Sunday, August 18, 2013

Introducing Emmy Taylor W.

Remember that baby that my sister was supposed to have 4 days before I had Lincoln?  Well... she arrived one week early, and she could not be any more adorable!

She's a teeny, tiny thing at 6 lbs. 7oz, and only 17 3/4 inches long, has gorgeous dark brown hair, and is an absolute sweetie.  We are already in love with our newest little niece.


Luckily, Lincoln has decided not to follow in his cousin's footsteps and come a week early. We were holding our breath because my doctor, who we love, was out of town until today. Lincoln's apparently a good boy who minds his mommy and enjoys his chocolate shakes. (I've been pep talking him about staying put, and promising him a daily supply of his favorite treat if he just stays in there 'til his due date. I've also explained that the ice cream ends for a looooong time when he comes out. He seems to get it.) We made it through the week, and are now officially due in 6 days. Crazy. Wish us luck! We can't believe it.

Here's my 38 week belly shot.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

By Jove... I think we've done it!

We are finally hitting the point where the majority of house decisions have been made and we are able to get a little more excited about the whole thing each time we inspect the building progress (HALLELUJAH! All that's left design-wise is the cabinets... then the electrical... then the landscaping...ok... still seems like a lot). It's such a nice feeling after all the stress of finding the perfect location, and then the stress of deciding on floor plans, and colors, and windows and... grout (really? There are different grouts? Oh, only about 500! And I get to make the decision in 5 seconds flat. Awesome!). Don't even get me started on the stucco decision process... oh the stucco (won't even get into how many different shades of poop green a normal looking sample of brown stucco can look like once it's on a house and not a swatch).

ANYWAY, point being... we are starting to enjoy the whole process a bit more the last few days as some of the big decisions wind down. :)  We really feel like we've found the right place for us, and feel really blessed because we admittedly had some crazy criteria:

*Numero uno our list: we wanted our own little neck of the woods.  As weird as it sounds, coming back from 5 years alone in D.C. I knew that we needed somewhere where we would be close enough to family and friends to get together easily and often, but still have our own space... our own ward... our own retreat. With sisters, friends and cousins all building like crazy, I didn't think it would happen (goodness, that could come across wrong! If you are a relative or friend who's recently built, you know I love you to pieces and love being around you, right? You get me and my odd quirks. I'm weird about my space... and just weird. So no offense taken? :)). CHECK.  Our little neighborhood is the perfect haven, full of strangers, but still close enough to all our loved ones that we can enjoy them often. 

*I didn't want to live in my old stomping grounds. I wanted a fresh location and adventure. CHECK. (Not sure I even knew Bluffdale existed when I was growing up. :))

*Brian needed a short commute. CHECK. (Although, anything seems short compared to the hour and a half in D.C.). 

*We wanted it to have people having kiddos. CHECK. We've already met a few girls who are pregnant too... I think it will be baby land. And there was a good mix of older people too. You know how at home Brian and I felt on our Holland America Cruise? Loved it, and will love having older people around.

*We needed it to just feel right, and after weeks and weeks of looking, and checking out lots of awesome locations, were starting to doubt that could happen. But, CHECK. Something finally felt like it was just... it.

*Last, but not least, we needed it to be chuck full of BYU graduates and fans.  Ha ha ha... ok, that was NOT a criteria, but it was pretty awesome to get called over to our neighbor's house the last time we were visiting the lot, and get introduced to all of our surrounding neighbors (seriously...a dessert party with like 20 people), all of which were connected to BYU in some way and sporting BYU grill covers. We're moving to Cougar Nation! :) (Not cool that I was in my pjs/lounge clothes, with absolutely no makeup on, rocking the 'I'm 8 months pregnant and starting to be really uncomfortable' look. Alas. Great first impression.)

To mellow out the perfection and keep us grounded, there are some downers... the big HOA fee, which we swore we'd never do... the 120 days from start to finish dragging out way past that (looks like we're looking at mid-November to move in)... interest rates climbing... making cabinet decisions... and did I mention the stucco? :)  But all in all, I think, by Jove, we've done it! Or rather, been led to it... the perfect spot for us.  (Keep your fingers crossed that I haven't spoken too soon...or jinxed us...)

Now, after all the blabber (sorry... I don't journal these days, so some of these turn into a record for me...)... some photos of the framing. It's coming right along! (And so is baby Lincoln! Look at that tummy!)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy 24th of July!

We celebrated the 24th by eating so much delicious BBQ that I thought I was going to pop, and then lighting off fireworks in the front yard. Tons of fun.

We also realized that baby Linc is scheduled to arrive in ONE MONTH!!!! Aughhhhhhhhh! (That's a shriek of excitement and sheer terror... all rolled into one.)  We can't believe it, but thought it deserved a belly shot to document the day.

Hope you all enjoyed your Pioneer Day!

Well, Mr. Lincoln Alexander...

there are some things you should know. First, Mommy and Daddy sincerely apologize for the trendiness of Alexander that is about to commence, and promise that we had you named long before the royal baby madness. :) We named you after the city where the three of us got our start--good ole Alexandria, VA--and since we love it, and have already embroidered your name on your quilt... you are stuck as one of the masses. :) 

That's right... embroidered your name on the quilt. Mommy said it, and Mommy doesn't sew (which you probably guessed after hearing her growl, shriek and do everything but throw a sewing machine across the room while working on her little sewing projects for weeks and weeks). But you are oh-so-loved, and Mommy wanted you to have something made by her, just for you. So here they are; your little quilt, receiving blanket, and burp cloths (the cute decorative corners and name band on the quilt might or might not have come about to disguise major sewing mistakes, but you didn't hear that from me). 


Much love baby boy. We'll see you in a month!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It might just be a hole in the ground...

but it's our hole!

So excited. It's finally started...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tummy Travels

I never realized how much my tummy gets around! (Hm...weird way to begin any kind of conversation, but hear me out...)  Last night Brian and I were chatting about the fun places Little Boy L has already been in his 28 short weeks of existence, and we came up with a fairly decent list: South Carolina; Washington DC; Virginia; Chesapeake Bay, MD; Salt Lake City; and the additions of the past two weekends, Disneyland, Newport Beach, Lagoon and Yuba Lake. World traveler already. Just the way we like 'em.  :)

Our 5th Anniversary celebration in Disneyland was a whirlwind of fun, exhaustion and yummy food. We spent the day (the whole day... 8:30-10:45) Saturday in Disneyland and California Adventure, riding every ride I was allowed to go on, and catching 2 amazing night shows (Fantasmic and World of Color). By mid-day, Baby L was asleep, and we didn't feel him get feisty again for a couple of days. Wore him right out (and his mommy too!).  Talk about FUN! We spent an hour or two off our feet that afternoon enjoying the incredible atmosphere of the Blue Bayou Restaurant, which was a definite highlight (isn't Pirates always a highlight?). But mostly we just ran around like two crazy kids.

Sunday was beach day, and Newport was beautiful.  We enjoyed the drive down in our awesome rental car (although, finding a parking spot was NOT fun... we ended up lucking out and getting the perfect one in the end, but we were beginning to wonder), laying on the sand, walking the boardwalk and just relaxing the day away.

Monday we were back at Disney early, where I FINALLY talked Brian into walking on to some of the big kid rides (Indy, Matterhorn and Splash Mountain).  He did them all within the first hour (reluctantly, but of us had to do it. Once I convinced him it was either him or me, he decided to get on board). Awesome!  Then we re-rode some of our favorites, introduced Baby to Mickey, enjoyed a yummy lunch and played the day away until we had to head to the airport at 4.  Awesome weekend, and awesome way to celebrate 5 years. Love my boy... boys. :)

This past weekend, we were at it again. Friday was Brian's work Lagoon day. His company had the whole park rented out, so it was fun to stroll in the zero crowds park, enjoy lunch, meet his co-workers, run into one of my best friends and her adorable family, enjoy a couple of rides and win Baby a stuffed ginger fox playing ski ball (okay, so technically I was 10 points short, but the worker took pity on the pregnant lady and bestowed a gift).

Straight from Lagoon, it was off to Yuba Lake to meet my parents for a fun weekend of camping, relaxing in the shade, scenic walks, playing games, eating yummy food and enjoying the lake.  It was lovely.

Needless to say, Baby L and I are exhausted, and plan on spending the day with our feet up. Oh-so-worth it, though, to get our summer started with such a bang!

Here's to lots more tummy and post-tummy travels!

(Oh, and as always, all our favorite photos from Disneyland and Yuba Lake are being stored on facebook ).

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dear Baby Boy...

Call it wishful thinking, but Daddy and I have already noticed some pretty amazing things about you while you've been floating around doing your thing in my tummy.

First, you're such a good little guy. We like to think that you have something to do with the fact that Mommy never got morning sickness, but even if not, you definitely have been responsible for avoiding her bladder. I love you for steering clear, and not making me run for a bathroom any more than usual. You are a sweet, mellow baby, and every ultrasound we've had shows you contentedly sucking your thumb, or gently tapping your umbilical cord with your little toes, or even kissing the inside of Mommy's tummy.  No crazy flips, or acrobatics or somersaults.  Just mellow rolls and ankle crossing. You always gently tap, and never pummel Mommy (except when I eat Indian food, then craziness ensues. We don't know if this means you love it and can't contain your excitement, or hate it and think you are being poisoned... but the one time I ate it, you were going crazy enough that I thought you might be in distress). Daddy likes to proudly say that you're a good little guy who treats his mommy right. We're hoping all this means that you have Daddy's easy-going temperament, and not that you're saving up all your energy for when you come out and meet us.

You are always content to let Mommy do her thing, and seem to be especially content (or lulled into comatose-like sleep... take your pick) on the days she takes her long morning walks with PaPa. When Daddy and I went to Disneyland last weekend, you happily tagged along for a 8:30am-10:45pm day of riding rides and standing in lines, even though I probably didn't take breathers as often as I should have. I like to joke that the only time you seem to get a bit moody and insistent is when I've gone a bit too long between meals...just like your daddy.  You like your food, and you like it in a timely manner. Once you're fed, the nudging usually stops, and you're back to your happy go lucky self.

When you were just starting out and only weeks old, you LOVED your vegetables. The one "pregnancy craving" moment your mommy remembers was in the middle of the night while at the in-laws house for Christmas. I was suddenly starving and HAD to have veggies--to the point that I was almost in tears. Daddy sweetly snuck out of bed and came back with a whole plate of celery sticks, carrots, pickles, peppers, broccoli, and some gluten free ranch dressing he'd somehow wrestled up. I was in heaven, and DEVOURED the WHOLE plate of veggies in no time flat. Unfortunately, in the months since then you went through a long stage of HATING veggies (eating them was torture for Mommy), and then being lukewarm about them, which is weird since I've always loved them before you came along. Luckily, your aversion has been improving the past month or so.

Your favorite food throughout has been anything dairy. You had me a bit concerned during the stage when I was eating cereal for breakfast, yogurt and string cheese for a late morning snack, a cheese sandwich for lunch, cottage cheese and pears for an afternoon snack and a big glass of milk with some kind of cheesy dinner. But you've become a bit less ravenous for the moo the last few months.

Daddy seems to have the same magical, calming effect on you that he has on Mommy. He didn't get to feel you move for quite awhile because whenever you were a tappin' and I'd get Daddy's hand to the spot, you'd instantly stop.

You are almost 28 weeks old now, and the past 5 weeks or so you've been growing like a weed. The past couple of weeks, people have begun feeling comfortable asking Mommy if she is pregnant.

Me and your Aunt Meggie at 25ish weeks.
But what we've noticed most of all about you is how much you are already loved. Even though your nursery is nonexistent, and baby planning often gets put on the back burner because of the all the craziness of moving and house building, and sometimes Mommy and Daddy might seem to completely forget that a baby is on the way, we promise we are already in love. We couldn't feel more blessed and can't wait to get to know your sweet little self even better.

Mwah baby boy. We'll be seeing you soon!

Monday, April 22, 2013

It's a...

Friday, April 5, 2013

Making Appearances

We are safe and sound in Utah and have made somewhat of an appearance in our new life... I think. Things have been wild and surreal enough that we're still not quite sure what is happening!

Brian DID make his appearance at work, and has just about wrapped up his first week. He is still adjusting and missing old friends, but enjoying everything else I think. He's more rested than he's been in forever, and is definitely enjoying the 15 minute commute that's replaced the hour + one he had in D.C.

I've been making lots and lots of appearances at model homes throughout the valley, trying to figure out our living situation. No end in sight.

My parents have been making appearances any and every time we need help. From packing us up and loading the truck, to driving across the country, unpacking us, helping me wash our travel weary cars, and touring model homes... they haven't missed a beat. We are truly blessed to have such love and support.

And last but not least, our little one has finally decided to make his/her grand appearance.  I think he/she got as bored as we did while driving through Wyoming (WORST state EVER), needed something to do, and turned on the growth spurts.  I left Alexandria with no real bump in sight, and now... whala. So, as requested, a belly photo for your viewing...enjoyment? :)

20 weeks down. 20 more to go.  I can't believe we find out what this little munchkin will be on Friday (hopefully, anyway).  With the move and all the craziness, I have a feeling he/she will be making his appearance into our lives before we even have time to know what hit us!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oh boy... or girl

So, funny story that I haven't got around to telling yet...

Picture a cold, early morning in December. Brian is in bed SOOOOOOOOoooooo sick and out of it (sick enough that later that day he went to the doctor, which if you know him you know means something).  This is about the time I see one too many lines on a pregnancy test, and come out to tell Brian, "Um...I think there is something you should see in the bathroom."  He seemed to catch my drift immediately, which is good because when you think about what I said the weird possibilities are endless. :)  He stumbled out of bed, confirmed the positive result and... we proceeded to pat each other on the back and side hug (literally) while he tried to contain his germs and express his excitement. It was like a scene after a basketball game: "Good game, Sport!" Before too long, I was laughing hysterically. "Not quite how I pictured us reacting to finding out we were having our first child... you?" Priceless.

So there you have it. We are having a baby!  August 24th is the estimated go-time, so at 16 1/2 weeks we don't know if it's a boy or a girl quite yet, but since we don't really have a preference either way and we've had almost all of our kids named for years and years... :)  We should be good to go. We are excited, and freaked out, and happy, and every other emotion imaginable (especially on Amber's side...ha ha ha).

The pregnancy has been great so far. I've been exhausted, but haven't had morning sickness (hallelujah... man do I feel blessed), and the doctor tells us that the baby and I look perfect.

And one more thing I should throw out there, as if that news isn't enough... Brian and I have been incredibly busy lately. (Hmm...somehow, I feel that could come across wrong. Rephrase: "Brian and I have more crazy news that has been keeping us busy"? Hmmm... oh well. Onward.)  Two weeks from today, we will roll out of our cute little apartment in a moving truck.  Headed for (drum roll please).... Utah! It's all happened super fast. When we found out I was pregnant, we started looking at job options closer to family just for fun, not really thinking anything would come of it. He applied for a perfect sounding position in the internal auditing department of, and within a couple of days had an interview. A couple weeks ago, they flew him out for another interview, and a couple days later offered him the job. It's a great opportunity, and with everything falling into place the way it is, we feel like it's being divinely orchestrated.  We are excited and happy, but also super sad to leave this beautiful area that we've called home for 5 years. We've loved it. But we also love family, so 2013 should be good to us.

How's that for turning your life completely upside down all at once? :)  This is what we do, though: start new chapters of our lives with a completely clean slate. We get married, and start completely fresh in VA. We start a family, and start completely over in UT. Looking back at how well the first 5 years of our marriage went, we think this next chapter will be awesome too.

Virginia friends, we will miss you like crazy and BEG you to keep in touch. Utah friends and family, the THREE of us will be seeing you soon!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Weekend at the Bay

When Brian handed me my Valentine this year, it was a message in an adorable purple bottle (cork and all). The rolled up message told me we were headed to a historic B&B on the Eastern Shore of Maryland the first weekend in March. So excited. And the timing of the trip couldn't have been more perfect.  After one of the most stressful, crazy weeks I can remember in quite a long time, we loaded up the car Friday morning and drove away from it all.

The Combsberry Inn in Oxford, Maryland was secluded (think Maryland country land... no neighbors... driving down a loooooong tree lined lane to get to the manor...), right on the water (the Chesapeake Bay area is beautiful), filled with migrating geese (fields and fields full), and oh-so-relaxing.

The highlights:

*Having the whole carriage house to ourselves. No one else was booked for that weekend, so the shared living space, with a fireplace and full kitchen, became ours all ours. The whole back of the house was windows, and the view of the water was scrumptious.

*Laughing as snow flurries set in at night, and then sitting by the fire chatting for hours before diving into frozen pizzas, hot chocolate, games and movies.

*Strolling through quaint St. Michaels, shivering and popping in antique shops, souvenir shops, Christmas shops and everything in-between.

*Getting let into the Maritime Museum for free, since they were closing, and getting to climb to the top of the Hopper Straight Lighthouse (which is all we really wanted to do at the Maritime Museum, so it worked out amazingly).

*Receiving an oh-so-cute breakfast basket each morning, complete with gluten-free muffins, yogurt, and mason jars of delicious orange juice and fresh fruit.

*Having Brian say to me the morning we checked out, " now that we're leaving I can say this. Sleeping here at night scared the bajeebies out of me!"  I couldn't believe it, especially considering the night before we'd heard a noise out in the living area, and he'd stormed out ready to take on the bad guy.  Hilarious. I'm not sure why he'd be scared: sleeping in a mostly glass house, in the middle of nowhere, pitch black all around, no cell service... seems safe to me. :)

All in all, the perfect weekend away. Couldn't have asked for a better gift. Or hubbie. Just love.

As always, more photos on facebook.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Twas the Season For...

Posh Parties...

Bri's work party

Capitol Christmas Trees... Simply capital my dear fellow...

Capitol Christmas Tree: Good job Colorado!

Enchanted Fairylands...

Amazing train and fairy land at the National Botanic Garden

Winter Wonderlands...

Inside the Gaylord Resort at National Harbor

Twinkling Christmas Lights...(and the Young Men in our ward riding nativity camels, but I digress...)...

Washington D.C. Temple

Family Togetherness...

Gingerbread contest in S.C. We revisted Brugge, Belgium
Ice skating with Bri's family was a fun addition to the festivities
Miss Maggie fell asleep during her pony ride
Me and one of my besties ever, Miya

Newsworthy Beginnings

Pieces of the Berlin Wall at the Newseum in D.C. on New Year's Eve.
Touching a piece of history--Pretty awesome
We all know I don't really need the permission above my head...
Yep...our holiday season was pretty hectic, lovely and full of good things. We hope yours was too, that you've recovered from all the festivities, and that you are as pumped for 2013 as we are. 13 is my lucky number, afterall, so I think it's going to be a fantastic year!
The full photo album is HERE for you photo lovers out there.