Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 year in review

2010 has been an incredibly blessed, full, amazing year.  I mean, we went from this:

To this:

So yeah.  It's been a literally life-changing year.

I can't even begin to sum up this year in single post -- this whole blog just barely begins to scratch the surface!  But we'll continue the tradition from last year, and pick just one photo from each month in an attempt to pull this year's blog book to a close.  :)


The birth of our beautiful baby boy!


Learning how to be parents, and loving every trepidatious, sleep-deprived, wonderful minute of it.


At six weeks old, Joshua went on his very first road trip!  Many sweet moments with his great-grandparents and grandparents, but this is one of my favorites.


Joshua got taken to his first Easter sunrise service and baptism.  I'm afraid he wasn't terribly impressed; but at least he looked good!


Mama got a new camera (that handles low-light photography much better).  And Joshua continued to charm all the ladies at both of our grad student small groups!


The annual staff fun night to celebrate the end of the school year!  (OK, so Joshua may not be IN this photo, but I was wearing him in our front carrier when I took it, so, um, he helped?)


A trip to North Carolina, where Joshua taught Uncle Eric his trademark skydiving move.


A road trip to Poughkeepsie, where we crossed the pedestrian Walkway Over the Hudson, which you can see parts of in this photo of Joshua's beautiful, beautiful eyes.  :)


Joshua's first experience of the beach, on the beginning-of-the-year beach retreat at Ocean City, NJ.


Cutest tiger ever!


Loving on my parents' silverware at Thanksgiving dinner down in NC.


Filled with Christmas glee at Grandma and Grandpa's -- walking and everything!


Like I said, this is necessarily only the tiniest of samplings of this incredibly full year... I just checked our SmugMug, and we have 5283 photos uploaded for 2010!  (Which is actually fewer than for 2009, but I think that's because we *only* went to six weddings this year...)

We have so much to be thankful for this year.  And we're so looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2011!  Wishing all of you a wonderful new year!

Joshua Watch: Eleven Months

STOP THE PRESSES!  We actually managed to get a good tiger comparison photo this month!!

It helps that he was a little tired when I first put him down on his back next to Mr. Tiger... I'll have to remember that for future months.  :)  Of course, Mr. Tiger had his usual effect shortly thereafter -- Joshua got his second wind and started playing rambunctiously in his nursery.  But I got this one placid photo!  Huzzah!!

Joshua did treat me to a new form of mischief this month, though...

Oh, little boy, you will be the death of this mama's photography dreams...  ;)

This month was a HUGE one for Joshua!  The biggest milestone, obviously, was him taking his first steps.  Within less than two weeks from his first tentative steps, he was walking more than he was crawling, and confidently toddling all over our apartment.  It's incredible how FAST his learning curves are!  These days, the only time he crawls is when he wants to get to something to help pull himself up to standing.  And he doesn't always need to pull himself up on something -- he's managed to stand up on his own, in the middle of the floor, just by pushing himself up off the floor and using his wee abs!  Such a strong boy!

Joshua has also gotten even more playful this month.  He learned how to clap (though he still can't make much noise with his hands yet), and will gleefully flap his hands together or hit his chest Tarzan-style when excited.  It's much more fun, though, to clap two toys together -- he still loves banging coasters, but he has now added Mega Blocks (a jumbo version of Legos) and wooden blocks to his banging repertoire.

And he's learned how to play peekaboo!  This is seriously the cutest thing ever -- he'll grab a blanket or his sleep sack and put it on top of his head, and then fling it down with a huge smile on his face, waiting for you to yell "peekaboo!" at him.  I really, really need to get this on video!  He also got this great peekaboo lift-the-flap book for Christmas, and delights in lifting the flaps to find the babies.  It's so awesome watching him learn to love his books!

We're also transitioning him away from purees and towards table food.  He's figured out how to take bites of larger things, so we're slowly giving him larger pieces of bread to gnaw his way through.  And he'll mostly eat nicely off a plate -- as long as there's food on it.  Once he's finished his diced carrots or cheese cubes or bits of meat, you've got about two seconds to refill the plate before he picks it up and throws it on the floor.  :)  We're working on his table manners...

We did have one negative milestone this month -- his first real injury.  In Indianapolis last week, we were all hanging out in the family room after dinner, and I think everyone was assuming that someone else was taking point on watching Joshua.  A steaming mug of hot tea was left on an end table within Joshua's reach, and he toddled over to grab the cup, and poured its entire contents down his front in an attempt to drink from it.  I'll never forget the way he screamed... We immediately took off his clothes and put his little neck and chest under cool running water.  Thankfully, the tea mostly hit his clothes, with just a little splashing at the underside of his chin and at the top of his chest -- none of it hit his face.  We took him to urgent care, where they told us to put bacitracin on the worst of the red marks (there was some peeling under his chin) and keep an eye out for infection.  Surprisingly, after that first terrible scream, Joshua seemed completely fine -- he was toddling about in the waiting room, flirting with the nurses, and didn't seem bothered at all by pain.  And the marks are all but gone now, a week later.  Still, we will never, ever, ever leave any hot drinks unattended in the same house as our curious little guy!

(I was unsure about including this particular memory in the Joshua Watch, but I wouldn't want to be accused of sanitizing our baby's history... So there, Keddiebears isn't always totally saccharine!  ;))

But I've got to close this out with a little bit of sweetness... Our absolutely adorable little 11-month-old!  Who looks more and more like a little boy every day...

Can't believe we only have one more of these posts left!  You're growing up too fast, little one...  It's so incredible, though, watching your mind and body and personality develop.  We love you so much!

Christmas recap

We had such a lovely visit over Christmas in Indianapolis!  It's always so much fun to spend time with David's family -- and it was even more so this year, because Joshua is at such a fun age right now!  (Though of course, I'm always saying that about him, no matter what age he is...)  Joshua has really mastered the toddling, and he charmed all and sundry by toddling up to each person, a toy in each hand and a huge grin on his face.  Christmas would have been joyful and fulfilling even if all we did was just sit and stare at our wee boy!

But of course, we did so much more.  I actually didn't take a ton of photos that week -- I was mostly just enjoying Christmas through the eyes of our curious little toddler.  :)  But I did get some fun Christmas morning present-opening photos!

For the grown-ups, we had a grab bag gift exchange this year, with everyone contributing a few little treats and fun gifts.  And there was much hard negotiating afterward -- exactly how many chocolate-covered coffee beans is an orange cream worth, anyways?  And there were some notably amusing gifts thrown in there as well...

And I got Joshua all dressed up in a cute outfit for church, and actually managed to get a few decent photos of him, despite his crazy-fast toddling ways!

Coaster in hand, of course.  :)

All three of us so enjoyed our visit!  Joshua's first Christmas was such a sweet time of family and fun.  And we're all so looking forward to the next time we get to hang out with all of you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Joshua gives Christmas two thumbs up!

Or maybe that should be two stacking cups up...

What?  Doesn't your family watch "Star Wars" on Christmas morning?

OK, his pants are a skosh too long... But how cute is his outfit??

I love my boys.

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung!
From Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah 'twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind
With Mary we behold it,
The Virgin mother kind.
To show God's love aright,
She bore to us a Savior
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger they found Him,
As angels heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death he saves us,
And lightens every load.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2010 Christmas card!

And our final catch-up Christmas post for today...  :)

We love sending out Christmas cards every year -- it's a fun way to reconnect with old friends, even if pretty much all of you keep up with us through the year via this blog or Facebook.  There's just something so much nicer about getting a piece of real mail and having a photo to put up on the fridge!  (And yup, we're the family that keeps all holiday card photos up on our fridge all year long -- I only took last year's photos off when we started getting photos for this year!  So to those of you who put in the time to choose photos and design cards, know that at least one of your creations will be admired for a full year!)

This year, we had such an amazing selection of family photos to choose from, thanks to Deb and Matt Cull!  Because we loved them all, we decided to try to fit as many photos on one 5x7 card as possible.  ;)

I left a blank space on the back of the card -- because I was determined to actually write a personal message on each one this year.  I actually really enjoyed that exercise -- it was wonderful spending that little bit of time thinking about and writing to each and every person on our list.

So consider this blog post a continuation of that effort at reconnecting with all of you.  :)  Wishing you all much joy this Christmas season!

Christmas traditions: This year's ornament

One of my favorite personal Christmas traditions is picking out an ornament to commemorate the year that has passed.  We started out with a bride and groom in 2006, and added an NYU Law ornament in 2007, Princeton's Fitz-Randolph Gates in 2008, and a "parents-to-be" stork in 2009.

So it's only fitting that this year's ornament be dedicated to the birth of our first child.  I found these super cute personalizable ornaments on Etsy, and knew immediately that this was this year's ornament:

How adorable is this little ornament?  And yes, I fully plan to get something similar for each of our putative future children.  :)

2010: the year we became parents.  We're so thankful for all of the amazing ways God blessed our family this year!