Posts in December 2012

Christmas Break

This past week has been nearly perfect. Wesley is such a great kid when we’re all home, all day, every day, and I’m sure his mood is helped now that he’s (finally) finished teething. I’m spending my afternoon similar to the last several ones – lounging, snacking and a whole lot of cuddling – with some Gilmore Girls and Wii U thrown in there somewhere.

Our Ashbaugh family Christmas was a large one. It was the first time in several years that all the aunts, uncles, cousins and great grandkids were able to make it. Minus one spouse, we were a party of 33. It was truly special to have the nearly entire family together, and I know my grandparents loved it all.

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Steven brought the Wii U to the extravaganza, and I’m pretty sure my favorite part of the day was my 2.5-year-old nephew’s attempts to contribute to the 5-person game, only to get stuck in a corner and announce periodically, “I just scored!” What a fun day.

Christmas Eve is always spent with my parents and my sister’s family. The kids are getting old enough to really get excited about the presents under the tree, and that makes Christmas all the more fun and special. We lost Elli to impatience halfway through our Christmas brunch, so the rest of the day was spent sipping coffee, eating biscotti and enjoying each other’s company. Perfect.

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Christmas Eve service was beautiful. However, I spent more than half of the service in the hallway due to Wes’ discouragement that the ceiling fan was, in fact, not spinning. He was adorable in his red tie.

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We were lucky to have a laid back, quiet Christmas morning. Wes opened a few presents after we got coffee and actually woke up. By 1o am, we were in the car and heading to Ohio for Christmas Day with the Shattucks. I always enjoy the ride over on Christmas day because it was then that we made phone calls to family and friends with news of our engagement in 2006. It’s fun to reminisce.

Shattuck Christmas is always crazy with loooooots of presents and wrapping paper and chaos and then everyone veges out for the remainder of the day. We snack on clam dip, sausage dip and cookies all day long. It’s just wonderful. Wes followed Pa around the house all afternoon, pointing out the various clocks in their house. While Wes was entertained, I got to play with my silly little niece, who was fascinated with taking goofy photos of ourselves.

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We headed home that night because BLIZZARD 2012 was headed to Indy. The next morning we woke up to only about an inch of snow, but it accumulated as we began hibernating for the next two days. We left the house only to shovel/play in the snow (of which Wes is not a big fan)…

…and to check out Christmas at the Zoo, which was amazing. The newly fallen snow made a beautiful backdrop to all the lights and animals at night. It is definitely worth doing again next year.

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Since we’ve been spending so much time with Wes, we’ve noticed a few things. 1) He’s walking EVERYWHERE. He is getting fearless, and it’s totally unlike him. Now he’s even trying to climb stairs! 2) He eats far better if he’s sans tray in his high chair – sitting at the table. He’s pretty big stuff. 3) Transitioning from a 2-hour nap to a one-hour nap is happening whether we like it or not. 4) Grapes are like candy.

Steven and I do not go back to work until after New Year’s Day, so the rest of the week’s plans remain unplanned. Just soaking up family time and spending an afternoon here and there with friends is pretty much the best vacation ever.

Posted: December 30th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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Wes Walks the Line

Big news in the Shattuck house! Our cautious little guy has been taking a few steps here and there for several weeks, but just in the last few days has he been walking/toddling as much as crawling. So proud. And many, many thanks to Nicole, Wes’ First Steps PT! This is gonna be fun.

I caught him in action tonight. Complete with a face plant.

Posted: December 10th, 2012
Categories: Leah
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November 30 | 30 Things

It’s nearly midnight. Usually I’m asleep by now (as are all others in the house), but it’s still November 30. I’m a little late on the “30 Days of Thanks” bandwagon, but I’ve got time now.

  1. I am thankful for my Lord. He provides every single thing in my life. The air I breathe, the ground beneath my feet – it’s His. Solid ground.
  2. Eight years ago I met my best friend and forever partner. Life sure is more fun and a heck of a lot easier with Steven. We’re a good team.
  3. Oh, Wesley! (Cue Princess Bride) Dare I say more? I fall more in love with our son every day. It’s amazing how much they learn so early in life. I am proud to be given this mom thing opportunity.
  4. My sister is quite possibly the reason I am so focused and dedicated to all the above things. She has been a stellar example and a loving and understanding friend – who happens to “get” how I think. Or not think. We’re known to just wander about and still understand the other.
  5. I have grown to know and love my parents in a totally new way as an adult and new mother. I’ve always known how rare and lucky I was to have parents married for now 40 years. Their relationship is strong and steadfast – and my words fail to unwrap my appreciation.
  6. My extended family is pretty great. My parents in law are generous and gracious. My in law siblings are quirky, yet caring. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are all close and family-oriented, so I get to see them often and share our lives together.
  7. One each for my nieces and nephews. Alli, my oldest niece is the smartest kid in her class. She is going to be valedictorian for sure. I swell with pride when I hear her accomplishments in school and soccer, and I’m bursting to seams that she shares my love of books.
  8. Elli is my spitfire gal. I love her spirited energy, her long eyelashes and her curiosity. She is surrounded by boys in her life, but she shines through the dirt and grime she loves so well. I see glimpses of my sister in her and I pretty much tear up whenever she hollers my name (aka Lisa).
  9. Jeremiah. He’s my constant reminder that God works everything for his good. No person on this earth cannot be changed by knowing him. Ask me about his story sometime.
  10. Anna, my preemie 2 lb miracle baby niece who saved her mama’s life. Just like Jeremiah, we greatly anticipated her high-risk birth, and she thrives today.
  11. Josiah is the newest kid in town. He is sweet, innocent and has surprised us all with his life.
  12. I am thankful for my faux aunts and uncles that have been a continual source of support and encouragement throughout my life. I am thankful for the friendship they have provided to my parents – which has been most evident all these years.
  13. I am thankful for my second set of parents – David & Sheela Lall. Their kids are my brothers and sister, and I am blessed beyond believe for being a small part of their ministry in India.
  14. I am thankful for my childhood best friend, roommate and sister, Rachel. So many wonderful memories are spent with her. There is truly nothing like a best friend.
  15. I love my community. East side Indianapolis is my home. The energy is thriving here, and it’s so exciting to be part of it all.
  16. I love the PEOPLE in my community. We rock, man.
  17. Chocolate. All forms.
  18. It’s somewhat down lower on the list, but it doesn’t mean they’re not important. My pups, Jake and Lucy, provide endearing laughs and comfort every. single. day.
  19. Our home. It’s the first place we settled, and I don’t think we’re going anywhere for a while. Many memories have been made and will continue.
  20. Reliable transportation is wonderful.
  21. Again, it’s not as high up on the list, but not on purpose. I freaking love my job. Seriously. Hands down best position ever created for me. Some days I forget how great it is, and then I witness yet another amazing Joy’s House family and their strength gets me all excited about my job again.
  22. My coworkers. Past and present. I’ve been blessed to work with some amazing people, and I know that I have them to thank for where I am right now. Every place is a stepping stone.
  23. I received a fantastic education. Ball State was perfect for me, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
  24. Health. We are fortunate.
  25. The ability to be thankful. Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful and not assume I’m “deserving” of such-in-such. But I know that everything in this life is GIVEN to me.
  26. Technology. I love it all. Maybe too much.
  27. The season of giving to others. Everyone is just a little kinder and gentler.
  28. Matthew, Wesley’s namesake. He introduced Steven to me. Eternally grateful, man.
  29. Charles & Nikki. Wesley’s Godparents and dear friends. Much love.
  30. You, whoever you are. You read this and apparently care (or are curious) about our lives. Thank you.

I didn’t quite make it, but it was close. 12:08. Goodnight, all!

Posted: December 1st, 2012
Categories: Leah
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