Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our Fall Family Pictures 2013

Last Friday, I turned twenty six! I told Daniel that all I really wanted was to have family picture taken!  Since I am so often behind the camera, I don't have a lot of pictures of me with LG or of the three of us! Before we moved to New Jersey and during our dating days, my Aunt El was always available for impromptu photo shoots, but now that she's over three hours away, it's hard to get together to have her take our pictures.

I priced a few local photographers online and couldn't believe the prices! Since even half of what they charge wasn't in the budget, we had to come up with another plan!

I asked a couple of our teens from church to come along and take the pictures for us! Ruth and Lauren are amazing young ladies and did not disappoint when it came to these snapshots! We also brought Ruth's younger brother, Jason, along to help get Londyn Grace to smile! He was a great help!

After Daniel worked at the church on Friday, we loaded up and headed about twenty minutes west of our town, to a county park I found online.

I was a little nervous since we had never been there before, but it ended up being prettier than I imagined and the perfect setting for fall pictures!

I am so thrilled with all of these images! I'm so excited to have framable pictures of me and my girl!

The next picture is probably my favorite! I had intended for LG to be looking at the camera, but I love that she is turned looking at us instead!

After Mama got a few kisses, Lovey Lou needed a few, too!

The colors of the leaves and the light filtering through the trees was absolutely breathtaking!

It's going to be hard to choose which picture to use for our Christmas card this year!

It truly was the best birthday present ever to have these memories of our little family of three captured on film!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

the pumpkin patch, the playground and a whole lot of precious pictures!

Monday, as most of you know, is Daniel's day off! Since my birthday is on Friday, we had planned for him to switch his day off to Friday and take a drive up into Connecticut to see the gorgeous fall foliage we've heard so much about. However the forecast didn't look too promising so we decided against it. He took Monday off as usual so we slept in, had a late breakfast of leftover apple crisp, and then got ready for a trip to the pumpkin patch!

We drove nearly an hour to a farm I found online that looked like a great place with a pumpkin patch and other activities, but apparently every other family in Jersey had the same idea! As we turned onto the road there was an enormous line of traffic waiting to enter! When we finally got into the parking area, we couldn't believe the number of people that were there! We drove around trying to find a parking spot, but to no avail. LG was napping in her carseat so we made the decision to head back towards home. I was so disappointed, but knew that navigating the crowds wouldn't have been much fun for any of us. We are thinking that a lot of kids had the day off from school due to Columbus Day so that must have added to the number of people who picked a Monday afternoon to visit the patch.

On our way back to Caldwell, I was searching online for another patch. I found a small farm just ten minutes from us! It wasn't a true cut your pumpkin off the vine kind of place, but it was a good substitute for the crowded farm we tried first.

When we arrived, sweet Londyn girl found a pumpkin that was just her size! Her reaction to it was the sweetest thing!

Her sweet little hands held onto that tiny pumpkin the entire time we were there!

Speaking of, I've noticed lately how much her hands are starting to look like toddler hands and not baby hands! They are getting so chubby!

After finding her little pumpkin, we headed out to the field to find a big pumpkin to take home for carving!

Her squinty-eyed smile makes my heart so happy!

I think she looks like such a big girl in this one!

After paying for our pumpkins, we loaded up and headed to the park since it was such a beautiful day!
Daddy doesn't usually get to go with us since he's normally at the church during the day so we were excited to have him with us to push LG on the swings and help her on the slide!

I just love these shots so much! Her smile makes me melt!

We practiced our walking before we left! She is getting closer, but still hasn't taken any unassisted steps yet!

We love Mondays! Having Daddy home with us is the best!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Apple Picking!

Last Saturday, a group from our church took a little trip to the Orchard! After raining most of the week, we weren't sure we would get to go, but it turned out to be a gorgeous Autumn afternoon perfect for apple picking!

LG wasn't feeling one hundred percent after a rough night of teething, but she napped on the drive out and woke up ready to enjoy her first trip to the orchard.

She wasn't quite sure what to think of the hayride, but once she found a tiny little apple to munch on she had a ball!

Goosey helped Daddy pick some off of the trees while Mama snapped pictures!

We ended up with around 8 pounds of apples, but at only $1.50 a pound you really couldn't beat the price!

They had so many different kinds to choose from! From your typical Red Delicious to Gala, Honeycrisp (which we decided were our favorite!) and even a few I'd never heard of, it was an apple lovers dream come true!

After picking a basket full, we rode the haywagon back to the barn to pay for our apples and purchase some cider!

Londyn Grace was a HUGE fan of the cider! Can you blame her?! I love that stuff!

We had packed our lunches so we ate them in the grassy area next to the barn and enjoyed the fellowship with our church family!

All of the apple picking wore her out though and no sooner did we put her in the carseat, she was out! She slept the whole way home!

So far I've made apple crisp with some of the apples and have plans to make applesauce tomorrow!

Do you have a favorite apple recipe?! I'd love for you to share!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Friday Five!

Happy Friday, friends!! Here on the East Coast, we started this week with gorgeous weather, but it's rained the last few days. How was your week?!

I'm summing up our week by joining in the Friday Five, again!

1.) {Home!} Even though we had just been in Maryland for LG's party, Auntie M wanted us to ride back with her on Friday so that's what we did! On the trip back, we stopped at a creamery and had ice cream for dinner! I had pumpkin so that counts as a fruit, right?!  We stayed Friday night and Saturday before heading back to Jersey Saturday night. It was a short but sweet time with family!

2.) {The Park} Before the rain came, we spent an afternoon at our favorite place! We are going to be so sad when the colder temperatures keep us from swinging and playing at the park!

3.) {Pumpkin} Joy mentioned not being a fan of the fall flavor in a recent post. I'm picky about lots of things and have pretty limited tastes, but I love pumpkin! I made these last night, and we won't discuss how many I've eaten! They were SO easy and are SO yummy!
4.) {Teething} LG is working on tooth number five and it is not being kind to us! She's even running a fever cutting this one which she hasn't done with the first four. I hate seeing her hurting! We've done lots of rocking and nursing! The only thing that seems to help. She hasn't smiled much, but I was able to get this sweet picture this afternoon!

5.) {Apple Picking & the Pumpkin Patch} If the weather holds out, we have plans to go with a few families from our church tomorrow!! I'm so excited for Lovey Lou to pick out her first pumpkin!

Hope you all had a great week and have a restful weekend! Head on over to The Sowell Life to link up!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Twelve Months...

I cannot believe I am typing my last monthly post.

To be honest, I put off taking her last monthly chalkboard picture because well it was exactly that her last one!

But the picture had to be taken and the post has to be written, because Londyn Grace is twelve months old

She spent the last month growing and changing, looking more and more like a big girl every single day.

She has officially tripled her birth weight!!!  She weighs in at 18 pounds 15 ounces. She is still 28 inches long though so she hasn't grown much length wise recently. I am so thankful that most of her growth can be attributed to nursing! There were so many moments in those early days when I wondered if we'd make it to our goal, but we did!

She is fitting nicely (with room to grow!) into the 12 month clothes she received for her birthday and we are still cloth diapering.
Up until the last few days, she has still nursed frequently throughout the day. Currently, she is seeming a little less interested especially when we are around other people and she doesn't want to miss what's going on, but is still nursing well in the morning, at bedtime and once during the night.

New foods this month included cheese and yogurt! She also has quite the sweet tooth as she enjoyed all of her birthday treats.

As far as sleep goes, she still isn't sleeping through the night. Only once in her twelve months has she done so and that was back in the beginning of December! She's usually up once around midnight, nurses and then goes back to sleep with us in our bed. Her new wake up time is usually always around 7:20-7:30 when Daddy leaves for church, but if she goes to bed really late like she has over the last two weeks with all of the birthday celebrations, she will sleep in a little later. Depending on the day and her wake up time, she usually forgoes a morning nap for a longer early afternoon nap that usually lasts about an hour and a half. Typically she also takes a short early evening nap when Daddy comes home at 4:00 and wakes up around dinner time.

We thought she would be walking by one, but she is still content to cruise around holding onto the furniture or walls for support! She has mastered the stairs at church and finds them quite entertaining! I always make sure she only does them when I'm right behind her. She can now climb off my lap when I'm sitting in the recliner.

Her favorite thing to do is to wave and say "Hi!" She greets anyone and everyone! It's the cutest thing and usually receives quite the response from people when we are out and about. She is so friendly!

She still loves her baby dolls and is so sweet with them. She is obsessed with talking on the phone and pretends just about any toy is a phone! She loves little kids and other babies, too!

I can tell that Goosey is starting to comprehend more and more. If I ask her if she wants to eat breakfast or lunch she will point to the kitchen. If you ask her where the baby is, she will point to the pictures of her on the wall. She can also show you where her nose is!

She absolutely loves going to the park and swinging on the swings! She has shown a bigger interest in looking at books, pointing to the pictures and turning the pages.

She is so vocal and is clearly trying to express herself, but we have a hard time deciphering what most of her jibber jabber means! She is still only saying Mama, Dada, and Hi on a regular basis. Her sweet little giggle is so precious and if anyone is laughing she laughs, too!

She dislikes diaper changes and often rolls over and crawls away mid-change! She also isn't a fan of being put in the carseat, but is okay with it once she's strapped in and the car is moving. This month she moved up to her big girl seat which makes napping in the car a bit more challenging.

Lovey Lou is still super attached to me, and I am totally okay with it! It makes for long days, but days I wouldn't trade for anything!!
She is super sweet but such a stinker. She likes to pull everything out of the cabinets while I work in the kitchen. In the past few days she has found and dumped the cocoa powder all over the kitchen floor TWICE even after I hid it in the very back! 

In some ways it is so hard to believe that this is my twelfth update, that she has been with us for a whole year while in others it's hard to remember what life was like without her!

What a year it has been, truly the best year of our lives!

Londyn Grace,
         I can't believe that this time last year you had only been in our arms for four days! What did we ever do without you? You have grown so much and bring us more joy with each passing day! You are no longer that tiny little newborn wearing preemie clothes! What a blessing it has been to watch you grow and learn new things. We only wish the last year hadn't passed so quickly! Thank you for bringing sunshine on that rainy October evening and for brightening up each day since. We praise the Lord for giving us an entire year with you and are looking forward to all that the year to come holds!

                                          Daddy and Mama

**If you missed any of LG's birthday posts, be sure to check them out!**

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Friday Five {birthday edition}

Londyn Grace turned one on Thursday and although we had already done a lot of celebrating, with her big party in Maryland last weekend, we made the entire day a celebration!! 

1. {Balloons} Before I finally went to bed at 2:30 Thursday morning, I blew up twelve balloons and filled LG's crib with them! When she awoke, I sang "Happy Birthday to You" as she grinned sleepily and then took her into her nursery to see her surprise! She loved it!

2. {Donuts} Daddy got up early and made a Dunkin run before she woke up. After playing with her balloons, we went downstairs and she was surprised with a pink donut for breakfast! She ate a few bites of mainly strawberry icing, but mostly played with it!

3. {Pictures in the Park} After breakfast, I dressed LG in her birthday smocking and we headed over to the church so Daddy could blow up the big balloon I bought a few weeks ago to use for birthday pictures! Then we went to our favorite park to take a few pictures of our one year old!!

She loved watching all the people, waving and smiling as they passed! She was especially interested in the dogs being walked! A lot of the smiles I caught were thanks to Luke, a sweet German shepherd, whose owner stopped to say hello!

After pictures, Goosey had a blast on the swings. The sweet smiles I caught are priceless!

4.} {Cake} I mentioned earlier that I was up until 2:30 Thursday morning! Well, the cake I made was the main reason I was up so late! It was the first time I have ever worked with fondant, but overall I was happy with the result! I plan to make baking her cake a yearly tradition!

5. {Auntie M} My sweet sister drove four hours after an 8 hour shift to be at LG's little party last night! She spent the night and we enjoyed her company on Friday as well! We went back to the park for more fun! Living far away makes the time we do get to spend together even sweeter!

We had a such a fun week celebrating our big one year old! How was your week? Head on over to The Sowell Life and link up!