Monday, August 31, 2015

life's about to get even better...


Actually, probably no one else will be as excited by this as I am, but I'll share anyway. Pitch Perfect 2 comes onto Netflix tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(please insert seven billion more exclamation points to understand how excited I really am)

(I am like Millie-in-her-car excited. And more. Like Millie-in-a-car-with-her-tambourine-and-some-string-cheese. Like the world might explode with my enthusiasm.)

I just found out about this late-breaking news about five minutes ago and it's done wonders for my outlook on life. But not my health. I fear I might be coming down with something sudden and severe and extremely contagious...alas.

Anyway, other than that, things are just trucking right along over here. Millie is getting smarter and funnier (and cuter, if possible) by the hour. It's a lot to keep up with. This week she learned how to dance on command ("Millie, can you dance?") and it's definitely the best thing to ever happen. Ever. I have about 82 videos of it, but uploading them seems like a lot of work, so just take my word for it. She dances. With enthusiasm. 

When I'm not dancing, I'm sampling supposedly non-edible ornamental plants from the flower bed. Who makes these arbitrary rules about what you can eat, anyway? They're wrong.
We're soaking up the end of summer here (although the end of heat is nowhere in sight)...last week we even experienced a few exciting firsts!

I went fishing during a staff fun day at work and caught my first fish in about 20 years!! And then I caught two more!!! I was on fi-yah. It was very exciting, as you may have guessed by my expression.

Millie and I went up to the mountains for the day on Thursday to visit my friends James and Kristina. Millie had her first experience wearing a life jacket and swimming in a lake.

Auntie Stine, stop laughing at me!! YOU DON'T KNOW THE STRUGGLE!!!
It was...not her favorite. I can't blame her, though. That life jacket was all up in her face. I tried to make her feel better by telling her that next summer she will be big enough for puddle jumpers, but it didn't help. Oh well. 

Back home, I tried to make up for the traumatic Life Jacket Incident by letting her do all of her most favorite things. That means we take about thirty walks a day in her car(s).

Mommy, I no longer require a five-point-harness in a rear-facing car seat. Look how safe this lap belt keeps me!
Tropical Storm Erika ended up being a pretty excellent natural disaster name-twin. There were enough funny headlines and news stories to keep me laughing, and not a whole lot of destruction and bad stuff. We even got some rain and cooler weather here in the Southeast, which many people thanked me for (you're so welcome, I had a LOT to do with it), so that was nice. I wore long sleeves (rolled up, but still) on Sunday and it was delightful. Tomorrow it'll be back into the 90s, so our reprieve was short-lived, but...we'll be fine. I mean, we can just stay in and watch Pitch Perfect 2 every day, so who even cares what the weather is like?

I was trying to get her to make her fabulous smile for the camera, but she's definitely a stinker already and has figured out how to glare when she wants to.  And then she thinks she's so funny.

When she's not dancing, Millie's busy carrying our photo books all over the house. It's the most adorable thing ever. She always wants to crawl in our laps and look at all the pictures. I cry basically every time as we tell her the stories about her life so far.

I just like to look at the cute baby.
 In case you can't tell, I'm trying to make more of a point to be in pictures with Millie. Last week I noticed that although I take approximately 40 pictures of Millie every day, there weren't any pictures of me with her for almost a month. That's just sad. So tonight we took a break in the middle of our normal hectic evening- Matt and I trying to cook dinner (curry and naan) while we trip all over Millie's toys on the floor (that she quit playing with because she needed to be held so that she could watch us cook)- and took a Real Life picture. Millie looks a little dazed, and I look a little hyped up, but dang. Sometimes (okay, most of the time), I just can't believe how incredibly lucky I am.

Mainly because Pitch Perfect 2 comes to my TV tomorrow. But I guess there're some other reasons, too.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ordinary life, hurricane dreams

Well, well, well. Long time no chat. I have no exciting excuses, so we'll just move straight into the cute baby pictures and completely thrilling weekend updates, okay? 

I heard rompers were in style this fall? I approve.
 On Saturday we spent the day- wait for it- overhauling our garage!! We took everything out!! We cleaned! We vacuumed!! We organized!! We trashed and recycled and donated a crap-ton of stuff! We put it all back in, but more neatly!!

You are probably rightfully devastated that I don't have any before and after pictures. Seriously. It's basically HGTV-worthy, although we didn't really go crazy and do stuff like paint the floors or color coordinate bins and labels. Just a normal amount of awesome organization. Ooh and we mounted thingies to hold the bikes up on the walls, thus freeing up floor space for all of Millie's large outdoor toys and paraphernalia! Most importantly, we a) moved all toxic chemical products (fertilizers, insecticides, paint) up to high shelves, and b) we did not see any evidence of mama snakes or any other creepy creatures.  

Annnnd that's about all I have to say about my garage. You'll just have to take my word for it. It was pretty exciting. And insanely hot and sweaty and dirty and gross.

It was tiring, too. As tiring as this trip to Target.
When we're not busy doing mega-glamorous projects in the garage, we keep busy terrorizing playing with our animals.
Lola, I will read you this story about some ladybugs. THEY ALL FLY AWAY.

Aidan. Stop staring. Like you've never seen a topless lady in your yard before. Sheesh.

No, Mommy, I will not pose nicely in my adorable outfit for you. I MUST PET MY LOLA!!!!
In other news, did you hear that the next hurricane will be named Erika? It's like a dream come true. My hurricane will probably be forming in the next week or so, so I'll be watching with bated breath to see how I turn out. I'm pulling for something initially scary and intimidating that gets folks out of school and work, but then turning sharply out to sea and weakening before hitting any land, thereby avoiding any actual destruction. That way people will all be like thanks for the free day off, Erika! Wooo! and it will be really fun. These are the kinds of things I daydream about now, so yeah. It's pretty exciting to be me. (Also, please note that if Hurricane Erika ends up being remotely terrible, I will come back and delete all of this and act horrified at the idea of ever wanting to identify with a natural disaster. What kinda psycho would think that, anyway?) I said at the beginning, nothing much exciting is going on. Just normal, happy life. It's enough.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

things that are awesome

In no particular order, a few things/discoveries/people that have been particularly awesome this last week.

I know, you thought I would pick something to do with Millie first, didn'tcha? I'm going for the element of surprise here. TACOS! SURPRISE!

Anyway, no joke, these tacos are unbelievable. It's basically the lime crema that puts them over the top, so don't think you're going to get lazy and just use plain old sour cream. Go the extra step. Your taste buds will do an exuberant dance of thanks. Bonus points for the recipe being easy, fast, cheap, and reasonably healthy. Please don't ask how many times we've made them in the last two weeks. My capacity to eat and love Mexican food is endless and borderline embarrassing. 

2. The Gilmore Guys podcast. I heard about this a few months ago and forgot about it until yesterday. BUT NOW I AM OBSESSED. Forget Serial- a podcast featuring two really funny dudes thoroughly dissecting every single episode of my favorite show (with awesome guests, including some cast members!!!!, on most episodes) is what's up. Trust me on this one. If you're a fan of the show, you should check out this podcast. And if you're not a fan of the show, I don't even know if we can be friends. (Just kidding. One of my best friends has always hated the show and mocked me for liking it (as in, since we were watching the show live a decade ago) and I'm still friends with her. But I pray for her mortal soul...)

3. Okay, fine. MILLIE.

She's always awesome, but watching her open presents on her birthday (no party, just her favorite food, cupcakes, and presents with us and her grandparents) was extra awesome. She really started to get the whole opening presents thing. And then she got super excited about each new toy. And it was good. Very, very good.

Oh hey, what's in this cool bag?
INSTRUMENTS!!! I'm going to start a band! 
She got lots of fun new toys, but we've all had the most fun with her new outside toys. She basically has a heart attack every time she sees them in the garage. Her pointing and squealing and frantic reaching towards her car is quite possibly the cutest thing ever (and a real bummer when we're in a rush to get in the (real) car to go somewhere).

This toy has been a win for me, too, because now we go on even MORE walks than normal, so I'm getting my daily steps in without nearly as much struggling!

4. Fall.

I mean, I know it isn't fall yet. But Millie already has her Basic White Girl uniform ready to go, so I'm getting pretty pumped.

I heard blankie scarves are going to be in again this season.
She loves carrying her blankies around everywhere, but they drag on the ground and trip her. It doesn't bother her, but it kinda grosses me out when we're at, say, the doctor's office (as pictured). So today Matt just looped and wrapped it all around her (basically exactly like I do with my blanket scarf in the winter, ha) and it cracked me up. But it was effective!! No tripping and she was perfectly happy. So there ya have it. Blanket scarves for one-year-olds. You saw it first here, folks.

But in all seriousness, fall does sound great right about now. Mainly because I just bought Millie a new chambray shirt tonight...

And that's all we have time for. Four awesome things. My podcast is calling, so goodnight!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

twelve months!

Well, the day has finally come. Our twelve month update. This little nugget is an entire year old (and a few days, but who's counting?).

A whole YEAR, Mommy??! I am GROWN!!!!
That means this was our very last photo shoot with stickers and forcing her to pose on the precariously rocking chair. She will probably be sadder about that than I will.

It's like a rollercoaster!!!
 So grab a hanky, cause it's our last trip through these particular questions. Well, maybe I'll do it again at 18 months, just for fun. Or like, age 13 years and 2 months. Just because.

Aliases: Nothing's changed here. Millie, Mills, Millsie, Millsie Lou, Nuggie, Nugs, Snugs, Snuggles, Little Bit.

Stats: Since she just so happened to be sick on her birthday (how convenient!), we got a free weigh-in. 24 pounds and 4 ounces to close out year #1. She hasn't had her twelve-month checkup yet, so I'm not sure how tall she is, but she's still going strong in 12-month and 12-18 month clothes. Her disposable dipes are size 4. Now that she walks, she needs to wear shoes...she's about a size 3 in baby/toddler shoes, but since all of the "real" shoes seemed to rub/scratch her feet in various places, I ordered a few more pair of trusty moccasins and called it a day. They're her trademark, really.
I mean, my moccs are functional AND fashionable- what more could a girl want?
She closed out her first year with approximately 7.5 teeth. Four up top, three downstairs, and another bottom guy jussssst starting to poke through. She is every apple's worst nightmare. CHOMP!


  • Eating: She all but lost interest in her bottles during month twelve. We still offered them to her 4-5 times a day, but she drank maybe 12-15 ounces total per day. She got much more excited about drinking water out of her sippy cup this month, and she continued being an excellent Real Food eater. She eats three normal meals each day with us/with her classmates, plus two snacks. At school, she doesn't even use a high chair for her meals! She sits at a (tiny) table in her own chair and apparently stays there long enough to feed herself! She still does not use utensils, but she's amazingly adept at self-feeding. Now that her "weaning" is complete, I must give a huge final shout-out to Baby-led Weaning. It was the easiest, cheapest, and most fun ever, and our girl is a fantastic eater. And I never once had to buy or make baby food. WE ALL WIN.
  • Sleeping is about the same as it's been for the last few months. She goes to bed around 8:30 p.m. and wakes up between 6:30-7:30 a.m. She was transitioning to the one-year-old classroom at her school, and the nap situation there is totally different (and apparently WAY BETTER for her) than it is in the infant room, so I have to break her nap details into two parts. When she was still in the infant room, she napped whenever she felt like it, which usually meant 2-3 really short (15-30 minute) naps per day. In the one-year-old room, they all nap (on little cots!!) at once, and only once per day. Since she's moved there, she's napped for 2.25 hours per day, plus another short nap when we come home in the evening. I guess they really wear her out in there!
Likes: Playing with her "sister" Lola and giving her toys/blankets/books/food/anything.

LOLA!!! Here is your toy!! I will hit your face with it until you take it!!
She loves going outside, playing with anything (doesn't matter if it's actually a toy...used tissues from the trash can are totally fair game and SUPER FUN, evidently), reading stories, splashing in Lola's water bowl, swimming, cuddling with her blankies, drinking out of grown-up cups, eating, and playing with/watching other babies and kids.

I'm so tired I can't even sit up and pull everything off the shelf.
Dislikes: Well, anesthesia, for one. WORST THING EVER. The word "no" is also pretty terrible. 
A Nuggie's gotta do what a Nuggie's gotta do, Mom. Don't try to change me.
Diaper changes and nose wiping are of the devil. She doesn't even fall for the ol' "I'm gonna steal your boogies!!!" game. Having her hands and faced wiped after a meal is similarly terrible.

There's not much else that she doesn't like, but I gotta hand it to her- she takes her short list of dislikes and REALLY COMMITS. She knows how to bring the dramatics when she is faced with something she deems awful.

Well, obviously you should just keep doing the things I like. Then I'll never have to get upset. Silly day you'll learn!
 Special Skills: She took her first step the day after she turned eleven months old and was a full-time walker by about a week later. She didn't waste any time. She still wobbles and falls down a lot, but she hops right back up without missing a beat. Her new skills have led her to lots of bumps and bruises over the last month, as she crashes into (and gets into) pretty much everything...hence the fabulous little bruise next to her mouth that is evident in all of her pictures from the last week. Wah. Although she is perfectly capable of walking, she still prefers for Mama and Daddy to carry her around in public, which is fine by me. I have enough trouble keeping up with her in our 1300 square foot house. I don't want to imagine how it would go at Target.

She doesn't say any meaningful words yet (except possibly Mama and Dada), but she's gotten pretty good at pointing emphatically (and making sound effects that convey how urgent the need is) at what she wants. A few times I've felt like we're REALLY winning at mother/daughterhood because she will be crying and clearly needing something that I can't discern, and I've asked her to point at what she wants (and I demonstrate pointing at a few things)...and she will!! And then I can get it (it's usually something super important, like a random shoe on a shelf. Or a piece of junk mail on the counter.) and she looks amazed when I hand it to her and then she's happy again. COMMUNICATION!! It's brilliant!!

My mommy understands me! For my next trick, I will learn to talk to dolphins.
 A year has come and gone more quickly than I'd ever imagined. I couldn't be prouder of this sweet little thing, and motherhood is every bit as amazing as I'd dreamed it would be. The nugget-shaped hole in my heart has been filled and I simply lack the words to describe what a blessing this child has been.

Happy first birthday, Camilla. I have no idea if you will ever read this, but I hope that if you do, the love and gratitude I have for you will come as no surprise. I hope that my words and my actions speak even louder and more convincingly than these words on a screen ever will.

Your life has only just begun, and I consider myself the luckiest person on earth that I get to experience it as your mama. You are a gift, a treasure, a tangible expression of God's love and redemption. You are loved more than you will ever know.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

august 4, 2014

A year ago today was Millie's due date. August 4. The date my whole world had been revolving around for three months. I realize that three months is barely even a trimester- merely a third- of a typical woman's wait for their child...but in adoption, a trimester may as well be a billion years. At least for me. I got to cram nine months worth of anxiety and fear (and then some) into three tiny little months. And then...then the day came.

August 4. At long last.

I went to work. I blogged. I felt sick. I worked. I tried to ignore the date every time I wrote it or looked at a calendar. I felt sick. I tried to pretend it was just another day, not the day. I made a few hopefully-final notes for the temp that would cover my job during my maternity leave. I hoped he would need them soon. I kept my phone absolutely glued to my hand. I charged the battery every time it got below 80%. I carried it to the bathroom, to the water fountain, to the copy machine three feet away from my desk. I checked to make sure it was working, that I had service, that the volume was on. I willed it to ring.

August 4. Our due date. Her due date. Our due date.

It was J's first pregnancy, and a healthy and typical one at that, for which we were so thankful. So I knew that the odds of the baby actually coming on her due date were slim. She wasn't planning to be induced or anything. But still. It was August 4. I've never waited for a day like I waited for August 4, 2014.

The workday came and went and my phone was damnably silent, save for the four thousand texts from well-wishing friends and family members: Any news?? What's going on? Have you talked to J? Any sign of baby? Have you picked a name yet?

(Yes, her name had been picked for weeks. J had asked if we'd be willing to use Ann as her middle name before she ever even officially chose us; it's a family name with great meaning to her. So all we had to worry about selecting was her first name, which was harder than we'd expected. We had finally tentatively settled on Camilla, and when J asked one day if we'd chosen a name, we told her we were pretty sure we would name her Camilla. She told us that she loved it, that it was perfect, and that she felt like the baby really was Camilla. So we all started calling the baby Camilla that day. We just didn't tell anyone.)

We went to the gym after work. We did that most days back then (oh, the days of daily workouts...a faint memory now, ha), and it seemed as reasonable a plan as any. The phone stayed as glued to me during my workout as it had been the rest of the day, and I was constantly creating and recreating my game plan for what would happen if we got The Call while working out. Shower first, then rush to Atlanta? Skip the shower and get there sooner? Did I really want to meet my daughter in my sweaty gym clothes? So many choices that I ultimately did not need to make...the workout hour concluded with nary a call.

August 4 was drawing to a close and life was depressingly identical to any other Monday.

I don't remember as many details about the rest of the evening. I'm sure we ate and walked the dog and double-triple-quadruple checked our packed hospital bags. I can guarantee I did whatever I could to not think about the only thing I could think about. There would have been TV watching and internet surfing and the constant, unceasing praying of a mother waiting on another mother's phone call.

We went to bed on August 4, disappointed that the day had turned out to be so ordinary. I congratulated myself on not texting J all day with the same questions people had been annoying me with: any progress?? (We'd texted about other things, don't get me wrong...I'd just refrained from asking obvious questions. Ha.) I trusted that if there were anything worth reporting, she would have reported it. So we went to bed, expecting to wake up the next morning and face yet another endless day of waiting. Obviously, before I went to sleep, I plugged in my phone, made sure it was working, and turned the volume all the way up. Then I went ahead and just put it on my pillow. Better to err on the side of safety.

August 4, 2014 was a huge letdown. 

But then my phone rang. It was just after 1:00 a.m., early on August 5. My phone rang and it was J. I answered on the first ring.

Hey, Erika? I...I think it might be time. My water broke a few minutes ago. We're on the way to the hospital. I think you and Matt should come.

J, you don't have to tell me twice. We quickly dressed, threw our bags into the car, and kissed Lola goodbye. As we pulled out of the garage, we hoped against hope that we wouldn't pull back into that garage without a baby in the car seat.

August 5, eh. August 5, 2014. I hadn't given much thought to August 5- I'd never thought past August 4, but August 5 was starting to show a lot of promise.

We made it to the hospital in record time, where J had indeed been admitted. We stayed with her in the room for the next 9 hours or so of labor, as family members from all three of our families trickled in and slowly filled up the waiting room. By lunchtime, J was ready to push. It didn't take long.

At 12:23 p.m., Camilla Ann was born. Matt cut her umbilical cord. The nurses weighed her, wiped her off, and upon J's request, handed her to me. 

August 5, 2014. The day another woman made me a mother. My heart (and my eyes) overflows when I consider the depth of her sacrifice and love. 


Tonight I played with my beautiful spitfire of a nearly-toddler. I laughed as I observed the order she chose to eat her dinner in- tonight the sausage and gnocchi and fresh mozzarella got picked first, the cucumbers and tomatoes tossed aside. She played in the bath and screamed when I tried to wipe her snotty nose. She fell asleep during her nightly breathing treatment and we just held her and prayed for her before we laid her in her crib. This child...this long-awaited miracle...she has changed everything. She is the joy of our lives, and being her mother is a gift that I try to never take for granted.

On August 4, 2015, I laid my baby down to sleep. I baked some cupcakes for tomorrow and wrapped some more presents and was just overwhelmed with happiness as I considered the difference a year has made. Tomorrow my Millie turns one. I have been a mother for a year. 

What a glorious, sweet redemption.

Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises. Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling...We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance. Psalm 66:8,9,12

Sunday, August 2, 2015

neighbor of the year

Maybe you've noticed, but I don't get around to doing weekend recaps (or any sort of recaps, except maybe Millie's monthly updates, really) much anymore. Thus is the plight of the strapped-for-time-and-energy working mom, I suppose. But here it is on Sunday night and I have an hour and I just finished a book and haven't started my next book and what the heck, why not share a few of the more memorable highlights of the last few days?

Please note: "memorable" does not necessarily mean "good." You have been warned.

Since it's summer in Georgia and approximately 3,478 degrees outside for most of the day, I try to go outside with Millie in the mornings and the evenings, when it is perhaps only in the mid-90s and therefore somewhat bearable.

These lantana are delicious, Mom. I love second breakfast!
 We don't have a lot of fun outdoor toys yet, but Millie finds grass and flowers to be pretty amusing, so throw in a few sand toys from the beach and she's a happy camper. 

THIS GRASS!! Seriously, Mom, what kind of seasoning are you using? It's perfection.

The problem with being this adorable is that people never stop kissing you...
She's a really happy camper, though, when the two-year-old from next door sees us outside playing and comes running over. This is also one of my favorite things. I have long entertained visions of my children playing in the yard on long summer evenings with the neighbor kids, the way I played with my neighbors growing was blissful. So when Wyatt recently started noticing Millie walking around and looking generally more interesting than the lumpy baby she used to be, he started yelling across the yards at us: Miiiiwwwwwwiiieeeee!!! Can I pway wif Miwwie?? Miwwie's ball? I can play wif Miwwie's ball? And he comes over and they play and the parents chat and it's really like a dream come true.

Most of the time.

Except for Thursday night. Because on Thursday night, something went terribly awry in our idyllic little summer neighborhood scene.

Wyatt and Miwwie were playing with her ball, and since Millie's defense skills are currently rather lacking, the ball went right past her and rolled into the garage and under our car. Uh oh!!! I get it!!!! Wyatt tells us, running to the garage. His dad follows him and lays down to reach under the car for the bouncy ball. I'm chatting with Wyatt's mom and not paying much attention to either of them as they retrieve the ball, but we both look over when Wyatt walks up to us holding something thin in his hand. I can get the ball with this? he asks, extending his arm towards his mom and me. 

Our garage floor is scattered with the random dried grass and sticks that falls off the bottom of the lawn mower when we drive it back in. So I assumed that what Wyatt had picked up off the floor was some dried up vine or something. As his mom and I moved in closer to look, she shrieked. IS THAT A SNAKE???!

I was about a foot away from my two-year-old neighbor, and as soon as she said it, I knew it was true. It was definitely not a weed wrapped around Wyatt's arm. It was a SNAKE. A very thin black snake. WRAPPED AROUND HIS ARM.

I was the closest adult to Wyatt by about two feet. Therefore I did what the Closest Adult was duty-bound to do.

Stare in shock and horror. A snake. Wrapped around his arm. OH MY GOSH. A snake!! In MY garage!! It's on his arm! Oh, wow! I wonder how it got in here? I wonder what my cat does all day...why didn't it kill it? Is there a mommy snake somewhere? There's a snake on his arm! Ahhh!

Obviously I was far too consumed with my own thoughts to do anything useful, like say GET THE SNAKE OFF HIS ARM.

Yes, I am ready to receive my Most Worthless Adult of the Year award.

Luckily, Wyatt's mom has better Mom Reflexes than I do, and she bravely slapped the snake off his arm. About one second after it bit him.

A SNAKE BIT A TODDLER IN MY GARAGE. It was the worst Thursday night ever. Ugh.

The weird thing is that although four out of four adults were freaking out about the whole Snake Biting Toddler situation, the toddler and the almost-toddler couldn't have been less interested or alarmed. Approximately the same second that the snake bit him and his mom frantically slapped it off his arm, Wyatt noticed my old bike sitting on the driveway (I had pulled it out to clean it off) and walked over to it. Ooohh, a bike!!! Can I touch it?

We spent the next few minutes trying to identify the snake and monitor Wyatt's arm. Thankfully, the snake ended up being a non-poisonous Southern Ringneck, and his arm showed no sign of trauma. They erred on the side of safety and called the after-hours nurse line (they said just to clean with soap and water and watch for signs of infection, but were otherwise unconcerned) and took him over to the fire station to have an EMT look at it (same story). By the following morning, they couldn't even see where the bite was, and so luckily this story has an uneventful ending. He's doing just fine, and they even came back over to play on Friday evening, so I guess they have forgiven me for being the most useless human being on earth ever.

You should probably all stop and say a prayer of thanks that I don't work in any kind of environment that requires the ability to make split-second life-saving decisions and actions. The world would be a scary place. Ugh. I really had no idea I was this bad in a I've spent the weekend coming to terms with this new facet of my personality. Ha.

Luckily, Snakegate was pretty much the low point of the week...the rest of the weekend was much less eventful.

 On Friday night, Matt was hanging out with some guys, so Millie and I went on a mommy-daughter date to eat Mexican food. As you can see, it was probably the greatest night of her life. Ha. Actually, we had a lot of fun...this is just what her post-Mexican food coma looks like. She does me proud the way she inhales Mexican food.

On Saturday night Matt and I attended the wedding of a dear friend slash (now-former, waaaahhh) coworker. I had way too much fun getting dolled up (and attempting a fancy braided updo in my hair that you cannot see at ALL in this picture...the only picture I took all night...of course), and the wedding and reception were beautiful (and delicious). I got a new dress for the occasion and I loved it- so much that I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing it again next month for another wedding, ha, so pretend you've never seen it when I show pictures from that wedding, okay? Thanks. 

Oh hey, Mom. I'm cuter than all get out, right?
Four hours of being away from my girl last night was too much, so I've been happy to make up for the lost time today. It's been an uneventful (and snake-free, I might add) day of church and toys and chores and wagons and errands. We introduced good ol' whole milk to Millie's diet today, a few days shy of her first birthday, and so far she's a pretty big fan. She's moved to the one-year-old class at school, and they can't have bottles or formula in there (although they'll give us a little grace period to get her changed over), so I'm glad that she seems to be transitioning fine and not missing her bottles at all. And I'm REALLY excited at the prospect of perhaps never having to buy formula again (for Millie)!! Cha-CHING!$!$!$!

And with that, we head into another week. Birthday week. I have only two days left with a child whose age is measured in months instead of years. It's a little sad, but I can't help but remember how fortunate I am to have a healthy child privileged to celebrate her first birthday. I am currently mourning with my best friend, who will give birth next week to her son who has Trisomy 13. He is not expected to live for more than a few minutes to hours past birth, if he survives childbirth at all. I have mourned and wept with my friends over the past seven months of waiting for this tragedy (while desperately hoping and praying for a miracle) while simultaneously experiencing the joy of watching my own child grow up healthy and strong, and the juxtaposition is just too much sometimes. At any rate, I would appreciate it if you would keep Kristina, James, and their sweet baby Ezekiel in your thoughts and prayers this week.