Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Lauren visits!

My sister came down last weekend to visit for THE WHOLE WEEKEND! It was glorious. We hung out on the back porch eating bruschetta on Friday night while Chris was at the annual basketball banquet, and then Saturday we spent the entire day outside. We went to the farmer's market in the morning where I bought some tomato plants and basil, and then we headed home to do some planting. We put poor Lauren to work in the backyard the entire time she was here...planting, raking, bagging leaves from last fall (we actually completely ignored the yard since last August because I was super pregnant and then Eleanor was a newborn and then it was winter...essentially there is a whole lot of stuff to do and we aren't really sure where to start). Since I only have every other weekend off and it tends to rain on a few of those, and our family likes to see us on a couple others, we haven't had any time to get to the yard yet until last weekend and hence Lauren got put to work. It was a great weekend to be outside!

I planted my tomatoes in an Earthbox - a gift I got for Christmas last year. I'm hoping the weather doesn't freeze them out since I guess we planted early (who knows these things??). I think I assumed everything you needed came with the kit, and it doesn't, so needless to say we had to take 3 separate trips to the store to get these things planted. It was an all day affair. Lauren and Eleanor (big and little Elle Jay!) had a great time together, especially when Lauren let her play in her water cup. Playing with water is basically Eleanor's favorite thing right now - I think she just really doesn't get how it works yet so it's fascinating still.

Sunday we went to church in the morning and then Lauren headed back home. Thank you for coming Lauren!! Please come back and maybe we won't work you so hard next time ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring in the land of the colonists

The last few days in Williamsburg have been gorgeous and we have loved spending them outside. Even if most of that time has been spent doing yard work, it's still been wonderful. I'm so tired of bundling Eleanor up in 6 layers just to walk her around the neighborhood so she isn't cooped up inside all day, so I'm sure you can imagine how nice it is to just drop her in her stroller and go. She loves being outside because it's so stimulating for her - grass, wind, trees, noises. I hope we get lots of days like these in the coming months.

Yesterday we took Eleanor down to Colonial Williamsburg for a walk with a change of scenery and it was great. The last weekend I had off work it rained the entire time so this is really the first spring day we've been able to head down there together. The lambs are here (and are fairly big already!), and this year there is even a baby ox.

Much of the historic area (like our backyard) still looks as though it were fall due to leaves still covering the ground, but if you pay close attention you can see the leaves on the trees beginning to open up, and there are flowers everywhere.

Happy spring!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Guess the baby

So I've had a lot of people say that Eleanor looks like me (obviously - she was born with a full head of dark hair, just like I was), but the older she's getting, the more people say her facial features are starting to resemble Chris' more. I think we can all agree that her coloring will always be more similar to mine, but I figured it'd be fun to play a game of guess the baby! So here you go, the pictures are numbered, you can guess in the comments, and a week from now, I'll come back and edit this post with the correct answers.

1. 
2. 
3.
4.
5. 
6. 

What do you think? Do we all look the same or does Eleanor have certain features belonging to each of us? Also - grandmas, don't give the answers away!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Stephen W Tribute Post

Congratulations to Stephen W on his win in this, the most prestigious of all NCAA Tournament pools.  He is our sixth different winner in six years of the pool, so we are all about fair play here.  Thank you all for participating this year, and I look forward to another great year next year!  The final standings are down at the bottom.  Here are 10 things about Stephen that you need to know:

1.       In the 6 years of the pool, this is the lowest winning score we've ever had at 78, and also the first time that nobody earned any points from the final 4 or championship game.  But it is also the most participants we've ever had with 27.

      2.      Stephen and Liz got married during march madness 2013, so this is the blog’s anniversary present to Stephen.

      3.  He is a cycle boat enthusiast:

4.     The first time I met Stephen was during march madness games, after their rehearsal dinner.  Friends and family were all together, and he and I watched basketball.  It was a great bonding time.

5. The man respects Cool Runnings, and I respect that: 


6.     Stephen included a bonus pick of Illinois as the NIT Champion which made me laugh.  They lost in the 2nd round.

7.   He rocks a solid Christmas sweater:


8.     Stephen actually wrapped up the title on Saturday night.  Out of the 4 possible outcomes from Saturday’s 2 games, Stephen could only win with 1 combination – both underdogs winning.  Unfortunately for Ashley H, that’s exactly what happened. 

9.     Stephen and Liz’s wedding had the best food I’ve ever had at a wedding – Salt Lick BBQ, and it was unlimited portions. 

10. I mustache you a question! 




2014 Final Standings

Name Round 1 Round 2 Sweet 16 Elite 8 Final 4 Champ Total
1 Stephen W 24 18 20 16 0 0 78
2 Patty S 25 18 16 16 0 0 75
3 Ashley H 23 16 20 16 0 0 75
4 Stina C 25 20 20 8 0 0 73
5 Bill F 24 20 20 8 0 0 72
6 Katie S 24 16 16 16 0 0 72
7 Chalk 24 20 16 8 0 0 68
8 Paul D 26 20 12 8 0 0 66
9 Alex H 27 18 12 8 0 0 65
10 Paula D 25 20 12 8 0 0 65
11 Ryan J 23 18 16 8 0 0 65
12 Bob S 21 18 16 8 0 0 63
13 Rob S 26 20 8 8 0 0 62
14 Liz W 24 18 12 8 0 0 62
15 Jennie T 23 22 8 8 0 0 61
16 Chris S 24 24 12 0 0 0 60
17 Michele F 23 16 12 8 0 0 59
18 Jonathan G 27 16 8 0 0 0 51
19 Cassidy J 23 14 12 0 0 0 49
20 Ashleigh S 22 14 12 0 0 0 48
21 Eleanor S 17 10 12 8 0 0 47
22 Maggie E 23 12 8 0 0 0 43
23 Michael H 20 16 4 0 0 0 40
24 Erika G 21 10 8 0 0 0 39
25 Jessica S 19 8 4 8 0 0 39
26 Joanna K 20 14 4 0 0 0 38
27 Dave E 16 8 12 0 0 0 36

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lent - week 4

This post (last week's post for the Chapel Lenten series) harkens back to our Farmville days:

About a year into our marriage, my husband accepted a job at Hampden-Sydney College, located right around Farmville, VA. At the time, the only thing I knew about Farmville was that it was a popular facebook game, but it was about to become our reality, not our fantasy world. For the first year or so that we lived there, I would describe it to people by saying, "It's so small and rural that there isn't even a Target!" You see, we had spent the last year living in Arlington, where we paid to rent 500 square feet more than double what we paid in Farmville to rent our three bedroom house. The culture was all about how much money you made, what the next trend for restaurants or clothing was, or where you were heading for vacation next month. It was a bit of a culture shock to for me to move to Farmville, where if I needed to buy pretty much anything, I had to drive to Richmond.

The years we spent in Farmville were probably the most un-materialistic years of my life to date. We didn't make very much money, but since there wasn't anything to spend it on, it really didn't matter. Despite that though, we were rich. We had our house, our cars, our cell phones, our cable tv...all the things we consider "necessities." Even at that point in my life, though we didn't have much to get rid of, if I had been asked to give up everything: our shelter, the food in our pantry, my pictures and computer, all to follow Jesus, I'm not sure I could have. 

The story about the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 hits very close to home for me. Whenever I read this passage, I feel exactly as the disciples were described to be: astonished (v. 25). How is it possible? How could I get rid of everything and live day to day relying on God for food and shelter and other needs? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I feel called to do that - it would be burdensome for our family and our friends, but if I were called to that, could I? 

Travis talked about being "wholly dependent" on the Lord this past Sunday - that the people who are wholly dependent on the Lord are those who are able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. That is a hard concept to wrap my head around and truly something to aspire to. All I can say for now is thank goodness that "with men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible (v. 26)." 

Friday, April 4, 2014

March wrap-up

This month we went to visit Chris in his new office. He's got windows and cell service - definitely an upgrade from working in the basement of W&M Hall. His pictures and things have all been moved over, but there's still a little room for decorating.

Eleanor tried on her infant mittens for fun one day because I couldn't find anything else to entertain her. This tactic worked, surprisingly, for at least 20 minutes.

Our world this month fluctuated with surprising agility between 75 degree days, and below freezing days with snow. I mean, in the same week we would have snow on the ground and then I'd be wearing a t-shirt outside a couple days later.

We had some friend babysitters and some professional babysitters help out again with Eleanor due to our ridiculousness of work schedules. Hopefully that will calm down here soon.

Eleanor practiced her standing on both the couch, and the floor holding on to a table. She is getting decent. We're still probably months away from cruising though.

We are attempting a sippy cup at the moment, of which she doesn't seem to be a fan. Hopefully that will change along with the weather.

Eleanor broke a plant. In fact, despite how crappy it looked when my grandparents came to visit the other week (and yes, Chris passed along your comment, Grammy: "I see Katie is still take great care of her plants"), this plant was actually given to me by my grandparents when they came to visit us in Farmville over four years ago. SO I KEPT A PLANT ALIVE FOR FOUR YEARS! The fault for its current shabby state rests solely with the one pictured below (not on the fact that I haven't replanted it in over four years). Evidence here.

Eleanor decided she likes clementines. I was eating one and she got a hold of one of my pieces without me noticing. She sucked half of it dry before I finished taking pictures and could wrestle it away from her.

Apparently a lot of our friends here in Williamsburg have March birthdays. A group outing to a Mexican restaurant was scheduled to celebrate them. I was planning on not going because I had to work and the dinner was at 6, but when I got off work (at 7:30) and called Chris, he told me the waiter hadn't even taken their order yet so I headed over. I still had to wait over an hour for food, but at least I didn't have to wait two and a half hours like everyone else! Also, there was a free margarita involved, so it all worked out.

This is just cute, what can I say?

I took Eleanor to a shoe store to get her feet measured for the first time. She apparently wears a 3M. Thank goodness I went because I was going to order shoes online and I thought the "M" stood for month, so I had a pair of 9M in my shopping card ready for purchase. Probably goes without saying that those wouldn't have fit her for awhile.

Chris and Eleanor made me breakfast in bed one morning. It was awesome. I love breakfast in bed.

Sometimes when I actually get Eleanor dressed (a lot of time I stick with the sleep and play onesies - they're the best), I realize how big she is getting! She totally looks like a little kid sometimes instead of a baby!

She's also lately been wearing what we refer to as her hipster hat. It's awesome. It has a miniature bill :)

Eleanor has also been joining us at restaurants a few times lately and loves it. She likes menus, high chairs, and new food. All fun.

And there you go...our month of March!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Greats come to visit!

This past month my grandparents (and Eleanor's great grandparents!!) drove from Texas to the east coast, ALL because they wanted to meet Eleanor (just kidding, they visited lots of other people while here, too)! They came to Williamsburg to see the girl in her natural habitat, and we had a wonderful time. They came in Thursday and met Chris and Eleanor at the house. I was at work at the time, so Chris sent me pictures so I follow along. Love at first sight, obviously:

They were able to feed her a bottle and help get her put to bed that first night.

The next day we spent basically playing with E. We did take a detour to look for some juice at a nearby grocery store and we also walked around the neighborhood and went to the park. Lots of conversations about life happened that day...I hope Eleanor took notes :)

We went out to lunch and dinner, as well, and Eleanor entertained us with her attempts to eat food. At dinner she ate approximately half a bowl of guacamole...it was kind of incredible.

Overall it was an awesome visit, albeit short. Thank you, thank you Grammy and WGFP (my grandpa's nickname: world's greatest fighter pilot) for coming to visit us!