Saturday, March 24, 2012

She's HERE!!!

My beautiful niece arrived just a little while ago - at 11:12 pm - after a crazy fast delivery for Kelsey.  I'm sure she'll want to tell much much more, but I can't stand to not share the news right now!  Sweet little Blythe Kathleen Irwin -- welcome to the world!  Your Aunt Kali is head over heels for you! 

P.S.  Why do I have to live so ever-lovin far away???

P.P.S.  I have 3 precious pictures on my phone that I am trying to transfer to this computer, but I'm just not that tech saavy, nor do I have internet on my phone.  My guess is that by the time anyone reads this there will be a gazillion [much better quality] photos already posted and no one will care.  But let it be known that I tried.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

another day at home

Have I mentioned before that I LOVE being home with my girls?  Oh sure, it's a lot of work, and some days we all get a little stir crazy if we don't go anywhere.  But most days we find plenty to do around here.  Like playing on an air mattress, for instance.  It's been laying on the floor of the play room since Monday night, and everyday Caroline has found a new use for it.  I love seeing that girl's imagination come alive!  I don't exactly know what type of "use" you would call this for the mattress (maybe a stage?), but here's an example of my girls hard at play:

Did you see my little Ellie waving?!? She's growing and changing everyday it seems right now. In fact, here's something else she's been up to:

You see that little play table waaaay back in the distance?  Well that's where I left this little monkey.  Sitting up, playing nicely at her table.  Stationary.  And then I turned around and found her here!

She's quite the determined little thing.  Roll, scoot, reeeaaaach...whatever it takes to get to whatever she wants :)  She's not really crawling yet, but scooting for sure.

And this little Missy is rather proud of herself I think!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Spring has come early this year in Tennesee.  And while I'm not so sure how I feel about 85 degree days in March, we have definitely been enjoying the beauty of the change of seasons.  This time last year we were house hunting, preparing to move, and I was still nauseously pregnant which somehow caused me to feel like I missed Spring entirely.  I'm determined to not let that happen again this year, so we are thoroughly enjoying watching nature awake all around our home for the first time.  Here's a little glimpse of what's going on (slightly out of order - oh well):

Showing me some of her new flowers before church on Sunday

in front of the cherry blossom tree on Sunday

this is the same tree today -- how quickly the blossoms disappear! (that's our house in this picture, the neighbor's in the other)
Dan's been working very hard to prepare the garden this year.  We've had a compost pile since last May in hopes of improving the soil, and he built an incredible stone wall in front and back since it's on a hill.  He's planted broccoli and cauliflower now, and we think we'll be able to harvest these in May -- just in time to plant our tomatoes & squash!

When the weather warms up, the kids come out to play!  A couple of the neighbor boys joined Caroline this morning to watch a bird build a nest on our porch.  When they ask tomorrow where the nest went, I had nothing to do with it...

Will & Caroline are big buddies.  She even lets him smell her flowers -- especially when he's dressed as a super hero.

These two are lots of help for Daddy!

Dan's masterpiece - he carried all of these rocks in and built it himself.  Such a manly man.  And those red buds nearly make me sing!  (okay, so it honestly doesn't take much to make me sing.  now you know.)

It's hard to see the top one, but this was a complete double rainbow behind our house last week.  It was so beautiful I cried!  (Just kidding...but have you seen that youtube video?)
Here's to Spring sticking around for awhile...and Summer not creeping in too quickly!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We have been busy having a FANTASTIC week here in Tennessee.  On Friday, Aunt Katee ("my Katee" as Caroline likes to call her) and three of her college friends came through our little town on their way back to school after a spring break trip to Florida.  They weren't here for long, but we were grateful for even a little time together.  She got in as many squeezes as she could!

Caroline is quite the hostess - she wanted to make sure Aunt Katee got plenty of tea!
 On Sunday night, my dear friend from college Katrina and her husband Louis rolled into to town to spend a few days with us over their spring break (they're both teachers in the Houston area).  Sadly it had been 3 years since we had seen each other, and this was the first time I had met her husband of nearly 4 years (!), so needless to say we had LOTS to catch up on.  It's difficult to put into words what a blessing it was to spend time with these two.  I'm so thankful they made the loooong trip up to see us.

Caroline was fast friends with these two!

Playing on the "2pad" (as she called it) -- baking some cupcakes together

of course we waited until the last night right before bed to remember to take a picture together!  Oh well :)  Such sweet times with such a dear friend.  I am beyond grateful to still have her in my life.

These two bonded over several games of frisbee golf, Settlers of Catan, and lots of food.  I loved how it really seemed like we had known him for years, too.  Thanks for jumping right into the craziness around here, Louis!
Enjoying some pizza at the Mellow Mushroom.  The only picture of ALL of us.

An evening walk before bedtime in which both girls ended in tears before we made it back home.  Walks around our old alma mater were much less eventful!

Such a wonderful week, such dear friends. Thank you guys for making the trip! Hopefully it will be far less than three years before we see one another again!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


In an attempt to find some material for this here blog of mine, I have been attempting to take some pictures of our everyday-life the past few days.  Our lives are pretty ordinary right now, but in a very wonderful sort of way.  I sure wouldn't trade these days at home with my family for anything.

We've all been fighting "the crud" (as I like to call it), so this weekend we just stayed in and tried to rest up.  One of my favorite activities on Sunday was beauty which Caroline was the beautician and Daddy was the, um, project.  I plopped these in backwards, but you get the idea:

the finished product - isn't he purdy??

finishing touches

She was very serious about the job

My girls are just starting to actually play together, and nothing could make my heart melt faster.  I LOVE hearing these two girls giggle together, and there is still no one and nothing that can make Ellie giggle like her sister. 
Caroline likes to give Ellie rides...and she generally expects Ellie to "steer" since she is driving and all.

Caroline has entered a serious ballerina phase, and her tutu's make frequent appearances these days.  She especially enjoys dancing around Ellie.  This makes Ellie exceedingly happy, Caroline's thrilled to have an audience, and Mama stands guard to make sure the graceful dancer doesn't accidentally pummel the baby during a fall.

my Ellie girl - is there any face sweeter?

Crafting.  It's serious business being creative.

taking in a little Sesame Street while Mommy jumps through the shower (or sneaks around taking pictures)
Hanging out in a tent - another favorite pastime.  Caroline loves reading her books to Ellie, but she isn't too fond of her sister's eagerness to grab at the pages/slobber all over everything in sight.  It's a tricky business.
So there you have it, a few snapshots of our ordinary lives.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Coming soon to a blog near you...

I'm back.  It was a very long [almost] 2 months without a computer, but I am happy to report that we are back in business.  It's a long story, but it took that long to figure out if our old computer was shot or just in need of a few repairs, but thanks to the chinese new year and a few other very random bumps along the way...we finally learned that the old computer is no more.  So we promptly (as in that night) went down to the nearest Best Buy and bought a new one.  And yes, it took us that long.  Amen.

Anyway, I am busy getting this new machine organized with all my stuff and once I get it lined out, I will have lots of new material to share with you.  My girls have grown a foot since you last saw them (that's actually possible...I think)!  I'll be back soon.  If anyone out there still checks this page, that is :)