catch-up part 2 of 4

Jack ManAs the holiday shuffle concluded and the new year was upon us, we started to wind down and get back into our normal routine. We enjoyed playing with our new toys from Christmas, park dates, and breakfast donuts! A new Krispy Kreme moved in down the street and we justified biking to the store as the equivalent to burning off at least one donut.Xmas GiftsPark Jan 2016JPS DonutsDonut DayOur friends came down with their two sweet boys and we had a fantastic time catching up, going to the Dallas Aquarium, and just lounging around enjoying good drinks and even better conversation.Dallas ArbKiddos at Dallas ArbJack and Meredith started swimming lessons and absolutely loved it. Jack had been swimming prior to Meredith’s birth but this was the first time for Meredith. It was wonderful to see them both enjoy the water and their teacher Ms. Sara. Swim Class 2016In February, Jack consistently started jumping out of his crib. The hubs and I sighed then transitioned his crib into a bed, knowing that things would never be the same with a toddler not caged at night. But first, Jack and Mer spent the better part of the day and that evening breaking in this new toddler bed. Laying Jack's New BedBabies in Jack's BedJack's New BedJack's Bed NightThe transition went better than expected. There were a couple of nights Jack was up and a couple more we found him in Meredith’s crib, but all and all the transition to the toddler bed was great.IMG_0934IMG_2768At the end of February, Meredith started standing on her own and taking a few steps. Of course, she had to try her own approach to standing; we just wished it was on the floor. I applaud her independence but fear for her teenage years! Mer standingEaster was in March this year, so we were able to celebrate with multiple Easter egg hunts and Meredith’s first birthday all in the same weekend. Jack loved all things Easter and embraced the Easter bunny a lot better than Santa. Dying Easter EggsEaster BunnyEaster Egg Hunt IJack and His EggsWe celebrated Meredith’s 1st birthday with lots of cake and even more presents. They both loved tearing into the raspberry filled birthday cake.Mer's CakeMer's Bday Cake FaceMer Eating CakeJack with Mer's CakeI had a few tears at my baby turning one. The days definitely can be long but the months always go by way too fast. This sweet baby girl has been such a welcomed addition to our family. Meredith is such a spitfire, knows-what-she-wants kind of lady. Her giggle is so infectious and she started saying Mama with a purpose! Of course when she was nine months, Dada was her first word. And “Otis” and “uh oh” came in May. We love seeing her grow.  1 year MAS CollageWe were lucky enough to have my Dad and Deb come down for all the festivities. They had an Easter egg hunt for Jack set up in our backyard while Mer enjoyed taking off on Jack’s four-wheeler and tractor. DSC_0903Easter Egg Hunt IIDSC_0930DSC_0911.jpgDad & DebMeredith waited until everyone was settled in at home and things were back to our usual routine to finish her birthday month with a bang! Her first real steps/walk! She did great!!

I laugh now thinking I was worried I wouldn’t have enough room in my heart for two babies. I was worried Jack wouldn’t know how much I love him after Meredith was born. But it’s quite the opposite; not only do you love them, but you love who they are. You realize how different each one of your children really is and embrace their personalities with huge, open arms.   IMG_3929April was filled with Burley bike rides to the park and to get ice cream, of course! Biking + Park DateBiking + Ice CreamWe had many lazy weekends with lot of eggs, fruit, and bacon! And even more french press coffee! After all that fuel, we stepped outside for more play. Life is good. Breakfast Goodies

Tracter + MerWe made BBQ Pizza on our Green Egg and I recommend it to all! It was super fast and so tasty! The smoky flavors of the Egg mixed with BBQ was such a wonderful treat, making a great southern style pizza. Please try! BBQ PizzaAt the end of May, we were pulled back to St. Louis once again to wish some dear friends a wonderful life together. We enjoyed a night out for their rehearsal dinner. With good food and great friendship again, we asked ourselves why we ever left! Rehearsal NightThe day between the rehearsal and wedding was spent enjoying friends and their tire swing in their backyard! Jack thought it was the coolest horse ever!Hobs Day 4-2016Hobs SwingThe wedding weather could not have been any better and we were able to make it to two places we loved in St. Louis for part of the wedding festivities. Busch Stadium, yes, I’m still secretly supporting the Brewers, but gosh, it’s a beautiful stadium, fun team, and great fans! We also stopped by the candy shop owned by the bride’s family. How cute is that vintage sign! The store is even cuter and their chocolates are absolutely amazing! We have gotten spoiled during Easter when they send down chocolate covered eggs! My favorite are the milk or dark chocolate caramel eggs with a dash of sea salt – I add the dash of sea salt. My mouth is watering as I type. Trust me, if you live in St. Louis, try them! Or buy them here! They are delicious!T+M WeddingWith the hubs family so close, they volunteered their babysitting services and the hubs and I spent the first night ever without our babies. It was amazing to wake up without anyone to tend to! Maybe it was easier knowing they were well loved with their cousins and aunt watching over them. A special thanks to Jill for taking care of them that night! Chalk w cousinsWe spent the last day of our St. Louis trip with Papa and Grammie. Discovering the big red train downtown was the excitement of this trip! We headed back to Dallas as always, with heavy hearts, missing all things that were great about the trip: family, friends and the familiar. STL 4-2016Back in Dallas, we ended the month with Jack’s big potty training adventure! We spent may days in the bathroom wondering what was going to happen. Meredith was always there for support and I printed off a sticker chart and bought prizes to help motivate Jack for all those trips! He finally got it down and we were elated to get one kiddo out of diapers! Jack's Potty TrainingI’ll be back with the last two catch-up posts soon!!

Thanks for reading, friends!