Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The 4th

You can probably tell by that picture that my 4th of July was good.  I just do not get to see them enough.  We arrived in Indiana mid-afternoon on the 4th and just basically had a great day spending time with my family.  We did sparklers, grilled out (love when the parents splurge for steaks), and watched the fireworks over the lake. The rest of the weekend we had lunch with Ben's parents and sister, hit up the outlet mall, had a great full day cook out with my extended family, and soaked up as much time with those kiddos as possible. Unfortunately after the first night our camera battery died so we don't have a lot of pictures.  I don't have any of my youngest niece, Sofina, because she was going to bed before I broke out the camera.  Don't worry, I'll include an i-phone pic here.  And without further ado, I give you....way too many pictures of one day!

Sparklers and some fireworks

She took the sparklers very seriously

But she liked them

Always on the move

Teddy liked crawling under chairs and under legs

NOTHING in the bottle.  Just a 15 month old teething who only wants what you have.
My girl


And Instagram...


Yeah I really need to be able to see these people more often.  Also, there's only more pictures of Ellana because she is the easiest to get pictures of right now.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


This weekend Ben and I are packing up the car and heading back to Indiana for a much needed rendezvous with my family.  In honor of my almost irrational excitement, I thought I would do a small tribute to those two characters with me up above.

Growing up, all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins lived in the same state as us.  We got together all the time for events.  4th of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day...all the day holidays.  And it was grand. I always thought that as an adult, this would be the same.  Not only would I get together with my aunts, uncles, and cousins, but my siblings and I would see each other all the time as well.  Unfortunately, life happens, and this isn't the case.  We live in 3 different states no where really near one another.  So any time we can get together, it really is a cause for excitement.  This 4th, we're all congregating in our hometown for the long weekend, and Saturday, all my aunts, uncles, and cousins are coming in for a big ol' fashioned cook-out.  And I.  Can't. Wait.
Yeah, we're Purdue fans.  The best kind of fan you'll find.

My brother and his family live in Florida.  Land of warm weather which my sister-in-law would die without.  He is 2.5 years older than me. The best way to describe Steve is as an overachiever.  He's a neurosurgeon.  Who has a master's degree in public health.  Who travels to Africa to do surgeries and help.  Who lived in Kenya for 6 months.  Who was one of the outstanding alumni for his school at Purdue.  (Of course my siblings and I all went to Purdue...come on.)  Growing up, Steve was always like that.  He was popular.  He graduated 3rd in his class.  He was the star of the school musical.  He was the captain of the soccer team and started varsity since his freshman year.  He dated great people.  That's just how he was.  Because of this, I always did more.  I had to try to live up to his example, and it made me join more and BE MORE.  I'm grateful for that.

Cami and her family live in Pennsylvania.  I called her Cam the Ham as a child because she was so outgoing.  I was shy, and she was the baby of the family with the dimples who charmed EVERYONE.  She was always pushing me because I felt like I had to stay ahead of her.  Wait, Cami might be about to do a back handspring at cheerleading?  I better get my back tuck.  Cami's about to get her license?  I better hurry up and get on it first (I was a bit slow there.)  Between trying to catch up with Steve and "stay ahead" of Cami, I really had some motivation to get things done.  I had to because I was never going to catch up to her in personality, cuteness, and generally likeability.  Luckily I've lost a bit of that along the way.  I can rejoice with her victories and life events and not feel like I need to catch up.  I can be proud of Steve's accomplishments and not wonder how I'm going to match it.  No one can or has ever made me as mad as Cami.  She was both my best friend and my worst enemy.  I think that's what you call sisters.  Now, she is one of my closest friends.  She never fails to send me cute videos/pictures of my nephew, answers my questions about design and how to paint things, gives the best book recommendations, texts with me throughout the Golden Globes and Academy Awards red carpet and show, and understands and shares my love of British history.  We got married the same summer and plan to travel to Great Britain the summer of our 10th anniversaries to visit the sites we love so much.  Don't worry, our husbands know this plan and are okay with it.  They will be able to entertain each other at the pubs when they get bored of our sites.
Andrew, Ben, and Jenny.  We are lucky to have them.
Probably one of the best things about my siblings are the people they chose to marry.  I love Jenny and Andrew and could not have picked better people to marry my siblings and into our family.  Some day they both deserve their own tribute. 
The last time I saw them.  6 months ago.
The absolute best thing about my siblings are the fact that they have made me an aunt, and it's pretty much my favorite thing ever.  Steve and Jenny have two girls (one is my goddaughter), and Cami and Andrew have a little boy.  After the 4th, I know I'll be back here posting more of their cute faces.  All in all, I think this makes my excitement for the weekend more than rational really!