We Love You, Fall!

We have really been enjoying the cooler weather and are thankful for all the fun activities that this season brings along! One of the highlights has been a trip to Center Grove Apple Orchard with some friends. We went on a beautiful day and got to enjoy all the orchard has to offer; the corn pool, pedal tractors, the gigantic slide, jumping pillow, amazing donuts, and a tractor ride around the whole orchard! So much fun!

Here are some pictures from our fall so far!

 

We are having another… BOY!

In November, we will be welcoming another bouncing boy into our family! We are so excited! Max is so great, he has begun suggesting names and likes to talk to his brother through my tummy. Gwenyth’s love for babies has not dwindled in the least and we know she will be so happy to finally be able to hold a baby on a daily basis.

Summer always seems to go by so fast and it is hard to believe that we are already past the 4th of July. We have kept very busy with many outdoor activities including a few trips to the splash park, bike riding, farm trips, and visits to many local parks.

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My three loves at the fireworks; blurry but the only one I got!

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Gwenyth at the splash pad!

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Arriving to the splash pad in style.

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Making the big leap!

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Big boy on a big bike!

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Mommy, Gwenyth, (and baby boy!) at the parade!

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Zoo train selfie.

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Enjoying a frosty on a summer afternoon.

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Visiting the animals at Grandma Karen’s.

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When it gets too hot, you can find us at the library!

 

This year, my hands are very full whenever we visit parks. Max is so great at trying new things and enjoys climbing and jumping. Gwenyth enjoys doing whatever big brother does, so this means I am constantly walking around with my hands up in the air ready to give a boost or catch when needed.

Here are the two of them going down some slides.

We are looking forward to the rest of what summer brings and then will welcome the fall wholeheartedly as it means we get to meet our new little guy!

Christmas

We had a great Christmas! When the holidays come around, Jason and I are often reminded of and thankful for the fact that we are able to live close to both of our families! We don’t have to sacrifice and get to see everyone! Thanks, Lord!

Our first Christmas was with the Rude family. We enjoyed a dinner, crafts for the kids, presents, and of course great memories! We are a pretty large group, so this year, we rented some space at a local park shelter and were all able to be in the same room at the same time! (Thanks for the pictures, Rachael Hall!)

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The Whole Gang ;)

The Whole Gang 😉

Our next celebration took place on Christmas Eve with the Stopek family. We went out to eat at a very traditional Christmas dining establishment (aka On the Border… 😉 ) Then, we went back to my parent’s house to open gifts and hang out. Celebrating on Christmas Eve is a long standing Stopek tradition.

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On Christmas morning, we were able to sleep in (how many more years can we count on that??) Max, after he finally woke up, helped me complete the homemade cinnamon rolls and we enjoyed those as we opened a few more gifts at home.

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We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is enjoying the new year! We are currently experiencing -8 degree high temps around here, lots of indoor time to make some use out of those gifts!

Our 2014 Christmas Card

Our 2014 Christmas Card

Day Out with Thomas

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We surprised Max on Sunday with a trip to the Boone Railroad to see one of his favorite characters… Thomas! As we got close to the station, we began to hear a train whistle. Whenever Max hears a whistle, he always says it must be Thomas. We got out of the car and heard the whistle again, Max was still convinced it was his pal, Thomas. After rounding a corner, there he was in all his Thomas glory. Max could not believe it!! He was so excited and began jumping up and down immediately when he saw him! To Jason’s and my delight, Gwenyth started pointing and smiling too! Who knew she was such a big fan as well??

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The day included not only a ride on Thomas, but fun activities like meeting Sir Thopham Hatt and getting a wheel with all the Thomas and Friends characters on it.

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Max continues to talk about riding “Big Thomas.” He says he would like to do it again. Good thing both him and Gwenyth are now certified Jr. Conductors!

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Daddy and Max with some of their friends!

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Max and Daddy waiting to meet Thomas.

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Gwenyth loved the train ride and even stuck her head out the window a couple of times…

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Such a fun time! I love getting to do something fun with my whole family! What a treat it was!

Gwenyth’s 1st Birthday Party

Thank you so much to all who came to celebrate Gwenyth’s first year! What a special time it was for her and wonderful memories to look back on!

We went with a summery pink lemonade theme for the party, but G couldn’t have cared less about the theme. What she enjoyed most was the tissue paper, the cake, and all the attention she received!  What a very blessed little gal!

Gwenyth at 1 Year

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We went to visit our awesome pediatrician, Dr. Secory, last week and got two thumbs up on our little Gwenyth!

Stats:

Height 30 1/4 in 85%

Weight 21lbs 68%

Head 47 1/2cm 97%

She is now able to eat anything under the sun (and probably would!) and can drink cow’s milk too! She is drinking that out of a sippy cup as she never did quite take to the bottle very well. We are down to two nursing sessions a day and hope to be completely weaned in a week or so. Gwenyth is still just rocking four teeth with no new ones in site. Makes for a very cute smile!!

Two days ago, G took her first steps! She still prefers to crawl, but can take about three very wobbly steps in succession. She enjoys standing and will just pop right up in the middle of the floor.

Trouble is coming! 😉

 

Our Little Gal is ONE!

We just put down our baby girl to sleep for the last time as a baby! She will be one tomorrow! Am I the only one who feels like even though I spend all day with my baby, that in this whole year, I still feel like I am just now getting to know her?

She is so sweet and understands so much of what is going on around her. She loves her daddy and has learned many things from him such as clapping and blowing raspberries. She will often dance (bouncing on her bottom) when she sees Jason walk in the door after a long day at work. She has quite the admirer in her daddy and melts his heart on a daily basis.

She loves her big brother and her kitty. Toodles, if allowed, chooses to sleep with G. I have woken up to G’s giggles at 2am, knowing she discovered that her precious feline friend is in her crib. Gwenyth wants to do what ever it is that Max is doing. She loves his shoes, toys, blankets, cups, and even underwear… :/ Max does a great job of tolerating his little sister getting into everything, even when she sits on his train tracks.

Gwenyth is now standing up by herself, even in the middle of the floor with nothing to hold on to. She has been creeping around on couches for quite sometime and I feel like walking will come any day now! She has her two front teeth, two bottom, and more coming in. Her two front teeth are big for her mouth and make her toothy, drooly grin absolutely irresistible. Her hair is so blonde and well, lets just say that it hasn’t quite filled in yet. 😉

There are so many more things I could say about Gwenyth Nancy. She is a joy and delight to our family. She loves me and lets me know it. When she is happy she makes sure everyone knows by shrieking and giggling. When she is sad or offended, she also lets others know. Jason and I lovingly refer to her as our little piglet because of her heavy breathing, squealing, and her healthy eating habits.

It has been such a wonderful year being the mom of two wonderful kids. I am truly a blessed woman to have such an amazing family. Two sweet kids and an outstanding, hardworking, loving husband. Thank you, Lord!

I was going to select a few of my favorite photos, but I couldn’t choose!

 

30 Years! Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my parents! Tomorrow marks thirty years of marital bliss! Thirty years ago, they tied the knot outside of Cleveland, Ohio and today they are living the married life in Adel, Iowa. It is so exciting to think about thirty years! In that time, they have had three kids, and now have four grandkids! They have lived in two different states and have had too many pets to count.

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Mom and Dad on their wedding day, July 20, 1984

It is such a blessing to live close to my parents and to be able to see them often! It is wonderful for our kids as well! Max loves going out to the farm. The last time he was there, he got a tractor ride with Grandpa Bob, and the time before that, Grandma Karen let him ride several horses! What more could a kid ask for!

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The “Fab Five” circa 1990

My dad works close to my house. About a month ago, the kids and I were able to go to lunch with him. Now every time we pass by grandpa’s office, Max asks if we are going to eat with him!

Often times, Max will want to call someone on my phone. Grandma Karen is always a good candidate and cheerfully answers! She has even facetimed with us on occasion!

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Dad, Mom, Brody, and Hailee on Brody’s “birth day”

I am so thankful for my parents and the example they have set with their 30 year marriage! They have loved on us kids and now our kids and their love for each other has always been very evident. They are such a wonderful pair!

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Mom and Dad with all of their grandchildren on Easter Sunday 2014 (Also Dad’s 50th birthday!)

Congratulations on 30 years! Excited to see what the next 30 brings!!

G Full of Firsts!

Gwenyth has been so busy growing up! At 10 1/2 months, she has her two top and two bottom teeth. They decided to all come in at once, so it was rough for awhile, but she is good now!

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Gwenyth trying to pull herself up on the couch.

Also, Gwenyth learned how to crawl. It was last Tuesday and watching her now, you would think she has been doing this for years! She moves so well and so confidently. She is already starting to pull herself up on things as well, well at least trying to.

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G’s crawling in action.

Another first was for her to get her nails painted! We attended a friend’s wedding on Saturday and I thought this would be a perfect time to paint her chubby little toes. My friend Liz suggested to put her in an exersaucer so she would be contained. I thought this was a fabulous idea, but we only have a jumparoo. I thought this would work out the same but did not take into account that G loves to jump! She was happily jumping the whole time, so her toes are slightly less than perfect. 😉 There is always next time!

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Gwenyth’s precious piggys.