Monday, December 17, 2007

Baby Jobe's birthday...

...will be Tuesday, February 19, unless he decides to come earlier! I just scheduled my C-section this morning. They'll start the surgery at 8:30, so shortly thereafter we'll have our little boy! Several people have asked if we've decided on a name yet, and the answer is....sort of. We have a name we both like, but there are still a couple others that could be contenders. We probably won't decide for sure until he's born, and unfortunately for everyone else, you won't find out until then anyway (we like to keep it a secret!). Everything with baby is going well. I heard his strong, steady heartbeat this morning and so far I'm still feeling pretty good other than some occasional lower back pain. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers! These last 9 weeks are going to fly!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Pictures

We just took our annual Christmas card picture, and came out with several really good ones. I wanted to get my big belly in the picture so little baby Jobe could be recognized! We didn't end up going with either one of these but I thought they were worth posting. :-)

This one cracks me up because we were telling Amelia to kiss the baby, and it ended up looking like Bryan and I were squashing her in between our tummies!

Happy Jobes!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Holiday Tag

Welcome to the Holiday edition of getting to know your friends.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Definitely wrapping paper; I usually get several different prints so I can wrap each family member's gifts in his/her own paper. This makes it much easier to find everyone's gifts.
2. Real tree or artificial? We have two artificial ones, although I really like the smell of a real one.
3. When do you put up the tree? Never, ever until after Thanksgiving. This year we put it up the day after.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually the first week in January.
5. Do you like eggnog? Oh yes...the light kind.
6. What about Fruitcake? Not really, but I like Billie Haske's fruitcake cookies!
7. Favorite gift received as a child? Hmmm...I'm not sure. I guess that means I liked everything!
8. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, a Willow Tree Angel one. I really like it!
9. Hardest person to buy for? My dad and Bryan's parents.
10. Easiest person to buy for? My sister
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Well this one wasn't really the worst, but it was funny: One year when Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage, I really wanted one. We went to see the mall Santa and when it was my turn, he asked me if I wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid. For some reason, it embarrassed (maybe annoyed?) me that he knew what I wanted, so I said, "no, I just want a big doll." So I got a big doll, and was duly disappointed. Moral of the story: if Santa guesses right, go with it.
12. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail them.
13. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story, although I love most all Christmas movies.
14. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually not until after Thanksgiving, and I get stressed out about it. But...this year I am already all done! Hooray!
15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Hmmm...probably, although I can't remember for sure.
16. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? sausage cheese balls, gumdrop cookies
17. Clear lights or colored on the tree? clear lights on the "pretty" tree upstairs, multicolored ones on the "family" tree downstairs
18. Favorite Christmas song? too hard to pick! I am fond of Michael Buble's Christmas CD, Manheim Steamroller's CDs, and, of course, the Smith Family Singers Christmas CDs. Oh yeah.
19. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Usually we travel either on Christmas or Thanksgiving. This year we stayed for T'giving and we're staying for Christmas, but my family is coming up for Christmas.
20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? yes
21. Angel on the tree top or a star? Upstairs, lots of bows and stuff; downstairs, a star
22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning.
23. What is the one present you want most this year? This year, nothing in particular is sticking out to me.
24. Most annoying thing about this time of year? How early places start putting out Christmas stuff...before Halloween. Seriously, people.
25. What I love most about Christmas? It's cheesy, but the Christmas spirit everyone has, and just the festive atmosphere about it all

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Birthday, Amelia!

This week, Amelia turned three years old. I can hardly believe I have a child that old...time really does fly! I've come to the conclusion, though, that in the future I need to associate Halloween with Amelia's birthday, because by the time it's over, her birthday is only two weeks away! This led to me being a slacker this year, losing track of time and forgetting to plan a party in advance. Unfortunately for her, Thanksgiving is the week after her birthday, so we can't really do a party the week after, so if she has a party this year, it'll be in December. Yikes! I haven't made a cake for her yet, but I will...that way I won't feel so bad. Fortunately, she's still so small, she doesn't really get the concept of timing, so I'm sure a birthday celebration at any time of the year will be fine with her. :-) Below are some pictures from our birthday celebration (we had some friends out with us to Red Robin) and various presents. Not pictured are a set of instruments (triangle, bells, and tambourine) which she loves, from the Parkers, several cards, and a couple of movies (Cinderella from the Hortons and a princess movie from Mom and Dad). She had quite the haul!


Amelia with Cranky, from Aunt Abby
the new Thomas umbrella (from Mom and Dad)
The bicycle (from Grandma and Grandpa)
Strawberry Shortcake (from Uncle Kent, Aunt Cara, Derek and Austin)
Matching outfits for Amelia and Bitty Baby (from Nana and Pops)
everyone at Red Robin sings to Amelia
a Snow White dress (fromthe Perrys)
the Dora big sister house (from Matt and Jessica)
having a tea party (from Mom and Dad)

Amelia and her tri-colored friend...

Here's a short photo slideshow documenting Amelia and Fletcher's relationship to this point. We've got some great pictures over the last 3 years, so we thought it would be good to put them together in some way...enjoy! (it's about 6 minutes long and has music)



video

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trunk-or-Treat and Halloween

Our church's annual Trunk-or-Treat party was Sunday night, and this year our Life Group decided to go dressed as Star Wars characters. It was pretty cool...we had Star Wars music playing, and Yoda had fog coming out from him! Amelia really had fun at Trunk-or-Treat, especially when we found the other little princesses.

Our Life Group

Bryan as Darth Maul and our friend Matt as Chewbacca


Me as Padme Amidala right after she's had Luke and Leia (the two dolls)


Amy Jo as a Jedi and Lance as Yoda (our preacher and his wife!)


Amelia as Cinderella


Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)

Amelia with her friend Caleb, dressed as Mike Hart (Go Blue!)

Amelia poses with her Cinderella doll


Amelia ventures down our sidewalk to trick-or-treat (Daddy was right behind her!)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Weekend in NYC

We just got back from a weekend in NYC . It had been a while since Amelia and I were up there to see my parents, and Bryan had some business meetings, so we combined the trip. Actually, the main reason we chose this particular time to go was that I really wanted to see a certain limited-run play on Broadway, but more about that in a moment. Here are some highlights from our trip.

First, Amelia was thrilled to find that there are different toys at Nana and Pops' house! I had forgotten that my mom had kept several of my old Barbie dolls and their various outfits. It was quite a trip down memory lane for me to see those dolls, and it was really weird to me that my daughter was playing with me, with my dolls. Anyway, Amelia also immensly enjoyed playing with the Strawberry Shortcake figurines we used to have. In case you're wondering, by the way, you can still faintly smell their individual scents!

Mom and Dad had to teach lessons all three days we were there, so that meant I had to keep Amelia occupied (see toy story above)! However, she did manage to escape every so often to charm Pops' students and impress them with her impressions of their vocal warm-ups. She even treated a few to some choreography to accompany their arias! I should've gotten video of this...it was pretty funny.

In planning for our trip, I'd done some research on fun kid stuff to do in the city, and one of the main things I wanted to do was go to Central Park. However, as Murphy's Law would have it, it rained every day we were there and cleared up beautifully just as we got in the car to go to the airport. So, the only day we ventured out much was to go right across the street to the playground, which was a great outlet for Amelia to run around and yell a lot! She didn't know what she was missing with Central Park anyway, so to her the playground was pretty cool.

While we were there we did enjoy an outing to New Jersey; we had dinner at Rich and Linda Spivey's house (our good friend Matt's parents' place), which is palatial to say the least! We had a great time visiting with them and drooling over their amazing place. Amelia especially enjoyed playing with the assortment of rubber duckies and chasing their cat, Sam.

The bad part about our trip (aside from the yucky weather) was that Bryan was really sick the whole time with flu-like symptoms. He barely had a voice starting Thursday night, and by Friday night he had a fever and awful chills. Fortunately I think he's on the mend, but it sure is no fun to be sick, especially when you're not at home and when you're on vacation. Amelia also had a cough, but I think hers is just a little cold and she'll be fine. Thankfully, we have some time to rest now that we're back at home.

So I've saved the best for last! I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I'd wanted to come during October because of a limited-run play on Broadway. For those of you that don't know, I'm a big fan of the TV show "Alias" and especially its star, Jennifer Garner. I'd heard from various sources that she was going to be in a Broadway revival of "Cyrano de Bergerac" with Kevin Kline playing the title role, and so I thought, wow, it would be awesome to go to that! Then I thought, well, why couldn't we go to that? After all, my parents do live in New York, and Bryan has a lot of clients in the area, so we could do a business/pleasure trip (and get one-third of it paid for, thanks to Omnicare). So I mentioned it to my mom, and both of us did a little research and found out when it opened (Oct. 12 in previews). I wanted to catch it toward the beginning of the run to make sure all the original cast would be performing, so that's why we chose this weekend--not the first week, but not too late--and we got the tickets for Bryan, me, and my parents (all of whom are also big Alias fans) to go. So....Friday night we saw the performance, which was really great. Kevin Kline is brilliant and natural as Cyrano, and Jennifer Garner is a heartfelt, sweet Roxane. We thoroughly enjoyed the play, and afterwards we waited by the stage door to see who we could see. So see below...





Yes, friends, that is me with Jennifer Garner. Woo hoo! She was very gracious to all the fans outside the stage door and patiently signed lots of autographs, took lots of pictures, and was sweet and thankful to the audience for coming. It was a really cool experience for all of us to get to meet her. I told Bryan that this trip, and the tickets to the play, were my early birthday present, so thanks for my present, Bryan! It was a really great birthday and a good trip.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fletcher

When I was a kid, my family didn't have a dog (at least not until I was in sixth grade, and we got a Scottish Terrier, which was completely the wrong dog for our family, and only kept him about a year) and I envied kids who had a trusty old dog in the family. I always knew that when I had my own place, I'd want a dog.

Fortunately, Bryan is a dog person too, and right after we got married he REALLY wanted a dog. As impractical as I knew it was, I caved and we got Baxter, a very feisty little beagle. Sadly, we had to put him to sleep due to an accident after we'd only had him nine months or so . We were absolutely crushed! Baxter died the week we were moving up to Michigan, and we were going to be in an apartment there, so we knew we couldn't get another dog right away.
After we'd lived in Michigan almost a year, we found our house (with a fenced-in yard, of course) and knew we were ready for another beagle, so we did some searching around and found beagle puppies about an hour away. We got Fletcher when he was about two months old, and we've had him ever since! Here is what he looked like as a puppy:


Anyway, we've had Fletcher for four and a half years now, and as goofy as it is, he's a member of our family. He is a super laid-back dog who sleeps most of the day and barks or eats in his free time. One of the greatest things about him is how wonderful he is with Amelia. Since the day we brought her home from the hospital, he's been her buddy. He lets her pull on his ears and tail, play with his food bowl, and chase him around. She, of course, loves this, and I think he secretly doesn't mind the attention. I could probably put together a whole photo album of pictures we've taken of the two of them together, and I may do it some day. They are quite a pair to watch. Here's their latest couple of pics:



Amelia likes to lay down by Fletcher exactly the way he's laying. My favorite thing about this one is how they're the same size! And this next one is really sweet:




So now you know a little about Fletcher. He's crazy, but we love him. Beagles can live to be 15 or 16 years old, so it's possible that I could be 40 and still have this dog. Pretty wild...and I don't really want to think about what it would be like any other way!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Joining the rest of the world

So...we finally decided to join the rest of the world in creating a blog for our family news! We've enjoyed friends' and family's blogs so much, and we thought this would be a good, easy way to give small updates on Amelia's funny stuff, baby news, etc.

First, here are pictures from our 20 week ultrasound:

1)A face-front view of Baby Jobe.

2)Baby's footprint pressing against the camera.

3)It is, indeed, a boy...look right above the word "boy."

4)Baby's profile.

And now for Amelia's latest funnies:

1)The other day I was calling for Amelia and discovered her in Bryan's office with the door closed. When I went in, she was seated at the computer; I asked her to come with me to the living room and she replied, "Um, sorry, I'm preparing for my meeting." Wow.

2)Amelia and I were outside playing on the deck. She started pulling on a lounge chair we have, and I asked her what she was doing. She said, "I need to bask in the sun!" For those of you who haven't read the book Olivia (by Ian Falconer), check it out. You'll get some insight in to Amelia's mind!

3)Amelia has a plastic bath book that we've read about a million times. It has three double-page spreads, each spread with an animal name, a cartoon picture of it, and a real-life picture. The animals represented are dog, cat, and cow. Amelia is doing quite well with her letters these days, and with lots of repetition and memorization, she can now spell these three words, usually like this: "c-o-w. Cow!" etc. Yesterday, all three of us were eating lunch when we asked Amelia to spell her three words. She obliged and did so perfectly, then decided to branch out: "g-a-t. Mommy!" Nice.

Hopefully Bryan and I will keep this updated often! Check back later for more family fun!