Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New York, New York!

Last month, Dan had a two week Spring Break.  He spent the first five days chaperoning an 8th grade trip to Williamsburg, VA and Washington, DC.  He had a great time and got to see his family in Williamsburg for a short time, too!  

When he returned home, we left the following day to visit New York for four days. The timing of the trip was primarily to watch the New York Islanders play at the old Nassau Coliseum before they move to a nicer arena in Brooklyn next year.  Dan's been talking about going to one of the last home games for two years, so we made it a priority!

After two days on Long Island, Dad and Mom Jester joined us and we all stayed a couple of nights in downtown Manhattan.  That was an amazing experience that I never thought I'd have!  Dad and Mom generously offered their timeshare points to book our rooms, and we absolutely loved being just a few blocks from Central Park, Times Square, and other New York attractions.  We only had one full day to see a few sights, but we had a great time!

Dan was thrilled to take Emma to an Islanders home game!

Emma was less than thrilled about the weather, though.  It was in the low 30s, windy, and snowing!  Her face pretty much sums up her misery during the short walk from the car to the Coliseum.

 Once inside, she seemed to enjoy all the noise and action during the game

Until half time, then she was done with the game and just wanted to climb up and down the stairs again and again

The Islanders lost, but we still had a great time!

No trip to Long Island is complete without a stop at the house where Dan grew up. We also visited a church on Sunday where several attendees had known Dan since his youth. After the service, we visited with Dan's former youth pastor, Gregg, and his wife, Joyce. It was great to catch up with them!

The weather was much nicer once Dad and Mom joined us.  We were thankful that we could enjoy walking around the city.

We took Emma to FAO Schwartz, a three-story mega toy store.  She was in toddler heaven!

So many toys to try out, so little time!

Family picture 

Picture with Grandpa and Grandma

 She couldn't keep her eyes open afterwards!

After lunch when she woke up, we walked through Central Park and stopped at a playground 

Strolling through Central Park

I took her for a ride on the carousel.  She lasted about 30 seconds on this horse, and then wanted off, so we sat in one of the non-moving cars instead.

Next stop was the Museum of Natural History!

Our little monkey

They had a cool kids' section with hands-on activities and exhibits

My favorite photo of the day

 And this is now one of my favorite videos of all time!  Guess which area of the museum made the biggest impression on Emma?

We loved our whirlwind trip, and it was even better to get to spend part of it with Dan's parents!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Two Years Old!

Goodness. Two years old! Dan and I feel so blessed to be Emma's parents. We recognize every single day that she is a gift from God.  She makes us laugh all the time with her questions, antics, and fun imagination.  We love learning more about the world through her eyes now that she can tell us all about it!

We've had fun times this week celebrating her birthday.  Here are some pictures of Emma's past few months.

We've loved our Sea World passes, and since it's just two miles from our house, we'll often pop in for an hour or two.  I now know exactly how many times I can ride each of these spinning rides before I will start to feel sick.

 Dan and Emma racing down the dinosaur slide at an awesome mega park we discovered recently

 She had a cold for a couple of weeks, so I took her to the beach for fresh air and sunshine

After one bout with the ocean waves, she decided that the sand was more her speed!

We celebrated her friend, Cameron's, 1st birthday party. He had a Pocoyo theme for his party, and I think Emma fell a little in love with his giant piƱata.  We took her inside to watch Pocoyo cartoons while they beat the candy out of it, because I think she would've been traumatized. 

We also attended the 1st birthday party for twins Alyssa (above) and Mateo (below).  

We've enjoyed some play dates with Emma's oldest friend, Ellie

And joined our friends Jackie and Jemma at Sea World one day

 Emma and Jemma loved watching the fish and turtles swim!

 We met some friends at an outdoor kids' concert hosted by a local library, and Emma loved shaking her shaker eggs to the music

She still reads books every day, and encourages her friends to do the same. Heh!

Too cool!

One of her favorite pastimes is playing in her crib with all her buddies. She loves putting on her hair bows when she's in there, but so far, refuses to wear them anywhere else. 

Today for her birthday, we took her to play at Kid Ventures, an indoor toddler playground.  Dan met us at lunchtime and we took a few pictures with our big girl! 

Happy 2nd birthday, Emma! We love you with all our hearts!!