On the 23rd of January, 2 1/2 weeks early, Miss Aletheia Miriam joined our family.
Late winter/early spring brought a string of visitors: Grandma Mary, Grandma DeShon, Nate & Sheila Gonser, my friend Christa Smyth, a spring break trip from the lovely Sara Gould, and then Jim and Marianna Musser, on a trip home from spring break with a two van loads of college students.
We enjoyed our first spring in Maryland and were amazed at the beauty in our yard.
In early July we discovered baby number three was on the way, due 13 months after Theia. Surprise!
My Aunt Cindy died to a many year battle with cancer that September. The two girls and I traveled to the funeral and they met my Grandparents and aunts and uncles for the first time.
We grew pumpkins! Lots and lots of pumpkins.
and hosted our first Autumn Applelooza
Aliyah Charis joined our family in March of 2009.
When she was a mere 11 days old, she and I hopped on a plane to Missouri to remember my grandfather's life and attend his funeral.
When Aliyah was six weeks old, we travelled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to attend the wedding of good friends, Jeffrey and Keri. Xandra was the flower girl, Joe was a groomsmen,
Aliyah was held by the bride, my mom and a friend came to watch the kids,
and we saw the most amazing public restrooms any airport has ever possessed.
Mothers day produced one of my favorite mommy/kid pictures to date
and Joe and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on the Virginia Creeper Trail with Crazy Man Tim.
2009 was also the only time I have been able to convince my quite reserved husband to dress like a cow.
We walked with some friends through brain tumors and surgery
and we camped in a cabin at Cunningham Falls State Park over Columbus Day weekend.
The Marine Corps marathon in DC with our friend Eric
rounded out the fall for our family of five.
2010 was filled with lots of life, small child style.
We enjoyed the cherry blossoms in the spring,
went for walks around the block,
and gardened in the spring and summer.
Joe competed in his first triathalon,
and won a $1 (or was it $2?) bet with a friend. I may or may not have unwittingly contributed to Andrew's loss by yelling, "There's no way he can catch you now" as Andrew passed me. I honestly thought this to be true. Turned out I was wrong.
An oven rack for Mother's Day,
a brother graduating from seminary and a trip to Chicago,
my first run at freezer cooking,
and the infamous gas story were all memory makers.
Joseph Andrew joined our family on September 11th.
Ten days later, against our better judgment,
we tore up the carpet on our wood floors
and sanded and stained and made them beautiful again.
The process was not beautiful. Ten day old babies and house projects do NOT mix.
Our annual trip to the pumpkin patch, Autumn Applelooza, Thanksgiving with friends and a trip home at Christmas
rounded out 2010.
to be continued...