hope that Daniel, Bella, and I will soon be at a church permanently so that we can start getting really involved with a church family. I think making relationships within your church is a great thing but unfortunately we have not done that at EPC because there is a chance we won't get to stay there. So I guess I'm in the same place I was when I was young, praying fervently to God to send me awesome people to share my life with....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

End of a chapter...

Today was moms last day directing the choir at Eastminster Presbyterian church. She has been the director there for as long as I can remember. She started there when I was 3. It is hard to believe that she is no longer the director! So many memories of my life are from things that happened at EPC.

Once when I was young dad was angry because our cat beast had been meowing very loudly at the back door. He made a comment about Beast (the cat) raising H*** at the back door. So we are at children's choir practice which mom taught and we always had prayer time at the end. Some children had submitted prayer for their grandparents, school, pets etc...just normal child-like concerns. So I raise my hand and very reverently state: "I need to request prayer for our cake beast, that she would stop raising H*** in the morning and waking up my dad". My poor mom probably wanted to die right then and there!

We even had a home school program that mom headed up at EPC. Every Friday we had Friday school from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. This was the closest thing to school I experienced until college. I looked forward to it every week, I love being around everyone and especially loved that homeschooler drama! I still have several friends from those days and I look back on it so fondly!

I remember times with the youth group going to the lake and such. One of the moms who did a lot with the youth was Trudy. She still tells the story of how grumpy I was in the mornings when she would go from room to room very loudly singing "O WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MOOOOOORRRRNING". Hey I was homeschooled, I slept till like 10 every single day! What do you want from me? I remember the good times and the bad. I have loved the EPC family for almost my whole life. The church wouldn;t be anything if not for the people who attend there. By attend I don't mean just show up on Sunday mornings and sit in the pews and leave. I mean people who sang in the choir, helped with the children, took the youth to m-fuge and on other trips, prepared food, prayed for us...I mean the list goes on and on!

This is the end of moms chapter as director at EPC but I will always have the best memories and look back at my families time there in a positive light, remembering to feel blest for the times shared and memories made!

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I recently discovered the site From what I can tell it's a pretty random site where people post pictures of things they find interesting and love. There are fashion pictures, vintage pictures, funny sayings etc. I look at it atleast once a day because it changes so much and you are bound to see new, amusing, and interesting things. Today I saw a picture of a stand up cheese grater that had been painted a happy shade of turquoise, had legs attached, and was being used to hang earrings from! SO very cute! There was one thing that really touched me today, here is the picture...

The story behind this picture is that this tiger lost all of her cubs due to premature labor. She became very depressed so they dressed these piglets up in tiger cloth and gave them to her. She treated them as her own babies and loves them.

Does that amaze anybody other than me? I think the power that motherhood has in incredible! So incredible that in can change our very nature. The nature of this tiger would have normally lead her to eat the piglets, but the power of mothering and nuturing takes over and she sees them as her own. I believe this can also be true of humans. Now, in light of the Casey Anthony trial I certainly can't say that motherhood has an influence on all mothers, but rather that it can make some mothers really rise to the occasion. I wasn't ready to be a mom when I got pregnant with Bella. I had every intention of waiting until I was about 30 to have children. But that wasn't the plan that God had for me and so less than 2 weeks after my 23rd birthday I had a baby Bussell, and you know what? I rose to the occasion, adapted to being a mommy, and let the power of motherhood, and God, mold me into the mother I needed to be for her, and still need to be.

So to all you wonderful mommies out there keep on keeping on. I know at times being a mom seems like a thankless job, but it isnt. You are so important to your child, and have such an impact on who they will become.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mommy, I need a nap!

On Friday Daniel was in Johnson City to tune 4 pianos leaving Bella and me to our own devices. The day was uneventful until 9pm when we went to walmart, and mommy made the executive decision that it was ear piercing time in Tennessee! Daniel had previously stated that he didn't care if he was present for the baby torture, so I figured "why not get it over with?" After picking out her earrings and having not 2, but 3, walmart associates come to help with this gargantuan undertaking it was time. They thought it would be best to leave Bella sitting in the shopping cart. They were playing with Bella and let her have a glove to play with, but as soon as one of the girls started to wipe her ear lobes with alcohol her face changed totally...she got the look of an almost 2 year old who knew something was up. They proceeded to: mark her ears, messed them up, wipe those marks off, and finally remark. By the time they had done all that Bella was positive that something scary was about to happen. Two of the associates got into position on either side of Bella, and I had the wonderful job of holding her head still. Unfortunately the ladies were not in perfect sequence and thus Bella got WHAM WHAMMMMED instead of just one big whammy all at once. Bella took in a huge gasp of air, held it, turned beet red, and after what seemed like 5 min let out the shriek to end all shrieks....luckily we proceeded to go look at balloons and party favors and she only had to cry about 34235235 more times in an hour period!

Saturday was Bella's birthday. My little doll  baby of a girl is now two. We decided that it would be a really good idea to have her party at the pavilion outside at EPC and to use the enclosed playground so the kids could play. Well for any of you living in Knoxville you know that we basically had a monsoon yesterday which threw a bit of a kink in that plan. Obviously we would need to do it in the fellowship hall. I panicked for a minute (ok maybe a little longer the a minute, maybe like oh 60 min?) because I didn't know how we would entertain the children up there, but Mary Catherine talked me off the ledge and told me to just bring a bunch of coloring stuff. Daniel and I got everything together and loaded into the car. Bella was napping and Dad came over to sit with her while we went to set the church up. Daniel went to put the car seat into the car and when mom asked him what time the party was he told her 5. This would have been fine and well except that the party was at 4! When he told me this as we were on out way to church I had to freak out a little because I know my mother. She would think to herself, "Oh good! I have plenty of time to get Bella's gift and dawdle around!" Daniel couldn't get her on the phone or anything to correct the time, so we just had to hope that mom would go back to our house in time because dad did know the correct time.

As we are driving through the torrential downpour it dawns on me that we had failed to get the fellowship hall key from my mom. Daniel assured me that he knew where one was in the main church...after 3 trips running up and down the hill in the rain he couldn't find it. I was sitting in the car, watching the rain, thinking "Could this get any worse? Downpour, no key, and a party without the birthday girl!" I told Dan to just grab every key he could find and I would try them all. Thank the Lord there was a loose key floating around that was the right one! We get into the building and lo and behold, all the tables and chairs were set up for moms surprise lunch that happened today after church! My blood pressure shot through the roof as we stood there with 45 min to: Move all the tables and chairs, set up partition to hide them, ice a ton of cupcakes, make PB and J sandwiches, pick up ice, pick up pizza, blow up balloons, tie balloons to chairs...etc etc etc. Lucky for us Kate and Kevin showed up early and they helped us knock it all out. We had everything done in time and the birthday girl arrived a mere 20 min late! Which was fine because everyone was slowed down by the rain. Poor Mary Catherine misunderstood where the party was being held and went to our house in South Knox instead of the church in East Knox. Leslie and her crew had to wait on their PRECIOUS, adorible, eat your heart out, 9 month old to wake from a nap, Auntie had to come on her lunch break, Renee and Josh had to rangle their babies in the rain, Ashley and Quinton and to wait out the storm, and Adam is just Adam.....did I forget anyone's craziness? But you know what I learned? That even when everything seems to be going crazy and out of control it can all work out and be fine! We had a fabulous party, with the sweetest little girls, and somebody even got great news! Thanks everyone for making Bella's bday so special! Oh and just to give him props...Sam was there ON TIME :-) He was very proud!

Oh and that great news? My awesome sister-in-law passed her test to be a manager at Home Depot! We are all so proud of her and all her hard work! She is the best Auntie in the world!!!

Oddly enough, this is one of my favorite pictures from the party. These wonderful little girls were so amazing and sweet! Bella and Marley picking out glasses and blowers. Emma looking too cool for school! Isabella getting ready to blow that blower! Love them all!

This has to be a new tradition! It's called group present opening! All her gifts were open in about 5 min flat with a massive 4 girl group opening! It was a real blur!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Is 9 too old for Barbie?

I have started to notice something that I don't like. I am noticing more and more that parents seem to want their children to grow up way too fast.

A couple of weeks ago Daniel, Bella, and I were at Kroger doing the weekly grocery shopping and I heard a very hateful voice reprimanding a child. I heard this hateful male voice say "You are 10 years old and I'm having to hold your hand in the store, you should be so embarrassed, I hope you are embarrassed!" now aside from the fact that this guy was being borderline, if not straight up, abusive to his son, I don't see why this was a relevant thing to chew the child out over. I mean, it seemed like the father was embarrassed to be holding his son's hand, and was being extra gruff and hateful. Daniel looked like he wanted to clock the guy, and it was one of those moments when you just sigh and think "Does this parent not realize the number of terrible things this is teaching their child?" by making such a huge production over wanting this child to act older than his age this father was teaching the child that it is ok to humiliate and belittle his children...and in turn the son may turn around some day and think that that is a good way to deal with his children...really sad.

Then tonight I was at Walmart with Bella picking up stuff for her birthday party and to bake cupcakes. This mother stops at the end of the aisles and inquires of her daughter "Do you seriously want Barbie? You are 9 years old, do you REALLY want Barbie? Well if you want it so much march back there and get it!" I was slightly appalled. Since when is a 9 year old, a little girl who is not yet in the double digits age range, too old to play with Barbie? My long time friend Mary Catherine and I used to play with our American Girl dolls till we were prob 11 or was a fun and healthy thing to play with and imagine with...but apparently I missed a step and now it is unacceptable to let children be children.

I think that is really the point I'm getting at...I think it is a tragedy when children aren't allowed to live their childhoods out. Don't get me wrong here people, this in no way means that I think children shouldn't have discipline, responsibility, and accountability from their parents, but really, when is enough, enough? I think sometimes even the most well meaning parents can make the mistake of wanting their children to grow up too fast, but we have to learn to savor our children as they are and allow them to reap the many blessings of a real childhood...yes Barbie and all. Because from what I can tell before you turn around that little girl or boy will be leaving home and will have the rest of their life to live as an adult.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Photo Proof!

Here is some photographic proof of life with my Bussell!

This is from our wedding rehearsal, we are clearly emitting happy glow!

Here we are after saying our vows..My face is red and puffy from the overwhelming emotion and love that washed over me right before the ceremony started! So in short I was certainly a hot mess!

Cutting our pretty little lemon cake with orchids on top! This was actually stressful with everyone watching, but luckily I had Daniel's steady hand wielding the knife.

This what in October 2008. We were in Knoxville and this was after church eating at red lobster. The significance of this picture? I was prego eggo and didn't know it yet!

Here we are in the hospital after a long hard pregnancy, with the one and only Bella Bussell to show for it! So worth it!

This picture was taken during the fall semester that came directly after having Bella. Daniel is such an amazing man that he took the semester off from school and stayed home with Bella while I went to class, then he would go work and do Radon after being with her in the mornings. I will never forget his sacrifice so that I could stay on track to graduate! On a bittersweet note, I no longer have either pair of those smoking hot sunglasses! Boo Hiss...

This is the family on Christmas Eve 2009, Bella's first to be exact. Look how sterm Bella is....SHIVER

Our first Easter with Bella at First United Methodist Elizabethton! Love you FUMC!

We had clearly lost our sanity in this picture from a rare date night! If I remember correctly we had gone to see Shutter Island... Not the most uplifting movie for a night out with your love but we obviously made it through just fine! If I had to guess I would say Miss Ashley Francis was keeping Bella to give us some alone time, she is awesome like that!

This was a special and fun day last summer when we went white water rafting on the Ocoee. I had been doing summer classes all summer and this was such a fun day away from school work! It was also the first day we ever left Bella for a whole day, which gave me major anxiety since we totally could have been washed away in the river! And those cute sunglasses? Don't have them anymore either...lame

Here is our little, slightly disheveled family on Christmas Eve day 2010. This picture is extra special because we are in our new house, having a Christmas Eve brunch with mom, dad, Sam, and Jen. This is special to Bella because shortly after this picture was taken, she recieved tickle me Elmo.

Here Daniel and I are on our Valentines date. We schlubbed around down town Knox, while the sweet, Jess Garafola watched Bella for us.

Ahhhhhh the relief and satisfaction of having completed my senior recital. I owe so much to Daniel, he supported me in so many ways. Watched Bella while I practiced and even helped me with my word for word translations almost daily, and here he is afflicted with a broken foot!

This is our second Easter with our sweet Bella, can you see how drastically she changed in a year? My goodness it is quite terrifying how fast she is growing, and yet Daniel and I look as youthful as the day we first met.....RIGHT?

This is from my graduation party. Thank you so much to my fabulous parents and innumerabley amazing husband for supporting me and getting me through it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Sweet...

Tomorrow marks mine and Daniel's three year wedding anniversary. I honestly can't believe that it has already been three years, and I also can't believe how much has happened in those three years....

We got married and had a deliciously, gorgeous honeymoon cruise. As soon as we got home from our cruise we had to get into house mode. We bought out little sweet house in Johnson City. I will never forget one day when Sam and Daniel were working on the rotting out with mold bathroom. We still had my apartment and I was bringing cloths over to wash at the house. I pulled up and Sam tried to cover a huge, gaping hole in our house! What was so incredible about this time of our marriage was seeing how amazing Daniel is at house repair. I would routinely say "Now are you sure you know how to do that?" and my sweet, self-assured, husband would always reply that he certainly knew how to do whatever the task was.

We only had four short months together before our lives were flipped upside down with all day sickness, moodiness, hatefulness, so so so sleepiness, and all together hot messness. (was that enough ness for you?) I was pregnant with our sweet little baby Bella. It was by far the most terrible time I have ever gone through in my life. I know that seems dramatic, but facing daily nausea, all day, every day, was exhausting. We finally learned that I had a very rare illness that can happen due to the pregnancy hormone, and at a little less than a month out from having Bella I was finally given the right medicine to get some relief. Through all that drama and hard times, my Bussell, my sweet, sweet, Daniel was there with me all the time. He took care of me, held me when I wasn't too sick to even be touched, and was so strong for me. I honestly can't imagine how I would have made it through without him.

We celebrated our one year anniversary in the hospital, waiting there for me to be induced. I had to be admitted for almost a week before I was induced. Daniel, in his loving, concerned way stayed there every day, and spent every night sleeping on a strange chair/bed thing. He slept next to my hospital bed every night. It made all the difference in the world to me that he was there, and that every morning when the nurse came in to poke and prod me, there he was, sleeping sweetly, but always at the ready to help. He was a major favorite with the nurses and they let him raid there refrigerator whenever he needed to.

The most recent change in our lives has been moving back to Knoxville. As with most things in life it has been a bittersweet blessing. It was hard to leave a church family that we had cultivated special relationships in. It was hard to leave so many people who we loved and who loved us. But on the other hand, we have the blessing of being with family and friends here. I don't know about anybody else but I don't handle change well, and there have been many times over the last 6 months that I have said to Daniel "I wouldn't want to go through this with anybody other than you".

The moral of this story is: Daniel Mead Bussell is the absolute love of my life and heart; I don't know where I would be without him and his vast amount of love and caring. He has completed me and is truly my better half. From our love we have gained the most wonderful blessing in our precious Bella, and here at our anniversary I praise God that he brought me such a delectable, kind hearted, loving man to make my life so joyous and wonderful.

I love you Daniel,

       Your Wifey

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Song of the Day: Watermark "Holy Roar"

I am singing this song at church tomorrow for Pentacost sunday! This song has grown on me more each time I have listened to it. It is very uplifting and beautiful. Christy Nockles has a beautiful voice!

You May Have Seen a Smother Dearest If.....

You may have seen a mother dearest if....

1.) You encounter a mother who doesn't let her child, young or old, out of her sight
2.) You are at the pool, and a mother perches in one spot of the baby pool and doesn't allow her child to leave that single spot
3.) You are asking the child, again, young or OLD, a question and smother answers for them, every single time
4.) You note that the mother speaks in a babyish voice to their child; this is especially bad when said child is older
5.) Smother won't allow their child to play freely with your child
6.) This one is more pertinent to teenage children, this is when a mother refuses to see the bad in their own child, and terms your child a bad influence, when their child is in reality behind the shenanigans.

The above are only a few earmark traits of a "Smother Dearest". I encountered a Smother at the baby pool early in the week. She could not have been less pleasant. Whenever I attempted to make polite conversation with her she gave me a nasty, disinterested look and barely replied. She perched on a single spot of the baby pool and wanted her 2 yr old boy to simply stay right there. The worst however was the obvious way she didn't want Bella to play with her little boy, yet, when the little boy decided it was ok to start smacking Bella, she turned a blind eye and said nothing. You better believe if Bella started slapping around another child I would be on her like white on know I don't actually know what that saying means...weird.

Now fast-forward 2 or 3 days later, Smother hasn't been at the pool for a couple days. Jeneva and I took Bella to the pool on Thursday and we were minding our own business in the baby pool with Bella, when smother entered the pool. I pointed her out to Jeneva so she would know when the hatefulness happened, that this was indeed the same smother...But you know what happened? No, you don't you know it all! She was very nice, I don't know if it was the fact that she was there with friends to she felt more comfortable or what, but she let her little "angel" play and share toys with Bella, and in a turn of events that I simply can't understand, or explain, she complimented my bathing suit, style and color.....*cue twilight zone music*

I suppose the moral of this story might be that sometimes people are having a bad day and maybe don't realize how ungracious they are being to others. In my case I generally know when I've turned on the ungracious attitude, and am working through that. The Holy Spirit kind of pinches me to get my attention and I realize that I might not be acting in a Christ like manner. Hopefully I can just keep getting better about that! But either way, a Smother is a Smother and now you know how to spot one!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Big Bath, Movie, and Hayley H

Bella loves the pool, she is still very crabby about the initial entrance in to the cold water, but that generally subsides quickly. She loves to scream "hi" at people, and actually offended an 8-9 yr old boy by screaming at him and saying "A baby, a baby!" He replied with an excessively hateful expression and stated that he was most certainly not a baby. Today we decided that Bella needed a toy to carry around with her in the pool. We were at Kroger so we looked around in their seasonal section...not the best selection of baby toys you have ever seen, but none the less we found her a Barbie doll who was outfitted in a pretty pink bathing suit. It was love at first sight between Bella and her Monkey...yes, you read that correctly, Bella named the Barbie Monkey almost immediately. When we got to the pool Bella wanted to have Monkey in her hand at all times. This included: riding in her float which Bella has deemed "bounce", being dunked under the water to practice holding her breath, and even sitting on the side of the pool. The worst part of this for Monkey was the side of the pool bit becuase Bella felt it crutial to scrape Monkey's feet on the scratchy concrete. Monkey caught a break at one point when Daniel positioned her in Bella's "Bounce" and Monkey made her way floating around the pool in peace. This was a great disturbance to Bella, so much so, I am sure she will need hours of counseling down the road.

Today was a continuation of my birthday celebration. I went to see the new X-men movie with Sam, Jen, Kevin, Kate, and Bussell. Sam, Kevin and I were particularly excited about the movie because X-Men has always kind of been our thing. The movie was quite excellent; I really enjoyed it, expcet for one thing. Now, I am warning you, the following may seem like a deminist there you were warned. It really bugged me that in this X-Men movie, even more than the ones before, most of the female characters had totally lame powers. There were three main mutant girls. The first is Raven, who becomes Mystique. She is a shape shifter and can take on the form of anyone...the end. She isnt extraordinarily smart, strong, or powerful. I know that her powers were helpful and cool, but given the choice between her and the other powers I think most people would choose a more powerful mutation. The second female is Angel... LAME LAME LAME. She had little pink/purple pixie wings, was found working at a strip club, and can spit bitty little fire balls. She was honestly the lamest of them all. Now the third female was actually pretty awesome, she could turn herself into a diamond, which albeit sounds kind of stupid, but was actually cool, and on top of that she had the same mind powers as Xavier, so all in all, Miss Emma Frost kind of rocked. But guess what? Emma Frost was on the bad side all along, then the stripper bar hoochie went to the bad side, cuase she thought it was the greener pastures, and then Mystique went. The good side was literally deserted by all the female mutants and it just seem like the movie painted all the girls as really crappy, and made them weaker than the men so that they would follow who they deemed the strongest man.

As we were leaving the mall I was a few cars behind Kevin and we were at a light that had just turned green, and all of  a sudden Kevin swerves out form behind this car like a bat out of hades, and goes screeching off...I say to Dan, "Wow Kev, what was that about?" Then I see it, a white Honda Accord with a license plate reading "Hayley H" SLOWLY pulling out at the light...but really would you expect the driver of that car to actually stop texting long enough to realize the light and changed and go? Didnt think so! That right there was the antithesis to my girl power talk above!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pool Days

Yesterday Daniel, Bella, and I took a very meaningful trip to the Chapman pool. We were going to get a pool membership, and I was literally so excited my stomach was flip/flopping. I have not had any kind of color since the summer I got married, and for those of you counting (Daniel that better be you!) that means I have not had any tan for almost 3 years. I know this may seem like a very big vanity thing, but I am a southern woman and I honestly believe that tan fat is far more desirable than white fat...You know you agree.

So we pulled up to the pool and Bella starts chanting "bath, big bath, bath" we paid our dues and went home to change. On the way we went to walmart and bought Bella a 3 dollar float. This thing is awesome, it has a nice seat and two circular floaty pieces...We got home put on our bathing suits and lathered on a thick layer of SPF. When we pulled back into the pool Bella started her chanting again...We ever so slowly started to get into the icy cold "big bath" and Bella, bless her heart, looked extremely offended to be in put in such a trying situation. Eventually Bella adjusted to the water and stopped clinging to us like a baby monkey, and by the end of our first day at the pool she was literally pushing off us like she knew how to swim all on her own!

On an unrelated note tomorrow is my 25th birthday and I am very excited about my mini celebrations. Daniel and I are going on double dates with Adam and Zach to go bowling, Sam, Jen, and maybe Kevin to see the newest x-men movie, and then with Kate and Kevin to the 24hr film festival, which I hope is not just a huge snooooooze. I love my friends and family and am so thankful to have such fun plans for my quarter life birthday!

Song of the Day: Eddie Vedder "Longing to Belong"

I implore you, listen to this song! It is such a beautiful, heartfelt, touching song! Give it a chance!