Monday, February 23, 2009

The Birthday Bash...

Well, I am proud to say that I officially survived my first child's first birthday party yesterday! How many more to go? In all seriousness, it actually turned out to be a really enjoyable day....a lot of that is due to the fact that my sister-in-law graciously offered to host the party and the 25 people that came with it. Lucky me! My brother, Chris, and his wife, Natalee, have twins whose birthday is just three days after Lia. Since some of Natalee's family was going to be in town this past weekend, she offered to host a joint birthday party so that her sister and family could attend. I jumped on that offer. So, after church, we trapsed out to Port Orchard to celebrate Lia's 1st and Brynn's and Garrett's 8th birthdays!

One of my "assignments" for the party was to make the cake. Since one of my goals for 2009 is to be more "domesticy" (now that I am enjoying the extra time and freedom that comes with being a part-time homemaker for the first time in my adult career), I decided to bake a cake and make lemon curd filling and frosting ALL from scratch. I also attempted to decorate it with my brandnew cake decorating set (thank you, Kristina). As amateur as the end product turned out, it sure was good. My cake is pictured on the right and the little one was for Lia to attack is on the left (that I got for free from Albertsons since it was her first birthday).

When we first arrived at Chris' and Natalee's home, food preparations were still in full swing. So, there was some time to play with cousins and Grandma. Here is the birthday girl on the floor with daddy and Grandma and two silly cousins, Brynn and Callie.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner of pasta and meatballs (and all the different sauces and toppings you could think of), toss salad, homemade rolls, and cut fruit. Pictured is my brothers Eric and Chris, my sister-in-law, Rebecca, and my mother.

The four darling girls that insisted I take their picture! Pictured are my three nieces, Brynn, Vivi, and Callie and Brynn's and Callie's cousin, Anna (in the brown t-shirt).

The Real Men. My dad on the right, Ron in the back, and Natalee's father, Jordan, on the left.

After dinner, we opened gifts. Lia took turns with Brynn and Garrett. Here I am with Lia opening a gift from one of our neighbors with the help of Miss Callie. Lia was showered on by many and received several "big girl" toys that she was badly in need of. Apparently, she was outgrowing her rattles and such. How did that happen?!

After all was said and done, Lia still prefered Riley's cars and the tissue paper from the gift bags. Ugh. I can't win. :-)

Last, but not least, was dessert time! After singing "Happy Birthday" with the cousins surrounding her in the high chair, Lia daintily approached her first birthday cake. However, she quickly got the swing of things, and............

DOVE IN FINGERS FIRST! She was one sticky, messy girl when she was done!
Happy 1st Birthday Baby Girl!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

12 Months and Counting...

Well, I just can't believe it. My baby girl turned one year old today! How did that happen?! So many people warned me that her baby months would go by too fast....but, I didn't think that it would happen THIS fast! *sigh* Anyways, in honor of my little one's big day, I decided to post her monthly pictures that I have taken over the past twelve months. (Lia's baby book has a page for each of her first twelve months, so it helped to keep me on the ball about it!) Enjoy!
March 22, 2008 (Lia is sitting on the beautiful quilt her Grandma made for her)

April 22, 2008

May 22, 2008

June 22, 2008

July 22, 2008
(I just love this picture as it shows the "old growth" hair that remained on the back of her head after she lost the majority of the rest of her hair at around 3-4 months. This old section of hair would often times pop up at opportune or inopportune moments.)

August 22, 2008

September 22, 2008 (Is she posing for the camera or what in this picture?)

October 22, 2008 (Just a few days before she started crawling)

November 22, 2008

December 22, 2008 (Sitting in front of her first Christmas tree)

January 22, 2009

February 22, 2009
The adorable birthday girl in her birthday dress!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dash Point Getaway

It has been a long time since Ron and I had the chance to skip town and go on a little over nighter somewhere. This was something we seemed to do so much of when we were newlyweds living in California and we just loved it! However, since we have moved to Washington, this part of our life has waaaay slowed down for a few different reasons. As a result, we were tickled when we received the opportunity to stay at a beach house for FREE when one of Ron's co-workers offered it to us during Ron's mid-winter break this past week. His co-worker's beach house is located on Dash Point--a tiny, sleepy beach community on Puget Sound--just north of the Port of Tacoma. We went out on February 19th and spent one night there. Here I am in front of the Dash Point sign at the entrance of the pier.

There are two ways to get to this beach house....walking on the beach from the public parking during low tide (which is much easier) or climbing down the 200 rotten, rickety steps from a road above. We timed it so that we would arrive at low tide to take the easier way there. Here is Ron with Lia on his back hiking to the cabin (you can see it in the is the gray and white one directly behind Ron's head). Lia thoroughly enjoyed walking on the beach and kept on pointing at everything (her new favorite past time).

After settling in that evening, we headed back out at sunset to enjoy the "Twilight" menu at the delicious "Lobster Shop" restaurant located directly across from the pier. They have a fabulous and affordable menu to choose from if you eat there from 4-6:30 pm. We really loved the omnience of this quaint seafood restaurant located in an house and enjoyed the view of the water as the sun was setting. Lia did pretty good herself....not getting fussy until the very end. We pacified her with crackers and bread.

We woke up to a beautiful, sunny day on February 20th. Here is a picture of the view from the deck of the beach house of the beach and neighboring cottages leading up to the pier.

Since the Port of Tacoma is just a few miles South of this house, we were able to watch some HUGE ships travelling back and forth with freight. Here is a close-up of one going by. The funny thing is that it takes 11 minutes (Ron's co-worker has apparently time it) for the waves to reach the shore after the ships pass. So, it seems like these huge waves come out of nowhere when they finally hit the beach below the house as the ship is long gone by this point!

Little Lia and me on the deck.

After lunch, we packed up our stuff and hiked it back across the beach to our car (that was luckily still there). We then enjoyed a nice walk out on the pier and along some of the other homes on the other side . It totally reminded us of a little Newport Beach....we had forgotten how much we missed our walks along the beach. It's nice to know that we aren't so far from it after all!