Some Highlights -
Our little family had a 2-week vacation in Minnesota - and it was fabulous, albeit too short. We spent so much time at my sister Margaret's new house - it is so perfectly baby proofed and centrally located to our favorite spots, whether it be down town for shopping and browsing, or up to Forest Lake for a quiet and peaceful reprieve in the woods. (She even had baby proof locks on her cabinets, people! I don't even have those!! hahah)
Thomas turned 1!
I cannot believe my little tiny peanut-baby is one! It's a bit unreal to reflect upon this time last year and see how different it is with a toddler who loves to go up and down the stairs, feed himself, speed-crawl all over the place, chase the dog, open and close doors, play tricks on Otto, brush his hair and teeth, throw balls (and toys...), stack blocks, put on necklaces, snuggle, hug and kiss, and get into all kinds of mischief .... compared to our life last summer with a very new little baby! .. and yet so many things are the same: changing diapers, affectionately caring for a little life, laughing at new milestones and antics with Ryan, laundry laundry laundry .. hahah these lists could just go on and on.
Here are some birthday photos -
|Dad + Tom|
|Mom + Papa + Tom|
|Birthday Wall - Photos from Birth to 1|
|Peter Rabbit Theme - Carrot Cake, anyone?|
|"I love balloons!"|
|"Hey mom, this is good stuff!"|
|Frosting + Cement = Slip!|
|Taking 1 for the Team / Tired Birthday boy!|
The day went so so quickly ... I wish we had had more time to enjoy the company of our guests =) The day was hot, spotted with rain and sun - needless to say our balloons and birthday banner didn't survive the weather!
|T + Uncle Ry = Love!|
|Who doesn't love Zelda?|
Ryan received an award for excellence in teaching that is awarded to the top 10% of teaching assistants at Notre Dame - pretty cool, huh? We attended the awards dinner a few months ago, and as one of the guest speakers was describing the rewards of being a teacher I was bitten by the teaching bug - I felt "called" to teach - not necessarily in that Jesus-peaked-at-me-thru-the-clouds sense ... but in the "Man-alive-this-is-what-I-love" meaning of the word.
|Baby Love <3|
In honor of said mission, I've applied and been admitted to the MaT program at Hamline ... and since I've got so many courses completed as an undergrad student, I only need to take 2 courses before I student teach ... and both are offered this fall!
Ryan and I decided to spend a year apart (or rather 2-12 week periods...) so I can get my K-6 license while he works as Post Doc ... Not going to lie, I am a little bit scared ... but I know my family will support me when I need it ... and as Ryan said ... he'll always be a plane ride away ... or a car trip ... and we are no strangers to those.
In other news, we are taking summer one day at a time. We've fallen in love with the pool - the wading pool and the Big Kid pool. Thomas loves to watch the big kids splash, play and swim ... and they love to swim around us and pop out of the water to say "Hello" to Thomas! It is hard to find a balance of outdoor time and cool indoor time while also mixing up our routine enough to evade boredom. For both of us. Hahah Thomas can successfully navigate the stairs, turning around to go down "feet first" at the top. He enjoys standing at the open railing and talking, waving, sitting ... and has discovered how exciting it is to throw things from the top of the stairs <palm-to-face> ... phew he's a busy guy!
Thomas is sprouting 4 new teeth and growing 2 molars, so he can be a wreck from time to time ... but it's nothing we can't handle with ice cubes, soft fruits and scratchy toast. He's been sleeping thru the night, so we can't complain too much on that front. =)
Ryan is still awaiting an offer on a post doc position - he's got some nets cast wide, so it really is just a waiting game... He's anticipating completion of his dissertation early this month and defending later this month ... it's sort of unbelievable to realize that our time in South Bend is coming to an end - it'll be bittersweet to pack up this apartment and leave South Bend behind. There are things we've come to love and times we've been so pleased to leave behind and forget about ...
Needless to say, we've been very busy and we are anticipating another very busy year ahead!