Monday, December 28, 2009

Emily's First Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas here in Philadelphia. The Groves family tradition is to have a nice dinner on Christmas Eve (delicious steak, creamed onions, red wine...mmmm.). We kept Emily up late to attend the New Life Christmas Eve Service, which is one of my favorites. Christmas carols, readings and a beautiful message from Doug Green about the incarnation of Christ. Emily even made an on-stage appearance to do a reading with Granny & the rest of the family, and contributed some of her trademark "growls" for the microphone.

Christmas morning we had a little family time at our house, and then headed to Heather Lane for the rest of the day, which was mostly spent sitting around the living room with Emily at the center of things. We helped her open presents (of course the wrapping paper was a big hit) and she was happy to have the attention of so many grown ups all day. I think we heard her first few babbles - some "bababa" mixed in with the growls. Overall, it was just nice to have an entire day to spend together, opening presents, playing games, watching a movie, and just talking. After all the excitement, Emily slept for a record ten straight hours that night!

I have to post a picture of Becky's annual theme-wrapped presents. Check out the December album for a few more pictures, including Eowyn & Mom Groves in wigs, and Alden, Alasdair & I wearing footie pj's. :)

Now we are spending a few days getting things done around the house, doing some necessary shopping (including a new carseat for Emily since we are thinking it might be time for her to move on from the infant carseat...yikes!) & getting ready for the next adventure: a drive to Georgia for our annual New Year's Reunion with college friends. We are so blessed!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Last weekend we brought Emily to Marco Island, Florida to introduce her to some of Alasdair's extended family. Emily did GREAT on the plane, slept well while we were there (despite cutting her first tooth!), and was generally just very happy to meet her Great Grandparents Groves, Uncle Bryan & Aunt Michelle, Aunt Jill, and cousins Megan, Alexa, Dalton, and Taylor, as well as cousins Dan & Jesse who were visiting from CA at the same time. Alexa (4 years old) was especially excited about "baby Emily" and spent as much time as possible playing with, holding, "helping" bathe & feed, and otherwise entertaining her. Emily seemed to return the love, and gave Alexa her biggest smiles & laughs.

I barely have any pictures, which I think is either because we were mostly taking video (maybe someday I'll figure out how to post video here) or because we had a professional photographer present (Jesse did take some shots of Emily for us). Here's one of Alasdair with Alexa & Emily. Note that he is playing cards at the same time: there was a game of pinochle (the Groves family favorite) going just about 24/7. Not pictured, but also always present: Dr. Pepper & Fritos. :) The time there was too short as always, but it was great to spend the time we had with family that we see too rarely!

Oh, and I'll also mention that Philadelphia got over a foot & a half of snow while we were gone. It made us sad to miss it, but we were VERY grateful that ours was late enough that it was not among the many canceled flights (and that our initial 6 hour delay was shortened to only one). Here's Emily looking out at our winter wonderland.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tree

We attempted a little family photo shoot by the Christmas tree last week. The pictures of just Emily are the best, of course. :)

A few more here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Front Window

Our cats spend a lot of their time sitting by the front window and yesterday Emily joined them for awhile. With the radiator (safely covered) right there to keep warm, and lots of interesting things to look at outside, it's a nice place to sit.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things we're into, early December edition...


Emily's current favorite toy is a clementime. It's just the right size for her little hands and soft enough that she can grip in. Unfortunately, it also rolls away!

Bath toys!!

Emily received these fun bath toys from Uncle Mike & Auntie Bekah for Christmas, and she will sit in her tub and play with them for as long as I let her. Not surprisingly, her favorite is the orange one that resembles a clementine.

Bundling up!!

Well, I'm not sure how "into it" Emily is... but now that the temperature has dropped, I've gone back to bundling Emily up for our walks. She must feel cozy, because she still falls asleep! Actually, she seems more likely to fall asleep in the carseat now that we've added the "bundleme."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First Snow!

We'd been looking forward to getting our Christmas tree this past Saturday. Just as we were getting ready to go, it started snowing! We took Emily out on the porch and she was very interested in this new phenomenon. We decided to brave the elements and pick out our tree as quickly as we could! The shivering tree-stand employee was amazed & thrilled that we would take the first tree he showed us. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Chaos

I've been referring to our Thanksgiving as 'happy chaos'. We had a wonderful time with my family. Thanks to Uncle Nick being in Philly the weekend before, Emily & I were able to be there for a whole week (Alasdair came up a few days later) and had a couple quiet days before the big events began. We spent an evening with just my dad & a day with just my mom. Stocked up on winter clothes for Emi. Played with cousin Rosalie. Took advantage of extra hands to hold the baby and went running. Made pretty baby hair clips. Dressed the girls in matching outfits and enjoyed watching Emily start to hold her own in cousins photo shoots.

The night before Thanksgiving, I got a phone call from some of our best friends who just happened to be stuck at Logan Airport & needed a place to stay that night. We were thrilled, since they live in GA & have a 6 week old we hadn't met yet! So, thought there was technically 'no room in the in' (my parents, plus our family of 3 in my old room, Mike's family of 3 in his, a friend of M&B's in Nick's room, and Nick in the den) ... we made up some beds in the rec room and were SO glad to see Dave & Virginia and meet baby Hannah Snow. It was especially fun for us to have Rosalie, Emily & Hannah in the same place, since they are all exactly 4 months apart. Seeing the three of them side by side we were amazed at how close Emily (5.5 mo) looked to Rosalie (9.5 mo) and how BIG she looked next to Hannah (1.5 mo).

Thanksgiving day: the traditional WA high school football game (which we won in dramatic OT fashion!) and dinner with Auntie Cindy, Uncle Jim, Stephen & Amanda. That night we took a quick jaunt out to Sunny Hill to be with my dad's entire side of the family for a complete family photo with all the new spouses & babies. (Of course the photo wasn't entirely complete - we missed Grampy a lot... but know he watched & took great joy in the occasion.)
Friday after Thanksgiving: the annual church soccer game, always a blast. M&B and A&I were all able to play thanks to the babysitting services of my mom & Uncle Nick. The Ware family came back to our house for pulled pork sandwiches & Nertz. Brief but nice visit from my cousin Dianna & her boyfriend Kevin.
Saturday: Surprise 80th birthday brunch for Granny Ware. More family time. :)

Then, a little bit of relaxing and Emily's first visit to the church I grew up in, and we headed for home first thing Monday morning. A very full and very lovely Thanksgiving.


Getting caught up on the things I should have posted about in November... The weekend before Thanksgiving, my brother Nick came down to run the Philadelphia Marathon (his 6th marathon, I think). It was fun for us to have him here all weekend - and I admit, we did put him to work helping move furniture on Saturday, probably not the best pre-Marathon activity! - and really fun to get out & experience the Philly Marathon as spectators. It was a beautiful day, Emily cooperated well, and due to the very spectator-friendly course, we were able to see Nick at multiple places along the route. Note the Art Museum in the background as Nick crosses the finish line.

(her shirt says "I'm cheering for Uncle Nick!")

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So many posts, so little time

There are so many things I should post about from the last couple weeks: Uncle Nick's visit & marathon, Thanksgiving, meeting Hannah McCune... I'll get to them eventually, but right now I am so tired I'm just going to put up one picture from today.

I did add a bunch of pictures to our November album, and even started one for December (it's December...yikes!) Most of the pictures from Thanksgiving are on my dad's camera, so I'll get more up once I get access to them.