wow...when it rains it pours (smiles, that is!). seriously, after a long string of blah-ish days and chilly weather, our cup runneth over with fun and laughter. not only did the weather warm up, giving us the chance to open the windows, play outside, and simply savor the reality that spring will eventually arrive to stay...but, we also had the chance to spend several occasions of quality time with friends.
1. getting to hear the baby's heartbeat this morning...strong and steady, music to my ears. i took both girls to the appointment with me...as i was heading straight to Bible study afterward, and, oh my, seeing elizabeth's expression at the sound of the thump, thumping of baby's heart was incredible. she froze on the edge of her chair and looked completely transfixed...then said, "is that my baby!?" priceless! she also spent the entire drive to the doctor's office talking and asking me questions about the baby...wondering why it has to stay in my tummy and when it can come out and crawl around. and, of course, whenever anyone at the doctor's office asked if she wanted a baby brother or a baby sister, she promptly and emphatically answered, "a brother!". since we are not planning to find out gender, i think we'll have to work hard to prepare her for the reality that it very well could be another sister! :) just four more weeks till our mid-point ultrasound and another chance to see the baby...even better, i'm SO close to the point where i'll start feeling the baby move...i can't wait! :)
2. bath time in the big tub. just to break the monotony we let the girls go "swimming" in our big bathtub...they had a blast! isn't it amazing how changing a little part of the normal routine makes such a HUGE difference in their eyes...
3. these adorable spring-y dresses arrived in the mail from grandma and grandpa...and, of course, the girls had to try them on right away and then call mike's parents to say thank you. aren't they precious! (and this mama loves that they are being loving to each other in the pic)
4. the hugging kater monster. seriously, kate is SO into giving hugs right now...she LOVES to wrap her arms all the way around elizabeth and then hold on for dear life...oftentimes the hug doesn't end until they both fall over. its my favorite part of bedtime when kate walks over and gives me a hug and kiss...precious!
5. warmth, warmth, warmth. oh how incredible it was to have the weather in the upper 60's and even all the way to 70 degrees! we threw open the windows, turned up some music, and i cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. and, of course, we found LOTS of time for playing outside--kate is in LOVE with the swings and can actually climb up the rungs to the slide platform by herself (which is a bit scary to watch!). we also took some walks and did plenty of sidewalk chalking...elizabeth's new favorite game is hopscotch...though it sounds remarkably like "hot sauce" when she says it...and kate, well, she doesn't get it, but she tries her best to hop along right after her sister.
6. a clean, clean house. after being cooped up, sick, and exhausted, i was thrilled to finally get the house back into some semblance of order this week...and, of course, the open windows really helped motivate me toward that task. then again, so did the reality of hosting a surprise party for my dear friend jill and having overnight guests...but, hey, whatever works...right!?
7. as mentioned in smile #6...hosting a surprise party for my friend jill. her husband cooked up the idea and asked if we would be willing to host. it was so much fun and a huge blessing to catch up with many, many friends we would love to see more often but don't get the chance to. and i simply love inviting people into our house...getting things ready...cooking....serving people...i love it and haven't done it for far too long!
8. an overnight visit from one of my dearest college friends, cortney...and her family. they made the point to come see us on their way to florida for vacation. we haven't seen her family for almost 2 years...before kate and their baby boy were even born. what a blast to simply sit and chat and catch up...and elizabeth LOVED getting to play with their little girl, gabi, who is just 10 months younger. unfortunately i only got pictures of the girls...not their little boy jeremiah or even of cort and i together...but trust me, we had a blast!
9. my fabulous diaper haul. not only that, but my hubby suggested that i go out by myself to hit my first few stores for diapers AND gave me some money and told me to head to the mall to do some shopping for myself. shopping for myself by myself is such a huge luxury...no little extras in the dressing room...plenty of time to browse...and some quiet, relaxation time. thanks hubby! as if that wasn't enough, he agreed to load the girls up in the car and venture out with me later in the afternoon to hit a few more walgreens and do round #2 of diaper shopping!
10. our little chip dipper. we finished out diaper shoppoing round #2 with dinner at our favorite mexican restaurant (hooray!). kate was enthralled by selecting her own chip from the basket and then carefully dipping it into the salsa and munching away. she was SO proud of herself...and i was surprised that she didn't seem a bit fazed by the spiciness of the salsa!
11. these curls. kate's hair has gotten SO curly...it tends to flatten out after naptime, so i haven't caught the extent of it in pictures...but i tried with this one. her whole head is strawberry blonde ringlets...and i've become a wee bit obsessed with them...rewetting her hair and scrunching with a bit of mousse to bring back the spring after naps and nighttime!