Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012.

But really, what is the passing of a year, except the turning of a page on a calendar? Nothing magical happens at the stroke of midnight, New Year's Eve. It's another day in whatever season you happen to be in. Time has no meaning here. 

However, it does feel really nice to have Christmas packed away, the house (mostly) back to normal, the annual purge of stuff, the thoughts of new beginnings floating feels like a fresh start, whether that's true or not.

The highlights:
We watched Grayon, my nephew, for 3 months
Avery turned 3

my niece, Sophie, was born

and so was our niece, Lucy

Eleanor was baptized
Avery started dance

we moved (10 minutes down the road)

and so did my best friend (to NY!)

and my aunt, uncle, and cousins (to Iowa!)
we got to visit our fab friends, the Ueckers! Welcome back to Texas!

Luke turned 30

Eleanor turned 1

boat trip with the girls (can't find the group picture!!)

cutest farm family ever
vacation with the hubby

met Hudson
Santa Baby
Christmas with my girlies

Christmas Holidays, Part 1

Straight from New Mexico (with a brief stop in Austin to pick up Christmas gifts) to Houston. A couple days with my mom, who had the girls, and then to Luke's parents' house for Christmas Eve/Christmas. All of Luke's siblings spent the night, so the girls had cousins galore to play with. Christmas Eve service at their church, home for his mom's annual Christmas Eve salmon and broccoli soup (it's yum!), waiting for the older kids to fall asleep, and then mass scrambling to put out the presents. The next morning, crazy fun ensues as paper goes flying and kids exclaim with excitement. Avery was just too sweet - most of her presents were at the bottom of the pile, but she just sat there, waiting patiently. Day after Christmas we went to my mom's house to celebrate with my side of the family, and it's so fun to have so many babies around!
was so happy to be home eating breakfast with this monkey again

shoes on, all the time, even over footie pjs

loving Nana's Christmas chair

a game of Risk

blurry, but I just love that grin

adore these jammies

playing hide-n-seek - Avery always hides in plain sight and giggles the whole time

beautiful girls in their Christmas dresses

Christmas Eve service with Emily

with Peyton

sweet baby Lucy

annual Christmas Eve gift - new pjs. Avery was a little disappointed that it wasn't something cooler. She'll catch on in a few years that it's ALWAYS pjs.
Christmas photos part 2 to come later - I have to find them first!

Time Away

Luke and I were blessed with a week (A WEEK!) away. We traveled to Ruidoso, NM, where my parents have a time-share in the mountains. We borrowed the cabin this year while Mom watched the girls for us. We got to sleep in, go out to eat, read, relax, be away from home from the hours of 1 to 4 pm...oh the joys of a few days with no children.

We had such a great week together, something we really needed at the end of a long year. And my mom is a saint, because both girls had double-ear infections.


hiking in Lincoln National Forest

Luke mocking me on our hike - I'm a little out of shape 

our project for the week, the girls' Christmas present

stopped in Abilene on the way home to meet sweet baby Hudson and visit with one of my favorite gals

wind farms way off in the distance - I love these

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Catching up a bit before life gets crazy with Christmas vacation and traveling. A quiet Thanksgiving this year, just me and my crew at Mom's, along with my Uncle Jeremiah. On a side note, my sisters and I couldn't pronounce Jeremiah when we were kids, so he has forever been known as "Uncle". Avery, however, can say his name perfectly. Of course she can. And Eleanor was so enamored with him. She usually fusses around new people, but she walked right up to him and held her arms up, asking him to hold her. They hung out So so cute!

Everyone in my family is partial to my mom's cooking for Thanksgiving, and it just never feels like a proper holiday without her food. So, I'm thankful that I got to enjoy it this year. :) After dinner we went to my grandparents' house for dessert.

Thankful for those who have walked a hard road with me this year.
Thankful for my husband, who has picked up the slack at home when I need it most.
Thankful for my daughters, who make me laugh.
Thankful for my extended family, simply for being who they are.
Thankful for a church body who has lived out the call of the body of Christ in my life.
Thankful for the times when God has moved mightily.
Thankful for the times when God has moved in small ways.
Thankful for the times when God has moved silently.

15 Months

Our sweet Eleanor is one and a quarter years old (on the 9th)! We're going to put a stack of books on her head so she'll stop growing.

I love thinking about Avery at this age and comparing her to where we are with Eleanor - not developmentally, but in their personalities. Avery was pretty compliant, talked non-stop even at this age, was easy to train to walk holding our hand, loved to sit quietly and read books, and though she played well by herself, she really loved having someone play with her. Eleanor refuses to hold our hand while walking, HATES to be told no, is such a mischief-maker, is very quiet and plays by herself almost all day long. I have to be very intentional to sit down and join in her play, because it can be easy to tell myself, "I'll just finish this laundry, and these dishes, and then...." since she's so easy-going. Avery is artistic and enjoys imaginary play, loves anything girly and frilly and fancy, loves to dance, loves to read, and is learning to write - she's our verbal child. Eleanor is much more mechanical - she can figure out how something works within seconds of looking at it, her motor skills are much more refined than Avery's were at this age, and she really seems to take everything in and analyze the situation.

she put together this Lego tower all by herself
Eleanor is showing more interest in books and will bring me a book and say "ma!" (more). Her favorite is Hand Hand Fingers Thumb. She literally breaks down into a crying fit when we tell her "no"; she bursts into tears, flops down on the ground, sometimes sitting, sometimes head on the ground, bottom in the air. Too funny. Her words are minimal - mama, dada, nigh-nigh, and ma (more). I'm starting to feel like she'll never move past those.

She has 6 teeth! The last two popped in with minimal fuss. We haven't been so lucky with the others.

She loves food still, but she definitely has some preferences. She is willing to try anything new. She hates tomatoes but will eat pasta sauce. She's not a huge fan of eggs, but seems to like them fine if they come off my plate. She really loves bagels with cream cheese. She has a topical allergy to peanut butter (she gets hives where it touches her skin), but it hasn't caused any major issues. We keep it away from her just in case, and it's on my list of questions for her next doctor appointment. She also breaks out in hives wherever dogs lick her. (And update - we saw the doctor today, and Eleanor has to go in for lab work in January to check on these allergies.) (She also has a double ear infection!! And I thought it was Avery who had the ear infection.)

She is still taking two naps a day, though the morning nap has been on hiatus for much of last week because she's been sick. She crashes hard as the cold is coming on, and once it's a full-blown cold, sleep during the day just doesn't seem to be a priority for her. Ugh. She has been sleeping 7-7 this week, but I'm wondering how long this will last. She generally wakes up around 4 or 5 in the morning, nurses, and then back down for a couple hours. We haven't nursed in almost a week, which I'm ready for, but it's still a little sad to think about.

She plays shy with strangers who try and catch her eye and smile at her. She'll duck her head and slowly peek out and give them a tiny smile.

Eleanor loves to dig in my bathroom cabinets, and tampons and cotton balls are her favorite things to play with. She also discovered q-tips today. Toothbrushes are awesome - she loves to have her teeth brushed and will bring me her toothbrush.