Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas at Home

Since I am well past my "no travel" date per my OB, we spent Christmas at home for the first time since Josh and I have been married. It was actually really nice! Josh's dad and stepmom came to visit for a few days, then my parents came and spent Christmas with us. My brother lives in Austin and was able to join us, so it was nice to have family around. We had a wonderful time celebrating at home.

On a side note, this has been a really special Christmas season for us, not only because we are expecting our second child but also because Kate was old enough for us to share with her in a meaningful way the story of Christmas. We celebrated Advent with different crafts and activities all month long, continually focusing on the birth of Christ. Throughout this month I was reminded of just how much a blessing (and a responsibility) it is to be a parent and to get to share the one True Myth (as C.S. Lewis puts it) with a young soul.

Family portrait...all 4 of us! (I was 39 weeks last week. Now that Christmas is over, I feel more relaxed about our baby arriving. I just didn't want her to have a Christmas birthday. Now, come on baby sister! Anytime you're ready!)

Pawpaw, Nana (Josh's dad & stepmom) and Kate

Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle Casey & us. We enjoyed a Christmas Eve dinner then attended our church's Christmas Eve service.

Christmas morning surprises...a baby doll care center. Kate loves playing mommy to her baby dolls.

We also got her a camera. It is the only toy she has actually ever requested. And she is pumped! She took 400+ pictures the first day and filled up the memory card. Here she is telling me to say "Cheese!" followed by, "Oh, good job!" She's an encouraging photographer.

The day after Christmas, we decided to take Kate on her first spelunking expedition to Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown. We all had a good time.
Here's Kate and Grandma mining for gold outside the cave.

In the cave. (Kate asked cautiously about there being bats, but the only ones we saw were tiny and hibernating.) She loved the adventure!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snow 2009

We survived the Great Central Texas Blizzard of 2009 . . . and even caught some of the action on video. It only snowed for about 20 minutes (and none of it stuck), but we still had fun experiencing this rare treat.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Babymoon to Hot Springs

After Thanksgiving, Josh and I left Kate with my parents and drove to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a babymoon. It was just a two-night getaway, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time.

This is the bed and breakfast where we stayed. It was built in 1905.

We toured a restored bath house, strolled along the local historic shopping district, and did some sightseeing.

It was a really nice drive up Hot Springs Mountain.

The view from the top:

At the base of the mountain, there are several public "jug" fountains to fill up your personal bottles with spring water, so I partook along with the locals.

The thermal springs are really amazing. Although most of them are capped now, there are still a few open and available to view. The water is 143 degrees coming out of the ground...note the steam.

On our last evening we went to a botanical garden that had holiday light decorations. 17 million lights filled this huge woodland was a nice, albeit chilly, stroll.

Thanks mom and dad for watching Kate and giving us this much enjoyed break before baby#2 arrives in a few weeks!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pics from Thanksgiving

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family in East Texas. Kate was able to play with her little cousins that she doesn't see very often and have some "country" experiences.

Here's Kate and cousins Addison and Ethan enjoying a "tractor" ride.

Kate was excited to get in the driver's seat.

My aunt planned a pumpkin-turkey craft for all the kids to do.

Posing with their pumpkin turkeys.

Here's my grandma, Kate's great-granny, with some of her great grand kids.

More fun with the cousins.

Feeding "Scout" a carrot.

The kids had LOTS of room to run.

Here's Kate having fun in the autumn leaves.

Grandma and Kate.