• Restaurant David Toutain

    I’m back at it, sharing some of the delicious food we’ve eaten in Paris. Last summer we went to Michelin 1 star Restaurant David Toutain for our anniversary. Given it’s been almost a year since we went, I can’t give lots of details but it was absolutely delicious. We went for lunch and had their tasting menu with wine pairings. The chef even came to our table to say hello before our meal was over. After we walked to the Camp de Mars (park near the Eiffel Tower) and relaxed before we had to get home to Annabelle.

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  • Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2014


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  • MD119

    As you can imagine, we wanted to get pictures taken for Annabelle’s first birthday and thought at the same time we’d try to get some family photos. I’ve been meaning to post these for more than three months! I wish I could post them all but here are a few highlights! We had Beth Ritchie take them for us and she did such a great job taking care of us and our very restless toddler!

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  • Fairy Princess

    November 28, 2014


    Happy fall from our fairy princess. Remember when I said I liked to dress Annabelle up. Well, as I was shopping for Annabelle’s halloween costume (her outfit was from one of her grandma’s so I was just shopping for the bananas and basket) I found some adorable fairy wings and had a great idea to put her in an a skirt that she got for Christmas last year from a friend of mine along with some leggings I recently bought her. We’ve been having some of the best fall weather. The leaves by our place are so beautiful and Annabelle looked adorable in her outfit. What a great excuse to take pictures! These are some of my favorite pictures of Annabelle. the gold from her skirt and colors from her wings are perfect wit the changing colors of the leaves.

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  • Happy Thanksgiving

    November 27, 2014


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  • monkey_001“My bananas! What happened to my bananas?!?!”

    I’m sure you’ve noticed how much I love dressing Annabelle up so holidays like Halloween come without an exception that she’ll be celebrating in style.  Our little monkey didn’t do any real trick or treating but we were able to capture a few good pictures in her adorable outfit. It’s the end of October and now the beginning of November and we’re still having absolutely beautiful weather! Last year she our little pumpkin!

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  • week52_001

    Annabelle, you’ve turned the big 0-1! Yes, I know time flies but I feel as though it’s taken a long time to get to this momentous milestone. Every time I look at you, you’ve somehow changed. You’ve gotten another bruise, you’ve gotten more hair, your eyes have changed colors, you’ve gotten taller, your belly has gotten bigger, your voice have gotten more demanding, you’ve started running. It’s been an awesome year!


    We celebrated Annabelle’s big day at home with family and friends! We’re so thankful to have so many people surrounding us that love Annabelle as much as we do (maybe a little bit less because we sure do love her a lot)! The birthday bash was as success! She loved playing with all of the other little kids at the party and devoured her chocolate cupcake.

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    Here are some other some fun updates! Annabelle’s saying a few words. She says mama, dada, and uh-oh. She says mama the most because she’s a bit confused on what it actually means. She says mama when she’s thirsty and wants some milk. This made a lot of sense when I was still breastfeeding but now that she’s been weaned, it means she wants her bottle or sippy cup.

    Annabelle’s drinking whole milk now and drinks exclusively from a cup at school. At home during meals we have her drink from a cup (which we have to assist with) or sippy cup and at night she’s taking a bottle. I’m amazed at how all of a sudden kids know how to use a sippy cup or straw. We’d given her drinks from a straw and sippy cup on occasion for the past few months but she just wasn’t getting it. Then right as her birthday was coming around and we were starting her on whole milk I tried it again and she was all over it!


    Annabelle’s a good little eater but we can tell she’s become more selective (picky). It’s never consistent though, some days she likes carrots, others it’s peas, sometimes she’s our little meat-eater and other times she digs for the pasta noodles!



  • EverettBaseballQuilt_001 EverettBaseballQuilt_002 EverettBaseballQuilt_003 EverettBaseballQuilt_004

    I’ve done very little sewing since we’ve returned from France but I was able to find a little time to finish this baseball themed baby quilt for baby Everett!


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  • Annabelle’s Birth Story

    September 29, 2014


    Our little Miss Annabelle celebrated her first birthday a few weeks ago and with its arrival I began thinking about her birth. What’s kind of fun is that she was born right before fall classes started last year and so this year as I was preparing to start the semester I had some wonderful memories to help me get through those first few days. I’ve been wanting to write down the details of her birth just so we’ll be able to remember something years from now and thought this was the perfect time.

    Annabelle’s birth story actually starts about three days before she was born. What can I say, I love long stories. I went in for my 39 week checkup on a Tuesday and was about 3 cm dilated. Not a big deal considering I’d been dilated for a couple of weeks. While lying in bed that evening I felt something wet. I’ll skip over the details but needless to say, I thought my water had broken. No contractions or pain though. I was all giddy thinking that we might be having a baby and couldn’t sleep at all.
    I called my doctor the next morning and they had me come in, although they were pretty sure I just peeped my pants (and that’s exactly what had happened). Yes, this is normal. During pregnancy you have poor bladder control and it finally got to me!


    Wednesday afternoon went as usual and I actually gave a short presentation that evening at work. As we went to bed that night I started to feel different. So descriptive, I know! I’m not sure what it was but I thought I was starting to have contractions. I actually cleaned the house thinking that if I did go into labor I wanted the house to be clean when we got home from the hospital (yes, I’m a bit crazy). And of course, didn’t sleep at all that night either! Now that I’ve actually had “real” contractions, they weren’t. It might have been some type of Braxton-Hicks (preterm) contractions.

    Thursday Dusty went to work and my plan was to hang out. I continued to have very small contractions and spent the day timing my contractions using an awesome app I downloaded on my phone. When Dusty came home that evening I told him I was pretty sure something was happening. We waited (and waited) and finally called the hospital to let them know what was going on. Although painful, the contractions were very manageable (and I felt like a rockstar that I could handle them, but little did I know these were nothing compared to what was going to come). They said we needed to wait and try to get some sleep, that the contractions weren’t close enough together. I tried to sleep with little success (I was going on night three with little to no sleep). Finally a little after midnight we headed out with our bags all packed.

    Once we got to the hospital and got checked-in, one of the nurses checked me out and I was about 3-4 cm dilated. The nurses were very happy to see I was dilated this much but knowing that I’d been dilated almost this much for days, I didn’t think it was such a big success.


    Throughout my pregnancy my philosophy on a birthing plan was to try to have a natural birth but if I had an epidural or had to have a C-section, that was just fine. So we started out the evening drug-free. We walked around the hospital hallways and tried to rest a bit in between. Then the contractions really started. Dusty and I were walking around the hallways and a contraction would come on and absolutely overtake me. Dusty was a trooper! He tried to help me breath through it and would even try to make a joke or two but I was having none of it. Poor guy had to deal with me giving him dirty looks for breathing on me, for even talking to me while I was going through a contraction, and jokes, those didn’t last long.

    We went back to the room after a while to rest and lay down. After realizing I still was only dilated a few more centimeters, that I was completely exhausted because I was going on three nights with very little sleep and knowing that it was probably going to take many more hours to have this baby, I decided to have the epidural.

    The epidural happened and all of a sudden having a baby was fun! It was like night and day. Dusty’s jokes were all of a sudden funny. We both were able to take a much needed nap for a few hours. And I even invited our families to come to the hospital to see use before Annabelle was born.


    Sometime in the late morning, part of the epidural started to wear off just a bit and I could feel the contraction on half of my body. It was a really interesting feeling, to first, have gut retching contractions before the epidural, then to get it and to be able to sleep through them, and then for it to wear off a bit and to know what was going on again.

    At some point late Friday morning the nurse checked me and my water had broken. Then I was dilated to 9 or 10 and they were calling my doctor. I got all prepped for pushing, my doctor came and we started the process of actually having a baby. Once I started pushing I realized how glad I was that I had gotten the epidural and got some sleep before getting to the really hard part! I wish I could say I pushed three times and adorably cute Annabelle popped out but it was quite a few pushes later that it finally happened.

    Annabelle joined us Friday, August 23 at 1:29pm. She weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 21″ long. I feel so lucky to say everything went smoothly and there were no complications.

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  • Week 51

    September 27, 2014

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    We’re getting so close! Annabelle’s nearly to her first birthday! One week to go! This was my last week of summer classes before a week of prep and then fall classes begin. Of course, Annabelle starts getting sick. Towards the end of the week she was congested and she was starting to sound similar to how she sounded when she had bronchiolitis. My summer classes are actually mostly online and we only meet on Fridays face-to-face.  Needless to say Annabelle hit her limit on Friday and she needed to go to the doctor (why couldn’t she have gotten sick just a day earlier).  It was one of the saddest moments for me, not being able to take Annabelle to the doctor and having to be at work. Grandma Jane took her and everything went smoothly. She had another ear infection but no bronchiolitis.


    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but Annabelle’s no longer eating baby food. When we first returned to daycare, after our trip, I was sending a combination of pureed food as well as some other easy to eat things but it looks like Annabelle has no interest in letting someone else feed her. We were actually feeding her very little pureed food by the end of our Paris trip so it makes sense she didn’t want to start it up again when we returned. You can see below she’s eating toast, blueberries, and scrambled eggs for breakfast. And then pasta and chicken with some apples and grapes for dinner (she does eat plenty of vegetables, I promise).

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