Sunday, December 30, 2012


this year was the best.  seriously.  and i blame avery for it all.  i'm so, so thankful for our little family.   

in january i was on maternity leave and spent most of it cuddling a very tiny baby.  charlie's parents came to visit and meet their granddaughter for the first time.  we also started house hunting in colorado and then debated about moving back to d.c. for a bit before finally deciding on staying in colorado.

Morning smiles.

in february i went back to work, we celebrated a very mellow valentines day, and avery met her cousin for the first time.


Passed out.

in march we made an offer on our house and read a lot of books.

Nighttime reading.

april brought a lot of packing & work on getting ready to move.  my mom also came out for a week to spend some time with avery.



elf ears

in may we finally moved and my sister came out after she finished finals.



we had a visit from charlie's mom in june and spent a lot of time working on the house and taking avery to the pool.

trying to figure it all out.
we took avery on her first roadtrip to telluride in july and then came home to a visit from my parents & then had another visit from family at the end of the month.

My favorite baby and my favorite mountains.


we finally made it to the reservoir in august.

Swimming in the res

we did some hiking in september & alex and jeff came to visit for labor day weekend. 

in october we took a trip back to maryland to see lots of family and friends and celebrate a wonderful wedding.  we also celebrated avery's first halloween.



we celebrated thanksgiving in november.  

Every year I forget how I cooked it the year before.

and we finished the year with two family visits, two birthdays, and christmas in december.

The first December birthday celebration.

This kid loves her books and the dog loves the rug.

Sunday, December 23, 2012



this baby girl turned one just a few days ago and there aren't a lot of words to describe how i feel about all of it.  this year has been both the longest, shortest & best of my life.  i'm so grateful that this little lady showed up a year ago and made us a family.  she's the best.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

last week ...

this last week was so busy and so fun.
we celebrated two birthdays, went to one birthday party, and attempted to get ready for christmas.
we had plans to be at the butterfly pavalion right now thanks to some free passes from one of my co-workers, but both charlie and avery are napping on the couch so it's looking like that may have to happen another day.   

helping dad open some presents.

avery got a taste of opening presents by helping charlie on his birthday.  turns out ripping paper is more exciting than the present inside.  christmas morning should be fun.  

the big 'blizzard'

playing with snow. inside.


we got a very small amount of snow on wednesday, which made everything look nice and christmassy.  i brought some inside for avery to play with while i was working and although she ended up cold and soaking wet she had a blast playing with it.  i'll have to get her a snowsuit so she can play with i outside the next time we get some.  the dogs love snow and were happy to spend a large part of the day outside chasing each other around.  

happy 1st birthday, A

and on thursday my baby turned one, which meant that i panicked on wednesday night and started baking cupcakes and making pom poms so that she wouldn't think we forgot her birthday.  charlie told me i was crazy, but it turned out that she really did like the pom poms, so i hung them up in her room after her birthday so she could have them year round.  also it make me feel like all of my hard work was justified.  we made her favorite dinner that night (grilled cheese with avocado), gave her a cupcake that afternoon, and let her take a super long bath, which is one of her favorite activities.  i think her favorite present were a bunch of bowls that i got her from target.  she loves to stack and unstack them all day long.  

and now we're (almost) ready for christmas.  and definitely ready for a longer than normal weekend.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

it's the little things ...

love these hugs.

...  sweet baby hugs.
...  a rearranged living room.
...  a husband who is home after being gone for a week.
...  grilled cheese & avocado sandwiches.
...  an afternoon trip to the swings with the baby and dogs.
...  attempting to make something sort of crafty and actually having it work.
...  counting down the days until my mom and sister visit.
...  looking forward to birthday celebrations this week.
...  being done with christmas shopping.
...  watching avery learn new words: ear and paw are her favorites right now.
...  watching avery learn new things and then being more excited for her than she is for herself.
...  a baby who's attempting to walk.
... spending a morning drinking coffee, listening to christmas music, and reading christmas books.
...  weekend mornings with the family.
...  a glass of wine on a friday night.
...  a baby who's sleeping through the night (some of the time).
...  evenings with charlie after avery's in bed.
...  clean laundry.

Monday, December 17, 2012

happy 30th!

My boys.

happy, happy 30th birthday to my favorite person.  
i'll save the mush for your birthday card.  i'm so happy to be celebrating with you & so glad you're in my life.  enjoy your steak and help yourself to two pieces of cake.  
love you.

Furniture rearranging.

this weekend we took another trip to ikea.  it's a love/hate relationship with that store.  i was looking for a few small things but nothing big, furniture-wise, like we usually are.  i was surprised charlie came along for the ride.  he hates ikea with a passion.  earlier this week our rug in our living room officially became too dirty and disgusting to a crawling baby crawl around on.  when we first got it, i loved having a white rug because it was neutral and light and contrasted well with our dark floors.  but i came to hate that rug because of the random stains that kept appearing on it, mostly courtesy of the dogs tracking dirt in the house.  i'll be honest, it also wasn't comfortable at all and we do a lot of sitting on the floor and playing with the baby.  in fact our furniture doesn't get much use until avery goes to bed.   when charlie was away last week i rolled it up and put it down in the basement.  and honestly, i enjoyed having just the hardwoods to play on.  yes they're hard but they're clean!  something i love.  but when charlie got home from his business trip last week he was all 'i definitely want a rug in this room'.  so when we went to ikea i agreed to look although i didn't want to spend much money on anything since i wasn't really sure exactly what i wanted in that space.  

family room when we first moved in.  we've actually moved all of that furniture elsewhere except for the couch and the chair.

the other thing i have to admit about our family room, is that it never felt cozy to me.  at first i thought it was the paint color.  so we painted.  then i thought it was the fact that we had nothing on the walls.  so we built picture ledges and hung a floating shelf over the tv.  and then i started to think it was the paint color again.  but yesterday i started to think it was because of the layout of the room.  we had some wasted space, which didn't leave a lot of room for playing on the floor.  and to remedy that we had decided not to put our coffee table in the room.  the problem with that was that there was no where to put food when we had guests or when we wanted to watch football and eat snacks.

family room after new floors, paint, curtains, and hanging things on walls.


anyway, i convinced charlie to quickly move some furniture around before the broncos game on sunday.  i think he thought it was going to be a waste of time but admitted after it was all over that he liked the room much better with the new set up.  

the ottoman is new and we both love it.  it's a nice place to prop your feet and we can always put a tray on top if we want to use it as a table for food.

those curtains have been hung up since july and i have yet to hem them.  maybe now that we can actually see them i'll be motivated to do something about it. 

i must admit that i didn't pick up for any of these pictures.  the grey rug in front of the new couch was $20 at ikea.  charlie really liked the rug and i liked that if i hated it in 3 months it wouldn't be a big deal.  although i have to admit that it's growing on me.  it's smaller than the original rug that we had in this room but it's the perfect size to sit down and build some block towers or read a few books.  

so all that just to say that after switching a few things around i've gone from hating this room to loving it.  and i even love the paint color again.  

Friday, December 14, 2012


Pretty much my whole heart right here.

i'm madly in love with this picture.

my two favorite people (and one of my favorite dogs), my favorite room in the house, and our christmas tree which is finally in a house that it fits!  
it's moments like these that are why i love christmas.  because there's nothing i love more than hanging out with the people i love.  it's pretty awesome every once in a while to stop and appreciate things like sitting on the floor & reading books with your favorite people.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

my favorite afternoon activity.





is letting avery dump all of our toys out on the floor (who am i kidding, she does this all day long) and just playing with her.  we play this game where i build block towers as fast as possible and avery knocks them down as quickly as she can.   she's pretty fast, sometimes i only get two or three up.  it seems like in the past month she's gone from being my little baby to an almost-toddler.  and she's really so much fun to hang out with.  she thinks that every animal says "baa baa" and that anything fuzzy is a dog or a cat.  we went to the pet store yesterday to get some dog food and to see all the animals.  who needs a zoo pass when you have petco?  and she called everything in the store a doggie.  ferrets, mice, birds, they all were "doggies".  she's blowing kisses, and making fish faces, and chasing all of the animals around to point out their paws and ears and tackle them in hugs.  i can't believe she's so close to being a year, makes me a little sad, but i'm also looking forward to watching her learn (and hopefully grow some, too) next year.       

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

sometimes we get out of the house.

i'll be honest, working from home with a baby with a 7 pm bedtime means we spend a lot of time at home.  a lot.  especially when it get's cold and it's harder to get outside even for a quick trip to the playground.  i try to spread our errands out throughout the week so that we actually do get out of the house for target trips and grocery shopping, etc. in the afternoons, but there are definitely days when we don't get out.  busy work days and a baby who's dinner and bedtime routine start around 5:30 mean that we sometimes go a little stir-crazy.  believe me, i wouldn't trade our situation for anything but i do have to make a conscious effort to make sure we go somewhere each day.  a 20 minute trip to the swings make a big difference for all of us.  

Pearl street

charlie and i also haven't been the best about doing out and doing things on the weekends lately.  between house-cleaning and projects we've spent a lot of time in the house.  so when charlie's parents were in town last week i wanted to make sure we went somewhere on sunday, which was really our only day to go somewhere and do something.  charlie sacrificed watching the broncos game, which was in the middle of the day and we went down to boulder for, what else, lunch at pasta jays.  we hadn't been to pasta jays since avery was 6 weeks old, and she screamed most of the time, which meant i got one bite of my dinner and then left early to put her to bed.  this time things went a lot smoother.  although i will admit that my child spent lunch pant-less because i forgot to bring a change of clothes for her.

Lunch in boulder which Avery enjoyed while pantless.

it was really nice to get out of the house and take advantage of the nice weather before the cold set in.  there's only so much walking around the mall i can handle this winter and avery's hates her winter coat which makes things less fun when shes screaming the whole time.  


boulder's always fun because just walking up and down pearl street is pretty entertaining.  people watching at its finest, really.  i especially love it at this time of year when everything's decorated for the holidays.  pasta jays had 3 christmas trees inside and the weather was nice enough to have the windows  open.  as much as i've complained that the warm weather doesn't feel much like the holidays it's nice for getting out and doing things.  and every time we go somewhere out to eat with avery i'm reminded of how much older she is & how good it is for her to experience new people and places.  now we just have to work on getting charlie and i out for an actual date sometime without the baby.  someday ... 

Monday, December 10, 2012

december birthdays.

The first December birthday celebration.

i've mentioned that december's kind of a big month in our house. 
we've got dunkin's birthday on december 7th, charlie's on the 17th, and avery's on the 20th.  
my in-laws came out last week and spent a few days hanging out with us, playing with avery, and we also started our birthday celebrating a little early so they could celebrate with us.  

One of the three members of this family with a December birthday.  He wasn't a fan of the balloon tied to his tail.

this was avery's first balloon that a very nice checkout lady at sprouts gave to us.  avery liked it a lot and then i tied the balloon to dunkin who wasn't all about it.  


i made a carrot cake since i figured this would be avery's first cake and i convinced myself this would be a healthier option since there were some veggies in it.  pretty sure the sugar and oil cancelled out anything good the carrots may have added.  and let's be honest, her favorite part was the icing, which was cheese and sugar.  she didn't sleep well at all that night but it was fun to see her try something new.  i will say after giving her a small slice of the cake i don't know how people give their kids entire cakes to smash because the cleanup from a tiny piece was messy enough!  



i can't believe my baby is almost one! everyone always says that time really starts to fly once you have kids but it really does!  i feel like it was just a few months ago that she was a teeny infant and now she's a talking, moving, sleep-stealing almost-toddler.  crazy.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

on loving a husband and a baby.

They look so much alike.

 the other day charlie was (hopefully) joking around with his mom and made a comment about the people that i love in the order that i love them.  he said it goes "avery, me, then the dogs".  and his mom said "well at least you know how it is".  here's the thing that no one tells you when you have a baby:  after all the newness wears off and you settle into routines, there will come a time when your husband feels like your love the baby more than him.

for me, before avery was born, it was sort of impossible to imagine how i would feel about her.  i wasn't one of those people who felt really connected with her when i was pregnant.  maybe this was partially due to not finding out whether she was a he or a she; i couldn't picture her/him before i know who i was picturing.  anyway, when i was pregnant i couldn't imagine loving this baby nearly as much as i loved my husband.  not even close.  and then avery was born.  it wasn't 'love at first sight' for me as i've heard so many people describe, it was more like meeting someone i already knew.  when i saw her for the first time i remember thinking 'well, of course that's you' and i sort of imagine she felt the same way.  it wasn't love at first sight because we already knew each other.  we were just meeting face-to-face for the first time.

and honestly, having a baby has only made me love my husband even more.  even when it's 4 am and she's been up 3 times already that night and we're arguing about how to sleep-train or not sleep-train the baby.  there's no one else in the world i'd want to be in this mess with.  watching him with her makes me so happy.  he does things with her that i don't, plays with her in different ways & teaches her things that i wouldn't think about.  so in no way do i love him less than i ever did.  but the love that i have for that baby?  it's far greater than i ever could have imagined.  it's not more than the love that i have for charlie; it's just different.  the love that i have for avery is more of a protective thing.  i'd do anything for her; give anything for her; and the thought of anything or anyone hurting her -- well, there's nothing i wouldn't do to stop it.  i don't feel that way about charlie.  sure, i've got his back but i'm not about to punch a bear in the face for him.  maybe it's because i know he can take care of himself & she's still so small and helpless.  maybe, it's just a parent thing.  maybe it's a mom thing.  i don't know.  but i do know that having a baby has multiplied the love in my life in a way that i couldn't have imagined.  and charlie?  know this:  when i'm rocking the baby, or feeding the baby, or pacing the halls to get her to fall asleep:  i'm thinking of you.  and missing you.  and when we do get that precious alone time, it means more to me than it ever did. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

it's the little things ...

I love when she 'reads' by herself.
love this.

...  functioning appliances.
...  a husband who takes the baby so i can sleep in.
...  clean laundry.
...  gorgeous fall weather.
...  guests who help eat the leftover halloween candy.
...  afternoon walks.
...  a baby who slept 10 hours one night.
...  watching avery eat peas.
...  a clean house.
...  a week where everything returns to normal.
...  putting the winter quilt on our bed.
...  a computer with a working battery.
...  a baby who plays hide and seek.
...  a dog who lets the baby climb over him, pull his ears, and grab his nose.
...  a babyproofed office.
...  when the broncos win.
...  watching henry & avery play.
...  watching charlie & avery play.
...  christmas decorations.
...  our chalkboard door.
...  watching a baby swing.
...  how excited the dogs get when they go outside in the morning.
...  coffee + oatmeal + fake sausage = breakfast
...  leftovers for lunch.
...  cooking with my dutch oven.
...  clean sheets & vacuumed floors on a friday night.
...  a hat on a baby.
...  when avery naps in her crib for longer than 20 minutes.
...  finally having all of the trim and doors painted (on the first level anyway).
...  watching avery try new foods.
... a beer after the baby's asleep.
... hulu.
...  reading a book on the couch after avery's asleep.
...  caramel hershey kisses.
...  ice cream after dinner.
...  holiday weekends.
...  waking up to the sounds of a happy baby.
...  afternoon trips to the playground with henry, too. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

She's getting so big!

"it's our choices, harry, that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities."
-- dumbledore or j.k. rowling