Friday, December 30, 2011

Last post for 2011

2011 is nearly over and I couldn't be happier about it.

It was a really, really good year.

We had our health, our wonderful friends and family, and there was a super special baby girl making everything a little bit harder, a lot slower, and indescribably more beautiful.

Also?  A bunch of bad/stressful/ridiculous stuff.  Too many deaths (some I wrote about here and some I didn't), the stress of knowing loved ones were hurting and not being able to help, and--of course--a tree fell on our house. 

(I promise I'll stop carrying on about it when I manage to clean all the plaster and ickiness off of our stuff.  I always think I'm done, and then I find more. It's like a really exciting game!)

Regardless of the year's content, there was way too much of all of it to talk about in one little post.  And I certainly don't have the patience or foresight to write several.  And even then, it would be wholly inadequate.

I tried to draw a succinct, key-word list to review the year.  I could have even included links.  But then I noticed Evelyn sitting on her feet like she thought she was a five-year-old and I don't know when she started that.  I don't know when exactly she stopped sleeping through the night, or when she was able to lift up her head when she played on her tummy. 

I don't know when I was able to hold her on my hip without her sliding off.  I don't know when I started counting my co-workers as friends or when I stopped thinking I had to have the entire apartment clean by noon on Saturday.

Big and little changes took place gradually, or at least without my notice.  The world we live in, both in the current events/nightly news sense of the word and our tiny little lives, is vastly different than it was in January 2011.

And then, of course, there was Evelyn.  She's such a big deal.

Having a baby changed us and our lives.  We expected that to happen, but then there were other changes we didn't see coming.  Priorities and responsibilities and viewpoints just slid around and re-settled while we were busy taking care of her and working out routines and then we turned around and noticed that everything had shifted and tilted and things were just different.  I'd try to explain it more, but it's disorienting to even try to think of a way to put it in words.  Part of this is because the change is so great, but mostly I think it's because I'm very, very tired. I live with a baby, you know.

I don't think we're doing anything on New Year's Eve.  I'm oddly excited about the idea of going to sleep (fingers crossed it's at a decent hour) and waking up to a new year.  I'm looking forward to a fresh start.  I'm starting the year out as Evelyn's mom, with a lot more confidence in my job and where it's going, and with an ever-growing desire to try new things. 

I want the 3 of us to take a day trip and do something fun.  I want teach Evelyn how to blow bubbles this summer. I want to do more freelance work and I want to knit and sew useful things and I really, really want to sleep through the night. 

I've got a whole year to try it, so I'm hopeful.

I'll see you then.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Bad pictures of a cute baby really aren't that bad at all

Sometimes you have to use the flash on your camera.  It's not pretty, but sometimes it's necessary and anyone who tells you "I either use natural light or I don't take the picture" is stark raving mad because I would be missing out on a lot of adorable Evelyn pictures if I stuck with that.  I love natural light as much as the next mommy blogger--probably more--but the days are dark and I'm gone some days and our couch blocks part of the living room window and things happen at night and girlfriend moves quickly and I want to catch her being cute.

So rather than bemoan my fate as a not-rich blogger who has never had professional photos taken in fields (sometimes for free!), I'm going to remind myself that all the solar flare shots in the world will not change the fact that none of these women have children with hair as awesome as Evelyn's.  And that it's never once occurred to me to criticize people's old family photos in albums that use the flash because it's not that bad. 

So now I (a chilled out mom and blog-writing person) give you (a very understanding and sweet person who's probably here for pictures of Evelyn, no matter what quality they are) pictures of Evelyn (and some other people) with the flash.


I know I did.
Hanging out with her Uncle Charlie.  Even when her eyes are closed, it's cute.

Wearing this adorable hat and reading books for quite a long time.

She crawled in there and got stuck.  I thought it was great.

Her dad lets her do stuff like eat washrags when it's his turn to give her a bath.

She likes to eat most of her animals, especially the monkey.

Sidenote: she's so good at sitting!

Prunes.  She loves them.  Promise.

Being a pensive Christmas present.

I dressed her up as Levi for his birthday! He bought her the hat, and then he bought with coveralls with Chad and Sara.

And her Granddad bought her the work shirt.  And shared his hat with her.
Bye bye. That's it for now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our first Christmas

Oh man.


Following a month of inadequate naps, late nights, and/or frequent awakenings, it wasn't as bad as I'd feared.  Evelyn was overwhelmed and overstimulated and got pretty fussy pretty quickly, but most of the time she was incredibly entertained and interested in everything and everyone around her. 

And Christmas Eve?  I have pictures...on film.

I went to a party on Friday and brought my camera.  I didn't use my camera, but I took it and then lost it under the seat.  I thought I left it at home, and so there are no pictures of Evelyn rocking out with my family on Christmas Eve.  When we left to go to Dicy's for Cody's family's Christmas, I called him and told him if he couldn't find my digital camera he'd have to bring my 'real' one.

So he did.

So you'll see those pictures after I see the fine folks at Walgreens.  For now, you just have to trust me when I say that Evelyn loves her grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and eating wrapping paper.  And that I am good at decorating cookies.

(We both know I'm not.)

Christmas morning was a pretty low-key thing.  After a late night, we slept too late to join my family at church and decided to just take it easy.  There's video of Evelyn looking at her toys, and of Cody opening a stand mixer from me, but they're both so underwhelming I'm not going to post them.

How underwhelming?  Well, I was there for both events and I'm so bored thinking about them that I haven't even bothered to watch them.

Cody and Evelyn are not big on wild demonstrations of joy.

Actually, they are.  But not for Christmas.  I don't know when or how Cody infected Evelyn with his affliction, but I will get him for this.

Here are Evelyn's presents!

This is her haul from Santa.

Santa can get into homes without chimneys if you have a Santa key.  It works even if you have the key INSIDE your house.  Don't ask me how, it's just magic.

These are her presents from Cody and me.  Her stocking holds a toy car and--what else?--socks.

See how happy she is?

Behold: Cody's surprise!

The instructions.  Or the list of available accessories.  Either way, oh my goodness.

She was just humoring us with her little shoes.  She actually didn't like them because she has my warm feet.

If you had told me last year that Christmas morning would have looked like this, I probably would have died for joy.  Just look at them.  They're so great.  He kisses her.  She waves.  They smile at each other and they smile at me.  It's a glorious day in, day out, thing.  I love it so much.

Then we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family at Sara and Chad's house.  Some of these pictures are mine, and some are Sara's.  (Hint: the good ones are Sara's.)

Mandatory picture of a child wearing a bow at Christmas.

I didn't win, but at least I beat Laine!  Sara beat us all.

Men.  Doing manly things, like watching Pawn Stars.

Evelyn and Laine.  Doing Evelyn things like eating jewelry and cereal.

Chad. Hiding from my camera. Always.

Sara and Chad, looking pretty for church!

Laine and Robert!

Us.  Evelyn is a giant!

I think they were supposed to pose like this with Levi, but Mom wanted Evelyn instead for some reason.
I hope you and your loved ones had a very Merry Christmas! 

Once more for good measure: