Friday, August 27, 2010

A Brooklyn playdate!

It's not often that parents will drive over an hour to make a playdate happen for their son.  When that happens, you know that either (a) the parents are willing to do anything for their son, (b) the playdate partner must be the coolest kid in the world, (c) the parents are dying to hang out with the other parents, or (d) all of the above.  :)

In our case?  Definitely (d)!

Last Saturday, we finally made it up to Brooklyn to visit our dear friends Emily and Brian, and to meet their son Evan!  Evan, of course, has already had his debut over here on Keddiebears Central, but we hadn't actually had a chance to meet him yet.  And Emily and Brian hadn't yet met Joshua.  This was a situation that seriously needed to be taken care of -- especially since they're all moving to Texas in just two short weeks!  :(

So we decided to make the trip out on Saturday -- and we had SO much fun!!  Evan is such a cute little chunker.  He's almost exactly three months younger than Joshua -- and he's at least three pounds heavier.  :)  Joshua, I think, was fascinated by him.  Our little guy is definitely starting to notice other babies, and it's such a joy to watch him try to play with them.  Evan was a very patient host, as Joshua attempted to grab and eat his feet.  :)

The J's took us around the pretty and hip parts of Brooklyn -- we took our strollers along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, had brunch at a trendy (and family-friendly) restaurant, got dessert from Jacques Torres, and just had a grand old time.

Matching strollers!

Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan

Family photos!

This shot says SO MUCH about Brian and Emily...  :)

Mmm, massively oversized cookie ice cream sandwich...

Evan laughing at his daddy

Emily, Brian and Evan, thank you so much for being such wonderful hosts!  So glad we could squeeze in a visit before you head out to Texas... We'll miss you all so much!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sitting up like a big boy -- and Joshua's video debut!

Over the last week, Joshua has figured out how to sit up all by himself!  We've been trying to teach him how to sit up unsupported over the last few weeks, by sitting him down on a blanket, and then watching as he sloooowly tipped over and face-planted... But all of a sudden, about a week ago, Joshua figured it out.  And now it's his favorite thing in the world to do!

Not only can he now sit up by himself, but he's also figured out how to pick up a toy, flail it about, and bring it to his mouth -- all while not tipping over.  :)  Such a smart and strong boy!

He's gotten confident enough in his sitting abilities to happily sit and play for several minutes at a time.  Long enough for this shutter-crazy mama to get some really cute shots of him sitting up all by himself!

And what better way to commemorate this milestone than to present to the world Joshua's blog video debut?

We're slowly uploading the few videos we've taken of him, so hopefully there will be more embedded video on this blog in the near future.  :)  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stephen and Grace!

So after saying goodbye to the new Mr. and Mrs. Hwang, we drove down to the outskirts of Philly for Stephen and Grace's reception!  We got to make the trip down with Pastor Matt and Karen -- it's always so fun to hang out with them.  And we all reveled in how popular we were, being invited to multiple weddings on the same day...  :)

I'm really glad we ended up planning it this way, to go to Jon and Melissa's ceremony and Stephen and Grace's reception.  I wish we could have been at both weddings for the whole celebration, but given that we needed to split things up, I think this worked out the best way possible.  There were SO many old friends at Stephen and Grace's reception -- Stephen and I graduated from Princeton the same year, and pretty much everyone from our class who went through PEF was there!  We also saw so many folks we hadn't seen in years -- some since our own wedding, some since graduation... It was so wonderful to get to reconnect with old friends and meet their spouses and babies!

We were seated at the baby table.  There were six couples there, with three babies, two pregnant ladies, and five kiddos left back at home.  Craziness!  Our little corner of the reception hall got a lot of attention, I think...  :)

I didn't get many shots of the "official" wedding activities -- it's HARD getting good shots in a large reception hall.  And I wanted to leave that to the pros -- i.e., Deb Cull '03 and her husband Matt!  But I did get some fun candid photos...

Joshua's all, "don't cry, baby Titus!"

Musical chairs, and passing the babies around...

Lucy and John with Anna; David and Joshua watching the wedding slideshow

Sneaking a kiss while cutting the cake; best man John's toast

Such a fun wedding reception!  We actually stayed until the very very end -- the wait staff were setting up for the next reception and had to kick us out!  We just had that much fun...  :)  Stephen and Grace, it was wonderful celebrating with you guys!  Many, many blessings on your married life -- we love you both!

Jon and Melissa!

Last Saturday (8/14) was the second of our wedding double-header days of the summer.  This time, though, both weddings were scheduled for about the exact same time, with one in Princeton and the other in Delaware/Pennsylvania.  We really couldn't miss either wedding -- how could we not be there to celebrate this most important day with such close friends?  So we decided to go to Jon and Melissa's ceremony, and then drive down to attend Stephen and Grace's reception.  :)  Maybe a little crazy, especially with a six-month-old in tow, but we made it work -- and we're so glad we did!!

So Jon and Melissa were the second '09 wedding of the summer, after Drew and Alison.  There was another subsection of that class represented at this wedding -- it was so good to get to see these folks!  This ceremony was held at All Saints' Episcopal Church, a bright and airy kind of sanctuary, and was officiated by Pastor Matt.  One cool backstory note:  Pastor Matt also officiated at the wedding of Jon's parents.  :)  This was apparently the first time he had done the weddings of multiple generations in the same family.  What a sweet point of family connection!

Beautiful light, beautiful subjects...  :)  Alison and Drew, and Elizabeth and Molly

Melissa and her dad!

Melissa and her dad, and Jon and his brother Alex

Exchange of vows

First communion as husband and wife

First kiss, and being announced as husband and wife!

Mr. and Mrs. Hwang!

We milled around after the ceremony while the bridal party was getting official photos taken.  I didn't want to get in the way of the pro photographer, but I did manage to get some cute shots off to the side.  And, thanks to Grace Ristuccia (haha, still trying to get used to that name change!), we also got a very sweet family shot of the three of us!

Aren't we cute??  Please note J-bear's preppy sweater vest outfit.  :)

The lovely ladies

"Quick, Melissa, look all romantic-like and beautiful!"
(Yeah, she's got that covered on a daily basis.)

Roommates of the bride and groom

Such a handsome couple!

Melissa and Jon, it was a true joy to see you married.  :)  I'm so glad we could be there with you that day!  We love you, and will continue praying for you way out in South Bend!

Drew and Alison!

The first weekend in August was Drew and Alison's wedding weekend extravaganza!  A fair number of '09ers were back in town for this wedding, and it was so wonderful getting to see so many of them.  And, of course, we had a wonderful time celebrating the happy couple!

On Friday (8/6), we were invited to the rehearsal dinner, which was held at Quad (one of Princeton's eating clubs).  It looked like they had invited pretty much all of their out-of-town guests, plus PEF staff -- we were honored to be included.  :)

David and Joshua with Tsheko and Gordon, two of the groomsmen

Some of the great class of '09

J-bear with Uncle Bill

Laura and Annie giving "Twitter toasts" -- a brilliant concept, well-executed

The happy couple

Then Saturday (8/7) was the wedding itself.  This was also the first time we hired babysitters and left Joshua with someone not related to us... We both wanted to be at the ceremony, but we also knew that Joshua wouldn't have handled it well -- having to be quiet and still for an hour, in a non-airconditioned space, in August?  That just wasn't going to happen... So we hired Katie and Rachel to come over and watch Joshua during the ceremony.  They all had a good time -- we didn't get a single call from them, even though I kept making sure David had his phone on him and easily accessible at all times.  :)  Thank you, girls, for taking such good care of our little man!

The ceremony was held in the University chapel.  Now, most weddings feel a bit dwarfed in that space -- the chapel can seat 1900, and the area up front is huge and spacious.  This wedding?  There were ten bridesmaids and ten groomsmen, who went a long way towards filling up the front.  :)

This was the first wedding we'd been to that was officiated by Father Tom, the Catholic chaplain at the university (though it wasn't a full Catholic mass).  They also had Drew's dad, a Baptist minister, give a charge to the couple -- so it felt like there were two substantive homilies preached at this service.  It was a beautiful ceremony, and just so joy-filled!

Bill and Debbie leading the responsive reading

Father Tom's homily

The beautiful bridal party

Exchange of rings

Greeting the newlyweds with bubbles

And then the reception was over at the Princeton Marriott.  We swung back home to relieve our babysitters, and brought Joshua to the cocktail hour and reception, where he immediately charmed all and sundry.  :)  We actually made it through to the entree, which was much longer than we were expecting -- our little boy is growing up, and getting to be more sociable!  It helps that the band, while very talented, was also within a reasonable decibel range.  And that there were so many kind friends who wanted to entertain Joshua.  :)

Melissa got a smile out of Joshua!

Lovely '09 ladies: Melissa, Katrina and Lucy

Drew and Alison sharing a sweet moment

The newlyweds, beholding their future?  ;)

Keddies and Dixons!

All three of us really had a lovely time at the wedding.  :)  Congratulations again, Drew and Alison -- many blessings on your life together!!