Monday, April 28, 2014

1 month left

Really, now we're talking about 2 weeks left before Hannah turns ONE!  It is so hard to believe, but it's true.  This sweet little girl is no longer an infant.

She is yet to be really walking.  She takes a few steps, and then she will plop down.  Her balance is amazing, and she can stand for really long periods.  She loves using her little push walker.  She steers and moves all over the house.  It is by far her most used toy right now.

Hannah is happiest when she is free to explore.  She is an expert at finding the tiniest of specs of dirt or crumbs on the floor.  They are so tiny they are barely visible to the human eye, but she finds them.  They will stick to her little pointer finger, and she hands them to me with such satisfaction.  She still isn't a fan of the car or being strapped in the car seat.  Sippy cups and snacks have allowed short 5-10 minute trips to have little or no crying which is a huge improvement.

As of a few weeks ago, we are completely on all formula.  We had to switch to soy based formula after discovering that Hannah developed secondary lactose deficiency after having diarrhea for two solid weeks.  This should go away with time, and we're hoping when she turns 1 that whole milk agrees with her.

We are trying all kinds of new foods this month.  Hannah loves to feed herself, and she's starting to get the hang of swallowing rather than storing the food in her cheeks like a chipmunk.  Her new favorite food is deli meat, but she has tried pickles too and liked them too.

In the midst of all the chaos between two moves and selling our house (we close the day after Hannah's birthday), I'm going to try and enjoy the last weeks of her first year.

So this is happening...

And actually that sign is a bit deceiving, it should say "Under Contract".  A little over a week ago, we got an offer on the house!  After being on the market for 6 weeks, I was starting to get a little nervous (Would it ever sell?!) and exhausted with cleaning the house then leaving with the baby for every showing.  We would get so many showings with the exact same feedback:  "Shows like a dream/cute house.  Buyers can't get past busy road and traffic noise."  It was completely out of our control.  There was nothing we could do to fix the location other than plant some very mature trees which I considered.  In the end, our realtor told us to be patient, and she was right!  

We have a quick close date three weeks from now!   We went to Franklin to house hunt this past weekend.  Weston and I decided after looking at the rental market that buying may be the best financial decision for us.  Pending inspection and everyone signing on the dotted line, we have a house!  Once I know everything is official, I will share our future home!  The close date on the "new to us" house is June 9.  In the meantime, we are moving all of our belongings into storage right by our house, and we're living in a furnished temporary apartment until the end of June here in Birmingham while Weston finishes residency.

As we spend our last months here in Birmingham, it is bittersweet.  In some ways, we are really ready to leave and start this new chapter, but in other ways, we'll miss the city and our friends.  For a little fun, here's our top five lists for what we'll miss the most and what we'll miss the least.

Top 5 Reasons We'll Miss Birmingham

5) The weather is amazing!  I know some folks would complain about the humidity.  But I love the heat and the sunshine!  My little girl can go out in a sleeveless bubble outfit in April.  You just can't beat that.

4) The food is more amazing than the weather!  Renowned chef, Frank Stitt, and the chefs who have trained under him have started a burgeoning culinary scene in Birmingham is top notch and nationally recognized.

3) Spring!  Clearly I don't suffer from allergies.  I know this could technically go along with the weather, but I tell you spring in Birmingham is beautiful!  Weston and I say there is nothing prettier than East Tennessee in the fall, but Birmingham in the spring gives it a run for its money.  The azaleas flourish pops of bright pink, red, and white all over the city.  Here are our azaleas in the front of our house which is nothing compared to the giant azaleas around town.  It's just beautiful!

2) Our dearest friends that we've made while living here will be one of the hardest to say goodbye.  Some of them will be moving on themselves heading on to new jobs and fellowships, but some will be staying here.  We'll miss them all!

We can clean up nice like we did for Elyse's baby shower last month in the picture above, but we're not afraid to put on our best redneck attire to go float the Cahaba river too for Blake's birthday.  That day is quite possibly my favorite day spent with these friends.  I mean look at the facial hair on some of these doctors.  And to make the day even better, Sarah was in the hospital that day giving birth to our adorable Liam.

1) And of course the number one reason we'll miss Birmingham is our first home and the memories of the birth of Hannah.  It all happened here.  The moment we became a family of three and parents for the first time by bringing Hannah home.  It's also where we experienced the pride and hard work in becoming home owners.  I think I will be sad while still living in Birmingham in temporary housing and drive by our home with someone else living there.  It will always be special to me.

And now we'll juxtapose that sweet and wonderful list with the reasons we are ready to move!

Top 5 Reasons the Hobgoods need to get the heck out of here

5)  We are all ready to be done with residency and the hours Weston works.  It has been a very positive experience at UAB, but we are excited to have Weston take a little less call.

4)  No family!  Enough said.

3) The crime is something we won't be missing in the least.  While many of the very dangerous areas are concentrated farther away from our home, we still don't have the sense of safety that we want for our family.  A couple of our neighbors have had their homes broken into over the years.  One neighbor has had both cars stolen months apart from each other!  And I will never forget driving to our house immediately after closing to find graffiti on our brand new privacy fence.  Talk about worrying about making the right decision on our house within an hour of owning it.  Regardless of these experiences, it has been a good house in a great neighborhood with wonderful neighbors.  And I feel safe with our security system at night while Weston is on call which is most important.

2) This may sound silly to some as a reason, and I am aware that this issue is more of an issue with me than it is with Birmingham.  But we are so tired of being surrounded by Alabama fans.  I just need more orange and less crimson in my life.

1)  What is more abundant in Birmingham than Alabama fans you ask??  Roaches.  Locals call them palmetto bugs, but don't be fooled.  They are giant, fast, disgusting roaches that come out during the warm season.  But in addition to the palmetto bugs, there are ants here like nowhere I have ever lived.  The anthills are massive, and I will drive down the road and see ant hill mounds two feet high.  I kid you not. 

I can't wait to share on the blog our new house!  It is a little bit of a fixer with really good bones which was exactly what I wanted to customize it to how I like over the years.  I hope I can share the changes on the blog too!  That's all for now!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Grayton Beach Trip

I mentioned in my previous post that we spent a wonderful week with my family at the beach on 30A to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday!  I'm back here to post a few (a ton) pictures from our fantastic time spent together.  A special thanks to my parents for hosting the trip and booking a gorgeous beach house that all 13 of us fit in very comfortably.  All the adults were able to sit at the same table for meals which is something we usually don't have the opportunity to do.  Each family had their own room and attached bathroom.  The older grandkids had a bunk room, and they loved the elevator that took you on all four of the levels.  My nephew, Matthew, worked as a bell hop on the elevator and earned himself some tips.  The views from all the balconies were pretty incredible too.

My mom had these adorable gifts set out when the grandchildren arrived at the house.  My oldest niece, Ashley, loves puzzles.  So the flip flop puzzle and flip flops were in her pail.  Matthew had some snacks and water toys.  Katie also had snacks, a water toy, and a sandcastle maker.  The littles, Caroline and Hannah, each had beach balls, water toys, and the book Where is Baby's Beach Ball that unfortunately didn't arrive in time, but it will be enjoyed being read this summer.  My mom is always so thoughtful and does special little things like this for her grandchildren.

Hannah loved exploring the big space and climbing stairs was a new experience.  Luckily my parents brought a baby gate!

This trip was so great for Hannah to be around extended family and get comfortable around a big group.  She is obviously really comfortable around us and my parents, but she was still unsure with going to her aunts and uncles at first.  She loves bigger children and did great with her older cousins immediately0.  The picture below with Matthew was within minutes of seeing him for the first time.  She made the most stride about being around her little cousin Caroline.  Caroline would get so excited to see Hannah and make loud baby noises that would send Hannah into wails.  I was a little worried it would be like that for the week, but in less than a day, she was acclimated and happy on the floor with Caroline.

We had a ham dinner on Sunday night to celebrate my mother's milestone birthday.  Happy Birthday Mom!  You are such an incredible mother and grandma.  You are always available whenever I need you and love us all unconditionally.  You have been there physically and spiritually in good times and bad.  You bind our family together with such a strength through your love and care.  Thank you!

Both babies enjoyed the beach!  Our house was the one to the left of my head.

We had a fantastic dinner in Seaside on Monday night.  We even had our own private room which was really nice.

The kids, young and old, had fun with the mentos and soda experiment.

We had the cutest spectators for the show9------------+ .

Fun was had with Grandma's party decorations.

 Hannah practiced her walking.

And this princess visited the Disney outlet.

Hannah had her first of many future hairstylings by her older cousin.  Imagine the possibilities when her hair comes.

Some of us had good naps and snuggles on the beach.

We had some windy days towards the end of the week that made it great for kite flying.

And everyone seemed to make it to the ice cream shop multiple times during the week, but somehow Weston and I missed these trips.

Don't worry.  Somehow I didn't starve...

My brother, Joe, is a talented photographer.  He was kind enough to take some family pictures for us on the beach that I will share when he is finished editing them.  This is just one I took with my camera while we were down there.

 I love these people.

Thank you Mom and Dad for such a fantastic week!  Happy Birthday, Mom!  I love you so much!