On November 2nd, my sister Tara’s son Carson turned 5. I now have 13 nephews and nieces, and I really enjoy being an aunt. There’s a special place in my heart for the Carsonator for making me an aunt 5 years ago, and I remember well the excitement and joy I felt when he was born. For his 5th birthday, we got him a wallet in his favorite color, green, and put some money inside along with a gift card to Shakes. Last week Carson used that gift card for the first time to buy himself and Maisy rainbow snow cones, and treating Maisy was an unprompted gesture. Carson can be a real gentleman when he wants to.
On Tuesday the 6th, we took the Steed kids to Chick-fil-A and a bouncy place at the mall (you know those places with inflatables everywhere) while Jamie and Rochelle went out to dinner for a date. A couple days later on the 8th, they watched Maisy and Carson so we could go out for a grownup dinner for my birthday. I already posted about it back when it actually happened since it was the big 3-0 after all, so I’ll link to that instead of repeating everything here. With every month that passes, Maisy loves to be outside more and more. Here’s a semi-blurry shot of her running around in the front yard with rocks in her hands sometime the week of my birthday:
I’m embarrassed to say that after Maisy came, I hadn’t been to do a session at the temple for almost a year. Her first year of life was kind of a whirlwind full of change and activity for us, including but not limited to having a baby for starters, figuring out my way of being a working mom, Nate’s teaching year of his PhD program, a cross-country move, and travel for work/school as well as pleasure, just to name a handful of things. This is all not to mention that Maisy was an avid nurser (she only barely weaned begrudgingly at more than 18 months old) and she refused to take a bottle after we moved to Austin, even if it had breast milk in it, making leaving her for long more challenging than otherwise. Somehow with all that combined (mere excuses when it comes down to it), I let myself go too long having only been to weddings/sealings in the temple but not having done a temple session. On Saturday the 10th, Nate helped me end my temple drought. We drove down to the San Antonio Texas Temple and he hung out with Maisy while I did a session, which felt great. Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping at the San Marcos outlets before driving to Gruene for dinner and then staying in New Braunfels for the night. It was a very nice little overnight getaway! The next day, we stopped by the Texas State campus so Nate could see it, particularly the business school’s building, and then we went to church in South Austin. Turns out the ward we attended is the same ward we’ll be in the boundaries for after we move.
Nate went to Boston from Monday the 12th through Thursday the 15th, still working hard towards a spring dissertation defense and graduation. On Friday the 16th, we had our annual Thanksgiving potluck at work, which seems to be an appreciated diversion for everyone as people get eager/antsy for the holidays.
Saturday the 17th was Maisy’s first birthday, which we celebrated with family. It was perfect for us, and Maisy seemed to eat up all the attention along with her cupcake!
After Kenzie came home for her Thanksgiving break, the family hit up Vert’s for dinner and none other than Orange Leaf for dessert. If it sounds like we get frozen yogurt all the time, it’s because we do. These pictures are poor in quality but offer more in the way of memories:
Nate’s parents flew in on Thanksgiving and, as always, Nate and I were grateful to be able to celebrate yet another occasion with both sides of our families. There were so many people’s company to enjoy and so much food to eat that we didn’t stop to take any pictures, but we have some shots from Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th. We ventured out to the “Austin Zoo” for one outing, which ended with matching John Deere pajama pants for all the grandkids made by my mother-in-law Shelley.
The other outing was dinner at Rudy’s to celebrate Russ and Jamie’s birthday (the 24th) along with the other November birthdays.
In case this post didn’t have enough pictures already, here are a few more of our favorites from November 2012: