Kerri, with a K

trying to be me


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Newsletter: Month Ten

Dear Logan Mateo,

I can’t believe you’re 10 months old.  And in nine short weeks, you’ll be 1.  Every time I look at the calendar, more time has passed and you just keep changing and growing.  And you keep doing new things that make us laugh.  You really are my favorite little guy.

Last month we took a very long car trip to visit your Grammie and Papa in Florida, and you were really a trooper.  A 12+ hour car ride is hard for adults, but I can imagine it was much harder for you, as displayed every day now when you fuss more about getting in your carset than you used to.  But I suspect the more we do it, the easier it will be.  We just won’t be doing any super long car rides for awhile.

Your Grammie and Papa absolutely LOVED you.  We went to the beach, and you stuck your toes in the Gulf of Mexico at Fort Desoto, but the water was a little overwhelming for you, so you and I played on the beach in the sand.  And then you ate the sand.  But you still had fun running around and playing with Grammie and Papa.

You also had your first ride in a swing in Florida.  We stopped in St. Augustine at a park that had a merry-go-round, which you did not love.  And you sat in the swing.  And you kicked your feet and laughed.  And it was your favorite thing.

And you’ve been doing more mimicking lately.  You laugh when we laugh.  I’m not sure if it’s a real laugh or a fake copied laugh, but it’s certainly funny.  And you seem happy about doing it.

Oh, and you’ve been waving.  I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve started waving.  You don’t wave to everyone.  Mostly to that awesome baby in the mirror, and to mom and dad sometimes, and if you’re in the mood, one of the nice ladies at Church.  And it’s so cute.

This last week, you’ve been doing something totally new and different and cracks me up every time you do it.  And you seem to enjoy it also.  You love the big pillows on our bed, so you try to pick one up, and pull it back on top of you as you fall backwards laughing.  This is the kind of thing I need a video for because I honestly die laughing every time you do it.

I have to say that out of all the funny, cute or amazing things you do, you are still a little ladies man.  In fact, all dressed up in your Easter suit on Easter Sunday, you found yourself a new girlfriend.  She’s older than you, but only by four months.  She held your hand, gave you a hug, and then kissed you.  I thought I’d have a few more years before I’d have to worry about you dating, but this was just plain adorable.

You’ve been so great and so adaptable, even when it’s been hard and we’ve been so busy.  Your dad and I had a real estate seminar, and we were able to work it out so we could go in shifts and someone could stay with you.  Only one day it didn’t work, and we needed a babysitter.  For the second time in 10 months.  And you were great.  It’s understandable that you were a little sad and wasn’t really sure what was going on, even though I talked to you about it beforehand.  You’re still just a little guy, and you’re still learning, and it was hard.  But your babysitter, A, loved you anyway.  And we made sure to thank her the next chance we got.  And you got her a cute little stuffed bunny to thank her, too.

So, your first Easter was a success, new girlfriend and all.  Oh!  And we played bubbles for the first time!  Meemaw sent you a box of great things, including a tshirt, some toys, and bubbles.  So, of course, we had to play with them.  At first you weren’t sure what to think, but once you realized that those crazy bubbles were getting away, they were so funny.  I’m not sure who was more excited playing bubbles, you or me.  I know I can’t wait to play bubbles again and I can’t wait until I can teach you how to blow bubbles.  I’m sure you’ll love it.

You’ve also been so great at the baseball games we’ve gone to.  Two in the last week.  The second was a hard game because it didn’t start until 7pm, which was awfully close to bedtime.  But we got there a little after 5, and kept you entertained the whole time.  You loved watching the Tides Band

And then bonding with Gramma sitting next to us when she gave you a french fry.  And then another.  You are quite the little charmer, and everyone you meet comments on how happy you are.  And I agree.  You never get sad or fussy unless there’s a really good reason.  Or you’re tired.

I know we keep you busy, and you do so well just going with the flow.  Logan Mateo, you are such a great kid.  And you’re so happy.  And I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow and learn.  It’s been so amazing so far, and you keep the surprises coming.

Love,

Mumma

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First Stop, Savannah, Georgia

We got back from our nice little vacation Wednesday.  We drove down to Florida to visit Hubs’ parents, as we have done and will do every year.  So since we drove down, so much time in the car meant a lot of stops to stretch and rest and let the Boy stretch and walk around with us.

One of my favorite stops on the drive down was beautiful Savannah, Georgia.  Hubs has a friend who visited Savannah recently and said it was the best part of his trip.  So Savannah came strongly recommended.  It was definitely our best stop on the way down.

There is so much history and beauty in Savannah.  I was constantly snapping pictures, trying to capture as much as I could in the short time we were there.

Our first stop out of the car was a gorgeous water fountain – because we love water fountains – and the Boy loved watching it.  In fact, he could barely take his eyes off it.  This is one of my favorite pictures of Hubs and the Boy.  It’s almost like being there, looking at this picture.

The Capital building (?) was the first thing to catch my eye when we drove into town.

The flowers were just magnificent.  In fact, I saw other people with their cameras just taking pictures of the different flowers and the gigantic trees with beautiful Spanish moss draping down.

And then there were the bridges.  And the cobblestone streets.  And the riverfront.  There was nothing about Savannah that didn’t awe me.

Oh and the statues.  There is so much history in Savannah.  One interesting tidbit that we read about was John Wesley, who co-founded the Methodist movement with his brother Charles Wesley.  And they are both known for writing many Christian hymns.

On our way out of Savannah, we drove along the riverfront so we could drive on the cobblestone street.  At one shop, there was a line around the corner.  It was either an ice cream shop or a place to take tours of historic Savannah.  There were also street performers at almost every quasi-intersection.  Hubs wanted to stop and pull out his guitar and start jamming with them, but he settled for slowing down and giving them encouraging nods, and perhaps trying to sing with them while driving by.

Being there reminded me of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, except not.  It was a movie from the 90’s staring John Cusack, and while it took place in Savannah, I don’t remember anything in the movie looking like anything we saw while we were there.  I did, however, think in a heavy Southern accent.  I may have spoken with it as well, but I was too busy taking pictures to maintain it.

All in all, this may be a permanent stop on our drive down from now on.  It’s funny, considering we’ve been down to Florida three times in the past three years, and this was our first time stopping in Savannah.  Our first year we stopped in St. Augustine, Florida, which we did on the way back this year.  And we love it.  And the Boy is still very young, but I hope that he’ll remember our trips as he gets older and we do them every year.


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A Post About My Free Knife

As if clothes shopping wasn’t bad enough, but did I really need to be distracted by the promise of a free knife?

But I totally was.  I was busy stalking a dress in Walmart when they announced that in two minutes, everyone would receive a FREE KNIFE.  And who doesn’t like free?

It ended up being a demonstration about the famous Forever Sharp knife that is guaranteed never to go dull over the life of the knife, which is supposed to be forever.  And for watching/participating in the demonstration, we got a free paring knife, for each of us.  Because who doesn’t love a paring knife?

I can’t say I wasn’t excited about watching a demonstration about a really cool knife.  I totally was.  I raised my hand and got a free “World’s Smallest Juicer.”  Which, apparently they sell in Florida for $3.  But I got it FREE!

So obviously the demonstration was to promote this really sharp knife and get you to buy it.

And guess who has a new set of knives?  Yup.  Me!  But we needed them, so it was a great deal.

So for participating, we both got a free paring knife, and I got the juicer.  The part where you had to buy something came a little later where you buy the knife which is a $33 value, and you get a second knife free.  And then they just kept adding free things.

And this is what we got.

And this is what it looks like out of the box.

Yup.  That is 3 Forever Sharp knives, a Pro-filet knife, 2 paring knives, 2 juicers, AND a set of 4 steak knives.  And this was in addition to the paring knives and juicer we already got.  Do the math.  It’s a lot of knives.  And they are really sharp.  The informercials show this knife cutting through an aluminum can.  But the demonstrator used a steel hammer a carving board and a tomato to show just how sharp this knife was.  Yup.  I was sold.

We really don’t have a need for 3 of those knives.  I wonder if we’ll ever had the need for 2.  But they give you the third knife for free with purchase so you can give it to a friend.  And every sales person or business owner out there knows that word of mouth is the best advertising is people talking.

So we have this extra knife.  And we really haven’t been out much to give it to our friends so we can tell them how awesome this really awesome knife is.   But in the meantime I had to write this post to talk about how much I love this knife.  And that I got so much for free.  And to plug their website.  And to mention that with this knife and set of knives, you will probably not need another set of knives.  Ever.  And I plan to test this fact.

Now, here’s the question: WHO WANTS A FREE KNIFE?  I have one to give away, so please let me know if you’re interested.

And check out their website for a great deal on the sets they offer.

Forever Sharp Knife Series

***I was not asked to write this post, nor am I being paid for it.  I was only asked to give a free knife to a friend and to pass along my excitement about this product.***


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The Journey

I’ve been thinking a lot today about how we ended up in Virginia.  There were so many things that had to happen for us to get where we are.

Actually, this was prompted by a sales visit we had today with a security company.  The sales woman was asking questions about why we moved here, and if we had any family in the area, or were military.  Those are never hard questions to answer, but I always wonder what people are thinking when I tell them our story – about how we got here.  And it’s such a great story, I think…

Hubs and I had reconnected and started dating again at the end of 2008.  He had mentioned that an old friend of his was the principal of a school in Sacramento, and offered him a teaching position at his school.  Of course Hubs wanted me to go with him.  So we started dreaming about all the things we could do in California, a place I would love to end up in someday.  In January of 2009, the plan for Sacramento started to fade.  There were budget issues, and as luck would have it, Hubs’ friend was transferring to Washington DC.

We started thinking of other ideas that involved warmer climates.  The company I worked for at the time had just procured a company in Boca Raton during the previous year, and were in the middle of transitioning products and staff.  I talked to my boss about a transfer to that office.  I got all but the official thumbs up, and my boss was excited to see this happen.  Hubs and I started making plans.  I found a few apartments to look at once we got down there and started doing research for things that he could do for work.

Months and months went by and our plans progressed.  We were set to leave on a Tuesday in late July.  We said goodbye to our church and most of our friends.  We had a going away dinner with my in-laws.

That Monday my boss told me that the board met on Friday and denied my transfer, and that I no longer had a job.  I packed up my desk, and had many sad goodbyes.  Hubs and I kept going as planned.  We didn’t tell anyone the plans had changed.  As far as anyone knew, we were still going to Florida.

We packed our car and started driving south.  We finally got tired of driving in Norfolk, Virginia, and decided to stop for a couple of days to see what there was to offer.

Almost three years later, we’re still here.

I love telling that story to people because it shocks them.  Everyone expects us to be military or to have family here or some other ties, but we don’t.  Most people are impressed that we could have taken such a risk and have everything turn out okay.

It’s funny.  There are two funny answers I like to tell people BEFORE I tell the real story about how we got here.  The first is an old I Love Lucy joke: We ran out of gas and stayed here.  The second is when we got here, we thought it was hot enough so we stayed.

Since we’ve been here, we’ve gotten married, we had a baby, and we bought a house.  For having absolutely nothing when we got here, I think we did alright.

When I really sit and think about all the things that have gotten us to this point, all the crap, all the drama, all the questions and uncertainty and instability, I really think everything has helped shaped me as a person and had a serious impact on my life.  Life isn’t about the endgame.  It’s about the journey, and all those moments that get you to where you’re going.  And, boy, has this journey been worth it.

What is the biggest risk or gamble you’ve taken?  What was the consequence or reward?  Was it worth it?


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Two Years

We’ve been in Virginia for two years.  It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come, and fast time has flown by. 

We lived in a hotel for six weeks, found jobs, got an apartment, got married, “adopted” a puppy, got pregnant, had a baby, and moved into a larger place.  And that’s just the major stuff.  Thinking about all the little things that have happened since moving here – just amazing.

Having two years under my belt does make me look back and see how much I’ve changed during that time.  Looking back at the photos just amazes me.

It also makes me wonder where I would be had I chosen a different path.  Would I be married?  Would I have a baby?  Would I be in Virginia?  Would I be having the time of my life?

It’s also funny to think about how things were two years ago and the milestones I happen to remember to mark the time.  We left for Virginia just before Shark Week started.  And it was such a hot summer.  This summer may seem hotter, but nothing will beat that first summer down here.

And we have such a great story as to how we got down here.  And people love to hear our story:

Hubs had a teaching job lined up in Sacramento at the beginning of the year, but the with the economy being the way it was, that fell through early on. 

Then we had a plan to move to Florida because I was in line for a transfer within my company.  The day before we were supposed to leave, I got word that the board of directors had decided against the transfer.

We left anyway.  We had said our goodbyes to our friends, family, and churches.  We packed up the car and started driving.  The next day we were in Virginia and the rest is history.

I can’t wait to see what the next year brings, and all our time here after that.