Monday, December 30, 2013

And Then We Had Christmas

Christmas Eve Night
We experienced a Christmas like no other this year.  Just days after bringing our new baby home, Christmas was upon us!  We kept with tradition by having chili and tamales at our house on Christmas Eve and by spending Christmas Day at Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa's house.  We had a sweet holiday, made even sweeter by the addition of one sweet baby!
We spent Christmas Eve day lounging around and caring for Baby Ellie.
We spent Christmas Eve night with Ma-Mas, Pa-Pa, Uncle Clint, and Libby and Bill.  Cooper and Penny each got to open a gift from Libby and Bill.

Santa visited us!
Santa left a bike and Legos for Cooper and lots of pink things and pigs for Penny.  She was happy with her doll stroller, pig clock and pig umbrella.  Both kids just couldn't stop playing with the Legos, Little Mermaid Duplos and the Christmas smash, the Castle Quest Thomas the Train set.
Ellie's first Christmas!  (She slept through most of it.)
Here she sleeps with the four gifts that Santa for each day of her life so far!
Asleep again at Ma-Mas' house.  The din of Graham/Kirk present opening didn't phase her.
Drive-by Christmas dinner.
The best part of the day?  Pa-Pa heated the pool!
As the kids have been begging to swim since October, swimming on Christmas was purely magical!
We are so grateful to have had such a wonderful Christmas, as we received the best gift of all, our Baby Ellie.  Season's Greetings and Happy New Year to all of our family and friends!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Introducing....Eleanor Jane Kirk!

Ellie is here!
Born December 21, 2013, 10:38 a.m.
7lbs, 15 oz., 20 1/4 inches long
Right after delivery...Mama happy beyond words. 
A little baby girl happy with a thumb in her mouth and in her Daddy's arms.
Mama was so happy to have Cooper and Penny visit us in the hospital...she hadn't seen them since Thursday night...a whole 36+ hours!
We had several visitors in the hospital.  Nonnie, Aunt Amanda, and cousin Brianna drove in from Houston for the day.  Ma-Mas and Pa-Pa came too!  
Our new family of five!
One day old and ready to go home!
Cooper and Penny were glad to have us home on that first afternoon.
Cooper loves, loves, loves his new baby sister!  It warms our hearts to see him with her.  Now that our whole family is here in the world, let the games begin!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Saying Goodbye To an Old Friend

We are very sorry to report that this week we had to say goodbye to an old friend.  Our nearly 13-year-old dog Dooley fell ill and passed away.  Dooley has been my comfort and buddy since college and it was hard to say goodbye.  We are glad, however, that she is no longer suffering and thankful for the over 12 years we had her in our lives.  She had an eager-to-please soul, a bit of a nervous yet loving personality, and she hated things that flew (namely frisbees and kites).   She loved me, David, and Ralph, our black lab, more than anything else.  On that summer day in College Station back in 2001 I went to an animal shelter because I wanted a dog.  She chose me.

Samantha Doolittle Graham Kirk
aka "Dooley"
February 1, 2001-December 16, 2013
Dooley at one of her favorite spots, the beach.
With her best friend, Christmas 2006.
Dooley in her role as crab alerter, August 2012.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Time is Coming...

Christmas is getting closer and so is having our new baby join our family.  We are opting out of a lot of the hustle and bustle this year, as Mama attempts not to "over do it." The weather has been strangely cold since Thanksgiving which makes these Texans a little on the antsy/grouchy side and the final countdown to baby time seems long (Three weeks!) but we are trying to squeeze in some holiday cheer...
Our 2013 photo with Santa...
On a happier note...we made a gingerbread house!
Both kids mostly just begged to eat the candy instead of putting it on the house, but they were proud of their work. (Picture taken after being de-frosted in the bath.)
What better way to spend a cold day than at the movies watching "Frozen?" (And eating two giant bags of popcorn?)

Holiday cheer accomplished!  We hope this holiday season finds you as well and blessed as we feel.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Few Scenes of Gratitude

Over Thanksgiving week we found a lot to be thankful for...

A break in the cold, wet weather so restless kids could play outside and a holiday for Daddy so we could spend some time together as a family.
A beautiful view.
A masterpiece created by Cooper.
Great weather, food, family and BIKES on Thanksgiving Day.
Reaching 35 weeks in pregnancy without any problems.
A resurgence in train playing (and kids playing NICELY together).
Peace of mind...we are READY for our baby!
Getting ready for Christmas!! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Season We're In

What is not to like about Fall?  For us it means tons of celebrations from birthdays and anniversaries to holidays.  It also means cool weather and football which facilitate fun activities and time with friends and family.  The Fall is always a busy time and this year even busier as we get ready to become a family of five.  I just thought I'd take a minute and record specifically what season we are in. (And before life with a newborn renders me unable to blog regularly!)
Cooper completed his first soccer season!  He had so much fun and so did we!  I think Cooper learned a lot about how to play, listening to a coach, being on a team, and the thrill of scoring goals.  He was so excited to receive a trophy and proudly displays it on his dresser.  We think 5-year-old soccer is just about the cutest thing ever!
We are trying to pay special attention to this little mess, hoping we can help her transition from little sister to the "middle child."  Mama and Penny both are enjoying the time together and we think (hope) it is helping.  Penny has gone from refusing to acknowledge that a baby is coming to asking to give Mama's growing belly kisses.  When we told her she was going to get to be both a little sister AND a big sister she said, "NO!  I am the BIG sister!" (This is progress, if you know Penny.)  She even helped me pick out a baby book in the store the other day.  
We've been ranchin'!  We have managed two day trips and one overnight trip to the ranch in the last three weekends.  All the outdoor exposure has been awesome!  Cooper is having the best time "helping" Pa-Pa and Daddy get some tasks done around the ranch.  We feel so fortunate to be able to have this opportunity.
I've completed the last of my baby the last month or so I completed one more blanket for our little one to come, a pink pig pillow for Penny (so she would feel included in all the baby prep), and some burp cloths for both our baby and a friend's baby due two weeks before ours.  I could keep going (my sewing and baby boards on Pinterest are out of control), but the time has come to shut it down and start focusing on other aspects of preparing for a baby and for the holidays.  Only six more weeks!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

What A Decade Looks Like

November 15, 2003
Our 5th Anniversary...we were parents!
October 2011, married nearly 8 years and we've doubled!
August 2013...Celebrating a decade together a few months early before we add one more!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ranch Day

On Saturday after Cooper's soccer game (three goals!) we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and head to the ranch for a day of refreshing outdoor fun.  Pa-Pa was glad for Daddy's help getting a couple of chores done and the kids had a blast of course.
Penny and Millie enjoyed the day and the ride.
Daddy, Cooper and Pa-Pa load and unload new gates.
Our pretty Penny.
Our crazy Coop.
Crossing the cattle guard.  I remember being a kid and thinking of walking across the cattle guard as an accomplishment also.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

Cooper the Minion and Penny the Fairy Princess

Our friends Libby and Bill came over for Halloween.  Libby and Penny contemplate the banjo playing skeleton at the scariest house on the block.  So scary in fact that Coop wasn't going to go up to the door.  (This is funny because I have almost this exact same picture from last year, only take out Penny and insert Cooper.  Penny really got into Halloween this year!  She told Daddy at bedtime, "I love costumes!")
Pumpkin carved by Daddy.