Saturday, August 27, 2016

The End of Summertime

Summertime is officially over now that the school year has started.  We had several fun weekends with the Jester family in August, and Emma got to spend three final weeks with my parents before she began preschool at StoneBridge. They've been watching her three days a week during the summer months, which we've all enjoyed.  Now she'll attend preschool three days a week while I'm working, and her first day of school (this past Thursday) went really well.

Work on the kitchen at our new house has been slow, especially since we've been out of town some weekends.  But it's coming along, and we're thankful that we don't have to complete it very quickly, since we're living with my parents until it's done. My parents have been amazing, and have done work on the house even on days when we haven't been able to. We appreciate them so much!

Here are some photos of our fun times this month.

Emma and I met Dan's sister, Robin, and her daughters at the mall one day to play and eat lunch. Emma loves playing with her cousins, Miriam (left) and Naomi (right)!

The mall has an awesome play area beside the food court.

We visited Gordonsville, VA with Dan's parents and his brother, Tim's, family one weekend.  We stayed in log cabins at a "luxury campground" and had a blast!

We spent our first evening enjoying a late-night swim.

The kids loved the splash pad, too.

There were a couple of fun playgrounds

And a miniature golf course. Josiah and Emma enjoyed hitting the balls at everything except the holes.

Dad Jester and Tim, discussing their putting strategy, I'm sure.

Benjamin and Nathan gave each other some competition

Mom Jester and Benjamin entered a fishing competition at the resort, and everyone went along to enjoy the lake and some more casual fishing

Dan, Emma and I took a jaunt on a paddle boat since we didn't have fishing poles.

Emma enjoyed it for about 10 minutes, and Dan was ready to be finished in 5.  It's not exactly the most comfortable ride. :)

Nathan and Dawn enjoyed a much longer ride than we did

Emma and Josiah got fishing lessons from Grandpa

 Emma loved watching her cousins fish.

And this morning, Dan's brother, Tim, sister-in-law, Dawn, and their boys, Benjamin, Nathan, and Aaron ran a 5k obstacle course in Virginia Beach. We went to watch them race and cheer them on.
The Jester family runners just before the race. 

Dawn and Aaron running past us after completing their first obstacle

Emma and Josiah enjoyed playing in the bounce house while the others were running.

We saw the group at mile 2 and cheered them on!

Josiah conquered his own obstacle on the sidelines 

Everyone was happy to be finished and sporting their medals at the end of the race

Dan's school, StoneBridge, started on August 25th.  Emma, Dan, and I attended a new student/parent orientation earlier that week, where she got to spend an hour in her preschool classroom.  She was too young to attend StoneBridge last year, and went to a preschool near our home instead.  She never really loved it there and would cry 95% of the time when I dropped her off.  It was a relief to all of us when my parents offered to watch her during the summer months.  After having a few months off, she seems happy about going back to school, and Dan thinks very highly of the lower school program at StoneBridge.

The prettiest girl at new student orientation.

 Jumping to class on her first official day of preschool!

We are very excited about this new school year for Emma.  She is excited about going to "Daddy's school," and we pray she loves her time there and grows in her knowledge and love for Jesus.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Coming Soon...

We had pregnancy photos taken before Emma was born, and I wanted to do the same before baby girl comes.  Dan's mom was nice enough to drive down from Williamsburg and take some pictures of us at Lake Christopher, which is just a few blocks away from our new house.

I've generally felt the same during this pregnancy as I did last time, which is awkwardly large but great overall.  The last trimester was/is the hardest part for me, and the Virginia summer heat coupled with all the playing, carrying, and picking up after a toddler has made this last stage much more challenging and tiring. I'm pretty sure I spent the last three months of my last pregnancy sitting with my feet up and eating bon bons, so it's hard to compare. We've got about six more weeks until we meet our new baby girl, and we cannot wait!

Dan obviously didn't get the memo that he was supposed to show off his big belly. Ha!

Friday, August 5, 2016

In With The New

It's been a month of new things for our family.  The biggest news is that we bought our very first house!  We're excited, even though we don't plan to move in very quickly.  We are tackling the kitchen renovation first and trying to do most of the work ourselves, so it could take some time.  I say "we" even though I'm past the point in pregnancy where I'm of any use.  But my dad and Dan's dad have been wonderful and have spent many hours helping to tear out the old cabinets and appliances.

Also, Emma attended summer camp for two weeks at Dan's school, where she was the youngest kid by at least a couple of years. She had lots of fun and enjoyed field trips to the swimming pool, a bounce house, and a farm!  Keeping up with all those older kids wiped her out, though, and if she didn't pass out before the end of the day, she was just about asleep over dinner.

Now that we're less than two months away from our baby girl being born, I'd like to say that we're preparing for that change, too.  But with everything else taking up our time and energy, we have done almost nothing except make it to my doctor appointments.  But my coworkers were wonderful and threw a surprise baby shower for me last week.  They chipped in to buy a double stroller, a car seat cover, and some other sweet gifts.  I'm so glad that someone is thinking ahead about this child coming!

The weather was stifling for about three weeks in July with a heat index of 115+ degrees. Ugh. We made the most of pool time and an evening at the beach when we did venture outdoors.  It's gotten cooler recently, which is a welcome relief!

Here are some photos from our exciting month!

We are proud new homeowners!!

We asked Dan's brother, Tim, to come to our final walk-through before closing on the house. He is a civil engineer and Dan wanted his expertise regarding the crawl space repairs that were done to the house before we finalized the sale. Dan geared up, too, and got an education on our crawl space.

This kitchen is our first major project before we move into our new house. It's time for the original cabinets and countertops from the 70s to go.

Dan, my dad, and Dan's dad have been working hard to remove all the old cabinets so we can replace them. We also plan to replace the flooring and open the wall between the kitchen and den.

In other news, Emma had a great time at summer camp. On their field trip to the farm, she got to milk a goat!

After a field trip to the swimming pool one day, she fell fast asleep until camp time was over.  She wouldn't budge when they tried to wake her, so Dan dragged her down the hallway, still sleeping on her mat, from the classroom to his office so she could continue her nap there. Ha!

The wonderful ladies at my office threw a surprise baby shower for me! It was so much fun, and we are grateful for their love and generosity.

We got to visit Dan's sister, Robin, and her family at their new house to celebrate our brother-in-law, Rob's, birthday, and our niece, Abi's, high school graduation.

While everyone else visited and played, Rob grilled his own birthday dinner. In the 95 degree heat, no less.

They had a great kiddie pool for the little cousins to play in.

 The older cousins played football and soccer.

 We weren't brave enough to face the heat during the day, but we went to the beach one evening as the sun was setting.  Emma loves to climb and play in the sand, and she was braver in the ocean that night than she's ever been.  She usually refuses to let the water touch her, but this time, she waded right in with Dan holding her hand so the waves wouldn't knock her over.

Dan also loves to build sandcastles for her to destroy. He is a glutton for punishment. Heh!

 And here's a cute bonus picture of the two of them having a tea party. Dan's the most incredible dad to our little girl. I can't wait until we have another princess in the family!