Saturday, February 28, 2015

February in a Nutshell

I meant to share so many things this month, but Erik and I decided to rip out our doors and moldings and we've been living out of our dining room for the last two weeks. February seemed to both crawl along and fly by all at once. There were many long days of work followed by long evenings of work, but there were also baby showers and birthdays and beautiful sunny afternoons. So here is our month in a nutshell:

February kicked off with a baby shower brunch for my sister, Amy. Baby Ezra won't grace us with his presence for a few weeks yet, but we decided to shower him with gifts just the same. My amazing friend Tabitha played hostess, in addition to helping my Mom and I plan the whole affair (rather last minute, I might add). It was a beautiful day, and it couldn't have gone any better. (Look at that food! My Mom outdid herself!)

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For Amy's other shower this month Avery and I decided to paint giraffes for Baby Ezra's room. I'm always convinced that I can't draw or paint animals (the closest I've come was to paint silhouetted giraffes and elephants for my niece, Tylinn), but somehow I pulled this little guy out of my head on the morning of the shower. I nearly kept him for myself, but gave him up to my nephew in the end.

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And here's Avery's giraffe for Baby Ezra:

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At the beginning of the month Avery fell out of bed while she was sleeping and spent almost two weeks with a nasty bruise on her cheek. This picture doesn't even do it justice. It was purple and swollen...and boy was I scared when I heard a thud followed by screaming in the middle of the night.

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As I mentioned, we decided to rip out all of our moldings and doors this month. Our little house celebrated it's 50th birthday last year, and all our doors and moldings did as well. Also, they were all painted pale pink. This was not my doing, and I tried my best to hide it when we moved in five years ago (five?! FIVE?!), but it was not to be hidden any longer. So here is current reality (although I'm still not sorry for hoarding books):

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One of my blog friends (you can be friends even if you haven't met, right?), Courtney from She Always Loves Larking, runs the most amazing Etsy shop. She recently made a pendant for me using a page from one of my favorite books: Anne of Green Gables. It wasn't just any page, it was one which is particularly close to my heart...when Anne wins the Avery scholarship. It was not an easy page to work with, but it turned out perfectly and when she sent the package to me it included an extra necklace for my Avery. Such a sweet surprise, and Avery has rarely taken it off since.

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Avery started swimming again the first week of February, and true to her inner-fish she took to the water as if she hadn't been parted from it since the summer. Avery loves to swim more than anything. I am a water-lover as well, but Avery would live in the pool if she could. Some days I can't take my eyes off of her during her lesson because she's so full of joy while she's there (and some days I read and lost track of time).

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In the midst of all this craziness, I turned 34. Despite Erik's objections, I chose to spend the day picking out moldings, and working on the house. I did let my sweet husband and our beautiful daughter take me out to dinner at Northwood Public House and Brewery, a wonderful pub in Battle Ground. It was a great day, without a trace of pomp (which is exactly how I like it). Here's a snap from Instagram that Erik took...

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And here's another one from Instagram of Avery and Grandma. Last Thursday my Mom came to school to have Green Eggs and Ham with the 1st graders for Dr. Suess' birthday. I was working, although I was able to go down to the breakfast for a few minutes and take this picture. I sure do love these ladies.

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I have to say my favorite memory from February was the evening before my birthday, when Erik and Avery and I were snuggled up on the couch while Avery read us chapter after chapter of Junie B. Jones is (Almost) a Flower Girl. Our house was in disarray, but we were warm and safe and happy. My heart was so full it might've burst.

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What a crazy, hectic, beautiful month.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Catching Up

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I took this photo on the last day of January on my way to Erik's parent's house. Mount St. Helens is beautiful in the evenings (when the clouds are actually high enough for us to see it). Since that day we've had the most incredible weather...60's and sunny, and not a cloud in the sky. Today we could see Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and the very tip of Mount Rainier, which is 130 miles away. Pretty unbelievable. Erik and I have been immersed in projects around the house, and he's just beginning a week of vacation. Life keeps chugging along, and there are so many sweet moments that I'd like to share, but today I'll have to settle for a beautiful mountain and a quick hello. Everything is well in our little world, and hopefully I'll be catching up soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The American Girl Dollhouse

My husband is pretty handy. He can fix an electrical outlet, replace pipes under the house, and install absolutely any appliance. He changes my oil, fixes my breaks, and tunes up my car. He repairs our roof, re-installs our gutters when they're not draining correctly, and replaces siding like a pro. He just does it all. He also builds things...like storage shelves, our garage workbench and, of course, THE PLAYHOUSE. For Christmas Erik built Avery a dollhouse for her American Girl doll. A three story, six-foot-tall dollhouse that made her jump for joy on Christmas morning.

Erik let Avery choose the layout (so it wasn't completely finished on Christmas Day, but it was finished two days later), and she received most of the furnishings for Christmas. So here's the dollhouse in all it's glory. What an enchanted childhood Avery has...she's the luckiest girl in the world to have Erik as her Dad.

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If anyone is interested the kitchen and bathroom sets are from Target, the couch is from WalMart, and the bunk bed is something that Erik and Avery built together (but that deserves it's own post because watching them build together was the best thing ever). 

I told you...she's the luckiest little girl in the world.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tiny Trailblazers and Super Seahawks

Avery just finished her first season of basketball. She played on a co-ed team of 1st and 2nd graders aptly named the Trailblazers. Avery liked basketball, but she didn't ever want to go to basketball. Every Wednesday she bemoaned having to go to practice, but after practice she didn't want to leave. Every Saturday I had to drag her out of bed for her game, but as we drove home she would declare "I wish I was still in the game!" I couldn't wait for Avery to start basketball, and even though she enjoyed playing, it was a two and a half month struggle. Our only rule about sports and activities is that you have to finish the season (and you don't have to play again even if we really, really want you to play basketball). So Avery finished the season and decided not to play a second session. She's ready to swim again, which is great too.

But, look at that defense! And then dribbling up the court, even with all those boys waiting at the other end. I don't know if I would have been that fearless in 1st grade. It was so much fun to watch her play (and boy is she proud of that medal).

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And while we're on the subject of sports, how about those Seahawks? I know I've mentioned it before, but we love football in our house (and we especially love our Seahawks). The NFC Championship on Sunday brought Washington to a stand still, and we went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs within five minutes of football. Two Super Bowls in a row? Are you kidding?! Our neighbor told us he didn't have to ask who'd won the game because he could hear Erik screaming from across the street. Erik is actually rewatching the game as I type this. He's in football heaven.

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Go Hawks!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Smart Cookie, Responsible Cookie

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I thought going back to school after winter break might be hard for this sweet girl, but it turned out to be a great first week back. On Wednesday we found out that she'd received the Character Counts Award for Responsibility, as well as a Continuing Self Manager Award. And on Friday another paraeducator told me that Avery had done amazingly well on her literacy testing. I try not to brag too much about Avery, but sometimes there is just no getting around it. She continues to blow us away with her determination, her hard work, and her willingness to learn new things.

When Avery was a baby she had this amazing little "smart cookie" onesie that my sister bought for her. I loved that onesie...I put Avery in it all the time. In fact I've kept it over the years because I can't bear to get rid of it. Here's 3-month-old Avery sporting her smart cookie onesie, when she still had baby blue eyes and chunky little thighs. 6 years later she's tall and strong, and has beautiful hazel eyes...but she's still our smart cookie.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

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In 2014 Avery started ballet, we visited friends in Oak Harbor, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, we saw the Lombardi trophy in Seattle, it snowed and snowed and snowed, I turned 33, we went to the beach for spring break (and then to the capitol), baby Rylee was born, I got a job at Avery's school, Avery lost her first tooth (and then lost three more), Avery earned all kinds of school awards, Avery turned six, Avery earned money for an American Girl doll (and then we went to Seattle to buy her), we visited a ghost town in Montana, we went to Yellowstone, we went to Jackson Hole, we went to the Grand Tetons, Avery learned to swim, my Mom turned 60, Avery went to VBS with her cousin, we went to Seattle with my brother and his family, baby Leeland turned one, we went camping at the beach, we grew lots of fruits and veggies, Avery started 1st grade (and earned lots of awards), Erik and I celebrated our 12th anniversary, Avery was Anna (and Elsa) for Halloween, Erik turned 35, Erik and I went to Seattle to see the Seahawks, Avery started basketball, we did the Hot Buttered Run and Kandy Kane Kids Race, we cut down our Christmas tree, we spent the holidays with family... 

And we loved eachother. A lot.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas

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Christmas has come and gone, and even though the decorations are down and the house is back to normal, I'm still basking the joy of the holidays. We have family coming for New Year's Eve, we've been spending time together as a family, and Avery and I are thoroughly enjoying our winter break. The biggest perk of working at Avery's school is having the same scheduled vacations. I feel very, very lucky to spend this time with her.

Our Christmas was wonderful. Avery got an Elsa doll from Santa, the new Taylor Swift CD, American girl doll furniture, and a doll house for her doll that Erik built to fit in her closet (more on that later). Erik got kegs for brewing beer and Seahawk checkers, and I got a Kitchen Aid mixer (!!!). There were other gifts as well, but those were the big ones. Oh, and Santa brought me Newsies...this was a big deal, because Avery has been obsessively listening to the soundtrack every since she found it on my old iPod. She's pretty sure Santa put it in the wrong stocking, but forgot all about that when we watched it together the other night. When it was over she said "I didn't like it...I LOVED IT!"

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There were more beautiful moments with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and new friends. but for some reason I didn't take many pictures. All I know is that it was a great day, Avery couldn't have been happier, and we were surrounded by wonderful people. What more could you ask for?