Sunday, November 28, 2010

Play Time

Thanksgiving was wonderful, marred only by the fact that Alex was once again in Germany for a trade show (don't those Germans care about our family holidays???). Ali and I flew to Dallas Wednesday night, choosing the busiest travel day of the year for our first solo flight. Brilliant. We arrived to the airport expecting chaos and mayhem, only to find not a single line in sight. Seriously, the place was practically deserted. Our flight wasn't even full. Sweet! Ali did great on the short flight--whew!

Because I was traveling solo--and therefore light--I didn't bring my camera with me, so no pics of the holiday yet. I have to wait for my family to email me some favs from their cameras! (hint, hint)

We flew home on Friday to meet Alex at the Austin airport. Ali saw him, said, "Dada?" and then yelled "DAAAAAAA!!!!" while running to him as fast as her little feet would carry her. Even if I weren't pregnant I probably would have teared up at that. Add my pregnancy hormones to the mix, and well, the way I was crying and the way Alex dropped to his knees and wrapped her in a huge hug, onlookers probably thought he was coming home from a 9-month deployment.

Saturday, our little reunited family took some time to play. Ali got to play at our neighborhood playground, and I got to play on my camera. I've been remiss in taking pictures lately . . . toddlers are a lot harder to photograph than sweet little babies who just sit there and smile.

Here are a few shots from our play time. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Busy girl exploring the rocks.
Loving the rake!
My sweet angel.
She loves climbing up and down stairs.
Check out the lashes. :::swoon:::
This one just makes me smile. The cheeks. The inquisitive expression. The checking to make sure her belly button is still there.
Hard at work.
So glad these two were reunited.
Hiya, gorgeous.
She was totally fascinated by the basketball players. That's my girl!
Goodness I love this one. Slightly out of focus, but what a jolly little swagger she has going on!
Now that she's walking, she's always on the move! Kinda makes it hard to get those nicely posed shots.
Walking, drinking, and looking adorable enough to charm the socks off of anyone around. Multitasking at its finest.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Very Own Elves

Have you ever thought about how sweet Santa has it? I mean, all he has to do to get ready for the biggest night of his year is sit at his desk and check a list a couple of times. Probably roasting his toes by a fire while the Mrs. brings him hot chocolate (perhaps with a dash of Bailey's?). Meanwhile, in the workshop, it's the elves who slave away, day after day, frantically getting all of the toys ready for the children. And Santa gets all the credit. He's the famous one, the figurehead for the holiday.

I'm not gonna lie. I kind of admire his arrangement.

I needed to take some notes. Many of my friends have time at home with their kids, time to plan their holidays down to the smallest detail, time to make gifts, time to . . . well, to approach the holidays without the breathless panting our family will slide into them with. As a working mom, I lack that time. I needed to find some elves, some helpers to do the work while I get all the credit.

Cue angels singing and lights from heaven. Cue Shutterfly.

Over the years, I've used Shutterfly for a TON of photo sharing. We've listed albums from our travels around the world (see the list on the right side of this blog!). I've made photo books. We've given wall calendars as gifts that were a HUGE hit. Their quality has always been high and their convenience even better.

(Added bonus: did you know that their cards are sustainably forested? That's a check in my living-green column!)

This year, I am relying on their super awesome holiday cards to make me cool like Santa--all of the points with with none of the work. Not only do they have some gorgeous cards, (um, hello beautiful), but they have classy cards, whimsical cards, even cards that will showcase the world's CUTEST toddler (I'm talking about Ali, not that girl in the card. Though she is certainly lovely.) And let's be honest. That's whom everyone really wants to see, anyway.

But that's not all. Are you ready for the coup de grace? They will even address, stamp, and SEND the cards for you.

I'll pause for you to recover from your disbelief.

Can you hear the angels singing?

This momma can.

I'm not going to spoil the surprise of which card I've picked out. You'll just have to wait and see. But here's a hint . . . it will contain some big, exciting news!!

Now, onto warming my feet by the fire and sipping a nice, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverage. Ahhhh.

*Disclaimer: If this sounded like a promotion, that's 'cause it is! Even Santa is cost-conscious these days. Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dallas Arboretum

We took a trip to Dallas last weekend to celebrate G-Mommy and Bubbie's birthdays. What a wonderful time we had visiting with family! We spent all day Saturday with Bubbie having a wonderful birthday celebration, and all day Sunday with G-Mommy and Granddaddy. Unfortunately, this was the only day our camera was charged, so this is the only day (actually, the only couple of hours) that we got pictures. :-((

We took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather to visit the Dallas Arboretum and catch the last few days of the fall decor.

Ali was slightly more impressed with the pumpkins this time.

She and her Aunt Katie had a wonderful time hanging out together!

A rare whole-family shot. We lucked out and had cousin Lisa visiting us from Connecticut! What a treat!

Ali and her G-Mommy and Granddaddy. She's so in love with them . . . and it's clear the feeling is mutual!

In other news, I am officially in the 2nd trimester. Yay! We had a wonderful doctor's appointment and got to see Dos, all stretched out and lounging around. In 3.5 short weeks, we'll be finding out if he's a he or if she's a she. So exciting!!! Any bets???

Happy Fall!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


We had a wonderful Halloween! Baby girl had FOUR dress-up parties to go to over the course of a week . . . I can only imagine what her social calendar will be like as a teen.

Our plans for a basketball player ("Ali-Oop") went out the window when a friend convinced me that she was simply too pretty to dress as a basketball player. I, of course, could not disagree with that! So our cute Russian princess went as a picture-perfect China doll!

Another benefit of this costume was that it was essentially pajamas, so she was comfortable enough in it to wear it all day long!

That, and it made a family theme really easy. 

By the third party, however, both Ali and I were looking for something new. That's when "Halloween Punk" came to be. I think I might like this outfit even more than the China doll!

Halloween itself rolled around, and we finally got a chance to carve our first family pumpkin. I was all excited about getting pictures of Ali playing in pumpkin guts, but she wanted NOTHING to do with the guts. Or the pumpkin itself for that matter.

"Uh, Mom? What the heck is this thing you just put by me?"

She did work up the courage to touch the guts...

But she didn't really like it. (Can you see her worried little face here? Precious girl!!)

Once it had a face, she was a little more comfortable.

Yay! Smiles at last!

Then it was time to Trick-or-Treat! We didn't take Ali to any houses this year. She's too young for candy and Alex and I didn't feel like taking candy that could go to some other kids. But we did walk over to our friends' house to visit them and their 6-week-old.

Check out Ali walking! She's getting better and better every day!

This one is just 'cause I love it. These two adore each other so much!

Happy Halloween!