two years {oh my}

ellie, you are two!

what a young lady you are becoming!! you are a beautiful bundle of personality...
mommy and daddy are so proud of the wonderful big sister that you are

seconds after you were born,
daddy placed you in my arms...I was so exhausted from the past 32+hours of labor, I could barely hold all 9lbs. 2 oz. of you
you were a big baby!

your hair was the most amazing thing to me {and everyone else}
a head full of dark, lovely curls/
it was funny because so many people had told your daddy and I that we would have bald, blonde babies
and, yet, here you were
so cute...so cute

you have filled are lives from that moment on with such joy
being your mommy and daddy has been such a gift, and more than we could ever have imagined it would be...

these days you are talking more than ever
putting all your words together into darling little sentences
I just love hearing you stutter as you try to figure out what all you want to say at once/
"no" is used an awful lot right now, but we are working on it {grin}
you call your brother "baby", but it sounds british...more like "bobby"

when we go out to eat, you make sure that everyone that passes our table gets officially greeted with a cheery "hi" and as they are leaving with a just-as-cheery "bye"

my very favorite word that you say often is "mamarsh" translated to mean "marshmallow"
you don't call us "mama and dada" anymore...you have definitely moved into the "mommy and daddy" camp//
love love love hearing those words coming out of your mouth!

you have been gradually potty-training over the last couple of months
and we are buckling down now
you are doing so well, and started so early!

you love to eat
you will try pretty much anything
some of your favorites are salmon and dill-sauce, meatloaf, pasta, and broccoli and cashew salad...
snacks are so fun too...you love them
goldfish, cheddar cheese, and sugar snap peas

ellie, you are such an outdoors little girlie
you find excuses for us to go outside all the time
the other day, you played on the porch for an hour while you watched your daddy mow the lawn

you let hudson go first in the swing even though it is your favorite
giving him gentle pushes while he giggles at you
good job, sweetie

reading is still one of your top pastimes of choice
and your little Bible {well-loved} is probably your favorite
you determinedly flip through all the pages looking for "baby Jesus" or "Joshua and Jericho"
daddy has a fun song to go with that one!

coloring and letters are your newest friends
you have conquered most of the letter-sounds and happily point them out to me in your books or on my mail or wherever they may be
it makes me happy to know that you will have a love of reading just like I did as a little girl {and still do when I find the time  :)  }

you definitely have a goofy side
which we all find quite entertaining, my dear

you enjoy pretty things/
necklaces, bracelets, sunglasses, mommy or auntie's lip gloss, lotion, skirts, shoes...

just look at how you have grown!
you are mommy's little helper and busy companion...
you have filled all the little voids of this house and this family with your love and endless chatter {smile}

daddy and I love you ever so much, sweets,
and we are blessed to call you ours!!!

Happy Birthday, darling daughter


Early Birthday Celebrating

Dad is not going to be here for Ellie's birthday tomorrow.   :(

So before he got in a big airplane to fly down to San Diego, we had a small family celebration just for Grandpa and Ellie.

Grandma lit the candles on a birthday cupcake while Grandpa and Ellie watched from the chairs of honor at Ellie's table.

Then we serenaded the little miss with a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday."

 And . . .  she blew the candles out in one fell swoop.  Yay, Ellie!

We decided that was so much fun we should do it again.

Grandma obliged and lit the candles again to Ellie's obvious delight.

She promptly conquered those candles as well.

"Num, num!"  (Ellie's version of yum, yum!)

Then Grandpa and Ellie dissected the snowy cupcake (which apparently looked better than it tasted, but oh well, Ellie wasn't particular :)

"More please, Grandpa?" 

Too cute for words, those two.


 . . . and hugs.  We're going to miss you Grandpa.  Don't be gone too long!

Can you believe this cute little missy is going to be two tomorrow?  She is such a little package of energy, love, and personality.  Hope her day is happy!


Okay, it's the 18th

I did take half of these pictures yesterday.  I just forgot the other half until after the sun set.   Then I figured taking pictures at that time wouldn't do you all any good.  So without further ado, I present

September in Kalispell

The happy courthouse in the middle of the road

First Avenue Park in Black and White

First Avenue Sidewalk still in verdant summer colors
Can't wait until fall

Looking toward the majestic mountains

Dry Bridge Park overlook - Can you see yourself relaxing here?

Fall Wheat in Sepia

Our house where not much has changed because Dad has been in San Diego, the leaves haven't turned, and thankfully there is no snowfall yet

And Mom, look!  The house is still standing! We haven't burned it down yet! (of course, this angle doesn't show the inside. . . )

Just teasing. :)


The Huckleberry 100

Today was an awesome day.  
It started early.
But it was still awesome.

The Huckleberry 100 had arrived.

 200 riders. 100 miles.
Beautiful route.

Hosted by Fresh Life Church.
Benefitting Fresh Life Radio.

Yes, we volunteered.
No, we did not ride.

There was a pancake breakfast.
The Kalispell firefighters cooked up huckleberry pancakes.

Yes, I took pictures.
No, I did not eat any.

There was also cotton candy.

Yes, I took pictures.
Yes, I ate some.

So did Ashley.

Fresh Life Radio had freebies.
Cool freebies.

Yes, I took pictures.
Yes, I have a pin and a really cool pair of orange sunglasses.

The diehard volunteers even got painted.

Yes, I took pictures.
No, I did not get painted.

Almost, but I didn't.  

Yes, it was a successful and fun day for the riders and volunteers alike.  Tiring for all, but most importantly, a chance to reach the community with the gospel.  In that, I wish the Huckleberry 100 many more fruitful (ha, get it? huckleberry? ha, ha) years.  

Maybe next year, you'll make it up here for the ride of a lifetime.