The last time I posted was right before we left for the States. My parents have really slow internet, as did the other locations we visited, so my internet time was limited to the important things like checking e-mail and catching up on facebook. I didn't even farm very much because it just took forever.
Our trip was wonderful, we spent lots of time with my family in Texas and even weathered a snowstorm that brought nine inches of snow to Ennis. The highlights of our time in Ennis include: a wonderful butterfly birthday party for Annelise that we held at Sherry's because of the icky weather, me learning to sew pillowcase dresses for Annelise (my friend Susannah made some for her daughter a few months back, check her blog on the side of this site), Melisa's bridal portraits and wedding shower, lots of yummy food, and plenty of time with friends and family.
Annelise's birthday party was so much fun, I made a cake and decorated it with butterflies, we decorated foam butterflies, ate lots of yummy food, and opened a ton of gifts. We left most of the toys at Babi and Grandaddy's house so she'll have something to play with when we go back in June, plus I didn't want to pay to mail it all home. The pillowcase dresses are awesome and adorable and I have lots of fabric to make more. I'm going to make some for Annelise, Carleigh, and Carsyn that all go together, different color solids with bands of the same polka dot fabric. I also have fabric to make some pillowcase tops for myself and one of those will coordinate with a dress I want to make for Annelise.
Melisa's bridal portraits were taken at the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens and were preceded by Trent's groomal portraits. Our cousin Penney is the photographer and does amazing work, plus Melisa and Trent are very photogenic. We brought Annelise's flower girl dress and she took some pictures with Melisa plus I took a couple of shots for her Easter pic. I'll be mailing those out soon, I just have to figure out where I put the cards that I bought... Dianna, Mom and I hosted Melisa's wedding shower in Ennis and everything went really well. I made a purple cake with daisies on it, there were supposed to be tulips instead but they are very difficult to make. She got a lot of really nice gifts and I know her favorites were from us. Dianna and I gave her a crystal pitcher, which is my usual wedding gift because I think it's something that everyone should have, and Annelise gave her some kitchen stuff in a hand-decorated gift bag. I couldn't find a gift bag at Target that worked so I bought a plain one and let Annelise color all over it while I baked the cake. Mom wrote a big T on it, for Tobola, and it looked adorable! At the shower, I finally got to meet Trent's family. Melisa and Trent have known each other since high school, but that was when I was in college and then living in New Mexico, so I was really excited to meet his mom, his sister, and his adorable nephew. Brekon will be the ring bearer and Annelise had fun playing with him.
We got to spend plenty of time with our family and friends, between Annelise's birthday party, spending time at Grandad's and Granny & Papa's, and seeing people in the church nursery. We also spent one day with KristenSue (see The Asker's QotD? on the side) and Annan drove to Ennis one evening for dinner. I didn't get to track down any of my air force friends, but we'll try to make up for that in June. Most importantly, we met my cousin Quinn who was born in December and Savannah's fiance Chris. Quinn is this adorable little man and we all love holding him and loving on him. Annelise loved playing with all of her cousins and accidentally sat on Quinn's arm and then kicked him in the head. She also got kicked by one of my cousins, but no worries she kicked him right back! I'm pretty sure she thought it was a game and didn't realize he was being mean... Savannah's fiance, Chris, is from England so everyone in the family had met him but me and the logistics of us both being in Ennis at the same time were a little crazy. Chris is this adorable little man (hehe!) with a hilarious accent who says things like 'whilst' and obviously loves Savannah very much. I can't wait to go to their wedding on New Year's Eve of 2011.
We also went to Indiana to see John's side of the family, man was that fun! Annelise had a blast with her Minear cousins and made cookies with her Grandma. We got to see Becky with her adorable baby belly just days before our sweet new cousin Liv arrived and can't wait to meet Liv in June! It still amazes me how much Annelise loves everyone, she ate lunch with Uncle Paul and would have spent all day playing with Grandma Walsko if everyone else hadn't wanted her attention. When we were in Indy, Annelise took turns sharing her affections with Blake, Austin, and Claire, but her favorite is still her Uncle Danny. I cried a little when she said 'Bye Danny' the night before we went back to Texas, she just adores him.
We ended up extending our stay in Texas by a couple of weeks because John came to San Angelo for work. We rented a car and drove to San Angelo to spend about 10 days hanging out together. Annelise had so much fun playing with him and John was amazed by how much she had changed in just the six weeks that we had been away from Japan. We went on a picnic one day and to the park on another, Annelise LOVES being outside. She loves to run around in the sunshine and pick up stuff off of the ground and get chased by anyone. We had to be careful at my parents' house, if she saw that the back door was open she'd be outside before we knew it.
Because Easter Sunday disappeared in the crazy time change of flying back to Japan, we went to Dianna and Kyle's house on Friday night for an Easter egg hunt. It was pretty funny to watch, Dianna doesn't have a lot of patience and was putting candy into Annelise's basket until she finally got the hang of it. Once she figured things out, she had lots of fun picking up candy, hard-boiled eggs, and plastic Elmo eggs.
While we were gone, Annelise changed so much. She's a champ at climbing stairs (aack!), got 4 new teeth (her first dentist appointment is in May), and has picked up so many new words. Annelise now says please, thank you, no, Annelise, Elmo, cheese, baby, and lots of other things. She loves singing 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' and is pretty good at the ABCs. I can't wait to see what she'll have learned by the time we go back to Texas and Indiana in June!!
Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread
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