Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

fun with amy.

Our nanny, Amy, sent me this while I was at work today.... the babies having fun doing Christmas crafts! She said Audrey was more excited about the graham cracker snack (surprise, surprise). 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

{around home}

we had a laid back weekend, full of christmas decorating & crafts, organizing and handy-man-dan made a lot of great progress with the new bookshelves he made for the den and putting together the stairway railing that he designed over the weekend- the railing still needs the finishing touches and painted, but it's already perfect!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

{30 by 30} Cincinnati Observatory

Last night's attempt at crossing another 30 by 30 off the list was a semi-fail. Our mission was to "spend a night with the stars" with a visit to the Cincinnati Observatory- the oldest in the country. So, we bundled up the babies, made our way to the Observatory, paid upon entering and were ushered into a room to be seated to begin. And then began the very interesting but very hard to sit through for 2 toddlers lecture on all things astronomy. Long story short, we realized half way through the lecture that the sky was too cloudy to see anything through the telescopes tonight, so we quietly (or as quietly as possible with Jackson & Audrey) left and decided to come back another time. And since I'm the only judge of my 30 by 30 I am deeming it worthy of crossing off. I just really, really love crossing things off lists. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

a christmas preview.

Christmas is in full swing. The tree is up, the house continues to get decorated, Christmas music is on and today we took photos for our card. This will go down in history as the only time Jackson has ever been so, so excited to take a photo. He is Mr. Holiday, that one, ready to jump on board with anything as long as I tell him it's for Christmas. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

{30 by 30} Thanksgiving Day 10K Tradition

Today will go down as my favorite Thanksgiving of all time. It began with checking a '30 by 30' off my list, the weather was amazing and we spent the rest of the day at home with each other and not having to rush around anywhere- perfection! 

So, the race. It was a 10K- which is 6.2 miles. It was the 103rd annual Thanksgiving Day Race in Cincinnati and was absolutely my favorite race I've ever done. The weather was the perfect running temperature, the sun was shining and the course was so fun... weaving throughout downtown, across the river to Newport, through Covington and then back across the bridge to end near Paul Brown Stadium. So fun! I surprised myself by doing a lot better than I had expected, finishing in just over an hour despite date night with lots of wine the night before.

I so wish Dan would have joined me and I know that he regrets it; he thought about signing up last minute but decided to cheer me on with the babies instead. Next year we'll do it side by side for sure... along with 18,000 of our friends. After doing the run this year I can't imagine a better way to spend Thanksgiving morning every year to come. 

Now, to go make up for all the last calories with a(nother) glass of wine... the holidays really seem to be bring out the inner wine-o in me that I didn't know existed. 
    Post race with my favorite fans. 


     My mom also walked the race, she did great!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

christmas bucket list.

Jackson is so EXCITED for Christmas this year! He has been asking to put up the Christmas tree for weeks already. I have promised a full house decoration party this weekend and he is pumped. He is also confused because now he thinks that this weekend is Christmas... but we'll go with it! Another sign Christmas is getting close? The babies' Christmas pajamas came in the mail today. Absolutely one of my favorite traditions we started when Jackson was born- here are the past PJs: 

Since he is so excited we've been talking a lot (a LOT) about what we'll be doing during Christmas time to celebrate Jesus' birthday and so here is a running list of the things we want to do this season- our Christmas Bucket List. The main goal with this is to fully enjoy this most amazing time of the year and to keep it all about Jesus- not Santa Claus, not gifts, not running stressed from one place to the next. Several of these are traditions we began when JP was born, some of which came from my initial traditions brainstorm HERE, some are new traditions to begin and I'm sure there are more that we'll add along the way: 

1. Wear new Christmas pajamas to bed on Christmas Eve
2. Christmas Eve church service 
3. See a Christmas Carol with girlfriends
4. Have a "pancakes n' pajamas" playdate
5. Make a gingerbread house 
6. Make Christmas cookies (Jackson would add "with LOTS of sprinkles!")
7. Make a Christmas countdown and/or Advent calendar 
8. Stick with our "3 gifts" rule for Christmas morning (PJs count as one)
9. Festival of Lights at the Zoo
10. Make a birthday cake for baby Jesus. 
11. Fully decorate the house the day after Thanksgiving 
12. Have a "sleepover" in the great room on Christmas Eve (still deciding if this is the year to start this or if JP needs to get a little older...)
13. Carriage Ride and tree-viewing downtown
14. Visit National Tree and Pageant of Peace in DC
15. Make homemade snow globes
16. Read THE Christmas Story on Christmas Eve
17. Take annual Christmas card photo and send out cards 
18. Take nighttime walk around DC to see lights
19. See a live nativity
20. Visit Christmas Town at the Creation Museum

Sunday, November 18, 2012


We kicked off Thanksgiving early this weekend with one family celebration Saturday night and another this afternoon. It's hard to believe that this time of the year is already here, but I love it, I love all the memory-making that it brings and I love the extra time that it gives me to be with my babies and Dan (3-day work week here we come!). 

I'm not going to lie, running from one holiday party to the next can be completely exhausting and there are definitely times when it seems to suck a lot of the fun right out from under us, so we're working on that. We're trying to be choice full about how much we try to fit in while trying not to hurt feelings. But what a problem to have, right? A spoiled-people problem, that's what that is. 

And speaking of being spoiled. We are almost embarrassingly blessed. It's been coming to our attention more and more lately and Dan and I have both been feeling pulled more strongly than ever to really up our game when it comes to fulfilling some of the many purposes God has for us. We took a big step today in making one of those a reality. We have decided that instead of celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary with a trip to Alaska this summer, we would instead focus that time and money on going on our very first mission trip. As long as everything falls into place, we will be headed to Ecuador at the end of June and couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity!

There is another really big purpose that we've been researching intensely over the past several months. It's most definitely a part of our biggest purpose in life- that of being parents.  I feel compelled to share this now because it's been in our hearts for so long, but also because the desire for this has become almost unbearably strong for me personally and I want to document as much as I can so that someday our family can look back and understand how important this was to us. How important it was for us to complete our family through adoption. 

I have known for longer than I can remember that not all of my babies would share my genes. I have known for longer than I can remember that a big part of my heart lives somewhere else in the world and it was only a matter of time before I would find out where exactly that is and when I could finally go and put it back together. The details are still foggy, but we feel God leading us to where our baby is in a very real way that often keeps me up at night. 

We haven't shared a lot of details about this with all of our family, so I  apologize if any of you are reading about this on here, but honestly I have no idea if anyone other than my mom reads and she's fully in the loop and more than supportive. We'll definitely make a more "official" announcement when things are more solidified, but we're really early in the process so it will probably be a few years before we actually bring baby home, but right now I just need this outlet of writing. I need it for my sanity and I need it for baby #3's benefit some day. 

I never understood that there could be such an element of grief involved in adoption, but the reality is that when you realize that your child will be carried in another woman's body and will then live for an unknown amount of time in another part of the world without our love and affection when they need it most in their life. Well that, that is really hard to swallow. 

But the bright side? Well the bright side is immeasurable it's so big. It's completing our family. It's having my heart all in one piece. It's loving another son or daughter. It's our world. 

We're really early in this process of adoption and we have a LOT to figure out, but we also are more sure about this purpose than any other we've been given in life and that confidence comes with even more faith. And faith and love are just about all you ever need. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

happy 1st birthday, audrey danielle

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful girl I've ever known.
The one with the sweetest smile and the most contagious laugh.
To the girl who stole our hearts before she ever came into this world,
the one who has had us wrapped around her tiny little finger all year and 
here's to hoping she'll let us hold on to it forever.
We love you, Audrey Danielle. 

Friday, November 9, 2012


We arrived home late last night from Chicago. It was Jackson & Audrey's very first business trip. Luckily for them they focused more on the fun side of Chicago and left the work part to me. I was so thankful that Nanna agreed to come with us so that I didn't have to leave my babies behind again. They spent their days exploring the city and I joined them in the evenings and even got to cross one of my 30 by 30s ("eat a cupcake from a famous cupcake shop") off the list with a trip to Sprinkles. Even though they never realized it, the babies were just a few blocks away from President Obama the moment he was reelected for another term as President. They were fast asleep when the results came in but the city was bursting with energy for their hometown guy.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I made his list!

I had hoped when we kicked off JP's month of thanks-giving a few days ago that we would eventually get beyond the materialistic things to some of the more meaningful things in life (ahem, his mother included) and on this day, day #4 of November he hit the jackpot, choosing to draw ME for what he is thankful to Jesus for today. Pretty proud, especially since I honestly didn't coax him. Good boy, JP, good boy. 

Days 2-4:

a diva-like preview.

The peanut and I decided today would be a good day to take her 1 year photos. The peanut then decided (and Daddy and Jackson agreed) that the photo shoot should only last for 30 seconds given the diva's dislike with her outfit. It was just tu-tu big. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...