A Week in PA

Man, this has been a whirlwind of a week so far! Good thing it’s only Wednesday.

We drove in Friday night. We left at 6pm for the 8.5 hour drive, and according to the last long, overnight trip, we were expecting a screaming baby for the majority of the trip. However, we started out, and she was content looking out her window and sipping her milkies. She fell asleep about 8:30 or 9pm, which is her normal bedtime, and she never made a noise! We made it all the way to New Stanton, PA, right before the turnpike before we had to get gas. When we stopped, Ava woke up. I got her up, changed her diaper, gave her fresh milk, and put her back in her seat. She downed that cup of milk, and was asleep again before we knew it. Night and day difference from our 6 hour trip to Wisconsin. We think it’s because we didn’t do her bedtime routine like we did going to Wisconsin. Ava is a baby of habit, so it really may have made the difference.

We arrived on schedule (who said long car rides have to be even longer with a baby?!) at 2:30am, and Ava woke up, gave lovies to Grammy and Pappy, and I took her to her room and she settled right in.

Saturday was a lot of just hanging out, and we got to see our nephew and new niece, as well as Caleb’s brother and sister-in-law!


Sunday was my mother-in-law, Lisa’s, annual family gathering at Bear Valley. It’s a whole lotta food, games, and sitting around campfires. Ava had a ton of fun with her cousin JT, and worked on her standing. JT even helped her stand up, though he wasn’t too sure why this baby was hanging onto him so much. JT is 2 years old, and is a ball of energy! He’s very sweet, and is a very good big brother to 5 week old Elsie. Elsie is in the sleepy baby stage still, and I’ve been soaking up all the new baby I can! We have been imagining how the next couple years will be, since all these June babies are a year apart each. We’re even thinking about having a 1-2-3 birthday party for our babies next year!

Cousin Love

Grammy and Ava

Standing Around

Monday… Gosh, I can’t even remember what we did Monday. (Asking family….) Oh yes, we took all the babies to a tiny kid-friendly splash park. Ava thoroughly enjoyed playing in the water, specifically the sprinklers. She also thought it was hilarious to walk through the waste-deep water. We were there for an hour and a half before the park was bombarded with big kids. We ate lunch there, and packed up. We were in the car two minutes before Ava was asleep.

Water Fun

Tuesday we loaded up early and all went to Lancaster, PA, land of the Amish. We went to the mall to run a quick errand and eat lunch, and then drove through Amish country and saw a lot of men working the fields with their hoses. The Amish lifestyle is so fascinating, I would love to spend a few days with them. We then went to a kid-friendly interactive park called Cherry Crest, and spent a couple hours in 97 degree weather, going down really long slides and jumping on big trampoline pillows. Okay, only JT did the bouncy pillow, but everyone was able to enjoy the slide. After leaving there, we went to Shady Maple Smorgasbord to enjoy some finger-lickin’ good Amish cooking. We all ate our fill (and Ava loved it!) and we headed home with very sleepy babies.


Today we are just hanging out so far, and Ava is napping. We will probably do something later, but for now we are all recouping for a moment before the next thing. Enjoy some of the photos from this week!

Naked baby bath

Grammy Time



I have had some revelations this week regarding long-distance family relationships. No matter how much we love each other, distance makes things harder. (As I typed that, Lisa said “I want to throw a pillow at Anne.” Maybe the distance isn’t so bad 😉 jk) I will share these thoughts later though. I promise, I won’t make you wait a week!

PA Baby!


You guys. It’s Friday again! I can’t seem to keep my excitement down, and today for more reasons than usual. (And seriously, I manage to find something to look forward to every Friday.)

Today, after work, we will be embarking on a journey we haven’t made in too long. Since last November, to be precise. For the first time in 8 months, we are making the long trip to Pennsylvania!

**Update: I added the title, which immediately reminded me of the Friends episode where they all go to London for Ross’ wedding. Joey’s key phrase, to Chandler’s dismay, was “London, baby!” And then he proceeds to “get into the map.” Gah. I love it. You should just watch it. P.S. Did you know i’m a die-hard Friends fan? Yep. Okay, moving on.

Caleb’s entire family lives in south-central PA, and thank goodness we’ve seen a handful of family members many times in the last 8 months, but I can’t tell you how excited we are to be going. The sights, the smells (farmland… HELLO.), the way of life… we’re ready to be back. I can already tell you though, the week is going to fly by, and we will leave longing for another week or entire summer out there with them.

This visit will be special in more ways than just the usual “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” We will get to meet our new niece Elsie who turned 1 month yesterday, and we will also get to see Ava interact with her cousin JT. This will be the first time she is old enough to play with him, and I am looking forward to that immensely. JT is a full year older than Ava, so last time we saw him he wanted to play with her, and she couldn’t even sit up. BIG TIME CHANGES! It will be a blast.

So now the only thing standing between us and our family vacation is a partial day of work (complete with making sure everything is ready to run smoothly without me for an entire week), a quick dinner and packing session, and a 9 hour car ride with a hopefully sleeping 1 year old. 

Want to know what we’ve been up to this week? Well, Ava is standing solo, so that should mean walking soon, right? We’ll see. She stands for a minute or so before resuming her crawl, but she’s sturdy and confident which means no falls! We just have to wait for her to realize she can move on her own. And YOU GUYS. This girl is LONG. I snapped this picture of her this morning. I can’t imagine what a kid in the 90th percentile is like if she’s already this long. 

Ava sleeping long

Due to her length, I’ve started wondering about moving up to the next sizes of things. Car seats, beds… okay, so pretty much only car seats and beds have crossed my mind. Both are topics for another day though. She’s about ready for a new car seat, but the bed will be awhile for obvious reasons (uh, she’s only 1). 

This has kinda been a rambling of topics, but I’m hoping to use part of my vacation to get back on track with posting. There has been too much going on that requires my attention during my after-baby-hours of the day to get my blogging in, and I plan to remedy that.

See you in PA!


What a day.

I should just start by saying that I am very blessed in the friends and family we are surrounded with. Today we were blessed with our first niece, the little sister to our only nephew, who just turned two. And let me tell you… She is adorable!

It almost kills me, they live 9 hours from us, so we aren’t able to hold the new little sweetie for a few more weeks. But I’ve been told the baby girl is very precious, and the pictures exude beauty, even though I know they don’t do her justice. I can’t wait to meet her and see our growing family again.

I won’t go into all the details, but I have to say my sister-in-law is one of the most B.A. people I know. I received a call at 2:30 this morning that she gave birth in her car while they were rushing to the hospital. I know it happens sometimes, but for real, I am just so impressed. Not many I know can say they gave birth without drugs (I surely didn’t!), but I don’t know anyone else who did it without medical assistance in a moving vehicle. And to top it off, I am just always so overwhelmed by the miracle of birth. Plain and simple. It’s beautiful.

The whole story so early in the morning made me very nostalgic about this time last year, right before I had Ava. Needless to say, it was a day full of memories, and it was even sweeter to see my baby after work and snuggle with her a bit. She’s getting so big and growing so fast, she seems too busy for much mama time.

I am so thankful for the health and safety of my entire family, especially my sister-in-law and new little niece! So blessed.