Friday, December 23, 2011

Reese turns 4 months old

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wrapping up our best year yet

This year's Christmas letter...

2011 has been our best year yet – due largely to the arrival in August of our daughter, Reese Elizabeth.

Reese has been a miracle in our lives even before her birth. Early on our doctor stopped hearing the baby’s heartbeat and confirmed that we had lost the baby. Amazingly, the heartbeat reappeared 2 weeks later and she’s been healthy ever since! We are still shocked and incredibly grateful for this gift from God. Thankfully Reese has been healthy, happy, and overall a super-easy baby, so it hasn’t been too much of a shock to ease into parenthood.

The rest of the year mostly revolved around Reese... We quickly found that quite a lot of time can go into baby research, baby classes, baby nursery decorating, baby showers… you catch our drift.

We took an incredible trip to Turks and Caicos to celebrate the wedding of Kristie DeKoker and Corey Gibbs (whom we also were able to visit with when we met up at the Super Bowl this year!). Grace Bay was the nicest beach we’ve ever seen!

When we returned, Christine had a girls weekend with her Kappa friends in Scottsdale where they spent the entire weekend floating in a lazy river at the Westin Kierland.

Later this summer we took a “baby moon” down to Texas Hill Country to lounge by the pool, visit Sea World in San Antonio (Christine had to get her dolphin fix), and then explore the quaint town of Fredricksburg.

For work (to support all of the travel and baby purchases) Dana rotated off the Doritos team (not before the Doritos ad scored #1 out of all Super Bowl ads) but he was happy to be promoted to run brand marketing for PepsiCo’ in non-retail channels (foodservice, etc). Christine took on a new role leading Mass Media for the Marketing department, which surprisingly included filming a number of fun cooking shows (some even in Times Square).

Dana joined Christine on the Board of Partners International, an international missions ministry that we feel very strongly about (check out:

We spent Thanksgiving in St. Louis with 19 extended family members and we are excited to host both sides of the family in our home to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year.

Wishing you and yours peace and joy this Christmas season! Christine, Dana & Reese

Friday, December 16, 2011

In this home...

I'm not sure where this came from, but I want it! How wonderful is this...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Life... a lot less organized but still filled with joy

Life has been a whirlwind lately of busyness at work, attending holiday parties and realizing I'm REALLY behind on Christmas this year.

We're hosting both of our families for Christmas, and I think that my infamous, detailed "project plan" that helps us all function well together in one house during this time is just not going to happen this year. Where does the time go? I guess I'm just focusing my brain on other things this year.

Two thoughts that capture how I'm feeling:
1. My in-laws are a HUGE blessing. They are staying with us for awhile and watching Reese and it's given me incredible peace of mind as I've returned to work. They also feed us well : ) I will miss them greatly when they return to California in January.

2. Work is... not so bad. I was sort of dreading the end of maternity leave and while I wish I saw more of my sweet daughter, I really do think I have a pretty cool job. Even on it's crazy days, it can be a lot of fun. And the people I work with are pretty awesome.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I love being a mom

Source: via Heather on Pinterest

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How Christmas is meant to be

I encourage everyone to read this beautiful blog post about (in my opinion) the way to do Christmas right.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Such a magical time of year

We're so enjoying Reese's first Christmas season. It's full of so many special moments... I just want to soak them all in and savor them all!

Our attempt at getting a good Christmas card photo : )

Well, sometimes life isn't picture perfect... but it sure is fun!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving in St. Louis this year with Christine's extended family. Dana's parents and Ana's in-laws also joined us (not pictured) ... so it was extra special!

There were 19 of us in all - Everts, Galofres, Smiths, and Allens. Mia, Skylar, Larkin, and Reese were the young ones. Mary, Christine, Dana, Ana, and Justin were next. And then Alberto, Nancy, Gary, Maggie, Ken, Marilynn, Ron, Judy, Don and Frieda. We ate yummy pizza at Pi, brunch at Half and Half and crepes at the City Coffeehouse and Crepierie in Clayton. We took a beautiful walk around Washington University, enjoyed meaningful visits and a sweet memorial service for my grandfather, ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Whitmore House thanks to Robert "Tata" Evert, visited the zoo, and had great times just being together and watching Skye and Larkin play "mommy" to little Reese (who they basically thought was their new doll)! Thanks to mom for making it all happen, to Mary for delicious food, and Alberto for the wonderful family photos!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Many praises

Here's an update on the things below that I was struggling with a couple of weeks ago...

1. Dana hasn't been traveling so that's been wonderful. Our first family plane trip is next week to St. Louis so wish us luck in transit!

2. My nightmares have ended and there's a part of me that's actually excited to diving back into my work. I'm so thankful!

3. Our church Community Group is getting together for a holiday lunch this weekend so we'll get to see this group of special people that we love : )

4. My skin cancer is not the fatal kind so there are no big worries about this at this time.

5. Reese is NOT going to need a physical therapy! She had an extensive evaluation this week and the therapist just gave us some tips of small things to change around the house. Overall she thinks we can get rid of her flat spot on her head fairly easily and that she is not headed towards getting a helmet.

Lots to be thankful for as you can see. Perfect heading into Thanksgiving week! : )

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweet Celebrations

Last week was my last official week of maternity leave. It was bittersweet knowing that my days with Reese are limited, but it was made infinitely better by the visit of my BF Kristie. Kristie flew in to meet Reese and we had a blast while she was here. We ate at our favorite restaurants (TruFire, Whiskey Cake with Nicole and Charlotte, Seasons 52 with Angie), went shopping and enjoyed a fabulous spa day at the Stonebriar Spa (where we had such a good time that we almost went back the next day!). It was a terrific week and I am so blessed to have her in my life!

Saturday night Dana and I had our first night out without the baby. We went to go see the Zac Brown band and celebrate our dear friend Kelley Loredo's birthday with about 15 other people. It was a beautiful night to be outdoors as Texas is still in the 70s/80s. We had a great time and I was so grateful not to spend one moment worrying about Reese since we were able to get her school teacher from daycare to come watch her for the evening.

This weekend I also attended a baby shower for Nichole Wilson and a birthday party for Janelle's sweet little girl Maya who turned three. The conversation at Nichole's shower was hilarious (as some of the attendees had teenage girls/dating they were dealing with), and it warmed my heart seeing both Janelle and Maya so happy at this stage in their lives. So glad there is much to celebrate in life!

Reese also had a chance to debut her fancy bloomers at the party, courtesy of Auntie Kelley.

Today we applied for a passport for Reese. The process was NOT fun. In fact, the post office is so inefficient that it was the exact opposite of fun. However, Dana reminds me that this is a high-class problem as we now can travel the world and experience memorable adventures with our little one.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Well, I have to say I have mixed feelings after posting the message below. One the one hand, it reminded me that I have wonderfully supportive friends and family, as many people reached to me with their concerns and prayers.

On the other hand, it made me a little uncomfortable because I really try not to focus on the not-so-perfect things in life and I'm seriously not that bothered by all of it. Remember that book "Don't sweat the small stuff"? Well, I think it's all small stuff if you treat it that way. It's all how you look at it. So thank you everyone for your love. But believe me when I say that I'm okay and loving life and still feeling very blessed : )

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting real...

I recently joined a new bible study that I LOVE at Providence Church. This week, one of the things we discussed was how we often compare ourselves to others (our marriage, our finances, our children, our spiritual walk), when really we need to compare ourselves to Jesus. For instance, one might say: why don't I have as much as my friends? Then you might say, well I donate more to the needy/the church than they do... and you might feel better and go on your way. But really Jesus called us to sell everything we have and give it all to the poor.. that is the true bar.

The other thing that happens when we compare ourselves to others, is that we often look only at the good at their lives... we rarely see the whole picture. And what we forget, is that no one's life is perfect. Blogs and Facebook often compound this problem, as people typically only share the best parts of their lives.

This discussion compelled me to write a "not-so-perfect" blog post about what I am currently struggling with in my life.

1. Dana is traveling for most of the next 5 days. While I'm thrilled that he's off joining the Board of Partners International, it is hard to be a single mom while he's away. And Reese and I miss him : )

2. I've been having nightmares lately that I'm pretty sure are due to some subconscious anxiety around maternity leave coming to an end in 2 weeks. It will be quite hard to go back to work and leave my little one.

3. Our church Community Group just "broke up" due to geographic differences compounded by small children and their schedules. While I think it's the right thing to do at this time, it breaks my heart. These people have been my family for 6 years.

4. I was diagnosed with skin cancer last week. What can I say? I love the sun. Oh how I wish spray tanning had existed when I was a teen. I hear my mother in my head saying "I told you so" on this one... and she's right. Luckily, this cancer is easily treated and doesn't spread.

5. Reese is going to need a physical therapist (and we have to pay out of pocket for this therapy). Her neck is tight on one side so she only sleeps on one side and thus is developing a head that is 1/2 flat. While I'm thrilled she doesn't have a life-threatening illness, this is not fun for a newborn.

So that's it. I normally choose to focus on my blessings and all that is positive because I like that outlook in life, but sometimes it IS good to share the dirty laundry if it helps others who might be comparing their life to ours.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Too young for trick-or-treating

..but still having fun with her Community Group buds!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween from our little pumpkin

Thanks Nana for sending me my 1st Halloween costume! Love. Reese

Friday, October 28, 2011

Eco-friendly mama

I received this awesome baby gift set from my friends at Terracycle this week! Terracycle upcycles our chip bags and turns them into new items to keep them out of landfills. I think this diaper bag, bib and changing mat turned out so cool!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Moorea moves in on Reese's turf

I caught Moorea the other day in Reese's crib.. and Reese hasn't even slept there yet!

It's official...

Reese is adorable and we're not the only ones who think so!

Reese won FIRST PLACE in the costume contest during the Halloween celebration at Frito today. While I wish we'd gotten better pictures, we had a blast introducing her to our co-workers and seeing all of their adorable kids dressed up and trick-or-treating around the offices. I just love Halloween and this was such a fun event!

LOVING Maternity leave

Maternity leave has gotten even better now that Reese has her 8-week vaccinations and can now be around other children/larger groups. I've been exploring Frisco to find fun classes for her and feel so blessed that this area has a lot of fantastic (and free!) programs for infants.

So far we've attended story time at the Frisco library and musical story time at the Music Institute of N. Texas. Both were awesome so we'll definitely be regulars! Reese just loves watching the other children (and I love watching her smile).

I've also loved my Square One group. Square One is a ministry at our church for new moms. We meet a few hours a week with our babies and just talk about relevant topics. This past week was about finding time for eating healthy, working out and doing quiet times. It was really motivating to me and also a fun way to meet other new moms!

Reese and I have also gotten out for lunches with my friends Sondra and Angie, walks at the Arbor Hills Nature Reserve with Cayce and Elliot, Baby Boot Camp class with Katherine and Dahlia, book club and bible study at Providence Church (a new church I discovered by our house that I like a lot). It's all been so much fun (plus the weather is gorgeous right now). My only compliant is that maternity leave is going by too quickly! I'm loving this sweet time right now...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reese turns 2 months old

My how time flies! Reese turned 2 months old. She weighs 11 lbs and is 10 lbs 14 oz (57% percentile) and she is 23 inches tall (75% percentile). Although when people see her they comment on how little she is, I feel like she was really only a "baby" for about 6 weeks. They grow up so fast!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Enjoying a leisurely weekend...

Friday our neighborhood hosted an outdoor jazz concert for residents. We have a really nice amphitheater on a grassy hill where the musician performed. Everyone packed a blanket and a picnic dinner (we had gruyere cheese with pretzel crisps, bruschetta, veggies and dip, a garden salad with lime dressing, spinach and mozzarella ravioli, carrot cake, wine and champagne... so much goodness) We met the Fox family there to enjoy the nice weather and pretty music. Other than the bugs, it was truly a perfect evening! My mom and I have always loved outdoor concerts, and this was one of the best ones ever (since it was free and right here in our neighborhood). Such an easy night out with a baby!

Saturday morning Dana made some delicious aebelskivers (little pancake balls) for our breakfast. That night we had scheduled a double date with the Wannemachers to see the movie "Courageous". Ryan got sick so instead we stayed home and Dana planned an Italian-themed date night. He made an AMAZING eggplant parmesan (seriously one of the best meals I've ever had) and we watched the movie the Godfather. Although I resisted seeing this movie for the 9 years we've been together, I really liked it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall has arrived!

Celebrating the birthday boy

Dana turned 35 this weekend so we went to Coal Vines with a small group of friends to celebrate. He says all of his wishes have already come true. Awww... makes my heart melt : )

Sunday we grilled out with our community group. Dana used his favorite toys (the Vitamix and his new food scale) to grind burgers from scratch! He stuffed them with gruyere cheese and they were amazing. He's quite the chef!

Seeing the pumpkins with our little pumpkin

Sunday morning we visited the Dallas Arboretum, with our friends the Wannemachers, to see the amazing pumpkin displays. The weather was gorgeous and we had a wonderful time.

As could be expected, our little sleeper couldn't stay awake for photos.

More pics coming soon!

Reese's Birth Announcement

Reese's birth announcements are complete! I love them so much. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at us getting the shot.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Growing up too fast...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Passing along family traits

Everyone knows that Dana and I LOVE our sleep. Well I'm happy to say that Reese has picked up this trait from us. At 3 1/2 weeks old, she slept last night from 10:30 PM to 6 AM and then from 6:45 AM to 9 AM. I'm getting more sleep with her than I did while I was working! It's pretty awesome.

Now we've been warned that babies who are great sleepers don't always stay that way, but I'm going to appreciate every second of it while we have it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NASCAR driving experience

Dana started celebrating his 35th birthday a bit early this past weekend when he and his dad went to the Texas Motor Speedway to do the Nascar driving experience. After taking a class, they sped Nascar vehicles around the track. Thankfully they both came back without injuries (which we really appreciated since Ron had already been bitten by a snake in our garage earlier in the week!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sweet Dreams little Reese

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And Daddy loves Reese

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reese loves her Daddy

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Grandma Judy and Grandpa Ron meet Reese

Reese is LOVING meeting her grandparents! After Christine's mom, Nancy ("Nana") visited over Labor Day weekend, Dana's parents arrived for a 2-week visit. Reese is enjoying all of the attention, and Ron and Judy are brushing up on their childcare skills since they will be taking care of Reese for awhile when Christine goes back to work.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Embracing our new life

"I've always known that life is better when you share it. I now realize it gets even sweeter when you expand the circle." ~Oprah

Yep... that pretty much sums it up perfectly.