Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chicago Christmas

We arrived safely back from the Bluegrass to Chicago and were able to spend the next week with the Soldato family. We celebrated all the Soldato Christmas traditions - from Christmas Eve (this year on the 27th!) with Aunty Mar and her family, to Christmas Day with the all the boys. Christmas day included all the delicious breakfast treats made by Grammy. Addie loved eating the Christmas tree made of sweet rolls and monkey bread. And her parents did too!

Unfortunately part of the day was spent watching the Bears lose. I guess Addie must get used to sports-cheering disappointments. Her parents teams haven't been the best over the past couple years!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Addie's First Birthday and KY Christmas

This is my first official post from our new computer! So now there are no excuses on why I cannot update the blog at least on a weekly basis.

We are currently in Kentucky celebrating Christmas with the Rompf the family. We have had a lovely week here in the Bluegrass. We were able to cut down a Christmas tree with my family, play "25 Words or Less" several times, and even see the Kentucky Wildcats beat Tennessee State at Rupp Arena. All in all, an eventful, but fun week. It has flown by!

Thus, an explanation as to why it has taken me a full week to post pictures of Addie's first birthday party. We decided to keep the celebration small because most of our families were out of town. But it was a special night for Miss Addison. We ordered her favorite - pizza - and I made a yellow cake with Hershey's chocolate icing. She loved the pizza - and made a mess with the cake. She was spoiled with gifts from her Grammy and Grampa, Aunt Elizabeth, and Uncle Matt. All in all, I think the party wore her out as she slept until 8:30 pm the next morning!

We head back to Chicago tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with the Soldatos. Miss Addison is going to be confused when January hits and she is no longer receiving new toys everyday! She'll be sad to see December go!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Again, let me apologize for how late this post is. I cannot believe two weeks have flown by since Thanksgiving. Life has been crazy, and because we still don't have a computer, I cannot update the blog during the day. Cheerleading is in full swing - and due to competitions last weekend and tomorrow, I have had night and weekend practices with the girls. This has given Addie and Dan many "Dad nights," which I love. I remember vividly growing up when my Mom was working on her PhD or teaching that we too had "Dad nights." I'm not sure I would be thrilled for a hot-dog-cheese omelet these days, but I am so grateful for the time spent with Dad on those Tuesday nights. I know the same is true for Addie and Dan.

We were able to travel down to Kentucky for the annual Rompf Family Thanksgiving. This is the 31st year my Dad's side of the family has gathered in Kentucky for a four-day-long party. There are so many traditions associated with the weekend, and thankfully this year, my parents put a detailed scheduled on the refrigerator so everyone would know exactly when and where all the events started. We of course have a big, traditional dinner on Thursday. Friday there is an intense touch-football game, we hike Natural Bridge, and then go out to dinner. Saturday my Aunt Betty cooks an amazing meal, and we are all able to just hang out at my parents house. I LOVE Thanksgiving. I have countless memories with my cousins growing up, and there is something so comforting about the long-standing tradition. While we had to miss last year because I was so pregnant with Addie, it was nice to know even though I was away, I still knew exactly what everyone was up to.

Dan and I did start a new tradition two years ago when we ran a Turkey Trot 5K at Keeneland Racetrack on Thanksgiving morning. Several Rompfs joined in the fun this year. It is a beautiful run around the horse farms at the famous racetrack. We had a great run - and at least we got our workout in early before all that eating!
I'm posting a few pictures of the lovely weekend in the Bluegrass. And I promise to post some of the big one-year party this Wednesday. I cannot believe a year has flown by!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Uncle Pete's 21st!

First of all, let me apologize that this update is LONG overdue. Our computer crashed two weeks ago, and with Thanksgiving, we have still not had time to sit down and make a decision on a new one. Thus, I'm going to try and update you all this weekend while Dan has his work laptop at home.

Over the past two weeks we have been quite busy. On Sunday, November 23rd, we were able to go out to Darien to celebrate Uncle Pete's 21st birthday with the Soldato clan (a day before the real day!). It was so nice to be with everyone. Pete was home for a week-long Thanksgiving break from Butler University. As you can see from the pictures, he allowed Addie to sit with him as the birthday candles were lit. She seemed mesmerized by the whole experience, and yet very at home with the little blue flames and colorful icing.

Addie was also able to play with her second cousin Taylor who graciously entertained her during dinner. It won't be long until the two are causing all kinds of trouble together -- I can see it already!

All in all, a very fun evening, and a great start to an eventful Thanksgiving week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Addie visits her 9th state!

Despite being less than 11 months old, Miss Addison has already been to 9 different states. She has seen Illinois, Kentucky, Texas, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Michigan, Indiana, and Washington.

This weekend we were Spokane for my ACE roommate Jared's wedding. We had a wonderful time. Not only was it a relaxing, mini-family vacation, it gave Dan and I a chance to see a beautiful part of the country we had not been to before. We were able to take a run around Gonzoga University's campus, ride gondolas high above a water fall, and spend time with three roommates from my years in Oklahoma City.
Addie, of course, was the center of attention at many of the gatherings. From waving to everyone on the airplane, to playing with Jared's young cousins, she was quite a trooper despite the time change and displacement from her quiet, calm house. It is amazing how well she travels.

One other update -- last week at gymnastics Addie took her first steps! I could hardly believe it! I was thankful there were other witnesses (including Mimi!) to see. She has taken three or four here and there, but still prefers crawling. We try to entice her to walk, and I promise to take a video soon if we can.

I'm posting a few pictures from our trip. Hope all is well!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Part II

Last night Addie was able to celebrate her first Halloween. I must admit, at first I wasn't too excited about dressing her up as Princess Leia, but at Dan's request, we went ahead and ordered the costume. But as the pictures show, she looked beyond adorable!

Addie's second cousin Nate also joined us to celebrate the holiday. Nate was a very cute penguin, and the two together created quite a photo op. I never thought Princess Leia and a baby penguin would be chatting together on our living room chairs! We went to a parade just down the street and witnessed some very funny costumes, from Sarah Palin to Michael Phelps. While some people at the parade initially thought Addie was an angel, a ram and/or a cinnamon bun, once they saw her dress and "utility belt" most people caught on.

But the best story of the day... Yesterday morning Addie and I went to gymnastics to try out the older children's class. Her teacher thought she would benefit from moving up so she could see kids walking and playing around. On Monday her teacher said, "And if you do come Friday, Addie should wear her costume, since it is Halloween." So of course yesterday, I dressed her up, wig and all. We show up to the class and low and behold, none of the other ten children had costumes on! All I could think is, "She's going to be traumatized! Not only are no other kids dressed up, she's in a nerdy Star Wars outfit!" Thankfully, with all the flipping and bubbles, she didn't notice a bit!

Hope all is well!

Halloween Part I

One of my favorite Halloween traditions growing up was carving our pumpkin as a family. I remember my parents -- to keep everything fair -- would allow each of us to choose one part of the pumpkin to design. I could choose the eye shape, David the nose, Elizabeth the mouth, John the eyebrows. It made for interesting jack-o-lanterns some years, but I always loved the night we celebrated this tradition.

Wednesday night we carved our first pumpkin with Addie. Who knows if she even realized what was going on. She did try to eat the lid once it was removed. She was very curious about the slimy seeds. And she did have a great time "cruising" around the jack-o-lantern once it was carved. But all in all, we had so much fun. It makes me so excited to share more traditions with her as she grows. She especially loved when we put the candle inside and turned off the lights. That was always my favorite part too!