Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I've been working on this post since Christmas. I'm really bad at this..... In the words of my friend Lee Wilson- most people will find this post boring with the exception of some family, but again, I don't just do this for you- it's my public scrapbook, too. :-) I just wrote some special things to help me remember what happened and I have some reflections from the Christmas season at the bottom of the post.

(Christmas afternoon)
Hope you all are having a great day! We just woke up from our naps to the sound of the double doorbell ring. Not a great sound if you are a parent with a sleeping child, BUT to our joy- were greeted with fresh fried egg rolls from neighbor Lisa!

Now that I am full and Annie did not wake up from the doorbell, seems like a good time to post a blog about the holiday!

(December 23rd)
Papa Earl (Sally's dad) came in to town earlier this week and we got to have a small Christmas celebration on the 23rd complete with sushi and a radio flyer wagon. Annie's response as he wheeled it in "oh boy, oh boy!" as she stood perched on her tippy-toes dancing around like she needed to use the bathroom. She probably peed her pants and is thankfully still in diapers. We went for a stroll around the block to look at "yites" (Christmas lights) and she has played and eaten most of her meals in it since. A hit, to say the least! Thanks, Papa!

(December 24th)
We had a big Peck celebration over at Kevin and Les' house on Christmas Eve for lunch. The whole clan. This celebration includes all Peck siblings, spouses, dad, children, my mom's sister and her clan, my grandma, most of the in-laws, and a few friends- this year we had the Engstroms, Dean, and the Suhs complete with Yuna! All in all, about 40 people! Always a party! We had a mexican feast in honor of us, I suppose. ;-) At the ardent request of Kevin (sal's bro), we always need to make sure we have ice cream pie. This is a family tradition. One year we failed to make it and he said "this is the one thing I ask of the women who love me." It will not be forgotten again, dear brother. One of my favorite moments was when Ellie opened our present to her. I got her Guess Who? but sometime between the time it got wrapped and opened, she got it from someone else. I knew she already had it, but I didn't want to unwrap it, return it, etc. so I decided to just give it to her and let her go pick something new out. I was really curious what reaction she would have as a 4 year old who has, at her age, just started training on social graces- although she is very mature for her age- she is still 4. When she opened it she screamed with excitement "another Guess Who?!" She was genuinely thrilled as if it was the expansion pack. What a hoot.

J and I exchanged presents to eachother during naptime! It was so fun and relaxing. This was my most successful year shopping for J. As you might imagine, he's pretty hard and funny to shop for. He is a giant so that rules out most clothing stores (excpetions: Nike Outlet - where they keep the big boy clothes that didn't sell, American Apparel- big boy shirts in the back bin for $6/ pop) On his loot list: a Nike track jacket (XXL and Xlong, flip-flops, 3 American Apparel t-shirts, some camera equipment, a framed square family picture (he's very particular about the framing). Stocking stuffers: underwear, undershirts, dark chocolate peanut-butter cups, newly printed pics of Annie, a Homeslice shirt (for Annie. J and I can't usually think of things to get so we often default by getting Annie something we know the other will like.)

We headed over to J's parent's house after naps for dinner, movie, and Jesus' birthday cake. A Christmas tradition for the Lopez clan is to watch one of four movies together- Die Hard, Home Alone, It's a Wonderful Life, or Muppet Christmas Carol. It's a Wonderful Life was on so we watched that. It was Molly's (sal's sis) first viewing. She still has about 30 minutes to go so all in all she was left off at the most depressing part of the whole movie. George Bailey just wished he'd never been born! Clarence to the rescue! We got Annie home in time to put on her new Christmas Eve pjs (peck tradition).

(December 25th)
We woke up this morning for breakfast with Molly (sal's sis), J's parents, me, J, and Annie. Molly made a feast of eggs benedict (peck tradition) and blueberry crapes. Delicious! Thanks, Mo!

Annie then opened the awesome kitchen set, complete with laundry center from Nonnie & Tata! This thing took J about 5 hours straight to assemble, which he enjoyed because the directions were really well written! I made 5 attempts to get this thing at Toys R Us before calling my dad who was in Missouri to go get one there! They were totally sold out everywhere! It was totally worth it- she loves it! P.S. to all my friends with little ones, I highly recommend spacing out the opening of presents. It was so good for Annie to be able to enjoy each thing. Lessons for next time: space out presents even more and get her a whole lot less! :-) Our family is so huge at this point that I don't think she would notice if we didn't get her anything. Thinking of implementing the 3 gift rule- a need, a want, a surprise! Thanks, Jamie for that great idea!

I'm not great at reflecting, but here goes. Since I became a Christian, I have always been a little confused by Advent and would not say I practice Advent for all it was intended to be. I have spent this season trying to get a better idea of how people do it. I never really knew why Jesus' birth should matter more on that day or month more than any other time, but I have seen how much God tells His people in the Bible to "remember" through festivals and feasts type celebrations. This coupled with the fact that we are still awaiting Christ as Christians, tells me it's a big deal to practice anticipating Christ, not only in December but always! If we get off track, we always have December as a good checkpoint. :-) Secondly, I really enjoyed getting to teach Annie about Christ to the greatest degree that she could understand. We spent some time everyday playing with a nativity set (talking about the characters and telling the story) and I really loved to see how much she gathered from that time- simply, that Jesus was special. She spent most of everyday carrying him around in her little hand. I can't wait to reveal greater things to her about Him as she grows.

Sidenote: I caught myself constantly reminding Annie that Jesus was also a man that grew up and did amazing things. For all of you Talladega Nights fans, I felt like Carly at the dinner table reminding Ricky Bobby, who only prays to sweet, baby, Christmas Jesus, "you know, Jesus was also a man".

Much love and a happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Went out to the Elgin Pumpkin Patch with a couple of families- the Engstroms and the Gentrys!

Here is a classic kids' photo. Everyone equally distracted and/or unhappy.

The Engstroms

The Gentrys


And a few solo shots...

Hudson Engstrom- so cute!

Logan, this picture should be on if you weren't married.
It looks like you are trying to market yourself as "the outdoors type".

The big boys- Micah, Eli, and Calvin! Went all the way to Elgin and the main attraction-
a grasshopper.

Good day!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween started out with some bagels with the family and all the kids in their costumes (except Halle, who insisted on wearing her Hello Kitty Halloween shirt for the 3rd time in a row:-). What a funny girl! Little Ivey was not shown since she was sleeping most of the time. Pictures of her and new baby Bryce to come!

This year, we decided it was time to finally do J's ideal Halloween costumes: oompa loompas. At first, we were all going to be oompa loompas, but since oompa loompas are disturbing enough, we decided not to subject the world to a pregnant oompa loompa. However, J insisted that the world be subjected to a 6'6" oompa loompa.

On the other hand, what is more disturbing? A pregnant oompa loompa or a pregnant Dora the Explorer? Hmmm... both are creepy. You decide.

We had a great halloween! J and Annie developed quite the fan base with the neighbors, with several of them asking to take their picture.

We had several friends come over and bedazzle us with their costumes. We will hopefully post them as we get the pictures!

Hope you had a great one!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beach Trip

So since J started his new job in January we haven't taken any vacation time. Realizing that we have a busy Fall ahead, he decided to take 2 weeks off starting the day that Total Sports Camp ended. I desperately love any beach, lake, etc. and Annie had never been to a beach yet so it was time to go. On Saturday we booked 4 days at Port Royal in Port Aransas, TX, leaving on Monday. Sort of a last minute decision- it was so worth it!

Strangely we realized we had never taken Annie on vacation without other family members around so we were all hyped up! We had no clue how much work it is to take a 1.5 year old on vacation by ourselves. WOW. We considered several times taking her to this daycare center and asking if we could just pay for dinnertime. Not necessarily the relaxing get-a-way you imagine. We both brought tons of books that we never once cracked. As soon as she would go down for a nap or bedtime, so would we. Even though it was lots of work, it was so amazing to see her on the beach and exploring everything.

This trip was full of firsts: J's first time to Port A (a place full of memories for me), Annie and J's first swim in the awesome Port Royal pool complete with a slide ride, Annie's first crab salad, sno-cone, sandcastle, and hermit crab encounter!

Can't wait to do it again!

(we've never had smiles this big from annie actually directed at the camera)

(i don't think this is true)

(i feel like i need to explain j's shirt. i bought this for him as a gift in mexico. he really likes wearing intimidating tank tops when he is on vacation.)

(lovin' some pool time with daddy)

(her favorite beach activites: eating sand and sitting up to her chest in the ocean until the waves came and splash over her or she starts sinking)

( j found tons of hermit crabs. annie had no fear whatsoever- she loves them!)

(the boats outside sally's family's favorite Port A restaurant- Virginia's on the Bay.)

(we decided to introduce the ol' "bury the daddy in the sand" idea. if you notice annie in the top left that pretty much tells the story about how cool she thought this was.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Annie is a big sis!

For those of you we have run in to over the last couple of weeks, no surprise here, but for the rest of the world- we are having a baby! I am 8 weeks and 3 days which gives me a March 5th due date. The baby and Annie will be almost 2 years apart.

We are thrilled and humbled that God has yet entrusted another person to us to love and raise along with Annie! Thrilled- because there is nothing more fun than a full house! Humbled- because we daily realize what a big important job it is to raise a little person.

I have been feeling pretty sick, though not as bad as it was with Annie. I am not sure if I just have a higher threshold for discomfort and suffering after having Annie or if it is, in fact, more mild. No way to tell, but I'm thankful either way. J and Molly have been so helpful!

I love, love, love that I get to have another baby, but I feel so far removed from newborn world after only 16 months, so I have been really nervous about it until today. Seeing the lil' one on the sonogram just makes you melt, so I started looking back through Annie's baby books to remember what it was like the day she was born. I just remember the day J first went back to work after Annie was born. I called him crying saying "she's scary. Please don't leave me here by myself with her". Somehow, I made it through and I know God is going to help me once again since this whole new baby thing was his idea anyhow. Fast-forward to a picture of me a couple months in and I am holding her with one arm and smiling. I must have gotten used to it somewhere along the line so I know I will figure out that whole two-child-thing, too.

If you live nearby and we spend alot of time together, you are probably asking yourself, "So Sal, how does this affect our friendship?" Answer: For the next 6-8 weeks while I still have morning sickness, here is what you can expect:

- I won't be hanging out with you late at night.
- During the day, Annie will be watching hours of TV while I lay on my side on the couch. (Feel free to lend us kid DVDs. We are pretty tapped out on what we got :-)
- If you want to go to lunch, we must go someplace that serves plums, Gatorade, or Ramen noodles.

With Annie, all sickness went away at 16 weeks and then pregnancy was the best I have ever felt in my life! I am looking forward to those hormones again!

We would love your prayers for a healthy and joyful pregnancy!

Ideally, this post would include the sonogram picture, but it is downstairs and then I would need to scan it and stuff. It's not going to happen tonight, but maybe soon!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

summer stuff

My blog skills are really lacking lately...

In Lopez Summer News....

Mark (J's Brother) and Alli got married on June 27th! Congrats you guys! The wedding was beautiful and we loved being a part of it! They are now living in New York for the summer for Mark's internship before they head back to Dallas for Alli to start her 2nd year of med school and Mark to get a job doing motion graphics! How exciting!

We've spent most afternoons at Reagan High doing Total City Sports Camp! Trying to give Reagan High School kids great instruction from amazing athletes from Austin Stone. It has been amazing! Not only a cool way to serve the faculty, but also to serve the kids. They have really worked hard. It's not easy to play football in 108 degrees on your own accord! The goal is for mentorship relationships to be the result that will continue after camp is over. It has been really cool to see this happen so quickly. Thanks to everyone who has spent yourself for this whether it be through donating food, coaching, registration, childcare, or running things from here to there! This couldn't have happened without everyone helping out!

As far as Annie is what you are missing... Annie has been blossoming into a full-blown toddler over the last couple of months. She has gone from walking to running to talking. She loves shoes and likes to decide who should wear which ones. She loves to imitate everything we do- like the entire morning routine. Brushing teeth, putting on deodorant, shaving, etc. You can get her to say almost anything you want. It will likely not be what you intended for her to say, but she will say it with absolute certainty as if she is mimicking you exactly. :-)


("Bobo"= Hippo)

She LOVES to kiss, but as you can tell, she knows it is really cute.

Annie also had her 2nd annual 4th of july! Our neighborhood has this festival by the pool where you can ride trains, jump on bounce houses, and eat random food from local restaurants.

"Whoa!" Annie's new favorite word.

This is what happens when you keep trying to do one more thing and one more thing after you've crossed the threshold. It happens so quickly.

In the everyday, Annie basically likes to try on shoes, wear anything with a strap like a purse, stack her books, and watch Dora or the Backyardigans.