Sunday, September 16, 2012

Vacation Dreaming: Galway, Ireland

Summer is most definitely drawing to a close, and while I'm excited for football, apples, and pumpkin spice, I'm already thinking about next summer when we hopefully get to go on vacation again. While we did a few day trips here and there this year, I'm dreaming of getting away from it all and exploring the world while holding Ryan and Fiona's hands. Since that time is a bit of a ways off, I figured I can live vicariously through some of my pictures from last year when we traveled to Ireland for my Dad's 60th birthday. In what was probably the last family vacation we'll all take together, since there are sure to be many more spouses and babies in the near future, my parents went all out and rented a wonderful house in Galway, Ireland. It was absolutely perfect, because everyone could come and go as they please, or hang out together if they wanted. We spent many days walking around town, driving to other cities in southern Ireland, and spending quality time together. Cheers to an amazing trip, Dad!

Here are some pics from our time in Galway: 

This was a welcome sight to see considering we were flying the same airline, and leaving from the exact same gate, as the flight that almost caused me to miss my best friend's wedding a few weeks earlier...

Saint Anne's Place: 

I still miss my maiden name. 

Welcome pastries! 

Ryan in the library. Don't be fooled by the big book he's's Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. 

The family! Laura, Mom, Dad, Kristen, Joey & Me 
(yes, my sisters and I look exactly alike even though I am 4 & 6 years older than them, respectfully).

Ryan cooking a birthday dinner for my Dad. Major son-in-law points for that one. 

Birthday Chicken & Potatoes

No meal would be complete without birthday cupcakes!

Beautiful Galway: 

Leprechaun Door. 

Walking to Salthill 

My amazing siblings. Me, Laura, Kristen & Joey.

Irish Beer Tasting (lets be honest, that is the number one thing to do in Ireland). 

Tea time!

Ryan calls this his, "That's not a Guinness" photo.

Pub love.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Letter to Fiona: 3 Months

My Beautiful Fiona,

You are three months old today! You are starting to look more and more like a little person and less like the newborn you were just a few short weeks ago. A part of my heart is sad to see you get bigger everyday, but it is quickly filled with the love and excitement that comes with seeing the bits and pieces of who you are shine through.

One of the most memorable moments of this month was when you got to meet my grandfather, your great-grandfather. He is your only living great-grandparent, and probably will not be with us that much longer. He absolutely loved meeting you, and you could not stop smiling at him. I think there is a special connection between those who are at the beginning of life and those who are closer to the end. It’s like you share some knowledge that those of us in the middle aren’t privy to.  It melted my heart to share you with him.

You also made two big trips this month. The first was to your Nana and Granddad’s house in Virginia Beach. They were so thrilled to see you again, and celebrated by throwing a Sip & See celebration to introduce you to their close friends and some of your extended family. You were a huge hit, and you handled all of the excitement in stride. It was so wonderful to see how much love there is surrounding you.  You were a fantastic traveller, and were so good even when the five-hour ride home turned into an eleven-hour ordeal (in fact, you may have dealt with it even better than your Papa and I did!).

Over Labor Day weekend, you took your second trip, which also consisted of your first time leaving the country. We headed north to Toronto, Canada to visit our friends Meredith and Andrew. The trip took about 12 hours each way with stops for feeding and stretching. Your Papa and I were both nervous about traveling so far with you being so young, especially since you hit a bit of a growth spurt at the same time. You surprised us again though, and even though there were a couple bumpy times, you handled everything as well as could possibly be expected from a tiny baby. On our way home, we even took some time to stop at Niagara Falls. You won’t remember seeing the falls this young, but I’m so excited to share the pictures with you one day.

You did happen to find your voice on the way up north, and were incredibly excited to hear yourself yell as much as possible.  Of course, the pinnacle of your yelling spectacle took place while we were waiting in line at the border crossing. The most amusing part about you finding your voice is that you’ve pretty much abandoned crying in place of straight up yelling. While louder, there are much less tears, so I guess that is a plus.

Thankfully a few days after you discovered yelling, you figured out how to laugh. You surprised your Papa by giving him a big belly laugh when he was telling you how lovely you are in Spanish. The following day, you decided to share your newly found skill with me. And, oh my goodness, I love it so much that I now spend most of our time together trying to get you to giggle.

You also met a lot of our close friends this month, and it was such a joy to introduce you to them. You met your Papa’s best friend Dan, his wife Christy, and their two beautiful girls Claire and Elena on our way back home from Virginia Beach. You also met your Momma’s wonderful friends, aka your honorary aunts… Ashley (along with her husband Charlie and adorable son Braden), Laura, and Stephanie. You met honorary Aunt Meredith when you were two weeks old, and you’ll meet honorary Aunt Colette in December. Sometimes it still takes me back that we have all moved onto the next stage of life. It seems like just yesterday we were all running around and enjoying all that comes with being carefree and in your early twenties. There is so much more responsibility now, but there is also so much more love, and for that I am thankful.

As for interesting facts:

-       You took your first trip to Nana & Granddad’s House on August 17th

-       You met your great-grandfather on August 29th

-       You took your first trip to another country (Canada) on August 31st

-       You can now roll over from your stomach to back on both your right and your left sides

-       You can now grab and pick up items (although, not usually intentionally)

-       You laughed for the first time on September 9th

-       It’s your first football season! Both Mama and Papa’s college teams have won their first two games. Don't tell Papa, but I like to do the Hokie Pokie with you when he's not around...I'm fairly certain this will make you a VT fan. 

We love you so much little munchkin. You make everyday a better one.

Love you more than all the stars in the sky,

Your Mama & Papa