Ellie’s First Vacation

We just got home from a week in Chicago! It’s very fitting that Ellie’s first vacation was to her mom and dad’s most favorite city, and the city where we met and fell in love.

Anyway, we were there because Austin was at our denomination’s annual pastoral conference – Midwinter. I love our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, because it is small enough that you are able to easily reconnect with friends at conferences, yet large enough to make a huge impact on the world for Christ. We also have many friends and family that still live in Chicago that we were able to see outside of Midwinter. And even though the weather was bitter cold and the ground was covered in snow, we still had a grand old time!

Here is Ellie just before we left for the airport, all bundled up! We had a dusting in ATX that day, though Chicago had far more snow once we arrived!

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Ellie got to meet Matt and Elsa’s daughter, Lucia. She just loves babies. Can’t believe she is almost two!

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One night, Ellie and Zeke (Aaron and Janine’s son. We stayed with them for the week.) were both taking baths at the same time, just in different tubs!

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Ellie and Auntie Katie, who loves to make faces at Ellie and call her “Doobie”. Funny nickname, we know.

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Dads and babies! Our dear friends Mark and Emily had their daughter, Veronica, three weeks before we welcomed Eleanor into the world!

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Zeke and Tatum. What a pair!

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Ellie and I joined Austin at Midwinter on Tuesday night for worship. We quickly found our good friend Sarah’s mom, who scooped Ellie up in no time!

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My little bug napping on a couch in the hotel lobby while Dad was in a session at Midwinter.

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Ellie meeting friends from seminary at Midwinter, Rachel and her youngest, Kavan.

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A little piece of Round Rock in Chicago! We had brunch with Andrea, a junior at North Park, at Tre Kronor. It was great, once Ellie stopped crying and fell asleep.

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She is getting stronger everyday!

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We had a sleepover at Aubrey and Matt’s house out in the ‘burbs! They are expecting their little one in March, so Ellie got to test out their crib and other baby stuff.

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Chicago, for us, is all about hanging out with people we love.

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But all good things must end, when it’s time to fly home…

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Every day with Eleanor Ann : 6 weeks

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and experiences over the last 6 weeks since our Ellie has been born. This new journey of parenthood that we are on is so much more than we ever could have imagined – both great and challenging. But she is so, so worth it. You never really know your capacity for love until you become a parent and it grows every single day!

IMG_4625Over the last month or so, we’ve been blessed with visitors from a far to hang out and help with Ellie. Grandpa Thain and his girlfriend, Carole, came down over Thanksgiving.

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Uncle Andrew, flew down from Toronto to enjoy warmer weather, help us take out our Christmas decorations and spend time with his new niece.

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A few days later, Grandma Julie flew in from Amarillo for 10 days. It was a huge blessing to be able to give Ellie to Grandma at any time, day or night, so we could get some more sleep.

 

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Last week, Uncle Ben and Auntie Katie were here, though I failed to take a picture of them – #mommybrainfail. They quickly learned how to hold and soothe Ellie. And we did some cooking and baking together, which including the right way to make a cheesecake. Yum!

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So this week, we enjoyed a quiet First Christmas with Ellie of just me, Austin and Grandma Stephanie (aka Bapcia – grandmother in Polish), who thankfully lives in town and has come over multiple times since Ellie to help. So grateful to have her 10 minutes away!

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Ellie, other than being the most beautiful baby in the world, has been great at nursing, pooping and sleeping (for the most part – she likes to fight naps occasionally). She has a full head of hair and gorgeous blue eyes. She likes tummy time, even when Leyla tries to lick her or steal her bolster and toys.

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We’ve had numerous blowouts already, including a very memorable one when Grandma Julie was changing her. Let’s just say it’s not just boys that can shoot! She really likes bath time, even though she is still bathing in the sink, so we should really call it sink time. I’m sure she’ll graduate to the tub soon!

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She can hold her head up, which is especially impressive when you are holding her in your arms. She smells amazing, as all babies do. If only you could bottle that smell! And she loves to cuddle and sleep on us!

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And she is absolutely spoiled, as all first grandchildren should be. Here is just some of her loot from her first Christmas.

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All in all, she is perfect and the best Christmas present we could have ever asked for.

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Introducing Eleanor Ann!

We are so excited to announce the birth of our baby girl. We are thrilled beyond measure. We cannot believe how blessed we are to be parents to our beautiful Eleanor Ann Bailey.

Eleanor was born on November 14, 2013 at 1:06am. She weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces and 20 inches long. She is perfect.

Thank you for all your prayers! We are truly blessed.

We cannot wait to introduce all of you to our sweet Ellie to you all.

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Vote for me!

So I know I have completely dropped the ball on my Project 365. Once the exhaustion and nausea from the first trimester hit me, it was the first thing to go. Along with grocery shopping, cooking and all other houseweek. At least until about a month ago, when I started my second trimester and have gotten my energy back.

Anyhow, even though I’m not doing 365 anymore, I am still taking pictures! In fact, I recently entered a photo contest that is meant to show off our town spirit. The contest is hosted on a blog written by a friend of mine called ‘Round the Rock, because we live in Round Rock, TX. Get it? Anyway, my photo was voted on by a panel of judges (not including my friend!) and it made the top 15 finalists! Please vote for me as the winner by clicking here or on my picture below.

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This is the photo I entered. The caption on it on the voting page is “Family is everything in Round Rock”, which I so believe to be true! Voting runs over the next two weeks, ending on June 30th, and you can vote daily for me! Thanks!

Baby Bailey is on the way!

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Yee haw, those little cowboy boots will be filled this coming November, because we are so excited to announce that we’re having a baby! We feel so, so blessed by this new bundle of joy, and it’s only a 12 week old, plum-sized growing baby in Ashley’s belly right now. Among being excited, we’re a bit nervous, frequently tired and sometimes nauseous (ok, that last two are just Ashley). Meanwhile, Austin has been the oh so helpful husband, taking over all household chores, including grocery shopping and dinner, as Preggers comes home from work pretty zonked every day. But we know this will soon pass and as we welcome in summer vacation, we gladly welcome the return of energy the second trimester should bring.

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To answer a few of your first reaction questions…

- I’m 12 1/2 weeks today.

- I’m due November 28 (that’s right, Thanksgiving Day! We’ll surely have a lot to be thankful for this year. It’s also one day after my mom’s birthday.)

- We want to find out the gender and are thinking of a gender-reveal shower.

- We have a few names in mind, but no one will know until the baby is born.

- I’m feeling much better than I have been in the past few weeks and it’s a small miracle I made it through without bursting out, shouting “I’m pregnant, so I’m tired, nauseous and emotional, ok?! Please leave me alone!”

- Of course I’m taking a leave, but I’ll keep teaching after Baby B gets here.

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And yes, while this is all very exciting (we must say the 8 week ultrasound was pretty awesome to see the arms fluttering and the heart beating!), it’s also really nerve-wracking and scary as we set out on this new adventure. So please, keep us in your prayers!

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