Measured in minutes, medical degrees, and road trips...

4 years!
1,460 days
2,102,400 minutes
3 states
2 new cars
8 TDY's {aka way too many days apart}
1 baby
32 road trips of 6+ hours
1 anniversary spent packing our car**
1 medical degree
a goodbye to teaching
every 4th night on call
ten thousand tears
a million laughs
countless memories
one love of my life

**and today we celebrated the best four years of our lives by doing this...

As a wedding gift, we received a monogrammed frame with this saying on it:

"It doesn't matter where you go in life, what you do, or how much you have...
it's who you have beside you."

I'm so thankful to walk through this life with my soul mate & best friend.
Happy 4th Anniversary, my love!

post inspired by raechel at finding my feet.


Wordless Wednesday: The Star of the Blog

The star of the blog....no truer words were ever spoken.
Happy Wednesday to you! :)


This is what our Sunday looked like...

A lazy Sunday morning. Daddy reading through the Sunday paper, Mommy clipping coupons, and baby destroying it all and having the time of her life doing it!

We had a busy, fun weekend...so that lazy Sunday was just what we needed! Derek was post-call on Friday and stayed home with Miss Shelby in the evening while I went out to get my hair cut and run a few errands. Derek had to work Saturday morning, then we had visitors come into town that afternoon! We l-o-v-e having family come visit us here in Biloxi! Derek's mom, aunt, & cousin made the trek to come see us & we had a great time! {Unfortunately, I'm still getting used to my new camera and had it on the wrong setting, so none of my pictures turned out...grrrr!} We took them to a little local restaurant called Blow Fly Inn that we'd been wanting to try for quite some time, and it was so good! Delicious food, perfect view of the back bay, and of course great company!

Our visitors all hit the road on Sunday morning, and we spent the rest of the day relaxing, catching up on life, and gearing up for our big trip in July...I'll give you the details on that later! Hope you are having a great start to your week, friends! :)


Recipes to Share...

My good friend Erin always posts a Recipe of the Week on her blog each week, and while I am far from a good cook, I love getting new ideas for things to try out. So here are a couple of things we have made in our kitchen recently...

Watermelon Fruit Basket
This isn't exactly a recipe, but it's a fun summertime thing to make! :)
We went to a picnic last weekend, and all of the guests were asked to bring a side dish or dessert. I didn't want to bring something that probably five other people had planned to bring, and I suddenly remembered this idea of a watermelon fruit basket from one of my baby showers last summer. We already had a watermelon in the fridge, so it was the perfect thing to bring to the picnic! Derek loves carving pumpkins, so he had a good time carving the basket. {If you just do a google image search of "watermelon picnic basket," about a thousand different images will pop up of different styles of baskets you can carve...there are lots of very elaborate ones out there!} After carving your basket & using a melon baller to scoop out of the watermelon meat, just fill your basket with the fruits of your choice! We used the watermelon balls, cut up strawberries, grapes, and blackberries.

Caramel Pie
I made a caramel pie for Derek for Father's Day this year. It is one of his fave desserts! This recipe is very similar to the caramel pie they have on the menu at O'Charley's, and it is sooooo easy!

2 or 3 cans of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
store-bought Oreo pie crust
optional toppings--cool whip, hershey's syrup, chocolate chips, and/or nuts {Derek usually prefers only cool whip}

Peel the paper labels off of the cans of condensed milk, and put them in a covered pot of water to boil for 3 hours {this is how the milk turns to caramel}. Throughout the 3 hours, I periodically check on the cans and stir them around. At the end of the 3 hours, take them out of the water and let them cool for at least one hour. Once cooled, use a spatula to get the caramel out of the cans and into the pie crust. Two cans is enough, but I usually do 2.5 for a little extra caramel. ;) Then place the pie into the fridge for several hours (at least 6 hrs I would say) to cool. Serve cold, and enjoy! It is super rich, but oh so tasty!


Derek's First Father's Day

We celebrated Derek's first Father's Day on Friday b/c he was scheduled to be on call on Sunday and Friday was his day off this week. Shelby gave Derek his first present of the day by sleeping in until 7:30! :)
Shelby was just excited about the tissue paper! ;) The paper fetish is still going strong!
Please try to ignore Shelbo's bed-head. ;) We couldn't wait to give Derek his gifts, so we had literally just rolled out of bed!
I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but we gave Derek a personalized Father's Day card from Tiny Prints. I have blogged about my love for Tiny Prints before here, but I've just recently developed my love for their line of greeting cards. And for those of you who don't know, I used to work part-time at a Hallmark store in college and I firmly believe there is the perfect Hallmark card for every occasion. I love Hallmark cards. So loving Tiny Prints cards is a pretty big deal for me. Their cards are very reasonably priced {cheaper than buying a card at Hallmark or Target sometimes..especially when they're running promotions}, you can shop from the comfort of your home {which is a big plus when your 9 month old doesn't really enjoy sitting in the cart while you have to compare 15 different cards before making your final selection at the store}, and you can personalize them! Okay, that was majorly off the topic of Derek's First Father's Day! ;) But I'm pretty sure Derek enjoyed his card!

As I mentioned before, Derek was on call on the actual day of Father's Day. So Shelby & I brought dinner up to the hospital along with a caramel pie that I made for him. Fortunately, it was a pretty slow evening at the hospital, so Shelby got to visit with her Daddy for a bit. :)

Shelby & I both love you so much, Derek! He is the the sweetest and most supportive hubby and the best daddy to our baby girl. I am so thankful to have him by side as we journey through parenthood together. Happy Father's Day, my love!


Nine Months!

Happy Nine Month Birthday, Baby Girl!
You are just a mere three months away from turning ONE YEAR OLD!
Here is what Miss Shelby is up to these days....
--Up until this month, we rarely heard you laugh. But now the laughs are coming a bit more frequently, and it just melts our hearts every time we hear it! You seem to laugh the most when we take you outside to the swing.
--cutting your first tooth! I discovered a sharp point on Shelby's bottom gums on Tuesday the 14th, and when I looked in her little mouth my suspicions were confirmed! It's just a teeny white speck right now, but I'm sure we'll be seeing a toothy grin in no time!
--I'm not sure if this is related to you teething, but your not-so-hot eating habits with baby food have gotten much worse lately. Before, you were only eating fruit rice cereal, sweet potatoes, & bananas. But now you will pretty much only eat your fruit rice cereal in the mornings and that's it. I still attempt to feed you the pureed baby food twice a day, but I usually only manage to get one or two bites in your mouth before you start fighting me. It's not a fun time for either of us. Not fun at all. But the good news is that you still enjoy finger foods!
--We are oh so very, very, VERY proud of you b/c this month you decided you were ready to put yourself to sleep for naps and bedtime! You are such a big girl! We used to always rock/hold you to sleep, then you only liked for us to walk and bounce you in our arms as you drifted off to sleep....now we just swaddle you up, place you in your crib, give you a goodnight kiss, and off to sleep you go! We are SO proud of you, Shelby!!!
--You had your first swim lessons this month at the Y and here on base. You did great! Your favorite part is when we would sing/act out Wheels on the Bus with your class...you smiled the whole time!
--Spending lots of time in your baby pool at home!
--Still not rolling over at all when you are awake. But you do roll over on to your tummy to sleep sometimes. So we know you are capable of rolling over...you just never do it in our presence!
--You are completely weaned onto formula now and doing great with it!
--You love to yell/sing or wiggle when you are happy/excited. It's so cute! And we love it that now you can mimic us/do it on command. If we yell/sing or wiggle at you, you will do it back. It's so fun to have you interact with us like that!
--sleeping in a bit later in the mornings, which Mommy & Daddy greatly appreciate! Instead of waking up around 6:30...it's usually 7 or 7:30. But today, it was 8:45! You love your sleep! (This is a far cry from your early days when you fought sleep at every chance you got!)
--You still l.o.v.e storytime!

And because everyone loves pictures, here are a few more of my faves from our nine month photo shoot...
And this is when Shelby decided she was done with pictures for the day! ;)
We love you, Shelby-Girl!


Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day, Everyone!

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. ~Unknown

The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get. ~Tim Russert

{Click on the photo collage to view it in a larger size.}


Wordless Wednesday: Bathtime Fun!

{In case you are wondering, the reason Derek is laughing so hard is b/c when we make the duck "quack," Shelby will always look up at us trying to figure out where the sound is coming from and then just smile. Every.single.time. And we think it is just hilarious!}


Inside Voices are Overrated

Shelby is anything but a quiet baby. At almost nine months of age, she still isn't much of a babbler though. {The only consonant sound she consistently makes is the /b/ sound.} She would much rather be yelling or squealing. And she pretty much does this all.day.long. And I don't think it helps that her Daddy encourages her. :)
In my days spent inside a Kindergarten classroom, I'm sure I used the phrases "inside voice" or "six-inch voice" countless times. But as a new mama, I am {slowly} learning to loosen up a bit. When Shelby first started her "loud phase," I was anxious she would be "that baby" while we were roaming the aisles of Target or getting groceries at the commissary. But I've realized that it's okay...and in fact, it's pretty darn cute. Although the other day as we were looking for ideas for a certain someone's first birthday party at Hobby Lobby, a lady shot us a bit of a look. For whatever reason, she decided the party aisle of Hobby Lobby was the perfect spot to conduct a business call. I promptly told Shelby what a pretty singing voice she had, and we moved on to the next aisle. ;)


Shelby has some news to share...

In case you didn't get a good look at it, here's a closer view...
Yep, that's right! Derek was awarded "Intern of the Year" at the Internal Medicine Graduation Dinner on Thursday night. Shelby and I are very proud of him for doing so well this year!

There was a little graduation ceremony on Thursday morning for the residents at the hospital. It is a three year residency program, so the first-years were graduating from "intern" to "senior resident," and the third-years were graduating from residents to staff doctors.
Thank you for indulging me as I bragged on my sweet hubby for a bit. I am just so very proud of him and all of his hard work! Congratulations, Derek!


Llama Llama

I heart children's books. I'm sure I loved them as a kid, but I fell in love with them all over again in college through some children's literature courses that I took. I immediately began my "wish list" of children's books and often asked for books off this list as Christmas or birthday gifts to begin my personal library for my future classroom. After four years of teaching, I developed quite the collection..and Shelby is currently reaping the benefit of this. The girl loves to be read to. We always read a couple of books to her before naptime & bedtime. Even if we travel, I make sure to throw a few books in the suitcase for her.

One of Shelby's all-time favorite books (and ours too!) is Lllama Llama Red Pajama...
There are a few other titles in the Llama Llama series, but I unfortunately do not own them nor have I ever even read them. But this month {I know they do the same thing with Dr. Seuss books from time to time}, Kohl's is selling Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and plush characters from the books for only $5 each...and the best part is that 100% of the proceeds are donated to "support kids' health & education initiatives in communities nationwide" {via Kohl's website}. As soon as I found about this great deal, I ran up to Kohl's and Shelby is now the proud new owner of Llama Llama Misses Mama.
Just thought I'd share this great deal with y'all in case you are looking for a great new book for your kiddos..or maybe a baby shower gift! One of my mom's sweet friends threw me a baby shower last summer, and one of my favorite details of the shower was that she asked the guests to give Shelby and me a children's book instead of a card. What a great idea! I love reading those books to Shelby and seeing the handwritten inscriptions from our sweet family.

Okay..that's enough about children's books for one day, but for now I will leave with you a sweet {but kind of long!} video of Derek reading bedtime stories to our baby girl.



I have a confession to make. After a quick shopping trip at Hobby Lobby the other day, I loaded up Shelby and our loot into the car...and then...I left the shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot. I still can't believe I did it...but it does feel good to get that off my chest. Ha!

The reason I feel so guilty about it is that people leaving carts in the middle of parking lots is one of my all-time biggest pet peeves. It's so annoying, lazy, and inconsiderate. {It's always been a pet peeve of mine..but it became an ever bigger one after someone left a cart out in the middle of the Tar-jay parking lot, and it dinged my new car. Ugh.} It bothers me so much that if I am on my way into a store and see carts hanging out by their lonesome, I will corral them up and return them to their proper location before beginning my shopping if time allows.

Now that I have a baby in tow for shopping trips, I typically try to park right next to a cart return to make my life easier. Well, there are no cart returns at our Hobby Lobby in Biloxi. {I wonder if all Hobby Lobby's don't have cart returns? Or is it just our location?} So after getting Shelby back in her car seat and putting our purchases in the car in the bajillion degree weather and mega-humidity....I just didn't have it in me to lug the cart all the way back up to the store...nor did I want to leave Shelby sitting in the hot car for any longer than necessary. So...I just left the cart right where it was, in the middle of the parking lot. Ugh..I am now guilty of one of my biggest pet peeves.

And as a reward for reading about my random confession, I will leave you with a pic of my two favorite people!
These were two of the first images taken with my new camera. It's a lot fancier than what I was used to, so I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to use it! Ha! But I'm enjoying it and loving the higher quality pictures!
Happy Wednesday to you!


Hodge Podge

A hodge podge of random thoughts for you on this Sunday afternoon....

--Derek is currently finishing up his last month of internship. {For those of you who may not know, his residency program is three years long. First year residents are considered "interns."} It's hard to believe we've been here a whole year now. It feels like we were just celebrating his graduation from med school yesterday. Time is flying!
--Shelby just completed her very first swimming class! It was a two-week long class at the Y. She loved it! Shelby likes to "sing" (which really sounds more like yelling) when she's happy, so she was definitely the loudest baby in class by far. We were thrilled that Grammy was able to join us for a few classes while she was here, and Derek was even able to come to a few as well!
--Shelby's happy face is still a wide-open mouth...we love it! Ha!
--We start Shelby's next round of swim classes on Tuesday here on base.
--Yesterday was my sweet hubby's birthday. Shelby & I sure are lucky girls to have him!
--Speaking of Derek, he is currently obsessed with the show Parking Wars on A&E. Have you seen it before? I'll admit that it is pretty entertaining. We have it set on our DVR to record all new & repeat episodes...I'm pretty sure Derek watched about ten episodes of it yesterday. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me, but it was his birthday so I guess we can let it slide! :)

Okay, I suppose that is enough randomness for one day! :) Derek actually has the day off today, so it's a happy Sunday here in the Smith household! Hope y'all are having a good Sunday, too!


Wordless Wednesday: A New Clock for Shelby's Room

wooden circle & clock mechanism from Target {sold as a clock-making kit}
wooden numbers from Michael's
wooden circle stained to match Shelby's furniture
numbers & clock hands painted to match the color scheme of Shelby's room