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.

a little bit of old before the new

I had all intentions of getting back to regular blogging to document our new family life back when I did this post.  Once I got through that major transition of the first three months of motherhood, I was ready to go!  And then after four glorious months of maternity leave, I had to go back to work...that was tough. oh boy was it tough to leave her.  Luckily, my mom lives near by and has been able to watch her for me.  That was a huge relief.  I quickly learned that being a full time working mom left just about every minute of my day accounted for.  As a result, I don't have any time for working out, blogging, cleaning, cooking or an array of other things that are probably being neglected.  I feel like I rarely get to see Joanna Monday through Friday.  I just get about an hour of her in the morning and a couple of hours in the evening before she goes to bed.  Not enough.  Not even close to what I need/want.

So here comes the good news.  This next week is a really big week for my family.  Jason takes his National CRNA boards on Tuesday, Joanna turns six months on Thursday and my last day at my job is Friday - I am about to have my dream job of being a stay at home mom!  Major things happening in the Castro household and we can't wait.

These are some of Joanna's five month photos I took last month.  I can barely believe that it will be her very first half birthday in less than a week.  Where has the time gone?!  In just this same amount of time that has passed, she will be a year old - stop. It's moving too fast.  Now I know all those cliche "blink and they're graduating high school" sayings are true.  Can someone please tell me how to freeze time for a moment?  This is why my greatest hearts desire is to stay at home with my baby; I don't want to miss a moment. 


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