Highlights of 2011

I did a "Highlights of 2010" post last year, and I thought it would be fun to do it again this year. When I reflect back on these past two years, what stands out the most to me is how drastically different the years are. 2010 was the year of changes for us--I left a job I loved, we moved from Northern VA to the Gulf Coast, Derek finished up med school & started his residency, and WE HAD A BABY. 2010 was a wonderful year for us, and all of those changes were truly blessings in our lives...but that doesn't mean those changes weren't hard. The themes of 2010 were changes and readjustment. Thankfully the themes of 2011 have been finding our new "normal" and settling into our little life as a family of three here in Biloxi.

When I think back to this time last year, we were still sleep-deprived first-time parents of a newborn who were just trying to make it from day to day..and find time to shower every now and again! SO much has changed since then. {Although sometimes I still struggle to find time to shower, but I suppose that's just life with small children! Ha!} I feel more confident now in my role as a stay-at-home mama, Derek is still enjoying his residency {and doing quite well at it, if I do say so myself!}, and Miss Shelby is growing, learning every day, and just as cute as ever...so I'd say 2011 was a pretty good year!

{The Highlights Pictured in the Video}
Shelby's first time on a swing
First time feeding Shelby solids
Shelby's first Easter
Swim Lessons
Pennsacola Retreat with Keesler
Visiting the Biloxi Lighthouse
Shelby's First Birthday!
Our trip to Ormond Beach
Christmas in Birmingham

{The Highlights NOT Pictured in the Video..but they're still pretty Important}
Derek being named Intern of the Year
Shelby got a cousin!
Got to see the Blue Angels fly over our house!
Joining a Play Group
Getting to spend Christmas in AL, GA, & MO!
Weekend Beach Trip with Derek's sister
Visiting the NOLA Aquarium with Grammy
Getting to go to a UGA game!

What a year! And even though it is New Year's Eve, it will be Christmas Eve in our house tonight since we still haven't done our little Christmas with Shelby at home yet. {We were traveling on Christmas, and she has kind of been out of sorts the past couple of days...so we wanted to wait to do Christmas until she could really enjoy it.} So once we read 'Twas the Night before Christmas and put out treats for Santa, we will tuck Shelby in bed and Derek & I will enjoy a quiet evening together at home. We are looking forward to it....so happy Christmas & New Year's Eve!! :)


Christmas Recap #1 {Birmingham}

On Friday the 16th, we packed up the car and were Birmingham-bound as soon as Derek got home from work. Derek's sister, her hubby, and their baby girl were kind enough to host us for the weekend at their home. We got to their house late Friday night, and we had a not-so-fun surprise awaiting us upon our arrival. Shelby had somehow leaked all the way through her diaper & pants and onto her carseat. Unbeknown to me, I picked her up the urine quickly soaked through the hoodie I was wearing. After a late night five hour drive with a baby who won't sleep in the car, that was the last thing we needed! But aside from that little mishap, we had a wonderful weekend! Derek's dad & step-mom made the drive from Stone Mountain, GA to spend Saturday afternoon with us in Birmingham. And then on Saturday night, Derek's mom & step-dad arrived and stayed through Sunday. Here are a few {out of order} pictures from the weekend!
{Granddad & Grandma with their granddaughters}
{BooBoo reading to Shelby}

{A coupe of days before this weekend, Shelby had just started standing on her own for a few seconds at a time. She always gets so proud of herself when she realizes she's standing on her own..it's SO cute!}
{One of Shelby's favorite pastimes is to play catch. It was so cute to watch her do it with her cousin!}
{Shelby helping her Daddy & Uncle Lucas...apparently it takes a doctor, a lawyer, and a baby to mount a TV!}
{Pop-Pop & Shelby}

{working on our annual Christmas craft--Derek's mom is very creative and always has a new craft for us to do each year. We get very competitive!}

{the ultimate back scratcher}

{BooBoo & Pop-Pop with their granddaughters}
{Shelby & Elly having lots of fun climbing over Daddy/Uncle Derek}
As you can tell from these pictures, it was such a fun-filled family weekend! It was so special to celebrate Elly's first Christmas with her and to see Shelby & Elly experience Christmas together! I love that they are so close in age...it is so fun to watch them grow up together!

Christmas Recap #2 will be coming soon...hopefully! :)


Wordless Wednesday: Christmas in Birmingham!

Shelby {15 mo.} & Cousin Elly {10 mo.}

After eleven days of traveling & holiday fun, we are finally back home safe & sound in Biloxi! As soon as we get unpacked and settled back into life at home, you can expect lots more Christmas pictures & recaps to come your way over the next few days! :)


Checking in....

Sorry things have been a bit quiet on the ole blog lately, but we have been BUSY! Derek's last day of work for 2010 was Friday the 16th, and that evening we were Birmingham-bound! We spent the weekend with Derek's family and had a GREAT time. When Monday morning rolled around (the 19th), we packed up and made our way over to my parents' house in GA. We spent a couple of days there before heading up to St. Louis on the 22nd. It has been a whirlwind in every sense of the word, but oh so fun! Nothing makes it feel more like Christmas than being with family.
We had two rounds of Christmas in Birmingham, celebrated Christmas in GA with my fam, and I think I lost count after 6 Christmas parties here in St. Louis. We have had a blast with our family..especially introducing Miss Shelby to our family here in St. Louis for the very first time. But between the long drives, teething, coming down with a bad cold, and being out of her regular routine for ten days...I know Shelby {and her Mommy & Daddy, too!} will be happy to get back home. Not to mention, we still have our Biloxi Christmas waiting for us! But we have one more party today before we head back to Biloxi tomorrow. The Schumacher family is all coming over to my Aunt Diane & Uncle Steve's today to watch the Independence Bowl b/c Mizzou is playing.
{Thanks for the pics, Auntie Em!}
We will cheer for Mizzou today b/c we always cheer for our fellow SEC teams. {It's still so hard to believe Mizzou will actually be a part of our conference soon...this is not the South, y'all! And the fact that my daughter who never wears a coat or shoes had to wear a heavy coat and boots today proves it..ha!} But next year when we actually play Mizzou, Shelby will not be loving on this ugly tiger. She will be wearing her red and black and calling the Dawgs!


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Smiths!
{Enjoy our 2011 Christmas card}

{and here's the back}


15 Months

{fifteen months!}

{love the cheesy smile in the pic below!}
{trying to get the camera from Mommy in the next pic}

Here's what Miss Shelby is up to these days...
--Shelby has learned the "so big" game..it's so cute to see her put her little hands up over her head when we ask her "how big is Shelby?"
--Your favorite toys right now seem to be anything that involves music/instruments, balls, puzzles, and Shelby has recently started playing with/"reading" her books by herself.
--You are very into opening/closing drawers, cabinets, doors, etc. You usually don't get into whatever is inside the drawer/cabinet/closet/etc...unless of course it is the kitchen towel drawer, then you have to pull them all out one by one..ha!
--gaining your confidence with cruising everyday!
--your top two teeth are getting bigger everyday!
--we are still battling the "dropsies," but I feel like it's gotten a bit better this month
--starting to stand for a couple of seconds at a time! When you first started doing it, it was always when you weren't thinking about or were distracted...and as soon as you realized you were standing unassisited you would get nervous and sit down. But now, you are aware you can do it and you get so proud of yourself when you stand on your own!
--attempting to stack blocks on top of one another...you are very focused and determined when you do this!
--and we learned this month that you love to put items into containers one after another...it's very methodical and cute!

And this last picture isn't the best, but you can kind of see Shelby's top teeth!



Shelby has never been a very lovey/cuddly/snuggly type of baby. She just wasn't wired that way. And although Shelby has been able to hold her bottle on her own for some time now, we still keep her in our laps whenever she has a bottle b/c it's an easy way to sneak in some snuggle time! But aside from when Shelby's drinking a bottle, snuggles are a very rare occasion. But one afternoon last week after her nap, Shelby was in the mood to snuggle & I was glad that Daddy was home to capture the moment since we have very few pictures like this!
And as you can tell from the picture, Shelby was probably only snuggling me so she could sneak my cell phone away from me! ;) That girl loves her some cell phones.


Wordless Wednesday: Photo Dump

This weekend I realized there are a bunch of pictures on my memory card that never made their way on to the blog, so I figured it was time for a photo dump..with a few captions along the way b/c my Wordless Wednesday posts can't be entirely wordless! ;)

{A red-neck playpen! ;) While Derek was busy adorning our house with Christmas lights a few weeks ago, this is where Shelby hung out..surrounded by toys in her baby pool in the garage! Ha! She loved watching Daddy! You may laugh, but this worked like a charm!}
{when my mom was here visiting last month, she baked us a pumpkin pie..Shelby was very interested in watching Grammy baking!}
{A beautiful sunset on the Gulf Coast..we snapped this pic when we went to the Beau Rivage a couple of weeks ago to take pictures of Shelby w/ their Christmas decorations}
{Shelby's first time on a "big" slide when we were in GA last month--that is a happy face, by the way!}
{Derek loves trains, and last Christmas Derek's dad & stet-mom gave us one for Christmas. This was Shelby's first look at the train after Derek got it set up.}

The Christmas tree in the pictures above is our "card tree," but it's bare in the pictures above b/c we hadn't yet received any Christmas cards at this point.


Weekend Recap

Derek has had a great schedule at work this month, and we got to enjoy a three-day weekend this weekend..so our weekend started on Thursday night! :) We celebrated the start of the weekend with a trip to Wal-Mart (and we quickly remembered why we are Target shoppers) and a family date to Fox's (a yummy pizza place) & Bop's for ice cream! When we got back home and went to get Shelby out of her carseat, this is what we found...

Apparently, the hood of her vest was impeding the view of her beloved movie. And being the problem-solver that she is, Shelby was holding her hood up so she could have a better view. Ha! We felt so bad for her b/c we were sure her arm was so tired from holding the hood up for the whole drive home! But it was just so funny.

On Friday morning, Derek went hunting (his first time hunting since we moved here), and Shelby & I enjoyed a quiet morning at home. That evening, Derek & I got to have a night out to attend the Internal Medicine department's Christmas party. We are so thankful that Shelby is very easy to leave with a babysitter..she's usually having so much fun that she doesn't even notice when we walk out the door! And we are also thankful to call so many of Derek's co-workers our friends--we really enjoyed spending time with them on Friday night!

On Saturday, we had the privilege of attending a first birthday party for one of Miss Shelby's BFFs. The party was just so stinking cute! They did a red wagon theme, which I think is just perfect for a little boy! Everything was so cute, and the food was delish! Here are some {out of order} pics from the party...

Derek works with Ben (the birthday boy's daddy) at the hospital, and Shelby & I became friends with Angela (the birthday boy's mommy) & Adam (the birthday boy) through our playgroup. Angela is actually from the same town in GA as Derek & me and went to a neighboring high school, and Ben & Angela are both UGA grads. And on top of that, they are just ridiculously sweet and funny people..we are so thankful for our friendship with them! So we were thrilled to be able to celebrate their sweet boy's first year of life with them. Happy Birthday, sweet Adam!

We made a quick trip to the commissary and BX on Saturday evening after the party, but it didn't last too long. Shelby is currently in a phase where she does not like to be in the cart for grocery shopping/errands. She doesn't throw a fit or cry...she's just very whiny the entire time. So it's hard to get anything done. But I will say, it's much easier to handle when Daddy accompanies us girls. ;)

Sunday was such a good day. The three of us stayed home all day, and it was just so nice. We only left the house to take a mid-day walk together. Despite our laziness,we did manage to accomplish getting our Christmas cards addressed, stuffed, and ready to be mailed! And Shelby & I got them dropped off at the post office this morning...feels so good to have that done! :) I always love sending & receiving Christmas cards...it's one of my favorite things this time of year! Hope everyone is having a great start to their week! :)


Shelby's First Homemade Ornament & Playgroup Fun

Every Wednesday is playgroup day for Miss Shelby & me. Our little playgroup is made of the wives & babies of the residents & staff doctors of the Internal Medicine department at Keesler. It's such a wonderful mid-week treat for Shelby & me. Shelby gets some great social interaction & a change of venue/toys, and I get some much-needed adult interaction and time with spent with sweet friends. This week, we got together at someone's house to make dough ornaments with the kiddos' handprints. These pictures aren't super-exciting or high quality {I stole them off FB}, but I want to be able to look at these pictures and remember how Shelby and I spent our days together. Such fun memories! We are so thankful for our playgroup and dear friends.

And here is Miss Shelby's first homemade ornament to adorn our Christmas tree! I can't wait to add some ribbon to it and hang it on our tree! I know we will cherish this little ornament for years to come!