Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Aunt Michelle's visit

My sister and I talk on the phone several times a week -- sometimes it's just for a few minutes, sometimes it's for an hour, but it's absolutely no replacement for getting to see each other in person. Aunt Michelle came to see us over the extended MLK Jr. weekend and we had such a great time! She was absolutely instrumental in helping us finally get all the Christmas decorations put away and was a fantastic babysitter, which allowed me & Andrew to have our first date night in a long time. 

We did some mall shopping thanks to our holiday gift cards, went to a movie ("It's Complicated" -- hilarious), inhaled ate some delicious beignets and played with Lucy in the park, and took a day trip to the always stunning Oak Alley plantation (partly to get Lucy to take a nap in the car, but mostly to get out of the house on a pretty day). We crammed a lot of fun and laughter into three days and we can't wait for "Chelle" to come back again soon!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Please won't you be my neighbor?

Some pictures from our post-Christmas trip to the New Orleans Children's Museum.  Lucy napped on the way down, played her little heart out (the toddler area and Mr. Roger's Neighborhood were some favorites), and then crashed on the way home... which led to a very relaxing and enjoyable day for all three of us! 

We were able to catch up with our friends Jeff and Rebecca for a visit and some pizza before we drove back. They're expecting their first baby next month, and Lucy did a great job of showing them all the places in their house they still need to baby-proof.  :)  We ♥ our NOLA day trips!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Excelsis Deo

"In Excelsis Deo" was the message of this year's Christmas Eve service at church and the theme of the our holiday celebration as well.  We have a beautiful daughter who fills our lives daily with joy and another family member on the way, we are blessed with steady jobs that provide us abundant food, shelter, and clothing, we have friends and family who love and support us... And the most important gift of Christmas -- we have been given a Savior who delights in us despite our (immense) imperfections and who catches us when we fall.  Glory to God in the highest, indeed.

I spent most of the holiday in the kitchen and loved every minute of it.  I hardly ever get the opportunity to make a big batch of stuff from scratch anymore, but with some time off of work and some babysitting reinforcements, I got to play hostess again!  Boogie and PopPop, Uncle Mike, and Pop all made their way down to BR from Shreveport/Arkansas, and we were so grateful to wake up in our own home on Christmas morning.  Lucy had an absolute blast getting acquanited with all the "big girl" toys Santa left her, and we all ate, laughed, and napped way too much.  I hope this is the start of a new family tradition!

Trying to get a coherent family picture after church... Oh well.

Enjoying the snow globe in a neighbors yard

Whee!  The look on her face when Lucy saw this treehouse slide on Christmas morning was priceless -- something akin to: "Is this for me?  For real?"

Our new Elmo-watching chair

Cooking up some trouble in the pint-sized kitchen.  Thanks Nana and PawPaw -- it's a big hit!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's like rain on your wedding day

Jill, my long-time friend/former roommate and partner in crime, finally got the chance to marry her knight in shining armor (aka Jeff) on Saturday, December 12, in New Orleans.  And let's just say it's a very good thing that these two are crazy in love and were so committed to joining their lives together, because the wedding day quickly turned into a case of Murphy's law so severe that it resembled the screwball ending of a bad romantic comedy!

For those of you who don't live in Louisiana, we experienced day after day after day of wet, soggy, cold dreariness that eventually resulted in record rainfall levels for December.  The morning of the wedding was drizzly and overcast (normal) while we went to get our hair and make-up done, but  by the time the photographer arrived at the hotel suite to take pictures that afternoon there were severe flash flood warnings on the radio.  Long story short, the entire town of New Orleans (especially the downtown area where we were located) had become almost completely submerged with water within just a few short hours...

The interstate exits were all full of water, so the limos were stuck and were almost two hours late picking us up.  We passed the time by taking pictures in the hotel lobby, and bringing Jill some desperately needed wine and champagne.

Once the limos got there, everyone had to take off their shoes and hike up their dresses to get in.  We had a police escort down St. Charles Avenue to get to the church since cars were stalled out all along the sides of the road. You could hear the water rushing underneath the car on the way there. Not fun.

The church ladies were furious about our tardiness, the flower girl didn't make it down the aisle, the ceremony started about an hour and a half late, many of the guests couldn't make it to the church due to the storm, and Jill almost passed out during her vows.  (Note: Methodist women are not used to having to kneel all the way through a Catholic mass!).  But in the end, it was beautiful and sweet and romantic -- everything a wedding should be.  :)  Jill handled the whole scene with a composure and grace I undoubtedly would not have possessed if the roles were reversed. 

And... at the end of that crazy day, we finally had a bride and a groom!  Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Waltz!!! We wish you a lifetime of love, friendship, and happiness!

P.S.  The lobby of the newly-renovated Roosevelt Hotel was just stunning! Can't wait to bring Lucy back there next year to see the gorgeous Christmas decorations and to have "Holiday Tea with Santa."

P.P.S.  Apologies to my husband who drove all the way down to NOLA only to have to turn around and drive back home because the car wouldn't make it through the flood waters. I appreciate the effort and can only imagine how handsome you looked in your suit!