Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The First Six Weeks

Ellie is such a wonderful addition to our family and we are so thrilled to have her! The first six weeks went by in a sleepless haze, as all parents will probably remember of those newborn days. She is often awake and very alert, looking around with such curiosity, but she will usually give us a good 3-4 hour stretch of sleep in the first part of the night so that's great. The rest of the time there is not much rhyme or reason to whether she will be sleeping or not. I remind myself regularly that this is temporary, but I'm too tired to remember, so if you talk to me, feel free to tell me that I will sleep again someday. 

Caught her sleeping.
She loves a bath as long as she's not hungry.
Big, blue eyes! 
Ellie's first trip to Daddy's office and she slept through the meeting.
Our kids. Plural. Just hanging out.
All dressed up and looking so adorable!
Spending time outside with Mom. We both love the trees.

Our girl is a great eater, which comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen James eat. Like brother, like sister. She wasn't giving me much of a reprieve from breastfeeding, wanting to nurse almost constantly, so we have introduced supplemental formula. While I definitely have some mom guilt about it, it's been the right thing for us and I'm focusing on the fact that she is still nursing and getting breastmilk even if it's not exclusively.

James loves to help feed her (although you wouldn't know it from this face),
Celebrating being one month old. Completely milk drunk. Ha!
He loves to hold her and asks to do it all the time. 
He's getting to be quite the fantastic helper and the best big brother, just as we suspected.
Ellie takes great naps resting against Mom and this pack leaves me two hands free to get things done.
Win win!

As I've previously shared on this blog, my dear friend Stacy Paul is an amazing photographer and when she came over to meet Ellie, she took some beautiful pictures of her for us. Check out the full set of pictures here and enjoy a couple of them below.

I also wanted to try my hand at taking some staged newborn pictures of my gorgeous girl and including James in them as well. Our wonderful friend, Kim, gifted us a fantastic shirt for James proclaiming him "Ellie's Big Brother" and a corresponding onesie for Ellie marking her as "James' Little Sister" which I couldn't wait to take pictures of them wearing. We were also lucky enough to get a visit from Kerri (that I'll share in more detail in a future post) and she has quite the knack for staging the pictures, so we make a pretty great photography team.

Our rainbow baby wrapped up in this beautiful rainbow blanket that was handmade by our friend, Kristi. Love it so much!

Matching Shenk feet. 
These two. I melt.
He's reading Harry Potter to her. I hope he always reads to her. Always.

Our autumn arrival in a pumpkin hat snuggled into a soft blanket handmade by Stacy.

Looking so cute on a beautiful quilt handmade by the lovely and sweet Melanie
(who has 4 kids and her own business and still found time to make this gift-- so blown away!)
This sweet little outfit was once mine! 
It's never too soon to start reading!
This picture doesn't have Ellie in it, but holy cow is this kid something!
My first love.

Hanging out with her new moose friend, Timpy (named after our favorite Utah mountain, Mt. Timpanogos),
a gift from the Carignan girls, who also all have moose friends. She's part of the clan now. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Goodbye to Utah. Again.

We love Utah. And we love our friends that still live there. So, any chance we have to head west and visit, we take it! Once I got into the second trimester of my pregnancy, I started to finally feel a bit better so we took a chance that I could survive the trip and loaded up the car for a road trip. 

I'm pretty sure I was completely out of my mind. Any city that we passed that had an airport, I considered getting on a plane and leaving the boys to finish the drive. While totally worth it in the end to see some of our favorite people, I do not recommend that many hours in the car to any pregnant lady. Trust me. Don't do it.

That being said, I did do it. And survived. Go me! Due to my still unsettled stomach, I claimed the driver's seat. Chris figured if he was going to have to ride in the passenger seat, he might as well be productive, and he worked his actual job on his laptop most of the time thereby saving vacation time as well. This also had the added bonus of keeping him from paying too much attention to my driving (which is excellent) and subsequently voicing his opinions on it (which is annoying).

Me and the bump behind the wheel.
Our Q7 has plenty of room to bring Leo and his bed!
Road trip snuggles.

No road trip out west would be complete without a visit to see Aunt Charlotte & Uncle Jim in Golden, Colorado. We love it there!

Storm brewing in eastern Colorado made for amazing skies.
James hard at play in Aunt Charlotte's front yard.
Chris hard at work on Aunt Charlotte's front porch.

After a couple of lovely, relaxing days with Aunt Charlotte & Uncle Jim, we headed over to Utah to spend time with our friends, Chris & Kerri, and their four fantastic girls.

Evie and I were so happy to see each other! Especially me. 💕
I'm sure James was explaining something in great detail to her regarding her toys. Love that kid.
Millie loving on Leo. He's always so good with the kiddos. 
Leo, Jack, and Hercules. Dog friends.
We were lucky enough to get to see Grace (far left in purple dress) perform at her school. She was awesome!
The whole family got to enjoy her performance--
Chris, Kerri, Grace, Maddie, Millie & Evie.
Millie loves to spend time with "Mr. Chris".
Enjoying some lap time with Evie (while I still had a lap).
James and Grace. Such great friends since they were super little. Sniff sniff. 
I love this moment between James and Evie. So sweet!
Chris and Evie rocking a similar hairdo thanks to the wind. 
Gorgeous Evie girl sleeping like a starfish under a quilt that I made.

While in Utah, we were thrilled to get to reconnect with our friends and former neighbors at a BBQ hosted by Bronze & Symoni that included the awesome Taylor family as well. It was so great to be together again like we were when we all lived next door to each other! 

These three, James, Tess, and Mirai, have basically been friends since birth. Love this so much!!
All of the kiddos together (and one awesome dad)-- Mirai, James, Tess, Hallie, Liam, and Ivie (and Kurtis).
Neighbors and friends. Kurtis (holding Ivie), Melanie, Symoni, Bronze, me, and Chris. Miss this gang!!
Bronze and Chris. Hilarity always ensues. 

Whenever we are together, Kerri and I always enjoy arranging photo shoots of the kids and sometimes the whole family. This trip was no exception and we did a separate shoot with Evie and then one with everyone. It's just such fun!

Look at this face! I just love her so much!
I remain continually amazed at how fierce and tough and happy she is.
Catching some blanket fringe with her toes.
Sweet sunshine and meadow grass. 
This may be one of my favorite pictures I have ever taken. She's perfection.
My shaggy-haired boy caught a little grasshopper on his finger.
Beautiful Gracie girl.
Adorable Maddie. Love that smile.
Kerri and Millie and a sweet little flower.
Chris and Evie, his baby girl.
My beautiful boy with freckles on his nose and a serious face.
My sweet snaggle-toothed boy with a grin that lights up my heart.

After this trip, our friends Chris & Kerri relocated to the Dallas, Texas area. Without them as the impetus for our trips, it looks like it may be a while until we visit Utah again. So we will say goodbye for now. But not forever. It's way too amazing a state for that.