Half our household did have colds this month, but Doctor Emma took good care of us.
We have (still) not moved into our new house, but we are getting very, very close. We are making our new house our own and can't wait to live there!
Dan, his dad, and my dad continue to work together diligently every weekend. They are fitting the sink in the kitchen island and getting ready to install it and connect the plumbing. That's basically the last step before we're ready to move in, although we'll have to wait to move until mid-April since Dan is going to be out of town for a couple of weeks for his school's Senior Class European trip (poor guy). There will still be a lot of work to do after we move, but when we're living there we can make progress each day instead of waiting until the weekend.
Dan staged the flooring so we could get a glimpse of how pretty our kitchen will be very soon!
After surviving December and January, Dan and I splurged on some items that we've been wanting for a long time. I bought a treadmill and Dan bought a keyboard. Our 4th bedroom is the perfect space for our new toys. Hallie was enjoying Dan and Emma's jam session.
Future concert pianist??
Another big step (and expense) to make our home what we wanted was to remove the gargantuan oak tree from our backyard. Sorry to all the tree-huggers, but we prefer to love trees from more of a distance.
I don't have a full-scale photo of it, but the tall tree you see behind our house was smack in the center of our small backyard. It dropped millions of tiny acorns in our yard and on our deck all year long and then dumped almost 40 bags worth of leaves this fall. We took it personally.
Oh, and it also stood 5 feet from our bedrooms. It leaned towards the house with its 100 pound branches dangling menacingly over our roof. We have hurricanes and heavy storms every year around here, so we decided to pay the price now to take the tree down instead of possibly paying the price later to fix a hole in our house.
I'll spare you all the progress pictures, but it was really cool to watch the professionals take the branches down. They had exactly one direction they could let them fall without hitting our house, our neighbor's house, or our shed, and they did a great job.
Then they tackled the trunk!
At the end of a long day, all that was left was the stump. They came back the next morning to remove it and level out the yard. Maybe we'll even be able to grow grass now!
Emma thoroughly enjoyed the leaf piles that the tree left behind.
Hallie came outside to watch me, my mom, my dad, and Dan's mom rake and bag all the leaves. I asked if she wanted to help and she said "no way".
Calling it a day! It took us 3 days to rake all the leaves.
In other news, Dan and Emma's school has had fun events recently.
During Spirit Week, everyone got to dress up according to the theme each day. Dan and Emma on "Twin Day".
The high school had a 50's Sock Hop and Emma cut a rug with her best friend, Elisha (one of the high school teacher's sons)
Hallie got to dance with her handsome daddy.
But I got him to myself the Sunday before Valentine's Day. We had a lunch date and then rode our bikes along the beach for over an hour. It was awesome!
Emma's class had a Valentine's Day party and the kids (and teachers) were so excited about their cards, candy, and toys!
We gave the girls Valentine's gifts. Hallie got butterfly pajamas.
Emma got a goodie bag of coloring books, toys, and more candy!
We had a play date one day with Elisha and his mom, Jenna
Hallie loved hanging out with Jenna and watching the big kids play.
I propped Hallie in the play area for a photo with our crazy kids!
Our good friend from San Diego, Cynthia, came to visit because her husband and their family will be stationed in Norfolk soon!!!! She stayed at a hotel on Virginia Beach, so we spent a fun afternoon at the beach with her.
We took her to our favorite Mexican restaurant so she would feel more at home.
And the girls and I played in her hotel's indoor swimming pool on another afternoon.
Emma and my dad got to participate in Liberty Day at her school. It was a wonderful tribute to the students' family members who currently serve or previously served in the Armed Forces. My dad is an Army Veteran (Vietnam War), and he and Emma walked down the aisle and lit a candle in honor of Emma's great granddad, great uncles, and cousins who served.
During the ceremony, we sang the anthems for each military service branch. The picture shows my dad standing with the other Army veterans during their song.
All of Emma and Hallie's grandparents were able to join us for Liberty Day.
Our family picture
And the whole group. It's incredible to have everyone close enough to join us for these special events!