Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Can you believe it's only Thomas' second father's day?? If I look at Eden, it's not too hard to believe. She'll be a mere 19 months in two days, and is still so small and new. But if I think about how much living we've done since Thomas became a father it feels so much longer. He's also quite a natural at being an awesome dad so it appears that he has had years of practice.

At this time last year, Thomas was contemplating leaving Red Suspenders. We were fairly certain that we'd be sticking around Nacogdoches for another year, we were both brainstorming about where we'd work during that time, and Thomas was looking into grad schools for August 2010 admission. Well Thomas did quit, we took a family road trip, and Trinity convinced us to advance our time tables. A year later, we've sold our home, made new friends, are 1/5+ done with Thomas MA, and are packing for move #4 in our 4 year marriage.

Which is why I couldn't find the original letters to continue this little tradition (yes, we've done it twice, it's tradition):

Still pretty cute, no?

I will say, each time we've done this I felt like it was a complete failure until I laid the pictures out. Eden didn't want to sit still when she was 6 months, and she doesn't want to sit down now either. (Notice how at 6 months Eden still had to be propped up with pillows?? Crawling at 5 months, sitting up at 7, that's our girl). The pictures are a bit blurry, but all the attitude adds charm.

Thomas- thanks for being an amazing dad. You juggle all your roles with grace and never complain. All you out there who think this is a hyperbole, it's not. He NEVER COMPLAINS. In fact, I think he rather enjoys it :).Everything you do is for your family's benefit and Eden is so blessed to have you as a father.

This sounds like someone else I know..... oh yeah... my dad!!! Daddy I love you too. What great men I have in my life, and what great examples of God's love for Eden.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Texas Part III

I talk a lot about my passions on this blog: my family, cooking, crafting. It's seems odd that I haven't spoken much about a certain group of people, so pardon the delay, and without further adieu here are 5 of my favorite 9 people in the world:

These lovely people started coming into my life when I was 2, then 4, then 5, then in middle school, and finally junior high. They have always been my closest, dearest friends. We are sometimes referred to as "the 10"- seven girls, three guys. We've become nutritionists, teachers, cpa's, doctors, producers, moms- but when we get together we're still silly junior high kids who astound all in our presence (and annoy our spouses) with our ability to pick up as if we graduated high school yesterday. Our group has grown as spouses join, and I'm delighted that it's about to grow a little more (and not just because I won't be the only one with a kid anymore!).

I wish the little baby shower that we'd planned for Nikki was all the blogging I had to do to cover how I spent part of my Texas vacation, but Nikki and Shane's road to parenthood got a little bumpy the third day I was in town. Many of you who read this blog already know the story and have been praying hard for their little family, and believe me, God has heard those prayers and is answering them. Shane had a massive stroke- a pretty rare event for a strapping young man of 29. They have yet to figure out the cause of the blood clot that triggered the stroke. After a few days in ICU- Shane had to have a very risky emergency brain surgery. Despite the severity of the stroke, Shane is making a remarkable recovery, and are currently in Dallas under the care of one of the best stroke rehabilitation programs. Their son Landon Shane is due August 26th. Prayers for his quick recovery and Nikki and Landon's health are still needed!

We changed our East Texas co-ed BBQ shower last minute to a girly night out in downtown Dallas. We stopped by the hospital to hang out with Shane for a bit and then whisked Nikki away to The Iron Cactus- a contemporary Mexican restaurant.

This is Nikki:

She is unbelievably strong, brave, and the best advocate for her husband's care that I've seen. And no, she is not drinking three alcoholic drinks while pregnant. We asked our waiter if they had any virgin versions of their famous drinks and when he said no we asked him to just make something pretty. So he did, and did, and did again. How sweet was that!?

And the food was FANTASTIC. This is my lobster ravioli with grilled vegetables and pesto sauce:

The cake was ordered in East Texas a month ago and had to be transported to Dallas, via Ft Worth. There is a very funny story about how it survived traffic and Texas heat only to have an accident in the parking lot at the very end, but it's best heard in person, specifically in the presence of Elizabeth Carter and her contagious laugh. It was still pretty darn cute and delicious (thanks to Lori Darnell in Carthage):

Did I mention we had a celebrity sighting at the restaurant? Thomas Haden Church

After taking Nikki back to Shane, the rest of us crashed at Cyndi's new house in Ft Worth. She has always been the best hostess, in part because she always feeds us the most amazing food :). Breakfast was strawberry soup, crescents, and scrambled eggs. YUM. I urge you all to try this- yogurt, milk, strawberries, and sugar, whipped into perfect submission.

Time to stop blogging and start packing!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Texas Part II

One of the most exciting things about our trip to Texas was meeting the newest member of our family- our niece Kilsyth Jane Middlebrook, and oh my, she is the sweetest thing! Thanks to Eden's Mamere I even got a few days to spend alone with her (and her mommy of course). Anna was such a huge blessing for me when Eden was an infant and it was incredible to be able to do a little for her. When Eden was around, she was a super awesome cousin, making sure baby Kilsy was covered up and had a pacifier at all times. Oh, and pointing out her little ears, nose, and toes.

We even realized they had matching outfits:

Oh, and she does this awesome thing with her eyes when she is in her carseat?

Did I mention the enormous amount of coffee drinking? We spent most mornings lounging on Java Jack's couch, drawing with crayons, and chatting with locals and old friends.

It was really nice to visit my old paintings (so excited that they've moved them all into the main room), have nice barristas, and drink a decent latte with coffee art.

After a bit of searching and talking to locals, we have found that there are a few coffee shops in Highwood (our future home). They're a bit smaller- bakeries and small grocers that sell cappuccinos and have a few  tables- but hey- if they're nice, the coffee tastes good, and it's not Starbucks it'll be a big improvement on our current spot. Java Jack's, you're a hard act to follow.

Back to Kilsyth- as soon as we heard Anna and Ryan were on their way to the hospital and to be expecting her soon, I started on a present. Not being there was driving me crazy so I distracted my self with pretty fabrics and prayed for all her little toes and fingers while I worked on a blanket. The inside is pink minkie fabric (the really soft fuzzy kind with raised dots). Her parents kept her name a secret until her birth.A few hours after she was born I put on the finishing touches and shipped it off to her.

I'm already missing my daily updates on her sleeping schedule and hearing her cute little noises. I almost feel like a baby person now :).

Home.. at least for a little while longer

We're home! I have a lot to share about our 4 week vacation in Texas. Thomas and I drove down May 14th and he flew back a week later. Eden and I stayed behind for another three weeks to play with Kilsyth Jane (our new niece) and all the grandparents and to drink copious amounts of Java Jacks coffee. This is only my second full day home and I'm pretty beat so for this post I just want to brag on my daughter for being the most awesome traveling toddler. Ever.

Here's a snapshot of the morning we left Illinois. It was 5:30 am and Eden wanted all of the stuff from her crib to come with her.

A lot of people were worried about the drive Eden and I faced for the trip home. Me + Toddler + 16 hours trapped in a car =  *gasp* totally manageable. We ROCKED the socks off  HWY 55, not so much Interstate 294- but that was only 40 minutes at the very end. I dare say I would do it again.

I also want to briefly mention that in grand Katie and Thomas "pile life on when things get crazy" fashion- we're moving soon! I just got back from 4 weeks in Texas, Thomas just started his 4th week of a 6 week intensive Hebrew 1 & 2 summer session, and we've only been in our apartment for 6 months. We enjoy the small space we're in, but have realized that we need more space for Thomas to work. Luckily, we found the first story of a cute house for rent- with access to a basement that Thomas can use as an office. Man Cave! We are moving on a Wednesday and Thomas finishes class on Thursday- so we get a moving company- YAYAYAYAYAY. The next couple weeks will be dedicated to packing up our apartment and generally trying not to explode from excitement about the coolness of our new place. There is a park directly across the street, the community is ultra old school italian, there is a bocce ball club, two Italian grocers, 1 french, 1 american, and 2 italian bakeries, and our favorite fancy restaraunts, and an indian food hole in the wall. Did I mention it's all within 0.5 miles walking distance of our house?? 7 minute commute to campus. The beach is 1.5 miles away!! And our landlord is from Italy. SUPER EXCITED.

More Texas' tales to come, stay tuned!