Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sutton Claire Strickland

Our sweet girl has a name-

Sutton Claire Strickland will be joining our family in three short months. THREE MONTHS, y'all. Eeeek. Makes me a little nervous to say that out loud. I totally can't remember that newborn phase. It passes in a blink!!

When we discussed names we liked, Jeremy and I tend to agree on most of the combinations we came up with. We like classic. Southern. Preppy names. This one stood out. I have loved Sutton for awhile, and he and I both loved Claire.

Sutton Claire, we can't wait to meet you!!

(And of course, Jeremy is already calling her lots of nicknames- his specialty!!)

Monday, November 28, 2016

New York City Adventure

In early November we took Jonah on THE BEST adventure our little family has been on yet...


Jeremy and I talked about summer vacation plans for 2016 and we decided to do a Fall trip to NYC rather than a summer beach trip, and I am SO GLAD we did. I am totally a beach girl, but I've always wanted to go to NYC with Jer. Taking Jonah was the icing on top. We had more fun and adventure in four days in the city than we've ever had together. We made tons of memories with Jonah that I'll cherish for always.

Here's a (long) recap of our adventures.

We flew out early Saturday morning from Houston to La Guardia. We landed around 2pm, and began our adventure. Jonah was so excited to fly- and loved everything about the plane...especially the seat back tray table (sorry lady in front of him!!) and ordering orange juice as the beverage cart came around. He also kept asking me to read the safety card, which totally creeps me out. But I humored him. Thankfully we stayed in the sky (yes, I am a frequent flier and yes, I am still a nervous flier!).

His face. I can't even deal with how excited he was to see the big planes. I love this photo!

Once we landed and grabbed our bag (I'm pretty proud to say that ALL of our junk fit in one 49.5lb suitcase, Jer's duffle and Jonah's backpack and duffle!!) we bought unlimited metro cards for each of us and headed out to the bus stop. We took a bus from La Guardia to the 74th and Roosevelt stop, and hopped on a train in Queens straight to Grand Central.

Jonah fell promptly asleep by the time we got on the train. He was a tired little traveler.

From Grand Central we walked a couple of blocks to our hotel (stayed at the Shelburne Affinia and highly recommend- we had a great stay here!) and dropped off our bags. After showers we walked to Bryant Park via way of the NY Public Library. Isn't the library so pretty?! I would have loved to
have had time to explore the inside of it.

I was really excited to shop at the Winter Village. We ate dinner from street vendors at the Winter Village and topped it off with THE MOST AMAZING waffles + Nutella + ice cream (yes) at Waffles and Dinges.

I snapped this pic later that night and I think it's the cutest. He loved looking at the city lights out our hotel windows. Little boy in the big city!

We had big plans on Sunday. Jeremy's wish was to see the NY Giants v Eagles game, so much to Jonah's delight we got a cab to Grand Central and then took several trains out to the stadium. He was so excited to be in his first yellow cab. His excitement was contagious. It was the cutest!!

It was standing room only on the train to the game (we stood the entire time) and was the most fun experience to be with all of the hard-core Giants fans. Their accents cracked me up. Everyone was so friendly and we had the best day at the game. Strollers aren't allowed inside the stadium so we made the ENTIRE trek without the stroller. I was so proud of our little guy. He sat through the ENTIRE game (he's FOUR, y'all!!!) and happily munched on his popcorn. What a champ!!!

After the game we made the long trek back to Grand Central and decided to hit up Shake Shack for dinner inside the Grand Central terminal. Of course, Jonah fell asleep on the train to back to the city...

The next day we kept completely open to explore and shop. Jonah and I woke up and went for a coffee run while Daddy slept in. He caught the eye of the morning commuters with his bright stripes, and looked so cute on the big city streets!

After breakfast and coffee we headed out for the day. I have always wanted to go to Fish's Eddy in Flatiron (go, y'all!!), so that was first on the agenda. Flatiron did not disappoint. The cutest shops and restaurants! We explored Union Square for a couple of hours and then decided to head downtown for a special treat for Jonah Knox.

When we asked Jonah what he wanted to do on our trip to NYC his response remained constant- "I want to see Lady Liberty". So, we made that happen. We jumped on the Staten Island Ferry round-trip and he got to see it up close twice! He loved it, and it was the most beautiful day...

After we got off the ferry we decided that it was now or never for my bucket list item- walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. And, I'm not going to lie. I thought I was going to DIE. We probably walked 10 miles on Monday. Soooo much walking. (normally walking isn't an issue but this girl of mine is totally burried down low and it HURTS to walk!!)...... But walking on that wooden bridge was so worth the aches and pains!! It was the coolest, and as we were walking across the sun was setting.

I will always remember that sunset on the Brooklyn Bridge, and I'm thankful I was able to experience it with my two favorite people.

When we made it to Brooklyn pizza was first on the agenda. Juliana's to be exact. And it was just as delicious as I imagined it would be. I'm not even telling how many of these pieces I inhaled.

After pizza we hit up the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and then called it a night. I was more tired than I've been in years, so we caught a cab back to our hotel. Worth every penny because I literally COULD NOT walk another step. Thought I was going to die at that point. Haha.

The next day was our last full day in the city so we wanted to make it count. We spent it playing the day away at Central Park and ended it at Rockefeller Center.

I have four days of memories with Jonah and Jeremy to last a lifetime. We laughed and laughed, made tons of rookie traveler mistakes and generally had the most fun vacation of all time. Sometimes pictures make a trip look more fun than it really was (thanks to social media) but I can honestly say that the photos don't do this trip justice. I tried. I did. But they're stored in my head and heart. It was the best trip.

Can't wait to see you again soon, New York... (and next time with a little girl in tow!!!)...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

My heart is so full this Thanksgiving season. I try to be thankful for all blessings in my life, all the time, but I get especially weepy around this time of year. Plus I'm pregnant. So weepy is a common thing these days. Nonetheless, I am so thankful for every big and little blessing in my life. Our family. Friends. Neighbors. Our house. Car. Jobs. Church. Just everything! I try to talk about it with Jonah so he understands what the real season is about. Thankfulness brings about a positive heart, I think. Thanking God for the things and people we have, allows us to really appreciate them.

I love this time of year so much! Here are a few photos from Jonah's Thanksgiving Feast at school, as well as our family Thanksgiving celebrations...

And, I'm officially 25 weeks!