Monday, November 19, 2012

Things I am loving this season:

The genuine, organic warmth of a wood stove blazing and warming my home.
A cup of hot coffee to warm my veins in the frosty mornings.
Seeing my One and Only go to work looking sexy in his hugely warm Carhartt jacket. (okay, I don't like seeing him leave... but he looks handsome all the same...)
Seat warmers!.
Chocolate almond milk warmed up. Wow.
A freshly awakened blonde baby boy warmed from sleep with bright rosy cheeks and a very confused expression.
My vast collection of warm, fuzzy socks that are purely for comfort and absolutely not for looks.
My good ol’ faithful warm Charlotte Russe sweats that are missing both buttons on the back pockets and the draw string.
Watching my Man devour my warm tortilla soup invented by mois that he just adores.(the soup, although he adores me too)
The satisfaction of feeling Clint’s warm hands hold my ever frozen ones.
My warm hot pink/orange/purple knit Pier 1 throw blanket some well-to-do Nashville-ite tossed that I snagged for $2.99 at Goodwill.

Wow. I’m noticing a theme. I’m super into being warm. Why is that? OH! I know! It’s because I live in Tennessee and the winters are like death here! I would never survive in Michigan. I was bred for warm to moderate temperatures and to be either barefoot or in flip flops throughout every season. When you come home from Nashville in the evening and your car thermometer says 29 degrees, you know something is up.
But thankfully I have acquired a new skill. Actually, I acquired it last year, but have been able to weild it much more as of late. I am an expert wood stove fire builder girl. Really, I can whip out a fire from scratch in no time. (I do use matches. Is that cheating?) My Man didn’t believe me until recently when I proved it to him. This definitely makes my winter much more pleasant and has sown a strange love within me for building fires. Really, I enjoy it. There is something very satisfying about getting it done. I have become a huge promoter of woods stoves: it’s amazingly cheap (living in the woods really makes firewood quite easily attainable), and the warmth is pure; so different from central heat, which makes me feel tingly and hot and my cheeks turn bright red (not cool). We don’t have that wicked bill every month, and it feels so... so... woodsy. What is there not to like?
Lately I have been on a baking extravaganza. I made four apple pies in one week, which Clint devoured. I am supremely jealous of  him; he is incredibly toned, one ripped out six feet of lean muscle, approximately 0% body fat, can eat anything he wants, all day long, the most caloric stuff, and his weight never changes. It’s not fair. He could breathe in the whole Maggiano’s kitchen and still have the body of an elite athlete. He also has an insane vertical and is a volleyball beast, basketball extroirdinare, and excels at every other sport he tries. And he never works out. That’s the disturbing part. Oh, and his eyelashes are really long. What is up with this world???
I made peanut butter cookies on Wednesday, which he finished off in about four hours (they were the most perfect consistency ever... I don’t blame him...), chocolate and white chip cookies last night (which he ate most of), and am itching to bake more if I wasn’t trying to lose a couple pounds and didn’t have such an uncontrollable love affair with dough. Cookie dough is my nemesis. My mother in law kept a bowl of egg-less batter in her fridge for a couple of weeks specifically engineered for my enjoyment. I’m pretty sure I should be embarrassed by this. But I ate it unashamedly. 
I have also been running lately. A lot. I have “run” for several years for the exercise benefits, but never pushed myself and never ran a full mile without stopping (this is embarrassing to admit!). After the baby was born I decided enough was enough and I needed to become a real runner-- as in not stopping for miles and actually being fit. And I’ve done that. My first 5k was a wake up call to my inability compared to other runners. Therefore, I’ve been on a successful running stint for a few months now and am proud to say that I can run without stopping. For miles.
Over the course of achieving that goal, running has become more than a fitness/weight loss regimen for me. I love it now. It’s a daily habit I can’t skip. If I do, I feel unaccomplished for the day. Something is missing. It’s what makes me feel strong, capable, and in control of myself. And being able to see the long miles of running become easier and shave minutes off my “time”, makes all that sucking-in-air-for-life-after-a-long-hill feeling worth it. 
I was blessed before CJ’s birth to find a good deal on a good quality jogging stroller. It is by far my favorite piece of baby gear that is indespensible to me, next to diapers and wipes. And clothes. And blankets I guess. I use it every single day for more than just running... I couldn’t do without it! Every day he and I head out for “our” run... a couple times a week Clint will take him so I can run alone. BOY, when you’re used to pushing a 25 lb. child in a 40 plus pound stroller up and down hills, you feel like an Olympian when you’re running without it. I’m positive that pushing that stroller has made me a stronger runner. I'd highly recommend it although it can be painful.
Clint supports me in my athletic endevors, and I in his. It’s our little unspoken exchange. Of course, my abilites pale beside his. He’s amazing. *sigh* He hates to run, but he can run like nobody’s business. Lucky him... he ran once... ONCE... before our 5k early this year, and finished at 22 minutes. He never runs, did one practice run, and that’s how fast he did the hilly course? Is any one else amazed? I can’t get over it.
While I’m babbling on from one topic to the next, my Babelette (as Clint calls our mini-Clint) is snoozing and my Man is driving home from work with a huge load of old shingles on his trailer. I can’t wait for him to come home... he’s my best friend, my companion, my LOVE, and a thousand other things I can’t even define.
My faithful commenters are my dear friend Beth and my lovely (crazy) friend Morgen... but I want to hear from the rest of you too, or I will shut down the blog. Yes, that was a threat. Therefore, I’ll be asking a couple questions for y’all to answer. I used that word JUST for you.
  1. What ways do you stay in shape? Running? Biking? Weights? Are you insane enough to do Insanity?
  2. What is skill/sport/talent  your man excels at (if you have one...*wink*...) that you are crazy proud of and makes your heart go thumpity-thump?
  3. If you are a runner, what is your fastest 5k time? (you tell me, I’ll tell you)

Let’s hear it! Wow that sounded super inspirational. Don't you want to comment now that I added that little excited "let's hear it!" at the end there? I think that'll be my new signature. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ladies, get in line.

This is a picture post.
Wow! How unusual. Before I begin to write again on my blog, I have to blog (photos) for a little while so I gain gain inspiration. I am so out of the blogging sphere, I really don't have anything attention-grabbing to say. Therefore, this post is simply to visually update my friends who are curious on the wonders of our beautiful, plump offspring.
 We are busy with who-knows-what as usual, and happy as clams. CJ is getting smarter, (much) more mobile, and funnier by the day. Not to mention cuter. He says "Mama", "Da", and most recently, "ba" for 'boo'. He is a major flirt and is a favorite with the ladies. What can I say.
His all-time favorite person is Clint. He LOVES his daddy. He'll be fussy until he can just sit on his lap. Clint is awe-inspiring, amazing, and the funniest entertainment ever in CJ's little eyes. Sigh... like mother like son!

 Really? How could anyone not pick this creature up from the confines of his crib?
 CJ practices the lost art of the burrito tongue. 
 Stoll boys mature early I guess. CJ is not one to be left behind.
 He discovered that he could climb under the coffee table, and let me tell ya... this discovery thrills his soul.
 "So this is love... so this is love... so thhhhiiiiiiisssss is what my heeeaarrrttttt's been dreaming ooooffffffff!!"
 It was near impossible to get a decent photo of the cousin's. They wouldn't stop moving.

 In my rush to put CJ's shorts on (actually, he was very angry about getting dressed, so it's really his fault...), this happened.Th

 Sometimes I look into my baby's eyes, and I see my Man. He has that same soft, dreamy, sleepy look in his eyes that just kills me, makes my heart skip a beat, makes the drool spill out of my mouth, has me kissing the ground Clint walks on, makes me swoon... you get the point. CJ looks like Clint.

There's your update. Maybe someday I'll have something more intelligent to say on here. But there: I've fed your hungry hearts with photos of my beauteous child. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Of fatness and summertime.

Oh my. It has returned.
Or I have returned, I suppose I should say. It has been many, many moons since I have posted. I have a huge, strapping 20lb six month old and the summer is leaving. I know this, because the leaves fall every once in awhile onto our lawn and it angers me, because I love summer. I don't want it to go. I want the heat to leave but when the heat leaves, the cold comes, and the creek is no longer something to look forward to. So as my Dad would say, it's a catch 22. Whatever that means.
Anyway, picture update. CJ is the joy of our lives! He is everyone's favorite little fatty... seriously, I don't think I go somewhere without someone telling me he's "awful perty". He's quite popular with the ladies at a few of the local stores here, not including the church girls. And the sister-in-laws. And the Grandma's. And the millions of relatives. Basically... he's loved.

The poor child has had enough photo shoots in his life, and decided enough was enough after about 700 photos (notice the unpleasant expression above).
 I love my slim man and my fat boy!
 Is he not the cutest creature you've ever seen? Am I blind?
 Nope, I'm not.
Photo credit to Liz Stewart. If I knew how to do fancy links, this is where I would add it. So instead, her site is: She does most of No Greater Joy's photography work and drives a bright yellow Bug that has a huge "Baby Doll" sticker on the back. Vital info. She is also a great friend and even spent a few hours "babysitting" us before our wedding. She was very, very strict. But we still love you Lizzy.
No one has perfected the just-woke-up lazy-eyed look like CJ. Here he is, fresh from the crib, dazed and confused.

Apart from being super cute, he's also brilliant. 

 The danger of putting a six month old boy with advanced athletic abilities on the counter-top in his pink chair? He will do anything, ANYTHING, to reach the decor.
 We had a couple of weeks of ridiculously hot weather here... I'm talkin' 107, 108 degree days. Couple that with humidity, and you learn what it really is like to be overheated. I put a wet washcloth on CJ's head whenever he was too distracted to notice. What can I say? He wears it well.
 Trying to strangle himself. Boys! Sheesh.
In the summertime, most evenings we're either playing basketbal, volleyball, or swimming (sometimes all three!). Clint continues to get better, and better, and better, and better at basketball. I can't say much about volleyball because...well... volleyball is his name. He and the ball are one. Trust me, it's too deep for us mere mortals to understand.
 This photo is extremely important. It showcases one of the  rare moments that Young Fatty is asleep at the court with a bunch of noise going on in my arms. Of course, this only happens if he hasn't taken a single nap all day long, and falls over with exhaustion. It's like he's reverting to his babyhood instead of being so grown up like he is. It brings out all of my motherly feelings.

We've spent so many evenings swimming after Clint gets home... CJ just adores it. (and if you think Clint looks tan here... this ain't nothin' compared to the color he came home with during that heat was like he lived in a tanning bed for a week.)
I can't get over how gorgeous he is! MMM!

That's all for today folks!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Well, it's been awhile. My blog has pretty much kerplopped. Believe me, I've made many an attempt to post but we had to leave, the baby was crying, the pictures wouldn't upload... so that's my excuse.
Anyway. We're still here! 
 In April, we flew to California to pick up an '09 Jetta we bought in LA, then drove up to my parents and stayed with them for a little over a week. I can't wait for them to come in a few weeks and see our boy again! Above... we had just given CJ a bath in my mom's enormous sink. Quite the family event ( Mom was getting poetic about the bath towel being mine when I was a baby...).
 On the way home, we stopped in Solvang for the night. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision... Clint spoils me, I tell ya. We stayed in a pretty little hotel and ate some German sausage and had a lovely time together, of course.
 It was cold. Here's my Clint's touring the town with me. I couldn't resist a photo. Notice the leg warmers. Oh yeah!
 We discovered that CJ is a great trip baby. Thank goodness...
 "Whassup Mom?"
 He loves to chill in the sink. I passed on a strong shower-until-your'e-numb gene to him.
 He doesn't love to chill in his bed. Here he is with his Amish beads after just waking up. (please ignore that they are pink. We are working on his Grandma with this one. She's the culprit.)
 I went on a run after a storm, and Clint took the baby and did a little tour of the countryside and took some beautiful photos. Here is my favorite.
Driving up Hwy 1...there was road construction and a thirty minute stop. Us and the rest of the foreigners took advantage of the scenery and got out for a few photos. I miss my ocean!

Anyway... that was a pretty boring post. I'm not in the writing mood. But I will be. Hold your breath. : All these photos are a couple of months old, so my little boy has developed quite a bit more, which I will be showcasing very soon. Till next time. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our Baby Bear

Long has it been since I have bequeathed my thoughts onto the blog.
I like that word, bequeathed. I doubt I used it right, but it has a certain romantic ring to it that gives me a thrill. Just had to use it.
Anyway. It's been awhile. From being almost three weeks past my due date and having a newborn and not being around internet too terribly much, and plain old not feeling like posting... I've avoided the blog. But here I am.
I won't go into detail about the labor, so as to avoid terrifying the babyless gals and collecting sympathy from the mothers (actually, I welcome sympathy). But I'll say this: I DID NOT LIKE IT. End of story. It was worse than I am capable of imagining. I will say no more. Although I'm dying to freak you all out with the wicked details.
But, a baby came out in the end, and I'll tell you about that. Or I'll just let the pictures speak for you. I don't have any from the last two weeks, due to us taking pictures with our cell phones. He is four weeks today. So, once I get some more onto the actual camera, I'll post. These are only from his first day. He's developed into an even cuter, wide eyed, very fat little boy. I'm sure you've seen his wondrous glories on Facebook.
We named him Clinton Joseph Stoll, after his Daddy. We call him CJ. He was eight pounds and 21 1/2 inches long, and came out looking around, serious, and very mellow. We are in love. He was born at 7:09 am, not long after dawn. The relief and miracle of his birth was incredible. I don't know how to elaborate without getting extremely gushy, flowery, and over the top Shakesperean. So... it was amazing.
Here he is, freshly out, still with a cone head and looking like a little old man.
About eight minutes after his arrival. Still in total shock. I know I'm going to regret putting this photo up as soon as I hit the publish button.
First, Clint was born to be a husband. And then he was born to be a father. And in between he was born to be a host of other magnificent things. He was a perfect doula. I probably would have died if he wasn't there to comfort me. End of story.

He loved this little stork weighing device as soon as they put him in it. This is Mary, Clint's paternal grandmother, who was my midwife.
His first night with us.
The next morning. There's nothing like seeing the man I adore with our son. Having a baby is seriously romantic. Hopefully our children will end up having a thick, wavy mop of hair like my man, as you can see he's been blessed with. Unlike me.

Promises of a chubby future and maybe a little football...
Now you can all comment and tell me how beautiful my boy is. ;) I'll put some up of his more developed self soon.