Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October Self Portrait

October is one of my favorite months (tied with May), and this year October brought some great news to the Hetricks... We sold our house!!!!

We closed on Halloween, and what a great feeling knowing that one of the largest hurdles in this interstate move is behind us.  Owning a home in one state, while living 7 hours away in another is NOT a good time.  It was just always in the backs of our minds, and we were constantly praying that nothing major would go wrong while we were gone before we sold it.  We had the hot tub issue that I wrote about before, but other than that, we managed to come through fairly unscathed.  Closing has come and gone, and now onto the next (much more fun) hurdle of buying a new house!

Mike and I headed down to NC for the last time a few days before closing in order to move everything out of the house and say our goodbyes to it.

While it was a great feeling watching our Realtor put that "SOLD" sign in our front yard, Mike and I both had mixed emotions to say the least.  We didn't get nearly what we hoped to get from the sale, which was a financial blow, but more importantly, seeing that sold sign in our front yard made this whole move finally seem real.  It felt like we were just on an extended vacation until then.  We came back to NC (what seemed like) all of the time to check on this or that.  Our house was still ours, with the bones of our belongings still in it.

 Watching the movers take everything out and crying as I was vacuuming our empty, echoing house brought out the flood of emotions that have been pushed aside for so long.  This was really it.  We were actually leaving....for good.  Closing this chapter of our lives.  That house on Clear Brook Drive was our first home, and it holds so many wonderful memories for me.  But memories don't stay with the house, they live in your heart.  I know that this is true.  Even being back in the house, without our girls it just didn't feel right.  It was too quiet, almost eerily so.  And once it was empty, I just wanted to leave.  It didn't feel like it was ours anymore.  So as I was walking out of the house for the last time I glanced at the "house" plant and jotted down a quick note to the owners explaining to them the significance of that plant that has been with the house though many owners.  I hope that they keep it, and I hope they love the house as much as we did.

Walking out of our garage and getting into our car, Mike and I were both fighting back tears.  It was a sad day, but this is a happy time in our lives.  "A house is made of brick and stone.  A home is made of love alone."  Our home is where our family is, both immediate and extended.  We are so excited to begin the next chapter of our lives in our good old home state of Pennsylvania!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Emma: 13 Months!

Dear Little Lou,

This month you have been mimicking lots of new words!  You are becoming less and less of a baby every day.  You can say "Hi", "Bye", "Mommy", "Daddy", and "Addy".  You are interacting so much more and I love to watch you start to really play with your sister.  You love/fear her so very much ;)  Addy loves you too, she's just very in your face about it, ha ha!

You have started to stand by yourself for a few seconds and you are cruising like a champ.  You also have started to push the push toys around, although you are still a bit unsteady on your feet.  At the park, you love to crawl around and climb all over the playground.

You still enjoy swinging, but you have recently discovered that sliding boards are fun!  Once I put you down the sliding board the first time you didn't want to do anything else but slide for the rest of the day.  Whenever I would take you away from the slide to give someone else a turn you would throw your little head back and scream...true toddler tantrum style.

You are an expert at climbing steps and your favorite game is to start climbing and wait for someone to see you and then motor up as fast as you possibly can, laughing the whole time.  Although you can climb up steps very well, you haven't figured out how to go back down yet.  I have to keep a close eye on your sister or she tries to "help" you get back down.

Your endless appetite is starting to level out and you have discovered that if you don't like a food, all you have to do is throw it on the floor and Holly will take care of it for you.  And then you look right at us and laugh.  Oh boy.  Now when we tell you "No", you are starting too understand it and you turn on the dramatics and cry like an old pro.

Bath time is one of your favorite times of the day and I think you would sit in there for hours and play if I let you.  No more baby tub for you (We got rid of that a few months ago).  Now you and your sister are in the big tub playing together during bath time.  You both really love that time of day :)

It's fun watching you start to understand concepts like, phones go up to your ear and hats go on you head.  You are so proud when you do these things by yourself!

Violet is one of your favorite toys and its so cute watching you hug and kiss/bite her ;)

You still have 6 teeth (4 top and 2 bottom) but, judging by the drooling and the constant shoving of your fist in your mouth, more are coming.  

Oh how I love your little gap toothed smile!  You are the happiest little lady around. You have learned that putting your arms up like this will likely get you picked up by someone and I just can't resist you.  Daddy says I spoil you, but so what?  You are only my "baby" for such a short amount of time, and I'll hold you all day if you want me to :)

Little Lou, I just love you to pieces.  You are my precious baby girl, and I know how fleeting this baby time is.  Every day I give you more hugs, kisses, and snuggles than I can possibly count.  And I wouldn't have it any other way :)

I love you sweet girl!



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Emma's First Birthday Party!

I have been wanting to document Emma's birthday party for weeks now, but as usual, time got away from me.  So, exactly one month later, here it is!

It all started with "Uncle Jay" saying that we needed a theme.  He said that since we went all out for Addy's Winter "One"-derland party, it would be fun to do the same thing for Emma.  Tina suggested something dainty, since our mini lady was so small, immobile, dainty at the time.  (She has since started crawling and climbing, and has been going through a MAJOR growth spurt.  AKA, she seems to be eating at all times.  Not so much a dainty lady any more ;)  But I digress.)

So with the dainty idea in mind, and the fact that we had just moved here from NC, Jay came downstairs one morning and suggested a theme of:  "Lace and Southern Grace".  It was perfect!

I immediately got started on finding some cute invitations.  And cute they were!

Here is the front.  Tina (of course) took the pictures and then I ordered the invite design on Etsy.  They were just awesome!  I loved the mason jars of lemonade and the details like lace in the background, Emma's name on the straw, and the number 1 on the bunting.  Loved them!!!

Here is the back of the invite.  Since the invite colors were yellow and light pink, I went with that as the party color scheme.

We ordered the cake from this amazing bakery in Camp Hill, The Couture Cakery.  Tina sent the owner a picture of the birthday invite and she came up with this awesome design for the cake!  I could NOT believe how gorgeous it was!

And coincidentally, she used the EXACT same straws that I ordered for the mason jars!

Tina and I decorated the mason jars.

I made some lemonade as the signature drink.

 To stick with the southern theme, I had to have some sweet tea too :)

The table scape :)

Emma's smash cake!

Some treats :)

The mantel.  I strung up Emma's monthly photos on the bunting.  No, I did not take weekly photos of her as I did with Addy.  That was all fun and games for the first few months, but once babies become mobile, forget it!  Monthly photos were much more manageable :)

Mommy and Daddy with the birthday girl!

Our littlest princess :)

Having fun with her great-grandparents :)

Emma got her own mason jar of some (very watered down) lemonade!

Mike drilled a hole in the lid of the jar so that we could stick a straw in and she wouldn't spill it :)

Our attempt at a family photo ;)

Present time!

Love, love, love this shot of Emma and Santino.

Bring on the cake!

Just as he did for Addy's first birthday, Uncle Jay snagged a video :)



"Woo hoo!  I'm one!"

Love those chubby baby fingers!

Happy girl!

These bloomers were so perfect.  I have called Emma my "sweet one" for months, so when I found these bloomers I had to order them :)

Post nap outfit change... and our birthday girl was as cheerful as ever!

Emma's first birthday party was an absolute blast!  We were very grateful that so many family members were able to come and celebrate with us.  I just wish I had thought to take a group photo.  Our little Emma is incredibly lucky to have so many people in her life that just love her to pieces.  She's a very happy girl and she brings the smiles out of everyone she meets.  So we all are also very lucky to have her!  Happy first birthday Emma Jane!  We love you to pieces!!!!