Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Week in DC

{warning: picture overload. I wish I had the time or metal capacity to break it down into actual events, but pictures will have to do the majority of the talking.}
After my cousin's wedding in Pennsylvania, we headed down southward to my sister's place, outside of Washington DC. My parents were able to join us for a combined family vacation and we fit in a bunch of fun activities in that week.

We went to the National Zoo and loved seeing the seal show and watching the wolves.

We went to the Air and Space Museum and had a picnic lunch on the Mall.

We toured the Capitol building and I loved following Sophia around with my camera!

We had a girls day out while the boys went to a baseball game and a museum. We got to go to the American Girl store and it was such a full circle moment for me! Grace loved all of the dolls and got to sit in on a special story time.

Heather and her husband, Ryan, took Ian and I out one night for some frozen yogurt and a night time monument tour. We were really impressed by the Pentagon 9/11 memorial and were freaked out by the enormous amount of spiders at the WWII memorial.

Ian and I took a day and went out just with our little family to see some memorials, go to the American History museum, saw a Turkish festival, and see the White House. It was a fun family day!

I am not really doing the week justice by summing it up so shortly but I am shamefully behind on what has happened in the last month or two! so much to catch up on! I am so grateful that we got to have some good family time all under one roof!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Wedding That I Have No Proof Of

About a month ago, we hit the road for a three week long road trip.

The first week included a stop in central Virginia to stay with Ian's best friend from college, a stop up in central Pennsylvania to see my Aunt and Uncle, then on to Northeast Pennsylvania for my cousin's wedding.

Make that, my cousin's themed wedding.

My cousins and his (then) fiance planned a Victorian Steampunk wedding.

Go ahead, you can google Victorian Steampunk. Because I had to.

So, for about six months prior to the wedding we scoured the internet and got ideas for costumes (because all wedding guests were asked to come in themed costumes.)

We wanted to be thematic but we didn't want to spend a small fortune on costumes or clothing we would never use again. Finally, about two weeks before the wedding we settled on a happy medium, having costumes that were mainly normal clothes that could be used again (a lace dress from Shabby Apple for me and a dress shirt and slacks for Ian,) but used a few pieces to make it fit the bill (a monacle and suspenders for Ian and a peacock headpiece and gears/keys jewelry for me.)

Sophia wore a lace romper, cardigan, and headband, while Grace wore a blue dress with black boots and a mini top hat. 

The rehearsal dinner was held on the back lawn of a house overlooking a lake and it was just a nice evening with good food. 

The wedding was the next evening, held at a local B & B/farm, in their barn. Now here is where I start getting apologetic. It was nighttime and raining. In Pennsylvania. I tried using my big camera but it was too dark, no one held still, and I refuse to use flash. 

SO. I didn't really get many pictures except a few phone shots! I know. I'm terrible. 

The wedding was very different from a traditional wedding. Everyone was in crazy costumes and the decor inside the barn was amazing. They had a photo booth set up with themed props and an old time Root Beer float bar, with a bartender and everything. 

We ate dinner, watched first dances, and tried to change diapers in a portable bathroom. 

Fun times!

Grace loved dancing and she just about ran until we dragged her away to go home!

I was so glad that we were able to attend my cousin's wedding. Despite living overseas for several years, it is moments like this one where we get to reconnect with our family and be a part of special events.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

30 Before 30: An Update

I had every intention of plowing through some of the goals on my 30 before 30 list and updating it every six months, but, as life would have it, that has not happened.

I have been able to cross off one very special event though, golfing with my dad! While in SC last week my dad and I were able to slip away and go to a high tech driving range.

 I say high tech because, well, it was! There were chips inside of the balls that were coded for each person and you could instantly see on your computer how far each ball was hit!

I really enjoyed it and would love to go back again. I even think Ian could like golf if he was able to play against himself!

Technically we will cross two more of the list in the next two months: taking the girls to Disney and going to a Georgia football game (though Ian is going and taking his Dad but I am counting it.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Second (and a half) birthday, Grace!

Grace is two and a half years old today. It should feel older but I think we have been telling people she is two and a half for a good three months now!

She is 30 inches tall and weighs 27 pounds. She is tall and skinny with mile long legs and itty bitty (size six) feet.

She has gray/blue eyes and curly dark blonde hair.

She is every bit 2 and a half. She loves to do things "all by herself," with her latest accomplishments being learning how to take her shoes and socks off and to hold herself on the big potty without any help.

She is my on-the-go girl. She is happiest when we are out and about and around people and she can push herself to go all day without stopping. Rarely has she ever fallen asleep in public because she just loves to be involved in whatever is going on!

Developmentally she has grown so much in the last six months. She is more sure footed, has conquered stairs, can climb a ladder, do a somersault, do a hands free somersault, and loves to walk on anything resembling a balance beam. Her run is becoming more refined and she finally gets some air when she jumps!

She is parroting back things we say now, so we have to be really careful about what we talk about with her in the room. She is also aware of moods and is socially intuitive- she knows when we are stressed or sad so we are doing our best to protect her little heart from that right now.

All of our moving around and being on the road is starting to wear her out. When we packed up our Nahsville home she was in school and she came home to a packed up house and she just wept over the loss of her home and the instability. It broke my heart. She has bounced back though and is quickly calling where ever we are staying "Gracie's house."

We don't have a typical day and I don't get to work with her much on learning activities, so I am excited to get back into a routine in a few months and see what she can do! Grace can count to ten, say her ABC's, and can recognize most letters, colors, some shapes, and a few numbers. She loves to count things and we are trying to encourage that since both Ian and I never had a love for math.

She is starting to get a bit of imagination and loves playing with Baby Morgan, her bitty baby (my old one.) She likes to pretend to cook and loves for us to read stories to her. I'm ready to stop living out of a suitcase so that we can actually access her toys and books!

I'm so proud to be Grace Madeline's momma and can't wait to see what the next six months will bring to her as her personality and speech really start to take off! I am grateful she is not the typical Terrible Two (yet,) and love my sweet go with the flow girl who is a great big sister!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ian!

Ian turns 27 today! This is our eighth birthday celebrating HIM together! Ian is very low key and laid back and doesn't really expect much in the way of celebrations or presents but he loves and appreciates any thing that comes his way.
This year, I let Grace help pick out a card for Ian, and she immediately pointed to a picture of Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory and said, "Daddy!" She handed me the card and was done with the selection process. I'm not sure what that says about Ian but I choose to believe Grace recognized his genius and knew that was just like her Daddy!
We are celebrating all day with mini presents and cards throughout the day (candy, a mini lego set, a small nerf gun, some dvd's of Bond movies, and a new board game- Ticket to Ride!) I hope to slip away at some point tomorrow afternoon and pick up a cake (or pie, since that is more up his alley,) but we will see if that is possible!

I love my husband very much and am so grateful for the man that he is. Patient, kind, intelligent, thoughtful, funny, witty, and a good friend to all he meets.

Happy Birthday, Ian! I hope 27 is as wonderful a year as 26!