Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Anna Kate...

  • weighs 18.6 pounds (20th percentile for her age)
  • has 7 teeth (and more coming through!)
  • is walking and running everywhere
  • shy in big groups, but outgoing around family and friends
  • is pointing to everything
  • is trying to say new words
  • is drinking cow's milk and water out of straws like a champ
  • knows where her eyes, nose, mouth, and hair are
  • holds one finger up when we ask her how old she is
  • loves eating cheese toast and yogurt for lunch
  • loves her dog and kitty cats
  • is obsessed with baby dolls
  • loves to snuggle before bedtime
  • wears her mommy completely out by the end of the day
  • is the light of our lives

our weekend

With the weather finally cooling off a bit (that is not being in the 90's) our family spent quite a bit of time enjoying the outdoors this weekend.
Friday evening after dinner at Southern Star, the three of us went down to the the riverfront. Anna Kate had a blast just running (yes, and I mean running) around and enjoying the fresh air.Walking in her cute new "big girl" shoes. Thanks Aunt Pam!
Playing with daddy.
We had a fun day Saturday at the county fair with Jimmy, Brittany, and Ada. Ada and Anna Kate kicked back in the wagon and took in all the sights and sounds. It was Ada's first ride in the wagon and she did wonderfully! Anna Kate certainly enjoyed her company.
Between all four parents, we got asked at least 15 times if they were twins... they do favor each other, but there is a good five months between them! What was really funny was when we told people that there was five months between them, then they asked if they were sisters... do the math on that one.
Don't think she liked this little fella!
The calf on the other hand, she LOVED! She stood there for so long calling it "Bella."
That is some pumpkin! It weighed over 260 pounds!
Here are our favorite animals of the day, Victor and Lily! These two cuties belong to Brittany's niece and nephew. Their family says that these goats are better than having dogs. Brittany told us that they even take them hiking without leashes!
About a year ago, Brittany and I went to see the new Charlotte's Web movie. For about a month afterward we jokingly begged Jimmy and Chris for a baby pig! Wilber!
Even though Chris was fast to remind me that this little cutie was related to camels, I thought he was so cute!
Towards the end of the trip, I guess Ada and Anna Kate got bored. We looked own to find this... They stealthily pulled the wipe box from Ada's diaper bag and removed every single wipe! At least they were sharing! Anna Kate has a "busted" look on her face.
Our ride back to the other side of town.
Sunday afternoon we were thrilled to find out that the Hyperflite frisbee dog competition was being held at our local baseball field. Bella is a novice frisbee dog, and we would love to get her into some formal training and competition. We had fun watching the dogs compete!
Watching intently...

We take Anna Kate out almost every evening to watch Bella play frisbee with Chris. She gigles and claps for Bella when she jumps to catch the frisbee. She did the same for the dogs here!
Our favorite disc dog... I will have to work on getting some shots of her in action.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Although I would not give up the sweet time of Anna Kate being an infant for the world and often times want it back so badly) there is something fun and amusing about her actually being able to PLAY on playdates now. This past week she got to spend time with her two friends that are closest to her in age. Reed is about seven weeks younger than her and Ty is about seven weeks older.
Last Wednesday after Kindermusik we went with Reed and his mom Jessica to play at Coolidge Park. Anna Kate and Reed had a blast riding in the wagon and going through the fountain. They both got drenched, so we sat on a blanket in the shade for awhile to dry off. Reed even let Anna Kate borrow a dry onesie! The kids had fun toddleing around and watching people play frisbee while Jessica and I talked. What a nice way to spend the afternoon!

Is that a kiss on the arm? Anna Kate looks unsure...
She pays him back with a kiss on the cheek.
This afternoon Anna Kate and I spent the the afternoon with the Hollands. Anna Kate had so much fun playing with Gracie and Ty! The highlight of my trip was meeting sweet baby Cole for the first time! Kimberly and I tried to get some chatting in, but spent most of our time feeding and corraling kids. I really don't know how she keeps her sanity with a 2 year old, 1 year old, and 4 week old! She is the true definition of "Supermom."

Three amigos!
Kimberly's kids know how to cheese it up for the camera. So cute!
Precious baby Cole...
Holding new babies never gets old...
so precious, so tiny, so new

I don't know what has happened to the last two weeks, but I have been so busy! Maybe it is that I officially have a walker on my hands!
Here are the rest of Anna Kate's party pictures! Between me, mom, and Brittany I think we got some cute ones! Thank you to everyone who came to her party and sent their well wishes (we missed you Reed, Ty, and Gracie)!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It takes a pretty special friend to travel over 900 miles while 34 weeks pregnant to be at your daughter's first birthday. My best friend Courtney is amazing. She surprised me a few weeks back by e-mailing me her flight itinerary for the weekend of Anna Kate's birthday. It was so great to have her, Isabelle and Bobby here for Anna Kate's special day. I think I am getting spoiled here lately... We visited them in CT in July, they were here this last weekend, and I am going back there next month to see little Emma when she is born! I miss her living in town so much! I will never take for granted those spur of the moment, shopping trips, ice cream runs, game nights, and just hanging out for the sake of hanging out!

I still don't have all the pictures from the party in my possession (I had other people taking pictures as well), but so many of you have been asking about the party pictures that I decided to post some that I did have. Many more to come soon!She took off last week with her walking!
The gals!
I think she liked the cake!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Friday was Anna Kate's big first birthday. Her party was not until Saturday, so we wanted to make her actual birthday special, too. Chris and I spent the morning just enjoying our daughter. It was so nice to just relax and have fun with her, especially knowing that the next day would be so hectic!
Good Morning birthday girl! Mmmmm... A pancake birthday breakfast at Aretha Frankenstein's.
A stroll through the park in her new wagon (her present from mommy and daddy).
We finished the morning with a ride on the carousel.

Happy birthday little one! We love you so very much!

P.S. Party pics coming soon!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Anna Kate will be one tomorrow. Seriously, it is hard to even fathom.

A year ago right now, I was in the worst pain I've ever felt. I was scared because I was being induced five weeks early due to pregnancy induced hypertension. I was laying in a hospital bed and the contractions were hitting me hard. I had such a long sleepless night of labor ahead of me. I remember laying there, watching my blood pressure rise and then suddenly bottom out. I remember panicking every time the monitor lost track of my baby's heart beat. I remember begging Chris to help me, even though I knew there was nothing he could do. It was the most mentally and physically draining night of my life.

The night of pure torture (12 hours and 21 minutes to be exact) turned into a beautiful morning.

At 7:21 a.m. I was handed the most beautiful gift. I held my daughter n my arms for the first time. Through tears, Chris and I thanked God for her safe and healthy arrival after nine months of waiting. From that moment she has been a blessing and joy in my life. She fills my days with smiles, giggles, and yes... challenges. I love her with a love I've never know before. I thank God every single day for the blessing she's been in my life. I never want to forget this last year.

Tonight, after a day of stressful preparations for company and her party, I finally slowed down enough for it to hit me- my little girl is growing up. As I gave her a bath, got her ready for bed, and read her a story, my emotions almost got the best of me. I was not in a hurry to put her to bed tonight. She played and snuggled with me and Chris for about 15 mins. before I put her to bed. It was one of those times that I wished I could freeze. Tomorrow I want to soak in every second with her. I want to enjoy simply "being" with her. Precious moments never to forget...

On our way to the hospital!
Holding my sweet girl for the first time.

Stay tuned for all the fun birthday posts!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WARNING: This post will be LONG! :)

We enjoyed last Wednesday through Monday in beautiful Pensacola, FL. We decided to take Wednesday and half of Thursday for the three of us to just enjoy the beach and being together. We had so much fun and the weather was perfect!

Anna Kate loved playing in the sand!She shared her snack with the seagulls. They kept wanting more!
Fun in the pool with mommy. This little girl loves the water!
Chillin' with daddy in the hammock.
The hotel where we stayed had and awesome kiddie pool! It was huge and had several different types of fountains in it. Anna Kate love being able to crawl and walk through it!
beautiful white sandy beach + bare feet + sunset + my daughter and husband = one perfect evening

Thursday morning we woke up a little early. After a quick trip to the Starbucks in out hotel we took our coffee and peach muffins out to the beach. It was so nice to beat the crowds out there. We lounged in our chairs and ate breakfast while Anna Kate played in between us in the sand. While we were there, about ten dolphin came very close to shore and "put on a show" for us. I've seen dolphin a lot in the gulf, but this time was amazing. They were actually jumping all the way out of the water, doing flips and playing with each other. We had so much fun watching them. Unfortunately this is one of those times that I am kicking myself for not having my camera handy.
Later that morning we went to the pool. Again... it was early and in the middle of the week, so we had the pool all to ourselves!
This trip was Anna Kate's first time in a hotel room. I was a little worried about her going to sleep on her own with me and Chris in the room, but she did great! I think she was so tuckered out by the end of the day that she just zonked out.
Since Anna Kate's great-grandparents will not be able to make it to her party, my Grandma Brown hosted a small family party at her house while we were there. AK had a blast digging into her presents and cupcake!

Pensacola is a very special place to my family. My granddaddy and grandma both grew up within miles of there, all four of my grandparents live there, my mom grew up there, my parents met there in college, and I have been going there on a regular basis since I was younger than Anna Kate. My Granddaddy says that "this beach is in our blood." I believe it. While we did not want to pay to have professional pictures taken, my mom and I thought it would be neat to take the whole family down to the beach one evening and try to get some pictures. Although they are not perfect, I think I captured the love of our family and the love of the beach. Later that night I put the photos in a sideshow to the song Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin. All the women of the family were in tears. I sure had a fun time taking these shots... we may have to do it every time we go! Here are some of my favorites.

After such a gorgeous evening the night before, hurricane Gustav started rolling in on Sunday. We went out to the beach at lunch time and ate at Hemingway's (a great place to eat if you are ever in Pensacola) on the porch. Although it was quite windy, we had fun watching the storm intensify. After we ate, we drove out farther down the island to see some of the waves. Although not huge yet, they were definitely intimidating. I am so glad that Gustav sparred Pensacola this time, and was not as bad as expected for the rest of the gulf coast.

Daddy and Anna Kate on a pier in the bay checking out the weather.
He kinda looks worried... :o)

Beginnings of a rain band from Gustav.

We had such a nice trip. Even though I got my "beach fix" I am missing it! Also missing my grandparents. I wish they lived closer so I could visit them more often.