Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bridal shower for a new sister

One of the things I've been doing lately in my time off is shopping for Eleanor...because she is going to be a flower girl in her uncle's wedding soon! I found a really cute dress for her to wear and now I'm trying to figure out shoes, etc. I truly can't wait. I don't really know what to expect, especially in regards to her actually making it down the aisle, but she sure will be cute. A couple weeks ago I got to go up to northern Virginia for a bridal shower to celebrate my newest almost sister-in-law. It was very nice. We took a picture of the ladies of the family, now that the set is complete:

We had a great time filled with delicious food and wonderful company. I didn't bring Eleanor because it was such a short trip and also a crazy week for her (the daycare switch week), but she will certainly be present when we head to the west coast for the wedding in a little over a month. I love getting new family members :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lots of leaves

Just because it's been cold outside doesn't mean we're not spending a lot of our time outside. Eleanor and I still take a walk almost every day I'm home and then sometimes go for bike rides and just play in the front or back yard. Sometimes we trap Eleanor in her pack and play so we can get work done. :)

We were on a roll getting a few leaves raked every weekend, but we really fell off the habit during Christmas and New Years. We went out the first week in January to get a lot more picked up but haven't been out since. I know I said I didn't want to be raking leaves again this April, but it seems like there's a good chance we may be doing that...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Some changes in the new year

We began this new year with some contemplation and change. We decided to pull Eleanor from her old daycare for a number of reasons that are important to no one but us, and therefore also started her at a new daycare. We put a lot of thought into the decision over the past three or four months and decided to make the change in the new year. She's been there two weeks now and so far so good. She has a friend that already goes there and apparently they play so hard in the mornings that Eleanor's teacher has been having to wake her up after three hours of nap so that she doesn't sleep the entire afternoon. 

Among other reasons for the switch was that we were looking for a bit of increased flexibility. This proved helpful already as I switched a shift last week and it wasn't a problem. We were continuously paying for days we didn't end up using - even weeks at times (vacation, when Chris has off work for holidays), which was, of course, frustrating. Altogether the change has been positive for both Eleanor and us. 

Another change for Eleanor has been that she dropped her pacifier. About a week before Christmas she apparently chewed through it which broke the suction. I didn't notice it had happened until I offered her the pacifier once and she waved it away and said, "no, no no." After that she basically just didn't want it. We have a couple others, but I didn't give them to her because I figured if she was breaking the habit all on our own we would save ourselves the trouble down the road. I left the pacifier clipped to her shirt for another two weeks after she chewed through it and she would occasionally put it in her mouth and then later spit it back out. Then I stopped clipping it to her shirt, and she never asked for it again (even though she has a sign for it and used to ask for it all the time). She loved her pacifier so much that I thought for sure she would be at least three by the time we got rid of it (mostly because that is not one of the battles I care enough about to fight). Anyway, I'm happy it happened naturally and she's found pacifiers around the house since them (or picked up other babies' pacifiers) and just puts them back. 

Because it's a new year, I also plan to set some goals for myself for 2015, but I obviously need to get a bit proactive about them because half of the first month is already gone. Looking back at my goals for 2014, I did absolutely miserably. I was raising a baby/toddler and working full-time both at work and at home, so I know I accomplished things, just not the things I planned to accomplish. I plan to continue some of them until I finish (for example, one goal was to read the Bible, which I also did in 2012 successfully, but I am stuuuuck in Revelation and I will finish). Another year, another chance to improve myself, my relationships, my health, my home, and many other things!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy New Year!

We spent New Year's Eve at our neighbor's house - they have had everyone over the past couple years and we all joined over there to herald 2015. Eleanor had fun with her friends - there were four "babies" there this year. She made it up til midnight with only a little bit of fussiness, a short nap, and (thankfully for us) no repercussions from staying up late the next day.

She slept in my lap while we played Head's Up, which is impressive because the game involves a lot of shouting and charades.

Happy 2015!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

December wrap-up

The end of this month was full of travel, family, and friends, so it has taken me awhile to get around to uploading pictures! It was lots of fun and our hearts are full to lead us into the sometimes dreary winter months.

Eleanor has been reading lots of Christmas-themed books this month. She has started pulling all her books off her shelf into various corners of the house and sits flipping through pages. I love that she is a reader already!

We went to the Christmas concert at church this year, which was wonderful. We skipped it last year because we needed to create some margin in our lives this time last year, but we were glad to go again this year.

We have started putting pigtails in Eleanor's hair. It is super cute :)

Our neighborhood had a cookies and hot chocolate party in the park this month. We walked over and had a great time. There were tons of kids there and it is always fun to get to know the neighbors a little better.

Eleanor has gotten very interested in checking the mail. Chris takes her out to the mailbox when they get home from work/school and the other day she went out on the front porch and wouldn't come back inside because she wanted to go out and check the mail.


Basketball season is back in full swing, so we've been going to lots of games recently.

We've also been enjoying the Christmas ambiance in our house. Sadly this week we packed up all the Christmas decorations, but I loved them while they were up. Eleanor's favorite Christmas decoration is the advent calendar which we let her add the piece to every day. She'll run over to the wall under it and point until we help her attach a piece.

One day this month I went outside to run an errand and found that our car tire looked like this. Needless to say we had to replace it along with another. Huge bummer.

We've started having Eleanor brush her teeth every night and she loves it. She mostly just sucks on the toothbrush and waves the handle around while she sucks on it, but it's a start.

We also got Eleanor a potty, She likes to stand in it, and we don't play to start potty training any time soon (diapers are very convenient when you are driving long distances in the car or are in line at Target!) but we are ready when we have to.

Chris' sisters came down to visit before Christmas and we hung out and played cards. The walked around CW while I was working and sadly I didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked!

Eleanor is still obsessed with Maynard. She carries him around, shares her food, bottle, cup, etc. with him. We ended up bringing him home with us for Christmas because I wasn't sure she could go four days without him! She is also enjoying the puzzles she got for Christmas this year - lots of toys for this girl!

And just for fun, here's a super cute picture of Eleanor in a hat Chris got for Christmas :)

So goodbye December, goodbye 2014!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas!

Late Christmas Eve night, we drove up to our families' houses to celebrate Christmas. We were up in northern Virginia for almost 4 days, and I changed out of my sweatpants only one time. It was wonderful! The first night we went to Chris' house and were able to have Christmas with the whole family the next morning. Eleanor was up early, so we had a an hour or so to relax and drink coffee before everyone else joined us. We hung out all day watching Christmas movies (and Sesame Street Christmas videos for Eleanor) and attempting a puzzle and then enjoyed a delicious Christmas dinner.

That evening we went to my family's house and again Eleanor woke up early and we had a bit of time in the morning together before others woke up. When they joined us, we opened stockings and gifts and had a nice leisurely time together for Christmas. We walked over to the park that afternoon, played a few rounds of a game my sister got from my brother for Christmas and just generally hung out and relaxed. The next day we walked through Morven Park to see/feed the horses, see turkeys (they are very ugly and mean up close) and just get outdoors for awhile. It was wonderful.

The next day we headed back to Chris' house and spent the night. Before going back to Williamsburg we went into D.C. to Eastern Market and were able to see Erika and Jonathan's new(ish) apartment.

It was a great trip home - very relaxing. I was so relaxed I couldn't bring myself to even upload pictures until now :) Hope everyone's Christmases were as merry as ours!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Our year in review - 2014

2014 was much less eventful for us than 2013, but we still had some new things occur this year. Chris joined a different department at W&M which brought some wonderful lifestyle changes for our family, most notably him not working on the weekends and not being on the road for a couple days every week. My job stayed largely the same and Eleanor grew by leaps and bounds. In fact, this year she grew approximately a total of 5 pounds and 5 inches, and obviously had some major milestone development. We grew as parents and our marriage grew to accommodate all these changes. Above all, we were wonderfully blessed with tons of love and opportunities to be with family and friends.

(For past years, click the following links: 201320122011201020092008.)

January: We spent the New Year with friends and got a couple inches of snow in Williamsburg, which is a rare occurrence. Our families also came down to visit on separate occasions.

February: Eleanor got dedicated at church. We went up to Leesburg, went to a lot of basketball games, and Eleanor started solid food.

March: My grandparents came to Virginia and met Eleanor for the first time! I spoke at church for the first time during a series on Lent, we had a girls' weekend with my college roommates in town, and Chris, Eleanor, and I traveled up to Baltimore for a weekend to go to the CAA tournament - the first one that wasn't held in Richmond.

April: We had LOTS of visitors! My mom, Lauren, and Erika each came down for solo visits with Eleanor. Eleanor had her first school pictures and we celebrated Easter.

May: Tacking on to Eleanor's visitors, Chris' mom came down to visit for a weekend. Eleanor started crawling, I spent my first Mother's Day with as a mother with a trip to the beach with friends and family, and we bought a pool for Eleanor to begin her love affair with water. We also went up to northern Virginia to celebrate a wedding and graduation all in one and spent Memorial Day there and at the lake.

June: Eleanor had some very faithful and helpful babysitters this month when Ashleigh and Jessie came down to watch her one weekend and my mom and Lauren came down for another. Chris spent his first Father's Day as a dad, and one of my college roommates came to visit for a weekend. We celebrated owning our home for one full year and went blueberry picking.

July: We celebrated the 4th of July at the lake, Eleanor took her first steps, and we had a large family reunion with Chris' family up in Great Falls. Chris and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary. We also went to California for our tri-annual Bass Lake reunion.

August: We headed off to Emerald Isle for a week at the beach. Eleanor turned 1 year old and we had a birthday party!

September: Eleanor and I started our biking adventures. We spent Labor Day in northern Virginia for a wedding and family time. We also went to the Eastern Shore for a wedding and then spent our first weekend away from Eleanor in Pittsburgh for yet another wedding. Then most of Chris' siblings came down for a sibling weekend!

October: Lauren came down to visit for the weekend, W&M had Homecoming, my mom came down for her birthday and we spent the entire time biking (over 40 miles in 2 days!). Eleanor also began her relationship with Maynard. Eleanor enjoyed her second Halloween as a mummy.

November: Eleanor and I walked a lot for our Hike It Baby challenge. We went to a petting zoo on campus, Gmom and Uncle Rob came down to visit and bike, and we celebrated Thanksgiving after the fact with family!

December: We spent the month doing lots of Christmas-y things like parades, Grand Illumination, and Christmas Town! We were able to see all of our family for Christmas this year up, for which we were very thankful. 

It's truly been an amazing year. Thank you for being a part of it! 

Happy New Year!!