five years

A little over a month ago, Jason and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary. It's crazy to think it has already been five years. This past year of marriage has definitely been a life changing one as we became a family of three. I think I had this big idea that once we reached this milestone, we would be able to take this huge second honeymoon type trip and it would be grand. Reality check. That didn't happen. And at first I was pretty bummed that we weren't going to be able to do something "big," but in the end I couldn't have asked for a greater celebration. My mom watched Joanna for us and we went out to a nice dinner downtown. Afterwards, we walked around and ended up finding a hot air balloon and a concert going on in the middle of the street. The whole night ended up being such a special occasion and simply to spend it with my love was amazing. Here's to another life changing year!

pumpkin baby

Of the hundreds of pins I have pinned, there are only a handful and some change that I have actually taken a second look at. So many pins and so little time. But before October completely passes us by, I had to share a few photos from our *pinterest success* photo shoot with Joanna and the pumpkin. She was all about this pumpkin. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous and I was trying to prepare myself in case there was a complete meltdown like some of the photos I had seen. You just have to feel so bad for those poor babies crying and screaming while sitting in a slimy pumpkin all for the sake of a silly photo. And here I was, about to be one of those awful mean parents. When we placed her in the pumpkin and her face lit up, it was like a choir was singing and I could breath. She was game and I was ecstatic.  Jo has been such a good sport with the bajillion photos I take of her and I am hoping it stays this way. I just love capturing her sweet and spunky personality, such a little ham ;)

what if

What if I could get all my daily cleaning done.  Everyday.

Have my weekly meals planned out and groceries bought.

Take a shower and make myself look decent...often.

Have a new and fun learning activity for Joanna each day.

Sing on tune.  On purpose.

Get out of the house more.

Keep up with blogging.

Make all of the photo books I need to make.

Finish the painting for Joanna's nursery.

Pick out paint color for the dining room.  Guest bedroom/office.  Master bathroom.  And then paint each room.

Finish the desk.

Be more romantic with my husband and show him that I appreciate him more often.

Exercise 2 or 3 times a week.

Wax my eyebrows.

Get a pedicure.

Call, text and/or e-mail all the people that I have been meaning to.

What if I could do it all.  And more.


play date at the park

It's looking like I am blogging on my new mommy time, which happens to be about a week or more after any event has happened.  I'll catch up one day....some day.  These photos are from a gorgeous evening last week at the park.  We had a really great group for our play date and Joanna was loving it.  I think she really thrives in a group.  She must get that from her dad.  Although I love hanging out with people, Jason is the one that usually shines when we are with big groups.  He has a very electric and outgoing personality - a great match for my more introverted self.  Anyway, so we have been doing great sticking to our weekly trips to the park.  (we made this plan here)  I hope this amazing weather stays at least through the month of October....even longer would be nice. (crossing my fingers and toes!!)

^ Joanna with her new pal Bryn
 ^ The moms and their babes

^ Joanna sure loves her Nana
^ Joanna and Emma! Besties!
^ Typical

getting our picnic on

Last week we took Joanna on her first picnic.  Since she had so much fun the last time we went to the park, we have decided to make it a weekly event while the weather is nice.  The only negative thing about being outside in Tennessee - the bugs.  I have to constantly remind myself that it's okay because I can squash them (or in reality, make Jason squash them).  Ugh....I get squirmy just thinking about all the darn creepy crawlies!

Even though I am super excited about the leaves changing and breaking out my sweaters, I am hanging onto this warm weather while we have it. These cooler, yet still warm days have been dreamy. This is just the perfect season, I am telling you, just perfection.

Happy Friday, friends!!

it's okay

Even if it takes me weeks longer to get settled as a stay at home mom, that's okay.  It's okay.  I keep reminding myself there is no rush.  In the back of my mind I feel like this is a long weekend that will eventually end and I will have to return to work.  It's hard to wrap my head around this being my new permanent job.  I just feel so incredibly blessed.  Now we just need to get past the stress of waiting for Jason to start work...and then maybe I can breath a little easier.

end of summer and a birthday

Since today is the official last day of summer, I wanted to share the sweetest photos of Joanna's first time in my mom's pool back in August.  She thought it was simply the greatest.  It's like a giant bath...does it get any better?  I think not.  

I have to admit that I am okay with the end of summer.  Even though I don't feel like I got to truly enjoy the summer season, I am happy to have some cooler days.  Cooler days mean more walks and trips to the park.  More fresh air and relaxing afternoons on the back porch.  Long sleeves and adorable baby sweaters.  Love love love.  Fall is easily one of my favorite seasons.

Welcome Fall.


Happy happy birthday to my precious nephew, Kaleb!! He is nine years old today...NINE! How in the world did this happen?  I remember the day he was born.  And now he is such a handsome young man who is a master in karate.  Can't wait to see you again, hopefully soon!  Love you!

my new job: week one and a photo dump

i am now a week and a half into my new job and i feel more tired than ever.  how does that work?  i mean, being a stay at home mom is easy, right?! ha! let me tell you, if you don't already know, this job is no joke.  it takes some serious hard work and organization to run a household full time.  i had this grand idea that right away i would set up my family binder and get my daily routine going and bam - house under control.  not so much.  i don't think i realized how many projects and tasks i had put way way back on the back burner.  i even still have jason home with me (since he hasn't started work yet) and still we have so much to do.  last week was one of the busiest weeks i have had in a long time.  and i feel like we just made a small dent in our seemingly never-ending list of to do's.  that all being said, we have accomplished some great things and most importantly, spent some priceless quality time with our main girl Jo.  that little girl is amazing.  everyday she brings such joy to our lives as we watch her grown and learn.  here are a few snap shots of the fun stuff going on around here:

^ Joanna turned six months old on September 5 . . .
 ^ . . .we celebrated by starting solid foods. . . 
^ . . .and taking her to the park for the first time. the swings were a hit! we can't wait to go back soon.
^ back story of her minnie shirt. i was in orlando, florida with my family last summer.  we took my niece and nephew to disneyworld and all that jazz. jason wasn't able to go because he couldn't take the time off of clinicals. while i was there, i found out i was pregnant. so i bought a little minnie shirt and a mickey shirt. when i got home, i was giving jason all the things i had bought for him and was like - oh yeah, i forgot something. i wasn't sure which one, so i bought both. it took him about half a second to get it. it was such a special moment. who would have though it would take her six months to fit into it! love my little petite lady :)
^ nothing more attractive than seeing jason interact with joanna. she loves him so.
^ jumping queen! she just loves to bounce like crazy in her jumperoo. we get a kick out of watching her go!

it is o-ffici-al (said just like that)

These photos are from Jason's graduation back on August 10.   But I share them with you now to say that he passed!!!!  My wonderful husband is officially a CRNA.  I remember the day he interviewed and then also the day he was accepted into the program.  It is so hard to believe that was all 3 years ago!  Are we really getting this old?!  So in true Jason and Amber fashion, the day after Jason passed his test, our morning conversation went a little something like this:

Jason:    From now on I want you to call me Jason Castro, CRNA.
Amber:  Okay, sure.  And from now on you can call me Amber Castro, domestic goddess.

^ classic

trying out a new seat

About a month ago, we put Joanna in her highchair for the first time.  We let her sit in it while we ate dinner. Sounds a little bit cruel...sit there and watch us eat.  But really we were just trying to get her interested in eating.  We would make this big ordeal about us taking a bite of food and she thought it was so great. haha Since then, she is totally into watching us eat.  And you can tell that she is curious enough that she wants a taste.  

So later this week, little miss Joanna will get to have her first taste of "real" food.  I am going to start her out with rice cereal.  I plan on making homemade baby food to follow.  I have been doing a lot of research online and asking friends for tips and advice.  All the information I have found has been pretty awesome and I am looking forward to getting started.


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