Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday

I haven't done a 5 on Friday in a while, but I actually have 5 things to share this week! 

So here we go...

1. First off, I'm super excited that I am finally starting to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans!!!!! Woohoo!!!!

{This is obvi an old if only my stomach could be that flat again!}

2. Today I'm feeling a little nostalgic, as it is the day I found out I was pregnant last year. 

{Again, old pic! Don't be getting excited!}

So crazy to see how much my life has changed in a year. I'm a little sad thinking about how I was just beginning this whole adventure at this time last year...but then I think about that god awful morning sickness and I don't feel so bad! I'm happy to have Ella out in the world rather than in the womb any day! 

3. Yesterday, I had another pretty major thing happen....I told my principal I will not be coming back to school....until February! (Did you think I was going to say forever?! I wish!) 

Our school district offers up to 12 months of unpaid (blahhhh) parental leave after the birth of a child. I was planning on going back in August, but I was already feeling anxious about it, and it's only May! I knew I'd regret it if I didn't take advantage of the full 12 month leave...and if I totally hate teaching now that I'm a mom come February, I only have to stick it out 4 short months, instead of an entire school year. I really hope I'm making the right decision! So thankful for my husband and his great job for allowing me to do this for our family. :)

4. So, along with that...because I will have virtually no income for the next 9 months, I am going to tutor this summer! I've posted an ad on Craigslist, and I've already heard from several people wanted tutoring for their kids! So if anyone in Charlotte needs a tutor, I'm your girl! :)

5. This weekend I will be heading to none other than Cleveland, Ohio for my bestie, Natalie's, bachelorette party!!! 

A little walk down memory lane...

{Spring Break 2006!}

{The night UNC won the National Championship in running down Franklin Street--and no, we did not go to UNC! Ha!}

{My bachelorette party in 2012!}

Don't worry, Natalie...there's plenty more where those came from! I'll post some more old pics before your wedding! ;)

I fly out Saturday morning and I return Sunday evening, so I will be gone a whole 36 hours, but it's still my first time being away from Ella for more than a few hours! I'm a little anxious about it, but I know she will be in great hands with her dad!! Now if only I didn't have to pump the whole time I'm in Cleveland......
But seeing this little face on Sunday night will be worth it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Life with Ella {week 16}

Well, another week update! Who's getting tired of these?! 
{None of you better be raising your hands! Ha!}

{Happy belated Memorial Day! We were all decked out in our red, white and blue yesterday!}

Last Monday, Ella hit a big milestone...she rolled over for the first time!
For some reason, the video I have isn't working on here...but I promise, she really rolled!! :)
Of course we had to have a photo shoot to celebrate!

My parents were still here from Ella's baptism the day before, and I am so glad they got to see her roll over in person!

{I just love this pic of Ella and her grandma Sue!}

Also! Ella finally gave her grandmas their Mother's Day gifts (a little late)! 

Never, ever painting with a 3 month old again. It was cray.

Tuesday was pretty uneventful, but we practiced rolling some more and took a walk.

On Wednesday, our electrician came to install the light fixture I bought back in January!

It was only $30 from Ikea...but because it was from Ikea, it gave Travis all sorts of problems when he tried to install it. So, we had to call in the pro's...4 months later. Ha! And of course it cost them more to install it than I actually paid for the stupid thing...oh well. 

After all that excitement, Ella got to wear her first pair of sandals (thank you, Auntie Caitlin)!

They were so stinkin cute!

After we got back from the store, my friend Amanda had locked herself out of their house, so she and her little boy Rhys stopped over.

Apparently, Ella was in his way on her playmat, so he kept tapping her to move. She didn't budge though! Haha!

On Thursday we made a little road trip to Augusta, GA with my friend Kathryn. We got to see my Aunt Nancy, cousin Kari, and meet Kari's daughter, Harper for the first time!

Side note: there is a huge population of gypsies that lives right outside of Augusta, and we actually saw some in the store where the above picture was taken!!! Naturally, Kathryn and I were super excited and proceeded to watch the My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding marathon that was on that evening when we got home. We are super cool.

On Friday, Miss Elle Belle rolled to the left side for the first time!! (Earlier she had just been rolling to the right)

On Saturday, we tried to play (but really, eat) with some toys...

...and Ella supervised Trav and I as we made several trips to Lowe's and did hours of yard work! Ugh...there are few things I hate more than doing yard work, but luckily my husband did most of it and our backyard no longer looks like a jungle!

On Sunday, Ross, Amanda and Rhys came over again. Leave it to the dads to play match-maker.

These two spent the evening canoodling on our (clean!) patio...

...and Rhys also enjoyed petting Ella like a puppy dog. It was pretty hilarious and cute. 

I'll share our Memorial Day next week, but it will include Ella's first trip to the pool! Fun times!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ella's Baptism

This past weekend was so, so, so wonderful. My heart was so full on Sunday night after a great weekend with our families!

Here is Ella's official baptism outfit:

Her dress is a Feltman dress that I actually wore for my baptism 28.5 years ago! 

She also wore her monogrammed bloomers that I picked up from Alphabet Soup. Not pictured is her headband, which I also found at Shower Me With Love...the package said it can be her garter when she gets married, too! (Clearly, this company knows how to get me to buy something! HA!)

{beautiful flowers at the church in honor of Ella's baptism}

You may not know this, but my dad is actually a Presbyterian minister in Virginia (yes, I am a pastor's kid...don't judge!). I really wanted him to baptize Ella, but apparently you are supposed to have your child baptized in the church they will grow up in, so going to Virginia wasn't really an option. Luckily, our super accommodating minister here in Charlotte allowed my dad to perform the whole baptism at our church

It was really special for my dad, who hadn't done a baptism in 3 years (there are not a lot of babies at his current church!)

Ella did a great job, and did not cry once! Everyone came up after the service and complimented us on what a well-behaved (and adorable) baby she was! :) 

After church, a lady from the congregation was nice enough to take some pictures for us. 

I love the few she got of Ella!! 

{yeeeeshhhh my spray tan! a little too orange in this pic!}

The whole gang:

We are so blessed! 
We had with us: Trav's parents and my parents, my grandparents (who drove down from Ohio to meet Ella), my brother (who came from Florida to see his only niece), and my Aunt Nancy and Uncle Lynn (who drove 2 hours from South Carolina!). Trav's sister was also there, but she had to leave early because she had to work.

Ella was not quite so cooperative for this 4 generations picture...the one we had taken the day before turned out much better. Oh well!

With both grateful again to our pastor for letting my dad do the baptism!

{Side note: I'd like to mention that my maxi skirt is from Target! AND it was 25% off using the Cartwheel app, for a whopping total of $15! OMG, I love Tar-jay so much!}

After church, we had everyone over to our house for a small get together!

{I clearly need to work on my photography skills involving windows!}

We got the cake from Costco! Call me cheap but I was not about to pay $75 for a cake for 12 people...sorry! 
{Thanks again to Kathryn for picking it up for me!!}

I think Costco cakes taste as good, if not better than, a bakery cake anyway! If you've never experienced the deliciousness that is a Costco cake, come over to my house...we have plenty cake left over!

I kept the decorations pretty simple, since we only had about 12 people over. I made the tissue paper pom poms, and bought pretty much everything else at, where else?...Target! 
The banner was in their party section; I just printed out letters on my computer to say "God Bless Ella," cut them out and glued them onto the banner. I also decided to buy a ton of hydrangeas from Trader Joe's to round out the simple decor. 

We had chicken salad, pimento cheese, 7-layer dip, fruit, veggies, guac, cake...and, my grandma even brought divorced brownies!!!!! These are famous in my family (my grandma got the recipe from a lady who was uncle thought the divorce was due to the brownies, hence the name we have given them!), and you can find a similar recipe here. They are amazing!

We rounded out the day with--what else--a photo shoot!

Oh, and by this point we had changed Ella out of her fancy outfit. I'm happy to say she did not have any accidents on that white dress! :)

Thanks again to our family for coming from all over to celebrate with us! We are so lucky to have all of you!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Life with Ella {week 15}

We had a really busy week!!!

On Monday, we met up with some of my teacher friends for dinner at Cowfish!!

On Tuesday, we went with some of our playgroup friends to the strawberry patch!!

Ella didn't really know what was going on, so it was probably more fun for me than it was for her....but isn't that how most outings are at this age anyway?!

We also started facing out in the carrier!! Ella loves to look around and see what's going on, so I figured it was time to have her facing out.

And of course, we took a bunch of walks last week...this picture was too cute not to share!

On Wednesday, we met Julie for lunch! Julie was my mentor during my first year of teaching, and one of the best literacy facilitators I've ever worked with! She is now retired and was helping me figure out what I should do with my life...she's always so wise! :)

Ella and I are apparently the official dog sitters for all of my friends now. My friend Janelle went out of town, so Ella and I went over to let her bulldog, Dori out! 

Also on Thursday, we went to Gap!!!

I got all of this (plus 3 shirts for myself) for $50 (well, really $100, but I had $50 in Gap cash!)

...because Ella totally needs more clothes. Ugh, I seriously have a problem. I need to check into baby clothes rehab. They are just so cute!!

On Friday, Ella wore her very last size 1 diaper!! TEAR!

We went to Costco...

...and started preparing for her baptism party!

On Saturday, Ella got to meet her Uncle Peter, who was visiting from Florida!

We also went out for pizza...

...and of course, we had to get a 4 generations picture. Ella, me, my mom and her mom! 

Love this picture! :)

I'll be back soon to tell you all about Ella's baptism on Sunday!