Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Big Red Barn

A sweet friend left a book at our house one day after coming over to visit. Since then, The Big Red Barn has been one of Ellie's favorites and has played a part in her animal obsseion. So, on Saturday, since we had Eric to ourselves all weekend, we made a trip out to the farm. Ellie is all about some animals and so she loved being able to roam freely with them...

She was all about hugging whatever animal she could. I was thinking she was going to come home with some type of thing, but didn't want to be that mom stressing about the germs...

Who knew?

So, I was so excited that they had a little Shetland pony there, but the poor thing never moved. He looks a little rough, huh? Ellie waving bye bye.

Then we had a picnic in the shade enjoying the not so hot weather.

We had a fun day and enjoyed the weekend with Eric. We got to watch the Gators take another win and Purdue was off, so they didn't loose, so it was a good sports weekend for the whole house (ha- just kidding Eric!) Eric's parent's gave me a new camera lens for my upcoming B-day and I can't wait to try it out and share some pics! Slowly but surely, fall is getting here!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

He gently leads...

Time means more to me now than ever. Counting as weeks pass and our little boy grows bigger and more intricately inside of me. Seeing months pass and with them brings an older, more independent, more affectionate little girl. About a year ago, she was still...

mastering the art of sitting (look at those little thighs!).
 just learning the joys of "exploring" (aka pulling stuff out from everywhere!)
 learning to eat "real" food.
 spending time in this thing.
 and hair was just beginning to grow!
 Somethings have stayed the same. Such as her love for sinks.
 and the Gators :)
Yet as fall has begun, travels have slowed, and life in general has taken on a more consistent, steady pace, I realize that these past few months have given me more of an adventurous, curious, smart little girl than a baby. Note, I did say little, and I mean little little! I am not trying to rush it, but it happens. I love this age that Ellie is at. She is talking more and more every day. She is beginning to be more affectionate by giving more hugs and kisses. She loves to read (only if she can sit right next to you with a huge quilt :). She is funny and knows it.

I guess as she grows, I feel the responsibility for her well-being, her education, her soul more and more. We are at the age where discipline/training slowly begins. The age where her mind is always going and I want to fill it with interesting and stimulating good things. I am so blessed to be able to be at home with her all the time. So, all this responsibility falls on Eric and I. And I am thankful for that in many ways, yet sometimes it can seem overwhelming.

Tonight, Eric was sweet and took Ellie to church with him to give me some quiet time at home. I was reading my Bible and came across a verse that I had never read. I felt like the Lord was reminding me that it is not all me. Or Eric. It is Him. Only He can save Ellie. This verse revealed to me a very tender, compassionate, and understanding side of God. A side that cares so much, even for me, a mom staying at home raising a little one up.

"He tends His flock like a shepherd,
He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11

To me, that imagery is amazing. God of the universe keeping little me close to His heart. Gently guiding me as I learn to care for Ellie.

This picture of Ellie sums up what that does for my heart:

It is freeing!
I can try and faithfully do what I feel I need to as her mom and Eric's wife and go on living my days trusting Him to lead.
And He has blessed us with much!

Telling momma about her adventures with Daddy out in the remnants of the tropical storm that came through.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Life at the Beach

Well hello there! We are a little behind around here...  We are getting tons of rain from this storm so it has been a nice day to cuddle up inside after about 100 days of no rain and 99 degrees. So, Ellie is in bed, brownies are in the oven, and I thought I'd catch y'all up a bit!

Well, our fall schedule has gotten going so life will be more consistent, along with blogging, hopefully! So here is our end of the summer beach trip. My Nana and Papa take us all to Ormond Beach each summer for as long as I can remember. So, Eric, me, Ellie, Kelly, and our 2 dogs headed down to FL for some good time with family and the beach. 
 On the road, doing whatever it took to keep Ellie happy. Eric always knows how to get a laugh out of the crew.

After 8+ hours in the car, we were all happy to get there. Especially Ellie... after someone snuck her a fudge pop... No names mentioned. We spent a few days with my dad at home before we headed off to the beach.

 Ellie is 1/2 FL blood after all, and it was apparent in her love of the beach. She loved running out into the waves, topples into the water didn't bother her, and she tried to eat her fair share of sand.

 This is the sunrise from our balcony. One thing that changes after a little one comes into the picture is you get to see more of these. A hidden blessing of rising early.
 Nini gave Ellie her first pedi. This little girl never sits still, but she was so serious about getting her toes done that she didn't move a muscle.
 Many of these trips were made. Back and forth. Fill the bucket up. Dump it out. Repeat.

 Our days were pretty predictable. Up early, breakfast, run around the condo, read a few books, color, go through the sunscreen ritual, go to the beach, go to the pool, nap, lunch, beach, dinner, more beach. After dinner was a great time to go to the beach. Ellie was entertained this particular evening by this...
And this.

Not only can this guy pull of a mean round-off, he also has his first hole-in-one!!!! He and papa played a couple rounds of golf and during one of the rounds he made one!!!
 Love you momma! So, I learned that cameras get foggy when they are in the AC all day then the outdoors. Sad. But I still love this picture.
 Kelly begged me to do a maternity shoot, but I said just one...

 Well, after a week, Kelly and Eric had to head back. But, Ellie and I got to stay for another week. That week it rained most afternoons so me, Lolly, and Ellie spent the afternoons out and about. These 2 are quite the pair... We spent afternoons at the bookstore, getting treats, hitting up a few stores, and some trips to the park.
 Nana and Papa were never short on entertainment with this little one around. She was very entertaining for all of us! And she loved the time with them. Papa is quite the book reader! He was so entertaining to Ellie and even more to us.

 I am so thankful that Ellie has 2 fun, loving great-grandparents! Thank you so much Nan and Pop for the wonderful time you gave us!! We loved every second of it!
 We were sad that dad couldn't come to the beach with us, but we got some good time with him before we flew home. He took Ellie on lots of walks around the yard spotting lizards, feeding the iguana, Homer, and sneaking in snacks.

We were sad, as always, to leave mom and dad. It is hard having special parts of your life spread out all over, but the times together are always so so sweet. I love getting to see Ellie really get to know her grandparents more. Yet, we knew that Eric would be waiting for us at the airport and a week away from him is wayyyy to long! Ellie did well on the flight. I got plenty of people looking at me like I was crazy as I balanced her on top of my baby belly or as she flung her paci through the airplane up to the front, and plenty of "You've got your hands full..." but we made it home safe and happy!
We really had such a fun time down there that we won't forget! Now, we are getting the hang of our fall schedule. Tomorrow Ellie and I are heading to the zoo for a class on kangaroos and then Grammy comes for a visit on Wednesday! Lots of good things ahead!