Friday, August 21, 2015

Abby's 3rd Birthday

It's hard to believe that I have a three year old now.  Man does the time fly!!  Abby's official birthday was on Friday and I made our family's traditional birthday cake recipe to celebrate.  Both my Mom and Dad grew up with this chocolate chip sponge cake as their family birthday cake, so when they got married and realized they both used the same recipe it seemed only natural that they'd pass it along to us, and now me, to my kids!  It's delicious but I'm not even going to tell you what goes into making's NOT healthy and that's what makes it so good. 

Hazel's face though!  This picture cracks me up!

At Abby's 2nd birthday party she only sort of understood the whole thing.  We had to coax her to blow out the candles and she didn't quite understand the whole present thing.  This year was a totally different story!  Abby will say that she's three if you ask her how old she is and will even hold up 3 fingers to show you.  Presents and cake though, she's got that covered!!

Potential boyfriend material?  I think so!  Isn't he just the cutest?

Abby was FAR too focused on that cupcake than on getting a "ficture" with her parents. 

Since her first birthday Ellyn as been buying her her very own birthday cupcake.  Last year it had a ladybug on it...this year was a super cute #3 that was decorated to look like Minnie Mouse.  Super cute!

We are so thankful for all the friends and family that spent their Sunday with us.  We had over 60 people come out for the baptism/birthday bash.  There was so much love and support for us, we're one lucky family!!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hazel's Baptism

This past weekend was Hazel's baptism.  We had her baptized at our church here in Hampshire, Cornerstone Church.  Her godparents are Greg and Meg and we couldn't have chosen a better couple.  Abby is in LOVE with Greg and Meg and I know that Hazel will feel the same about them.

When we had Abby baptized she wore my baptism outfit so this time around we put Hazel in Ryan and Erin's baptism gown.  She also wore the prettiest strand of pearls that Erin wore. 

Doesn't Abby look excited to be on stage?  HA!  She was just ready for her birthday party to start and to get her hands on that cake!

See - they are already great god parents!!  We're so lucky to have these two in our lives. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Birth Annoucement

I sent out about a million of these birth announcements but I know I've got some blog followers and friends on Facebook that might not have seen it so I wanted to post it here as well.  Plus, this way it's printed in my yearly blog book for all eternity!!

And, I get to talk about the quilt that's peaking out from behind Hazel.  Just about everybody knows that I've been quilting for about 2 years now, and this quilt is a very special one.  It's actually an antique quilt that was handed down through the McGrath family.  It was made by Ryan's Great Grandma Hitzman and I'm so lucky to have the quilt passed down to me.  It shows some wear and tear and I might look into having it restored, but it was the perfect background for this cute baby photo.  I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Auntie Erin

Today is a sad day in the McGrath household.  For the past 3 months we've had the best house guest one could ask for.  Erin, Ryan's sister, has been living with us this summer while she's doing a show at the Lincolnshire Marriott - City of Angles.  Having her here with us has been awesome and I was so sad to say goodbye to her last night.

Having been on maternity leave for the second half of her stay has meant that I've had a girl friend to hang out with and watch crappy daytime television with.  Someone to chat with about all the things from marriage, babies, careers, family and so much in between.  I'm sure that Erin has learned more about parenting in the last 3 months than she EVER cared to know.  She can swaddle a baby as well as any mother, knows the crying baby bounce, can entertain a 3 year old and redirect tantrums.  She's been my extra set of hands and my sanity check in these first early newborn days. 

See, she's even got the newborn crotch hold down too!

Abby is about to crash hard when she realizes that her Auntie is no longer living in the basement and a flight of stairs away.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't play the way Auntie does.  She'd pick Erin over me any day....and, that reminds me, why don't I ever get to play the "sleeping game"?  (See picture below).

Erin knew how to jump in and help right when I was about to loose it with the girls.  Whether that means scooping up Hazel to calm her crying, getting Abby to forget about whatever she's crying about in this moment, helping with bath time, getting PJ's on when its causing a meltdown, watching Hazel while I snag a quick nap after a long night awake, or reading bedtime stories.  I say that Abby and Hazel will miss her, but the truth is, I'm the one that's going to miss her the most. 

Erin is sweet, kind, loving and a great friend to confide in.  I've been so lucky to spend these last few months getting to know her in a way that only people living together can know each other.  She's been my co-conspirator to getting Ryan to eat veggies, a good influence in convincing Ryan to NOT have one more beer and just go to bed, and an awesome "backseat car ride entertainer" on the long car rides to and from Turkey Run.

I've been writing this post in my head for about a week now and no matter how hard I try I just can't come up with the right words to explain both how much help she was to me and just how much I'm going to miss having her around.  I've been giving her the hard sell to move back to Chicago so I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I know that even if she does it won't ever be quite like these past few months where we got to spend SO much time together with the girls getting bunches and bunches of one on one time with their aunt.  We'll be missing you tons girl!!!  Thanks so much for EVERYTHING.  These will be days that Abby will never forget.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

1 Family x 12 (August)

Oh yeah, that's right.  That's us hiking at Turkey Run State Park with two kids!!  We had the annual cousin's camping trip this past weekend and it was SO MUCH FUN!!  The park was beautiful and the hiking was awesome.  Ryan and I are already planning on putting this park back on the list for a trip for next year.

As for the camping trip....well, I won't be doing a separate post on the trip this year because I was a total slacker and didn't take my camera or phone out ONCE to take pictures.  Cell service was poor but the best part of that was that nobody had their phones out all weekend.  Luckily Zach had his on this hike so he was able to snag this family photo for us. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Abby's first fishing trip

Finally caught up on the blog posts...this is the last one from Up North.  Just in time for our annual cousins camping trip coming up next week.  Anyways, back to the fishing trip.  This year was the first time we felt like Abby was old enough to generally understand the concept of fishing...and maybe have the attention span to sit in the boat long enough to actually catch something.

We'd bought the kids little ice fishing poles to use but ended up just giving them real poles because, let's be honest, the adults did most of the pole holding.  For those of you that don't know, ice fishing poles are about half the length of a normal pole and perfect for little kids...just maybe kids that are SLIGHTLY older than Abby and Kayden.

The little's did a pretty good job, though I think we might have stayed out longer than their attention span.  By the end they were entertaining themselves by watching the worms crawl around on the table and building them little houses out of pool noodles.  HA!  At least they could entertain themselves.

To say that they "caught" fish is probably an overstatement.  In real life it was more like Mom or Dad held the pole until there was a fish on the line and then we let the kids reel them in.  They were pretty excited about it.

It took QUITE a few tries to get Abby to touch the fish.  Kayden wasn't afraid of them in the least, but Abby was much more tentative (what else is new?).