Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Videos Captured By Uncle Jared

Uncle Jared spent Thanksgiving with us this year.  It was a real treat to have him visit over the holiday.  We never have a chance to head home for Thanksgiving because the break isn't long enough, so we usually celebrate here with dear friends.  This year we were able to celebrate with friends and family and it made Thanksgiving extra special.

Evelyn had a field day with Uncle Jared.  She was only too happy to get him up first thing in the morning and to run him ragged.  We went on walks, watched movies, played with Uncle Jared's phone (and any other piece of technology Evelyn could get her hands on), cooked, baked, danced and laughed.

Here are just two of the videos Jared captured from the weekend together.  The first is a video of Evelyn singing several songs on a platform she found in the middle of our walk.  The "stage" was just her size and apparently beckoned her to sing aloud for all who would listen.  The second video is of Evelyn coloring with Joe and telling Uncle Jared what she wants for Christmas.  Her second answer is priceless.  We think it's really code for "Mom and Dad, I want a backyard!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Advent Is A Time Of Waiting...

This Advent we not only wait in eager anticipation for the birth of Christ but we also wait for the birth of our second child (who was due yesterday).  We've prepared our home and hearts for Jesus' birth and readied ourselves for the newest addition to our family and still we wait.  We know God has a plan, now we (I) just need to be patient enough to wait for its unveiling.

I'll admit, in the last week I've done everything to keep myself from going crazy.  As the contractions come and go, so too do the waves of hopefulness and frustration wash in and out.  

Lighting the first candle- for hope, on the Advent wreath was easy this year.  I had nothing but hope in my heart as I looked ahead to the coming weeks; my Christmas shopping and many tasks on my to-do list (getting a Christmas tree, wrapping presents, cleaning the house and mailing gifts etc.) were already finished, in anticipation of our new baby's arrival.  I even had hopes that because I was so prepared, the baby would surely be early.  

Our tree all decorated
Santa hats I knit for Evelyn and the new baby
The second candle- for peace, was slightly more difficult to light.  I hit week 39 in my pregnancy and the hope I felt one week earlier disappeared.  Although, I knew my heart should be filled with peace, I was instead agitated and annoyed.  I should have been thankful that my baby was content to stay tucked away but I was almost bitter about it, thinking that the second time around he/she would come much sooner than Evelyn did.  I came down with a bad head cold at the beginning of the week and my spirit was anything but peaceful.  Thankfully, my superstar husband and daughter carried me through the most challenging parts of the week.  As we entered the weekend and the Third Sunday of Advent, I had embraced some peaceful thoughts about the state of my pregnancy.

39 weeks
My superstars
We lit the third candle on Sunday night.  The third candle is pink and represents joy.  Yesterday, was my due date (40 weeks).  It was a day filled with joy and peace.  Evelyn and I baked cookies, read Christmas stories and colored all day long.  It was a precious day full of amazing memories that brought me so much joy.  Watching Evelyn's eyes light up as the cookies baked in the oven or the pure joy that exuded from her little body when we read The Polar Express for the very first time was enough to fill my heart with joy and to set me straight.  

Cupcake jammies must be worn when baking Christmas cookies
The final purple candle won't be lit until next Sunday, but it represents love and I'm certain there will be an abundance of it in our household as we welcome a new child into our lives.  I'm thankful to God that my final weeks of pregnancy coincided so beautifully with the season of Advent.  We wish you a very blessed Advent and a Christmas filled with love and family.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Halloween... It was "sew" great!

Halloween was really wonderful this year.  I'm not going to be making my own Christmas cards this year (sadly) because of our new baby's impending arrival, so I've used this fall as an outlet for my creativity.  I felt that Halloween was the perfect excuse to craft something.

One craft I've never really tried before is sewing.  I remember sewing a simple shirt for a Girl Scout badge back in the day, using a friend's sewing machine, but that was about the extent of my sewing experience.  I always wrote it off as a craft that was just not something I did.

We decided to dress Evelyn up as a cowgirl this year for Halloween, and Joe and I would also dress the part.  Evelyn had the denim skirt (ended up being a little too chilly out to wear it), the authentic cowgirl boots from Texas (thank you, Uncle Jared), and a cowgirl hat from her 2nd birthday.  It just seemed like an easy costume, since we had most of the pieces already.  I decided that the costume could use a few extra accessories to "bring it home."  A cowgirl vest and horse to carry around would be the perfect compliments to her adorable ensemble.  Much to my disappointment, there were no cowgirl vests available for purchase (as a single garment) days before Halloween.  If Evelyn was to wear a vest, I would have to make one.  I called a friend with a sewing machine, found a vest pattern online and set a date to meet at her place to sew the project.

I didn't anticipate this plan not working out.  As it so happens, Joe (who was supposed to stay at home with Evelyn during nap time so that I could meet my friend for our sewing date) was unavailable.  Just days before Halloween, and anxious to check things off the to-do list (pregnancy will always motivate me), I decided to take on the vest myself and hand-sew the pieces.  After consulting my friend with the sewing machine, I felt confident enough to take on this project alone.

I was pleasantly surprised at how the vest came together.  After the basic vest was configured, I started to warm up to sewing and felt the need to press on and hand sew all the embellishments.  In fact, I was having "sew" much fun with my newfound craft that I created my own pattern for a horse shaped candy tote that Evelyn could carry for Halloween!  I realized that having her carry a bag for candy and a horse on a stick might be too cumbersome, so I saved some money and just sewed her a horse she could carry and put candy in.  All these crafts came together in a matter of days (I finished the horse purse the night before Halloween).

Sewing Evelyn's costume accessories occupied my time for a few days and I almost ran out of time to create a costume for myself.  I really struggled with my costume this year because even though we were doing the "Western Theme," as a family, my pregnant belly was calling for a special costume of its own.  I decided it wasn't enough to dress up as a pregnant cowgirl.  Joe and I tossed ideas around for a few weeks.  I wanted something that was easy enough to make, not too difficult to carry around (I'm already carrying my belly) and that followed our theme.  Not exactly a simple task.  Finally, I came up with this idea, and I was very pleased with the end result.

I wanted to make a star around my whole belly, but I didn't have time to make individual points and figured that wouldn't be too comfortable to wear around (or to carry Evelyn), so I chose the subtle route and whipped this design up in Microsoft Word.  I printed the design on iron-on paper and affixed it to an old maternity shirt during nap time (on Halloween).  It didn't take too long, but I now aspire to take a few lessons in digital imaging... I had a pretty awful time trying to execute my idea on the computer!
Probably should have added a mane... 
Evelyn the cowgirl... wearing the vest I made her 
Cowgirl getting an escort from Daddy Cowboy
Texas Pride
Baby was happy to be in costume too
Every girl needs fringe
The trick-or-treating gang

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A September Post For Good Measure

In late August/early September, summer actually came to Seattle!  Just in time for us to spend Labor Day weekend in Massachusetts for a friend's wedding!  Evelyn was really excited to fly on an airplane again.  As I mentioned earlier, my parents came to town in July and Evelyn was devastated when we dropped them off at the airport (mostly because she realized she wasn't going on an airplane with them).  This happened to her again in August when my brother, cousin Jeff, and his wife Kate came to visit and then left on an airplane to head home, without Evelyn.  Luckily, when Matt, Jeff and Kate left, Evelyn only had to wait two days to get on an airplane herself.  So at least her devastation was short lived!
Ready for flight!
Evelyn had a terrific time with Grammie and Grandpa in Massachusetts.  We had a fabulous time at my friend Jess' wedding!  Seeing family and spending time with friends from home was such a gift.  We were only sorry the trip was so short.
Kendra, Rebecca and Kate at the corn roast
Say cheese and eat cheese- My cousin Kendra, Evelyn and me
Bridal Party and the Bride!
Rehearsal dinner
Getting ready for Jess' big day
Together again- Rebecca, Jessica and Melissa
With the blushing bride
Me and Joe
The Happy Couple- Congratulations Mr. and Dr. Bailey
Everyone needs a cold drink 
Christensen/Sosinski Reunion- Lilly meets Evelyn :)
Evelyn getting Uncle Matt's and Grandpa's noses
Tickle Fight
 When we came home, we took Evelyn's crib rail down once and for all.  As you may recall, we tried this back when she was only 21 months old and she just wasn't ready.  This time was MUCH, MUCH easier and permanent!

Evelyn also had her first experience at the Puyallup Fair with our friends Anna and Gus.  She 
thoroughly enjoyed the rides and the sites!  

At the end of the month, we took a much needed trip back to Michigan to spend some quality time with Joe's family and a few close friends.  Joe's grandfather passed away on September 21, so it was really special to be home with family to celebrate Grandpa's long life and to honor him.  Evelyn had fun reconnecting with her cousins and galavanting in her grandparents' yard (she went apple picking, watched the cows, and even enjoyed a campfire).  We also had a nice time visiting with our dear friends, the Dykstra's, who recently moved back to Michigan after having lived in Washington.

Dykstra/Sosinski Reunion
Grandma, Braden, Kylie and Evelyn
Fun on the porch swing 
The essence of fall... fun with cousins on Grandpa's farm
Evelyn, Grandma and Grandpa 
Joe with his parents and Evelyn

Reflections of Summer... Now That Fall Has Arrived- August

I told you I would bombard you with blog posts... sorry for the overload.  Posting over 4 posts in a day has to be a record!

August went as quickly as it came.  The newest development in August, aside from a growing Baby #2, was putting pigtails in Evelyn's hair!  It was an exciting moment to see her transform into a big girl, just by adding two of this tiniest hair ties in her hair!  Here was the result!

Another exciting development was Evelyn's mastery of the alphabet.  For some time, she's been singing her ABC's but over the summer she really started to recognize all of the letters (both uppercase and lowercase).  Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was when she brought me her MagnaDoodle and said, "Mama, look, an E!"  Sure enough, Evelyn had written an E, in almost perfect form all by herself, with no prompting from me.  It was a proud day for sure!

A little something else I learned in August... Evelyn walks in 2 1/2 inch heels with much more poise than me!

Reflections of Summer... Now That Fall Has Arrived- July

July came quickly, but didn't bring summer.  Usually, we can count on "summer" arriving in Seattle around July 4th.  While all our East Coast and Midwest family roasted on Independence Day, we hit a whopping 67 degrees in the Pacific Northwest.  We were grateful for the sunshine though, even though it didn't last!

My parents came and visited us during July.  Evelyn spent much of the time learning how to make coffee and use an iphone.  Two things her mother still needs to learn how to do!  After they left, we also had a chance to take Evelyn to her first Mariner's baseball game at Safeco Field.  She still talks about how the Moose mascot bounced on its head during the 7th Inning Stretch.

First Belly Shot of Baby #2- 18 weeks
Grammie prefers Dunkin' Donuts... take note, E
iphone 101- except Evelyn was the instructor
If you're old enough to use an iphone, you're old enough for glasses
First Mariner's Game as a family
30th Birthday picture with Baby #2