Monday, April 28, 2008

One year... really!

This past weekend marked one year since we moved from Phoenix to Dallas! Wow! I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some of the happenings of our year in Dallas:
  • Getting to be within driving distance of our family for the first time in 5 years! Matt's parents are only 20 minutes away so we see them quite often which is wonderful. And my family is a doable weekend trek away. Since we've moved back, we have seen my family from Houston at least once every single month! What a dramatic increase in time together over the few times a year we saw them when we lived in Phoenix. This here was our #1 reason for moving back to Texas. We are so happy that Oliver knows his family all by name and has a personal connection with each one of them. Even Gabriella knows who her family is already - she's starting to cry when strangers hold her, but is perfectly content to be held by one of her grandparents or aunts.
  • The amazing blessing of community we were surrounded with the day we moved in. Thanks for walking down and introducing yourself and inviting us to Calloway's Nursery with the rest of the neighbors, Brit! It was great to meet you and then the same day meet 3 other neighborhood families who were to become some of our closest friends!
  • Getting to know other moms of toddlers at My Gym. I am so glad we joined there as it really gave us a social outlet as newcomers to the area and allowed us to make friendships that we still have today as we can no longer attend due to the fact that I only have two arms and cannot chase a 2 year old around the gym while also tending to a 6 month old :)
  • Finding a church where we feel loved, connected, and most importantly God's presence. Also, for the amazing connecting point God put there in my dear friend Kristen... who was awesome in getting us connected at church, but also for filling a need in my life for a close girlfriend
  • Celebrating 5 years of marriage together last June - and actually getting to go away overnight and have grandparents to leave Oliver with! Thanks again Dillards!
  • An awesome baby shower with new friends and so many members of our immediate and extended family. Such a wonderful addition this pregnancy; one which was just not practical at my last baby shower for Oliver in Phoenix...
  • The birth of our first daughter, Gabriella Amanda, on October 15, 2007. What a blessing to have family near to get to meet her so soon and help welcome her into the world. She gets to share a birth-state with her daddy... the only two Texans by birth in our family.
  • Wonderful holiday celebrations with family, both in Houston and in Dallas. It has been great to see Matt's grandparents more and so nice to get to see Matt's sister and brother every time they come to town to visit!
  • A fun celebration of Oliver's 2nd birthday with new friends, neighbors and lots of nearby family. His fun new bounce house was a great addition to our lives as well :)
  • An awesomely fun and awesomely challenging trip to Hawaii with the two kids and my entire family.
  • An enjoyable visit back to Phoenix in February to see old friends and reconnect in those relationships. It was a good trip for many reasons. It gave us a feeling of joy to rekindle friendships even if only for a brief moment. It also reaffirmed to us that our decision to move to Dallas was the right one... we weren't filled with regret for having left Phoenix, but instead with fondness for a place we had dearly loved to call home for the first 5 years of our marriage.
  • Getting to celebrate with my sister Natalie at all of her pre-wedding parties since I'm only a short drive away!
  • Getting to be around to enjoy the surprise in finding out that my sister Megan was engaged.
  • Watching my parents beaming with pride as the hosted us for Easter and showered my children with many gifts and a fun Easter egg hunt.
  • Being truly at peace with the place God has put us in our life and basking in his amazing provision and blessing.
Thank you to all of you who have blessed our lives our first year back in Texas! It's good to be home.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time well spent

I enjoyed 45 minutes of cleanup (glass pickup, wiping, shoe cleaning, vacuuming and mopping), thanks to my grocery sack not being completely stable on top of the counter before I let go. Fun, fun, times... I just love the smell of spaghetti sauce so much I decided to coat my kitchen in it. Not to mention my feet - the jar landed right between my feet. I did suffer one cut, but fortunately not a deep one. You wouldn't believe how far this splattered... all the way to Kuzco's crate for those of you that know my kitchen layout. And there was glass all the way to the laundry room door and throughout the playroom. Here is one reason to learn to make your own spaghetti sauce. While it usually saves a little time, there is the danger of this happening! Gravity is amazing!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My baby...

... is 6 months old! Rolling over, eating baby food, trying to pull up to sitting, and smiling her head off the whole time!

Enjoy some pictures - click here!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

4am wakeup call

I woke up this morning at 4am because I heard a loud sound. I didn't know exactly what it was but just attributed it to the very loud thunderstorms we were having complete with rain, thunder, lightning and A LOT of hard wind. I was kind of nervous that there was a tornado and also curious as to why I hadn't heard Gabriella crying to eat yet... she hadn't eaten since 6:30pm so it was a really long stretch for her. I decided since I was already awake because of the rain to get up, check out the rain, and go look in on Gabby. She was in her bed... on her stomach. She's good at flipping herself over and I guess decided that was the most comfortable way to sleep - but it was the first time I've discovered her like that. It kind of freaked me out at first since you're supposed to put babies to sleep on their backs - which I had done - but she had obviously turned over in the night. And since she hadn't woken up to eat I thought that something was wrong like maybe she wasn't breathing - but of course she was fine and snoozing away.

There WAS however something wrong at our house, I just didn't know what it was yet. On my way back to bed, I looked out the back window to discover this wonderful sight in our backyard. Our biggest tree had decided to do a swan dive through the fence onto our driveway! It didn't hurt the roof hardly at all and fortunately our cars were in the garage... but we've got a humongous tree blocking our cars in the garage. We've got some fence/gate damage and some gutter damage, but it could have been much worse.

Turns out this tree was rotten on the inside which made it more unstable - so down it went. Fortunately, I called early enough this morning to beat the rush and got a tree removal service to come out first thing. So it should be cleared out today thankfully! Crazy times! Our neighbor Jennifer was the very generous taxi driver this morning and took Matt to work on her way to take her kids to school. Great neighbors! So I've been sitting here all morning listening to the sound of chainsaws and marveling at the minor damage we received and the major damage that we fortunately escaped. What a blessing!

Monday, April 7, 2008

My little copycat

Oliver is turning into quite the copycat... he likes to repeat the words we say, makes his own coughing noises when people cough, and for the last two days has started something new he learned from me and Gabriella. Check out the picture and see if you can figure out what he is doing. Here are some hints... when I asked him what he was doing he told me "A Bop hungey" (Baby Bop is "A Bop") . So I asked what he was feeding her and he said "milk." But his milk comes from his "outie" belly button! Pretty amazing!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A follow up on my Wikipedia post for you LOST fans

If you are a fan of LOST and have as hard of time as I do keeping up with what is going on... check out this AWESOME resource similar to Wikipedia but dedicated solely to LOST - Lostpedia

Sad there are no new episodes until April 24th... that is so far away...