Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Start

I've always loved January 1st and have seen it as an opportunity for a fresh start, to begin the year with a clean slate and a fresh attitude.  This year, like in most years past, I'm feeling the same refreshing feeling related to starting a new year, which is kind of strange since we've spent the majority of 2012 starting fresh. Our move to Tulsa was not the first big move we've made in our adult lives. Our move to Chicago in 2005 was a pretty huge change for us.  But we have learned that moving when you are 25, childless, and newly married is a lot different than at 32 with a 6 month old. 

We are finally settled in our new place and in our hometown but it definitely wasn't quick or easy and we still have a long way to go. It's been so awesome being so close to family, especially now that H. is mobile and extremely active. We've had a lot of fun showing Henry around to all our favorite spots and trying all of the cool new restaurants in Tulsa.  In spite of all the fun we've had since we've been back, I still miss Chicago very much.  I imagine Chicago will eventually be like the college girlfriends I used to go out with every weekend but now see only once or twice a year. I'm just not to that point yet, and am counting the days till we visit in January.

All this being said, we have SO much to be thankful for this year. We are healthy, Henry is healthy, we have fantastic jobs, and the love and support of our families. While all is going well, there's always room for improvement, which brings me back to the point of writing this post: new starts.  With this new year comes some New Year's resolutions.  We rarely keep ours, but here's what we have slated for 2013:

John (only) resolves to spend less time on the computer.

I, on the other hand, have tons of resolutions:
  1. Get organized!  Not only does this entail cleaning up and getting rid of excess, but it also includes planning meals, folding and putting away the laundry before it's so wrinkled it needs to be washed again, getting gas before I'm below the 'E', and having a work morning where I'm not running around the house like a crazy person.  I've yet to figure out how exactly to execute on this resolution, but I'm going to try!
  2. Run another half marathon or two.  I'm signed up for the OKC half in April, but it might be fun to run a half in Chicago sometime this summer.  Given that I haven't taken more than a few strides since before I was pregnant, this is a loft goal, but one I'm determined to meet. I even bought a treadmill to facilitate the training.
  3. Be more social. When you're busy, it's easy to get caught up in work, home stuff, and family, and our social lives suffer as a result. I'm going to make a concerted effort to be more social in 2013 and turn down fewer invites for happy hour.
  4. Go on some dates.  Despite having two ready and willing babysitters within a few miles of our house, I can count on one hand the number of times John and I have taken advantage of this and gone out to dinner or a movie since we moved.  So, I'm going to make a list of restaurants I want to try and movies I want to see so that I am more motivated to get out there and have some quality time with my boo thang.
That's it for me! All are attainable and are aimed at making life fuller and happier. Cheers to everyone, Happy New Year, and let's get on with 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Recap

A Merry Christmas was had by all in the Beck household. Henry was super fun this year - very curious about all the new stuff he got and all the hoopla surrounding the week.  We made a lot of fun memories and are looking forward to all the new traditions in our new house.  Hope everyone had an awesome Christmas!

Not sure about this Christmas business...

Checking out his new stuff!

Reading a book in his new chair!

Banging out some tunes on his new piano!

Not sure who has played the piano more: Henry or John.

Lots and lots of presents!

Practicing walking!

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

We've had a very busy Christmas Eve full of fun family traditions. We started the day off with the (sixth, maybe?) annual Adams Christmas lunch.  The event was on a brief sabbatical last year due to us all spending the holidays in Chicago, but it's back on and was SO fun to see and catch up with everyone. It was also fun to have all the new additions to the lunch: Henry, Ethan, and Theo.  Lots of fun and good conversation was had by all. I would say that we are overdue for a reunion.


Steph and me making cookies for the cousins lunch
We rounded out the evening with the annual mexican Christmas Eve dinner at John's parents' house. They are always so nice to include my family, so it's a nice big group. And the food, as usual, was amazing.  John and I are completely stuffed!

The Ladies and Babies.  This is probably about as close of a look the blogosphere will get of baby Theo's face!

We've tucked our little nugget into bed, and I'm hoping some visions of sugarplums are dancing in his head. While I know he won't totally know what's going on tomorrow, I am positive he will be excited about all the goings on. I can't wait to see his face when he sees what Santa brought him! I've always loved this time of year, but having Henry has made the holidays about a million times more awesome!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Major Catch-Up Post

I can't believe it's been three weeks since I last posted! Let that be a testament to how busy our December has been! Work-wise, December in Chicago is the slowest month since everyone goes away for a week or two for the holidays.  Apparently that's not the case in Tulsa, since I've been busier this month than any other month in my career, meaning John has had to take on the role of Mr. Mom while I've been working. He's a saint!

Here's a brief run-down of what we've been up to:

Henry officially turned one on December 5th. I'm still in denial that I have a toddler now instead of a baby.

We celebrated Christmas with my dad's side of the family on December 8th.  Since we spent Christmas in Chicago last year with brand new baby Henry, it had been a couple of years since we had gotten together with my stepbrother and his fam.  Below are my dad, stepmom, and Justin's two awesome girls, Jadyn and Jesi. Henry loved hanging with his cousins!

Kirby retired from OSU after 38 years! His colleagues hosted a great dinner in his honor on December 10th, and we were so happy to be included (even if I was a bit of a zombie from pulling my first near all-nighter of my entire life).

Henry was in a Christmas program at school and was the most precious little angel ever, even if he was sick (hence the rosy cheeks and red lips). Poor little punkin ended up with an ear infection that weekend.  Glad he's well now, though, in time for Christmas!

Now that we have a real house instead of a condo, we have taken advantage of all the fun decorating we can do with lawns and front doors (clearly, we need to get out more). John put up Christmas lights for the first time ever, and we think they look pretty cute, especially the Charlie Brown Christmas tree in our front bed.

Henry has been busier than ever, trying as hard as he can to destroy everything in the house, or at least cause as much disorder as possible.  I secretly love it, though, and am so excited by all his curiosity.

We are finally ready (I think) for Christmas! We did some last minute scrambling yesterday to get those last few gifts. Looking forward to lots of family time this week!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Birthday to Henry!

Yesterday we hosted Henry's 1st birthday celebration a few days early.  It was so great to have so much family over to celebrate our precious little guy.  It's been such an awesome year as new parents. Cheers to Henry!

Delicious cake! (That we will be eating for the rest of the week)

With Nannie and Mimi

Such a big boy!

Not so sure about all the people singing to him

Also not so sure about the smash cake... He refused to eat any of it! What kid doesn't like cake? Apparently mine.

"Get this sticky mess away from me!"



Lots of books!

Sleepy birthday boy

Playing with cousin Reese

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day the Tulsa Way

Apparently I'm on a roll with the rhyming titles (see last post).

This was our first Thanksgiving in Tulsa in a couple of years.  Last year we were grounded in Chicago, waiting for little Henry to arrive. Oh, how things have changed since then! We hosted at our house this year and were so thankful to have both my family and John's join together for dinner.  Not only was it awesome to have everyone together, but it was great to not have to eat two Thanksgiving dinners in one day.  We were a smaller group than usual, since David stayed in KC and Lisa, Niel and Theo were not able to make the trip up from Austin. But it was great to be together nonetheless.

After stuffing our faces, we headed out to Lights On at Utica Square. When I've been in past years, it's been really festive, with hot cocoa, warm coats, and caroling.  But it was hard to get in the spirit with temps in the upper 70s all day (note the sleeveless shirt). It was a far cry from the freezing cold Thanksgivings we've spent in Chicago in past years.

I think our first Thanksgiving in our new house was a success. I'm looking forward to starting more new holiday traditions in years to come!

Steph and Pancho relaxing before dinner

Henry having his pre-dinner "cocktail"

The table

He is definitely John's son - obsessed with electronics!

Little turkey!

Here's to new family traditions!

With Auntie Steph at Lights On

Henry and Grandmomma

Monday, November 19, 2012

Stomach Flu and a Trip to the Zoo

Our weekend was the pits! Or at least mine was. I had the stomach flu for the second time since August.  Before August, I last had the stomach flu in July 2004. It was so awful/memorable that I will never forget about it! I blame all of this recent sickness entirely on Henry. He's very cute, but he's also a lovable ball of germs.  Thankfully I am better, but now John has it, and we all know about men and their illness tolerances.  I am now the proud mother of an 11 month old and a 33 year old.

We did take a brief break from the stomach flu symptoms to hit up the Tulsa Zoo.  It had been a while since John and I had been, so it was definitely very nostalgic to visit all our favorite exhibits, plus see the new ones since the zoo has gone under a lot of renovation in recent years.  Henry, however, was not so impressed and seemed pretty indifferent about the whole thing. We will give it another try in a couple of months.

We are getting pretty excited about Thanksgiving in our new house. We are hosting this year and are so excited to finally get to use the wedding gifts we got eight years ago but have essentially been in storage due to lack of kitchen space at our various living spaces in Chicago. Here's to hoping that John is feeling better in time to partake in the pigging out on Turkey Day!

Henry being unimpressed by the goats at the petting zoo.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Rain

I'm probably in the minority, but to me there's nothing better than a gloomy, cold, and rainy November Sunday, which is exactly what we had today. And it was perfect napping weather, which was evident by Henry's two and a half hour morning nap (and the two hour nap that his nap allowed me to take).  I spent yesterday at a work retreat in Arkansas, and although I had the option of spending the night, my ride and I agreed that we would rather sleep in our own beds. So, at 11:30 p.m. we began the 2-plus hour drive back to Tulsa, which got me home around 2 am -- way later than I've been awake in years!

I cannot recall ever visiting Arkansas, and I was very pleasantly surprised. Our retreat was in Fayetteville, the home of University of Arkansas, and it was just plain gorgeous! The leaves were all turning on campus, and there was lots of hustle and bustle along the cute downtown area where all the college kids go to drink themselves silly on the weekends. (I never did that. Never.)

My being gone to the retreat meant that John was on solo Henry duty.  So naturally he spent the day at his mom's house.  Henry enjoyed the time spent at Mimi's, and John got some great shots of Henry in the fall leaves before they turned into a soggy mess in today's rain.

We are both heading into a super busy week. John has a big deadline this week, and I have to speak at a CLE (freaking out). So it was nice to spend the day in a low-key way -- hanging around the house and staying out of the rain.

Family time! David came in town for a short visit, so we of course had to take advantage of the photo op. Baby Theo's face continues to be shrouded in secrecy. Kind of like Michael Jackson's kids and those veils.

Henry was not sure of the leaves.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11 Month Letter

Dear Henry,

Where to begin this month's letter! The past month has been a whirlwind of milestones with you. You say "mama" (although I'm not sure it has anything to do with me), you "sing" along to music (more like humming), and you pull yourself up to just about anything you can brace yourself on.

You are obsessed with day care (or as I call it, school). The second we walk in the door, you are kicking your legs to get down and crawl among your friends and play with all the toys.  Your teachers are so sweet, and they are always doing fun little art projects with you. I have a special bulletin board in the mudroom where I proudly hang all of your works of art.

You continue to amaze us every day with your sweet disposition.  You are so excited to see us when we walk in the room, and you give the best, most heart-warming hugs. This past weekend you were really sick with a high fever and an ear infection in both ears.  But despite being in who-knows-how-much-pain, you were still super sweet, trying so hard to be chipper and play in spite of not feeling well.

I've been really sentimental the past few weeks, as we begin the countdown to your first birthday.  I was looking back at pictures of what I was doing a year ago - very pregnant, and really anxious to meet you.  While I knew you would be an amazing little person, you have exceeded any expectation we could have had for you.  We've loved every single second we've had with you these past 11 months and are so excited for what's in store.


Your new favorite toy! Having an awesome time despite the 102 degree fever!

The fam, in front of our "autumnal display"

This is how we roll with our first morning bottle.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Halloween from Henry the Hedgehog!

That's a lot of Hs! I am normally a huge Haloween bah-humbug.  I used to get so annoyed with all the costumes (especially on adults) and all the extra candy laying around right before the big holiday weight gain season begins.  But, now that we have Henry, my feelings toward Halloween have changed (or at least a little).  It's been all Halloween, all the time since last Friday and it will continue through the actual holiday on Wednesday, ending with having trick or treaters at our house for the first time ever. 

Henry is dressing as the most adorable hedgehog ever! The first Halloween celebration was on Friday at his school Halloween carnival.  Today we hit up Boo Ha Ha (also known as the worst parade ever) on Brookside, and he will dress up again at school on Halloween for a parade and another party.

We've also gotten a big burst of fall weather, complete with temps in the 30s the past couple of mornings.  In addition to being freezing the past couple of days, Henry is teething with a vengeance - I can see every one of his little top teeth, just ready to pop through.  He's suffering something awful, and we are getting very little sleep as a result.  Poor little precious just sits around and whimpers.  Let's hope those little teeth come in soon so that we can all get some relief!

Pestering his favorite friend, Simon.

Adorable in his manly eggplant!

Getting geared up for the parade!

Clearly Henry was enthralled with the parade.

At his school carnival.