Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I love my parents

I really should have posted this yesterday. Forgive me, Mom? It was my parents' 30th anniversary. That seems like such a long time, probably because it is. So Happy Anniversary!

My parents were high school sweethearts. I kind of love that I can say that.

They even got fake married in high school.

 My mom was only a few months past her 19th birthday when they got real married. My dad wasn't 21 yet.

Mom was still a few months shy of 21 when I was born.

Then two years later, Kristin came along. And all Hell broke loose. Just kidding, seester!

Considering I am pushing 30 (almost) and have a two year old daughter, it blows my mind to think of everything my parents had gone through by the time they were my age. Like most couples that manage to stay together past that 10.. 20... 30 year mark, it hasn't always been sunshine and roses. That's part of what makes me so proud of them. It doesn't take much anymore for people to throw in the towel, but my parents have gotten through the rough patches and come out better on the other side.

Lookin' good!

They've always done so much for me and Kristin but still managed to raise us to appreciate what we have. They work hard. They love their family. They've set the bar pretty high. They never complained when they had to drive six hours round trip (twice) in a weekend to bring me home from college. They never complained when I moved (meaning they helped me move) every single year from the time I graduated from high school until Sylvia was born. They never complain when I ask them to watch Sylvia when daycare is closed or I want to join Blake at a football game. The list of the things they've done for me and for my family wouldn't fit on the internet.

Five years ago, as a gift, I made a slideshow for their 25th anniversary and succeeded in making them both cry. So, Mom or Dad, if you're reading this, feel free not to watch it again. But I thought I would share it here. It goes right up to the time I met Blake, so it's a little bittersweet because it was at the end of the time when my family was just my family. It was still just the four of us, which was nice. I've been blessed to have grown up in such a tight-knit family. I hope I'm creating one of my own.


So, congratulations, Mom and Dad! Thanks for being awesome.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First (Real) Sleepover

As you probably know, Sylvia already has a BFF. Her name is Harper, and they are totally cute together. Two weekends ago, Sylvia and I went to visit Harper (and her parents, of course) at her new house. Here are some of my favorite pictures.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get two little kids to look at the camera at the same time. I'm pretty sure I tried about a thousand times and never got one.

And if that wasn't cute enough already, there may have been some dancing going on.

They both stayed in Harper's room, and for a while I wasn't sure if it was going to work. Sylvia was not doing well in a new place. Harper likes to sing when she goes to bed. In the end though, it all worked out and they slept until 7:00 am. Which is sleeping in for people with kids. From what I hear, Harper still won't let Emily take down "Sylvia's bed" in her room. They were meant to be best friends.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baby, You're a Firework!

It's getting dangerously close to being too late to post about Independence Day, but I wanted to share Sylvia's first experience with fireworks.

First, though, some pictures!

So I made those. Not a good picture, but I had hoped to take some better ones after we got to the party. That did not happen. As we drove across Cedar Rapids, they all fell over. A few lost their frosting and I lost my temper. I'm sure that's shocking news to all of you, Katie getting really angry over something that doesn't really matter.

Luckily, I recovered and didn't ruin the day for everyone. At least, I think I didn't.

We were not expecting any water activities, but nothing was going to keep Sylvia out of that pool! She had a great time splashing around and making friends. I think she met everyone at the party whether they were willing or not.

We were hanging out with by brother-in-law's family. They have an awesome party every year. We've attended the last couple years, and it's always a great time.

Once the sun went down, it was time for fireworks!



(fireworks pics stolen from Al's niece, Breezy. Thanks!)

She didn't quite get the looking up thing at first, but after some help from Grandma, she was hooked. In fact, she wondered out loud why they would stop at all?

That gives you a good idea of how much she enjoyed them. But for people like my mom who'd like to see more, I'm including a couple extra videos. I love watching her face! Wouldn't you love to see fireworks for the very first time again?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Party at the park

We had Sylvia's birthday party last weekend at a park near our house. We rented a pavilion through the city and prayed that it wouldn't rain. Luckily, it didn't rain and was hot but not so hot you want to punch yourself. You know, like today or any day in the past week.

I didn't take many pictures, so I'm stealing most of them. (Thanks, Emily!) I'm still waiting on some, so maybe you'll see more later!

First of all, let's appreciate the beautiful cake my mom made.

Sylvia helped me pick out colors and a theme (pink and green, ladybugs). I drew a really simple idea for the cake and mom made it Cute, huh?!?

Cute tiara from the Uhl family

Sporting a super cute hair bow and tutu from the Fretts
 Before cake, however, was presents. It was kind of hard to keep Sylvia focused, but Harper was there to help and we eventually go them all opened. I think Sylvia's going to be a girl that enjoys dressing up. She pretty much just loves to be the center of attention at all times.

Her Uncle Sean got this picture. He also got a super cute one last year. I used it for thank yous. How does he do it?

She was a little more sophisticated this year. She used a fork. Wasn't it cute that Mom made the topper so Sylvia had her own little cake?

After presents and food came the splash pad! That was probably the biggest hit of the day.

The kids had such a fun time! It took Sylvia and Harper a little while to get comfortable in the water. They played on the swings for a while first. Gracie and Garet were all over it right away, though!

Here's a little video Blake took of Sylvia. She wasn't quite sure about all that yet.

The pavilion where we had the party wasn't too far away, just across the creek that runs through the park.

The cups were a big hit. You know, besides throwing water, people get thirsty!

We played in the water for some where around an hour or so, I think. I was having so much fun that I didn't really keep track of the time very well. Kristin and Al were nice enough to do most of the clean up so we were ready to pack up and head out once the kids were splashed out.

After that came the next awesome part of the day: Sylvia's playhouse!

Here it is on its side... I haven't taken very many good pictures yet. But it shows some of the guys that were there helping set it up. My dad and grandpa, Al, Blake, and Colton.

And Bruce! He was there to supervise ;) My dad actually made this from the old playhouse that sits (well, used to sit) in my parents' backyard. My mom played in it when she was younger, so it's really awesome to keep it in the family. Sylvia loved it! It's not quite finished, the painting and floor needs to be finished, and my dad is making a super cute door for it. And you know I'm already dreaming up decorating ideas.

Here she is rearranging her furniture. Grandma and Grandpa Pauls got her a super cute table and chairs to furnish her new house.

The box was also a lot of fun to play with.

And while the guys were hard at work, Sylvia had fun playing with her Grandmas (she had four of them there!) and her Aunts Kristin and Debbie.

If it gives you any indication, we got 13 hours of uninterrupted sleep from Sylvia that night. It was an exhausting day, but it was a great time!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sylvia

Sylvia made her entrance to world exactly two years ago today. It doesn't seem like it could have been that long ago. I just went back and reread my post about the birth. Yikes. Doesn't make me super excited to do it again someday, but it makes me remember how awesome it was to finally meet her.

I don't think I could have guessed what a cute and hilarious little girl I was going to get.

She's the spitting image of her dad and loves books like her mom. I dream of her being some kind of super-smart scientist ballerina when she gets older. That's a real thing, right?

June 2010, 2011, & 2012
Man, a lot changes in two years.