I'm just in awe of my daughter every time I look at her.
Like, when was she allowed to get this beautiful? She was a gorgeous baby, and an adorable toddler but now all I see is a beautiful young lady. Despite all of my efforts to keep her from growing up too quickly, she's doing it whenever I blink my eyes, I just know it.

I can't help but speculate on the person she'll become.
Will she be an academic, or athletic? Will she be popular, or the quiet kid in school? Will she want to be a mother, or will she want to be a globe trotter? Will she tire of the constant moving and upheaval of our lives and want to stay close to her mom and dad or will it give her a sense of adventure and let it take her away?

There are a few simple things I want for her. 

1. I want her to find a lifetime partner. Whether it is a best friend, or life mate I want her to have a "person" she can turn to when I'm no longer here.

2. She should know how to cook one killer dish for each meal of the day.

3. She should be able to write a stellar thank you note.

4. I want her to know her passion, and go for it.

5. I want her to know the grasp of unmitigated true love being given by someone who didn't create her. 


Grossly Neglected

This poor blog. If it were a pet, it would have to go back to the shelter.

I have absolutely no excuses!

I am on the internet a good two house a day after Emmie goes to bed, and I have no reason why I can't update this silly thing with some pictures at least.

I guess I used to blog here for my grandma, and her friends at the apartments she lived in...and I still will...for them. They know who they are, and I will love them forever.

So, here it goes!

We are currently in Tennessee on our way to Virginia. My husband signed a lease on a house today, and that house is still occupied if you can believe it! The current occupants will be out and we will be moving in on June 13th.

Now, on to what you really want to see...pictures of my ladybug Emersen.

Emmie was extremely happy to have her daddy back, and now that he is in Virginia we have explained to her that he is simply finding us a "Princess House" and it's going to take awhile to get "sparkles" so we are going to stay with Great Grandpa and Grandma until the house is ready.

This is the day Paul got back from Diego Garcia. She just drooled over that dress in her closet. I made her wait until it was time to go get him to wear it!

Here she is with a buddy in Texas. We have Navy friends that moved just a few minutes away from Paul's parents in Forth Worth. So, on our road trip we stopped in Texas to avoid the tornadoes in Missouri and got to see a ton of family which was awesome.

This is in Arkansas, at a hotel. We stayed over night after leaving my in laws house on our way to TN for Emmie to meet her Great Grandparents.

Well, that's all I have for now. I'll be more diligent about posting pictures more often. 

Lots of love,
Kaci and Emmie



She has red hair. She wears a pink, blue and yellow shirt with gray pants. (Her style leaves something to be desired!) She has blue shoes, and a baby named Zachary.

Gabioli is a new addition to our household.

She just showed up today, apparently ready to play. 

Gabioli is the first of I'm what will I'm sure become many many imaginary friends. Apparently this is the age of whimsy and creativity. I'm pleased to know I've nurtured a child who can manifest a friend!

I'm not sure I ever had an imaginary friend myself. I know I had a pretend dog named Butch that I walked on a pretend leash to school, but I was old enough to know he wasn't real. I was putting on a show for my friend! I knew early on I had a comedic gift!

Not to switch gears too quickly, but as Halloween was yesterday, I have pictures of my sweet ballerina!

There are more, but sadly I do not have those ones yet! They are all on two of my dearest friends cameras. So, they will wait. But, for now you get just this one. Want to know why? Because photographing ballerinas is very difficult. They jump and bounce and twirl everywhere!

See? Blurry! Grr!

I'm sure she'll want to wear this outfit 100 times over the next year!

Well, I pseudo-promise to update this blog more often over the next few months. We aren't very busy, which means there isn't much to post on here!


World Breastfeeding Week

Breastfeeding is one of my most passionate subjects to talk about. I could talk and talk and talk (I know that surprises absolutely every single one of the three people reading this!) about how amazing, how beneficial and how incredibly fulfilling it is.

However, in this post I'll be talking about my very own experiences nursing my precious girl.

Emmie's hasty arrival came as quite the surprise. However, I did the best I could by being as informed as I possibly could. I read blogs, books and asked moms who breastfed. I talked to nurses while I was at doctor's appointments.

The moment they handed my beautiful bundle to me, I felt the urge to nurse. To help her imprint. I just knew I needed to feed this little being, even though my nurse told me she wouldn't be hungry. However, that was next to impossible considering I myself hadn't eaten in three days. Yeah. Three.

The first nursing session went well, by anyone's standards. She latched! Her lips were both out and her jaw was moving instead of her lips! She ate for about five minutes, and then fell asleep. The poor little peanut was exhausted from her travels!

I didn't allow anyone to help me for our first try. I wanted to see if she and I could figure it out on our own. Turns out she and I were a really good fit. We got the hang of it rather quickly. My favorite nurse, Brenda came over and praised us for doing such an amazing job at our first attempt. That was all the accolades I needed to know I was doing my best. I did need some help latching on the right side, because my left arm/hand wasn't used to having such an important job. We finally figured out that the football hold was best for us. Emmie was so little, and my boob was so big...it was the only way I could maneuver everything at once! Even the boppy was a little rough to use, she kept falling into the crack between the pillow and my stomach. I used a pillow instead. (Eventually, she'd grow enough to be able to use the boppy.)

When she wouldn't latch on the left side a day later, the nurse was quick to offer a pump. I politely declined, knowing that once the pump was introduced...bottles couldn't be far behind. I knew my milk hadn't come in, and since she was so tiny my colostrum was plenty for her tiny tummy. Five long days later, at Emmie's two day check up my milk came in. I knew it from the hot and rock hard watermelons that showed up in my bra! One hot shower and two twenty minute nursing sessions later, we were in business! Emmie was content for a little longer, and I was so proud!

I exclusively nursed for six months. Emmie's first bottle of pumped milk was during my first time away from her. She may have had ten bottles of pumped milk in her infancy.

For me, nursing was down time. It was time to sit and relax and gaze lovingly into my sweet girl's eyes. It was time to catch up on bad television, and play guitar hero...which I attribute Emmie's love for music to!

Nursing is complicated, incredible, time consuming, life affirming, exhausting and wonderful.

Even if for six weeks, three months, six months...six years, nursing is something so special between a mother and her child.

This isn't a PSA, this is my story. My lovely memories and my special time with my baby girl.


Buffalo Chicken Macaron and Cheese

I'm a hot mess in the kitchen. No joke. I can cook anything, anytime. However, I'm messy. My mom can't watch me cook without gasping about the gigantic mess I've made at least three times. She's right though, I'm a spiller. I splatter. The hand mixer becomes a weapon of mess destruction in my hands. Some how, the mess becomes a meal. I've discovered casseroles. Any meal baked in a dish with any kind of meat/noodle/veggie/cheese combo was strictly forbidden in my growing up home. Now that I am a single (for the next 46 weeks anyhow) parent, casseroles work nicely since it makes a lot and I can skip making a huge mess for at least two more nights with leftovers!

Not all of the ingredients to make Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Chicken, celery, onions and garlic with the Frank's Red Hot Sauce on top...simmering

Amazing how butter, flour and dry mustard along with 2.5 cups of half and half and 4 cups of cheese along with another half cup of Frank's Red Hot Sauce can become the most amazing cheese sauce in the universe! Whenever I make a roux or bechamel, I always think first of my mom then of my great grandmother. I just feel like doing things the old fashioned way, instead of opening a can or bag puts a little extra lovin' in the dish you prepare. While I wear my cupcake apron (thanks Mom!) and whisk together that flour and butter, I feel like Donna Reed. My supposed chosen profession's unattainable ideal.

L to R, Top to Bottom:
My laptop, necessary for reading recipe! The cheese sauce. Then the chicken mixture and then the pan with macaroni and half of the chicken mixture. The lap top for recipes is awesome.

The pan, with the rest of the chicken and macaroni and cheese sauce poured on top. You can not imagine the amazing sounds macaroni makes when you pour thick creamy cheese sauce on top. Somewhere between angels blowing kisses and hundreds of delicious cheese bubbles sacrificing their very lives for your tastebuds!

With the butter and bread crumb topping. Of course. I think this recipe has seven tablespoons of butter, which is why you share it with friends!

What Food Network recipes can do to a perfectly clean kitchen in just two hours. Amazingly, my kitchen is clean again!

All baked and ready to eat!

My favorite thing to do is serve it up with blue cheese crumbles and a little more hot sauce! Everyone (five adults) had seconds, along with the two toddlers having one serving each and there are still leftovers!
It's so incredible. It's a TON of work, but I it is totally worth it!
Here is the recipe, if you want it.

Buffalo Chicken Mac N Cheese
And, of course this blog wouldn't be complete without a picture of Emmie:

Emmie wanted to "wear" her baby, so my friend Nicole folded her MobyWrap in half length wise and wrapped her up with her baby. Talk about precious! :)



The Whaling Days parade in our town is pretty docile...but when you add in a two year old, along with probably four pieces of parade candy...this is what you get:

Bummed the Navy band passed...

But wait, she hears music...

Is that an itch?


It's a fever!

A dance fever!

I am not sure who taught her how to break dance...

but this chick can move!

She absolutely KILLS me. I love it. She loves parades, we go to every single one we can find within a decent driving distance. She does it up right, waving and shaking hands. It's awesome.


Getting Crafty!

First allow me to paint you a picture! Yay! You like pictures! Pictures make you happy, they tell stories and make things prettier. People buy pictures, take picture and use pictures to decorate their homes! Wheeeeee, pictures!

Having a two and a half year old is much like trying to put a leotard on a Tasmanian devil while your hands are covered in oven mitts that have been olive oiled.

Now, pretend you want to photograph said creature. You grab your camera. (Crap, you forgot to put the SD card in. Grab that out of your laptop and commence.) Take the lens cap off, get the settings correct and *click.* Review the screen, wait. Where is your Tasmanian Devil daughter? Okay. Reset. Coerce the darling thing back to the "set" and ask her to "Look at mommy's camera! Isn't it neat! Watch what's going to happen! I'm gonna take your picture!" *click* Oh great, her eyes are closed. Reset.

Picture painted? Yes. It's hard to take great photos of a two year old, but when you can capture your daughter in the sweetest of times it makes for great and amazing photographs you cherish forever. What? You want to see them? Oh, okay!

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