And then my heart with pleasure fills

It’s another warm, beautiful day here in southwesternOhio. No rain today (YAH!), and it’s only going to get up to 60°. I’ll take a mild spring day over heat any day. (On Tuesday, our house was only 58° when I got up. It was warm outside then still a little cold again this morning. I’m not sure I’m a fan of the gas furnace.)

Josh is working 10 hours today, and I’m working almost 9. We’ll certainly be a sight to see when we get home. It’s definitely going to be a drive thru dinner kinda night, especially since neither of us slept well last night. The manimals will be excited. They love french fries.

The cold Tuesday morning left little ice crystals on my daffodils petals. I left in a hurry, but I still noticed that they were all leaning towards the Taraus that was running in the driveway, thanks to my lovely hubby. I think they were trying to defrost. There’s always something so poetic about frost on flowers. It’s the contrast of the frosting associated with the cold laying across the gentle petals that represent the warm. I’m sure those flowers shook the ice off not long after I left because temps went back up over freezing, but for a moment that morning, a very fleeting second, I noticed them.

I have a love of daffodils. I’m not exactly sure why. It could be that they’re the first flowers to appear after the bitter colds that usually accompanyOhiowinters. They announce to the world that spring has sprung! They’re also so cheery and sunny. After so many months of gray and white, yellow is exactly what you need to see. They whisper promises of warm breezes and gentle rains. They dance and sing a silent tune. I just love them.

That could be why I’m so obsessed with William Woodsworth’s poem “I wandered lonely as a cloud.”  Observe:

           I wandered lonely as a cloud

          That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

          When all at once I saw a crowd,

          A host, of golden daffodils;

          Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

          Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


          Continuous as the stars that shine

          And twinkle on the milky way,

          They stretched in never-ending line

          Along the margin of a bay:                                  

          Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

          Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


          The waves beside them danced; but they

          Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

          A poet could not but be gay,

          In such a jocund company:

          I gazed–and gazed–but little thought

          What wealth the show to me had brought:


          For oft, when on my couch I lie

          In vacant or in pensive mood,                               

          They flash upon that inward eye

          Which is the bliss of solitude;

          And then my heart with pleasure fills,

          And dances with the daffodils


This old British dude wrote this poem about actual daffodils. Would you ever see an American man secure enough with himself to write about dancing with pretty flowers? No. Hemingway wrote about war and abortion. He was manly and rugged and grizzly. In all fairness, “I wandered…” was written in 1804, long before the hardships of the World Wars had raged themselves on humanity, ultimately, hardening men with their brutality and forcing the romanticism of the world, as well as of literature, to change. I’m just saying, though, Woodsworth, he’s more my kinda guy.

Anyways, like I said, Woodworth wrote this about real flowers in the GlencoyneBay, Ullswater, in the Lake Districtto be exact. Hence, seeing these daffodils is officially on my bucket list. If I’m gonna get a tattoo based off these flowers, I need to see them for myself.

Observe: my daffodils, in all their sprightly dancing glory


So, Josh bought lottery tickets Monday night – the Mega Millions. Well, there are 44 places you can buy tickets (42 states and DC and theVirgin Islands) and still no one won. Just proves how slim the odds are in actually taking the money away for yourself. He wants to buy more for the drawing on Friday. I think he secretly thinks we’re gonna win. I like that he’s so naïve about this, but the odds are just too stacked against us this case. Tuesday night he was all, “Look at these awesome numbers!” and Wednesday morning he goes, “These numbers sucked.”

That’s the thing about luck – some people believe in it way too much, and some people don’t believe in it at all. We’ve all known that person, or at least seen the person, with the horse shoe, rabbit’s foot, or four leaf clover. These items bring some sort mystical power with them to these individuals. To me, it’s just metal, a poor bunny’s dyed toes, and a plant. I do believe in luck to an extent. I’m superstitious. That’s not the same though. Luck to me is kinda like god. People blame it for the bad and praise it for the good. I think you make your own luck. Sure things happen sometimes, but you can’t make it some invisible powers fault. Humans are always looking for a scapegoat. Luck is just one of them. It’s all about the odds. The less likely you are to do something (or win something) the bigger the scope of “luck” if you are the odd man out and become the tiny stat (aka win). You’re more likely to be struck by lightening while driving your car after being diagnosed with cancer than you are of winning this lottery. Just saying. But then again, somebody’s gotta win eventually. You can’t win if you don’t play. So, I’m sure I’ll let Josh buy a few tickets.


Doctors appointment later today. Baby update to follow.

Until then,




I think in the cynical world we live in, it’s easy to over look things that make you happy. Sure, there’s all those clichés like “stop and small the roses” and “don’t worry, be happy”, but around every corner, on every homepage, newsfeed, and tv channel there’s something else horrible happening that needs our attention. We have to tell ourselves these clichés because it’s so easy to forget what happiness really is.

Yesterday was a day filled with happiness, and I’m not talking glass half full happy. I’m talking glass running over and spilling on the floor happy. Yes, this weekend my cup certainly runneth over. Sure, there were dishes to be done, clothes to be washed, and sheets to be changed, but those things aren’t always as important as one might make them seem.


This weekend’s happiness was:

– My little booger of a puppy sneaking her bones into bed since the Fat Man wasn’t there to stop her

– Falling asleep with Josh sitting next to me playing his Nintendo DS after going to bed alone for 3 nights in a row

– Going shopping for new clothes especially ones that show of my baby bump

– Driving around with the windows down even if it was in an old beaten up cav

– Afternoon naps

– Visiting old places that remind you of your childhood 

– Putting makeup on – especially since it’s been so long since I’ve bothered

– Spending the evening on the couch knitting for my itty bit

– Having my kitty curl up with me on the couch 

– The first ice cream of the season 

– Finding some old gems and rescuing them at the flea market

– Pulling a dress out of the back of the closet that you wore on your honeymoon that hasn’t been worn since and having it still smell like sunscreen and sea salt 

– Getting Bellini a new mouse toy and watching him spend the rest of the evening playing with it

– Big League Chew bubble gum – my inner child is very excited 


For some reason, happiness just came easy this weekend. The weather was beautiful and even the gray skies wouldn’t kill the buzz on Sunday. Just being surrounded by love makes everything seem so naturally happy anyways, and that’s the best kind of happy – the kind that just happens.

So, the dishes are still dirty. The laundry will have to be thrown in when I get home from work. The bed is still a shamble. They waited til today though. Chores can always wait til Monday. After all, that’s what Monday is for anyways. Let the weekend just be…


IVs, heat, green beer, and crafts

How far along? 21 weeks and 5 days

Total weight gain/lost: +1lbs

Maternity clothes? Not yet

Stretch marks? Working on that cocoa butter

Best moment of the week: St. Patty’s Weekend

Missing anything?Turkey sandwhiches

Movement? She’s squirmy =)

Cravings: salty, oh like chips, or something sweet, no, peanut butter! or maybe some popcorn instead, or an apple, maybe some cereal, no, no, pizza, etc.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Nope

Have you started to show? A little

Labor signs? nope

Belly button in or out? in

Wedding ring on or off? On, when I remember

Mood: pretty happy – it’s warm out! =)

Looking forward to: sleeping in this weekend

Quick baby update: not much to report. Josh hasn’t felt her kick still. I feel it all the time. She’s still breech so she kicks me near the crotch, but I’m told she should flip over soon. Leg cramps have started up again. I added a pillow to my desk chair, and it’s helped relieve that breaking-in-half feeling tremendously.

I made yet another ER visit last week. I had awful pains in my stomach that spread to my chest, and I was having a hard time breathing. Josh took me to Urgent Care who sent me to the ER because they don’t treat pregnant women. Once they cleared Lil Ellz, they didn’t really seem to care much about me. It’s like I don’t matter. I’m just the person carrying the baby, nothing else, just a vessel. Anyways, I’m glad she’s fine, and all that was wrong with me was a UTI. It was awfully painful, and they put me on antibiotics. I just finished them up last night actually.

I hate IVs 

Other than that, it’s been quiet on the baby front. We did register for baby stuff at Target and Babies R Us. I painted her letters and some frames and decided on how to decorate the rest of the room. The trick is, now, to convince Josh that, yes, those $80 wall appliqués are really necessary. Hopefully, I’ll win =)


“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.”  ~Nadine Stair

Spring, you’re here! I’ve been awaiting your arrival on pins and needles. Your friend, Winter, he was kind to us this year, but you, oh, you, dear Spring, my heart has longed for your return. I know you and Winter have a rocky relationship. He never wants to leave as he should and allow you bring with you the vibrant specks of colors you splash across the earth. Share your greens, your yellows, pinks, reds, and blues! Just keep the gray slush of winter at bay, will you please. I do worry that old man Winter still has a good dusting left up his sleeve. 

I love spring weather. This year, it seems, Ohio has decided to jump straight to summer. 85 degrees in March. The lion and the lamb are both way overheated this year. Yesterday, I had a huge standing fan on high, a ceiling fan, all three doors open, the living room window, the kitchen window, plus a small standing fan and a window fan on high in the bedroom on, and I still managed to melt into a puddle on the couch. (The two furry animals who insisted on sitting against/on top of each of my legs certainly didn’t help.) I had on a measly tank top that does not cover my belly anymore and super thin cotton short pajamas. There was no possible way to be any less clothed in the heat. Josh is going to get the a/c ready for me today. I don’t understand pilot lights and gas furnaces, but I’m assured I can’t just flip the a/c on.

the poor manimals are the one who suffer the most thou

Hasn’t stopped Bean from trying to get some snuggle time in while his fur sticks to my sweaty leg

I took Maisy out yesterday, trying my best to keep my tank top down long enough to get her out and then back in. It did not cooperate. I was a huge, blistering stereotype with my pregnant belly trying to pop out while barefoot outside a trailer. Maisy wanted to go for a walk, of course, and refused to try and pee. Finally, Josh, who stopped by for a sec between stores, got her to go. If we had a pick up truck or a couch on the lawn, it might have made the stereotype I was accidently perpetuating even more obvious. We do have a third row of a Ford Windstar on the back porch though. It’s part of Josh’s “Man Porch.” So, in my mind, I was feeling very trailer trashy, and I’m okay with that. Like I said, 86° in the aluminum can we live in-I’m fine being barefoot and pregnant.

The only true sign that it’s spring and not summer is that there are daffodils popping up everywhere. We have more daffodil plants than I ever expected. They were long dead by the time we moved into the place at the end of July. Josh tried to get rid of them by running over their remains with a lawn mower in August. Yet, here we are in March, and the strong little soldiers are blooming in all their white, yellow, and orange glory. My hyacinth bulbs that I planted in October came up in January, survived the strange back and forth of warm and kinda cold weather. They bloomed beautifully (there were hot pink cause they were breast cancer awareness bulbs) but half dead. They kinda rotted and died quickly. I was sad because I only had two that I could pick for my kitchen (they smell amazing!), and they quickly died too. Josh told me two or three days ago, as I threw away the sad remains of my flowers, that there were flowers blooming along the other side of the house (the side I never look at). To my great glee, there were more hyacinths! Light pink, deep purple, and periwinkle! They have since been picked and put in a vase with a few of my daffodils.


St. Patrick’s Day was a lot of fun this year. Josh finally got to shave his head after 10.5 long months. He was so happy. He’s bald again, YAH!

I don’t like beer anyways so I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all. We went downtown to see the parade, left early due to the heat, hit Party Source, and had a cookout at our house. Good friends, good food, and good booze (for Josh, anyways). As always, green beer was a must. We pulled an elderly folks night, and we went to bed about 8pm. (We both were ready at 6:30 so 8pm was quite an accomplishment.)


Josh has to work evenings this week. He’s learning how to close since he’s going to be a key holder. I have been so exhausted. I didn’t take my Unisom on Monday, and, boy, it was awful. I couldn’t even keep water down. So, I’m taking Meijer’s off-brand of it, and even though it says it’s the same, I’m more tired than usual. I have been staying up to almost ten though. So, maybe it’s the fact that I was going to bed at 8 and now I’m being wild and crazy and staying up an extra 2 hours. Either way, my exhaustion + Josh’s work schedule means I barely get to see him. It sucks, but it’s a job. We’ve gotta do what we gotta do.


Most preggo women nest. I haven’t started yet. I don’t exactly have a room to start nesting in as there are still boxes (mostly Josh’s) all over Ellabelle’s room. Plus, we plan on putting in new flooring. And we haven’t bought any furniture for baby E yet. (I’ve been told by multiple people that we have to wait until after the baby shower.) So, I craft instead.

Now, Josh, he doesn’t get crafting, and he hates Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Joanne’s, and crafty stands at the flea market. He doesn’t understand how an aisle of nothing put color coordinated ribbon can be so fascinating. He’s very get-in-get-out when it comes to anything. He gets that from his dad who can go through Trader’s World in about 15 minutes. (It takes us at least an hour, and that’s when we don’t even go all the way through.) I love to walk around craft stores. I love getting inspired, seeing things already made, wondering how I could do that, cheaply, with a twist, trying to figure out what kind of photo frame I need here and what picture I’d put it in. Oh, and don’t even get Josh started on the fake flowers in all the stores. He hates the fake flowers. He doesn’t understand why anyone would need to buy flowers to put on display in their home. (He feels this way about real flowers too, but I’ve got two vases sitting on my table at home so clearly he never wins this fight.)

Anyone who’s been to my mom’s house can tell you, crafting is in our blood. She’s always done something in the evenings (mostly to keep herself from falling asleep in her chair in front of the tv at 6pm). Originally, it was cross stitching. She got cross stitch elbow (or  wrist, or something like that, I don’t remember exactly) and can’t enjoying doing it much anymore. Now she makes bead things and sequiny banners. We’ve always done crafty things. Growing up I had bead kits, an easy bake oven, those little pegs that you made a picture out of melted together. Josh just has to get over it cause I plan passing the crafty gene down to Ellabelle.

My current crafts:

A nest (I’ll explain later)

Miss Ellabelle’s letters for her nursery


I plan to post about Josh’s drag show tomorrow WITH PICTURES! =)

xo, amy


This weather is having a negative effect on my mood. It usually does. I mean, I did self diagnose myself with SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). I’m just one of those people who is down when it rains and up when it’s sunny. That could be why I’m always so much happier at the beach. I need to move toFloridaor something.

So, as I sit and look out my window, the rain drops fall and the thunder shakes, and I am left wondering if I can control my emotions more than I think. There are people who believe that we control our own destinies and all. I don’t know if I agree with that. These people have obviously never suffered from a mental disorder. Only people who have never had depression would tell you “It’s all in your head.” They are right about that. It is all in your head, but it’s not something you can just go, “I think I’ll stop being depressed today.” It certainly does not work like that.

As for the rain, maybe I give it too much of a hard time. Sleeping in the rain is one of the best ways to sleep, especially if you’re in a tent. I used to love when it rained at Girl Scout camp. The tents were up off the ground on wooden platforms and the flaps from the top covered the open sides so you could hear it all and be right in the middle of the storm, but not get wet.

Rain is also good for plants. My hyacinths are almost all the way open, and, being the horrible horticulturists I am, I always plant flowers and forget to water them. So, thankfully, Mother Nature is taking care of it for me today. We’ve also got some pretty flower plants that Josh tried to kill by running over them with the lawnmower last summer. Luckily, the little plants are resilient. Until he figures out what he’s going to put there instead, I look forward to the mystery plants blooming.

People seem to have this fascination with the rain. Maybe it’s because it’s one of those things we haven’t ever been able to figure out how to control. Maybe it’s because rain does what it wants when it wants. It comes for long periods of time, and it stays away from long periods of time. People have written poems. People have made up dances. People have written songs. Rain is vital to human existence as well as the human experience. It is a very multidimensional element. Humans relate to it in a way of hurt and pain. The heavens unleash their tears upon the land. Rain is also related to in a cleansing way, a sign of new life and new hope, leaving all the past behind you. Sunshine doesn’t have that kind of depth. The sun is always happy. It’s far from being human. The rain is moody and pensive. It can be light and refreshing or dark and scary. The rain is the more stereotypical female half of the yin and yang of life. Men are carefree and easy going (like the sun) while women tend to (again stereotypically) be withdrawn and harder to read.

Yeah, maybe that’s why I’m not a huge fan of the rain. I see myself in it. I have enough rain in my own head that I need the sunshine to balance out my natural gloominess. That’s why I surround myself with natural sunshine, like Maisy and kittybabies.

My personal sunshine:


Makes me happy when skies are gray…

Week 20

How far along? 20 weeks

Total weight gain/lost: haven’t weighed myself

Maternity clothes? Not yet

Stretch marks? Unfortunately, I am apparently a stretch mark machine

Best moment of the week: Bacon bits first CRG game (they lost)

Missing anything? Tequila for some reason

Movement? Some here and there – nothing Josh can feel yet

Cravings: cereal, salad, skittles, and pudding

Anything making you queasy or sick? nope

Have you started to show? Got a wee little bump

Gender? Lil Miss Ellabelle

Labor signs? nope

Belly button in or out? in

Wedding ring on or off? On, when I remember

Mood: pretty normal – sudden urge to cry comes on occasionally, but I’ve managed to keep that in check

Looking forward to: Josh being able to feel her move

Nothing new to report really. So, here’s some pretty pictures from the past week:

Josh’s draft woodchuck at lunch on friday










Lady Gee Spiders!









Pintrest inspired easter wreath








My flowers in bloom









Ready for the game!








Josh rockin the sheep hat









at the game








First baby bump picture =)

Spring, please spring!

I’m a spring person. It’s too hot in the summer. It’s too cold in the winter. It’s nice in the fall, but the cold is coming in instead of heading out. I love spring, and right now, I’m itching for spring. I have a window now in my office that I can turn and look out. Granted, the view is of a cemetery, but I still see blue sky and sunshine on occasion. These bright cheery looking days are always such a let down when I go outside, and its freezing. Luckily, it hasn’t been too cold this winter (yet), but I think there should be a rule that if it looks 60 degrees out, it should be 60 degrees out.

I want sunshine on my face and warm breezes in my hair. I want to take the puppy for walks without worrying her paws are freezing. I want to ride around with the windows down and smell freshly cut grass. I want pastel colors everywhere and flowers in bloom.

Winter keeps its grip on Ohio though. No, it’s not ice. It’s not snow. But it certainly isn’t spring.

The weather around here has been crazy anyways. The whole “in like a lion” thing about March proved to be a little too true this year. Let’s just say March showed up like a freaking dive bombing peregrine falcon (those things can go 200 miles per hours). There were tornadoes all over the place in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. I was on my way home from work, and Josh called me. He was freaked out by storms, and it freaked me out cause usually it’s me freaking out. He was like, “We have to get out of this house!” So, I made him lock the boys in the bathroom and pack Maisy up. After a few changes of plans, we met on Union Centre, and I jumped into his van and we headed towards my parents house.

By the time we reached Mt. Airy, the sky was blue. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to worry about the cats being swept away by the storm while we were safe in a basement. Unfortunately, others were not as lucky as those of us in Cincinnati. We had some mild rain and some dark scary looking clouds. Other cities and towns were pretty much wiped off the map. Like 34 people have been discovered dead. It’s such a heartbreaking situation, but, as unfortunate as it is, it is a way to make you feel more grateful for all that you have.

So, that was Friday. Sunday night into Monday morning, it snowed. Like first real snow fall of the year. It’s all melted by the end of the day, but still. And, guess what? Ohio threw us yet another curve ball. On Wednesday, was gorgeous! 70° out–yeah, like as in shorts weather. So, in a six day span, we get tornadoes, snow, and spring. Yesterday it rained and the temps dropped all the back down into the 30s. It’s a little bit ridiculous.

Still got my fingers crossed that the spring weather will be here to stay for good soon.

Weeks 18 and 19

How far along? 19w5d

Total weight gain/lost: sitting pretty at 7lbs under where I should be

Maternity clothes? Not yet

Stretch marks? Bought me some cocoa butter. Now, if only I could remember to use it…

Best moment of the week: Finding out the baby’s sex

Missing anything? Winnie and the sunshine

Movement? Some here and there

Cravings: today, dirty pudding with gummy worms and also skittles

Anything making you queasy or sick? Greek yogurt

Have you started to show? Just a little. I still just look fat

Gender? Oh, we know =)

Labor signs? nope

Belly button in or out? in

Wedding ring on or off? On, when I remember

Mood: pretty happy – thanks to the return of warm sunshine

Looking forward to: getting the baby’s room cleaned out

When I started writing this in a word doc, I planned on making it a week 18 update. However, I find myself at 19w5d today meaning that a week 19 recap would be appropriate as well. I guess I’m even lazier than I thought.

Anyways, week 18 was a very exciting week for both good and bad reasons. For starters, the most important thing to happen was that we found out that we’re TEAM PINK! Yes, our little Ellabelle was a butthead as usual when it came to the sonogram. I hope she’s not going to be as camera shy once she’s here.

Not only can we stop saying “it” and say “she” or “her” instead, we also finally decided on lil Ellie’s middle name: Louise. I had gone back and forth between Gayle and Grace since before I was even pregnant. My mom also went back and forth on whether-or-not she actually wanted me to use the name Gayle (not that she remembers). On Friday, 3/2, after we found out she was indeed a “she,” Josh and I were talking about our grandparents since Ellabelle is named after her Great-Grandma Hawkins (She was Erma Ellabella). That’s when I realized that Louise might work. Both our paternal grandparents are deceased, and since Ellabelle is a variation of Great-Grandma Hawkins’ middle name, wouldn’t it just make sense to use Great-Grandma Schoenig’s middle name as well? So, surprisingly, we both agreed with no need for discussion.

As a side note, Louise was always going to be our 2nd girls middle name: Ava Louise. However, since we snagged it for Ellabelle instead, for now, and this is always subject to change, the future would-be daughter #2 will be Ava Gayle. So, Gayle’s not out of the picture yet.

Josh took a city test on Saturday, and he had an interview atKingsIslandon Sunday. We found out later in the week that he did, in fact, get the Kings Island job! YAH! He’s got two part time jobs now. That should help hold us over while he keeps looking for a full time position somewhere.

My job was one of the not so good parts of the week. I had a break down at work because of the way they’ve been handling my pregnancy. I’m one of only 2 females that are of actual birthing age here so they, and I quote my boss, “don’t know how to handle the situation.” I got told off because I have to go to doctor’s appointments monthly and have had lots of trouble including my late night ER visit and emergency sonogram at 12 weeks. I’ve tried to put it all behind me and move on from it. We’ll just have to see how the next 4 months pan out.

Josh’s van died on Monday in Dry Ridge,Kentucky. The transmission froze up, and so it’s bye bye, Winnie the Windstar. We’ve got to weigh our options and figure out a game plan from here. There’s not much else to say about it except that you should always listen to your wife. Just sayin.

This week, that’s numero 19, has been uneventful babywise. She squirms a little bit here and there but I’m still not feeling her all that much yet. My baby bump is still pretty small, and I’m not gaining weight like I should be. Ellabelle is fine though. She’s 3oz over the average for her age. She’s still set to arrive on July 28th.

Tomorrow, I hit the half way point. We’re going to celebrate by going to the Cincinnati Roller Girls home opener. Looking forward to, hopefully, two wins and some concession stand food! Today it’s a yucky wet mess in southwesternOhio, but at least there’s no storms predicted. I’m hoping to tackle the spare bedroom this weekend. I’d like to have the option of fixing it up sooner rather than later (funds permitting of course). Already picked out paint colors and the new flooring. Just got save up so we can get it all!