Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trick or Treating!

We had so much fun watching Avery Trick or Treat for the very first time! We decdied several months ago on a Kitty Cat costume, which turned out really cute. After talking to several people about where we schould go, we settled on South Gay Street (past Amsterdams). It was a great spot for novice treaters. Not crowded, very little traffic, and porch lights on at lots of houses. She and Thad walked up to each house together like such big kids and only became scared at one house, that had skeleton decorations. It was so funny, Thad (17 months) saw the skeleton and immediatly made a 180 to his dad...Avery saw it and walked over to it for a look, but she wouldn't give it a hi-five!
After we got home, Avery was very anxious to dump her bucket of candy and explore her loot. You will not see a more happy child than one surrounded by all kinds of sugary goodness. She has come home every afternoon this week asking to look at all of it and select a piece to devour. We will not talk about how much of it mom and dad have slipped into our lunch boxes!

I have to add that it was a little surreal watching Avery trick or treating. It truely feels like yesterday, that my mom was running around trying to get me, Alex, and Beth Anne ready. On Monday I realized that wow, I am living life, and am watching my husband walking with my precious girl to each house for candy. I know this is cheesy, but it really was a moment in which I felt completely overwhelmed with gratitude. The here and now...I am trying really hard to live in it and not think or worry about tomorrow. I knowwithout a doubt it will come soon enough :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Our Pumpkin (23 weeks)!

Is growing and I am loving every minute of it! I have started feeling (and seeing) him move a lot. At my 23 week appointment they finally decided on a heart rate of 150. I say finally because they would only put the doppler on my belly for a short time before he would either kick it away or move, which made for a range of heart rates from the 130s to 160. I could not help but laugh at how active and stubborn he was being!

This pregnancy has been a lot like Avery's. Weight gain has been slow, but he definitely popped out faster. I felt nauseous longer with Avery but have been a lot more exhausted this time around. It could have something to do with chasing a 2 year old! I cannot believe that his anticipated arrival is only 4 months away. At my next visit (27 weeks), I have the glucose test and then start going every 2 weeks. I have a feeling the holidays are going to make it pass by really quickly. We have so much to do before February. Lots to be thankful for this holiday season!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Little Boy!

On September 7, 2011, Levi and I learned that we would be welcoming a baby boy to our family! Our ultrasound was at 9:00 that morning and we were both giddy with excitement over getting to see our baby for the first time. Well...actually I got to see the baby for a few minutes at 14 weeks to confirm that we were not having twins...but it wasn't nearly long enough! Obviously the main purpose of this ultrasound was to determine the health of the baby and glory to God, our baby was completely healthy. It is totally humbling to hear that each little intricate body part is just as it should be.

Unlike with Avery, she told us the gender at the beginning of the ultrasound. As we nodded our head in response to " you want to know the gender?" She responded with a resounding "It's a Boy." Levi and I smiled at each other and as we later realized,  both allowed our minds to race with thoughts of having a son. She even had to repeat a few of the things she was showing us on the ultrasound because we had both lost our focus from the news!

Since the ultrasound I have spent a lot of time letting our new development set in. I am overwhelmed at the blessing of raising a boy and girl (and hopefully at least 1 more of one or the other). Before finding out with Avery, I was convinced that we would have all boys...and of course after having Avery I became convinced it would be all girls (and because I only wanted to be a mom, I would have been happy with either scenario). But, oh what God actually had in store for us; the incredible opportunity and responsibility of raising both!

I am now 21.5 weeks and finally beginning to feel this little man move around. My placenta is at the front of by stomach, which has prevented me from feeling him move as early as most people do with their second. Time is flying by and unlike with Avery when I was wishing the pregnancy away, I am really trying to savor this special time in our lives as a family of three. I know that this pregnancy will be over before we know it!

Lord, I am overwhelmed at your goodness and faithfulness to our family! We ask that you will give us your wisdom and grace as we add your gift of a son to our family. Thank you for his and my health! Thank you for his amazing daddy and precious sister. We need You constantly on this journey and strive to have less of ourselves and more of You each day! Amen.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Avery's First Game Day

One of Avery's birthday gifts was a trip to Jordan-Hare to see the Tigers play. She was super excited and as soon as she woke up Saturday, started chanting "Auburn Tigers and Auburn Football." She would just randomly burst into the fight song and Glory Glory. During the stroller ride to the stadium the cheers continued and everyone we passed smiled to see her enthusiasm.

Once inside and at our seat, she got a little overwhelmed with how loud everything was, but a few minutes in to the band crossing the field and she was acclimated. She loved looking for Aubie and listening to the band play. There were tons of kids around us, which she enjoyed watching. With how hot it was and it cutting into her nap time, we worried that she would get a little whiny, but our worries were for naught. We have a true little Auburn fan on our hands and we can't wait to experience many more Auburn victories with her in the future! We left a little into the third quarter and rode the Tiger Transit back to where our car was parked. I cannot imagine what she will look like sitting on the TT as a Freshman (Not that we are making the college choice for her or anything!).


Thursday, September 1, 2011


Two years ago today, we were introduced to sweet Avery! Watching her grow has been (besides marrying her Daddy) the biggest blessing that God has given me. The past few weeks have been a time of reflection over how much she has changed since turning one and on more than one occasion I have teared up over the little lady she has become. So, I want to capture the following for our memories...

  • Avery loves to sing....her favorites right now are Elmo's Song, Jesus Loves Me, Bah Bah Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle, BIBLE, Row Your Boat, Wheels on the Bus, Hokey Pokey, Happy and You Know It, Happy Birthday, ABCs, and Jesus Loves His Little Avery (a song mommy made up). 
  • She can talk and sing very plainly, but she really doesn't do it that much in public. She is still pretty shy, so basically we are the only ones who get to experience all she has to say. 
  • She has been able to sing the entire alphabet and count to 15 for about 2 full months now.
  • She talks about Auburn alot and if she sees the AU on anything (including tiger transits) she yell Auburn Football! Any football on TV is Auburn and she can sing most of the fight song and Glory, Glory. She will get to attend her first game this weekend!
  • Her favorite question is "What's that?"
  • She is really caring and if you look like you do not feel well, she will ask..."Does your tummy hurt?" If she hears a baby cry, she will ask "Baby crying...does it want her mommy?"
  • She is tiny and I must say, this pregnant lady loves it! Her drs. appointment is not until next week, but she weighs around 24 lbs and wears 18 month clothes still. We are slowly but surely moving to 24 month stuff. Her smocked summer dresses are still 12 month...
  • She just moved to a 4.5 shoe and almost everyone we see comments on her tiny feet. 
  • For about 3 straight weeks (most of August), she was a Daddy's girl and didn't want to have anything to do with me. I contribute this to the pregnancy and being sick and exhausted all the time when I got home from work (I plan to blog more about this in a separate pregnancy update).The last week and half have been much better and she is back to doting on both of us pretty much equally. 
  • Minus those three weeks, she is an extremely affectionate little girl who loves to give lots of hugs and kisses to pretty much anyone who will let her. Extended family just eats this up when we are visiting. 
  • We have a game called "Avery pillow" where right before here bed time, she lays on our bed and opens her arms for Levi and I to lay our heads. She then wraps them around our neck as tight as she can and we act like we are asleep. Sometimes she does it with just one of us and it is extra sweet, because she will rub your back with the other hand. You would have to be there to understand how sweet it really is.
  • She has a great imagination! It is so much fun to watch her pretend with here dolls and animals. She has a plastic tea set and loves to play tea party with anyone she can get to sit and play. Since we told her about the baby, she will ask every now and again if she can hold it. I say yes and she takes her little hand and reaches at my belly as if to grab it. She then talks to it and even through it up in the air and caught it one time. We will make sure this action doesn't translate to when the baby actually arrives!
  • She is a breakfast and lunch girl and doesn't eat a lot at night. We still just do milk and water. As far as sweets go, she loves ice cream.
  • She does night night with Daddy. He is wonderful at putting her to sleep. They have a very specific routine that takes about 5 minutes. She is usually in bed by 8:30 and sleeps till about 7:00 am. She still naps from about 12:00 til 2:45 everyday. We are so thankful for her sleep habits and are really nervous about the one on the way!
  • Like every child I know, she loves Micky Mouse and Elmo.
  • She loves to play chase...doesn't matter if she is being chased or doing the chasing.
  • We started using timeouts around 19 months and we utilize them at least a few times per week. Her main issue is clingliness, neediness, and whining. Some of it may have to do with the pregnacy, but I think it mostly just her development. We talk a lot about using our big girl voice so that she is reminded of what whining sounds like. Although few, there have been nights where all we can think about is getting her to bed. Oh, the exhausion of parenting. A spanking or two has occured, but now we only have to threaten and her behavior changes pretty quickly.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Making Memories-Beach 2011

Over Memorial Day weekend (Friday-Wednesday), Levi, Avery, and I headed down to Sand Destin for some much needed relaxation. Work has been quite stressful for us both lately, so we were ready for more than a weekend of not hearing the alarm clock sound at 5:15. While there, we split our time between the beach, lounging by the pool, taking naps, eating really great food, and of course shopping. My uncle's town house is just across the street from the outlets, so I buy a whole season of clothes for us all each time we cannot beat the prices, especially on Memorial Day weekend. We are very thankful that Don is so generous and allows us to stay there when we visit.

Her first trip was back in September, right after she turned 1. She loved the waves and water then, but wasn't too sure of the sand. She has never really liked anything to stick on her hands, and sand as we all know, sticks to everything. This year she was a little more fond of the sand...once she figured out that it could be used to make shapes and to play in, all was good.

Ya'll she LOVED the waves. Though some may consider it bad parenting, we took her out with us (where the water was a little over waist high) and let her experience the roll of the waves as they came in. She laughed uncontrollably each time Levi or I would jump one...even the salt water splashing in her face seemed to make her giggle. I am so thankful for her laid back personality.

I have always hoped that Avery would love the water as much as I do. Since I grew up with a pool, swimming was a big part of my childhood. So far, she loves the pool too. Even jumping off the side to Levi or I wasn't too scary for her! She wanted so badly to jump out of our arms and swim on her own...I can't wait to watch her as she grows into a little fish!

A trip to the beach with Levi isn't complete without searching for sand crabs with only a flashlight and the glow of the moon. Avery loves bugs, amphibians, and well really anything that crawls. Since she isn't intimidated by creepy crawlers, we have had to really explain to let Mommy and Daddy know before touching anything that moves. This was an awesome experience for her. She was mesmerized with each little crab that was thrown into her bucket. She even touched them! After catching 6, we decided to call it a night and let them go back to see their mommies :) That is about the only way we can get her to let anything we catch go.

My mom and her friend Dale were down for the weekend portion of our stay and kindly watched Avery so that Levi and I could enjoy dinner out by ourselves. We have eaten at a lot of different places in the Destin/Ft. Walton/Sand Destin area and were looking for something new. I looked up reviews and found a place called 790 on The Gulf on Old Scenic 98. If you are down there, we highly recommend it. They have a happy hour menu from 4-7, with amazing prices. The outside seating is right on the beach (not above). Beautiful views and not a lot of people know about it yet.

Before   we knew it, we were packing our bags and heading back to Auburn. I am truly convinced that beach time is faster than time at home during a work week! I amthankful for the memories we made on our is just so full right now!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Know She Will Make A Great One!

Big Sister that is! Avery will be the proud big sister to Baby Elliott #2, who is due to make his or her debut around February 18th, 2012. I am 11.5 weeks and still feeling pretty icky...I am not complaining though, as we are humbled that God has given another sweet baby to our family. Today was my 2nd doctors appointment and I got to hear the heartbeat for the very first time, it was 179. I am measuring 2 weeks ahead and definitely have a small bump. We will hopefully find out if the baby is a boy or girl when we have our ultrasound in 4 weeks, on September 7th! I am anxious to see if my due date stays the same, since I am measuring a little ahead.

If you asked Levi or I when Avery was born how long it would be before we started trying again, we would have given you a definite, they need to be at least three years apart. God changed our hearts and they will end up being 2 and a 1/2 years apart which is absolutely perfect for our family's needs! I know that there will be hard moments, but I am praying that Avery will just be crazy about her sibling! She already talks to the baby and pretends to hold it, but 99% of her day I would say the thought of occupying her space with someone else doesn't cross her mind.

We are excited to finally share our big news with everyone and ask for your prayers as we prepare for this change! I would be lying if I didn't say that I am nervous and a little scared of the transition. However, I trust that God is going to equip us to be the best parents possible to our little ones.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are

Avery loves animals and has been able to tell us the sounds each one makes for a long time. In my mommy planning, you know the kind where you say "when he/she is this old, we will take them to ____", fill in the blank with the destination, I thought she would be a little older than 20 months before she would enjoy a trip to the zoo. But several weeks ago, Levi and I realized that now would be the perfect time! As we visited each exhibit, she sweetly told each animal hi and bye. Hi giraffe, bye bye giraffe. Just precious :)

The blessing of getting to watch Avery take in the wonders of God's creation is sometimes a little overwhelming. Levi and I try very hard to not to take these sweet moments for granted and are really beginning to understand how short this season of our lives will be. With all the stress that results from our jobs and lives in general, it is refreshing to get away as a family to make memories.
This was my first trip to the Birmingham zoo since I was probably 3 or so and Levi was pretty young on his last visit as well, so we really weren't sure what to expect. I will say though after visiting Bush Gardens in Tampa when Avery was 4 months old, we were a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong, Avery enjoyed it, but after Tampa, the expectations are high.
We met Levi's parents, his Aunt Johanna, as well as little Taylor (Levi's 2nd cousin) there. It was a little chilly, but we all felt that we would rather wear sweaters than battle the smothering heat and humidity. Avery's favorite animals were the monkey's, the tiger, and the lizards/snakes. She wasn't that thrilled with the train and hated the carousel. I think the loud music and circler motion was too much! The next "go round" will hopefully be better!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday 2011

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and belives in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

John 11:25&26

We had a very blessed Easter and after church, spent the day enjoying family and resting. As a Christian saved by grace...I cannot imagine what life would be like without the reconciliation that Jesus provided to us by his death on the cross. Apart from Him I am a slave to the wickedness of this world. Praise God, that it didn't end with His death, but that three days later, He arose from the grave! The ending was written, death and satan were conquered....Today, we can rest in the truth of His victory and anxiously await the day He will return to call his children home!

The look of exhaustion!

Her First Bunny Cake...She has a Mimi who loves all things Easter

Easter Basket!

After the Egg Hunt, we headed home to give Avery her Easter Basket. When discussing what our Easter traditions would be, we decided to do baskets on Saturday...a decision that will hopefully make Sunday mornings before church a little less stressful. Easter for our children will involve dyeing and hunting eggs and a basket, but they will know that the basket comes from us. We don't want to play up the Easter Bunny, but they will know that bunnies are just like eggs and yellow chicks, they make the holiday fun, but are not the reason that we celebrate. We had a lot of fun watching Avery pull each gift from her basket! This year, it included several books, the one I am most excited about is the 'Jesus Story Book Bible.' Each story points to Jesus and the gift of salvation He gave when He died for our sins and rose again. Avery has already enjoyed several stories read to her by Levi. In addition to the books, it had an Elmo DVD, PJs, hairbows, a bug capturing kit, gardening tools, and an apron.
Her big gift was from Mimi...a water play table :) She loves it! I am continually amazed at how smart she is and that she knows exactly what to do with any new toy she is given. This is such a fun age with new developments almost daily.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt 2011

I have looked forward to taking Avery to her first Easter Egg hunt for several weeks now (See post below on practicing). The annual hunt in my town continues to be one of my favorite childhood memories. It was a big deal to try to get a prize egg...In all the years we went as a family, I think I only got one. They didn't separate the age groups, so all of the big kids ran ahead and took them all. So, I was excited to see that Opelika was going to separate the eggs by age and thought that it would make the hunt more enjoyable for Avery

After the stampede, Avery was actually able to participate in the hunt
Well, I hate to say it, but I was really disappointed in the set up of the hunt. They had the 3 and under section in a very small area and that was probably the majority of the children represented. I was with Avery during the hunt and really didn't have any intentions of helping her pick up the eggs, but oh my goodness, if had I not picked up the eggs for her, she wouldn't have got even one! Other people were scooping up every one in sight for their child and some kids had two or three people hunting with them. No kidding, 30 seconds after the announcer said go, everything was gone. I am not sure this will be an annual event for us. We will probably stick to hunting in our yard :)
Playing Mark, Set, Go with Mimi

Riding the train...possibly the most fun she has ever had!
All in all, we had fun and definitely made memories. Avery loved the train and side walk chalk. It is really nice to have some of our family here to share such special times.