We made it a Year!

When we first found out we were pregnant, Ellie was still pretty young. We were definitely excited, but we knew it was going to be tough. With Ellie, getting to one year was such an accomplishment. We felt like we crossed some sort of imaginary “finish” line and we had been officially broken in as parents. The dynamic starts to flow and the hiccups become easier to navigate. So when we found out we were pregnant with Piper, I looked at Brian and said “we just have to make it to a year.” And now we’re here! It’s pretty crazy now to think how incredibly fast the last year has gone by. So much growth has occurred with our girls in the last year and honestly I think on a frequent basis how amazingly blessed we are.

I told someone at Piper’s birthday party that having kids is somewhat like being a teenager again in that one moment you feel like you want to scream and the next you’re so in love you can’t imagine life without them.

Speaking of Piper’s Birthday, we absolutely had such a blast. We had a pumpkin theme for the party, which was executed via much googling and pinteresting! It was so fun to have friends and family over. Piper had a blast. She’s such a ham and it was truly the first time I had faith someone was going to be watching her. Amazingly, it was true. Here are a bunch of photos from the party.

I just like to crawl into things Piper and her giant Teddy Bear Nana, Papa and Piper Tish and Piper Ry and Bri Jen & Lacie Tutu and the girls Piper, Mom and Dad Kathy and Brian Mom and Dad Yuuuummy! Sofia and Nicholas Hadley and Carly Finola and Piper Ellie and Ara Ty and Brian Parris and Heras Emmalynn Cake Time Mmm…Frosting Lucy Piper and Ara Tucker Fam + Jen Piper Ellie and Finola Wrestling Piper and Mom Jen and Wyatt Stella on Giraffe Emmalynn and Jenna Ara Hadley and Mom Piper Smiles

Nala drawing

Picasso in training

As if that weren’t enough photos, we also took a pic of Piper to complete her monthly photos during her first year. Brian is definitely excited we don’t have to struggle with a very active independent Piper to get a decent still picture of her anymore and I’m just mostly in love with how much this picture truly emulates our emotion about making it to a year. Now, if time could please slow down, we would be very grateful.

Piper's One Year Old!

Happy Birthday America

This may have been the first year we didn’t go anywhere for the Fourth of July. We’re usually busy running around from place to place to see family and friends, but this year we just wanted to take it easy and hang at our home. Our neighbors across the lake from us had a loot of fireworks, so it seemed like we weren’t missing out and we could have some good old fashioned fun. The fireworks were pretty spectacular and the evidence now lives on our deck.

We had a few friends over, barbecued some ribs, drank some beer and had a campfire and made s’mores. It doesn’t get any more American than that. We got a couple of pictures of the babes – all girls – but it does take a miracle to get a good pic of a 3 month old, 8 month old and two 2 year olds. A miracle did not occur, but here’s the result nonetheless along with one of our two munchkins.

Dressed patriotically and giving hugs and smiles.

Dressed patriotically and giving hugs and smiles.

Cute girls who also can't really sit still for a photo.

Cute girls who also can’t really sit still for a photo.

A Name and A Shower

We’ve officially decided on a name for our second daughter, at least a first name: Piper.  We had a very difficult time coming to this name. We boiled it down to three names and the other two were a bit more feminine than Piper. At the end of the day, Piper just spoke to us and we felt it fit her, even though we haven’t met her quite yet.  I’m honestly still getting used to it, but I feel like when she arrives it will feel right – or it won’t and we’ll change it – we’ll see!

Last weekend was Piper’s baby shower. As I’ve mentioned before, I always feel a little awkward at shower’s because I don’t like being in the spotlight, but I just kept telling myself it wasn’t me, it was Piper in the spotlight – it helped a little.  The second child baby shower was definitely different than the first. With the first baby there’s so much more stuff you need and this is a woman’s first time going through pregnancy and welcoming a child into her life. Once that new and first time occurrence has passed, the hype definitely dies down a little. This fact makes the shower and what’s being celebrated no less important or beautiful in my mind.

In fact, I was really touched that my aunt Laura from Colorado came into town for a “girl’s weekend” and helped my mom cook and get ready all weekend. My Grandma Lola also changed her flight down to Arizona in order to attend, which was really amazing! I had such a great time with everyone and I left feeling like I wanted to hang out more. It made me realize even though I’m a mom and we’re remodeling a house and I work full-time and I’ve got 50 million things to do, I need to carve out more time to spend with the people I love because at the end of the day that’s what’s really important. Action from this conclusion coming soon!

pipershowergroup

Playing at the Park

Ellie had a great time meeting an older boy at the playground outside the zoo yesterday. She showed off her dance moves and her new words, which the six year old boy thought was amazing.

Here’s a recent pic too, showing how big she’s getting – can time please slow down?!?!?!

image

Happiness

Happiness is one of the things parents strive to encourage in their children. Some people are born very happy and some people who aren’t want to do things to make themselves happier. After all, what are we here for if nothing other than to be happy and love life? Happiness is likely one of the most philosophized and studied human traits. It is something that can’t be forced, but what if you knew there were specific things happy people did? Would you do them too? Perhaps doing so would make you happier. My Mom always told me if I’m ever feeling sad to smile. Smiling releases chemicals in our bodies that actually make us happy, so even though we might not feel like smiling, if we force it doing so will actually result in cheering us up.

Last week I got an article from Nita Talwar at Peak Experience Parenting that provides a list of 22 other things happy people do. It’s fun to look through the list and see what things you naturally do and what things you don’t. Perhaps by trying some of the things you don’t do, you will become happier.

Here is the article: http://www.peakexperienceparenting.com/22-things-happy-people-do-differently/

Personally, I felt a lot of reassurance reading the article, but there are definitely things I’d like to do more of to encourage happiness (and well-being). For example, I’d like to meditate and exercise more. Brian is very good at living minimally and I’m not too bad, but I would like to cleanse some of the “things” I keep around that I don’t really need. I also think I need to work on my listening skills, so that will be a focus moving forward.

I hope this article is helpful to you and your family as it has been for ours.

Oh to be a Babe

I often think what a wonderful life it would be to wake up and essentially be responsible for playing, eating, sleeping and pooping myself every once it awhile. There’s not a lot required of a tiny little baby and sometimes it’s nice to fantasize about going back to that place. In our adult lives, we of course are responsible for many things and once the babe comes around, the responsibility increases exponentially.  Sometimes the responsibilities are tough and stressful and sometimes they’re fun.  Sometimes a lot of fun ends up being exhausting too, right?

For instance, this week has been so amazing. Tuesday Brian and I celebrated our two year anniversary.  We did the White Moustache Urban Adventure.  It was an amazing night of going from one unique restaurant in our fine city to the next. We started at Island Soul in Columbia City, where we had some amazing jerk chicken and seafood fritters with a nice dark rum ginger mojito. From there we moved to St. Cloud in Madrona. We noshed on some parmesan crusted pork tenderloin and washed it down with some Syrah. At the next stop, Grub on Queen Anne, we had a seafood medley with another glass of red wine. Finally we ended our night at Hot Cakes in Ballard, where we shared a dark chocolate hot cake with whiskey caramel and vanilla ice cream and some port. Oh it was fun to bounce around the city like DINKS again!

Wednesday night we stayed in (thank goodness), Thursday Jonathan and Devon came over for dinner, and Friday we had Friendsgiving at John and Mols’.  Saturday came around and we went to the grocery store to get stuff for Thanksgiving. We headed out to go to Ethan’s 1 year birthday party and sat in traffic for 45 minutes before we even got to I-90! Since we had a Christmas party in a few hours, we figured by the time we would get to the party we’d have to turn around and come back, so we ended up canceling. We felt (and I still feel) really bad.  From there we dropped Ellie off with Jenna and Ryan and headed out to the Blue Nile Christmas Party. That was fun while it lasted, but we had to head home early because Ellie was refusing a bottle and going down. It was still a great night and so much fun.

Then today we did a family portrait session out in the [light] rain and then hosted PEPS at our house. Ahhh…time to breathe please.  A lot of fun, but still A LOT of going going going!  All this running around, and the whole while Ellie is just growing like crazy and showing more and more of her personality every day. She’s started doing things we say, such as bouncing when she’s standing and turning the pages in her book when we’re reading. A couple of weeks ago I got a glimpse of her mimicking with dad, making the scrunchy face.

 

Here are a few pics of the cute PEPS babes tonight.