Friday, January 31, 2014



Ellie has been crawling like a maniac since she discovered how a couple of weeks ago. Her favorite thing now is to play on the stairs. She has taught herself to stand on the stair and has even been able to crawl up onto the first stair once or twice before tumbling backwards. In the last few days we have had more bumps and bruises than in her first 10 months of life. It is harder on me than it is for her. Half the time I see her tumble over and my heart jumps into my throat, and Ellie doesn't even care. She just keeps babbling to herself. However, one of my nightmares came true this morning when she pulled the basement door open when my back was turned (the handle is broken so we had to remove the knob and I'm still waiting for the replacement) and went tumbling down the entire flight of stairs into the basement. I'm grateful they are carpeted and after about a minute of crying she was wiggling and straining to get out of my arms and back to the floor. I feel like a terrible parent, but since she seems totally fine, part of me is glad that it happened so that I don't have to keep picturing how horrible it would be if it did happen. Now I know that she'll probably survive and be just fine (though I'm still going to take precautions of course!).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Family Matters

"The family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).


Ellie had her first sledding experience right outside our front door. At least a super steep front yard is good for something. She didn't seem too impressed though. She kept a poker face the entire time.

Monday, January 13, 2014

She's on the Move!

Ellie is on the move! She has been army crawling for awhile now and getting up on her knees and rocking, but two days ago I was getting ready in the bathroom while Ellie played on the floor, and suddenly she was at my feet, crawling on her hands and knees like she had been doing it forever. She always wants to be on the move now and gets very wriggly and squiggly if I try to hold her on my lap. Life is going to get a little more exciting around here!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Welcome 2014!

          New Year's Eve was a blast. We have spent the last few years having a party at my sister Allison's house. She makes it so much fun. She even set up a photo booth with props and took everyone's picture. We had delicious appetizers and then garbage bags full of balloons with prizes and fortunes inside them. While Ellie enjoyed the meatballs, she couldn't have cared less about the balloons. In a year or two I think that will change! After balloons the kids shot off confetti guns and these HUGE confetti cannons. They were super loud and shot confetti everywhere. Ellie jumped at each one that went off, but surprisingly didn't cry. This all happened around 6:00 p.m. By 8:00 we were back at home and Ellie and I were in bed. We both woke up at midnight when our neighbors started a firework fest, but both Ellie and I were back asleep in no time.

           As I reflect on the year 2013, I am nearly overwhelmed with all the changes that it brought. The biggest change was of course the birth of our beautiful Eleanor Joyce. How she has enriched and brightened our lives. We also bought our first house, I retired from teaching (for now), and Brian jumped into two different law jobs. What a wonderful year we've had. Two poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson always come to mind as one year rolls on to the next--"Death of the Old Year" and "Ring Out Wild Bells". On the one hand, 2013 has been so good to us I echo the following sentiments from his poem "Death of the Old Year":

Old year you must not go; 
So long you have been with us,
Such joy as you have seen with us,
Old year, you shall not go. . .
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,    The flying cloud, the frosty light:    The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. - See more at:

But then I am also so eager to see what 2014 will bring that I feel like exclaiming:

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true. . .

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,    The flying cloud, the frosty light:    The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. - See more at: