Sunday, June 30, 2013


I'm never good at planning day trips and out-of-the-ordinary activities (usually walking to the park is as exciting as it gets), but luckily I have friends who are really good at it and let us tag along! Last week we checked out Burlington, Vermont with a couple friends and it was such a fun trip! It's only an hour and a half away, but it was far enough to feel like a fun getaway for the day.
We spent most of our time at Lake Champlain and it was a really fun lake. Bryn hadn't been to a "beach" since we moved from California last summer, so she was so giddy! It was fun to see her playing in the sand and the waves, just like the good old days in Huntington Beach :)

Me, Michelle, and Catherine
This was the Saturday before my wonderful friend Michelle moved, so it was fun to fit in one last day trip with her. Cat was nice enough to play with Mya on the shore so I could swim with Bryn. I didn't think I'd be doing many excursions with the girls while Josh was gone, but thank goodness for awesome friends who are helping me out so much!
 After the lake we cleaned up and wandered around downtown Burlington. It was such a cute city! There was a big Farmer's Market going on and lots of cute little shops and restaurants along Church Street. 

 Brynlee, Brixton, and Damon
These two cute boys moved a few days ago and Bryn was so sad to see them go. I'm glad we fit in a fun Burlington trip with them before they left. Fun day!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mya's Birthday

 Mya's birthday started early! 5:45 am early! The girls woke up with squeals and Bryn belting out the birthday song with as much gusto as it's ever been sung. While I missed that extra hour of sleep, I must admit their excitement was pretty darn cute. Bryn was so darling and just kept hugging Mya and saying "Mya! It's finally your birthday! You're finally a one year old!"
Our first item of business was to do a little Google+ Hangout with Josh from his office at Google :)
I felt so bad that Josh couldn't be here for Mya's big day, but luckily they had a cute video chat. I don't know who was more smiley and excited to see the other, Josh or Mya!
 Mya got a walker as her birthday gift from us, and she had fun testing it out.
That evening we had a very low-key birthday party with a few families from our neighborhood.
Bryn was the mastermind behind the decor. She and I sneakily told Mya on the eve of her birthday that we were going downstairs "to read one last bedtime book", but instead we blew up balloons and hung the crepe paper. Bryn loved being a part of the surprise and was giggling the whole time we worked, saying "Mya is going to be so surprised when she comes downstairs tomorrow! It's going to be hilarious!"
Some of our wonderful friends
(Bryn's pose is so typical! The popped hip!)
 Pink and purple birthday treats

Mya was not sure what to think about the whole cake thing. The whole time we sang to her and brought her the cake she had the most perplexed look like "What in the world is going on here?"
She wasn't a big fan of the cake. It didn't help that it was a really dense cake with stiff frosting (my bad), so it was quite a feat to actually break into it. 
 The only part she enjoyed was when she tipped it over and all the kids laughed :)
 She was, however, very interested in her birthday presents! 
We didn't go all out with gifts, but she got some cute little things from family members and friends and she had so much fun playing with them! I didn't think a one year old would even care much about gifts, but she was so happy unwrapping little things and looking them over. this birthday girl.
 What a fun day to celebrate one of the sweetest girls around :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mya's First Year

We love you, Mya! What a cutie you've been at every stage!
(Bryn's first year photos HERE)

One Year Old

Oh, I love this little girl and can't believe she is one year old today. What a joy she is in our home. Mya has such an important place in our hearts and I can't imagine our family without her. 
Here is Mya's one-year update and a few blurry pictures of this squirmy girl...
Her little personality is so funny. At home she is smiley and silly and curious, but in public she is very cautious and shy. She loves to wave to people, but it's usually with a nervous expression. It takes some work to get her to smile and loosen up, but she's not quite as clingy as she was a few months ago so I think she's making a little progress :)
She still nurses twice a day, but that won't last much longer. She eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the family and usually eats the same thing we're having. Her favorite foods are probably bananas, yogurt, black beans, chicken rolls, and any kind of soup. She has four teeth that she puts to good use at mealtime, and she probably has a few more teeth coming in soon, judging by her cranky, slobbery, gnaw-on-everything-in-sight mood the last few days.
Mya naps for a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours in the afternoon. She goes to bed with Bryn at 7 pm, but those two rascals usually keep each other up til 7:30 pm being silly in their beds. Mya is almost always the one who initiates the silliness and Bryn tries hard to quietly go to bed, but it's tough when there's a cute toddler, standing up in her crib, squealing and giggling, and tempting you to do the same. I try to be firm in enforcing quiet bedtime, but secretly I love to hear them squealing together. 
Miss Mya is still not walking, but she's a speedy little crawler and gets from room to room faster and faster. She loves to follow Bryn around and keep tabs on what she's up to. She's always grabbing at Bryn's hair and tugging on her clothes and Bryn is so used to it that it doesn't even phase her. Bryn loves to play "Mom" to Mya and loves to carry her around, rock her in the rocking chair, surround her with toys, etc. It's just so cute to see those two play all day and Mya always loves the attention.
There hasn't been a single day this past year where I haven't held Mya tight and thanked God she is a part of our family. She was such an answer to our prayers and I feel so deeply, truly grateful for her every day. I hope that gratitude for her never fades and I remember the miracle of each new little life. Before Mya's birth my heart was so raw from our four miscarriages and the health complications that we were figuring out. Mya's pregnancy was such a rollercoaster physically and emotionally- the hundreds of shots and hormone pills, blood test after blood test, ultrasound after ultrasound. Abnormal blood tests, abnormal ultrasounds, the cysts on her brain and concerns of down syndrome. The stress! The worry! The prayers and prayers and prayers! (The overly emotional and concerned pregnant lady!!) I think of all of that when I see the healthy, perfect little girl beside me all day. Mya truly healed my fragile heart and I feel so blessed to be her mom.
Mya's first year has been wonderful and I look forward to all the beautiful years ahead.
Bryn and Mya at age one.
I couldn't love these two more!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Evening at the Park

It's been a pretty gray, drizzly week so far, but there was a pocket of sunshine last night, so we threw together a picnic dinner and walked to a fun, new park about a mile away. We stayed for nearly two hours and even went back for more this morning (until we got rained out and made the soggy walk home). A new park (or a new anything) in our quiet, little city is a big deal!
Bryn loves parks like this. If there's anything dangerous or difficult, she is all over it.
 And then there is my cautious, little Mya who timidly makes her way around the playground equipment with wide eyes. This is her idea of "dangerous" - sitting on a bench with no hands.

I've looked at these pictures over and over today and they make me so happy. It's the simple little moments like this that make life feel so full. Bryn at four and a half years old is so, so great. I just love watching her do her thing all day. That girl. And Mya at almost-one year old is hard to beat, too. I am going to miss, miss, miss Josh this summer while he's away, but thank goodness I have these two sweet girls to make me smile.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

 I knew when I was dating Josh that he was going to be a fantastic dad to our children, and I was completely right!
 Josh is gone for his internship in NYC, so we celebrated Father's Day on Friday night before he left. We ordered take-out from 3 Guys BBQ and had a fun night at home with the girls.
  We had Josh's favorite treat: warm brownies and peanut butter ice cream. Bryn gets credit for the pig and hippo on top....she thought we should make the brownies a little fancier since it was our Father's Day treat and all! Her animal choice was fitting - with a big BBQ meal + brownies and ice cream we certainly felt like pigs/hippos afterwards. Thank you, Bryn.
Josh is the best dad and Bryn and Mya are the luckiest kids around to have him as their dad. They just adore him and think he's the greatest person on earth. And they're right :)
Oh man, Mya is going to miss her Dad this summer and something tells me Josh is going to miss this little babe, too!
We were really missing Josh today! Thank goodness for video chats!
Also worth mentioning- Mr. Matthew R. Clarke.
I have the best dad ever and I wish I could have been with him today. Love you, Dad! Can't wait to see you in a month from today! We've got our paper chain hanging and are counting down the days!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

D.C. Trip: Thank you Fillmores!!

 Just as fun as going to all the museums and D.C. sites was hanging out with Jess and Sterling and their four cute boys! It was so, so great to be with family. I have been missing family lately, so this trip was much needed! Jess and Sterling are the best hosts ever, so accommodating and generous. We had such a blast!

Also, another bonus to being in civilization again was hitting up Costco, Cafe Rio, Chick-fil-A, Trader Joes, Target, and Old Navy.....all of which are a few hours away from our home in New Hampshire. Jess and I would put our kids to bed and then spend the evenings running errands and thrifting. Jess is the sibling right above Josh and she has always seemed like an older sister to me. She is the best and I loved all our conversations and outings.
 Bryn LOVED her time with cousins! I'm so glad she'll see these cute boys again this summer at the Hawkins reunion.
Bryn was introduced to "boy" toys like monster trucks and super hero costumes.

 Josh was in heaven with all of Sterling's demos on his smoker and grill. Sterling did smoked pork and steaks and both were amazing! According to Josh, we will be purchasing a smoker as soon as we graduate. (We'll see how that goes...)
The six cousins! It's so fun to have kids the same ages of Jess's kids and I'm so glad that they are all becoming such good buddies.
THANK YOU FILLMORE FAMILY for such a great trip! D.C. was just as wonderful as I had heard it would be and I'm so glad we got the chance to check it out while we are living back east. And we may even squeeze in one more D.C. trip during our final year here. I could definitely go for a round two :)