Monday, July 25, 2011


I think I've already said this, but I was finally able to capture his walking on camera on Friday night, he's really walking.  And surprisingly, he really would rather walk than crawl.  If he stumbles, he gets right back up and continues walking. 

And then I find this...

Woo hoo, maybe all this running around after him will be just what mommy needs to get back in shape, since I haven't worked out since before I got pregnant.  On that note, thanks to my friend's husband, Rob, I just learned that at the end of summer, I can freeze our gym membership until next summer (for the pool), for just $10/month, saving us $120/month.  Best news ever!

Birthday Weekend!

Wow, I can NOT believe that Eli is already 1 full year old!  Just a year ago, this is what we were holding in our arms, all 8lbs 13oz of him...

Our little angel.  And now, 365 days later, THIS is what we're holding, all 26+ pounds of him...

We had a wonderful time celebrating his birthday this weekend.  I think Payton thought I was crazy when he got home on Friday night and I said "Are you ready to go out for Eli's Birthday Weekend Kickoff Dinner?".   I love celebrating other people's birthdays, and now that I have this little child, my love has really gone into overdrive.  We went to dinner at Carino's, an Italian restaurant near our house on Friday night.  Eli had some yummy cheesecake, and he loved it! 

After Eli's morning nap, we went to Rudy's for lunch, then to the grocery store to stock up on goodies for a dinner we were hosting that night.   Eli met the "HEB Buddy" at HEB (our local grocery store chain for those who don't live in Central/South Texas).  Not quite sure what he thought:

We had our friends, Lindsey and Rob (who have a 9 month old cutie, Drew) over for dinner Saturday night. Eli and Drew were precious playing together. Eli's a little more mobile now that he is walking, so they didn't interact too terribly much, but it was funny to watch his reaction to having another tot in the house that played with his toys.

Sunday, for Eli's big birthday breakfast, we went to breakfast at Kerbey Lane, a local 24/7 diner here in Austin.  I went there all hours of the night during college, and they opened a more "suburban" location near our house a couple of years ago.  Eli had a big-boy breakfast, complete with eggs (first time), bacon, and a big pancake.  He loved it all, especially the pancake, which he pulled off of the plate before I could cut it up!

After he woke up from his morning nap, we went to the pool at our gym to swim and have lunch.  Now that he's walking, it was a little hard to keep him interested in being held in the water, and he preferred to walk along the shallow part of the pool, which had an incline and posed a little "balance" issue. 

For dinner, we went to a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant near our house called Jardin Corona.  He had a big boy cheese enchilada, rice, and crackers dipped in queso.  They really helped us celebrate his birthday big boy style:

Happy Birthday Bugger, we love you to pieces!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All-American Birthday Bash

We celebrated Eli's 1st Birthday a week early with an All American Birthday Boy bash this past weekend.  We had a wonderful time with a house full of people, upwards of 50, and lots of decorations, love, and birthday wishes for our little guy.  It felt so great to have our home filled with so many people, so many friends and so many family members.

I still can not believe that he is going to be a year old in just a few days, this year has without a doubt flown by faster than any other year in my life.  More on our one-year-old next week, for now, just pictures from the party.

Decorating for the party! Nice to have such tall family members to help!

Uncle Blake and Eli goofing off with the noodle.

Uncle Blake and Eli.

Uncle Blake and Eli.

Papa D and Eli eating goldfish.

Uncle Blake arriving with the balloons. And Papaw Kitties, too!

Bug playing under the table while we were slaving away!

Payton and my dad making Eli his birthday hat. You would
have thought they were doing surgery with all of the
measurements and time they put into that thing!

The food table!

The cake was amazing!

Fruit kabobs.

Rocket dogs.

Fans for the warm weather!

Thank you so much to a dear friend, Elisabeth,
who made Eli's cake. It was definitely a highlight of the party!

Eli loved the cake!

Mommy with the birthday boy, cake time!

Eli and his girlfriend, JS (and Jane's mommy Julie).

Perfect picture for the day! "Vote for Eli", our little walker!
He is officially a "walker", walking up to 10 steps at a time,
pivoting, and only crawling when he must get somewhere fast!

Uncle Blake and Cousin Ashley with Eli.

Eli and Uncle Blake.

Papa (Eli's great-grandfather)

Payton and I stole some time for one of
our first pictures together in a long time!

My mom and Aunt Becky.

Lori, me, and Erin.

Eli with the kids on the slip and slide.

My Aunt Becky and Lori.

Eli's Granny and Papa (great-grandparents) 
came all the way from Tyler!

Payton's sister, Lesley, and sweet little Emily.

Missy came with her kids.  You've heard me mention
Missy a lot in my blog, she watches Eli every day while
we go to work.  She is very special to us and Eli. 
He loves his Missy, and couldn't keep his hands off of her...

So excited that Julie, Jane, and Spencer could make it!

Eli's Meme, Cousin Emily, and Aunt Lesley,
came all the way from Houston!

Photo booth with the kids (Payton and I with our niece and nephews and Eli)

More photo booth fun.

Photo fun with Payton's mom and sister and all the kids.

My brother, mom, and dad and our little family.

Getting cleaned up with Papa D after the party.

We sent these balloons off after everyone arrived for
what would have been my Nanna's 75th Birthday.
She passed away a few years ago from cancer, but she
is in our hearts every day, and a great way to end
a perfect day, honoring her memory.

A huge thanks to my mom and brother who came to Austin the day before the party to help do final decorations.  My mom also spent all day Friday cleaning our house on her hands and knees which was a huge help!  And my dad, who helped pick up last minute things on Saturday, and do some yardwork so the house would look nice.  And thank you to Meme for providing the big outdoor fans, they were a lifesaver! 

And thank you everyone who took time out of their weekend to help us celebrate our little boy.  He is so incredibly blessed to have all of you in his life, you all who love and dote on him day in and day out.  I remember looking around the party at one point, taking in all of the people who come from all different areas of our friends, neighborhood friends, family, and family friends; relationships that Payton, Eli, and I have made along the way, who gathered together to help us celebrate our blessing.  Here's to many more years, and many more amazing memories!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Monkey Love

Birthday party posts coming soon, but I had to take a second to post this hilarious video of Eli and his new 4' tall sock monkey that Uncle Blake gave him for his birthday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The dogs

While my love for our four-legged friends hasn't changed a bit since Eli was born, my patience for their quirkiness definitely has.  I love these dogs to death, they really were our first children.  I dreaded having to drop them off to be boarded, even for one night.  I wanted to tour the facilities, make sure they would have beds, heat in the winter and a/c in the summer, and toys to play with while we were away.  When we boarded them over Thanksgiving a few years ago, I actually gave the boarding place turkey gravy to put on their food.  Some may have thought we were pretty obsessed, we called it love. 

When we brought Maddie home, she was only 7 pounds.

Our first road trip to Dallas, Maddie sat on top of Cooper the entire way.

The good 'ole days, when they slept with us.

Now, they're still completely spoiled, but we leave them outside for longer periods of time, don't allow them to sleep with us, board them for our extended vacations, don't bother with toys, and I have absolutely no patience when they walk under my feet or sit and beg while we eat.  Payton often comments on how I seem to "hate" them, which is a strong word.  I don't hate them at all.  In those silent moments, when Eli is in bed, and the housework is all done, late at night, when I finally have a chance to sit down, I'll pay the dogs some attention, but my attention these days is otherwise completely on Eli and Payton. 

I couldn't imagine not having them, and I'm so glad that Eli is finally acknowledging them.  I wonder if he will have a favorite as he gets older.  They pretty much look the same (give or take 15 pounds) but have completely different personalities.  We caught a video of Eli giving Maddie "kisses" on Sunday and he thinks it is hilarious.