Eliza’s 3rd Birthday

Three years ago this week Eliza joined our family! Our lives were forever changed for the better as we welcomed this sweet, spunky, little girl into our home and into our hearts. We have loved watching her grow up these last three years and this week we had a great time celebrating her birthday.

Eliza on her birthday standing by her completed birthday chain.
Eliza on her birthday standing by her completed birthday chain.

She has been looking forward to her special day as only a three-year-old can. Sarah made her a paper chain that she’s been removing links from every day for the last few weeks to see how close she is to her birthday. It has been so fun having her so excited.

Playing with playdoh on her birthday
Playing with playdoh on her birthday
Playing with shaving cream
Playing with shaving cream

We tried to make her birthday a special day for her. She started off her day going to the doctor for her checkup. This was actually something that she was really excited about. She loves the doctor these days and likes to play doctor with us at home. She is in great health. 99th percentile for height and right on par for everything else. She’s one tall girl.

Eliza and Daddy building her bed.
Eliza and Daddy building her bed.
First time in the new bed.
First time in the new bed.

Before her party at night, she had a fun-filled day at home. She got to play with play-doh and shaving cream on the table and mommy let her watch a movie too. On my way home from work I stopped and picked up the bed frame that we got for her for her birthday. The mattress was delivered right before I got home too so while mommy was finishing up the last bits of dinner, Eliza and I went and built her bed. It was so fun for me (and for her) to build it together. She said, “It’s like building a really tall tower from blocks!” She loves her new bed and has been sleeping in it really well.

Eliza requested tortellini for dinner (which we accidentally forgot to buy so I had to run to get some at the last minute). If you know her at all you know that she loves pasta and tortellini is her favorite.

Opening her presents.
Opening her presents.
Giving mommy a checkup.
Giving mommy a checkup.
Ready to sing Happy Birthday
Ready to sing Happy Birthday

After dinner we had her little birthday party. Thank you everyone that sent her presents. She loved everything. The books, the water toys, the ballet clothes, the kaboodle, and the doctor kit. She has been wearing her ballet clothes all week and reading her books in bed. She has been playing with her doctor kit almost non stop and will give all of us checkups and then ask us to giver her one too. James and she will take turns giving checkups to each other with Eliza coaching James on the right way to do it.

Blowing out the candles
Blowing out the candles
Helping mommy fold the wash clothes.
Helping mommy fold the wash clothes.

Eliza is a great helper around the house and this week we started asking her to help us unload the dishes every day. It is her job to unload the utensils and put them in the drawer. She loves to help (most of the time) and it is fun to have her working with us.

James modeling his clothes for the family picture.
James modeling his clothes for the family picture.

The rest of the week was pretty standard. Sarah took the kids on a walk around our little trail this week. We are so grateful to live in such a beautiful area. We love it here and are grateful for everything we have been blessed with.

Eliza being a balerina
Eliza being a balerina
Sarah taking the kids on a walk
Sarah taking the kids on a walk

I decided this week to interview with a company here in Austin that is doing some cool work on a new many-core chip. I interview with them on Monday and we’ll see if anything comes of that.

Our  beautiful neighborhood
Our beautiful neighborhood

Sarah and I went to the temple yesterday too. We got to do a full session which was awesome because we haven’t done that in a while. I’m grateful for Sarah’s help in making sure that we get to the temple every month. It has blessed our lives.

Happy 1st Birthday James

This week our sweet, smart, talkative boy James turned 1! We can hardly believe that it’s been a whole year since he came into our family. He has grown so much and has brought so much joy into our lives. He is always talking about something and loves to laugh and have a good time. He loves his big sister Eliza and always looks for her when he wakes up in the morning or from his naps. He loves his mommy and steals kisses from her when daddy isn’t looking. He loves daddy too. He and I are good friends and have been having good times lately playing.

02 James happy birthday morning

Eliza and James were allowed to jump in the bed for a minute.
Eliza and James were allowed to jump in the bed for a minute.
Looking all grown up.
Looking all grown up.
Mommy and the birthday boy.
Mommy and the birthday boy.
Happy Birthday Boy
Happy Birthday Boy

James’s birthday was a fun day. The day itself was pretty normal but we did have a party that night with some friends. When I got home from work, Eliza and I wrapped James’s presents. We had shown Eliza most of the presents before James’s birthday and had told her that she needed to keep it a secret. She didn’t really understand what that meant and several times told James what he was getting. We had a good time wrapping presents. For dinner we had cheese tortellini. It was the perfect meal for James. He could totally eat the pasta by himself. Eliza loved it too. After dinner, our friends the Larsens came over to open presents. James didn’t really get what was going on but had fun opening the presents anyway. Eliza helped him with several of the presents. He had a pretty good set of presents. Thanks everyone that was so thoughtful.

Opening presents
Opening presents

After doing presents, we had cake and ice cream. Sarah had made a scratch cake and James had his own mini cake to eat. He was super excited about it. Before we even started singing “Happy Birthday” he had tried to grab the cake from Sarah’s hands and gotten frosting all over his fingers. He ate all the frosting first and then picked up the cake and dug in. He ate about half of his cake — pretty good considering this was his first chocolate ever. He was less thrilled about the ice cream. Sarah tried to give him some and he spat it right out. It was a great day!

I'm ready for cake!
I’m ready for cake!
Blowing out the candle / sampling the frosting.
Blowing out the candle / sampling the frosting.
James eating his cake one-year-old style.
James eating his cake one-year-old style.

James has started walking for reals this week. He is taking off on his own from anything he can pull himself up on. He can normally make it across the room pretty well. He even stood up on his own in the middle of the floor once today.

James cruising across the room.
James cruising across the room.

Eliza has been learning her letters. She is especially excited about “O” this week. She points it out to us on every sign we go by on the street. She finds it in her books, on her clothes, in the scriptures, and anywhere else “O” could possibly be.

Eliza makes towers out of her magnet letters on the fridge.
Eliza makes towers out of her magnet letters on the fridge.
Eliza playing with James' new toys.
Eliza playing with James’s new toys.

Tuesday was election day. This one kind of sneaked up on us but we both made it to the polls to vote. Living outside city limits makes these elections interesting because we only get state wide things to vote on. This time we had some constitutional amendments to vote for and a bond for a huge new courthouse in Austin. We voted against the bond because it was way too expensive and was going to raise our taxes by over $100 a year. I was happy that that bond actually failed. People were making all kinds of excuses about turnout being low but actually turnout was almost record high for a non presidential election especially in the areas out of Austin proper where people actually own the property that would have to pay for this thing.

Eliza in her new secret spot behind the chair.
Eliza in her new secret spot behind the chair.

We had a minor miracle this week with our car. For the last few months, almost since we’ve owned it, it has been making this strange clicking, bumping sound when we turn at low speeds. We knew we needed to get it fixed before our Utah trip and so we took it in to get fixed this week. I was all prepared for a huge bill for power steering or something. Miraculously, it was just a few loose bolts. It ended up costing only $50. That was a miracle for us.

On the way to regional conference Eliza was wearing daddy's sunglasses and mommy asked her to do "thumbs up."
On the way to regional conference Eliza was wearing daddy’s sunglasses and mommy asked her to do “thumbs up.”

Birthdays and Easter Week

Our family at the easter egg hunt
Our family at the Easter egg hunt
Happy Easter! We are so grateful for this week that we are able to focus our time on remembering the life and sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ. We had a pretty simple celebration this week. We moved our scripture study to reading from the New Testament each night about the life of Christ. Eliza has enjoyed looking at the pictures of Christ’s last week. We’ve been putting a picture on the wall each day after we read and using that to help us talk about Christ during dinner.
Adam's birthday cake
Adam’s birthday cake
Adam's birthday -- the big 30!
Adam’s birthday — the big 30!
Sarah's birthday
Sarah’s birthday
As you probably know (I hope :)) Sarah and I both had our birthdays this week. It is fun to have them on the same week but makes it so we end up having way too much candy in the house. This was compounded this year by all of the candy that we got for Easter. Oh well, we’re going to eat poorly this week and then try to repent. Sarah made me delicious fajitas for my birthday and an awesome German chocolate cake from scratch. At the suggestion of Rebekah I finally agreed to let people come over and celebrate with us. We had two of our good friends from church come over and have cake with us. It is fun to have good friends.
Sarah’s birthday was on Friday and we had a bit of a celebration. Sarah wanted Olive Garden so we ordered it out and I picked it up on the way home. The night before her birthday she made a decadent chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. It was awesome! It had a brownie crust and reeses all throughout. We still have a ton in our fridge!
Friday night we also had our ward Easter egg hunt. Eliza had a great time gathering eggs and playing on the playground. She is fearless on the playground. There was a tall rock-wall like climbing thing and she really wanted to climb it. I spotted her once and then she was climbing that thing like a champ.
Eliza kept posing for photos
Eliza kept posing for photos
Eliza and her friend lydia
Eliza and her friend lydia
Eliza finding her eggs
Eliza finding her eggs
Eliza loves the slides
Eliza loves the slides
Eliza had no fear climbing this thing
Eliza had no fear climbing this thing
After the ward activity, the Larsens took our kids and let Sarah and I go on a date. It has been a long time since we went on a real date without the kids. We went to see Cinderella and had a great time together.
James love to be upside down
James love to be upside down
James laughing
James laughing
Saturday we watched the morning session of conference and then decided to go look at a van that we had our eye on for a few days. I didn’t expect us to actually end up buying it but we liked it and it was a good price and in good condition so we went ahead and became the proud owners of a Toyota Sienna. Yep, we’re a minivan family now. . . I’m adjusting alright.
Our new van
Our new van
James being serious
James being serious
James is 5 months old!
James is 5 months old!
Today we watched conference all day. The Larsens came over and watched with us in the morning and the kids slept for most of the afternoon session. We loved conference and it was great to hear from the prophet and apostles. It is always rejuvenating to hear them speak and to hear their testimonies.
Eliza loves headbands these days
Eliza loves headbands these days