Wednesday, February 10

Declan's First Birthday

1, 2, 3,
4, 6, 7,
8, 9, 12 months

Declan turned one two Saturdays ago on January 30. I still can't believe it. He's been a perfect light and joy in our lives and I can't imagine ever living without him.

The morning of his first birthday, Declan woke up and played with balloons with Tenley. 

Then we drove up to the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, Minnesota. 

The kids had an awesome time

monkeying around...

staring in awe...

looking cute...

getting a bit tired...

and modeling (/watching sister in envy on the swing).

We had a great time despite it being winter (it was a nice day) and other than Tenley almost freezing her toes off when her mocs got soaked, we all were happy with the day.

Then we headed home for a little birthday party with two couples in our new branch at church. Declan demolished his slice of ice cream caking (we wanted to do a smash cake but time got away from us with our outing and I couldn't make one in time). 

Declan loved the cake but was a little distracted

and all but refused to smile at the camera. He must have been enjoying the sugary goodness. 

Now Declan is just busy looking cute. We went to a pediatrician in town the other day and he got his vaccines and first flu shot and is doing great. He weighs only 20lbs and is just under the 50th percentile but the doctor mentioned with how active he is, it shouldn't be a problem. 

Declan is running around, climbing in scary places, getting into everything, eating like a champ, loves to snuggle his mama, loves the bath/shower, loves his dad and sister, gives kisses on command, loves to give raspberries on bellies, has at least ten teeth, says "mama" "dada" "dah" (for Tenley) "uh oh," claps, waves, signs "more" and "all done," dances to music, and brings his diapers to the trash after every diaper change. He sleeps in his room until the middle of the night, then likes to sleep on top of me (so I can't sneak away;).

He is growing and changing in personality so much lately and I can't wait to continue to get to know this little boy of ours. Happy first birthday, Declan! You are my dearest son!

Tuesday, February 9

Our Little Webster Home Tour (Living Room & Hall)

Today, February 9 (my half birthday I just realized...) was finally the day that I managed to get and keep my home clean enough during daylight hours to take some photos for you guys who were asking about our sweet little house.

It's not my dream home or anything, but I love the space we have. It's not too much too clean and has just about enough room for all of our things. 

If I could change one thing about it, I would choose not to share a wall with a neighbor. He's another counselor at Northwest Passage and isn't home a lot, but I feel bad when my kids are hollering at 4am and I'm yelling back (before I remember we share that wall). Also, my crazy kids think it's funny to knock on that wall until I snatch them away and remind Tenley we have a neighbor and we need to be respectful. It's just a little bit stressful having to worry about someone else, especially at nighttime. 

One random fact about our duplex/house is that we technically only have four windows. One over the kitchen sink, two in our room, and one in the kids' room. We also have a large glass doorway that leads to our porch in the living room which brings in a lot of light but I just feel like four windows doesn't sound like many. Though we technically had three at Wymount so it's still an improvement ;). 

One random thing I love about our little home (besides having a dishwasher and laundry units;) is the water. I'm not sure where the water comes from and I don't really care necessarily since we haven't died from it, but it tastes really, really good! It's like having a cold spring water bottle. We did not care for our Provo water at all. We bought water bottles all four years we lived there and I hated wasting the money. But the water here is so good and another bonus, it heats up and gets cold really quick, too!

Anyway, let's get on with the tour. 

First, this is our view of the backyard from the living room. We have this great deck and a shed (which has only one or two things of ours in it), and though I initially didn't like the idea of having a house in our backyard, I actually do for the time being while Dalin is working 3-11pm each night and I'm home alone. It's comforting to have neighbors pretty close, especially when we have none across the street and the ones next door are rarely around. I feel better anyway. And there's a good amount of room for the two tiny kids to play in when it warms up! 

The living room isn't huge, but it's a perfect amount of space for our little family. It's also much more reasonable than the ridiculous tiny rectangle of a room we had before. I love that the children have room to play, we have room to workout, and we had the perfect amount of room when we had two other couples over for Declan's birthday. Also, don't mind the blank wall over the couch. I've been working on a painting for that spot but it's not in an acceptable state at the moment. 

Gotta love our Ikea rug (I's my favorite) and our custom pillows from ebay. Some day I'll get a picture of that U.S. map pillow. It has a heart on Caldwell for Dalin and a heart on Gilford for me. There is a straight line from Idaho to New Hampshire and guess where that line crosses right over?? Northwest Wisconsin. Right where we live. It was meant to be. I'm painting a heart there and on Provo at some point. I drew one with a Sharpie which was an awful idea. 

This is Tenley's (and Declan's) little Ikea kitchen corner. We spent $80 on that part (there's another upper part for $20 we may get one day) and I spent what should have been like $1000 worth of labor putting it together in our flipping bathroom on Christmas Eve because our children would not sleep and I was excited to get it done. My back and knees probably still haven't recovered from that little escapade though. 

The view from the hall. I like how our kitchen and living room ceilings are vaulted and I like the beautiful wooden doorframe between them. I want that wood in our home someday. 

The kids' area. I'm all about those books and blocks, man. If it were up to me, those are pretty much the only things my kids would own (though I'm grateful we both have great parents that spoil our kids). 

I like to incorporate pieces in my home that tell a story. That's why I really love antiques. We (my mom and I) got those darling baskets on many trips to the BYU Bookstore. Also, a couple I think came from Ross or TJMaxx. The yellow clock also came from BYU. The custom burlap flag is from ebay and the rough wood frame is from Hobby Lobby. I love signs. If you can't tell. I had to restrain myself which is why there are only five on this shelf. They read, top to bottom, "Families are Forever," "Believe," "Family," "Welcome to our neck of the woods," and "Home is wherever I'm with you." On the bottom sheld, the left half of our books are Dalin's Psychology/medical books. The right half are my English Literature/mom and family books. The middle box holds hides diapers, and the basket holds wipes. Above that, we have some of our LDS books in the first basket, a basket holding only a few members of Tenley's owl collection (that's my not-so-secret nod to Harry Potter), and a basket with my collection of yet-to-be-used journals.

So that's the living room. It's square and cozy and I love the feel of it. 

Now for an exceedingly brief tour of the hall:

Basically this closet holds our camping stuff, 95% of our coats (we keep our currently worn ones in a more convenient spot), most of our luggage (all but one darn suitcase), and that little bin of sports' stuff. 

This guy at the end of our hall holds so much. All of our extra bedding, cozy blankets, extra towels, sewing materials, our haircutting supplies, our board games, my drill, and probably more. 

This house really has some great storage. If it had just one more little closet, we'd be golden. But I'm not complaining.

I hope that you haven't been bored to tears. We've just been busy here living life, playing a lot, exercising a lot, eating lots of fresh veggies, celebrating the guys' birthdays, watching lots of Fixer Upper, exploring our area, and packing for Florida (me).

Life is great:)