Monday, September 29, 2014

PCS'ing part 1: goodbye Monterey and California family

I know that I posted a lot of these pictures on Facebook while we were moving, but I wanted to do a proper recap for the case I never get around to making a photo album of this trip. Moving, settling in, chasing around a toddler, and somehow finding the time to craft out a photo album? Maybe when the kids go to school I can convince Matt to let me continue to stay home so I can craft and make photo albums. haha. In my dreams, I'm sure. :)

It is hard to believe that we said goodbye to Monterey 3 months ago. We miss it like crazy, especially all our family and friends on the west coast! First up was Matt's graduation....

look at how amazing fluffy my hair looks! thank you wind :)

rachel came down for the big day.


enjoying drinks at our house before dinner 
family shot 

enjoying a lemon at dinner. silly girl!

While we were waiting for them to pack up all our stuff, our good friends Courtney and Jason let us stay at their house. Charlotte and Bryce had a blast playing together non stop for 3 days. It was the perfect way to spend our last couple of days in Monterey.

Here is a little photo montage of Bryce and Charlotte trying to get it together for a picture. 

wait something isn't quite right

here let me help you fix your hat

how do I look?

all smiles for the camera!
Our first stop on our road trip was the good ol central valley of Cali. We spent some time with my family and had a little farewell/birthday party before we left. Perfect way to start our trip.
my great aunt and uncle! Good to see them again

cousin time in the water

hugs for Papa

stopping to have a snack. Love the kids table!

cousin Nathan playing with his new toys 
family shot with Auntie Jill and Papa

cousin love. Hannah was very concerned about Katie trying to sneak into the picture

Lawson photo op

and one with auntie kathy

can't forget about nana

kisses for Nana

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I'm TWO....let's celebrate!!

For Charlotte's 2nd birthday we went for a luau theme. No roasted pig though, burgers and hot dogs were just easier, especially since we moved in less than two weeks before the party! Our crowd this year was a tad smaller than last year, but still lots of fun. We were thrilled that people were willing and able to drive from the DC area out to the country to see us! And my Mom flew in just for the special day :)

all set up!

smiles with nana 

bff parker 

me and my birthday girl
The cookies brought it all together...
the only thing that we ran out of....the amazing cookies!!! Thank you Sarah at Songbird Sweets

checking out the giant hippo pillow!


best friends and our girls

singing to the birthday girl

so happy to finally get a cupcake!!


hoping for a handout

time for presents!


Thank you all who came out for the party, and everyone who sent our girl a birthday present!  We know a lot of you couldn't make it, and we were thinking about you that day. We even released the balloons the next morning, with a hello and kisses to Grandma, who was watching from heaven this year. Charlotte had a wonderful birthday and is excited about being two!! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday Charlotte!


Happy 2nd birthday my beautiful baby girl!!! How is it that two whole years have gone by already? It feels like yesterday that we were meeting for the first time. Maybe because every year on September 8 I find myself reminiscing about your birth. And this year I not only read your birth story, but also your 1 year and 18 month posts. You have changed so much. You are becoming such a cute little lady, so curious and smart. You are growing up before our very eyes and I wish I could slow time down. 

got your birthday crown on!!

taken in April 2014


These last 6 months have brought a lot of change to our lives....

You have grown 2" and put on 5lbs in the last 6 months. You and Harley now weigh the exact same, 30lbs! You sure do love him a lot. He is your best friend and finally starting to become your playmate. Well, sorta. Usually "playing" involves you chasing him around or trying to sit on him, but occasionally there is a good game of tug of war. And he tolerates almost anything you do to him. Perfect dog.

While you haven't started talking full sentences yet, you are stringing a few words together. "I love you" is (obviously) our favorite. And your vocabulary and communication skills grow every day. You ask what things are, point out objects you know, and respond well when we ask you a question. You love to learn and need constant stimulation to keep you happy. The only thing we need to work on: patience. I don't think there is one toddler out there who knows how to wait and it can get frustrating when you ask for something and demand it be done RIGHT NOW! haha. Usually this only applies to food, and I can understand that, I get hangry too!

saying "i love YOU"

One thing you don't eat anymore: breastmilk! You are finally weaned. I never thought the day would come, and I do wish it had been under different circumstances, but it is nice to have my boobies back for a while. 

You are starting to learn how to ride your trike. There have been a few spills and we have to watch you closely since our driveway is steep, but you are bound and determined to figure that thing out! And every time you see it you must put on your helmet and ride NOW!

papa teaching you how to ride


You are an easy kid and super adaptable. You don't mind being babysat by anyone as long as they distract you when we leave. Just the other day you spent the night with GranDave and GranSuze and had no issues. Went to bed like a champ too! I think this is due to us traveling so much when you were young. You aren't the type that has to sleep in your own bed, the pack n play is just fine. I hope this is a trait you will carry into adulthood.

It came in handy during our cross country road trip. In June we had to say goodbye to all  our friends and family on the west coast and moved out to Maryland for Daddy's new job. 

our house in Monterey

at Daddy's graduation

saying goodbye to your cousins

saying goodbye to your friends in monterey

It was so sad to say goodbye, but we had a really fun trip that included many firsts for you. You have now been to 17 states: California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and your new home state of Maryland. phew! You also visited a few famous spots: The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Mount Rushmore.


grand tetons


mt rushmore

And of course we cannot forget your first trip to Disney:

first trip to disney!

picture with ggma dot

We also took your on your first (and certainly not last) cruise! We visited the Bahamas, St Maarten, and St Thomas on the biggest ship in the entire world! You love boats and had the best time on our trip.

the boat. BIG!
sailor girl enjoying the balcony

st maarten

mmm ice cream is the best after a good swim

Of course we cannot forget another big milestone for us as a family, buying our first house! This will probably be the house you grow up in and remember the most (that is just crazy!).

You also gained another guardian angel this year... your Great Grandma (GGMA). I wish she could have been around to see you grow up more, and I am worried you won't remember her at all, but I am going to try and tell you about her often. She loved you so much and will now be with you, in spirit, all the time. I know she already is. You will often point at the monitor and tell me that Grandma is there. And a few times when I asked you what you dreamed about you said Grandma. I asked what you and Grandma did in your dreams and you told me you danced. Warmed my heart.

you and GGMA on your 1st birthday!  I see the family resemblance :)

These are a few of your favorite things...
Pumpkin Cranberry Apple - squeeze packet. You won't eat any other kind.
Bubble Guppies - you will watch the same episode over and over. Thankfully it is an educational show so I don't mind you watching it every so often
Frozen - we listened to a lot of this on our road trip!! Anything to make the 10+ hour days smooth and drama free!
Doc McStuffins 
Playing outside
Jumping - especially on the couch
MISA - aka music! 

your buddies....ET and Turtle 

yelling with your friends
cheering on your team!

You are such a unique and expressive little girl. You bring so much joy to our lives and make us smile every single day. We will always be here to encourage you and support you as you grow and take on anything life throws at you. We are so proud to be your parents. We love you more than anything else in the world! 

you and Daddy on our last trip to SF before the move 

You will always be my baby girl, and daddy's angel.

Mommy and Daddy