Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I found this picture hanging out somewhere in a dark corner in a forgotten folder of my hard drive. I don't know why I haven't ever shared it because it makes my heart so happy.  It will always remind me of  the year spent in our apartment in Jaffrey NH. It is of our bathroom window. It was taken after a few days of rain when the sun finally came out just before sunset. That apartment will always hold a special place in my heart. Its the place where my babe learned to roll over and took her first steps. The apartment with the 4 sets of stairs to get up into the second floor. It's the first place I felt like was our family home even though it wasn't the apartment we brought Noella home from the hospital to.

I miss that apartment. Well, parts of it. I miss the old charm of the place with it's wooden floors and trim. I miss the glass doorknobs on every door. I miss the ironing board hiding behind that long skinny door next to the bathroom. I miss that there were two parks walking distance from us and that the world's best turkey grinders were only two minutes away if I should have a hankering for one.

That place had character. Though we had noisy neighbors and were constantly tracking sand in, we had so many wonderful memories in that place. It's where the missionaries came by every week to talk sports with Jason. It's where we fell into a perfectly predictable weekly routine. It's where Jason left the house at 7:45 am and walked back through the door at 4:34 pm everyday.

Today, I'm missing our cozy little life in New Hampshire. Even though our life in Florida has brought us so many blessings, I'm missing the familiar.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


If having a toddler has taught me anything, it's the time is precious and sometimes you need to stop and take a minute. After all, wasn't it just yesterday that dirt covered girl was a precious newborn babe?

She reminds me to look at things and really see them. I feel like as we grow up, we tend to take things for granted such as the trees or seeing a neighbor walking their dog. We look but we don't see.

 Noella is constantly pointing to things and shouting enthusiastically. Moon! Bird! Payne! (Plane. We have lots of those flying over our house) Most of the time we are walking to somewhere so I give her a little "yes, that's a bird honey. Very good" and keep on trucking. But yesterday it hit me how much she loves to see those sorts of things. They are all still relatively new to her. She is still captivated by looking into the sky and seeing the moon hanging up there or a flock of birds as the glide and twist with the wind. How often do I stand outside and stare off into the sky for the sake of seeing what's there? Almost never. Because I'm an adult. And adults, well, we just already know what's up there. We learned when we were young and now we're so over it and moved on. We have mortgages and groceries and electric bills to worry about after all. 

How much are we missing out on because we aren't taking a moment to "take it all in"? A lot I think. We take things for granted because they always have been there and will continue to be pretty much the same until we die. Like the moon. But golly is it gorgeous hanging in  a dusky sky. And the mostly bare trees twisting ever upward to the sky? Breath taking. So this week, I dare you. Take a moment and think like a toddler. Pretend everything is new. Study the patterns the ants make on the sidewalk or just stare at the moon for 10 minutes and imagine you can see every single crater. It will make all your other problems seem insignificant and the world might seem a bit shinier for it.

Friday, January 25, 2013


I'll admit it. I've never been obessive about a clean house. I'm okay with a smattering of cheerios on the floor until the morning or a sink with dishes left from yesterday.

Lately though, something changed. I don't know what sparked it but I'm suddenly finding this little burst of energy after Noella is down for the night to clean up the house. Nothing intense just generally picking up what was left to do from the day and the dishes even get done. It's unusual because I am not the type to worry about those things. They can always be done in the morning. Not any more. This new whatever it is kind of takes over and in about 35 minutes all my normal "chores" are done. Including mopping. I've mopped three times this week. THREE! That's some kind of record I tell ya. 

I used to just wait until just before Jason came home to start cleaning (around 4) and then go right into cooking dinner but then I realized, after dinner, there is always food on the floor, toys are taken back out as well as books so why bother? 

This new routine makes my days much happier. I can just get up in the morning and put away the dishes and be on my way. Gone are the days of Noella fighting with the broom or dishes for my attention. We can just settle in and I don't worry about much cleaning until bedtime. Then Noella puts away all of her toys and books, we get ready for bed and she even puts her clothes into the hamper now before bed. It's making things run a little more smoothly in our house. It also frees up naptime for me to have a little time by my self to do what I'd like to, be it editing photos, reading or working on my cross stitch project (a little more on that later). I wonder why I never thought of this before. 

I can tell you, I'm not at all opposed to a two year old with chores. Teach them while they are young I say! She is so obedient about it too (9 times out of 10. There are always days where she's had enough and doesn't want to do anything).  She knows exactly where everything goes now too. She even piles all of her pots and pans into her little sink. Everything has it's place in her little world and it's just so darling. I hope our next babe is as awesome as she is. 

I also hope against hope that I can keep this momentum going. I'm liking having a clean house. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Little Lady.

While on the phone to the cable company: 

Noella: "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

Me: "Can you hold on a second sweetie?" *trying to remember the number I needed to push from the electronic promt*

Noella: "Mommy! Mommy!" *slapping my knee and pulling on my pants* 

Me: *sighs and hangs up because the prompt has gotten me no where* "What can I do for you babe?"

Noella: "Mommy! I pahted!"

Oh good. She farted.

Now I understand what was so important she couldn't hold on one more minute. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


This morning the Miss took off running down the hall and disappeared into my bedroom. This didn't alarm me because really, there isn't anything she can destroy and she usually comes back out in a minute looking for something else to explore.

But this morning. She came tearing back out of my room yelling "Red! Red mama! Red! Please!?".

That babe had found my red nail polish sitting on the bedside table and came running to me with it clutched tightly in her little fist.

Clearly this unprompted identification of color meant that she, indeed, would have red please mama. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Growing up

This babe will be two soon.

It kind of makes my heart ache. It doesn't seem that long ago that she was a tiny helpless babe new to the world with wide eyes and the tiniest of cries.

She amazes me everyday with her determination and thirst for knowledge.

She talks up a storm very much like I used to when I was a little one. She always has something to say about everything. You could give this child your undivided attention for hours and she'd still crave your company.

Recently we moved her into a "big girl" bed. We dreaded this simply because of the horror stories we've heard from other parents about having to get up with their kiddo and put them back into bed over and over again through the night. This was not so with Noella. I put her bed together one morning so she could use it for naptime but I left her crib in her room just in case she didn't like it. It only took me about 20 minutes and three tries to get her to stay in it for a nap. That night it took just two.

She very much enjoys emulating my actions and so I must choose what I say and do with care. She follows me around the house while I'm picking up and hands me bits of paper I've missed or a stray sock from under the bed. She takes out the swiffer to help me sweep, though, that almost always ends because she's knocked something over with the handle. She was given a little play kitchen for Christmas and pulls out her pots and pans to stir furiously while I'm cooking dinner but always brings me a spoonful to taste. 

She has recently started to sing and knows some of the words to the songs we listen to together. Her current favorite song is Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. She says the HEY! parts and doo-da-doo's along with the melody. It's darling and melts my heart. 

Noella no longer has a favorite book. All books have become her favorite. Yesterday we sat on the couch for a whole hour just reading books. We only got through half of her collection. She soaked up every word of it with gusto. 

Eating for her has become a struggle. She, much like me, is a snacker. This is a problem only at dinner time. It's not too often lately that we have something that we get to have a dinner where there are not protests as to what's being served. She loves pasta (never ever plain pasta might I add), broccoli, fishsticks, ketchup, green beans and any fruit she can get her hands on. Chicken is a touchy subject. It must be cooked just so or else there is a weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth to get her to eat it. 

She has a mild obsession with technology. Jason was given an iPad mini for Christmas from his work. We decided she can play occasionally on it but only if she's behaved the rest of the day and only for a limited time before bed. Now any time she sees it she must watch what you're doing all the while saying "no.... no? no." Which really is Noella speak for "Nope. Wrong app. That's not my app. Try again". 

She has also taken to photography apparently. My dad bought her this little build your own periscope kit (which was kind of a present for him too since he was the one to put it together and paint it) and she often walks around the house looking through it and then stops, squats and says "cheese!". I have no idea where she got that whole "say cheese" bit from but it gives me hope that one day, she'll also share my love for photography. I can't wait until I can get her her own little camera. The three following photos were taken by Noella. (I had the camera around my neck and she reached up and snapped the shutter button. 

She certainly is a handful at two and I'm glad she came along and chose us to be her mommy and daddy. She keeps things interesting. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thanksgiving. A month and a half late...

So the idea of having to host my own Thanksgiving never crossed my mind. I figured between my family and Jason's we'd be covered and I'd never have to cook. EVER.


When we moved, we left my Thanksgiving safety net behind. We were on our own this year. Scary.

Honestly, I was more afraid of the turkey than anything else. I mean, it's a HUGE bird and my first roast chicken? Disaster. I put it in the pan upside down so it was resting on it's breasts. I was terrified of an even bigger bird. Honestly, it wasn't that hard once I stopped freaking out and googled it. Surprisingly simple. Butter, salt and pepper the skin and then cook it for 19 minutes per pound at... I don't recall the temperature exactly... I think maybe 350? But that's not the point. It was easy peasy.

I prepped everything the night before so all I had to do was pop it in the oven the next day. As you can see, there was no room anywhere for any more food. 

The morning of Thanksgiving was pretty normal. Noella spent her morning either like this:

Or snacking on grapes watching the parade.

We got everything cooking and ended up eating earlier than I thought we would.

Our lovely little table all set for Thanksgiving goodies. 

Who's ready for some turkey!?

Our turkey that I was so freaked out about turned out wonderfully.

Gorgeous right? Thanks. I know. :)

We ate our fill and the Miss was comatose with mashed potatoes so while she napped the Mr. and I lounged in our own turkey induced comas and watched some football. 

Later that night we went over to the Trudell's house to watch them kick off their spectacular light show. I don't have any pictures unfortunately but a fun time was had by all until the Miss started to freak out over the blinking lights. 

All in all, I think this Thanksgiving was a success. 

Holy Neglected Blog Batman!

So yet again, life has gotten the best of me and my poor blog has been neglected as I march on through this parade we call life.

Well, a lot has happened since October. We've have not one but two visits from grandparents, we've survived our first Thanksgiving on our own complete with one perfectly cooked turkey might I add and we even had our first snow-less Christmas. Because there has been so much going on, I'll try to not overwhelm you with the details all in one post.

But first! A picture. My favorite of 2012.

Why a picture of a random Christmas tree you ask? Well, for many reasons. This picture isn't just of a Christmas tree. It's got palm trees in it too and a wonderful dusky sunset behind it. This tree is at Seaworld. A place I'd never been to before August and have now been to countless times since. This photo means so much to me because it signifies so many changes that have happened in 2012 for my family. We moved all the way from New Hampshire to Florida in a matter of a few weeks for a new job that has opened up many opportunities for Jason to grow  and try new things. We left our families behind for an opportunity to make our family a little better and ya know what? As overwhelming as it was and as scary as it seemed to have to start all over again, I wouldn't have chosen anything else. 

Sure the holidays were weird without having our families around but ya know what? We grew stronger as a family because of it. We suffered through the whole summer and made it to the wonderful "winter" weather in Florida and Noella couldn't be happier to be able to play outside everyday. 

We have a house instead of an apartment. We have our own washer and dryer instead of having to truck it to the laundromat once a week. We have a HUGE yard and live in a great neighborhood. Life has never been better for the Chauvins. I'm so glad we took a chance on this job and were able to push the reset button on our life one more time. 

We were immensely blessed throughout 2012 from family and friends who were willing to help us out anyway they could be it a babysitting job for a little extra income or just believing in Jason enough to put their neck out there to help him into a new career. Thank you. From the very bottom of our hearts. We couldn't have made it through without you.