Sunday, September 18, 2011

Videos For Daddy

Chasing Bubbles






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Playing Chase with Boyfriend Dan and Kinsley






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Walking in Mommy's Shoes






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Playing with Baby Langston






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Jumping with Kinsley's Dog






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Ellie's 1st Sentence






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Pre-Game "Rocky Top" and LOTS of ORANGE!





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Cleaning Daddy's Office for Him



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Playing with Grandmommy and Grandaddy



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21 Months Old!










Ellie is officially 21 months old today! It's amazing to see her development at this age - she's entertaining, silly and adorable MOST of the time! :) She said her first sentence yesterday - "All done me apple juice". Of course, it didn't sound like that. She's attempting to really try to communicate more. She names everything like "mommy's juice" or "daddy's shoes". She loves to dance, especially to Ring Around The Rosy. She has learned to say "Go Vols!" and she definitely asks to see "more Daddy" all the time. She has developed two special friends - one at church (Kinsley) and one at school (Kennedy). They both are special little girls that she loves to spend time with and are a great bargaining chip when I need her to get in the car and go to school or church! She definitely doesn't understand walking. She only runs everywhere she goes. She loves to read books, laugh and be tickled, and play outside. Her hair is long enough to put in a little ponytail and great for pigtails. She was moved up to the 2 year old room at school early because she was ready developmentally (proud mom statement). I can't brag enough on my adorable little girl. She has adjusted easily to Daddy being gone. She definitely asks for him and wants to see pictures or videos, but she has been resilient. There have been more epsides of testing her boundaries or throwing a little fit here and there when she doesn't get what she wants, but I definitely nip those in the bud as quickly as possible. We are in the phase of putting sign language to words now so that has been great teaching her new vocabulary. She still LOVES her kitty, hugging her and chasing her every day. This really is a fun stage with her! I look forward to spending this Fall with her. With Jesse being gone, it forces me to be more creative with how we spend our time and she is getting lots of love and attention from family and friends. I love my baby girl! :)

Ellie meets Baby Langston













It's not very often that ALL of my immediate family get together, so we planned a short visit while my parents were up this way. We all went to my brother's house in Cincinnati so we could be together. I was only able to go up on Tuesday and come back on Wednesday due to work, but it was still well worth the visit. Ellie and I arrived around dinner time on Tuesday. Ellie was introduced to Baby Langston and all she could say at the time was "Hi baby" or "kitty" (Jonathan and Jennifer have 2 cats so Ellie was in kitty heaven). We ate dinner together and then visited out in the backyard for a bit. Ellie chased Piper the cat around a bit and then checked out the flowers and played with everyone. After bathtime, we all went out to the front porch to watch Uncle Yar and Pa do some Chinese Lanterns and swing on the porch. It was a nice evening.
The next day, Jonathan and Dad went on a day trip to D.C. with Honor Flight (a non-profit that takes WWII vets to the memorials for a day), so us girls spent the morning and early afternoon together. We played at the house and then Ellie got a chance to help feed Langston (she really liked helping). They got a little more used to each other. Then, we went for a yummy lunch at Cheesecake Factory. Afterwards, Ellie and I headed back to Knoxville, but she wanted Baby Langston to "come, come" with us. We really enjoyed being around everyone at one time. Langston is adorable - she's healthy, has huge yummy cheeks, and is super sweet. She's come a long way! So happy to be around the Hardwick Clan, even if only for a short time!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Grandparents Day Weekend











My parents came in town for the weekend to celebrate Grandparents Day with us and to take me to a UT game! :) We started off the weekend with a yummy dinner at Famous Daves and then some UT apparel shopping for the game. The day ended with playing chase in the house, tickling Ellie and eating some yummy cake! :)


Saturday morning, Dad helpedme do some errands (oil change on the Highlander, picking up a part for a toilet at Lowes) so that was productive. Then, Jesse's parents graciously took Ellie for most of the day on Saturday so I could go to the UT/Cincinnati football game with my parents. One of my old jobs at UT was working for the Parents Association during graduate school. This year was the 10 year anniversary of the association and I was invited with my parents to the Family Weekend tailgate. We went down there and had a good ol' TN tailgate lunch and got to see a few old co-workers/bosses. We were able to see the Vol Walk (Mom was determined to see Derek Dooley in person) and catch the procession of the Pride of the Southland Band to the stadium. We went by the bookstore and then went on to the stadium to enoy all the pre-game festivities. We had gotten some AMAZING seats, due to the buyer from StubHub sending me the wrong tickets and getting a choice from them of seats to make up for it. We ended up in section T (around the 40 yd line, right under the overhang) and enjoyed every minute of it. The weather was perfect and the shade made it even better! We also ended up having decent people around us who were there to really watch the game. After the awesome win, we headed over to Jesse's parents house to meet up with Ellie and have some yummy homemade veggie pizza (thanks to Karen Cragwall). It was a great day.


On Sunday, my parents came to church with us and then we met up with Jesse's parents and sister for brunch to celebrate Grandparents Day. Ellie was entertaining as usual! She had made them each a craft at school that week so she gave them their presents there. Mom and I did some errands that afternoon while Ellie slept and then we ended the day with my small group coming over. It was a great weekend altogether. Happy Grandparents Day to Mimi, Pa, Grandmommy and Grandadddy! Oh and GO VOLS!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

2 Short Visits From Daddy










Yep, you read it right! The Ft. Dix pre-mobilization soldiers messed up Jesse's flight schedule (and 3 others from his unit) to where he was sitting around waiting to get a flight but they had put him on one and never told him! SO, the last 2 weeks, Jesse has come home on 4 day passes. CRAZY, huh?! Although it has been an emotional roller and a little pricey, we have had a great time having some extra days with him. On the first 4 day pass, I had lots of training for work, so Jesse had some quality time with Ellie, including a little Daddy/Daughter date. We also had some fun at the YMCA pool and were able to celebrate his Dad's birthday with his family.

This last 4 day pass was really fun. We were able to go to the YMCA pool again before it closes, a day trip to the Knoxville Zoo and Litton's for lunch, some errands and a good ol' football Saturday! Jesse was even able to go to church this morning to see everyone. Of course, we got lots of "I thought he already left - what's going on?" looks!


This deployment has been so weird, but I will take any extra days with him that I can get. I'm sure you other military wives know what I am talking about - the quality time outweighs the "goodbye mourning" we have to go through each time they leave. Jesse heads out this week on a flight to Afghanistan so he REALLY TRULY IS GONE this time. No more 4 day passes. No more medical leaves. The deployment really begins now. Definitely pray for him as he adjusts to the time change and environment. Also, he has been moved jobs and company's so he's going into a very unknown situation and work environment.

Ellie

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers