Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I know what season is NOT Troy's fav

He is not digging this whole big coat/hat on head season that we're currently in.

Monday, November 28, 2011

congrats natalie and joe!

This long-awaited wedding finally arrived! Joe popped the question to Natalie just two short days after Troy was born and just as this year has been a whirlwind for me, I'm sure it has been for Nat too. There's something really amazing about watching your best friend since we were 8 getting hitched that is a one of a kind experience! I definitely got a little teary as I grabbed my bridal gown and walked down the street from my parents house to hers like I have done so many times in the last 20 years in order to get dressed and out the door for her wedding :) The wedding went fantastic and I got lots of great photos to commemorate this huge milestone in Natalie and Joe's life. Congrats to them both!

gorgeous bridal hair do

her dress was stunning

loved the colors of the bouquets

on the bus on the way to the ceremony

the whole bridal party at the church

popping a bottle of the good champagne after the ceremony!

the hall was so pretty too

their photographer did a great job and I can't wait to see all their pro pics!

me and my date, best looking guy there :)

a party shot! they had a live band called maggie speaks performing!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

giving thanks

This year's Thanksgiving was quite a change from last years...
Thanksgiving 2010...
And here we are in 2011!
We had a great day full of family, football and food! My mom made an amazing dinner and the day was just wonderful! A few more pics below!

I was clapping my hands with Troy, though it looks like we're praying

Troy with big cousin Emmy in their turkey shirts (thank you pinterest!)

definitely enjoying his first thanksgiving meal

a photo of the family!

Visit with the Smykowski Fam

Having already made the trip up to Chicago on Tuesday for Natalie's rehearsal dinner, we made plans for Wednesday night to catch up with the Smykowski Family at their home. Troy had SO much fun playing with big kid toys at their house and I'm pretty sure Eddie and Isabella had a good time playing with Troy and showing him all their toys :)

Troy smiling at Eddie instead of the camera :)

Having lots of fun with "big kid" toys...we had to watch him closely with some of the small pieces but he did great!

Cracking up!

Getting a ride in the truck from Eddie

Sunday, November 20, 2011

the troy truck!

We were walking through our mall here in Champaign tonight and Mike found something GREAT! In the sea of trucks and animals you could feed with quarters there was...

A TROY truck! 
So of course, Troy had to have his first ride in one of these. We popped in the three required quarters and off he went!

The license plate read "TROY 123". It makes a good license plate for Troy's first car someday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

what spells trouble?

Two one-year old boys looking to get into mischief! Liam (and his parents) came over for dessert and a game tonight and he and Troy had some good playtime. We're realizing that we're moving into a stage where we're going to have to break up scuffles and monitor them closely as they run off together! Its so fun to see these two boys continuing to play together as they grow!

all lit up

Our house began the Christmas transformation today! I decided today was the day, as Troy and I had barely anything to do, all the "normal" household cleaning was done and Mike was going to be at the Illini football game for a little while. I like to keep him on his toes and surprise him with a set up tree each year :) Last year I couldn't really surprise him as I needed him to do a lot more than normal since my 9 month pregnant self couldn't really assemble a tree. I digress...

Troy sat on the floor waving to the tree when I first got it up to start "fluffing". He's been very, very good with it so far. I think I only heard Mike telling him "no" once this evening. I've tried not to make a huge deal about it and have refrained from posing him near it, etc.

He found some kid-safe decorations in the tub while I fluffed the tree.

And I gave him this bell to play with this season. We usually hang it on the tree, but if its hanging, it can't make its wonderful jingling noise!

The best part of today was when Mike returned from the football game and had at least a 60-90 second conversation with me, right in the living room next to the lit up tree before realizing it was actually up! I was cracking up on the inside while waiting for him to notice...and when he finally did, we both got a good laugh. We went through the ornaments after he settled in and while Troy took his nap...and made sure to hang them high enough out of reach!

Friday, November 18, 2011

in jail?

Between today's striped outfit and this perspective from the other side of our gate, Troy looked like he was in jail this morning. But he seemed to be enjoying himself far too much for being in "jail".

Troy's favorite activity

Over the last couple weeks, Troy has begun to love reading books even more. Sometimes he'll spend up to a half hour (like tonight) pulling books off shelves and then choosing one to look at before he moves on to another. Its the perfect activity for right before bedtime and it seems like he actually knows which one he's looking for when he's going through the shelves! We still read together each night but I usually find something else to do when he's in reading mode and let him enjoy :) I hope he continues to grow up with a love of reading!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

photo wall

Another pinterest-inspired idea, I am turning this blank wall in our dining room into an awesome (and growing!)  photo collage. I've been wanting to display some older pictures of Mike and I (read: childhood) but not really knowing how to do it well for awhile. So this wall is a good solution. I picked up this decal on ebay and have been buying the frames when they're 50% at Michaels (all from the same collection). I love how easy it will be to add on and move around the photos!

The huge photo of Troy kind of dominates the wall right now, but I couldn't turn down a free 16x20 print at walmart a few weeks back. And this photo is one of my favorite ones of him yet!

baby photos with our parents :)

high school photos!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

easy chair

Troy's Granny (AKA Mike's mom) sent an early birthday present for Troy that arrived today. Its a huge hit! Troy loves his big bean bag chair (that even has his name on it!) and Mike was a little jealous when he walked in and saw it (so he had to try it out too).

As of this week, Troy is getting a bottle at bedtime instead of nursing. Almost as a joke, I gave his bottle to him to hold on to while he was sitting in his chair. He nearly fell asleep while he was drinking it! Thanks so much for the chair, Granny!

support for a friend

I highly encourage you to check out my good friend Alicia's latest blog post as she prepares to go back to Ghana where she and her mom have made several trips to do missions work with a group of about 15 orphans.

Alicia and I became close friends when we worked together at ACS and attended church together. She was one of the first three women in my women's small group and she was in it until she moved away last winter :( But I'm so happy for what God is doing in her life and where He's leading her!

I love, love sharing her excitement as she prepares for trips over there and have had the privilege of supporting her through prayer and small gifts (like crafts for the kids) in the past. Check out the different things she's raising money for or simply learn how to pray for her and she travels over next month!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Natalie's Bachelorette Party!

Despite the fact that I haven't had a girls night out in the Chicago bar scene since my own bachelorette party 3 1/2 years ago, I was really looking forward to this fun girly night! The festivities kicked off at 7:30pm and our ride was due to drop us off at 2am...so obviously I had some concerns about if I'd be able to stay up or not! haha

Staying up turned out to be no problem at all and we had a great time. Nat has some great friends and family and I'm looking forward to celebrating her marriage to Joe in two short weeks!

me with the beautiful bride at the beginning of the night!

the whole group before we headed out

We rode around on a party bus for the evening!  I don't know what I was expecting from a party bus, but this thing was hilarious...and FUN! We did get quite a few stares whenever we'd pull up anywhere as the flashing strobe lights and pounding bass were hard to miss :)

city baby

Troy joined Mom and I for some shopping and lunch Saturday afternoon. I realized why everyone in the city has a compact or umbrella stroller as we tried to squeeze mine through tight places :) Things I'm grateful to never have to worry about in C-U! We spent some time at Penzey's spice store and then headed over to Trader Joe's. I haven't shopping at Trader Joe's in over a year so I had a lot of fun picking out some new things. Definitely making another shopping trip over Thanksgiving and bringing a cooler back!

go blackhawks!

Once I knew I was going to be in Chicago this weekend, my dad invited me to join him in the suite for a Friday night Blackhawks game. I'd only been to one Blackhawks before and it didn't compare to the experience we had in the suite. The game was so high-energy, the fans get VERY into it and it was a great time. Thanks for the fun night out, Dad :)
there was food everywhere!

we had a great view of the nonstop action

me and my dad as everyone celebrated the win!

road trip!

Troy was eager to go when we were leaving for our weekend trip to Chicago on Friday. Bear rides up harnessed in with a seatbelt on the other side of the car and Troy thought his travel buddy was particularly exciting as we prepped to hit the road!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11 months old

Yikes, this is my last monthly post before Troy turns 1...crazy! Several months can sound like a long time, but a year, really!? Its truly amazing to think about how this incredible little person has changed our lives in this past year. We were looking through some old blog posts over the weekend and I am so, so thankful I've taken the time to do this blog because I've already forgotten so many of the special little things that seemed so significant at the time earlier in the year. Anyways, I digress. Happy 11 months Troy!

I didn't get the camera out until after bath time tonight, so pajama pictures it is for this month :)
Eating: Troy is nursing three times a day lately (though with the time change that early morning feeding has reappeared this week after being gone for awhile, making for a fourth feeding). He has milk when he wakes up, then has breakfast (always very hungry at that meal!), has a late morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, nurse between 4 and 5, dinner and then nursing again before bed. I feel like his eating has leveled out a little more this month, and we just fully expect him to eat adult-sized portions depending on the meal (like tonight's tortellini).

Sleeping: Troy was doing so great before the time change! For most of the past month, he was sleeping 7pm-6 or 6:30am. Absolutely perfect. As I mentioned above, he's waking up now at 4:30 to nurse and then going back to bed for 2 more hours. I'm sure that'll go away again soon once things get readjusted. He wakes up around 6:30am, takes a nap from 9-10:30 or so, another nap from 1-3 and then bed at 7pm. Bedtime is so, so peaceful, I just love it. We read lots of books and he's super snuggly right before bedtime. I don't know if my favorite time of day is the last half hour of the day or the first half hour of the morning (when he's also really snuggly and cheerful, once he has a full belly).

Playing: Troy.is.busy. He keeps busy with anything and everything. Pretty much anything is a toy. He loves playing with things from our kitchen cabinets and actually has his "own" wooden spoon that he uses as a drumstick. He looks to us to play with him and just loves that interaction with different things (see this post, as this game is still a hit).

Clothes: A combo of 12 and 18 month clothes, and some great gap pj's that actually are 24 months (but aren't long at ALL, I don't get it). He's slowed down in growth lately (just gaining a little over a pound in the last 2 months) so we're not moving through clothes as quickly as before! Finishing up our last size 3 diapers before moving on to 4s though.

Likes: Being outside. Riding in the moby wrap forward facing. Playing with toys. And reading books! That has to be his favorite thing right now, sorting through books, pulling them off the shelf and sitting down to look at some. He did it for nearly an hour one evening last week.

Dislikes: Oh boy, have diaper changes gone from bad to worse. He cannot stand them. Sometimes I can get him to lay still by singing the ABCs and he claps along. But that only works maybe half the time (maybe).

Favorite foods: Applesauce, cheese sticks, veggie omelets, any italian pasta dish, goldfish crackers, the list goes on...

New things he's doing: Taking steps on his own! High fives. Standing on his own.

Words he's saying: Mama, dada, hi, and bye. He also makes the "buh" noise for Bear (or any dog, we learned at the park the other day).

Cute things he's doing: Um, everything. I can't even begin to list all the cute things he does :) Love you, Troy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

thank you, pinterest

So in the last week, no less than six people I know were talking about pinterest. So I got on the waiting list (which was kind of funny that even exists in social networking) and jumped right in once I was "accepted". I'll admit, I was a bit confused at first. But a few days in and not only have I sorted it out but I've gleaned much inspiration.

So meet my turkey shirts. My very first pinterest project and my first venture into anything that involved cutting fabric in my adult life :) I contemplated adding something like "give thanks" to the bottom but that was way too much cutting with my kitchen shears. I should probably invest in fabric scissors if I'm going to continue down this crafty road...

I think Troy and my little cousin Emily will enjoy these this Thanksgiving :) And I enjoyed making them last night!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

why i love the library: reason #355

Thanks to a FB post from a friend (thanks for the heads up, Brittany!), I found out the Champaign Public Library was having a children's book sale today- stuff your own bag for $3! I am so thrilled to have a whole new shelf filled in our bookcase upstairs and will be marking my calendar each time these sales happen...what a deal!